Saturday, March 24, 2007

Hurdle Jumping

One of my favorite memories of childhood is how I used to run. I loved short sprints and dashes so much that I challenged all my friends, and even nieghborhood dogs, to a race. All that practice helped me to get better at something I really enjoyed. So when I started high school I tried out for the track team and I made it. My coach exposed me to hurdle jumping and I loved it! The challenge of actually making it over each hurdle gave me a rush of adrenaline and a sense of satisfaction.

Then it happened, one day, in the middle of a good practice, I learned how hurdles got their name. My toe caught on the next to last hurdle and I went airborne across until I hit the last hurdle which caused me to slide across the track. I was stunned and dazed when I finally came to a halt. My clothes were torn and I was bloody and bruised, both physically and mentally. I expected the questions of concern from my coach, but what I didn't expect was his instructions to get back up and run the race again.

"What, did you see what just happened to me? I can hardly walk and you want me to jump." I responded, less than obediently. Honestly, at that moment I never wanted to set foot on a track lined up with hurdles again. I was terrified! My mind flashed back to the accident and I knew my toe would catch again and the same thing would happen. But my coach had wisdom enough to know that if I didn't jump right then, I would never overcome that seed of fear and it would keep me from doing something I loved.

I don't know how I did it, shaking and bleeding I took my mark and ran the hurdles. Somehow, I managed to fly over each one without any problems. And that little seed of fear was destroyed.

I have thought about that day many times since then, the lesson I learned that day has helped me through the falls of life. Each time I have thought I just can't go on I've been reminded of that day and realize I must get up and I must get back in the race or I'll never run again.

Here on the mission field, and even in the States on deputation, my life has been a hurdle race. So far since we arrived in Uruguay my toe hasn't caught on the board and sent me flying. But when that day comes, as it surely will, I pray that God will give me the strength to stand back up again and I will get back in the race!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

First Day of School

After being home schooled their entire academic careers, Kaitlin, Bethany and Adeline had their first day of school this week. Kaitlin started with Brandon on Tuesday and Bethany and Adeline started today. Brandon is not included in the list because he had the privilege of attending Faith Christian School and Ambassador Baptist Academy through 2nd grade; so he is a seasoned pro. Nehemiah will start Kindergarten once Rebekah, their teacher, gets acclimated to having 4 new students. So this year we have a Freshman in high school (yikes, when did that happen?), and 7th, 3rd, 1st graders, plus a Kindergartner.

I'm thankful that I had the ability, and freedom, to teach my children at "home" for seven years. I must admit that I'm even more grateful to have a trained teacher taking my place! I really enjoy being their Mom and asking if they have homework, instead of assigning it. They'll have quite the tales to tell their children about how they had to walk 3 miles (OK, it's only 2 blocks) through the mosquito swarms, risking exposure to Dengue fever, and getting a nice tan, to their classroom. Some adventure! The toughest part of the day was facing me with the camera to capture the big event. Oh well, they'll thank me some day even though they sighed and cried today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In celebration of Simeon's 2nd Birthday

Today we celebrated Simeon's birthday, our third on the field. If you click on the Scrapbook layout above, you'll have a larger image and will be able to read the journaling. Or just keep reading and you'll see what the journaling says:

(Right page journaling)

Some theologians believe a quiver held four arrows. If that is accurate than we are doubly blessed! Our newest little B is due to arrive on November 8th, 2007.

An update on Madi

Thank you all for praying for Madi and her family. God was good to give them an extra measure of grace and peace in the midst of this recent trial. And He was also good to give them some wonderful news.

¨Praise God, we have good news! The MRI taken today showed no change from the pictures taken five weeks ago. The doctor believes this indicates that what we are seeing is not cancer, since Madi's tumor growth has previously been fast and aggressive. He is quick to say there are no guarantees. An MRI is scheduled in three months.¨

Monday, March 19, 2007

Let me brag a little.

If you've spent any time reading our blog you know that God is really helping us to adjust to living in Uruguay. We can't thank Him enough for His grace. I also want to thank him for my husband. I've had this thought before of thankfulness for Scott but it hasn't come in quite as clear as it did today. This man I married has an incredible work ethic and a resume filled with character and life skills.

There is a lot to do around our house and the list seems only to grow by the day, but Scott always keeps such a positive look on life. He runs out to the hardware store with the odd looking screw in fuse to buy a new one only to find out, through the language barrier even, that he has to repair the broken one. Which he does and we're back on the internet. He manages to find time to build shelves in the downstairs room to organize all our boxes. An impromptu trip to Montevideo to pick up school books being held in customs is taken in stride. When it's cheaper to make it, he does.

I'm thankful that I get to share all these new life experiences with Scott. He makes me laugh when I need it most and he helps keep my thoughts straight. Now if only he'll just write a post on this blog.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Some thoughts from my devotions

As I read through my Bible I'm struck once again by the frustration the Israelites must have been to God. In just a handful of chapters in the book of Numbers, God's chosen people are chastened many times - they're swallowed up by the earth, they have a plague, they are kept from the promised land, among other things. All for their sins. They murmered, they complained, they expected things from God that they had no right to expect. God had brought them out from Egypt in a miraculous way. He had made sure they had water and food. They saw Him in the pillar of cloud and fire as He led them through the wilderness. Over and over Moses interceded on their behalf and God stayed His wrath against the entire nation. They even watched as those who had sinned aainst God were chastened or destroyed, and witnessed HIs mercy towards them, yet they still grumbled and complained.

Why? What in the world were they thinking? Well, I don't know everything that went on in their minds but I do know what happens in my own. When I begin to grumble and complain it is because I believe God owes me something. That belief leads me to a place of discontent, which makes me miserable. And when I'm miserable it must be God's fault, right? Wrong! That is what Satan would have us believe. The enemy wants for us to think God is not good. If we believe that, then we can't trust God, and we can't follow Him. We begin to question everything He does and doesn't do. We begin to expect things from God instead of being thankful for all He has already given.

Moving to a foreign country has added to this dimension for me. It would be easy to get caught up in all the things we left behind. There are those nights when a McDonalds run would be great. There are those moments after searching through several stores for an "important" ingredient, that it is tempting to feel sorry for myself. What I need to do instead is change my focus, off my circumstances and onto Who God is. If I just take a moment and look back at all God has done for me, for us, and praise Him for those things I become overwhelmed with gratefulness. I see that I don't deserve a fraction of what I have as a result of God's loving kindness and His mercy. It all comes down to who we are going to believe (God or the Devil) and that belief is reflected in our attitude.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Taste of Home

When Scott and I first married my idea of home cooking was a frozen Marie Callendars fettucine noodles dinner. Of course, over the years I've learned to become more proficient in the kitchen and can now make some mean shrimp pasta (Red Lobster style). But since we've moved to Uruguay I have really become creative in the kitchen. I made a yummy all from scratch chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting for the girls birthday. I make rice milk for Adeline, that she actually likes. And I'm learning to recreate some things we just can't get here.

If you were to type the word "home made" into our Google task bar you would find I'm trying to make our life here a "normal" as possible. For instance, you would see I've searched for how to make grits, not cook them, but make them so we can cook them. I have learned to make whipped cream, and fried rice. I even have in my recipe box goodies such as doughnuts and english muffins.

No fajita seasoning or flour tortillas, it's no problem, I just type in home made flour tortillas and home made fajita seasoning and I have a couple of excellent recipes. Can't find pancake syrup? Do a google search. I find that just about every taste from "home" that I crave can be made at home. Well, I'm off to search for El Pollo Loco recipes, I have a craving for lemon grilled chicken with spicy pinto beans, pico de gallo and warm flour tortillas. If only I could find that missing box with my Cilantro in it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

An Honored Guest

Wow, has it really been almost two weeks since my last post?! Things have been hopping around here. The weather is beginning to cool as we approach the official start of fall on the 21st. It's been really nice to have cool nights and nice sunny days without the near unbearable heat. This weekends weather was gorgeous, we even had a Carolina blue sky.

The topic of conversation at an after church lunch yesterday was the President's visit. Everyone here was excited for us that our President was able to visit the country God has called us to. The ranch where the two presidents met is only 18 KM (about 11 miles) away from us! Probably the closest we'll ever come to either man. However, the wives of both Presidents, drove right in front of our house!!! BUT we didn't see them, what a bummer. They were touring the old city, a world heritage site. The old city is only 5 minutes away and we can actually see it from the end of our road. A_____ was following them and tried to call us but our cell phones went down for the time of the visit. Oh, well.

Despite what you may hear in the news the majority of this country's people were open to the visit and very friendly to their visitors; just as they have been to us. The people who were speaking out against the President, and throwing stones, were mostly from the big city across the water. We are thankful that the President was extended the same warmth and welcome as we have had. It certainly is interesting to be in a foreign country when a world leader comes for a visit. Our military was said to have been a couple thousand strong here. Plus the planes and helicopters and secret service. The Sheraton out on the rambla was reserved entirely for this visit. One article said that this visit brought in more than one million dollars for this country. More than what is made in an entire week of their highest tourist season.

PS I'm not naming our home country or this country nor the names of those involved for the reason of search engines. I wanted to share our experiences without the ability for search engines to find this post as we don't want to get involved in political issues.