25 November, 2010



Happy Thanksgiving!!

This year I am grateful for the simple things.

The sunlight coming in the window as I wake up
Good coffee ready when I get out of the shower
Love that treats me right, is unconditional, and constant in reminding me why it's here

Friends who stand beside you, take the good and the bad, and love you just the same
The blessing of my cousins who are so close
Good music you can sing, dance, and be silly to 
My nieces and nephews who make me laugh and keep me young

A Lord who loves me and is there - period. 
My job, the couple I work for, and the blessing they are in my life
Creativity - this blog, my writing and being able to share it

My friends in DC who continue to love me from so far away
My friends in Rwanda who changed me and are still teaching me things
The friends in CO starting to emerge
Those around the U.S. (and world!) who are on my mind today. Thank you for the blessing you are to me!

Enjoy the day everyone, share it with someone you love.

16 November, 2010

Out of Focus

This is one of my favorite photos I have ever taken. It was back in 2005 - playing in the backyard with my nieces and nephews.

Perspective. The way we choose to see things. The way we face what is happening around us.

Some would argue she should be in focus, and the yard, which is of very little concern to anyone, should be blurry. There should be close depth of field. But I say there is something in the photo - the way you can sort of see her face, turned downward, engaged with something in her hands, the way there is new life in the trees. I love the colors in the photo, all in the same tone but vibrant and different.


I have to admit, some days it is a struggle to be where I am. It is hard for me to be content in CO. It is hard for me to settle into my life here and not longingly look at the DC map on my wall and remember my life there and miss it.

But like the photo, it is in how I choose to see it. God is doing amazing things with me here, and when I stop focusing on what I don't like and focus on the whole of what is happening - I see that I am happy, loved, in a job that values and respects me. I am growing, healing, changing, learning. My life looks very differently than I thought it would a year after Rwanda, two years after Cambodia. But it is good.


When I take my eyes off me I see the blessings I miss every day. My mentor challenged me to notice where I see God this week. It is a short list - not because He is not moving, but by focusing on what I don't like I am not seeing all He is doing. I can choose to open my eyes to Him and be hit with an amazing sunrise, or the gift of a friend at work, the beauty of something made from what He put on the earth. It is a choice - and I am striving to choose to see my Creator at work.

Give me Your perspective, Father.

10 November, 2010


Two years ago I was in Cambodia. Two years ago I saw first hand the depth of evil that one human being can inflict on another. But I also saw the resilience of those little girls, and the gift of joy in a country so dark.  

I wrote a blog about the encounter that changed my life:

"...She was six (at most) though she said she was nine. She had two little pigtails on her head, making her look like Pebbles from The Flintstones. She looked up and laughed as I tried (and failed) to say a word in Khmer. That moment changed everything. I want a picture to remember, I want an image to hold onto and say - this, this is who changed me. But all I have is a memory, reduced to the pigtails in her hair."

I have seen trafficking. I have seen the devastating effects of prolonged effects of sexual abuse. I have seen the world stay silent, I have seen the Church (occassionally) turn away.

But there is hope. I remember when we got out of the van that rainy morning - beyond the barbed wire and the guards and the lack of hope that seemed to mark every encounter until that point - I heard laughter! Genuine, deep, overwhelming children's laughter. And not just one or two - but a large group! A group of little girls, being little girls, running, playing and laughing together.

And in the aftermath of that trip - that is what I carry with me. The hope and joy restored to the lives of the girls we sat with that day. Going to a former brothel now a community center (where this photo was taken), and seeing how community development can radically change a community. I saw light restored to eyes that were once dark because of hopelessness.

It's hard to imagine two years have gone by. But this little girl (one of my favorite photos I've ever taken), outside the community center reminds me of all that can happen when light is brought into dark places. 

07 November, 2010

What's in a Name?

Dillon Bailey.

Being that it is not my name I have gotten some questions as to where it comes from. 
It's my pen name, the name I've developed in case I ever get published - and it has a lot of meaning. 

Mrs. Dillon was my 8th grade English teacher. She was incredible. She constantly encouraged us to be more than we were, to dream, to reach. During my 8th grade year, a fellow student committed suicide. I remember, Mrs. Dillon was the only teacher that took time to talk to us. She told us that life won't always be like it was then, there were other options, and that we were not alone. 

She passed away when I was in high school of breast cancer. I will never forget the impact she left in my life, and how I still think of her often for all she taught me. 

Bailey was my grandmother's maiden name. She died when I was 12 of Alzheimer's disease. It was a long battle. She went from being a vibrant, alive, passionate, giving woman of God to a shell, with dead eyes, who did not recognize those closest to her.

So what's in a name? Everything! It is in remembrance of two women who changed my life - who taught me the intrinsic value of each person, to chase my dreams, to live a life of service and hospitality; it's for two women who still help define me today. 

04 November, 2010


Dear friends... 

This is something I have talked about for YEARS and now am doing. It is my chance to show you my work - the people I've encountered, the beauty I've been privileged to document. I hope to have a store up in the days to come, and when I do I will put the link here. 

So until next time - go do something creative and enjoy all He has made.