Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Appropriate Smallness"

Am finishing a book right now that I started a couple years ago. Funny how God does that huh and brings books along when your heart is ready or when they apply to what you're experiencing or can understand more fully at a particular time in your life. The book is called The Life You've Always Wanted by John Ortberg. A very practical but challenging book. In the chapter I read yesterday he is talking about the fact that unfortunately as human beings we all suffer from some version of the "messiah complex." Our humility is often a false sense of humility. Our service is often for what can be gained instead of what can be given. Our idea is that in at least some moments the universe revolves solely around "me" and I'm the only one in it. It's true isn't it.

I have been thinking about this so much lately. Let me see if I can explain with a few quotes from his chapter.

"Humility if we could ever grow into it, would not be a burden. It would be an immense gift. Humility is the freedom to stop trying to be what we're not, or pretending to be what we're not, and accepting our 'appropriate smallness.'"

"One of the hardest things in the world is to stop being the prodigal son without turning into the elder brother."

"Sometimes we adults try to be Superman. We try to look smarter or more successful or more spiritual than we are. We try to answer questions we don't understand. But it is a heavy burden, trying to be Superman when we're grown up."

"We must minister out of weakness. The reason we help others is not because we are strong and they need us; it is because if we don't help them, we will end up a hopeless relic."

"Authentic community is characterized perhaps more than anything else by mutual servanthood and submission."

Ok so some random ramblings perhaps but hopefully attached to the subject...have been wondering a lot lately if even in our attempts at service it isn't sometimes as much about us as it is about anyone else. Do I serve because I know I need to and it's right and because I really want to love as Jesus asked me to, or does it go more like I am serving because I am a big wealthy American and these poor people need me and it makes me feel good about..."me." Me little old me, are you kidding me??? But it becomes that way sometimes. It's easy even in ministry if we're honest to have a major messiah complex. As if any of this somehow depended on me. But we pretend like it does don't we?

You been around anyone lately who "knows all the answers?" I have and don't you sometimes want to say will you please just admit that you have no idea. You just made up an answer for something you have NO idea about. Ever done that? Ever made up an answer because not having one somehow made you feel inadequate or incapable? I have. I do.

Appropriate smallness is not a comfortable chair for us to sit in. Doesn't feel good in some moments. But it does this really amazing thing if even for moments here and there we attempt to settle into it. It reminds us that this world is a great big place and I don't need to be Superman I can just be free to love and serve, not because someone in the world needs me but because this appropriately small being needs them. I need to serve because it is the one anecdote to my own pride and need to make myself seem to be so much more important than I really am. I need to serve because it reminds me that "me" is right there with every other soul on the planet crawling toward a cross.

Appropriate smallness...I like that! Help us Father, help us somehow get the big picture and take up our small place in it so that we can be free to love and serve instead of spending the majority of our time on our "Superman" facade that crumbles with one look at You.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Is That Possible?

A few hours ago I looked at the calendar and the thought occured to me that I have been here for 7 months today. Unbelievable!! I haven't been counting the months and so they sort of slipped away from me I think. Some days it seems like I came here just weeks ago, and other days it feels like at least a year.

It's funny isn't it how time just keeps on trucking and packed within every single day are a thousand lessons to learn if we're just open and looking for them.

This has been one of the most jam packed with opportunites to learn times in my life. I was telling someone the other day this has been the best and the worst few months of my life. Best because I have gotten to see and experience and learn so many things. Worst because to do that I have had to be part of some difficult things. Learning usually happens that way huh??!! I seldom learn as much on top of those mountain times with God as I do when the road is marked with some tough spots and pain. I tend to seek Him more then. I need Him more then. I remember that I am inadequate and unable then.

So many things have happened in 7 months. I've gone through some language training and wonder of all wonders learned a few words in Spanish. :) We have watched as literally a few concrete blocks turned into this beautiful home that children would live in. I have been able to watch as people sacrificed in humble me to my knees kind of ways to be a part of this ministry. We got out paintbrushes and I have NO idea how many gallons of paint and went to town on these walls and the inside turned into a bright cheery place to be. A container pulled in with donations from so many people to furnish this home and when they got put into place I got huge tears in my eyes as it began to look like home. We have made friendships with some wonderful people that will be part of my heart forever now. We have adopted Honduran families and invested in their lives and on and on the list could go.

You know most buildings and most ministries don't get to begin in 7 or 8 months time. As impatient as we sometimes can become in some of this, God has blessed it beyond words and it has only just begun. I can't wait to write and tell you about what the kids think when they walk in and see it.

Oh glorybumps. Hmmm 7 months crazy!!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Gonna Be A Long One...

Alright well I haven't posted about anything that's going on for a while now (with the exception of the water adventures) and so I'll try and give you an update here on several different things.

Let me begin here...a couple of years ago in God's complete kindness He built a relationship between my heart and a precious family that aren't mine biologically but you sure couldn't convince the love in my heart of that at this point. Takes nothing at all away from the family God allowed me to be born into, I love them dearly so much it hurts sometimes, it's just that He decided to double my hearts blessings I guess. Anyway, in the middle of the blessing I inherited some brothers. What a treat that has been. One of them, has touched my heart lately in some of it's deepest places as I have watched him search and seek out what God really wanted Him to do with his life. He was working a "good" job in Columbus as a sales rep and if you spend any amount of time with his heart you quickly learn that he seeks more in life than a behind the desk sales job. He's got a helping people heart. He just had an offer for a different position within the same company that really looked pretty good and you know what the boy did? He politely declined so that he could come to Honduras for the summer because he felt like it was what he was supposed to do. Now he's trusting that when he gets home God will open a door for somewhere else that he can work closer to home doing something more in line with the gifts God put in his heart. You have to love that kind of faith! So starting Tuesday I'll get to spend the summer with my adopted brother. I LOVE that!!

This country is waiting for the gifts and love that you bring Jeff. Thank you for teaching me some great lessons as I've watched you the past month or so yield to Him to use you however He so chooses. It's been more than fun to watch and more than a blessing to get to be just a small part of. Check out his blog, (under my links) I am sure he'll keep you posted on how this experience is touching him this summer. We are honored to get to have him here.


Ok so last week my mom was here. She brought her friend Gloria with her and Karen's mom was here as well. We had a great week getting to show them around and allowing them to see what God allows us to do here. Here are just a few pictures of that adventure.

Ok so that's all the pictures it's letting me post for some reason, so I'll have to share more later. I didn't take my camera much so am waiting to get copies of mom's picture cd. She got some good ones. I think it was good for her to be here. I'm not sure if she left more relieved or more afraid of me being here, as we had a few scary moments with the bus and taxi strike and a couple other moments, but I think she also saw that I love this place and she got to meet so many of the people our hearts have become close to and that was fun!! Pray for her heart, I know she wanted to pack me up in her suitcase. It is hard I know, what I am asking them to sacrifice as I do this as well and I'm grateful everyday for that.


We have inherited more Santa Ana family this week. Mike and Janet Paden moved down here from Illinois just within the past week or so. They have been a tremendous blessing already for our hearts and we are delighted to have them here. As with anything though the beginning can be difficult and so I would just ask that you cover them in prayer as Satan will surely be attacking hard while they try to adjust and get settled in here. When good things are happening, Satan fights that with a vengeance as we all know and so we covet your prayers. I look forward to working with them and know that God has led them here for such a time as this.


Think that about covers all the things I can think of to update you on at this point. Ohhhh no one other thing...our paperwork is now officially all signed and there are a few more steps in the process but the biggest hurdles are jumped. Please continue to pray for that to happen soon. The IHNFA inspectors will be coming out Tuesday morning to check out the place. They publish some formal publication in a newspaper here and ask if there are any objections to us being here and then I think we are pretty much good to go. I pray it won't be long now. It's time for some kiddo's to come home. :) We have seen so many times through this how God's timing is so perfect though. We are in the process now of doing some repairs that need to be done before kids can be here safely. The container is in Honduras now with the remainder of our things including the dryer and the oven and things like that so it should be here sometime next week. He still really does know best. Have no idea why we doubt that so often.

Ok now I really do think that covers the highlights. I am way missing people I love from home right now though and won't see them again for several months so I would appreciate your prayers for a heart that will always and forever now live in two places. Some days that's easier than others. Part of my heart will always be with them, part of my heart always here in this land that has captured it's own piece of it. It's a blessing to have so many people that you love and so many people that love you, it just at moments is difficult to do the missing them thing.

Thank you for loving us, encouraging us, and for praying us through. We couldn't do this without you!!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Yea Though I Walk Through "Poop Mud"

Yep...it's 10:00 pm tonight and the rains do come and the thunder rolls and the trench we dug does get filled with silt and we head back out on another adventure into the mud!! It's just starting to get fun now...

but will someone please come this summer who can build us a system that will stop this mess? :)

Jeff...got any trench building abilities under your belt...cause you know there are those "special projects" you love so much. Well we've got one, boy do we have one!! :):) See you soon brother! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Taylor won...well YIPPY SKIPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And yes I am reverting to 13 years old and yes I am talking about American Idol. Ok season's over guess my Tuesday and Wednesday night tv addiction can now end.

Will blog more about my week with my mom tomorrow. But for tonight TAYLOR WON!!!!!!! YAY!!!


Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Poop Mud Adventure...

OK so first things first...rainy season has begun in Honduras and here are just a few signs. Yes this is our floor and yes these are our pans on our floor...and yes there is a reason. Casa has never been through a rainy season in Honduras yet, so we're still working the kinks out and well there a few holes in the roof so yeah...pans on the floor!! But wait it gets better!!!

Ok so tonight...we walk outside to check on the rain situation and in front of the house it is minutes from flooding in the front door. So about oh 9 oclock Anita and Pablo and I are setting out on a poop mud adventure. This picture is after most of the water had drained due to our trench digging abilities or God's goodness one or the other. :) There was water EVERYWHERE!!! When we first walked out and I stood in the water it came up high on my calf in a few places not too far from the front door. It was crazy. So we dug it out and hopefully caused it to drain for the rest of tonight until we can get some drainage pipe solution in the next few days.

You know it's funny cause I griped and I whined around some about all these water problems the past few days, AND THEY ARE FRUSTRATING undoubtedly, but somewhere in the whole adventure tonight I realized that I'd go in in a few minutes and take a shower and I'd be clean. That I'd lay down in a nice dry warm bed tonight with clean covers and I'd rest well. I thought about how many people in this country tonight do not have the same privilege. They'll take baths in water that's full of feces. They'll not have a bed, they'll sleep in the poop mud. They will have water running through their homes not just in front of it. I guess sometimes all it takes is a little perspective.

I'm off to my clean warm bed right now praying for all those who don't have that luxury and wondering why me?! Lord continue to help us learn please regardless of how crummy it feels sometimes.

Friday, May 19, 2006

My Friend Miguel

Well just thought since I shared my friend with a beggar blessing in the last blog that I'd put a face with the name. This is my friend Miguel who stands everyday at the same stoplight and hopes for enough money to buy food for this day. I just wonder if Jesus was still here in the flesh if he and Miguel wouldn't be really good buddies!! Love this guy!  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 11, 2006


I am learning so much about expectations right now...the fact that things often don't meet up to our expectations, that we have unrealistic ones sometimes, that we get so disappointed because they're unmet. There have been some difficult moments in the waiting, where what I expected this to look like and be haven't so much come true. I find myself frustrated sometimes and then I question whether it's my expectations that were skewed or what is behind the frustration. So while there have been some things that haven't been what I expected...let me just share with you a few blessings that haven't been what I expected either.

1) I never expected that I would drive down one of the roads here almost every day and get as excited to see my friend Miguel who stands out there begging on the street with his crutches and one leg who got all teary eyed one day when we talked about how good God was, as I do some of my very best friends in all the world. I never expected that his smile and his fifty some year old hand reaching out to slap my hand every single time I drive by would bring me so much joy. I never expected to become friends with a beggar.

2) I never expected to have ladies who work with us every single day who are joyful and wonderful reminders of the blessings God has planned all along the way. I never expected to have Daisy show up every day with her silly giggle just thrilled to be here with us. I never expected her to stay up all night some nights as she watches to make sure we're safe, with never a dime of pay for that, solely because of her love for us for whatever reason. I never expected to be loved so selflessly by these people we hired to help us who have now become our family.

3) I never expected to hear this sweet little voice every single day run up to give me the hugest hug and in our daily repetition I will say, "I love you Christian" and in response in the cutest voice you've ever heard he says, "mucho mucho" with a grin all across his face. I never knew how to expect the pure beauty of those precious moments.

4) I didn't expect to inherit another sister with brown skin when I met miss fabiola...but I did and the blessings of that are beyond number. I never knew that coming here and needing a lawyer would mean I would be granted such a precious friendship. I never expected the gift of that.

5) I didn't expect to be taught so much and humbled so often by the gal I am privileged to work beside in this ministry. I didn't know how often her gentle spirit would remind me of Jesus and his call to our hearts.

6) I couldn't have expected to learn how much being away from so many people you love grows your appreciation for being able to be near them. I didn't expect to be taught so many lessons through that.

You know the truth of the matter is I still have a God who does things far beyond anything I know to expect and even in the middle of some frustrating waiting, He's still blown me away by His kindness. It's important that I remember that!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Not Long Now...

MY MOMMY IS COMING TO VISIT ME IN 11 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! She has never ever been here before and she's flying down with Karen's mom and one of her friends from home, this sweet lady named Gloria. We are so looking forward to them being here. Please keep them in your prayers as they get ready to travel. More importantly please pray for all their hearts will experience while they're here, that God will touch them in the ways He needs them to be touched and that they will see His face in all the places He makes Himself so visible in this precious land.

And by the way you could be praying that all Satan's plans would be thwarted this week. Our papers are supposed to be to the final stage of the process tomorrow, which is the last thing we need before we are able to accept children. So it could be very soon!! Please pray for wisdom and for all of those things we'll need God to provide through this process.

And by the way here's a praise report...this sweet sweet gal named Gina came to work for IRC just a few weeks ago and she has as literally as I know how to say it been a God send. God has gifted her with organizational skills extraordinaire but on top of that she has one of the kindest hearts and sweetest spirits of anyone I've ever met. Karen and I met her for lunch one day a few weeks ago and walked to the car after we were finished and at the same time said, oh I really like her. She is good stuff. She has helped so much to get our papers walked through this past week and will be working with all of us to help in whatever way is needed. She also worked with our team when they were here and they just loved her. Thanks God for leading her to us.

Welcome Miss Gina, we are thrilled to have you as a part of our team...your Jesus heart is a welcome addition and we are delighted to get to work with you to serve the people of this land!