Saturday, January 30, 2010


I'm going to admit tonight that I feel like Job has been saying the same thing for oh...the whole book. So, I'm afraid I don't have a whole lot to share on that front. I am looking forward to church tomorrow so hopefully I will have a bit more direction as I read the rest of the book. I do really like feeling like I have feedback after each week of reading. It has been a good time for me and I feel like God is challenging me.

Guess I will take this time to share some random things about life right now:

*On Friday, Brad & I interviewed a girl for camp this summer who had come to Crosspoint...when we were working. How weird. She had actually only been a Brad's camps, but how strange that someone who was a camper for us in 5th and 6th grade is now applying to work camp in the summer. Geez I feel ancient in the camp world.

*I have been frantically trying to get things done this weekend before we head to Kenya. Preparing to miss almost 2 weeks of school is not easy, but I am grateful that I have the opportunity to go.

*On Friday, Brad & I tried a couple of firsts for us in Birmingham. A place called Newks for lunch and Yogurt Mountain for dessert. Yogurt mountain is great. You go in, grab a bowl and then you have about a dozen flavors of frozen yogurt to choose from. Then you can put whatever toppings on it that you want and they weigh it to see how much it costs. My favorite flavor combo was peanut butter with rice krispie treat...yum. My idea for them...they need to create a membership club where you pay a monthly fee and can go as much as you want for one monthly cost!

*A little over a week ago I got my lab placement for this semester. This spring we are all going to schools in Bibb County which = the boonies. It will be about a 45 minute drive, but thankfully I have several friends I may be able to carpool with. I was assigned Kindergarten though, so I am really excited. I think eventually I would love to teach Kindergarten, so this will be a good test!

*It dawned on me the other day that this summer I will get to go to camp and focus totally on camp and I got really excited. I took 3 classes online last summer and it was craziness. I still don't know how I did it. It was literally by the grace of God. He provided us with a great staff and me with great office ladies who I literally could not have gotten through the summer without. I am really excited that this summer my focus will not be split and I am looking forward to all the travel. This is last go round, unless God has some super crazy plans for me that I am not aware of yet. So I am going to make the most of it!

*My random thoughts lately...I'm ready to have a place to call home. Don't get me wrong, I love it here and I love our house. We are incredibly blessed. But ever since I graduated college I feel like I have been in a constant transition. Fortunately, we have stayed in one place for the last few years, but we still can't really put down roots as we aren't sure what we are going to do long term. So, whether it is here, or somewhere else, I am just ready to have a place to call home for a while. I know that God is already sorting out those details, and in the meantime I just need to be happy with all my blessings.

Well, that might be enough random updates for now. If I get any great insight on Job tomorrow at church I will try and share it. Guess that is all for now.

Today's Reading: Job 22-24

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The lord gave and the lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

The power of our words.

Tonight as I read Job, I thought about the power of our words. in chapter 19, Job says "How long will you torment me and break me into pieces with words?" Our words have power. They have the power to break down, as the words of Job's friends were doing to him. Or they have the power to build up and encourage. I have learned this fact as I study to be a teacher as well. I have learned that as a teacher, your words can have a permanent impact on the lives of your students. I have also learned this being a Compassion sponsor. For some children who are sponsored through Compassion International, the only words of love and encouragement they receive may be through the letters from their sponsor. I know from experience too. I remember times when important people in my life either built up or tore down my self confidence through the words they said. As Christians, our words have great power. Our words can either be a reflection of Christ or of the world. Our words can build up or tear down. We must always be cautious of our words. We must guard our heart and guide our tongue. Use your words to build up those around you each and every day.

Today's Reading: Job 18-21

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A few good friends...

Tonight as I continue to read Job I realize the importance of having good friends. Unfortunately, Job's friends were not being very supportive during these chapters. In fact, Job says, "I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all. Shall windy words have an end?" Job 16:2&3. Not the best friends, huh? I had the opportunity to talk to a friend from camp tonight and I realized that I really should take more time to do that. I get busy, life gets crazy, and I use facebook as an excuse and substitute for keeping up with people. Its really just not the same. Tonight I took time to actually pick up the phone and call and it was so great, and so much better than "sort of" keeping up with someone via social media. I am sure that all Job wanted was just to have a good friend to turn to...someone who would tell him that everything would be alright. Or someone who would just sit and be with him (and not talk his ears off like Job's friends did). So tonight I hope that my friends know how important they are to me, even when I don't do the best job of keeping up. I also hope that I can do a little better at keeping up with people. God intends for and created us to be relational. And we are meant to have community. So tonight I challenge you too. Call a friend tonight. Write a note. Send an email. Do something to purposely seek out and encourage a friend. You never know how much they may need it, right at that very moment.

Today's Reading: Job 14-17

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

When God is silent (and men are not)

As I continued to read through Job tonight, I thought about the times when we seem at our lowest and God seems to be silent. So far, Job has continued to express his frustrations and cry out to God, but God remains silent. Have you experienced times like this? I know I have. I don't think that things have ever been as bad for me as they have been for Job, but I have been in situations where I have felt pretty hopeless and I wondered when God would answer my call. I know the truth is that he really never leaves us, but there are times when it sure feels that way. As I read Job I also think about the times when God is silent and we try to seek hope from man instead of Him. In these chapters, Job is seeking the help of his friends, and honestly, they don't seem to be helping very much. How much more discouraging is it to us when others we seek are not encouraging or helpful and do not speak words of truth in our lives. I think this reminds me that even when He seems silent, we must always ultimately seek and find our hope in God. And I continue to understand that just as God's words have meaning, his silence does too. God doesn't just sit up in heaven, twiddling his thumbs, wondering when we'll shut up long enough to listen. He has a reason for his silence. Maybe He is trying to teach us something. Maybe His answer does not fit in our time table. Maybe we just won't understand in this world. No matter what, we must hold on to our faith and trust that God's answers will come, in His time.

Todays Reading: Job 10-13

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A week from today...

I will be on my way to Kenya! I am so excited and blessed to have this opportunity to go on another trip to see the work of Compassion International. If you aren't familiar with Compassion, it is a child sponsorship program that is releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name. My involvement with Compassion International has changed my life. I will never be the same because of the experiences I have had with Compassion. In 2007, I traveled to Uganda, Africa for my first international experience and my first trip with Compassion. I admit before I traveled I was still a little skeptical. I just hadn't learned a whole lot about the program. After seeing the work that they do firsthand, I was sold for life. I was able to see how their ministry partners with churches in the poorest areas and how they are equipping these churches to change the lives of the people in these communities. I also learned that the greatest tragedy of poverty is not a lack of "stuff" it is a lack of hope for a future, and that is exactly what Compassion is providing to these children and families. In Uganda, I was also able to meet my sponsored child Susan and her mother. It was an incredible and overwhelming experience. I am so happy and proud to watch her grow up into a beautiful young woman of God. I know that God has great plans for her life. In 2008, Brad & I both had the opportunity to travel to the Philippines. And I had entirely new experiences with poverty. I had no idea that people built their homes over flooded rice fields and ride rafts of styrofoam or swim through rivers of trash and raw sewage just to get into the mainland of their communities, or that people built communities in graveyards. My family now sponsors a little girl named Mary Hart from the Philippines and I trust that God has incredible plans for her life as well. In the fall of 2008, Brad and I were also able to travel to Haiti. You can read in my previous blogs what a heart I have for that country, especially now in the midst of such terrible tragedy. Brad & I also sponsor a young man named Bens who lives in Haiti. We are pretty sure that he has been protected from much of the tragedy, but I am sure that he is still affected in some way. I pray that he will grow up to make a difference in his country one day. Although in all of the places that I have been the people are different and the landscape is different, two things are constant. One is poverty. It is like nothing that most of us have ever seen and it is nothing like anything here in the US. The other constant is the impact that Compassion International is having on the future generations of these countries. Compassion is bringing hope, it is bringing a future generation of leaders who will make an incredible difference in their country. Most importantly it is bringing hope to these children through Jesus Christ.

I am so blessed to be a part of Compassion International. It is a blessing to be able to be a small part of something much larger than myself. To feel that in some small way I am making a difference in the lives of others. That in some small way I am answering God's call to help the orphans and widows of this world. Sometimes it doesn't feel like much, but it is something. My heroes are the Compassion project workers who work with these children and are a part of their everyday lives. I ask you to join with me in praying for these people. Specifically for this week for those in Kenya. I pray that in some way I may be able to bring encouragement to these dear people as we are visitors in their country. Also please seriously consider making a difference in the life of a child through sponsorship. It is $38 a month and if we are honest with ourselves, we blow through that much money a month on trivial things like iTunes and Starbucks. That $38 helps support the needs of a child as well as pay for school fees and medical expenses. More importantly, it provides you the opportunity to build a relationship with that child. It is a relationship that will change your life as you are able to see them grow and change and have HOPE for their future. If you want more info about Compassion International, just let me know or check them out on the web at In the words of some friends of mine who are Compassion graduates, "So you want to change the world...PROVE IT."

Today's Reading: Job 6-9...I did read today!

"And he said, Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I shall return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.

So tonight the reading shifts to the story of Job. Here are a few of my thoughts from reading tonight...

1. Talk about a bad day. In one day Job loses all his earthly possessions as well as his children. And yet, at the end of it all he says, "Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked shall I return. the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord" Job 1:21. I wonder if I could or would respond in the same way. To literally lose almost everything and still praise and bless the Lord takes quite a lot of strength. Strength I am sure that Job found in the Lord.

2. Just when he thought he had enough, there was more. Just as Job has lost almost everything, not his own health is attacked. He is miserable. Even his own wife tells him to curse God and die. and Job responds, "Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" Job 2:10. I think this is one of the things as humans we often struggle with the most. When things are going well, we are receiving blessings from God. But when things turn and we find ourselves in despair, we often feel that God has forsaken us. In truth, God is always with us. Even as Job was being attacked by Satan, God was still with Job. I believe that is the only reason Job could still respond in this way. That type of strength is not human.

3. Job shows his humanity. Job was tough, he really was, but his lament in chapter 3 was bound to happen. Who could blame him. Job is in such pain and despair he laments his very birth. Job is at a very low point. Job is struggling. Yet, we know that God is still with him. Job's circumstances have changed, but God still loves him, that remains.

4. The presence of satan is real. At the beginning of Job, God asks when satan presents himself where he has come from. Satan replies, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it." Job 2:2. Evil and satan are real. I believe he is just as present on the earth as he was when Job was alive. And while satan brings pain, destruction and despair just as he did to Job, he is still not stronger or more powerful than God. He never has been and he never will be. There are days when things are so bad on this earth, it seems that satan is winning, but that is never true. No matter how desperate things are, God is always in control. Always. He has already written the end of the story. And that is something we can take joy in, even in the midst of pain and tragedy.

So, while I have studied Job before, but I am looking forward to studying his story again. While it is a painful one, I think that there are also some beautiful pictures found in the midst of his suffering.

Today's Reading: Job 1-5

"And he said,"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I think that the picture of Joseph's forgiveness of his brothers is a beautiful one. After the death of their father Jacob, the brothers believe that now Joseph may take out his long built up anger on them all. To their surprise, Joseph's perspective is much different. Not only has he forgiven them, but he also tells them this, "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about many people should be kept alive." Genesis 50:19&20. So not only was Joseph able to put the sins of his brothers against him behind him, but he was also able to see the bigger picture of God's plan for his life. There was no reason that Joseph had to forgive his brothers, most of us would have taken the opportunities he now had to cut of his support of them and their families, but Joseph chose to take care of all of them. I find this picture beautiful first because it is a familiar one. God has no real reason to forgive us. He didn't and doesn't have to do it. He didn't have to provide His one and only Son for us as a sacrifice for our sins, but He did. He loves us and He did. Because of this, our relationships can be reconciled to him just as Joseph reconciled the relationships with his brothers. I also think that is a beautiful picture of perspective. How even when others do evil against us, God can mean it for good. While there is often difficulty in the process, it can be exactly what needed to happen for the greater good.

So I wonder, and I ask these questions to myself as well, who do you need to be reconciled with? Who do you need to show the forgiveness of God to? What situation do you need to put into perspective and realize that maybe while difficult, God meant it for good? When we think about our anger or grudges, we must always remember that God forgave us when we were unworthy and undeserving. We should be willing to show others the same love of Christ in us.

Todays Reading: Genesis 47-50

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Genesis 50:20

Friday, January 22, 2010

Joyful, Joyful we adore Thee...

I wonder how Joseph's father Jacob felt when he heard that his son was still alive and in Egypt. I wonder what thoughts went through his head on his journey there. I would imagine there would be disbelief, joy, and excitement that he would be able to see his son once more before his time on earth was over. I realize that the situation is very different, but I imagine that some of the emotions are the same for Jamie & Aaron Ivey and Dave & Kim Rhodes as they head toward Orlando, FL to pick up their sons from Haiti tonight. I can't imagine the whirlwind of emotions that they have felt over the last 10 or so days, from hearing about the earthquake to getting the news that their children are in fact on their way to the United States. I would be an emotional wreck. I am tonight and they aren't my kids! I feel pure joy tonight for I think really the first time since I heard about the earthquake in Haiti. My heart has been so heavy, but tonight is it light and joyful as it rejoices in something that only our great God could orchestrate. From pilots offering to charter planes to flights being held, God has been showing off today and tonight in his work to get these children home.

I do realize though in all the joy that tonight will also begin a time of transition for these children and families. These children have been in a state of unrest and upheaval for the last several days and are now flying to a new place where they will be with their new families and separated from those friends and people they have grown up with. I have no doubt that they will transition smoothly into their loving forever families, but I do realize that there will be moments of adjustment for all of these families in the days ahead. So I pray that God will continue to give these families peace, strength, and courage as he overwhelms them in His love. I also realize that while our friends are going to pick up their children tonight, there are many other families who are still waiting. And there are many new orphans in Haiti tonight who will need families to love them. So I pray for those families who are still waiting, and I pray that they will soon get their call to get on a plane soon. I pray that God would already be working in the hearts of people who will become families for those who are newly orphaned in Haiti. I pray that the Haitian government, once it stabilizes, will change some of their qualifications, so that more people who have been burdened will have the opportunity to adopt these children. I also still pray for the many needs that still exist in Haiti. I am joyful though and praise God as he has truly worked miracles in the tragedy of the last two weeks. Praise our Great God of miracles!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A heavy heart...

Today, I just have a heavy heart. Compassion International sent out its first reports from Haiti. Three of the five projects we visited while we were there were directly impacted by the earthquake. At least 100+ children have died and more are injured to varying degrees. It is news that is hard to hear. The reality is that I assumed news like this was coming, but you hope and you pray that it won't be the case. That somehow all of the children would have gotten out safe. But that is not reality. The reality is that Haiti will never be the same. Ever. It will forever be marked in some way by this tragedy. It is another scar that the people of Haiti will carry on their hearts. While it all breaks my heart, I still can't wrap my head around the fact that the pictures I see are of the places I was just a little over a year ago. That the beautiful hotel that we ate dinner in with LDP students is a pile of rubble. That a city has literally been destroyed. I know I feel that I am being redundant lately in this blog as it seems that all I can talk about is Haiti. But it is what is on my mind and heart. And today was tough to think about the faces of children we spent time with and wonder if they are okay or not.

I have to keep reminding myself that God is sovereign. He is in control. He will bring beauty from the ashes. He is healer and provider. He loves. He cares. He hurts too. I know that he is with the people of Haiti just the way he was with Joseph. That in both terrible and good times in Joseph's life, God was with him and had a plan for his life. It is situations like these that remind us that God really is the only one in control. We fool ourselves into thinking that when things are good that we had something to do with it, when in reality, all that is good in us and everything good that happens to us comes from God. So tonight I pray that God will bring the same comfort and peace to Haiti tonight as he did to Joseph on both his good and bad days.

Today's Reading: Genesis 41-43

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Genesis 50:20

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

But the Lord was with Joseph.

So Today's reading continues the story of Joseph and not all is well. Joseph was a trusted leader in Potiphar's house until his wife was deceitful and blamed adulterous acts on Joseph and he was sent to prison. Even in prison, though it says "But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison...because the lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed." Genesis 39:21&23. I wonder what kept Joseph from thinking that God had forsaken him. He had not after all had the easiest life. It started out well, finding great favor from his father, but of course the downward spiral began when his bothers turned against him in jealousy and sold him into slavery. Then just when things were looking up, he gets caught up in all this mess and winds up in prison. He even tells Pharaoh's cupbearer to remember him when he interprets his dream, but he does not remember him when he is restored to his position. I just have to imagine that at some point, if I were in Joseph's position I would become frustrated or disheartened. But Joseph doesn't seem to feel this way. He seems to take everything in stride and believe that God really is in control. One of my favorite parts of this passage is when it says that God showed Joseph his steadfast love. I think sometimes I fail to remember that God and His love are steadfast. That even in the midst of chaos, craziness or disappointment, that the one and only thing that is always consistent is God and His love for us. Nothing shocks him, nothing surprises him and ultimately, He is always in control, even when are lives feel full of chaos. Our relationship with Christ is our foundation; it is our center. So that in the midst of it all, we remember that his steadfast love is our anchor. I am so thankful that in the midst of a world of inconsistencies that God and his love are our constant...always.

Today's Reading: Genesis 38-40

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Genesis 50:20

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A glimmer of hope in the midst of tragedy.

Tonight's reading begins the story of Joseph, the son of Jacob (who would later be called Israel). Talk about sibling rivalry. I'm sure that Joseph was the typical annoying younger brother, and I am sure that it didn't go over well that he seemed to be the favored son, but was all that really enough to get him sold off into slavery? It would seem that Joseph's story would end in tragedy at the hands of his brothers. Since we have the opportunity of knowing what happens though, we know that this isn't the case. That instead, what was meant for evil, God would work together for good. That even in the midst of this tragedy, God was not taken by surprise, and he had a plan for Joseph's life. One that neither Joseph or his family would ever be able to imagine.

Again, during these days, my mind continues to think of Haiti. My prayer is that even in the midst of this tragedy that has happened because we live in a broken world, that God has not been taken by surprise and He has a plan. A plan for good. I hope that part of that plan includes that many orphans that are currently in the adoption process, who have loving families who have been waiting months and years for them to come home already. When the earthquake hit, many of the families waited to hear if their children were safe, and the ones who were, they pondered what this would mean for their children. All the papers that were filled out as part of this painstaking process were lost in the midst of the rubble. Would this mean that they would have to wait even longer for their families to be reunited? Or would it possibly mean that these children would be released to their families sooner? Yesterday, humanitarian parole was granted to the orphans of Haiti who were currently in the adoption process. I don't understand everything that this means, except that it does mean that there is hope that these children will get to be united with their families soon, maybe even in the next few days. Some families have already been united as their children were granted visas from the US embassy. Our friends and partners in ministry are still waiting. Aaron Ivey is a worship leader that Brad and I have worked with for several summers. He and his wife Jamie have been waiting more than 2 years to bring home their son Amos. Dave Rhodes is a minister who Brad and I have also had the opportunity to work alongside of at several of our camps. He and his wife Kim have been waiting for 2 years as well to bring their son Frankie home. Both of these couples have embraced opportunities over the last several days to speak on behalf of the many orphans who are in the country of Haiti. They have done all they can to bring awareness of the needs of these beautiful children. I can't imagine the fear, happiness, anxiety, and elation that these families must be feeling right now. I pray that God will bring peace among this chaos. I pray that these families would be united in the days to come. Time is of the essence in this situation, so I pray that these children would be on their way home for their families very, very soon. I pray that maybe this will be one of the good things that might come out of all of this tragedy. The idea that these children might be able to be loved on by their mothers and fathers so much sooner than expected seems like a ray of bright light and hope in the midst of the darkness that must hover over Haiti tonight. So please pray for these families along with me, as well as all the others who I don't know. Pray that Amos and Frankie and all their other friends will be on planes soon to join their families. I am so thankful that we have a God who can and does work ALL things together for good and who HOPE can be found in, in the midst of tragedy.

Tonight's Reading: Genesis 34-37

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant if for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Genesis 50:20

Monday, January 18, 2010

A time called away from where we may want to be

This weekend I had the opportunity to work our Student Life Ski event in Boone, NC. It was a great event and good times spent with friends. But, with the busy and crazy weekend, I feel like I have gotten off my regular schedule. Nevertheless, I am trying to keep on track. Today's reading was more about Jacob and the time he spent away from home working for Laban before God told him to go back to the land of his father. It got me thinking about being called to places that we may not want to be at the time. In Jacob's situation, there were other circumstances, but still, generally speaking, I think many of experience times when God calls us to be in a place, whether it may be physically or emotionally that we would rather not have to be for that period of time. Sometimes it is being called away from what is familiar and comforting. Sometimes it is being called to a place that is difficult and disheartening. Sometimes it is being called to a place where we may be emotionally pulled and grown. Whatever it may be, it is important that we always remember that it is a part of God's plan. I think sometimes during these times we are tempted to think that God has abandoned us. That we have somehow done something to be punished, and maybe if we are good enough, we will be brought back into God's plan. However, God is with us all the time, and is ultimately always working things together for good. Jacob is fortunate that his story kind of comes full circle. He is called back to the land of his father and is reconciled back to his brother Esau. This was possible because of Jacob's obedience to God's call. So, I wonder, where God may be calling me in the months and years to come. I wonder if it may be a call to move to the unknown, to stay, or to go back to the familiar. No matter what it is, I hope that I can be obedient with joy in my heart. I guess I will just have to wait and see.

Today's reading: Genesis 30-33

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Genesis 50:20

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Hmm...not real sure what to write about tonight. I have all sorts of thoughts rolling around my head. In regards to my Bible reading for the night, I'll be honest, some of it just seems so strange to me. Tonight's reading was about Jacob. First, he deceived his father and yet he was the one who ended up with the blessing. Then, he goes, meets Rachel, and he ends up being the one deceived and Leah gets caught in the mess. Then Leah is able to have children while Rachel is barren, and then they get in a competition of who can have the most children via their servants. Does anyone else find all of this a little strange? I guess in the end it is another representation of how God uses broken and messed up people to fulfill his purposes. All of this story will lead to what will become the lineage that is used to bring Christ to earth. It also shows that throughout history, we have all been and all are desperately in need of a savior. I'll admit though, it doesn't mean that there are still some things about these stories and people that I am interested in learning one day, oh well, guess that will have to come later.

On another note, my heart is still burdened for Haiti. I guess that is a feeling that isn't going to go away for a while. I am happy for the many miracles that have been happening there as people are rescued, but I also feel heartbroken for the many stories that don't end that way. All I want to do it go and adopt a whole family of Haitian children. I already wanted to adopt from Haiti and now it just makes me want to do it all the more, and soon. In all seriousness, I do pray that if that is a part of God's plans for our lives at some point that He would confirm and reveal those plans in His time. Regarding our friends who are currently adopting from Haiti, we heard tonight that there may be a small window of time where there is a possibility that they may get their children in days or weeks instead of months or years. Oh, how my heart yearns for them for that to happen! I know that God knows exactly how it all will play out, but I still pray that if it is His will, that may be the case. How wonderful it would be for those families to be united sooner than planned. Please if you have a moment, pray that these families may be brought together in the very near future.

Well, I guess that is all for the night. Not a ton of earth shattering thoughts, but I guess somedays that is just how it is. On a random note, I am currently in Boone, NC working a Student Life Ski event and I just had to go out in the hallway to tell a bunch of high school guys to stop running up and down the hallway. Oh, the joys of my job. Goodnight.

Today's Reading: Genesis 27-29

"And he believed the Lord and he counted it to him as righteousness." Genesis 15:6

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It just won't go away...

So, this heart breaking for the country of just won't go away. All day it has nagged and pulled at me. My tasks at work and notes at school seem a bit menial and unimportant. I know that there is really nothing that I can do physically to help right now. Brad and I have already given some funds to Compassion's relief fund, so now, we just pray. I guess I should remember that it may be enough. That it may be exactly what the people of Haiti need right now. I can pray and I can encourage others to do the same. I am thankful for the attention that is now being shown to Haiti. I am also thankful for friends who are having the opportunity to speak out, sometimes on national stages, about the many needs of the people of Haiti. (Tune in to CNN tomorrow morning at 7am central/8am eastern time to see an interview with one of the worship leaders we partner with throughout the year.) The sad part is, Haiti needed all this help before Tuesday, they needed it years ago. I thought it was interesting today when I heard a woman from the coast guard say, "they just seemed devastated and helpless from the tragedy," but they were devastated before this tragedy ever happened. So I hope even in all this bad, all this tragedy, that good will come. After all, that is what God does, right? He works ALL things together for good. I guess it is probably a good thing that this aching feeling inside won't go away. It means I care. It means I have love for a people thousands of miles away. My heart should break over something like this. So today, I did do my Bible reading, and its not that I didn't find any of it important, its just not what I feel like talking about right now. I just want to talk about Haiti. So that more people will hear. And more people will help. And more people will pray. So tonight I continue to pray for the people of Haiti. The window of time over the next 24 hours is critical for those who may be trapped and trying to survive. Join me in praying to the God of miracles. Pray that His light will fill Haiti's darkness tonight.

Todays Reading: Genesis 24-26

"And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness." Genesis 15:6

If you would still like to give to help the people of Haiti, you can see my blog from yesterday for the link for Compassion International's relief fund. You can also visit this link This will help an organization called Heartline Ministries. Heartline is a group that some friends of ours are adopting through and are working to help meet immediate needs in Haiti.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Heart Aches

Today, my heart aches for a place called Haiti. For those of you who don't know, Haiti is a short flight from Miami and is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. At first Haiti was a place I heard of because I knew of some people who were in the adoption process there. Last fall, I was able to visit Haiti and experience the extreme poverty first hand. I was able to visit compassion projects there, many of which had never had visitors before. Haiti is a dark place. Dark because of the voodoo that many have chosen to believe in. Dark from the extreme poverty and lack of hope you see at every corner. Dark because of the lack of education and professional opportunities. And yet, among the darkness, I did see light. Light in the eyes of children at Compassion International projects. Children who were learning to read and teaching their parents to do the same. Children who were learning how to recultivae their land. Children who are the hope for this poor country. This generation, they are the ones who I believed could make a difference and change the country of Haiti. Then yesterday happened. Yesterday Haiti was hit by a terrible earthquake measuring 7+. As if this country were not devastated enough. My heart breaks for the people of Haiti. It breaks for the children I met. It breaks to think that I may never know if a little boy named Mackenzie, who I was able to hold for a day and meet his family, is okay or not. It breaks my heart for the Compassion leaders who are giving their lives to try and rescue the lives of young children from poverty in Jesus' name. It makes me ask, Why? Why did this have to happen, and happen to these people? People whose sole purpose is just trying to figure out how to survive, and now have to somehow find a way to rebuild a country that was on unsteady ground already. Why?

And today, in my reading in Genesis 22 it says, "The Lord will provide." That is what Abraham named the place where God had asked him to sacrifice Isaac and the Lord provided a sacrifice because of Abraham's obedience. So, I pray that the Lord will provide in Haiti too. I pray that he will raise up leaders who will become heroes in their country. I pray that he will provide people like you and me who will give to causes that will provide relief to this struggling country in need. I pray that God will raise up people to pray. To pray for the people and children of Haiti. To pray that those small glimmers of light in the eyes of the children of Haiti are not extinguished, but grow brighter even in the midst of this tragedy. I pray and believe that as the Lord provided a confused Abraham with a sacrifice and as he provided all of us unworthy sinners with the sacrifice of his son, He will also provide peace and healing to this hurting country. Please join in praying with me.

Today's reading: Genesis 20-23

"And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness." Genesis 15:6

If you would like to donate to a cause I support and believe in, Compassion International, please visit the following link:

This disaster relief fund will help provide food and clean water, temporary shelter, basic sanitation and personal hygiene items, medical attention and preventative health care, and family reunification or counseling. I know that Compassion will use these funds to meet the greatest of needs. Please give as God leads you and give freely. Every little bit helps. Also, join me in including this link as a part of your facebook, twitter, or blog updates to help spread the word. We can all have a part in being the hands and feet of God and helping the country of Haiti during this time of great tragedy.

As I sidenote, Brad & I have the great blessing of sponsoring a young boy named Bens through Compassion whose home is in Haiti, thankfully, to our knowledge, he is okay as he lives in the northernmost coastal area. To learn more about Haiti and see some of the footage we took on our trip last fall, you can visit this link:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

As I read tonight in Genesis 17-19, specifically in Chapter 18, I thought a lot about Sarah and God's promise to her to deliver to her a son. Sarah simply laughs at this idea in her old age. This was clearly a dream that Sarah had long since given up on. A promise she chose to forget in her impatience in regards to God's timing. But God does deliver. Not in Sarah's timing, but in His own. I admit that this is one of the things I struggle with the most about God. His timing. Yes, I know its true and my mind understands, but my soul aches sometimes that God's timing would just correspond with my own. Like Sarah, I know there are times that I take a period of silence from God on an issue as a "no" when maybe it is just "wait." And its just like God to deliver when it is least expected. To give a son to an older woman who had given up on a dream. But then, it only shows his glory more. As if Sarah could have ever really taken credit for her own pregnancy, but here in this situation, it only makes God that much bigger and greater. It reminds us of those facts that we so often forget. I love when he states, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" in Genesis 18:13. What a reminder that nothing is too hard for our God. I think this story also shows that our God is one who keeps His promises. How often we forget that as well. How often we chuckle like Sarah when we think that God has forgotten us and our afflictions. How often we think he has neglected our needs and desires. How foolish we are to forget that God always, always, always keeps his promises. Praise God for all His great promises!

Todays Reading: Genesis 17-19

"And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness" Genesis 15:6

Sidenote for the night: I am not a fan of Lot. I don't know what it is about him, but every part of the Bible that mentions him I just find that he rubs me the wrong way. Offering his daughters to strange men of Sodom...and then his daughters decide instead of going and finding their own mate, they'll just sleep with their father? That's just one weird family line if you ask me. I know God works everything together for good...but really? There are just some parts of the Bible, and people in the Bible, that I will never understand this side of Heaven. But I guess, as always, it shows a picture of broken people in need of a redeemer. But still...a bit weird to me. That's my randomness for the night.

Monday, January 11, 2010

So many questions...

Why is it that so often when God calls us to something or tells us that something will be, we respond in a question? In Genesis 15, as Abram reflects on the promise of God to make him the father of many nations, and asks, "O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer or Damascus?" As the Lord again confirms his promise to Abram when he says "Look toward the heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them...So shall your offspring be." God also reminds him that He is the one that brought him out from Ur to this new land to possess. And again, Abram with the questions, asks "O Lord God, how am I to know I shall possess it?" Over and over again, God confirms His promise and covenant to Abram and how does Abram respond? He and his wife Sarai concoct their human plan to solve the problem and decide to have Hagar carry an heir of Abram. Oh Abram, oh Sarai, oh....US. Maybe we have never had this exact scenario play out in our lives, but how often to we draw impatient and forsake the promises that God has made to us for our own selfish ambitions? I often find myself antsy when thinking about what God may have for my future. I would like to say if God gave me the same confirmations as He did Abram it would satisfy me, but in reality, I too would probably ask questions. What is it about our human nature that causes us to be so impatient? Why can't we just trust, believing that God does have a plan for us and will be our provider? Why are we deceived into believing that our plans are better than the one who loves us and created us? This is so often our weakness. Especially when God is calling us or directing us. So I speak as much to myself as anyone else who may be reading when I say, Be still and know that He is God. that He knows us and His plans our best. Believe...believe in the peace the Spirit brings when God is directing. When I think about the idea of questioning God, it seems absurd, and yet, I know that I do it all the time. So the challenge is to just find comfort that He is God and sometimes that is all we need to understand.

Today's Reading: Genesis 14-16

"And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness." Genesis 15:6

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Lord said go...

Genesis 12 begins saying, "Now the Lord said to Abram, Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you." I wonder how Abram felt when God said this. Along with this statement, God also promised Abram that he would make him a great nation. That He would protect him and provide for him and his offspring. How exciting and scary all at the same time. While Abram was chosen and blessed, I feel that God makes similar calls on each of our lives today. He has a purpose for each and every one of us that often calls us away from the familiar. It sometimes calls us away from our family. I have experienced this a couple times in my life. Times when God called me away from the comfort of family and home to go to the new place that He had for me. Each time, while there was some fear in the beginning, I found peace in God's call and his promise that he would take care of me. Brad & I are now facing a "sort-of" transition in our life now. We feel at peace that this will be our last summer traveling during the summer with Student Life. We also know that it seems best for us to stay here in Birmingham at least until next May so that I can complete my degree in Elementary Education. From there we really don't know what will happen. We are trusting that we know as much as we need to right now. That if we knew what next year and the year after would bring, we would be distracted from where God has called us to be right now. So we are patient, and believe like always, that God has a plan and that the plan is good. We don't know now whether He will call us to "go" or to "stay"...either could be scary. Either will be new. We will either be going to a new place, or we will be in the same place in a new situation. So for now we trust. We do the best with what God has currently entrusted to us and we are at peace that for this day, month, year, or season of life, we are in His will. I am thankful for this year in our church. This challenge to grow, study the word, and learn more about the nature of God. I feel that for me, it is divine timing. Time to refocus, time to learn, time to grow...until the next time he says, "Go."

Today's Reading: Genesis 12 & 13

"And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness." Genesis 15:6

Friday, January 8, 2010

Not exactly what God had intended.

So, leave it to human nature to mess things up again. After the flood had passed, God instructed Noah and his family to "fill the earth" and he intended for them to spread into their own areas all over the earth. Of course, the sinful and obstinate nature of man would once again rare it's head in Genesis 11. The people were afraid of being divided, so sharing one language, they built their own city and a tower that would reach to the heavens. Silly man. God, of course, would see his plans set forth, so he confused their language and sent them out all over the face of the earth. No longer one family tree or a large city, but the nations. I wonder how often we are tempted in the same way as the people of Babel. How often we get stuck in our own social circles, churches, and our little corner of the world. And in the midst of it, we forget God's call on our lives to go to the nations. Don't get me wrong, there is a huge importance of Christian community in our lives. God intended for that to be present in our lives as well. But then our communities should care about those who are not included within it. We are called to care for and share God's love with people of all languages throughout all the earth. That is what God intends for us.
As another part of the radical experiment at our church, we are being encouraged to pray for the nations each day. I ordered a book called "Operation World, When we Pray God Works" to use as a guide and I just received it in the mail today. (Mom if you're reading I used part of my amazon giftcard for this book!) I look forward to learning more about the nations of the world over this next year. I hope that this book will be a tool to continue to develop my heart for the nations that God has been growing in me over the last few years in my experience with Compassion. If I can't go to all these places, the least I can do is pray. I hope that it will always keep God's call on my life in perspective. That the gospel isn't just for me or my community, but its for everyone. And one day, the nations will be brought together again, and we will rejoice in the glory of our great God.

Reading for today: Genesis 10 & 11

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27

Thursday, January 7, 2010

God's Great Protection and Provision

As I read Genesis 8&9 tonight I was reminded of the great provision of God in our lives. It what was the most cataclysmic event that had happened on the earth to this time, and God never left or forgot about Noah. The ark that God had instructed Noah to build was exactly what Noah needed to protect him from the storm and provide protection until the storm passed. Then Noah had the opportunity to be a part of God's new plan for the earth and a part of God's covenant that he would never destroy the earth in this way again. I am reminded again in Psalm 12 that says "You, O Lord, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever. On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness as exalted among the children of men." Kind of sounds like the world we live in doesn't it? Everywhere you turn it seems that you see something bad, something vile. Sometimes so much that our hearts can become hardened to these things. Sometimes our focus can completely be distracted by the vileness that surrounds us, instead of the protection and provision that God provides. That protection and provision may not come in the way that we would like. It may come in the way of a big smelly ark, but all the same, it is exactly what we need in our circumstances.

Before I finish writing tonight, I have a confession. I am really hung up on what is probably a really insignificant detail. Read Genesis 9: 18-28. Long story short, Noah becomes a winemaker, gets drunk one night, his youngest son finds him naked, son tells brothers, brothers cover Noah, Noah wakes up, Noah gets mad and curses the youngest son to be the servant of his older brothers. Hmm. I don't know about you, but this just seems like a really weird detail to drop in the midst of these scriptures. I even tried to read ahead and see if it makes more sense, but nope, it doesn't, at least not to me. I know this is probably a minor detail, but I get hung up on it, because I don't feel like there are really any completely minor details in the Bible. So, my thoughts...maybe it was a family story to show the relationship between Noah and his sons before going more into Noah's lineage in later chapters. Maybe it was to show the shame that Noah felt by his sin being exposed and the anger he felt because of it. Maybe it was to show that Noah was human. Even after being chosen by God to survive the flood and be a part of this new earth, Noah still messed up. I don't know. None of those thoughts are really theologically based on anything, just thoughts. Oh well, I'll try and not focus so much on the detail that probably isn't all that important, and focus more on God's protection and provision in my life. Thank you Lord for your hand that protects and guides me. Amen.

Today's Reading: Genesis 8&9, Psalms 12

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It grieved him to his heart...

"And the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on earth, and it grieved him to his heart." Genesis 6:5&6.

Talk about the gravity of sin. It grieved him to his heart. That's a statement that slices through me when I think of the many things I must have done to grieve God. I think its easy for us to distance ourselves from Christ and to think he is a big God up there somewhere that just doesn't really care much about us one way or the other. But that couldn't be any further from the truth. These verses describe a time when God looked upon the earth and regretted that he even created man. His heart was broken. He was grieved by our actions. I think it always hurts more when someone we love disappoints us or hurts us. It is only because of His great love for us, that in turn he felt such great grief. The even crazier thing about the whole story...Noah. One man who found favor with God in the midst of all the mess. I know is says that Noah was "a righteous man, blameless in his generation," but I still wonder what else Noah did and what kind of person he was to be the one who gained favor for himself and his family with God. And what faith he showed. Really...God told him to build a huge boat because the earth was going to flood...when there had never even been rain before? Not only that, but God gave pretty specific directions for how to build it. I wonder if I would respond in the way Noah did, or if I would just think I was going crazy. It also makes me wonder...what crazy thing may God call me to do? It may not be quite the task he asked of Noah, but it may seem just as crazy to me. A little bit like me going back to school. Really? I already had two degrees in another field of study, yet, about a year ago, I felt a strong calling to go back and get a degree in order to teach elementary school. I wonder if Noah felt some of the same things I have. Crazy at moments and wonder why in the world I am doing it, but at other moments (and they come more often) feelings of complete peace and assurance that I am exactly where God wants me. I know going back to school in order to be a teacher seems miniscule in light of building an ark, but for me, it was at least an "ark like" calling. I've had to check my pride and learn how to be a student again, but I have also found great joy in finding something I am truly passionate about. Something I know God has called me to do. So I guess I'll wrap up tonight's thoughts with just a couple more. One, I hope and pray I never do anything that grieves the heart of God the way it was in this chapter. I can almost not bear the thought. Second, I hope I would have a heart and faith like Noah. That I might be willing to do the craziest of things that God may call me to do. Even putting that into words fills my heart with fear, as I think sometimes God's plans for me are much scarier than my plans for myself. I must always remember, His plans may bring fear, but His plans are always good. His plans are always BEST.

Today's Reading: Genesis 6&7

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

One little lie...

One little lie. That's what started it all. "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:4&5). One lie and the world was set into a tailspin. I know the world seems bad now, and it is, but the reality of it is, the world has been a mess since the day that lie was told. The days of the Garden of Eden were over. Man no longer communed with God. Life as God intended it to be for His creation was over. Cain murdered his brother Abel. The world became one big mess. A mess in need of a savior. I'm just glad that even then God had a plan. A plan for a Savior and because of that plan, even in the midst of all this mess, there is hope that one day everything will be better. The world will be set right again. We will be able to again truly commune with God in His presence. His creation will live as He intended. Until then, we must trust the Spirit to give us wisdom to know the truth from the lie. What lies are you listening to today? What lies are being whispered in our ears just as they were told to Eve that day in the garden? It all started with one little lie, but the truth is, the lies haven't stopped. Lies like "why do you believe in a God that allows bad things to happen?" "your God is not big enough to handle your problems" "that one little thing, it won't ruin your life" and those are just a few of the lies we are told and we believe, just like Eve did that day in the garden. We must hold on to our faith in God and trust that He will provide the discernment to follow the truth. "And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways; Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find me injures himself; and who hate me love death." Proverbs 8: 32-36

Reading today: Genesis 3-5 & Proverbs 8

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female, he created them." Genesis 1:27

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Creator of the Universe

Todays reading spent some more time appreciating the beauty of creation. (John 1: 1-3, Psalm 8 & 104. The idea that everything we see, smell, touch or feel is all a work of God's hands. Tonight made me think more on the greatness of our God. We don't serve a small God who is incapable of handling our hurts or fears. We serve a Big God who is surprised by nothing and is still concerned and thinks about us. Sometimes it is just comforting to be reminded just how BIG our God is and that he holds our lives in his hands. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, Praise the Lord!"

"So God created man in his own image, in his own image he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It was all so perfect...

Today's Reading: Genesis 1 & 2

So I have read the "creation story" many times, but it was good to go back and refresh my memory and bring new eyes to the story. How amazing it must have been in those first days as God created His masterpiece. Here are some thoughts that I had while reading tonight:

1. What an amazingly creative God we have and we are made in His likeness! I know this is probably a bit cliche', but I can't help but be amazed when I think that I was made in the likeness of the one who created the heavens and the earth. That means that at least some bit of that creativity must be inside of me. I think that's pretty great.

2. I have been so blessed to get to see much of His great creation. Through many of my travels, I have gotten to see some of the beautiful parts of God's creation. I think of the mountains that I saw each day when I walked on the campus of North Greenville. I think of the first "big trip" I took to Salt Lake City, Utah where the Rocky Mountains dwarfed the high rises of the city. I think of standing beside the Nile river in Uganda. I think about flying over the Sahara desert and the frozen tundra of Canada. I think of walking in the brisk air during a day of camp in June in Estes Park, CO. Goodness, I even think of the warmth of the sun on my face during a day of camp in West Texas. I think of the beautiful clear ocean in Davao City, Philippines. I think of the beautiful people of Haiti. I am blessed beyond measure that I have had the opportunity to experience so much of His creation, and the crazy part is, I've really only just begun to scratch the surface. I pray that I will never stop appreciating the beauty of His creation.

3. I love verses 1:16-18 that talk about the "two great lights." How incredible to think when we feel the warmth of the sun on our face, watch a beautiful sunset, or stargaze at night, that God placed each and every one of these lights in their place.

4. We are created in HIS IMAGE. I think this is both an incredible and daunting statement. My hope is that as I learn more about my great God, that I may also learn more about myself in the process. Maybe along the way I will also learn how to be more like Him.

5. Random thought of the night...the rivers in 2: 11-14. Does anyone else ever read the Bible and wonder why God thought it important to mention something so specifically? Does anyone else also get frustrated because you can't seem to figure out why it may be important? I don't claim to be a Biblical scholar. So, I wonder, why is it important to go in such detail about the four rivers that flowed out of Eden? Hmm...guess that's something I'll need to look into more this week.

6. God gives us our first picture of marriage and the image of what will be Christ and the Church right from the beginning. Chapter 2 finishes with the picture of woman being created from the rib of Adam and the picture is good. It is good for man and woman to have each other. I think this is our first picture of community and the image of the importance of our relationship with Christ. On a lighter any of you other ladies find it interesting that we are the only things that weren't created from the dust of the earth?

7. The importance of Sabbath. So I promise it was purely coincidence that I happened to have seven thoughts about this passage and that the idea of Sabbath came last. Weird though. I have come to learn more over the last few years the importance of Sabbath, especially in the summers when I am at camp working all hours of the day and night. Even in those most busy times, our bodies and souls are designed to have a Sabbath. Its how we were made. So make sure (and I am saying this as much to myself as to whoever happens to actually read this forever long post) that you must find time to have sabbath in your life, no matter how "busy" it is. After all, that's kind of the point, isn't it?

So, these are my random ramblings on the passages I read for today. I don't know that I will do this everyday, but I had a lot of thoughts rolling around in my head tonight and felt like getting them out. The only sad part about reading these two chapters is that everything really was so perfect. As you draw to the end, it is as if you hear the "dun...dun...dun..." in the background of the fall that is to come. Too bad we messed it all up. Oh well, all the better that we have a wonderful savior in Jesus Christ who came to reconcile us to our wonderful creator.

"So God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1: 27

A New Year

So...I started a blog last year and didn't do so well keeping up with it. To be honest, the end of last year was difficult in many ways, and much of what I would have had to say would have made me feel vunerable and exposed. In November, my grandfather passed away after several weeks of suffering and a few years of fighting cancer. It has been a difficult time in our family, but I have found peace in my God who is the comforter of my soul. It is because I know my grandfather is with Him, that I can have peace. I am thankful for a legacy of faith. On top of what was going on with my family, it seemed that bad news was around every corner. At work, at school, at home, it just seemed that everyone was receiving bad news of some sort. Again, I had to hold on to my faith in the only one who has control of all of these situations. Our world is broken, that is just how it is. Our only hope is in Christ.

As all of this has been going on, I have also felt like I have been stretched and have grown in my walk with Christ. I feel challenged to push myself in my faith and to continue to desire to know God more. Much of this has to do with my church home that I am blessed to be a part of. This year our church is actually committing to being a part of a "radical experiment" which has to do with all areas of our Christian life, through how we pray, how we use our resources and what we spend our time doing. Our church is reading through the Bible over the next year. I have to be honest and say that I have tried doing this on my own before and have failed miserably. My hope is that the structure and guidance will help me to be a "good student" of the word this year. More than anything, I just hope that I can have the discipline to continue this throughout this next year. I know it will be tempting to be pulled away by various distractions, but I truly desire to do this over this next year. Primarily to learn more about the God that I follow and the Jesus that I am supposed to be striving to be more like each day. So maybe this blog will become and outlet for me to share my thoughts as I read. Maybe it will also help keep me accountable. Whether anyone reads or not, it is always good for me to just put my thoughts out into writing. Maybe this way, they may also be an encouragement to someone else.'s to 2010 and hopefully to growing and learning in ways I never imagined.

P.S. I realize I set this up as a blog for both Brad & I...obviously this is kind of becoming more of "my thing" but I'll try and keep updates on here about both of us as well.