Thursday, April 14, 2011


What a fun few weeks this has been! When we found out that we needed to raise over $35,000 to live in Cambodia (and to get there and back) for a year, and that didn't even include the extra expenses we still had to cover here, we were overwhelmed. We weren't worried, though. That's big for me because I tend to worry about everything. But it just made sense that if God wanted us to go to Cambodia, He'd provide a way to do it. Obviously, right?

What I didn't know is how much fun it would be! I thought asking people for money would be terrifying. I worried they'd laugh at us, or throw tomatoes at us, or just plain ignore us. But instead they are blessing us. YOU are blessing us. Thank you to all who are blessing us with your committments, your donations, and your stories of God working in your lives.

My favorite part is the reconnecting. I get to see people I haven't seen in a long time! We get to talk to friends who we haven't talked to in years. It's not good for the cell phone bills, I guess, but it's oh, so much fun! We love it! This past weekend we went up to our old church in Virginia, Colonial Heights Baptist Church, and we were blessed to be able to speak to many Bible Fellowship (Sunday School) classes and share our story. It was fun because the classes were filled with faces we have dearly missed! We also got to hear updates on so many families before and after the classes.

That Saturday, after meeting with a friend all morning and having a lovely time, we were able to join my sweet cousin Katie for her wedding day! She was beautiful as always, but even more so than ever! It was a beautiful wedding and a time to again, reconnect with family we haven't seen in a long time. We had so much fun!

These next few weeks will present us with more opportunities to reconnect with others as we follow God's call to share our story in Texas, our home state! We're excited to see so many friends and family there.

I love it

I love hearing from all of you!

I love hearing how God is working in your lives!

Keep sharing your story with others! We all need to hear it!

And I ask that you pray for us as we travel. It's always bittersweet to go "home" and share such big news! We know the reconnecting there will also be a great blessing!

Monday, April 11, 2011


If you read my last post about roller coasters, you'll get a laugh out of this one...

We went on a big roller coaster ride a few days ago, and I've been dying to sit down and write about it.

It started when we finally decided to buy our plane tickets.

We'd spent hours researching these tickets. I mean, they're super crazy expensive. I guess it costs a lot to fly to, well, literally the other side of the earth. We researched and researched - fly from the east coast, the west coast, weekday, weekend, no stops, 2 stops, 5 stops, 7 million stops, etc... We had finally made a decision. Once the decision was made we just had to wait until we had raised the nearly $8000 it would take to buy the tickets! That was another reason we wanted to save money - it wasn't our money! It was yours - well, God's - money! So, we waited. And finally we raised just enough to buy those tickets.

So we decided to do it. By the time we finally found the right website and got it all set up it was nearly 11pm on Saturday night. That's pretty late for me these days. But I wasn't tired. I was thrilled. Enjoying the ride! We filled in all the information required for international travel.... names, birthdays, passport information, special seating and meal requests, and who knows what else I typed in that night on my adrenaline high. Then we got to the bottom of the page - to that big "purchase" button. Before I continued, Stephen grabbed my hand and said we should pray about it. Guess that's why the men are the spiritual leaders, huh? Do they have less adrenaline? Oh, I'm so glad he was there. We prayed about it and then I gladly let him do the honors of clicking that all important button.

It went to that white screen with the "processing.... processing.... processing...." image and I joked that if it didn't work I guess we wouldn't go to Cambodia. Haha, I'm so funny!

It didn't work.

God must have a sense of humor. He needed to show me that His plan is greater than mine. See, we were charging these very expensive tickets to southeast Asia on a debit card and well, you can't do that. You can't just use a debit card to buy something like that unless you approve it first. Not at my bank anyway. I'm thankful for that I guess. But I wasn't at that time. See, it was Saturday night at 11pm and I would have to wait until Monday for the bank to open. What a tough roller coaster ride this was turning in to!

But we waited. I didn't sleep of course. My body laid down but my mind was racing. It continued like that for two days. And Monday it got worse. See, on Monday the price of the tickets had gone up by over $2000 for the 4 of us. That was heartbreaking. Like I said, we had done hours of research and we tried to do it right. It wasn't our fault the bank wouldn't let us use the debit card for the purchase Saturday night! At this point I was really mad at the bank for that!

The ride continued. Monday night it showed those tickets as unavailable. I assumed someone else had taken my place on the plane. The seats were sold out, I guessed. We decided to wait yet another day, I guess thinking magically the plane would stretch and more seats would appear or something.

Late Tuesday night we signed on to the website again in what was becoming our nightly ritual. I was prepared for utter disappointment. But, to my surprise (and note I say "my" - Stephen has much more faith in these things than me), the tickets were not only available but they were the LOWEST PRICE we'd seen them yet! So we filled in all the forms again. And yet again, we prayed before clicking the button.

But this time I didn't joke about not going if it didn't work out. Because God had shown me that He knew better than me when we were supposed to buy these tickets. And sure enough, before the third "processing" had come up, it popped up that our flights were confirmed.

It didn't work the first time we tried because God knew more than we did. The hours we spent researching were but a blink of an eye in God's infinite wisdom. He knew when we needed to buy them and where we needed to do it. And I learned AGAIN to trust in Him.

Let's hope next time I am not so slow to remember He's in control. I don't need sleepless nights and an emotional roller coaster to remind me who's in control of this.

I just need to trust HIM day by day.

And oh my goodness, we have plane tickets. This is for real, people!!!! I'm so excited!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Roller Coaster

(I did not take this photo - found it on google but can't remember where)

I love roller coasters. I mean, ever since I was a little girl I love anything that gives me a quick rush of adrenaline, and as I've gotten older I've desired for bigger and better things than roller coasters... but it stopped there. See, I got smarter, too, as I got older. And as I got smarter I began to look at the risks and realized that roller coasters were a safe risk - much safer than many of the adrenaline rushes I could seek after like cliff diving or bungee jumping or whatever new they came out with next. I think I'd try some of those things given the right time and opportunity but since it hasn't presented itself, I normally stick to roller coasters.

What isn't fun for anyone, though, is when our emotions feel like roller coasters. When we "ride" smoothly downhill only to face another click-clack-clank as we go back up another hill. Or when we suddenly are swept around a turn and into a big drop with a swirly, terrifying twist at the end. Emotions are like that - they can suddenly and swiftly sweep us from one extreme to the other. We can wake up and think we are going to have a great day and then be knocked down by a phone call, a comment from a loved one, an accident we weren't prepared for, or whatever. Or, in another case, we can wake up prepared for a tough day we thought we'd have to face and be surprised by a turn of events that changes everything.

Emotions can change in an instant. I feel like mine do that a lot lately. I'm trying to be honest with readers here as we go through this journey. If I'm being honest, I have to admit that I feel like I swing from super high to uber low on some days, and sometimes multiple times in one day! It's crazy! And it's easy to let my walk with God be tied to those emotions. It's easy to think God is great and let my faith be strong when things are good, and then to let it waiver when things are bad.

...but that's wrong. WAY wrong.

One of my dearest and best friends reminded me this week - right when I needed to hear it during one of those low moments - that God is NOT emotional.

(I did not take this photo - found it on google but can't remember where) 
God is a rock.

He is a strong tower.

He is our fortress.

He is our strength.

He is a consuming fire.

But His consuming fire never loses control. He often uses our circumstances to fuel that fire and change us, but our emotions don't change His plan. Never. Because His plan isn't about us. We are part of it, but it isn't about us. We have to believe that He is in control. It's not a roller coaster. It's a plan that stretches from eternity past to an infinite future and we are a tiny part of it. Our part, though, is important. God says each of us is His masterpiece. He created us for a specific part of this plan and will use us to accomplish His purpose.

So next time you think you are on an emotional roller coaster, remember, God isn't emotional at all. He is solid and He is strong. Lean on Him and he will keep us stable and refine us into who He needs us to be.

And hold me accountable to that, too, will you?