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?

finding trust in justice

“How long must I pray, must I pray to You? How long must I wait, must I wait for You? How long til I see Your face, see you shining through…I’m on my knees begging you to notice me. I’m on my knees. Father, will you turn to me.” -Hold My Heart by Tenth Avenue North

“I think I made You too small…where have I even stood but the shore along Your ocean…what do I know of holy?” -What Do I Know of Holy by Addison Road


My heart is heavy.  The tears fill my eyes.  I am weary. I see the threadbare tapestry of my heart coming undone in a messy way.

I used to and still do often find myself unbalanced in an all love and mercy without understanding the role of justice.  I remember clearly a moment in this last year where I struggled as others voiced their passionate heart’s cry for the unfairness and injustice of this fallen world.  I pondered and didn’t understand.  I had a fleeting thought that I should ask God to show me and teach me about justice.  I even went home and read some verses.  I shelved the thoughts for another day…

Then this last fall, I saw a glimpse of my fierce love combined with justice.  I questioned and declared, “How dare they….”  I saw right and wrong.  I saw injustice and the hurt stemming from it.  I saw how God hated the sin and how His daughters’ and sons’ hearts were broken.

Yet, in that situation, I focused more on others than acknowledging my own hurt or processing through it.  I deflected and pressed forward.  Only now am I realizing that my hurt was real.  That wait a second, that was wrong, that trampled my heart.

More so even now, I look around and see injustice surrounding me in my story and the stories others carry.  The air has been taken out of my lungs and I just want to catch my breath.  I hurt for friends… I look around and my mouth opens to scream but my throat is clenched with tears.

Yet, I think of Job…

And I lift my mascara stained eye lashes to the ceiling and I hear Him gently reminding me…

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?

Tell me, if you know so much.

Who determined its dimensions

and stretched out the surveying line?

What supports its foundations,

and who laid its cornerstone

as the morning stars sang together

and all the angels shouted for joy?


And that’s where I find trust.  Trust found as I lay my hand on my mouth declaring that I like Job am so very small in comparison to God.  Trust reminds me that His heart sees the injustice.  His fury over the pain, sin, injustice, and mess of this world.  Trust reminds me that even when all seems lost He’s working it all out for good.  Trust in the messy, hard, questions of life that leave me unraveled.  Trust in the hard.


I ended 2010 and started 2011 with this lovely girly!  I should have met her in Africa and we should have been roomies in Africa together, but life is messy.  Though, I will say that all the change of plans meant that I got to give her a big hug sooner rather than later!  She puts up with my never-ending questions, challenges my heart to dig deeper, shows me when I’m being illogical, teaches me about boundaries, encourages me, shares her heart, and walks with me from afar.  I can’t help but see the beauty from the ashes in our friendship.  My heart so wishes that it could have happened differently, but I am still thankful.  Thankful that I turned to find a friend who could relate while all of our Thrive Africa dreams washed away as God showed us that things would be different.  A little getaway to DC turned into a perfect way to finally love on each other in person complete with starbucks,  site seeing, car rides, risking, trusting, blogging, tweets, food, laughing, Africa style prayer, processing, Nando’s, hugs, and a new year.  All of that equals lovely and happy.

How did you start the new year?

changing world


All of my plans were firmly set…

I forgot how quickly things can change

now my vision can not be the same.

My life is not what I thought

I’m not where I planned to be

Though something’s gone

There’s nothing wrong with my changing world.

I need to trust in things unseen

I believe in having faith


God keeps teaching me about “yes and.”  An inexplicable, illogical combination of things going beyond the obvious either or.

Love and justice. Broken and lovely. Messy and glorious.

I see it everywhere. This melding and twisting of oil and water into one.

And, today, I have one to share with you.  I’ve sat in this “yes and” for quite some time and there are no pretty words.  Simply put, I would rather share with you a red bow, but instead I have this…

Yes, Thrive Africa is closing.

And God is who He says He is….

faithful, good, loving, kind, father, protector, beloved, all in all, more than enough.

So, dear ones, where does this leave me?

processing, sitting, moving, loving, letting go, embracing, finding joy, grieving, rejoicing, questioning, pondering, worshiping, heart broken, hoping, missing, hurting, holding fast, resting, connecting, praising, waiting, hello, good-bye, dreaming, longing, content, excitement, remembering, holding His hand.

A glorious jumble of “yes and” feelings and actions.

So, yes, I thought I would serve on staff with Thrive Africa for the next three years and there’s nothing wrong with God shifting my world.  Yes, there’s deep pain and there’s overwhelming love in His voice as He whispers to my heart….

“Just keep on following me, baby girl, even when everything looks illogical.  I know what I’m doing. I’ve got you in my arms, babe.”

mama lion

I would see him sometimes. Waiting in the kitchen. Sitting in the stiff backed chair. He wore a blue uniform.

My eyes leapt on him like a mama lion. Defiantly, I kept walking to capture as many moments of love as I could.  Until they called his name, my baby was mine. We were inseparable.

“Lindo” a voice called out.

And so my baby scampered down from my shoulders to go with this man.

He took away my baby.

I watched them walk down the dusty road and let my eyes lift to the left.  I pondered. My mind traveled down roads of potentials:

Was he a good man?

Did he have a family?

Would my baby get enough to eat?

Would he ever adopt my baby and take him away for good?

My eyes strained to see the last glimpse of the man in the blue uniform with my little man at his side.  I watched as long as I could until another darling squiggled into my arms.

Even so, I prayed.  I held him in my heart.

I let God hold his hand.


*To read more about Lindo…though especially check out this one and this one.

i confessed sin in those shoes

I wore the shoes. Cute, black heels. No socks. I don’t like socks. I was determined that if I was going down that I was going to do it looking good. These shoes are one of the most vivid things that I remember from this day last year. I can hear the clicking as I walked on the stone path.  The sliding door to get inside. Sitting in a chair with my legs crossed. My jeans fell just short enough that you could tell I wasn’t wearing socks.  I even later made a comment about how at least my shoes were cute.

In many ways, I clung to them. I stared at them. The tears fell when my eyes stared at them.  They were my statement: “I am still a person.”  Unlike the mascara that didn’t work to keep my tears from flowing, they kept me feeling a small bit of life and steadiness and feeling beautiful.  I don’t remember the reactions. I don’t remember my exact words. But, oh I remember those shoes.  I confessed sin in those shoes. I stood before a community and exposed my heart.

Beating wildly, my heart lay on the floor. Ready to be stomped on and discarded.  They didn’t. Instead, many of those faces freed their own hearts from the seeping blackness that gets in the way of new life.  They shared too.  We bared our hearts to find freedom in the truth and expose the lies.  It was beautiful. The body of Christ. Vulnerability turned into intimacy.  I left the night with a glimmer of hope.  Hope that these hearts would walk together toward Christ.  All the while, clinging to the promise: God works all things out for good. God works all things out for good. God works all things out for good. God works all things out for good.

And so, here I stand, exactly a year later. I stand wearing those same shoes.  I don’t wear them to camp out in the past.  I wear them to remind me of all that God has done and will do.

I stand in the newness of life. A different woman. A woman who no longer needs shoes to say: “I am still a person.”  I stand as a woman who wears the crown of forgiveness and who is called lovely by her Beloved.  I am His. He delights in me.

Confession is powerful. This day last year was the event, the game changer. The trajectory of my life changed. But, now, I stand knowing that healing, wholeness, and transformation need to be fought for every. single. day. There is no quick fix or magical pill.  Life doesn’t have a pause button for you to get your stuff together and then come back.

No, even today, I need to make the choice. To choose to live as who God says I am. To continually dig my roots deep into Him and Him alone. To be vulnerable and held accountable by the Body. To get back up when I stumble again because I do fall still. To let others walk with me. To keep on choosing it.  To keep on pressing on and digging deep.  Why? Because that’s where the abundant life in Christ becomes real and I am free.  That’s where *knowing* God becomes more than just words.  Besides…

Truth always wins out.

do you have anything you need to confess? have you let others walk with you? are you letting others speak truth into your life?

“now is the time to step from the dark into the light. cause you can’t change what you’ve done. but you can choose who you’ll become. and every moment is a second chance at starting over. move from the past to the present tense. you can start over again. you don’t have to be who you’ve been. you can change within. it’s never too late.” -starting over by addison road

*if this stirred your heart and you don’t quite want to leave a comment. i would love to hear from you. kigkat@gmail.com

a glimpse of god

I didn’t expect to find tears running down my face.  I didn’t expect to find such a clear glimpse of who God is and His love for me.  To see how faithful God is to walk with us and never leave.  That’s the thing about encouraging other people.  Oftentimes, you’re the one so blessed and can’t help but smile through the tears.

Within a free pack of cards from (in)courage for National Day of Encouragement, I pulled this one out to find my fingers covered in gold sparkles.  A card that I would not pick myself.  Oh, but, the words softened my heart toward it:

“Thank you for sharing God’s love, not only with your words but also with your life.  In today’s world, that’s not always easy to do–but you do it with kindness and consistency.  That’s what makes you different, and it’s the reason you make a difference.  Thanks for being who you are and doing what you do–you’re appreciated more than you know.”

Right away, I knew who God wanted to receive this card.  Words came easily across the paper as if we were sitting chatting together instead of miles apart.  Until I got caught on the word consistency…so I wrote:

“And you keep walking this road with me from afar even when you could have easily stopped when an ocean got in the way.”

Somewhere along the way I picked up this notion that even if people say they will walk with me through a storm…that they’ll end up leaving me alone.  Close to a year ago, I entered a big storm and made some life changing decisions.  One of my questions as I entered this storm was if a few people would walk with me…and here today, I find them still walking with me. The storm has changed, but the one who I’m giving this card to…well, she’s still here…walking through the rain with me and teaching me to jump in the puddles with a smile on my face even while the tears flow. All the while….encouraging. waiting. trusting. praying. with me.

you:create…so much fun!

This week I have had so much fun just playing around.  I found a bunch of free online scrap booking kits, fonts, buttons and all sorts of fun things.  I got lost in the creating. I found myself looking at things in fresh ways. Seeing myself through what I created and what my heart was drawn to on the page.

So, I created a cute little background for this little blog here and then here are some screen shots of some of the other pages I’m still playing around with–I’m very much a keep tweaking things along the way and take my time in settling down roots.  Oh, and did you notice my cute little buttons on the side? They make me happy. And oh, I added a “To Africa With Love” tab…that is *under construction* because I’m still creating all sorts of fun things for it like a video, a button, and words to go with my heart.

What did I learn along the way? That my heart gravitates toward the bright, the pastels, the girly, the things that make me smile.  The pages that let me breathe a deep breath of joy.  That I love the process of creating more than the finished project.  I don’t like finishing totally, but leaving room for flexibility and adjustment as things develop.  That I’m a work in progress and ever changing. Oh, and as usual…my heart goes back to love.

So, what do you think? Do you like it? What does your heart gravitate toward?

Time to Thrive!?

So stand still and see this great thing the Lord will do before your eyes now.

-1 Samuel 12:16

God sure has a thing about timing. He is SO faithful!

During (In)Courage’s 30 Days of Giveaways, I won this cute little day planner complete with a perfect little quote.

The day it arrived in the mail was the day I moved a few more prayer requests over to the second box because that day, I received an e-mail with an offer to come on staff with Thrive Africa.

Needless to say, I accepted!

(insert: happy dance)

p.s. more details to come of course! and the witty title of the blog…courtesy of Amy 🙂