Wednesday, May 29, 2013


So a lot has happened in the last couple weeks. The most common question I have been getting lately after people talk to Ry about what is going on they turn and ask me how I feel about it. Before that was a tough question to answer. I was still overwhelmed by the idea of us going to Africa and it had not fully kicked in that it was happening. Then I had my last day with my students and then my last day at work. I cried. I am so blessed that everywhere God has sent us I have had awesome coworkers. Reality was starting to set in and then anxiety. I am a checklist type of person. That is just my nature. I'm a planner. I started trying to do that with Africa and I just became overwhelmed with the mountain of things to accomplish. Passports, visas, selling things, raising money... As I focused on that mountain I let fear creep in. Instead of looking to The One who can move any mountain I was looking at what I could do. Scary. But then I started listening to the new Audio Adrenaline cd and singing at the top of my lungs (yes I was that crazy lady singing in her truck). My focus shifted. God started whispering in my ear "Do you think I am going to call you to do something then leave you to do it all on your own? Don't you remember I am the God that nothing is impossible for? Stop stressing. Let me handle it." So I let go and I'm telling you tears of joy began running down my cheeks. I began to get excited. It was like a slide show in my mind. I saw pictures of us surrounded by kids. I saw us laughing and playing. I saw children running to us in tears and us picking them up loving them. I saw Ry flying. Then I saw myself as a teenager at youth camp and God telling me I was going to rescue children for Him. Flash forward to youth convention this year where God told me I may not have biological children but I was going to be a mother to dozens of kids. I thought we were going to Africa to fulfill the dream God put in Ryan's heart. Now I see He is going to fulfill mine there too. So if you ask me now I'll tell you I can't wait to go. I am going to miss so many people and I know it is going to be overwhelmingly hard. But we are going for a purpose. We are going to shine the light of God's love on the people of Botswana. Show them there is hope even if they are part of the 25% of the country infected with HIV/AIDs. We are going to show orphans that they still have a Father who loves them. They are not alone. Ry and I have been praying for months "use us God. Wherever you want us to go- we'll go". Now we have our answer and I want to go.

So other than to update you on what is going on with us I want to encourage you. I know a lot of people seeking God's will for their life or going through tough stuff. Don't look at the mountains in your life. Look at The One who can move them. It may take longer than you expect but God is in control. At the end of John 16 Jesus is telling His disciples there will be sadness in this life, but He ends by encourage them that God is bigger than our troubles. Let Him overcome it for you.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Alaska to Africa

If you are reading this you probably have heard our news. Ryan and I are moving to Botswana, Africa! We are planning to be there by the end of summer if everything lines up. Ryan has felt called to Africa since he was a teenager. God woke him up in the middle of the night and told him to go to Africa. He got online and showed his parents a missionary aviation video.
For me it has been more recent. Like all of our other moves, he has been ready before me. God slowly changed my heart from being opposed to being excited. When I was younger my pastor and his wife moved to Africa. I remember as part of their farewell party they played "Please Don't Send Me to Africa" by Scott Wesley (or a song similar). I was freaked out and prayed I would never have to go there. Twenty years later I was saying the same thing. Then I researched Botswana and my heart broke for the people there. Below are some of the statistics that changed my mind and my heart.
We have moved a lot in our six and a half years of marriage. Our first move was to Virginia. As newlyweds we felt led to go back to school and finish up our degrees. In VA we learned to make it on our own and bonded as a couple. It was there that we both got our training. Afterwards we moved back home to try to figure out our next step. It was important to get that time with our family. It is also where we got our pup Chandelle. From there God led us to Alaska. Here we have continued to grow. We believe those moves and everything else in our lives has been leading us to Botswana. David wrote in Psalms that God orders our steps. Looking back we can see that He has done just that in our lives.
So what will we be doing there?
Ryan will be flying medivac, humanitarian, and charter flights for Flying Mission Services in Gaborone, Botswana. This is a great Missionary opportunity.  Ryan will be able to use his training to help those in need and spread Christ's love through his actions. St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the gospel always. If necessary - use words." 
I am still trying to find my place in this plan. I am hoping to be volunteering at an orphanage or preschool. Orphans make up 10% of the entire population of Botswana. There are so many children in Bots that need to hear about God's Love! My calling has always been to work with children so I look forward to seeing how I can serve in Botswana. 

Why Botswana?
*Botswana is about the size of Texas
* There are 2.2 million people that live there
*1 in 4 are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS (That is over 500,000 people and the numbers could be higher)
*Due to AIDS being so prevalent there, 10% of the entire population are orphans. Over 200,000 children without parents.
*Average life expectancy is 50 years

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is coming up so today instead of a penmanship test I had my class write thank you letters to their mom using their best cursive. As I am going over directions several students are excited to do it but a few start grumbling. "I can't come up with a whole paragraph." "That's too many sentences." I said 6 and one could be Happy Mother's Day Mom. I couldn't believe it. Then I thought back to before I became a foster mom. I had no clue how much work motherhood would be. I thought because I had worked with kids for half my life that it would be easy. Boy was I wrong. Yes, my years of experiences made me better prepared but I was not used to being on call 24-7. I was not used to the sleepless nights worrying they'd fall out of bed or need me. Every peep I heard from their room made me jump and spring into action just in case. I could go on and on about: diapers, cooking, cleaning, driving to appointments, missing work because they are sick.... Now that the kiddos are gone I have all this time and I have no clue what to do with myself. As exhausting and hard as it was, I miss it. While cleaning out their room I found a tracing of little ones hands and a "Weekend News" talking about how much fun he had with us from M.  Those papers are going in my scrapbook because I treasure those precious memories. To all the moms and dads out there as we prepare to celebrate you I just want to say y'all are awesome. Your kids are probably like my students and I was pre-kiddos. They have no clue how much you do for them yet you do it anyway. You are amazing. Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

10,000 Reasons

It has been a rough week. Without going into too many details the last couple of weeks have been emotionally exhausting. I got called names I have never been called in my life and heard some of the most hurtful things. We got to the point where we had to let go of a child we loved very much. I loved him but he had hatred in his heart toward me. It has been very easy for me to wallow in self pity but that is not helpful. What I've learned with losing both kiddos is that when you focus on your self and your hurts/ your needs you hurt worse. Only when I focus on God and pray for the kids do I feel peace. One of my favorite praise songs is "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman. I love the line, "Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me let me be singing when the evening comes." I may be having the worst day of my life and be heartbroken/miserable. Still there are things to praise God about. When I'm praising Him it takes the focus off of me and my pain eases. I pray that everyone had a better week than we did but either way God is good and worthy of our praise.

The foster care door seems to be closing in our life but we see God opening a new door soon that we are excited about. Once everything is official I will share more.