Happy Weekend! (and CoB stuff)

I am off this weekend to take a student to a speech contest in Taipei.

She has memorized Lincoln's Gettysburg Address for the contest.  I've really enjoyed helping her with it.  I had only really heard the "Four score and seven years ago" part.  But he plays with the word "dedicated" through out the speech.  It is cool.

Anway, I'm off. 

Carnival of Beauty

Please stop by Lindsey's blog to see both her new design and the Carnival of Beauty for this past week. 

Next week, we actually have a topic we've written about before (I
rememeber because I hosted it). :)  It is the Beauty of Flowers.  If
you are interested in joining us, we welcome you!!  Please send
submissions to Ellen at MzEllen & Co.

The carnival has been quite small recently--between 1-3 posts.  Nothing wrong with this, but now I see why Sallie questioned us.  I am praying and thinking about it.  I know it has been important to me and helped me so much as a new blogger, but is it still serving it's purpose? 

Any ideas or input on this would be much appreciated.  I've thought about several options . . . such as changing the day of the week; making it every two weeks or monthly instead of weekly. . . .   So, please feel free to comment here or email me with suggestions or ideas for the CoB. 

Thanks in advance.

detour in the wilderness

I receive an Elisabeth Elliot Devotional via email each day from Back to the Bible

Recently (April 13), she wrote about a detour in the wilderness:

When Pharaoh let the people go, "God did not guide them by the road towards the Philistines, though that way was the shortest.... God made them go round by way of the wilderness towards the Red Sea" (Ex 13: 17, 18 NEB).

The direct route would save time as well as wear and tear on the people, but God had something infinitely more important than economics in mind--He wanted the people to be able to sing the song of praise of chapter 15--"The Lord is my refuge and my defence...my deliverer. He is my God and I will glorify Him; He is my father's God and I will exalt Him" (Ex 15:2 NEB). They sang this song because they had firsthand experience of God's power and deliverance. Pursued by all the chariots and horses, cavalry and infantry of Egypt, they had passed through the Red Sea in safety and seen the enemy drowned. They would have missed this glorious lesson if they had taken the short road.

When we are puzzled by delays and detours, let us think about the great purpose of life: to glorify God. The lessons He wants to teach us "in the wilderness" are priceless means of providing us with a song we could not otherwise have sung: "In Thy constant love Thou hast led the people!" (Ex 15:13).

(emphasis mine)

To get her daily devotional in your email inbox, go here.

gilby's new "den"

I'm in spring clean and declutter mode right now.  So, I was using a box I found as my papers to be recycled pile . . . well, that was until Gilby decided to climb in and claim it has his new den.

Gilby's new "den" (for blog)

When I put the box away, he was a little upset and let me know that he could not get comfortable without it.  So, it is back out for now--and as I type he is sleeping in it. 

Don't know for how long I'll keep the recycle box out as his new little "den."

Forget the expensive dog pillows and wicker baskets . . . just get an old box the right size!

Carnival of Beauty This Week

This week the Carnival of Beauty will be hosted by Leslie over at Lux Venit

This week our theme is The Beauty of Patience.

We welcome you to join us!  Please consider writing up a post on patience and then sending it to Leslie.  (And be sure to tahnk her for helping out in a pinch! :) )

For more info on the carnival, check here.

Carnival of Beauty next week

Is anyone willing to host the Carnival of Beauty this coming week?  The theme is the Beauty of Patience.

If no one volunteers, I think the CoB will take a rest this week.

photo hunt: steps

Sam snapped this photo last year of me sitting on some steps at the 228 park in Taipei.

I was on my cellphone and using an umberalla to shield myself from the hot sun.  He said I was being very Taiwanese, so he took the picture without me knowing it. 

Ahh. . . little brothers.  Gotta love 'em.

Holding umberalla to sheild sun while using cell phone.

what do birthday cards say about you?

Nearly all my birthday cards shared a very similar theme this year. 

Here is a random sampling of cards from family, students, and friends both American and Taiwanese.

Birthday Cards . . . pink flowers galore

Do you see the similarities?  They all have flowers and all are pink!

It is intersting that people "know" this. 

I don't go around telling people I like pink flowers--in fact, I prefer white dasiys or yellow sunflowers.  But, I do love flowers, and I do love pink.  I guess the people who love me are fully aware of this. :)

the tale of a bottle of lavander bath power

Taiwan has this great chain store called Working House.  Each store is rather small, but they are kinda like a miniature Bed, Bath, and Beyond or kinda like all the decorating stuff from Target in its own little store.  It has a definite "Western feel" to it. 

Anyway, point is I like to shop there for the occasional splurge. And, since, they gave me a 30% off coupon for my birthday month, I decided to stop by there tonight.  I got some stuff for my new pink bedroom (pictures coming soon) and a bottle of lavender bath powder.

I placed my bag of goodies on the "floorboard" of my moped, popped on my helmet and headed home.  Halfway through a LARGE intersection, I heard "KA-THUD!"  When I finished crossing the intersection, I pulled over to see what happened. 

And, I saw my lovely new bottle of bath power lying helplessly in the middle of the intersection near the crosswalk. 

Thoughts began to fill my head:

Is it worth it to go after my little bottle of bath power?
Will my little bottle cause an accident if it is not retrieved?
Whatever do I do?

The light that let me though was still green.  So cars and mopeds were still whizzing through the intersection.  Not a single one of them hitting my little bottle of lavender bath powder.

I decide right then that if the little bottle makes it through the next light change I will go rescue it.  So, I stand at the corner of the busy intersection with my eyes glued on the little bottle of lavender bath powder. 

Mopeds whiz by to the left of the little bottle.  Mopeds zoom by to the right of the little bottle.  Cars pass over the little bottle.  If you've ever seen a Taiwanese intersection you understand just how crazy they can be.  I stood there in shock as vehicle after vehicle passed by my little purple bottle with not one of them touching it at all.

Hope began to rise inside as I saw from the corner of my eye the stop-light clock ticking down--the little bottle only had to survive 10 more seconds before I could walk across the crosswalk to save it.

The light changed, I stepped off the curb and "BAM" a taxi hit the side of the little bottle.  He sent that purple bottle spinning across the pavement so fast the wrapper flew off. 

Do you wanna know where the bottle stopped spinning? 

Just inches from where I stood.  I bent down picked up my little bottle of lavender bath powder and marveled at how it survived it's adventure in the intersection.   The only damage to the bottle is that it lost it's wrapper and is a little dented on one side.   

So, now I am off to go open that little bottle of lavender bath powder and enjoy its insides.

Good night!


Only after reading several blogs, did I hear the devasting news of what has happened in Virginia. 

Although shocked and saddened, I feel distant and far removed.  So, let me point you to some of the blogs that have some very helpful gospel-centered posts (if you haven't visited them already recently):

  • Carolyn at Solo Femininity shares some good scriptural insights.

  • The ladies at Girl Talk share some excellent resources for times of tragedy.

  • And, Challies shares some words of wisdom on how to pray during this time of tragedy.

God have mercy.


Jehovah-jireh . . . "The Lord will see" or often translated as "the Lord will provide."

Our God sees our needs before we even know we have them and meets them in ways only he can. 

He has provided for my physical needs.  When I was preparing to go to college I had no idea where all the money for tuition would come from.  My mom encouraged me that my heavenly Father owned the cattle on a thousand hills, so I could trust him with my needs.  Every car and moped I've ever owned was a gift from Him.  Every mission trip I've taken was fully funded by His limitless funds.

He has provided for my needs for friendship.  He has given me time and again exactly the friends I needed.  I love telling about how I met Corrina.  I had just moved to JongLi as an exchange student, and didn't know anyone in the town.  I went to a local church, and a woman sat next to me and asked if she could translate for me.  Afterwords, she asked where I was from--nothing odd about that.  "America."  Then she asked where in America--nothing weird about that either.  "Texas."  Then she asked where in Texas--ok, that's weird.  "Oh, well my family is in Austin, and I go to school in Dallas".  Then she asked where in Dallas--that was REALLY strange.  "Just some little school you've never heard of."  But she insisted that I tell her.  "Dallas Baptis . . . ." "THATS WHERE I WENT TOO!!!!" she screamed as she interpreted me.  From that moment on I was her adopted younger sister.  Exactly what I needed.  He has done things like this over and over in ways that only He could.

Carnival of Beauty

He meets our big needs.  He meets our small needs.   He meets our every need.

He has defiantly met my biggest need . . . a need for a Savior.  And, if He has met that need, there is no reason why I can't trust Him with all my other needs.

It is not always easy to place our confidence in an unseen God.  Sometimes He asks us to trust him with situations that seem ro be in the "there is no way" category . . . but He always "makes a way."  Just like He asked Abraham to trust Him in Genesis 22.  God foresaw the need and He already knew how He was going to meet it. 

He is Jehovah-jireh . . . the One who will see.

And, that is the beauty of God's provision.  He sees our needs in advance and provides for every need according to His riches in glory (Philippines 4:19).  His resouces are unlimited!!

How has God provided for you recently? 

To answer you could share a comment here or write it up on your own blog post and submit it to the Carnival of Beauty--this week's theme is the Beauty of God's Provision and is being hosted by Amy at Untangling Tales.  You have till 8pm Alaska time on Tuesday, which is noon Taiwan time on Wednesday. :)

{As an addendum, let me add, that God does not always provide in ways we
expect or in the timing we originally think best.  He is sovereign and
works in ways we don't always understand and rarely see at the time.
Yet, this in no way diminishes from the fact that he is the Great

brewed in the fridge


I knew Lipton's has a "cold brew" ice tea.  But I didn't know that I could also brew traditional Chinese tea cold.  Did you?

One of my Tawianese friend's moms gave me a varity of Chinese teas and told me that I could brew them in the fridge.  She told me to put the tea bags in the water and the water in the fridge before going to bed and when I woke up, I'd have tea.  She was right!

I love oolong tea!  I love green tea!  I love jasimne tea!

I love that I can brew them hassel free in my fridge each night!!

The other thing my friend's mom told me is that if you brew the tea hot you have to take out the tea leaves because they continue to flavor the tea as long as they are in the water.  But, if you brew the tea cold, you don't need to remove the leaves.  They stop having an affect on the water when the tea is "right."  Interesting, huh?

And, one more cool thing is that fridge-brewed tea has a less bitter and more sweet taste than the same leaves brewed with hot water. 

So, stop by and I'll pour you a glass of my very own fridge-brewed oolong tea for you to try!

found another one!!

I found another baby to love!! 

Actually, this is a baby I've loved on many times before.  His English name is Enoch.  This day though, he was not feeling well.

i found another baby to love on!! (cropped)

a very special guest

I have a very special guest staying with me this week. 

After a long trip in a envelope all the way from Mississippi, Flat Shiloh, friend of Flat Stanley, is visting me here in Taiwan.  According to the letter Flat Shiloh came with, Flat Stanley is "a boy who gets flatened and can travel around the world by mailing himself there." 

Flat Shiloh hasn't even been in Taiwan for 24 hours, and she has already made several new friends, tried some new foods, learned to eat with chopsticks, and can speak a few Chinese words!  Isn't that amazing!!

Flat Shiloh in Taiwan

I am really looking forward to showing Flat Shiloh even more cool stuff about Taiwan.  Actually, she is really excited about her first moped ride later today.  So, we gotta go. . . . we'll update you more later on some of the fun stuff she gets to do.

Happy Birthday to me . . .

Happy Birthday!!  Guess how old!!

These former students remembered it was my birthday and helped me to celebrate.  It was a kind of surprise for me!!  And, the cake was PINK!!  Much better than last year's Mr. Poo cake.

Cute candle on top right?  They know how old I am, but they are just being polite by using the question mark. ;) 

Here is a pic of all of the lovely girls who helped me celebrate becoming 29 ?? years old:

lovely girls who helped me celebrate my birthday

And, here is the awesome green tea with almond pudding drink I had:

yummy green tea with almond pudding  Close up of my yummy drink

carnival update

Susanna's computer has crashed, so the carnival is moving to Blair's this week.

Please send your posts on the Beauty of Feminity to Blair. 

Thanks for your flexibility and understanding!!

what's up

Blogging is one area of my life that I rarely if ever feel "behind" in, but right now I am feeling a little behind. Here is a hodge-podge post of what's up.

Thanks to both Blair and Crickl's Nest for giving me the Thinking Award.  Thanks you guys--what a fun surprise to come back to.  After being awarded the "Thinking Award" you are supposed to pass it to five more people, we'll see if I get around to it . . .

The Carnival of Beauty is at Susanna's Through a Glass this week.  The topic is the The Beauty of Feminity.  As Lindsey said last week, "It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just write from the heart. It doesn't have to be long or flowing with fancy words."  For more details on how to join us, read this.

Thanks to all who wished me a happy birthday!  This is my last year in my 20's. *sigh*

And, thanks to all of you who have taken my student's survey so far and who have promoted it on your own blog!!  We have 36 replies so far.  My students are so excited.  They are hoping for over 50 submissions though, so if you haven't take it yet, it only takes around 10 minutes.  I looked through the answers and am glad to see that I am not mistaken about American culture. :)  They will be very surprised by some of the answers.  Thanks again for helping us.

I've got pictures to post, things to write about and blogs to go read, but for now, I am off to teach classes ALL DAY LONG today.  Too bad I can't just blog all day instead. :)

bilingual dreams

For most of my life, I've slept very soundly so that I do not remember any dreams.  But, this past week, I've remembered quite a few.  And, quite to my surprise many of them have been bilingual.  I now know I sometimes dream in Chinese. . . .isn't that weird!?!

Also, yesterday, I caught myself talking to myself in Chinese.  It was a totally unconscious thing.  So, what does this mean?

not a real post :)

For me today is the start of a four day weekend. 

Today (April 5th) is a national holiday here in Taiwan--Tomb Sweeping day.  Saturday is my birthday (April 7th).  And, Sunday is, as you well know, Easter.  So, I am going to be scarce around here till Monday.

Please stop by Lindsey's blog to see this week's Carvial of Beauty, "The Beauty of the Ressurection."

Hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend as we celebrate our Savior and the free gift of salvation!!

Blessings to you and yours!!

since he hasn't been here in awhile

Since its been nearly four months since Gilby had his own post . . . I thought I'd let him say hi today.  I took this right after he dried off from his bath last night. 

He is finally getting much better about not jumping out the tub during bathtime. :)

Isn't he just the cutest little pup!?!


What does dinner look like at your house?

Every year, I supervise a group of graduating students as they complete a senior thesis together.  This year, my group wants to know what dinner time looks like in America. 

All they know is what they have seen on movies.  They think our evening meal times are either extrememly serious and quite with candles lit and opera music playing softly in the background or are crazy, loud, and chaotic.  They think we only eat steak, hamburgers, and pizza.

So, these three young ladies have created an online survey to discover a better picture of what dinner time looks like in America. 

We need your help to take the survery and to encourage others to take the survey as well. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete. 

To encourage you to help us advertise the survey, if you link to the survey from your blog and invite your readers to take it, you will be entered in a prize drawing if you leave a trackback or comment to this post.  The prize?  A handmade postcard sent from Taiwan.  Up to ten people will win the prize.

The survey and "spread the word" prize contest will both close on April 29th.   But don't wait!  Help us now!!

Your help is greatly appreciated!!

{ETA: The survey is only for Americans, but the prize drawing for helping us get the word out about the survey is open to all!}

5 is too many

My coworker in the harvest has a brother who is also missionary.  He serves with his family in Southeast Asia.  One of his national coworkers who lives on a boat told him one day:

"I am blessed because I had five shirts.  But that is more than I need.  I kept two for myself--one to wear while the other is washed and drying.  The other three I gave away.  I only need two."

How much I have!!  How much I take for granted!! 

I cannot forget this story.  Whenever I go shopping and whenever I think of things I think I "need," I remember this man.  No, I do not think I have to live with only two shirts because this man does.  But, I do need to reevaluate what I need to have to live and what I can live without.

Father, help me clearly see what is necessary for life and what is fluff and clutter.  Thank you, oh, so much for blessing me.  Help me from letting those blessings distract from worshipping and depending on you.  Teach me how to bless others with the abundace you have given to me.

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