Thursday, July 28, 2011

If I Ever Get Tired of This Picture....

If I ever get tired of this daily picture, then someone slap me.  Just a few more pics from our balcony. Just couldn't resist sharing God's goodness to me with you all.  Seriously, God provided this place for us. No other explanation to it. In case you didn't read about how that came about, you can click here.
These are just some pics that we've taken over the course of a few weeks:

Got to start with this...
What I wake up to almost every morning....

And just a closeup in case you did get the beauty of that sunrise.
And then later in the afternoon...
Taipei 101 just reflects the sun's rays.
I sure hope my life reflects God's light like that.
And then at sunset we enjoy this...
In case you're wondering, Taipei 101 says "Green On"
Cracks me up ONLY because the sky is screaming PINK.
But, don't worry, I get the real meaning of the sign...(in case you don't:
"Be environmentally sensitive...Go Green!")

Just the pink sunset from the other direction....
And one day we had a small visitor land on our balcony to take a rest....
I think he was making his break out of "prison"...
And then on a few afternoons we get some storms.....

Can you see the rainbow? How about Taipei 101?
So, how has God blessed you recently? Have you stopped to take time to thank Him?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Downsizing is a nasty word for many people...okay, I'll admit I used to dislike the idea of getting rid of things. I mean, you might use that ball of string for something someday, right?
And that extra fabric from the curtains...
And those socks with holes would make great puppets...
And...well, you get the picture.

I've been married 12 years on Sunday. We have moved on average every 1-2 years. Each move required boxes and boxes and boxes. After say, the third move I gave up hoarding cold chicken. I was sick of packing and unpacking treasures that I hadn't really looked at since the last time I had unpacked it from the last move. It was like my eyes opened and I saw how crazy it was to have it and not be using it. So, began the downsizing campaign.

It was so freeing not having so much STUFF.

But, after living in our apartment for the past five years, that habit returned with two ugly heads.  I can't believe how much stuff I had collected. Ever watched the Veggietales show with Madame Blueberry and her adventure to the "Stuff-Mart". If you haven't, it's convicting in a sort of funny way.

Anyhoo, at first I was as resistant to downsizing as a child giving up her blankie. I did not want to let go.
Then I bought a book that reopened my eyes to the freedom of only having what I need. The grip hold loosened and the hoarding blanket fell to the ground.
The book? Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider
I really recommend it if you are thinking about living a simpler life. Sort of a step-by-step approach to gaining control of your life again.

What I've learned from downsizing:
1. It's freeing. Really, it is. You don't have to find a place to store the stuff. You don't worry about it, instead you enjoy what you do have. Crafts got cut quite a bit. I used to do LOTS of cross-stitch and other needlepoint crafts, but not in a long time. So, I cleaned out most of the crafty things.

2. It leads to a simpler life. After you downsize your home, you start on your activities and just do the ones that fit your family's purpose statement. This book guides you into making a purpose statement for your family. At first I was a bit skeptical, but after talking with my husband we both can't wait to finalize ours. We tossed the TV and cable already. We now have a simple monitor that is in the "TV room" that plays DVDs. We have both been reading more...and maybe I'll get to do a few crafts, too. Who knows?

3. It frees up the home. It is not so cluttered. I'm still working on this one since we still have a few boxes left that needs to be unpacked and I tend to make piles. But, we are still downsizing. I have a box ready to be taken to the give away table at our old building.
Do you have any downsizing stories or tips for those who battle the two headed hoarding monster?
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My One Word Revisited....(and pics of the new place)

If you have time, you should read this older post to understand what myoneword is all about.  

I had chosen "Secure" as my word. And it has been not always an easy feeling way. Who am I kidding saying "not always"? Actually, it's hasn't been an easy feeling At.All. 

A few months ago began the worst of it so far.  Apartment hunting had started. It seemed that everything we looked at was either out of our price range, too far, or way too small for our family of five.  It was getting crazy.
Then a couple of things happened that encouraged us.
1. Huge donation was given to us to help cover rent. It allowed us to look at housing a bit more expensive, which opened up more possibilities.
2. Financial help was given to help with tuition for two of our kids to be able to attend the Christian school.
3. Gege asked to be baptized.

So, Uwe ended his last day at Bethany. Gege was baptized the following day. And we began to search for housing. We had three weeks before move out day.
Again, our search led us to nothing. We looked online, we walked streets and called numbers, we talked to agents and friends....but there just seemed to be NOTHING.  
Deadline creeping up...15 days left.  We found a housing complex that seemed perfect. There was a park across the street where the kids could play. It was near the subway station and bus station. It was also close to the school.  But, we couldn't move in until 15 days after we were suppose to move out. We considered storing our belongings in one place and living at friend's apartments, but that just didn't seem reasonable.
We were feeling quite depressed. Feeling like maybe we should consider moving to another country or live with our parents for a bit and try to figure out what we were suppose to be doing next.
9 days before moving day we went to a different area of the city to have a look. Our friend had heard of a few places in the area that might work.  It also was near a park. Transportation wouldn't be as easy, but it was near the school as well.  We met a lady that showed us a 3-bedroom apartment. We really liked it, but felt that we needed a 4 bedroom.  We called the real estate agent for this complex about a 4 bedroom. She told us she'd get back to us.
5 days before moving day. Still hadn't heard from the Realtor. The next morning we decided that we needed to call the lady with the 3-bedroom and make an offer. 
I was so sure that God had forgotten us, yet fighting to believe that my security was in HIM alone. That inner battle was at a point of climax as I came to the conclusion that I just needed to accept the smaller place and learn to live in a tiny space. That maybe God wanted to teach me something through that.
But, right after lunch the Realtor called and told us that she had found a 4-bedroom that we could look at that afternoon.  
So, I prayed 2 tiny prayers.
1. That the kitchen would be a bit bigger than the 3-bedroom place. 
2. The view might be a little better as well since the 3-bedroom looked across the street to another building.

We got there and as soon as we walked in we knew that this was it. I almost cried. You see, the view was mountains, river, and well as buildings, but not so close. Also, the kitchen space was larger. My two prayers were answered.  God did want to teach me something...that HE is my security...and that HE loves me dearly enough to answer my two selfish prayers. He didn't have to, but he did.
This place was from God, there is no other explanation. 
Just look...
One of our views from our balcony.

Another view on a hazy day.

The complex we live in.

The playground inside the complex.

Our "backyard"...Qing Nian Park

Love how the sun glows on the buildings in late afternoons.

Taipei 101
For those of you that I've talked to about this do you understand why I've sounded like a high school girl who just got asked to prom by the best looking guy in school?