VBS 2015

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Yet another year where the summer flies by and I haven’t sent out any updates or blogged at all.

SO very sorry.

Now I’m here again & writing a blog recapping VBS. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve likely seen lots of pictures of precious children with crazy numbers of how many we had attend VBS & how many accepted Christ. It’s amazing how much can happen in six weeks of serving children.

Here are the stats for VBS 2015:

ATTENDANCE
Central Campus – 2,732 kids
North Campus – 1,903 kids
Off Campus – 1,520 kids
TOTAL: 6,155
SALVATIONS
Central Campus – 230 kids
North Campus – 118 kids
Off Campus -146 kids
TOTAL: 494
I’m so humbled and amazed at all the Lord did this summer. VBS was incredible. There was so much joy every day. I’m so very thankful.
Here are some pictures from VBS 🙂 Enjoy!
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||Living in Tension||

Anger is not an emotion I feel very often. Actually, it’s very, VERY rare that I feel anger.

But this morning? I feel angry.

It’s not a “mad” kind of anger. It’s a “broken” kind of anger. It’s a “frustrated” kind of anger. An “I don’t get this” kind of anger.

We’ve lived in Haiti for almost two years. Our hearts are captured by this place. By these people. By all that the Lord is doing here. And it’s good. It’s also hard. Our daily life here isn’t what’s hard, it may be frustrating at times, but its not hard. It’s the reality and knowledge of the brokenness of this country. The hurt of these people. The truth that the Lord isn’t finished with Haiti yet.

I’m so glad He’s not finished here. There’s so much hope. But this morning has been one of those mornings where I get so upset & “angry” that He isn’t finished here and He hasn’t fully redeemed this country yet. I get upset & “angry” by all the hurt and mess in the hearts and lives of those surrounding us.

Y’all. It’s hard.

We go to church, excited for a sweet morning of worship and hearing truth. And we leave frustrated, heartbroken, and “angry”. I keep putting the word angry in quotation marks because I’m not really sure if that’s the best word for this emotion. Maybe there’s not a word for this emotion and I guess thats okay.

We’re standing & singing about how desperate we are without the Lord & the truth and reality of that hits hard.

It hits hard when the man in front of us recognizes Matt & knows what Matt’s job is and reminds Matt that they’ve met and that he needs a house and has lots of problems and needs help. You can see him looking at Matt with desperation. Then comes the sinking feeling of knowing that he is in need and at this moment there is nothing we can do or say to help. We can only pray.

It hits hard when the woman sitting next to us is holding her baby and tears are streaming down her face. She wears her pain & exhaustion so vividly. I know just a small part of her story. And what I know of it breaks my heart. She has multiple children, but she’s given at least one of them up because of her desperation. I see her looking at her baby & can only imagine the thoughts running through her mind. My heart breaks yet again & I know that in this moment all I can do is pray.

It hits hard when a young boy who I know and has a soft spot in my heart comes up behind me and whispers, “Mwen grangou.” (I’m hungry). I know he is. I know his home life. I absolutely hate what I know of his home life. I’ve sat with him and listened to him tell me about his family that is oh so broken. I’ve hugged him and cried tears of brokenness over him. I’ve watched him tell blan after blan (white people) that he’s hungry. He’s desperate. Every once in a while there’s an opportunity for me to love him well & bless him, but most of the time I’m in a position where I can only pray.

My heart is broken and I’m “angry.”

I’m angry that this is reality for so many people here in Haiti. Not only here, but all over the world. I’m angry over the injustices that are running rampant all over this world. Stories I’ve read of what it’s like to be a nine year old girl living in the middle of areas taken over by ISIS. I’m sickened.

And I begin to question. I begin to question the Lord and ask Him why He allows this. Why I’m not living this reality and they are. Why.

A knot wells up in my throat and I’m stuck.

This cycle of emotions isn’t new to me. It’s a cycle I’ve become very familiar with here in Haiti. It’s a cycle of anger. A cycle of sadness. A cycle of hurt. A cycle of questioning. And a cycle of peace.

Peace?

Ugh. I confuse myself so much. My emotions contradict themselves.

We are always living in tension.

I’m feeling angry and heartbroken and tears are streaming one second, and the next second my heart is overcome with peace & a confidence in the Lord I can’t understand.

I know my God is a God of justice. I know He is sovereign. I know He cares for the brokenhearted. I know this.

Now starts the journey of trusting this. Putting this “knowledge” into practice. Applying this truth to life & situations like these that we’re faced with here is hard. But it fills my heart with peace.

It’s the tension again.

The tension of knowing the broken situations. Seeing the broken faces. Yet knowing that the Lord is sovereign. He sees the broken situations. He knows the broken faces. He heals the broken hearts.

The tension of feeling sadness and anger yet feeling peace because I know who my God is.

The tension of wanting so desperately to fix the problems and see redemption happen in my own time, yet knowing that’s the Lord’s job and I may have to wait on His timing to see redemption come. Sometimes I so desperately want to fix. But I am not a savior, I am a sister. HE is the Savior & as a sister, I can only pray & trust in my Savior who will establish justice.

“He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law.” Isaiah 42:4

I remember writing a blog post not long after we moved to Haiti. I’ve prayed from the beginning that I would never become numb to life here. That I’d never become numb to the pain. That I’d never become numb to the hope. That my passion for this country to come to Christ would never die out. That my heart for these people to live in true communion with the Lord would never fade. And this is one of the ways the Lord keeps me from being numb.

He gently reminds me. Reminds me of the pain. Reminds me of the hope. Reminds me of the passion and heart that He has placed inside of me.

And as frustrating as it is sometimes to not be able to hold back the tears after living here and seeing this for two years, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for a God who is sovereign. For a God who is constantly refining me. For a God who IS redeeming this country for HIS GLORY.

All I can say or do is to sing. To sing the words alongside the people filled with hurt surrounding me. To cry out in desperation for the Lord. I cry out on behalf of them & their physical and spiritual needs. I cry out on behalf of my heart. May I always live in desperation for my God.

So here I am.

Desperate for the Lord.

And it’s exactly where I want to be.

 

|| All Things New ||

It’s funny. After my last little blog hiatus I told myself I’d be so much better about blogging and that I wouldn’t let months go by without posting something…

& here I find myself apologizing yet again for the quietness on this blog.

I hope by now ya’ll know that I’m fully honest on this blog and as much as I share the fun & beauty, I also share the struggles.

The Lord has been up to some crazy things the last couple of months. Had I known all that was coming I probably would have run and hid in a hole for the rest of forever. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic (or maybe a lot).

This past season was H.A.R.D. I found myself crying far more often than I’d like to ever admit, becoming anxious about things that there was no need to even worry about, and everything just felt off. I do have to say that although the last few months have been challenging, I’ve been ridiculously blessed to walk through it all with Matt. There was a lot going on individually for both of us and being able to watch him rely on the Lord encouraged my heart so deeply and I really think this last season strengthened our marriage more than I could have imagined.

So yes, it was hard. But it was so very good. We just got back to Haiti from a month in the states and within the first week of being in the states I found myself talking about this past season with a joy in my heart and with clear eyes seeing how fruitful it was. It was a season of growth. A season of stretching. A season of pain. A season of new.

All things new.

For those of you who don’t know, I have transitioned from teaching into a new role with Mission of Hope. Holy emotions. My heart misses my boys and it’s so weird no longer being a teacher. I’ve also been so very excited to work in Mobilization with our weekly team members that come down & work in Church Advancement alongside my husband & our 37 Village Champions who are so much more like family to us than I ever would have imagined. On top of being sad and excited at the same time, I have been fighting anxiety and fear on a daily, almost hourly basis. Can I do this? Am I enough? I’m not as good as ______. I can’t do it. What if I fail? Like I said… holy emotions.

While we were in the states & flying to Texas, I was reading and stumbled across these two quotes and without even a second to really think about what they said I was fighting back the tears and wondering how it was possible to feel like you wrote a book you’ve never even read before. These hit home more perfectly than I could ever explain:

“This season has been a weird one, and I’ve been and felt weird because of it. I’ve come face-to-face with my faults and weaknesses and mess-ups. The spotlight has shone brightly on everything i’m not, and I’ve struggled to turn it back to God and who he has made me and what he’s given me to do. As a result, I’ve shrunk back and questioned just about everything about myself.”

YUP.

“It’s all been fear. Fear of failure. Fear of not having anything of value to give. Fear of being different or disliked. Fear of writing what I don’t really know or live. Fear of missing it. Fear of being disconnected or lonely. You name it, I’ve probably feared it.”

From Good to Grace, by Christine Hoover

I really don’t think I could have written it any better myself. This season has been weird. I’ve questioned everything I’ve ever thought about myself. I’ve been so very fearful.

If I’m honest, I am definitely still fearful. I’ve had two full days back on the ground in Haiti officially in my new role, and I’m terrified. I find myself second guessing everything I do. If I forget something or make a mistake or am not way ahead of the game, I’m already coming down hard on myself. The perfectionist, people pleaser in me is weighing heavy and it’s a battle to remember the one simple truth that is GRACE. It’s a brand new job for me and in some ways I have no clue what I’m doing, yet I expect myself to be perfect at everything from the beginning & it’s exhausting.

When I find myself falling into a pit of fear or anxiety, the Lord always so graciously reminds me of his grace & points me back to the truth that He will equip me for the task he has called me to. Do I trust that? Yes. Do I really trust that so much that I can walk in that truth daily? I’m working on it.

I’m truly so excited for this next season and all that’s to come. Summer is our busiest season for sure & I’m jumping in tackling working with the crazy awesome amount of team members that we have coming down, as well as helping my husband in Church Advancement and coordinating projects for said teams, AND helping run VBS again. (insert wide eyed emoji here). And as terrified as I get when thinking of all of that, I also find peace and joy knowing that I can’t do it all on my own. I can’t. And that’s okay. I can only do it because of the Lord & his goodness & grace.

Just today I was encouraged by the truth that this life is not about me accomplishing things and doing a good job, but that the Lord has called me (and you) to things that we can’t do so that His name may become great.

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

So in this new season of literally “all things new”, I’m praying for truth to reign in my heart. I’m praying for the Lord to daily equip me for the task ahead. I’m praying for peace & grace & wisdom & joy.

& ultimately, I’m praying that the Lord may be glorified in all of it.

He surely is making all things new.

|| 3 Cords ||

Y’all.

I’m so excited that the Spring Line of 3Cords has finally launched! Seriously though, go check it out at 3cordshaiti.com. I’ve had a bit of a sneak peek on this line since I got to do the editorial photo shoot for it. It was so much fun getting to be a part of and shooting not only lovely spring products but BEAUTIFUL women modeling them.

Our first shoot at the beach was with four of the beautiful young women from the Village of Hope (Our orphanage on campus). We had such a fun day at the beach with them. They are remarkably beautiful inside & out.

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Our second shoot was in Leveque, a housing community through Mission of Hope. The brightly colored houses made beautiful backdrops for this shoot! This shoot was with four of the women who work for 3 Cords modeling. Three of the lovely ladies are amputees and one is deaf. I loved showing them their pictures after every one and seeing them smile knowing that they are beautiful. It was so fun watching them model the products they spend their days and talents making & taking joy and pride in them. And some cute kiddos jumped in to be models too!

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I just love it all so much.

If you haven’t already, go to 3cordshaiti.com and check out the spring line and help support women like these ones!

|| V-Day Getaway ||

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Matt and I got to get away for Valentine’s Day here in Haiti. It was the first time we’ve been able to get away for a little break while in Haiti and it was absolutely needed and perfect and simply magical.

We went up to Rustik, a cabin-like hotel in the mountains. The coolest thing about Rustik is that everything there is made out of recycled materials. Okay, that’s not the coolest. The coolest is that they have a treehouse. That you can stay in. You better believe we didn’t pass that up!

Valentine’s Day getaway in a treehouse in the mountains? DREAM.

Here are some pictures!!

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The early morning was the most beautiful. Take away the sounds of roosters and cows and dogs in the nearby village waking around 3:00am, it was lovely. It was 60 degrees, which is ridiculously COLD for Haiti but it couldn’t have been more refreshing.DSC_2426 DSC_2463 Processed with VSCOcam with m6 presetDSC_2473 DSC_2476 DSC_2499 DSC_2508 DSC_2512 DSC_2518 DSC_2541 DSC_2555 DSC_2560 DSC_2568 DSC_2575
We went on an early morning hike after breakfast and coffee. The views were unbelievable and we met some incredible people. The hike we went on took us to a little hidden waterfall cove and we got to see the highest mountain peak in Haiti. Breathtaking.Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetDSC_2596 DSC_2603 DSC_2615 DSC_2624 DSC_2627 DSC_2628 DSC_2637 DSC_2643 DSC_2688 DSC_2692 DSC_2701       Processed with VSCOcam with m6 preset
Ya’ll. I love this man. More and more and more each and every day.Processed with VSCOcam with m6 preset
So thankful for some time away with him.

|| Glimpses of Spring ||

Remember that time last year that I used to blog at least 2-4 times a month? Ya, I barely remember that either haha. There’s no way I could put the past couple of months into words and thought instead I share glimpses of this season of life with you through photos.

This season has definitely been a difficult one, and Matt and I both are so thankful for all of you who have been praying for us and encouraging us in this season. We are so grateful. We know the Lord is up to something so wonderful here in Haiti because the opposition hasn’t ceased. We are thankful for a God who is always faithful & are holding onto His truths and promises.

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Sunday morning worship with the husband after church.

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Walks with my precious girl, Mary Jenn.

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Seeing Mydaline finally get her prosthetic leg fitted just right and getting to watch her walk out of the prosthetic’s lab with it.

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Sponsoring these two brings us more joy than any words could ever express.

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Saturday afternoons spent at our favorite family’s house 🙂

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Walks in Leveque with Rachel & precious kiddos.

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This sunset is probably my favorite one since we moved here. Every time I look back at it I’m overwhelmed with peace.

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Sweet Jeremiah. Matt and I met him five years ago this week and are thankful for the joy he exudes.

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Stormy sunrises – again, probably my favorite sunrise to date.

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A valentine sent down to Haiti from my other half. Man, I miss her.

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Mornings when my precious husband makes the coffee and brings it to me in bed. I treasure him.

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Beautiful beach days filled with rest.

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My birthday started with a coffee cake made by my husband, time with Jesus, a note from a dear friend, and gifts sent to Haiti from my mom. The early morning was full of little sweet moments.

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Joy in Leveque!

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Having my sweet girl up to our house to celebrate her birthday after school by making chocolate chips. Absolute dream. Absolutely my favorite afternoon.

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My sweet Emma is here in Haiti with me and my heart is so full!

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Guys I seriously love coffee. Couldn’t survive these days without it.

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My week. See? Couldn’t survive these days without coffee.

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This. Thankful for a God who in the midst of a lot going on in life and hard weeks still shows me grace and gives me peace and joy in the middle of it all.

Strong & Courageous

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Friends, I am so very sorry it has been so quiet on here lately. Matt and I got to spend the holidays in the states with our families, which was lovely, and came back to Haiti and hit the ground running at the beginning of January.

I have so many things I want to write about and pictures I want to share, but the truth is right now I just don’t have the words. Maybe it’s because of how quiet the blog has been and I feel the pressure to make my “come-back blog” powerful and meaningful. Or maybe it’s because the state of my heart and walking through a season of hurt and confusion and grace and truth. How is it even possible that those seasons can happen at the same time? I have no earthly clue but boy am I so grateful for those little graces and little truths that have me pushing forward instead of giving up.

This won’t be a grand “come-back blog”. Just a simple blog to share something I stumbled across today that caught my attention & spoke truth to my heart.

Ann Voskamp, talented author and blogger and many other things, shared this prayer from the IF:Gathering on her blog today and I just had to share it too. Maybe I feel the need to share it so it’s a constant reminder to myself. Maybe because I want to encourage you too to join me in praying this. I don’t know. I don’t. But here it is anyways and I hope it speaks truth to your heart the way it did mine this morning.

 

The Courageous Prayer: #IFPRAY703

“God we believe that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see —and we have assurance that You will make us strong and courageous to “lay down every dead thing we are still holding on to, to dismount from our dead horses,” (Christine Caine) to stop holding to the past so we can step into what You are holding out to us.

 

We may not be fearless but we will be strong and courageous and faithful because our faith in You is greater than the fears in us.

 

We lay down our comfort zones because they are death traps, and we will be strong and courageous because You literally save us, and that makes us safe and the safest place we could ever be is in Your hand — and because we are saved by You, we are always, always safe, — so we are now called to go live dangerous lives.

 

We lay down our safe, comfortable homogeneous ghettos, and in You will be strong and courageous to warrior for a diversity, for racial harmony, for Kingdom community, because our GOD is not American, but our God is African and Jamaican and Dominican and about Global Kingdom of God.

 

We will be strong and courageous because today there will be eyes on us, and they will need to see Christ in us and that we have answered Your calling for us because we have hung up on the lies from the pit of hell.

 

Make us hunger for lives of hidden service in the battle, not for public medals out of the battle. Make us daily pray for character greater than our calling and for a humility greater than our work.

 

Make us strong and courageous to get down on our faces every morning at 7:03 and repent of our fears and our idols and our sins and our messes because there will be no regeneration in this generation until there is a repentance on our faces because we cannot win any battle with rebel hearts, so may a movement of repentance move us so You hear from heaven and heal our land, so the land is taken for you.

 

Make us strong and courageous to do the new thing, because You are not the God of I was but You are the God I am and You are doing a new thing and that thing is unfolding right now in us will unfold in thousand of places around the world as we walk out our doors today and into dangerous lives.

 

Make us strong and courageous in a “faith that doesn’t erase insecurity, doubt, suffering or fear, but literally, daily, overcomes them.” (Jen Hatmaker)

 

Make us strong and courageous in a “faith that is not a formula to get us cheap stuff that only looks like the good stuff, but gives us faith that IS wild and dangerous and IS itself the real best stuff.” (Jen Hatmaker)

 

We will be strong and courageous and we will not be afraid; we will not be discouraged, for You are the Lord our God & You will be with you us wherever we go, so we take the next step which may feel like a leap of faith but our best mode of transportation through anything is always a leap of faith.

 

We will be strong and courageous because “Your hold on us is stronger than our hold on You” (Jo Saxton) and delivered people go deliver people and because we have met You, we will go live a different story today than yesterday.

 

Make us strong and courageous because the great people living great stories are simply the ones who believe GOD CAN.

 

The hopeful stare up the steps. The faithful step up the stairs.

 

We will never see the miracles of God until we take the next step up the mountain. Even the smallest of faith in a great God is the greatest equalizer, the greatest eraser, and the greatest definer.

 

Faith diets from stress and feasts on Grace. Simply: Faith refuses to stress.

 

Lord, nobody knows how hard we’re trying to be brave to show up when it’d be easier to give up, to go do hard & holy things when it’d be easier to go do happy things, to not quit when we don’t know how to keep going on.

 

And You lean close & breathe warm courage into our exhausted places  “Just Call to Me. I guarantee I will answer you. I will make you strong & brave and courageous.” Jeremiah 33:3 MSG,  Joshua 1

 

So we will be brave. And hold on to Your light to hold back the flood of dark.

 

We will be brave. Because our bravery wins a thousand battles we can’t see because our bravery strengthens a thousand others to win their battles too.

 

We will be strong and courageous and not pray for the hard to go away but we will pray for a Brave Faith Bigger than the hard to come.

 

Make us strong and courageous to do that one next step  that seems impossible — because that’s who we are: The ImpossABLES.

 

We will be strong and courageous and brave, because there are angels are closer than we know. 

 

And all the Brave & Courageous & the Never-Give-Uppers who cling to the Bravest One and Only One who ever loved us to death & saved us back to the realest & forever life,

 

We all believe angels are close now and He Himself will carry us out of here to take the land —

all of us, we all said

 

Amen.”

 

Here’s the blog post &  a link to a printable bookmark with this prayer on it

 

||Deye Mon, Gen Mon||

**fair warning: there are LOTS of pictures in this post and they may take a little while to load**

Déye mon, gen mon || Behind mountains, are mountains

I’ve heard this Haitian proverb quite often since living here. I’ve heard it explained a couple different ways. Honestly? It’s a proverb that I think can have different meanings at different seasons of life and depending on the way you look at it. Maybe that’s just me, and I’m okay with that.

I suppose it’s original meaning has to do with the trials that Haitians face daily. I see that play out quite often here in the lives of those I love. I think it can be true for anyone anywhere, but I especially understand why this proverb is so prevalent in Haiti.

I felt it last week. Monday was filled with trial after trial. Mountain after mountain. The week seemed to be filled with days like it was Monday after Monday. Mountain after mountain.

There was only one thing on my mind for the weekend. Rest.

By Friday afternoon, I felt like I wanted to lay in bed all day Saturday and sleep the day away. We had been talking about taking a day off to go into the mountains to explore the beauty and enjoy a change of scenery for months. Saturday was the perfect day to go, and even though all I wanted to do was sleep in and rest all day, we decided this adventure was one we had dreamed of for so long that we needed to go. (Sadly, Matt woke up with a fever and we decided it would be best for him to stay home and truly rest all day. He was missed SO much on this adventure.)

I love the mountains. Always have. It’s funny. I’ve always felt at home in the mountains. My early childhood years were spent in Arizona, where I have strong memories of loving mountains. I also feel at home at the beach, thanks to 15 years of living in Florida. Haiti has both and I am so V E R Y grateful.

I could say it a thousand times. I love mountains. I love what they bring to this world. This is why I feel  “Deye mon, gen mon” can have a different meaning. Not every mountain is a trial.

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So much beauty can be found in the mountains. If every mountain brings something new & beautiful, I will gladly welcome more mountains.

Whether it’s the small glimpses of joy & beauty in the hard trials, let there be more mountains.

Whether it’s the beauty of adventure & rest, let there be more mountains.

Whether it’s the pain & heartache that comes with struggles, let there be more mountains.

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We drove up and through mountain after mountain on our way to Furcy, a beautiful rural village that I would move to in a h e a r t b e a t.

Windows were down and the air got cooler and cooler ’til our faces were cold. Music was playing that perfectly matched the beat of our hearts. Rachel and I kept looking at each other with light in our eyes and smiles that we couldn’t hold back.

We finally arrived at our destination. A very rustic hotel/restaurant called “Rustik”. The name is oh so fitting and we were instantly in love.

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Rustik is made out of all recycled materials and lots of pallets. My pallet-loving heart was overjoyed. We wandered around and got to go up and see their most magical room of all, the treehouse. Yes, you can sleep there.

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Every little corner of Rustik was lovely. Absolutely lovely. The weather was cool. It felt like Fall. A welcome change from the daily heat we feel in our little corner of Haiti. I’m constantly amazed by this country.

We ordered breakfast and decided to wander and take some pictures while we waited for our food & coffee. Always coffee.

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So thankful for her & our adventures.

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It’s not often we get to eat breakfast anywhere other than our own homes or the guesthouse.

It was a t r e a t. 

Coffee, bread & an omelet. Yes please. We had quite the lovely view while eating too!

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After we were done eating and exploring Rustik, we decided to start the slow drive back through the mountains so we could stop to take pictures along the way & explore a little more.

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Those wildflowers. Its not often we get to see beauties like those here.

On the way to Rustik, I noticed a small little house on the side of the road that looked like a flower nursery. I was pretty positive I saw succulents so we knew we needed to stop on the way back.

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It was the most enchanting little mountain-side nursery. And sure enough the sweet, sweet man who cared so delicately for his little plants had succulents. Rachel and I were like little kids in a candy store while Reuben laughed from afar. When you find succulents in Haiti, you buy them. We were more than happy to support Jean Claude and his mountain-side business. We stopped at another little nursery along the way and found even more succulents. The people were precious and the joy we shared over these little plants couldn’t have been sweeter.

The week was filled with trial after trial. Mountain after mountain.

The weekend was filled with joy after joy. Mountain after mountain.

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I suppose that when mountain after mountain comes, our hearts can rest in knowing that more mountains will come. The trails will come. The joys will come. I will gladly welcome the mountains because I know my God is faithful and in every season, every trial, every joy – He remains.

I’m so thankful for this constant reminder that the Lord is faithful. It’s been a theme reoccurring in my life this year and the Lord continues to teach me & grow me in it in different ways.

Sunrises.
Cutting vegetables.

And mountains.

Oh, the mountains.

 

|| School Days ||

I have absolutely been loving my job this year. I loved it last year too, but this year has brought so many new joys. Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

I am using all new curriculum this year and we are all loving it. It is definitely a challenge teaching three boys that are brothers in all different grades. On a daily basis I am teaching at least 18 different lessons in a four hour period. Some days by the end of class my brain is totally fried and I’m exhausted. And I thought teaching 6-8 lessons a day in a classroom in the states was exhausting….

It’s so fun teaching the boys this year because I know them and they know me and I know what works for them and what doesn’t.

I love these boys.

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First day of school

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Recess Shenanigans

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School’s out!

 

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Last week, Joshua, the oldest showed up to school with a fever and wasn’t feeling good. About halfway through the day it was clear he needed medicine so we got him medicine and he went up to my house and fell asleep on the couch. The other two boys did their work quietly and let their brother rest. It’s times like this where I love the freedom and ability to truly love these boys however they need it.

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I fully believe the Lord is going to do wonders in these boys lives this year and in the years to come!

 

ENGLISH CLASS

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But really. Just look at this group. I love them all so much. I am so proud of them and the progress they have made over the past year.

 

There’s a little glimpse into my daily life here in Haiti 🙂

|| Sunrises & Thankfulness||

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A few weeks ago, Rachel and I woke up early on a Sunday morning to watch the sunrise. We knew it would be good for our hearts & since we share a love of coffee and photography we figured including those would make it the perfect morning.
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I’ve always loved sunrises and sunsets. Living in Florida I feel like I’ve been blessed with the best of both.

I grew up in Southwest Florida where the sunsets are unreal every single night. During the summer the storm clouds are left to reflect the fading light in beautiful ways. Winter brings soft, fading colors that are more than lovely. I’ve always been in awe of sunsets. I’ve probably been known to take too many pictures of them. Actually, I’m sure I’ve been known for taking too many pictures. I’ve been asked more times than I can count if I like sunsets or sunrises better. I’ve never been able to answer that question, all I know is that my heart as loved them for as long as I can remember and it’s in the sunrises and sunsets I’ve seen the Lord become more and more real to me. DSC_7826
I spent my college years living on the East Coast of Florida, where my window overlooked the Intracoastal Waterway, which reflects the sunrise beautifully every morning. So many mornings were spent on our balcony or out on the wall just watching the sun slowly rise and bring light to the day.

I’ve always lived somewhere where the sunrises and sunsets did nothing but leave you in awe. The only place I’ve ever loved them as much, if not more than Florida is Haiti.

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Not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for the opportunity to live here. The blessings that come daily are beyond my wildest imagination. The fact that my life currently looks the way it is sometimes leaves me questioning and wondering why the Lord has chosen for us to be here at this time. But it also leaves me wondering why the Lord chose us to be here, we don’t deserve this blessing.

One thing that Matt and I have been so beyond thankful for is the community here. We are blessed to live, work, and serve with about 14 other North Americans who’s hearts are set on the same goal as ours. We’re all here for the same purpose and it’s beautiful.

So many of us are tied to each other and share different similarities that there is no question for why we are all here at this time. What a sweet gift.

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(photos above taken by me)

It has been a huge blessing to me to share my love for photography with sweet friends. I’ve grown up with a camera in my hand since I was two years old. I’ve spent hours in the darkroom with my dad, watching him develop film. I’ve gone on assignments with him. I’ve grown up with pictures and cameras and film all around me. Photography is in my blood. It’s my outlet.

I went a few years without a camera and it may sound silly, but it felt like a part of me was missing. My sweet husband knows my heart well and loves me enough to invest in my passions. I am forever grateful the Lord blessed me with a husband who chooses to invest in & pursue my heart.

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Rachel and I had a beautiful morning talking, watching the sunrise, drinking coffee, and taking pictures. I left with my heart feeling fuller than ever.

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(photos above taken by Rachel)

Weeks later, I still look back on these pictures and my heart is filled with thankfulness and joy.

There are so many little things in life that I am thankful for & bring me joy. I am forever amazed that the Lord uses the passions he has blessed us with to pursue us and teach us more about Him.