Oh, heaven forbid. Don’t make me speak English!

abelincolnquote

I really try to be kind and courteous and real and friendly, but I have this problem.  And it’s called my mouth.

It gets me every time.

I am talking all the time.  Day and Night.  Even when I am sleeping.  It gets me there, too, because I even talk in my sleep.

So, this is what happened.  The other day I was at the grocery store in Gniezno.

It’s a rather large grocery store.  It’s a French chain, I believe.  So now I don’t know whether to blame the French grocery chain or the Gniezno store owner on this one…BUT…someone decided at this rather large grocery store to implement a one-line rule where everyone lines up in a single file line to wait for the next available cashier.

The idea isn’t bad—IF—it was a small store with few customers.  But this is a huge and busy grocery store.  It’s like we all line up as if to go through the cattle gate — our grocery carts and kids overflowing down to the chips and liquids aisle.  Imagine trying to get into a busy sporting event with kids and a grocery cart to boot.  It’s utterly ridiculous.

Yet, it’s what we all must do, and I am the one that chose to shop at that store, so I got in line.

One woman—out of the 30+ of us in line decided that as long as her cart was in line, she would keep shopping.

Duh, lady.  Don’t you think we would ALL love to do this?!

Well, her cart was there but the line was moving forward.  So, of course, there was a huge gap in front of her cart and the other customers in front of her.

Who was foolishly the customer/shopper behind this thoughtless lady?

Hand in the air.  ME!

But what happens with this huge gap of air space and the missing cart lady?  Why 3 new customers come along and hop in line.

The lady comes running back to her cart and says she was there.

Um.  No, technically you weren’t.  I am just a patient person and was waiting for you to move forward.

Fool count 1.

Well, after some exchanged words, she is defeated and now stuck behind 3 more people.  But that’s okay, because she goes back to shopping.

Air space yet again.  Because there is this thing called checking out and people do pay for groceries and lines do move forward in the grocery store.  But where is this random shopper lady?

MIA, Missing in Action, yet again.

And again, I foolishly wait for her to find her cart and push it forward.

Fool count 2.

Finally on Fool count 3, when there is a mile of space between her cart and the cutting customers in front of her and the MIA shopper, I take my cart and go in front of her cart.

Boy howdy!  You would think that this woman had a cart radar or something.  No sooner did I put my cart in front of hers did I then see her come screeching at me, yelling, “THAT’S my space!  I was there in line.”

Now, because I am a very mature 38-year-old mother of 3, I of course engaged in her argument, (in Polish), “No, ma’am.  You were not here.  And, this is the 3rd time that you have not been here.  This was free space.”  Yes, my Polish is lacking, so this is basically what I said.  Not so intimidating but enough to let her know it’s not okay.

Ooooh, boy!  She was steaming mad!  And kept yelling at me how she was there.  So, again, I engaged in this civil thing we were having (NOT) called a conversation.

“No, Ma’am, you were not here.  Again, 3 times you have left and gone shopping.  YOU WERE NOT HERE.  This was a free space.”

Yes, I am a Polish force (smile and wink).

And, yet again, she flew off of the handle yelling at me.  Imagine, “Yadda, yadda, yadda!”

There, lady.  You went and did it.  You brought out my English!  And I started in again—this time in my Mother Tongue…

“No!  You were not here!  This is ridiculous.  For 3 times you have left your cart to go shopping…(insert more)…This is not okay!”

After the shock wore off that I was no longer conversing with her in Polish, the entire line of people started to speak up, the lady that was now in front of the both of us turned around and said, “No, you weren’t here (in Polish).  You can’t keep leaving and shopping.”  The person in front of the lady in front of the lady spoke up.  The husband of one of the ladies spoke up.  And this fiery MIA shopper just kept getting louder.

It’s a good thing we were in a French grocery store.  This small riot didn’t seem out of place, eh?!  Haha.

Anyhow, after I started this small riot of vocalities, I realized that this lady was going to continue to throw her fit, so I pulled my cart out of line and let her go back in front of me, which she eagerly took and moved forward.

But, let me just say—she DID NOT leave her spot again.

And the check-out lady was super nice to me, too.  Nice or scared?  I don’t know which.

Oooooops.

So much for showing the love of Jesus at the grocery store that day.

Standing on the bank of a river doing a handstand.

faithontheriverbank

There is a picture propped on the windowsill of Maxwell’s bedroom. The windowsill is right next to his bed. It is an unusual looking picture by appearance. There is a little boy doing a handstand in the forest, near a river.

If you were to see it, you would say, “Why is this unusual looking photo in Maxwell’s room right next to his bed?”

And I would answer you this…

Never ever doubt the praying faith or beautiful dreams of children.

You know, in the Bible there was a big dreamer. His name was Joseph, and he often had many dreams that either got him in or out of big trouble.

But these dreams were not his own. They were dreams that God gave him and brought about in truth and reality in God’s timing.

When Maxwell was on the cusp of death, a friend’s son had a dream about him—Maxwell. And his dream, as told by his mom to me, went something like this…

“Mom, I dreamed that there was a little boy doing a handstand on the bank of the river. That little boy was Max!”

And so she sent to Poland a framed picture of a little boy (her son) doing a handstand and pasted it on a different picture at the bank of the river.

And that little boy, doing the handstand on the bank of the river, represents Max.

Her son, he dreamed a dream that he believes God gave him…That Maxwell would live and grow and one day do a handstand on the bank of a river.

Well, today Maxwell is still too small to do a handstand at the bank of a river, but nearly every day of his little 27-month-old life, he puts his head on the ground, sticks his little, adorable butt in the air and waits for his sissy (known to most as Adelyne) to come and lift him up and over for a complete somersault.

It’s not a handstand at the bank of a river—yet. But it’s a show of life. Strength in training. And living in motion.

And every day I glance at that picture.  The one of the little boy on the bank of a river doing a handstand and am reminded about a boy, far away, that dreamed and believed.  Dreamed of my son and how God would restore his life and give him strength to live, to grow, and to flourish.

And every day I am thankful that my friend’s son took the time to dream.  To pray.  And to believe.

I pray that one day you, too, will be doing a handstand on a riverbank!  Or whatever it is in your life that God lays upon your heart.

Have faith, my dear friend, pray, and believe.

Amen.

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

absolutely, without a doubt, the right perspective!

whynotplaydohwhileweareatit

oh my dear friends. be prepared to laugh your way through this article i am about to share called give me gratitude or give me debt WHILE truly humbling your spirit and soul.

so many times since we have returned to poland i have GRUMBLED…GRUMBLED…GRUMBLED! believe me, i have just come from the land of mickey mouse—poland is a different life for me right now.

BUT this article brings up a hugely vivid conversation i had in our soup kitchen one day (our soup kitchen meaning our foundation’s soup kitchen: www.breadoflife.pl) with one of the volunteers.

setting: soup kitchen, basement of a church, around 2002 or 2003, poznan, poland.

we were preparing the food for the room full of homeless and elderly, very poor people (especially at that time in poland). it’s a very cold country, so not only was the warm food going to be a blessing but the warm atmosphere a godsend. and i was having a conversation with one of the brightest guys i know.  we’ll just call him mr. phd.  it was a time when poland was in the process of becoming an eu member (2004 they joined). and our conversation went like this:

“people in poland complain all of the time about how poor we are….but we are not poor. we have running water. we have electricity. so many around the world don’t even have those.  we are actually rich.”

now, the people we were serving were obviously not rich.

he wasn’t speaking of those.  he was speaking of the every day man or woman.  He was speaking of those that have but grumble about the “have nots“.

i have found myself being that grumbling person of late.  and it’s not a person that i like very much.

i would like to say that TODAY…today i am so thankful i read this post.  it’s brilliantly humorous with the perfect perspective attached to it.

and, today, after reading it, i hope that you, too, only worry about filling your kitchen with love.  love and dancing.  both simultaneously!

be prepared to laugh while humbling your spirit…

xoxo b

since glennon shared a peek into her kitchen, i will share a photo i took only two days ago (before i read this article) into my own kitchen.  hope you enjoy!

yes, my son, maxwell, in the diaper, was coloring in a book on the ground while eating a dry tortilla for lunch—which he also decided to decorate.  jojo sat in her chair for hours while i made pumpkin puree and apple sauce.  and adelyne…sweet adelyne made homemade play doh.  one recipe batch split into 6 colors.

so much fun in our kitchen!

now, here’s the article from Momastery just for you:

Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt!

also, for those of you that battle addictions, i think that you need encouragement from her about page.  Pretty awesome God:  About Glennon!

My daughter punked me today. Robin Williams would be proud.

sillyada

My daughter punked me today, and I believe the comedian that the world just lost would be proud.

But before we get to her stunt, I would like to say:

Depression

Addiction

Loneliness

Despair

Suicide

They don’t have one face.  They don’t have the face of only the homeless man or woman living under the bridge.

They don’t have the face of only the man or woman living in an institution of white walls.

They don’t have the face of only the misfit teenager that everyone belittles.

Darkness has no barriers.  It has no popularity barriers.  It has no economic barriers.  It has no gender barriers.  It has no age barriers.

Darkness resides in this world in utterly devastating ways.

I remember clearly our church in all of its surprise and devastation when an utterly beautiful mom of a devoted husband and gorgeous children took her own life in her garage one day.

It will forever haunt me seeing my classmate walk after school to wrestling, only to wake up the following day to reports that he took his own life that very night of the last day that I watched him walk away, locking eyes and sharing a smile.

And I will, until the day I die, never forget the beautiful friend of my precious brother that ended his battle too young-watching someone grow before your eyes from kid to teenager to adult attending friends weddings.  And then death.  Too tragic.  Too young.

Yes, darkness.  Darkness my friends takes over.  It takes over minds, hearts, thoughts.  It takes over lives, marriages, jobs.

Darkness is very real in this world and you can’t buy your way into happiness.

How is it then that it can be battled because Christians and those that don’t believe in God both lose to this evil thing?

For that, I have no answer.  Families that have lost their loved ones to such evil often cry out with the same questions.  How is it that someone that is loved so much cannot think that they can pull themselves up and out of this battle and survive?

They can.  And yet it must seem at the time when they lose the battle that they don’t see any light.  Any tunnel.  Any hope.

They are probably more tired than words.

And their mind battles demons that no one knows.

Often we are so envious of the beautiful lady—yet we don’t know why she tries so hard.

We are so envious of the perfect body—yet we don’t know why she works so hard.

We are so envious of the bank account of our neighbor’s—but we don’t know at what cost to his own family.

We are so envious of the funniest—but we don’t know why they laugh so much.

We are so envious of the smartest—but we don’t know why they know so much.

The majority of the times, it is a natural drive and self confidence that keeps people going and doing and being the way that they are.

But there are those times when those that we envy are who they are to hide what they are battling…

Darkness invades.

I often wonder if my son died if I would be overcome with darkness.  A darkness too deep that I would not be able to recover.  And I think that I wouldn’t.  But I don’t know.

What do I know then?  I do know that in all of the despair and the darkness that is battled, there is a light, Jesus Christ.

Will everyone that believes overcome darkness?  Perhaps on this side of life, the answer is no.  But there is an eternal light through Jesus that means on the other side of life, the answer is yes.

The thing is—Jesus does not want anyone before his or her time.  And that, unfortunately, is what suicide is.  It is leaving this darkness before your time.  Leaving your family before your time.  And leaving your work before your time.  It is a finality to life that wasn’t yet meant to end.

It’s a silent subject and oh so sad.

It’s not discussed much in church.  Suicide.  It’s only delicately reported in the news.  Suicide.  And movies often make only the most extreme outcast the one most likely to commit it.  Suicide.

But this darkness does not only attack those on the outskirts of what we label society (and, truly, who are we to label society’s outskirts)…It resides in the biggest of mansions or the smallest of homes.

And it must be discussed.  Because it is a battle.  A dark and dangerous and lonely battle that needs to be fought.  For the person fighting it.  For the family living it.  And for the rest of the world that may enter into it.

But in any and all cases, those that lose their battle to this darkness need to also be remembered in their light.

For they, too, lived a life.  And, Robin Williams, he lived a life that brought a lot of joy to millions around the world.

How we all wish we could have brought him the same joy.

But, alas, as still as time may seem for those closest to him mourning this devastating loss, the world turns.  And now it’s the world’s turn to speak out and battle and fight for those like Robin Williams.  Those that put on a happy face.  A face that is the facade to the darkness that clouds the hidden mind.

I pray for you if you are in this battle.  Find help.  And realize that you can overcome.  Bring your battle to light and allow God to be your northern star and those around you to be your mates.  Your life is not done.  Your time has not come.  Your finality of death is not meant for now.  God is not done with you yet!

Phillipians 1:6 (NLT) reads,

“He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the Day of Jesus”.

And, now, today, as Robin Williams brought laughter to the world, my daughter, very unaware of the death of Genie, brought great laughter to me as she punked my very being.

“Hey, Mom!  I got your toothbrush ready for you!”

Now, normally, I would be a great skeptic.  But my daughter has displayed tremendous amounts of great help in the past few weeks.  Perhaps she has known that Mommy needed it in this foreign land of Poland as we have lived without Daddy nearby or running water every evening for over a month.  Perhaps she knew I have needed her extra grace, as moving to a foreign country with 3 children and 2 of them 2 and under requires much more coffee and much more sunshine than a usual day.

Perhaps she did it this morning, got my toothbrush ready, because she knew I was up at the crack of dawn doing the MOST DISGUSTING THING EVER…giving 3 dogs flea baths.

Yes, I said and admitted it.  Giving our dogs flea baths.  Disgusting fleas.  Disgusting dogs.  Disgusting job.

And here I was, you will have to picture it because I will not offer cyberspace a photo of it…in my bathing suit (remember I only had a baby 7 months earlier ;)), and a shower cap, latex gloves, and my husband’s flip flops—because I was not about to go out in my cute shoes and ruin them…

Perhaps, yes, today of all days, as we prepared the kids to go to Polish and French lessons, perhaps today my daughter was just being kind.

And there in the bathroom were our toothbrushes.  Her dad’s and mine.  Laid out.  On the counter.  With toothpaste on them and even the tube of toothpaste lying haphazardly on the sink next to them.

Nothing, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.  Except the fact that she did prepare our toothbrushes.

But I trusted my daughter and said in my mind, “I shall appreciate this kind gesture…”

And I began to brush my teeth.

Bubbles upon bubbles upon bubbles sudsed out of my mouth as the taste of toothpaste was overtaken by the underlying taste of liquid white soap.

Yes…My daughter is so proud.  She punked me.  And it did make me laugh.

For in this world, in this short, short world in this speck of existence that we call life, we need all the laughter we can get…

Even if it comes with the taste of toothpaste.

RIP, Robin Williams.  You will be missed.

News articles related to his death:

CNN

NY Times

Fox News

BBC

Huff Post

 

 

 

“Greenhouse!” It is my husband and kids “safe” word. Lol?!

ferociousqueen

My husband shouts, “Greenhouse!”  and the hubby and kids go scattering in every direction.  Every direction except towards Mommy.  They find it hilarious.

I guess my lovely brother told my husband about using a “safe” word to use when Mommy is super cranky.  They simply say the word, it’s like code, really, and then everyone starts slowly backing away from Mommy until there is no one left in the room except Mommy.

And it is used during times when I, being that Mommy, am super duper cranky and there is no hope for any smiles in the presence of Mommy.

Well, my husband and kids just think this code thing is entirely too much fun.  Apparently I am far crankier than I realize.  Because, at random times, they will all of a sudden shout, “Greenhouse!”  and disappear.  So much for secretive code, eh?!  I have definitely cracked it.

And, oh, the giggles that ensue.

But, you see, there are times when I don’t deserve “Greenhouse!”  Like the time my husband only packed his toothbrush.

Elaborate?  I think I shall.

You see, we had just moved back from the USA to Poland, when my husband left me with 3 jet-lagged children and went to another city several hours away for multiple days.  I was not sleeping at all.  Maybe I was getting 1 to 2 hours every night because just as my infant was going to sleep my 2 year old and 8 year old were waking.  To use a Polish word, it was a straszne time for me and the 3 kids.

And then he, like my great knight, came galloping back into our lives, picking us up, and taking us back with him to the city several hours away where we then spent the next week.  It was still so tiring but also much better having another half with me to help out.

Finally we got back to our house for one day before we had to pack for the palace (I know, rough life ;) ), when he went and did it!

“GREENHOUSE!  Greenhouse!  Greenhouse!”  It was like rapid fire, shrapnel flying in all directions.  My husband, trying with all of his might, to take cover.  Unsuccessfully.  He was definitely hit.  MASH got a visit from my husband that day.

Why?  Well, he packed his toothbrush for the palace.  The rest, he left for me to pack.

What?  You may ask now utterly confused.

Let me say it again, “He packed HIS toothbrush.”  The others he left, in the cup holder, for me to pack.  Like, seriously, how hard is it to pick up 3 more toothbrushes and put them in your shaving kit, right?!

Needless to say, the next trip we took out of town, the first thing my husband said was, “I packed ALL the toothbrushes this time,” while cowering and looking for cover.

My poor, beautiful husband that always tries so hard and does so much.

No wonder my family has a code word.

“Greenhouse, greenhouse, greenhouse!”

 

 

Homeschooling is not for the weak. Or faint of heart.

I am not a homeschooling mom, and, yet, here (in Poland) I find myself just that—a homeschooling mom. Or, as I call it, an English instructor for my own child.

Problem, you see. Or should I say, “Problems…”?

My daughter knows it all. Well, at least that’s what she tells me with every lesson I sit down to instruct ;)

Okay, okay. She’s not that bad.  All the time.  The other part, it pretty much goes like that.

And, ironically, I have taught for about 8 years in actual schools.  Teaching over 250 students (middle school and elementary school).  You would think that would give me a bit o’ cred, but it doesn’t.

Sigh.

Funny thing, too.  It doesn’t matter if you are preparing a day’s lesson for 1 student or 30 students, it still takes the same amount of time.  Realizing that once again.  Yikes.  It’s called lots o’ work.

Homeschooling, it’s not my cup of java, but it’s where I find myself in life.  And we are surviving.  Decently well, too, I must add.  I must, however, reiterate…Homeschooling is not for the faint.  It’s not for the weak.  It’s not for the pushover.  Boy howdy…homeschooling is for the tough mother!

And, sometimes, I think I need to get tougher, but we’re off to a good start!  Well, at least we’re off to a start.

I’ve got to be thankful to God that I have a good student.  Even if she knows everything (smile and wink).

Student:  Adelyne

Age:  8

Grade that she is starting this 2014-2015 school year:  3

Years of School in Poland:  Preschool (2 years, 1/2 of a year taught by her Momma), Kindergarten (1 year), 1st Grade (1/2 a year)

Years of School in Arizona, USA:  1st Grade (2nd half), 2nd Grade (from start to finish)

Book she is currently reading:  Remarkable by Lizzie K. Foley

So, along the way of instructing my child at home, I am learning the ins and outs of HOW MUCH I appreciate teachers.  When I taught, it was easy for me to correct a student’s work and hand it back to him or her with correction and tell them to watch for future mistakes.  With my own, it’s like pulling teeth trying to get her to believe me that, despite the sound of it, goes is spelled G-O-E-S and not gose.  If I was her teacher in America, I’d tell or show her once, she’d sit with wide eyes and a nodding head, and then she’d try with all her might not to do it again.  Perhaps I am exaggerating a bit, but she did constantly tell me, “Mrs. Boyd knows EVERYTHING!”  I loved her teachers in America.

Alas, we are not in America, so I am doing my best to do right by my Ada Girl and learn her her English abroad.  Oh my, you may shake your head and grunt…

But, overall, I think she is doing well.  I am trying.  She is trying.  We are surviving.  Our last unit was Ramona the Pest.  Our next is Arizona.  After that it’s Storks in Poland.  And, of course, she’ll have her quizzes and reviews and book report on Remarkable when she’s done with that.  Halfway through as we speak and reading it on the couch right now.

Really, it is fun.

In the meantime, I need to figure out how to throw spelling tests in the midst of all of this.

Oh, and she does learn Polish and French outside of my classroom—phew!  I don’t think I would do the best job of those here.  Haha!

Enjoy the photos, and look below for comments on ideas, frustrations, or web sites I used along the way.

letterwriting

We are working on writing, obviously.  And what’s more fun than writing letters hoping that friends write back?!  And it is a good way for me to gauge her spelling along the way, as well as her grammar usage.  Like, “Every day me and my family go swimming in the lake…”  I was able to tell her that if she dropped “family” how does, “me go swimming in the lake” sound?!  She thought that was pretty funny.  I did too.

comprehensionquestions

With Ramona the Pest, there are a million study guides out there, so I found a couple I liked and combined them.  Here are a couple of her comprehension questions from the book and answers.  She also tested on the book at the end on this site:  Book Adventure.  Since we can’t AR Test from home, we simply use the AR Book Finder to figure out the grade level they assign the books and the words in the books.  We keep a separate book for Adelyne that keeps track of that information.  Then, if the book is on the above site, she takes the final comprehension test on it.  It has quite a few tests.  So I am pleased.  To date she has read over 100,000 words and counting.  She’s my little reader.  I especially like how the above site (Book Adventure) keeps track of the tests she does take.  That’s nice for sure!

usingvocabularywords

For vocabulary, I used several words suggested in one study.  I had her look up their definitions all high tech style and all (on the computer—Merriam-Webster online).  She had to figure out which definition was used in the book, the part of speech it was, and then rewrite the definition in her own words.  It was a bit hard, the last part.  But then she was able to choose 3 of the vocabulary words and use them correctly in sentences of her own.  So even though defining them in her own words was hard, at least I could see that she understood their meanings when she wrote her sentences.

adasgame

Instead of writing a formal book report at the end of her book, she chose to make a game.  Here is the final result…Well, nearly the final result.  You’ll see us playing the game in a minute.  Her game had to be centered around the book.  Her characters/game pieces were characters from the book:  Howie, Danny, Ramona, Beezus, and Susan.  Her cards for moving were based on questions she came up with from the book, and her board centered around one of the activities from the book:  Halloween.  She had to create rules for the game that made sense.  This got frustrating as she wanted to skimp out on creating true rules.  After we both pulled our hair, she came up with 4 rules, and she had to pre-write them, edit her mistakes, and rewrite them in NICE handwriting.  Sometimes it is very hard being a mommy-teacher.  But she did it, and she did a fantastic job!  I guess it’s hard being a daughter-student, too.

Here are the rules and game pieces:

rulestothegame

gamepieces

And, finally, here we are playing the game.  It was actually very fun.  We did have to add a few more move forward cards while playing.  Overall, however, it was a great first success and you could tell she read and understood the book.  Just FYI, the game that she made took about 20-25 minutes for 3 of us to play when the babies (our 2-year-old and 6-month old) were in bed.  It was a great end of the evening for sure!

playingadasgame

Hope you enjoyed the unit and maybe picked up a few ideas for your own school at home!

In the meantime, I have most definitely been reminded how hard homeschooling is.  Yikes.  Like I said, it’s not for the faint of heart.  But I do look forward to our next unit which will include more social studies and science bits and pieces.

I’ll keep you updated as we go…

A post about cooking in Poland will follow.  But not for a few days, as we head to the oldest Polish city this weekend as we join them for church there.  Where’s that, you may ask.  Why KALISZ!

Perhaps Adelyne will do a unit on that, too.

Oh, and we (Ada and I) are about to embark on writing and illustrating a book together.  Can’t wait for that unit, too.

Much love for now.  And, as Maxwell (the 2-year-old) would say, as he has learned in French, “A-be-ben-to!”  (Also known to the rest of you as “A bientot!”)

See you later…And, please, leave ideas and comments below on how to help this mother out ;)

Big kisses (3 for Poland) and an American hug (from me)!

 

When I was electrocuted…and Adelyne made banana muffins.

adabakes

I was 10 weeks pregnant with Adelyne when Richard and I were working one really late night out at the New Life Center. We had just purchased the property, and it needed a completely new deck.  The old deck was basically non existent.  Which means, the framework was there, but the walkway was dangerous planks placed strategically one next to each other.  And believe me when I say, if you fell off the plank, you were fed to the sharks…or the spiders and other spooky stuff that lived under the porch.  It was a true walk the gangplank challenge.  And, in order to open a transitional home for men, there definitely needed to be something other than gangplanks to walk.

If you want to see the NLC and the porch, click on the link above (the highlighted New Life Center) and look at the blue house and you’ll immediately see the porch.

Okay, back to my story.  So, at 10 weeks pregnant, Richard and I were out there working really late one Polish summer, building the deck.  It was quite a dangerous job, and we were basically working off of the day’s light or the waning sun’s light.  Just as we finished one part of the deck, we prepared to move to another section to work on when I saw a dangling wire.

Now, mind you, I am not a daft person, but this was definitely not one of my most defining Einstein moments of my life.  I decided to loop this dangling wire and hang it from a nail that was protruding from the nearby pillar.  I thought, “Oh, great idea, Brooke, I’ll get that dangling wire out of the way.”

Oh, bad idea, Brooke.  As soon as I touched the exposed wire to move it, not realizing it was live, 220 volts went shock, right through my body!

Yowzer!  It hurt.  Yes, it did.  But I got back to work.  And many hours later with lots of help, that deck was finally finished.  Just one small step in the process of making the home that we purchased into the perfect transitional center.  Don’t get me started on all of those bags of cement I also had to go and purchase and carry—yes, while pregnant.  And the sewage that needed to be cleaned (um…after basically telling Richard that I would clean the sewage filter rocks, even though I was pregnant, he finally jumped in and got the job done)…

Needless to say, every single ounce of effort was so worth it.  To see how God transforms the lives of the men that go through the center and its program is astounding.

And, today, as several of the participants from the New Life Center were at our house (our personal house), Adelyne, that same little baby that was in my belly when I was electrocuted 8 years ago, was using electricity.

This time to make muffins.  Muffins for the men from the New Life Center.

It’s funny how God works.  Eight years ago, I would have never thought my electrocuted baby belly would be using some of that same 220 to bake for the men that live in the home of the porch that she, in my belly, helped build.

Walking the planks was worth it…And I love that my daughter continues to walk them with me.

Tell me, what did you do in your past that continues to be a big part of your life today?  I look forward to hearing from you!