December 20, 2011

Our Story

I have started and deleted this post about three times.

Frankly, I'm too tired to come up with some incredibly creative narrative about Christmas so I'm just going to share what's on my heart.

I don't get to go back home to the states to spend Christmas with my family this year.  To say that I've had a bad attitude about that would be a gross understatement....and I don't use the word "gross" lightly because it's been super gross inside my head lately.  

As you may know, my family is headed to Cambodia to spend time at an orphanage and a center for boys who have been rescued from sex trafficking or are at risk for being sold into sex trade.

Has there been any temptation to pat ourselves on the back for our super act of giving and service?  I would be lying if I said there wasn't.  Pride is a nasty, nasty thing.  But I also know that it's going to be hard in every single way and I was beginning to wonder what we were thinking by going.

It was the day, or three, where I pulled the covers over my head and slept until an obnoxious hour and then proceeded to eat myself into a sugar high before lunch.  That was the day that I realized that I was acting like a spoiled, entitled child.

Not to be spiritually dramatic, but I literally got on my knees on my bathroom rug and begged God to change my attitude.  That was about it because I just didn't want to talk to Him about anything else.  I just knew I desperately needed an attitude adjustment.  

I wasn't instantly filled with a warm feeling of Christmas Joy, but I was aware that if I missed out on Christmas this year it was not going to be anyone else's fault except mine.  Time to put on the big girl panties.

We decided to take advantage of some of what Singapore has to offer this time of year: 

An open top bus ride with friends to see Christmas lights.
Don't let the look on Nathan's face fool you....he spent
the whole night yelling "Merry Christmas" to all the
startled Singaporeans along the roads.

The lights along Orchard Rd. are beautiful and I love
that the department store posts a Bible verse front and center
on their building.

Nathan and I stumbled upon this group while doing
some shopping.  I have no idea what the sign says
but I have a pretty good idea of the story they were

Some slight overcrowding in the mall.

Baking cookies with good friends.....while the sweet
girl reminds Nathan of what he's missing by not
having a little sister.  Yes, she's punching at his
legs with her punching gloves on.

Love all of this, but I only had eyes for the buttercream FOUR different colors.  Be still my heart.

None of the cookies I decorated are on the plate.  That's all I have
to say about that.

The boys wrapping presents for their Dora the
Explorer paper.  They thought it was super funny and 
I was wondering at what point I thought I needed a whole
roll of Dora.

I then got this message from my friend Marla Taviano that we are meeting up with in Cambodia.  Any feelings of pity for myself went flying right out the window.  Who exactly do I think I am?  I read this and then handed my phone to Nathan so he could read it and we looked at each other with tears in our eyes and vowed to buy every magnetic toy on the island.....except they've all be recalled.  No worries...we found some super cool stuff so if even for a moment, Panha can have a childhood again.

Do you have a couple "toys" your boys are tired of that you could bring for our friend Panha (Pawn-yuh). He's 18 and our translator, and I don't have time to share his story (Gabe needs the computer) but he never got to play with toys when he was younger and told me he will sometimes go upstairs at the boys' center when no one is there and play with the toys. His favorite is these little balls and bendy things that are magnetic. Gotta go. Talk soon!

I don't get to go home for Christmas this year but I do get to go meet some amazing people doing some incredible things in the lives of children and I get to play Santa to many of them.  I am very, very blessed.

I stole this picture from Marla's blog.....I absolutely MUST meet 
this child.  That is absolute pure joy.

I know this post has been all over the place.  I wish I could have wrapped up all these thoughts in a nice neat package, but it just wasn't going to happen.  I needed to dust off the 'ol blog because I'm going to need somewhere to share our experiences in the next week and if I don't, my mom is going to ground me.  I'm totally serious....she would.

We have been very open with the boys about what they are going to see and experience including a conversation about sex trafficking.  I am going to be doing a lot of watching and listening to all three of my men as they experience this next week.  I have no doubt this trip is going to impact us all greatly.  Please pray for us and the amazing family from Ohio we are literally meeting in person for the first time when we land in Cambodia tomorrow.  I will share more of their story another time....they deserve a post all of their own.  I am humbled to be serving alongside them.

One last thought.  A couple of nights ago I was talking to the boys about how our experiences in life when viewed in isolation can seem random and confusing.  We talked about when Scot lost his job and how scary that was except that we had faith.  Faith in a God that knew that had to happen to bring us to this exact point in our family's story.  

We talked about how a boy, a virgin girl, an overcrowded inn and a manger are so random and confusing but it had to happen so one day we'd be celebrating the birth of a Savior. 

Wherever you are this Christmas.....know you are not lost to Him.  Keep living your story.


  1. Keri, this was beautifully written, so honest and vulnerable. It is so very understandable that being away from the people you love in the states is pushing you beyond your comfort level, AND I know you, Scott and the boys will have a Christmas none of you will ever forget. I predict your children will be thankful beyond words, someday, for this opportunity of a lifetime. Thanks for sharing your warm and open heart, sister! Enjoy your purposeful plans for honoring our Lord this Christmas!!! :-)

    ~ P. (Patty Rand, ~Bejing~)

  2. I'm excited to hear about your experience. I have been thinking about you since lunch last week when you shared your plans. Merry Christmas Keri

  3. My beautiful friend. You heart is full of God. I am so pleased to call you a friend. Your humbleness and honestly is fresh and real. Your family will be blessed beyond measure this week in Cambodia. My prayers are with you. We all let the world wear on us, this is your chance to let God wear on this old world. Love ya much.

  4. I love you. So thrilled to be with you. Hugs.

  5. Thank you for pulling me out of my Christmas
    "funk" with such inspiring words...I am off the pity pot now and look forward to making a difference for someone tomorrow, loving my children and remembering that He is watching over all of ya girl and Merry Christmas!!!



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