Thursday, January 26, 2012

A few hours in Miami

As I write this, I am sitting in a corner of the Miami airport catching up on my world and sipping Starbucks.  Ahhh, life is good.  Meanwhile, my hubby is out and about exploring Miami.  Further proof that indeed, opposites attract. :)

Tim and I are headed to Georgia to share in a mission conference with our home church.  We are super excited to share with these sweet people all that God has been doing in Panama.  They have had a large part in our ministry and we are excited to be with them for a few days.  We are not excited that our kids are back in Panama though.  It was not an option for them to be away from school right now so our friends have moved in to stay with them for a few days.  I hope that we are all still friends at the end.  Just kidding, surely my kids will be on their best behavior.  Right???

Miami is an interesting mix of English and Spanish.  I am pretty sure it is a 50/50 split.  Which is rather tiring to the brain I might add.

Off to get lost in a good book while I have time......

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Back in the swing of things

After a month off of school, the kids returned this past week and we are back in the swing of normal life. We had an amazing holiday season.  We were able to travel, rest and just enjoy each other.  Although, I have to say that I am pretty happy to be back in some kind of routine. 

In January our job here took a shift.  Our primary job is to connect US churches to church planters and Panamanian churches in a partnership so that they can plant more churches and tell more people about the saving grace of Jesus.  There is lots more to it than that, but you get the idea. :)  

Until now, all of our work has been done in the city.  So, we have lots of rural Panama to explore and get to know.  To that end, Tim headed out for a few days to meet and explore with a couple of other guys. 

I have been holding down the fort and running the taxi service at home.  My kids and their social lives sure do keep me busy. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pie Crust, it's the little things

One of the things I have learned while living overseas is how to cook more from scratch.  We have considerably less prepackaged choices here in Panama than in the USA. Many times the prepackaged choices we do have are far out of the budget.  Over the past few years I have learned to bake several things from scratch.  Pie crust is one of the things that works out some times and goes south others.  While doing my weekly grocery shopping this week I saw a most exciting sight tucked away near the tortillas in the fridge section.

I promptly purchased this little treat (for a semi reasonable amount) and went home and whipped up a cherry pie for the family. 
It's the little things. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My theme for 2012~ CONQUERED

Like many people around this time of year, I have been thinking about resolutions for the upcoming year. I need to eat better, exercise more, get less frustrated with my kids, not worry so much about my house being clean, blog more, be more faithful in my prayer time....oh the list could go on and on and on and on and on.....well, you get the idea.  I have decided to ditch the idea of setting new resolutions that inevitably, I will not keep.

I have however been inspired by several things I have read in the past couple of days about being intentional about changing things in your life.  To that end, I have decided to set a "theme" for myself in 2012.  A kind of cornerstone that I can come back to throughout the year to keep things in check.  A reminder of what really matters if you will. I have been praying and seeking the Lord as I try to decided on a theme.  Finally, this morning my heart has settled on one. This year, I am asking to be CONQUERED.  I want His agenda to be stronger than mine.  I want His dreams to trump mine. I want to live surrendered and  CONQUERED  by His love. Praying that this will be a reality in my 2012.

“They believe they were created for more than a Christian spin on the American dream.  
They believe the purpose of their lives is deeper than having a nice job, raising a decent family, living a comfortable life, and tacking church attendance onto the end of it.  
They believe Jesus has called them to a much higher plane and given them a much greater dream.  
They are Christians who have been conquered by a superior ambition, and they are surrendering ever facet of their lives to knowing Jesus and making his worth known in all the world.”
~ David PlattThe Radical Question ~

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new; Panama style

While traveling during the past week we kept seeing the oddest things decorating peoples yards and businesses along the streets.  We began asking around and found out that Panama has a unique custom of making scarecrows and burning them at midnight on New Year's Eve. They dress up and fill the scarecrows with newspapers and pieces of wood. I have to say we say some pretty creative pieces of work! As mid night approaches, everyone gathers outside their home and each family burns their scarecrow. The tradition says that this destroys all the bad things that took place in the past 12 months. The scarecrow also scares away any bad luck that might be approaching for the new year. Interesting tradition.

Of course it is yet another reminder of the way Satan has a hold on the people of Panama.  We know that our steps have been ordered and our future is ultimately in the hands the Lord. 

The Message 
10-11This is God's Word on the subject: "As soon as Babylon's seventy years are up and not a day before, I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.