Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Just Landed!

We are here in Beijing China. We only arrived an hour ago and quickly checked into our hotel. We have been in the air since 6am California time and landed at 10am China time. (which is 9pm in California) Long day. Maybe the longest day ever...cuz it is still going!

I have 45 minutes to shower and change and then our adventure continues as we go to the Healing Unit. This is the location of the children awaiting a chance at salvation, a surgery that may never come.

I must hurry to meet the group down in the lobby, but I wanted you to have an update. I made it to the other side of the planet! And I so appreciate your prayers.

Love to all!


Saturday, April 6, 2013


 On any given day I can trip over a flat surface. I'm talented like that.

Yesterday, I recounted my hiking expedition and the many times I stumbled. The ground just wasn't where I expected it to be. Or, something unexpected was in my way.

So many troubles arise from our unmet expectations.

We quit relationships because we feel others should have done more to help us. We quit on our dreams because we feel the doors should have opened to us long ago. We quit hoping because we have been disappointed. We quit living because we are afraid of the risk. We quit being grateful because someone else seems to have more. We quit moving forward because the path isn't easy. Stumbling through life because we expect a sidewalk and what we have is a mountain pass.

Just because you belong to a church, doesn't mean you won't have to face some things alone. Just because the perfect opportunity hasn't presented itself, doesn't mean you have been forgotten. Perhaps our "problems" aren't really with the people and situations that surround us. Maybe, just maybe, God didn't put them in our lives to prop us up.

Could it be that we have expected more of what is outside of us, than that which is within?

Why do we expect what we expect?

It is a worthy examination, given the fact that misguided expectations are systematic stumbling blocks.

Jesus said, that loving those that love you in return is not noteworthy. Even unbelievers can handle that exchange. It is loving those that cannot do anything in return that really counts.

Therefore, loving without expectation is the reflecting mirror in which we should check ourselves.

On our hike yesterday, I took a picture of this flower growing from the rock mountainside. The simple image of life bursting from such an unexpected place, spoke to me. There is no soil, no shade to harbor this little flower. And yet it blooms.

How many unmet expectations have ultimately been excuses for us not to thrive?

"I need this support structure...then I can do it."
"I need these resources...then I will prosper."
"I need guarantees...then I will try it."

What we really need are lower external expectations and less internal excuses.  If we wait till we have everything we think we need to flourish, we will hold back our harvest for eternity.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Taking a Hike

Each day after breakfast, we take a hike up the base of the Mt. here in Flagstaff. The mountain is surrounded by beautiful foothills and the house is nestled right up in the folds of the granite rocks. So all we have to do is lace up our tennis shoes and get moving.

These hikes are not an easy stroll but neither are they full on mountain climbing. The hike gets you breathing deep and steady and requires that your full attention be on each step you take. (At least that is the case for me.) I am rather notorious among my close friends and family for being a klutz. So, several (ok more than several), times this morning, I stumbled over rocks or roots. It became a regular theme for our laughter and conversation. Even though my family blames the clumsiness, I know the real reason I kept tripping.

I didn't want to spend every hike looking down at my feet, at each step I had to take. I preferred to look up, at the beauty of the trees and mountains. But in looking up, I would miss judge the placement of my next step. The more treacherous the territory, the more focused I became on every step I took. This is how the past year and a half has been for me. The path that God has led me on has not been an easy, walk in the park. But the scenery has been spectacular. And though I have longed to reflect on all of the beauty of this journey, each step has required my full attention. 

One foot in front of the other and you eventually get to take in the best view of all...

The view from the top.