Holding Butterflies

Not too tight, not too loose

An ordinary blog.

I read this today: What if Having an Extraordinary Life Isn’t the Point? (via Maggie’s Farm, a source of endless great articles for me!). Go read it. I’ll wait. So here’s the deal:  I enjoy writing, like to write a blog, and I’m glad I’m doing it again. But we are just ordinary. So ordinary. And I always felt like I needed to say something earth-shaking, make an IMPACT for.. Read More

HOPE Summary

Here are links to all the posts I wrote about our trip to Dominican Republic with HOPE International. I thought I’d put them all together to make them easier to find! Sharing HOPE Still in Dominican Republic! One HOPEful weekend Every loan has a story. The Landlady Final thoughts on HOPE

Final thoughts on HOPE

I feel like I need to wrap up my trip. I’ve shared many stories and pictures, but there are a couple of little gaps. The HOW:  Microloans work because people who don’t have financial capital have social capital. The group microlending I shared earlier works with groups of five borrowers. While each person decides what loan they need, the GROUP is responsible for the GROUP’S loan. So there is a.. Read More

The Landlady

Now that I have pictures, I’d like to share the story of one Esperanza client. Meet Nancy, pictured here with her loan officer (and friend, mentor and pastor), Ycedro. Fifteen years ago, Nancy didn’t have a business. She did have a daughter-in-law, though, who suggested she at least start selling juices to earn a little extra money. So she took a loan from Esperanza for equipment, and that juice stand.. Read More

Is it beautiful?

Today around lunchtime I had a thought I’m pretty sure I’ve never thought before: “I want to make something beautiful.” It had been a perfectly nice day but this week has been a little short on creativity. My off-track thoroughbred (OTTB) Finn had given me a terrific lesson this morning, but there’s been more than the normal crush of laundry this week, plus getting back in the groove of home.. Read More

Every loan has a story.

Oh, friends, I am having such stupid blogging troubles. I have so many pictures that I want to share, but WordPress is not feeling cooperative. So I’m stuck between telling a story with words only, or no post at all.  I’m choosing to tell the story… Imagine that you are one of the billion or so people in the world who live on less than $1.25 a day. Every day.. Read More

Sunshine turns Eleven

***I’m having technical difficulties getting my pictures up. Ugh. I’m posting this in the knowledge that I’ll be editing it tomorrow, I hope, to add pictures.*** Ever since she was born, we’ve thought of Darcy as our sunshine. Something about that wide-eyed, open smile. Plus she can be hilarious so we are always laughing. Our baby girl turned 11 today. What a precious gift. We had dinner with all the.. Read More


We left town for four days, but I swear the kids are two years older. How does that happen? I wanted to take a little break from telling about my trip. I still have so many thoughts just swimming around and I want to do a good job of telling the stories we heard. Not much processing went on today, though, because the kids had the day off and we.. Read More

One HOPEful weekend

Bill and I just returned from a crash course in microfinance in the Dominican Republic. Somehow we were invited on the HOPE International President’s Trip, somehow we decided to go, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We are amazed at the people we met, from the HOPE and Esperanza employees, to the associates, to the fellow President’s Trip attendees. We are just grateful for the opportunity. In a nutshell, Esperanza.. Read More

Still in Dominican Republic!

Yesterday, we met a lady who took a microfinance loan from HOPE and Esperanza to start a clothing business. It did not go well. In fact, it failed. She regrouped, prayed, thought, and used the remaining money to buy a freezer. She now sells her complete ice cream inventory of $50 (US) every TWO DAYS. She is improving her home and has a savings account. And she is so proud.. Read More