Friday, July 31, 2009

Getting to know you

I really have nothing to say.

I'm in a new season, where I'm taking in words instead of giving out. So I'm listening instead of talking. Which means that I would love to listen to you and hear what you have to say.

Let's imagine that we sit together at my kitchen table, sharing coffee, sharing thoughts, sharing ourselves.

For starters, I'll ask you this: when you were 10, where did you live? And what did you want to be when you grew up? Is that what you are now?

When I was 10, I lived in Colombia, just outside the small river port of Barranco Minas, on the Guaviare River in heart of the rain forest. It's interesting to see that area now with Google Earth. The town has grown considerably (thanks to drug trafficking, among other things.) But when we were there, in the late 70's to early 80's, life was simpler and more peaceful.

I wanted to become a teacher when I grew up. I'm not a teacher now, but I did homeschool my kids for a few years. One of my greatest achievements in life has been teaching my son and daughter to read. I can still remember that "aha" moment for each of them when they realized that those letters and sounds could be put together to make words. It was pure magic!

Now it's your turn. And while you're at it, if you have any questions for me, please feel free to ask.

I'm off to get another cup of coffee.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Seeing Through

Recently, I came across this poem from a bygone era. It's taken from one of my all time favorite books, "Streams in the Desert".

Strange how an unknown woman, who lived over a century ago, can still encourage and strengthen another heart to hold on.

There shall be a performance of those things,
That loving heart hath waited long to see;
Those words shall be fulfilled to which she clings,
Because her God hath promised faithfully;
And, knowing Him, she ne'er can doubt His Word;
"He speaks and it is done." The mighty Lord!

There shall be a performance of those things,
O burdened heart, rest ever in His care;
In quietness beneath His shadowing wings
Await the answer to thy longing prayer.
When thou hast "cast thy care," the heart then sings,
There shall be a performance of those things.

There shall be a performance of those things,
O tired heart, believe and wait and pray;
At eventide the peaceful vesper rings,
Though cloud and rain and storm have filled the day.
Faith pierces through the mist of doubt that bars
The coming night sometimes, and finds the stars.

There shall be a performance of those things,
O trusting heart, the Lord to thee hath told;
Let Faith and Hope arise, and plume their wings,
And soar towards the sunrise clouds of gold;
The portals of the rosy dawn swing wide,
Revealing joys the darkening night did hide.
- Bessie Porter

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my expectation comes from him." Psalm 62:5

"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Thursday, July 16, 2009


"I am leaving you with a gift -- peace of mind and heart. And the peace that I give is a gift that the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid." John 14:27

Peace is a most precious gift.

It's easy to think I'm living in the Lord's peace when everything around me is calm and things are going well. But when something enters my world which threatens my security or when someone accuses me or misjudges me, when my plans are all upset or even wrecked, when it begins to look as if God won't come through for me like I hoped, then I discover my peace was nothing more than tranquility. My heart becomes filled with anxiety and I toss and turn through the night in fear.

"You will keep him in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" Isaiah 26:3

So simple and yet so powerful. All my anxious "what ifs" can be banished by a mere act of the will -- fixing my gaze and my thoughts on the Prince of Peace, who is lavish with His gifts.

I'm discovering that peace -- the Lord's peace -- is addicting. Having tasted it, my spirit longs for more. All that anxiety is exhausting and wears me out. Sooner or later, my eyes catch the glance of One who has been patiently waiting.

"Come here, Dear Heart, and rest. I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you. So do not fear, for I am with you. "

Perfect peace.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Special Thanks

I want to give my friend, Melissa, a special thank you for all her hard work on my blog header (which I absolutely love!) She's a very talented and creative woman who took time out of her busy days caring for two active (and adorable!) little boys to give me a hand.

I really appreciate you, Melissa! Thank you so much!

If you would like a
new header for your blog, contact Melissa
at The Gill Family Adventures.

Thanks again, Melissa!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I was 16 when I met Magnolia.

Through a friend, my mother had heard about a woman in her early 40's, dying in a charity hospital in Villavicencio, Colombia, where we were living. My mother began to visit her several times a week.

One day, she invited me to join her. I didn't want to go. But she insisted, so I reluctantly agreed. We boarded the bus and took a long ride into the poorer neighborhoods of Villavicencio.

A charity hospital in Colombia does not offer much to its patients. The family is responsible to feed and care for the sick or injured or dying. If a patient has no family, they're on their own.

As we walked down the hall towards Magnolia's room, the overpowering smell of urine, alcohol, sickness and death hit me in the face. I gasped and tried not to breathe. My mother didn't seem to notice.

We rounded the corner and there was Magnolia's room. I remember the faded yellow, cinder block walls and the bare concrete floor. Magnolia was sleeping, a thin blanket covering her frail body. As we entered, she woke up, staring blankly at these two gringas in her room. My mother greeted her softly and gave her a warm hug. She introduced me to Magnolia.

What does a 16 year-old say to a dying stranger? I awkwardly said hello and moved away to stand by the window, watching.

My mother offered her some water and a little food. Then she began to gently sponge bathe Magnolia, speaking to her soothingly the whole time. She carefully changed the sheets, removing the soiled ones to take home and wash, replacing them with the fresh pair we had brought. She fluffed the pillow and helped Magnolia into a more comfortable position.

During all this, Magnolia said very little. It was obvious she was in a great deal of pain. I don't know how lucid she was but she seemed to listen while my mother sat down, took her hand and spoke of Jesus and His deep love.

For the first time in my young life, I looked at my mother with new eyes. She was no longer just my mom. I saw her as a woman, separate from me. A woman with a heart full of love and kindness, willing to spend day after day, caring for a dying woman that she didn't even know.

I felt in awe because I knew I was witnessing the tender love of Jesus flowing out of my mother towards Magnolia in the most amazing way. I was painfully aware that I did not and could not love like that. But in my heart, I asked God if someday He would give me that kind of love.

After my mother prayed for Magnolia and tucked her in, we left. On the ride home, I was very silent, thinking.

My mother continued to visit her over the next couple of weeks, and attended the funeral when she passed away.

Magnolia seemed to be just another poor, unknown, insignificant woman, living and dying in obscurity in a remote town of Colombia. But her last days were dignified by the kindness of my mother, seeing her through the eyes of Jesus, showing her that she matters, and loving her with tenderness. I will always remember.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." Eph. 1:17-19

I ran across these verses recently and have been thinking about them ever since. In fact, I started praying these for myself because I'm seeing a real need for "wisdom and revelation" to know the Lord better.

Seems like every so often in this journey with God, I run into a brick wall. The wall is something I'm believing about God. It's not usually something I'm even aware of until circumstances throw it painfully in my face. Then there's no getting through until I face it, heart to heart with God.

It's not easy to honestly say things like, "You know what, Lord? The fact of the matter is I don't trust You with my kids because You didn't take good care of me when I was a little girl. So I'm afraid You won't take care of them. And even though You're asking me to trust You and surrender them to You, I'm really scared to do that and I don't want to."

Times like these are when I need that "Spirit of wisdom and revelation" and for the eyes of my heart to be enlightened. The amazing thing is that when I face that brick wall and ask for truth and a deeper understanding of Him, it's like God opens a gate for me to pass through. My questions don't always get answered, but I see Him. I see Him like I haven't seen Him before and that makes all the difference.

So here we are again, facing another wall. And I wait.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Trying it on for Size

It's time for my blog to get a makeover. So a friend and I are experimenting to find the perfect look.

Just like getting a new pair of shoes, you never know what you're going to like until you try it. (And if I were going to buy a new pair of shoes, of course, they'd be red high heels!)

Anyway, please don't be alarmed if things keep changing around here. If you see something you like, feel free to let me know. Thanks!