Monday, October 27, 2008

For Me

Sometimes I write more for me than anyone else. Other times, the ideas God gives me seem to be for someone I don't know that may need to hear what is said.

The last few days, I've felt God prompting me to share a bit of the book I've been working on: Hope's Choice. Today, I got my first rejection. It was short and to the point:

"I have finally had a chance to review your proposal and attached chapters. I am sorry to inform you but I am going to pass. It's a very well presented proposal and your writing is admiral, however books in the Christian living category demand from publishers that they are supported with a significant platform."

I knew it was a long shot and people rarely get published first time out. Still, it was a bummer. But then I realized the circle I had made in what I've shared the last couple of days. I shared from the chapter: Hope Deferred -- When Life Doesn't Measure Up.

I got a small giggle out of this. Because it seemed God was placing my words and His words back on a silver platter in front of me. I think these last two posts were totally for me!

But it is still in the hands of a few. I need to keep at it.


When Lfe Doesn't Measure Up (2) -- Hope Chronicles 74

Yesterday, I wrote the first bit about life not measuring up. If you haven't read it, scroll down to read that post.

That post ended by talking about how Sarah laughed at God but He still followed through with His promise and Sarah got what she most desperately desired. God is faithful to every promise, but sometimes we get a "Yes" and sometimes a "Wait" and sometimes a "No." The question becomes, will we still trust God with the dreams we hold most dear?

Scripture is clear that unmet hopes have a strong impact on us. Proverbs 13:12 states, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Heart sick. It carries with it the connotation of something that impacts us to our deepest core. Perhaps that is what makes it so accurate. Our deepest longings are those that touch our core.

I shared Carolyn McCulley's quote yesterday. "When our prayers seem to go unheeded, we can learn to live in unexpectant apathy. We go through the motions, but we're not convinced that God will bless us. Bottom line, ugly truth: We don't really trust God."

It is an ugly truth isn't it? If you are a Christian, you may trust God with your salvation but fail to trust Him with your deepest desires. We pull back from admitting to others where our heart's desire lies. Eventually, we may decide to not even pray about it. Why keep praying if the answer is "No." We may secretly feel that God just doesn't care.

But nothing could be farther from the truth. The cross is answer enough to that.

Yes, it is. But it may not feel like it on an emotional level. Sarah got her heart's desire. But we must be careful here on two points. Sarah got exactly what she wished for even though it was not on her time table. This doesn't mean we just have be patient and we will get what we want. Admitting that can feel like giving up on God. That "unexpectant apathy" can lurk in the corner of our minds."

Admitting that our dreams may not look the way we envisioned is the beginning of allowing God to expand our dreams. I still hope (while quickly approaching 40) for a husband and kids born from my body, carried under my heart. I long for healed relationships but have no clue how to heal them. I dream of a thriving practice. The list could go on and on. But instead of holding the dreams myself, I try to let God hold them. Instead of demanding they be met in my way and in my time, I pray that God will give me the strength to allow Him creative license in my life. After all, I'm only borrowing this body from Him.

But do our dreams matter. Yes, they matter to us. More importantly, they matter to God. Repeatedly scripture tells us that God is clost to the brokenhearted and that one of the reason's Jesus came was to bind them up.

While God will comfort us, we also have a choice to make. Pslam 42 gives a great picture of hope in the midst of hard. The pslamist's tears are described as his food and his soul as downcast. But repeatedly he admonishes himself:

"Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."

Instead of pretending that those dreams and things don't matter, the psalmist chooses three things:
  • He pours out his soul to God -- including his suspicion (vs. 9) that God has forgotten him. He tells God all of his suffering.
  • He chooses to remember God in the midst of pain.
  • He chooses to praise the God who is his savior.
How do you hope in the midst of unmet longing? Talk to God. Remember all that God has done in your life. Praise God for who He is.

There is one more key to hope in verses 1-2 of this psalm. It says:

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you O'God
My soul thirsts for God,
for the lviing God.
When can I go and meet with God?

God is pictured as life giving water. Proverbs 13:12 described longing fulfilled as a tree of life. The psalmist recognizes God as the fulfillment of all longing.

When we choose to hope in God, God gently holds our dreams adn then meets the deepest longings of our hearts with His presence. Sometimes it isn't until we drink deeply of hope that we realize how thristy we were or how satisfying God is.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

When Life Doesn't Measure Up -- Hope Chronicles 73

"When our prayers seem to go unheeded, we can learn to live in unexpectant apathy. We go through the motions, but we're not convinced that God will bless us. Bottom line, ugly truth: We don't really trust God"

Carolyn McCulley

Have you ever felt like the above quote? Life isn't what you anticipated when you were a child. You're not an Olympic gymnast and couldn't do a cart wheel to save your life. No Nobel Prize is coming your way. Your job looks nothing like you expected. And then there are your adult expectations. It's impossible to make ends meet. Your friends are busy and you've lost touch. Your spouse is driving you crazy or maybe it is the lack of one that is doing you in. We've prayed but things we desperately desire are out of reach.

I think this is how Sarah in the Old Testament felt. In Genesis 11 we are introduced to Abram and Sarai (later Abraham and Sarah). Immediately on the heels of finding out that Sarai is Abram's wife, we are told that she is barren. Combine this with the fact that she lived in a time and culture that defined a woman's worth by the number of sons she bore her husband. I'd wager she felt pretty insecure. Often it is our insecurities that drive our most desperate actions.

God called Abram out of his homeland and into the land of Canaan when he was 75. Over the years God did amazing things in Abram's life. In Genesis 15, we find God initiating a covenant with Abram. When Abrams tells God his servant will inherit since he doesn't have children, God promises him otherwise in Genesis 15:4-6.

"This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars -- if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."

Abram believed the Lord and he credited it to him as righteousness. (NIV)

It's an amazing promise. I can imagine Abram rushing off to tell Sarai and Sarai wondering if Abram had been dipping into the good wine.

Years later there is still no baby. With arms so empty it hurt, Sarai decided she would do God a favor and help him out. She had Abram sleep with her maidservant, Hagar. Just like anytime we try to "help God out" for our own benefit, Sarai's plan made a mess. As soon as Hagar became pregnant, Sarai began to despise Hagar. Hagar went on to bear Ishmael and in turn his sons became the forebears of Islam. Thousands of years later there remains a deep animosity between Hagar and Sara's offspring.

God is not one to go back on His promises. 2 Timothy 2:13 says the following:

If we are faithless he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

God promised once. Once should have been enough but sometimes God reiterates his promise. Abraham has a visit from a trio of strangers. Through them God tells Abraham that they will return the next year and that by then Sarah will have a son.

Up to this point, scripture is silent on if Sarah ever believed the promise of a son. As she eaves drops on the conversation at the flap of the tent, she is incredulous. Sarah dares to laugh at God. Amazingly, God is not deterred by the unbelief displayed in that laughter. Within a year, Sarah has given girth to Isaac.

In what areas are you living in unexpectant apathy? Where are you laughing at God? Perhaps today is a good day to talk to God about that area.

More to come on "When Life Doesn't Measure Up."


Friday, October 24, 2008

Sign Post -- Please Check This Out

I regularly read a blog concerning Compassion International. This post really spoke to me about the impact sponsors have on the lives of children and families and even communities as the children grow. To read it click here.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wisdom and Curiosity

I don't light candles much at home because my cats are climbers. This candle was on the mantel and Mali was athletic enough to make it up there. But watching her with it got me thinking about wisdom and curiosity.

Which one of these pictures are you?

I think the picture on the left shows some reserve, some decent caution. The picture to the right is when curiosity bombarded in. While she never actually touched it, she did sniff and hover about it for around an hour. Then I blew it out because I didn't want to keep tabs on the candle with her around!

In someways, I think curiosity and wisdom go hand in hand. Curiosity about how things work are probably what has brought so many inventions. But there has to be wisdom in knowing when and how to use them.

With a little help from the serpent, Adam and Eve grew curious about the fruit on the tree in the middle of the garden. They could eat anything else, but they wondered if the serpent's lie was true. Would the fruit really make them like God? A bit more wisdom might have been in order.

Moses was curious and wise. When he saw a burning bush that wasn't burning up, he went over to investigate. I probably would have run for help. In his wisdom, he knew he was in a holy place and when instructed to take off his sandals, that is exactly what he does!

Nothing too profound today, but I do wonder where wisdom and/or dangerous curiosity come in to play in my life. Do I know when to turn to God rather than listen to lies? Do I know when I stand on holy ground/or are among holy moments in my life so that I can metaphorically take off my sandals?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just a Few More Days -- a Lament

I met some one for lunch today, but I must confess. I was quite ill prepared in dress. I walked because it was just a few blocks, but the whole time the wind whipped about my raven locks. My hands were cold as I hurried on. I thought two layers would be quite enough. Alas, I think that summer has gone and I lament that there aren't likely to be even just a few more days of hot summer days to sit in the sun at lunch and read a book or take a walk.

Tell me how I can trade these

for these?

How can I trade this

for this?

Because I know the ONE who paints
skies even in suburbia that look
like this:

He is bedding down His creation in preparation
for next summer.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Not What

It's week 5 of Lisa Whtittle's book hosted by Lelia. This week was on "Miss Spirituality." So, here is my 5 point sermon outline. Just kidding! But it is something Miss Spirituality would have on hand for moments like these when she is feeling tired. She would whip it out of her binder and wow you all.

Though, I've at times played the part of Miss Spirituality, I think the biggest thing that hit me this week was Lisa's statement on page 79:

"The point is not that Miss Spirituality does these things , rather why she does these things."

What kind of things does she do: Sunday school -- teaching, going, leading, serving the poor, organizing, helping out local organizations, memorize scripture, . . . . The concern is that she does them out of concern over what others will think or notice.

It made me think of the Pharisees being concerned that everyone saw their godliness. In the temple a woman gives out of what little she has (Luke 21). She doesn't do it because of how much she has and the need to show it. Rather, she does it because she believes it is what God calls her to do.

People may do the same things, but the difference can often be found in the why or heart posture behind what they are doing.

Sometimes, for me it is running back in the house at the last minute to grab my Bible so people won't notice I forgot it. God wants me to have it in service, but what people think is the wrong reason. I guess, in some ways, I am Miss Spirituality.

What good things do you do for the wrong reason?


Monday, October 20, 2008

The Metal Detector

Iron. We all need it in our bodies. We get it from food. Some take vitamin supplements. But it is generally agreed upon fact that we need it.

My body, however, has other ideas. Sigh. A couple years ago I had a routine physical. They thought my iron was low and had me take a supplement. Not much happened so they sent me to a hematologist. He prescribed horse pill, prescription only iron pills. The thing they measure the iron with is actually a protein that the iron bonds to. The first time they did the test, I was an 8. I took those horse, pills and it moved to a 12. Right direction, right?

Yes, but not enough it seems. I guess the level should be between 60 and 120 or something like that. And I'm at a 12? The doctor said that for whatever reason, my body was not absorbing the iron so he suggested intravenous iron. By the time I had my 8 appointments for it, I was at 499. Can anyone say, "Beware of metal detectors?"

Over the last couple years we've watched it drop. Suddenly, in the last month or two it's dropped significantly quickly. So, I'm back on my iron IV's.

It's not that big of deal but they cannot tell me why. That is the frustrating part.

So, if we travel together and I set off the metal detector you'll know what to tell them!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Package

This brightly wrapped package has been sitting on the edge of my coffee table since mid June. I'm not sure why I've left it there. I really should put it away somewhere because it has been a constant reminder of the friendship that almost was.

I met someone in kind of an odd way early this summer. For some reason, I had voiced the feelings of loneliness that sometimes plague me. Her response was that she would be my friend and after she got some exams out of the way within the next month we could hang out. I was thrilled. She genuinely seemed to like talking to me and called me a few times.

One day another friend and I were going to see Prince Caspian. When I told this woman this, she voiced how she wished she could go and how she wished that she had read all of the Narnia books straight through. She really couldn't go to the movie but later that week I spied a thick volume of all of the Narnia books in one. I picked up one for her and one for me. It was suppose to be a 'just because" kind of gift.

I invited her to come by. She had several things going on. I told her that I had something for her and it wouldn't take long to pick it up. She never came by and I was never able to reach her again.

So, that package has sat on my table while I keep hoping she will call. But now it is more of a reminder of a friendship lost than anything. I think it is time to put it away or find someone else to give it to. It has been 4 1/2 months.

The last several days it has gotten me thinking of all the packages that go unopened in our lives. Yes, maybe one is a friendship. Another might be some talent we've longed to develop but haven't taken the time for. It could be a book or THE BOOK that remains unopened on our night stand.

All things keep us from opening them. Time. Fear of rejection. Fear that things won't go the way we hoped.

But each time we leave a package unopened we close ourselves off to the joy that might be packed away in there. And maybe even miss the joy of being able to bless others with whatever the package might contain.

I have this thought of God sitting on His throne in a package strewn room. Some of us are there, too shy to take the one He offers or too fearful it may not be what we wanted. But then we need to trust that God knows best.

What package will you open today?

For me, I need to concentrate on my book proposal -- who else to send it to and just keep writing it. Yes, it is a long shot, but I think I took the chance at She Speaks and then packed it away. Now, it's time to reopen it and start working on it all again.


Friday, October 17, 2008


Welcome to anyone hopping over from Lysa's site (and anyone else). She has quite the list of blog reading to do last time I checked.

If you've never been by before, you might want to check out my sidebar welcome. The blog is geared to be about seeing God in every day life. However, another huge component in it is something called Hope Chronicles. I struggle with depression and decided that for at least a year I would commit to writing weekly about some aspect of hope. I missed a couple weeks, but some weeks did two or three. It has been a great way for me to focus on God and all the reasons I have to hope.

Happy perusing. Hopefully, I'll be able to pop over your way as well.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blog Followers

I've recently noticed this thing called "Blog Followers." It is where you can post a microscopic picture of yourself to let others know you read this blog and it will link back to you. If you want to sign up, it is part way down my sidebar. You could even be first!

Do you have blog followers on your site?


Resting -- Hope Chronicles 72

I recently took this picture of Katy. I love it. The amazing thing is that she didn't even stir when I took it. Yes, I was trying to be quiet so I could capture the moment, but I thought the whir of the camera and the flash would wake her. If it did, she didn't let me know about it.

In some ways this is a picture of trust to me. Katy was sprawled out on one of our favorite and softest blankets. Mali was nearby, but Katy still spread out. She often doesn't do this when Mali is near because Mali is a pouncer.

One thing to know about cats is that they often take awhile to warm up to you. Staring directly at a cat may seem aggressive. Sometimes, that is why cats choose to go to those who ignore them. The go on their own terms.

They also do not often show their bellies. No, it is not a self-conscious thing. Rather it is self-protection. It's harder to escape from a prone position and their bellies are vulnerable spots. So, either this blanket was too inviting to pass up or Katy was trusting enough of me and Mali to relax into the softness.

This is a picture of rest -- relaxing even in the midst of something hard. I think of Psalm 23. God makes the write lie down in green pastures but then go through the valley of the shadow of death. In the end, God provides a banquet in the presence of the writer's enemies. I always wondered about this. But someone explained it once that once someone entered that person's house, they were under their protection. Thus, they could relax and enjoy the feast. Or in Katy's case, stretch out on the softest blanket around because she knew she was safe.

Do I rest in God like that? Do I stretch out and show Him my tender places? I long to say "Yes" but I know there are times when I am too busy protecting myself rather than letting Him protect me that I do not fully relax into Him.

Where there is trust there is rest. Where there is trust there is hope because we know that a feast awaits even in the presence of enemies. There is hope because God has called us his.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two Kinds of Ice Cream

This is part of a series of posts on the book Behind Those Eyes. It was written by Lisa Whittle and is being hosted over a Lelia's site. This week was on "Ms. Happiness."

I do not know the musician or all the words. But there is part of a song that has stuck in my head since about 5th or 6th grade. Here's what I know: "Happiness is two kinds of ice cream, finding your skate key, telling the time. Happiness is learning to whistle and tying your shoe for the very first time . . . ." Wow, just think, Steak-n-Shake must have heard that song too when they started their side-by-side milkshakes. I'll take my happiness as chocolate and strawberry please.

Wouldn't it be nice if happiness were that simple? Maybe as a child it is enough. Children get joy out of the simplest of things. But as an adult, telling the time usually means we are running late because we couldn't find the car keys and there aren't two items in the house to make an edible meal.

So, just like Lisa writes, we pretend. We put on our happy faces and pretend that we are okay. "How are you?"

"Fine, great. You?'

"Good. Your husband?"

We go on pretending to be happy, but every time we pretend, we sink a bit deeper into the muck. Pretending to be happy is like trying to tread quick sand. There's no on to pull you out because they're all convinced that you two kinds of ice cream have satisfied.

I love the distinction Lisa makes between happiness and joy. There is such a huge difference. She quotes CS Lewis: "We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at the sea."

That is so me. My friend Sandy once described my relationship with God like that. God wanting to cleanse me but me only willing to stick my foot in lest I make the ocean dirty -- never imagining it was a well spring of living water. Hopefully, I've changed since then, but that image has stuck with me.

I am the child happy with the mud pies or two kinds of ice cream. Because of that, I miss out on joy in a deep and lasting way. I go on pretending to be happy even when I'm not.

God calls us to put off the pretending and find joy -- not happiness -- in Him. Lisa writes:

Because while happiness cannot readily be achieved and is often impersonated, the reality is joy that comes from our heavenly Father is easily achieved and readily offered.

The rub is admitting I'm not happy and that I need God to give me that joy. God, please pour out your joy on all of us.


Monday, October 13, 2008

My Heart's Desire

If you asked me what I want more than anything, I would say a family. I know, I should probably say a deeper walk with Jesus. And I do want that, but family has been on my mind lately.

Perhaps it has been on my mind even more lately. I recently had the annual female check up. They had me do a fasting blood draw. It was not good. I was also not in a good frame of mind that day. I see the nurse practitioner. She wanted to go over the results with me. I told her I didn't want to to know. She went over them anyway. Sigh.

But today I went back and they were much improved -- so much so that they won't check it again until I go back in a year.

But I am turning 40 in a few short months -- two months from Wed. So, they scheduled me for a a mammogram. I had one once before when I thought I felt something. It was a cyst. So, this was my second. I knew what to expect. Still, who likes to be squished?

So, when I was getting my blood drawn today, the entire 40 thing was very much on my mind. I told her I had a question but not about the labs. My question was, "At 40 how long do I have to have a child?" Yes, I teared up. She said there are no signs of menopause yet and maybe not even until I'm 50. But after the 35 the quality of the eggs decreases and pregnancy gets riskier.

I suppose it was a silly question. I'm not even dating anyone. I'm not sure I know anyone to date. But that ache is there. Today I just wanted to ask God, "Why give me all the parts and the desire to have children if they are not going to be used?"

No answer yet. But it is a big question.

But then sometimes I think God doesn't "zap" and fix things because there is something I am suppose to learn along the way.

And I am struck by how I opened this post. Why don't I have that same ache that I have for a family that I have for a deeper relationship with Jesus. Yes, the upcoming birthday has stirred things up, but shouldn't my desire always be first and foremost a desire for Him?

So, I'm praying that God would set the order right in my mind and heart. And I'm praying for a "Yes" to both.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Vengeance vs. Forgiveness -- Hope Chronicles 71

Awhile back I read Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult. She does not write to a Christian audience, but I have really liked some of her stuff. Change of Heart was not one of my favorites. Yet it still had those "ah -ha" moments that made me think.

The premise is that a pregnant woman's husband and child are murdered. The murder is on death row and wants his heart to go to the woman's second child. As you will have guessed needs a heart transplant. In the book, the mother, June, asks the following questions:

Would you give up your vengeance against someone you hate if it meant saving someone you love?

Would you want your dreams to come true if it meant granting your enemy's dying wish?

Humanity has a great need for vengeance. We want to see the wrongs righted. We want people who hurt us to pay ounce for ounce back every bit of hurt and suffering they have caused.

Humanity has a great need for vengeance, but Christianity has no need for it. Yes, being human, we still want to see people pay for what they have done to us. But Jesus calls us to something higher, something better. He calls us to give our hurts and even our hopes to Him and let Him do the sorting out. Yes, our enemy may in the end get his dying wish, but we would only rob ourselves and the ones we love if we lived by vengeance instead of forgiveness.

But forgiveness is hard. My father was very abusive while I was growing up. He has never asked forgiveness for what he did. I must admit that I still harbor some bitterness about everything he robbed me of and even the angst it has caused with other family members. But I do not actively seek revenge. I leave that all with Jesus. To that extent I have forgiven.

Yet, the question is one my pastor has asked in his own life. He had an abusive step father who late in life responded to an altar call. His first response was, "No, you cannot forgive him, God!" But like me, he has had to learn to leave the balance of it all up to God.

There is the rub, isn't it? With the cross their is no balance. It's all lopsided because Jesus paid the price for all of it. Because of that lopsided balance, I have hope. Without it, I would never be able to come to God. Coming to Jesus, isn't that worth giving up our sense of vengeance?


Friday, October 10, 2008

Running Your Heart Out -- Hope Chronicles 70

Last week I had the opportunity to watch a friend's boys -- Kolya and Austin. Kolya had a cross country meet. Since it was an invitational, everyone had to wait to the end to get awards.

This is a picture of Kolya running. He came in 19th out of 60 runners in his group. I think that is pretty amazing.

While Kolya ran a great race, another runner has gotten me thinking. It seemed that everyone had finished and the crowd was starting to mingle at where the awards were going to be given. I asked someone why they hadn't started. Even though it was a good 15 minutes later, it turned out that there was a boy who was still running. A boy who had run all season nowhere near the pack. A boy for whom only two or three people had stayed at the ending place to cheer on. A boy who ran his heart out.

Hebrews 12:1-3 says the following about the race we are running spiritually.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Carolyn Arends is a contemporary Christian singer. She sings about running the race and that great crowd of witnesses: "Sometimes I press on, sometimes I look back, sometimes I just lay in the road on my back. I've got to get up and I don't know how, I hear in the distance the roar of the crowd."

We all feel like giving up sometimes. What is amazing about this youth is that he didn't quit. He didn't quit as the pack pulled farther and farther ahead. He didn't quit when only a handful met him at the finish. He kept going and going --pushing himself. I don't know his faith, but oh, to be able to fix my eyes on Jesus, the end of the race, that I would run on and on and on even when no other runners are in sight.

That boy ran his heart out. May we have hope enough in the cross to run our hearts out until the end of the race.


Finding My Way

Henry Ward Beecher said, "The strength and happiness of a man consists in finding the way in which God is going and going that way too." Oh, such wise counsel. Who could not be strong and happy following in the footsteps of Jesus.

Yet, I struggle to know which way God is taking me. I think I know and then things keep falling through on me a bit. Right now it is something at church that I was looking forward to doing and now won't be able to do.

I find my heart tugged more and more about the impoverished, but I'm not sure what I am suppose to do. I do think God may be directing those thoughts.

I recently read Gary Haugen's book Just Courage. In the last chapter he says that God asks us if we want to be safe or brave? We cannot have both, though there is a sense of safety in following God. God, I want to be brave, but I don't know how. Will you show me?


Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Mailbox Is HAPPY

My mailbox is so HAPPY! I've been praying and waiting for it to come. Today, I found this in my mailbox! It is the first letter from my newest Compassion child, Ambar. (Some of you may recall that Delia left the program. Compassion immediately matched me up with Ambar.) It was this summer and I wrote to her right away and have sent a few letters, but I hadn't heard back yet.

Ambar is 8 and lives in the capital city of Ecuador. She wrote me about going to church and school and playing dolls with her cousin. She says she lives in a small house with her parents and siblings and that she has fun with her dog on the weekends.

I had received the packet on her, but it is nice to have something actually from her! She wrote the end of August, so it took about 6 weeks to get here.

How sweet to read her promise that she will be praying for me always.

If I get excited over a letter, imagine what a letter from you might do? Imagine how happy that would make an impoverished child. So, if you sponsor a child, your homework tonight is to write a note to them. If you don't sponsor a child, please pray about sponsoring one. On my sidebar you can link to children that are waiting for sponsors. Maybe the picture showing now is the child for you!