Sunday February 24, 2019

Ephesians 4:29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 

We had some difficulty getting the kids up and moving this morning at 5 am, but we eventually made it down for a quick breakfast and then off to see the whales! Now this was an adventure from the beginning. Our scheduled Tuk Tuks arrived on time as we were quickly shoving food into our mouths.  We piled in for the short drive to the marina. We got dropped off right at the boat, but we were quickly directed to buy tickets (of course not in English but Sinhalese). Our driver was kind enough to drive us to the ticket booth where we were told to “wait here” which was off to the side of the ticket booth. I patiently waited for my turn, which took a really long time and I watched several other folks come and go. But as soon as I was starting to get frustrated by this whole endeavor, a nice gentleman came out to talk with me and sold me our tickets; I think he was actually in charge of the whole process. He was so kind. We got our tickets and a personal escort to the boat. I think he was a friend of Dudley because he was so very attentive to us, making sure we had all we needed.

I wrote this prior to reading the scripture passage and once I read it I just shook my head at God’s amazing wisdom and how much I have learned, and still have to learn. I was standing waiting to buy our tickets and was getting frustrated watching others come and go before me, but I held my tongue and didn’t say anything. I am so glad I did this because the attention we received was well worth the wait. He was so incredibly attentive to us making sure we had a great time on his boat, but if I had said my peace about having to wait while others were helped before me, I seriously doubt he would have been so kind to us. These words from Ephesians are very powerful and can be life changing when you live by them. It is the same thing I tell my kids, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.

We had a wonderful time whale watching and were blessed to see four blue whales, one that even dove under water right next to the boat so we all could see his huge tail fin arch out of the water and then disappear. This was such a cool experience. We were all pretty tired (I feel asleep on the way out to sea) and after the excitement of seeing blue whales (and dolphins) my family could stay awake no longer–all of them fell asleep on the boat ride back to the marina. It was a bit sad that we didn’t get any photos of the whale breaching or diving but we will forever have that memory.

After we got off the boat, the gentleman who sold us our tickets was waiting there to hear all about our trip and to make sure all was well. I was again grateful for the patience God has given to me. We enjoyed a nice lunch at a restaurant called The Shack, right on the beach with the sand under our feet (this is a really neat aspect of dining in Sri Lanka). The kids enjoyed playing in the ocean and it was so wonderful to watch my children play so nicely together. We then headed back to Kosgoda and made it just in time to release the turtles.

 

Saturday February 23, 2019

Numbers 14:19-21 Forgive the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have pardoned this people, from Egypt even until now.” Then the Lord said, “I do forgive, just as you have asked; nevertheless—as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord

We enjoyed leisurely getting out of bed and down to breakfast this morning followed by a drive to Mirissa, a bordering beach town where the whale watching is superb. We hired a driver who was more than willing to make a quick pit stop in Galle to check out the old Dutch Fort that overlooked the Indian Ocean. We enjoyed walking around this quaint tourist town, checking out local shops and indulging in some waffles (the kids were in heaven).

We arrived at our hotel in Mirissa and headed straight out to dinner in the sand at a local restaurant. The food here was great and so were the margaritas! This was a wonderful evening watching the kids play in the surf and sand, just like they did last night. I think they are really enjoying the beach lifestyle. I am so thankful to be sitting here surrounded by God’s beautiful creations.

We have to be up very early for our whale watching excursion, so we put the kids to bed and then we headed outside to have some beers by the pool at the hotel. But we ended up sitting down at a table with 2 of the guys that worked at the hotel to drink our beers. We enjoyed some great conversation and laughter. It was a wonderful hour or so getting to know these nice young men. I love that Jeff enjoys this just as much as I do…putting ourselves out there to meet new people and that we are both able to have a conversation and loads of laughter with people we just met. It was a nice ending to our day.

Thursday February 14, 2019

Luke 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

Happy Valentines Day (for those who celebrate–I am not one of them)! Today we spent the day getting organized and packed up to leave. The kids did a bit of school work and then helped me pack up. We ended up going to the beach one last time this afternoon, but only for about an hour. I am so glad we purchased that boogie board, it has given us many hours of fun at the beach. Today, while David was using it he caught a really big wave (the waves today were HUGE) and took the boogie board to his face. Thankfully it was nothing too serious, just a sore nose and a fat lip. He did a great job just shrugging it off, but it did end his desire to use the board any longer.

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After packing everything up we had dinner and a couple games of Mastermind before we sent the kids of to bed. Tomorrow will be a very long day and we start really early. We have a 6:50 am flight, which means that we have to be at the airport by 3:50 at the latest and leaving the house by 3:00 so we have time to return our rental car and still get checked in for our flight. I debated not going to bed at all because by the time I was ready to go to bed it was already midnight. Part of me wanted to just stay up, but I also knew that we had a long day ahead of us and any sleep would be better than none.

Wednesday February 13, 2019

Matthew 26:6-13 Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, “Why this waste? For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”

Happy early birthday to Lucia! We had another easy start to the day. We had lunch and then headed to the beach for some boogie boarding and playing in the sand. We had so much fun until the kids got a little too excited (I asked them at least 4 times to not throw sand at each other, but they kept on doing it), so we left. Both Jeff and I were pretty frustrated and the kids were angry that we left, but we all came around and enjoyed Lucia’s birthday party. We had hot dogs and chicken with Kraft Mac and Cheese for dinner. We ordered an ice cream cake to celebrate and David and I found a couple small gifts for her to open. Our decision to celebrate early was because we didn’t know what to expect in Sri Lanka. We all had a lot of fun at the party and we all played a fun game called Mastermind before the kids went to bed without much fuss; I think they are all pretty tired.

 

Jeff and I stayed up quite a while and enjoyed some adult time with wine and great conversation. We have been talking a lot about what we want to do when we are done with this year. I feel quite lost, not knowing what I want and it felt good to hear that Jeff was feeling the same way. We prayed and put this in God’s hands. He will continue to be our guide and we will put our faith and trust in Him. He has never failed us and I know that He won’t start now. This is not the first time having this conversation, nor will it be the last. While we still have another 6 months to go, we only have 6 months to go and there are occasional moments when I start to feel overwhelmed at the thought of what to do next. I love these conversations with Jeff because we end up discussing that we need to continue to be in the moment. Looking for jobs right now isn’t a viable option anyway because we can’t start working for another 6 months, so looking now doesn’t make any sense. Furthermore, I want to make sure I listen attentively to His word and be open to going wherever it is I am called.

Tuesday February 12, 2019

Isaiah 28:29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in wisdom.

Everyone was pretty tired today. We all woke up pretty late and enjoyed the slow pace of the day. We did decide to go into Perth for a bit. Jeff decided that he wanted to get some new sandals and when we were in Fremantle there were some that were 50% off. After the quick stop in Fremantle we decided to go for a walk through the botanical gardens. What a beautiful afternoon. I really enjoyed just taking in God’s creation. Though it made it a bit challenging at times because Anjali was in a bit of a mood today, most likely due to exhaustion.

We found a restaurant with a nice view of the ocean very close to home, so we left the city which had many options to choose and headed that way. We felt confident that we were going to have a nice dinner near the beach, but when we arrived 40 minutes later we found the restaurant to be closed for a staff party. After listening to the kids complain and argue in the car, poor Jeff curled up on the sidewalk feeling completely defeated. There was no way we were going to drive back into the city, but we had no idea where to go. Thankfully there was a liquor store adjacent to the restaurant and popped in there for some beer and more wine. The two guys that worked there sent us over to Hillary’s Harbor with the hope of finding a nice dinner. We were not disappointed, honestly I think the place we ended up enjoying was better than the first place. God took care of us, we just needed to be patient and trust in His ways.

 

Our dinner was absolutely fantastic. We sat outside and had a beautiful view of the harbor. This ended up being a 3 course meal with a couple drinks and a bottle of wine. The kids did a really good job and seemed to enjoy their fancy meal. This was just what Jeff wanted and I am so happy that we found this place. Lucia didn’t make it through dinner and passed out on me towards the end–thankfully all I had left was my wine to drink.

 

The unfortunate thing was that when we got home I realized that I didn’t have my phone. I swore I put it in my purse as we were getting ready to leave. Jeff and I headed back to the restaurant and thankfully found my phone on the floor directly under my seat, which means that I tried to put drop it into my purse, but missed.

Monday February 11, 2019

Psalm 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast

It was an early day today. We had to be at the ferry in Fremantle for a 7:30 am departure, so everyone was up an moving by 5:45 so we could leave by 6:45. The kids did great and I suspect it was because this was something they really wanted to do. The hour ferry ride was very peaceful as we had a beautiful view of Fremantle harbor and the Indian Ocean.

I could feel the excitement building within the kids as we approached a Rottnest Island and as we got off the ferry I thought Anjali was going to explode. She was ready to just take off running, but first we had to get our bikes and snorkeling gear. Once we got the bikes Lucia was finding it difficult to remember how to get started. It took a few minutes of Jeff’s patient teaching before she took off. We decided that we would enjoy a bike ride first, so we headed towards was looked like a good ride on our map. However, about 10 minutes into it, Lucia really started to struggle and a frustrated Jeff decided that he would take her back to the settlement and the beach and wait for us. I was upset by this at first, but as we continued on our ride, I quickly realized that this was not for her–she would have never made it! As it was, David was really struggling towards the end. This was a long and hilly ride, I even had to get off my bike to walk it up some of the hills. But we did finish and meet up with Jeff and Lucia for an early lunch.

 

We met up at the settlement, which is like the main street of the islands with shops, restaurants, and a store. And since we came her to see quokkas we were blessed with seeing many of these cute marsupials while we were here. The kids were in heaven following these little guys around trying to get a photo with them or just of them.

We finally managed to pull the kids away and get them back on their bikes to head for lunch. We ended up getting more of a brunch because it was still too early for lunch, but the food was amazing and we all enjoyed the food, but the kids were especially thrilled that there were several quokkas who made our lunch even more special. Plus we got to FaceTime Grandma Wood, which was really fun.

After lunch we headed to the beach for some snorkeling, we were told this was some of the best snorkeling we will find in Perth and it did not disappoint. We saw so many fish of varying sizes and colors. The kids didn’t last long, but when they were finished the played on the beach. I was happy to let them play while we snorkeled because we were basically on a reef and the water only came up to their knees until they started o where we were. It was perfect. They were safe and we all got to do what we wanted.

After snorkeling and some playing on the beach, we hopped back on our bikes and headed for the settlement. We were going to grab some more food and hopefully some wine for me and Jeff. We found a nice little restaurant that had Seagull Cannons (aka: water bottles to spray them when they got too close) and the kids thought this was great (I found it very effective). Jeff and I enjoyed a bottle of wine while the kids took more pictures of the quokkas and finally ate some pizza. I think we sat here for almost 2 hours, just hanging out with the quokkas. We were all content to just hang out with the quokkas, drink some wine, and eat some pizza.

Today was a beautiful day. This was Anjali’s only activity she requested during our stay in Perth and she seemed very happy with today’s experience. She has been in such a good mood leading up to today and all day today. I think she really felt fulfilled with the activities today. She just had a permanent grin plastered on her face the whole ferry ride home.

Sunday February 10, 2019

Proverbs 22:6 Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.

We did nothing today. We spent the day at the beach, playing and being silly and then the rest of the day was relaxing at the house or running a few errands to the grocery store. The kids have enjoyed the beach more than I ever thought they would, especially since we got the boogie board. What is even more surprising is that there have been no fights over who gets to use it and they seem to be sharing it better than I have ever seen them share. When they aren’t using the boogie board they are playing in the surf or in the sand, building forts, castles, or burying each other. From what I can tell, they were really needing this vacation and again God’s plan is better than my plan!

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Tonight the kids did really well going to bed, probably because they knew we had to get up really early in the morning to catch the ferry to Rottnest Island. I enjoyed some good Australian wine, while Jeff enjoyed his beer (of all things, he has really missed his craft IPA beer and there is plenty of that here, to which he has had no problem finding).