Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Pansies are Headed Home

We so love Guadalajara!

What's not to like? Great food.  Good people. Fabulous weather. So many sites to see, places to visit.  Wonderful place to live.

Since I like to be honest...there are things not to like.  The driving habits of the tapatรญos would be one (especially for Ernie).

But alas, all good things, eventually come to an end.  Sadly our time in GDL is coming to an end.

After much prayer, fasting and soul searching we have given our resignation.  We are planning on returning to Canada towards the end of April.

This is the week we are letting people know.  So if you have heard rumours, they are true.  Well, let me re-frase that...they may be true.  I have heard some crazy things coming from people.  So what is true is that we are returning to Steinbach in late April.  All the speculation on the why's and wherefores, may not be 100% accurate.

We prefer to not go through those.  Just know that the decision was not made lightly, there were many factors taken into account, and it is hard.

But once again, God is so great! We found a couple coming to live here in GDL, around the time frame we have and they have agreed to purchase most of our furniture and kitchen stuff, etc.  That was a HUGE weight off our shoulders. God always comes through in miraculous ways.

So time is flying by.  We have studies we want to finish, people we want to spend time with, packing up to do, good byes to say, friendships to firm up.  Time is just going by so very fast.  We look at our calendars on the wall...not enough time.

The little blocks are getting filled in and we have barely started telling people.  I so dread the going away parties, the good byes, the last time we will, etc.

This is for sure one of those times when I am glad for social media, Skype, FaceTime, FaceBook, Instagram, etc.  So many ways one can remain in one another's lives.

I also love how close to Puerto Vallarta Guadalajara is.  I see a trip there in my near future.

So we covet your prayers as we close this chapter of our lives and look to what the future holds.

P.S.
I think our kids are happy, as are our families.






Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Run Forest Run!



On Sunday, early morning, I headed out to meet some friends from the gym to do a 5K run.  Now I am not a runner, like my brother-in-law Garry, (the kind that run marathons ๐Ÿ˜ฉ), but I have run my share on 5K´s.  Anyway, I posted on my WhatsApp groups about a run and encouraged them to go.  

The picture above is of the ones who signed up, 3 out of 50!? Not great, but good for non-runners. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผ‍♀️ 

The pic was taken before the race.  Two had signed up the for 3K, and me and the other lady for the 5K.  I told them that whenever they wanted they could just walk.  No one would come kick them out.  Just give it a whirl I said.  If they did 3 or 5 was also unimportant.   

Well, 3 of us finished the 5K and they all jogged! No walking!  And there was a long down hill, which meant an equally long uphill!  But all 4 of us finished!  They were extremely proud of themselves.  

This particular race was supposedly a 5K, but the finish line was not at the 5K point! I was okay with my time, considering I did not train prior to the race.  My goal was to encourage the others to join.  They all said after, ¨ find another one, but this time let´s practice¨ With all the fun pics we took, other ladies want to join.  

 Everyone asked if I had won. Obviously not.  But we had fun taking the pictures like we had won first, second and third place! 


But there is a race that is much more important than the one we ran on Sunday...  Hebrews 12:1 

     "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

Like any race, whether 5K or marthon, the crowd of witnesses that watch and cheer, is encouraging.  But it also reminds me that people are watching; may I run in such a way that others are encouraed to follow suit.  The verse talks about throwing off things that hinder us.  What are those things?  I watched people in Sunday´s race, running with a loose backpack ๐ŸŽ’. Talk about a hinderance! 

I encouaged my friends to join me in a 5K run, for fun and exercise. Am I encouraging others to ´run the most important race of life'? So that one day I can say, 'I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.' I don´t want to finish that race alone. I want others to join me. 

As important as it is to prepare for a race, like a 5K or longer, how much more important is it to prepare daily fo the run of out lives! Let us encourage each other ... 'and all the more as we see the day approaching.' 







Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Some Things They Just do Better

Happy 
52nd
Birthday
To 
Me!




I have celebrated 4 birthdays here in GDL and each one my friends have made me feel so loved!  I actually get teased about my birthday lasting the whole month of January! Well, they sure no how to celebrate here, if it takes a whole month to celebrate...so be it!

As you can see in the picture, this little celebration took place at the gym.  Recently a friend from Manitoba was chatting with me on FaceBook Messenger about joining a gym.  She said that she found it to be nothing like what I post about.  Everyone is in their own little world in Canada.  Everyone has headphones on and most certainly isn't chatting with others.

Mexicans just do the whole relationship thing better.  People, friendships, relationships, etc, just come first.  They would find you offensive if you didn't take your earbuds out to say 'hi'.  Sweaty after class, hugs are given anyway.

Don't get me wrong now, most of us still actually work out!  If I don't leave the gym feeling done in, I would not bother.  But with a 15 minute break in-between classes there is time to cut a cake.  The next class can be tough if you over do it! But building friendships seems to always have time.

Now I am not the best at this but they sure have worked on me.  Greetings come first.  Flowery speech is a must.  I am a little too task-oriented.  But when you see how going out of your way to greet, to say Happy Birthday, to ask after someone who has been missing at the gym, etc.  Well, it just makes a person feel cared for, loved.

Being part of the family of God, I should be good at this, better even.  One just needs to read all the 'one-another' verses to see that this is what God wants us to do.  They have shown me by example.

They have taught me how to 'love on' others.  They celebrated me at the gym, and then we went for breakfast.


On Wednesday, those who couldn't do breakfast because they work, are taking me out for Sushi!  Then on Friday, my lovely neighbour ladies are taking me for breakfast.  Like I say, a birthday can take a whole month.  And that is without throwing myself a party, which many do here.

The month of February is fast approaching... .... here it is referred to as the month of Love and Friendship.  Let's love on each other!







Wednesday, 10 January 2018

COCO

This past week we went to see the new Pixar Movie - "Coco".

We went because we were repeatedly told to go see it by our friends.  It's totally Mexican!

It was very informative for us.

It is an animated movie about the 'Day of the Dead' celebrated annually in Latin America.  It is HUGE here in Mexico.

This movie explains it from their perspective. It was very eye opening for us.  We never quite understood it to this extend.

The whole altar thing...where they have a family altar, with the pictures of their dead.  The graveyards are full of altars, covered in food the person likes, pictures, candles, etc.  They are 'remembering'  their love ones. The movie portrays the spirits of the deceased as joining you in your celebration.

The movie also takes you to 'the other side', where the dead reside.  It paints a picture of what happens to someone who has passed on and no one remembers them (again this is from their perspective).  Apparently, once you are no longer remembered you cease to exist.  And no one knows where you go from there...

While the movie plays on your emotions, and draws you into the story,  it leads you to think about your loved ones, the importance of family, of remembering, it is also very sad.

The Bible is pretty clear on a number of things. In Christ, there is hope.  I know my future.  And I know where I will spend eternity!



Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNCz4mQzfEI

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

It's that time of year again...

Last January my post was on New's Years Resolutions...and about not sharing them.  And various other such thoughts...


Yet, all over social media there is talk of New Years Resolutions, goals, desires, etc.  There is this, seemingly instinctive, desire to be better, to grow.  Or maybe its peer pressure?

Here in Guadalajara, the talk amongst my friends is mostly about losing weight.  This may be due to the fact that they over eat in December.  Well, they over eat a lot.  Like our sons say,  "Mom, Mexicans KNOW how to eat!" The food here is awesome and over eating just seems to happen.

Last year I did not tell you my resolutions, as I shared that research said it was better not to.  I really don't know how true that is, however, it was good for me.  Why? Because it was personal, it was something I wanted to do for me, not to impress anyone.  A goal I set purely for me.

So here we are, 365 days later.  Did I reach my goal? Did I conquer my resolutions? Not all of them, but the ones I put my mind to I did.

#1 I had a goal to read the Bible in one year - check!
This was not too hard for me; have done it several times, as I LOVE to read.  It was more a matter of priorities.  

#2 I wanted to conquer Danzika and DanceStep - check!

Here I use the term 'conquer' lightly.  If I think of when I started going to these classes - WOW! I was horrible.  They would go right and I would go left.  My teacher would yell "Diana, la otra derecha!" {Diane, your other right!} He has now told me that I have got it! 

In DanceStep he used to divide the class into two groups: advanced and beginners.  I was most definitely on the beginner side.  He no longer divides the class.  

I am much better at Danzika than DanceStep, but have been doing Danzika much longer. However, the struggle was real for this 'two left feet' Mennonite!

That said, he always raises the bar so that everybody is challenged! Love it!

#3 I wanted to do a handstand.  Tried a couple of times, failed.  Gave Up.  (I don't know why)

Am I discouraged and disappointed with myself?  No.  I am a goal orientated person so goals motivate me.  I love a challenge and seek personal growth. Will I work on the hand stand thing? Maybe...

I think, for myself, goals are good.  If you have no goals, no desired outcomes, how will you know if you ever arrived? Many people just go through life, punch clocking through, and are unhappy.

At the same time some people struggle with discouragement, and getting frustrated about goals. This year I saw a TEDtalk on goals, New Years Resolutions, that I am gonna give a whirl this year.

Click on the following:  Ted Talk Video

He has a valid point.  It is less daunting, less overwhelming.  So I am starting with easy stuff. My first month, which has begun, my goal is to take a picture every day.  If you follow me on social media, you know I LOVE to take pictures.  That is not challenging.  How I made it challenging? Take a creative picture daily, not just a selfie.

Now I don't think I will climb Mount Kilimanjaro, like he did.  Although I'd love that adventure!  Or even write a book? But each month I want to choose to do something to grow and challenge myself.

 I will end this by issuing a challenge to you. How about reading the Bible in a year? Or find a reading plan for thirty days? The YouVersion App (https://www.youversion.com) is a great app for finding plans that are of varying lengths, from reading the Bible in a Year, to 5 days plans.  There are many for 30 days. Another great app is the ReadScripture App (http://www.readscripture.org). Especially if you find books of the bible hard to understand, or don't quite know how the 'story' fits together, this is a great app, with some really creative videos to help visualize the message. You can also create a group, where you do it together and comment on your reading ( I am doing that this year). I can think of no better goal for 2018 than reading God's Word!

Tag! You're It!