Stillness

The idea of this picture became a reality when the fog was thick and rich.

The Bethel Music song “You make me brave” is playing, my office is quiet and I am staring at a beautiful blue sky. My heart is overwhelmed with so many things that have been going on. A camera in my hand would be just the thing I need right now, but there’s no time. A business to run, potty training my two-year-old, a marriage to enjoy and a messy house are just the beginning things on my list. I overbooked myself today, yet the idea of “calm and stillness” float around in my mind as a nice idea to practice later.

When life gets busy, I start feeling flustered. I didn’t ever think I would be a business owner, but here I am. My other job is asking for people to help but I don’t go in…childcare, appointments, life…my excuses. When it’s all said and done, I need stillness. I need a moment of quiet. It needs to be “well with my soul” but I have to stop, sit and mediate on God’s Word to get there.

Luke 8 talks about a woman who found Jesus in a crowd. She had been ceremonially unclean for 12 years. She couldn’t stop the bleeding and neither could the doctors who took advantage of her. She had no money, I can imagine no strength, and her illness had become her identity. She had one more option, this Jesus she kept hearing about. She had become an outcast so she didn’t want to draw attention to herself. While Jesus was in a crowd she approached him, touching his garment. That’s all she needed. That’s all she wanted. Just a little taste of Jesus.

I think we often spend our lives thinking “if I can just get a little taste of Jesus, I will be set to keep going. I’ll get enough of what I need because He doesn’t even know how busy or stressful my life is.”

Jesus wants more than just a touch. He asked the crowd who touched him. His disciples tried to convince Him that He was in a crowd. No, he said, He felt power go out from Him. The woman couldn’t hide. She came forward, afraid, told Him why she touched Him and how she knew she was healed. Jesus’ response touches me in a deep way. There was an encounter. There was more than just a touch, there was an impact. “Daughter,” He said. “Your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

That’s what an encounter with Jesus brings. That’s what time spent face to face does to our hearts, to our lives. It brings us peace. It brings stillness to find perspective and wholeness in the midst of our busyness.

Can you imagine what this poor woman was feelings. If only she could be healed. But after 12-years what would healing look like? Would she have friends? Would she be able to work? Would she be able to accomplish her dreams? Would she be as reliant on God in times of weakness, or in times of strength? I believe Jesus knew the “what ifs” that she had in her heart. He knows the “what ifs” in my heart that keep me busy and preoccupied. If I’m busy I don’t have to think about the real issues as much. Yet, Jesus brings peace in the midst of the “what ifs”. He knows our hearts. He could heal this woman, that was easy for him. But he wanted to heal her heart. He made sure to encounter her face to face to offer peace.

No matter how busy I am, I need to find stillness and encounter Jesus so He can bring peace to my heart. What about you? Can you let your hair down for just a moment with Him so He can offer peace? I am praying that you can.

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Haiti #2

Sleep. It’s something we take for granted. It is often said that we Americans don’t know how to rest, or at least we don’t choose to get enough sleep every night. As children, we might share bedrooms, but how often do we have to share a bed other than on vacation. We have a routine when it comes to preparing to sleep. Some of us can’t touch anyone or anything while we sleep. Some of us sleep sideways in the bed or all sprawled out. Then there are some people can sleep anywhere, like planes or the car, that frustrates me. I work night shift and sometimes I need to sleep at anytime of the day or even in the car or plane. When my husband falls asleep before I do I can’t sleep after that because I get so angry. Anyway, families in poverty often have poor sleeping conditions. On the home visit we experienced we saw one full or queen size bed against two walls that slept mom, dad and two small girls. Sometimes Maggie sleeps next to me after she has woken-up too early. She takes up a lot of room. Think about these babies and their parents who have to sleep in a small space every night. 

We played hard with the children at VBS and quickly after we were done we would find little ones about to fall off their chairs asleep. These little ones would sleep however they were. We were asked to be careful not to hold or carry around the kids to keep the jealousy at bay between the other children. Trying to honor that I placed a two year old on a chair to enjoy the story. She fell asleep and almost toppled off the chair. I grabbed her and she didn’t even wake up. I found her mother to hand her off to but truly just wanted to carry her around as she slept. 

I wish I could provide a place these children to sleep peacefully, without disturbances. There is no question that their mamas love them and provide for them. I’m sure they wish they could also give them a bigger bed or at least a few moments of good sleep to help them grow and learn. 

Sponsored children with Compassion increase their opportunity for education, for improved health and for dreams to come true. I met a little guy who dreamed of being a taxi driver. Pretty big dream for him. So awesome. Coming out of poverty = a hope for a bigger bed and better sleeping conditions. 

Haiti Faces (41 of 161)  Haiti (475 of 609) Haiti (473 of 609)

Haiti #1

Haiti. I arrived home over a week ago. Of course I have had lots of emotions and overwhelming feelings throughout the whole trip and now back at home. My health has improved and I feel an incredible freedom to go and to do without as much fear of being ill. I adjusted to not being able to speak the language and either found someone to translate or talked with my hands and eyes. Coma ou rele? What is your name?  The problem with asking someone their name is you have to be able to understand what they say back to you. I didn’t understand too many names. Merci…I almost told the bartender at the wedding we went to last weekend when he handed me a chardonnay.

I expected a dirty, smelly, sticky environment and people. What I found were dirty streets full of rubble, gravel and dirt (which I also experienced digging out of a team member’s large knee gash). I didn’t think it smelled too much. I remember another country smelling worse. One of the directors at a project we visited, not one of RRC’s, was hoping that I would take pictures of their bathroom situation so that I could entice someone in the US to help them get a new toilet for the children. He didn’t want me to get too close to the outhouse because he said it smelled too badly. I think he appreciated that I was willing to go closer because “I am a nurse, I’ve pretty much smelled it all”. He smiled from ear to ear. Humility? Maybe, or maybe smells don’t really bother me as much as they used to. There was one smell one afternoon that reminded me of my grandparents home. It was a good smell. It smelled something like a cross between what was being cooked, coffee, soap…who knows, but it was a good smell.

The people we met were clean. Shirts ironed. Dress shirts or polos, long pants for those who are working class. Other wear what they have, teeshirts with every sort of logo. The older women only skirts, the younger ones pants or short skirts. Their city is dusty and maybe they don’t get to wash their things often, but they seem to take care of themselves. The children would come in from the field playing in the dirt and dust and the mamas would rub their legs down so that the dust wouldn’t stay on them. One little angel had the best smelling hair. Maybe it was just being proud of how well these children are cared for with the money our sponsors at RRC give every month, but it made my heart glad that these babies could be clean.

It is a sweaty world. The people would carry handkerchiefs to wipe the sweat off their faces. We survived and thrived and now being home I haven’t felt like it’s been too hot. I can walk outside and not be soaked. I can shower and feel fresh hours after. What a blessing!

These pictures below: the dirt and garbage along the roadside, the outhouse from the project and part of the city.

 

Haiti (14 of 2) Haiti (15 of 2) Haiti (16 of 2) Haiti (17 of 2)

 

 

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Senior Collage copy babies copy

Advertising my business is a growing adventure! I am getting better at it. These are the postcards I just created to put up in different places. Maybe too busy, but the printing is simple. I’m so excited about these girls and families. Thank you to them for allowing me to use their pictures for advertising!

I just mentioned to a friend that this journey is tougher than I thought. Building a business isn’t as easy as it seemed when I stepped off the cliff. I’m learning so much about myself and I am enjoying the process. Editing and posting on social media is more time consuming that I ever expected but it’s so fun. I am so thankful that God has taught me to trust Him more deeply so I get to do what I absolutely love! Thanks, Lord, for teaching me to trust You. Thank you to my friends and family for encouraging me to keep going!

Looking forward to the spring colors, to the warmer weather and to the new challenges I get to encounter as I start my 5th month of being dedicated fully to the business!

What happened to my blogging?

iIt’s been a crazy season for me. Opening a studio and going part time at my job not to mention being willing to work through some good personal stuff has landed me happy, working hard and ready for a great spring!image

This picture from the last wedding a few weeks ago makes me happy. It’s one of those pictures you find while editing, change to make the lighting just as you saw it and put a logo on it to call it your own. It’s a feeling that has been happening more often and that bring great joy. I get to do this? I get to show who I am in my work. Love it.

I hope to return to blogging and hope its a place you will enjoy coming!