Where Would You Like To Go?

February 29, 2012

Perspective

Thankfully, we have an AC unit in our bedroom and in Ryleigh's.  At the moment we are choosing to run Ryleigh's during the day and at night because she still takes 2 naps and it is SO very HOT!  The odd thing about this is we keep her room at 80 degrees.  Yep, you read that right - 80 degrees.  I wish we could put into words how amazing her room feels...as in, we dress her in long pj pants at night.  "What in the world???" is what you are probably thinking - maybe this picture will help explain...the middle number is the temperature inside our house...the bottom number is the outside temperature (in the SHADE)...

February 28, 2012

Tulear Scavenger Hunt

The Waller’s have come up with a scavenger hunt to help new arrivals to Tulear get better acquainted with the town…all while having fun of course!  Ryleigh stayed with Jodie & the boys while Steve and I hit the town via the local transport!
One of the necessary stops (thankfully) was the local “Baskin Robbins” – it’s delicious!
We checked out the local "internet cafe"
We tried to learn our way around town
AND we beat the journeyguys’ time (you know if you keep up with that competition stuff!)
Looking forward to living for and serving Him in Tulear!

February 26, 2012

Proverbs 31

Our 1st Saturday in Tulear, I was able to go with Jodie & Tessa to a ladies’ Bible study that they lead at their church.  They have just finished up a study on the Fruit of the Spirit and are now studying Proverbs 31. 
A Bible study here is a little different than what you might imagine in the states for a variety of reasons.  They can’t meet at night because there is no electricity.  They can’t watch Beth Moore videos because there is no TV/electricity and there’s always the fact that she speaks in English!  They also have a hard time understanding that they should open up and share.  Usually Bible studies here are very similar to a preacher/congregation setting in the states.  Jodie & Tessa have done a fantastic job in teaching the girls how to study the Bible for themselves, to read the Scripture and ask questions/gather truth from it.  I thoroughly enjoyed my 1st Bible study with these Malagasy ladies and look forward to the day when my language is fluent enough to be able to discuss the wonderful truths found in His word.
As we were studying on Saturday, I couldn’t help but think about how much closer these women exemplify the Proverbs 31 woman than I could ever hope to…
 "She makes linen garments and sells them,and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity;she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "
Proverbs 31:24-28

February 24, 2012

Getting Ready

I may fall into the “stereotypical” girl genre here but I love getting ready to go somewhere.  I’ve always thought it was fun to get dressed up, fix my hair, and spray on my favorite body spray.  I get excited over finding earrings that match an outfit perfectly and I do love a new pair of shoes.  However, I knew before moving to Madagascar that some of this would indeed change – no high heels were even brought over the ocean J!  I don’t know if I was prepared for what the Lord would teach me through it though…  
    
It’s Sunday morning here in our new home of Tulear.  Imagine not even desiring to turn on the hot water in the shower because you’re already hotter than you’ve ever wanted to be.  Once you get out of the shower, you start sweating and the only time you stop is if you happen to be sitting in front of a fan somewhere.   After almost a week here, I’ve learned that it’s not even worth wasting the makeup to attempt to put some on my face.  I’ve also learned that a ponytail/bun is definitely the way to go – all the hair up – all the time – only way to do it here!  In regards to Ryleigh, I’m also figuring out that pretty white dresses are probably not going to work – considering the churches have dirt floors.    In actuality, anything that she wears is going to have dirt stains on it no matter how careful I could try to be.  I say all of this because it’s truthfully what was going through my head Sunday morning as we were trying to “get ready” for church.
As we sat on the wooden benches, with our 1 year old daughter playing on the dirt floor, listening to beautiful Malagasy worship songs, the Lord spoke to me.  He started showing me how I truly need to be paying more attention to getting my heart ready for worship – not my outward appearance (or my daughter’s).  Of course it’s nice to be dressed up and to feel good about yourself but that’s not what going to church is for – it’s for worship with a body of believers, it’s for the glory of Him.
It’s easy for me sometimes (okay maybe more than just sometimes) to get caught up in small details that truly don’t matter.  Instead of being frustrated about the heat or thinking about how I won’t be wearing my hair down to church…ever…I’ll be spending that time with my family preparing our hearts for church.  I found myself thanking Him for the heat and all of the differences church in Tulear brings to our family…these things have helped me focus on Him.  He has a way of teaching me lately about all the things I try to make about me…about Him.
The heat will take some getting used to, and I feel confident there are quite a few more adjustments we’ll be making in the days to come…but perhaps that’s exactly what I need – I have a Father who makes sure I’m looking more and more like Him every day.
I look forward to teaching my daughter what “getting ready” for church should really look like.

February 22, 2012

Ryleigh's 1st Tuliesque Valentine's Day

Ryleigh had to snap her Valentine photo with her daddy a day early since he was headed out to the bush...
She woke up to a very Valentiney breakfast (I’m pretty sure I got major mom points here – atleast with her!)
She had a few Valentine happies from Rock & Lhi Lhi, Nanna & Pop, and her daddy & momma!
We spent the day trying to stay cool, as she played with a potential future “Valentine”!  I know these two will be BFFs!

We missed having our favorite Valentine of all around but were thankful for the opportunity he had to go out to the villages.  Hope you had a sweet Valentine’s Day!

February 20, 2012

Road Blocks

About 5 hours into our drive to Tulear we arrived at one of the many one lane bridges.  The way these work is whichever vehicle gets there first – crosses 1st.  Simple right?  Well, unfortunately this truck made it to the bridge about 30 seconds before we did.  This, my friends, is what we call a “road block”. 
My first thought, after about 5 minutes of seeing that the driver was in no hurry to get his truck unstuck, was to see if there was another road we could take…a detour if you would.  The answer? No.  This was the only road. 
45 minutes later – after the help of 3 taxi bousses full of people…this is what our road block looked like…
So, we continued to sit in our car.  By this point, Ryleigh is out of her car seat and in the driver’s seat trying to see what she can do to help.  The Lord started speaking to me about this situation.  He spoke to me about road blocks in life.  How often do we see a roadblock and our 1st thought is, “God must not want me going this way...I should find another path.”?  I have to admit it’s usually my initial reaction.  However, it’s not necessarily always the correct response.  Sometimes, we are on the “right road” so to speak – or maybe even the ONLY one that He’s given for us to go down.  Road blocks don’t always mean “turn around”. 
Maybe, a road block just means to slow down…to look around…to notice your surroundings…sometimes perhaps it’s just a gentle reminder to be still and know that He is God.

I have to wonder if I would have noticed this view if we hadn’t been stopped by it for over an hour. Needless to say, I’m trying to remember to be thankful & give Him praise – even for the roadblocks.

February 19, 2012

MOVING DAY

Well we are official residents of Tulear, Madagascar now!  It seems slightly surreal since it feels like just yesterday we were in the states explainging to everyone we wouldn't be living in Tulear until Feb/March 2012 - and guess what? Now it's here! 
The moving truck arrived at 8am - yes it's large...it is a HUGE truck but it's from one of our friends here that runs a trucking company - he helped us out since it's his slow season :)  So, then we started loading up!
We finished up around lunchtime and then it was time to get on the road to Tulear!
We're so thankful we have a little girl who loves to snooze in the car...those 14 hours go by a lot faster that way!  There was one "roadblock" (there will be a blog about that) but otherwise it was a smooth trip.  Before we knew it we had made it!! 
Thank you for your prayers during our trip down here and thanks for your patience in hearing updates - we still are awaiting the internet guy to show up!!

February 8, 2012

Water Baby

Our little girl has such a great time whenever water is involved - she's actually turned into quite the little dectective seeking out water wherever it may be found...
A swimsuit wasn't packed? The pool is too cold?
No problem!!
This outdoor shower area will do just fine!
Pretty sure she's going to love living in a coastal town!!

February 6, 2012

Music Lover

I love singing to Ryleigh. I’m not the greatest at it – but I love it nonetheless. Ryleigh has even gotten to where she’ll start saying ca-la-ca-la-ca-la when she wants me to sing…especially if it’s getting close to nap time. It’s pretty adorable in my opinion.
While mom was here, she sang to her too. Mom also got out our ipod and let it play in the background, regardless of what they are doing. Apparently, Ryleigh became a fan of the ipod…the other day, she wouldn’t let go of it as mom rocked her to sleep – can you see it??
I think we have a music fan on our hands!

February 3, 2012

Wisdom

I’ve been studying Proverbs for the past month or so...come to find out there’s some indepth information there. I’ve often added Proverbs on to whatever daily Bible reading I may be doing, but have never studied just the Proverbs. Chapters 1-9 have been challenging to me in the call to follow Wisdom. The commentary I’m reading actually words it really well…”its (Proverbs) call to recognize, internalize, and walk in the way of wisdom.”

My prayer for this year…

To recognize wisdom…
“If you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:4-5

To internalize wisdom…
“To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity…” Proverbs 1:2-3

To walk in the way of wisdom…
“Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight…Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 9:6&9
Why is this my prayer? Oh friends, can you give me a reason for it not to be??

“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.” Proverbs 3:13-18
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