Thursday, June 24, 2010

First Random Thoughts about the States

After a few fun days of living with my parents we are back in our old house.  (It's a God story I will save for another time, but we are so happy to be here.)  So I thought I'd post some first random thoughts about our lives back here in the States during our furlough.

  • The dishwasher and the garbage disposal at our house are not seeing a lot of action because we honestly keep forgetting we have them. :>) 
  • It's very strange to be able to drink water directly from the faucet.
  • Being back together with the whole family at the airport brought tears to my eyes!  I missed those boys!
  • I am starting to not feel quite so guilty when I pour out the remaining water in a glass.
  • I am happy to once again be connected with internet.
  • I am looking forward to Sandy Cove starting this Sunday.
  • We took the kids to McDonald's yesterday for the first time....even bought them hot fudge sundaes. 
  • We are able to use our Spanish lots as there are tons of Spanish speakers in our area, but I'm afraid I'll loose what little I have...must work on that.  We are thinking of looking for a Spanish speaking midweek church service to attend.
  • The kids (and their mom) can't figure out why there is COLD air blowing on us everywhere we the car, in the house, at the mall.  I had to buy a sweater to try and combat it.
  • It's good to be back with the folks at BRBC and especially to see how many are going on summer mission trips!
  • Joe had a good time in New York at Wading River Baptist Church. 
  • I realize that what I used to call my closet here is actually room sized.
  • We are having fun enjoying our pool....swimming at least 3 times a day!
  • We are eating way too much.  Must start swimming laps.
  • Cooking and shopping are sooooo easy here.
  • "C" on the faucet does not mean "caliente" and it will not be hot.
  • Walmart, Target and Costco are glad we are back for a while.
  • Overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and generosity of family and friends.
  • Deer are the Bolivian street dogs of Virginia.....they are EVERYWHERE even in our front yard which is cool and dead beside the road daily which isn't.  We haven't hit one yet, but are expecting to before the year is out.
  • Fast food really is fast.
  • Movies are ridiculously overpriced.
  • Days are flying by, but we are starting to feel settled in.
  • I miss my friends in Bolivia and those who are traveling in other parts of the States.
  • I look forward to seeing and visiting with friends here over the next year.
  • Americans spend LOTS of time in their cars.
  • People don't have 3 hour dinners here and waiters don't appreciate you wanting to stay that long.
  • You can actually flush the TP...a concept the kids are still learning.
  • A good camera is a good purchase.
  • One of God's best gifts is relationships.
  • I have lots still to learn but am excited about the journey.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Just a quick post to let you know that the two posts below this one were started a while back, but never finished.  I have finally finished them and posted so that´s why they seem out of order.  Soon there will be some other ones that I started earlier as well.  Come back and visit to see what´s happening in our topsy-turvy lives.  It´s so crazy right now I´m posting out of order.  ;^)

Knit Together

Last Saturday I had an opportunity to climb Mt. Tunari...the highest mountain in Cochabamba towering at over 17,000 feet. It was an amazing experience. While hiking up the mountain I had some time to think about the journey between trying to breathe in the little oxygen that is available at that altitude. Two weeks before our quest I broke the middle toe on my left foot. Although it was physically challenging, I did okay on the climb up the mountain, but on the way down, boy did my toe tell me that we were not having fun anymore.

It made me think about the verses in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 where Paul talks about us all being different parts of one body and how we are each dependent on one another. That day climbing up the mountain I knew that my toe was an intricate part of my body and the rest of the body was dependent on my toe to help get me down the mountain. It´s amazing how much my toe hurting affected my whole being. A small seemingly insignificant part of my body being ´out of whack´ made it hard for me to think of much else.

Isn´t that the way it is in the Body of Christ? We are all dependent on each other. We need each other on our climb. We are to work together in order to reach the world with the good news that God loves them. When something is wrong or broken with the least of us, it affects us all...more than we would think. It affects how effectively we can accomplish our mission. It´s not a small thing when a member of the body (or the Body) is broken. We need each part. Each part has a purpose and God put all the parts together just as He wants them. I want to learn to protect the more vulnerable parts of the Body like I do my own body. When something comes flying toward my face, my whole body jumps out of the way in order to protect my face. When I drop something and it´s heading for my toes, my whole body moves out of the way to protect my foot. Unfortunately in the Body of Christ it seems that when one member is hurting or injured we want to leave them behind or cut them off instead of seeing what we can do to help the healing process. I want to see the object flying toward the face or the toes and help them get out of the way.

My journey down the mountain (and even up the mountain) would have been more pleasant if my body had been whole. Even though I limped through it and made it, it would have been so much more enjoyable if part of me wasn´t injured. I´m glad the rest of my body pitched in and carried me through (and let me rest the next day in bed with my toe up). I want to be there to encourage, help and when necessary carry those parts that are weak and hurting along with me on our journey. I want to be able to stop being so concerned with which part I am and what my function is and see what I can do to help the rest of the Body. God, open my eyes to the hurting ones of your Body and give me strength and courage to help them.

Here we are at the top.  Thankfully I had my friends to encourage me or else I might not have kept going.  Thanks Angie and Julie!!  That´s the way the Body should work!  Love you guys.

Happy Birthday Josh!

Today is Josh´s 12th birthday.  Only 11 and one-half short years ago Josh came home to live with us...his forever family.  I am grateful to the caretakers who cared for him before I could.  I am grateful to the doctors and nurses who helped him through failure to thrive, encyphalitus, and pneumonia at his tiny little weight of 3 pound 9 ounces.  I am grateful to his birthmom who chose to have him. 

How blessed I am to be Josh´s mommy.  I can not begin to tell you the blessing that he is in my life.  He is my little buddy.  He likes to just stand by me and rub my back or my hands or my feet even.  Who couldn´t love a kid like that?  He is constantly seeking to serve others.  He´s a good example to the rest of us in the family.

As I think back on those days only 11 and a half years ago that he came home with us from South Korea to become a Holman and live with his forever family, it makes me reflect on how I have been adopted into God´s family. Adopting Josh gave me a new perspective on the passages in the Bible where it speaks of our adoption.

When we first made the decision to adopt Josh, he had no idea who we were or that we even existed, but we knew he existed and we knew we wanted him to be our son.  We chose him and we loved him even before he ever met us or knew who we were.  We made a way to get him to us.  In the same way, God chose us before we ever knew He existed.  He loved us long before we ever even knew who He was much less loved him.  He made a way for us to have a permanent relationship with Him as our Father at great sacrifice.  He put us into his family with all the rights of a born child.  Josh has become who he is in large part because of the parents he has.  Being part of our family has molded him just as being part of God´s family has molded me into who I am.  Josh now loves us, because we first loved him and treated him as a son just as we love God because He first loved us and adopted us into His family and cared for us and met our needs.  Our choosing Josh had nothing to do with what he could offer us, but what we could give to him.  God´s choosing me had nothing to do with who I was or what I could become, it was out of his benevolence and love, it was out of his goodness that He choose me. 

I am so glad to be an adoptive parent as it taught me these things and so much more about the way that God adopts us into His family and how much He loves us.  I am also glad to be an adoptive daughter....adopted by the King.  My girls love to say how they really are princesses, because their Father is the King of Glory.  How true that is!

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Countdown Begins

As of today we have exactly one month until we leave Cochabamba for our journey back to the United States.  I think I will start marking the days off the calendar with big "x"s to make me feel like I am progressing.  I have plenty to keep me busy until I leave, but I find myself easily distracted by daydreams and memories that have come flooding into my life like rain during rainy season.  I think how easy it will be to shop, to cook, to clean, to do laundry.  I think of how fun it will be to eat out, to spend time with family and friends and to share the incredible ways we´ve seen God work in these past three years.  I daydream about how cheap instant oatmeal, cereal, real granola bars, and Dr. Pepper will be as compared to here where we have to have a bank loan to buy such things.  I dream of sitting in Market Street Coffee or in Starbucks with a REAL coffee in my hand.  I can almost smell it.  We could even go out for DECAF coffee at unheard of phenomenon in Bolivia.  I think of all the kinds of soda there are to buy.  I can even afford a whole case of them in the States.  I imagine basking in the red glow of the "Hot Now" sign at a Krispy Kreme Donut Shoppe.  I can taste real Mexican salsa and yummy chips.  I visualize the green rolling hills of Northern Virginia.  I can´t wait to share the Smithsonian Museums with the kiddos.  But until I get there as I said I have lots to do. 

I am a list person so now I am working on a list of all the lists that I need to make.  :)  Our friend, Tim, in the UK asked me to write a blog about our countdown to leaving.  I`m not sure if this is what he had in mind or not, but here goes.  A partial list of things I need to do here before we get on that plane.
  • We need to wrap up certain ministries such as Joe giving and grading his final exam at the seminary, bring to a close his mentoring meeting with the pastors he meets with on a weekly basis, and I need to stop meeting with my language helper.
  • I get to help plan and pull off a baby shower (really a little girl shower) for my dear friend Angie who is adopting a little Bolvian girl.  I am so excited that this is happening before we have to leave since I have prayed for Kaitlynn for a long time now and am thrilled to get to welcome the newest Washington in May!!
  • We want to spend some times of fun and fellowship with missionary friends we won´t be seeing for way too long.
  • I have to pack for everyone.  Packing way more than just clothes.  I have to remember all our important paperwork, gifts for family and friends, reminders of our lives back here at home, and all our school books and work we will need for next year.  Then I have to inventory what all is in each suitcase in case they are lost or stolen in transit.
  • We need to eat all of the food in our pantry...the teens are on this one.
  • We have to finalize our travel schedule as much as possible since we are trying to work in driving thousands of miles to and through at least 20 states to visit supporting churches and friends.  This means trying to work out housing all over the country for our rather large brood.  Not an easy task.
  • I need to write a few talks that I want to share with groups.  We also have a weekend retreat where we will doing lots of teaching/sharing that we need to work on.
  • We need to have a new pic made of our family for prayer cards.  This is no small undertaking either as anyone who has tried to coordinate schedules and wardrobes of 11 people knows.
  • We will be meeting with our Bolivian lawyer so she can tell us what kinds of things we will need to do and what we will need to bring back with us to start our visa process all over again when we get back.
  • We have a voucher for three days in the Yungas (the jungle outside of La Paz) already paid for that we want to use.
  • I need to finish homeschooling for the year.  The kids are still working hard and plodding through, their teacher on the otherhand has trouble staying focused at this point. 
  • I need to make lesson plans for next year so that I will know what books to pack for 8 students.
  • I need to finish shopping for gifts that won´t be too cheesy/touristy for our family and friends.
  • I have to buy all the non-teenagers "Croc" type shoes to wear on our journey.  I figure they are our best choice since for ´security purposes´ we will be taking our shoes off so many times and we don´t care to miss a flight due to putting shoes on 11 people.  Also we can wear socks with these unlike flip flops.  As you see I have thought this all out.  I´m not forceing my great idea of ugly shoes on the teens, but if they miss the flight, it´s their own fault.
  • We want to take lots of pictures to share with the folks back home and also to remember what all we are missing here.
  • I want to eat more silpanchos and papa rellenas, drink more JavaLattes, and work in as much JuiceZen as I can as well as enjoying the wonderful fruits and juices of Cochbamba.
But now I must go and mark April 30th off my calendar.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Woman without a Country

That´s what I am feeling like these days as I contemplate our home assignment. First a little background on what home assignment is. Our mission requires that we go back to our “home” country for 9 months after three years on the field. In May of this year we will have been in Bolivia for 3 years so that means we will have several months to spend in the States reconnecting with friends and family, visiting supporting churches and raising funds to spend for the next several years in Cochabamba. Along with these things we plan on having some serious fun. Unfortunately Joe´s dad passed away last July. He left us a small inheritance and Joe had the idea to use it while we are back in the States by taking a couple of vacations. We wish that we would have been able to go on these vacations with him, but are grateful to him for the opportunity to be able to do some things that we don´t normally get to do living in Bolivia. We already have our tickets purchased and will arrive at Dulles Airport on June 3rd…just one day before my parents´ 50th Wedding Anniversary. It will be fun to be there in person and to celebrate this momentous occasion with them.
Now back to the ´without a country´ part. I think that´s really how I feel. I know I am a foreigner here in Bolivia. I don´t look like a Bolivian and I certainly can´t speak Spanish as well as a Bolivian. There are many things about Bolivian culture that I either don´t understand, can´t relate to or sometimes even don´t like. I know that I don´t really ´belong´ here although I now consider this my home. I also don´t fit so well in my ´home´ country any longer. I have had experiences that have changed me from the person I was. My eyes have been opened to the poverty that is unheard of in the USA. A woman begging at the gate for food for her and her children. She literally cries with gratitude when provided with the food. Boys 8 years old who live on the street and stiff glue to try and escape what has now become their homeless, parentless reality. Churches who meet in the campo (country) under a small wooden shelter on homemade wooden benches and are just so glad to be there. I now know what a privilege it is to have clean drinking water and eat at places where I don´t risk catching a disease, an amoeba, or a parasite. I am thankful for the rare weeks when no one in our family has one of these dreaded critters.

Even though I am looking forward to many things in the United States including but not limited to:

• shopping at Costco for large quantities for our large family
• buying prepared foods and not having to cook every single thing we eat from scratch
• getting to spend time with friends and family I haven´t seen in way too long
• having all my clothes dried in a dryer and not on the line, and while I´m on that subject…dryer sheets!!!
• eating some great Mexican food…actually great foods of all kinds
• not having to bleach/sterilize all the fruits and veggies we consume
• not having to worry that I won´t be prepared for a different cultural situation I might encounter anytime I leave my house
• worshipping in my heart language
• being able to buys books at a real bookstore
• the library
• going shopping without having to take along teens to tote my purchases and provide ´security´
• efficiency, cleanliness, and customer service
• not having to pay someone to watch my car everywhere I park
• heating and air-conditioning
• spending extended time with Seth and Jake
• being able to accomplish more than one task in one day
• drinking directly from the faucet
• being able to return something that doesn´t work or doesn´t fit once I´ve left the store
• not looking so different from everyone else
• Yankee Candle Company
• a dishwasher (that isn´t one of my children)
• Blue Ridge Bible Church
• celebrating birthdays with grandparents
• not having to check the covers or my shoes for scorpions
• a garbage disposal
• malls
• free water at restaurants
• having gas piped directly to our house and not having to chase down a truck to exchange a tank of gas
• good roads
• Bath and Body Works
• being altogether with my whole family for Christmas
• not getting yelled out if I take my baby out in 85 degree weather without socks or a hat on or without her all bundled up in a wool blanket
• going to one Super Wal-Mart or Super Target for all our needs under one roof….yes, ALTOGETHER in ONE place, and INSIDE and HEATED or AIR-CONDITIONED!! They even provide a convenient basket on wheels to carry all my goodies in. How convenient is that?

Anyway I digress. My point is that while I am looking forward to many of the things that I miss in the US the most important being my family and friends, I´m not sure how well I will fit in there anymore. I´m not the same person I was just 3 years ago. I have a whole set of new experiences and see life from a new perspective.

I have a whole list of things I will miss here in Cochabamba while I am in the States including but not limited to:

• Going to the open air market each Saturday where I not only can buy all the fruits and vegetables that we can eat in a week for less than $50, but I also get to see lots of friends as they are there doing the same thing. It´s quite the social event.
• My friends here who are so willing to drop everything in their very busy lives and just have a cup of coffee or a chat when I need them.
• People and relationships being the priority above things and accomplishments
• Learning a better perspective of God as I discover more of what and who He created.
• Going out to eat with my family without having to take out a bank loan.
• When it is necessary to take a child to the ER, we can usually get everything we need done for less than $75.
• Worshipping in Spanish
• Wonderful organic fruits, vegetables, and juices available for pennies year round.
• Living in a big city and being close to everything. We can be at the movie or any restaurant we want to go to in less than 10 minutes.
• The intimate friendships that missionaries form.
• Silpanchos (meat or chicken pounded so much it is flattened on top of a bed of rice and fried potatoes then covered with a fried egg, and topped with tomatoes, onions and peppers).
• Running red lights and ignoring one way street signs…in other words ´fluid´ traffic laws
• Feeling like I am a part of something ´big´
• Public transportation
• Walking, walking, walking
• Seeing everything from a few goats to a whole living room or dining room suite in and on a taxi
• Following God´s plan for my life
• My Bolivian friends
• My little apartment that is “home” to me
• Spending lots of time together as a family
• Being able to afford snacks at the movie.
• Buying movies on DVD before they come out in the theater in the US….and paying less than $1 for them.
• Seeing people excited about what God is doing everyday around them
• Seeing motorcycles used as family vehicles for 5 or more people.
• Feeling part of a community.
• Helping new missionary friends get settled and adjusted to life in Bolivia.
• Carachipampa basketball games

As you can see there are many things I miss while I am here in Coch and many things I will miss from here while I am back in the States. I´m not sure where I ´belong´ anymore. I´m not sure where I ´fit´…. if anywhere. I am a woman without a country. I guess I will choose to look at it positively and say I am a woman with two countries. I miss one whenever I am in the other.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Josh´s Adoption Story

meeting Josh

Joe, Denise and Joshua Han Holman

Denise, Joe, Joshua's Fostermom, his Social Worker

Joshua with his REAL mom!!!

A traditional outfit his fostermom sent home with him.

I started this post on Josh´s birthday a month ago, but due to our move, etc. am just now getting back to it, but it is definitely a story worth getting back to.
In honor of Josh´s 12th birthday I wanted to share the story of his adoption. In 1997 I was pregnant with my 5th child and due at the beginning of July. In January God really began to lay it on our hearts that we should consider adopting. I thought this was strange since I was pregnant at the time, but we had heard stories of how long adoptions took and so we wanted to go ahead and get started on the process and figured I would have the baby in the mean time. I think it had always been in the back of our minds and hearts that one day we would adopt, but it was becoming more and more apparent to us that this was the time. One night in February we made the final decision that we would go for it and would start checking out adoption agencies in our area the next day. That day I went in for my regular prenatal checkup and our sweet baby had died, there was no heartbeat. Jamie our little boy was stillborn at home at 20 weeks. We took the rest of that year and part of the next to grieve our great loss. We were devastated, but we knew that God had been preparing us for something else….for another wonderful gift who was soon to join our family.

During that year God made it more and more clear to us that it was His desire for us to adopt. As we talked to our friends and family about our desire they surprised us by saying that they would like to contribute to our adoption fund. We had not even thought of asking people to help us financially with the adoption, but people came to us volunteering to help and said that they thought that we should give others the opportunity to be a part as well. One family told us that they had heard a program on the radio about adoption and how Christian families should seriously consider adoption and those who for some reason couldn´t adopt should consider financially helping those who could.

In February and March of 1998 we started seriously checking into the option of adoption. In April we found a wonderful adoption agency (AAC in Loveland, Colorado) and submitted an application to adopt from South Korea. We were asked if we wanted a boy or a girl. Everyone assumed that we were adopting because we wanted a girl since we already had 4 boys. We said wanted whichever was fastest. At that time the list for boys was shorter so that´s the list we got on. About this time we also sent out a letter (actually I think it was an email) to just a few friends and family asking them to consider giving to help us adopt. Unbeknownst to us people forwarded the letter to others. We received money from people that we did not even know. Almost every penny that we needed (around $15,000) came in. We were shocked and blessed by people´s generosity and God´s provision.

In July (about 6 months before we expected to hear anything) we got our referral/assignment of a baby. A cutie potootie of a boy who had a rough start. He weighed only 3 pound and 9 ounces at birth. He had a skull fracture, had been hospitalized for three months with pneumonia and encephalitis and was currently diagnosed with failure to thrive. We said yes before we even saw his picture. We had prayed that God would work out the timing of our assignment and that He would prepare just the right child to fit in our family. We had decided to not say ´no´ to any child. We put it all in His hands and boy did He ever work it out. He chose just the right child for us. Josh is a wonderful son, a blessing and a joy to us all.

At the end of August we flew over 17 hours to get our new son who we had decided to name Joshua. Seoul, Korea was a place unlike any we had ever visited. It was modern in so many ways and even more technologically advanced than the US, but with such a rich cultural heritage. The people were friendly and although they were shy they were eager to practice their English with us. It was a great trip as we got to have breakfast in the apartment of the foster mom who cared for Joshua between his long visits in the hospital. He was 6 months old and had spent almost 4 of those months in the hospital. We also toured many of the sights of Seoul and took lots of pictures so that one day we could share with Josh the place where he was born. We stayed in the guesthouse of the orphanage that was attached to a hospital full of beautiful newborn babies. It was nice to meet other families at the guesthouse who were also adopting and getting to meet their child for the first time. It was a place of much excitement. Every day we walked by the rooms full of cribs with only two nurses to care for them and prayed that each would arrive soon in a family who loved them.

I remember the first time we saw our Joshua. We were sitting in the office of the agency with all kinds of hustle and bustle going on. There were people coming in and going out all around us. There were foster moms, doctors, nurses, social workers, other adoptive parents, office workers. There were babies in for check-ups and immunizations, visits with social workers, and all manner of business going on around us when in walks three Korean foster moms together with babies tied on their backs with long wraps much like they are in Bolivia. Right away Joe spotted Josh, he knew him from the pictures we had been sent. Joe piped up “There he is!” and it was all I could do to keep from running over and grabbing him and smothering him with kisses. Due to the reserved culture we were in I restrained myself. Soon we were brought to a room and handed our baby boy for the first time. It was love at first sight. Actually, it was love BEFORE first sight, just like it was for all of our children.

At the end of weeklong stay we were finally able to take Josh with us until now we had only been able to visit with him. We strapped him in a Baby Bjorn on my chest and took off. We were quite the sight I´m sure….two white blonds with a little of a sprout of dark headed Korean baby boy peeking out the top of the carrier with us oohhing and awwwing over him and kissing him over and over all the while with permanent grins plastered on our faces. We went to eat one last meal and were off to the airport. He was finally ours although the adoption wouldn´t be finalized until we were back in the USA.

Amazingly Josh slept the whole way home. Singapore Airlines is the nicest airlines I have ever flown. They had a little bassinet attached to the bulkhead where Josh could sleep. With all the excitement, the time difference, the long journey home, and jet lag we finally made it home to a houseful of little boys so excited to meet and hold their newest brother…a six month old 11 pound bouncing baby boy.

I am so blessed to be Joshua's mom.  I can not begin to express my love for him or my joy to be his mommy.

Joshua Han Holman, March 26, 2010.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Everything I Need to Know In Life I Learned on the Mission Field

  • This life has hardships, it´s good to just accept that and move on
  • The beauty of a word fitly spoken
  • To appreciate the ´little things´ that I miss from my home country
  • Holding hands or walking arm in arm with a friend of the same gender is a good thing
  • Nothing beats the following God with abandon
  • The importance of a needed nap
  • God is at work all over the globe
  • A little encouragement can go a long way
  • I get by with a little help from my friends
  • Cheap manicures, pedicures, and massages are a nice treat
  • Demons are alive and well and still possess people
  • The power of prayer
  • Driving without many rules and regulations is fun
  • Life for people in much of the world isn´t that different from what it was in Biblical times
  • Obeying God is always good
  • Good locks are worth their price
  • I need my cup filled by God daily
  • The Environmental Protection Agency, the Food Service and Inspection Service, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and taxes are all good things
  • It´s wonderful to worship God in another language
  • There´s nothing like worshipping God in your heart language
  • The blessing of having friends who will drop whatever they are doing if I need them to
  • I can kill my own bugs when I have to
  • Many of God´s children are generous and faithful in sharing their money in His work
  • People all over the world still worship and try to appease false gods
  • Police that are not corrupt benefit their communities
  • Drinking tap water in most of the world is a good way to loose weight by getting an amoeba
  • I can over come fears even sleeping on the floor during scorpion season
  • Band-Aids are a great cure-all for all kinds of boo-boos
  • Love is a spiritual band-aid
  • Jesus met the needs of the poor, the outcast, and the down-trodden
  • All kinds of bugs bite
  • The privilege of serving our Lord with my family
  • Teenagers learning to drive in any country is scary
  • Clean drinking water is a precious commodity
  • Having family and friends beside and behind you is a wonderful thing
  • God is calling people into His kingdom daily
  • Being back at home with family when there is a crisis is worth whatever it costs
  • I love living in the age of internet and internet phones
  • Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with people, but it can become addicting
  • American desserts are the best
  • European chocolate is the best
  • Most of what I thought were necessities aren´t
  • It´s not a great idea to eat from street vendors
  • North Americans don´t know what real economic crisis is
  • Our family has more possessions than most villages in the world
  • You get what you pay for
  • I need to let my light shine
  • Sometimes it´s better to go behind a bush than in a public restroom
  • Following Jesus isn´t just a good idea, it is a necessity
  • Towels dried hanging on a clothes line can´t hold a candle to towels out of a dryer
  • Amoeba, parasites and typhoid are free at some restaurants
  • Laughter is good medicine
  • Some of the best ice cream in Cochabamba is sold out of little white vans
  • There´s no substitute for American peanut butter
  • Diversity enriches our lives
  • Learning a foreign language after age 40 is not an easy task
  • Coca-Cola spends some serious money advertising world wide
  • Jesus is the answer for the world today, above Him there´s no other, Jesus is the way
  • Fruits and vegetables bought from a grocery store taste nothing like the real thing grown in the jungle
  • Dishwashers are wonderful inventions
  • Ditto for garbage disposals
  • Co-laborers are a precious gift
  • Possessions don´t make you happy
  • God uses all kinds of skills and talents for his glory
  • How to pack both suitcases and moving boxes like a pro
  • I am blessed beyond belief
  • Toyota Land Cruisers are good vehicles
  • There are still Christian heroes
  • Most of what divides denominations shouldn´t
  • How to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds
  • God loves us just as we are
  • Home is where your heart is
  • There´s no place like home

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine´s Day

This post of quotes is decicated to my man, my love, the only one for me.  I love you Joe!

Love is friendship set to music.  (E. Joseph Cossman) 

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.  (Aristotle)

Love isn´t what makes the world go round.  It´s love that make the ride worthwhile.  (Franklin P. Jones)

True love is neither physical nor romantic.  It is acceptance of all that is, has been, will be and will not be. (Unknown)

When you are in love you can´t fall asleep, because reality is better than your dreams.  (Dr. Suess)

The more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.  (William Shakespeare)

Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.  (Jesus)

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height that my soul can reach...  (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

The best and most beautiful things in the world can not been see or even touched.  They must be felt with the heart.  (Helen Keller)

My heart is always at your service.  (William Shakespeare)

You come to love, not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.  (Sam Keen)

True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.  (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

If I had a flower for everytime I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.  (Alfred Lord Tennyson)

I hope you don´t mind, I hope you don´t mind, that I put down in words, how wonderful life is that you´re in the world.  (Sir Elton John)

When I grow up I want to marry a man like Dad.  (Faith Holman)

Love is a journey, not a destination.  (Unknown)

Love is not just spiritual communion and passionate embraces.  It´s also three meals a day and remembering to take out the trash.  (Dr. Joyce Brothers)

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour.  Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute.  That´s realitivity.  (Albert Einstein)

The proof of true love is to be unsparring in critcism.  (Moliere)

Romance is the icing, but love is the cake.  (Unknown)

True love is like ghosts which everyone talks about but few have seen.  (Francoise de la Rochefoucauld)

What the world needs is more love and less paperwork.  (Pearl Bailey)

We are not loved because we are valued, we are valued because we are loved.  (William Sloane Coffin)

We can not do great things, we can only do little things with great love.  (Mother Theresa)

Do you love me because I´m beautiful or am I beautiful because you love me?  (Oscar Hammerstein II for Cinderella)

Love is like a river, never-ending as it flows, but it gets greater with time.  (Unknown)

I hope I am best friends with my wife like you and Dad are.  You have a great relationship.  (Benjamin Holman)

Love is like salted water, the more you drink, the more your thirst increases.  (Unknown)

Love is not love if it is conditional.  (Unknown)

....and there´s always this one....

Forget love, I´d rather fall in chocolate.  (Just kidding honey!  I love you more than chocolate and you KNOW how much that is!)

But my favorite is this....

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly it does not seek is own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrightousness, but rejoices with the truth; Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails; but if there are fits of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowlege, it will be done away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when the perct comes, the partial will be done away.  When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reasoned as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.  But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.  (1 Corinthians 13)

I love you Joe with all that I am.  I love you more today than the day we were married over 25 years ago and that´s nothing compared to what I will love you in 25 more years.  I am so blessed to be able to spend my life loving you.  You are one great gift!  (Denise Holman)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wishing for less, but grateful for more

Today I find myself wishing for less...
  • less poverty in the world
  • less weight on my body
  • less flies landing on my face
  • less children dying
  • less hatred
  • less clothes in my closet
  • less gossip
  • less rain so that my clothes can dry on the line
  • less malice
  • less stuff to pack up before home assignment
  • less scorpions in my house
  • less flooding in our house back in Virginia
  • less flooding in our house in Cochabamba
  • less water balloon throwers during this ´Carnival´ season
  • less papers on my desk
  • less waiting time for all my friends trying to adopt
  • less distance between me and my oldest two kiddos
  • less pain in the world
  • less talking bad about the other political party
  • less emotional moodiness from me
  • less harsh words spoken too quickly
  • less worship of false gods
However I am grateful for more....
  • more than enough money to provide food, clothing and shelter for my family and to share with those in need
  • more kids than most people have....each such a blessing for me
  • more friends than I deserve
  • more in love with God than ever
  • more than enough good chocolate, tea and coffee to share with my friends
  • more time with my husband than when we lived in the States
  • more dreams for our ministry here in Bolivia
  • more passion in my life
  • more than 70 monthly supporters of our ministry
  • more Spanish language than before
  • more time with my kids than most people have
  • more than one set of clothes which is way more than many people in the world
  • more books on my shelves than I can read
  • more room to grow in my relationship with God
  • more love that covers a multitude of sins
  • more missionaries going into the harvest
  • more ways to keep in touch with friends and family than in other times
  • more compassion for those living without hope
  • more laughter
Here´s wish you less and more too!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Quick Quote from Faith

On New Year´s Eve we were playing Apples to Apples with the family.  Faith drew a card and loudly exclaimed, "That´s just gross.  That is soooo disgusting!".  This grabbed our attention so we looked at her card.  It read "Strip Mall".  hehe  Yet another cultural thing that she has no idea of.  We all got a good laugh from it.  It will be fun to show her what a strip mall is when we go back to the States this summer.