Wednesday, June 30, 2010


One word from You and my soul finds peace...thank You my loving Father. You are indescribable. Silence makes Your voice even sweeter. Your direction clearer. Hope even stronger.

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

"And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Honestly, I’ve experienced a great deal of angst lately. Instead of allowing the things God has placed on my heart to draw me closer to Him, I have allowed it to manifest itself in anxiety and a lack of peace. I’ve questioned whether this passion is from God or something that I’ve just allowed to overtake my emotions.

However, I know that the God I serve is sovereign. Nothing happens by chance but everything is orchestrated by His hand. Even yesterday, as I was driving downtown to help a friend serve snacks at an inner-city vbs, a song came on the radio about all the children living without a mommy or daddy…all the hurting people that just need someone to reach out and extend a hand in love to them. I sat sobbing at the red light as I looked around me. In inner city Jackson, only miles from my own house…so much poverty, so many people walking around on the streets lost…lonely…eyes void of the hope that I have living inside of me. I wanted to jump out of my car and scream…Hope is alive! God loves you. You are precious to Him. He wants to give you hope and a future. I then came home to open an email from my precious friends in South Africa telling me of the 6113 children living in the town they are in…all orphans who have lost their parents to AIDS and all living under the care of an older brother or sister who is only a child them-self. I try to imagine what it would look like for my own oldest child, Henley…only 8 years old…to be placed in the same situation…left to care for her little brothers…living in poverty and forced to do whatever she must just to find food. My mind will not allow me. It screams out…this is wrong! Something must be done! That is where my tension comes. I become anxious and think ‘God I have to do something…and I mean right now…what can I do…Lord, You cannot break my heart over this and then not show me what to do. There is such urgency…children are being brutalized and people are dying’…and He continues to speak the same thing…Rest. Pray. Wait. Pray. Trust. Pray.

A friend told me once that she always thought I was strong because I never cried. Quite the opposite...I never cried because my heart was calloused, hardened, and numb. That’s how I know this must be God’s heart breaking inside of mine. Father, I ask that You enable me to rest and trust. Your Word promises that in quietness and trust is strength. Lord, be my strength and my vision. You love all those people more than my little finite mind can comprehend. You are working and moving on their behalf right now. So, Lord, until You show me what to do, I’m going to pray and pray and pray. I’m going to pray for all the people who are dying right now apart from your love and mercy, and for all the people who are dying right now and literally your love and mercy are all they have to cling to, all the children living without parents, all the children carrying the burden of being parents, all the children and women being brutalized and abused…all the poor and neglected and forgotten. I’m going to pray for myself. I pray that you continue to wreck my own heart. I pray that You would break the hearts of all of us who profess the name of Jesus. I pray You would break the hearts of the leaders in our churches. I pray that You would break our hearts to such an extent that we are motivated to do something. I pray for an outpouring of Your Spirit on your people. I pray that we would manifest Your love in such a way that the world stands back in wonder. Jesus, I pray that You alone be glorified as hearts are changed and hope is restored.

"The Lord is exalted over all the nations, His glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brent and Courtney Boutwell

I wanted to introduce you to one of the couples from our small group and ask you to pray for them. Jason and I met Brent and Courtney back in January of '09 when we began leading a young married couples small group. They were actually the only couple in our group not yet married...a testament to their desire to seek God in their marriage and do things His way. We had the joy of watching them as they began their new life together ...they just recently celebrated their first anniversary! We have also recently experienced the joy of watching God move in their lives in a very tangible way. Brent is an accountant and Courtney just graduated from PT school. After feeling God's call, they have taken a 2 month hiatus from their lives here and landed in a completely different culture...South Africa. I received an email today from their contact in South Africa and wanted to share it with you. Keep in mind that they have not even been in South Africa for a week yet...

They are a special young couple. They were knee deep in orphans today and neck deep in the HIV/AIDS crises. They went with me and the director of Tabitha ministries to a distribution of shoes provided by Baptist Global Relief for orphans living in Child Headed Households. We also visited a man with full blown AIDS who had a CD4 count of about 75. I would doubt he will live a few more weeks. Courtney could see how the disease effects mobility and her PT skills will be used. Thanks for sending them.

There are over 6,000 orphans living with one of their siblings acting as the head of the family. You can imagine a 14 year old trying to care for 5 brothers and sisters when their adult family who have all died due to AIDS lived in abject poverty. They will know much more than I do about this ministry and the needs in just a few weeks.

I think Brent and Courtney were taken back by the shear numbers of orphans they saw today. We all were. You need to pray for them. It would be easy to just turn inward when confronted with such suffering and need but pray with me that they will be used in a great and mighty way for the kingdom and that this will solidify a call on their lives to holistic ministry. Pray that as their heart breaks for these people that they will find great Joy in being involved with these precious kids.

I ask you to please join me in praying for them and praying for the people that they will be ministering to in the coming weeks. I cannot fathom how overwhelmed they must be just at the shear need of the people around them. I pray that God will strengthen them and enable them to be a beacon of light and share the hope that Jesus has to offer to these precious people.

They have created a website and you may follow them on their journey at sure to leave a comment, I know it would bless them greatly...

Monday, June 21, 2010

at a crossroad...

I cannot sleep. Those that know me well know that this is a modern day miracle in and of itself. Sleeping is one of my favorite things. What happened? I prayed a prayer. God answered that prayer. My prayer......."God, break my heart for what breaks Yours." It was a sincere and heartfelt prayer. At the time I did not fully grasp the ramifications of it...which is silly I know...I know the heart of the One I pray to. I know He hears me and I know He is quick to answer, especially whenever I ask anything according to His will. So, really I don't know why I am surprised that He has done the very thing that I have asked of Him. It started for me months ago. It started as a gentle whisper. An awareness that God was stirring something deep inside of me. A restlessness that I cannot quite describe. I am familiar with it. I felt it before when my husband went into the ministry. So I know that whatever it means, it means change. I love that about He doesn't usually just throw something on you...probably because He knows my stubbornness. He knows my selfishness. He knows it takes time for me to adjust. I have found with increasing intensity an inability to tolerate my life as it is. What am I doing? What are we doing? How can I live my life the way that I do? How could I have been so blind and so selfish...I know the answer...I have been too busy consumed with myself...consumed with my own wants, my own pain, and my own dreams and busy looking at myself that I couldn't see anyone else.

There are millions upon millions of orphans in the world today...a number so large that my mind cannot wrap around it. It is so overwhelming that my natural tendency is to try to block it out. I think "what can I do anyway?" However, God refuses to allow my mind to forget. Worse than that, He refuses to allow my heart to forget. I think about these children every time I look into my own child's face. I think about them when I go to sleep. I think about them when I wake up in the morning. I think about them as I toss and turn and try to sleep at night. I cannot forget them. I plead with God to show me how to help them. They are His children. How can they know how much He loves them if they have never even known love? How does a child realize what love is if someone has never shown it to them? Worse than that, how does a child even believe in love when all they have ever known is hate, neglect and abuse. All I really know is that I cannot continue to do nothing.

I am at a crossroad with a choice to make. Bluntly put...I can choose God or choose myself...choose His way for me or choose my way for me..."Today I set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life..."As scary as it is, I'm going to choose God's way...that is a way that both thrills me and terrifies me at the same time. I know God's way will take me to the cross. The cross is a painful place. It is not a comfortable place. It is a place that calls me to fully abandon myself. But it is the place where He says in abandoning self I will find Him. It is the place where His presence resides. It is the place where I know I will find true life. "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." Frankly, I have been where my own way has taken me and I never wish to go back there. I don't know what and I don't know how, but I do know somehow my life will never be the same.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why Blog?

There are several reasons why I decided to start blogging. The simplest one being that God is writing a story on my heart that I simply cannot keep to myself. It is my divine story of love. You remember what it was like when a friend fell in love and you thought "If I have to hear about this one more time, I think I'll strangle myself." Well, here I am. :) Fortunate for us both, you have a choice whether to read or not. I cannot not talk about Jesus. He is everything. To say that He has been faithful to me is a drastic understatement. The thought of being completely open and vulnerable in front of anyone is intimidating. However, I have found freedom and healing in laying myself bare and allowing God to use me however He desires. That leads to the other reason I decided to share my journey. If my sweet Savior, the very One that gave everything He had for me, when I had nothing to offer in return, used even a minuscule part of my journey to draw someone to Him and to offer them hope and encouragement, I would consider it a privilege. Which leads to the last and most important reason. He deserves my praise. I am evidence that God can take the broken and wretched and unknowingly destitute and breathe new life into it... Father, you hold my heart in Your hands....this is my offering to You. May You alone receive the honor and glory and praise that is due You."Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever."