.:. in and out of season .:.

“you will be so happy again.” May 30, 2008

Filed under: life at ventana — Ellen @ 5:40 am

Those are words Nat scrawled in big letters across a journal page and held up to show me during prayer the other day.  I think he saw, or felt, the weariness in my heart that morning – can’t remember what happened to put it there – and his sweet writing meant so much to me right then.  Keeps ringing in my mind throughout the day… 

we had a great girls night last night.  we sat on blankets on the floor with candles and answered questions about ourselves that Carrie had prepared about our childhoods –> high school –> now.  i couldn’t have asked for a better four.  how will i ever let them know that?  i am glad beyond glad that they will be at the wedding.  i think i might just need them to be there.  “my girls.”  i love them.

not much to say, just wanted to write something.  in nine nights i will be in my bed at home.  it occurs to me that this is the last time i’ll be moving from somewhere to home with my family.  in the future it will be home to Nat, to our home.  i wonder if that mental/emotional transition takes a while.  

joy is a choice, always, and here there is a lot of joy to be chosen.  i suppose i just long for the easy happiness that familiarity brings.  no more longing though – these nine days will be for enjoying, for living and taking it slow and lingering and recognizing and remembering and being content and overall, being grateful.  we are so lucky.  


birthday super secrets: May 7, 2008

Filed under: Nat — Ellen @ 9:13 am

Saturday is Nat’s birthday, and I have been busy crafting, purchasing, and planning since March.  I think the dear-hearted man is expecting something like 2 books i found at the garage sales in Guadalupe, or something very small, and I am so excited because he has some really big surprises.  Making/buying gifts for him is one of my all-time favorite things, and I think it must bring me three times the joy that it does him.  He has been instructed not to look at my blog in the next few days.  Here are my ideas/plans…


  • 7am: Breakfast in bed – omelet/scrambled eggs w/veggies & cheese, fresh fruit, and coffee in present #1 – Starbucks San Diego mug
  • 8am: Leave for Guadalupe to see if La Papeleria is open, and poke around at all the garage sales
  • 9:30: Las Rosas (fancy hotel/spa right on the water): climb around on the rocks, collect shells, sit by pool…** two gifts – button-up shirt and Bill Bryson book #1
  • 10:30: Cafe Tomas: Buy him a deluxe coffee drink and sit on the balcony overlooking the city (hopefully not crowded).  **Two gifts – board shorts and Bill Bryson book #2
  • 12pm: Drive up on the beach and go for a long, long walk.  Have small picnic lunch in backpack and stop for a snack.  **2 gifts – jacket and “23 things i love about you” book i made.
  • 1:30/2: Arrive back at car to find all the Ventaneros there with food and brownies for a beach party (if this part works out – if not have party back at home)
  • When we get back home, have the final gift wrapped in a huge box with tons of heavy things around it to hide the size ** 500gb hard drive [a co-op gift from our parents and i] that he has been wanting/needing forever, and is in no way expecting.  



I am so so so so so eager for Saturday…. I wish it was tomorrow.  Writing all the planning out like this reminds me of the pages of plans he had for when we got engaged on my birthday in September.  He had every detail mapped out, with every possible problem foreseen and solved.  


our cake, made by Tina and Carrie, when we arrived back at Mission Springs:





Please pray…

Filed under: life at ventana — Ellen @ 3:42 am

Please pray for Jason, Rigel (Ree-hel) and Abby Schultz, good friends of ours here in Porvenir.  Jason was accidently the cause of a bad car crash yesterday  morning – a trailer on the back of his car came off and caused a three-car accident, killing one man.  Jason has been issued a$20,000 bail, and could face up to 10 years in prison.  Just for an accident… 

In Mexico, you are guilty until proven innocent – so they take everyone to jail immediately after an accident and figure it out from there.  The man who was killed was rather high-up in politics, and his family are pressing charges for murder.  

Our minds and hearts have been so worried for them… Jason is one of the most gentle and shy men I have ever met; the last person I would want sitting in a Tijuana jail…  

Just wanted to get the word out so you could pray. 



may third. an ordinary day. May 4, 2008

Filed under: life at ventana — Ellen @ 5:27 am

They are back, and i love it.  We’re all spread out on our computers in my room.  They haven’t had internet for a week, and are glad to be back home.  

I had a great online conversation with my friend Angela today about what it’s like being a newlywed.  It inspired me to really be working on my self in the next 98 days so that I can be bringing as much to the marriage as I can.  

we saw Martian Child last night with John and Joan Cusack.  I found it incredibly sweet, with a lot of great lines and moments.   an all-around good movie, with lovable characters and good morals.  

we also got stuck in the sand in the “Bombero” – a big old red suburban-like car, and had to be helped by a swarthy young man to whom we gave a beer as a thank-you.  we were a little nervous until he came along – – the tires were really buried.  it was funny, digging them out and creeping along out of the holes.  

the rest of the day was spent napping and playing cards on the beach, working on our “Mentor How-To” documents for future Ventana mentors, and eating at a deserted Mango Mango – a very popular tourist booze/food/dance place.  The music was blaring, although no one was there but us.  We danced anyway, and laughed at the people looking through the windows at two gringos dancing in an empty restaurant.  

i am glad for yesterday, feel peace about today, and am eager for tomorrow.  


some wife-y things on may day… May 2, 2008

Filed under: Marriage,Nat — Ellen @ 7:13 am
Tags: , ,

i have found, at sincerely random times throughout the day, that my mind wanders to household dreams of the future.  i’ve become really interested in reading reviews of all the kitchen products on Target, Amazon, etc… and this is an entirely new experience for me.  I was never one to dream of being a wife, or of my dream wedding, or dream man, or ideal set of anythings, really.  [the thing i have always dreamt of is being a great mom.  first things first.]  But now, now that the prospect of becoming a wife is a very-near reality, all of these traditional housewife ideas are spilling into my brain, and i am receiving them with complete and eager happiness!  i don’t want to be independent in all the meanings of the word.  i want to be exactly who God has created me to be.  i want my life to be vibrant, expressed, and personal – in exactly the ways that I especially will live it.  but i have this new desire, and it’s really deep: the desire to be a helper.  the desire to make life beautiful for another person – a wonderful man.  the desire to be a home-maker, a good, healthy cook, an organized, responsible keeper of the house, a gardener… None of these are “wife-specific”, barks our culture, but part of me can’t seem to stop from believing that this is exactly what i was intended for; that the journey we are beginning in August is another, perfectly-fitting piece of the puzzle of my life.  

i have no trouble digesting the words “submissive” or even “obedient”, either, in theory*.  I trust Nat completely, with all things, in all times.  Wrapped up in that trust is profound security that if I encourage him in his faith, and listen to his wisdom, and obey, and trust – God is honored in our relationship.  The times when I remember this, and temper my words and tones with humility and peace, I get this warm sensation in my heart that tells me something is right.

* i am by no means a submissive or obedient person – – this is a lesson I am learning, and while I accept submission in theory, I deny it wholeheartedly at times in practice.  While I can trust Nat completely, more often than not my fierce independent/stubborn streak takes over in my responses to him. i pray that i am learning, and changing.  

when i woke up this morning – extremely hot, which i think contributed to a series of strange, scary dreams last night – i picked up the book Nat just bought me last week – Believing God, by Beth Moore.  I’m on chapter three, and because of this morning’s readings I have memorized five faith statements to be repeated as often as remembered, a commitment to spending an hour in the Word every day, and a blue ribbon around my wrist to remind me – for the next 99 days.  I love the “tone” in her writing (is that the right way to say it?), and I am thrilled to read the rest of the book.  

Nat and I had two awesome meals together today.  The students have been spending the week at host homes in town, so we have had a lot of time alone together, which has been great, great, great.  This morning I made a scrambled egg concoction for us with red peppers, avocado, tomatoes, onions, and cheese, and presented it to him with a flourish, and then for dinner he made Pad Thai as a surprise, and we had a picnic in the park while we ate it.  It is so fun to feel like Porvenir is comfortable, and homey.  Although the roads are dirt, and it is very distinctly Mexican, it felt like we might as well be in rural Minnesota, or anywhere in America, really.  We played a game of cards, and bet on who gets to pick out the knife set for our gift registry – he likes the wood ones, I like stainless steel….  (neither of us will end up caring all that much about which knives we have)    and he won, fair and square.  = )  it was fun.  

anyway, i’m going to read a little bit more, and then go to sleep.  it’s a strange feeling going to bed all alone in this big double wide trailer.  i miss the girls’ company tonight.


PS… Nat has been asking (begging?) me to let  him get to work on more invitations for the wedding.  he really loves doing crafts, and likes projects that are repetitive.  we spent hours on our save the dates, gluing magnets on, gluing pockets onto cards, writing addresses… and had a blast.  


= )