Friday, August 27, 2010

Little Bird

This morning, I woke up to the most beautiful song of a sweet little bird outside my window.

Usually, when I'm abruptly awoken, I'm not a happy camper. But this darling melody was so pleasant that it didn't bother me one bit.

I asked the bird if he would do this every morning, but he didn't understand English.

So I whistled at him, and he flew away. I thought it was a nice try.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Franciscan Blessing

"May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done."

Monday, August 9, 2010


You know those times where there's something you REALLY need to hear, and God knows it, and He's tired of beating around the bush about it? I had one of those times one Village Day at camp this summer. I was really worn down, a little discouraged, irritated by everything, and even though I'd perfected the art of faking it, I didn't have a good attitude of the heart.

At the lowest point of my day, Laura Paulk, my precious friend and co-worker, came around to all the counselors and without speaking a word, gave us each a sheet of paper with the following printed on it:


When you are forgotten or neglected or purposely set at naught, and you sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ

-that is dying to self.

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take all in patient loving silence

-that is dying to self.

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, or any annoyance, when you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility, and endure it as Jesus endured it

-that is dying to self.

When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any attitude, any interruption by the will of God

-that is dying to self.

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown

-that is dying to self.

When you see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances

-that is dying to self.

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself, can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart

-that is dying to self.

Author Unknown

And.. I just laughed, because God could not have been more obvious.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Now, I suppose, is an appropriate time

Summer 2010. Check.

I could upload pictures, I could search for eloquent words, I could write a novel.

Or, I could make a list.


(Bolivia [May 14-24])
-My Bolivian friends Ruber, Job Saúl, Wendy, Betsabet, Moises, Hernán, Wilfredo, Tomás, and Jonathan.
-The view from the top of the Andes Mountains.
-Being engulfed by kids every afternoon at the Clinic Registration desk... and putting stickers on all of their faces.
-Watching Brittany and Jordan in their element at VBS, loving on children exactly how they were made to.
-The smell of no showers for 10 days (actually... do I miss that?)
-The toothless smiles.
-Speaking Spanish ALL OF THE TIME.

(SIFAT [May 25-June 31])
-The Bunkhouse Porch and its unrivaled View of the Sun's Parting.
-Seeing the Milky Way and Shooting Stars on Hamp's blanket with my seven best friends.
-My Seven Best Friends (in no particular order, Hillary, Taylor, Hamp, Lauren, Leah, Bryan, and Carter).
-The Feel of Cool Creek Water on my ankles as I "forded it."
-Impromptu worship (through music) sessions.
-The Shield, our counselor Devotion Book.
-County Road 88! and all of my friends there.
-The Rush of Post-Dinner Global Village Prep on Tuesdays.
-Playing Baywatch every Thursday at Flat Rock.
-The Yellow Llamas: Sarah, William, Erin, Amanda, Cody, Michael, Brian, Will, Katelyn, Chris and Caleb.
-The Yellow Pumas: Jake, Annika, Luke, Parker, Haley, Alex, and Noah.
-The Yellow Jacket Jam Bombs: Adam, Janie, Haley, Marie, Porter, Brayden, Lauren, Shelby A, Shelby B, and Jack.
-The Yellow Fever: Forrest, Emily, Kirsten, Becca, Lou, Mason, and Maria.
-The Yellow Cobras: Danielle, Greg, Hannah, Kiana, Becky, Stephen, Amber, Sarah, and PICKLES.
-The Yellow Submarines: Madison, Taylor, Luke, Parker, Jackson, Mary Caitlyn, Victoria, and Andy.
-The mist over the fields in the Early Morning Time.
-My bunkbed.
-Seeing the way Hillary folded herself up during her sleep.
-The Floral and Polka Dot coffee mugs Lauren and I drank from each morning.
-Shaving legs at Old Aldea every Sunday with Carter & the Quintards.
-Dance parties to our favorite songs in the Caf and in the Quonset Hut.
-The incredible Food prepared by our one and only Miss Lola Mae Wright.
-John the Gardener and all of his beautiful gardens.
-Fresh veggies every Village Day.
-Mary the nurse and the squeaky laugh and her lisp.
-Laura the photographer/videographer and her fake cry/vom.
-Mountain Man Dave Corson and his immense knowledge of everything.
-Nate the Great, and sitting around listening to him play guitar.
-Raphael, my Nigerian brother, and his smile.
-Vicky and her mealworms.
-Flex Staff 4eva.
-Waking up bright and early every morning, not wasting the day.
-The walk to and from the Market on Village Day because it marked a pivotal point each week.
-The phone game.
-Enjoying blueberries right off the bush.
-The Aaron Carter dance.
-The regularity of my bowels - always after morning devo (tmi?).
-Mexico Lindo ¡y Que Rico!
-Praying with the counselors before we gave our talks.

Someone this summer described SIFAT as a "thin place," meaning that the distance between you and God is thinner there than other places. This is what I loved most, and will miss most. The simplicity. Life with fewer distractions. Life where you don't have to always be making time to encounter God. It's impossible to go a day, an hour, a minute, there without meeting Him. Back in "the real world" it's not the same.

Which leads me into the topic of my next post (for another day, soon): what God taught me that has changed me irreversibly.

(If you're reading this, I'm sorry. This is mostly for my own benefit. I don't want to forget anything about my summer. However, if you are, let this simply be a testament to God's faithfulness and provision. He is good, all of the time, and even when I was unfaithful, my faithlessness does not nullify the faithfulness of God, and He continued to move and to tie up my loose ends. He moved in the most incredible of ways the whole summer long. All praise and all honor and all glory be to Him.)