top 5 things i’ve enjoyed recently

  1. a date w my husband – all you can eat sushi & a movie;  we got to talk & be entertained w a good movie we both enjoyed. simply bliss
  2. making my grandma’s recipe for rhubarb torte & getting to share its tastiness w friends & fam, who enjoyed it LOTS!
  3. an invitation in my heart to deepen my walk w God, along w some help on the “how to”
  4. buying the UBER treat of Queen Anne cherries
  5. worshipping God & sensing Him transcend my limited thoughts

Here’s a list of things that haven’t been too whippy of late:

  1. chopping off a small tip of my thumb while making rhubarb torte (the nerve is still exposed & its hard to text / twitter)
  2. culling through David & Benji’s dressers / clothes knowing the Isabell’s clothes will be even more “exciting”
  3. nuggets (aka chicken nuggets) playing very poorly last night – i was on the verge of considering becoming an NBA fan.

an interesting discovery

When i was growing up, i always wanted to be smart.  i’ve always had LOTS of respect for smart people, even brilliant people.  If the truth be known, i have probably idolized brains & intelligence.  I married a REALLY smart man & only now am i coming to realize how smart he is , mostly through my kids.  Isabell & David are presently wrapping up their 2nd and 1st grade school years, respectively.  As such, they’ve done some of those nationalized / standardized tests from time to time throughout the year & they’ve done really well.  Now i know that my husband is UBER brainy because my kids intellectual achievements & apptitudes are WAY BEYOND my abilities.  They didn’t get all these brains from me – they got their intellectual abilities from their dad.  Now i’m not saying i’m stupid, but i’m also quite clear on my limits. 

In the past, this discovery would have made me feel inferior & insecure.  But today, i’m quite happy w knowing this & i don’t have any qualms with this reality and here are 2 reasons why: 

  1. i’ve let Jer 9:23-4 become a central premise for my life:  let not the wise, nor wealthy nor strong man boast in his wisdom, wealth or strength.  but let him who boasts, boasts that he knows Me.  My pursuit to be smart when i was younger has morphed into the desire & pursuit to know God.  This principle has become the guiding foundation for me & my daily living.
  2. Brains is not equal to good;  intelligence, moral values and genuine “good” are not all the same thing.  i know super brainy people who have been deeply wounded through life and consequently, while they’re still brainy, they’re also very hurtful because of the deep hurt in their hearts.  While my kids may be uber smart, i pray that they would know Jesus’ love & have a deep & richly satisfying relationship w Jesus.  Brains without compassion, a moral compass or love can be nothing more than accessorized pain & even tyranny.

Its good to be smart, but its even better to live in the pursuit of a deep & vivacious relationship w God

judging

I was recently referred to as the “church lady” & I instantly thought of the SNL spoof w Dana Carey & became suddenly nauseous.  If there’s anyone that i hope i’m NOT it is that caraciture – ouch!  Yet i think we christians deservedly get this rap, sometimes.  You see judging is almost like breathing for us – we judge everything:  coffee, carpet, phones, friends, generations, time usage, refrigerators, cars, behaviors, gov’ts, leaders, worship, pets, clothes, . . . . . we have preferences, we make choices, we evaluate, we make determinations, etc.  Some judgments are immaterial – the decaf i’m presently drinking is room temperature & i’d like it lots better if it were warm.  Some judgments are violent & destructive to not only others, but to ourselves – especially in relation to people. 

Here’s something interesting to consider – we like to use the phrase Jesus speaks of about: the measure we sow is the measure that we’ll reap.  However, most of the time this verse is in relation to judging – it we judge alot, we’ll be judged alot.  If we judge a little, we’ll be judged a little.  If we don’t like to be judged, maybe the simple answer is that we should stop being judgmental – Matt 7:1-2.

i used to be a pretty harsh person.  then i had an honest look at my own humanity – it was a sobering sight & has subsequently caused me to be far less critical & judgmental.  don’t be the SNL church lady

reflections on Ethiopia

I had a simply amazing & fantastic time in Ethiopia.  They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some experiences I’d like to share with you:

home for hundreds of people

home for hundreds of people

We walked through a market one day & came to the end & found this collection of homes & places for people to live – hundreds of families live in this “complex” made up of scrapes of pretty anything they can use (tarp, plastic, scrape metal, cardboard, . . . .  .)  When we came up to this area, we were mobbed by kids coming out of their “homes” & one of their parents happily strolled out, holding his son:

dad & son

dad & son

Here are some pics of the kids who live here:
hello

helloi need a chance

P1000336

In Addis, I got to visit a start up school grades k-2 and had an amazing conversation with the school’s director who started the school with her own very limited resources, simply because she saw that the kids where she lived didn’t have much future because they lacked any realistic educational opportunities.
Potential can only become an investment by making a sacrifice today.

amazing travels

I’m presently sitting between 2 of my kids, Isbell & David, thanking God for the most fantastic family – seriously!  God is indescribably amazing.  In the past 1.5 weeks, i’ve been to Ethiopia, Turkey (quickie), Jordan & Israel.  The best part of all of my travelling has been the fellowship i’ve had w God – such richness, depth & tantalizing closeness.  Sometimes, it really helps my walk w God to get out of the daily routine, out of my comfort zone, & increase my dependence on God. 

Ethiopia:  fantastic time with God, the orphanage we connect with & my friends.  The orphanage that we work with, over the last year, has really undertaken working w abandoned babies.  This was really touching, particularly as this is so close to my heart w the “saving Moses” campaign we’re launching w worldchild.  I also had the privilege of ministering in Pastor Eyob’s church in Addis & i can just summarize this by saying that my church family is now extended to include this church.  My time in Ethiopia has been rich in fellowship with not only family & friends but most importantly a rich depth with the Holy Spirit.  i can’t even begin to describe how completely riveting / captiving the Holy Spirit is to me, particularly during my time in Ethiopia.

Israel:  i joined the group trip w mom & had a great time getting to know some new people, reconnect w some old friends, share about God & see some cool places / ruins.  We visited Petra (in Jordan), Masada (in Israel), drove by the dead sea & then onto Jerusalem.  The group trip is going well & the travellers seem to be experiencing God in many different rich ways by being in many places discussed in the Bible.

Travelling:  i’ve been in lots of airports & on lots of airplanes – all total, in 10 days, i’ve been on no less than 10 planes & spent well over 100 hours on planes & in airports, to include 1 lost & now found blackberry. 🙂

if you’d like to check out some pics, pop over to my facebook & you can see some cool friends, places & experiences 🙂

Again, the best part of the last 1.5 wks has been the rich & deep fellowship w the Holy Spirit – the treasure of my life! 🙂

hello from Ethiopia!

Greetings from Addis Ababa! I’ve had a spectacular time of ministry here for the last 4 days – simply wonderful!! To begin, we’ve been able to launch our “saving Moses” campaign for worldchild – I was able to visit the orphanage we sponsor in Gondar Ethiopia, where I met the baby girls who had been rescued from being abandoned in a field last year. They’re doing AWESOME & I plan to post some pics shortly. The orphanage in Gondar in the last week received 5 babies who have been abandoned.  I’m struggling to wrap my head around this problem of abandoned babies – I think it happens in the world much more than we are aware.  It shakes my heart to see these babies who are abandoned.  I’m rather speechless on this.

From Gondar, I flew to Addis where i’ve had the privilege to minister in a church on leadership & also for the Sunday service.  The ministry time here is really powerful – they are so eager to receive, very gentle & humble and open to God speaking into their lives.  Its a very humbling experience to minister here, a very RICH spiritual experience.  In one of our services, you could sense God’s presence with tremendous weight – such that even now, words elude me from describing how powerful this experience was. 

Additionally, I’ve been able to connect w some great friends from last year & I’m so very grateful to God for bringing me here.  This has been a really powerful time for me w God on a very personal level & i’m extremely grateful to Him for allowing me to come back to Ethiopia.  Of course the food & coffee are great & I always LOVE to pick up some of the language – most of all, i love the people. 

In a few hours, i’ll fly to Israel to join the group trip w mom & I know this will also be wonderful.  Thanks for being patient with the blogging thing – the internet in Ethiopia can be kind of like a safari experience.  that’s all i’m gonna say about that.

So let me leave you with some spiritual thoughts:  don’t reject God’s provisions just because they don’t meet your expectations.  perhaps God is testing you so you can see some of your weak spots.  🙂

musings about mother’s day

Mothers are intersting creatures.  Since becoming a mother, i’ve come to see things from 2 sides – both as an offspring & as a mother.  Right now, i live in the “high-octane” middle of both worlds (as i sit here writing, my little men are wrestling w my big man, while Isabell designs her new bank savings box).  I am fully offspring, in that i work pretty closely w my mom & i’m quite thoroughly integrated w care for & interaction with my kids.  Consequently, Mother’s Day is the collision of significant portions of my life. 

In the fullest sense of the word, Mother’s Day is designed to celebrate life.  I say this because there’s not a single one of us that doesn’t have a mother (dead or alive).  Mothers (and Fathers – but we’ll celebrate Father’s Day next month) are significant conduits through which God gives us the gift of life and life is very good.  May your Mother’s Day be filled w gratitude to God for His gift of life and gratitude for our mothers & the things they’ve invested in our lives.  Happy Mother’s Day!