What do you See?

Happy New Year!  I am hoping that each of these posts help you continue to grow in relationship and love with God and others!


When my son and his wife served as missionaries in Madrid, Spain they partnered with Campus Crusade for Christ (now, CRU) to reach out to international students at the University of Madrid.  They set up tables out in the common area where students would gather for conversation, study and rest. The sign read, “¿Qué Vas?” Basically, “What do you See?” The table was scattered with 6X6 black and white photos of people, places and things.  There were close-ups and panoramas. Some photos were close-up images of larger things - -extreme close-ups like the hair on grasshopper legs, or patterns of the human eye inside the iris, the veins of a flower pedal or the textures of a fish scale. Other pictures were far off vistas like the earth from space or the view from a 12,000 foot mountain peak over a sea of tumultuous clouds.  

The students would then write or talk about what they saw in the photos they chose.  A conversation began and those who were interested could continue the conversation and explore things of life, things of faith or make a new friend.

Can I Change My Mind?

It is 14 days until Christmas.  It’s the second week in Advent and the 8th Day of Hanukkah. December 10th 2018.  Are you ready? Did I just raise your anxiety level by 110%? Are you feeling “stress” about all the things left to do? What thoughts and visions are going through your mind today?  I am pretty sure they are not visions of sugar plums!  Whatever is going on in your mind right now, and whatever circumstance you are in, I assure you that you can decide what you will  think about it.

“But you don’t know my situation!”, you may proclaim.  “You have no idea the test results I just got”, you lament. “You can’t imagine what my family is like!” you shout.  Ah, this is true.  I do not know any of that.  And I do know that some situations are easier to navigate than others.  Who can bear the loss of a child, the loss of a home, the endurance of physical abuse, the terror of no work in sight?  Some of life’s journey may seem too much to bear. But take heart, the good news is that we are not the victim of our situations, or stations in life.  We were created with great resiliency to reframe, reformate and take captive every thought to face every situation with courage and hope.

My daughter-in-law and I just returned from Dr. Caroline Leaf’s annual conference about thinking and the brain.  Did you know that your mind can change your brain? 


I was trying to fall asleep last night when my mind began to “spin”.  I think you know what I mean by that, but just in case you don’t let me describe it a bit.  One thought starts, “How am I going to get all this shopping done and travel between Thanksgiving and Christmas?”.   “How many cards am I sending?” “I wonder, if those bigger envelopes need more postage?” “How can I be thinking of this when my friend’s house burned to the ground 2 weeks ago- she and her whole city!” “What am I going to wear to get my hair cut tomorrow?”  “What can I do about the refugees in Afghanistan?” “Should we drive to our cousin’s house on Thanksgiving Day even though it’s raining?” What will I wear to my granddaughter’s recital in 2 weeks?”  etc. etc. Finally the voice calms, I rehearse “The Lord is my Shepherd…” 10-15 times and I seem to hear a faint:  “Be Still…” in the recesses of my mind.

We all talk about peace. We long for it.  I want “peace” with the people in my family, the people in my neighborhood, my husband, the folks in my church, my kids and I long for peace in my heart.