I’m happy to announce that we opened our third nightcare center in Cambodia this week!! It was extremely exciting to have our team here with this opening so they could see the infancy of a center opening (no pun intended). Our first night we were ready & eager to welcome babies & toddlers & there were a few interested moms but because nightcare is such a new idea, we only had curious moms – which was a really good start because any mom worth her salt is going to check out the place & people who might look after her baby / toddler.
The second night, we had I think like 8 babies!!!!!!!! That was totally AMAZING!!!!! The rest of the week, we’ve continued to visit the neighborhood for this center & the moms are continuing to bring their babies – YAHOOO!!!
During my last night in Cambodia, I visited this neighborhood & invited the moms to come to our nightcare centre, loving on them & I even got to snuggle a newborn, 15 day old little girl. Such hope, life & potential, eager to drink in genuine love, like you & me.
Scientists have been working for many years to create clones – sheep, monkeys, birds, etc. When they announced that they had cloned a sheep & named her Dolly, it was considered an amazing scientific achievement.
In my thinking, the whole idea of clones is nothing less than creepy & anti-creation. It only takes a second to look around & see that God digs diversity. Everywhere, all the time there’s creative expression happening & I think that’s crazy cool. What gets me even more excited is when I think about how much God enjoys not only such creative diversity but even more how God has hardwired into creation synergy, unity & teamwork. In Jesus’ last meal with His followers, He prayed no less than 4times that His followers would walk in unity – not clones but unity:
*complementary rather than competing strengths,
*mutual building up,
*improvement through diversity more than division 🙂
I have some home projects that I’ve agreed to work on to get fixed – washer issues, mini-blind stuff & a few more odd jobs. Truth be known, I’m not very good on the home project front so these things kind of get conveniently delayed. There are also some things that I’m working on with personal development, like using my time more efficiently, being more confident, communicating with more grace, etc.
Sometimes in our efforts to improve, we neglect to appreciate the distinct & unique qualities that God has designed in us. Sometimes we wrongly see our distinctions as flaws because we desperately want to fit in & belong. There are some things, however, that God designed in us that are uniquely & beautifully ours. Let’s revel in God’s love for us & be really good at who God has made us to be!! 🙂
YAHOOOOO!!! Today is Cinco de Mayo – the 5th of May (after the official Star Wars May the 4th be with you). This is a day when we commemorate the history of freedom and democracy, along with celebrating Hispanic culture, achievements and heritage. Having grown up in Denver, Colorado and making innumerable vacations with my parents in New Mexico, I particularly enjoy this holiday and honor the achievements of my latin amigos!
When I think about cultural diversity on a more universal scale, I think that heaven will be a completely OUTRAGEOUS celebration of diversity, blending of cultural strengths and honoring the amazing diverse beauty that our Creator has designed into the fabric of humanity throughout all time. Today, we honor our latin friends and we are also reminded that we are each fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God – such breathtaking beauty, captivating and consuming!
Easter is a wonderful celebration of life, victory and genuine love!! And it seems to me that there is often a little bit of a “let down” after Easter. – kind of like, “Whew! Jesus rose from the dead, glad that He conquered death, let’s move on.” This year, however, is a little different for me.
I’m reminded what Jesus told His disciples in John 16:7 that it was to their advantage for Jesus to go away so that the Helper could come & give us HELP. When Jesus was raised from the dead, He breathed on His followers in John 20:22 and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit!”
So here’s the overwhelmingly GREAT NEWS about Jesus raising from the dead – not only did Jesus conquer death but we now have the great Helper with us in our daily living! Let’s never minimize the importance of the Helper being with us!!
Palm Sunday is possibly my favorite Sunday on the calendar. It’s the day when we celebrate Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week. It’s the day when Jerusalem turned out to hail with great exuberance Jesus’ arrival. Everyone was shouting “Hosanna in the highest!” (rejoice, hail to the Savior, celebrate, honor & revere), throwing down coats. cloaks and palm leaves on the road Jesus was traveling. Boatloads of celebration, excitement, anticipation and eager jubilation were the order of the day when Jesus came into Jerusalem. These are some possibilities that were going on that day:
some people thought Jesus would set the Jews free from Roman oppression
some people thought Jesus would upend the religious leaders who preyed on their already overcome countrymen
some people thought that Jesus would do His cool miracle stuff with free food, healings and cool special effects
It seems to me that everyone on Palm Sunday isn’t that much different than many of us today who expect Jesus to conform to our narrow needs & viewpoints. Nevertheless, Jesus knew that despite this great outpouring of celebration & honor that human depravity would murder Him with barbaric savagery in a few short days.
Palm Sunday is when we see the greatest contrast between our ever faithful Jesus & the ever fickle humanity. Hosanna in the highest, our God is consistent, loving and ever faithful!!
I’m trying to spell out the Bill Crystal line in Princess Bride about “marriage is what brings us together” & you probably think my computers spell check went funky ,)
I’m writing on marriage today as my husband & I are celebrating our 20th anniversary today & I think that’s some noteworthy evidence of God’s grace 🙂
Here are some things I’m learning about marriage along the way:
*lots of grace, patience & flexibility is a foundational necessity toward both myself & my husband
*dont say everything you think – it’s often better to think through my thoughts & feelings before I just let it rip
*relationships have ebb & flow so take off the pressure of expectations & performance & enjoy the moments for what they are
*speak life, hope, honor, grace & affirmation – these words help keep our relationship strong
*when there’s conflict, be mindful to discuss behaviors rather than attacking the person
*pray alot & understand that God is using your mate to help you grow in intimacy & as a person
*love is a choice more than a feeling 🙂
My kids are on Spring Break this week & we’ve had some really great family time together! We skied a few days & have totally enjoyed some mountain get away time. At the same time there have been a few hotspots & some things with my job that are diecy. If I’m not careful, I could let my mind get focused on the hotspots & work issues but one of my friends gave me some good advice: discipline your mind to be present with your body. For me, this is really good advice & maybe for you as well so that we can fully enjoy what God is doing where we currently are 🙂
I have some amazing friends who could take virtually anything & make it beautiful. They’re amazingly creative, resourceful & have the most beautiful way or decorating & arranging things. Me, not so much. When I paint at our house or try to do something “craft-ish”, there just aren’t words to describe how bad it usually turns out. But I do have some things that I’m pretty good at – I enjoy cooking & I’m pretty good at picking up different languages (and a few other things).
But here’s what’s totally amazing & fantastic about you (and its not just about your talents or abilities): you are intensely, deeply & infinitely loved by the Creator of the universe, Who knows you better than anyone else & Who loves you more authentically than anyone. You are important, valuable & significant because your Creator loves you & this is what makes you TOTALLY cool!!!
This school year, my daughter signed up to play her first year of basketball & to say that I was happy would be a massive understatement! Elated, excited, thrilled, joyful, exuberant & more would be more accurate 🙂
As the season has progressed, even though I didn’t want to admit this to myself, her interest & enthusiasm for playing basketball has waned, and this week, I had to have a stern conversation with her about finishing what we start & not quitting when we make a commitment (integrity 101). I hated having this conversation w her because I was very different than she is, in the sense of totally enjoying basketball. I was on the other end of the spectrum, shooting & practicing by myself just for my sheer enjoyment. As I’ve been thinking about this difference, I’ve also noticed that she really enjoys her piano lessons & practice – she will take her own initiative & practice even extra piano. For me, piano practice was a slippery shortcut from purgatory to hell ,)
Having said all of this, I’ve come to the happy conclusion that we are different & that’s totally wonderful! God has made Isabell different than me, in the same way that I am different from my mom & such differences aren’t bad – they are divinely inspired! So, my lesson is that God has lots of ways to express majesty, beauty & splendor, using amazing differences to catch our attention 🙂