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    Living Fully Present

      Over the past few months I have been in transition. A bit of culture shock as I have left my home in the Philippines and have re-entered my passport country, the United States; for a much-needed sabbatical. I have never been very good at transitions. For some reason, even if I know they are coming and I think I have prepared for them, I still struggle. This transition has been no different. Transitions cause me a great deal of personal, inner reflection as I assess what I am leaving behind and begin to anticipate what I am yet to embrace or going towards. For several weeks now, I have…

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    The Fear Of Imperfection

    My mind’s eye can see what I want. My heart knows what will make something look picture-perfect. Is this perfectionism or striving towards excellence? Separating perfectionism from excellence:  Lately I have been seeking the answer to this question: “What is the difference between perfectionism, or striving towards excellence in my work?” As I have churned this question over in my mind, like shells tumbling in the rolling tide, I have begun to see a clarifying difference that separates these two thoughts.  As I took a discovering look at myself, I realized, that there are times that the motive for my work stems from a deep-rooted need to gain value, acceptance…

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    Day of Victory!

    How is it, that I can wake up on Valentines Day and feel like all the love is slowly being squeezed right out of me? Thirty-seven consecutive Valentines Days shared with my husband Joel, and here I was entering this one with a melancholy attitude I couldn’t identify. I should have prepared myself for the unexpected low, as I had just said hard good-byes to my brother and sister who were visiting here in the Philippines. While my brother was doing ministry work in the Province, I enjoyed two remarkable weeks together with my eldest sister. Each day was hinged with laughter, reminiscent memories of experiences from days gone by,…

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    Textile, color and design breeds creativity

    The Colliding of Passion: There is something that draws me towards textile, color and design. This combination stirs me deeply, allowing passion to collide with soulfulness and ultimately, igniting creativity. A weekend trip into the mountains of Baguio, Philippines refreshed me, not only with cool, clean air; but all things uniquely designed. I delighted in the view of rainbow painted houses, precariously perched on tiered mountain sides. My eyes took in jars and jars of freshly made strawberry jam with the sun igniting their ruby brightness. An endless array of handwoven head scarves, tapestry bags, knitted caps and colorful straw brooms; each, a harmony of color spilling over into a…

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    “Who do you say that I am?”

    “Who do you say that I am?” “Then He asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16 NLT) Who do you say that I am?  As I write this simple question, my heart seems to have stopped. Tears threaten to crumble the dam, that I mindfully erected, long ago.  A protective dam – one that holds all my sorrows, my unmet- unvoiced longings, my fierce disappointments and my unanswered prayers are all kept at bay from connecting with my one-true heart. But today, I am faced with this one question, and this dam of…

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    A Touch of Mercy for The Oppressed

    Over the past seven years I have traveled to many local places throughout Manila, Philippines. Drawn to all things cultural and Filipino, I find delight in: a simple trike ride through local streets, a walk through the center of a neighboring Barangay, a trek along steep pathways where simple clapboard homes teeter precariously along cliff edges, a ride on a crowded unairconditioned train in which I am sandwiched shoulder to shoulder with the locals whom I have grown to love, a handkerchief covering my face from the polluted black belch of a jeep-nee I am riding in, the church that meets outside whose congregants greet me warmly with smiles that…

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    Stop the Masquerade: Unveil the Masks

       “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde  Unveiling the Masks By continuously covering up God’s good and perfect design, we are shouting out the message; “God, your masterpiece is not good enough.” “God. You messed up when you made me!” As Christ followers I don’t think any of us would really believe that message; yet we subconsciously say it when we masquerade as something we were never meant to be, in order, to gain the appeal and approval of others.  “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10…

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    Fake, Fraud or Real: Personal Mask Assessment

      Hidden Identity:  During my elementary years my mother and I would often take trips to our local Salvation Army. It was always a highlight for me to get away from our country home and spend the day in our small city; as bargain hunting at a thrift store was one of my favorite activities. I loved to leisurely browse the racks for a new outfit, a great book title, a fun handbag or a new-to-me pair of shoes. Until one day, as I was engrossed in looking through the over stocked isles of used clothing, shoes and books; my eyes spotted another classmate. As our eyes locked, I was…

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    Learning to Live Out of Our True Selves  

      As I step softly into this new year many questions have already begun to occupy my mind. What keeps me from living freely out of my unique, God-created design? What paralyzes me from living out of my true, authentic self? What has me repeatedly running to others to earn validation, applause and approval? “The greatest battle we face as human beings is the battle to protect our true selves from the self the world wants us to become.” E.E. Cummings  Living Out of Our True Self:   The true self are those parts of you that are authentic, and flow from living out of the true identify you have…

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    The Giver of Hope Has Come!

    Ever so slowly the slightest hint of hopelessness rises, you wonder where it comes from as it tempts to break the surface of this peaceful Christmas season. Amid “all is calm – all is bright” thin slivers of loss threaten to destroy this Christmas cheer. Making Sense of the “Not-Yets” Lately I have found my soul arguing with itself. There are many impossible situations in my life that I just can’t figure out. Every once-in-awhile, a sneak attack slips in right between  “silent night-holy night” and the words “sleep in heavenly peace” and I find myself in turmoil wondering what I will do with what has not-yet-come. The future! Then I…