Whose Approval Am I Seeking?


I sit here as my little boy takes a nap next to me.  It’s been a fun morning of playing and having Gabriel follow me around as I prepare food and do dishes.  And now it’s quiet.  I figure I have a good 30 minutes, maybe an hour if I’m lucky, to reflect and share something that has been on my heart.

You see, I had this dream, this plan, this idea of how life would look.  My family spent over a year preparing to move to Colombia to be long term missionaries.  I dreamt of how I would easily manage to be a mom to our 6 month old at the time, balance that with a children’s ministry, blog regularly, and yet still have dinner ready every night.  In my mind it all seemed so easy.

And how does that look now?  Well, I’m blogging for the first time in 6 months if that tells you anything.  Let’s just say I’m not any where close to that plan I had of having it all together.  Each day is different and after spending the day chasing around our now 1 year old, cooking his food and making our dinners, trying to do what I can to invest and encourage those around me, I have to laugh at that nicely packaged plan I once had of how all of this would look.  Some nights we don’t eat until after 8PM, and by the time I sit down to rest for the evening it’s time to go to bed as the next day starts promptly at 6am.

I won’t lie, in the moments before I close my eyes to sleep, I’m reminded of all that isn’t getting done, of all I wanted to do, to teach Gabriel, to be a light in the community where we live and serve, and yet I wonder and doubt what was actually accomplished that day.  It could be easy to let those disappointments tug on my heart and bring me down, and honestly sometimes I’m just too tired to fight them.  But other times I remember the great moments of the day.  The moments where Gabriel wraps his arms around my neck and lays his head on my shoulder…the moments he grabs my hand and brings it to his face for comfort…the moments he laughs while following me around or giggles as we sing songs and dance together…the moments I share words of encouragement, of Truth, with different friends and am able to really listen to them…the moments I get sweet hugs from the children at church.

Precious JewelsNone of this looks like I imagined, like I had planned, but it is even better.  For if I know that I have lived my day with intention, God can use my beautiful and chaotic life to share joy, light, hope, and Love in each moment.

The same goes with our plan to live long term here in Cartagena.  With the wonderful surprise of our daughter who is due to be born in October, and finances that just haven’t panned out the way we had hoped, we know this dream, this plan is changing for now.  As we prepare to move back to the States in August, it’s easy to get lost in the disappointment, but then I ask myself, who am I trying to win the approval of?

Galations 1:10 states, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

We have stayed true to our plans and commitments moving forward in faith and living each day with intention.  Time here is not waisted, but is a gift.  And we know we will be back, visiting every year, investing in the people here, and trusting that God knows our hearts to serve and live internationally and the love we have for our Colombian family here.

Our plans are changing for now, but I know that I will continue to live each day intentionally wherever I am, being a light in my community and especially my family.  I know and trust that God can use my life to share his Love and Truth.  So I remain open to Him…

Be All There

What are we bringing?

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~Romans 15:13

It’s the new year! Welcome 2015! And today is Kings Day. Some may know the significance of today, others might just see it as another day of the year. But my family celebrates this day each year. We spend time together, cook Mexican food, and celebrate the journey of the three kings on the way to see Jesus and give him their most precious gifts. This is my favorite holiday. I remember the gift of Jesus, but also the gifts we have to give, to share with others, and to give glory to God.

We have been living in Cartagena, Colombia now for almost 3 months. It has been a wonderful 3 months as we have started building relationships. As I mentioned before, We aren’t here to fix things. We aren’t here to tell people what to do. But we are here to overflow with the hope, joy, peace, and love that we are filled with. We are here to invest in the beautiful people here, to develop friendships, to serve our brothers and sisters here. We want to help others see the gifts that they each have to share with others.

Hope in relationships

When we see the sweet faces of the children here, we see their potential, we see their joy, we see the uniqueness of each wonderful face and know that these future leaders will be a blessing to this world. When we see our kind and thoughtful friends, we see the love and kindness that has the ability to encourage and help others that need help. We see hope.

bring to the world

We all have something to give. We all have something to share. Let’s not see what this year brings for us, but what we can give! That’s life! That’s love! Let us overflow with hope, joy, peace, and love that comes from within!

Qué estamos trayendo?

“Y el Dios de esperanza os llene de todo gozo y paz en el creer, para que abundéis en esperanza por el poder del Espíritu Santo.” ~Romanos 15:13 

Lo es el año nuevo!  Bienvenido 2015!  Y hoy es Día de Reyes.  Algunos saben la significa de esta día. Otro personas lo ven como otro día. Pero mi familia celebra esta día cada años. Pasamos tiempo junto, cocinamos comida de Mexicana, y celebramos el viaje de los reyes a ver Jesus y dar sus más regalos preciosos. Lo es mi fiesta favorita. Recuerdo el regalo de Jesus, también recuerdo los regalos que tenemos a dar, a compartir con otro personas, a dar gloria a Dios.

Hemos estado viviendo en Cartagena, Colombia por 3 meses ahora. Ha estado un maravilloso 3 meses como hemos empezado construyendo relaciones.  He mencionado antes que no estamos aquí para arreglar las cosas.  No estamos aquí a decir gente qué hacer.  Pero estamos aquí a desbordarse con la esperanza, gozo, paz, y amor que nos llenamos de.  Estamos aquí para invertir en el gente hermoso aquí, para desarrollar amistades, y para servir nuestro hermanos y hermanas aquí.  Queremos ayudar otro personas ven los regalos que tienen a compartir con gente.

Hope in relationships

Cuando vemos las caras de los niños lindos, vemos sus potencial, vemos sus gozo, vemos el unicidad de cada niño maravilloso y sabemos que estos líderes futuros serán una bendición para este mundo. Cuando vemos nuestro amigos amables y pensativos, vemos el amor y amabilidad que tiene la habilidad para animar y para ayudar otro personas que necesitan ayuda. Vemos esperanza.

bring to the world

Todos tenemos algo dar. Todos tenemos algo compartir. No vemos qué este años nos trae, pero que podemos dar. Que es vida! Que es amor! Vamos desbordamiento con esperanza, gozo, paz, y amor que viene de dentro!

Remembering Truth…

On what Truth do you stand?  When you are faced with challenges, where does your hope come from?  This is something that I’ve been wanting to write now for some time, but unfortunately, I’ve let the busyness of life distract me from sharing.

Please forgive the delay in writing.  Since the last time I have written, we have moved to Colombia to serve.  The process in getting here required many steps and, though we have already been here for a month, we are still in the process of getting settled.  Life has changed drastically from living in the DC area to now in Cartagena.  We are learning a lot and are helping our sweet almost 7 month old, Gabriel, adapt to the different climate.  I do have to say though, he is truly enjoying papaya.

I digress, all that to say, Life has changed for us.  That’s no surprise, Life always changes, but it’s how we react that allows it to be an easy change or a more difficult one.

Shortly after we arrived in Cartagena, I read Acts 27:22-25

But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”

In the midst of a terrible storm in which the boat and all the men on the boat could have easily been swallowed by the waves, Paul stands firm on the Truth.  His faith in God does not waiver even when there doesn’t seem to be any hope.  He finds Hope standing on the Truth he knows.

That’s the hope we want to share.  That’s the truth we want to share.

Even though change isn’t always easy, it can easily us throw off course as we try to fight it.  Now, we are not facing any storms, but change and transition can easily seem overwhelming and difficult at times.  Learning a new language, finding a place to live, and just trying to communicate and learn has it’s challenging moments.

Gabriel and Jonny

But as I see the beautiful faces of the children here, the passion and love of the leadership team at the church we are serving with, and even just the sweet giggle of Gabriel as people interact with him and the children surround him, I remember Truth.  I remember why we are here.  I’m filled with joy, with peace, with trust, and above all Hope.

I’m so happy to be here.  I love the relationships and friendships we are building.  I’m excited for Life here…

And one day, I will be able to write all that in Spanish ;).

When Life Gives You Lemons…

You do something about it!

And in this case, Alexandra “Alex” Scott, literally made lemonade.

It’s been 10 years since Alex’s Lemonade Stand began.  At the age of four, battling cancer herself, she ran her first lemonade stand and raised $2,000 for the hospital that was treating her.  She wanted to give back and help others.  And since then, lemonade stands all over the country have raised over $80 million for cancer research projects.  This month celebrates 10 years since Alex’s Lemonade Stand started and though Alex has since passed, the foundation continues strong in her memory.

Though I’m highlighting this foundation and their fight against cancer, what I really want to celebrate is the action of one child.  She was four!  Did anyone else notice that?

Our children (jaja, I can actually say “our” now :)…I digress) are learning and developing every day.  There is so much they can do.  I’ve seen lists and guidelines outlining when a child can do certain tasks or should gain certain skills.  I’ve heard parents say that their children are too young.  But each child is different.  Children pick up on what they are exposed to.  If children can learn multiple languages at an early age, why not instill an atmosphere of giving and helping others at an early age?

What if instead of thinking about what our children are too young to do, we allow them to be challenged to do things?  They too can make a difference…we just have to encourage and watch their creativity come forth.

Alex was four.  Age was not a limitation.

Now that’s an incredible thought, in my opinion.  It’s a great day for lemonade…

You Are the Best….YOU!

Becoming a mother has definitely been a life changing experience.

My days no longer have a set schedule.  The time it takes me to actually accomplish a task can range greatly from 10 minutes to all day depending on what our son is needing that day, and breaks or moments to rest are no longer taken as needed, but whenever those moments arise, if they arise.

Gabriel Sleeping
Yet through those changes, I also get the sweetest baby cuddles, the little hands that wrap around my fingers, the excitement watching him discover new things and experience new things, the joy of teaching him, hugging him, and knowing that I am his mother.  And I truly enjoy seeing how wonderful Jared is as a father.

I’ve got some amazing mothers in my life and in my community as examples for me.  When I face challenging moments, and as I’m learning, I am supported, encouraged, and comforted by these amazing women who not only provide great advice, but also an ear to listen and understand.

And what I’ve been learning most through all of this is that even on those days when the only thing I have time to do is pull my hair up, those days when I have just 10 minutes to make and eat lunch, those days when my perfume for the day is ode to baby wipes, those days when I am learning how to juggle working on our nonprofit, cooking dinner, Spanish lessons, taking care of the house, and most importantly caring for our son…

I’ve been learning that with a grateful heart, patience, and grace…that I’m the best me that there is in this world and that’s just what Gabriel needs.  It isn’t about how smooth everything goes, how controlled I have everything, how knowledgeable I am in all areas of motherhood, but in how I love and care for our son.  It is about being the best Me, even as I’m constantly learning and growing, and allowing that to be an example for him.


I’m the best me and you are the best you.  There’s just no comparison!

And yes, I did write this during a break that arose at 5:30 this morning.  You take them when you can get them!

Welcome! This Seat is for You…

Some of you have received LHR’s (Legacy of Hope Restored’s) update on our vision trip to Colombia.  We were able to share some of the great things that took place during that time.  But as we continue to prepare to leave, finding the words to express exactly what our hope is as we serve there, is not as simple as one would think.

When asked what we are going to do, how long we will be there, etc…we want to be clear, but we can only offer what we do know at this point in time, understanding that things will continue to change as we adapt to what life in Cartagena looks like.

Then this morning, believe it or not, I came across a Caribou coffee cup that actually captures something we believe.

Community Table

You see, we are not moving to Colombia just to start a particular project, nor do we have a certain number of people we want to reach.  We aren’t there to simply distribute handouts nor believe we are THE solution to any challenge people may face.

We are moving to Cartagena to become a helpful part of the community, to really get to know the people, and to serve as we can.

Pastor Edilberto and the Crew

The idea of a “community table” is a great concept of gathering together, each bringing what they have to share with others, in an environment where we can be real with one another, listen to one another, laugh with one another, and invest in each other.

Jared with the Children

“Rubbing elbows” really captures the idea of getting close, removing barriers, building trust, and actually developing relationships.

English Club Lunch

It’s all about the people!  And all are welcome!

We are going to become a part of the community, to share with others, to serve one another, to truly live Life together, restoring hope, and being a part of a community that betters the lives of those around them.

This is the greatest direction we received on our vision trip.  We received a few other specific details (check out our latest newsletter update for more of that information), but as we continue to reflect on the wonderful people we met in Cartagena and prepare to see them again, we remember and believe that “Life is rubbing elbows at the community table.”

So with that, we say…”Welcome!  This seat is for you…”


Life As We Know It

give with image

I’ll be honest, the importance of investing in future generations has really been on my heart a lot lately.  It’s always been important, but now, as I think about what values and character I’d like to our son to have, I can’t help but think about what kind of example I am being to others, and soon to him.

Titus 2: 1-8 (The Message) states,

“Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy faith, love, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior. Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives.

But mostly, show them all this by doing it yourself, incorruptible in your teaching, your words solid and sane. Then anyone who is dead set against us, when he finds nothing weird or misguided, might eventually come around.

Lately, I have noticed several couples who have offered to have dinner with us, to share with us their experiences – particularly in the area of missions – but also the wisdom they have gained during their own time of being newly married couples or young growing families.  They are couples that we respect as they have demonstrated in their actions their own values and character as well as their love for God and family and their faith.  For this we are thankful!

As I thought about how wonderful these couples are to offer there time, and how grateful we are, I also have thought about my own life.  You see wisdom, gifts, etc. don’t always come at a certain age.  I’m 34 years old and I know there is a lot I have to give and share.  The question is, even before our son arrives and we begin to teach him, who are we investing in now?  What examples are we as individuals and as a couple being in the community in which we live?  There is a lot we have to learn, but there is a lot we have to share!  What are we waiting for?

Do we doubt our own value?  Are we waiting to reach a certain goal that will bring us recognition and the credibility then to share with others?  Do we have an expectation that we must have all the answers rather than simply being real and honest about our own lives, challenges, and victories, and all we’ve learned along the way?

Good enough

It’s time to stop the excuses.  It’s time to open our eyes not on what we don’t have to give, or comparing ourselves to others, but to look outside of ourselves to see what others need, are looking for, and actually reach out and invest in them.  No matter our age, our skill set, we all have something to give.  That’s a Life lesson I want to exemplify.

1 Week.7 Days.168 Hours…

Every moment counts!

Some may look at a week and not see anything special.  Some may approach each day with the attitude, “I just need to make it through today”.  Some people can’t remember the significance one hour is in a day.  One moment…and it all could change!  How incredible is that?  What if we approached time with a new perspective of optimism for the moments it holds and the opportunities that can arise?

1 Week – 7 Days – 168 Hours…It’s not a countdown, but a reminder to embrace the moments of this week as we prepare for our upcoming vision trip to Cartagena, Colombia (Where we plan to move in September 2014).

Last July, we were absolutely blessed to serve in Honduras together.  It was one of the steps of preparation for us as we make our way to Colombia.  And we learned so much about how God uses us individually and together and how we can encourage each other in those gifts as well as just the amazing amount of love we were and are filled with for those living in Honduras and those friendships we were able to build.  It was a great step.  And we haven’t stopped walking and moving forward as the Spirit has guided us, taught us, and continues to direct our steps.

SpritIn 1 Week – 7 Days – 168 Hours Jared and I will board a plane to meet our wonderful contacts who have blessed us already in so many ways with their open hearts, kindness, gracious assistance, and by just who they are!  And our hearts are already full of appreciation for the Wicks and Friends for Colombia!

We are completely open to the direction of the Spirit as we meet contacts, develop friendships, learn about all the culture, Life, and even the challenges of those living in Cartagena, and discover ways to serve the children and people of Colombia.

During this upcoming 1 Week – 7 Days – 168 Hours we are preparing our hearts and minds to embrace each moment.  We aren’t counting down the time until we get there, but utilizing the time we have to prepare and embrace the now!

Honestly, it is easy to get overwhelmed, but as we continue to move forward, our Faith grows, our relationship strengthens, and all we can do is put our Trust, Hope, and Passions in the hands of the One who is directing our steps and who has given us opportunities in each moment, second, minute, hour, week, month, year…

If you are interested in who we are, what our Passions are, and how we want to Live…check out our nonprofit (Legacy of Hope Restored) – http://www.lhrestored.org/

We will be activating Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram soon to provide a few updates as we can and look forward to sharing with anyone who is interested upon our return.  Prayers and Support are always welcomed and appreciated…

1 Week – 7 Days – 168 Minutes…Every moment counts!  Live Life!


Settling for Standard or Raising the Bar?

Choice Reflect Hope

It’s a New Year.  Welcome 2014!  And as the new year starts, many of us start to set goals for the year or make our “new year’s resolutions”.  How will this new year look for you?  What are you striving to reach in life?

Goals are great to set.  But I wonder…after the high of the new year, a new start, how many of us follow through or just settle for what is good enough.  At the end of the year, we review the goals we did not meet…do we consider that as failure or even worse, do we see ourselves as failures?

King’s day is tomorrow, January 6th.  It is my absolute favorite holiday!  We have always celebrated it as a family.  We would spend the day eating mexican food.  We would put our shoes outside the night before with some straw to feed the camels of the wise men on their journey to see the King, baby Jesus.  And as a thanks they would leave us a little gift.  So tomorrow Jared and I will be enjoying some mexican food and just celebrating the day together.  But beyond the great food, I always reflect on the meaning of the day…the journey the wise men made and the gifts they were bringing.  They were bringing their best.

How do we bring our best, give our best, live our best?

Many of us see this new year as a gift.  Therefore, we start to consider how we will live it out.  What goals reached this year will help us feel fulfilled, that we made the best of life lived in 2014.  So we think about it and begin making lists for ourselves…

But what if we thought differently?  What if we were more aware of the gift that has already been given to us?  What if that was our only resolution?…no lists…simply to listen daily to the guidance of the Spirit that dwells within us.

John 14:25-26 states, “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

We have been given a helper and a teacher.  We have the Holy Spirit that stirs within us and leads us.  How incredible is that?  How freeing is that?…not bound by lists and standards, but free to be open to the prompting of the Spirit in us to live a greater life.

Now that’s a gift…going beyond the world’s standards and raising the bar to greatness…

That’s my resolution.  Being open, daily, to how the Spirit leads me and what He is teaching me…truly living this wonderful life I’ve been given and sharing Truth, love, joy, and all that is within me with others.  Imagine the possibilities…

Feliz Día de los Reyes!