Archive for the ‘Adventures’ Category

More gifts God gives me each day…

1176. adventure

1177. getting my kids’ autographs

1178. a day at the fisherman’s wharf


1179. kiddo hugs

1180. hearing laughter from little folks

1181. trying new foods…and not knowing what I am eating half of the time

1182. skype dates with family and friends…even when the connection cuts out every two minutes

1183. being immersed in another culture

1184. a taste of home – pizza!

1185. visiting historic places with a sweet friend


1186. my students experiencing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the first time

1187. fresh watermelon juice

1188. singing a song in Mandarin

1189. my student whispering in my ear “Teacher, you are so beautiful.”

1190. seeing God work

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Continuing to count the blessings God gives me, whether big or small…

1166. palm trees

1167. friends who welcome me, feed me, love me

1168. meeting a missionary who has been here in Taiwan for 24 years

1169. dumplings


1170. listening to worship songs

1171. actually understanding some of the Mandarin I hear

1172. big smiles on my students’ faces

1173. the ocean!

1174. a thank you note from my students


1175. seeing village kids share what Easter is all about

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Hello, friends!

It has been awhile since I have written here on Definitely Joanna.  I have lots of good excuses, too!  *grins*  But really, God has been doing so much, that I have been very busy following in His footsteps and going where He sends.

And He sent me here, to the island of Taiwan.


I’ve been here three months now.  And I have not even written once!  Oops.  So that is changing, starting now (and if you are still reading, please drop me a comment and let me know!).

The other week, I looked over ten-year-old Paric’s shoulder to see what he was drawing during family class.  I expected funny drawings with cute, smiling faces (because he is always so sweet and smiling), but instead I was met with angry expressions and tears on his page.  Kneeling down next to him, I looked into his face and asked why he drew his family this way.

I wasn’t prepared for his answer in Mandarin – because his mama is always angry and hitting his sister, which makes her cry.

The thing is, there wasn’t anything I could say to Paric in his language that would make it all better.  I wish I could change the expressions that he drew.  I want to make them all hugging and smiling.  But I can’t.

Jesus is the only one I know who can bring true peace and healing in a life.  Not me.


That precious name!  That is why I am here!  I am really excited to see what He will do in the coming months!

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Pouring in the liquid contents of the bottle, I smiled in satisfaction.  Finally I would be able to wear and use these items – I was dying them a dark navy blue, to cover the previous colors and stains.

I took a quick glance at the instructions to make sure I was doing everything right.  I didn’t really need them.  In fact, I usually don’t read those kind of things anyway.  But this was important – I was dying two bags, two shirts, and a skirt.  I definitely wanted to do this right.

I peered into the washer and noted the dark blue color.  Perfect.  I closed the washer lid and went about my other tasks.

Awhile later I heard the washer stop and walked over to get the clothes out and put them in the dryer.  I opened the lid.

I jumped.

I shrieked.

And looked again, hoping that I wasn’t seeing clearly.  It didn’t change the color of my clothing.  They were a light purple!

“Mom!  C’mere and look at this!  What on earth happened?”

Mama wisely said little and read the instructions on the bottle.  “Dear, for this amount of fabric, you have to use two bottles.  It says it right here.”

I groaned,  “This would happen to me.”

My little sister quickly added, “Because you’re definitely Joanna!”

{P.S.  I’m kinda starting to like the purple…I guess it grows on ya}

The End.

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I’m joining my dear friend Megan in looking back at 2011…
What did you do in 2011 that you’ve never done before?
  • was a bridesmaid
  • rode a real fire truck
  • worked in a commercial size kitchen at ALERT…doing things like cracking 400 eggs in a day (aka normal stuff)
  • taught in a Christian school
  • ate snickerdoodles cookies (I’m serious!)
  • milked a goat
  • dodged two knives falling from above
Did anyone close to you get hitched?
Yes!  Jennnifer married Nathan and I was utterly honored by being apart of their love story and being a bridesmaid.  It was a beautiful, delightful, God-centered time.
What’s your biggest achievement this year?
  • Keeping my eyes on Jesus in the midst an emergency.
  • Earning the Congressional Silver Medal. 
  • Loving others no matter what.
  • Working a farm job over the summer.
  • Tutoring a Mexican lady in English.
Biggest failure?
Not being bolder in my faith.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
I sorta laughed at this one.  Does physical therapy for my leg for several months count?  And several severe sicknesses involving 102 temps?  And nailing my head on wood (pun not intended), getting a concussion, and PCS (post-concussion syndrome)?  And being in anaphylactic shock and having a life-threatening allergy that doctors are stunned over?  If so, then yes, I suffered illness and injury.  I’m so thankful God is the Great Physician! 
Whose behavior merited celebration?
My family (love and support during my PCS and allergy problems and for reading food labels).  JenniferMegan.  Marie.  Abbey.  Rachel.  Chelsea.  Ruth.  My church.
What songs will remind you of 2011?
~ Blessings
~ Moonrise
~ Let It Be Said of Us
~ O Church Arise
What were the best books you read? 
  • Trevor’s Song by T.A. Beam
  • Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand
  • The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop
  • Hearts of Fire by Voice of the Martyrs
  • Unplanned by Abby Johnson
  • A Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent
  • The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun and Paul Hattaway
What was a valuable lesson you’ve learned?
  •  when there’s a problem, trial, or emergency, the tendency is to look at that – the problem.  However, instead of focusing on the problem, what I should be focusing on Jesus!

What is one thing you’re going to work on in the new year?

Definitely being bolder in my faith!

Lord, thank You for 2011 – for all that You accomplished in me and through me.  It was a privilege to let You shine through me.  And while there were tears throughout the year, there was also laughter.  And no matter what I felt, it was always with You.  I love You.

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Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song!
By mercy made holy, by the Spirit made strong.
 Till the likeness of Jesus be through us made known. 

Let it be said of us, we were marked by forgiveness;
We were known by our love and delighted in mercy;
We were ruled by His peace, heeding unity’s call,
Joined as one body that Christ would be seen by all.


Let it be said of us that the Lord was our passion,
That with gladness we bore every cross we were given;
That we fought the good fight, and we finished the course;
Knowing within us the power of the risen Lord.
~ Let It Be Said of Us by Steve Fry

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