i’m sick and so is my mac

So, everyone who doesn’t use a mac will enjoy a romp in my confession:
my macbook is sick.

(laugh if you want, I can’t hear you anyway)

Right now, my macbook is propped open at about a 35 degree angle, with the bottom on my belly, while I recline with my elbows sticking out like a chicken and my hands on the keys. I’m sorry if you can’t picture me. Basically, it’s awkward and not functional, which is why I have been doing very little blogging lately. At work I had to lay my head sideways on my desk to read my emails on friday… so you can imagine this weekend has been a little less electronic.

Which, as it turns out, hasn’t been so bad because I’m as sick if not sicker than my computer. I have a funny throat, nose, ear, tummy, fever, body ache kind of thing going on.

But, these two things I just became more thankful for:
1) the international cleaning standards of franchise fast food restaurant bathrooms
2) pharmacies in third world countries where the little lady behind the counter will diagnose your symptoms and give you some helpful drugs.

are these things good in all cases and causes? no. but today, I was thankful.

Well, I’m thinking about getting a desktop monitor that I can connect to my laptop at least at work. So, I’m not sure how communicative I will be this week.

sometimes walks are sacred


Today didn’t go as I had planned.

When I did venture out, the air was warm on my face and the 30-minute walk to El Centro was therapeutic. Saturdays usually are filled with this or that and always Manos, the feeding center (a ministry set up on the outskirts of the city where many people were pushed after Hurricane Mitch). After I reached El Centro, discouragement was a phone call saying the feeding center was canceled because of a training for the center’s teachers. I determined to finish my book (see below) and walk.

I know, I could afford to aim higher. But, today (and probably often) I think walks are sacred. Sometimes the brain energy it takes to process things falls into rhythm with my steps… left, right, left (step over large square hole in pavement), right, stutter around an oddly placed electric pole, left, right, left, nod and greet the mother/daughter walking towards me, right, left. Yes, I think walking is a sacred thing. Covering physical step after physical step and watching yourself make progress – setting off in a direction and arriving at a destination. I think the movement makes ideas rise to the surface and find clarity. The prayers I pray in these sacred walks don’t sound like prayers at all. They sound much more like a conversation.

I got back to my house and accomplished some cleaning, mending (well, preparation for), reading, listening to music, and I am not really sure what else. You know, I think this feeling might come from my mother, but there is something ridiculously difficult about seeing an empty Saturday. I am here, shouldn’t my Saturdays be full of ministry somewhere… or at least be full of something? I’m finding the answer is no.

here are a few things I’ll recommend from today (when I wasn’t walking)…
I am pages from finishing Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner and, well, the journey is one I will probably take again. I like thinking my roots travel far deeper than I have thought to dig. I like the challenge in the idea of liturgy and seasons and meaning hidden inside and between traditions and rituals. I read this book in four different places today and enjoyed it in each scene.

I just saw Meet the Browns (Tyler Perry movie). I watched it by myself, but that didn’t stop me from chuckling and getting a little weepy. Good stuff.

Maximizing your Mornings (secretlifeofkat) So, this is my new take on mornings… I happened upon the secret life of Kat’s blog awhile back and so recently stumbled upon her fabulous FREE ebook to help moms start their mornings off right. No, I don’t have children, but I do need to go to boot camp for my morning routine and I think this might be the way to do it. Then, maybe when I DO have kids, I’ll know how to handle myself.

My ears are having a play date with Jillian Edwards and, well, can you picture the best times spent in the backyard, the sandbox, the treehouse? Combine those times with a few road trips where your hands hang out the window to make wind rollercoasters…. that’s the best explanation I’ve got.

Every day since I have returned from the States, I have taken a very serious and precious bite out of the raspberry truffle chocolate bar my sister gave me for Christmas. This amazing chocolate is from Vermont and I am dangerously close to writing a little note to appreciate their excellence!

speaking gibberish

Today: beautiful. I will update with pictures soon. Words won’t do.

Tonight: I discovered when I can’t sort through all the random tasks my mind is asking me to do, I begin speaking a form of gibberish my own mind doesn’t even understand. Somehow, I ended up out buying supplies tonight for crafts and celebrations for the kids at the orphanage this weekend. When a friend called me to return several missed calls, I am sure she hung up saying, “That girl needs to chill – she’s not making ANY sense.”

She wouldn’t be lying. I wasn’t. I just kept talking and skipping subjects and blurting out how I felt about this or that. But I knew even as I was saying it that it could not make any sense. I apologized because I couldn’t remember where I left off or what ground needed to be re-covered.

Whew.

Well, some things on the list just won’t get done. And other things – the most important (people) – will take priority and in the end I hope I will be singing (as I so loudly and obnoxiously was in my car):

Recibe TODA la gloria
Recibe toda la honra
precioso Hijo de Dios

I could sing this line forever and feel it every time.

Night, folks.

giant avocado

Today I’m taking wedding photos for my friends Malvin and Macayla… we’ll see how that goes! And then I’m headed to my first Quinceañera celebration! Lots of reason for incomplete sentences and exclamations!

I will write more tonight, hopefully, but I wanted to show you the size of the avocado I bought on the street the other day.

Yes, this avocado is as big as my face.

Favorite Spots in the Sea

Asking a person who loves books about their favorites is like asking a sailor about their favorite part of the sea. A friend asked me yesterday what my favorite books are, and as much as I love books, I hate that question! So I’ve been thinking about that question for the last day or so. I don’t know about favorites, but books that have, literally, changed my life are:

The Treasure Principle, Randy Alcorn (Made me graduate college early!)

Stop dating the Church, Josh Harris (Helped me fall in love with God’s bride, the church.)

A Woman after God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George (showed me what it’s like to be a truly Godly Woman- def. not there yet 🙂 )

Wild at Heart, Eldridge (I know it’s weird, but it helped me understand my guy friends/ brothers/ etc. a whole lot better! 🙂 )

Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning (Made me realize it’s OK to be a mess, if I do it for the Lord)

For the Love of God, DA Carson (The only “devotional” that I ever could really get into. This is hard-core stuff for Christian growth. Awesome.)

The book of Romans, God (spent 6 months studying it, verse by verse, in preparation for a summer mission trip. Life-changing.)

What the Bible says about Healthy Living, Rex Russell
(Started me on all-natural cooking and eating, 7 months ago!)

Check them out!

More Hugs to Honduras!

From Meagan and Myla in Western MI:
CARE BEAR (turtle).. happy belated birthday from meg and myla! myla is a little bit like her mommy in that she likes to be fashionably late (well.. 4 days overdue and she still didn’t want to come out..).. so it is only natural that we are late to wish you a HAPPY 24th.. but we LOVE auntie caroline SO much! Myla can’t wait to meet you. she loves her little turtle with your voice message in it and will definitely know you when she meets you in person because of it 🙂 she also wants to teach you a little bit about fashion.. specifically high heels. she may be a shorty like us so she already has heels. i told her about you not brining any heels to honduras with you and how i was trying to convince you that you should have at least ONE pair. maybe you have shopped by now though and gotten some. 🙂 although they probably won’t do you much good when you are doing crazy things like getting lost in the mountains. here is a pic of my in her “Heeliarious” high heels for babies. altough.. (yawn) she doesn’t seems too interested in them. maybe she is more like you than her mama 🙂 just thought you would get a laugh out of this.. a friend ordered them online after seeing them on the Today show and deciding that they were ridiculous but funny. Anyways.. sending love from our little west michigan corner of the world. we miss you around here and can’t wait to spend time at Christmas! lots of LOVE!!!

Meg and Myla xoxoxoxox

Jacqui from Columbus, OH:
So forgive me…I’m a day behind…but not because I wasn’t thinking of you yesterday. Amazing how whole days completely slip away from you!
I hope you had a fantastic birthday. And I remember you painting a “It’s Your Special Day” plate for my bachelorette party. So if you don’t have a special plate, you should get a paper plate and a marker and make yourself one. And remember, every day should be celebrated! And I know you do that so well.
Love Jacqui from Ohio!

Buenos Dias!

Hello, hello!

I have very little time, but I wanted to say that I have arrived in Honduras! God is so amazing in how He works everything out – even the little details.

I feel so very blessed to be here and be a part of the ministry of Pinares. Please check out the webpage – I have updated an August edition of the newsletter and added pictures to Picasa. As always, there will be more to come.

Mucho amor!

Wednesdays are for REJOICING

Put yourself behind a camera, filming a close shot of a lone figure. With face raw and eyes inclined, the figure firmly stationed on an obscure precipice, looks to be the center of the shot. The expression; exhilarating, the mood; thrilling.

The blushed colors of exertion are bright in contrast to the understated tones of nature. Then, the camera pans out and the lone figure appears smaller and smaller until finally you hardly notice a break in the rocky formation.

With these two lenses I take in my new station: Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I will actually quite literally find myself on a mountain, about 5 miles above the city. But I suppose I need to speak in less specific terms.

In “Don’t Waste Your Life,” John Piper writes about the differences between a telescope and a microscope, in terms of magnification. In a 1997 lecture at the Passion conference (which was ironically in Austin), Piper again cites the illustration to describe how we must magnify God. He says,

“This conference exists to light a fire in your bones and ignite a fire in your minds and in your hearts to get you ready to meet King Jesus, so that you can continue throughout all eternity doing what he created you to do, namely, to marvel at him and magnify him.”

…to marvel and magnify him. Even as I write this I can feel its challenge to the Spirit inside me. Oh, that I would get up and follow like a curious child into this marvelous light!

Piper describes magnifying with a microscope, where you see something very tiny made much larger through a lense. To do this to God, Piper says, is blaspheme. To think that God is so small that we have the capacity to make Him bigger is horribly self-absorbed and (sadly) our natural tendency. But, to magnify with a telescope is to see something that is great, immense, even beyond grasp and stand amazed. Because, though we see the stars as pinpoints, we know that they are part of something gloriously enormous.

So, as I think about the first excitement of the Lord’s leading I see the temptation to think singularly – to dwell in a world Caroline-centered. But, by God’s grace the camera pans out! The scene changes and I dissolve into the landscape. The mountain is no longer my backdrop, but I its humble visitor.

I am deep in the midst of sharing the news, writing letters, making phone calls, thinking about what I am choosing and what I am leaving behind. Oh, that I would misplace my microscope and in its place see the universe in light of the Masterful work of the Living God.

I think, maybe for a moment, today I saw this sight. And that’s why Wednesdays are for REJOICING!