rumpled blankets, essays, and castles in clouds

I'm swimming in essays, scattered on the rumpled blankets of my bed. We're in the middle of a cloud tonight (when this happens I nearly always think of the Les Miserables song, "Castle on a Cloud") and I'm warming to orange, manzanilla, and green teas as I read through an endless amount of essays. Tomorrow is report card day and I can't begin to express the empathy I now feel for my high school English teacher. The sheer amount of words is enough to scare me off, but throw in another language and I'm wishing the words "This essay is due next week" never left my lips... and I'm a psychology teacher. Imagine doing this every day! Ah!

On the other hand (there always seems to be another hand), the reason the process is taking so long is because I feel as if the students are finally personal. Assign an essay on problem solving and you're sure to read some clever, creative, surprising, and endearing stories that open windows into their lives. I am quite enjoying it!

In the rush of the end of the quarter last week, I have not been able to post, so tonight I want to encourage you with the lyrics of two of Brooke Fraser's songs. I have just recently been listening to her new CD, Albertine, inspired by her trips to Rwanda. The first, Hymn, resonates with my heart's desire to dwell, really dwell in Thee; the Truth and the only Life. The second, C.S. Lewis song (how could I not be drawn to such a title!), reminds me of the temporary nature of this life and how we purpose to live in light of a collective groaning for redemption.

If to distant lands I scatter
If I sail to farthest seas
Would you find and firm and gather 'til I only dwell in Thee?
If I flee from greenest pastures
Would you leave to look for me?
Forfeit glory to come after
'Til I only dwell in Thee

If my heart has one ambition
If my soul one goal to seek
This my solitary vision 'til I only dwell in Thee
That I only dwell in Thee
'Til I only dwell in Thee

C.S. Lewis song
If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here
If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary,
then of course I'll feel nude when to where I'm destined I'm compared

Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan
as I wait for hope to come for me

Am I lost or just found? On the straight or on the roundabout of the wrong way?
is this a soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?
Cos my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
An avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become

For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath, so we better breathe it
And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know you
Hope is coming for me
Hope, He's coming

I hope you are blessed tonight (or morning) as you think on what exactly in your life today has eternal significance. I pray you are seeking the Lord, dwelling in Him, and experiencing the abundant life. My hearts overflows in light of His grace upon grace (John 1).

Here's a taste of this week (I HOPE!):
What can YOU do?
I've had SO many people ask me how they can support the ministries here in Honduras and I'm finally going to do my best to tell you. So, listen close!

Adventures of the Life I Wish I Led
Who knows if I'll write this. Pray that I do for accountability's sake. I really do enjoy writing creatively!

Where does creativity come from?
I guess sometimes I just wonder this myself. The short answer is our Creator. What's the long answer... how do we develop our creativity? What forms might it take? This is what I wonder sometimes.

Exciting updates from HONDURAS

I'm hoping this post includes a new newsletter, but we'll see about that. I know, I know, I'm way behind. But, I also know that you are gracious to let me finish well instead of finish quickly! :)

Vaya Pues!

Weekly Lineup

Back again.

The market's bright produce, fresh flowers, and loud bargains was a welcome rush yesterday morning. I meandered among the plantains, peppers, and papayas breathing in the strong smell of hot pupusas and baleadas. I'm back.

I can't figure it out, surely I've tried. But, I can't figure out why I consistently find 'home' in so many places. I left for two weeks - lunched in smalltown diners, shared in my hometown church service, breakfasted with grandparents, celebrated our Savior's birth with family, opened gifts, Christmas caroled to neighbors, road-tripped to the beautiful mountains of Colorado - and now I feel like I'm back instead of the opposite feeling of being 'away.'

Well, however my intercontinental feeling of 'home' works, I'm grateful. And, now that I'm back I know that the Lord has bold plans in the making.

Here's a look into next week here on the blog:

Resolution Schmesolution
Obviously, I have a bit of a grudge against this time of year and its infamous goal-setting. It's so unfortunate that goals come once a year and are fueled by such things as guilt and personal gain. Could there be another option?

Last Days
"To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it." This quote from Joel Rosenberg's book, "The Last Days," has spurred a series of reflections. Are we ever called to tolerate evil? When God says in Matthew 5:44 to, "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," what exactly did He have in mind... tangibly? I know this may seem a world away, but as I read several books at once (of course!), I know that in the spiritual realm, every battle is connected.

God Chose You
A friend once said in her testimony, "Sure there are countless more qualified and doubtless more effective for your position. But, God didn't choose them. God chose you."

Adventures of the Life I Wish I Led
Okay, so I've realized that these excepts are neither short stories nor do they necessarily follow sequence or even the same story line. But, I enjoy writing the bits and pieces and so I will continue. I still really haven't received any feedback, so I can't determine if I'm horribly embarrassing myself... and in any case I suppose I don't mind. Read if you want, don't if you don't :).

Look out for surprises and grab bags. I am excited to see what this new year brings and also to hear more from you! I know I write this all the time, but I'm serious! I love to hear what you are up to - suggestions, advice, similar stories, and the like.

What have you resolved to do this year?

Lineup and gift-giving

At a recent Christmas outreach to our students, we asked them to think about what Christmas would be like if they didn't receive a single gift. In my group, I only sensed a slight hesitation before the, "No," followed a shake of the head. I don't know what I was expecting... sunday school answers, I guess. But, when I heard their honest admission, I asked the same question of myself.

Lately, I've been racking my brain, trying to think of things to put on my Christmas list. You know - family and friends are thoughtfully asking what would make the perfect gift and I'm grateful to oblige. I hear myself saying, "Well, I have several pairs of slacks, but I could use a few more. I've been wearing these for several years now ... I guess I could use some money on an iTunes giftcard, you know I'm always wanting new music ... You know, now that I think of it, a toaster oven would be so nice to have in the apartment so we didn't have to toast bread over the open flame on the gas stove ..."

Even writing these now sends a shameful shiver up my arms. We only get one life and I'm asking for a toaster oven? Really?

I know that part of giving gifts is that they have to be received on the other end. I get that.

I guess I just wish I would understand that I do not need gadgets and frills and, well, stuff. Why is it I desire things that are so... I don't know, rusty. That's it - things that will rust. Why, instead, don't I find contentment in the necessities? I know - it's the same question every year.

Looks like I'm going to need to be in prayer this week. I know the return trip to the States will be more than overwhelming in all sorts of ways. But, I am so so so excited to see my family, play in the snow, have wrestle fights with my brothers, drink coffee in the mornings with my sister and mom, and YES sit on the heater in the dining room in the early morning when it is cold!

Here's the lineup for this week, we'll see how it goes:

feelings on leaving
I'm not sure how I feel about leaving this place. I've settled into life here and I know that 2 weeks throws a pretty large wrench in the system.

Christmas countdown
Here's a list of things I LOVE at Christmastime.

creative gifts
I have been in the past, but this year I'm trying even more to give gifts with meaning and my own personal touch. My family has been sending out gift lists for awhile, but I hope they don't mind me doing my own thing. :)

adventures of the life I wish I led
I realize that every adventure I write is only an introduction to the actual action ... so this week I'm going to try to write when something actually happens :).

grab bag
pictures, updates, comedy, art ... who knows?

much love to you all this week

Leaves in the Winter

Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. That's how I would describe this day.

You might remember my pitiful posts from a few weeks ago, trapped inside without electricity or sunshine. Well, today is different - MUCH different. The sun is out and showing all its glory against the pale blue cotton sky. Even the birds seem to find cause for chorus this afternoon.

I finally finished the painting project in the kitchen. Actually, it had more to do with starch and fabric than paint. I saw this idea Christina used in her living room and decided I would try a variation here. I am so glad to say it worked and we love it! The seasons aren't here quite the same as Iowa, so a daily reminder of changing leaves is refreshing.

Well, well. This week has flown by almost as fast as the motorcycles at the gate. I'm pushing through these last few weeks with a new teaching approach, refreshed perspective for purpose, and daily in wonder at the gift of life.

I'm following John Piper's sermons via video each week and as we make our way through John, my heart is full of gratitude. Not so ironically, at the same time I am studying Beth Moore's, "Jesus the One and Only" devotional. I'm getting to know Jesus - the person. How strange to think that Jesus wandered around as a child, questioned adults about things as a young man, and watched his siblings fight.

I am gearing up for this week and I'm excited to see what the Lord will do. Here's a bit of what might show up on the blog.

Life of the Party
So, a very long time ago I was going to write about something that happened at the fall party. Now, I've waited long enough to just make it a double and write about the Christmas party we had on Saturday as well.

Even though I'm not shivering in below zero temperatures, I still see all the crazy "Christmas" holiday decorations, advertisements, and ridiculous light displays. There's even a Santa train that goes up and down the boulevard. How is Christmas about the giving?

At the Cinema
So, our family has a lot of traditions at Christmas. Watching a few movies is usually one of them. Christina's favorite is -- well, I'll just let you read about that this week!

I'm doing a unit (believe it or not it's IN the textbook!) on critical thinking and problem-solving. I'm trying to get them to make connections with real-life... instead of always relating things at school to school, I want them to open up about how we daily have problems that need solving... especially in our relationship with God.

Grab Bag
Who knows what this will be!!

This Christmas is difficult in weird ways. Actually, we're trying really hard to make it feel like Christmas, without cold and snow and family. I think we're doing a pretty good job, but I can tell you I am eager to step off that plane in Omaha to greet a couple bound for a little farm in southwest Iowa.

Weekly Lineup

Last week, we tried something a little different. We asked YOU to submit a blog to post. Of the generous outpouring of clever submissions, we found a gem (which we quickly published). If you didn't get the chance to write something... please do! We're not like those crazy people who don't have enough time to read what you're writing. We will read it and love it!

So, this week here's what you can probably, most likely, maybe see up here on musings.
Apartment C-3 Makeover
Read about the finishing touches on our apartment remodel. It was a combined 4 days work, 3 girls, 7 gallons and two pints of paint, 8 walls, 6 furniture pieces, several chocolate and tea breaks, and a LOT accomplished. Look for pictures!

Secret Life of Bees
Many of you have probably read this. Some of you are maybe curious. Well, I was looking for some good fiction to read by flashlight last week during power outages and borrowed this from a friend. Read my thoughts on this interesting novel.

When I was younger, we would go around the table and list the things for which we were thankful. I know we kind of bemoaned the practice as kids, but I secretly loved it (maybe not so secret... I bet if you asked my siblings they would say I was as cheesy as Mom when it really came down to it). So, what new Thanksgiving traditions do you make on your own?

Watching God Work

I've given up. Of course, I've given up before, but I'm hoping this sticks. I hope that this time, when I give up control it will be lost somewhere deep under the mudslides of this mountain with no hope of retrieval. God is sometimes curious in His might... but the more I behold, the more I desire to "treasure these things" as Mary did and trust God for Who He is.

There may be more, may be less. Feel free to chime in though, at any time!!

Love from C.A.

line-up, change-up

Well, this week is out of the ordinary... and late, of course.

Why? You might ask. Well, for starters, for two straight days my mountaintop has been without power. The winds rattle the walls and windows all night and darkness greets our mornings.

Needless to say, my routine has been a bit crazy.

Several thousand miles away, I haven't talked to the other (more creative genius) half of this blog in awhile and I don't want our next conversation to be about this blog.


Because of these delightful, unexpected, life things, I was wondering something...

I was wondering if YOU could be our lineup this week. Respond to this post with suggestions for future blogging, things you are thinking, questions you are pondering, blessings you are thankful for... pretty much anything goes (that you think my mom would also approve and enjoy :).

So - let's see what you got, my lovely readers. But, you've got to write it down!

Weekly Lineup

This week has been interesting. I'm late getting out the lineup because of a crazy weekend (and I'm excited to hear about Christina's weekend too!). But, praise the Lord because there is blue sky and sunshine again in Honduras! Thank you for your prayers - things are drying out and the vitamin D is doing wonders.

This week should be great - here's a sneak peek of what we think we'll write about ;). Be blessed today!

Blitz Update
So, you heard the exciting news from Caroline's busy week, but follow up Christina and her busy Friday. By the numbers looked exhausting, but I'm sure the Lord worked in marvelous ways!

Ordinary vs. Extraordinary
Read Caroline's thoughts on how God calls us to live each ordinary day as unto Him. Not all of us are called to be Mother Theresas. Sometimes God ministers through the most ordinary of people in the most ordinary of ways. What should our lives look like if we're not extraordinary?

Being a Christian is not always about being good
Find out what Christina has to say about this... I'm interested to know (still!).

the stronghold of self-pity
The world loves it when we feel bad about ourselves. There are all sorts of antidotes - movies, chocolate, gossip - but none that satisfy.

After the Election
What to do now? What's done is done and now we face again our responsibility as citizens to be active participants and keep our government accountable. Where do we go from here?

GraB bAg
As always, look for things out of the ordinary!

We love to hear from you, so keep those comments coming!

Weekly Lineup

What were YOU for Halloween?
So, there's this crazy holiday called Halloween. It's origin and evolution are great debates, but the fun involved in dressing up and pestering grown-ups for candy is definitely not in question. What were YOU this year?

Being a Christian is not always about being good
Find out what Christina has to say about this... I'm interested to know.

To Worship and To War

This week is 'spiritual emphasis' week at Pinares (If you think of it, please pray!). I'm slated for the Thursday chapel to speak under the theme, "Who's side are you on, anyway?" We'll see what the Lord can make of it.

Grab Bag
As always, look for things out of the ordinary!

Cold Days - getting creative on blustery days
So, even though it's hard to believe, it gets pretty cold here. Several weeks of rain and cloud are good motivation to find fun 'indoor' things to do. Here are some that I suggest!

We love to hear from you, so keep those comments coming!

Weekly Lineup

I know, I know - the lineup is supposed to come out at the beginning of the week to let you know what is coming up. Well, my apologies - it just didn't happen. But, let's move on.

This is a very critical time for both the country I live in presently and the country I most naturally call home. This week we will (and have) talk a bit about the US election on Nov. 4 and also the growing concerns for the flood-ridden Honduran countryside.

We - Christina and I - have been busy this past week, but then I guess this is a busy time of year. For that matter, our lives always seem quite full. I know we are no different than the 6 billion other people moving about the earth, in various states of frenzy. But, we like to give snapshots of our frenzy (and even sometimes when we slow down) and we suppose that since you're here you don't mind reading them. Enjoy this week, as it's already well underway!

VOTE schmote
This week we may be posting little segments that have to do with the election. It seems much confusion shrouds the ballots this year - maybe more so than at other times in history. Regardless of the outcome of the election, we can say for certain the world is changing.

growing pains
Last week my posts were haphazard and tired. I am learning much in this journey and little of it right now is 'self-esteem' building. The painful process of being refined is never really something we stay up late dreaming about, but it will surely come if you are seeking the Lord.

Life of the Party

This is a follow up from last week. After the excitement of the fall party, I lost steam mid-week and wasn't quite in the mood to be amusing. But, now I've got another anecdote to add (our apartment hip-hop dance class) which should just add to the laughter.

a penny for your thoughts
So, when Christina and I swap thoughts, we are regularly amused at how differently our minds work. Since I'm writing this lineup, I'm going to ask Christina to just share (at this exact moment) what's on her mind. I'm not quite sure how this'll work out, but hopefully she'll be clever and witty (naturally).

Grab Bag
As always, look for things out of the ordinary!

ALSO - if anyone else is interested in an interview, let us know! We want to get to know our readers and we want people to get to know you! So, comment on this post and we'll contact you. Be careful, we may just hunt you down if we think you've got something that needs sharing!!

Weekly Lineup

Whew! What a weekend! Do you ever fall into your pillow on Sunday and think "it must be Friday by now"?

Well, both Christina and I had very interesting and eventful weekends. Maybe you'll hear about them this week! We're going to opt for a more spontaneous route this week, so enjoy our randomness!

What we're reading (and recommending)
Of course, I'm in the middle of several books right now - from Fyodor Dostoevsky to Robert L. Stevenson to Isobel Kuhn. And, I just received some new books in my packages last weekend! I promise this might even be interesting for non-readers. .. Well, maybe.

Weekend Retreat - from the other side

Christina just went on a retreat this weekend, but she was retreating... she was leading. Read about how it's quite different from the other side.

Power of Prayer

We've been talking lately about how amazing it is that God invites us to be a part of his glorious work, even in the most intimate ways through prayer. Read about our joys and struggles with this thing called communion.

Grab Bag
What could this be? We actually don't even know:) so just read up this week.

How to liven up a party

So, I don't have a whole lot of experience, but when it comes to social gatherings, I have a few tricks that seem to always bring smiles, induce laughter, and in general make merry the crowd. We had a fall party (hoedown theme) this past weekend for the staff and I seized my 5 minutes of fame!

Also... anyone interested in an interview sometime soon? Or, better yet - anyone interested in nominating someone else for an interview? Let us know!

Okay - hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Weekly Lineup

Well, another week has gone by and I'm definitely feeling the distance of countries. I let the first tears fall as I heard reports of football games and read about apple picking. Yet, the blessing still abound. I am ever thankful for technology - that allows me to call home with crazy stories of mountain rescues and also to see my best friend's baby for the first time.

This week - who knows? The Lord is very thoroughly refining me and I have a certain feeling He is not done (and won't ever be). So, I'll probably be sharing a bit of this in the course of the week, but it looks like Christina will have some interesting things to share as well. ENJOY!

application to date my girls
Part of Christina's great new gig is to disciple girls. Recently after a high school dance, her protective nature was appalled at the stories her girls told. So... she decided the next boys wanting to ask her little flock out on a date would have to go through a very intense application process.

occupied with joy
After reading in Ecclesiastes, this verse emerged from all the "vanity" and "chasing the wind" ... "For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with the joy in his heart." (Eccl. 5:20) This is amazing!

feelings of fall
A cool breeze, hot chocolate, sweaters... all these things remind me of fall.

what is a family
Living so far away, my definition of family is expanding. God has a very specific and perfect purpose for the way community is formed and lived. I praise God for the blessing of family (and friends) I grew up in and with. I'm still trying to understand how I can enjoy and bless back if I'm called away.

gRaB bAg
Again - don't know what this could be, but expect greatness!

Weekly Lineup

Alright, welcome to a new week! We are both continuing in God's goodness and grace - truly amazed at the kingdom work in which we are invited to participate.

application to date my girls

Part of Christina's great new gig is to disciple girls. Recently after a high school dance, her protective nature was appalled at the stories her girls told. So... she decided the next boys wanting to ask her little flock out on a date would have to go through a very intense application process.

for the beauty of the earth
Discover with Caroline the joy of being active in God's creation. She will tell tales of her hike up to La Tigra, one of the best spots in all of Honduras and it's right up the road.

occupied with joy
After reading in Ecclesiastes, this verse emerged from all the "vanity" and "chasing the wind" ... "For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with the joy in his heart." (Eccl. 5:20) This is amazing!

feelings of fall
A cool breeze, hot chocolate, sweaters... all these things remind me of fall.

grab bag
This could be anything:)

Many blessings to you this week in everything you do!

Weekly Lineup

Hello faithful friends and random readers! It hardly seems a week, but it's going to start again whether we're ready or not. You may have noticed last week that Christina was out of commission. I sure did! We kept missing each other... and I hate for our only communication across countries to be me badgering her about putting up a blog post. But, no worries, this week she's back in action and you'll find out what was holding things up.

God shows up in the small things
I guess small and large are all relative here, but either way I am amazed when God provides at exactly the right moments. Many times I find myself doubting His provision and filling my mind with back-up plans, but I'm always reminded that He is in control. Here are a few such stories...

For Sale
So, Christina had quite a week, much of it due to the neighborhood garage sale she decided to organize, completely solo, on top of her other mounting responsibilities and her new job.

Going to be aunties!!
You've already heard my excitement for Meg and Christina's for Jared and Tina... there's no way you can prepare for our excitement over our very own niece/nephew that is on the way! That's right, our dear bro and sister-in-law are going to have a baby. I'm sure this will be the first of many posts about our prayers, hopes, and joys for our growing family!

Application to date my girls
Part of Christina's great new gig is to disciple girls. Recently after a high school dance, her protective nature was appalled at the stories her girls told. So... she decided the next boys wanting to ask her little flock out on a date would have to go through a very intense application process.

Teacher vs. friend
I'm sure every teacher goes through the phase (and I don't even have the technical training), where they try to find the boundary between teacher and friend. I'm finding myself in that place right now. Where I stand in front of my 10th graders and just think how much I would rather meet up with them on a Saturday then hand back a red 'D' on the top of their test.

That's what we've got... be looking for an interview with Kathleen in the near future. And once again, if you have ideas, suggestions, questions, or if you have a random urge to be interviewed, let us know!!!

Weekly Lineup

(best lineup picture I could come up with)

Hello again! I hope you had an amazing week and weekend!

I found the most wonderful rest yesterday, which is why I did not quite get around to sending out the customary lineup. But, how about the random, surprises from last week? I'm even excited to read what shows up on our blog! We're playing this thing like a duet and it keeps it interesting:)

Well, for this week we want to share some more stories, lessons, and insights.

Interview #2
This time around, we'll interview Kathleen. I'm so excited to learn more about her - so learn with me about her life as nurse and cake decorator.

When more than miles separate...
So, the due date for my best friend's baby has come and gone and I am waiting for any sort of word. In all the books and resources I've read about missions, culture shock always hits the top 10. Now I'm realizing that being separated from dear ones means more than missing conversations.

A Case of the Mahn-days
Monday or no, I seem to be having frequent days where I get discouraged. That scene from "Office Space" comes to mind, where the main character is trying to focus amidst layers of distractions. When he responds in short to the over-eager, colorful secretary she says, "Oh, does somebody have a case of the mahn-days?" In these discouraging times, I return to what I know and cling my fragile, little mind to the anchor of hope.

Something creative...
I'm not quite sure at this point, but you can count on Christina or I rolling out the creativity this week. It may be lesson plans or wall decorations or bathroom remodel or a clever conversation... but in some way or another the creativity is sure to appear!

Grab bag
Who knows - we're good at random, so expect it!

That's the lineup for this week. Hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoy writing!

Weekly Lineup

Well, if you haven't noticed, this week is already slightly irregular. Instead of trying to catch up, this week Christina and I will be officially "un-planned" and write whatever, whenever. I just returned from my maiden Honduran excursion with three other co-workers to the north coast. I'm pretty tired, but relaxed and excited to begin work again tomorrow.


Surprises are in store! That's the lineup, folks. If you don't normally get excited about routine and hate knowing what to expect, then this week is for YOU!

Weekly Lineup

What a week it's been! Praise God for the blessings of the past week... Christina is now working in her new position at Valley E. Free and I am falling more in love with Tegus every day. We know God is so good - sometimes we can see His goodness through blessings and other times we just believe His goodness is there by faith. Either way, God continues His remarkable work and we're glad to be a part! This week, we're hoping to have some more variety. Enjoy! And, as always, leave comments - we LOVE your comments!

Phase II
Read more about Christina's transition... After being faithful in pursuing the Lord and receiving what you asked, a lot about life changes. Christina has been realizing that God is still and will always be in the work of refining.

design lemon and limes

Okay, so you've probably already figured out that Christina is the design whiz around here (when I say around I mean theoretically, because we're obviously countries apart). But, that doesn't mean I don't try to spin a little creativity every once in awhile. Read about the great and not-so-great results!

'in' and not 'of'
Paul's charge to be in the world, but not of the world turns out to be a pretty hard fight. We struggle each day to make decisions that shine the light of Christ amidst darkness, yet it's hard to know how our light best shines. Do I watch that movie or read that book? Do we support that company? So many questions... We'll ask some this week.

being a woman of discipline
So, I just finished reading Chesterton's "A Man Who Was Thursday" and I'm still reeling from the resolution. As I process, I'm moving onto a bit of non-fiction in Elizabeth Elliott's "Discipline." I have really felt God lay on my heart to seek and desire a more disciplined walk.

what to do at a white party?
If you've ever been somewhere and got the sudden urge to be the life of the party - read this! Christina is pretty good about bringing laughter to almost any situation and this recent event was no different!

There might be more, might be less. I am learning that our 'lineup' our really mere suggestions and reminders to ourselves of the direction we think we'll go.

Have a great week!

Weekly Lineup

Hello folks!

We hope you read last week, because we are back at blogging - full force. This week, we won't disappoint, so anticipate some great posts.

Mystery Revealed
Find out what Christina is all excited about!!!

The Man Who Was Thursday
Take a closer look at this strange nightmare, written by theological great G.K. Chesterton. Maybe you can help me figure it out!

Design Lemons and Limes
Okay, so you've probably already figured out that Christina is the design whiz around here (when I say around I mean theoretically, because we're obviously countries apart). But, that doesn't mean I don't try to spin a little creativity every once in awhile. Read about the great and not-so-great results!

Phase II
Read about Christina's journey into this new territory (see previous post) - I guarantee it will be worth it!

Oh, yes, remember when we wanted to interview YOU. Well, apparently you don't want to be interviewed. Well, we can respect that, but that doesn't mean we have to stop asking. So, anyone? anyone?

Alright, expect some fun things to fill in the gaps. We are so excited and blessed to share the way God is moving and working in our lives. May all the glory be unto Him!

Weekly Lineup


I know it has been SO long since we have written in any sort of organized way. In fact, I just realized that it might be a good idea to re-introduce ourselves. To save some space (and the eyes of those that know us well) you can just click here and here to read more about us and our blog.

We're going to try the lineup thing again and see how it goes. We're thanking the Lord for the blessing of skype... and hoping that we can continue to write together, separately on this little space of the web.

Here's our lineup for this week:

NM Mission Trip: REcap
Remember when Christina was on a mission trip to New Mexico and you were praying for her? Well, she returned and has much to share! Be sure to check out how the Lord worked and is working in their lives!

Life in Honduras: the things you have to learn for yourself

Read about how Caroline is adjusting to life in Honduras. Some things are easier than others and there are MANY reasons to laugh.

Praying, Believing, Doing

Christina has been deep in transition these past few weeks - ending a job, going on a mission trips, applying for other jobs, interviewing... and through everything the Lord has been Provider and Sustainer. Sometimes, though, it's hard to find the right balance of praying, believing, and doing.

The Adventures of the Life I Wish I Led

Read part I and part II before you read on. This little series is entirely fictional and based on my heart's desire at the time I'm writing. We all know if we truly had our way, things wouldn't be so great, but I think there are desires God has given us that are okay (even good) to dream about.

Dare to Design
Read some marvelous insight into the design world. We're not all gifted with an eye for color or fabric or artistic elements, but we can all read about people who are! So gain some insight from Christina this week and use what you steal to work for you!

Interview with ______

When we first decided to merge our creativity into this blog, we talked about wanting to do interviews. After our first interviewees fell through, we're thinking of trying a different tactic. What if we interviewed YOU, our readers! I'm pretty clueless as to how many people read this, but it would be WONDERFUL to start bringing more of you into this creative process. So, make a comment post on this weekly lineup if you'd be interested in an interview - because we're interested in YOU!

That's it for this week. Look for little pick-me-up posts during the week as well. Like we said, we're going to try to be as regular as we can, for two sisters living thousands of miles apart.

Weekly Lineup


Things are crazy around here.

Christina is in Whitewater New Mexico with our brother William and a team from our home church and I am packing the last few things, getting shots, and saying farewells before I leave on Thursday.


Tonight I jumped in the car with my parents and we made the local rounds - visited a couple relatives and friends and absolutely loved it.

I don't really know what to promise this week, so I'm not promising anything. I do very much hope to spend some sincere time writing, reflecting, and catching up before I get way behind again.

Please pray for Christina and the group in New Mexico and for me as I prepare for Tegus. Christina is currently trying to get over a cold, so just pray that the Lord would give her an enduring spirit and willing heart. Praise the Lord for His provision thus far with connections in Tegus - it has really been amazing to see how travel, lodging, and roommates have come together in the past few days.

As I've been able to connect and talk with some of you this summer (family at the Cass County Fair, road trip to Lincoln, frequent stops at the church, chatting after church, and playing cards), I am overwhelmed by blessings. Truly.

From Austin to Iowa to Tegucigalpa, the Lord has gone before me preparing the way for HIS work and I am delighted to be a part.

I know Christina feels the same way about God's faithfulness as she takes the next uncertain steps into a new phase of her life. What a life we lead - and what a treasure to serve our God.

Be blessed! Keep checking in for picture updates from our summer travels!

Weekly Lineup

Okay, so we made it through this past week. Christina quit her job and I moved out of Austin (deep sigh) ... and we made it.

I love the encouragement we find in Joshua 1 where we keep seeing the words "take heart" and "be strong and courageous" and " wait on the Lord." Far from our constant demands for quick fixes, we read what it means to be stalwart - a certain strength from only one source.

Well, this week we tarry on, both in Iowa for a short stint. I am actually sitting in Christina's endearing upper floor apartment for the first time and loving it. I get to see all the things she's posted on the blog and - let me tell you - the effect is much sweeter in person!

As we enter into a new phase in our lives (mine in Honduras and Christina's still a bit unknown, but definitely in Des Moines), we are trying to figure out the best way to share our creative experiences on this blog. Lineup? No lineup? Recommendations? Stories? Crafts? Write every day? Multiple times a day?

If you have any sort of advice to this end, please let us know! You can leave your comments here or send us an email... but just let us know your thoughts. More of the same or something different??

For this week, we'll go ahead and let you know a bit what to expect. I'm just going to come out and say we're confused about the election. We don't want to vote for either of the main candidates, so now what do we do? (Please advise!!)

Here are some topics we do claim to know something about...

Adventures of the Life I Wish I Led
Have you read the first two in this series? If not, check here and here. Start looking for this as a regular staple on this post. I've heard some people appreciate this side a bit more than all the philosophy (I don't care what you say, I'm keeping that too!). These short snapshots are just what's on my heart... you know, if wishes came true.

Living Life in the Minimal
Last week, Caroline wrote about inventory-ing her life as she boxed up all her personal possessions in Austin. This week, read about Christina's newfound determination to live life simply... as she navigates piles of clothes, boxes of collectibles, and (in short) a lot of clutter.

So, when the last of the kids finally leaves, we've given parents the affectionate term of 'empty nesters,' but there's a lot of nesting that happens in your 20s. When don't have any kids yet and find yourself 'on your own,' you can do a lot to your living space and your life outlook to make yourself feel right at home.

So, we'll try to hit these topics, but be looking for more. With pictures, of course of our adventures, travels, and surprises.

We hope this week you will delight in the blessings!