Thursday, November 22, 2007

giving thanks

I just got a "Happy Thanksgiving" text message. Honestly, I hadn't thought of the holiday all morning long. We had a nice dinner with a large group of friends a few nights ago but most all the traditions of Thanksgiving Day (family, turkey, pecan pie) seem too far out of reach here.... but giving thanks is not a distant opportunity and I think it would be good for me to dwell in it for a while today.

As a mom of tiny one and a toddler, I'm spending lots of quality time at home- trying to have friends over as often as possible since that's easier than bundling both babies up and traveling the town with them myself (when Matt is in class). Days can feel pretty ordinary and I can easily question my own "effectiveness"- by a zillion measurements I hold up for myself that I could never reach... I am indeed lacking in every way and how thankful I am that Christ loves me and died for me knowing all these ways I would be weak and falter and fail! I want to think not so much of myself but to look on the One who loves me most and created me for His good works, the One who will work through me to accomplish His desire. Thankfulness is a good medicine indeed! It does change my orientation to consider things from that perspective...

I am so grateful to have a day
when I am reminded to linger, to stay
to focus my mind on the gifts I've received
and even better, for my heart to keep
the Giver as Center in all that I do
to yield my mind to thoughts that are true
to spark a dance and a song in my soul
to humble myself and consider the whole
meaning and purpose of the days that I live
that my life might be an offering worthy to give
to honor the One who gave everything
to open my eyes that I might see
His goodness, His kindness and His mercy
that aren't just for me

oh for this day to be everyday
for Your Word to sustain me, to straighten my way
to guard my heart and my mind when I stray
Lord let me be grateful and love you today

a world of words and new sites to see

We talk so much about our own language study here because the two of us spend much of every day in class, studying, or practicing speaking/listening out on the streets... but our own tales of language learning are pretty boring now for us to tell and probably way more boring for anyone to listen to... BUT- Isaiah's language learning is a whole new story!

Somewhere around 19 months of age, words took root in him and now (20 mo.) they are really starting to sprout out with some wacky fruit! It seemed like a quick transformation from a silent world of pointing to a world of thoughts and words and requests to express verbally and stories to hear read aloud.

As Isaiah is beginning to express and understand more, we are explaining more things to him... including what we expect of him. When we have to discipline him we tell him that we expect him to "listen and obey", and these words are apparently sticking in his little brain. Yesterday morning he pointed to his cereal bowl and told me "more that"..."what do you say, Isaiah?"... "Peeez"... and then when I didn't respond as immediately as he hoped, he picked up his bowl, handed it to me and said "Obey."

Here is a shot of Isaiah with a local friend who is especially good at teaching him language. I love that for him! The other day he ran up to another friend who watches him while I have class and he said "book... play" - two words he knows well in English- but this time he said them in the local language!

All of us were really encouraged and inspired by a great visit with "Barp and JuJu" (Bart and Judy) last week. It was plain good medicine for our tired minds and hearts to have them here with us and to take them out on the town a bit to see some good local sites.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Little Sweetheart

Our little beauty is smiling more and more, though she's still shy enough to hold a more modest look for the camera. Here she is lying on a quilt my mom made for her years before Marian was even born!

Friday, November 2, 2007

a special visitor

How fun for us to have a good friend visit us all the way from Orlando! We were so blessed to have Shawn stay with us- even for such a short time. And we were all blessed by the fantastic gifts he delivered! Thank you friend :)