Tuesday, July 7, 2009

10,000 Children

10,000 children and all I can do is just talk.
While my house is full of possessions that negligence bought.
Everyone tells me that I'm not to blame,
Why do I still feel the same?

Only love can save us all.
Only love can save us all, save us all.

10,000 children are my invitation to change.
To continue in excess now suddenly feels oh so strange.
Prayers and money should not be confused,
But I pray that both still are used.

Only love can save us all.
Only love can save us all

What will become of me?
Inside of history

10,000 children and all I can do is just talk.

So I was at the park today reading and listening to Pandora on my phone and this song by Dave Barnes came up. It's come up before and I liked it but I actually sat there and listened to the words this time...and I was thinking..Yeah. I feel you Dave. I have no idea why he wrote this song. I listened to that first verse and knew EXACTLY what he was talking about. I just started thinking about the not 10,000, but millions of children who are fatherless, hungry, abused, sold, ect. and sometimes there's nothing I can do but talk about it because I can't save them. And sometimes there's lots of things I can do but instead I waste my time and money on things that don't matter at all. Sometimes I help as much as I can and see tragedy and feel guilty, that I could've done more, usually that means I'm not trusting Father to work and move and trying to control the situation myself, like I'm better at it than He is. Most of ya'll know I'm a social work major (after I say that I always get alot of "Oh....what is that?) and my heart is for adoption (here and abroad) and foster care. One of my biggest fears is that when I get a job and constantly see the corruption and brokennes that I will become numb to it and it won't even affect me anymore. It's been hard even this past year working with CPS and walking into homes and situations that are just...totally screwed up. And these past couple of months mentoring at the Nelson Center has been by far my most challenging yet. And in two months I'll be in Guatemala at an orphanage which is exciting for me because it's something I've always wanted to do, but I'm fearful at the same time that I'll come back and just talk about it and do nothing else. Apathy is something I've really been struggling with this summer in so many areas of my life...and that's never really been an issue for me before (or it has and I'm just now seeing it). I've always been a take action kind of girl. But...

Only love can save us all. Love was never displayed more fully than through His death and resurrection. He chose to love me despite my broken heart that is bent to sin and runs to things that rob my affection towards Him. He chose to adopt me and love me through the grossest of times when I am rebellious and a control freak. If I could choose one word that these kids need, it's love. Consistent, undeniable, unconditional love. Oh that they may know that they have a Father and His love is deeper than they could ever imagine. I hope He uses me to spread that and that I do not sit back and apathetically watch. Alright I'm done rambling. That song just made me think.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


So as I was sitting in Jupiter House tonight, I sat there contemplating, realizing more and more how my life is going to be changing this year. My parents can attest to the fact that I struggled all through middle school and high school finding good girl friends. I dealt with all of the "mean girl" things and just never really had a good consistent group of friends. I remember praying for so long for God to please bring me some good friends. Oh how He answered that plea. I met Grace through Super Summer, who introduced me to Caroline and Hannah. They became my consistency in high school, although it was difficult not going to the same school as Grace and me, Caroline, and Hannah, all being in different grades with different friend groups at school. And then when I got into college, He truly blessed me with the greatest community I have ever experienced, especially when I moved to Denton and got involved with The Village. Now, my parents can attest to the fact that God has greatly blessed and enriched my life with so many people, especially the good girl friends I had been asking for for so long. After years of walking with these amazing girls, it's all about to change, and I'm honestly a little fearful for my adjustment.

One of my best friends Grace is moving to Italy for 2 years as a journeymen with the IMB in October. She has been walking with me since we were like 14 in Orange School at Super Summer. After that week, we decided to be accountability partners and God just ran with our friendship. We have been through so many ups and downs together and it our friendship has been nothing but beautiful. Both of our love languages is words of affirmation, so we know how to love one another well, encouraging when we need to encourage, rebuking when we need to rebuke, laughing, crying, you name it. Even though we don't get to see each other often, it is going to be a HUGE change for me to not be able to pick up my phone and call her whenever I want to, send a text message encouraging her or telling her I need prayer in something, or even getting in the car and driving 4 hours to hang out with her in Austin. I can't just hop on a plane and fly to Italy whenever I want to (although that would be an amazing luxury). I know that distance is not going to change our friendship, but it is going to change the way we communicate and that is going to be a big deal for me, especially since quality time runs a close second to words of affirmation for me. I'm going to miss that girl so much. I'm so excited to see how Father is going to use her Naples. But for now, I'm just going to enjoy spending time with her this week.

Oh Hannah Ruth. Who would've guessed 4 or 5 years ago that we would be this close and living together in Denton? I can honestly say that anyone who knows or spends 5 minutes with us can tell that we have such a unique and funny friendship. I absolutely love it. We joke ALL the time that we are like an old married couple. And it's true because we've spent so much time together the past 3 years. It seems like everyone associates us together (and we realized this when we got an invitation in the mail addressed to both of us). What am I going to do without her if she moves?? Who am I going to eat a Freschetta pizza with and watch musicals? Who is going to talk me into crazy ideas like noodling? Who is going to make me coffee and bring it on a cute little tray to my room when my head is about to explode because I'm so stressed out about homework? Like Grace, we can laugh, cry, encourage one another so well. Once again, I know distance will change the way we communicate and not necessarily our friendship, but it just won't be the same without her. If she moves (which is a strong possibility) that is going to be a huge blow to me.

And my soon-to-be-married girls. My sweet Caroline whom I've walked with since high school. She's about to move to Austin in August and then marry Lawson next June. She has been such a huge blessing to me over the years. The one word I can use to describe our friendship is sweet. I think one of the biggest blessings for me (although this day was horrible for her) was when I got a call at 10:30 in the morning 3 years ago and Caroline said, "I need to come over right now." So she walked into my room and sat down and said, "Lawson's moving overseas and I don't know when he's coming back." And then she just sat there and cried. I know ya'll are thinking, "What?! that's a horrible story!" But it was such a blessing to me! If you know Caroline, she is certainly not a cryer, and I had NEVER seen her cry before this. I was shocked at first. But I just got to sit there and comfort her. The fact that she was broken with me was huge and although it was one of the hardest years of her life, I enjoyed every minute of walking with her in that. Our friendship is going to really change after her and Lawson get married.
Rebekah is someone that God definitely placed in my life in His perfect timing. It was my first year in Denton when I joined home group and Bekah was there. As we shared each week, I was always blessed by her and encouraged because I could tell we struggled with the same things. We began walking in accountability with each other and she is just amazing. She has pushed me in so many ways and our accountability is truly what church should be like. She has helped my relationship with the Lord grow to new heights. Not to mention all the fun sleep-overs and just enjoying hanging out together. I absolutely love and adore her. I really can't express in words what she has meant to me these past couple of years. She's about to embark on a new journey with marriage and new daughters and I can't wait to walk with her in that. The good news is she'll still be close, so even though it will change a little bit because her life will be different, it won't change too much ;).
And Miss Chelsea. She's about to marry the most interesting character in 2 weeks! Ha, I love Nick and they're so great together. I met Chelsea through HG as well and she is just a joy to be around! I don't think she realizes how many things she's been there to talk me through and encourage me when I'm fearful and anxious. Her and Nick will still be in Denton, but us seeing each other will be different when they get married. I have loved hanging out with her seeing her growth and leadership over the past couple of years.

So change in community is coming for me, and honestly (and selfishly) I'm not ready for it. I don't want it to change. I want to stay exactly the same. Tonight I was thinking, "Uggh! But God you just gave me this and I asked for it for SO long! Why are you taking it away from me?!" The song Blessed Be Your Name, came to my mind, especially the part where it says, "You give and take away." And I was thinking, "But I don't understand why you're taking it away. What am I going to do without these girls?" But he gently made me realize, it's not like He's angry and so He's ripping them out of my life. They will most certainly still be a part of it, it's just different. And He is going to be taking me places, and introducing me to new people, and will be faithful to continue to surround me with good community. But it will be hard. And I won't like it at first. But "My heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hard Day, Hard week

For some reason, in the week that was supposed to be my restful because Stretch-N-Grow took off this week at many of our schools for the 4th of July. Unfortunately, everything just seemed to go wrong this week!

God has given me a gift to counsel. Anyone who knows me remotely (or my mother) will tell you I am the type that people, sometimes even complete strangers, will pour their heart out to. I find so much joy in this because I love people. Doesn't matter where they're from I just love sitting there listening and showing compassion because everyone hurts. Everyone goes through trials and sufferings and I love to help. Sometimes though, I can get a little overwhelmed. At times I bring it upon myself wanting to help anyone and everyone so I commit to too many things. Other times, Father asks me to get my hands dirty and messy and invest, and it's exhausting. After this week, I am literally exhausted in more ways than one. Sometimes I just get so tired of hearing about problems! I don't even have a degree yet, let alone a master's, and I already feel like I do this for a living. I see hurting kids in my daycares every single day. Father placed me in my classroom in Little Village and had me invest (which I take joy in) in one particular child and his family which involved me once again in CPS. This week though, it wasn't with my kids, it was with friends. I literally can't begin to tell you the amount of phone calls I received this week with upsetting news. Today alone, which was my one day where I didn't have to do any work at all and I was really looking forward to sleeping in, I ended up starting my day at 7 a.m. (worth it for the friend I had breakfast with :) and ended up meeting 4 different people today and got home in time to shower, go mentor, and I'm off again. This was not a day off. On top of that, I had another hard day with my girl at the Nelson Center. This first week we met was beautiful and broken at the same time. Last week our time was cut in half because she wouldn't listen and chose to cuss me out and throw some papers at me instead. Today, I got there and stayed a grand total of 15 minutes. We briefly talked about what happened last week, and I told her as she began to get an attitude that she had to listen to me like she listens to her staff, to which she replied, "I never listen to them." Which at times is very true. Then the next words out of her mouth were, "I don't want to see you today." So I said ok, well I love coming to see you and hang out with you every week. I'm here for you to get away and have fun and be able to vent if you need to and I love doing that. So, you have a choice. I am coming back every week, even if you don't want to see me, I'll be here because I want to be and I enjoy seeing you. But if you want to go back to the unit, then you can go back. And if you don't want a mentor, you can tell Miss Rebekah. So we sat in awkward silence for a few minutes, and she said, "I want to go back to the unit. This is boring. I don't want to do anything and I don't want to see you." So I took her up to the front so staff could take her back. She left with an attitude and me saying, "I'll be here next week and I hope it's better next time." The girls are SO much harder to mentor than the boys. Talk about getting messy...that's the least I could say. She has been one of the hardest girls so far. But I have to keep coming because I love her. And she NEEDS consistency. She NEEDS unconditional love. She NEEDS to see that even when she makes mistakes and acts a fool, I'll still be there. I'll still love her. The last girl I mentored even asked me that on the first day I met her, "If I mess up, are you going to come back or are you going to leave me?" I told her it doesn't matter what she does, I'll be there. "Will you still love me?" was her next question. I will never ever forget that. Pray for her. Pray our time together goes well next week.

But exciting news is I got a mentor!! I love her and we've only met 2 times, but she is AMAZING. It is so nice to have someone pour into me and disciple me. Our time together has been SO encouraging. When I'm with her it's like I can't stop talking I have so much to tell her and ask for her to walk with me in. She's been so great and I'm excited to see how Father is going to use her in my life. Well, that's all. It's just been a hard week. But I'm so excited to go home tomorrow and relax and see my family! Happy 4th everyone!