Who is your Mario Kart character?

Seems like, these days, that questions like this are all over Facebook.  Which state are you?  Which country are you?  Which food are you? etc….

So why not join the crowd and ask “Who is your Mario Kart character?”

Well, I have always thought that when it comes to productivity, I am Donkey Kong.  You remember Mario Kart, right?  I’m not talking about the modern, fancy version.  I’m talking about Super Mario Kart for Super Nintendo, the original.  Each group of characters had a different strength and weakness.  Some had quick acceleration, but not super fast (Princess/Yoshi).  Others were average all around (Mario/Luigi).  And then there was Donkey Kong.  You knew that if you picked him, you would never be the first one of the blocks.  However, if you could catch a straightaway, there was no one that could catch you.

Ah, the memories of Super Mario Kart…..joy, anger, throwing controllers, victory, defeat, accusing other person of cheating by watching your side of the split screen…..

Anyway, back to my point.  Here’s how this applies.  Which character is your work style?  I am definitely Donkey Kong.  If I have a project or work that needs to be completed, it takes me forever to get started.  There’s always something online to look at or an article to read or another small task to complete.  I guess we would call this procrastination?  However, once I can finally get down to business, everything seems to roll quite smoothly.  The project is almost always completed on-time; sometimes it just takes a while to get off the blocks.  Worked this way in high school with homework.  Worked this way in college and seminary with papers.  And it is working it self out these days with reading, writing, and email.  Some things just don’t change.

So, who is your Mario Kart character?

 

Image credit: http://www.mariowiki.com

Celebrity vs. Freak

We just got back from our Kathmandu trip and it was really restful and encouraging!  As we were at our meetings, someone mentioned something about people who move across the ocean sometimes lose their identity…sounds crazy, right?  But it’s SO true.  I (Beth) think if you’re not real confident in the States, your home culture, you definitely won’t be confident overseas in a foreign culture.  I can speak from experience.

I have discovered a lot about myself while living in ‘ol South Asia.  For example, I am a germaphobe, I really like structure, I really like being with my husband & kids all day most days (who’da thought?), and I am pretty insecure…

Yup, I said it, I’m pretty insecure…not quite sure why b/c I have an awesome husband, parents, family and friends that encourage, inspire and support me…but maybe it’s because I feel like I’ve time warped back to middle school with an inferiority complex since moving to South Asia.  I feel like everyone is watching me and staring at everything I do (but that’s because they are) and I have to be really conscious about what I wear/how I act in public (as to not attract more attention).  In this culture, it’s not rude to stare.

So, I feel like I have 2 personalities – Celebrity vs. Freak.

Why Celebrity?  I think it’s because I feel like we’re being watched and sometimes even treated like royalty!  As I appreciate people’s hospitality, I am not so sure I value the attention.  Listen, I know I am no beautiful movie star, nor do I want to be treated like one!  I am a normal, God-fearing woman that would like respect and courtesy.

Why Freak?  I think it’s because we are some of the few white people that live here…so, people are curious, and they stare.  Not just stare.  They look until I feel like there’s a hole stared right through me.  For example, we walk down the street and people riding their bikes watch us until I almost think their heads will turn 180 degrees! You know you didn’t like getting stared at when you were trying to find a seat in the cafeteria in middle school, right?!

It creates some kind of defensive mechanism inside me.  Don’t get me wrong, I like living here.  It’s just created some feelings within me that I have had to deal with/am dealing with, and praying how to combat future meltdowns and anger.  Praying for the Lord to give me HIS love for these people and to give me confidence in HIM, so that I would not be prideful in myself.  B/c I know it’s not going to be my own flesh that loves them.  I know it would be easy to be confident in myself.  But I want to love and take pride in Jesus, not be dependent upon myself (or others) for strength and reassurance.  Whew!  It’s a daily combat that we live over here.

Anyways, that’s a little bit of what’s going on my head and about our journey…can you relate?

Happy Birthday to the Beth J!

I think I can say that in Beth J’s top 5 favorite bands is the group DC Talk.  Of which one of her favorite albums is the ever popular 1992 album “Free at Last.”  Of which she loves the song “That Kinda Girl.”  Here’ the chorus:

She’s that kinda girl
Different from the ones before
‘Cause I know she loves the Lord
She’s that kinda girl
Virtuous in every way
The kinda girl that makes you say,
“I hope she comes my way.”

With this being the case, I feel I can bring out a quote from Proverbs 31 which I think accurately describes Beth J on this day…

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teachings of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently but you surpass them all.” (Prov 31:25-29)

Happy Birthday Beth J!  You are that kinda girl!

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5 Things I Think I Think

It’s time again for another installment of what’s on Will J’s mind.  But this time, I’ll just keep it to 5 so as not to take too much time from your long Memorial Day weekend…

1. I think it’s awesome how just eating a Subway sandwich shows the difference in Maddie and Mahaney.  Mahaney opens up the bread, removes the ham to one side and cheese to the other and leaves the veggies on the bread.  She then proceeds to eat each part of the sandwich separately until everything is finished.  Maddie just eats the sandwich normally.

2. I think cricket is more fun than baseball.  No explanation needed…however, here’s 10 ways cricket is more manly than baseball:

cricket-211) No gloves.  You try catching the screaming line drive with bare hands.
2) 1 strike and you are out.  None of this 3 strikes and then you are out till you get to bat again.  One chance.
3) Batting until you get out takes endurance.
4) You ever try to hit an 85 mph ball off the bounce?
5) You try and make the ball twist and spin WITHOUT bending your elbow.
6) None of this foul territory business.
7) Short, exciting tournaments as opposed to a ridiculously long regular season.
8) It takes manly skill to throw the ball and hit the stick rather than a man with a glove.
9) You are allowed to skuff and doctor the ball.
10) Yurvay’s 6 “home-runs” in a row.  Nothing like a little trash talk from a Brit to spark a fire in an Indian. (Start from the 2 min mark).

3. I think I am excited to watch the World Cup next month.

4. I think I’ve been overseas too long when I am talking about cricket and soccer football in my posts.

5. I think it is amazing how much Maddie and Buggie can remember when it is put to song.  As Beth mentioned in the last post, she has been teaching them Bible verses, using the tunes from familiar songs.  At first, I was skeptical.  Yet now, I am a full believer.  It has even helped me!

6. One more…I think that my wife is amazing for caring so much about the future salvation of our children.

7. Two more…I am thankful for all of those who have served or are serving in our military.  It never was an interest of mine, but I am thankful for the freedom I have because of those who have protected it for us.  Happy Memorial Day!

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My pockets are sweating!

Well, it’s starting to get warm in the FLL!  Inside it is 83 degrees and we are doing our best to have “happy hearts” at all times ;)

20140519_201941Since I’m spending a little more time inside, I’ve been really trying to get creative w/ the time.  Some days are easier than others.  I have been learning a lot about myself lately.  I am in some sort of nesting phase.  Sorting through clothes (mine and the girls), toys, jewelry, food (ha!  I bet you don’t have that problem in the States, right?), etc.  Maybe my fear of collecting too many “things” comes  from the torment and psuedo-traumatizing move across the pond…maybe it’s the thought that “I might use this one day, and if I throw it out, I can’t use it then!”…who knows.

But I have put my foot down!  haha…I am carefully cleaning out and redecorating the house AND doing that in my walk w/ the Lord bt1frontcover copytoo.  In our newsletter, I have mentioned starting a Bible study w/ a friend and some national ladies called Be Transformed.  It has been amazing!  And while the meeting w/ a group of 6-10 national ladies has come to just 2-3 ladies, it still has been really beneficial.  You should check it out!  It’s like therapy, but A LOT cheaper ;)

In essence, I am not only cleaning out my house, I’m also cleaning out my heart from past lies I have believed (inevitably from Satan).  This will take time.  A lot of time.  But I really am seeing with new eyes.  About myself, how I interact w/ others or don’t interact w/ others, why I react the way I do to certain things, being humbly confident in my preferences, etc.  I don’t want to teach my girls to do things the way I have done and the Lord has been gracious enough to show me this before they aren’t moldable anymore.  Praise Him for that!

I am really trying to make God’s Word priority in their lives (and mine and Will’s too!) through these little Scripture songs.  They LOVE them and if I wasn’t totally self conscious, I would post them so you could hear. The idea came from Mrs. Tebow in this post.  It’s just sweet to hear them singing them whenever they come to their minds (instead of “Let it Go”…ha!). Maddie especially is always asking what the next Scripture song will be!

The Lord is also showing me that I need to simplify things.  You can really tell a lot about a person in the way the write on a blank piece of paper or the way they decorate their house.  Weird, right?  But it’s true!  I want to be a simple person who wants to prioritize things the way the Lord wants me to.  I feel like when I do this, He provides peace in my heart and less stress.

Thanks for reading and hearing my heart.  It might be jumbly to some of you, but it makes sense in my head ;)  How long do you wait before you weed out “stuff” from your life and home?  I say, if you haven’t used it in a year to year and a half, clean that junk out!

The Story of Matt: From CP Training to UUPG Engagement

IMG_7638This is Matt.  He’s a follower of Jesus, husband, father, deacon, servant, and owner/operator of a famous chain of chicken restaurants.  And this is his story.

In Oct 2012, Matt and 2 others from their church in the States came over to help me with a church planting training.  Over 3 days, we trained around 60 men and women in how to share the gospel, disciple new believers, and plant healthy churches.  From this larger group, 10 men said that they wanted to receive more training in how this all works.  Each of them had tried something they learned and had filtered themselves out.  For the next 3 months, I met with them as a group and talked more about how God could use them to see His glory spread throughout Bihar.

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With the help of others from Matt’s church, we were able to again filter this group down to 6 men who were ready to take the next step to see healthy churches multiply across their districts.  So beginning in August, I met with these 6 men each month for a few days, and we also visited each of them in their home to see where they live and visit some of their churches.  Each of these men learned more about how to go from doing the work themselves to becoming trainers of how to multiply new churches.

IMG_1899So Matt and another church member returned to the FLL in March of this year.  At this training, the 6 men were able to bring some of there new leaders from the new work.  Over these 3 days, 21 men and women gathered together to be refreshed in the big picture vision of seeing God’s glory spread among all places and all peoples in Bihar!  So why is this awesome?  Because Matt was able to begin with a group of 60 and then 18 months later see a group of 6+15 of faithful men and women who have a vision for church planting.  This is a real life example of how 2 Timothy 2:2 is supposed to happen.

But that’s not all…because from this group of 6, there is 1 who has really caught the vision for all peoples in all places.  Recently *Peter was at my house, and we were discussing what UUPG’s mean.  After explaining it to him and giving him an example, he replied, “There are some from that people group who live just a half mile from my house!”  The next weekend, Peter went through that village, using the Luke 10 method he had learned.  One house from this people group invited him in, and Peter was able to share the gospel with them.  Now, as of the writing of this email they have not yet put their faith in Jesus; but they have expressed interest in having Peter come back and continue sharing with them.

So, what began 18 months before with a large training and then filtered down to 6 who then have raised up another 15 new leaders has now seen the first (of hopefully many) UUPG engaged with the gospel for possibly the first time ever!

Thanks to Matt (and all the other volunteers) and his church for making this possible through the giving of their time and money to see God’s glory spread across this great country!

Also if you are in the Louisville area, stop by the Mall St. Matthews Food Court and talk to Matt while you “eat mor chikin”

Happy Resurrection Day! A little late…

Hey y’all!  We got to celebrate a little differently this year…not that the way we had been celebrating was bad, but we just wanted to change it up a bit.  We started out basic this year since the girls are 3 1/2 and 5 and plan to add more as the years go on.  I’d (Beth) like to start even a little bit earlier…around Lent-ish time, maybe.  This year’s Easter just crept up on me!

Anyways, we checked out Sojourn’s website for some kid-friendly Palm Sunday activities and came up with this!  I cut and pasted some stuff, but it was really fun to reenact the “Triumphal Entry” story.  Firstly though, we traced the girls hands 3x’s and cut them out and taped them to a popsicle stick for the “palm leaves”.  IMG_7041Then, we prefaced the story a little bit and asked the Big Question (from the Sojourn link) of Who is Jesus?  They answered so energetically, “Hosanna, Jesus is the Savior King!”  The girls’ favorite part was acting out the story ;)  Will (of course!) was Jesus, I was the person who laid down the coats (yeah, we busted out our winter jackets!) on the ground, the girls were waving said “palm” leaves and then, me and the girls switched to the Pharisees.  Pah!  Good times…we prayed and then, they wanted to do it again!  It was neat b/c all throughout the week, randomly the girls would shout, “Hosanna, Jesus is the Savior King!”

Then, I had seen a couple of different cute ideas about how to keep Easter about the Resurrection…so, here’s what we did:

-Thursday, we and our friends upstairs made these stained glass crosses and explained that the cross is empty b/c Jesus is alive!  (Left one is Mahaney’s and right one is Maddie’s)

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-Friday, we gathered all of our materials for our Resurrection Garden!  We’ve seen these all over the internet and wanted to try it out.  We followed this particular one by Oh Amanda and really liked the aspect of gathering leaves, twigs for the crosses and flowers for Friday and talking about the story of Jesus’ death…
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…and as the day went on and Saturday went on, the plants withered painting a picture of sadness and death.

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– But on Sunday morning, we started getting all excited b/c the girls knew that the Resurrection Garden would change, but they didn’t know how!  Before going into see the garden, we wanted to get the Resurrection Rolls in the oven!  So, we told them briefly and simply how people back in the day used to bury people by using oils (melted butter) and spices (cinnamon sugar) and wrapped them up and put them in a tomb (the wrapped up crescent roll).  We popped those suckers in the oven and went on to see about this Resurrection Garden!

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That morning, I got up early and went back out and replaced all of the tattered leaves and flowers with new, fresh, vibrant ones showing that Jesus brings new life!  It was fun for the girls to help get it all together, made and hear the story that we’ve heard a few times, but seeing it come to life for them was really neat.  Buggy wanted to keep the little Jesus I made from a pipecleaner ;)
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It was a fun, relaxing Easter and I would love to add some things to these traditions next year.  We also drew the Jesus dying on the cross story in henna w/the girls and they wanted to show it off to their friends/teachers at school!
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Frozen bday party ideas!

Ok, this blog is not Pintrest in the least!  But I (Beth) did get some cute ideas for Maddie’s bday party (some I wanted to do, but didn’t have time or resources) and wanted to share my inspirations!

We played a “Whack an Olaf!” pinata game and the kids loved that!  Any excuse for them to hit something w/ permission is always fun, right?  I just used watered down glue to put at least 3 layers of newspaper strips and then, after it dried, popped the balloon.  Then, I used strips of white printer paper and cut it to make the “flaky” effect and taped them on strip by strip.  Then, just added details to make him look like Olaf!  Here’s some detailed instructions if you need!  The candy doubled as a prize and favor – winning!
IMG_6713Then, came the favors…what to do?  We went for the cute Elsa crowns and Sven Antlers!  Made for a really cute pic of the kids, even though, I think the boys immediately took them off after the picture!  haha….

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We had cute Elsa & Anna, Kristoff & Sven, and all lovable Olaf coloring pages for the kiddo’s according to gender and age ;)  I like to be age appropriate (sometimes)!

So, we decorated minimally b/c there’s not a lot of ready made Frozen paraphernalia laying around ‘ol FLL.  So, improvise we did!  There were a lot of cute ideas for how to decorate your food table, but not too many decor ideas about any other part of the party.  So, we made due!

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First off, the blue-green “Ice” hard candy…looks really cute on this website’s cake, but I boiled mine for an extra 17 seconds and it burned a little…it was still edible though!
Secondly, the fun Jello “Ice” was fun!  I made Elsa colored ice and Anna colored ice “cubes”…the kids loved it!  And so did I, muhahaha….I just followed the jiggler recipe on the box, but here’s the fancy-schmansy one!
Thirdly, I saw a lot of cute other themed foods, but we we just explored the “Sven Snacks” (carrots), snowflake cookies, “Kristoff Chips”, and “Melted Snow” (water!)…there are plenty of ideas here and here for different foods and decor!

As far as decorations, on the food table, I found some snowy-ish silver glitter plants to use in my spaghetti jar w/ glass beads, I also found some fun silver swirl napkins, and we used some of the cute Frozen dolls that have been sweetly sent to us by our sweet parents!  To greet guests, I made 5 or 6 3D snowflakes and used those throughout the house and at the front door…

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stringed up cotton wool balls and these snowflake circles from the ceiling in the “Ice Palace” room (living room), cotton balls delicately distorted to look like snow, the infamous Star Wars snowflakes from here (how did those sneak in?)…

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…and a snowy scene of the lovable characters with some printer paper and pipe cleaner snowflakes!

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When we were all done eating, we went into the “Ice Palace” where we had the AC on 21, ate popcorn and watched the movie from our upstairs friends’ iTunes version!  The kids had a blast and the adults may have chuckled a time here and there too ;)

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After the party, we printed off the said cute picture of the kids w/ their crowns/antlers, wrote a note and we I made some cute snowflake ornaments from the melty beads to give as a thank you…whew, those things look cuter than they are to put together and finagle w/ the ‘ol iron!  Fo Sho!  Here is a pattern you could use…for some reason the site is in Swedish, but you get the idea!

All in all, we had a blast…Maddie loved playing w/ her friends, this was probably the lowest key party we’ve ever thrown, and we actually got to enjoy time w/ our friends here while putting it on!  So, enjoy!  Go and make your own ideas – store bought stuff is overrated anyways ;)

Happy 5th Birthday Madison!

It’s hard for us to believe that little Maddie Boo is already 5 years old!  I (Will) remember getting a call from Beth right before I was going in to take my Church History mid-term that she thought she was in labor.  AFTER completing the exam, I took off and met Beth at the Davis house where she was kicked back watching 24.  From there to the hospital, an epideral, and 6 hours of sleep later, little Maddie Boo was born at 6:19am (we think; we’ve slept since then)!  Check out these pictures over the years….

Just a few days after birth, already cheering for the best team in sports!

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Little Boo at her 1 year pictures

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2 year old birthday party

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3 years old! First bday in FLL

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Growing older at 4

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Happy 5th Birthday Maddie!

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