Sunday, December 27, 2009


I want to share a few things I've noticed come out of multiple people's mouth over this holiday break. As much as I love every person who has said them, these phrases/thought processes/quotes have really been bothering me...

1. In regards to missions, third world countries, or countries in dire need, I have noticed that many people say/make the excuse, "it's just too sad for me" or "it would just be too hard to see people like that." A lot of people do not want to see or hear anything about areas where there are people suffering. I have found that most of these people have huge hearts but decide to supress any emotions they may feel because they either don't want to feel responsible for it OR believe that they are not able to make a difference anyway. Injustice and poverty is chosen to be ignored. I don't understand that mindset. I do know that when we choose to ignore these issues, we miss out. We miss out on God's purpose for our life (Isaiah 58). We miss out on His heart (which is for the poor and helpless). We miss out on gaining joy and wisdom, and seeing hope. We miss out on what these beautiful people have to offer us and on the ways God desires to use us, transform us, and reveal more of Himself to us. It is a great loss and, I believe, a great act of disobedience, to forget or ignore the hopeless, helpless, and forgotten people.

2. Something that was said to me that literally brought tears to my eyes was, "one person cannot make a difference anyway." This was in regards to going somewhere that is filled with need, a country that almost seems helpless. When I heard this I couldn't say anything. It really upset me. To believe that one person cannot help is a lie from the enemy. He wants us to think that a life is not worth our time. I agree that there are SO many countries in dire need and it seems overwhelming. But, doesn't change begin with ONE person? One life that is obedient to the Lord's will, WILL have a major impact. Ripple effect (from there it keeps growing). And all of heaven rejoices when ONE person turns to Him.

3. One of the hardest and most common thing said to me is, "there is enough need right here, in our own backyards." Believe it or not... I KNOW. Believe me, I see need EVERYWHERE I go. It's like my eyes are a magnet to need. I spend 98% of my time here and hopefully I am helping needs be met. And not to outweigh the needs here, but if people could see the immeasurable amount of needs in the world, I think we would quit saying things like this. If you're not someone who enjoys leaving the country, then encourage and support the ones who actually do want to go and are willing to go, go. Then, help take on responsibility for the needs here. I guarantee that 95% of people who say this haven't done much here at all. So, quit telling me that there is enough dang need right in my backyard.

4. And the last mindset that can really get me fired up is, "well, you shouln't/can't go there because it's just not a safe place." Almost EVERYONE thinks this way. And when I answer saying that the unsafe areas do not scare me, I am blamed for being selfish for wanting to put people who love me through that. Heaven forbid I die and go to heaven! I know this is said because there are many people here who deeply love me and don't want me to get hurt. I really appreciate that and I love and care for them just as much. But, I'm here for one purpose and that is to carry out His will and bring glory to Him. The gospel demands us to follow Him wherever He leads. I laid down my life for Him years ago and because of that I no longer live, but He lives in me. It can be costly. I love how my pastor puts it, he says, "the most dangerous place to be may be in the center of God's will." In Acts 20, Paul says, "I consider my life worth NOTHING to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the Gospel of God's grace." May this be how all of us feel. I love my parents. I respect my parents. But, I love Jesus more. I cannot and will not ignore His call for me. If it is dangerous, and I am called there, I will go. I trust Him. He is the shepherd in whom I fully trust will guide and protect me. Yes, I know, "we've got to be smart." But yet again, the lives of people are just as significant as my life.

Friday, December 25, 2009


I LOVE the way this children's book tells the story...

Now some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn't do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn't mainly about you and what you should be doing. It's about God and what he has done.
Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but most of the people in the Bible aren't heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.
No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne--- everything--- to rescue the one he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
You see, the best thing about this Story is --- it's true!
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story.
And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle --- the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
And this is no ordinary baby. This is
the Child upon whom everything would depend.
Everything was ready. The moment God had been waiting for was here at last! God was coming to help his people, just as he promised in the beginning.
But how would he come? What would he be like? What would he do?
Mountains would have bowed down. Seas would have roared. Trees would have clapped their hands. But the earth held its breath. As silent as snow falling, he came in. And when no one was looking, in the darkness, he came.
.... But this child was a new kind of king. Though he was the Prince of Heaven, he had become poor. Though he was the Mighty God, he had become a helpless baby. This King hadn't come to be the boss. He had come to be a servant.

Christmas. The story blows me away. The king came. The king of the universe. Jesus. As I dwell on Him this Christmas, who He is, what He has done, and what He is going to do, tears well up in my eyes. I LOVE Him and He has blessed me. My heart is for the world to know His love. To see how significant this birth is. Merry Christmas friends.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Gather round ye children come,

Listen to the old old story

Of the power of death undone

By an infant born of glory

Son of God, Son of Man

Every Christmas there is a specific part of the story that grabs my attention. This year I cannot stop thinking about the 400 years leading up to the birth of Jesus. 400 years of SILENCE. No prophesy's. No word from God. NOTHING. I don't think I've ever really given this much thought. But, can you imagine? How did they believe? How did they live? HOW? I just don't understand. There was nothing. Nothing but DESPERATION and YEARNING. Not a peep from God.

Our enemy, our captor is no pharaoh on the Nile

Our toil is neither mud nor brick nor sand

Our ankles bear no calluses from chains, yet Lord, we're bound

Imprisoned here, we dwell in our own land

Deliver us, deliver us

Oh Yahweh, hear our cry

And gather us beneath your wings tonight

Our sins they are more numerous than all the lambs we slay

These shackles they were made with our own hands

Our toil is our atonement and our freedom yours to give

So Yahweh, break your silence if you can

And then He appears.
After 400 YEARS of silence. He APPEARS. And how did He appear? Not majestically. Drawing no attention. He comes in the form of a baby. The silence is broken by the cry of a baby. A baby that will one day become king (the child would bring a Kingdom and the old would come to pass away). Not just a typical king. But a King of ALL NATIONS. All people. All time.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Christ is born

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Christ is born

'All glory be to God on high

And to the earth be peace

Good will henceforth from God to man

Begin and never cease'

I try to imagine living in that time. I think about being born and then dying during these 400 years, never hearing from Him or experiencing Him. I would feel abandoned. Would I believe His promises given in early years that a Savior would come? I'm not sure. WOW. Then I think about living during the time that the babies cry broke the silence. Oh my gosh, could you imagine? After yearning and longing for a King, He comes! In such a humble way, He comes. The Savior of the world CHOSE to dwell with us. Who would choose to come to earth to be crucified? But He chose because He loves us. He came to suffer, to save, to be our substitute, to show us how to live, and to serve us.

He'll bear no beauty or glory

Rejected, despised

A man of such sorrow

We'll cover our eyes

He'll take up our sickness

Carry our tears

For his people

He will be pierced

He'll be crushed for our evils

Our punishment feel

By his wounds

We will be healed.'

I think this Christmas I just can't stop thinking about the desperation of the people during that time. Their cries for Yahweh to deliver them. It's almost like I can feel that yearning for the Messiah. But then, I can feel the pure JOY that came with His birth.

Behold the Lamb

The hope of man

Behold the Lamb of God

Merry Christmas.

(The lyrics are from Andrew Peterson's, "Behold the Lamb of God" album, buy it, it may change your life.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Following after Jesus, aka being a disciple, can be made out to be pretty effortless, comfortable, even fun sometimes. What we either a) don't realize or b) choose to bypass, is that this is not an accurate picture of what Scriptures tell us. When Jesus invited people to become followers it wasn't your typical alter call. He wasn't sugar coating it, or trying to sell Himself. In Luke 14:25-35, He said...

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple...
In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."

Do we know Christ this way? Do we follow Him the way He calls us to follow Him? It seems to me like we always water this down, soften it, in order to justify how we are living. We must hate our father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, friends, classmates, roommates, and our own life to be His disciple? Are you sure? YES, He requires a SUPERIOR LOVE over everything. A love that in comparison makes our love for everyone else look like hate. A love so superior that causes love for others to spring up. So, the question is, do I truly love Him? Is He the reason I live? Do I want Him more than anything else? This reminds me of when I first got to NZ. Love and passion for Him was missing and I knew that if I could truly love Him, then everything else should stem from that love. As I prayed for love, He gave it to me. But, today, I am reminded to continue praying for this superior love. I am challenged by the fact that I may not love Him as much as I should. I love other things in life too. But, I want to love Him superiorly. I desire a superior love for Him. He is worthy of it, no doubt. He does not deserve left overs. And, if He does not recieve all my love, then I am not a disciple. It's as simple as that.

He also requires an EXCLUSIVE LOYALTY from me (14:27). The reality is, if I am carrying my cross, I am dead, i.e. I have no plans, no dreams, everything is over. Being dead to myself is what it means to be a disciple. THROUGH THE CROSS OF CHRIST, WE DIE TO THE LIFE WE LIVE. Galatians 2:20 says that 'I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.' I am dead to everything yet alive to Him. Now, the life of Christ determines everything about me. We forget to COUNT THE COSTS of what it means to be a disciple. Just like a warrior going into war, it is important for us to consider whats at stake before going into battle. I am a warrior, in a battle, and there are many costs. Following Him is costly.

Jesus also requires TOTAL LOSS (or SACRIFICE). Most of us have a negative connotation to the word sacrifice. Hebrews 11:26...
"He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward."
I LOVE this verse. Moses new that the disgrace, hardships, and suffering were nothing compared to Christ, our great reward. When we realize what the reward is, it doesn't seem like sacrifice at all! I am told that in order to be His disciple, I should give up everything. Not just a few things, EVERYTHING.

And this is where I get fired up...
What I've been wanting to write about all semester but I know I don't have it down, so who am I to talk? But here goes...
As Christians, we should be taking His word seriously. Not the watered down, disregard the hard parts, soften it up a bit, easy way. NO. I have been challenged and frustrated by this all semester. How can "Christians" go on preaching this watered down version of the gospel??? How can Christians go on living watered down lives??? I don't get it. How could we miss it? It's right there! Do we not believe that the words that come out of JESUS' mouth are TRUTH? He straight up tells us. A life following Him is COSTLY. It's HARD. The world is continually being decieved on what it truly means to be a Christ follower because "Christians" continually live giving Him divided love, half-hearted obedience, and partial control. If you are searching, do not look to the typical 'sunday-goer' because I have found that very FEW actually grasp this radical life we are called to live. Look at the Word of God. Go to Him. He is the ONLY one with answers. The only good and perfect being. I am so sick of His word and this life we are called to live being watered down, disregarded, and ignored. SO sick of it. Because, HE. IS. WORTH. IT. He is worth the cost. The reward is worth it. A reward greater than ANYTHING else. I want people to know this so badly. To believe it and experience it. He is the only one worthy. He alone is worthy of a superior love, exclusive loyalty, and total sacrifice. Only He can satisfy. This. Is. The. Gospel. No, it doesn't make sense. No, I'm sure as heck not perfect. But, yes, He is wrenching my heart and opening my eyes to see His supremacy. Yes, I am wrestling with Him trying to figure out what this means for my life. And my deepest desire right now is to embrace Him, abandon it all, give Him my life, fall on my face, let go of myself, fix my eyes on him and RUN TO HIM.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

an outsider.

I feel like an outsider. Like I don't belong. Like no one thinks the same as me. No one understands me. I feel different. Wierd. Not normal. Unordinary.
I have an overwhelming hunger and thirst for righteousness. Justice. A burden that I can't shake. A burden for the lost, the broken, and the poor. And I think more than ever I feel like I am the only one who thinks this way. It's a consistent grabbing of my heart. I can't shake it. I want others to know. Don't they see it? The injustice, how the world is so unfair? How there is so much need? There are days where the individual faces of Cambodian students, Phillipino contacts, prostitutes in Thailand, friends in Indonesia, Ugandan orphans, or Kenyan street kids flash through my head. I cannot and will not forget these precious people. They remind me constantly of the great need all around the world. And I just feel so alone in carrying this burden. I desire for people to grasp it. To see the need and to take the gospel seriously. To make it become a reality.
More than ever I am grasping the fact that my citizenship is not on earth. It is in heaven. I truly feel like I don't belong here. I am a child of God and this place is temporary. I just wish He'd hurry up because this feeling of not-belonging is hard.

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ." (Phillipians 4:20).

"But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the RIGHTEOUSNESS for which we hope." (Galations 5:5)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

rest, church, and prayer

I cannot seem to get enough of Him. It's a good place to be. I just returned from NC for my first break since I hit American soil in August. It was a short break as this tuesday is my first final exam. But, as I said, I am SO thirsty for Him. This whole break all I wanted to do (besides eat turkey and see family) was sit and enjoy Him, reminisce on what He has taught me these few months, and learn more on how I can better reflect Him. I love Him. I am passionate about Him. And I am so thankful that I know Him. As I enter into these final 2 weeks of the semester, my prayer is that I will not put this hunger and thirst aside for books and tests. It will be hard to put Him first, to not get anxious or stressed about the 300 finals ahead of me, but He is my priority.

One thing I have been so grateful for recently is the church I have been attending in Birmingham. Wow. I am overwhelmed with the obedience of this church and the pastor. He is literally wrecking lives. The word that is preached is SO pure, not your typical watered down version of the gospel. It is RADICAL. Truth is preached and people cannot deny His calling on thier lives. The Holy Spirit is there and I am grateful to be a part of it. I will say that when I first started going to this church at the beginning of the semester I was very wary of the fact that it's what we call a "mega-church." But, it is without a doubt where I am supposed to be, where I am getting fed and challenged, and where I desire to be a part of His body. I wish everyone could come...

Another thing I am overwhelmed with is the fact that He wants to use me. He has chosen me. He has a huge purpose for me. In Homewood, AL, I can change the world. PRAYER. Intercession. He can accomplish His will through ME praying. What?! So, why wouldn't I pray? The more I pray for people and the world and seek His heart for the nations, the more He is humbling me. How do I get to be a part of of His HUGE plan for the nations? Really? Through devoting a small amount of time to chase after His heart for people, He is teaching me and blessing me and USING me more than I ever thought possible. I am HUMBLED to be an "heir" of the most high King.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

life, weddings, and holy anguish.

A few thoughts...

The other day, I was asked the question...

Where would you be if you weren't in Birmingham getting your masters?

And although I have been struggling with wanting to be anywhere in the world but here, I didn't have an answer. Crazy that after continually trying to convince myself that I am supposed to be somewhere else I've never really thought about where EXACTLY I would be. Which is the Lord confirming yet again that I am EXACTLY where He has me.

After 3 months I'm finally feeling a little more settled. Over the course of these 3 months I have felt as if I've been home FOREVER and then at other times I feel like it has FLOWN by. It is a little hard to believe that if i make it through these next few weeks, I will have completed my first semester of OT school. And only by His grace and strength have I. It's also hard to believe that He has increased my love for people and the world even more. Was that possible? I guess so. My heart aches for the world.

One of my best friends just got married. She was the first out of a group of 6 best friends. This time last year Jamie and Nick had not even met. Now, they are in Mexico on the their honeymoon. They met over Christmas on a cruise and I guess you could say it was 'love at first sight.' Three months later they were engaged. Jamie's life is as close to fairy tale that I've seen and it is so fun to watch the Lord continually bless her for her faithfulness and love for Him. She is SO happy and was literally the most beautiful bride I've ever seen. I'm so happy for both of them. And as always weddings get me day it will be my turn...

Holy anguish...

I've been thinking about these 2 words for a week or so...

Here we are, KNOWING Jesus. I mean like really knowing Him, have a relationship with Him, growing in Him, loving Him, and trusting Him. We know that we have a treasure that not everyone has. And we know that people that do not know Him will (not to be harsh) go to hell as we go on to eternal life in heaven.


I think I've never really given this place too much thought. And what I'm realizing is that I don't want to. I've heard that it is a place of fire and evil. It's where the "bad people" go. Where the murderers and thieves go. The rapists and abusers go. In scripture it talks about it as a place of torture, pain, and suffering for eternity.

Although I believe that hell exists and people do go there, it's very hard for me to believe that God actually allows that. But, He is a God to be feared. I think we don't want to think about this place because maybe we have lost loved ones or know people that weren't necessarily 'Christians.' There are so many 'good' people that don't believe in Jesus and they will go on to be tortured for eternity?! Really?! Yes. He is the WAY. The only way.


Knowing this. Knowing that Hell is real. Knowing that none of us want to go there. Knowing that by not believing or having a relationship with our Creator, we will go.

Knowing these things, the question is....


Are we living in holy anguish? Are we telling people about Him? Or are we being selfish with this gift of salvation that can be offered to EVERYONE?

I don't know about ya'll but I cannot live my life and be ok with the fact that so many people will go on to be tortured for ETERNITY as I dance on the streets of gold. That just doesn't seem fair. There is an urgency. I don't know about you but I don't want anyone to suffer for eternity. I'm trying to live this out. This urgency. This holy anguish....

Monday, November 2, 2009

send me!

All I can think about is the world. I want to go. Now.
Some recent questions...
Is this where You really want me?
Am I wasting my time?
My money?
Will I really use OT?
Are you sure God?
Are you sure?

I don't know what the answer is. I do know that I have never in my life felt such a longing to GO. Missionary? I don't know. I've avoided that word being my profession for a while. But I cannot get away from the fact that I love missions. I love the world. I love people. I love cultures. And most of all, I love God. I cannot stop 'yelling' the words I WANT TO GO! as I talk to Him.

Somedays I think I'm so ordinary, so normal, like I haven't changed. I love walking my dog through the neighborhood, I love being consumed with horses and riding, I love my feathery/girly bed. But then I see how unordinary I am. How I have changed. How my eyes fill with tears at the sight of a homeless person. How my heart beats faster when I see/hear stories of the way He has changed lives. How I long to soak in His presence. The nations are constantly on my mind. I am burdened for the world. I desire to be doing work for His kingdom.

And again these words convict me....Be content where you are.
This is a constant theme. Why can I not learn this?
Birmingham is where I am. An OT student is what I am doing. Is this where I'm supposed to be? I don't know. I think I don't want it to be where I'm supposed to be (does that make sense?). I'm going to keep seeking Him, keep stepping forward, hoping that He will speak and guide me clearly. Right now, as my heart cries out 'I WANT TO GO,' I must learn contentment. This phase of graduate school is going to be a long one if I cannot grasp this concept.
"The Nations whisper my name with a familiarity and I will return to them in time."

This is what I miss. Where I long to return one day...

Saturday, October 24, 2009


It's been awhile, but it's not because of lack of God working in my life. He continue's to guide me, teach me, love me, and reassure me.

As my time on the "mission field" gets further and further away, I have been getting more and more worried of losing what He taught me or forgetting what I saw. I realize that I cannot cling to the past but I also don't want to get "stuck" thinking that a mediocore/comfortable life is what God wants from me. Gross. I realized how many of my persepctives had changed over 6 months after I returned. I'll give you one example...
Confession: My whole life I've wanted what probably most Americans want. A cute/nice little house filled with luxuries and comforts that I love. The dog in the back yard, swing in the front yard, and kids running around the safe neighborhood (and lets be honest, a little barn with Wicklow in it). When I moved back to Birmingham and began taking weekly walks/runs around the neighborhood I realized that as much as I still love looking at all the "precious" houses, nothing in me desired that lifestyle. BUT, as the weeks go on and I become more and more removed from the missionary lifestyle, I'm realzing that with each walk around my cute little neighborhood that desire for a comfortable lifestyle is re-surfacing. Is it bad? I'm not sure. I do know that it scares me. Please don't get me wrong, I know that God uses everyone of us right where we are, and He calls many people to live this "dream" life of mine. I've just really been struggling with this since I've been back. What does it look like to live as Jesus did when I'm living in a nice house, own a car, and on top of that am bogged down with school books and assignments. He gave everything. He was homeless. He wasn't concerned with fashion, cars, or houses. SO how do I justify being concerned with that? Is it justifiable? I'm confused.

What I know is that I want my life to look like Jesus'. I want to be radical. I want SO badly to be used in mighty ways. I don't want the way of life I was immersed in for 6 months to just become a mere memory. I don't want to lose my passion or focus.

One more thing...
I am realizing how excited I am for what's ahead of me. I am so willing and open to be used anywhere in the world. I know that OT will give me so many opportunities. But because of my heart for the world I'm having a hard time feeling trapped here. Not a day does by where I don't think about the possibilities of missions. I guess I'm just ruined for the ordinary (ha...AW80 anyone?). BUT, although I am so excited for future opportunities I'm also realizing the importance of letting God use me here. He has placed so many cool things in my lap and given me so many visions. The prayer/intercession group is finally starting. Our first meeting was last week. I cannot begin to express how great it was to come together and seek God's heart for topics in the world and the city. As I said, there are many great oppportunities to be used here. I'm excited. I'm thankful. But more than anything I'm remembering that seeking His face above it all is the most important thing I can do.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I finally got to hang out with the homeless a few days ago. I LOVED it. I was able to hear stories and see a beautiful picture of the gospel come to life. Let me share...

Zach is a 30 year old from Chicago. He's been living on the streets of Birmingham for about 8 years now. We sat and talked for a couple hours. To start, he couldn't get over the fact that Ruthie and I were just there to hang out. Not with a church, charity, or any organization. We just wanted to be friends and hear stories. That blew his mind. During our conversation the topic of faith came up. Zach is not a Christian. His mom is Buddhist and as he said, he just doesn't give a beep about that stuff. Zach is smart though. He's a thinker. And believe me, he made me think too. It basically came down to "faith isn't reality." The reality for people like Zach is that life is a fight. A fight for food, a place to sleep, and to stay alive. His point was that no matter what higher power you believe in, the world still goes on, so what's so real about this faith?

Sure it's [relatively] easy for people like me to have faith. I have a car, a comfortable bed to sleep in every night, a roof over my head, a family that loves and supports me. But it's just not really fair that because of my circumstances I am able to believe in a God who has blessed me and taken care of me. And how do you portray to someone with poor circumstances that faith IS real? I KNOW that Jesus is alive and at work among us but how do you convey that to a homeless man whose life looks nothing like mine?

Zach brought up many questions, not doubts, just questions.

In another part of the conversation Zach said he just needs $27 to start making his way back to Chicago. I know, I know, you're not supposed to give money to homeless people but a guy who had joined us early on in the conversation offered to give him the remaining money. Zach was adament that he could not take the money without paying him back someway. But the message conveyed to Zach was that the conversation and questions that were brought up today were Zach's way of paying him back. What a cool picture of who Christ is. We don't have to pay Him anything because it's all paid for and He loves us that much. Zach couldn't get over that. Sometimes I can't really get over that either. What a beautiful picture of the gospel.

I don't know if Zach took anything away from this time but I sure did. I pray that he saw a REAL picture of who Jesus is and that God would continue stirring in his heart.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

into the wild?!?

March 2012...

I've been dreamin' about what will happen at this time in my life. Get ready...

I'm going on a road trip, 'into the wild' style.

At this point in my life I will be have graduated from OT school in Decemeber, hopefully I'll go to Zambia with UAB for a couple months and then its time to hit the road.
I want to see the U.S. and maybe Canada while I'm at it. My good friend Rachel and I have been brainstorming this idea all weekend and I am serious that this is NOT just an idea but WILL happen. We all know I love the world and plan on seeing much much more (maybe all?!?!) of it over the course of my life. But there are SO many awesome places in my own country that I want to see. So here's the plan. Rent an RV/van. Round up a group. Make a complete loop of the country. No time frame. No agenda. Just loving people. Hearing stories. Taking pictures. Serving. Laughing, dancing, singing. Community. Living simply. Faith. Dependency. Experiencing His creation and His people. Guided completely by the Holy Spirit.

I know, maybe you think I'm crazy. But, it's a dream and one thing I've learned recently is to dream big because we serve a BIG and GREAT God. Of course this mighty God of mine could call me somewhere else but for now I'd like to think this will be in His plan for me. So, anyone want to join?

Friday, September 18, 2009


I miss YWAM. I miss the people, the leaders, Emrie. I miss New Zealand, the base, Christchuch, friday night outreach. I miss being the only southern one (and getting made fun of for it). I miss how different everyone was. I miss traveling and giving my testimony (who would have thought?!?!) and telling people about this Savior I live for. I miss Cambodia, our contacts there, and my precious little class. I miss seeing new things everyday. I miss corporate prayer and worship and feeling like my life is filled with so much purpose. I miss being challenged spiritually on a daily basis and being made to depend on Him. I miss being poured into and in turn pouring out constantly.

This week I've been thinking a lot about how I can best be used by Him in this city. I'm struggling. I feel as if I'm doing nothing to further His kingdom. My life over the past month has revolved around me, and to be honest, it's disgusting me. I don't want to live selfishly. I desire to love others above myself. Time has been passing me by and I'm sick of letting it pass and not doing anything. God has given me so many ideas. Knowing that I literally don't have enough time for all the ideas He's given me, I've been waiting on Him to speak on what to choose specifically to do. But what I've learned and been reminded of is that I must be the one to make the first step. Too often we wait for the Lord to tell us where to go or what to do when the reality is that He's clearly told us to GO and further His kingdom. I'm not underestimating the importance of waiting on Him. BUT, He is waiting for us to step out, open the first door. He'll guide and direct each step but we must step out knowing and trusting that He will speak to us. I've been asking too long what it is He wants me to do and He's spoken many things so my job now is to step out in boldness.

I'm a little nervous about a couple things He's told me to do but I'm excited too. This week I was able to make some steps of obedience. Be praying for God's provision in it all and that I would learn exactly what it means to walk in His Spirit daily.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


God is fighting for me.
This morning I woke up in quite a "funk." Immediately I surrendered. I told Him that although I know He fights for me everyday I'm going to really need Him to fight today. I've been a fighter since I've been home but for some reason the past couple days have been "weird." I don't like it. It scares me. I don't want to lose this passionate love for Jesus that I have. Before I came home (from DTS) He reminded me that as much as I fight for Him, He is fighting for me a million times harder. I needed that to become a reality today. And did He fail me? Nope. Never. He is fighting for me. The King of the universe is fighting for ME. He fights for all of us, even when we don't take notice of it. I am overwhelmed once again by His goodness. We all should be fighters but never forget that He is the ultimate fighter.

One more thing...
This picture (taken by the Hubble Telescope) is unbelievable. "The heavens are telling the glory of God!" Psalm 19:1. Literally. We serve a mighty, beautiful, and creative God don't we?

Monday, September 7, 2009


I hate that I haven't blogged in a while. It's such a good way for me to process, but life lately is so busy. School is hard. I feel like for the next 2 years I will constantly feel like I can't catch up. One day I feel like I may have a handle on it, and the next I think I'll never be able to get through it all. The few times I've actually been able to sit and really process/think about life I've realized that God is still moving and working in my life in many ways. I'll share a little of that....

I love Jesus SO much. He is SO good. Seriously, each time I really stop and think about Him, I cry. When I was in New Zealand I prayed consistently for Him to give me more love. When I left I definitely knew that prayer had been answered and now, 5 months later, I realize He is continuing to give me even more. So awesome.

Time has already been a huge issue for me, which I hate. I know that the time I spend with Him is SO important and I will not give that up to anyone. I truly want to be able to sit and be with Him for hours each day. I am so desperate to be in His presence. But, where do I find the time? It's definitely a balancing act. But, He has given me such a peace in being back. As probably most of you know I would LOVE to be out in the "world" somewhere. A few of my good friends are either 1) heading to Africa in the next month, 2) making plans to go with a group in the next few months OR 3) still traveling and ministering to people all over the world. Of course my first tendency is to become jealous but what's cool is that although I wish so badly I could go I also know that it's not the season that God has me in right now. He has reminded me of my role over the next few years (or more) and given me such a peace about it. My role is to encourage, support, and pray for them. It excites me so much to see people who are denying themselves and being obedient to His will/calling on their lives. I am so excited for everything they will see and experience, the way He will use them, and what He will teach them. I am excited to play a small role in supporting them as they get to "go" to the nations.

I'm also realizing that I must give EVERYTHING in my life to God. It's cool to me that even in the areas that I feel like to God would be trivial are areas that He still wants to rule. He made me this way, with certain passions, and there is no way He would neglect those areas of my life. It's all important to Him. I've got to believe and trust that He cares. I'm learning to seek His voice and direction in EVERY area.

God is continually reminding me that this is where I am supposed to be. A few months ago, in the villages of Cambodia, I remember thinking that I had never felt like I was more in His will than I was in that moment. I knew it was exactly where I was supposed to be. We were telling people about Jesus to Cambodians who had literally never heard His name before. The other day I got the same feeling except this time I was in Birmingham, AL, surrounded by churches and people who have grown up hearing the name of Jesus. I am right in His will right now. And I just think it's so cool that in 2 of the most opposite locations I could get the same feeling and affirmation from God. It's good to know that this is right where I am supposed to be.

I am reminding myself daily to fix my eyes on Him. There are MANY things in my life right now BUT if I cannot remember the goal, which is Him and His glory, then all of this is completely meaningless. This may make no sense, but to me all of the "stuff" in my life (OT school, riding, Bham, friends, etc) are transparent. When I look at each "thing" I can see God's face on the other side. I can see Him through everything. It's so important for me not to lose sight of Him in it all. I am running this race, one foot after another, pressing in, and striving more and more to become like Jesus. That's the purpose of life. May I learn to be a living sacrifice, lay my life down over and over, surrendered, with arms wide open, and completely obedient to what He has in store for me. I KNOW He will pick me up and carry me when I fail. I am asking Him for confidence, provision, guidance, enjoyment in school, and opportunities to make Him known. I'm excited for what He's doing in me as well as my family all over the world. He's cool.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

the u.s. of a.

Wow. I'm in Birmingham. I can't believe I've been home for a week. Now that I've seen everyone, had some good meals, and slept in a comfortable bed.... I'm ready to keep traveling. But, I can't. I'm here for atleast 2 1/2 years.

The first few days back were like a dream. I felt like I had never left (which I didn't like). I was able to see my parents, friends, and of course Wicklow. The weekend in Auburn flew by and before I knew it I was in my new house in Birmingham. About day 4 is when everything started to hit me. Exhaustion. Culture Shock. Missing my fellow DTS-ers. I'm really missing everyone. And I'm SO jealous that everyone is traveling/relaxing right now. Knowing that makes sitting in the classroom all day way worse than it already is. It's so hard to go from relationships with people being the most important part of my life to school overtaking my life. My first week was overwhelming to say the least. As of right now I have no idea how I will survive this semester. The class load and work load is more than I thought possible. Very scary. I literally do not feel like I can do this. BUT, here is what I'm clinging to....I KNOW that I am in His will right now. He will pull me through this if it's His plan. It is only by His grace and provision that I made it into this program, so He will help me through it. He wants me to succeed. I have to take this one step at a time. I cannot look ahead at EVERYTHING that needs to be done but instead I must focus on the task directly in front of me. I am fixing my eyes on Him and trusting His hand to direct me. OT is an amazing profession built around loving and caring for people. One day I will be able to bless and serve people ANYwhere with these skills. I will stick it out and although I know there will be times where I'll want to quit, I will remember that it is only by Him that I am here in the first place. I am believing that His favor is upon me.

Apart from the negatives, I was overwhelmed by how GOOD God is this week. As He promised, He has already come before me. He was here way before I got here. He prepared a way for me and I was able to witness that this week. The whole week I felt like God was saying, "Katy, I told you so." He is good. SO good. I just love Him.

My new house and roomie is GREAT. Seriously, I love it. The house is precious and so nice. I've already fallen in love with Hayden. She and I will be best friends soon. I have atleast 10 friends within a mile radius of me, which is so fun. And it has been so good being in the same city as a few of my best friends from college. I'm excited to live life (in the same city) with these friends again. The question is, will I have time for a social life? I'm a little worried about that. All in all, Birmingham really is great. It will be hard but I know I'll love it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

the end.

It's over. This journey is finished. We graduated/were sent out from the Mount of Olives today. What a blessing it was to have these 6 months devoted to diving in deeper with the Lord. For me, this was a time of major refining. It was time where my roots grew much deeper. Deeper than I ever thought possible. I cannot say it enough, but I am thankful for this season. I am changed. I am different. More than anything, I am completely in love with Jesus.

Joseph Watson, a speaker from lecture phase that every single one of us fell in love with (he spoke on dreams and destiny...changed my life, literally), surprised us on Monday. He has delivered all the messages over the past few days. Wow. So good. Such a good reminder of my destiny and the authority I have. I am transitioning into a new season of life. Right now, everything is tossed in the air as I have no idea what to expect. A new city. A new school. New roommates. New friends. I know that it will be so good. God has told me that He has gone before me. He has prepared a way for me. He is the same everywhere and NOTHING can separate us. BUT, that doesn't mean it won't be tough. I am guarding what He has given me. I will be led by Jesus, not by the world. I won't waste what He's done. I am going home a new person. I know I will be tested in the areas He has worked. The enemy will try to take that from me but I will stand against him knowing that God will meet me. I need to be on my knees, seeking His face. I am excited to reunite with people but I will not be reuniting as the same person. I have experienced and seen far more than I could have imagined. I want to continue serving. I hope there will be many opportunities to pour into other people. To tell people all that God has done and is doing. I yearn for conversations with the central focus being Jesus. Yes, it's a given that this will be hard BUT I will go home knowing that it's going to be good. I will fight for it. I will focus on the light, not the darkness. And I will remember that the power that rose Christ from the dead is the same power living in me. He's there. He's the same. Amen.

Tomorrow I head to the beaches of Tel Aviv for the day. I fly out at 11pm. Arrive in Atlanta Saturday morning. Oh. My. Gosh. I'll be hitting the ground running. Please pray for this transition. Goodbyes will be tough. This has been my family. And to jump right into this new phase is quite scary. Thanks to everyone who has followed me and prayed for me on this journey! I will continue blogging. AND...please please please call me or email me! I'd LOVE to talk about these past 6 months.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The past week has been jam packed.  We've done all the touring of the "Holy Land" that we're going to do.  I have experienced God so much here in Israel.  This may be long but here are a few things I want to share...

As the 5 other teams have given presentations from their outreach, it has reminded me of my desire and heart to see more.  Yes, I'm tired and want a small break, BUT there is so much I want to see.  So much need.  God is moving all around the world and my desire to take part in it is unescapable.  It was inspiring to see pictures, here stories of the high points and the struggles, and just hear the ways our mighty God is moving.  We gave all the glory back to Him and we're still overwhelmed by the fact that He chose to use and work through us.  

We have seen many wonderful sites of this "chosen land."  Masada may have been the most beautiful of all, as it sits on top of a massive cliff overlooking the Judean desert and Dead Sea.  The history behind this site is amazing, read about it.  Of course we floated in the Dead Sea and covered our bodies in the "amazing" mud.  It also was beautiful and SO fun.  Not sinking is such a weird/cool feeling.  We spent an afternoon "relaxing" at Ein Gedi which is an oasis in the desert and is where David hid from Saul and wrote some of the Psalms.  The waterfalls, streams, caves, and views are amazing.  We also went to Qumran which is area of the cave the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in, which of course is a major discovery.  The next day we spent the morning at Yad Vashem (the Holocasut museum).  And that afternoon went to the Garden Tomb which is another possible site of the resurrection.  I found this "garden" and tomb to be much more believable.  We were able to worship and take communion as we reflected on what really could have been the place of Jesus' death.  I was absolutley overwhelmed, and as I'm sure I'll say a few more times, there is something extremely special about worshiping in this land.  That night we went on a tunnel tour which is an underground tunnel along the Western Wall.  It is the closest the Jewish people can get to the "holiest of holies."  Such cool history and archeology.  The next day we hit up the Mount of Beatitudes (where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount).  Some of our team memorized the sermon and recited it, very cool.  It was just crazy to think that so much of Jesus' ministry was done here and in the surrounding area.  Our next stop was the church of multiplication of loaves and fishes.  This is located right on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and is where Jesus appeared to His disciples after the resurrection and told Peter to throw his nets on the other side of the boat.  This is a place of annointing and calling.  In John 21, Jesus calls Peter into full time ministry (to shepherd the sheep).  I LOVE this passage.  Jesus asks Peter 3 times if he loves Him.  He tell's Peter to "follow me."  I was reminded of my call to follow Him wholeheartedly and was thinking, do I love Him, do I REALLY love Him, do I love Him enough to follow Him WHEREVER?  There will be places I will not want to go but I love Him.  I really love Him. "Yes" is my answer.  Again, I was overwhelmed as I stood on the bank and in the water right where Jesus was.  After that we made our way to Capernaum.  Very cool ruins in a beautiful setting.  We spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing at the Sea of Galilee where I was baptized!

I was sprinkled as a child and for the past year or so have thought a lot about the significance of baptism.  I know that because I wasn't "dunked" means I'm missing something BUT being baptized is supposed to be MY decision and public declaration of following Jesus.  I love the symbolism of being washed clean and coming out of old life into new.  This was a great opportunity (as it is the Sea of Galilee) to publically declare what I believe to my brothers and sisters who I've grown with and who have encouraged me over the past 6 months.  It was symbolic of me entering in to this new phase of life, being completely open and surrendered.  My deepest desire is to be in His will and be completely obedient.  I have grown so much over the past 6 months.  I am SO in love with Jesus.  So, as I was dunked, I left my old self and I'm now living completely alive and confident in who I am in Christ.  "My whole life is YOURS, I give it ALL, surrender to Your name and forever I will pray, have Your way, have You way."

The past couple of days we've been debriefing and talking about re-entering.  We've been worshiping a lot and I have felt His Presence so strongly here.  I've been so excited to get home but now it's hitting me.  I'm sad.  This is over.  I don't want to go.  It's going to be hard.  I'm anxious about this transition and cannot believe in 3 days I will be leaving this new "family" of mine.  I know I have an amazing family in America but it will be hard to relate to anyone.  I am seeking His face and resting in His Presence.  He is meeting me here and He is already waiting for me at home.  

I have much much more going on in this whirlwind head of mine.  But I'll stop now.