And Other Real Life Happenings

Our life loving others, serving God and selling all we own to move to Africa.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Road

The road is straight. The grass is yellow and withered from heat. My heart shares the sentiments of yellow.  I cannot see where we are going past the asphalt path that narrows into nothingness. I sit behind. Still. Contemplating life and all it's miracles, idiosyncrasies and this here and now-stillness. The rain falls and fills the veins of each blade, not leaving one untouched. And in the bathing a newness

All my problems fall the feet of the cross, because I am not strong enough to carry them on my own. "Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me.  And that thou bids me come to thee... lamb of God I come...I come."

I come, I'm going, and yet I am here sitting still and listening. I have a tiny blink of time in this great expansive universe and yet I pray He would use me to do things that are greater than myself, that would last for eternity.

I feel the wrath of others, the injustice of words that pierce like swords and am tempted to believe lies. But this time I am stronger than the last.  I've been soaked with the rain that saturates my soul in hope.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

God is in the Valleys

I think it hit me today.  I am walking through a valley.  Valleys are good God.  (Figuratively speaking of course)  Before I tell you all about my valley, look at these sweet pictures from our trip to Indiana.  We got to stay at my sister and brother in laws house in between meetings.

Quinn and her friend Aria.  Aria was in the house when Quinn was born...Dru and I go way back with Aria's mommy daddy.  Love this Webster family!  PS- Quinn and Aria slept in this little tent together!

Can you tell Asa and Dru are a wee bit alike?

Look at Quinn in the bottom of the picture.  Ha!  Dru is holding Asa and Josiah, my sister's son.

Asa loved the tree in Aunt Allie & Uncle Adam's backyard

Quinn really loved being a big girl and feeding her youngest cousin, Isaiah

Isaiah smiling at Quinn while she fed him

This means something, not sure what...

Asa and Josiah-cousins

Life right now is good, but hard, but good.  Of what I can share...

The Collie/ Scully crew just got back from Indiana for our Sole Hope training.  We met this week with four very talented people who have experience in missions/ fundraising/ spiritual training/ psychology and business.  It was an overwhelming week of too much good information.  Some of that good information came in the form of correction.  Some in the form of growth.  All of the information we received was delivered with love and I am so so thankful to Drew, Alyssa and Patrick for riding this roller coaster of running a non-profit with us, and to our Here to There team that led and mentored us this week.

All in all it has left me drained.  I have a to-do list the size of Texas.  I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, at least until October.

What is happening in October?  Well, we are being obedient to the scary call we feel is on our family's life and Drew will be joining me in October with Sole Hope.  We are starting to raise funds for our family to live on while at the same time cutting our expenditures back.  In three months we need to raise $15,000.  Would you like to help us?  We need people to come along side us and make a monthly commitment to the Collie family under Sole Hope (tax-deductible) so we can make our family's work putting shoes on orphans and providing jobs for the needy.  If you would like to make a monthly contribution you can mail a check monthly to: 

Sole Hope, PO Box 1492, Asheville, NC 28806 

with a note inside saying it is for the Collie Family (not in the memo line).

So, this is where we are at right now.  And in the mean time, I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off (pardon the nasty country phrase...that really happened in my grandma's day & the phrase just stuck in our family).  This is  EXACTLY why we need Drew on board.  I can no longer sustain Sole Hope and be a full time mom.  One has got to give, and I am not allowing my children to be the ones that sacrifice.  Sole Hope needs Drew, and Drew is so ready to step up to the plate and lead.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thankful and Tired

It's 9pm and not even dark.  My mind is foggy and my eyes are heavy.  It is days like today when it all catches up with me.  Serving fulfilling.  But today the nitty-gritty weighs heavy on my heart and my body.

I'm tired.  Tired.

When I feel like no one gets it...someone does.  He does.  And so I try to remember.  Past the hopes of tomorrow being better, feeling stronger emotionally...physically...I remember that I am so blessed.  

I am thankful I am tired of solving works problems because it means I have work.  I am thankful I am tired of breaking up arguments because it means I have children.  I am thankful I have to deal with the problems of others who are close to me because it means I have people close.  I am thankful I worry about being given up on because it means I have someone who believes in me.  I am thankful my body is weary and my eyes are tired because it means I have something worth working for.  I am thankful I have laundry to do because it means I have clothes to wear.  I am thankful I am missing a 4th of July party because it means I live in a country worth celebrating.

I have so much to be thankful for....even when I'm exhausted.

Happy 4th of July y'all.

Drew and my first date was right here...only no fireworks.  ;)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains

I love Asheville.  I love the majesty of the mountains.

Our family went for a hike the other day.  Except for the fact that Quinn busted both knees open about 2 minutes into the hike...we had a great time.  It was so quiet.  The blue ridge mountains are magical.

Asa loved hiking and being out in nature.  He had NO fear and just cruised over rocks and roots like a little Jeep. :)

I think his favorite part was drinking water from his backpack.

And this was my favorite part.  The falls we hiked to!  This water was deep and crystal clear.  It looked like something the Grove Park Inn Spa has tried to recreate.  It was stunning!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Birthday in a Truffel

You know those things you wish you did more and get frustrated with yourself when you don't?  For me its cooking, reading, hiking...blogging...oh the list could go on!

I write blogs all day long in my head.  It is really a shame you can't read them as I think them.  

One blog I was really excited to write about was my birthday.  But guess what, that was two days ago and I am just now writing about it.

Birthdays were always so special in my family when I was growing up.  If we were at home on my birthday I would wake up to a decorated house, singing, presents waiting to be unwrapped that evening and the treatment of a queen.  It was MY day to be celebrated!!!  Granted there were some birthdays when we were traveling...OK, a LOT.  Having a summer birthday I often found myself waking in a tent ('cause that's what we did) in a camp ground somewhere in the world.  One year it was Norway...or maybe Ireland...I can't remember.  One year some grandiose national park in the U.S. but every time I woke up I felt so special and cherished.  

This year, June 29, 2011 I woke at 4:45am to a precious little boy who was wet from head to toe.  You know,, pee.  Great.  So I stumbled out of bed (literally) and tripped over Quinn who had made her bed on the floor next to mine at some point during the night.  I tripped over her and hit my let on the metal corner of our bed-splitting open my shin and landing with all my weight on my opposite knee.  Happy birthday me.  After I cleaned Asa up all while holding one eye open (I forgot to tell you I decided to stay up until 1:30am for some stupid reason) I put him in bed with me.  Drew was long gone to work so I figured it would be easiest for me, and afford me more sleep if I put Asa down with me.  Not so.  He tossed and turned and kicked me in the face until 6:30am.  Long story short, the alarm went off early.  We had a birthday breakfast to attend.  Okay okay, it was not really for my birthday, it was just a Sole Hope breakfast meeting that happened to be ON my birthday.  I woke up my cranky children (I was a little cranky bleeding, swollen shin and I) and got us ready to go.  Breakfast was yummy.  Company was fantastic and I only had to take my children outside once to speak some "correction" into their life.  I was blessed to have a friend who took one child while I took the other....we split up the crankiness since it was my birthday.  Asa and I went bathing suit shopping since I have not had a new one since high school-that was a miserable fail.

(above: Asa and I walking around downtown after breakfast...he was wearing his new Sole Hope flip flops.)

My day started to get better as I willingly accepted a massage my husband bought for me.  Thank GOD! Peace and quiet!  I went straight from there to the chiropractor.  I have minor scoliosis and sometimes it gets really on my birthday.  I later joined Drew on a date to the Grove Park Inn for dinner.  We had a wonderful dinner and as we started to leave the inn on the mountain I noticed the sun was setting.  I really wanted to sit on the porch in the rocking chairs and just relax and watch the sun set over the beautiful blue ridge mountains.  He insisted we need to head downtown before it was dark so I agreed-begrudgingly.  I mean, wasn't this MY birthday!?

(A view from the Grove Park Inn-Asheville)

Then, the best surprise...  Drew took me to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge and as we stood in line he talked about the DOCICA magazine party had I just attended there for Sole Hope.  He wanted me to show him where it was, so we walked up the stairs and guess.  who.  was.  sitting.  there......
SEVERAL of my closest girl friends!!!!  I lost it.  I started crying (and I'm not a crier).  All day I had felt so overstimulated by my precious, sweet children (who I wouldn't trade for the world!)...and I felt so alone.  I was comparing myself to other friends I have who I feel like have been celebrated "more"...(never always gets you in trouble!) and I had just felt really alone all day.  I was wishing I was young again and could wake up knowing my mom would be there to welcome me with a morning hug-so thankful that God had brought me into her life.  I was craving fellowship with others...and angel food cake.  When I walked into that room full of my friends who had KNOWN about this little surprise...who had taken time out of their busy lives to come be with me for a couple hours it just blessed my socks off!  I felt SO loved.  I felt SO cherished.  It was as if I'd had a little crack in my normally tough I-can-do-anything, no-one-can-hurt-me armor that was just immediately repaired.  It just showed me I should never ever ever tell myself lies like I had been telling myself all day.  

Just for kicks since I am obsessed with are my all time birthday highs and lows:

Low: My 10th birthday I woke up at Yosemite National Park in my family's camper on my birthday.  Everyone was already awake and had let me sleep in.  I could smell the bacon my grandpa was making and I could hear my family laughing and having a good time outside the tent.  I realized it had happened.  As I slept I turned TEN!  It was a pivotal time in my life...and although I laugh about it now I look back and realize I was a deep little child.  It was the dawning of a new era because that morning I woke up not happy to get out of bed because I was 10...but I laid there looking at the sky...crying because I was 10...soon I'd be 20!...and before I knew it I'd be gone-dust in the wind.  I loved life and I didn't understand eternity.  (As if I fully understand it now-ha!)  I knew I was growing up so fast and I wanted time to stand still!  Anyway, that was uber depressing.  After I got my over-thinking 10 year old self out of bed I had a delicious birthday breakfast and got a bunch of new socks though so the day panned out fine.

High: My 16th birthday.  It was simple and I spent it with those I really cared about.  I was living in Italy at the time and I had a few things in life I was passionate about.  Soccer, the beach and my friends.  I spent my 16th birthday on the beach with two of my best friends.  Later that evening we went to a killer Italian restaurant.  It was there I smelled pot for the first time.  No-I wasn't smoking it...but someone dining out that night was.  Ah yes, the simple life. (below: "my" ocean...home...still the greatest place in the world if you ask me)

And then there was this birthday...I think it was the best yet since my least the ending to it was.  

I am so thankful.  I am SO blessed!!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gone So Long

I have been gone from this blog world so long!  That means I've been too busy!!  Sole Hope has kept me on my toes.  We have had deadline after deadline to meet...lots of things happening.  We are looking to hire an Executive Assistant to help keep up with the work load.

I've written a hundred blogs in my head...but none of them have made it to this site.  Our family is preparing with Shannon and Sherri McCready, two most respected individuals I know, to move our families (the Collies and Scullys) to Africa.  It is not looking like this will happen as soon as we thought-but that is OK.  We want to be well prepared.  In July we will be going to Indiana to meet with a team of people who will help prepare us physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally and teach us how to raise financial support for our family.  I am excited we get to see my sister and our close friends while we are there...although I've been prepared for lots of work, little play!  :)

I forgot to post this a few Friday's ago:

The last Sole Hope DOCICA...

I've started Crossfit too.  It is brutal.  Its like boot camp twice a week.  And I LOVE it!  I am so much stronger than I was even a month ago and I just feel better overall.  I really want to do the US Marine Corp Mud Run or something similar...competitive.  We will see...
One of the things we have been discussing in our meetings with Shannon and Sherri are making our life's priorities happen.  For me taking care of myself (eating well and exercising) are number two on my list.  It is amazing how just taking care of myself does wonders for my mood, health and productivity.  

My Asa man is still a it!  

I took this with my phone really quick...totally Quinn and Asa's personalities!  

For now.... 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Docica 2

Did you all check out the DOCICA magazine.  I mean, forget that I'm featured in the May issues, this magazine has substance in it and is so fun to read.  They will feature 12 women (one a month) who are doing something they find valuable, life changing and worth mentioning.  Its about real beauty, not Vogue beauty.  Its about decorating for less and fun ideas.
So, I'd encourage you to bookmark it.  But for now, if you want to read about our family's future plans and see pictures of our house check out the issue that came out today.