Sunday, November 27, 2005

We are Thankful

For family in Jesus.
For friends.
For food,

Fun, and

For the miracle of new life,
Both physical,
and spiritual.

For God's grace,
guidance, and
constant presence.

For forgiveness,
and hope.

For Jesus.

So much to be thankful for!

(Pictures taken at the annual Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal at the Taga Church of Christ, Saturday, November 26th, 2005.)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Pottery on the Wall

Sometimes, do you ever feel like you're just stuck on the wall? Laura and I were privileged to take the OC Pac Rim faculty sponsors to Nikko for a short getaway several weeks ago. It was good to just get out of town for the weekend and spend time getting to know them. On the way up to Nikko we stopped by a little pottery town called Mashiko. You can get all kinds of pottery in all shapes and sizes and prices. In the main parking area for the pottery shops was this fountain decorated with various kinds of pottery. Even though it's pretty cool, they aren't excactly serving the purpose in which they were intended for. It reminded me a little of being in Africa and seeing broken glass and pottery cemented on the very tops of the walls to discourage theives from climbing over the tops. These different uses of pottery got me thinking about this passage in the Bible: "But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand." (IS. 64:8)

In our own lives, do we just want to sit there and look pretty with all the beauty that God has blessed us with or do we just put up broken fragments of who we are because we're to afraid to let people get close to us? Either way, like these beautiful plates, bowls, and vases or the broken shards of pottery in Africa, how often are we being used by the potter for the purpose for which He created us?

I know this is a heavy topic, but lately I've felt like a I'm a spectacle that's on display, and at the same time I also feel broken. Broken, not in the sense that I'm shattered and trying to keep people away. But, broken because God has a plan and a purpose for me and I've been stuck on a wall trying to keep Him out of my heart. I've been trying to do things that, even though they are useful and effective, are not what the Potter originally intended for me to do. God has a plan and a purpose for all of us even though we often don't realize it until we're stuck on the wall someplace doing something that we weren't created for. Always follow your destiny.

-- Rusty

Monday, November 14, 2005

Meet My Midwife

This is the midwife who will be helping me with Baby Campbell's birth. Her name is Ms. Kudo. Rusty and I have decided not to have a hospital birth (unless it becomes medically necessary, of course). Instead, I will be delivering at Ms. Kudo's clinic, which is in her home. This is also where I go each month for my prenatal check-ups. The midwife can do all the things that are done in a doctor's office -- urine test, check my weight and other measurements, even listen to the baby's heartbeat.

She also does some things that are normally NOT done in a doctor's office -- like prenatal massage! At every visit, I receive a wonderful, warming massage with incense (as shown in the picture). We also have tea and spend the better part of an hour just talking. Ms. Kudo speaks great English since she spent time studying midwifery in England. She is a very comforting person to be around. I feel that both Baby Campbell and I are in good hands and will receive the very best of care from her.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Refrigerator

For every home we have lived in since we have been married, I have covered the refrigerator with pictures. Pictures of family. Pictures of friends. Pictures of people we see often. Pictures of people we don't. Our picture-covered refrigerator is one of the things that makes a house seem like "home" to me.

With Rusty out of town this week (attending a church-planting conference), I decided to tackle some cleaning projects as well as a few of the boxes still waiting to be unpacked. I can't tell you how excited I was to dig into one box and stumble across the envelope full of pictures I had taken down from our refrigerator before we left Mississippi in June. I spent the better part of the next hour carefully arranging them on our fridge. I can't help but smile now when I look at it and see dear and familiar faces smiling back at me:

Michaela - my beautiful and infinitely precious neice
Robbie and Johnny - what a pair of nephews these two are!
Sarah, Amanda, Jaime - former college roommates, still my friends even after living with me!
Tim and Chalon; Robert and Jenny - friends from Portland
Lj and Kari; Kelsey and Lisa; Jason and Nicole - friends from our Mito days and beyond
The Cash family - missionary friends in Uganda
Jesse, Mackenzie, Sadie - precious children of friends from church in Mississippi

And there are many others. And always room for more! If you would like to be included on our refrigerator, just send us a picture. I'll find a spot for you, I promise.

Friday, November 04, 2005

"An Egg with Legs"

That is what Rusty told me I was beginning to look like the other day. Leave it to a man to come up with such an elegant and poetic description of the pregnant form!

Anyway, this picture is for all those of you who have been begging for a picture of me from the side. As you can see, Baby Campbell is getting bigger, and so am I for that matter. I am at 22 weeks as of this photo and feeling great, although I have been noticing that it is getting more and more difficult to tie my shoes!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Tale as Old as Time. . .

I have to say that I think Rusty and I had rockin' costumes for Halloween this year!!! I, of course, loved being Belle, since "Beauty and the Beast" is my absolute favorite Disney movie of all time. I borrowed the costume from an AET friend in Mito. But, Rusty was definitely the star of the show as the Beast. Isn't the mask wonderfully realistic? It was made by the mother of one of our students for a play that she and some other parents put on at her son's kindergarten. The mask is made completely out of foam pieces that were cut and glued together and then painted. Also with the costume came the dinner jacket and purple cape. There were gloves and slippers for paws, but they didn't fit my beastly baby!

We wore these costumes for our school's Autumn Festival this past Saturday. All the kids come in costume, and all the teachers too. We had a costume contest (for the kids), a pinata, face-painting, a craft, and games like Bean Bag Toss and Pumpkin Seed Spitting. Rusty and I also introduced the folks here to "Trunk or Treat," the wonderful new twist on trick-or-treating that we discovered while living in Memphis. Everybody had a great time, including Beauty and the Beast!