Friday, June 25, 2010

Where is the Learner???

Perhaps you've been wondering where I am...

I had the best of intentions when, last Friday morning at 2a.m. we left Galati for Paris, to post while on our 6 week long trip.

Alas, this has not happened...

Because: a) I've been having such a good time.... and, b) I've just been soaking in my time with family....and c) I've been eating way too much...and d) I'm not even sleeping too much because I'm so excited to be here.

So, to tide you's a few pictures:

fyi: these photos were chosen randomly, sight unseen. Therefore, the randomness is truly...well, random. enjoy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kneading (unwrapped)

Starting with a little flour and isn't much, but it's enough.

I drizzle in some oil, and begin to mix, crushing the oil/flour/salt globs with my fingers.

And then, the yeast is added...

I knead and I pound and I pull and I roll...and then, I do it again. Making sure all the yeast mixes with all the flour and salt and oil.

I've heard that if you think you're done kneading dough, then you should keep at it for a little while longer...

I sit back and let it rise.

I know this analogy is nothing new. A little yeast leavens the whole loaf...and...kneading kneading kneading until it feels like you can't be kneaded anymore.

I find myself at that place. I've got the flour and salt, the lumps of oil have been crushed and now, the yeast. And I'm wondering how much more kneading needs to happen.

And here's the gift: Sitting back, and letting it rise.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Activism: an update from the Jesus? post last week...
Romanian Wifery: The finished project

What I'll Miss...

More pictures by C

3 more sleeps and then leave Romania for 6 weeks! I thought I'd list some of the things I'll miss but also include them as my 1,000 gifts for this week as I'm realizing that they are not only things I'll miss, but things for which I'm grateful.


lighting my stove/oven with a match each time I use it.
hanging my laundry to dry
Romanian fashion - especially V's.
pretty old houses
big brown eyes in little dirty faces
our funky green couch
parquet wood floors
cobblestone streets
horse pulled carts on the street
R's drawings
C's photos
Ionica's sarmale/stuffed peppers
walking to the market
Tei trees and their lovely smell
my plants
M's hugs
walking to the faleza
the color of Romanian money
cherry season
ice cream at Chip si Dale
flowers at the center
walkind to work with Bela
fresh bread
the center

holy experience

Activism: another old post, this one about India.

Friday, June 11, 2010


We all know I'm not here to win any beauty awards, so I thought I'd post some pictures of me that C took when I was weeding last week.

I let him have some fun with my camera again and well, let's just say that these were the most flattering of the photos.

I especially like the one with my upside-down pony tail...I was tired of trying to make it lay the way it should, so asa (that's Romanian for "like this" or something like that. It's hard to explain, but easy to use. And, the 's' in the word is an 'sh' sound, so the word is 'asha'. Romanian 101 over and out).

Activism: An old post form 2006 that stirred some controversy....

Thursday, June 10, 2010


It’s CRAZY around here right now.

And this is a long post.

With lots of words.

And, if you’re anything like me, you won’t read because it’s too long and there aren’t many pictures.

But please read.

In a week we leave for a 6 week trip to the states. Needless to say, this means some serious prep work on our part. We’ve left quite a bit for the last minute, but….sometimes, when you’re tired, that’s all you can do.

Let me share a bit about what we’re going to be doing in the next 6 or so weeks.
As you may know, we serve with Word Made Flesh in Galati, Romania. For a week and a half in July we’ll be gathering with other WMF staff in Nebraska for a retreat that happens every 3 years. This is a first for both of us and we are excited to spend time with other international staff.

But first, we are going to celebrate our first anniversary in Paris! On our way to the states we’re stopping by the city of love, the city of lights, the city of fashion, the city of….a 2 day visit for us. Yes, we only have 2 days because 1) we don’t have a lot of money and 2) we don’t have a lot of money.

After Paris, we’re taking the train across the water to London and spend a day there before we hop on a plane for Portland, OR! I’ve not been to either Paris or London and I’m super excited! And, it was cheaper for us to travel this way, then to leave from Bucarest and fly directly to Portland. Can’t beat that with a stick….as someone’s Grandpa used to say.

So, we get to Portland and then head up to Seattle, then down to Redlands, over to Omaha, and down to Houston before we head back to Romania.


So, not only are we busy right now…it’s gonna be a busy few weeks…

But I can’t tell you how excited I am…I can almost taste it.

While we are in the states we are going to have several OPEN HOUSES so we can share about our work and life in Romania. We decided to do a photo exhibition because it seems a creative way to not only talk about but display our lives. Here’s a taste of what you can expect should you come to one of the open houses: (contact me if you want details so you can come!)

On top of all this I want to share about part of my day.

I have some photos of kids that I need parental permission to use. So, I headed out this morning with papers in hand to get signatures.

One home belongs to a family that I’ve talked about often because I worked with them a lot of last year. The twins…

In the year I’ve known then, they’ve lived in 4 different locations. And this one, well…

I know it’s trite to say that something breaks my heart. There’s probably a more poetic way to say how it felt to walk into the courtyard shared by so many families that felt more like a barnyard.

But I don’t know how to say it except that I wanted to cry afterwards.

So, I walked in and I asked where the family was and a woman pointed me to the back of the property. Around the corner, a family lay in the shade and the mother was nursing her baby. They all sat up and I was embarrassed, but none of them seemed to be. I asked where the family I was seeking stayed and a little girl said she’d go get them.

And she did. She brought down my sweet girl M who was carrying her little sister who they all refer to as Princess and her small brother trailing behind.

They were so dirty.

M’s twin brother was at school. Her parents were working. She was left at home to watch the others.

I know that the poor exist among us every day, every where.

And today, the poor was the face of M.

And, she was not only a face. She’s the little girl I adore. I love. I hope things for.

And, I was not only faced with the barn they live in, but with the gravity of what her future looks like. She won’t finish school. She’ll probably marry around 14. That’s in 5 years. Until then, she’ll stay at home with the younger ones while her parents work.

The injustice of this angers me. Burning white hot anger.

I walked away, crying. Because I miss M, because I love her, because I’m mad.

And even in the middle of so much injustice, this is what never ceases to amaze me:
Christ’s own incarnation looked very much like what I walked into today. Not just the night he was born in a stable, but the very way he emptied himself and took on humanity.

For a person like me who complains because she doesn’t have hot water. Who gets to visit Paris and London. Who gets to go home for 6 weeks.

But I don’t think any of that really matters. I think he wants those things for me, just as he wants M to have an education and a chance to marry when she’s older.
But what grabs my soul again and again is this little one, my M, leads me again, to the heart of Jesus.

And there we’re given all we really need.

And if the face of M is the face of the poor and she leads me to the heart of Jesus, then maybe, just maybe, I saw his face today.

And that, my friends, is a gift bigger than any trip to Paris or the States could ever be.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A True Story (unwrapped)

a true story

Today - something was different.
He showed up,
when I didn't think he would
And when I left the house,
little pieces of glitter sparkled
as tiny snowflakes
caught the sun.

The world glimmered.

I'm not sure if I believe in signs
and I know there are no coincidences,
but this day was bathed in hope-
the kind that smothers with creamy buttered
chocolate frosting a birthday cake.

With a candle on top,
waiting to be blown out.

photos are of arugula going to seed in the garden at the center.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Romanian Wifery: PARIS??? PARIS!!!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Marlboro Man

If you're familiar with blogging then you're probably familiar with PW (click HERE for her blog).

She's great...funny, kind, creative,'d like her to be your neighbor if she didn't live out in the middle of Oklahoma on a cattle ranch with MM (short for Marlboro Man).

That's right, she's got her own bonefide cowboy whom she refers to as MM. I don't think he's a smoker, he's just all cowboy.

What you probably don't know is that I've got my own Marlboro Man who likes to wrangle his fair share and eat his vittles around campfire (well, maybe not around a campfire, but he does like his vittles!)

Dressed in yellow plaid, this MM is hard to miss. Paired with dungarees he may not be your average cowboy, but he is your average Romanian (although on the more-attractive-than-average side).

And while we don't live in the middle of America, we do live on the outskirts of Romania...and I'm sure you'd like us for a neighbor.

editor's note: I don't like this shirt. He (my husband) has worn it for around eight (8) years. It is getting close to thread bare (PTL). When such noted threades are bare, we will retire the shirt. Now that's cowboy.

and on a side note: Marlboro is a brand of clothing in Europe. And now you know...

One final note: I will not begin referring to my husband as MM, Marlboro Man, or any other such names affiliated with the brand of clothing, tobacco company or Pioneer Woman blog. Just so you know.

Contemplation: 1000 Gifts

holy experience

Activism: Children's Day

Friday, June 04, 2010

5 things....

Another blog I've been reading everyday is Gypsy Mama. Here's her button:

She's great. I think if we lived in the same town, we'd be friends. This week she's been talking a lot about who we truly are, and that we are more than what we look like in a bathing suit. Please take a look at her site and especially her posts for this week.

So, today she's asking: What are 5 things God loves about you? (click to see her post, or the button above)

Here's my response:
1. God loves that I'm a good listener.
2. God loves that I love kids.
3. God loves that I love to write.
4. God loves when I sing (even if it isn't very well, but it is often).
5. God loves that I enjoy cooking for others...especially my husband.

And now, it's your turn. Share 5 things God loves about you...

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Some houses I love...

I've been reading a blog called and really like it. She lives in the Seattle area and a couple posts ago (click HERE to see and make sure to scroll to the end of the post...and be warned, the summer scarf project is also GREAT and on my list to make after THIS, which I'm currently working on...this is a very long parenthetical statement of a sentence.)(as I was saying...) (she) showed some pictures of houses she loves in her town (Seattle).

Ah, the old homes on Capitol Hill or in Madison Park. Taint nothin' like 'em. (except for maybe in Portland :) )

Thought I'd post and re-post some pictures of old houses in Galati. Enjoy!

This one is a favorite of mine, and I'm not sure if you could call it an old house, but it is old and beautiful and I've seen several other residences with similar architecture (I guess that's what you call it?) It's also abandoned, for sale, falling apart.

Here's the balcony that faces the street.

And then, if you peak around the side of the house, these 2 ladies are tucked into the wall, but on the second story. I walk by this building every day and am always in awe of how pretty it is.

I also walk by this building/house every day. In much better condition and beautiful.

These next 2 are of an old giant house that I think may be abandoned, too. It is amazing...I can't imagine what she must have been like in her day.

This one is just down the street from the drop-in center.

This one was taken on A Walk with C.

And I show this one because, as you can see, it was probably gorgeous in its day, too, and is mostly abandoned. I also show it because a couple of our kids live in the bottom story. Complete with a satellite dish.

Today in:
Contemplation...a prayer from the book Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth Prayers of Walter Brueggemann.

These hands...

These feet

These ears

These eyes

This body

Belong to a little boy who has but to wink at me, and I can forgive anything he's done.
He's smart and talented and funny.

We learned yesterday that because his dad beat him so badly, he's been in the hospital since Saturday.

Please pray for him.
Please pray for his dad.
Pray for his brothers.

Activism page, our June prayer letter.
Romanian Wifery, a birthday present.

Search This Blog


Learning | Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial License | Dandy Dandilion Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates