That’s the title of my update that I send out every 2 months. Speaking of which, I need to e-mail out the one I just finished last week. Anyhow, I haven’t been updating you on life on this here blog. So, with the boys finally in bed, that’s what I’m set to do just now.
Life in Romania…realizing that just as you are putting your boys to bed that you have run out of diapers for Alex. It’s pitch black outside, freezing cold. Yes, a perfect time for a pajama walk to the little hole in the wall store down the street to buy a diaper! I also picked up some gummy bears for Caleb and Alex to share tomorrow morning while we are cooking for the team at Herculane (the name we gave our team house.) Oh, and bananas. Bought three bananas, too. Aided by their newly acquired glow stick swords, that they received as a gift earlier today, we trekked our way back home and up the stairs to our apartment…again. I swear, my butt is going to be the very essence of “buns of steel” whenever I have to say goodbye to this apartment! Four flights up and down every single time.
Life in Romania…squished, crammed, shoved, dodging the legless man, begging, on his homemade skateboard all through the hordes of people. Sigh. I love the Friday markets! The blend of horse-drawn rickety wooden wagons and cars vying for the same space on the road…making a game, with Caleb and Alex, of trying not to step in the horse manure as we cross the streets. Trying to spot the best price on potatoes, carrots, onions, parsley, tomatoes and baby cucumbers. Today a woman actually had the nerve to quote me 1 price – then I filled up my bag – she then said another price and when I looked at her strange she then quoted an even higher THIRD price. I smiled, dumped out my bag back into her large basket of cucumbers and told her she was on crack. No, ha ha ha! Just kidding! I told her she was playing around with me on the price, dumped out my bag back into her basket and then walked away. After the craziness and wonderful mess of the market it’s wonderful to stop by the hot pretzel stand. I did that today. Haven’t for months and, after a 10-15 minute wait, was rewarded for my hard bargaining at the market. 🙂 At 80 bani/pretzel you can’t really complain!
Life in Romania….taking Alex to meet a prospective foster family on Monday. I knew that this day was coming, someday, but can’t I hold on to him just a little bit longer?? The visit went so well and they were very gentle and interactive with him. Alex was a nervous wreck and his autistic tendencies were, well, just that. Kind of glad, though, that the family had a chance to experience him like that. I think Alex knew they were a possible family even if no one ever said that to him. Before meeting them, for about 2 weeks, I’ve been preparing him to meet “some new friends.” I think that Alex is smart, though, and he put two and two together. I had so much peace meeting them, really. But it was so emotional at the same time. I wanted to cry over him leaving us, encourage them in their interest of Alex and then grab him – make a run for it…all at the same time. Monday night I fell into bed exhausted! The burdens of my heart overtook my body, too, it seemed!
Life in Romania…hearing a little one, named Caleb, say (out of the blue) “Mama, I love you.” They reach to the very depths of me.
Life in Romania…waiting. Waiting for a woman to receive her court date so that I can apply for my 1st court date. Patience, where art thou?
Life in Romania…heading to the state orphanage and being so overwhelmed at the intensity of love that God pours through you while being there. Walking into the orphanage and being bombarded by kids yelling “Grupa! Grupa! Is it my turn? Now! I want to go to grupa today!! Please, please, please!” Quickly following the announcement of which group will be happening comes, then, the strings of swearing your mom, my mom, Jesus’ mom and everyone in the world’s mom off because it’s not their group day. Driving away from the orphanage and pleading with God to close up the door to your heart so you don’t fall to pieces the moment you arrive home. I can only take so much of Jesus showing me the extent of their hurt…
Life in Romania…so beautifully simple. Having to walk everywhere, I love it. Meeting with my team for a rest time of prayer and encouragement without massive power point and a light show. I love it. Following the same paths through town to everywhere I need to go and passing the same people each day. I love it. Seeing the street kids outside the grocery store light up with smiles as I see them and, when able, buy them food. I love it. Witnessing amazing sunrises, sunsets, having heat in my apartment, watching beautiful colors unfold and knowing – that all of this – comes by the grace of an all loving Father God. I love it.
Life in Romania…being a part of my family’s lives via Skype. Oh thank YOU JESUS for Skype! Short phone calls here and there on their ways to work and watching my nephews grow and change. Having my son hang on to his relationship with his beloved Grandpa and Grandma through the video chatting. What a BLESSING.
Life in Romania…cars don’t work. You get into one, it breaks. You wait for another, it breaks down on the way to meeting you. Half the seat is gone on the driver’s side. Seat belts only work on 5 out of the 9 seats. They magically break as soon as they are replaced. Don’t go over 100KM/hour because then the car shakes and makes funny noises. Don’t drive that one at night, the headlights are too dim. I’m not complaining, although it might seem like it. I’m really not. It makes me smile because through things like this, God has shown me what it means to be f-l-e-x-i-b-l-e. I have actually, most of the time, come to enjoy not having every minute of the day planned all proper and such!
Life in Romania…trying to study. Desperately hoping that somehow I can pull off this exam in November on “Old Testament 1.” The material is so much simpler, so less complicated than last semester’s course. The problem is my mind. I seem to not be able to remember anything I learned the day before. So frustrating! Too much on my mind – too many decisions to make – so much in suspense emotional waiting etc…
Life in Romania…having the most amazing, no exaggeration, mission’s organization behind me. Accountability, challenging, encouraging…every single week they have been a blessing to me. That, and my car. CTEN and my car are weekly blessings. Ha! It’s true! You want to be thankful for a car? Live here, without one, for a few years and then be so graciously – miraculously provided one. G-R-A-T-E-F-U-L!! Actually, it’s kind of like my story with CTEN. Went without and now I have. And, somehow, God let me have the best. Yes, the best. My pastor care couple with CTEN (that’s their job – how cool – to provide pastoral care to CTEN missionaries) are here visiting, MOI, for a few days. They arrived last night at 18:35pm. Caleb saw their plane, pretty up close, and was in awe. The first plane he’s ever seen that close up. So cool for my little man! Anyway, I am so thankful for their role in my life. So thankful they are here at a particularly patient-trying time in my life. So thankful that they helped me clean up my kitchen and play with Caleb and Alex. So thankful they can deal with waffles and scrambled eggs for dinner. So thankful they pray for me and want to see me and Jesus grow closer. So thankful they offer SUCH wisdom into my roles here. So thankful that they guide me, correct me and help me see the Lord’s leading in my life… And, they are the ones who so lovingly suggested we buy the hot pretzels after the market today. Not that I needed much encouraging on that…ha ha ha! Somehow they remembered the pretzels from their last visit, 3 years ago!
Yup, that’s about it. Life in Romania.
Oh, and my Mom’s coffee cake. Made it this week. It didn’t rock as much as hers. But, I was close enough that I could *almost* pretend she made it!