miércoles, 24 de diciembre de 2008

Christmas Eve Party with Casa Hogar Douglas

There were about half of the kids (35) at Casa Hogar Douglas who didn't get to go home for Christmas. Traditionally B2B hosts a Christmas Eve party for these kids. Our family had the opportunity to take part this year. We shared a meal, made crafts and had the traditional pinata. I think all had a good time. Here are a few shots of those that attented. Merry Christmas.

lunes, 22 de diciembre de 2008

sábado, 20 de diciembre de 2008

Feliz Navidad from the Rio

Luke and Mark handing out candy
Cesar taking a shot at the pinata
Pastor Rene praying for the women
Gloria sharing with the children

Another little one clapping to the praise and worship
Today we celebrated Christmas at the Rio. Our family went for the second year to help celebrate Christmas with people from the Rio and a group from Nuevo Pacto. We sang praise songs, Pastor Rene shared the Word of God, tamales and frioles arrachara (beans and sausage and other stuff) were served, gifts were given, a pinata was blown to smitherings and candy given out. I was very proud of my whole family. Ben played with the kids and helped pass out a candy cane craft, Luke and Mark helped Greg pass out candy. Greg was asked to preach the next time (in Jan.) It was a joy to be with everyone at the Rio. For me that is what Christmas is, not the gifts, or food, but to be sharing lives with others. I miss spending the holidays with my parents and siblings but enjoy sharing our lives with others. Merry Christmas.

jueves, 11 de diciembre de 2008

faces of Meme's Rio

With the colder weather here, work is hard to find and people are more strapped than before. Pray for these children, their parents and families. Thank you.

miércoles, 10 de diciembre de 2008



Reflections. Been thinking a lot lately about Christmas' past. Memories of laying under the tree and staring up at the ornaments that made my nose look big. Thoughts of falling asleep watching one of many Christmas classics. Christmas music piping through our house. Helping my mom make Christmas cookies. Helping my sister-in-law make her famous (atleast in our family and hers I'm sure) cherry tarts. Setting out the bayberry candle on Christmas Eve and keeping it in the sink when we went to bed to that it would continue to burn safely. Getting dressed up and going to church on cold, sometimes snowy Christmas Eve nights. I remember being alone in our living room with just the tree lights and the candles (the electric kind) in each window. I remember having the job of going around the house and turning all the lights on and knowing at night when I was sleeping my parents were going around the house turning them off. I remember being in elementary school or middle school and being excited to have my older brother and sisters returning from college or come in from out of town. Its funny to me what I remember and don't remember. Like I don't remember the gifts until I see a picture of something I recieved. Instead I remember spending time, laughing, sharing life with my family and friends. I remember times that were busy and those that were more mundane. I know I didn't think about it, but I remember those of security, of love, of feeling like I belonged. Thanks Mom and Dad for providing such great memories. I pray I can make some with my kids.

Got it sucked out of me........

Recently I've been serving others on my own. I got so busy doing for others I stopped connecting with God, stopped reading the Bible, stopped praying, stopped listening to where He wanted me to go. I had too much to do. You know, I was serving food, sharing Jesus, driving people to Dr. appts. All great stuff. But I was doing it. ME, ME, ME. And when it came to the end, I crashed. I was depressed, down, not wanting to do anything. I figured ok now it time for myself, that's what I need. TV, Chocolate, Pop (or soda) and a nap. After all that I was more down. I found myself bawling uncontrolably at a Bible Study over a small thing. God hit me between the eyes. When I serve on my terms, in my strength, without my daily, moment by moment plugging in- I am spent, washed out.
These next few days I'm recouping. Not with sugar and TV but with time with the Lord. Singing, reading, thinking, reflecting, confessing, praising, and maybe a nap. God is all I need. He gives us the other stuff as fluff but He is it. Are you feeling the hussle and bussle of the Christmas holiday. Maybe you've scaled back but you still are short with your family or friends. Maybe you've made time for yourself but it didn't seem to stick. God is calling you. He wants you to rest in his arms. His yoke is easy like it says in Matthew 11:28. Read it. Pray and He'll give you what you need whether you are relaxing or have a busy day.

Christmas Time, is it happy or sad?

When we think of Christmas it can be easy to think of the exciting and fun things that come with it. Parties, gifts, special foods, time with friends and family. However what I don't always realize is that for so many this isn't such a happy time of year. I know quite a few people who have lost loved ones and for them this will be their first Christmas without them. For some seeing others enjoy their families bring hurt as they don't experience fun with their families. As spending time with family comes hurt, missing expectations, and loneliness. This Christmas as we stay in Monterrey I'm experiencing sadness in missing my family. I'm also reminded of the many children that we serve. Some will have the chance to go home for the holidays. For some its a welcome homecoming. For others they walk into hurt, being faced with the parent (s) who gave them up to a children's home. For some kids they are hoping for love from their parent this Christmas only to be disappointed again. And for some kids they wish they could go home for Christmas break but for different reasons, no one will come to get them. Here at B2B, we will hold a Christmas Eve party, this is the day that most celebrate in Mexico. Those children in the homes we serve that won't go home for Christmas will come for a meal, a pinata, songs, and to belong to a bigger "family". I will miss being with my family this Christmas no doubt about it. However I look forward to spending this special time with a bigger "family". So this Christmas as God opens my eyes to the hurt of others with you join with me in prayer for these kids, for your neighbors who may have lost someone, for your famiy who may be struggling with financial problems, friends with hurt or sadness. I'm praying for the comfort, peace and joy (yes joy) that only can come through the love of Jesus Christ. I'm excited to share with you all about our party on the 24th.

lunes, 8 de diciembre de 2008

Monterrey Christmas

This year we will have a Monterrey Christmas. We were blessed with vacations with both sides of our family this August. However with such a blessing it also means we need to stay here in Monterrey for Christmas with the economy as it is and already having spent money on our trip. We will dearly miss our family and friends. It truly will be different this year.
We watched "White Christmas" while it is 60-70 degrees outside. I realize for you Floridians that's not too unusual. But for us northerners its rather strange. We have had hot chocolate to drink when the weather dipped into the low 50's. funny huh.
My husband has his birthday on Nov. 30th. We have really enjoyed different Christmas lights and decorations during his birthday as most cities begin to decorate shortly after Thanksgiving. This year was quite different and just as enjoyable. Here you will find many creche or nativity scenes however we didn't take any photos as they were still putting them up. Pointsettas or Noches Buenas are super popular here. The real plants as are the images in lights, ornaments or decorations. Trees here aren't usually green although you can find green ones and live ones. The silver ones that you see on Charlie Brown can be found here in some homes. Check out the huge multicolored one here in the downtown. No matter where you find yourselve celebrating Christmas this year, I pray that we all realize that Jesus' birth is the ultimate gift of love. That through Him we are reunited with God. Praise God.

miércoles, 3 de diciembre de 2008

Learning how to give...

Recently I've been thinking of giving. In particular my giving, however I am not alone in this learning curve, I think. I used to think all giving was good. I mean how could it be bad?
I couldn't have imagine a bad thing from giving until one day I was with a group who had brought coats for the kids at the Rio. As one lady taught about a Bible story the others were slowly pulling coats out and putting them on the children. The back of the car was soon empty and many kids still were without coats. As I asked about the other kids, they explained to me that they didn't have enough for everyone and that they were only giving to those children without a coat on this very cold day. What they didn't know is that one mom held the coat of her daughter as she was refusing to wear her coat. While two other boys were wearing all the clothes they owned looking warming and without need. What resulted was mothers who were angry with Meme after we left causing strife in her community.
Another time I chose to treat one of our teens to an outing. I trusted the teen to ask her parent who didn't. When we returned from a trip to Dairy Queen I found out that she had been in trouble and should not have been allowed to go out. I soon learned to ask the teen parents first before the teen.
Recently I found myself planning a day for my husband. I was very excited about where we were going and what we were eating. Until God stopped me and asked me if I was doing this for him or me. When I evaluated my day I realized I was choosing my day not one for him. Praise God I had enough time to think through what he liked and changed the day. He had a great time and praise God for pointing those things out.
I'm convinced that giving isn't bad, sometimes the motives are. Sometimes I chose to give so that I would feel good........so that I will look good........so that people will like me better. Sometimes the best gifts are what costs me the most ( I don't mean money), things like time, risking being open and honest with others, allowing others the limelight, choosing to participate in activites others enjoy even though its not my favorite. Gosh, I think I could go on and on. These are just a few things I've learned about giving. Help me Lord to be open to your perspective on giving not my own.