Lifestyle Learning

One of the things I greatly admire about my mom is that she is continually learning & her learning isn’t limited to just small pockets of interest. She’s recently started using emojis in her text messages & she’s more than excited about using periscope in her latest social media adventure. 
Learning is a BLAST, particularly when you have a good teacher – my first major at college was physics because my high school physics teacher was so amazing! Having a good teacher is half the battle in getting to enjoy learning & Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be our teacher. Truth be known, there’s no one in our lives who can teach us better than the Helper. 

The other half of learning is the determination to be a good learner. You can have the best teacher on the world & learn virtually nothing if you decide not to learn or grow, full stop. 

So let’s decide to be awesome learners! Here are a few suggestions about how to be a good learner:

  • Be flexible – decide to learn regardless of the “classroom” or the lesson 🙂
  • Don’t let shame or discouragement color your learning
  • Buy my book, Heavenly Help, and learn about the Holy Spirit, your Teacher, Comforter & Helper 🙂

  

waffles for breakfast

I like Saturday mornings for lots of reasons, one of which is getting to “enjoy” my kids’ cooking efforts, kind of and sometimes.  Presently, we have some company staying with us & one of my kids mentioned that he makes some really killer waffles.  Our friend staying with us really likes crispy waffles and voila, a plan was “cooked up.”  The execution of the plan this morning was “sketchy”.  Let’s just say that we almost ruined the waffle iron, the kitchen now needs some deep cleaning attention and there were some nice overtones of cinnamon and nutmeg.  Thankfully our friend who is staying with us slept in and we’ve already organized a Plan B:  no waffles, but crepes area nice alternative.

When life hands you lemons, being thankful can be the sugar you need to make lemonade ,)

Lizards & Snakes

I don’t like snakes, never have & I have very strong beliefs that I never will. I don’t like snakes, full stop. Lizards, on the other hand, don’t wig me out nearly as much as snakes. I watched a lizard eat a bug the other day & found myself cheering for the lizard – yea buddy! United against bugs!! 🙂
My husband informed me that I need to understand that lizards eat bugs like snakes eat mice & rodents. Even though I don’t like the snakes, everything has a place & use, by Divine design.
This makes me consider that perhaps God has a use for the things I don’t like,
I don’t like that babies starve to death with no hope for the future = Saving Moses
I don’t like that a 3year old girl sells condoms to her moms sex clients = nightcare
I don’t like that my thoughts can get murky & tainted = meditating on the Bible (1Cor 13 is a great starting place or the Sermon on the Mount, Psalms 23, Col 3, . . . .)
God can use the things I don’t like for significant redemptive value, maybe even snakes ,)

hot topic: being practical

As I write, my kids are doing an amazing job of cleaning the house.  We divided up the responsibilities onto various checklists (laundry checklist, kitchen checklist, living / family room checklist, etc) & consequently, no one is thoroughly overwhelmed by the tasks that need to be done.  Furthermore, each of my kids brings their unique personalities to their jobs so it’s fun to watch them jump in & invest some “sweat equity” to our quality of living 🙂

It’s my responsibility to oversee & quality check against the checklists they’re using to ensure that everything is done well & thoroughly.  In some ways, this all reminds me of how God puts us together to bring the Kingdom of God into our daily reality.  Some essentail ingredients include:

  • teamwork: the lone ranger paradigm doesn’t generally fit into kingdom thinking
  • focus:  when my kids are distracted, they’re less effective & everthing takes longer; staying focused on God helps us to be more productive
  • oversight & integration:  God never leaves us to our own devices & efforts to see God’s kingdom realized
  • mutually beneficial:  a clean kitchen, clothes, bathroom and living areas are in everyone’s best interest & God’s kingdom is no different 🙂

Have an awesome weekend!

enjoying now

Do you ever get frustrated with yourself?

I recently returned from leading our first team trip for Saving Moses and it’s been a little tricky  getting back in the groove.  A few things that I’m presently working through include the regular jet lag sleep challenges, the normal digestion excitement and catching up on missed sleep.  Additionally, I’m trying to process some of my experiences and this has proven to be rather difficult.

When I get in these kinds of mindsets, I often get impatient with myself and frustrated that I can’t seem to get back to my regular groove, which only makes things more frustrating & difficult.  Thankfully, God had a nice chat with me this morning and reminded me of a few helpful things:

  • temporary – life can change is big & dramatic ways, but more often, our current situations are temporary & are changing incrementally, even when we don’t know it
  • be gentle – I can often be harsh & impatient with myself, which often makes things worse;  when I’m gentle, gracious and forgiving with myself, I seem to adapt and grow more easily
  • now –  being present today, in Denver, Colorado with my kids, husband & church family is very good

Edgy

So I’m totally honored to be leading our first ever team trip for Saving Moses here in Cambodia! We have about 15people here doing work with our nightcare efforts. Nightcare is our program with Saving Moses where we take care of the babies & toddlers of prostitutes while they work.
If this idea is challenging to you, please consider a few things:
*no women ever thinks that being a prostitute is her dream job, not in a million years
*babies are the natural result of this industry – each baby is a gift from God because life is precious, full stop
*there are well over a dozen organizations devoted to helping these women to change their profession, which is no easy task
*there is not a single organization here solely devoted to looking after these babies / toddlers while their moms work
*without nightcare, these babies are frequently with their moms as they work – hence the importance & power of our nightcare work
Please join me, at minimum, to pray that our nightcare expresses the genuine love of God to each baby we care for every night 🙂

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extra

It seems like we all want the “extra” perk – we buy the shampoo that has 25%more for the same price, we look for the value meal, we look for the guy who serves ice cream with a little extra on his scoops, . . . . extra time, more roi, . . . . extra.

Let’s also look at the little ways that we can add some “extra”:

  • extra patience with the person learning to use the new computer system,
  • extra grace for the phone agent with the heavy accent,
  • extra forgiveness for our mate who unknowingly said something hurtful,
  • extra time on the parking meter for the person who will take our spot,
  • extra friendly to the cranky check out person at the grocery store

Let’s go the “extra mile” 🙂

Smarty Pants

I’ve made some really dumb mistakes in my life – one of which was overvaluing intelligence. I think it’s almost humorous that I would say that because I’m still a massive advocate for education probably because I love to learn. Nevertheless, here are a few things that could be more important than being intelligent:
*character & integrity – people who are smart but lack character & integrity can be extremely dangerous!
*compassion – intelligence without compassion is very cold & sterile
*hard work – this seems pretty self evident
*forgiveness – when we don’t forgive, our world becomes increasingly smaller & smaller
These are just a few things I’m learning in my journey 🙂

turkey update

Happy post Thanksgiving! I hope your day went well, with lots of peace, joy and enjoyable food 🙂  A few days ago, I posted about how I don’t really care for cooking turkey because of the litany of failed attempts my family has endured over many years.  Well, I’m happy to report that yesterday’s turkey was totally tasty!  It wasn’t burned, not too dry, not undercooked nor any of the other ways that I’ve ruined turkeys over many years – yahoo!!!

So here’s some encouragement.  Think of something that you’ve been trying to get good at for a long time, then consider a few things:

  • perhaps the lessons you’ve learned from the failures just helped you to understand better what doesn’t work
  • be thankful that you don’t have to make the same list of mistakes – you can make new ones
  • perhaps you next attempt will be the one that brings you success
  • if you next attempt doesn’t succeed consider that you’re one step further from failure & closer to success 🙂

 

cooking turkey

With Thanksgiving  popping up in less than 48 hours, I am facing my age-old nemesis, the turkey.  I think that I’ve figured out almost every way to ruin a turkey (undercooking, overcooking, offering a burnt sacrifice, along with many other accidents).  So I’m totally keen to throw in a lasagna & call it good 🙂

But alas, I will do the traditional turkey & there’s a good chance that I’ll get it right this year – hope springs eternal.  And this is exactly my point:  hope springs eternal.  Just because I’ve had a litany of turkey traumas doesn’t mean that this year is going to be another “challenge.”  After a 1,000 failed attempts with his light bulb invention, Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Happy Turkey Day! 🙂