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.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

reformation day... and the end of october

This is a picture of me trying out the box as bed before the sleepout last Friday night.

Tonight is a night for lists, so check this out:

-in honor of reformation day, check out these links:
Ligonier Ministries
Reformation Day Meditation

-to try at home:
homemade chai in several variation (I could NOT find cardamoms here and it turned out okay)
baked butternut squash or winter soup with butternut squash

-to listen:
city on our knees by tobymac (see previous post)
anything vince guaraldi
hank by ben rector

-to craft:
i'm going to try patchwork postcards

it's been a good couple days, folks. a good couple days.

i am missing, a bit, the fam around this time of year. i sure do love 'em.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

city on our knees

this is going to be involved in my devotion for tomorrow morning at staff meeting... I'm feeling a strong, strong pull to unite and fall at the feet of our King.

Monday, October 26, 2009

little miracles

art from my new fave: funky art queen

I'm praising the Lord. This post is one of thanksgiving - for all the people God puts in my life to save the day. These are heroes - real, live ones who will probably never be duly thanked for the way they (in one way or other) line right up next to Timothy, in taking a genuine interest in the welfare of others. That really sets a person apart, you know?

Here's my all-star list:
Douglas drives bus number 8 and wears aviator glasses. Last year, whenever I ended up on his bus, I always thought he didn't really like his job (especially when it involved carting a bunch of gringos around) because of he kept quiet and often listened to headphones.

But, this year he sure did surprise me! He was the one who picked me up at the airport and then helped me get the car ready to drive and then... quickly turned into my dependable and trustworthy mechanic. I seriously can't explain the kindness and honesty ... and the patience about all the questions, scattered Spanish, and constant pleas for "cheaper." He is seriously a blessing (so whoever was out there praying for me to find a good mechanic consider it answered!).

Jose Miguel
Hm. I don't quite know how to start this one. I had a friend come visit from the states. I took full advantage of the convenience in my car... driving around the countryside, the mountains, to my student's house, and back again to the city... then I took one wrong turn and ended up in a neighborhood called 21 de Octubre... at night... in the rain. And at that moment (not any other moment, like for instance on a curvy mountain road or in a isolated location) my right wheel decided to stop responding to the steering wheel.

Long story short(er), God provided moment by moment and led me to the doorstep of Jose Miguel, not a 2 minute walk away. He was so kind and helpful and promised to work as quickly as he could. Then his nephew drove by and Jose Miguel volunteered him to take us home (in his little teeny pinto with cardboard covering the windshield). So we arrived home and we could not stop exclaiming about God's providence and timing... and then 2 hours later as we were trying to figure out the schedule for picking up the car the next morning, JM called to say he finished and he would drive it to my house. WOW.

Stacy, Laura, Steph, Cara
You may or may not be aware that in the past few weeks I've had countless opportunities to use my animated, excitable nature to... fReAk oUt. With the 24/7 prayer room and the Sleep Out and various other activities (oh, yes, and don't forget randomly not having school after winning against El Salvador), I felt the stress to the max. These girls jumped right in, constantly asking if and what I needed. My sanity is probably still in place because of the thoughtfulness and compassion of these girls. May their reward be great!!

We don't have to say much, Jess and I. We kind of just know that we are always in need of support and she does a darn good job of giving it! She is such an encourager... and I think we are like-minded in wanting to be fully in our ministry here. We have this kind of respect between us - where we may make plans, but time with students always trumps. All I know is, in the past week, Jess has constantly spurred me on and I'm so thankful!

I won't lie - it's been difficult. Last year, Heather and I did pretty much and completely everything together. We led Bible study, went to the feeding center, got groceries, explored, worshipped. We were a team and a pretty good one. Well, it seems that we were almost too good. God wanted us to split up so we'd both depend on Him more and each other less. I haven't enjoyed going solo, but I have seen the Lord show me things I need to change in order to rightly represent Him. Heather? She's in Canada, which may sound far, but from the notes, emails, and (yes, even!) packages, it sometimes feels like she's still close. The only thing I hate is that condensing my thoughts is so time-consuming that I don't feel like we really ever adequately 'catch-up.'

So, I'm taking Spanish lessons from this angel of a woman named Lourdes. Every other Tuesday I get to sit under her tutelage and her wisdom. God is using her in my life to bring strength and courage and affirmation. I cannot express how blessed I am to share time and space with a woman so devoted to God's purposes.

Gerardo drives bus 12 and always wears a baseball cap. I know Gerardo pretty well because he's my bus driver. I'm not sure if it's the Caedmon's Call song (bus driver) or the fact that my grandpa is a bus driver, but I just have a pretty grand appreciation for the profession. In any case, Gerardo takes great care with his job. Every turn and stop is precise. Some of the kids on the bus share a special handshake and others always make sure to share some conversation before leaving. He's softspoken, but so tender-hearted. When he drives the late bus he always drives right to our gate instead of dropping us at the end of the dark street. His kindness is really impressive.

Where do I begin with this girl? She is in 9th grade and she's earned the title of "my rock star" and I'm not kidding around. The Hands and Feet service club meets once/week on Wednesdays and Eloisa is always getting down to business. Her commitment and creativity has (many weeks) been the brightest spot in my day. This past weekend for the sleepout, she offered herself every spare minute and then followed me around after school running errands. We don't have many students who are that perceptive to the needs of others, but this one sure is. I'm so grateful!

I know there are many, many more who bless my life each day. But, today, these are the heroes. Praise God for them!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

a night as ONE

After a solid day-long hibernation yesterday, today I was ready to re-enter the world of social outings and easy conversation. But, had you tried to rouse me or engage me in any sort of way yesterday, I couldn't have made any promises of my attentiveness.

The weeks (and months in the idea-in-my-head kind of way) leading up to Friday, October 23rd were packed with questions, preparations, and lots of battles against worry. In the course of these weeks, I felt constantly compelled to apologize with the words, "I'm a visionary."

Sometimes (okay, many times), I look ahead to the glorious, vague notion of "what could be" and then work haphazardly toward its realization. I used to think I was organized... you know, with color-coded plans B, C, and D in proper order. I used to think if I had enough discipline and spoke with enough authority, that inner, organized leader in me would prevail. Well, come to find out, the inner, organized leader I so hoped to uncover was quite hard to find.

Now, I don't lie to myself. Instead, I say, "I am a visionary, like my dad." I know it doesn't get me off the hook, but I hope that it does bring in all those around me to keep me accountable and ask the right questions.

All of that to say, being a visionary turns out to be a lot about being humble. Holding your plans loosely, holding schedules that are slippery like jello, and trusting that however it turns out is the way it was supposed to go (even if it looks nothing like what was in my head). Friday night was just exactly that - not at all what I pictured and absolutely a work of God.

Micah Project and the Transition Home (ministry of Orphanage Emmanuel) joined us in the afternoon and we spent several sweaty hours playing soccer on the field. Then we moved into the gym to several stations - prayer room, letter-writing, and learning stations. The kids (in small groups) walked into the prayer room and prayed for the Micah boys and the girls from the Transition Home by name. They wrote letters to our Congress here, explaining the purpose of the event and asking that they might concern themselves too with the needs of those living on the street. Then, they had fun with the challenges at the learning stations: creating a sculpture out of bottles and cartons, creating an outfit out of scraps of fabric, creating a game out of found objects.

We took every opportunity to teach our theme verses, from Matthew 22:37-40
"Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as you love yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
We united together, as neighbors in Tegucigalpa and loved one another through playing games, making jokes, laughing, and sharing joy. Our dinner was simple: hot dog, chips, soda.

We listened to a band and then joined together in worship. The sound reverberating in the gym was pounding in my head with all my worries, but when I looked around, the unity I saw was beautiful. After the singing died down, with prayer we ushered in the presentations of the two organizations, who shared testimonies about their work with children who grew up on the streets or were saved from a childhood on the streets.

When Becca (from Micah Project) asked Wilmer and Marvincito what their dreams were for the future, their answers made a huge impact on all of us gathered. They said some version of this, "When I get older, I want to help the kids who were like me - poor and on the streets without hope."


We prayed for the organizations, laying hands on them and then they in turn prayed for us. This exchange remains imprinted on my heart - that we are called to both give AND take as part of the body of Christ. Just as we were ready to move out onto the soccer field for the campfire, the electricity died in the gym. At that moment, walking out onto the field illumined by the fire's glow, we were one. We were really ONE: one family, one community, one love. We crowded around the warmth of the flames and we sang. We prayed. We gave thanks. We were one.

And then we dispersed to our flimsy little cardboard beds (which quickly became a community event as well - for warmth!) for the night.

Though not all the students that came were born-again believers, I think we all got to see a little glimpse of what God might have in store for the future - worshipping, playing, loving, and enjoying life... together.

The morning came early enough and I was glad (especially for reasons of liability) that everyone made it through the night. We packed up and cleaned up and with almost every step I wanted to find a corner to collapse into. But, God be praised, I made it, too!

I will be praying for many more nights like these (and God's power to sustain us to do His work).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

pray withOUT ceasing



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

24-7 prayer


This week is meant to rock, shift, break, humble.

It is doing all that. Praise God for the way His plan, purpose, and peace settle into our souls and stretch out from our lives! I'm very tired, but very ready for another day of beautiful life in this place. May God be glorified with the sun's rise and setting - and in our joyful toiling about doing His purposes!

Monday, October 19, 2009

nothing like the written/spoken word

Here is a poem I wrote today:
sitting here with a cup of tea
atop of a tired afternoon
distraught with all the crazy
that will pass before the moon

today was, of course, supposed to be
set apart and beauty-filled
but i think the way i spent it
more hell than heaven thrilled

i'm glad i can be honest
and share what's on my heart
i'm glad you can know sometimes
my mornings have rough starts

even though I may surprise you
with my messes and mistakes,
i hope you will be patient, still
and with questions never hesitate

i think i am starting to see
that blooming girl inside
i think i might have glimpsed
all those things you try to hide

i'm okay with taking it slow
and with learning bit by bit,
but I don't just throw my love around
so can you please take care of it?

And here is a video ...

I love it. We're doing 24/7 prayer this week and THIS is what it's all about - using Scripture to bring God the glory for who He is!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Honduran Horizon

Here is the Sept-October edition of the Honduran Horizon newsletter. It's a bit shorter and slightly disjointed, but this is my life I suppose. :)

Just click on the link below to go to the newsletter page and download the newsletter. Click on Sept-Oct on the lefthand sidebar.

I also made a short video for my church in Atlantic, as they are having a missions fair this Saturday. I kind of went blank when I pushed "rec," so forgive the frequent pauses! :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Call to Prayer

Dear Prayer Warriors,

Hello friends! This time more than ever, we are feeling the spiritual attack here in Tegucigalpa, in Honduras, and in our school on the mountain. Just as God promised His people, who are called by His name, to be humbled in prayer, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways... He promised to hear and forgive and heal the land (2 Chronicles 7:14. We want to respond to God's call to enter into communion with Him - to adore Him, to confess our failures, to pour our thanks out at the altar, and to petition with grateful hearts for God's will to be done. But we don't want to do this alone.

This next week, starting at 11:30 am on Monday, October 19, we will be having prayer in the 212 room in the high school (or in your home) 24 hours a day for 7 days. We want to form a seamless prayer chain, where we are coming before the Lord together, as a unified community.

To participate, sign up in the hallway by the 212 room (elementary staff are encouraged and welcomed!!) or send an email to Miss Nichols (caroline.m.nichols@gmail.com) or Mr. Cochran (cochran@hifo.net). Please pray especially during the night hours, as students are primarily signing up during the days. We are teaching students to use the “ACTS” acronym to pray.

A – adoration (giving God the praise He is worthy of)

C – confess (confessing our sins to Him)

T – thanksgiving (thanking God for His blessings)

S – supplication (asking for God’s will and our petitions)

We will be encouraging students to step away from the tendency to pray in general terms and instead praying deeply through Scripture. Each day will have a theme and we will pray through each letter of "ACTS" for each theme.




Spiritual Emphasis week for the high school will follow the 24/7 prayer and follow the same themes as 24/7 prayer. This is a huge opportunity to lead students into an understanding of our intimate relationship with our Sovereign God through the repetition of Truth.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


this is what birthdays are made of:)

messages from friends
surprise breakfast on my desk in the morning
more hugs
kind words
driving around with students
more messages from friends
picking up students for dinner
dinner with students and teachers

oh yes, and how could I forget? my birthday outift, courtesy mom and dad (or is it just dad?)
I received a package in the mail a couple weeks ago with these tops and I realized I also wore pants and shoes my dad found at thrift stores. :) love my dad.

AND. I cut my hair last night (students finished off the back today after school! I think it looks alright:)

what a happy happy day!

Monday, October 12, 2009

we are supposed to

we are supposed to want to revel,
to dine fine and delight
to escape a workdays wrestle
under a clear, starlit night

we are supposed to want to get
fast and furiously away
from the stresses and the messes
of dull, dreary everydays

we are supposed to fight and finagle
every second of the five-day week
then rush away to Saturday, where
of things work-related, we do not speak

we are supposed to just “get through it,”
and endure our vocation
in hopes that one day we just might
end up with one long vacation

we are supposed to savor moments free
away from desk and planner
to find diversions completely apart
from lists on the task manager

we are supposed to fit in this box
where everyone relates-
we complain and groan and sit and moan
about our jobs that we hate

what if we supposed instead
that work could be enjoyed-
that through our daily toils await
unspeakable gifts from being employed

suppose we each were fashioned
for work and not a long vacation
how then would we feel at the close
of one five-day-long summation?

suppose we are wasting our energy
with a fight quite misdirected
running from all the daily joys
has our souls severely affected

Sunday, October 04, 2009

do you know what love is?

Unfortunately, I will not take the time to expand on my many philosophical ideas about what love is. I just want to give you a picture of a couple of people that I think do it pretty well.

This is one of many pictures I took for Macayla and Melvin on Saturday... and I have to say there are few things like being invited to share in the celebration of love. I really admire and respect both Macayla and Melvin - because I know that together their desire is to serve the Lord more passionately than they ever could have apart.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

giant avocado

Today I'm taking wedding photos for my friends Malvin and Macayla... we'll see how that goes! And then I'm headed to my first QuinceaƱera celebration! Lots of reason for incomplete sentences and exclamations!

I will write more tonight, hopefully, but I wanted to show you the size of the avocado I bought on the street the other day.

Yes, this avocado is as big as my face.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

here is the joy

Okay, fine I'll just tell you. Her name is Alejandra; I know I've mentioned her before. In my previous post, "wish words were better" she was the source of my joy. After a whole year of looking way too desperate to be her friend (some would say that my dedication to high school girls is because I'm desperate for friendship), Alejandra blessed me with one of the best conversations so far this year.

And, even better, I am beginning to see more beauty unfolding every day! Alejandra has this mysterious joy about her and she is always ready to bring out smiles and laughter in others. I haven't figured it out yet, but I also know that there's a lot brewing on a deeper level. She is a thinker and a questioner and now a pursuer of Christ. I am so proud of her bravery and every bit of her unique spirit. I can see that her pursuit will delight the Lord in so many ways.

She reminds me (in such a beautiful way) that I need to keep fighting... that I need to be sharpened... that I need to be humbled... that I need to be honest... that most of all, I need to be so knee-deep in God's Word that I'm content not to get out. She reminds me of these things because I want to serve and lead as a sister in Christ in the best way. And I know I can only do that through the power of the Lord.