For as long as I can remember, my Mom would get up at 6 every morning. She would make a pot of coffee, bring my Dad (and me when I was old enough) a mug in bed, start breakfast and then sit in the living room with her coffee and start her day with God. (Yes, I know I was a spoiled girl. She also strained the pulp out of my fresh-squeezed orange juice!)

Breakfast was an event in our home. We were expected to be at the table at 7 a.m. Before we came to the table our beds had to be made and our rooms fairly tidy. We always ate a hot breakfast together (my Mom made amazing breakfasts) and then we had family devotions. Without fail, this was how we started our day. We do the same in our home today (although the breakfasts are not as good!)

Sixteen years ago today, my Mom followed her normal habit of rising early to start her day with God. Only this time, she got to really be with Him. Early in the morning on April 26, my Mom went home to be with Jesus.

I still miss her. It's not so sharp as before. There are whole parts of my life that I have lived without her at all. Even though I would have loved for her to be part of that, she can't. So I've learned to live life without her daily influence.

But she echoes in my heart and mind still. I feel her in my soul. She didn't believe that she would be able to see me from Heaven. She believed that Heaven would be focused on God, and that it would be impossible to see only the good on earth and not the bad too, so she didn't think she would see anything.

Either way, she is woven into the fabric of my soul.

I love you Mom.

The Car Passed

And God showed me His grace in the process!


At the beginning of the week, I was going to write a post entitled "And now, back to your regularly scheduled life". It's only Tuesday, but it doesn't feel like it's quite there yet!

On top of the apartment "incident" I also have to take the car in for its annual inspection. Can I say how much I hate this? In Spain, there is a huge process they put your car through, not just emissions. They test things like whether all your seatbelts work, if you horn works, if your headlights are adjusted to the correct level etc. Since our car is more than 10 years old, we have to go through this every year. As far as I know, everything is in decent working order (thankfully I don't think you get points taken off for having a dirty car!) but I'm still nervous. If it doesn't pass, I am not allowed to drive it anywhere except to get it repaired. And to be honest, I do not have the time or money to get car repairs this week. So I am praying it passes.

We spent a couple of hours wandering around the city today, calling apartments. We found a few possibilities in the newspaper that we need to call. My landlord send me a recommendation letter, and CA sent us the guarantee letter. So we submitted those to the girl at the real estate agent and we'll see if the landlord will reconsider the 6-month aval he is asking for. It would be in his best interest since the place has been listed for months and we are good renters. I am waffling in between just giving up the dream of that apartment and being hopeful about it.

Instead of letting things overwhelm me I decided to count 10 blessings in my life today. Here they are:

1) Sushi for dinner
2) It was free ice cream day at Ben & Jerry's today. I had Cherry Garcia and Chocolate Therapy.
3) Our landlord Demetrio who not only wrote us a great recommendation, but is also willing to check over any potential contracts to make sure we aren't signing things we don't want to.
4) The house is being sold, and the people buying it are going to do all kinds of stuff to it. So that means we don't have to do any fixing up. That saves us tons of time and money too.
5) That the book fair at Meg's school had buy-one-get-one-free activity and sticker books that will be helpful in getting Nic up to speed for school in the fall.
6) An evening for me, and the chance to go to bed early.
7) Sunshine, blue sky and warm weather.
8) Listening to my son sing "I Ain't Got No Belly Button" (Veggie Tales) at the top of his lungs.
9) Doing a page of basic math in a workbook with Nic and watching him breeze through it.
10) That our kids are definitely enrolled in a school next year.

A Prayer for Today

Troy and I are heading into the city this morning to do some pavement pounding in our search for the home God has for us. I spoke to my friend Elizabeth briefly. She said "Go in peace and faith." Her words reminded me of this prayer a colleague of ours shared with us (I've posted it before) by Thomas Merton.

It seems very fitting this morning!

A prayer of trust for when the way is uncertain

My Lord God,

I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself.

And the fact that I think that I am following your will

does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.

And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this

You will lead me by the right road

Though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust you always

though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me,

And you will never leave me to face my perils alone.


The Other Shoe

So, on Friday, when I was talking to Aurora (the woman with the apartment) I kept waiting for her to make huge demands. Like, "We need a year bank guarantee." When she only said 1 month deposit, I was flabbergasted and thrilled.

I told her I would see the place again on Monday (today) and call her after that.

Today, I stood outside in the hot sun with Kelly and Amy and waited for the man to show up and let us in to see the apartment. At 2:20, I called him. He said he was told not to show it anymore because it was rented.

Ahem. I called Aurora to clear it up. Apparently on Friday, someone was willing to sign the contract then and there. She said she tried to let me know but I never got the call. It was rented. On Friday.

THUD. There went the other shoe.

More than 5 hours later, I am feeling strangely peaceful. We called about the first apartment we saw in the same complex. They want a 6-month bank guarantee. We are going to offer a glowing recommendation from our current landlord, and a letter of guarantee from CAI for one year's' rent. If they say no, we'll look elsewhere.

It would be easy now to second guess ourselves. If we had called sooner, yada yada yada. But maybe it was more about the process of trusting God no matter what. Maybe that complex is just not supposed to be for us.
So even though I was hoping that we might have keys to the apartment by the end of the week, I am strangely excited to see what God is going to do now!