Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Come and see!

I love the come and see moments in life.  Perhaps your son wants you to see a picture they just finished, or your husband takes your hand and leads you outdoors to see the sunset, or a friend calls you to view children at play in the neighborhood.  No matter what the come and see moment turns out to be...I have rarely been disappointed in it! 

Go and see what wonders God has placed in this world.
Go and learn from those moments.  
Meditate on them and ponder them in your heart.

Last week Tom called me to come and see.  A beautiful butterfly awaited...posing for a photo on the screen of our backdoor.  As someone who lives with fibromyalgia there are times when I would rather just sit with my feet up or lay in bed and not move.  Tom knows that when I don't feel well I don't always respond favorably to those calls.  But, this day, in spite of how I felt, I went with camera in hand to answer his call to come and see.  And I am indeed grateful for the reward.  God's creation always amazes me.  It always fills me with a sense of wonder.
How did He create so many different varieties and shades of gorgeous?
  Why did He put such detail into His work?
  What a mighty and awesome God is He!  

Why not stop what you're doing right now and look in the mirror?  Follow the spirit's call to a come and see moment. Take keen notice of the beauty of the person in your mirror.  No matter the circumstances of your exist because God willed you into existence.  You were created, designed, and hand crafted into being by the Creator, Designer, and Author of the universe.  You have over 10,000 genes and 23 pairs of chromosomes that were all hand picked by Him.  You are beautiful and you were deliberately created by the power of His loving breath.  God smiled and rejoiced as He watched your birth.

During this season of celebrating the birth of Christ take some time to stop, to come to Him, and gaze deeply on the realities of Christmas.  Ponder the fact that Christmas leads us to Easter, notice that the impact of Easter ushers us into a relationship with Him for all eternity.  None of this was a coincidence.  It was planned and executed perfectly because of His sacrificial love.

May we live a life worthy of that Love during this Christmas season and all the days of our lives! 

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Toilet paper roll Christmas wreath

I am not sure how many people save these
but we do...
cuz that's how we roll!  

The idea for this wreath came from Pinterest.  
The original post is here .  

The instructions are in Hungarian, however, when I put the site through a translator not all of the words were translated.  Here is a short tutorial on how we made our wreath.  I don't really have detailed notes on each step.  We were winging it just from the pictures.

I found that if you flatten the roll first it is easier to work with...

Divide the roll into four sections...

cut into strips...

We painted the insides a darker green...
Then we painted the outsides a lighter green...

 Hot glue five petals together to form a flower

Before you glue the flowers together that you have can work on your layout.  
I chose to do 12 flowers on the bottom layer and six and the top layer.

In the original she used 10 on the bottom and 7 on the top.
Once you decide how large you want yours then hot glue the flowers in a circle.

I couldn't find red beads here in Belize so we cut circles out of red foam and hot glued those on 

Now it's hanging on our front door!

We have a few more crafts to finish as we continue to decorate for Christmas.
This was a fun and easy project to start off with!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy 31st Anniversary to us!

December 13, 1981

Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.

We are so grateful to truly understand the meaning of love...not just in theory but in practice!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Over the past twelve days I have been undergoing a root canal.  It's been difficult at times to be joyful or patient throughout this process.  Especially with tomorrow being our 31st wedding anniversary I didn't want to spend our vacation week in a dental office.  But, such is life. 

Reclining in the dentist's chair with my mouth propped open as her drill splashed water in my face all I could do was pray, breathe deeply, and hope that it would end soon.  After filling the tooth she told me that I would have to come back after the first of the year to have the crown put on. As I wallowed in self pity I was reminded of a friend with cancer who may be facing the last Christmas with her family.  She has truly been a model for me of being patient in affliction. 

Thinking of her sure put my 'suffering' through a root canal before the holidays in perspective.  I am going through an inconvenience...and being inconvenienced is not the same as suffering.  I may not be able to munch on peanut brittle this Christmas but I can still rejoice in the hope that comes with celebrating the birth of Christ.  I can be grateful for His sacrifice and remember what He endured for us. And I can look forward to and continue to pray for His return!  

Throughout this holiday season and beyond may we remember to be
 joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Christmas table...

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Alvina and her mom set such a beautiful table for the CDF Christmas party. The ambiance in their home was a blessing for us all.  We truly enjoyed a wonderful evening of great food, great fellowship, and great fun!  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dear Santa...

This sums up how I feel today.  These past few weeks I have been going through some dental work and for some reason a fibromyalgia flare at the same time.  Right now I cannot even remember what being pain free feels like.

I would appreciate prayer because I know that there is nothing that Santa can do for me...but prayer always helps!

Friday, December 07, 2012

practice shots...

I took these photos last Saturday after watching a Nikon School video about my camera.  In the past my main strategy was to just take a lot of pictures and hope for a good one in the bunch.  There is still so much more for me to learn about photography.  And I will have fun learning and practicing because after all 'practice makes better'!

What new thing are you learning?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Nothing but a Wisp of Fog

This photo was taken yesterday as I watched Tom cross the hammock bridge in Roaring Creek.  I thought of this verse and how it applies to our lives.  Later at home, I looked it up in The Message version of the Bible:
And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”
James 4:13-15, The Message
Americans love to plan and ponder what we want to happen next in our careers, our ministries, or our families. However, the reality is, we really don't have a clue about what God has in store for our future. During this advent season we wait with great expectation to celebrate the birth of our King.

But, is He truly that in our lives?  

Is He the King of our time, our finances, our marriages...our plans?

How often have you heard someone say "Lord willing, I'll..."?  I know that I say things like that now and then. But, I don't always mean it.  What I mean is "I am going to do..." or " I am going to go to..."

The other day I wrote a status on Facebook that said "Lord prepare me for what you are preparing me for".  And I mean that.  I don't know what He has in store for us in 2013.  Both Tom and I will turn 50 next year. I don't know about you but I had dreams and goals that I wanted to accomplish before turning 50.  And yet God had other plans for my brief time on earth.

As I ponder this passage I am compelled to remember that He is eternal,
He is my King and He has control over all the days of my life.
And I...I am nothing but a wisp of fog.  

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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Terribly Terrific Toffee...

I have seen this holiday treat before under the name 'Christmas Crack'.  I love recipes with just a few ingredients.  If only saltines were gluten free I would make sure looks tasty!

For those of you who want to give it a try the recipe is here:  Terribly Terrific Toffee

Monday, December 03, 2012

the gifts of a fundraiser...

I was up until 4am last night editing 420 photos down to 86 and getting them loaded onto Facebook.  We had an awesome event with an incredible turn out of  around 200 youth and youth leaders.  If I had more energy I would write more about the specifics. But since I am functioning right now on 4 1/2 hours of sleep I will leave you with the link to view the photos on Facebook!

There are so many precious moments to treasure...

We at CDF are so grateful to all of the volunteers, to Andrea and Dion for all of their efforts, and for all of the youth and youth leaders who came out to support the event!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sell Tacos Not Children!!

CDF has wristbands and t-shirts for sale.  

 The wristbands are $5 and the t-shirts are $20.  

If you are here in Belize you can get a wristband and a t-shirt at our Youth Fest on Saturday!

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thought for Today...Praise the King!

Sunsets always inspire me to praise our glorious Lord.

Only He can create such magnificence.  He paints a masterpiece each evening with the most brilliant and vibrant colors.  He alone is worthy of all praise.  May honor and glory go to Him forever and ever!

What inspires you to praise Him?

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

the gift of holiday memories...

This past Thanksgiving was another holiday with just the two of us.  Tom and I do our best to celebrate but we still miss having Nathan and Spencer at home for the holidays.  Nathan is living in Seattle and Spencer is on a mission trip in Mexico.

As I was feeling low late Thursday evening about the guys not being here I got a message on Facebook from a friend who was doing some reminiscing with her children.  They were going through photos and she sent one of our family.

As you can see it is not a Thanksgiving memory but a Halloween night at the church we were attending in Costa Mesa.  I am grateful for the memories we have of those years when the kids were little.  We may not own much materially but we are rich with treasured times spent together.  Even when one or both of the boys were not thrilled about being at the event...we are still able to look back fondly and be glad we survived the tough times and came through with our family still in tact.  

I am grateful that both Spencer and Nathan will be with us for Christmas this year.  It will be our first Christmas together in five years.  Just thinking about it makes me smile.  And I am counting the days!

1061.  old photos
1062.  friends to reminisce with over days gone by...
1063.  looking forward to Nathan and Spencer home at the same time
1064.  planning a Thanksgiving meal for Spencer and Meesha when they return from Mexico
1065.  going over old recipes and the memories attached to them
1066.  gathering with over 60 people for this year's holiday dinner here in Belize
1067.  starting new traditions
1068.  Tom and I eating our Thanksgiving lunch at Wing Stop for the third year in a row
1069.  completing the 30/100 challenge
1070.  surviving my first Zumba class
1071.  walks at sunset with Tom...

What holiday memories are you grateful for?

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Friday, November 23, 2012

30/100 Mission Accomplished!

When I go out for my walk today I will have reached my goal and it will be the end of this challenge.  This past week the question most asked of me has been "what are you going to do on Day 101?"...and the answer is "I will keep walking".  It just won't feel like it's a have-to.  It will be a want-to!  Still not sure how to celebrate this milestone.  Because today it's all about walking off the extra calories I ate yesterday!!

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

thought for today...gratitude!

As Thanksgiving in America draws closer many of us are giving thanks for the gifts God places in our lives.  Make sure that your list includes people you love, special moments, and treasured memories.  I am so grateful for our family, our friends, the people we get to serve, and those that we work with.

I thank God for every one of you that He has allowed us to spend time with over the past year.  And I am grateful for all of you who read this journal of mine.

Joy and Blessings to you!!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tasty Tuesday...Gluten Free Cornbread

This will be my first Thanksgiving since I began eating gluten free.  I enjoy eating stuffing and don't want to miss out this year.  Each year here in Belize there is a large group of Expats who gather on Thanksgiving to share a meal. We all bring a dish and have a potluck dinner. 

I want to be able to partake in some of the traditional foods so I decided I needed to figure out how to make a few things that I can eat and hopefully others will enjoy as well. I remembered that my grandmother always used to make a bread stuffing along with a cornbread stuffing back in the day.  So I found a cornbread recipe that I think will work...I am looking forward to trying it out!
click on the title to find the recipe.

 I am still looking for a good pie crust recipe so I can make a sweet potato pie and a peach cobbler.  Not only will we have a Thanksgiving meal on the actual holiday but I also promised Spencer and Meesha that we would celebrate again when they get back from I have plenty of time to practice!

So are you trying anything new this Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 19, 2012

the gifts of a holiday weekend...

Today is a holiday here in Belize.  Garifuna Settlement Day.  It is wonderful to have a three day weekend.  And since Thursday is an American holiday we get another day off this week as well.  Our schedule can get very hectic so we are grateful when free time comes our way.  I am not complaining about the work we do...just acknowledging the fact that holidays here are truly a gift. 

I will gladly count this holiday weekend among my blessings...

1050.  packages of goodies from the U.S.

1051.  friends and family who bless us in large and small ways.

 1052.  market day bargains found during the rain...

1053.  adding 'new to me' clothes to my wardrobe

1054.  Tom and I getting to church early to help with set-up in the new location
1055.  90 people packed into the upper room at Omega's restaurant on our first Sunday there

1056.  the faithfulness of the leaders Bethel Disciples International Church
1057.  fellowship among the congregation
1058.  Pastor Han's messages that teach and inspire
1059.  being reminded that "it's not the leaves that are's the fruit!"
As we focus on making disciples and not just filling the church.

1060.  baskets from Sharon that take our pantry from this...

to this!

So what treasures are you grateful for this week?!

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