August 31, 2014

Why I Returned To Facebook

I took a long hiatus from Facebook, and I've been asked some questions about why I decided to return. So, I thought, why not turn it into a blog post?  :)

In college, I learned that I can restore some "shalom" to different spheres of existence -- in my life and in the world at large. And I want to "redeem" a small corner of Facebook, so to speak. I want to use it to speak good, hope, light, laughter, honesty, and life into a world filled with darkness.

Also, I miss being able to advocate for causes I care about. Social media is turning into a MASSIVE fundraising avenue (just look at the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge!), but I felt like my hands were tied. I can't make a difference in a social networking way unless I'm on social networks -- and Facebook is the big kahuna in the online world right now.

But honestly, one of the biggest reasons for my return to Facebook was that I missed being able to connect with friends. I don't have the time to connect with every one of my college buddies in person, but I still LOVE to hear about what's going on in their lives. Births, weddings, and silly videos. Or sad/scary things, prayer requests, and financial needs. For me, even having that small connection means a lot.

Have you ever taken a hiatus from Facebook? If so, why did you return?

August 26, 2014

What's Your Vision? Here's Mine.

A coworker recently asked me, “What’s your vision?”

She wanted me to respond with an email explaining what I believe is the most important thing I can accomplish in my lifetime. (Talk about a big question!)

I thought what I ended up writing might be worth sharing here:

“Well, I’ll try to keep my answer brief (although I could go on for pages and pages about this!).

I am very passionate about making a difference in three areas, which I call 'my trifecta': evangelism, human trafficking, and orphans/kids in general.

Sharing Jesus’ love is my first priority. The most important thing I can accomplish in my lifetime is honoring God with my life and pointing people to Jesus. Ultimately, if I help meet people’s physical/emotional needs but neglect to share about Christ and the true spiritual reality of our lives, I haven’t done anything but make a person more comfortable on their way to an eternity separated from God. And I refuse to live with that. But ideally, I like to do BOTH—sharing Jesus’ love and showing it in practical ways by meeting people’s needs.”

How about you? What’s your passion or vision? Where you do most want to make a difference in the world?

August 23, 2014

Why I Sponsor A Child With Compassion International

I mentioned my sponsorship of a little girl named Adelce here.

There are a lot of reasons why I chose sponsorship through Compassion International, but here are a few of the big ones:

1. Compassion intentionally shares about Jesus

"We believe we must do more than simply meet the physical needs of the poor. Poverty sends a defeating, painful message into the heart of a child: a message that says, 'You don't matter.' Introducing children to their loving Heavenly Father is the most powerful way of reversing this message.

Every child who participates in a Compassion program is given the opportunity to learn about Jesus and discover how to develop a lifelong relationship with God. This good news is modeled and shared in age-appropriate and culturally relevant ways -- never through coercion.

The Great Commission is at the core of our mission and discipleship is at the core of our program."

2. Compassion partners with local churches

"The Church is God's chosen instrument to bring hope to a hurting world and to deliver justice to the poor and oppressed. That's why Compassion works exclusively in partnership with local churches in developing nations to deliver a holistic child development program."

3. Compassion helps meet the holistic needs of kids

"By working with local churches, the Child Sponsorship Program offers educational opportunities, health care and health-related instruction, nutrition, life-skills training, and opportunities to hear about and respond to the gospel."

If you're considering sponsoring a child, I encourage you to check out Compassion's website.  :)

August 18, 2014

Halfway through our summer bucket list! (Finally.)

Dave took me on a delightful picnic on Saturday. We explored a beautiful park, laughing and chatting. It’s a wonderful thing being married to my best friend.  :)

We’re officially halfway through our summer bucket list now.

  • Blueberry picking. Check.
  • Mini-golfing. Check.
  • Picnic. Check.
  • Making footprints in the sand at the beach! Check.
  • Our first garage sale. Check.

But I can hardly believe it’s already nearing the end of August! We’ll see how many of the remaining 5 ideas we end up doing.

August 14, 2014

Change Is Hard!

Change is hard! This video clip of a 5-year-old girl who doesn't want her baby brother to grow up is adorable. (Love her baby brother’s grin!) It made me laugh, and it also reminded me that change can be scary—whether you’re 5 or 50!

As a young girl, change was scary for me, too. I was in a lot of new environments when I was a kid because my parents moved so much. Every time I stepped into yet another classroom full of strangers, I remember feeling very alone … and very unsure of myself. I was terrified of all the unknowns.

But when God told Abraham to pack up and go—he did.

“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).

Sometimes inside, I still feel like a third grader standing at the back of a classroom, shaking in my white tennis shoes. Among the heroes of faith, I identify more with Moses than Abraham. If God told me to lead a whole crowd of people out of slavery in Africa, I’d say, “Uh, who? Me?! I think you’ve got the wrong girl … I’m no leader!”

But God used Moses—insecure as he was—to lead a nation out of slavery. And the amazing thing is—that same God is in charge of my life! And his power lives in me. 

In Hebrews 11, there are people mentioned “who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again” (verses 33-35a).

WOW. Faith can move mountains. Praise God for turning my weakness into strength.

August 10, 2014

People say I look like ...

I've had friends tell me I look like Molly Ringwald. Once, a lady in the drive-thru window even did a double-take and asked me, "Did anyone ever tell you you look exactly like Molly Ringwald?"

Yes ... yes, they have.

Do you see a resemblance? Which celebrity do people say you look like?

This is Molly in the movie, The Breakfast Club (1985).

And this is me.

August 7, 2014

"Apparently" Kid!

I saw this last night, and it made me (and Dave!) laugh so hard ... I just had to share it!!!  :D

August 4, 2014

Our weekend report

Dave and I had a really fun weekend!

We went mini-golfing after Dave got home from work on Friday. (As usual, he won!) Our pastor and his wife happened to be out mini-golfing that night, too! On Sunday, the pastor’s wife pulled us aside and said in hushed tones, “We saw you kissing under the waterfall. That warmed our hearts!” Awwww…  :)

On Saturday, we knocked something off of our summer bucket list: blueberry picking! The weather was warm and sunny, so Dave made sure we both got out of the sun before our skin really started burning (it doesn’t take long for us!). When we got home, we filled two freezer bags with blueberries—that should last us a while!