We all have challenges in our lives of varying sizes and strengths. Some challenges are relatively short & minor: getting the chicken unthawed in time to bake it for tonight’s dinner. Some challenges are massive: nightcare with Saving Moses. Regardless of your age, responsibilities, gender, season in life, etc, we all have challenges & it’s what we do with these challenges that’s important (not necessarily the challenges themselves).
So here are some helpful tips for dealing with challenges:
- can do: keep in mind that God in you is bigger than any challenge;
- try: don’t quit, give up or get discouraged; a baby step is better than no step & a misstep is better than a regress ,)
- selective nutrition: feed the positive & starve the negative
- timely inventory: it can be super helpful, from time to time, to take an inventory of your overall progress rather than focusing on the lack of slowness of progress
- encouragement: encourage someone else in their dreams, goals & challenges – it’s good for you! 😀
I think that it’s really important from time to time to get some fresh perspective on life & the world in which we live. Today has been a day of fresh perspective for me. I’ve met heroic & legendary moms & dads who are doing everything in their power to keep their babies alive. But I also met a mom today who was extremely discouraged & I’m deeply concerned that she may have given up hope. Her baby, Josephine, is only 10 months old but is extremely sick & close to dying. Her mom, Miciah, brought her to our malnutrition clinic to receive milk & medical help but was herself not feeling well. We took a short break for lunch & upon returning to the clinic, I started looking for Miciah & Josephine but couldn’t find them. As I asked around, the nurse said that Miciah had left the clinic w Josephine & the nurse strongly encouraged mom to stay. Miciah left, regardless of the nurse’s appeals & we don’t have a way to track them down – no address or phone number. I have tremendous concern for Josephine because she was not doing well at all. Please remember to pray for her – I’ve attached her picture so you can please remember her. The lesson for all of us is to never surrender hope.
I’ve had some interesting interactions with people of late. Some of these interactions were in the intimidating & bully category. Being on the receiving end of the intimidation efforts, I can’t say that it was a pleasurable experience. And there have been more than a few occasions where I wanted to return some of that bullying.
Nevertheless, I decided with God’s help to look in my mind for some better thoughts & here are a few ideas for better thoughts:
*if God is for me, then who can be against me?
*I am more than a conqueror because of Jesus’ resurrection
*love never fails
*in God’s hands, a temporary affliction can turned into some heavy duty glory
*all things work to my benefit as I
Continue to stay in love with Jesus & true to His purposes in my life 🙂
Make the decision with me to choose better thoughts 🙂
YAHOOO!!! We visited our first malnutrition clinic today & I saw LOTS of encouraging things!! I saw about 40 babies & toddlers drinking our therapeutic milk. I saw moms getting help for their babies. I saw some of the milk supply for this malnutrition clinic & I saw hope!!
To add onto all of this excitement, we were able to follow up with 2 families that we met last year: Manushe & Celestina (Augustino died last year) and we saw Angelina & Desorae! Both of these moms & their babies are doing GREAT & it was totally heartwarming to get to see them again this year 🙂
Thanks LOADS for all of your prayers & support – we are making a difference & changing the future today!! The attached picture is of Angelina & Desorae, who we were able to see today!! 😀
I want to be a person who inspires courage, faith & strength. In my mind, courage is an opposite for cowardice & I don’t want to be a person who’s influence causes others to be timid, scared, cowardly or insecure. I want to put “courage in” people – to be an encouragement.
With this in mind, I’m real keen to hear your thoughts on what en-courages you, what puts courage into you??? Thanks for your help!!
Charades is a fun game to act out lots of different things. If you’ve played this game in a group, you know that you’re supposed to act something out & help your team guess your word(s) based on your acting. This game can be lots of fun, but unfortunately, I think we play this game in our life, from time to time. Here are a few examples:
- Sometimes I think we pretend to be humble, when the reality is that we’re merely insecure.
- Sometimes I think we pretend to be confident when the reality is that we’re arrogant
- Sometimes I think we pretend to be peaceful when the reality is that we’re apathetic
- Sometimes I think we pretend to be strong when the reality is that we’re scared
There are lots of other ways we live the charade game & ultimately, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to be humble, confident, peaceful, strong, etc. But my sense is that we can’t really have these things well integrated into our lives as a normal reality without God’s help. Just some food for thought 🙂
Our lives tend to be really full with activities, relationship, things we have to do, twitter, facebook, concerns, etc. If you’re like me, sometimes I have a hard time hearing God in the midst of the noise of life. Indeed, sometimes His voice seems so small that it is a stark contrast to the loudness of everything else. Here’s something that you might find useful in listening to God:
H – help! Ask God to help you to hear His voice (it’s interesting to note that Jesus called the Holy Spirit our Helper)
E – eliminate distractions. Is there some “noise” you could eliminate? Switch off some unnecessary noise & perhaps this “off” could be an “on” switch for hearing God better
A – available. Make some time on a consistent basis (I’d suggest daily) to be available to God – for Him to speak with you on whatever topic He choses, or even just to be in His presence, if He choses to be quiet.
R – revere. It is often true that whatever we honor & revere tends to grow in our lives & the reverse is also true. I find that I express my honor & reverence in lots of different ways, but very often by how I spend time. Time can be a very honest reflection of what is important in our lives, especially our discretionary time
Have fun listening & watching for God 😀
Today we had the privilege of meeting some really great & totally fun pre-schoolers, as well as some great moms looking after their babies who we are helping. One of the things that I’m wrestling with is the moms that I’m meeting who have lost babies. The majority of the moms whom I’ve met have lost anywhere from 3-10 babies. When I began to discover this, it simply takes my breath away because I can’t imagine how a mom processes such losses. When you meet the majority of these moms, you wouldn’t know that they’ve endured such tragedies. So as we are now taking a bit of a drive, I’m writing this blog & trying to talk w God about this and to let the Trinity help my heart. I will think & pray for a bit now.
Greetings friends! Just to keep you posted, I’m flying to Angola with savingmoses because we want to put the tangible love of Jesus into action by helping to keep “the least of these” (infants & toddlers) from starving to death. You see, Angola has the world’s highest infant mortality rate & the majority of the reason it is so high is because of a lack of food. When I went to Angola last year, I looked infant mortality in the eyes & it broke my heart, knowing that the simple supply of formula & food could prevent the majority of these deaths. So over the course of a year, we’ve been steadily providing money to buy formula & now I’m going back to check out what’s been happening over the last year.
So, please be sure to keep your eyes peeled because I’ll be doing all the blogging, fb-ing, tweeting, etc that I possibly can to keep you up to speed on our progress in Angola over the last year 🙂
We can give life in lots of different ways. Here are some thoughts & practical ideas to integrate into our daily living.
First, in a few weeks, I get to travel to India with @savingmoses. I have it in my heart to create a facility where we can provide night care to the infants & toddlers of prostitutes of the sex workers. Presently, infants & toddlers of the these workers many times are chained to the same bed during the time when their mother is working. My goal is help these infants & toddlers develop a world view that doesn’t so overtly include prostitution as a means of earning a living. I believe this is a very SIGNIFICANT way to give life to someone at the beginning of their life. Of course I will be blogging about our trip everyday & keeping you posted on our progress on facebook, twitter, etc.
Second, we can give life to the people in our lives by our words. Positive, uplifting, encouraging, vision casting words are absolutely vital not only in our lives, but also in the lives of the people around us. The closer the relationship, the more opportunity that we can speak life into the person we love. When you notice positive things about a person, tell them!! When someone is having a rough day, remember something good about them & tell them!! If a person tends to have a negative outlook, counter-act the negativity with some constructive optimism. I seriously appreciate that we need to NOT live in denial, but on the way to positive results in our lives, we need positive inputs. Maybe its even a good day to post a nice & sincere comment about someone on their FB wall 🙂
A final idea about how to give life is with our time and activity. If we’re not careful, we can easily get caught in the selfish trap & fritter away our time & energy on selfish & even meaningless activities. Let’s look for opportunities to improve someone else’s life by volunteering, getting involved in a local charity, church or relief agency.
Let’s give life, since we are made in the image of the original Life Giver 🙂
It’s been forrrevverrr since I’ve blogged!!! Bad on me!! There’s been LOTS of things happening – my youngest started kindergarten, some travelling, lots of speaking, working on my Beatitudes book, started taking Hebrew & lots more. Nevertheless, I’m back & happy to get to be w you again in this format & looking forward to hearing from you 🙂
Something to consider: if you would like more of Jesus in your life, you can make space for Him by giving Him away to others 🙂
- a date w my husband – all you can eat sushi & a movie; we got to talk & be entertained w a good movie we both enjoyed. simply bliss
- making my grandma’s recipe for rhubarb torte & getting to share its tastiness w friends & fam, who enjoyed it LOTS!
- an invitation in my heart to deepen my walk w God, along w some help on the “how to”
- buying the UBER treat of Queen Anne cherries
- worshipping God & sensing Him transcend my limited thoughts
Here’s a list of things that haven’t been too whippy of late:
- chopping off a small tip of my thumb while making rhubarb torte (the nerve is still exposed & its hard to text / twitter)
- culling through David & Benji’s dressers / clothes knowing the Isabell’s clothes will be even more “exciting”
- nuggets (aka chicken nuggets) playing very poorly last night – i was on the verge of considering becoming an NBA fan.
Mothers are intersting creatures. Since becoming a mother, i’ve come to see things from 2 sides – both as an offspring & as a mother. Right now, i live in the “high-octane” middle of both worlds (as i sit here writing, my little men are wrestling w my big man, while Isabell designs her new bank savings box). I am fully offspring, in that i work pretty closely w my mom & i’m quite thoroughly integrated w care for & interaction with my kids. Consequently, Mother’s Day is the collision of significant portions of my life.
In the fullest sense of the word, Mother’s Day is designed to celebrate life. I say this because there’s not a single one of us that doesn’t have a mother (dead or alive). Mothers (and Fathers – but we’ll celebrate Father’s Day next month) are significant conduits through which God gives us the gift of life and life is very good. May your Mother’s Day be filled w gratitude to God for His gift of life and gratitude for our mothers & the things they’ve invested in our lives. Happy Mother’s Day!
In an effort to help us give God some applause & to get in the thankful mode, let me give you a few things for which I’m thankful & then give you the opportunity to leave a comment with some things you’re thankful for. I’m thankful for:
- God’s love for me – this year has been thoroughly mind blowing in experiencing His love
- getting to go to Ethiopia – a long-time dream come true; this was a real honor for me
- family – always keeping you on your toes or knees depending on what’s happening
- encouragement & support – lots of folk saying & doing cool things
- friends – this year has been somewhat of a long-needed breakthrough for me in this area
- greek – how cool that I’ve had the opportunity to grow & learn in studying the Bible!
- health – can I just tell you that I have biceps? I couldn’t tell I had these until this year! Health is also useful for: snowboarding, travelling, keeping up w the kids, thinking & much more
- prayer – what a majestic adventure
That’s a start for me. What are some things you’re thankful for? Maybe the rest of us could get some ideas from you! 🙂