Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Smile. Even when you feel upside down. : )

I'd like to introduce you to a friend of my youngest son.  His name is Tiny Lion.

(Not to be confused, mind you, with Little Lion or Big Lion.)  Tiny Lion is, as you may have imagined, the smallest of the bunch.  He and the other lions came with us to Peru and this picture was taken this afternoon of Tiny Lion just before he was removed from the laundry line where he had been hanging after he got a bath last night. That's why he looks a bit frazzled and upside down. He fluffed right up after I took him down and gave him a good shake, but I didn't get a picture of him so you'll just have to trust me that he looks much different now.

(Are you wondering yet what in the world I'm getting to?)

This afternoon I read this post by author Mary DeMuth and it got me thinking about this next year that is starting very soon.  Like Mary, for the last (sheesh!) maybe 16  or 17 years I have asked God to give me a word for the year - something He would teach me about.  I haven't had any real ideas yet for this coming year so when I read Mary's idea about asking God for a picture instead of just a word, I thought it sounded interesting and I think maybe I did it.  I don't exactly remember asking God this afternoon to give me a picture for this next year, but I did want one and was going to keep my eyes open.

It wasn't much later when my youngest was bugging me about getting Little Lion and Tiny Lion down from the laundry that I had an image pop in my head of them hanging up there upside down smiling and knew I needed to take a picture of Tiny. (He's the smiliest.) : )

Oh friends, it is such a picture of how I was feeling today...  a bit frazzled and upside down here on the South side of the equator... Now that we've gotten through the big move and Christmas, we're wanting to settle down and settle in, but we aren't actually going to be in this place for very long - so I can't get settled yet.  (I'm still hanging on the line like Little Lion had to do because his paws were still damp.)

But the smile on Tiny Lion's face is unmistakable and I want it to be my inspiration this next year. I want to learn to smile when I feel like I've blown in culturally somehow and to smile when the adjustments are hard and the language is confusing.  I want to smile when I can't find just the right words to express my feelings and thoughts even though words are some of my favorite things and it bothers me to mix things up and to not be able to talk as fluently/expressively in spanish.  I want to smile anyway knowing that even a month from now I'll be more fluent than I already am and THANK YOU LORD for inspiring me to learn this beautiful language long before You showed me why.

Father, bring this picture of Tiny Lion to my mind OFTEN.  May it never grow old during the 365 days of my first year in Peru and may I trust You more and more.  And smile.  : )

At the Christmas service last week here at the Trujillo MB church

Monday, December 26, 2011


I'm writing this time from the kitchen table in our home in Trujillo. : ) We've been here since last Wednesday and every day it feels more like home. We had a nice Christmas celebrating with the church, another missionary here, the pastor's family and our own little family. The kids have been doing really well. God has been so gracious.

Since last Spring, I've found it intriguing that the Spanish word for "thank you" means "graces" and the French word for "thank you" means "mercy." And I am so incredibly thankful right now for God's grace and mercy....