Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Randon Things About Me

I got tagged on Facebook with people wanting to know 25 random things about me. So I thought I would share them on here as well.

And in case you wondered, I'm doing a whole lot better -- enjoying life, optimistic, light-hearted. (Thanks, Lord. You're a great encourager!)

1. Favorite color -- blue.
2. Favorite flavor -- chocolate.
3. Favorite movies -- Princess Bride, Lord of the Rings, anything with Cary Grant.
4. Favorite activity -- hanging out with people I love.
5. I want to go skydiving some day.
6. My cell phone is a Louisiana number, my address is in Florida, and my heart is in Phoenix.
7. I'm wondering who came up with the magic number of "25" random things. Do people really want to know that much about me? How about 10 -- that's more doable? (Oh, no. I can see it now. I'll be getting comments for wimping out. Okay. I give in. I'll keep racking my brain for 18 more things to say. I hope you're happy!)
8. One of my favorite books is "Streams in the Desert" by Mrs. Charles Cowman. What a blessing that book has been for the past several years!
9. I've been rear-ended 3 times. (No, I wasn't driving too slow! It happened at stop lights, I'll have you know!)
10. I love Thai food.
11. I'd like to learn Italian, and French, and Romanian -- maybe some German. Right now I'll stick with brushing up on my Spanish.
12. I thoroughly enjoyed watching "Long Way Round" with Ewin McGregor and Charley Borman. What an adventure!
13. I'm terrible at mental math, but ask me how a word is spelled and I can probably help you out.
14. I don't get bored. Ever. Lonely, yes. But not bored.
15. I like going to restaurants where reading the menu makes your mouth water with anticipation. Someday for fun, I'd like to write menus.
16. Both my children were born in Arkansas -- same hospital, same room, same wallpaper, same doctor. (I noticed the wallpaper during labor. What else was I going to look at waiting for a contraction to subside?)
17. I'm really in the mood for arepas con queso. Maybe we'll have some tonight.
18. I've served on a jury. I was Juror Number 5. I voted "not guilty".
19. I love coffee. It's part of my heritage. Must be all those times picking coffee beans at the dorm. I think I really bonded with coffee in those days. :) It was either then or all those mornings at home when my mom would bring us cafe con leche saying, "Morning's on the leavin's. Rise and shine!) Good times, good times.
20. Oh, yeah. I'm an MK. Born in Ohio, raised in Colombia.
21. I have a tattoo. I got it for my 34th birthday. A friend took me to a seedy tattoo parlor in downtown Phoenix. A guy named Pork Chop did the honors. Yes, it hurt! I stared at the wall and prayed for Pork Chop while "Poltergeist 3" played on the TV in the corner. Thanks, Pork Chop! You did an excellent job! Seriously! (Wonder how he's doing these days?)
22. One of these days, I'm going to learn to tango. (It's the Spanish in me, I think.) In the meantime, I embarrass my kids dancing around the house. They'll get over it.
23. My favorite flower is a gardenia. Then carnations, then roses. I also like lilies of the valley. Lilacs too.
24. One of my scariest moments in life was running through the jungle (age 15) with Nadine and Mindy Gleaves during rainy season convinced that Marxist guerrillas were coming to get us. It was a good thing that wasn't the case. But I had never been so scared before in my life. Psalm 91 came alive to me that night.
25. And the final random thing about me is....(drum roll, please!) of my favorite places to relax is the beach.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I'm hurting today. Some days are like that. There's just no getting around it.

I put this picture on here because it's beautiful and I need to see some beauty right now. There is solace in beauty. Somehow it comforts and heals and gives hope.

The last six months have felt sort of like I was in a bubble. There was change and upheaval-- but most of it was on the inside. Hidden. The externals have been mostly the same. We've had our routines, our normal.

For some reason, I'm getting the sense that things are going to be changing on the outside. It scares me. I've never been one to embrace change in a hurry. I need to take my time and grieve what was, before letting go and facing the new. Maybe this is God's way of preparing me for what's ahead. It could be amazing. It could be wonderful.

But for the last several years, all the change that happened in my life got increasingly more painful each time. Until the day I moved into this house, each change seemed to take me deeper into pain and loss and distress. It just seemed to get worse every time. Moving here felt like the first positive thing that had happened in ages. I guess it makes sense why I feel foreboding instead of excitement.

There is something freeing about naming this. As if putting a name to what I'm feeling moves it from something gray and nebulous into a neat little package that I can look at and understand. Now that it's laid out there nicely wrapped and labeled, I can hand it to the Lord and say, "Here, You take this." He holds me. He holds my hand and reassures me.

Somehow in the security of His love, I can let go and face the adventure of change with courage and anticipation.

"For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

"We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:20-22.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Birthday Boy

This weekend was my son's 11th birthday. I had been praying fervently for his party to be special since I knew I had very limited resources to put toward a party. So I made a cake (chocolate, of course) and decorated it. Since he's now 11, he's not into anything fancy (like the Lego cake he had one year or the airplane one.) So we went for a simple theme -- cake and ice cream, a few balloons, a big bowl of candy instead of goody bags, and lots of friends.

It turned out to be a huge success. All the kids had a blast exploring in the jungle behind my house. Then one of my adventurous friends had the brilliant idea of hooking up a zip line. Well, that just put this birthday party over the top! We were all having so much fun hanging out around the fireplace, riding the zip line, playing Capture-the-Flag that no one wanted to leave. So we ended up ordering pizza and the two-hour party turned into six. It was great!

We ask God for little things, and He gives so much more! My son told me later that night, "Mom, everyone at my party respects me. I mean, really respects me!" For a boy, the best gift he could have gotten -- respect. How generous of the Lord to give my son, not only an awesome birthday party, but what his heart needed most!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Loved Outrageously

I heard this today from another site. Wow! This is amazing! I want the truth of these words to sink deep and take root.

"The Lord says that there is nothing you can do that would make Him love you more. There is also nothing you can do that would make Him love you less.

He loves you because He loves you, because He loves you, because He loves you... Because that is what He is like. It is His nature to love, and you will always be the Beloved.

His love is unchanging. He loves you 100 percent. And He won't love you any better when you become better. He loves you 100 percent.

And even if you have no plans to become better, He will still love you anyway. Because He loves you. Because that's the way He is.

And even if you don't want to change, He will love you 100 percent. Even if you have no plans to walk with Him, that's His nature -- He loves all the way, all the time.

His love is unchanging.
"But what will change is your ability to receive my love," says the Lord.

"Open your heart," says the Lord, "and you will receive more of My love than you have ever experienced before. You are the Beloved -- it is your job to be loved outrageously. It is why I chose you. It is why I set my love upon you, that you would live as one who is outrageously loved. That you would receive a radical love -- so radical it'll blow all your paradigms of what you think love is.

I will love you outrageously all the days of your life, because I don't know how to be any different. This is who I AM."

- Taken from "Inheritance" by Graham Cooke. Artwork by Jean Keaton

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Eph. 3:17-19

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Through the eyes of kids -- What is God like?

I found these kids' quotes from Tales of Wonder blog. Aren't they hilarious? Enjoy!


God is really, really, really old—like 23. But he never looks a day older every time you see him.

God has many kinds of hair, but he keeps them short.

God is as far as numbers go. He’s too old for age.

God watches over us all the time. He has lots of eyes—like spiders.

In the beginning, God created heaven and earth. Now he just does people.

He has a gray beard. He’s at least a hundred years old. That’s why it’s gray. Used to be brown.

He looks a lot like Jesus, but with a mustache.


I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday. That was cool. - Eugene

Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident? – Norma

Are you really invisible or is that just a trick? – Lucy

How do You get those leaves to grow back onto the trees? And how do You keep grass growing back, no matter how many times it gets cut off? Now that’s something (David, age 8)

I don’t think anybody could be a better God. Well, I just want you to know but I am not just saying that because you are God. - Charles

Monday, January 5, 2009


As 2008 faded away and the kids and I celebrated the dawn of 2009, I found myself with a whole jumble of emotions I didn't know what to do with. In fact, all of last week was just tough.

I remember going into 2008 with hopes of a healed marriage and timidly trusting God to do something big. But barely into the year, I found myself on the road to Florida with my two kids, feeling like refugees seeking shelter with family, and the specter of divorce staring me in the face.

The Lord has done something big, but most of it was in my heart. I'm not that same woman I was a year ago. It's been worth all the pain to discover the love God has for me. But honestly, I don't want to live through another year like the last one. And I think that's been my unconscious fear -- that 2009 will be even harder.

So God and I have been talking. I keep bringing up my fears and inabilities. He keeps saying, "Trust Me." I look at Him and I want to trust that He has something wonderful for me. But He's so big and wild and adventurous. It scares me. Part of me wants to shrink back inside my little box and hide. That's been my tendency my whole life. Play it safe, follow the rules, hide.

There is no more little box and no place to hide. I'm already in His adventure and there's no turning back. We've crossed over into a new country. I get the sense it's really beautiful here with wide open spaces. Plenty of room to run, dance and be myself. But I don't know what it all means or what to do with it.

I'm realizing that God has bigger dreams for me than I do. And He's eager to see me begin living them.

"Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come. . . Arise, come, my darling, my beautiful one. Come with me." Song of Songs 2:11-13