I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.
- 2 Corinthians 6:18

Thursday, December 25, 2014

God is Good.

 Well Christmas day is here and sometimes it's really not hard at all to get caught up in all the baking and the wrapping and the last-minute-planning, so sometimes you just need to take a break and open your hands and open your heart and remember that y'all, God is so good. If I have learned one thing this year, it would be the simple, profound fact that God is good all the time. So here I am reflecting on this year {with links to some of my fave posts!}, giving myself some space to breathe.

 This year has been hard. This year, I've been broken. But this year I've learned that every day, life is beautiful, because there is this beautiful redemption taking place and my Lord adores me- even when life gets messy and I turn away.

 This year I began to catch glimpses of what it really means to live radically- halfway across the world and right here in north Georgia. {by the way, 500 dollars raised in a month?!?! God is so good. You can continue to give until December 31st- the money raised beyond my goal will go to provide safe water for life.}

 I've said goodbye to some precious, precious children this year- goodbye-for-now to the children of Ethiopia and goodbye to two absolutely sweet sponsor children {because sometimes God needs to show me that he is sovereign and working even through the pain of people you love moving away}.

 I've struggled through perfectionism and learned that failure does not define me. I've seen extreme poverty firsthand and how Christ can shine through broken people in a broken world. Sometimes though the brokenness would overwhelm and I'd lose sight Him, but our Lord longs for intimacy with us and He has shown me more and more of Him in the most profound ways. I've felt so closely the peace and joy of Him. 

 And just like that Big Daddy Weave song says, I delight myself in You. In the glory of Your presence, I'm overwhelmed, I'm overwhelmed by You. 

 Merry Christmas, friends, and have a blessed new year.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sometimes God Answers Prayers Quicker Than Expected.

 I thought about titling this post 'In Which I'm Going to do Something Crazy and Pray that God Comes Through,' but it seemed a little wordy. But you see, when I was writing this previous post just a few days ago, I honest to goodness had no clue God would answer my plea for radical living in the here and now in such a... Well, in such a crazy radical way.

 If you don't know by now, I am passionate about the ministry of Compassion International. But even more so than that, I'm passionate about the children, teens, and families whose lives they are changing. Poverty feeds lies to these children and teens- lies that tell them they have no potential. That they aren't worth anything.

 I mean think about it for a second. Most teens here in first-world America don't have to worry about dropping out of school so they can support their families financially. But for that 15 year old over in Columbia, it is a very real possibility. With little schooling though, it's hard for them to find jobs that will provide substantial income. So they're left to rummaging through garbage, begging on the streets, drug dealing, prostitution. And that breaks my heart.

 Christ calls us to speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. He calls us to holy burdens for those living in poverty- right here in America and to the ends of the earth. And Compassion is giving us a simple, but so incredibly important way to respond to the Great Commission and combat the poverty in the lives of His children.

 And it's as easy as giving twenty-five dollars.

 That's all it takes for you to change the life of a child in poverty. Because there's this thing called vocational training. Compassion is providing teens with training in fields that interest them, teaching them skills to secure jobs as adults. Compassion is working alongside these teens to give them the confidence and skills needed to break the cycle of poverty.

 The cost to provide teens with vocational training, such as cooking, tailoring, and computer skills, is $500. And when I first looked at that number, I thought, "That's way too much, God. I couldn't do that." But our relentless Lord continued to press this on my heart and I truly believe He will see it through to completion.

 Here's where I need your help, friends. All I need is twenty people to give $25. That's it. Just twenty people to skip dinner out for one night and instead support this mission. If you're not sure yet about the monthly commitment of sponsoring a child, but want to do something, this is for you. If you already sponsor a child and want to do more, this is for you, too.

 My goal is to collect all 500 dollars by December 31st. If you want to walk alongside me and this incredible ministry in releasing these teens from poverty, would you please consider supporting this cause? We have set up a secure PayPal account to make giving as easy as possible for you. Any amount is of course appreciated and needed.

 Also, please be praying with me through this. This is God calling me to radical living and I'm not taking it lightly. Pray for the teens that will receive this training- that God would open doors to break the cycle and open hearts to know Him. And most importantly, pray that this would be used for His glory and to further His Kingdom. Because that's really what it's all about.

 So, give through our PayPal account here, send a check (email me at conversefamily{at}yahoo{dot}com for our mailing address), or hand it directly to me if you see me around. If you have questions, leave a comment below, send me a message, or find me in person- I'd love to chat! Thank you in advance for partnering with me for His glory!

 To further His Kingdom,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When My Comfort Zone Became the Third World

 Dear October + nearly half of November, where did you go? Really. I feel like I blinked and it just flew right past me. Once upon a time I thought I could blog on a single topic for 31 days straight with no planning whatsoever. We all know how well that worked out. But although I only wrote 11 days out of 31, change happened. This heart of mine was opened and broken. It was brought to a deeper understanding and awareness of God's great love. And in this awareness of Him, He placed this little question in my heart.

 What if I asked you to stay?

 As in stay here. In Georgia. As in no mission trip next summer. The question literally stopped me in my tracks while I was fixing lunch a couple weeks ago. I mean seriously. Come on, God. You're the one who placed this passion for the world in my heart. And now You're asking if I would stay?!

 I've just been so positive I'd be going somewhere. Whether it be Ethiopia or the Dominican Republic or somewhere else. So here I am shaking my head at God because how could I not go?

 A sweet friend of mine kinda brought this revelation to a whole new level when she told me, "When we talk about stepping out of our comfort zones and doing the hard thing, our comfort zones have become the third world. The foreign country. And sometimes the hardest thing and the place we'll end up being stretched the most is here."

 At home.

 I'm all about stepping out in faith and going outside my comfort zone. But what happens when the foreign country becomes my comfort zone? Because no matter how heartbreaking and challenging it is, it's where I want to be.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hello, Failure. {When You Feel Like Not Enough}

Well, Failure, I really didn't think we'd meet up here. I have to say, you surprised me. 11 posts out of 23 thus far? Wow. Why don't you just go ahead and put a big red X over this 31 day challenge. Put another tally mark on the board of "Abigail's Failures" for the month.

 Hear my sarcasm, Failure, when I say thanks for pulling through. I thought you were gone, but you showed up yet again. I guess if there is one thing consistent in my crazy life it'd be you. And you know what? That really sucks.

 Really. Can't I have a break already?
 Failure, you make me go crazy. You stress me out. This perfectionist can't stand the sight of you. But it's this perfectionist that keeps drawing you back.

 The perfectionist in me tries to do so much. I need to blog more. I need to be a better friend, daughter, sister, Christian. I need to do better in school. I need to be a more committed sponsor. So-and-so is asking some tough questions about God; I need to have the right answers so I can keep her persevering in the faith.

 This is where you come in, Failure.

 Better, more, not enough. 

 Why do I let myself believe the lies?

 Time and time again, Failure, I usher you in. I get so caught up in the "not enough" that I forget to listen to the God Who has redeemed.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

One Thing Remains

 God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. His love remains.

 Thank You, Lord, for being my constant. You are still God and You are still good. Fill me with You.

This is day 16{ish} of my 31 day series, Romanced by Him. Read more here. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Day 15: Remember.

 There are days I seem to forget. Days that are more like one step forward, two steps back- when I'm simply overwhelmed by life and underwhelmed in my soul. I lose sight of Who I am pressing on towards. These are the days that I just wish I could physically see Jesus. I need to be reminded of His presence; I need to reach out and cling to Him.

 Some say that's impossible. I say God always come through.

 Because there are these girls. I call them my small group but they're really more like my sisters. They remind me daily of Jesus' love not so much because they say it, but because they show it in all that they do. These girls spread God's love like wildfire, y'all. I get chill bumps because in every text message, in all the times we've cried till we laughed and laughed till we cried, in every hug, in every prayer, I get to see His love in action.

 These girls will get down on their knees with me when I'm broken before the Lord and then lift me up so I can see His face. And isn't that what Christ, in His vast love, does for us? He comes down and meets us in our brokenness. He doesn't leave us there, though. He lifts us up with His strength and grace.

 On the days when I really just need a tangible reminder of His love and every day in-between, my small group girls have always been right there. They make me laugh when I'm tempted to feel down but they also know when I just need to cry and will let me cry, always praying for me. They never fail to remind me of God's love. They are my reminder of God's love.

 To my girls: You all mean the world to me. You all are gifts, each one of you. I can't thank you enough for everything you've done for me. Y'all love me when I'm being unlovable, you show me grace. God's grace. Thank you for being my daily reminder of our Savior's great love. I love y'all with all my heart. Or all my appetite. I'm not sure which one is bigger.

 This is day 15 in my 31 day series, Romanced by Him. Read more here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Day 13: This Is Just the Start of a Great Romance

 Well, we are over a third of our way through this blogging month. And I wasn't really as prepared as I should have been. There have been several busy days when no posts appeared. Bear with me though, because this has been a learning process for me!

 But here's the thing, y'all. Even with my lack of posts, God has been moving and using this month like crazy. I have found His romance. There hasn't been any huge revelations or writing on the wall. He has not written anything in the clouds or shown up in some huge and mighty way. Instead He just keeps gently showing me His love and gives me something sure to hold on to.

 I'm still a work in progress. There will never be a day that I will grasp His love fully because it is so, so far beyond comprehension. But Christ keeps calling me to more. 31 days is just the starting point of a life that will be lived daily romanced by Him.

 Will you join me in praying, pleading for God to continue to show up? We can live boldly in this love of His and I think that's where He is leading me next. Now that He's opened me to His love, I want to step out and live love with boldness. 31 Days is not over, and 31 Days is just the beginning.

 Thank You, my sweet, sweet Savior. Thank You for this love. You are my constant; Your love never ends. Walk with me. I want to lean on You. God, I pray that I will step out and boldly live a life of Your love. This is such a beautiful beginning. You are my One Romance. 

 This is day 13 of a 31 day series on being romanced by Him. Read more and catch up here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

No Greater Love

 This is the great romance. Christ not only wants us to raise our hands in surrender to Him as King; He wants to know us intimately as the Lover of our souls. As we walk with Him, He takes our broken, dirty hearts and molds them to His. I've so often experienced the moving power of Christ but this sweet, gentle, passionate display of His love fills my soul and reaches the places others cannot. He is unveiling the buried places of my heart; He is making it beautiful and whole.

 There truly is no greater love.

 I'm working my way through a 31 day blogging challenge; catch up over here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

"Wait First."

Playing some sort of card game that's vaguely similar to Go Fish, the little girl I babysit says in response to me trying to pick up a card, "No. You have to wait first."

 She then proceeded to show me what to do because I sure didn't know the ropes of this game she had made up. I smiled and played along, thinking all the while how God can speak through the lives of these precious children.

 You have to wait first.

 Not go and do your own thing, watch as it falls apart, and then wait impatiently a little longer until you can go and do it on your own again.

 Wait first.

 I catch myself doing exactly the opposite so often. I'm happy, and doesn't that make God happy? This makes me happier than He has been lately, anyways. But then *gasp*, the unthinkable happens. Whatever or whoever I thought was keeping me happy is suddenly gone and there I am, left with nothing.

 My beautiful, broken beloved. Wait on Me first.

 What would happen if we started listening to Him? If we read His words and actually lived as if they were true?  Words like these that say, "It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

 What if we truly believed soul-deep that the Lord God is better than any love we may find?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Day Nine: I am God.


My Child,

 I am a loving God.

 I love you. I always have, and I always will. Never doubt My love, for it is eternal.

 My child, I am a caring God. I care for you. I only want what I know is best for you. I will never hurt you; you need to trust Me,

 My child, I am a powerful God. I created the Heavens and the Earth with just the sound of My voice. I created you with My own fingers. I knit you together in your mother's womb. I hold the entire universe in the palm of My hand. I am everlasting.

 My child, I am a merciful God. No matter how many times you've sinned or turned against Me, I will forgive you. Repent, and I will cast your sins as far as the east is from the west.

 My child, I am a faithful God. I will always be by your side. When you need Me, I am here. Call on Me and I will hold you in My arms.

 My child, I am a personal God. I long for intimacy with you. Focus on Me, only Me. I am at the door knocking, waiting for you to let Me in. I want to spend time with you. I want you to dwell in My presence.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

When This Broken Heart Became Calloused

 Yes, my heart has been broken. It's been broken by a great love for the hurting people of the world. I've always said though that I love this place of brokenness. Because when you're broken by something you're moved to do something.

 But then my heart was broken by people. People who were supposed to care about me. This was a new kind of broken, a kind not fueled by love but by hurt- by betrayal. Sometimes it's a little bit harder to respond in the same way to this kind of heartache.

 So this heart of mine grew calloused. Instead of becoming hardened, it just formed a rough exterior that still enclosed the tender heart beating inside. You couldn't tell- shoot, I couldn't tell- though because from far away calloused skin looks pretty similar to tender skin does it not?

 I guess I thought that I was doing myself good. After all, callouses form to protect. But in protecting myself from hurt, I was blocking love from truly reaching my soul.

 There are real tears forming in my eyes right now because I'm realizing that these protections, they've kept me from loving and feeling the love of the One who loves me most.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Day Seven: Love Better Than Life

 Just a little Tuesday encouragement.  Thank you, Lord. You romance me each day.

Read my other 31 day posts here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Day Six: Choosing Him

  Sometimes when you're posting for 31 days, you skip a few because you're away for a weekend retreat, and it's really okay because sometimes you need a distraction-free weekend for God to draw you back closer to Him.

 And oh, did He do that.

 He brought me back to the heart of worship. Back to the heart of Him.

 It's a choice you have to make, I realized over this weekend. You have to choose love instead of complacency. Yes, Christ can and will just hit you in the face with love unending; but there are times like yesterday morning when He just whispers to your heart in the midst of soul chaos and says you know I love you. You know it. But I want to see you choose My love. I want you to choose it above all else, because when you choose Me above all else you will feel My love more passionately; you will know Me deeper. 

 You may have to let go of some people to do that. You may have to let go of busy schedules and control and the stress that comes with control. But this love of His is far more fulfilling and the heart of Him knows me more intimately than any other.

 Lord, I choose You. I choose Your love. More than anything else and above any other. Right here, right now, each and every day.

 Read more on this 31 day challenge here.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Soften My Heart, Lord; Break Me Apart.

 Ya know, yesterday, posting this, I felt like it was a little vague. I posted it anyways though because I'm sort of  in the dark too about where these 31 days are going to lead but I'm trusting Him.

I need You to soften my heart and break me apart,
Oh I need You to pierce through the dark
And cleanse every part of me.  
 All I am, I surrender.

  This song. It gets me every time. I'm taken back to moments of a spiritual high, to moments of emotion. But here lately, half the time I sing this song it just falls so flat. What's up with that? It's as if my lips are just repeating words my heart has forgotten.

 And I'm sitting here with these words from my fingers falling short as well because I'm just not feeling them.

 Maybe my heart has forgotten...

 I remember my mom asking me recently, "Why don't you ever sing anymore?"

 I brushed it off saying something about me still singing and I didn't think any more about it. But I'm wondering now if her mama-heart was seeing something in the making. Something that I missed.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days of Being Romanced by Him

 I'll be honest. When I learned about this 31 day writing challenge through Emily Freeman's blog, I wasn't interested. I read over it and clicked on to the next thing. But since seeing her post, I haven't been able to get the challenge off of my mind. 

 I reasoned and doubted and came up with a whole list of excuses as to why I can't do it. For instance,
1. I don't have enough time.
2. What could there possibly be to write about every day for a whole month?
3. I'd probably fail miserably and
4. have I mentioned that I hate to fail?

  Thus, absolutely not. You wouldn't see me doing this come October.

 Shh.. I have a little secret; don't ever tell God "no."

 Because God kept bringing me back and then I saw a quote which I am fairly sure the author looked into my mind to find. She said, "Putting a pen in my hand is like giving me a shovel into the places buried in my soul."  Reading that little sentence I wondered could this challenge be God's way of unlocking the hidden places in my own soul? Could this be His way of pushing me past my self-made limitations to a deeper understanding of Him?

 And my answer is this:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Place Where Fairness Ends and Sacrificial Love Overflows

  It's not fair. It's completely, utterly unfair.

 Why should I be sitting here in my bedroom that is over twice the size of Yikram's house?

 I'm getting a queen-size mattress this week. So why should Yikram's mother have to send three of her children to live with family four hours away because they don't even have a bed the size of a twin. 

 I don't understand. I hate it. It's not fair that I have multiple flushing toilets when they share one squatty potty with the whole block. 

 It isn't fair that I have the chance for an education when in my heart's home across the world, a woman is selling plastic water jugs to earn money that won't even cover the rent, much less send a child to school.

 I'm sick of it. I'm sick and tired of being comfortable in first-world America and my breaking heart is affirming that. My heart is screaming "why?!"  I'm weeping at the injustice and wondering just where is the hope?! Where is the fairness in this broken mess of a world? And why isn't anyone doing anything?! 

 But you know what else wasn't fair? It wasn't fair for Me to be nailed between two pieces of splintered wood. To those that loved Me, it didn't seem fair for Me to be openly scorned and rejected for crimes I didn't commit.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Same blog, new look!

 Major facelift around here, y'all. Don't worry, it's still the same ole space. When I first added this little corner of the web, I jumped into it pretty quickly and had really no earthly clue what I was doing. Haha. So I decided I'd take the morning to change it to something that suits my style a bit more. Hope you like it!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

For When I {still} Don't Have the Words

 In my post last week, I mentioned still not having the words to say. How am I supposed to put a trip like our Ethiopia trip into words? Where do I even start? I was beginning to experience frustration over this incapability to find the words. Words that accurately relate my experiences in a poverty-stricken country back to middle-class America.

 I would sit here and think about the fact that the backpack I'd set down on the floor of my sponsor sister's one-room house contained more money than her entire house cost to rent for a month. My seemingly small amount of spending money was more than her family makes in a month.

 And then today, some song came on {I don't even remember what song it was- go figure.} that spoke of this. Even before time began, THE Word was. In the beginning, all things were created through The Word that was with God. As I spent ten days chasing the heart of God halfway across the world, The Word was life and light in the darkness. The Word was God. And for the two months I've spent searching for words, The Word was already there, woven into every story bottled up in my heart.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Living Radical

 Yesterday, August 18th, marked two months since I left for a journey that changed my life. That "changed my life" part is hardly what I want to say, because I feel like everyone says that. It barely does anything justice. But the truth is even two months after, I'm still not sure sure how to put it all into words.

 At times it's hard to believe I've been home that long. It's hard to believe because I feel like I never quite left Ethiopia. I left my heart in that country and most days the beautiful people hold a cherished spot in the back of my mind. Some days though, the memories roar to the front and I pull out notes from my Ethiopian sisters, I look at pictures of my little brothers, and I long so much to be back with them.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: His Presence

 Wow. I really failed at updating my Ethiopia journey daily. Oops. Sorry. I have a valid excuse though, because WinShape Camps. But hey, I'm picking up where I left off so whatever.
Tuesday, June 24th
Simple peace. Sweet, overwhelming presence. Today was yet another powerful day. We witnessed and participated in little glimpses of the Kingdom come. From a powerful worship and prayer time this morning on Mount Tabor, to an equally powerful and overwhelming service at the church tonight, God was there.

 God was there.

 And isn't that just as He promised? Didn't He say He would never leave us, and that He would pour out His Spirit on all people?

 He is with us as we join together, Ethiopian and American in His creation, praising His name.

 I feel the peace of God that is so sweet and pure, yet so profound and overwhelming as I learn to lean completely on Him.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: In Which Life Change is Real

 Monday, June 23rd
Today we saw life change. Today, we experienced life change in the depths of our own hearts. We saw God's sovereignty and perfect plan at work. As we built up a wall, we participated in building His Kingdom in the hearts of our Ethiopian brothers and sisters.
 We echoed cries of "Hallelujah, Jesus," as we got to be the hope in this woman's life. Participating in her joy, we also shared in her hurts, in her prayers for her spiritually lost son to find rest in the Father. We got to be the hands and feet and heart of Jesus.

 We saw His spirit strengthen hearts as we strengthened walls. And as the faith of this precious mother of five encouraged and humbled us, God's spirit moved among us and brought her son to faith in our Lord. We witnessed this boy walk from a path of destruction to a new, full life of lasting hope.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: Choosing Hope

Sunday, June 22nd

 There is a story playing throughout all creation. It is one of joy and pain, of heartbreak and hope. But on days like today, the hope greatly outweighs the heartbreak as we get glimpses of the Kingdom come and I remember why I so enjoy this Compassion thing. Because although witnessing Compassion families walking away from the material aspect of poverty excites, is that the part that really fires me up and causes my eyes to fill with tears? No.

 That happens in seeing the fact that though these beautiful people may still live in poverty, they worship their Lord with such abandon. It is in praising with the center staff over the salvation on 200+ students since the start of their program. And not only 200+ plus students, but also 200+ caregivers letting Christ be Lord in their life.

 Seeing hope in action as you hear from the mouth of a child that 'God loves us big'- it is in those moments that I realize Compassion works.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: Worth It.

Saturday, June 21st
 VBS, Ethiopia style. Perhaps the most fun, precious thing ever. But then again, I could say that about our flower ceremony. I would say it about the selfies these sweet, sweet children love to take, and the way they love to dance. I could say it about our visit with little Yikram and her mother and looking up to see her VBS craft hanging so proudly on the wall of her one-room house.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: Day One

 Friday, June 20th

 Well, now I have officially joined my heart on this beautiful African soil. Most of the day was spent viewing it from the window of a bus, but I am so so so glad to just be here. But there is an element of shock and heartbreak, as the contrast of poverty and beauty is overwhelming.  As is the contrast of the poverty from what I consider 'normal'. I wake up from sleeping in a king-sized bed in an air-conditioned room, load up my suitcase full of clean clothes, and get on a bus to ride in comfort. On the other hand people are trying to find a way into our bus, standing at the windows in tattered clothing, begging for money or food. Then there are business men walking out of their big, tall office buildings while just a couple blocks away a child sleeps soundly in an alley, using a plastic bag as a blanket.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: We're Back!

 We've been back on American soil for 24+ hours, but my head is still in Ethiopia time and I'm half-asleep right now. It was a 'welcome home', but also in a way, it's just a 'welcome back'. They say home is where the heart is, and my heart is just as much over there as it is here. I know that I'll be back in Awassa, in the Meserete Kristos Church, among those precious Compassion children. It may not be next year, but I'll be back. Those children captured my heart, and I'm hoping writing it all out will help me process this past week. I'm going to try to post once a day this week for each journal entry I wrote. So, here goes the first {short} one!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Living Sent: Ethiopia

 Oh my. It. is. here. In just a few hours I'll be on a plane heading to a country that already has my heart. And though I really should be sleeping, I'm writing. 'Cause that's how it always works... I'm going to try to blog as much as I can throughout the week, but whatever internet connection we might have will be very spotty to say the least, so I may just have to post them all when we get back. But I figured I might as well start now, because my heart is so full I don't think that I'm going to sleep much at all tonight. And hey, it's 9:00am in Ethiopia right now, so I'll be up this time tomorrow anyways. Haha.

I want to live my life sent out for Him, in my community and across the world. Ethiopia is just a step in the journey on which God has me. I want to demonstrate compassion to the people of Ethiopia, to break with, to walk with them. I pray I continue to chase His heart for the world as I follow Him to a beautiful country with precious people whom I am so ready to see face-to-face. I'm humbled and thankful to be His hands and feet, showing His love to a thousand generations.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Promise Being Fulfilled from a Dream Unveiled

 Several posts have been started in the past few weeks that I have yet to finish. I'll get to them, I promise. But for now the blog break ends to share with you...

 Nine days. We're into the single-digit territory now. We're heading full-force into a time that is full of packing and planning and praying and shopping, a time of impatience and of trust, and of praying some more. Nine mere days until we are headed to a country that already has my heart.

 The past couple weeks especially have been a time of reflection and of hope for the future. There have been moments of fear, when the enormity of everything I cannot control overwhelms me. But Christ always, always steps in and replaces the fear with more of Him. I look back and see how perfectly He has orchestrated everything to bring me right exactly where I need to be.

 Back in December, I was absolutely positive God's plan included a week-long June mission trip to Costa Rica, a trip that would have me gone the same week my dad would be leading a trip to the opposite side of the earth- Ethiopia.

 But sometimes God's plan is quite different from our own.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What I Learned in April

 I'm a few days late on this... But I'm linking up today with Emily over at Chatting at the Sky for her monthly 'What We Learned' post; and as I didn't really take the time to write down what I learned throughout April, we'll see how this goes!

 one. Reading Emily's list, I realized the acronym for my blog is SAD. Literally. Which is pretty much the opposite emotion that comes to mind when I think about this blog. Why didn't I call it "Great Lessons Abigail (is) Doing" or something?

 two. Okay I am apparently just terrible at coming up with acronyms. And um. Yeah.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Compassion Story

  My sponsorship story starts with a girl who wanted to sponsor a child because it would be 'cool', but never got around to actually doing it. And then August 2013 happened. And God happened. And a brokenness and love for the world's children happened. And that girl now wanted to sponsor a child, not because it's right or because it's the cool thing to do, but because of her Father's love for her and for every child in every corner of the world. So that 14 year old started sponsorship with a precious 5 year old Indonesian sister named Devi. She saw Devi turn 6, and she wrote and prayed for her. But she wanted to do more...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Help Change a Life!

 I love sharing Compassion with y'all! Sweet, heartfelt stories like the one shared in this video grab my heart. And I'm pretty sure it will grab yours as well. Watch this sweet boy's story and see how Compassion came alongside them to help save another child's life. We aren't sponsoring to fill a need, we sponsor to invest in the life of a child. Share Jesus with a child today and help break the cycle of poverty in their life. Change and be changed through Compassion. I guarantee you will fall in love with this amazing organization just as I have. :)

Stand in Him...

 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength.
-Ephesians 6:10, HCSB

 Immerse yourself in truth, so when the enemy tries to whisper the lies that say, "You can't do this. You aren't strong enough. No one believes in you," you can stand and say that You can do all things for you are covered in His strength! You are chosen and held by your Maker. He makes you righteous and pure.

 Have faith; hold it before you and let it surround you. Then, even though the enemy hurls arrows of fear, shame, pain, and failure intended to cripple you; the faith and trust that Christ died to redeem you, redeem your mistakes, and take hold of your past, present, and future can resound in your heart. Faith can dispell the fear and loosen the chains that hold you captive.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


This video is one of the many, many reasons I love Compassion... Watch it and smile. And sponsor a child. You will change their life and your own. Sponsorship works. It's not about sending thirty-eight dollars a month. It's about building a relationship, pouring Jesus' love into their life. You get the chance to work alongside this incredible ministry and help them mold a little life. Compassion is not just a crutch to these kids and families in poverty. Compassion is not only trying to walk with the children through the poverty they live in; they are working to empower those children to break the cycle of poverty in their life and their community. And you can help them. Join me, join the millions of people just like you, and sponsor a child. It is the best decision ever.


Okay. I'm done. Maybe.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Letting Go and Loving Louder: 6 Things Learned in March

  March, you brought a downpour of mercy and grace. You unveiled new-found strength with delight. You, March, were a month of peace. You were a month of finding peace within the trials of living in a world that is hurting. You were a month of holding tightly to that peace, of being anchored in peace. You brought new realizations and welcome reminders. This month I learned...

one. Letting go of control is the most freeing thing. Ever.  How long did it take me to get to this place of complete trust and total surrender? Plenty long enough. It's a beautifully sweet place of peace because I know, I truly believe the Creator of my soul is holding me. I don't have to have everything figured out and I do not have to do it all.

Friday, March 14, 2014

I am the Pharisee.

  Hi y'all! I feel like I haven't been around in a while. It's been a busy few weeks. I've been trying to slow down in the midst of all the craziness that is life and trust me, it isn't easy for this girl. So far, it's been a month of letting go and finding peace. And yes, I'm writing a blog post at 12:00 at night. I saw Son of God tonight and everything that is in my heart needs somewhere to go. It's hard to put everything about this movie into words. I'm pouring out and sorting out my heart here.

Sometimes, I get so caught up in my own life. In my good life. At least I'm not like them. I'm not getting drunk and partying all night. I'm in church every Sunday and at youth group every week. I even read my Bible outside of church! I'm a pastor's daughter; I'm the good girl; I don't do the "bad things"; I don't curse; I'm better than them.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Seriously can't wait...

 Ok you guys... Compassion International provided some of their bloggers with free movie tickets for Son of God, and I am so, so, so excited. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this. Ask any of my friends. I'm pretty much jumping off the walls. And hey, who wouldn't get excited over a free movie? I haven't seen Passion of the Christ, so I'm not sure how it'll rank next to that, but it is going to be amazing.  Not excited? Watch this video. Oh gracious. This gave me chills. Just watch it. And then go see the movie. February twenty-eighth.

Video not showing up? Click here to watch it.

Check out more Son of God resources and find a theater near you at www.sharesonofgod.com. And don't forget... Go see it.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

this one's for the girls

 You are absolutely beautiful, my darling, with no imperfection in you.
-Song of Songs 4:7

I'm ugly. I'm fat. I'm too short. I'm too tall. My hair is too brown and my eyes are too plain. I'm not pretty enough. 
 Ever heard those statements? Ever believed them? Those lies are believed by girls everywhere, every day. We apply these labels to ourselves, based on what we think we look like. We criticize, judge, and bring ourselves down based on our outward appearance. Some girls I know have taken this verse to try to remind themselves that God thinks they are beautiful. That God made them beautiful. While I do believe that God uses this verse to remind ladies of that, I think there is another purpose for this verse that we're missing.

 You are absolutely beautiful. There is no imperfection in you. I was reading this verse one day and couldn't help but catch the word "in". There is no imperfection in you. I think that is key.

 Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Looking Forward to Summer 2014

   Okay, we've got some pretty important news around here, y'all. You know, super-big-crazy-exciting-important news. The kind of news that has me looking forward to June 19th-29th until those ten days actually come. News that has me giddy with excitement and also kinda nervous. News about which, for those of you who know me well, I've already talked your head off..

 You remember when I told you God placed a passion in my heart for Compassion International and a love for the children whose lives they are changing? Well, this summer I have an incredible opportunity to live out that passion across the globe. In Hawassa, Ethiopia, to be exact. My sister, our parents, and myself will be traveling with Compassion International and a team from our church to serve alongside our partner church in Ethiopia to provide a VBS-style event for the kids in the program. We will also visit the homes of some of the children, and worship with them on Sunday. We have the opportunity to hang out with our family's sponsor child, Yikram, as well.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Living out redemption

If you remember, one of my words for 2014 was redeemed. Already, God has been using it far more than I ever thought He would. I should know by now not to limit God. Anyways, I'll hear my word and think, "There's my word, showing up just when I need it." God's kinda cool like that. This past weekend, I went with my youth group to a conference in Birmingham, Alabama, hosted by Student Life. The whole theme of the conference was "Sight Unseen" and the underlying question that all the speakers asked and answered was "How do I see the unseen and live in light of eternity while enduring the difficulties that accompany living in a fallen world?" One speaker talked about how it began with understanding for ourselves God's story. Broken up into four parts it is Creation- God's perfection, the fall, and then get this...


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Casting Crowns

If y'all like Casting Crowns and have iTunes Radio on your phone or computer, go listen to the "Casting Crowns- Thrive" First Play station. Now. I've always loved Casting Crowns and this is their best album by far. Each song tells a story. I will definitely be buying this album. It's amazing. "Follow Me" is one of my favorites from the album. Ok now get off this blog and go listen to it.  I promise you will love it.

Monday, January 20, 2014

My top two songs..

 There are two songs that really describe my prayers for this year. I heard them and was like wow... these are amazing. First one is Keep Making Me by Sidewalk Prophets. I love it. The opening verse says "Make me broken, so I can be healed 'cause I'm so calloused, now I can't feel. I want to run to You with heart wide open, so make me broken." Broken is a lifestyle that I'm trying to live daily. Like I've said before, it's when I'm broken something that I'm moved to do something. You should really look it up. The second is this..

The lyrics of Set a Fire are so beautifully simple. I don't know why, but this song has just stuck with me. I literally pray this daily. Oh I love it. 

 So yeah. These are really my two favorite songs. For now, that is. ;) Maybe these songs will speak to your heart as they have mine. Or maybe I'm just really obsessed with music. Haha. God bless!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Another little thought on my secret

Just a little play off of one of my previous posts..

I tend to worry and stress. It comes with the tendency to want control. When I try to be in control, I'm always worrying if the outcome will turn out right, stressing that I won't meet expectations, worrying that people will be disappointed, the list goes on and on...
 I've realized that I will think something along the lines of "just let me stress and fret about it for a little while, and then I'll give it to You and everything will be fine." When in all actuality, it should be in His hands to begin with. Before I even start to assess a situation, I need to be giving it to Him, for Him to be in control of and use me how He would use me. It doesn't even need to start out in my hands. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My calling to Compassion.

 august ninth, twenty-thirteen.

 That date holds so much significance for me. If you know me, you might've heard me talk of that day, at least in part. If you don't know me personally or haven't heard this story, then sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and listen as my heart unfolds {warning- this is going to be long}.

 August ninth. It started out like any normal summer day, lazy, slow, insignificant. But I guess God likes to use the insignificant, huh? August ninth. I remember being in my bedroom, stretched out on my bed, texting a friend. Oh, August ninth, if I'd only known what was in store for me...

 For a long time, I tried to figure out what my "calling" in life would be. I prayed and I waited. I grew frustrated and prayed and waited some more. I was confused as to why God wasn't just showing me what that calling was supposed to be. I guess I expected a voice from heaven, or a lightning bolt, some writing on the wall, or anything grand and obvious. Then somewhere along in there, I realized that by praying He would show me on my time, I was missing out on the opportunity to truly just enjoy who He is. So I started to back down on my demands prayers for God to reveal my calling and I spent the time just growing in Him and doing what all of us as Christians are called to do- love others right where we are and show them Christ.

It was then, when I became blissfully close to Him, relaxing in His presence, that I could hear His gentle whisper, even through a text message.