25 September 2012

Esperanza

You know what that word means?  It means hope.  And it is a word that keeps popping up in my life over the last several weeks.
Exhibit #1:
When we first came to Kerrville, I noticed this beautiful plant which seemed to be continually blooming.  I love its lush green leaves, the way it bends enthusiastically in the breeze and its bright sunny blooms.  You may know that yellow is one of my very favorite colors, one to which I am continually drawn. Eventually, I found out that this plant is called esperanza.  Hope. I love it so much I put it in the header of my blog.
This is my neighbor's plant.  Hi, Denise! 

Exhibit #2:  What is it about new bedding that makes your whole room feel new and fresh?  We have had the same red and white duvet cover for many years, and I have loved it.  I loved the different Scandinavian patterns I used in the throw pillows and curtains (thank you, IKEA) and I really didn't ever get sick of the red.  As you may know, I LOVE red (and yellow.  primary colors, anyone?).
Anyways, in our new house we have switched to a new bed frame, one that had been in storage for a few years.  And I really wanted to outfit the bed with new linens, but wasn't ready to commit.  Also, the bedding I really like is MUY CARO (expensive!) because it's from Anthropolgie.  Of course.
So, I spent many a late night looking at the bedding online, reading the reviews, re-reading the reviews, wondering if I could use the money in our special home-improvement stash, almost ordering and then not.
Jump ahead a week or two.  We are in San Antonio doing some school shopping for kids and I say, "Let me just run into Anthropologie so I can see this bedding in person.  I may not even like it" (yeah, right).
I leave the family in the parking lot and run into the most beautiful mall you have ever seen (La Cantera) and into Anthropologie.  Surprisingly, the very bedding I have been eyeing in on sale by A LOT PERCENT! I was in shock! They have it in the size I want and, with the saving, I can even purchase the two shams that will really make the bed look complete.
One added factor:  the name of the bedding in question is Esperanza.  Hope.
Now, I know this is a completely first-world example of God's extravagance.  No one really needs bedding of such cost.  BUT GOD.  But God knew about my heart.  He knew I didn't NEED such a thing.  Of course not.  But He is an extravagant God, one of great love and kindness and condescension.  He just gave me this little favor.  To tell me that He loves and that He cares.  And that He loves beauty and that He gave me this need for beauty and that He wants to give me His esperanza.  His hope.  
There is no hope but in Him, even if He hadn't given us these gorgeous yellow flowers and sunny blue skies and quilts that are filled with colors that quicken my spirit and remind me that HE is the LORD of beauty, the LORD of giving, the ONE who makes us able to see and receive such gifts.


Glory be to our kind and extravagant God, the Giver of all good things and the sustainer of our souls.  We don't deserve it and yet He pours it out, His grace, His provision, His understanding of our weakness and His amazing, undeserved Grace.

Linking up this week with Emily at Imperfect Prose!


24 September 2012

Doing things I've never done with people I've never met

Oh, people, I owe you a million blog posts!  I haven't posted in almost a MONTH!  And we just moved!  I had a dear friend on Facebook say, essentially, "Um, hello, surely you have somethings you could write about by now?!"

The answer is yes, yes, I have so many things I could write about it.  As you may know, if you've been reading here for a while, I am no good at doing light-hearted posts when my life is any but light-hearted.  I know there are bloggers who can blog away about all kinds of happy things, and then suddenly they say, "Oh, by the way, I got divorced a few months ago" or "I just moved across the country" or some other life-altering occurrence.  I just can't do that.

My heart has been processing, processing all the change we have experienced in the last two months since we arrived in Kerrville.  There have been many tears, some laughter, lots of fighting and strife.  A few weeks ago John had to report to our presbytery (governing board for our denomination in southern Texas) how things are going and he told everyone that his family was hanging on by a thread.  Which has certainly been true in the last 8 weeks.

I told my mother-in-law that I feel like my life at this point consists of doing things I've never done before with people I've never met.  Like what, you ask?  Stuff like this:

*going to a PTO meeting and volunteering for stuff you have no idea how to do

*volunteering to be on the committee for a GALA at one child's school with a bunch of women who really seem to have it together.  I just don't consider myself a GALA type of person.

*working the gate at a football game and doing a lot of math in my head and being asked questions I don't now how to answer

*taking boys to football practice and not knowing ANYTHING about football or equipment or the games or how things work

*volunteering (again) to work at a golf tournament and answer questions about golf.  Are you dying laughing yet?!  I know LESS about golf than I do about football.  And hanging out with tons of people I've never met before but they all know each other.  

*being in Bible study with people I DO NOT KNOW and have to try to determine if I can really trust.  How much to reveal?  How honest should I be?

*going to lunch and meeting people for the first time and wondering WHAT should we talk about?!  

*hosting church plant meetings at my house with people I am just getting to know and, of course, worrying about how everything is going!

*being in three new schools, meeting all new teachers, learning new school routines and systems, meeting families, wondering how to talk about WHY the HECK we are HERE?!  Sometimes I just laugh when people say, "So...how did you...end up in Kerrville?"  Well, let me tell you an interesting story...

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In other news, we saw TWO Obama stickers today.  Don't worry, I am not going to get political here on the blog.  But I do have political whiplash, having come from such a liberal blue state to a county that is deeply red.  Talk about conservative.  I mean, I am no liberal, but I feel like I am compared to most the political talk I have heard around here.  Anyway, I was encouraged by the Obama stickers because they pointed to a tiny bit of diversity.  I just think it is good to keep things interesting.

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In other other news, Lucy has become a bike-riding fool.  It is so fun to see her take off on her cute little pink bike, which we picked up for $10 at a garage sale.  She has a little blue ribbon tied to it and goes flying down the street.  She has steadily progressed from just being able to ride in a straight line, to being able to go in circles, to going over the curb, to getting herself going without a push.  Today she even had a few minor crashes and got right up and kept riding!  She goes out to ride early in the morning before school, and it is the first thing she wants to do whenever we come home from somewhere.  I think she loves the freedom of going fast on her own power.  It is so fun to watch.

I will leave you tonight with some photos from the last few weeks.  I really truly want to try to post more often, even if I have to make myself.  I don't want to forget these days, for I know that sometime in the future I will want to look back and remember all the ways in which God has tenderly cared for us, even while we struggle and seek His face more and more!


Football game at Walter's school.  They play 6-man football. It is pretty fun to watch! 






Theo's second game of the season.  He is not actually in this picture; he is #44.

Clayton's 7th grade football game.  He is somewhere out there in blue.  I think he was on the field at this point.
Lucy watching the 7th grade cheerleaders.  She just started taking a cheer class, you know.  We are doing all we can to embrace the culture (except for the political stuff.  hee hee.)