Monthly Archives: January 2015

.:| 2014 |:.

Just like that, we closed the books on 2014. Been there. Done that. Time to buy a new calendar.
Meanwhile, I’m still getting used to writing 2015… So, I don’t suppose this post is too-far overdue.

For those of you who have been left hanging since July, I used to post monthly snapshots, but now I have no idea how I ever had time to do that…But! For the sake of these memories being remembered and celebrated, here is our 2014! Our first year living overseas. SO much new…

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When we arrived in December, the house we’re living in was still being built. The boys and I couldn’t say much more than “obrigado,” but we tried to show our gratitude by taking Coke to those working on it.
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We got nothing but warm welcomes. [I wrote more about that here.]2013-12-12 10.47.39
Speaking of warm, it was our first 90-degree December. Baking Christmas cookies in the heat was quite a shock. But, we had fun having our new friends over to decorate cut-outs. 2013-12-28 11.47.42
Andy and I celebrated 13 years by introducing the fam to one of our favorite spots–Salto Corumba.2014-01-13 17.45.34
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“Mom, can we play in the mud?” never registered in my mind as this. But, we survived our first rainy season.
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Both Andy and I had to get used to teaching (him because of preparing 1 1/2 hour classes in portuguese, me because of schooling 3 boys who would rather be outside). But, we’re both loving it!
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2014-03-23 12.13.372014-04-08 19.53.032014-06-12 05.52.312014-06-12 16.55.522014-06-16 19.11.552014-09-29 15.26.33
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We all are enjoying getting to know the students and staff here–hosting movie nights and World Cup games, cafezinhos and baby showers, prayer gatherings and zumba, volleyball and churrascos.
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It’s been so neat to watch these boys’ friendship grow. Kinda by necessity, but they’re making memories of their own that I imagine they will talk about years from now. Remember when…
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Sledding looks a little different here, but still super fun! No need to bundle up. Just need some cardboard and tropical grass.
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We survived our first broken arm. And the cast survived this guy…although, barely.
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Birthday parties are kinda a big deal here, and we got invited to several, which was perfect for culture/language-learning. Sometimes the kids even let me wear their Elsa wig and let it go.
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We’re thankful to live closer to Andy’s parents (closer…as in 12 hours away:)
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2014-04-04 13.53.012014-03-28 17.19.22
What a blessing it was to have my parents visit! AND friends visit!
So grateful for the refreshment and FUN! our time together brought.

Now, here we are–2015!
There’s just something about a New Year.
Clean slates–waiting to be colored with new adventures in love and life.
Blank calendars–bursting with possibilities.
New resolves–wanting to BE the change.

I’ve been thinking alot about what I want my life to be characterized by. One word that I want to describe my living and being and going and doing. For me. This year. I resolve to JOY!
Not just superficial-laughter, smile-on-the-outside, happy-when-things-go-my-way–JOY.
But deeply-rooted, my-hope-is-in-You-Lord, can’t-touch-this, regardless-of-circumstances–JOY!


The Bible has a lot to say about joy.
Here’s some of my favorites:

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever. | Psalm 16.11

The joy of the Lord is your strength! | Nehemiah 8.10

All who seek the Lord will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy. | Psalm 22.6

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy. | Psalm 34.5

Joy fills hearts that are planning peace! | Proverbs 12.20

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a Mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joy.” | Zephaniah 3.17

“But for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. | Malachi 4.2

You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’ | Acts 2.28

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. | Romans 15.13

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—Rejoice! | Philippians 4.4

When all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. | Hebrews 10.34

When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. | James 1.2

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. | 1 Peter 1.6

Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. | Psalm 90.14

Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your wonders.
From where the sun rises to where it sets, You inspire shouts of JOY! 
| Psalm 65.8


Happy 2015, all! EnJOY.


Ode to White Hairs

 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship. | 2 Timothy 4.5

I don’t believe it was coincidence that I wanted to get to one of Prof. André’s classes all semester and just wasn’t able to until the last one. I also don’t think it just so happened that it was the day he was finishing up the book of 2 Timothy. Because when we came to those words: endure hardship, the Bible did its living and active thing and I have been mulling over that phrase ever since.

We had just celebrated our first year living overseas milestone. Quite honestly, our 3-year commitment to serve in Brazil was starting to seem like much longer than what we could endure. When I’m feeling good, it’s a no-brainer why we’re here. To know your husband is doing what he absolutely loves and most definitely was made to do is a beautiful thing. To watch your kids interact with this other language and culture with such curiosity and determination is simply incredible. But, when sickness seemingly comes out of nowhere, it makes it really hard to do much more than stick near a bathroom and wonder why in the world the Lord brought us so very far from the doctors I know and trust (and can understand). Sometimes when the path gets rocky, we need to know this is still the way.

So, I write.
I am not here to share anyone else’s story. Whether or not to leave the field is a decision between the missionary and God. We’ve only been here a year and have come up with some pretty good reasons. It’s not easy.

I sat in that class my husband was teaching in order to prepare Brazilian missionaries who would be moving into remote regions to learn the language, to share the Good News, to plant a church, to raise up missionaries, to go into all the world. And thought…of course it’s not going to be easy! When is anything worth anything easy!

We didn’t come here because we thought it would be easy.
We didn’t come here because we had the idea this would be a better life for us.
We didn’t come here because we were looking for an adventure (although we figured it would be).
We came because we want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. In essence, we asked God to loosen our grip and open our hands. And well…here we are!

I’m not saying we’re here for the rest of our life. Only the Lord knows that. I just didn’t know how much I needed this confirmation for right now. But, the Lord did. So, He spoke: endure hardship. These words have been like a light to my path. Confirmation to keep going. keep walking. keep enduring.

Does it make sense that God sent us here and 6 months later I started struggling with health? Not really. One day, I am sure we will look back at it all and laugh. For now, I want to be one of those who can look at the days to come and laugh. Because we never know what tomorrow holds. But I know that if I didn’t feel my weaknesses, I wouldn’t be able to know as fully the power of God who holds us all. And see all the ways…

The Lord stood by my side and gave me strength. | 2 Timothy 4.17

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Last week we were a part of New Tribes Brazil Mission Conference (MNTB). I am still trying to unpack all that impacted me during our time together. For one, it was so very humbling to sit behind all those white hairs. People who have done this for 30+ years with no fanfare. Just faithful servants who keep their hands on the plow. Even when the path is harder and rockier than they had hoped.

2015-01-16 13.04.08What a joy it was to meet once unreached people who are now missionaries to their own people! This is because of those dear white-haired saints. This is the fruit of their labor. This is because of their faithful plugging away–often without “likes” or recognition. Some of them are in more pain than we can imagine (and they will ever tell). Yet. FOR THE JOY they endure hardship. We have got a lot to learn from them.

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We feel our weaknesses more than ever. But, we just want to be faithful–Brazil or not. Sick or not. White hairs or not–and to see the power of God shine through it all.

P.S. Forgive the quality of pictures–working with a phone that has been dropped more times than it can handle. Still just trying to capture the memory. 🙂