Monday, March 31, 2014

The Bread of Life, Literally

I have been cleaning out my file cabinet the past few months and came across this story. I had it cut out of a magazine with no title, no author, and no clue as to where exactly it came from -- so I cannot pass on the credit... But, it is so powerful!

Here in Peru we're surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in the world. Take Mount Huascaran, for example. At 22,205 feet above sea level, it's quite a challenge to climb! While the village where our family lives is at a much lower elevation, getting around on foot here is still no walk in the park.

That's what amazes me about Emilio. As a blind villager without a Seeing Eye dog or anyone to lead him, he has memorized the rocky path with its twists and turns, steps and bad bumps, and is able to travel from his house to our translation center. The other thing that amazes me about Emilio is his powerful love for Jesus and his desire to serve others, in spite of the challenges blindness brings. Whenever he visits, he always asks if there is any work he can help us with.

One day, Emilio asked if we could help him purchase a shortwave radio, so he would be able to listen to the radio program our co-translators produce in Quechua, and some other Christian broadcasts. Since he is blind and can't read Braille, the programs are the only way he can regularly hear the Scriptures. The radio he'd found only cost twelve dollars, which seemed quite reasonable. I told him I'd see what we could do.

That night, we visited Emilio's house to give him the money he needed. Emilio lives alone in his little dirt-floored, one-room house. Inside, it reminds me of my grandma's old barn, with many belongings hanging from rafters, and other items scattered around the floor. He appears so poor materially, yet he's so rich in spirit. It was a joy to see his reaction to the radio. He was thrilled by it and told us about the preachers he liked to listen to, and how God had been working in his life.

During the course of our conversation, I asked, "How do you get your food?" He confidently replied, "Read John 6:35!" I turned there in his Bible, which he keeps in a plastic bag, and which he can no longer read for himself. I had to choke back tears as I began to read, "Then Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.'"

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Adventures Abound

  • Over the weekend, we went to a neat "Work Auction" to raise money for a mission trip to Guatemala, where people's services were auctioned (like 3 hours of painting or cooking or babysitting or yard work). 
  • It snowed a couple inches yesterday. Huge flakes. While the sun was out. Sunsnower :)
  • I forgot to mention that there was a manhunt right in our area a couple weeks ago, but he is no longer a threat now. It was a tragic and nerve-wracking day.
  • My 2 year old requests mocktails. Seriously. We make this therapeutic ginger drink and mix it with either mango or pineapple juice --voila, "mocktail"!
  • Micaiah's mishaps: he loves to make art and paint and even asks me to color five times a day! Aolani was not like this and still is not. "Micaiah, do you want to go outside?" "No. Color!" (Not every time -- he loves the outdoors -- but often enough.) My little artist!
  • Aolani's antics: Talking about being born last night, "I can't wait to do that again!" (Oh, I can! ;) )
Beloved Button


"No green. Blue!"

The tape resist paintings, the filter flowers, and our one-eyed paper plate sheep (actually, there are two but Micaiah ran off crying with his)
  • Verse to memorize this week: Titus 2:14 ~ who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014


About a year ago, I decided to make the switch to dresses or skirts for the DiMartino women.

There are many thoughts and questions surrounding this issue -- You are that family?! What, why??

I was iffy about sharing this because I always thought it was a legalistic thing; and, I hate legalism! But, it really all comes from a softened heart that is completely open to Him and His leading. While there are so many objections that I use to have, I realized that deep down they were just rationalizations or reasons why it really is okay to keep doing what I'm doing, ways for me to get out it because I didn't want to be that person, that Christian.

However, Erika Shupe wrote an excellent, thorough post on this issue this week, and it covers A LOT of information that I recommend reading. So, here is her intro:

Modest Dress: The Heart of the Issue Surrounding Clothing, Sexuality & Biblical Femininity 
by Erika Shupe

Our family had always tried to dressed as modestly as we could in our pants, however I wondered why some Christian families had all of their ladies wear dresses or skirts. I couldn’t find a scripture that said, “Thou shall always wear dresses or skirts”, and yet we continually saw beautiful, conservative families dressing this way exclusively and intentionally. We’ve watched clothing trends moved towards less and less material especially for women and even worse, less and less clothing for young women and girls – and disappointingly, the church is less and less a haven of refuge from these trends.

I'll share with you,
  • How and why we began wearing skirts exclusively 
  • My 4 Original Objections to Exclusive Skirts 
  • Creating My New Look 
  • Changes of the Heart 
  • Online Resources

{We are still transitioning somewhat, meaning I (Aidan) still have pajama pants I wear at home on the weekends when we're alone (because I don't own long, comfy skirts yet) and Aolani's dresses are mostly knee length (eventually long ones exclusively is the goal).

Also, since Ricky has worked in the court system, he has heard several cases where little girl victims could have not been victims at all had they been wearing long dresses or skirts! Talk about real life motivation!}

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Our Masks

  • Our week was pleasantly normal, including dinner and games twice with other young families, small group, and Ricky had a business meeting all day Saturday in another city.
  • In case I didn't mention this, we are slightly addicted to Agricola and play it once-a-week, if we can ;)
  • Ricky's grandpa is not doing well physically right now and seems to be counting down the hours :( We are thankful to have been able to see and pray with him via Skype yesterday.
  • My mom is planning on returning April 7th, which is my birthday and the premier of Studio C's 4th season (another slight addiction) ;)
Look out, Zorro! [Seriously, Aolani did this -- with her dirty undies no less!]
DIY Slime (equal parts glue and liquid cornstarch)

Bathtub painting
  • Verse to memorize this week: Titus 2:13 ~ while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Zimbabwe Covenant

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed.
I have Holy Spirit power.
The die is cast.
I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made.
I am a disciple of Jesus.
I will not look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My past is redeemed.
My present makes sense.
My future is secure.
I am finished and done with low-living, sight-walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotion, or popularity.
I do not have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded.
I now live by faith, lean on God’s presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven.
My road is narrow, my way rough, my Guide reliable, my mission clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not give up, shut up or let up.
I will go on until Christ comes, and work until Christ stops me.

I am a disciple of Jesus.

*Want to get your adrenaline flowing and blood pumping? Try reading this out loud and just see if your voice doesn't grow stronger, quicker, and firmer... you'll be shouting 'Hallelujah!' and 'Amen!' and 'Take that, Satan!' by the end of it (that is, if you're like me) :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Living in Color

  • The kids are better, but I am just now succumbing :( It came yesterday morning, but I feel better today even though I sound worse. I think it'll be short-lived.
  • It snowed 2" on Friday, then it was beautiful and 70 degrees over the weekend!
  • We had a busy weekend with company three nights in a row; nice!
  • I think I was mourning some last week because Avalynn's due date was last week...

Cottonball painting

Painting with wet glue -- probably my favorite art activity yet!

This one is mine
Paper plate rainbows

  • Verse to memorize this week: Titus 2:12 ~ It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Isaiah's Ifs and Thens

I was reading Isaiah 58 this week and really feel the need to just type half of it out, chew on it, pray about it... I think they're layers here for me.

Verse 6 - [Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke? 
Verse 7 - Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house—when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood? 

Verse 8 - Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you [conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 

Verse 9b - If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking, 

Verse 9a - Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am.

Verse 10a - And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, 

Verse 10b-12 - then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday. And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of [buildings that have laid waste for] many generations; and you shall be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. 

Verse 13 - 
If you turn away your foot from [traveling unduly on] the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a [spiritual] delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and honor Him and it, not going your own way or seeking or finding your own pleasure or speaking with your own [idle] words, 

Verse 14 - Then will you delight yourself in the Lord, and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage [promised for you] of Jacob your father; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.

(Amplified version)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Expanding into...

  • Our week included an 8k race, a picnic in the park with some friends, going to a birthday party for a friend, and some cough/cold/fever thing the kids got (everyone in our county has had it already; apparently, my kids were the last to get it) but Ricky and I fought successfully and avoided it :)
  • Measurements: Aolani -- 35 lbs and 3'4" tall / Micaiah -- 26 lbs and 34" tall
  • Micaiah has started giving me these noisy, sweet kisses throughout the day :)
  • Happy Lent! For Lent, I am going to start keeping this schedule I created earlier this year for myself and the kids. (It means more routine and a much earlier bedtime!)

 Ricky's garb for the relay race with three other famous writers: Dickens (Ricky), Lewis, Tolkien, and Chesterton.

Aolani twirling in my old dress!
  • I'm going to memorize a small chunk this month: Titus 2:11-4. This week is verse 11 ~ For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

You Follow Me

When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” ~ John 21:18-22
"How does my --


compare with so-and-so's?"

Jesus has blunt, real, honest words for us:  What is that to you? You follow me!

That's right: no judgment, no comparison, no measuring to any other person.

Talk about freeing! "This is me and this is my life and this is what He has called me to. He will give me enough grace to help me every minute in every task and challenge."