No Love Potion Here…

Yes, whether you want to fight it or not, Valentines Day is almost here.  Some hate this day, while others embrace the hearts, decorations, cards, and chocolates.  Some say we should use every day to tell those we love that we love them.  Others need a day to prompt them.  But what if we saw this time as more than all of this?

What if we were missing the whole point?  That is what crossed my mind this week as I’ve been writing out scripture every morning and reading various scriptures on Love.

Luke 6:27-36
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.  “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

What if we saw Cupid’s arrow as more than a love potion for those we already love, and let it penetrate our hearts with forgiveness to those who have wronged us, pierce our expectations and demands, lead us out of our comfort zone to learn what it truly means to Love beyond what society tells us?

What if we prayed for those we speak so badly about or judge in our hearts?  What if we reached out in kindness and friendship to those we don’t know?  What if we were led more in the Spirit rather than confined by our own fears and walls of hurt?

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I of course want my friends and family to always know how much I love them, but I also want to Love with grace, with mercy, with the same Love that has been given to me so graciously, so freely, and that will never run out…

We have access to this Love and we have the ability to give it and share it with others…It’s not a love potion, but a choice.

My Son is THAT Child…

There we were…dressed in our Sunday best (or at least the nicest clothes I could find in a hurry this morning) standing up on the stage ready for our children to be dedicated at church today.  It was a little hard to hear with the commotion that was to my left…the squirming to get down, the whining to be let go of to run around.  And who was that rambunctious little one?…yes, you guessed it.  There he was, my little squirmer, Gabriel, trying to get out of Jared’s arms.  It obviously was the worst moment to want to go play.  I mean how does a 21 month old not understand that this was an important and “quiet” moment?

I’ll be honest, I was sweating and wondering if we were going to make it through, but I couldn’t help but laugh at the situation.  For one, I had calm little Lucia in my arms, and it was Jared who was trying to contain our lil’ man.  But honestly, it’s life.  I would have loved for Gabriel to stand their calmly and quietly, but the truth is It just wasn’t going to happen today.  So I laughed.

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You see, Gabriel is THAT child.  His energy and voice IS going to radiate through this world.  His adventurous and energetic personality IS going to change this world.  He’s going to GO when God says Go.  He’s going to SPEAK, probably loudly, what God has given Him to say.  His life IS going to be filled by the Spirit that nothing is going to contain it.  I love my rambunctious little boy.  And as a mother, I will guide him and help him make good decisions. He is learning to behave and to listen, but I don’t ever want to break his adventurous Spirit.  It’s challenging at times, but God has great plans for him the the beautiful way He was created!

Lucia too is our precious daughter.  She is developing her own voice, and her sensitivity will help to see the hearts of others, to have compassion for the hurting, and a passion of Love to serve.  I love watching her grow and together discovering the beautiful way God will use her to be His hands and feet!

I’m so thankful for a community that surrounds us in support and understanding as they join with us to care for and help raise our children!

To See. To Believe. To Be in Awe…

Now that’s the way to Live!

When was the last time you were amazed?  When was the last time you saw a miracle?  When was the last time you actually believed in the possibility of what could be?

It’s 4:00am and I woke up to pray for several people heavy on my heart.  As I was praying, I began to think about my heart behind the prayers.  You see, there are many people I know of who are in need of a miracle, a true, life changing, God praising miracle!  Yet as I pray for them, I find myself, praying almost in timidity and fear…fear of disappointment in the outcome, fear of praying out of selfish motives, doubt and timidity that my prayers are insignificant in the grand scheme of things and the problems and challenges that people are facing.

When did I lose that sense of awe and wonderment in the power of God and the Holy Spirit? When did I stop believing that I AM a vessel used by God, guided by the Spirit?  When did I stop believing in what seems like the “impossible” and start settling or even expecting that miracles are rare?  When did I close my eyes to focus on the size of the problems, instead of opening my eyes to the Power of God that is around us every day!

Acts 5:12
“Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles.”

They were REGULARLY done among the people by the HANDS of the apostles.  Regularly, not rarely!  What a powerful verse to remember about the power of Christ and the Spirit in us…the miracles that are regularly possible when we believe, open up our hearts and minds to the possibilities, and pray, move, and live in the wonderment of the miracles that can be seen daily!

Miracles

I want to live like that!  I want a heart that believes!  I want to be used by God whose Power and Love is greater than any challenge, disappointment, and fear!

Will you Pray in Boldness?  Will you Love beyond fears?  Will you Believe in the Possibilities?  Will you Live in Awe of God and His Greatness in our DAILY Lives?

Whose Approval Am I Seeking?

Thankful

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

Hay Más…

bible collage

He tenido esta Biblia para más que 7 años. Ha estado conmigo durante momentos difícil y momentos a celebrar. La cubierta está roto, sin embargo está llena con lecciones que he aprendido de varios versos. Sé que está tiempo para Biblia nueva, pero no está fácil. Lo tiene mucho lecciones que he aprendido.

Pero la verdad es que hay mucho más a aprender.

“Cualquiera que se extravía, y no persevera en la doctrina de Cristo, no tiene a Dios; el que persevera en la doctrina de Cristo, ése sí tiene al Padre y al Hijo” ~2 San Jan Apóstol 1:9

Necesito a continuar estudiando La Palabra. He aprendido mucho Verdad como he estudiado Su Palabra, y sería una tonta pensar que sé lo suficiente o que sé todo. No puedo correr delante de Dios con solo qué sé ahora, pero puedo avanzar con Dios aprendiendo continuamente qué Él está enseñandome.

Estoy agradecido para esta Biblia, para estos lecciones, y mantengo abierto a todo hay aprender. Mientras concluyo esta Biblia estoy emocionado para una Biblia nueva. Lo será una otra Biblia que tiene más memorias y más lecciones que serán un parte de mi corazón.

Hay más aprender…

Ahora, pienso que está tiempo para una Biblia en Español.

 

There is more…

bible collage

I’ve had this Bible for over 7 years.  It has been with me during difficult time and moments to celebrate.  The cover is broken, yet it is filled with lessons I’ve learned from various verses.  I know it’s time for a new Bible, but it’s not easy.  It holds a lot of lessons that I’ve learned.

But the truth is that there is so much more to learn…

“Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” ~ 2 John 1:9

I need to continue studying the Word.  I’ve learned a lot of Truth as I have studied His Word, and I’d be a fool to think I know enough or I know it all.  I can’t run ahead of God with only with what I know now, but I can move forward with God continually learning what He is teaching me.

I am thankful for this Bible, for these lessons, and I remain open to all there is to learn.  As I close this Bible, I am excited for a new Bible.  It will be another Bible that has more memories and more lessons that will be a part of my heart.

There is more to learn…

Now, I think it’s time to get a Spanish Bible!

 

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!

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!