I’m Out of Control

I love to plan stuff. In fact, sometimes I enjoy the planning more than the actual event. The anticipation is exciting—like the thrill I felt as a kid, waiting for Christmas.

I’ll admit, I also enjoy planning and organizing things because it gives me the sense that I’m in control. Of course, I know better, but organizing lets me pretend for a while. And the more life throws me a curve ball, the more planning and organizing I do.

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Which Way Now, God?

Decorated trees are sprouting in living rooms around the country, carols are playing in the mall, and shoppers eagerly await packages from Amazon. It’s that time of year again—time for my birthday. As usual, we’re so busy with seasonal activities—Christmas parties, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, more parties—that I barely have time to celebrate. That’s all right. In December, I prefer to focus on Someone else’s birthday.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I tend to ignore New Year’s Eve and the start of the calendar year. It seems so arbitrary. Instead, I use my birthday as a time to mull over the year past and the year to come. What did God tell me to do last year? Did I do it? And what about the year to come? Is He directing me in any particular direction?

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Not My Will…

I’ve been going to PT recently. It seems that as a result of lugging my heavy camera and computer gear around Swaziland, I’ve developed tendonitis in both elbows. In addition to the heat and cold and e-stim and other PT tricks, I’ve been given a number of exercises and stretches aimed at improving my posture and thus relieving stress on my arm muscles. I don’t mind the exercises—they’re pretty easy and relatively painless. But the stretches—they’re killing me! It seems I’m not as flexible as I used to be.

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What’s for Dinner?

How many of us are starting the new year on a diet? Whether you’re counting carbs, calories, and servings, or just trying to “eat a more healthy diet,” odds are that at least one of your new year’s resolutions involves food. Or maybe you hope to be more organized this year. I’m aiming for both–better eating and a saner schedule—so I’ve been going over our calendar, trying to plan out some healthy, easy to make, and inexpensive meals for the coming weeks. Even if we don’t follow my plan (and I’m quite sure we won’t), having some meal ideas thought out can salvage dinner on those days when it seems I don’t even have time to breathe, much less cook.

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Fully Planned?

What’s wrong with this ad?

No, it’s not the places they’ve chosen. True, these are not “frontier missions” trips—the gospel is already available in all those places. It would be difficult for a short-term missionary to accomplish much if they were pioneering a new work. Still, we are never done with evangelization, not until Jesus returns. Missionaries work in all those countries, and I’m sure they could use some help.

No, it’s not the “low budget” cost of the trip. That’s wonderful. It not only makes a cross-cultural mission experience accessible to more people, it frees resources to be used in-country.

Ah, yes. It’s the “fully planned.”

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Are You Sure, God?

I sold eleven greeting cards last week.

I realize this isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, but it was a significant milestone for me. You see, last week was the “grand opening” of my new business, Mountain Plover.

I am offering my services as a writer and speaker, and am working hard as a photographer of God’s fingerprints in nature. I finally have some pictures I’m pretty pleased with, and I had a dozen of them made into 5 x 7 photo greeting cards, blank inside, with blurbs about the subject and about me on the back. Paired with an envelope and stuffed into a plastic sleeve, these are for sale at $4 each. (See my “Card Store” page above.)

Last week a friend and I presented a program on native plants to the Colorado Springs Garden Club. I took the photos and put together the PowerPoint while she researched the plants and did most of the talking. The Garden Club graciously allowed me to offer my cards—pictures of flowers and birds—neatly arranged on a table in the back of the room, with my logo (thanks, Teri!) and pricing displayed on some stand-up signs. Twelve people attended the meeting. And I actually sold eleven cards!

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