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Friday, January 1, 2010

Mexico January 1, 2010

What a great start to a new decade! We spent today painting a building at Casa Hogar. It did not take us long to run out of paint.

We shopped a few minutes at a tourist store run by the orphanage. Then we ate some amazing fajitas at a local restaurant. We finished the day up with another shopping stop in Matamoras.

Interesting story - while we were checking out, James wandered off. I spotted him at a jewelry counter handing over large amounts of money. Shawn ran over real quick to check out the situation. He had purchased a "rolex" watch for $50. His dad got the watch returned and the money returned. When asked, James said "it was shiny, and the lady said it was a good deal." I had to laugh.

I'm looking forward to getting back home to my own bed. It's been a good week, but I sure miss my Abby.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mexico December 31, 2009

We went into Mexico today to deliver Christmas gifts to an orphanage in Matamoras. The kids were excited to receive their shoebox filled with goodies.

I was confused when shopping for my shoebox and bought stuff for a two year old girl rather than the boy that I had paperwork on. I never did get aroud to fixing my mistake, and just packed up the girl stuff anyway.

The little boy was one of a handful of orphans that somehow had been put on the list twice, so when we sorted boxes he already had one. My box would have been wasted.

Instead God used it perfectly.

A nine year old girl with gorgeous long black hair stepped into the room with a toddler in a sling on her hip. They were new to the orphanage since we had gotten the list of names. The size clothes I had in my wrong box fit perfectly on the toddler.

A month ago when I was shopping for items for my box, God created confusion in my dingy brain so that a little girl who lost her family would have a beautiful Christmas. Gotta love God and the strange ways He works.

We had a great trip back to Las Higuerillas to visit some friends and deliver some things for their village. It was a great day for playing Santa.

Now back to the states for a little pizza and a hot shower. Then tomorrow we are going back to the orphanage to paint.

Every Day

I awoke this morning giddy with excitement about going into mexico to do mission work. I am always anxious to see God's hand. Already I have seen Him at work and I can't wait to see more

As I looked into the mirror, trying to blowdry my hair in a big hurry, God spoke.

"Every Day"

Me - "what?"

God "Every Day"

Me - "what are you talking about?"

God "You are on mission for me EVERY DAY. Be this giddy and excited EVERY DAY. I am ALWAYS at work around you. LOOK for me. Be this hungry for my presence EVERY DAY. This day is not unique because you are crossing a border. This day is unique because you are living expectantly."

Me - "wow"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mexico December 30 2009

We left north Texas last night to beat the bad weather. Fortunately, roads were clear all the way in to Austin where we spent the night in the family life center of Anderson Mills Baptist Church. We appreciated our good friend, Aaron Franklin, making arrangements for us at the last minute.

This morning, I had the chance to run 3 miles before we pulled out. We were blessed at McDonalds. The manager gave us 50 percent off our meals and let the drivers eat for free.

After many hours in the car, we finally arrived at our dorms in Brownsville where we will be staying. For me, it is a beautiful sight to see the 200 shoeboxes all together for the first time stacked high along the tables. We have tons of extra items to take in as well and probably a small blanket for each orphan.

It was a beautiful moment as we were sorting to be able to look at my 11 yer old daughter and say, "I need you to sort and organize all the girl boxes," then to turn around and see that she had worked with some other ladies to "make it so."

I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds. God's love for the nations is incredible to behold.

Monday, December 28, 2009


My body stores fat like a grizzly bear preparing for hibernation. I don't know why, but at 25, my metabolism curled up and absolutely died. The good news is that in the last ten years, it's not gotten much worse, but I still gain weight like crazy. For me, losing weight is like prying a lollipop from my 3 year old daughter's mouth. Good luck! For the last 10 years, I've used this metabolism issue as an excuse for toting around about 50 extra pounds. I had come to peace with the fact that God did not create all of us to be skinny people.

Knowing my family's history of diabetes and heart disease, I started working out about 6 months ago. I lost about 10 pounds, bringing my two year weight loss total up to around 25 pounds. That's great, right? Except that now I'm just plain mad. Ticked off. Hacked.

I went home for the holidays for 3 days. I ate anything I wanted, taking in approximately 2500 calories a day (Yes, I count my calories in my head subconsciously - too many years of eating issues, I guess). I came home with a new jacket for running at night, an armband to store my ipod, and 4 extra pounds.

At first, I was horribly upset. Then I was defeated. Why work hard if I can't even maintain the results? Is it really worth all the effort? I liked being lazy.

This morning I forced myself onto the weight machine. It is important to understand that I hate lifting weights. I can't listen to music while lifting because the bad words in my head are too loud for me to hear the music. I was about halfway through when I began to figure how many calories the average person has to consume to gain one pound. And then I gained 4 on what I ate? Oh, I got mad! I was slamming weights like nobody's business in the playroom.

I am done being owned and controlled by my body. I will not roll over and give up just because it works in strange and mysterious ways. I will not give up working out, and I will lose those 4 pounds.

Now nobody panic, I am not attempting purging or anything else unhealthy. I did workout 3 times today, attempting to shock my body into dumping the pounds. Sometimes when I hit a wall, I can push through it by putting my body into overdrive on working out.

My intention is that I will be healthy. I will not give in to defeat and discouragement. I will have my body fit and healthy and ready for whatever and wherever God takes me next.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Monday Morning Update 12.28.09

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my husband? You see, he has struggled hard with materialism over the years. (I did too, I'm just talking about him because it's less intrusive into my own issues.) I remember when he wanted the biggest, nicest, best stuff. I remember how deprived and frustrated he felt when we spent years in absolute poverty. I was there when he wanted the nicer house, and thought success was at least partially measured in dollars.

Today that man stood in church and preached about rethinking materialism at Christmas. He talked about giving our children less stuff so that we can have more resources left for serving the "least of these" as commanded in scripture. Last fall, we had a scare when we thought our house was on fire, and we both realized, "It's just stuff." Ever since then we have been trying hard to ditch as much of our stuff as possible so that we will have more free time and resources for ministry. As I listened to him speak emotionally about the need to change our habits so that we are not teaching our children to worship stuff, I was so humbled by how God has changed his life. I love how God is using mission work to teach him about what exactly is important in life. Today, I was proud to be that man's wife. A man who shares my heart and passion for serving God.

At the very end of the service, the children came in to share about their secret mission project they've worked on all month. They have collected money for the orphanage in Mexico and made gifts for all 200 orphans. It was cool to hear them talk about what they were doing and why. I love that even our children have a part of the vision of The Crossroads to Love God, Love People, and Reach the World. (yes, I know Shawn says rock. I like reach, and it's my blog.)

After church we had lunch with several other families at a new member's house in Anna. I love seeing our church members extend hospitality to each other. It is beautiful to watch God at work. I am blown away by how well God is making this church plant thing work, as long as I am obedient and just go along for the ride. I love reaching new people and seeing God change their lives. It's exciting. I am glad that excitement is the best adjective for my ministry. Or maybe awed.

Our mission team will be leaving a day early to miss out on winter weather. Remember to pray for our team while we are traveling Tuesday and Wednesday and while we are in Mexico on Thursday and Friday.