Wednesday, March 28, 2012

one whole year.

this past week has marked one year since we were here..

for the longest time, I've wanted to write about our time in Romania and I couldn't figure out what to say. so I thought I would wait until the one year mark but it has felt so far away.. and all of the sudden here it is.

how has it been an entire year?

I feel like I still have to ponder the trip when I think about it.. like, there still aren't very many words for it. I can tell you that my heart was changed. I was stretched and molded more into the woman God is making me. I went with the question, 'how could they?' and left with a heartache for the Roma community instead of placing that harsh question of blame over them. abandoning their children.. for some that's all they've ever known and experienced, so how would they know to do any different?

you go expecting to love spending time with the babies, AND YOU DO. oh, do you. but in the back of your mind (for me, at least) you don't want to get so attached that it's hard to come back. but what is so wrong with that? our pastor from Michigan told us to not be afraid of attachment. so I took his advice and came back with attachments that made my heart grow bigger. if there weren't any adoption restrictions I probably would have tried to convince Chad to let me bring a little girl home. the hospital doesn't allow us to post our photos online, so if you're ever with me and want to see her, I will gladly show you a photo of that precious princess.

I also was very drawn to a little boy named Alex. he is blind (or so they say) and had some neurological complications, but he definitely knew when someone was paying attention to him. when I would talk to him he would turn his head right to my face, almost as if he was looking right in my eyes. one of the days that I was hanging out with him I faced him towards the window and told him he would be able to see all of that someday. because I know God can do ANYTHING if we just ask. he is the youngest of nine or ten children, so sometimes he goes back to the hospital for attention and care.

the neat thing about Alex is that I've been able to keep up with him a little bit. our good friend Erin is living in Romania right now and working for Firm Foundations. she was on the trip with us too.

{erin is third from the left, right next to me}

since she has gone back, Alex has been back in the hospital twice. so every time he's there she sends me an update. one time she told me it seemed like he could definitely see some things. maybe not clearly, or know what they are. but he can definitely see some blurbs or something, ha. I love hearing that.

the end of the trip took a crazy turn. as most of you know, my aunt was with us and sometime on the trip she contracted bacterial meningitis. scariest day of my life, I think. scariest few days, actually. you can read what she had to say about it here and here. and her most recent accomplishment here. I am so proud of her! (can I say that about people older than me without it sounding like I'm talking down to them? I always feel weird saying I'm proud of someone older.. I really am though.) the coolest thing about her experience is that God completely, one hundred percent, healed her. in the hospital in France, for the first few days I felt like she wasn't even herself. she was stolen from her body. fast forward a couple weeks and she's on her way home. I still can't even comprehend it all. the most traumatic experience of my life was also the most amazing. God taught me so much during that week Chad and I were stuck in Paris. I've thanked her for getting sick a couple times. she knows my heart on that; I'm not glad she was so sick. I am just extremely thankful that I learned so much from it all. and SOOOOO grateful that God brought her through it. so grateful.

the visiting hours at the hospital were random so after a few days, and when my aunt was aware of what was happening, she told us to do something fun.. we didn't want to, but we were in Paris, so she told us to and we eventually convinced ourselves that it may be good for us to get out. we got to see this.. and so did my parents once they got there..

and many of the other tourist things people do when in Paris. it's still so hard to believe we were able to do the things we did. and see the things we saw. and my parents got to be in a country they never thought they would venture to because so many generous people gave funds for us to be there with my aunt. granted, the circumstances were not ideal.. but they were able to bring her home with them! what a wild and victorious ride.

I had no choice but to trust God during that week. there was physically nothing I could do to make her better. all I could really do is pray. oh did we pray. and God showed us that He was taking care of us all the way down to the tiniest of details. as I look through all of the photos and think about all of the favor we were walking in, I still get emotional. so much favor. every tiny detail. so grateful.

'Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-when you see the naked, to clothe them and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteous One will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I.'
Isaiah 58:6-9.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

continuation of a journey of contentment in all circumstances.

Made these today..

We have very little food at the moment. It's not that we don't have enough money for it. It's that I have a flat tire. So when I was reading this recipe from this blog that I like to follow sometimes (she has such lovely things to post, maybe you've heard of her. and her etsy shop, which is a favorite of mine), realizing I had everything to make these (and not much of anything else!), I decided to whip them up.

I've been on a journey of learning all things natural and healthy. I'm sure as I learn, I will be sharing the things we have started to change around here (ie. toothsoap.. still working on that). But when I read this recipe I got a little excited. Everything in these little balls is good for you. Healthy fat, good protien. Not to mention it is a great option for the snacker with a sweet tooth (me). I encourage you to give them a try.

So about the contentment in all circumstances. And that flat tire.

Chad has been working longer hours (oh I don't think I've mentioned his new job! okay, I will later). A few days ago I was out for a bit with Emily and Gideon and then came home; the usual. But later that night, Kyle got home and told me I had a flat tire. Bummer. It was late so Chad said he would look at it the next day.

I guess I ran over a nail. Or a screw? Whatever it is.

We tried using our little air pump to fix it and it worked, but you could also hear the air coming right back out pretty fast. And it turns out, my spare is very tricky to get out of the trunk, mostly because it's old, so every night he works on getting it out and then dinner is ready and it's not finished. I don't expect him to get it finished, he is super tired. Can't really blame him.. crazy work hours. But at the same time, we are running out of food and I haven't been able to go grocery shopping. Or take Tina to work like I told her I would. So, the other night, he got home and we were going to run to the store to pick up a few things so I could make dinner. When I went to get in the truck, the passenger seat was soaking wet. There is a leak and it has been absolutely pouring the last couple days.. some intense storms. Sooo he went without me.

As I was walking back up the stairs to go inside, after a moment of feeling bad that he had to go by himself, I started laughing to myself.The whole situation is comical really. Thank you Jesus for continuing to teach me contentment. I didn't feel like everything was terrible. Car troubles can be lame. But I know God is taking care of us. I just thought it was funny that we BOTH had car troubles at the same time and every time we try to get to the store, something else happens. I feel like it would have been really easy to get super discouraged. I think the Ali a couple of years ago, or even just a year, would have. But that night, I didn't. And the contentment just came. Like it was natural. I was so busy being grateful for my reaction, that I forgot about the somewhat crummy situation and before I knew it Chad was already back from the store.

I hope that all made sense. It's the little things that make BIG differences in your life.

{don't let the rain (or a flat tire) keep you from experiencing abundant life}

I also wanted to share this today. If I've left you with any down time. I love what she has to say in that post and what she is doing with her life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

welcome, spring.

It is the first day of Spring and in honor of just that, I wanted to share a favourite song of mine. A Beatles song (since it is trivia tuesday, after all).

George was skipping a business meeting (or 'sagging off' as the Brits say) at Apple Corps (pronounced 'core'- a pun they intended) and wrote this song while at Eric Clapton's house on one of Clapton's acoustics in 1969. It was included on the Abbey Road album.

Here is an interesting video with George Harrison's son, Dhani.

You can also see a live performance of the song by George himself (his later years) here.

Hope you enjoyed your day and I also hope this song gets stuck in your head. (:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I guess I'm related to horse thieves..

{the doherty hotel in clare, michigan}

Hey, all. Since it is Saint Patrick's Day, I just thought I'd share this little tid bit of information about my Irish ancestors..

It's not officially confirmed, but we've always heard that my grandfather's ancestors (on my mom's side) may have been kicked out of Ireland because they were horse thieves.

And my maiden name (it still sometimes sounds funny saying I have a maiden name), Doherty, I've heard used to be O'Doherty.. or O'Dougherty.. or something. Somewhere along the line the spelling changed a couple times with the slip of a pen, I guess. I actually have distant cousins that spell it different than we do. It's interesting how things like that just.. happen.

I'm interested in looking into our history since, clearly, I don't know enough. I find it all intriguing. Maybe next year I'll have more information on all of that.

Anyway, have a great weekend! What interesting things do you know about your family?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

wednesday without words.

okay, maybe a few words..
We got to spend the last weekend with our Taylor parents and we were SPOILED! They came for Lisamom's birthday but it almost felt like it was our birthday. Or like we went on vacation. We have been so blessed by parents this past month.
So here is a little of our trip in photos.
{city park sculpture gardens}
{the sculpture on the right was made by the same person responsible for the huge bean in Chicago.. you know the one. if you look close, you can see a face in the middle. sort of creepy, maybe.}

{nice view of the mississippi river}
{isn't that an amazing window they had in their hotel?? the view was beautiful. I felt like I could sit there for hours.}
{crawfish, po-boys}
{Emeril's Delmonico for a fancy birthday dinner.}
{happy pi day! New Orleans has these annoyingly tasty pies, so I picked a few up for a special treat today.}

{also, received this wonderful package in the mail today from my aunt. those oils made my week. really. I had no idea they were coming. I was giddy. but no one was here to see. :) }

Monday, March 12, 2012

ii. gratitude.

{grateful for time}
amy: Time. The one thing most people take for granted the most. This is what I am grateful for. Recently I have been faced with having to make some decisions on how my "time" will be spent. And I realized something.....I can never get this "time" back. Ever. Once i realized was MUCH easier and simpler to make my choice. My time is to be spent with the ones I love. Period. No job, event, church, school, etc should come before that. Dont get me wrong those things are important in their place......but my time with the loves of my life CAN NOT be replaced. Ever. Time is precious they say......and they are right....and for that I am grateful :)

ali: As hard as it is to be away from the unfamiliar, I love having this experience in a new place. Time to venture and see new places and be together, just the two of us. Days to look back on and always remember that we were truly living. This time of growing and traveling together before little ones come along. (:


Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

some trivia for your tuesday.

Sunday (March 4th, 1966) was the date John Lennon said the Beatles were 'more popular than Jesus', prompting many radio stations in the US to ban their songs and people to burn their records and merchandise.
There's a cool pic where George Harrison is wearing a 'Stamp out the Beatles" t-shirt... Those were made in response to Lennon's remark. Kinda funny... Kinda cool too that he wore it though!

And here is said photo. I like it. (:

Saturday, March 03, 2012

asking for some helps.

Last week we got an unexpected blessing from someone in Michigan. I'll keep it anonymous because I know they wouldn't want the recognition, but God's timing was impeccable (per usual). Thank you, dear friends. God has blessed us with some good ones.

I also need some more input from you, wonderfuls. I want to go on a trip this year. I'm not sure of the trip dates as of yet, but it is a trip near to my heart. And my heart says it is possible, but my brain is struggling with it. At this moment I would not be able to go anywhere far. So I am looking for some good fundraising ideas. Some of your favorite {successful} fundraising ideas. Anything you've got, leave a comment in that box down there.

Speaking of fundraising, my aunt is participating in the Heart Walk in Detroit in May. My mom is walking with her too. They'll be raising money to take a stand against heart disease. This is pretty important to my family since my mom was diagnosed with a heart condition this past year (at too young of an age, might I add.. but she is doing so well). So if you would like to donate and help my aunt and my mom raise funds for the walk, click this link here. They're pretty great, so it would be worth your while. Thank you in advance. (:

So lend me your ideas here, friends. I'm going to try to get to Romania! This year. Love you.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

wednesday without words.

{if you have thirty minutes to spare, I PROMISE this is not a waste of that time.. if not anything else, it is an opportunity and push for us to pray for our brothers and sisters in africa}

march on.

Welp. This wraps up the February Photo-A-Day Apartment Project. I tried.

february twenty seventh: something you ate.
{tina, ali}

february twenty eighth: money.

february twenty ninth: something you're listening to.
{see the rest of the project here}

Anybody do some extra leaping yesterday? You don't get that day every year, you know (I don't think I'll ever fully understand that).