Lake Chapala, the largest natural lake in Mexico, ebbs and flows through the years.

Although Lake Chapala is technically the largest natural lake in Mexico, when we moved to Mexico in 2002 It was almost non-existent. The water was about a 1 mile out and all you could see was dirt with a thin mirage of water far out in the center. There were trees and shrubs growing where the water once stood. The lake bottom was littered with haphazard barbed wire fences. Locals had even built a baseball diamond beside the boardwalk. (Which was odd since everyone knows that soccer is the only sport in Mexico) Circuses would set up their tents out on the dry lake bed when they came to town and a few entrepreneurs established a horse riding business down there too. The lake water was dirty and polluted. There were some fisherman who dared to bring home a “fresh” catch, but most people would never consider eating anything that came from it.

We have seen pictures of the lake in the 1950’s. The water was up so high that it covered the main street. On its edges, the water came rolling in waves. It was hard to believe that the lively lake of the 1950’s had nearly disappeared.

Every year during rainy season the runoff water from the mountains fills the basin and every year during dry season the hot sun evaporates noticeable amounts of water. Daily you can see the shoreline move.

Over the 15 years we have been here, we have seen the lake change tremendously. I’m not sure what the real cause of its rejuvenation was, there are lots of superstitions and tall tales circulating, but one year the water began to rise. It came in and covered the trees and bushes. It covered the lonely spillway wall that stood lonesome near the abandoned pier. Then it covered the baseball field and came right up to the edge where the shore should have been. With it, came the waves.

In 2012, just 10 years after moving here, the lake had returned. When it did, the PanAmerican Games, being held in Guadalajara, decided to hold their water events on it. The city brought in truckloads of sand and made a beautiful beach. They even commissioned a larger than life statue of Christ to be placed out near the spillway. Fisherman Jesus is casting his net in search of lost souls. A fascinating sculpture!

Today the lake is not as high as it was in 2012. It has receded just enough that you can walk on foot to see the statue of Jesus and some poor families have built shacks at the waters edge. As the rains continue I’m curious to see how the lake’s water level has changed.

For now the sandy beaches are littered and unkemp, but never the less, each weekend folks come in hoards to escape the hustle and bustle and smog of the city and enjoy strolling the boardwalk with their families. There are vendors selling homemade ice cream, nuts and candies. And there is an open air souvenir market in the park beside the boardwalk. You will find lovers strolling hand in hand, children riding tricycles and grandparents enjoying the afternoon with their children and grandchildren. In Mexico everyone works Monday thru Saturday around 3pm. But Sunday is family day and everyone stops their work to enjoy time together.

Dry or full of murky water through the years the lake provides a great place for families to enjoy time together.

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God’s Silence

Have you ever felt like God was oblivious to the trials in your life?

You are not alone! Even Jesus felt like God had forgotten him. When he suffered on the Cross, Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46) God certainly had not forgotten Jesus, but instead took an active part in fulfilling his redemption plan. As Christ willingly laid down his life as a sacrifice for our sins, God the father stood by in anticipation for Jesus’s next words, “It is Finished.” (John 19:30) When Jesus faced that trial of a lifetime God remained silent. God’s silence does not mean that he was absent nor uninterested. Instead it shows strength of character that he allowed the cross while saying nothing.

If God allowed Jesus to silently face the cross, why would we believe that He would treat us differently? God is shrouded with mystery. His ways are infinite and higher than comprehension. Sometimes for reasons unknown to us, God allows us to walk through times of silence, moments when He chooses not to speak. Although He does not explain His every action to us, we can trust that His silence does not mean that He is uninterested, nor uninvolved in our lives. God loves us and sometimes he demonstrates His trust in us by allowing us to experience quiet moments in the midst of difficulty.

God is Faithful

“The secret of a disciple’s life is devotion to Jesus Christ, and the characteristic of that life is its seeming insignificance and its meekness. Yet it is like a grain of wheat that “falls into the ground and dies”—it will spring up and change the entire landscape (John 12:24).”

Excerpt From: Chambers, Oswald. “My Utmost for His Highest.”

A Prayer

Lord, help me be willing to die to myself, to my fear of the unknown. (As if I can know the future any way.) Help me to follow You wherever You lead, leaving behind the chariots in which I like to trust. Help me to face all seasons of life as an adventure, not a burden, knowing that no part of life is insignificant. May I always look to You as my peace and strength. As I rise each morning may my hope be found in You.

Increase my faith and resolve when You lead me in new directions. May my trust be found in You and You alone. For in You there is a time and season for everything.

May I never forget the love You have shown me. Lord in those moments when my faith is put to the test, let me not forget that You ALWAYS prove yourself faithful!

KD

Rain, Hurricanes and a faithful dryer.

Without watching the news nor hearing a weather report we can always tell when there is a hurricane on the coast. Rainy season is characterized by sunny days and afternoon showers or beautiful days and overnight thunder storms that roll along the mountain. But when a hurricane is on the coast the sky is overcast, the weather is dreary and rain constantly drizzles for days at a time.

Our home, although lovely, is made from brick and cement inside and out. We have no insulation, no central heat nor air. At times like these the rain saturates everything. Moisture fills the cement on the houses and homes are cold and moist. The ground fills with water and that water begins to seep up the interior and exterior walls of the house making the cement walls erode in what’s known as salitre. We will need to wait until March when everything dries before repairs can be made. This is just part of the cycle of life that happens here in Mexico.

During the rains bath towels never dry on their own. They are cold and moist after hanging all day. We are fortunate to have a dryer. It will be 14 years old in December, most of its parts have been rebuilt and it runs like a charm. The repair man says I should not run it all day everyday, but with a family of six, it is rarely idle. A church group bought it for us our second Christmas here in Mexico. Before we had it, we strung clothes lines all over the interior of the house during the rains, but often our clothes would turn musty before they dried. I’ll never forget the first week we had our drier, it had been raining for days when the girls got a stomach bug and threw up on every blanket we owned. I was so thankful to the group who had blessed us with that dryer!

Today the rains stopped for a few hours in the afternoon. Years ago I would have ran home to hang out all our wet clothes with hopes that the few hours of sun would have been enough to dry them. And I would have forged the risk of forgetting them on the line as the rains started again tonight. (Something I have done a number of times.)

As the rains pour, our street looks like a river and the briers at the corner have sprouted up with such vigor that they almost form a dam covering the entrance to our street. I’ve asked the town if they would add our street to the list of those needing repairs, but the truth is, come spring when dry season arrives, and the briers die, we will have to cut them down and clean the several inches of mud covering our street which has been left behind from the rains.

Truth be known, these inconveniences hardly compare with the clean up, repairs and devastation my friends living in the hurricane’s path will face. As I see videos and photos of water waist deep in their homes and escapes made in kayaks and Jet Skis, I will gladly face my annual repairs and overcast days and say a prayer for those whose lives are being turned upside down by the storm.