Watching God Work

Many of you know that I love volunteering at Compassion events. I love being able to answer questions people have, and help them start their journey of sponsoring a child. 

But at many of these events, I have had the opportunity to be part of watching God work in some pretty amazing ways!

This past weekend, I spotted little Abreham from Ethiopia...

Compassion child waiting for a sponsor

I usually try to find a child who has a birthday the same day as someone in my family, and little Abreham's was as close as I could find. His birthday is on December 7th, which is right between my daughter's birthday and mine.

So I sent his picture to my daughter so she could be praying that someone would come along and sponsor Abreham.

Well then, on Sunday afternoon, a family came through and saw little Abreham. One of the daughter's said, "Look mom, he has the same birthday as me!" The daughter took down Abreham's packet as the family looked around at other children waiting to be sponsored.

That is when I heard the mom say her daughter's name. I thought I heard what she said, but I asked her again what her daughter's name is...her daughter's name is Kelsey.

My daughter's name is Kelsey!

What are the chances that a little girl with the same name as my own daughter, whose birthday is the same day as Abreham's, who is the little boy my daughter has been praying for, and that little girl would come through the Compassion Experience event that day??

This one family decided to sponsor five (yes, FIVE!) children that day!

God is an awesome God!! He knew this would happen and He allowed me to be a part of it. 

What ways have you been able to watch God work lately?

This Made Me Cry

For the past four years, I have been part of a very special team at Compassion. One of my volunteer roles has been to manage the Compassion Pinterest account and write some of the blog posts for Compassion's Second Friday Letter Writing Club. As part of this team, I have had the opportunity to work with some great people at Compassion! 

Chris, Jacquie, Sam, Eryn, Susan, Emily, and Sarah have included me in conference calls, Google Hangouts, and numerous emails over the years, listening to my ideas and truly making me feel like part of the team.

But as new volunteer opportunities have come along for me, I have felt that my time in this role needed to come to an end. I sent an email to the team a couple of weeks ago to let them know about my decision. They graciously accepted my 'resignation' and wished me the best of luck in whatever the future holds. In fact, they almost made me rethink my decision!

So Friday, when I arrived home, there was a package on the table from Compassion. Now this isn't usually a strange thing. I had just placed an order to have child packets delivered for an upcoming conference where I will have a Compassion table. But the strange thing about this particular box, it was really light and a bit larger than the usual boxes that arrive.

When I opened the box, there was a card with my name on it taped to something wrapped in tissue paper. I opened the card and started reading it, that is when I started to cry. The card was signed by all the members of the social media team at Compassion that I have had a chance to 'work' with. Their very kind words truly made me feel loved!

And then I opened the tissue wrapped package and found this:

Compassion Skippy Blog post images

This very special team of people had a canvas created for me of Skippy (the official, or is it unofficial, mascot of Compassion) with images from many of the Second Friday Letter Writing Club board posts I wrote for the Compassion blog!

The past four years has been filled with creating new boards, deleting boards, following people, adding new pins, putting together letter writing posts, and most importantly, helping to share about the children who are still waiting for sponsors.

Just because my time helping with the Compassion Pinterest account is coming to a close, does not mean that my volunteer time with Compassion is done. This ministry is one that I love and will continue to serve with, even if they do make me cry!

Thank you Chris, Jacquie, Sam, Eryn, Susan, Emily, and Sarah for allowing me to be a part of the team!


What's In The Mail? - Music

Music has been a big part of my life. When I was a little girl, I took piano lessons. I learned how to play the flute, the oboe, and the piccolo in the school band in elementary school. My kids both play stringed instruments. And I love listening to all sorts of music.

Since I love music so much, I decided to write a bit about music to the children I sponsor with Compassion this month. I asked them if they liked music and shared a bit about my love for music. Then I shared part of the lyrics from a Matt Maher song that I love:

"I have a home, eternal home

But for now I walk this broken world

You walked it first, You know our pain

But You show hope can rise again up from the grave Abide with me, Abide with me

Don’t let me fall, and don’t let go

Walk with me and never leave

Ever close, God abide with me"

Then I reminded them that God is always with them. That He loves them more than anyone. And that He is always there to listen to them and comfort them. 

This month, I wrote my letters online and added an additional photo page which I am sharing here:

You are welcome to download and add this image in your next letter to the Compassion kids that you sponsor.

What's in the mail to your Compassion kids this month?


Fifteen Foot Circle

Assignment number two for this most recent photography challenge I am participating in was to only photography things within a fifteen foot circle. This area also had to be one that you are in often. Part of this exercise was for us to see things and work to compose interesting images.

I added one more challenge for myself with this one, I only used my 55-200mm lens. So armed with my camera, I headed off to our front room and started looking for things to photograph.

1/160 sec at f/5.6, ISO 6400

1/160 sec at f/5.6, ISO 6400

1/40 sec at f/4.8, ISO 6400

1/40 sec at f/4.8, ISO 6400

1/60 sec at f/4.5, ISO 6400

1/60 sec at f/4.5, ISO 6400

1/50 sec at f/5.6, ISO 6400

1/50 sec at f/5.6, ISO 6400

Did you notice a theme here? Every photo has books in it! Yes, even the photo with the chess pieces, the books are out of focus on this one. Just like baking and photography, books are one thing that I love, and we have quite a few books around our home.

I ended up submitting the last photo for the challenge since it combines two things I love, books and photography. That little Kodak Brownie was the first camera I shot pictures with back in elementary school. Pretty incredible how far photography has come since then!

Our next assignment is to include motion in our photography. I have already been looking up ideas and am thinking of ways to be a bit more creative with this next assignment!

What have you been photographing this past week?


Self portrait assignment

If you have been following my blog for a while and/or you know me in real life, you know that I love photography. Recently, one of the photography Facebook groups I belong to gave an assignment to do a self portrait. Now, I am usually the photographer and not the person being photographed. But I decided to accept the challenge and try to be a bit creative.

I took pictures of my hands on my piano. I took pictures of me reading in my backyard. I even enlisted the help of my daughter to try to capture myself riding my bike. I was trying to capture myself doing things that I enjoy doing.

Once I loaded all the photos on my computer, the one photo that I ended up keeping was this one:

1/100 sec at f/2, ISO 400

1/100 sec at f/2, ISO 400

Baking is something I really enjoy doing. And the kitchen is one place in my home I spend a lot of time in. So it only seemed natural to take a self portrait of myself in the kitchen baking.

Rather than leave the photo in color, I opted for black and white. I felt there were too many competing textures, colors, and patterns to leave it as a color photo.

I failed to post the photo before the assignment was due in the Facebook group, so I wasn't able to receive any constructive criticism on it. I think if I try this again, I may put the camera up higher on the tripod and angle the camera down a bit so the photo is not straight on.

Our next assignment is to capture images within a 15 foot circle from where you are standing. I am sure I can find a few things in my kitchen to capture.

What photo challenges are you participating in?