Friday, March 28, 2014

The wonder of God using me, in spite of me.

The wonder of God using me, in spite of me.

“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And the base things of the world, and the things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and the things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” I Corinthians 1:26-29

I sat squished between a rickety kitchen table and a makeshift bed, staring at cracked, grey concrete walls, waiting for Vanessa.  There wasn’t much in those two tiny rooms that four people called home.  I noticed a burner and a handful of dishes in one corner. That was the kitchen. Past a small division was another bed, with a sheet draped over some hanging clothes. That was the bedroom that the parents and child shared. The grandfather slept on the make-do bed that was next to me. 

When Vanessa entered the room from using the “pila”, their water source across the way, she greeted us with a smile. I was waiting to talk to her about salvation. Her husband had recently given his life to the Lord, and we wanted to speak to her and see if she would like to do the same. The church ladies that came with me started small talk.

I heard each of them say things like, “What a nice place you have, I remember when we started out, we only had one room.” The other lady piped up and said “Yes, our home growing up was only big enough for us to lay across to sleep, our head touching one wall, our feet touching the other.”  As I listened to these three ladies talk about their living conditions, I felt myself gulp for air.  I could not participate in this conversation.  I could not relate to these precious ladies. I grew up in the States and lived in an average American home, one that these ladies would have considered a mansion.   So I sat and smiled, while I thought “How can I possibly help these ladies? I cannot relate to them in hardly any areas.” My feelings of inadequacy were strong. Not to mention, I still butcher their language when I open my mouth, even after 8 years of living here.

 As I prepared to talk to Vanessa about her spiritual condition, I remembered something very important.  It is not at all about me, my abilities with the language, or my ability to relate to people. God chose me because of my lack of ability. I can only rely on Him to use me, in spite of my many shortcomings.

So I began to ask Vanessa questions to understand what she knew and where she was spiritually.  The two ladies from our church sat quietly, observing how to witness.  At one point, I asked her a question about what I was explaining. After I formed the question, I realized I did not use the proper grammer.  Would she understand? I paused, wondering if I should repeat the question, correcting my Spanish grammar. But, miraculously, she answered the question correctly and we continued. 

 Soon after, Vanessa bowed her head and asked Jesus into her heart. I am so thankful that I get to be part of this, bad Spanish grammar and all!  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Caleb!

October 5, 2008 Mommy and newborn baby Caleb
October 5, 2011 Mommy and 3 year old Caleb...Time does fly!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Recent Happenings with the Cerna Kids

Joshua and Caleb look like they are going to be best buddies. Already, Caleb is finding ways to play with his little blob of a brother who is just starting to interact with him. Unfortunately, this typically involves sitting on him because Caleb needs him to be a horse. Or standing on him, or grabbing his head to make him read a book...ahhh the joys of having to keep your infant in your line of vision 24/7!

Joshua started eating rice cereal earlier than any of my other babies. They waited until they were 6 months old, totally satisfied with mama's milk. But Joshua's appetite is insatiable! Since starting to eat at 4.5 months, he has been happier and sleeping better.

And this little update wouldn't be complete without a classic Rosa expression. She is our crazy one! She is very proud that her adult tooth has finally come through. Some of her friends at school scared her into thinking that it would never come in and she would always have a hole in her mouth. Needless to say, she is quite relieved that they were wrong!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A normal Tuesday in the life of a missionary/mommy/wife

4:30ish Joshua's first feeding of the day.
5:30ish My devotions
6:15 Rosa up and ready for school, breakfast with Caleb and Rosa, Bible reading and prayer for Rosa's day.

7:00 Joshua eats again while Steve takes Rosa to school. Joshua has a bath while Caleb plays.

He smells so good...for a little while.

7:45 Joshua plays in his playpen until he gets grumpy for nap time while Mommy and Caleb get working.

While Joshua plays, Caleb helps Mommy with food prep for the day. A good amount of time is put into preparing food since most things need to be made from scratch (sauces, salsas, certain kinds of bread, and all vegetables and fruits need to be treated in a solution before eaten.) Today we made a pie since butternut squash is very cheap right now. If you've never had butternut squash pie, you are missing out...its delicious.

8:00 Joshua's first nap of the day, in his swing. He's a good sleeper. I do my discipling in this time frame since he sleeps so well and is full. I do not have to worry about him, and this is also Caleb's time with Daddy.

8:00 I get Caleb dressed and ready for his day. He spends 8:30-10:00 with his Daddy running errands, going to the park, or whatever. This is their time together almost every day. This time also happens to be Joshua's nap time. Its amazing what I can get done in that time frame with no children!

8:30-10:00 If I am not discipling (one-on-one teaching) a lady in this time frame, I get laundry washed and hung on the line, dishes washed, floors swept and mopped, you name it, it gets done. Three mornings a week I also add exercising on the spinning machine for half an hour.

10:00ish Caleb comes back from his time with Daddy, starving! He has a juicebox and some ham...which ends up on his knee. Today he and Daddy went and got results from the lab which told us that Caleb has no parasites or ameobas. We are so relieved! This has been a constant struggle with him. Actually, a normal struggle for a third world country.

10:00 Joshua wakes up starving! We cuddle and he nurses while Caleb plays with Thomas the tank engine toys.

10:30 Joshua's happiest time is after napping and eating. He laughs and smiles so much. I probably have about a hundred pictures of him smiling after eating!

10:30-11:00 is play time with my boys! I can't resist kissing all over my chubby Joshua,

and we make a mess of the living room! Toys are everywhere but Caleb is happy.
11:00 I start lunch while Caleb watches a DVD. This is the only way I can cook! Otherwise, he is underfoot.

12:00 Steve picks up Rosa and comes home for lunch. Today we had tortilla soup and mini chimichangas. Rosa was thrilled, this is one of her favorite meals.

12:30ish Dessert and Rosa clears the table with me. Rosa does her homework with Mommy's help.

11:00ish to 1:00 Joshua is asleep during lunch and homework time. And Caleb goes down for his nap around 1.

While Caleb is asleep, Rosa has "quiet time". She plays alone in her room for an hour, usually from 1:00 to 2:00, depending on how long her homework takes.

1:00 Joshua wakes up starving. We snuggle in my bed, with the help of the fan (it was around 100 degrees today) and Mommy doses off while Joshua eats. Joshua plays for a while, then is ready to sleep again. I normally study for a class I am teaching during this time some days.

2:30ish Joshua sleeps in Mommy and Daddy's room, in the bassinette that is really too small for him now. Mommy and Rosa have "Rosa Time". We read books, color, play dollhouse, bake, or do whatever Rosa wants.3:30 or 4:00 Caleb awakens, normally pretty grumpy until he is all the way awake. At 4, Joshua eats again.

4:00 If we do not have something to do at the church, we decide what we are going to do. Today we decide its a beautiful day for the park.

This time of year, there are tons of mangoes falling from the trees at the park. It is dangerous (you don't want one landing on your head!) so we sit at the far end of the park where we are far from the mango trees. I sit under the almond tree while Rosa and Caleb run.

Rosa and Caleb have great imaginations and like to play with fruit that has fallen. They play "restaurant" and cook me exquisite dishes out of fruit, rocks, and leaves.

Joshie likes the park too!

Rosa decides she wants me to take a ton of pictures of her. I do.

Then Caleb joins in the photo fun while Joshua watches from his seat.

5:30 Dinner time. Rosa and Caleb request oatmeal for dinner. I suggest chicken nuggets. They turn them down. Okay, oatmeal it is! With fried ham and fruit.

6:00 Leggo time while we wait for Daddy to come home. Rosa builds Rapunzel's tower while Caleb has more fun with the Leggo container

6:15ish Daddy is home! We are all thrilled. Tuesday is one of his longest days working without us with him (like when we are all at the church together).

While Daddy plays with the kids, Mommy finishes up the day's work.

7:00 Bath time! Caleb's least favorite part of the day! Daddy washes Caleb while Mommy helps Rosa, and Joshua sleeps.

7:30ish Good night, all three kids! now its time for Mommy and Daddy to relax :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Addition to our family!

We are now a family of five, and we love it! I will admit, there is more work, it feels like there is always something that needs to be done. But, at the same time, I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Not the best family shot, but its the only one we have so far. In a few weeks a good photographer (aka Aunt Katie) is coming and we will have a better picture up soon.

And here is the handsome boy! He is a very easy baby. He sleeps when he should, eats well, and smiles a lot. I am so grateful for how well it has been going with him. Now, the next big challenge is having him share a room at night with 2 year old Caleb (yikes!)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

About Ants

Rosa and Steve have started an ant farm to have some quality time together. Today, they read something interesting. All of the ants that are the workers are female. There are only a few "princes" who reproduce with the queens of the colony. Soon after reading this fact, Steve read Proverbs 6:6 to Rosa, and explained what it means. But there is one word that impacted me. The verse says "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise." The Bible says HER ways...referring to the working ants as females. The Proverbs were written well over 2000 years ago. How could the author have known such a detail? There is only one explanation. God knows, and He filled Solomon in on such details that could not have been discovered in any other way. Now, when I look at an ant working away, I will think about the fact that the Bible is full of many small many details that we overlook.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Caleb's Definitions

I am helping Mommy write a blog entry today since she has been busy and has neglected her blog for a couple of months. I thought everyone might like to know what I think about some important words.

-Bib: Something Mommy puts on me tha must be removed at all costs, and as quickly as possible.

-Washcloth, Soap: torture devices.

-"No": Mommy's favorite word, she uses it all the time.

-The Backyardigans: The best thing since sliced bread. One day, I am going to marry that Uniqua. I tell Mommy that she is beautiful.

-Sunrise: The perfect time to get up.

-Shirt: Conveniently always available in front of me to wipe anything unwanted from my hands, toys, floor, or nose.

-Meal time: A necessary evil to get to dessert time.

-Big Sister's toys: So much more intriguing than my own toys. Especially the delicate ones that break easily.

-Mommy's lap: The best seat in the house.

Yell- When you are too exhasperated or excited to remember how to use words, just do this. It is also quite effective to repeat what Big Sister is saying in those moments. For example, mine, give it back, or stop it.

-Potty: This is a magical word. If you say this word to Mommy, she will instantly stop whatever she is doing and pay complete attention to you!