Monday, May 12, 2008


Part of me hates to do this, for fear that my already-declining traffic will fall into an unrecoverable death spiral. But the truth is, this blog is currently dying a slow, painful death anyway.

So I'm going to take some time off from Lavender Sparkles. Frankly, I have nothing worthwhile to say. And so this blog hangs over my head as one more thing I should be doing but am not, one more thing to feel guilty about. I don't need that.

If you're aching for updated pics of Elijah, you can check out my Flickr account. I'll continue to upload photos there periodically. I'm not done blogging for good, but I don't know when I'll have something to say again. Check back in a month. I may or may not be ready to pick up again on June 12, but I'll at least drop in to let you know either way.

Thanks to those of you who are still reading despite the pitiful (lack of) content lately. I appreciate your willingness to give me your valuable time.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thankful Thursday, Take 76

Thanking God this week for...
  • last week's trip home to Ohio
  • coming home to Steve
  • time with friends and family
  • pizza subs
  • frappuccinos
  • our blooming peony bushes
  • sleep, especially in long, uninterrupted stretches
  • Chaco's great customer service
  • truths buried deeply in my heart

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Plea for Compassion

Today, 16,000 children will die from hunger. Today, 1,500 children will become infected with HIV. Today, nearly 5,000 children will die from diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. These statistics reflect the devastating reality of poverty—and they can be overwhelming.

But today, you can help turn these numbers around.

Compassion International exists to rescue children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty in Jesus' name. Through sponsorship, Compassion links you with one child who needs your help. You build a relationship through letters and prayers, and for $32 a month, you can provide for that child’s health, educational and social needs. Most importantly, you provide the opportunity for your child to hear and respond to the gospel of hope and salvation through Jesus Christ.

A few months ago, I read this story from Compassion president Dr. Wess Stafford. It expresses beautifully why I believe in the ministry of Compassion. He writes:

I have been with Compassion a long time, so beyond all the research and the data, it’s wonderful to see the difference Compassion’s ministry has made in real lives. Recently I was in Uganda and after a church service I met two delightful young adults. They had both been Compassion-sponsored children and when they grew up, they married each other. They now have a beautiful, healthy baby girl and they let me hold her. I gazed at that tiny life in my arms, then up at the proud, beaming faces of her mom and dad. Instinctively I asked, “Does this child need a sponsor?” I will never forget the tears that welled up in her young mother’s eyes. “No,” she said confidently. “We are able to care for her.” The young father added, “Poverty stopped with us!”

Now the tears were on my face. I could barely contain my joy. Success means you don’t have to sponsor the children of sponsored children—they truly have been “released from poverty in Jesus’ name”! Multiply that young father’s response over 55 years and by the 1.5 million children Compassion has helped, and you get a clear and resounding answer to the big question, Why do we do what we do the way we do it? Because it works!

To put the cost of sponsorship in perspective, check out this post I wrote last year about what $25 buys you in Kenya. If a birthday gift goes that far, imagine what $32 a month can accomplish!

Our church recently commemorated Compassion Sunday, and Compassion sent me ten packets for children needing sponsors. Five of the children found sponsors, but our small church is reaching saturation level. I have five packets left. I really don't want to send these beautiful children back to the waiting list!

Dharshini - age 5, India
Thavir - age 6, India
Hugo - age 7, Brazil
Sifa - age 6, Kenya

Chebet - age 9, Uganda
Can you help? Please consider this opportunity to put your faith in action by caring for children who are precious in God’s sight. If you're interested in sponsoring one of these children, or would like more information, email me: amykannel [at] hotmail [dot] com. Thank you!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Angry Baby

I never knew I was an angry person until I became a mother.

I could have easily named a whole lot of ongoing sin struggles, but anger? Wouldn't have made the list. In fact, I think I've often thought of anger as a "male" sin--this image of a powerful man with a dangerous temper who stomps around and yells a lot. Well, I don't do any stomping, and I don't often yell out loud, but my ugly heart does a lot of yelling and stomping inside.

It seems I want nothing more than to be served and catered to, to "have it my way," and when people around me--family, friends or strangers--don't cooperate to make my life smooth, comfortable and convenient, my inner three-year-old throws a silent (but no less obnoxious) temper tantrum. Somehow I don't think this is what God meant when He said I must become like a little child.

No, in this way I don't have to become like a little child...rather, Elijah reveals to me that I already am like a little child. Similar to the way marriage is a mirror, motherhood is also providing a reflection of my heart--and it's not flattering me by telling me I'm the fairest of them all. To my dismay, I see that I am no different than the screaming nine-month-old the backseat, except maybe less ear-piercing.

"No, parents, you are not paranoid. Babies really have been sent into your life to confuse all your plans, to frustrate your best intentions, to outwit you at every turn and to drive you to your knees. In short: to reduce you to tears, just like themselves. For you are exactly the same, you two. One's big, one's little, but there the difference ends, and God would have you know this. He wants you to know that you too are but a mewling little rosebud, kicking in your blankets and screaming bloody murder whenever the big Butler-in-the-Sky doesn't bring your food and drink on a silver platter at exactly the right time."
--Mike Mason, The Mystery of Children: What Our Kids Teach Us About Childlike Faith