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31 January 2012


Today I
sent my husband off,
completed a full day of school with the kids,
bought produce,
downloaded new music,
watched two basketball games,
gazed at the sky, in awe, yet again.


Tap water down here- it just tastes bad.
And we must not be the only ones who think so, because these water vending machines are all over the place.
We fill up the 5 gallon jug for 75 cents.

(but warning- the guy selling steaks out of the back of his truck in the parking lot might look at you funny when you take a photo of the water machine...)

29 January 2012

Chesed and Emet

Yesterday I had the opportunity to share in the celebration of a new marriage at a wedding shower. We guests were asked to share a piece of advice with the newly married couple. At this point in being married, I am certain that I am at the crossroads of "the more you know, the more you know you don't know." The only thing I really know for certain and without hesitation is that God's grace is the merciful and strong thread that holds my marriage together.

I want to tell these newly marrieds, "sometimes it will be hard, but you have to persevere. You have to love the other more than you love yourself, even when you least want to love." But how could that make sense to newlyweds, when everything is shiny and new and glowing?  Then this morning I stumbled across an article on marriage, one that gave the words for what I was thinking but didn't know how to say. From now on, I will say, "chesed and emet."

from Renewing Intimacy in Marriage: Closing the Gap Between You and Your Spouse by David Powlinson

In the Old Testament two Hebrew words are often used to describe God: chesed and emet. Chesed is translated in the Old Testament as “lovingkindness,” or “steadfast love.” It means committed kindness, a chosen generosity, a resolution to do good to another person no matter what. Emet is translated as “faithfulness” or “truth.” When we say of someone, “She was a true friend,” we’re using the word “true” in the sense that the Bible uses the word emet. It’s someone who’s looking out for your well-being, who is genuinely concerned for your welfare (see Philippians 2:20). God is full of chesed and emet—steadfast love and faithfulness—toward you.

Chesed and emet are also used in the Bible to describe human relationships. Most people seek their own interests, and instinctively do things that create distance and destroy intimacy in their marriage. But when you are committed to treat someone with kindness, when you are genuinely concerned for someone else’s welfare, you will start to be and do the kinds of things that actually build trust, intimacy, and companionship. Chesed and emet are what God is fundamentally like towards us. He is a God who keeps his promises, a God of kindness, a God who forgives. And chesed and emet are also the attributes you need to make your marriage deeply joyous and intimate.


the most difficult choice at a church picnic in south Texas-
which salsa...?


... You thrill to God's Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.
You're a tree replanted in Eden,
bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
always in blossom.
Psalm 1:2-3 (The Message)


bilingual imperatives.


at the end of that meeting, I gave thanks, because it seems as it all has worked out just about as well as I could have chosen.

26 January 2012


watering the lawn,
in January ?!

24 January 2012


I have had not so good of a week.
     Well, Monday was a pretty good day, if you don't count Hamburger Surprise at lunch and Margaret's mother coming to get her. Or the stuff that happened in the principal's office when I got sent there to explain that Margaret's hair was not my fault and besides she looks okay without it, but I couldn't because Principal Rice was gone, trying to calm down Margaret's mother.
     Someone should tell you not to answer the phone in the principal's office, if that's a rule.
     Okay, fine, Monday was not so good of a day.

Confession: I love Clementine!
I saw Clementine at the bookstore recently, and then checked it out at the library today.
Think of Ramona, and Eloise, and Olivia.
Clementine deservedly joins those memorable characters in the ranks of spunky fictional girls who will cause you to laugh out loud!

Second and third grade girls are probably the author's target audience. As Clementine would say, Okay, fine. But, I promise, it is a quick and fun read for adults, especially for this girl who tends to get stuck in non-fiction. I read chapter one out loud to my husband, and though maybe he was just amusing me, he laughed too. Now my girls are all taking turns with Clementine.

"The clementine," said the waiter, "is the sweetest fruit, is it not?
We certainly think so!


a stop at the library:

Clementine and The Talented Clementine by Sara Pennybacker
On Mexican Time by Tony Cohan

23 January 2012


Ma Ingalls would say-

"Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday."

I'm good for Sunday and Monday.
Wednesday and Thursday?
probably never...

22 January 2012


let a sleeping dog lie.
(but still, take a picture of him...) :-)

This dog was napping across the street from Iglesia Buen Samaritano in Reynosa, where we worshipped today. A lot of dogs roam about Reynosa, all which prompt my kids to plead, "we need another dog!!"

I think I'll just keep taking pictures...

21 January 2012




an open-sun-roof-open-windows-let-the wind-come-through sort of day

19 January 2012


the latest donation to Locks of Love...


border crossing at dusk.

17 January 2012


and when life gives you grapefruits...

make grapefruitade!

(and ignore spellcheck because grapefruitade IS a real word!!)


one of the wonders of living in south Texas-
orange trees heavy with fruit, orchards unexpectedly discovered while driving along the way.

I even bought a little juicer!

Hannah Coulter... again

She takes from the stove a pot of green beans, another of cabbage, a dish of baked pears, a blackberry cobbler, and wraps each in newspaper and sets it carefully into a cardboard box on the table. As she works, her face is preoccupied, deliberative, lighted as if from beneath the skin by a serenity that lives upon her sense of being equal not just to what she is doing but to whatever she has imagined she may have to do. It is a beautiful face, wreathed by dark, heavy hair, radiant from the touch of the sun and her strong blood, the features clear. She is some years past the simple prettiness of her girlhood. Her beauty no longer has its source merely in her physical presence, though that is pleasing enough; it comes, rather, from some deep equanimity with which it has accepted the marks of an extraordinary knowledge of herself, her powers as a person and as a woman, her mortality. That understanding of mortality has been Hannah Coulter's great suffering, as now it is her peculiar gift; she has known and borne and accepted it upon the terms of her womanhood and flesh.
- from The Memory of Old Jack by Wendell Berry

One of my all-time favorite literary characters... I wish I could sit with Hannah Coulter for a spell.

16 January 2012


Pizza night.

(or maybe we should say "Calzone Night"...)

"Mercies crowd us on every side"

Sometimes doesn't it seem as a theme or a word sticks to you, and you then see it everywhere you look?
For me, recently, that word has been "mercy."

It grabbed me last week in Matthew 9:13-
Go and learn what this means,
'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.'
For I came not to call the righteous but sinners."

I poked around Strong's Concordance and found that this use of "mercy" is from the Greek word eleos- "kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them;" as God reaches out to sinners, it is a readiness by man to reach out to those in need.

The word, the idea, churns around my mind as we meet with folks in a nearby church this weekend to talk about what it means and what it looks like to go out with the Gospel and serve a community.

And then, lest I forget or think I'm finished with it, it finds me again this morning in these words-
When we recognize God’s mercies, we can only respond with gratitude. And if our eyes are at all open to even a fraction of these mercies, we will be busy being grateful all day long. Imagine the consequences of such a day, busy with gratitude.

And when we overflow with gratitude to our good and gracious and gift-giving God, it follows that we will extend that grace and mercy to others — lavishly. We can do nothing else.
- "God Scatters Pardons" by Nancy Wilson on Femina
And again here-
It is odd that we have reached a point in society where we are embarrassed to talk about the doing of good deeds in a serious manner. It is odd that now and then someone has to say, “Dear Kristen, never be ashamed of doing a good deed.”
- "A Good Deed" by Andree Seu at

Yes, "mercies crowd us on every side" and find me serious.

(photo credit: mercy on the wall by ajom on etsy)

14 January 2012


You lazy fool, look at an ant.
Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
Nobody has to tell it what to do.
All summer it stores up food;
at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
How long before you get out of bed?
A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
poverty your permanent houseguest!
Proverbs 6:6 (The Message)

(hmm... considering the message above, isn't it a bit ironic these ant hills are surrounding our hammock...?)


Delurking Day 2012

Here's a funny thing-
yesterday, Prone to Wander was viewed 200 times.

And since May 2009 when Blogger started keeping track of stats for me..., the blog has been viewed almost 20,000 times.

I know for certain of about one handful of people that read Prone to Wander, & I rarely look at the Blogger stats. But today, on National Delurking Day, I'm wondering- who are you?

I hope that when you wander over here, it's a blessing to you. If you came over to my house, I'd give you a drink and a cookie (if my girls had just made some...). But here I just offer you a virtual arm around your shoulder and a hearty "welcome." Today, would you take a moment to say hi and share from where in this world you visit? Unless you can't, of course, 'cause it's sensitive and secret and all that... I understand- I married a submariner... :-)

Don't be shy- I'd love to wave hi back at you!

(photo credit: incourage national delurking day)


Taco Pirata,
chips and salsa,
ice tea with lime.

12 January 2012


a letter!
for me!

(the stamp on the reply won't be nearly as impressive!)


Él es la Roca Firme, la Roca de la Eternidad, la Roca de Horeb que está brotando agua de Vida saludable para ti. Él es el Cordero de Dios, el Buen Pastor, el Alfa y el Omega, el Principio y el Fin. El que Es, el que Era y el que Será. El es el León de Judá, la Luz del Mundo, la Estrella de la mañana, la Esperanza de las Naciones ¿Lo conoces? ¿Lo amas? ¿Lo adoras? ¿Es Él tu todo en todo? No tengo palabras para describírtelo.

Él es el Príncipe de Paz, Emmanuel, Admirable, Rey de Reyes y Señor de Señores, el Verbo. El cielo y la tierra pasarán, pero Su Palabra no pasará. Él es la piedra del Ángulo desechado por muchos, el Soberano de los Cielos y la Tierra, el Creador, la Fuente de toda Gracia, la Resurrección y la Vida. Él fue desechado y despreciado,
Varón de dolores, Él es Adonai, El Shaddai, ¿Es Él tu todo en todo?
from Vivir en el Poder del Evangelio, edited by Jerry Cross

What a privilege this life I live is!

11 January 2012


kale, for Zuppa Toscana

09 January 2012


Though he is Kama'aina, not Don Ho.

Downton Abbey

If it is January, it is Masterpiece Classic on Sundays.
Starting with Downton Abbey.

In fact, some of us just took the Downton Abbey: which character are you? quiz...
VERY amusing!
We won't name names, but let's just say, HOW do they know?
Our results:
You are Mr Bates, Lord Grantham’s valet (Brendan Coyle). You are a patient, kind, salt-of-the-earth type. But sometimes your self-righteousness can threaten to engulf you.

Your results: You are Thomas Barrow, head footman (Rob James-Collier). Nothing will stop you in your quest for world domination. Nothing. And certainly not the second footman.

Your results: You are the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith). You do not suffer fools gladly. In fact you do not suffer anything at all because you refuse to entertain any form of discomfort in your life whatsoever.

Any guesses on who is who? :-)
If you are watching too, or if you take the quiz, let us know!

The One who knows every detail

"He spoke of the stars and sand in the same breath (Gen. 22:17). In counting stars God shows Himself to be a God of infinite capacity. In giving each one a name, He reveals Himself as a God of infinite variety.

Surely, He is the God of the telescope. But if you look back at the preceding verse, you will find that He is the God of the microscope as well: 'He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.' (Ps. 147:3) The One who knows every detail of the celestial expanses is vitally interested in His sorrowful creatures. Such personal concern is awesome when you consider what a speck of cosmic dust our planet is in the universe, and how tiny we are, even in comparison to the earth. Yet the same God who counts the stars and gives a distinct name to each one also stoops low in grace to heal the brokenhearted and to bind up their wounds."

"Great is the Lord," Alone in Majesty by William MacDonald

(art credit: Microscope Vintage DICTIONARY art print by memorydust at

08 January 2012


I wore flipflops today.
That is only significant because:
1. it is January.
2. it was to church.

who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Praise to the Lord

ready for worship this morning,
finding this on the playlist (o! especially that last verse!)-

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.

Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

(Words: Jo­ach­im Ne­an­der, in A und Ω Glaub- und Lieb­es­ü­bung (Stras­lund: 1680); trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Cath­er­ine Wink­worth, 1863.)

07 January 2012


inspired by this,
my attempt at craftiness
(of the creative, not cunning or devious, sort...)

06 January 2012


Somewhere behind the athlete you've become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back... play for her.
- Mia Hamm

Five Minute Friday- Roar

The warning flags fly straight out.
The sand pierces our skin with little stabs.
We close our eyes to squinty slits.
We lean hard and we press forward.
The wind roars.

The sea churns.
Waves white with foam roll on the shore and then back again.
The gulls barely move ahead.
The clouds drift in the distance.
And the wind roars.

The new year waits ready before us.
Dreams and hopes and expectations yet to be realized.
The hills seem tall and steep.
He is our strength and our song,
though surely the wind roars.

Five Minute Friday at The Gypsy Mama:
The first Friday of the new year.

Let’s do it. Let’s just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Let your mind and your words and your heart fly free; wild – no editing, no over thinking.

Won’t you join me?

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – don’t edit; don’t second-guess.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Must: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:


05 January 2012


freshly squeezed.
I love living in the land of citrus.

04 January 2012


these would make the Wednesday kitchen girls laugh out loud!
(will I ever get over missing Wednesday nights?)


I think I'm going to give it a try- 365 photos, one a day, in 2012.
Forgive a couple of repeats as I get started...
 it was the very nicest new year's day- one that I would do again for the next 33 or so years...

at the end of the day we were completely exhausted and entirely blessed

I wouldn't have done it that way, but I'm glad that she did.
I'll be archiving the project here at Flickr.