Sunday, June 29, 2014


Mexico was playing in the World Cup today... So, after church we found a Mexican restaurant to eat and watch the game!

And, Little Miss Thing here... She pulls the whole salsa cup over in front of herself and eats it in a very non-sharing way. Total salsa hog.  Not sorry, either.

Rey and Noe playing tic-tac-toe.

Vamos, Mexico!!


Do I really believe that broken is better? Enough to submit to the breaking? To lean into it, trust it? To allow it to gentle me, expose me, refine me? To allow the process to happen in those I love? To give them the space and grace to be broken; the support and time for God to do what only He can do, in only the way He can?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

a secondary emotion

"The profound danger is that, as noted above, we start to think of feeling as weakness. With the exception of anger (which is a secondary emotion, one that only serves as a socially acceptable mask for many of the more difficult underlying emotions we feel), we are losing our tolerance for emotion and hence for vulnerability." -from "Daring Greatly"

Replaying these words in my head today, as anger reared its ugly head towards my husband and kiddos. In facing the underlying emotions, I can choose to free myself from anger. The emotions--feeling overwhelmed, at the end of my rope, frustrated, without roots, without ability to plan ahead, unprepared, questioning, tired, worried--coupled with the chronic lower back/pelvic pain that accompanies this part of my pregnancies... often leave me falling into the "unpleasant company" category.

Truth is, facing these things doesn't make them go away. I still don't know what to do, I still am in pain... But, perhaps what is sought here is honesty in expression of these feelings--not hiding them behind anger, which solves nothing and wounds many.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Stopped to watch a little show at the Six Flags theater today. 

Aleni was captivated by the dancing lady...

Noe danced... 

We got to experience the wave pool for the first time....

Just chillin'....

Bits of beauty on the balcony....

Thursday, June 26, 2014


First time to a Chuck E. Cheese here in SA... and the kids loved how much was the same as the one back in Illinois.

So fun to watch their faces on the "roller coaster simulator" ride!

Beautiful sunset on the way home from small group tonight...!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Summertime = free movies. 

(And, apparently... making funny face while waiting for the movie to start!) :)


So, things haven't been going as planned. Or, even as hoped. In many ways--they are actually going better. But, one vital element is missing... and that element makes it harder to enjoy the rest. As we are at six months of living off of unemployment (thank GOD that it's available)... I have felt myself becoming brittle and dejected. It's easier to focus on the dead-ends going in many directions, than to rest in God's wisdom and see the beauty he gives us at each dawn.

Today, wasn't a bad day. We did fun things. We went out and came back. It was just me--I was bad. I was down and not the most fun to be around.

As we walked out for our nearly daily trip to the apartment pool (I may have been trudging)... I found the thoughts spooling themselves through my mind were not the most positive, and definitely not centered on the here and now. I scowled at the trash blowing around the apartment complex, shook my head at broken things that have laid unattended for too long... 

Then, I stopped. I asked God to focus my eye on his beauty instead of the obvious disappointments.  To help me embrace the moment, rather than sacrificing it on the alter of future worries. 

So, I took out my camera. And saw beauty, everywhere. 

It's there, in her confident smile... her pensive expression... her sun-bronzed skin. (Why is she so tall??)

It's there, in his boyish need to be silly and yell "Gotcha!".

 It's there, in the exuberance, and the laughter.

I see it in their bodies--the strong muscles, the bright minds; the health and ability.


 Looking up, rather than down...

And this one... because.... what's more beautiful than an "Awkward Family Photo"?? Ha!! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Backyard Bible Club days...! It was so fun to be able to help out... and to see our kids soak up the love and energy given to them by the other volunteers.

Aleni looooved her "teacher", Miss Annie.

Noe loving a friend during song time...

And, getting some dance time up on the "stage"...

Aleni and daddy dancing...

Ahh, community.

Monday, June 16, 2014


It was one of those rare, beautiful, perfect Sunday mornings... wherein the Sanchez clan arrived to church happy and peaceful. I was taking in the crisp air and clear skies when I noticed her. A mom with two girls--maybe about 6 & 8 years old? Momma obviously wasn't in the best of moods, was snapping at her girls and grabbing at the arm of one, hurrying them into church.

Despite my best intentions not to be a "judger", I felt myself wishing the momma could enjoy the morning. "The girls are going to be in child care in a minute, right? They're not misbehaving..."

I soon forgot about the incident as church began.

Before the sermon, the pastor referenced that it was Memorial Day, and asked for there to be a moment of respect and remembrance of those who have given their lives for this country. He then asked for anyone who has lost a family member--dad, mom, brother, sister, husband....--to please stand. As I scanned the room, my heart in my throat as I grieved for these eyes again found her.

And, there she stood. Alone. Her face crumpled in obvious pain, tears pouring from her eyes, shoulders shaking. I don't know her story. Probably never will. But, her agony is forever seared on my memory.

Why is it so easy to judge those we know nothing about? Why do we feel the need, the urge, to see what is wrong with someone...when we've never walked in their shoes--never lived their history?

Longing to be more like Jesus--to see hurt and pain as something the needs soothing and hope...not judgement and containment. Thinking of the Samaritan woman at the well... how He saw through all the "outside things". She, no doubt, was very "stand-offish" and had many apparent things that we (I?) perhaps would have quickly judged. Jesus, instead, engaged. Leaned in. Gave time. Offered a living spring of hope. Life. A way out.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Father's Day!! Rey is an amazing daddy... and it's so fun to get to celebrate him!!

Cards in bed... The kids do that Father's Day questionnaire thing... So fun.

Coffee and donuts! 

Pictures outside of church... Man, I am one blessed lady!! :-D

 Love this one... I said, "Say, 'We love you, daddy!'" and Aleni laid her head on Rey's shoulder and got this sweet, faraway look on her face. :)