Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Lines

My new bathroom has floresent lighting,
Directly over the mirror,
For the first time I have seen new lines,
They are very clear.

My finger follows the crows feet,
Formed by my squinty eyes,
I think of all the times they appear,
When I laugh, smile or cry. 

Next I follow a line,
A u-shape under my eye,
It's the newest addition,
In my 27 years of life.

Some hate growing old,
Letting wrinkles show their age,
For me, each crevice represents 
My life story on display.

The formation of the lines,
Started with my first smile,
They grew deeper and deeper, 
With the experiences on file.

They grew deeper still,
As I smiled at my first defensive save, 
Moreso when I worked for hours,
To receive a final grade: A.

Deeper they grew still,
When a boy first held my hand,
When I received my driver's license,
And got asked the dance.

When I got accepted to college,
When I met the love of my life,
The moment I said I do,
And received a promotion after much strife.

Continue to hold the dear memories,
Capsules of of my experiences,
Grow deeper and deeper,
And fill up with these credences. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

An Eye For An Eye- Part 2

There was a bright light that blinded Kenny in one eye, making it impossible to see what was in front of him.

Though he was blinded, he walked closer to see what the light held.

“Kenny, my son!” he heard his father say.

“Dad- Dad where are you?”

He saw his father in the light- radiating.

“Dad, how can it be you?”

“Come my son, come and hug me.”

Kenny had no idea as to how it was possible, but ran and hugged his father who had been dead for nearly 20 years.

His embrace was so warm, Kenny felt like a child again in his father’s arms.

“It’s time to go son,” his father said.

Kenny turned around and saw his lifeless body lying on the floor. The owner of the home stood above him screaming and shouting “I killed him- I cant breathe... I'm gonna be sick.”

And as Kenny and his father began to levitate, they heard another gun blast and saw that the man took his own life….

And there was no light.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

An Eye For An Eye- Part 1

Kenny approached the door in a slow and drawn out manner. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up straight, as the wind howled behind him. 

Some dried out leaves circled around his feet as he stood on the creeky porch. He raised his hand, formed a fist, and prepared to knock on the door.

"Come on," he said. "Just knock on the door." 

But he couldn't do it... The horrible memories plauged his thoughts.

"Help me," the young voice shrieked. 

He looked around and said to himself "It's not real... Just get in and get out."

He knocked on the door with all his might and was stunned when it opened right away.

"I've come to get what is mine!"

The four walls made him feel as if the house was closing in on him. For it was in this house nearly 20 years before, that the most precious thing was taken from him... 

"An eye for an eye..." he shouted loudly.

As he shouted, what he feared most approached him.... 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

False Statements Of Equality, Service and Love?


We seem to think that they dictate events in our world (and that they have throughout the course of history). 

I have a dream. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. Love thy neighbor. 

We value these statements (and so many others) and truly believe that we as individuals live them out. But are we doing this in our daily lives? 

I have a dream: Do I have hope in the future? Do I actually want every single person I know to have an equal chance at things I want (the same job promotion, the same income, the same level of popularity)? Or if I look closer at myself, do I only want this for those people in my life who I deem as worthy of receiving the same things? 

Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country: What am I doing for my country? How am I serving the people of my nation? Am I one who lodges an Internet rant when the leaders of the country are doing something I disagree with, expecting the nation to do what I want? Or am I striving to do things to make my community a better place? Am I asking what I can do for the people of my country? 

Love thy neighbor: Do I truly love the person I work with or do I give a blank stare every time they say something that I think is stupid? Do I harbor resentment or do I strive to see what God sees (good and bad)? I am able to love my husband, family and close friends- with both their good and bad traits, because I know I have good and bad traits as well. But beyond that, can I honestly say I love each person, each neighbor in my life? 

We like to think that these statements rule our lives- as Americans, as Christian, as progressive people. But are these evident in our own lives or are they just statements we believe that we live by? Just because we don't think we are racist, doesn't mean we believe in social, class or other forms of equality. Just because we love our country, doesn't mean we are serving the people in it and trying to make it a better place. Just because we love most of our neighbors, doesn't mean we are showing love to everyone in our lives. 

How do we fix this? How do we humble our hearts to truly live out equality, service and love? 

Lord, show me how to live out these things more. Especially Your command to love thy neighbor, because that is where it all begins. Amen 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

How Dare You Threaten Me!

How dare you threaten me!
With your thoughts so against mine,
Your words are so wrong!
Or could our thoughts be in line? 

Are you actually stating,
What I feel and fear most? 
Am I so threatened by your words,
Since I've wondered the "blasphemous?"

Am I threatened by your statement,
Because I've secretly thought the same?
Am I worried about exposure,
That you'll highlight my shame?

Is that why I am angered,
By your statement as is,
I view it as a threat,
Against my own image? 

Could it be when we are honest,
And question You Lord,
It is not blasphemy,
But a way to grow & know you more? 

The tough questions and situations,
Help me grow with others,
We expose our true selves,
Versus lying about having it all together

If You care about the lilies and birds,
And say that you care for us more,
Why are Christians in some countries,
Dying because they are starved?

Why did you say that this generation,
Would not pass away,
Before you returned,
Have we excused it away?

These questions don't cause me,
To trust or revere You less,
Perhaps You will show me the answer,
Perhaps my thoughts will remain a mess

The truth is You have proved,
Yourself o'er and o'er,
These small questions don't stop that,
Just cause me to be honest more

I want to be honest about
Faith, love and doubts,
Rather than be threatened, 
And to grow in my "what abouts" 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Egotistical, entitled
Neurotic I suppose, 
Deserving, a calling,
A life of purpose of sorts.

Are these desires selfish?
Are they for my own good?
Is being a voice flooded
By a sea of others who would?

Am I apathetic if I stay where I am?
Will I regret not trying for more?
Or is thinking I'm called for greater,
Like the words mentioned before?

I hate apathy,
But I hate feeling entitled,
I want to live in the moment,
And not be in denial 

So direct me if I missing something,
If You have called me for more,
And not let the precious moments,
Slip away evermore 

Friday, April 5, 2013


My friend Grace & I had a chat the other day about our legacy. What impact would we have on people in our daily lives, work or on people we barely know. I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and these are the things I want associated with my legacy:

1. Joyful. This a natural quality that I have... I have been a "happy camper" since I was little. Even though this is a natural quality, it doesn't always seem to come naturally. Things and situations in my life make me frustrated, bitter and cynical. Every time I let that take hold, I feel as if I lose a little bit of my joy (and I don't want to do that). Christ tells us He has given us His joy, so our joy can be complete. I want my heart to be filled with this rather than bitterness. I have seen what bitterness can do to a person & I don't want that.
2. Kind. Along the same lines, difficult or frustrating situations can cause me to be cynical and sarcastic. I would rather show kindness to all people, no matter how they treat me.
3. Hard-worker (who produces great stuff). I want to work hard, because I feel strongly about having a strong work ethic. But, I don't want to work hard for the sake of working hard... I want to produce content that impacts people, helps others and improves the status quo. Additionally I want to work hard while I am at work,, but to leave work at work, so I can lead a healthy life outside of work- always putting God and my family first.
4. A powerful communicator. I think that God has given me the ability to be a powerful communicator. I know I will always learn new ways to improve this gift, but I know that it is one that He has blessed me with and I want to use it to honor Him.
5. A reflection of God's love. God loves me despite all my flaws. I want to love others with this same kind of love... No matter how frustrating they might be.

So now, it's time to pray that He will help me to keep or make these qualities part of my life and legacy. Lord, show me how to have a legacy which brings honor to You.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Refreshed, Renewed & Ready (Well As much As I Can Be)

The conference was, in one word, amazing. I felt a sense of renewed passion for my work & the calling I believe the Lord has placed on my life. I have been reflecting a lot in all that He has done to bring me to this place, all the ways He has made His voice clear. All I know is despite myself, He has allowed me to be used by Him and I am extremely humbled. I am blessed by my co-workers from around the world & I am looking forward to future collaborations & implementing ideas which came from this week.

Istanbul was equally amazing. In addition to seeing some amazing sites, it was the first time in a long time that I really took it slow. There was no agenda. I drew by the seaside, walked along the historic routes and took time to just slowly enjoy life. Despite the business of my daily life, I hope I can incorporate this into my life more. It was not only good to slow down mentally and physically, but to have more time spiritually to be with God. I have enjoyed reading Philippians and enjoyed taking in the amazing examples of His handiwork (like the sunset pictured here).

I needed both of these elements to come back to whatever is in store next (I really have no idea what is next). I'm as ready as I'll ever be (aka not ready for anything without Him). Thankfully, I know He is with me through it all, especially when I choose to abide in Him.

Jer and I both have a peace about the next chapter of life, but don't know what is in store for sure. I'm so thankful for my sweet husband. He is absolutely amazing and a reminder of God's faithfulness and how much He truly loves me (and I don't even know the full extent).

Thank you Lord for this time of renewal and refreshment. Thank you for seeing us through tough seasons and for seeing us through peaceful ones. Thank you for being the same yesterday, today & forever- Amen!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Istanbul was Constantinople

I am currently en route to Istanbul and will have a connecting flight to Amsterdam for a work conference. After the conference, I will fly back to Istanbul & will spend a few vacation days there, before heading back. I don't think words can describe how excited I am for both- so thankful to be given this opportunity :)

When I was 8, I dressed up as a little Dutch girl & only dreamt of visiting the country one day. And for years I have read about the rich history of Turkey: the 7 churches Paul wrote to were from this country, the Ottoman Empire and the Grand Bazaar. I know I say this a lot, but I am so thankful for the way God has allowed me to experience my childhood dreams, use my gifts (including the ones I went to school for) and that all of this can be used for an amazing ministry.

I'm reading Mindy Kaling's book right now (which is amazing) & she too expresses her gratitude for being able to fulfill her childhood dreams. It's a gift not everyone gets, so I am very thankful to be blessed with it (well maybe I am not an Archeologist or inventor, but it is arguable that as a communicator, one has to go on an 'archeological dig' for new ideas and invent new ways of presenting them) :). I guess all I am trying to say is God has renewed my love for what He has called me to in so many amazing ways (including new opportunities i never thought possible) and for this I am beyond grateful.

Jer has some upcoming interviews this week. Mind saying a prayer for him- that God would open the right doors, according to his perfect will? I was reminded the other day of how Jer gave up the opportunity to go to school (with a large scholarship) for computer engineering. After a semester, he obeyed the calling he felt to study youth leadership at Vanguard (for a heck of a lot more money out of pocket no less).

I remember when we first were dating, he told me he didn't want to be a youth pastor.

"Then why are you studying to be one," I asked.

"I know I'm called to work with youth- just in a different capacity, though I'm not sure what it looks like," he said.

Well a few years later, it became very obvious that God had called him to minister to students in Higher Education. I know I have talked about our time in Missouri before, but it truly was an amazing ministry & calling that God had called Jer to. So many amazing stories, conversations abd relationships that I had the privilege of observing as a wife (and participating in together).

Not only would we like Jer to have a job for financial reasons (and preparing for our future), but more importantly to be used by God in the unique & wonderful ministry he has been called to (and has sacrificed so much for). In the meantime, God has opened up numerous short term ministry opportunities, which have been equally wonderful to observe as his spouse. Admittedly, I brag a little as a wife, but I am so proud if the man he is & that God blessed me with him.

Well, we are currently flying over the UK and with a little over 3 hours left on this flight, I am signing off.

Shout out alert: Thankful for the wifi and all the awesome amenities on Turkish Airlines :)

Peace out friends!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Truthful Generation

As I have been working on a book about our generation, I have observed many things (from a Christian worldview). One of the things I have been wondering is if our generation has been forced to be a more honest one?

Since the dawn of social media, people's lives have been on display. People used to hide photos they didn't want others to see or would censor things that they would say, but it seemed almost inevitable that someone would tag them in an unwanted photo or would share something on their wall that they previously would have been mortified that they would share.

Since crowd control is a little more difficult now in days, it seems like people have almost given up trying to display two separate lives- and are a bit more honest (not saying they are 100% honest about who they are and what they do, but are more so than in previous times because of technological forces).

I think this is good and bad. Good points: seems there is more grace from others (since they know that their brother or long lost friend could share something on a social media website they wouldn't want the world to see) and also that their is a bit less hypocrisy (because it is a lot easier to point out the plank in their eye with social media sources). Some people will try to keep everything perfect on social media, but that can be a full time job, so most don't.

The bad side if this? The honesty is forced, rather than coming from the desire of a person (social media just forces you to be honest about your personal life).

Secondly, photos can be deceiving. I was having a conversation with a friend recently who has a lot of "party" photos on Facebook & not much else. At first glance, it would look like she is a "party girl" but in actuality, she rarely drinks- she just happens to hang out with friends who do & that's the only time people post photos on FB. She has realized that people judge her, even though the situation is much different than it appears.

Lastly, I wonder if not all off our lives should be shared. The example of my friend reminds me that I too do not drink often, but might have a drink with some close friends sometimes. I strive to follow the guidelines the Bible lays out for us regarding drinking (do not get drunk with wine, but instead be filled with the Holy Spirit & to not eat or drink things in the presence if others which might offend or cause them to stumble). I don't believe that there is anything wrong with having a drink or drinking in moderation (we know that Jesus drank wine on multiple occasions), but I will not drink in front of anyone who it might cause to stumble or who it might offend. The problem with social media is that if someone takes a picture of me with a glass of wine next to me or maybe surrounded by people who are drinking (even if I am not), it might send a different message than intended to those who I would normally chose not to have a drink in front of.

I don't really have a solution to the problems at hand for our generation regarding this subject matter, more of just an observation. I guess the thing I can say is honesty & dialogue are the most important things for us. I am reminded that Jesus was open about drinking wine (the Bible is circulated a lot more than any of our Facebook pages) and that he modeled moderation. Dialogue is important because people make a lot of assumptions looking at pictures (some are accurate, while others are inaccurate). That is partially why I felt led to write this blog. This is a new and unique challenge for us who are members of this generation.

Whether it is about the food we eat, the drinks we drink, the people we hang with, the places we go or the things we say, it is vital that we first & foremost strive to honor The Lord in all we do.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Nothing Changes On New Year's Day

I always get the U2 song New Year's Day stuck in my head every year on this day. The line that "nothing changes" on this day is one that always sticks out to me.

I think whether it is by resolution or hope for a brighter tomorrow, many if us expect drastic change in a year, though often not much will change. Occasionally there will be major change in the period of a year, but often it isn't anything close to what we think the change will look like.

A friend just got back from Thailand and said that the Mission agency she was with told her it would be strange coming back because a lot can change in a year with friends. She said nothing had seemed to change too drastically, which surprised her.

So with this, I know that things will change in a year, friends will have babies, people will move away or move home and some prayers for jobs may be answered. I know that I can't expect things i wan to see change to change unless I strive to venture to new, uncharted territories, where the streets have no names.