Tag Archives: daily benefits

Feliz Ano Novo Gente!

Happy New Year, All!
I love putting up a blank calendar and all the white squares of days waiting to be filled. And this year especially, it’s ALL new. I don’t know what this year holds. Or tomorrow holds. Or really, even today.

Sometimes I start to feel hesitant to keep walking into all this new, with all its unknowns and will the scorpions get our kids? Or worse? But again and again, we see that the Good Shepherd who has led us here has also followed close behind with all His goodness and His mercy.

Surely Your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
Psalm 23.6

Just yesterday, Jack had broken out into a flaming, itchy rash on his face. We thought it was allergy-related, but to what? SO much new here. We took him to the pharmacy, and Andy started asking the pharmacist in Portuguese what cream to use for an allergic reaction. A guy overheard, turned to me and asked (IN ENGLISH) “Has he been eating mangoes?” First, I was taken back to hear a stranger speak to me in English. And second, I was floored he knew! Mangoes are Jack’s favorite fruit, and has been devouring all we can right off the tree. This guy went on to explain when he was a kid and moved to Brazil from the U.S. (40 years ago) he broke out in a flaming rash because he would spend his days in a mango tree, peeling mangoes with his teeth and was allergic to the sap. I am always in awe when I see God orchestrate things like this. Here we are in the middle of Brazil with our son who has been spending his days in a mango tree, peeling mangoes with his teeth. The pharmacist asks if Jack has been exposed to anything new, Andy replies everything is new, and a man appears with a story exactly like our son.

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Is it not God’s goodness and mercy that followed us to that pharmacy,
and showed us exactly what we needed to know to bring our child relief? 

We can welcome in this New Year with all its unknowns knowing there is One following close behind, full of goodness and mercy. And our cups overflow.

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Face to Face

Olá from Brazil!! 
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We made it!!
And boy did our lives change drastically in just one day!
It’s like one day we hugged tender and tearful goodbyes to some of our favorite people on this planet, and the next we stepped off an airplane into a crowd of unfamiliar people and sounds and sights and smells.

One day we’re sledding down a hill of snow and the next we’re outside cooling off with popsicles in shorts and flipflops. One day we have all understanding of what to wear, how to cook, when to shower, where to step, how to communicate. And the next day it feels like I entered this country as an infant. Relearning everything.

This could easily turn into a woe-is-me post about everything we used to have and all the adjustments we have to make. But somewhere 30,000 feet up in the air, I made a commitment to not grieve all we left behind and instead focus on all the ways the Lord is showing His care for us daily. I’m not saying we won’t have sadness. I walked in the door and burst into tears. Not because we aren’t thankful to be here, but the differences can be overwhelming. We miss the familiar. But we want to embrace the unknown. Because we are fully known. This God who knows and sees and hears and cares is ordaining these days. Yes, they may include a scorpion scooching across our kitchen floor. But if that’s all I can focus on, we will be miserable. And we will certainly miss all this beauty that fills our days. It is too much to list. So, here’s a few…
– Delta rep loading up our luggage and walking our family through customs, no hassle whatsoever
– 3 guys picking us up from the airport, happy to do so
– Ice cold Guarana
– Fresh papaya, oranges, mangoes in the guest house for us
– Person after person dropping by to welcome us
– People cooking for us, washing our dishes;
– Lending their cars, their washing machines, their fan, their cinnamon, their time
– Helping us set up a bank account, get a cell phone
– Taking us to the store and showing what to buy
– Showing us where to shop around town
– Offering their help over and over and over
– Fresh-picked mint, spinach, parsley, bananas
– Fresh raw milk delivered to our door
– In one week, we’ve been invited to four people’s homes for a meal
– People researching and looking for cars for us
– Students working on our house
– Our house! It is simple and yet, perfect.
– Soccer field out our kitchen window
– And the view!!
– God paints the sky gorgeous in these mountains.
– Parrots, parakeets, toucans flying around
– Kids inviting our boys to play
– One boy making our boys fishing poles out of bamboo (Jack catching his first fish!)
– Hanging clothes to dry (a dryer sure was convenient, but there is something about the simple life)
– Brazilian limonada
– Exploring the town – the old streets, colorful buildings, interesting shops, cafezinho
– Apples, oranges, carrots, apples, onions, zucchini, eggplant, peppers all for $7!
– “Grandma Cora,” a 98 year old lady who reminds me of my Grandma Kline. Miles said visiting her is one of his favorite things in Brazil.
– Collapsing into our beds at night, exhausted and content
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Sometimes people just want to hear all about the crap. I’m not saying we don’t all have it. I’m not saying it’s not here. It’s just that we have so much power in our minds. Some days it feels like there’s so much happening beyond my control. But one thing my momma taught me is that I can always control my outlook.

When I’m tempted to have a crappy outlook, I’ll just have to lookout at this.
It reminds me why this place is called “Peniel.”
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Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said,
“I have seen God face to face.” 
Genesis 32.30

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Hard not to see the mighty and kind face of our God in our days.

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“God seems too far away.”

Does He? Have you noted the splendid display of wildflowers?
Have you listened to a child’s laughter or watched a sunrise or a sunset?
Have you seen peace on a person’s face when they should be miserable?
I want that for you.
I want you to be able to face every moment of the day knowing

God loves you.
DiAnn Mills