You may be tired of hearing me write about it, but my trip to the San Blas Islands of Panama last year was truly one that I'll never forget. The beauty of the place and the joy of the children are only two of the many reasons this trip was memorable.*
Today, another medical missions team returns to the area. I'll be honest, my heart hurts a little to know that I am not going to be with them this year.
My task instead is to stay and pray for them. Pray that God will open doors and that His work will be accomplished during the next 10 days.
*To read about the trip, click the 'about Panama' tab at the top of the page.
First, let me say thank you for the many kind comments passed along via the blog, facebook and given to me personally. I truly wasn't fishing for complements when I asked the question in my previous post. Still, you have reminded me how blessed I am to be surrounded by such an encouraging group of friends and family.
Now, what do I stand for?
The truth is, there are many things I stand for.
~I stand for children.
~I stand for family.
~I stand for education.
~I stand for the unborn.
~I stand for the oppressed.
~I stand for missions.
~I stand for justice.
~I stand for mercy.
~I stand for compassion.
~I stand for love.
But above all, I stand for truth. Absolute Truth. Yes, though it is an unpopular stance, I believe that there are absolute truths. And I stand on the conviction that they can be found in the unerring Word of God.
"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
"...you'll fall for anything." I don't know who to attribute this saying to, but I am convinced it's true.
Now, today I am supposed to offer you a photo of something I stand for. It would be interesting, I think, to know what you, dear reader, would choose for me on this one. So instead of presenting a photo, I choose to pose a question.
What is it you think I stand for? What is the first thing that comes to mind about me?
I am continuously amazed at how God speaks in that perfect moment. I never really listened to this song until this weekend. When I heard the chorus, I was immediately convicted in regard to my attitude. I am waiting. Still, while I'm waiting, I will serve, I will worship.
That's a question that I like to ask friends and family on occasion. I've even been known to pose the query to someone I've just met. It says a lot about the person, I think, when they tell where they would like to go and why. I know there are many places that I would like to visit. That being the case, choosing the photo for today was a challenge. It's day four: the day to post a photo of a place I'd like to visit.
I would like to go to Alaska...
...because it's somewhere that my grandmother has always wanted to go. She had the opportunity one summer and passed it up. I think it's one of the few trips she regrets missing. I would like for the two of us to take a cruise to Alaska one day.
I would like to go to Hawaii again...
...because my mother would like to go. My parents lived in California when they were first married. So close, yet so far away because of their newlywed financial status. I would take her if I could.
I would like to go to the Grand Canyon...
...because I've never seen it and my dad wants to go cross country again. Everyone in the US should see the Grand Canyon at least once, I think.
I would like to go to Australia...
...because that is my brother's dream vacation. Wouldn't it be grand to experience the Great Coral Reefs and the wonders of that land down under? Of course, he'd probably rather take his family than me. :-)
I would like to go to Disney World soon...
...before my nieces grow up and loose the wonder of fairy tales. How exciting it is to see places like that through the eyes of children!
I would like to go to Europe...
...anywhere in Europe, because that's always been a dream of mine. In all of my travels, and I am blessed to have travelled often, I've never gone trans-atlantic. I would enjoy that someday.
Truly, where would I like to visit? Just about anywhere.
Throw a dart at a map of the world. Wherever it lands, that's where I would like to go.
Today's task, post a photo that makes me happy. Does it seem strange that the picture is a starfish hanging out in an octopus sand mold? Allow me to share with you the tale of Judica, the starfish.
During the warm, lazy days of summer, one of my favorite things to do is to scoop up my nieces and cart them off to the beach. We're blessed not to live so far away from the beach. I'm doubly blessed that they love to go with me.
The day this particular photo was taken, Boo and I were at the beach by ourselves. Moo was sick and the other adults had to work or were otherwise occupied (strange how that's usually the case with those adults...). So we loaded up our backpack and hit the sand.
On arriving at the beach, we claimed our spot and headed toward the gully to splash awhile. Wonder of wonders, what did we see? What seemed to be a thousand starfish hiding in the gully and sprinkling the sand. In her excitement, 6 year old Boo really wanted to keep them all to show everyone at home.
After much discussion, she was convinced that they would be much better off if we returned them to the big water.
We spent half our time at the beach that day throwing the starfish back. One lone starfish did she convince me to set aside for photo ops. Immediately, our captive was named Judica and declared to be a much loved pet.
Why does that picture of Judica make me happy?
Boo is 8 now. As she grows older, she may not remember that day at the beach, when it was just the two of us. But when I see that picture, I remember.
Hmmm... I've noticed that I don't actually have a lot of pictures of myself available online. So, I went and borrowed a previously uploaded photo for this one (thanks Lee!). It's at photo of myself at least a year ago, alright. Try more than 12 years ago. That's right folks. The precious toddler in the picture is now a 14 year old menace to society model of a teenager. :-) His mother, the beautiful lady pictured with us, is still counted among my close friends. I am so blessed with long lasting friendships.
Wow, again, it's been 6 weeks or more since I've posted. There are times when I think that I should write a blogpost only to find myself facing writer's block. It's one thing when you decide to write because you have something to say, and another thing entirely to try coming up with something to say because you've decided to write. I'm sure there has been no great loss of discussion simply because I kept my thoughts to myself. The five of you who read this probably found some other way to fill your time. :-) Still, I'm not quite ready to relinquish the blogosphere to every one else. So, in the infamous words of Bro. Jerry, "Here we go again!"*
I have a friend. Suffice it to say that she is my blogging hero. Recently, she posted a Photo a Day plan for her blog.** And, because she is my blogging hero, I've decided - with her permission of course - to jump on board. No promises as to how long this will stretch. We've already established that my "a Day" plans don't always follow the standard 24 hour interval.
Day #1 - A Photo of You
This is a photo of me taken about 1.5 years ago by my niece MooMaLa. She was 4 yrs old at the time. Not too bad, huh?
*See the About Panama tab for more info on the original phrase...
** Day one: a photo of you. Day two: a photo of yourself at least a year ago. Day three: a photo that makes you happy. Day four: a photo of a place you'd like to visit. Day five: a photo that makes you laugh. Day six: a photo of someone you love. Day seven: a photo of something you stand for. Day eight: a photo of something you enjoy doing. Day nine: a photo of yourself when you were a baby. Day ten: any photo you like for any reason. Day eleven: a photo of a night you loved. Day twelve: a photo of when you were happy. Day thirteen: a photo of one of your favorite movies. Day fourteen: a photo of your best friend (s). Day fifteen: a photo of you and a family member. Day sixteen: a photo from your childhood. Day seventeen: a photo from a trip you'll never forget. Day eighteen: a photo of your town. Day nineteen: a photo of your favorite thing from school. Day twenty: a photo of something you ate today. Day twenty-one: a photo of somebody you find attractive. Day twenty-two: a photo that you associate a good memory with. Day twenty-three: a photo of something you want to do someday. Day twenty-four: a photo of what you want to be when you grow up. Day twenty-five: a photo that inspires you. Day twenty-six: a photo of your favorite subject in school. Day twenty-seven: a photo of something you are looking forward to. Day twenty-eight: a photo of something/somebody that made your day. Day twenty-nine: a photo of your favorite person from history. Day thirty: a photo you find beautiful