Friday, July 31, 2009

Back from Haiti

I've just returned from hell on earth - there's no other way to describe it. I feel like a shell-shocked soldier who has returned from the front. I'm still trying to get my head around all that I have experienced. For years I've said I wish every American could visit a third-world nation; now I wish they could visit Haiti. It's something that cannot be described - it has to be experienced. The sights, smells, sounds, and feelings cannot be conveyed. When I get my thoughts together, I will try to blog about it. In the meantime, no matter your financial or physical situation, count your blessings, because we are all truly blessed.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mission Trip

Just a quick note to say that my hubby and I and the other three in our mission trip made it safely to the Dominican Republic. Yesterday we were supposed to cross the border into Haiti but that plan changed. There was a murder on the border - a Haitian killed a Dominican - so there was much unrest which caused the authorities to call in the UN and close the border. We got news last night that the border will be open this morning so will be making the 3 hour trip this morning. As an American, this situation really drives home how much we take for granted in our own country. My hubby spoke with one of the missionaries, Karris, at the orphanage and she told him how grateful she is for the UN troops. Karris was amazingly calm she was about the border closing. She said it happens occasionally and once the tensions die down, the border reopens. We live in a blessed country and I'm hoping that our little group can bring this blessing to some of our neighbors.

On a positive note, we were able to spend an extra day in Santiago, seeing the sights and getting to know some Dominicans. There is a lot of tension between the Dominicans and the Haitians - very similar to that of the border states between the U.S. and Mexico. I feel we were given this extra day among the Dominicans in order to get to know them a little bit. They are a beautiful, friendly people and are very patient with our language difficulties. I'm looking forward to getting to know some Haitians as well.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

One of My Favorite Prayers

Franciscan Blessing

May God bless you with discomfort
at easy answers, half truths and superficial relationships
so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people
so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
to turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in the world
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done
to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Hope for Haiti: The Journey Begins

My hubby and I are busy preparing for our upcoming mission trip. We're going to visit the Hope for Haiti mission in Ouanaminthe. This video shares the incredible story of Danita Estrella, the amazing woman who founded this organization.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hope for Haiti

I've been trying to post a video from YouTube but without success - hopefully, I won't have 6 posts of the same thing tomorrow! Since it won't post, I'll add the link here. I'm posting this video because my hubby and I are preparing for a mission trip to Hope for Haiti in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. In this video, the mission's founder, Danita Estrella, shares her amazing and inspirational story.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Birds

Last night, during our regular after dinner walk, my hubby and I checked on our mocking bird nest. I'm happy to report there are two baby mocking birds now residing in the nest. They're brand new babies and were sound asleep when we checked on them. I assume mother bird was somewhere nearby, watching to make sure no harm would come to her new ones.

During our walk, Bill and I marvelled about how much life there is now on our farm, compared to when we first moved here. We rented a farmhouse a few miles from our place while we were building our home. At the rental house, we were constantly entertained by the life on the farm: lightning bugs, birds, beavers. Once our house was completed and we moved, we were puzzled by the lack of life. Fast forward four years and we now see bats, lightning bugs, birds, deer, etc. Our conclusion is that for years our farm had been a traditional tobacco farm. Our neighbor farmed our land using pesticides and chemical fertilizers. These chemicals wreak havoc with the balance of nature. Our first potato, squash, and green bean crops were almost destroyed by bugs. Rather than douse the plants with pesticides, we patiently worked the rows of plants, hand picking and killing the bugs. (I know, I cannot believe this city girl did that!) The hard work paid off. Subsequent crops have had very little pest pressure because nature has resumed it's delicate balance between beneficial and harmful pests. The land has healed and we now reap the rewards of a living farm.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just for Cat Owners

Anyone who owns or has owned a house cat can relate to this. Enjoy! I found this little gem on, a blog about Chrisian mysticism, with a little humor thrown in.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

U2 Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For Lyrics

Unfortunately the video I posted yesterday is unavailable, so I'm posting the link and the lyrics. Enjoy.

I have climbed highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing fingertips
It burned like a fire
This burning desire
I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I believe in the Kingdom Come
When all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
Well, yes I'm still running
You broke the bonds
And you loosened the chains
Carried the cross
Of all my shame
all my shame
You know I believe it

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

Friday, July 10, 2009


During our evening walk, I checked on the bird nest. We saw the mother bird fly off - she's a mocking bird. Aren't the eggs beautiful?

Another Nest

Last night, while out for our usual evening stroll, our son spied a new bird nest. Yay! Another nest to watch. This one is right in the middle of one of our young pear trees; it's so low that we have to look down into it. We assume it's a robin because there are two small eggs, both "robin's egg blue." I can't wait to see the babies.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

They Flew the Coop

...or at least the nest. I was sorry to see upon my return from Dallas that the baby birds that had been living in my garage were gone. I had checked on them shortly before my departure. All five babies were crammed in the nest - and I mean crammed - and looked to be almost fully feathered. So, it wasn't unexpected but I do miss their presence. It's a nice feeling to know that we sheltered these babies and they are now out in the wild. I like to think that Rachel Carson would have been proud of us.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Few Words from Mr. Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry is one of those people that you find yourself nodding to and thinking "that's exactly what I wanted to say" when you read his essays but you know you could never put it so succinctly or eloquently. That said, below is an except from one of his essays that makes me nod my head:

"Despite its protests to the contrary, modern Christianity has become willy-nilly the religion of the state and the economic status quo. Because it has been so exclusively dedicated to incanting anemic souls into heaven, it has, by a kind of ignorance, been made the tool of much earthly villainy. It has, for the most part, stood silently by, while a predatory economy has ravaged the world, destroyed its natural beauty and health, divided and plundered its human communities and households. It has flown the flag and chanted the slogans of empire. It has assumed with the economists that "economic forces" automatically work for good, and has assumed with the industrialists and militarists that technology determines history. It has assumed with almost everybody that "progress" is good, that it is good to be modern and up with the times. It has admired Caesar and comforted him in his depredations and defaults. But in its de facto alliance with Caesar, Christianity connives directly in the murder of Creation. For, in these days, Caesar is no longer a mere destroyer of armies, cities, and nations. He is a contradictor of the fundamental miracle of life. A part of the normal practice of his power is his willingness to destroy the world. He prays, he says, and churches everywhere compliantly pray with him. But he is praying to a God whose works he is prepared at any moment to destroy. What could be more wicked than that, or more mad?

The religion of the Bible, on the contrary, is a religion of the state and the status quo only in brief moments. In practice, it is a religion for the correction equally of people and of kings. And Christ's life, from the manger to the cross, was an affront to the established powers of his time, as it is to the established powers of our time. Much is made in churches of the "good news" of the gospels. Less is said of the gospel's bad news, which is that Jesus would have been horrified by just about every "Christian" government the world has ever seen. He would be horrified by our government and its works, and it would be horrified by him. Surely no sane and thoughtful person can imagine any government of our time sitting comfortably at the feet of Jesus, who is telling them to "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. . . " (Matt. 5:44)."

Monday, July 6, 2009


Last week I was on a flight that was "bringing a soldier home." The color guard was in first class and the coffin was with the luggage below. The pilot requested that we remain seated and quiet when we landed and the color guard deplaned. I heard a woman behind me comment that her husband was in Afghanistan; she was pregnant and had a toddler with her. I started thinking about how God doesn't recognize national borders - He loves us all. John Lennon's song came to mind, so I thought I'd share the lyrics with my readers:

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Sunday, July 5, 2009


I haven't posted anything this past week as I was in Dallas visiting my awesome sister and her family. Due to distance and family obligations, we don't get to see one another very often so when we do see one another, it's all about us. She has a great husband who not only puts up with us gabbing for hours on end, he even cooks all the meals for us! I didn't really do any sightseeing this trip but instead spent time hanging out at her house and sitting out by the pool enjoying the 100+ degree weather!