Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Have You Ever Used Someone to Get What You Wanted?

There is a baby that we buy formula and medicine for.
Some people have said we are being used.
May they are just jealous.
Or maybe we are being used.

Does it matter?

Yes, I think as I lay in my bed unable to sleep. How could she.

And then God ever so gently knocks me off my high horse with two simple questions.
"Maureen, have you ever used someone to get what you wanted?"
"Have you ever manipulated a situation to get what you needed?"
I am silent.

Then I hear Him say, "Whose money do you use to buy the formula?
And what if the mother in the cornstalk house with no money IS using you for formula and medicine?
Does it matter?
Is the baby getting healthier?
Does visiting her give you an opportunity to talk about Me?"

In Christ, I surrender my rights.

And as soon as I think I know what someone needs, outside of Jesus, I am the one in need.
As soon as I get to choose who I serve and who I don't serve, I am no longer serving.
As soon as I think I have something to offer, I have nothing.

So, I hope she is using me for all that Jesus can give her and I hope I never stop giving her Jesus.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Birthday Celebrations

I love birthdays.
And since I found out that Fernando's family had never celebrated any of their birthdays, I have made it my mission to help them celebrate.
On Monday we celebrated Isma turning 14.

She is growing into the sweetest young lady.

She wanted Pollo Campero for lunch.

Emily made her cake.

There were plenty of people around to help celebrate. 

Afterwards we washed the dishes in the pilla.

And my favorite part of this whole birthday crusade of mine is little Engli's response. Her mom, Rubidia,  said last week when their neighbor had a birthday with no party or fanfare, Engli told her, "Don't feel sad, I'll tell Maureen it is your birthday, she LOVES to celebrate them!"

Deby and Engli

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Mother's Heart

I had a "mom"moment yesterday.

We went to visit a family unannounced and when we got their Sergio was on his bed sobbing, his face soaking wet. When I asked what was wrong, his mom and sisters were quick to tell me that he cannot be in the Independence Day Parade with his school band because they don't have the money for the quite expensive uniform, and he was heart broken.

I had just gotten done having a conversation with someone about how living in a very poor family is not the child's fault, and yet they are often the ones who suffer most.

I asked him what he played and he told me the drums.
I asked him how much the uniform cost and he told me.
And then I leapt with my heart and not my head and said that I wanted to pay for his uniform.

I do not tell you this to brag, in fact some of you may realize how this might not have been the smartest move. But my "mom" heart was breaking. I told him that I thought God heard his tears and cared for what was important to him and that I wanted him to know the uniform was not a gift from me but from God. I told him God sees him and cares for him and cares about what is important to him.

By the time we left he was smiling and drumming on every surface in the house.  And, well, he may not be the best drummer in the world, but at that moment he sure was the happiest.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Special Girl, Emily

This is my precious Emily quite a few years ago. 

This is my Emily now.
Emily is my side kick. You rarely see me without her. For 8 years I taught school and every day she went with me. We have special restuarants, songs, words, jokes, secrets, and stories.

So today, I felt like I should be sleeping in the dog house when she came to me in tears. It seems I wrote a special blog for Clay and Katey on their birthday. But i didn't write one on hers. That led to the old "there aren't as many pictures of me as there are of them either".

Now if you are a mom and have more than one kid, you know that life happens and the last kid gets the shaft in some ways. But in other ways, life is good. I was the oldest of three and found the position quite restrictive. Let's face it, parents lighten up as time goes on.

Emily is way cooler than either of them were at 12. She speaks spanish, is comfortable in many more situations than I am even today. She loves Jesus and has a heart of compassion. She is genuine, sweet, beautiful, talented and funny. So even though there are less pictures of her and this blog is a month late, her and I have way more secrets. I mean, I know that ever since she read the book Junie B First Grader Aloha-ha-ha!

she has wanted to go to Hawaii. So we have a plan, when the other two are finally out of the house, we are going!! And I promise to blog about it and take tons of pictures!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fashion Sense

I panicked today. We take Katey to college in 2 and 1/2 weeks. I didn't panic for the reason you are thinking, I panicked because I only own crocs and flip flops. I only own old capris. I own t-shirts and Gautemalan jade jewelry. I don't even wear a wedding ring. On a normal day these things don't bother me, but today it hit me. I am going to a weekend orientation with my daughter at her new college and I am going to look like a missionary.

This might sound silly to some, and shallow to others, but it was terrifying to me. I spent the evening trying to figure out how I can buy myself a pair of shoes on Zappos and send them to her school before she even moves in, so I can get them as soon as we arrive and put them on before meeting anybody new.

Really. That is how I spent my evening.

Then I thought, I will google a Godly woman devotional to calm my craziness. And up pops a beautiful young woman with a professionally taken picture, professionally done hair and beautiful nails. She happened to have gone on a mission trip this summer for a week building chicken coops. And yet she didn't want to blog about any of her stories because she is planning on writing them in a book.

Really? After one week? A book?

So, here I am, unable to sleep and God meets me where I should have turned first, in my favorite book. Philippians.

"Let your gentleness be evident to all." 
Not your shoes, or your nails, or your new book that you wrote on your one week mission trip..... your gentleness. I know I have that. I have to find it, but it is here somewhere. 

It goes on to say,  "The Lord is near."  Do not be anxious about anything" 
Wow. As if it were written for me at this very moment. 

So I am going to pack my gentleness in my carry on and rejoice in the fact that He is near and I am going to choose to not be anxious about anything. 

I will be ok,  but it sure would help a lot if someone could just meet me at the airport with a pair of cute sandals.

What do you need to pack in your carry on?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

There was a death in the family

Yesterday one of our scholarship student's grandfather died.
We got the call today asking if we could please come over, so Todd, Wendy and I did just that. Somehow I got the message that it was the grandmother who had passed.  So imagine my surprise when I walked in and there she was, greeting people. 

I guess I thought it would just be us and the family. Instead, each of the grandkids' classes and their teachers came by. As a class. Wow!!

The abuelo and abuela lived in a small, three room house made out of a thin sheet metal.
To my surprise, they had taken the sheet metal down to make room for all the people. It was big and open and spacious. The family cooked and as a visitor you are expected to stay and eat.

Each of Alejandra's siblings hugged us, sat with us and introduced us to others. We got an opportunity to comfort the family. It was a cultural learning experience and a chance to see God working. It was also a privilege.

What new experiences have you seen God in recently?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Gift of the Heart

This is my dear friend Engli.
This is her first weaving project and she wanted me to have it as a gift.
I was moved to tears.

Women in Guatemala learn to weave at a young age and then sell their goods to help provide for their family. So, even though it was a gift, I told Engli I wanted to pay her for it.
She asked for 5Q, which is less than a dollar.

A table runner in the market would sell for about 75Q.
"It is worth much more than 5Q!  On Saturday when you come to my house I want you to give me a price more than 5Q", I told her.

Can you see where this is going?

When she came over on Saturday, she asked for 6Q.

I paid her 25Q. But, in my heart it is worth so much more!!