When I was in 10th grade I took geometry. I don’t remember my teacher’s name & I don’t remember geometry. Something about shapes? Clearly it was an effective educational experience.
Monthly Archives: June 2013
Tuesdays this summer are dedicated to travel. Ever since I was little, travel has been a part of my life. My dad led medical teams of physicians and dentists into Central & South America when I was in elementary school. They would set up clinics in remote and impoverished areas and I tagged along whenever possible.
This is a picture of me somewhere in Guatemala ( I think ) holding the child whose memory still follows me today. The clinic had been set up in the middle of the mountains and people came for miles just to see one of our doctors.
The waiting room was full of locals willing to stay for hours. This may be their only chance for medical care & they would not miss it. I generally spent my time sitting with those who were waiting. On a particularly hot day, a mother walked in with her baby.
There was something about that baby. I knew it the moment I saw them come through the door. Such a tenderness in his face. I smiled at the mother who didn’t speak English. She smiled at the young American girl who didn’t speak Spanish. The little boy eventually found himself in my arms. If my memory is right, I held him while the mother saw a physician.
I walked that boy up and down the dirty floor and waved the flies away from his face. My mom passed by and asked if I knew the child I was holding had Down’s Syndrome. I hadn’t noticed until then. My arms tightened around his little body. I suddenly loved him even more.
My mind was too innocent to know what his life would look like in the Guatemalan mountains as he grew up. But I knew enough to know that it would be hard.
Waiting, we held each other. The Guatemalan baby and the American girl. In that moment, I discovered the power of touch.
In that moment it was just two kids. Two kids who lived worlds apart and yet shared this space in time. This sweaty, smelly & crowded waiting room.
I remember thinking to myself how awful it was that I couldn’t do anything to make the situation better. I couldn’t secure a stable income for them, meet his medical needs or ensure that he would be surrounded by people who love him.
I felt his little fingers playing with a piece of my hair and realized all he really needed from me was to be held.
To touch his life. Right here. Right now.
His mother came out, got her medicine, took her baby & was on her way. But I have never forgotten that little boy.
I learned a lesson that day in a Guatemalan waiting room. I learned how important it is to touch people, really touch them.
To engage and hold each other in our vulnerable moments. Knowing that God holds us even more tightly than we ever could.
Those moments of pure humanity are the things that make life so beautiful.
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Fathers are this Sunday’s Kind of Love. Enjoy and Happy Father’s Day!
It sounds like the beginning to a bad joke, but it is true. Last month I celebrated my 10 year anniversary, but the wedding almost got called off. Because of this…
Last week I announced a new series for the summer. Every Tuesday I will share a story or experience from my adventures overseas. I’m kicking it off today with the time I went camping in England. With Rabbits. During the summer solstice.
I’d like you to meet my friends. Nick and Carol Pett are on the left. Carol’s father, Reginald Beer , is on the right. Yes, I know. I have delightful friends and no, they aren’t the rabbits I mentioned earlier.
The summer of 2000 was spent living with this family in England. I went on a mission trip to Norfolk and they were my host family. I went back the following year and stayed with them again after a similar trip.
Being the adventurer that I am, I scheduled to stay an additional few weeks after my 2001 trip and hang out with this crew. I guess my parents felt that was okay given the age of my UK posse.
We loaded up their caravan ( American translation: camper) and headed down to spend seven days camping in Brighton.
It was a lovely drive to Brighton which is on the English Channel. I blasted my Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits CD in my discman in the backseat in an effort to tune out the radio broadcast Nick & Carol were listening to. Some BBC program about a financial dilemma. I’m sure it was important, but at 19 I really didn’t care.
Every so often we would pull over when we saw an ice cream truck and a pretty view. No kidding. Notice the picture above? Ice cream bars being eaten randomly on the side of the road. Maybe that is normal English behavior? Or just my friends? Either way we had to pull over, get out the folding chairs and partake of some dairy goodness.
When we got to Brighton it was absolutely beautiful. Here I am in front of one of my favorite buildings there. You may not be able to recognize me with this baseball hat on. This was before the days of dry shampoo, okay?
Eventually we arrived at our campsite where we were to spend the next week. It right by the beach, but very quickly we discovered that this was no ordinary week to go camping. The place was flooded with the who’s who of bizarre hippie English people.
The summer solstice had begun and Brighton beach was the place to be. There were nearly naked drum circles and tambourines with ribbons. Not kidding. If Woodstock had an English brother a generation younger…
And then there was me. A 19-year-old American who was vacationing with a retired British couple. In a caravan down by the beach.
Ahh! Here is the caravan with an arrow pointing to where I slept all week. Yes. I slept OUTSIDE. Under the awning. In a sleeping bag.
I had assumed that I would be inside the camper with Nick & Carol. But no, twas not to be. Nick handed me a sleeping bag, a pillow and said “See you in the morning!”.
Grabbing my towel, I headed off down the hill to the campground bathrooms for a shower. The line was nearly out the door with the beach-going new age crowd. Not sure why they were there since it didn’t appear that showering was their thing. Eventually I got back to my sleeping bag & crawled in.
To my left was the camper where my friends were sleeping tucked in their beds. To my right just a little ways off were some ridiculously strange people and their drums. But there I was. Just me in my little sleeping bag thinking about how bizarre my life is.
I was about to drift off to sleep when I realized that I was very much not alone. They had come. Out of nowhere approached a herd of rabbits. ( is a group of rabbits a herd? I could google it, but that would take too long. Let’s just call them a herd. )
I peeked out from my blanked and saw twenty-something rabbits in the grass around me. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any weirder… They stayed there all night. In fact, they came for the whole week we were there.
Laying in my sleeping bag, I could hear the soft movement of grass. I would peek out of my blanket and see the rabbits sitting around me. One big fat one liked to sleep about two feet from my head.
By the third night I had learned to tune out the mystic drum circles and the fear of being bitten by a wild rabbit. I guess when you are 19 you adapt pretty quickly.
A week later I found myself flying home aware that this would make a good story some day.
I learned a lot on that trip. I discovered that Whitney Houston is good for drowning out the BBC and drum circles. Rabbits won’t bite if you lie very, very still. Most importantly, I learned that I really don’t like camping.
Anyone else have a camping story to share???
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Every Sunday I share with you guys something I love. Today’s thing that I love? Adoption.
Remember a few weeks ago when I posted our newest adoption update? I told you that I would let you know what we decided to do and then never mentioned it to you again? Well, I’m not forgetful, we simply didn’t have any answers until this past week. So, here is the follow up from that post:
Our family is currently on the waiting list for both Ghana and Uganda. Each one has their own delays going on at the moment & we are simply waiting to see which door God will open first.
Ghana has plenty of children that qualify for adoption, but there is a new ban prohibiting both domestic & international adoption. Hopefully this will be lifted quickly.
Uganda has children as well, but there are some delays in getting paperwork in order for the waiting children. Also, some of the children’s homes have had to take a break from adoptions due to some various issues.
And so we wait…
I would love your prayers that the process would start moving forward and that the remainder of the funds needed to adopt would come in.
Today, I wanted to let you know about an opportunity to help another family fund their adoption from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Allyson from All Our Days is opening up an Etsy shop. She is making downloadable digital prints for the home and this month 50% of sales in June will go to fund Lauren Mill’s adoption.
Lauren is a mama to three kiddos and her husband is a youth pastor. International adoption is very expensive and this is a great way to help fund them. You can read about their adoption journey here.
These are a couple more items from All Our Days:
Have a great Sunday and I hope to have another adoption update to share with you soon! All your prayers & thoughts are appreciated!
No matter the size of the dream, when it is birthed from God it is destined for greatness.