Sunday, February 27, 2011


Here is a group of my fav pics from our trip to Haiti!  
On our shirts for the trip was the creole word for flexible... FLEXIB!
It for sure became the theme of our trip!
Here we are on the bus headed to MOH!

Sunset as we drove in...

Jeanie as she is hanging her mosquito net.  A little overexposed, but I thought kinda cool!

This is the moonset I got to see the first morning.  Really cool!

A fun group of the girls!

These little guys were headed to school as we were headed out!

There will be 500 homes built on this property so those in temporary homes can move out!

These are cactus.  They use them as their fence.  Pretty genius!

The Haitian kids loved helping paint!

Our tarantula friend.  I tried to protect him from our kids and then a Haitian man walked by
and smashed him with a rock :(

Can you say awesome!

This sweet little girl tore up this metallic wig.  She was having so much fun with it.

Not a lot of words needed for these!

During church there was a group of guys that did not want me to take their picture.  We were goofin' around.  When I would pick up the camera they would hide and laugh!  It was so great!

Lots of hula-hoopin'!  The biggest hit!

Oh if I could only have one :)

These kids are watching a really funny skit.  It was sooo great to see all the laughter!

Sharing the truth of Jesus!

Ladies who have become amputees, many from the earthquake are making
headbands, coin purses and purses.  Pretty awesome to see!

Trash pick up!

And a little time at the beach!
The more I get away from the trip the more amazed I am at all God accomplished!
So thankful for all I get to be a part of!
What is your favorite pic??

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Heart of God

A couple of years ago I took a short weekend away.  I like to get away at least twice a year to just be with the Lord, to listen and process.  In 2009 I sat down to think about all that God gives.  This was the result...


Sprinkles of Spring
The warmth of Summer
The cool breeze of Fall
Chills of Winter

All from the hand of God

Laughter from children
The tears of loss
The songs of truth
Wisdom from experience

All from the hand of God

Comfort for fear
The assurance of salvation
The acceptance of wrestling
Freedom from truth

All from the hand of God

Strength for the trial
The hope of His return
The peace from His Sovereignty
Joy from trust

All from the hand of God

Wholeness from brokenness
The completeness of forgiveness
The blindness of grace
Holiness from imperfection

All from the hand of God

Rest from confidence
The belief from unbelief
The release from bondage
Surrender from faith

All from the hand of God

Wisdom for godliness
The courage to obey
The heart for service
Compassion for others

All from the hand of God

Friends for a time
The ones that sharpen
The ones that listen
Friends that last

All from the hand of God

The hand of God all from the heart of God!

March 20, 2009

(The picture above is of a little boy in Haiti who was with the Village of Hope.  He has special needs and was not responding much to us until they broke out the bubbles.  And then he was filled with laughter!)

Who God Ache's For...

I started this devotional book a couple of weeks ago and love it!  It has really had some great things to ponder and be reminded of.  An entry I read over a week ago has really stuck with me.  It talks about mental health and the subtitle says... "awakening amazement at the strange glory of ordinary things." (It's on page 69 in case you want to read the whole thing.)
This little section has reminded me to be aware and pay attention to what God has created!  This is something that I do often (see all the crazy amounts of GB of photos I have taken solely of nature)!  But also last night I was reminded that of everything created, we are God's prized creation.  He sees us as more beautiful than the sunsets and amazing landscapes.  THIS IS NOT EASY FOR ME TO COMPREHEND!  In fact it is something that I have to remind myself and work to believe.  Because I see the CRAP in my life. I see the faults, I see the sin... I see ME! AND yet I forget... God sees me through His Son.  He sees me as perfect.  His Son died so this could be true and I BELIEVE!  And wow!  What an amazing thing!  I've been given the blessing of seeing some pretty amazing almost unbelievable beauty in what He has made... but all for us to enjoy and to show His glory... and He wants us to be that for the world to see.  To see who He is, what He has done for us, and what He wants to continue to do.  He wants us to show others who He is because they need HIM!
Another thing that speaks to me a ton about "who God is" is music written about Him and who we are.  Last night I heard a song that will be playing on my phone and in my car for weeks to come.  It's called "God of My Everything" by Bebo Norman.  Listen to it here and take in the truth of what it's saying... You are who God aches for!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Rooster!

It is going to sound a little crazy but my greatest spiritual take away from our trip came from none other than... THE ROOSTER!
This rooster was crazy!  He cocka-doodle-dooed at all hours of the day and night.  Pretty much every morning we would wake up to discussions of how to make the rooster dinner.
On Saturday morning I woke up and heard the Muslim call to prayer.  I have heard it in Africa and Haiti.  It is speaking and chanting that is over a loud speaker.  At the same time I am listening to this I hear the rooster start in again.  And I thought... that rooster is God's creature and he is reminding me to pray.  And this rooster does not just go off once a day.  In fact we all joked that this rooster's clock was OFF!
Then I thought about the verse in...
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
This rooster was sent to remind me to pray without ceasing.  And oh how often do I have my time with the Lord in the morning and then start through out my day without remembering to pray, to stay in contact with the Lord, the one who sustains me and guides me?!
The rest of the trip, when I was laying in bed and heard the rooster or even when I was walking around in the day and he did his thing... I would stop and pray.  It sure did allow me to give thanks for something that was working against me.  Keeping me awake when I so desperately needed sleep (I can tend to be kinda cranky when I don't get sleep.) And yet, the Lord chose to use Him for good in my life!
I actually miss the rooster.  I wondered while I was there, what is going to be my rooster back here in Dallas to remind me to pray without ceasing???

Photo taken by Brooke Mauritzen.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Haiti Symphony

Before heading out for Haiti we got a heads up from the team that was already there about some sounds in the night.  Little did I know I would get the full experience night one, with a little extra thrown in.
I do not sleep well in different places and especially don't sleep great when there are other people in the room.  Add in being one of the leaders of the trip and kids involved and that leads to tougher sleeping conditions for me. So here's the scene... it's our first night there and when we arrive to start unloading our baggage a thunderstorm blows in, drenching everyone!  So we wait to get all unloaded and sorted.  And sorted includes making our beds and getting mosquito nets put up.  I get all situated in my lower bunk and clothes my eyes.  The first to chime in to the symphony is the fans!  We all brought fans to aid in the movement of air.  These are just fine with me as I sleep with one on every night. Next to chime in is the barking dog.  I have no clue what this dog is barking at, but it is loud and I am pretty sure sitting right outside our door barking. Next... the roosters.  Now these guys literally talk to each other all night long!  Then a noise I was not expecting... a blood curdling scream.
I lay there for a minute trying to decide if I needed to get up.  I ask Jeanie who is sleeping above me if she thought it was one of our girls.  She said yes, but that Carol was in the room so she could handle it.  I think to myself... "You are the trip leader, you have to get up and go check."  I repeated this to myself a few times in the few seconds I lay there, and decide to get up.  (Now before you think horribly of me, there was no noise after the first scream so I wasn't ignoring more screaming.) 
I get out of bed and walk in the other room and all is quiet in our room, but I notice the lights on in the room next to us and a low murmur of talking. (The room next to us is the other Watermark team of girls.)  I go back into my room and throw a blanket around me to go see if everyone is ok, Jeanie goes with me too.  When we get into the room there is mayhem.  Stephanie is in the fetal position on her bed retiring as their trip leader.  The other girls are talking about a rat that ran through the room and they are trying to figure out where it has gone.  The are explaining to me how long it was... body... 6 inches!  Yikes that sounds big.
So lots of checking behind bags and such when that sucker comes running towards the door, where I am standing, yes I screamed.  It gets freaked out, runs back into the bathroom into a hole in the wall.  The girls are getting into position to catch it when it runs back out, the go to put a trashcan over it and the things jumps out, onto one of their hands and back into the hole.  More screaming!
Now Ashley Marie is more determined than ever.  She has work gloves on her hands and is hiding in the bathroom to lure the sucker out.  I run to get my camera not wanting to miss anything.  I hear screaming and then... "Suzanne, hurry, it is wiggling in my hands!"
She waits for me to get my camera all ready and this is the pic...

 We had originally said we would kill it... but once we saw it's cute face, we couldn't.  So Ashley Marie just took it out and chucked it in the construction.
Of course that meant that it came back later in the week to terrorize all of us.  But hey, it was a great adventure for the night.  I literally laid in my bed chuckling to myself as I listened to the dog barking right outside our room and then it's bark would get father and farther away and then it would come back later and repeat.  I pictured the rat trying to come back up to the room and the dog was chasing it away.
The symphony also gained doves and goats as the week went on.
(And a side note... Jeanie told me that there were multiple ones that she would hear each night running around on my bags and climbing in the walls.  I did not believe her until one morning I woke up and there were little feet prints all over my dusty bags... EEEEWWW!)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Haiti #1

Not sure I'll get a ton of time to blog, but please follow the fun on our facebook page... Watermark Families in Haiti.
It has been awesome so far! The families are doing great. Kids are jumping in despite language barriers and just loving on and playing with everyone they meet! It is such a great picture of initiative and unconditional love... Wish we could all live so innocent and unconditional!
The Lord has blessed me with great pictures of His creativity (which I love!)... Let's see... rat (affectionately known as the Haitian hamster), tarantula, new baby goat, unbelievable thunderstorms, sunsets, sunrises, and got to watch the moon set... A first for me!
The Lord is providing "family" for me on this "family trip" in many ways... So grateful for His care for me!
Thank you all for praying! I'm so thankful!!!
Sent from "no tellin' where!" -Suz

Friday, February 11, 2011

Waaait for it...

This is one of those funny phrases that got really over used, but every once in a while, it can still make me laugh.  And I was reminded of it today as I was processing through the idea of waiting.
I don't wait well.  If I am in line at WalMart, I get really fidgety and bored, but take that back, iphones have helped a ton in the waiting process of lines and getting your oil changed.  We are so much more productive, or at least waste time while waiting. But I rabbit trail.
Waiting is just hard. Hard when you are really anxious for what is coming and it just gets really exciting and hard to wait for what you are wanting.  And then there are times when you are waiting for something not good, like the other shoe to drop, so anticipation of bad that might come.  Or even waiting for the hard that has to come.  That waiting can make you nervous, anxious, and at times down right sick. Then there is the waiting on something that you don't even know if it will happen.  You want it to happen but it just might not happen.  This might be... getting married, getting a promotion, or getting pregnant.  You just don't know if it will ever happen, but the hope is there, the desire is there and yet there might be disappointment on the other side of the waiting and hoping.
And in that waiting and hoping we want to take control.  Ok, I won't assume you are like me... I want to take control.  I want to make something happen.  Today I was reminded of a lot of truth that corrected my perspective...
First: The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? 
Proverbs 20:24
I get so busy trying to figure out if something is going to happen or if I need to do something to make it happen that I forget who is really in control. And, oh surprise, it's not me! And of course the questions that I have to wrestle with here... "Do I really trust the Lord?"
Then I was reminded in Isaiah 30 of more truth.  We often try, oh sorry... I often try to run out and get help from a lot of other places to help my "want" along.  Now this is not always a bad thing.  God does put people in our lives to help us and guide us in what He has for us. But when we I start putting my hope in them being my answer, I will be disappointed.
Isaiah 30:15 says, This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength."
Quietness and confidence! I love that picture.  When I rest before the Lord, confident of His love for me, I will have strength. And in the midst of waiting, how great is that!
And then verse 18 says, So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.
When waiting, what a beautiful picture... love and compassion when I come to Him. And He wants to help me.  But more He wants me to trust Him!
And it comes around again in Jeremiah 17:7... But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
He is my hope and my confidence, and therefore I can have strength in waiting.  What a great picture. And what a mighty, faithful, loving, powerful God I serve!
I also looked up a bunch of verses on waiting on the Lord and what it brings and I was caught by Jeremiah 14.  God is holding rain back from the people because they are looking to other gods for their "life." The Lord will not share His people's affections with other gods and He wants them to realize they need Him. And then I was caught by verse 22: Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, you are the one, O Lord our God! Only you can do such things. So we will wait for you to help us.
A beautiful reminder of God is GOD and no person and no other thing is! He is the one that brings the rain.  He is the one that brings the "things" into our lives that we need.  So the waiting IS waiting on Him and waiting on Him is a place of rest.  He will bring what is best to my life (and yours). He wants us to trust HIM!
So, whatever you might be waiting for, as I wait for what I want, let's trust the Lord... don't waaaait for it... trust HIM!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Earlier this week my Dad called and said that he thought there would be a great photo op at White Rock Lake.  So we headed out today to take some photos!  It was fun and he was right.  
I definitely came by my love for photography honestly!
The ice was really awesome!  And I couldn't resist the last pic.  I think ducks are so funny, how they walk and then to see their little feet as they swim. Enjoy!

This pic is of water that was frozen and is starting to break up.