Recently I have realized how sensitized I have become to anything that has to do with people being injured, killed, etc.  Not that I was not sensitive to such things however, when I pass a car accident I am brought to tears as I pray for those involved.  I can no longer watch any horror movies and certain shows have become off limits.  Criminal Minds (I used to never miss) is on an episode by episode basis, based on how much suffering may be depicted...I cannot give it up because I love the cast so much...

Today, as I was passing one of the aforementioned wrecks, I was wondering to myself why in the heck this has happened to me.  I am not at all sorry it has happened as it drives me to pray and that is not a bad thing to happen at all...

It boils down to one thing.

Sanctity of life.

God is the ultimate Giver of life, make no mistake.  However, I was chosen to be the vessel to bring a life onto this earth.  The process of carrying and bringing a child into this world is an honor I will never take for granted and this has changed everything about me.

God is amazing and knit her together in my womb.  A process that I will never understand because the amazing speed at which a child develops into a perfect little being is beyond a miracle.  Then the process of labor and delivery and falling in love with her as she came into my world is mind boggling and I still haven't grasped how I have been deserving of such a blessing in life.

I never thought I would share what I am about to however, let me first warn you there is a picture at the bottom that not all viewers may want to see.

After I had Jewell I had the option of viewing my placenta.  Her source of life while she was inside me was wrapped up in this one bit of tissue.  Everything that she needed for 9 months was in there or fed through the umbilical chord to her...I am simply amazed by that fact alone...however, as my midwife was showing me this amazing organ she referred to the "Tree of life".  I am still in awe of this comparison, as it was the first time I had heard it, however if you Google it, apparently it is a known comparison...

So, my photo compared to Google images, in my opinion is the best image, as most in Google looked more gruesome...maybe it is because I was attached to this one. OK, sorry...anyhow...in the photo, you can see (it is more like an upside down tree) the umbilical chord is like the trunk and the limbs are the veins branching out.

As I thought about this comparison, and as I think on Scripture, I can't help but think of Adam and Eve before the fall.  When it was just God and them in the Garden...and the tree...it was perfect.  As God knit together my Jewell in the womb, it was the two of them, and the tree of LIFE.  It was perfect.

So amazed and blessed to be the carrier of my child and the vessel God used to bring her here into our lives.

For it was You who created my inward parts;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful,
and I know this very well.
My bones were not hidden from You
when I was made in secret
when I was formed in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw me when I was formless;
all my days were written in Your book and planned
before a single one of them began.
Psalm 139:13-16

I am posting two pictures, the first one is my precious Jewell...the second one will be the one I am warning you about. ;)




God is so good.

I have felt so disconnected from who I am for a while.  Becoming a mom has disconnected me from myself so much I think I forgot who I was...until recently.

Don't get me wrong...becoming a mom creates a whole new aspect of life that I feel beyond blessed to be experiencing.  But there are parts of my "old life" that I miss.

The other day I got to be a part of praying for my friends JJ and Lucia as they were departing for a mission trip to New Orleans.  It was such a blessed time and I would not have missed it for the world.  They are stepping out in faith and sacrificing time with their boys, comforts of home, their bodies (have you heard how hot it gets down there? And the HUMIDITY, ugh!), and so many things to serve people that may not know the love of Christ otherwise.

Having the chance to read Scripture and pray with them awakened my love for talking with God and reading His Word in a way it hasn't in a while.  It was real and He was there among us.  I miss that relationship I have had with Him in the past but haven't TAKEN the time to foster much this past year.

Today my friend Becky was offered to go on a mission trip to Canada.  SO last minute and GODtaneous (spontaneous).  I was jealous because that has been me in the past...however in the same breath I love Becky so stinking much and have LOVED seeing God open her heart and mind to missions.  It was way closed just a few years ago and he awoke a spark in her that I knew was there and prayed she would recognize one day.  So happy to see her recognize and answer His call on her life that way.

I also have the privilege of praying for Abby who is going with the group to Canada this week and Becky's husband who will be in Peru...

I don't have much to say about any of this except to say that God is working in my life and I have the same heart for missions, just maybe my involvement in it has changed a bit.  I can pray and when He allows give. I can encourage and tell stories about my experiences.  Also, I will pray that one day again, I will get the chance to say, "Here I am! Send me."  Isaiah 6:8.


Shiny White Bathtubs

Tonight I was giving my daughter a bath and it was such an absolutely smashing time.  As I was bathing her I was thinking about how I need to clean the bathroom and several other things.  Then I thought of the group in Haiti.  The people they are serving may never see a bathtub, let alone one remotely as clean as mine is, compared to what they have. 

The fact that we have clean water here is something we don't think often about.  There are many I know working toward clean water for communities around the world and I don't think that Americans realize what a privilege it really is.

So, with those thoughts, I prayed for Haiti tonight.  I prayed for the group and their last moments there.  I pray that they wouldn't forget the feelings, sites, smells, and relationships formed.  I pray that they will bring their experiences and God moments back with them to share with a world blinded by shiny white bathtubs.  :)

And I am tired.  Good night.


Our Friend Chantal

Well, I love when God prompts us in how to pray before we know why. Looks like a tropical storm may affect the departure of some of the team in Haiti. As I wrote yesterday, the unexpexted usually occurs during any given mission trip. So we will pray. Let's pray for that they can depart Haiti and arrive in the US safely. Also, for any interactions that will take place during this time, that the love of Christ will show through our team when it otherwise might not be shown to airline workers, or Haitians they might encounter while remaining in Haiti. Pray that our team is a shining light during their last couple of days and that they leave no loose ends. God is bigger than any storm.
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” --Matthew 8:23-27
Track Tropical Storm Chantal here.



One of the most memorable things about mission trips usually tends to be when the unexpected happens.  Undoubtedly there is something that doesn't go as planned and it is most often in those moments that God shows up in the most unexpected, awesome ways. 

On my first trip to Honduras we went to a hospital.  There is a section of the hospital reserved for children actually dying of cancer and only a few people are allowed in there at a time which meant only 3 of us could go in.  I think two of us went.  We were told to expect that it would be difficult and between me and the other gal going in, I spoke the most Spanish.  So, as we were going through visiting the kids it really wasn't as "bad" as I expected.  We got to the last room and I walked in to see the biggest smile I have ever seen.  I don't remember her name because she was "Sunshine" from that moment on.  It is amazing how God can drop language barriers and I understood almost everything Sunshine's mom said and was able to speak to her.  She was 8 years old and dying, any day she could go.  As I looked closer I could see that she was nothing but skin and bones.  Her mom and her were so full of joy and loved Jesus and knew that when Sunshine fell asleep for the last time here she would be partying with the angels.

The unexpected here?  I thought I was going to minister to those people.  Little do they know how BIG of an impact they made on my life.  I think of Sunshine and her mom often.  I know that unless God answered our prayer for complete healing, Sunshine is dancing with the Jesus today and her mom is awaiting the day she can be with her baby again. 

Pray for the team in Haiti.  Odds are God is ministering and speaking to them through the people of Haiti as much as they are  ministering to others.  He is amazing like that.  I can't wait to hear the stories of the individuals that touch their lives and pray they can meet people that they will never forget.

If I were in your shoes, I'd go straight to God, I'd throw myself on the mercy of God.  After all, he's famous for great and unexpected acts; there's no end to his surprises. He gives rain, for instance, across the wide earth, sends water to irrigate the fields. He raises up the down-and-out, gives firm footing to those sinking in grief. He aborts the schemes of conniving crooks, so that none of their plots come to term. He catches the know-it-alls in their conspiracies— all that intricate intrigue swept out with the trash! Suddenly they're disoriented, plunged into darkness; they can't see to put one foot in front of the other. But the downtrodden are saved by God, saved from the murderous plots, saved from the iron fist. And so the poor continue to hope, while injustice is bound and gagged.
                                                                                                --Job 5:8-16 (The Message)


Self what?

As I sit  here wanting to dwell in my pit of self pity I am thinking about the fact that I need to pray for the team in Haiti and that begins to pull me out of the muck.  I realize that they have given up all comforts for the week to serve God and Haiti.  Though this makes my heart ache for a chance to serve others cross-culturally, it also reminds me that there are others much more in need than I am.

There are people without roofs over their heads, suffering from all kinds of ailments, no clean water to drink and no food to eat...self what

I have learned what it is to be a mother this past year and I have a new place in my heart that aches for the mother who is unable to care for her child when her child is suffering.  Pray for the mothers in Haiti that can't feed or clothe their children.  That God could step in and care for their children when the parents can't

Pray for the team in Haiti.  That souls would be fed and hearts uplifted by the One who knit their hearts together.

 I lift my eyes toward  the mountains. Where will my help come  from?  My help comes from the  Lord , the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber.   Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep.
The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by  your side. The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night.

The Lord will protect you from  all  harm; He will protect your life. The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.
                                                                                         --Psalm 121

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
                                                                                              --Psalm 139:17


The Best Freedom

The best freedom anyone can know is freedom from sin through Christ. Sin is the root of everything bad in this world...We ignore God's commands to feed the poor so, there are people suffering. We want more of everything...more money, more possessions, more land, more control, it doesn't end. When we get something or obtain something, we strive for the next thing. Suffering exists because we are selfish individuals. There is a group in Haiti right now giving up the comforts of America for a week so that they can love the poorest of poor. But the real tragedy is not that the people of Haiti will never have an iPad, or that they may never taste a steak or even Lucky Charms. The real tragedy is that they won't know freedom through Christ unless it is communicated to them. Pray for the team this week that they would love extravagantly as Christ would so that the people of Haiti would see they come to offer FREEDOM. A freedom that is better than any riches earth has to offer. Happy Independence day. Pray the people of Haiti could know what that truly means.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time mare not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
--Romans 8:18-21


Voo Don't

Today I am reminded that we need to pray for the Spirit and angels to be surrounding the team in Haiti. The major religion in Haiti is voodoo...
Vodouists believe in a distant and unknowable creator god, Bondye. As Bondye does not intercede in human affairs, vodouists direct their worship toward spirits subservient to Bondyè, called loa.[9] Every loa is responsible for a particular aspect of life, with the dynamic and changing personalities of each loa reflecting the many possibilities inherent to the aspects of life over which they preside.[10] In order to navigate daily life, vodouists cultivate personal relationships with the loa through the presentation of offerings, the creation of personal altars and devotional objects, and participation in elaborate ceremonies of music, dance, and spirit possession.[11]
The reality of this religion is truthfully beyond scary to me. We are only to submit ourselves to God...whenever we submit to other spirits we open ourselves up to evil. "Return now every man from his evil way and amend your doings and go not after other gods to serve them;" --Jeremiah 35:15 Be in prayer for the people our team comes in contact with. That each new person they meet would be blinded by God's light shining from within them and they would be unable to deny His presence. Pray for the team and the possibility of them coming face to face with those who may be involved with the worship of other spirits. Pray for the Holy Spirit to be close and to protect them. Pray in the name of Jesus all of these things because it is by His name only that these spirits can be rebuked. Pray KNOWING that God answers. Pray that our team would follow HIS leading in each situation, that they would listen to His prodding and also warnings He may provide. Allow them to whisper prayers for each child and adult that they come into contact with and to foster His love in their lives where they might not otherwise know love. Pray that the people of Haiti would come to know that they are the apple of His eye and they are special and not forgotten. Pray for the relationships being built within the team. There is nothing like a mission trip to bring you together with others and these relationships will remain special forever.

Sleep Soundly

For almost as long as I can remember my heart has been pointed to the mission field. Specifically I thought I would end up in Romania. A string of events occurred which includes the birth of my number 2 love (after Jesus) and I now am not in a position to go into the world. Without going into details the birth of my daughter was absolutely a beautiful consequence that saved me from what I can only see would have been beyond catastrophic to my heart and I am beyond thankful to God for saving me from what might have been. I can absolutely shine my light here...to my daughter and those around me. And I have decided I want to concentrate on praying for those in the mission field. That brings me to the actual point of this post. A group of people from my church headed to Haiti today. Some of them I know well, some are acquaintances, and some I have never met. I know some of their concerns and strengths and expectations for this trip and I can't help but reflect on some of my own intercultural experiences... This team is potentially going to experience everything from extravagant joy to heartbreak to fear to humility and everything in between and beyond. There is no limit to what they might experience as they allow God to use their hands, feet, smiles, actions, and hearts this week. My prayer is that they would be open. Open to His leading because no matter what their expectations, strengths, concerns, weaknesses...GOD IS BIGGER THAN IT ALL. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So, as they fall asleep to strange sounds and smells and surroundings, I pray their sleep is sound as they rest knowing that they are in the center of His will...which is the best most comfortable place to be.
You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.
Proverbs 3:24-26


As a full time, working, single mom I am constantly on a I love my baby so much I can't stand it high or severely depressed low. I don't ever feel like things are just normal anymore... While working 40+ hours a week I have been blessed to know that people that love God and Jewell are caring for her. I don't worry about her at all during our days apart. There are things that I will never get to see her do for the first time though and it hurts my heart when I allow myself to think about the firsts that I miss. Her first reaction to a certain food, to swinging, she may have taken her first step without me or stood up by herself for the first time. Some of these things I will never know if I missed but I know I have missed some of them. Today I asked my sitter to please wait to let me take her swimming for the first time. I have been a wreck over this one experience for some reason and I think it is just a culmination of the experiences I have missed and will miss. It is one thing that I want to experience and yet I feel guilty for asking her to wait to put her in the pool. These things are extremely difficult for me to ask yet for some reason much more difficult for me not to ask because my heart wrenches at the thought of missing this... So, thanks for understanding Angela...this mommy is so thankful. :)


Sometimes I truly wonder who we think we are... As humans. GOD made us. HE is the only reason that each one of us is even taking a breath right now. So we absolutely SHOULD be listening to and following every instruction He gave us. OK, so there are a lot...and we are imperfect, I'll give ya that... BUT He pointed out 2 commandments above all. TWO OF THEM. That should be easy enough right? Here they are: 1. Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ (Matthew 22:37 NLT) 2. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:39 NLT) The one I want to focus on here is #2. "Love your neighbor as YOURSELF." Did you catch that??? We ALL love ourselves here in the USA. We are constantly harping on self esteem and making sure that we value ourselves. We constantly strive for things to fulfill ourselves and make us happy. We DEFINITELY have NO shortage of love for ourselves here. Then as soon as someone does something wrong, forget it. We are all up in arms about how they treated us or how selfish they are. But wait a second. We should be loving them AS MUCH AS WE LOVE OURSELVES. We aren't entitled to anything BUT sucking it up turning the other cheek and forgiving them. If you have a problem with this then God and Christianity must not be for you. But wait. He extended it to everyone...it is a Gospel of love and the only thing we can't ever have enough of is love. SO...how about this. Next time you are tempted to speed up so the car next to you can't pass...slow down and let them go by. Next time your friend messes up...shake it off and keep loving. Next time the waitress messes up your order...tip double. Someone cuts you off in traffic and then flips you off even though it isn't your fault and you follow them into the Starbucks drive thru...buy their coffee. Fool me once shame on nobody fool me twice shame on nobody again because, "Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! (Matthew 18:21, 22 NLT) Turn the other cheek. If you get beat up, knocked down, stomped on??? Forgive forgive forgive. Jesus had had whatever you are dealing with multiplied by a number unknown to our human brains. He took the weight of the sin of the world and was beaten to shreds and hung to die. He was abandoned and left for dead so that we could experience grace. If we are able to reach out and ask for that grace to be extended to us...how much more should we be able to extend that grace to others? Who do we think we are? I think I am a fallen, imperfect, Jesus lover who doesn't want to be anything less than His servant. But it all starts with the basics. LOVE GOD LOVE OTHERS AS YOURSELF.




This word has been on my mind for weeks and it is time to write about it.

So many things bring enjoyment, but at what point does enjoyment become delight?

Merriam Webster defines delight as, "a high degree of gratification : joy; also : extreme satisfaction".

When I think about things that bring me joy, I think of music, coffee, beautiful weather (like today), things that are pleasing to the senses. 

I am learning what the word DELIGHT means.  My soul has never felt the delight that has come about through seeing my child grow and learn.  I can't imagine anything more delightful.  It gives a whole new meaning to the fact that God delights in ME!  He delights in YOU!

In all of my dirty sin, God delights in me.  Like, me watching Jewell grow and learn, He delights in seeing His people do the same.  Our hearts and lives grow in Him when we serve Him with our minds and actions.  

When I think of joy it seems to be something I feel when I am being fulfilled.  Delight comes from pushing past myself continuously until there is nothing left but the fruit of what is coming from my labor.  

With God, he is pouring into us...through His son, His Word, and His people, He pours into us and when we respond to His truth and love and grow from it, He takes delight in it.

"He led me to a place of safety;he rescued me because he delights in me"  --2 Samuel 22:20

"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives." --Psalm 37:23

"For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights."        
                                                                                                                                     --Proverbs 3:12