day 31: thankful


Nearly 2 months ago, I decided to take on a 31-day writing challenge, where bloggers all over the world choose a topic and commit to writing about it every day for the month of October. It seemed to coincide well with the return of our medical mission’s child, Ma, for she has been known to provide me with a significant amount of material about which to write. I chose the topic of resilience.  This word was a consistent companion that loitered in my head whenever I thought about our experience with medical missions and, more specifically, Ma.

Clearly you will notice that this final post of the series in not, in fact, on October 31st, as it should be, but another holiday, which falls nearly a month later.… Keep Reading

day 30: open


(flickr cc, Jimmy Brown)

I have pored over the news. I have gawked at the pictures. I am affected.

France: My heart breaks for your city whose name is birthed from the heart. The city whose streets I wandered hand-in-hand with my beloved husband and our then 3-year-old daughter. Your lights. Your romance. You are elegant and magical. You are far away, yet familiar, and I grieve for your loss … a devastating 129 lives. You salvaged 352 injured bodies, 99 of which were, perhaps still are, teetering on the edge of life and death.

My spirits have been dampened this week by the tragedy in Paris.… Keep Reading

day 29: appreciate


I am sad to say that this week I have become aware of no less than 5 instances of heckling among adults.

Guys, adulting is hard enough without people passing harsh judgement on each other.  Can’t we all just get along?  Or at least agree to disagree?  Your adulting skills are going to differ from my adulting skills, which are going to differ from my neighbors’ adulting skills, but I think we’re all big enough and mature enough to be OK with that, right?  Perhaps I’m being too naive to believe that harmony can exist between parents who differ on potty-training techniques, screen time, and curfews … or home-owners who wait until the last leaf falls to rake versus one that stands guard in the yard ready to catch them as they fall … or coaches who give kids equal playing time as opposed to those who choose to let the best players play more. … Keep Reading

day 28: laugh


You must sometimes choose to laugh to keep from crying.

One of my favorite photos of Ma is of her wearing her radiation mask as a hat.  It was taken over a year ago and turned out blurry, but it captured a moment that epitomizes her spirit.

Just a few weeks prior to this, Ma was placed on a hard, white hospital table so that her medical team could screw in this mask around her face in order for her to receive radiation on her eye.  She underwent this process 20 different times in a span of 4 weeks.  After all that, the fact that she could LAUGH in the literal face of an object that symbolizes hardship and pain is a testament to her resilience.… Keep Reading

day 27: trust



If it seems slow in coming, wait.

It’s on its way.

It will come right on time. – Habakkuk 2:3

Trust me.

These were the words that were whispered to me countless times over the summer during my quiet time … and my not-so-quiet time, when my thoughts turned from respectful prayers to desperate rants.  I did not hear these words.  I was too busy fretting, and emailing, and planning, and calling, and trying to change the course.

Trust me.  My timing is perfect.

When I landed in Cote d’Ivoire at the beginning of May with our medical host child, Ma, and my sister, Laura, each of us had roundtrip tickets.  … Keep Reading