Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Few Favorites, As Of Late

If you are having a bad day - look at the joy
on this face - it can't help but cheer you up!
Chase: 8 months

Reece is pretty happy too!

Reece: 2.5 years

These two boys love each other a whole bunch!

A family shot on a recent family get away in Patzcuaro, Mexico

Where Is My Trust?

Well, it has been a long time since I have posted an entry here. But I am excited to say that good things have been happening around here. We recently attended a seminar that has really renewed and refocused us in our ministry. Yes, it dealt with mission strategy and all of that good stuff - but it made more of an impact on us in a personal way (when I say "us" - I do mean Benjy and I - but I also think it applies to our mission team in general). The seminar was about organic church planting and the simplicity of God reproducing growth in His Kingdom. I took numerous concepts away from it that, although maybe not necessarily new, they were very impressive again. First of all, God cannot provide growth if the seed hasn't been planted. That is our responsibility as disciples of Him. I believe we will be more intentional in scattering the seed. Also, God's Word is powerful and it transforms lives! I was challenged to evaluate my own level of faith in this basic truth. Do I trust that? I mean, do I really trust that God's Word - not the emphasis on how God's Word is presented - simply God's Word is alive and active and can change people's lives!? How awesome that is. I feel more called to be an instrument that points people towards God's Word and encourages others to love it more and more! I am challenged to read it more and allow it to transform me. And to put my trust in God to do the work here in Mexico City - and not us! Oh, and there are lots of other Kingdom principles that we were reminded of and challenged to live out. Prayer, nurturing relationships, mission, more faith, vision, mentoring, making disciples, etc.. etc.. I have been blessed to see my own husband take huge steps of faith and be a part of the work here with a new zeal and energy. We are seeing people grow in their love for Christ and the excitement is catching. Praise God for using us - even in all of our weakness and ignorance. How humbling!!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

A Sweet Smell!

Grass is a wonderful thing...and something that one shouldn't take advantage of! We consider ourselves pretty blessed to have some of it in our backyard! In one of the largest cities in the world - you see a lot of cement - and not so much grass. When we moved into our house one year ago, there was no grass but we asked our landlord if he would allow us to put some in at our own expense. There is a patio that we envisioned as a perfect place for our kids to have a little area of grass to play on. And, so we did it. And it is growing (the longer it is, the easier for Reece to pick it and share it with Chase), especially since we are in the rainey season right now. It got cut this morning and I loved the smell of it - I always have! It is amazing the way something like the sense of smell can take you to another place. The fresh cut smell made me miss home and reminded me of good childhood memories of running barefoot and playing outside on the farm for hours in the warm Saskatchewan summers. That world seems a million worlds away sometimes - but I am thankful for my family and friends who do such a good job of keeping in touch with me. And, especially for my Mom, who has taken to this whole digital camera idea - and sends me lots of pictures of all kinds of things. The most recent - a picture of the wheat fields - almost ready to be harvested. Thanks Mom - I feel so much more connected to home since you figured that camera out!

Recent pictures of the boys playing in the grass.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A Weekend of Firsts...

Well, it is Saturday night and both of my kids are sound asleep so I have a minute to myself. It has been a fun weekend....several firsts have happened - some only the kind that a sentimental mom would take note of!

Chase has begun to feed himself - getting that pudgy little fist wrapped around the cheerios or whatever piece of food is on the tray - and managing to get it to his mouth with pretty good success - now, just to figure out how to open that tight grip and release! He has also started blabbering a lot more. His most used phrase is "ba - ba - ba" we have taught Reece to ask him what a sheep says, and... Chase answers. Pretty smart kid, eh?!

Reece had his first successful blow on his train whistle from his Grandpa (referred to as Bear). He has had it for probably over a year and whenever he would play with it he would put it up to his mouth and then make his own tooting sound. We have tried and tried to teach him how to blow into it but he just never caught on...until this morning. He got his little lips on there and blew - out came the real whistle sound and you should have seen the look of delight in his eyes. He was so thrilled with his accomplishment so I let him take his whistle to naptime. Big mistake because nearly an hour later I could hear that little whistle make an occasional toot from upstairs!

Benjy had his first "long run" this morning. He has made running his hobby and is in training for the big one - yes, a marathon, believe it or not. I was proud of him because he ran 12 miles today and came home feeling good...12 miles! He has really dedicated himself and I can see a lot of life applications to his goal. He told me this morning that he wants to make "running" a lifestyle and for someday all of us to take it on as a family hobby and run together. Hmmm - I am always good at cheering - ha,ha!

And me - my "first" was pretty special to me. For the longest time I have had a little game with Reece (and will begin it soon with Chase) where I tell him that I want to tell him a secret. He gets excited and puts his ear really close to my face and I whisper something like "I love you" or "you are such a good boy" or "thanks for helping me so much". Yesterday I asked him if he had a secret to tell me and he put his ear next to my mouth and said "I love you much" and then giggled and ran away. It was so sweet and I have already asked for quite a few secrets since then!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A Bad Haircut!

I was long overdue on a haircut so yesterday we went to the mall to make a visit to the haircutting place we use. Benjy has had his hair cut by this particular woman numerous times and felt like she did a good job so he recommended I use her too. He has also talked with her about God in the past and found out that she is interested in knowing more about us and our church. Well, I sit down and explain to her that I want the same cut - only a little bit shorter. I emphasized to her that I only wanted a little cut off and she nodded in understaning. (I don't know what it is about Mexican haircutters - all of us missionary women have found that they always cut a lot of hair off no matter what you tell them - maybe they don't realize that you will pay them the same amount whether they cut off 1/2 inch or 3 inches!) During the course of the conversation we revisit what she and Benjy had talked about a few weeks earlier. I took the opportunity to invite her to our home to eat with us and get to know one another better. I also asked if she would be willing to give Reece his first haircut at our house (yes, that's right - he is over 2 and has never had a cut - he was bald forever so we have grown just a little attached to his blonde curls - is time...whether Benjy agrees with me or not!) She was happy about that - and so we will call her in the next few weeks to come over - perhaps a good opportunity to share Jesus and our lives with another Mexican family. And my haircut...well, it turned out to be pretty bad. Oh well, hair grows back right?!