Saturday, October 8, 2011


thank God it's October...because that means September is OVER. what a month.

a move, a new project, bi-weekly meetings, patriotic festivals, reading festival, multiplication competition, reading competition, 100s of papers graded, finish of a block, teacher meetings and workshops...

i'm worn down. and when i was at my most tired point, i heard this message...about coming to Him to find rest.

so simple. something i already knew. but wasn't actually practicing. i go to food, to the office, to a book, to music, to whatever else....because i can see it, i can feel it...and in my mind, it was the automatic answer...ah yes, what i need is to sleep and watch the office and drink Dr Pepper and eat chips and cream cheese + salsa...that will totally make me feel rested. Anyone surprised that i felt more tired after all that??

because what's really going on, even beyond the physical exhaustion of being so busy, is a soul weariness...for all the deeper things that have been transpiring. and i can't say i've really taken time to look into that...cus i don't want to. it's more fun to laugh at dwight and slurp soda. but it's not effective.

so, little by little, i'm coming. i'm going to Him first, not after all the other junk. i'm trusting that He will give me rest...even though it seems impossible.

and you know what? He has :)little by little i'm seeing that promise take root in my life...and i want to see it grow.

in other news, i'm going to participate in a 5K next Sunday for cancer research...just found out about it, and no i have not been training. the winner of the race gets a free trip to the US!! I was so motivated when i set out to run today, oh yea, i'm totally going to win this with my WILLPOWER...that lasted about 2 laps around the soccer field. well. probably won't win. and probably won't run the whole way. but i'll participate!

now i'm off to clean, wash laundry and find some rest. happy october people.

Monday, September 5, 2011


i could blame this lack of a post on the dead battery/charger for my dell laptop. which does have a certain weight, but the reality is that i´ve been avoiding this post for a while. because it´s uncomfortable. and i´m not sure how to do it. so i´ve been dawdling.

but i´ve found that just dealing with the truth as soon as you can is much more effective than letting it hide.

how do you talk about leaving a church and why you left it WITHOUT saying things that will inevitably be harmful to the people inside the church? doesn´t matter that they don´t even read my blog nor do they speak English...but for integrity´s sake.

i kind of think that you can´t. and it´s what makes this all so much more awful...because he believes that i would do that. not in a blog necessarily, but that i would go around running my mouth to harm and bring him down. *sigh*

how do you be a part of a church where your race is what defines you (not by choice but by others´perception) and not who you are as a daughter of the King? how do you walk in your abilities and in community if they do not appreciate or trust those abilities, based on false pretexts? What do you do when if you stay, you die spiritually and if you go, you are shunned? how do you face the reality that what you believed to be an intimate, trusting, respectful friendship is actually not that at all?

how do you react in love and forgiveness when someone smears your character in front of everyone?

11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. [Matthew 5: 11 - 12]

i feel like i´m exaggerating to put that up what i´m passing through is anything like the persecution He experienced. but it reminds me, that if in a tiny teeny little way this is happening, i am blessed. and i have no reason to get all caught up in it, to get hurt and brought down...why give more fuel to something i stepped out of??? why let it continue to affect me at all??

so we move forward. we give thanks for the little things...the little congregation that has received us, the little moments of acceptance to be who He has made me to be, the little freedoms to walk in what i feel He has called me to walk.

so rejoice with me friends...pray with me for healing, for kindness, for repentance, for reconcilliation.

let us TRUST Him to do the work.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

snap crackle pop

i feel like doing a little list to share with you all, as i find that sometimes they communicate what i'm thinking just a little bit better.

- i LOVE teacher workshops - that is, i love giving them. i had the opportunity to lead a teacher workshop on developing a biblically integrated computer curriculum and it was so vibrant to see these teachers meld their ideas together to create one common goal, to see them work diligently together and change their ideas. LOVE it. and got invited back for the 30th, so i guess to some degree they loved it too :).

- i don't particularly like being in teacher workshops because they tend to be tedious and sometimes today's. BUT it did allow me some space, some time to enjoy my lunch (only ONE parent interruption)with some quality people.

- my life is exhausting. and yet i'm grateful for what i'm doing. win-win?

- yes, i'm baking cookies that i will consume today, even though it's 10:40 pm, BECAUSE i have tomorrow off (thanks Saint Domingo) and i've got Harry Potter 4 in Spanish and the Office season 2 waiting to entertain me.

- i am really enjoying these growing tendrils of community: two couples that we make dinners with, a new bible study, a girl next door. so glad.

- sometimes the most beautiful thing we can do is be compassionate with someone...take that moment to really hear them, to speak into their lives, to just love them where they are at...i want to be this all the time, and not just in blips here and there.

- no GREAT things, only small things with GREAT love....mother teresa.

- umm, if you have the capability you should totally go to this...and you should look for her and her...HOW I WISH I COULD GO! should be just amazing.

- let's go lower and lower and lower and weaker and weaker and weaker so HE may be LIFTED UP and show His STRENGTH...amen.

- totally miss my walking buddies. and the KSU gym. and the energy/time to keep up with beachbody insanity.

- wish i could have permanent vacation....if only i didn't love my job so much!

- sometimes i forget i'm an introvert...and after 11 hours of PEOPLE and all that entails, i just want to hide. but praise God for always giving enough. (wouldn't do to be cranky with parents, teachers, students, etc)

- did you know that I love you? that i think of you and pray for you and bless you? that i'm deeply interested in what you are doing and going through? it's true. remember that :)

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero tal vez la quiero.
Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido.

Porque en noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos,
mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Aunque éste sea el último dolor que ella me causa,
y éstos sean los últimos versos que yo le escribo.

[Pablo Neruda, Poema 20]shared by one of my students on facebook, followed by his 'ori-genial' poem...LOVE that i get to be a part of this creative blossoming.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


"man was God ever smart to not let us be in control.

as i'm passing through this pressing that i described, i have experienced this up and down and all around thought train that leaves me dizzy. one minute, i feel completely confident in my actions and my stance and the next i am POSITIVE that i am the cause of all this, that i am the one who is completely off her rocker.

it makes it difficult to know if one is doing the right thing."

this was written about a week ago and left hanging. but i want to share with you a Word that particularly gave me freedom and peace...i have bolded those that particularly reached my raw heart.

Psalm 31[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 In you, LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;

deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.

5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
as for me, I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
but have set my feet in a spacious place.

9 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,[b]
and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
and plot to take my life.

14 But I trust in you, LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
17 Let me not be put to shame, LORD,
for I have cried out to you;
but let the wicked be put to shame
and be silent in the realm of the dead.
18 Let their lying lips be silenced,
for with pride and contempt
they speak arrogantly against the righteous.

19 How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues.

21 Praise be to the LORD,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”

Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.

23 Love the LORD, all his faithful people!
The LORD preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the LORD.

Thank you Lord.

i left my church today. the church that has been my home since i came to El Crucero.

it's heartwrenching and sad, and yet hopeful...because He has saved me, called me out into something bigger.

please pray for this transition, for the church i'm leaving behind and the church I'm joining. for lying lips to be silenced, for odious spirits to be tied up and sent away. let there be freedom and reconciliation.

i can't even begin to express how good it feels to be able to BREATHE.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

pressed but not crushed

i enjoy a good crisp white wine with supper. i adore that Jesus busted out the best wine at the end of a wedding feast. and i love the idea of wine being crushed or pressed out of grapes. it reminds me of the hope that something rich and good can come out of a hard and painful process.

there isn't a way to simply express the heaviness, the weight of this pressing like the wine press that slowly threshes the juice from yielding skins. i feel that weight, and like those grapes i feel like my very essence is dripping away. it's exhausting. to think that i really believed in change, that i really trusted that they too were taking the journey of forgiveness and humility. that we were really walking towards restoration. that the wine press had been put away.

and yet here we are. suddenly i find myself squeezed again, right back where i was before and surprised, because it's not what i expected.

before, wine was made by crushing the grapes with harvest dances. as wine making advanced, they began to make presses to improve sanitary conditions but also to improve the overall quality of the wine. it becomes richer, lasts longer and even reduces the need for the winemaker to use preservatives. pressed, and not crushed leads to a better final product.

did you catch that? richer. longer. less preservatives. better final product. sounds like how i'd want to describe my journey, my spiritual life.

so i stop letting this latest press freak me out. i stop struggling against it, as if i could stop it or change it. instead, i yield, trusting the Winemaker to take the sorrow and hurt and longing that is poured out and turn it into something that blesses.

Monday, July 11, 2011


i'm always blown away by the Lord. meaning my vision of Him is always way smaller than who He is...which keeps me humble. :)

i have two stories i want to share, and they're both sharing the same idea: that God is in control, that God is able, that God has an intricate and beautiful plan...or in general, i need to TRUST the Lord.

the first one involves some Mexicans, a wheelchair and a warm night. anyone want to take a stab at that one??

randomly my husband got called to take a girl to managua and randomly i decided to tag along. then randomly, i didn't want air conditioning so we rolled down the windows. randomly the man in the jeep next to us asked how to get to Costa Rica (a common question in the middle of managua's highways). they start to follow us and my husband decides randomly to talk with them so they don't freak out when they see us winding up the mountain and there are no lights. so we randomly stop at a gas station and realize they are taking a donation from Mexico to Costa Rica to a parapalegic kid and oh yea, they only have a half tank of gas and not one peso (mexican or nicaraguan). so we randomly have 30 cords we can use to pay for their parking at the gas station so they can stay overnight and wait for a money order.

o sea. randomly? i don't think so. as we drove up the hill towards home i just laughed. how is it possible that i can see these intricate weavings in others' lives, and point out how the Lord is totally working it out for them and yet I worry and doubt in my own life? more grace is needed.

and then there's this whole confronting the lies, opening the doors, stepping out thing that i'm doing and i'm just left without words. in the few days after i posted about why i haven't been sharing, i have been invited to speak at three different events. THREE. i haven't taught outside the English classroom since I came to Nicaragua. and all of sudden there are all these new opportunities. there is movement and discussion and it's like a huge wall fell down and i'm exposed.

and it terrifies gut reaction is to hide, to pretend that i don't have time, pretend that i can't because i'm too busy. but that would make me an OBVIOUS hypocrite, which i try to avoid being as much as possible.

so here's to being dazzled, awed, and just plain stunned by my Father who is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."


Thursday, July 7, 2011

listen to what i mean, not necessarily what i say

so a while back i was complaining to the Lord (and probably anyone who would listen) about how i am really lacking a community here. the aftermath of some really painful stuff left me isolated and left out in my church community. thankfully, through His grace, there has been healing and there is a recuperation that is happening...most of all, there's just some plain ol' obedience. so i know it's gonna get better. but i had just been feeling sad, lonely...missing my sister friends from kansas and those that really KNOW me. you know?

and then i got some pretty sweet skyping.and random dinner invites. and then i started seeing opportunities spring up here, little blips of invitations to participate, to be part of this church community.

would you believe me if i told you i don't want to do any of it?? (except the skyping. that was good. and the dinners. those were delicious)

i know. i KNOW. i can't quite figure it out. but then i thought of Moses. Moses was pretty awesome, breaking up fights and defending his fellow men. and in the middle of this, the Israelites are complaining hardcore because of their bondage. So God came down and in a really outlandish way got Moses' attention, trying to place him as a leader. He even gave him a snakey stick and a leprosy trick and some bloody river water flair to help him 'prove' his 'real-dealness' to the people. to the community he would be entering. but Moses was still like, nah, i can't. so God got pretty mad and then He placed Aaron as his mouth. because in the end, Moses said, Your will be done. 'Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.'

as i have these new chances to be back in my community, i feel resistance. but in the end, i want to say yes to Him. i think i've just gotten comfortable in my little hidey-hole that i carved out in my soul over these past months and i don't really want to come out. too risky, too unknown. and i feel like i can't. like Moses.

i don't expect He'll send me a mouthpiece like Moses (besides, my brother is in kansas and i'm in nicaragua) but i know He'll equip me.

so instead of being anxious and resistant, i'll say yes. i'll get out there, wet my feet a bit. will i mess up? most likely. will i feel uncomfortable? yep. but will it be worth it?

i can only hope so.

what are the difficulties you've encountered in community? how did you overcome?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

just saying...

can i be really honest? i mean, like, beyond what most would be comfortable saying when they're being really sincere?

i don't write here...because i feel invisible. and that it's not worth putting it out there. that it doesn't matter. that what i'm living and doing isn't important.

yep. said it. all of its ugly glory. and those who would rush to say but that's not true! don't say it. it will just feed this ugly lie.

what is the truth? Lamentations says "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him." He is enough. He is what makes this worth it, any of it!

i guess we could call this a refining moment. the layers being peeled back to reveal just another crack in what i like to pretend is perfect. c'mon...everyone likes to think that they're right...we have difficulty saying i screwed up, i have flaws.

what i'm realizing is that this particular belief of mine may very well be silencing something God wants me to do...not because people will read it, not because it will make an impact, not any reason other than He wants me to do it...which means it will be for good.

so i'm gonna ask for more grace. grace upon grace He promises, so i'm gonna take Him at His word. and i'm gonna try to do this. because i feel deeply that its something i'm supposed to be doing...for whatever reason.

so here it goes.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

i'm wound tight, tight, tight. mind and body tensed and tired under this load...the work load,the physical load, the emotional load. even as i type this, my feet and fingers just tap tap tap. partly a break in coke restriction, in an effort to get all this paperwork done...and partly because i didn't run today...but mostly because its just all too much for me.

but not for Him. May sucked, from my perspective. debilitating illness, overly busy at work, death of a precious father, breaking, division, hurt, weariness.

you just want to scream, you know? to just say, enough! this is not good. i don't LIKE this. i don't WANT this.

but i don't even have to put what He says. just look at the cross. the journey to get there. His utter silence before accusers, His grittiness to endure. to keep going...and to do it, trusting in His Father and who He is and His ability to do what He says.

i forget. because all that other stuff kind of pushes its way to the forefront.

but then i'm reminded. by a sister. by that sweet Presence. by a moment, a word, a glance, a squeeze.

so i bend. i kneel. i break apart. because in the end, there's beauty in that brokenness, that offering. a renewal to move forward. and this wonderful awareness of others pain and suddenly just the right word, glance or squeeze that might be comfort to them when their month sucks.

it's worth it. we say yes.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

hope that does not shame us

we are on week two of No Water Experience. as if we signed up for this ;). there are two things that astound me. one, it is unbelieveable how much work and TIME it takes to just get the water a house of two needs...for the very basics, like washing dishes, flushing the toilet, bathing and washing the occasional sock and underwear. and two, its surprising how MUCH water it takes to do those very simple things. all by hand, all done with as much saving as possible...and still, a vast quantity. we come home from work, spend a couple hours getting water, another hour using that water and fall into bed exhausted (not mentioning the everyday responsibilities like dinner making, house cleaning, feeding puppies, cleaning puppies and grading). so today, as we got up at 530 to start it all again, in hopes of washing some clothes too, i just felt this love welling up, this gratefulness. for the fact that this is temporary. for the fact that we have the means to go and get water somewhere (a car to haul it in and various containers to hold it). for the fact i have a husband who works tirelessly alongside me to keep this thing called life going.

now, before you go and thing, wow so deep, she's really in tune with things there in Romans 5:4-5. oh yea. it's HIS spirit that pours our HIS love in our hearts...that leads us to inspired love and hope and gratefulness. not sarah. Jesus.

and i LOVE that. it gives us no room to claim anything, no pats on the back, just a simple, let's walk in this that He has given us. and its possible whereever you are, regardless of your circumstances, and it CHANGES your character, your perspective.

i'm off to accompany the kiddos from the orphanage and their 'mama' and some other workers to the beach...let's hope and pray that keeping 17 children under control near the water's edge proves to be easy. yay national workers day that gives us Monday off!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

those pesky stumbling stones

it had been a long time since i had felt that squeezing that comes with loneliness, panic and lost footing. and when i found myself in the middle of it once more, it was rather stunning. and scary.

i don't think there's anyone in this world who is immune to matter your level of faith or church attendance or whatever. and for those who feel the need to fling verses at me to tell me the contrary...just hold it for a moment. i think about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and i just KNOW that He knows what I am talking about. This life, this world is just full of things that will sweep you off your feet. and the emotions and thoughts that spring forth from those things can be paralyzing. and yet we can choose to say not mine, but Yours be done. and that makes all the difference.

so i'm thinking all of this in the wake of this overwhelming sense of 'what the... are we doing..." there are certain realities that we have to face, certain plans we want to make but that just aren't possible right now and things like where we will be in 5 years and when we are going to have a kid that demand answers...which i just can't find right now. all that, in the midst of just some dry community time, brought on that suffocation that knocked me down and threatened me with despair.

but life goes on. i didn't fade away into blackness or lose my mind. i just got up, wiped my eyes and kept going. if nothing else, it reminded me of my need of His Spirit to keep me going, to help me count it all joy. and in the end, to remember, this is a race we are running...and many of things that wanted to steal my peace are things that are far off in the horizon...nothing is in the here and now.

so we keep going. we keep hoping. we choose to be surprised, to be grateful. we choose to love, to serve. and we choose to wait.

so here's to making good choices, even if they seem to be the same ones over and over again, even if it seems we are in the same place we were yesterday. to say once again...not mine, but Yours be done Jesus.

Friday, April 1, 2011

happy dance

it's finally here....after three weeks of waiting, the annual women's retreat is first time to go, but i am beyond thrilled to spend three days in Montelimar beach!!!!

with all the things that i've been seeing, i'm just so glad to be able to take a get away, be with my Papa and rest. thank you Jesus.

"Come to me, those who are weary and heavy-ladened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt 11:28-30

Friday, March 25, 2011

at the beginning of this season, i thought the world was really just going bad. that in some exaggerated way, the human race was just sliding down, down, down. but i realize that is not the case, rather i am just seeing a bit deeper into our reality, the reality we've all lived in since that pesky snake convinced our oldest grandmother.

when jeremiah claims the heart is the most deceitful thing, he's absolutely right. we are capable of such malice and evil and manipulation, all in the name of our own glory and control. i have seen things recently from people whom I trusted and respected that horrify me...and then i realize, that could be me. in the middle of my criticism and anger, i realize that its not that particular person, its all of us! any one of us is susceptible to the slippery slope of personal gain, glory, pride, control, power. because in the end, that's the core of the i do what i want? or will i submit to what He wants?

every day we make choices that go one of those two ways. many people live quite comfortably choosing their way. i've certainly enjoyed my way. but in the end, my way will always end up crashing into someone else's way...and then we have a problem. and most of the time one or both are injured, hurt and betrayed.

but there is the beauty. we can choose His way. we can choose to obey Him...we were even made to walk in His way, being made in His image and likeness. but we were left with a choice...and many of us are poor decision makers.

i've been tempted to despair, to leave, to throw a fit in front of all these nasty things. but i am reminded that my fight is not against my fellow flesh and blood, but powers and principalities...that in the end, have already lost.

so we keep going, we keep hoping, we keep choosing and asking for guideance. and more importantly, we keep loving and we keep forgiving.

i want to tell you about E. he is a student that has come through a lot of family difficulties. he is so very angry, a boiling pot just waiting to any moment, the actions or words of those around him echo the hateful things he hears at home and he reacts. we've been talking a lot about self-control, how we are reminded that He has given us a spirit of power, love and self-control...that He has given E this ability, but that he has to choose.

a couple days ago, i'm heating up my lunch when he comes flying into the doorway, sobbing. 'please let me call my mom, i'm leaving,' he screeched. 'i came to find you, i didn't hit, i didn't yell, i came to find you like you said, please let me call my mom.' of course, i wasn't about to let him call his mother, but i got him a chair and got him to take a moment. he promised to take a moment to calm himself down, and i gulped down my lunch hurriedly.

when i come back, he's calm and no longer crying. he tells me what has happened, and the amazing thing was we were able to go and talk to his classmate and he forgave him. he talked about how he knew he was mad, that he needed to calm down...that he was going to leave the school grounds, but changed his mind and came to find me.

i was just floored. His grace, coupled with our obedience, changes us...when we say yes to Him, when we choose to try to go His way, He just takes us all the way. E. is a work in progress...he will continue to have moments like this, and will continue to learn how to control himself. but there it is, reclaiming who he was made to be and not the person he is being persuaded to become. the courage of that 4th grader helps me remember that its possible.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


i've kind of let this thing die...not because i really want to, but because i'm just not sure what to do with it anymore. it's not that i don't have things to share, nor because i absolutely don't have the time to do it...i guess i just don't have a clear purpose for it anymore. doesn't mean it will always be this way, but we're kind of on a break for now.

what can i tell you? i'm now the vice principal of elementary school at NCA Nejapa. it's really a perfect fit, in so many ways. i feel humbled and grateful for this opportunity, something that doesn't necessarily come around that often. what does this mean? well, i'm here in nica at least until 2013, but probably beyond that. i know i'll return stateside for a time at some moment, but i don't have that date in mind yet.

i'm learning to focus on what matters and let the other stuff slip away....why let the negativity of others sink me? we've experienced some difficult things lately, relationships have been damaged and trust has been lost...but in the end, i know that He is in control, and He alone is good, able to restore. so i trust in that.

i feel like this time in many ways is a molding of my character...shaping and teaching and cleaning and restoring...its a slow but forward process, and i'm thankful that the work He has begun He will also finish.

lots of promises on the horizon....reminds me just how much mercy and grace He gives.

looking into a visit stateside in june/july...but those ticket prices just keep rising. we'll see. remember, any of you all is welcome here always ;)