Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On being a tenacious doberman...

So my pastor has told me for years that he thinks of me as a tenacious bulldog (I took the liberty to change it to doberman because of my own dogs!). Although I have wondered at times how to take that, he has assured me he means it in the best possible way. Thanks Keith! His point is, I think, that I go after things full force & don't let up. Good when you're following God; maybe not quite so much when you are just being stubborn!

I'm hoping that this is one of those times that it helps to be so determined. We have bought our one way tickets to South Africa and submitted all our paperwork to the embassy for our 3 year visa. Of course, things can't just flow oh so smoothly! Got a call from the embassy that: 1) We need the police clearence instead of the background clearence, 2) we need chest x-rays to clear us of TB instead of the skin test, & 3) they don't have our application form with all the paperwork we sent in! Yea! Off to a great start! Amazing they don't have the application form, since that's what my phone numer is on to call me, but I ain't about to argue with the man that has the next 3 years of my life in his hands! I may be tenacious, but I ain't dumb!

Some very dear friends of ours are going through similar things, but on a much bigger scale. They have being going through an international adoption for the last 2 YEARS! Every step of the way, there seems to be a roadblock; yet they know what God told them, so they keep walking forward. Sometimes you have to jump the hurdle, knock it over or find a route around it. They are my heroes and I pray that their journey ends with their girls arriving in the states soon!

So to all you tenacious dobermans (or bulldogs) out there, go for it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Doing what we know...even when it doesn't make sense

So, it's been a while since I updated. Ups & downs along the way. No luck yet on selling the house. Actually, even worse than that. Found out there is a leak under the foundation. No money to fix it, can't sell it like that, etc., etc.

So, after much prayer and a word from God, we are doing the only thing we know. Keep walking forward & rely completely on God. We are working on getting everything together for our visas, reserving airline tickets and making plans to move the first week of January.

Not sure how this will play out with the house. But although it's scary and nerve wracking, there is no better place to be than totally dependent on God. When I remember that I'm just Carla & He's God, it sure helps.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Waiting on God to move...

Yes, I mean that both ways. We are waiting on God to move. And, we are waiting on God, to move.

We are down to the wire and just waiting for our house to sell. So, God has to move in this, so we can move. Is there anything harder than waiting?

Please keep the sell of our house in your prayers. We need a contract now!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Living a minimalist life!

Sure hope that is spelled right!

So, we are down to just the 2 bedroom suits, TVs and a couch. Well, a microwave and dryer too! But seriously, I just have mine and John's closet to go through and Rae's clothes. Then, we need to weed down even further to what will fit in the suitcases and plastic tubs. In the mean time, we are using plastic forks, paper plates and my one good Caphalon iron skillet! If we can't cook it in that or the microwave, too bad!

It's actually pretty darn nice! But could someone please tell me why the house still gets messy? Seriously?????

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Just a big shout out to my parents on their special day! They have been married 31 years, I think! They forget how long too, so don't get on to me ;)

I am thankful that my mom made the decision to marry my dad with all the baggage 3 kids entails, especially since we were pretty much hellions! Good thing she didn't really know what she was getting into!

And, a big thank you to both of them for showing us what a loving marriage and family could be, even with all the trials and tribulations.

So, although I doubt they read this, just wanted to thank them and wish them many more years together.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Romans 13:1

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Ok, elections are over. So,regardless of who you wanted to win, now is the time that we as christians unite in prayer for the leader of our country.

Would love to hear the christian talk shows talk about this! Ha, like that will happen!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

Today is election day in the good ole U.S.of A. Can't say I'm overly excited; although it will be a historical election with either the first black president or first female vice president.

I've voted in every presidential election since I turned 18. But this year, I just can't get overly excited. Still voted, but just not excited. Maybe I'm just tired of the endless ads and bs.

Guess I can be excited that it's almost over!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

God does answer prayers

Tday is a special day. It is my granddaughter's first birthday! She is an answer to prayer. You see, when we first decided to move to SA for full-time mission work, my greatest fear was that my daughter would get pregnant right before we left and I wouldn't be here when the babywas born. When I told my daughter Carmen this, she told me they weren't trying, but they weren't NOT trying either. I started getting excited and she reminded me that with her first, it took almost a year to get pregnant. Well, I reminded her that God could do anything! So, I started praying.

A little more than a month later, she was pregnant! Thank you God! And of course, I was hoping for a girl (she deserved one!). Either would befine, but I really wanted a girl! She not only had the most precious girl I have ever seen, but I was also there when she was born.

The next morning, as I was thanking God, it hit me that we would be moving before she could really remember me. I just started crying and God gently reminded me that He has answered my prayers for her to be here. So I prayed that He would create a special bond between us that would last. A spiritual and emotional bond that would be life-long.

I already see that happening! Every time she see Mimi, she smiles and jusmps to me or comes crawling. She cuddles up to me and is just the most precious thing in the world. God is so good! So I thank Him today for this very special child He has brought into our lives. And I thank Him for answering my prayers. I know it will be so hard to leave her when we move, but I have faith that God will continue to strengthen our relationship even when I am half a world away.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More unusual things about me...

Of course, after I posted for my tag blog, I thought of so many more unusual things! Guess I don't do well in the moment. So,here are a few more interesting (or not!) things about me.

1. I read the obits every day. I critique them and love to find the really unusual ones and read them to others. My kids think I'm morbid and my hubby says I better write my own before I die so he doesn't have to. But seriously, it is so cool to see what people write. My fave was one about a guy who said he was the only boy with 3 older sisters who made him go to the store and buy cigs and tampons for them. It prepared him for life. It was so humorous and you could see the guy was loved and quite a character. Nothing like a good obit!

2. My favorite movie of all times is "It's a Wonderful Life". Love it! Must watch it every year, at least once! My kids all hate it because I have made them watch it with me. Now, they refuse. But what a great story! If we all knew the impact we made, wouldn't we try to be better people? Even the little things make a difference. And seriously folks, isn't it a wonderful life?

3. My dream job growing up was to be a model. Ha! Like that would ever happen! Once I was grown, my next dream job was to be a flight attendent. I even tried to apply at Southwest once. Got my headshots done, application all filled out, reference letters, the whole bit. Drove to Love field and right before I turned in, there was an announcement on the radio that Southwest had a hiring freeze for the first time in it's history. Bummer! Then, years later, my husband had just finished a year of barber school so we could work together. One of my customers told me she had worked for Southwest for years. I told her of my dream years earlier. She said she had a card that she could recommend someone & it would get you to the 3rd interview, which is just before the hiring. She was willing to give me one and recommend me. Bummer again! Just couldn't after all we had been through to get hubby through schol so we could work together. Oh well, God knew what He was doing!

So, there ya go! A few more things about me!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ten Thousand Homes Web Launch

Hey guys! Wanted to share with you what our organization is doing to spread awareness about the AIDS crisis and how you can be a part of change. Below is an email from our director of communications regarding the new website launch and ways you can make an impact. Please take a moment to read and if you are interested, please contact TTH. Also, please click on the link to Dave Henry's website at the side of my page. His latest blog is about the time he has spent is SA and it is very powerful and insightful! Blessings!

Hi Friends,
We want to introduce a new way for anyone to engage with the Orphan Crisis in Africa... COMING SOON...A NEW WEBSITE!!! On DEC. 12 people from all over North America will be helping to launch our website & a new logo in their very own homes. You can be one of those people! It's another way for you and your friends to get engage with the orphan crisis in Africa.
Want to Help? Here's how!
-Host a Ten Thousand Homes party in your home, apartment, dorm room, gathering place or place of worship on Dec. 12 & help launch the new website! (
-By Donating $100 we will send you a Home Kit complete with 10 t-shirts, 10 stickers, plenty of brochures, & other surprises
-Invite at least 10 friends & encourage them to donate toward Ten Thousand Homes
-Check out the website and give us your feed back
What better place to capture what Ten Thousand Homes is about .... bringing people into your home to share the story of those who have no home!
By hosting a Ten Thousand Homes Web Launch Party you are not only engaging with advocacy, but also with action!
If you're interested and need more details, please contact email David at
Thanks for joining us,
Ten Thousand Homes

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm so proud of myself!

I learned how to post links to my friends blogs! Please check them out when you get a chance. Each of these friends have a unique perspective on the world around them and I enjoy reading what is going on in their lives!

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by my friend Jen! The rules are you have to list 7 unusual things about yourself and then tag 7 people. Not sure if I know 7 with blogs to tag, but here goes!

1. I was a tomboy growing up. Loved hanging with the guys, playing football, climbing trees, all that stuff.

2. Failed only 2 classes in school - home ec (sewing) and p.e. Yep, gym class! Refused to play softball because the coach wouldn't make the girls play right, so I didn't dress out all semester and failed. Thought my daddy was going to blow a gasket!

3. I make a mean coconut pie!

4. I love football! One of the few things about fall I really like.

5. I'm a cold weather wimp! Below 70 is cold to me and I can't stand it! Also don't like air conditioning! Could completely live without it!

6. I love to read. I read on average 2-3 books a week. Anything fiction, I like. Romance, mystery, classics, historical romance, doesn't matter. It can't be to small. I like getting to know the characters and it needs a good plot. Character development is very important and if I find an author I like, I will read all their books!

7. Hmmm, last one. Not sure what to say on this one. Besides, can't tell you all my secrets! ;)

Ok, now who to tag. Let's see if I can make this work!

Sherri, Zac & Anneke, Brett, and Rae. That's all for now!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Moving is Hard Work!!!

Moving is always hard work. But moving to a whole nother continent is even more than you can imaging. Wow! Seems like we spent the first hhalf of this season building up our relationships, both here and with the team we will be joining. And of course there was just the whole emotional aspect of it. Wrapping your mind around all the things you need to lay down can be overwhelming at times. It hasn't been unusual for me to just start crying as I think about either someone I am leaving here or just how things will be changing. And through all that, we have been raising our support base so that we can be full-time missionaries. All that while trying to work a full-time job and then just normal life. Whew!

I just thought that was the hard part! Since I have quit my job about a month ago, things have been really hectic. Now the reality of all the physical preparations is in full swing and I am so tired! I have spent 4 weeks of non-stop cleaning the house to get it ready to sell, sorting through all our stuff to have a huge garage sale, trying to condense our possessions to fit into 6 suitcases and 3 plastic totes and tyring to maintain all our relationships with family, friends and financial partners.

There's something to be said for doing things like this in your youth instead of waiting until you are not quite so young like we are. Seems like the roots are a whole lot deeper the older you get and it is a lot more work to dig them out! I can imagine how Abraham felt! Lord, I'm too old for this!!! Not words that come out of my mouth very often, but sure have been thinking them lately!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Relationships and the Shack

During worship Sunday, I really felt like I was more focused on all I needed to do for the move than on my relationship with God. I know I'm supposed to be focusing on Him, but sometimes, life is just overwhelming and I lose focus. Ever done that?

So, my first reaction was, "But God, I have so much going on, How am I going to do that?" and then there was the guilt thing too. After a few moments of just being quiet, I really felt some peace. And then I was reminded of The Shack. Wonderful book! If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

Anyways, in the book, their grace before the meal is just the 4 of them talking. And I realized, that's what God wants from me. And what I need from Him. Yep, the morning quiet time is good, but ultimately, it's about an on-going dialogue with God. If I just had 30 mins. every morning with my hubby, I sure wouldn't feel like I had much of a relationship with him. Same with God.

So, what it was that got me on Sunday morning was that I was missing that on-going, all day conversation with God. I've just been too caught up in the things going on around me and need to remember that God is right here with me all day long.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


So I have to admit, I wasn't the most obedient kid. I know, you are all really surprised ;) I was always very agreeable, just did what I wanted when I was away from my parents and figured what they didn't know, wouldn't hurt them (or me). I just never really understood why they would give me stupid rules (my opinion,of course!) and what the big deal was when I wasn't hurting anyone or myself.

It really wasn't so much a question of not behaving. I grew up very independent and when my dad got remarried when I was a teenage, things changed. I couldn't understand why the rules had changed and was not happy about it at all.

So, in my walk with God, obedience has been a struggle at times. It has taken some time and understanding of who God is that has helped me to walk this out. When I look back and see how He has made things so much better for me, I have learned I can trust Him. It hasn't always been easy, and I am not perfect at it, but I know God has the best for me. It makes it a whole lot easier when I don't understand why He has asked me to do something. I can look back and see how He has come through before. And, I can remember how bad I have screwed up before I let Him into my life!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My boy

So, today I take my boy to meet with his potential new owner. Yes, it may be an answered prayer, but I am just about sick to my stomache. I have been praying for wisdom and discernment all night. I really hope she is the one for him and vice-versa. I need for him to go to a good, loving home. Still, heart-breaking.

In the big picture, it's one more time of saying, "Yes Lord". Whatever He has called me to do, whatever He has called me to lay down. I want to be obedient. I want what He has for me. But something really, really hurt. I know, God will give me more than I can ever give up, but right now, the hurt is real and front and center.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I forgot.....

Football!!! Especially my Dallas Cowboys! Wow, how could I forget that?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

Other than family, friends and relationship, here are a few of my favorite things that I'm sure I will miss!

1. Dr. Pepper
2. Mexican food (well, at least Tex-mex)
3. Summers in Texas (Yes, I love the TX heat!)
4. The sound of loqust in the summer heat
5. Lightning bugs(do they have lightning bugs in SA? IDK)
6. Half-Price Bookstore
7. My Tv shows like Grey's Anatomy, House, Dexter, My Name is Earl, etc.
8. My electric blanket
9. Starbucks
10. Calling my friends when ever I want

I'm sure there will be more and somethings probably won't mean that much once I get there, but as I was driving home the other night, I heard loqust and just started thinking about some of the small things we take for granted!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What am I going to do?

So last week I was reading the weekly update from our ministry in SA. They shared about a little baby whose parents died 5 days after he was born. Probably AIDS/HIV related, which means he will more than likely have health problems also. He is currently staying with a neighbor woman who has kids of her own and she is sick too.

My heart just broke. Who will love him? Who will hold him and rock him? Who will see that he gets the meds he needs? Will he know he is loved? Will he know God has a plan for him? What do you do?

So, what in the world am I going to do when we are living there and see him face to face? Or the hundreds and thousands like him? What do you do? God give me strength and continue to break my heart like yours is broken.

(BTW, if you are not getting weekly updates from Ten Thousand Homes and would like to, email me & I will have youput on the email list. May your heart be broken too!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I want to live like there's no tomorrow

September 10th. Hard day. Lost my brother 6 years ago today. Massive heart attack at 42 yrs. old.

Man, life is hard sometimes. As hard as it is, I really do enjoy it. Yet there are some days that you just think, wow. You know that song that goes, "..I want to live like there's no tomorrow, I want to dance like there's no one around..." Well, I think sometimes, when you have experienced a sudden death, you realize that there are no guarentees. We aren't promised tomorrow. So what do you do with today? That's how I want to live. Don't always, but man, to do that,to think, "Today is what I have to make a difference."

No fear of what others may think of me, no fears of messing up, no fears of looking like an idiot or of people thinking I'm nuts (theyall ready do, so hey!). Just to follow my Lord and let him direct my steps. Just making a difference with what I have in front of me, right here, right now.

So if you knew, I only have today, or this week, or 3 months, what would you do?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Read any good books lately?

I read alot. I mean,really, alot! Like average of 3-4 books a week. Mostly fiction, stuff I can just escape into. Love a good story,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pictures from Previous Trips

So I won't write too much this time, thought I might try to post some pics from previous trips. Tell me what you think!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Another week gone by!

So after posting my last blog, I clicked over to see how it looked. Wow, was it long! Ok, so obviously it needs to be shorter, or no one will ever read these! I'll try, but it's like talking; once I get started, it's hard to stop.

Few ups and downs this week. First, I have been emailing with a guy who was very interested in my male doberman. He seemed to be a good fit. Policeman, has 2 dobe females (one who looks just like Gracie!), used to do Search and Rescue with his male who passed last year. He wanted to meet him this weekend. Then, yesterday, he sent an email that his wife was going back into the hospital and after some thought, decided he didn't have the time for him. Heartbreaking. Have to believe that God will find him a good home.

Also this week, my sister has not sounded good at all. She said she was very weak and couldn't catch her breathe. We were very worried that she had pneumonia. Well, today, she had her blood work done and everything is good. Blood oxygen levels are normal and they think it is just side effects of chemo. So, she is clear to start her next round of chemo next week. Praying that it goes well and for complete healing of her tumor.

Don't remember if I mentioned in my last post, but I have put in my 2 week notice. Exciting because it means we are closer to the move. Yet it has been sad as I have been saying "Bye" to some of my customers. Some of them I have been doing for about 13 years. That's hard. Someone asked if I would miss doing hair. I don't think so, but I will miss a lot of my customers, many of whom have become friends over the years.

Ok, short as I can get it!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


There is so much more to preparing to move half way around the world than you can imagine! Of course, you have to weed through all of your "stuff", decide what to sell, what to chunk, what to pass on, and what to take. Since we aren't shipping, that leaves us with only 2 suitcases a piece and maybe a tote each. Little hard to condense your life to that! Especially when you consider the things you have to take, like home school material and computer things and then you have to decide which clothes to take (since the seasons are different, that's harder!), and then see if there is any room left to bring things that you might need right away or things that are just hard to get in a different country! Whoo, makes you tired just thinking about it!

Of course, there are things that you just have to take, haha! Like my good Caphalon iron skillet! Can't leave home without that. And wondering how many books and movies we can take since we won't have TV. Got to have pictures too so you can cry over everyone you are leaving behind! Wow, it's getting harder and harder to decide!

Really though, this is the easy part. Last week, I had what I call my week of mourning. Sure I will have more, but this was the hardest and longest so far. I am looking for a home for my male dog and I would just look at him and start crying. Didn't help that he was being even moreloving last week. Think he may be realizong something is going on, since I am cleaning out the house and everything is out of whack. Or he was just being very sensitive to my mood. Any ways, it is heart breaking to know I have to find him a home and praying somebody will love him and appreciate him as much as I do.

And then there is the whole grandkid thing. My grandson starts kindergarten Monday, which thankfully I will be here for that. But my granddaughter has just gotten to the point where she recognizes me and when she sees me, gets all excited and comes right to me. Thinking about missing her first birthday and Christmas is gut-wrenching. Praying she will start walking before I leave so I don't miss that.

Then comes the thoughts of family and friends. Yeah, it's hard stuff. I know God is faithful and He will bless us, but right now, it really hurts. The blessings are coming and I keep saying "Yes, Lord. But I really need to cryright now."

I am so thankful that God gave us emotions and that He made us in His image. I know He feels my hurt and is comforting me. I am realizing that this is a process and that I need to go through this instead of stuffing it down or not dealing with it.

So, that's where I'm at for now!