Monthly Archives: February 2014

To The Ones Who Inspire Me

Allume-1**Thank you Melissa for this beautiful picture of just a few of the lovely women that have become sisters to me…while you are not all pictured here you are a part of my story. Thank you.**

There is a community of women that have become family to me.

While we started out as strangers a little over a year ago, today so many of you are women that I couldn’t imagine going through life without.

I have watched as you have grown in your God-sized dreams.

I have seen some doors open, and some close…but always at the guiding hand of God. With hearts full of faith and a desire to seek His plan you, my sisters, have journeyed forward.

I have seen you and I have grown because of it.

Your faith has been an inspiration to me.

Your courage has helped me fight my own fears.

Your strength and prayers have lifted me up in my times of weakness.

 My life is changed because of you, and I am so grateful.

I write here in this space because you have encouraged me, told me that my stories matter too.

I hope that this will always be a place that I can do the same for those who pause here.

My dear dreamer sisters, thank you.

My words don’t adequately express my love for each of you.

You are my people, my tribe and I am blessed.

Joining Holley Gerth and her 2014 Encouragement Challenge. One day a week we take to spread joy to one another! Need a little love this week? Hop on over here and be encouraged!

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Photo Credit: Melissa Aldrich

The Proper Armor

Scale-armor2Last week I shared some of the story of David and Goliath. David’s faith in God is so encouraging to me. He willingly went into battle to face a giant because he knew it wasn’t his battle to face.

When David first approached Saul to volunteer, Saul insisted that David wear his battle armor.

1 Samuel 17: 38 “Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, 39 and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off.”

David knew that he didn’t have the proper armor.

Can you imagine entering into battle without the proper armor?!

But God gave David JUST what he needed.

As a shepherd, David often used a slingshot to ward off animals seeking to hurt his sheep. I imagine that he was quite proficient with that slingshot…a weapon he practiced with often.

He may not have been able to wield a sword like the top warriors, but he didn’t need the best fitting armor or the sharpest sword. David had the perfect weapon and God had given him plenty of opportunities to prepare to use it.

40 “Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.”

God has been preparing me as well.

Preparing me to chase my dreams, preparing me to stand in the battles that will come at me.

It seems that the more I chase my God-sized dreams, I find myself in the front lines of battle with the enemy.  A friend once told me that the enemy attacks those that he considers a threat…so consider an attack a compliment that you are doing God’s work!  🙂

The attacks can come in many forms.

Discouragement that I won’t be good enough….

Lies telling me that because I am failure so often, with my husband…my kids…how can I possibly share about my relationship with God here?

But God has surrounded me with His Truth.

He has shown me that my best “voice” is one that is proclaiming the truth that I AM a hypocrite – every day! But because of God’s AMAZING grace…I have the opportunity to share about His redeeming love.

As I chase these dreams, big and scary dreams…..dreams that feel out of reach and impossible, I am reminded that just like David, God is equipping me.

We are in training, can you see that?!

Maybe our “weapon” will be the stories that bring light to a dark world. (<==== Click to Tweet)

If we have God’s word on our heart, in our minds…if we have His plans in our focus…..we have the right armor on and we have nothing to fear!

In Holley’s Devotional she says this: “People may not understand. What you have in your hands or heart may seem small or even strange to them. But that’s exactly what creates the opportunity for God to do the unexpected. It sets the scene for giants to fall. For battles to be won. For God-sized dreams to come scandalously, miraculously true.”

Are you allowing God to do the unexpected in your life? If not – what is holding you back? Please leave a comment and allow me the honor of praying over those things with you…..we are in this battle together friends!

 

I am sharing stories of chasing dreams with my sisters over at God-sized Dreams…join us?!

GSD Link Up Picture

Photo Credit

Five Minute Friday – Small

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Linking up again today with Lisa Jo to join in the fun of writing for 5 minutes.

Today’s word is SMALL!

I often feel small, insignificant…unable to make a real difference in the world.

While I want to make an impact for the Kingdom, I am not traveling to Africa to work in the mission field, I’m not speaking at conferences or writing books. How can I possibly make an impact when I am “just” a wife and a mother.

And then God uses His Word, His stories, to remind me that there are so many seemingly small people that He has used throughout history to do His will.

Mary was just a teenager.

Gideon was just a farmer.

David was just a shepherd.

Each of these people lived small, normal lives – until God called them to much greater things.

I believe that God has greater things planned for each of us.

For some of us it may mean that we work really hard to help support our family – and to our kids, our spouse, we are a hero.

Some of us will travel to other countries spreading love to orphans, the getting there will take faith and hard work as well…but when we follow God’s plan we will see the impossible become the possible.

Recently God has asked me to share some difficult stories, to test the boundaries of my comfort zone, and to take my small and difficult past and use it for His glory.

Whatever it is that He has called you to, don’t believe for a second that it isn’t important!

Friends you have a story to tell.  The enemy may try and tell you that those stories don’t matter, that you can’t make a difference because you are too small and insignificant.

But hear me on this – God want’s our hearts humble so we can serve Him.  He uses the small, the “just a” kind of people and makes mighty things happen for His Kingdom.

 

Philippians 4: 13 (ESV) “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” 

When It’s The Little Things….

Fish 4Dominic and I were at Walmart a few weeks ago and saw some Beta fish and he commented that he thought the kids might really like to have one. He said he wanted to bring them over to help pick a fish out so we didn’t do anything that night.

But life gets busy doesn’t it?!

Whether it is work or kids/school commitments, time at church….there are a lot of things that can fill out days around here.

We have been super busy with our business. It is a God-given blessing indeed, and we try not to take it lightly, but at times the weight of all that needs to be done can feel pretty heavy.

Last night it was time to leave the office and I could tell Dominic was so tired but felt like he needed to stay and work. I encouraged him to come home and have dinner and see the kids and then get back at it if he needed to.

He thought that maybe he should take the kids out and go look at a fish.

So while I was making dinner, Dominic took the 3 littles out to Walmart. They were so excited they could hardly stand it!

They came home with 4 fish, because of course they each needed one! 🙂

Fish 3They set to task to prepare their new home environments.

They washed out old vases I had kept for a time such as this, cleaned up some old river rock we had saved from previous fish habitats and worked to get the water temperature just right and added the chlorine treatment so the water would be safe.

Then they had to wait.

Dominic explained that for the safety of the fish, it was best to wait an hour for the water temperature in the vases and the water temperature in the fish’s current “home” to align…that way when we transferred them over they would have the best chance at survival.

Waiting can be hard so we put in a movie to pass the time. It was Spongebob and it was terrible, but at one point I was sitting on the couch with 3 of my kids and they were all laughing.

It’s the little things, isn’t it?!

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Seeing the smiles on their faces when they look at their new fish, hearing their laughter – even if it is at a terrible cartoon character….it was all worth it last night.

In the midst of so much “to-do”, we all needed something like a couple of new fish to remind us what is really important.

The small things can bring such joy can’t they?!

I often forget to look for the things that bring me joy, it isn’t that I am not grateful for our many blessings…but I don’t stop and “smell the roses” enough.

Last night we all did that and it was wonderful.

The kids named their fishes….Turk (short for turquoise) – Gabriel, Circle fish – Elijah and Around – Karlena. 🙂  We will see if these are still the names when the kids get up this morning!

And thankfully, at least today, all of the fish were alive when I got up!

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I know life gets tough and sometimes it is hard to find the joy in our circumstances. But I encourage you today to take some time to do something small that helps you find that joy.

Whether it is taking a walk and watching the sunset, or curling up with a good book, or sitting on the couch under a pile of blankets watching a cartoon with the kids.

Take time to find that thing that brings you joy! You will be so blessed when you do. 

I am celebrating that which brings us joy today with Holley Gerth and some other wonderful women that are seeking to bring light each Wednesday with Holley’s 2014 Encouragement Challenge.  You can join in on the fun here!

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Facing the Giants

David and Goliath

There have been times that I have thought I was like David facing the giant Goliath.

When Dominic and I went through our period of unemployment and faced the reality of losing our home and our security, I believed that we were being confronted with a situation I was ill-equipped to handle.

And you know what? I was right in some ways.

We were ill-equipped to handle it all. Emotionally, spiritually, financially….we faced a giant of a problem and we needed help.

This week we are exploring what to do when we don’t feel worthy of following our dreams. Holley encouraged us to look at the story of David and Goliath.

I love when I have those times that I see a Bible story with fresh eyes…like God gives me some deeper insight into a story I have heard time and again, but never fully understood….tonight was one of those times.

If you want to follow along join me in 1 Samuel 17….I am not going to post the entire chapter here but want to share some of the points that stuck out to me this time.

Goliath is the “star” enemy in this story. He is huge and strong and all of Saul’s army is afraid of him and Goliath knows it. In fact he taunts them for 40 days straight!

“Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.” 

Enter David to the story. The youngest of 8 sons and not a soldier, but a shepherd. Talk about ill-equipped!  Jesse, David’s father, sends David to the battle lines to check on his brothers. When he arrives he witnesses Goliath’s rant.

Now if this were me….I am thinking I would have turned and run the other way.

In fact during that time of unemployment, I did run. I ran from God. I was angry and scared and full of unbelief.  I was sure that the “giant” was going to do us in and I wanted to be as far from the situation as possible.

But as you will see, David had a different response….

“But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 

David isn’t being pretentious here…he knows his strength. Just based on his size, he doesn’t stand a chance.

But David understands a truth that I was unable to see at my darkest hour….that God DID have the strength. “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 

David had faith that God would do again what He had done before. Deliver Him.

Does that give you chills like it does me?!

If I think back to some of the worst times in my life, there was always a deliverance and God was always at the center.  I maybe wasn’t a willing participant – but God WAS there.

David knew that God had been faithful to him in the past and he trusted God would do the same against this giant.

So armed with a staff, 5 smooth stones and his sling shot David “ran quickly toward the battle line.” Can you imagine running quickly towards a giant that no other man has been willing/able to face?!

“Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel,whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” 

For the battle is the Lord’s. It isn’t our battle…it is God’s!

“49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.”

And just like that the giant is defeated.

It was never David’s battle and he knew it! It was God’s and David trusted God to handle His battle. 

How many times do I find myself facing something that isn’t my battle to fight? But I am stubborn and have little faith and so I take matters into my own hands only to see it fail.

There is such a lesson to be learned here from David. It is a lesson of faith and not of fear!

Sure we need to take some steps in our own walks and being willing to “do” when God calls us. But we should start every step with a prayer of faith and trust in the God that can use a small shepherd to slay a mighty giant.

If you find yourself facing a giant today, get on your knees and start praying. Ask God to deliver you, to fight the battle that is His. Face the giants in the name of the Lord of hosts…your strength, your deliverer. In whom shall we fear?!

Linking up today with my God-sized dream sisters today….find more encouragement over here! Won’t you join us?

GSD Link Up Picture

Photo Credit: Lauren J

The Post I Didn’t Want to Write

Hearts

Disclaimer: This post contains sensitive and personal topics. (To my parents and grandparents I would be totally fine if you stopped reading right now!) 🙂

Last night I was at Walmart looking at Valentine’s cards near the health and beauty section. While I was standing there I overheard a very loud conversation happening in the middle of the isle between several teens from a neighboring small community. The girls were wearing letter jackets so I know they were high school aged….

The boys started asking if a certain girl needed to buy more “items” in “THAT” isle….I had a fear I knew what THAT isle was based on where we were standing. One boy says laughing “They have already been through 4 boxes”, when one of the girls responded “No it isn’t that much…more like 2 boxes – they have only been dating for two months”

I almost passed out right there….and then I got angry.

The girl, the topic of discussion, wasn’t there. But here were several teen-aged children discussing the very personal details of her alleged sexual life.

And as a women and a mom my heart broke.

It broke for the girl that decided to make such a huge choice like that AND then share about such personal details that now was the topic of discussion. It broke for the parents of that girl…what would her mama think if she knew her daughter was not only participating in this activity, but then being the talk of her “friends”.  And my heart broke that bragging about how many times a teenager has had sex is becoming so popular in today’s society.

Apparently it is “cool” for our children to be having sex these days.

Yep I said it…children.

While I have a very responsible 17 year old of my own….he is still a child in my eyes and having sex is a life changer. It just is. Something I would not want for him…for anyone his age.

And yet it is happening and is seen as a status symbol.

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When I was in junior high I dated a boy in my class….we would play basketball together and listen to music, exchange notes in school, and I thought I was in love.

One day several months into our “relationship” we were sitting on a couch in his basement and he asked me a question….”When?”

“When what?” I was naive and clueless

“When are we going to….you know, have sex?”

I didn’t know what to say. I was scared and not ready, I was 14 for crying out loud!  But he had older brothers, he must have felt some pressure to be doing what they were doing, regardless the question was out there.

So that night I went home and wrote him a letter. I told him that I loved him but I wasn’t ready. A week after he got my letter he broke up with me. He said he wanted to spend more time playing video games with his friends and didn’t need a girlfriend. I knew the truth though.

My “no” had ended the relationship.

Fast forward a few years and I am dating an older boy that I met at work. He had a car, was a drummer in the band at school and was fun to be with. We dated the entire time I was in high school into my first year of college.

At some point the relationship went to “that” place again. He told me that he loved me….told me that we were going to get married so if we were the only people that we were ever going to be with – why wait?

He was convincing and I justified it in my heart. If he was going to be my husband then it can’t be that bad right?

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Once the decision is made it can’t be undone.

I felt like there was a scarlet letter on my chest, that everyone would know what I had done and I was so ashamed.

I didn’t tell a soul, not even my closest friend. That kind of information couldn’t be shared, it wasn’t something to be “proud” of. I knew in my heart that it was a sin, that it wasn’t God’s plan for my life but I had made the choice and it couldn’t be undone.

In my opinion and from my experience, once that line has been crossed, justifying it again becomes easier.

When I met Dominic in my 2nd year of college I was enamored immediately. He was smart and funny and we spent hours talking about life. We had an on again off again relationship but at some point we crossed “that” line together.

And to my shock and surprise I got pregnant.

We were completely unprepared to handle the road ahead of us.

Hear me on this – Isaac is a gift. I wouldn’t change his place in our family…not one bit! But it wasn’t easy. Our choices have consequences. And we had to learn that the hard way.

Pregnancy is more prevalent today than it ever has been. A pregnancy crisis center that offers counseling and parenting classes etc., came and spoke at our church last week. They serve a 60 mile radius area which includes Marshall. Last year they helped 4, 12 year old, girls who were pregnant.

Can you imagine? 12 years old!

I didn’t even know what sex was at 12!

I don’t have all the answers…but I have a heart for these kids who are participating in things that they are unequipped to handle.

I can’t tell you what to do with your own kids. I can share what I will do with mine.

First and I think most important….keep open lines of communication.

These are not “comfortable” conversations, but they are necessary. Our kids need to know what we believe and why. While I can’t force Isaac to “behave” in a way I would like, if I say nothing I am not counteracting all of the things that the world is screaming at him!

Be willing to be open about our experiences.

I have shared some of my stories with Isaac. Not because I am proud of them but because he needs to know we faced some of the same challenges. He knows about the struggles we had and why we had them. He experienced some of the consequences of those choices during his young life.

Pray for our youth.

I have said it before and I will say it again. We are in a war! The enemy seeks to destroy the sanctity of marriage, the God-given place for sex. We collectively need to be in prayer for our younger generation! That God’s truth would be revealed, heard and followed.

Friends this isn’t a post I wanted to write…it is personal on several levels and not something I ever thought that I would share here.

But God has been hounding my heart for the past 12 hours 🙂 so I am willingly stepping out in faith and trusting that this post is a post that someone needs to read.

I want to end this with a promise.

God redeems the broken and we are ALL broken in some way or another. (<==== Click to Tweet)

God has taken my bad choices and given me a platform to share with others that He can use us, in spite of us! And He will do the same with you, if you are willing to let Him into your life.

Before Dominic and I got married we went to counseling with the Pastor who asked us to sign a covenant. A covenant that we would not have sex again until we were married. He said that while we had made a choice to have sex before marriage, we could enter our wedding day in a new covenant relationship with God.

Clean, pure….

Each one of us can enter into that covenant relationship with God – regardless of our past – it is available to us!

Don’t think there is anything too broken that God can’t restore! If you have questions about the kind of restoration available to you please leave me a comment – I’d love to connect with you!

When You are Attacked by Stormy Seas

Stormy seas

There are days like this every so often and while they come less frequently than they did in the past…they still come. Days where the sky seems darker, the world colder, and it feels like I am just fighting to stay in the boat.

When I was around 10, I climbed into the boat after Him for the first time. Believing completely that life would be smooth sailing from that point on. He was in fact Jesus and now that He was in my heart He would make everything ok. Right?

But the clouds rolled in and the sky grew dark, the rains came and I felt alone.

Where was He? It was though He had abandoned me!

Matthew 8:23-24  “And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.”

Instead of reaching out to Him, I jumped ship…it seemed the safer thing to do for some reason.

When I was in college I climbed into the boat after Him again.

I was re-committed, was on fire and filled with passion. I wanted to make a difference because of Him.

But the world had its grip on me and I was weak….it was easier getting out this time. It wasn’t that He had let me down…it was that I knew I WOULD let Him down. Instead of face sure failure…..I went my own direction.

And then one day, after years of heartache. Years of blame and pointing fingers, of not taking responsibility for my actions and feeling the black hole in my heart devouring me I threw myself into the boat once more. This time in sheer desperation.

I started to break down the walls that I had built, started to see God differently.

A relationship developed and for the first time I was being real….well as real as I was able. But I was committed to getting there, to finding that pathway to peace in Him.

When  another storm hit, it was unexpected.

Wasn’t I doing everything”right”? Why did I deserve this?

Matthew 8:25 “And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”

Save me Lord….why are You seemingly alseep?

Matthew 8:26 “And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”

Ye of little faith am I….

But God!

Do you see the promise in these verses?

Such a well known story but just now….seriously I am not even kidding it hit me just now, a revelation that I had not considered…

In spite of our lack of faith HE CALMS THE STORM ANYWAYS!!! (<==== Click to Tweet

My hands are trembling right now, I have never seen these verses in this way….

He IS there. In all of it He is there.

The storms will come, it is a matter of fact. But God who is powerful and mighty and sovereign and merciful WILL calm the storm.

He is not relying on my faith or lack there of to get things done.

He uses these times to teach me about who He is and that in it all He is faithful. Regardless of how I feel about Him or my situation.

Friends many of you are under attack right now. I have been in prayer over and with friends who are facing battles I can’t imagine, and yet they are staying in the boat!

And you know why?

Because HE IS THERE.

He always was, He always has been and He always will be!!

I was the one who jumped ship, not God. So let the storms rage because we are NOT sailing alone!

If you are in need of prayer would you please leave a comment and allow me the privilege of praying for you today. We are in this together!!

Joining Holley Gerth each Wednesday to bring you some Encouragement – need some more? Hop on over here and find over 100 women who are committing to spreading Joy in 2014! 🙂

Also joining Jennifer Lee in her #TellHisStory challenge. So grateful for these women who are leading the way in shouting out about God’s great love! Check it out here!

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Photo Credit: liebeslakritze

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me”

Swan

Stewart Smalley and SNL left us with that beautiful little nugget…“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”

While this phrase became one of those funny things that we would say to each other as teenagers I wonder how often any of us believed it?

In fact for the majority of my life I believed the opposite. I would never be good enough, I am not smart enough….and people won’t ever like me.

Why is it that it can be so easy to see our weaknesses and so hard to discover and name our strengths? (< ==== Click to Tweet)

When you look in the mirror what reflection do you see? Do you see the “ugly duckling” or the “beautiful swan”?

Do your eyes focus on all of the things you don’t like about yourself? Or are you able to see all of the good?

I want my reflection to be one of God’s grace, His light.

Sometimes getting to that place can seem selfish….especially if we aren’t used to putting the focus on ourselves and naming the positive things about us….

But in Holley’s Devotional “Opening the Door to Your God Sized Dream” she writes this: “But actually choosing to understand and embrace who you are is one of the most unselfish things you can do because it maximizes your ability to serve others and bring glory to God.”

If I want to bring glory to God I have to understand and develop those very things that He made strong in me! (< ==== Click to Tweet)

I spent some time listening to a couple of the speakers from this weekend’s IF Gathering. What I heard was amazing, I am probably going to have to buy the DVD if they make one available!  But Rebekah Lyons said this and it really hit home for me. “Finding our calling is being in the place where our talents and our burdens collide.”

So I ask myself, and you….what stirs your heart? And how has God already equipped you to be a part of whatever picture that is?

It can be a bit of an overwhelming thought…but I think we just need to take it one step at a time….

So I start with my strengths and one of mine is my heart for missions….for helping others and giving back what God has so freely given us.

I can take those things that God built into the person that I am and find ways to use them for His glory. How cool is that?!

It doesn’t become something selfish or pretentious when we list our strengths when we are seeking to follow our God-given dreams!

Is it hard for you to name your strengths? I’d love to hear what one of your strengths is so that I can encourage you in your journey!!

I am joining my God-sized Dream sisters today and linking up at the God-sized Dreams Website….want to join the fun?? Click here to read more!

GSD Link Up Picture

Photo Credit: rkramer62

Mercy House Kenya- February Impact Opportunity

Mercy House

Each month I am sharing a different non-profit organization with you here. It is my hope to help raise awareness about an organization that you maybe haven’t heard about yet and help you find ways to get involved.  Not all of us are called to minister in a 3rd world country, some of us are called to raise awareness here – this is my hope with these impact opportunities!

This moth I want to tell you about a wonderful organization called Mercy House Kenya.  Founded by a mom and blogger Kristen Welch, when Kristen travelled to Africa and saw a need. From her site:

  • Annually, 21,000 women are hospitalized from having an illegal, unsafe abortion in Kenya. (Center for Reproductive Rights)
  • Abortion is a volatile topic in Kenya.
  • 13,000 Kenyan girls are kicked out of school for being pregnant. (Center for Reproductive Rights)
  • 25% of pregnant women in Kenya are HIV positive (ObGyn in Kenya)
  • Every 30 minutes, a woman is raped in Kenya. (Nairobi Women’s Hospital)
  • Mothers often force their daughters into trading sex for food in the slums (CNN)
  • More than 20,000 children are sex trafficked in Kenya (Human Trafficking)
  • 1500 women die in childbirth every day across Africa (WHO)

Kristen felt God calling her to DO something. So she helped start a home in Kenya. A place where pregnant mothers could come. A safe place that not only provides protection and shelter, but teaches these women about prenatal care, gives them an opportunity to finish their education, and partners with them to help them learn sustainable life skills.

As of May 2013, Mercy House Kenya had 11 girls and 9 babies with 2 on the way. Mercy House is changing and saving lives!

So you may be asking how you can help?

There are several ways you can support Mercy House!

I am a part of Team Mercy. By signing up to be a part of this team you are committing to a monthly sponsorship of $3 a month or more. You commit to advocating about Mercy House. Maybe you take information to your church to raise awareness. This summer I am doing my annual garage sale and have committed that all proceeds from the sale will go to Mercy House.

Shop in the Mercy House store. There are several products that are handmade in Africa that are available for purchase.  The women are taught how to make these beautiful paper-rolled necklaces and bracelets – see below! You can even host a virtual party and share the products with your friends!

red necklace

Pray! Pray for the women being helped by Mercy House. Pray for the staff and volunteers that make this beautiful organization possible. Pray that God would show you how you might become involved this ministry.

Love endures all. Love conquers all. Love is enough. Help me #spreadthelove http://ctt.ec/ad5lJ+  (Tweet This!)

God calls us to help the needy, to show love to our brothers and sisters and while I may never travel to Africa in person…I can love on the residents of Mercy House from my home in MN!  Will you join me?

When Jealousy Gets in the Way of Your Dreams

I grew up feeling like I was never good enough. It wasn’t something that anyone told me, I was raised in a loving, supportive family. I just knew I didn’t fit in.

I was a little bit nerdy (ok a LOT), I took my schoolwork seriously and wasn’t good at sports. I desperately wanted to be a cheerleader but I had these awful short hamstrings that prevented me from doing any sort of toe touching! Oh and I was painfully shy. A complete and total package!

In fact, just in case you don’t believe me….drink it in ladies, drink it in!

Kristin child pic

Kristin teenage pic

I spent a lot of years wishing I was something more. Wanting to have the voice of the “popular Kristin” so that I could be in the school musical. Wanting to have the athletic ability of “Holley” so I could play on the basketball team, or the beautiful, long hair of “Alanna”, instead of my rocking mullet. Can you blame me?? Did you see the picture above?!

It didn’t matter what I DID have, I wanted what someone else had because I believed it to be better…..

I am sharing the rest of this story over at the God-sized Dreams site today – I would love for you to join me there!

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