{Lessons from Haiti} Priorities

Copy of IMG_1361.jpg

Madam Pastor is a role model to me. She quietly cares for others in a way that is truly beautiful. She is the type of woman that prioritizes her life by focusing her energy on honoring God, her family, and others.

 {First}

 God first.

Madam Pastor reminded me to “seek first the kingdom of God”. It’s easy to chase the American dream and lose sight of the ONE that gave you the dream in the first place. Madam Pastor left her family and moved to Port de Paix when she felt God calling her to marry Pastor Fontaine. It wasn’t easy, but it was in alignment with seeking God first.

 {Second}

 Family second.

She is the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman. She rises early, tends to her home, and works hard to make a living so her family can chase their dreams. She never hesitates to put them above her own agenda and celebrates their accomplishments.

 {Third}

 Others third.

She sacrificially cares for her community by extending love and hope daily. If someone is hungry, she feeds them. Thirsty, she finds them water. As a result, she is a friend to many.

 I’ve learned that modeling your life after someone like Madam Pastor is counter-cultural yet rich in wisdom. When I truly follow her path and integrate her habits into my daily life, I am in alignment with the Word, am a better spouse, and friend.

 Tell me: Does your role model follow similar priorities?

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, y’all!I’m linking up with the lovely Lauren Elizabeth and sharing five awesome moments from the week. Truthfully, this week seemed long. Perhaps, it’s the anticipation for the big game tonight. UK and U of L tip-off at 9:45 Eastern and try to earn their spot in the elite 8. I love March madness! Here are a few more things I loved this week:

{one} 

After I purged my closet, I went to Clothes Mentor and sold a few of my clothes. I hoped to earn $12 to off-set the expense of a new shower curtain I purchased this week.

I earned $21.65. Woo Hoo! 

{two}

I got to spend time with my friends this week.

I went shopping and had sushi with my cousin over the weekend.

I enjoyed a Brooklyn Nine-Nine marathon with my friend Lizz on Monday and then a Mary Kay skincare class on Tuesday with Lizz and Meagan.

{three}

A colleague sent me a gift and a sweet thank you note for helping her last month.

{four} 

J finished caulking the bathroom and touched up some of the painting errors I made. It will be ready to decorate this weekend!

{five}

J repaired the neighborhood basketball goal and the boys on the street were thrilled.

(excuse the grass. the winter has been rough).

photo (13)

Tell me: What made your week awesome?

{Spring Cleaning} The Purge.

photo (3)

One of the commitments I made for Lent was to purge 40 items from my closet. Luckily, this also served as a great way to kick-off Spring cleaning at our house.

I went through my drawers and closet(s) and discovered three important things about myself during the process:

I have odd attachments to clothes that are out of style and not my size.

I had a pair of corduroy pants in my closet for the last several years that were a little too tight and obviously not in style. Every time I would purge my closet, I would overlook and hold on to these beloved pair of pants. They are so comfortable.

Finally, I let go..Sometimes that’s hard.

When I fail to keep my clothes organized, I buy multiples. 

In my head, I never have white undershirts. Never.  However, when I cleaned out and organized my drawers, I realized I had about 10. I think I’m covered.

I need to fast buying for a season of time. 

J and I adhere to a strict budget and just because I don’t go over budget doesn’t mean I am spending wisely. I have more clothes than I need and more clothes than I wear. In other parts of the world, this is clearly not the case. I felt very convicted when I was weeding through all that I have.

 There’s something very cathartic about the whole process of purging. I also find it interesting that a simple task can reveal so much about the condition of the heart.

Tell me: Have you ever been surprised by what your closet revealed to you?

{Lessons from Haiti} Laughter

IMG_3375

“Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God”- Karl Barth

I love to laugh, but in my daily life, I don’t laugh a lot. Mostly because it includes work, laundry, and decisions like what’s for dinner. It’s hard to find reasons to laugh when you don’t create a margin for it. It’s easy to take life too seriously and forget to laugh.

However, when I‘m in Haiti, I create a margin and separate from my daily life. I am able to surround myself with people that fill me up and radiate the love of God. These people make me laugh a lot. For example, my friend, Kervens, he is full of wit, goofiness, and fun. He is quick to make a joke, sing a song, or playfully poke at someone to spark a response. There are so many stories that come to mind when I think about Kervens and each of these memories are filled with bouts of laughter.

Kervens has taught me that even when life isn’t “fun”, even when things get tough, it is essential to laugh. He doesn’t have a lot of “things” but he has a spirit that blesses others. He has an energy that radiates joy and promotes a carefree, light-hearted way of life. His ability to laugh and make others laugh reminds me of Gods grace. The unexpected, undeserved and totally free grace that is given to me through my friendship with Kervens has enriched my life and taught me to laugh.

Tell me: Do you have a friend that helps you remember to laugh?

High Five for Friday.

Happy Friday, Y’all! It’s officially Springtime and the weekend has found me. I couldn’t be more excited. To celebrate, I’m linking up with the lovely Lauren Elizabeth and sharing five awesome moments from the week.

1.) My little sis was re-baptized on Sunday. I love how on fire she is for God!

photo (9)

2.) Influenster VoxBox and Rimmel Cosmetics teamed up and sent me the sassiest red lipstick. I normally rock neutrals, but definitely had a lot of fun playing around with COLOR!

photo 2

3. I finally finished painting our guest bathroom. (Thank you warm weather!)

4. I only had something planned one night this week. I love margin!

5. March Madness. College basketball makes me happy.

Tell me: What made your week awesome?

{Good Reads} First Quarter.

This year I challenged myself to read two books per month. As the end of the first quarter comes to a close, I haven’t accomplished my goal, but I haven’t given up either. Here’s what I’ve read so far:

Captivating by John and Stacie Eldredge11413

This book dives into the woman’s heart and discusses how we feel and the lies we feed ourselves as a result. It teaches women to combat those feelings with Biblical truths. Every woman should read this book.

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracey Kidder10235

The book discusses Dr. Paul Farmer’s (I’m obsessed now) journey of fighting tuberculosis in Haiti and around the world. It also describes the obstacles associated with funding a medical facility (Partners in Health in Haiti). Since I’m in love with the country of Haiti and in the medical field, I found this book to be fascinating.

When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert6595233

This book defines poverty (the poverty in all of us) and gives advice on how to make a difference without hurting those around us. I found it difficult to read at first but then had an “a-ha” moment somewhere around chapter four and couldn’t put it down. Very insightful and oh so true!

This quarter was filled with “heavy” topics but each book provoked deep thought and caused subtle changes in behavior. I like the way good books influence and inspire me.

Tell Me: What books have you been reading? 

{Lessons from Haiti} Waiting on God

IMG_1531

Haiti has taught me a lot about waiting on the Lord. Haitians have a saying, “nap tann bondye” which means “we wait on God”. My friend, John Robert, said to me recently, “we always hope for our better day and wait for it to come.” At first this comment seemed insignificant but then as I kept chewing on the words, it caused me to do some research.

Psalm 130:5-6

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.

I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Like the sunrise, I wait with anticipation, expectation, and confident hope that the desires of my heart will take place. I wait expectantly for the Lord to answer my human needs just as the sun brings warmth to the day.

I have become so consumed with wanting things now that I lack the understanding and acceptance of the fact that waiting on the Lord involves a passage of time just as it does when waiting for the sun to rise.

When I fail to acknowledge the Lord and trust in his promises, I am overcome with anxiety and struggle by taking matters into my own hands. I fail every time. But in the moments of complete surrender, I wait like the watchmen because I know the Lord is reliable, more than the rising of the sun.

 

Inspiration/Reading/Source: https://bible.org/article/waiting-lord