Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Picnics and Parties

 Martha came and asked recently if we could have a picnic.  I'm not sure what prompted that inspired idea, but it sounded like fun - plus it was an easy supper idea!  I made tuna sandwiches with avocado slices on them.  All four of us LOVE avocado!!  I had some "special" cookies that we packed in the bag with our sandwiches, and since I didn't have any chips, (I wasn't sure how you could have a picnic WITHOUT chips, but we managed!)  We used Ritz crackers instead!
I made a thermos of hot chocolate and had a little thermos for water also!  What a blessing to have paper plates, paper cups, etc. on hand already (and it meant NO dishes! Can't you see my big cheesy grin that the thought of NO dishes?!)  I was scrambling in my mind to think of what I could use for a picnic basket, when Martha informed me she had a picnic basket.  I scrambled even more in my mind to think what she had that could be used for a basket, and was drawing a blank!  Martha ran to her room, and brought back her pink laundry basket (now why couldn't I have thought of that?)  Of course it meant that all her dirty clothes were dumped out onto the floor, but......well...they were dirty anyway, right?  So we managed to get everything packed in that we would need, including the checkered tablecloth!  Matt was gone to the church at the moment, so the kids and I carried our basket and "hiked" to our picnic spot!  "Hiking" meaning we walked down the hall and back again to the living room!  Matt got home in time to enjoy the picnic.  We had a great time - we'll have to make that a regular "outing" - though it was kind of funny to have a picnic listening to forest sounds on the computer and seeing the Christmas tree all set up with lights twinkling!
Martha had her first school Christmas party yesterday!  She had a great time - she was one of the winners in the cookie decorating contest!  They had a gift exchange, and Martha received her very own coffee cup!  I'll have to take a picture of her with her coffee cup and share it with you!
Opening a Gift is Serious Business!
It is a tradition here in Peru to give Paneton (a dome-shaped bread with dried fruit in it) to people for Christmas.  Martha received her very own Paneton - and opened it right away! 
Martha still has school until December 20th, but then we'll have time for more picnics and parties!
Have a blessed week!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Music....With Words, Please!

Thanksgiving Dinner with the Silvano's
(Our Language Teacher and his wife)
Our Thanksgiving Feast
Our first Thanksgiving here in Peru was good.  We invited our language teacher and his wife to have dinner with us.  This is the first time I've cooked a whole Thanksgiving meal by myself!  Matt took care of cooking the turkey - it was yummy!  When we are with my family in the States, I am normally in charge of the veggie platter, the cheeses and summer sausage, and the crackers!  I was nervous about how it was all going to turn out, but it was all done at the same time, and everyone said it was delicious!   Throughout October and November, we were writing down our "Items of Thankfulness" on construction paper leaves and saving them in the "basket."  Matt opened our "basket" and read all our leaves, and we had a great time just being thankful and just being together.
And, I kept my promise to Matt that I wouldn't put up ANY Christmas decorations until AFTER Thanksgiving!
 I am still working on making some ornaments for the tree, but this is our first official tree since we've had since we've been married!  I wish you could have seen the kids reaction to the Christmas tree - especially once I turned the lights on!!
 I turned on some Christmas music yesterday, but it was without words! Martha was very disappointed about this, and immediately requested Christmas music - WITH words!  Most of my Christmas music is instrumental, but I did have a CD with words, so I put it in, and she was much happier!  Ian didn't care one way or another - he's just fascinated with the tree!  I have to keep reminding him not to touch it, though!  He likes to see how close he can stand next to it without actually touching it!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hugs from God

Don't you just love hugs?  And don't you just love it when God gives you a hug?  For me, sometimes God's hugs come in the form of hug from Martha or Ian for no apparent reason.  Sometimes His hugs come from a verse in the Bible read during my quiet time, Family Bible time, or just a verse of comfort brought to mind by the Holy Spirit!  Yesterday was a day full of hugs from God to me.  Let me tell you about my hugs....
     One Sunday morning a few weeks ago, when we were crossing the street to wait for a "moto" to go to the train, I happened to see a 2 Sole (our money here in Peru) coin in the middle of the street.  I couldn't stop to get it, but I told Matt about it, and he (what a Hero!) went back to the middle of the street and picked it up for me!  Yesterday (Sunday) morning, I was thinking about that, and just told the Lord how funny that would be if that ever happened again!  As we went through the turnstile at the train station, something caught my eye.  It was  on the floor by the post for the turnstile.  I picked it up, and it was 10 Soles!  I tried to hand it to the guard, but he waved it back to me.  The train was just coming into the station, so I didn't have time to explain that I had found it!  Matt and Frank told me to keep it - there was no way to find out who it belonged to!  That was hug number one....
     The Lord brought Pedro to my mind yesterday morning, and so I prayed for him.  I learned a long time ago to pray for people when the Lord brings them to mind, not just think about them and wonder how they are doing.  Who is Pedro?  Pedro is a Deaf man that came to church my first Sunday in Callao.  He had told us then that he wouldn't be back because he was moving away for work.  Imagine my surprise and delight to see Pedro come walking through the door at church yesterday morning!  I could hardly believe my eyes!  What a joy it was to be able to tell Pedro, that I had just prayed for him that morning!  Hug number two...
     On the way home, the combi was stopped at a red light.  As usual, the street vendors wandered up and down between the vehicles selling their wares.  Matt had just bought a popsicle, when I saw a lady selling cold bottles of Coca-Cola.  Now I did not NEED that Coke - but oh, how yummy it looked!  I scrambled to get 2 Soles out of my coin purse before the light turned green - I couldn't do it.  The "cobrador" (the person who collects the fare) paid the lady the 2 Soles, the combi took off, and I paid back the cobrador!  Again, I didn't NEED that Coke, and the cobrador didn't HAVE to help me out, but I believe God just reached down and touched that man's heart, just to give ME hug number three!
Waiting for the Cookies to be done!
     I hope you each have a blessed Thanksgiving week, full of hugs from God!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

When Super-powers Fizzle

I read a book once about a lady who was often asked, "What do you do?"  When she would respond, "I'm a Mom," she heard people remark, "Oh, that's all?"  Now we all know being a Mom isn't such a simple matter.  She finally came up with the following response:  "I'm a Mom.  What's your super-power?"  
Along with reading carefully through Proverbs this month, I've been doing a serious study of the Proverbs 31 Lady.  Yes, I know....I can already hear you groaning!  I groaned too, when the Lord challenged me to study this famous Lady of the Bible.  I groaned even more when the Lord challenged me to see how I measure up!!  If ever a Lady had "super-powers" that Lady had them!  When I look at all the things She did - consistently - I find myself thinking, "How in the world did she "keep all her plates spinning?  Didn't she EVER sleep?!?"  You would think I would be careful what kind of questions I ask the Lord, but since I haven't learned yet.... I am...letting the Lord show me ways I can apply "P31 Moments" in my own life.  One of my favorite places for thinking things over has become my kitchen sink.  Now before you start thinking how good I am to LOVE washing dishes, let me assure you - I HATE WASHING DISHES!!!  But my kitchen sink is becoming a special place to do some quality thinking (when I'm not hiding in the bathroom)!  Today, as I washed dishes, I got to thinking about that quote, "I'm a Mom.  What's your Super-power."  For me, one thing leads to another in my thoughts (like spaghetti!) and I ended up with the question, "What do I do when the Super-powers fizzle?"  No sooner had I asked my question, when in my mind and in my heart I could hear the song, "We have an Anchor."  Once again I am so thankful for all the times my Mom and I sang our way through the song book!  I knew that song was based on a verse in the Bible, but I wanted to know exactly what the Bible said so I looked it up - Hebrews 6:18-20.  What a blessed fact that Jesus is our Anchor, and He always helps us - no matter which of our "super-powers" fail!  Not only does He bring Scriptures and songs to mind to encourage us, but He also sends little blessings our way - time spent making Thanksgiving decorations with my kiddos, a young lady asking for discipleship, a right answer on a Language School Test!  The second verse of "We Have an Anchor" says,
"It is safely moored, 'twill the storm withstand.
For 'tis well secured by the Saviour's hand;
Though the tempest rage and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o'erflow."
"We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move, 
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour's love.

When our super-powers fizzle, let's hold tight to our Anchor, Jesus Christ!

Friday, November 2, 2012


Did you ever notice how many times the Book of Proverbs says, "If.....Then..."?  I haven't counted them all up, but I know there are ALOT of them!  I am reading through Proverbs this month in my quiet time.  While I was reading Proverbs 2 this morning, the Lord brought my attention to the "If...Thens."  Just in chapter 2 there are at least 8 "Ifs" - challenges with a promised result ("Then") attached.  As I continued reading this chapter, the Lord challenged me to "Prove Him."  I have always loved a challenge!
I wrote down in my Journal all the "Ifs" I could find in Chapter 2.  As I was looking for the "Thens,"  the Lord drew my attention to the "Results" - what our lives become when we apply the "Ifs" and allow God to give us the "Thens."  It was such a blessing and encouragement to me, that I wanted to share them with you!
IF I will...
1.  Receive My (Jesus') Words
2.  Hide My commandments with thee
3.  Incline thine ear unto wisdom
4.  Apply thine heart to understanding
5.  Cry after knowledge
6.  Lift up thy voice for understanding
7.  Seek her (understanding) as silver
8.  Search for her as for hid treasures
1.  I shall understand the fear of the Lord
2.  I shall find knowledge of God
3.  I shall understand righteousness, judgment, and equity
4.  I shall understand every good path
1.  Wisdom shall be in my heart
2.  Knowledge shall be pleasant to my soul
3.  Discretion shall preserve me
4.  Understanding shall keep me
5.  Deliverance from the way of the evil man
6.  Deliverance from the strange woman
7.  I shall walk in the way of good men
8.  I shall keep the paths of righteousness
Please don't think I am preaching a sermon at you!  I just wanted to share with you this morning the blessing and challenge the Lord has laid before me for this month (and the rest of my life...).  It is going to be an interesting month, but here I go....!