Hello. Welcome.

I'm a very determined kind of individual. Sometimes my determination is misplaced and things get very ugly. But, sometimes my determination leads to laughter, deep thoughts, and words on paper.

I write everything. I'm not very good at filtering ... so you will see it all. Maybe there will be a little inspiration for someone else along the way. I hope so. My sister also likes to guest blog and I'm sure you will appreciate her wit and wisdom.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Lately, I've taken to calling a "quiz" or "test" in my class a QUEST. The students first used the term because they were completely unwilling to accept a quiz that was more than two pages. They adopted the nickname Quest as a compromise and I picked it up. Now, I assign "QUESTS" all the time... sometimes they are take-home, sometimes projects, sometimes long quizzes.

Anyway, recently I found this Quest - a new program for Compassion. If any of you have kids, and if those kids are helplessly drawn to the computer, then this is a great place for them to hang out.


Go ahead and explore... it's the kind of education that I would love for my kids to dive into. It's not about feeding a virtual dog (it's true - kids do it and love it!). It's not about obsessing over celebrities and Hollywood (what's the website - Perez Hilton or something like that?). It's not about gossiping with friends over the latest who did what on facebook (Mark Zuckerberg probably had no idea what monster would come from his creation).

It's about using technology in a way that connects kids to the world ... and the hurt that is there. The opportunities are endless.

And, as long as I'm recommending things, I strongly recommend taking a quest to El Salvador. I am currently sweating buckets, typing this up in a brightly colored cafe with a very sincere cup of salvadorean coffee at my side.

I'll catch up on some of the musings I've had on this excursion soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

pizzas and plenty

Tonight a window opened.

A couple days ago, I re-connected with some students who have been really precious to me this year. In the shuffle of ever-changing job descriptions, my stress at what to "be" to students in different settings, and a very random schedule, I neglected to give them the heart time they needed and I love so much.

So, tonight I invited them for dinner at my place. You know, of the home-cooked variety? I had a meeting for Hands and Feet after school and then rushed home to make dough from scratch for mini-pizzas (which was its own adventure... had to borrow flour and then borrow again when I realized the first was corn flour). I cut up veggies, minced garlic, and shredded chicken, let the dough rise, formed pizzas, cooked crust... and then waited. and waited. and waited.

I knew Honduran time was different, but I hadn't planned for 1 1/2 hours! When they finally arrived, it kind of worked like one of those unrealistic cooking shows. You know the kind, right? Oh, just throw on a little of this and put it in the oven... and I actually have here the bread after its risen. A few minutes later, you're ready to eat. Well, this time it DID work like that.

"Alright, girls lets make our pizzas!"

Two seconds later...
"Well, I actually have a few already finished!"

I highly suggest this tactic for hosting - way less stressful!


Maria Jose

We had such a wonderful time of just laughing and chatting and fellowship. I can't believe what an amazing gift we have in fellowship. Truly. Though I might consider myself a closet introvert, these times of relationship with my girls simply could not get any better.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

thoughts on a tuesday

These past two days have been beautiful. For some reason, my alarm is not working, but the Lord has been waking me up around 4 am to just watch as He awakens the world. What a gift.

I am thankful... so very thankful for hazy light that meets me on the mountain with morning. I drink in the dew of His mercies that are new each and every day. What great love!

With my girls in Bible study tonight, we talked about the power of the Holy Spirit. Even as I spoke it, I felt crumbled in front of such a holy, powerful throne. This Almight, Infinite Creator of Heaven and Earth who conquered death has offered to make the same power alive in my life to draw others to the Kingdom and proclaim glory to His name. What a magnificent offering!

I'm overwhelmed.

Sometimes I feel foolish for not believing that this same Lord with endless power can conquer the piddly things I fear. God IS INDEED great and can accomplish far beyond what we can even fathom. I am praying that he helps my unbelief.

Along the journey, God is gracious to give new inspiration. Music is one of those beautiful things to me. Here is an artist to whom I thank for a week of inspiration and encouragement. I'm not sure how you say his last name, but Aaron Roche has for sure earned a place on my "favorites" list.

Here's his myspace page: Aaron Roche

I might specifically suggest the "Psalm for Jon and Erin" ... if you wait til the end there is a gorgeous woman's voice reading scripture from Psalms. It gets me every time - putting me at the feet of a tender, gray-haired woman with authority in her voice. Enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Honduran Horizon - March edition!

I know, I know. If I look at the calendar it says APRIL.

This past week (or weeks, I guess), I've taken a step away from technology and been so blessed. This has meant that I've been a bit behind in ... pretty much everything. But, I've decided I don't mind. Here is the March edition and the April, of course, should be coming out in a few weeks :)

I will write more on here soon. I think my blog-hiatus is over. Click on the below link to find the newsletter under the March link.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

rough gets smoothed

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but the Lord directs his steps.

That's exactly how I feel about this little hold up last Saturday morning. This week has been a huge, huge blessing.

Last night, I had several students over for some fellowship, laughter, singing, and more laughter. What a wonderful blessing! I also had time to get a few things done that I haven't given much attention in the last few weeks.

That's all. Blessings. In the midst of much hurt, there are blessings.

Even as I read about pain and hurt from my dear friend Chelsea in S. Africa, who just experienced great loss on her team... even then I know that God is faithful and He will not leave or forsake His children.

Oh, how wonderful that God knows the ways He will bless us even when we are completely unaware. I will indeed be on a plane on Thursday, hopefully a bus tomorrow, that will take me to the place where my family will gather, pray, and love with the precious love of Christ as we celebrate His beautiful, redemptive plan.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

rough morning

Man, I'm worn out.

This morning, I started packing for our little trip to the coast when I realized my passport was not where I usually keep it. I have unzipped and dumped and opened and searched every little place I think it could be and I came up with nothing.

I have a 12 noon date with a plane bound for Iowa on Thursday and this is more than a bummer. But, as I seem to be saying all day, "You are not meant to worry about the things you cannot change." I felt like I woke up (passed out with all my clothes on after we got home from dinner... just exhausted) and God said, "remember how you said I was good yesterday? I still am."

Whew. I do believe He is good today. In fact, as I settle in to the idea that I'll be around this week, I am already thinking of things I can do with this time. Write. Read. Play. Run. Crafts. Clean.

I know I've been asking you to pray a lot lately. I hope that's not too bothersome for you... I really believe the prayers bless those that pray as well as those who receive.


Friday, April 03, 2009

one in a string of hard days

This is one in a string of hard days. I am pressing in... hard and deep into the Lord because I know nothing else to do. It is not my pain that troubles me, but the pain of those around me that is drawing me to lean on the All Sufficient One. Some of you already know about the student here who just lost her dad suddenly to a heart attack.

As I have petitioned for peace for the family and specifically for my student, I am intensely aware of this raw battle of which we are a part. Every moment I spent with the girls at the visitation, every hug and tear, every single prayer that ended with, "Lord, pray for me," and every question that pricked my heart - in all these things, I return to His promises.

Two songs have been blessing me as reminders of the beautiful way the Lord is near. Nichole Nordeman's song, "You are Good" assures that God does not change. He is just as worthy of my praise this moment as the next. At times we can confuse "mourn with those who mourn" with mourning for our own feelings. We see pain in someone we love and begin to focus on how we are affected. Right now I am moved by empathy, to just love on my student who is hurting... to listen... and to proclaim who God is.
You are Good
Nichole Nordeman

When the sun starts to rise
And I open my eyes
You are good, so good
In the heat of the day
With each stone that I lay
You are good, so good

With ever breath I take in
I'll tell you I'm grateful again
When the moon climbs high
Before each kiss goodnight
You are good

When the road starts to turn
Around each bend I've learned
You are good so good
And when somebody's hand
Holds me up helps me stand
You are so good

With every breath I take in
I'll tell You I'm grateful again
'Cause its more than enough
Just to know I am loved
And You are good

So how can I thank You
What can I bring
What can these poor hands
Lay at the feet of a King
I'll sing You a love song
It's all that I have
To tell You I'm grateful
For holding my life in Your Hands

When it's dark and it's cold
And I can't feel my soul
You are so good
When the world is gone gray
And the rain's here to stay
You are still good

So with every breath I take in
I'll tell You I am grateful again
And the storm my swell
Even then it's well and You are good
The other song that touches maybe deeper is this by Lori Chaffer. Honestly, it's a hard one to listen to because it is real and raw. You may not understand it unless you have gone through an intense hurt. I just listen and think of the reality that sin has consequences... that there is death and war and famine and brokenness. Though we must deal with reality, we know also that God does not let death win - that Jesus conquered the grave and has conquered death in our lives.

You Will Always Hurt

by Lori Chaffer

First there was the dawn
And I couldn’t sing a song to you
Then there came the rain
But I couldn’t seem to blame you

Sometimes it rains
Sometimes it snows on you
Sometimes it sleets
Sometimes it defeats you

It’s quiet on dark nights
And you must give up the fight before long
Trust is not a game
That naive stupid people play in youth

Sometimes it rains
Sometimes it floods you
Sometimes you bleed
Sometimes you just need to make it through
Make it through

You will always hurt
You will always sting
You’re my badlands
My grand canyon
My empty stream
You’re my reservation
My second place consolation
My devastation
A thorn
A pang
A deep dark heartache
My greatest fear
A lonely tear
An empty caress
An earthquake
A broken plate
Lost innocence
A cheap defense
My delusion
My confusion
A cancer
A wrong answer
A lost game
Fickle as fame
A bad critique
A glass that leaks
A fallen leaf
Talk too shallow
Ground that’s fallow
Fatal attraction
Nuclear reaction
False resurrection
Thrown election
You’re my silence
My violence
You’re a sad song
You’re a long, you’re a long, you’re a long way from home
You’re a long, long, long, long way from home
You will always hurt
You will always sting
‘Cause you won’t let go of everything
Until you’re quiet one dark night
And you give up the fight you’ve fought so long
And find that trust is not a game
That naive stupid people play in youth
And you let it rain
You let it flood
You let it drive out all the pain of love

These are just my thoughts as I sit here waiting for parents to come in to conferences, wishing I had gotten approval to skip out and go to the funeral services today. This is just what I am thinking.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Call for Prayer

Hello, folks.

I am going to be late for care group, but I wanted to ask for prayer in a few very precious areas.

  • Please pray for my roommate, who is stepping out with HUGE faith to speak about some hard things in her life.
  • Please pray for our students. There have been frequent (more than usual) kidnappings and everyone here at the school is really frightened for our students' safety. Today the Ministry of Education issued a mandate that no students were to be given group projects, because it would mean they would have to work outside of school, traveling to different houses.
  • Please pray for the women's shelter. Some of you know that we have been working with the women's shelter nearby and the government just decided it would be closed. The location is government-owned and the girls are just left with no options. Please pray that God would provide ways for these girls to continue safely and with opportunities to hear and pursue Him.
My heart is heavy right now, but I know the Lord is faithful. He's always been faithful.