Sunday, August 31, 2008

What would love look like?

I got very frustrated with Miguel yesterday...okay, well, a little angry, too! It boiled down to a cultural difference, I think, and I'm realizing more and more how laid-back Latin Miguel and time-conscious American Becky think so differently! You'd think I'd know that by now after nearly 13 years of marriage...

We were invited to a friend's house to grill hamburgers around noon (it's important to note here that it was another Latin couple who had invited us) and we were having a leisurely Saturday morning, thinking to leave around 11:30 a.m. when Miguel announced he was going to Home Depot (yep, there's one here in Mexico!). Since we had to buy the meat and bread for lunch, I asked him to stop by the store on the way home to pick that up...I really had my doubts as to whether he could get back in time, but I am trying not to be a bossy wife and didn't say anything.

So off he went with the two single guys from downstairs. I busied myself making banana bread, Sunday dinner, some ironing (that in itself is pretty incredible!!!), and getting ready to go to our friends' hour went by, two, two and a half...I really tried to resist the negative thoughts towards Miguel and the tension of knowing we were going to be late, but old habits die hard, I guess, and by the time he got home I was a bit tense. It turns out that he had taken one of the single guys to his church for an activity, then gone to Home Depot, then to the grocery store, where they took the time to grab a torta (sandwich) as well as do the shopping and Miguel honestly had little idea of the time when he got home. And culturally, he really wasn't doing anything 'wrong'...I find that pretty unbelievable, since in my mind, when I tell someone I will be somewhere at a certain time, I do everything in my power to get there at that time! My choice would not have been to go anywhere at all, knowing I wouldn't have time to do all that and still make it to the appointment on time...the funny part is that since our friends are Latin, too, they didn't expect us until we arrived (an hour or more late) and it was not a big deal at all! In fact, they were defrosting their refrigerator and really relaxed, there was absolutely no mention at all of the fact that we were late.

It was neat, though, to see how God is working in my heart. As I was wrestling with my feelings, I heard a question forming in my mind, "What would love look like in this situation?" The Love Chapter came to mind..."Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." I Cor. 13:4-7

I've been talking a lot to our kids about what love looks like as they relate to each other and their friends...the other day as I was making a bed with Micah, I showed him how sometimes the sheet is wrinkled, but the thick blanket will cover it and hide the wrinkles...and that's how love is, love can cover and hide all those 'sins' and things others do that bother us. It's really our choice as to whether we 'spread the blanket' or not! I realized that I could make a big issue of Miguel being late or I could choose to love...thank you God for helping me to love! And we had a wonderful time of fellowship with our friends without the tension of an argument in the background...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Words of Encouragement from Psalms 84

A friend wrote me today and shared her heart...she and her family are going through a tough, tough time. It has put a lot of stress on her husband, her marriage, and her relationship with God. It is hard to know that she is hurting and I am so far I thought I'd dedicate this post to my know who you are!

How lovely is your dwelling place,
Oh Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young--
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca (deep mourning),
they make it a place of springs (a beautiful place!!!!);
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
Psalm 84:1-7
The funny thing is that I think I actually may have posted about these verses before (I'm being too lazy to go back and look), but I've found myself dwelling on them again for the last few days...and these verses are VERY appropriate for my friend's situation.
Sometimes it's very hard to know how to encourage someone when they are hurting...I don't know what to say. I love the Psalms because they apply so easily to life and are full of emotion and is a pilgrimage and God gives me the strength I need to face each situation as it comes into view. And my eyes are on the final goal, to appear before God in Zion one day...that is my hope!
So friend, I hope I can be of encouragement to you today...know that you are in my thoughts and my prayers. I wish we could hang out for a few hours and have one of our good chats...someday...

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I have to admit that it feels REALLY GOOD to know that I will probably live in this house for the next year! It's bringing out the nesting's still going slowly, of course, because we are slow transitioners (is that a word?) and with four kids, life is just harder to keep up with! But in the last few days, I've been thinking about where I would like to place furniture and I did a little work in each room.

For the master bedroom, I took some of those wooden fruit crates and some leftover floor tiles and created some bedside tables. I had a cabinet in there, but it was too high for the bed and I also needed a t.v. cabinet, so that got moved to the living room. Not that the t.v. even gets any channels, but at least it's not on the floor any more! :) I also found a mirror hanging behind the door in the boys' room, so I put that over the head of our bed and now the room looks a little more decent.

The house here is not exactly spacious, but it's adequate. I'm chafing a little at having to put the 'office' in the living room because it doesn't look that great...but on the other hand, it's nice not to have it in the bedroom, either! At this point, I've got the boys sharing a room (that's been a challenge) and Gracia and Jkaile are sharing a room. That gets a little awkward sometimes if Gracia has friends over to play, but it has been working okay for the most part. There really isn't room to have the Jkaile in our room with us, there just isn't room!

Anyway, so lots of organizing still to do here in the house, but it will be done in time. The other big thing is that school is starting tomorrow for Micah and Gracia! This will be a huge transition for our whole family since we've homeschooled up until now. Micah had an academic placement test last week and tested average for his grade level according to U.S. standards. I am satisfied with those results, although Micah will have to work to catch up to the accelerated curriculum that the mission school uses (A Beka). I think his bigger problem will be paying attention and adjusting to a classroom environment, though. And I'm probably going through what every parent faces as their children head off to school...a certain amount of anxiety over sending them off into the 'unknown' knowing that they will have to face and overcome obstacles on their own.

I don't think I will miss the homeschooling, though, I think I need a break! I do enjoy it, but with all of our recent moves and changes, it was getting hard for me to handle. I am looking forward to having time at home with Jojo and Jkaile and also to having a more structured schedule. For the moment, I am not planning to have any committments outside the home to allow myself time to catch my breath after these last few years...that sounds like a wonderful plan for me!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I think my brain is on hold!

I really want to post something here since I haven't written any updates about our move to Mexico, but I think I am still really tired from the efforts of packing and traveling and my brain is mush. I wish that I could think up some really catchy title for this post, write a detailed description of our trip, and then post a picture, but...yeah. It's 9:30 p.m. on our third day in the country and I think my brain went on auto-pilot about 5 hours ago! And I haven't downloaded pictures from our camera yet. Sigh.

So this short post will have to suffice for the's enough to say that we arrived at our destination and that we're alive. And God is good...really, really good.