The night before I turned sixteen I sat on my bed and thought about all of the wonderful things that have happened in my life.

Birthdays have always made me nostalgic.  I'm not too much of a sentimental person, but when it comes to birthdays, I'm not sure, my heart just really dwells upon it.  A lot.  Maybe I put too much emphasis on the fact that I'm leaving another year behind.  Another 365 days of being the same number is gone, and now it's time to start the next 365.  Maybe it scares me.  Maybe it excites me.  All I know is, birthdays make me nostalgic.

I'm not the girl that dreams of college.  I couldn't care any less about money and I really, really hate the world's definition of "successful".  I get through school and do the very best I can because that's what you do.  I'm so blessed to be able to be educated in an environment I love, learning about Jesus in every subject.  The beauty of home-education is that I can have freedom to pursue what I love.  My parents have always pushed that over the actual education.  And I love that.

Many of my friends are planning for college, searching and preparing and praying over this new and exciting thing called going to college.  But I don't have any interest in that.  Many of the people my age know where they want their life to take them.  But I don't have any idea.  Many people all over this country are so ready to get out and get successful.  But that's just not me.

America sickens me sometimes.  I don't know if it's the way everyone is running, running, running towards their dream all the time and never once turning around to see if the Unwanted, the Fatherless, the Left Behind are cared for.  I don't know if it's the way everything is so comfortable.  Even in the most uncomfortable moments, let's be honest, we all have a bed to come home to, someone that loves us, and something to eat.  I don't even know what it is.  But at the end of the day, America has started to slowly but surely make me sick.

You see, I've always wanted to change the world.  I know people tell you that it's impossible.  But you can change the world one person at a time.  You really, really can.  I've always been a dreamer, too.  I started a blog after the Haiti earthquake selling bracelets.  The truth is, I never even sold one, but I called it "Changing the World", and I honestly believed I could change the world.  And I think that's the beauty of being born with the desire to change the world.  God truly lets you believe it.  Because I can change the world with His help.  I want to live where God placed me, allowing God to change me in order to change other people.

I guess I'm just the girl that craves the dirt.  I crave the simple life.  I crave blessing other people.  I crave bringing justice to the fatherless and I crave the little ones that most reject.  I crave to meet God in my workplace everyday of my life.  And I'm not saying you can't meet God in your workplace.  I want to meet him in that I know without a doubt that I am where I need to be every time I show up at that place.

I'm not really sure what it is God wants me to do.  I'm not really sure the purpose He created me for.  But you have my word that I won't be running, running, running towards my dream.  Nope, right here right now I am declaring that my dream is the dream God puts in my heart.

But right now..... right this moment.... if it were up to me at this very second.... I think I might choose the dirt.



Today is Valentines day.

Today there will be countless Facebook statuses about "Single Awareness Day" and thousands of complaints about singleness on Twitter.  And let's not forget the fact that too many people are going to have a pity party tomorrow, drowning themselves in their own self pity because "being single sucks!"

When I went to public school for Kindergarten and 1st grade, we weren't allowed to call it "Valentines Day".  We had to call it "Friends Day".  What's the reason? I'll never know, but it was interesting.

Valentines Day, though, isn't what most of the world thinks it is. To me, it's just a day to celebrate love.

I'll be honest.  It's hard to love your friends hard when they live in other states around the country.  It just is.  But today, I want to celebrate them.  Because I truly have the best friends anyone could ever have.

I have those three friends that I met through the best online school on the planet.  In an Algebra I and Biology class, they just showed up.  And they've never stopped showing up.  In every struggle, in every joyful moment, they've been there.  God has just shown me over the past four years that friendship can be real and true and honest over the internet.  We only see each other 5 days out of every year.  That means that for 360 days we live without each other.  Let's be honest, it really sucks.  But the internet and Skype is such an amazing thing and it keeps everyone sane.  Yalls know who you are.  Thank you for being the best all day every day and for never letting go.  I miss you so much and just 103 days until I get to see your faces :) :) :)

And then there are the two that I watched move away a few years ago.  That one was the hardest to watch.  Girls, we've always been like sisters.  All those hours sitting in classes with you in co-op, laughing until we cry (and making Jill go insane) during math, and staying up until 2am talking about our weddings are some of my favorite moments ever.  You've both just been there.  God has you in the place He wants you to be and I am so happy about that.  Know that I love you both to the moon and back and that I'm counting the minutes until I get to see you again.

And then there are all the friends I've known since before I was born - literally.  I'm so thankful for the church my parents got plugged into that brought all of these amazing people into my life.  I'll always love each and every one of you and I know that we will always be friends.  I can't wait to see where God takes each of you in your lives :)

Thank you, to each friend of mine.  Today I celebrate you.  I love you all dearly.



Years ago, a dear friend asked me to come along with her and her dad to Tanzania, Africa.

I was scared... but I said yes.  I raised the funds, went to meetings, packed my bags and eventually flew 9000 miles away from the place I've always called home.  My first time out of the country.  Little did I know I would leave this place calling it my home.

I sent letters asking people to please support my mission trip to Africa.  Or if they could not financially support me, that they'd support me in prayer.  It was crazy, looking back, to see the way God used people to send me to Africa.  Dear friends who gave money because they believe that it is not theirs.

On one of our free days, we went to the village and purchased things.  Jewelry.  These women made such beautiful jewelry.  I wish I would have photographed the sight.  A little market of sorts full of women selling beaded jewelry.  It was beautiful.

We had to negotiate.  We are Americans.  Naturally, to them, we are rich.  Things were sold for much more because they knew they could take advantage of the amount of $$$$ we brought to this foreign country.  I was searching for 17 bracelets.  17 bracelets for the people that gave money to me to go to Africa.  It took some negotiating and searching, but I left with 17 bracelets and some things for me to remember this country by.

I was just so fascinated by those women who knew we had money, so they tried to charge us more for their work.  Today, after going through an adoption and seeing the blessing of people financially giving to my family, I've realized that what these sweet women don't know is that not every American is generous.  Not every Christian is generous.  I didn't share a language with these women, but I knew that God was speaking through them to show me that we have a problem in the Church.

There is a huge financial burden in adoption.  It is too much to bear for one family.  Many people came alongside us and my life will never be the same because of that.  But also, many people didn't.  Many people still today think that if you are going to have a kid, you should be able to pay for them on your own.  Or they think that it is your responsibility, not theirs.  But they're missing something.

God's heart is for the orphan.

People always say that they want to be remembered as "a man after God's own heart."  But what they don't realize is that if you're after God's own heart, you have to realize that you must also have a heart for the orphan.

Too many people believe that adoption is just for certain people.  "It's not for me", they say.  "God just hasn't called us to that."  But that's not the truth.  There is a big difference, a huge difference, between adoption and adopting.

But I have good news.  Have you been adopted by Christ?  Have you been changed by the work of adoption through the cross?  If you have, you are called today and everyday to follow after the heart of God.  That can mean many things to every peson.  But know that one of those things is the orphan.  No matter where you are in your life or where God has placed you, you are called.

Friends!!!!!  What a beautiful thing!!!!  What a beautiful thing to be able to be called to such a beautiful thing as adoption and the orphan.  What a beautiful thing that we can all as believers share that in common.  Embrace it.  It is what you are called to do.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.  James 1:27  

Never take advantage of any widow or orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, you can be sure that I will hear their cry.
Exodus 22:22-23
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  Galatians 4:4-6
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father.  Romans 8:14-16
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.  Isaiah 1:17
And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.  Matthew 18:5
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.  Proverbs 31:8-9

(A dear friend that helped bring home Trey has been running a 5-part guest post on her blog.  It is called "Why I Gave a Boatload of Money to Adoption."  You should read them.  I think that it's just fabulous.)



a blur on purpose.


going through Knowing God.  wowowowwooww.

it's always been called "the garden". ever since we moved in and it was nothing but dirt.  memories are all over this place.  playing house, holding funerals for lizards, friend-chatting  today it's a garden.  i like the green.

watched The Help, did an AlgII test, ate cookie dough.  it was a great finish to a great saturday.

goldfish and christmas pajamas.  good saturday morning.

thrifted vintage sweater.  totally a find.

more gorgeous arizona sunsets.  why i live here.

sparkly flats and mustard yellow skinnies on a sunday.

chopped 3ish inches off my hurr!

moments -- after getting the mail.  light seeping in. 

Knowing God day 1 with iced coffee, Algebra II on a gorgeous thrifted blanket on the grass under the sun.  Lovelove Arizona winters.

More Knowing God reading in the grass in the sun w/ sunglasses.  Love that I hve the opportunity to read this book in school.

sweet girls spent all afternoon after church to make me jewelry.  i just absolutely love that.  it made my week. 

it was the moment right before the last light of the day disappeared.  i grabbed the book i left outside.  i heard the birds chirping, felt the damp air.  i remembered.  Africa.  i miss that place.

Follow me!  

(P.S. sorry for the quietness.  Doing a big blog redesign, looking for inspiration, being quiet over here.  I'll be back more soon :)



I've been wanting to write a post just like this for some time now.  I can't say it better than she does.

Go read this post today. 



Today (roughly) marks the day that our beautiful, precious birth mother chose us to be her son's family.  And you know, I can't honestly know how she did it.

I know people say that every day.  And I know it's not technically "appropriate".  But I mean it.  What a beautiful thing she did.

No one can ever prepare you for the feelings in adoption.  Countless.  Too many to even list here.  But there is nothing, absolutely nothing in this world, that feels the same as realizing that someone just gave their whole lives for you.

I'm not sure how someone could think of their precious baby growing inside of them and to make the decision to give them a better life.  I'm not sure how someone could carry a child for 9 months that they are going to give to another mother.  I'm not sure how someone can choose a family to raise their child by looking at pictures.  I'm not sure.  I really have no idea.  And it overwhelms me every day of my life.

But she did!  She did it.  She looked upon this sweet baby boy in her womb... whom she had not met yet... and knew she was going to choose life.  She looked upon this sweet baby boy the moment he was born and knew what she needed to do.  And she did it.

And she did it.

There's a part in the adoption papers we have that says something along the lines of, "the birthmother relinquished her rights".  And it always seems to put shivers through my spine.

What a great God we have.  What a beautiful, fantastic and precious thing adoption is.  Adoption is the feeling of shivers down your spine.  & if you allow it to change you, it will.

I am moved by what she did.  I am blessed beyond belief for the rest of my life.  There are far too many emotions, too many things... countless... I'm too overwhelmed to make sense right here.

But here's what I do know.

I don't know how she did it.  And for the rest of my life,
I will look upon her,
as the woman who gave my brother life,
who sacrificed hers for his,
who broke her heart for his sake,
who went through pain and suffering and heartbreak,
who carried and gave birth to him after 9 months,
who loved her son so much,
that she decided one day
that she was going to give him a different life.

I don't know about you, but that right there......

that overwhelms me.  Beyond belief.

There are things my parents will have to tell him that make me grieve even now.  Things that are hard to process.  But there are also things that my parents will have to tell him that bring me so much joy.  Like telling him one day that his mother had the power to dismember him, but instead, she chose life.  What a courageous thing.  Or the fact that his extended birth family loves him so much too, and sees pictures on Facebook and is planning on meeting him someday.  People tell you beforehand that God will walk you through every little thing.  And He did.  Someone said recently that his personality is so laid back and happy - just like my family, and how God totally had a plan in giving him to us.  Just another person reaffirming that God was part of every single step.  There is no denying it.

K, There are not enough words in the dictionary to express how much thankfulness we feel in our hearts.  But what you did will never ever be forgotten.  And one day, when Trey is old enough, he will learn what you went through for him.  I pray that you stay in our lives forever and that Trey will learn to appreciate you just as much as we appreciate you.  We see you in him all the time, and the only reason it is such a beautiful thing to us is because we love you.  So much.  Thank you for the decision you made one year ago.



I found this quite interesting.

Still grieved there 145,000,000 fatherless and only 136,001 of Americans are doing something about it.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 1:27

It's a scary, scary thing, friends.  More of us need to realize our calling.


s e a r c h

Blog Archive