Friday, March 29, 2013

He is...the resurrection...the life...amazing.

Today is Good Friday. This day so many years ago, my precious Savior was beaten and flogged and thrown upon a cross. The King and Creator of the universe had nails in his hands, and his blood stained the ground. He was spit on and mocked. Jesus was suffering, and one of his disciples turned him in and another denied even knowing him. My heart hurts to think of the pain He went through, and nothing seems 'good' about it. 

"And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." ~ Luke 22:41-44

 He suffered so greatly. He was in agony.  Why would God not remove this burden? 

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

Oh. Oh oh oh oh oh oh. For our sake. He did it all for us. So great is His love for us, that He endured the abuse, the beatings, the nails. He endured the spit and abandonment and mockery because He loved us. And, most shockingly of all, He allowed God to forsake Him, to allow Him to die,  so that we might be with Him.

It is Good Friday. Today we will praise Jesus and thank Him for the sacrifice of His death that  He made for all of us sinners. But on Sunday we will praise Him again...and thank Him for rising up and living so that we might follow Him, and be with Him in Heaven someday.

Today I am thankful to know Jesus, and thankful that He would call me His child. I'm thankful that He loves all of us--all of His children--so greatly. Your blogger,

Friday, March 15, 2013

Truly beautiful.

Dear Readers,

      Jenny over at The Walk   recently shared the most beautiful post on Disability ministry. I asked to share it on here, and she kindly accepted! I honestly think if all churches read her writing, we would have a lot more Special Ministries in a lot more churches. it is:

I used to spend hour after hour as kid pouring over Christian biographies:  Billy Graham, Corrie ten Boom, D. L. Moody, and Elizabeth Elliot.  I turned each page with curiosity, wondering what made these people so great and so mightily used of God.  I savored each book, taking careful notes, until I read the story of Joni, a woman who broke her neck as the result of a diving accident and is now a quadriplegic.  Her story was both griping and violent.  In her conclusion, she told of the peace she had found in the midst of living with her paralysis.  The end pages of her memoir advertised her international ministry to people with disabilities.  I threw the book under my bed and weeks later threw it out into the trash.  Joni was content to live in her body; as a 12 year old living with cerebral palsy, I was not. 
            So when I really felt the call of God on my life 17 years later to minister to individuals and families who have been impacted by disability, I had one reaction: hysterical sobbing.  Sitting in the back of a retreat center in Alexandria, I cried so hard that a stranger came up and asked if she could hold me while I wept.  I croaked out a yes and suddenly felt my body being wrapped in her embrace. 
            Over the past six months, I have been learning that engaging in disability ministry means many different things.  Sometimes it means wiping drool off a friend’s face, or learning how to politely exit the room for a moment so they can be assisted in the bathroom or have a tube connected so they can eat a meal.  Sometimes it involves having honest conversations with people about painful topics like deformity and exclusion.  Sometimes it looks like witnessing parents weep. Disability ministry is a challenging and unique calling which is transforming my relationship with others and deepening my walk with God.   I’m learning that people who suffer in this way are close to God's heart, and they are becoming closer to mine.  I’m also learning these things:

·         This is about beholding beauty.  When a person has a disability, the task of truly perceiving their beauty can become more challenging, but at the same time even more compelling.  Physical disability, I’ve found, is often perceived in sharp and unexpected contrast to what people expect a body to look like, but even initial shock or a subtle startle can provide the extra motivation necessary to enter into a deeper realm, one that carefully peers into the human soul.   

·         The “big things” God is calling you to do may actually look small in the eyes of the world, but that doesn’t mean they’re insignificant.  Ministering to people with disabilities is largely work that goes unseen but there is something wonderful about the pattern of feeling the gentle nudge of God, responding in obedience, and watching Him bless the work of your hands.

·         Envy is not helpful.  It’s tempting to look at the work others are doing and wish your ministry looked similar.  There are times when I have wished that what I was called to was more mainstream, popular, or even simply more understood.  I’m learning to appreciate God’s grand design for us to work together as a body; not focused on how we measure up to each other, but rather maintaining our focus on God, so like Jesus, “We can do what we see the Father doing.”

 Even though I've read it several times already, reading it again it touches my heart just the same. Jenny has  taken the beauty that is disability ministry and poignantly illustrated it with her words. 

I found what she said in her final point particularly interesting. "...I have wished that what I was called to was more mainstream, popular, or even simply more understood." 
    Isn't it strange that disability ministry isn't understood or popular? I don't know what there is to not understand, to not appreciate...Jesus himself sets the example for us in disability ministry. But it sadly isn't. 
     I hope Jenny's words reach many ears and inspire people to set out to find the true beauty that is in ministering to these precious people. 

Your Blogger,

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Liebster Award!

Dear Readers,

My sweet friend over at was so kind to nominate me for a liebster award!! I was so excited and blessed when I found out and have been waiting to have enough time to write this post ever since! Thank you so so much, K!!

Now you may be wondering what exactly is a liebster award. As I understand it, it is a kind gesture going around to blogs to show that hey, I like what you have to say. Me being me, I absolutely love this kind gesture and have agonized over who to pick to give my award to! ; ) I love Transcending CP so much I would love to nominate her, but that's not allowed. She writes so definitely should hop on over to her blog!

This sweet award comes with quite a few steps, so I'm going to get started!

  1. You must thank the person who gave you this award 
  2. You must display the Liebster heart on your blog
  3. You should nominate 3-5 up-and-coming blogs (some say 200 is small, others say 3000 is small) 
  4. Each person must post 11 things about themselves 
  5. Answer the questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you
  6. Create 11 questions for those you nominate to answer
  7. Notify your nominees and provide a link back to your post. 
  8. Don’t give the award back to the blog that gave it to you.

All right, eleven things about me. 

Numero uno: I love the Mitford book series. Love it. I try to make my own little corner of the world as much like Mitford as possible...starting with baked treats and making sure all of our neighbors know each other.  I think that's why I love the idea of this little award so much...because it is like each blog is baking a loaf of Amish friendship bread and sending it over to another blog, along with a starter to make sure the love gets passed on. 

Number two: I love different languages. I know American Sign Language (my all time favorite language!) and am learning Spanish, but am anxious to learn Russian, too. Each language has its own flare and beauty, but what really attracts me is the ability to communicate with as many people as possible! Hence number three: 

I love to talk. I'm sure you haven't guessed that by now, ha! 

Number four: I used to love those little quiz things that people sent through email before they had Facebook and would always beg my mom to reply to them and let me read her answers over her shoulder. My favorite question was "What are you wearing right now?" You better believe I will be including that in my questionnaire next!

Number five: I love anything old fashioned. Especially calico! 

Number six: One of my favorite things to do is spend time with my family...especially on vacation! 

Number seven: Another one of all time favorite things to do is volunteer. Thankfully I'm almost old enough to volunteer at Phoenix Children's Hospital! I currently get to volunteer at a Bible study for adults with special needs...and interpret the Bible study into American Sign Language! It's the most amazing thing ever and I am so grateful to God for the opportunity.

Number eight: Did I mention I love baking? 

Number nine: I'm a triplet...just in case you didn't know that.

Number ten: Oh and I'm also homeschooled! Love love love it and can't wait to homeschool my own children someday! Although my mom will have to teach them algebra...

Number eleven: Speaking of children, I'm passionate about adoption and hope to bring home my own little loves from somewhere around the world someday. :) 

Now I'm going to answer K's questions!

What is your favorite meal? I love salads! 

If you could go on vacation anywhere, where would you go? hhmm...This is a hard one! I have so many places I would love to go. I would love to see Austria! I would probably sing songs from The Sound of Music the entire time. :)

What is one thing that you have learned from special needs? I know it seems kind of obvious, but I think I would say the biggest thing I have learned is grace. The majority of the world doesn't understand my family's life at all, and even dear friends make some pretty ignorant and hurtful comments. It makes me want to curl up in a ball and only interact with other people who understand...but I can't do that. So special needs is teaching me to continue to love people even when they do stupid things like think CP is contagious. 

Do you have a favorite quote? If so, what is it? "If you can't feed a hundred people then just feed one." ~Mother Teresa

What is one movie that you could watch over and over again without getting bored? Princess Diaries!

What is one skill that you wish you had? The ability to quilt!

When you were a child, what was your favorite toy? Barbies, dress-up anything, and those little gadgets that you had to stick together in a certain form so they would all spin together! I had a lot of favorites : ) 

What is your favorite animal? I love all animals, but can't decide between dog and horse for my favorite! 

What is your favorite candy? Snickers!

If you could teach the world one lesson, what would it be? That Jesus loves you and died on the cross for you. 

What is your earliest memory? I'm not sure exactly, but I've sat here pondering this question and have come up with this: My brothers and I were three or four years old, and our little two-day-a-week preschool was having a Christmas show. I remember walking into the room and being dazzled by all the decorations and I remember being so excited to see all the people we knew there...

I've nominated the following blogs for this award:

Becca at
Becca is my dear friend and her blog is absolutely beautiful! She is an amazing writer and her posts are filled with such encouragement. I wish everyone could read her blog...they would be much kinder,  understanding people. I always look forward to reading each of her posts. 

Bethany at
Bethany is another good friend and her blog is such a refreshing read! I love her pictures and her blog's title, "It's the little things in life", is such a good reminder. Her posts mimic that theme as she goes through life so joyfully!

Jenny at
I love Jenny's blog! She is so honest and open as she shares her personal stories, but also so uplifting as she encourages her readers. It's the perfect blend for a lovely read.

Thank you all for blessing the world with your beautiful blogs!
Now here are my questions:

1.) What are you wearing right now? :)

2.) Why did you decide to start a blog?

3.) What is one thing about yourself that you consider interesting?

4.) What is one thing that you want more than anything in the world?

5.) What is your favorite pastime?

6.)What is your favorite book?

7.) If you could meet one historical figure, who would it be?

8.) What was the last thing you ate?

9.) I'm running out of questions...what's your favorite word?

10.) What is your favorite food?

11.) What is one thing you have never learned but would like to?

And...that's all folks!! Much love!