Thursday, December 27, 2007

keepin' it real on christmas

so christmas passed way to fast here.....so fast that i need a day off after it. we had a great christmas. on christmas eve sarah, beth and i baked cookies, ate chili and chips, and exchanged presents. it was perfect.
then christmas morning i talked with the family. then we had all the SB ladies over to house for christmas and it was....it was perfect. it really was. everything went smoothly, the ladies had a great time, we had enough presents food and we got hugged when the ladies left and when they came. it was about perfect. then christmas eve we went out to dinner at a really bad and expensive restaurant. it kinda wasn't that fun at all....but by that time i was to tired to care!!!! here are some pictures to mark out christmas
here are beth and sarah acting natural in front of our charlie brown tree......
we don't have an normal oven or anything to rosll out sugar cookies on so our cookies are just creative blogs. (peru field...your rocked). however, they were soooo good. thank you ange for sending us the mix.
this would be us in all our indian glory.
and this is our family....gita, upendra and kiran. they are amazing.
and this is me christmas morning at around 7:30am wearing and holding most everything i got for christmas. it was grand.

i love that brook is coming to spend new years eve with us on a whim!!!! i love that i have to pee really bad right now but want to finish this blog. i love that i have a 250g caramel cadbury bar next to me that my friends bought me from london. i love the actress who plays kristine on grey's anatomy. i love that i am exhausted and yet i am still blogging. i love that my friend ange is the best writer ever....she makes going shopping and going to bars sound like the most beautiful spiritual things in the world.....she is amazing.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

more family

this is my brother, mom and me christmas 2006.
my brother, dad and i at my step-brother's wedding this past march
these are all my brothers.....i am a well protected women.
my dad and ann......at drew's wedding.

i love that today we are going to make christmas chookies. i love that its cold and grey out...just like a florida christmas. i love that our house is getting cleaned today!!! i love that i am going to get my legs waxed. i love that i was poking around the presents today trying to see which ones are for me!!!! i love that my next post can be about my family here. i love that my dad makes me laugh. i love thinking about how much fun my friends are having with their kids this year. i love that we get to give christmas cakes out to everyone.

teary eyed

drew and becca's wedding
(above) Me and my mom (below)
its happening....i can't listen to "i'll be home for christmas" without getting teary eyed. it always happens when i am away from home. even though christmas is going to be great i will still miss candle light christmas eve service, singing silent night till the last candle it lit , grandpa's candy, ann's 27 different kind of desserts, my brothers farting, my over indulgent gift giving dad and ann, passing out christmas presents, ann getting mad at my dad for spoiling her, the appetizer buffet with my mom and brother, playing apples to apples, the passing of the pink tree, the memories that come with each christmas ornament, the christmas music everywhere, the 24 hours of christmas story, an oven with sugar cookies, just being with my family, that feeling after you open all your presents and sit and re look at all of them, the soloist they always have at christmas eve services that is so beautiful it makes me teary, my mom....just being my mom and taking care of me and making me laugh, laughing with my brother, hearts to hearts with JC, getting to know becca's heart , admiring drew's kindness, ann's remembrance of those who have to go without, and my dad's absolute adoration and love for me....i am his princess.........its all those things why i am getting teary eyed today and why i love being home with my family and miss you even though being here is good. nothing can replace you.

Merry Christmas...........

Saturday, December 22, 2007

motorcycles and beautiful weather

we started our Bhoro Din Chuti (christmas holiday) officially friday at 7:01 and i am going to try to enjoy it!!
today we went on a short motorcycle trip with our two bengali friends, Michael and Bapi, our two kiwi friends, Steve and Lisa. we went out to the botanical gardens. and it was perfect. the weather was amazing. we got to play Frisbee and laugh and despite the random collection of cultures we laughed really really hard. it was perfect.
now we are home, swept our flat, going to cook yummy soup for dinner and then popcorn and a movie. am tired and content and my face might be a little tanner.
however, one random thing.....my helmet was first really ridiculous looking...it looked like a equestrian caps...and it was two small. i had to force this ridiculous thing on my head and by the time the 45 minute ride was over my head was numb!!! i had this big red strip across my forehead when i would take my helmet off!! luckily it would go away after about 1/2 hour. i would take the helmet off and could feel the blood rushing back to my scalp. it was funny and a little scary.

i love riding on the back of a motorcycle. i love that our kiwi friend steve raced cars on gravel roads in new zeland and has been driving motorcycles since he was 8. i love that tired feeling and knowing you get to go to bed soon. i love that christmas is on a tuesday this year so we have a four day weekend!!!! (even though we are having a Christmas party at our house for all the ladies). i love that dad and ann got two new puppies. i love that all my small group girls are parents, or in the next month will become parents ( love you all)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

some good

Yeah....we finally found P, not drunk, and willing to go talk with our friend about getting her boys for boarding school. my stomach has been in knots worrying about this whole thing but things are looking up. her and her husband are picking up the kids tomorrow. pray for their time home.....for A and B. P has been on a drinking rampage for the past two weeks. A and B have been at this boarding school for the past four months and for the first time, most likely in their lives, A and B have had 4 months of stablilty, discipline, foood, rules and love. pray for their 10 days at home.
so much i want to write but am soooo tired.

i happened to find this movie preview........ http://psiloveyoumovie.warnerbros.com/
Has any one seen it??? p.s i love you it has so many famous people in it and i love hilary swank and i love......love....the guy that played denny from grey's anatomy. we just don't get movies like that here and ifound myself getting all teary eyed.

i love that everynight beth and i plan to watch a movie and we don't ever have time. i love that fleshies all over the world are making surgar cookies for christmas. i love that that sarah comes back to kolkata on sunday. i love that this morning we listen to an advent sermon from andrew's church adn it ripped my face off and gave me hope.

Monday, December 17, 2007

a mixture of hope and despair

so today was such a strange mixture of surprises, joy, sadness, poverty, wealth, tears, hopelessness and strong friendship.
i went with M this morning to see our friend P. this is the women that we are working with that we helped put her kids into boarding school. well its the christmas holiday and she wants to take her kids for the holiday. when i went to talk with her today about how she would do this she was passed out drunk. she would wake up. her "boyfriend" came and woke her up by shoving lemon and some kind of spice into her mouth and splashing water on her face. she was so out of it......and it was only 11:30 am. i guess she started drinking at 8:00am. her cuts on her arms were fresh. she is soooo full of despair and soooo sooo damaged from this freakin world...from the sex trade. i would drink if i was her as well. she might not be able to take her kids for holiday and that makes me both sad and happy all at the same time.

so i spent the rest of the day, running errands and then going back to the gatch with beth and had a great time. we found this girl R who we have been looking for for a long time.
then we got our 13 loads of laundry from our friends house and then went christmas shopping. we went to a market close by our house and it was so much fun. beth is a good friend.

so that is my weird day of absolute despair, hope, laughter , tears and finding a surprise around every turn......and here are my new earrings. the fact that i bought these is a surprise in itself.



I love that i have hope for P even though logically there should be none. i love M who works at our friends business... she came out of the trade after 15 years and is not going back to get women out...she is my hero. i love speaking bengali when we go to new places. the bengalis always get so excited and tell us how good our bengali is.....good for the ego. i love discovering new things about kolkata. i love that i was surprised by a good friend on-line today who i hadn't heard form in awhile.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Our own Charlie Brown Christmas

So we dug out our Christmas decorations....and well...we keep them in the room where our water tank is which has leaked and it had leaked onto the bag with the Christmas decorations that has been sitting unopened for more than a year and 1/2. This is what remained of our Christmas tree.................. We of course were a little reluctant to keep the tree as you can see from the below photo. But i was inspired by one of my favorite Christmas cartoons...a charlie browns Christmas and refused to give up on the little guy. we knew he had beauty inside.......
and this was the final product!!!! we used sari scraps to tie tiny bows and shiny ornaments we found at new market and we feel we salvaged the tree and i believe that our tree is prophetic.....all things can be made new, everything has beauty, and we even got to use sari scraps on it!
i think it might be one of my favorite Christmas trees ever.
and this is our living room now...complete with tacky holly garland, Christmas lights, a cool tree and a 3.oo dollar merry Christmas sign!!! ( we found that Christmas decorations here are about twice as much in the states.....stuff you would find in the dollar store goes for a couple bucks here)

so our house is some what christmasy. we are proud of it and have still been listening to Christmas music non-stop. i just have a feeling about this Christmas. its going to be a goodin. Sarah comes back on the 23rd and we are going to listen to christmas music and bake sugar cookies on our make shift stoves. (thanks ange). and we have been getting details together for our SB party and we officially have reservations at the fairlawn with our British and kiwi friends.
Its begining to look a lot like Christmas.......at least in our house.
I love that both beth and i cried when we wrote Christmas letters. i love that in two days beth and i did about 12 or 13 load of laundry at our friends house with a machine. i love what we got Charlotte for christmas. i love what i got sarah and beth for christmas. i love the anticipation of things. i love hearing my friends christmas traditions.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lovin' the Ladies


i have been taking the ladies to the doctors for the past couple weeks for physicals. and i love it. i don't love the craziness with which they run the doctors offices but i do love getting to know the ladies. Today, it took forever.

But this nice younger man helped us out. After he helped us i said, "thank you", gave the head nod and smiled. after i did this the two ladies i was with turned to each other and started giggling. they gave me that "you like him" look. and then started giggling again. i guess if you smile at a man in any sort of way that means you want to marry him.

so we see the doctors and get a taxi back home. the taxi cab driver is a jerk. he has some kind of super fast meter and the charge is twice as much as it is supposed to be. the two ladies and i refused to give him that much money and he chased us down the street yelling at us. our ladies are tough and one took off her shoe and waved it at the guy (this i guess is a huge insult) and he left us along. i think he knew that he wasn't going to get away with anything this time.


so we get back to SB. and after the taxi cab story was told....they told the "meeting the husband" story. then they started picking on me, telling me that now they understand why i am willing to go to the hospital even though my leg hurts. i tried to convince them that we say thank you and smile in our culture to someone who helps us....but they are convinced that i am after this man.


it made me laugh and feel loved to be picked on by the ladies for something other than my bad bengali.
I think Jesus was laughing with us today.

i love that Josh from the past servant team gave me a game "the Rubix's Revolution". i love that tonight beth and i are going to decorate the house and listen to christmas music. i love that i don't like drinking cold water now. i love my two new pair of earrings...one really big pair of red hoops with white polka dots, and a smaller pair of green hoops with white polka dots. i love that i went christmas shopping and bought something for myself.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Trying to make it Christmas




I am trying my darnest to make it the Christmas season here. I am thinking about what to buy people, i am sending some Christmas cards, i am listening to Christmas music non-stop (and the mindy smith album is as good as everyone says).

i have been taking the ladies from SB to the hospital for check-ups. i love it. i get to spend time with the ladies and we have to work together to get seen and to get everyone the medicine and information they need. its great. i feel like i am getting to know the ladies even more and realizing how they are becoming forever a part of me...like leaving here is almost scarier than staying because then i would have to say good-bye. this is a good thing and i am trying to embrace it.

got to talk to one of my bestest friends last night...ange. it was awesome.


if you guys could pray for me...am still having joint pain, not near as sever but enough to slow me down and limit what i do. beth and sarah are also still have the same. ready to be well!!!!!


i love mindy smith's christmas album. i love being at sari bari. i love sarah made a folder so i have a place to put receipts and it helps me stay organized. i loved that without asking, gita did our laundry while i was out at the hospital. i love that gita is going to spend the night tomorrow. i love that i sing Christmas carols in taxi, by myself.



Sunday, December 9, 2007

a good question

so things here have been amazing. on Friday i went to the gatch and got to sit with this girl for about an hour and she fed me and we just had small talk. she is sometimes for difficult but she opened up...small victories.

and then yesterday the servant team took the ladies of SB on a trip to the park. It was about perfect. They all had their kids. The weather was amazing. They put bendhi on our hands. It was a heaven on earth moment.

I just want to share a question that i was proposed. We were talking at small group on Thursday night about silence and making space for God etc. etc.
Then this man John, who has been here for about 30 years, says "Yes, but what if the way you relate to God was taken. For example, what if you were illiterate? how would you relate to God? if you were deaf and couldn't have music? How are the women we work with able to relate to God? Jon said that he would often practice these for a months at a time to develop new ways of relating to God. It made me think.

I love that whenever our ex-boyfriends move on it hurts.... no matter how much we thought we were over them. i love the servant team that is here. i love that we went to see a Christmas program last night. i love that i wrote Christmas cards today and couldn't stop crying while writing them. i can't wait to do laundry and watch tv at lilly and allistairs house this week. i love my friends Charlotte and Julian.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I think i am made for this

I don't know how to actually look at my blog. for some reason blogspot is blocked for us and we can't figure out why. and all of us are too tired to find out why. we can post but we can see or read comments. hwoever, please don't stop leaving comments. eventually we will find out why.

today was amazing. the most amazing day i have had in the gatch in a really really long time. we didn't have a plan. we just knew that we were going to see this kid about work first and then see what happens.
well, it was amazing. we met knew girls and went into three new rooms and met the most amazing girls. their stories are just so so so sad. and we realized today that we are seeing the next generation of young girls. most of the girls we knew when they were 14, or 15 or 16 are now 19 and 20 and that means they are leaving their owners and starting to fidn their own way and that means a whole other generation of girls are on the line. its heartbreaking and thrilling for the possiblity of freedom for these girls all at the same time.

we are starting to feel better. none of us is 100%. we all still have some joing pain, sarah's throat is hurting really bad. keep rpaying for us. i went to the doctors again and we don't have chikengunyia. we have some kind of viral fever that causes reacitve arthritis....oh the joys.
but we are getting better.
it was my first full day back at the gatch and it was awesome.
I love today a man laughed at my bengali because it was so "sweet". i love this 3 year old girl that i met in teh gatch today. we played the imagination game today. i love christmas shopping. i love giving a gift knowing that someone is going to love it. i lvoe that its cold enough here to sleep at night with a blanket, roll the windows up in the taxi and wear a shaw in the morning and the night. i love love winter here. i love waking up early when its cold and being able to snuggle down under mycovers and sleep more (and yes i know cold is relative, buts its india and i am a floridian)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

300




i really love this movie...and the indian edited version makes it even better.

we have our friends projector so we watched 300 hundred tonight.

you know the men are manly when they can wear briefs and capes and still be really really manly. i mean like......spartan manly.

i still don't really have words but this movie inspires me (and yes its more than the six packs). it makes me want to give myself deeply to something and fight for it with all that i am. it inspires me to overcome my fears. and i wouldn't mind a manly spartan man to come and fight for me any day.

i wonder if other women have the fantasy of being so loved that as your husband is going to his death its you he pictures....i would like to be loved like that.

i wonders if movies really do destroy any real since of love for me??? hmm.....


the pastor's tea is in 3 days!!! i can't believe its happening.


i love that i got to chat with laura on line. i love that i feel so restless but unless i rest i hurt. i love the message. i love david teems. i love that Christmas is coming soon. i love that you can forget that it was thanksgiving weekend this weekend.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Snakes and sickness

so on Friday, Sonny (st member) and two boys from the gatch got to go to the botanical gardens. it is the largest banyan tree in the world. its really cool.
well on the way out of the gardens....we kinda got lost. not lost really but i didn't know that to reach the main gate would take an hour!!!!
however during that hour we found three snakes. two of the snakes were in the water and the third was just actually a snake skin....it was 8 ft. long!!! it was so awesome. we picked it up and the boys took it home to show everyone. i can only imagine what everyone thought.

Beth and Sarah have the same weird fever thing i had. its fever and extreme joint paint and just pretty much makes life miserable. i am sure that between the tree of us over the past 3 weeks have logged hundreds of hours of movie/TV shows on DVD because its the only thing we can do and not move but still be entertained. pray for us and them. today my feet are killing me...i know it sounds like i am making it up but I'm not.

i love that i got to see my friend gordon and his wife last week. i love that sister karina knows my name and what we do. i love that my room is clean clean clean for the first time in three weeks!!! i love Lilly and Alistair. i love that lilly can make me laugh and still makes her husband of over 30 years laugh. i love that the word "terd" is funny. i love that the word "terd" is not listed in teh spell check and comes up as a mistake.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

so for breakfast i just finished a piece of frozen peanut butter pie and a cup of french coffee.....and i am thankful for that!!!
we had a really good thanksgiving. we have about 25ish people at our house from four different countries (Holland, New Zealand, America and England (real pilgrims here folks!!)) and we had a feast. Sarah is an amazing cook and made home made stuffing and mashed potatoes. we had four desserts. and tandoori chicken in place of turkey. it was by far the best thanksgiving i have had here. and i ate so so so much food. so much food that i felt rather ills and so so so tired.
here is a video link that Sarah made:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?video/video.php&v=7654894179
this morning we had heaps of dishes to do but i was quite happy to do them because my main responsibility yesterday was to get the rolls for our dinner...what i am trying to say is that sarah beth and her team were amazing.
after dinner we had to go around the room and share what we were thankful for:
i said that i am thankful for a life that i couldn't of planned, asked for or even ever wanted. it gives me faith that God has a plan and i am were i should be.
it was such a nice evening.
even got to talk to my family and one of my aunts in Texas.

God really does put the lonely in families. and you know that verse....whoever gives up house and home for me shall get it back......that is true as well. i have family here...brothers sisters, moms, dads, uncles, aunties, from all different parts of the world. its quite amazing how God fulfills His promises....not in any way i could of planned, but i guess that is why He is God.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

i love peanut butter pie. i love that we had gravy packets and it tasted just like home!!. i love that this morning we finally opened our french coffee that our English friends had bought us a long time ago and it was divine. i love that our friend Henry went to the same boarding school as the prince of England. i love that my aunt patsy makes me laugh. i love that my dad and step-mom are worried about me. i love that i get to go to the gardens today with two guys on the servant team and two guys form the gatch.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Om Shanti Om

This is the new and improved Sharu khan.....and this is the poster of him they are using to promote the movie!!!

There is nothing like a good bollywood Hindi movie that can make me love India more. On Friday night we all went to see a Hindi movie called Om Shanti Om. this movie is huge here right now.....i know that in America we have huge blockbusters but this is HUGE!!!!! The star Sharu Khan is basically a god here. and in this movie he got all buff for the first time. and he looks good.

if you have never seen a good Hindi movie...they are great. It has beautiful people, in beautiful clothes, dancing and singing. it is really an experience.

and yes...we sat through a 3 hour movie in another language and was totally entertained. that is the beauty of Bollywood.

so if you ever get a chance...go see a bollywood movie. it will make you love India.

Here are some links:


I love that veggie tales makes me happy. i love this sound ange sent called "i wanna". i love that the matthew perryman CD laura sent me softens my heart. i love the book i am reading now "half of a yellow sun". i love that i used the end of a sari to block the whole in my room where pigeons have been nesting......i will defeat them!!!! i love that yesterday in boggle i spelled "sword" and words. i love that i am alright at boggle even though i am such a horrible speller. i love that the pigeons are looking at me right now plotting how to get in our house!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It was a dark and stormy night......

............and all was quiet in Kolkata!!! So the storm totally missed us. It didn't even really rain. The wind blew some time last night before we went to bed but no storm. we had filled up all our water buckets, i bought a little extra food. all our water bottles were filled....and nothin'.
but i heard that bangladesh was hit really really hard....inches and inches of rain.
pray for them.

i love boggle. i love that my mom might come visit in februrary. i love that my mom called me this morning. i love that today is cold. i love that i have blue playdho sitting on my desk.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

a storm is coming

so i got an email from ange asking about the cyclone.....i thought...what cyclone:

checked the weather channel on line.....and tehre is a cyclone coming.....it says we could have winds tonight up to 80mph!!! what is that!!! i thought these things only happened in florida. so my hurricane instincts are kicking in.....making sure we have water food etc. i might even board up our windows if i had some boards.
will let you know how it goes.

i love waking up in the morning and feeling that happy feeling. i love love playing boggle. i love that yesterday at boggle i spelled, lancer, lanced and lance....thats 8 points!!!! i love my burt's bees lip balm from my mom. i love thta the servant team helped me address over 170 envelopes for the pastor's tea!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

God's promises

So sometimes, i don't let God take care of me...or anyone for that matter. and its always better when i do. i was given a hard no today....not really a no but the usual you have to wait that i often here due to the fact that i am a wild stallion. and Today God showed me this:

"in repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.
You said, "no we will flee on horses.
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of Justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!
Isaiah 30:15-16 and some of 18

and then He told me this:
I will fight for you.
I will keep you.
I will not forget you.
Do no fret.
I will direct you.
I have engraved you into my hands.
You are mine.
You are precious.
I am honored.

so.....yes folks....it was a good day.

went to the doctors, got some test, will no tomorrow.

i love Peter in the bible. i love that beth brought us home KFC. i love that we are ging to watch grey's and i am totally obsessed with that show. i love that my room is totally out of control messy at this point. i love that sarah prints us off colored coded calenders for us to use.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

throwing eggs off our roof


so, maybe my fever came back...everyday, since wednesday......its getting better.


but today we had three guys from the gatch over to our house today. i think i have written about them before.

well today we had an "egg drop contest". i found a whole bunch random things around the house; a pack of klenex, a box, newspapter, sari scraps, tape, plastic bottles and a tupperware container and the boys had to make an egg protector. then the contest was to see if they could make an egg protector that would protect the egg after we dropped it off our roof (5 stories)
we started by dropping their contracption from me standing on a chair...and their egg made it.
then we dropped the protected eggs out our window.....and the egg didn't break.
then we went up on my roof. josh (a servant team member) made a parachute and attached it ot eh box that became known as the egg box. this is when i realized the randomness and wonderfulness of my life.
i looked over the edge of my 5 story flat and down below were to amazing teenage guys from the gatch and a servant team member trying to get people to not walk on that part of the side walk so they wouldn't get killed by a flying box.
and then on the roof with me was our friend S, and josh.
and there was something so freeing about throwing a box with an egg wrapped in Kleenex, and sari and put in a plastic container with a bright red, sari parachute off my roof. i smiled and giggled and thanked God.
and the eggs....yes they put three in the box...never broke...even after falling 5 stories from our flat.
the boys did such a good job.
i Love that i haven' been feeling well and even though i am 31 i want to talk with my parents. i love how good of a job my roommates have done taking care of me. i love playing. i love that today i got to take a nap. i love the we all blog stock each other in WMF!!!! i love that the three of us were looking at pictures from the board meeting and were jealous........how was it ange and court and jesse and liz and everyone that was there?????

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

a weird kind of sickness

on monday i did my laundy. i accidently poured a lot, alot of soap inside the laundry. so it took me fore ever to get all the soap out. and by the end my wrist were on fire.
the next day at sari bari, i got to make rolls, check blankets, wash and dry blankets. i loved it.

(on a side note, sari bari is awesome. we are starting to wash, dry and pack the blankets here. they are specially folded and put into plastic bags when we send them. its so amazing and so professional. sarah has even designed a numbering system so they can be tracked. its like a full on real amaing business. One of the ladie, C, was staring at all the blankets on the self in bags and i asked her what she was thinking. She said " manish, they are just so beautiful". i agree)

so at around 4:00 at sari bari my knees starting really aching and i started limping (i hadn't felt all that well since monday) and then my wrist starting hurting and by 6:00 i was in so much pain. i finally laid down. and to sit and get back up was so painful. i thought that maybe i had squatted to much when i did launday and hurt my wrist as well????
i went home that night and my knees were swollen and my wrists hurt so bad.
i woke up the next morning and felt even worse. to move it hurt and i felt feverish.
then the fever came during the day. not really high but up to 101.5 and my joints just ached. i was walking around like a crippled women.
then last night i took more medicine and woke up with no fever.
and my wrist and knees still hurt but not anything like yesterday.
and i feel a bit better.
weird eh? our downstairs folks have had a similar type fever but theirs lasted for 3-4 days.
so pray for my knees and wrist. i don't know what i would do if i couldn't move around and play and do what i wanted to do.
and yesterday i watched 8 episodes of the Cosby Show!!! and it made me cry and laugh again.

i love the Cosby episode where theo gets his ear pierced. i love that a girl on the servant team is a nurse and can understand a lot of medical jargon. i love that tomorrow is Kali Puja/Dewali and the sky and roads will be filled with candles and fireworks and Christmas lights. i love that charoletet and Julian and maya and her family are coming to spend the night. i love that the cosby show makes me miss my dad sooooo much. i love that i get to go on a trek in march. i love that this morning there is no fever!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

baby steps

sometimes i resent baby steps. i can see where i want to go and see who i want to be or what i want to happen.....and sometimes it just feels like i will never get there.
i get so impatient and judgemental and i forget that life is mostly about baby steps. its not about the sprint but the journey.
that is defiently part of getting older.... you learn you have to wait...a lot....but that things will change.
i remember praying on a rock when i was 17 to Jesus, that i would follow Him if He would fix my family and make me not angry. of course, you can't know when your 17 that is would take God 14 years and lots and lots of baby steps to answer my prayers.
so right now....i mind my self in two place....my impatient self, wanting to change things now and have everything fix now so i don't have to hurt and walk through things......but now i have this mature voice of God's Spirit calling me to walk through it all and learn and grow and have grace for myself and the people around me.
i pray for courage to walk the right road.

today we found P!!! and guess what....she was the women who's daughter was taken by her husband....Her husband brought the little girl G, back this past week!!! her husband got really sick and thin so he couldnt' care for G anymore. that is amazing!!! i think that prayer did that.

i love that tomorrow i get to take sari bari ladies to the doctors. i love that on saturday we are going to have three boys over from the gatch and have an egg drop contest. i love that i my friend just popped up on skype. i love that the word dookey makes me laugh!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I think that no one can see me.....

so i am having this realization in my life. i have this fear, like most people, that if you really knew me you wouldn't love me. there are all these reasons why i believe that, reasons that i won't go into now, but.....
what i am finding is that i think that no one really knows me. i think that i am hiding behind my walls and no one knows or sees any of my insecurities or faults. so i think i am hiding and all these people that think i am wonderful and amazing i have a hard time accepting their love because i think " they don't know me. if they really knew me...they would leave".
but i think that is a lie.
my friends and family know me. i may not express my inner most thoughts with people but i wear my brokeness just like everyone else. people know me.
and i lift my head up long enough to realize that no one has left me. in fact, i am surronded by friends and family who love me.....and not just love me...adore me.
and i am humbled because of my self-loathing and my inability to accept what love i am being given.
and humbled at my crappy job of hiding my wounds.
so to all my amazing friends and family...you know who you are, thank you for seeing me and loving me.....and maybe loving me even more because of my brokeness.

i love sarah and beth. i love that my friend michelle turned 30!!! i love that renata and kim are pregnant at the same time. i love that srah fights for my dreams. i love that silas, in addition to mad counseling skills, can also fix thing. he is fixing our door and window. i love that my friends ange and court love fall so much.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Can God control you ipod?

(i just put this picture on here because its pretty)
so i was at sari bari yesterday. sewing away happily on my blanket. the weather is starting to cool off and i was starting to think about christmas. i wanted to hear some carols. so i got out my ipod to listen to a christmas song. i couldn't find any.

so i just put on what i thought was random mix and put an ear bug in my ear.

the first song was this amazing song about Freedom. we have been talking about all these things lately like.....freedom in Christ, and finding your identity in God's love etc. etc. and i was like "wow, God is speaking to me". i listend to the song and had a God moment.


Then another song came on about freedom. i was again like "wow!! this is amazing. God is really trying to tell me something"


then i third song came on and at this point i was really really freaking out...."like how is God doing this? this is amazing? i think he really wants freedom for me!!"


it was when i went to turn off my ipod after the third song that i realized instead of putting my ipod on random i had left it in the "F" section because the last song i was looking for was feliz navidad of the veggie tales christmas album.

so God wasn't really controlling my ipod. i just left it on the F section.

however, for a couple minutes i really think i believed that God could control my ipod.


I love iron yoga. i love that when i talk to silas he can ask questions that disarm my defenses. i love that i bought a sling shot on the street to try to hit the crows that stand on our veranda. i love that my brother loves halloween so much. i love that dad and ann are going to visit my brother for thanksgiving and my whole family will be there and i get to call them. i love that today there is a bond and we got a day off. i love that its randomly raining to day (must be global warming)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Going to the village

today was good and bad.
the best was going to see our friend M. in the village. i love that she treats us like her friends. when we don't understand something in Bengal she tries again.
today she took out all her jewelry and showed us the two new earrings she got for the PUja holidays as well as all her old jewelry. us girls are alike all over the world. then she took her nail polish and painted our nails and our toenails. it was just so sweet and normal. we are taking her to the doctors on Thursday because all her test are done...finally (well almost done). but we have her CD4 count and some other important labs. we might be able to work with World Vision to get her some free food and medicine.
pray for her as well.....she has anxiety attacks and is still talking about this spirit thing called jin that visits her. i know that we are supposed to have favorite friends....but she is a favorite friend.

if you could keep the staff in prayer this week. our regional coordinator is coming down to talk some stuff out with us. He has got some mad counseling skills and can ask really good questions....you know those people....who ask you that one right question that puts you in tears.

so.....tomorrow and the next days are bandhs. that is like a strike and the whole city shuts down. i might get the day off. yipeee!!!

i love my new salwar top with sparkles and sequins on it. i love that i get to go on a trek in march in nepal with some really close friends. i love we colored pictures with M. last week and at the age of 24 she colored the rabbit 5 different colors. i love how matthew perryman jone's music pierces my soul. i love that my spell check doesn't include words like salwar and puja.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

some pictures

Hey folks,
love reading blogs with pictures so i included a few for you all.
This was our view from breakfast everymorning at the retreat....i know....the suffering.
this is upendrea and radha.....he is our production manager. radha talked about how this trip was a dream come true for her. she had never been out of west bengal before!!!
This is beth and her servant team and me eating momno's in nepal
This is beth, sarah and i on beth's alias birthday. we made her dress like a spy!!!
i love grey' anamtomy. i love chips and salsa. i love my new phone

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

i love me some kids.....

sometimes i really really love kids. in nepal it was so much fun to be with the kids. there was one little boy that stole my heart.....he was just so darn cute. His name was Elijah. He is silas and kim's little boy. He is so so much fun. He is three and is all boy. we would play tickle monster and both run around screaming from the tickle monster and then both die laughing at each other.
Kim sent me an email today and it warmed my heart. "Yesterday I was listening to Elijah and Jedidiah talking about the retreat. Elijah said, " I like Kristin Auntie." and Jedidiah said, "Oh I know who she is she is the Auntie who has pretty hair that is light like the sun." So poetic.
(jedidiah is elijah's older brother)

is this just such an amazing little comment.
and i got to talk to my best friend, Jessa last night. she put her little girl on the phone and had her say, "i miss you". she is just so cute.
and while we were talking i got to hear jessa be mom and talk to her daughter.
it makes me happy to hear and see my friends as moms. i have the most amazing girlfriends and the idea that they are now moms and are passing on all their amazingness to their children and are so in love with their children and i get to be a part of it all and learn from them about unconditional love and maybe get a glimpse of what my parents feel about me. its cool.

i love my new coconut incense. i love the play list that shiela's brother made her. i love that the servant team now feels like friends not like strangers. i love to see beth and sarah relaxed and ahppy and smiling. i love what we got gita for her birthday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The HIlls are alive!!

So i went to Nepal for 10 days....and it was great. I can't tell you how nice it was to get out of this city and be in fresh air and mountains and a place with good food. We had the first ever international south-Asia field retreat. SO that meant we brought upendra and his family and kiran as well as beth and the team UPendra wife's told me 'this is something i have been dreaming of my whole life. i have always wanted to see outside of india and see mountains" it was cool to see our bengali staff in nepal.

we spent three days in the tourist part of town and visited some amazing ministries that work with women who are at risk for trafficking or have been trafficked. we met a Brazilian couple who run a home like this. They have been dreaming since the beginning of their work to come to kolkata and take girls back to Nepal. They have been praying for this for seven years. Then we come. They have two girls who have been with them since the beginning and are now ready to come out and minister. isn't that amazing???

then we and the Nepali staff went to the mountains for two nights. it was beautiful. i didn't have my camera so i will have to track down some pictures to show you. there was 48 of us total...and 1/2 of those were kids. i forget what life giving energy kids have.

then we came back on Monday. to kolkata. and i must say that i am happy to be here. the weather has cooled off, puja is almost over, and sari bari was amazing yesterday.
i started sewing my own blanket. and......i am no so good yet. but it was so great to sit around with the ladies and not do work and just hang out with them and the servant team girls. i usually spend a couple hours in the office doing work but i think that i might stop doing it and just sew. it also feeds my creative side.

i love leaving kolkata when i am on the edge of insanity and coming back to it and it feels like home. i love that my ipod is now working again and i can put all my new music on it!!!! i love talking with college kids....or recently graduated college kids. i love being creative. i love that i brought 1 kg (2.2 lbs. ) of yak cheese from Nepal and have been eating it every day. i love that i feel like God is moving in my heart...into the darkness i try so hard to hide.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

some good things


we went to the gatch on Friday...it was sad.

so today was good. we are keeping sari bari open on Saturdays for the next month so the ladies will have time to make up for the time they loose during the holidays.

so it was me and four ladies from sari bari today. i loved it. we called it our "choto poribar" (our small family). and the four ladies that are there......i know i am not supposed to have favorites but they are just great. these four imparticular love being at sari bari. they don't make a lot of blankets each month but they love, love working at sari bari. so i love being there with them.

and i got a package in the mail from one of my most thoughtful friends...Laura. she sent me an elephant mask, beef jerky (shared that with some of the ladies who eat beef!!!), an amazing amazing dvd with movies and sermons, some candy and some boas that are orange and blue. i felt loved.

so today was a day when i feel hopeful. love that.

i leave tomorrow for nepal with beth and the team. pray for sarah....the passport situation is almost cleared up but there are no no no tickets out of this city due to the holidays.

i love our indian friend micheal and bopi. i love the book i am reading. i love that i am so freaking tired and can't wait to go to bed. i love that it might be cold in nepal. i love water.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Grey's Anatomy, The Cosby Show, The Office

Yesterday was a holiday. It was some kind of puja here so we took the day off as well. and watched lots of dvd's.
First, beth and i watched the cosby show. which we decided out of all the shows we own is actually the hardest one to watch (although its still my faovorite show of all time):
1. I brings us back to our childhood......i loved, loved the cosby show growing up.
2. bill cosby reminds me of my dad.
3. its all about family. when i was growing up i wanted to be the huxtable family. now i want a marriage like claire and dr. huxtable.
4. i never thought that the cosby show could make me so close to bursting out in tears.....like the scene when theo gets to cut the thanksgiving turkey.

and then all of us watched the office and grey's anatomy (2nd season of both) last night. i was bawling at grey's anatomy. it was so so so so good. i don't know which i am more obbsessed with grey's or the office.
so today it back to reality. sigh.
i am so restless still and am having trouble sleeping.
i love the that bill cosby makes me smile. i love that my cough syrup i took is bright green...like anti-freeze. i love that we get to go to nepal on sunday!!! i love that wheni loan money out and get paid back i feel like some how that makes it free money or something.
i love that i have a family to miss.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Just for fun

the prayer request are just to serious for me right now. I left my coffee mug in my room all day night and day a couple months ago. when i woke up i found this dead roach stuck to the spoon. pretty gross eh? but yet some how really funny and intriguing.

I love when my bengali teacher gets excited about teaching me bengali. i love that it rained today and its cool and i will have to use a sheet tonight!!!1 i love the white chilli beth made for dinner. i love that me acting natural makes steph laugh. i love that my mom called me for no reason the other day and we just got to talk about nothing.

pray for us

Hey all,
Here are October's prayer request. Its been a busy month already....check out the web-site.... www.saribai.com In about six months you will be able to by directly from the web-site. Also, i have left myspace. i have a new blog... www.jesusripsmyfaceoff.blogspot.com check it out...it has lots of pretty pictures.
hope you are all well. drop me a line.

Prayer Request October 2007
Sari Bari
1. We are still in need of a consistent and affordable source for higher quality used saris. Please pray that God would provide an honest and reliable source or multiple sources.
2. Please pray for the two ladies that are in training right now. They have finished three months and are starting their second phase of full time training. These two ladies are the beginnings of our bag unit.
3. We are taking steps this month to register and establish Sari Bari in India. This involves trusting lots of different people and is also new territory for us. Please pray for that this process would be timely and smooth.
4. Please pray for one of our ladies sons. He was bitten by a street dog last week.
5. Please pray for the two ladies, “B” and “C”, that a couple months ago had left Sari Bari but have been reintegrated part time into Sari Bari. Pray for continued healing and redemption. Also, please pray for the one lady we were not able to bring back into the business. Pray that God would move in her heart and she would be able to accept love.
6. The Sari Bari web-site is up!!! www.saribari.com
Brothel Ministry
1. Please continue to pray for our friend M. This past month we were able to take her to get most of the tests she needed. Most of her labs came out fairly normal considering her condition. We hope that this month we can get her initial check-ups totally finished and on her way to getting stronger. She continues to be visited by a spirit called a Jin. It happens when she is alone or is stressed out. Please fight for her in prayer. We want to see M free of this.
2. Please continue to pray for J who lives in a room with many other young girls. We have been talking with her about leaving the trade and going to sew bags at our friends business for a couple months. She is owned so we are not sure about the steps to take toward her freedom from the trade. Please pray for her. Pray God would make a way out for her.
3. Continue to pray for P. Her children are in a temporary boarding school outside the city. Getting them there was a bigger deal then expected and we ran into a few road blocks along the way. However, the boys are there, safe and happy. Please please pray for P. Pray for her as she gets used to not having her children and also for her health. She has been sick for a while now and has lost lots of weight. Please pray that she would overcome her fears and start to take care of herself and her HIV.
4. Please pray for this family we know in the gatch, R (the mother), C (the daughter), and S (the little boy). Pray that has we continue in relationship with them that God would make a way for S into a really good boarding school, C would find a job outside the area, away from her mother, and that R would make choice to not live off the trade. R has a small room she rents out to ladies while also recruiting girls when customers come. Pray for them.


Staff
1. Our entire staff, Bengali and North American, leaves for a South-east Asia retreat in Nepal Mid-October. Please pray for our time there. Pray for language and culture barriers to be overcome and deep friendships to be made. Also, Sarah has misplaced her passport so there is a chance that she might not be able to go. Pray the passport would come in time and that a new flight would be available.
2. Please pray for Kiron as she enters into her second month of her leave of absence. Pray that God would tenderly bring to the surface things that need to be healed and changed. Pray that her body would be restored and she wouldn’t have any more health problems.
3. Please pray for Upendra and his family. He has recently made a deeper commitment to Jesus. He asked that we would pray that him and his family would be protected from Satan’s attacks.
4. We really need more Bengali staff. Please pray that God would raise of men and women to come along side us and love these men and women.
5. Please pray for our staff. We have been hitting some rocky roads. Please pray for God do move in our hearts deeply. Pray that we would have the courage and perseverance to look into our past and accept his healing so we can love each other better. Pray for grace and forgiveness.
6. The Pastor Tea for the Mukhti Campaign will happen on Oct. 31st. The network has invited all the pastors in the area and their wives to come and learn about God heart for the people of the red-light areas. This is monumental. Please pray.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

restless

last night i couldn't sleep. watched a storm come in. it was beautiful and a little scary. was exhausted and unsatisfied today. didn't want to be here or anywhere. nothing made me satisfied....felt like a wild animal in a cage. want to go travel and have adventures and be anonymous and learn new things. but for now.
i have to be satisfied kolkata, roommates who let me be stir crazy and love me anyways and three episodes of the office with a garlic chicken burger............
until my world tour that will be enough and that is good.
i love Jim and Pam on the office. i love that Sarah's new staff title is boss of dancing. i love that each of us have a signature dance move. i love that i found a number to take some dance classes but have been too scared to call. i love.........that i am not a person who lived over seas 75 years ago with no email, phones, atm's, computer etc because i would never make it!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Did this really happen????

Yesterday morning we got up early and went to the big flower market located near Howrah bridge and bought around 1,000 flowers. Beautiful, bight vibrant sunflowers....one of my favorite kinds. We kept them in buckets in our bathroom. Then at around 5:30ish at night we all got dressed up in our saris and took these flowers and handed them out in the red-light district. It was.......well it was amazing. We did it as an act of war. To try to bring worth, value, love, goodness in a place where women are seen as less. The girls would ask us "why are you doing this? Whose birthday is it? It there are puja?" and with much joy we are able to reply......Its for you. We are doing it because you are important. We are doing this because you are good. We are doing this because you are our friend. We are giving a beautiful flower to a beautiful girl. We are giving a good flower to a good girl. We told them you can look at the flower and remember......you are special.

We got to see girls smile and light up. we got to see some girls look at us like we were crazy. we got to see girl looked a little amazed and confused....."why are you giving me flowers?" Even some of the men wanted the flowers!!!! But none of us were mentally prepared for all this. I am sick, Sarah is sick, we are all busy and all of the sudden we found ourselves in the red-light area passing out flowers....and found myself almost unable to take it in....like i was watching a movie or something.
please pray that the effect of the flowers would be felt for months to come......years to come. Pray for a hope that can't be taken away

I love the mix from ange that i just burned to computer "ange's funky and fun mix!!!" i love my camera i got for my birthday. i love that P saw us on the street and we got to give her flowers. I love the book i just read "acts of faith". i love that i am more comfortable being the giver than the receiver but God calls me to lavishly receive love as well as give it. i love stevie wonder's song "signed sealed deliver".......one more I love the CD that my dad burned for me that is Ray Charles"s duet CD....love it!!! i love that e-blog has spell check.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

It's A Beautiful Day

so i am now 31 years old. how kinda weird is that.


i had a great birthday. My roomates spoiled me......like....paid for a whole day for me. the ladies at sari bari blessed me and our bengali staff gave me great thought ful gifts as well.


here are some photos.


i woke up to the theme song from U2 "Its a beautiful Day" blaring in the morning. I was then given a note that asked what i wanted for breakfast. I wasn't allowed to come out of my room yet. I had to wait.


I came out of my room to the site of flowers in the shape of hearts in the hallway....i love hearts and flowers.







Then i started to find notes hidden all over the house randomly. I loved it.





Then i got to open some presents. ITs was really funny. Beth and sarah both got me the same shirt!!!! the red shirt from the Gap that says "Inspired". it's a special name God gave me at the staff retreat. Beth bought me a small sexy one and sarah a little bit bigger one that i could wear here.

we got in a taxi and headed to the tollygundge club. where we layed around all day long by a pool. ate some good food. our friends charolette and jullian came and i got some really really cute earings from them.

Then we went out for a nice dinner.

and then home........

andi will write a blog entry later about what i found when i got home!!! it deserves a whole blog entry!!!

i love sarah and beth and how they were so generous and thoughtful that i could hardly recieve from them. i love that i am about to go make chips salsa and cheese dip...in india!! i love the book i am readin....acts of faith. i love ange. i love michelle and how if i need practical advice she will give it to me. i love that the sari bari ladies got me an elephant top and sparlkly skirt....more pictures to come. i love that i got to talk to my mom for an hour the day before my birthday!!!! i love that in two weeks we are taking our bengali staff to nepal for a staff retreat.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

rainbows over the gatch




So yesterday i storm blew in while i was sitting at my desk working. when i looked up and out my window this is what i saw. the rainbow is directly over the gatch. it only lasted for about 5 minutes but it was so amazing and bright and hopeful. i think sometimes i forget that hope can come so suddenly and without warning and then be gone. i guess that is why God tells us to remember because the rainbow only lasted for five minutes. but the memory of the rainbow can give us hope forever.
hmmm........
i love that in her childhood beth loved rainbows and people would give them to her all the time. i love that one time when i was really young my mom and us tried to find the end of the rainbow. we drove around tying to look for it. i love that the wmf staff sent me a card with personal birthday wished written in it....it made me feel loved. i love my english friend lilly and allistar. i love that my friend said that she can see changes in my and that i am softer than i used to be.....yeah!!!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

an amazing day

welll actually it started off really bad.....like....don't want to go into much detail but i wanted to quit. wanted to go home and leave this place and all that makes it hard...but of course God is amazing.
today gita and i went to see our friend M (daniel i will work on a better code system) in the village. the weather has been really really bad and we didn't know if her village was goin got be flooded and i didn't know how she was or if it would rain or we would be able even get to house...so it was all these what if's. but after a kinda rainy train, ride, a bycyle rickshaw ride in the rain, and a 10 minute walk in knee deep water we found her!! i don't know why but when i saw her i almost started crying. she had to wade out to meet us from her house in thigh deep water. she just looked so thin and frail....but when i saw her i saw my friend and she smiled and it was all worth it. we went to remind of her doctor appointment on friday. that was all. saw her for 20 minutes but her smile made it worth it.
then we went home.
the servant team came over today for prayer. they are the kind of people who hear directly from God. they prayed for each staff person individually, and then over our house. this guy sonny on our team said to me, "i feel two things. the first is that i prayed against fear and withdrawl. and the second is we need to wait on the Lord. through waiting we will find strength". and the other team had encouraging words adn prayer as well.
its like God was reminding me that he knows me. He knows us as a community. He reminded me that i am not to much and that He will always greet me with love and not condemnation. still struggle with receiving grace and thinking the best about myself and others.
Thank God that he persures me in my darkest moments.
i love jenifer knapp. i loove the flower stain glass ann made me!!! i love that i am going to be an aunt!!! i love that my dad sent me two coozies from my step-brother's wedding. i love that the older i get the more self aware i get and that is a blessing and a curse. i love that today I feel like God met me all day. I love that one day i might be able to recieve love.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

tired of my space

okay folks....this is a new era...i have to start blogging here. i just need to start doing it because its one of those things i keep saying i am going to do but never do so i am going to start doing it.

today i was at sari bari today. it was good. i got home an hour late because gita accidently took my keys and she lives really far away so we couldn't shut sari bari!!! we ended up borrowing locks from out landlord. sarah has some mad problem solving skills. they come in handy.

i love that i finally started a new blog. i love that for a while it will be boring until i figure out how to get pictures on it. i love that i got to talk with laura today and she celebrated her 30th birthday with an 80's party complete with amoon walk in her back yard.... how super cool is that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

First post

so i am trying to come officially into the 21st centruy and have a proper blog. My space isn't technically a real blog. i want to be able to post pictures and things like that. so give me some time to figure all this out!!!