What Does God Desire More – Faith or Sacrifice?

“We seem to think that God wants us to give up things! God no where tells us to give up things for the sake of giving them up. He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having – life with Himself.”

~Utmost for His Highest January 8

On New Year’s Day I bought two puzzles at the Dollar Tree. One was 300 pieces, the other 500. And I soon discovered puzzles are addicting! Every time I walked to the kitchen I wanted to add a new piece – then a new section. Like nibbling on a piece of cake, I couldn’t stop until I had a straight line somewhere. A clean finished area.

I discovered that putting a 500 piece puzzle together is easier when you can look at the picture on the box. When I was stumped, I would hold a particular puzzle piece in my hand, study the picture of where it might go and usually I could find its place.

If only life was that way.

To me walking in faith is like putting together a 5,000 piece puzzle without seeing the picture on the box. I just have to figure out where each piece fits based on what I see right in front of me. There’s no big vision of how it all connects together. There’s no – oh, see where this line and color meet, that’s where it fits!

And that’s really hard for me. So what I tend to do is super-impose a picture I believe would work great, then start putting pieces together based on that plan.

Our journey to Kenya is the biggest example of this.

Continue reading

Writings While I Wait

It was a beautiful, warm, summer day. A pile of dirty dishes stared back at me from the kitchen sink. A melody played on the radio nearby. I turned it off. I was tired of songs, yet tired of silence too. Tired of thinking…and praying, honestly, for my prayers were not being answered the way I wanted.

Instead of spiraling in my emotions, I called a friend. My closest one. The one I can not talk to for 6 months, then pick up the phone and pick right back up where we left off. Thankfully, she picked up. Fighting back tears, I shared my story with her. I shared the struggle going on inside of me. She said, “Ya know, it’s funny, this conversation reminds me of the book I’m reading this summer called Anything .”

Continue reading

When God Said GO…Home

It finally all came out last night. The rushing wave of emotions I’d been silently dealing with alone.

The sermon earlier that day had been on expectations. The pastor said, “80% of our expectations are assumed and never expressed.”

I have decided I have expectations even when I say I have none.

I had unrealized expectations about this trip to Kenya and about what God was doing. I really thought I had some puzzle pieces figured out only to realize, not only do those not fit, half of the pieces I had pieced together don’t fit either!

Continue reading

The Dance

“Me? You want to dance with me?”


“But I’m not a very good dancer.”

“I AM. Will you let me lead?”

“I think so. Where are we going?”

“How about Kenya?”

“Kenya!? I can’t go there!”

“Why not?”

“I don’t like to fly…I may not like the food…it may not like me…I have white skin…I have family HERE!”

“I’ll lead, you just have to follow.”


“I won’t lead you somewhere I won’t go too.”

“But sometimes my faith gets tired and my hope seems lost.”

“I know. It’s OK. It’ll be a ride you won’t forget.”

“How long will we stay there?”

“Pack everything.”

“Everything? All of it?”

“Yes. And tell your friends and family you’re following me and you don’t know exactly when you’ll be back.”


“And we dance…”

“So pack it all up? In boxes? Bags? Ship it?”

“Don’t worry, I’ll provide all that you need.”

“OK, are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure. Just quiet your heart and follow me.”

“Again, I’m not a great dancer.”

“And again, I AM. Will you trust me?


“Look at me Julie – When life spins you around and around – lock eyes with Me. When I spin you around like this and take you to the other side of the world, lock arms with me. I won’t let you go.”

“But what about _____ and ______ and ______?!”

“I love you. I ransomed you. It’s just me and you right now. I gave you joy for mourning. I chose you before the creation of the world to dance with me. I will teach you every step. I will set your feet to dance in my steps.”

“Oh, and we danced….!”

And then He told me to go back home. He provided everything I needed. I thought we might be there to stay. But my home is in His arms. He picked me up and placed me gently back down in Texas. What a dance! What a Dancer!

“It’s nice to know, I’m not alone, when I’m here in Your arms…”

Photo credit: Flickr

When We Left our Compassion Child Waiting on the Doorstep

The Lord woke me up this morning and said,

“Look at Adam beside you – WELL. I AM God.”

This Kenya trip has actually been a string of one dashed plan after another. What little expectations I had have crashed like a tower of falling dominoes.

Waking up to enjoying the sunrise turned into waking up to see who would throw themselves at the porcelain throne next.

A violent and unmerciful stomach virus made its first appearance four measly days after our arrival. Just after our bodies began to shed their jet lagged coating and embrace life 8 hours ahead of American time.

Continue reading

When the Car Broke Down and I Walked the Dusty Street of Kenya

It’s not easy to be a disciple of Jesus. Sometimes I don’t understand what He’s saying to me. Sometimes I hear, but I don’t want to listen and I don’t want to follow through.

Sometimes I wish that because I’m the King’s daughter, I could have a specially stamped ticket to quickly grant me a pass around difficulties and trials.

“’Cuse me, I’m with Jesus.”

“Yes, ma’am, right this way…CLEAR OUT!”

But that’s not what my Jesus is. He’s not a good luck charm. He’s life.

Continue reading

Who Turned Out the Lights?

As the hum of the fans diminishes from the sudden power outage, the volume of the Mosque call-to-prayer over the loud speaker escalates. In this moment I know, “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Power failure happens regularly in Kenya. We scurried around looking for the “on” switch to the back-up generator to restore temporary power to the necessities of life.

I do the same thing. Some major power source in my life fails and I seek to turn on a temporary/alternate source until the main line can be restored.

Continue reading

What Happened When God Trumped My Plans

“You need to be OK with not knowing what comes next,” my husband said eye to eye with our oldest son.

Caleb loves a plan. He loves executing a good plan even more.

“And after that, we can do ____, and then come back and go _____”

There’s always ONE more thing to tie a bow to his well packaged plan.

I am no different. It’s funny how the things that bother me most about my children really mirror what bothers me about myself, if I’m honest.

Continue reading

When My Day Didn’t Go As Planned

T-50 hours to Kenya!

This trip is getting off to a great start. I’m being sarcastic if you couldn’t tell.

My husband wasn’t planning to go into the office much at all this week to give him and the people there the ability to change gears and start packing up the piles of bug spray, Dramamine, snacks, and clothes accumulated through-out the house.

That was before the office manager came down with pneumonia. So not only has he been at work ALL week, he’s been there early and stayed later than usual to work on payroll, schedule tax payments, anything to buy our Team Member time to recover.

Continue reading

I Can’t Believe Who’s Going to Kenya!

Our entire family will travel to Kenya this year and minister along-side our dear friends Josh and Maggie Ghrist with Lighthouse for Christ. What an answer to prayer that I can write that statement! It was a year ago that we began praying, almost nightly, as a family, asking the Lord if He would provide for the 5 of us to go. We have purchased the tickets and the reality of it is sinking in.

Yes, there’s the reality of the check-list of items I/we need to do – immunization shots for the kids, luggage to replace, item to purchase, etc. Those just follow on the heels of my regular list of laundry, meal prep and light bulb replacements. The Lord is also “reality checking” my heart and throwing out any old, torn luggage ‘cuse me, baggage, with His unused, endured through eternity, truth.

Continue reading