Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blessings Abound

I got a call last week from my boss, asking me if I would be willing to change the bus run I was assigned. I LOVE the kids I drove, but I knew they desperately needed help, so I switched. And here's the cool thing...the new run is longer. This means more money! YIPPEE!!!! And it is not any more difficult, although the reason they moved me? There is a girl on the new run who HATED the old driver and really gave her a hard time. Me, she doesn't seem to FAR. Let's hope it stays that way! I thought she was as good as gold yesterday. She isn't riding the bus today. We'll see how tomorrow is! :) But I am thankful (a day early for Thankful Thursday!) for the increase of income is at least $50 a week! That is HUGE, to us!!!! And you know what? I think it is all those people praying for us, who linked over from Linny's blog, for the Crazy Love challenge! So...THANK YOU if you prayed. It DOES make a difference!!!!! Keep on prayin' folks! We're coming up to April Vacation and no school (plus no school on Good Friday!) And then it's 7 weeks, and then summer, so no work again. AIYIYIYI! :) Go, God!!!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Memorial Box Monday I go. If you want to find out what this is, go to Linny's blog, ! Anyhow. This is my first MBM post! Back in January of this year, I was not feeling at all well. I kind of chalked it up to too much crazy, wonderful, not-so-very-good-FOR-me-but-oh-so-yummy food consumed over the holidays. But as one week went by, and we moved into the second week of January, and then on toward Martin Luther King weekend, I still did not feel well. By Sat. of that week I was in some pain, didn't want to eat or drink, and was kind of miserable. By Sunday night, I was shaking with a fever, then chills, and running a pretty substantial fever. Which says a LOT, since I almost never have a fever, and run about 97 degrees normally! Monday morning found me calling the Dr., that afternoon I had my brother drive me there (which ALSO says a lot, since I am Miss Independent). I went from there to the Emergency Clinic, where they immediately did a cat scan, put in an IV, started me on pain meds and fluids, AND antibiotics, and after 2 hours put me in an ambulance headed for the hospital. First ever ambulance ride, first ever hospital stay. Such excitement.

This all happened right after Christmas vacation. Where the kids had no school. Thus I had no work. So I had JUST gotten my FIRST paycheck of the new year the Friday before MLK day. And now? Out of work for TWO weeks. Not good, friends...not good at all. We live LITERALLY hand to mouth, and usually have $15-25 a week after paying rent and utilities each week, to live on. This was devastation!

But the mailbox was a envelope with a note from my landlady...please do not worry about being late with the rent, and please only pay 3/4's of the usual amount! BUT GOD!!! And then...received a call from a friend from church inviting us to dinner. In talking to her, she discovered I had been ill. About 30 min. after hanging up the phone, it rang church calling to see what they could do. And when I finally went to church that following Sunday, I was handed another envelope...containing $100 worth of grocery gift cards. BUT GOD!!! And so, to start this off with a BANG, I have TWO things for my at-this-point-in-time non-existent Memorial Box! God is good...ALL THE TIME!!!!


Paid in Full!

Easter week. This title has such deep, significant meaning to all Christians! Paid in full...our debt of sin, that weight that would take us to hell for all eternity...paid in full by the atonement of the Sacrifice, Jesus. Paid in full. Eternal life...folks, this earthly life? Just a training ground...a missions field. As a Christian, the Bible tells us we are pilgrims in a foreign land, strangers and aliens, citizens of Heaven. We're just put here for a very temporary amount of time, compared to our eternal life! Some day we'll just walk through the doorway from earth to heaven, and God will ask, "Why should I allow you into Heaven?" And the answer? "Because the blood of YOUR Son, Jesus Christ, covers us, and we are as pure as snow." And his reply? "Enter in, thou good and faithful servant!" Oh, the joy!

And in our little world? Beyond that most SIGNIFICANT meaning....ShaoXi's tuition, $4900, for Nutmeg...paid in full! We serve a great and mighty God!!!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Crazy Love/Chip In

So...I added a chip in to my blog. And here's my thoughts...I want to (OF COURSE!!!) tithe and more out of what may come in through that...and so...I am going to seed some right back into people's lives and bless them! May not be much, but again...if everyone did a LITTLE, a LOT could be accomplished! This world would be a different, far better place. And although I did NOT mention it before, on my post I linked to Linny's heart is LONGING...which is a very inadequate description of how I REALLY go on a missions trip, either to help out Bill and Lyndsay in China, at Morning Star Project, or to Uganda, either (or BOTH!!!!!) with Dw or Linny, or to help out Katie at Amazima Ministries. Oh, how I would truly LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to do that!!!! So...just thought I'd give you a reason why the chip in is up. Figured this was the best way to enact this crazy "Crazy Love" lifestyle! :) Not to mention a few people wandered in from the linky and mentioned it would be easier! :)


God is GOOD!!!

Well...our Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God (love this, Linny!!!) had provided! Shao's godmother is going to pay most of the balance of Shao's tuition fees for the summer Ballet Intensive course. There is a remaining balance of $950. Go, God!
I am excited to see how He will meet this need. There is a part of me that says this is a lot of money, and just think of how many orphans this could help, etc. And then God fills me with His peace, and I KNOW that this is the right thing to do. This is NOT just something ShaoXi thinks would be fun. This is her LIFE. She is a ballerina. That is her goal. God Himself gave her this extraordinary gift and she truly wants to share it with the world. She is longing to go back to China and teach little orphans to dance! How cool is THAT?!?!? We are hoping to go back in 2 or 3 years. We are going to begin to collect hand-me-down dance wear, so that we can give it to the little girls in China, and then teach them to dance! And I have committed myself to helping this child reach her goals. I committed myself the day her aiyi placed her in my arms and she was no longer an orphan, but a very beloved child...of mine and of God. I believe with all my heart that this child must dance. I think she would rather dance than breathe.

SOOO...I am thankful, so very thankful for Gramma Donna & Grampa Ron for investing in this child's future. They are laying up treasures in Heaven, I do believe!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Crazy Love!

My friend Linny, over at , had a amazing idea. Sharing with one another, giving above and beyond, enacting CRAZY LOVE! So...I will be looking for folks to help. But also...I will be posting MY needs.

I am a single mom, having adopted my daughter ShaoXi from China 12.5 years ago. In 2003 I lost my "real" job (based on the stockmarket...sigh), and ever since we have scrambled every month to survive. I interviewed countless number of times, to no avail. SO...I have done: babysitting, cat grooming, elderly care, housecleaning, substitute teaching, to name a few (okay, maybe most...but I think I'm forgetting some!) In 2006 I finally sold my sweet little home, because otherwise it would have gone to foreclosure. I was so happy to own my own place. I had a wonderful 13 years in it.

ShaoXi and I moved down to my hometown, and for the first year I was actually too ill to work for any length of time. But things got better, and I found a part-time job driving a special needs van for our local school system. I actually love my job, as I love kids, and I also love to drive. So that part is all good. is part-time. I make about $1300 a month. My rent is $1000. We live in CT...nothing is cheap here. Nothing.

So...I guess my needs are to SURVIVE. I manage to pay the rent, and keep the bills up fairly well. But it leaves about $15-20 a week to live on. Not an easy thing to do. And summer is coming. There is no school in the summer. I will get unemployment, but that is to the whopping sum of $219 a week. This does not compute...not even enough for rent, in the summer. Things are just tough. But we are blessed. The other night during devotions my girl and I were discussing how VERY rich we actually are! We have a roof over our heads, food to eat (thanks to the local food bank and food stamps!!), clothes on our backs (we LOVE hand-me-downs!!!) and best of all we have our faith, our Jesus.

We attend a Christian Missionary & Alliance church, Christ Chapel, here in town. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my church!!!! They put on a VBS that is unbelievable, and I will be helping with that. I just joined the church at Christmas, so just got "safe place" trained, and hopefully will soon be called on to help in the Nursery, and with Children's Church. Can't wait! In our old church I was the children's Choir director, and SS teacher for 5th grade. Members of our church are starting a summer camp in honor of their son Dustin, who died a few years ago at age 18. ShaoXi & I are both going to be counselors at the camp, and are SUPER excited about it! Their main mission is to teach kids about Jesus! Yeah!!!! Oh, and yes, we DO tithe...and truthfully? It's all because of Linny & Dwight! I decided soon after we began attending Christ Chapel that this was a directive from God that I had better listen to...and while I can't remember exactly, it was something Linny wrote that prompted that life changing decision. :)

So...that is our story! Really, we are blessed. But you know? There are times, where I wonder just how we are going to survive this month! God is so very faithful...I can see His hand working in our lives over the years, and it blows me away! It is such a testimony to my child to KNOW that God provides for her, that He uses the hands of His people to care for us, that people actually DO listen to Him, and are willing to be His hands and feet here on Earth. That is just beyond amazing to both of us.

Blessings...Nancy (email:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This girl of mine!

This girl of mine is amazing. Truly.really.amazing! Two weeks ago she prayed to ask Jesus into her heart. Part of the prompting of this was that a girl from our church spoke during worship service about her experience as a counselor at the recent get-away weekend for Jr. High kids. She was absolutely on fire, and shared with us her experience of leading one of the girls to Jesus after an evening chapel service. Shao was really taken with Jackie, as was I. But I didn't know this until that evening, when she told me.

And Shao had lots of very deep theological questions that I found difficult to answer. And while Jackie is not going to be able to answer them, either, I sensed it would be good for Shao to get to know someone a bit older than her, who loved the Lord and stood up for the Gospel. So I called our Youth Pastor, who is THE BEST ever....really, I absolutely adore this young guy! Such a heart for God! And SOOO much fun!!!!!!!!! And oh my, when he preaches? You could hear a pin drop, unless we are all laughing ourselves silly. Anywho...Ryan hooked Shao up with Jackie, and they spent all of the Sunday School hour AND the regular service talking and reading the Word and praying. Shao came and sat next to me right as Communion was being served, leaned in and said "Mom, I LOVE Jackie!" Cool beans! It is my hope that they will continue to get together as possible, and really form a bond. So wonderful!

And I think that all this has played into her new way of looking at things. She was a BIG TIME worrier, and now? Not so much. And she has been praying that IF God wants her to attend Nutmeg this summer, that He will work it out, and if He does not, that she is fine with that. FINE with that? WOW!!! Fine if her dream does NOT come true. Folks, THAT'S God working in a tender and open heart! YIPPEE JESUS!!!!! (as precious Linny would say!!!)

At the risk of being judged, I will say that we have recently begun family devotions TOGETHER, and it is so wonderful. I regret all those years we COULD have been doing it and didn't. Right now we are reading from a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book for mothers & daughters. Some great little stories in there. And girly? Well, she is DEVOURING the Word of God. I got her a New Living Translation, at Ryan's suggestion. It is also a Bible that is actually geared toward teenage girls, with little stories and pictures, etc., here and there throughout the book. How cool is that? :) Since it is easier to understand, she is LOVING her Bible time! :) Makes a mama's heart sing!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Merit Scholarship!

Miss Shao received a $2450 scholarship (half the fee) for the summer session. Way to go, girl!!! Of course, that means that same amount is still owed! YIKES! Praying for a miracle!!!! Cuz we sure don't have it, nor will we in the foreseeable future. GO, GOD!!!!!


Saturday, March 20, 2010


Back the very first of the year, I asked ShaoXi's ballet teacher about the course we should follow for her, particularly in the summer. In the world of Ballet, it is all about who you study under, and also what EXTRA things you do. There are what's called "Intensives"...which means full days of dance instruction, for a week...or two...or more. These occur in the summer, and are very expensive, indeed!

When I questioned Miss Diana about this, her first (and only) response was "Call Nutmeg!" Nutmeg Conservatory is the best Ballet school in CT. It has an actual high school boarding school, where students take regular classes from 8:30AM t0 12:30 PM, then spend the rest of the afternoon, and often much of the evenings, learning to dance. But they also do summer sessions, Summer Intensives. And they have one that is 4 weeks long, from the 26th of June through the 23rd of July.

So...way back on Jan. 6th I sent an email to the principal of Nutmeg. And never heard back. And in the past few weeks, Shao's teacher has been hounding her as to whether we had heard. So this Monday I sent ANOTHER email, forwarding the first one, as well, and received an email back that night. I called on Tuesday, we played phone tag, finally connected on Wednesday, and the upshot was a private audition with the principal today at 10:30AM. She danced for him for almost 2 hours. And was unequivocally accepted into the program...EXCEPT...we have no money. And it is $4900 for the 4 week program. If I am willing to drive her up there every day, and not have her live on campus, it is "only" $2900. It is an hour and a half drive each way. Sigh. Mr. Alexander (principal) is going to speak to the scholarship committee this week, but according to him, it is very limited. We are praying. Shao is very calm, she said that if it is God's will for her to attend, she knows it will work out, and if not, then it is not where she is supposed to be. Sweet girl!

But it was an honor to be granted the audition, and an even bigger honor to at least be accepted into the program! According to Mr. Alexander, Miss Diana "raved" about ShaoXi, so that is nice to know! I could tell he saw that she definitely had a gift, and potential. And so...we wait. And pray. And watch to see what God will do. I am supposed to hear this week about the scholarship possibility. Would you be so kind as to lift this up to our Heavenly Father? This child is so very gifted, I cannot help but feel that this is something I need to pursue, to help her reach her goals, no matter the cost (Um...within REASON!)


Thursday, March 18, 2010

What's my excuse?!?

I don't have one. Not really. I can't pinpoint a reason why I have not blogged. It's certainly not because NOTHING has happened in our lives. Because things have. And one of them was the very best thing ever. I had the humbling, precious privilege of leading my child to her Saviour. Shao asked Jesus into her heart at age 2, but even though her heart has been very soft and malleable, she just didn't quite feel CERTAIN that she was saved. And so we talked, and then we prayed, and the difference...OH, the DIFFERENCE. She looked up from that prayer time lit up from within. It was amazing and wondrous, and joyous. She floated through the week, looking for opportunities to be a light to her friends, to everyone she came in contact with.

I thought she WAS happy. I have always marveled at what a happy, loving kid she was. But the DIFFERENCE!!!! It is a little like the difference in MY life, when I adopted her. I had always thought I was happy. I had a sweet little house, a bunch of furry babies, I gadded about whenever and wherever I wanted. I was away lots of weekends. I could skip supper if I wanted to, or eat at all crazy times, or nap when I got home from work...whatever. And THEN...I became a mother. And my life took a 180 degree change...and I learned what true happiness was! Oh, and along the way, a few other lessons: exhaustion; patience; you name it, Shao taught it to me. All except despair. Cuz this kid...she is pure joy to parent!

I am thankful that God stepped in and "interrupted" what seemed to be my peaceful, self-centered life. What an amazing privilege!


Friday, March 5, 2010

I cried today

Let me quickly dispel any fears on your part, and advise that they were happy tears. And for those of you who haven't met me IRL (in real life), I cry ALOT!! Just ask Shao. Ah, the joys of getting older. set the stage, the front page of our regional paper featured our town. And not for any good reasons I could determine. To further set the stage...I live in a town on the shoreline of CT. I grew up here. My child is growing up here. Much of my family has ALWAYS lived here, while I moved away for many years, and only moved back 4 years ago. But I love it here, with all its faults and problems. And lately? They have been legion.

It started with a police scandal, the likes of which rocked our town. These officers sworn to uphold the law (not all mind you, but MANY of our small sized force!) were breaking the law in a myriad of small and BIG ways. It was unsettling, upsetting, and frankly, to me, disgusting. I KNOW some of the retired officers and their families, who served when I was growing up here. They are GOOD people, and were just as horrified as I was.

That being said, many were fired, a new chief and several new officers have been hired, and things are moving forward. Let's fast forward to New Year's Eve, 2009. There was a party held, in a home, supposedly with adult supervision, for many kids in Shao's grade, grade 8. Oh, how thankful I am that my little girl was not there...not that she was invited...another reason to be thankful. So...apparently several boys decided rape was not such a bad thing, and forced themselves on a girl...a girl the same age as my precious baby! And it was NOT with any consent, I am assuming, as they have all been charged with unlawful restraint, first degree sexual assault, injury to minors, and on and on. And every few days we hear about another boy being added to the arrest list. They are all expelled. They are all in juvenile detention. They will all, forever, be listed as sex offenders. They have all totally ruined their lives. And that poor little doesn't even bear thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So...where were the parents who were "supervising" this event? That question certainly begs an answer. And furthermore, where were all the OTHER kids? Did NO ONE step up and say "This is wrong!" and take a stand, and do something? I mean, this defies imagination, in my book, really it does. I just don't GET it! I don't.

And tears? I began thinking on all of this horror, and began thanking and praising my Heavenly Father for the child He entrusted to me...this priceless, precious treasure that I am laying up for Heaven. And truly, she is one of the few that moth and dust and decay cannot touch. And you know? I have often wondered if she REALLY "got it." If she truly understood how I felt about my Jesus, about my God, about my faith. Was she just mouthing the words? Was she going along because this was all she knew right now? But you know what? I don't think so. She wants to go back to China someday, to share the gospel! I really don't think that is the heart of a child who doesn't get it, do you? Oh, I am so blessed. I fully believe that MY child, had she been at that party (perish the thought!), would have stood up and stopped it. I fully believe she know the difference between right and wrong, and WANTS to do the right thing. I have always told her that God has entrusted me with this huge responsibility of raising her for Him, and that I DARE NOT fail Him in this! But I also believe that HE is guiding her, far more than even I. That the Holy Spirit works within my child's life in ways I can't even fathom.
And so...I cried today. Tears of joy, thanksgiving, praise. I love you , Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

And so it begins...

I have a teenager. That fact has recently become abundantly clear. Oh, not because of any teenage attitude, thankfully. But...last Saturday night, I drove 4 giggly, loud 8th grade girls, mine included, to Friendly's. To have supper. Without me. Without any parents AT the restaurant. Where they met up with two BOYS!!!!! Yeah, 2 on 1...gotta love those odds! :)

They had supper, didn't destroy the restaurant, didn't get kicked out, and were driven home a few hours later. 3 of them came home to my was loud here. They were giddy, they had a blast, and fun, and that was that.

Now, we have house rules. And one big one is we do NOT date until we are out of highschool! And for the most part, Shao is okay with this. Because she is a smart kid, she realizes that this boy/girl thing can be very time-consuming, very emotional, and very distractive to school and whatever else you participate in (in our case, dance, MANY hours a week!) Obviously I do not consider this "dating." Although two of the kids ARE "dating." Which according to Shao consists of ocassionally going somewhere with a bunch of kids and eating, or bowling, or whatever. And MIGHT consist of talking on the phone, or Facebook. And probably does NOT include talking to one another at school, or having lunch together. Too funny. Actually, apparently the term in vogue is "going out." And my question is always, "Just where are they GOING?" And Shao's reply is "Nowhere!" Silliness...ah, to be 13 again! :) I DO encourage having lots and lots of friends, and it is my sincere hope that many of them will be boys. I DO, obviously, encourage well-planned group get-togethers with large groups of kids...mind you, well-supervised ones. And it was a little nerve-wracking to leave them off at Friendly's. But they were told to NOT leave the building under penalty of death, and that since I frequent that restaurant, that I do NOT want to hear of any bad behaviour next time I went in!!!!!

So...we'll see how this house rule rides over the next few years. I am nothing if not reasonable with many of these, and I may change it, if I feel it is okay to do so. I think that she has enough on her plate, what with 4 days a week of dance, school, where I expect her to do her best, and where she usually is on the honor roll, if not the high honor roll. And it's only going to get more hectic. And then there's volunteer work we do in the summer, and Ballet Summer Intensive Sessions. She is a busy girl, and these are the things that will stand her in good stead in her future choice of careers (being a prima ballerina, as it stands now.) But she is an exceptional kid, and we'll see. I still think that it is hard at a young age to handle the emotional aspects of an intense romantic relationship.

Recently I gave her the go-ahead to begin wearing more than mascara. She does a very nice job of it, and it looks natural. She is thrilled. This was a privilege that she knew she MIGHT get in high-school, but not before. But I knew I could trust her so it was a gift for "GOTCHA DAY." She was so cute...I gave her a makeup bag filled with lash curler, makeup, etc. She looked up and said, "THANK YOU, Mommy, but I can't use these yet." And I replied, "Oh, really? Who said?" At which I was proclaimed the best mommy in all the world, and hugged and loved on beyond reason. Love that girly of mine! I become even more careful and watchful of this treasure God has entrusted to me. It is SOOO hard to let go. I am working on it. She is patient. It will only get 'worse.' Give me strength, Lord!!!


Monday, March 1, 2010


Yes, I's three weeks away. But leave me alone to dream, will ya? I truly hate winter...I hate the ice, the cold, the inconvenience of it all. I long for sunshine and warm breezes, and flowers everywhere. I'm okay with it all til Christmas is over. And then I grit my teeth and tell myself "Only TWO months! You can DO this! You can survive!" When March arrives, I let out a huge sigh of relief. Yes, I know it can snow in March...AND April, too! But, it usually doesn't stay around long. The warming air and increasingly more intense sunlight melts the snow away within a day or so. This I can deal with. There is hope. There is a light at the end of a dark, cold tunnel. Spring. It. is. on. it's. way! Yippee for SPRING!!!!!!
My front garden, Spring '09