May 28, 2009

Fishing

Don't you miss those days when everything was possible?

May 25, 2009

Reptile Museum

Hope everyone had a wonderful day off . Thank you to our troops for all of their service for our country. My half-brother, Ian, spent one year or more in Iraq. God bless you good, Ian. We spent the day in Monroe at the Reptile Museum. The other day, when chopping through the blackberry bushes, Mr. Santos killed a snake. The girls were very curious, but their father would not let them touch or investigate the snake.

"Young ladies should NOT play with snakes!" he said.

So we went to Monroe to see them in their cages. We ate tacos at the "Taco truck" (the only way to eat tacos away from home) and saw up close and personal these scary, large, intimidating creatures. The pictures are not mine - they are from allposters.com. We forgot our camera - AGAIN!

Anaconda!



Green Iguana. We got to pet one - it was spine tingling!


This was my favorite - The Chameleon. They're kinda cute to watch climbing around.


AAAAAGGGGHHHHH! is all I have to say about the many spiders we saw - including some horrible, humongous pink one that eats small birds! I get the eeby jeebies just thinking about it.
Highlights of the day ~ the great sunshine, the yummy Taco Truck, being together and oooing and aahing over the animals. We also enjoyed the albino alligator who opened his wide mouth just for us. We were at eye level with his teeth, only a sheet of glass separating us, so it was very cool - or scary - depending on which Santos member you ask.
The yuck of the day? A glass case FULL of large cockroaches and other creepy crawlies for food. BLEh!

May 24, 2009

Don't sweat the big stuff

Have you ever despaired of your situation so much that you groan and plead in your prayers to God? HELP ME LORD! Or, like the disciples in the boat with Jesus, the storm raging around them, "WAKE UP, JESUS!"

~oOo~

So our very first home has finally sold. We went to the house the day before it closed with a tall two by four. On the board we recorded the children's measurements from the markings made on their bedroom wall over the years. We feel a little sad, a little loss, a little regret. It has been a real roller coaster ride. Mr. Santos did everything he could to keep from selling that house. In the end, unemployment and the banks made the decision for us. There is always something to be grateful for. The Santos Times are officially debt free. We have no mortgage, no car payments, no credit cards to pay back, no hospital bills looming. DEBT FREE!

The Lord is so GOOD! He is in control. The more we go through the valleys and peaks of life, the more I see this, and it fills me with such a peaceful confidence. I sing that song:

God is my refuge and God is my strength
A very present help in trouble. (repeat)
Therefore I
will not fear
Though the earth
shall be removed
And though the mountains
be carried into the midst of the sea.


Do we really believe God is in control and whatever happens in life, He will only do what is best for us? If so, being obedient to him is really the only true struggle.

After Joseph was sold into slavery and suffered all the injustices he said But as for you, you meant evil against me; [but] God meant it for good, (Gen 50:20)

When the Israelites came up against impossible situations - the Red Sea, the walls of Jericho, the Midianites and Amalekites - didn't God show himself mighty and faithful? When the sick, the blind and deaf, the hungry - even the demon possessed presented their needs to Jesus, didn't He show himself mighty and faithul?

Why do we stress out at all?

~oOo~
I wish I could say I never stress out. Looking back on the week before closing, Luis and I were in constant communication with lawyers, negotiators, real estate agents, escrow and title. It was SO stressful and tense. The language in the documents had to be just right. Certain documents had to be signed, but not all parties wanted to sign them. Everyone wanted a piece of something and we all had to agree. The tension made my stomach tighten and Mr. Santos and I were snappy with each other - even mean. Sin. And what brought on our sin? Unbelief. Worry.

It didn't have to be that way. We could have just rested in the Lord. We were like the disciples caught with Jesus in the storm. How silly of them to despair when Jesus was right there with them. He had just fed the five thousand and done miracle after miracle - but that storm seemed bigger than anything they had seen yet. Surely this was too big for Jesus, besides He wasn't doing what he should have been doing - WAKE UP JESUS!

~oOo~

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. Psalm 199:71

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose...What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:28

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 2Cor 4:8-10

Well, the Lord is faithful. I'm sure that The Santos Times will have more opportunity - most likely today - to obey even in difficult times - to believe. Isn't that what obedience is? - practicing our faith?

May 15, 2009

Unwanted Visitors

Is there conflict in the house? Do we have a curl in our lip or a furrow in our brow? Are we snappy? Irritated? Critical or Rude?


~oOo~

If so, you can be sure that around every corner is the unwanted visitor Complain Complain. Yep, that's right. Her first and last name is the same.

She loves to visit at mealtime. Oh what a ruckus she makes. The food is never good enough. She hates vegetables. And if by chance we are serving something yummy - something no one would complain about - well, then she complains that someone got more than she did.

Complain Complain also likes to show up early in the morning. She hides in the closet or in the dresser drawers. What a sneak! She points out the flaws in our clothes - the bad colors, how old and out of style they are, how they make us look fat or frumpy or poor. It's hard to get rid of her once she is in the house.

If, somehow, we can get her away from our clothes she goes into the bathroom. There, she stands in the mirror with her arms crossed. She will speak with such authority, it's hard to remember that her father is the Father of lies. She complains about our blemishes, our teeth, our hair, our weight. When Complain Complain visits soon enough there is a conflict.

If it's not Complain Complain visiting, then it is her best friend, Dispute-n-Argue. What a nasty character he is! He is a master at what he does. He can provoke anything and everyone to anger. While he is fluent in many languages, he usually only uses two words: "Why?" or "But".

What a lazy fellow! You never did see anyone as lazy as that Dispute-n-Argue. He always has a reason for being unproductive. It's too hard. It's too expensive. It will make make him (or us) tired, sick or dizzy. He sneaks around.  Just when the Santos Times seem so organized and happy, Dispute-n-Argue will jump in to make us feel how wrong or silly or foolish we are. Like I said, Dispute-n-Argue loves to provoke.

I don't know how these characters get into our house.  One of us lets them in or they come in through an unlocked window, and once they get in, it is nearly impossible to get them out.

Fortunately, we have a very good friend, a faithful friend, that Complain Complain and Dispute-n-Argue HATE. When this friend comes over they usually leave. If they don't leave willingly, he will throw them out for us.

He is very strong and capable and I must say, quite handsome. What a wonderful friend he is! His name is Thankful.

He is SUCH a good friend that, recently, we asked him to come and live with us. We have had to make a lot of adjustments to the home in order to make him comfortable, there are some things he just won't tolerate. But for all he does for us, we would gladly do anything to have him around. He makes us all smile, he keeps those bad visitors away, and we are even healthier because of him. We thank God every day for our good and faithful friend Thankfulness.

~oOo~


Do all things without complaining and disputing: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Philippians 2:14 -15

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