Wednesday, March 14, 2012

An Apple a Day

You can take the girl out of Africa, but you can't take Africa out of the girl!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Month 2

I'm done with Food Month!

Some of you may remember that I am conducting  "an experimental mutiny against excess" inspired by Jen Hatmaker (and Jesus).

The first month involved eating only 7 kinds of food.  My original list was: sweet potatoes, beans, apples, bananas, rice, eggs and tomatoes.  Well, that didn't last as long as I thought it would, and I ended up adding all fruits and vegetables.  Call me a big fat cheater, but this was the right decision for me.  As I run walk away from this month I learned the following:

1.  Absolute gratitude for the food I have in front of me.
2.  The practice of remembering of those who don't have enough to eat.
3.  Just because I can eat it, doesn't mean I should.

I ate a vegetarian diet this month (minus the eggs) and that suited me.  Tacos from Jalisco's also suit me, so I will aim towards a mostly vegetarian diet.  I just feel more peaceful with fewer animals in my diet.

Enter Month 2- Clothes

This month I will be wearing just 7 articles of clothing.  To be fair, my earrings won't count, but I'll wear the same pair all month.  I will also give myself the freedom of wearing one accessory- it will be something that was handmade in another country and I will use that item to remind me to pray for the hands that made it, and for the country in was made in.

In Jen's book (we're on a first name basis now!), she says the following in the chapter about clothes:

"I hope one day clothes and appearance and everyone else's assessment doesn't even occur to me.  I would like to be so focused on the valuable that what I'm wearing doesn't even warrant mental space."

Full disclosure:  I have an appointment to get my hair cut and colored this week.  That doesn't exactly fit into my schema of asceticism in the area of appearance.  Reader, I have a lot to learn.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Adam Needs a Mommy

Burkina Faso

Adam was born on Feb 10, 2010.  His mother died shortly after he was born.  His mother was HIV+.  Adam's father is up in years and he also is very sick.

Adam was very sickly as an infant.  At about one year of age, his father abandoned him because the father was sick and he could not pay for Adam's medical care.  With good care, Adam has stabilized and at the time of this writing, he is doing very well.  Adam is HIV+.

Adam is a quiet and reserved child.  He interacts some with the other children but prefers to play by himself.  At the time of this writing, he can pull up and stand but he has not yet taken his first steps.  His birth certificate says that he is 2 years old but it is thought that he is somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3 years of age. 

Did you know that when properly treated, children who have tested positive for HIV can have their viral load so low, it is undetectable in their blood?  

Did you know that there has never been a case of transmission of the virus in a normal family setting?  

If you would like more information about HIV or about adopting a child with HIV, I strongly urge you to check out Project Hopeful.  This website is full of helpful resources, family stories and facts about living with HIV.  This disease is SO manageable, there is just no reason to be afraid to adopt a child with HIV. 

If you would like more information about an adoption from Burkina Faso, or adopting Adam, you can email me at and I'd be happy to connect you to right person! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Need

I spent last weekend in Chicago learning from people who are serving the Lord in the city.  While it was painful to be surrounded with so much brokenness and need, it was also exhilarating to see so many faithful people giving their lives to serve "the least of these".

I came home ignited with passion to serve hurting people living right here in my community.

Confession:  It has always been easy for me to see the needs around the world that are so obvious- the starving, the orphan, the materially poor.  Not as obvious to me are the seriously wounded people living right here in my community- the addict, the fatherless, the spiritually poor.

Last Monday I walked around Aurora asking God to open my eyes to the needs right in front of me.  And did He!  I met two homeless people.  I got a call from Safe Families asking if we could host some children from Aurora who are homeless.  I saw a huge line of people waiting for the food bank to open.  I got a call asking me if I would open my home to some refugee women who want to learn about making home livable and safe for their children.

Lord, what do I do with all this need?

One thing I learned last weekend that has been echoing in my brain ever since is that "the need is not the call".

My spiritual gifting is mercy.  It is easy for me to see a need and to have my heart moved by it.  And yet practically speaking, there is only so much I can do to meet those needs.

Now begins the work of getting quiet with the Lord and asking Him to show me what it is He is actually asking me to do.

 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  Love your neighbor as yourself".  Matthew 22:37-40