Bienvenido a Linares. Vivimos en el Presente.

Welcome to Linares. Live in the Present.

Gorgeous view of the mountains from Linares

I have come to not only love but also to appreciate the Present Tense in Spanish. It is a simple and wonderful tense. Apart from the few irregulars, verb conjugations actually seem to follow a steady routine. It doesn’t have the crazy complexity of the past tense (Why have one past tense when there can be millions? Okay, there are actually only two, but the irregulars are in the millions I’m positive). It also is so much simpler than the future tense…well I haven’t studied the future tense yet but I’m sure that is the case. 

I am convinced that if we spoke only in the present tense life would be all around better! Not only would it would save me about 10 solid seconds of thinking-before-talking time, but it would also help people out a ton spiritually.

Let me explain…

Our first two weeks in Linares have thrown a lot of (now entertaining but at the time quite vexing) moments at us. Take a look:

Attack of the Slugs

I am currently 2-0 in disposing of the slugs that crawl through the drainpipe into our bathtub. I am also about 12-0 in scraping their dried corpses off the tub. Lastly, I am 0-3 in letting the little sluggers completely freak me out. What’s even worse is that one got me twice! The stinker crawled out of the garbage can and onto the toilet. No worries… 1. Thank goodness I decided to turn the light on 2. I now have been fully informed that I actually have to kill them before tossing them and 3. In order to avoid the inevitable gooey squish, I have taken to tossing them through the bathroom window.

Good Things Fall Apart

Many of you saw pics of our house in an earlier blog so you know that it was pretty stripped clean when we moved in. We have taken a good amount of time trying to figure out cost-effective ways of setting up necessities/storage options. But, within the span of 24 hours, the house gods decided to allow seemingly everything to fall apart.

  • Everything in our bathroom dropped, one-by one, to the floor like slow hail. Ting, goodbye towel hangers. Clank, chao toilet paper holder. Crash, adios rack for toiletries.
  • Our closet/pantry (that took a painstaking 2 ½ hours to put together thanks to our construction skills and the Spanish directions) began to warp and tilt sideways carrying with it all our dishes.
  • My rack to hang clothes on fell down three times and the door handle to our entrance area also seems to like to fall down on a regular basis.
  • Our kitchen sink clogged. In an attempt to not call our plumber AGAIN, Jon bought some stuff that looked like draino. About an hour after pouring it down the sink we realized that the “draino” had molded into a solid mass of white gunk now ensuring that absolutely nothing was going down this drain.
  • We bought a drill to help fix everything…but it didn’t work.
               Plumber in training

Let Us In!

On one of Jenny’s (our Kingdom Worker’s teammate) first nights here we dropped her off at her apartment only to find that we could not get in. We spent about 20 minutes trying to work the multiple locks. I hopped the fence to heroically save the day by opening the back door… but in reality the key snapped in half in the lock.


Jon had just put a good-looking meal on the table when he realized that he didn’t know where his wallet was. We searched high and low and finally assumed that it must have disappeared at his stop at the corner store. Dinner still on the table we rushed to church to hop on the internet and deactivate all of his cards.

So there it is… the now entertaining but at the time vexing moments of the last two weeks.

So, what does my list of grievances have to do with the beyond wonderful present tense you ask?

Well, I have begun to realize that focusing on the present is wonderful because it doesn’t allow for dwelling on the past or for worrying about the future. All one is able to do is concentrate their thoughts on the here and now. When you can’t think about other things that have frustrated you that day or about not knowing how to fix a problem, you are left with embracing the moment. All you can do is calmly move on to the next logical part of your day.

A cool thing is that, apart from remembering His promises, God doesn’t ask us to focus on the past. He also demands that we do not worry about the future. Instead, He calls on us to seize opportunities in the present to trust in Him and to serve as ambassadors of His grace.

“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”                  James 4:13-15

    “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.”               Luke 12:35a

Basically, who cares if my house isn’t exactly how I wanted to set it up or if minor inconveniences pop up like a stolen wallet or a broken key. At the moment they consume you but in reality they mean absolutely nothing!

The crazy thing is that if you calmly embrace the present trusting God, often so many opportunities and blessings open up before your eyes.

      In Linares flowers still bloom in winter

When things fall apart… take a step back. Maybe leave them on the floor and do some teambuilding with Jenny walking around Linares or at a beautiful winery where Jon could connect with a fellow mountain biker whom he can now hopefully ride with, build a relationship with, and invite to church. When you return from the winery, you just might discover that the non-working-fix-everything drill just needed to be charged for an extended period of time.

When the draino attacks or when your key breaks in the lock… embrace the time building relationships with Jenny’s insanely sweet landlady and the plumber Eduardo. Be thankful for how many words you learn from Eduardo who kindly talks very slowly and clearly and asks if you understand after every sentence. Also realize that some locks are not “righty tighty, lefty losey” but in fact the opposite. (literally all we had to do was turn the locks the other way)

When you lose your wallet… Shout for joy that you put the rent money you just withdrew in a different pocket. Be thankful for how quick credit card companies are at canceling your accounts. Appreciate the ladies at the corner store who so lovingly expressed their concern and sadness. Enjoy a reheated but delicious meal. And make sure to check all drawers where you never ever ever put your wallet because it will turn up there. At least Jon’s did.

When slugs attack… We live in a sinful world and something’s I just cannot find the bright side to. Any ideas are welcomed apart from slugs are cute creatures… false.

We have so many opportunities everyday to embrace the present, good or bad, thankful for God’s grace and excited to connect with others to hopefully share that same grace. It is so easy to be so consumed by the urgent that we often do not see or do the important. Sometimes the greatest mission opportunities are hidden in the small daily interactions, at the least expected times.

Let’s live in the present!


Here are a few pics from our first two weeks in Linares. 

    Morning dog walk in the park by our house
              Beautiful mural on our street
                                     Winery Time!




Buying some meat and eying up the pig’s heads
        Exploring Mercado Central with Jenny
Heaven = fresh fruit and veggies straight from the farm
                 Bible Study time!
         Rainy season + no drainage = above pic
                   Plaza de Armas
                        Early morning bus stop
Wine Fest
                   Wine Fest
Someone was a little too excited to try different foods at Wine Fest
Someone was a little too excited to try different foods at Wine Fest
Good times with great people. Thanks Seth for helping us out so much!
Good times with great people. Thanks Seth          for helping us out so much!




2 thoughts on “Bienvenido a Linares. Vivimos en el Presente.

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