Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Just another day...

The sun rose this morning like always... the micros began their routes, breadmakers kneaded the dough that would later become scrumptious edible creations, the pidgeons took their post on the power line outside our door waiting for our neighbor to bring their breakfast, the boys went to school and the world began another Wednesday... but for our family, for our church, and for our team, it was anything but just another Wednesday. Because this day one year ago... our world rocked, it turned upside down, and it would never be the same again.

It was hot in Arkansas last year... Joshua had yet to enter this world... and our furlough was winding to a close. We were headed out the door for a good-bye dinner with Gary's family before traveling back to Texas and the phone rang... an accident... the youth group... no details... but possible deaths and many injured... There are no words to describe what the feeling is that inhibits your body as you hear news like that from afar. The helplessness... the fear... the anxiety... and the gutwrenching sorrow is overwhelming. Details trickled in, our kids... our teens... hurt, in surgery, in casts, in intensive care, lost.

It's been a year now and we stood today at the graves of Ariana, Diana, and Belen. My heart ached with sorrow, and yet also with pride, as I watched a group of teens who have weathered this storm together stand, arms linked, heads bowed, praying to the God that saved them, while standing over graves of those they loved. I walked the streets today watching people go about their "normal" lives... they don't realize that there are three beautiful young ladies they will never know, never cross paths with, never encounter... it literally makes my insides hurt. I want to stand on the corner and shout... I'm not sure what I'd say, but something, anything to make the world stop, if even just for a second... to remember that there has been loss, there have been lives' changed forever, there have been bodies broken and healed, and there have been hearts forever changed and brought closer together, and closer to their Maker...

Camila cried her heart out today at the grave of her dear friend Belen, crying... "Why?" Through her confusion and her tears I prayed... I prayed over her hurt, prayed thanksgiving for the life that she still lives, and prayed that she realize that her God is big enough to handle her hurt... big enough, and strong enough to carry her confusion, her anger, and her broken heart. It's a tall order for a teenage girl of 15, but I know that God is faithful... and I'm clinging to that. And as I rocked Joshua to sleep tonight, holding him a little longer and a little tighter, kissing his little cheeks one extra time, the song that played over and over in my head went...

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases...
His mercies never come to an end...
They are new every morning...
Great is thy Faithfulness...
The Lord is my portion says my soul...
Therefore I will hope in Him!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Tonight I'm thankful for...

the knowledge that I can survive three weeks with three little boys.

Sonia and Jenny that helped me survive those three weeks.

dear friends who encouraged me, prayed for me, visited me, called me, and busted me out when needed.

children's ibuprofen (now Nathan has a fever)

the experience of knowing myself well enough to know that I needed to be intentionally thankful every night before bed, before starting a new day.


Grant's spaghetti face :)

Joshua's sweet little hands reaching up for me when I walk by.

the fact that the power was only out for half an hour.

that the boys didn't cry for too long in the dark before I got candles lit and flashlights located.

church members who offer to go pick my husband up from the airport.

no-bakes and coffee... which kept me sane more than once today.

Tonight I'm most thankful for my dear sweet husband who is on his way home to us... his family! Oh how we have missed him... but we are so proud of him, his service to our God, his discipline in his studies and his planning for our stateside life, and his devotion to us, his wife and his sons. We love you Gary Bull and are so so so so thankful for you, the man you are, the love that you give to us, and all that you are to our family :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thankful... ok, who's keeping track anymore? :)

Tonight I'm thankful for...



Nathan's belly laughs with his Papa over "See you later alligator"... "After awhile crocodile" :)

Joshua's sleepy sounds already being heard over the monitor.

the new Dora video that's occupying my two oldest.

spaghetti sauce in a jar (yes again!)

fresh bread daily!


hand-me cords from Denise.

bills paid for the month!

clean bathrooms (that I didn't have to clean!)

the full night's sleep that's going to happen tonight (I'm trying to think positive!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thankful... make-up days :)

Well these past couple of days have been spent surviving... I've decided that back pain is the arch nemesis of mommies with little ones... so the time at the computer has been sporadic and little. But I've got a second, that seems to be pain free, so I'm going to try and catch up a little :)

I'm thankful for...

grace when the thankfulness doesn't freely flow.

time with Angie over coffee, talking about nothing and everything all at the same time.

beautiful roses to brighten my day!

Grant's tender heart that comforts us (Nathan, Joshua, and I) when we're upset... sweet boy that one!

my spank spoon (again!)

corner stores that keep me from having to go to the grocery store for every little thing I forget.

little baby teeth :)

little boys learning to do head stands

the fact that the celebratory fireworks over the soccer game last night (that could have woken up my kiddos) only lasted until midnight... hey, I'm trying really hard to look at my cup half full here :)

new books to read.

ice packs... which speaking of... I should go sit on one for awhile :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Thankful... day 14

Tonight I'm thankful...

for Dr. Firestone and his willing to come in and see me on a Sunday morning!

that even though I'm not 100%, I'm feeling better.

that my boys are feeling better and want to go to school tomorrow.

so thankful for Jenny who was willing to come to work on a Sunday to take care of me and the boys!

that Renata was at church!

that this time next week, the daddy will be HOME!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Thankful... day 13

Tonight I'm thankful for...

wonderful friends who take me to suspenseful movies, even knowing the risk they take of being embarassed by my screams :)

househelp that are willing to come in on a Sunday to help out a hurt mama and her sicky boys.

teammates who make long shot phone calls to get doctor's cell phone numbers :)

the fact that in Bolivia you can call a doctor as a total stranger and he's still willing to come in on a Sunday to see you!

Cozzolisi's (the fact that there's a place in town I can order pizza from when we're not up to cooking!)

Children's tylenol and ibuprofen.

tomorrow which marks 2/3 of the way there!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Thankful... day 12

Tonight I'm thankful for...

taxis when we're too lazy to walk to school.

a lunch/movie date with Angie tomorrow!

fried chicken that's good for the soul no matter what country you're in :)

new tab tops on the juice boxes here in Bolivia (before you had to cut the corner and just pour... it's a little thing, but a big thing for this mommy!)

naps with Grant.

Boston Legal that literally made me laugh out loud today :)

Joshua's once a week bath :)

a husband that knows our needs as a family through this transition and is doing all he can to meet them!

a God who is ever-present, and ever-willing to be in constant conversation with me :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thankful... day 11

Tonight I'm thankful...

that Gary did GREAT on his GMAT!!!

that I decided to turn off the laptop all day long... makes for being present for my boys much easier!

that Joshua and Grant both had great naps today.

that I have great teammates to call & make sure we survived the day :)

for Chizito kisses.

that the boys have school tomorrow!

for the opportunity to share with others!

for infant Tylenol for teething babies!

the possibility of a nap tomorrow!

that we are on the downhill slope of daddy's three weeks away!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thankful... day 10

Tonight I'm thankful...

that we've almost hit the halfway mark!

that I can usually tickle Grant out of any screaming tantrum he's throwing :)

for canned tuna.

the promise of Brazil.

for the quiet mornings while boys are in school.

that I finished my study in time to lead Bible study tonight (even though no one showed)

for the visit time I got with Katie and Liz when no one showed ;)

that I got to chat with Jen.

that the day is over!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Thankful... day 9

Tonight I'm thankful...

that the boys had another great day at school.

that I didn't kill one of my children today despite the fact that Grant and Joshua didn't nap and lost it (totally lost it) at the same time, crying at me for an hour b/c I couldn't hold them on my lap at the same time...

for red painted toe nails, trimmed cuticles and tweezed eyebrows.

for finishing the week 5 study of our Beth Moore bible study (especially since I'm facilitating the study tomorrow night)

for Nathan's little fingers interwined with mine as I went back in after putting Joshua to bed (for the second time) to say I was sorry for being so grumpy today.

for forgiveness from my children.

this day is over.