Wednesday, January 1, 2014


I've been thinking about my word for 2014 for a couple of weeks now.

Three words kept bouncing around:


There wasn't a particular order and sometimes I would completely forget one of them and have to rack my brain for the missing word.

Extend was always there.

When I think of the word I picture my hands stretching out from my body and my fingers spreading wide - expanding, ready to embrace. 

I want to extend, reach out to friends I haven't seen for some time, even though we live in the same city.

I want to extend, explore areas of creativity that I've shut down in the past.

I want to extend, stretch my comfort zone.

This year I want to always be extending my hands, reaching out for and with grace and mercy.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sometimes things get lost in translation

Yesterday we received a letter from one of our Compassion kids.

These letters always make me smile.

This one also made me confused.

Gabriela is from The Dominican Republic and writes in Spanish, so after looking over her drawing and the cute little form sheet she filled out, I went to the English translation that's always provided.

"I thank you for the photo in front of the cannon."

Huh? Cannon? I'm pretty sure I didn't send a photo with a cannon in it. I'm not known for taking photographs of instruments of war.

At 1:30 a.m I woke up and realized it was suppose to say "canyon." I had sent a picture of my kids at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

And sure enough, I went to read the original Spanish and there it was. She had written "gran caƱon."

Now that that is cleared up, Gabriela, I'm so glad you liked it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Help Children Affected by Typhoon in Philippines

It's hard to read about the horrors the typhoon has churned up in the Philippines.

It's very frustrating to know there are evil people that will try to take advantage of the crisis to make money and hurt already hurting people.

Here is a safe donation choice.

Compassion had people in the Philippines long before the massive storm hit. They've been helping struggling families and children for a long time and will continue.

Check here for how you can give to help people in the Philippines.

Your gift makes possible interventions such as:
  • emergency food and water, temporary shelters, personal items, cooking utensils, trauma counseling and spiritual support
  • replacing clothing, school supplies and household items
  • restoring supplies a family needs for earning income
  • providing continued counseling and support as needed 
Thank you so much for giving and praying.

Monday, October 28, 2013

For Freedom - A Covers EP

For Freedom by Jenny and Tyler drops on November 12, 2013 or 11/12/13 if that's easier to remember. It is a beautiful little album full of a variety of covers. And, something especially dear to my heart, all the proceeds will go to organizations fighting human trafficking.

One of the things I really love about this album is that they stayed faithful to the original works. Their talent shines through, but they didn't do away with the strong frame that had already been created. I don't believe any of the original artists would be offended by these covers. It comes across, to me, as a lovely gift, honoring the creativity of the originals.

I've been a little surprised at my favorite song. For a couple of days I simply could not make up my mind, but I've found myself returning to We Will Become Silhouettes. I haven't really put my finger on why. It just grabs me. I thought it would be I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For because I'm a huge U2 fan and Sara Groves does an excellent job with Jenny and Tyler and a gigantic virtual choir. And, JJ Heller nails Dreams. All the songs are exquisite.

Here's the list:
Tonight, Tonight (feat. Levi Weaver)
The Scientist
Dreams (feat. JJ Heller)
We Will Become Silhouettes (Remastered)
The Sound of Silence (Remastered)
What A Wonderful World
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (feat. Sara Groves)

I first met Jenny and Tyler a little over a year ago. I wasn't familiar with their music, hadn't seen them perform, but we had a short conversation and I was very impressed with their kindness and sincerity. Immediately, I checked out their music and then saw them in concert a month or so later. I found them to be delightful in recordings, on stage, and in person. And, their passion for the hurting touches me greatly.

So, when For Freedom comes out on 11/12/13, I encourage you to purchase it. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Her letters make me smile

Her letters always make us smile.

This one made me realize I've never sent her a picture of my husband and me together, just the two of us, with an explanation that we are husband and wife. 


Look through the different countries and ages.

Look at the children that have been waiting a long time to be sponsored.

Look through the blog posts of the Nicaragua team. Have tissue handy.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Contest and Compassion

This is an exciting day for Compassion. A group of bloggers are taking Nicaragua by storm. Well, I hope there are no storms, but you know what I mean.

Follow their adventures.

And, an extra bonus for this Compassion blog trip:


You can win books! I LOVE books.

Nine books make up the prize package:
  1. Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family by Christy Jordan
  2. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier by Ree Drummond
  3. Saving Savvy: Smart and Easy Ways to Cut Your Spending in Half and Raise Your Standard of Living…and Giving by Kelly Hancock
  4. A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Faith, Family, and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon by Sophie Hudson
  5. Mended by Angie Smith
  6. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
  7. Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Show Up the Way You Thought He Would? by Pete Wilson
  8. Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider
  9. Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn by Melanie Shankle

The contest ends on Thursday, June 20th at 4 p.m. MT. The winners will be announced during a Twitter chat at 7 pm ET (that would be 6 pm CT). Follow #CompassionBloggers for the Twitter chat.

So, follow along. There are going to be some great stories come out of this trip. And some beautiful photography. I'm looking forward to seeing what Keely Marie Scott comes up with.

Monday, May 13, 2013

You can't take it with you

Last night I picked up a copy of FD Luxe, a free fashion magazine. They often have interesting articles and sometimes a friend has photography featured, so I always grab a copy when I run across one. The story catching my eye this time was about the renowned opera singer, Lily Pons.

It's made up of bits and pieces from news stories written across the years about Pons. She apparently knew everyone in the entertainment world and beyond. Her Dallas home was filled with great works of art and cultured friends.

This is the bit that jumped out at me:

SEPTEMBER 1985“In her day, Pons had been a major international celebrity. She ate barbecue with Dwight Eisenhower in the White House. She was presented the French Legion of Honor by Charles de Gaulle. When she died, mementos of her glamorous life were disposed of in a giant estate sale that was open to the public. A picture of her partying with actor Humphrey Bogart went for 50 cents. Chatty letters from Princess Grace and Prince Rainier went for $5, as did a personal note from Princess Elizabeth thanking Pons for a wedding present.” — The Dallas Morning News

I don't know if she died surround by loved ones and friends. But, it does look as if no one claimed her stuff. Was her stuff important to her? She held onto it until the end. Maybe she had it tucked away and never thought about it. She did keep it though. It was, in some sort of fashion, still in her possession.

And, she didn't take it with her.

No matter how much you have of anything (insert what you wish here), when you die, it doesn't go with you.

And, collecting and keeping doesn't hold you here.

You still go.

I've been thinking a lot lately about not wanting to burden my children with stuff they have to get rid of when I die. I want to pare down what I have to be only things I absolutely love and/or use. If I can combine them be things I love and use, then great!

Lily Pons might have done all that before she died and the stuff in the little blurb might have been all that was left. If so, bully for her.

Or, whatever the French equivalent is for "bully for her."