Wednesday, July 10, 2013

there's a first time for everything

y'all, i tried to cook tofu.

well, i did cook it.

it's definitely edible (never thought i'd say that).

but i think i need to keep tweaking it.  i'd like it crispier.  preferably, without frying.

any ideas?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


i helped load up a few boxes for some old friends the other day.  she said, "adam and i said we'd love to be missionaries and get rid of everything."

it really got me thinking.

i was going to be that person.  i was ready to do that.

but not doing that made me want to cling to things.

so last night i purged.  i went through my drawers and my closet and got rid of clothes i don't wear.

and packed some bags for Goodwill.

but the lesson is bigger than the bags...the lesson and the challenge is for me to hold things with loose fingers.

Friday, July 5, 2013


i read the following this morning.  hit home.

simon and his family lived in charleston for around 18 months and i had the privilege of knowing them.  his wife lizzie is especially dear to me.

Yesterday was a very exciting day in my calendar, one that had provided focus for the last nine months. Coeur d’Alene Idaho Ironman 2013. It was the culmination of many hours of training, discipline, focus and anticipation. It was the day to determine whether I could stretch myself further physically than I ever have done before. Would I have what it takes, I always wondered - and so I wanted to experience the sheer mental and physical exhaustion that comes from doing an Ironman, which is 2.4miles of swimming, 112miles of cycling, and then 26miles of running.

But it was not to be. 

I took the decision to pull out about two weeks ago. My health still isn’t great, and I was in no shape to give it a go. I desperately wanted to, but that would risk this 3-month period of fatigue lasting even longer. I thought I’d been fully healed when I managed to do the tour du Burundi, but the fatigue came back a few days later. Aaargh!

I’d lost much objectivity in terms of making the right decision, so it the end it came out of listening, begrudgingly, to my wife and other key friends. One of my closest buddies wrote the following, which I thought was worth my (and your) mulling over: 

Fundamentally, I worry that we all have a tendency to want to develop hero status and somehow the church encourages this (in my case by getting over excited about politics, but there is a fallen desire all over the place for heroes).  Yet, the heroes of my Bible are often either called by God to some massive task for the Kingdom (unlikely characters with obvious flaws like Moses, who weren’t driven by crowds cheering) or are very quiet about it, not particularly respected or even noticed by the world and without worldly status.  

Heroes are also vulnerable to temptation (David) and such temptation can destroy their ministry and families (there are countless devastating contemporary examples of this). 

Contemporary heroes, it appears to me, are more vulnerable to hero status (and all the pitfalls and temptations) by social media and associated personal marketing available (not something which worried Mother Theresa so much).

Apologies that I don’t have the whole context here, or if (as is bound to be the case) I am self-projecting, but I wholly applaud you in your decision and with the fitness you have gleaned from your training, I’d use it to run as far from any contemporary hero status or inclination to heroic acts as possible!

This whole thing challenges me greatly. I find myself asking myself questions like: what’s the Biblical ironman? What happens to him? Perhaps he plants churches in the least glamorous places possible? Evangelises on trains, buses, beaches, takes a kicking and comes back for more? Risks all his social status by praying for healing on the streets where he is known and respected as a businessman/good fun/regular guy? Maybe he challenges established church heresy and practices at the risk of his self being ostracised and his family being ridiculed and alienated? Gets beaten, shipwrecked, crucified? 

I don’t know – I’m not one myself, and you’re much more one that I am Simon. So, maybe some fruit from this would be for us to challenge one another to ‘Biblical ironmanship’ and for me to try and shape up a bit with some harder-line spiritual training. 

It’s real food for thought for me. 

I still desperately want to do a physical ironman, but my friend’s challenge regarding Biblical ironmanship above is a much more important one to address. I confess right now I’m not shaping up too well. 

How about you?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

the journey

like me, i'm sure you've heard it said that "it's about the journey, not the destination."

and perhaps like me, sometimes that feels like a cop out.  but, this morning, it doesn't.

i've been on a journey for a long time...i think it started three years ago and picked up the pace in a drastic way a year and a half ago.  i was pursuing international missions...yes, me becoming a missionary.  it still makes me chuckle a smidge, for i was once the gal who rolled her eyes at missionary talk and wanted everyone to understand that you could be just as dynamic for the lord in the good 'ole US of A.  i still believe that is true, but god gave me a heart for missions three summers ago and continued cultivating my heart until i fell in love with a country and counted the cost of moving there.

however, as of a few days ago, my answer is no.  or maybe not yet.

and that isn't easy.  but, i wanted an answer and i got one.  and so while i am not currently pursuing moving to nicaragua, i'll be starting a new pursuit of life in charleston.

i believe there are ways for the things i love in nicaragua to become realities for me here in charleston.  and there are a lot of things that may (or may not) need to change.  much to entrust the lord with.

but what i know for certain is that this time has not been wasted.  i have have learned so much.  i have grieved and wept over missing out on life here.  i have watched the lord work in my parents' hearts so that they were not just ok - but supportive - of me moving there.  huge!  i have surrendered my  heart and my life to the lord in every way i can think of.  and it has been painful.

and there will be grieving of not going.  staying (for now) causes me to grieve a life that could have been in nicaragua.

and the pain hasn't stopped because of this decision.  i went to nicaragua this past week to get an answer from the lord and i received one.  thankful!  but i am not out of this season.  i have never felt as spiritually attacked as i have the past few months and it heightened the past few weeks.  i can literally feel the spiritual warfare around me and within me.

the journey of putting all my cards on the table and saying "yes" resulted in a "no" for me.  oh, the ways of the lord are mysterious, aren't they?

as challenging as it has been, i wouldn't trade each and every one of those cards that was played or laid out on the table.  every question and every tear will be used for something.  something greater that i cannot comprehend at this moment in time.

so, yes, today i say the journey is greater than the destination.  for in charleston or in nicaragua, i am a different person than i was all those months ago.  i know the lord much deeper and more intimately.  i see things now that i didn't see way back when.  i have been shaped and molded and bruised and cared for on this path in ways i couldn't have planned for on my own.  and, today, i will take those things and treasure them in my heart.