Archive for October, 2008

Stuff I Can’t Do: Volume 1

Posted: October 30, 2008 in Uncategorized

My friend, Becky, MADE THIS for her daughter’s Halloween party and it’s just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. And…did I mention she MADE this? From Rice Krispies and fruit leather and stuff. Please, stand back and be amazed:

Do you think my Kitchen Aid could do this for me?

Happy Thursday,



Silver and Gold Have I Some

Posted: October 29, 2008 in Uncategorized

Have you ever gone by a person on the street with a sign asking for money and not wanted to give them any?  Have you ever experienced that warm glow-y feeling when you DO stop and give them some?

That happened to me the other day – except not the warm glow-y part.

Seriously, I went by this lady in a grocery store parking lot holding a sign that said, “Single Mom- Anything Helps.”  I felt the internal nudge of my conscience and the Holy Spirit and something amazing happened:  it annoyed me.  Yes, I was annoyed by the prompting of God.  I was on my way home and I only had a $20 dollar bill and I didn’t want to give her that much and I don’t think it’s really okay to ask for change.

So, it would be awesome to tell you that I just obeyed the nudge and went and gave it to her, but that’s not how the story goes.  What I chose to do instead is drive around the stupid parking lot, trying to figure out if it was really wise for me to give her the money or not.  I mean, times are tight.  People are worried.  It’s important to be frugal and smart with our resources.  As I drove aimlessly, my mind suddenly started playing the big screen pictures of the things that I have bought recently:  groceries we didn’t get around to eating, clothes I’ve never worn, books I haven’t read and probably never will, many dinners out.  Wise?  No.  But I do it because – I reason – it’s my money.  I worked for it.  And yet, I always say that it’s His.  And if He wants to spend it on a poor woman in a lonely parking lot, it’s His deal.  I just really, really wanted to give her  something smaller than a twenty.

Finally, I scraped together the measure of compassion necessary to part with my precious money and I took it to the woman.  She looked at me and said, “God bless you.”  And in that moment I knew…He had found me there.  He had used her need for money to address my paralyzing need for control.  He used the faith that she had in making the ASK, to get to the root of the fear that causes me to cling to my comfort.

I said, “Thanks.  He really does.”

And I drove away not with a warm, glow-y feeling…but instead just really wishing I was a lot more like Jesus.

Clearly still learning,


Tuesday’s Child: Bits & Pieces

Posted: October 28, 2008 in Uncategorized

This story is beautiful, compelling and hope-filled. It left me a little dizzy with the question: what more could I do?

Also, it’s been awhile since I’ve given you any updates on the Amani Life Project. Great things are happening, but Whitney and I have both had very busy schedules outside of it and so we’ve had a difficult time staying on top of everything. We are working on some exciting sponsorship opportunities, developing a plan for business involvement and are expecting the AWESOME Amani totes to arrive by November 5. If you signed up to sponsor, one of these fantastic bags will be arriving in your hands very soon. We have some wonderful partners who are working on some events for 2009 including sponsor dinners, benefit concerts and – quite possibly – a fashion show! How cool is it to send orphans to college? SO cool!

Thanks to everyone for your amazing, faithful support…we’re so excited to get about a month down the road when we can once again make Amani the focus of our existence and our reason for waking up in the morning. It’s comin!

We love you,

Bo, Whitney & 143 million others

5 to 5

Posted: October 27, 2008 in Uncategorized

The strangest thing happened last week.  Three people asked me variations on the question, “So what the heck do you do anyway?”   Seriously, three different people.   This post is my retribution.  Enjoy.

5:00 am: Have a scary dream that is – I believe – inspired by my new friends, Fawn & Michael.  In it, both myself and my husband are flying helicopters. That’s right.  Helicopters.  And I realize, “Hey! I can’t fly a helicopter!” and wake up in fear and trembling.

5:22 As relief seeps into my real, human self, I decide that it’s dumb to wait til the alarm goes off in 8 minutes and I get up and start the coffee.

5:30 Check email and yep, I always have some…know why?  Because I go to bed CRAZY early, that’s why.  And people who have actual lives and get home from the actual places they actually go after 6:00 p.m., send me stuff at the late, late hour of 9:45 p.m. and I read it at 5:30 a.m.  The rhythms of life are interesting.

5:45 My favorite time of the WHOLE day.  Job, Psalms, Acts.  I asked God a REALLY big question this morning.  I didn’t get an answer yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

7:30 Take Tess to school.  Would you think it was weird if I told you that every time I drop her off – every single time – I remember what it was like to be in middle school and it makes me feel sorry for her? Even though she has no ill will toward middle school, I still feel bad that she has to go.  Silly.

8:00 Starbucks for my second coffee and a meeting with a friend.  Except for the friend part because she can’t come…so I decide to write a little and enjoy the morning.

8:20 Just because it’s what I do, I text my husband and say, “I got stood up.”

8:30 Tori calls with big and urgent questions about women in ministry.  Having survived a debate – she mostly wants to make sure she adequately defended the family honor.  She did.   She’s loyal like that.

8:32 Steve calls to say, “Let’s have breakfast at Jake’s”…an offer I would never in a million years refuse.  Jake’s is…well, it defies description to those who don’t live in Bend.  It’s a truck stop/diner/dive with cheap food served in stunning portions.  (Those of you from Bend are invited to comment on the glory of Jake’s.)

8:33 Resume phone call with Tori, talking passionately about Deborah and Jael and Paul and Nympha for the whole two minutes it takes to get to Jake’s. (Those of you with a dog in the fight are invited to comment on women in ministry.)

8:43 Our omelet arrives: the “small” Hollandaise Surprise, also known as “Whitney’s Favorite”.  We split it, me and the large man I married – and we know we’ll have some leftover at the end.  It’s just gigantic.

8:47 Steve says, “I bet you’re happy this omelet has so many tomatoes.”  I say “yes, indeed!”, but secretly think how I’m mostly happy that he remembers I like tomatoes.  I love him for that.

9:15 Arrive at work, so happy someone else is teaching my Communications class, or I would not have had all that Hollandaise fun.

9:17 Discover my Pampered Chef order has arrived at my office…also discover that I have ordered something and have absolutely no idea what it is. No earthly idea.

9:19 Wander into the office next door with the mystery object to see if the ladies there might recognize it.

9:20 Leave defeated.

9:21 Return phone calls, send emails, work on some messages coming up this weekend and next month, book a speaking date for a ladies event.   Deal with the fact that, for whatever reason, my computer speakers are on the blink once again which means that I can see Andy Stanley preach, but I can’t actually hear him.  And hearing him is pretty much the point.  If your speakers work, you can see and hear here. (Those of you who love or loathe Andy Stanley are invited to comment.  Except not those of you who loathe him because that would not be nice.)

11:00 Katie, my evil assistant, brings me a rice krispy treat.   We have about 397 of them leftover from a class and she’s trying to get rid of them.  Also, one time I threw a Twinkie at her and she’s never forgiven me.  Please send Katie therapy while I return to work.

12:10 Lunch at my desk.  Who would have thought you could grind up raw tuna, roll it up in rice and seaweed and get people to pay $6 bucks for it? And who would have thought that the 6 bucks would be mine?

1:30 Meet with a young lady whose life story could be a riveting novel.  She’s beautiful and amazing…and finally starting to believe it.  I’m so proud of her and my Jesus.

2:00 Work.  Work.  Work. (these details are uninteresting or I would include them.  I thought about making up something interesting but since I’m a pastor, that’s probably a bad idea. The two details that ARE true is that somewhere in the course of the afternoon I ate the stupid rice krispy treat and Katie threw another one on my desk.  The woman has no moral compass.)

4:30 Home.  Home.  I love home.  And I love working part time.  Josiah wants a grilled cheese.  What is it with kids and grilled cheese?  Or ME and grilled cheese?

4:33 Tori calls again to try to figure out how to research an assignment on Dads and Daughters.  We simultaneously google…there must be a word for simultaneously googling?  Also, the fact that Tori called twice in one day?  Remarkable!

4:43 The distinct smell of charcoal reminds me that Josiah’s cheese is most definitely GRILLED.

4:45 Scrape Joe’s sandwich and check my work email.  Catch up on headlines and discover that the price of crude oil plunged to  $67 per barrel.  Text my husband:  “We should be paying about .77 for gas by the end of the week.”

5:00 Call it a day…a silly day.  Silly, silly, wonderful day.

What does your day look like?

Much wonderful love,


Every Season.

Posted: October 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

I loved, loved, loved the true and honest responses to yesterday’s post about clinging vs. jumping.  I’m in one of the more interesting seasons of my life right now, and I gained strength and wisdom from your words.  My wonderful Katie (a woman whose made some pretty fantastic jumps of her own) mentioned this  song by Nichole Nordeman in her comment and I did what I normally do: agree with her.  I’ve always loved Every Season, but there was something about hearing it this time that seeped into the corners of my little limb-clinging self in wonderful ways.

So today, I’m inviting you to get a cup of tea and some pumpkin butter and take a long pause to breathe in the beauty of this song and the fresh air of whatever season you find yourself in.

Just about ready to jump,


P.S.  If you didn’t comment yesterday, I’d still love to hear your thoughts on this whole issue of faith in every season.


Posted: October 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

Today I walked through Drake Park and watched a mini tornado of leaves, loosened from their limbs by a noisy gust of wind, as they circled and spun in a riot of gold and red and orange. They created quite a storm, dancing their way down, racing each other to welcome the changing of the seasons.

I wish I was like that. I’d love to be one who can gracefully let go of the branch and fly fast and free.

But that’s not me. I am not the leaf that happily floats because the wind says she should. I am one that clings to the security of the season that was. In fact, I look at the leaves that strap themselves in and dare the wind to break their hold and I admire their pluck, all the while knowing that they are silly to resist the pull of the seasons. They will look ridiculous up there, covered in snow. When summer comes, and green is the new orange, their rusty coats will be hopelessly outdated…so Fall, 2008. When it’s time to let go, it’s time to let go. Move on. Fly.

I wonder: can a girl who has grown accustomed to a white-knuckled grip on the limb go from clinger to jumper in one cycle of seasons? We’ll see.

Trying to welcome the wind,


P.S. I know sometimes it’s good to hang on even when everything tells you to let go…but the part of me that I’m working on is the “let go” part. Maybe you’re a “jumper” by nature and God is challenging you to cling a little more tightly when the wind blows. That, to me, is the beauty of His plan. He knows who we are and what we need and He doesn’t let us get stuck…even though getting unstuck can be really scary. I’d actually love to know: are you a clinger or a jumper?

You know, sometimes I watch CNN and it seems like the American sky is falling.  Then, I watch this and it reminds me that our country, for the most part, is pretty healthy, strong and blessed.

It’s for girls like Maggie that The Amani Life Project exists.  I’m so excited to make a difference.

For Tuesday’s Children Everywhere,