Thursday, June 30, 2011


I love words, in all of their many forms. I love reading. I love writing. I love games with words. I love speaking words. I love teaching words. I love making puns with words.

But, sometimes words are difficult. Sometimes there are no words to communicate things. Sometimes it is hard to choose the right words. Sometimes words are used carelessly. Sometimes words contradict the things we say with our bodies.

As I continue to study another language, I realize more and more the complexity of words. But, more than that, I learn that sharing words together can add so much to a relationship. I have had really awesome, really intentional time with amazing men and women in the past couple weeks, men and women with whom I struggle to use the right words. I struggle to explain myself. I struggle to string together coherent sentences. I struggle to understand the words they speak back to me. I struggle as I try to speak their heart language to them because they deserve to be heard and understood and spoken to in the language of the nation they call home.

But, I am getting there. I am learning. I am learning new words every day. And, I am learning that sharing words together is important and making the time to share those words is even more important. I am thankful for intentional sitting on the side of the street for 30 minutes talking about life because that is what makes my friend feel loved and shows her that Jesus loves her. I am thankful for ice cream and choosing flavors to share together with a beautiful friend. I am thankful for sitting on the floor eating rice together, sharing about how we can pray for each other's families.

I am thankful for God's gifts in my life, and I am thankful that many of those gifts have come in the form of kind-hearted, beautiful people.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

pots, jars, & failures

I am not sure how to start this post, not really sure how it is going to come out, but I am going to try. Here we go...
"When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn't he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?" Romans 9:21
I have been spending a lot of time recently thinking about how God has made me, what He desires for me, what that looks like in action, and living in a state of needing constant reminders that He made me the way He did for specific reasons.
Sometimes I just feel so different...
I feel as though the way God has wired me, the way I think, the way I choose to live, the way I approach people and situations, the way I just different. And most days that is ok. But, sometimes I realize that others don't see what I see, that they don't feel what I feel, that they can't fathom how I live, or that my mind and heart operate the way they do.
In recent weeks I have found myself asking God, "why?" Not an angry questioning but a sincere wondering.
"Should the created thing say of the one who made it, 'He didn't make me'? Does a jar ever say, 'The potter who made me is stupid'?" Isaiah 29:16b
I don't find myself questioning God. I know He made me. I know He didn't make a mistake. I know He is not stupid. But, sometimes in the midst of pain, of failure, of misunderstanding, the questions arise again.
Why am I this way?
How is this all going to work together for good?
Am I the only one like this?
What do I do with what I have been given?
How do I channel my entire self to be a vessel to further God's Kingdom?
Will other people always look at me with raised eyebrows and gaping mouths?
Or, maybe this is all just part of the journey, the journey of brokenness. We are fragile.
"We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves." 2 Corinthians 4:7
I am powerless and fragile. In a single moment, this jar is cracked. In a split second, this pot is shattered to pieces. But, I suppose that when that shattering occurs, that is the point that the Light spills forth. And, everything that I think, that I feel, that I see, that I learn, that I know reminds me that the Light is meant to overcome the darkness...

(If you made it through this post and it made any sense to you at all, you deserve a gold star!)

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Jesus tells us that if we want to enter His Kingdom, that we need to be like little children. So, sometimes I like to bust out my inner child, and thankfully, I live in a country full of people that like to do the same. Cambodians LOVE games that most of us would play with children. But, who decided kids get to have all the fun?!?!

Check out this link to see my friends and I playing a game at a birthday party for 2 of my teammates.

(And, yes, I did win.)

Friday, June 10, 2011


Some things in life are just humorous. T-shirts in Asia fit into this category. I found this gem of a t-shirt a few months ago, and while I normally laugh and keep on walking, I found this one too strange to pass.
No, I don't really think love is like a box of puke, but I think it is funny that apparently someone with limited English ability decided that "love" and "puke" belonged together on the same t-shirt.
The chronic misspellings and unclear English on shirts (and virtually everything else) here add some much-appreciated humor to my life. So, as I gad about the city, I am overwhelmed with shirts boasting furry bears, words like "Hapy day, Mr. pig," and "Where are you mr. right man?"
Oh, Asia, I love you...

Thursday, June 2, 2011


"But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, 'Why does your teacher eat with such scum?' When Jesus heard this, He said, 'Healthy people don't need a doctor--sick people do.' Then He added, 'Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: "I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices." For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.'" Matthew 9:11-13

I have been a terrible blogger lately. I am sorry. I keep meaning to blog, but then life happens, and I just don't get to it. But, I have been thinking a lot lately...and living...and experiencing...and changing...and loving. So, here goes a glimpse into my mind and heart lately.

Truthfully, my heart's desire is to love...fiercely and deeply. I just want to be like Jesus. I am painfully aware of my failures and selfishness. I can identify with the Apostle Paul when he says, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--and I am the worst of them all" (1 Timothy 1:15). But, every day His mercies are new, and I get another chance "to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your [my] God" (Micah 6:8). In trying to do this, I have learned some things about myself, about how I feel, about how I love, about the mercy Christ has put in me that comes out of me.

I love the unlovely.

There is a little boy that I know. He is a bit of a punk. He doesn't listen. He likes to pick fights. He is missing one of his front teeth. He makes life difficult. Activities go much smoother when he is absent. But, I love him, and I am determined to win him over...and I think I am succeeding. The other day I was sitting on the dirty ground with some of my teammates and a bunch of kids preparing to join in singing some songs and witnessing a drama about how we can't wash away our sins but Jesus can...and a little boy came and wiggled his way in to sit beside me. He scooted right up to me and leaned against my arm...and he sat through the whole story without trying to pinch another child or trying to sneak a ball out of our supply box or trying to test our team's patience any number of other ways. And, on that day, I won the battle. He was loved...and he knew it.

The war is still being waged, but when it is all said and done, mercy and love will win. And, I am determined that no matter how long it takes, no matter how much patience I have to muster, no matter how many times I am pinched, he, and so many others like him, will know he is loved. These are the ones that need love, and no matter the cost to me, I am determined that they will know and experience love...