02 March 2015


This little girl and her big brother ran circles around me and practiced their jumping and leaping with vigor. They lined up animals and people and cars in good order (and why shouldn't the llama ride the school bus?). They stacked blocks 'til they crashed and rolled balls across the rug and gave the sit-n-spin a few spirited whirls. We thanked God for our animal crackers and goldfish on kleenex tissue placemats and ate them together seated on kid-sized chairs at a kid-sized table. It was the very sweetest time of my day.

There were years of serving in the nursery because I "had" to- because I had a string of little people and needed to take my fair share of turns. It wasn't that I didn't want to serve in the nursery during those years. Yet it certainly was assumed that I would. (and that was all good and right, I think.) Now, however, come the years of serving in the nursery because I delight in it. It only comes around every 6 weeks or so. After several years in the same place, I now again have the privilege of caring for the same little ones that I have seen baptized, the ones to whom I vowed to "undertake the responsibility of assisting the parents in the Christian nurture of this child." In these days of parenting teens and young adults, an hour with babies and toddlers passes in a blink of an eye. Yet the gift continues to surprise, when the following week, the little ones give you a shy wave as they catch your eye across the sanctuary or embrace your legs with an unexpected hug in the Sunday school hallway. Who would not be quickly woo-ed?

I walk out thankful for the privilege of life in the covenant community once again.

28 February 2015


Very warm hospitality on a very cold day 
(ok, ok, "cold" is all relative, right?)- 
isn't celebrating one of the sweetest parts of life together? (aren't Really Good Sugar Cookies one of the sweetest parts of life together?)


Thankful for this bunch of girls and the coaches who lead them.
Congratulations on a great season, Lady Tigers.


I find it a wonder- these vivid yellow-bright greens of spring, brand new and clean, the contrast to the dusky, dusty, deep emeralds of winter.
Who says south Texas doesn't have a change of seasons?

25 February 2015


We have a house guest this week.
He has a few aliases.

(He also has four legs and an incredible amount of energy. Fun to have a pup around again!)

23 February 2015


Everyone, as in even the dog, wants to get a look.
The first zebra finch egg hatched, and we can just barely see the fuzzy and very tiny chick.


It is such a delight to be the object of such sweet hospitality. 
(I really did need that bit of cafecito and the galleta was a bonus.)
Muchisimas gracias, hermana Marilyn!


No shame- it was for me.


16 years and 21 weeks ago, the ultrasound technician spoke the words to cause me to sit up as straight as a 17 week pregnant lady possibly could.
"Well your husband is going to be awfully surprised when you tell him that you are having twins."
Yes. Yes, my husband was surprised.

And from that day on (but really, in all the days before, as well), our God provided. Most significantly, He provided by surrounding us with a community of people to love and care for us, often when we could barely care for ourselves.

Today I posted a picture of these two birthday girls on Facebook, and a flood of well-wishers sent greetings to us. Those names and those notes bring so many faces and so many memories to mind.

The names from those first three years of twinning- the families that were our lifeline to survival when the submarine schedules were as regular as the tide. The girls who are now ladies, married with kids of their own. The church family that celebrated with us and gave us respite and loved us Very Well during a time when we were Very Needy. Friends from childhood- the families who watched them grow and provided playmates and prayed with us over and over again. Our neighbors at five different homes. Friends from homeschool activities. Friends from sports. Friends from travels. Family far away.

One of my friends commented on those photos, "You were blessed with them." Yes we were. And we've been blessed with an extraordinary community of friends besides.
Exceedingly abundantly so.

19 February 2015


So maybe, just maybe, I did gasp audibly when Sam's Club ran out of Stacy's Pita Chips last week.
And maybe, just maybe, I was tempted to buy 2 bags this week, just in case.


17 February 2015


How we spend our days, of course, is how we spend our lives.
- Annie Dillard, The Writing Life


Several times during the day, I remembered, "I am somewhere different." There was the pickup truck in front of us on the road, not only kids sitting in the open bed but also the sheep traveling with them. There was the family waiting to cross the street, dressed in ordinary everyday clothes, except for the dad who was wearing clown makeup. There was the church service at least three times longer than the average American Sunday worship gathering. There was the waiting and waiting for the tacos to arrive. When the guys were finally arrived, there was the watching in surprise as they wheeled their own propane stove into the kitchen. There was "Bistek o trompo? Con todos?"

And in all of that, there was the joy of reunion, and much celebration, and the good kind of tired that comes after a very full day. There was the peace of contentment, knowing that there is no place else I would rather be.

15 February 2015


God is a safe place to hide,
    ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
    courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
    the tremors that shift mountains.
Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
 River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city,
    this sacred haunt of the Most High.
God lives here, the streets are safe,
    God at your service from crack of dawn.
Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,
    but Earth does anything he says.
Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
    He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
    breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
    loving look at me, your High God,
    above politics, above everything.”
 Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
Psalm 46 (The Message)