Beyond Special

Dear Friends,
I am finding this post hard to write. There is so much about this experience that is so close to my heart. I get teary just thinking about this day.

Completely by God's grace, not by a drop of our own planning, we were blessed to be in Puerto Rico for their special fellowship gathering.

This meant all the smaller churches on the island were in one place for  Sunday meeting and several visiting ministers from other places were there to speak to us.

I don't know how we got so lucky except that The Lord must have known how much we needed this day. I didn't know there could be anything more precious than the first Sunday we were there. But it just got better and better.


Dressed in our Sunday best we loaded up and drove the ninety minutes to get there.
I don't remember inviting the Barbie family. Someone really should have told them to put on more clothes. [sigh] Either that or we should have dropped them off at the beach.

Our girls were a little more pulled together.
Those neat and tidy, little-girl heads make me happy every time I see them.
Like a quiet, resounding echo of my french-braided childhood.

Here are our hosts.
They opened their home to us, moved all their furniture out and never asked for any type of credit or thanks.

I want to say a special thanks anyway.

Our  group.
You can't see all their faces but I can tell you that I met them and I certainly felt their sweet spirits. They are my friends through heart-strings now.

We shared a lunch at noon.

The kids enjoyed a break from being quiet and we all enjoyed a chance to get up and move around a bit.

We ate.
Yes, I'm chewing. Thank you so much for that, dear Mr. Loggerhead.

Paybacks are double. Love you, dear!

We had a mini birthday celebration. Gala and Olga smiled and blushed while we sang first in English, then in Spanish.
The baby boy in green is the cutest thing ever. Ever. 

I love the little boy in white's hands over his mouth, his older brother's expression and the older folks in the background. 

Olga made her own Tres Leches birthday cake and after tasting it I can totally understand why her husband let her. It was scrumptious... right up there with flan.
I stole my son's piece while he wasn't looking.

Olga also made these marshmallow treats.
The only time I tried making Bakerella's cake pops -- they totally flopped, but I'm thinking I could handle these!

They are kitchen-challenged friendly and child approved.

Two smiles up!

I enjoyed watching this little friendship blossoming. Later, Lissie and I both cried happy tears while her sweet new friend made the most precious truth known to all of us.
She had given her heart to God.

There are no words.


This very kind lady translated for us along with Joyce. We are so glad God's voice comes through any language barrier.

When I listened to the prayers in Spanish I couldn't understand much, but I caught a few familiar words again and again.

God.  Father.  Love.  Heart. Thank you.  Father.  Love.  Thank you.  God.  Heart.  Father.  Thank you.

And in the end that is enough, isn't it?

A Thankful Heart in NE

P.S. I wish I could have known Joyce's Father. It was precious to listen to her and Aunt Millin's memories of him and to hear some of the older folks tell of him bringing the Gospel story to them in Puerto Rico. We visited his grave and that too was beyond special.

Just so, so thankful.


  1. Your post made me teary--How very special. I love how you capture things in your photos. So many times I'm amazed...I'm sure I would have been saying "look at the camera" and missed the *real* photo!

  2. Dear Auntie,
    Thank you! I've been loving the "voice" behind your recent posts... very real.

    Your Niece in NE

  3. What a truly lovely post, and what any vacation, trip is all about...meeting in special unspoken unity with God's people. So happy for all.

  4. Lovely post, and that photo of the french braids...That is great, fantastic, I love it, it should be on a post card, or someone's wall, or for sale or something, I REALLY love it. Just like it is.

  5. dear In the Precious Hearts of PR,

    I want to go. Maybe I never will get to PR, but I can say I DO know this feeling from times past when we were in far away places. Witnessing the miracle of how it works. Still. Through all the ages of time. Timeless. Pure. True.

    I really enjoyed the photos and, well, all of this post. It was special recognizing faces we have known before. The french braided little girls, the birthday treats, the pictures of open hospitality and budding friendships {again timeles, pure and true}, and a perfect 'Grand-finale' of Pip and his grandpa walking togeter.

    How Braided echos of faith and fellowship sweeten through the years.


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