Sunday, March 25, 2012

Why I Speak Portuguese.

Last week, my friend Julie asked me if I ever get comments on my accent. I do, but most people are very encouraging, and my landlady even told me that she loves accents and thinks it's a shame when people try to get rid of theirs. But there's nothing like a child to totally humble you in the language department. I had a conversation (in Spanish) at kids church tonight with a little 4 year-old girl while I was helping her with her craft...and it went something like this:

Girl: Why are you speaking in Portuguese to me?
Me: I'm not speaking Portuguese...
Girl: Then why can't I understand you?
Me: Well, I have an accent. I'm not from Venezuela, I'm Canadian so usually I speak English.
Girl: (pause)....Well, why don't you speak Spanish?
Me: I'm learning how to speak Spanish....

If I don't sound very good speaking Spanish, I'm sure glad that I at least sound like I'm speaking Portuguese!!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Be Happy

So, around Christmastime, I bought a new agenda for 2012. Yes, I have a smartphone with a calendar and I know there are all sorts of online programs for keeping your life in order but I still really love having a book where I can write my "to do list" down. It's a cute little red book and on the cover it says "Be Happy/ Sé feliz". Just today I realized that each week there is a suggestion of something to do to, well....have a happier life I guess. So I decided to go through and find all the suggestions (and add a few of my thoughts)...some food for thought.

-Show yourself (ie: don't hide yourself away!)
-Follow your instincts
-Be inspired
-Stop being a victim
-Find out what you can do and do it well
-Love your work (I think attitude has a lot to do with this...)
-Look at everything from a new perspective
-Have curiosity for everything that is around you
-Don't isolate yourself
-Be with the people you want to be with
-Set goals (and have someone keep you accountable to them!)
-Finish what you started
-Help others
-Forget about watching the news for a day
-Pamper yourself a little
-Confront your fears
-Visit a museum
-A decision is better than no decision (This was good for me to hear...I'm the worse decision maker. Ever.)
-Unplug your TV (my tv is being repaired right now, and it's amazing how much more I'm getting done, and I love having the extra time to read)
-Listen to music
-Spend time in nature
-Be encouraged, you can do it
-Find a balance (I'm learning that a balanced life is a healthy life)
-Get good sleep
-Buy flowers
-Try to arrive (That's the best I can translate it from the Spanish...the picture is of a little knight arriving at a castle and his princess waving hello to him. Take what you want from this....)
-Make realistic plans (although I think it is important to dream BIG!)
-Don't compare yourself with others
-Live in the moment
-Don't be hard on yourself
-Accept that life has good moments and bad moments
-Every night think about the good things that happened that day
-Welcome new ideas
-Believe in yourself
-Be kind
-Let people know how special you are (I have a mental picture of myself going up to a stranger and saying "Hiya, I'm special!" yaaa..... I think when you are yourself and living life to it's fullest, it will shine through that your are special!)
-Be honest with yourself
-Stop obsessing about negative thoughts
-Focus on creating whatever you dream of creating
-Dedicate time to simply having fun
-Thank the people who teach you, help you, encourage you and invite them for coffee
-Don't forget that money cannot buy happiness
-Offer what you no longer need to those who who do need it.
-Value who you are in this moment
-Be part of a group
-Find common ground
-Take care of the love in your life
-Make a list of things you are thankful for
-Take care of the earth
-Never stop learning
-Believe in something bigger than yourself (Of course, I would change this to someONE!)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Video Blog #1!!!

Ok, I've figured this new webcam out and I have finally recorded myself for this first video blog. Last week I posted a question on Facebook: If you could ask me one question about life and ministry in Caracas, what would it be? Here are the answers to the questions I got! Let me know what you think, and maybe I will try it again...

Oh what a week!

As I have reflected on the past week, I have come to 2 conclusions: 1. Some days my life is what great comedies are made of. 2. God has given me a message through the adventures.

It all started last Wednesday, I was on my way to move the last of my stuff, and myself into my new home. But shortly after I got onto the freeway, I realized my car was losing power and then had no power at all. I had to stop right where I was. Thankfully the Hieberts were right behind me and stopped too, and eventually a traffic officer came by, stopped all the traffic and helped push my car from the left lane over to the right shoulder. Loooong story short, we stayed safe, had good police officers stop to talk to us, I waited three hours for a tow truck (although thankfully roadside assistance is included in my insurance), found out my timing belt went, and got the car taken to the mechanic where it has been ever since. We are praying that tomorrow it will be ready!

Monday, Tuesday and yesterday went something like this: Monday A.M. water heater stops working. I brave a cold shower. Tuesday I subject myself to another cold shower. The repair guys come to fix the heater. But what's this? The front door won't unlock? I am locked in my house! The guys have to come in through the house upstairs onto my patio, and between them, the housekeeper from upstairs, and myself we can't get the door unlocked. After everyone has left, I walk over to the door, grab the key...and the door unlocks. Later that night, I'm hanging a shoe rack up on my bedroom door and decide to shut the door to make it easier. When I go to leave the room...what's this? The door won't open? Somehow, I got locked in my bedroom! I twist and turn the door handle, I grab a coathanger and try to somehow move the lock....and I am just getting ready to panic attack/break the doorknob off (somehow) when i grab the knob one last time and the door unlocks! Finally, yesterday I came home from an afternoon at the Hieberts to find the power out and therefore the gate to the house wouldn't open. This time, locked OUT! I had to holler for the housekeeper to come let me in, and thankfully, eventually she heard me!

Although the past week has played out something like a Mr. Bean sketch, I have been reminded of something very serious....that the enemy wants me locked in/locked out instead of being able to freely share the Gospel here in Caracas. But that also, God does NOT want me locked in/out and that in His perfect timing, the doors...and hearts will open.