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Thursday, August 27, 2015

It is not a big secret, life in the current season is a bit unknown and uncertain. 

The need for money is annoyingly great. 

I am trying my hardest to support myself, and I am failing immensely. Dog sitting jobs, baby sitting jobs, and future job plans all fell through a few days ago. 

It's just me. This is a single income household, and there isn't much of an income currently. But, there are still big needs. 

One of the biggest needs was that I needed to pay rent for September. 

I obviously knew that rent would be due September first. It's due the first of every month. So whenever I made a bit of money, I paid part of it.

Rent is $600/month, and as of the end of last week, I had paid $200. 

So for the last few days, I have been begging God to show up. Everything I tried failed. I needed Him. 

I have been trying to walk in huge faith and obedience as I believe He calls me to love people that are unlovable, to go places that are uncomfortable, and to use resources that aren't seeming to be replaceable. So I obey, take wild steps of faith, and trust that He won't lead me where He won't provide. 

Last night, I was just reminding Him of the budget, the bills, and the calendar. As if He wasn't aware? 

But I fell asleep in perfect peace, believing really big things. I didn't know what that meant, but I knew that He could do it. 

This morning I woke up to an email from Paypal. Someone had sent me $400. Y'all. I'm not even kidding. The exact amount I needed to pay rent in five days. THE EXACT AMOUNT. 

In the memo line, it said, "God has GOT this! Sending love from Ohio :)" 

When I later got ahold of her, she told me that $400 kept sticking in her head, and felt like that's what God told her to just give me. 

WHAT IN THE WORLD. 

I have never met this girl in real life, and only became Facebook friends with her last week. 

Ahhhhhh. I just can't even. 

So thankful for a God that provides for my needs, and so thankful for a girl that obeys and gives with an open hand. 

There are still a lot more needs, which just means the stage has been set for more stories of His faithfulness to be written. 

I am just in awe. In awe. Of how great our God is. In awe. 

Trusting and believing for big things from a faithful and providing God. 

What a beautiful adventure. 






Sunday, August 23, 2015

He's writing a beautiful story, I just know it. 

All of this uncertainty and unknown will make sense soon. The tears will no longer be tears of fear and worry, but will soon be tears of joy and amazement. 

But for now, this chapter keeps on going, I see no end in sight. 

More uncertainty means more trusting in Jesus. 

It's getting harder. I feel like it should be easier, I've seen Him provide so many times, I should have bigger faith. But tonight, my faith is little. It's barely there. 

But Jesus said, "Just have the faith the size of a mustard seed, and you can move mountains." 

So with my little tiny seed of faith, I say, I believe that He has a plan. I believe that He is working all of this chaos for my good, and His glory. And I will trust Him. 

Today brought many tears. Many, many tears. I thought I had so many things figured out finanicially, and with a few phone calls and texts, everything came crashing down. 

I have things figured out in two categories. "What I need to take care of before I go to Texas" and "What I need to take care of when I get home to Michigan." Both categories had plans. And both plans failed today. 

So I am now at a place where I just need Jesus to show up. In a really big way. 

All day today, I've just wanted to rush and fast forward to the next and the better. I want a steady income and purpose right now, in this season. This uncertainty and unknown is getting old, and fast. 

But tonight, after crying many tears, and resting in His arms a bit, I have come to realize, this part of the story is just as beautiful as the big provision part on the other side. Without this part, the faithfulness wouldn't seem so incredible. Because I'm at a place of needing Him so greatly, and not being able to take care of this on my own, it just gives Him all the glory when things do come together.

So. I will rest in Him. I will believe He has a plan, and that I'm part of that. 

I don't know what all this looks like. But I know I have a loving God who is aware of my needs and my desires. 

I'm excited to see this new season unfold. Because it just can't be like this forever, right? 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In the here. In the now.

This morning I was talking with one of my dear friends, and she called me out on some things. She told me, "I've noticed one thing you really struggle with, is that you want to know everything, now." 

It's true. I want to know the plan, the timeline, and all the details. 

Especially in this season of wanting to have a job, a car, a community, a church home, a husband, and a family, it is difficult to not want to wish away the days, and want to press the fast forward button to try to get to the good stuff. 

I struggle with living in the here and now. 

I know I live in the future more than most. 

I have a hope chest with vintage hand towels that have "his" and "hers" embroidered on them, I have beautiful dresses for a sweet baby girl one day, I have toys and dolls wrapped in baby quilts for children to play with. 

I rarely open my hope chest, because instead of hope, it oftens breeds discontentment. 

Some days it's harder than others, to see friends my age or younger, getting married, having growing families, and I'm still here, alone. 

My best friend has given me beautiful wisdom for years. She often tells me, "Their story and their happiness doesn't take away or change your story or happiness. Your friend is not marrying your future husband. Celebrate her. Your friend is not giving birth to your babies. Celebrate her. Your time will come." 

I am thankful for friends with wisdom. I am thankful when they are a mirror into my life, to gently show the places that need a little light and love. 

So today, I opened my hope chest. I pulled out a tea set. A tea set that I played with more than 20 years ago. It has sat in there for far too long. I have been holding onto it, for my one day daughter to play with. But she's not here right now. So I unwrapped it, and put it in a bag, and took it to my friend's house. I may not have a wild haired mini me, but my friend does. And today I learned that she loves tea parties. 




P.S. I just normally hate writing about being single, because there's days when it's not sunshiney. A friend challenged me to write on those days too. I want to be genuine and transparent, and maybe even offer hope to someone else in my shoes. But I hate it! I feel so insecure about hitting publish those days. Like I'm confessing that sometimes I want more than just Jesus, and that it's hard to trust. Heaven forbid. Thank you all for being a sweet and safe place to work this all out. I treasure y'all. 


Monday, August 10, 2015

Friday Faves. (On a Monday)

•This. I might be one of the quirkiest and most whimsical girls around, so I thankful for a tribe that celebrates that part of my life. 

•Ranch dressing. I just can't get enough. I want it on everything. I didn't realize how bad my obsession was until I just cleaned out my fridge. I live alone. 

• I am a huge fan of Starbucks' skinny caramel machiottos. I'm an even bigger fan when one of my ftl sisters buys one for me, even though she is states away. ��

•I am still wandering in the Psalms lately. There is just so much comfort in being reminded that God hears me. 

•I love art, and I love my lil town. So the combo of them makes this girl so happy. The Detroit Institute of Arts has paintings displayed all over CVC. So good. 

• When my friend sent me a picture of my name in a published book!! Check it out in Jen Hatmaker's For The Love. 

• Current favorite quote. This is so good. 

• This book. I have decided to spend every Tuesday focusing on the issues of injustice. I want the books I read, the prayers I pray, the blogs I write, the passages of Scripture I read, and the conversations I have, to be centered on God's heart for the broken, and what I can do about that. I want to be prepared to get out there and be Jesus' hands and feet, before even driving into Pontiac. 

• Coloring books for adults. This trend is just spectacular. 

Happy weekend. ��M 


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Zephaniah.

There is a lot of unrest and unknown in my life right now. 

I hate to sound like a broken record lately, but that's just the song of the season. 

I haven't had a steady paycheck since March. The babes I loved and raised for almost six years are gone. Friends I love dearly have chosen to walk away. The job I planned on starting soon has been delayed. My car is dead dead. That dear sweet man of mine that I've been praying for, just hasn't shown up yet. And in the midst of all of that, I am looking for a new church. 

Seriously. Chaos over here. 



All week, God had been whispering things to me. I heard over and over, "Girl, I am mighty to save, just trust me." "Girl, I delight in you, just trust me." "Girl, I am with you, you are not alone, just trust me." Over, and over, and over again. 

I'm slightly dense, so it took me until the middle of the week to wonder if that was all in a verse somewhere. So I typed in parts of that into google. It sent me to Zephaniah. 

Let me be honest, I don't normally find myself in Zephaniah. I can't remember the last time I read from it, or ever heard a pastor preach from it. It's just one of those hard to find, semi forgotten, buried treasures of a book. 

So, I read it. And I meditated on it. And I memorized it. And I read it in multiple versions. 

"The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."

"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." 

"The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing."



I sat rested in it all week. 

Then yesterday I decided to take the time to write out little cards to stick in the lunch bags we were going to hand out to women on the streets on Tuesday. 

I asked God for direction on what to write. Last week I wrote "You are beautiful. You are incredible. You are loved." Short and simple. But I wanted something else for this week. 

Zephaniah came to mind. So I wrote it out 15 times to share with these women on the streets. 

They need to know that He is a mighty warrior, that He does save, the He does delight in them, and that they are not alone. 



So this morning, I woke up. I really didn't know what church I was going to end up at, I just got up and ready. That's the thing, there isn't some master plan in all of this. 

All week I had planned on going back to where I visited last week, but when I woke up this morning, I knew that's not where I wanted to be. 

I had finally decided on a church, and got ready to leave the house, but couldn't find my keys, and once I found them, I realized in needed to put air in my tire. But by then, I was going to be late, and I didn't want that. 

So I started to look up other churches in the area, and what times their services were. And then I realized I was far too late, or far too early. 

So I ate breakfast, and decided to figure it out while I ate. 

I ended up going to a church that wasn't even on my radar earlier this week. I walked in, felt welcomed, and loved. Oh what a sweet feeling. I found a seat, and we began to worship in song, and it was amazing. 

And then the singing paused, and a guy stepped forward, and read a verse. 

IT WAS MY VERSE. 

THAT VERSE THAT GOD HAD BEEN TELLING ME ALL WEEK. 

Y'all. I could not stop crying. Right there, in the middle of service, snot and tears were flowing freely. 

Who in the world chooses to just pause worship and read out of a little tiny book? It didn't even go along with the sermon. 

It was just for me.  

In the midst of complete chaos, He was there with me. 

I had no idea where I would be this morning. But He did. 

What a reminder that He goes before this girl. 

He is in my midst. He is my mighty warrior. He delights in me. He loves me. He rejoices in me. He is worthy of my trust. 

The sermon was so good. The pastor taught on how He is YAWEH JIRAH. He is the God that provides. 

In this desert of a season, that reminder was water for my thirsty and broken soul. 

Oh how beautiful and true are the Words of God. 

On my way home, my car attempted to really die. 

I've been telling her she needed to make it to 200,000 miles. Today she's at 199,985. Just 15 away, but she is trying to give up the ghost. I'll know more about her situation in the morning, but I've been told for months that it's past her time. So I really think today's the day. 

I don't know what this will all really look like. I don't have a job, and I don't have a car, but I do have bills. 

I do know that He has gone ahead of me, and whatever this season holds, I don't have to walk it alone. 

I'm half terrified, and half excited. 

I feel like I'm in a prime position to watch God move. The need is great, and He is the only one capable of doing big things.

So tonight, I'm going to bed full of peace.

The adventure is unknown, but it always has been. And the good news is that I'm not walking it alone. 

M. 



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Here's the thing.

There is so much about prostitution and human trafficking that I just wasn't aware of, until I really started reading and researching. 

I never knew how dark and ugly it was. Not that I ever thought it was good, but I just had no idea something could ever be so dark. 

I was recently reading "Girls Like Us: Fighting For A World Where Girls Are Not For Sale" by Rachel Llyod. I love and appreciate this book for not glossing over the uncomfortableness of the reality of human trafficking. There, in simple black and white, the author shares the heartbreaking story that belongs to her, and so many others. 

I read a bit last week, and I can't get it out of my head. 

She is telling the story of one of the girls she met through her nonprofit, GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services. 

Angelina is 16 years old. 

She is off the streets, but missing her pimp. 

Rachel has her make two lists, one for "things he did that made me feel happy/loved", and the other for "things that made me feel sad/cry". She is trying to help her sort out her feelings. 

She writes and writes, and finally hands Rachel the lists. The list of things he did to make her feel sad or cry far exceeds the happy/loved list. It includes horrific things such as, "...he hit me, he gave me an STD, he beat me with an extension cord, he made me have sex with other men, he raped me..."

The list of when she felted loved and happy was much shorter. She explained one of the things on her list. 

"You told me to think of the times when he loved me, so there was this one time, when he got mad at something I did, I can't remember what, and he hit me some... (later...) ...he'd gone to the store and he bought me Cheetos and a chocolate Yoo-Hoo milk...That's the main time I knew he really loved me." 

Rachel concludes with, "I'm thinking, how easy it is, how little it takes. A bag if Cheetos and chocolate Yoo-Hoo outweighed all of the painful, awful, evil stuff he'd done. In the right circumstances, it didn't take much at all." 

Oh my heart. 

"It didn't take much at all." 

It really doesn't take much to show love. 

It just lit a fire in my heart. When we go out to the streets, and give out a turkey sandwich, in Jesus' name, how much better is it than a bag of Cheetos given from a pimp? 

What an opportunity to just meet basic needs, and in so, share a love that's greater than we could ever imagine. 

Please pray for us, as we hit the streets tonight, and every Tuesday, that the enemy will be silenced, that Jesus will  shine brightly in the darkness, that we will share His love, and that we can meet basic needs. 





Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Almost five years ago, I was in Atlanta for the Generation 268 Passion conference. The emphasis of that week was on human trafficking. I heard Christine Caine speak multiple times, I heard the stories of rescued and restored victims, I heard the overwhelming statistics. 

And I was not okay with it. 

Prior to that week in January, I had never heard of the issue of human trafficking, I had never realized there are more slaves now than ever before, I didn't know this was an issue globally, nationally, and locally. 

I was standing in front of the cnn building, in downtown Atlanta, and I called my mom. I remember telling her, that there was such a burden, and a passion to do something, now that I knew. This was why I was created, I had to rescue, and being restoration to these girls. 

In the following months, I went to Bolivia. I saw women on the streets, selling their bodies for just enough money to buy a meal for the week. I sat, and brushed and braided their hair in the park where they slept. I held their hands as I whispered how beautiful and loved they were. And I walked away every week, sobbing, because my heart was breaking even more. 

When I returned home, I remember one particular conversation with a friend. I had just come home from Bolivia, and I wanted to go back permanently, but I kept bringing up the idea of "why not here". It was in those tender moments and conversations that God was drawing me to my own backyard. 

At that time, and for the following years, I was working a job that required 50-70 hours a week. Some times I worked weekends, sometimes I put in 15 hour days, and sometimes I just slept at work. So as I began to really search out a ministry to be apart of, I could tell that it wasn't going to work out. These ministries wanted a commitment. They believe in consistency. I agreed whole heartedly, but I couldn't give that in those years. So I gave financially whenever I could. 

With my job ending, I began looking for something in the non profit world where I could make a difference. I thought I found the perfect job. Education and prevention of human trafficking in brazil, while being home for some of the year. It was exactly what I had pictured. And God told me "no". There was no peace at all. So I declined the offer. 

Last fall, I met with an incredible lady, and shared my heart. She cautioned me that what I want to do, and believe I've been called to do, is not for the faint of heart. She told me the best way to get myself ready while I wait of God was to read, research, pray, and prepare. She then gave me an extensive list of books to read. 

So I began reading, and trying to prepare my heart. This stuff is the darkest and ugliest thing I have ever encountered. It is scary stuff, straight from the pit of Hell. 

But the scarier and darker things I read, the more the fire inside of me grew. 

The last few months have been chaos over here. There has been a lot of loss, in all areas. So I began to beg God to move. I just wanted to serve. I wanted to have renewed purpose. I needed to know that He was in this mess with me. 

I had been praying about Pontiac, because I love Pontiac. It's close, and it's a mess. I serve at a homeless shelter whenever I can. I used to walk the streets early in the morning to give out breakfast. Pontiac feels like home to me. 

And finally I saw God move. Doors were opened. 

Tonight was the night. The night that I had begged God for. The night I had waited years for. 

There were four of us. We went out to the streets of Pontiac, armed with sandwiches, bottles of water, little notes, and the power of prayer. We were ready to love some women on the streets in Jesus' name. 

We had nine sandwiches, and we were able to hand out all of them. (All day long, I begged for God to give us enough people for as many sandwiches as we had, and He did.) We drove around, and later saw one lady eating an apple we had given her, and reading the little note I tucked in. It was such a beautiful moment, that I would have the honor to be the hands and feet of Jesus for a few hours. 

We are committing to consistency. We will be out every Tuesday night, and we are praying for God to just use us. 

Pray with us that the enemy be silenced, that the love of Jesus will shine brightly, and that we can meet some basic needs. 

There is much more to share, but for now, this is enough. 

M