Monday, April 2, 2012

Gardening and New Beginnings

It's Monday, it's also my month - April! April means "new beginnings" or "opening." Rightly named for our spring season (in the USA) of new, fresh things like blooming flowers and spring babies! I generally get a lot of rap for my name during this month, but that's okay - I'm pretty used to it after 25 years of being hassled... ;)

I love that my name means new beginnings. I feel as though it describes my life purpose. One of my passions is to help bring restoration to woman who have been trafficked and abused and I love that with God's power and strength in me, I can be part of the new beginning that these women are seeking.

I don't have my own garden right now (I live in an apartment complex) but I had the chance last weekend to help one of my friends prep her garden for spring. It was so wonderful to feel the dirt between my toes again and get my hands dirty readying the ground for growth. How awesome would it be to have a community garden where many of us could come together and plant, grow, nurish, harvest and share the food. Thinking I would like to do this soon... I'll have to refresh my memory on gardening again... it's been awhile, but I love see communities come together and start new things, start developing their land and life for the better. Do you have any tips on community gardening? Has anyone on here done it before?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Volkswagon Vans & House Searching

After traveling around the world for the past 5 1/2 years, I'm on the search for a new home, a place where I can live and semi-settle down (at least in the same town!)  I've looked at a handful of places, and passed over hundreds of ads on Craigslist... there's definitely some interesting people on there...

 I'm realizing that I'm a bit picky about who I live with and where I live. Most people are, I think that's pretty normal, but I just didn't think I was because I've lived everywhere from grass huts to Indian slums to beautiful houses; with best friends and family and complete strangers. But its different when you have a choice. When you get to CHOOSE where you live (you don't always get to do that as an overseas volunteer.)

So I have this dilemma where I know what I want, but I can't find it, and so I started thinking that maybe I should just get a good old VW Van (I've always wanted to live in one for a summer...)

It could look like this... :)

 Or this...
 and this...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Purpose in Business

It's a classic Saturday... I love the weekends! Slept in and then went to brunch at a friends house. Coffee, mimosas, waffles, laughter, and good friends... mmmm. So fun, great way to start a day!

My mind is forever filled with ideas, and business and marketing and how I can be a better person in all that I am doing and bring glory to God through my everday life. I've been reading this book and it's amazing. It's overflowing with ideas and passion and new ways of doing things.

What is the point of business if it doesn't help you reach a goal? Or have a specific purpose? It's so good to be challenged by talking with people, reading books and discussing new ideas!

My main goal in business is to see people restored. To give them a hope for the future, replacing despair and fatalism with hope in God. To help people realize their dreams. I am working towards starting a (or several) coffee houses with the goal of working with at-risk woman. To show them a new way of life. So that they don't have to work in the sex trade to provide for the families.

What are some resources that you recommend on business and entrepreneurship? What are you dreams for your business?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Discipleship Training School

Can't believe it's the weekend again... and it's been way too long since I've written. We graduated one of our Discipleship schools this weekend. They just returned from spending three months working with non-profits and locals in Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Turkey and Greece. So proud of them all and shall miss them greatly around here as the are heading off on the newest ventures! The good news is that a handful of them are coming back to work and be get training here in Colorado Springs. Yay! I love hearing about their dreams and goals and what each of the students plans to do next, and how they are taking steps to serve God with their whole hearts and lives. It's a beautiful thing!

Some of the things they are planning to do:

Get training in Counseling to help trafficking victims, orphans, etc.
Start their own businesses.
Take a Bible school that studies through the whole Bible 5 times in 9 months.
Move to China to serve and teach there.
Get trained in barista work and business skills to start coffee houses in Thailand.

These are just a few of the plans that I heard about before the students left... I know there are many more out there! I feel very privileged to be a part of their lives and watch God at work in all of it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Random Adventures of the Weekend

The weekend has been a crazy one, but oh so good! Great friends and great fun. It all started with a fabulous cup of french press coffee and some quiet time. The best way to start a day in my opinion! Then I did a 5 mile hike with six friends... filled with exploring, climbing trees, climbing rocks, photos, stories and more than plenty of laughter. Such a great time. I realized I need to do that more often, just be in the great outdoors with friends, enjoying time together and gazing at the beauty of God's amazing creation. Loved it. A great morning! In the afternoon I drank more coffee... then helped some friends move chairs for their new office and get started on painting. Always an adventure!

Today (Sunday) I slept in. Started the day with coffee, (of course!) and finished the second Hunger Games book that I was reading. If you haven't read that series yet then you should. So well written, and continuously intriguing. Not a lot of novels hold my attention, but I am loving this series. It's one of those where you can't put the book down and you stay up 'til all hours of the night reading. Those are the best ones!

I also caught up on some much needed work, and then it was back to painting in the office! I'm painting a tree on the wall... its super fun. Simple and classy and cute. Nothing crazy, but its so refreshing to just be creative and design and paint and enjoy. These are the kinds of things that bring me life. I'm not quite half done yet, but I'll post pictures when it's finished!

What is your favorite way to spend the weekend?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Merchant of Souls

I really love it here in Colorado Springs. Starting to feel like home for sure. My bestie is here visiting for the week on her way back to Ohio and it's been super fun and relaxing and encouraging to get to spend time with her. Lots of girl talk and laughter and late night adventures. Love having her here and wish she could stay!

Last night a few of us went to Denver to see Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. It's a documentary about sex trafficking all over the world, made by Exodus Cry, which is a ministry of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. It was a solid film. Filled with truth and passion. There were many personal interviews with victims, past victims, johns and pimps. It was a good education and awareness tool, showing many different aspects and sides of the trade. It's devastating to see people living like this. So broken and soul-less. Yet the video was also a good reminder of who God is, His hope and passion and love and grace and truth and His heart for this issue.

This cause - setting the captives free - is something that I'm so passionate about. Yet it is so difficult to know what my role in this is. How I can make a difference through my life. It's hard to know which direction to take and what the real needs are and how I can best use my time. It's definitely a learning process!

What are your thoughts on this issue? 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Proud Owner of a Grill

Seems like this space has been all about food lately! I've been enjoying cooking, realizing that it IS actually something that I like to do. I've cooked for so long for my job that I wasn't sure I liked cooking anymore, but I'm realizing that I really do. Especially for groups of family or friends. So fun.

This weekend I bought a mini grill. So much fun trying it out tonight! I was terrified though... that I was going to blow something up... :) I had NO idea how one is supposed to put together a grill & attach the propane tank. It was a great adventure... though I must say I would have been ecstatic if a guy had arrived on scene at that moment to help me. All said and done, I followed the directions, and no one got hurt!

Here it is! My first ever grill! I didn't even put any seasoning or marinade on the chicken... it was a very spontaneous grilling moment... but the flavor was amazing!

What are your favorite recipes/foods to grill?