Friday, February 5, 2016

BElieve THEre is GOOD {{in the world}}

Lamentations 3:22 "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not."

Hi my pretties!

Just wanted to take a minute and remind you that God is good, He loves you, and best of all, His compassions don't fail and His mercy is new EVERY morning! 

Compassion = "a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by strong desire to alleviate the suffering."

God knows what you're facing; the battles you're going through are not yours to fight alone. He is a good, good Father and He cares about every tiny aspect of your life.

His compassion on our mundane lives is beautiful and extravagant.

Take this ordinary Friday and make it extraordinary.

You never know who may need your compliment, Bible verse or encouragement.

Be the good in an ever changing world. Find a way to make a difference to someone today!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Here's to you, kid.

You've kept your head up. You've made it past obstacles that are too large for your young life. You've persevered through situations that you shouldn't have to know exist. You've kept your emotions in check for the most part.

Here's to you for trying to have a normal life. For making excuses for a person or a set of people who are supposed to love you enough to move heaven and earth for you. 

But sometimes they don't. Maybe they can't. I don't know.

Today is my mom's birthday, and I wanted to call and tell her happy birthday. But I can't.

I would never put this out there to embarrass her or make her feel like less of anything that she is. And I don't want to embarrass myself either.

But recently I've been thinking about embracing the mess.

Taking off the mask of "a perfect life."

The mess that is sometimes real life. Sometimes real life isn't picture perfect, no matter how "normal" you've set your life up to be.

The mess that is embarrassing. Hard to handle. Impossible to look past. You can't run from it. And it's real.

The mess that may mean your mom is in prison. I mean it wasn't always that way. Sometimes it was rehab. Sometimes it was a "drug court" program. Sometimes it was just addiction taking it's course.

But here's to you, kid.

You look to God to direct your paths. You've gone to college. You have a degree. You have a good job. You have a great family. You're married. You have a good life. You nurture the relationships that are important to you.

You have responsibilities that you're actually supposed to have, not the ones that you had when you were a kid, but you were treated like an adult. It wasn't your responsibility to keep secrets, feel guilty or get caught in the middle. But you were.

You weren't supposed to not be able to call your mom and tell her happy birthday,  but you can't.

You aren't supposed to know about attempted suicide, choosing sides, drunken rages or meth.

But you do.

Sometimes that's life. It's real life for some people.

So, to the girls who think their parents suck because they didn't get them front row tickets to see Adele, that's not an actual problem. 

It's hard to see your parent behind a glass wall. To go to a jail and pick up a phone on a concrete wall to talk to your parent. That's not how life is supposed to be. 

That's actually a mess. A real life mess. 

Your mom and dad are supposed to take you to ball games and send you out on dates with $20. They're supposed to buy you your first car and pay for your college tuition. 

Not call you in the middle of the night with another problem.

But here's to you, kid. For keeping your really personal life personal and not letting it determine your future.

For making your path take a turn. For not being a statistic that you were expected to be. You're making a difference.

And you should thank them, too. For making you rely on the love of Jesus more than you ever thought you would. For having relationships with other family members that may not have existed. For pushing you to better yourself.

Psalm 40:8
"I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart."

Friday, January 22, 2016

He is still good.

I can't really wrap my head around the fact that it's been 10 weeks since I was in Africa.  Part of me feels like I was there yesterday, and part of me feels like it was last year. 

I've struggled with writing anything about our trip because I have way too much to say, while having not much to say.

If you want to hear about a life changing, life giving, humbling, incredible time full of babies and people who love Jesus, I can tell you story after story.

If you want to know how overwhelming it is to be in the midst of poverty but still see beauty everywhere, I can tell you about that.  If you want to hear about how people light up because they have the joy and peace of Jesus in their life, despite their real life hardships, I can tell you story after story.

If I learned anything going to Uganda, it is this: He is still good.

In the midst of poverty stricken streets, disease, hunger and fatherlessness, He is still good.

In the midst of children who don't know their parents, He is still good.

In the midst of not knowing where the next meal is coming from, He is still good.

In the midst of women and men taking care of children they did not give birth to, He is still good.

In the midst of trials far greater than anything you and I have ever known, He is still good.

I won't make light of our struggles and hardships; they are real.  But I've never been starving.  My stomach has never been distended due to hunger.  I have never had to sleep in a strange place or been refused medical attention because I didn't have the money upfront to pay for treatment of some sort.  

We don't get sent home from school and told we can't come back until our fees are paid when we are 8 years old.  

Uganda will make you fall in love.  You will fall in love with the people; their hearts.  You will fall in love with holding babies on a porch, barefoot, overlooking a scenery that is unmatched.  You will fall in love with the simplicity.  You will do things you never thought you would do in your lifetime- and all of these things will simply be okay.

And you will want to fix all the problems.

Have you ever thought about how lucky you are? I really hadn't, until recently.  Why was I born into such luxury? Why do I not have to worry about starving? Why do children suffer daily from things I've never even thought about? Why do I live in a house with 3 bedrooms and a large portion of the Ugandan population sleep on dirt floors?

It's not fair, in my mind. But He is still good.

Part of being a Christian is this: to serve others.

James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

There is so much affliction. God didn't tell us to wait until the afflicted are rescued and placed comfortably on a couch somewhere to go visit them. No, He means for us to see them in their hardest times.  

"As abject poverty confronted me every day, I felt deeply convicted about one thing:  God did knot make too many people and not enough resources to go around. Because we are living in His world, there had to be a solution." -Katie Davis (Kisses from Katie) **PSA: if you haven't read this book, please do. It will put you all up in your feels and make you cry lots but also make you happy.

While we were in Uganda, we visited several homes; some for babies, some for children of all ages.  They all had this one thing in common: Jesus Christ is the head of their home, and they are living out their lives with humble hearts and much worship.

They love Jesus so much.

Sometimes I think we get sidetracked by all the things we have and want.  We're too busy to truly worship, because we have somewhere to be at 12:04 after church and we just really can't be late. 

We can't truly appreciate what we do have, because the world tells us that if we want to be as good as everyone else, we need more. 

We can't have deep, meaningful relationships because we are constantly comparing ourselves to the people we want to befriend, and let's be honest, that just doesn't sit well.

Why? What does any of that matter?

What matters is children getting an education. Children getting food. Children not being denied medical attention because they have no money.

I could say so much more, but I want to share this:

You can help. You can make a difference in a life and it will not go unnoticed.

Okay, true.  Helping one child, one life- that may not be shouted from the rooftops. But to the child you help, you are changing their world. You are making sure they have their basic provisions met. No child should have to worry about when they will eat next.

If you're worried I'm about to hit you up for money or something, don't worry- I'm not. But I am going to share some information and ask you to really pray for the people of Uganda.

By sponsoring a child (with any amount of money at places that we have personally visited/stayed at) you are changing  a life.  It is insane how far $20 from the US will go there. If God has laid it on your heart to serve someone in some way, I hope you'll consider sponsorship.  If you are interested in this avenue, PLEASE contact me.  You can even go to and take a look around. Setting up a monthly donation through Christian Aid Ministries is so easy. The kids' profile will let you know who is in need of sponsorship, as well as tell you a little bit about him/her. If you only have $10/month, it will make a difference.

My aunt and uncle, Amy and Rob Montgomery, also have a nonprofit that they started after going to Uganda. Rise Again works largely with projects in Uganda.  Most recently, they have been able to gather funds to give a grandmother, who is raising her grandchildren, their very first beds and put a floor in their home among several other life changing projects.  Please go check out their Facebook page (Rise Again, Inc.) to follow what's happening with that ministry!

Some other Facebook pages that can give you a look inside life in Uganda are:

Canaan Childrens Home Official 

Pillars OfHope Uganda

Sangaalo Babies

Ebenezer Children's Ministry 

Amazima Ministries 

Plans to back to Uganda are already in the works and I really pray it all works out.  But if not, He is still good. 

Going to Uganda was life changing. Corny, but true. Going to Uganda gave me a new sense of appreciation for life in general. And it made me fall in love with Jesus all over again. Because He does care about you and me. He cares about those widows and orphans. He cares about us all the same. For that, I am grateful.