Showing posts from February, 2017

Tales from Taiwan #20

Dear sisters, There's this little boy named Cody* (name changed) that I see every week.  And every week  I never know what to expect from this mischievous fireball.   Cody specializes in grand entrances to class and I never know what it'll be...somersaults, an elephant, sirens or a sprint to tackle the teacher (me!).  Then one minute he's happily coloring and the next he's trying to give me a kiss because he put my Set game cards down the toilet.   If I ever wonder if this is really making a difference or doing any good at all, God uses what happened next to show me that the answer is a definite YES: Recently after Cody had misbehaved, I wanted to talk to him but he's a fast fella and I couldn't catch him (hey, I run half-marathons, not sprints!).  I prayed about it and then continued on with helping the other kids.   After our class was over and I was walking through the building, I spotted Cody.  I walked up, knelt down and asked him if I could talk wit

Grace and Curiosity in a World of Fear

Have you felt an increased sense of bitterness, fear and chaos in the world since the presidential election really heated up a year ago? I see it in the news stories, in my social media feed, on bumper stickers and in the midst of regular conversations. Confusion and fear are rampant, especially with the controversy over several of our president's executive orders. Regardless of which side of the political aisle you may fall - or whether you identify with a party at all! - this has dominated the national conversation. How should we respond? With grace + curiosity.  It feels like the president has a lot of power. But in reality? We are the ones shaping our families, communities, and world.  We  can create a culture of kindness, sensitivity and hospitality in our spheres of influence, whether that's the high school cafeteria, your office, or among the neighbor kids. There is a lot of fear in our world today. And that fear builds walls. It's so easy to dehuma

Trusting God with our Hearts

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovely ladies! - Since there is no avoiding the dangling red and pink heart decorations today, I thought I should just go ahead and write about them. - Write about our hearts, that is. It doesn’t matter whether you are in a relationship or not – trusting God with your heart will always be of utmost importance. - For the record, never doubt God’s sense of humor. I’m really writing to myself, because this last week has been very difficult for me to trust God. My emotions skyrocketed for no particular reason, and I paid way too much attention to them, per usual. - What makes it difficult for you to trust God with your heart – with your dreams and hopes and future, and even the confused and hurting pieces? - Is it your dreams themselves – ones you don’t want to give up; ones you’re afraid to let go? Is it your rollercoaster emotions? Distrust of trust? Not knowing if God is really trustworthy? Fear of being hurt, again? - It has been, and still is, al

Sister to Sister: No Pain, No Gain

Dear Sister, "No pain, no gain" is a saying that I heard a lot last year.  Whether it was on a t-shirt, a friend jokingly reminded me or I heard it in a conversation, it sure showed up around me quite often.   Perhaps one area that I apply it to the most is as I'm working on school and deadlines are fast approaching and I'm far behind.  I whisper "No pain, no gain" to myself and forge ahead, determined to finish all the projects before the midnight hour. But what about chronic illness?  Does that fall under that "No pain, no gain" category?  When I first considered that, I immediately wanted to shake my head and refuse to consider it further.  Somehow it keeps coming up, though.  So I turned to Scriptures to see what I could find on this topic.  Quite a bit, it turns out: James 1:1-12   1 Peter 1:3-9 2 Cor 1 1 Thess 2 2 Thess 1 2 Tim 1     Those are only a few.  Turns out, God's Word talks about trials, pain