Posted on 3. November 2011

Testimonies abound!

You know I can’t get enough of hearing God’s story worked into the lives of everyday people.  My friend Melissa is dedicating the entire month of November to showcasing testimonies on her blog!  Yours truly is sharing hers today.  So go check it out!


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Also a big congrats to Caryn Poling the winner of the book Kisses from Katie.  If you didn’t win and would still like a copy of her book it’s pretty affordable on Amazon. 
 
I love you perfectly Imperfect People!
 
What has God been doing lately in your life?
 
 
 
Posted on 26. October 2011

Kisses from Katie

Today’s post testimony of Katie Davis.  Recently Catalyst conference couldn’t keep her book on the shelves!  It  has become a NY times best seller.  Read her story to find out why:

Katie Davis, beautiful girl next door from Tennessee.  She was homecoming queen, drove a convertible, and planned to go to college.

After high school she went to Uganda for an opportunity to teach kindergarten at an orphanage in a small village.

It was supposed to be a 10 month commitment.

She experienced  poverty, hurt, and oppression on a whole new level.  She knew she had to do something, anything, to help. 

“Mothers feed their children dirt or the dregs from the local alcohol distillery, or they sneak out at night and sell their bodies in order to put a little food on the table in the morning. Babies are left in pit latrines. People are degraded, robbed, raped, and lied to, and a large yellow sun sparkles on the vast expanse of the Nile River. It is horrifying. And yet God is before all things and in Him all things hold together, and even in the hard and the ugly there is beauty.”

-Katie Davis describing Uganda (source)

One night, in January 2008, a mud hut down the road from the orphanage collapsed on three small orphans during a rainstorm. Davis couldn't find any living relatives willing to take any of the girls, and she refused to send them to an overcrowded orphanage.

Three days later, the youngest called her mom. 

Davis then rented a house to accommodate the three girls. Over the next 18 months, 10 more girls moved in, all from different circumstances. 

Today, 22 year old Katie is the mom to 13 girls and living in Uganda.  Believe it or not, that is just the beginning of Katie's ministry!

Katie_Davis_4 katie davis

She has established a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Amazima Ministries International.  In the Luganda language, Amazima means "truth."

Amazima offers a child sponsorship program, matching orphaned and vulnerable children who are unable to afford schooling with sponsors anywhere in the world. Sponsors pay $300 per year to send one child to school, providing school supplies, 3 hot meals each day, spiritual discipleship, and medical care.

Originally planning to have 40 children in the program, today the program sponsors over 400 children.

Katie also reached out to the Karimojong people of the Masese community. The poorest of the poor, and losing their children to malnutrition and starvation at an astounding rate. She started a feeding program to the community, nourishing over 1,600 children. This allows the children to attend school and therefore not go to the street to beg. Also provided is medical care, Bible study, and general health training.

As friendships developed with the Karimojong people, Katie wanted to help the women in the village provide for their families. She initiated a self-sustaining vocational program to empower these women to make unique Ugandan magazine bead necklaces. They are also taught money management skills. The necklaces made by the Karimojong women are purchased and sold in the United States. (Christmas gifts anyone??)

kisses from katie 

Katie says, "People tell me I am brave. People tell me I am strong. People tell me good job. Well here is the truth of it. I am really not that brave, I am not really that strong, and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am just doing what God called me to do as a follower of Him. Feed His sheep, do unto the least of His people."


If you would like to win a copy of her book share this on your facebook or twitter and leave a comment to let me know you did!  Find out more about Katie at her blog, Kisses from Katie

kisses-katie-book

del.icio.us Tags: testimoniies,uganda,missions,missionary,faith,orphans,adoption
Posted on 7. September 2011

My Imperfect Story via video!

Last Sunday at church I had the privilege of sharing what God is done in my life through a video testimony. 

Our pastor was talking about condemnation.  And being that I give myself a pretty hard time I guess it was a good fit for the sermon.  This makes me crazy nervous to share.  I don't know, something about the video...I feel so vulnerable!  But as I say all the time there is so much healing in being vulnerable sooo....I hope you enjoy! 

(if you are reading on email or RSS reader click here to view). 

 

 

Greg at Connection Church did a great job of editing it and making it not too obvious that I was so anxious and trying really hard not to talk at the speed of light.

Don’t miss a post! Have Imperfect People delivered to your inbox or your RSS reader.  I don't know you have stopped by unless you comment so please do!

 

 

 

del.icio.us Tags: christian,testimonies,imperfection,everyday faith
Posted on 1. August 2011

Top post for the month of July

Hello my perfectly imperfect friends.  It’s time to recap the most popular posts for the month.

Two of the top three posts were testimonies.  YAY!  I love it when others are touched by the awesome stories God writes in the life of everyday people. 

Top posts are as follows:

1.  Trading Pounds, Stephanie’s story Stephanie’s amazing story of finding her true faith and losing 145lbs! 

2.  This is not a fairy tale: Heather’s story Heather’s story of redemption and grace in a broken marriage.  Every couple should read! 

3.  Eating organic...imperfectly not nearly as heartfelt as the first two but some good tips on eating organic and still being practical.

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I don’t really have a picture to go with this post so I figured it was a good time to show of our ridiculously cute kids.  I’m only a little biased. 

Now it’s your turn.  If you have a blog link us to your most popular post...or feel free to upload a link you have enjoyed lately. 

Posted on 21. July 2011

Living by faith alone Kevin’s Story

Today’s post is testimony from Kevin Adams from “Wake up my faith”  After losing almost all of his possessions he learned what really does and doesn’t have value.  He know writes about his journey on living by faith alone.  I hope you enjoy his remarkable story!

In the fall of 2008, after a decade of hard work, I had a successful business, high income, great investments and no bad debt. By January 09, within 100 days, I'd lost it all, was in overwhelming debt, and my entire financial structure had collapsed squarely on top me and my family. It's a common story these days, but still uniquely and personally devastating. Ten years of effort left me with nothing it seemed but guilt, fear, and shame. Over two years have passed and my journey continues to unfold. Day by day we press through new obstacles, new threats of lawsuits, foreclosures, and various other collection tactics. And with little income, nothing regular, despair is sometimes only inches away from devouring me.

As a way to remind myself to hope, I began to express in writing what has sustained me, kept me from suicide, and still encourages me to press on with confidence. I began my blog with little expectation that anyone else would read it. But people are reading it and sharing it with others who are hurting. And through it God is revealing His will for me to write, encourage and minister to hurting believers, even at the expense of leaving my business career dead on the floor. When this trial began, I'd been a believer for 24 years. But not until it happened did I learn the value of suffering or understand that even Jesus had to learn obedience through it. It's the process for all who are being prepared for the work of the Lord. And it differs for everyone depending on that work. For us, there have been days with no groceries and no way to buy them, days of not knowing where we would live, days of marriage struggles and depression, and even days of seeing extended family place material wealth above our need. But in these days I learned something astonishing, something that will forever keep me passionately defending and praising our God to all who will listen.

I learned that He loves me and made me priceless. I learned that His word is the bread of life that most believers never truly feast on, and I learned that He wants to talk to me every day about my life through that word. I began to study fervently and write from what I learned. The most important thing for a believer is to get close to God so he can hear His voice. This level of intimacy comes through the word by His spirit. By this means we can be led through the trial toward the daily work He has planned. I've seen His mighty hand feed us and clothe us when we could not. He stabilized our finances when we had nothing. Over and over I saw His hand moving at precise moments. But it took steadfastly staying in His word to open my eyes and understand what He was doing and why. God never wanted to crush me, but it was the only way to get the wine flowing from me that He intended for others. So my pain has become my passion and my former idols of fear and pride have become a condemned enemy. I never realized how useless my life was as a man striving in my own effort to sustain a decade of hard work. Now, through His word, I hear His voice just as the sheep who know the sound of it. After months of living in moments, at my lowest place, God revealed to me that I would now be free to live for Him and His purpose while resting in our impossible situation.

kevin adams 

Kevin documents his journey on living by faith alone at Wake up my faith.  Feel free to check him out on twitter!

del.icio.us Tags: testimonies,christian,jesus,faith

    
Posted on 15. July 2011

This is not a fairy tale...Heather’s story

Today’s post if testimony from Heather Benton.  You will love it!  Grab a tissue!

I decided after much contemplation to share my story in hopes that it might inspire. My story is not a fairy tale.  It is in no way the story that I would have ever imagined. I have always drifted towards taking the long road, and this story is just that. The long road that ultimately lead me to God, and myself. Strange how that happens.

 

Nick and I were married on May 21st 2005. I was pregnant. A few long months later our son arrived in December. We bought a house, had a baby, and were newly-weds. Life was moving very very fast. We ran into all the struggles you could imagine during those first few years. Financial issues, struggles with being new parents, struggles with being husband and wife. 

About 5 years into our marriage neither of us thought we could live with each other anymore.  We discussed just calling it quits. We were driving each other crazy, we were miserable, and we were making our son miserable in the process.

Nick came to me one day, serious this time, about getting a divorce.  A part of me was relieved.  This was my way out. I was tired of arguing, tired of bickering, tired of the screaming matches.  The other part of me was hesitant. I kept asking myself what was the point in the last 5 years if it would just end like this?

 

Nick was on his way out and I confronted him. “Who was she,” I asked? I wanted the truth. I was tired of the secrets.  He told me he was going to see a girl he had met on the internet and that he was in love with her.  And away he went

 

I was left at the house alone and bitter. Down right angry on my bad days. I had been betrayed and was using that to justify my anger. I decided that if Nick could meet someone online then so could I. 

I started looking around. Online dating sites made meeting people easier than ever. I made a profile and began talking to other men. I met John.  We dated for a few months.  All of a sudden things were seemingly “not working out.” He was distant and I wasn’t going  wait for him to come around.  Then I found out something that absolutely turned me world upside down. I was pregnant.

The reality of it hit me like a tower falling on top of me.  I was pregnant. And John made it clear he was not interested in a happily ever after.  What was I going to do?

I had pretty much made up my mind to do something that in my darkest hour I never thought I would even consider...I was going to abort the pregnancy.

I made all the plans to have the procedure so no one would ever know.  One day after Nick picked up our son he called me.  He shared with me how it seemed to be God moving him to call me. He knew me so well. He figured out I was pregnant and even figured out I was considering an abortion...and he also knew that I could never do something like that. He was right. I was going against everything that had ever been ME. He was the only person that called me out and outright told me that, that decision would be wrong. No buts, no ifs, no excuses.

I thought about what he had said all night.  I resolved the issue to keep my unborn baby. Suddenly the tears stopped. I had cried non stop for almost 2 weeks and suddenly all the pain had been lifted. I knew I had made the right decision. I called John to let him know my decision.   After a very childish  episode he informed me that he was done and never wanted to see me or the child.

I was at square...nothing. I had no idea what I was going to do, or how. All I did know is that I had a tiny little baby growing in side of me.

 

God decided to hit me with a brick, or 3 or 10 of them.  All the grief from the divorce that I had kept running from, pieces of relationships that hadn’t worked, fragments of a marriage gone bad, pieces of my child’s world turned upside down. I was alone.

 

God did a number on both Nick and I at the same time.  We ran from each other, and God for quite some time. We were trying to do things our way. But God had other things in mind.

Despite all odds, Nick and I decided to give “us” another shot.  I had been reading Love and Respect and was suddenly faced with my part of the blame of the problems of our marriage. Suddenly it wasn't all HIS fault. I had fault too. Nick and I found ourselves coming back together, kicking and screaming (at first). Neither of us knew exactly how God was going to make it work. We just knew that we were supposed to listen and follow.  Each day got better.  A little frayed and faded, a few scratches here and there, but they are back together and now, more solid than ever.

Our worst days now are better than our best days were then. We keep God at the forefront of our lives...where he should be.  He leads us and we do our best to listen and follow.

We got re-married the day of  my scheduled induction

Now I have my husband and family back.  We have a beautiful little girl that I didn’t let go of. She has an amazing daddy who loves her dearly, and our son has a beautiful sister who he can’t seem to get enough of.

No, this is no fairy tale. There is no happily ever after. Just a man and a woman and two tiny blessings from God. And a strange sort of miracle.. that happened just the way God intended. Its hard to look back sometimes and even fathom that I thought of not having this beautiful little girl, and my wonderful husband in my life. There have been days of guilt and outright shame. God’s strength keeps my head on straight. At the end of the day I get to kiss my son and my little girl goodnight...and I get to snuggle up next to the husband that I never thought I would be able to look at the same way again. God is good. No.. God is AMAZING!

You can follow Heather at her blog hbdocumentary. Thank you Heather for sharing your story! Please leave a comment to encourage Heather for sharing her story!   

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*Names changed

**Special thanks to  Megan Hulsey photography for capturing some of our family’s special moments!! 

Posted on 7. July 2011

Trading Pounds: Stephanie’s story

Today is a testimony by Stephanie Wetzel.  Stephanie is a writer and entrepreneur on a mission to help women trade in their excess pounds for the life they want to live. She has lost over 145 pounds by eating real food, changing her habits, and blogging about it all on Trading Pounds. Here is her story:

By all accounts, I should not be here today. I weighed in at 411 pounds, trapped in a private hell where no outsider was welcome. My body was a prison; my soul rotting away within that self-created cage. For years I tried to control the outcome of my story, attempting one restrictive diet after another to lose the weight. I did lose on occasion, but would eventually gain more back because I couldn’t sustain the rules of whatever diet I was on. In the end, those old habits would win out and I would be right back where I started. I kept everything bottled up inside.

The emotional and physical tolls of this weight roller coaster left me broken and alone.

I had pretty much given up my life so that I could be fat, accepting my fate and preparing for the inevitable outcome of early death. One cold January day, I finally came face to face with the girl in my mirror. She was scared because she didn’t want to die. She wanted to know what it felt like to be alive. She had sacrificed over twenty years of her one precious life to the weight, and she didn’t want to do it anymore. She wanted to be saved. There are moments when God’s voice is but a tiny whisper in our ear. It’s then that He reveals to us His greatest plans for our lives. Standing in my bathroom, looking upon the face of the girl in my mirror, God told me to rise up and fight for her. I didn’t know how, but I knew that I would help save her life.

stephanie

No One Said It Would Be Easy

It started out with the tiniest of steps. One little shift towards a better life. I cleared out the junk food and brought home more vegetables and fruits. For quite some time, I felt like I was doing what needed to be done, making positive shifts on my own. But something was missing. I kept pushing forward, recommitting each day to eating right and learning how to care for my body. I wasn’t really tracking how much I ate or exercising, but I was losing weight because of the new foods I was eating. Somewhere along the way, God started building a community around me. He started giving me the courage to let others in on my journey. Little by little, I started opening up more and more to the people closest to me. I still protected my number—hiding the reality of how bad things had become over the years. Honestly, I was ashamed of what I had allowed to happen. I wanted to “fix” it before I opened up about it. I want to say to you that my positive attitude and commitment to healing brought me here today, but that wouldn’t be the truth. While I was focusing on food and nutrition, God was rightfully steering my path.

Giving Up Control

Although I have always been a person of faith, through the years my relationship with God had become almost non-existent. It was about mid-way through last year when I realized how much influence God had used to get me back on track. In this time, I felt my relationship with Him growing stronger. I wanted to trust in Him with all of my being, but I was still very scared. I can only describe it as being trapped between an old and a new life. He showed me the way. He asked me to have faith in Him. And when I didn’t take that leap of trust, He had to push me off the cliff. Around September, my entire life changed.

I had just started working with a life coach when a seed was planted in me. I was overcome with the idea of using my personal weight issues to help others in the same situation. The mere idea of it terrified me. To do this meant to open up about everything; to share my number with the world. The more scared I felt, the more I turned to God for strength. The more I turned to God, the more strength I was given. I knew what had to be done. In reflecting on all the days of my life, I could see how this was God’s plan all along. Every moment, every job, every experience gave me the skills and understanding to take on this mission. That night I said one simple prayer, “God, please use my life to serve others.”

A Greater Purpose

By all accounts, I should not be here today. I shouldn’t be telling you about how emotionally and physically challenging it is to be an obese person. Or sharing with you that I’ve lost over 145 pounds in the last eighteen months. Or writing about how much my life has changed as I’ve healed my body. Or working to teach others what I have learned along the way. But God had a greater purpose in mind that cold day in January 2010 when He told me to fight for her. As it turns out, He wasn’t just talking about the girl in my mirror.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast.” ~Ephesians 2:8-9

Learn more about Stephaine at her blog: Trading Pounds. Download her free guide full of details on exactly how she did it. She’s also chatting away on Twitter and Facebook.