Wednesday, November 27, 2013

a letter to you.

I feel like I should start out by saying sorry. I have ignored you at so many instances. I have passed you by like you were not there. But so many times  I have felt your presence, seen your handiwork, and even heard you whisper your sweet promises in my ear- even while I was ignoring you. You would gracefully offer your hand- wanting me to take it with confidence- but so many times I would turn my back on you and find myself trying to save myself.

I remember the day we met like it was yesterday, but it was so long ago. I was in second grade and it was the beginning of December. We had been out to recess- I remember the cold wind and playing on the monkey bars with my very best friends. It was Bible time after we came in and it was about the birth of your son. That day my teacher asked if anyone wanted Jesus to be their personal Savior. As my head was on my desk, my eyes squintily closed, and my heart beating fast- my hand went up. My feet were heavy as I walked towards the desk- but I was so excited. I had made a decision, one for myself, one that would literally change my entire life. I held my breath and you filled me with new life. You filled me with dreams and passions and visions that I was far too young to understand. But I remember you confidently telling me that you would be there all my life, that you would help me understand these things as I grew older and grew more into you. And you didn't lie. You never do.

Each year I grew in you. Each year you taught me more. Each year the dreams and passions became bigger and deeper.

I remember you standing with me as I watched Jamie have seizures. I was so young and didn't understand it all- but somehow you whispered to me that it was about glory. I really do remember you saying glory over and over one night as I layed in my bed waiting for her crying and seizures to stop. And now- I fully understand that phrase glory. It was and IS for your glory. To make you famous- to show others that you are good no matter what. But as I got older- I turned in defiance. I was mad that my sister could not walk or talk. I wanted her to be able to shop with me. I wanted my sister to talk about school with me. But YOU made her this way. Why is the question that was happening in my years as a teenager. It wasn't fair is what my heart screamed but you were right there beside me even then.

I remember you holding my head and wiping my tears as I felt like a failure. Kneeling beside my bed alone in my house- crying out to you. Wanting you to make yourself clear. And you did. You spoke tenderly to a heart that was confused. I had to tell my parents that I would not be a nurse. The dream I thought I had since I was little wasn't really a deep rooted dream in you, but instead one that seemed to make sense. I had learned that nursing was not what my heart desired. And as I kneeled down praying out to you, you reminded me that my heart desired you and only you. I remember you being my strength as I sat on our couch and with tear stained cheeks told my parents that I really had no idea what you wanted me to do but that it was not to be a nurse. They held me as you hold me. They assured me that they were proud and would stand beside me.

Years passed by so fast. And the next step was that application. The one that you told me to fill out. One that would wreck my life. Because I had noticed you changing my heart in Peru many years before in 2005. You had showed me things I never saw. You were opening my heart, opening my eyes, and screaming things to my heart but ever so tenderly. As I filled in every blank- I could feel your assurance. "Yes, Ivy, this is what I am telling you to do." And I did it. I finished it. Because over these years I had learned to trust you. You deserved my trust. I had seen you provide time after time. I had watched you help the pastor in Lima find Zaida in the slums with only a small photo of her. I had watched you wreck my life and rearrange things. And my favorite thing you did? You birthed a homeless ministry out of that 1997 Mitsubishi Galant. You showed me how to love people so well. And even though I am still learning- I want to take this opportunity to say thank you.

I got an email about some obscure place that I would be serving for six months. And that day I got the confirmation that I was denied entry, I felt you more than ever before. You literally held me. Sang me to sleep in your way only Daddys know how to do. It was such a hard day. I questioned if I had really heard from you. But you reminded me that I was not crazy.

And then you sent me to an even smaller, obscure place that I learned to love. And you did so many things there with me. You loved the people through me. You showed me how to serve when I was really sick. And you healed me from a fever that should have killed me. That is something I will never stop talking about.

For years I ignored your love letters. The ones you wrote to me hundreds of years ago knowing exactly what I would need to hear. But it was hard to see that you meant them for ME. I didn't really believe that those words on the pages of that book were to me personally. I acted as if I was not worth it. Not worth those words. Not worth your sacrifice. And to be honest- I am not. But through your grace, mercy, and redemption I have become one of your own.

I learned to turn to you when my friends have abandoned me. I have watched you provide things that seemed impossible. I watched you hold my heart as boys trampled over it. I have witnessed your grace as friends walked away after time overseas- because well, they cannot deal with the emotional difference. I have seen you confidently walk before me, preparing the way that I cannot see yet. You have been a friend that never left. You have been a Daddy who babies me when I need it but shows me where I mess up.

Thank you for helping me sail my ship, even when like a stubborn sailor I wanted to do it myself. I am so sure of your trustworthiness. And proud to call you a very dear friend of mine. More than that I am proud to call you Savior and will live every day of my life proclaiming that to the world. Wherever you may send me, I know you are there. Thank you.

Monday, November 4, 2013


I had been in DJ for a few days. Had adjusted and my jet lag had finally subsided. I learned my schedule for teaching and realized I would have my mornings free. 

so with a little research online and directions for the "bus"- that term is used loosely because a small van full of sweating people and goats on top of people isn't what I picture when I hear bus. I went on my way. 

I put on a veil, threw a water bottle in my bag, and grabbed some baby wipes before I left my apartment. I walked around our building. And started through the market. One of my first times alone there. People grabbed my arms- wanting me to buy their stuff. But I was focused. A goal in sight. 

I got to the bus. Said hospital with a French accent and they sent me to a van a few feet ahead of me. I sat by a sweet lady and her baby. Making eyes with the baby- I prayed for English speakers to be there when I arrived. 

The bus stopped and the driver motioned for me to get off. I did and made my way to the little alley way. And I walked through a big iron gate. 

It was beautiful. And I immediately heard crying babies. I walked up the steps, hopped a gate, and was greeted with babies grabbing my legs. 

An orphanage run by nuns and filled with babies that parents literally threw away. I picked a baby girl up and found a place on the floor. And my eyes found him. 

His name was Abdurmon. He was swinging in an infant swing. Legs hanging down. A huge smile. And I immediately knew. He had cerebral palsy. I knew the signs- and I saw seizures come and go. His sweet mouth gaping open with flies surrounding it. And I cried as I lifted him up. His seven year old body being the weight of an infant. I fed him his bottle. Prayed over him before I left. And cried all the way home. 

I spent many hours in prayer over that boy. Many google searches over how to do things for him. And many dances showing the nuns what I meant- because my French was non existent. 

My heart aches not seeing him. Not knowing if he's okay. Not being able to bring him home.

And y'all, He's there. He's present. He sees, He cares, and He created him perfectly. As my anxious thoughts come over me about Abdurmon and the other babies I loved so much- I have to trust Him. 

They traced the lines of my face, played with my hair, and stared into my eyes as I fed them. They didn't have a mommy ever love them- but I did. And I'm confident if my future children are alive in orphanages - God is placing some girl who doesn't know anything but to rock, pray, and love them right in their path til I can get to them. 

Y'all, pray for the orphans. Consider adoption. Sponsor a child. He demands it and it's a perfect picture of grace.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Noah had an ark.

we all know the story about Noah.
God told him to build a boat, animals went on two by two, his family didn't drown, there was a rainbow.

the thing we forget is this- God told him that is was going to rain. from the sky.

that had never happened before. it was something new.

God also told him all of this- and didn't tell everyone else. so when Noah told them ----they all thought he had lost his ever loving mind. and rightly so.

we don't know how long it took Noah to build the ark. but I am just gonna go out on a limb and say it wasn't a day. and it probably wasn't a week. but he knew God's promises. and he had this covenant with God. he trusted Him. and obeyed.

before when reading this story- nothing really stood out. I have heard it since I was three years old. we see it in baby's nurseries. we see it on storybooks of near pagans. it's just the norm to us.

but recently--in this season of life---the Lord has really brought me back to this story often.

I know the promises He has made me. the specific ones and the not so specific ones. I know that they are coming but I am in the midst of building the "ark" so to speak.

and things get even weirder.

I enjoyed some sweet time with Jesus in Lakeland, FL a few weeks ago. I prayed SPECIFIC things. it is listed day after day in my journal. and it doesn't mean anything to anyone else BUT my God answered that prayer the next week. it was an encouragement to my faith and while I am still trying to figure some things out that go along with that answered prayer- He's faithful, y'all.

the next week I got a devastating email. the job I longed for. the job I really thought I had in the bag. the job that I was over qualified for and had more than enough experience for. the one I had found apartments close to the location. well, yeah THAT job. I didn't get it.

I was crushed. hurt. confused. at the same spot I was after that harsh no to Sudan. the no that literally changed my life and was the best no I have ever received.

and then I read in my journal- I saw His answered prayers right before my eyes. it was happening. and He had answered that specific prayer because He knew hurt was coming.

and so here I am. no job. at the beautiful age of 25. and it's hard, guys. harder than I ever imagined.

and Jesus has told me not to go looking fora job. to wait for Him to MAKE A DOOR.

do you know how hard that is? I cannot tell you how many times a day I want to search or (ahem) actually do search for job openings. but I trust Him.

and I feel crazy. and people think I am weird for not looking. and being this lame jobless girl just hanging out with kids in the park and serving my homeless/jobless friends.

but I am pretty sure Noah would get me. he was there. people called him crazy but he kept building.

so alas, I will build me an ark and pray the rainbow comes a whole lot faster than expected.

His word is true. and He is trustworthy. for that I am thankful.

cannot wait to tell all of you when the promises and prayers are answered and come to fruition. stay tuned.

it's coming soon, guys. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

dear Jamie.

Dear Jamie,

Five minutes ago it officially turned into your birthday. You are 22 years old. And I cannot believe it.

I was three when you were born. I don't remember a lot about it. But there is an entire home video dedicated to that day. From the waiting room full of people, to me wearing my big sister shirt proudly, and it ends with me explaining that indeed they were my mommy and daddy but yours too.

I know I was excited. I had prayed many nights as a toddler before going to bed that Jesus would give me a baby sister. And you, my sweet sissy, were the answer to not only my prayer but to mama and daddy's prayer too.

You were perfect. Born early and small- but perfect. You looked like a little baby doll and I treated you just like that. I am holding you or kissing you or talking to you in every picture and video that we have. I was in love with you- and that has not changed one bit.

Months passed and then the news came. You were not just a spoiled baby who cried like doctors said but instead you had  disorder- one that we would learn much about in the coming years. Cerebral Palsy.

Even to this day- I get a little choked up when I say it. Because- it does not define you. Doctors wanted to put your abilities in a box. To tell us what you could and could not do. And as a small child myself- it was heart breaking. I wanted my sister to play barbies with me. I wanted you to run around with me. I wanted you to be able to tell me about your day at school. And you couldn't. I didn't understand completely. But I can assure you this. On that day in December of second grade- when Jesus took a hold of my life and the Holy Spirit inhabited my body- I was able to understand. The Holy Spirit was able to give me peace and understanding and a boldness even as a child when praying.

I prayed with urgency. Every single Bible class- I talked about you. I asked my friends to pray for you. My teachers to pray for you. And the days when I would walk into the halls of SCA with teary eyes because you had seizures all night the night before- my teachers touched Heaven for you, sissy. You have always been covered. And through those prayers and our gracious Heavenly Daddy- we have seen miracle after miracle.

You are so smart. You are so good at sorting colors and shapes. And you love to "doctor" us. You love to color. And I love it when you use that sweet right hand when trying to play. You push the boundaries- and I adore that.

You walk so good with our help and your braces. And you never really fuss about it. I am so proud of you. I cannot imagine the kind of heartache you have some days and you cannot express it. You have taken TONS of medicines your whole life like a pro. Endure endless physical therapies. And rely on us to do a lot of stuff for you. I am thankful the Lord is your comforter and gives you understanding.

You were so brave when I was in Africa. Cried only a few times and I think enjoyed being the boss around here.

Jamie, I am so thankful for the way you love others. Even though you get aggrivated with us and sometimes- yell- that's normal. I do that. But most importantly- you talk to everyone. And smile. And sometimes even say a little "AWW" so you can kiss their hand or hug them. That is like Jesus. People think you don't get it but you do. And you understand a lot more than we even realize.

Sometimes when I am praying out loud for you and reading verses to you- you just laugh- like the Holy Spirit is just telling you something. And I have no doubt that he is. because he loves you that much, Jamie.

We won't know just how many lives the Lord has changed through you until we get to heaven. But MAN, I cannot even comprehend how the Lord has used you. Because having you as MY sister changed my life. I cannot imagine it any other way. You may not talk. or walk. but you are mine. And Jesus used you to mold my heart. to mold my faith. to teach me of trust.

He used you to make my heart for those who cannot help themselves. He used you to teach me how to care for Abdurmon at the orphanage in DJ. He used you to give me patience. He used you to teach me to be joyful in every situation. He used you to teach me how to be a lover of people years ago. He knew what He was doing when He let you be mine.

He does miracles daily. and you are one of them. I cannot wait for the day you walk, sissy. We are getting you some goodlooking shoes.

You are my number one. You are it. I love the most in the whole world. And the man I marry- he will too- or I won't marry him. And my future kids will adore their Aunt J.

Keep being the best sister in the world. And I cannot wait to see how Jesus continues to heal you this year. Maybe you will even walk across the stage at church like we have had dreams about? Either way- your testimony is one that Jesus is using all over the world- and that excites me!

I don't know about everyone else, but YOU are feeling 22!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

a year.

it's been a year.

a year since I hopped on the plane in Ethiopia heading back to the place that I once called home.

a year since I talked to a Muslim leader in an airport that day and had him ask me to pray for him.

a year since I did nothing but cry all the way home. 16 hours of tears. my nerves were crazy. I had butterflies thinking about seeing my friends and family. it was the weirdest feeling ever.

a year since I realized that God removed my love of things greatly as I had lost a piece of luggage and did not care one bit.

a year since I had what my cousin calls a love black out. that moment I walked through the doors in the new terminal in Atlanta. I saw my parents and Jamie standing there. and  my precious friend Susan. I could do nothing but push my luggage as fast as I could. and everything faded. my heart was at home. those hugs- I had missed for six long months.

a year since things hit home like really. as I climbed into my bed after 2 whole days of travel- everything sunk in. the Lord protected me from the thoughts while I was in Africa. but I was reminded of His faithfulness. I didn't die- like He protected me over and over and over again. the disease of dengue fever did not hold a chance against Him. and the people who threw rocks- they did not know I was a daughter of the greatest King in the world. not once was I harmed to death. harmed? yes. dead? no. and that feeling of laying in my bed. praying and thanking Him in the same spot where I had prayed and asked Him to protect me six months earlier was one moment that I will not forget. a sweet moment with my Heavenly Daddy.

I cannot lie and say this has been an easy year. actually it has been one of the hardest. one of pain. and heartache. one that makes no sense. and one of waiting.

{we all know waiting is the hardest.}

it has been a year of tears. and joy. but a year of His promises.

He has promised me much. and much He has given. and I am expecting so much more.

as I look back on a year of flashbacks to the hard stuff. talking with pastors. speaking at churches. hearing stories of how God used a little Southern girl who was not anything special to touch people. understanding how your heart can hurt yet be at peace at the same time. He has taught me so much. He has loved me so well. and He continues to remind me that He has me in the very palm of His hand.

I miss Africa DEEPLY. everyday is a struggle not to hop on a plane.
and everyday I give Satan a black eye when he tells me that it has been a year wasted.

because I haven't found a job. doors have been slammed in my face. doors that I was well qualified for. and I cannot say it isn't hard- because it is exhausting. but we know, and I have to remind Satan that He wins. He already won. and that He has this amazing, God ordained job for me. and its coming. I just feel it.

so as I miss that place I call home. as I wait for Him to move. as I pray for the people He wrecked my heart for. I am reminded- He is a good Daddy. He is comforter. and peace. and goodness.

and I am just plain excited to see what is next.

God will open new doors. Revelation 3:8.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

dear 15 year old Ivy.

Dear 15-year-old me,

I wish I could remind you how awesome Jesus thinks you are. I wish I could walk beside you and cheer you.  I would help you learn how to be brave, bold, and courageous. Be yourself. Speak your mind. Don't be so quiet. 

Don't worry about what other people think. I promise- they will always love you. And you will keep in touch with some of them, some of them you won't. So don't worry so much. You are different. And you feel that so deeply. God has called you for a very specific reason- don't run from it. Let Him mold you in these years. Be open to what He is telling you. 

You are about to see God working in your heart and life like never before. How I wish I could show you where you will be ten years from now. You will pray and beg and pray and beg about going to Peru next year. Stay calm- mama and daddy say yes after you show them Psalm 91 every night. You will fall in love with the country and the people. And don't worry- the pastor finally finds Zaida and her home after six long months- and you will sponsor her. Actually, you will be going to see her graduate high school!!!! Don't think so much and try to figure out what God is doing. He is for you and He will show you your next step. Love people hard. 

In a few years you are going to start a homeless ministry out of your car. The parents will be worried- but keep trusting you have heard from Him. And after witnessing to college professors for years- you will start to understand why He had you there. The Lord is going to send you somewhere hard and crazy after college. Don't get disappointed when you get the NO for Sudan but instead see that He is at work. Trust Him, trust Him completely. You will be called to unreached people. Be ready for that. It will be hard. And the waiting once you get back home is even harder. You will face persecution. You will be scared. But remember- fear not. FEAR NOT.

I know you want to be a neo-natal nurse. I know you want to help people. But its not about money or status. You will soon learn that. You will learn to give up the dream of the rich husband, four white kids, and white picket fence. You are going to learn His heart and He will put His desires inside of you. Be ready for that. And just so you know, when you change your major in college- mama and daddy are not disappointed. Don't fret, God has something up His sleeve. 

And boys...just don't worry about them. Some boys will be jerks. Some boys will be sweet. But keep your mind and heart guarded. Be romanced by your Heavenly Father. Let Him protect your heart and keep it for the right boy. In ten years, He still might be holding onto it---and believe it or not---you are not dead. It's not the end of the world that everyone you know is married with kids. Because you will learn His timing is perfect. 

And Jamie? Keeping covering her in prayer. I know you adore her. And she will always be your baby. Even when she is 21. She is going to have brain surgery- and she will make it out like a miracle. They won't shave her head so don't cry over that. She will look bad for a few weeks- she won't respond to you- she will have black swollen eyes. But do NOT let Satan tell you that His promises have failed. She will soon be a miracle. She will start walking with her braces and our help. She will learn to say so many things. And she will be the light for so many people. You will continue to pray for her complete healing for years and He will still continue to work. His timing, His timing. 

And that cool cell phone you think you have? Just wait- your phone will talk to you in ten years. It is crazy. 

And as far as mama and daddy. Let them embarrass you. Let them hold you. Let mama sing in Target. Tell daddy he is number one in your book. Remind them how thankful you are. And don't forget how things are. Take in the sounds and smells. How it feels to be doing your homework on the kitchen table as daddy walks in from work. Cherish the moments. 

Walk to Prissy and Papa's house more. They grow old fast- and health decreases. Take every moment you can with them. Love them. Tell them you love them. Every single day. 

Get over yourself. You will grow to be loud and outgoing. Don't be so shy- God will teach you how to be bold. 

Love hard. Live loud. And put Jesus before everything. 

Oh, and in chapel at school? when you don't want to sing out loud- just do it. Jesus loves hearing your worship.

See ya in ten years. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

the year with no chocolate bunnies.

it's been a tender week for me. actually a tender Easter season.

this weekend is the pinnacle of my faith. if Jesus hadn't died- I wouldn't have the grace and forgiveness and eternal life that his death so graciously gave us. and if He hadn't rose again- it would appear that Satan won.

but He didn't. Jesus won.

our. Jesus. won.

sometimes I still can't get over that.

He won for us. because He loved us so much. He was willing to hurt....hurt a lot. to bleed. to have people yell horrible things at Him. to have people mock Him. to have his clothes stripped away and to have thorns thrashed into His head.

because He loved us.

and my thoughts this year go to my friends.

my friends who live in East Africa.
my friends that believe that Jesus lived but do not believe that He died.
my friends that do not believe in the resurrection...because well, why believe that when He didn't die on the cross in the first place.
my friends who believe He was a great man and that He will come to reign on the earth.

but my friends are lost.
and without the things that happened on Easter we all would be.

and I also think about all the dark things that this year has brought for mankind.

human trafficking. churches being burned down. pastors kidnapped. miss**naries killed. cancer. death. post election arguments. discontentment. sickness. fevers. drought. famine. hunger. orphans. widows. suicides. abortion. families divided.

and my own discontentment, pride, selfishness, and sometimes harsh words said before thinking.

we are a dark people. and that's why Good Friday had to be dark. so that the light could come.

the dark things show that we CANNOT do it alone. it strips away any self-dependance we could ever have. it takes away that idea that "we got this." because we don't. we don't have this.

my emotions have been bubbling over as I realize that Easter isn't some chocolate bunny, sweet holiday.
no. Easter is a scandalous, earth shattering, bold season. and I have felt my need for Jesus this year during this time more than ever. 

every tradition of this holiday has brought a subtle weight this year.
seeing eggs. seeing bunnies. candy. peeps. grass. baskets.
it has all brought a weight.

these burning images of my friends across the world. burning images of people worshiping a god who doesn't exist. burning images of the babies in the orphanage who if WE do not go...will never know the love of a Savior. {this one aches the most}

and once again HE reminds me of the question the Holy Spirit sparked so many times in DJ.

"Am I worth it?"

He is worth it all. worth no water. worth sitting on dirt floors. worth sweating for days on end. worth crying at the sheer loneliness. worth stones. worth threats. worth life itself.


His resurrection gave victory over death. gave hope.
.....turned mourning into dancing.
.....gave boldness instead of shame.
.....gave courage instead of fear.
.....certainty over the doubt. gave us solid ground. 

so this year instead of eating peeps. and eggs. and focusing on the Bunny.

may we honor Him with our lives. not only on the Sunday that changed the world but that through us....He can reclaim His fame in all of the world. amen.

I urge you to pray for those worshiping tomorrow in closed places. and for His light to shine among the unreached.
it is one of the hardest days.
{I can remember awaking before the sun so that it was safe in the middle of the desert. and it was worth it.}

may He be glorified.

with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:9.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

living by faith. not by feeling.

it was cold on the plane. my pillow was wet with tears. and i am confident that i scared the Indian guy to death who was a newbie coming to America. 

my heart was racing. and i was nervous as all get out. 

but why. i didn't get it. 

i was about to set my eyes on my family. on my friends. that i had not seen for six long months. 
i had looked death in the face and kicked Satan all over the place. i wanted to see them. really, i did. 

but i was scared to. 

because you see as soon as my little feet set on that airport floor. it began. 

a new season. 

a new season that i wasn't sure how to deal with. one that the Lord had given me promises about. one that had been prayed over. one that was PREPARED before i was even created. 

let that sink in for a second. 
He knew that i would be freaking out. He knew that i would be scared of what was up ahead. and nervous about being back at home. 

He knew. He understood. and that's why He filled my heart and journal with endless promises of what He would provide. of what He would show me. and of what He would do miraculously. 


fast forward some months. 

months full of  nightmares. reunions. pictures. emails. flashbacks. tears. laughter. and pure joy. 

here i am in this new season. 

an awkward season but a new season alas. 

i try to figure it out most days, but then i remember He has me in the palm of my hand. and to LET GO of these white knuckles of mine. 

i am leaning on my Savior fully. trusting His every word. and listening very closely. 

so on days like today where Satan tries to make me question the who what when where and why. 
i basically punch him in the face and tell him to get lost. 

but really, I do. 

because my Daddy knows me better than anyone else. He knows my love language. He knows my fears. and He knows my dreams. 

He speaks to me in the ways I need and calms my fears when they arise. 

He is the beginning. He is the end. and He is the in between. 

He doesn't go anywhere. He won't leave me. and He surely will not forsake me. 

He forgives me when I doubt His faithfulness. and takes every opportunity to show just how powerful He is. 


y'all, our Heavenly Daddy is the best. He is unbelievable. 

so as you wait for Him to move. as you wait for Him to tell you the next step. as you wait for the GO {I am there.}. 

praise Him. live by faith, not by feeling. 

because we all know our feelings are all jacked up sometimes. 

when your head tells you He can't, commend your spirit that yes, He can and He will. 

Lord, I trust what you are doing. I will follow You. 

make straight Your way before us! Psalm 5:8 .

Thursday, January 31, 2013


welcome back, y'all.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

love. boys. and other mysteries.

I was probably in sixth grade. sitting in the gym  at the school I attended from kindergarten until the beautiful day that I graduated.

it was "promise week." it was all pretty much just talk to me at this point. wait for your future husband. don't give your heart away. don't let people play around with your heart.

I listened. I didn't talk during the talks. I prayed after it all. and God spoke to my little 12 year old heart.
to "be still. wait. and work to bring Him glory in the meantime."

so the meantime looked like middle school. and high school. and college.

because He didn't break up that meantime.

there were tears. and confusion. and pure aggravation at it all.

there were prayers. prayers of hope. prayers of anger. prayers of desperate asking.

and then there were times where I thought God was shaking it up. but THANKFULLY I was wrong.

I messed up a lot. and wished a lot of silly stuff.and prayed some pretty insane prayers.

and I wouldn't have survived without our Heavenly Daddy. 

so I still pray Isaiah 58 over my future husband. and pray he is ready for the adventure that will happen soon. 

but I also desperately seek my Heavenly Daddy on behalf of the two precious girls I mentor.

boys. boys. boys. boys.

it's what teenage girls talk about. it's what they think about. it's what they care about.

I listen. and add in my two cents about the perfection of Justin Bieber's hair. and discuss Taylor Swift's latest break up.

BUT I hope that they get it.

that they see that satisfaction comes from the pursuit of the King.
that they feel Him romancing their hearts.
that they protect their hearts with every ounce of their being.
and don't take a 15 year old boy's flowery words and turn it into something it's not.

God wrote my story in a way that I would have NEVER ever in a million years dreamed.
ever. never. ever. thought.

but it's perfect in every way. every adversity. every victory. every lesson. every tear. every adventure. for His glory. and His alone.

you see...when I was 13...I was under the impression by this time in life...I would be a RICH nurse, married to a super good-looking rich doctor, raising some cool white kids, with a white picket fence.

but alas, I can only laugh. and realize the great satisfaction that comes with knowing that His stories are best. He knows my heart. He sees where I will be. He knows what I need. and has already planned all of it out. how cool is THAT?!

so I pray that my girls are not disappointed. but WAIT. wait for Him to move. wait for Him to speak. and wait for Him to send that boy.

may they realize He is the best romancer around.

because quite frankly, I will hurt any boy who hurts them.

daughters, do not awaken love until the time is right. 
song of solomon 8:4.