Celebrations

They happen every day.  Sometimes I miss them, my eyes focused on the road ahead of me, the to-do list on my shoulders.  But when I catch a glimpse, and stop my busyness, my spirit looks up to share a smiling gaze with the Almighty.  A butterfly outside my window, a sweet moment with the children, a miracle unmerited.  I am leaning into the Lord’s heart in the celebrations He gives our family, both large and small.

  • Snowmen painted on my toes Tica-style in honor of the winter white stuff we miss on the prairie.
  • The little dear who eyed Matt with caution and shied away from his hand while we prayed over her entry into the Hogar de Vida family, running to give him a hug a week later.  Hearing the kids call out, “(Ma)Teo!” when he goes by.
  •  Flowering BeautyRealizing the soft blues and greens of the quilt I pieced before we launched to the mission field coordinate perfectly with the view of trees, mountains, and sky out our balcony.
  • The verification that our second language is taking root.  Yelling, “¿Qué está haciendo? / What are you doing?” without thinking when awakened from a dead sleep at 3:30 a.m. by someone’s loud footsteps on the neighbor’s tin roof next to our bedroom windows.
  • Sharing hospitality and life with friends around our table.  Cracking jokes and being real in Spanish and English.
  • Discovering the High School Musicals with my kids and savoring this season when singing the songs with their mom is still cool.
  • Laughing nonstop with House Tias on a 3-hour bus ride.  Hearing my name called out in the verbal melee, “Krease!”
  • Seeing Ezekiel charm team members, Eliana in her element helping out in the houses, and Elijah playing alongside boys his own age.
  • Feeling the Holy Spirit show up in a unique way each time I share my testimony with a team.
  • God’s mercy and my husband’s ingenuity saving my laptop after a baptism by pumpkin spice tea.
  • Celebrating our Elijah’s arrival into double digits and his growth into a tender warrior.
  • Sips of coffee and birdsong in the presence of the Lord each morning.  A basket ready on my dresser with bible, journal, candle, and everything else I might be tempted to leave my chair for.
  • The tiny infant who fussed night and day against some unknown anxiety, calming into peaceful smiles and trusting cuddles through Hogar’s united intercession before the throne of our good Father.
  • Standing here, humbled on holy ground, filled with gratitude for the provision, prayer, and affection poured out on us.  

River Running Rainmaker TrailWe would not be here without all of you.  It is an incredible privilege to be your hands and feet, serving in this land.  Often I ask, like David, “Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?” 2 Samuel 7:18.

Thank you for every way that you have joined with us in this journey.  May the Lord of the harvest multiply each seed sown and return to you a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, poured into your lap this holiday season.  Merry Christmas from the Gnuses in Costa Rica.  A savior has been born.  May His light illuminate your 2015.

May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.  Colossians 1:11b-12 NLT

 

 

Making Angels

After a small saga of delays, our new carpet is finally installed, and the house is one giant step closer to being ready for the market.  Considering their future on unyielding tile, the kids took some time to enjoy soft poly fibers on the floor.  In the absence of snow, they made carpet angels.

All that exuberant appreciation got me thinking.  I’ve been spending time clearing away the old (thank you Craigslist, Goodwill, sanitation engineers, etc.) and working to lay the new (contact lists full of amazing people who want to keep in touch, applications for language school, gatherings and letters to share the vision) of our ministry in Costa Rica.  But it was high time to pause for a moment and count the blessings of our calling.  So I swirled my thoughts over the goodness of God’s plans for us, and made an angel of gratitude.  The wings and wisps are formed by:

  • The opportunity to make friends from around the world and to share the Lord’s work in their lives as they serve at the Home of Life.
  • The richness of becoming a bilingual family–although Matt and I will have to come up with a new way to talk “over the kids’ heads.”
  • The adventure of learning Costa Rican culture and a new way of doing life.  Rainy seasons, rambutan fruit, pace of life redefined.
  • Getting to care for at-risk children and speak blessing over them.  I love Matt’s brown eyes, but all our children got my blues.  Now I’ll have a host of bright dark eyes to love.
  • The tremendous gift it is that the Lord wants to use us in this way.  Here we are, Lord.  Send us.
  • The support of so many awesome people joining with us in this kingdom work.  Kisses to the side of the cheek for all of you.
  • The chance to trust God for what seems impossible and to see Him provide.  He is doing it.
  • Seeing the talents that He gave us fit like puzzle pieces into a whole new future of walking with Him.