Archive for February 2015

Christmas Cards

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friends....I know it is Valentines Day weekend....but I am still thinking about Christmas Cards.  One of my most favorite experiences of the Christmas season (other than spending it with my most favorite Moldovan Family) was receiving Christmas Cards.
If you are reading my blog, you know me- we may have gone to church together, worked together, or grew up together or something like that.   Well, you probably know that I love mail.  I mean I have always found it to be pretty thrilling to check the mailbox each day in hopes that there is something waiting for me....something with an envelope and my name written in ink pen, marker, pencil, or even crayon.  Something that was picked out just for me....something that someone took the time to write my name on and personalize.  It just makes me feel so special!  Every time I used to check the mailbox, I would have little flutters in my stomach and wonder....will today be the day that I get mail?  I know its silly.  Honestly, I didn't get personal mail that often...but, I always held out hope:)  I love ripping in to an envelope to find a funny card from a friend, or a note of encouragement, or a birthday invitation, or a birth announcement, or the big one....a CHRISTMAS CARD.  I have always loved checking our mailbox at is like mail JACKPOT time.  I always come rushing in with a big smile and a loud voice.... "BRIAN--- we have REAL mail!!!!".  Mail from a real person...not a machine or company wanting me to buy what their selling...but real mail.  When I open a card, I feel like that person is right there with me...I imagine them picking the card or invitation or whatever out and writing every name ...I can just feel the time and love they put in to it.  It is a good feeling.
We moved here in July, and until December we really had not received any mail.  Five Months without mail for someone like me seems like five years without mail.  Seriously.  Don't is just 100% my love language (after hugs of course).  I had resigned myself to the fact that we probablly wouldn't receive any Christmas cards this year because people would have to get a different, more expensive stamp and that would be out of their routine...and I was ok with that.  But, I was longing for at least one Christmas card. The first three weeks of December were mail-less.  I had decided that it was OK.  Some people never receive any mail....I had experienced a life full of mail...and this would just be a mail-less season....Don't laugh...that really happened in my head.  Mail is BIG.  OK? 
But, then...then the week before Christmas rolled in and with it came my new favorite little old guy. No-not Santa...our very old and very kind Russian mail man.  The week before Christmas he filled our little mailbox with six Christmas cards.  SIX!  It was so exciting...they were from new friends in England and the US and Brian's parents. It was pure joy for me!!  The week of Christmas was amazing--one of our sweet guests from Pennsylvania told her church how much I loved mail...and she had her friends and family send us Christmas Cards too!  Then the jackpot came....the coveted Christmas Family photo cards started arriving from friends and family in Alabama.  It was such sheer joy for me...several times I didn't even wait for Brian to open them...I was  like a child on Christmas morning.  I'm pretty sure my momma asked our family to send cards and handed out our address.  I loved it.  I loved it soo much...I felt like I was surrounded by every single sender-friends, family, and people who were praying for us.  They were all here. Our little kitchen door frame had every single card that we received taped to it (with Moldovan they fell a lot).  It was amazing...what was even better is that we received Christmas cards until February.  Some of them took three weeks to arrive...some took six.  Mail is interesting here...but it made each card even sweeter.  Every single sender...every single person....felt like a precious gift.  I treasured them.  They are all tucked away now, (all of them except the ones we received last week...I'm still enjoying them) but I will never EVER forget our first Christmas here and how God used so many people to encourage us and show us love through mail.  He used the postal service to remind us how very special He thinks we are....even if we had experienced a mail-less Christmas....He still loves us...and He still shows us that every single day in the beautiful faces of the girls and guys here.

1 Comment »

Happy Groundhogs day....and Craciun Fericit and La Multi Ani!

Monday, February 2, 2015

I am sitting at my computer looking out on a grey and dreary day here in Moldova.  The snow has melted and left a damp cold in its place.  Spring is no where to be is just now February 2nd.  I don't think there are ground hogs predicting the seasons here in Moldova.  That does not sound like something a former soviet republic would do.  It would be easy to fall prey to the greys...the sunless days....but, my hope does not lie in the sun...or the warmth....but in THE SON.  So, even though outside may be dreary and cold...I have hope.  I know spring will come budding with expectation and possibilities and new life.  And honestly, even the cold parts of the winter have been filled with overwhelming joy.  So much joy that I have not had a chance to write about it since November.

Life has been a whirlwind of excitement.  And while we are both a little tired, we are filled to the brim with all the amazing things God has shown us.  During the months of December and January, we celebrated Christmas with our friends here in Moldova in many different ways.  Christmas Day was beautiful.  Our friend from England's family was here visiting and they started our day off with a full English breakfast, we then spent the rest of the day baking hundreds of baked goods for our Christmas Day celebration.  And OH was it a celebration!!!  There were dramas that made me laugh so hard, there was delicious food and there was family.  It wasn't the family that either of us was born into...but it was the family that God has chosen for us here...and people, that is good!

 When January arrived, so did guests and our container from America (which held all the gifts for different orphanages, and for our girls and guys-there was a LOT of excitement surrounding it).  We celebrated Christmas again with our girls and guys on January 9th.  It was amazing!!!  They had so much fun.  After a few years of being on the other side of the Christmas gift process (helping in the U.S.), it was our very first time to see them open their gifts.  Yes, people, I cried.  But, I think I played it pretty cool.  It was the best Christmas present I think I could have ever received.  I really think our hearts were exploding with emotion.  It was amazing.  There will never ever be words for me to describe most of the things I experience here , both good and bad.  But, God is always in the middle of it...magnifying it....and using it all for His glory!

After our exciting Christmas here, we then proceeded to go visit several other "orphanages".  Our girls and guys truly shared the love of Christ and the joy that is Christmas with children who are growing up very similarly to the way they grew up.  They prepared dramas and music and just shared so much joy.  It was beautiful to see.  Our girls and guys loved every single minute of it.  The most touching moment for all of us was when our dear Ulizana returned to the hospital where she had grown up.  You can read more about it here.  Ulizana is one of the most amazing young women I know.  She loves Jesus so much and she loves serving Him.  Her life in the hospital was very difficult...but she desired to go back to visit the place and bring the love of Jesus with her.  It was a blessing to watch her through this process.  She found out the number of the hospital and contacted the director and petitioned for a visit.  She then asked us every single day if we could go visit and if we had enough gifts to take to the children there.  Of course, we did!  Watching her walk through the doors with her held high, confident in who she is in Christ was so moving.  It took my breath away.  It was just as beautiful to watch her speak with her former "care" givers with kindness, grace,  and love.  This girl is already doing mighty things for the kingdom of God.

These are just a few of the highlights of our December and January, in the midst of all the really big amazing moments....there were plenty of amazing behind the scenes, quiter moments.  Moments where God confirmed our calling here...moments that were spent praying with our friends and family here, doing homework with the guys, laughing at Christmas movies, wearing silly Christmas sweaters, and just resting in His arms.  Yes, it is grey outside today...but my heart is warm with the memories of my first Christmas away from home...a Christmas that I thought would be sad ...but that God filled to the brim with joy and love and reminded me what praising Him everyday really looks like.

1 Comment »