Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Choice to Make

Yesterday afternoon I had a few hours where nothing could or would go right. As I took Tracey and the rest of our female staff to the airport (they are currently in Guatemala participating in a women's outreach) I discovered that there is still something wrong with our car. We had some broken engine supports (at least in Spanish that is what they are called. Could be engine mounts in English) replaced. Well now there is a new sound, similar to a 747 landing, and a vibration that shook my seat better than any of those massage chair things ever could. Needless to say, something is not right and I will be keeping my weekly appointment with our mechanic again this week.

After the kids and I arrived home I was busy chasing Sawyer when I heard Olivia screaming for me in the other room. Turns out she had grabbed a pair of scissors and cut her finger. Nothing too bad, but of course she wanted mommy and was not happy when I reminded her mommy was in Guatemala.

Shortly after getting a band aide on Olivia's finger some furniture we had ordered was delivered. As we were unloading it I began to notice things like a mirror on a dresser wasn't the design we had ordered, a bed wasn't what we had asked for, and some poor work on the bed for the kid's room. So about half or more of the order had something wrong with it.

It was just one of those days. In the midst of feeling sorry for myself the Lord spoke to me. He has a habit of doing that when I least expect or want him to speak. In the quiet of my heart I heard the Lord telling me, just like I often tell Olivia, "You have a choice to make." Don't we always have a choice to make? We can not always choose or control our circumstances, but we can choose how we react to them. As we continue to adjust to life in a new culture I find I need to tell myself to choose to react well far more often than I have ever before.

I think it was Charles Swindoll who once said, "Life is 10% circumstances and 90% how we react to them." Well with all due respect I think his numbers are a bit off. It seems to me it is more like a 5%/95% split, maybe even 1%/99%.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ram Luna

As an early Valentine's Day Surprise (and our 2nd official get-dressed-up-planned-date since arriving in Costa Rica--kinda sad, we know), Jeff took me to Ram Luna, a restaurant up in the mountains, not too far from us. It is decorated in traditional Costa Rican style, with an amazing view of the city. They serve typical food, and on Wednesdays they do a traditional folk dancing show. Overall, it was a fantastic evening, and we recommend everyone go!

Us, overlooking the city lights.

From Ram Luna

With the dance troupe. This was pretty funny--and very touristy (that they posed for pictures with all the guests)! They actually 'introduced' all the tables, too, and announced where everyone was from. There were people that night from as far away as Spain, France and Turkey!
From Ram Luna

One of the talented dancers. I love their outfits!
From Ram Luna

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Our Home

We have been blessed with a tremendous home! After almost two months of looking, walking through numerous neighborhoods, calling on countless adds, and talking to everyone we could think of we found a house. Actually I should say that the Lord provided it for us, just in time. About 2 weeks before we had to be out of our apartment. Our new friend Carlos, who is a real estate agent, helped us find it.

To be honest it is more house than we need, but it gives us room to host the various guests we will be having. It also has an attached office with an independent entrance that will serve as the Students International Costa Rica office. We have a great landlady and the rent is probably about 60% of what it should be. We are slowly, but surely acquiring furniture and are meeting a lot of interesting people via Craig's List, newspaper adds, and small furniture stores owners. So without further adieu here is our home:

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Our First Visitors

We were excited to welcome Ken and Candy as our first visitors in January! They stayed with us for about 10 days and got a taste of what our life is like these days, including car trouble, our new house, early mornings to get the kids to school, the feria to get our fruits and veggies, gallo pinto (rice and beans Tico-style), and a trip to Manuel Antonio beach and national park (we WISH that was a REGULAR part of life!!) It was really fun to have them here. The kids were ecstatic to have Grandma and Grandpa visiting (I think Olivia was worried no one would ever come to see us.) We were all blessed by their presence and helpfulness. As Ken would say, a fun time was had by all! Here are a few pictures of their time with us, complete with one of Olivia's favorite songs!