When God Doesn’t Make Sense

Today she asked the hardest questions.

The kind that don’t have answers.

We spent the morning teaching the girls and staff of Mercy House about leadership, positive attitude  in difficult circumstances and the love of God. It was rich. The girls took notes and sat in rapt attention.

As we wrapped up the two-hour session, we opened it up for questions. We are still in that silent-awkward phase, where we are getting reacquainted. There are eight little reasons that make the transition easy (who were being cared for in the baby room by Maureen and my kiddos during our session):

And then she raised her hand, quietly, but the urgency of her question, hung in the air.

“You speak of God and how much he loves us.  I would like to know why he allowed me to suffer so much? He is powerful, yes? Why doesn’t he stop the bad things?”

The question was heavy, it came from a place of pain I can’t imagine: this girl who had been gang raped by evil men, the memory and trauma very fresh.

A 17 year old mother, her baby conceived in a wicked world, grasping for something to hold onto, but I’ve watched her for two days now tenderly care for her baby. It’s a beautiful heartbreak, this world we live in.

My heart broke for her trying so hard to understand the why’s of suffering. Suddenly, our tidy message from the western world seemed empty.

I looked at her with tears thick, and I said, “God stepped into your pain and brought you here. We have suffering in our world because of sin, but you aren’t alone. Jesus is here and somehow even when he doesn’t make sense, he is still God and he loves you.”

My husband offered her tender promises from the Bible and we acknowledged her very real struggle to understand. But in the end we can only lean into God’s Sovereignty even when we have more questions than answers.

An hour later, we huddled in a room (21 of us!) and we sang of his great faithfulness.

Because even when we can’t explain the why’s, we trust anyway.

Pictures of the Day: Kenya 2012

After a very smooth (but extremely long 24 hours), we arrived in Kenya to a beautiful reunion between Maureen and our family. We hit the ground running and started early today at church watching ALL eight of our beautiful girls get baptized in water! Stunning.

I wouldn’t have missed this for all the jet lag in the world.

And then we did a ton of this:

with eight of these:

We shared delicious meals together and the girls opened up their gifts for themselves and their babies from you!

It was pretty much a perfect first day on the other side of the globe.


Kenya, Here We Come

16 miracles waiting for us….

In the words of my five year old, our fearless leader:

{We covet your prayers for our family as we get on an airplane tomorrow and travel for around 24 hours. Please pray our time at Mercy House is productive and for safety. I will kiss babies for you!}

I will be updating as Internet allows.

Thank you, Vintage Pearl for my Texas necklace, I added it to my Africa one. Together.

WFMW: Our Favorite Summer Salad

Half my dishes are packed, we are living out of suitcases and my house is a wreck.

Ah, a hot summer with a bit of moving and missions work thrown in.

We have an easy, delicious fall-back meal that all five of us love.

Asian Chicken Summer Salad

1 large bag of cole slaw

1 bag of roasted almonds (salad topper)

1 bottle of Asian salad dressing (we use Ginger Sesame or whatever we can find)

1 bag of tortilla strips (optional, but yummy)

Chopped leftover grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken added.

Mix it all together, serve cold.

Last week, I doubled the recipe and it was plenty for 6-8 people.

The Ninja Was Here

On Saturday morning, my 5 year old woke up and decided it was wrong our dog, five-year-old Sasha has never once attended church.

So she decided to “have church” and read her Franklin the Turtle book. Unconventional evangelism.

When my tween heard about it, she said proudly, “we are doing something right.”


Father’s Day was also our church’s fourth year celebration.

We had our picture made at the fun photo booth. Later when an adult asked my son where he got his mustache, he said, “Dude, it’s called puberty.”


During church, my oldest held my hand. She leaned over and said in my ear, “I like your wedding ring.”

I said thank you and returned to listening.

But she wasn’t done because then she whispered, “Can I have it when you die?”


We packed up a few more boxes after church yesterday and I noticed my youngest wrote her name on the tan fabric of my dining room chair in her five-year-old handwriting. I am not okay with that. And then I understood how my father felt when my older brother wrote “the ninja was here” in his Bible when we were kids.