The comparison trap..

I love the beginning of a new year. It’s the chance to turn the page, start over, make changes. At the beginning of this new year and new decade, I had a few goals in mind. One was to drink more water. A lot more actually. It is something so important, yet something I fail miserably at. I can go a couple days and not have anything to drink other than coffee. Terrible. Secondly, I want to memorize more scripture. Many years ago, when I was in youth group, there were a few of us that would meet weekly for a Bible survey course. Part of that program was to memorize one hundred Bible verses. I undoubtedly could recite most them now…but not where they are found. So I want to do more memorizing.  It’s not as easy as it was when I was younger!  Thirdly,  I want to cut way back on the amount of time I spend on social media sites. That’s a challenge. Especially when most of the time I have my phone with me and have the tendency to check it often. Particularly if I am bored or we are stuck in traffic. I am not doing so good with this one yet. Some habits are hard to break. But for my own emotional well being, I really believe I need to be more intentional about cutting back in this area.

This is actually something I have been pondering for quite sometime.  Sites like Instagram and Facebook are great for keeping in touch with people.  They really are. Especially for Dale and I living so far from our family and loved ones. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for missionaries years ago who left everything to go to a foreign land to do what they felt God called them to.  Back before the internet was a thing, and it was expensive and not always possible to call loved ones and snail mail was the only means of connection.  They would have felt so cut off from everything and everyone. So as far as staying connected goes, these sites are great! However, there is a dark side.   Sometimes seeing all the pictures and updates can be downright depressing.  Especially this Christmas seeing all the family Christmas photos and we were not with our family.  I struggle at times with anxiety and sometimes I feel like these social media sites only add to my anxiety, loneliness, self esteem, and add to the feeling of somehow just not quite measuring up. Feelings of inadequacy sometimes rise to the surface as I scroll through the filtered photos of  perfect filtered  lives.  Photos of perfect homes, perfect families, perfect vacations and all those healthy, delicious looking meals that never turn out quite like the photo.  There are many more things I could add.  All these posts of “filtered perfection” can be a real joy robber.  Can anyone else relate to any of this?

Earthly possesions dazzle our eyes and delude us into thinking that they can provide security and freedom from anxiety. Yet all the time they are the very source of all anxiety.—The cost of discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It is so easy to get sucked into the trap of comparison. Our self worth should not be coming from the approval of others. At the end of the day it’s not important how many likes or comments we receive, how many followers we have, or how we stack up against everyone else.  We are aways going to come up empty. It’s such a lie from the pit. God loves us more than we could possibly ever imagine. We are valued by Him. The Bible tells us we are made in His image. (Gen 1.27) We are remarkably and wonderously made.(Psalm 139:14) We are worth more than sparrows. ( Matthew 10:13) The hairs on our head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:30) He will not forget us.Our names are engraved on the palms of his hands. (Isaiah 49:15,16)

Galations 1:10 I’m obviously not trying to flatter you or water down my message to be popular with men, but my supreme passion is to please God. For if all I attempt to do is please people, I would not be a true servant of the Messiah.

Comparison is the thief of joy because it tends to highlight others best moments while reminding you of your worst. —-Grace Valentine..

Phil 4:11-13 NLT Not that I was ever in need , for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation , whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do all things Christ, who gives me strength.

Romans 12:2  TPT Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed but the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satsifying and perfect in His eyes.

Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.—Judy Garland.

In attempt to scale back in this area I am trying not to pick up my phone so often or better yet  leave it at home when we go out.  If I don’t have it charging on my nightstand I will be less inclined to pick it up in the middle of the night when I can sleep.  Less scrolling leads to less comparison and more opportunity to truly be present. I have a couple friends who are giving up social media for an entire year. Can you just imagine how many hours of their life they will be taking back?

What about you? Are there any changes you have made this year or want to make in this area?

 

 

When you just want to get even…

It was almost three in the morning and the party at the new neighbour’s house beside us was still going strong. In frustration I pulled the covers over my head and plugged one ear with my finger and pressed my head into the pillow.  I was so annoyed and desperately just wanted sleep.  I struggle on the best of nights with getting decent amount of  rest.  My husband Dale was out…oblivious to any noise. Once he takes his hearing aids out and his head hits the pillow he can sleep til morning.

The next day I mentioned to Dale I had a feeling our new neighbours might be partiers….and the next time they keep me up all night with their carousing, I was going to get up at 5am to do my laundry, when they were no doubt sleeping.  See how they like it. Our washing machine is outdoors and it is not exactly quiet. It makes a terrible racket. Since our house is flush against theirs and just a wall separates our outdoor laundry from their backyard, there is no doubt they would be able to hear it.  I was only half joking.  It is what I felt like doing in retaliation. I was frustrated and exhausted from the lack of sleep. Dale replied with a comment something like “oh…is that what Jesus would do?” There was a part of me wanted to say “It’s easy for you to say…You don’t hear anything. You just take your hearing aids out and go to sleep.”

I may have mentioned before that I follow a daily scripture writing plan. The following morning I sat down with my coffee,  Bible and notebook, and like always,  began to write the verses out for the day.  I kid you not….the selected verses for that particular day were so appropriate for how I was feeling in my heart.

The passage was Romans 12:16-21..But it was verses 17-19a that stuck out to me..”Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.   If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone..”  

Ouch!

Actually the Bible has a lot more to say about getting even. Here are a couple more verses.

I Thessalonians 5:15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and everyone else.

1 Peter3:9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.

Leviticus 19:18 Do not seek revenge or bear grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.

Romans 12:20-21 MSG Our scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he is thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. 

Then it was New Year’s eve. We were out at friends for dinner and the traditonal fireworks at midnight. We returned home around 2:30 am.  Once again the neighbours had a party which continued on for quite sometime after our arrival home..However in all fairness it was New Year’s eve….and even we were out way past our bedtime..lol

As much as I might feel like it, as much as I might be justified,  however annoyed I might be, I will not be getting even. I will not be waking up before it is light out just so I can pay them back.  I will however most likely be purchasing ear plugs! Also, I genuinely do want to get to know my neighbours!  That however is a bit of a challenge here as we all live behind the walls and gates that surround our houses and seldom actually see them. It’s going to take creativity on my part.  I think if I were to try and get even, I would then become the annoying neighbour that does her laundry at 5 in the morning.  It definitely would not be keeping the peace.  All hope of getting to know them would be lost.

I want to stand ready as Christ’s ambassador in my neighbourhood, wearing grace, flesh and skinny jeans. I want to belong just as I am. I want to get better at loving people, for every good and puzzling thing they are…Shannon Martin —The ministry of ordinary places.

 

 

 

When to be silent…

Someone lied to me. The moment I read the text I knew.  I so wanted to write back a quick reply in response. Call the person out on it.  I was frustrated and angry.  No one likes being lied to. Right?  I mean it hurts. However, I didn’t respond. Not this time. Everything in me wanted to though. I decided to just sleep on it and maybe deal with it in the morning.  Or another time.

Then this morning during my “quiet time” I was talking with God, telling him how I felt about the situation, begging him for wisdom, so that I would know the right thing to do, the right thing to say.  I prayed that he would make it very clear to me. Do I put this person in their place or do I let it go? If I say something it could open a whole new can of worms, cause more unrest and and even more contention, more division. But if I stay quiet, the person will think they are pulling the wool over my eyes, that I’m gullible, that I believe them and that I think all is fine…when it isn’t.

Then I opened my Bible.  I could not believe the verse that was right there at the top of the page. Now for the record I do not typically do that when I am looking for wisdom…open the Word and point a verse and expect to find my answer.  Although God can and does speak to us through his Word.

Proverbs 10: 19 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. 

Wow! To me it was a very clear answer about what my response in this situation should be. Silence.

So today, ,I am choosing to let it go and leave it in His hands.  I know the truth and above  all….God knows the truth.

Proverbs 17:28 Even fools are thought to be wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem inteligent.

In the middle of chaos…

I recently posted about this on Facebook but thought I would sit down and blog about this event and something that happened the following day.

Home had never felt so good as it did that night. We had enjoyed a nice American Thanksgiving afternoon with friends and lots of yummy food!  We felt blessed to be there with friends even though we’re Canadian!  On the way home however we had to pull over a few times due to car issues and one time our car died on the busy hwy.  So stressful because we knew while making our way home that it was inevitable we were not going to make it home. The car was losing power.  To add to the stress of the situation, there was so much traffic! What would happened if the car died in the middle of the road? Thankfully when the car did stop, Dale was able to coast into the nearby shoulder where he then called our mechanic. We sat there for about 40 minutes when Dale thought he’d start the car again…and we had enough power to make it to the nearby Puma gas station.


We had only just pulled in when a sweet friend sent me a text asking me if we made it home ok. (We had some issues getting to Thanksgiving and hadn’t been sure when we were leaving how our car would make it back down the mountain) I had told her “no” And her next question was if we had just pulled into the Puma. She was making a stop at the Farmacia located in the same plaza and thought it was our car parked beside her.


I was feeling a lot of anxiety up til that point and frustrated with the many car issues we’d been having that week that also made me have to cancel a Dr’s appointment at the last minute because I had no way to get to it. When suddenly our friend Laura appeared. It was so calming seeing a familiar face in a stressful situation. It was a reminder that God sees us even in our frustrations. And that he cares! We were so thankful to Laura for staying with us til the mechanic came and that he followed us home. I don’t believe for a second that it was a coincidence that Laura pulled in beside us that night…not in a city of 1.7 million people. It was a God moment for sure!

The next day the our mechanic returned to our home and gave us bad news that the part we needed to have fixed was going to cost about 5000lps. That was a lot of money that we didn’t have—However a blessing to us was that he was able to get the part from a friend for about a quarter of that cost!

In the midst of our stress, anxiety and chaos, He is there!

 

Letting things go…

This past Sunday I didn’t attend church anywhere.  It wasn’t that I wanted to just stay home. I  wanted to be in church.  My husband  was speaking at one of the churches we partner with but because I had already heard that sermon three times (at different churches) I decided to stay home and watch the Spanish church we attend on Youtube.  It was a special anniversary service and even though I was not able to attend I was blessed watching it.  For the record Dale was not offended I chose not to go with him.

Then in the afternoon I was feeling off so I ended up staying home again from our English speaking church. I didn’t want to get to church and end up being sick while I was there, and then be in agony unable to to go home. Instead I decided to watch Life Church online. The sermon was about holding grudges and being over it. I have to say I felt very convicted listening to the sermon. It was like God was shining a flashlight on my heart and the ugly attitude that lied within was exposed.

The text that from the message on Sunday afternoon was

Proverbs 19: 11 (TPT)A wise person demonstrates patience, for mercy means holding your tongue. When you are insulted, be quick to forgive and forget it, for you are victorious when you overlook an offense.

in the NLT it reads like this..

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook and offense.

I sat down with my Journal the Word Bible and wrote notes all over the page. I knew I needed to repent of my bad attitude and have a change of heart, a change of perspective. I knew I needed to let certain things go and not let them get to me. Not make such a big deal about petty little things.

A couple things happened the week or so before that had me frustrated and annoyed. Because we are living in a new development there is always construction going on. There is a house going up right beside us. Infact the house is built flush up against our house. One day one of the construction workers parked in front of our garage. Now we never use our garage to park in because it is a pain in behind to open the garage door and shut it. There is no remote so we have open it manually. So we park outside like most of our neighbours. But what if we were parked inside? How would we get out with them parked right there!? That’s our spot!

Then there are a couple of the construction workers that parked their motor bikes right outside our gate. All. The.Time. We would open our gate in the morning and there they were. Infront of our house. They still park there. Everyday.  I am not sure why it bothered me so much but it really rattled me. Got under my skin.  When we came home after a day of teaching Bible classes, I would ask Dale to park up to the gate so they couldn’t park there in the morning.  I know. Horrible of me. Especially when we had just been sharing about the  Lord with the children. I guess part my annoyance  was because it meant that we had to park in the mud that was all over the road from the rain and empty lot on the other side of us. Or we had to park across the from the house…but still. It wasn’t that big of a deal. Not really. Not in the light of eternity. It wasn’t worth getting all bent out of shape over it. I don’t actually think they knew they were irritating me though, but if they did…how would that kind of grumpy attitude be showing them God’s love? Especially since one of the guys asked Dale if he was a Pastor!

The speaker Craig Groeschel encouraged everyone to be over it and not to replay it, not to rehearse it or go over it in your mind.  He said not to let something take you off course of what you are called to do, to make a conscious decision to let it go. Don’t let it get you down. Stay above it. Also he said that no one ever changed the world by walking around bitter. He admonished to stay above it and love through it. He said that it was God honoring to let it go. 

Yet, how often do we rehash things?  I know I do anyway…all the time. Someone says something that hurts us or does something that ticks us off and in our mind and we go over it over and over again.  We  replay things in our mind and think of what we should have said or done differently. We let things simmer. Maybe it’s an unmet expectation, Maybe we were not included in something. Maybe we see something inappropriate on social media. Maybe we are cut off in traffic or the grocery store by someone else who wants to be first in line. Maybe someone broke a promise. Whatever it is, whatever is dragging us down or holding us back…it’s time to just let it go.

Ephesians 4:31,32 MSG Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

I Peter 4:8 ESV Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

Ecclesiastes 7:21, 21  Do not take to heart all things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.

Home again…

When we left for Canada on June 26 I was ever so thankful to get out of Honduras. There was tension in the country, stress in the home, unrest in my heart. I remember literally counting down the days til we went back. I felt like I was in a dark pit and I couldn’t find my way out of it.  Even though we had recently got our permanent residencies, there was a part of me that thought or maybe even hoped that just maybe God was calling us back to Canada.  I worried about what it would look like when all three of our kids were in Canada and we had to come back here alone.

We were in Canada for almost three months. Such a long time and yet it was exactly what we needed. A time to be away, rest and reflect. We were not there very long when I had a converstion with someone about how I was feeling about the worry I had over my kids and where they were at…and whether or not God wanted us to be back in Canada. She said something that brought things into perspective…and that is “would it change anything if you were to move back to Canada?”  In that moment it was like a light came on and something shifted in my thinking and in my heart. Because the truth of that matter is that absolutely nothing would change. All the things that had consumed my heart with worry and the things I was so anxious about would stay the same regardless of our address. It wouldn’t make a difference if we were in Canada or Honduras. Infact those things could potentially be exhasperated were we to move back not to mention put stress into our relationship.

And then, around the same time, Dale felt the Lord speak to his heart about releasing. It was like He was saying that is was time to let go of the leash we have had our kids on and release them to the Lord and leave them in His hands and trust him to take care of them. “Will you trust ME with your kids?”And we know that God can do that! He loves our kids way more than we do! So this summer was a season of learning to let go and trust God with our kids.  Also the next Sunday we heard a sermon talking about releasing whatever God has put into your hands back to Him. It just confirmed everything that we felt like He was speaking to our hearts about. Release.

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Not long after landing in Canada, Elisa got a job at a Tim Hortons very close to Braeside camp where we were living. She was pretty much hired on the spot.  They even gave her the time off to go to a transition camp for other missionary kids coming back to Canada. She made lifelong friends there. There was one time where a group of them had planned a trip to Wonderland one Saturday but sadly they ended up being in a car accident on the 401 and never made it to their planned day of fun. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt but Elisa certainly was shaken for a few days afterwards. It could have been so much worse and we are so thankful for how God protected and watched over each one of those kids.

Dale and I spent a few days in Pennsylvania. He grew up there as a child and we drove by the house he grew up in, the church and the school. As well we went to see the production “Jesus” at the Sight and Sound theatre. So good! Another highlight was visiting Hershey and going on a chocolate tour and then visiting the “Kitchen Kettle.” We brought back some mango salsa and pickles to enjoy. It was the best vacation and one of our favorite trips ever!

 

 

 

 

There was time to see family and friends..although not nearly enough to see everyone we as much as we wanted. There were a few people I wanted to see more often than we did. Honestly I was disappointed after not hearing back from one long time friend, and  after several attempts to reach out to her I realized after no response I just needed to let it rest and accept that for whatever reason, it wasn’t going to happen.  Infact even our family were only together for maybe four minutes total…enough to get a rushed family photo and that was it.  Sad!

 

 

 

We visited churches as well. Went on a boat ride,  church picnic, four family birthdays..(my moms’, Jake’s ,Elisa’s and my dad’s.)  We visited our kids sister and her new baby Brynlee, were treated to Thai food and a relaxing night at a rustic inn in Stratford, and I was treated to a much needed hair cut and colour. My hair had been so fried from straightening it I had no choice but to go a little shorter….and give my straightener to Elisa!  Also since Elisa’s college was in the Niagara area we spent some time at the falls as well.  It was a jam packed summer!

 

 

 

Also the main reason for going back was to get Elisa settled in her new place…and school.  My heart is at rest knowing that she will be ok. She is attending college and staying in a beautiful home with a wonderful family. She is definitely abundantly blessed! Actually once we had Elisa situated and we saw where she would be living I was at peace and more than ready to go home….feeling like I was in a much better place emotionally and spiritually than when I left. Full Circle.

 

 

 

In closing ..this song is one we heard a lot of this summer and it’s sort of become my theme song …I love the truth of the lyrics!

 

Final thoughts before we head to Canada…

Tonight is Elisa’s last night in Honduras, the country where she has spent one third of her life ..six years! Her room is pretty much emptied out. Last week we sold her desk and dresser, and all that remains are her bed and a bookshelf with a few stray items that most likely will wind up in the garbage can.  Her entire life and memories packed in two fifty pound hockey bags on her bedroom floor.  How the years have flown by. How can it be that her time in this beautiful country has come to an end?

I overheard her on the phone the other night chatting with her friend Juli that she is nervous and doesn’t know how to relate to white girls and she is also nervous about adjusting to life in Canada. She said to me a few minutes ago “I don’t want to leave.”

But tomorrow we are doing exactly that as we fly out and head back to our other home for an extended period of time. It will be a much needed time to refresh and recharge our batteries.  For the first time that I remember,  I am actually looking forward to leaving Honduras for a while. Usually I kind of dread it it. For various reasons I have been finding my self stressed and frazzled and dealing with anxiety like never before.  I have lost a lot of sleep, sometimes only getting a couple hours sleep a night. I will go to bed exhausted at the end of the day and then once my head hits the pillow, sleep eludes me.  Sometimes I just can’t shut my thoughts off. It’s so frustrating.  It hasn’t been the recent unrest in Honduras so much, although that hasn’t helped matters any and I will share more on this soon.  There are other reasons, like losing Elisa as she leaves and worrying about how she will make it on her own in Canada. I have worried about our sons as well. And I have worried about how our dog will do when we are in Canada..even though I know she will be well cared for.  And then there are a lot of what ifs and worrying about things that I really have no control over. I do know to leave things with the Lord and I honestly do try to pray and just beg for his help in this because I hate feeling l this way…and hate that I haven’t been able to get out of this funk and find myself worrying about the same things all over again.  It’s a viscious cycle of releasing it to God and then taking it back.

As far as the unrest in Honduras goes..I am not sure how many have been following the news or how much is even on the news in the States and Canada, but things here have not been so peaceful for the last couple months. We try to be a little cautious with how much information we put on social media because we don’t want people to be alarmed or afraid for us.  First of all, we are safe and we don’t feel like we are in any danger. However a lot of people have not been happy for a while now and have been exercising their right to protest. People are tired of their voices not being heard. They want peace. They want justice.They want an end to corruption.  Sometimes these things do start out as peaceful but they can quickly get out of hand when others  join in and cause havoc.  There have been riots and roads have been completely blocked at times. We stay informed through other missionaries and usually know of which areas to avoid. It has affected us and our ministry because it has meant not teaching our bible classes at times because schools have been closed. There was one day last week that we were able to go in and teach.  We were headed back home when our translator informed us of a text he had recieved that there was no gasoline in the city.  We drove around to nine gas stations and all of them had their entrance blocked off with orange pileons. No gas! Thankfully Dale was able to find a station the following morning that had received gas over night and although he had to wait in line almost an hour and a half, he was able to fill the car with gas. Honestly there have been times where it has felt like the entire nation is falling apart.

Recently we were chatting with one of the security guards to our community. And he was sharing his thoughts on Honduras being a country without hope. He counted them off on his hand..”There’s no education, no healthcare, no money…problems with transportation..” He shared that only in Christ is there any hope for Honduras.

So while I am happy and looking forward to head back to Canada for a spell…I am also feeling sad to leave. I feel broken for the people who live in this country that God has called us to and I am heartbroken for the country that is the home of our heart.

Will you please pray for Honduras? Pray for peace and justice and for God to bring healing to this land.

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Psalm 46

God, you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge!
You’re a proven help in time of trouble—
more than enough and always available whenever I need you.
So we will never fear
even if every structure of support[b] were to crumble away.
We will not fear even when the earth quakes and shakes,
moving mountains and casting them into the sea.
For the raging roar of stormy winds and crashing waves
cannot erode our faith in you.
Pause in his presence
God has a constantly flowing river whose sparkling streams
bring joy and delight to his people.
His river flows right through the city of God Most High,
into his holy dwelling places.[c]
 God is in the midst of his city,[d] secure and never shaken.
At daybreak his help will be seen with the appearing of the dawn.
 When the nations are in uproar with their tottering kingdoms,
God simply raises his voice
and the earth begins to disintegrate before him.
 Here he comes!
The Commander!
The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side.
The God of Jacob fights for us!
Pause in his presence
Everyone look!
Come and see the breathtaking wonders of our God.
For he brings both ruin and revival.
He’s the one who makes conflicts end
throughout the earth,
breaking and burning every weapon of war.
 Surrender your anxiety![e]
Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God.
I am the God above all the nations,
and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.
 Here he stands!
The Commander!
The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side!
The God of Jacob fights for us!

The graduate…

 

 

 

 

Today is Elisa’s graduation day. The day where she will walk down the aisle in her cap and gown and receive her diploma. We are so proud of her and all that she has accomplished. She has made huge strides since the discouraging early days when she was diagnosed with ADD and dyslexia. She could have given up in frustration and thrown in the towel.  But you know…she didn’t let a diagnosis stop her from achieving her goals or determine who she was. Even though at times people would make mean comments about the ADD that would have her in tears.  I think most of the time she didn’t even think about it.  She was able to rise above. Since those days she has overcome a lot of challenges that have come her way through determination, courage and strength.

 

And now the moment has finally here. Highschool is behind her.  Already there have been many goodbyes. School friends, church family and friends who have already left for the States. So many lasts.  It hardly seems possible that this chapter of her life is coming to a close.   Soon she will also be boarding a plane and bidding the beautiful country of Honduras Adios. It will be saying goodbye to the country that has been her home and the country where she has spent her entire teen years. She will need to find a new normal, a new routine in Canada and rediscover the culture and norms. Or even how to act like a Canadian.  She is the last chick to leave the nest. Life will certainly be different around here without her and a lot quieter and maybe even a little boring. Those of you who know her, know that she is a young lady full of LIFE, who loves to Read more

The bright side of getting old..

The first time it happend was not long after we moved here almost six years ago. We were wating to pay at the grocery store when an employee told me to go into the line meant for pregnant women or elderly rather than waiting in the line we were in. Then it began to happen all the time. At first my initial thought was that they thought I was pregnant and I remember feeling kind of bad and thinking I must look fat or something if they think I am pregnant. I remember telling them ..that it was ok, I am not going to have a baby I don’t need to be in that line.  Sometimes I would go in that line if they insisted because maybe Dale was waiting in the car or I was in a hurry and had other places I needed to be and if I could get out the store quicker, I would go (and still do if asked) in the shorter line.

Then there was the time I was sitting in a car and we were purchasing tickets to enter a provincial park.  I glanced at the ticket the young girl handed me through the window and noticed the words tercera edad.  Wait….what!? Tercera edad! I am not elderly! I think it was at that moment that it dawned on me that people did not think I was pregnant when they insisted I go into those lanes…..they thought I was old!! My self confidence kind of took a dive.  I don’t know why the realization didn’t hit me sooner.  Because let’s face it…I am not young anymore. The truth is that I have been married longer than most of these employess have been alive!  And while I certainly am not elderly, I am not a teenager or even a young adult. I am practically 50.

One time I was purchasing a coffee at the coffee shop. I was told it would be one price but when I went to pay, the price was signifigantly lower. When I asked why, I was told it was because of my discount. And sure enough it was assumed I was tercera edad. I had to sign the receipt with my id number.

Then there was the time at the Pricesmart. The store only had a couple lines open and each of the lines were long. One person appeared to buying for a team or maybe a store and I only had a couple items. A young lady opened up the tercera edad lane and motioned for me to come over. So I gratefully went. Soon after another lady followed with her cart load of stuff and stood behind me. The cashier told her she needed to get back into the another lane. She informed her that she opened the lane only for me because I am tercera edad.

The most recent was when we went to the movies to see Avenger. Dale asked me why my ticket was so much cheaper. I looked at it and sure enough…tercera edad!

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There have been many other instances when things like this have happened and one thing I have learned is not to let it get to me.  It used to.  At one time I would be upset and offended,  but now it doesn’t really bother me. I just kind of laugh and roll with it...because afterall who doesn’t like a discount?  Also it is a respect thing. Hondurans respect their elders, often giving  them preferencial treatment. While I have never gone to the front of the line in the grocery store or bank while others are already waiting in line…there are those that do because seniors receive preferencial treatment. I had someone tell me something a few years ago that made me feel a little better… and that is that Hondurans don’t know how to tell the age of North Americans..and it makes sense because I know I don’t know how to tell the age of alot of Hondurans either!

Then something happened yesterday.  A friend apporached me at church telling me that her five year old son Noah had asked her, “Where’s Mr Silly pants?” She asked him who Mr Silly pants was…and he pointed at me and said “Her dad!” Totally made my day!

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Psalms 71:17, 18 O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. 18. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me. 

On this Mother’s day….

Reposting my blog post from three years ago in honor of Mothers day and my sweet mom..

Road to Hope

1625622_10153351448641049_1294400794704716878_nMy mom is probably one of the most selfless people I know. She is kind . Compassionate. Sensitive. Active. She gives of her time and energy to others continually. Even breast cancer did not slow her down. Being here in Honduras, I was not able to be there for her at that time, much as I desperately wanted to be. I would hear of all that she was still doing even right after her mastectomy and I would tell her that she needed to slow down. Take it easy. But like me she can’t sit still I guess. She told me that if she didn’t do it, no one else would. Did I mention that she is eighty years old? She sure does not act like it or look like it. Aside from the cancer…( she is cancer free now)… she’s pretty healthy.

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My mom has the gift of hospitality and from…

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