Glimpses of the Creator

Beautiful thoughts from my sister-in-law, who is serving a short-term medical mission in Philadelphia.

SMI Philly Blog

Everywhere I go today, I know there will be people. Particularly here in an urban setting, humanity is inescapable and that can make it seem ordinary – commonplace even. And perhaps because of this, it is all too easy to lose sight of the beauty, wonder, and complexity that is bound up in another human existence.

 In the past year, I began my formal medical education and in this process I have frequently found myself in awe of the intricacy of the human body. Our bodies are a continuous whirling dance of precisely timed and choreographed chemical reactions occurring in inextricably intertwined organs that work in concert to the tune of complex rhythms and steps.

 And while all of this is beautiful and profound, we are so much more than our chemistry. As elegant and convoluted as our chemistry may be, it seems minor in complexity when placed alongside the…

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Sunshine Blogger Award Nominee

The Sunshine Blogger Award

*Quite* awhile back a very kind, wonderful blogger–Amy of Awakening Wildflower, in fact–nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Apparently, according to Colman Concierge, “The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.” I was very touched and eager to participate (thank you so much, Amy!!), but the past several months have been chock-full of other ideas, issues, and real-world challenges and changes (one example of which is that we’re in the process of selling our house and buying a new one!)… so, unfortunately, this fell by the wayside for awhile (…as did most blogging for me for the past few weeks… if you didn’t notice… aheh heh).

So, in an effort to put SOMETHING new and fun up here, let’s do this Sunshine Blogger thing!


The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and make a link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent to you by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award, and then write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog


Amy’s 11 Questions:

  1. What is the very first thought you have when you open your eyes in the morning? Arrrggghhhh, nooooo, I’m afraid of the day. I’m afraid of the pain in the pit of my stomach that hits about 4 seconds after I’m conscious. I’m afraid of people needing me all day. I’m afraid of things going wrong. Clearly, I have anxiety issues… something I’m constantly working on. But truthfully, sadly, the moment I wake up is the absolute worst part of the day for me.
  2. If you find yourself in a dark mood, what do you do to brighten things up? The hardest part is motivating myself to try! But if I get past that, I usually take a long bathroom break (a privilege with toddlers… truly!), eat a piece of dark chocolate, drink some water, and pray incessantly in snatched half-phrases. Also, if I have a particularly blessed free minute or two, I stretch out and do some yoga. And if it’s a sunny day, I go sit in the sun for 5-10 minutes!!
  3. If you had to list your top three things that you’re grateful for, what would they be? My husband, my two children, and my cat.
  4. What is something you do when you’re all alone that no one knows about? Oftentimes this is crying… though I usually mention it to my husband if I’ve had some tears. Ummm, I honestly can’t think of anything else! And really, would it still qualify as such if I told you? Ha!**Now, however, I do want to take this moment to add a somber but important note: several years ago, my answer to this would have been porn/masturbation–if I *could* have possibly told you that, which I couldn’t have, of course–because I was addicted to it. And I know a lot of people will read this question and think, “Well gosh, wouldn’t the #1 answer to this be porn–but who would ever say that? I certainly couldn’t!” And I want to give whatever sense of opportunity to break free from this secret to anyone else I can by admitting this struggle was mine, too. There is hope to escape from it. It is possible. And you don’t have to be stuck in the endless cycle of shame and fear and helplessness. There is help for you–real, substantial help. If you have no one else to confide in, I am always available to talk about this and offer resources, compassion, encouragement, and hope. Shame-free. Please reach out. You won’t regret it.**
  5. What is your favorite memory from childhood? This is hard… I don’t have an overabundance of good memories from childhood. Probably the best, though, go back to all the time playing outside that I did with my siblings when I was 11. We had a “fort” in an old gnarled tree root stretched across a dried-out rivulet that ran down the hill out in the woods back behind our house. Afternoons spent out in those woods, or in our yard full of climbing trees and hiding spots, were magic.
  6. If you could come back to earth as an animal, what animal would that be, and why? A cat. Cats sleep all the time, jump and run with tremendous grace and ease, have beautifully plush fur coats, built-in defense systems… yeah, I love cats. 🙂
  7. What is your number one pet peeve? Perhaps that I have too many pet peeves. 😛 Right now, though, it’s bad breath and B.O.
  8. What is the main message you hope your blog conveys to its readers? That life is hard, but that there is hope and help and laughter for the hard days.
  9. If you had to live one week without technology, how would you do? Mentally, that is… Just fine! It’d be a hugely welcome relief to just let go of all that pressure I feel to be plugged in… although I suppose I might miss watching a show here or there. But a week really isn’t long to go without. 🙂
  10. What wish would you make upon a shooting star? That every member of my extended family finds the true love of Jesus Christ for them, accepts it down to the bottom of their souls, and finds life and health and true, deep, identity-defining joy at last.
  11. One of my favorite television shows to watch when I’m down in the dumps is Shaun the Sheep. What’s yours? I have heard SUCH good things about Shaun the Sheep and yet never managed to watch it! I really need to one of these days soon. 🙂 But for me, I love The Great British Baking Show and Parenthood.


My 11 Nominees:

  1. Vernon Miles Kerr
  2. Sheikah Plate
  3. Something to Stu Over
  4. Building the Love Shack
  5. More Enigma Than Dogma
  6. Jason Journals
  7. Peace From Panic
  8. The Things of Every Day
  9. Rachel’s blog spot
  10. InkBlots and IceBergs
  11. Purely Mama P


My 11 Questions:

  1. If you couldn’t drink coffee (or other caffeinated beverage of choice) in the morning, what else would you do to wake up?
  2. What is your dream job?
  3. Who is your go-to confidant when you just need to dump your irrationality off your chest?
  4. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
  5. What would someone need to know about you in order for you to consider them a *good* friend?
  6. Spiders or snakes?
  7. Do you think the traditional 4-year college degree will still be worth anything in 30 years?
  8. What pushes you to keep blogging?
  9. Favorite snack food?
  10. What one global problem would you like to see the human race make significant progress on in your lifetime?
  11. How do you (or don’t you) conceive of God?


I can has time? Also, immigration

Hi friends!

Well. All I can say is I’m sorry I haven’t been writing. I miss it, but I literally haven’t had the time to post. We went on vacation for a week, and we’re also in the process of buying a house and trying to sell our current home. This of course involves packing and moving and cleaning and mounds of paperwork. And I’m also teaching a Poetry Workshop right now, gearing up for another Latin Camp, trying to think about organizing my materials for my classes starting up in the fall… oh yeah, and I’m a full-time SAHM, too. And we’ve got more changes afoot than even all that entails! So… my plate has been just a wee bit full. Just a wee bit.

I have been nominated for some lovely awards and challenges, and I can’t wait to dig in and participate. I’ve got posts in the works for those things, but I just can’t find time to sit down and complete them yet; hopefully, after the move, things will settle down just enough for me to start finishing them. For right now, I just want you to know how much I continue to appreciate the follows, likes, comments, and encouragement! You all are just lovely.

Finally, even though I can’t contribute much of my own material to the important dialogues going on right now, I’d like to share a few things that I’ve read that have been super helpful and informative for me as I process the issue of immigration in America this week–particularly the issues surrounding children. If this isn’t a gritty problem, I’m not sure what is, and I bet all of you feel the same.

So, in an effort to promote bipartisanship, facts-with-less-hype, and a heart for the other less fortunate, here’s what I’ve been reading:

What You Need to Know About Families Separated at the Border – a calm, collected, compassionate, fair, and useful report by Matthew Soerens, the US Director for Church Mobilization for World Relief, a non-profit started after WWII to provide humanitarian aid to refugees. They also published a very helpful infographic, which I’m sharing here and encourage you to share widely as well:

The Immigration Facts on Separated Families

The Making of an Online Moral Crisis – Alexis Madrigal gives a remarkably thorough summary and analysis of all the information (and misinformation) that has exploded over the national consciousness on this issue… and a succinct meditation on how some of the most nightmarish things actually have the power to pull us together, not drive us apart.

Tattoo – a classmate of mine from Mike Pence’s alma mater wrote this account of friendship with an illegal immigrant. If you’ve never met one, please allow Ben to introduce you.

As I think of all it will take to move my babies five minutes across town in the next few weeks, I’m brought up short at the thought of single parents who have moved mountains of terror and death to bring their children to a new home in our country… only to have those children ripped away.

I’m not ashamed of my privilege, but I sure as heck am not going to keep it to myself.

If you live in the U.S., please call and write your congresspeople to help give these children and their parents a taste of the freedoms and safety we enjoy without thinking every day. World Relief has a very easy to use, no-strings-attached petition and email form to help you do just that. Remind our leaders that human rights have no borders, and that the future of these children could impact us all. If we’re that worried about terrorism, let’s not give them a personal reason to hate us.

A 2-year-old seeks asylum with her mother at the border.

(John Moore/Getty Images)