Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Somewhere, somehow, someone is going to read this, and someone is going to care.
Maybe not you, maybe you’re not part of God’s plan to free the slaves in this world.
Maybe you don’t feel their pain. I do, though.

I think of the pain that these people feel every moment of their lives and
I can nearly feel their shackles cutting through the skin on my own wrists.

I think of the horror that little children all over the world are forced to fight battles,
to kill human beings,
and I cry.

I want to scream.

I want to hit something.

I want to stop this horrible reality that is slavery in our world today.

You might not believe me, I didn’t believe it, but it’s true.
I’m not talking underpaid workers, or child labor.
Those things are wrong, but that’s not slavery.
I’m talking about people owning people and forcing them to work.

This is slavery and it is real.
This is slavery and it is the life that at least 27 million live every day right now.

Please educate yourself about these atrocities.
Please don’t push it aside.
Please don’t act like you’re too small to make a difference.
Do me a favor and read what this site has to say about slavery,
and then check this one out, too.
 Please don’t sacrifice their lives for your ease of mind.
Yes, it’s a hard truth to read about, to learn about.
But it is truth,
and we must learn about it so that we may change it.

Over and out,


Thursday, August 25, 2011


Okay, you all have my permission to be proud of me...hehehe =)  No, really.  I'm trying to learn to write music!!!  This is an incredible feat for me, too, because I don't even know how to read music =P  Yeah, I know, I'm strange...  I have these "songs" that keep popping into my head and I know that if I don't get them down on paper I'll forget them. 

Wow, sheet music is SO crazy!  I am thoroughly impressed with all of you lovely, musically talented people out there =)

I'll let you know if this comes to anything, but it's awfully fun to try learning!

Over and out,


Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm Thankful For...


the beach...




my little brother eating sand...

chasing seagulls with Johnny...

running through the waves with Kaity...

tickling my mom...

a picnic with my family...


watching Joe dig a fort...

taking Johnny to the water and letting the "bubbles" get his feet...

burying Becky's legs in the sand, making her a "mermaid tail..."

the beautiful Redwoods...

a long drive...

a clean room...

a stack of great books to read...

a fun movie to watch with my family...

yummy food...

Over and out,


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Proverbs 19:21

((This is what I just posted on my H2O group's website,

We are entering a new chapter for H2O Grants Pass.

Just this last week on the front page of the Grants Pass Daily Courier there was an article mentioning that the city council was to be discussing, and possibly deciding on whether or not to adopt, a proposed ordinance prohibiting car drivers, and passengers, from handing items of worth, such as money, H2O bags, water bottles etc., out of their car windows to pedestrians, including panhandlers, of course.  To be honest, the last thing that I wanted to do was speak to the city council about this, but I truly felt God telling me to trust in Him and go speak to them.

My mother spoke first, one of her points being that she is trying to teach her children to be compassionate and this law would legislate them not being able to.

I spoke directly after her and it went quite well.  God really gave me the strength to get through this terrifying thing, and I am so grateful.  I mentioned that this ordinance would not solve the panhandling problem, it would only funnel the people standing on street corners into parking lots and foot traffic, which is what happened in Medford, where this is already law.  I touched on the fact that, as a young lady, I do not feel safe with panhandlers coming up to me in parking lots.  I spoke about H2O bags being a great solution that actually directs and homeless people to places that can help them.  My biggest point, though, was that this ordinance would essentially be punishing those who want to help the less fortunate.  My closing statement was, "No one should ever, ever be punished for having compassion on someone."

The law passed.

The Mayor complimented me on how well I spoke, three or four of the city councilors commented on what we had said.  This law passed 7-1.

Walking out of the council building with my mom I started crying.  "They didn't listen to a word we said!"  But the morning after speaking to the council I read Proverbs 19:21, which says, "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand," and I realized, all over again, that God's plans are often so very different than ours.

God does have a plan for this; He has some great purpose in this that we don't see quite yet.

Wednesday night I felt as if H2O Grants Pass had just been shut down, but it wasn't at all.  There will certainly be some kinks to work out, but then, God is so incredibly good at working kinks out.

We now must either pull to the side of the road or else get out of our cars in order to legally hand H2O bags to panhandlers and homeless people in the Grants Pass city limits.  The same goes for money, water bottles or any other, "item of value."  Wednesday night this seemed like the end of the world, but somehow, today it really doesn't seem very large at all.  God has shrunk it back to the size that it really is.

Something that God brought to my attention, and several others pointed it out as well, is the fact that this will cause us to actually engage with these people.  It's so easy to just stick an H2O bag out of our car window and call it good, but these are human beings, and they deserve more respect than that.  I am so excited to have conversations with them; to let them know that I truly do care.  What a blessing this is!

Proverbs 3:19-20 says, "the Lord by wisdom founded the earth; but understanding He established the heavens; by His knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down dew."  The Lord's wisdom so very greatly exceeds my own.  By His wisdom He founded the earth!  God has known about this since before He created the world and He has it so marvelously under control.

Corrie Ten Boom once said, "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."  I do not know what the future holds for H2O Grants Pass, but God does, and I'm very excited to find out what He has planned.  Will you join me on this new adventure?


Monday, August 1, 2011

Fear and Trembling

Two days ago I attended the Rebelution conference in Portland, Oregon and thoroughly enjoyed it, was challenged by it and encouraged by it. I met Elaini, a young woman doing hard things for orphans in India (check out her blog here) and that was a true blessing. I also was able to speak to Brett Harris for a couple of minutes and just thank him for what they are doing and that was also quite nice. (Check out the Rebelution here)

I loved how very humble Alex and Brett are. They both know that everything that they have achieved has been through God’s provision and strength. They know that they are not super heroes and that each and that all “teens” are capable, through God’s power, to do just what they have done. This was so encouraging.
Something that really stuck with me was what they said about not letting ourselves get weighed down, stuck, by worry. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by what the future does, or doesn’t, hold and I find myself worrying almost constantly about one thing or another. What they said really helped to put things in perspective. It’s quite easy, especially as an almost-senior, to get caught up in asking questions such as, “What does God want me to be doing right now?” “How can I best be serving my family?” “Who am I going to marry?” “Who should I spend my time with?” or even simple things such as, “What should I say to this person?” and that’s not the point. God has everything under control and I have no right to doubt His power. Instead of asking questions like those that I just listed I should be asking, “am I serving Jesus Christ with all of my heart, soul, strength and might?” and, “Am I loving my neighbor as myself?” That really struck me and challenged me.

In just a few days I am (Lord willing) going to be speaking to about 180 people about Hope 2 Others, a ministry for the homeless that I’m involved in. I’ve spoken to more people than that about H2O before, but I didn’t have as much time to prepare as I have this time and I’ve had a lot of time to get nervous about it. I’ve been worrying about every single thing that could possibly (or couldn’t possibly) happen and it hasn’t been helping me, it has been paralyzing me, and I’ve been letting it do so.

When Alex Harris started talking about fear and worrying right away my mind went to this speaking engagement. Fear is something that I struggle with hugely, and I hate it. Nervousness, fear, insecurity, anxiety, whatever you want to call it, I know it quite well.

This past week God has been telling me in so many, many different ways that I have no need, and no right, really, to fear. I opened my Bible and few days ago and it fell open to Psalm 77 which, by the way, is a new favorite of mine. This psalm was written by Asaph who was struggling and suffering greatly when he wrote it. He felt that God had deserted him. Instead of giving in to these doubts, instead of worrying about the future, instead of having a private pity party for himself he praised the Lord. He remembered the many times when God had delivered His people and this knowledge was Asaph’s comfort.

I do not have one single legitimate reason to be nervous about this speaking engagement. I’ve told you about some of the many times when God has spoken through me, through my failures and helped me through them at past speech tournaments and speaking engagements (read about them
here, here, here and here) and I didn’t even tell you the half of it. God has delivered me, spoken through me, and worked miracles through my weaknesses over and over and over and over and He has never failed me. I have every reason in the world to trust Him and not one single reason to worry.

On the ride home from the conference I read Psalm 127 and the first two verses popped out at me in a way that they never have before.

"Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.”

I can do nothing on my own. If I were to be speaking on my own I would have every reason to fear and worry.  Honestly, if I were to be speaking on my own I would almost definitely throw up or pass out.  But I don’t have to speak on my own, I have the King of heaven and earth on my side and I have no reason to fear.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."
~Deuteronomy 31:6

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
~Joshua 1:9

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
~Isaiah 41:10

“And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
~Luke 12:11-12

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
~2 Timothy 1:7

“Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”
~1 Peter 3:13-17

Over and out,