Overnight

“It’s not going to happen overnight…”  This simple phrase is used on a very regular basis in our home.  In fact, I am convinced Trey created this saying.  Can I just be honest for a minute?  I wish some things did happen overnight.  I wish when I went to bed with a messy house, the house would decide to clean itself overnight.  I wish as we continue to improve in our second language, a quick nights rest would allow me to wake up to speaking Creole fluently (minus the KY accent).  I wish I could do an afternoon of exercise, and wake up with toned arms and a marathon ready body.  I wish when a trip is planned, the next day it would be time to go on the trip!  Let’s face it, we live in a world where nothing happens overnight.

Everything takes time.  Throughout Scripture we are able to see how different our view of time is compared to the Lords.  2 Peter 3 teaches “with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day.”  We are told to number our days and make the most of them, for indeed they are passing quickly.  I wonder, if I allowed my perspective to shift for a moment, what could I learn if I saw things from my heavenly Fathers viewpoint?

How often does he say to me, “My dear child, you have no idea how quickly things are actually happening!  One or two years of your life is so incredibly small compared to my plans for eternity.”

Is what feels slow and drawn out to me, truly lightning speed in the eyes of my Father?

It is crucial that we make the most of our time, no matter how fast or slow it seems to be going.  Often, my frustration over a lack of “overnight” change causes me to miss the joys of waiting and simply being.  The Lord could have begun and completed His plan for His people “overnight”, but He didn’t.

Instead, we have been given hours, days, weeks, and years.  Time to endure and persevere.  Time to delight in Him and bring glory to His name.  Time to be His children and rest in that alone instead of longing for time to change.  It is shocking for me to think today marks our 2 year anniversary of living in Haiti.

My mind is blown by the fact that we will welcome our son into the world in less than 4 months.  I am amazed my college years are now simply a memory.  When we stop to look at key events and memories in our lives, it is then that it seems like it was just yesterday!

Perhaps it was simply “yesterday” when we look through the lens of eternity.  In the moment, nothing seems to happen overnight.  But, when we stop to examine, we can’t slow time down enough.  Are you staring at the clock longing for the minutes to just pass on by?  Or, are you holding tight to the reins and longing to slow time down for just a minute?  Don’t miss it, this is the time and day the Lord has chosen you to be a part of, fast or slow, thank Him for it and delight in His time.

 

 

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Christmas Time Here in Haiti

Although it is not technically Christmas time, the past several weeks here in Haiti sure have felt like it was Christmas!  Before I explain, let’s allow “The King” himself to serenade us while you read this post.

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs.  It fits this post perfectly, instead of thinking, ‘Christmas time pretty baby,’ I sing, ‘It’s Christmas time here in Haiti…’

Mountain Maid is a self-help project connected with Baptist Haiti Mission.  It exists to provide a sustainable income for families in Haiti.  Several artisans who work with Mountain Maid are members of churches connected with BHM.  The products sold at Mountain Maid in turn, help support families within the local church.  It is also a huge outreach for discipleship and spreading the gospel.  I work regularly with a group of ladies who make handmade jewelry from cereal boxes and other recycled items.

As the holiday months approach we have begun creating Christmas ornaments and garland out of the cereal boxes as well.

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Instead of the crazy colors from Lucky Charm boxes or the rich cream colors of Honey Bunches of Oats, our boxes have been transformed into everything Christmas!

There are three main items being made from the cereal box beads: Ornamental Balls, Candy Cane Ornaments, and Christmas Tree Garland.  You can view these items by clicking here.  There is not a picture of the Christmas Tree Garland yet, but it will be coming ASAP!  It has been a blast getting in the Christmas spirit with the ladies, even if we are a few months early.  I have continued to learn a lot about Christmas time in Haiti, and have had the opportunity to share a great deal about Christmas in the states.  The Candy Cane ornaments have been the topic of several conversations over the past few weeks.

Candy Canes are not common in Haiti, and they are definitely not associated with Christmas.  It took a bit of convincing to convey to the ladies why exactly we would be making “sticks” as they call them, and people would actually buy these for Christmas.  A few years ago I was introduced to the story of the Candy Cane through a Children’s book:  The Candy Makers Gift.  This sweet story became an instant favorite of mine and was able to use it as a tool to share the gospel during a few Christmas mission trips to Vietnam.  The book brings to attention many wonderful features to the Candy Cane which make it the perfect Christmas treat:

1. “J” – The shape of the Candy Cane is the first letter of Jesus’ name, the reason for Christmas!

2.  Red – The red on the Candy Cane shows us that Jesus shed His blood for us because we are sinners.

3.  White – Because of the shed blood of Jesus, we are made pure, blameless before the Lord.

4. Hard Candy – The Candy Cane is hard, like a rock, the Bible tells us Jesus our rock, the firm foundation on which we can stand.

5.  Shepherd Staff –  The shape of the Candy Cane also forms a shepherds staff, Jesus is the good shepherd, He protects His people and pulls us toward himself.

Over the past few weeks I have enjoyed sharing the story of the Candy Cane with the ladies as they worked tirelessly making their Christmas “sticks.” I don’t predict that Candy Canes will take over the markets of Haiti anytime soon, but nevertheless the message of Christ through a simple piece of candy has made an impact in Haiti as well.

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Please take a few minutes to browse the Christmas items featured at the Mountain Maid website.  Christmas ornaments are used year after year, consider what a gift it would be to know your treasured items are not just a blessing to your family, but by purchasing them from artisans in Haiti you are blessing families a world away.

To whom it may concern:  Trey & I are heading to the states this Saturday!  We will specifically be spending time with family before the baby comes.  If you would like to order some Christmas items or jewelry for yourself, family, and friends please let me know: csalter327@gmail.com.  If we do not see your personally to deliver your order, we can at least place it in the mail while in the states which will help save on shipping internationally.  Can’t wait to hear from or see you soon! 

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Living Life Like the Movies

We have become DVD crazy since moving to Haiti.  We have a television in our house, for one reason and one reason only, watching DVD’s!  There are ways to get “regular” t.v., but up to this point we have simply decided we do not want to make the financial investment.  Instead we hit up the $5 movie bins at Wal-Mart when in the States, and we keep our Amazon Prime account hopping by purchasing DVD’s online and having them sent to our home in the mountains of Haiti.  I must say I have learned a thing or two from all of our movie watching.

#1.  I do not like to pick out movies.  This is not to say I do not have an opinion on the type of movie I do or don’t like, I simply enjoy the surprise factor.  I got lucky and was given a husband with a gift at picking some pretty good flicks.  Although most of his picks deal mostly with ex-CIA agents, though there is the occasional chick flick thrown in every once in a while.

#2.  I do not like to read reviews on movies, see previews, or even read the back of the DVD case.  This “sneak peak” ruins the movie experience for me 9 times out of 10.  Perhaps the previews reveal “a surprising twist” that happens in the life of the lead character.  Well, rather this “surprising twist” happens at the beginning or half way through the movie, I anticipate it the entire time and miss all the highs and lows in between.

#3.  If I have heard a basic summary of the movie, I think I have it all figured out and I do not allow the director to take me on his intended journey.

Because I know these things about myself, I take certain precautions in selecting and watching movies.  I wonder, what would it be like if I lived my life like I watched movies?

What would happen if I released control of “picking out” the way things were supposed to go (#1)… instead of having to have a say in each and every little thing, I was simply content at times to let things be.  What would happen if instead of trying to do each moment exactly right, I simply enjoy the surprises that arise day after day?

What if I sought to enjoy the highs and lows of each moment instead of waiting for that “surprising twist,” (#2).  If I am not careful, the experience of living will reach its close, and the joy from daily living will be missed.

Last but not least, what would happen if I honestly sat back and let the Lord take His leading and directing position and I followed His journey, no strings attached (#3)?  After all He has great plans for His children (Jeremiah 29:11).  The Lord is at work among the nations, there is none like Him (Exodus 15:11).  And, the best part, He has written us into His script!

You know, people always say, “Life is not like the movies.”  But, I think it could do me some good to start living like I watch movies.

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Sweet Lorraine

If you have ever checked out “blogs we follow” on this page, you may have noticed one of my personal favorites is Women Living Well.  Throughout the month of September, Courtney (blogger of Women Living Well) and 3 other ladies are joining together for a series of blogs entitled “Ignite the Fire.”  Each Monday throughout September the ladies will post a blog about a particular  topic which will take a biblical perspective on igniting the fire in marriage.  Since learning about the September blogs, I have been very excited about this first Monday post.  I am pleased to announce I was not disappointed.

You can read each of these blogs here!

If you are in your first year of marriage or 50th year, each of these are worth the read!

To Love, Honor, and Vaccum has been my favorite  blog post so far.  Blogger Sheila discussed the importance of enjoying our marriage and striving to be in the moment with our husbands.  True confession, this is often a struggle for me as I find that a majority of the time my brain is constantly on the go and is difficult to “shut off” and simply be.  Sheila shared the following video on her blog:

Oh Sweet Lorraine
I wish we could do
The good times
All over again

                                Oh Sweet Lorraine                                 
Life only goes around Once
But never again

What a precious reminder!  What is the “take home” point I have chosen from the marriage blogs I have read today?  I choose to enjoy and embrace my marriage.  I am so incredibly thankful that the Lord saw fit to make me the bride of Trey Salter.  If you still have the gift of your husband this side of heaven, enjoy him!  Seek to experience all the good times you possibly can.  Perhaps the Lord has already brought your husband home, praise the Lord today for the good times you had and the gift of today.

Thank you Trey for being my favorite person ever!  On our happy days and our “slightly agitated” days, I am blessed to be your bride.  Here’s to all the good times we have had and will continue to have, life only goes around once, let’s live it to the fullest!

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Sweatin’ Saturday

A set of light weights, check.  Yoga mat, check.  Exercise DVD, check.  Maternity exercise attire, check!  This fine Saturday I am one happy pregnant momma.  Let me explain…

Since finding out about our little man I have become highly intrigued by the world of fitness.  This interest is not in an effort to remain a certain size, but simply to make sure I am doing all I can to keep myself taken care of in order to care for our little guy.  I have read article after article of ladies running half-marathons and other incredible feats late into their pregnancy.  I was not even doing that before pregnancy, let alone now!  Instead, my goal is simply to maintain.

I exercised prior to pregnancy and I hope to continue along the same route throughout the next few months.  I am telling you what, my entire outlook on the day changes drastically after a good 30 minutes of cardio and about 10 minutes of strength training; not to mention, putting on some fun exercise clothes and movin’ a bit helps me not feel as though my stomach is taking over my body.  A month or two ago I stumbled across For Two Fitness on Facebook.

This page has become one of my favorite places to visit lately.  I love seeing pictures of momma’s working hard and fitting fitness into their lives, pregnant and all.  Not to mention they have the cutest exercise tops I have ever seen!  A few weeks ago Trey surprised me with a gift card to For Two Fitness.  And to my surprise, my new tops arrived yesterday!

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I love love love love my new gear!  Thank you Trey for the special treat!  As my body is changing, my t-shirts and shorts are simply not cutting it anymore.  My new tops are incredibly comfortable and they hug just right throughout my entire work out.  Not only do they feel great, but I am a sucker for the baby feet on the belly.  They are a wonderful reminder that my workouts are for more than me!  Power Walks and What to Expect When You’re Expecting: The Workout DVD are my go to places for my daily “sweating for two” time.

What did you do/are doing as you prepared physically to welcome your little’s into the world?  I gladly welcome any suggestions!

 

 

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