Well hello there…

It’s been so long since I posted anything, for a variety of reasons. Busy, moody, exhausted, overwhelmed, or… just nothing to say.

I’m at the end of a quarter at school and my head is full of stuff, so I’ll share some pictures from the beautiful weekend my husband and I took last week in Nachitoches, Louisiana.

 

Hopefully I’ll come back with some actual words soon! 🙂

It’s not confusing. At all.

It seems pretty clear to me.

“meet the thirsty with water; inhabitants of the land of Tema greet the refugees with bread. They have fled from swords” Isaiah 21:14-15

“The Lord proclaims: Do what is just and right; rescue the oppressed from the power of the oppressor. Don’t exploit or mistreat the refugee, the orphan and the widow.” Jeremiah 22:3

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“He enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves immigrants, giving them food and clothing. That means you must also love immigrants because you were immigrants in Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:18-19

Here are some places you can donate if you would like to help:

Save the Children (11% Administrative cost)

World Vision (15% Administrative cost)

International Rescue Committee (8% Administrative cost)

There are a lot of other great organizations out there doing work, these are just a few examples. Also, I think it’s important to know where your money is going when you donate to any organization, that’s why I included the admin percentages.. you want as much of your donation as possible going directly to the work 🙂

I’m not a failure (despite what my brain tells me)

This week has been overwhelming, exhausting, and otherwise wearying.

It’s my last week of classes this quarter, my days have been filled with trainings and meetings for work, I’ve been on antibiotics for an infection (that I’m pretty sure has morphed into something else??), and I figured out last night that while I’ve been out of pocket my kids have been subsisting on ice cream sandwiches.

So… I’m behind on schoolwork, overloaded on material related to the exploitation of minors, neglecting my own children and my house looks like this:

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It’s really easy to look around and think, “I’m failing. At absolutely EVERYTHING that I’m trying to do.”

In fact, I got in bed last night thinking that very thing. All of these things in my life – seminary, working with Redeemed, homeschooling my kids – are all things that God called me to, but I find myself feeling inadequate; a failure.

We have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and we have forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace

Ephesians 1:7

I thought about this a lot today as I was returning emails, posting in forums, getting ready for a meeting, picking up around the house and cooking dinner. I realized that my value does not come from how well I am doing at any given moment in time at any given task. My value comes from God, and I am to give him my best. Sometimes my best is going to be messy and disorganized and crazy because I am human, but that’s OK.

He knows my heart, and I am striving for my best.

Ashley Madison, Infidelity, And Why Your Spouse Probably Deserves Your Passwords

A great post by John Pavlovitz on fidelity and trust in marriage.

john pavlovitz

AshleyMadison

The hacking of AshleyMadison and the subsequent release of the personal information of many of its 28 million subscribers is causing violent ripples in homes throughout the world, even as we speak. The website, which caters to married people looking for extramarital encounters and has been compromised by cyber-activists, is now relegated to the role of helpless witness as the names and sordid secrets of its clientele are being broadcast for everyone (including their devastated spouses and families) to see.

It’s a human tragedy on a scale that we probably can’t really calculate with words; not merely the leak itself, but the fact that such a business exists at all and has found such numerous and willing participants. It’s a testament to the complete disregard by so many married people, for those they once vowed devotion to for the remainder of their lives; a frightening sign that Marriage isn’t quite as sacred as many involved have claimed.

As a pastor who has walked families through infidelity and…

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This Summer

I can’t believe July is almost over. I haven’t written in ages because I just haven’t stopped long enough to put anything into a cohesive post… probably still not there but I might as well get back to it!

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Monet exhibit at Chicago Art Institute

The summer kicked off with a trip to Chicago for the Justice Conference with one of my best friends, Cynthia. We’d never been to Chicago and had a great time visiting the Art Institute, riding the train and seeing the sights.

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The el

The conference was amazing, with speakers like Dr. Cornel West, Louie Giglio, Jonathan Merritt and Bob Goff (who I got to hug!!) There were panels on racial justice and reconciliation, as well as on poverty and social reform, gender issues and how to engage the church in justice. I was invited to a networking dinner for people involved in the anti-trafficking movement and  we stayed at the Plaza. Oh… and we saw Crowder and Rend Collective in concert.

Seriously. Awesome conference. Definitely want to go back next year.

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At the Aram Market

So a few days after I get back from Chicago, I head back to the airport; this time I’m on my way to Kenya! If you’ve read my blog before, you may know that I’d been planning this trip for months and was joining up with a mission team from Durango, Colorado. This was a totally new experience for me, going it alone with a group of strangers but it was a good trip. It was harder than a lot of other trips I’d been on before, in a lot of ways; while everyone on the team was great, it was lonely not having a friend to share the experience with. Also, this trip focused much more on physical work than trips I’d been on in the past. We built two mud houses, worked on a gardening project and ran a medical clinic, in addition to working with an amazing group of widows and their children.

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One of many beautiful smiles

It was a wonderful trip. Like I said, harder than most of the trips I’ve been on in the past. It made me question some things because I struggled so much, but that’s OK. I definitely want to go back. I made some friends there that I want to see again.

I flew back from Kenya on the first day of the summer quarter for school and since then I’ve been eyeball deep in reading and research… really hard reading and research.

I’m taking Ministry with Sexually Exploited Children and Christian Ethics this quarter so I’m immersed in child abuse and the injustices of the world and how as a Christian, I should respond to them. The reading is so heavy and it’s been weighing on me pretty heavily over the last few weeks.

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In the gardening shed with friends

 However, the summer is already more than half over and it’s been absolutely racing! We got back today from New Braunfels and taking the kids to see JAWS at an outdoor event where we floated on a lake in the dark during the show; it was awesome. So I’m trying to find time here and there to have some fun and not devote every single moment to hard stuff.

This weekend I’m working a Walk to Emmaus as a musician, which I’m really excited about. It’ll be a great chance to relax and reconnect to the Holy Spirit, to serve and to have a great time of fellowship with some great women.

So this has been a really long post, not really that cohesive, but just kind of a catch up of what’s been going on and where I’ve been the last couple of months! It’s been busy and crazy and at times overwhelming and stressful but it’s been really good too.

Hopefully will be back soon 🙂