Saturday, February 28, 2015

Happy Birthday Alexi!

This day is a special day.  Today is my beautiful sister's birthday!  Happy birthday Alexi and I can't wait to meet your new little one.  I wish I could be home to celebrate your birthday and your 30th on top of it!  Happy birthday my beautiful, sweet and hardworking sister!  I love you so much and hope you have the best day!

 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Four years living overseas

Today marks us having lived here for 4 years.  After today we will have lived in Taiwan for four years and --- months ---- days.   It seems so strange that four years have passed and how much has changed and then again not changed.  Four years ago we were very unsure of what we were doing going through jet lag and trying to figure out the language and what and where everything was that we needed.   Today we are still trying to figure out the language and thankfully we have figured out where to find most of the things we need.

Four years ago we arrived with a three year old and a 18 month old.  Now we have a 7, 5, and 3 year old.  Seems so hard to think that we came here with our kids so small and had a baby while we were here.

This week was a hectic week because we remembered on Wednesday that our ARC (alien registration card) were about to expire this week.  In order to stay in the country and not have issues we need to keep our passports current and have our arc always current and the proper paperwork in place so that we can stay in the country.  It's always a bit uncomfortable and because of it we are always aware that this is not our home.

This week as we frantically ran around trying to get our paperwork, our pictures and all the minor details in place so we could apply for a new arc.  Oh my goodness the pictures were the biggest headache of all.  We were the show once again as we struggled to fit our kids to fit on the picture and the picture place was not made for kids.  So we tried having the kids stand up or sit on a box.  Then we had elderly gentlemen outside of the photo booth wanting to take our kids to show them off and tell everyone that they are little dolls.   Throughout the process I realized that we are aliens living in a foreign land and that this is how we should feel where ever we are living.  This world is not our home and even when we seem to understand everything that is going we need to realize that earth is not our home and that one day we will be going to heaven and we will finally feel at home. There should always be this sense of discomfort and this longing to go back home because we should long to go be in our heavenly home.

I've lived now in two countries where I was an alien and both times have helped me to remind me that this is not our home and we will finally be home in heaven. Also living in a foreign country has helped me realized that some of the things I think are normal things are not normal.  Also things that I think are strange and weird for my host country are very normal things.  Sin is not normal and God hates it...it's why he had the Jews in the Old Testament sacrifice so that they would be aware of their sin and realize that they could never sacrifice enough and that a perfect sacrifice was needed so that we could have fellowship with God.  Jesus was that perfect sacrifice and made it possible so that again we were able to have communion with God the Father through Jesus the Son.   So daily I need to keep away from the worldly desires (sin) that wages war again my soul!  It's not just non believers but it is Christians that need to be aware of sin and to keep away from it.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Traveling to Austria back in my college days

I have been extremely blessed to have opportunities to travel.  I've had opportunities to just travel that many others might not have had the opportunity.  For that I am blessed.  There are times that I have to remind myself that I should write down my life experiences down not just for my sake but for my kids sake.  I want them to be able to realize that I was more than just their mom.  But that I had dreams and the experiences I had growing up changed me and affected who I am and why I am who I am.  I want to keep my memories alive for my kids and for myself.

The first time I got to travel to Europe was when I was in college.  The company that my dad belongs to offered him the opportunity to travel to Austria.  He was given four spots and I was one of the lucky ones who had the opportunity to go.  I was either a freshman or sophomore in college and I remember going to all my teachers asking permission to go on the trip and asking what my assignments would be so that I could make it up.  I was at the time taking a music class and my music teacher just told me to soak up the culture and the musical culture there in Austria.

I don't remember much about the traveling and how we got around places but I remember walking the streets in Austria and just thinking to myself how blessed I was to be over there.  We had an opportunity to go to a orchestra concert to listen to classical music and I just remember my heart nearly bursting with joy and happiness.  I remember the opportunity of being able to listen to the Vienna Boys Choir, oh my goodness that was just so beautiful to listen to.  Not being able to understand a word of it but getting goose bumps because they did such a fabulous job singing.

We went on the trip before I got a digital camera but I took pictures with a film camera -- they didn't turn out that great but I just remember walking around looking at the beautiful old streets, the beautiful architecture and just the history that was all around.  I remember driving or walking around and being shown where people -- musicians that had lived on the streets where we walked and learning more about their lives and just feeling in awe of the just the beautiful history and the stories of what these people have been through.

The other thing that completely struck me was the statues that were all around Austria.There were some statues that were absolutely stunning and beautiful.  Then there were the beautiful but horribly sad reminders of history.  The evils of our world history and artistic reminders so that no one forgets.  I remember see one statue.  It was a large statue of just many people - limbs and even a mother giving birth but it was all about death and the holocaust.  It was beautiful but horrifying to realize what we as humans are capable of doing.

Being over in Taiwan makes me sad because all my photos and all my stuff is back home in boxes.  So I can't share the AMAZING photos that I took while I was there complete with the great fashion sense that I had as a college student.  Actually my fashion sense really hasn't changed much.  I have no fashion sense and I probably never will.  I wish that I had a couple of pictures to add to this blog post.

I don't know if I ever told my parents thank you for such a beautiful opportunity.  So I figure I would do so now!  Thank you, Mom for traveling with me to see Austria and for giving me the chance to see a different culture. Exposing me to a culture that was very different from where we grew up.  Thank you for putting up with me even though I probably was a bratty college student who wasn't always a good listener and who had a mind of her own on what it was that they should see or now see.  Thank you for putting up with that behavior.  I love you and I'm so thankful for all your love and help you have given me over the years.

Thank you to my dad for giving up your ticket and allowing me to go on the trip instead of you.  Thank you dad for putting up with me.  For the years when I would cry and I would cause you worry and pain.  For the times when I wouldn't obey and felt that I knew better than you.  I appreciate you taking care of me and for loving me.  I appreciate the time that you took to make sure that I had a good work ethic and to make sure to do a good job.  The training that I got a Dalene Flooring has come in handy in all the fields that I have been in since working at the family business.   I know Dad that you will probably not read this but I want you to know that I love you and I appreciate everything you have done for me.  All the sacrifices you and mom did so that you could raise us kids to have a bright future.  I pray that I have made both you and Mom proud.  I love you guys so much!

I am so thankful for the chance to travel and I pray that I will be able to travel to many other places.  I really wish I could go back to Austria and take pictures and just be reminded of the beauty all over again.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Movies and thoughts

Today I just went to the first movie theatre movie in probably two years.  I just haven't made time for it or we haven't made time.  We've talked about it but then getting a sitter and having the kids watched at times just seems more trouble than it's worth.   But today I got together with the girls and we watched Wild with Reese Witherspoon in it.  I liked the move -- yes there was language, drugs, and sex but it was also other things.  It got me thinking that if I were to change anything in my life or in my past would I do that?

Would I change the fact that I have a learning disability and at times struggle to explain how I feel and why I feel things?  Would I change the fact that I was in special education for most of elementary and junior high? Would I change what I did in high school? Would I change what I did in college and afterwards?

No!  I don't think I would change anything in my life - my learning disability while very annoying and frustrating at times helps me to be very sympathetic to others and I am more aware of situations and I think that's because of the struggles I had growing up with school and life.   I am so thankful for my friends and family who stuck by me and helped me to develop into the person I am today.  Sure there are things I wish that I had added to my high school career but I found them later on in life. Things like taking art and photography classes I think could have been fun.  I wish that I had tried out for volleyball and not let fear control me because I really loved playing that sport and watching it.

I'm not ashamed for leaving my high school and going to a boarding school.  I missed my parents dreadfully but I got to know my Uncles and Tantes, Grandparents and cousins on a very different level than had I just stayed at my old school.  I also had the opportunity to have a Christian education and meet people from around the world.  I even met my husband while I was there.  It was a great experience, hard because of being away from home and being responsible for yourself but also a great opportunity.

I think the experiences you've had growing up and even the mistakes help define you but they don't have to make you!  Your failures don't make who you are or who you will become.  You can either sit in your mistake or you can brush yourself off and work to be a better person and to be the person whom you think you want to be or the person you think God wants you to be.

I think the most important thing that I've realized is that even though I make mistakes and do things I'm not supposed to do,  I am still loved -- loved by my family, by my friends but most importantly I am a sinner who was saved by the grace of Jesus.  I will never be able to be perfect -- I will offend people, I will lie, I will get angry and I will do things that are sinful in the eyes of God my Heavenly Father!  But thank God that He provided a way for me to be in fellowship with him.   I think that is the most important thing.

My life experiences have shaped me and tell me who I was but I don't have to dwell in the bad or difficult things.  My identity is defined by the love that Jesus & my Heavenly father had for me and for that I am eternally grateful!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 2015 - John 3:16

With the month of February being about love.  I chose John 3:16, which is talking about the ultimate love.
For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Welcome to our blog! We try to keep this current for family and friends. We moved to Taiwan in February 2011 and are trying to keep in contact with loved ones through this blog. We love comments and will respond back if you have questions or comments!! Thanks for checking us out!!

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