Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dislocated Toes

I have a new blog spot where most of my writing has been going lately:

I have missed this, however.  This space where I can come and write about anything and everything... without regards to the Race.  Even though that does seem to be what everything revolves around right now.

The fact that I am leaving.  For a year.

I've tried to leave so many times before.  So many times.

That fact that in just a little over five months, it will be real, it will actually happen (God willing).  Well.  That just blows my mind.

The past few days I've just spent processing some stuff.  I'm getting ready to move.  And I quit my job.  I'm getting ready to start a few new jobs too.

But I haven't cried.  At all.  This month long process of getting started.  Of letting the idea sink deep, deep into me.  I've just accepted it.  Embraced it, even.  Thrown myself wildly into the process.

And there had been no tears.

Until yesterday morning.  When I got a text message from Olivia.  She told me she thought she had dislocated her big toe.  The text made me laugh.

But a few minutes later, something cracked inside of me.  The dam, which had been holding back all of my tears so effectively, suddenly sprung a leak.  Just a small one.  But a tear trickled down my cheek as I thought about how, this time next year, if Olivia wakes up one morning wondering how in the heck she had dislocated her toe... I would not be the one to get the silly text message.

Funny.  The things that set me off.


Today I'm thinking about how I'm kind of lonely.  About how I really just want someone to love, who loves me back.  Someone to cuddle with on the couch.  Who will adopt Ethiopian babies with me.  A man I can trust to hear the voice of God... to lead and provide.  There are days when I don't even think about it.  Really.  There is so much else going on.  But some days I wake up and I just wonder.  I am just overwhelmed with the fear that this will never happen for me.  Washed by this deep, cutting fear that no one could ever love me like that.

Think about it for a second.  For those of you who are loved and do love: how precious is it that out of a room (a world) full of people, you have been chosen?  Above all others.  You are desired.  And seen.  Someone thinks you are beautiful.  This thought just blows my mind sometimes.



I am ready for spring.

Winter has overstayed her welcome and I am not-so-hospitably showing her the door.

I am being teased.  By warm days and thunder and lightening.

I sit, willing the trees to start turning green.

Come, spring, come.  This girl is only happy in the sun.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Fork in the Road

Follow me as I travel the world.

Consider supporting me too.  :)

It's all here:

Monday, February 14, 2011


There is this word.  An African name.  Amachi.

"Who knows what God has brought us through this child."


Tonight, there is a tiny body growing.

There is a heart beating.

There is a new life.

I am overwhelmed with love for this child already.

A child who will come into this world while I am on the other side of it.

Who I will not meet until he is about to take first steps.

But God told me he was coming.  Whispered in my ear... a truth about his spirit.

This new life will be what saves our family.

He will enter into a world of pride and music.

Coming in on the other side of decades of hurt and pain.

He will come into a family who has learned to love in spite of ourselves.

A family who has been destroyed and rebuilt.

Much like his mama... who was the first breath of fresh air our family had felt in twelve years.

He will be Nehemiah.

He will be Moses.

He will be our Isaac, our John.

And he will have too many teeth in his head.

A head, which will be characteristically large.

With a great capacity to love and pensive wrinkles on his forehead.

He will use words he's maybe not supposed to.  And wheeze when he laughs.

When the brand new Vaughan arrives, I will be in Africa.

I will call him Isaiah - a repairer of walls.

Or Boaz - the kinsman redeemer.

What a burden to place on infant shoulders.

What a joy his promise has brought to our hearts.

God told me he was coming.

And so the adventure, which will take me far away from him...

will be ventured in his name.

For his sake, I will go.

I will bring part of the world home with me.

All the pieces of the world I will lay at his feet.

And his sweet name will be sung into the African winds and through the gypsy camps and over the Atlantic ocean.

Who knows what God will bring us through this child?

Sunday, February 13, 2011


February 1st 2011:

It is Tuesday evening. And I am sitting in a coffee shop, watching torrential rain pour down outside the window.

Yes. That's right.

It's Tuesday.

On September 28th, I was writing in my journal and was expressing my feeling that God was asking me to stay. To stay on the road I was on. "Keep going," I heard Him say. Comparing my life to southbound I-75. I told God, "I'm trusting You. Trusting that if I stay where I am right now, You'll let me know when it's time to make a change."

Exactly four months later - to the date - I feel something shift. In the driver's seat I saw God sit up a little straighter, turn down the radio, and lean forward over the steering wheel. This was not where I expected the change to occur. I didn't expect to get off at this exit.

But I asked Him to let me know. To whisper into my heart the truth about my life and my path. To lead me.

So here we go.

I've been searching for peace. Digging for it. Calling for it.

But peace is not mine to take. Peace is mine to receive.

And I cannot... nor do I ... serve two gods. I serve one God. The God of peace.

The prince of darkness has no power over me.

And although he is trying to tear me down... convince me that I am not worthy, that I am not good enough...

God is coming in close. Right in between my shoulderblades. Whispering something beautiful into my ears...

Something about sacrifice.

Something about trust.

Something about my worth.

And stretching.


Tonight, it rained.

Which does not mean the blessing from Tuesdays has been removed.

But it means I have been released.

To go.

To grow.

green light

When I asked him to pray for me, I knew that most of the time the Father spoke to him in pictures.

When God speaks to me, I get words.  And I was needing a visual.

So a few days later, when he came to me with a picture, I was deeply pleased.  Thankful that God speaks to us all in different ways.

Funny thing.  God used Abe's picture to echo what His words had been telling me.

Either way.  I will be with you either way you go.


He saw a picture of me standing at the crosswalk.  Waiting to see which light would turn green.  Which way?  Which way should I go? 


It was no coincidence that I saw him then, a few days later.  Walking down the busy street in the rain, with sunglasses on.  Carrying a heavy backpack and wearing dirty shoes.

Drawing my attention to him as he came to stand at a crosswalk.  And looked both ways waiting for the light to turn green.


It's the simple things.

The simple things that let me know that the Father is watching and listening and walking along with me.

That He knows how I hear.  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

mouth of the lion

I have never been one to see "satan lurking behind every bush".  For the longest time, I completely disregarded his work altogether.  Evil was not something I wanted to acknowledge, let alone spend time thinking about.

As I grow deeper in my relationship with the Father, however, I become more and more sensitive to the workings of the enemy.  There are mornings I literally roll out of bed and whisper, "not today.  Today is not yours".  The more I get to know the Father, the more acutely aware I am of anything that is not of Him.

And as I walk along a path, following the Lord, I feel an increase in satan's efforts.  It frustrates me to even think about it.  In the course of the last forty-eight hours, as God has made it clear that everything I know is about to change, I have been plagued with terrible fears.  Fears of dying.  Fears of losing loved ones.  Weird dreams about monkeys and food in my glove compartment (that's probably not satan.  But I don't ever dream... and for some reason, I woke up remembering this one.).  And illegitimate fears of running out of underarm deodorant.

Yeah.  The enemy is working the full spectrum.  Looking for chinks in my armor.

Through the words of His children throughout today, however, my Father has been speaking.  About how He's called us to pour ourselves out, to love on the least of these, to trust Him.  To go.

Tonight a wise man described the enemy as a toothless lion.  And I was overwhelmed with this realization.  This realization that as much as satan is my enemy, I am his.  Me.  The focus and center of Christ's attention.  The bride.  The child of God.  Full of the promise of Heaven and the power of the Cross.

As much as I am irritated with the attacks of the enemy... he is equally frustrated by me.

Which makes me smile a little bit.

And whisper, "I have been saved from the mouth of lion... Saved for the kingdom of heaven... praise be to the Lord..." (2 Timothy 4:16-18 MSG)

I am full of the power of the Creator of the Universe.

I have the Savior of the world's name sealed on my forehead.

And when I walk in a room, I carry within me a light that blinds and heals and overpowers darkness.

This is the same light I will carry with me as I embark on this new journey.  This new chapter will be earmarked by a deep realization that the Almighty is more powerful than a fallen angel.  And I belong to the great I Am.

Ephesians 6:9-11: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


September 29th 2010:

I've been frustrated and saddened and overwhelmed by this word.  I don't like waiting.  What am I waiting for?  Why do I have to wait?  How long do I have to wait?  

I've been talking to the Father non stop about this.  Talking His ear off, actually.  Waving my hand in His face trying to get Him to answer.  He's not talking back a lot these days.

I realized the other day I was correlating His voice with His presence.  If He wasn't speaking, He must not be close by.  If He wasn't speaking, I must have  somehow gotten off track. If I couldn't hear Him something must be wrong.

But when I would all but lost hope, He would tell me to be strong.  To be bold.  To be courageous.  To wait.

Simple.  My Father of few words.

Then it hit me the other day exactly what kind of journey I am on right now.  Before, I was on a mountain.  And I hung out on the mountaintop for quite a while.  Got a good glimpse at the horizon and have been steadily hiking back down ever since.

But the other day, He seemed to be going to great lengths to remind me that even when He is quiet He is still there.  And I got this image of a long highway.  Like I-75 South on the way to Atlanta.  I was pestering Him about the direction my life was going, about the next move, which way I was supposed to go.

And clear as day, I realized something very simple.  My direction has not changed.  

I am still going in the right direction...

His instructions haven't changed.  He hasn't told me to do anything differently.  Months ago, He set me down on a highway and said, "go".   And I've been driving this long stretch ever since.  The road I am on is getting me somewhere.  

Somewhere is determined by Him.  Not by my own plans or ideas.  Sometimes in order to get us somewhere, He takes us a lot of different places first.

And right now, as we are driving, God has the windows down.  The music is playing quietly on the radio and the wind is making the car sway back and forth.  He's comfortable just sitting in silence with me.  

He just likes being with me.

But as always, I am talking too much.  In the passenger seat asking too many questions, referring to the map one too many times, asking Him over and over again if we are there yet.  Wherever there is.

But right now, He just wants to be with me.  For us to enjoy each other's presence.  This is a long road, and though it is not an easy one, it is a straight one.  And when it is time, He will lean forward in His seat and roll up the window.  Eventually, we will take an exit off this road.  At some point, as they always do, things will change.

But the future I am worried about doesn't even exist yet.  I have no idea what is up ahead; absolutely no clue what happens next.  All I know is that God has not changed His mind.  He has not forgotten about His plans for me.  He has not fallen asleep at the wheel.

He just wants us to enjoy each other's company.

Today, I felt like He looked over at me from the driver's seat. Wind blowing His hair in His face.  One arm out the window, one resting on the steering wheel.  He was grinning.

Wait, He said.

Wait and see.

Hot Dogs

November 20th, 2010:

I went grocery shopping.  A few short hours later, a couple dozen of my favorite kids in the world would all be in the same place.  We wanted to feed them... hang out with them.  But there's not a lot of foods elementary and middle school age kids will all eat.

So I bought hot dogs.

I bought enough to feed forty, slightly overshooting our highest attendance.  We got to the church and started getting dinner ready.  Occasionally I would peek out at all the kids that had shown up, but never even thought to count them.

The next thing I knew, a volunteer came into the kitchen declaring there are "at least 35 kids" plus adults waiting in the fellowship hall.  I had forty hot dogs.  Do you know any kid who only eats one hot dog?

I walked over to the stove where the hot dogs were cooking.  Looking into the water, I quickly prayed "You've done it before.  Do it again.  Use what we have, make it enough."  I walked away, feeling kind of silly.

We had a team of kids come in to put the hot dogs in the buns.  Another team of kids served the plates to their friends.  I stood in the doorway and watched as kids started coming back, saying, "everyone has a hot dog.  Everyone has something to eat."  

I looked back at the kitchen counter where a dozen full plates still sat there, waiting to be given away.

I started counting, doing the math in my head.  Suddenly kids started coming back from seconds.  And then volunteers started eating as well.

Still.  There were hot dogs on the counter.

I had a two eleven year old boys approach me and ask if they could help clean up.  I watched as they took away empty plates and pushed chairs into place and came back to the kitchen, asking for more ways to help.

My heart was full to bursting, as it so often is when I find myself in this place.  I am so proud of these children, whom I have come to think of as "mine".  So proud of the adults who stepped up to lead.

And as I came to the realization of what had just occurred... I just couldn't stop smiling.  

At the end of the night, there were seven hot dogs left on a plate.

Who's surprised?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Courage to Change

Suddenly you find yourself reeling in the very moment when everything changes.

And there may never be any words to explain what just happened.

This may be what some call "surreal".

But here you are.

And God is being big and He's being loud and He's pulling back the cover of Heaven to give you a glimpse at His plan.

You've been driving down the long, straight highway for miles and months.

In a moment, a sharp right turn is made.

The one you knew would be made eventually.  You just didn't know when.


"one day"

is today.

And the Father in Heaven is speaking in sweet, familiar ways about big, scary things.

Wrap your mind around it.

Even still, on this side of the story, all the connections won't make sense.

But something is changing.

Even now Im afraid Im going to forget the details.

And in the same breath I know,

This is not my story.  But it is mine to tell.

To know and tell well.

I will know it by heart.


"There's this song in my heart.

For a moment I forgot how good our Father is, that He equips those He calls.

That He knows the plans He has for me. Created me the way I am for a purpose.

And if I seek Him, I will find Him when I seek Him with all my heart.

Wholeheartedly I will run this race. I will not miss His calling. (Jan 24 2011)"

Monday, February 7, 2011

Holy Ground

Imagine an age when the Heavenly Father did not live in you but spoke to you. You are a generation far enough removed from the Garden that God is now big and mysterious and you know you should fear Him, but you can't help but look at the world around you and wonder...

Just how great is He?

Imagine your name is Moses. And you've been through hell and high water already. Today, today is just another day with the sheep. Another day on the mountain.

But on this mountain, on this day, a bush has caught on fire.

You give the blazing shrub a wide berth. But you are distracted - intrigued maybe - when you pass by and realize the bush engulfed in flames is not burning up.

Curiously you draw closer. Only to hear the bush call your name.

And then call it again.

But God is not calling your name from the bush to condemn you. Or to scare you out of hell.

He wants you to take your shoes off.


You don't ask questions. Fear overpowers curiosity at this point.

Immediately shoes get thrown to the wayside.

He calls to you again. To let you know He hears.

He has heard the cries of His children and He has come to the rescue.


Ever since the Garden, we have been physically separated from God the Father.

Sin wedged its nasty self in between us at our Creator, and we had been failing to thrive from lack of contact with the One who loves us.

What if... God finally got your attention. In one of His characteristic, over-dramatic, unmistakable manners. Calling your name and telling you to go barefoot.

What if... God just wanted to be close to you, Moses?

What if... it had been so long since God had touched one of His children... so long since His holy skin had touched created flesh...

that He engulfed a plant. Set apart a place. And told you to take your shoes off.

So you and God could be as close as could be.

What if... He's calling your name.

Where you stand is holy ground because He stands there with you.

And He's calling you to remove anything that would get in between you and Him.

That would keep you from feeling Him. Or Him from feeling you.

The Almighty wants to be near to you.

Because He has heard your cries, the cries of His children.


Draw near, then. With bare soles making contact with Heaven itself.

And He will tell you His name.

(Exodus 3)

Sunday, February 6, 2011


January 29th:

One of these days, I will flip back through my old journals and scroll through these old blogs and I will think: well, that makes sense.

One day, I will be with Jesus. And I will see how my tiny role fits into the scheme of eternity. I will see how I played a part in His redemption story.

Here's some things I'm learning, slowly but surely:

1) When your heart is all wrapped up in God's, you can begin to trust your desires.
2) As hard as it is to choose between good and good, it is truly a blessing
3) Being given the option to choose, from the Father Himself, is the greatest display of His love and trust. God trusts... me?
4) Maybe there are no signs. Maybe... I just want this. And maybe that is ok.
5) When people say "you should do that while you're young"... they're telling you the truth.
6) I want affirmation, justification, and approval from you.
7) Your affirmation, justification, and approval are not what I need.

So in a few years, when I come back to this blog and I laugh to myself and think... "there's no way I could have known"... hopefully I will remember. Remember what got me here. Remember what it felt like to hear Jesus' voice every time the wind blew. And to have an ache so big in my heart. To have my very pulse beat with the rhythm of African drums. To look in the mirror and realize I've changed. And to look at my life and remember...

I have one. One life. One chance. One story.



I'm listening.

I want to hear You. So badly.

Even as I sit here... I realize African music is playing over the speakers again.

Overwhelm my heart.

The heart You've strengthened.

The heart You've overcome.

Be loud.

Because I've let the rest of the world get louder.

Be strong.

Be my joy.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


consume me.

what began as a spark.

a thin tendril of smoke.

a faint idea... smoldering Spirit.

wind has breathed life into.

i am engulfed.

from the depths of my belly

and the trenches of my heart

comes heat.



Friday, February 4, 2011


Imagine you're a flashlight.
Lightbulb, batteries, the whole nine yards.
You get put on a shelf after you've been made.
It's not long before you know: you're a flashlight.

There is no question in your mind that you are a flashlight.
Yes. That is who you are.

So you, the flashlight, get left on the shelf most of the time.
Thrown in a backpack on occasion.
Set out on the counter during thunderstorms.

But never turned on.

You are no less a flashlight because you aren't being used.

Your identity is not contingent on being turned on.
On what you actually do.
You are. Because you were made to be.

A flashlight.

But how long does it take before you start wondering what your purpose is?
When will you start wanting to be... used?

At what point do you wonder if anyone needs your light?

It's not an identity crisis. You know who you are.

A flashlight.

You are so aware of who you are.
So aware, you know you weren't made to just sit on a shelf.

You know all it would take is a flip of a switch.
All you'd have to do was be carried into the darkness.
Where you'll be useful.

Sitting on the shelf doesn't make you any less of a flashlight.

You just know you were made for more than this.