Saturday, January 19, 2013

Holly Chamberlain - Juxtaposed Across America Winner

I have a saying: Sometimes those who laugh the most have cried the most tears. Holly Chamberlain is quite possibly the funniest (and funnest) person I have ever met, but she is not without sadness in her past. She, like Katie and Teresa, have brought to me the wisdom of the ages and she, too, has her fingerprints all over my life. Here are her answers to the three questions I had for these three wonderful women:

1) What do I wish for the world? I want people to look within to find flaws rather than pointing fingers everywhere else. I'd love to see people manage their own behavior rather than trying to control others. I'd like to see people embrace kindness instead of criticism and try to be more generous with their love, and less afraid. I try to do these things and often get distracted with my own deficiencies and forget about the flaws of others. I live joyfully every day and try to forgive those who resent that about me.

2) The thing I love most about being Mason's mom is his unconditional love for me in spite of all of my flaws. He delights me daily and I see all the good things about myself reflected in him. He has all of my strengths and none of my flaws! I get to look at him every day and say, "Look what I made!"

3) Miracles...? There are a thousand little things every day. I am provided for, I have never gone without, my son gets great grades and never does his work, I drive all day with my job and I haven't stabbed anyone or shot anyone even though their driving makes me bananas... I have a new friend for every family member who abandoned me... I have one child from my body and another from my heart. I don’t know what to say for this question... it's a miracle I didn't turn out to be a savage considering I was raised by wolves! Hahahaha!

My Holly-Gurrrrrl, I know your life has been quite the journey! You’ve navigated through each phase of it with such grace. What an inspiration you’ve been to me and all those whose lives you touch. Godspeed to you, my friend. Keep living for the Kingdom… He’ll be here soon.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Katie Wiese - Juxtaposed Across America Winner

I remember meeting Katie Wiese the year our middle school opened. We were all sitting in the typical-teacher-beginning-of-the-year kumbaya circle making introductions. I had no idea that this woman would be instrumental in they way that I think with her insight and wisdom. I love her. I love her family.

I asked her the same questions I asked Teresa from last week. Here is just a taste of that wisdom I told you about:

1) What is your heart's greatest desire for this world and what do you do to make that desire a reality?

My greatest desire for this world...gosh...there are so many. But the one thing that I am passionate about and that I feel God is gearing me up for is confidence for girls and women. Being okay with who we are...the way God made us, looking in the mirror and being comfortable with the reflection. Knowing that we are EXACTLY as God intended. I have struggled with exactly this because of my past abuses and my situation growing up. I have struggled with bulimia/anorexia and over eating. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for years. I have struggled with self worth. I feel like God has got me at a point in my life right now where He is saying...."You have a job. I need you to use your voice. I need to you to share what I have done for you. I need to to tell girl and women what THEY mean to me." I have been scared to start, but I know that I have to do it. The last slap in the face God gave me was when my 4 year old daughter told us that she was not smart. That was a blow to my gut! I see a lot of myself in her and I need to start what God has for me. He is telling me to I am writing. He is telling me to I will speak. He is telling me to I pray. God said to me during one of my devotions a while back (before Emma said her not smart statement), "Kate, if your child looked at you and said that they were worthless, ugly and would you feel?" My answer was of course that I would be heart broken and devastated. "Exactly....that is how I feel every time you say that about yourself." Okay Lord, I get it! He used my daughter to get me to the finally point. 
(I hope that makes sense. If you need me to tell you more I will.)

2) What do you love most about being a mom?

I love watching my children grow. I have loved every stage of their little lives. There is something wonderful with each step. My twins start Kindergarten next year, and most moms get all emotional about it, but I am excited! I am excited to see them grow and learn. I am excited to see who they are going to become. I love their little hearts. I love their smiles and laughs. They are the best parts of me and my husband all rolled into two BEAUTIFUL little beings.

3) Tell me about one miracle you've seen in this world.

The greatest miracle in my life is my children. The 4 and a half painful years that my husband and I struggled for them nearly killed me. I prayed and prayed for kids. I also prayed and prayed (begged and begged) that if God was not going to give us kids that He would take the need to be a mom away from me. Waiting is hard....His timing was perfect! Finally, with some amazing doctors and God's hand in the situation we were able have our babies. God blesses us with twins, a boy and a girl. One pregnancy...2 beautiful children...many, many blessed people for having these kiddos in their lives! They are my joy! I am forever grateful for them...even when they are driving me bananas!

My Katie-girl, I'm so glad you are in my life! Thank you for all you've taught me and the example you've been!

NEXT WEEK: Holly Chamberlain

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Juxtaposed Across America

The two greatest compliments I could ever give another is that one is compassion embodied and that one is a great parent. Those two attributes trump just about anything else in my book. I want to celebrate three women, all amazing moms, who are lights in this world. These crazy ladies (yeah, I said it) are the winners of my “Juxtaposed Across America” contest, and they took my book with them everywhere they went and took pictures in some very interesting places. You can see all of the pictures posted at

I asked them each of the ladies three questions:

~What do you wish for the world?
~What do you love about being a mom?
~Tell me about a time you witnessed a miracle.

Part One of this three-part series begins with my sweetheart, Teresa Horvet. Sometimes I call her Mother Teresa. I met her at Vanguard University where we both sang in the college ensemble. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English, stayed in California, married a great guy and adopted two magnificent (and brilliantly hilarious) children. Here is her insight for us:

“The greatest desire I have for this world is that people realize that in order to succeed in life, you don't have to make it a zero-sum game. In other words, winning doesn't mean others have to lose. If you create a win-win situation for the other party - be it personal or professional - then you have created a good reputation for integrity and people trust you. And as the Bible says, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches."

“So, what I love about being a mom? I love seeing the world again through their eyes. Some of my best memories are Disneyland trips where I got to see the wonder and beauty of it and experience the parades through their eyes. Watching them become mesmerized by a leaf in a stream float down and pretending it's a little boat. Now that they are older, I love that they feel they can ask about their birth families and know that I will not feel betrayed if they do ask. It lets me know that I have earned their trust.”

“The best [miracle] I can recall is the marriage of a friend of ours. He lost his wife to cancer when his daughters were 2 and 7. He met and married a widow with no kids. She told me once that the Lord told her she and her husband would have kids. Then she ended up with a hysterectomy. Then they looked into adoption. Then her husband said no. Then he got cancer and died. So she really wondered what was going on! Why would the Lord tell her she was going to have children and take away all the options? Then she was introduced to Bob. His girls look more like her than him! As she walked up the aisle at their wedding, I never saw a more radiant bride. She was 52 years old. After they were pronounced husband and wife, the youngest - Rachel who was now 6 years old - whispered, 'Finally I have a mom.' To this day, you would not know that she is not their biological mom. God came through in a miraculous way that created a beautiful story out of TWO tragedies.” Teresa, my darling I love you! You inspire me every time we connect. I admire you so much for the warmth you pour out on everyone you engage with every day. You never get tired of doing what is right, and you are such an encouragement to me. Thank you for starting this crazy contest and for being such a supporter of me and Juxtaposed. I have definitely found sanctuary with you, my friend.

 Love, Daisy Rain

 NEXT WEEK: Katie Wiese