Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Mr. Pastor, you need to come start a church in my neighborhood.
I'm just sayin'.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Such things as:
- A nativity scene. Complete with the devil standing by. Painted completely red, with a skull between his feet and a beer bottle in his right hand. Sure seems to take the "serene" out of the scene.
- A box tossed by the side of the road with a blanket in it. Closer examination reveal little puppy feet. 3 dead puppies.
- An empty condom wrapper under the park bench
- About 4 pounds of cooked beans, heaped in the grass next to the side walk.
Sometimes I think about this whole "normal" thing. For Noah, it is normal to listen to people talking and say, "Si, si, si" or to hit the bad floor that made him bonk his head and say "Ma-o, ma-o" (Malo="bad"). It's normal he lives in a 3rd floor apartment that looks out to the mountains surrounding our city. It's Noah's life that there is no candy sweeter to him than a corn tortilla hot off the presses. It is normal for him that he lives at over 7,000 feet of altitude and that here there are more people on bikes or motorcycles than cars.
I feel like I am bringing him "normal" when I serve him up his beloved mac & cheese (Kraft, to be sure) or when I present him with a box of Crayolas. Or sing him nursery rhymes. Or turn on Blue's Clues (which he absolutely loves).
I wonder, as I look at him--straddling these two "normals". He doesn't even know he's doing it. I wonder if he will later. I hope to find and accentuate the good in both these normals, and to not project that what is not my normal is in some way inferior.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I am at that place. That one place. Where I feel like my stomach has turned into a bag of bones. I know, it doesn't sound glowingly maternal, but it's true. Any time I move in whatever direction, it seems a leg, arm, bottom or head bone juts out in protest. And, carrying these bones makes me slowly waddle along, wincing every 5 steps or so.
I am at that one place where I huff and puff--just sitting here writing this. I often feel like I am breathing through a straw. I actually jerk awake in the middle of the night because either my or the baby's position was making it so I couldn't breathe.
I am at that place where I dream constantly about the birth. Maybe I'm not really dreaming, because it's hard to remember really sleeping--but let's just say, it's on my mind. A lot.
I am at that place, Lord forgive me, that I look narrowly upon people who judgementally say, "Well, at LEAST you can have babies!" Yes, I know. Or people that say, "A woman never looks more beautiful than when she is pregnant" (2 kinds of people: Liars and people who haven't been pregnant). Or people that say, "I soooooooo miss being pregnant. Isn't the miracle of life sooooooo wonderful??" Yes, it is. But....
I am at this place. So far along, with seemingly so far to go. I am so glad God has blessed me with a healthy little baby, and I am happy to be a mama. I just wanna to get out of this place! :)
PS--Due to some worried responses to this post, I feel I must say NOTHING is really wrong with me! I am just whining... :)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
(I love how those shelves in the background are loaded with
In the end, the food wasn't that bad. We had a lot of fun. Maybe the bathrooms had no light bulbs, but--hey: there was a bar of soap on the sink. Maybe mariachi doesn't make me smile as much as some mellow jazz, but... ok. I did miss the music. ;)
But, in our family--we like stories to have happy endings. And this one did. Oh, yes it did.
And... we even topped that!! Rey is awesome enough to have found some cocker spaniel pups--which I've been hoping to find. We went and picked one out of the litter with Noah this evening. So cute!
Meet... hmm. Not sure on the name yet. But, he's around 2 weeks old. He's gonna stay with momma until he's bigger.
It was the perfect day.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
(prince): "Aren't you going to get a shower today?"
(me): "I did."
(snorting disdainfully): "You did? Nooooo. No you didn't."
(rather offended): "Yes, I did."
(still disdainful): "When?"
(more offended): "This morning at like 10."
(another snort): "No you didn't."
(near tears): "Yes, I did. I took a shower. I changed clothes. I blew dry my hair. I put make-up on. And THIS is what I get?"
(realizing he may be on thin ice): "Hmmm..."
How much trouble do you think he was in?
Ah, and match that with the comment he made a while ago about not being attracted to me for my "physical qualities"!! Yeah, he's sleeping on the patio these days.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
"To obey is better than sacrifice." (1 Samuel 15)
"But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices
God is well-pleased." (Hebrews 13)
- He found an old, crippled woman in the streets and helped her get back to her house. She was very obviously supersticious and closed to the Gospel, but upon arriving at her house, Rey felt that God told him to wash her feet. He asked if he could, and she gave him permission to. He did so, prayed over her--and hasn't seen her since.
- Last week, we were enjoying the evening at a downtown plaza, when a man with no legs appeared. He was sitting on a crude, home-made cart (basically a piece of plywood over 4 wheels) that he pushed along with his hands. We were eating guayabas, so Rey took about four of them over to him. The man got very annoyed and refused to take them.
- Almost every stoplight here in town has people (from scruffy kids to adults) asking for money. They have gotta be happy when they see Rey coming, because he always finds some kind of change in his pocket to give them--usually along with a Gospel tract.
And so it goes. Rey is an example of constantly finding love for the unlovely, and the humility to extend himself in ministry--even after rebuttal. I love my man!!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
- His personality is one of attaching to one person, usually his mama. Ahhh, yes.
- His personality has a very heightened awareness of his 5 senses. Hence his knowing from 3 days old who was holding him, noticing every new thing around him, and being very particular (read: annoyed) about any kind of stickiness. When he was a couple months old, it took us a while to figure out that he wasn't sleeping because we had changed his sheets from smooth summer cotton to a fuzzy winter flannel. He didn't like it.
- His personality doesn't like changes or undefined/unpredictable things. So, new people's houses, the nursery, people picking him up--basically anything he doesn't feel that he can predict/control makes him extremely agitated. Example: He loves the slide (he can grab on the sides to slow himself) but he hates the swing (can't control it).
- He needs a lot of time and warning when it's time to transition to a new activity. He is a lad of extreme concentration, so just yanking him out of thought world is a traumatic thing for him indeed.
- He is not a risk-taker. No indeed.
You have no idea how "freeing" it was for me as a mom to know that so many things really were just "Noah" and not a fault of my not socializing him enough or of not forcing him into new activities enough (things I'd been told). Basically, Noah is his own little particular self who is very happy and easy if he's given time to warm up to a situation and feels very assured that I will be nearby. This can be frustrating if I look at him through my personality--which loves new things, surprises, socializing and CHANGE!! But, when looking at him through his personality, it makes sense and gives Noah space to be who he is--while hopefully I can help mold him into the best "version of his personality" that he can be.
Check out the book... Pretty cheap on Amazon!!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
So, a few weeks of battling for more than 4 hours of sleep a night and being uncomfortable 24 hours a day has me feeling sorry for the people that have to be around me.
Sorry that I can't play in the rough-and-tumble way that you like so much. Little sibling makes crawling around, falling to the floor and any kind of bending over really hard. Sometimes, I am moved by how happy even my smallest attempts at playing with you "like we used to" make you. Sorry I can't do that more.
Sorry because I can't promised a bettering of the situation for another... oh... 15 years or so.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
- That you receive me with happiness and kisses when I get back from going out to the communities
- When you know I'm tired and you prepare a hot bath for me
- That you give me a massage to help me relax
- That you give me compliments
- That you give me time to do things I like to do--like wash the car, fix things, exercise, read the news, or watch a soccer game on tv
- That when we are out walking around you hug me and give me kisses
- That you keep the house clean
- That you get ideas on how to make the house better or to move things around so they are more comfortable
- When you prepare my favorite food
- That you tell me "thanks" when I help you around the house
- That you don't demand things of me, but you suggest to me that you'd like some help when you'd really like to demand it (hmmm...)
- That you clean the bathroom although it would normally be my job. (Really? REALLY?? How come I never knew this???)
- That you pray with me before I go out to the communities
- When you call me to see where I am when I am late getting home. (Oops! I hardly ever do that 'cuz I thought it might be annoying...)
- When you ask me how things went (since I usually forget to tell you)
- When I mention something we talked about in the communities and you have some good suggestions or opinions about the subject.
- That you don't get annoyed that a big part of the day I am out of the house or preparing messages
- That you usually do the updates and you do them perfectly
- That you remind me and ask me to talk to you about the communities and our plans--it helps me stay more organized.
- That you are a really great mother for Noah
- That you take care of yourself even during your pregnancy
- That even though you are dealing with Noah so many hours, you don't complain very much. (I'm glad he was honest and put the "very much" in there!)
- That even when you "loose your figure" during pregnancy you still make yourself pretty and well-kept to make me happy
- That you try to find ways to help people
- When you take time to write people or call them to see how they are
- That you don't get angry easily
- That when you get angry, you don't pressure me with words. You just get really serious and quiet, and then I realize something is wrong. (Heh, heh...I never really thought of that as a good trait)
- That you don't demand, you suggest
- That you make sure to have my clothes clean and ready to go
- How you organize everything in the house
- When you make coffee for me (Oops!)
- When you let me sleep in when you know I'm tired
- Your initiative to get things done
- That you're really talkative, even if I don't alway pay attention to what your saying. (Hah! )
- When you play the violin (Aww... I didn't know that)
- When you surprise me with cards or gifts
- When you plan an outing
- When you are really optimistic about my plans when we go out
- When you explain to me if one of my ideas doesn't sound good to you and why
- When you not only like my ideas, but you add on your ideas which almost always makes it better
- That you are really patient with my ideas when they aren't the best or I mess up
- I like you!
Awww, isn't he the best?? Talk about feeling uplifted in my daily living! :) Wait 'till you hear about how great he is!
Here's my list:
- I like that I know I could write and write and still not come to an end of the things I love about you.
- I love your heart--- faithful, strong and wonderful.
- I like to see you when you are worshipping
- I like your smile: big and innocent
- I like that ever since I met you, you have been one of the most honest and sincere people I've ever met...and you continue to be that way to this day
- I like how tall you are
- I like it when you sing along with your music
- I like how you are with Noah, the daddy you are. How fortunate our kids are!
- I like that you make yourself something to eat when I am too busy or tired
- I like that you are quick to learn
- I like to hear you laugh really hard--like at one of your shows or when something unexpectedly strikes you funny
- I like how sexy you look when you are washing dishes. (He didn't like this one)
- I like it when you surprise me with little gifts (Like you did on my birthday!)
- I like the line in your chin
- I like spending time together--just the 2 of us--chatting
- I like to remember funny things we've gone through together or jokes you've told me--it makes me laugh, even days later
- I love to see you living out your calling: ministering to people. You are so good at it.
- I love your humility. You do things that would embaress other people to do, but you do it because you know it's the right thing to do and I learn so much from you
- I love your strength of character
- I like that you are sensitive to the needs of others.
- I like your clear perspective. You always help me see things more cleary/calmly.
- I like that I can rest in your love
- I like your sense of humor
- I like how your mind works--that you are good at fixing things
- I like that you're patient
- I like that when I ask you for advice, you always give me a really well-thought out answer, not just whatever pops in your head
- I like that you let me arrange time to go out with friends or do stuff
- I like that there are always new things to learn about you--your life, your personality, your likes/dislikes
- I like that you too like to travel and explore new places
- I like that you know how to put up with my craziness and rapid changes of opinion/idea... that you are my rock
- I like that everyone that knows you respects and esteems you
- I like that even though you are so strong you are always so gentle
- I like to see how you are always growing/developing into the man/husband/father/missionary that God has made you to be
- I like you!
I am so grateful that God has seen fit to so abundantly bless our lives with a happy, healthy marriage. I am also grateful knowing that while we are in His hand, we can look into the future with complete confidence and joy!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
- His snuggly times before he goes to bed
- His attachment to Beary and Blankey. Seriously, if he sees them and can't get to them in time of need, he screams as though the world is crashing in around him.
- The way he fishes around with his blanket until he finds a corner to hold. Apparently, only the corners feel right.
- His little "mmm-mmm-mmmmm" sound he makes to himself when he's tired
- When he says, "Mom, mom, mom".
- His sweet little serious face
- His dimples: In his cheeks, his chins, the backs of his knuckles.
- When I catch him "talking on the phone", "reading a book", or conversing to himself in his own babble language.
- When he takes his toddling steps towards me
- His love for music. Nothing grabs his attention like music and it always gets him moving: swinging his leg, raising his arms, bouncing, clapping.
- How he always holds his mouth wide open when he is excited about something.
- His bright, intelligent eyes. He is always analyzing things and you can almost read the conclusions he is drawing about everything he takes in.
- His readiness to laugh, make us laugh, or join in on a laugh--even if he doesn't get it and all he can muster up is a fake, social "Ha, ha".
- His uncontrollably spikey hair.
- How he gives me big bear hugs when he's really excited.
- The sparkle in his eye when he's with his "da-da". (Today he was "lifting weights" with his dad, and had to take as many water breaks as his favorite man. All that excercise leaves a guy pretty thirsty!) ;)
Hmm... that will do for now. And to think--this little angel had me "muttering under my breath"???! :)
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
"There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a
false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are... Getting honest
with ourselves does not make us unacceptable to God. It does not distance us
from God, but draws us to Him--as nothing else can--and opens us anew to the
flow of grace." --Brennan Manning
Transparency. It seems to be a word forever looming before me--appearing perhaps unattainable. I think it is especially true among us ladies. How much of our lives do I spend looking out of the corner of my eye trying to see how "she" did it, so I can do the same? Maybe I am just more impressionable than most, but I know I spend a whole lot of time trying to look more awe-inspiring than I am, better than I am--or than I see myself. In other words, I often spend a lot of time trying to be who I am not... or trying to be who I think someone else is.
You know, it's funny--because with all this tweaking and trying and proposing and changing--in the end, the people who love us love the real "us". Not the us with our hair in glossy perfection, or with a wonderful pre-planned menu every week of the year, or with our amazing accomplishments.
Rather, they love us...
when we are comfortable in our own skin, with our imperfections
when we can sit with a sink full of dirty dishes and not feel the need to explain that it's not "usually this way"
when we can focus on being in the moment with them and not on the ways we miss perfection.
And there it is! Our changings and desperate attempts at perfectionism are really thin veils over pride. Wanting to amaze people and somehow be better than them.
So, I want to choose transparency. To be who God made me all the time. Of course, that doesn't mean I'll stop washing the dishes or brushing my hair, but maybe--just maybe--I'll engage in less corner-of-the-eye watching and instead look into people's hearts.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world." --George Washington Carver
As I sit down to write this, the house is strewn about with baby toys, clean laundry and dirty dishes. These call out for my prompt attention--after all, the baby is in bed!! However, I want to make good on the promise to myself to be regular in my writings.
Two strands of thought have been running through my head the last couple of days--does that happen to you? Like the beginning to some great "understanding" of an illusive concept, and then life happens and the strand just remains there...hovering until it dissapears forever.
One strand is of the insignificant things that aren't really insignificant at all... the small things that can add up to be big things.... the time-consuming little details of life that can seem to stifle living! I find myself constantly struggling against those things: Change that diaper, clean this mirror, sweep that room. I don't want them to be the sum of my life, but they are nessesary parts. May I learn to keep the little things in their place--so that I don't miss the big parts of life: Snuggle times with my hubby, giggles with my boy, talks over coffee, hot baths. Joy in the things that matter, let the rest just be background.
The other strand has been compassion. I think that true compassion is often (mostly?) the compassion that no one else sees or notices. Compassion is not hard when there are friends around, cameras flashing or the idea of a reward motivating the act. True compassion, though, is hard. And, often it is hardest to demonstrate to the people closest to us. Isn't that crazy? I mean, I can find myself sobbing over some obscure reality show, and then feel absolutely no compassion towards my husband when he complains of not feeling well. I think another word for compassion could be empathy. Why is it harder to feel empathy for your sister than it is for a poor child on the street? I don't have the answers, but it's got me thinking.
Little things. Common people. Big picture. I want to be a person that sees the big picture clearly enough that I don't let the common people in my life to become little things while I divulge far to much time in the things that... in light of a life... mean nothing.
Monday, March 23, 2009
I have also been a "quotes searcher". Actually have a special notebook just for those perfect quotes I've found.
I also found that oil painting would fill me with an excited wonder. No one would rush to call me a child prodigy, but the rush of emotions that I would feel as I would mix my own colors and use them to fill a before-empty canvas was unequalled.
For some reason, since I got married and life became completly "other" than how it was, it seems that all artistic expression got put in one of those dusty boxes I have under my bed. I know that this was largely due to huge upheaval (i.e: moving to a different country two months after marriage) and permenant life-change (i.e: marriage... baby before 1st anniversary). I think I was kind of floating along for a while. Perhaps part of the ebb in my flow was the fact that I am married to a wonderful, understanding husband--so that certain "searching" or "longing" that often inspires poetry and the like was no longer there.
However, in recent days, I have been feeling a stirring of desire to return to the cultivation of the "litary/artistic" side of me...and I feel like if it is somewhat public, I may be somewhat inspired to be more regular in my recordings.
So, here's to expression and viva la poesía!! :)
I close with a quote from the great A.W. Tozer from his book The Pursuit of God:
"It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or
secular; it is why he does it. The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify God
in his heart, and he can thereafter do no common act."