Saturday, September 29, 2007

Another way

Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. - Col 3:2

That's the verse that I wrote about yesterday when talking about sweets and how fasting from them is one way for me to do that. Today I discovered one more way.

I was thinking about the children in Cambodia who are sold into the sex trade to be raped repeatedly everyday of their lives. I wanted to pray for them again. But, it's has been a couple weeks since I first read my friend's encounter with the sex trade. In such a short time, my heart wasn't feeling broken anymore. I still know it is horrible and evil definitely needing prayer, but the actual feelings of empathy were fading.

However, I had a couple of newsletters in my inbox from AIM in Cambodia who does the ministry of loving on these girls after they are rescued. I also had a newsletter from Carole Vezey who is in Uganda spreading the light of Christ to those traumatized by torture, war, and brutalities we could not imagine. I sat down and read these newsletters.

My heart was broken all over again. I went into my bedroom and prayed with a renewed compassion and a deeper understanding of God's breaking heart. So, my discovery is that I need to be constantly reading newsletters from people who are on the front lines seeing the things that my earthly surroundings keep me from knowing. It keeps my heart in step with God's and sets my mind on things above. How can I think my worldly schedule is so important when my mind is brought to the heavenlies, feeling a bit of what God feels and joining him in battle?

If you want to be reading reminders of God's heart, I recommend these websites. Get on their newletter list so that you can hear more detailed stories.

Favor of God
Safari Yangu
International Justice Mission

Friday, September 28, 2007

Helpful tidbit

During my sugar fast, the one thing that has been helping my self control is water with LOTS of lemon in it. When we went to Justin and Burgundy's house, Burgundy made it for us.

Just recently I decided to try it. I don't know if this is how Burgundy does it, but I just get a big glass of water, take about a third of a lemon, squeeze it in, and throw the whole thing afterwards. I love it! It still tastes like water but with a definite taste. But, the taste is refreshing and encouraging to my sweets-loving tummy. I have found that if I'm constantly drinking my lemon water throughout the day, I don't really have the normal unhealthy cravings. Plus, I get all that valuable water that my body needs.

Good stuff. Thanks Burgundy! You should go to her if you ever want a fun fact about health or food.

A new challenge

Last Tuesday I had another midwife appointment. She asked me about cravings. Have I had any? Well, just for sweets, but that's not any different than my prepregnancy days. She follows that with, "Are you giving in to those cravings?" Yeah, I am, but not as much as before. She suggests that I start to fulfill those cravings with other sweet things like fruit and stuff. I guess sugar makes tissue less elastic. So, if you refrain from sugar, you have a greater chance of not tearing during delivery.

Hmmmm... That's a toughy. Sweets versus owy tearing. I decided to try a fast from sweets until the baby is born. It'll be good for me because even though I have cut down on sweets I probably still eat more than the average Joe. I started my fast after we had the Richey's over for one last 'smores indulgence.

Wednesday was my first full day without sweets. I honestly thought about it all day. In the evening I became really frustrated. My true ugly feelings are, "What fun is life without sweets?" Man, I think I'm actually addicted to this stuff. Does a normal person really get mad when they can't have a cookie? Yesterday I did a lot better. Slowly but surely I will lose my taste for sweets...hopefully.

This morning I was reading Colossians and was struck with how heavenly focused Paul is and expects his readers to be. In chapter three he encourages us to set our mind on things above, not on earthly things. We died and our life is now hidden in Christ. Christ is our life. I felt very earthly reading these verses, and yet I was inspired to practice setting my mind on things above. Then I thought about my battle with sweets. I think this is going to be a perfect exercise in getting my mind off of earthly things. If I think that life is no fun without sweets, I obviously have some work to do in finding my life completely in God.

Don't think I'm all holy and sweets are the only earthly thing I need to work on. It's just the one in the foreground for me right now consuming my every thought! It's a good opportunity for me to let God transform me.

Maybe we need to revisit this picture to convince you of my addiction...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A long time comin'

Last year Rob and I wanted to visit some fellow Christians in the Middle East and Central Asia. Our dream was to go on behalf of Sandals Church. When I say Sandals Church, I don't mean an organization. I mean a community of Christ followers. We wanted our church to love on our friends overseas through us. We would be the hands and feet, but they'd be the heart.

And, it happened. People came together, prayed, gave generously, and we were on our way!

Our other goal was to bring a taste of these people and their ministries back home to our church. So, we took a million pictures and had the goal of creating a coffee table book to give back to our church.

It has been 9 months, and it's actually almost completed. Pray for us. Just pray that God would work through us as we finish creating this book. We want this book to impact you and speak, really speak. We need the Creator working through us to do that.

(By the way, if you gave to help us love on these people, you're already getting a coffee table book as our gift to you. We are so excited to give you a piece of their lives and ministry. But, if there is anyone out there who didn't get the chance to give but still would like a book, let us know really soon. We're going to print them in the next week and a half, and if you want one we'll add you to our number).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's still great

We don't have a ton of pictures from the last couple of days because we've been spending a lot of time snorkeling. Can't get pictures of that...just have to plain enjoy it. Sometimes that's better, I think.

Rob hasn't had to go to a job for a week now, hence the extra facial hair. I like it. Just when you think he can't get any more handsome, he goes ahead and gets more handsome! Tricky guy.

Oh, and that ice cream sandwich cost 4.95. Please enjoy this picture as much as you can so that the cookie can be more worth the money. It's not Diddy Reese, but it was good.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

We're in Maui!

We're taking our babymoon, and it has been awesome. That's about all I have to say!

Monday, September 10, 2007


One of my best friends, Kierra, just spent the summer in Kenya working for Empowering Lives International. On her way home, she had the opportunity to visit a couple other ministries in Thailand, Cambodia, and New Zealand.

After her trip to Cambodia, she wrote this blog. Please go read it. It will break your heart. But, when tears flow from a broken heart, we can use those tears to cry out to God. We can use those tears to decide what our part should be in the solution.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Today we went out for lunch with my sisters. The health nuts that they are, they chose apples instead of chips for their side options. Looking at the apples made me think of that game that you play when you're young. You twist the stem of the apple while saying the ABC's. Whatever letter it lands on tells you the first letter of the name of the person who has a crush on you.

I thought I should try it to make sure that Rob has a crush on me. Bad news. It landed on "G." Ok, whoever is out there with a name starting with "G" better back off. I don't know who you are, but I'm happily married with a baby on the way. I don't have a crush on you back.

Don't worry, I took care of things. I put the stem back in the apple and twirled it til it came to "R." Rob made a profound observation. How does anyone at the end of the alphabet ever get hooked up with anyone? It's true, the stem never lasts that long. Wow, God moves in mysterious ways in getting those at the end married.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Lately there have been things around me that haven't seemed fair. The "lover of justice" in me makes me want to step in, force my opinion, and make things right. Sometimes I can do that, and I feel better. But, this time, what I could do would really only make things worse or more complicated.

I've begun to realize that this feeling of helplessness is a good one. What it does is bring me to my knees to intervene in the heavenlies. Ephesians 2 says that God has seated me with Christ in the heavenly realms. I can influence much more when I bring things to my Lord, addressing them from the heavenlies on down. Ephesians 6 says that when we struggle, it's never against flesh and blood. Even when my struggle seems to be against people, it never is. I need to always address things from the very top.

However, as I battle in prayer, the thing that keeps me calm is a verse in 1 Peter 2. Jesus submitted, even to horrible people as they were in the process of killing him. Instead of retaliating, "he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." So, as things are unfair around me, I need to entrust myself to the only one who is fair and let him take care of it.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I just finished reading Ephesians. Something that stood out to me a couple times throughout the book is the fact that we need each other in order to know God fully. I don't think of that very often. Actually, I hardly ever think of it as I try to grow in the Lord. But, the truth is that I'll never know the fullness of God without other believers.

In 3:17-21 Paul prays that we would be able to grasp how immense God's love is for us. But, when he prays asks that we would have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. --Together with all the saints.

In chapter 4 he talks about how God has give us each different jobs: some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists... And, we all have these jobs in order to prepare God's people and build up the church until we are all united in the faith and knowledge of Jesus...until we all become mature and discover the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. We can't get here without each other.

As each part of the body does its job, we will know God more and more. If I do my part by myself, I won't know God any more than before. But, if I do my part along with other believers, I will be helping them experience the fullness of Christ as they are also helping me grow.