Tuesday, September 16, 2014

so i heard there were riots outside my driveway

plaston rd protests
the scene on our road yesterday ~ image source

Yesterday morning I woke up to the sound of an airplane circling over my house. I didn't think anything of it until 30 minutes, an hour later when it was still circling. That's when I found out why. There were riots and protests in the nearby communities (and on the road we live on) over water. I have to admit my eyes rolled a bit, and I refrained from posting on social media, because there was something not right in my soul.

I first stepped foot on S. African soil 14 years ago. Over the course of those years, I've seen loads of strikes, protests, riots. Taxi drivers and bus drivers refusing to operate local transport, because they wanted more money. Who suffered? The working man because they couldn't get to work. Government workers refusing to go to work because, again, they wanted more money. Who suffered? The children who couldn't go to school and the people in public hospitals because there was no one to care for them. City workers once dumped trash all over the streets of our town, because they wanted more than what they were getting. The ironic thing is that once they got what they wanted, they had to pick up their mess.

To be bold, you know what this reminds me of? It reminds me of a child who throws a tantrum, because they aren't getting what they want and the parent, out of desperation, gives in, because they don't know what else to do. My dear S. Africa, you are not children. You are beautiful men and women who God wants to use to change this nation.

If you look at the history of S. Africa, riots, protests, and strikes have been the way people have gotten what they want. However, this is an old way of doing things. This is not the answer. God has something new for this rainbow nation, and I believe it involves uniting everyone together so that in one accord, you can hear the ringing of, "I am proudly S. African."

I am praying for this nation, but my prayers aren't just praying for the violence to stop. My prayers are from a deeper place of longing to see change. My prayers are for a unity of people. They're for love, hope, and peace to be the driving force rather than hate and war. They're for openness of people's hearts to new ways of doing things. Call me an idealist, but I believe in the power of prayer and than Jesus can change nations. Will you pray and believe with me?

"No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

"If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness." 
Nelson Mandela

Let's listen to the man who rose into power after he walked through forgiveness and made strides toward reconciliation. Let's walk in love, because that's where the power is. There's a beautiful S. Africa around the bend, but the roads to get there aren't paved with hate.

Friday, September 12, 2014

in the studio :: royalty

Welcome to In The Studio, a place to show off your studio and meet some great artists! It's been a busy week around these parts! Last week I mentioned that our discipleship school started. It's been great so far! We've also had guests visiting us from England and they were an integral part of helping us host our second ever Day of Royalty!

the bus arrives

so happy!

registration line

photo booth

Let me just tell you about Day of Royalty. It's a day where we bring all the kids that we work with in nearby communities to our campus for a day of royal treatment. It's a chance for them to come out of the chaos and experience some hope and peace. They were treated like kings and queens, princes and princesses. They got to jump on jumping castles and make crowns. They got to go on a treasure hunt and dress up for the photo booth. They got to just have fun and be kids for a whole day.

face painting

so cute


It's always a lot of work but ALWAYS worth it. As you can imagine, there's so much creativity that goes into this. From figuring out how to line up and register over 400 kids to decorating crowns and painting faces. It's an event that takes all hands on deck which is precisely what we had. I wish you all could have been here to see it, but I pray the photos give you a glimpse of how incredible this day was!


coming out of the jumping castle


group photo

Now it's your turn! Remember your "studio" can be anywhere. Let's celebrate each other's creativity by linking up and visiting as many as the other studios as you can. Check out the about post for more info and don't forget to grab the In The Studio button!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

a letter to the love of my life


Dear love of my life,

Today, September 11th, marks our 15th anniversary. 15 years! How has the time gone by so fast? I think those two young 22 year olds back in 1999 had no idea what they were getting into. It's been hard and fun and crazy! Oh, the adventures we've had! Riding elephants in Thailand, sleeping in an oasis in the middle of a desert in N. Africa, eating foods in foreign countries that I didn't even know were edible (bamboo soup? really?), surviving a Norwegian Winter which involved standing outside for several hours in the middle of a snowstorm, having our hearts so broken at the sight of the southern Africa AIDS pandemic that we started a non-profit. I can't believe the things that we've gotten to do and experience together nor can I imagine doing it with anyone other than YOU! As we celebrate today, I realize there's one thing that I never could have imagined would happen after 15 years. I had absolutely NO IDEA that I would be more in love with you now than I was that day when I was standing before you in my white dress saying, "I do." I love you so much, my long red-headed crazy lover!

With all my love,

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

london tips

Tips for Visiting London

London is a great place to visit, but as with any place, it's nice to have some tips from someone who has been there. Don't worry. I've got you covered. Over at Petit Elefant, I've listed some tips that might prove useful for the time when you visit this great city!

Friday, September 5, 2014

in the studio :: fresh layers

Welcome to In The Studio, a place to show off your studio and meet some great artists! We started a new discipleship school here in S. Africa this week. Five students from USA and S. Africa have come together for five months to deepen their relationship with God and be a part of His heart for orphans and vulnerable children. Jeremy and I are leading this school which is super exciting because, I LOVE these schools. Just look at the crazy bunch we have to work with over the next five months!

DTS 2014

One of the cool things about this school is that we are incorporating LOTS of creativity. I believe creativity is so vital. It helps us process difficult things. It helps us articulate when there are no words. There's a freedom that happens when we let go and CREATE.

new wineskins

We started with 4 blank canvases. They're fresh starts. The beginning. They're new wineskins as it says in Matthew 9:17. Over the next five months we will fill these blank canvases with layers and layers of the new wine, the change, that God will be doing in us. I can't wait to see the masterpiece that is going to emerge!

the start of something beautiful


first day

The thing I absolutely love about the creative process is that there's a freedom that happens when we push through the insecurities to create. It's so incredibly beautiful.

Now it's your turn! Remember your "studio" can be anywhere. Let's celebrate each other's creativity by linking up and visiting as many as the other studios as you can. Check out the about post for more info and don't forget to grab the In The Studio button!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

the power of forgiveness

holding flowers

One of the hardest things I've ever done in the humility department is ask my own children for forgiveness. Have you ever done that? It may be hard, but the benefits are so worth it. Read about my humbling journey and some nuggets I've learned along the way over at Faith Gateway.

Friday, August 29, 2014

in the studio :: studiojru week

Welcome to In The Studio, a place to show off your studio and meet some great artists! I'm feeling blue today, not because I'm sad but because I'm absolutely in love with the BLUE cross coming out of Studio JRU's place! Check it out! Isn't it fabulous?


i have been working on a new cross and just finished it up recently!

this already has a few layers on it, but still working on it. more layers yet to come.


and here is the finished cross after the additional layers. i use watercolor in one layer and it just makes such a difference. it really brings out certain colors and changes the entire look!


here is a close up of my lettering.


so happy to share with you here in the studio today! looking forward to taking a peek into what you have been working on lately!


Now it's your turn! Remember your "studio" can be anywhere. Let's celebrate each other's creativity by linking up and visiting as many as the other studios as you can. Check out the about post for more info and don't forget to grab the In The Studio button!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

the moments

downtown dallas

From our recent travels, I compiled a collection of photos that remind me to enjoy the moments. Pop on over to Petit Elefant to see our adventures visually, and while you're there, remember that life goes by so fast. Pausing, enjoying, breathing are good verbs to do in the midst of it all.

Monday, August 25, 2014

birthday redo

It's birthday redo day and I get to start the fun with this beauty.

Always a pleasure to hang out with this guy.

Thankful for friends who are willing to do birthdays redos. Also thankful for my husband who planned a great day for me. Love you!

Boys and chicken.

Emma G made an amazing birthday cake!

If this wasn’t a blog post, there would be a big flashy sign that said, “Warning! There may or may not be a pity party around the bend.” Thursday, the 21st, was my birthday. I love birthdays, and I love celebrating them, whether they be for me or someone else. It wasn’t exactly an ideal day for celebrating, however. The day started and ended with absolutely no electricity. Really this is a minor setback, because in my neck of the woods, power goes out without warning and sometimes without a logical reason. Whatevs, I can handle that, but it’s my pity party, and it adds to the drama. My biggest frustration of the day was that I was sick! Like burning throat, nose and head full of mucus, I don’t want to get out of bed sick. I’m hardly ever sick, so to feel this way on my birthday? So not cool.

I’m thankful for my kids and husband and friends who are willing to change plans and do a birthday redo this past Saturday. The day was perfect spending time with my favorite people. I also loved the cake Emma G made and the massage gift certificate she gave me. I get a 2 minute massage from her every day for a week! Joshua took me shopping and bought me clothes. Such a gentleman that boy. He's growing up!

Here's to a great year!

Friday, August 22, 2014

in the studio :: super hero party

Welcome to In The Studio, a place to show off your studio and meet some great artists! I mentioned last week about planning the most epic Super Hero Party ever! What a blast we had dressing ridiculous and acting like crazy people! I swear, if some random person would have driven up, they would have thought we were out of our minds.


My favorite part was seeing the costumes and super powers that people came up with. I saw agony on people’s faces leading up to the party, not knowing what to dress as. Creativity prevailed, and it was awesome. From M&M ninjas, to trash men, to people trying to save the world one body roll at a time, I’m telling you. It was epic.

super hero academy

Our team tried to put a lot of thought into every detail. Since one of the heroes happened to be The Informant, he kindly informed all the super heroes as they arrived to register themselves at Super Hero Academy. We gathered the best and the brightest together for graduation at the academy. As each name was called, the heroes were able to demonstrate their powers in the hopes that the rest of the heroes would vote for them, thus taking home the prize.




Other activities included a photo shoot against the backdrop of a building scene, a CREATE station with a real live typewriter where heroes could write a comic, and last but not least, a movie theater showing the 1960’s Batman (classic) and a FREE concession stand.

hero sandwiches

cake pops

Food consisted of HERO sandwiches, HERO snacks (veggie and fruit trays), and cake POPS. Each hero also got a snap, crackle, POP on their plate to take home for later…or not.


Unfortunately the hubs was gone, but the kids and I didn’t let that spoil our fun. Joshua went as Candyman and dressed really colorful with bags of candy hanging from his pants. Emma Grace was one half of the Star Struck Sisters. I was Lady Librarian and my power was to silence a room. I was shhshing people left and right. Super annoying, but you have to play the part, right?


star struck sisters

lady librarian


It was all totally ridiculous. I realized that as I was buying party supplies and a fellow shopper asked what kind of party we were doing and then asked if it was for kids. No, lady, it was not. Sometimes, you just have to act ridiculous every once in a while, and be ok with it. Can I get an amen?

Now it's your turn! Remember your "studio" can be anywhere. Let's celebrate each other's creativity by linking up and visiting as many as the other studios as you can. Check out the about post for more info and don't forget to grab the In The Studio button!

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