Conquering a Fear

My task for the end of this week is to get over my fear of street photography, and improve in most if not all areas.

Yes, I have a fear of street photography, I’ve always been scared that someone’s going to come up and tell me not to take their picture, or something like that. Silly I know and a bad habit, especially in the line of work I want to get into. I just feel self conscious about taking photos on the street

But I shall conquer this fear! Or die trying (figuratively of course).

Afula 041 signed

It took almost all my courage to do this one. By the way it’s the new shopping mall here in Afula. They are doing road work down near the other round about, and I think they are adding a bus stop too. The market (shouk) is up the road a bit. Down the road is a grocery store and an indoor mall.

Any tips on getting over my fear or ideas for it are welcome!

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Backpacks Again!

Yesterday when we went grocery shopping in town we went to look at backpacks. Not big hiking backpacks but more like school backpacks. Which we have noticed over time would have been a big help in the past but didn’t take the time to pick any up until now.

They will be a big help for when we go to places and don’t need the big ones.

Afula 045 signedThis ones mine, Joseph also liked this one but decided to let me have it as he had his eye on another one. It’s a swiss pack, made to carry a 14 inch laptop, but it carries my hydration bladder perfectly (that’s the tube you see sticking out).

Afula 047Not a very good picture of inside it but it will have to do.

Afula 052 signedThis is one of the self portraits I don’t mind posting. My head wasn’t supposed to be cut off but, it looks pretty good that way.

The pack will also be my Photography bag. I probably won’t leave home with out it now.

Afula 063 signedMom’s been needing a backpack purse for awhile. Its much easier than her old purses.

Afula 056 signedErin’s pink one is totally her. In her hand is a book mark that she is almost finished cross stitching, I won’t comment about the one I’m supposed to be completing.

Afula 069 signedBen is quite happy with his. E & B’s bags are almost the same.

Joseph hasn’t gotten one yet and I don’t know what dad’s decided.

These are NOT, I repeat are NOT an excuse to collect more things. Actually for me its an excuse to get rid of things WHOOOHOOO! Not that there’s much. But with the extra backpack, I don’t want to look like an over excessive backpacker. Because I’m not, its all I own. So I’m determined to lessen the load on my back, stick the tent IN the pack and still be able to run! That’s my plan so we’ll see how far I get in that. Last year I disliked the fact that my pack looked like a mammoth, and I am not going to let it look like that now. Especially now.

So these are our new packs. But who knew one could be so happy with so little and 1/3 of it I don’t use. Pretty ironic don’t you think? I’m content with little, I don’t need many things to keep me happy. We’ve learnt to live with not having much, and in my opinion we/I still have too much.

Maybe I’m going too far, but, I just am not satisfied. I’m not satisfied with the weight of my pack, all the clothes and things that I have, I need to downsize on it all. It seems like an internal reflex now. Stuff = Heavy = My poor back = hard time on pubic transport and walking which in turns means no running.

You may wonder what’s your big deal about running? My big deal about it is that last year I felt Abba tell me that my backpack needed to be light enough so that if necessary I could run up a hill with it. At this point that ain’t going to happen.

You’re a What?

If you’ve read the who I am part of my blog, you’ll know that I ‘m a C.O.D.A. No that’s not a disease or anything. It means Child of Deaf Adult, if you’ve got 1 or 2 parents that are Deaf that makes you C.O.D.A.

I’ve always known since I was little that, because my Dad and two siblings were Deaf, my family was different. But, because we didn’t live in or have much contact with the Deaf communities, and every time we got together with the Deaf I felt out of my element. I don’t sign true ASL, I sign pigeon (mixture of ASL and exact english). So in that way I didn’t fit in. I can understand true ASL, but to sign it I have a very hard time. So I thought well I’m not really C.O.D.A then, when I think and say that I hurt a part of myself but, I never really understood why. Because my picture of C.O.D.A is Bonnie Kraft, or my Mom and Brother. I’ve never felt accepted in the Deaf community, even though I love Deaf people, I’m always feeling that I’m not good enough, and an outsider because I’m hearing. Well, people would say I’m more hearing than Deaf. I even had a Deaf person ask me if I disliked Deaf people, because I was hearing, even though the guy knew that I had Deaf siblings and a Deaf father. To me I couldn’t understand that, just because I don’t jump in right when we meet a Deaf person and start signing, that doesn’t mean I exclude them.

I’ve been wondering am I just not C.O.D.A? I’ll always be Dad’s daughter, I mean not C.O.D.A by culture.

But no I’m more C.O.D.A than I think, Mom found these videos last night.

Its in both ASL and verbal English, and it is absolutely hilarious.

If you watched this video, you and I both can now understand why my Uncle SO dislikes driving with me in the front seat. When I’m in the front seat I always help my Dad, he can do everything himself but, if you want to talk while he’s driving you gotta help. Of course I don’t touch the wheel, but I do say lights red, green, there’s a lady crossing. My Uncle HATES it. For Mom and Dad its normal I’ve even talked them into letting me change  gears for them (only while still in the drive way but I did it once on the road for mom).  I don’t dare do it with my grandparents, except Grandma. You should watch her when Grandpas driving she Literally TOUCHES the wheel!

We don’t have the lights on while driving, Dads number one rule for night driving NO lights!

Maybe I’m more C.O.D.A than I thought. I may be lousy at my signing, (I’ve had people tell me that), I may not know Deaf culture. But I do know that I have Deaf in my family, and I ‘m not embarrassed, by it (anymore). More like I’m proud, No one and I mean No one can dis Deaf people, especially when I’m around. Because you may not be talking about my family but Deafness is part of my family. So its like you’re dissing my family. A big no,no, in a C.O.D.A’s life. I (like my mom and grandma before her) get really riled, and, don’t tell anyone, but I have a hard time not going over and giving that person a piece of my mind, and a seriously hard lecture on Deaf people.

I know there are C.O.D.A’s out there that are embarrassed about their parents Deafness. People look and ask, kids can make fun of you, and you feel like a spectacle for the whole world. I can understand that feeling too. It gets a but much at times, its like HEY people we may be signing but you don’t stare this much at a person speaking another language. Find something else to stare at. And if you go to school (I went for 1 year, before we went back to homeschooling) it can be really hard, especially if it’s a hearing school. I know I hated it when my Dad walked me to school because, parents had to stay until kids went into the classroom. I always saw my Dad stand by himself, no one would talk to him or try because he was Deaf. I hated that. Not the fact that he walked me but, that he was left out. Many kids came up to me and asked “Is that Your Dad?” I felt offended at that, not the question but the tone of voice it was asked in.

I realized later that it wasn’t that I was embarrassed by my Dad, I was embarrassed by the people that avoided my Dad. I was embarrassed that these hearing people a part of me (because I can hear) and they are avoiding my Dad another part of me. The two cultures are hard to mix. A big difficulty in life, especially for a C.O.D.A.

So to conclude. I’m more C.O.D.A than I realized. That part isn’t going anywhere. And having a Deaf parent is a special thing in life (especially when you like the music loud Hehe).

Being C.O.D.A makes you a special person, its nothing to be embarrassed about, it may be the cause of embarrassment. But, if you handle it well its nothing more than something in the past.

One more thing.

I’M C.O.D.A and I’M PROUD OF IT!! No one can dis my family when I’m around! (its in all CODA’s whether you like it or not, you just can’t stand Deaf people being spoken negative about)

I like having a Deaf Dad, its important to me, as is having Deaf siblings, it makes Me, ME. I wouldn’t be ME any other way. Nor would I have it any other way. Unless of course YHWH had a different plan.

I love my family, so if you’ve got Deaf in your family, whether it be a parent, grandparent, sibling, child, you’re blessed. Don’t be embarrassed about it, be proud about it. Deaf people are as important in this world as hearing people, not anymore or any less.

My Day

Afula 048 signed

Its been raining for the last two days. But that’s nice, because it’s cooled down everything, and the last time we were here and it rained we were in tents. Not fun to be in tents when you have winter rain. But its SO nice because we have an actual roof and walls. I like it when it rains. Its always fun, except when you’re in tents.

I talked Mom into walking down to the grocery store even though it was going to rain. It was AWESOME! I love walking in the rain! I think I smiled all the way to the grocery store. Ben came with us and Joseph caught up near the bottom.

Afula 053 signed

Down below is Afula. I took more pictures of Afula today than I did last time we were here.

Afula 056 signed

More Bougainvillea! I told you they grow like weeds here.

It was a good morning. BTW: When Mom passed under the flowers I shook it and sprayed the water on Mom. That was funny.

After all that we caught the bus and came home. That was pretty much my morning.

Flowers and self Portraits

Afula 2012 008 edge<- Has Edging

These flowers are all over here, they grow like weeds but, are beautiful.

Afula 2012 012 signed

The flowers are called

Bougainvillea

And don’t ask me to say it because I can’t.

 

I’ve started a Photography challenge of taking a self portrait a day for 1 year. I’ve missed some and accidently deleted photos from others, but over all I’ve done well in keeping it. I doubt I’ll post any of them though. But, I just may surprise myself.

Why does He think I’m strong enough? Part 2

He’s building us back up after the 7 month trip. I think it may take a bit of time. But I want to see that spark in my family again, I want to feel free again. To laugh, to see my family laugh, to see my younger siblings run and play, laugh and be themselves. My older brother to have that spark in his eyes, to be who he is meant to be. My parents to be able to watch their children to grow up with a smile on their face. Not to always have to think about where we are supposed to be next, or how they are going to afford the next pair of shoes. To take the worry lines from their faces. Its amazing what we take for granted.

I miss my sister drawing something, and being excited to show everyone what she did, and how she’s gotten better. My little brother, playing with cars and trucks, having that serious expression that always gave my mom joy, but could be turned into a joyful smile so easily. My older brother, yes he was often a know-it-all, but I miss his smile. Not the one he puts on now, that ones fake and only because he has to smile, I miss his true smile. The one that says, all is right in the world, or at least all is going well with my family. I can compare two pictures and I see the difference.

I can’t tell you how much I miss that. How much I miss my moms spark, my dads too. How many times I think about it and nearly can’t hold back my tears. Abba did not destroy the family, like Abba did not destroy Job, I don’t know why He’s taken the joy. Oh sure I can jump around and smile and look all joyful. But true joy for longer than 1/2 hour? I haven’t felt that for almost 2 years. But He’s still with us saying, “Hold on, I’ll hold you up while you cannot stand.”

This is my cry this is my prayer:

I was alive but I had no will to live,

I had breath but no dreams,

I had life but nothing to live for.

I want to:

Be alive and have the will to live,

Have breath and put my dreams to action,

Have life and have a whole world to live for!

This is my cry this is my prayer, Abba hear me! Heal us, bind up these broken hearts and make us a living, walking, loving, testimony for YOU!

(what I mean by world, is to see and take all the opportunities that He has for me out there, and in my own home)

To be alive and to live, not only for what He has for my life, but to live for Him to help others.

Why does He think I’m strong enough? Is it because I won’t back down, from a challenge? Hey, He knows I won’t I told Him so when I was 13. Maybe its because I know my life would be worth nothing without Him in it, and to make sure I keep Him in my life I will go. I’ve told Him that when the time comes and He sends me out, I want to be in the thick of it. Where I can help the most, where I can be of the most service to Him. My life wouldn’t matter any other way, I will either die serving Him and helping people, or He will preserve my life, either way He’s holding my life in His hands, and that’s just fine with me!

Back to the point. He doesn’t think that I’m strong enough, He knows I’m strong enough. He won’t give us more than we can take. He will stretch us out to our limit, and I mean to the absolute total limit, and what can feel like a bit beyond the limit. He may break us so that we can be made new. But He won’t break us, so that we cannot get back up. If we let Him, He always builds us back up stronger than before.

Yahushua said: Take heart, I have over come the world. (John 16:33b)

He already has our victory, He already has my victory, now I just need to reach out and grab hold of it. Remember we are strong enough, He would never give us something that we cannot handle. We might feel weak and puny but He knows better.

But, seeing my family like this breaks my heart. That’s why I’m praying for a place to settle or a place to stay for a while, so He can work in us all, and bring back the joy, the life in each of us. But, His will be done.

Thank you, all who prayed for us while we were on the journey and afterwards. You have no idea what your prayers meant and still mean to us, and how many of those prayers helped us keep going when we just wanted to collapse.

May Yahuweh bless you in everything that you do.

Now you may think I’m done but this is only the tip of the ice-berg. Until next time!

Surviving-the-enduring-race

Acts 17:28a   For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.

Why does He think I’m strong enough? Part 1

I was talking to my family the other day, about our 7 month backpacking trip, and how we’ve been living for the last just over 1 1/2 years.

And I thought to myself, “I wonder, why does He think I’m strong enough for this”?

I’ll be honest I don’t know. Sometimes I think that wouldn’t it be better if I wasn’t strong enough, and then He would go easier on me. But then again, I wouldn’t be me. I’ve got the mentality of what my mom calls a soldier, just because its hard, that’s all the more reason to try harder.

Let me explain something about those 7 months.

——–

When we left North America, we were prepared for North American style of camping. We didn’t realize how much different it was. I knew from the moment that we landed, that -yes we were supposed to go on this trip (I knew before we left as well)-, it would be the hardest thing we’ve ever done.

That was proven as soon as we put our backpacks on and walked out the door:

1. they were so heavy that we couldn’t lift them ourselves, it took two people to pick one up and get it on the one persons back (for the big ones really).

2. we knew nothing about what we were doing.

3. everything was pretty much double to triple what we would pay in Canada.

We managed, but I still remember the first week, He was in it, yes. But, it was still very hard. We all remember that first week and it was horrible! But He was with us. By the time we got up to the Isles of Lewis, -He was still with us- we were worn out. We didn’t have anything left really. Then with the hardships we faced there, it took everything out of us. I started to die, inside, I know there were others in the family that were already dead, just living on the outside. I was dead by the time we arrived in Birmingham. I was no longer the light hearted, smiling laughing girl I once was. I had a frown on my face more often than a smile.

It just got worse and worse as time went on. No one smiled anymore and if they did it was only for a brief moment. I hated looking into the mirror and seeing my eyes, because all I saw, instead of the spark that was once there, I saw sorrow there, sorrow and emptiness. I saw that in all our eyes. There was no longer the spark of life that there once was in each of us. Even Erin was no longer the clown and cheerful girl she once was, and it took a lot to take her down.

Now, I know most of you will say, oh you’re just complaining. But, I’m being honest, that trip was a miracle, not only, Joseph making it was a miracle, but that all of us made it. Because if you looked at the facts and statistics the odds were against us.

I know Abba Father was with us on that journey, not just because of the small miracles, but because, if it wasn’t for Him sustaining us, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have made it.

I was alive but I had no will to live,

I had breath but no dreams,

I had life but nothing to live for.

That’s how it was for all of us. That’s why I say, it is His will that we be alive today. It was His will that we went on that journey, and that’s why we survived it.

My old dreams are gone, they’re gone with my old life. Some of the old dreams are still alive, but they aren’t the same as before. That seven month trip taught me something: life is precious, and to live is to put your life in His hands, because until you face something that puts everything in Him, your life, and those you hold dear, life never looks the same again.

Even now I know that anything can happen in my life. Even though I am only 16, I know that life is short, and that there are more than one way of dying. I’ve died a total of 2 ways.

The first way, I died to self, and accepted Yahushua in my life. (John 3:16)

The second happened on the trip, I died. Not physically of course but, everything inside me did.

——–

So now that I’ve explained that to the best of my ability.

You can see why I wonder why I’m strong enough. I remember coaching myself for a whole 7 months saying “you’re ok, perfectly fine and have no excuse to stop or drop unless you literally drop cannot get back up or cannot get out of bed. But until you drop you keep marching”. Even though I could drop and not go any farther I pushed myself, and I wouldn’t let anyone else in my family drop either. I would not leave anyone behind.

I treated myself and others around me as soldiers. That is how I kept moving. But wouldn’t it be easier to be weaker than I am and then He might let me live in a house in one spot? No, it wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be true, I would be hiding and not taking up my stake for Him.

Do you remember reading in the history book or watching movies, about WW1 and WW2? How the soldiers even though they knew it would be tough and harsh, went anyway. Because that was the right thing to do, and if they didn’t go they would regret it. Many came back shell shocked, and with PTSD. I can compare that a bit with my life. To go is tough and harsh, with out the comforts of home. To stay would be something I would regret for the rest of my life.

We have not come out of this 1 1/2 year trip unscathed, no we all have our scars, our PTSD. Yes, I said PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Anyone can have PTSD. If you’re in a car accident and you’re afraid of cars or nervous to ride in one afterwards. That’s still PTSD, because you’ve been through a traumatic situation and PTSD is the after affect.

He sees me as strong enough to live this way, to go through the sorrows and hardships we must endure. I feel some how strangely blessed.

Imagine that, I feel blessed that He’s taken all worldly security from me, I have no house, no car, no place to call home and yet I feel strangely blessed. You must be thinking you’re crazy! you have almost nothing to call your own, yet you feel Blessed!?!? What are you NUTS!!!!!

Actually I may be insane! But He chose the fools to confound the wise (1 Cor 1:27). I wouldn’t substitute His choice of life for me for a mansion and the best that money can buy.

I said to my family one day. You know He’s putting us through a test like He did Job.

Job lost everything

He told us to give up everything

Job went through hardships, pain and suffering.

He’s put us through hardships, pain and suffering.

Job never forsake YHWH, but he did put himself as knowing more than Elohim.

During all of these hardships (that started way before we left North America) we have not forsaken Him, but, yes we fought with Him and cried out WHY!

Father corrected Job in his wrong. But, He also forgave him.

Father corrected us in where we were wrong, but, He has forgiven us.

Job’s trials were a test, to see if he would endure and continue to say that YHWH is righteous.

Fathers putting us through the fire, to see if we will come out still saying that He is righteous.

Job was given twice what was taken from him, and was considered righteous in YHWH eyes.

I have no idea what He has for us after the fire.

I actually don’t even know if this is the end of His test or this is just the beginning of the furnace. I don’t think I want to know the answer to that.

But if I do know something, He has a sense of humor, and sometimes I think its an inside  joke, because I don’t get what’s so funny. But if He doesn’t have a sense of humor how on earth would we have one.

Coming soon Part 2.

We may

Jerusalem and Afula fall 2012 020 croped and signed

We may fall down…..

                                 But we don’t have to stay down……..

                                                                                            Yahushua’s given His life…….

So we can put all the dark pain in the past……

                                                                         And shine, bloom, and grow………

It’s a Win or Lose Situation

We know we aren’t perfect and that we fail. I fail, I do that very easily. But when we say or think, “I’m not perfect. I fail, what could you possibly do with me”, we’re saying that Satan’s won. Why or How you may ask, well its quite simple,

You’ve just said that what Yahushua did wasn’t enough

and that because you still fail and aren’t perfect, He might as well take his plans and go else where.

You just let satan win!

let me quote a song from Ron Kenoly:

It is such fun to see
Such fun to see
Satan lose
It is such fun to see
Such fun to see
Satan lose

Jesus is the Winna mon
The Winna mon
The winna mon
Jesus is the Winna mon
The Winna mon all the time   (2)

It is such fun to see
Such fun to see
Satan lose
It is such fun to see
Such fun to see
Satan lose
Jesus is the Winna mon
The Winna mon
The winna mon
Jesus is the Winna mon
The Winna mon all the time

I am on the winning side
I am on the winning side
The winning side
The winning side
I am on the winning side
The winning side all the time

In Matthew chapter two
Satan lose
When Jesus was born in a manger
And in the wilderness
Satan lose again
At the Mount of Transfiguration
Yeah!

It is such fun to see
Such fun to see
Satan lose
It is such fun to see
Such fun to see
Satan lose
Jesus is the Winna mon
The Winna mon
The winna mon
Jesus is the Winna mon
The Winna mon all the time

At the crucifixion
Satan lose again
When Jesus rose triumphantly
From the grave
And at the ascension
Satan lose
Once more
When I was born again
Yeah!

It is such fun to see
Such fun to see
Satan lose
It is such fun to see
Such fun to see
Satan lose
Jesus is the Winna mon
The Winna mon
The winna mon
Jesus is the Winna mon
The Winna mon all the time

Now try singing this
The Winna mon (7)
Jesus is the Winna mon
The Winna mon all the time  (2)

He’s the Winna
The Winna
The Winna
Jesus is the Winna mon
The Winna mon all the time  (2)

It is such fun to see
Such fun to see
Satan lose
It is such fun to see
Such fun to see
Satan lose

Jesus is the Winna mon.

You can watch the music video at

(my grandma really likes this song, I think my mom and her have a very similar taste in music. But that’s beside the point)

Philippians 1:6 says that He started a good work in us and will continue to perfect it until the day of Yahushua Messiah.

And there are several other verses too.

So when we were Born Again, Satan lost, so don’t let Satan win by saying or thinking that we aren’t good/perfect enough for Father to work through us. He takes things in strides, if He trusts you to do this then by all means you’re ready for it. It doesn’t matter if you’re perfect or not, just as long as you give all you’ve got you’ve got nothing to be afraid of or be ashamed of.

So next time you think about backing out or saying no to Him because you don’t feel or think you’re good enough because you still fail at things, remind yourself that you’re just letting Satan win. I don’t think that’s a good thing because he’s just going to get cocky and bug you all the more because he knows he can get to you.

Instead say, Father gave me this job or has this plan for my life, and He won’t give me more than I can handle. So lets go for it, even though I may not be perfect He thinks I’m good enough for this job.

and BAM, Satan loses again! And Yahushua’s just won a victory, of course He’s already given us the victory, we just have to take the the victory!

New Friends

We have some new friends! Ok, so they’re cats…. but they’re still cute, even though they are feral.

Cats in Afula 001 brighten and signThis is Panther

Cats in Afula 018 darken and signedand Patches

There are more, but Panther is almost always around in the mornings and late afternoon. Patches comes when she’s around. The others are less friendly, and came latter on.

I know, once again we’ve got cat friends. We seem to make them where ever we go.

I guess it’s a substitute, because with all the traveling we can’t have pets. And cats will continue on life once we aren’t there anymore, where dogs become loyal. That and I don’t think our parents will let us make friends with a stray dog. Probably smart.

One day when we settle down I would like to get a pet. But that’s all up to my Heavenly Father.