Monday 30 April 2012

Feeling Loved.

I know how fortunate I am to be living here... In Ixtapaluca... Jesus Maria to be more exact.

Since the very first day I arrived in Mexico, I knew that I was living somewhere special. It is a place where community happens. There are reasons that it happens so rarely here... like the amount of people in such a small space! But, I have never experienced anthing like this before!
I have written about community before!

Anyways, I have been away from home for two weeks... I was in Puebla, staying with the Prusias, going to the Spanish Institute. EVERYDAY that I was gone I recieved texts and facebook messages telling me I was missed. To be honest, I didn't even think people would notice I was missing, it was only two weeks.

But these amazing people went out of their way to send me a message!

And when I got home yesterday I was greeted with many hugs and people genuinely glad that I have returned.

I am struck, yet again, at home community is suppose to be..... showing love.

New Things in Jesus Maria!

Here are a couple of cool things happening here in good ol Jesus Maria!

There is this new study for ladies. It is called "It is difficult being a woman". Mayra is heading that project up. But they have had incredible numbers every week 30something the first and 50somthing the second. With a crazy amount of kiddos!
Please be praying for this. At least half of the woman are NOT from our church!

Today is dia de nino. The spend an extended weekend to celebrate kids! Tiffany and I tried to go to the movies today but decided that after seeing the line we would just go home! But, Marta put together a great program yesterda to celebrate the kids in our church.

Our first summer intern arrives Saturday! The others arrive at the end of May or begining of June. It will prove to be a crazy busy summer.... but I have never experienced a calm summer. I love it! Anyways, Myhiah is going to jump right into things. She will be teaching basketball and helping at the coffeeshop most of May!

Thanks for the pictures Rod!

Sunday 29 April 2012

God is good!

Last week one of my co-workers was robbed in broad daylight.  Mayra got out of her car at the pharmacy not very far from thier house and two guys came up to her with guns. They stole The Fry's brand new (only about a month old) car. It is amazing to me the story of how God not only protected Mayra and the fry family from things that could have been MUCH worse... but how the car was recovered completely intact... NOTHING wrong!

Read Rod's two blogs.The first one about the incident ...the second about the recovery.

Fortunately, these type of things (violence) isn't something that is typical around here.

Sometimes God places things in our lives.... and it makes me remember that this world is not our home.

But, things like this also make me remember that HE is totally good and has everything in control! That no matter what happens there will ALWAYS be a testimony afterwards... even if it doesn't end in a car coming back in perfect condition!

And I am blown away by the power of prayer too. Oh sure, we pray... but do we always pray knowing that God can literally move mountains? because He can!

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Balance Beam!

Ok, I stole this video from Rod's blog, who stole it from someone elses blog or post..... But it is pretty great! How are you living your life?

Also, our little volcano has seemed to settle down a little. But a couple friends (who have a way better view then I do) took these pictures. Last night I stood outside for long time just staring at this glowing beauty! Apparently, my friends at home (in Ixtapaluca) aren't being showered in ash everyday! Good thing I decided to be here in Puebla these two weeks!

Sunday 22 April 2012


So, those of you who know me really well, did you know that I like to be an over achiever? It is true! If there was ever an opportunity for extra credit... I did it. A challenge, I am up for it. A goal to be reached, a box to be checked, a list to go by... i love it. It makes me tick... like a time bomb!

In fact, my very top strength in the Strengthfinders (we did it as a staff when I worked at camp) is Achiever. Basically it means I have this insane desire to frame my checklists and to do list when i finish off each of my tasks. It means I feel completly and totally worthless, a useless human being if I am not able to finish multiple somethings from my list EVERY day. It means I am liable to write tasks down on my list after I have already done them so that I can look at them on a piece of paper, in neat handwriting, with a check next to them (or a line through them!). It means that I spend several nights a week staying up late finish a list OR laying in bed beating myself up for not doing something!

I even go so far as to think of my day as a list. Get up, brush teeth, take dog out, feed dog, go to gym etc etc etc etc,

Basically it means I drive my self crazy 99% of the time. It is my life, it is who i am. I have have come to terms with this, and typically I like it. They day I don't think about checking things off on my list is the day the pastor gives the eulogy.

Why do I bring this up? Because right now I am in Puebla studying spanish. Now, before I go any further God has not given me the gift of picking up a language quickly....
Anyways, I think of learning a language as a check list. I have a goal in my head and I am constantly frustrated and wanting to give up because i NEVER am able to check off what i WANT to accomplish for the day.

But I guess if nothing else, having a spanish check list keeps me motivated everyday to learn more-- even if its not all that I hoped for!

If you are curious my other four top strengthfinders things were...
1. Achiever
2. Belief
3. Adaptablity
4. Connectedness
5. Ideation

Wednesday 18 April 2012

a picture and a video

Here is a look at todays volcano majesty (a friend took this picture)

Also, Rod posted a video today about what happens to set up and take down to have church every sunday! We were very grateful for a donation of folding chairs so we don't all have to sit on plastic stools but it gives you a pretty good idea! Go visit his page!

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Active Volcanoes!

I'm in Puebla for the next couple weeks in language school. I don't have much to say about that except the days are leaving me exhausted. I have class from 9-1, lunch at 1, and then conversation partners until 4:30. Of course, homework atnight!

Anyways, today everything is covered in volcanic ash from the active volcano 25 miles ish from here. (We see the same volcanoes in Ixtapaluca but for ever reason they get more ofthe ash here) Anyways, I know its kinda bad here, my eyes are burning and watering today!
I didn't take the two pictures below. One is from CNN Mexico and then the bottom one is a friends back yard.... it is not snow its ash!

Saturday 14 April 2012

30 before 30!

But, I was thinking about everything I want to do in my little life and thought I would make a 30 before 30 list! I know i have a while before I am thirty, but i dont want life to pass me by!
Ready? Go!

1. Sit on the beach and watch the sunrise and the sunset
2. Read 100 new books
3. Visit Copper Canyon
4. Do something for 30 random strangers
5. Go on a road trip in Mexico
6. Make a suprise visit home
7. Be able to run a half marathon (not necessarily do it, but be able to!)
8. Read the chronological bible
9. finish paying school loans off (I am soo close!)
10. Go to a Mexican Soccer game
11. Find new ways to encourage the people I am around the most.
12. Learn how to make some new Mexican dishes
13. Say 'yes' to something I would normally say 'no' to
14. Memorize more scripture (memorize the book of romans)
15. Accept a marriage proposal (of course, this one may not work, but I can hope!)
16. Get something published, in any form
17. Visit 30 cities in Mexico
18. knit a blanket
19. Write more!
20. learn to tie a cherry stem with my tongue
21. learn how to drive a stick shift--- in a city!
22. See 10 Classic movies i have never seen
23.  Be able to speak in front of a large group--- in spanish!
24. Try to surf
25. Continue teaching myself guitar
26.Fall in love with a new-to-me band.
27. Be able to do 100 consecutive pushups
28. Finish an entire coloring book
29. buy myself a nice piece of jewlery
30. sew an artical of clothing--- one that i would actually wear!


Hey guess what I saw yesterday while stuck in good ol Mexico City traffic--- NEBRASKA!

In other news, I was going to sleep in today but someone needed a key for the church at 7, dang! And tomorrow I head to Puebla for two weeks of language classes! Yes, i do have a very interesting life ;)

Rod posted the caricatures that Samuel drew of me and my pup, Maggie! Go check them out! (Just don't tell Maggie she looks like a dalmation, she will get a complex!)

Tuesday 10 April 2012


Ok, so it wasn't really her birthday yesterday--- its in a week and a half. Buuuuut, I will be out of town then and I wanted to celebrate it with her! So, we went to Mexico City for the day.

It is the most I have ever enjoyed the city--- we didn't have a certain goal, so we got to just have fun!

We went to China Town (by the way, it is the smallest china town ive ever seen!) and at lunch. Then we found a really cool little cafe on top of the Sears building and had coffee, walked around a market area near the Zocolo, and finally ate dessert at the top of the World Trade Center!

Sunday 8 April 2012


He is RISEN! He is RISEN indeed!

Today, was a great day.... even though I am EXHAUSTED!

We celebrated our risen Lord together as a church up on the hill at sunrise. Now, if you ask me, Jesus probably thinks it is ok ifwe celebrate at 10am. But, it was fun! The campfire warmed us up, even if the kids were trying to smoke us out during the whole service. Plus, the three cups of coffee I had when the service was over--- Great!!

After it was over we hung out as a church family and just had fun, we also had the going away party for the Canada team (we are very thankful for them coming down and serving with us!)

lots more pics on my facebook!

Saturday 7 April 2012

Dia de Gloria =)

Apparently it is tradition in Mexico to go to a water party on the Dia de Gloria (the saturday before easter). I don't know why--- and neither does anyone we've asked-- and i can't find out why on google either.... so why not, really!

Anyways, a bunch of people got together at Carmen's house and we played in the water, chased people with buckets of water, had water guns, and got a wee bit sunburned! But, it was completely worth it!

This might be one of my favorite traditions! =)

Good Friday!

Last night we crammed into our little rented house for our Good Friday service! We had a time of worship, a few testimonies, and David (the pastor from the Canada group) gave a short sermon on about easter and how Jesus chose to die for is! It was fun to celebrate with all the people in our church =0)

Friday 6 April 2012

Good morning!

Busy morning.

First, we saw Jesus on the street. (i dont know really what the catholics were doing but it was interesting!)

Then we had a crazy fun prayer meeting.

THEN we played on the brand new swings at the community center!

Everyone came over and helped me rearranged my kitchen!

and then out for some food!

Good way to spend good friday morning!

Thursday 5 April 2012

Just a thought.

It’s exciting to see what God has done in my life, especially lately, the adventures He’s led me on, the things I’ve discovered about who I am—and more importantly—who He is.

I continue to follow His lead, being changed a little bit more each step of the way, becoming more and more “me”—the “me” He created me to be.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Little joys!

“Look around here and see: doesn’t this show you that it’s only the small things that we love best, that make the real difference? Nothing big ever replaces the sight of winter boots all lined up, or the sound of the click of the front doors locked against the darkness each night. Consider cooling pies. The impossibly small size of your own child’s shoe. The briefest look in your direction from a particular set of eyes at the moment your heart needs it most. Isn’t it those small things that add the necessary shape and meaning to our lives? And don’t we miss seeing them if we look too hard for the big things?” —Elizabeth Berg, Ordinary Lives.

It’s so true, isn’t?  I love that passage in Berg’s book of short stories called Ordinary Lives.
There are so many little things that bring me joy … very small things that often get overlooked …

The smell of a new book(or buying one on the kindle!!); the cozy yellow glow from house windows at night; the pure possibility of a beautifully blank journal; a hug from a small child; the smell of things baking, a hot mug of apple cider paired with a cinnamon stick and a good book; shelves and shelves of books to explore in a library or bookstore; the sound of the rain at night; looking at the volcanoes first thing in the morning; those huge, almost-fake-looking snowflakes that fall slowly and magically; when the moon is so large and bright it casts a silvery light; the poetry of old black and white photographs; the simple beauty of handmade pottery; the feeling of a dog curled up next to me; the smile of a strager  …

I hope i never get to the point where I start missing the little things!

Samana Santa VBS!

We have a group from Canada here with us this week! We definetly thank them for putting in a lot of hard work. They helped with the easter egg hunt (Thank God!), and with our vbs this week.

Marta did a great job putting this whole thing together. I feel a little useless this week--- a little translating and doing whatever Marta says when she yells "Tina Sanchez"! haha

Here are a few pictures from our holy week VBS! I think we had close to 60 kiddos today!

Monday 2 April 2012

Today I want to give thanks...

for the little things...
like the smell of fresh flowers this morning, listening to youtube really loud and singing unapologetically, coffee, a phone call with a friend.

for the big things..
like God's beautiful unpredictability and realizing my foolishness in trying to figure out all He has in store for me, the things that He has been stirring in my heart, and for all those little things mentioned above, sweet joys generously given to me even on the most normal days


Sometimes grace is simply having the strength to take another breath. It’s God in the valley, His promise of all things good the only glimmer of light in a seemingly endless fog.
But sometimes — ah, sometimes! — grace is the extravagance. The exceeding abundance of an unexpected gift, beyond what you ever asked or thought. It’s the absurd imbalance of unmerited favor — when you know the very best you can hope to give is less than infinitesimal, and suddenly He’s giving to you good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, and poured into your lap.

It’s what happens when a master artist creates, and a generous benefactor seeks to bless, and the one who receives feels himself utterly unworthy, bows low and worships the one true Giver, returning the blessing whence it came.