Sonidos Serranos

Sonidos Serranos: Sounds of the Sierras...
Reflecting some of my family's interests: God's wonderful creation (especially mountains and hills!), music, and language...

Psalm 121:1-2 (NASB)

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

19 February 2009

18 February 2009

thankful for – yerba mate

Yes, I'm enjoying mate (pronounced like /mah-tay/) this afternoon. It's a gray winter day here in the Upstate, reminiscent of a rainy winter day in Uruguay, so I'm doing what any Uruguayan would do to keep warm – I'm drinking mate!

Only recently did I become aware of the alleged health benefits of yerba mate. For me, drinking mate is what Uruguayans do – and what my own daddy did and still does every morning in Uruguay – and it is probably the single best way to be identified as an uruguayo or uruguaya.

14 February 2009

Happy Valentines' Day!

From us – and our Favorite Little Valentine...

She had a successful day at her "school" yesterday...

11 February 2009

25 random things about me...

I recently joined FaceBook (for coupons, I’ll admit – but it’s been a great tool for re-establishing contact with friends from college, etc. Technology can be such a blessing!) At any rate, I was “tagged” to post 25 random things about me – and here’s what I said...

1. According to cultural anthropology, I’m a “third culture person” – I was born in one culture (OH) but raised in another (Uruguay)!

2. My maternal great-grandmother was a full-blooded Native American (so I’m supposed to be eligible for government scholarships, grants, etc.)

3. I learned to read and write Spanish before English, and I’ve studied six languages off and on: Spanish, English, French, German, Greek, and Elizabethan (i.e. my toddler’s speech!)

4. I’ve lived on two continents and visited one other, and I’ve spent at least one night in eleven countries (not counting airport layovers).

5. My best friends from college days live on five different continents.

6. My nickname was “Mary Poppins” when I spent two weeks in Hawaii as a babysitter for two families (six kids total) – we had a blast!

7. As of December 2008, I’m officially a third-generation missionary. My maternal grandfather was a missionary in Africa, and my dad is still a missionary in Uruguay. And we’re on our way to Uruguay as missionaries, too!

8. I was “never” very sick as a child, and the only bone I ever fractured was my skull – twice! (And yes, my brother insists that might explain something…)

9. My siblings were my best friends growing up! (And I’m thankful that we’re still very close.)

10. Although I didn’t realize the significance at the time, I was honored to carry one of three Uruguayan flags in our school program at the end of first grade.

11. My dad first taught me to drive in a VW Rabbit with manual transmission. To this day I prefer manual over automatic transmission.

12. Although I won a high school spelling bee, dictionaries (and the computer spell checker) have become constant companions since my majoring in French in college.

13. Almost ten years ago, I married my best friend, my only “boyfriend” ever (though I resisted using that term at the time).

14. John Mark and I first became friends on a mission trip to Uruguay. (He remembered the exact circumstances of our meeting once before that, but I didn’t until he reminded me… “Oh, you were that guy in the Fine Arts Building?!”)

15. My mom fell in love with John Mark and picked him out for me the day she first met him (and I insisted I wasn’t interested). And JM’s grandma picked me out for him the day she first met me (the next year); JM and I were “good friends” at the time.

16. For our engagement, John Mark and I exchanged rings (made of Spanish gold – so they’re really from the Aztecs, Mayans, or Incas!) that six months later became our wedding rings; we wore them on the opposite hand until our wedding day, in keeping with Uruguayan custom. (He did surprise me with the rings, by the way. Long story…)

17. We shared our first kiss on our wedding day!

18. I am now “mamá” to a bilingual 3-year-old, who is also greatly amused by my reading and naming objects for her in French.

19. My favorite hobby is probably taking pictures – especially of John Mark, Elizabeth, and Uruguay… Digital pictures now occupy over 9GB of memory on our computer!

20. I have yet to meet a cheesecake I didn’t like!

21. Armadillo (tatú mulita) is probably the most exotic thing I’ve ever eaten. But it tasted a lot better than chicken!

22. Our favorite restaurant as a family is a little, local, family-owned Middle Eastern restaurant. Elizabeth loves their (almost bitter) Kalamata olives – and we do, too!

23. I’m constantly amazed by the beauty of God’s creation! Favorite places include the Blue Ridge Mountains and Hilton Head Island! (John Mark says that I need to get out to Utah – and I agree!)

24. Psalm 37 has been a favorite Bible passage since my college days, and the truths of Romans 8 have been a great blessing since the unexpected (for us) home-going of my mother right before my wedding almost ten years ago.

25. And I am experiencing that God is more than enough…

07 February 2009

Happy Birthday, Punkin Spice!

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
~Psalm 127:3-4

05 February 2009

Why things won’t work...

Because those things are part of the all things in Romans 8.

Almost a month ago, my dear friend Carrie wrote a good summary of Bible truths for times of trial. (Why does my bathroom smell like sewage?) Im thankful she shared what she was learning – God brought her article to my mind this morning when the furnace wouldnt turn on. (Its now 50 degrees inside, in the 20s outside, and Elizabeth is saying: ¡Las manos están frías! But well be going to a super-heated grocery store soon...)

But the furnace malfunctioned just as I was thinking I was doing well with the fact that we still havent been able to figure out exactly why the clothes dryer hasn’t been working for almost two weeks – or even where to get a replacement heating element for it to begin troubleshooting, etc. And all of this is happening as were making a concerted effort to pay bills so we can start deputation as missionaries to Uruguay!

So, what is God doing?!

As Carrie so aptly stated...

God has a purpose in this for me.
We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:28-29)

God wants me to be like His Son, Jesus. God wants me to be like His Son, Jesus! And I want to be like Him too! A smelly bathroom (and appliances that dont work, etc.) are part of His plan to make me like Jesus.

Although He was a Son, [Jesus] learned obedience from the things which He suffered. (Hebrews 5:8)

Even Jesus learned through what He suffered. And so must I. I must learn to submit to – and even rejoice in – my God-ordained circumstances. They certainly come from God, my loving Father. So I will submit – and pray for the ability to rejoice!

One more thing: This God who teaches obedience through smelly bathrooms (and appliances that dont work!) is infinitely kind. He purposes our likeness to Christ, and He stands ready to freely give us all things! Even the ability to rejoice in trials.

He also predestined [those who love God] to become conformed to the image of His Son... What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:29, 31, 32)