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

decisions that empower

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All of us make decisions every day and as adults we get to manage the consequences of these decisions.  If you want to get the best mileage or results from your decisions, consider making these “power choices”:

  • hope rather than despair
  • focus more than distracted
  • grace over scorn
  • forgiveness rather than revenge
  • love more than apathy
  • gratitude over complaining
  • honor more than insolence
  • compliments more than sarcasm
  • respect more than ridicule
  • compassion more than callous

Wise decisions create wise results :)

what looks like failure

I hate the word “fail” – it almost makes me have a visceral gagging reaction, borderline puking.  Thankfully, if I take a minute to pause, evaluate and collect myself, I don’t puke.  But if I’m not careful, I can easily throw things into the “failure” column and in a nanosecond find myself back to mental wrestling mat, almost down for the count.  As God & I were talking about this whole failure thing this morning, I was reminded about how Jesus looked hanging on the cross, beat to a bloody pulp and possibly personifying the ultimate failure.  He was betrayed by his friends, completely helpless, physcially obliterated and even yelling at God, “Why have You forsaken Me?!??”

Hanging on the cross, Jesus looked more like a failure than anything I’ve ever experienced & yet from God’s perspective, perhaps Jesus had never been more successful in His earthly existence, up to that point.  Let’s be careful that we don’t frame failure in the context of defeat, permanent or hopeless.  Jesus rose from the dead and living in our hearts, we have resurrection potential every day.

Be sure to pass this along to anyone you know who is struggling with seeming defeat or failure :)

Celebrate!!

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.

Sweat Equity

Let me show & tell you about some of the coolest people on the planet, with whom I’ve had the honor to be around. I’m leading our first ever Saving Moses team trip & we are in Cambodia with an absolutely amazing team who has poured their hearts, souls, sweat & love into everything they’re doing here! Only a few of the amazing & cool things they’ve done include: painting, cleaning, being patient (again), assembling baby cots, holding babies & hundreds of more things! Here are some fun pix to show our sweat equity!

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Street Babies

We’ve concluded our 3rd day here & as we were taking a pause, we took a walk along a really busy area for nightlife here in Phnom Penh. As we were walking, I literally almost stumbled over these babies where sleeping on the sidewalk. Please watch my 30sec video on my sarah bowling fb page

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Drop your teeth!!

Hello from Cambodia & our 1st Saving Moses team trip!!! I can’t even begin to tell you how thoroughly amazing this trip is!!! Our team is nothing less than divine – doing everything from assembling cribs, to painting, walking through indescribable gross, loving on moms & playing with babies & toddlers, expressing genuine love at every opportunity! I can’t brag on this team enough!!!! Pictures speak volumes!
Furthermore, we just opened our 3rd nightcare here & tonight, we had 5babies at it already – totally miraculous!
Truly, God does all things very well :)
Stay posted to hear more amazing God things from this trip!

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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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Wowzers!!

I’m leading our first Saving Moses team trip & we are in Cambodia working with our nightcare work & it’s awesome!! I was reflecting in my heart this morning as we were flying into Cambodia how God had placed the dream of nightcare into my heart, made it become a reality & now I get to introduce our team to God’s amazing work & love demonstrated 6nights a week to the least of the least – babies & toddlers of sex workers. Tonight was our first night & I think everyone had an amazing time albeit jet lagged & hazy. As we go to sleep tonight, I’m thanking God for being the tangible & continuous expression of Genuine Love. Thanks for reading this & I pray that you think of Gods astounding love for you as you go through your day :)

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