Saturday, November 29, 2014


Being in Nicaragua makes for an untraditional Thanksgiving but I can't say I would change much about it.  

Thanksgiving Eve (if you will) was spent with my Vida Joven family.  All of the team leaders from the 3 areas of Managuan YL get together every year to give thanks for the year that is ending and share vision for what's to come.  We talked about the clubs that are that maybe weren't around this time last year and dreamed big for what's to come in 2015. 

As I was sitting at the table this year, the thing I was the most thankful for was remembering how it felt last year at the same dinner.  I felt lost in the crowd, knowing I was right where I was supposed to be but not really sure of the fit.  This year, still knowing I'm right where I'm supposed to be and grateful for the way Managua Vida Joven has made a Boliche size hole for me to settle into.  (Boliche is a nickname that is some how easier than Jen.) 

My actual Thanksgiving was spent cooking a few of my favorite things (pretzels, green beans and cinnamon rolls - not traditional but still delicious!) to share that evening with my gringo family in Nicaragua.  Unlike the night before that was typical Nicaraguan food, we dined on the traditional American food, including turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, rolls, and stuffing.  I don't even have the words to explain to you what these people mean to me.  Life would be much harder without them and a whole heck of a lot more boring.  

Both families are necessary to my life here in Nicaragua.  I could never choose one over the other.  I am so grateful that I got to celebrate this sweet holiday with so many people that are dear to me.  

Thanksgiving::the act of giving thanks, as opposed to the holiday:: isn't always a natural tendency of my heart.  It's easy for me to see the things to be thankful for or the people but not always the circumstances. Finding reasons to be thankful for the tough stuff is, well, tough.  In a recent Bible study, one quote struck me that keeps echoing in my head: 

Peace is the companion of thanksgiving. 

So even in hard times, in sticky circumstances if we can tune our hearts to sing the praises of thanksgiving to the Father who cares for us, peace will soon follow and, truthfully, in turn make the crumby situation a little more bearable. 

I have much to be thankful for and through that, I can be hopeful for the new year that is just around the corner. 

Friday, November 21, 2014


I have a need, a desire, a standard that I have put on myself when it comes to blogging that it has to be profound and heart changing or it has to be exciting and full of life.  The problem is, those don't always come naturally to me. And even if it came "naturally", the days I have time to sit down and blog, I get distracted.  I apologize that I am not the best at keeping this up to date.  I also admit to you that the season I talked about in the previous post has extended and I'm still learning and growing through it.  I want to tell you that I'll be better, that I'll do better but I won't and I hate saying things that I know even as I type it that it will get better.

Ministry in Managua is amazing and it's truly an honor to be a part of right now.

Life right now is a challenge because Jesus is working on a lot of heart issues that he wants to show his victory in.  I'm not giving up on these challenges.  I'm not throwing in the towel on the hard but that's only because I know the victory is already won and I'm not fighting alone.

Thank you for reading this.  Thank you for your interest in life down here.  Thank you for understanding that when life gets tough and blogs get scarce, you are always welcome to email me and ask what's been going on.

The verse that has struck a chord in my heart this week is where I'll leave you because it's a promise to you too:

Wait for the Lord;
be strong,
let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14

Take courage & wait.
Not on your own strength.