When We Get Discouraged

The past couple of weeks have been tough.  I could probably write about 12 long posts about the reasons why but there’s not really any point in dwelling on it.  The point is, we have had more moments of questioning what we’re doing here than in the entire 5 months prior put together.  We know that God brought us down here but various circumstances have made it difficult to stay positive at times.

Basically, without getting into many details (because we don’t know many) the government wants to shut down Casa Bernabe.  We’re working to find solutions to this, while making sure that we are honoring the government’s requests.  Times like this make us question just what we’re supposed to be doing.  We’re concerned about the kids here and how we can ensure their safety.  We wonder what the future is going to look like.  We think about our boys who have endured so many changes in the past year, and wonder what more changes could mean for them.  But mostly, we think, wonder, talk and pray about what God wants for us, this place, and these children we all love.

On top of that, we found out that Mark is on the prospective deployment list for 2013 with the Navy Reserve.  While we knew this was a possibility, we were hoping to be able to put it off until next year as this year we’ll be working really hard to start all of our programs.  Mark’s command has been very understanding and supportive but they don’t have a say in what happens. After praying about it we decided to wait it out on the list and see what happens.  It sounds like there is between a 20 and 40% chance that he will deploy for anywhere between 6 months and a year.

Both of these are situations without immediate resolution, and require patience, steadfastness and faith.

Each of those things is a personal weaknesses of mine.

In all of this, however, I am seeking out peace.  I’d by lying if I said we didn’t want immediate solutions that were easy and required little sacrifice.  But we’re committed to the process of refinement [even if it is by another deployment…].  Even so, we still sometimes question, did we misread the signs?  Did we jump the gun?  Are we really here where God wants us?  We have an overarching conviction that we are, but sometimes we’d just like a neon sign, ya know?

This morning, I was woken up suddenly by Mark running up the stairs.  “You’ve got to see this!” he whisper-shouted.  I stumbled downstairs, and was greeted by an amazing sight.


That, my friends, is the Guardabarranco.  The National Bird of Nicaragua.  And it flew into our house this morning.


Isn’t she beautiful?

This morning, in the midst of all of the uncertainty, I’m looking at this like our neon sign.  The bird flew into our house and stayed for a while, about 6 minutes.  She was beautiful and didn’t break a thing.  Didn’t create [too much] chaos.  It was awe inspiring.

If it was any other bird it would be a great story.  But God allowed (or even ordained, who knows?) that it was the National Bird.  I just feel like this was confirmation to my soul that we are right here where we are supposed to be.

Then again, it could just be a bird flying into our house 🙂

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The Past Month In Numbers

  • The least amount of people we have fed at a meal at our house…9
  • The number of visitors we had…3!  My parents and our friend Christina
  • New puppies…1 winnie
  • New puppy accidents cleaned (during the day, night doesn’t count!)…3
  • Times we’ve been to the pool…4 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Times my Facebook has been hacked…4 (and counting)
  • Road trips…2 (one with the family, one just Mark and some of the boys from here)
  • Enormous batches of Gallo Pinto made…2 (in TWO days, umm…adolescent boys eat a lot!)
  • Most people we’ve fed at one meal…21Christmas dinner
  • Number of Skip-bo games…too many to count
  • Horses ridden…1 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • New kids living with us…1  (more on this later)
  • People we’ve fit in our 8 seater car…14
  • Wii bowling games…probably about 567
  • Tears shed when Grandparents left…3 million
  • Times I’ve wondered if I’m cut out for this…at least half a dozen.  Each day.
  • Times God has given me what I need, in spite of the fact that we minister out of a platform of weakness…too many to count.
  • LIVE! Seahawks games watched (and WON!)…2! (more to come, hopefully!) seattle seahawks Image Credit
  • Times we’ve been thankful for where we are…everyday.

Thank you for walking with us here in Nicaragua.  Thank you for being a part of our joy.

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Nueva Guinea



I love these boys.  Especially that big pale guy in the middle 🙂

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A Couple of Grad Photos



Marisela, myself and Teresa on graduation day.  The girls moved up from primary school to secondary school.  I was honored to be asked to escort Marisela (usually it’s a parent that does this).  



Mariela, Alex, Jenny and Zaida

This is such a special group for us.  We have gotten to know each of them over the past almost four years and seeing them graduate…what a huge deal!  A few nights before the graduation we had our own version of Baccalaureate when we had them come over to our house and several of the house parents and leaders here at Casa prayed over them, gave them advice, encouragement and shared good memories.  It was a really neat thing to share with them, and it’s a tradition we plan to continue. 

I also have a “graduation” photo for Theo…



He didn’t graduate from Preschool yet, but they took pics of all the kids anyway.  I smile every time I see this, he looks so grown up!

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Christmas 2012 in Pictures







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Out of Internet (again)

I feel like I have a lot to say whenever we don’t have internet at home.  That’s really unfortunate.  

We’ve been going to graduations left and right, and planning for next year.  A team is in town, and one little boy here is almost officially adopted!  Each of these things has been so exciting, but a little complicated.  I read once that blessings complicate our lives, and I completely agree!  Even so, I still want the blessings!

I hope your Christmas season is full of joy!

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Holiday Cheer, and Colds

We’ve been hit with another virus, this one is a cold.  Luckily the boys haven’t gotten it yet.  I hope that yesterday was the worst of it and I can spend the next few days getting my energy levels back up to be back to normal by the weekend.  Mark and I have a get a way planned for our anniversary (9 years!) and we want to learn how to surf.  It should be fun!

We do have a Christmas tree now…


Isn’t it beautiful?  It’s a Nicaraguan Purple Spruce, they are native here. 

Haha, or not. 

It’s the only tree that the store had that wasn’t ridiculously expensive (like $200 expensive for a 4 foot tree!) and it was on closeout clearance (I can’t imagine why!).  We bought some green spray paint and it’s certainly not perfect but it is much better than before, so we’re rolling with it.   We’re pretty excited to have a tree and put our ornaments up.  

These coming weeks it’s a sprint to Christmas!  Today we have a friend coming in last minute…her adoption is going to be finalized in the coming month and she starts fostering her son!  We are so excited for them!  Thursday is graduation, Tate has a Christmas concert, and Friday we head out for our weekend away.  Next week Nana gets back which we are all very happy about, Tate finishes school, and the following week my parents come into town!  We are so blessed to be surrounded by family and friends during our first Christmas away. 

In this season of busy, our prayer is that you are able to carve away time to enjoy some quiet time with Jesus and those you love most. 


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