Monday, March 30, 2009

Waxing Poetic

Poetry isn't really my strong suite, so I was kind of surprised when this came to me the other here it is, for what it's worth... Enjoy! Oh, if you have an idea for a title, let me know!

Toys in the bathtub
Books in my bed
Rumpled pajamas
Quick pats on the head.

Sloppy wet kisses
Read me a book?
One more diaper change
Please can you look?

Cajoling for candy
Squabbles with sister
Can we go to McDonalds?
These shoes give me blisters!

Rocks in the dryer
Bugs in a jar
Dollies and tea parties
Playing at war.

Bruised knees and scraped elbows
Bee stings and bug bites
Campfires and picnics
Can we have Family Night?

These days that seem endless
While my kids are so young
Will so quickly be over
At least, so say some!

I think that they're right
Life comes and it goes
And time passes by me
Right under my nose.

Am I savoring each moment?
Making it last?
Making the most of the time
Before it's past?

Becky Aguirre

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pequeño Rebaño (Little Flock)

In January, our church began a new kids' program on the last Saturday of every month called "Pequeño Rebaño" which literally means "Little Flock". El Cordero (The Lamb) is the name of the church, thus the name for the kids' program. Miguel has been helping out with the program, as well as taking our kids to participate.

Yesterday, was the Fiesta Vaquera (Cowboy Day) and Miguel had a big part in a play they put on for the kids. I decided to attend as well just so I could watch the show! :) Miguel played the part of Vaquero Lucas, who desperately needed to be clean not only on the outside, but on the inside as well! It was neat to see how the Gospel could be shared through a humorous story that really grabbed the kids' attention. And of course, our kids enjoyed watching Miguel act in a play...although they did wonder why his voice sounded so funny! (the play was lip-synced)

The cast

Vaquero Vázquez advising Vaquero Lucas that
he needs to take a bath!

Vaquero Lucas getting advice from a friend on how he
could become clean on the those
bowed legs, Miguel! haha!

Vaquero Vásquez and Vaquero Lucas
I have to say that Miguel looks pretty awesome
in his cowboy clothes!
I think we need to get him some boots...

After the play, there was a concert by
country music band
Pedro Ochoa & Lazzo Doble...
great Christian country music!
The cowboys posing with Pedro Ochoa...


A few cloudy days...
Garden fever!

New growth (nopal cactus)

...and more flowers!


Monday, March 23, 2009

New Puppy

When we took our family pictures a couple of weeks ago, the kids fell in love with this little puppy that was hanging around the stack of hay where we had the pictures taken. He was a cute little guy and it got us to thinking about getting a puppy for the kids. Since this puppy was already taken, we looked at another puppy there, a white German Shepherd mix. We thought about it for a few weeks, thinking about whether we really wanted to take on the added responsibility of a puppy as well as the cost of food and vet fees, etc. It's a big decision for us, almost like adding another child to the family!

A few days ago, our new puppy was delivered!
Gracia promptly named her Coconut, or Coco for short.
The kids are enjoying playing with her every day.

Coconut is very snuggly!

Family Pictures

We had family pictures taken a couple of weeks ago on a bright and sunny spite of the usual difficulties involved in trying to get 6 people all smiling and looking at the camera at the same time, we got some good shots!



John Michael aka Jojo


Four kids

Miguel and I

The Aguirre Family

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Say What?

You would think that as fluent as I am in Spanish (even though there's so much more for me to learn!), that I would have little trouble communicating in most situations that do not involve highly technical language. And yet, there are these little incidents that remind me that communication foul-ups are still bound to happen...they also keep me humble!

I wanted to add some squash to a soup I was cooking the other day, so I ran over to one of our local stores a few blocks down the street. The store is one of the bigger ones in the neighborhood, about the size of a small convenience store...they sell a variety of vegetables and fruits, meats, dairy products, snacks, grocery and household items, and also things like chile relleno (stuffed chilies) and frijoles (cooked pinto beans sold in bags). I looked over the vegetable counter, but no squash.

I decided to buy a gallon of milk and a couple of other things and while paying, I asked if they had calabaza, squash. One of the two ladies there, said sure! Right over here...but it turned out to be small, zuchini-like squash commonly called calabazín...not what I wanted. So I asked them if they had any other kind of calabaza.

Results...blank looks. I began to describe it, you know, it's big (motioning with hands)...a lot larger than these calabazín, green on the outside, orange inside, you can toast the seeds to eat? Again, blank looks.

Then the first lady said, oh, papaya? No, I said, usually you eat it in soups...the other lady then exclaimed chayote! I was getting kind of frustrated at this point because papaya is not related to calabaza at all and it's not common to toast the seeds to eat. And chayote isn't large or even orange inside!

I had pretty much given up all hope of successful communication and was feeling like a very silly gringa who can't talk right, when the first lady said, oh, calabaza! No, no, we don't have any.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

For the Love of Jacob

I'm kinda glad that we're moving through our Beth Moore study (Patriarchs) so's given me ample time to think about the lessons God is teaching me. Beth always packs so much into each study that I hate to be rushed, feeling as if I'm missing out on things.

I've been thinking a lot about one particular video session in the Patriarchs study; Session Six, titled For the Love of Jacob. This session was about Jacob's face-to-face encounter with God as he waited to face his brother, Esau, the next day. Beth says "when we dread facing something or someone, what we need most is to honestly face God."

Beth points out that included in Jacob's face-to-face encounter were:
  1. An honest appraisal-we are who we really are when we are alone!
  2. An honest fight-God taught Jacob how to face up and fight honestly...remember Jacob's tendency toward deceit and manipulation? God's goal in inviting or allowing us to fight/wrestle Him is to make us overcomers. "Even when God appears to be against us, He is for us."
  3. An honest blessing-Jacob had deceived his earthly father to receive his earthly blessing; now he received an honest blessing from his heavenly father.
  4. An honest name-the name "Jacob" meant 'deceiver' and 'cheater', but God replaced that name with "Israel". "When we struggle through the crisis with God all the way to the blessing, we are gloriously redefined." Rev. 2:17 "...To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it."

There were so many things in this video that jumped out at me and of course, Beth puts them all together so much better than I do...

  • How much do I resist being alone? And how do I feel when I'm alone?
  • Psalm 3:3 "But you are a shield around me, Oh Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head." When I am before my Lord, hanging my head in shame, he lifts up my head!
  • Beth mentioned several strongholds that she struggles with: fear, shame, insecurity...I relate to that...
  • What kind of a fighter am I? Did I grow up with "dirty" fighting in my family? Is it a pattern that needs to be broken?
  • Having a stronghold of insecurity says "I've got to win this!" So it's "hurt-them-as-bad-as-we-can-as-soon-as-we-can" in order to win. That's fighting dirty.
  • The true definition of a "win" is that at the end of the fight I am not all muddy from fighting dirty down on the ground.
  • God wants to bless me. Sometimes He has to hurt me in order to get me to let Him bless me.
  • "Sometimes in the dark of our night seasons, we don't know with whom we're struggling until the light begins to dawn."

I think I related so much to this teaching because on that particular day that we watched this video, I had had a time of wrestling with God. First alone, in the wee hours of the morning and then again as I talked through my struggle with a friend. I almost didn't even go to the study, but God be praised, I did.

An honest apraisal is that I am struggling with fear, an inability to trust God to take care of me no matter what decisions are made for my future. As Miguel and I sit down to discuss ministry plans and options, I can sometimes hardly even talk or pray about it, paralyzed with the fear of the unknown future. And that fear is not from God...God has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. II Tim. 1:7 Yes, maybe my fear is understandable given the circumstances, but not justified...and certainly not glorifying to God.

But I think the foundations of that stronghold of fear in my life crumbled quite a bit that day as I wrestled with God...coming face-to-face with Him in the quiet of the early morning...hearing His truth spoken to me through a friend. I still struggle with it, but it's not as overwhelming as it was before. There are even times of strong, unwavering faith in God that weren't there before...but when those doubts begin creeping back, I remind myself that the truth of the matter is that whatever the future holds for me, for our family, I can be confident that God will be there, He will give me grace...His desire is that I overcome and be "gloriously redefined" as I abandon myself to Him. And He WILL take care of me every step of the way.

A Thoughtful Gift

Miguel came home a couple of weeks ago nearly bursting at the seams, so pleased with himself because he had finally received the package with a gift he'd ordered for me! He bought me a new Bible, which I've needed for ages...and not just any Bible, but a bilingual one that is special bcause it has the King James Version in Spanish side by side with NIV in English (the most common versions in each language). This is such a Thoughtful Gift because not only is it feminine (don't you love that color?!), but because it's exactly what I need as I move between the English and Spanish speaking communities here.

In this picture, the leather looks more pink,
but it's actually more like the picture above.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Local Rodeo

Last Sunday we attended a local rodeo outside of town.
It was interesting.
No places to sit, the arena was surrounded by vehicles
and people either stood at the fence or
on top of their cars to watch the events.

There was a lot of standing around
waiting for the next event...

There was calf roping.

Bull riding.

Showing off.
After a while, we walked around a bit to see what we could see.
This man was busy working on his truck.
A street vendor selling fresh fruit.
We had quite a few close encounters with the horses.
That's Jojo there in the green shirt to the right of the horses.
Local beauties hamming it up on top of a trailer.
Not sure what was up with the jeans out of their boots...

There was a little mariachi band striking up tunes by the bull pen. Micah and friend Carlitos by the bulls.

All in all, a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Anaconda Adventure

I just got these pictures from a friend of mine whose parents used to be my parents coworkers way back when we lived "at the Lake". I am so excited because I am always telling my kids stories about when I was growing up and don't often have the pictures to go along with the stories (and to prove that they are true!).

My parents joined this tribal team in 1980 and our family spent about 5 years living at the Laguna Pavon (Bass Lake) location before moving inland. It's kind of a long story, but the reason the houses were built in the middle of the lake was that this was a contact work and the Macú-Nukak people were rather hostile at the beginning. It took several years to overcome the fear they had of the missionaries and to build their trust. Ironically, they thought the missionaries would possibly kill and eat them, whereas I'm sure the missionaries wondered the same about them!

Anyway, this first picture is an aerial view of our houses and the airstrip. Our family's house was the second from the "top". Two of the houses were on stilts and the other floated on huge blocks of styrofoam-the fourth building was a small floating storage building. Looking back now, I can see how this living situation was a HUGE challenge for my Mom, especially with a toddler (my little sister) who had a penchant for falling in the water...but for us girls it was basically an adventure! We spent many carefree days swimming, canoeing, and exploring. Lots of memories there...

This is what the houses on stilts looked like. This was our coworkers house; ours was much the same...
I am the most excited about getting this picture! This is a picture of the 18 foot anaconda that my dad killed one day (at the other end of the lake, although there did see some on our end, too, including a small one my dad found climbing up the stairs to our house...). He had seen it sunning itself on the bank in the late afternoons, so he took my oldest sister, Teresa, and the shotgun down there one day and nabbed it. I remember being pretty disgusted that he didn't take me! He was able to skin it and we took it back with us when we went home on furlough. When we would speak at churches, he would unroll it onto one of the back pews for people to get a sense of how big these things could get. One day a lady came in late to one of the services where my dad was speaking and slipped into the back pew...imagine her surprise when she realized what she was sitting on! I don't think she ever forgot about us! Anyway, left to right is my dad, me, Kimberly & Jason (our coworkers kids), sisters Kathy and Teresa. I imagine that my sister Chrissy wasn't too interested in holding a snake! LOL!
We were standing on the dock below our house. I can tell that it was dry season because the water level is so low. The lake and the area all around it flooded during rainy season because the location was close to a very large river.
Wow, what memories these photos bring back...

A Message for Every Wife/Mother...

Check out this awesome message for wives and mothers by Alan Hlavka...scroll down to the bottom to find the audio messages. You can check out some background on him here (Alan happens to be the father of my blogger friend Joy over at Stay at Home Missionary and I'm so glad she posted this link!).

I listened to this message twice yesterday and it really spoke to my heart. Really, really good stuff!