Posts

A Prayer for Our Little One...

Image
Mother's Day has always brought a bunch of different emotions for me.  From skipping Mother's Day because the infertility journey was just too difficult, to honoring my own mother who continues to be rock solid encourager in my life, to being "expectant" with a baby who I had just met for a brief few moments living on the other side of the world, to celebrating my very first Mother's Day as an adoptive Mom, I feel like each year brings something different for me, and this year is no different.

Yesterday, as I was running along the beach, I couldn't help but think about the fact that in many ways, I am again in the "expecting" stage of adoption, as we were recently matched with our little one from India.  While I'm not carrying a child in my belly, she is already deeply embedded in my heart, which makes this Mama wish she could speed the process up a bit, especially on this Mother's Day.   Nevertheless, I've learned in my years of waitin…

Companionship in Suffering...

Image
Several weeks ago, our Lead Pastor asked if I would like to preach at the Maundy Thursday Service.  While I was excited to have the opportunity to preach, I knew from the start it would be a challenge for me.  The thought of focusing on one of Jesus' most difficult nights in his journey didn't necessarily thrill me, and preaching on The Garden of Gethsemane had suffering written all over it.  I've never really loved suffering...but then again, who does?  I guess it's because when I allow my eyes to see it, something breaks inside of my soul in a way that I'm not really sure what to do at times.

It happened the first time I stepped foot in a government run girls orphanage in Honduras, one that housed teenagers who had been abused, neglected and abandoned.

It happened when I stood in the middle of a city dump in the Dominican Republic and watched human beings not only rummage through our garbage, but then attempt to live in it.

It happened when I sat at the bedside …

Longing for Community...

Image
A couple of weeks ago I returned from a trip to Honduras.  It was probably my 15th time being there, but for some reason, the transition back home was harder than it's been on trips in the past.  Maybe it is was fact that we went from 95 degree weather to 20 degree weather in a matter of 24 hours and I just couldn't handle it.  Maybe it was the reminder that my third cup of Espresso Americano in a matter of 1 hour would be the last for another 6 months.  Or maybe it was just because I had felt a deep sense of community during those 10 days.

I felt community as we sat around the table eating meals together, sharing our stories.  I felt it as we stayed up into the late hours playing games, laughing together, and living "stress free."  I felt is as we served together, ministering to over 1200 kids.  I felt is as we debriefed each night, creating space and time to speak words of encouragement, and to speak about what God was teaching each of us.  I felt it as we shared …

The God of Impossibilities...

Image
I'm amazed that Mary said yes.  I found myself sitting in church this morning wondering if I would have done the same.  Would I have said yes?  If the angel would have appeared in my bedroom at the age of 14 or 15, would I have had the courage to say yes?  I want to say I would, but the reality is, even at 37 years of age, "saying yes" to God is sometimes like taking this blind leap of faith in hopes that in the end a parachute will appear (as our Pastor described it to us this morning).  I guess that's what really strikes me most about Mary.  She didn't just say yes.  She said it with a confidence.  She said it as though she knew a little about this God who could do the impossible.

Sometimes I wish that the things that God asked us to do felt a little more like jumping off the first step and a little less like jumping out of an airplane...wondering if the parachute really works.

Last Thursday, Nate and I found ourselves on a conference call with our social work…

Life Updates...

Image
The past 8 months of my life have seemed to move faster than I can keep up.  I don't know if there are shorter hours in the day when you live in New England, but it has certainly felt that way since we moved here.  Moving is hard work (see my blog post on Transitions).  You're constantly working on forming new relationships, establishing yourself wherever you go, jumping into everything, and if you are like me, you tend to live life fuller than full so you don't miss a beat.  You experience a million emotions and just when you think you have them under control, something reminds you that you don't!  Moving kind of flips your world upside down for a bit.

That being said, I have epically failed at blogging these past several months.  Seriously...if I were in a blogging class I would have an "F" right now.  So here is my feeble attempt to fill in the gap and catch you up on life, ministry, and the endless Sawtelle adventures.

The Move:  We are finally settling i…

Courageous Together...

Image
When I was about 14 years of age, I remember standing in front of my high school, with my Dad, hoping and praying that someone else would show up.  I figured if just one showed up, it would be a reminder that I wasn’t alone in my school, that I wasn't the only one attempting to figure out what faith looks like in the 9th grade, and I would feel a little less of an outcast that day.  That day, no one showed up.  As I stood there with my Dad, praying for my school, my classmates, and my teachers, I was reminded of two things.  One…sometimes God asks us to be courageous and it can be really uncomfortable.  And two…being courageous together paints an unbelievable picture of the hope of Jesus.
This morning I pulled up in front of the house of one of our teens at a ridiculously early hour.  As he and three others loaded into the car with my family, we ventured to their high school to stand together around their flagpole to pray for their school, their classmates, their teachers and our w…

Life Giving Transitions...

Image
I wish that I had creative words to write tonight.  I almost feel like I should, due to the sheer fact that it's been almost three months since I have blogged.  Surely, I should have something inspiring to write.  The truth is, I have felt so many different emotions the past 5 months since our move to Boston, and I've struggled to sort them all out.  I think that I didn't realize just how hard, painful, exciting, and crazy awesome a major transition could be.
Leaving everything familiar and known...definitely hard. Discovering a world of opportunity and possibility...crazy exciting. Trying to find your place and start everything over...painful. Realizing you have been brought to a place for such a time as this...crazy awesome.
While on vacation, we decided to buy Biruk a hermit crab.  Don't ask why.  This actually turned out to be a decent timely purchase, because we wound up putting our dog down a couple weeks later, a dog that's been a part of our family for alm…