Saturday, August 16, 2014

Crowds

The Philippines does a LOT of things well. 

Bamboo shoots for example. I mean look at these things!
 

Really, America, you're embarrassing yourself with these pitiful little canned shoots!


The Philippines also does 'diversity' well. So many people groups, so many cultures! Amazing.


 The Philippines also does a pretty, darn, good job of making beautiful children!
 

One thing, though, that still stresses me out about living here....crowd control! 


Of course, I'm one of those personalities that thinks three people is a crowd. So, my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt. But still, all the pushing and shoving. It's an area I have not grown to love in the last ten years.

 But, in an effort to grow, I took Neo-boy to a parade today. I was feeling pretty confident about all the police who were reminding people to watch their wallets and stay behind the barricade. 

It didn't last. Before long, we were the only ones staying behind the barricade, as we got swallowed up in a 'school' of humanity. 

However, in the midst of the chaos, a few things happened that reminded me why I fell in love with this country

First, these ladies let Neo sit with them. And before I knew it, they were feeding him snacks. Filipinos can't stop being hospitable...even in the middle of a parade! 


 Then, when the crowd got too overwhelming, I decided 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.'

That's when the second lovely thing happened. This nice volunteer really did do his best to keep the crowd under control, but that's a big task for one guy. So, when he saw us 'give in', he took on the responsibility of making sure Neo could see the floats!

Filipinos are so amazing with kids!
 

So, after a lot of jostling, and bustling, and pushing, and being pushed, we finally saw some amazing floats. I mean, take a look at this guy. He's pretty awesome! I'd give him two thumbs up for representing the Philippines' Eagle very well!
 

But, my favorites were the floats decorated with flowers. Man, people must have been up late last night getting every last, little petal in the right spot and ready for display today!


So, now we're home. We survived the parade. And even the things in this culture that I still haven't adjusted very well to, simply reminded me that the good always outweighs the difficult!

Thank you, Philippines, for a lovely parade, nice mommies with snacks, helpful volunteers, and lots of police to make us feel safe!

And thank you for being so gracious and kind to us foreigners....even when crowds make us grumpy. :)

 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Girls
 
It's felt like the girls' summer has been nothing but playing Minecraft and laying around the house looking bored. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I was looking through pictures the other day and realized, 'These girls have been a big help!' Especially when it comes to looking after little guys.
 
Daisy hosting 'craft time' for Neo the other day.

 
Heading off to the orphanage down the street to
hug babies and drop off their old clothes.
(how cool is it to live a few doors down from
an orphanage! I would've loved to have this
kind of opportunity when I was their age!)

 
Entertaining some little MKs, while their parents
unpack boxes at their new house. 

 
One of my favorite things about MKs (at least
here in the Philippines), they don't mind getting
cozy. A whole different view of 'personal space'.

 
Ally 'baby whispering'. This little dude usually doesn't
let anyone but Mom and Dad hold him....which is why
this moment had to be captured on camera!

A friend posted a really cool article on MKs (TCKs) the other day. To read more about the unique-ness that is a 'Third Culture Kid' look here: http://underthebigtopp.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/purple-people-im-suddenly-the-mum-of-a-tck/

Saturday, August 02, 2014

 Resilient Rose
 
I think I've mentioned this flower before. I've had it for probably six years...but I just named her today, 'Resilient Rose'. And I want to be like her.
 
She was a gift from a friend. Purchased in the city, hauled to our foggy village home. She took awhile to adjust to a new climate, but after a few years had grown as tall as me!
 
Then we left that village home, hacked off one of her branches and replanted her in our new rainy town home. Once again she started to grow and did even better than she had in our village home. She trailed all along our fence and kept blooming and blooming.
 
Then we left that home in town and moved to a big humid city. Once again, another branch cut off and replanted in our new city home.
 
That was two months ago. Look at her blooming again today!
 

 
 
But she doesn't just bloom, look closely....she has flowers blooming on flowers. Now THAT'S blooming where you're planted.
 


I want to be like my resilient little rose. No matter how many times God 'cuts' things out of my life, or transplants me, to just keep bouncing back and blooming again.

I want to bloom no matter what 'weather' God sends my way. To bloom in the fog of ministry, the rain of loss, and the humidity of transition. No matter my environment, to simply trust the one who sends the fog and rain and sun.

I'm so thankful for a God who loves us enough to give us frivolity, like roses. And I'm thankful for a God who loves us enough to teach us through something as small as a flower.

Lord make me a 'Resilient Rose'.

My mom bought me a little book of poetry when I was a girl, and I memorized one poem about flowers. I think it holds the secret to becoming a 'resilient rose':

"I asked that God might tell me, in the language of the flowers
How I like they might bless the world and brave life's stormy hours
Around the garden all was still, then from a secret spot
Where violets blue so gently grew, God said, 'Forget-me-not'"