September 28, 2007

The Rupps are headed East

It is true. We are moving to East Asia in August of 2008, barring any sort of major set back. This first committment is 3 years. We had our interview with our new company today, in fact, and it went well. Daniel took this picture in a village on his trip this past Christmas. This blog is brief, but I wanted to get the formal announcement out before too much time went by. Please pray for us as we prepare for this monumental shift in our lives. We love you all.

September 25, 2007

The Life of a P's Wife.

This Sunday morning, thank your P's wife. She is a good woman. Every Sunday her husband is up and out the door before the kids get up, in the shirt she pressed late the night before, with a smile on his face and her love in his heart. Then the kids wake up, and she has exactly 2 hours to get everyone fed, washed up, dressed-up, and out the door BY HERSELF. Most women stay home from Sunday meeting when their husbands are out of town. Can you imagine trying to blow dry your hair and put on mascara in the third shirt you've had on that morning, while one child is hollering for more cheerios and one is crying to be nursed? And of course both kids poop their pants just before walking out the door, and while you're carrying one of them to the changing table, he spits up on your shirt. Time for shirt number four. And getting to meeting is only the beginning. Did you know that everyone, EVERYONE watches the P's wife? Oh yes. If she is too tired to raise her hands during the opening praise song, someone is bound to come up to her afterward and say, "Oh dear, are you alright?," as if she has lost her faith altogether. Or if she breaks down and cries in the hall to a good friend because she was up all night with her babies, her neighbor is bound to walk over later that afternoon and say "I heard you were crying at meeting this morning. Are you OK?." (Both of these things have actually happened to me). She can never wear a shirt that is cut too low because someone might see her. She can never honk at someone on the road because they might be a member of her congregation, and she can never sleep in on Sunday morning. She is a good woman.

September 22, 2007

Chasing away my fears

Our three-room scanning monitor (which was well worth the money we forked over for it) is scanning through two quiet bedrooms. That means neither one of our diapered dudes is presently hungry nor afraid. They are both, in fact, asleep. I plan to hit the hay shortly myself. But right now I am contemplating fear. That's right, nasty, pesky, keeps-you-awake-all night fear. It plagued me last night. I was up at 4:30 in the morning at my kitchen table, frantically scribbling down all of the fears consuming my tired mind. Nuclear warfare and moving to a new country made the list. But my biggest fears had to do with my children. Is Bright getting enough attention? Are his little needs getting met? Why has he not taken a nap in five consecutive days? Why is he crying himself to sleep at night all of a sudden? Is Zion going to continue to wake up hungry at 2:30 in the morning until he hits puberty? Will our boys know their grandparents after we move overseas? Are we doing the right thing? And the worst part about the whole night was I didn't feel I could wake Daniel because I needed him rested so he could watch the boys while I slept today. Finally, at 5 a.m., I woke him, and he prayed over me and we talked. I was reminded that I have authority over the Author of Fear. I was reminded that kids are just kids. It is when I expect them not to be kids that I get so horribly disappointed with how things are going. My mom shared with me recently that whenever a person is anxious, there is something they are refusing to accept. So, I accept that I cannot meet my sons' needs. G0D is the only one who can. I accept that I won't get 8-10 hours of beauty rest while I'm raising kids. It just won't happen. OK. It feels good to admit that to myself. I accept my stretch marks and my mothers' tummy that crunchers are no match for. I accept that our kids won't see a lot of their grandparents. And in the mean time, I will put down the Southern Living magazine that just came in the mail and get down on the floor to push matchbox cars with my son. I'll do what I can do. And G0D will do the rest.

September 21, 2007

The Prayer Tunnel

Every night I get to pray with Bright. At first, I did so in the same voice I talked to him with - a sweet, daddy-loves-you kind of voice. Then the other day, I realized that my son never really hears the way I talk to G0D when it's just me and Him. So I decided to change things up a bit. I still pray kid-style sometimes for sure, but he needs to see how his dad talks with THE dad.

So, some nights we started getting on our knees. Most nights I'd lay hands on him. Every night I called on the power of the Ho1y Sp!rit to fill him, to make him a mighty man. Things I usually ask for him, but not over him, and not to his face.

A few nights ago we were on our knees and elbows, side by side, in front of his crib, and I was talking to G0D. After a few seconds, he scooted over to me, crawled and nudged his way under my knees and elbows - to a place we have now deemed "the prayer tunnel." As he crawled inside, he said, "Want I to touch you." Bright's still got his pronouns mixed up, so that translates - "Daddy, why aren't you laying hands on me?"

Last night, I was praying over him in the crib. He quickly grabbed my hand, put it on his belly, and to my surprise said, "Want I to pray for your spirit."

September 19, 2007

The Floating Axheads

If I were a musician - which I'm not - and I ever had a band, I would call it The Floating Axheads. Why, you might ask? If you're not familiar with the story, read about Elijah in 2 Kings. One of Elisha's buddies dropped a borrowed axhead into the water. The prophet threw a stick in after it, and the piece of iron floated to the surface. These are the bible stories that I love. The laws of physics would say that iron does not float. But Dad defied his own laws and raised the axhead from the bottom of the Jordan. I am like a piece of iron. The laws of sin and death would send me straight to the bottom of hell. Iron just does not float. But He defied his own laws and raised me to the surface, toward a stick, with a man hanging on it in a loin cloth. Praise the King of floating axheads!

Now, if I ever had a race horse, I'd name it Icy Cold Beverage...but for no particular reason at all.

September 18, 2007

A mind of his own

We are so proud of Bright for developing a sense of who he is. It is also driving us nuts. The other morning it took me two hours just to get him ready for our local house. "Don't want to wear pants, want to wear SHORTS," he insisted. "You can't wear shorts today, peanut. It's too cold." After a long dance of this, he finally explained his position. "They have buttons on them," he said. Fair enough. Buttons really aren't very comfortable. So I dug through his drawer to find all the pants with no buttons, and I laid them on the floor for his choosing. He deliberated over them, pacing slowly through the options like a judge at a cookoff. After making his selection, it took me bribing him with Swedish Fish candy to get him to put them on. Wouldn't you know, he had picked the dorkiest pair of pants he owns. Everyone that day probably felt sorry for the poor kid who doesn't have anything cute to wear. Most days we don't go anywhere, and he gets to wear whatever he pleases. An unannounced visit to our home would find Bright in his diaper, favorite T-shirt, and his backpack, swinging a broom. He also recently decided he doesn't like peas. Since he eats nearly everything else, I have agreed that he doesn't have to eat them. Now he tries to apply the same logic to other things. For example, I'll say, "Time for bed," and he'll say, "No thank you, there are peas in the bed." Or I'll say, "Time for your bath," and he'll guessed it..."There are peas in the bath." It's a good thing, I keep telling myself, to have a child with a strong sense of self. I just wish he had a better sense of fashion:)

September 15, 2007

Simplify me.

It's hard for me to believe that we are actually planning to move across the world. Are we really going to do that? Are we really going to sit on a crowded jumbo jet for 16 hours with two (hopefully quite drugged) children? Are we really going to have a big garage sale and watch some random lady walk off with the first couch we ever bought? I remember the day we brought it home from the furniture store, to our little apartment on Duncan Avenue in Fayetteville. It smelled like scotchguard and foam, and it was such a pretty color blue! It is now slightly faded where our butts have sat, ever so comfortably, while we played scrabble or watched good movies or argued...and then made up (with a hug, now, get your minds out of the gutter).

I remember as an eleven-year-old, I looked around my Junior High youth group and thought to myself, 'If every one of us grew up and went to a different country, the whole world would hear the news in our life times.' It seemed so simple to me then - just get up and go! I guess that is what He means when he tells us to be like the little children. I only wish I could sit down and talk with my eleven-year-old self again. Maybe she would help me remember why I'm about to sell my couch. Dad, make me like I used to be. Simplify me.

September 13, 2007

I love my man, Part II

So my man can't cook, but he built me a closet in our room last month so we could turn our walk-in closet into a nursery for Zion (transforming our 2-bedroom apartment into a 3-bedroom and saving us nearly $400 a month). Yes, he did use my best scrub brush to clean the toilet while I was out of town. But, he more than made up for it when he fixed my cracked thermos mug with his cordless drill. He can pack more stuff in a moving truck than you have ever seen. If it needs a solution, he'll come up with one. And he's not too proud to wear his supermullet wig when the occasion is right. Yep, I got me a winner. Ladies, eat your hearts out.

September 11, 2007

I love my man

So my husband, Daniel, can't cook. I like it that way. When you have a husband who can't cook, you have a built-in ego booster every evening at the dinner table. You are like a magician, and your audience watches in awe as you transform a green pepper, whole cream, and cajun seasoning into his favorite dish of all time (see recipe below). But then there are other nights, like a few days ago when I decided to make empenadas from scratch, (shown in the picture), another one of Daniel's favorites. The dough is very tricky to make and when Bright wanted to help measure and pour the flour, I couldn't tell him no. Needless to say, the empenadas were a disaster and after two hours of tears, sweat, egg whites, and ground pork flying all over the kitchen, I finally ended up with the finished product. I wanted to burn the recipe in the front yard, but decided not to. I'm glad I didn't do it. Some day, when the kids are grown, I'll make it again.

Daniel does the announcements at our local house. This Sunday he announced a potluck, and he suggested folks "cook a salad." After much giggling from the congregation, he said, "Do you cook a salad? No? What do you do with a salad...gather it from the bushes?" Laughter erupted from all over. My husband's domestic knowledge is not very deep, but he sure is fun to cook for.

Daniel's Favorite Cajun Chicken Pasta

1 box linguine
4 chicken breasts, cut up
4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
4 tablespoons butter
2 green bell peppers, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 package sliced fresh mushrooms
2 green onions, minced
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

- Cook linguine and drain
- Toss chicken with Cajun seasoning, and cook in butter on stove until done.
- Add peppers, mushrooms, and onions and cook until peppers are crisp-tender
- Add cream and next five ingredients and heat through
- Toss with linguine and Parmesan cheese

September 07, 2007

Mother Cow

I remember when I was a child, my mother seemed larger than life to me. In actuality, she was 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighed 115 pounds soaking wet. But when I needed her, she was large and in charge. The back of her knees became a perfect hiding place. Her touch calmed my fears. Her voice settled my heart. And her "behind," which in hindsight (no pun intended) was very small and cute, seemed to me a vast expanse of jean pockets. Why do mothers look so much bigger to their children than they are? I am asking that question today, as a sort of consolation, because my own son is now the one hiding behind my knees and seeking me out in a crowd. And yes, he also thinks I am huge. How do I know? Yesterday, Daniel was playing on the rug with him after dinner and I was nursing Zion on the couch. I suggested, "Why don't you ride daddy around like a horse?" He said, and I quote, "No thank you. Ride mamma like a cow."