My grandparents have been married for over 60 years…60 years.  They have withered many storms together…experienced many highs and many lows, but they have walked together for 60 years.  Pretty cool I must say.

Do you know what else?  They have to be touching each other when they sleep.  Like one of them always has their hand on the other ones back or shoulder or they cuddle or whatever.  But, they always have to be touching in some way. 

Some of you probably think “oh how romantic.”  I gotta tell you when they told me that, I told them I thought it was so weird! (Love you grandma!)

My hubby and I aren’t particularly touchy.  I mean we hold hands and hug and kiss (according to my 4 year old daughter as repeated to my mother in law, we kiss a lot and for a long time).  But, we aren’t just one of those overly affectionate couples.  And, at night time we aren’t cuddlers.  Usually we start falling asleep with one of us hugging the other one and then within about ten minutes we naturally both move to our side of the bed.  We like our space what can I say!

But, Monday night a strange thing happened.  We fell asleep like normal but within about an hour of having fallen asleep the baby started kind of fussing, so I woke up to listen.  When I kind of came to, I realized that Hubby was still hugging me.  He, while still half asleep, asked me what was wrong.  I told him that I was cold.  He then pulled up the cover and kind of tucked me in and then kissed me on the shoulder.
Small little tears stung the corner of my eyes.  

I was exhausted. That particular day was a really hard ministry day for us. But for that brief moment in time, all the troubles that we had face the day before melted away, and I felt so cherished and just known.  Does that make sense?  It was like even half asleep my husband knew me, knew my need, and just met it.  I was cold, yes, but the way he tenderly tucked me in and then kissed my shoulder was just almost more than I could bear.

You see ministry life is hard.  

Don’t get me wrong. I feel so incredibly grateful to be chosen by God to do what I do

 But, it is hard.  

And it is really lonely…

I don’t mean lonely because I am a missionary and live far away from my family.  It is lonely because of the kind of work that we do.  I am betting that pastors and pastors’ wives and counselors and social workers and probably even public service men and women…and the list goes on…feel the same way.  

It is lonely.

And lately I have felt that more than ever. 

Because even though I may not need that touchy feely kind of relationship with my hubby that some women need, I still crave intimacy.  I yearn to be known.  I desire to be seen.  I long to be heard.

And I haven’t felt those things in a while.

Because the thing about life in ministry is you are [supposed to be] always giving, always listening, always available, always cheerful, always patient…. You give and you do and you give some more and do some more.  You are always on the side of the helper or healer or counselor or friend.  It isn’t always a reciprocal kind of thing. 
I am not complaining. It probably sounds like I am but I am not.  

One thing I have known to be true since I was very little is that those that have, need to give.  We can’t keep it all for ourselves.  So I give, and I do it joyfully.  Yes I am here because God called me here but I am also here because I want to be here. 
I want all these beautiful children and young adults here to be heard. I want them to be seen. I want them to be known.  I have had that in my life so I want to give it back to them.  

But the truth is…

I want that too.

I want to be known. I want to be seen. I want to be heard.  

And the thing about being in ministry with your spouse is you don’t feel like you can just let loose with them the same way.  There are nights like Monday night that I knew my husband went to bed just as exhausted and fatigued and probably even a little empty as I did.  I, however, being the talkative woman that I am, wanted to just unload on him. I wanted to release everything I had been holding in throughout our over 15 hour work day.  But I knew it wasn’t fair to burden him with it when he needed time to recharge his batteries too. He needed to just be quiet.  He needed to rest and to sleep. 
I needed to be heard. 

I think that is why those tears came so quick and so strong during that night.  He was asleep…I know this because when I asked him the next morning about it, he had absolutely no recollection of the “tender moment” we shared.  But, even in his slumber, he knew me…he saw me…he heard me…and he met my need for intimacy. 
I don’t have the answers today. 

I don’t have something super profound to share.  I guess this is just me unloading into the cyber sphere.  Sometimes it is much more cathartic than just writing on a paper no one will ever see.

But, I do want to leave you with this.

Those that are in ministry are no better or no greater or no more holy than those who are not in ministry.  We all have people pulling at us…needing us…looking for us…asking us to stop what we are doing to be there for them. 

But I am guessing that there are people around you that need to be seen…that need to be heard…that need to be known.  Don’t assume just because he/she is always in the position of doing that for others that he/she also has it all together and no longer has that need.  Reach out.  Listen.  Stop.  Show grace.  Be compassionate. Give a hug. Let someone know that they aren’t alone.  

Hear. See. Know.

Someone needs that today. 

And I am betting you could do it.


Why I don't want my kids to have everything...

Before you read any further, I need to make this disclaimer:

I am not a perfect mom…nor am I trying to convey that I am with this blog post. 

I am a flawed mama, leaning on God’s grace that comes new each and every morning.  There are many days that I go to bed with tears feeling like a big fat failure.  There are also nights like last night that I flat crash at 8:15 because I just can’t give anymore.  I make mistakes.  I mess up.  I am just like every single other mother out there in this world.

I am far from perfect. 

But I am trying.

I am trying to lean in more to Jesus.  I am trying to hear His heart.  I am trying to parent in a way that brings Him honor.

And most of all I am trying to teach my children what it means to love God passionately and to love others with an abundance of compassion, mercy, and selflessness.

I have come a long way since my early, idealistic parenting days.  I thought I had it all together and had all the answers.  I used to think and say things like this…

“Well, if we just get them into a good schedule, then the rest will just fall into place.”

“If I start them young, then they will automatically like it when they are older.”

“If we just model everyday what we want them to do, then eventually they will start doing it too.”

“If we just read the Bible a little more together and have the kids pray more together, then they won’t fight so much.” (Ha if only that one were true!)

“If we have the capabilities to give them the best, then it is our obligation to do it.”

That last one though has continued to haunt me for years now.  I have had to really dig down deep to figure out where the line fell. It has just been so hard to know if I am obligated to give them the best, if I have the capability to do so.  I don't mean that I am obligated to give them that sucker in the checkout line just because I have the money to do so.  When I say give them "the best" I am referring to the bigger picture..like wanting to give our kids the best chance at succeeding in life.  I am not in anyway referring to spoiling your children.

Maybe you haven’t or don’t struggle with that.  But, I sure do.  I live in a third-world country.  But, so often the battle in my heart has been that I don’t want my kids to live like they are in a third-world country.  Deep down I want to give them a life like the one they would have if we lived in a first-world country.

I want them to have the best education possible.

I want them to get plenty of time for resting, playing, socializing, eating, and spending quality time with Mom and Dad.

I want them to have yummy snacks when they get home from school.

I want them to eat balanced, healthy diets.

I don’t want them exposed to “bad things”

I don’t want them to watch too much TV.

I want them to say “please” and “thank you”

I want them to be happy, healthy, and loved well.

And the list goes on…

Of course, many of these things are good things.  They are really great things actually and things I think all of us want for our kids.  We love our kids; so of course, we want to give them the best.

But, I want to challenge that mentality today.  What if we are doing our kids more harm than good by always trying to give them the best?  Because let’s face it, much of the rest of the world doesn’t have the ability to give any more even if they wanted to do give them the “best.”  What if by giving them our best always and by trying to meet each and every one of their needs, wants, hopes, dreams, desires, etc. we aren’t actually even leaving any room for them to need the Lord…to want the Lord?  What if by giving and doing and trying all the time, we aren’t giving them a world perspective? Their world becomes small and it is hard for them to even imagine kids that really have to live without?

These are questions I have been grappling with for a long while now.  I love my kids.  I love them so much.  As cliché as it sounds, I really would take a bullet for them without giving it a second thought.  I do want them to have a great education.  I do want them learn to be polite and to eat good foods and to have fun and laugh…laugh a lot.  I want them to have all that I have to give them! 

But, at the end of the day, I also want my kids to bring the Lord glory in everything they are doing too.  I want them to honor Him.  And I really want them to love like Him.  I want them to be compassionate and thoughtful.  I want them to not be afraid of what they don’t know.  I want them to see a child playing in the dirt, with maggots crawling all over him, and for them to boldly walk over and hold his hand or to offer him something to eat.  I don’t want my kids’ whole world to be nothing more than what they see and experience each day.  Even though they are young, I know that kids can be fiercely loving and protective and generous. I want to give them opportunities to do that…not just in our home or our community or in our church.  I want them to do that naturally wherever we go and wherever they are.  

So what has that meant for our family?

Well, I am no longer so focused on their education.  For a long time I felt like the only options for me were homeschooling or sending them to a private school.  But that is off my radar now. That may change in the future due to circumstances or whatever, but for now, they are going to school with all the other kids at the orphanage…where we also have many kids from the surrounding poorer area.  I know they will get a perfectly adequate education, but I am hopeful that they will get much more than that.

I make my kids eat everything.  I even purposely cook things I know they don’t like so they can have an opportunity to keep trying it AND to learn to be thankful that they even have food to eat.  I know this may sound mean, but when hundreds of thousands of children are dying of hunger, I want my kids to learn to eat everything…and to do it with a heart of gratitude.

My kids play outside…A LOT.  They go to school, but we don’t do much more in the way of formal stuff here in the house.  They play with kids in our neighborhood, at the orphanage, at the mall, at the soccer fields.  If there are kids around, I make them just go play.  PLAY!  Run around, laugh, get dirty, climb trees, etc.  The one thing that is universal for kids no matter where they live is their ability to imagine the most wonderful and innovative games outside.  Kids learn so many life skills just doing life together outside.

I am not a perfect parent.  My kids are not perfect kids.  We struggle.  We fight.  We get jealous sometimes.  We are ungrateful.  We spend too much.  We want too much.  We watch too much TV.  We eat too much junk.  We eat fast food loaded with nasty preservatives.  We get selfish.  We aren’t perfect.

But one thing we are all trying to do together is love…love hard, love strong, love passionately…and love abundantly….wherever we go, whatever we do, and with whomever we meet. 

Because really and truly what the world does need a lot more of is love.


Are you weeping for them?

Just a forewarning

I am going to talk about football.  But hang with me because I am only going to do it for like a minute and then I am going to get to the good stuff…

Just stay with me for a moment.

So anyone who actually knows me in real life knows that I am a HUGE KC Chiefs fan…like seriously…I am a big fan.  Once when I was a kid, I had this big idea that I could be a kid journalist.  Since I am a first born, “anything is possible” kind of person, I decided that I would start by writing a “Neighborhood News” weekly newspaper for my neighborhood.  (God bless them for actually acting like they were interested.)  Anyway, so once a week I would make up this cool little construction paper newspaper, write up some “news” articles, roll them up, tie them with a string, and go throw them onto the front porches of all my neighbors.  All sounds super cute, right?  Only problem was the only thing I ever wrote about in this weekly newspaper was the KC Chiefs.  Seriously.  True story.  I am sure my neighbors loved me.

I tell this little anecdote to show you that my love for football and for the KC Chiefs has been an almost life-long love.   My kids and I have all kinds of Chiefs gear.  I follow news in the off season, watch the draft online, start counting down the days in July, get giddy excited in August during pre-season, and talk about nothing else with my fellow football fans throughout the months of September through January.  I am the real deal fan.

So tonight when we lost, after having a 28 point lead at one point in the game and thus continuing our 20 yearlong streak of postseason losses, I was so upset.  The truth is I actually cried…like real, running down your face, all blotchy, tears.  It wasn’t pretty.  Then I got on Facebook and ranted about it with all my other KC Chiefs loving friends.  Finally, I decided I couldn’t handle anymore and I took a shower. 

But something happened while I was in there.

As I was lathering up, something more than soap and water started to wash over me.   The Lord really started to break my heart.  I didn’t feel like He was convicting me about my crazy passion for football or even about the fact that it is really all quite superficial.  He was calling to my attention my tears…tears over a silly football game. 

It was like He was asking me this:

“What about those babies and children that are going to bed tonight without food in their bellies because their family can’t afford milk and food?”

“Sara, are you weeping for them?”

“What about those kids suffering from preventable diseases and are slowing dying in beds and on dirt floors simply because there aren’t doctors and medicines available to treat them…”

“Are you weeping for them?”

“What about the young girls being passed between hundreds of men a day as sex slaves with no way out...”

“Are you weeping for them?”

“What about the little boy wetting his bed at night due to the fear of his father coming in and taking advantage of him while his mother sleeps…”

“Are you weeping for him?”

“What about the teenager who is considering taking his/her life because of the constant bullying he/she faces every day at school because of his beliefs, gender, race, sexual orientation, family, etc…”

“Are you weeping for him?”

“What about the hundreds of unborn babies being killed every single day all over the world...”

“Are you weeping for them?”

“What about the single mothers and fathers working 70 hours a week just to try and give their child a fighting chance in this world but yet never actually get to sit down for a family meal…”

“Are you weeping for them?”

“And what about the hundreds of thousands of people that are dying every single day without ever knowing the HOPE, JOY, and LOVE of an everlasting relationship with ME, Jesus Christ…”



Well, the truth is, I wasn’t weeping for them.  But I am now.  I am heartbroken.  When did I start caring more about the guys getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to play some game then I do for “the least of these” right outside my door who are truly suffering? 
 How did I let this happen?  Yes, I can cheer on my favorite team.  I can deck myself and my kids out in red and yellow.  I can pace around like a crazy lady and yell at my TV over a lousy play.  I can do all of those things.  But, I also better be on my knees at night crying out to God on behalf of those that don’t even have the strength to hope anymore.  I better be teaching my kids how to love…really love their neighbor and to be generous with their time, money, and friendship.  I better be doing something…anything…because that football game is just that…a game.

Real life stuff is happening out there, folks.  We can’t fix it all.  We can’t change it all.  We can’t save them all.  But, we can do something. 

We can be real life game-changers…

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me BIND UP the brokenhearted, to proclaim LIBERTY to the captives, and the OPENING OF THE PRISON to those who are bound, to PROCLAIM the year of the LORD’S FAVOR; and the day of vengeance of our God; to COMFORT all who mourn…”

-Isaiah 611:1-2


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Some bits and bobbits about this blog...

This blog is mostly just ramblings by yours truly. I talk about my ups and downs being a wife, mother, and missionary in Guatemala. I have a tendency to get off on "soapboxes" as those who love me say but it is my desire that this blog can be a place of encouragement in each of your pilgrimages with Christ. At any moment if this blog becomes more about me than about Christ, than it will be done and over...so please help me stay accountable. To God be all the Glory, Honor, and Power!

Books I am currently reading...

  • Eight Twenty Eight
  • Interrupted
  • The Connected Child
  • This Momentary Marriage
  • Unbroken

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