Imperfect People

Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

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Imperfect People - Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

Banded giveaway! Win a headband and make a difference

Amazima, founded by Katie Davis, and their mission to feed, educate, and encourage the orphaned, poor, and vulnerable in the country of Uganda is pretty much the coolest thing since igloos.

If you have visited this blog before chances are you have heard me talk about Katie Davis before.

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.

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, 25 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!

She initiated a self-sustaining vocational program to empower women to make unique Ugandan magazine bead necklaces.  And to the Amazima ministry is Banded no slip headbands!



From the banded website : We support Amazima, founded by Katie Davis, and their mission to feed, educate, and encourage the orphaned, poor, and vulnerable in the country of Uganda. For each headband you purchase we provide Amazima the funds to provide 3 meals.

Stylish functional and the money spent goes to something awesome?  What could be better….I know WINNING ONE!

To win the below black sparkle headband (my personal favorite) just help us spread the word about banded!  

Share this post on your Facebook or twitter and comment or tag me (@imperfectpple) so I know you did.

For bonus entries like banded on Facebook! 

They make a great Christmas gift too!


black sparkle


Look for Jesus in the lives of the poor and broken because that is his zip code

It’s all Jesus’ fault.  Yep that’s where I find myself today.  In the middle of an exhausting, stressful, beautifully glorious mess.  Sometimes I look up and realize in the middle of a mess there is such majesty.

Ok let me back up.
So i kept reading this book, you may have heard of it it’s called the Bible.   I noticed Jesus kept talking about us helping the poor, in fact he mentioned it like 9 bazillion times (or so).  And that darn Frances Chan and David Platt didn’t help me ignore it either.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 12.02.23 PM

Now I’m not saying I read all these verses  differently than anyone else…but I felt a call to DO SOMETHING!  I was so tired of sitting in bible studies that talked about loving the poor while we ate home baked goods in our warm church wearing our pearls and expensive shoes.   I like pearls and expensive shoes I’m not hating…it just makes me itchy.

I am somebody

But I had no idea what that even looked like.  I did not know a single person who didn’t have a car, on food stamps, and certainly no one living on the streets.  So what’s a middle class white girl to do?

I figured rather than waiting around for God’s parting of the heavens to reveal his miraculous plan for my life,  I decided just find where God is at work and join in.

I knew of two local ministries in our small town doing some amazing things for some amazing people.  So I called to see if I could volunteer.

It started small,  Just cleaning, organizing and the like.  I lead a college girls group and dragged them in with me….turns out they loved it…and they are awesome.

But then something happened.  Something I never expected.

As I became a regular volunteer.  One of the directors called me when she met someone she thought I could connect with.  A young mom of two.  No car, no home, no job, no family, and no hope.

“It’s a beautiful thing when folks in poverty are no longer a missions project but become genuine friends.”-Shane Claiborne

And that is exactly what happened.  She was never a project but a very dear friend to me.  Her burdens became mine.  I lost sleep, I cried, and I learned a million and one things through this crash course of cultural divides.

We may have grown up only miles apart but it may as well have been in another solar system.  There are not enough words to describe how  differently our lives were growing up.  And in turn we found our selves in very different shoes yet similar life stages (more on that here).

That experience opened the doors for me to continue to meet new friends much different than the friends I had in the past.  Now that I have names and faces instead of just statistics,  I find myself in a totally foreign place.

I understand how food stamps work.  I have friends who have families that make Jerry Springer’s guest look normal.   I wrote a letter to a friend in jail today.   And I regularly hang out with the fatherless, and the addicted.

“If you can’t find Jesus among the safe sanctuaries then look for him in the lives of the poor and broken because that is his zip code.” -Jen Hatmaker

It’s amazing how much God can do when we are willing to get uncomfortable.  It’s basically a big hot mess of awesomeness.

My encouragement is not “hey look at me” because I am only a year or so into this whole new world.   I don’t have any answers and I have no idea what I’m doing.   I think most well meaning Christians DO want to help those outside of their comfort zone, but have no idea where to start.

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

I don’t have a formula or a 5 step process but I do pray we can all reach a little further than the comfort of our pews and get our hands dirty.  Jesus truly does make beautiful things from the dust….especially under our fingernails.

If you are ready to jump into the deep end, I will warn you it’s messy and complicated and you may want to run, but if you stick it out you will be amazed at what God can do.

I don’t think we were meant to stay comfortable.  There are great organizations in every town and hopefully one through your church doing great work.  See if you can join in, and see if God leads you to befriend someone totally out of your comfort zone.  More than just seeing a face, but truly getting to know someone, knowing a story, sharing a burden, and sharing life…You will never be the same.

The Beauty Experiment book review and challenge

The Beauty Experiment is a true story about the simple, honest, and pretty hilarious Phoebe Baker.   After having a baby and re-locating to Hong Kong she first sought refuge in the mall, buying beauty pick-me-ups for comfort. But she soon realized there was something deeper to self worth than a pretty dress and new mascara.  Enter in her year long radical experiment that revealed surprising insights into her marriage, her family and herself. (source) 

The Beauty Experiment

About The Beauty Experiment by Phoebe Baker Hyde: I looked at my reflection and despaired. As an exhausted young mother I felt ugly and saw that a new dress or face cream would never help. I was at risk of passing on a habit of feeling miserable about my looks to my baby girl—if nothing changed.
Soon afterward Phoebe Baker Hyde made a vow: to give up new clothes, makeup, haircuts, and jewelry in hopes of revealing something she had always paid lip service to but never quite believed in—her inner beauty. The Beauty Experiment chronicles Hyde’s quest for self-acceptance in nothing but her own skin. In thoughtful, exquisite prose, Hyde holds up a mirror to all women and shows how perfectionism can keep us from achieving what we really want: happiness, confidence, and serenity.

I was skeptical about this read at first.  I’m a pretty simple girl.  I don’t shop…like ever, I wear cheap makeup, I get my haircut bi-annually.  And I for sure never pay for any fancy nails or beauty treatments.

But apparently I am NOT the majority on this.  The salon industry ALONE makes on average 21 BILLION dollars a year (yes I said BILLIONS) and that doesn’t even include makeup, clothing, jewelry, or even plastic surgery!

Beauty is big business.  And it’s no wonder with the emphasis our culture puts on being…and staying young and beautiful.  Even when our REAL life is full of chasing children, wiping floors, and car pools.  A product promising to make us beautiful sells in a heartbeat!
Her blog provides a beauty wealth calculator where you can figure out how much a year you personally spend on beauty.  Mine was pretty low at $200 but I mean sheesh that is still $200!!

I am certainly not immune to caring what I look like.  I too have an “inner voice” as she calls it telling me that shirt doesn’t look right, I need more concealer and, if only my abs were tighter.

Phoebe embarks in several beauty experiments and chronicles what she learns along the way.  She also challenges her readers to have a beauty experiment of their own by trying out one of the below

Experiment Activities:

1. Identify your major cosmetic crutch and go without it for two weeks, noticing any changes. I think it takes about two weeks to really start feeling positive results, whereas negative ones start in one week!2. When in need of a new garment, go shopping without money and enjoy the “costume box approach” to the world’s malls. Then go back to the same stores a second time and purchase any items you still want/remember. Gauge how your habits and shopping experience shifted.3. Cover all but a small section of the bathroom mirror in your house for a week. Take notes on any changes, particularly interruptions of mental flow.


Inner Voice Activities:

1. Transcribe a recent inner conflict you’ve had as if it were two separate people arguing in dialogue. Label these voices “Me” and “Argumentative Inner Voice.” Then, write out a monologue featuring the AIV riffing on the problem, as if or she could hold forth without limit. Afterward answer a few questions about that inner voice: What is it afraid of? What are it’s survival strategies? What does it want to protect you from?

2. Draw a timeline chronicling the development of this inner voice, adding all the influences that have combined to form it over the years. Start as a tiny girl and go all the way to now. What “injuries” or setbacks has this inner voice suffered?

3. Write a love letter to your inner voice, explaining that you find him or her useful and appreciate the help, but would like to reframe your relationship. Explain how.

It’s amazing how these simple experiments can help open your eyes to what is truly important and loving the real you.
In short I think this is a great read and resonates with women everywhere.

As a mother of two girls I especially love a book emphasizing the beauty underneath our skin.
Phoebe Baker Hyde

About Phoebe Baker Hyde

Phoebe Baker Hyde has written on self, place and culture for The New York TimesThe Los Angeles, and The Wall Street Journal. She holds degrees in Anthropology and English from the University of Pennsylvania and Master of Fine Arts in writing from University of California at Irvine. She currently lectures and teaches in Boston.

Find out more about Phoebe at her website, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Thanks TLC book tours for letting me be a part of this review!

tlc tour host

In defense of Miley and other teen stars

I spent the last week trying to ignore the Miley Cyrus circus at the VMA’s.  But everywhere I look or listen there she is.


(Picture source)
A crazy awful performance that left everyone appalled.  Just like in the 80’s when Madonna danced around in a wedding outfit singing “like a virgin” Just like when Brittney spears performed half awake shortly before shaving her head.



(Brittany picture source) (Madonna picture source) 

I try to stay away from controversy but I can’t help but notice…when did everyone become so insanely tremendously Judgmental??!!

As a society we want EXPECT these starts to be:

  • Pretty but not over the top
  • Talented but not vain
  • They should be “moral” but we all define that differently
  • Skinny but not too skinny
  • Heaven forbid if they get fat
  • Perfect bod, perfect makeup, and dress

If they mess up any of the above it will be on 10 magazine covers, 200 gossip sites, millions of facebook updates and the topic of the morning talk shows.

If I had that kind of pressure at the age of 20, I think I would shave my head too.

Now hear me out.  I am not saying this is a cop out.  I wish everyone in the spot light new the gravity of their behavior as young minds try to model them. But unfortunately fame doesn’t come with instructions and I’m not sure anyone would obey them anyway.

There are girls Miley’s age dancing scantly at bars on any given weekend Miley just has a MUCH larger audience.  They are both just looking for love and attention in the wrong places.

Can we  extend some love and acceptance knowing that she is made for so much more??  Who am I to point out her not so fabulous performance?  Yes I thought it was awful but she has 2 of the top 10 hits on itunes so people can’t be that appalled.

Here’s the deal, we all do stupid things (especially at 20 years old).  I want to be friends with Miley, Brittany, and “you fill in the blank star”.  And tell them they are LOVED.  They are made with great purpose. and they are worth more than cheap attention.

The buzz of this performance will soon  pass but I hope she hears the message of love over hate.  While we certainly don’t like her performance we love her as a human being.  She is still God’s little princess made perfectly imperfect Her value in the world’s eyes is so temperamental and fleeting.  I pray someone close to her will show her her amazing and priceless worth in God’s eyes knowing she is a precious jewel meant for so much more than what the world offers.


How the poor can give great riches

Embarrassingly enough until a few months ago I didn’t really know anyone who was poor.  I couldn’t give you a single name of someone who was on food stamps and I used to think it was all their fault somehow anyway.

When we had extra stuff I would donate to any organization that would conveniently take it off my hands.   This is not wrong…but I knew something was missing.  Jesus doesn’t just suggest caring for the poor if we are rich or have tons of free time, He commands it (over 100 times actually). 

Writing a check or dumping a bunch of stuff off is still very good, but seeing a face, knowing a story, sharing a burden, and getting involved in a life…is a TOTAL GAME CHANGER.

Our family has had the pleasure of getting involved in our local homeless ministry.  It started out just by cleaning and organizing but it has grown to more be a blessing more than I could ever imagine.

My eyes have been opened to SOOOO stinking much.   There are people living in poverty all around us no matter where you live.  We picture homeless as people living in a box on the street but in reality many are living wherever they can find a roof for the night.

The thing is..when you are poor the roof you probably find is a home filled with drugs, violence or both.   How do you get a job if you don’t have a place to shower, or nice clothes to wear, or even a computer?  How do you get a good enough job if you don’t have an education? How do you get kids to daycare if you don’t have a car?  How do afford day care if you don’t have a job?  The mountain is just too high to climb.

If you are poor you don’t know anyone with anything EXTRA to help you out  and you certainly don’t know anyone with any means to help you get a better life for yourself.

And that is where it occurred to me there is a problem.

IMG_1987I went to church one Sunday morning and couldn’t help notice all the expensive cars in the parking lot and fancy way people were dressed (including me) and I felt a serious weight on my chest.  I had never noticed it before until I knew a mom with two kids who didn’t know where they would sleep that night.

Making over $30,000 a year puts me in the top 18% of the worlds wealthiest people.  Not only am I rich with money but I am FILTHY rich with resources. I know business owners that can offer jobs, I know people who have extra cars, we have an extra room, I can help provide transportation, childcare, and even wash a load of clothes!

I feel like my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of people I (embarrassingly enough) never even noticed before.  I was missing so much! Yes there are people out there that just want hand outs but that is just a stereo-type.   There are LOTS of people who just need to know someone who can help.

I have no idea why I was born into such a wonderful family and have always had everything I need and why some are born into poverty but I understand now why Jesus said:

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48

My encouragement to you is to get involved with a local ministry and truly get to know someone that the world considers “poor.”

“Am I afraid?? I am much more afraid of being comfortable”-Katie Davis 

Yes it is uncomfortable at first…yes I was worried for my safety at first  But I have yet to meet someone I would consider dangerous.  I have only met beautiful people who just need a little help.

somebodyHow to get involved:  Almost every city large or small has some type of ministry to the poor and or homeless.  The hardest part is calling to see how you can help.  Practical needs are taking kids to the park, helping prepare meals, and mostly just getting to know them.  Every person has a unique story and every person in need is made in God’s image just as much as you and I. You will be amazed at what God can do when status walls are broken down.

Here is what you can expect to happen:  Your needs become so-much-less, your complaints become zero and the part that will change your life forever is when you get to help put the hope back into a hopeless situation.

Shopping ethically made easy and affordable: In it to end it

Today has been declared Shine A Light On Slavery Day by End It Movement.
To help bring awareness I am reposting this from the archive.  This post gives practical advice on how you can shop ethically.  


As long as I can remember I have been a bargain shopper.  My mom taught me to shop for bathing suits in the September and winter coats in May.  I have never been a stranger to the clearance racks or couponing.

But here I am in turmoil over my purchases.  I am realizing there is so much more to consider than just a good deal.

A quote from the the social justice handbook:

Everyday we are confronted by challenging societal problems, from poverty and institutional racism to AIDS and homelessness.  It can all seem so overwhelming.  But while none of us can do everything, all of us can do something. 

If I were to ask you if you wanted to support a company that had slave labor you would, of course, say no.  But unfortunately every time we make a purchase we “vote” for what we think are acceptable company practices.

There are an estimated 27 million slaves at work today.  More than ever before.  Many slaves are working hard to produce the food we buy and the clothes we wear.  With raised awareness customers are starting to make wiser choices by supporting companies committed to ethical treatment of their workers.

The good news is there are very easy, practical and yes, even FRUGAL ways to shop ethically.

Scan before you buy

free 2 work

Free2Work is a really cool company that grades companies on a scale of “A” to “F” based on supply chain transparency, code of conduct, response to child and forced labor, and overall efforts to empower workers. Plus they have a free app that lets you easily search for companies making your “research” a snap!

Good Guide is a similar company only the also grade the company on it’s health and environmental impact.  They have a free ap that lets you scan the barcode!

Had I been a little wiser the last time i bought shoes I would not have bought Sketchers, who have a grade F, and would have looked at maybe some Adidas, or Nikes who have a grade A (Nike’s have come a long way!  Go Nike!).

Buy Second Hand


I’m a big fan of second hand shopping. Yard sales, thrift stores, and hand me downs are all fabulous ways to “shop”.

When you buy something second hand the damage from the store (and factory) has already been made.  Second hand shopping means you are supporting a local family yard sale, a church fund raiser, or a charity like goodwill or salvation army.  Plus who doesn’t get excited about a super cute pair of jeans for $1!

Buy in bulk 

Equal Exchange is a wonderful organization that offers a coop for buying fair trade, ethical products and very reasonable prices.  Go in with a few friends to split an order or just store your own olive oil, bananas, nuts and coffee.

Buy local and or handmade

Locally grown food, handmade items or items made right in your own town not only have character and are better for you, they also DON’T carry with it a story of forced labor and unethical treatment.

Etsy is a great place to find homemade…everything!

Our dollars really are the loudest voice we have.  When we stop supporting shady practices, companies change.   Let us LIVE the gospel with our dollars and “vote” yes to companies that are practicing good ethics.

Share your thoughts on all this! Anyone have any tips on how you shop ethical? Tags: fair trade,christian,Shopping

Media Minimization March week 1 what I have learned so far

Our first true test of this whole media minimization came quickly.  The second day of March was on a Saturday.  It was the first Saturday in ages we had NOTHING planed.

Not a birthday party, baby shower, or a single thing on the agenda.  It was FREEZING outside and we are sticking to 7 hours TOTAL of any screen time at all per WEEK.  (click here for why)

Sooooo what’s a family to do?

We got creative.  We went swimming under the dome at the local park, we did puzzles and went for ice cream after dinner.

I was worried the kids would rebel against the whole idea but they kind of like it.  The great thing about kids is their ability to go with the flow.  When the screen time is up, it’s up.  And it’s time to get creative.

For me, I have had a hard time justifying what is “work” and legitimate internet time and what isn’t.  So the rule obeyer in me (she’s very small but still there) decided to give up instagram and any status updates (facebook or twitter) for the month as well.  Those are much more of a sacrifice for me (I miss you instagram) but in sacrifice we grow BIG time.

You know how many people have missed my updates?  Let me count…..Hmmm…..ZERO.  Not only can I live without social media, it can also get along just fine without me.  

Bryan is limiting TV and other media as well.  We have MANY more conversations in the evening without computers or TV’s to compete with.  This whole experiment is way more tolerable together.  We hold each other accountable too.

But it’s not all happy puzzle time and ice cream either .  Media is not all bad.  Here are the cons I have experienced:

1) Status updates are kinda handy.  Anybody know how to fix a fridge?  And if you had to pick one would you choose a trampoline or swing set for your backyard?
(updates I have wanted to post lately)

2) I don’t take near as many pictures.  I never realized it but I was taking pictures mostly for social media purposes.  Please humor me and tell me how cute this little collage is of Ava at the mall the other day.  She was dancing in front of the mirror.


At the end of the day this teeny tiny, hardly mentionable “sacrifice” helps remind me of the millions of people who have so much less than me.

Everyday, several times a day, when I stop myself from thumbing through my phone, I am reminded of HOW MUCH we have.  We are blessed beyond measure.  If limiting media can help remind me to enjoy the HERE and now, be present, and become less distracted…then I am all for it.

Media Minimization March

We didn’t start this whole idea with the goal of a clever title…but the 3 “m”s is kinda catchy if I do say so myself.

Have you heard of this book called “7” by Jen Hatmaker?  I’m kinda in love with it.  She takes 7 areas of her life lived in excess: Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress.   They spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.”

A few months back we did stress, and observed the “seven sacred pauses”

For the month of March we are cutting back our media.  Media has a way of sneaking into stealing away our life.  It is very subtle but it happens everyday.  We decided cutting back media is a great way to re-focus on what we value as a family…each other.


In the book, they cut out 7 different forms of media completely for the month.  We decided to just cut all media back to a total of 7 hours a week.

What does this include?  For us we decided “media” was anything with a screen (music is permitted).  It gets a little tricky because,  of course, a computer is how we both work.  But thanks to a handy site called rescue time  it will automatically track where we spend our time online.   And true work will not count toward the 7 hours.

I almost choked on the air when my husband originally suggested we use our phones as just PHONES.  We have only had smart phones for about a year but I seriously think my iphone is as magnificent as disney world and cheesecake all wrapped into one.

Ultimately we decided it was impractical NOT to use all of the handy things a smart phone lets you check, but it would all count toward our 7 hours per week.  Toggl is an app that will keep me accountable there.

And of course TV.  I’m not much of a TV fan but the rest of our family is.  Cutting back on the TV for the kids means more work on us but I am really excited about all the alternatives we will discover with the default of TV gone from the line up.


I originally thought 7 hours was a generous plenty (about 1 hour per day) but when you start to time ALL YOUR MEDIA into one hour…it’s not that much.

So is going surprisignly better than expected.  I am learning a lot but that is for another post.  For now…my time is nearly up.

Have you every had a media fast/minimiztion?  What did you think?

Interview with a “regular” missionary

Do you ever think of missionaries as, like, AMAZING Christians? That they are somehow on a different level than the rest of us? I think they are out saving the world and I am just simply trying to not cuss when I stub my toe.

Well Today, I have the privilege of sharing an interview from friends that are very near and dear to my heart. We have known each other since before either of us were married. Names will be changed for security reasons.  

“Sarah” is the kinda friend I consider like a sister. I have called her 100 times for advice and she even cleaned my house when I was in the hospital during the birth of our youngest daughter.

Our husbands watch football together and we consider them some of our closest friends. Now, in a matter of days they are moving half a world away to share with people who have never heard the name Jesus.

It is amazing to watch friends as close as these, friends I know as real, goofy, playful and perfectly imperfect put feet to their faith as they become missionaries.

Enjoy this “interview” of sorts as you meet some new friends. I hope you see the authentic and REAL people through the screen and leave encouraged by the incredible work God can do in everyday people!

myWPEdit Image

1. Tell me how it came about that you were going to be missionaries?

For about 3 years we felt like God was calling us to missions, but we never felt like we were equipped or even ready. We had no specific place, and felt inadequate to the task. I mean, missionaries are like “super Christians”, and we are not. We both had somewhat shady pasts too, and certainly that wasn’t called for either, right?

In the end, it came down to a few things that convinced us. First, we realized that if we didn’t go, who would? There are over a billion people who need Jesus with no access to the gospel. Why shouldn’t we go if we are committed to loving people and seeing Jesus love change lives.

Second, we were afraid. Fear comes in all shapes and sizes and for us, the fear of the unknown, fear of what it would look like, and fear of things like kids’ schooling, etc. Our God is not a God of fear (Romans 8:15) and so we are blessed to be loved by Him so much that he calls us sons/daughters. Finally, it was through the obedience of others in sharing their story.

A couple we heard speak came to talk about their serving. They had kids our age, they were our age, and weren’t perfect Christians either. They just had a heart to serve and love on people. We realized that this wasn’t a specific call for some people, it is a call for all people.

Living a life for Christ is about sharing the gospel each and every day, wherever we find ourselves. We may happen to find ourselves 12,000 miles away, but we are called to the same purpose as anyone living here in the states. Not only is that empowering, but encouraging to know that we are all missionaries. We also picked up a copy of the book Radical by David Platt. Don’t read it if you aren’t ready, but 2 pages into the book, with tears streaming down my face, I realized that I had run from fear long enough. It was time to give that which Christ gave for me – everything.

2. What has this looked like in your day to day life, selling your house, quitting your job, telling your parents etc.?

The selling everything part is amazing. Freeing in every sense of the word. You just don’t realize how caught up you get in the stuff until you don’t have it anymore. It’s not easy, but knowing that your life is about something more than just the American dream is a very encouraging.

Whether or not you sell everything or just become that much more generous, a life without “stuff”, is a life more available to be filled by Him. One thing that we felt like God was impressing on us about our house, jobs, etc. was that even if we go and decide this isn’t for us, it’s still just “stuff” and they make more of it every day. We can always get more stuff, but the feeling of missing something amazing that God has for us, we can’t get that back. We can’t recreate that or take back the years we could have been serving Him.

It’s also a huge leap of faith, and that’s not easy either. Trusting God with your entire life is a little disconcerting, especially when you have no idea of what His plan is. However, when an artist is painting a canvas, the brush strokes may seem random to the viewer, but to the artist, each one has a specific purpose. It’s not clear at first, but God is painting a masterpiece with our lives too. All He asks is that we trust Hm to give us just what we need when we need it.

Telling people, especially our families, inevitably brings up questions about the kids and safety or other issues like organized activities, culture shift and even friends. This is hard, too, but one thing we decided early on was that the best thing we could do for our families, friends, and even our kids was to show them that above all, God desires obedience. We hope that in following Him we will show a life lived for His glory and one that points people towards Him.

myWPEdit Image

Photo by HB documentary

3. What are you most excited about on your missionary journey?

We love people, period. We have been praying for a genuine love for the people we’ll be serving in Asia, and God is rewarding that. We cannot wait to love on the people and share with them God’s amazing story.

All along we have looked at this is just another adventure, another destination — for the journey IS the destination! This is just another adventure and knowing that our kids will see some things and have experiences that almost no one else could ever have is a cool thought too. They’ll have a love for culture and people far beyond what we feel they could get here, so we’re excited to see how they do.

Finally, we can’t wait to see God glorified through our amazing team and the nationals we’ll be working with. Earlier this year I had the privilege of serving in Zambia and on the first day I experienced just a small piece of every nation and tribe praising God (see Revelation 7:9-10). You can’t imagine how awesome it is when God’s name is being praised among the peoples and this is the hope we have for each day of our journey.

4. What words of encouragement would you have for people who are interested in missions but think they are under qualified, not “spiritual enough” or just to intimidated to take that leap?

First, to quote the old cliche: God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called. When he called Matthew to a life of service, Matthew was sitting at a tax collector’s booth. Jesus didn’t tell him to clean up his life, then follow. Rather, He asked him to follow. He did, and the rest is history.

God is simply looking for willing servants, ready to make a radical sacrifice, but sharing in an eternal reward. If you are thinking about missions, even if you are thinking it might be for you, I’d ask that you begin to pray for God to break down the walls of fear and doubt, replace them with love and encouragement, and be willing to be obedient.

It requires no special qualifications, just that you love others and love God.

Won’t you join us in this mission? Won’t you join us in serving? It won’t be easy, but the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice.

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Photo by HB documentary

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2013…my one word

My one word for 2013 was a no brainer this year.

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I’m still totally inspired by the life changing book, One thousand gifts.
Noticing ways to give thanks instead of ways to complain is a total game changer.

When our kitchen is a total mess and the crazy white girl inside of me wants to come out, I am reminded, at least we have a kitchen, with food and dishes to make such a mess.

When I think we don’t have enough money, I am reminded: If you make $33,500 a year, you are among the richest 5% in the world. (source)

When I’m tired from a long day, I am reminded of the blessing of an able body and mind.

During the mist of this realization, days after the school shooting in Connecticut I posted this to Facebook:

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The kids are coloring each other with marker and their bedroom looks like the closet threw up. But before they drive me nuts I think of all the mamas in newtown that would do anything to have their kids drive them nuts today. #perspective #newtown

I am no thankful expert but learning little by little, I have more blessings than 10 people put together.

There are things to be thankful for and complain about in everyday, it just depends on what we are looking for.

What are you thankful for today?

Do you have a “one word” for 2013?