Friday, February 28, 2014

Pardon My Dust

I taste it on my lips after a long car ride. I feel it in the pores of my skin at the end of the day. I resign that no matter how much I scrub, my feet with never be free of it. I brush it from my children’s hair at night and from my husband’s boots in the morning.
It is the dust of this place where we live, where we serve. It is the dust of the mission field...Read the rest at A Life Overseas today and join the conversation.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Every Mom Matters

One of my very favorite parts about being pregnant was always choosing a name for my baby. Even in the pain of multiple miscarriages, there was joy to be found in giving my child a name. I always regarded it as an honor and a privilege bestowed on me as a mother by God. But I never regarded it as a privilege of prosperity, as a privilege afforded to me by class and income. Excited to be joining the family as a monthly contributor to their World View Wednesday series. Read the rest here...

Monday, February 24, 2014

To All the Confused, Doubting, Lonely Catholics

My heart is stirring for you tonight. I want to say something to you that you may not have heard in a long time, something maybe you've never heard.

Don't leave. Don't walk away from the Church. We want you. We need you. You are a part of us and we are not fully ourselves without you. 

Don't believe the internet trolls who shout things like, "Well, if you don't believe it or can't agree with Church teaching, stop calling yourself Catholic." I can't pretend to know who they are talking to, because I personally try to keep a very safe distance from religious bullies, but I know they say things like that.

And look, I understand where they're trying to go. If you have decided to proclaim yourself publicly as a Catholic and then openly align yourself with things contradictory to the moral teaching of the Church in a sort of willful public disobedience, then, yes, in all honesty, we'd rather you stop calling yourself Catholic.

But you, you who is just not sure about some things, who is wrestling with how to make Jesus' command to love our neighbors as ourselves fit with moral stances that you know have hurt and distanced people whom you love from feeling worthy of Christ's mercy and salvation? We don't mean you. I don't mean you.

I want you to know that if you are wrestling and struggling and railing at God because He confuses you with His kindness and compassion and demand to be better all at the same time so that you never feel good enough, you are not alone.

If you look at the Church and wonder how it could be that so many Catholics seem to have gone so far off mission of loving people and welcoming them into a relationship with Christ, you are not alone.

If you feel like there is no safe place to say out loud that there are teachings of the Church, that even when you understand their intellectual reasoning, are difficult for you to assent to or proclaim publicly, it's not just you.

If you wonder about the Eucharist and the real of it all and long to understand more, to feel more than you do, but just, don't, that does not make you a bad person, or a bad Catholic.

If you struggle with repeated sin and fall over and over and are tempted to just walk away and find some place where you can rest and they will tell you that you are okay sin and all, we get your weariness. You're not the only sinner here.

If you have watched friends find their way to another church and seen them flourish and grow and find their purpose and be empowered there and you are resentful of that, you are not the first.

But can I ask you a favor? Please don't ditch us just yet. Because the truth is, I know if you walk away, it is not Jesus you are really rejecting, or two thousand years of beautiful tradition and sacramental grace, or the faith of your childhood that was wide-eyed for the wafer that was the Savior. It's us. 

The people next to you in the pews who don't know your name in real life but will happily rake your "type" over the coals publicly and call for your ex-communication. The people who yell and rant and make you feel like a two year old in time out for asking an honest question. The ones who live to use your sin to justify our own.

Can I just offer you my sincerest apology? I don't know how we got here either and I am with you when you think this is surely not the Jesus of the Gospels alive and active. I am not sure how to help you find a safe place for wrestling out the hard stuff, but can I just stand next to you and hope with you that somewhere within our Church there is one? And tell you that I will wait and I will search with you and I will not leave you alone in the dark?

Please don't leave us. We don't need an army of dissenters calling themselves Catholic in the public square. But we also don't need an army of believers who despise honest questions and real seeking and dark places of unbelief and drive out the parts of our own body, the Body of Christ. We need people who walk together. Who stop for the injured and the hurting and rest with them until they are ready to have their wounds bandaged and get back in the race. We need to make sure we remember that you, you stuck in the muck of life that has made you cynical about the Church, you just might be the best part of us if we could stretch ourselves out long enough to invite you to move with us, in communion with us, again.

So stay with us, please? Let us sit with you and wrestle with you and be honest with you about the fact that we too have doubted and wrestled and struggled. That we still do.  Give us a chance to make right our failures to love you where you are and be Christ present to you.

If you feel alone and like there is no way God can love you or you can stay Catholic with the thoughts and the questions you are having, can I just please say to you right here and now that He does and there is.

And can I make you another promise? If you cannot say "yes, I'll stay", if you walk away for reasons that are not mine to know, can I tell you that I won't condemn you, vilify you or stop seeing you as part of the Body of Christ? I will long for you and yearn for you, but I will not ostracize you.

But I can tell you that I will pray and I will hope that you will wrestle your way to the freedom and the joy that was meant to be ours in the sacramental life of the Church, that I will pray that on the other side of your doubt is wild abandonment to grace and a light that cannot be extinguished? That my greatest hope for you is that this place in which you find yourself now is the crossroads that leads you to a love a affair with God and His Church that you cannot help but share with others? Because that is my prayer for all of us, each of every one, those trapped in the dark place and those stuck in obstinate rule measuring and every one of us somewhere in between. Because I firmly believe it is what the Father desires for us as His children and His Church, His brothers and His bride.

And I hope and I pray you will stay and that we can find you a beacon of hope and a safe space and some light in your darkness. That we will be that hope and safety and light for you. Because that is what we were meant to be after all. And I pray you accept my apology for all the times we haven't been it.

Let us pray that the Spirit makes a way for those who long to run together towards him.

The Well-Traveled Mama's List of Plane Packing Tips

So, we are traveling this week, heading to the States to wait out the layover between rental homes here in Costa Rica by spending some time with family before my beloved and I head to Tanzania in mid-March and then we all head back here in early April.

And I've been packing. I can't say I follow the same packing science every time I do it, but I will say that having packed our family of seven for long road trips in our own car, 37 hours of bus travel, multiple border crossings on foot and various plane rides, I am, if anything, an experienced packer. So I thought I'd share some tips I've learned along the way.

Road trip packing and plane packing are two totally different things in my mind, and since we are packing for plane travel here, let's go with that one for now. With so many airlines now charging for bags, efficiency is dollars in your wallet, so it's worth the effort to get the packing done right.

For our trip, our family of seven will each carry a back pack as his personal item, and we'll check two bags and carry on one. We'll be in the States a month, but it's not like we need that many clothes, since we'll be staying with family and doing laundry regularly.

So let's work by category, personal items, carry-ons, checked bags.

1. Personal Items:

  • Don't underestimate how much packing you can do in these. Remember they are free weight! You can load them up with as much as the carrier can carry! I used to tend to only see these as busy bags and snack holders for the kids and fill them with things to entertain them during the plane ride. Now I still put a few busy bag items and snacks in their back packs, but I also try to use them wisely.
  • Pack each person's heaviest pair of shoes in his back pack. Obviously this won't work with say, ski boots, but tennis shoes? Fit easily and all total that's a lot of weight and space saved in your checked bags. My boys are wearing crocs on the plane and each carrying his tennis shoes in his back pack.
  • Books are heavy too. So my guys each carry whatever school books and their own personal reading in their packs. Greg and I carry our own books and all the family prayer books we want to take along.
  • Put each person's tooth brush and a travel sized tooth paste in a small ziploc bag in his pack. One, it makes it easier when you get to your final destination to start getting people either freshened up or ready for bed, and, two, fresh teeth are a great cure for travel grumpies and plane boredom.
  • Tie jackets or sweat shirts to the top handle. Save space and keep them handy for the million times your kids will take them on and off during the trip.
  • Mom keeps travel documents, Dad keeps photo copies of travel documents. This everything is in one place for the million times you need to pull it out these days, but their are emergency copies in a second location should some horrible thing happen. I had to replace my passport from a stolen purse recently, at it was a breeze because I had a photocopy of the old one. Carry copies with you and leave copies with someone who can fax to you while traveling if necessary. 
2. Carry-Ons:

  • I know so many people love to only carry on if possible. My advice when traveling with kids is to limit carry-ons. It's hard to navigate the airport with lots of people AND lots of stuff in tow. Overhead space is more and more limited all the time, and trying to get everyone seated plus store carry-on luggage can be overwhelming. And it's one more thing to remember when it's time to get off the plane and everyone is antsy and distracted.
  • We are taking one carry on this time as I usually do. In it are packed a couple of towels, our pajamas for the first night, and clothes for the following day for each family member. So we are covered if luggage gets lost. We are covered if someone gets sick in an airport (been there, done that). And if all goes well, only one bag has to be opened on the first day and night, which is a sanity saver to be sure. We'll be traveling nearly 18 hours by the time we add plane and car transport. A quick transition to warm showers and pajamas will be really, really helpful.
  • If you are bringing gifts or souvenirs to people that you know you will want to access right away, stick them in your carry on inside another small tote bag. It's quick and easy to open and pull out and a better presentation than your belongings strewed all over your hosts' home while you dig for their bag of coffee (well, that's what I'll be carrying anyway).
  • You'll likely carry most of your electronics in your back packs, but if you have spare chargers, stick them in your carry on. Easy to find and a handy replacement if someone accidentally leaves on in a random airport electric socket. It happens. I'm telling you.
Checked Bags:

  • I have one brilliant solution for making your large suit case packing easier, whether you are plane traveling or road tripping. It is experiential learning at its best. And it is this:
  • Rather than putting some of the children's items in one bag and other's in another and the adults in another, pack three days worth of clothes for the entire family in each bag. 
  • While traveling, you can pull one bag out at a time, use up what is in it, close it up and move on to the next.
  • You can plan for special clothing needs, climate changes and adventures. If your bags are specific to the days of the trip, stick a little duct tape around the handle and number it.
  • I love packing in those large duffle bags that have zipped bottom section under the main compartment. I put socks and underwear, toiletries, and jewelry accessories in the bottom, and then in the main compartment, I roll outfits together, pants and shirt, and pack them rolled up by person.
  • It really does cut down on bags somehow. By following my above strategies for personal items and carry ons, everyone has one jacket, both pairs of shoes, pajamas and one outfit already on hand. I can get three outfits per person in each checked bag, giving us a grand total of seven outfits and two sets of pajamas each, two pairs of shoes, socks, underwear, accessories, toiletries, school books, electronics and personal items and snacks for seven people in two checked bags, one carry on, and a backpack per person. 
I hope you'll find these tips helpful next time you need to load your crew up and head out. Have a favorite packing tip to inspire me this week? Leave it below! I need all the help I can get.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Packing Mantras From Chesterton

Weekends with Chesterton: cultivating the intellectual lifeUsing a little Chesterton wit to try to keep some perspective while I pack a house into storage, seven people for a month overseas, and two of us for a trip to Africa in the middle. 

“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.” – On Running After Ones Hat, 
All Things Considered, 1908

  • I will see this as an adventure, I will see this as an adventure, I will see this as an adventure....

“The comedy of man survives the tragedy of man.” – ILN, 2-10-06
  • I will laugh at myself, I will laugh myself, I will laugh at myself...

“When we step into the family, by the act of being born, we do step into a world which is incalculable, into a world which has its own strange laws, into a world which could do without us, into a world we have not made. In other words, when we step into the family we step into a fairy-tale.” – Heretics, CW, I, p.143
  • This is my fairy tale life, this is my fairy tale life, this is my fairy tale life...

Friday, February 21, 2014

When Life Seems Too Big For You

I remember well a scenario I experienced a few times in my life. A significant moment as our family faced an important change and transition. In the last weeks of a pregnancy, as I faced the reality that a new baby would soon be here and that our family would forever be changed by his presence, I would get a little scared.
Each time we grew, it worked out well ;-)
I would look at my youngest and ask what the heck I was thinking forcing him out of his position when he was still just a baby. I would look at our home and wonder how we were possibly going to maintain any kind of order with another little person to care for. I would think about the daunting task of birth and recovery ahead of me, and, quite frankly, I would freak out a little.

Suddenly, what I had waited for and hoped for and prayed for was so close. And it loomed too large. It became scary in its significance.

My little tucked away mountain place

I find myself in a similar emotional state these days for a totally different reason. In the next six days, we will pack up the house we have called home for the last year and a half here in Costa Rica. We will bid our neighbors goodbye as we move on to a new phase in our lives and ministry here. We will, the seven us, step on to a plane here and a few short hours later, set our feet down on the ground in the place I call home that is no longer home.

I will feel the embrace of mother and sister and brother and friend. I will watch my boys bask in the joy of reunion. I will eat King Cake and shrimp po-boys and yell "Throw Me Something Mister" with all my might. And I will feel strange doing it. Because a bigger part of me is not the girl from the Big Easy than the part of me who is. And that is hard to process.

Then I'll kiss those boys and hand in hand with my beloved cross the ocean to the continent long dreamed of in my heart. I'm going to Africa. For the first time. I know Africa in my mind the way I knew my babies before they were born. Details dreamed of, scents unknown yet already familiar. A soft halo of light surrounding a face I've longed to know.

And just as my babies have done, I am sure Africa will break me with its cries and its need and its utter longing to be loved.

And then it will be time to gather up the merry band of brothers and return to this place, this land, that is home but not home too. To a new house, in a new city. With a growing ministry and an expanding vision and a shift in responsibilities.

And, friends, what one month ago or even a week ago, seemed just a move to a nearby house and a trip home and with a surreal hint at Africa sandwiched in the middle, now seems so big. So significant.

And every day, my chest hurts a little more because I know God is on the move here. I know this is bigger than the logistics make it seem. Every moment in His Word, every minute in my prayers, every deep conversation with someone I love makes my bones rattle just a little, because I feel the vibration of His movement.

And I find myself grieving just a little in the final days of my little hidden life in a little mountain village where all is familiar and yet quiet and small. And comfortable.

And that is the answer right there. Change comes to us who love God and seek to serve Him so we do not get too comfortable, so that we forever feel the ache and the need and the dependence on Him. So we always walk with the weight not knowing exactly where home is on the earth because we know it is not here at all.

We run our race and we walk toward our purpose with hearts restless to rest in Him. And He moves us. And we get a little scared. Because we cannot imagine how we could be significant to His story. And this, this is good.

Because just like the nearing of the coming of a new little one feels significant and draws us to our littlest ones and draws them to cling mightily to the safety and security of us, so this moment of life feeling a little too big for me draws me to God, clinging and crying out for Him to hold me. And Him? He runs to me, grateful for the chance to hold me.

The earth is pregnant with His plan for its salvation. The time draws near. His children cry out to be held and know that they are loved. It feels big because it is big. But nothing is too big for His love.
It's so simple in the moment. Just love. This one. Right here. Right now. That is His grand purpose for us.

So I will bid goodbye to the geographical place I have found myself hidden and comfortable in the next week. But I will not say goodbye to my hidden life, the life I have in His arms. Because it is my only chance to walk in the bigness and the realness and the significance of life with the Most High God and not be paralyzed by the reality.

I will labor well, I hope, because I will rest in Him. And I can rest easy, because I am known and in His arms, I am home.

Linking up at The Grove at Velvet Ashes today.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Still Ringing In My Ears

So as part of my transition from clappy-sappy youth Christian to responsible, intellectual adult Christian, I learned to be very suspicious about, even cynical of, the "retreat high". I began to respond to group experiences that moved me deep in my core with a stoic nod, "it was good that we were here", and I will "ponder these things in my heart" attitude, that while it might have been mature in appearances, was stifling and disingenuous.

Because I am a girl who girl fired up when I am with others who love Jesus. I am a girl who repeats and regales others with what she has heard. I write it out in pretty fonts and carve into my heart. I speak over others I know need to hear it. I run headlong into the Word of God with new passion for what it has to show me. I found the stage where He has me in my life and I preach it.

It is who I am. It is who He made me to be. And it is good.

So, I am on an IF high. It's a week later and I am fired up and digging in and spreading out. My husband has heard it. My sons have been forced to watch the vimeo clips. I have encouraged every woman I have talked to in the last week to drop $25 bucks on the audio downloads because they NEED to hear them.

And now, it's your turn. It's interesting to me that some of the things that I thought were most powerful as I listened in real time are not the things that the Lord has kept ringing in my ears as I have dug into prayer and the Word this week with IF: Equip.

So here are the top ten things that ARE still ringing in my ears. I am writing them out because, well, frankly, you readers are one more audience I blast my excited trumpet at, but also, because when that fades and I can't hear the clapping and feel the high any more, I want to remember these very real things that the Lord is speaking to me. I want to come back in the quiet moments of life and the hard places and think on these good, lovely, righteous things:

1. Are you walking in the unforced rhythms of grace? You can read the full text of Sarah Bessey's devotional here. Go. Now. It is my constant prayer these days. So much richness there. Seriously, who among us does not need to hear this every.single. day:

So let me ask you, gently: What is the truth of the gospel that your life is declaring? Is it your own belief that you have to earn, work hard, run faster, do more? Or are you walking in the unforced rhythms of grace, abiding in the vine, a friend of God?
So yeah, that.

2. It is possible to build and still stay near the altar of God. -Shelley Giglio
Because I so often convince myself that this is an either/or proposition, that the Mary/Martha admonition means that we cannot do and sit at His feet at the same time, when the true admonition is to remember that we can work and build and stay close to Him all at the same time.

3. We can be delivered and still not be free. -Christine Caine
I don't think there is anyone who watched this woman speak the Word of God who was not blown away. I will come back to her message over and over again. The message was the Holy Spirit moving and at work, no doubt. But what I also took away was Christine herself, how the Word of God, Jesus, just poured so freely out of her heart that there was no distinguishing where Christine's words and thoughts ended and Christ's began. I want that kind of heart.

4. Kristin Armstrong's testimony of authentic forgiveness. Not going to leak spoilers. Just get the download and listen to it.

5. Amena Brown and Ann Voskamp's spoken word poem. You can not paraphrase poetry. So you have to listen to that too. But I will say that I felt like they pulled my thoughts out of head. And it was a relief to know that since they couldn't have, there are other women wrestling out those battles along side me.

6. Are you living the life that longs to live in you? -Rebekah Lyons I am still thinking about the answer to this one. But the question is so worth asking, is it not?

7. Jennie Allen's race analogy. Get the download. Read it in her book Restless. But think on it. Because, well, we all need to get back up off the curb and remember why we were running in the first place.

8. Ann Voskamp's broken measuring sticks and the cry to remember the passionate love of the one who says "Stop performing for love. I am the only one who will love you death." If you have read here long enough, you know how dear Ann and her heart for Jesus are to me. Seeing her speak it, express it with all her being, preach it? Yeah. I got big love and the all the feels going on for her now.

9. Annie Lobert. Because when a woman takes the stage and shares her story of being rescued from sex slavery and prostitution and the founding of an organization called Hookers for Jesus, AND that she's now married to a member of Stryper? You just can't help but love Jesus a little more. That is all.

10. Praising God. You probably have a hint that I am not your average Catholic girl. Jen Fulwiler's post made my giggle, because I have the opposite reaction. I see hands raised in praise and worship and amm all, "Whew. I can let it out now." It's just a natural part of me, a reaction that I have to stifle. It doesn't feel forced, make me feel uncomfortable or feel like something Catholic girls don't do to me. There is no one in my immediate family like this. I am not a convert from another denomination. It's just always been there, inside me. It doesn't scare me. I am a Jesus girl and I express my live for Him in so many ways. Some are distinctly Catholic, others are not the Catholic norm. I love that about me and Him, that He doesn't ask me to fit some definition of normal that doesn't suit me. And I loved standing up in my living room and raising my hands in air while my sisters just sat and sang quietly and not feeling weird about that. It was good, y'all.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Welcome to the FIRST First Fridays With Pope Francis!

I hope you will enjoy sharing your favorite Pope Francis moments of the month with us and coming back to see what everyone else chose.

I both love and hate how much media coverage and social media attention has been paid to Francis. But as a missionary, I have been so uplifted and encouraged by his words and his simple, fatherly mannerisms. I am excited to create a space where we can together truly honor Pope Francis and the ways he is helping us as his flock grow.

This month, I was really encouraged by the pope's words when he met with members of the Neocatechumenal Way, who serve as lay missionaries around the world. I first read about it in this article and then later found the full copy of his address. While we are not members of that particular group, I felt like Pope Francis could be talking to us when he said:

"My thoughts go to a special to the families, who will go out to different parts of the world to proclaim and witness to the Gospel. The Church is great for your generosity! I thank you for all you do in the Church and in the world."

It was like getting a great fatherly hug and bit of encouragement. And this tweet was a great reminder for me to cling to Jesus above all else:


Favorite image? I had a lot this month, but I really love this one of Pope Francis having lunch with his rabbi friends on January 20. It's just such a lovely picture of his true and personal commitment to love, be open, and share with everyone he meets.

So what about you? I can't wait to stop and see what you'll be sharing about Pope Francis. If you don't have a blog, feel free to share your favorite Francis moments in the comments section below! Don't forget to add the graphic to your post and invite your followers to join us!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Survival School Lesson Plans

While I am busy this week hanging out with some lady friends (you can not possibly overestimate my excitement for this, by the way), Daddy will be taking up the role of teacher and launching a new little unit I whipped up for my guys. It is mostly aimed at the middle two boys who are twelve and ten, but I think the younger two, eight and six, will enjoy following along and chiming in.

School designed with these guys in mind

It's sometimes hard in my all boy environment for my girl brain to drag itself away from the cutesy and the clever and really dig into the things that they enjoy and that grab their attention. But there is no doubt these boys love them some survival shows. Our Netflix Recently Watched Queue adequately tells the tale: Survivor Man, Man Vs. Wild, Man Woman Wild, Dual Survivor, and the list goes on.

I decided to take advantage of that and the fact that we live in close proximity to pure jungle/cloud forest environment, and sketch up a lesson plan based on these types of shows. Added bonus: Daddy gets to play teacher!

I think this guys is better suited for the job than me anyway, don't you?

We are starting with the jungle since that is right here in our backyard, but the same plans will then be applied to the following environments: desert, arctic, tropical island, swamp, and savanna. I tried to write plans that allowed for some rabbit trail room as well as some fun extensions into areas like music and art. But I am not going to push those. If the boys buck them, I'm just going to let it slide or guide them through it myself. However, I think the geography, writing, nature study, logical reasoning, and science parts of the plans will be well-received and I think we are all going to have lots of fun with this.

Now that's a well-created classroom environment right there!

So without further ado, here are the Survival School Plans for the week:

Survival Plan: Jungle
Day 1:
·         Watch an episode of a survival show set in this environment.
·         Write down the name of the place where they are. Locate it on the world map. Print the continent map out and color the country where they are.
·         Take notes on how they address the following needs:
Mental Attitude
Protection from the elements
·         What are the main dangers in this environment?
·         What assets does this environment have for survival?

Day 2:
·         Research and find another national park not featured in the show you watched with these environmental conditions. Map it on the world and continent map. Check out the web site and learn a bit about the park.
·         You will pretend to be a survivor in this environment this week. Write the story of how you ended up lost there.
·         Write a list of ten items you would take from your pack or try to scavenge from where you got lost to have with you as try to survive here. Write a one sentence explanation of why you chose each.
·         Compare your list with your partners. Work together to create a group list of only six items. You MUST decide together what to bring and what to leave behind from each or your individual lists.
Day 3: Choosing Priorities
·         What would you do immediately before you start moving to address each of these needs?
·         Food, water, warmth, shelter, protection from the elements
·         What would be your exit /rescue strategy?

Today’s needs: Fire and Water
·         What are some options you could use to get a fire going in this environment? Write written and illustrated instructions for one method.
·         Identify the easiest place to locate drinkable water in this environment. How would you purify the water to make sure it was safe to drink? Write out your instructions.

Day 4:
Today’s needs:  Food and Protection
·         Research five edible plants in this environment and how to identify them. Sketch them and write their names.
·         What animals/fish could you hunt/trap in this area? What would your hunting/trapping/fishing strategy be? Write instructions for constructing one way to catch food with the items you chose for your pack and things you could find in your environment.
·         What is the most important thing to protect yourself from in this environment? What tools, natural and man made, could help you? How would you use them?
Art Extension:
·         Google famous works of art of this environment. Choose one that appeals to you. Find out the artists’ name, where he/she was from, when the artist lived and a bit about the painting.
·         Write three sentences describing the painting.

Day 5:
Today’s Needs: Shelter and Rescue
·         How would you create shelter in this environment? Where might you find natural shelter? What man made items would keep a look out for? What items from your pack list would come in handy?
·         Research one way to create shelter out of plants and leaves found in this environment and illustrate a set of instructions.
·         Write the story of your rescue.
Music Extension:
·         Find a piece of classical music that reflects how you would feel when you are rescued.
·         Write its name and the composer down here.
·          Find a piece of music from the place you were stranded that tells the story of your time in the jungle. Play it for us.

I'd love to know if any of you decide to take on Survival School at your house! You can download the plans in .pdf if you like. 

I think I'll just chill while Daddy takes over this school thing for a while.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week(Ends) and Such

I wanted to get a Weekends With Chesterton post up this weekend and have time to keep my new Pinterest planning trend going, but a bum ipad charger and a lot of other stuff didn't let me get that far.

Weekends with Chesterton: cultivating the intellectual life

So, I'm all off kilter, but I did get the ipad going again, so I am going to pretend it's still the weekend and share these quotes I read this week in Chesterton essay entitled The Advantages of Having One Leg. I loved it and had a ton of highlights, but here a couple of my very favorites:

"But I am afraid that the maxim that the smallest worries are the worst is sometimes used or abused by people, because they have nothing but the smallest worries...We need not deny that the grasshopper on man's shoulder is a burden; but we need not pay much respect to the gentleman who is always calling out that he would rather have an elephant when he knows there are no elephants in the country."
"This world and our powers in it are far more awful and beautiful than even we know until some accident reminds us. If you wish to perceive that limitless felicity, limit yourself if only for a moment. If you wish to realize how fearfully and wonderfully God's image is made, stand on one leg. If you want to realize the splendid vision of all visible things--wink the other eye."
As far as plans for the week ahead, we are pushing through core subjects, reading a bit of Robin Hood and a lot of Percy Jackson, and the boys are hanging with Dad for some jungle survival lessons while I ask IF with an amazing group of ladies, so that is pretty much it. No pinning that. Just living it.

Oh, and tomorrow, a trip to the Embassy in San Jose to replace my stolen passport. Because in case you haven't heard, I"M GOING TO AFRICA!!!!!!! My husband and I will be making an assessment visit to the communities in Tanzania that St. Bryce Missions will be advocating for in 2014. Take a minute to watch this video that outlines our hopes and dreams for these communities:

So, my life requires a lot of planning right now, but it's not really the blog worthy kind. But I can keep counting thanks, claiming all things as that I will do. Here are some of the ways He reached down and out and in last week:

#1755...a new home for our mission
#1757...plane tickets to "home"
#1759...some rhythm to school work
#1764...people willing to give us tangible help
#1765...little boy drawings of the Pope
#1766...reading multiple perspectives on this story of a miraculous Haitian these midwives and their people and their work

Don't forget to spread the word about the new Pope Francis link up happening here this Friday and come back and link up yourself!

Have a blessed week, friends!