Monday, June 23, 2008

The mountain of kisses of my personal favorites!! :)
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Got to see my boys on Saturday...always bittersweet right now. Francisco told me numerous times that he was ready to come back to Casa de Esperanza. Rip this heart out!!

We stayed just like this for much of the few hours we spent with them. He gave me "mountain of kisses" on my cheek and hugged the stuffin's out of me.

We miss each other soooooooooooooooo much. Pray for us please!!

Blessings on your day.
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Fab Five...

Well as most all of you know by now, tomorrow will mark 3 weeks ago that things significantly changed around Casa and within the family God has built here within these walls.

When Casa officially opened in June of 2006 our first babies to enter these halls were five brothers whose father was in prison for alleged homicide and whose mother was unable to feed them. Essentially they were taken into government care because they were starving and needed help to be able to live.

In God's divine wisdom and providence, He allowed them to call this home. I will never forget the day we walked into the room at Casitas to decide whether this was the case we were going to take or not and Marvin was sitting at the table and just started grinning from ear to ear. That was it. Karen and I were both done and so we looked at each other like yep think we're gonna have to take them.

Everyday since then has been filled with adventures...sometimes hilarious, sometimes tearful, sometimes just plain fun. It has been quite a journey.

I remember the first week they came, Antonio hated white people. :) He cried non stop and we wondered if he would ever stop. To watch him smile and giggle and love on us now is GOOD stuff. He's come a long way baby.

Mario...awww sweet Mario, he hit and kicked and screamed and cried and pulled our hair, and Karen and I would sit on the floor with him for hours during the first few months reminding him that we loved him and that he was going to be ok. He was so angry. To watch him at peace now singing his little heart out, he loves to sing, is God's grace and nothing less.

Francisco -- yep can't go there today. I'll post a part 2 about these sweet boys tomorrow and continue to fill you in over the next few days.

Seems appropriate to celebrate God's faithfulness to us and to them and to acknowledge the precious journey God led us on together.

My momma's heart aches for them in ways I never knew existed...but I would not give up one moment of this ache not a single moment if it meant that I had to give up a single minute of getting to live with them and love and be loved by them. It has changed me in a billion ways and it was one of life's greatest privileges to be able to attempt to serve them for a time.

Please pray for them and for us as we all transition. We all miss each other. The kids bring it up often and the boys call frequently wanting to just touch base and remember we're here and we're ok.

As much as it hurts, I like it that there's an ache and an empty spot. I think it serves as a reminder that we all loved deeply. That God created something here that meant something to all of us. That He was present and that He melded us all into a family no matter how hodge podge it looked and so I'll bear the ache with a sense of gratitude and pride that I was blessed to be a part of any of this. That God would invite us into something so sacred is beyond humbling.

We love you all and are strengthened by your prayers and support. Blessings on you this day!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Today is my parents ??? anniversary. Pretty sure it's like 36, who knows I lost count. It's a long stinking time that's all I know.

I'm 31 and I think they were married for several years before I came along, so yeah 36 sounds about right...I could be wrong.

Anyway that is so very much not the point...the point is that all of my life growing up I had the privilege of living in a home with parents who loved each other. You know those kind of parents where you make YUCK noises when they walk in and kiss each other when you're little and then grow up and realize how tremendously grateful you are that they just really like doing life together.

I know there have been plenty of moments when one or both of them could have given up cause times were hard, but they didn't. They held on through times that were difficult, when they had no idea how to parent these crazy kids God entrusted to them, through times when our family was hurting, through times when it would have been easier honestly to quit sometimes.

I know now at 31 what a gift it is to be able to go home to one house where mom and dad still live. Not just live but live in love with each other still after so many years and experiences together.

I love you guys. Happy Anniversary. Thank you for loving each other and allowing us to grow up knowing you did.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Not long ago, while on a retreat with some precious folks, I was asked to spend some time journaling and taking some time to reflect and be quiet before God. One of the questions we were asked to ponder was...consider the greatest gifts of grace God has given you and list the top 5.

Truth be known, the question merited some serious contemplation because we are talking about the 5 greatest gifts of grace to your world. HUGE!! I don't know about you but in light of being given FAR beyond anything I deserve choosing five of those seemed pretty significant.

So I went through the list of blessings and settled on the phrase "gifts of grace." While I have been given so much, there have been a few tremendously significant things that have spoken grace to me unlike anything else ever has.

Getting to walk out a calling that is SO much bigger than me and live out dreams with God here in Honduras is high on my list. I know I should have been disqualified from EVER getting to do anything like this. I should have been the last one chosen, and yet, here I am in a country with people I love supernaturally and children who have become my own and as I stand back one word comes to mind...grace, nothing but God's gracious kindness to this girls life.

There are some other things on the list, which would take way too many words to put on this blog, so for today I'll focus on one person that has spoken grace into my life and reminds me often that God's goodness is abundant.

Somewhere near the top of my list I had to make, right under my salvation and walking righteous with God because of the blood of His Son, was the name of this dear one and the relationship that we are privileged to share. At a time in my life when I had just failed at most everything and was rock bottom in a lot of ways, God divinely appointed this lady a place in my life and I had no idea all that would come to mean.
Truth is by all forms of logic she should have given up and not paid any attention to my messed up self. In terms of the wisdom this world gives I was in many ways a hopeless cause and a rebel in all forms of the word. I had decided at that time in life that I was done with God and fed up with religion and was tired of hearing about what I should do and watching next to no one do it. I was angry and hard and failing...
She believed when I couldn't, prayed when I wouldn't, listened for hours while I questioned and vented, loved when I didn't receive or return it well, made time in her tremendously busy schedule to drive to Athens to meet me for lunch and invest into my world, she was the hands of Christ, the heart of Him and somwhere in the middle of all of that, I caught her passion for Christ and I felt His love.
So many people have been such a BIG part of my faith journey, but if I had to pick one that was grace personified, she's it.
She reached out and believed when I didn't deserve it and nothing logical merited it. She just doesn't operate out of logic. She's got a Jesus heart and that made her heart move toward this one that needed His love and she decided to be a conduit of that.
Since then, she's modeled for these eyes a faith that moves mountains while abiding in Him. She has been tender in moments when my heart has been broken and tough as nails in moments when my stubborn will was keeping me from Him. She's prayed me through doing ministry here and almost everyday I open my email to a note from her that encourages me to chase His heart with everything in me.
So today on your birthday dear one, may you be abundantly blessed, wrapped up in Him...may He honor you beyond your wildest imagination for all you've invested in me, and may He thank you in ways I'm not able for the difference you've made in my life.
I am so grateful for this day...when God allowed your life a place in this world, so that one day your heart and life might bump into mine and change the course of my path forever.
Thank you for loving Him the way you do. My life is one among many who have been changed by watching.
Happy Birthday.

And Amen...

May God bless you with discomfort…
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger…
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears…
To shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection,starvation and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
And turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness…
To believe that you can make a difference in this world.
So that you can do What others claim cannot be done.