Friday, October 28, 2011

Florida Vacation!

We had a wonderfully relaxing (and warm) week in Florida with Grandpa and Grandma Mast, Ethan's parents, Ethan's four youngest siblings -- Rhoda, Phoebe, Sam, and Keziah -- and Zach and Sarah.

We stopped by to meet some friends, Brian and Tabita and their two children. This video shows the new friendship with their son BoBo and Dorie.

Dorie and her GGma (great-grandmother) had a tea party one morning. When GGma Ellie was Dorie's age she lived in China. I heard her telling Dorie some stories of her childhood in China, but when I left the table for a minute, I missed this conversation, so GGma wrote it down for me:

GGMa: Dearest Ms Dorie, I am so very happy that we could have a tea party together. Thank you for inviting me.
Dorie: Well, I am not really happy.
GGMa: And why are you not happy, Dorrie?
Dorie: I don’t have Jesus in my heart.
GGMa: Dear Dorie, you know that Jesus loves you very much, and He hears you when you talk to Him.
Dorie: He is way up in heaven. How can He hear me talk to Him?
GGMa: Jesus always hears you, and He is with us because His spirit is with us. And He will help us, and be with us all the time.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Malaysian Contrasts: Part 1 -- E.


Close to half of Malaysia's human population lives in its 20 largest cities. For example, Kota Kinabalu, pictured below, is home to 600,000 people.

(Thank you for the photo, Flanegan)

Kota Kinabalu (or KK) happens to be a consideration for where we will move.

Of course, smaller villages are prevalent throughout the country. Here is a view of a valley in Tambunan, a district some 80 kilometers east of KK.

Notice the unpopulated mountains in the background.

Did I say unpopulated? Hardly! Have you heard about the wildlife in Malaysia? Reportedly, about 20 percent of all animal species live in this country. National parks such as this one on Mount Kinabalu (highest point in Malaysia, and just outside KK) protect many such species.

Personally, I love that waterfall right in the middle of the picture, and some day I would like to see it close up.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The "dearest freshness deep down" of my ordinary life -QM

I love the big, grand picture of Glory that I read in Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem, God's Grandeur. He wrote that
The World is charged with the grandeur of God
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

I also love the tiny pieces of glory that I read in Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts:
24 Old men looking for words just perfect
54. Moonlight on pillows
55. Long, lisped prayers
56. Kisses in the dark
243. Clean Sheets smelling like wind
244. Hot oatmeal tasting like home

Here are some everyday glorious moments from my day today:
  • waking to the yells of my small son and having him miraculously fall back to sleep
  • a slow jog past a misty, newly mowed field
  • the surprise of tears on my cheeks while listening to a new song
  • a tiny, peanut butter covered finger transformed into a neighing, galloping horse
  • the smell of pinto beans, bacon, and cumin in the crockpot

All this talk of Glory reminds me of the verse that has lodged deeply in my heart this past month: 2Corinthians 3:18. (The above 'new song' comes from this passage--check out Mosaic's Be Like You)

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Quote in Title also from God's Grandeur, GMH