July 19th

Random Observation and Reflections:

It has been one month since we have officially moved to Guatemala, and we have reflected on some of the things we are discovering or being reminded of while living here.

No one is in a hurry!  There is no such thing as a “fast” when it comes to a grocery store run, signing a phone contract, or a trip to the bank.  Soy had to go on Monday to the government office in order to complete some paperwork for our car.  He was told he would be in line for at least six hours so just come back on Tuesday.  We paid a man to stand in line for us from 5-7:30 yesterday until Soy could trade places with him.  Soy completed one set of paperwork and then he had to go pay a fee at the bank.  When the fee was paid he was told to go back to the government office and get in line again!  We are paying the man to stand in line for us again this morning!  (Don’t you wish you could pay someone to stand in line for you during the Black Friday sales?)  We are thankful for friends who help us navigate through the process and paperwork!

I have no idea what cut of meat I am cooking!  Besides ground beef and chicken breast, every piece of meat I cook is basically inedible.  Somehow Soy has convinced people who travel to El Salvador to bring him back papusas.  They have replaced the “crunchy” meat this week!  (The sad part is I am now realizing that I have to grow up and cook for my family.  In Alabama we would just wait until my mom or grandma would call us for supper or get leftovers out of their fridge.  Pathetic–I know)  My girls will never take for granted canned raviolli, Spaghetti-Os, or corn dogs again!  We are thankful that we have North American conveniences such as microwaves and dishwashers!

Juan Manuel has learned not to park his motorcycle behind my car.  Last week I simply “tapped” it while in backing up.  The motorcyle flipped over the curve and landed upside down.  It is amazing how much damage can be done from a simple tap.  Juan Manuel is thankful that the majority of his parts are new!   He now parks in the garage!

Soy has thoroughly enjoyed building houses in the two villages.  I always get nervous when people ask “Have you seen Soy’s facebook?”  Apparently he has been spending a lot of time taking selfies and looking for a pet for the girls.  I was laughing hysterically as he told me that he had to ride on the back of the motorcyle with a Guatemalan man in order to travel between job sites.  The visual of Soy being a passenger on a motorcycle…He assures me that he knows the proper way to ride a motorcycle and it does not include straddling the driver.  Whatever!  We are grateful for the new relationships among the people.

As a weekly special treat the girls and the babysitter will get Q5 from the piggy bank for ice cream.  The first time we went I ordered 4 chocolate and vanilla mixed ice cream cones through the drive-thru window.  When we pulled up to get them, the lady handed us 4 mixed cones, 1 vanilla cones, and 3 chocolate cones.  Obviously something went wrong in the communication.  The next time we went I started to place my order through the intercom, but the lady leaned her head out of the window and motioned for me to just pull forward.  Apparently she has ran out of patience with me!  We are grateful that the language difficulty will only be temporary–hopefully!

We have also been reminded that when we are moved out of our comfort zones and not able to control things in our lives then the character of our hearts are revealed.  Our imperfections seem to be magnified when we walk away from our idea of comfort, convenience, and security.  We are grateful that God is not looking for perfection but for obedience.  We have reminded God of some of the reasons we did not want to move to Guatemala.  He quickly and gently reminds us of the reasons He has called us to Guatemala.  He is a God of clarity, not confusion.  We are thankful that we have the freedom to admit that we are not enough, but He is!  We are thankful for His grace!  We are thankful that He is a faithful God!

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Phillippians 3:7-10

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