Saturday, August 25, 2012


Thinking about sowing and reaping.

Not just the "you get what you deserve" kind of interpretation. But a broader, more life-long way of understanding the verse.

The idea that you sow and you reap in two separate  seasons of life.

That all those seemingly meaningless, day-after-day decisions we are making today are actually forming our latter days. We can think of our constant choice to stop and give grace-filled attention to a perhaps inconvenient interruption as adding compost to our field.

The choice to serve when we want to sit as preparing the soil with good, thorough plowing. Determining to obey when we'd rather do our own thing as putting down only the best seed. Yielding to God's correction instead of explaining it away and hardening your heart is like the rain pouring down at just the right time.


I can't help but think of people who are now in their reaping stage--and reaping with joy. And their lives have been filled with unconditional love... even (and perhaps especially) when it hurts. Serving, always serving. They are people who have learned to stop for people--knowing they are made in God's image. Who listen to God's voice and have allowed them to soften, mold and use them in the way He saw fit.
I also mourn for other sad, bowed reapers. Who sowed, day after day, in anger, selfishness, and duplicity--and now look around in somewhat dazed wonder. "What happened? How did I get here?"

I want to end it joyful--watching load after load of life-filled harvest. A life well-lived. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


She sings it like this: "I love ME, you love ME. We're a happy fam-ah-wee...."

Ah, the revealing honesty of a 2-year-old.

Photo credit to Jamie at Ember Mae Photography--

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

most important.

"Our children are the most important house guests we'll ever have." --Henri Nouwen

Monday, August 20, 2012

his version.

This school year, Noé is sure to be sorely missing a lot of his best buddies in Pre-K. The program he is in is for 3 and 4-year-olds. He entered last year as a 3-year-old and became good friends with quite a few of the 4-year-olds. This year, those friends will be entering kindergarten, and he will still be in Pre-K.

The other day, Noé and I were swinging together and just chatting about life. I love that he is getting to the place we can do that! It is so fun to hear his version of things!

I decided it was a good time to begin letting him know that his best friend, "C", would not be with him in class this coming year. I said: "Noé, remember how you and C had Mrs. Frail as your teacher? Well, this year Noé will be with Mrs. Frail, and C will be at a new place called Kindergarten."

Noé swung thoughtfully for a few moments, crinkled up his brow and said, "Kindergarten? Well, Noé helps in Mr. Bryon's garden!" (and indeed he does!). Aww.. he understood me to say: "Kinder's garden"...


Yesterday, we were watching Rey play a soccer game at the park. Noé came up to me, stretched out his hand and announced he had, "A corn". I went to look at it, expecting to see a yellow kernel. I saw this:


Aww... when I say, "Acorn", he hears, "A corn."

What a kid.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Nearly daily, God shows us that we are where He wants us to be. Doing what He wants us to do. Even if it isn't what we pictured we'd be doing--it is pleasing to Him.

Sometimes, though, we can feel torn between two worlds. Missing what we were doing, the people we were with. Today, I was reminded that this is the place. For now.

We were sitting and chatting with some Mexican people after church. Rey knows them more than I do, since he's helped them out a lot fixing their cars. Anyways, we were sitting there, having our "after church donut", and one of the ladies asked me if the kids speak Spanish.

I said "Not yet", and explained that language is hard for Noé and it has been recommended that we concentrate on one language at a time. With English being the one he is most comfortable in, we decided to go with English. We know he will learn Spanish when he is ready.

With that, she launched into a long sermon of how wrong that was--giving me example after example, person after person who agreed with her. "You have to make him speak Spanish with you. He may look like he doesn't understand, but he does. It's the only way."

Then, she leaned across the table, loudly and slowly saying to Noé: "Noé, te gusta la dona? Noe, te gusta la dona? No. E. Te. GUSTA. la. DONA??" Noé began fidgeting, swinging his legs, looking down and saying, "No." When I told him she wanted to know if he liked the donut, he said, "Oh, yes!"

She shook her head at me, and then during the rest of the time tried to model how I should be engaging him in Spanish. She also began instructing her maybe 8-year-old nephew (who obviously was used to speaking English with her uncorrected) on how to say random words in Spanish.

I passed the time by digging my nails into my palms until I felt it was ok to excuse myself to the bathroom.

It all came back. THIS is why it wasn't working to have Noé in Mexico. Instead of people taking Noé's issues at face-value and working with us to help him, a vast majority of people took to correcting us and stepping over us to show us what they were sure we should be doing. With disastrous results. No wonder Noé was afraid of leaving the house. Oh, the overwhelming feelings of anger and frustration that I had forgotten!

Thank you, Lord, that you care for Noé more than we ever could, and you 
have him in the best place possible at this stage in his life!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

a fun saturday

Last Saturday was just one of those days that from the time the sun went out until it went back down--it was gorgeous. There was no way we were going to let this precious day of perfect weather be squandered by indoor activity!

There have been 2 things on our summer "wish list" that we hadn't done yet...and we decided to go for it then. One was going to eat at Joe's Crab Shack on the river...and the other was flying kites.

The kiddos were excited to be heading out for a day of fun!


 Arriving at the river... Noah just chillin':

Laney saying "Nooooo!" and making her best, "I don't WANT a picture!" face:

 Big girls walk up the steps to Joe's Crab Shack on their own, thank you kindly:

Our amazing table--right out overlooking the river. Fun!

Sweet boy:

Me and another sweet  boy:

Laney showing her adventurous side on the playground. Of course she doesn't need help climbing this, in her floppy sandals!

Or jumping across the open space onto the playground:

Sunshine baby.

My two men, doing what they do!

He's got "IT"!

My darlin' man:

They loved the food!

Onto kite-flying!

I'm sure the reason we couldn't get the kites off the ground for more than 10 seconds was the fault of the kites. Not a doubt in my mind. ;)

Noah and Rey working as a team: 

When we got back from all this fun, we found out there was a free Mark Schultz concert in town. Mark Schultz is one of Rey's favorite (American) Christian artists.... so we just "had" to go.

Besides, it was an outdoor concert. :)

This was the view we had. Mark Shultz is the tiny head next to the beige baseball hat guy's left ear.

Noah kept himself busy by pulling out all his funniest faces:

Rey made good use of the stroller.... 

And the faces kept on coming..

 Aleni--doing that thing where she takes my breath away...

While bro keeps up the fun and games...

I don't know if he's that into Mark Schultz... ;)

Daddy was giving Aleni spinney rides on the wheel. Wee!

We left the concert early, but full of contentment with having enjoyed this day to the max.

Noah couldn't leave before getting a shot of himself with a new girlfriend.

He's always had exceptional taste in women.