August 12, 2012

I Remember...

I haven’t done this in a long time. In fact I should be writing a paper. It’s due in 3 days and I haven’t made much progress. But today I must stop for a minute, take time to reflect on God's goodness, find words for the overflow of emotions I'm feeling today, and give glory that is due unto the Lord of all the universe.

Today is special. It’s one I will always remember. It’s bittersweet. It instantly brings tears to my eyes, yet makes me smile. August 12th is a day I will never, ever forget. You see on this very day last year God showed His faithfulness in a way I still cannot believe.

Much of the past year seems like a blurry haze, yet I can remember each and every moment of the days leading up to and following August 12th. The lonely weekends spent on planes - catching the red-eye home every Friday night and the early flight back to work each Monday morning. The countless hours spent in Surgery ICU. Holding onto my dad’s hand as if there was no tomorrow, because at the time I wasn’t sure there would be. Resting on the bench outside the hospital praying with dear friends and family over the phone. Sitting alone in the cafeteria trying to muster up enough strength to somehow swallow even a morsel of food. The repeated walks to the parking lot just to get a bit of fresh air. Humbled by the love and support from friends and family around the globe. Aimlessly roaming the hospital halls wondering what my future would hold. Crying a nonstop river of tears, wanting everything to go back to the way it used to be. Watching my sister handle each situation with such strength and confidence. Feeling so alone and terrified of what would happen, what it would mean, and what it would look like. Wondering where in the world God was in all of this.

And on that day, August 12, 2011, I can tell you what I was wearing, where I was sitting, and who I was with. I remember every single detail. I remember the doctor’s words and my response. I remember my heart beating so hard I was certain it would burst out of my chest, yet felt like I couldn't even take a breath. Most importantly, I remember God was there, He was near.

On this day last year during emergency surgery my dad stopped breathing. For one minute. Sixty seconds. The doctors didn't think he was going to make it. And if he did, they were confident he would never leave the hospital. But God saved him. He breathed new life back into his body. Not only did He save him, He healed my dad. Today, he is cancer free!

The Lord proved He can be trusted, that He keeps His promises. He demonstrated His love for my dad is much greater than I could ever imagine or offer. And because of this, August 12th is a day that has marked me for life (as did all of last year). How can I not rejoice in His goodness, His faithfulness, His incomprehensible love? So through tears of joy, I proclaim He is faithful, He is good, and He is ever so near. I remember.

"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope...great is your faithfulness." {Lamentations 3}

December 10, 2011


(A page in my journal written not so long ago. Tears fill my eyes as I read over these words - the emotions still real and very present. I'm grateful that some of these questions now have answers, while I wait and hope expectantly for more to be revealed.)

How does a daughter sleep when the only man that has loved her unconditionally lies in a hospital bed, 71 days and counting? How can rest be possible when a heart is aching to simply be hugged by her dad who may never again have the strength to wrap his arms around her? Can comfort ever be found when nights of crying herself to sleep have become an evening ritual? All the hoping and wishing and willing don’t offer up enough power to make everything the way it once was, the way things used to be.

Oh how the last few months have stirred up so many questions deep in my soul. And I stand amazed at how the Lord has sustained me, yet find myself wondering what’s the point of life anyway? I wonder if there really is nothing I can do to fix this, to make things better? And I wrestle with how life can go on for everyone else while mine seems to be stuck in July. And I think how much I love that man and how lucky I am that I was chosen to be his. And I wrestle with how to keep hoping when all the evidence points in the opposite direction. And I cling to the promises that He makes all things new, that He puts my tears in a bottle and that a day is coming soon when every tear will be wiped away and death will be no more. And I pray for peace, for comfort, for continued strength. And I wonder why God loves me, a broken sinner, enough to even listen to my cries. And I’m reminded there’s purpose in this and all things are for His glory and my joy. But the questions still form and probably always will…

“For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17

December 18, 2010

An Honest Confession

A birthday came and went. Not just a typical birthday. Mine never are. I was headed to Mexico to celebrate with some of the sweetest faces and kindest hearts I've ever known. However, I knew a wrestling match was about to take place in my heart.

As the weeks led up to my celebration, a battle began to rage inside me – between flesh and Spirit. One like never before. The enemy came strong this time and I fell hard for the lies and deceit that were thrown my way. I traveled down the ugly trail that led to entitlement, pride, fear, bitterness and frustration – a deadly combination that resulted in me playing God and demanding things, answers from the one, true Messiah.

Thankfully the Lord lovingly showed me where I had began to grasp on to ideas, expectations, and desires so tightly that over time they had quickly and quietly become idols in my life.

I was so focused on what I thought my life should look like that I completely disregarded all the unbelievable experiences He has allowed me to be a part of along the way.

I arrived at a crossroads where I had to obediently lay down my dreams, desires, and passions with the reality that they may never come to be. That was (and is) tough and grieving was an important part of the surrender.

All I can honestly say as I kneel at the foot of the Cross is that He is my hope. I trust Him with my life and my future. And regardless if my dreams become reality or my life takes a completely different turn, He is God and His love for me is relentless.

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25-26

August 9, 2010

What's Next?

I have been sitting in this coffee shop trying to figure out how to update, explain, describe the last few months of my life since my return from Mexico. The transition hasn't been nearly as easy as I imagined. I feel as if I am at a loss for words - I have been - which is the only way to explain the absence of posts since I stepped foot back on American soil. I guess basically because I don't really know how to answer the question that everyone seems to be asking. "What's next?"

It all makes sense in my head. I can even vaguely see a fuzzy-grayish 'something' that is up ahead on this journey. But I don't know exactly how to explain it. At least for it to make sense to all those that aren't camping out inside my head.

In fact, I have intentionally avoided conversations with friends and family about the future, for fear of sounding like a flaky weirdo floundering about the universe. Generally when I do attempt to answer the looming question I end up rambling for a few awkward moments that result in confusing the individual. And myself. Kinda' like right now...

I had lunch with a friend last week and finally said all the thoughts, ideas, and emotions that I have been feeling and processing these last few months. It was so nice to finally put a voice to the words that have been dancing in my head for so long. I admit much of it came out sounding like utter and complete ridiculousness, but at least it all finally came pouring out.

So what IS next?

Things I do know... grad school is on the agenda, but I most likely won't be able to start until next Fall due to application and scholarship deadlines. In the meantime a few amazing opportunities have been presented to me, but I have not made a commitment one way or another. Not until I know for sure. Until I have peace.

At times I feel a bit overwhelmed with uncertainty about decisions that need to be made. But then I remember how faithful the Lord has proven Himself time and time again. I still distinctly remember feeling such a peace leaving my job in Texas, not knowing what was next, which ultimately lead to my life-changing year in Mexico.

How could I ever doubt?

As painful as it was to leave Mexico, I knew it was time. He made it clear. So again, I stand on His word that tells me He will guide me and give me wisdom abundantly.

And until the smoke clears enough to see visibly I will find beauty in the haze and trust that He knows and always has...

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21

March 18, 2010

Meet the Moodies

As thoughts of my departure swirl through my head, numerous people come to mind that made such a huge difference in my life this past year. Many of them Mexicans. Many are not.

I didn't realize when coming to La Manzanilla, just how many Americans, Canadians, and other foreigners visited and lived in this area of the world I like to call "paradise". The beauty, charm, and perfect weather draws people from all over. I have had the pleasure of getting to know some of the most fascinating individuals from all corners of the earth.

I struggle to find words to describe two special Canadians that I have come to know fondly over the course of the year. In fact, like it or not, they are now known as my adopted parents. And of course, it's nothing short of a "God-thing" of how I even met them. Long story short, it had to do with a flood in the US, emergency departure by the pastor and his wife, and two willing hearts.

Lou and Wynn Moodie are quite spectacular. I have never met two people that are so kind, generous, and caring. I have learned more about geography, history, and adventure from these two than I did in all my years in the classroom.

Lou is a handy-man and can fix nearly anything. Seriously, I am convinced he is related to MacGyver. I love how he treats people and takes care of his beautiful wife. Wynn is an amazing cook, sings beautifully, and loves owls (like me!). She has such a sweet, servant heart.

They are true examples of Christ, always putting other's needs before their own and loving people for who they truly are. I am grateful to have such an amazing example of what marriage looks like and to hear about all their life experiences. They have been so supportive throughout this chapter of my life and have encouraged me to keep learning, growing and making a difference as I prepare for what is next.

I am humbled that the Lord allowed me the opportunity to spend a year in Mexico, and knowing them has just been icing on the cake. Proof again, that He meets my EVERY need.

"...a sweet friendship refreshes the soul." Psalm 27:9b

February 15, 2010


Right before you get to La Manzanilla, there is a spot on the highway where the trees and brush have been cleared and you can catch a quick glimpse of the beauty of the precious town.

Whether by bus or in car, I always get butterflies in my tummy when I see the miraculous view, knowing someplace indescribable is just around the corner. I can picture the kids' faces, the people of the community, and those that have become some of my dearest friends. I get excited knowing I am just minutes away from being home and surrounded by some of the most amazing people I have ever met.

I feel the same about where I am in life right now. The reality that this chapter is coming to an end is staring me in the face. In all honesty, leaving is going to be a lot harder than I ever imagined. Yet, I get so excited in expectation of what He has planned next. I catch mere glimpses of the journey He has in store for me.

My experience in La Manzanilla is proof of His faithfulness in my life. The way that I ended up here still amazes me, as it was not something I had planned or I had ever imagined being a part of. It serves as a constant reminder to me that His plans for my life truly are much greater than I could ever dream up.

With all that being said, I look forward to the glimpses He throws my way as He prepares me for what is next...

January 30, 2010

ready OR not ??

i gave my official notice a few days ago. i had previously discussed my future plans with the foundation, but i wanted to give them as much time as possible so that they could start looking for a replacement.

i've known and planned for a while now that my departure would be sometime in march. however, after deciding my end date, the realization hit me hard. i am leaving.

the past few weeks i had been getting excited for what is to come. what path i will take. what i will be doing next. the thought of seeing familiar faces, sleeping in my own bed, and enjoying random items that cannot be found here had me nearly doing somersaults. i was ready to be least temporarily.

but then one day something changed. its as if i was looking through someone else's eyes. people, things, and scenery that i had grown so accustomed to had new meaning. i've always thought the ocean and sunset were beautiful, but now knowing soon these landscapes will no longer be in my view, i don't want to look away. seeing the kids faces light up as i arrive at school each day makes my heart flutter, yet i realize i have to say goodbye. soon.

i think one of the most significant instances happened when i was taking the bus home a couple of days ago. the bus had arrived early to town, so the driver parked near the stop to wait a few minutes before departing. i decided i might as well get on so i could grab a seat and listen to my ipod. i had no idea how blessed i would be by this decision. once i jumped on-board, i realized i was in the company of the driver AND his family. they were enjoying dinner together. on the bus. during his break. apparently he picked them up on his route through the nearby towns and this is how they were spending family time because he worked 12 hour days. watching them interact and enjoy one another's company had me in tears. what a special sight to see. i felt horrible imposing on their quality time, yet they were so welcoming and kind, telling me all about their family and life in mexico.

and its daily moments like these that have me continually wondering am i really ready OR not??