Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Haiti Story...

I was listening to Pandora (as I do from time to time) and a song came on I hadn’t heard in years (like 12).  “The Roses” by Caedmon’s Call.

I was thinking about Haiti (as I do from time to time) and a certain person popped into my head.  Maximilian.

These two just happen to coincide.

One of the most memorable events in our recent trip to Haiti was when Maximilian took us by his house.  We had just hiked down the steep mountain to the well in Fond Baptiste, and back up.  The air was hot; I was thinking inwardly, because I was extremely tired.  At the top of the mountain was Maximilian’s humble home.  His wife and daughter were outside shucking corn.

Maximilian had two buildings with brightly colored walls that were tucked into the dense forest of the Haitian mountains.  There were clothes drying on the clothesline strung out across the property.  His wife had to pull back a blanket to greet us as we arrived.  His daughter of three or four was shy, but his wife was inviting and happy to see us.  The building to the left was Maximilian’s house.  It had light blue walls and over the door was written “The Lord is Lord.”  The building to the right had yellow walls with pink columns.  Under this cheerfully colored building was a grim reminder of what this life has in store for every one of us, no matter our geography.  There were arches under the yellow building sealed with cement.  This is where Maximilian buried his family.  If I remember correctly he said he buried older relatives, and at least one child who died.

I have not had to deal with death very often.  In the 30+ years of my life I have only attended a handful of funerals for my own family.  Some were rougher than others.  Most were older people toward the end of their life, but some were tragic.  One thing is the same in all those instances though:  I didn’t have to bury them myself.

I’ve heard losing a child is the greatest sadness one could feel, but having to bury that child yourself, must be extremely difficult.

On our last night in Haiti we met with the Leadership Council in a church building across the street from where we were staying.  At the top of their lungs the Leadership Council started to sing several hymns to open the meeting.  It nearly brought me to tears.  My mind went back to a few days before when I was standing at Maximilian’s house.

Maximilian had personally buried family members, including his own child, yet still found joy in worship.

As Americans we think our life is so terrible.  When will the economy turn around?  Why do I hate my job?  Why does God bless others, but not me?  Why doesn’t FSU win more games?  There are those who have to deal with much more than we could imagine, yet still find joy.

You may be asking yourself, “the point is, what, exactly?”  The truth is, I don’t think I have one.  This is just a story.  I wanted to tell a story of a man who has had to deal with great obstacles in his life, but who sings at the top of his lungs, even in the midst of strangers.  Is Maximilian perfect?  Far from it.  Is he some sort of hero?  I’m sure he would tell you he is not.  Did he make an impression on my heart?  Definitely.

The lyrics to Caedmon's Call "The Roses" goes as follows...

High above the valley of Quito
And old man and his bride grow roses
Red and yellow, white and golden
To him they are precious as children
Their daughter, she moved to America
One more brick in the Tower of Babel
She has a son that they've never seen at all
They're praying that they raised her well

On the mountians high
They will live and die
As time just slips away
And the children grow
In the God they know
As time just slips away

A man, his bride, his children, and his roses
Planted in faith and waterd in tears
Honey, that's all they have and they're happier here
Than any of my friends back home
They met Jesus and they really know Him

Now I'm back at home, all alone
And I'm trying to find my thoughts
Of that old man so inspiring
And the TV's always on
And the phone, it won't stop ringing
These bills, they keep on screaming
I'm paying for the things we never really need
Wonder what he's doing right now
Maybe walking through is simple field
Thinking about how God has blessed him so
A man, his bride, his children and his roses

On the mountians high
They will live and die
As time just slips away
And the children grow
In the God they know
As time just slips away


Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

This weekend has been filled with traveling and spending precious time with family.  We are very much excited about waking up at the crack of dawn to exchange gifts and create new holiday memories.  
I'm feeling very grateful for this little family of mine...

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 Bishop Family Christmas Tree

Here it is, folks!  Our second annual Christmas Tree video.  We knocked it up a notch this year and made sure Bowden was extra cute!  We hope you enjoy watching as much as we enjoyed finding our perfect-in-every-way Bishop Family Christmas Tree!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Our New Adventure

In June, Nic and I were approached by our church to see if we wanted to take part in a new adventure.  The church was asked by a local apartment complex seeking out a couple to move in to be the apartment's Resident Assistance Program Representatives.  In other words, they were looking to have on-campus staff to plan events for the complex, visit home-bound residents, welcome new residents and basically build community within the complex.

When we were first approached, our answer was an automatic no.  You see, I don't like change.  It makes me nervous.  I LOVED our house. I was happy there.  Bowden had a fenced in yard, and we had great neighbors. We both work full time jobs and didn't want to add a third job to our already busy life. And I definitely didn't want to move into an apartment.  BUT, God had a different plan.  He started to change our hearts.

Later that week, Nic and I were sitting in the living room, and this subject came up once again.  We were talking about how life would be different if we were missionaries.  How if we moved to a different country we would probably still work full time jobs. We would probably be living in a small apartment surrounded by total strangers.  And we would probably be trying to build community while sharing the love of Christ.

As we were discussing how different our lives would be if we were missionaries, everything just clicked for Nic and I.  It was as if a light bulb turned on in both of our heads.  We were to be missionaries right here in Tallahassee.  We had to accept this opportunity.  This was a chance to love on others, to help others, and to shares Jesus with our neighbors.  For someone who hates change, I felt at peace with this decision.  And at the first of July, we moved to the apartment.

Things have changed a lot in the Bishop household.  But we have all adjusted well... even Bowden. :)  Every month we send out a Calendar of events that we have planned.  Some of them are big events such as our Back to School Block Party or our Fishing Derby.  Some are smaller, such as our weekly Wednesday Coffee Hour or Ice Cream Socials.  We have had the opportunity to get to know families, single Moms, college students, children and Senior Adults.  Although this has not always been easy... there are times when we are exhausted, times we are not feeling very social, and times where our patience is tested.  Those are the times when we are so grateful to our church for supporting us through this adventure and also volunteering to help at events.  And when we have the opportunity to meet someone new, or to be a listening ear to some who just needs to talk, we are reminded of why we are really living here.

Fishing Derby

Nic manning the Snow Cone station
Sunnyside Express Food Truck came to the apartment
Mom helping with crafts
Back to School Block Party
S'mores at the pond


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Birthday Trip to Disney!

Boy, have I gotten behind on my blogging.  I definitely have a lot of catching up to do because things have been a-changing in the Bishop household; so how about I just jump right in...

Our friend, Daniel and I have birthdays a day apart, so we decided to go on a weekend getaway to the happiest place on earth to celebrate.  Nic and I began our weekend celebration visiting my Grandparents.  Normally when we visit, we just hang out, catch up, do a little shopping or go to the movies, but this time my Grandparents wanted to take us sight-seeing.  So we visited Spook Hill and Bok Tower.  I have to admit, there wasn't much to Spook Hill.  But then again, if you're going with my Grandma, you'll definitely be entertained (she was amazed)!  :)  Bok Tower was beautiful.  It made for a very relaxing day.

Bok Tower
My beautiful Grandparents

We spent the rest of our weekend at Disney World.  We bought a special package that got us into 3 parks over 3 days.  We went to Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.  It made for an exhausting weekend, but we had a blast!

 Bethany and I on the monorail. Super excited to go to Magic Kingdom!

 Buzz Lightyear ride

 Hollywood Studios
 The Scariest ride... EVER!

 Taking a break during the rain.
 Animal Kingdom

Some highlights from the trip:  Space Mountain, Ice cream, Maggiano's (all you can eat Italian), Rockin Roller coaster, Tower of Terror, Soft Pretzels, meeting up with good friends Chuck and Hollie, Expedition Everest, watching Daniel and Bethany devour a giant turkey leg.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mom's Birthday Weekend

My Mom had one surprise after another this year for her birthday, and she definitely deserved it.  First, some of the ladies in the church put together a Birthday brunch at The Egg Cafe.  Mary An did such a good job with the decorations and games.  It was super cute with a tea room theme, the food was great,  and the company was better-- it's always nice to have a girl's day.  

 Mary An made the cake herself.  I was pretty impressed.
 Some of the girls...

 We played a game where you had to put the pictures in chronological order.   My Dad donated all the photos. The one on the right cracked us all up because it's of my Mom on a date with one of her old boyfriends.  We all wondered if my Dad really thought it was him.  :)

 The birthday girl with the wonderful hostesses.

My Mom's actual Birthday was on Easter weekend which gave us the perfect opportunity to surprise her again!  My sister flew in and my Grandparents drove up to surprise her at Food Glorious Food (oh, this place is so good) for her birthday dinner.  I don't think she suspected a thing.  It was so fun to see her expression as she walked in with my Dad, and we were already seated at their table.  :) 

After dinner we headed back to my parent's house for dessert and gifts.
 Some of the gang enjoying the birthday dessert.

It was a busy weekend that went by way too fast.  I was scheduled to work most of the weekend, so for Easter dinner we all got together one more time at my favorite restaurant, MoMo's.  It was wonderful having the entire family together to celebrate with Mom.

And I just had to add these photos of my sister gracefully climbing into the jeep.  :D

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2 years...

It's been two years.  Wow, they have flown by.  I remember our first dance like it was yesterday.  I was awkwardly trying to shuffle my feet, but you held me tight and didn't let me miss a beat. :)  I love you more and more every day.  Looking forward to dancing (or trying to dance) with you for years and years to come.  Happy Anniversary, Nicholas!

Better Together
There is no combination of words I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing, but I can try for your heart
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things
Like a, shoebox of photographs
With sepiatone loving
Love is the answer,
At least for most of the questions in my heart
Like why are we here? And where do we go?
And how come it's so hard?
It's not always easy and
Sometimes life can be deceiving
I'll tell you one thing, it's always better when we're together

Mmm, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, we'll look at the stars when we're together
Well, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, it's always better when we're together

And all of these moments
Just might find their way into my dreams tonight
But I know that they'll be gone
When the morning light sings
And brings new things
For tomorrow night you see
That they'll be gone too
Too many things I have to do
But if all of these dreams might find their way
Into my day to day scene
I'd be under the impression
I was somewhere in between
With only two
Just me and you
Not so many things we got to do
Or places we got to be
We'll sit beneath the mango tree now

It's always better when we're together
Mmm, we're somewhere in between together
Well, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, it's always better when we're together

I believe in memories
They look so, so pretty when I sleep
Hey now, and when I wake up,
You look so pretty sleeping next to me
But there is not enough time,
And there is no, no song I could sing
And there is no, combination of words I could say
But I will still tell you one thing
We're better together.