Friday, April 29, 2016


Oh obedience...the thing we all want others to do, but often struggle to do ourselves. Even obeying ourselves and having self-control can be so hard! We struggle to teach our children to obey. It is something that is so crucial to a good life, and specifically so crucial to following Christ. We cannot follow Christ without obedience. It has always been funny to me how God changes us, and challenges us with steps of faith that are also steps of obedience to Him. Today as I was running around our little town I kept thinking about all the steps of obedience I have taken or not taken, and the good or bad consequences that followed. I am not here to say that if you always obey, your life will be absolutely peachy, however that maybe the case for some, but I am here to say that as you obey your Heavenly Father you will be blessed, you will be blessed beyond measure, in so many ways.

Here are some of my testimonies from being obedient to what God has asked me to do. Some of these things seemed so small yet yielded huge blessings for not only myself, but for many others. These are specifically from these last 10 years... (I will have officially been an adult for 10 years this week, good time to reflect on God's faithfulness in adulthood :))

1. Attending college at Fort Lewis College, and being an active member of a campus ministry.
     => Great life-long friends, as well as a network of people who love, and pray for me. Growing to trust God in even greater ways that I would have otherwise, and heart for discipleship and evangelism. As well as huge lessons and growth in learning healthy balance and boundaries.

2. Choosing to live with a family I wasn't sure I had ever met before. Beach Family here's looking at you!
    =>Free rent for last few months before I married my husband. A family to love, and be loved by while our blood family was 6 hours away. A Mimi, Papa, Tia and Bug to love my girls, a family to call family when our family is far away. A family of choice to do life with. A family to share with my friends (yes those life long friends I gained from campus ministry in college) A family that prays for us, that helps with the girls, that speak life into our lives and the lives of our girls. A blessing that keeps on giving. I think everyone involved in  the simple decision to obey, on both sides got WAY more than they bargained for out of that choice to obey!

3. Marrying Chris even at the young age of 19.
    => Growing up with my best friend, life partner, and soul mate. Getting to watch and enjoy the changes God did and is doing in each of us as we have grown into adulthood, finished school, and started our family. 2 beautiful girls, and lots and lots and lots of laughter. We are both so much better because of each other, and together than we are separately because of the amazing work God has done in each of us the last 8 and half years.

4. Giving money when we felt like we had none.
   => God turned around and multiplied our income, and blessed us beyond what we needed.

5. Buying a house when we weren't sure it made sense to buy a house.
   => We bought at the bottom of the market, and it has been a great investment for us as we move out of this amazing blessing to head overseas. We had no idea what God was up to when He told us to look for and buy a house. This home has been an amazing blessing to us, and many others we have opened it up to and shared it with. Many people are sad that we are selling it and moving on. God has used this home to build strong relationships, to be a sanctuary and a refuge, and to teach me about my gifts, talents, and true calling as I am following Him.

6. Having babies.
   => We started having babies when we suddenly felt in our hearts that it was time. We started with a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage at 13 weeks, and it was devastating, but God used to teach us so much about Him, His bigness and greatness. Then we got pregnant with Amirah shortly after we bought our house. She is such a joy! She loves people deeply, she loves friends, she loves to love. She is so empathetic and loves her Jesus. Next we had Layla, who we affectionately call Layla Lou. She is so happy and giggly, until she isn't. Layla is rarely just simply OK, or content, she is usually exuberant or upset. She feels with all of herself, and loves her mommy, daddy and sissy. She is opinionated and pretty strong willed with that wonderful opinion. All three kids have taught us so much about the Father heart of God, about how He parents us, loves us, and teaches us to obey. How he desires for us to obey and see the benefits that we will reap from that obedience. Just like we desire for our girls.

7. Raising Support and Moving to Cambodia
   => We aren't very far into this journey, yet God is already letting us see some of the blessing as we meet with people and are encouraged by them in our vision and ministry. The freedom from purging, getting rid of all that doesn't really matter. The heart changes that come from deeply examining your belongings, values, and heart. Digging into the whys, and we move through this transition. These are just the beginning of what we are seeing from this step of obedience.

How has God blessed your obedience? What He is asking of you wanting you to obey and you just aren't sure it is worth it? Be encouraged, not only is it worth it, but I am confident He will blow your expectations out of the water, with his blessing that come from your simple act of obedience! Be encouraged! Our God is great, He is big, He is good, and He is trustworthy. We serve an awesome God!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"Jesus, loves you, me."

This amazing quote comes from Amirah... She says it all the time.. She tell Layla all the time that "Jesus loves you, Layla." She gets it. At least to the extent a 3 year old can get it. She will sit down and "read" her bible, and it goes like this:

"God made me."
"God love me."
"Jesus love you, me."
"Jesus die."
"Jesus alive! Yay!"

She gets it. This is truly what it is about. God loves us, so He gave us Jesus. Who loves us, so he died for us so we can be with Him. How adorable and awesome is that? This is what our lives are about. This is what our daily mission is about. This is what we are living for. To tell others about Jesus. To tell others the Jesus loves them and wants to be with them.

This is why we are selling and/or packing everything we own and moving around the globe. This is why my kids and I spend so much time talking about and enjoying bible stories, memory verses, and conversations about Jesus and God's word.

As we have been packing and going through our things, I keep thinking about the story in Matthew 19, when Jesus is talking to the rich young ruler. The rich young ruler comes to Jesus and asks what good thing he must do to have eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments. He replies that he has since he was a child. Jesus then tells him to sell all of his possessions and give to the poor then come follow him. The young ruler walks away sad because has many things. (paraphrased from Matthew 19:16-22) I think the reason this story has by on repeat in my mind and in my heart is because I've never really understood this story, I have always thought, it's just stuff why can't he give it up?

As we are preparing for Cambodia it has amazed me the connection we have with our "stuff", and how many things it takes me several days or more to decide the of fate because of my feelings and connection to that thing. Even things in our house that aren't mine, that belong to Chris or the girls. I want to be sentimental for them, and drag it along with us, even though they don't care. We are living to a small extent this passage of selling/giving away all that we have to go serve ministries who serve the poorest of the poor and bring hope to the hopeless. It is hard, as people we seem to like our stuff. It is also freeing, cleaning is easier the more our house empties out, and the girls are playing with their toys that aren't packed up more than before, and there is an end in sight. He is also moving my security, and comfort from my belongings and my home into a deeper place in Him. A place where I sinking my roots deeper into His word, and into His character. Trusting and relying on God more and more and preparing my heart for His great adventure.

I believe that as we grow in our walks with Christ, and as we draw closer and closer to him the story is replayed over and over in our lives in different ways. Leaving behind that which we value most to follow Him where He is leading. It can be hard, it can hurt, but it is also freeing, refreshing, and can bring such joy.

My prayer for each of you, is that through the hard of whatever you are letting go of to chase after Jesus, you will persevere. You will seek our good Father in heaven to see what He is doing in you, to change you, and make you more like Him.