Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's Been Awhile...

Is actually an understatement.  And really, I'm just coming here to say "good bye." 

I've done a lot while I've been gone.  I don't even remember if I shared images from Kenya!  Then there was El Salvador and now the biggest thing: I've received a call (weird, right?!) as the Communications Assistant to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land to work with Palestinian Lutherans and to help tell their stories.  To show that these are real people, made in the image of God and not just what we've seen on the news.  And so my husband and I will be moving to Jerusalem in February!

So, if you'd like to follow that adventure, there are two options, you can go here:
Hummus, Not Walls
or here
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

Thank you for all your love and support over the years!  I hope you have a blessed Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and a wonderful New Year!

مع حبي,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ravensbruck Prayer

O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember the fruits we have bought, thanks to this suffering - our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown out of all of this, and when they come to judgment let all the fruits we have born be their forgiveness.  Amen.  Amen.  Amen.

Prayer written by an unknown prisoner in Ravensbruck concentration camp and left by the body of a dead child.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

And we are put on earth a little space
That we may learn to bear the beams of love
- William Blake

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Music To Bleed To

It's been a weird day.  I woke up this morning talking to God about nothing in particular.  Then I sat on my glasses and broke them in half.  But I just felt so darn joyful that I couldn't help myself.  Worked out, put in my contacts and went to donate blood.

I was the second person to donate and I just greeted everyone and asked how they were doing and they said that I must have had a good morning and that I was very cheerful and that it was obviously real.  I told them that the people who take my blood are always so nice and always put me in a good mood.  They changed the music from dark and depressing to LMFAO and "Moves Like Jagger" and asked us if this was good music to bleed to.  Ha!

Do you ever just feel so joyful that you have to share it?

“It is His joy that remains in us that makes our joy full.” - A. B. Simpson

Monday, March 19, 2012

Church Fatigue

The worst kind of fatigue.  I had the first thought of leaving the church that I love today.  I'm tired and I get irritated when I see a message in my e-mail inbox from someone at church.  This is bad.  It'll be good to get to vacation.  Does anyone else ever experience church fatigue?  Is there anything you've done about it?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Holy Cow!

Do you ever go on a binge?  Like you eat chocolate cake for like all three meals a day for a week?

I have 20 books.  20 books that I've purchased in the last month!  Some of them are for book club, some I got for my birthday, some I'm purchasing with my freelance money (I freelance for MTV News) and some...

I need to stop, especially since it's Lent!  Anyone else have any addictions? 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Franciscan Blessing

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 wish for justice, freedom, and peace.

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.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

God Has A Wonderful Sense Of Humor

Last year, I was watching Jesus Christ Superstar and I had to stop.  Jesus seemed so angry and so severe.  I had a hard time with it.  I had a teacher who told me that there would be no laughter in Heaven because laughter was always at someone else's expense. 

Then I read this book called Between Heaven and Mirth and it's about the jokes that Jesus said, jokes that we would NEVER get (you know, being so removed from 1st Century Palestine and all) and how there are so many books about Jesus and laughter.  And I remember talking to a friend and I told him about Jesus jokes and he literally looked like he'd dropped a load of bricks and said, "That's a relief."

We've become accustomed to a serious faith and faith should be serious.  But I keep running across the thought that some of the most faithful people were the most joyful people!  There is a story that a man walked into a Trappist monastery where Thomas Merton (a very famous monk in the 20th century) was and couldn't guess who he was.  In fact, Thomas Merton was the person who the man thought was LEAST likely to be Thomas Merton because he was laughing and seemed so JOYFUL.

I have been praying for a little boy and I did not know his name.  And so I left it to God to know.  Then, Baby Be Blessed had his name up for their Yay Free Friday giveaway.  I didn't want to join the contest, so I went to post on the comments section, but it had been disabled.  So I posted on the link, I said that I didn't want to enter the contest, but I felt moved because I had been praying for this little boy without ever knowing his name. 

I get an e-mail today from Tina who runs Baby Be Blessed and who knows me somewhat well through e-mail and she said that she smiled when she read the comment that said that I wasn't entering the contest and then, when she saw it was from ME, she was beaming from ear to ear.

No one can ever tell me that God doesn't have a sense of humor.  From things like this to the platypus, I know He's just laughing up a storm up there.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

So, it's been awhile...

And yeah.  I'm sorry.  You know how it gets.  I have so much to say!  So much to do!  But maybe I'll find time during the start of Lent, but maybe not. 

If you'd like to see the other blog that I've been working on, you can check it out here:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Prayer Request: Being The Persistent Widow

(This blog was first published in June 2011, but it's still relevant right now.  I'm almost begging you...please say a prayer for MB and her husband today.) 
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? - Luke 18:7

I do have a prayer request, if you would be willing.  And if you would be willing to share it all around.  I have a friend and I'm going to call her MB.  If you would like to know a little bit about her, she has a blog too!
 MB and I, discussing the value of $100 shoe that's not FDA approved.

She's really sweet - she's married to my husband's best friend (friends since they were both in their mother's wombs!  Seriously).
 Womb Friends.

God knows her needs and wants and I would really appreciate if you could just say a general prayer for her.  I'm working on being the persistent widow for her and I'm hoping that others would be willing to join in.

Thank you!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God.
~ Charles L. Allen

Monday, February 6, 2012

When Did I See You Hungry?

So I'm going all out here...

Our church has two food programs.  They're very important to our church and our clients have increased by over 20%.  This past weekend, we had to turn 15 people away from our food pantry because we'd run out of bags.

And we've lost two-thirds of our money.  Our grants are no longer reliable and we need to find a way to raise money for these important programs.

For one week in March, volunteers will gain an understanding of what it is like to live on what those we serve live on - $10.50 per week for groceries.  Not only that, but I'm going to eat EXACTLY what we feed to our clients.

Would you be willing to sponsor me during this challenge?  Even $5 is halfway to a bag of groceries for someone in need or a hot meal for someone who comes to our community lunch. 

If you would like to donate, please go here:

Thank you for your love!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Prophets of a Future Not Our Own

Prophets of a Future Not Our Own
—Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador (1917–1980)

It helps now and then to step back and take a long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a small fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings perfection. No pastoral visit brings wholeness. No program accomplishes the Church’s mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about: We plant the seeds that will one day grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing  that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects  far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it well. It may be incomplete but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Prayer by Thomas Merton

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.


The story of my life.  :)

Sorry guys.  I've been doing a lot of work (for both church and work) and recovering from a few illnesses, so I apologize.  I've got photos to put up and videos and blah blah blah.

Though I am helping out with another blog at the moment.  It's the blog for our church's food ministries.  We've lost two-thirds of our grant money and so we're trying to find ways to fundraise.  Here's the start of our efforts:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thoughts For A Winter's Morning

I have been lazy.  Well, just when it comes to writing posts.  I can't help it.  It's been kind of a crazy week and the weekend will be just as crazy.  Tax season has started and I'm on my own and I've got things to do and things I would like to do.  But I thought that share some thoughts I had on the walk to the train today.

I wrote a post a long time ago about how I wanted to be me.  But I've found that I try and talk about God the way other people do.  I force it because I think that's what will make God happy.  But if He loves me for me, then I'm sure that He doesn't - why would He want me to try and speak the way that others do?  He didn't create me that way.  He created me this way.  So I'm going to try and talk about my Father in the way that I want, not the way I think others think I should talk about Him.

I also read a book about St. Therese of Lisieux.  In the Catholic Church, she's known as the Little Flower and she believed in scattering life with flowers for Jesus.  Her flowers were little acts of love because she knew that she would never be called to great acts - she considered herself a small child and looked to Jesus to carry her into heaven.  She died at the age of 24, having spent most of her life in a convent.

So why do I bring her up?  I have read a lot of things about being radical for God.  If I were to be honest, I don't know what that means.  Does it mean that I have to give up everything?  Of the people I know who speak of being radical for God, some have left their homes and become missionaries, some have not.  So obviously their definition of radical is different.  What I have found is that I am not destined for great things or great successes in my life.  I am but a small soul.  All I can ask is to spread flower petals at the feet of Jesus and sing a joyful song while I do so, no matter what.

To sit by those who drive me crazy, to smile at those who have hurt me and to sprinkle love on everything I do, no matter how small.  To come to Jesus empty-handed and to sing.

May you find your way to love today, in the way that is the most genuinely "you" and joyfully.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This is my prayer.  And my goal. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Lesson I Must Learn

There is something in humility that strangely exalts the heart.
~ St. Augustine of Hippo

Monday, January 9, 2012

Looking For Help In Africa

I have only been to Africa once and it was to visit a friend.  I met her when I decided to donate my wedding dress and it's been a wild ride since then.  She and her husband run a charity in The Valley of 1,000 Hills in South Africa called Project O.  They live by faith with their two children, Joe and Jesse.

One thing that they desperately need right now is a car.  At the moment, Vashti can't get her kids to school, go to church or get to the store.  But then there's something else...

This is Ronelle (with the smile).  She lives at a homeless shelter.  But homeless shelters in South Africa are different.  You have to pay for them.  She's been just scrapping by with her children, but she's extremely ill at the moment.  Vashti thinks that she may have TB.  What we do know is that she doesn't have a way to get to the hospital and she's terrified to go alone - Ronelle fears that social services will come and take her children away if she leaves them at the shelter.

Vashti's birthday is January 14th and I know that, more than anything, the best birthday gift for her would to be able to take Ronelle to the hospital so that her best friend would be all right.

If you could prayerfully consider donating, even $5 would help, please feel free to donate here.  It should take you to a PayPal page.  If you get an error message, please visit here and click on the "donate" button in the right hand corner. 

We are a big human family and the body of Christ.  I know that together we can change lives, one grace-filled step at a time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

“The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul” -G.K.Chesterton

Sunday, January 1, 2012

"It is never too late to be what you might have been." --George Eliot, aka Mary Anne Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880)