Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Change is Good

It's been six months since the Lord started a work in me that I was not ready for nor would I have chosen for myself.  The perfect storm of change- becoming single, changing jobs, and my parents moving to Richmond. While most of this has been good, ever step of this has been met with ups and downs and a lot of stubbornness (from me).

But looking back, I am so thankful for the beauty of this season that came in struggle, pain, change, deeper friendships, stronger sense of who God has made me to be, boundaries, deeper love and heartache. It is funny how God uses change to shape me into the person He created me to be.

During this season, I've been gifted with opportunities to do things I would not have been able to do without the changes.  I rediscovered some loves and passions of mine.  I learned to rest. I get to see my family more often.  I welcomed two very special kids home and have spent time loving their family.  I get to work alongside my dad while he share his gifts of teaching as a volunteer.  I have been able to deepen friendships and pour into new ones.  I have learned more about who I am and how my sin causes me to live in ways that God did not design me to live.  I have experienced friends helping in a ways I didn't know they would.  I have been gifted with some new colleagues who inspire me with the gifts God has blessed them with.

YES, I miss things about my life before all the change like my colleagues, the women who taught me what selfless love looks like, and the families who inspired me to serve God.  I also miss luxuries of having a place to stay in Virginia Beach.  And the last of the perfect storm of change the singleness includes a lot of things I miss but there are some things I am not willing to share with the world.

If I had never been willing to embrace these changes then I would have missed out on the growth opportunities, the deeper friendships, shared experiences, and new loves.  So here's to hoping the next six months is full of change.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sentimental, Nostalgic, Blessed

Tonight, I find myself with a heavy heart and a racing mind.  God is doing so many things around me right now.

I am thankful for the beginning of a new season.  Today I packed up my office of four years to say goodbye to Bethany.  This was bittersweet.  I have grown up so much over the last four years.  I have experienced things I never thought would occur.  I have seen God show up, many times when no one thought He would.  I have witnessed many miracles.  I have seen transformed lives.  I have done life with some people that I never would have met had it not been for this experience. I will say that Bethany has been challenging but when I look back I remember the joy, the memories, the love, the colleagues that blessed me and challenged me to love God more, and the role that God allowed me to play in the story.  Tomorrow will be my last placement and I am rejoicing over a great way to end my time at Bethany. My heart is heavy, I will miss my mamas & babies.

I am thrilled my new adventure will be starting soon.  My new adventure will challenge me in ways my old adventure couldn't.  I am realizing that I will be learning even more about who God wants me to be.  I am leaving Bethany to become a small group director for kindergarten to fifth graders.  I will be leading some amazing small group leaders who will in turn lead their little ones.  While this comes with its own excitement it also comes with its own fears and challenges.  I am being pushed and that is good.  There are many areas where I need a potter's hand to refine me.  God be gentle but please don't let me stay the way I am.  Transform me into who you want me to be.

I am thankful for friends that are in Africa meeting their newest children.  They are constantly posting and seeing the smiles on their faces brings me back to a year ago when I was in Africa.  I am thankful for families that are being made.  I am thankful for the seeds that are being planted in other families because of this family's obedience.  I am thankful for the struggle, heart-ache, brokenness and confusion that leads us back to you.  I am thankful for your perfect timing and how sometimes you love to show off.  Join me in praising God for what He has been doing in their family & what He will continue to do.  We praise you because you are a God of details.  You know the plans you have for us and we are thankful for you.

Change is good.  Change requires us to challenge what we believe.  Change usually involves hardship. Hardship requires faith, belief in something other than ourselves, humility, and grace.  I am thankful for change.  I am thankful for this season in my life.  I am thankful for my God who loves me and walks with me through this journey.  

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A year later

Do you know that a year ago almost to the date, I knew I was going to Africa. God was doing mighty things with my trusting him to take care of my needs. I wish I could say a year later that I always trust him to provide. I wish I could say I know why he sent me. I wish I could say I have a planned trip to go back. Unfortunately I cannot say these things, although I can say there is not a day that I don't think about my time in Africa. I am forever changed because of the experience that many of you helped me to have through your prayers and support.

Over the next few weeks, I hope to relive some of the adventures I had in Africa. I thought I'd start with a picture of Katie Davis. The one who started this whole trip with Visiting Orphans. I read her amazing book and was in awe of what she is doing. The time over there seeing her ministry was amazing. She is doing phenomenal things and God is using her.

What I was amazed most by was her humility. She was so interested in people experiencing the ministry and less about them getting to know her. It was clear that she loved what she was doing. She had a passion for the people of Uganda. She was a great mom. She was loved by all who came in contact with her.

The thing I learned the most was how present she was. She was so there with whoever she was talking to. She wanted to listen. She was willing to help. She slowed down to make them feel important. She is not perfect so I know this is not always true of her but I hope I carry that out in my life. God was shaping her. Jesus so desperately loved people. He did not get distracted by a to-do list. He saw the value of experiencing their story. I hope I don't loose sight of the people in my life for my list of to-dos.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


So this morning I am missing Africa. I am also thinking about a little guy I am finding a home for in America. Thinking how differently his life would have been had he lived in Africa.

I am thinking about those littles in Ethiopia in the Catholic orphanage. I am thinking especially about the one that had hydrocephalus. She was eight years old. She was in immense pain. She was bed ridden. She was born in a country where shunt surgery was not as readily available. She will live in pain and discomfort. But she would no nothing different. I think about her because it is so readily available to have that fixed. Why was I born in this country and she was not.

Then my head goes to the little maybe 4 pound baby in the orphanage. She struggled to live. Yet was not in a hospital. She was not treated by a doctor daily where they were tracking her vitals, how well she ate, etc.

Neither one of these little ones had a family that was taking them in. Did they have people that loved them? Yes. But the chance of the eight year old having a family was not great. The four pounder making it and thriving was slimmer. (I don't know what happened to either one. I don't know how to check in on them)

Yet, a baby born in America has all of the luxuries of doctors, nurses, round the clock treatment. He can also have a better chance of a family because this family has access to these provisions. We actually can find families who are not fearful of the outcomes. We have families that because of the resources available can say you are our son.

I am struggling with why don't all kids have those resources so they get the best chances of a family too? I know I should just be thankful for the fact that this guy is getting a home but I am saddened for the girls that might not.

So I pray for all three. The sweet girls in Africa and the cute boy in America. Pray that one day they will all have the same resources. Pray for the godly families that they need to step up and fill the need.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Adjustment Sucks

So let's be frank... Tact is not usually my strong suit. I am having a hard night. I've had a lot of exciting changes all happen in a short time. Some of you may not understand why I'm feeling overwhelmed by good things but this girl likes to be eased into change. I'm on overload.

We got a supervisor! I don't think she will replace Valerie but I'm super excited about her. She was genuine and loving. She starts in August! This is huge and an answer to prayer. We now just wait until she comes.

There is a lot to do. Fathered, an adoption/orphan care group at Hope, is in full force. This is awesome! We have our official reveal on June 10th. This is what I've prayed for since starting at Hope. But I can't seem to find the time to get the things done I need to for the launch. This is stressing me out immensely!

In addition to this Hope is doing a month long missions month with the kids! I am going to be sharing so I am trying to be diligent about preparing. But there are lots of obstacles.

A baby we are responsible for is continuing to struggle. Please be praying for him and the people caring for him.

But most of all I'm checked out. I'm Africa sick. I miss the kiddos. I miss the people. I miss my team. I miss the time with the Lord. I miss the rich faiths that challenged me. I miss the feeling that everything I was doing was serving the Lord. ( don't get me wrong I know I am serving the Lord here it's just different - and harder for me to see)

I want so desperately to go back and I'm trying to save money so I don't have to beg and borrow but I feel this month had been crazy expensive. My car has been in the shop twice in a week... ( for those of you that don't know I hate car problems! But I think God is trying to teach me something. Apparently something i really need to learn.) so I question is that God's way of saying I don't want you going back just yet or is it Satan making it more difficult.

So I'm asking you to pray. Pray for a few things:

1. Pray as I continue to adjust.

2. Pray for those around me that are gracious as I watch video after video of Africa while crying.

3. Pray for wisdom as in whether or not God is calling me to a December trip.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sunday in Uganda

So today we went to Pastor Samuel's church. After the church service we came back to play with our little ones in the Canaan Children's Home.

They had planned a presentation for us. It was absolutely the sweetest thing I have ever seen. Every group had a song/dance/act. The younger ones sang a sweet song that said Telephone to Jesus, telephone to Jesus, telephone to Jesus everyday. Hello' i want to talk to Jesus. which had me melting and then the little ones sang telephone to mommy, telephone to mommy, telephone to mommy everyday, I want to talk to mommy everyday!

Oh I was so unglued! My heart was breaking. Why was I blessed with a mom? Why do I get to talk to my mom everyday and they don't? Why was my mom able to take care of me and there mom wasn't? A rush of emotion was flooding me and I didn't know how to respond.

After their wonderful presentations, we then did our VBS stations with them. We were able to make the shirts! Oh how chaotic this was. But everyone was so proud of their shirts! Thanks again to those who donated so that every kid could get a tshirt to decorate.

The Nile

Although the Nile wasn't a huge ministry site, the beauty was absolutely amazing! God is an amazing creator.