Tuesday, July 24, 2012


We are in an exciting week of vacation Bible school.  This is the first year that both Jo and Gabriel get to attend, and since this is the first year that I am not working full time, this is also the first year that I am able to actually help out, which means that Jesse gets to hang out with us, too.  What fun!  Jesse plays in the nursery with another little girl, and Gabriel is in his class with his buddies, all of whom he knows because only the children of the workers can attend if they are less than 4 years old.  It's so cute to peek in on him and see him listening to his Bible stories or playing the games.  And he is so proud of his name tag:  Gabriel - Flight Attendant.  We are using Lifeway's Amazing Wonders Aviation, so all the classes have airplane names 'cept for the little dudes...they are the attendants.  So cute!

It is amazing to me to see the children and see how much many of them know about the Bible and the stories in it.  Some of them know more than I can quickly recall!   I had a great day working with the 4-6th graders today and we had a wonderful Bible time.  But it is also awesome to see the kids who have never heard the stories sit with wide eyes listening for the first time about how God loves them!  One of the little boys that I bring with me has been asking a lot of questions and it is exciting to see how God is working the truth in him. 

We are also in an exciting time of our friends visiting us here from France!  It is so exciting to have them here!  Their little girl is absolutely adorable, and it is just so fun to have them close by.  It has been fun to be able to drop by and see them in the evenings just to bring them a treat or to say 'hi'.  I feel like I must see them every day or the time will pass and then I will miss them again for who knows how long!  Plus, we will not be able to take a vacation this year, so it is so nice to have them here and to be able to vacation vicariously through them!

So this is proving to be an exciting week for us!  Now we just wait for a visit from friends from Russia!  :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Growing Pains

Her curls stick sweatily to her neck and her bare toe traces a pattern in the dust.  The toe with the Angry Bird Band-Aid on it because she was nervously picking at her toenails the night before draws swirls, patterns, and crazy "S's" which appear and just as quickly disappear under her restless foot.

Why does it hurt, Mommy?  Why is the sun so hot that it burns my feet on the sidewalk and my legs on the slide?  If the sun is to make the flowers grow, why does it hurt so bad?

I look at her dirt-streaked, sweaty face and say the only thing that comes to mind:

Growth hurts, my love. 

We, I, am at a time of growth, and it hurts.  The walls of our house groan with the strain of the growth that is pushing against them.  Four growing children, one room mate, and two in-laws have this tiny house maxed out.  For now, it is one in-law, since my mother-in-law is in El Salvador for the next month, but with the answered prayer that my father-in-law get a job, she will undoubtedly return to be with him here and to put even more pressure back on the cracking plaster of this old house. 

But this house is an inanimate object.  We ask nothing of it other than to shelter us and keep us safe from the storms.  It is not expected to grow and change.

But I am.

Will I, as my mother always used to say, continue to repeat my mistakes until I learn the right way?  Must I stay here, boiling under the pressure of it all until I learn?

What?  What is it that I must learn? 

I place my palms flat on the walls and feel the heat of the outdoor sun being transferred to the blue walls of the living room.  Blue.  Like the sky, like a great space, like our upside-down view of heaven. 

And I know that I can not stretch these walls, these things of wood and drywall, but rather it is I who need to become smaller.  Much smaller.

I need to shrink myself down to the size that will fit in God's palm.

I can say everyday that my attitude needs to be fixed.  I can say that my reliance on God is what is lacking, but until I actually do something about it, then what are my words but an annoying fly buzzing in people's ears?

But growth hurts, and it is hard to pray for pain.

On my knees with downturned face and upstretched hands pleading for pain is the only place that I will find growth.

And until I am ready to do that, I can expect nothing. 

But I know that as soon as I am ready to do that, then I can expect the blue walls of this little house to burst open with new space.  Not that I will have more physical space, but rather that I will be turning this space that we do have over to God and trusting His infinite wisdom with the plan for us and our future.