Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"My world from a mile high, best seat in the house tonight..."

I love the sky, city lights, sunsets, a cool breeze, and gazing into the distance as far as my eyes can see.  I love to stare into blue skies and imagine God, in all His glory, looking down on me.  I also particularly enjoy watching clouds, birds and airplanes. So, where better to come than...

Up on the Roof

Oh there is still noise - taxi horns, dogs barking, hammers, children's screams and giggles, birds chirping, the constant stream of cars going by on the roads below.... But, there is also a peaceful serenity up here.  

The roof is an ideal locale to pray, think, sing, study Spanish, read and relax. 

I pray for all the people who are going through life without hope, without purpose, without Jesus.  Just as "the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost," (Luke 19:10), I pray we will reach them with the gospel and that God will save them.

"Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight

Touched down on the cold black top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breathe in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos
All those people going somewhere, 
Why have I never cared?
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see."
(Lyrics by Brandon Heath)
My God is the Author of beauty.....

Can't find me? 
Up on the Roof...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bare Feet

When was the last time you thanked the Lord as you put on your shoes?
I don't recall ever doing this.

I've never seen anything like it; Women, children, toddlers walk around with bare feet without even looking down to check for rocks or thorns.  It is easy to imagine what feet that endure the earths terrain without protection look like: dirty, cut, deeply wounded.  My heart is heavy at the thought of soft, sweet toddler feet having to bleed and hurt as they form callouses to bear the rough land they must tread shoeless.

Food on the table and clean water to drink are necessities; shoes are a luxury.

"The King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40 ESV

I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of this blessing.  A dear family from the States, after hearing of this village, led by the grace of God, offered to pay for new shoes for whomever needed them.

The next time we were at the village, we had all the children get "sized" for their new shoes by drawing pictures of their feet on coloring sheets and their names were written inside the silhouettes.  Many of the pages held the dirty prints of the feet we traced.

A little over a week ago, with sizes in hand, we went for a little jog down to the border of Mexico and Belize to look at shoes.  We set out to find imitation Crocs, as we thought they would be the most durable and practical.  After a little searching, we found a store which had the shoes we were looking for ranging from 20-28 pesos per pair, depending on the size.  That boils down to about $1.50 to $2 each.  We dug through boxes of shoes to find reasonable sizes to fit each foot.  We did our best to ensure that girls would recieve pink or white and boys would get blue or black.

We sized up the shoes by comparing them to the drawings we had.  Needless to say, we got quite a few funny looks....Some Mexicans and and two Americans searching through boxes for over 50 pairs of the same shoes, sizing them using torn-out Bible story coloring sheets.


Saturday we loaded up the vans as usual, only this time we had bags full of new shoes for some soon-to-be very happy children!  After Bible study and lunch, Jonathan and I got the privilege of handing out all the shoes.

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.' " Matthew 19:14 ESV

The boys were a bit bashful about taking a picture with me.  So, J stepped in and saved the day.

I got choked up giving the shoes to the girl farthest on the right in the white shirt.  She had not been there the week we took the sizes for shoes, and was the only one in the room who wasn't recieving a pair.  I'm not sure what all happened, but Devora decided to give her an extra pair we had, I suppose for someone who didn't show up.  I don't know if it was because of relief that she would, too, get new shoes, or because her demeanor reminded me a lot of my sister, Holly.  Whatever the cause, I had to fight hard to keep tears back then, as do I now while I write this...

We definitely plan on taking sizes again soon for those who were unable to come the week we did the sizes before.  I cannot bear the thought of most - but not all - of those precious children recieving shoes.  We may not go back to Belize, but we'll find them some around here.

'Break my heart from what breaks yours,

Everything I am for your kingdom's cause.' - Hillsong

'Thank you, Jesus.' -Abby

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A La Playa


Yesterday, Jonathan and I finally took some time to go spend a day at the beach. It was enjoyable to say the least.

We did a little swimming...

Jonathan doesn't miss an opportunity:  "Are you going to heaven?"

The ocean always amazes me.  Song lyrics come to mind, "And who told the ocean, 'you can only come this far...' "

My honey soakin' up a little sun before we headed home.

Life is sweet. 


Friday, February 5, 2010

Who Needs Raid When You've Got Jade

It may be hard to believe but . . . Here in Mexico, there are a lot of roaches. I know, gasp! I have taken precautionary measures to keep my most despised insects out of our apartment; I've sprayed Raid around all the window frames and the doors and I purposely keep the windows closed at night as that is when the disgusting little pests come out to play! However, no matter how hard I try to prevent their entry - they still manage to sneak their way in. 

My precious amiga, Jade, helps me sleep a bit more soundly, though, because she is quite the little huntress. On multiple occasions, J and I have returned home late in the evening only to find a cucaracha belly up in the middle of our floor with an ever so proud kitty prancing around. How she catches the speedy creepy crawlers is beyond me - I'm doing good to get them with a fly swatta' after a few tries! None the less, I appreciate her efforts more than she knows. She also enjoys pouncing on ants, and I've even seen her reach up and swat a pesky fly against the window. 

She rocks.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


You guessed it . . . "¡Bienvenidos!" means "Welcome!" in Español. 
Wish I had known that before I got here. 
Approximately 36 hours after we landed in Cancún, I found myself in the middle of a Mexican church service during "Meet and Greet Time." Oh boy! And believe you me, these people don't play any greeting games. After they sing hymns, the band comes up to play some worship choruses and during the first chorus, everyone - and I mean everyone - leaves their seat and greets as many people as they can manage to shake hands with in about 3 minutes time. Well, needless to say, J and I were obviously visitors and pretty much the whole back half of the church came to welcome us. Well that was nice, only I had no idea what they were all saying: ¡Dios le bendiga! - 'Hmmm....Something about God....'
¡Bienvenidos! - 'Who knows, but it's easier to say....'
So, I had settled on greeting everyone for the next minute and a half with a kinda, sorta mumbled version of this ¡Bienvenidos!
It wasn't until after the church service that I asked J what exactly 'bienvenidos' meant.......

Great, I welcomed everyone to their own church.
 I can only imagine how many people had to suppress outbursts of laughter as not to embarrass me.
Oh well, you live and you learn.

So, this blog is for . . . Stories and laughs, like this one, and more thoughtful writings of my perspective of life here. 
Enjoy! It's time for me to get crackin' on dinner . . .