Thursday, August 28, 2014

Giveaways Galore to Promote the Release of Messy Beautiful Love

The TimeWarpWife has written a book!! Darlene Schacht has written Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages.

This book will be released on September 16th, but it is available for pre-order now with a special freebie package. (You can learn more about the freebie package HERE)

Darlene is also having one giveaway a week between now & when her book is released. You can enter HERE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Messy Beautiful Love with Freebies!!

The TimeWarpWife has written a book!!

Darlene Schacht has written Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages.

This book will be released on September 16th, but it is available for pre-order now with a special freebie package.

If you pre-order the book, you can get 10 e-books, 31 prayer cards, and a free song!! This freebie package is valued at over $50!!

If you pre-order 5 or more copies, you get the freebie package PLUS a study guide, set of printable conversation starters, and 25 iPhone wallpaper backgrounds.


3 Ways to Order:
1. Go to to order Messy Beautiful Love as a physical book or an e-book. 
2. Go to to read more about the freebie package & pre-order the book.
3. Go directly to your book site of choice (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, iBook,, Family Christian, Lifeway, Mardel, Parable) (Links at

How to Get Your Freebies in 2 Easy Steps:
Step 1. Email a copy of your receipt or order confirmation number, as well as the number of books you purchased.
Step 2: Wait to receive your freebie package in your email. (It may take a day or two to receive it).

Provide us with your receipt/order confirmation number & the number of books you purchased, and claim your freebie package! Please be patient as it may take a day or two for the freebies to arrive. - See more at:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Snapshot of Our Time in Costa Rica: Second Quarter

Our time in Costa Rica is quickly disappearing. The knowledge of leaving brings out a nostalgic thread in me, so I've found 20 pictures of our second quarter in Costa Rica.

A rainbow smiles upon SENDAS
We scaled back to 9 hours of Spanish class a week from January through March
We learned how coffee is made & Liz got to try her hand at turning coffee beans in the sun.

Lucas got to see the volcano that he really was wanting to see.

We enjoyed hiking to see the beauty & power of God's creation.
Liz & Luke among "Poor Man's Umbrellas"
These darling parrots like to perch outside the window & squawk us awake in the morning.

Outside the gates of SENDAS with the flags a'flying
Liz & other Spanish students crossed the alligator bridge
Liz saw the beauty of creation in a seaside sunset

Liz & other Spanish students at the beach

Lucas helped survey for a bridge project in an indigenous region.

We joined our church on a picnic
The ping pong buddies at the church picnic
Liz joined the ladies of a Work & Witness team in ministering to women of a local church
Lucas got his hammock from the artisan market
Liz likes to use the hammock too
We reset our visas by helping in a Nazarene school in Nicaragua

Church of the Nazarene: Holiness to Jehovah

Liz learned how to make "gallo pinto" (beans & rice) in the Nicaraguan style

Thursday, August 21, 2014


When I first came to Costa Rica, I don't know quite what I expected.
Well, actually, I expected to serve a year here and then return to my "normal" old life in my college town & my husband's hometown.

I did not expect to put roots down.
I did not expect to realize that my only current home is Costa Rica.
I did not expect to realize that our next step may not be to our old home.
I did not expect to be so sad leaving Costa Rica (because I didn't think that far ahead).

But we did put roots down and our apartment in Costa Rica did become home to us. My logical side knows that the US will be home again, but right now, I feel like I'm leaving our home for the unknown, instead of coming back home.
We did come to realize that as we have changed & grown in Costa Rica, we may not be called back to the life we left.
In a month, we're not just leaving the mission field, but rather, we're leaving our home, our new church family, our new friends, & the work we've been doing for the past year. It is hard & painful to say goodbye, knowing that with most our of friends & co-workers, we may not see them again in person on this side of heaven.

Being uprooted isn't easy, but sometimes God uproots and replants us, so we can grow.

I know many of our friends & family in the States view our return as a homecoming, but for me, it's a home-leaving.

The (23) Hardest Things About Moving Home After Living Abroad is an excellent article about the process of moving "home" after living abroad & what is difficult about this process.

What I'm Asking of Friends & Family: 
Please be patient with us as we feel lost & out of our depth as we readjust to life in the States.

Please give us time to adjust. We've grown and changed in our year in Costa Rica, but it's also overwhelming to think of the changes we will face in the US. I know that I will be startled by the gradual changes in old hometowns that are suddenly sprung on me.

Please remember that we aren't used to large quantities of processed foods. Liz-the-idealist wants to limit our eating out to only 1-2 times a month to slowly ease our digestive system back into American food. We'd love to share about our time in Costa Rica over coffee (or tea) or a meal in your house. But when we've eaten meals centered around beans, rice, chicken, fresh fruit & fresh veggies for 9 months since we were last in the States, we can't eat out often or we will get sick.

Please allow us to share about our time in Costa Rica. Virtually every memory we have from the past year is set in Costa Rica or related to Costa Rica. It will be all we can talk about for a while, but that's because it's been our life for the past year.

Please understand that I'm nervous to drive. I haven't driven in 9 months. I've walked to the store. I've taken taxis. I've rode the bus. But I'm out of practice driving & it's scary.

Please keep praying for us. This will be a difficult readjustment because we have pulled up the roots we have put down in Costa Rica. Please pray for understanding & patience in those we meet. Please pray for calm stomachs & wisdom in choosing what to eat. Please pray for guidance for the future.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Snapshot of Our Costa Rican Life: First Quarter

Our time in Costa Rica is quickly disappearing. The knowledge of leaving brings out a nostalgic thread in me, so I've gathered a sampling of 20 pictures of our first quarter in Costa Rica.

Our First Three Months in Numbers:

8 Child sponsor letters translated (Span.-Eng.) by us + 7 more
58 CALL classes in Costa Rica (145 hours)
16 ESL classes (48 hours-ish)
4 video conferencing systems sent + 12 ready to go and organizational system created by Lucas
Testimonies given at the Hollow Oak
Spanish practice outside of classroom at La Paz Waterfall Gardens & the park

Our first view of our home for the next year

Home: looking from our front window out on the campus

Home: The top right side of the building was our apartment

Our first full day at the Seminary, we met our co-workers

In our first 3 months here, we took 15 hours of Spanish class a week!

Our first mountain climb together, with a local youth group, 10 days after arriving in Costa Rica

We tried new foods (shown here is a tamale)

We served alongside brothers & sisters from Costa Rica & the US

A driveway is being put in for a local church

We saw great beauty

We experienced things we've never tried before

We were amazed at the vibrancy & colors of creation

We were astounded by the power of creation

We found a local church family to love & who loved us

These are our friends and coworkers from the Seminary
We served alongside youth groups to help in communities in Maximum Missions

The work crew for Maximum Mission

Lucas repaired video-conferencing equipment throughout our year here

Our first ESL class. We had 2 students in Basic 1

The Spanish Students on Certificate Day!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How to Flash-Freeze Fruits and Veggies in a Small Freezer

I have a small refrigerator & therefore a small freezer. Therefore, I cannot flash freeze food in the way that my mother taught me (to wash, spread out on a cookie sheet to freeze, & then put in a bag).

I've come up with my own way of flash freezing and maybe it will be of good use to you. I typically flash freeze veggies like onions, carrots, chiles, tomatoes (I'm not as successful with tomatoes), celery, etc. and then use them in soups, stir-fries, and omelets.

Wash the fruit or veggies you wish to freeze.
Cut them in the size you want.
Put them in a sandwich baggie that you can seal.
Mush them around so it forms a fairly flat layer.
Place the bag in the freezer. If you stack several bags on top of each other, the middle one(s) will freeze slowest.
Occasionally take the bags out and move the pieces around. This prevents them from freezing in one solid lump.
If you wait to long & they are frozen together, slam the bag on the counter to break up.
Once they are frozen (after 2-5 bag movements), they won't refreeze as a chunk.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Premack Principle in My Routines

When I was in college, I learned about the Premack Principle (informally called "Granny's Rule) in my behavior management class. Simply stated, "In order to do what you want, you have to do what I want." The premise involves using good & positive things as rewards for less pleasant tasks. This principle can be used on children or you can use it on yourself.

Eat your vegetables in order to get dessert.
Study for your test before watching tv.
Finish your chores before picking up that new book.

Everyday, I start my day with the Premack Principle.
I need to do my devotions before I can boot up my computer and check my emails.
I must study my Spanish vocabulary and Bible verses before I can check facebook.

In order to do what I want to do, I have necessary tasks I must get done first. The necessary tasks are the ones that I sometimes procrastinate & get sucked into mindless activities instead.

What are ways you can use this principle in your life?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Leaving the Ol' Comfort Zone

As humans, we are amazingly adaptable & new situations quickly become routine.

In Costa Rica, we have found our normal. We live on the Seminary grounds where we volunteer. We leave to go shopping & to go to church. For three months, we taught English off-campus, one night a week. But we have our routine, our normal.

A few Saturday nights ago, Lucas & I went to a youth group meeting to share our testimonies. The morning of the meeting, we found out when we'd get picked up for that meeting (5pm). In the early afternoon, we found out we'd actually be picked up that afternoon (2pm). Our plans shifted as we rode with a couple from our church to an errand they had, for a visit over coffee, to a guitar lesson by a praise band member, and then to the youth group meeting.

The meeting was outside my comfort zone, for many reasons: 
1. Of my husband and I, I am the less social one.
2. My dinner was delayed until 7:30pm (instead of 5pm)
3. I was very nervous giving testimony in Spanish (even though my head knew that I was among friends).
4. We joined the youth group in sharing about our weeks & prayer requests in Spanish.
5. We joined the youth group in participating in a game.

The next day, my husband & I jumped in a taxi & headed to an area of Costa Rica we had never been to before to see the baptism of a friend's baby. It was new. It was different. It was a little intimidating.

These two events were a good reminder of how normal life in Costa Rica has become. It was good to remember that we need to leave our comfort zone sometimes, and when we do, it's not always that scary.