Sunday, June 29, 2008
Busy blankets made by K and a friend for FHG
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
On this trip, we met Conleigh for the first time. She is 16 months old and a precious, precious girl. She has beautiful Haitian features specifically huge almond eyes and a small flat nose. Unfortunately, when we were there, she had a bug bite on her eye that she kept scratching. (Or possibly impetigo?) She is petite but chunky. Her mobility is quite amazing and I really thought her problem solving skills were exceptional. She definitely knows what she wants and then figures out a way to get it using her brain or her body. I can also tell that the orphanage is overwhelming for her at times. She doesn't appreciate the noise and the constant presence of other children. But she is being loved and taught about Jesus which are blessings to us.
Please find below a few of our favorite photos of Conleigh Deme. What a beautiful girl, what a blessing from God!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
So before I piece together my random thoughts and hundreds of photos, I want to chalenge you to consider your heart and the worldview that you hold based upon your life experiences, your compilation of knowledge, and your heart's fervor. What experience in life has most molded your current worldview? What experience has created a dramatic change in your worldview, for better or for worse? I hope you'll post your answers. I'd love to know what events have been important in your life. And then I'll tell you mine...and share about my current worldview including the impact Haiti has had on how I see the world.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
We then went into the countryside to get to the orphanage. Ummmmmm, the trip defies commentation. Think really bad gravel road, mountainous Colorado, and road construction all in one place. After three hours of jostling, we got to the orphanage and met Conleigh. She was a bit shy and spent most of the time hanging onto one of the orphanage workers but she did warm a bit after some chocolate chips and water. She is just beautiful. Since then, we've hugged and held lots of babies and children, helped with bedtime, played soccer, walked down to the river, eaten the standard beans and rice, and started painting a room. As I mentioned before, we've seen a lot more of Haiti this trip and when we get back I will have to elaborate on all of that, hopefully with some pictures.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
At church a few weeks back, someone whose son was finishing up basic training for the Army Reserves said that the Army really is a great metaphor for spiritual training, especially in relationship to the word discipline. Basic training is generally unpleasant, difficult, exhausting, and grueling. But it is all done as a preparation for things that will or might happen later on.
That's what a lot of life is like. It's doing something hard so that we can reap the benefits in the future. Doing quiet time or going to church or choosing to listen to Christian music are things that make me think of that. It's about doing something that, at times, can seem trite and boring. But you make a choice to do it because you know it may prepare you for something in the future. The words you read or heard may be beneficial later on.
The times in life when you feel like you're enveloped by darkness and confusion are also discipline. Again, our brains have a tendancy to see discipline in a fileal way; we can't help but equate the word discipline to words like "Wait 'til your father comes home!" or the physical feeling of dread that comes from knowing a swat on the behind is coming. Tough situations, even the ones that totally reek of injustice and heartache, are not this type of discipline. And while I do believe not all situations are created by God, these situations can become God's version of boot camp. God uses them to prepare us for future experiences. Life's rottenness never seems pleasant at the time; I daresay, some events will never be pleasant no matter how many years separate me from them. But I do believe that by enduring them, I am better prepared for life.
So this week has been that kind of a week, I think. A week of choosing to be disciplined in my quiet time, even though I could have been watching tv or browsing the Internet or reading a book that I would have deemed much more fun. One full of plugging away even though I can't say I've seen or heard or done anything spectacular. One that makes me believe that the words that have been placed in my path this week will somehow benefit me in the future.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather a skid in broadside, totally worn out proclamation, “WOW! What a ride!”
Well behaved women have never changed history.
Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message) "I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out -plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."
If our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our charitable expenditure excludes them. C. S. Lewis
Children, parenting, and family...
Do not mistake a child for his symptom. Erik EriksonEvery parent is at some time the father of the unreturned prodigal with nothing to do but keep his house open to hope. John Ciardi
We must make sure we depict the kind of God a child can approach with confidence. Dr. Theresa Whitehurst
Our commitment is more resilient and reliable than our motivation, willpower, or enthusiasm. Dr. Theresa Whitehurst
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Anyway, my new blog catagory, Two Quarter Quotes, is in honor of the serious logophile that I am. (And yes, that's really a word. ) Halfway through each month I'm going to post some of the best quotes I've heard or read in the last 30 days. (Hence the title "Two Quarter Quotes." Think 2/4 = 1/2. It's little bit of traveling on a tangent to get there but it will do.)
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Troy and I believe that God is the author of every good story, and without any prideful tone, we think we are one of those good God stories. Here is why: No less than 11 years ago we were broken, hurting, lost, twenty-somethings in search of God. We'd both done things we were terribly ashamed of and we were both running hard from anything and everything that smelled like, looked like, or even hinted of God, "religion" or faith.
The fact is, we hope that we are a living, breathing example of the way God writes redemption stories.If you've ever said "God cannot use me" or if heaven forbid- some holy-roller told you that you were not usable because of X Y or Z in your past - you must know those are lies.God can and does use anyone willing to be forgiven and forgive themselves. We had to do that in order to allow Him to work. We've seen and experienced rejection from those who believe falsely that God is only performance based ... and we venture to guess you have too. Throw off those opinions, they are very small things.
What is true about you, what is true about us is what God sees. And if we believed today - that God cannot use us - because TODAY we struggle with the hard facts of life and we grapple with deep issues of faith --- we'd have to close up shop. There is a way in which God can use anyone and everyone seeking Him. Having every little answer packaged up nice in a fancy box is not necessary or possible. Not. Necessary. Not. Possible.There is a misconception about what it looks like to be used. I don't think it only looks like going to Africa to save AIDS babies. I don't think it only looks like pulling up stakes and going somewhere far from where you live today.I think it looks like something different for each person. That is an issue for each of us to work out with God. I think for some it is reaching out to the guy next door whose wife just left him, inviting him over for dinner. I think for others it means coming along side a 16 year old that is pregnant and afraid. Maybe it means baby-sitting for a cruddy single mom down the street. Maybe it is as simple as being kind to a real dork that you work with. I think it means allowing God to take us to uncomfortable places where we're loving people that we don't find all that lovable. The location in which it happens is irrelevant.
The people that showed me unconditional love when I was a pregnant unwed mother (twice) are the people that changed the course of my life. The people that showed Troy compassion during a time of searching and running and lying are the people that laid the ground work for him to be doing that for others today.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
The other night I witnessed a magical moment. One of my favorite political pundits and a childhood crush were on the same tv show together!!!! (I know it's difficult to hold back your excitement.) On Glen Beck's television show, Kirk Cameron aka Mike Seavers was a guest. Those of you who are women and who grew up in the eighties loved Kirk too, just about as much as you loved your hairsprayed bangs and leg warmers. Don't even try to deny it.
Anyway, Kirk Cameron now is mostly known for being a guest speaker, starring in the Left Behind movies, and marrying his on screen love interest from Growing Pains. As a 20 something adult, he followed a girl into church, mostly as a way to impress her. But his time there lead him to think "What if I'm wrong?" I would urge you to consider any views you hold on Jesus, God, the church, etc. in light of that question. "What if I'm wrong?"
On Glenn Beck, Kirk doesn't really discuss what his specific viewpoints on religion were but there are a lot of commonly held ideas out there that he might have been holding onto. Like "I'm basically a good person. I haven't killed anyone or committed any real atrocities." Or "Heaven seems like a nice thought and maybe I'd like to go there but only because Hell seems like a really rotten place." Or even "I'm pretty sure there's no such place as Hell. Maybe heaven doesn't even exist. I mean dead is dead, isn't it?" Those are all pretty common thoughts and ones even Christians have had or still have. In all honesty, knowing the story of Jesus isn't about having all the answers. But it is about couple of things: an intimate relationship with a pursuing God who loves you enough to cover up your ickiness with His son's goodness and believing in some things including Hell and Heaven as unchanging Truth.
If you have questions or don't have a really good answer for "What if I'm wrong", please talk to somebody about it. You can certainly talk to me. I won't promise to have the answers. But I will listen and share with you the whole Jesus story.