heart tears: orphans

“Another photograph to wrestle in my head…another sleepless night..these thoughts of you like bullets to my soul I’ve got to find a way to get you home…i hope you know there is somebody searching for the way to get you here…as angels hold you tight may you sleep in peace tonight so dream dream dream my child here the whisperings of hope.”

Here’s the adoption story that goes with the song above–it’s awesome go watch it…made me cry…along with this song too: Come Home Beautiful

“she is beautiful but she has never known a love that will never leave. someone to help her see that she is beautiful. she’s redeemed. she is loved. she is the bride of the King.”


Even though I decided to stay home and REST instead of heading to Idea Camp: Orphan Care, I totally enjoyed the conference from the comfort of my bed!  My heart got captured right from the beginning when I heard this quote:

“A life interrupted is a life inspired. When life is interrupted by a story then inspiration is sustainable.”

Now that hits home and takes me right back to South Africa.  My life was interrupted there. I carry those stories with me every.single.day.  They are deep in my heart and the numbers that surround the orphan crisis hold faces.  Faces of babies I’ve held.  And so it makes the statistics even more heart-staggering.

Hearing like-hearted people share their passion for orphans stirred up even more in myself:

“What frustrates me about solutions for orphan crises is that people think we only need more orphanages & adoptions.”

“Orphan Care starts with the local church. Transformation there is sustainable. Work through the local church and let them be the hands and feet.”

“Man created orphanages for children, but God created families for them.”

“Every country wants their children to stay…”

“Caring for orphans is a lifelong investment. It’s not a cause, not a campaign.”

“Solve the problem, don’t just manage it.”

“Every situation of injustice we have seen in the world is because of a broken relationship.”

“Raising up a child in the knowledge of Jesus Christ takes more than giving up a latte…”


Caring for orphans goes beyond adoptions and orphanages.  Empowering, equipping, and igniting a culture of transformation needs to happen on a community level.  Not only do the needs of the children need to be addressed but so do those of all ages because the root of problem starts there.  The hope and power of Jesus Christ produces lasting transformation and that’s where it starts.  I could say so much more and will in time say more, but I’m still processing and sorting through these heart-thoughts.  Though, mostly (especially after listening to this awesome message on meditating and listening to God) I’m seeking God for His specific, direct, clear guidance and direction as to where, how, and what my own role will look in this and I am trusting His timing.


What stirs up passion for you?

day 43

Can you believe it!? We’ve been reading the Bible in chronological order for 43 days!  I know I’ve said this to multiple people over and over but…I am loving it and I am LOVING my Leadership Bible. So good. So full of richness.  If you are looking for a new bible and like learning about leadership then I would highly suggest it!  Beyond that, I’ve been mulling over a few big themes.  Here’s my mini recap in bullets of the areas where God hit me over the head as I looked back (especially the very last bullet point…that’s my big takeaway so far):

  • Listen to God’s instructions and store them in your heart
  • God put man where He wanted him.
  • God pours out blessings right from the start. God loves to bless us.
  • Maintain big picture perspective and eternal perspective
  • Women seem to be always suggesting and planning and meddling and taking things into their own hands and not waiting…
  • God sees ME
  • Protect your people
  • God is better at providing for me than I am
  • God says no to our foolish talk.
  • Lots of grumbling, complaining and demanding keeps you in the desert and not in the Promised Land
  • God provides more than enough.
  • Gifts…with wisdom!
  • God guided them directly and clearly.  He wants to instruct us.
  • God did all this for your good…to do you good in the end.
  • God is so so so giving.
  • Remember what God has done.
  • Obey. Heed His voice. Follow Fully. Do exactly what God says.Walk in the ways God has commanded. Walk in His ways and fear Him.  Believe and obey. Hold fast to Him. Do what is right in the sight of the Lord. Walk always in His ways. Diligently obey. The Word is near that you may do it. Walk it out despite adversity. Integrity. Character. Obedience is key.

What has God been hitting you over the head with in your reading?


5 minutes on 5 years ago

I write in this little space here and on the blank pages of word documents most often, but I love writing in journals too.  There’s something wondrous about picking up a pen or pencil to put words on real paper.  My closet has a neat little stack full of my old journals.  Green ones, striped ones, ones that have gone to Africa, ones from Guatemala, and they each tell part of my story.

So, when I heard Lisa-Jo was writing about 5 years ago, I wondered if I could look up what I wrote around this time 5 years ago.  I found it.  I had an idea of where my heart was then, but to see my words on a page. Oh my…and see I’d already been thinking about 5 years ago after reading this post and this one about how our plans don’t turn out like we think….

Five years ago, I was head over heels in love.  Planning a wedding in my head even with a date in mind.  Ring browsing with a giddy smile on my face and a boy’s hand in mine.

The space between those moments and today swell with so many stories yet to be told.  Tucked away in my heart waiting to give Him glory.  To share how He brought a little girl with a broken heart through much and even gave her a new name along the way. Nothing like I planned.

Yet, five years later, I find He’s still bringing me along in this journey toward His heart. All the while, patiently hearing my own heart as I wrestle toward healing within the tension of…

asking: “does anybody know how to hold my heart?”

wanting: “i want to darken in the skies. open the floodgates up. i want to change my mind. i want to be enough. i want to let the rain come down. make a brand new ground.”

hoping: “this is the day i make you mine. you are the one. i’ve been waiting for today and here comes the sun. i thank God you came along.”

And trusting that five years from today, I’ll have even more stories tucked away in my heart to share that speak of His glory.

the good things and the hardships

Exodus 18:7-9

So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. They greeted each other and then went into the tent. Moses told his father-in-law about everything the LORD had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake and about all the hardships they had met along the way and how the LORD had saved them. Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the LORD had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians.

Moses shared with integrity.  He shared the hard parts along with the good.  He showed how the Lord had worked things out even though the circumstances were hard.  He didn’t gloss over the hard parts or intentionally leave them out.  God gets glory through it all.  By sharing those parts of our stories, we show how God meets us there and is still working even when things look pretty bleak.

Stories being written and walked out are those with the substance.  I love hearing how God got someone to the other side, but in that I love hearing too how there are still parts left to be written.  Stories yet to be twisted into God working ALL things out for good.  Those are the times that show character and trust in a trustworthy God.

This is the story I want to share.  A story filled with the substance of all that God has done even as hardships are met along the way.  A God who saves.

And so I write…in a little white space hidden away from this space to capture the stories.  I write because God has given me words to be crafted together to share His story.  To steward this gift, I’m intentionally setting aside time to bring to life this vision.  A vision of a book completed.

What vision do you want to see realized? Do you have a goal you’re working toward? Are you sharing both the hard and the good?

trust in waiting

“the flesh loves to produce things it doesn’t want to wait on God”

but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience… gal 5:22

No matter the reason for the waiting, you get to choose how you walk it out.  All you can do is keep putting Him first, follow His leading, and trust that He is and will work out His perfect will in your life when you are submitted to Him.  And mostly, His love is extravagant. He takes GREAT delight in you.  He gives good and perfect gifts to His children.  He lavishes abundance on His beloved.  Stop trying to make things so complicated. Be led by the Spirit and live under His love.  So, wait for what He has rather than making a cheap imitation that is not good or perfect.  Love what He’s given you and wait for what He will give you.


burnt popcorn

Mini popcorn bags are great as long as you remember that they don’t need to be in the microwave as long.  You can’t just hit the popcorn button and leave. Well, you can, but then you’ll end up with burnt popcorn.  Even if you do like to eat that, more than likely you’ll admit that it just smells horrible.  The smell permeates everything.  You walk into the room and the burnt smell is everywhere.  You open the windows, you take the popcorn out and throw it in the trash.  You’ve accepted that you’ve done everything you can to get rid of it.  But it lingers….

And that is the craftiness of sin.  You repent and like the popcorn it’s gone, thrown away, but the smell, the memory lingers.  The devil will keep trying to hit the rewind button.  Will you let him or will you tell him about his future?  Will you keep holding back letting a memory stop you from approaching the throne with boldness as a son or daughter of the King?  Will you camp out doing laps in the desert complaining, dwelling, and agonizing over how you messed up?

Or will you let go? Will you trust that He has forgiven you? Will you trust that God of the universe is way bigger than anything you could have done and will work it out?  He’s got good plans. Trust Him.


ht: Kevin Leal sermon

Knight in Shattered Armor

He stands in the distance.

I see him but the edges are blurred.

his form melds and blends together.

Walking closer.

my big eyes look up.



a tentative hand reaching out to touch the shards

the armor that should have protected him is broken.

shattered. jagged. ruff. battle-weary.

a knight in shattered armor

all this is taken into my heart

i hold it tenderly in my own scarred hands

intimacy born

because i know

i know what it feels like to have shattered armor

to be torn apart



more importantly

i know what it feels like to see the light

filling in and filling up the cracks

overtaking the armor

showing Himself victorious in all things

an overcoming warrior

living in me and shining through

and when i see him i see Him

and that

is my knight in shattered armor

so full of Him


5 minutes: friends.

The fun part about working in a school is that I get to learn right alongside the kids.  Stay current on new things and be reminded of old truths.  A few weeks ago, we went through a poem about old clothes and new clothes.  The amazingness of having a comfy sweatshirt that fits just right compared to the excitement of wearing a happy new summery dress.  Both are great.  Both are different.  They bring different struggles and joys.  Just like friends. New friends take some getting used to and even bring a little bit of risk.  While old friends already know all the little quirks about you and love you anyway.  But the best part about it is that you can have both.  You’re not limited to one or the other.  Each friend sharpens you in a different way and reveals God to you in a new way.  If I didn’t have my concrete, logical friends goodness I’d be swimming around the ocean of my thoughts for far too long instead of just being like oh hey it’s just that simple.  If I didn’t have my friends to hear my heart and emotions and speak truth into them then there’d be a lot more tears on my face.  If I didn’t have my friends to talk biking and running and food then I’d be talking to myself.  Not to mention those friends who will chat chronological bible read through with me and the intricacies of studying the bible. And I love it. I so love the uniqueness that God created each person with and how I get to see each of them.  That even though friends are on different levels with me they each hold a perfectly suited spot in my life. And that is beautiful.

And so it is. The more the merrier.


I love when God smacks me over the head with a truth and then confirms it with His word when I’m still searching in the depths of my head trying to find a rebuttal…and sure, i’ll probably keep on pondering for a while and searching the Word, but this takes a new twist in my pondering and trust… =)

Psalm 145:9, 13, 15, 16, 19

The Lord is good to all;

He has compassion on all He has made

The Lord is faithful to all his promises

and loving toward all He has made

The eyes of all look to You….

You open your hand

and satisfy the desires of every living thing

He fulfills the desires of those who fear him


Not to mention these other lovely verses that go along with it….

Psalm 37: 4

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Proverbs 13:4

The desire of the diligent shall be fully satisfied.



iTunes Thursday: Bethel Live (Be Lifted High)

I just bought the new Bethel Live Be Lifted High cd on Tuesday on itunes and I’m just a *bit* in love with it already…and these lyrics are exactly why (I’m a girl who loves lyrics through and through–they make or break a song).

I was afraid Your love set me free

I was alone til You called my name

I was broken and You mended me

You journal every day all about my life.

I was ashamed You called me beautiful

Now I’m Yours, You call me beautiful


His love is fierce

His love is strong

It is furious


God I look to you, I won’t be overwhelmed

Give me vision to see things like you do

Give me wisdom, You know just what to do

Forever all my days I will love You God


He’s bringing hope to the hopeless

and giving His heart to the broken


If He goes to the left then we’re going to the left

If He goes to the right then we’re going to the right


Never to forget the day, Your love broke through to make a way

for hope to rise within my heart again



So, go listen to it because it’s lovely.  Any other new music that’s got you listening on repeat?