Share with others

29 December 2015


thankful for this house-full.


the kind of day we wait for, sunny and bright and cool and clear and a hoody feels just right, AND the sunflowers are still in bloom in December.


"Always winter and never Christmas; 
think of that!"
"How awful!" said Lucy.

from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

26 December 2015


DPP25- "I praise you, Jesus, that YOU are the long-time-promised and much-longed-for-Christ--- the Messiah. We're to look for no other, for in you every promise of God finds its fulfillment, it's unequivocal "Yes!"
- "A Prayer About Jesus," in Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith


dpp 24- fresh cranberry sauce

24 December 2015


DPP23- in my 'hood on the way home from grocery shopping...

My prayer for this particular Advent season is quite simple, Lord Jesus. Please reveal moreand more of your glory and grace to my heart… that I might bow quicker and lower before, you, my majestic and merciful King. Open the eyes of my heart a bit wider to behold the astonishing hope to which you have called me in the gospel. Deepen my adoration of you, Lord Jesus… and loosen my grip on my so-called treasures. So very Amen, I pray, in your most wise and worthy name.
- "A Prayer About Christmas Wisdom" by Scotty Smith

23 December 2015


DPP22- and on this day, finally, everything slowed down.

22 December 2015


DPP21- and on the fourth day before Christmas, the family said, "let there be light." And the mom saw it and it was good.

21 December 2015


DPP20- making the post-caroling hot chocolate.

20 December 2015


DPP19- It was a beautiful morning, but the message of the cross of Christ even more so...

19 December 2015


DPP18- the Christmas program at Instituto Isaias 55, the school for the deaf in Reynosa, MX. My heart is full.

18 December 2015


DPP17- our evening Advent devotional reading.

"As it turns out, the point of Christmas isn’t to make it perfect. It’s that we deeply need Christ’s redemption, so that even the weary world can rejoice. Jesus sees our brokenness, and He comes to redeem us, bind up every wound, and wipe away every tear. Thanks be to God!"
- from SheReadsTruth, "Jesus Is The Better Boaz," by Rebecca Faires


DPP16- I think that maybe my lunch was better than yours...


DPP15- 1030pm and I have not taken one single photo today and OH LOOK! my girls are playing a game!


DPP14- The day we've been waiting on! I showed great restraint and only took two...

14 December 2015


DPP13- Christmas tree re-lit and re-decorated.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel. 
- "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," Thomas Helmore, 1851.

13 December 2015


DPP12- the kitchen elves were busy today.

12 December 2015


DPP11- But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.
- Psalm 5:11 (ESV)

10 December 2015


DPP10- How these ladies make me smile! We celebrated a new house with praise and son and tamales and tres leeches and a piñata and MUCH thanksgiving.

The house started as a dream. Really, not even that. Tim remembers when Isaac suggested living in a room basically a size of a closet in the outbuilding of the mission church. His wife (and me too) quickly dismissed that idea. But then we did some research and learned more. Dreams became a vision for the future, and a vision became a plan, and a plan became hope, and hope is now reality. 

We should probably count how many people worked on this house. It was quite a few. That first team who came down from Maryland and encouraged us and twisted wires and tied rebar so we could pour a foundation... The next group also from Maryland- they laid block and mixed and mixed and mixed cement. And then the teams from Nebraska and San Antonio who patiently persevered through flat tires and blown tires and border inspections and hot days to lay tile and stucco walls and paint and paint. Our Mexican foremen who treated us as apprentice crew. The pastors who rolled up their sleeves to join us. The church members who gave more to the project than we did. The New Living Translation of 1 Corinthians 12:27 says, "All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it." We needed every single one of you.

And as each of those teams loved the church through their labors, they also loved the church through their words. After construction in the mornings, they would participate in Vacation Bible School activities in the late afternoon. Their puppets told the stories of the Bible and of our hope in the life and death and resurrection and ascension of Jesus. They loved on kids with zeal. They ran with kids with balls and hoops and water balloons and they played soccer on the dustiest of Mexican canchas. They built a house, but they also built trust. Tonight as we celebrated, members still remembered names and silliness and faithfulness. We rejoice together.

We are excited for the future in Colonia Expo del Sur. We are excited for Isaac and Marilyn to be in the neighborhood of Misión Emmanuel. We are excited for Misión Emmanuel to have Isaac and Marilyn in the neighborhood. And we are excited to see what our Lord has next for this body. 


DPP 9- We three Kings of Orient are...

08 December 2015


DPP8- Oh citrus season, how I love you. You tangy pink grapefruits. You juicy oranges. You like-paper-to-peel, like-candy-to-eat, sweet & bright Cutie mandarins, too good to wait until I get home...


dpp7- a two-handed, almost two-hour, coffee afternoon.

me: "This might be the most photogenic thing that happens today. Can I take your picture?"
my friend, almost apologetically, as if to explain: "She's in a challenge..."

Not so easy to be my friend in December... :-)

06 December 2015


DPP6- an after lunch stroll through El Mercado, San Antonio.


DPP5- when the newly 19 year old gets a record player for her birthday, but mom is the only one who knows how to make it work...
(smile. remembering the Disney Read-A-Long 45's, my first "real" album- the soundtrack from Grease, Journey Escape... Her's is Beach Boys Endless Summer.)

04 December 2015


dpp4: afternoon commute- waiting to cross at the US/MX border.

03 December 2015


DPP3- oh he is a patient one...

02 December 2015


DPP2- morning stop at the panadería for conchas.

01 December 2015


DPP1- Pinterest in progress...

(and all in all, the final outcome was a winner. Except for the glitter that is now everywhere. "Mom, you have glitter on your face..." I have glitter across my forward where I push back my bangs. I have glitter where I itch my nose. I have glitter on my bigote. But the wreath... a winner.)


for ladies with warm hearts even in chilly rooms,
for language that transcends ordinary limitations,
for boys running around and in and out like boys should,
for friends who serve well (and love my family well),
for safety when we doubt,
for a month of blessing,
for His steadfast lovingkindness,
for hope that does not disappoint.

30 November 2015

DPP 2015

December Photo Project 2015 It's that time again! I think that this is my 7th year participating in the December Photo Project. The challenge of the DPP is to take a photo a day for the first 25 days of December. I love it and I look forward to it. Taking a photo a day forces me to look at the world around me with extra care, to take time and notice both the details AND the big picture. It's a great archive of life. And we all have a camera handy these days. You can do it too! Join me? Sign up at View from the Prairie Box.

29 November 2015


For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

- Isaiah 9:6

first day of Advent, fresh green wreath, home from worship and absolutely no where to go.


for the church body;
for friends so sweet, it hurts to say goodbye;
for friends so sweet, it is a joy to press on together.

27 November 2015


Gratitude is such a great and wonderful thing in Scripture that I feel constrained to end this chapter with a tribute. There are ways that gratitude helps brings about obedience to Christ. One way is that the spirit of gratitude is simply incompatible with some sinful attitudes. I think this is why Paul wrote, “There must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:4). Gratitude is a humble, happy response to the good will of someone who has done or tried to do you a favor. This humility and happiness cannot coexist in the heart with coarse, ugly, mean attitudes. Therefore the cultivation of a thankful heart leaves little room for such sins. 
- John Piper, Future Grace, via Kevin DeYoung, "Stuffed with Gratitude"

grateful: for a 30 egg, 42 sausage breakfast; for family visits; for a hazy, lovely, trip to the beach; for mourning with those who mourn and rejoicing with those who rejoice; for the crispy fried shrimp and the tangy sweet of Orange Julius; for the easy comfort of football with the best-est; for grace for grace for grace.

26 November 2015


a day of abundance, in every sense.

Praise and Thanksgiving

O My God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects, my heart admires, adores, loves thee, for my little vessel is as full as it can be, and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with thee ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up, ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed, ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, crowding into every moment of happiness.
I bless thee for the soul thou hast created, for adorning it, for sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;
I bless thee for body thou hast given me, for preserving its strength and vigour, for providing senses to enjoy delights, for the ease and freedom of my limbs, for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
I bless thee for thy royal bounty providing my daily support, for a full table and overflowing cup, for appetite, taste, sweetness;
I bless thee for social joys of relatives and friends, for ability to serve others, for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities, for a mind to care for my fellow-men, for opportunities of spreading happiness around, for loved ones in the joys of heaven, for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.
I love thee above the powers of language to express, for what thou art to thy creatures. Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.


for my pie makers, and for the legacy of the pie makers before them.

(and, thankful for pie- the traditional Thanksgiving three ready: chocolate pecan, apple and pumpkin)

25 November 2015


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
Psalm 136:1-9

24 November 2015


a day helping out in the sewing ministry, with neighborhood ladies and deaf students both.
(and thankful for our good God, with such a sense of humor, uses this girl, who can't sew and who stumbles through language, and finds a place for me in spite of myself)

23 November 2015


for cool mornings,
sweet oatmeal with berries,
gathering for prayer,
phone calls,
more prayer.

(and a fuzzy wookie dog waiting at the door)

22 November 2015


early morning latte,
we have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (Heb 6:19),
girls who make waffles,
slow mornings,
basketball fans in blue,
halftime calls,
shots that surprise,
frosted lemonade,
afternoons in a chair,
the guy who runs the remote,
a strong cup of coffee,
whispered prayers,
fresh naan,
open windows,
promise of worship.

20 November 2015


thankful: Abba, Father, I'm so thankful that your love for me is steadfast and that I can count on new mercies every morning, including this morning, and all day long.

(from "A Prayer about Grace for Grumpiness," Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith)


thankful: my grace is sufficient sufficient for you. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

19 November 2015


The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. (Prov. 18:10);
familiar faces,
mini-road trip with four of my favorite peeps,
free pie,
laughing around the table,
but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother (Philemon 16).

(and a mighty little hero to travel with us)

18 November 2015


thankful to have opportunity to know and love these English language learners and their families and our ESL staff, for those who served us so well this evening, for cross-cultural and bilingual smiles, for little people cute as can be, for grace, grace and more grace.

17 November 2015


thankful for faithful helpers, a kitchen whirlwind, cheerful players, a win, no major injuries, and an extra apple pie.

16 November 2015


thankful for a chair in the corner and a breeze through the window.

15 November 2015


thankful for a really great bed and AlkaSeltzer cold medicine.


Only the prayer which comes from our heart can get to God's heart.
- Charles Spurgeon

thankful for prayer, in any language.


thankful for the blessing of serving cross-culturally, for the hope of the gospel that transcends differences.

12 November 2015


I’m thankful for those who serve our country in the military.
I’m thankful because I understand in a small way the sacrifice that is.
I’m thankful because my husband served in the US Navy for 20 years.
He was away from our family for months at a time, under the sea, going places we’ll never know about, on missions we’ll never talk about. 
I’d send weekly 40 word messages to let him know we were ok.
I’d shower with the phone stretched all the way to the bathroom if I thought they might be in port, just to not miss that call.
I’d wait at the dock for homecomings, ready to introduce our young kids to their dad all over again.
I’m thankful for God’s constant provision during those years.
I’m thankful for rich community and friendships that last even today.
I’m thankful for those who have sacrificed so much more, their very lives, for our liberty and freedom.

11 November 2015


thankful for days that remind our struggles have purpose, for u-turns on my way out the door, for an unexpected moment of refreshment in the middle of the day, for students who work hard at learning, for a review of American history, for the faithfulness of my staff, for God's constant provision, for grace ever new.

(and for those little orange jewels, easy to peel, sweet as sugar, a tasty delight.)