I’m back….

I spent a week in Antigua, Guatemala…..a most beautiful ancient city….where I attended meetings for the Tijuana ministry. Our office–Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones —  is one of 14 in Latin American and some 50 offices world wide that support mission work in their respective countries.

In last week’s flurry I was getting ready and was really needing a new pair of black tennis to go with my “look”….you know it, if you know me.  I pair my black velvet pants (I have more than one) with black tennis. It is comfortable and goes with anything (yes, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

My friend Betty came by the house the day before my trip with a donation of beautiful clothes and shoes from her mother who she lost recently.  Her mom was a most beautiful, elegant woman of faith…..and we also happened to wear the same size shoes!  Although the donations were intended for distribution through our ministries in Tijuana Betty said there might be something I could use there too. 

I snagged a brand new pair of…you guessed it….black tennis shoes.  I have a weird foot to fit so I didn’t hold out any real hopes that they would fit me but they did!  Whew……

When I returned from Guatemala I came across this photo of me propping my feet up in the patio of the most gorgeous McDonalds that must exist and its in Antigua.  I wrote in my 2011 journal (which is a kind of scrapbook of my year) the following……

“Walking in AUrora’s Shoes”

……..That day I heard the expression “fierce grace and abounding love.”  I wanted that to be said of me but I knew that described Aurora — this quiet, elegant woman of God always standing by her many children (I think they are 10), unshakeable in her fiath and faithful and fierce in grace and love giving.  What a privilege to walk in her shoes. I wonder how many other spiritual “children” she has — those who watcher her live and follow her example — I am one of them!  She was most certainly greeted by the Savior “well done good and faithful servant.”  She would have never imagined on earth that I would step into her shoes, pray to follow her example or walk in her shoes all the way to……”

Yes, I was walking in Aurora’s shoes in Antigua, Guatemala. I hope to walk in her example….in her quiet way of being “fierce and fiery in grace”…..I have a long way to go, but it is a good goal to shoot for.

Encouraged…

For our “Church OUtside of Church” event, Andres and I decided to cross the border into Tijuana, Mexico to encourage some church workers and their families today.  Here Andres is singing an acoustic version of  “Lost without your love” (Sunday Night Heart’s new single) even though he wrote it for a different range he changed it up in a cool way to fit his voice. The boys were fascinated (although they were a little distracted by my taping them).  We worshiped at the little church but were there mostly to encourage the workers …. and admire how they do so much with so little.  Realized:  Presence is encouragement.

Then we took the pastor and the hardworking Martinez/Montoya family (….each of them works to building up ministry in this church to build up ministry there….) to a little chinese food buffet popular in Tijuana…..super cheap too.

Mission accomplished. As you might expect……we got more than we gave. The gifts we received today?  Hearing people express gratitude for God’s provision (He gave us food, He gave us dress, He provided). Gifts too were the messages in the sermon:

  • “Don’t love your life too much, its temporary. God is eternal. Seek Him.”
  • “2011 was a tough year with alot of violence, economic crisis, alot of needs were unmet. But God met the needs that were necessary.  You are here aren’t you?”
  • “God provides for what He creates.  He created you. He has provided.”

Serving….worship.  It’s a blessing.

Choices not resolutions….

I brought in the new year cleaning, organizing, decluttering, vacuuming, washing clothes, etc.  I thought this blog post had some good things to say about focusing on choosing….but incorporate steps to the goal…..and make them small and doable as a start. For example, a small change I have begun a few weeks ago, is always eating breakfast. I have never been a breakfast eater but it is an easy change and beginning to feel more natural.  One I will have to work on this year, is going to bed a little earlier.  This small change will have a beneficial impact on me. Small changes, big impact…..that’s where I want to focus this year.

My focus word for this year?  Intention.  I want to live my life with greater intention.  I think intention is a close cousin to “choice.”  Maybe that’s why I liked this branding expert’s blog post of today.  Maybe something in it will encourage you as we enter a new year full of new possibilities……

Our Choices, Not Resolutions Matter the Most

from Making a Difference by Maurilio Amorim

Most people start well. Most people don’t finish so well. Resolutions fail more than they succeed.  So as we look forward to all the promises and opportunities a new year brings us, we find ourselves out of the gate filled with hope that perhaps this is the year that changes everything. We hope for the break that will come our way, the call back from the right someone, the miraculous intervention from God. These are, after all, the key events in our future that could literally make our year. In my experience, however, it’s not the big break that will make the most difference at the end of the year, but the cumulative effect of everyday choices.

Your choices Not Your Resolution will affect your life

As we start this race toward the end of 2011 our decisions more than our resolutions will carry the day and eventually the year. So choose wisely.

Choose God.

Choose your family.

Choose health.

Choose to give of yourself.

Choose to say no to immediate gratification so you can say yes to a better future.

Choose to grow.

Choose to live well.

Choose to believe you’re worth it.

Choose your friends.

Choose joy.

Choose to love.

What’s the first choice you have to make today that will move you closer to where you want to go?