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A couple of nights ago, we had the unique opportunity to dine in the home of a sweet family from Fallujah.They fled to our Kurdish village a few months prior with hopes of keeping their family safe…a big responsibility the father Muhamad was forced to take on.
Let me just be clear, they have nothing.
Greeted with kisses and smiles, we walked into their rented home of concrete and mud walls. The wife quickly pulled down some cushions for us to sit on. No matter the current circumstances they now find themselves in, they had guests to entertain. The room was neat and orderly, functioning both as the space for eating as well as sleeping, which was evident by the blankets and pillow neatly stacked in the corner.
As we distributed the fresh flat bread, kebabs and sodas, the children waited patiently. Bags of rice piled behind us made me grateful that we were able to add some meat to their diet.I looked toward the baby hoping for a smile, but she clung tightly to mama, whimpering until I lo…
How do you love people and circumstances, but not allow your identity to be wrapped up within them? How do you hold things lightly…knowing everything/everyone in this life is temporary?
Nothing is eternal except that which can meet our every need. Him. 
Everything else will pass away…and the pain/shock can be lessened by the simple choice to hold it out in front of us, knowing it isn’t ours from the moment it reaches our possession. But how do we avoid our obsession with control and comfort? How do we breathe knowing anything can be ripped from our grasp at any moment? How do we invest relationally? How do we let ourselves feel and love? 
Why are we constantly striving to control all that is happening around us? We are not able to and by trying to, it only creates a sense of anxiety. We are not supposed to count on anything…nothing is dependable. Things in this world (including people), were not designed to be the fixers of all that is wrong and painful. The joy is natural, but the depend…
We think we know. We don’t. We plead. We cry. We ask Him for mercy. We wait. Does He hear us?
Daily He calls us to a higher place. Rarely, we seek His glory first. Can we?
Give up the fight, He only wants to show us life.
Nothing can touch you the way His glory does. Nothing can knock you further into peace, than obedience. Nothing is as mysterious and unraveling as the inner thoughts and ways of our God. Sometimes it is terrifying. Little can be understood. But why should it?
To walk in the glory of a sovereign plan, surrendered and relentless…

Something to ponder...

People in my line of work are constantly learning how to smile and politely tune out the opinions of others. It is not that we are trying to be rude, but it is simply a decision between us and God. We realize people mean well, they do. But it's not like we haven’t heard it before. We know what we are giving up to live in tough places like this.  And we would be lying if we said we weren’t phased by others' disapproval…we are. But that's not the big battle. I have been wrestling with something recently and I wanted to share it.
Coming to this part of the world, danger is a common topic of conversation. We aren’t idiots, we know the world we live in. But sometimes stepping out in obedience means putting your life at risk.Honestly, that isn’t always the difficult part. We are well aware that “death” is always a possibility. We know what Scripture says about this and what has happened to so many before us. But…

what if the death you must die is not the physical death, but the de…

What does daily life look like?

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We are not heroes. Not even a little bit. Most of us have a dream, some of us attain it, but all of us make choices. Just because some of us follow that dream to a life outside the ordinary scope of the American norm, does not make us special. We, like others, are simply doing what we love. And what we love might take us to interesting places.
Curiosity about this lifestyle is completely normal. It’s sweet when I find myself sitting across the table from someone who is deeply enthralled with what my life consists of. Sipping our coffee as they fire away questions, I am grateful for the support and interest. In my case, first Egypt and now Iraq, I often forget how strange this is to people.
So I thought it best to lay it out for you, simple statements and pics showing you first hand that in some ways it’s not so unusual, but at the same time, it’s pretty surreal.

Coffee: Just like life in the states, I rely on my morning cup. The difference here is that it’s expensive to get good coffee…