Friday, May 20, 2011

We Can't Afford To Get It Wrong

While I think all of these recent end of the world or "Doomsday" predictions are bogus, I do, however, believe that all of us have an eternal destiny. The fact is, for any of us, tomorrow could very well be our final day here on earth. We are not guaranteed even the next moment. But for those who put their faith in Jesus Christ, that is not a scary thought because it simply means we will be reunited with our Lord and Saviour. We can have peace about our eternity because our hope is in Him. My heart remains burdened for those without His peace.

There is a lot of propaganda out there which can often make it hard to filter through and find the truth. But having certainty and a clear understanding of our future should be something worth pursuing because it's something we can't afford to get wrong.

Author, Francis Chan, offers compelling insight into many of the questions we ask ourselves about the heavier things concerning God, life and eternity in the following short video. I've read his other book entitled Crazy Love and look forward to reading his new book when it becomes available in July. Until then, we should all actively engage in our own judicious pursuit of: "what exactly does our eternal future hold?" I can't think of a more important question than that. It's a question in desperate need of truth and understanding. (Galatians 1:12 , 1 Corinthians 2:12, Romans 15:4)  

I encourage everyone who thinks that they already know the answer, to take a second look, a deeper look, because you want to be absolutely certain, not just convinced, that you haven't overlooked any of the evidence and that what you believe to be true is in fact true, not just speculation. I say this because I myself had overlooked much of the evidence and now see how those missing elements make a huge difference.

Don't misunderstand me, I am not claiming to be some "higher thinker"...I'm just sharing the knowledge that has been revealed to me through my pursuit of truth and I simply want the best future for everyone. I have no personal gain in whether or not you choose to follow Christ other than the humble joy of knowing we can appreciate Heaven together one day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Things I Love: My Favourite Summer Nail Polishes

Summer is right around the corner! I can't believe it...this year seems to be going by quick. Although I don't like the high temperatures that come along with summer or the thought of shorts, swimsuits and sunburns, I DO however love wearing bright and summery nail polishes for the season! :) Here are a few of my favourite picks...

click for larger view
(Left to Right)
1. Essie Jam N' Jelly  — it's a pretty bright pink with purple iridescence
2. Essie Cute As A Button  — lovely coral shade
3. OPI Mermaid's Tears from the Pirates of the Caribbean collection  — a sea foam green color
4. Quirius Lavendar Bouquet  — this is such a gorgeous vibrant purple
5. Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road  — more of a creamy yellow as opposed to neon yellow, which I prefer
6. Essie Barefoot and Topless  — the perfect nude shade
7. OPI Cozu-Melted In The Sun  — gorgeous rose gold with subtle shimmer, would look great with a summer tan
8. Essie Meet Me At Sunset — a deep orange shade, I love the name of this one
9. OPI Jade Is The New Black from the Hong Kong collection  — beautiful true green
10. Essie Aruba Blue  — lovely ocean blue with a iridescent shine
11. OPI Strawberry Margarita  — the perfect hot pink with an adorably fitting name for summer
12. OPI Glitzerland from the Swiss collection — gorgeous gold shade and another cute nail polish name

I just love the names they come up with for nail polishes. They are always so fun and cute. A lot of these polishes have summer-inspired names also. :) What are YOUR favourite summer polishes?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Excitement Ensues

The weekend can't get here soon enough! My parent's are scheduled to arrive early Sunday morning in Zurich which means by the end of the week I will get to hug them!!! :) I'm taking the train 2 hours to Zurich and meeting them at the airport on Sunday. My Dad is working with a few clients there on Mon. and Tues. so my Mom and I will be get in some much needed mother-daughter time! Then the three of us will head back to our apartment in Lutry and let the fun begin! :) We have a few exciting things planned to do and see while they are here. I'm just thrilled about having them close, I don't really care what we do! I'm sure Dad and Jared will be enjoying many hours of Halo together! ;) I'll try to keep up my blogging while they are here but I plan on making the most of my time with them and blogging is not a high priority. I will try to do at least one post during the week for sure though, maybe more if time allows.

I had planned on launching my new photography website this week which would make prints and products available for purchase but with my parents being here for two weeks and then shortly following that my brother and sister-in-law will be here, so I thought it would be best to wait since I really wouldn't be able to keep up with orders while they're here. We plan on doing quite a bit of sightseeing and just visiting with one another. In other words, I'm declaring vacation for the next couple of weeks. So in order to avoid shipping delays and the risk of getting behind, I will be launching my new website on Wednesday, June 8. I'll send out an official update when that happens. Thank you all for your support and patience! I'm excited and happy to share my work with you!

These last few days have been going by rather slow. But I hope the days really slow down when my family gets here! I love and miss them so much!! This will be a memorable and much needed next few weeks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life Over Limitations

I recently had a mutually respectful discussion with a friend about children with special needs and whether or not they would be better off aborted. This friend, like many of us, had questioned whether these children could enjoy the same quality of life as you or I. While there is a sense of compassion in that question - in that we want everyone to have the same opportunities as we do - the solution of abortion to that question is not compassionate because it denies these children a chance of ever living up to their potential. Abortion denies children of life, love and the opportunity to have a family and future of their own. Who are we to unjustifiably predict their future and then deny them a chance of a better future? It's unreasonable and unethical to do so. Offering no chance at all instead of giving everyone (regardless of circumstances) a chance at life is our failure as a society.

We really need to ask ourselves this question: "Would we kill a born child, or eliminate them from existence based on special needs, birth defects or convenience?" No, of course we wouldn't! So why then should we kill or eliminate a pre-born child based on these reasons? Science (not religion) tells us that the pre-born are human beings from the moment of conception. So if we extend protection and dignity to those human beings living outside the womb then we should extend that same protection and dignity to those human beings living inside the womb. If our personhood is based on abilities someone will always get left out, but if we base our personhood - our intrinsic value - on the one thing that binds us all together, which is our membership of the human race, then we are all protected - it is the one thing we all share in common.

When we hear the label "special needs" we automatically think of all the challenges that may come along with special needs but do we stop to think about the fact that there is a valuable child longing to be loved and cared for behind that label? These children are special not because of their disabilities but just because they are unique individuals. Some may require more care than others, but nonetheless they deserve our love and care. Have we considered that it's not that these children can't rise up to their full potential but it is that we aren't willing to help them reach it? We should be making an effort to provide these children with opportunities, not eliminating them from existence before they've even had a chance to show what they are capable of.

Here is a short video of a few of these special needs children who have blessed the lives of their families. I don't know how anyone could look at the faces of these precious children and still believe that any child, regardless of their circumstances would be better off dead. We must accept that this is exactly what abortion declares. Let's educate others and share the love and compassion of abortion alternatives - like adoption - because every child deserves a family and a chance to give and receive love.

I want to leave you with one last powerful story. Nick Vujicic was born with Tetra-amelia, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. He and I are the same age and it's safe to say he has accomplished more things than I have in his lifetime despite his challenges, which reinforces the concept of Life Over Limitations and the importance of not writing people off before we've even given them a chance to succeed. Nick is living proof of how God doesn't make mistakes...he motivates with miracles.

Here is a quick glimpse of Nick's inspirational life....

I hope that this gave you an opportunity to better understand your own stance on this issue. Perhaps these are things you never considered before. My hope is that you now have a greater appreciation for ALL life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mental Vitamins: Daily Exercise

"The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions, running down their friends, side-stepping responsibility, and pushing their luck!" Anonymous

I stumbled upon this quote and had to share it. At some point or another in our lives we have all been guilty of one or more of these things. But none of these things are a positive use of our time and energy.

If we all dedicated more energy into positive things like, being sensible instead of making assumptions or risking misjudgment, encouraging others with our words and actions rather than tearing people down, accepting responsibility rather than being irresponsible and/or building towards a successful future rather than setting ourselves up for failure, then I think the world as a whole would be a much more enjoyable place to live and there would be less conflict and suffering.

I encourage everyone to evaluate your approach to each and every situation you face and ask yourself  "Do I have the right attitude?" More times than not it is our attitude that gets in the way of us doing the right thing. A bad attitude produces bad results, a positive attitude produces positive results. What is right is not always easiest or what is the most appealing, but we should not base our actions solely upon what feels good. Feelings are fleeting and subjective, what is right remains right regardless of emotions and the attitude we should have is to always do what is right simply because it is the right thing to do. If you're not sure of what is right or wrong, look to the source of Truth....

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Friday, May 13, 2011

Standing Tall

This week Indiana became the first state to stop tax-payer dollars from going to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. This is a step in the right direction and a great victory for Life! I want to thank not only  the government leaders who voted for the bill that defunded abortion in Indiana, but I want to also thank everyone who called their representatives, emailed their friends and family, those who prayed and all those who made an effort to protect life….thank you….bless you. All things truly are possible with Christ.

Of course, there are those who don’t share my excitement about this news. There have been a few who have made it very clear to me just how upset they are by it actually. People take this issue very seriously and very personal. But I think we all should take abortion seriously and personal because it has serious consequences and we all have been personally affected by abortion in some way or another. However, I don't think either side of the argument should feel entitled to act mean or hateful to someone.

"You can stand tall without standing on someone, you can be a victor without victims."

When faced with opposition we should respond, not react. I have had my share of ugly encounters where the discussion turns into the other person slinging personal attacks and resorting to name calling instead of sticking to the facts and responding respectfully. I’ve seen this happen on both sides of the argument. So I thought it might be helpful to share with you some things I’ve learned after many debates with people on this issue.  Hopefully this will help you if you are faced with opposition yourself so that you will be able to deliver the message of truth with confidence and with love.
1.       Know the truth. Research all the facts. In any debate, the facts are your armament. You want to be prepared by having all the facts to back up your argument. Don’t rely on one source…fact check with multiple reliable sources.  Commit these facts to your memory so you can be prepared to share them when challenged. If you’re unsure of an answer, don’t just make one up, it’s OK to say, “I don’t know the answer to that, but I will find out and get back to you.” Over time you will become more confident and more proficient. Stay informed by educating yourself.

2.       Speak the truth in love. The truth is on our side. All we have to do is present the facts and let the facts speak for themselves. Always speak the truth in love.Name calling and personal attacks will only cloud the facts and doesn't do anything positive for your character. Ignore any disrespectful or dishonest comments they may make toward you or about you. They’re just trying to distract you from sharing the truth. Only respond with facts and reason.

3.       Stay on topic. If the other person starts to get off topic, always bring them back to the core of the issue which is: What is abortion?  After defining what abortion is/what it does, then reaffirm why abortion is wrong. This is the heart of the issue and should remain the focus.

The pre-born is a human person (and will exist as you and I unless we end their existence).

Killing a human person is wrong (intentionally removing someone from existence is wrong).

Abortion is killing a human person (abortion is intentionally ending someone’s existence).

Abortion is wrong. 

4.     Don’t give up. Your opposition will try anything and everything to get you to give up and to doubt yourself.  It’s natural to want to avoid confrontation. We should desire peace and understanding. But sometimes we must defend. We must stand for truth even when it is uncomfortable. The opposition is hoping you will give in to fear and discomfort or that you will not speak up in the first place. They want the truth to be silenced.

A friend of mine shared some encouraging words with me that I am always reminded of when facing a difficult discussion where the other person is being mean and hateful. His words were this: “Never be ashamed, they certainly aren’t”. Others aren’t afraid to speak up and neither should we be afraid.  Don’t let anyone intimidate you out of standing up for what is right. If we don’t share the truth, then how will anyone ever hear it? As long as you are sharing the truth in love you shouldn't be afraid or ashamed.

5.      Live it. It’s one thing to say you’re pro-life, it’s another thing to live pro-life. We should be doing something to promote and protect life each and every day. Whether it is voting for pro-life people and laws, praying outside of clinics for the vulnerable women considering abortion and their unborn children, donating our time or money to life-affirming groups, considering adoption, providing families in need with valuable resources so they can succeed or speaking to friends and family about the issue of abortion.  We can’t do everything but we can do something. We must do something. Doing nothing only allows the injustice to continue.

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” -Elie Weisel, holocaust survivor

I hope this was helpful for those who may be feeling overwhelmed or fearful of taking a stand about abortion. Believe me, I know that it can sometimes feel like you’re all alone in this battle, especially when you’re having a one on one debate with someone. But you are not alone. For the first time in history the majority of Americans self-identify themselves as pro-life. That means there are more people who agree with you than disagree with you. And those who disagree may have never heard all the facts and they need to hear them from you. You can change their heart and mind about abortion. I’ve seen it happen many times. And by changing hearts and minds you are saving lives. Not just saving babies, but saving women, men and families from the emotional and physical damage of abortion. 

Thank you to everyone working toward a culture where we respect and protect life at all stages. Your efforts are invaluable.

"It's easier to find a score of men wise enough to discover the truth than to find one brave enough, in the face of opposition, to stand up for it."  —A.A. Hodge

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Things I Love: Braided Hairstyles

Casual, funky and sophisticated braids are a great way to bring style to your hair. There are so many different ways you can incorporate a simple braid into your hairstyle. It's a fun way to change up your everyday look without getting a new hair cut or changing the color. Braids are often simple, chic and fun to wear. My hair is finally getting to a length where I can try out some of these braided looks.

all photos found on google image - click for larger view

Happy Styling! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

L - I - V - I - N :)

Over the weekend Jared and I enjoyed ice cream cones from a tiny lakeside ice cream shop and walked along Lake Geneva with our friends Leilani and Evan. I am sad to say I didn't take a photo of the experience. I guess I was so wrapped up in the moment that it didn't even cross my mind. It was wonderful to enjoy an ice cream treat while taking in the beautiful views. The weather was perfect. Not too cool and not too hot. After having dessert first we decided to have dinner and drinks....dessert first is always a good idea! ;) We sat outside on the restaurant patio only steps away from Lake Geneva with a great view of the Alps. It was such a memorable experience for that reason alone. Jared and I ordered a cheese and meat plate appetizer and we all shared a bottle of red wine. I did happen to think of my camera for this part of the evening and Leilani was kind enough to take this photo of us.

I just loved how the trees were built-in canopies for the outdoor seating. It was a a very nice restaurant and our waiter spoke English so that was a plus as well! It was a lovely atmosphere and we had great company with Evan and Leilani. I love them more every time we get together. They're very down to earth, kind-hearted people. I kept thinking about how we should bring our parents to this restaurant when they come for a visit in a few weeks! And treat them to ice cream too! :) Less then 2 weeks and they'll be here!!!

The following evening we invited over our EPFL friends, Morgan & Julia and Tom & Wiebke over for pizza. We always have a good time when we get together! We really have been blessed with some great friends here.

Today, Wiebke came over for a "girl's day" and we did absolutely nothing and had so much fun. It's nice to have girlfriends to hang out with and talk to about common interests and just share some laughs. She is such a sweet girl. I have a feeling her, Julia and I will be lifelong friends.

In regards to Jared's work, he signed his very first patent today. It's kind of exciting! He calls it "the chemistry lottery" because if his chemistry turns out to be something very useful he could receive royalties for his ideas. But like the lottery, there is no guarantee. I'm just proud of him regardless. This is just another step forward in his career. Excited to see what the future holds.

We have so many things to be thankful for!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Homemade Enchiladas!

One of my favourite types of food is Mexican. I love to eat it and I love to cook it. The selection for Mexican food here in Switzerland is extremely limited and the restaurants are not only overpriced but they are not authentic and very much lacking in flavor. Thank goodness I'm a pretty good cook because I would be going through serious withdraw! One thing that I have not been able to find here is enchilada sauce. I used to just buy it canned and then add other ingredients to make one of my favourite enchilada recipes.

Since there is no enchilada sauce to be found, I started making my own so we could still enjoy this delicious dish. So I thought for those who might be interested you could try out this recipe for yourself and let me know if you like it.

Enchilada Sauce Recipe:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water 


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion, oregano, chili powder, basil, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, parsley, salsa and tomato sauce.
  2. Mix together and then stir in the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. 
 After you have made the sauce you can start making the enchiladas.
Easy Enchilada Recipe: 
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1lb. ground beef
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 8oz. package of sour cream
  • 1 package of shredded monterey jack cheese (or cheese of your choice)
  • Enchilada sauce (equivalent of 1 can)
  1. Brown the ground beef in large skillet until thoroughly cooked.
  2. Add half of the enchilada sauce and can of diced tomatoes with green chiles to the beef and heat stirring occasionally.
  3. Spread a moderate amount of cream cheese onto only one side of each tortilla so that it is a fairly thin layer.
  4. Spoon in beef mixture on top of the cream cheese then roll the tortilla like a burrito and place it in a baking dish. Continue with the remaining tortillas and place them side by side in the baking dish.
  5. Top them with the remaining enchilada sauce and then layer with desired amount of shredded cheese.
  6. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until cheese is melted.
Serve with your favourite side dishes.

It's that simple! This is one of our favourite at-home meals. It's so easy and delicious!

Happy Cooking! :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mental Vitamins: Unstuck

Change is inevitable. We try so hard to resist change but it always seems to say, "Ready or not, here I come!". So what is it about change that we fear so much? Perhaps the unknown that lies on the other side of that change or maybe certain changes will require more from us and we're too lazy and/or don't want to risk our comfort? Whatever the reason, resistance to change just creates more stress, sleeplessness and discomfort. Our attitude towards change can make a huge difference in how change can effect us. So here are some steps you can take to help you handle transitions:

1.) Stop acting like a victim.  Stop expecting others to rescue you, feel sorry for you, or reduce your stress levels. Get behind the wheel of your own life! You're not helpless, and your situation is not hopeless. God's word promises us that we "can do everything with the help of Christ" (Philippians 4:13)

2.) Stop refusing to change. Instead of banging your head against the wall of reality, invest your efforts into changing what you can - like your attitude and your approach. None of us are perfect so if we never accept the need for change then we are declaring our lives perfect as is and only a fool would make such a claim. Evaluate your attitude. Usually it is the first thing in need of change. (Philippians 2:1-5)

3.) Learn to adapt. When the music changes, it's time to learn some new dance moves. You may not like the changes but you can learn to flow with them. The only stabilizing influence in a constantly-changing world is Christ. We have to learn to trust in Him instead of struggling to make sure life always happens on our terms. There are no problems that we will face that our God is not bigger still. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Psalm 34:8, Proverbs 18:10) He not only wants what is best for us, but He knows what is best for us. (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28, Isaiah 40:31)

4.) Choose your battles wisely. Do you instinctively give into fear and oppose change, even when it might benefit you? Do you keep throwing yourself across the tracks, hoping to stop the freight train of reality? Waging war on too many fronts always results in fatigue and defeat, so choose battles big enough to matter.

5.) Welcome new experiences. If you're moving forward in life, your surroundings will be constantly changing. If they're not, then you're going in circles. Clinging to comfort just buys you comfort for today at the expense of tomorrow. Draw from God's grace and know that if He leads you to it....He will lead you through it. (Psalm 34:19)

We all want to live stress free without having to work at it, but it simply can't be done. There's an old Chinese proverb that says: "A diamond cannot be polished without friction, and a person can't be perfected without trials." Often it is in the toughest times where our faith, our life shines brightest and we are improved. (James 1:2-4) Change requires effort and responsibility on our part so if you are unhappy in your current condition, ask yourself if you are doing all you can to rectify the situation, are you seeking God's best for your life, or are you choosing to stay stuck in your circumstances? I encourage you to get unstuck.

google image

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mama Bear Day!

If you have a faithful mother, there is nowhere you go that a prayer has not already been. 

I'm thankful for my mom who has loved and prayed for me all these years. Her love is the fuel that has brought me to this moment and continues to keep me going. Nothing I could give her could ever compare to her gift to me - life. She is wonderful beyond words and I'm so thankful God chose her to be my Mom. I love you Mama Bear! <3

In honor of her I thought I would share a few memories I have of my Mom from over the years.

My mom's patience with me began before I was even born...I was born two weeks past my due date.

She was my protector from the start....the nurse accidentally brought her the wrong baby in the hospital and my Mom knew instantly by the cry that this baby was not her daughter. Sure enough, the nurse had made a big mix up and from that moment on, my Mom made sure I was in her sight at all times during the rest of the hospital stay. I shutter to think how my life may have turned out had I been switched at birth. I can't imagine life without my Mom and family!

My Mom often laughs at how I was sleeping through the night after being only a month old. Once I became a toddler I would actually remind my parents of when my bedtime was. I was never that child who put up a fight for bedtime. To this day I love my sleep and I am a deep sleeper. Some habits never change.

When I was about 10 or 12 years-old I wanted to ride my bike to a friend's house who lived a couple blocks away. My mom refused to let me ride my bike that distance by myself so she followed behind me in the family van. I was so angry with her at the time, but now I see how she loved me too much not to care and try to protect me. As an adult I can see how a sketchy corner bar and country roads is not the safest route for a vulnerable little girl on her bike. But at the time, I thought she was just being overprotective. I'm thankful she has always done what was best for me even when I didn't understand or agree with her at the time. The saying is true..."Mother's know best."

The first night I met my husband was on our family cruise and my Mom and I were talking about the "date" I was going on later that evening which was to a dinner show on the ship. I made some comment about ideas for what we could do after the show, like dancing, walking the ship, etc. and my Mom, enthusiastically and with all sincerity suggests: "How about bring some UNO cards?!" We still laugh to this day about how funny it would have been for me to magically bust out some UNO cards on our first date, like it was one of my everyday hobbies! HAHA! I love her innocent heart.

I've always been amazed and proud of how much my Mom has done and accomplished. She is up before the sun and every moment she is awake she is giving of herself. Whether it is managing her own household, taking care of her elderly parents, giving in various ways at her church or in the community. She has taught me how rewarding it is to give. I admire her for her servant heart.

I love my Mom for so many reasons and have so many wonderful memories with her. These are just a few. I have learned so much about life and love from her and hope to pass on her greatness in my own children someday.

In honour of all the mothers out there I want to share a few heartfelt quotes for these often unsung heroes.

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." -Abraham Lincoln

"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love."  -Mildred B. Vermont

The sweetest sounds to mortals given
Are heard in Mother, Home, and Heaven.
-William Goldsmith Brown

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."  -Tenneva Jordan

"The moment a child is brought to life, the mother is also brought to life. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." -Unknown

"It kills you to see your children grow up.  But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't."  ~Barbara Kingsolver

"Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your children."  -Sam Levenson 

Hope you enjoyed these mom-inspired quotes. My love and appreciation goes out to all the Moms in the world! Have a blessed day everyday! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Honoring Mothers

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 8th and while I don't need a holiday to remind me of how much my Mom means to me, I encourage recognizing the value of ALL mothers on this special day. We should honor our mothers not only on Mother's Day, but every day. We are living in an abortion generation and need to recognize that we are survivors, our mother's chose life for us and we should be eternally grateful because the reality is, not everyone is so lucky. Life is the single greatest gift anyone could ever give. Without life, we wouldn't be able to enjoy any of the other gifts that life has to offer. It's a selfless act of giving that deserves appreciation and honor.

There are many women who chose adoption for their children and though they may not be the primary provider for the child, they are still their mother and they should be honored for their compassion and courage. I'm certain it is no easy decision, but sometimes it is the best thing for the child and the mother. Both the biological and adoptive mother are definitely heroes in my eyes.

Mother's Day can be a sad reminder for those who have lost their Moms through sickness or tragedy. But the amazing thing about Moms is that no matter what...nothing...not even death can take away their motherhood and the connection a mother and child have. It's a powerful death-defying love!  And we can continue to love and honor them even after they have passed away.

I realize we live in an imperfect world and that not everyone has a great relationship with their mother. If you have a broken relationship with your Mom, I encourage you to take this as an opportunity to repair that relationship. It's certainly not going to fix itself so take the initiative to work out whatever it is that has divided you this Mother's Day. You will both be so glad you did. Making an effort is an honorable thing to do.

There are so many ways to honor Moms. The best way is to live an honorable life ourselves. We can do that by living a life that reflects our love and honor for her towards all people in everything we do. Sure flowers are nice, thoughtful cards are sweet, but if we want to truly honor our moms we should strive to do so by living honorably each and every day. Another great way to show your love and appreciation for your mom is to donate in her name to a cause that helps other moms, children and families to succeed and grow.

There are lots of excellent places that offer compassionate resources for moms and moms-to-be. Choose a  life-affirming charity and donate your time or money there in her name. Then tell her you did. Share her love, her gift of life to others. I guarantee it will mean more to her than flowers or a fancy dinner. Knowing that she inspired you to love and help others will certainly warm her heart.

Not sure where to give? Here are a few great places that I personally recommend:

To all the Moms out there. Thank you for all you do. You don't get enough credit for you're important role in the lives of your children and in our society. To my Mom....I could never tell you just how much you mean to me and how deeply I love you! THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING! You are the greatest, strongest, wisest, most beautiful, most compassionate woman I know. I love you, Mama Bear!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Things I Love: Wide-Brimmed Sun Hats

I have been on the search for the perfect wide-brimmed sun hat for summer, and more specifically for our upcoming cruise. There's something classy and feminine about these large bohemian-style floppy hats. The first image (top left) is what sparked my love for these adorable accessories. Unfortunately it is $80 from so unless it goes on major sale I will just have to find a more inexpensive dupe. All the other hats shown here were either found on Ebay or Google Images. Which one do you like best?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


The other day Jared and I were walking home from the grocery store. We don't have a car here so we usually go to the store once or twice a week and just stock up on what we need for the week so we won't have to make too many trips. Easier said than done when you are hiking for 20+ minutes with a week's worth of groceries in your hands. Sometimes I have to pump myself up for grocery day because I really just dread the workout it entails. But most days...I just don't even think about it, I just do it. I have no choice...if I want to eat...I endure the hill...that's all there is to it. I am not a complainer. Complaining doesn't really accomplish anything. I'd rather figure out how to overcome challenges when I'm faced with them then belly ache about them. When it comes to grocery shopping...overcoming means sucking it up and just getting it over with. I won't lie though, there are days where I have to pump myself up because I don't always have a positive attitude about it. It's a matter of knowing what a certain convenience feels like and now having that convenience unavailable to you. You're in a sense, going in reverse. It takes some adjusting.

On our most recent shopping trip, we had run out of a lot of things I guess and had more than usual to carry home. At one point I told Jared to go on ahead but I had to stop so I could switch which arm I was carrying each bag because one was heavier than the other and I just needed a better grip. He turned to me and said "I feel like I've failed as a husband because I can't give you a car so you won't have to carry all these groceries." I laughed. I laughed because he has given so much and is so much to me already. I'm taken care of, I may not be spoiled, but I'm taken care of and he is the one who provides for me...for us. I love his big heart and the fact that he would do anything for me. And that is just one of the many reasons why I love him. It is also the reason I felt lucky lugging around bags of groceries with him that day. I'm happy without all the extras. Sure, they would be nice, they would certainly make life easier, but I have everything I need. I have a loving, compassionate, Godly husband, a safe place to live, food to eat, all the necessities. The rest is just bonus. And I certainly don't expect more than what I've already been given.

Some people search their whole lives to find a love like ours. I'm not saying that we have it all together or that we're praiseworthy or anything like that, but I just know how valuable our love is. It's priceless. We've never had a lot, but we've always had everything we need. God has always provided. I try to never lose focus of that. There's nothing wrong with wanting your situation to improve, but there is a difference between working towards improvement and wishful wanting. I think we have to learn contentment before we can experience genuine happiness. It could always be better and it could always be worse. We choose whether or not to be grateful in our circumstances.

Appreciate what you have, especially the people you have in your life. Because having your loved ones by your side is what really matters most. Hope you all have a blessed week!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I am so excited to share with you a combination of two of my favourite things. Music and Giving.
The Sounds of Daniel Bashta is offering a "pay what you like" download of his new song, "Like a Lion". Essentially you make a donation of any desired amount to download the song and the money will go to a Bethany Christian Services fund to help families pay for adoption.
It's a win-win! You get to listen to great music and at the same time help a child enjoy the love of family through the miracle of adoption! Here is a brief video where Daniel and his wife explain their passion for adoption and the inception of Project Gift.
*Project Gift  .
Be sure to be a part of this amazing opportunity and SPREAD THE ROAR by sharing with others.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Clear Understanding

I am saddened by the hatred that some professed “Christians” have for the unsaved. It is tragic. Yes, God hates sin and the wrath of God rests upon Christ-rejecters (John 3:36); but let us never stray from the great Biblical doctrine of God's wondrous love for mankind.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

Notice the words, "God so loved THE WORLD." Not God so loved the Christians, or God so loved the elect...but He loved ALL of humanity. Even the vilest of sinners. God DOES hate sin, but not the sinner. He equally loves each and every person and desires for them to repent and get saved.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Too often we as Christians think that because we have accepted God's salvation that we are some sort of prodigy or somehow better than those who are unsaved. That is pride, my friends. We are all sinners. The only difference between the saved and the unsaved is salvation. We are all unworthy people in need of a Saviour. Arrogance is not from God. It is a sign of our sinful nature and proof that none of us are pure of heart. This video is an excellent illustration to evoke humility for those of us who have lost sight of ourselves.

God proved His love toward mankind by sending His Son  into this hostile, sin-cursed world and giving His life for our sins. Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt that we could not pay.
The Bible teaches that God finds no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:11) 

If we are to be Christlike, then we must not rejoice in the death of the unsaved. It is a sad thing when someone dies and goes to Hell. No Christian who has God's love in their heart should be glad to see anyone go to Hell. Many people rejoice that sinners are burning in Hell, but God is not pleased about it. God does not love sin, but He loves the individual.
This is how we too, must love. 

Too often we project our own human vices upon God. We portray Him as monstrous and unjust when in reality He is a loving, merciful God. If God were to be fair, then we would all be doomed to die and go to Hell with no chance of redemption. Because of our sins, that fate would be fair. But He is just and generous and offers us mercy through salvation. I don't know about you, but I don't want fair....I want mercy. It is when we refuse Him and His mercy that we accept our deserved fate. God doesn't send anyone to Hell. We choose that destination. And it breaks God's heart every time one of His beloved chooses death over life. It should also break our hearts.

Instead of taking pleasure in the demise of the unsaved we should desire to love them to Christ. There are several who come to mind that I am burdened for daily. They frequent my prayers, not in a condescending way but in a compassionate way, because I know the fate of those who refuse to believe in Him and the thought of eternity without them is grievous.

But never underestimate the power of prayer and God's redemptive power.

There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
(Luke 23:43)

The story of the sinner on the cross is proof that no matter who we are or what we have done, even in our last moments here on earth, God is merciful and can save us. If we own up to offenses against God and accept Him into our lives, we can know His loving mercy, be freed from our guilt and be inseparable from His love. We should sincerely desire that for everyone. God's love is meant for ALL so let's share God's love with everyone and rejoice in their salvation.