Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 12, 2010

We are remembering today thousands...300,000... people that lost their lives exactly one year ago today in Haiti's earthquake.

I remember exactly where I was and what we were doing.

We moved to Melbourne, Florida b/c we knew that God's plan was not for us to go to Egypt. Egypt was the next step for us in the missions school we were in while in KC but as we prayed, there just wasn't peace in our hearts about going. Not fear or dread...just a lack of peace. After a while of waiting , praying...and more waiting to know what God's plan was for us suddenly in 30 seconds, we knew. Not the whole picture, but we knew it was time to go to Haiti.

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010 a 7.0 earthquake shook a nation. A nation where our family was. My mother in law and father in law as well as my sister in law and her family were all there. They were spared their lives without even a scratch. By the grace of God, my mother in law and father in law were driving in a car away from Port-au-Prince, and the Lord's hand kept my sister in law's house from caving in on her and the kids.

We were in sheer shock as we watched the news of this devastation and not being able to contact anyone in our family made this one of the most scary and difficult things to experience. Were they dead? Injured? Were they together at least or was anyone of them alone somewhere? How bad could it really be?

That Friday, Theo left to do crisis relief with CRI (Crisis Relief International) as an emergency responder, but truly it was an easy ticket into the country immediately to find his family. Incredibly, the christian school that Theo grew up going to became a place of refuge. Not a single crack in the walls, or stone removed right in the middle of PAP. And my father in law, Ted, became the head of what immediatley became 'Quisqueya Crisis Relief". Theo was now connected to CRI, IHOP, the Harbour Church and QCS (Quisqueya), so had several legit ways into the country.
The next several weeks are a some point in there we found out I was pregnant with our #3 sweet baby girl Olivia. We also decided to move to Haiti since we believed that Haiti would be needing long term crisis care and we believed that we were supposed to be part of that. {In some what of a rush, we didn't pray thoroughly about this full on move there rather than doing trips back and forth.} So we moved down with our bffs LEO...let's just say thank God they were there with me, b/c it was horrible timing {first trimester pregnancy} to be in the thick of the destruction. {3rd world country going on 5th world since the earthquake!} I was grateful to have my friend there with me.
Anyways, about 7 weeks later we moved back to Florida. Quisquesya was transitioning back to school and our work was ending and we didn't exactly have a plan B. {Not that I was upset in the least to move back to FL!} It was such a difficult time for us, but the Lord promises to work all things out for the good of those who love Him....and He did! Theo met some amazing people and discovered his passion of working in the emergency rescue field!

Since then, Theo went to New Hampshire and became a nationally certified EMT as well as a Wilderness EMT...and is also now certified as a lifeguard planning to do Ocean Rescue when the door opens for him. Amazing...

So back to today...
I am just remembering how intense of an experience this was for us last year. And we were all safe and unharmed! I can't {and don't want to} imagine how the general Haitian population is feeling...Maybe that's what is so incredibly humbling and sobering. Alot of people died...but we were spared. Thank you Jesus. You are merciful and kind. Even when you allow things that we don't are good. Bring peace and comfort to those who lost their loved ones. Draw them near to you. Reveal your love to them. I stand today thankful and alive and I Love you.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I just have to write this...

So I was just reading back on some older posts and I saw the one about my studdly husband being in the fire academy. Well my very last comment of that post was 'Lord, your will be done, not ours.' {Or something of the sorts} Well...He did have his way, and it wasn't at all the way we thought we were heading in. Funny how that happens. Anyways, I guess I should actually explain the situation rather than just stating he's not in the academy anymore....for those who want to hear it.
Well, Theo was doing a-maz-ing in the academy....I'm talking squad leader, class leader, btwn 90-100% on all tests...the works. You'd think {we thought} he was on his way to being top firefighter of the year at the rate he was going! HA! {j/k!..........kinda} Anyways, part of the class is to do these 'PO's' or 'performance objectives' where they have to do the practial, hands on stuff with the "aparatus" or tools or whatever. Well, he had to redo this specific PO dealing with knots and tools and when we redid the knot, he did it perfectly but at the wrong end of the tool. And he failed. And that was all it took to put him out of the program.

Please tell me that someone else out there thinks this is ridiculous. Because I do.

Especially since the point of tying the specific knot was to hoist the tool up the side of a building and it was done correctly. Where the knot is, doesn't affect getting the tool up the building. {I checked}. So there it is. B/c of something so ridiculous, he was out! When he called to let me know he was on his way home, it didn't even register to me that he was actually OUT of the academy...fully. He would have to start over from scratch, including tuition and all. When it did finally hit us, we just sat and cried. Yep, it was a sad day. If you could've witnessed the work and dedication it took for him to get to the top of his class how he did....the studying...sacrificing so much family time...hanging out with friends, etc...then to just be cut from the program like was one of the most heart breaking things I've experienced. {And yes, I do go into 'defend my husband, get a little mad, go down with a fight mode over this situation. And yes, I even called the chief to 'talk to him' about the matter. Hahaha! Yes this made me a crazy lady for a brief time.}
I still have a hard time when I think about it, but we still fully believe that God led us and provided all we need for that time in the academy. To have it end so abruptly was/is just a shock to our system. But we choose to believe that God is sovereign over our lives {every single part of it} and that He allowed it to go down like that for a reason. We obviously don't know why yet, but one day we will and we'll be thankful.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

What a promise. These are the things that give us peace when life gets crazy. And it seems crazy often times in our world. Thank you God for your goodness to us.


I can't believe how quickly 2010 passed. Theo and I call it the year of the fog. But we're excited to begin a new year...a new season...fresh fire in our hearts. We're trying to find the balance between seeking the will of God for every moment of our lives and pursuing our hearts desires, which we know He put there in the first place. I'm wanting to ooze God and to our neighbors. I'm praying for ideas on how to love on the neighbors that God has brought into our lives...some of which are kinda intense, but seem ripe for a nice overhaul from the Lord. We'll see what happens.
So, Theo isn't in the fire academy anymore...that door shut abruptly...and we're ok with it. Not thrilled about it, but it's ok. We'll see if God has any other plans with us regarding that in the future. But for now we're waiting to hear back from Ted {Theo's dad} about a project manager position in Port-de-Paix, in the north of the country. He'd be teaching the people basic hygiene and bringing in medical supplies and medical missions teams from around the world. {Who woulda thought?} It would be a 5 month project, and get a little salary...some other fun benefits too supposedly. Interestingly, I was actually really excited about the possibility of us going, which is pretty much a miracle since our time there in January traumatized me for the whole year. I didn't even want to think about visiting let alone moving there again. But with a new perspective and a different set up, I think it would be an awesome experience. Haiti is going through their second round of presidential elections right now so we're still waiting to see if the grant goes through to MTI so we can go or not. The first round of elections were crazy...causing riots, road blocks and burning tires in the streets. Hopefully this time it's more civil. {probably not, though} So since we've been waiting for about a month now, Theo went ahead and did his lifeguard training and got hired with the city of Ft. Lauderdale as a lifeguard! We're excited and hoping he gets stationed at a fun pool with a little water park. I'd take the girls every day! Hello South Florida! :) The guy who trained him is this super nice guy who apparently loves Theo and loves Jesus {good combo for us!}...and told Theo that if he has to leave and do his thing in Haiti, not to worry that he would have work for him whenever he gets back! Saweeet! Talk about job security! Theo's hopes to do Ocean Rescue and the new boss is apparently the guy to talk to for that as well. He was the chief for Pompano Beach Ocean Rescue until he retired. Then he came back to work and moved on to take over Ft. Lauderdale lifeguard training and hiring. So like the title says...we're see if we're going to Haiti or not. And if not, I've got a hot lifeguard hubby who loves Jesus. Oh- and he's still working at the Harbour church part time....doing his 'churchy opportunities.' :) {Nacho Libre, anyone?}

My girls are growing at lightening speed and it's freaking me out. Stella {who acts like she's 15} will be 4 this year. How does that even happen? I'm talking 1 or 2 blinks here and she's not a baby anymore. Same with my nounouse {ittle bear}. Well, not so little anymore. She weighs more than Stella and they share clothes and shoes now! hmmm?!!! Crazy. And Olivia is already 2 1/2 months old. Didn't I just give birth to her, like yesterday??? No actually, didn't I just find out I was pregnant with her??! All this is happening way to fast for me. I can't keep up. My little ladybugs are going to be little women before I know it. God, help me to remember all of the sweet moments and milestones for these precious ones. {Hence, the blogs for them and abundance of pictures I take of them. Definitly trying not to forget.}

As for me...well I'm in pursuit of knowing God more intimately this year. Already, I'm desperately longing to see Him...literally...I want to see His face. I know I can't, but somehow I'm feeling desperate to just get a glimpse. I've been pretty consumed with having babies and learning to be a mom so I'm trying to give a bit more attention to my need of reading the Bible and spending alone time with Jesus. {Yes, still almost impossible at this point, but given any opportunity I will take it.} I'm also trying to remember my passions and desires before motherhood came around for me. Singing, making jewelry and other creative things...I plan {hope} to make time for those things this year.

For now, chao!