Monthly Archives: October 2014

Busy. Busy. Very Dizzy.

Hey You!

Slow down. It’s ok to say “no” when your plate is already overflowing. Chasing after the wind is utter madness.

For whatever reason, our society has created an amendment to the Golden Rule. It sounds something like: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but if you want a star by your name you’d better make sure to add glitter and a neon sign to that doing. More is more, baby.

Lie. We buy it every single time. Hook, line, and sinker. “But if I don’t do it, no one will.” Maybe that’s the case, maybe it’s not. The only prisoner in that scenario is you.

Leave some room for grace in your life, my friend.

I bounce my insanity off of a dear sister-friend of mine. She’s a couple of years older than me and will lay my sorry self out when I’m out of line in life. I expect her to do this for me. I hold her to be truthful with me, even when it’s hard. Countless times she has reminded me to not be too busy. She nudges me when my priorities are out of whack. She challenges me to be more than I am. Every single time we talk. I love her to the moon and back.

We all need these relationships in our life. We need foghorns and guard rails.

Bestie and I had a conversation the other day about priorities. My priorities, to be exact. I clearly don’t have life figured out but I know when I follow my list of importances, things just seem to run better. I’m pretty sure I saw his eyebrows raise as I rattled off my list.

  1. My faith, hope, and love for my awesome Abba Father. He is my nucleus. He is my oxygen.
  2. Myself. Namely, my health and well-being. I’m a vessel. If I’m broken or cracked, nothing else in life will line up. When this happens, see Item 1.
  3. My Husband. My Bestie. The other half of my headphones. (This is crucial for harmony at home.)
  4. The Littles. Yup. That’s right. They come AFTER God, and AFTER my man. One day, they will move out. I don’t want to eat dinner every night for the rest of my life with a stranger. True story.
  5. My home. The day to day grocery lists, laundry piles, and bags of cut grass.

Billy Joel wrote a song about it. Slow down, you crazy child… Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while…

You can be certain that stress and worry will always be around, so I urge everyone to take time to make sure that you’re living a life WORTH living.

Haggai 2:5-7 “Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.

Take the time to actually listen for His whisper.

Bloom where you are planted.

Post Script – I love you, Caridad. Thank you.

So Much Excess

So tell me, how would one go about explaining Walmart to a person in a third world country? Well I’ll have you know I tried. Mainly for the point of explaining my consumer based lifestyle, but also to justify and/or rationalize the abundance we have here in the States. Yeah. That went over like a lead balloon.

For a week now I’ve carried this guilt with me. Maybe Walmart is a bad example, and I do believe that when it boils down to our society as a whole, gluttony is certainly an issue. Besides all that, why was I feeling so self-conscious all of a sudden?  

I firmly believe that if you come to Christ and ask Him for clarity when something in life seems topsy-turvy and (here’s the kicker) you want Him to turn you right side up, He will always be there for you. Now it may not be how or when you expect it to be, but He truly knows what is best for you. I drudgingly brought to Him my bruised, fractured heart and have continued to ask “Please just show me. What am I supposed to do with this?! What now? What is the point?!”

Toward the end of Christ’s time here on Earth, Mary washed His feet with expensive perfumes. Judas the thief and soon-to-be traitor came thundering in declaring that she was wasteful, and that she was excessive. Apparently it was something similar to Vintage Chanel No. 19. VERY expensive and the amount it would take to wash a grown man’s feet… Well, you get the idea. Equivalent to a working man’s salary for an entire year. But why did she do that? She offered the very best of what she had as an offering to Him. It could have been saved, ensuring her well-being for a great amount of time. In John Chapter 12 Jesus simply said to Judas “You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.” Okay. I get where you’re going with this God. Ouch and amen.

The ache that I’ve experienced is simply Him saying to me “Get it together girlfriend! It’s only excess if you aren’t sharing it with others, for My sake.”

Sooooooo, I’m ready. My door is always open. Wanna join us for dinner? Coffee? Popcorn? Just send me a text. I’ll set another plate aside.  

By saying “Lord, break my heart for what breaks Yours” was apparently an open invitation for heartache, but in a good way. I have plenty. More than enough. What good does it do me if I don’t share it with others?? I’m done being just another Walmart shopper. 

Bloom where you are planted, my friends.

Oh, the children…

Two of my favorite quotes from Dr. Seuss are:

1. A person’s a person, no matter how small.

2. Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

One simple thing I know to be absolutely true is that ALL children speak the same language, regardless of race, or economic status. That language is love, the love of a kind heart embracing their small stories. Love can show its face in many forms; star stickers worn as earrings, doodlings of sidewalk chalk, singing loudly and in five different keys at once, dancing in the rain, wrestling like a ten-car pileup, sharing cookies and goldfish crackers, reading while snuggled up close together, piggy-back rides, and bottle after bottle of nail polish. These are joys that I share with my own three Littles, but they’re also joys that I was blessed to share with the newest Littles in my life that stole my heart in that beautiful country.

I cannot stop thinking about them. I wish that my birth Littles could meet my adopted Littles. I wish that we could live in a beautiful blended city. I don’t know if my heart could keep from exploding though, with all that joy.

These precious babies, I firmly believe are going to change the heart (at its deepest chamber) of the world. I know it. The ghetto of Belize City has many dark and shady corners. It also has the most amazing beacons of light in the hearts of the children that want more, that seek more for their lives. They want up, but not necessarily out of what they have where they are. Imagine living in that kind of peace. Whoa.

Children are worth fighting for. Every child. In every nation. They are worth the fight.

I will fervently continue to pray for them from where I am until God makes a way for me to get back to them. I desperately want to get back to them. I want to introduce them to my Sadertot, G-Moose and Smash.

Children need to be loved. Genuinely and deeply.

Please pray with me for the 60+ children I’d like to scoop up and squeeze tight again in my arms.

My heart planted a garden that week. I can’t wait to see what will bloom from there.

I’m a Belizer!


In an attempt to process all that I’ve been a part of after a week-long mission trip to Belize City, Belize, I’ve been encouraged to write again. I hope this makes at least a smidgen of sense.


Laughter – As the week carried on, my laughter not only became more frequent, but deeper – from my gut, and louder… Soooooo much louder. Usually to the point of tears. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed like that.

Lenisha – My soul’s little sister. It physically hurt to see her walk home on the last day. We traded ”people”. I hope I can hug her again one day. She is proof to me that all little girls share the same joys. We worked on a plastic zipper pull craft that she’d brought with her. I had made those same exact toggles over two decades ago. Mind = Blown. Such a beautiful, bright, fun-loving girl. I miss her so much.

Motherhood – Oh did I mother those children. I held babies, kissed sweaty foreheads, wiped booboos, pretend swatted a few hineys, chased them, washed hands, played “red light, green light” with them, jumped rope, colored the sidewalks a bright pastel of easter egg goodness with sidewalk chalk, painted fingernails about 50 times, shared candy, talked stearnly, hugged, hugged, and hugged some more. I cried (and still cry) over them, have continually prayed over them, shared dreams with them, and did my best to encourage them. I read the Bible with them, talked about family with them, talked about school.

Jaheim – His light is so bright that I’m fairly certain I will know him by his shine when we meet again. God has a great many things planned for this young man’s life. I do believe inside of him is the heart of a world changer. So proud to call him my friend.

David & Dupe – If ever there were a couple whose faith I would like to emulate, it would be theirs. David prays like few people pray, with power and conviction that come straight from the Spirit. Dupe has a heart for others that most would overlook, simply because she does not work for her own glory. She has no flag, no banner that she parades for her efforts. She follows Christ obediently, graciously. She is passionate and vibrant. She has a quiet strength that she uses to encourage and empower others. I’m thankful and blessed to know we are part of the same family. The presence of God is all around these two. David prayed over one of our teammates and the hairs on my arms stood straight up. I knew that at that very moment God was most certainly in the room.

Yolanda – I don’t think she saw me coming. I hugged her every chance I got. Crazy American Girl!!! By the end of the week her smile was wide, her heart was filled, and I hope that God blesses her family abundantly. She taught me how to make tortillas. So much patience. (I may have dropped one on the floor…) She told me about her family, her culture, life there in Belize. We talked about our lifestyle differences, about Jesus, about beans. She serves with her whole heart. Not simply as a means to provide for her family. There’s a difference. She serves out of love. I gave her my email address. I hope to hear from her one day.

Rita – How can I even begin to describe Rita? She is maybe 5 feet tall and 80 pounds, thin and frail but feisty. She’s 73 years young. She rides her bicycle through the ghetto of Belize City and it seems as though EVERYONE knows who she is. She’s the pastor of Alpha & Omega Children’s Church we worked in all week. I think she liked the way I mothered her flock. She has a lion-sized heart and even in the midst of that kind of poverty, she still finds a way to make each child feel rich, to feel like they’re important. I couldn’t agree with her more. She makes me want to learn to speak Creole. Creole is a beautifully tropical, assertive, shortened slang version of English. It’s so neat to listen to. Rita has seen the grass on both sides of the fence, and she’s chosen a life on the side most would rather give up. I have to say I actually agree with her. The ghetto was beautiful. I’ve never felt more like my true self, and never been more in tune with the Holy Spirit than in that city.

Structural Beauty – Chipped paint in bright hues of azul and coral, broken bottles of lime green and cinnamon colored glass line the tops of concrete walls as an added security measure. Rusted galvanized sheet metal hammered against 4×4 fence posts and concrete blocks for fences around yards of homes that house chickens and skinny dogs. Puddled dirt and rock streets stretch in every direction as far as the eye can see. Even homes that appear abandoned still surprisingly bring some sort of support to the neighborhood. There is evidence everywhere of a storm that had come through once upon a time and had taken family homes, only leaving the cinder block pillars as proof. At the beginning of the week I admit that my initial knee-jerk reaction was one more of shock, but on our last day of work and Bible School I looked up and down Raccoon Street with different eyes. Beautiful color, so much story.

Our Family – Kelli Lynn, Mama Karen, Dezi, Jessica, Roly Poly Andrew, his roommate Caleb :o), Tay-Tay, Maddie, Baby Carlos, Apple Jack, my brother from another mother Jonathon, and who could forget Black Karl from Atlanta – he’s an albino. (No, not really.) I came into this group with very little expectation. The dynamic of 13 people from all different backgrounds piled into one (yes, one) Astro van is probably what surprised me the most. With that many personalities, something was bound to go wrong – right? Wrong. Now I don’t know how I’ve ever lived my life without each of them. Their same love and conviction for Christ, their encouragement, their friendship. They are all now a part of my story. I love you all.

My Husband – Even on the home front while Mommy was off trotting Central America, the enemy was attacking. Robert is an amazing man, y’all. The cherry on top is that he’s also my bestie. Can’t beat that with a stick! What happened? In summation, kids are gross. My poor hubby was sick in bed almost the entire time I was gone. Thank the Lord for grandparents! I tried explaining to him during my absence, over Skype, that my heart was breaking, literally into pieces, that I felt different, that it was a spiritual struggle that I was not familiar with. He knew it was hard for me, and always lended a sympathetic ear and encouraging word when we got the opportunity to talk. I called him from the airport in Belize. Away from anyone that knew my name and definitely not within earshot – I poured my heart out to him once again, pleading my case. I told him I didn’t want to come home, that I felt like God wasn’t done with me in that ghetto, and that I belonged there. Oh yeah. That’s exactly what every man wants to hear from his bride. Mmhmm. But, do you know what his response was to all my blubbering? He said to me (and I will never forget this) “I’m sorry that you can’t stay longer.” FOR REAL. I’m not sure if he knows what he’s signed up for. He’s told me countless times that he married me for my thirst for life. Time to put da rubba to da road.

I am not a fan of ketchup and spam sandwiches. But for more of this life, I would gladly eat it.

I have never felt more like my true self. Apparently my heart is Belizean. I belong in that city.

Love is a verb. Bloom where you are planted.