Sunday, November 25, 2007

Why I love my local meat shop/grocer: when I special order my thanksgiving turkey she asks me if I want the head cut off and the insides cleaned out before I pick it up.

we had a lovely, wonderful thanksgiving, by the way. It was good - - really good. we had (church!) family, friends and friends of friends all sitting around our table;
the pies were a hit, meaningful conversations were had, plans were made for future get-togethers . . .

It was a lot of work - - after the door closed behind our last lingering guest yesterday evening, I felt like I had just been through another labor (well, almost!) . . .but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, of course. It has been a long time since we have had such clear opportunities to live and speak very specific aspects of the gospel among Spaniards.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

it's tradition . . . and I'm thankful

el abuelo (the grandpa) goes to the coffee shop every morning to drink his coffee and read his paper, and he always, always brings along with him an assortment of cookies - - wrapped in paper, and fastened with a rubber band. And when he sees my Josu, the abuelo calls him over and has him reach his little hand into his bag and pull out the package. The exchange of cookies for (somewhat superficial, I admit!) toddler excitement and affection is a spark of joy in the lives both of my Josu and of the abuelo . . . and I am glad for it!

Friday, November 16, 2007

the sink behind the chocolate cake was full of dirty dishes (and other dark confessions about my previous post)

Let's get things straight. I'm no super missionary. I think that I need to explain that postpartum hostessing doesn't come naturally or necessarily inherently delightfully. In fact, my last blog entry may have just as easily read like this:
invite like crazy: work really hard to control my thoughts away from "I wish I didn't have to invite anyone; I wish instead that people would be calling me up and begging to come over and see us and the baby; why am I the one who always has to take the initiative in relationships? Surly, if I lived in (fill in your favorite city) this wouldn't happen to me!"
entertain the guests: hold back the tears when two neighbors happen to drop in in the least opportune moment possible when my house is the messiest it has been all day (not even time to shove the dirty laundry under the couch) and my bacon is burning on the stove top and my boys are rude to the guests and all they talk about is what movies and video games they play (as if that is what they did all day! - - there goes my parenting reputation!)

what is true: Spaniards, who are normally hesitant to take the huge relational step of accepting an invitation into our home (and personal lives), are strangely and beautifully softened to do so when it involves a newborn. Understanding this, I am trying to make the choice to invite them in. And of course it is (almost always!) wonderfully fulfilling, not necessarily because I did such an amazing job hostessing, but because it has yielded good times with people.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

yeah . . . it's been a good couple of weeks

postpartum hostessing:
invite like crazy
(anyone we could think of - - neighbors, Malachai's classmates, the church, individuals from the class Joshua is taking on inter-cultural mediation, contacts from the coffee shop and park . . .)
clean the house ("is that the doorbell? quick! close the kitchen door! throw the diapers in the trash, light a candle and stuff the laundry basket under the couch!")
feed the guests ( we've fed them a pumpkin pie, the carrot cake, the sour cream bundt cake, one of the chocolate cakes that were made and frozen while we waited, and finished up the five boxes of chocolates that were brought to me at the hospital)
entertain the guests (pass the baby around; assure everyone that no, we are not worried that she will become spoiled from being held too much.)
yeah . . . it's been a good couple of weeks

Sunday, November 11, 2007

a week ago:

and I'm still finding coffee grounds in strange, obscure places. I think it happened because I didn't screw the top on tight enough.