Thursday, September 27, 2007

So, say that (hypothetically, of course) you are part of a church body studying through the old testament, and you have been encouraged to read through - -oh, let's say . . . the account of Israel's exodus from Egypt (for example)

and say that your four year old son sees you sit down with your bible and begs you to read out loud to him . . . yeah! . . . of course you will read to him from God's good, holy scriptures - - the marvelous account of the next step in the fulfillment of the wonderful promises made to Abraham!
things are looking good through chapter 9 (you wonder if maybe your son's thoughts have become more focussed on lining up his playmobile horses than on the great I AM's plans to call his people out of slavery) when suddenly he looks up and asks "but why were all of the Egyptians covered in boils, if Pharoah was the one who refused to let the people go? that doesn't seem fair . . . "
you fumble your way through an answer, not sure if it made too much sense, but (slightly unnerved), you continue . . . he seems happy enough with the answer you gave. you go on a bit longer. . .
then he stops you - - "wait" he asks,"did that say 'pharoah's heart was hardened'? So does that mean that God made pharaoh's heart hard and that Pharaoh did the bad things because of how God made his heart? "
oh stink! oh stink! I didn't even ask that question myself until I was in college, and then only because some bible professor prompted me to; how am I supposed to explain that one to Malachai!? ! What was the answer anyways?
I mean . . . if, hypothetically, if you had a four year old ask you that specific question, what might you say?
oh dear, I have to admit that I brushed that one off a bit (because, geesh . . . I still had ten chapters to get through, AND I had to format pictures for three more pages of our website before I could go to bed and I was already tired and fuzzy-brained!) but I will think it through carefully - - try to find Malachai appropriate words and images to best answer his concerns and I will try to create a special time with my boy tomorrow to snuggle and chat and make sure his four year old heart and mind are satisfied with my explanation. And maybe he'll want to talk about it some more (or maybe he'll just want to show me the farm he set up with his playmobile!)

Monday, September 24, 2007

it's tradition . . .

We read the notes written on the inside cover before we read the book; Malachai insists on it - - he knows almost all of them by heart.

post script
so, if you ever send us a book, you must, must, must include a note; it's tradition . . .

Sunday, September 23, 2007

we tried to get them to come out and clear some land for an airstrip; they opted instead to help us set up our website and teach us about photoshop. I guess that is better for our west European context anyways . . .

so really - - Peter and Julie were amazing. the hours they spent teaching us bits of the ins and outs of the computer world, helping us set up our website (wait, just wait a little bit longer and I'll give you the link!), were invaluable - - not to mention, they were just flat out delightful friends and guests; it was so refreshing to have them sit at our table and share our meals (give their opinions on which Spanish jamon they liked best), roam our city streets (admiring things we never noticed before), show our boys the amazing "world movie" (Google earth), and stay up late asking thoughtful and probing questions, listening to the lessons God has taught us this past year, and sharing some of lessons He has taught them . . .
good times. we wish we could have had more!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

on becoming Spanish

Four years ago, when I was pregnant with Malachai, I signed up for birthing classes because - - well, I'm not really sure why - - that's what pregnant ladies are supposed to do, right? besides, I figured I would meet a few pregnant ladies along the way, and that's always nice (they are a pleasant lot to be around!) So in this class, along with meeting other pregnant women, I spent many hours absorbing all sorts of really wonderful, helpful birthing tips (things like - - "breathe out as if you are blowing out a candle" - - I think), but to tell you the truth, what has stuck with me most clearly over the years is this:

"if you are having a baby girl, MAKE SURE to bring the earrings with you when you come in for your labor and delivery, so that the doctors can pierce her ears before you are discharged"

so look what we bought today
they were a wee bit more than I had purposed to spend (oh, but did like them more than the solid gold balls!), and then Joshua, my ever prudent and money savvy husband gently encouraged me to pick the ones I liked most. sweet Joshua.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

come along with us!

If you have ever spent any meaningful amount of time with us here in Spain, you know this about us - - one of our favorite family activities is to walk along the walkway behind our house (our building is the one in the far, far left of the picture; do you see it?)
The walkway winds alongside a stream, between fields (sometimes hay, sometimes barley sometimes sunflowers), past the private vegetable gardens and ends in a large grassy field that is filled with all sorts of fruit trees - - apple, fig, cherry, walnut - - where once a sneaky gardener planted and cultivated his fruit and vegetables without legally purchasing the property (that garden has since been torn down and turned into a lovely, wild-ish, public park)

well, we took this walk yesterday - - hoping to bring home our share of the crop of figs that usually abounds at this time of year. We were sorely disappointed, though, as I think that our cool, cool summer is yielding a later than usual fig crop. We did, however, find a nice pile of hay bales and managed to make a family event out of that!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Joshua is clever and smart and good with words - - so when the ministry web page needs to be put together, he does the writing

I'm the one with the camera - - so when Joshua tells me he needs pictures for the web page, I take the pictures.

this is what happens, though, when Joshua knows I am trying to take pictures for the web page; I think I have the harder job.