Sunday, February 27, 2011

Silver & Gold

There is something so great about catching up with old friends

and hearing & seeing what is happening in their lives

and meeting the "special someones" that God has given to them

and leaving with new friends to cherish and love!

Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.

Brow may wrinkle, hair grow gray;
Friendship never knows decay.
~Author Unknown~

And as great as that is, I ALSO get to go home with this man every night.....

{sigh} What a life! ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Crazy Love

Fridays are the days where I take 5 minutes to share on a topic/prompt from beautiful Lisa-Jo @ The Gypsy Mama. She is a traveller like me and married to a man of another culture like me...just in reverse! (ie: she is from South Africa and her hubby is from America)

BUT before I share today's story. I want to take a few minutes to announce the winner of the first giveaway here at Little Missionary Girl.

Julie Ann at Whimsical Words
{Winner chosen via}

Yay! Julie has won a $20 gift certificate from DaySpring. Thanks again to (in)Courage & Dayspring for my Mr. & Mrs. Love Collection for review and allowing me to host this great giveaway.

AND thank you to all of you who visited and entered.

Don't forget to pop over to Dayspring before the end of this month for all the great "Month of Love" discounts! 4 more days to go!

So now back to our previously scheduled program....hehe

5 Years Ago....


5 years ago, I was a newlywed, just testing the waters.

We were newlyweds but we hadn't even been "together" for a year yet...five years ago from today.

But we loved each other in that crazy-I-know-that-God-brought-you-into-my-life-and-no-matter-what-happens-I'm-all-in kind of love.

It was hard. That first year.

And not because of what people say -- the shoes in the living room, the socks on the floor, the toilet paper up or down, the shower button left on when the water is turned off.

Those things didn't really matter so much. "Don't sweat the small stuff" and all!

The hardest part was ME. LETTING. GO.

It was me yielding my heart and soul and life to this man.

This beautiful man whom God brought from the other side of the world. Literally.

But I had to learn how to surrender to this new season. How to let go of the past. Let go of mistakes. His....AND....Mine.

And the journey was tough, but now, I am his and he is mine in that wonderful I-want-to-hold-hands-with-you-and-only-you-for-the-rest-of-my-life-NO-MATTER-WHAT!

Do you have 5 minutes to share today? Comment below or link up with me at The Gypsy Mama.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Day a Letter Set Me Free

It was 1999, and he was my best "guy" friend.

We hung out mostly in a group of 8-12 friends. We were a tight crew. But he & I had a special connection. He was witty & sarcastic & boyishly charming. I was analytical & strong-willed & intellectually-challenging. Everyone knew we had a unique friendship, but it was "purely platonic."

No. Seriously. It was.

Was, that is, until that summer.
The summer after he broke up with his girlfriend from back home.
The summer we hung out in Maine with our friends.
The summer that everything changed.

We crossed the boundaries of friendship, and things would never be the same again. At first it was thrill-me-to-my-toes exciting. We were "us" but now MORE, and it was fun!

But then, real life happened.

We went back to college, back to classes, back to our normal routine.

But she came too -- his ex. She was now a part of "our" world.

Suddenly, he pulled away from me. He needed "space" from "both of us" to "figure things out". It was hard, but he was my friend, right? So I wanted to give him room to grow and to know his own heart & head.

Then one day the bottom fell out of our relationship. In one day my heart broke.

He knew my schedule, so he had been avoiding me, although I hadn't realized that at the time. He didn't count on my meeting being cancelled that night. He didn't plan for me to be in the cafeteria a little later then usual for supper.

That's when I saw them.
The two of them.

I couldn't understand. My mind did not want to register. Why would he lie to me? He is my friend. He WAS my friend.

I'm not his choice.
I'm not good enough,
pretty enough,
smart enough,
I'm not ENOUGH!


That is the moment the darkness crept into my soul, my very being. As the days passed, I would wake up each morning in such agony and pain and HATRED. I felt betrayed, abandoned, stupid, faithless, ignorant, unwise, alone. The feeling in my gut was like someone was daily twisting my intestines. I know that sounds intense and dramatic, but I felt like I was walking in a fog. I would read Scriptures almost mindlessly to just "stuff the Word" into me. I would get ready for the day and just beg the Holy Spirit to help me.

But nothing seemed to work. I would cross paths with him. Or her. Or him & her together. I tried to face things. I tried to let it go. I tried to "get over it!"

But the anger seemed to just build and build and with that the shame. How could I let this happen? How could I be so stupid? And the bitterness just increased.

Months passed, and one day, I went to a revival service. I don't remember what the message was about or anything that was said in particular except the invitation to the altar at the end. I went forward and I felt that tugging at my heart strings.

It's time to forgive. It's time to let go.

And instructions followed.

Write him a letter. Write her a letter. Ask them for forgiveness.

WHAT, LORD? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!! There is NO WAY! I didn't do anything wrong. He blatantly lied to me, and she rudely ignores me. I am the one who has a RIGHT to be angry.

And the quietest of whispers....

Haven't you held anger, resentment, & bitterness in your heart against them?

Well, yeah, but THEY don't know that! I have been nice.

My child....Forgive.....

That night, I sat down at my computer and typed out my apologies.
It was hard.
It was real.
It was honest.

The next morning, I went and dropped them off at the campus post boxes.

When I walked out of the CPO that day, I am convinced, the sky was bluer, the clouds were fluffier, the bird-song was sweeter, and there was a spring in my step.

There was something amazing about accepting God's forgiveness and requesting it in return from others with NO AGENDA!

Forgiveness set me free!!

Linked up with Bonnie @ Faith Barista and A Lesson Learned @ Mama's Losin' It

When God Writes Your Story

This post is inspired by Sara Markley writing at (in)courage today about trusting God to write your story, even when it doesn't turn out like YOU thought it would.

I have had a very angry-at-times-but-mostly-keeping-at-arms-length connection with God over the past year or so, as I realized that if I was honest with myself, I am NOT where I thought I would be at 32.

I remember thinking one day, "I would hate to have to talk to my 21-year-old self because I think she would be disappointed."

I do realize that other people looking at my life, might not think that. I am married to the love of my life AND I have travelled to quite a few countries AND even lived in a couple of them long term. I have worked in full time ministry for over 10 years and loved people until it hurt. Just to name a few of the amazing blessings in my life.

And yet.....

In the past two years, Mom & Dad were in the Haiti earthquake of 2010, my health has been a MAJOR issue, my husband & I have been trying to get pregnant for 3 years, and we are taking a "time-out" from full time ministry among other "things" that I could list.

Some days.....well, honestly....every day, I have to remind myself that HE doesn't make mistakes. He is not abandoning me OR punishing me. He doesn't love me less than the next girl because I am not a biological mommy yet or because I am not ministering full time at the moment.

But am I happy with MY STORY?

That is a loaded question for me. I have realized this past year that happiness is overrated, and that my joy is ONLY made complete in Him, through Him, by Him, & ultimately FOR Him.

So no, I am not "happy" but I HAVE TO/MUST DO/CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT daily looking into His face and finding where the source of my "joy" rests - HIM and ONLY HIM.

At the end of 2010, I realized that there was a message that my Father was so desperately trying to speak to me.....GRACE! GRACE! GRACE!

Grace for the journey.

Grace for my weaknesses.

Grace for the world around me.

Grace to see WHAT HE SEES when He looks at me, when He looks at people.

So when those words of doubt, failure, regret, shame come....EVERY DAY.....I just remind myself to accept his grace all over again!

And IF He is great enough, faithful enough, merciful enough to give me such unmerited favor, how can I NOT trust HIM to keep writing my story?

How do you feel about where your story is NOW? Do you trust Him to keep writing your story?

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world,
the master calls a butterfly
~ Richard Bach

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Baked by Bonnie

{My Aunt Bonnie bakes REALLY well and has a side business
The above pictured are some treats
that she cooked up for Valentine's Day for some hungry clients}

Linked up with Wordless Wednesday & Live from Waterloo.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Friend Makin Mondays: 100 Million Bucks

Kenlie @ All the Weigh is hosting a linky party, Friend Makin Monday, and each week you answer a question on your blog and then, well, LINK UP, and check out fellow bloggers answers. Feel free to join me!!

Friend Makin Monday Question of the Week:

What's the first thing you would do for yourself if you won 100 million dollars?
Note: this question is specifically for you...
what would you do for fun
after the family and the bills
and the obvious stuff was taken care of?

I would book round-the-world tickets for my husband & I to take off for a year or more and see the WHOLE WORLD or at least as many nations as possible.

I would invest LOADS of the money so that it would work for us while we were gone.

I would buy the BEST DSLR camera to capture the world in pictures.

I would buy my husband the Apple products of his choice to do all of the editing, programming, web designing to his heart's content.

I would invest in real estate after I bought us {and my parents} our own home.

Now it's YOUR turn!

Go to All the Weigh and link up OR just answer in the comments section below. I would LOVE to hear your 100 million dollar dreams!

Multitude Monday - #141 - 160

Continuing to count my 1,000 gifts....

Gratitude - a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation, as for gifts or favours;
the state of feeling grateful

#141 - Celebrating 2 month old birthdays (Love you, Macy Hope)
#142 - fresh & new, blue eyes

#143 - peace that comes from within

#144 - trust in Someone bigger than me

#145 - having someone believe in you

#146 - learning to be comfortable in my own skin

#148 - beautiful Valentine memories

#149 - Tulips!

#150 - Never-ending HOPE

#152 - Looking with Faith-eyes

#153 - time spent with my husband

#154 - playing mini golf & arcade games

#155 - discovering a new restaurant

#156 - getting mutually choked up at a movie about seeing dreams come true

#158 - Mr. & Mrs. Love gifts

#160 - Love - true, real, eternal, forgiving, no-record-keeping

I have joined The Gratitude Community -- a place to be inspired by others and what God is doing in their lives, a chance to share my own journey of gratitude, and an opportunity to REMEMBER to be grateful in ALL things. So on Mondays, I will add to my list of 1000 gifts of all the graces God has provided in my life. Would you consider joining me? Even if you don't blog, you can join the gratitude community by starting a gratitude journal, mentionning your gifts on Facebook, or sending e-mails to your friends. Let's work together to help in creating a more thankful, joyous world!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Kindred Spirits

It's that time of week....time to take 5 minutes without OVER-editing and OVER-analyzing and just.....well....write.

This week is all about friendship.


Our times together have been few & far between lately...this friend whose heart I have connected to almost a decade ago.

"Re O Bama. Re E Kumba. Na ho sa...Oh, Jezu...." she sang at a women's retreat. Words from the Passion song, We Fall Down, fell off of her tongue.

I joined in.

I, too, knew the words.

In that moment, an indelible friendship was formed.

We were younger then.

A little more foolish. Definitely less wise.

We had the world at our fingertips....ready to save the whole planet.

Time has weathered us, grown us, matured us.

We have loved HARD and lost BIG.

Yet still, my friend, is there beside me to weather life's storms.

Yesterday, I held her long-awaited promised one in my arms.
It is a different season for her....for me....everything has changed....and nothing all at once.

There is safety in the words that pour out between us.

We are committed to separating the chaff from the wheat in each other

....and remembering ONLY the wheat.


Thank you, Alison Kinlaw!

Click over here to be entered in my Dayspring-sponsored giveaway.
{open til Thursday, February 24th at 11:59 p.m.}

Linking up with

In His Grip,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring is Coming!!

A week ago, this was the scene outside of my house......

And today was 67 degrees.....

Spring is coming!!

{My Valentine's Day present from Arno - Tulips - my favorite flower}

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mr. & Mrs. Love (and a GIVEAWAY!)

There is always something really exciting about getting something in the mail, especially when it is a gift OR a surprise.

So last Tuesday, when a package arrived for me, I was THRILLED.

Now it wasn't a surprise, but it was a GIFT!


And I couldn't wait to use the collection so I could tell YOU all about it!

I chose these items from the selections given because I wanted to contribute to my Valentine's Day events with hubby to give him a little surprise as well {except he saw the box when it arrived and was TOO curious for me to keep it a surprise until Valentine's Day--oh well!}.

We started our sweetheart day in the early afternoon so we could spend more hours together.

Hubby's idea. *swoon*

We took the fun to Ocean City {about 30 minutes away}, so, of course, the trip wouldn't be complete to Arno without a little venti latte for the road. As for me, I am still LOVING my lime water}.

We took a walk on the Boardwalk.

We played mini-golf and arcade games.

We actually WANTED to be spontaneous and didn't make reservations anywhere. So we drove around for a bit, and since grace & favor seemed to be on our side, we got a table at the first restaurant we walked into. It was beautiful, on the water, live music. PERFECT!

We, then, went to the movies and watched *blush* Justin Bieber's movie Never Say Never. We chalk it up to the years of being children & youth pastors. WE LOVE TO SEE KIDS/YOUTH/PEOPLE WALK IN THEIR DREAMS/TALENTS/CALLINGS. It EXCITES us!! It was really an inspirational movie to encourage people to never give up on their dreams.

And then we went home to savor our NEW GIFTS!


The first thing that I loved about the collection is the actual design itself. The black, white, & red color scheme is so classy. I also love the contrast of the lines on the mugs and journal with the paisley pattern on the coupon book and gift bag.

Arno made us hot chocolate in our sweet mugs, painted red inside and detailed with a heart as you tip the warm liquid to your face as well as delicately displayed on the inside rim, "I found the one my heart loves. Song of Solomon 3:4 NIV"

We browsed through the coupon book and decided to let the other choose their coupon of choice for the day. My choice: a massage. His choice: {that's easy} a kiss {or two} hehehee.

We "planned" to write in the journal, set up with one side for HIM and one side for HER, but since I am a "words" girl, hubby did his rough draft on his computer {isn't he cute?} and hasn't transferred it yet. And, I, well...blogger, aspiring writer that I am.....have no excuse...! But I LOVE that idea, and we plan to utilize that for the years to come(AND still for this "past" V-day)to memorialize our heart song for each other.

We had a LOVE-ly night! I guess I can't give this collection ALL the credit, but it did seem to create an environment that gave us time to catch up, to connect, and to chat about our lives and our future.

I am looking forward to more evenings and connections JUST LIKE THIS!

Thank you, Dayspring!


Would you like a chance to win the Mr. and Mrs. Love Collection OR anything of your choice from Dayspring?

I heard that YES!

Dayspring is sponsoring a giveaway RIGHT here on my blog. You could win a $20 gift certificate to use on any item of your choice. (shipping charges will apply)

So here are few ways that you can enter:

1) Write a comment below telling me what you and your "someone special" {spouse, boyfriend, kids, friends, etc) did for Valentine's Day. Please no generic comments like "Enter me!" or something of the sort.

2) Follow me on Twitter.

3) Follow me here {on this blog} via Google Connect.

4) Follow me {also here} via Networked Blogs.

5) Tweet, update your status, or blog about this giveaway. You can EVEN utilize the easy to use buttons at the bottom of this post.

You can do ONE or ALL of the above, but just remember, PLEASE enter a separate comment for every action you take including links back to anything posted on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog to have a BETTER CHANCE of winning.

This contest will be open until Thursday, February 24th @ 11:59 p.m. EST.
The winner will be chosen by a random number generator and announced on my blog on Friday, February 25th as well as contacted via e-mail.

As a bonus, for the month of love, Dayspring is ALSO giving 25% off everything in their online store with the code LOVE25.

I received the Mr. & Mrs. Love Collection free from Dayspring. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Proverbs 30:18-19 (New Living Translation)

18 There are three things that amaze me—
no, four things that I don’t understand:
19 how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We'll Be Okay! {Happy Birthday, Dad}

"Although, for a father there is no difference between a daughter and a son, still there exists something that makes the relation between a father and his daughter very special.

So many men and women have tried to imprison the essence of this relationship in words and the result was some very remarkable father daughter quotes and sayings.

A father knows that his mirror image i.e., son can, somehow, survive in the harsh world that exists on the other side of the doorstep. Father, being a man and once a child, knows through his personal experience, what is waiting for his son. However, he can not fathom and understand, being a man, how his little daughter is going to fare and face the realities of life. This makes him insecure and this feeling overshadows his relationship with the daughter. It makes him protective towards his daughter. For him, she never grows up and is always, the small girl who depended on him to fix a broken hand or a leg of her doll and fought with her brother to sit on his prized lap."

Growing up in Haiti, the political climate there was always somewhat tumultuous. At the age of 8 years old, my understanding of that, albeit limited, was keen. We lived in Port-au-Prince just off of the main drag, close to the heart of the city and near to "the action" that often took place.

One particular day, there were boisterous demonstrations happening on that main road about a quarter mile from our house. Wanting to ensure our safety, my dad walked to the top of the hill to find out the nature of these demonstrations. We lived at the mission compound on the 3rd floor of the 3 story building, which also held a church & a school. The grounds were our personal playground, and we would often spend hours there. In the midst of our play, we became aware of the noisy demonstrations and that my dad was going to check it out, leaving the safety of the secure complex.

We ran to the gate of the property, but the security guard wouldn't let us past the gate because of course we WANTED to follow my dad and be where he was.

My sister was 4 at the time, and she was quite scared.

She kept asking me, "Where is Daddy? Where is he going? Why is he going up there?"

It's funny to me reflecting back on that memory because I can remember feeling NO fear in that moment.

Thus, putting on my big sister hat, I put my arm around her and said, with complete confidence, "Don't worry, Kasi! He'll be okay. He's Daddy!"

I think, like many little girls, I believed that my dad was invincible, like Superman.

As I got older and real life awareness kicked in, I still always knew that when my dad was around, we'd be safe. The reason I think that I knew this so well, is because my dad trusts in HIS Heavenly Dad for his life, my mom's, and for ours as well as the people God has called him to.

My dad knows that we'll be okay because HE {God} is the BIG DADDY!

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I love you,

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Love Bandit - My Favorite Valentine's Day Story

6 years ago, I walked into the office of the church where I was working. It was Valentine's Day, and I was STILL single.

Now, I was never one of those single girls to "sit around and feel sorry for myself."

What was the point?

What would THAT accomplish?

In college, I would get together with a couple of other girls, and we would plan elaborate schemes for our entire dorm floor -- balloons in the hallway, bags of chocolates by each door, and personalized heart-felt notes tucked inside, so that when our dorm mates woke up in the morning, before they walked into a lobby filled with candies & flowers WITHOUT their names on any of the gifts, they would know they were loved.

Those were beautiful memories that I cherish always.....

A few years later, at the age of 25, I found myself single AGAIN on Valentine's Day having experienced a heart-breaking break up 6 months before from an almost-3-year relationship.

There again, I had a decision to make.

Will I wallow?

If anyone had a reason to wallow on THIS Valentine's Day, it was me right? I mean, I thought I was going to marry the guy. I wasn't in it for 3 years for NOTHING!

But again, what would that really accomplish?

Sorry. Angst. Feeling-sorry-for-myself.


I called up my girlfriends and cooked up some plans. We decided to book a table at a fancy restaurant, dress up real classy & elegant, and celebrate love in friendship. We did that for a couple of years, and I think we often had MORE fun than lots of couples seated around us!

So 6 years ago, I walked into my office with my girlfriend plans in place, but with a longing that had grown that year. In fact, that morning, I had wrestled with God, "Have you forgotten about ME? Some of my 21-year-old girlfriends are finding the love of their lives, and here I am, serving you, being obedient, and NO PROSPECTS IN SIGHT!!"

And then just the quietest of whispers.

That still small voice.

He's coming soon....

No qualifications. No details. No timeline.

So of course, I say, "What does THAT mean? 1000 years are like a day to you! THAT could mean anything!"

I tried to squash hope, but I could feel it growing in my spirit in spite of my heart & mind's attempt to suffocate it.




So I walked into that office with hope that day.

Hope in what I could not/did not/would not see with my natural eyes.

Hope had FAITH eyes.

My pastor's wife/aunt walked into the office that day and handed me a stuffed raccoon, with a Zorro type mask in the shade of red over his face, called The Love Bandit, and she said to me half-joking, half-serious, "The Love Bandit is coming to get you soon."And much to MY surprise these are the words that popped out of my mouth.

"Yeah, by this time next year, I will be engaged or married!"

What? Did I just say that out loud? Oh, no! I am not one of those CRAZY RADICAL FAITH people! Why did I say that OUT LOUD??

Knowing ME, she looked surprised, but then HER faith kicked into FULL GEAR and she said, "Okay, then. I am going to stand in faith with you."

2 months later, the man who was to be the love of my life flew from Africa to fill the children's pastor position at our church.

A little over a month after that, he asked me to marry him.

And 6 months, 2 weeks, and 6 days from the MEMORABLE Valentine's Day, I said, "I DO!" to that beautiful man.

When God says to trust HIM, to believe in HIM, to have faith in HIM, why would I doubt? I wish I could say that because of this radical work that God did in my life that I NEVER doubted Him again, but that would not be true.

All I can say is "His grace is sufficient for me, and His power is (and continues to be) made perfect in my weakness."

Today, I want to say THANK YOU to my GREAT BIG AMAZING HEAVENLY DAD for bringing me the MOST AMAZING MAN.

It is MY pleasure to KEEP saying "I DO" to him each day for the rest of our lives.

You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because
reality is finally better than your dreams
~ Dr Seuss

In His Grip,

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