endure the wait

Patience in Chinese is naixin (not to be confused with naixi, that's "milkshake").  If we take the two characters of naixin to create a definition of patience we get "a heart that is able to endure."

It is hard to endure waiting, especially when it feels like we are waiting and waiting and waiting.

When I was a child we had a song about patience on one of our tapes; it belongs to either Psalty or Down by the Creek Bank.  To this day, I sing it to those around me--young and old--who are having difficulty enduring a wait.

Have patience, have patience.
Don't be in such a hurry.
When you are in patient you only start to worry.
Remember, remember, that God is patient too.
And, think of all the times that others have to wait on you!

On my own I am not a patient person--my sin nature wants things done in my timing.  It is only through the work of the Holy Spirit
that I am able to endure the wait.

Holy Spirit, cultivate in me a heart that is able to endure waiting . . . waiting for a husband, waiting for a time to go home, waiting for students who are late and trains that aren't on time, waiting for my turn to be the SHAM.  Help me to wait with hope for the things I cannot see (Romans 8:25).  Help me to be patient in all things big and small.  Help me to be more like the Father. 

But, do you wanna know what I think is most beautiful about patience?  It is that God is patient with us.  Oh how patient he is with me! 

And, daily I thank him for his patience with the Taiwanese.  I thank him that Christ hasn't returned yet, and ask that he continue to be longsuffering  . . . "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

I love this section of Scripture: "But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the [worst sinner of all],
Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those
who were to believe in him for eternal life.  To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever" (1 Timothy 1:16-17). 

Oh, praise His holy name!

This post was submitted to the Carnival of Beauty sponsored by following an unknown path.  This week the theme is The Beauty of Patience and is being
hosted by Ellen at MzEllen & Co. Join us next week for The Beauty of Kindness over at Cahleen's In His Footsteps.

fall? really?

This is fall?  Really?  I don't think so.

Everyone around me is wearing long sleeves and sweaters or jackets.  I saw a baby toddling around in three layers of clothes last week--poor kid could barely even toddle cuz of all the layers!  My students complain about me keeping the classroom too cold--people, it is set at 77 (and I am positive it is not actually that cool in the room)!

Let's just compare for a moment my little tropical island home and the place of my birth, none other than the grand ole country state of Texas--were not even going to go north where I know it is more "fall-like" than Texas is right now.

And, just to be fair, I clipped these both at approx. the same time in their respective locations.

How many differences can you spot?





I'll never forget one of the MKs (missionary kids) who once said in shock: "We're eating dinner now?  But it is still light outside!"  To which I replied with stories of when I was child telling my mom, "Why do I have to go to bed now?  It's still light outside." :)

joy comes in the morning

tainan sunrise

I watch this happen every morning from my window.  I love watching the sun rise!!

Well, I might not be fully joyful yet, but I am feeling better this morning.  Thank you all for your virtual hugs and words of encouragement. 

Today is a long day for me . . . so ready! set! go!! :)

steps in tainan

Before I moved to Tainan I posted a video showing life in Kaohsiung.  I recently found one showing a little bit of what Tainan--my new city--has to offer.


The team coming this weekend to my town was great.  I really enjoyed prayerwalking with them and helping them to share Christ.  And, I even took them to my favorite resturant--"The Cooking DuDu" (or "DuDu Chef" or "The DuDu Restaurant").  Ahh . . . that was some great Chinese food--if you come visit me, I promise to take you there.

They even brought me a bag of American goodies, and it was refreshing to be around like-minded people for a few days.  However, they left me one thing that I'd like to return now. 

They left me feeling very homesick.  These last two days my eyes have often teared up, sometimes actually spilling over.  This team reminded me that I do miss home. 

21540940I miss my family. 
I miss real fall weather. 
I miss leaves actually changing colors. 
I miss crunching the fallen leaves underfoot. 
I miss the smell
I miss the stars at night that are big and bright. 
I miss sitting and talking to my mom. 
I miss playing games with my brother. 
I miss chatting with my dad. 
I miss laughing with my sister.
I miss orange pumpkins.   
I miss driving on long stretches of endless road where the horizon can always be seen. 
I miss the smell of Grandmother's cooking. 
I miss helping her change out her front porch lights. 
I miss arranging the photos on my PawPaw's computer. 
I miss watching him sleep in his big white recliner.
I miss the wrinkled and yet at the same time very smooth hands of my NeeNee. 
I miss snuggling up under homemade afghans made by those same hands. 

I miss the way he calls me sweetheart and she calls me sugar.
I miss . . .

*sigh* . . . oh how much I miss right now.

I don't think I've ever been this homesick before. 

This is my 6th fall away from home.  It will be my 6th Thanksgiving and Christmas totally on my own. 

Oh, how much I miss home right now!  *sigh*

a weekend to prayerwalk

There is currently a short-term team here in Taiwan working with my ministry team.   They are from Seneca Baptist Church
in South Carolina.

This weekend they will be coming north to Tainan to prayerwalk my new school and neighborhood.  I am excited about this opportunity.  I just love it when we have teams come.  It is empowering and encouraging to those of us who are here all the time.  I don't know how to describe it.

Anyway, please join us in praying for the city of Tainan, particularly my neighborhood and NanTai University, this weekend.  And, please pray for this team as jet lag, culture shock, and humidity takes its toll--the majority of this team is over 60 years old! 

What is neat about this team is that two of the members served here in Taiwan for 30 years.  I am excited to meet them and be able to prayerwalk with them.


See yall on Monday!

temple celebrations

This past week there is some god who is being celebrated here in Tainan.  I am
not sure which one. 

But, there has been lots and lots of temple
activity going on for about two weeks now.  For the past week, each night from my study window I have seen
about five different firework shows from various temples.   One was only one street in front of my apartment.

The fireworks were awesome; the reason behind them heartbreaking.  Banquets, burning paper money, fireworks, and lots of worship . . . it is heartbreaking.

"Their land is filled with idols;
they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their own fingers have made" (Isaiah 2:8).

"I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols" (Isaiah 42:8).

editing pictures online

Inspired by Jimmie's weblink wednesday . . . I thought I'd share my two favorite online photo editing tools.

1. Picnik is just awesome. 
It used to be 100% free, but now that it is out of beta, they will soon start to charge for their "premium  services" (but they are free this week). It interacts with flickr, facebook, photobucket, and picasa.  I don't know about the other sites, but I know it is a seemless, painless process with flickr--beautiful really.  You can crop, edit, fix, create, frame, add text and graphics, and more . . .  Too bad it won't continue to stay completely free.

2. My other favorite photo tool is bighuge labs--and it is 100% free. 
There are tons of fun things to do there.  Some are productive and worthwhile, while others are just creative time-killers.  I use their Mosaic Maker a lot!  My students loved making their very own magazine covers and CD inserts.  You can also add captions and/or bunny ears and santa hats to your photos.  You  can also make billboards, photo cubes, calanders, motivational posters, and more . . .

All of these work best with flickr api, but if you know the image's URL, you can use any photo online, or upload one from your local harddrive.

Here are some of the things my students have created using bighugelab's flickr toys:

photo special

LOVE Calendar

garlic bread

junior wharolized


captioned photo

magazine cover

These two online photo tools really work for me.

it's just so very tempting!!

I have promised my little neighbors (my friend's daughters) that I won't work on the puzzle that sits in my living room if they are not there to help me work on it. 

Oh, the temptation is just SO great!!  It is hard to keep my fingers away from the pieces that are calling out to me to put them together.

My little neighbors better come over often so that I don't have to be tempted too long. :)

puzzle to work on

the move to tainan

Here is all my stuff packed up before the move:

Moving Day

I kept asking myself where did ALL this stuff come from while I was packing.  It is amazing how fast we accumulate stuff!!

The mover guys wrapped some of my furniture in plastic before putting it on the truck.  They said this would help protect it.

wrapped bookcases

Then, they loaded up the truck. 

Loading Truck

The one picture I don't have but would love to show you is how they moved all this stuff.  They hoisted it onto their backs and carried on their backs.  It's an amazing thing to watch.


Ok, so moving day was Aug 15th.  And, besides just not having time to write about it and not having the battery charger for my camera. . . it took me this long to write about it because it was a HARD day.  And, I refused to write about it when the hurt was still fresh.  I needed some perspective first.

I don't think a single piece of furniture escaped from the move unharmed.  Each piece had a bump or scratch somewhere.  The dinning table and chairs got the worst of it and the scratches are obvious, but the rest of the scratches are now minimal and you'd have to know where to look. 

I kept telling myself over and over the day of and week after the move "hold loosely to the things of this world."

Even though I was warned, I was still caught in a scam.  Not going to go into details, but do want to say, if you are moving in Taiwan and using a moving company . . . go only with a company that someone personally used and now recommends.

Oh, and it started to rain because a typhoon was coming in.  So, there was lots of wet stuff and soggy boxes to take care of.  Just more stress to deal with.

Moving day was just one long exhausting day--physically and emotionally!  And, I'm glad it is now just history. :)

joy, joy, joy

Carnival_of_beautyThis week's Carnival of Beauty is a must read!  It is just filled with . . . well . . . JOY!

In fact there are 14 joyful posts all reflecting on Christ's beauty in the world around us.  There are some awesome storytellers in this week's lineup that you want to be sure not to miss.

I couldn't help but smile and sing, and I even teared up a little with one post.  We serve an awesome God whose joy is our strength! 

What are you waiting for?  Go.  Read.  Rejoice with those who rejoice!

In View of God's Mercy

Carolyn McCulley has written another excellent piece on being single and waiting (and waiting) and rejoicing with those who rejoice all in view of God's mercy.

Mixed in with the bills and advertising mailers, there it is:
another wedding invitation. Addressed to you alone, no "and guest"

Waiting in the e-mail inbox is another happy announcement, along
with the photos of the sparkly ring: Another friend is happily engaged.

At the mall, you spot a former classmate — and her conspicuous baby bump. Another baby shower invitation lurks in your future.

You? You still wait. And wait.

[continue reading here]

My favorite quote from the article . . .

Ah, but [rejoicing with those who rejoice . . . are getting married, are having children when we still remain single] is possible, you know. It's not only possible, it's
a biblical command. A command, however, that is wrapped in grace and
sprinkled with hope
. Far from a "grit your teeth and just do it" order
from an unsympathetic superior, this directive springs from mercy.

inexpressible joy

Sing for joy!  Shout for joy!  Rejoice!!

You complete my joy.
Inexpressible Joy.  Everlasting joy.  Fullness of joy. 

Mourning into dancing; sorrow into gladness. 
Joy comes in the morning!

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
Those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.

You make the going out of the morning and
the evening to shout for joy.

You put this joy in my heart! You have made me glad!
At the works of Your hands I sing for joy.

You have been my help,
and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy.

Fullness of joy can be found in Your presence alone. 

You make known to me the path of life.
I believe in You, and I rejoice with joy that is inexpressible.

Inexpressible Joy.  Everlasting joy.  Fullness of joy. 
You complete my joy.

Sing for joy!  Shout for joy!

Oh, my soul, REJOICE!

Right after Christ rescued me from a dark time of depression, I kept a "Joy Journal" and a "Hope List." My joy journal is a collection of Scriptures that talk about joy and gladness and is filled with prayers of thankfulness.   

The cry of my heart day after day was "restore unto me the joy of my salvation."  And, really I think there was no greater period of joy in my life then immediately after being lifted from that pit of depression. 

My heart aches for those who know not joy.  How I long for them to know personally, intimately the One who turns sorrow into gladness, mourning into dancing, and tears into joy because of who He is and the works He has done!

I am so glad the Holy Spirit is able to fill us with joy even when we are in the midst of trials and tribulations.  I am glad He enables us to delight in the pleasures that are in His right hand and to smile at the simple things He so often blesses our day-to-lives with.  He truly is the real joy-giver . . . in, oh, so many ways!

My prayer for you today if you are reading this is "may the God of hope fill you with all joy" for their truly is nothing sweeter.

The collection of Scripture comes from the following verses (in no particular order): Psalm 92:4, Psalm 67:4, Proverbs 10:28, Psalm 67:4, Psalm 63:7, Psalm 65:8, Psalm 4:7, Psalm 16:11, Psalm 20:5 and others, Psalm 5:11 and others, Psalm 21:6, Psalm 30:5, 1 Peter 1:8, Romans 15:13, and Psalm 51:12.

This post was submitted to the Carnival of Beauty sponsored by following an unknown path.  This week the theme is The Beauty of Joy and is being
hosted by Vicki at Windows to my Soul. Join us next week for The Beauty of  Peace over at Sara's Stones of Remembrance.


If your rss reader grabbed a post called "doll collection" from me, it stole it. :)  It did NOT have permission to show it to you.  You might wanna give him a little talking to.

Just kidding.  I preposted that as a note to myself months ago as an idea to blog about if I had bloggy-block.  (I should have preposted it as a draft rather than a "real" post.  The oops is all mine.)

La_notetaking_3The truth is I have anything BUT bloggy-block.  There are ten million and twelve ideas floating around in my head waiting to be posted.  There are a number of series/collections of posts I'd love to put together.  There are several things I am in the middle of blogging and just haven't gotten around to finishing yet. 

So, what does a girl do when she has SO much to blog?  She blogs little posts that require little forethought because if she starts "forethinking" she might not be able to stop. :)

I'll get my act together one of these days . . . hopefully sooner than later! 

Thanks for all the encouraging emails and comments several of you have sent recently.  It makes a girl smile.

doll collection

post pictures of my dolls . . .start with thailand dolls

on being a missionary

going to thailand . . . makes me want to be a missionary

reading blogs by missionaries . . . makes me want to be a missionary

watching the movie about missions in ecudoar and jim elliot . . . makes me want to be a missionary

tree house redefined

Anping tree house

There is an old house (really, rather a set of three houses) near my home called a "tree house."  But, it is not your typical "house in a tree."  No, rather, it is a "tree in a house."

The tree has literally taken up residence in these homes.

Anping Tree house

Anping tree house

happy double ten day! (雙十節)

Today, October 10th or 10/10, is known as "Double Ten Day" in Taiwan.  Double Ten Day is a national holiday--so no school or work today.

But really outside of the official festivities taking place in the capital city that the rest of the island watches on the news, I've never seen much ado made of this holiday.

So, what is Double Ten Day you ask  . . . it is "National Celebration Day."  Many also call it the birthday of Taiwan.  In fact, I saw on the news this morning the mayor of Taipei singing "happy birthday" and cutting a cake covered in Taiwan flags.

According to Wikipedia: Double Ten Day is the national day of the Republic of China and celebrates the start of the Wuchang Uprising of October 10, 1911, which led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty.

my amazon wishlist

Care to guess how many items are on my amazon wishlist?

Here are some hints:

The list is mostly books, but there are a few DVDs and board/card games on there as well. 

The books range from children's books, to books for professional development (EFL teaching), non-fiction Christian books, cookbooks, novels--both classics and new, and other non-fiction books about things I am (or have been) interested in.

The item on my wishlist the longest was added on September 3, 2000.

green tea latte

I never had the chance to try Starbucks' Red Bean Frappuccino (Stacy, did you ever actually try it?), but I did try their "new" Green Tea Latte.

Now, I love green tea.  And I really love anything with mauh-cha (green tea powder) in it--ice cream, Kit-Kats, cheese cake, donuts.  And, I've even had a similar green tea drink at a local restaurant.

But this drink from Starbucks?  Not worth it.  It was ok, but just barely ok.  I'll stick to coffee from Starbucks, and green tea greatness from the local tea places.

When you go to places like Starbucks, do you venture out and try their "new" drinks or do you stick to your favorite standbys?

typhoon krosa

KrosaThank you to all of you who expressed concern about how I was doing after hearing about Typhoon Krosa on the news.

Although she/he (?) impacted other parts of the island, she/he had very little effect on us here in Tainan (southern west coast).  It was very mild here; almost like there was no typhoon.   We didn't even have heavy rains here, just a constant drizzle.

However, Krosa was a super typhoon and did pound "the nation with powerful winds and torrential rains [Saturday],
causing a small number of deaths and injuries, precipitating flooding
in low-lying areas and cutting power to nearly half a million homes" (source).

Both Char on the east coast and my friend Stacy in central Taiwan (on the west coast, just further north) posted photos from the aftermath of the typhoon in their neighborhoods.

Please pray for those who were affected by the typhoon.

caution: dog in sink

Dog in Sink

No kidding.  Gilby likes the sink.

I leave Gilby in the bathroom when I leave the house for more than 5 hours (if less than 5 he stays in his little crate, also in the bathroom). 

The last few times I've come home guess where I've found my little guy?  That's right . . . in the bathroom sink!

Last week, I saw paw prints all over the sink and just wondered why.  But, now I know.  When I'm not home he climbs into the sink!  Silly dog.  It must be the perfect size for him to curl up in for a nap, but it worries me a little as far as safety goes. 

I guess I can add this to the weird places my Mr. Gibs likes to sleep. 

Does your dog sleep anywhere weird?  Has your pet ever surprised you by being in a strange place when you got home?

slow response time

I apologize for the slow response time to comments made last week.

I read them all and appreciate them all . . . but I had company for a few days; I came down with a cold, and I'm teaching "Email English" which took a lot of my email time the past few days. 

I will try to respond/reply to comments in the next few days. 

Thanks in advance for your patience!

The Beauty of Love

Carnival_of_beauty"We love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). 

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love" (1 John 4:7-8).

Please join us this week as we reflect on the Beauty of Love.

Sara @ Stones of Remembrance
The love of God is greater far than we can ever tell.

Blair @ Blair's Scribblings
Let's journey into Blair's Scribblings as she goes in search of
The Word on Agape

Debi @ Caught Between Worlds
Debi shares her Wedding Story in both words and scrapbook pages.

Join us next week for The Beauty of Joy over at Windows to my Soul.

Carnival of Beauty Hostesses

Carnival_of_beauty Here is the current Carnival of Beauty Line up to finish off 2007.  (Wow can't believe another year is coming to a close!!)

There are still two weeks open.  If you'd like to host either of those weeks please let me know. :) [UPDATED 10/16] All weeks are now full for this hosting round.  There will be more opportunities next time!

Also, if you volunteered to host and you are not here, it is an oversight on my part.  Please correct me ASAP.  Thanks!

Oct 5: The Beauty of Love by Amanda
Oct 12: The Beauty of Joy by Vicki
Oct 19: The Beauty of Peace by Sara
Oct 26: The Beauty of Patience by Ellen

Nov 2: The Beauty of Kindness by Cahleen
Nov 9: The Beauty of Goodness by Blair
Nov 16: The Beauty of Faithfulness by Sara
Nov 23: The Beauty of Gentleness by Susanna
Nov 30: The Beauty of Self-Control by Heather

Dec 7: The Beauty of Praise by Sara
Dec 14: The Beauty of Tradition by Ellen
Dec 21: CoB Takes a break
Dec 28: The Beauty of This Year by Susanna


This weekend, before I saw my Japanese friend, I got to MIRL with a fellow Taiwan blogger!!! :)

Just in case you don't know . . . MIRL is an acronym for "Meet In Real Life." (For a history of the origin of this acronym look here and here.)

Charlotte and I met in Hsinchu for lunch on Saturday.  We spent the afternoon talking and getting to know each other better. 

She is the first (and so far only) fellow blogger I've ever MIRL-ed with.  It was a unique experience because on one hand I felt like I needed to say "Hi, my name is Amanda," but on the other hand I felt like she was a long lost kindred spirit.  Feeling both of these at the same time is rather odd. :) 

Nonetheless, I enjoyed our time together, and I assume that the next time we get together it won't be odd at all!! :)

We tried out my xshot (my first time to use it in public), and it's a little tricky.  The first one was TOTALLY washed out, and I look like a turtle in the second one. :) 

me and Char me and Char
If two foreigners together attract a lot of stares . . .then two foreigners together using an xshot attract tons of stares! :)  Some people just stopped to watch our picture taking, and others walked by looking at my camera's screen.  It was fun.

with love from japan


Ok, so we are not in Japan.  And we are not eating anything Japanese. 

But, you see that girl next to me?  She is from Japan!!  And she choose to spend part of her summer vacation with me!

I met Yuka in college.  We've known each other 10 years, but I've not seen her since we graduated about 7 years ago.  So, we have a lot of catching up to do.

So I'm outta here . . . Bye! 

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