Monday, January 18, 2010


I LOVE THIS PICTURE!!!! We never get this boy to smile for a picture. He's in a stage where he'd rather pose in cool mode and not so much show the sweet soft guy that is buried underneath...but the other day we were at a build site and I had my new camera with me and I said oh smile Eduardo and he did and this is what turned out. :)

I look at it and remember a day several years ago sitting in a village with a sweet little boy who grabbed a hold of my hand and my heart as we sat on a cement floor and sang all day long while a team built his family a new house. I remember a hundred times when he hugged me and meant it. I remember many times when he has asked for my help or my advice. I remember the times when he has allowed me a glimpse into his heart. I remember the good stuff...

Amazing when I look at this picture how I really sort of forget the moments that have felt like frustration or failure or hopelessness. I have sort of just been pulling it up every couple of hours over the past couple of days since I took it and feeling a flood of hope when I see those eyeballs and remember there's a heart behind them that I love a WHOLE BUNCH!!!

I continue to covet your prayers for his heart as he is attempting to find his way in a culture that doesn't necessarily encourage soft and kind...I continue to beg God to seal His heart in ways that He can never turn from.

As always I appreciate you journeying with us...this ministry is the effort of so many and we couldn't do what we do without you.

Love and blessings.
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some sweet faces I got to meet today who were waiting to have surgery to repair cleft lip and palate problems. Looking into these little eyes was a great way to remember why I love being here. I got to play outside with some of them for a few minutes while they waited anxiously to be called into the room for surgery. The little people always draw me in somehow...I am a sucker for a brown eyed baby. A group of doctors came this week to volunteer their time to fix their sweet little selves...what a beautiful gift they are's an honor to witness even a small part of all they're doing!

Friday, January 08, 2010

I wish I could paint you a picture or show you one of my day today. I'll try to use my words to do so.

I am at Tony and Sarajane's house today, (no doubt you've read their names on here before they are two of my favorite people on the planet.) I stayed overnight last night and to say that I get spoiled rotten when I'm here is a mild understatement. There is a fire roaring in the fireplace right beside me and I can feel the warmth of it on my arm as I'm typing this (not to mention the soothing sound of the crackling) and the curtains are pulled back from the double door windows and I'm watching the snow fall. Maggie just brought me a cup of Sugar Plum Spice hot tea a bit ago and I'm enjoying it as it is my very favorite flavor near the holidays...when you've walked this many miles together, you know those sorts of things about one another. Casting Crowns is playing softly on my laptop as I type this and just up the stairs I can hear the sounds of life and laughter from some of my VERY favorite people on earth as they take down their Christmas tree together.

Can't even describe to you today the blessing of having people in my world who know me so well that they give me permission to be in their home, light a fire for me, come love on me every once in a while, and then give me permission to sit in quiet and read and spend a very much needed day with God.

I don't have a ton to write today, nothing of deep eternal significance I suppose...or maybe it is, maybe I am just reminding myself of the gift that this sweet family is to my life and they have been of EXTREME eternal significance. They still are.

And maybe just maybe I'm remembering that most often I see Jesus in my relationships with other people and remembering that we have the opportunity to show Him to one another whenever we choose to.

Today I see Him in a fire, some snow, several hugs, and the freedom to do whatever I want to do while in their home.

I love you all so much. You do love me like Jesus. You always have. I love Him more because of you!!!

(Sidenote: as I was getting ready to close this, this precious little gal with big ole brown eyes just delivered a candy cane to me from the tree and said "here auntie Jen" and stoked my fire cause it was dying down. thanks God for your tender touches through human hands. you ARE good to me.)

Monday, January 04, 2010

Ohhhh and #11 - I will use this blog to share and process again because those of you who follow and support us are worth the time it takes to process and share here.

And you could help me by praying for my "list." I appreciate you all!!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

I love new things don't you???

I got a brand new computer for Christmas from my parents (because my old one crashed completely) and I loved the fact that the desktop was completely clean, I opened the music folder and it had NOTHING in it, picture folder - same thing, completely clean for me to add anything I wanted to, it was totally organized and without clutter, the outside was clean, the box it was packaged in was even cute, I just love NEW!!! I am having a hard time wanting to put anything in the folders because they'll start to become messy again and filled with stuff and right now I just like the feeling of clean and new. I realize that the feeling about my computer probably has implications about my feelings on life right now.

I kinda feel like that with this new year. I'm feeling this really big tug to simplify life. I don't know yet what all of that means, but I know that it has gotten too cluttered. I have had some time recently to reflect and process and I guess meditate on what it is that in 32 years I've created for a life. Am I living the way I want to be living at this point, glorifying God, serving other people, cherishing my family, following God's voice and lead?

If I'm honest, the answer is yes and no. I mean I have my moments which probably even turn into days and weeks sometimes when things feel just as they should be. I'm living out a dream doing my best to humbly serve people in Honduras, I'm surrounded in life by people who love me and support what I do, and I think more often than not I would tell you that I'm listening for God to show me what to do next. I laugh and love on my nephews and my nieces and I watch movies with my parents and I celebrate my friends and the gifts that they are to my world. I read my bible and I ask God to reveal to me what He wants for the next chapters of life and I embrace those with boldness and courage. I contribute to a community of faith and seek their accountability and involvement in my life and I do my best to offer myself to their journey.

If I'm honest with you though, there are moments when I look at all I've attempted to do and everything I believe I've thrown my heart into and I far too often am motivated by what everyone else thinks, I say yes to far more things than I should and then get upset with other people for their expectations not with myself for being undisciplined in my commitments, I get tired of being broke instead of embracing a life with less for a worthy cause, I feel defeated when the outcome doesn't look like what I thought it would and one of my kiddo's moves back to a horrible neighborhood, I look for the quick fix and throw money when I'm stressed and busy instead of offering my heart, I get upset with a struggling father who really is trying to better his life when he isn't changing fast enough to meet my timetable, I think far more highly of myself than I ought to sometimes and I enjoy the praise of people and wallow because of their criticism, I put burdens upon myself to be a robot when I am a human being who needs rest and a break. So if I'm really honest and transparent before you some days my answer to the question of am i living the way I want to be living is no.

This isn't a beat up on myself post, it really isn't. It's my looking back on a year and wanting to refine some things for the next.

I love the idea of new. I have no idea where the idea for new years resolutions came from, and I know they hold no more power than any other decision I make any other day with commitment and conviction but there's something about a year that hasn't yet been filled up with mess, that has 365 (well 361 days now) left for me to fill up and organize, it's a clean calendar with blank spaces and it feels like it holds so much opportunity for doing it better.

So I am limiting myself to 10 because I can still wrap my head around that many and I might actually hit 5 out of 10 if I give myself a broad target :) Let's be honest our success rating on these isn't terrific. So here we go, my list for 2010...

1. I will take my boys on some dates with their momma to hear about the things that really roll around in those little hearts. I will not assume anymore that just because they have a roof and plenty to eat that they have a heart at rest. (Sidenote for my own confessions: Forgive me God for thinking that because they had far more than what they used to that I had fulfilled what you had asked of me in regard to them. You did the giving of the "stuff" and somehow I felt like I got the credit and should receive their gratitude. Help me to realize that even nearly grown boys need to know a momma's love and it's my heart and praise they're after not my stuff. Please continue to teach me Father, but will you please somehow protect them from my inadequacies.)

2. I will give myself permission to take Monday mornings "off" from running - to be quiet before God and to organize heart and mind so that I might be a better leader for those that God has placed on my team and all those that may someday be, and so that I might be a better follower of His heart. (Confessions Part 2: God there have been moments in this when I have bought into believing that something might fall apart if I shut my door and had uninterrupted time with you in quiet to focus and renew. As though you needed me to keep things running... I have learned I can't function long without burning out without it, so help me here to let go and stand still once a week as we begin a new week will you please help me start from the right spot, on my knees in submission to Your authority.)

3. I will write one handwritten letter once a week to the people who matter to me. I will deliberately invest in my circle of influence and attempt to make them feel cherished and loved. I will do this for their sake and my own.

4. I will hit the gym 3 days a week at some point in the day. When I feel better I am able to serve better and so I will make a deliberate effort to take care of myself and my health.

5. I will forgive more and be bitter less.

6. I will read my bible every morning even if it makes me 10 minutes late for what I'm going to do. Showing up 10 minutes later when my heart is right will accomplish far more than showing up 10 minutes earlier without lining things up within my heart for the day and I will pray to remember that.

7. I will work to take captive every thought and operate less out of what other people think and more out of what I know is right as God speaks it into my circumstances.

8. I will be diligent about reading and studying ways to help people I love help themselves and become self sufficient instead of attempting to be their savior. I am totally inadequate and do a very poor job, so Lord will you please be the rescuer and use these hands and show this mind how to be wise about the help we offer and the ways we do it.

9. Even when I don't know how to do it well and I sometimes fail I will at all times and WITHOUT REGRET love them from a place so deep that I know it will at moments hurt and I will trust that when it does you will hold me. I will also trust that when we celebrate the victories together they will be twice as sweet because of the love that exists in the deep places.

10. I will celebrate every victory large or small because they're worth it and because tomorrow is never guaranteed. I will acknowledge the places we've messed up and attempt to make those places better but I will do my absolute best not to let those overshadow the things that are going right...and Lord when I do remind me that life is good and I am surrounded by people to love that love me. I am blessed!!

So knowing that in my humanity I won't succeed at these for an entire year in all the ways I'll want to, but from a heart that's looking at a year in review, these are a pretty sweet list to work towards for this girl.

Happy New Year. Lord help us to make you deserve it!!