Ciao! Welcome to my website & blog! This website has been established as a means of keeping friends and family up to date on the adventure that is: life as I know it. Periodic updates along with a sprinkling of posts about cultural (and specifically culinary) explorations are interlaced with stories about personal life experiences and the lessons I am learning along the way.
I work with a faith-based, non-profit organization and movement called Communitas International (formerly Christian Associates) and have been commissioned to work in Sicily, Italy. I am supported through Communitas and Hessel Church of Sebastopol, California and by friends, family and other ministry partners. It is my hope this site will not just be a source of information for those partnering with me but through the ripe bananas stories it may also prove to be encouraging and useful in reminding all of us there is a God who made us and loves us and will forever be faithful still.
If you are not familiar with George Müller, I encourage you to check out the page on his life and ministry in Bristol, England and why I find him to be such an inspiration.
To find out what “Ripe Banana posts” are all about, click on the ripe bananas page to read the original ripe banana story. Only recently have I begun to realize how important it is for me to regularly remind myself of the ways I have seen God work in and through my life and how it is a joy and responsibility of mine to share these stories with others. Everyone has “ripe banana stories,” I hope reading the stories posted on the home page will inspire you to share your own.
Check out the FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) page to learn more about my move to Italy and how you can be apart of what I’m doing here in Sicily.
Thank you for visiting my website. I can’t thank you enough for your prayers, support and friendship! Check back often or sign-up to receive blog updates via e-mail to read more ripe banana stories and updates about my adventures in Italy.
The best of my life:
The best part about my life is knowing Jesus. While there is an element of personal decision, it really comes down to God giving me the grace and faith to see, believe and follow Him. Why in the world He would choose me is really beyond my understanding but I am eternally grateful for His grace and constantly wowed by His faithful mercy. Even after I fail him time and again, His love remains unchanging towards me (Ps. 136, Heb. 13:8). What kind of King would humble Himself to be born as a helpless babe to a teenage virgin in a smelly stable to grow in knowledge though He be all-knowing (Luke 2:52), endure the most awful beatings, betrayal, flogging, mocking, and crucifixion and all so He can restore His relationship with us to be as it was before that fateful day Adam and Eve became prideful and disbelieving (Phil. 2:6-11)? Just as He claims to be, my life experiences haven proven Him to be gentle yet all-powerful, just yet forgiving, righteous yet He took all our sins upon Himself. The best moments in my life have been with Him. In His presence is fullness of joy, perfect peace, satisfaction like no other, rest, refreshment and life itself. I know of no other thing or person in this world who can make life make sense like He does. He is not demanding nor is He disappointed with us, but as Scripture says, His kindness is what leads us to repentance (Jer. 31:3, Rom. 2:4). Though we do not seek Him of ourselves (Rom. 3:11-12), He is found by all who earnestly seek Him (Deut. 4:29, Jer. 29:13).
Two major themes emerging from my adult years as a Christ-follower are providence and protection. God has faithfully provided for all of my needs and has often done so in the most unexpected and supernatural ways (check out the Ripe Banana posts on the home page for some examples). I also know Him to faithfully provide all the grace I need for each new day. While some days require more grace than others and there are days I wonder if what was given to me will be enough to last the whole day through, I have never come up short. I need only look to His faithfulness in my life to remind me He will always see me through. As for His hand of protection, I see and feel it in my life almost everyday (I think the days I don’t feel it are days I am not paying attention!). I know I can rely on Him to keep me safe and if harm should come to me, it has been ordained by Him for my good and His glory.
Among the many blessings that come with knowing Jesus, one of my favorites is knowing every person is created on purpose for a purpose. I know God has a plan for my life and nothing is accidental. He is in control of all things. One of my favorite verses in the Bible says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). As trials come and go in my life, I can count on God to bring good from even the hardest and most painful of situations. Instead of sinking into despair and thinking all is lost, I can expect and be thankful for the good and wait to see how God will turn things around for His glory. God does not always show us the good that comes from what appears to be bad circumstances but God has never given me a single reason to doubt his faithfulness. More than the laws of nature He created or the order of seasons or rising of the sun each and every morning, He is trustworthy and His Word wholly reliable. He does work out everything for good and I am so truly grateful for His goodness to me.
A few of my favorite things…
Alfredo, astronomy and star-gazing, baking!, chocolate milk, coffee and cafes, drums, frisbee, homemade mac n’ cheese, ice cream and gelato, gnocchi, guitar, languages, learning, music, pesto, photography, popcorn, San Francisco Giants!, swing dancing, tennis, travel, writing and receiving hand-written letters (hint-hint!), vespas, vista points and high places where you can see for miles all around, york peppermint patties (chocolate and peppermint are good in almost any form!)…