Total Pageviews

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. 


Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Faves!

•This song has been my favorite jam to run to lately. Something about singing "this is my fight song, take back my life song..." really gets me amped up. Nice work, Rachel. Also. Great hair...

•This water. I have never really been into flavored and carbonated water. I just drink it right from the tap, no problem. But I have been loving soda again. I blame Coke's cutesy "share a coke with..." campaign. It's just adorable. And makes me want to drink all. the. cans. Especially if the say things like adventurer or dreamer. Anyway. Because I'm trying to kick the soda habit, but now love the flavor and bubbles, I've switched over to this goodness, and it's helping break my love of soda. I think? Maybe. Whatever. This stuff tastes like a tropical vacation. So that's nice too. 

•So if y'all have been around for even a little bit, you would know, I'm pretty much all about this beautiful For the Love sisterhood. Jen Hatmaker has invited us down to her farmhouse in Buda (Yes, that gorgeous one from her hgtv show!) for a book launch team party. I knew I just had to get there, one way or another. Well, this week I was told that an anonymous angel bought my tickets down there, and due to a bit of extra babysitting, I was able to pay my portion of the house I'm staying at. I. Am. Thrilled. Plus, I am going down a few days early and visiting friends in Austin, and then staying a few days later, and visiting friends in Hosuton. So this is turning into a real vacation. I am so excited. I still need to buy my flight home, and figure out finances for a few other things, but it's really happening! Ah!!! 

•Two of my favorite things in the world are fireworks and ferris wheels. And this weekend had them both. I went to the Tiger's game on Saturday, and I got to experience them both! 

•Yoga. On. The. Beach. At. Sunset. Combining another three of my favorite things. 

•hair chalk. Y'all. This is best. I just used art chalk pastels on wet hair, let it dry, used a little bit of heat to seal it in, and I had mermaid hair all day. And then this morning, I just washed it all out, and I'm back to blonde. This is my new favorite way to mix up my look. Who doesn't want mermaid hair while laying out at the beach?! 

•Sweet nature. 


Happy weekend. Love, M 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The last few months life has been quite heavy. There has been loss and change and the unknown. I wouldn't have chosen any of it. It has all been uncomfortable, ugly, and so full of all the big emotions. 

Last night I was out to dinner with some friends. I was sharing the highlights and lowlights of this season. Speaking it all out loud made me stop, and process things in a new way. 

The things I lost were maybe things I was holding onto so desperately. In them was where I found a lot of my identity. 

Perhaps that wasn't where my identity shouldn't have been rooted all this time. Perhaps it was time for a bit of refining fire. Perhaps it was time to refocus and refix my eyes on Jesus. 

Maybe it was good to have things be put to death, for chapters to be finished, and for doors to close. Because just maybe, it allows room for new things to grow, for new life to spring forth, new chapter to be written, new adventures to be had, and new doors to be opened. 

I am excited to see what the next season holds. I can see the hints of what is to come, and I think it's looking beautiful. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Faves!

Hello Friday, I've been missing you. 

•This denim vest is my new favorite piece of clothing. I have worn it with dresses, skirts, tanks and shorts, rompers, aweatshirts, and tees and yoga pants. It's so comfy, and so on trend at the moment. I just can't get enough. 

•I've been struggling with daily reading my Bible. It was starting to feel like a chore. So one of my FTL sisters and I decided to pray for each other to desire and delight in God's Word again. We have been reading the same chapters, and then discussing them via text. It has been so helpful to have someone in the same boat just encouraging me. The last few weeks we've been going through the Psalms. Soooo good for this wild season I'm in right now. :) 

•It is official! I have started penning some of the very first words that Lord willing will turn into a book. I've been wanting to write a book for a while, and I think now is the time. I've been asked what my book would be about. I'm not exactly sure yet. I want it to reflect my life, and who I am. So I'm sure it will be full of true stories, adventures, whimsy, Jesus, laughs, lists, small town charm, my singleness, dating mishaps, and the beauty of God's faithfulness. I'm not sure what the big picture will be here, and that's okay. I started writing, and that's enough for now.

• I repainted my living room. After two apartments and five years of dark chocolate brown walls in the living room, it was time for a change. This is Behr's Wheatbread, and I am absolutely in love. It has been fun to decorate in a more "grown up" way. Things aren't completely put back together yet, but I have I made a lot of progress. 

• y'all. Smaller jeans are my jam. Since I started this whole journey of getting fit and healthy, I have tried not to focused on the numbers (on clothing tags, on the scale, or my running app). I just want to complete a half marathon. But last night I was reminded of one of the biggest perks. Smaller jeans! 

•Fave 4 hair products are the! I have been so in love with their "No Blow Dry July" kit. It has a cream to help your hair air dry, without frizz, a (Holy Grail) dry shampoo/texturizing/hair spray, and a great repairitive masque treatment. I haven't picked up the blow drier in almost three weeks. I'm happy because I hate blowing my hair out when it's hot and humid. And I'm sure my hair is happy to not be damaged, and to just own it's wild and natural texture. 

• I love sunsets while running. I think I live in the sweetest lil town, and it is often an ideal place for God to paint the sky majestically. 

• also. I love ice cream. I wish I didn't. But I do. So much. Heaven help me. 

Have a wonderful weekend y'all! I'm looking forward to all good things! A concert in the park, a baseball game in the D, and yoga at the beach. It's going to be a good one! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

For the Love...of Sisterhood

If you follow me on any social media, you will know that I'm pretty obsessed with my new "bff" Jen Hatmaker, and her new book, For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. 

I am a part of her book launch team. There's many perks, like reading the book multiple times before it even comes out. But I think my favorite perk is the sweet friendships that have formed with the other launch team members. 

There are 500 of us. We have our own private Facebook group, and we just do life there. We laugh, we cry, and we pray. We have celebrated when babies were conceived and later born. We have wept along side devastated mamas, as they miscarried babies, yet again. We have laughed as silly kid moments were shared. We have begged for God to show up when the diagnosis was that ugly word, cancer. We have rallied along side each other, encouraged each other, and just spoke truth and love into each other's lives. 

I know that I am known there, I am loved there, and I belong there. Is there anything more beautiful? 

So I just want to brag on my tribe for a moment. I've just never been apart of something so incredible and life giving. I can't get over it, and I never want to. 

First of all. Jen called me adorbs. Which is probably my number one love language. Ah. I can't even. 

Story time. Backstory: Last week I was reading about how Jesus says, ""So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?'" Good stuff for sure. But I was really wanting new running leggings. I have been training for my half marathon for a few months now, and the pants I've been wearing were made for yoga, and were wearing pretty thin. Also. Since I've been losing weight, they were getting too big. Story: I found a coupon in my purse for $20 off of $50 at Old Navy. I love their workout clothes, but really couldn't justify spending the $30 to get some new stuff. So I posted the coupon in my For the Love group online, hoping to bless someone. I explained that the coupon was expiring in a couple of days, and I wouldn't be using it because it wasn't in the budget. The next morning in my email was a gift card to Old Navy from one of my For the Love sisters. Y'all. I started sobbing. I was able to get running leggings, a workout tank, and a cute romper I've had my eye on for weeks. I don't understand how this all works. There have been so many moments in this season of not really knowing how ends are going to be met, and EVERY SINGLE TIME my Jesus shows up, and takes care of this girl. So today I ran in my new leggings, and let me tell you, they feel like God's faithfulness and the love of sisterhood. Just overwhelmed by His goodness. 

Stacey was in Michigan, from Florida, so we had a girlfriend date. We got pedicures, and then walked around my town, and had sodas at one of my favorite restaurants. We laughed so hard, we both had tears in our eyes. Seriously. If y'all want a laugh, let's talk about how outrageous online dating is. It was so great just to have girl time. I'm looking forward to her next trip up here later this month. :) 

Jessica and I met for brunch a few weeks ago. It took us months to realize that we lived only twenty minutes from each other. (If you can only imagine the amount of chatter from 500 women...) Because we live so close, I think I have found a new brunch partner. 

One evening after a particularly hard and full day, I came home to a little package on my front porch. Brenna from Idaho saw this, and sent it to me. It was during a few days of doubting God's calling, and wanting to throw in the towel. She didn't even know it, but she blessed me so much. 

On Sunday, I shared a huge prayer request with the 500. My heart has been burdened for months, and it was only getting worse. Immediately I had numerous women praying for me, and speaking life and truth into my situation. And then this one. She said that she was driving to my town to come just hug me. So she did. She drove almost an hour, with four kids in tow, just to hug me, and love me. I am so blessed. 

Annaliese is my soul sister. We call each other when we're sitting in traffic. We laugh at each other's jokes. She encourages me to stick with my goals with running. And my new favorite is that she and I are reading the Bible together to keep each other accountable, and to just have someone to discuss it with. It's so good. I cannot wait to hug her in real life. She is a treasure. 

Lord willing, I am going to hug all the necks in September. Jen has invited us to her house in Buda, Texas for a book launch party. (Yes. That GORGEOUS farm house they redid on hgtv.) I am absolutely beside myself. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going, or how I'm paying for it. But I have got to be there. As much as I'm excited to meet Jen herself, I just can't wait to meet all my new friends. 

The last season of life has been difficult in so many ways. But the biggest area of heartache has been with friendships. I've had friends chose to walk away, I had my best friend move away, and my other best friend visit for a short trip, only to return to japan. I have been begging God to fill some of this void with people. I love people, and I need people. Being single and living alone can be lonely a lot of the time. And God heard my cries, and He gave me 500 incredible people. They are my tribe. 

Also. Jen's new book is on preorder over on amazon for only $12. I personally want to order 100, and give them out to everyone I meet, but since I'm technically jobless, I will refrain.

Check out her new site, and you'll see this girl's endorsement on there. :) 

Just feeling so loved, and so blessed. #forthelove