Monday, August 15, 2011

Meet The Teacher Day and the Back to School Blues.

  Lunches are packed. Uniforms are pressed. Their backpacks are hanging up in the kitchen. I think we're finally ready for tomorrow. Physically. Emotionally? Not so much. We've had a wonderful summer of letting each day take us where it wanted to. It's been a stay in your pjs until nine kind of summer. It's been an ice cream before supper kind of summer. Now it's over. Sure there were days when I thought about calling the principal and seeing if she'd open up school just for my kids, but those days were rare. We really just loved being together and it's going to be hard to get back into the routine of getting up early, doing homework, and living for those weekends.
   It helps that the girls are super excited about school this year. Grace has finally arrived at kindergarten and she burst through the doors of school this morning like a little hurricane. She met her teacher and got to put her supplies in her desk. I think she squealed at least one hundred times. She's going to be a teacher's dream. She's very compliant, loves to help, and gets excited by everything. However, I've got money riding on tears this year. Heck, I've got money riding on tears tomorrow! She gets weepy saying goodbye to me and the first sign of discipline, the water works are going to flow. God bless her tender heart, though. It's one of the things I love most about her. My prayer for Grace is that she'll stand on her own with confidence, realizing that she doesn't have to please everyone. She just has to be Grace Perry.

Molly starts second grade tomorrow and she is very excited about the content this year. She gets to study rocks and minerals and she's a regular gemologist. We have books on the subject! She has a rock collection. She loves science, math, and history (what????) and tolerates reading (I need my heart meds). She's Brent Cobb shrunken down with bigger hair. Teachers love her exuberance. Her eyes dance at new concepts, but she's a head-strong little thing. My prayer for this year is that her heart will yield a little and that she'll accept my help, and my guidance. Both of us not crying during homework would be a plus too. Believe it or not, at seven, she does not know everything.

I'm excited about a new year too. I love the girls' teachers and it seems like they both have really sweet classmates. I always have lofty goals for the school year. Here are just a few.
1. I will NOT peel through the school parking lot at 7:55am and throw Molly and Grace at the front door.
2. I will only wear my "dress sweats" once a week.
3. I will pack the girls a healthy, nutritious snack .....sometimes. Are Swiss Cake Rolls nutritious?
4. Breakfast will be eaten at the table and not in the back of the mini-van.
5. I will read every school email and not claim that my "internet was down" when it's an email that asks me to do something.
6. I will not harbor ill thoughts towards the moms that volunteer for everything, bake their teachers fresh goodies, and scrapbook the entire school year.
7. I will not stab my eyes out with a pencil (no. 2 ofcourse) during homework time.
8. I will not roll my eyes when people see the girls in uniform and ask if we go to a Catholic school.
9. I will appear smarter than my children.
10.  I will remember that I am 33 and Molly is 7--not the other way around.

These are good goals, don't you think? I do have serious goals too like memorizing scripture with the children and praying for them more regularly throughout the day. I want to have more patience with them when doing homework. I need to remember G-R-A-C-E.  I receive it. I need to extend more of it.
  I'll be sure to post pictures tomorrow of the big first day. I know grandparents will be logging on if no one else :) Kiss your little ones tonight as you tuck them in bed. Thank God for His mercies and for fresh beginnings each day. Pray for your child's teacher. Sleep well knowing that our efforts are naught and He is everything.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


The first day of camp was kind of like my first day of kindergarten. Would they like me? Would I make friends? I WANT MY MOM!
I was nervous because I realized how totally inadequate I was to be doing what I was doing! However, I had prepared and now I needed the Holy Spirit to show up and take over. He was faithful to do just that. He helped me through that first day of teaching and a tremendous sigh of relief could be heard throughout the Czech Republic!

Here I am with my class. We had so much fun together!
 The lovable Sid Anderson was my translator. How I adore his dancing eyebrows and his sweet face which shines with the love of Jesus. He and his charming wife, Louise, have been serving with MTW in the Czech Republic for some eighteen years now. They love this country and they love the people. When they first arrived, Sid set out to demonstrate his love for the Czech people in the best way he knew how--by learning their language. He studied so hard to master the second most difficult language in the world (I believe Mandarin is only slightly harder?) The people have so much respect for him and say that his grammar is perfect which is just unbelievable. So I had an American translator speaking Czech and translating my English. Does that seem weird to anyone other than me? Sometimes Sid got so caught up in the class that he'd forget to translate their conversation to me. Other times, he'd turn to me and repeat it in Czech! Language camp does funny things to you! We had a wonderful week together. We felt like family--that's what the bond of Christ does. You have instant family all over the world.


Sid and Louise are set to leave Czech next year and return to their home state of Virginia. Sid hopes to continue building radio stations in Africa which will send the gospel message out over the air. He's a quiet genius.

Louise is a spunky, energetic little lady! We discovered a mutual LOVE of office supplies and stationary. Two women should not get so overjoyed about laminators and staplers. We could do some serious damage at Staples.

I also got to spend time with Hans and Gretchen, another amazing MTW couple who have been in Czech about eight years and are also set to leave next year and head home. Gretchen and I hit it off immediately. She has a quiet spirit, but is laugh-out-loud funny She can "pun" you death....and it's adorable. Hans has a demeanor which is just humble and kind. His face is gentle and loving and you can tell how deeply He loves the Lord. When he prays it's like a verbal love letter. They ran the administrative side of the camp which is quite a task. The campers love them and we do too!

Hans and Gretchen run a language school to enable Czechs to learn English. It's their passion and their ministry opportunity to spread the gospel.

 I think a few of you might remember these folks? What a blessing to spend time with our beloved friends Johnny and Annette. They are doing well, resting in the grace that covers them daily. Language school is tough and draining and they say as much. However, they are also quick to add that the Lord has been most merciful to them in their learning. It will come. Johnny led wonderful devotionals each morning and Annette was thrown in with the effervescent children. Who had the easier job there? :) It was so so good to see them both. With Johnny and Annette, no time passes between meetings. It's just like you saw them yesterday. I love that.

 Do pray for these dear ones. They need encouragement in the field.

I'm so thankful for these missionaries who answered the call and left all they had behind to follow Christ. Being around them made me realize that there's nothing really different between us.....except for one thing. They aren't super-spiritual  or ultra-theological. They're just obedient. The trip will end and I'll return to Caldwell Mill and take up my mission field. Can I be obedient to go and tell in my daily life?

Monday, August 1, 2011

We interrupt our regular Czech blogging..... bring you a much needed adoption update. Many of you have asked us how our process is coming along and the answer is very well. All glory to God! Sure I have moments when I look at myself in the mirror and wonder if I have what it takes to do this. My reflection very quickly reveals that no, I don't. Because if I did--I wouldn't need Christ. He has to do this.
   Today we had a 70 minute pre-referral phone call with our agency. The purpose of this phone call was to discuss the realities of selecting a child with special needs and the transition process involved in bringing them home. I think I'm just now beginning to understand the extent of brokenness that these children have experienced. They have already suffered more loss and grief in their short little lives than I have known in my 33 years. Parts of their brains have never developed because they've had no one to rock them, cuddle them or hold them consistently. They've never had anyone sing to them or tell them they love them. Thus, they have learned to live from day to day in the fight or flight mode. They don't relax or release serotonin because their body chemistry is wired to expect loss and pain. Everyone they have ever known has abandoned them. Their brains have to be taught how to trust and they push you away just to see if you'll remain by their side. Can you imagine?
  The waiting children have needs deeper than just the emotional. They have physical issues that make them even less desirable to the average person. The children are categorized by physical defect and their medical abnormalities are listed and explained. They have a medical history that you can review and at the end the ultimate question is--do you want this child? Can you love this child flaws and all? It's difficult to scroll through these faces knowing that you cannot take them all.
   There are times when the entire process seems so bizarre..or does it? I mean, was I not born broken by the Fall and in need of restoration also? Doesn't my brain need re-training after the bumps and bruises of life have taught me that no one is trustworthy except my Lord? Isn't it my sin that continually pushes me away from God only to find that He's still in place? He always remains. I could be categorized and labeled too. Under my photograph it would read: selfish, judgmental, jealous, glory-stealing, self-righteous, critical--just to name a few defects. And the question is asked of our Lord: Do you want this child? Can you love this child? And He chose me. He adopted me for life. Suddenly the process seems familiar. I have a model in front of me who has already adopted time and time again--looking at the heart and beginning a new work.
    Tomorrow I speak with our social worker from AGI and she'll begin to look through the database of existing children and find a match for us both in the age range and with the disabilities we are willing to accept. When she's found someone that fits our desires, we'll be given a referral and the opportunity to accept or reject this child. Our greatest prayer is that we'll know if this is the right child for us and that the Lord will match us with the child that He picked for us before the foundation of the world. I don't know how we'll know...but I know we'll know.
 We are about to schedule our first in-house visit with our social worker. I'm a little nervous about that. People tell me to just be myself. THAT'S WHAT MAKES ME NERVOUS! But all the concerns and anxieties and unknowns can be taken to my adopted Father. I can crawl in his lap of unconditional love and talk to Him. Adoption is a beautiful thing.
 We covet your prayers.
Waiting on Our Miracle from China Adoption Ladybug