Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tasty Tuesday...we heart guacamole!

I put Max and Patty's gift of avocados to good use...we totally ♥ guacamole!

What do you like to do with avocados?

Monday, July 30, 2012

every good and perfect gift...


Every good and perfect gift comes to us directly from Him...sometimes we fail to recognize them.  Yesterday as Pastor Dan was speaking he reminded us that it was God's grace that provided the big fish to swallow Jonah when he was thrown off of the boat and into the sea to die.  

God's grace is a good and perfect gift for each of us.  

It is so easy to focus on the struggle we are currently going through that we lose sight of the grace that God provides to help us overcome. I had a choice about my review of last week...either focus on the pain that I was in from a fibromyalgia flare, or focus on the fact that this recent flare did not cause me to be bed-ridden for almost a year like one I had in 2004.  Or I could focus on the blessings that come our way no matter how small and insignificant they may be.  

Most days I choose gratitude.  

And I will confess that it is not an automatic response for me even though I have been practicing this attitude for over two years. I still work at finding the good in life each day because the reality check it brings to me is worth it. 

So I continue to count the 1000 (and beyond)  good and perfect gifts from Him...

946.  Spencer, Meesha, Dylan, Bev, and Demarice coming to church with us.
947.  their laughter filling the house as we ate lunch together.
948.  planning a meal for four and turning it into a meal for seven.
949.  readings from One Day At A Time in Al Anon
950.  our new screen doors
951.  our new dryer

952.  hearing testimonies at church

953.  attending an Anti-Trafficking training session put on by the International Organization for Migration 

954.  watching the Olympics in English...for the last Olympic games we were in Russia.
955.  our lunch with Diana from CDF
956.  avocados from Patty and Max
957.  hugs from little ones at church
958.  reading some of Nathan's stories

959.  reading our friend  Carrie's new book

960.  seeing Demarice play with one of my Barbie dolls.

961.  hearing Gabby Douglas say in her interview on NBC that she meditated on scripture to stay focused during the qualifying round of the gymnastics competition at the Olympics last night.

962.  the YouVersion Bible app on my Galaxay Tablet.
963.  feeling more at home in our house here in Belize each day.
964.  one more week of free cleaning from Happy Maids.
965.  not being bedridden by pain.
966.  knowing that being gluten free is truly making a difference in how I feel.
967.  God's gracious care and protection over us each day.

joining in with the gratitude community:

Friday, July 27, 2012

a frog, a dryer, and new screen doors...

A year and a half ago we were living in a rental home the first time we encountered a frog in our home.  Last night it happen again.  We were watching TV when Tom glanced down and noticed a frog looking back at him.  He grabbed a broom and a dust pan to herd the high hopping critter out the back door.  We are not sure where he came in from but we do know that he was not invited in by either one of us!

Maybe some of you remember that I blogged about our seven years without a dryer back in January...

I don't have to daydream about soft, lint free towels anymore.  Our season of exclusively using the outdoor clothesline and the indoor drying rack came to an end this week.  We received a very generous donation that allowed us to finally purchase a dryer.  It is such a simple thing...and yet such a huge blessing.  And perfect timing since we are in the thick of the rainy season right now!

On the same day that the dryer was delivered.  Terry and his guys from EnterChange Workshop delivered the screen doors they made for us.  Now we can open up the front and side doors to cool down the house.    

So we had a surprise guest and some incredible blessings...just another week in the jungle!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

carnival passing through...

A few days ago we stopped to get gas and were treated to this sight...carnival rides! I caught them just as they were pulling out of the gas station. Everybody has to stop and get gas at some point.  And this is one of the few places to fill up along the Western Highway.

 Seeing them drive by prompted memories of summer vacations from my childhood...my father would pull over any time we saw a carnival along the highway. Each summer we traveled from whatever Air Force base we were currently living on to see both sets of grandparents.  With five kids to entertain it seemed as if my parents were always on the lookout for some form of entertainment for us.  Most of the time there was a giant slide involved.  Now and then it would be a museum.  But, it was always a treat when it was a carnival!   


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

thought for today...God's word stands

So many things in life are temporary.  

Right now it is the rainy season and we are seeing our garden bloom and come alive in different areas of the yard.  Such a contrast to the dry season.  Reading the Bible brings comfort, instruction, and hope into the dry seasons of our lives.

What a joy to know that there is nothing that will out last the Word.  It is active and timely in every season.

linking up with:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tasty Tuesday...gluten free snacks

We found gluten free snacks in Belize City at the USave grocery store.  I am so excited to have some crunchy food to eat again.  I was really missing crackers...so finding them was truly a treat!

Monday, July 23, 2012

one person at a time and other gifts...

We had an emergency appointment this past week.  Someone who was in desperate need of support after suffering through a horrendous ordeal.  Hearing this new woman's story made us both realize that we can do something to make a difference.  And not only us...everyone can...one person at a time.

My gratitude overflows as I reflect on the events of the week...

926.  a gracious donor gifting us with the funds to purchase a dryer!
927.  the generosity and faithfulness of our supporters.
928.  bold orange flowers spotted while out driving.
929.  gluten free cereal and crackers at the USave grocery store in Belize City.
930.  our quiet neighborhood.
931.  a lunch for two that stretches into lunch for five and having leftovers afterward.
932.  a hot cup of tea on a rainy afternoon.
933.  chatting with friends and family online.
934.  having a friend tell us that we feel like family.
935.  leading the women's Bible study.
936.  being with the women again after being away for five weeks.
937.  celebrating Meesha's 21st birthday.
938.  enjoying the movies and dinner out.
939.  free books from Amazon.com.  
940.  singing worship songs at church.
941.  quiet Sunday afternoons.
942.  finally unpacking my suitcase.
943.  hugs and smiles from little ones at church.
944.  feeling at home here in Belize.
945.  God's loving hands guiding us and protecting us each day.

 joining in with the gratitude community:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Miss World Pageant...

This beautiful young lady, Chantae Guy,  is representing Belize at the Miss World pageant in China. 

I met Chantae's mother, Anna, not long after we first moved here to Belize.  And it is so exciting to watch her daughter reach for this goal.  Join us in showing her support by liking her Facebook page

Best of luck to you, Chantae...Belize is rooting for you all the way!!  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

sharing the road...

We share the roads here with all sorts of different vehicles...just another day in Belize!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

thought for today...a child of God

Receiving Him and believing in His name gives us the right to be called His children.  May we who call Him Father live our lives in such a way that we bring honor and glory to His precious name.  

linking up with:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesday...gluten free pancakes

Pancakes are one of the things I am really really good at making.  I have used the same recipe for so long that I have it memorized.   So last night we had breakfast for dinner.  Do you ever do that?  It's one of our favorite meals!

I wanted pancakes so I decided to give my recipe a try with my gluten free all-purpose flour mix and it worked!

I have some tweaking to do to get the exact measurements on the liquid because I just kept adding until I had the consistency that I wanted.  But here is the basic recipe:

Gluten Free Pancakes
1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla
1  1/4- 1 1/2 cups low fat milk (or water), keep adding until you reach desired consistency depending on how thick you like your pancakes.

Mix dry ingredients together.  Mix wet ingredients together.  Add wet mixture all at once to dry ingredients.  Stir until moistened.  Batter may have some lumps in it.  Makes 6 medium sized pancakes.


Monday, July 16, 2012

the gift of lessons learned and party invites...

We are still trying to get into a rhythm here...being away for a month and then hitting the ground running with Tom teaching out at YWAM last week was a bit overwhelming.  This week the load will be much lighter and we have some spaces in our schedule to breathe.  Breathing is a good thing!    I have no complaints about our first week back...only gratitude.

901.  listening to Spencer's devotional and taking notes.
902.  watching as he had each person look into a mirror and repeat these words...

903.  Meesha's teaching on coming to Him like little children:

904.  Leroy's creativity:

905.  worshiping together...

906.  Tom's faithfulness throughout the week of teaching...

907.   the response to Tom's teaching on Forgiveness...nailing it all to the cross...

908.   Tom began the teaching on Grace by 'kissing' everyone!

909.  serving together...

910.  seeing a party hat in an unexpected place...

911.  attending a party to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary and a baby shower!

912.  baby shower games are not much different no matter where you are in the world...

pin the pacifier on the baby

guess how big the mom to be is!

will it be a boy or a girl?

914.  watching her open her gifts...

915.  and listening to the advice people wrote out for her...

920.  the home the party was held in is humble but the family is rich in love and unity.
921.  knowing that love and unity in a family is truly a huge blessing.
922.  getting to use the gift certificate from Happy Maids that Tom won for me for Mother's Day.
923.  having our home deep cleaned and the anticipation of three more weeks to come.
924.  quiet times with a book and tall glass of ice water...a priceless gift indeed.
925.  realizing how rich our life is...and learning to appreciate it daily.

 joining in with the gratitude community:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Reading

Here are a few of the things I picked up while we were in the states.  I guess I should have looked around for some 'just for fun' reading too...but I didn't.  Since the space in our suitcases was at a premium I had to be selective. 

So what are you reading this summer?!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tom's teaching this week...

Tom has been teaching at YWAM Banana Bank for their Discipleship Training School.  The topic that he is lecturing on is The Nature and Character of God. Four of the students, Dylan, Leroy, Kyle, and Hugo, put this skit together as part of their homework that Tom assigned to them.  They amazed me with their creativity!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

thought for today...Give it to God

Spencer in a prayer circle with the DTS students interceding for Russia.

This week we heard about the flooding in the region of Krasnodar where we used to live.  Thousands of people were affected by the wall of water that came through late in the night.  Over 3000 homes had to be pumped out by rescue workers.  That number represents 2/3 of the affected homes in the area.  Various news reports that I have read place the death toll anywhere between 162-171.  We are greatly saddened by the news and have been praying for those affected since we first heard this tragic event.  

Whether your concerns are about a family member, a friend, a city, or a country give them over to God in prayer.  While there is still speculation regarding the cause of the flood, whether it was rainfall, water released from a nearby reservoir, or a combination of both...we know that God is in control.  And only He can bring restoration, healing, and hope to those who have suffered losses because of this tragic event.  

Please join with us in prayer for the people of Krymsk, Gelenzhik, and Novorossiysk, Russia.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Crock Pot Cheesecake

Another Pinterest find.  I think that if I replace the pulverized graham crackers with almond flour then I will have gluten free dessert that everyone can enjoy along with me. This is going on my list of things to try!  Click here for the recipe.