March 20, 2012

It's time...

I've found the pieces to my last few posts somewhere
in my blog draft file, waiting for the final edit and publish.

This morning, I found these,
just a few black and white memories from last Summer,
asking for narration of some sort.
The last unfinished post in my drafts...
and what I feel is meant to be my last post here too.

No, I still love telling stories.
My life still abounds with inspiration,
and I'm not tired of writing. 
(Small chance of that...)

But it's time. 

I'm continuing to snip the Internet-related strings from my life,
as I'm led to limit the distractions,
and focus attention where it must be.

Life here is so very short you know.

So thank you faithful readers!
I will be leaving the archives so you can still
come and "visit" now and then.
Leave a comment if you would like to contact me,
I will still get them. :)

"Only one life,
'twill soon be past,
only what's done for Christ
will last."

C.T Studd

January 30, 2012

Our New Lambs...

While playing with our camera, and my video software, I came up with this little glimpse of our sheep herd. :) It was mainly supposed to be an experiment to figure out a few things for another project I've been working on, so I only spent about 15 minutes on it - but it turned out to be a good way for you all to see how cute these little guys are. :) (Please excuse the mud. They do have options of drier places to's just that their favorite patch is pretty waterlogged after these days of rain we've had.)

January 24, 2012

Going Back.

I fell in love with the Dominican Republic the first day I spent there. (And that day was just a little over two years ago now - one week after the devastating earthquake in Haiti.) I think it might often be shrugged off as just a tourist spot, a cruise ship stop; I know I was guilty of thinking that once. It is truly an amazing place - banana trees, ocean, a rugged mountain back drop, and a fascinating eclectic mix of Spanish and African culture, in the food, music, and even the distinctive look of the people. I felt so blessed to be there once, and hoped, but hardly expected to go back. But I did.

My Grandpa, little brother, and I just returned this past weekend from 10 days there.

Our mission was to finish up construction on a local church building.

In a funny twist of providence that only the Lord could
have planned -
it turned out to be an enlargement project on a church my
Grandpa had helped build 35 years earlier. 

He hadn't expected to ever find that church again,
let alone return to work on it once more with 
two of his grandchildren. 

It was amazing to be able to work alongside
the pastor, and even his own small grandchildren,
as we improved and repaired their home and church.

l-r: Missionary, my little buddy- Aylin, and I.
I knew absolutely nothing about tile and grout;
but after three days of non-stop tile work,
I feel pretty proficient. ;)

Despite the fact it's a country hidden in the Caribbean mirage,
it's still a hurting place. 

As much as I struggled with the Creole accent last time,
I truly didn't expect to understand much of anything -
(I certainly haven't studied any Spanish in the past two years.)

So it really struck me as a blessing from the Lord
that my comprehension, and even ability to have basic
conversations was so much greater this time.

I love it when the Lord makes it so obvious that it's Him.
Not me. 

My brother and I found photographer backdrop heaven...

And we found the propane guy again...

And we still complain about gas prices?...   ;)
(That may or may not be in Pesos...)

The increased ability to communicate, along
with lots of insight from a local missionary couple
helped to expand my understanding of this beautiful place. 

In the area we were working,
the clinic down the road receives several
cholera cases a week.
Sanitation, especially unclean water, contributes to this. 

"Dengue Fever" and other mosquito borne illnesses are also
a somewhat common issue.

The Haitian communities especially, are struggling.
Extreme poverty continues to hide in the shadows
of nearby resorts. 

And yet...
The Church is alive and well there.
What a blessing it is to worship alongside Dominican Christians.

Their joy is vibrant.

It doesn't matter how little they have,
or what struggles they are up against.
They testify that their God is greater -
and He continues to show Himself faithful.

A little friend at a local Haitian Church.
And as I've said before -
it becomes more and more evident,
it's when you have nothing else -
that you discover that He is truly all you need.

A 3rd trip seems unlikely, but my Grandpa's been back
8 times...
So we'll see what the Lord does in the future.

On the tearful morning we all parted,
the message exchanged was:

"No Adios, Hasta Luego!"
(Not Goodbye, See you later!")

10 year old Aylin, (pronounced Ilene) and I.
Work buddies. :)

We're back home;
 at the moment. :)

August 1, 2011

Why Sheep need Shepherds...

A sheep will be a sheep;
that's all there is to it.
So while it might be a little disappointing to find the patriarch
of our flock in this predicament, it's not all that surprising...

Well, hey - Woolly smelled some yummy chicken feed,
and there was nothing else to be done.
As you can see, it backfired for the poor guy.
The rest of the herd ran from him like he was some
terrible monster. Pretty funny.
The best part had to be his "amplified" bleating for help...

Good thing we noticed though...
he would've been mighty thirsty after awhile.

And we are like Sheep...
Where would we be without our Shepherd?

July 26, 2011

Hello There!

I'll admit, it can be a little fun to go faraway, 
and not really tell anyone that you're gone.

That's where we've been.

Harbors. Boats.

Fireworks. Family.

Silly Seagulls.

Family Feet.

Photographs; just waiting to be taken.

Amazing Nephews. Angry Skies.

Bait stealing Birds...

Reminders of our Creative God. Everywhere.

Islands. Benign Pirates...

Sunsets. Together.

Memories. Old ones; and new ones too.

Piers. Fishing Poles. Baby Sharks...

Reminders of God's detailed attention to the littlest of things.

We're home now.
More blogging soon to follow...

June 30, 2011

21 years...

It's so hard to believe.

I'm not 20 anymore;
and I won't ever be 20 again.

Time just never stops, does it?
Every long once in awhile I find myself wishing that there was
a pause button, or even just a slow motion button,
Actually, I'll be truthful;
I find myself wishing that more and more.

I was thinking about those silly dandelions again,
and how the breezes of life and time come and scatter
the delicate little parachutes of my days, months, and years.
They aren't wasted, they have their purposes,
but they won't be back again.

A vapor, a flower that fades,
this life goes oh so quick.

21 years were just a blink.

I don't even want to consider how quickly the next 21 years
could come and go, if the Lord grants them to me.

I so badly want to make them count.

It's only by God's grace that we can find any meaning in life,
that anything about this short journey can be truly worthwhile.

Truly Eternal.

My prayer in this season continues to be:
that when my moments here are gone -
that I will have held back nothing.
That there will be
nothing left,
that I wished I'd done, or given up, 
in pursuit of the Lord's perfect will for my life. 
That it will all be poured out -
for the glory of Christ.

Thanking Him for 21 years.

June 24, 2011

Cheeez :D

You know those once in a lifetime shots that just happen?
My nephews and I were out visiting the sheep dog "Barclay"
yesterday morning; and I got one. 

Wes was smiling for the camera,
and I was trying to get the big silly puppy's attention,
when all of the sudden he looked right at the camera
and flashed the cheesiest grin.

Of course I immediately toppled over, laughing,
and it wasn't long before two little boys took a look and joined me.
What's especially hilarious 
is that this dog is almost harder to photograph than Spencer;
he just won't sit still.
So to have him suddenly pose so perfectly
was incredibly funny.
It looks so fake.

I think I have a new favorite photo. :)