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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Oh, the Graces

Traveling is tiring. This last week, we were in a missions conference with my dad in Grapevine, TX. We stayed in a motel, went out to eat every day, visited with family and friends during the day, and went to services at night. We didn't get back to the motel til @ 11:00 pm every night.  It may sound like an 'oxymoron', but as tiring as it all was, it was..restful. Restful to get away from the dust here in Mexico and enjoy all the green landscape, restful to have the time to visit and laugh, and restful to not have a 'to do' list every morning for the week. It was just what we needed. My husband and my dad preached all week and it was wonderful to hear preaching in English. The church was above and beyond kind to us and it was just great to see people we care about so much.

 I was able to visit with Diana whose son just died in the last few weeks. I'm recording the grace of hope. To look on her face, and know what has happened in the last few weeks in their family, you would be amazed at the grace you see in her and her husband's eyes. Sure, it's hard, nights are sleepless, eyes run out of tears, and the heart hurts. Still, somehow, God gives grace..even in the darkest hour.

We had a lot of time to visit with the pastor this last week. They were missionaries close to 30 years in Papua New Guinea. The grace of insight...they really helped me figuresome things out about working with the ladies here in Mexico. God used them to help me in a big way last week. 

I was able to visit with Paula. I never really get a chance to talk with her when we are in the area. At the International Dinner, we were able to talk over all kinds of great dishes people brought. We had such a great time of catching up. So I am recording the grace of  'catching up'. So thankful that God allowed that time with her. After that sweet time, she baked all four of us (me, John, Jonathan our son, and Dad) our own personal Friendship Bread for the road. It was so tasty!!

MaLinda and I go back @ 16 years and it was great to see her..the grace of reconnecting.

I was able to meet the new youth leader's wife, Carrie...the grace of new beginnings. This church has just come out on the other side of a big split and she and her husband are new there and helping the pastor. I believe she will be a great help to the pastor's wife. It was encouraging to see new people in the church there this week. 

Michelle and I have quite a bit in common since we are both daughters of a missionary. No one can quite understand the mission field like another missionary. It was so wonderful to see her and laugh, talk, and share.  The grace of friendship is a healing balm to the soul. I don't mind so much being alone here, but when I see dear friends that mean a lot to me, I wish I had more time to spend. 

My friend, Michelle, and me 


We are back home now..back in the dust bowl. I stepped on a cockroach last night....barefooted, the milk is sour in the refrigerator,  our dog, Cocoa, has mysteriously lost weight and is looking sickly... but it feels good to be home. Back to our 'to do' lists (#1 being LAUNDRY), back to cooking again, grocery lists, and homeschooling, back to making my own bed and washing my own towels...ahhhh....the grace of...home. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Green Fields

We are traveling again this week and I have to say that it feels so good to get away  from all the dust. I forget how GREEN it can be in other parts of the world. I grew up in New England and even went to college there where green grass is common, 'real' changes of seasons...I see so much brown in Mexico that I forget the wonder of  the color green.  It has been quite dusty in Mexico lately. Here, take a look. 



Today I am recording just how wonderful it feels to see and even smell the green grass here in the Dallas, TX area.  Already, after being here just a few days, I feel rested and refreshed.  It may sound a bit 'simple' to be thankful for the grass and trees, but being thankful for the 'little things' is the stuff of life. Thank you, LORD, that your mercies are new every morning. 



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Child's Play

Have you ever had a child come to you and ask you to play with them? Do you know how that feels? The kids in our church here in Mexico are very friendly and playful. My son Jonathan plays with the kids. He's a 15 year old giant in their eyes. He makes them laugh. My husband is the same way. I can't remember how it started, but the little ones love it when John tries to take their shoes and put them where they cannot be reached. This is fun for them. Before church this morning, John and I were talking and the girls came up to him and start talking away..in their very fast Spanish. Shy smiles. Quiet laughter. All John understood was the word ''zapatos"..shoes. He understood what they were asking. "Can you come play and hide our shoes?" We forget sometimes in our American culture how simple it can be to make a child smile. A child doesn't need all the technology the world has to offer, the television shows that kill time, so many activities that zap the energy right out of everyone. They just need...you, your smile, and your time. 






Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A New Day

Originally, this was going to be a family/ministry site, yet nothing seemed to 'come to me' about putting it together. I have been going through a 'journey' of sorts and it just seemed fitting to name this blog, 'A Record of Graces.' Journey to what or from what? From my childhood. I lost my mother when I was 3 yrs. old and forever lost a part of me. She died of hepatitis when we were missionaries in Lima, Peru. This was my identity for as long as I can remember; I was always the little girl of that missionary who lost his wife. It was part of my dad's testimony in every church he preached in. I was "Jean's daughter" to all who knew, loved, and remembered her. I didn't even know what that meant. It wasn't until I was much older that I began to know more about her. She was greatly missed by all who knew her. I am a lot like her, I am told. And to answer your question, Yes, Dad did remarry. But the shadow of being 'Jean's daughter' haunted both me and my step-mother from the beginning. I believe she tried to fill the gap, but I was never 'hers'. It wasn't until after my son Jonathan was born that we found some common ground and built a bridge...it was shaky..but it was a bridge, nonetheless. 




One of my favorite pictures of my mother.




 'Ever ask, 'Why?' things happen? Why does God allow this or that? Who is to know the mind of God? I sure have questioned it ..many a time. I am coming to a place where I realize that all God gives is grace. Whether we are to know His mind or not..God has his reasons. How many times would we have liked to rewrite our story? Yet, maybe..just maybe, we don't want to change the end, because we don't know what a different ending holds. There's a reason why God wrote my story and I didn't. So..here is a blog about graces. Have you noticed His grace today? Did you record it?