Sunday, January 30, 2011

"S" Is For Sunday

Adventures on Slow Death hill.
"S" is for Sunday...and snow-shoeing...and sunset sledding. Based on that sentence alone, I'm sure you can surmise that today was a great day. If that doesn't have you convinced, then I'm sure the photos I've included of today's adventures will. 

After living here for more than a year, I still can't get over how beautiful this place is! The view from the top of  Slow Death compels me to praise God for this incredible landscape each morning as I make the descent into the forest. While I love the small church fellowship I meet with on Sunday mornings, I can't help but think as I look out across this field of snow washed in sunset...what greater cathedral for our God than this? 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


A great song just got better. Soooo cute. Just try not to linger too long under the description of the video posted by the creator (nothing says "kill-joy" like a father exploiting the cuteness of his daughter to pay for student loans).

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Dark Side of Chocolate

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, and with it comes the buying and selling of lots and lots of chocolate! Unfortunately, the majority of the world's chocolate is produced through trafficking and child labor. Companies like Hershey's, Nestle, Dove, Lindt, and Toblerone have a very lax policy regarding these issues, and children as young as 7 years old are being forced to work the cocoa farms of West Africa every day.

What can you do about it? You can watch this trailer for the documentary film, The Dark Side of Chocolate, where award winning Danish journalist Miki Mistrati investigates the conditions of chocolate farms in Mali and the Ivory Coast. Even better, you can purchase the full DVD for a donation of $5 here. Then you can support smaller fair trade chocolate companies, like Divine Chocolate and Theo Chocolate, by ordering your Valentine's treats from them this year!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ruthless Trust

One of my favorite books is Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning. It's such a beautiful depiction of the unfailing love of God. This exert is a prayer I pray often...thought you'd enjoy it too.

I surrender my will and my life to You today, without reservation and with humble confidence, for You are my loving Father. Set me free from self-consciousness, from anxiety about tomorrow, and from the tyranny of the the approval and disapproval of others, that I may find joy and delight simply and solely in pleasing You. May my inner freedom be a compelling sign of Your presence, Your peace, and Your love. Let your plan for my life and the lives of all Your children gracefully unfold one day at a time. I love you with all my heart, and I place all my confidence in You, for You are my Abba. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Alright, so this is a follow-up to my post about wanting a portaledge treehouse. This alternative will appeal to those of you who are perhaps less climb-savvy: the NestRest. These magnificent hanging baskets are made by a German outdoor furniture company called Dedon, and I'm in love. I want to spend days and days laying around in one of these just reading and napping. I love the idea of having one hanging over water, but realistically there's no practical way that guy got in there from the shore. Regardless, in my dreams my NestRest would be over some beautiful bit of water. Again, it's stuff like this that gets me through these dreary winter days! Hopefully, it'll brighten yours as well.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wake Up, Sleeper!

Last Tuesday I drove to Dallas and got on my plane to Frankfurt. It was harder coming back this time! Everyone says the second time is the hardest because the initial excitement has worn off and you just miss everybody that much more. I definitely agree. Of course, now that I'm back at the office and doing what we do, I'm so glad I'm here. The one thing that's been killing me is the jet lag! Usually I dont have too much of a problem with it. I just throw myself into routine and my sleep adjusts accordingly. But this time around it's been horrible.

The first night I slept for 17 hours without waking up. Yikes. Next night was pretty normal. Then I couldnt sleep at all so I stayed up through the night. Then I slept 14 hours. Now I'm up writing this at 4:30 in the morning because, you guessed it, I can't sleep! BAH!

One thing I've learned is that in all things, God is speaking. Even if it's just a little murmur. Here's what God's been murmuring to me these past few days:

I think we all go through seasons in our relationship with God. We have days when we have a furious longing to know Him and be known by Him, and we have days where God is just an afterthought. I think my life will be spent trying to make that first bit true for me every day. Right now, the reality is that I sometimes go into these deep spiritual sleeps. That kind of sleep where you sleep so long that you wake up feeling more tired than you did before...the kind where you feel compelled to fall into complete lethargy and the day just sort of floats by. Well, that's where I was at when I came back to Germany, this sort of spiritual lethargy. But still God murmurs. I kept feeling this call to "wake up" that went beyond my jet lagged state. Then, at our staff prayer yesterday, God gave me a verse, Ephesians 5:14. When I looked it up it said:

"Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you!"

I feel like just reading those words broke my trance. It woke up my soul in a way. If anything, it was God's way of reminding me that even when I fall asleep, He doesn't. He's still there, patiently pursuing me every day.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Oh, man. What can I say? 2010 has been the most incredible year of my life so far. I did a million things I never thought I'd do. I had the opportunity to travel to Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Turkey, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Switzerland, and back to America! I moved permanently overseas. I have my dream job. I work alongside 100+ of the most amazing people I've ever met. My office is literally a castle.  I even got to come home for Christmas for the first time in three years! And it was the best Christmas I've ever had. So full of people I love, old and new friends, much-missed family, and a ton of other blessings. 

It makes me want to cry just thinking back over everything God's brought me through! I always say that this year was the start of me living to make God's dreams come true instead of my own. But as silly as it sounds, it's just now hitting me how much better His dreams really are for my life than the ones I had for myself! I'm so excited to see what 2011 holds. Stay tuned to find out...