for all you who are subscribed to this blog,
I have started a new one:
// www. //
See you there!


He Knows What I Need.

/There's a day that's drawing near/
/When this darkness BREAKS TO LIGHT/
/And the shadows disappear/ 
/And my faith shall be my eyes/ 
/And the grave is overwhelmed/ 
/The victory is WON/
/He is risen from the dead/ 

Yesterday was a God-day.
"My Jesus knows just what I need." 

I haven't blogged since we've been here, and it's incredible how much can change in 2 and 1/2 weeks.
How uprooting and moving across the world can become the new normal.

But there is still a whole lot of new.
There are so many things that I haven't seen, heard, tasted, or learned yet that it can seem a bit overwhelming.
Okay, a LOT overwhelming.

And for the past weeks that we've been here, we've been settling in, and thinking about little things like
coffee pots and bookshelves and sleep.
and that's good, because this IS home now, and we have to be practical for at least a little while.
And I'm just now realizing how God has blessed us with our house and furniture and all the other important things that one needs to live.
But, it's easy to slip back into 'life' without really changing anything.
Just because we're on the other side of the world as missionaries doesn't mean that our attitudes or thoughts or habits automatically become perfect.
Rather the opposite.
It's easy to forget that God didn't just bring us here to exist; He never calls us just to exist.
He has a purpose in us being here other than just staying in our little shells, even when it's hard to communicate with anyone around us.

Bunny Trail.

Yesterday, was a God day.
A few of us Millers and Barkmans spent a day roaming around Thailand.
We started out around 7:00 am.
By the time got to the mountain, the sun was up, and people were bustling around.
Our first 'experience' was seeing the monks coming down from the mountain for their daily food gathering.
People would bring them food for good karma,
and bow to receive a blessing from the monks, many of them ranging from 10-20.
 What an empty, empty religion, inspired from fear.
Pray for these people.

We then walked to the top of Doi Sutep Mountain, to the temple on top.

yes, all those stairs.
And more. 

We got to the top, and walked around.
Oh Jesus, how Your heart aches for these people.
These people, normal ordinary people, coming from far and near to bow down 
and worship, not out of love, but out of terror.
It's incredible to see what people will do out of fear.
Looking into their faces and seeing nothing, emptiness,
Performing useless rituals faithfully,
and seeing their precious children watching 
and imitating their parents is ...
Break through, O Lord, release the captives, and reclaim Your ground.

We sang on that mountain, in the temple,
in a place where Jesus is almost never recognized.

 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. 
(Psalm 16:11)

After that, we were sent on a scavenger hunt.
It was quite the experience.
We were given a list of things that we had to accomplish,
two maps, and some $$.
(which is always useful when using public transportation.)

We were supposed to find a monk, and have a chat with him.
that was very interesting; 
hearing his story and realizing that monks are real people.
To hear him talk about the uncertainty of their religion; never knowing if you're 'enlightened' or not,
never knowing where you stand ...
Praise God for our living vibrant anchor in Jesus.

Trying a Chai Yen and marking it off our list.

And generally looking lost and confused.

We finally made it to the end of our scavenger hunt after 
'learning' 1-10 in Thai, trying dragonfruit, 
getting four different song taaus, 
sending a 'postcard',
and being lost for about half an hour.
It was so good to get out into the city, 
and instead of retreating into a shell because you can't understand anything, 
we HAD to learn how to communicate.
Prayer walking through the markets,
and realizing that these are his people too.
God places His holy burden on our hearts,
may we learn to joy in it's heaviness.

We had lunch, and then traveled to a boarding house/home for school children.
I have never felt the language barrier so keenly before,
and the huge wall it can erect.
But thankfully, over helping them sort through bean sprouts, 
and stumbling over Thai sentences,
relationships were forged.
It's amazing how much fun learning a language from children can be.
We probably were only right about 1/3 of the time, 
but laughter and smiles are something that translates to every language,
and so there was a lot of that.

It's also amazing how quickly these kids can capture your heart.

Cherie and her twistables were a huge hit.

and then there was a lot of general chaos and games and music and fun.
God imparted His heart, love, burden, passion and peace to His children today.
" My Jesus knows just what I need."

       For all of you who have asked how to pray for us,
pray for clarity in ministry decisions and family decisions.
knowing how much to say yes to, and when to say no.
Pray that God's will would be in our hearts, and that His glory would be seen through our actions,
because words aren't really something we can use yet.
Pray that we'll be able to learn the language as quickly as possible.

Thank you so much for your prayers, really.
We may never know the impact they've had on our lives in this life.
God bless you people.

- C.Celise.B.


Uneloquently Put.

It is 11:15 PM, and I really shouldn't be blogging.
There are only 1,001 other things that I should be doing;
things to pack, bags to weigh, goodbyes to say, house to clean,
and sleep to be had.
but, I shall blog.

How am I doing?
Whenever anyone asks me that, I have to smile to myself.
How am I doing?
If we'd both have time, we could sit down and talk about how I'm feeling for at least five years.

But today?
Today was a good day.
Today, an army of beautiful friends came over and scoured our house from the basement to that one cupboard in the kitchen that's so dirty we try to avoid it, to Cherie's closet that we used sneak out of bed to have sleepovers in.
(It's odd how it takes a move over the ocean to have your house cleaned that well.)
We had a grand time, and only found one dead mouse.
We took a last trip to Wallhouse.
And then we came home and began another long and emotional trail of goodbyes.
How do you say goodbye to people you've looked up to and learned from and loved and embarrassed for seventeen years?
I don't know.
May I never be good at it. 

It's odd how saying goodbye to people, even when you think you're dried up and can't squeeze out another tear, makes your eyes brim over and you get that chokey feeling in your throat that won't let words out.
There are some things that can be better expressed through tears than through words;
 through suffocating hugs than long eloquent speeches.
Because this isn't normal.
This isn't natural, and it doesn't feel good to have your heart tear in two.
It doesn't feel right not to be able to see babies grow up, or couples get married.

but, God is so good. 
I know that that is so cliche, but it's so true.
In the midst of so much heart-aching; so many emotions falling all over themselves;
 God has given a peace that passes my understanding.
A peace that says that all things work together for good.
That God doesn't give beautiful gifts and then take them away unless He has something absolutely mind-blowingly better to give us; if we don't foolishly cling to the first.
That this is God's best for us, and so it's His best for our Church, our family, and our friends.

And He's given me excitement; impatient excitement.
I am so ready to go, so ready to finally do this after knowing about it for a year.
Even though God had a plan even through all of that horrible waiting process.
A plan for empowerment for our family.
(And boy, did He act.)
But now, I think we're ready.
Excited and ready to get on that airplane.
To get to know the wonderful people there waiting for us.
To get to know Thailand; it's land, language and people.
To claim Isaiah 37:26 spiritually over Chiang Mai against the power of darkness:
"... that thou shouldest be to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous heaps."
In Jesus name, we go to proclaim His name to the lost.
I couldn't and wouldn't be doing this without Jesus.
We tell unbelievers that we're moving to Thailand, and they don't understand,
 because none of this makes sense without Jesus.
It doesn't make sense to leave all 'this', unless you have a greater purpose than all 'this stuff'.
We're leaving people, I know.
But we have the hope of heaven, so really, we're just sacrificing a few drops of time in their lives to save souls for eternity where we'll all be together forever and ever amen.
(that's a whole lot easier to type out than live out.)

There are so many other things I wanted to say ...
so many other thoughts that are running through my head.
How we're going to miss this house.
Even down to the squeaky drawers and thin walls.
How we're going to feel on the airplane.
How we love love love you people.
How excited we are for God to change our lives through Thailand.
How scary learning Thai looks.

I wish I could type everything with perfect ease and eloquence, but it's just not really happening tonight.
but lack of words doesn't mean lack of feeling.

Pray for our family.
We are going over in Jesus's name, which we know the devil doesn't appreciate.
We don't ask for things to be easy, because we know that during hard times, we grow.
Pray for the people there that God will bring into contact with us; that we'd be full of boldness and love, and that we'd shine His light onto their lives.
Pray for family unity.
Pray for spiritual, physical, mental and spiritual protection.
Pray for us while we travel.

basically, we can't do this on our own.
Your prayers mean more than you know.

And I'm all out of words yet again.
Listen to Christ of Hope//Michelle Tumes.
Those are the words that are in my heart,
even when they don't make it to my fingers.

May He give you peace.

- ChristinaCelise.


Heart-Rending Worship.

No, I don't really know what all I'm going to write about.
Looking back over my journal,
I realize that it's been a very long time since I blogged.

God has shown me so so much since then.

None of this will be revelations for any of you, most likely,
but I just wanted to get the thoughts out of my head and onto paper.

Worship can come from a heart that is overflowing with love and contentment;
because life is good. 
But worship doesn't always come naturally like that.
The hardest time to worship, the time when it feels like the last thing you can do is worship,
is when your heart is broken, when the world seems to be caving in, when things happen that you don't understand.
That's when worship is the most beautiful; 
when your heart is going through the fire, and you are just clinging; 
clinging desperately to the hope of Jesus. 
That's when you have to make a choice to worship; when everything inside you hurts.
You choose to worship because you know that there is Someone out there that knows better than you;
Someone out there who understands everything that you don't. 
Someone who has a reason for everything He does even when it doesn't make any sense at all.
You worship because that's the only thing you can do.

"Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! 
    Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness..."

"You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

Only in His presence is there fullness of joy.
Fullness of joy, even in the midst of things we can't comprehend.
Because only when we are at our wits end; only when we are out of our own answers; only when
we are completely and utterly helpless, can we truly accept His help.
and when we seek Him with our whole heart,
 we hear His answers, and we ask Him to whisper peace.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you,
 that in me you may have peace.
 In the world you will have tribulation. 
But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Living by Example.

How can I see a need and ask God
when He quietly asks me why I'm not doing the same?

How could I ask Him to shine His light on peoples' lives when 
I'm not willing to be that light?

I know that God doesn't revolve around me;
waiting on me to make decisions.
But isn't that a cop-out?

Isn't asking God to do something He's called me, and every child of His to do,
 a little ridiculous?

"Jesus, please show them your love, somehow, through someone else, 
because I am just too busy. I don't feel like it. Work wonders through someone else."

That's not living a Jesus-follower life.

Somewhere, somehow, my prayers need to be lived out.
Not just said to God right before I fall asleep, 
but lived every day to the brim.

                              "Therefore HE SAID THAT HE WOULD DESTROY THEM,
                                to turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them."

That's living your prayers out. 
That's the kind of life that I want to live;
being willing for God to use me like that, 
to bring before His throne people that He's laid on my heart, 
to "stand before Him in the breach" for their lives, 
and to not give up until I see results. 

Who has God called you to stand in the breach for?

Gratitude list #472: OH DEATH WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?

- Christina.



Gratitude is becoming more a part of me than ever before.

Maybe it's because we're moving, and I'm having to appreciate the 'little things' more than ever.
Maybe it's because I started a gratitude journal, and looking over the 'little things' that I wrote down
make me happy more than once.
Maybe it's because my perspective about the 'little things' is being changed by Him.
I don't know, but I don't hope it stays this good;
I hope it gets better.

I'll show you a little glimpse into my gratitude book because I think it does everyone good
to think about their own 'little things'.

#111: "From Deep Within". 
     (the Hebrew song we love so much.)

#167: Alexander's smiles.
                                   (My little cousin. Be jealous. Be very jealous.)

#190: Words of Truth that hurt.  

#199: Yellow Envelopes
                           (Because this means I got a letter from Monica. That is not something one takes lightly.)

Set of 50 A2 Envelopes Yellow Sunshine DIY Materials Supplies Invitations Notecards Packaging Business Marketing. $10.50, via Etsy.

#202: A stack of letters waiting to be answered.
           (Because that means I have people who send me some in response.)

#261: Lightening bugs mixing with the stars.

#267: "the kneeling christian"
(This book has literally changed my life. 
If you're struggling in your prayer life, 
or even if you think you just haven't reached the depth of prayer you would like to,
get this book. 
It's worth it.)
                         The Kneeling Christian. Highly recommend!      Book is also in Public Domain:

#292: Eye sparkles and big smiles.
(Take me baaack ...)

#316: The last drops of day staining the trees dusk.


#321: Little sister's hand in mine. 

#324: Antique love. 
(There is nothing quite so wonderful as old couples still in love.)
old couples | Tumblr              

#332: Little girls' dirty feet.

#355: Old photo memories.

#358: Keeping a straight face after receiving a stinging brother highfive.

#376: Jocelyn. 
(There is no one in the world quite like Jocelyn. 
Her sincere personality is inspiring.
Her bluntness is my favorite.
If anyone would try to be like her, they would utterly fail,
because no one can say the things that she says in quite the same way, 
so there are plenty of 'you had to be there' moments with her. 
She is the one who sends us all into fits of laughter on Tuesday night Wallhouse Bible Studies
which convinces people that we don't actually have Bible study, 
we just get together to tell jokes. 
We love you Jocelyn.)

#383: Generosity. 
(People continue to amaze me by their giving-ness, whether it's something small or something huge.. 
Generosity is actually still alive people, don't give up hope. )

So, I guess to sum things up, 
I've learned that there are no 'little things'.
Little things, added up, become the big things that change our lives, 
whether it's for the worse or for the better.