Share with others

30 January 2011

Even just a bit

"Please, God. When I see someone struggle and it doesn’t make sense… Please let me remember these words. Burn them in my memory and bring them to my heart. Let me feel this sting when I’m tempted to cast judgment on the life of another.

Because we really don’t know the heart of another, the circumstances of a life. We don’t know if we’d buckle knees and fall limp walking the path of another. But either way, stand or fall, we’ll be judged on how we handle their heart.

And when you share your heart, place it in your hands and offer it as gift, you make it vulnerable. Because there are people out there who can’t bear the sight of soul wounds. And that’s why it’s a dare to reveal your heart, even just a bit."
- One Thousand Gifts, evlogia

A dare to reveal your heart, even just a bit...
I read that tonight, and really, sucked in a deep breath.

Last week a good friend, a kindred spirit, challenged me, and asked, "what is your writing goal?" 
A writing goal?

I had to ponder.
A writing goal?
Honesty, I answered.

But honesty? that comes at different levels, right?
There's "honestly, let me tell you how much I adore fresh coffee and sunshine and a good book."
And then there's "I am a broken sinner, almost paralyzed, searching for His grace today."

Sometimes I've written, offered a bit, and felt that sting, of words misunderstood and a response that burns and falling limp with that ache in the very pit of my stomach. 
But I know Grace, from He that heard the words that betray and felt the end of the whip and the crown of thorns and gave His life away for me.  I have been saved, and changed, and forgiven. 
He has given me a story to tell and words to offer.

And so yes, I will write about the silliness of the world around me, of the nonsense and little joys and beauty. 
And yes, I hope, I can offer words of life, of my heart and the vulnerable things.
Even just a bit.

January Reflections: Strangers

Strangers: Do you ever have strangers in your home? Who? Is it comfortable or unnerving?

I hear the clanking on our metal gate...  "Bueeenas..."
A common phenomenon in my neighborhood is to have visits at the gate from folks asking for food... money... soap... anything you'll give them.  I think that because such a high concentration of gringos (white Westerners) live in our neighborhood, because of the language school, we see a lot of these people, but honestly, after talking to my teachers, they are in many neighborhoods in San Jose.  There is always a neighborhood better off than your own, right?

We have heard all the stories, really, no different than the stories that I heard back in the States.  A child sick in the hospital.  A man that is out of work.  A husband who doesn't provide for his family.  Broken cars and broken relationships and broken luck.  We have had men and women, young and old at our gate.  Some ask for money.  Others ask for food.  Some ask for anything you have to give.  And once you help once or twice, I'm pretty sure your house is marked, as others come by again and again. 

I am not nervous when folks stop at my gate, though sometimes I am annoyed, as then I have to stop what I'm doing, unlock doors, take time to listen to a story, decipher Spanish and discern what might be truth.  I sometime wonder if I'm helping, or if I'm just a sucker along the way that day.  Our standard response is to offer a sandwich bag full of uncooked rice and another full of uncooked beans.  Every person has taken it with a "gracias."  We don't give cash.  That has been our standard policy for years now, even in the States. We want to contribute to needs.  It is less likely that a person will resell food for cash when it is not in the original package. It is not inconceivable, however. How can we ever really know?

I know native Costa Ricans that don't give anything, don't even go to the door.  And in a sense, I can understand that.  Some have used it as a front to get you to the gate and then get into the house to steal.  But I can't help but think of Hebrews 13:1-2, and very practically, I just figure its better to "err" on the side of compassion.  So, on this one, I'll continue to walk by faith.

(remember January Reflections '11 at TheGloriousImpossible)

Like dew to Israel (Hosea 14:5)

Drop Your still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease:
Take fom our souls the strain and stress;
And let our ordeed lives confess
The beauty of Your peace.

Breathe though the pulses of desire
Your coolness and Your balm;
Let sense be mum, its beats expire:
Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
O still small voice of calm!
- author unknown
(from Streams in the Desert, Januay 30)

(photo credit: me.)

When we were recently in the Cloud Forest of Monteverde, I was a bit obsessed with capturing the drops of dew hanging off the moss. It was a hard picture to capture, with the lens I had and the low light under the canopy.  Coming aross this poem today, I instantly remembered the quiet, the stillness, of Creation in that place. It is not just anywhere that you can find dew- the temperatue and the light and the air have to be in that just right state. And the dew does not typically last long, not the way it lingers in the Cloud Forest. It is the refreshment He offers by being in His presence.
O that I would take time to remember that with even greater frequency. 

29 January 2011

Random media...

My family borrowed the newest Robin Hood and I COULD NOT get past the fact that one of the merry men was really Dr. Archie Morris from ER.
How can it be that I have no problem with Russell Crowe as a gladiator or math professor (ok, so basically I have no problem with Russell Crowe...),
but Archie... 

Anyway, our family unanimously votes Disney Robin Hood as the best version. 
"Oh he's SO handsome... just like his reward posters!" 
Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly what a day...

My twins are on a YouTube Brady Bunch jig.  Brady Bunch = goofy.  Did Carol and Mike ever have a tiff?  Did Alice ever change her dress?

Best Brady Bunch moment- Mom always said... don't play ball in the house!

Some of my family went to see TRON: Legacy
Crowd pleasing quote: "He could be dead, or he could be chillin' in Costa Rica."
Apparently, the audience cheered.

Pura vida.


28 January 2011

January Reflections '11- Hope

from the last set of prompts for January Reflections at The Glorious Impossible:

Hope: What do you hope for? Not the obligatory religious answer, but your true naked heart's desires. Are these the things that God's heart is passionate about?

What do I hope for?
I don't even know what the obligatory religious answer should be.
I do know what Paul's answer would have been.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
Ephesians 1:18-19

I hope...
that my children will forever love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength.
that my husband and I will grow old together, cherishing each other all the more.
that I will learn to communicate well in Spanish.
that we will see the nations come to Him.
that He will give us opportunity to serve widows and orphans, the lost and the sojourning.
that He will make me bold and zealous for Himself and for His people.
that in the end, I will hear "well done good and faithful servant."

(and yes, I also hope for a comfortable bed, a hot shower, sunshine at the beach, miraculous clarity with the subjunctive tense, a bag of Dove dark chocolate covered almonds, that my sandals last until the end of April, when we can be with family again, and time with friends that are sisters)

(photo credit: photo © 2008 Tambako The Jaguar more info via: Wylio via: TheGloriousImpossible)

26 January 2011


We do not care much about sanctification because we do not care much about God. That sounds a little tough, but I think it’s true. If our conception of God fit the Bible’s, then we would find ourselves drawn to the Word and its way of life both from a sense of reverential necessity and devotional delight. In a world in which we possess so much at our fingertips–instant athletic excitement, sizzling sexual temptation, limitless possibilities to Tweet, update, iChat, and blog about ourselves–we struggle to remember that “the Lord our God is holy” and thus worthy of our joyful devotion (Psalm 99:9).
- Owen Strachan, in Don't Call It a Comeback: The Same Evangelical Faith for a New Day, via DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed

"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."  - Revelation 5:12

23 January 2011

Psalm 150

The last verse of the last Psalm-
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! 
Praise the Lord!

"Praise God with strong faith;
praise him with holy love and delight;
praise him with entire confidence in Christ;
praise him with believing triumph over the powers of darkness;
praise him by universal respect to all his commands;
praise him by cheerful submission to all his disposals;
praise him by rejoicing in his love, and comforting ourselves in his goodness;
praise him by promoting the interests of the kingdom of his grace;
praise him by lively hope and expectation of the kingdom of his glory."
-Matthew Henry on Psalm 150, Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

(art credit- Worship Painting by COME and PLAY on Etsy)

21 January 2011

January Reflections- Gratitude

Grateful: Would you describe yourself as a grateful person? Make a list of 50 things you can thank God for

No, not enough.  I'm sure of that.
I forget too quickly.
I am typically one cold shower away from discontent. I forget that I have clean water.
I am distracted by the trivial and fail to remember the important.

Sometimes, I think, we are only one degree more grateful than the hardest situation we know that is not our own. The at least I'm not...
I want to purpose to be more grateful for the even though... because it is there that I know poverty, and it is there that I am rich.

And yet, I do know, all too well, where I might be, had the fork at any one point in the road led to a different path.
When I contemplate that,
and the many experiences along the way,
the faces,
the gifts,
how can I not be grateful?

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear it's music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?
(Eva Cassidy, How Can I Keep From Singing)
50 things to thank God for...

1. His Son
2. faith
3. grace
4. His Word
5. my husband
6. my family
7. fellowship
8. old friends
9. new friends
10. Concepcion
11. home, even in this house
12. sunshine
13. washing machine
14. dry towels
15. clean sheets
16. afternoon nap
17. internet connection
18.  mail in our box
19. visitors
20. unexpected phone calls
21. pizza for dinner
22. coffee
23. chocolate
24. ice cream
25. limes
26. pineapples
27. platano chips
28. language classes
29. hearts to serve
30. a place to go
31. promises
32. good health
33. rapid release tylenol
34. opportunity to travel
35. new experiences
36. sweet memories
37. flipflops
38. my bed (even if it is in storage... someday...)
39. growing ability to speak, and understand
40. our supporting churches
41. sacrificial giving
42. worship
43. Creation
44. Life
45. the simplicity of praise
46. the complexity of love
47. laughter
48. tears
49. brokeness
50. hope

for more January Reflections '11, visit TheGloriousImpossible 

20 January 2011

"...but he was still hungry."

One little tree in our backyard is being consumed, one leaf at a time, by fat, green caterpillars.  We have watched over the last month, simultaneously fascinated and repulsed.  You thought that Eric Carle was exaggerating in the The Very Hungry Caterpillar? At one point, we could actually hear the leaves being eaten! I am not joking- there have been at least 2 dozen, maybe more, of these little creatures in our tree!

(Just today I read that a caterpillar has 228 distinct and separate muscles in its head.  Isn't that amazing?!)
But back to our tree...
By now, cocoons outnumber the seemingly innocuous larva.  What next?  We are hoping for brightly emblazened butterflies, but realize that the lesser cousin, the comparatively dull moth, is probably much more likely.  Some of you much-more-clever-than-I homeschool moms- put your curious kids on this assignment, ok?, and tell us what we're looking at here. 

Besides a very sad little tree, of course... 

on sorrow

from this morning in Streams in the Desert-
Sorrow makes us move more slowly and considerately and examine our motives and attitudes.  It opens within us the capacities for heavenly life, and makes us willing to set our capacities afloat on a limitless sea of service for God and for others.

Oh that I would see through those eyes.  Yesterday I read this terribly disturbing news story, that made me not just sorrowful but also physically ill.  And not long later my sinful and selfish response in a family situation grew an evening of discord.  My reaction to sorrow is to retreat.  May I better see the sea of service ahead of me, and be ready to move forward.

19 January 2011

January Reflections '11- Reading

• Reading: It is said that we are what we eat. Likewise, we are what we read. What are you reading to feed your mind and soul currently?

I really love to read.
And lately, I’ve hardly read at all.
Not even cereal boxes.
I read the local newspaper about once a week.
I read the magazines a friend brought, and that was like candy.
I had not read in magazines in a while, and I had to pace myself to avoid gorging!

Right now, through the Kindle app on my Touch, I’m reading Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. I had read really positive reviews of it and finally bought it myself. I’m about halfway through (I think…, isn’t that the worst part about an electronic book? You can’t see how much there is left!), and I’m enjoying it. Then in a rare moment of timeliness, yesterday I read this and today I read this, so that gives more food for thought as I go along. Bonhoeffer supplies some meat to chew on-
Christianity preaches the infinite worth of that which is seemingly worthless and the infinite worthlessness of that which is seemingly so valued.

Back in December I finished Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin. Baking Cakes… is a fiction work set in modern day Rwanda. The main character, Angel, begins selling cakes in her community, and in the process, learns the varied stories of those around her. Baking Cakes… touches some difficult issues, AIDS, genocide, prostitution, but through it all, emphasizes the peace and healing that grows through the process reconciliation.
“Eh!” she said to herself, unsure if it was right or wrong to have let go of some of her grief. She took off her glasses to give them a clean, but saw that they did not need it, and put them back on again. She closed her eyes to get a better sense of what she was feeling. Yes, she was still very sad. But somehow, in a small way, part of her despair had changed. It had turned to hope.
Baking Cakes…
was dessert for my mind and soul, easy to read and easy to enjoy.

On to the future, today a friend offered to loan me Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I’ll probably bust out a gift card and buy the electronic version of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, even though I’d really rather have it in my hands.

But the most consistent reading I do is everyday before breakfast, but with coffee.  I have started my fourth year of reading through the Bible. I'll finish Genesis on Saturday.  I read a couple of chapters from the Old Testament, about a chapter of New Testament, and a psalm each day.  I also read the daily devotion from Streams in the Dessert by L.B Cowman (updated by Jim Reimann). So good, every single day.  The images from this little poem from yesterday fed me for a good part of the day-
Defeat may serve as well as victory
To shake the soul and let the glory out.
When the great oak is straining in the wind,
The limbs drink in new beauty, and the trunk
Sends down a deeper root on the windward side.
Only the soul that knows the might grief
Can know the mighty rapture.  Sorrow come
To stretch out spaces in the heart for joy.
(no author listed)

I think I'll start keeping a book list up again this year, of what I've read.  Otherwise I forget. And, it's fun to go back and remember.

And you? I’d love to hear about your recent reads, or what’s on your list.  What is your mind and soul feeding on?

Be sure to check out January Reflections '11 at TheGloriousImpossible.

18 January 2011


A new addition in the sidebar of the blog...
I have added a link to the BEAMM (Border Evangelism And Mercy Ministry) blog.

BEAMM is the team we will be joining at the US/Mexico border in east Texas in May.  In truth, I really want to write that in all capital letters- IN MAY!!  We are so excited to get in place on the border, and get to work.  We are already looking forward to working with short-term teams this summer. And we are excited to be with our team leaders in McAllen. And we are excited to keep learning Spanish and improving our ability to communicate.  And we are excited to see His church grow.  And did I mention that we are excited?

The BEAMM team serves from the western border at Tijuana/San Diego, through Arizona at Nogales, into Texas at Juarez/El Paso, Nuevo Laredo/Laredo, and now into the eastern border region from Reynosa/McAllen to Matamoros/Brownsville.

Of course, the border region, is in the news almost daily.  We believe that to saturate the border with the Good News of the Gospel, to see converts made and disciples grown, is the only hope for lasting change in the border region, or in the world, for that matter!  Please join us in prayer for the people of the US/Mexico border, for those laboring for His kingdom, and for the true peace that comes through faith in Christ.

Women of Faith

The older I get, the more totally convinced I am that God does know what He's doing; He loves us with an everlasting love, and He wants us to trust Him.
- Elisabeth Elliot

If I grow to have a thimbleful of the grace,
the elegance,
the faith,
of these ladies, I will be ever grateful, and we will give all the glory to God.

I watch these ladies, and I get goosebumps. And I tear up. And I thank Him for how He makes His saints to be faithful.

This 6:20 is well worth your time.

One Thousand Gifts

so count the way He loves...
and though you grieve and though you wonder,
and though the world is ugly, it is beautiful.
And though time moves on, it is holy.

Enjoy this video, a taste of the book that I've been longing to own.  I might have to buy it for the Kindle app, but I think it would be a book to hold, and to keep, and to open again and again...

15 January 2011

January Reflections '11- Fun

Fun: What have you done for fun this year? When is the last time you played? Do you need to add fun into your plans for 2011?

It thrills me to report that YES!, we have had fun this year!  And in fact, we had fun just last night!
We had friends over and played a new-to-us game with the oh-so-technical name of "Bowl."  I just looked for the rules online, but let me tell you, if you Google "game bowl rules" nothing close to what I'm talking about comes up.  (sigh.  so much American football...)

The game goes something like this: every person playing writes a list of 5 nouns on a little piece of paper and throws it into a bowl.  (hence the name...  so clever!)  Players choose a partner.  The game begins when the first player draws a list out of the bowl, and then, without using the word written on the paper, describes the items on the list for their partner to guess.  If the pair completes the list, they draw another list and do it again, until time expires (we used 45 seconds).  At the end of the time, the pair gets one point for each list they complete.  If they don't complete a list, it goes back into the bowl.  This continues until every player has given and received lists.  At the end of the round, all lists are returned to the bowl.

The game continues for three rounds.  During round one, players can use an unlimited amount of words to describe the word to their partner.  During round two, only three words can be used to describe each word on the list.  During round three, only gestures can be used, no words!  The original lists are used for all three rounds, so clever players can memorize lists, or use clues used before. 

This is a great game!!  We had 10 players, 5 sets of partners, kids and young adults and adults (uh... old adults?).  We hollered and laughed out loud!!  Of course, having super fun people to play with helps a lot, too!! Adding homemade chocolate chip cookies, chips, pico de gallo, and guacamole didn't hurt either! 

After it was all over, goodbyes said, dishes washed, chairs put away, my husband told me, "That was A LOT of fun!" 
Yes it was!  More fun games in 2011!

And more fun, and other thoughts too, at January Reflections '11 at TheGloriousImpossible.

DeLurking Day 2011

Apparently in the Blog World, yesterday was National Delurking Day.
And there's even a little graphic that goes along with the holiday, but it's of a guy in a trenchcoat and says "show us your privates" and that just sort of creeps me out!
No graphic this year...

But anyway, Blogger tells me that in the last month folks from at least 10 different countries have looked at my blog 742 times.  That seems CRAZY to me.  Who are you?

Would you mind taking a moment just to say hi and where you log in from most of the time?  I'm really friendly!  I'll even say hi in return!

No matter what, I'm glad you stopped by, and I hope that somehow these little bloggy ideas blessed you today!

10 January 2011

January Reflections '11- Stuff

Stuff: Do you like stuff? What stuff do you have that you could do without? Is your stuff well used? Organized? Burdensome?

There it was, lined up on tables, piled in mounds around the yard, ready to be pawed through, sold for the best "you make an offer" price that a buyer might muster.
We were moving out of our house, and oh! There. Was. Stuff.

We took garbage bags full to the Goodwill, sometimes daily.
We put it out on the corner in front of our house, and cheered when it disappeared.
Until the very last moment, we were taking the broken and used up stuff to the dump, and giving usable stuff to friends.

And even so, the remaining stuff currently waits in a storage unit, or, uh, maybe two, until we return to the States and make our way to our new home at the US/Mexico border.
We might have some stuff.
But until then, we are at the other end of the continuum.
We arrived in Costa Rica with 2 suitcases each.
Two BIG suitcases, two each for seven people, but nonetheless, a relatively small amount of stuff in comparison to the household that we left..

And here’s the great thing-
we’re fine.

Yes, there is stuff that I miss.
Kitchen stuff.
An extra towel and set of sheets when the laundry doesn’t get dry.

But overall, the thought of all that stuff that awaits…
Honestly, it makes me anxious.
Yes, there is stuff that we could do without.
A whole lot of it, as a matter of fact.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

What a blessing it is to live without so much stuff.
Right now, if thieves did break in and steal, I wouldn’t notice much. (just not the computer, pleeeease?!)

I want to live with eternal treasure, not leave my heart with the stuff here on earth.

Another prompt from January Reflections. For more, be sure to visit TheGloriousImpossible.

Worship thee always...

Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand...
Psalm 95:6-7

One thing I have come to know in the last few years- God has grown my heart to worship.  Over the years, we have had opportunity to worship in many settings, in many places, and that has been especially true in the last couple of years, as we travelled to raise support to get to the mission field.  We have worshipped in extremely traditional services, and those with a contemporary bent.  We have worshipped in rented school buildings and in hotel conference rooms, in large modern church facilities and in buildings nearly a century old.

And the same remained true upon arriving in Costa Rica.  We have experienced Sunday worship with several different bodies.  Such kind people.  All with a true passion for praising our Savior.  And yet, we weren't settled.

In the past month, our path was directed to a fellowship of believers and finally, we have a place.

By North American standards, I guess the building where we meet would be considered a humble place.  No back and forth discussions regarding carpet samples or paint colors here.  The building is right next to the street, and traffic can be loud.  So can the rooster out back and the puppies the next lot over.  But the congregation welcomes us heartily, and the pastor preaches grace every single week, and we are thankful to be there. 

But I am ever mindful that, truly, worship isn't about Sundays only.  I go back to that old Puritan prayer on worship from the Valley of Vision-
Let me live wholly to my Saviour,
free from distractions,
from carking care,
from hindrances to the pursuit of the narrow way.
I am pardoned through the blood of Jesus—
give me a new sense of it,
continue to pardon me by it,
may I come every day to the fountain,
and every day be washed anew,
that I may worship thee always in spirit and truth.

Amen, y amen.

09 January 2011

Thou Shalt Not... (again...)

Tie Tea mug.
Is that a nifty idea or what?

(via Martha Stewart Living magazine, January 2011)
2011 Tea Towel Wall Calendar by cicadastudio at
I know right where I would hang it, too...

(via behind the gate)
Design your own rug by Yummi by Crafttasticparties on Etsy.
Felted gumballs of color!

January Reflections- Scripture

• Scripture: What is the last Scripture verse you heard or read? What was God saying to you? 
He said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.
Matthew 8:26 (NASB)

“He that can do this can do anything, which encourages confidence and comfort in Him, in the most stormy day, within or without.”
Matthew Henry on Matthew 8:23-27

I spent one day last week at a beach, known for its rough tide and strong undertow. I’ve seen the waves off Hawaii’s North Shore, and in comparison, those at Jaco appear quite unremarkable. And yet, it doesn’t take long after entering the sea to realize that there is more in the coming and going of that tide than meets the eye.

I waded out, eager to play in the surf. If I timed it correctly, I could dive under the incoming wave, and miss the rough and tumble pull of the tide. Despite the roar of the ocean, under the water it was calm. But if I misread the wave, or hesitated for even a moment too long, my plunge into the surf became a wild ride. Once I was tossed under the water, head over feet, upside down and right side up again. I came up for air a good bit away from where I first went under.

It didn’t take very long before I was physically spent, tired from swimming, tired from my attempts to fight the tide that wanted to pull me back out, tired from bracing myself for the arrival of the next surging breaker. I exited the water. I lost confidence in my ability, recognizing my ebbing strength.

And the surf wasn’t even exceptionally strong that day.

Late last week, I was at that passage in Matthew, that one where the disciples were in surf so strong that the boat was covered in waves; the passage were their fears prompted the disciples to wake the sleeping Jesus, pleading for help.

“You men of little faith,” Jesus rebuked them.  And then he arose and spoke out loud and the wind and sea “became perfectly calm.”
Perfectly calm, even in the middle of the sea, even in the midst of a storm. That is the confidence and comfort Christ promises.

I need not fight the tide.
I need not worry over the timing of the waves.
I need not hesitate in Him.
"He who can do this can do anything."

For more January Reflections, visit TheGloriousImpossible.

07 January 2011


We have been out of school, on the Christmas trimester break, for almost a month now.  At the beginning of the month, I could barely fathom how the time would pass.  Turns out that we had a good break, exceedingly relaxing, and we're already to get back to classes next week.  (well, except perhaps one girl and one science class... we'll cut her some slack...)

In the last month, we've wandered around San Jose, watched movies, read books, and slept in.  We rejoiced in Christmas celebrations.  We made new friends and we renewed old friendships, too. 

But the highlight of the month was having our first visitor.  I promise, if you come to visit, I'll be this happy to be with you, too. She was a great sport- it's probably not so easy to travel with our group of 7!  She will always be welcome to join us.

We journeyed to Monteverde, the cloud forest of Costa Rica.  Beautiful!  More shades of green than I could even begin to describe.  More shades of green than even a camera can capture.  We saw cheese being made.  We went to a bat exhibit.  We saw an amazing sunset.  We ziplined through the cloud forest!  (whoa!  I was sure I was going to crash into the tree every single time!!  I didn't.  phew.)  We saw the amazing colors of birds and of flowers.  We played games and ate good food.  

We made it to the beach at Jaco.  And spent a great day at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, but I forgot my memory card there- no pictures.   Thankfully, we have a lot of memories, and some friends with cameras!

And, oh yeah, we spoke some Spanish too!  :-)

For more photos, check out this album on Picasa. 

Posted by Picasa

Resolution completed

Shout out to my oldest (at home) who determined to finish Little Dorrit in 2010, and accomplished her goal.
All 912 pages of that Dickensian prose.
Which is significantly more than her mom has achieved with War and Peace...

We always want our kids to accomplish more than we have ourselves, right...? 

Continue in Prayer

So deep are our necessities , that until we are in heaven we must not cease to pray. Dost thou want nothing? Then, I fear thou dost not know thy poverty. Hast thou no mercy to ask of God? Then, may the Lord's mercy show thee thy misery! A prayerless soul is a Christless soul. Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus. It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honor of a Christian. If thou mayst be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ, and enter oftener into the baqueting-house of His love. Pray that thou mayst be an example and a blessing unto others, and that thou mayst live more to the glory of thy Master. The motto for this year must be, 'Continue in Prayer.'"
- Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

I was in Matthew 6 this morning.  Can there be no greater prayer than the simplicity of "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done"?

Thank you, Lord, for renewing a zeal for prayer within me.

(art credit: Blue Prayer by aldari at

04 January 2011

Resolved 2011

The urgency is even greater as we age: We may not have many years left in which to glorify Him before we are buried. So, here's my New Year's resolution, a paraphrase of Jonathan Edwards' statement in Religious Affections: To maintain a conviction so clear as to induce me to venture forth with boldness, counting any problems insignificant in comparison to the joy of proclaiming Christ's glory.
- Marvin Olasky, "A Bold Venture,"

January Reflections- Moment

Moment: Describe the best moment, the one you really want to remember, from 2010. Paint a word picture and then share an actual picture.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard,
Even Aaron's beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon
Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the LORD commanded the blessing--life forever.
Psalm 133

Sunday, August 8.
Our church held a dinner, a celebration, to send my family out into the mission field. 
They kept the fellowship hall a secret from us, well, from me.  I walked in, and gasped, and cried.  It was so beautiful, but even more than the wonder of the room was recognizing the work of my friends that had gone into creating that evening.  We were there a bit early on that Sunday night, and I had a minute to wander and to soak it all in.  It was wonderful.

They commanded me and my husband to sit at a head table, which seemed completely ridiculous.  But, it provided such a view of the room.  That night, I knew every single person in the room, and most of those people, I knew well.  I had held their newborns.  They had held my hand.  Over the years, we worshiped together, yes, but we also served together and ate together and prayed together.  We laughed together and we cried together.  And I could sit and look at all those faces and in a moment, remember so very much.  Precious oil upon my head...

I see the lady at the back, the gal who I love so much, who was our very first financial supporter, a stretch for her budget and such an encouragement to us.  I see friends whose houses were always open to us, those with which we shared more meals than I know how to count.  That guy in the back... we couldn't have moved out of our house without him.  He worked a long day moving furniture for us. And that lady across from him- she is a sister to me. 
Oil running down... 

Those kids with my twins- those are their lifelong friends.  I don't think they remember not knowing those kids. That supper was joy to them.  They ran around and laughed and probably were naughtier, mischievous sitting without their parents than they should have been. And also in that moment, I could watch other little ones running laps around the edge of the room, laughing and screaming, no one bothered but good naturedly ignoring them.
The oil of fellowship coming down the edge of our robes...

Outside the margins of that picture, I know that there were others.  My most dear friends in the kitchen, the place where I really longed to be that night.  Our leaders who taught and counseled and guided us along the way.  A trusted friend on one side of me.  My husband on the other.  Musicians who sang and played and ministered to us that night. 
Like the dew of Hermon...

For there the Lord commanded the blessing...
That is a moment I will keep forever.

02 January 2011

January '11 Reflections

January Reflections '11 - 250 x 250A New Year's writing challenge...? 
Sounds fun, but a challenge indeed.
Maybe others are up to it too?