Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What is Hope?

I have been working on my notes for my talk on Sunday at the CDF Women's Conference.  As I was reading and researching I came across this quote.  I am still meditating on these words.  They truly resonate with me.

What do you think hope is?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teacher's Demonstration

Caught a glimpse of the 1000's of teachers who are demonstrating just as they were beginning their march.  I pray it stays peaceful.  The police were out in full force controlling the traffic and surrounding the marchers.  

The US Embassy here in Belize sent out a warning to all US citizens to stay away from the area.  Not that any Americans would be targeted...they were just cautioning everyone that any demonstration has the potential to turn violent so "be cautious".  But, I had to take some paperwork into the office and as I was coming back home the march was just beginning.

I could hear the teachers singing as they looked very orderly and peaceful to me.  Please pray for the demonstrators and for the police that everyone will remain calm and behave in a professional manner. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Men at work...


Lots of work is being done outside the house today!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tile Issues...

Due to all of the rain that we have had this season our floors buckled.  We were able to take up the broken tiles and save some of the ones in the affected area.  So hopefully the repair job won't take too long or be very expensive. Seems like it's always something!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy 50th Birthday Tom!!

I remember way back when you turned 16...where did the time go?  How quickly it passes!  I am so grateful to have you in my life.  And I am blessed by the journey we have taken together and all of the ups and downs we have weathered side by side.

You are an amazing man and your ministry has blessed people in various countries all around the world.  I pray that God's hands continue to bless and guide you each day.  I pray that you feel His presence leading and comforting and supporting you every step of the way.  I pray that He provides strength and insight and hope for you each and every day of this new year of your life.

I love you, Tommy!  Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stylin' and ridin'

As we were driving back to Belize we saw this young woman on her motorcycle.  I love her grey pumps!  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Brotherly love?

Some things just don't change... even if they are 25 and 22!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Food, Fun, and Family

We found a restaurant called 100% Natural just down the block from the hotel we are in.  Everything we ordered tasted awesome and was not too expensive.  We spent $67 for the five of us to have this early dinner on Monday.  We even decided to be adventurous and each of us tried the cactus in the bottom center photo!

Today was our last full day together...we take Nathan to the airport tomorrow and then start driving back to Belize. The time has gone by way too quickly.  And I can hardly wait until we are all together again!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

chilling at Playa Delphines...

We were out late seeing The Hobbit last night and chatting until about 2am.  Then we were up at 5:45 to take Meesha to the airport for her trip to the States before returning to India.  Since we were all so tired Nathan and Tom just hung out at the hotel today while Spencer and I went back to the beach. Counting waves and meditating is always therapeutic for me.

Not sure what tomorrow will hold.  Meanwhile we're just chillin' on our mini family vacation!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Birding in Tulum, Mexico...

We left Belize this weekend for a road trip to Cancun to meet up with Nathan.  On the way we stopped in Tulum.  Our intention was to check out the ruins there but we ended up on the beach instead.  

What a thrill it was to see these birds in action!

Friday, January 11, 2013

just chillin'

Tom relaxing!

When he's not working at the CDF office or preparing a lesson for Belize Bible Center you can find Tom painting at home.  I love all the art work that graces our walls.  If you want to check out his pieces...just come on over!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Am I saying what I think I'm saying?

The tongue is such a small part of the body...and yet it can do so much damage.  

Thinking before speaking is something that I have had to learn.  Studying a foreign language was/is the best teacher I've had in this regard.  When attempting to communicate in Russian I couldn't just blurt out whatever I was thinking. I had to think of HOW to say it first.  I would agonize in my head over the simplest of statements at the beginning of Russian language acquisition.  The question 'Am I saying what I think I'm saying?' constantly floated through my mind.  

Even in your native tongue it's important to think before you speak...or before you press send on that email or private message on Facebook.  As we move further into this new year honoring the importance of communication is on my mind.  Words can often be misinterpreted and feelings can get hurt in the process.  Especially in this digital age where so much of our communication is electronic.  Without the accompanying body language or being able to hear the tone of voice we are often left wondering if the other party truly 'got' what we were trying to say.

My prayer is that I will consistently think before I speak or write...
and that I will be effective in saying what I think I'm saying!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


Cassava Fries with salsa...

I ordered these fries for the first time on our anniversary back in December when we had lunch at the Orange Gallery.  I love cassava chips and thought the fries would be fun to try.  They are light and crunchy and I love the flavor.  We visited the restaurant again after our time at the Butterfly Ranch so of course I had to have them again.  

Move over french fries...cassava fries are my new favorite!

Monday, January 07, 2013

What's in your Bible?

Does the inside of your Bible look like this...
or am I the only one with stashes of memorabilia inside their precious book?

I cannot remember when or how this collection started.  Perhaps it began years ago with just a program or some notes from a sermon.  While I don't think my Bible is ready to be featured on the show Hoarders it might look that way to some.  As I opened it up this morning a letter from Meesha tumbled out of Matthew.  Turning the pages I found a bookmark from Istanbul, the boarding pass from a trip to the states to see Jalen graduate along with the ticket to the venue where his graduation was held.  I found the label from a bar of soap called 'Father Frost' that was given to me by my Business English students back in Russia, the envelope that held the invitation to the Fourth of July party at the American Embassy here in Belize, and a song sheet from leading worship at Krasnodar Bible Church.  I also found a family photo from the year when Nathan had to wear glasses but Spencer did not.  I even had the envelope that my eating utensils came from when we flew from Russia to Istanbul...still shocked that it has Protestant, Catholic and Jewish prayers written on it.

Perhaps it's time for a scrapbook.

But for now...I will just share with you how I almost lost this precious book with all of it's mementos.   As we were packing to leave Russia to move to Belize we had certain constraints on us.  Lack of time was a factor which leads to hasty decisions, the size of our suitcases along with how much they could weigh also played a role, and of course the questions 'what did I need right away?' and 'what could I pack in the boxes to arrive later?' also had to be taken into consideration.  I chose to pack my jewelry box in the suitcase and my Bible in a box for later.  I thought my smaller newer Bible would do for a few months until our boxes arrived.

After all this heavy, cumbersome NIV Study Bible published in 1984 is a monster.  I don't carry it around much. Even in the cute Bible cover with the handles it is still awkward to tote around.

At the last minute, I took the jewelry box out of my suitcase and put the 25 year old NIV  in it's place.  I remember thinking that if I get asked to share some thoughts I would need the big Bible with all of my notes in it and of course the jewelry could wait.  As many of you know our boxes from Russia were stolen and never made it to Belize.  My jewelry is lost along with other treasures of ours, however, my Bible is safe on my lap right as I write.

Tom gave me this Bible in was a Mother's Day gift...received just months before Nathan was born.  It held a few of Spencer's certificates that he had entrusted me with from YWAM. I can turn to the very back page and reminisce about Nathan spilling milk from his sippy cup into my book bag back in 1989.  There are song lyrics hastily written out from a conference Tom helped organize in Southern California, along with programs from funerals, and sermon notes from an international church I attended one summer in Rome.  Most importantly, it holds years of underlining, highlights, prayers, and notes in margins that could never be replaced.

As I take begin writing down the lessons God has for me this year...I have to acknowledge that this is one of them:  Embrace the nudges of the Spirit.  

Something prompted me to take the jewelry box out and put the Bible into the suitcase just before leaving to catch our 4am flight out of Russia.  I didn't make that choice on my own I had help.  And I am so grateful that I was saved from losing a truly priceless gift.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Coconut Sugar Body Scrub

 I love using this scrub!
The recipe is very simple:

1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of coconut oil
Stir until blended well.

The recipe can be doubled to fit whatever size container you choose to use. This luxurious scrub can be used in the shower or bath. I put some on my wash cloth or just use my hand to rub it into my skin.  It leaves skin feeling soft and produces a healthy glow. I use it a few times a week.  And it's a perfect gift...easy to make and simple to package but it can have a great impact on the receiver!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Contemplation and Study...

Photo taken at Green Hills Butterfly Ranch
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As we travel around the country I love taking photos so that I can look back on the event and further contemplate His handiwork. Our time at the Butterfly Ranch was an overwhelming experience of the beauty of His creation.  

Can you imagine the sound of hundreds of butterfly wings beating, or the visual impact of 13 different species in flight, or having them land on various areas of your body as you walk through the enclosure? 
Tom's shirt...
my head...
Spencer's shoulder... 
my leg...
Meesha's hand...
Even when we left the ranch I could still see butterflies in my mind.  It was a long, dusty, and bumpy ride to get out there but it was worth it. And I am grateful for the hundreds of images I was able to capture.  I am positive that they will provide hours of contemplation leading to various passages of scripture to study throughout the year.  

May we seek opportunities wherever we are to contemplate His beauty and to study at His feet!