love not fear

As I write this my wet hair is wrapped up in a towel which is beginning to droop in my eyes a little bit. Have you ever felt so passionate about something that you feel like if you don’t share it - even on a little blog that hardly anyone reads (Hi, mom.) that you’ll explode?

This morning one of my favorite Christian homeschooling Facebook pages posted this article. And while this article got me a little bit floored and a little bit on my soapbox, I’m thrilled that this page is facilitating conversation.  

I’m not a political writer or a religion expert. I’m not going to have 20 research links at the bottom which this post is based on. I’m just a mom, wife, a Christian, a missionary, and a friend. I write from my own experiences, which aren’t going to be the same as yours. And that’s OK. 

First I’d like to just clear the air about this whole "Christian Nation” thing. I hear that term all the time. I hate this term. 

America. The Christian Nation. 

Folks, I’ll try to let you down gently. America is not a Christian Nation. I know how badly many of you would like it to be - but it’s not. I think for a lot of people, people in tight-knit Christian communities or people from the Bible-belt south (from which I’m writing), it’s easy to look around and think, this really IS a Christian Nation. But by and large, it’s just not. 

I do not come from a Christian home. I did not grow up with Christian friends. In fact, when I became a Christian, all of my friends turned their backs on me. Let me tell you, my early Christian years were very lonely ones. 

Maybe it’s because of that background that I can see outside of the Christian bubble. 

In our nation there ARE a lot of Christians. But there’s also a lot of Atheists (hi, friends!). There’s also many Muslims, Wiccan friends, Jewish friends - to all of these groups I also say "hi friends,” because, yes, I have friends here too. 

I’m sure there are yet other people I know who belong to yet other belief systems but by and large, non Christians have learned that it’s easier to just keep it themselves for fear of judgement. 

But what if Christians would let go of this whole “Christian Nation” thing and would embrace our country as it is - full of people all struggling and hurting and loving and trying their very hardest - just like we all are?

What if instead of Christians trying to insist that we live in a Christian nation insisted that we lived in a nation in need of compassion, mercy, and love?

Back to the article I linked that’s inspired this soapbox - I feel like it’s an article written to fuel fear and anger under the guise of “educating the public.” 

The article is about how much Islam is infiltrating our public school system. The article made no separation between Islam at large and the much smaller - but infinitely louder - terrorist group cells. 

This is what I posted. My first thoughts on the article:
Maybe I’m the only one who is totally annoyed by this article, but it just makes me roll my eyes and think, “seriously?” Has the author ever met a Muslim person? I’m so sick of seeing articles aimed at creating more fear and anger over something most people don’t understand. Most Muslim people you actually speak with (heaven forbid) are horrified to be grouped in the same religion of the small but loud fanatic groups. It’s like saying all Christians like to carry signs around reading, “thank God for dead solders.” I think Common Core is stupid for a lot of reasons, this is not one of them. I do homeschool and - gasp - we will learn about world religions as much as we can - even if that means visiting their places of worship. I feel so passionate about this. My heart just cries out - where is the grace in fear? Where is the compassion in trying to limit the freedom God extends to us to only those who act in ways we think they should act? Not one Muslim person will ever be won over to the love of Jesus by people who want to squash their beliefs. What if we Christians made a stand to love their Muslim brothers and sisters and actually went where Muslims are and befriended them? I don’t think for a minute that Jesus would do otherwise.

I’ll never forget the first Muslim I ever had the privilege of getting to know. He was a shopkeeper in Fiji and was thrilled to get to chat with my husband and I. We were the only ones in the shop and he sat with us and peppered us with questions about what we had been doing (we had just spent a summer on some very remote islands in the Republic of Kiribati doing mission work). He was so thrilled to know that we were bent on helping people in this world. I could tell he was also very grateful that we didn’t fear him. He told us that only a small group (compared to the whole) of Muslims are terrorists and that really, they are a peaceful people. Since then I’ve met Muslims around the world and they've all spoken the same sentiments.

Friends, I am a mother and it is my mission in life to protect my children. Teaching them to fear or hate a people group will never accomplish this. That isn’t where the fight is. Fight for love. Fight for compassion.

I want to teach my children to befriend [Muslims, Atheists, Jews, etc., etc., etc.]. I want them to look at person and see them for what they really are - a person. I want them to know it’s OK that their life looks different than ours. It’s OK that they don’t believe the same things as us. I want them to change the world because they loved the people in the world.

my biggest secret... shhhh

I’m going to let my biggest secret slip.

<Deep breath>

Ready?

I first was blessed with this bread showing up at our house every Friday night when we lived in the Philippines. Back then, homemade bread was something fancy and horribly difficult and something I held in such awe.

Fast forward 10 years.

The same exact bread now comes out of my own oven every week, sometimes several times a week.

It is still impressive to me.

But this bread is so easy to make that even my 5-year old can make it [almost] by herself.


The BEST EVER (and easiest) homemade bread recipe:
Mixing:
In an extra-large mixing bowl:
3 cups of lukewarm water
1/4 cup brown sugar
[Mix to dissolve the bulk of the sugar]
1-2 T yeast (1T if fresh, 2T if older)
1/2 C oil of your choice
[Mix a bit]
4 C whole wheat flour
1 T salt
[mix salt into the flour on top of your liquid before mixing the flour into the liquid]
Add in your extra bits - ground nuts, wheat germ, ground flax, cooked oatmeal, etc
Add 3 1/3 - 4 C more whole wheat (add 4C if no added bits, 3 1/2 if lots of added bits)

Kneading:
Knead the bread with all your feelings. Anger and tension work out well here.
Add more whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup at a time until dough does not stick to you. This amount will depend on those added bits. If your dough is sticking to your hands, you need more flour. However there is a fine line - too much flour and your bread will not be light and fluffy. You only need to knead it until the dough is worked all the way in. Don’t under-knead but don’t spend an entire episode of “Call the Midwife” kneading either.

Rising:
Let your bread rise. I put the timer on for 1 hour. The dough only needs to double in size but aint nobody got time for remembering to watch/check rising dough. One hour on the timer is the ticket.

Panning:
Divide your bread into half, form into loafs, and pan it.

Cooking:
Once I’ve got the loaves all done, I turn the oven on and let them sit until the oven is heated to 350ยบ then I pop those babies in the oven. For regular loaves 32 minutes should do it. If you make buns instead of loaves 26 minutes will do. You know they are done when you pop them out of the pan and the bottoms are nice and browned. If the bottom looks undercooked, the inside is undercooked.

Lastly:
Eat. Share. Impress (but be humble friends). Enjoy!



real people

Hello from the shadows!

Come on, it’s only been about a year since I’ve blogged, that’s not that long, is it?  That’s not true, I’ve actually written 5 posts this year. Hahaha.

Well break’s over!

This is what you’ve missed:


This is Millie and Sam. They’re huge. They’re like real people now. With thoughts and opinions and intelligent conversation. They aren’t babies anymore. 

Sigh. 

Well. I have some super exciting things to share in the near future but gotta wait at the moment. Just wanted to check in and let you know that I’ll be back more regularly now. :)

See you again soon!

millie - january interview

Millie.
Personality and sweetness bundled into one girl. 

January 13
• What is something mommy always says to you? You say “I love you.”
• What makes you happy?  Papa and trains and kid movies
• What makes you sad? fire, or when my special things rip pr break or when a dog comes along and eats my food. (Note: this has never actually happened)
• What makes you laugh? anything. When I toot a big long toot.
• How old are you?  5
• How old is Mommy? 65
• How old is Daddy? 34
• What is your favorite thing to do? go to fairs and eat cotton candy and ride on the rides.
• Who is your best friend?  Jesus. Jenna and Julianna and Auntie Jodi and Anna
• What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to learn how to be a cash register and a doctor and a fire lady
• What are you really good at? I think coloring
• What is your favorite food? watermelon and snow and kiwi and cutie
• What is your favorite song? Animals and Ride the white pony
• What do you want for your birthday this year? I want my very own play house that I can fit in
• What is your favorite animal? Zebras and bees - not because they sting but because they have really bright yellow on them
• What is love? That someone likes you really much
• What does mommy/daddy do for work? Papa - work on airplanes. Mama - watch me and Sam
• Where is your favorite place to go? the fair











sam's january interview

Samuel.
My blue-eyed boy. 
This kid has brought SO MUCH joy to our lives. 

He makes the silliest expressions. The sweetest smiles.



 His laugh - oh my goodness. It’s infectious. You can’t help but smile when he’s laughing. It’s impossible. 





January 13 - 
• What is something Mama always says to you? She says, Millie and Sam talk to Mama and Dada
• What makes you happy? That’s up in the sky, up up in heaven. Jesus!
• What makes you sad? Feelings
• What makes you laugh? Percy the train
• How old are you? 5
• How old is Mama? 3
• How old is Papa? 3
• What is your favorite thing to do? Swim in the swimming pool
• Who is your best friend? Malachai is my best friend (Note: he does not actually know anyone by this name.)
• What do you want to be when you grow up? A police dog
• What are you really good at? I’m really good at swimming and eating
• What is your favorite food? I like to eat a cheese sick
• What is your favorite song? Sissy
• What do you want for your birthday this year? A train set (Note: We have ample amount of train set.)
• What is your favorite animal? snakes
• What is love? it means that you’re not fine your sad
• What does Papa/Mamado for work? Papa -Fix trains.  Mama - stay home
• Where is your favorite place to go? To papa’s work







the short version


We generally like to be more “Look at Jesus” than “Look at us,” but since we recently have had more people liking our Facebook page and following our missionary journey, I thought I would share a little bit about us. 

Captain Anderson:
Todd was born in Portland, OR some years ago. After that, his family lived in Pensilvania, Ohio, and back to Oregon, where the folks still live. The baby of 3 children,  he was baptized as a young teen. Todd is quiet, mechanical, and thoughtful. He has a BS degree from Walla Walla College in Aviation Management. 

Mama Cas:
I am from Walla Walla, WA. I became a Christian in 2002 and have always considered that the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I have a BS degree from WWC in mass communications. (And since it’s weird talking about myself you can just read more about me here). 

Todd and I began our missionary service in 2004, a year after we were united in marriage, in The Philippines. After a year there, we knew that was what we wanted to dedicate our lives to. We went to Tacoma, WA where I got an AS and an AB and Todd got his AS (when he became an aircraft mechanic). After 2 years in Tacoma, I went to Africa for 2 1/2 months and fell even more in love with living for Jesus in foreign lands. We returned to Walla Walla to finish our degrees and spent the summer of 2008 in the Republic of Kiribati, where we planned on returning for long-term service. We graduated from WWC in 2009 and Amelia was born a few weeks later. As it became more apparent that it would not work out to return to Kiribati, we began to pray about where God would send us next. Samuel was born in 2011and after a year and a half of prayer, our family moved to Guyana (January 2013). Since then we’ve been on the ride of a lifetime living in Guyana and serving God with 2 barefoot kiddos. It’s not always fun, and it’s rarely easy, but we feel like this is the life God has called us to and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. 
Our family in Guyana Christmas 2013

Have a question about us or our ministry? Post a comment asking and we’ll be happy to tell you more!

our family is growing!

Well, I guess it’s time to let you know - our family is growing once again!

Mission family, that is. Friends, meet N9113M:


PRAISE THE LORD!!!

We are so thrilled to share that she’ll be joining us in Guyana as soon as she’s ready to go!

Getting her was a blessing in itself, but that was only phase 1. Phase 2 is about to begin.

Phase 2: This little beauty has a timed-out engine on her. That means, we’re now looking at an engine overhaul. She won’t need all the mods (pilot talk for modifications) that we would have needed on an older plane, it’s like she was made for jungle flying! So phase 2 is the maintenance phase. Captain Anderson has his work cut out for him, but here’s the best part - it’s not a plane sitting in pieces in boxes!

We are praising God for this blessing and we can’t wait to bring her home. Right now she’s sitting in Illinois. The paperwork should move along smoothly, and once we have the title Captain Anderson will go and start getting her airworthy. He’s got to spend about a week working on her before she can fly down. He’ll have to get a ferry permit to fly her down to Tennessee where the real work (engine overhaul) will begin.

To those who have been a part of helping with the purchase of her: THANK YOU!!! From the bottom of our hearts we are so filled with thankfulness that you were willing to sacrifice so that we can have this tool in Guyana to help spread the Good message of God’s great love. You are a part of this and we are grateful beyond words.

To those who would missed out on the blessing of being a part of the purchase - there’s still time to be a part of the blessing of getting her to Guyana! An engine overhaul is costly. Please consider helping with this cost. You can learn more about how to do that here.

Here is a short video I made in our last few months of flying in Guyana. I can’t wait to make another one sharing how N9113M is taking God’s Word even further into the jungles of Guyana.

Again, thank you all and stay tuned for more updates!

2014 lookback

Some of my most favorite (or memorable) moments caught on Instagram during 2014