Introducing “1000 Words” Posts

I’m usually pretty capable of cranking out 1,000 words at any given moment. My husband will verify this, especially at bedtime when he’s drifting off. Whether those slurries of words are of interest to people outside of marriage vows (and sometimes even in them) is another story.  I would like to start a new feature here on TheGoodNewsFamily to make it easier for me to share my heart for our global launch to serve at the Home of Life in Costa Rica.  A picture is said to be worth that much in verbiage, sometimes even more.  Please enjoy a few of my favorites and the (brief) reasons why.

Coming Home to Cabin 5

Our home for 5 weeks this summer.  There is a beauty to doing life in a small house when you are surrounded by glorious weather (I even love the rain) and warm people.  Itty bitty living space, phenomenal cosmic life.

Every morning of our stay, the skyline above was the breathtaking view from the rocking chairs on our front porch.  Cue the symphony of birdsong, crickets, and gecko chirps, pour the coffee, and breathe in the presence of the Lord.  Blessings!

A Beautiful Day

Today was our last day here at Hogar de Vida, and it was one of my favorites. We returned from our trip to the beach Monday afternoon and promptly took naps. Sun and sand, curvy mountain roads, and good food in combination are always exhausting. We had a lovely evening at Tim and Dena’s for dinner. Tuesday/yesterday, I felt as if I should be packing, even though the weather here had breaks in the rain (unusual for the last few days) and I was tempted to go out and play with the kids. I had fun sorting our dirty laundry and rolling up our clean clothes all into big ziplocks. Yes, I actually enjoyed it, call it a personality flaw if you will.  Did I mention I also packed more than fifty pounds of coffee? We love to share the local blend with our fellow gringos back home. I was following the Spirit, but I thought it was curious to pack up most of our stuff a day ahead of necessity. Now I understand what the Lord had in mind.

Today was gorgeous. Not in the weather, because it rained all day straight in varying intensity, but in the time we were able to spend with the people here. It was my turn to share at devotions this morning, and the Lord gave me a good common ground story and a teaching from John Bevere’s Heart Ablaze book to share, wrapped up with a solid application to our lives. Then we handed out simple stretchy bead bracelets to everyone here old enough to wear one, excluding the dog. Eliana had been making them for two days straight so that people could remember our family as they wore them. Barb, a North American missionary here, quipped that they would certainly remember us as they pick up beads everywhere! Hopefully our knots will hold! Then the kids and I spent the morning going back and forth under our umbrellas making deliveries to the houses of things we had borrowed, food that we had bought but didn’t use up, etc. It was the perfect opportunity to talk to everyone and spend time with them.

We finished off the afternoon with a coffee break with Oscar and Nancy, a newly married couple who invited us to their home two Sundays ago. As we labored in conversation, we felt the Lord connect us in the Spirit, and begin a good work in the marriage relationships here in Atenas. We had hoped to directly accomplish more in that area, but the Lord worked in the background and planted good seed by our example of just being here together as a family.

The Lord is wrapping up this time beautifully. We wanted to leave them with a blessing, and we are finding ourselves blessed. The spirit of the people here is so rich, and I can’t wait until the next time the Lord sends us into their arms.

Please be praying for us as we travel from 5:30 am to approximately 11:00 pm (Central Time) tomorrow, returning to the loved ones and the work the Lord has for us in the states. Dios le bendiga! (God bless you!)

Rain+Dirt=Mud, Mud+Kids=A Beautiful Mess!

Today after church and lunch we had a terrific downpour. The rain came down in absolute buckets for several minutes. After a while the downpour eased but the rain continued. Now, if any of you have been to Hogar de Vida before everyone will tell you shortly upon arriving that Costa Rican children melt in the rain. Whenever it rains the tias quickly bring the children inside. Well, I think we managed to break about every Costa Rican childcare custom this afternoon. We definitely proved that ninos norteamericanos (North American kids) do NOT melt in the rain. They have an absolutely fabulous time and get EXTREMELY MESSY! The kids romped in the puddles, plopped in the mud and twirled to their hearts content. Thankfully our cabins are behind all of the houses the tias and children stay in so we didn’t offend our hosts with their antics.

At one point Eliana was crying out ‘Ayudame!’ (help me!). She managed to get into mud so deep and thick that her shoe was stuck in the mud. I told her to slip off her shoe and then reach in to pull her shoe out of the mud with her hand but, she only managed to lose both shoes in the puddle. Elijah came to the rescue, reached in and pulled out both of her shoes! (At this point daddy has to insert how very proud he is of his boy!)

After the mud baths we (of course) took pictures! I then carried the kids directly to the shower. Kris hosed off the kids while I hosed off the shoes and clothes. Being hard working kids after clean up they devoured Jello and cookies!

It is the Glory of God to create such Life in small things like playing in the mud. We have our plans and our rules. They keep us on a straight path, but there are brief windows where God calls us to step off the road, take a break and savor His creation. They are a time to let go, watch and release yourself into His Joy. They are special because they are not part of the everyday. If we played in the mud everyday it would lose the joy and become routine. There are moments that Our Father gives to us just for that time. We can’t recreate them. We can’t force the pieces back the way we want them and do it over again. We can take Joy in what He has given to us and keep the memory of His Love for us as His precious Sons and Daughters. Thank you God for this memory. Thank you Father for reminding us of your Love for us. Thank you that You came to us, chose us and pursue us as Your precious children. In Your Holy Name. Amen.

(P.S. Thank you God for cameras! Please enjoy the pictures)

Testing the waters….

Getting Wetter…

Oh Just Get Wet!

Why do we have umbrellas anyway?

‘We Are Friends’ (and Really, Really Messy!)