Saturday, September 29, 2007

I'm Tired!

Well, I don't have much to say at the moment because I'm tired.  Thursday afternoon, my sister and bro-in-law dropped off their 5 kids (ages 1, 3, 5, almost 7 and 8) here on their way out of town.  The youngest 2  spent the nights with my parents but all day yesterday here.  So for the day yesterday I had 6 (when Mik was at school) or 7 kids to take care of.  Thankfully they all get along well and it was very fun. 
But now I'm back to taking care of my 2.  And I'm tired.  : )  But I have a whole new appreciation for the fact that my kids sleep in until at least 7 in the morning!!!  : )  And I still don't know how my sister does what she does...  but that's nothing new!  : )
I'll leave you with a verse I read yesterday that sums up so much in so few words.  May God help you to...
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men [and women] of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love." 
(I Corinthians 16:13-14)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thank You Beth!

Beth Moore and her daughter have a blog over at Living Proof Ministries and I love it. Today in particular she wrote something and I think she was talking to me. So rather than write anything today I'm just gonna send you on over to her place so maybe you can be blessed to. CLICK HERE. Cuz I'm sure I'm not the only one God was talking to. : ) Blessings to you Friends! ~Melissa

Monday, September 24, 2007

God is Good

Lowell and I came home yesterday from our Annual Marriage Immunity Booster Conference. (It's actually Hume Lake's Fall Couples Conference #1, but my name for it is so much more descriptive, don't you think?) It did rain most of Saturday afternoon, which meant we didn't get to shoot shotguns or go on the GPS Adventure (follow GPS coordinates to get to the prize) and we skipped the rainy extreme Bocce tournament b/c taking a nap was just a lot more enticing. But the most important pieces were all there... A really good speaker (I'll talk more about him in a minute), awesome worship, lots and lots of good food and meals shared with a lot of neat couples we'd never met before and time for Lowell and I to be together and learning and thinking about our marriage. It might not be a cheap weekend, but we've determined that our marriage is absolutely worth investing in and this is a great place for that to happen. Unfortunately, I don't have any great pictures to show you b/c we left our camera at home and Lowell's phone wouldn't work. Oh well. The speaker was Pete McKenzie from Southern California and he was so good. Our favorite quote from his sessions was this: "Life is difficult. But it's more difficult if you're stupid." Nice, huh??? But the thing he said that hit me the hardest was that we have to choose between the path to Pleasing God and the path to Trusting God. I wasn't sure where he was going with that at first, because I've always tried to do both. But he explained that STRIVING to PLEASE God depends on our own efforts and focuses on our failures and trying to fix our sin and do everything right. But TRUSTING God starts with humility and repentance and lets God do the work of changing us and changing those around us. It says "I'm standing with God and my sin is before me and we're working on it together" instead of "I'm working on it..." He also mentioned that to "Be Still" means to "Cease Striving" which means so much to me especially since I wrote a song back in July called "Be Still". So, I'm going to be learning for a while about how to trust God without the striving. Striving to be better and do everything right is as natural to me as breathing so it's going to be a hard habit to break, but I'm trusting God to do it because I know I can't do it on my own. And I can trust Him. God is good and life is good when I'm walking with and waiting on God. Even when it's difficult.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hume Lake here we come!!!

Lowell and I leave today for one of Hume Lake's couple's conferences. This is the 4th year in a row we've gone. I'm very excited and hoping it doesn't rain too much. Mikaela and Toby are going to be staying on the Friesen Farm with my sister Coleen and her fabulous family. If you want to have an idea of what we'll be doing, after you finish reading this, click HERE and scroll down a little. Then click on the Fall Couple's #1 Video link to watch a video of last year. Pay attention and you'll see me in a black sweater shooting a shotgun (yes, I promise that's me) after a few seconds of the video starting. (And I'm not doing the skeet shooting range again this year b/c my arms get too tired holding up the gun. Yes, I'm a weakling.)

And if you have even more time, click on the tab up at the top of their page where it says "Fun" and select "Video archive" and watch some of the videos they have produced over the years. Funny stuff!!!
OK, Have a nice weekend everyone! I'll be back next week to tell you about everything Lowell and I learn!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Me and My Big Mouth

Hi Friends! I haven't been blogging as much lately, but thankfully not just because of Blogger's Block and worrying about what people looking at my blog for the first time will think. (So far I don't think there's been anybody visiting it other than all of you regular faithful... uh... Readers o' my Blog anyway. Phew! Pressure's off!) We DID finally get our actual copy of the Christian Leader this week. It's fun to see what I wrote in there and funny that at least one friend of mine was reading it thinking "Hmm... this lady is saying a lot of the same stuff Melissa was talking about..." realizing at the end that it was in fact me again. I've been busy these last couple of weeks. I'm working on a project for a friend and I'm actually getting paid real money for it! Amazing! And I'm playing around with another business idea that I'll tell you more about one of these days. So in addition to normal life stuff I have some new things to do. It's really nice to have some other stuff to think about, but definitely leaves me with less time to blog. I'm also going to have some opportunities soon to share some of my music at church! : ) I'm very excited about it (and a little nervous, of course!) I'm praying for more opportunities to sing and share because I feel like God has done so incredibly much for me and everyone needs to be encouraged in this life... I've been reading in 1 Corinthians about the body of Christ and thinking that if God made me to be a mouth, I'd better not keep quiet. (Oh, the FUN (at my expense) my family would have with that comment!!!!!) But it's true. And I can't sing my songs without talking about what they mean and where they came from and how I hope they encourage or bless others or God. At church last week God was challenging me to start asking Him for opportunities to share because that's the dream He's given me. I want so badly to tell people (mostly women) about how good He is and about the FREEDOM He offers and longs for us to experience in this life if we will let Him untangle the lies our hearts are holding on to... So anyway, I'm grateful that next month I'll likely have a couple of chances to do that. Yay! (Are you brave enough to ask Him to make the dreams He's given You come true???)

Monday, September 17, 2007

GREAT will be your children's peace!

What a promise! This morning I read in Isaiah 54:13 "All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace." It reminded me of something Keith Martens said yesterday at a seminar I attended... That the Bible alone cannot save us. (What??? It almost seems heretical, doesn't it?) He went on to talk about the Pharisees who knew the Words of God better than anyone (maybe ever) and yet they didn't recognize God in the flesh when He was standing right in front of them. Their knowledge of the Word didn't save them. It takes the Holy Spirit of God opening our eyes so that we can KNOW with experiential knowledge (not intellectual belief alone) the Truth so the Truth can set us free. The combination of the Spirit of Truth and the Word of Truth is powerful, dynamic and life-transforming! So back to the verse, I was reminded of how much my kids need to learn to be taught by the Lord--to hear His voice and to know the Word, so they can know His peace now and all the days of their lives. I know they will have struggles, much as my mother's heart wishes they didn't have to. But I know that they too can learn to find God's peace even in the struggles and that peace is the most profound peace I have experienced. Just a bit of what God's speaking to me about today... Blessings to you! ~Melissa

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I Only have a Minute...

Because Mikaela is setting up a card game for us to play even as I sit here, so I have to hurry. I had a lot of things to talk about until I started writing and then they all ran away as fast as they could (probably chanting "You can't catch us! We're all of your good ideas that will inspire your readers and make them smile!" though I don't know how that could be chanted.) Mikaela is ready now. One last thing. I got to talk on the phone last night with my sister-in-law Carmen who is living for Jesus in Thailand. And SHE has already gotten a copy of the Christian Leader magazine for this month and got to read my article. Funny thing is, we haven't seen it yet. Somehow it gets to Thailand faster than to Fresno. : ) Who knew!?! Have a great Saturday everyone! ~Melissa

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pachelbel Bedtime

Thank you Stacie for sharing this with me! Now I can share it with my little bloggy world (maybe...) I laughed and laughed. All you with little ones out there are sure to enjoy this!

Lowell Says I'm Famous Now

Well, I know they were having some printing issues last week, but as far as I know, this month's Christian Leader magazine (put out by the US Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches) is out and on it's way to wherever it goes. I haven't seen it in paper yet, but it's on their website. Click here if you want to read what I wrote. : ) (As of November 1, 2007, this link worked.)

If you can't find it or open it, click on "0 comments" below and leave me a note with your email address and I'll email it to you.
I'll likely be talking more about it in the near future, but for now I'll just let you read it. There is so much more I wanted to say but couldn't because they have, you know, other articles to print and all. It was an incredibly challenging experience, but most of all I hope it encourages people to really think about what they and their kids are feeding their hearts. I might come across as overzealous, but I would so much rather err on the side of being too careful than too careless.

OK... I'll save the rest of my soapbox speech for another day. : ) And just for the record... I have no idea who those people in the picture in the article are.

Have a great day walking with Jesus!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I don't know what to say.

Well, I'm sitting here thinking I should write something on my blog because it's been a couple of days, but I'm suffering from a bit of Blogger's Block.  I think it's because the article I wrote for the Christian Leader has (as far as I know) been printed and is on its way to coffee tables all over the continent maybe even as I type.  And at the end of the article it mentions my blogsite (in the bio info.)  And Lowell thinks that people will read the article and check out my blog.  Hence the Blogger's Block!
I don't really expect tons of people to look at it, but nonetheless, it's a bit scary to think about.  I was quite comfortable sharing my thoughts (silly or serious) with the handful of friends and family I know read it and even random strangers from around the world who occasionally find it through comments I've left on other blogs.  But this is different!  I don't have the fabulous Connie Faber editing my writing here and what I blog about is just off-the-top-of-my-head stuff, not carefully outlined, organized, drafted, editted for hours and finalized.  Augh! 
Well, I expect that mostly people who already know my husband or me (but didn't know I had a blog and want to know what's going on in our lives these days) will be the ones who maybe look it up.  (If you are one of those people, let me know!  Leave a comment!)  I sincerely hope that CL readers who don't like what I wrote won't come just to leave me grumpy comments because that would make me very sad.  : )
So, I'll just get over my self-consciousness (cuz, you know, it's that easy. hah!) and keep doing what I'm doing and pray that if God wants anyone to look at it they will and if he wants them to come back that they will and that whatever He wants me to write, I will.  Because whatever He wants is what I want most of all.
And just in case anyone reads my blog who doesn't know me or Lowell already, I'm going to post (maybe tomorrow?) a blog version of my Mennonite lineage and who I'm related to and who my husband is related to because you never know...  we might be connected after all.  J
Have a great Monday everyone!
J  ~Melissa

Friday, September 07, 2007

The New and Improved (not really) Honeybee Blog!

Don't worry...  only the name has changed!  As you can see everything else is, well, almost exactly the same.  I thought of the new name the other day and liked it, thinking it's a bit more ummm...  casual? and English?  than the old name (La Miel de Melissa), which was pretty if you knew how to read it in Spanish, but probably not so pretty otherwise.  And like I said way back when I started this blog, it sounded more sophisticated than I really amJ  But I kept the old name anyway because of what it meant.  Like I explained here, my name means "Honeybee" and it's become quite significant to me this year.  So I hope you don't mind the name change and that you keep coming back to see what this Honeybee is buzzing about.   J

It's Official!

Our official paperwork is on its way to Thailand and we're officially on the waiting list for our adoption!  It's actually a bit anti-climactic, to be honest with you.  Like I said the other day, we still have to do a couple more things (like get fingerprinted again 2 more times), but those things won't affect the timing of our being matched or going to get our child.  So after all the hoopla and running and gathering...  now we get to wait.  It's like running a marathon and getting to a pit stop...  and having no idea how long you'll have to wait there until you get to move on (and then go to another long pit stop.)  We probably have about 7 months before we're matched with a child and then another 7-9 months before we get to bring him/her home.  But I don't really know!!!!!  Today after I got off the phone with our adoption agency, I almost immediately started trying to calculate the earliest we might get matched (based on the variables we know about) and I figured out later that I was sort of trying to calculate our "due date".  When Lowell and I found out I was pregnant with our two kids I think one of the very first things I did was check online at to figure out when I was probably due.  I just like knowing what the possibilities are.  I think it makes me feel in control somehow.  Or at least a little more prepared. 
When I was getting ready for labor and delivery, I read up extensively on natural childbirth figuring that if I went into it with as many options as possible it was like having a well-stocked toolbox.  And it worked for me both times.  But while some elements of this "pregnancy" are the same (thinking about names, wondering about gender), it's also very different.  There are so many more variables.  But the hardest thing is this: thinking about it too much hurts.  I can't think about all the options and imagine what our child is doing right now (he/she is almost certainly born already) or even pray for him or her too much or I find myself getting even more attached to this child I've never yet really known.  And it's painful to be attached to a child on the other side of the world who is someday going to be your very own, but isn't yet.  I already know that much.
So.  I think it would be appropriate, at the very least, for our family to have a celebration when we get these last loose ends tied up and the last fingers printed.  It will be good to celebrate making it this far and being one huge step closer to getting to hold our Little One in our arms at last.  We're on our way and God is good.
J Melissa

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Holding Our Breath

Well, our completed dossier is now in the hands of our adoption agency personnel in Oregon.  If everything looks good, it will be on its way to Thailand on Friday!  I can hardly believe after all the effort of gathering document after document that it's finally done.  There are still a couple of things left for us to do (immigration stuff mostly) but we should now be on the official waiting list to be matched with our child! 
BUT (hence the title above) I'm still holding my breath a bit to get word that everything is in order and that it's really real.  The mind-boggling thing is that we still have (probably) a year or more to wait before we get to go meet and bring home our Little One. (They say 6-12 months from now for a match.)  I also know, however, that time seems to be flying faster than ever these days and it will go by quickly even if sometimes it feels slow. 
In other news...  I think I've finally figured out a new routine!  (Aren't you excited for me???J) Things are starting to feel normal and I'm feeling less LOST in my own house.  (For this week at least.) I have sort of divided my day into 4 time-blocks and when I make my list of things to do for the day (which I have to do if I don't want to forget everything or waste my day completely) I divide the page into 4 sections.  I also have a list of things to try to do during each time-block so that I don't get to the end of the day without remembering to fold the laundry or decide what to make for dinner.  We'll see how long it lasts!!!  (And for the curious out there, I am scheduled for the ADD testing at the end of this month with my psychologist.)
Have a great day everyone!!!
J  Melissa

Monday, September 03, 2007

Season's Greetings from the Ens Family!

Since we didn't send out a Christmas letter last year, I thought today would be an appropriate day to send out a greeting.  Toby came out this morning carrying two little doggies who were both wearing Christmas hats and when I asked him about it, after a moment of thought, he said it was because today was "Dog Christmas!"  So in honor of Dog Christmas, because even dogs can celebrate Jesus being born and with the whole 7:1 year ratio thing they really should celebrate Christmas 7 times a year, we are wishing you all a very Merry Dog Christmas and a Yappy New Year. 
J ~Melissa

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Sleepy Slow Saturday

I just want to clear up some myths that are still floating around. 
  • The tooth fairy and Santa Claus aren't real.
  • You CAN go swimming right after you eat (or even while you are eating if you're really coordinated).
  • I DO NOT really have time to maintain a blog.
You see, some people mistakenly are amazed that I have a blog because they don't know how I could have the time because they don't have time for such an exciting literary hobby.  Let me explain.  It's really because when I entered into college at the illustrious Fresno Pacific University, I quickly got my Professional Procrastinator's license and I am hard at work maintaining it to this day.  Right now, for example, I am accruing Professional Procrastinator Development units by avoiding the dishes in the kitchen that need to be taken care of and by not working on our taxes.
Seriously though, I do most of my writing after my kids are in bed (or sometimes on a Saturday morning like this.)  Except for trying hard to get the dishes done every night, I've quit pushing myself to keep working on the house or laundry or whatever until I am exhausted and it's time for bed.  I've discovered that I am more motivated to get things done in the morning if I have given myself a break at night for a least a while.  (I don't know if I actually get more done or not, but at least I'm not so grumpy.) And I happen to love the whole blogging thing.  It's been fun and it's neat to know that there is a small group of people out there who enjoy reading my blog and knowing too much about my life. 
I have lived a couple of hours away from my dad since I was 4 and though we've always been in contact, he knows more than ever about me now because from the very beginning of my blogging several months ago he has been one of my most faithful readers.   (That alone would have made having this blog worth it!J) Just recently my stepdad has started printing out my blog (including old posts) for my technologically-challenged mom, so they're reading it now, too.  Oddly enough, they (along with some of my siblings) are getting a glimpse of sides of me that mostly my friends and maybe church have seen up to now.  It was a little scary when I first started this to tell them all about it...  maybe because I still care too much about what they think.
Well, I think it's time to get to work.  (See?  Now I'm more motivated to do something!)  QUICK UPDATES:  Our bedroom floor is done except for the closet and baseboards.  You can expect an extremely exciting post chronicling it all soon.  I hope!  AND I think my article is coming out very soon in the Christian Leader magazine.  (I'm wondering if I'll get to see it before my in-laws do b/c they always get their copy in the mail before we do.)  I'll post it (or a link to it) here, too, in case you don't get the magazine.  AND our dossier (adoption papers) are almost totally done and ready to be sent to Thailand.  Amazing!!!
Thanks so much for reading, everyone.  Have a great weekend!!!