Posted in Mission Stories

So Thankful Replay…Day 6

When you live in Haiti there’s a balance you have to maintain. You see so much heartache, death, & disease – it’s easy to become a blob of tears. But if all you do is cry every day – then there’s little time for Kingdom advancement. But at the same time you have to be careful that you don’t go to the other extreme.  You don’t want to  become numb to the suffering around you…… or you can miss out on a God-ordained appointment. It can be a delegate balance.

The other day we were packing our crates & barrels with Asher. As we drove through an intersection there was a man carrying a sign.

Asher: What does that say?

Me: Will work for food.

Asher: Oh. I just work for Papaw.

It made me smile for a moment  – – but I knew Asher really didn’t understand.  How could he? He doesn’t have to work for food. He doesn’t have to work for clothes. He doesn’t have to work for his needs.

But that’s not the case for so many of the children in Haiti. We live in a town where child-slavery is rampant. Even though they work for their keep – they’re the last ones to eat. Many times they’re not even acknowledged as children. They’re property.

I don’t understand why some children are born into the world of wealth- while others are fighting just to survive. I don’t understand why I was born in Kentucky and my very dearest friends were born in Haiti.

What I do know is that my children are blessed to not know what true suffering is. What I know is that I need to count my blessings and name them one by one every single day! What I know is that though my struggles are my realities – there are others who’s realities are truly life & death struggles.

What I do know is –  though I may have not been born into a poor country – I can impact one.

What I do know is – though there are children who are hungry  -I could “work for food” to feed some of them.

What I do know is – though there’s suffering everywhere – I could choose not to look the other way.

I don’t understand how things work  – but I do know I have been blessed and God’s given me a job to do.

So today I’m thankful that my children have never known real suffering ….but it’s also my prayer – that one day they will help end the suffering for others.


SO Thankful…Day 6

A few weeks ago I shared the blog – Not Her Day. It was about a mother who had 4 children. She couldn’t feed them every day – she simply didn’t have the means to do it. So each day she watched two of her children eat a small meal – while the other two children watched with empty bellies.

I can’t even fathom that. I see it here every day – but only recently did I really imagine what that momma must feel like. What sorrow she feels in the depths of her soul as she watches her children suffer right before her eyes. Life’s not fair – we know that as adults. But how do you make children understand that?

There are other mothers who wander from house to house – sleeping on porches and under trees – no roof above their head. No way to keep the rain off of their babies.

There are mothers who live in huts with mud floors. No mat. No pillow. No place to lay their head. The rain pours through their straw roofs and they spend the night holding their babies who are cold and wet. What a long & miserable night – for both momma and baby.

There are mothers who’s babies suffer in ways we could never think of….

My parents used to sing this song at every church they spoke at:

There’s a roof up above me
I’ve a good place to sleep
There’s food on my table
And shoes on my feet
You gave me your love Lord
And a fine family
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me

Unlike millions of other mothers – I can sing that song and mean every single word.

Today I am thankful that my children have never known real suffering.

Posted in Mission Stories

So Thankful Replay….Day 5

Today I am thankful for God’s grace. For the unmerited, undeserving, uninhibited grace He lavishes upon me.

I’m not going to sugar coat it …. this year there were moments where I was completely frustrated with the Lord. There were days  – sometimes weeks – where we weren’t on “speaking terms”.  There were days where my words & my heart didn’t match. There were days where I felt like a complete hypocrite when I told the Haitian women to “keep the faith” during trials …..while inside my faith had crumbled.

But you see grace isn’t based off deeds. My bad deeds or my good deeds –  – my good thoughts or my bad thoughts. I can’t earn it and I can’t lose it.

When I’m right in the center of His will He doesn’t double up my portion. When I stomp around like a little kid – He doesn’t take it away. That doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences to those behaviors – but Christ doesn’t give up on me because of them.

I’m so thankful that Christ takes me as I am – but He doesn’t leave me there. I’m so thankful that when I run away and slam the door behind me – He patiently waits on the other side for me to come back around. I am so thankful that He doesn’t give me what I deserve but instead gives me what I desperately need.

So what can I do? What can we do? Seems like if we truly appreciate the grace of God we should  – “pay it forward”.

A car cuts you off – and you don’t ride his bumper….grace.

Waiting a moment to let someone cross the street…grace.

Tipping your waitress even though the service wasn’t great….grace.

Shortening the number of days your child is grounded….grace.

You want Mexican food but the kids want the Chinese Buffet….grace.

Your husband didn’t ask about your day but went on and on about his….grace.

You hate contemporary music but you stay knowing the church is engaging the youth….grace.

Someone says something they didn’t really mean and you quit bringing it up….grace.

Someone is late, unorganized, dramatic, a little annoying AND you still give them your undivided attention…grace.

Today I’m thankful for God’s unmerited favor AND I pray I can pass it on… in some small way.


SO Thankful…Day 5

I think all of us go through seasons of goodness and rebellion – in one way or another. There are seasons where we open our hearts and minds to what Jesus wants for us – and there are seasons where we lose our way. It could be as simple as not doing something you know God has called you to do.

Ever done something that you wished you could take back? Sure. We all do.

Ever tried to apologize but no matter what they just can’t seem to “let it go”?

I was having a conversation with a lady from church. She was telling me that she and her mother haven’t talked in over 15 years. That there was an incident back then where the daughter made an unwise choice and her mom never forgave her.

This lady has tried numerous times to make amends with her mom – but all her efforts have fallen on deaf ears. Her mom simply can’t let it go. The lady had tears in her eyes and hurt in her heart. I know so many families who are completely torn apart because they can’t get past –  the past….

You know what’s amazing? Our God never tires of forgiving us! He takes great pride in “letting it go” – ALL OF IT! He not only forgives but He extends grace and mercy to people who simply don’t deserve it. He can’t wait for it! It’s one of His favorite things to do!

I serve  a God who never tires of me! Who never stops looking for me! Who’s greatest desire is to have a relationship with me!