Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Compassion Bloggers in Peru!

Follow the Compassion Bloggers in Peru

If you've never followed a Compassion Bloggers' trip, I highly recommend that you do.  This is a way to see Compassion's ministry on the ground, follow bloggers to Compassion projects, see the children in their homes, hear their stories.

This trip features bloggers Angie Smith, Jennifer Schmidt, and married couple Layla & Kevin Palmer.  From a quick glance their blogs are very different, so it will be interesting to read their reactions to everything they see in Peru.  Shaun Groves is leading the trip, his thirteenth to the developing world with Compassion.

If past trips are any indication, you'll want to have a box of tissues while you read.

Praying for the team as they are in Peru now!  Hope to read their first post later tonight.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dear Sponsor

As part of Blog Month, we've been asked to write from the perspective of a sponsored child.  I got this assignment on Monday and I've been mulling it over all week.  This is definitely the hardest assignment yet.

As of last Friday, 2006 children have been sponsored, that means there are still 1102 children left to go by Sunday night.  Please, please, please, if you have been thinking about sponsoring a child for some time, please do it now.  You can make a huge difference in the life of a child living in poverty.  With Compassion, you can release them from poverty in Jesus' name.  Please click here to view children in need of a sponsor.  Older children need sponsors too!  If you're not sure that you can commit to sponsoring for many years, choose an older child, as their time left in the program is much shorter, and you can make a huge difference during their last years at the Compassion project.

The following letter is fictional, but based in reality.  The children named and linked in the letter are not related to my knowledge, but they have both been waiting a long time to be sponsored.

Dear Sponsor,

I want to greet you in the name of Jesus Christ and thank you for being my sponsor.  My name is Erika  and I am 10 and the oldest child in my family.  I have 3 younger brothers.  My mother works at the market and my father works as a farmer, but often there is no work.  I pray that you will write often.  I have had 3 other sponsors and none of them ever wrote to me.  It made me very sad when the letters arrived month after month and lots of kids got letters, but I never did.  My little brother Andres  just got sponsored for the first time and he wanted to know when his sponsor will write to him.  I told him that hopefully it will be soon.  

I am responsible for some chores at my home, like getting our drinking water, doing laundry and cleaning the house.  I love going to the Compassion project because there we get to learn about Jesus, the tutors help us with our school work and we get to have a snack.  It takes me 20 minutes to walk to the Compassion project in the afternoon and usually it is hot and dry but it is so good to be there.  My tutor's name is Elena and she helps me with my mathematics homework.  I don't like mathematics, it is very hard, but Elena helps me every time at the project, so that is good.  Please pray for me that I will do well at school.

What is it like where you live?  We live in a city and it is always noisy and smelly.  There are many people and animals everywhere.  People keep chickens in their yards and that is good except when there is a rooster... then it is loud every morning and night.  My favorite food is chicken and rice.  What is your favorite food?

Please tell me about your family and please be my sponsor always.  I will pray for you everyday.

Strong hugs,


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Life in Rural Nicaragua Video

Because we sponsor Katherine in Rural Nicaragua, Compassion sent me a link to the following video.  I want to share it with you!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bring Christmas Joy to Unsponsored Compassion Children

Yes, you may think it's a little early to be posting about Christmas joy, but in the time frame it takes to get letters & cards to children in the developing world, it's not too early.  Candy Entingh of Compassion International shared the following message with the Advocates in the North East Region;

"Sponsors may again write Christmas cards for unsponsored children this year. Unsponsored children will receive a Christmas gift (via the Christmas Gift Fund), and Christmas cards are a great way to send a personal blessing to children without sponsors. Christmas cards will be mailed to the field by the Sponsor Correspondence team.:

Cards should be received by Compassion by November 5, 2012 to be mailed to the field before Christmas. Cards received after November 5 may be held until next year.

An individual sponsor may send up to 25 cards without attachments (i.e. photos, stickers, etc.)."

Cards should be mailed to:
Compassion International
Attn: Suzanne Hall. 
12290 Voyager Parkway, 
Colorado Springs, CO 80921-3668

Michelle at Blogging From the Boonies also has a post about these cards with some additional guidelines that she's used in the past.  Please check it out!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Compassion Pinterest Contest

So the newest twist to Compassion's September Blog month is a Pinterest Contest.

So head on over to Pinterest and look up boards called My Sponsored Child.  If you repin the "Pin it for my Sponsored Child" 15 bloggers will win prizes that are gifts for their Sponsor Children and their families.

Thanks for your support!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Focus

Joining up with Lisa-Jo for this week's Five Minute Friday.  Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!
OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::


Focus.  Focus. Focus!

I tell myself this several times a day.  It seems that in a multi-tasking world just accomplishing one job completely without starting another is something that eludes me.  And I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone.  How many times have you gone to your computer with a specific task in mind and then as soon as it boots up, your e-mail opens automatically and there's something pressing (or not so pressing) that needs your attention.  Then you deal with that item, go down (if you're lucky) just a few rabbit trails and shut down the computer only to go back to the spot you were when you thought of that task you needed to do on the computer.  Aarrgh!

This is just a little example from the minutia of life, but it is also applicable to the larger scale of life.  If our lives don't have a focus then much of our time can be wasted going down little rabbit trails (days without focus that turn into weeks, months, and sadly even years).
What is your focus?
What takes up most of your time?
Do you feel good about this use of your time?
Or do you feel regretful?
Will you feel regret when you come to the end of your days?  "I should have done _____" or "I should have done ____"...

In the passage where Jesus states that He is the Good Shepherd in John 10 there is a great verse that helps me focus on the larger picture:
John 10:10 (NKJV)  

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

If our lives are focused on what the Lord has for us and our days are lived out seeking after His purpose for us then our lives should be full.  Because if we have life in Him then we will have life more abundantly. What is His specific purpose for you? For me?  That can vary and can change depending on who you are, but the top two commandments don't change depending on us:

Mark 12:29-31 (NKJV)
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.


Monday, September 10, 2012

A letter to God

Dear Heavenly Father,

I am so overwhelmed by Your goodness to me, Your matchless love to me, Your grace extended to me and I thank You for who You are: the Creator of the universe, the Author of life, the Almighty, the Forgiver.

I am so thankful to You for each breath that I breathe, even though many of them occur without thought or thanks.

I am so thankful to You for my family and friends; these people that you've blessed my life with and the people that you have on my path in the future.  These paths have not crossed by chance but by Your will.

I want to thank you for the joy that child sponsorship has brought into my life.  You know how much these lives have changed ours and You knew exactly which children would come into our life even before we did.  You have orchestrated this for us together.  Please continue to inspire us to write regularly to these precious children: Maria, Andres, Allan, Katherine, Loury, Denisse, Loveda & Danna.  Lord, help me not to forget Tania who has moved on. May we pray for them all often.   Father, I pray that you would be at work in each of these children's lives this day and everyday.  I pray that you would be at work in the local church members who operate the Compassion projects that our children attend.  That these caring, loving workers would be tangible evidences to these children, that Jesus loves them.  I pray that on letter day each child in these projects will receive a letter from their sponsor and see once again that Jesus loves them.  I pray that they will hear of Jesus' love at their times at the Compassion project and that their families will attend church with them on Sunday or allow them to go to church also.  Father, please be at work in the families that these children come from, there are so many difficulties that they each face.  Help these families to grow together and Father help hurts to be healed and forgiven and salvation to be found in none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

Father, I wish that there was more we could do, half a world away... that we would be able to wrap real arms around these dear kids and love them in person, not just through letters and photographs.  Help us to speak on behalf of these children and encourage sponsors to really get involved.

I pray for the many children who don't yet have sponsors Lord, and I pray that you will work in the hearts of those on this side of the world who have the means to make a difference in the life of a child for Christ and to release them from poverty in Jesus' name.

Father, You are able and I trust You!

In Christ's name, I pray.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Friday, September 7, 2012

3108 children to be sponsored by Sept. 30!

And I'm back!  It has been a several month hiatus from blogging as we didn't have a permanent home or even know where our permanent home was going to be when we left Virginia, but now we do and I'm blogging from my basement "office" nook.  More details about the saga in the following posts.  But now for the main event!

September is Blog Month for the Compassion Bloggers.  Compassion has set a goal of seeing 3108 children sponsored by the end of September and I'm here to share about why you should sponsor a child through Compassion International.

My own journey with Compassion started just under two years ago.  After moving to the US in 2009, from Canada, I *discovered* blogs  (apparently, they've been around a lot longer than since 2009, but that's the first that I started reading them regularly).  Lysa TerKeurst's was the first blog that I read after hearing her "Proverbs 31 Minute" segments on the radio.  She belongs to a group called (In)Courage, which in turn has other members who went on a Compassion Bloggers trip to Guatemala in September 2010 (Ann Voskamp & Lisa-Jo Baker).  I followed these posts avidly and felt very convicted to sponsor a child in Guatemala and another in Ecuador.  On October 1, 2010 that is what our family did.  We started sponsoring Andres in Guatemala and Allan in Ecuador.

Before I started sponsoring, I came across another blog:  Blogging from the Boonies.  Michelle's fervent passion that sponsors write to their children rubbed off on me and I committed myself to the Lord and to my sponsor children that I would write to them often.

Why sponsor with Compassion?
Compassion is Christ-Centered
                       - the good news of Jesus Christ is shared with all the children in the program
Compassion is Church-Based
                       - the Compassion projects are operated out of the local church
Compassion  is Child-Focused
                       - Compassion seeks to develop the whole child, spiritually, physically, economically and

Our family has been impacted by our partnership with Compassion.  The letters we receive come from very real children half a world away.  We are able to pray for them and send them love through this relationship.  Likewise, they share love with us and pray for us.  Our monthly sponsorship money provides so much for them, from school fees (if required by the government), to supplies, to tutoring, to Bible teaching, to medical assistance and in some cases supplementary food. 

I would ask you to click over to Michelle's Blogging from the Boonies blog  and then visit the Compassion site by clicking on one of her banners because the person who gets the most traffic and sponsorships referred from their blog this month has the opportunity to win a trip to visit their sponsor child and Michelle works tirelessly to help sponsors and children connect and I would love to see her be able to go to Ghana to visit Precious!

Even if you feel that this isn't the time for you to sponsor, I would beg of you to go to the Compassion site via Michelle's Blog and pray for 3 of the children listed there.  Pray that they would get sponsored.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Beyond

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


Ephesians 3:20-21 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.


My last post was over a month ago.  It's been a whirlwind of activity since we arrived back in Canada on June 19.  God has shown us exactly where He wants us to be.  Super-Awesome got the job with the northern ON university he had interviewed with on June 26th.  He starts August 1!

We took a house hunting trip last week and were able to find a house, make an offer, accept a counter-offer all in one day!  The house inspection, seemingly unlikely to be had at such short notice, happened while we were still in town and went well.  There are always little things, but the house on the whole is great.  And great for our family!  And we get it the second week in August!

We were blessed to meet a number of new families from the group of Christians we will be meeting with weekly and are so thankful for their warm welcome.

Five minutes isn't enough to tell you exactly how amazingly God provided but, He did, beyond what we could imagine, or think to ask Him for.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Update... God is Good All The Time

So,  we've made it to Canada.  True to what I thought I knew, we left Charlottesville on Tuesday, June 19th.  True to what we prayed for and asked several folks to pray for, our time at the border & customs office was a smooth as possible.  We got the nicest border officer, there was no wait and we were on our way after only about half an hour going over the paperwork in the office.  God is good, all the time.

Wednesday morning brought some shocking news,  a beloved cousin of Super-Awesome's (the closest to an uncle that he has) passed into the presence of the Lord.  Glitches with the phone service at the cottage had us drive into the city to use friends' phone for Super-Awesome's phone interview.  God is good, all the time.

Thursday we received some voicemail messages on our "American" cell phone, and I was having trouble receiving them, because any call I make from Canada I have to redial the 10 digits.  I don't have 10 digits to redial when I call voicemail.  However, sitting on the dock where I get a teeny bit of reception, I managed to figure out that it's really simple when you call from a landline... and was able to retrieve the messages: one from a dear friend and two from our moving company.  Sadly, by the time I received the message, the office for the moving company was closed.   God is good, all the time.

Friday I called in to our old doctor's office because I needed some scripts filled and lo an behold they had a 10am appointment open (it was 9am when I received this information... and it takes about an hour to drive into the city).   Cell service is sketchy both at the cottage and on the road into the city, until you get to a certain point.  When we got to that certain magical point where service becomes consistent I discovered that there were messages on both of our phones.  Remember Thursday's issues with checking the phone messages on the American phone?  No can do.  So, the new Canadian phone hadn't even had our voicemail recording set up, but I could easily retrieve that message and it said that the doctor I'd been scheduled with had been called away and her appointments for the day had to be rescheduled.   God is good, all the time.

Also Friday morning I was able to get in touch with the moving company and learned that it was a little more complicated than I had thought to get our household goods trailer cleared.  We couldn't just go into the moving company's office and hand over the papers we'd been given at the border.  We have to go to a Canada Customs office and the one he directed us to go to is another hour and a half past the city we already drive an hour to get to.  But hey... when you're used to 12 hour drives...  2.5 hours doesn't seem like such a big deal.  God is good, all the time.

Saturday found us happily back at the cottage for a day of rest.  Everyone was exhausted.  Everyone, except Super-Awesome, had a good nap that afternoon.  Super-Awesome's mom had been staying with her cousin's wife since his passing and other friends had come and she was able to come back to the cottage.  Emotionally drained, and still in shock, we are all grieving in different ways.  Super-Awesome didn't nap because he was preparing for this interview on Tuesday in the North.    God is good, all the time.

Sunday we were back in the city to remember the Lord and worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ at the assembly we had been in fellowship with for 8 years before our move to Charlottesville.  What a blessing!   God is good, all the time.

Sunday also found us going out for lunch with Super-Awesome's parents.  Certain heavy handed hints were put forth by Super-Awesome that eating at a certain restaurant in the city that he didn't have access to while we lived in the South, would be... super-awesome.  For my American readers, this restaurant features rotisserie chicken.  Within Christian circles it is euphemistically called "Christian Chicken" because that is where you will find lots of Christians after church on Sunday.  I know in the US the euphemism "Christian Chicken" refers to another chain, operated by Christians and closed on Sunday (which I miss intently!).    Super-Map got a bit of sun on Saturday, and that combined with drinking lots of chocolate milk at alarming speeds & chicken and fries, ended our visit to the restaurant with vomit being spewed everywhere.  Amazingly wonderful staff cleaned up everything, including my purse, which thankfully was zipped shut and became a perfect bowl of vomit.   Hey!  He didn't throw up in our car on the 2 hour drive to my mom's...   God is good, all the time.

Sunday evening found my whole family together for supper.  Something my mom treasures, as it doesn't happen too frequently.  The cousins and aunts & uncles all got to take a dip in the pool.   God is good, all the time.

In the will of the Lord:

Today, the super-kids will stay with my mom and we will head North and take a supper break with Super-Awesome's aunt (in the Gateway to the North) before reaching our northern destination for a good night's sleep.   God is good, all the time.

Tomorrow,  Super-Awesome has his interview with the university.  I will wander around the city and see the sights.  We will be in prayer for Super-Awesome's family as they have the funeral at 11am for Super-Awesome's uncle.  God is good, all the time.

Thursday, we'll be back with the Super-In-Laws and be off to sort out having our belongings released by customs so that they may be returned to the storage facility where they will stay until we know where the Lord is taking/sending/keeping us.  God is good, all the time.


Whether things in our lives are good, hard, unknown, sad, happy, does not change the fact that God is immutable (unchangeable)  and one of His attributes is goodness.  It's easy to say God is good all the time, when things are going well, but it is no less true when things are very difficult or we don't know what's going on.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What we know now...

In the will of the Lord,

We know that Super-Awesome has a Skype interview tomorrow morning @ 9am EDT.
We know that we are loading a trailer with our stuff on Saturday.
We know that said trailer will be picked up on Monday and will be shipped to and stored in Canada.
We know that Super-Awesome will be having another interview the week of June 25th.

We hope that we will be on the road to Canada on June 19th.
We hope that the third university will be in touch regarding an interview.
We hope that we'll hear back from other universities.

We trust that God knows exactly what's going on and He's had it planned out before we were even born.
We trust that there will be a job for Super-Awesome in the near future.
We trust that our family will adapt to wherever God plants us.

That is all I know!  And I think that's pretty good ;-)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Expectation

Linking up with Lisa-Jo @ The Gypsy Mama

"Fridays are for writing for five minutes.
Only five minutes.
Stream-of-consciousness style. Like you did when you were in 9th grade.
Write and see what comes out. There’s no right or wrong.
Got 5 minutes? Come and spend them writing"


Five Minutes, eh?
I think I need more that that today ;-)

Our heads are spinning today.  Last Friday, I wrote on the topic SEE, and last week we had no idea what God had in store for us.

This week we have been showered with blessings and options.  All since Tuesday at 2pm.  

On Tuesday, Super-Awesome was contacted by two Canadian universities who had shortlisted him for the jobs he had applied for with them.  Not one, but two,  in one day!

On Wednesday, he spoke further with one of those two universities to clarify some questions he had.

On Thursday, that same university called back to begin arranging an interview time, in person, potentially next Thursday.  We also booked our moving truck for loading next Saturday.  Just before bed, Super-Awesome checked his e-mail and there was an automated e-mail announcing that he had been shortlisted for a job with them.  This university is not in the US or Canada!!!

On Friday... (today) He got an e-mail from a real person at the overseas university setting up a Skype interview for next Friday.  Within an hour of that, his boss here came and talked to him about a proposal if these other things fall through.

Expectation?  Um, I have no idea.  However, I am so thankful, that God does!  We'd appreciate your prayers for discernment and wisdom and peace and focus for us and particularly Super-Awesome as he finishes up his work here, but keeps getting these calls and e-mails that have a high distraction factor (good, but still very distracting).

May I never cease to be amazed by how AWESOME our God is!

P.S.  There are still about 5 other applications out there, so there's no telling what Monday will bring ;-)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mail Call Monday: Allan!

It was a hallelujah day at the mailbox today!  3 letters!  And all 3 from Allan in Ecuador!!!

He was scheduled to have surgery in March, but none of these letters mention it.  Partly because two of the letters were written prior to March. 

Letter 1 is from December 31, 2011 (yes, sometimes things get backed up...)  Here's an excerpt:

I write to you in the name of Jesus, with my heart very glad for writing this letter 
to tell you that I am very glad that you did well in your trip visiting your family 
and that beautiful baby whom I send many kisses to, as well I send your 
mother and your family many greetings. 

Letter 2 was written on February 29, 2012  (still a little slower than his usual letters, and shows that my letters don't always get to him in the 2 month period some of the time)

I greet you in the greatest Father God's love.  I didn't receive you letter at Christmas, 
but I got it in a very nice month, which is February, the month of love and friendship.  
I want you to know that I love you very much.  I would like you to send me more photos 
from you for my album.  My favorite subject is Natural Environment and Geometry [...] 
I am praying for your husband to find a good job and you to do well as lawyer 
(uh oh, I think Compassion Advocate got mistranslated).  I thank you very much for 
the letter  and for the postcards, stickers and drawings to paint.  I am also praying 
that you do well in Canada and your dreams come true.  
With much love,  your spiritual son, Allan

Wow!  I teared up over this letter!  So much love... and calling himself my spiritual son.  I love this little guy so much!

Finally, Letter 3 was dated April 30, 2012 (which is the usual timeframe that I had been used to getting his letters in before).  This letter is one of the new templates with a topic for the child to write about and this one was titled "My Family"

I would love to share with you a little bit more about my family. 
 I live with my dad, my mom and my sibs.  I visit my grandparents very often. [...] 
My food is prepared by my mom and my brothers.  My family lives in the urban area.  
I want to thank you for being my sponsor and for helping me to stay at the project.  
Thanks also for praying for me.  Please pray for my country because it rains a lot here, 
the weather is cold and there have been lots of floods.  I also want to say that you are very 
special to me.  I love you very much.  May God bless you and your precious family!  

What a blessing to get three letters today. Still praying to hear how his surgery went, but so thankful for these letters. I have felt a bit of a letter drought lately, since Tania moved out of the program area.  She and Allan are both in Ecuador and they have a great reciprocal program already in place so I was used to getting lots of letters from them both.

Life update:  We got another piece of good news today:  there are people who are going to rent our place and we can leave on the day we need to after all!  Papers haven't been signed yet, but we are praying to that end.  One piece of the puzzle may be in place. Trusting for the rest!  And I am THANKFUL!!!  This is how I'm feeling:  

I'll keep you posted on the rest of the puzzle when we know something!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Five Minute Friday: See

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:


See.  I feel like I can't see even a minute ahead of me right now.  Well, maybe a minute is a stretch, the next five will be taken up with this post... maybe I can't see what's a day ahead of me. That's more realistic.

We're still playing the waiting game, the job-search waiting game, the when-are-we-moving-out-of-this-rental waiting game, the I-just-keep-packing-boxes-that-I'm-not-sure-where-to-ship waiting game...

It turns out that faith is not about sight (see Hebrews 11:1).  Even though I can't see what's ahead past these 2 remaining minutes, doesn't mean that God can't see what's ahead.  He's always known what the big picture for us is, and this tiny block that will come next into our view... He's got it under control.  We don't.  And yes, there's a fine line between faith and being foolish.  But right now we're focusing on faith and trusting that God knows what He's doing.

Because, you know what?  HE DOES KNOW WHAT HE'S DOING!


Ok, so I have some more that I need to get off my chest.  Yes, I sound like I have it all together and this isn't bothering me.  Guess what?  Some minutes or hours that is a true statement because of Phillipians 4:7.  And other moments, like this morning, I just hung my head and wept because of how overwhelming it all is.  When I give in to my flesh I can get pretty freaked out about it all and does it do me any good?  Yes, (if it's just for a short time) it actually does.  It makes me remember that I'm only human and the God of the Universe has it under control and I need to be praying and telling Him how overwhelmed I feel and then keep taking small steps to accomplish the things I need to do.  When I am praying for others, praying about this issue, rejoicing, giving thanks for everything, it's much easier not to worry, be anxious, or fretful.  And He supplies the peace that passes all understanding. Philippians 4:4-7

The next verse in that passage are also exceedingly special!  After I've prayed about those things, does it help me to go right back to thinking about the problems that I can't see an answer for?


Philippians 4:8 says this:    
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things
 So I put on a worshipful cd, or open the window and listen to the rain fall or the birds sing, snuggle with SuperMap on the couch and I think about the good things and the absolute blessings that I am showered with daily in my Savior, family, friends, these material goods that I have to pack, that we have places to go when we move and food on the table at every meal and water... clean water that I can access any time I want from any faucet in my house.  

When you take that perspective, our mountain of difficulty loses it's grandeur and seems more like a small hill.  It will still require trust and effort to scale it, but it can be done.

Please continue to pray for our family.  That is something that I cannot thank you enough for, that you are petitioning our God to strengthen us and give us patience and endurance to run this race is an unbelievable gift to us!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Big Question

It has been a long time since my last blog post... almost exactly a month!
Things have been a little crazy...
A little very crazy...

We are counting down to the end of our time in Virginia.  Super-Awesome's contract here finishes mid-June.  At which point we shall move to...  somewhere!  The where has not yet been revealed to us.
  • probably back to Canada
  • possibly somewhere else in the US
  • or perhaps somewhere else that is neither of these two places

Where, O Lord, would You have us to go?
We are learning about patience, living prayer-filled existences, and to trust more and more in our Lord and Saviour.  We have already been aware that God's perfect timing on the infinity continuum* is very different that our human timing on the finite continuum, but that lesson is being reviewed and reinforced. 

Do you want to know something?  

Most of the time there is peace about this unknown.  Some of the time there is not, always when our mind strays from HIM and to our situation and the human impossibility of it.  Worry and anxiety do not help us!
  • Isaiah 26:3   You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
  • Philippians 4:6-7  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 Both Super-Awesome and I have been down a road very similar to this one before where "last minute" decisions were made and a big move was made possible in what seemed like very little time.  Hmmm.... roughly 2 and 1/2 years ago when we came to Virginia. 

The main difference is that this time, at this very moment, there is not a job that is bringing us somewhere, but rather lack of a job that is sending us away (our visa situation compels us back to Canada).  The application process is underway for several jobs, but the timing is such that we may not know by the time we have to move.  But someOne else does:
  • Isaiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.     
(Yes, I know this is one of the most quoted-out-of-context verses in the Bible.  Yes, I know we are not the Israelites about to be sent to captivity in Babylon for years and years, but there is still meaning that can be applied for our situation!) 

So,  we wait

            we pray

                  we trust

                       we know that God will provide (that He has provided already for our basic needs)

We each have a verse that we are clinging to and that is posted somewhere in our home.

Super-Awesome's (courtesy of his maternal grandfather; one of that faithful man's favorite verses)
  • Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread
 and mine, which I've already included above, but will repeat because it is worth repeating!
  • Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace,  Whose mind is stayed on You,  Because he trusts in You. 
We'll keep you posted when we have the answer to The Big Question!

*I really wanted to say the space-time continuum, but then my StarTrek NG roots would be showing... and so far there is no rift in the space-time continuum, which could often be blamed for many of the problems the crew of the USS Enterprise faced...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sad news

I've read enough child sponsorship blogs to know that when the phone rings and it's Compassion calling, it's not usually with the best news.  Yesterday, I received one of those phone calls.  Our correspondent child, Tania, has left the program.  Thankfully, there's a good reason why.  Her mother was able to find work in another town and so they are moving.  I will receive one final letter from Tania, but I will not have the opportunity to write her a last letter.  This saddens me, but I understand that this is the way it has to be. Tania would have graduated out of Compassion in 2013 and I'm thankful for the opportunity that I've had to write to and receive letters from her.  I've prayed for her and will continue to pray for her and her family. I pray that she'll still be able to complete High School, that her mom's job would allow for the fees/uniforms/materials. We have been blessed to have had her as part of our family!

Blessings, sweet Tania!  May you continue to grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and may your dreams come true!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Rich, Delicious Cake...

Super-Awesome shares his birthday with St. Patrick's Day and so this year I tried to combine the two things... a birthday cake with an Irish theme.   Where do I go when I need a recipe that won't let me down?  You know it...  The King Arthur Flour Website.  I always do well when I try one of their recipes and this time was no different.

The Chocolate Stout Cake is what I ended up making.  Chocolate + Guinness Stout = amazing!  Who knew?
Baking Banter, the King Arthur Flour blog also has a post depicting this Chocolate Stout Cake recipe step by step with photos and you can find that post here.

Here are my photos:

I had a shamrock cookie cutter, plunked it down in the middle and then poured the sprinkles in.  Pressed them down and carefully removed it.  Most of them stayed within the contours of the shamrock.

A dense dark cake!

Shared at our neighborhood potluck & with our small group on Sunday!  A cake like this needs to be shared, for the good of all waistlines ;-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Welcome to the clan, Loveda!

A little over two weeks ago, on February 24th,  Compassion posted on its Facebook page that they had secured financial sponsorship for 150 children and  needed correspondence sponsors for those 150 children.  Well, I signed up for one more child.  How could I not?   Apparently, I was not the only one.  They later posted that all 150 children were spoken for in about 2 hours!  Praise the Lord!

  • Correspondence sponsorships often occur when a corporation or business sponsor children, but do not have the ability to write to those children.  If you have always wanted to sponsor a child but for whatever reason the financial aspect isn't possible, correspondence sponsorship may be for you. 
  • You commit to writing to the child at least 3 times a year (please, please, please write to them more than that...  try once a month if possible... set yourself a goal before you decide to sponsor and do your best to stick with it).
  • If this interests you call Compassion at (800)336-7676 and request to be put on the list to become a Correspondence Sponsor!
Last Tuesday morning (and every day before that... patience a bit lacking...), I signed into my account and there she was!  Loveda from Haiti!

 She is will turn 12 this year.  We are excited to get to know this sweet girl.  On Saturday, her profile arrived in the mail and I have to say I really like the new profile booklets that Compassion is sending out.  There are lots of great resources to encourage sponsors to write & pray for these kids.  Bookmarks with daily prayer items to pray for, a Jan-Dec list to mark off when you've written or when you need to write so that they will receive something (Christmas card, birthday card, etc.), places to connect online for more information.  It's great!

Friday, February 17, 2012

FMF: Delight

Joining up with Lisa-Jo today.
On Fridays we just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. It’s such a relief, I promise.
    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. 2. Link back here and invite others to join in. 3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & leave an encouraging comment.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:



Delight is knowing you have a washing machine for the 3rd day in a row that your son has had issues with/in his bedding.

I am NOT kidding.

I could have gotten frustrated and even angry because it was the  3rd day in a row, and today may be the fourth...  and I did call Super-Awesome with a hint of frustration in my voice at the beginning of the call but by the end I was understanding that these days of "trials" remind me of what I do have.  I have a little boy who is healthy and active.  We have a bed for our son to sleep in, though the flimsy mattress cover to protect it from these "issues" is held together by duct tape, since said healthy & active boy likes nothing better that to play with the mattress cover...  that we have two sets of sheets to cover that bed, so that we can rotate out the nasty and replace with the (hopefully, if mommy or daddy is on the ball) clean dry ones.

You may be thinking... is she nuts?  Delight in a washing machine and sheets?  I spent Wednesday volunteering for Compassion International and manned a table with numerous children who live in abject poverty, but whom Compassion is helping to be released from poverty. Hearing Shaun Groves  speak, seeing those photos, and remembering my trip to Ecuador (ten years ago) and reading letters from my sponsor children, help me to delight in my washing machine and sheets.


From Shaun Groves' World Dictionary:  Kenyan for Washing Machine

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Staple Foods in Our Sponsor Children's Countries

Here are a list of staple foods that our sponsor children would have access to (by country):

Dominican Republic
Rice, black beans, bananas, carrots, tomatoes, avocado, chicken, citrus, fruits, sugarcane

Rice, potatoes, chicken,  cheese soup / potato soup, avocado, corn tortillas, fish

Black beans, corn, tortillas, rice, eggs, white cheese, chicken, tamales, corn chips, taquitos (rolled tacos with meat), tomatoes, avocados, onions, bananas, oranges

Rice, black and red beans, corn, sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, pumpkin or other squash, mango, coconut, sugarcane, chicken, goat

Corn, black or red beans, corn tortillas, chicken, eggs, cabbage, tomatoes, bananas, avocado

The original list (with foods for 26 Compassion International countries) can be found here.

"A Place at the Table"

Have you heard about this yet?  It's definitely buzzing around the internet these days and copies are flying off the internet bookstore shelves (only shipping in 7-9 days at Amazon)...

Visit these places to learn more:


Compassion Chapel Session with Chris Seay (35 minute video)



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The last part of our CSA year...

Back in June I posted about our CSA experience so far here.  We enjoyed so many yummy meals as a result of our participation with the Firsthand Farmers Cooperative.  Thank you so much to all the farmers and farms who were involved!

Here are the photos from the rest of the season (not every week, I didn't always remember and/or we away).

June 30, 2011.  Clockwise from bottom:  Carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, beans, kale, basil, potatoes

July 7, 2011 Clockwise from bottom left:  garlic, fennel, leek, rosemary, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, raspberries.
August 11, 2011 Clockwise from left: zucchini, green pepper, eggplant, mini tomatoes, garlic, basil, large tomatoes, okra, summer squash (yellow zucchini)

August 18, 2011 Clockwise from bottom:  tomatoes, butter, eggs, baby turnips, lettuce, summer squash, potatoes, green peppers, onions, hot peppers

August 25, 2011 Clockwise from bottom:  Tomatoes, butter, lettuce, eggs, jalapeno peppers, carrots, green/red peppers, eggplant, onions, summer squash,

August 29, 2011  Clockwise from bottom:  summer squash, eggs, plain yogurt, carrots, onions, red peppers, lettuce, tomatoes.
September 5, 2011 Clockwise from bottom:  lettuce, serrano peppers, jalapeno peppers, eggplant, basil, moogurt, eggs, watermelon, zucchini, onions.

September 12, 2011.  Clockwise from bottom:  zucchini, eggs, moogurt, parsley, green beans, delicata squash, jalapeno peppers, potatoes, garlic & green peppers.
September 26, 2011.  Clockwise from bottom:  Butternut Squash, garlic, scarlet turnip, radishes, collard greens, parsley

October 3, 2011.  Clockwise from bottom:  Sweet Dumpling Winter Squash, eggs, moogurt, sweet potatoes, turnips, lettuce, salad mix, green & yellow beans.

October 13, 2011.  Clockwise from bottom:  Bok Choi, eggs, green peppers, radishes, moogurt, lettuce, arugula.

October 17, 2011.  Clockwise from bottom:  Broccoli, eggs, raspberries, butter, cooking greens, salad greens, winter squash, green peppers.
October 24, 2011.  Clockwise from bottom:  garlic, green peppers, sweet potatoes, eggs, mixed salad greens, butter, carrots

November 14, 2011. Clockwise from bottom:  Jerusalem artichokes, butter, eggs, sweet potato, beets, lettuce, turnips

November 21, 2011.  Clockwise from bottom: fresh ginger, daikon radishes, carrots, butter, eggs, luttuce, turnips

December 5, 2011.  Clockwise from bottom:  beets, Jerusalem artichokes, carrots & cooking greens.  The 1/2 bushel of apples was an additional purchase.