I could complain

Today as I wandered around my vegetable garden I noticed that my zucchini stems were starting to rot, the green beans were extremely scarce and the tomatoes weren’t growing. I started complaining in my heart about how I really wanted the vegetables to fill my freezer and save us money this winter. Then I was reminded of all the zucchini, green beans and green peppers I had just this morning vacuum sealed and tucked away for just such an occasion, and this occurred to me.

I could complain about my garden not producing like I’d like,
Or I could be grateful that it’s produced at all.
I could complain about the heat index in July,
Or I could be grateful for my air conditioned escape.
I could complain about my 5 year old’s second ear infection this summer,
Or I could be grateful we live in 2011 where there are medicines and she can keep her hearing.
I could complain about my husband’s new shift,
Or I could be grateful he has a job.
I could complain that my grass is all brown,
Or I could be grateful I have a yard.
I could complain that we have no money in the bank,
Or I could be grateful for ways God has provided.
I could complain that my house is a mess after I cleaned it yesterday,
Or I could be grateful that God has given me two little mess makers.
I could complain that my body does not want to let go of fat cells,
Or I could be grateful that I have food in my fridge and dinner on the table.
I could complain that I’m tired all the time,
Or I could be grateful God has given me a life to experience and the capability to experience.
I could complain about the amount of laundry there is to do,
Or I could be grateful that God has blessed us with plenty.
I’ve learned, it’s all a matter of perspective.
What about you, are you complaining or grateful today?
1 Thessalonians 5:18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

My 5 year old and the gospel

This morning, as I was finishing my hair, Lilla came in the bathroom as she had to “go”. She was silent for a moment and then this conversation took place:
Lilla: Mom, God hates sin.
Me: He does. How do we know that?
Lilla: The Bible says it. He hates sin every little bit.
Me: That’s true.
Lilla: And he loves us so much. He loves us so much he died on the cross. He died a lot on the cross for us.
Me: He did die on the cross, but we have hope. Do you know why we have hope?
Lilla: Because He rose again. He told everybody that He would and He did. The bad guys didn’t want Him to and didn’t believe Him when He said He would, but He did.
Me: Now that’s the truth!

Think your 5 year old can’t “get it”? Yes they can!
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Matthew 19:14

A Little About Haiti

Heading off to missions, you never fully know what to expect. You have to be willing to go with an open heart and mind, just being willing to let God work through you and in you. If that is your attitude, you can’t help but be changed as your world view starts to open up.
I saw that again last month as I travelled to a completely new world to me, Haiti.
The people wore much the same clothes, as they had mostly been sent from America as donations over the years. Their shoes, when they wore them, were often what we would wear as well, only very often too small for their feet and worn down. Often times people go barefoot though, playing soccer, walking down the road, making their way through the market. Many cannot afford a pair of shoes so they just go without. Just a way of life.

The food is all cooked over charcoal. Most is fried and there is very little meat in any of the dishes. If there is meat it is usually goat. The main substances are corn maize (mush), rice and beans. People eat twice a day, breakfast and an early dinner. It usually is a pile of rice or corn maize with a few beans on the top. Many only eat once a day and they are grateful for even that. They often work long hours trying to sell anything they can find on the street just to be able to buy that plate of food.
Most do not have electricity or running water, which is why the cholera outbreak spread so fast and furious. People go to rivers to wash their clothes, wash their bodies, use the bathroom and get water for cooking, drinking and cleaning. Yes, all the same water. Thankfully, there are some community wells being put in place so people are able to get clean water.

In Port au Prince, everywhere you look there are tent cities. It literally looks like people are camping, and camping right on top of the next tent, as far as you can see. It’s not like our camping where you have a lot, a hook up, a place to park your vehicle, trees all around. Nothing like that at all. Just huge parking lots covered in tents, end to end.

In the towns away from Port au Prince many live on top of each other in brick one room homes. They are probably about 8 x 8 size rooms where there is enough room for a bed and a dresser. The bathroom and the kitchen are outside. Both loosely used terms as the bathroom is a hole in the ground and the kitchen is a charcoal “grill” of sorts. There is no fridge, no sink, no 6 burner stove. Just a grill in the outdoors where women literally stand for hours every day cooking whatever they can find to cook.

The people gather everywhere you look. Outside on itty bitty porches, on streets where they are trying to sell things like used clothes, used cookware and beat up cans of food. There are also markets where you can go to buy and sell things, live animals are slaughtered in front of perspective buyers and voodoo doctors roam around trying to drum up business.
To be continued…

Childhood Dream

Growing up, I attended a CMA church in a Western Suburb of Chicago. There was a constant flow of missionaries from all over the world coming in and out the door. They would talk about places in South America or Asia or Europe and I remember just looking at them in wonder thinking, I’m going to do that someday.

Oddly I had this strange vision of being in some type of ski lift, riding around to the places I would go. I have no idea why I envisioned this. There was no snow involved, I was just riding around on it. I have no idea either why I remembered this and it has nothing to do with the story, but there you have it. Missions, me, a ski lift. Um, ok.

Ever since that time missions has had a special place in my heart and anytime I hear about a trip I am the first one to raise my hand (often in my heart) to say, “Send me Lord!”

I have been blessed in so many ways to go to France, Hungary twice and last month, Haiti, to share the gospel and God’s love. I believe all those years ago, God was building a desire in my heart and mind to go and reach the nations. He knew what He was doing in the mind of that little girl.

Thank you God, for making my childhood dream come true!
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a HOPE and a FUTURE!”

This Just In…

I was on the radio recently talking about Haiti, you can take a listen here:


It starts at about the 30 minute mark. I had a horrible cough and sore throat that day, but forgive that and just enjoy hearing about what God is doing in Haiti!