Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Falling Whistles

Some of my friends have heard me speak quite often about an organization called Falling Whistles. In fact, they might actually be tired of hearing about it constantly, but are way too polite to tell me to get off the subject! For those that might be unfamiliar, this organization is dedicated to raising awareness about the social and humanitarian needs that have been created by the civil war raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo, specifically related to child soldiers. I personally have been blown away at the concept of soldiers taking children, some as young as five or six, from their homes and schools, handing them guns and involving them in a war that has nothing to do with them. This war has been going on since before I was born, and to date has left 5.4 million dead, 200,000 women raped, and a generation of children stuck in cycles of violence.

The story of the Congo has affected me, and it is a story that cannot be ignored once it has been heard.

There are times that I wish I hadn’t heard about this conflict. I want to stop telling everyone about it. I wish I could erase the memory of reading about children too small to carry firearms that are handed whistles and told to walk in front of the other soldiers and blow them, and that the tiny sound coming from that whistle would scare away the soldiers on the other side of the battle. These children serve as a tiny human shield, their bodies taking bullets from soldiers on both sides, since any that get too scared and try to run are shot from behind to ‘inspire’ others to bravery. The idea of war just seems so foreign to me, and the idea of putting children in that sort of danger has always affected me, since I was a child myself. My first memory of being astounded by the pain other humans could inflict was when I was ten. It was right after the OKC bombing, and I had seen a newspaper cover of a now famous picture. It was of a firefighter holding the burned body of a girl that had been in the daycare when the building was attacked. A few years later I watched a film called “Harrison’s Flowers,” and once again I was deeply affected by a scene where soldiers of the conflict in Yugoslavia led a group of children into a nearly destroyed building before they ran out and tossed grenades inside. I remember having to stop the movie at that point and starting to sob, until I had cried so much my stomach hurt. The idea of causing harm to a child has only become more unbelievable to me now that I have become a mother. As much as I have learned of the possible depravity of man, it still has the capability to surprise me.

Thankfully, I also serve a God who has a heart for the oppressed, one who is all-powerful and who gives us the opportunity to serve Him by taking care of ‘the least of these.’ One of the familiar titles for Jesus is “the Prince of Peace,” and while total utopia is unreachable here on earth, there is still the opportunity to serve Him by working to bring peace to others. Some individuals that are working to bring about peace in the Congo are eight interns for Falling Whistles. These young men and women are currently on a cross country bike tour to raise awareness about the upcoming democratic elections that are taking place in the Congo on November 27, 2011. I have been corresponding with representatives for Falling Whistles, and found out that the interns will be stopping in Fayetteville on June 28 and 29, and July 1 and 2. I have yet to set up any sort of formal speaking engagements for them, but I would love the opportunity to get to know them and hear what they have to say. They are going to be invited to the small group we attend on the 28th, if for nothing more than a home-cooked meal and an opportunity to meet some of the members of the Grace Church community and share their story. I’m not totally sure of their sleeping arrangements while they’re in town, whether they’re staying in hotels or at a campground, but I’m sure that there are tangible needs that can be met for them while they’re here. I’m sure they would love to be fed, or even just a hot shower if someone wanted to offer their bathroom and the cost of water. These men and women, most of whom are in their 20’s, are giving up their summer vacations for a cause they believe in before going back to college. It’s a cause I believe in as well, and I think there’s a reason I can’t get this subject out of my head.

If you would like more information, please feel free to visit the Falling Whistles website:

The whistle necklace pictured is one of six available for sale, either at Mason’s here in Fayetteville, or through the Falling Whistles website. 100% of the proceeds go towards advocating for and rehabilitating those affected by this war.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mama Carmen

The woman pictured above is a beautiful example of what service to God could be. Her name is Mama Carmen, and she and her family run an orphanage in Guatemala, spending their lives taking care of children no one else wants. On her property, she also had unfarmed land that was perfect for growing coffee. Members of a local congregation, New Heights Church, visiting on a missions trip were incredibly impacted by her story and made the decision to help her prepare that land for coffee plants to grow. That coffee is bought by Mama Carmen's Espresso Cafe, among others, and then the profits used to take care of the orphanage. She and her daughter recently took a trip to Northwest Arkansas to see the coffee shop in Fayetteville that was opened to give her that other source of income. While visiting, she took some time last Wednesday night to share her story. What an inspiring story it turned out to be! Needless to say, I should NOT have worn mascara (for all you men reading, mascara is not a good thing to be wearing if you're going to do a lot of crying).

She shared stories of her children, like the little girl named Urie who was left on her doorstep as an infant. She had been placed in a cardboard box, wrapped in newspaper, and left with a note that read, "Here is this child. If you don't want her, you can throw her in the trash." The little girl was taken to the hospital and stayed there for three months, all the while with the doctors telling Mama Carmen that the damage from neglect was too great and the girl was a lost cause. She was never going to be able to talk, or walk, and would never develop properly. Mama Carmen responded with prayer, lots and lots of prayer. She sang hymns to Urie, and prayed over her, and threw herself into caring for her. Today, Urie is eleven years old, and is walking, talking, and attending school, and was referred to as "a miracle" by the same doctors that wanted to give up on her.

There were more stories of children that were shared, and what amazed me was that even watching Mama Carmen share at a distance, in a different language (she was sharing her story in Spanish with the help of a translator), you could immediately see the immense love she has for these children. You could hear the tears in her voice as she shared their pain. There were over 90 children, and she knew them by name. The most amazing thing to see was her humility. As people applauded her, after sharing the stories of her children, she stopped and told us, "That applause is not for me, but for God. I am simply an instrument that He chose to use." It wasn't a false humility, or an act to look more 'holy,' but simply a statement that she made, a fact that she truly believed about her life and its impact.

What impacted me most was Mama Carmen's story about how she got started in this life of service. Her 13 year-old son had been taken by a rebel army, and she frantically looked for opportunities to find him. In her search, she was told of a house that could be housing children taken by that army. The house was hiring a woman to do laundry, and so she showed up and asked for the job. As she was there, she wasn't allowed any freedom to look around. She was followed by an armed guard most places, and was shown various locked doors and told never to go through them, or even try. She continued to show up and do her job, day after day, never seeing any children, and slowly starting to give up hope of ever finding her child. Finally, one day, she prayed to God for the opportunity to do more exploring. She asked him for just one more day, or else for her to quit that job and start looking somewhere else. She showed up for work, and washed the clothes, and as she was hanging them up in the courtyard to dry, she ran out of rope to hang the clothes on. She turned to the guard watching her, and asked him to go ask the woman in charge for more rope in one of the other houses. As she was unsupervised, she walked over to a wall of the courtyard with a door she had been told to stay away from. She placed her laundry basket on top of the wall, and pushed it. She could hear it start rolling down a hill on the other side and waited until she heard it stop at the bottom. She then went and knocked on the door. She knocked and waited and knocked and waited until finally, a smaller window in the door was opened, and the barrel of a gun stuck out. A guard on the other side asked her what she wanted. "I'm just the laundry lady," she assured him, "and I lost my basket over the wall. Could you get it for me please?" He began to yell at her, and told her no, but she kept persisting. Finally, the window closed and the door opened. The guard pointed his gun at her, and told her, "I can't get your stupid basket. Do you see all those stairs to the bottom of the hill? Now look at me. Do you see my crutches?" Mama Carmen looked at the guard and pleaded with him to let her down the hill to get the basket. He looked out the door to see if the other guard was there, and told her to hurry, and not to talk to anyone or tell anyone about what she would see. He pointed his gun at her, and kept it trained on her head as she walked down the hill towards another house where her basket had landed. As she approached the house, she heard crying coming from some windows in the basement level. She smelled excrement that had been left to pile up. She glanced in the windows, and saw imprisoned children, children that began begging and pleading with her the moment they saw her. "Please, ma'am, I haven't eaten, do you have bread?" "Please, ma'am, can you tell my mother I'm here?" The voices continued to follow her as she got her basket and went back up the hill, her heart breaking all the while.

As soon as she left that house, Mama Carmen ran straight to the police department and told the officer that was in charge of her case for her missing son what she had seen. She asked him, "Please, there are children, my son could be in there. Get officers and go there now!" She was told to wait, and that there was nothing the police could do until they got a judge's order. That would take 48 hours to obtain, so she was sent home to wait. Three days later, early in the morning, there was a pounding on her door. A messenger left a telegram from the police telling her to meet them at the house, that they had gotten permission for two cars full of officers to raid the home and find the children. When she arrived, they began pounding on the door. They pounded for almost an hour, getting no answer, until finally the officer in charge gave the order to break down the front door. When they went inside, there was no one there, or even a hint that there was ever anyone living there at all. Everything was cleaned out, the main house, the courtyard, and even the basement where the children were held. At that point, the officer in charge began yelling at Mama Carmen, and calling her a liar. She remembered she had left her wallet there in a shirt the last day she was there, and looked around for it. The shirt she had left happened to be hanging nearby, and she rushed to get her wallet and show the officer her ID card. She needed to prove that she really was there before. The officer took her ID, looked at it, and proceeded to rip up the card. He grabbed her and forced the pieces in her mouth and began to hit her and call her a liar and troublemaker. She began to fear for her life, and started praying. He continued to beat her, and called on his other officers to join in. They began hitting her, and kicking her when she hit the ground. At one point, he asked his men if they wanted to 'have some fun with her,' and said he would be the first one to rape her. At that point, she began praying even harder, "Please, God, no! Don't let this happen!" An officer that was hanging back spoke up, and asked the man in charge, "Sir, why would you want to do this? You've had so many women, beautiful women, strong women, why would you want this small, little woman? Why would you soil yourself like that?" The officer agreed, and they dragged Mama Carmen outside instead. The officer pulled out his gun, and pointed it at her head, meaning to finish the job. The same man that had defended her spoke up again, "Sir, why would you kill her? You've killed large men, strong men, men that mattered in this world? Why would you shoot this housewife, this laundry woman? She wouldn't even be worth the bullet." The officer agreed again, and threw Mama Carmen to the ground, landing some well-placed kicks and leaving her for dead. Just before she went unconscious, Mama Carmen prayed, "God, please, if you bring my son home, I will dedicate my life to helping any child you bring to my door."

Mama Carmen spent 38 days in a coma, before waking and telling her family of the vow she had made to God. Six months later, her son came home, and today she has been a mother to so many children.

Personally, this story convicted me more than anything. I have a tendency to give up when things get hard, or when the outcome just isn't as clear cut as I would like. Then I hear stories like this, where God takes pain that is inflicted and turns it into something redemptive, and I'm reminded of why perseverance is so important. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)"

Mama Carmen's Espresso Cafe is located in Fayetteville, AR at 2850 N. College Ave., across from Shake's. Be sure to check out their Global Restoration Trading Company, a section of the coffehouse where various fair trade items, such as handbags and jewelry, are for sale.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Do you remember what it was like when you were thirteen? I remember being very confused, both by the insensitivity of the world, and the intense cocktail of emotions that can only come from teenage hormone levels. I remember feeling scared and excited; hurt and optimistic; a hopeless romantic and very alone. And I lived in a middle class Caucasian family in a beautiful Southern California city with a family that loved me more than anything.

Now imagine being a thirteen year old girl in a different part of the world, a part where your mother was your age when she was married and was pregnant with you soon after. A part of the world where the food available to your family is barely enough to feed you, your parents, and your four younger siblings. A part of the world where your mother discovers she is pregnant again, and your parents decide that another mouth to feed just isn’t possible. A part of the world where there is a man, one who offers your family a solution to your problem: for a sum of money that will feed them for months, he will take you off their hands, telling them you’ll have a ‘great job’ in another city. A part of the world where you will instead be sold into sexual slavery, to become a commercial object to join the ranks of over 1.2 million other children in the same predicament. While there, you will be stripped of your name, your innocence, your freedom, your dreams, your LIFE.

It’s overwhelming to think about. It hurts to think about the facts: that two children are sold every 60 seconds, that there are more slaves in circulation in the 21st Century than there were at the height of the American slave trade, and that each and every person that contributes to this staggering number is not a statistic, but a child.
Thankfully, there are ways to help. There is a wonderful organization that is facing this world-wide epidemic head-on. They are called Love146, and are dedicated to the future abolition of this incredible atrocity. Their site,, explains their response: “The complex influences of culture, religion economics and politics require a thoughtful, committed response. Love 146 has initiated two core program areas to combat the issue of child sex slavery and exploitation, Prevention and Aftercare. In addition, Love146 works to grow a body of Research on the issue to enhance the knowledge base for the communities we serve, our partners and our work.” The organization is made up of loving individuals who are committed to bringing an end to the trafficking and exploitation of children worldwide.
In addition to taking donations and offering opportunities to partner with them in their movement, Love146 has some very cool stuff for sale, including shirts, bracelets, pins, and patches. I especially love this tank top:

The word on the left is "Love" written in Khmer script. Khmer is the major language spoken in Cambodia, where many Love146 Asia Prevention projects are located.

Friday, October 9, 2009


This post is going to be a 'soapbox' post. It is partly fact, partly my opinion, and it may even come across as preach-y at a lot of points. However, I heard something on the radio that just stinkin' bothered me.

What I heard is this: on 104.9 (our local alternative station), the DJ mentioned a survey that was just released with this information: around 76% of Americans today would call themselves Christians, which is the lowest percentage in the past 20 years. 1% of Americans call themselves agnostics, and 1% call themselves atheists. I am still debating in my mind whether or not I find this to be a bad thing. After I heard the percentages and such, the DJ suggested people could call in and discuss what they thought of this information, and during the next couple songs that were played, I had an imaginary conversation with said DJ and told him exactly what I thought. After that, I seriously considered calling in and actually telling him everything I'd already said (to my imaginary audience, of course), but then talked myself out of it. I tend to stutter and repeat myself on the phone, and would probably have sounded like a fool, or at least that was my rationale for not picking up the phone. Then, I just got too absorbed in listening to what another caller had to say, and some of it broke my heart. A young lady called in and essentially said this (and if that girl ever ends up reading this post, I apologize in advance for paraphrasing her):

"Yeah, about that survey, I'm not totally convinced that it's accurate. I mean, most surveys aren't, and depending on who hosted it, it can tend to show the agenda of that host in those numbers. I'm pretty sure that there's probably less than 76% of the population that are Christians. I realize that number is still the lowest it's been in a while, but I don't think even that much are really Christians. Sure, there are a lot of people that would claim religious affiliation of some kind, but look at them. A lot of those people that claim that label are NOT Christians, and you can tell by how they act. All you have to do is just look around to see that."

Now, I'm sure this girl and I wouldn't see eye to eye on religious matters. I'm sure, just from the tone she was speaking in, that she is a part of America that does not call itself a Christian. However, I could not agree with her more. This social change that is coming about in America probably has a lot of factors, whether it's the media's perception, the financial recession, or the widespread opinion that Christians are hypocrites. But, the falling numbers are also a call for those who really believe and are committed to living as Jesus did to step things up a notch. It's a call to break out of complacency and preconceptions into showing the world what Christ really came to accomplish. It's a call for the church to come back to doing things the way the believers did them in Acts. And part of that is living the life, not out of fear that God will smite us if we don't, but because we are called to be set apart, to be ambassadors in this world that now more than ever needs to know the intense love and hope of Jesus.

One of my close friends is going through a complicated time in her life (with a strength I am envious of, might I add), and the man she was dating honestly didn't help in that situation. She's currently six months pregnant with his baby, and was very committed to trying to make their family work. I got to hear a lot of painful phone conversations she had to go through with him, all of them echoing the same theme. He had become disengaged, and treated his friends and his own comfort as if they were the most important things in his life. He would tell my friend that she and the baby meant the world to him, that they were the most important thing in his life, and that he loved them more than anything. Then, he would go out to the bar with his friends, and blow off any plans with her that he had previously made. Or, he would make other plans, and then make her wait for six or seven hours before he actually showed up to follow through. She would have talks with him, explaining that things needed to change, and that she wasn't being treated with the love and respect that he claimed to have for her. He wasn't treating her like his girlfriend, and if that kept up, he wouldn't have a girlfriend to worry about anymore. He would miss out on the chance for them to raise their child together. He would listen, sometimes silently, sometimes with arguments, and things would go back to the way they were. He didn't want to change, and she had enough love for him that she wanted to wait for him to see what he was doing was not ok. She wanted him to step up and be a father. But, finally, she let him know this, right before she decided she was done: you can't say you love something and not make it a priority. You can't say something is important and then treat it like it's nothing. It doesn't matter how many times you say something, your actions show what your heart really believes.

That last sentence is a very true statement, and not just for romantic relationships. It's a huge call-out to all those who wish to really follow Christ and show him to the world. It's a big responsibility, one that I know I'm not fulfilling in my own life. For me, it's a call to service, to go out and really help people find hope and acceptance. For everyone, it's a call to get our priorities straight. I have said on various occasions to a handful of people the same thing over and over: I have a hard time calling people Christians when I see them driving their overpriced car (or personal helicopter, in some cases), when I see them acting like they are better than the other people around them, when I know they are claiming the name of a man that ate dinner on a regular basis with hookers and thieves, and that preached that you should not store up your treasures on earth. I'm sure according to the examples of a lot of 'christians' in this country, most people get the impression that Jesus would have voted Republican, hated gays, and drove a Prius. I almost wonder if the falling percentage of people claiming the Christian label is due to this recession, and the fact that they're missing out on all those material things they've come to treasure. There are too many evangelicals out there that have claimed that if you do A, B, and C, and make God happy, that he will shower you with all the wealth and things that you want. Now that they're not getting those things, that must mean God isn't relevant in their lives anymore. Now, bear in mind, a lot of what I just said is simply my opinion.

All I know is, this information about falling percentages, and the response of the public in calling American Christians fake (in so many words), should be a wake up call to us all, that we should be finding ways to show our faith, instead of just claiming some label. I actually sound like a total hypocrite to myself, since I'm safe and comfortable on my couch right now, rather than out feeding the hungry and befriending the friend-less. My prayer for myself, and for other Christians, is that we learn how to show the world what the term "follower of Christ" really means. My prayer is that the world stops hating Christians because they're so-called 'hypocrites,' and starts forming a new opinion, whether positive or negative, based on the true, passion-filled, genuine lives we lead.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I prayed for the first time in about a month earlier today. I know that sounds like I'm awful, especially considering the fact that I just went through pre-marital counseling, where we prayed at the beginning, and I've been attending small group, where we pray at the end, and I haven't missed a church service, where we pray multiple times. In spite of all that public prayer, I prayed for the first time in a long time today. Here's why:

I'm having a baby, either in February or March of next year.

Now, I know that seems like a very odd reason to stop praying, and it is. I should have been overjoyed when I found out, and thanking God for the opportunity, and asking for guidance. But, the timing is all wrong. I just had to reschedule my wedding (which was last Friday) because of this. My husband isn't out of school yet, and won't graduate until the baby is three months old. The plan was, Andrew graduates, gets a real job, we spend a year or so saving up money, and then I get pregnant. My American dream of a family and white picket fence comes true, and everyone's happy.

But, as is the case most of the time in life, my timing is not God's timing. But, that doesn't mean that I've been ok with that explanation. I have dreams, things I want to pursue in my life, and now I won't get the chance to do them. Or at least that's not what I thought to myself after the initial terrified excitement that comes with finding out you're going to be a mother wears off. I really hate to say it, but I've resented my situation, and God's plan, for a while. I've shut myself off from God, from reading his word and talking to him. I guess I saw it as 'punishing' him for putting me in this situation right now in my life, which is ridiculous to think about, because I've been miserable in the process.

Today, however, I broke down. I just couldn't take the distance anymore, and so I just started talking to him. After that long of a break, I wasn't sure how to start, so I just dove right in. This is about how the conversation went:

Me: "So, I haven't talked to you in a while. Hey, God, what's up? I'm not ready for this. I'm actually terrified, and scared, and even a little bit angry. I have no reason to be angry, and I know it's irrational, but I am. And I feel terrible for it too. I shouldn't be angry about becoming a mother. I shouldn't resent my child. I'm trying really hard not to, but this just doesn't seem fair. {Cue waterworks here; I always cry when I feel like things aren't fair.} I'm just not ready. I'm scared, not just of being a mother, but because I'm such a selfish person. I mean, it takes me so long just to get myself up and around, and how do you expect me to do that with a baby, too? I haven't even figured myself out yet, and you can't really expect me to raise a child and show them how to live when I'm not even totally grown up myself! And, now I have to give up all my dreams. All the thoughts I'd ever had about pursuing art, or fashion design, or music, or anything else are out the window, and I have to revolve around this little kid now. Granted, I might have never achieved those dreams anyways, since I'm too much of a wuss to go after them, but now I'll never get the chance. What kind of mother will that make me, to raise my child to believe that they can achieve anything they want if they just work hard enough and go after their goals? I'd be a total hypocrite, and my kid would totally figure that out when they hit their teenage years and realize I've never gone after my dreams. Why do I have to give up all this? I don't even want to do anything around the house or anywhere else now."

God: "It doesn't have to be that way."

So, there was my answer, and I was stuck in my living room with the realization that I was being stupid and immature about the whole thing. I'd love to say it was an inspirational moment, but in all honesty, I was just humbled. I had just been given the revelation that my life wasn't over, I still have about 6 months before I have a baby, and sitting around feeling sorry for myself was simply a self-fulfilling prophecy. I could wallow in pity, or be thankful and excited, and use the time I have to do great things for God. And, it's not like I wouldn't have the chance to pursue hobbies and such after the child has grown up a little bit, and maybe even while he/she is in school.

After that, I got out of my chair and cleaned my living room, something I've been putting off for a long time. Later tonight, I might pull out my sketchbook, something else I've been ignoring.

I would love to wrap up this post with a nice little anecdote or moral, but I don't really have one. I just wanted to share with all of you that I haven't been doing as wonderful as I let on (except for getting married, which was, and is, AWESOME!), but I'm working through it with God's help. I would appreciate any prayers you could send my way, and hopefully, as I make myself get up and around, I'll be inspired to write more soon.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

3 Pages

I got to work an hour early today, but not on purpose. I thought we opened at the same time on Saturdays, and it turns out, we actually open an hour later. While I was waiting on someone to unlock the restaurant, I had some free time to write, and I would like to share with all of you three pages from this morning's writings.

Page 1: (written after I had spent 1/2 an hour watching the cars go by on Dickson)

I love people watching. I'm not entirely sure why but I think it has to do with the fact that everyone I see has a story. Each person I come into contact with has been born, had a childhood, had their first real crush, and is not that different from myself. They might drive a fancy car, or dye their hair blue, or prefer tea over coffee, but underneath all those external differences, they are all just people. A lot of them have the same fears and insecurities as the rest of the people in the world. Some just have enough money, or charm, or charisma to cover up those insecurities. Most people are afraid of being alone (which makes sense, because humans were designed to be relational beings). That fear will drive people to find a social group they can fit into, whether it be intellectual, nerd, goth, or even "Christian." I use the quotation marks to clarify the difference between those people who call themselves "Christians" and go to church on Sunday simply to fulfill a social obligation rather than those people who genuinely claim the name of Christ. I used to be one of those people: all my friends were from church, so I had to agree with their apologetics. I had all the right answers in Sunday School, I could sing a lot of hymns from memory, and I could even quote the entire book of James. An yet, i didn't believe it. I wanted to go out and drink, and party, and be "cool," but since my parents wouldn't let me, and my friends wouldn't want to do any of that, I never got the chance to be wild until I moved out. The point of all this is:
People will always try to find companionship by segregating themselves into different groups. That sucks, because people are just people. They all have their own stories and similarities.

Page 2: (after some contemplation about myself, and written to God)

I asked for time with You, and now I have it,
and yet I don't know what to say.
Should I apologize for all I've done,
in an effort to gain grace?
I know that vying for your favor
does nothing for the debt you've paid
and yet I sometimes struggle with
just how freely I was saved.
I still screw up from time to time,
and I know it's not just me,
but what is it in our nature
that makes us try to hide what you have seen?
My disappointments simply mean
I'm still human, saved by you,
and yet my failures keep stacking up,
as my conquests continue to be few.
I gave my life to follow you
and yet I'm still in the same place,
afraid to move away from
where I'm comfortable and safe.
It's still outside my comfort zone
to share your words with those around,
even though the charge you've given me is
to speak so that the lost are found.
I know that my desire to help
shows my seed-sized faith,
yet sometimes there are times I think
my fear keeps mountains into place.

(I don't want fame or recognition, I'm just tired of doing nothing.)

Page 3: (an answer from God, after praying for some guidance. This is one of those answers that I heard as something outside of my own mind. It's a portion of the guidance I've been looking for.)

"You don't have to go to far away places to be a missionary. You can do that right here in Fayetteville."

Fayetteville is my mission field. Now, what's the next step? (Oh, and quit being scared! If God is for you, who can be against you?)

Friday, June 19, 2009


I designed this blog to express my opinion. I wanted to be sure of what I said, and never say anything that wasn't well thought through and rational, all while being passionate. However, I am writing this at 2 AM, while being out with my best friend bar-hopping here in town. This is not the most rational time to be writing. This is when I should be in bed. I mean, I have to work in the morning. But, this is something I won't be able to fall asleep without putting down in print.

I want to know where God wants me.

I want to know, what profession he see's me in that will allow me to bring hope to the most people. I want more than what I have. I am almost in tears, writing that statement, but it's true. I want more than Fayetteville, more than Arkansas, more than the individualistic mindset of the U.S. I want to reach as many people as I can with the hope that Christ offers, and I don't know how to get there.

I know I have been given gifts, whether in my voice, or my experience, or my writing skills, or even the capability of acting. I just don't know how to use them. I know people are generally not supposed to air their complaints, but I am really tired of knowing the steps without knowing the plan.

I am tired of feeling like I am trapped by this responsibility that most people call 'Rent.' I don't actually want to find another job, and not because I'm lazy (because God knows I can tend to stray towards that vice), but because a job gets in the way of what I want to do.

I want to depend on Him for everything I need, but I don't know how.