Tuesday, September 22, 2009

bind up the broken hearted girls

a few weeks ago my friend megan sent me this quote from the book, The Papa Prayer that I've had on my shelf since october, but have yet to open.
"Women yearn for beauty, for an internal reality that makes eternal impact by drawing others to cherish and honor and protect what they see, by awakening in others their desire for ultimate beauty. Nothing terrifies a woman more than to feel that there is nothing unique about her being that another could esteem or treasure."
now of course my initial reaction to this came from my semi-sorta-feminist thinking that says i am strong and can do anything, roooaaar! then about two seconds later a deeper part of me realized...it's true. in the deepest core of me, it's true.

and i thought about my friend's matt and kylee who were at that very time in cambodia, seeing if they might possibly move there. they were spending time at Rapha House, a place that rescues girls out of the sex trade and brings them hope, healing, and trains them in new trades. those girls, of all ages, have been on my heart so much lately. my heart breaks for them and i wonder what i could do for them. i think of my friend corey, who is actually there full-time - teaching the girls trades.

i think of the hurt and i wonder what can i offer? how do you let these girls know they are worth being esteemed and treasured. that they are esteemable and treasurable.

just a few days ago i was driving down my street. our office and houses are in the "rough" part of town. there is a lot of life here. kid's playing basketball in the street, families sitting outside talking to their neighbors - things you don't see in the suburbs as much anymore.

and there are things that break my heart too. the thing that may make me the saddest is the prostitution. it is such a mix of anger, sadness and helplessness every time i see a girl or a 'pickup.' i call the police but wonder if it even makes a dent.

so the other day i drove and saw a girl walking down the street. i knew by her walk and that ever so slight slump in her shoulders that she was a prostitute. i knew by the downcast look she had that got masked every time a car drove past, turning it into a look that i don't know how to describe other than "pick me." as i drove i saw a police car coming down my street, slowing towards her. i slowed to let him pass, thinking that he would do something, stop her, maybe this could be the wake up call she needs. she stopped and leaned into his car and i saw him smile. i couldn't help thinking it was odd. then i saw her get in and in my dismay as i looked through my rearview mirror, i realized that it was a taxi driver, not a police man. i burned, i cried, i wanted to whip my car around and blare on my horn and stop what i knew was happening. but they were gone. they whipped out so fast. i was brokenhearted that i had slowed down. that i had helped him stop. all i could think was, "Lord, what can I do?"

and i don't have the answers. i don't have them when new missionaries come and live with me broken from their pasts. i don't have answers when missionaries come off the field broken from how hard it is.

Christ quoted this Isaiah passage:
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

i can't help but wonder what my role in all of this is. i know i don't have the answers. i can only pray to be faithful to the One who is. to show them that God finds them esteemable and treasurable.

pray that i can be faithful to the girls in the next training group that comes. that i will care deeply for the children that come, 10 in all - 8 of which are girls. (pray for their two brothers as well!) pray for my housemates, that we would love each other and spur one another on to love and good deeds. pray for my friends, that i can rejoice with them in their joys and weep with them in their sorrows. and pray that i will have the wisdom to reach out in my neighborhood and around the world at the opportunities God gives me to do so.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

adventures in cupcakes

a few weeks ago was my roommate, Bri's birthday. she loves the combination of raspberries and chocolate - so i put on my thinking cap and whipped up chocolate cupcakes with pureed red raspberries in the center and then used the juice drained off of frozen raspberries as the liquid in a buttercream frosting - topped with a fresh raspberry. Voila, cupcake wonderfulness.

and for the baby shower? that was today over lunch. i made plain old yellow cupcakes, but filled them with sweetened cream, frosted with a pale green buttercream, topped with a tart (gigantic!) blackberry and sprinkled with a dusting of green sugar. mmm...

excuse me now, while i go brush my teeth a few thousand times.

Monday, September 14, 2009

baby cakes

okay my dear baking friends - i've been asked to (okay, lets be honest, i begged to) make the cupcakes for a baby shower on thursday. i want the cupcakes to be fabulous - so does anyone have any ideas for flavors or decoration for this beautiful baby boy and his wonderful family??

Thursday, September 3, 2009


A sewing blog is giving away fabrics so I had to post it so I could have 10 more chances to win beautiful fabrics! Sorry for those of you who don't care about sewing, but I saw this on Emilee's blog and I couldn't resist getting my name in the hat as well.