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Author Archives: sarahquezada

The Relationship with God You Crave

The Relationship with God You Crave

Sometimes when I hear people share reasons why you should be a believer – peace that passes all understanding, a personal God who walks with you through life’s unpredictability, an experience of deep forgiveness, to name a few – I think, “Yeah, I want that.” But…. I’m already a believer. So what’s my deal? Why do I still panic and freak out about any unknown in my life? Why do I moan that no one loves me? Why do I […]

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Supporting Quality Education

Supporting Quality Education

During my Mission Year, I volunteered with Coan Middle School in Atlanta. I figured working with pre-teens, we’d be studying American history… learning some pre-Algebra… buying mock stocks… and writing essays that would later become the feature film Titanic. (I promise I turned in the framework for that movie… without all that icky romance… during a state-wide essay test in the 7th grade.) Imagine my surprise when I was matched with two 6th graders who could not read… at all. […]

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How to Get Kicked Out of a Community Garden

How to Get Kicked Out of a Community Garden

Community gardening is all the rage. It’s the perfect way to combine environmentalism, local food, and good neighboring in one fell swoop. I was thrilled when I saw the hand painted invitation on a piece of plywood hanging from the chain link fence of an empty lot on my street. I was the first one to respond, the organizer told me. When that first workday rolled around, I walked over to the lot and checked in. I met a lovely […]

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Are You Longing for Something…More?

Are You Longing for Something…More?

Near the end of my freshman year of college, I informed my parents I was interested in Mission Year. I believe my mother’s response was, “It’s finals weeks. You’re stressed. It’ll all be fine.” My suggestion that I take a year off of school to serve the urban poor was unconventional at best. I was registered for classes in the fall and had agreed to be roommates with a good friend. I was making excellent grades and was right on […]

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Shout God’s Story from the Mountaintop!

Shout God’s Story from the Mountaintop!

Death has permeated this Holy Week for me. I have been listening to stories of depression, deep pain, betrayal, and sadness. I wanted to give up. I wanted to hug the hurting, cry with them, and rescue them from their painful circumstances. But I was reminded that Christ walked the path a suffering, and He has called us to be like Him and to walk in his path. The good news is that He invites us to the journey not […]

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How I Became an International Criminal

How I Became an International Criminal

The other day I became a criminal. I was more than a block away from the coffee shop when I realized the waitress was chasing me. She spoke to me, flustered, in rapid Spanish. I looked at her, clearly confused, until she said to me in broken English, “Need to pay.” I responded in my meager Spanish, trying to explain that my husband had covered the bill before he’d left an hour earlier. “Sorry, no,” she told me. I returned […]

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This is for YOU

This is for YOU

I read a lot of material on writing and blogging. One theme I have heard over and over is that if I want to be successful at writing, I need to make it all about YOU, the audience. No one wants to hear about my life (excluding my family) unless it’s clear how it relates to them. The best way to get a following on a blog is to offer information that is pertinent to the reader. To YOU. So […]

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Theology Sing-a-Long

Theology Sing-a-Long

Kids’ church songs bring back good memories of children’s church and Sunday school, felt boards and handicrafts. I’ve been singing many of those tunes again lately in an attempt to distract or entertain my baby. It’s been fun to recall these melodies and reflect on the aspects of Christianity they represented for me. Here are 4 lessons I’ve remembered through song: 1. Words Go Better with Actions It really is easier to rise and shine and give God the glory, […]

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Advent: Waiting in Love

Advent: Waiting in Love

Isn’t it difficult to act in love when you’re waiting expectantly for something? Or is that just me? Having passed my due date two days ago, I find myself a tad… just a tad – barely noticeable, I’m sure… cranky. It’s okay if people pamper me and wait on me… I deserve it… I’m still pregnant. Right? Some folks were telling me that I was lucky that I could skip buying Christmas gifts and no one would hold me responsible […]

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Advent: Joy Down in my Heart…. Where?

Advent: Joy Down in my Heart…. Where?

For this third week of Advent, I wanted to approach the theme of joy, but I am finding it difficult. I know in my head there is a distinction between joy and happiness. Happiness is an emotive state that easily fluctuates in relation to changing outside circumstances, moods, or other factors. Joy, on the other hand, is supposed to be a character constant that is rooted in the unchanging Christ. I know that in my head. Still…. how do I […]

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Advent: Peace in Pain

Advent: Peace in Pain

Can you discover peace in the midst of excruciating pain? I’ve been pondering physical pain a great deal lately as I anticipate childbirth. I’ve had moments where I wonder what I was thinking and that I can’t possibly follow through on this plan. Of course, that’s not an option, so I’ve turned to educating myself. After asking my midwife a question, her response was, “Well, I think childbirth is always painful for everyone.” Man, that’s unfortunate. But Billy and I […]

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Advent: Waiting for a Baby

Advent: Waiting for a Baby

“December 20… or maybe December 23,” my midwife told me as she studied the grainy photos from my ultrasound. I was thrilled to see “pictures” of a happy, healthy baby and felt more and more aware of the fact that there was a tiny person growing inside of me. Given my end of the year due date, I have been thinking about Christmas since about April of this year. So often we read the Christmas story, and we share the […]

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Fight to the Death

Fight to the Death

“Two females are more likely to fight to the death than males are. It’s as if neither is willing to admit the other girl is “better than” she is, so they cannot come to a stable pack order. The males make that decision more readily in some cases, but the one who has to be submissive can take it more to heart than the female.” Taken from: “Adding a Second Dog to Your Family” on veterinarypartner.com A couple months ago, […]

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Create Community with Aluminum Foil

Create Community with Aluminum Foil

My family never really celebrated Halloween. Well, maybe that’s not entirely accurate. I may or may not have waded up aluminum foil into two small globes, threaded a paper clip through each of them, and clamped them onto my ears before heading to church adorned as Queen Esther. Anybody else…? Comfortable? No. Creative? I think so. October 31st is one of my favorite holidays, namely because of candy and costumes, two of my favorite things. (I can do without any […]

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Getting Into School

Getting Into School

I sat in my hairdresser’s dining room, while she snipped at my hair and talked about her son. “We applied to several schools,” she told me. “He didn’t get into the one I was really hoping for, but we’ve settled on one that I think he’ll be happy in.” She went on, discussing demographics of the school and the academic rigor that students are expected to endure. It reminded me of another recent conversation with a friend who admitted that […]

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observations

observations

Characteristics of God I’m reminded of at the beach: God is rhythmic and orderly, but never predictable. God is peaceful, but not safe. God is restorative and rejuvenates us. God is vast, bigger than I can fathom. God is moving and full of life. Characteristics of God I’m reminded of in the city: God is diverse and carries boundless creativity. God is surprise beauty around every corner. God is ever-present among the poor and hurting. God is able… to carry […]

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Relationships

Relationships

Three Relationships that Inspired Me to Care about Faith, Poverty, Justice, and Action: 1. Jesus Christ – I guess you could call this cliché, but I would say that it’s not. There are definitely folks who love Jesus who are reluctant to move into realms of justice and action. My love for Jesus encouraged me, even at a very young age, to reach out to others and tell them about Jesus. It seemed like a logical response to me. As […]

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with this ring…

with this ring…

I lost my wedding ring…. last fall at our nationwide orientation for Mission Year. It was a hot, sticky Atlanta September, and I had gotten into the habit of taking off my ring whenever I arrived at a stable location. (It turns out that as I near 30, my fingers have begun to swell when it’s hot… next stop: aching knees when it rains.) Unfortunately, I wasn’t as dedicated to the habit of putting it back on before I left […]

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hello there, neighbor

hello there, neighbor

I’ve lived in quirky urban neighborhoods for so many years that sometimes I wonder if my experiences are typical in most of America or simply reserved for my crazy corner of the world. But this morning I realized that my neighbors and I see each other in our pajamas quite frequently. I was thinking about this as I was sitting on my porch in my slept in t-shirt and sweats while eating my breakfast. I had already seen my next […]

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ode to daisy

ode to daisy

My dog Daisy is a fun-loving, half-crazy, people-overwhelming, sweet and cute golden retriever. She adores meeting new people, wants to be right next to me or my husband every moment, and just generally loves life. I usually try to avoid making too many spiritual parallels to my relationship with Daisy, but today she is at the vet being spayed, so I figured a short blog in her honor could be ok. Here are a few things I’ve learned about God […]

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    • So, Does Racism Even Exist?

      I never in a million years thought that I would a person to openly talk about race or racism. Never. Race for me has always either [...] Read More

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      As a 40-something mother of four, I am thankful to a God who once planted into my soul that one of my greatest blessings would be to [...] Read More

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      Coming into Mission Year I thought I had grace all figured out; grace was undeserved and freely given…just like the “GRACE [...] Read More

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  • Catch Up with Mission Year

    1. 01NovNorthpark Student Diversity Leadership Conference
    2. 03NovTaylor University (Pending)
    3. 13NovFacing Race Conference
    4. 26JanSave the Date-Cairn University's Global Mission Week-January 26-30, 2015