Thanks for joining me here.
Read some thoughts on issues affecting daily life and life around our world. Read and join in the conversation. What moves you? How do you respond to the issues we face today?

some hope for tomorrow

It's easy to become mired in all that's wrong with our world but today two images of hope encouraged me. They both relate to recent posts so regular readers might be encouraged by these updates, as well.

The first image I saw was of a baby rescued 22 hours after the earthquake. Seeing this photo on Facebook led to a search for this photolog of the recovery efforts. There's also a brief English summary at the bottom of the page.
The most touching two images capture a woman who must be the baby's mother. First, she stands at the front of the waiting crowd, distress clouding her face. Then she is overcome with emotion as her baby boy is recovered ALIVE!
I read another story on Kathmandu Today of a teenager safely rescued today, six days after the initial earthquake!

The next image of hope relates to my post on prayer where I shared about Elle battling a brain tumor.
Today, for the first time since Elle went into a coma almost three weeks ago,  Alli was able to hold her precious Elle. Perhaps this wouldn't have struck me so intensely if I didn't have a daughter. Gathering her up in my arms and loving her to pieces is one of the highlights of my day. What a blessing that Alli got to experience that with Elle today. You can read all of today's update here.

So while there's much to grieve, these glimmers of light penetrate the gloom and encourage us to keep hoping.

What in the world?

Many things today lie heavy on my heart. Allow me a moment to share with you.

Rioting in Baltimore ignited by Freddie Gray's death drove me to tears. "What is this country coming to," I wanted to scream. Instead, I laid all those tears and anguish out to God. I pleaded for Love to intervene and break through the hatred, abuse, and misinformation. This kind of radical Love will transform this country -- we can be Love's agents.

In 2003, I lived in Kathmandu and hung out with street kids. Gautam and Rekha Rai served as our local host family along with their boisterous crew of biological and adopted children. Following the earthquake, Gautam sprang into action. What a blessing to be able to send some funds to help Gautam help whomever he meets in his relief efforts! Another one of our friends, Silas, is heading over this week to use his counseling and Nepali skills to provide critical incident debriefing for survivors and first responders. He will also train Nepalis in facilitating debriefings. You can support his trip by donating here and selecting "Nepal Relief" from the drop down menu.

One year ago, Love146 welcomed its youngest child into the Round Home, a place where sexually exploited girls find hope and restoration. That girl was four years old. The Round Home needs financial support to continue so John and I are participating in Love146's annual fundraiser, Tread on Trafficking. We're adding a personal touch by "Paddling on Trafficking" May 14-18 on Montana's Smith River. To learn more and support Love146, click here.

As always, thanks for reading. Now, take action, remembering the best actions begin with quiet reflection on the best actions you can take.


A friend called this morning with exciting news. She had just received a job offer. As she shared the news, I got misty-eyed and here's why -- we had agreed to pray about her job situation. This same friend had called me earlier this week, sharing her struggles with her current work situation that leaves her in tears at the end of every long day. On the phone, we talked about God calling us to specific places for specific times, though His ways be unknown to us. The only purpose my friend could derive from her current situation is one professional client who seems to appreciate her. We don't know the details of that client's life. Perhaps she needs a bit of encouragement from my friend, someone to believe in her and point her in the right direction. Perhaps we'll never know how God has used my friend in her current situation. Regardless, before we ended our phone call, we agreed to pray about her job situation.
When my friend called today, I teared up because God confirmed, once again, that He hears us when we pray. He hears me when I pray. I'd been discouraged in this area lately (more on that later) and I know I ought not need answered prayers to confirm that God hears us. Scripture confirms the same. Still, we humans appreciate hands-on, experiential learning and that's what our merciful Father provided.
Getting back to my recent discouragement ... the daughter of one of my husband's youth group friends has a brain tumor and her family has requested prayer. Elle's situation brings up many emotions and parallels to my brother's situation. For those new to my website, a quick background from me will prove helpful. My brother, Tim, was in an ultimately fatal car accident two years ago. Between his accident and his passing, his traumatized brain swelled beyond the capacity of his skull. On the morning of his passing, surgeons removed half his skull to make room for his swelling brain. His heart could not endure the additional strain and he died from cardiac arrest.
Reading of the increasing pressure on Elle's brain returns me immediately to those intermittent days when we awaited Tim's outcome. In prayer today, I face the same struggles I faced when praying for Tim. What is God's will? How do I pray in accordance with God's will? Should I pray for complete healing and believe for the same, even if it means another great disappointment? What if what we feel we "need" turns out to only be a deep, deep want? (To any family and friends of Elle, I ask only for grace as you read this. We are all beautiful messes trying to figure out life and God though His ways be unfathomable.) Jesus commands us to seek and knock. He commends the widow's persistence. Might He not also commend our obedience if we pray in the face of daunting prospects?
On a simple scale, His response to my friend's situation confirmed that He does hear our prayers and He does answer. Of course, we know His answers sometimes differ from our wants and expectations. Nonetheless, He answers. In this, He is faithful. He is also faithful to complete that which brings Him most glory but delving into that subject shall wait for another time.

my birthday

My birthday used to be my favorite day of the year. Then, two years ago, my birthday marked the last day on earth that I saw my brother, Tim. Now, my birthday reminds me of him.
Each year, this bittersweet day forces me to choose between life or death, between mourning what I thought would be or embracing what will be. When I read friends' Facebook posts and text messages, receive their calls, open their cards and gifts, or spend my birthday in their joyful presence, each sentiment reinforces the value of life. Living on this earth doesn't always feel like a blessing but I'm learning to see life as God's grace. He gives us life -- a grace in itself -- and He designs us to live in community with one another to grace our neighbors (from Austin to India) with ourselves. You are His beautiful creation and your presence in my life graces me with more of Him.
Thank you for being instruments of God's grace in my life on my birthday and everyday.