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Monday, December 22, 2008


Well you've been a mistress, my wife
Chasing lovers it won't satisfy
Won't you let me make you my bride
You will drink of my lips
And you'll taste new life

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Never Knew How Powerful These Words Truly Are...

Word Of The Father,
Now In Flesh Appearing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The War Child Movie - www.warchildmovie.comHttp://

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

1 Corinthians 13:8

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just for fun

I just found these pictures while going through my iphoto library and decided to make good use of them before throwing the files away to make more disk space on this computer.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Go Light Your World

As one of my family's holiday traditions, we went to Immanuel's Christmas Pageant. This years theme being "Follow the Light." Many of the songs sung tonight were about light and God being our light as we follow him as well as us being a light in our world. One of the songs sung tonight brought some tears to my eyes (or maybe the tears were from the smoke from the candles.). The song is called, "Go Light Your World." Some of the lyrics being:

"So Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world"

This song reminded me of why I am going to Africa. And its not necessarily Africa that is important...God could have sent me anywhere. But I'm excited that I'm God is calling me to the darkness to seek out the hopeless, confused and torn. And I pray that I will be able to shine my light no matter where I am.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men,that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
-Matthew 5:14-17

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


"Kate, can you pack your bags and be ready by the 16th?" Yes indeed, those were the words asked of me today from headquarters as they put me in the clear to leave this January. 100%. Amazing. Who would have guessed a few months God can change my percentage from 0%-100% (well I guess all you who kept telling my heart to hold on to the hope and power that is in God.) The incredible thing about that phone call today was that the moment I was told that I'm leaving in 36 days, I felt nothing but peace. All my fears of "am i gonna get this or that done?" flew out the window and the peace of our Savior filled my heart. This peace is what I have to cling to in the next 36 days, the following 365 days, and the rest of my life. I am more than thankful for this peace. I can't imagine how I'd be feeling right now had that peace been clouded by anxiety, nerves and uncertainty. Surely these will come and go but my hope remains in the Lord. This peace is the glue that bonds my uncertainties to God's certainties and promises.

A few weeks ago I thought of this crazy idea to get a tattoo (yes mom, its still just an idea, I don't actually have one.). I wanted it to say "Strength & Courage" in Swahili: "Tani na Ushujaa." Originally my thoughts for getting this was for when I was on the mission field. To remind me to have strength and courage for whatever may come my way. For trials I may/will face. I'm starting to realize though that God calling Joshua to have strength and courage was not only when he was in battle and is not just for me when I'm overseas. Preparing for the mission field is begging me to be strong and courageous. My heart often feels heavy at the thought of leaving friends and family. Growing up in a military family I know this kind of loss all too well. Having two friends pass away over the last couple of years has also stirred up these emotions. Loss and change are two experiences in life that occurs often and in all sorts of ways....yet never promised to be easy to experience.

I am excited about whats to come. There are so many unknowns out there which gives way to the Lord to do work his in my life in ways I never could have imagined. I press forward with Tani na Ushujaa and hope that in those times on uncertainty that I can rememeber the way it felt today when that peace came over me and I knew I am completely in the Lord's hands...the safest place to be.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

True Christmas Love

I love, love, LOVE Christmas time. There is something about how everyone and everywhere tries to cater to the comfy cozy feel of the season. Whether its a coffee shop or the dentist office, Christmas cheer finds its way into every nook and cranny around. I love the fact that I can be sitting in my car listening to 97.1, get out walk across a parking lot, enter a store, and once again, Carols fill the air. One thing I don't like is how fast everyone feels they need to go this time of year. You look at families on TV and they act like all's well with peace on earth as they deck the halls and encourage carolers to come and bring figgy pudding. But thats TV, not reality. Instead I see families running from event to event, bundling up, grabbing the newest gadget to put under the tree.

As much as I love the Holidays and how they beg you to be close to your loved ones, I do have to say....we need to remember what we really are celebrating. I wonder if keeping the Birth of our Savior at the forefront of our minds would help slow down the holiday panic. I almost feel like people put a manger scene in their front yard or in their house to rid themselves of this guilt so that people "know" they have not forgotten what the real meaning of Christmas is. I'm just as guilty of this and often have to stop myself and remember what is the whole meaning of this holiday anyways.

I've heard a song recently that has helped me to remember what was truly sacrificed for us...the biggest gift one can give and did give for us. Its called "Manger Throne" by Third Day. This song helped me to remember that Christ...the KING of kings came down to our earth...the very earth He created. He came down to a place full of sin and heartache for you and me. Out of love, he humbled Himself and came a helpless baby who's purpose on earth was to be the sacrificial Lamb so that we may experience eternal life with Him. How is anything in that beautiful story selfish? Its not. Its merely Love.

I was lost, in darkness found
You randsomed my heart and I will sing

Morning brings a hunger for new eyes
That have been covered by the hurt of yesterday
Who could create in me the vision of a little child?
It's you.

Monday, December 8, 2008


The seed I’ve received I will sow.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
toward home, a land that i've never seen.
I am changing, less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when i began.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

So it begins...finally. Its all too real now.

Oh my. I've been putting off my emotions about leaving as if it were just another "to-do" on my checklist to check off before I leave. This morning, however, that got a BIG check mark. As I was pulling out of the drive way to do a photo shoot it hit me. I'm leaving. I'm actually leaving. I've known it, but to really process and understand it in my heart, I have not. Until now. A whole 41 days and I'll be leaving. People on the beltway must have been so confused at this girl singing in her car and tears streaming down her face....ok more like flowing down. It only got worse as the afternoon progressed. No, I didn't cry during my shoots but thought a lot. I think the last shoot was the hardest for me. It was the cutest family...and seeing the family together just made me want to be with mine and spend as much time as i can with them till I leave. Yes mom and Dad...I DID just say that! And then I called a friend on my way home from the shoot and once again the floodgates opened up. And talking to her on the phone made me realize that I want to spend as much time with those I love before I leave. How the heck am I gonna fit it all in? Well, I've got 41 days to figure it out. Until then at least I've come to terms with my emotions about all this and am no longer bottling them up. If I need to cry, I'm gonna cry and if I need to call and tell someone how much they mean to me, I'm gonna call. (Thanks Kiki for listening through my tears today and helping me process.)

Its funny, cause Kiki said "You are hurting right now because you are leaving and saying goodbye... Give it a year, Kate...and you will be crying because you are leaving Kenya." How true I anticipate that to be!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Give me your arms for the broken hearted.
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten.
Give me your eyes so I can see...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How much does your faith cost?

We have much to be thankful for. As an American, where freedom is our middle name, there is little to complain about. We have the freedom to vote for whoever we want, shop wherever we want, make friends with whoever we want, and worship wherever and whatever we want. Religious persecution is a phrase very foreign to us. It used to be foreign to me until I saw it first hand.

In 2006 I went to Ghana to do missions work in a Muslim village. I had visited this village twice before and was excited to come back...but something was different this time. My first two visits we had been very welcomed because we were the "white people" from "rich America." We were more of a visual souvenir then understood what we were there for. Sharing the gospel. That was our goal and our mission. Finally, after 2 years, we began to break through the shell of this village and get to the heart of the people. They started to understand why we were really there. Like I'd mentioned, the majority of these people were Muslim...and they made it well known by the ginormous Mosque as you enter the village. Word got out that the white people or the "Obroni's" were here to talk about the Messiah, Jesus, Salvation....words not quite welcomed in this Muslim village. One story from that summer stands out to me and often send chills down my spine. One of the women of the village, a young single girl, overheard what we were sharing with her friends. You could tell from the emotions on her face that she got it. She understood what we were talking about. She "got" the good news. What a special moment it is to be there when someones eyes are open to the truth and heart open to the Lord. I gained a sister in Christ. A "kayaye" (what Ghanaians call these working girls) and yet a daughter of the King. After praying with us that day she left with a smile on her face. The next day I was excited to see her again to be able to talk more with her and share with her more about the Lord and her new found faith. She greeted me with a HUGE smile. Although we conversed through a translator I heard of her excitement and peace about her faith. I asked her if she was able to share her faith with anyone from her community home (She lived with a bunch of other Kayaye in "house.") She shook her head and told me the following...never loosing her smile. She told me that someone had seen her talking to the white people and saw her pray. When she went home that night, she found that she was kicked out of her house...she was forced onto the streets. At this point the smile on my face diminished yet hers remained. She then continued to tell me that when the night was over she went to her boss to pick up her items she would sell that day, but he offered her none. She not only lost her home to rest, but she also lost her job. All for her faith. I'm shamed to admit this, but at the time I remember thinking..."why do you admit to this change in faith if it cost so much." As soon as those thoughts entered my mind I understood why. She was the definition of faith. She held that beautiful image of Christ and what He did for us. People mocked Christ when he was on the cross asking him why he wouldn't save himself? And yet the persecution didn't take him down from the cross...he stayed to the very end. This Kayaye and her new found faith was incredible. It humbled me and challenged my own faith. She didn't have to read John 15:18 to understand its meaning. She had faith and in faith she would remain. No matter what persecution came her way, she knew that the new life she found in Christ was worth more to her. She would rely on the Lord for all the details of her life, whether big or small..she had the faith that would move mountains. She didn't lessen the power of the Lord in her life by denying her new faith...accepted it with boldness.

Persecution is real over there...I saw it first hand. I didn't experience, but I saw it. I pray that if rolls were reversed, and I were the one who lost my job and my house for my faith...that I too would be telling you about it with a smile...a smile that never ceases.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanks to Him who created creativity.

This is my prayer: That I would continue to grow in the knowledge of the Lord's creativity. That I would always give glory to the Lord through all I do. And that I would stay humble and always remember who got me to the place I am today. Thank you Lord.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

From Here On Out....

Already brewed my first cup of coffee...I anticipate a busy day as I have 3 photo shoots starting in an hour, so I'm soaking up this quiet time. My parents and brothers went to breakfast and my sister is running out the door for her Annual Turkey Bowl. These past couple of days have been a whirl wind- family coming and going, meals made and eaten, stores visited and really does fly by sometimes. I think the fast pace of life is what causes me to sit back and enjoy a few more moments in bed...looking out the window and just starring at the Lord's creation. Its as if life stands still...for me at least. I need these moments. I anticipate life is going to fly by in the next 6.5 weeks and before I know it, I'll be waking up in Africa excited about whats a head of me and wishing I had soaked up every moment back at home...where life is familiar. Like I said, this just my nervous anticipation...not set in stone what it will be like. I don't necessarily want to be overseas thousands of miles away wishing that life had slowed down a little for me before I left so that my time at home with friends and families wasn't so rushed. I think its a choice I have to make from here on live life in the moment. That is hard for me...sounds good and all in theory but living it out is another thing. As life happens, there are always things to look forward to, you know how it goes. Lets take this holiday season, for example: You anticipate Thanksgiving Dinner but as you are eating it half way through you get excited about those homemade pies. And then as you are eating the pies you are discussing what stores you are going to tomorrow to get the best deals. Then, while you are shopping with friends and family, you are thinking about Christmas and what you are gonna give to on and so on.
I just need all the hustle and bustle to
And I just need to live in the moment from here on out.

Friday, November 28, 2008

For the Beauty

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies;
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

May I never lose the wonder,
The wonder of the cross.
May I see it like the first time
Standing as a sinner lost

Monday, November 24, 2008

Contemplation of the day...

Friday, November 21, 2008

November 27...Get Into Starbucks and start drinking!!! (RED)
In the words of Strabucks: "Join us as we count down to the launch of (STARBUCKS) RED. Starting November 27, every time you buy a special (STARBUCKS) RED product, a contribution will be made to the Global Fund, to help save lives in Africa. It’s all part of our commitment to give back to the communities where we do business, which is a key component of Starbucks™ Shared Planet™."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Morning coffee.

There is something precious about having my window next to my bed and being able to look out, first thing in the morning and seeing God's beautiful creation. Each and every morning, there is something new... leaves falling, wind blowing, snowflakes drifting, squirrels chasing... I just like laying there and looking at how creative He is...ok fine, and laying under the warm covers an extra few minutes isn't so bad either. This morning, once I got out of bed, I made myself a cup of coffee and got into the Word...another precious morning moment. With the study of Joshua I'm going through, I got to read about Rahab this morning. And I got to thinking about scripture reading and how all too often I don't take a step back and think of scripture through the eyes of these kind of Characters.

Hmm, what that must have been like for a prostitute (ok, I'm not ending that phrase there) to have 2 men show up at her door seeking shelter, nothing more. Being a prostitute, no doubt she must have been looked down upon by everyone in Jericho. And then one day.. "Knock, Knock." Two men show up at her door. I'm sure she assumed what they came for, but little did she know that God had picked HER to join in his plan. She got in on some pretty sweet stealth action...what a mission! Its just great how God uses the overlooked and the unexpected to help with his mission on this earth. When Rahab opened her door that day little did she know what she was getting incredible. She was also quite the fierce be able to mislead the King to spare the lives of the spies. Her life, for sure was expendable to the King and her hiding the spies must have put her in more danger and yet she remained faithful. Wow. And through her faithfulness to our God, Rahab and her family were spared from Jericho's Crumbling walls...the very place where she lived (in the walls). Pretty cool if you ask me, I don't, that's the way I see it! ;)

As the man says, 'not a sermon, just a thought'

Monday, November 17, 2008

What gets your blood pumping?

I finally got enough will power to make it to the gym this morning and yet stood on my treadmill, not moving, trying to figure out what play list to work out to. I was trying to decide between Rihanna, Upbeat country, or my Africa play list. Well, I was in an 'excited-about-Africa' of course that won! There is something incredible about the medley of African drum beats intertwined with the powerful voices of an African. What a rhythm. It doesn't take just a treadmill to get my heart racing and blood pumping. There are many things in life that excite me, African music being one of them. As I was running, I got to thinking...what other type of things excite/motivate/move&shake me? Here's just 10 things I came up with throughout the day... Trust me, there's more!

1. African Music
2. Powerful Worship
3. Movies that make you want to do more then just live your life for yourself
4. Photography
5. Inspiring stories from people who have made a difference for Christ
6. Organizations that are thriving in making an impact on this earth
7. Being encouraged whether by service or words.
8. Spiritually stimulating conversations
9. Exploring new places.
10. Time alone with God.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Life and growing up

I have a feeling these blogs seem to be heading down the "Debbie Downer" road sooo, I'm just gonna lighten it up for a bit with a "life" blog... just life! I figure it can't hurt.

When you were a child, did you ever have a childhood dream? Like a dream to go to Disney World, own a pony, have Christmas every day of the year? Yeah, come were a kid at one point, of course you did! Haha, I kinda laugh at mine because it wasn't the normal girl dream of a pony or prince charming...I always dreamed of going to a Military Ball. No joke. It must have been growing up with my parents always going to these Balls, dressing up, coming home late, and talking about the events from the night before that sparked my interest at such an early age. The hilarious thing is how many "close calls" I've had to having this dream fulfilled and yet, no dice. Ok, so at the time I didn't think its so hilarious (my housemates can definitely attest to that!). But lets face it, when things fall through time and time and time and time and time again (ok you get the point.) tends to be expected, therefore hilarious.

In the past, when these opportunities arose, in most cases, it was not my choice that these Balls fell through. Once i graduated from college, I expected these opportunities to diminish. So I threw in the glass slipper dreams for those of mosquito repellent and flip flops. Quite different dreams, but I'm learning that dreams can change over time as your bigger ambitions in life get molded as God shows you new "jobs" he wants you to complete for his glory.

This morning, one of my housemates called me saying "Kate....whatever you are doing tonight, cancel it!!! I know someone who needs a date to the Marine Corps Ball, and You are gonna go!" Of course my immediate response went straight towards my dreams from yesteryear's. What a sweetheart my roommate was to call me and tell me of this opportunity. But, unfortunately (or fortunately...however you choose to look at it) I am realizing that responsibilities that bring you to your adult dreams need to come before my childhood dream. As my mom always says, "Ten years down the road, what are you gonna remember more____ or_____?" In this case, I had photo shoots today and tomorrow to complete (All the money going towards my Kenya Support fund). Knowing that, I couldn't justify calling those families up and asking them to cancel their shoots so that I could go to a military ball. This time, I had to be responsible...Ahhh-responsibility?!?!?! (Ok fine, I also had some help from Kiki, my Mom and Kate who urged me not to drive down to the Ball.) But my point being, I have to remember my task at hand: Getting to Africa. All in all, Ten years down the road, I'd like to look back and remember having enough support to get myself on the plane with a one-way ticket, Destination: Kenya.

Its funny the little things that cause you to realize you are growing up. Drinking a steady cup of coffee every morning, setting up your own Doctor's appointments, discussing books rather then movies...whatever it may be, growing up is inevitable...It happens...but loosing your sense of adventure doesn't have to. For instance, I recently heard of a family who's husband is spending his tour of duty in Iraq, leaving his wife and two kids at home for a half a year or so. Not knowing many people in their new town, This woman decided to pack up her two kids for three months and "world school" them. In a week, they are leaving for New Zealand where they are renting a hippy van and driving throughout the country, "world schooling" along the way. Sure, as a mom, she has her responsibilities but from the looks of it, didn't once have to compromise her sense of adventure!

I'd say trading a small dream for a more responsible adventurous life sounds like a pretty good deal to me! I just pray that I never get too "grown up" and loose the spirit of adventure I crave.

Sarah, I'm praying for you tonight and hope you feel like Cinderella! :) You deserve to wear that glass slipper! I'm expecting a phone call tonight to hear ALL about it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

It Is Well

Hmm...tonight I decided to refresh myself on African news. I've been taking a little hiatus from it all, as it began to scare me a bit. Wrong night to pick it back up!

Headline: Italian Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya.

awesome...yeah, not so much. Hmm. Times like this I have to rest in the verse Hebrew 9:27
"And just as it is appointed for man to die once..." Ok that might not seem like an encouraging verse in this kind of situation, but to me it is. I had a talk with my dad tonight about what happened today in Kenya and he reminded me of this verse. God has already appointed a time in my life that I will pass on from this earth. Death happens, its natural and nothing you can do will stop it. Ok, I'll admit, this all does sound a little extreme to me considering the fact that these nuns haven't been killed or anything, but I guess I'd be lying if I didn't say that my mind can't help but jump to that possible conclusion. (Right now I'm praying for those women). But see, here is where that verse becomes encouraging. Even death is in the Lords hands. If right now is not the appointed time for these women to die, then nothing can take them from this earth. God is not yet finished using them here.

I guess this idea applies to my accident a few weeks ago. Although all signs and facts show that I should not have walked away from that accident in the condition I did, fact of the matter is, I did! That accident was not my appointed time to leave this earth.

Stories like the one I read tonight do, indeed, scare me...I am human! I guess I can continue in my journey towards Africa confident in this...No matter what happens to me in Africa (or here), I am COMPLETELY in the Lord hands. Phew...easy for me to watch me try to apply this in the upcoming year!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Afterthought: (noun) reflection after an action.

Obviously God has been teaching me a lot lately. I think I'm at a point in my life, preparing for a new stage and getting ready to move on from the old, that I find myself scrounging around for an understanding to the change I'm about to experience. Obviously God is saturated with lessons to teach us, whether you are looking or is always there waiting for discovery. I think the one that Christ is teaching me right now is about strength and courage.

My dad's favorite man of God in the bible is Joshua...and what a man he was! I can tell, in all the times I have heard my dad preach, Joshua is the one he is most passionate about...and for good reason. I was in the bookstore a few weeks ago looking for a new devotional to study and one caught my eye. "Live Fearlessly" the Study of Joshua. Live fearlessly?.......SIGN ME UP! Joshua....SIGN ME UP! Funny thing, I walked down to my dad's office to get his opinion on the devotional. He laughed when I showed him the book, then reached down and picked up a book from his Desk. "Living a Fearless Life." (another study of Joshua). I've enjoyed learning about Joshua and how to apply his fearless leadership and living to my life.

"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:6-9

Hmm, makes me wonder if God's trying to say something about having strength and courage in Him??? Lately those two words have been sticking out in my life like a sore thumb (yeah I did just use a grandma phrase, so what?) Strength...Courage. Those are two very powerful words, and my God is commanding us to have these characteristics. Better work on that!

I'm still sorting through areas in my life where I lack strength and courage. Tonight, one area came to mind...debates/arguments. I am one to run in the opposite direction when it comes to these things. I'm not quite sure what it is, but I think it has something to do with me hating the fact of possibly coming across as a jerk or just holding up a weak argument. Ok, I should state here that I'm not trying to say that I think that I need to argue more or debate more, but this is an area that I could be more eloquent in.

Like I said, when it comes to an argument or debate, I tend to get quiet even if I am very passionate bout the subject. Strength and courage lack completely. Sometimes...very rarely, however, I get into an debate with someone and get a little too fired up about it...lacking something important- Love/Compassion. I described it to some friends tonight like running down a hill. As you run down the hill you pick up momentum and before you know it, it is hard to stop. In the same way, sometimes if I'm discussing something I'm passionate about I tend to get too into the debate, throwing aside the love/compassion towards the person I am talking to. So where is the middle ground?

Is there a way to combine love/compassion, strength, and courage when it comes to arguments or disagreements? Tonight, while in Panera, i got to sit in on a discussion between two friends. They were discussing a sensitive subject. I, of course, got quiet and acted like I wasn't interested in what they were discussing in fear of being brought into the debate. I thought about it for a while...why am I fearful? Why can't I just share my opinion, one I feel strongly about? I think, to be raw and honest... I think I was afraid of my opinion being out there for all to analyze. But if I feel strongly about it, why is it hard to share? Well, like I said, this is an area where strength and courage need to be more thriving. So back to the discussion. The discussion between my two friends was fascinating. They both approached the discussion with strength, courage but most importantly, Love. I admired that about both of them. They listened to each other, contemplated what each other had to say, shared their own opinion and throughout it all, kept love at the center. There was no bitterness or hard feelings at the end. Just a greater understanding of each other and appreciation for seeing it from both angles.

(Sorry I'm running around in circles with this entry but I just thought a lot tonight)

Earlier this week, I did have a discussion with someone about Abortion. This can be a very sensitive subject and one I would usually tip toe around but that "running down the hill" effect started with me. Once i began the debate I couldn't stop. It wasn't like I wanted to argue for the sake of arguing it was more so that I was so into the debate that it became personal and when it became personal, I compromised...compromised compassion and love. Sure, I had some strength and courage to say some of the things in our argument but i can tell from looking back that the things that were said, were not said out of love or compassion. And lacking love and compassion was not worth the strength and courage it took to get there. Like I said, I need to find the ability in my character to go into an argument with strength and courage AND love and compassion. The verse that comes to mind is 1 Cor 13:1 "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."

So, a goal for myself: when faced with a discussion I am passionate about, join the discussion with strength and courage but never lacking love and compassion...Its like Coffee and creamer, can't have one without the other! ;)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

{8} to {21}

Yesterday I received a frustrating email. Earlier this week I contacted my facilitator up at headquarters to inquire about my missions support percentage. Looking back, I think I was due for being put in my place by the "man upstairs." I wish I didn't have to admit this, but my inquiry was out of desire to boast. I expected to receive a response to my email something like; " wow Kate, although support has taken a big hit due to the economic crisis, you have worked hard in raising support and it is really paying off." Hahaha....seriously, what was I thinking? Looking back on my selfish and boastful thoughts makes me laugh at myself. Who am I to think that I had ANYTHING to do with the money that has come in? Well as if that doesn't make me feel ridiculous enough, the response I received made my mouth drop.


Now, I don't want anyone who may read this to think that I'm posting that percentage so that you feel sorry for the "poor missionary who isn't even in double digits yet." Not at all...I post it because the story gets even better! Ok, so here I am, being ridiculous and thinking that I'm getting this support on my own accord and then the next second thinking that I'm a failure because I'm not even at a mere 10% yet. Like I said on my last post...if I was at 0% right now or 99%, is God any less worthy of my praise? NOPE! He is the one in control of this whole ordeal. He is the one who has orchestrated my heart towards missions....hmmm wait, I'm gonna list all the things he has orchestrated to get me to where I am right now (I like the word orchestrated :) )

1. God created me with a heart and proactive nature towards missions
2. God blessed me with creativity in Graphic Design and Photography
3. God initially brought me to Africa in 2001 and allowed Africa to steal part of my heart
4. God opened my eyes to Africa Inland Mission
5. God brought #'s 1-4 together to get me to where I am today

All 5 of the blessings listed above are obvious works of the Lord...pieces to my life's puzzle. Each blessing incredibly unique and purposeful. So why do I doubt God's hand in that other obvious piece of the puzzle in getting to Kenya...$$? I'm still figuring out why its hard for me to trust that it will come in...but I'm working on that.

So anyways. I've been working on my heart and knowing that I need to get to the point of fully trusting the Lord with my percentage and praising him for each percent I receive. There is nothing in me that has control over my support and therefore nothing worthy of praising. It is all the Lord and he is worthy of my praise.

There is a song that has a really meaningful verse in it that applies to me right now, "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord." (Everlasting God) Sooooo, guess who is gonna work on get spiritually buff in the next few months! ;) Haha. I guess there is a timeless factor to the Lord that I need to remember. His ways are not our ways. He has the power to bring in all my support tomorrow or next year. So whether I wait a day or longer, I'm still waiting on the Lord and his perfect timing. I just hope through it I will continue to bring more glory to Him.

Well, ALL that said, this evening I checked my email and to my surprise I got another email from my facilitator. Some of my checks had not been processed and instead of being at 8%, I'm actually at 21%!!! Wow, 8%-21% just like that. Now, in light of my last post I must say....God is amazing, but even if I didn't get this email tonight, he would still be just as amazing.

I'm not gonna lie,I'm glad for that "8% email." It humbled me and taught me, and that is priceless.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

God is Merciful

Indeed, God is merciful. There are so many different ways to describe our Lord. Good, wonderful, faithful, amazing.... all are easy to roll off the tongue. Lately I've been thinking about how easy I can say when things go "my way" and how difficult it is to say them when things don't go "my way." No matter which twist and turns our life takes us...God still remains: Good, wonderful, faithful, amazing...Its my attitude and outlook on life that needs an adjustment when it comes to referring to God.

Last week I got in an accident on the Beltway. The details seem unimportant at this point but to say that God spared my life is true. The force of the impact and type of accident I was involved in was one that I should not have walked away from, nor should anyone else in the other cars involved. God is indeed, merciful. That day was filled with friends, family and I thanking and praising God for keeping me safe. Like I said, it was so easy to let those words roll off my tongue. "God, thank you for keeping me safe! You are wonderful, faithful, amazing..." I started thinking later- If the outcome of that accident were not as they were, would that make God any less than he already is? No, not at all.

I started thinking a lot after that accident about my own personal view of my Savior, and I think to be honest, it was more selfish then I would like to admit. If I had not been able to walk away from that accident without sever injuries I wonder what I would have been saying to God...if anything. This is not the type of one-sided, do-for-me relationship I want with the Creator of the Universe. He deserves more from me then praising him when things go "my way." But lets face it, with God, "ALL things work together for good." (Romans 8:28) so why then, do I struggle to praise him in the tough times? Hmm, guess I'm human!

This is a part of my character that I would like to work on...being able to praise God when life hits me hard. I feel like so much joy can be squeezed out of life if you are going through it in-step with the Lord knowing that no matter what comes your way, He is the one in control. He is the one who is wonderful, faithful, amazing... NO MATTER the circumstance.

So, as I'm facing hardships with fund raising to go to Kenya, I have to remember to praise the Lord. It is no surprise to him that the economy is hard on everyone right now and it will be no surprise to him the exact date that the money will come in and the day prepared for me to set foot in Kenya. Ohhh what a great day that will be! I so look forward to it but will continue praising God in America until that day comes!

So, until then, I'm pressing forward..."chin up, champ!"

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I was HERE

Have you ever walked into a bathroom of a rest-stop and seen names carved in the metal stall doors telling you that "Jane was Here."  I always thought of that as a tacky way to leave your mark... no one even knows who Jane is, anyways!  Coming back from the lake this weekend, I was able to see traces of these carvings in a few rest-stop stalls.  Well, I may not have been impressed with the carving skills of these individuals, but I guess it all left me to ponder that concept... Leaving your mark.  Who knows where these individuals are now or what they have done with their lives, but they have forever let anyone who uses the third from the left stall at a Chick-fil-a know that, indeed, "Jane was Here."

So, on a bigger scale, I wonder...How am I going to let people know "Kate Joyce was here!" ?  What am I going to do with my life that leaves a mark on people... forever carving a change in some one's life...or many peoples lives!  How am I going to live my life in a way that people will know I WAS HERE!  

Interestingly enough, one of my favorite country groups (Lady Antebellum) recently came out with a song called "I Was Here" which completely explains my point...but with more beauty and grace, of course.  One of my favorite verses says, "I want to do something that matters, say something different-something that sets the whole world on its ear.  I want to do something better with the time I've been given.  And I want to touch a few hearts in this life and leave nothing less then something that says I was here."  Its not the idea or the fact that I want to be known by tons of people or claim any sort of fame for something I have done, its merely the idea that my actions and the way that I live my life would  impact others.  And by the way their lives are changed, I know that I can say, "Kate Joyce Was Here."

I guess I'm just tired of the idea of living a life that is worthy of satisfaction.  No,  I want to live my life filled with passion for the things that I do, and I want to do these things with excellence so that God can use me where and when he wants me and that through God using me, I will have a lasting mark on the world.  Rereading what I just wrote sounds a little silly to me, like I've been bit by the "Go save the world!" bug, but what I'm trying to say is that I don't want to live my life thinking that I'm too small to make a change in this world.  I think that I need to remember that God is a God who uses the ordinary for His extraordinary work no matter how big or small we think that work is.  Fact:  God is God, we are not.  Fact:  ALL things work together for good.  Fact:  God uses us for His Work.  Fact:  God may use us for something that we think is small but we don't know how that fits into the bigger picture.  

Another verse  I really like says, "I know its my destiny to leave more than a trace of myself in this place and I know that I will do more than just pass through this life."  So wherever the Lord has me, whether working as a lifeguard, a waitress, or a missionary I want to remember that those places are where the Lord has me to do His work and I want to carry myself in those places in a way that I will leave a lasting carving that says...
"Kate Joyce was here."

Why did i even start this

  Well I have not written on here in a long time... I think I've been wondering what I should write on my blog.  Part of me felt I was a little too hasty in starting to blog about my trip to Africa since I won't be leaving till January but I guess the creative side of me grew impatient in wondering how I would design the blog-in the end the creative side of me won and now I've been convicted of my laziness and will hopefully do a better job at writing and keeping an update as to what has been going on in my heart!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

And So it Begins....

Our God is incredible!  I think I often forget just HOW  incredible, creative, and faithful He is!  A month ago I was walking across the platform at James Madison University receiving my diploma!  It feels like yesterday when my parents were  dropping me off at JMU as a freshman!  Back then I couldn't think past the weekend and if anyone asked me what I wanted to do with my life I wasn't quite sure how to answer.  I know the Lord has given me many strong passions:  Africa, Missions, and Art.  These 3 passions have always competed in my mind whenever I contemplated my future... obviously I was putting God in a box by thinking those 3 passions could never be combined into one fantastic experience...I was wrong!
In about 7 months, I will be packing up my life in America and hoping on a plane with my passport and a one-way ticket to Kenya to join a team of photographers, journalist,and videographers! " On Field Media" is the name.... Telling the story is the game!  I am super excited about being apart of Africa Inland Mission's (AIM) On Field Media team (OFM) in Kenya!  This  past weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to attend AIM's Candidate Week up in NY!  It was an incredible experience where I was briefed on what I will be doing in Africa and how OFM works!
I felt so much peace during my week up at AIM's headquarters!  It was refreshing to stop and think back on my very first encounter with AIM and how the Lord has opened SO many doors since then that has brought me to my decision to become an AIM missionary!  I will write more soon about the details of my trip.

For now, remember this... God is incredible!