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save the shoes.

15 Jul

What can a volunteer firefighter teach you? Plenty. I’m so thankful to my friend David Bryant for sharing this short video. It’s worth watching – and sharing with others.

Go ahead. Save the shoes.




23 May

What I would really like my US customs paperwork to say.


14 May

There’s a moment before every journey to care for the discarded where the sweet whisper of the Lord says “here’s your theme.” Last time for me, it was “Little is much.” For Courtney, it was “Jesus first.”

This time, for me, the whisper came in the words of a song: Continue reading


12 May

Tomorrow night, we’ll be there again. Guatemala. Tonight, my heart is filled with a million whispered prayers. I pray for each member of our precious team – Shea, Amy, Kylie, Kelly, Richard, Ashley, Emily, Tricia, Janice, Teresa, and my fellow Wordpainter, Courtney. I pray for our dear Orphan Outreach companion Gloria and the team of translators she has hand-picked. I pray for Josue, our guardian angel bus driver. I pray for the 272 young women awaiting our arrival at Hogar Solidario, the seven girls ready to learn to decorate cakes and bake bread at Evita’s House, and the 49 sweet children at Cerecaif who remind everyone they meet of the awesome redeeming love of a mighty God. I pray for hope to shine brightly. I pray for miracles, great and small. I pray for joy like rain and power like the gravity-defying flowers that spring forth from the cliffs in Xela. And I pray for communion as rich as the time spent holding the hand of an abuelita at Cabacitas de Algodon.

I pray for beauty to be found in the margins, each and every day. Lord, let me not miss a moment.


Little is Much – Irma

16 Mar

She’s a tiny little thing, with a shock of disheveled black hair and huge eyes that seem to drink in everything around her. She journeys to Eagle’s Nest every day at lunch with her aunt (only a few years older than she is), where she will be fed a hot meal. More often than not, you’ll see her take a portion of her food and put it in a plastic bag or a cap to take home to other family members. Her aunt will then let her eat any scraps left from her plate.

Irma and her aunt, eating lunch at the Manna program at Eagle's Nest.

Her name is Irma. And she makes my heart smile. Continue reading

Labels (part one).

27 Feb

This is part one of a two-part post.


Gary Schneider, founder of Every Orphan’s Hope, used the term at IdeaCamp: Orphan Care in talking about programs to care for kids with HIV/AIDS in Africa. Though I understand the term – it means the child has no mother or father – it lands hard on my heart. I fight back tears.

There are so many labels in this whole “orphan care” space. Continue reading

Defining Discarded.

12 Feb

It’s been a week since I returned from my journey to Romania. I’ve drunk countless cups of caffeine at planning meetings about a worship conference in Russia and weekend church services here in Austin and mission trips in Guatemala.

Left: My sweet students bake cookies for others. Right: Cupcakes and brownies baked by NomNom Global for a special event. The proceeds go to help orphan care efforts in Guatemala.

I’ve baked cookies with my 10th grade bible study girls, made tarts and brownies and delicate mint marshmallows dusted in cocoa for a special event at Austin Christian Fellowship, and cooked dinner for my sweet husband. There has been good food savored with my family, good work done with my best friend, and good time communing with the Lord. Work and grad school and life are all swirling together in a common paisley pattern.

It feels normal. But I don’t. Continue reading


6 Feb

The following formula is true, at least for today.

5 am + 5 minutes + 5 tram rides + 5 smiles = better than before

The city of Budapest glows on the Danube.


Continue reading

Common Place.

4 Feb

“You are the highway I travel, because I watched You carve streets out of sand and gravel. I gave you brokenness – You gave me innocence, and now this road leads to glory. You are my deepest longing, and so I see You everywhere; it’s You I’m chasing after. I’m captivated by who You are and how You move. I’ll follow You forever.” ~Audrey Assad, For Love of You

Continue reading


31 Jan

It was getting late.

Early morning departure.

The vans, filled with teenagers, adults, and “Americans” had been on the road since 8:45 in the morning. It was now 8:30 at night. Continue reading