Monday, May 26, 2014

No One Likes To Be Ignored.

I never thought entering a contest and rallying your people to win would pull, stretch, challenge, or exhaust me as much as this #styleforjustice contest with Noonday and IJM has. 

I have experienced nearly every emotion I can think of over the last several days. It has been exhausting. 

Each day as I sat with my husband and reflected on the day, my response nearly every time was I would rather be hated than ignored.

I would rather people hate me than never acknowledge my existence. 

I would rather people type mean and ugly things all over my Facebook page, than completely ignore my desire to be a part of this trip. 

Each time I said this, my intentions were selfish. 

I would see friends sharing and supporting others in their endeavors, whatever that may be, and I would think why do they not even notice me. Why don't people care about me?

As the competition continued I felt less like this and more overwhelmed and humbled that my people and my people's people would help me move up OVER 100 spots in just a few days. 

That thought, however, of rather being hated than ignored was burned into my mind. 

As the words swirled around in my head it finally hit me.

 I am so guilty of doing this. 

There was a little girl in Brady's class all year. This little girl lives on our short, dead end street. I had no idea until the last 2 weeks of school. There were 9 kids in his class. I have no excuse as to why I never realized they lived only a few houses down. I failed to acknowledged their existence in our lives. 

Our worship services are filled each Sunday with people no one ever notices. 

Our students are sitting in classrooms and no one ever notices the battle they are fighting at home. 

People are starving right under our noses and we are too busy to even believe it. 

Women and girls are being used and sold and it is easier to just pretend it doesn't exist than to care. 

Children often scream, yell, fight, bully, and bite in order to be noticed. They often do these things because they would rather get in trouble than be ignored. 

They would rather be hated than to never be acknowledged.

We have become busy, selfish, and indifferent in many ways. The story of Annanias and Sapphira in Acts has long been the most disturbing story in the Bible for me. Basically what happens is they sell all their belongings, but agree to lie to the apostles about the sum and agree to keep a portion for themselves. When they come forward to offer the money, they are caught in the lie and struck dead before the apostles. There is a little more, but this is the basic idea. 

It is crazy, disturbing, and unbelievable. I am sure there are many conclusions you could draw from this story, but one that screams out to me is that there is great danger in claiming to be all in, but in reality being half-hearted. Annanias and Sapphira believed what they had seen and heard and even acted on it. However, they couldn't fully commit. They were lukewarm. They wanted to serve both masters. They were in a sense indifferent to the call of God. 

When our hearts become indifferent, we are in great danger of death. 

Indifference leads to a group of people who know there is work to do, but don't care if it is done or not. 

I believe indifference is Satan's greatest tool. I believe indifference is the way to hurt someone in the most damaging way. 

I wanted to go on this trip to Rwanda, not to save the people there or elevate myself, but to give them faces. I wanted to hug them and tell them I love them and I care. Hear their stories and love their babies. Tell them they are important to me and allow others to see they are real, they are human, and they have worth. 

As it stands it is very unlikely I will move up the 48 spots or so I need to be in the top 7 and move forward  in the competition. I would still love the opportunity, but I am okay if this is not mine. I know more opportunities will come. I hope when they do, I will be able to say yes. I hope I will be able to notice. I hope I will care.  

Until then I am challenging myself, and you too if you want, to look for the unnoticed in my life. Maybe it is someone on your street, maybe it is the bully in your school, maybe it is the defensive, bitter man in your community, maybe it is a grandmother unable to get out and about, or maybe it is a small child or husband you have put on the back burner. 

If my hands are the only hands Jesus has, I want to wrap them around the broken and unloved. 
If my mouth is the only mouth Jesus has, I want to use it to speak words of love and Jesus. 
If my feet are the only feet Jesus has, I want to walk where people need to see him. 

In order to do these things and have them mean something, I have to care and love first. 

Where is your heart indifferent? What areas do you need God to soften your heart and open your eyes? How can we let people know we care? 

Thank you, friends, so very much for loving and caring about me through this. You have taught me so many lessons on community, love, and support. I am incredibly humbled by your support and desire to make this happen for me. The amount of kind words, texts, and messages shared with me over the past several days have overwhelmed me. I love you. I need you. I care about you. Thank you! 

You can still vote until Wednesday here

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Noonday collection and the International Justice Mission has teamed up for the #StyleForJustice Story Team Trip to Rwanda. An amazing group of bloggers will be making this trip to spread the word that when we use our purchasing power for good and pursue the cause of justice, hope for the poor is possible. 

They have left room for one lucky winner to join the team with an all expense paid trip. 

After much prayer, consideration, and questioning myself and competence, I have entered to win. You can vote {HERE} for me every day on all your internet devices from now until May 28. This would be a life changing opportunity and I would be so grateful for your votes. 

I am including my entry essay on why I should be chosen for this trip. 

Thanks for your support in all things, friends. Much love to you all.

    I don't have a fancy reason or story on why I should be chosen to go on this trip.  The truth is I don't believe there is one deserving woman. I think we all are in so many ways. My heart leaps with joy and excitement at the thought of being able to travel to Rwanda with such brave, bold, confident, and loving women.  My arms ache to hug mothers all over the world trying to survive and make a better life for their family. My mouth waters to whisper words of love and encouragement to children living in unimaginable conditions. My mind races with millions of ways this trip would change my mind and open my eyes.

       I would be so honored to join in this campaign and cause, not because of who I am, but because of who God is. He is the link that joins us and the tie that binds.  I am just a vessel.  A vessel which spends her days doing very ordinary things in the hopes my children, and those around me, will see Jesus and see the world through love.  A vessel who desperately desires to share His greatness.  A vessel which truly believes the way to a better world and life is to fiercely love day in and day out through the big and the small.

      I believe Noonday is a living, thriving example of this and it thrills my soul to share in that cause. 

Friday, May 9, 2014


We sat brokenhearted and lost inside our small house in our small town. I was 6, my little sister was 3, and mom was 30.

(Don't think I haven't picked up on the fact that I turn 30 this year and Brady turns 6, it haunts my dreams)

Our family of four literally changed to a family of three overnight.

I went to bed a part of a happy, imperfect family of four, and I woke a part of a shattered family of three.

I woke to a house full of somewhat familiar faces and lots of cries.

Once my daddies funeral was over and everyone else went back to their lives, we sat missing one vital piece of our family.

As the tears poured down our faces, I asked my mom to stop crying, just please stop crying.

And she did.

Just like that she stopped crying.

In fact, I never saw her cry again until I moved off to college and showed up the next morning back home claiming I needed more stuff, desperately trying  to cover up my tears and fears as I pretended it was everything I thought it would be and I wasn't scared at all.

We both knew.

We both cried.

She fought with every ounce of her being to tell me that I didn't have to go back, that I could just stay home.

I could tell.

 I could see the words, the grief, the fear, the desire to comfort and make it all go away building inside her.

Instead she helped me gather up some more stuff and load it into my car. Then with a brave face and a smile she sent me back to Nashville.

I was fine and so was she.

I don't think my sweet mother realizes the beautiful lessons she taught me in these and many other moments.

She taught me to be a mom, well before I felt that first flutter or wiped that tiny nose.

She taught me our hope is above and nothing in this world is bigger or scarier than our God.

She taught me that when life is hard,  you wipe the tears, get up and get moving.

She taught me that love is stronger than any grief you might ever experience.

She taught me to love, to be strong, to be weak, to be compassionate, to care, to help, to teach, to lead, to listen, to follow, and so so much more I am still learning.

She is still teaching and loving me. I don't think it will ever stop.


As Mother's Day approaches my thoughts have been overcome with thoughts of mothers every where.

 I think of the mother who so desperately desires to hold her baby, but is unable to. 
I think of the mother who is so filed with joy because her heart and arms are full with squishy cheeks and sweet smiles, maybe for the first time. 
I think of the mother who would give her whole life to bear the name. 
I think of the mother whose daughter is very much alive, but far away in distance. 
I think of the mother who is so tired but so in love with her children that she keeps pressing on.
I think of the mothers with broken lives and deep feelings of guilt eating them away when it comes to their children.
 I think of the sons and daughters who so desperately want to pick up the phone or drive down the street to love their mother. 
I think of the grandmothers. 
I think of the mothers who literally only have love to offer their children. 
I think of those very much in the mothering role, but aren't actually given the name. 
I think of the mothers who have given up their child for a life much better than they could dream of offering.
 I think of the young mothers, the old mothers, the great mothers, and the mothers who have failed. 

All I know is that mothers are a chosen, unique group.

They aren't perfect. They aren't super heroes. They aren't well payed. They are overworked. They are under-appreciated. They definitely aren't glamorous. Hello, poopy, vomit, and snot!

But mothers have the most important role in the entire world.

Mothers make the world go around.

Mothers teach.

Mothers lead.

 Mothers mold.

Mothers unite.

Mothers love.

No one loves like a mother loves.

I mean who else's proud, knowing, or disappointed stares can transcend all languages, cultures, countries, and demographics, but Momma's.

Happy Mother's Day, friends!

Go love your Momma and thank you for jumping in the messy trenches of motherhood!