Friday, February 15, 2008

Catching up, canned food, and dead fish

Dead eel
Feliz Cumpleanos a ti, Robyn! Rachel, Nancy, Robyn, Connie y yo
Mom's gone wild in Mexico headed back to the aeropuerto
Downtown Pto. Vallarta
Jesu Cristo en la arena
The downright cutest dead blowfish I've ever seen
yo a la playa
la playa
a dead red snapper on Robyn's plate that stared at me during dinner

God's sunsets in Mexico are right up there with the ones in SD

It's not ugly, the view we had each morning...

"Mom's gone wild in Mexico"...just kidding! But it was great! We were there 2 full days with travel on either side. I had never been to that state of Mexico, near Puerto Vallarta. I would love to return and take Jason and Em. I told Jason's mom last night that if her son weren't so hot and wonderful and her granddaughter not the best kid ever, I never would have returned. You think I'm kidding? I love the Spanish language, the quiet life and laid back ways of Latin America. (I know it's North America, I'm talking about culture...where else do they mandate naps for everyone? Siesta.)

We stayed in a beautiful home, walked the beach each day, sat in the sun and ate lots of chips and guacamole. The boogie boarding was great, and, I did need a total body exfoliation so, when I got washed up onto the beach, it was a mixed blessing...We could see whales jumping from where we were laying on the beach. There were shooting stars each night in the star saturated skies. We found a quaint town one night, north of where we stayed called Sayulita. If for some reason you never hear from me one day, DON'T send a search party there...

It was wonderful to be surrounded with women who love life, love being wives and moms, and desire to walk closely with the Lord. We laughed and cried. It was good to get away. It was good to come home.

Upon returning, as anyone knows who has ever left their home for an extended amount of time (sometimes even 5 minutes!!!), there was a lot of catching up to do. The grocery store was one of those necessary errands, so I headed to my favorite store. (BTW, I don't dread the grocery getting experience anymore...I rather look forward to it. Thank You, Lord!) This was after I got to hang out with one of my favorite friends for a short visit. We were catching up as she had just returned from a wedding and we were talking about labels, or names. She was sharing her heart about how when people hear a specific name there is an immediate association and often assumption or expectation that goes along with it...FAST FORWARD to the grocery store where I was buying cannellini beans in a can. I thought about how the recycling companies want us to remove labels when we throw our bottles and cans in the bin and I thought about how that relates to us as people. We walk up to the shelf in the store and expect that the can that says "Organic Garbanzo Beans" is really what it says it is. But what if it weren't. What if when you got it home it were pickled herring?! Or, what if the grocers never came up with labels and we were expected to guess what was in each can on the shelf? "Mystery meat" would no longer be a joke in cafeterias.

But seriously, have you ever bought a can of something that was mislabeled? When you opened the can, you saw what was inside for the very first time. The true ingredients.

As a lover of God because of the grace of Christ, I try diligently not to 'read' the labels others have placed on people. I don't expect humans to be perfect. I'm not shocked when my selfishness surfaces. I'm not flabbergasted at human error, when churches aren't perfect, when the name on the outside doesn't match the ingredients. Our labels should read: Child of God; Created in God's image; Earth dweller, so slight imperfections...but forgiven, so handle with care. Store in a cool place.

Instead, I enjoy the ingredients. I like opening the can from my pantry and seeing that what was inside was what it was supposed to be, no weird additives that I cannot pronounce and that shouldn't be there in the first place, but plain and simple 'beans'. Humans add the fillers and preservatives. God made the beans just beans. We are the ones that add the fillers, preservatives and labels to our lives and to the lives of people around us.

We are all sinners. We all have the potential of receiving God's forgiveness if we ask Him. And, though some don't want to be opened, as cans the majority of us want to be known for our true ingredients. So, today, take the time to see what's really on the inside of someone's heart. Unless you are the president of 'Campbell's', you really don't need to worry about labels...


  1. Anonymous9:18 AM

    that is soooooo a dead DOLPHIN!

  2. ohhh that was awesome! I really really liked this post!

    I also loved the pics - so beautiful. Sounds like a wonderful trip!

  3. Sounds like you had an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing the photoes - so beautiful there! I have been to Mexico twice for missions trips, but we weren't really in the most scenic of spots. So, someday maybe Erik & I can go back for a vacation! That would be lovely!

    Thanks also for sharing the thoughts on labels...

    Take care,

  4. I love how you can take something from our everyday lives and turn it into a great lesson!!! You are totally right about the labels. I wish more were like you and would disregard the labels (pastor, church elder, important family name) and get to know the person on the inside. Lately I have been trying to invite people over for dinner that I know who they are but don't KNOW THEM! I think its challenging because you have to find something in common to talk about but rewarding because you realize that you have more in common with them than what you originally thought.

    I loved the pictures from your trip. That fish on the plate reminded me of when we went to Jamaica. This couple we met right away, and still keep in touch with, had ordered Ox Tail. Yep, it wasn't just the meat on the plate but the WHOLE TAIL!!!! It was quite funny. Glad you had a great trip and the pictures are amazing. The only thing with sunsets in Mexico, at least its warm there right now!!! I still love SD sunsets!!!

  5. Anonymous9:25 PM

    We found PV 18 years ago and have never missed a vacation each year. And we have gone there at least twice a year for the past 10 years. 3 years ago we bought a small condo....right on the beach. We love it now just as much as way back then. I have walked the beach and prayed. I have walked the beach and cried. I have walked the beach every hour of every day and praised Him for delivering me from myself. It is an awesome place to be...Not Puerto Vallarta, but rather in His presence! So thrilled that you loved Him there!!

  6. I agree that it looks like a dead dolphin. Dolphin was my first thought when I saw the picture.

    And I also have been to Mexico three times for missions trips but never for a vacation. The funny thing is I am married to a Mexican born in Durango. It's kinda sad that (for monetary reasons) in seven years of marriage we have never visited his hometown or the family that still lives there. He actually has a brother and sister that I have never met. But that is getting off of the subject.

    What I am trying to say is that those pictures are beautiful and I love the idea of taking a trip with my "Mommy" friends. Sounds refreshing. I'm glad you had such a great time.

  7. Great insight, friend!!

    Last night I was hanging with a girlfriend who is not into Jesus. She was sharing how she detests the segregation of religion. I shared with her that Jesus did not come to start a new religion, he was the ultimate humanitarian and came to show us how to be in relationship with God. She was like, "that seems so right on to me! I feel like in religion, people have lost sight of just loving others, of caring for the human race." The labels of religion are a huge turnoff!!

  8. Anonymous10:09 PM


    You don't know me, but I've been reading your blog for quite some time now. I to lost my son one year ago this January.

    Now, I must say I love this post and most of all your spanish!!! Great job!

    God Bless You!

  9. Wow Adrienne!! I am sooo happy you had a great and relaxing vacation! The pics are awesome...I agree with some of your loyal readers here that you can definately take something in our everyday lives and turn it into an awesome lesson for us all...Your posts continue to amaze!! Oh, if you're ever in Texas again...let us know...My family would LOVE to meet you, Em and Jason!!!

  10. Great pictures, love the blow fish. Glad you had such a great time. GOD is good!! And as always, I am so glad you are you. What an awesome child of GOD and an amazing gift you are. So glad you met and are meeting the RISEN CHRIST in everything.

  11. I'm so happy for you having such a wonderful trip! I could use some sun and relaxation myself, right about now.
    I've never liked labels myself. I've always felt 'mislabeled' by others and never feel like I want to impose such restrictions on myself. But for some reason, labeling others comes easy for me. Years of seeking God's heart has helped to soften my own. But I know there is always more humility for me to learn- to embrace.
    The hardest thing for me has been to learn to 'love my enemy'- the woman who killed Teagan. Yet I am finding that the more I tear off 'labels' she's been given in life, the more I see we are really so much the same.
    We both need love. We both need grace. We both need God's mercy in this lifetime.
    I pray everyday that she will come to know His love for her...and somehow overcome the horrible labels that have come to 'define her' thus far.
    Thanks for your thoughts, which trigger mine and make me ponder and pray.
    Now...if only the world could get past designer labels and see how meaningless they are too!

  12. Yah, eel I think Not! It looks like you had a great time and I must admit I am a littl bothered by all the dead ocean life

  13. Anonymous12:23 PM

    I like that..the label bit. So glad you had a nice time in Mexico! Never been myself... would love to go someday!
    Steph G