Heroes

When I travel, I often meet people whom I admire & my weekend in New Zealand was no exception. To be sure, the country is entirely magnificent with its natural beauty, but her citizens are equally as enchanting. I met folk who are respectful in their conversations & engagement with diverse cultures. I met people who have overcome adversities that would make your hair stand on end. I met people who have a deep love for Jesus & carry His heart in their daily interactions, eager to serve & express genuine love.
We all meet people who have warts & flaws, but let’s have the courage & determination to see past those shortfalls & see each person as a glorious creation of our loving Heavenly Father!

Broken Again

This is a picture of our jerry-rigged dishwasher this morning. I have to prop the door closed so it will keep running & I still have to check it occasionally to make sure it’s still working.
Sometimes life is like my dishwasher. I like it when everything works smoothly, but we know that this isn’t always the case. Joseph working in pharaoh’ house seemed to be in a good place, but I’m sure that when his brothers showed up, things felt broken again. Just when we think things are moving along smoothly, something can break or even seemingly regress. This can be discouraging so let me hopefully give some help here:
1 – keep going: setbacks happen, but keep going, even if it’s a slower pace
2 – fix it: sometimes a solution is permanent but don’t be surprised if you have to circle back & work on the problem again
3 – celebrate: even with what seems small, celebrate! Any progress is helpful!
Feel free to pass this on to your friends who are struggling w broken stuff 🙂

Celebrate the Victories!

Did you make some resolutions for 2017? How’re doing on keeping them? It takes some definite commitment to hold onto these resolutions & seem them become reality. Indeed, sometimes we can fall short on our resolutions. But here’s something that can be helpful: celebrate the incremental victories to keep up some momentum & continue making progress!

Consider what David said to Saul in relation to killing Goliath: I killed a bear & I killed a lion, so this giant will be like those vanquished foes! David strung together seemingly smaller victories to encourage himself about conquering Goliath!
Let’s remember to applaud the steps & not just the destination, lest we get discouraged on the journey & quit.

Feel free to pass this along to anyone you know who’s made some resolutions for this year to encourage & applaud each victory, no matter how small it may seem!

Happy 4th of July!

I love America!  I love our heritage, roots and history.  I love the way we celebrate our nation on this day with hot dogs, barbecues, baseball, fireworks, watermelon, grilling, swimming and the stars and stripes.  We live in a wonderful country!

I know this because I am extremely fortunate to get to travel around the world and I see nations that are very different than ours.  I go to nations where the absence of freedom is normal.  I visit nations where it can be dangerous to express a dissident opinion.  I visit regions where being a woman is a burden of survival in the most depolorable conditions.

We live in a very great nation and today we celebrate freedom, one of the core values on which our nation was founded.  May we also recognize that freedom is tethered to responsibility.  Without maintinaing responsibility, our freedoms will erode and become an elusive memory.  We are a great nation today because of the sacrifices made in the past.  This makes me pause to consider if we are making sacrifices today that will keep us great in the future.

Let’s be sure that we continue to pray for America 🙂

wool socks

I have a friend & our feet are always cold, so we give each other wool socks.  In Denver today, it’s cold so we are both celebrating our warm feet because of the gracious gift of wool socks!  I have another friend who wears flip flops in Denver even when it snows, almost.  This friend doesn’t have a cold feet problem but maybe has the opposite end of the spectrum.  I totally love both of these peeps & I love that they see and experience life through different lenses, each vibrantly beautiful & wholesome.

This makes me appreciate our Heavenly Father all the more for His immense and unique love for each one of us.  We don’t have to match up to a marketing profile to be loved by God.  Indeed, it seems to me that we are most thoroughly loved by our Heavenly Father as we revel in His unique design for us individually.  Based on Romans 5:5, you are fully loved by your Heavenly Father, full stop.  The Holy Spirit can help you live in this reality day by day 🙂

Fun Thoughts About Spring

Spring is a wonderful season! Ive noticed some little buds on the trees & flowers poking through the cold earth. Spring is like a celebration of life in contrast to the dormancy of Winter. A few things to thing about today:

  • Spring Forward: time to get moving! Shake off the Winter hibernation & LETS GO! Gal 6:9
  • Spring Cleaning: be sure that you take some time to clean out the cobwebs & in particular celebrate Resurrection. Perhaps it’s time to get rid of some dead weight – Heb 12:1
  • Spring Break: I love that there’s this thing called Spring Break. It helps me to remember that in all of the Spring flurry of activities, it’s still important to rest! Matt 11:28

Celebrating the Leap!

Happy Leap Monday! I’m super pumped that we get an extra day this year & that’s TODAY! Here are some fun reasons from the Bible to celebrate leaping:

  • Acts 3 – a lame man was healed in the temple when Peter said, “Silver & gold have I none but such as I have give I to you!” Think of some places in your life that have been healed (physical, emotional, financial, etc) & this gives us great cause to leap & celebrate!
  • Luke 1:41 – John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth’s womb, when Mary greeted Elizabeth. Jesus’ ongoing presence with us is great cause to leap & celebrate!
  • Ps 18:29 says that God gives us strength to leap over walls. When I trust in God’s promise here to overcome various obstacles, it gives me great cause to leap & celebrate!

Happy Leap Monday 🙂

Happy Birthday!!!

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I’m super pumped to celebrate an amazing birthday throughout this whole year!  Saving Moses is five years old this year & I’m incredibly amazed at what has happened in the last five years:

  • we have four nightcare centers currently in Cambodia with almost 100 babies receiving genuine love and a chance for a different future than their moms
  • we have six malnutrition clinics in Angola that provide malnutrition formula for babies and toddlers, many of whom are literally at death’s door
  • we are doing phenomenal work in rural Afghanistan with immunizing babies and helping educate families for safe birthing practices
  • numerous smaller projects like assisting babies whose parents died from ebola & providing earthquake relief for babies & toddlers in Nepal

So here’s a special invitation for you to celebrate your birthday with us this year.  Take a brief moment to go to our birthday club link and join our celebration on your birthday this year!

Happy birthday to you and Saving Moses!!

Celebrate Progress :)

The other day I was packing my suitcase for a trip & sometimes packing makes me discouraged because I often forget something. Things I’ve forgotten include: makeup, my passport, entrance visas for various countries, my notes for preaching, various clothing necessities & the list goes on without limit. But I’m choosing to celebrate progress because lately, I’ve forgotten less than usual 🙂

And this is my encouragement to you today: celebrate progress more than conclusion. So many times I’ve been discouraged with myself for not having everything together. Discouragement can often become disheartening & ultimately depressing. So let’s chose today to celebrate progress rather than discouragement. Here are some ideas for celebrating:

  • Maybe your less late than usual
  • Maybe you gave someone a complement when usually you’re awkwardly quiet
  • Maybe you said less than what was running around in your mind & emotions
  • Maybe you showed up when you wanted to disappear
  • Maybe you chose courage rather than fear / intimidation
  • Maybe you listened instead of talking mindlessly to fill what seemed to be an awkward quiet 
  • Maybe you prayed a little more than worried
  • Maybe you chose to be vulnerable rather than amored 
  • Maybe you purposely gave without expecting a complementary payback
  • Maybe you chose to walk out your stress rather than eat the chocolate ,)
  • Maybe you chose water instead of coffee

Progress my friends – it’s a good thing ,)

Celebrate Progress :)

The other day I was packing my suitcase for a trip & sometimes packing makes me discouraged because I often forget something. Things I’ve forgotten include: makeup, my passport, entrance visas for various countries, my notes for preaching, various clothing necessities & the list goes on without limit. But I’m choosing to celebrate progress because lately, I’ve forgotten less than usual 🙂

And this is my encouragement to you today: celebrate progress more than conclusion. So many times I’ve been discouraged with myself for not having everything together. Discouragement can often become disheartening & ultimately depressing. So let’s chose today to celebrate progress rather than discouragement. Here are some ideas for celebrating:

  • Maybe your less late than usual
  • Maybe you gave someone a complement when usually you’re awkwardly quiet
  • Maybe you said less than what was running around in your mind & emotions
  • Maybe you showed up when you wanted to disappear
  • Maybe you chose courage rather than fear / intimidation
  • Maybe you listened instead of talking mindlessly to fill what seemed to be an awkward quiet 
  • Maybe you prayed a little more than worried
  • Maybe you chose to be vulnerable rather than amored 
  • Maybe you purposely gave without expecting a complementary payback
  • Maybe you chose to walk out your stress rather than eat the chocolate ,)
  • Maybe you chose water instead of coffee

Progress my friends – it’s a good thing ,)

Merry Christmas!!

  
Today, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, when humanity began a new trajectory with God’s love expressed to us through Jesus’ life. It always takes my breath away when I consider that God became flesh & started His journey like every single human, as a newborn baby. Furthermore, despite being the Son of God, Jesus’ first bed was an animal feeding trough & His mom was a teenage girl, unwed & common, except for her trust & faith in God. 
I pray that your day is overflowing with God’s love & Jesus’ presence! Merry Christmas to you, a Savior is born to us today!

Jesus at Work

  
Happy December to you!! This month can overflow with festivities, activities, pressures & responsibilities on the back drop of celebrating Jesus’ birth. So I like to have some fun with the premise of looking for Jesus, everywhere. 
With this premise in mind, I’ll be blogging about looking for & finding Jesus throughout this holiday season. Some blogs will be playful & kind of dorky, but the challenge I put before you & me is to keep looking for Jesus, a central priority, in this busy & demanding season. Love the reason, Jesus, and manage the season 🙂

people watching

I seriously love to watch people.  I love to watch their facial expressions, the way they interact with others, the creative clothing combinations and lots more!  I love to see that despite our best efforts to fit in, we each have our distinct individuality – reflections of our infinitely creative Divine Designer.  When I listen to people, I hear ideas & perspectives that I’ve never considered before, leaving me sometimes awestruck.

All of this leaves me fully appreciating the reality that we are each fearfully & wonderfully made, in the image of God, valuable far beyond any human estimation or transaction.  All of this originates from the fundamental premise that we are unconditionally loved by our Creator.

Today, I celebrate YOU!!!

🙂

knitting

I have no craft sense, whatsoever, anywhere in me.  I can’t cross-stitch, crochet, color, knit, draw, paint, sculpt, tie dye, . . . . . .  and I can barely sew on a button & do a hem.  I’m not crafty & visiting Hobby Lobby makes me twitch with nervous ticks.

Despite all these deficiencies, I am nonetheless, a result of Divine knitting and weaving as it says in Ps 139:13.  This is important for each of us to ingest for lots of reasons:

  • when we try to look / act like someone else, this is inherently destructive to the unique & divine design given to each one of us
  • your knitting / weaving together that God has done with you is perhaps one of God’s greatest expressions of love to you – you’re not a clone nor automaton
  • don’t unravel or unweave the beauty of who you are by running yourself down – remember that the enemy of your soul is also called the accuser of the brethren, so be mindful of who you agree with about your life 🙂
  • your divine DNA is organized for unique purposes, expressions, celebrations and successes

Whether you’re the knitting type or not, you are wonderfully, fearfully & lovingly made in the image of your Creator 🙂

Celebrate with me!!!

I’m totally PUMPED & God is doing spectacular stuff! I’m celebrating today because I’m part of a magnificent team with Saving Moses! Some of my team is in Brazil, exploring some cool opportunities for us there & some of my team is in Cambodia, introducing our nightcare work to some really fun peeps. The reason I’m celebrating today is because I’m in Denver with my family & not flying everywhere on the planet – a great reason to celebrate!!!!
Here are some things to think about in your life, possibly worth celebrating:

  • Teamwork: God puts us on fantastic teams – we never accomplish our divine mandate without teamwork!
  • Growing – in the past, I’d be all about my independence & doing Saving Moses alone; change is good for me & others 🙂
  • Capacity – when I’m obedient to God, my capacity to be effective grows

Let’s always celebrate God’s work in our lives!!

Introvert thinking about extroverts

Straightaway, let me be clear that stereotypes are inherently inaccurate by their very nature. But with that caveat, I’ve seen a fair amount of advice, blogs & comments about dealing with introverts, those prickly & possibly cranky or awkwardly quiet thinkers who sometimes lack diplomacy or communication skills. 
In contrast, however, I haven’t seen much about extroverts & here are some introvert observations about extroverts, who can be very wonderful:

  • They engage rather than evaporate
  • They communicate rather than go silent
  • Often friendly more than sulky
  • They push comfort zones
  • They usually meet people well
  • Have verbal skills that can be admirable
  • Often do adventures with ease & enthusiasm

Suffice it to say that we are each made with divine creativity, fearfully & wonderfully made for fellowship with God & expressing genuine love in our daily living 🙂

No Cavities!

YAHOOO!!!! I took my kids for their dental checkups today & I’m happy to celebrate that NONE of them have cavities. This is a miracle – approximately 90 teeth & not one cavity!  
So this is a really helpful reminder to me keep a few things front & center with my attention:

  • keep watching: God’s miracles come in lots of different sizes & ways, often unexpected 
  • stay grateful: no matter how big or little a miracle is & no matter the method of the miracle (sometimes God chooses to do things in ways we didn’t want), let’s keep gratitude as one of core values throughout each day

No cavities! 🙂

I like people

People are interesting without a doubt.  Sit in a Starbux, visit an airpot, watch in Walmart, socialize in church, etc & its high grade entertainment value to see what people do & how they behave.  Sometimes I just like to stop what I’m doing, adjust my attention & look at what the people are doing around me – so MUCH FUN!!!!

Here are some reasons why I like people:

  • diversity:  no two people are the same in any way, no matter how much effort they make to imitate & blend
  • creative: everyone seems to see things from unique & often highly creative perspectives, causing them to behave in very creative ways & do creative things
  • beautiful:  each person has a distinct beauty (in their visage, mannerisms, interactions, clothing, makeup, etc)
  • surprises:  just when you think you have a handle on human behavior someone does something entirely unexpected, rogue & outlier-ish
  • community:  it’s always fun to watch the ways in which we interact with each other, endeavoring to honor, connect, communicate & engage

Today, let’s celebrate people, God’s highest & most valuable creation 🙂

I need professional help :)

I have an entirely awesome friend who helps me with makeup & she is totally wonderful! One reason she is so wonderful is because I’m altogether awful with the entire concept. As a kid, when my friends were getting into all of the hair, makeup & nail stuff, I was riding my bike, playing basketball, exploring the creek behind our house & jumping on our trampoline. Even to this day, makeup doesn’t have much interest to me – one of my shortfalls, except for my friend who routinely saves the day for me!! I love my makeup friend for lots of reasons & I wholly respect her talents & skills in the very foreign world of makeup. She knows the vocabulary, is proficient with the tools, has an easy confidence with all of those little round things & never makes me feel stupid 🙂
In some ways, she’s kind of like the Holy Spirit, the ultimate Professional Help:
*the Helper knows the tools & resources in our lives better than we do
*the Helper works to make us look & be our best
*the Helper never belittles us
*the Helper knows how we are made, understands our individuality & revels even in some of our eccentricities & quirks.

I really like Professional Help ,)

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.