Saturday, March 29, 2008

An over comer



This man was on 20/20. I didn't see it, but read about it! Here is his web site.


and the 20/20 site.

Friday, March 28, 2008

It must be a mission's trip

OK, Juergen found a notary in another city. We had to get there before 1pm or we could not get it done. I met Juergen there at noon. I stepped out of my car, and locked the car...with the keys still in the car! I do believe this will be an awesome trip for Nicole! We got the documents notarized with just a half hour to spare. They plan to build 10 houses in one week. Nicole will be taking this big step of growth. I'm so proud of my girl!

Crazy

Nicole's travel documents need to be posted by tomorrow or she can not go the Mexico. The big problem for us is these documents must be notarized with a signature by Juergen and I. It's not so easy to find a notary in Germany. In Heidelberg it is even harder because someone just bombed the notary office. It's closed or moved or something??? So Juergen is home scrabbling to find a notary. We were of course not home earlier in the week. Juergen was also gone last week.
As for me, I think I will not be making the trip (sad). The only way I can go is as a leader. I would need to go through an extra process of training and interviews. This is only right. I'm glad they train their leadership. My problem is time and money. I would already need to pay nearly $1500 for the airline ticket and the trip. Then add to this another $500+ for the training, medical exam, police screening and the notary costs and international postage costs...and more costly to us (at least this year) is the time. My parents are not coming to visit us this year because Juergen's mom died. I need to spend a week in Oregon visiting them. Juergen would rather I spend that week in Oregon when Nicole is in Mexico. Right now I think I will bring Nicole to Mexico (if we can find a notary), and then fly to Oregon to see my parents, and then pick Nicole up to travel home. This saves us a week. Juergen will not have to spend all his vacation this year babysitting the kids, or taking care of his dying mom. It has been a crazy year so far! He will have at least some vacation left for himself (God willing). When we started this whole process I just wanted to build a house with Nicole. I honestly do not want to apply or prepare to lead a team of 20-30 teens for one week. Yes, I could do that, but I don't want to. Not now at least. I think it's better for me to visit my parents. I really hope I’m not missing God on this. I’m sure I would have a wonderful time in Mexico leading 20 or 30 teens, but I feel like my poor husband has already been through enough this year. I don’t want to burn him out! You don’t plan on stuff like deaths in the family. That’s just part of life & you have to adjust! I’ve been on mission’s trips, and God willing I will go on them again. I must see my parents while I still can.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Some thoughts on the day

First, I had a serious talk with the boys before we traveled. Somehow, they listened. Their behavior was amazingly good (at least until we traveled home). Juergen’s dad seemed really calm. He has lost a great deal of weight over the past few months. You can see it has taken a real toll on him. There was a remarkable peace. Allowing her to die at home was his only goal. He managed to accomplish this goal. He was grateful. He also stopped himself from dwelling on any thoughts of "self pity". Every time he began to talk about Watlraud, he would remember the good things they had done. He gave thanks. He also told me a story. It was after one of the many surgeries Waltraud had undergone to remove the brain tumors. After one of the surgeries she just was not waking up. The doctors were very worried. He was over come with emotion. He went into the bathroom to wash his face. There was an uneven step in the bathroom. He tripped on this floor and hit his head hard. He could have really hurt himself. He felt like God was trying to teach him that even if he feels overwhelmed emotionally, he still needed to watch where his feet were. His plan is just to watch his feet. To stick to the basic stuff he must do. To get by day to day. It has been such an awful thing to watch this woman he has faithfully loved for 50 years die. He is not glad she is gone, but very glad she is no longer suffering. God carried Richard through all of this. He is an amazing person. I can see where Juergen got his character. He came from a noble family.

Juergen took Philip, Thomas, Sarah, and Nicole to the service and I stayed at the house with Jessica. We knew Jessica would not be able to sit in an overcrowded church and stay quite. I walked over to the graveyard with Jessica a little later. The church where Richard and Waltraud were married and the graveyard where she was buried are all only a few blocks from where she raised her children. When the family went to the service, I went into Waltrauds bedroom to say goodbye. I looked around this room that she spent her final months. On the walls are art work done by her many grand children, and a photo of her father (she never knew him). On her night stand was her watch, her reading glasses, and a bag of pencils I had given her to write notes to her family while she still had the strength in her hands to write. She only actually wrote one note. It was to Jessica. She wrote, "Dear Jessica, we will eat lunch together". Someday we will sit down together in heaven and eat lunch. On that day our Jessica will be the one who does all the talking.

I brought a reluctant Jessica to the graveyard so she could kiss a rose and throw it into the grave of her grandmother. We arrived 5 minutes late. Juergen had already done this important task with the other kids. I had to push my way through the crowd. Jessica was loud and crying. I'm sure most people understood Jessica was disabled. Juergen and I both held Jessica’s hands. I put the rose to Jessica’s lips. She kissed it and throw it into the grave. I did the same thing. I also prayed. I could not believe how much peace I felt. I just knew she was not there. It was her earthly body that we were sticking into the ground. As the pastor had made clear in the service (I was not there but I was told) the body is like a coat. You take it off. You receive a new and better coat in heaven. I had so much peace that I was not really saying goodbye.

After the funeral there was a coffee time. About 100 people stayed for this time. Juegren’s good friends had traveled from other parts of Germany to be there. That blessed me more then I could say. Jessica sat in a corner and watched videos on Juergens laptop. That kept her busy about 1 1/2 hours. Then she got tired and I had to leave early. During the coffee time a few people stood up and said how Watraud had blessed their lives. During this time the two women Richard and Walraud had adopted stood to say how much their lives were changed because they were adopted by the Heymanns. I was OK until this point. Then I just could not stop the tears.

The ride home was very stressful. The weather was dangerous. There was snow and ice on the roads. It took us almost 8 hours to get home. The boys, who had been very good the whole time, just could not maintain that discipline forever. I felt like kissing the ground and falling into bed last night. We will see how we process all these things over time. I thank you for your prayers. I could really feel many had prayed for us.

Monday, March 24, 2008

We travel today

We travel North today. I bought new Lego to bribe the boys with. I'm not sure what upsets me more, going to the funeral or the need to bribe my kids? Maybe I take the whole thing too seriously, but I care allot about character (or a lack of it). I hope they will grow up, that they will begin to consider the needs of others. I hope this is just a stage we are passing through. I have to be careful not to confuse my own personal sadness with the behavior of my sons. They have actually been a little better the past two days. I should not be such a pessimist. I have to give them space to actually grow. Friends, please pray for me. I'm really very sad. The closer I come to going to Juergen's parent’s house, the sadder I become. I loved Juergens mom very much. I wish I did not have to go, I wish this day had not come.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My new diet food blog

http://amy-dietfoodblog.blogspot.com/

No Easter Parade


When I was a child I remember wearing hats to church on Easter. Somehow we could not manage the Easter baskets, new toys, and breakfast fast enough to get dressed for church. We go to Church almost every Sunday. We should be there on Easter. We didn't make it. I have no idea how my own mom managed to get us all dressed up in our nicely pressed Easter dresses, with hats? I'm not even making a fine dinner. When I think of the effort my mom must have gone to to make all those traditions possible. I just don't manage to keep up. They all got chocolate, and a new toy. Some day I hope they also understand that Jesus rose from the dead. But the Resurrection is not something they have to celebrate one time in a year. I hope it becomes real to them every day.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Shopping

Good Friday is a Holiday in Germany, so is Easter and the Monday after Easter. The stores are not open on Holidays. You can imagine just how crowded the stores were today. I had to find cloths suitable for the kids to wear to Omas funeral. We have decided to take the boys. It's spring, and not so easy to find dark clothes (except sweat shirts with skulls and cross bones). The weather is supposed to be very cold. I feel achy. I think I'm getting sick. Maybe it's just the emotional stress of shopping for Oma's funeral.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The cross of Christ


It's Good Friday, the day we remember the death of Christ on a cross. Because he died for me I try to live for him. Today I am thinking about the funeral of Juergen's mom. I am worried my sons cannot behave themselves. They are too hyperactive, they are self absorbed, they have a very hard time staying quiet and respectful. I'm worried about bringing them 5 hours in a car, and expecting them to be good when they get there. They will want Juergens attention. Juergen should be available to take care of his dad. The situation seems hopeless. They have a fallen nature. How could they act in a way contrary to their own nature? We have been spending a great deal of energy lately teaching our sons to acknowledge their mistakes, and say they are sorry. Saying "I'm sorry" is somehow hardest for the boys. My girls don't seem to have this problem. Why is this I wonder? But so much of mankind has this problem. We know we have a problem with sin. Somehow we just cannot bring ourselves to the cross. We can not confess our sin. We can not say, "I'm sorry". I called my friends. I decided we should not bring the boys to Omas funeral. God made a plan for us too. He sent his son to die for our sin. God knows we cannot manage on our own. Jesus did not die for perfect people, he died for sinners. We only need to say to God, "I need your help, I am sorry".

my turn to cry

I have only begun to cry about Juergen's mom. Juergen is home so I finally feel at liberty to relax & not be the brave on call parent. It occurred to me I've been slowly losing Waltraud for years. I've felt this loss for years. She could not handle the noise and stress of our boys, so Juergen would visit and I would babysit. I've missed her so much. She was battling her sickness. I could not get angry about this. I did feel the loss. Thomas did not know her. He had hardly seen her in the past 4 years. She was sick. It was a deep loss to me. Only if you had known her could you know how brave, wise and gracious she was. She was Juergens mom, but she was my friend. We would spend hours talking about deep things in her kitchen. I would pick her brain. She always had wisdom. I had learned so much, but there was so much more I could have learned. She raised two boys. She raised 2 foster children. She was a leader in the church. She was a friend to broken people. She could have taught me so much more. I needed her. But I've been losing her for years.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A special card made by Thomas


Thomas made us this very special Easter card. On the back of the card he wrote that he was sorry his Oma had died but that it would be alright. Juergen came home from the North of Germany tonight. We return on Monday night for Tuesdays funeral. The kids were all hyper to see their Papa. They all got into trouble. That's when Thomas pulled out the card. I always knew that kid was smart! It made me cry. Now they are all finally playing well (it's after 10 pm of course). Every little things going to be alright.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Juergen's mom & Jessica


I hope you don't mind if I post a few thoughts about Juergen's Mom. I am home with the 5 kids. It's Easter vacation. The weather is really bad. Juergen is 5 hours North helping his dad. I can not cry in front of the kids. At least not in front of Sarah or Thomas. It makes them feel afraid. I need to be able to think about Waltraud. I loved her so much. One of things I loved most about her was how much she loved Jessica my autistic daughter. Waltraud had 17 grandchildren. She managed to love each one. Her compassion towards Jessica was very dear. I remember our first Christmas in Germany. Jessica was 5 years old. We were at Oma & Opa's house with all the other family. We were opening Christmas gifts and all the kids played. All the kids played except Jessica. Jess was stressed by all the people & all the noise. Waltraud was so distressed. She gave me this look . "Give me something to do...anything to help". And so I said, "Jessica likes to take baths". So Waltraud left the rest of the family to give Jessica a bath. She prayed for Jessica. I guess if Jesus prays for us in heaven, Waltraud must also be praying for all her grandchildren...especially Jess. If fact the very last thing I ever did with Waltraud a few months ago was to hold her hands, and pray with her for Jessica. Waltraud could not talk but you knew she could understand. Her eyes were full of tears of compassion and love for her grand daughter who also had no voice. Jessica has written a great deal about her Oma. When I receive this writing from her teacher I will share it with you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Juergen's mom


My mother in law, Waltraud was an amazing woman. She was born in World War 2 in Germany. Her dad was a soldier. First he was in France, and then they sent him to Russia. I don't really know if he believed in the "cause" of the Germans. I'm sure most of the men in those days had no choice. They had to serve in the Army. Waltraud only recalls seeing him two times. She was raised in the house of her grandmother. It was her, her brother, and her mother. They were very poor. The only toy she had was a rubber ball. When she was in kindergarten, England began bombing Hanover (only 40 miles away). She saw the planes, she heard the bombs, and she could smell the smell of burning sulfur as Hanover burned. After the war she remembered that the Americans came. They were very kind. They also gave her the first chocolate she ever had. She loved sweet things. She never saw her father again. He died in a camp in Russia. Her mom received no pension from the government because know one came forward to confirm his death. For 5 or 6 years after the war, they lived on only the food they could grow in the garden, and one pig they raised each year. They also raised money by renting rooms in the house. Finally someone came forward to confirm the death of her father. Waltrauds mom was bitter. Waltraud never was. She was full of love and grace. She loved God. This love was transforming.
The photo is of Waltraud & Nicole when she was 2 years old.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Please pray

...I just got a phone call from Juergen. I could hear it in his voice. His wonderful mom just died. It has not hit me yet. Please do not call. Please just pray for comfort. Pray for Juergen's dad Richard. They were married 50 years this summer. Thank you.



The photo's are from her 70Th birthday last summer.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Very interesting medical research

http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/03/16/wr.1.health.cnn



http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/03/16/wr.1.health.cnn


http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/03/16/wr.1.health.cnn

He is no fool to give what he can not keep to gain what he can not loose



- Jim Elliot

Horton hears a who




I took the kids to see "Horton hears a Who". We saw it in German, and I imagine it was better in English. Still, I loved it! I especially love two ideas that are strong in this film. A person is a person no matter how small (a very pro life statement), and Just because you can not see it with your eyes or hear it does not mean it's not there ( a very pro God statement). I'm not really sure what Dr Seuss meant by his story. This is just my take on it. I also loved the beauty of the opening animation. The water falling from the leaf. It is really amazing how far they have come with computer animation. I think the film makes a slam on home school. I don't think people who home school should be mean or self righteous like the kangaroo in the film. I personally would home school at least Philip if I was allowed to do it. This is Germany, and of course I would never be allowed to do such a thing!!! I do think Christians that home school should be careful how they present themselves to the world.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Nicole's song at school

Today was very special. Nicole got to sing a song she wrote about Jesus in the chapel service. She goes to a private Catholic high school so they have chapel from time to time. I think it went very well. I had a hard time keeping the camera still because I was crying with pride. The light was low so the video is not the best quality. It's also going to take some time to load. Nicole has always been painfully shy. I guess the reason I was so proud of her was that she sang this song, that is a testimony in front of her whole school. All I can say is Wow!! Wow God, look how far she has come.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A great post on my sisters blog

This is a post on getting your house in order in case you die. It's a really good list of stuff like wills and emergency savings. The kind of stuff we should all do, but most of us don't do.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Juergen just got another patent...cool!



Juergen just got another patent. I don't even know how many of these things he has gotten. I'm proud of him! He probably would not want me to post this, but if I can not brag on my man, who can? I love you Juergen, and I want to say Congratulations!

Be the change


I love the quote by Gandhi "be the change you desire to see in the world". Tomorrow I get to go speak to about 50 University students from PEPERDIN UNIVERSITY. They are in Heidelberg on an exchange program. I have been honored to speak to them 3 times. I basically want to communicate the idea of going to where the poor are, seeing the need and then trying to see how they can help change things for the good. Everyone has gifts and resources that could help improve the state of this world. Most of us use everything we have on ourselves. I believe you'll never really be satisfied until you enter into the role of making a difference. For the sake of the world, the poor, and for our own feeling of value we need to go...and then we need to give. Pray for me. I hope I can help shape their minds, and challenge them to make a difference.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The house we are hoping to build

Nicole and I hope to help build a house for a family in Mexico this August. I found the floor plan for this simple home. We are going to be working with Baja Christian ministries and Global Expeditions. The folks at Baja Christian Ministries build houses nearly every weekend. This is good news. I have two hands, but I don't really know how to build anything! I'm going and I'm ready to help. We could use your help. We want to pay the $5000 it takes to buy the building materials for a house. This is not something we must do. That is, they will accept our help even if we don't pay for the materials. I just want to teach my daughter how to trust God for big things. How to step out and try to be used by God. I'm trying to help build her character. I'm trying to help her see that she can personally change the world in a positive way. When we hand the keys to the family that receives our house, I want Nicole to know she really went the 2ND mile to change this families life.

Planning for Retirement?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The wind


There is a strong wind blowing outside. I guess it hit Northern Germany last night. I was worried because Juergen was heading North to see his parents. His mom continues to grow weak. She sometimes sleeps for two days in a row, not eating or drinking. Juergen said he is not sure she can even see him anymore. The last time he was there she clearly recognized him, now not at all.
The boys are at a birthday party today. Jessica continues to sleep and recover from her big trauma. Sarah is pretty happy to be with me. She plays, does art, and watches Dora. Nicole visited a friend. It's pretty quite here apart from that loud wind. I feel as if I'm waiting for the change I know is about to unfold. What sort of change? I could hardly say...it's just a feeling. It's like the change of seasons. Nothing remains the same. I can feel the change...it's like the wind...it is coming.