Sunday, August 27, 2017

Trust Your Structure

This morning, with some old friends and new by my side, we decided to hike a mile up a mountain to a fire tower that overlooked the mountains. We watched the sunrise from a vantage point much greater than the average life. Imagine hiking up a path as steep as stairs with rocks, sticks, bumps, mud and dirt in the dark for a mile. For that mile, our breath was heavy, our heartbeats quick, our conversation quiet and our sweat overtaking. But to say the view was astounding when we got up the fire tower would be an injustice to the beauty of the Lord.

As we sat on the landing of the fire tower, I found myself gripping the railing. White knuckles, tensed arms and all. Stories high and mountains below, I gripped the rail as if it would protect me from the fear I was experiencing. While the beauty was there, the fear was encompassing. Structural heights are a fear that I can't quite grasp. I love to fly. There is nothing about the flight that scares me. But you put me a couple stories high when I can see the ground through the grates of the surface I'm standing on and my heart starts racing.

Yet, it is unjustified. I had no trust in my structure. My trust was in my grip on the railing. The same situation is applicable to my walk with the Lord. I don't always trust the structure of the Lord's promises. I frequently rely on my own path, trusting that it will bring me the peace and joy that I am searching for.

But I am horribly wrong. When I let go of that rail, I was able to put my complete trust in the structure. Instead, my focus shifted to the sunrise. And it was infectious. The faint pink glow the sun illuminated turned into a pale orange that spread 360 around the tower.

The day grew brighter and brighter, spreading light on every mountain and valley in eyesight.

It was the Lord.

In your walk with the Lord, if you are willing to let go of the grip you have on your own life and trust in the structure of the Lord, you will experience a beauty far beyond words. The mountains and valleys will still be there. They won't just magically disappear because of your trust in the Lord. Rather, the Lord will shine a light on them much brighter than the sun that will help guide you through the valleys and above the mountains. The Lord is just wonderful like that. He loves us like that. He didn't promise us an easy life, but He did promise to be a light through it all.

How wonderful is the Lord?!

Trust in the structure of the Lord. He will never fail you.

As we descended the fire tower, taking in every moment of beauty possible, an old friend stated, "I think we've just been granted another day." That, my friend, is beyond true.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


In six months, I will pack into a backpack that I will call my home for the next six months.

I heard a quiet tap on my heart but it was so soft that I sang a little louder to drown it out. But the louder I sang, the more pronounced the tap became. Then one day, I was completely silent. All I heard was continual soft gentle taps on my heart. That’s when the Lord whispered, “Sarah, it’s time to answer me. You must go.”

That complete silence happened for me in the middle of May. I prayed for the Lord to send someone else. The enemy kept nagging in my ear, “Sarah, you can’t leave your family behind after what happened. How dare you think about abandoning them?” But the good Lord kept whispering, “Sarah, serve me. You aren’t leaving your family. They will be safe in my arms, Sarah.”

That’s when the conversations began. I talked to my dear friends, to my mom, and to the staff at Experience Mission. And then I prayed. On a Friday evening, I prayed and pleaded to the Lord to provide me with some peace about the decision to go. When I woke up on Saturday, I was clothed in peace. I had never felt so settled about a decision in my life.

The next part went very quickly and after meetings with references, an application and a video interview, I found myself accepted to my team.

In six months, I will pack into a backpack that I will call my home for the next six months. I will be a member of the Caribbean Immersion team through Experience Mission. On January 8th, I will travel to Fort Wayne, IN to meet my team and undergo a couple days of training. We will then travel to Harlem in New York City to do three weeks of local service before we embark on the remainder of our journey. The next six months will be spent in Haiti, Jamaica, and Belize, where we will live with host families and immerse ourselves in the local culture.

I am beyond excited to serve the Lord in a new, unfamiliar and uncomfortable way. I am ready for the Lord to convict my heart and take me to new depths. I hope that you will join me in praying for my preparation for this trip. If you would like to financially support me, you can do so easily through my fundraising page.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.” I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
Isaiah 61

The Lord is SO beyond good, y’all. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

When You've Only Got One

Andy gets up in the early hours of the morning and puts on her tennis shoes. She pays careful attention to her laces as she is tying them, cautious to make sure each is pulled taught. Bunny ears and all, Andy hits the road. She has decided that she is taking this journey called life by foot today and begins taking her first steps for the long trek. 

The path Andy is on is smooth. It is a dirt path with a fine grit, not a single stone to be found. As the early morning progresses, the path begins to change and take shape. At this point in the path, there is a pebble here or there that may cause a small stumble for Andy. However, she walks with ease. 

All of the sudden, Andy looks down and notices that where her left tennis shoe was once precisely and perfectly tied, is a bare foot with all flaws exposed. The lone hair on her big toe, the freckles across the top of her foot and her chipped purple nail polish are all revealed. 

Confused and without choice, Andy keeps walking. 

Pebbles continue to appear on the path, covering the dirt. Andy continues to walk. Her bare foot steps and then her tennis shoe. On and on and on. However, as the path develops, the smooth pebbles turn to gravel. The once completely smooth path is now rugged and rough. The bottom of Andy's sensitive foot begins to ache. Each step on the left foot shoots a sharp pain up her leg. As she continues on, Andy begins to put more weight on her right foot. Utilizing the comfort and support from her tennis shoe, the pain from the left slightly subsides. 

With each step, Andy's left foot, while sensitive and sore, is beginning to form callouses. Andy's right foot, while full of support and strength, is growing tired. Finding a strong balance while walking is a struggle. Wanting to fully rely on the remaining tennis shoe, Andy is finding that it is placing strain on the rest of her body. The tough skin developing on the bottom of her left foot is helping her to walk a little more normal. However, Andy is fully aware that without her other tennis shoe, she will always be more reliant and dependent upon her right shoe. 

Andy may wish that she has two tennis shoes, but she's only got one. When you've only got one of something that often comes in twos, you learn two things: how to develop tough skin and reliance upon availability. 

I use Andy and her tennis shoes to truly explain how grateful I am for my mother. I wish I had two parents. But I've learned that it's okay that I don't. I've developed tough skin on my left. But on my right, I have learned just how much I can rely on my mom. She is full of more support than any tennis shoe on the market. The comfort she provides will never fade away. It is hard to be a mother. It is hard to be a mother of five children. (We know we aren't easy....) But it is even harder to be a mother to five children who lost their father. 


Mom, I don't think that any amount of words could ever tell you how appreciative we are of you. Thank you for letting me cry in your bed, crash on your sofa, borrow your clothes and eat all of your food when it just felt like too much to go live off on my own. Thank you being strong enough when all of us aren't. Thank you, mom, for being you. I wouldn't have picked any other one if I had the choice. I love you.