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, March 31, 2009

What are your thoughts?

I don't have thoughts tonight.

Well, I do, but I can not put them together. I'm going to post this very raw poem and see what happens, but what I really want is to know YOUR thoughts today. What is heavy on your minds?

What is most exciting or scary for you right now? I know that sounds creepy, but no one will answer anyway, so I have to try!

This poem came after I gave the girls Bible study today on forgiveness. We are doing a Campus Crusade study on the essentials of growth and forgiveness came the second week, after assurance. I really think the girls responded well, especially to this video we showed.


After the video, we put on some Brooke Fraser and just let the girls write. If they needed to reconcile with God, forgive someone, or accept forgiveness, this was the time to sort it out. So, all that to say, this is my poem from that little reflection.

all my dirty laundry
out for all to see
inside turned out
busted, left with nothing

written on rags
my works torn to shreds
every vain effort
to cover up negligence

a tantamount failure
desperate as the air
escaping up into clouds
demanding a trial fair

unspeakable grace
for no reason, appears
forgiveness, a rush of
life and clouds clear

diseased and unworthy
covered, tucked tightly
a beautiful warmth
held in the grip of the Almighty
I'm reminded today of my desperate need for a Savior. Knowing of the sacrifice He made for one such as me, gratitude should echo from this desperate need.. and love flow like the best wine from this undeserved redemption.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hooray for Monday

We got back late last night and I felt like I played catch up all day, but I don't mind. I did kind of mind the School Board meeting/parent info session I just voluntarily attended. I was thinking it would be a little more interactive. Boy, was I wrong. But, I'm still feeling okay... I've got a few tricks up my sleeve this week and the weekend away only made me more ornery - so watch out!

I think even the two day trip revived my spirits and gave me new energies to tackle these things set before me.

On that note, here are a few things to pray for, if you are the praying kind:
  • The women's refuge I've been working with is in danger of being shut down. The government apparently thinks that it is not a good use of space. Please pray that a miracle occurs and the girls are able to stay with their kids!!
  • I just finished up a few proposals for the coming year and will be meeting with superiors this week (hopefully) to talk about future plans.
  • Our contracts are out and due within the next 10 days. I am prayerfully considering signing a 2-year contract.
  • We have had very bold attacks on health here at the school. The assistant spiritual life coordinator (and my good friend) has been waking up in the middle of the night and feeling very oppressed. We know this is spiritual warfare, can you please just pray for protection?
  • Safety in travels for everyone this upcoming week of Semana Santa. The whole week is a holiday, so students and teachers will be traveling. I am hoping to connect with some students in Tela before I make my way to Iowa for a short few days to celebrate Easter with my family (thank you Aunt Jane!).
I love you all so very much. Be blessed today and walk in the Word.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

long time coming

I once had every intention to slip away once a month for a solitary prayer retreat. Unfortunately, I just have a huge pile of intentions and few weekends spent away.

Today is different. Today I'm going with a few girls to a remote bed and breakfast on a lake. We are taking a little road trip (and coming back tomorrow) - bringing books, bibles, journals, and music ... and just retreating for one night.

It's been a long time coming, but I'm sure it will be sweet. I'll check in again tomorrow when we return!

What are you doing this fine Saturday??

Friday, March 27, 2009

5 Thoughts for Friday

Did any of you grow up watching Feature Films for Families?

Rigoletto came popped into my head this morning and "The Melody Within" has been skipping through my fragile-Friday mind ever since. It hasn't bothered me one bit!

5 Thoughts for Friday:

1. I don't think I'll grow out of being obnoxious. Though I have put great effort into controlling my spontaneous (sometimes delirious) nature, I've come to the conclusion that my silliness is absolutely unavoidable.... which of course leads me to the conclusion that teaching holds a very questionable future for me.

2. I love trees. It's a weird obsession, kind of like being preoccupied with wise old men who have already passed on (like Blaise Pascal and C.S. Lewis). I love to think about all the symbolism wrapped into the roots of strong, solid oaks and the uniform beauty in a row of evergreens. I just love 'em.

3. Being rational is sometimes overrated. Notice I didn't say all the time. There is a great place for reason in life, though I too often forget and consider it the infrequent exception instead of the rule. Being irrational is more exciting, easier, faster, more accessible (and sometimes more damaging). All that said, reason can just as easily argue us right out of a perfectly valid risk - and of that I am not a fan.

4. Lemonade. The only satisfactory refreshment for all that is hot and sticky. Though lemons here actually look like limes and the end result hardly resembles the powdered concoctions of "Countrytime" fame, the refreshing citrus is still familiar (and the changes welcome, I might add)! Fresh-squeezed lemonade simply could never be replaced as the choice back-porch summer beverage!

5. dance, dance, dance. Lately, I've been feeling a freedom in my spirit... remember the song, "Every time I feel the spirit, moving in my heart I will pray" and the gospel choir song, "When I think about Jesus, and what He's done for me, when I think about Jesus and how He set me free, I could dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, dance all night!"? Well, I'm feeling it.

Unnumbered number 6. I hate that the 5 things I just thought of are all about me. Pooh that.

Have a great Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The craziness of the end of quarter three is upon us! Students are pleading for extra days to finish late work, teachers are planning secret weekend escapes/grading parties, and my friend Rosa (who runs the cafeteria) is having a mad dash on chocolate to keep both students and teachers pacified.

After school today, the new teachers finished up the last of three video sessions of a rather dry philosophy class (love the content, but the old man sitting by a fire for a solid hour just doesn't invoke a whole lot of interaction. Heather and I made a quick, random dinner (most of our dinners are SO random - I'll have to write about that another time), I went to care group, then we had an amazing time of staff worship... and finally I came back to crash.

And then this monster called

crashed my party and has me wondering where I draw the line with students. I know I have already worked through some of this and received some AMAZING advice from wiser folk than me, but I think I might be on a circular road, because I'm always coming up to this intersection.

I LOVE the opportunity to get closer to students, though for a long time I drew the line at email. I even set up a separate account name the students could use that would be re-directed to my main email. Then those plans went to pot when I realized these are people... real, broken, lovely, beautiful people that I see every single day and pray for as much as they're on my heart. This whole computer communication thing isn't what I would prefer, but it's the way things are going and I'd rather have them talking to me (and having even a teeny bit of accountability for who sees their profiles) than doing something sketchy, right?

I'm not really sure. What I do know, from my convo with a stellar student tonight, is that we are planning to do karaoke next week to some High School Musical, she kinda sorta likes this guy, and she was on the computer for several hours.

Personal/professional... I feel like a youth worker/teacher/counselor/friend/mentor/sister - and it's got that whole "job" role thrown in a confusing heap somewhere in the corners of my brain. It's going to stay there, too, for the night... because I'm logging out!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh, Arthur Conan Doyle

I can't say that Sherlock Holmes has ever held any sort of intrigue for me, in any literary sense. Those random lines people always utter from his books are long-since cliché, although his typical wardrobe and disposition are endearing.

When my roommate came home from Parent/Teacher conferences with a grocery bag full of paperbacks, I dug right in and Arthur Conan Doyle is what I found. Apparently, this parent buys books to read as she travels and she wanted to pass them along. I thought, "Why not give ole Sherlock a try?"

The stories are short and interesting... usually a good thing to fall asleep to (because if I'm deep in a page-turner I don't go to sleep at all!). It's been fun. I thoroughly recommend it.

As I leisurely (ill-advised with a severely long list of 'to-dos,' but therapeutic all the same!), finished the Sherlock Holmes adventures this afternoon, I was jamming to Sarah Siskind, Fionn Regan, Kyle Andrews, Waterdeep, and M. Ward.

Here's to another manic Monday! :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Multiply Your Love

As I reflect on this past week, I'm reminded of a beautiful story my mom always used to share with me whenever I was frustrated at the idea of our large family. She said, "You know, somebody asked your grandmother one time how she had enough love for all of her eight children. She said something like, 'I don't divide my love, it only multiplies.'"

With each passing day, I see another outlet for the love God's placed inside me... so very many needs meet my heart with the morning. Yet, God has allowed us, in Him, to multiply our love. In His power and for His glory, His love will be multiplied across the earth. Sometimes we can think that His love has limits, that we can max it out and He'll move on to the next needy soul. But, the depths of God's love NO ONE can fathom. I think that is just spectacular.

Tonight I was working out here in the compound and this song started playing on my ipod.


Multiply Your love through us, to the lost and the least
Let us be Your healing hands, Your instruments of peace
May our single purpose be, to imitate Your life
Through our simple words and deeds, let love be multiplied

Multiply Your love through me, to someone in need
Help me Lord to freely give, this grace that I've received
Let my single purpose be, to imitate Your life
Through my simple words and deeds, let love be multiplied!

Let us see Your kingdom come
To the poor and broken ones
Let us see a mighty flood
Of justice, and mercy, O Jesus
Let love be multiplied

Multiply Your church through us, to the ends of the earth
Where there's only barrenness, let us see new birth
Use us as Your laborers, working side by side
Let us see your harvest come, let love be multiplied

Today and this week my prayer is that God would multiply His love in us and through us so that it flows out in life-giving ways! Praise God for His unending and unfathomable LOVE!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

the past two days

I should totally not be awake right now... but, since I am, I might as well share a few photos with you so you can see where my heart and strength have been for the past 48 hours.

On Friday night, we had a praise and worship night scheduled to finish up our spiritual emphasis week. Thursday, I randomly decided that it would be a good idea to invite the 10th grade for a picnic after school (in hopes that they would stay for the rest of the evening as well). We ended up having about 20 students hang around! We listened to music, played fútbol, laughed a LOT, took pictures, and ate junk food. Heather and I fully intend to make this a more regular occurrence.

The random food - everything from ice cream to chips and salsa to cupcakes to pumpkin muffins to oreos... we've got it all!

I may not be the best fútbol player out there, but I've got a lot of spirit... and I've made a few goals, too! The sport is kind of contagious - the States need to catch it!

These are a few of the WONDERFUL girls I get to love on every single day. I can't believe i am so blessed!


Since we are going to be gone over Semana Santa, we had an Easter program today for the feeding center. I finally brought my camera out again and got some good pictures of my favorite little ones. This is Kenia... oh, how I love her!

This one has tried to take my heart so many times. We always have our own little 'jam session' at the end.. she LOVES to strum the guitar! She's a great helper, as well. Today she took a hair tie I had on my wrist, saying, "... to always remember." What a darling!

Believe me, there are many more pictures! I will get around to posting them on picasa at some point! Much love to you this weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

just be

I've been trying out this new thing. It's called being.

Sometimes God, in His grace, allows us to see the sin in our lives before someone else brings it to our attention. Other times, in His grace, He allows a brother or a sister to call us out on our sin.

I've been experiencing God's grace in the latter, being called out (of course wishing for the former), and finding that there is sweetness in a lesson you feel you've learned 100 times before. Sweetness isn't quite the word I'm looking for, but with this headache, it will have to do.

I guess what I'm realizing goes back to that one night in my bunk bed, junior year of college. My best friend confronted me (I almost got sucked into reading old posts just now :), after the lights were out, about some sin in my life. Now, years later, I find myself in a similar situation and feeling the same relief and blessing wash over me. The God of all peace promises to restore it in our lives if we confess to one another. 1 John 1:8-9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

As a child memorizing this verse, I focused on the confessing. Now, as I read it, I see God's faithfulness. That when we confess, God will forgive AND purify us from all unrighteousness. There is such freedom here!

So, this is where I sit. I think my inspiration is drained. What is precious, though, every morning now, is waking up to smile at the Lord. He knows me - really knows me. And I know that He loves me enough to let me be refined in this way. So, I'm working on just being with Him. Hopefully I'll soak up strength and wisdom and courage in the process.

In the meantime, while I'm doing all this learning, God is blessing me beyond IMAGINATION with these absolutely amazing students. Here is Alexandra. She is one of the reasons I love my elective. We decided to make a cartoon series with my computer one day and this is what happen. I think it has definite flip-book potential!

It's hard to know where to start with this precious soul, so here's where I'll end: every, every time
I see her face, a goofy smile plasters itself across my gringa cheeks and I instinctively rush for a hug. Ale is reaching out, questioning, wondering, and seeking. She won't settle for opinions or rumors. She wants the real, hard stuff of Truth. I'm praying her right on to that narrow path.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wearied Inspiration

Well, folks. Let's just say I'm taking a new approach to the blog for awhile (seems like its the same approach to my life these days): stay above water. In so many areas of my life I feel like I am at a very dangerous tipping point, treading water and exhausted.

I am right now listening to Eric Schrotenboer (who I highly recommend!) and processing what the Lord is teaching me and how I'm going to get through tomorrow.

Have you ever been overwhelmed with how much you don't know?

But, at the same time, overwhelmed by all the lessons you've already learned that shouldn't be plaguing your present like they did the past.

That's where I'm at. I don't know SO much. But, God's also shown me many, many things that I am painstakingly learning over and over again.

In all the learning and refining, one of my students has challenged me to write poems back and forth with her and its really got me digging deep to find expression.

Here's what I wrote today. I'm not sure if it's finished yet.

melodies played
over deep dreams made
inside a comfortable shell

imperfect and unseeing
flaws mask true being
and in distance dwell

easy is self-seeking
turns quick to misleading
and farther from my heart

why am I repeating
constantly competing
distractions without regard

willpower defeated
my own strength depleted
I am nothing but lost

then grace softly spoken
in quiet hours unbroken
to a frail soul at great cost

with Truth now leading
the pain leaves me heaving
embarrassed and ashamed
Be encouraged today, as you sort out what God is teaching you, how He is growing you, and (yes!) even in the lessons you feel like you are re-learning.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Snapshots, Imprints, and Lessons Learned

Here is a collection of pictures to give you an idea as to the many happenings in my life as of late. Enjoy, comment, and question:)

These are a few pictures from our service project at the orphanage, Sociedad Amigos de los Niños.


These are pictures from the students who translated for the mission group from Dallas, Texas. We were in an orphanage and also a public school... a first for many of my students.

The mission group had an outreach event one evening and I was able to get a group of students to go and help translate and fellowship. They were expecting about 50 local teenagers and what they got was somewhere around 150! God is so very, very good! One of my students was able to share her testimony with this group, many of whom are caught in various struggles and looking for HOPE.

We played games and hung out... it was amazing to see privileged Americans, privileged Hondurans, and underprivileged Hondurans all hanging out and having fun together!

The theme for Bagope (the Baptist camp about 4 hours from our school) this year was "school on hill" ... taken from Matthew 5. We blasted our theme song, "In the Light" by DC Talk and encouraged one another to be lights for Christ in the most dark places.

We played games!

This is my team - the awesome PURPLE POIGNANT PLATYPI!

And we had a game show - PRICE IS RIGHT - where I was Barb Barker (80s style I guess!).

Then we heard the message about how one light can shine in the darkness (and it's rough), but many lights can bring hope and healing to the darkest of places. We wrote a drama and some of the students helped act it out to the song, "Go Light Your World." At the end the students were invited to the front to light their candles to symbolize the light in their hearts. Many stayed after and prayed, hugged, cried, and just loved on one another in our most vulnerable states.

This is the group of us - loving, living, and shining. Now, pray our lights won't burn out!

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Poem for Monday

Today we return to our school hallways after a craze-filled weekend at the Student Spiritual Retreat at Lago de Yojoa. I don't know how I am functioning, but praise God I got through my first class this morning and now I'm on to counseling and grading.

I wrote this poem awhile back and I wanted to share it here. Right now it's especially poignant after returning from such a spiritually climactic and emotional experience ... deception comes at us in all sorts of sneaky ways.

at first small and simple,
a careless mistake
committed in ignorance
not a habit to make

but slowly, without warning
our habits do form
and gradually we justify
without intention, we conform

like a bothersome creature
heavy on our backs
it grows only bigger
takes us from the narrow path

neither ignorance now
nor mistake can it pass
we’re stuck wondering how
it happened so fast

with great attention
and certain, steady care
we’re drawn to His side
to find solace there

with not one mention
of our frivolous retreat
we're wrapped deep in His arms
with love on repeat
Please pray for Christina, as she is on a mission trip to Florida with her high school students! Pray that the group would grow in grace, Truth, and shine as lights for Christ!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

not to us, but to Your name

So, the past two days have been a blur of blessing - absolutely none of which can be attributed to my own hand. I can truly say that God has orchestrated these events to reflect His glory alone. I don't know how to keep the story short, but I also don't know how to keep my eyes open right now, so I have a bit of a dilemma.

I will do my best at a summary version and add some photos to help you visualize. Okay, so there's this group from a Christian high school in Dallas, Texas that has been praying for seven years that they would have a connection with our students at Pinares. They come here every year on a mission trip to work at the orphanages and do service projects in the area outside of Tegucigalpa. One of their teachers/leaders is a former Pinares student and has a strong passion to reach the most apathetic of our students by getting them out and doing service.

Well, on Friday I received a note in my box and started fielding questions from students who received a letter saying they were going to translate this week and I was the advisor/sponsor for the trips. I had no idea. I mean I really knew nothing about any of it until Monday mid-morning. Random doesn't even quite describe how absurd and persistent the events were.

After much chaos, I packed 12 tenth graders into a van with myself and a driver and off we went. And praise the LORD for the way HE works, prepares, coordinates, guides, reflects, and moves! The same story today with eleventh graders. They got back on the bus and said, "Miss, I've never been in a public school before. All my years in Honduras and I've never been in a public school. We should do this more often!" (And I'm going HELLO! yes!) We talked all the way home about visions for really capturing the fire they felt on the streets today.

One part of the 'translating' that my students did was for street evangelism... and that's a whole other story for other days. But, wow. God is so so good!
Okay, here are some pictures!

Monday, March 09, 2009

What I've been up to

Maybe I should name the post "When I've been up 'till" instead, but that's pretty big news!

Bedtime since moving down here (actually since graduating from college) has been on a steady downhill roll until this week. We have the student retreat coming up this weekend and we are really feeling the opposition pressing in heavy. It's been hard to recruit students and convince them it's something worthwhile.

It's so rough trying to make things cool, you know? High schoolers are just obsessed with making sure things are 'cool,' even down here. But, we are praying and hoping that the Lord will bless us with a group that wants to be real. Forget cool. That's what I say.

And that's how we ended up with this outrageous video to promote the weekend.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Seek me with all your heart

In my devotions this morning, I was reading about Zacchaeus... you know that "wee little man" you sang about as a child? I tried to separate the Sunday school image and focus on what the Lord is saying through His Son's actions.

I stumbled on this verse in Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 29:13 says, "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Sorry, I've been repeating it in my mind all day and I really think the repetition is finding a solid, steady groove in my soul. I am taking such comfort in the knowledge that God's promises are never empty - so when he says I will find him, I believe it!

But, what's holding my heart in conviction today is the last part of that verse. You will seek and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Tonight I'm exhausting, but remembering the same promise God gave me at the beginning of the day, "Seek me with your whole heart, child and you will not be disappointed! I am here!"

Zaccheaus found. Jesus saw into his heart that he was desperate for even the sight of Him... and the Son did not disappoint.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Honduran Horizon (late for February!)

I'm late. I hate making excuses and apologies for this ... so I'm going to skip it.

This month has been an absolute craziness. Sometimes I can't believe I've been here seven months already and other times I am frustrated that it seems I'm only at the beginning. Regardless, I am learning and growing and living. I think that's pretty important - the living part.

I'm trying to do a good amount of living without letting other things get in the way, like disappointment and Debbie Downers. Have you ever looked around and noticed how many things try to steal your joy?

That's been in a lot of my counseling sessions lately, "Are you going to let that steal your joy?" I guess it's good to repeat because I remind myself at the same time!

Well, I hope you enjoy this edition of Honduran Horizon. As always, just click on this image or this link and then click on February 2009. Let me know what you think! Hopefully it was worth waiting for!

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Some things about this random life I lead give me inexplicable joy.

This trip to Amigos de Niños on Saturday was one of those things. Here are some pictures - I hope you share in my joy as well! This week, when I have more time, I'll have to give greater detail to the craziest Honduran day yet!

Don't worry - there are more pictures to come!