Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Our Russian Princess

Never have I had a better reason to cry than this.









Friday, June 25, 2010

Finally

I am pleased to announce that Mom and Dad are finally leaving for Russia today!

After twice the amount of time we thought it would take to get our first travel date, we will finally have some new pictures of our little girl.

We will finally be able to shop for clothes for her (well, I think I'm the only one truly excited about that).

Although I am a little jealous that my parents get to meet Evan months before we kids will, I'm also glad that they'll know all about things in Russia before we go as a family.

They seem to have really odd customs there. Here are just a few:

1) It is traditional to bring the minister of education a bottle of cognac when we meet him.
2) Pedestrians never  have the right of way.
3) When my dad meets Evan, it is very possible that she will be scared of him because she has probably never seen a man (only women work in the orphanages).
4) We have to request a lock for our train compartment because the conductor will try to enter in the middle of the night.

My parents will be gone for a week. Texts cost an excessive amount of money, and there's no guarantee of internet access.

The past week has been absolutely crazy, trying to get ready for Russia, but we'll pull through. And any amount of craziness is worth a new picture of our princess.

I decided to post a waltz I wrote for Evan in this post (it seemed appropriate). Enjoy (hopefully) and let me know what you think! And, if you think about it in the next week, send up a prayer for my parents in Russia and our little girl, Evangeline.

Waltz No. 3 in G Minor: "Evangeline's Waltz"

video

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

God Provides

The final cost for the Peru trip is $1420.

A few weeks ago, all I had was $75. I was worried. I was very worried that I wouldn't have enough money to go on the trip.

However, I set these worries aside so that I could enjoy the company of my extended family, especially my cousin Sydney, as she was graduating from high school, and I wasn't sure when I'd get to see her again.

During our trip to see my extended family, one of my family members took me aside and began to talk to me about the Peru trip.

"So, how much do you have so far?"

"Well, not much, but I'm getting there."

"Do you think you'll get many donations?"

"I don't know. But, I can babysit and have bake sales and stuff. I'm sure I'll make it."

"Well, I really want you to focus on having fun and learning a lot on this trip, and don't want you to have to worry, so I want to pay for half of your trip."

I'm not sure what my face looked like, but I know what my mind looked like - blank.

He continued. "Do you think $725 will be okay?"

I nodded. "Yeah. Yeah, that'll be great!"

I hadn't wanted to write letters asking for donations. I don't like to ask people for money. And, on top of that, the format for our letter showed that they could check a box to donate $500. I wanted to leave it out. "Who would donate $500?" I thought. It felt like I was asking for quite a bit, kind of being impertinent.

How wrong I was.

God showed me why. Why I had to write the letters. Why I had to put that $500 or over checkbox. Why I had to trust him when I didn't think I could.

God provided for me. And he'll provide for you too.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Laps

I am not a very healthy person.

Try as I do to just forget about eating healthy and keeping my body in shape, it's just not something I can "forget" away.

I was brought to the abrupt realization that I need to change the way I live by my doctor, who told me that if I didn't change, I might one day have diabetes, heart problems, and all sorts of other nasty medical issues.

I've heard some people say that, in order to be a Christian, you have to eat right and exercise daily. I don't believe that. I do believe that my body is a temple for Christ, and I have not been giving it that respect.

Some people are naturally good at sports or being fit. Not me. I don't like exercise. Maybe because, for my entire life, exercise has only been something to improve you. So when I exercised, it seemed to me like that said, "You're not good enough." And I hated that. Especially when I didn't see immediate results except fatigue and time wasted that I could've been doing something else.

I'm a picky eater too. I was fed all manner of high-calorie, high-fat foods when I was little to get me on the growth charts, and I'm sorry to say that my "high-calorie, high-fat" tastes have not worn off.

I like comfort food - fried chicken, mashed potatoes, pizza, that kind of thing. I don't like many fruits and vegetables - something about the texture of them unsettles me. On top of all that, one of my favorite things in the world to do is bake. Bake cookies, bake brownies, bake cakes, make ice cream. And being "healthy" says that I can't enjoy any of those things, that those things I enjoy so much are "bad."

So I've had to compromise. I've made some resolutions. No dessert except on weekends. At least one fruit and one veggie a day. No pizza or chicken for breakfast (generally I'm not a huge fan of breakfast foods). And I've started swimming laps. Every day. I swam 40 laps today, and my legs feel like jelly.

And, I've had to come to the conclusion that I may not see immediate results. It may be weeks, or months before I see or feel any changes. But I'll have to get through it.

And, who knows, maybe in time I'll learn to enjoy it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Miracles Do Happen

There aren't many TV shows that I watch on a regular basis. Truthfully, I don't have many choices. Most adult shows scare me out of my wits, and my only other option are the preteen shows. However, one show I will never miss if I can help it, is So You Think You Can Dance. Dance, to me, is worship with your body. That's why this young man has left such an impression on me. I was pleased to find that I could understand some of what he was saying without the translator.

God still performs miracles, if people are willing to see them.