Friday, November 28, 2008

Hehee!! Its Kayley! I was bored of my mom's layout (again), so I changed it...Since I love GUITAR you can see why I chose this layout...:P Anyways when she gets back I will probably be forced to change it, so enjoy it while it's here. Anyways.."Whats up with me?" you ask? Welll last night was the "End of Exam Dance" at school! I had an awesome time!!! We danced like crazy, and it was great, but the best part it: EXAMS ARE OVER! I had 6 exams this week, and they were very very very hard, but thank goodness they are over. Oh yea, and I starting counting down the days until Germany.....I have 10 more school days left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGHH! Anyways enough about moi..but oh wait! Here is a video of me on guitar hero! Watch those fingers go!! (Don't worry, its only like 20 seconds) Well enjoy your lives! Bye bye

Sisterchick Adventure

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Most of you know that I'm a list girl. I love to make them and then, of course, cross them off or put a check by them when I've finished the task! Such joy!! Anyways...I'm excited to be able to cross off another goal on my dream list as my dear friend Lisa will be coming to visit and we will embark on a Sisterchick adventure around China!

Some of you may be asking, what is a Sisterchick adventure? Based on the novels by Robin Jones Gunn, a sisterchick adventure is two friends traveling around a foreign country discovering themselves and God in an amazing journey. I've always wanted to do that with one of my dear friends, and now I'm getting the opportunity to see another dream fulfilled (thanks God!). With the blessing of our two husbands, Lisa and I will spend 8 days roaming around the land of green tea leaves with no kids, no responsibilities, and no worries! Sounds like a Sisterchick adventure to me! I hope that she will fall in love with China the way I have and that I can show her all that China has to offer. I'm also excited to be able to show someone else what life is like for an expat. It's a different world that can only be understood by seeing it firsthand. It will be a cram packed time of exploring, learning, and just hanging out and catching up....I hope Lisa's jetlag will wear off quickly; I've got a long list of things for us to do!

I hope to have some fun and God-filled discoveries to share with you soon! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

God's Not So Great Timing

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Okay, I know God has perfect timing, but I don't understand how that works sometimes. For almost 3 years I have asked God to bring along someone to be a "heart friend" to me here in China. I have several wonderful "heart friends" back home in the States, those that know me well and in whom I have common interests and heart. And although those U.S. "heart friends" are near and dear to me, it helps to have someone physically present with you. So I have begged, pleaded, and asked God to bring me someone like that. Of course, He has said no. I'm not really happy with that answer, but I have learned to deal with it. That is until recently.

In August of this year I met two wonderful ladies who I have come to know and admire. They are in my Ladies Bible study, have kids my daughters' age, and love some of the same things I enjoy. What little time I have had with them these past few months has been a breath of fresh air. Except now I'm leaving. What's with that Lord?

Of course, these ladies know I'm leaving and they are hesitant to invest too much in a friendship. We joke about "what could have been" if I were to have stayed. But the fact is I leave in less than 30 days; 30 days full of crammed pack busy-ness.

I could be bitter and angry about all this, but what would be the point? It would only waste what little time I have left here and that's not how I want to spend my last few days in China. What I can do, however, is be grateful for the few months of friendship I did have with these precious ladies and began praying like crazy that God would give me those friendships again in Germany, this time without waiting sooooo long to bring them around. Who knows, there may be a lady in Germany praying for me right now. God can bring about those type of arrangements. His timing is perfect you know.

Cleaning house

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well, the date is set. On December 10th and 11th, the movers will start packing us up for our relocation to Germany. Hard to believe it's less than a month away!

In preparation for this move, I've started going through each room and purging those things we don't need or won't be able to utilize in Germany. Why the sudden and untimely need for organization? Well, the strange thing about our new house, and houses in Europe in general I think, is that there are VERY FEW closets!! We have been blessed to have 2 large closets in ONE room, and a small storage closet in the entry, but that's it. Of course, the kitchen has cabinets, but I don't think I want to store my sweaters in there! So I'm trying to go through and determine what we REALLY need and what we can trash or donate before leaving.

Which got me thinking....most people usually make one of their New Year's Resolutions to organize their homes. The organization freak in me LOVES to hear that! But, like exercising, the desire to tidy up our homes gets lost somewhere in February. So how can we avoid falling into that trap? I think one key is to start now.

I know, you are probably thinking IS SHE CRAZY??? Doesn't she know that Thanksgiving is in 2 weeks, followed by the hurried rush of Christmas?? Yes, I am completely aware of the calendar. And I know that New Year's Day follows shortly thereafter. That's why NOW is the perfect time to start PLANNING for your New Year House Cleaning.

As you scour through the kitchen to stuff the turkey and open up your closets to set out your holiday decor, take a few moments and assess your space. Where would you like to start? What is feasible with your time schedule? What would your budget allow for organizational supplies (and I can promise you they'll be on sale at Lowe's in January)? Taking the time to think about it now, will allow you to start on the right foot when the new year rolls in.

"If you fail to plan, plan to fail" or so the saying goes. Don't let that be you when it comes to bringing order to your house in 2009. As for me, I'm purging one room at a time, one day at a time. My time, like yours, is limited but I know it will pay off in the end. I hope you'll discover that too.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Do you ever have one of those days when you feel like you are getting slammed by God? I know He doesn't want to have to use that method with us, but when we know He's been talking to us, correcting us, and rebuking us and we refuse to listen or do an about-face, then we give him no choice but to slam us. Today was one of those slam days for me.

I've been dealing with a range of emotions and issues since returning to China this summer after our holiday in the States. God has been trying to deal with me about some stuff and rather than heed His wisdom, I have run. Today He decided to stop me in my tracks.

First, was the Beth Moore video I watched. Of course, she told it like it was/is and I knew God was trying to get my attention. Then I had some time in the car to read (remember, I have a driver) and the words of my Discipleship Journal magazine jumped off the pages as story after story after story got right in my face. The breaking point, though, came tonight with Abbey. Struggling with her piano lesson and pleading to quit, I heard myself saying the very words God had been pursuing me with. The first two incidents I could easily close or turn off, but when the words start spewing out of your own mouth, there's no turning back. I was faced with the reality of my backsliding, defiant ways and there was no way out.

I don't think this is the way God hoped this situation would have come to pass, but I brought it upon myself. I can only hope to learn from my foolishness and begin to walk in the way of wisdom. For now, all I can do is quiet myself before the Lord and see where He goes from here. There will be conversation I'm sure...but I think I'll let Him do all the talking.

Pushing the pause button

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Hello again friends! It's good to be back seems like an eternity since my last post, although it's only been a month and a half. Now that I have had a few moments of down time, I feel like I can breathe again. Don't get me wrong, I loved our vacation in Malaysia, enjoyed touring around China, and am glad to have found a house in Germany, but all of that physically exhausted me!!

I saw an ad on the internet that said, "You can't pause life". I understand what they were trying to get across, but I don't believe there is complete truth in that because that's exactly what I did last week -- I paused my life!

After 6 weeks of non-stop traveling, non-stop movement, I decided to pause. On Monday I took 2 naps, stayed in sweats all day and did nothing! I thing that qualifies as a pause, don't you? On Tuesday I went out for about 1 1/2 hours, and on Wednesday I stayed home watching election returns and scrapbooking Christmas gifts until my husband took me out to dinner. I had officially paused life, stayed home, and loved it!!

I know that "pausing life" like I did last week isn't a possibility for us all the time because nothing would get accomplished and that isn't such a good thing. But in my case, a pause was necessary if I expected my body to continue functioning and my emotional state to stay at a normal level. I feel much better for it and realized that pausing life even for a few moments on a daily basis can be beneficial.

For many of us, we find that pause when we have our quiet times with God and let the rest of the world pass us by. Sometimes, it may just be sipping a cup of coffee and listening to the birds chirping at the first break of morning. Whatever it may be for you, I want to encourage you to take the time to pause your life, even if it's just 5 minutes. As the holidays rapidly approach, this purposeful pause may be more necessary than you realize!

With a major move in 5 weeks, more company coming, and bringing closure to my time in China, I'm going to need plenty of pauses. When things get hectic around me I'm going to have to find the remote control of my life and push that button! I won't feel guilty about it, but rather, I think I'll savor it more because I know the benefits that will come out of it. I pray you will find that too.

Now if I could just find that remote....