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."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

So, I carry this disease

I carry this disease called Malaria. 

I didn't ask to have it or have the ability to pass it on to others. 

But, the fact is I do. 

You see, I'm a female mosquito with protists running through my tiny little body. 

A bite from me could be deadly.

 I start getting hungry around dusk and hunt for food until I'm all full with somebody's blood. 

 It's getting a little trickier to find a meal in my neck of the woods. 

People are starting to get these net thingies to hang over their beds. Makes it harder for me to eat.

I've heard the nets are provided by a special fund at Compassion.

I have no I idea what Compassion is, that's just what I've heard.

I do know that because of these nets fewer people are getting sick.

And, I've heard there are a lot of homes without nets, a lot of kids unprotected from me feeding on them.

I'm headed there now.

Monday, April 15, 2013

These Children Are A Most Wonderful Thing

I have this thing for people with special needs. I like them. I've always found myself drawn to them.

Not sure why.

When I was growing up, long, long ago...people with special needs were tucked away and not seen out in public very much. They were never in any of my classes. Now, I did grow up in very small towns, so my public was always very limited. I might have been exposed to more if I had been in a large city or large school system. I don't know.

Maybe, when I was younger, it was the novelty of being in their presence.

What I do know is I never felt fear or disgust. I always felt drawn by love.

All these years later, I have a special needs daughter (by way of China) and a special needs nephew and special needs cousins and special needs friends.

So, when the latest Compassion Magazine arrived I was excited to see the cover story Highly Vulnerable Highly Valued.

Watch Erick's story:

 One in 10 children worldwide has special needs, while one in 5 of the world's poorest has special needs.  

Interested in sponsoring a child with special needs? Click here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Change a life today

Some people think changing a life for the good is a very hard process. Sometimes it is and if you have the capacity to go through the very hard process then you should. Sometimes, though, it is very easy to change a life.

I've (and Compassion) made it very easy for you.

Change the life of a little girl.
Change the life of someone in poverty.
Change the life, because you can.

You might find this interesting, especially if questions are bouncing around in your head.

Research on the outcome of child sponsorship will be published in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Political Economy. Research that was conducted by Dr. Bruce Wydick, professor for the Department of Economics at the University of San Francisco.

This independent research shows that children who participated in Compassion's holistic child development through the sponsorship program stayed in school longer, were more likely to have salaried or white-collar employment and were more likely to be leaders in their communities and churches than their peers who did not participate in our program.

So, go ahead.
Take a peek.
Change a life.

Friday, March 1, 2013

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Today is the day the 2013 South Africa journey begins.

On Sunday evening we'll arrive at the Ten Thousand Homes property. I'm looking forward to hugging some necks!

Here are some blogs that have ties with Ten Thousand Homes.

Hearts For South Africa
i believe in love
A Journey of Hope

I suggest you check them out to learn more about what's happening in their neck of the woods.

What will I be doing there? I'll be working with the team at the feeding programs and teaching at the Compassion Discipleship School and whatever else comes up.

And, now, I'm trying to get excited about a really LOOOOOOONG flight or two.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What Prompts and Guides You To Serve Others?

I can't tell you exactly when Matthew 25 jumped out and grabbed me by the throat. I just know it did. It's a group of verses that, if you grew up in church, you've heard your entire life. But, for me, at some point it came alive. It stopped being just a group of verses found in the book of Matthew.

And, now that it has me by the throat, I'm not sure how anyone can casually read it, which is judgmental of me, I know.

If you want to see it in something besides the King's English:
"...I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me." The Message.

There are so many different ways to do the above. Even if you live in a remote place with only the internet to keep you company you can participate in doing some of the above. Compassion International is only a click away. Look at all of those faces needing someone to "feed" them. Compassion does a lot more beyond providing physical food.

If you are looking for something to do in the DFW area let me know. There are plenty of places and ways to help.

Another verse that is almost constantly on my mind is Micah 6:8. I love it so much I made my daughter marry a guy named Micah. Not really. She did that all on her own.

He's already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It's quite simple:  Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don't take yourself too seriously - take God seriously.

Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly. I repeat that in my head...often. Especially the walk humbly part. Especially when those judgmental thoughts start pushing in.

Check out what prompts and guides others:

Monday, January 28, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Discipline - That's my word for the year. I hadn't really been searching for a word of the year. But, in the silence of early morning, it came to me.

Since the summer I've been working on more healthy eating habits. I've gone plant strong and stuck with it. That took discipline and when I look back on it, I'm a little shocked, because discipline is something of which I've always had very little.

Then I stumbled onto Dallas Willard's book The Spirit of The Disciplines (I know, I know, it's been around forever) and it has been extremely helpful in pointing out my lack of discipline, not just in the spiritual realm, but everywhere. I've been taking my time reading it so it will sink in. I think I've renewed it from the library three times now.

So, that's it. My word for the year is Discipline.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vegan Banana Pancakes

Haven't been on here since October. Sort of hit a blog wall. Thinking about climbing over it. Maybe putting this up will help.

Last night I made up a new recipe for pancakes. I love good pancakes, but my best, favorite recipe has the dry ingredients swimming in butter and I don't do butter anymore.

This is what I came up with and my husband ate them and liked them. That's huge.

Vegan Banana Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 to 4 Tablespoons flaxseed meal
1 Tablespoon organic brown sugar (fair trade, of course)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 small banana, mashed
4 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce

In your best pancake batter bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients, stirring only enough to mix. Allow batter to rest 20 to 30 minutes. Cook on your favorite griddle or skillet.  Makes 6 to 8 pancakes, depending on the size you choose.

For the syrup, I blended blueberries, put a dab on each pancake and ate them like tacos.