Living The Life That God Has For Us....

God's Plumbline Ministries is called to repair devastation in the lives of God's people allowing restoration both physically and spiritually. Providing creative solutions for employment, education and life skills allowing God to repair and restore hope.  Empowering each community to establish a secure foundation both inside and out, while keeping in tact God given talents and uniqueness, not focusing on man's ways but God's ways.  Developing working relationships within social and economic circles, working hand in hand with community leaders to bring the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Invictus


INVICTUS
English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903)

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

To this day one of the most painful, yet most powerful memories I have is our trip to Robben Island.
(Afrikaans Robbeneiland)
As the bus tour of the island ended we stopped in front of the prison.
It was time to tour the prison itself.
There was no way I was to go in.
I don't know where all of the emotions came from.
It was unexpected and landed like a punch in the stomach.
I was physically sick to my stomach and in tears.
If Dan wouldn't have been with me I don't really know that I would have gone in.

Looking back, I feel like a wimp for being so emotional about the whole thing, yet here I was, sitting in a freezing cold movie theater, reliving it all again as Matt Damon and the team head off to the island.
I remembered the dock very well and didn't know if I could make the trip again.
I gasped, and said out loud, "oh no, they are going to Robben Island".
To this, my two oldest children just looked at me with that, shhh, we are in a movie look.

Morgan Freeman, who I have loved since the days of watching "The Electric Company" at Horace Man Elementary school with my best, and only friend Maxine, who I secretly envied because of her ability to clean our pink pencil erasers with the oil from her black scalp, was now portraying President Nelson Mandela. His words, "than we will be exactly what they thought we would be" still ring in my head.

As they toured the cell that Mandela lived in for so many years, I thought about the words to Invictus.
He had now taken the words of another to move "beyond this place of wrath and tears" knowing full well that there "looms but the horror of the shade, and yet the menace of the years finds and shall find me unafraid because he made the choice to embrace his own personal ability to change and forgive by putting into action these words....
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


Before I went to the movie I had to Google Invictus to see what it was.
I was clueless.
As I finished reading these powerful words, I feared that some would miss the bigger message and get caught up on the words, "I am the captain of my soul", taking it literally, rather than thinking about the fact that before Mandela took one step off the island he would have to make a choice. I am guessing he made it long before he took the ferry boat back to the bay and long before the elections had been held.
He had many years to think about, and make personal choices.

I so wanted the world to "get it".
If they missed this point, what about apartheid?
Could there really be people who didn't know about apartheid?
I'm sure.
What about the people who don't think it is (was) real or better yet what about the people who didn't have a problem with it.

I have to believe that the lessons learned are each one of us on a personal level.
For some the light will just be coming on and for others it will be life changing as it was for me that day on Robben Island.

This I do know.
Now that we know, we can never not do something about what we know to be true.

Monday, December 28, 2009

This Guy Paul

Reading the book of Acts was, well, a good reminder.
I needed a good reminder.
This guy Paul was multi-cultural way before it was cool.
I think with his education, his family, his religion and political views, it was hard for him to grasp the whole concept.
I don't think anything God asked him to do was easy.
Yet, being the bull-headed man he was, he was just the guy for the job.
God himself knocked him on his ass, having to teach him a few things about who was really in charge and how the whole thing was gonna go down.
Talk about a paradigm shift.

On the lighter side of things reminded, I have always thought "Blinded By The Light" should have been his theme song.

He was a pretty smart guy and learned the lessons quickly.
God was the creator of all things, he didn't really need our help because creation speaks for itself whether or not you are actually watching or listening.

He didn't need to be politically correct and wasn't afraid to say what needed to be said.
He taught that this guy, God, He's real and He isn't messin' around, and just because you don't like what is happening doesn't mean He isn't God and isn't in control. And by the way, be happy this stuff is happening to you because you are becoming a better person by getting over yourself and learning to love others more than yourself.
Paul means business when he talks about giving away all the stuff you have, because it is pretty likely someone else needs it more than you do.

Without the need for political correctness, he found himself, time and time again, in front of high ranking officials, another crazy God kind of thing, who had a bone to pick with him but could never find anything to charge him with.
He had this uncanny knack for making people so mad they had to look at the truth and admit it.
Hence the title "Apostle".
He was required to "plant things" out of the need for people to see the truth about themselves, but more importantly who God was.
His job was to bring the truth, allowing people to see who God really is and change, or they would have to reap the consequence.
The only way he could get away with saying all this stuff was because he lived his life as an example of what he believed in, and what he was willing to die for.
It was pretty clear via the whole circumcision deal that what is in your heart is what you believe God to be like.
Therefore you may need to go back and check out somethings you have swallowed hook line and sinker because it isn't in the book.

I loved that he was willing to stop all the normal stuff and have church outside with some really successful ladies.
I wonder about his personal relationships.
He was willing to love deeply and through example showed us that it is still really cool to love people more than yourself and it is really important to tell them this as well.
I don't think he had an issue with being co-dependant since he parted ways with people on a regular basis when they made bad choices and remained hard hearted towards the things of God.
Not for one second do I think this was easy for him.
I wonder if he lost sleep over Barnabas? I do.

I liked this guy Paul more than I remembered liking him, but found him to be terrifying at the same time.
I loved that just when you think it was the end of the line, God was still in control, opening door after door after door.

I had to ask myself some pretty hard questions, I guess that was what he wanted from his life.
To leave a legacy that people couldn't deny.
I don't think it bugged him to make people squirm.

I wonder if he had to work out his issues in therapy sessions before he got comfortable with the idea of living his life as a bond servant. I am not making light of inner healing and the need to process what happens to us, but at some point, myself included, we have choices to make about forgiveness, the condition of our heart and our own personal convictions.
In walking this stuff out, we are gonna make mistakes, we are gonna do things wrong, we are never going to be perfect and we just may air some of our laundry in public.
It is humiliating, or it should be, to say the least.
Yes, you may get stoned, tossed out the door, or thrown in prison.
None of it is warm and fuzzy.

Let's talk about this prison thing.
What if you did have to go to prison for what you believed in.
Better yet, what if you lived in shackles so someone would find their own personal freedom.
Could you deny yourself your personal rights and freedom?
Most of us today aren't willing to stay in a friendship, a marriage or a church if it doesn't meet our needs in the obligatory ninety day trial period never mind the needs of the other person.
We are pretty quick to say, "that wasn't God", walking away and never thinking twice or asking, was that really you, God?
Thus leading to another generation of "fatherless/motherless" families, spiritual relationship and churches.

It is painful, this stuff.
If I was honest, I would admit, I have asked God to knock a few people off their donkey and do us all a favor.
And yet, after reading about Paul, I feel like I have been knocked off my own donkey.
Here I am, sitting on the ground, needing someone to help me find my way with "Blinded by the Light" echoing in my head.


Saul, was now Paul.
His heart was changed, he couldn't see a thing, he didn't know what happened to him and he found it to be a good thing.
His life didn't belong to him and he was cool with it.
He found something he believed in more than being right and proving it on paper.
More importantly, he knew it needed to be proven in his heart.

So when all is said in done, it seems that his words "take courage" are the first step in this process.
Courage to look deeply into our hearts.
Courage to believe that the creator of this universe is looking for a relationship with us.
Courage to believe it must start with me first , there is no finger pointing, if need be, he will use a donkey to get my attention.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This is an easy one......

I think part of my "writing" problem is being overwhelmed with the idea that I would have to think of something "new" every day.
It freaks me out.
This hour will be easy, not an easy topic mind you, just one I am familiar.


I really don't have a clue why I stopped to talk to her, but I am aware I broke some rules.
Unspoken ones of course.
It wasn't until I lived in Haiti that I came to really pay attention to those who are homeless.
I don't know that I thought Haiti had any homeless people.
When I was visiting, I was so overwhelmed and everyone seemed poor and homeless as far as I was concerned.
If I had my way, I was going to take every single kid out of that God forsaken country for one big do over.
(For this, and many other ways of thinking, I would find myself having to repent.)
Who knew working people on the streets tended to dress in nothing more than rags.

It took me awhile to really learn the rhythm and flow of the streets.
It has a language all it's own.
There are layers and layers.
There is a wrong way and a right way.
Some are easy, others will NEVER make sense.
The common denominator seems to be survival, survival comes in many different packages.
It seems to me the only way you can really hear is to say anything.

Not everyone dresses in rags.
As a matter a fact, if not working, most people take great pride in their clothes and in looking nice, wearing perfectly pressed, and sometimes, dry cleaned clothing.
In a world where you can't control anything, it makes perfect sense to me.

As for mental illness, there just isn't a place for such a thing.
So, when in fact, you really do see it, it tends to be really sad.
There is no question that mental illness played a powerful role in the choices made, or not made, by the Deli Mart Lady.
Medication, another language.
AIDS and mental illness have their own scarlet letter.
No words needed.
These are things the world can't fix with a band-aid.

There is another another unspoken language on the streets of Haiti.
Everyone knows everyone, yet no one knows anything.
No one sees "them", but everyone knows what "they" are doing or where "they" are.
This is the rule I broke.
I stopped and talked to her.
Looking back, it seems to me that everyone was taking care of her, but no one was.
She was homeless woman who had hundreds of children to keep an eye on her everyday.
God is funny that way.
She was considered "forbidden and unclean" but she was theirs.
I crossed the line, I was feeding her and talking to her in the middle of the day and I was taking her picture.
I am sure it was the later that was the real problem.
It was the picture.
The shame.
For this I am sorry, I meant no harm.

As I scanned the "Live Feed" on Facebook to see what was up.
I got to Beth's status update....
The homeless lady who camped out in front of our gate died. Makes me incredibly sad - like she was part of our Haiti family. We would often hear her singing hymns in Creole - she refused shelter but took food. She liked Sheila and liked Jesus - that's a win, win!

I was sick.
Honestly, I couldn't move.
My heart was sick.
I loved her!
Why? I am not sure why?
I had so many questions.
I wished I could pick up the phone to call Beth.
Think, what was her number?

Soon after we left Haiti the Deli Mart Lady moved to John and Beth's gate.
Beth said, it was my fault, but I think she knew Beth would be kind to her.
I loved seeing the little updates from Beth every once and awhile.
I asked her to give her cookies for me.

I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I wanted to fix her and make her come to sewing school and stop all this nonsense.
Stop collecting bags of stuff carrying them back and forth, even tying them to her small frame unable to stand with the weight.
Stop sitting in piles of trash.
She needed to take a bath.
Yet, I often noticed someone had cared enough to do her hair, sometimes she was beautiful.
She was cooking with tiny bits of charcoal next to the car catcher full of trash.
I worried that she would be sick or sicker.
I wanted her to sleep in clean white sheets, sit at a table with flowers and be loved by a family.

I learned an unspoken language from her.
I pray she learned something from me, maybe she thought I was the crazy one!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Just Give Yourself One Hour A Day

I have lost track of the number of times different people have said, "you should write a book".
I am not really sure I have that much to say.
Yet, I admit, it is one of those things I keep tucked away in the back of my mind.
At this point, it is just like going on a diet... someday I am gonna do it.
Really I am! I tell myself every few days, I am gonna do it!

I remember taking a writing class in summer school when I was in junior high.
I was really intimidated, terrified actually.
Some how I found myself sitting in a classroom at the worst public high school in north Minneapolis.
I still wonder how I got there?
My mother must have threatened me.
My brother and I had been going to Forth Baptist Christian school after my parents took us out of public school when I was in fifth grade. That was the same year I told her my brain was full and I couldn't learn any more math.
She didn't budge on the homework deal even when I laid on the dining room floor and cried.
This was also around the time that all well informed Christians started breaking their records into little pieces or better yet burning them because of the subliminal messages the rock bands put in their music.
In one afternoon, Chicago, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Carole King - gone, just like that.

I vaguely remember walking down the hallway, I was in culture shock.
Even then I was different.
I remember because the teacher wrote a note to my mom telling her I was.
He said something about "refreshing".
I just figured it was because I wasn't pregnant and didn't swear.
I was just happy to be done with summer school.

I have been thinking about the words of my oldest child, Aaron.
He had been following me around the house as I put a few things away while getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner.
He was an early Christmas present that I picked up at the airport.
I love the kind of presents you can't wrap!

He is twenty seven, graduated from college with a degree in theater, living in Austin to pursue his dream of being an actor.
I tease him that he is really following Sandra Bullock around because he had a crush on her when he was younger.
That was after he had a crush on Cindi Lauper.
He isn't' talking about crushes anymore, although he did mention this girl that he dates off and on that he described as strange.
This isn't really a great thing to say, I tell him.
The first time you bring a girl here for us to meet we are all going to be wondering if she is the "strange one".
When we see each other we talk about our favorite books, movies and our passions.
He talked about the new screen play he had finished and just happened to mention he was moving to LA as part of the next step in becoming an actor.
This prompted him to show me his new black journal with his perfect hand writing.
So, I showed him my twenty-five cent spiral bound note book I got in the clearance section of school supplies last summer.
It is crammed full of random papers, e-mails, dreams and colored pictures from Parker, all stapled in so I wouldn't keep dropping them.
I admitted I have always really wanted one of those leather journals with the ties that go around it, I also admit that I didn't really think I would ever use it.
They are way too nice.

Next he said the thing I have been thinking about - you should give yourself one hour a day.

It sounds easy enough - right.
Out of the clear blue this thought comes to me about cows having four stomachs.
They chew on something over and over again.
Americans tend to be the fast food, get 'er done type.
For me, for now, I am thinking about writing one hour a day, and the dreaded diet idea...over and over again.

I sat down this morning, still chewing, with my cup of coffee to start writing for an hour, I am torn.
I could be reading, I would much rather be reading.
I love the book I am reading and I never seem to have enough time to read.

The hour has gone much faster than I expected.
Maybe Aaron was right - I should give myself one hour a day.
By continuing my blog I won't be messing up a really nice journal or dropping any pages.

We'll see.......I am still chewing on it.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Twas The Night Before Christmas - Haiti Version


"Twas the night before Christmas and throughout Haiti not a child had been fed.
No stocking where hung by the chimney with care,
For all hope was gone that anyone would share.

The children where nestled in what they call beds.
While visions of what should have been danced in their heads.

And I in my flannels, all settled in bed, had just settled in for a long winter's nap.
When I remembered the children I had held in my arms and that sat in my lap.

My mind soon filled with such a clatter.
I sprang from my bed to see if I could bring some change to this matter.
Away to my bible I flew like a flash, tore open the pages as I tried not to crash.

Their beautiful faces began to fill my mind like glistening snow,
As tears fell from my eyes, I said, "Lord, I just need to know".
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
My Saviour who I knew was always near.

More rapid than eagles on His horse He had come,
He whistled and shouted.
He called the children by name:
Sara Jean, Desmel, Jean Kelley, Desire and Jennie,
To you I promise a new life full of grace.
Now dash away, dash away, all hope that has been lost without a trace.

All the images that cluttered my mind where shattered.
He took them as He mounted His horse that was not a bit tattered.
Up to the Lamb's Book of Life He flew to return with a promise
That their hearts would be new.

And then in the twinkling of an eye,
I felt my heart prancing and pawing, it gave me such a start.
For Jesus had given each of these a new heart!

He was dressed all in white from His head to His feet.
Their burdens and woes He had flung on His back.
He looked like a peddler closing His pack.

His eyes how they twinkled!
His dimples, how Merry!
His cheeks were like roses, His lips the color of cherry.

The beard on His chin was as white as snow,
The mouth on His broad face was drawn up like a bow,
While His father's glory encircled His head like a wreath.
The earth shook as He spoke, when He laughed they rejoiced, for love was made new.

He was righteous and just.
I knew it was true, and I laughed when I saw Him in spite of myself.
A wink of His eye and a nod of His head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word.
But went straight to His work filling their spirits with gifts He had given.
In the twinkling of an eye, He turned, laying His hand across His heart, gave a nod up to heaven.

He sprang to His horse.
To His team gave a whistle and way they flew like the down of a thistle.

I heard Him exclaim, ere He rode out of sight...
"It is not my will, that even one should perish"

In memory of Edmond - Age 3
Haiti 2000

Friday, December 18, 2009

Season's


There are songs and even scriptures that talk about the different seasons in our lives. We have our favorite season of the year; even now we celebrate the Christmas Season. Many seasons come and go, leaving us to wonder where did the time go? Yet other seasons bring new life and great joy, while others can be painful and/or life changing.

For God’s Plumbline and the Lynch Family we too are in a new season.

Shortly before we left Haiti for our summer break I had a dream about our ministry name. In the dream my boss questioned me about our name asking why we didn’t use “God’s Plumbline Global Ministries”? I was busy and wondered why she would ask such a nit picky question, couldn’t she see I was busy? Besides, everyone knows we are called to go to the Nations was my thought as I continued with the task at hand. Little did we know just what this dream would mean…

This has been a season of seeking God, asking many questions, learning to trust more deeply, re-grouping as a family and building. Building a stronger support base, spending time with our board members, putting on paper all we have learned over the last two years in Haiti and working out the details of what does it mean to be “GLOBAL”.

What about Haiti? We will continue to do short term trips, support and encourage the women and the work that we planted for …..a season. Our goal was to go and plant a work that would be self- sustaining. We are thrilled to see the work we did in Haiti continue to flourish.

We believe that the work we did in Haiti was only – Phase I. We are now working on the next phase of the vision God has given us to go to the NATIONS. Since we have been back we have been asked about working in both Kenya and Cape Town, South Africa. We look forward to sharing the next season of our ministry with each of you and pray that you will continue to pray for us and the people of Haiti.

We feel honored to do this work and look forward to the possibility of traveling to
Africa next year to seek out the next season…

May this SEASON be filled with the desires of your heart!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
WE HAVE MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR IN OUR LIVES!
THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF OUR LIVES!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Social Media Revolution

Some days I would just like to be able to not think about things in such strange ways.
I would like to tell my brain, "hey, knock it off! Be "normal" for God sakes!
In our effort to try and be "normal", Dan and I recently went to a Kingdom Business meeting in South Carolina.
The goal - networking.
You move from conference room to conference room listening to new ways to work with in the Christian community.
It sounded like a good way to get our feet wet.
Truthfully, my head was spinning!
As we sat in one of our "break out sessions", this one on "The Social Media Revolution" learning about Twitter, Facebook and blogging, all to stay in-touch with this fast paced life, my mind wondered off down the ever present road of the life of women in Haiti and people who live in a third world.

I wanted to stand up and say, I have one for you...I bet you never thought about the fact that women in third world countries have to sell their cell phones so that they have enough money for the midwife to come and cut the umbilical cord after they have just delivered a baby all alone in a 8 x 8 cinder block house with a corrugated tin roof that they share with eight other people.
How's that for Networking!
My foot was swing back and forth, my frustration was showing!
On que, the camera man motioned with exaggerated hand gestures 1....2....3....
The audience began clapping as prompted, this session was being taped.
It was good I behaved and not caused a scene like the one in my head of me standing up, raising my hand, wanting to know when the church forget about the fact that most of the world can't and won't Twitter, because they are too busy trying not to die from malaria or starvation.
Maybe they missed the Power Point at the local church on that one!
Is America not able to have church without a Power Point?
Just asking......

Forgive me! I remember now why I don't want to be "normal".

I will trying to remember the words of Tara......

Not everyone eats, sleeps and breaths this stuff!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Parker's Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Parker Hughes Lynch
Ten Years Old!

I remember laying in the operating room hearing a nurse say "10/4".....
I was thinking "10/4 Good Buddy" never thinking in a million years this was the weight of the baby boy that I just delivered via c-section.
Soon the nurse came to me and confirmed he in fact did weigh 10 lbs 4 oz.
Never did I dream I would have a ten pound baby!
We spent Thanksgiving in the hospital that year.
We call him our "Thanksgiving" baby for many reasons, not just for the date of his birth.
He has blessed our family in many ways, for this we are thankful!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Uno and Harley's Flight on Agape



Agape Flights has Gone to the Dogs!

As missionary Dan Lynch’s cell phone rang, he answered by saying, “No, the plane isn’t in quite yet, I’ll call to tell you they’re here.” A short while later, Dan’s phone rang again, “No they should be here any minute now. I promise I will call you as soon as it touches down.”

The King Air’s return mission flight on September 24th wasn’t a routine arrival; there were DOGS on board! And not just anyone’s dogs, these were the beloved dogs of missionary family Dan, Sheila Alyssa, Madisen and Parker Lynch.

As the King Air’s engines wound down, Dan called home to announce that Uno, their 65 pound chocolate lab, and Harley, the family’s 100 pound mastiff puppy had arrived safely! Harley was a special gift to the Lynch family from fellow missionary partners, John and Beth McHoul of Heartline Ministries.

The Lynch family is also known as “God’s Plumbline Ministries” an independent non-profit ministry with Heartline Ministries. For the last two years, Dan and Sheila served in Port Au Prince, (Tabarre) Haiti to establish a self sustaining sewing school for women. First, they started a math and literacy program so the women could read the sewing patterns, and then equipped the women with treadle sewing machines and the needed sewing skills. The sewing school is now run by three Haitian women who continue to teach more women. The women make and sell beautiful purses. (www.haitiancreations.com) The ability to earn money gives these women the ability to be self-sufficient, to support their families and to have the independence they need in a society where this is often difficult. Dan and Sheila praise God for His power to open the sewing school doors, be up and running and self sustaining in a record two years timeframe!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

black like me...?



The Blue Sweater
Blue Paint On The Road - Page 10
2
..........
But don't pretend to be someone you aren't.
If you were at home, you'd celebrate with champagne.
If you want to remain happy and alive in this work, you need to reconcile this part of who you are and understand the inconsistencies with the work you do and how it all fits into your whole way of being.

..........

One of my most favorite books is "Black Like Me".
I read it years ago, way before I had any intention of traveling to Africa or Haiti.
Yet, I still think about all the time.
I have always thought I would live in India or Indonesia and wonder how I grew to love Africa and Haiti.
In High school, I bought some of my clothes at Pier One Imports because they came from India and I loved them.
My dad asked my mom why I had to wear such wrinkled clothes?
..........

While talking on the phone to my friend Lisa, I heard myself say, "yeah, the problem is I look like a white woman living in middle class America, but in my heart and mind I feel like a homeless Haitian woman."
There it was again, "Black Like Me".
We started laughing and pretty soon we laughed so hard we ended up crying.
Laughing one minute and crying the next seem to be part of this process as well.
..........

I have been working on reconciling just who I am and what I am called to do with my life.
It's not exactly like asking the question, "when you grow up, what do you want to be" but sorta on the same idea.
Life looked much different when we lived in Haiti full-time, it was who I was and I fit.
Well, I fit as much as a white woman can fit in a nation of all black people, but I knew it was what I would do for the rest of my life no matter the color of my skin or theirs.
..........

The process..........
I'm not sure I can put it in words.
My friend Helen says, it is more like deep calling to deep.
It is understood, not spoken - if you haven't been there you won't understand.
I say maybe and I don't know more often and I am slow to speak about my life and the life of others.
I have never walked this road, nor have I walked the road of others.
This is a walk of grace and faith.
Now it is mine.
..........

This is about coming to terms with a life that I have more questions than answers.
Doing what I love with out fixing it and still loving it.
About not forgetting to be true to myself and what I love.
It is about the bigger picture.
Most of all it is about being comfortable in my own skin.
Skin that seems to not fit well more often than not.
..........

Black like Me, maybe......maybe just Me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

the lesson of a staple

I can pretty much tell you that having a paint brush in my hand can only mean one thing - I am going to be learning a lesson that has very little to do with painting.
I am not a good painter.
I am messy, I know it and I am OK with it.
These lessons began when I was in art school.
Back then, I felt creative and productive, these days it feels more like I am cleaning up someones crap.
Maybe it's my crap that needs cleaning up and it just so happens when I am painting I am finally still and can actually hear!
Either way, this isn't what I wanted to be doing, I had no grace for it.
It was going to take too long and I had a long "to-do" list.

Yet, the lesson was pretty straight forward - sin is like a staple.

With paint brush in hand, I stood in the porch feeling completely overwhelmed.
I started with this room because I could see this could be my favorite room in the house.
Maddie suggested we call it the "quite room".
A room just for reading, meaning, in no way shape or form was Parker allowed to come in and bug her.
Nice try Maddie!
For me, it was the room where God first started to bring restoration to our lives after returning from Haiti by replacing things we had to sell and/or give up when we moved.
He started with things that had been near and dear to my heart.
A few weeks prior to moving into our house He replaced our patio furniture, a.k.a. veranda furniture depending on what neighborhood you live in.
For three hundred dollars, a divine appointment and a fantastic garage sale, I had furniture I could have only dreamed of having.
It was not "just" furniture, it was a whole room full of furniture including lamps, tables, a topiary, silk plants and other nick knacks.

I just wanted to paint the stupid room and be done with it.
I was hot.
I was tired.
I had very little energy for the days and weeks of cleaning, painting and repairs that lay ahead in order to get the house ready.
I had done several walk through's surveying the condition of the house, I seemed to be walking in circles not knowing where to start.
I just wanted one finished room in the house and I wanted it quickly.
We had been living out of a suitcase for the past four months, vacation was over, we wouldn't be going back to Haiti, we needed to be settled.
Out of complete frustration I just started painting over what seemed to be five thousand staples that had been put in the window frames to keep plastic and fabric over the poor excuse for forty year old windows.
Why it was done this way was beyond me and it just made me crabby.
My goal was to get it off my list.
The quick fix wasn't working, the paint wasn't helping.
It still looked awful.
I put the paint brush down, went to get a screw driver and a needle nose pliers to get these stupid staples out.
One staple turned into ten, ten turned into a hundred very quickly.

It wasn't long before I could hear the Lord speaking to me about sin in our lives.
We believe our actions serve a purpose by making the best of a bad situation.
Our lives are like really bad windows that let the cold and heat in, we try "fixing it" our way.
Some sin leaves easily, while other sin is in so deep it takes some digging with special tools to get it out, leaving a deep scar.
Either way, it will take a coat of putty and the dreaded sand paper to fill in and smooth over the holes sin has left in our lives.
While we are being sanded, filled and painted we forget the Lord sent us his Son to do these things for us because of His love for us, and we end up looking like jerks in the process because we are in pain.
Suddenly what was once an empty, ugly space has the potential to be something beautiful.
The balm of Gilead has been applied to our wounds, we are walking in the desires of our hearts rather than looking and feeling like the walking wounded who are disqualified by their anger and actions that result from our sin.

Some will never know of our past, or what we used to look like.
As they sit with us, they are amazed at just how far we have come and would have never dreamed in a million years that these things could be true.
All along it was the Lord working in us, creating a room filled with beautiful things and divine appointments so that He can come and sit in the "quite room".

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Maddie's School Paper



Madisen Lynch
09/08/09
6th Grade Language Arts
Hightower Middle School

When you stare in the deep warm brown eyes of a Haitian boy, it is like a winter day, but you are inside, warm by a fire reading a good book.
Actually, your on the streets of Haiti where it smells, there is garbage everywhere, and it is hot everyday. Very Hot!
Haitians stare at you forever when you are waiting in traffic but then you start to move, so we are not going to go there,
Yet, with hands out, the Haitian children lean against our windows to see into our locked doors, behind the doors are you and your family but all you see are their sad faces.
"Mom, can I give this little boy some money?"
I asked my mother.
No, she replied to me.
"Why Not?" I whined.
It's because if they see you giving all the time they will ask you over again for more money."
Haitian money has an exchange rate of 8 to 1 right now so Haitian money is only a few cents.
"Fine", I mumbled to myself.
We finally started moving but I looked back and he was still standing there with that same sad look on his face.
It is hard for many children to grow up in a third world country.
In Haiti, many children beg for money on the streets to live each day.
My parents are missionaries and we lived in Haiti and have just come back to the States.
We are lucky as Americans when we get something like food. You eat some of it and then throw it away.
People in Haiti would love that in their tummy's.
So feel lucky for what you have.
I can't stop remembering that boys face.
It's like a bumper sticker on my brain.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Haitian Hobo

Sunday arrived and we set out with coupons in hand for what we thought would be a free trip to the science museum.
It seemed like it would be a fun thing to do, might I dare say, a "normal" thing to do.
Our plan was going off without a hitch, that was until we got to the ticket window.
It seems, we missed the fine print that said,
"everyone had to be a Bank of America card holder to enjoy free admission".
Since Maddie and Parker are only twelve and nine they are not card holders and fall into what is frequently know as the "loop hole" factor.
With an awkward silence now standing at the ticket window with us, the not so happy to be working on a Sunday afternoon employee just stared at us.
We decided that since we had driven all the way downtown, it was still a good deal, in a sorta, kinda, maybe way.
We handed over our Bank of America debit card, paying full price admission for two children.
As we walked into the wide open space of the second floor over looking the life size dinosaur we felt hopeful that this would be a fun day after all.

As we made our way around three sparsely filled floors, we found it necessary for a quick refresher for on just what exactly the Creation facts are vs the Big Bang Theory that was now being broadcast in surround sound as we watched a really lame movie on their version of how this whole thing here on earth got started.
This was clearly not what we had in mind.
We finally got to the "hands on" part of the museum, finally some fun stuff to do.
This helped redeem some of our expectations of what a science museum should be.
As we walked into the special exhibit for the day, there was a line of kids standing, waiting, wanting an adventure as well.
We made our way to the front of the line to find a lizard!
Hold the phone!! What the heck!
We are standing in line to pet a lizard?
Suddenly it was like I found the missing piece to the puzzle. This all started to fit together.
Why on God's green earth would a family just moving back from a third world country consider this to be an adventure?
We have lived in a country where lizards are part of our every day life constantly crawling across the walls of our house.
This was our norm,l not a special exhibit to stand in line for, and guess what, we didn't need a squirt of hand sanitizer after touching the darn thing.
This kind of stuff just wasn't gonna qualify as an adventure for our family!
The only place we felt normal in this bagillion dollar building was in the room full of artifacts and pictures from all over the world talking about the different cultures and their customs. The room was filled with clothes, instruments, jewelry and tools explaining how the culture functioned, both physically and socially.
I wondered about our lives and the lives of these different cultures without saying a word to my family.
Could we just sell all of our stuff, buy plane tickets to Africa and tour of all of Africa.
I couldn't understand why would we come back here to collect stuff so we could live here for awhile, only to sell our stuff again to live in another country and follow the call on our lives to work in different Nations.
What was God thinking? We didn't fit here and yet we are here for a season.
We left the museum headed to our favorite noodle house in a very funky part of town.
In the past, taking the peeps to a noodle house was off limits and reserved for date night.
Now, it was part of our Sunday afternoon adventure.
As we sat outside, I enjoyed the warm, humid Atlanta afternoon, I hate air conditioning that is kept on a meat locker setting.
I was still processing a few things, so I threw my unspoken thoughts out on the table about selling all our stuff and traveling across Africa.
To my surprise, the only question Maddie and Parker had was "can we be home schooled".
That went well.
We had finished our meal, making our way down the street to a real Ben and Jerry's ice cream store.
Everyone was eating their favorite flavor ice cream that was melting quickly as we sat outside again, this time on a roof top.
Parker, at the edge of the roof top said, "Mom, I hate to tell you this, but, they have Haitian Hobo's here".
If you think in pictures like I do, you know at this point I had to get up, walk over to the edge of the roof to see what on earth he was talking about.
Ah, yes, my children's first experience with a homeless man in the States looking in the trash cans for food.
I am not sure where he got the phrase, "Haitian Hobo".

It was ironic on so many levels, a homeless man looking for food in a trash can next to a Ferrari.
It was irritating to think we could have lived in Haiti for three years for what it cost to buy that car.
We finished our ice cream and made our way back to the freeway, we thought we would go over to see the Blood N Fire warehouse off of MLK.
As we drove through the streets some things looked familiar, but after being gone so many of the traditional land marks had been torn down.
This is where I should explain that odd things seem to find us no matter where we live.
Dan says, it is me, odd things find me, not him and that they are attacked to me in every way, shape and form.
It may be true!
As we made our way through the streets we noticed another "Haitian Hobo" standing on the sidewalk, pants down around his ankles, pooping!
Yes, pooping!
Dan's observation was the fact that he wasn't bending over enough to miss his pants and was unloading all over his pants.
Maddie was screaming - GROSS!
Parker said, I am just gonna pretend I didn't see that!
I was laughing so hard I was crying!
Thankfully, as we turned the corner we could see the warehouse.
The warehouse is not the best neighborhood in town, so we didn't consider it all that odd to find a brand new Elliptical machine sitting in the middle of the street with the timer still running.
We guessed it had just been stolen and left there for a later pick up.
Pick it up we need!
Stomachs full, heavy duty exercise equipment loaded, a good laugh for the day and quality time spent together.
We made our way north on the freeway.
Our adventure was over for the day, we had learned a great deal on our free adventure.
Some things in life are not free, we can't ever go back to the way it was, adventure is in the eye of the beholder and most of all we learned we are a family that has been put together for a greater purpose than living an average, normal life.
We look forward to the days of new beginnings and trust that God is the creator of all things, it didn't happen with a big bang, He has created the perfect adventure for us as family and as individuals.

Friday, August 14, 2009

WARNING!

I love Thai food. So last week when I found a few packages of Pad Thai spice on clearance for thirty-seven cents, it was clearly a no brainer, I put them in my cart and took them home.
I was pretty pleased with the flavor of my random find, so after dinner, as I read off the list of ingredients to see just what was in this little bargain, I was surprised to see a "WARNING".
WARNING this package contains anchovies.
I knew you used fish sauce in a lot of Thai cooking, I just wasn't thinking anchovies.

I get that the connection between an anchovies WARNING on a package of Thai spice and my own personal struggle with grasping my inability to deal with the things my heart has seen over the years can be or should I say.... a stretch of the imagination.

Yet, at this time, I feel compelled to post a warning for those who may not understand the cost of finding your passion.
For me, the battle is for my heart to remain tender with the ability to love.
I mean the kind of love that can change a persons heart. The kind of change the will make them question behaviors and direction and ultimately draw them closer to Jesus.
As I try to fit in my own skin dealing with things I have been thinking about over the past few weeks here is a sample of a "WARNING" for those who are considering yielding to a deeper calling.

WARNING:
You won't be able to eat enough to fill the empty ache in your gut.
There is no pill to take for the pain in your heart.
There isn't enough rest to avoid being overwhelmed.
There isn't enough chocolate to sweeten the bitter taste left in your mouth.
There isn't enough sun block to help you not be burned by the injustice you have seen.
There isn't enough alcohol to drown the sorrow.
There are days your thoughts are no longer your own.
You will never be able to buy enough stuff to fill the void you feel for those in need around you.
White noise has an all new meaning.
There will never be enough medicine to bring healing to the sickness in the soul of a nation.
There is no magic answer, cure or pill that you will be able to produce in your own strength.

So if you think for one second you can do this thing on your own, you should really reconsider what you can and can not do in your own strength. It will be important that in our willingness to yield, you ask yourselves if you are willing to be what Desmond Tutu called "wounded healers".
A people that have an empathy or an authority on a specific pain.
A heart willing to forgive, a heart that is tender, a heart that will not betray you.

If you have come to a place that you are willing to say yes to all of the above and accept the WARNING to be something that you believe to be a "God" thing.
You will be given a measure of grace and peace that will be beyond your ability to comprehend.
You will have an understanding of the scripture "deep calls to deep" and yet you may not have words to explain to others the things you now know to be true.
You will also be given a new understanding of just who Jesus is.
You will understand that you can't go very far from his feet before you start to feel like you just can't "do it" any more and some how when you are seated at his feet you can do anything that he has placed deep with in your heart to do.

Maybe you don't like Thai food, but I do hope that you will consider living a life full of passion.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Madisen Grace!


Today is Madisen's Birthday - she is twelve years old today!
Happy Birthday Madster! We love you!
Maddie adds so much to our family - she is a very special girl!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fatherlessness


63% - of youths are from fatherless homes

85% - of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes

80% - of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes

71% - of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes

75% - of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes

70% - of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes

85% - of all youths in prison come form fatherless homes

You don't have to be in Haiti very long before you begin to notice it is mostly women you see working and taking their children to and from school.
The next question in your mind is generally, "what are all the men doing"?
You see men on the streets, but most of them are not working.
Maybe they are talking, watching soccer or playing domino's.
Some are selling ice cream, phone cards, frozen ice drinks with flavored syrup, water or cokes.
Some do odd jobs on cars, tires, cement work, tin art, drive tap-tap's or paint.
As you get used to the day to day activity and life of the family, you notice that there are very few "in-tact" families.
I know of only a hand full.
Yes, you see it in the States, but you see the devastation so much more clearly in a place like Haiti.

So when I came across these statistics I wondered what the numbers would be in Haiti.
Yet, truthfully, some of things could never be accounted for, weakness is not allowed and so many aspects of fatherlessness are not ever verbalized.
Life means something different in a third world.
Grown women cry and have a panic attack about getting a shot, yet they don't name their children that took hours, maybe days to birth.
There are issues with self worth, authority, love and respect that we are not even aware of.
Life with a soul that has holes in it has become normal.
Yet you see a very broken government, a worthless economy and entitlement.
You see, for lack of a better description, a hole in the soul of Haiti the country, not just the people.
Many are lost, powerless and hopeless, yet they are strong and crazy smart in ways you can't imagine.
I wonder if it can be that they haven't moved past the mind set of being slaves into being free men.
I wonder what that looks like here?
And I wonder how would you do that if you didn't know and you had no one to teach you?
Half, if not all, of your identity, your name, your history comes from your father.
Haiti has generation after generation of fatherless who don't think twice about it.
Or do they? I had a young man tell me he lost his soul when he didn't live with his father.
I once heard a man say, "the sin of Africa is that they always choose the darkness".
I think the sin of Haiti or of any nation, if you can say that about a place, would be "fatherlessness".

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You Will Know Who I Am


Hosea 2:19 says, you will know who I am because I will give you....

Justice - Fairness - Love - Kindness - Faithfulness

I have been thinking about this for days letting it mill around in my head.
I have been asking myself a lot of questions and I wonder, if this is what the Lord gives his bride and this is the bride price that he has already paid, I am guessing that most of the world doesn't know or get these things on a daily basis or He wouldn't have needed to say it and have this guy Hosea take the time to write it down for us.
When I read it, it was like getting a Post-It Note in my lunch box that said,
Psst, this is what I will give and this is what will make me different from all the others.
No prenup agreement needed here.
I am thinkin' if we are in a relationship, church, ministry this should be your guideline.
You should be asking, "Am I getting these thing?"
If not, I am guessing that there are some dynamics that need to be looked at and evaluate either in you, in them, or maybe both.
On the flip side we need to ask ourselves some hard questions about our character.
Like, if this is the example of who Jesus is, am I treating everyone this way?
Do I bring these things to the table in every relationship that I have?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tetherball


Tetherball is a North American game for two opposing players. The equipment consists of a 10 ft (3 m), stationary metal pole, from which is hung a ball from a rope, or tether. The two players stand on opposite sides of the pole. Each player tries to hit the ball one way; one clockwise, and one counterclockwise. The game ends when one player manages to wind the ball all the way around the pole so that it is stopped by the rope.

Rules:Rules vary from region to region and even from one court to another, and there is no definitive set of rules that everyone follows.
The game begins when one player serves the ball, usually by holding it in one hand and hitting it with the other. The opposing player then attempts to return the serve by hitting it in the opposite direction. The object is to hit the ball in such a way that one's opponent will be unable to alter the ball's direction; this gives the server an advantage since the server has more control over the ball from the beginning. It is generally acceptable to hit the ball with either the fist or the open hand.

The game ends when one player hits the ball around the pole in their own direction as far as it will go, so that the ball hits the pole. In addition, the ball must strike the pole with the final wrap above a line marked on the pole. A match can consist of one, three, five, or more games.

Thoughts: In no way am I saying, I think the Lord plays "games", but I admit I have been known to say, I feel like I am on Mister Toad's Wild Ride. It is that part of human nature that fights to be in control yet when we are in control we often find ourselves in trouble.
I see Jesus as the "pole" providing great strength and focus, the "ball" is how we respond to life's journey.
If we are not careful I do believe that as we walk out this journey our emotions and circumstances can "play" with us causing us to play games with God, others and ourselves.
I have come to understand that I, me, know myself well enough to say that I can not take one step back from the pole, i.e. Jesus or I will be out of the game.
I confess that for my bull-headed personality I tend to think I can do everything myself.
Yet, when I am doing things my way I do not have the ability to function in a rational way that will add value to the lives of the different people I am in contact with not to mention my children, my husband or myself.
I can remember sitting in Mrs. Walker's class trying to learn multiplication facts, which I found of no value at all, waiting for the bell to ring so we could go to recess.
I had already learned the lesson of not sticking my tongue of the frozen basket ball pole in the middle of a Minnesota winter. Now that I think of it, this lesson stayed with me much longer then multiplication facts because I sure never forgotten it.
Tom boy that I was I can remember standing with my feet a part, fists clenched, waiting and watching for the perfect hit.
Bam!! Air ball! I missed it! I was now spinning around trying not to falling down.
Pride hurt I struggled get my bearings back.
I was stunned in disbelief that I missed the ball. After all I had a perfect shot.
It buzzes past me again and again, yet I am still motionless and disorientated.
Bearings back, I now realize I am standing so far away from the center I couldn't hit the ball if I wanted to.
Time out! I must regroup and get my footing again in order to be back in the game.

It has been a long ride with Mister Toad but I now understand that no matter what surface I am standing on Jesus needs to be my foundation or I am not in the game.
Yes, the "rules" seem to vary depending on what region I am in, but our basic needs are the same.
Rich, poor, black or white, we all want and need to be loved, treated with respect, needing food, water and shelter.
It was the cross that gave us the ability to change the direction of the ball.
It is our inability to grasp the depth of His love for us that holds us back and won't allow us to believe that this can really be true thus taking us out of the game believing the lies our mind tells us we need to believe to have our "A" game on.
We easily forget once we step out of bounds we lose the ability to return the serve and we are defeated.
In tetherball and life, there are no set rules or magic formulas.
Religion and denomination say you must live life based on formula, but relationship says, He loves you!
It is abiding in His love for us that will keep us in the game.
Game over!

Friday, July 31, 2009

six weeks on the road


On June 10Th we left Haiti knowing that we would have a full summer logging a lot of miles.
As of today we have put on 4639 miles on our car.
We have been to....
- seventeen states
- five state parks
- played on a jet ski on the lake
- grilled great food with old friends
- hooked up with people we haven't seen in years
- got high lights put in my hair so I wasn't such a "natural" blonde
- visited two national forests
- one national monument
- had a great new family picture taken
- had several arguments with Lord about a boat load of stuff both good and bad
- played one indoor theme park in the biggest mall ever
- attended three ministry benefits
- one wedding
- three movies, one good, one OK and one not so good
- learned a few things about myself
- gotten lost with the GPS way too many times
(Note: I was thinking the whole point of this little black box was to get you from point A to point B with out getting lost.
It never occurred to us that you can put in a location, follow the directions, drive for an hour only to arrive finding that the sushi place everyone is craving does not exist anymore.)
- learned to live out of a suitcase for six weeks and counting
- went swimming a dozen or more times
- questioned the amount of ice cream my children can consume on any given day
- swam at one indoor water park
- compared everything imaginable with living in Haiti vs the States
- walked around a few grocery stores freaking out about all the food
- watched more episodes of Sponge Bob than I ever care to see in my whole life time
- cheered at one baseball game
- unpacked two storage units in 104 degree Florida heat
- packed and unpacked a twenty-four foot truck

There have been many spiritual lesson learned.
Some about the journey, some about the mountain tops, the valleys and the technology of a GPS.
I have had a few good arguments with the Lord about my will vs His.
I haven't won any of them but he is always a gentleman and lets me vent a good bit about how things that I had planned don't seem to be working out how I think they should.
I seem to have forgotten He is God and has a plan.

They say it all about the journey......all and all it's been a good one.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The King's Gallery



King's Gallery hosts sale to aid Haitian women

By AZIA LI FORREST, DAILY SUN

THE VILLAGES — The King’s Gallery in Spanish Springs hosted a bag sale Friday evening that meant more than fashion. It was intended to help save the lives of women in Haiti.

Dan and Sheila Lynch, founders of God’s Plumbline Ministries and the original owners of The King’s Gallery, brought the one-of-a-kind designed bags from Haiti.

“When we sold this business to John and Candy (Coldwell), we had planned to go to Haiti,” Sheila said. “The people of The Villages donated all the sewing machines that we shipped to Haiti. So it’s been incredible to watch in two years’ time lives be transformed by the people here. It’s really incredible.”

Now the couple lives in Haiti full time and runs four programs: sewing, literacy, prenatal health and early childhood development.

“Those are all parts of making it a ‘whole woman’ program,” Sheila Lynch said. “We found that learning to sew wasn’t enough. Some ladies couldn’t read. Some couldn’t write or use scissors. Some didn’t know colors or how to take care of their children.”

She said the average Haitian family subsists on $200 a year.

“I was dumbfounded that people were living only 700 miles away from the United States, and people were dying because of no food, clean water and no medical care,” she said. “And that’s how we got started.”

Fifty percent of every bag sold will go toward the women and the program, which supplies teachers, housing and other expenses.

Lynch said they have 15 women who are sewing and supporting themselves.

“They don’t get handout donations: They are completely supporting themselves and their children,” she said.

On the inside of every bag is a label that includes the signature of the women who created the bag.

“It shows that (she) made this bag and it is a part of who she is,” Lynch said. “It’s even more meaningful.”

The bags will be available throughout the weekend in the store while supplies last.

For more information on Haitian Creations, visit www.HaitianCreations.com.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Travel Channel - Haiti Style



I don't think I have ever gone to the video store by myself to rent movies, it would be pointless because I fall asleep after the first ten or fifteen minutes of almost every movie.
Out of all the movies we own I think I may have bought five of them. I am not a girl that likes "chick flicks", I love movies like Hotel Rwanda, Gladiator and Constant Gardner.
I certainly don't consider myself to be a TV person. Don't get me wrong, it isn't that I don't like to watch television, I just can't sit through a whole show without getting up at least once because most shows just don't keep my interest.
Truthfully, I would much rather read a book.
So you can see why it is really hard to admit or even consider that I "could be" addicted to watching someone on television.
He is sometimes crude, drinks too much for my personal taste and could be called a "potty mouth".
The first time I watched his show I was laughing so hard I was crying and had to get up out of bed because I started choking.
He was in Vietnam, another place I would love to see.
A week ago I had no idea who Anthony Bourdain was and I had never watched "No Reservations" on the Travel Channel.
Now I was spending hours on a Tuesday morning with Dan watching back to back episodes of this tall, thin, salt n pepper haired man travel to Chile, Spain, Greece, Jamaica, Russia and Mexico.
Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I laugh at things that aren't funny to most person, I always get stuck in "wound care" when we do clinic and don't think it is worst job ever.
He is a writer and was a chef in New York city for twenty-eight years.
He takes trips to places I would personally love to visit, trying all the different foods and bringing to life the richness of the cultures. He loves the odd and strange things about each culture. He isn't caught up in the arrogant stylish food you see on so many other shows and he sits down with people bringing out the really wonderful parts that you would miss on some big tour bus type vacation.
He admits that his life hasn't been pretty or perfect and when he had his brother on the show he admits he doesn't know all that much about him and that made him regret the way things turned out. His brother was upbeat and positive, admittedly not things he is gifted with.
A common theme in his shows seems to be how all cultures eat organ meat and shop for meat in open air markets, also common in Haiti.
Many cultures eat meat that is pickled in jars, cured in salt or just left hanging in the sun baking in the heat for days.
As I watched I was suddenly sitting in Waffle House and could hear the waitress yelling to the cook,
"Ahh, yeah, that will be scattered, covered, smothered, topped and chunked".
Chunked is always where my gag reflex turns on.
As we traveled with him and wished we had the chance to have dinner in all these different countries, I was jealous of his travels and noticed something hauntingly familiar about each country. It was the fresh meat markets, again something that activated my gag reflex.
I am not sure when organs that function as filters in an animals body, intestines that move waste, brains, blood and feet all became "meat". I have shopped in these markets and have been "blessed" with meals prepared with these meats.
When my now new favorite host mentioned that fact that he may need to start taking Imodium ASAP and that the taste of his beverage was the same as turpentine and his face was turning inside out, I started laughing uncontrollably.
Ah, yes, the new found art of being gracious to your host! What to do when you have been told you must eat everything given to you and you can see what you have been given has been given out of much labor and sacrifice.
Thus, the argument with your gag reflex starts and you hope that you win this one.
So maybe it isn't that I was addicted to watching Tony on television, it is that I was a little home sick for Haiti and the things I love and find fascinating about Haiti and it's people.
Maybe I should write and invite him to come to Haiti to do a show, after all, Haiti has many of the same things all of these exotic different countries have including the beautiful beaches.
Hopefully he hasn't read the articles about people eating mud pies and I won't mention the crazy emails that come out from the U.S. Travel Department advising Americans not to travel to Haiti.
I wonder if he would think Haitian spaghetti with hot dogs or eggs is a good breakfast food.
I am sure he would agree that the smell of fresh garlic cooking is killer, it gets me every time.
I am also sure that in no other country other than Haiti would you find ketchup as a food group - it's true.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Garden of the Gods






It wasn't long before Dan and I had to ask ourselves, "how could these children have lived in Haiti?"
No television, no new DS games, the same old movies week after week, they seemed so normal and well adjusted, that is until we lost them in the world of Nintendo DS! They don't ask to watch "Monk" on DVD with us anymore and seem to think it is "normal" to eat, sleep and breathe the new games they got for the DS.
This however has crossed the line - site seeing while playing the DS - I don't think so!
I turned around to make sure they could keep up with us as we half ran up to see the "Siamese Twins" (yet another crazy rock formation with a catchy name) before we got poured on or hit by lightening!
Low and behold our children have been sucked in and their minds held captive by these small red and pink boxes that seem to have grown attached to their hands holding them hostage just like a pair of hand cuffs!
Ah, yes, the rules of engagement will now be put into action in the Lynch family!
No, you may not play DS while site seeing as a family!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rainbow



As we drove back to Colorado Springs we could see this most magnificent rainbow in the sky.
It was truly one of the most amazing things we had ever seen!
It was amazing because we could see the beginning and the end and it was not one, but two rainbows!
My camera couldn't begin to capture how beautiful and amazing it was.
Trust me, I tried over and over again to get the whole thing in the picture stopping many times on the side of the road waiting for cars to go past us!
As we drove we kept getting closer and closer thinking it would soon be gone, but it stayed with us for miles.
It was like God was following us as we drove flashing this great big sign as a reminder in front of us saying,
"I have many promises for you and I am faithful to fulfill these promises."
We all know the story of Noah and the Ark floating around with his family.
Never really thinking about what a big deal it was to build this crazy big boat, collecting tons of animals and telling everyone the Lord was going to send a flood!
I am pretty sure everyone thought he had lost it and for good reason!
Rain, flood, yeah right!
As we drove I told Dan it was like the Lord was really trying to get our attention and remind us of the many promises in our lives as well. It was comforting to me that the Creator of heaven and earth cared enough about us to write His promise down and now He was randomly putting it on earth just to remind us and tell us that He loves us.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Independence Pass (Aspen)






Dan spent a summer in Aspen when he was eighteen and loved it!
He has always talked about the trip he made as one of his favorite memories.
So when he said he wanted to take us for a day trip, part of me wanted to go, the other part of me didn't want to do a three hour road trip after we had found a small leak in our radiator.
We had patched it the day before and poured in some stuff that was suppose to plug the leak.
I didn't want our first test run to be in the mountains, so Dan humored me and went to the grocery store for a "test run".
I wasn't thinkin' it was close to the same thing but we made turkey, Swiss cheese and pickle sandwiches and off we went.
The kids had a movie on and we found the greatest radio station playing Van Morrison, The Guess Who, U2 and Elton John.
About an hour into the trip I got out my camera to take pictures.
It was dead!
Not kidding!
I was so mad!
I had taken the time to recharge the battery and now for SOME reason it wasn't working!
Errr!!
Dan made "good picture" jokes the whole way to Aspen!
We finally pulled into Aspen! Oh my gosh! I loved this town!
Note:....no radiator problems!
We finally found a Wolf Camera store and planned to buy a new camera battery, $59.00 - NOT!
The really nice guy behind the counter said, hey, I will just charge it for you - no problem.
We walked around, bought the required number of t-shirts for souvenirs and went back for my battery!
Life was good - again! I promised not to be such an airhead next time and actually test the camera "before" we left the house.
As we walked through the town I found a suit in the Channel store and bet it would cost as much as one years rent in Haiti!
Dan had to test my theory and go in and ask!
A mere $6,000 for the jacket and a cool $1,000 for the skirt!
It was six o'clock and I wanted to get back on the road so I could take all the pictures I missed on the way in.
For me, this trip was way up there with the Bad Lands.
It may have topped it for me!
For Parker, all was good because of the snow ball he tossed in the sun roof at Maddie who as watching a movie.
For Dan, it was a great walk down memory lane.
It only took twenty-eight years for him to finally show me this place that he loved and now I loved it!
Very fun day!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pike's Peak

Got oxygen?
Need oxygen....maybe!
14,110 feet...we made it to the top of Pike's Peak with no problems.
Once you get past the tree line you can feel the temperature drop and the need for oxygen. Parker couldn't wait to have a snow ball fight! It wasn't what he had in mind when we got to the top. But he still managed a few snowballs. He wanted to buy a ten dollar pair of mittens to make more! Not!
Who knew they made really yummy homemade donuts on the top of Pike's Peak! Six for five dollars! They didn't last out of the parking lot.





With all the road trips we have been making this summer we have learned that Maddie's favorite way to site see is from the back seat of the car with head phones and a movie. However, Parker needs to be in the middle of all the action and on the edge of every cliff we see. I have said, "Parker, move back from the edge", more than once as my stomach made a few flips and my knees got weak as the gravel gave way under his feet!
Parker said this was better than the baseball game because of the snowballs. I even think Pike's Peak is at the top of Maddie's list.
Well, that and Beaches! She loves that movie.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Colorado Rockies Baseball

We headed out to downtown Denver for a baseball game with a very black sky and the radio saying we would be having thunderstorms! Not Good!
It opened up and poured when we got on the shuttle to the stadium! Not Good!
Pretty soon we could see a blue patch in the sky and the rain stopped!

Colorado Rockies -vs- Washington Nationals
Score: 1 - 0

Parker said this was the best thing we have done all summer!



Saturday, July 4, 2009

History from Pike's Peak

Happy 4th of July from Pike's Peak, Colorado. Here is some 4th of July history from Pike's Peak.


"America the Beautiful" is an American patriotic song. The words are written by Katharine Lee Bates and the music composed by church organist and choirmaster Samuel A. Ward. Bates originally wrote the words as a poem, Pikes Peak, first published in the July 4th edition of the church periodical The Congretionalist in 1895. The poem was titled America for publication. As for the music, Ward had originally written the music Materna, for the old hymn, O Mother Dear, Jerusalem, in 1882. Ward's music combined with the Bates poem, was first published in 1910 and titled America the Beautiful. The song is one of the most beloved and popular of the many American patriotic songs. From time to time it has been proposed as a replacement for The Star-Spangled Banner as the National Anthem.