Archive | March, 2012

My Purpose in Life is to Love

27 Mar

Just to preface, please read this post in its entirety!

I always get “goosies” (thanks Jennifer Lopez), when two disparate paths come together and bring wisdom, inspiration or direction.  I was recently connected by my sister-in-law to a young woman who is traveling to Kenya and Uganda this July, with an organization called Visiting Orphans. Her friend, Katie Davis is in Jinja, Uganda, and started her own ministry simply loving and helping children called Amazima. She is also the mother to 13 Ugandan children, and she is 22. Yes that’s right 22!  She moved to Africa as soon as she graduated high school and has been there since doing amazing work.  I am reading her book right now titled “Kisses from Katie” and simply can’t put it down.  I wish there were more “free” hours in the day.  I was brought to tears by a passage from her book and I wanted to share it with you.

Six-year old Derek, a shy little boy with the face of an angel, fell and bumped his head.  He looked so determined not to cry-here children are taught to be “big” and tough – but against his best efforts, tears began to flow.  I pulled him into my lap, and almost as quickly as they had started the tears stopped.  But what was left, the sorrow in those eyes beyond the tears, I will never forget.  The eyes that peered out of the six-year old face were a hundred years old and had seen more tragedy in their short lifetime than most ever will.  I was filled with grief for this beautiful boy. I cradled in my arms a child who had seen his parents and siblings killed and had more than likely been forced to kill others himself in the war in northern Uganda. This child had known what it meant to be truly starving, to be totally lost, to be utterly hopeless. 

And in the same moment of sadness,  I was blown away by the greatness of the Lord, by the fact that God in all His mighty plans had cared enough for this child, had cared enough for me, to put us together in that moment. …God had put me in the right place and given me the privilege of loving this child, gently rubbing his back and holding his hand, in a way he had not been loved in a long time, if ever.  By the grace of God, I was blessed with the gift of being able to hold and hug this child, eventually tickling him until those sorrowful eyes brightened a little, and Derek threatened to erupt with laughter.  We sat there like that for some time.  When I asked him if he wanted to go play now, he shook his head and looked at me with a face that read “No, can I stay here forever,”  and when we finally got up for dinner, those big brown eyes were full of gratitude.  God reminded me again that day that I have one purpose, in Uganda and in life, and that is to love.  I could ask for no greater assignment. 

Katie Davis, may you continue to inspire me through the pages in your book (Kisses from  Katie) and your work with children who are hungry and alone (Amazima).  If I could, I would hug you right now!  Your light is shining so bright.

Thank you Donna for connecting me to Tay and thank you Tay for lighting my life with Katie’s story.  I hope our paths connect on this Journey.

Tina Millican
“This Light of Mine”


♥ Love is what we are born with

24 Mar

 Love is what we are born with.  Fear is what we learn.  The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts.  Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth.  To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.  Meaning does not lie in things.  Meaning lies in us. ~ Marianne Williamson

 Love your work,

Work for what you love,

and change the world —

All at the same time!

from “start something that matters” by Blake Mycoskie

Tina Millican
“This Light of Mine”


Eyes Wide Open

23 Mar

Many of you have asked me how I would sum up what I really hope to accomplish.  Great question!  Short answer: I want to offer orphans and other vulnerable children a chance to live to their full potential.♥  My heart is specifically on children who are age newborn to five children who have lost their parents and close relatives to AIDS. Where do these orphaned children learn to feel love, safety, trust and emotional connection?  All of which are so important to the developing child! 

In addition, many children whose parent’s are living with HIV often experience many negative changes in their lives and can start to suffer neglect, including emotional neglect, long before they are orphaned. Eventually, they will suffer the death of their parent(s) and even more emotional trauma results. In this case they suffer, with little or no support.  In a study carried out in rural Uganda, high levels of psychological distress were found in children who had been orphaned by AIDS.  Anxiety, depression, and anger were found to be more prominent among AIDS orphans than other children. Children who are deprived of touch and close physical contact in their early years have lower levels of social bonding hormones and decreased emotional connection to their outside world.  They suffer not only socially but also have an inability to manage stress, struggle to form secure relationship, and often have lower self-esteem.

Children orphaned by AIDS also miss out on school enrollment, have their schooling interrupted or perform poorly in school as a result of psychological and emotional distress.

Nurturing caregiving that is long-term and consistent must be provided to all orphans.  Newborns need to be held often, responded to and be the recipient of positive human touch and love! Yet with the numbers so staggering how do we begin to help?

….with one small step!  “My eyes are wide open”!

Tina Millican
“This Light of Mine”

I am loved

16 Mar

When you hear the phrase “I am loved” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it a brand, product, service, symbol, phrase, song….

What color(s) come to mind from this phrase?

Yes, I am brainstorming! This mountain air is really good for a creative mind!

Tina Millican
“This Light of Mine”

Arrive Together

16 Mar

I am sitting in the Lodge at Stevens Pass looking out at all the people in their gear wondering where they came from and how far they traveled to take part in this shared passion!

I realize that it really doesn’t matter where they came from, all that matters is they have arrived.

I think about the organizations and people all over the World that come together to help orphans in the US and around the world. They connect together in many different ways but their purpose is ultimately the same. They join together because they have a similar passion: babies, children and the desire to help them live the best possible life. That is what life and living is all about. Right?!

For those around the world working to make a better life for orphans, it doesn’t matter where you come from, who you are, or the size of impact being made. All that matters is we arrive together!

Tina Millican
“This Light of Mine”

A Source of Inspiration

13 Mar

While I am working hard to grow and develop this dream of mine, it gives me chills to hear that I have also inspired others to “start simple and dream big”.  It brings me so much joy to know that other’s lights are shining.  I can only envision how bright this world will be if each of us inspire goodness in someone else. 

Remember, you don’t have to come out of the gate full throttle!  A little progress here and there makes a whole lot of progress over time.  Stay on course and do great things.  That is what I am doing.

How will you let your light shine?


Baby Doll Photo

7 Mar

Thank you for all of the wonderful encouragement, ideas and feedback you have already sent. Keep it coming!  I don’t have all the answers and your thoughts can only help guide me.  I had an inspiration today that I am working on developing.  Stay tuned. 

For now,  I have been asked to post a photo of the baby doll I referenced in “My Story”.  So here she is (taken from my phone)! Now isn’t she the cutest doll you have ever seen?