Sunday, January 29, 2012


You know, I think God loves to breathe on us gently when we're down or struggling. I find it often oddly in these times that I can't see this gentle touch of His until after the fact. I've been desperate though, lately, in looking for Him. So maybe it wasn't really Him in some of these things, but I have to say that the encouragement that flooded on me in the last 24 hours has kept me from falling on my face.

I found encouragement hit me here....

- in the fun lunch-date/impromptu girl afternoon with my mom.
- in finding cheap copies of Star Wars to come home and watch with my family.
- in the thoughts of my best friend in WA and a barrage of texts with her.
- in those very texts, hearing my BFF tell me that she is trusting and believing for a BIG God movement in this trip to Nepal.
- in hearing from her later again in our old familiar silliness as we discuss baby names.
- in a few minutes with my dad where he served me by putting a new light in my room. His Daddy heart reminded me of God's care for me too.
- in old familiar movies that are beautiful redemption stories.
- in Psalms. And morning prayer.
- in unexpectedly being told how pretty I looked today on multiple occasions. Sometimes, this is helpful to a sore heart.
- in knowing I'm not alone in this place emotionally.
- in a kids' worship song...or four. Regardless, reminders where these simple lyrics can punch right through the cobwebs and breathe life. Literally. Your words are life to me....
- in mentally kicking Satan in the pants with two sisters because we recognize what's going on.
- in super cute puppeteering and watching kindergarteners sing of Amazing Love.
- in Peggy stopping me in the hallway to ask me when we're leaving so she can know the dates to pray over. I don't know about you, but knowing Peggy's praying for me is a bit inspiring. And she'd be mad that I just said that. HA!
- in the comfort of my brothers and sisters in serving.
- in one of those brothers being genuinely happy to see me, and encourage me that waiting on God isn't easy but worth the wait, and just sweet words in midst of a day.
- in lots of chest crushing hugs from the little girls who I love and get to serve!
- in being reminded that God is the "defender of the weak" - when you feel weak, this is a good word.
- in Unending Love.
- in praying for and letting my heart truly be with my sisters in Nicaragua and those going to love them this week.
- in being told how much I'm being prayed for by a sweet friend on the Worship Team, reminding me that this season before is a molding, a shaping and telling me that God is going to do BIG things, and that she's praying for me. I almost broke down right there.
- in meeting with my Nepal team and seeing that I'm only a mere $300 from being done with raising my money!
- in praying with the team, sharing our hearts, and seeing with open eyes the spiritual attack that all of this actually is, the crushing, the weight and all of that.
- in seeking God, my refuge, my faithful protector and the warrior who goes before me.
- in an evening resting with my family while I read my school books.
- in an unexpected dinner with two dear friends who I got to know better tonight...shared meal, shared laughter, and shared stories. Yay God!
- in the crescent moon and stars in the crystal clear winter sky on the way home.
- in a song about surviving and not giving up and fighting back on the radio.
- in a heart that can go to bed tonight at peace and ready to rest.

Good night.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


This morning, I woke up and began to read as I usually do, except, after a night of bad dreams and not sleeping so great, I needed something more than just reading. I still feel the silence of God like a echoey canyon right now...but I read this today from Psalm 36 and at the very least, it encouraged me. It wasn't a moment of God speaking necessarily, but it was enough of something to grab hold of and cling today with my fingernails digging in today.

 5 Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens,
   your faithfulness to the skies.
6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
   your justice like the great deep.
   You, LORD, preserve both people and animals.
7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
   People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house;
   you give them drink from your river of delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
   in your light we see light.
 10 Continue your love to those who know you,
   your righteousness to the upright in heart. 

I added the emphasis myself but the thought that He gives drink from a "river of delights" kind of energized me. It gave me hope that maybe...just maybe...that 'river of delight' might flow my way again. When I read that with Him is the fountain of life...yes that's what I needed, because when I feel this silence, personally, it feels like something is dead inside of me....and so I just keep turning towards the light and looking and waiting expectantly. The final request in verse ten....asking God to continue in His love, the one that reaches to the heavens, that faithfulness, that unfailing love....that's what I am asking him to not forget to do for me.

It's a humble prayer, and a rather extravagant one, but honestly, right now, I just need that. And so with that in mind, I remember these verses:

Psalm 130:6
6 I wait for the Lord 
   more than watchmen wait for the morning, 
   more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Micah 7:7
7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, 
   I wait for God my Savior; 
   my God will hear me.

I know He hears me. I know He's going to respond when He's ready. Until then, I wait.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I am leaving three weeks from today. As in, 21 days from right now, we will likely be waiting in the D.C. airport for our plane to take off and fly us halfway across the world and land in Qatar. Q-A-T-A-R! Who in the world ever would have thought that I'd ever have a ticket in my name that stops me in Qatar? I sure didn't. But here are some random things going through my head as I think about the fact that the trip is a mere 21 days away.

- I have an entire research paper to complete before I leave. Oh snap.
- I also have 6 books to finish reading before I leave and 4 book reviews to write.
- Faithgirlz is the week before we leave. I will genuinely have to batten down the hatches, spiritual warfare wise.
- Pondering the fact that last April before my trip to Nicaragua, God allowed my heart to be shattered into a billion pieces. This time, it was Christmas time that brought another breaking to my poor lil' heart - just a scant two months before this trip to Nepal. Probably not coincidental to be emotional bankrupted before i leave, but good grief. I thought God didn't do things the same way twice? Apparently I was wrong about that too.
- No chance anyone out there has a SLR Camera they'd let me take to Nepal? I really want to take some decent pictures and I don't have a camera.
- I'm tired. Really tired. Between the schoolwork, the broken heart and life stuffs, I'm just tired. All the time tired.
- It's time to start wondering how cold it is going to be there. And I'm beginning to wonder how I'll cope if it's colder than I'm prepared for. And how do I pack 10 days of warm enough clothing into a hiking backpack/carry on?
- Other than to update the Nepal Facebook page daily, I'm removing myself from social media for the duration of these 21 days. I just need the head-space away from the heartbreak, the inundation of thoughts and such before we leave.
- I am so thankful for people praying for me and our team. I know God is really and truly at work.
- My "Words with Friends" games are going to be lonesome without me for ten days.
- I wonder if I'll be able to turn off Marxist and liberal histories as well as Holocaust history when I leave the country. Maybe I won't and maybe that's a good thing....perhaps I'll have a different perspective on what I experience.
- It's still dry here. God is still mostly silent as I wait listening for Him. But Im not giving up hope. Jon Acuff wrote a blog not long ago that has been ringing in my ears steadily on repeat lately. You can read it here. I'm banking on the fact that maybe God is preparing some awesome party for me and my team either in Nepal or when we return. That's the kind of God I serve and I am fighting tooth and nail to not give up on that. I'm also praying He won't' let me down.
- I wonder if the Jet Lag is really as bad as I've been told that it is. Either way, jumping right back into classes from this trip ought to be fun for my profs and classmates. They've been warned.
- Glorious awesome from my world, one of the school books I have to read while I'm gone is available on Nook book so I can download it and not have to lug a 600 page, 10 pound textbook with me. :) Praise Jesus for little things!
- Let's see if I can update this blog everyday for the next 21days. Yikes. Another assignment! :)
- There's more, I'm head is banging with mental clutter, but all in is all for today.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Well, we're fairly close to three weeks until we leave for Nepal. And I am one week into my classes. Let me tell you that I am thankful I have this blog because school sucks my whole life away and I wind up never really paying attention to what day it is until I come out from under my drowning load of work on Thursday morning for long enough to breathe.

Last week, Shea asked us what our fears are going into this trip. Honestly, I have no real scary monster fears like some people do. Traveling doesn't scare me. physical comfort isn't a fear or an issue of mine as I don't mind inconvenience for the sake of others, leaving behind loved ones doesn't affect me the same way it does some of the mommies on the trip, I'm not genuinely afraid of people on the trip or building when Shea asked me what I was afraid of, I really couldn't come up with an answer. Even still, as I sit here and think ahead to the trip, the whole thing seems really surreal and almost like I'm not sure I'll be flying halfway around the world for ten days.

But the thing that did strike me while I tried to process an answer for the team was my life here. It's consuming. I'm involved with the Kids community at Blue Ridge, making an effort to be a good leader to women who serve through staying connected (which often fails because of school). I'm also a full-time grad student with a work load that would make the strongest of minds faint with reading, analyzing, writing and researching. I have to mentally prepare for every class because I find myself lost in these classes not having a decent bearing to stand on my own intellectual two feet. There's a week I'll miss of classes, so I will have books to read, papers to write and books to read for the week I come back. All in all, I will be engaged with school work even while I'm away. So a fear? That the pressure and expectation of my life here will be a hinderance to what God wants to do in me while I'm in Nepal.

Another thing also has surfaced lately....there's been a season of spiritual wilderness for me. Not in distance from God, just in keeping on and not feeling Him. Silence from the heavens, dryness in my bones and feeling awfully alone in life all are kind of typical of my experience right now. I'm unable to be fully engaged in community with those I serve alongside because of school. And when I have tried to engage in some community, I've been rejected. I read, pray and seek God regularly and I still hear truth from Sunday's messages and feel like God's guiding me in those ways - but there's just a valley I'm in. But, I'm thankful for valleys because I remember a song from Caedmon's Call from years ago called "Valleys Fill First," and I remember that God will come in like a flood when He's ready to do so and my little dry valley will soak it all up eagerly. In the mean time, 3 weeks from leaving BRCC's front steps, I'm sitting here wondering what God even wants to accomplish or what He can accomplish even with me if I stay in this place.

So maybe that's my fear, that maybe God will act and speak on this trip and I won't see it. I won't receive it. Yeah, I think that's my fear. And that is a little bit more than scary. I hope he opens my eyes before I get home 4 weeks from now. Begging for that actually.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Doubt & Provision

I started this post yesterday. I had it about halfway written and was pretty darn proud of what I was talking about too. Then, by the brilliance of my fingers and my mac, I managed to delete the whole thing and lost it. Ah, God has a sense of humor sometimes....using technology to humble us. But really, I think it was because it wasn't time to share with you the story of God's miracle provision for this trip to Nepal.

None of us would ever come right out and say that we don't trust God, or don't believe He'll provide for His children or do all and more than we could think or ask, even though scripture is pretty explicit in proof that He'll do it all. Nope, we'll say to everyone "Yes, I trust God," and placate the need to "Christianize" everything we say and do. But then we go on living life not functionally trusting God. We worry. We fret. We are "concerned" about things. We let thoughts wander to 'worst case scenario' so we can make provision. We sit and mull over financial problems. We pray, but really our prayers are just worrying out loud, because we pick up all those things we're supposed to have laid in His hands and carry them with us like shining trophies of our humanity.

I did just that when I was invited to join the Nepal team. I had a hard time believing that God would be able to provide for TWO missions trips in less than a year, and the second costing nearly double what the first one did. It is a little disheartening to think of how little I trust God when it comes to things like this. But God was about to show me. I was concerned about seeking to raise money because I'd just done that less than 6 months ago. I was concerned because it was Christmas time and people get overspent and unable to eek out extra pennies at Christmas time in the rush to make sure every family member is taken care of. Yes, I was concerned. So I decided to wait until after the New Year to send some kind of support letter.

Our first $550.00 was due at our first meeting a week into December. I'd told a few people I was going to Nepal, not many and I'd created the Facebook page to keep people updated. I wasn't sure where that money was going to come from because I was in a car accident and forced to pay $500.00 of my own money (which I was planning to use for Nepal and Christmas) because the other insurance company refused to accept liability for the accident. Distraught, discouraged and unbelieving, - that's what I was.

Then people started sending me money. Personally. Pay Pal. Two Phone calls. A check showing up on the desk at BRCC without me knowing about it. I was still $200.00 short come the meeting day and literally five minutes before I walk in the door to the meeting, a friend and her daughter walked up to me and handed me $200.00 in cash, bringing the total to exactly $550.00. Needless to say, I was....speechless. God moved on his people's hearts to provide exactly when I needed it.

Last week, I sent out the support letter I wrote earlier this week. I hadn't caught a glimpse of my statement from Shea yet, but knowing that tonight was my next deadline. And feeling really shaky about seeing God provide that money. Then....out of the blue, money started showing up. Two more pay pal deposits. Two more personal check. One email giving me an amount. Then I get to Shea's for the meeting tonight and look at the statement. Without the personal checked and promised money ahead...I've got just at $1400.00 raised. To say I was flabbergasted understatement. God truly provides. And He certainly loves to show off. So far, I'm over halfway to my mark of needed support.

I am not sure i can be skeptical that God will provide, because so far, with very little effort on my part, He's moving on my behalf. I'm shocked, stunned and completely in awe of His heart in this. Thankful for what God's doing.

Soli Deo Gloria. Amen.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

An Open Letter of Support

January 2012
Dear Ones, 
Happy 2012! I pray your Christmas holidays with your friends and family were blessed and full of joy, as were mine. I have some exciting news to share with you and to ask you, once again, to partner with me on. On February 17, I have been asked to join a team of 12 women to visit and minister to orphans and Tibetan refugees in Nepal for 10 days through a ministry that Blue Ridge Community Church has partnered with for many years. Here’s more information about the Trust Home what BRCC’s partnership involves: 
 As many of you know, 2011 was a bumpy road for me personally but also filled with beautiful bright spots. One of the brightest spots in my year was getting to go to Nicaragua and minister to and be ministered to by the women and children at the House of Hope. God provided for that trip in miraculous ways both financially and emotionally for me, as I was experiencing something of personal tragedy leading up to that trip. If you haven’t seen pictures I took while there, here’s a link to them on Facebook:  All in all, this trip was a miracle of God’s wondrous healing in my own life and changed me in ways that I still can’t quite put words to. 
Throughout this year, God has been speaking to my heart about ministering well to the children I serve at Blue Ridge Community Church. As a leader of young girls in Kids Community, I’ve had the opportunity to let them in on what God did in and through me at House of Hope. In October, God spoke clearly to me of keeping a global perspective while I serve his beautiful little girls and boys in Kids Community. Not long after this, I was selected to join the team going to the Trust Home, where many of our community support the Tibetan orphans cared for by Dolma and Arjun. Four years ago, when I first heard of the Trust Home and BRCC’s partnership, I felt a strong pull to be a part of a team headed to the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, experience the culture and minister to the approximately 75 boys and girls being taught about Christ there. I began praying then and have been trusting God to time the trip just right. 
I am telling you all of this because I want you to be a part of this trip as much as the kids I will come back to share this with in Kids Community. This is a trip that is as much about our community as it is about the kids at the Trust Home. I am excited at the opportunities to share what God’s doing.  First, and most importantly, I am asking that you begin you to pray diligently for me and for our team. This trip will be challenging in many ways from traveling around the world,  to financial provision, to the opportunity to be challenged in our walk with Christ through the children at the Trust Home. We are asking our partners to pray for team unity, for spiritual growth prior to and during our trip and that above all, God would be glorified in all we say and do while there. 
If I might share, God has already poured out His miraculous hand on this trip in so many ways. By simply allowing me to be a part of this team, but also in providing the first $500.00 without even sending out a support letter. However, There is still a little more than $1,500.00 to be provided for. So, that is a second way you can help. We have been asked to raise our own support individually. If you feel led to give, there are a few ways you can do this. You can make the check out payable to BRCC with my name and “5491-5” in the memo line and mail it to 2361 New London Road, Forest, VA 24551 to the attention of Shea Foster. Any checks given to BRCC are tax deducible and you can receive a receipt for that. You may also make a check out to me personally and mail it to me at 1076 Maddie Lane, Forest, VA 24551. Finally, you can make a deposit into my PayPal account: My next deposit of $500.00 is due on Sunday, January 15 and the final two payments are due in three week increments after, with the total due before we leave on February 17. Any funds received that exceed the needed funds for my trip will go to the Trust Home directly. If you cannot aid financially, I still very much would ask you to partner with me in prayer. Our God is greater than money and has shown He can provide, I believe He will provide! 
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I am excited about what God is doing and would love to share more with you! Call, email, text, or catch me on Sundays at Blue Ridge! 
Thank you for your love, and prayer as God continues to do miracles in my life! 
In Christ’s Gracious Love,