The Night Sky: It’s telling a beautiful story.

Pleiades – a star cluster that covers an emmense span of more miles than we can count in 43 years.

With stars big enough and bright enough for humans to see from earth, yet it is one of the newest star constellations in the universe (not even 100 million years yet… pshhh, baby.)

It is one of the greatest marvels of the known universe and yet God says of it simply, “Can you hold Pliates in your hands, Job? Or unloose Orion’s belt…”

To what I can imagine was returned with a humbling reply of, “well.. no.”

These always remind me of my Dad. When we were young and had to be silent on our sailboat and look into the night sky and find these specific stars.

“Well then there… because I can.”

He goes on to put His ability into perspective by saying:

“ Then go ahead and man up and answer me this… (Literally, he says it, verse 3)

…Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Go ahead and answer since you have it all figured out…

[Who knew God could get such an attitude?]

…Have you commaned the morning since your days?… Can you guide Arcturus with his sons?…

Try guiding that bad boy.

 …Can you lift up your voice to the clouds and make it rain? …

better yet…

…Can you simply put wisdom and understanding inside of a person’s heart?   Because, I can.”

 As if He knew there would be a confused little girl in 2011 with so many questions who would read that statement in all of her frustration and searching for direction, and He would call her by her name in her spirit because He knew that she needed something to cling to and He would say… “But, Hope… I can.”

“So stop worrying about what will happen. Cus i can.”

“Or how it’s gonna work out, because, I can do all of that and more.”

Isaiah 40 says that He measures the entire universe in the span of his finger tips.

And yet we continue to so easily doubt if He is able.

 He measures 46.6 billion light years in the span of His hand and yet His eye is on the sparrow.

In all of the constellations, and galaxies, and all the other things that man has not yet been developed enough to see, God sees you and He sees me.

We are known and prized by magesty.

He knows us, and He loves us, and He cares about our fears.

Even the little ones.

How undeserving and how small we are in that spectrum.

We live on earth. Not the biggest or grandest planet. Not in the middle of our solar system, not in the middle of our galaxy, not in the middle of our universe.

Just a small, pale, blue, dot.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

When looked at from a far there is no awareness of our posessions, our cars, our homes, glamour or fame. There is no sight of the great need that exists. Merely a mote of dust suspended in a sun beam.

And each of our lives have been lived out on it. Every war been fought on it, brother killing brother.

A tiny little blimp on the radar of history.

 A vapor.

I can’t help but conclude that maybe we’re just not that great in ourselves after all.

And yet he knows every hair that just fell out of your scalp.

I think the Psalmist got it right when they said, “When I consider the heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You ordained; what is man, that You are mindful of him? and the son of man, that You care for him?”

I can’t help but be consumed with the beautiful cluster of stars called pleiades that is 43 light years wide, yet is held in His palm, and the story that it is telling in the night sky, in the spectrum of who we are in relation to God.

Put into perspective by a single conversation with Job, where God identified the significant insignificance of our lives – how important we are and yet how it’s really just not about us after all.

Just in case you were wondering.

So the next time that you look into the sky, remember the Psalms and give thanks for the heavens, “which are declaring the glory of God… Day after day they utter His words, and night after night they show His knowledge… (V. 26) Lift up your eyes unto heaven, and remember who created them and know them each: He calls them by name and by the greatness of His might, not one has failed.”

School Days.

How hard is it to wake your kids up for school in the morning?

One of the kids that we profiled this week walks for two hours, one way, every morning, in order to get to school at Hope for Haiti.

Danita’s students are known by the red uniform the kids wear and the big red ribbons in their hair.

They are so proud to be able to learn, to have the privilege to be there. In the mornings it almost looks like a force is drawing all these kids with little red skirts, before the sun is up, all in the same direction. Most walk across town ALONE in order to be able to go there, and wear that red uniform. Sometimes they will wear it to church even, if it is the nicest outfit they own.

When you grab a coffee at Starbucks a few times a week, and complain because it was almost $5, the total of that coffee could pay for a child’s entire education. Their schooling, food (which is usually the only hot meal they receive a day), uniform, books, the whole 9 yards!

Whenever someone enters the classroom the students stand up and say in one voice, “Bonjour [insert name]”, then they are led into a song as a form of greeting. The first day that I was here I was drawn to a familiar tune coming from the cafeteria. When I got there, the kids were getting ready to eat their lunch, singing, “How Great Is Thy Faithfulness”, worshiping to God in thanks for the meal (maybe the only one) that they were about to receive.

After their morning is over, they will surely return home, take off their uniform and shoes, and play outside, almost naked and definitely with bare feet, in an effort to keep their outfit and one pair of shoes nice for church and for tomorrow – when they are able to proudly make the walk again.

Be part of their story.

Diaries of the Departed

I had a conversation recently about how I dont really sweat that much. You know, just kind of glisen and glow and wipe the  drops of sweat from my  brow.

Well I changed my mind.

I am sweating like no bodies business in this place. We won’t even talk about it.

But Charlene, just kidding. I do sweat. A lot.

The last time I was here I was shocked and amazed that what I was shocked and amazed by was not what I expected. It wasn’t the poverty and the way people live and how they practice a way of life that is almost frozen in time. Everyday life in Haiti is 100 years regressed from the states. Practices that I’ve only heard my grandparents talk about. Washing clothes by hand, in a river. Walking with loads of goods on their head. Taking a jug for miles to get clean water from a well.

What I was amazed at was how how graceful the women at Danitas Children are, walking out the fruits of the spirit in a way that I always pray for.

This time I am so amazed at how alike we actually are (we – Haiti and America, not we – me and the graceful ladies).

There isn’t much different about us at all actually.

Families have neighbors, and when they have guests over they pull out their best – whether it’s a chair or a drink or a smile. They love their kids and, just like our culture,  don’t know exactly how to love them correctly sometimes, as well. They want the best for them and for their happiness, yet out of frustration sometimes leave them, in hopes of either someone finding them or being put out of their misery.

I am updating the Danita’s Children database today and looking through “Notebooks of the Departed” as I call them. In them holds each child’s story, when they were born, to who, where they were abandoned, why and if they have any living relatives. On each profile is a photo of the child and a photo of who is “responsible” for them (aka who abandoned them… departed from them).

To play with these kids each day has been amazing, to learn their stories has been humbling, one those things that will always keep me grateful.

Some of the kids have been here since the beginning. They know how things work, are loyal to Mami Danita and what she has done for them, and oversee things around the property. Francia is one of them. She is a mother in her spirit. The girl’s house is under her respect. I admire the way she holds such a graceful presence (clearly learning from Mami Brenda, a trait I also admire in her) yet can command a room with her eyes, all while rocking Stanleey to sleep.

 A large group of the children came after the Gonaives floods. These kids were found abandoned, stranded or just desperate. The most recent are from the Port-Au-Prince earthquake. This group us still tender. Just a year later and sometimes you can still tell they haven’t quite adjusted to the stability that Danita offers.

Reading these stories of the kids and the departed who left them puts many pieces together as to why their personalities are the way they are. Why they cry. Are timid. Are outspoken. Or somewhere in between.

May these Departed Diaries always be a reminder that God takes care of His children. In the mists of fear over nuclear wars and crisis in Sudan among other things, He saw where they were and rescued them. Each one. On purpose. Even more so, I am grateful that He hears their cries even now. When they miss their families or pray gratefully for their lunch, remembering a time when they weren’t promised a next meal, He hears them.

Even beyond that, He hears those who have yet to be saved. Who are desperate right now. When they go to bed hungry, lonely or sad. He hears them and He knows them by name. He is positioning them and caring for them and loving them. Until the day that they are saved, either to their new home with Mami Danita or their new home in heaven.

And to image that only $29 a month could be just the life vest they God is looking for. He will save them regardless, but is calling His children to be a part of their story.

Church.

Wanna talk about someone stole your seat at church?

Nothing to wear?

Just couldn’t get the kids out the door in time?

Too hot? Too cold?

Service is too long? Too short?

How about walking miles with 5 kids, three of whom are toddler triplets in 90-something degree weather?

That’s who I sat by at church today.

 

 In an open air cafeteria with 300 other people and six fans circulating the outside heat. Plastic chairs (like the ones outside on your back porch) filled the room and those with no chairs spilled out onto the patio, listening and watching through the doorways. Maybe that’s why they aren’t late.

I sat in the back and watched as people came into service, and tried to not make cultural comparisons. But what I saw wasn’t necessarily culturally different, but a difference in desire. I was taken back at how eager people were to be in the house of God. Regardless of their morning, or their clothes, or if they had a Bible or not. Upon entering, everyone went straight to the front, trying to squeeze into any available seat before taking a row behind.  A little boy came in, with girls tennis shoes on, christmas socks, pants too short, and a plaid, short sleeved, button down shirt – and so proud about it.

I was almost ashamed of myself, at how little it takes to get shaken up on a Sunday morning if even my hair isn’t looking great, and I was watching a couple hundred people, wearing the best outfit that they own, and so proud that they were able to come before their God and honor him with their best.

I sat with one of the triplets on my lap, falling asleep on my arm, while the mother breast fed the other two. At the same time. In front of everyone.

Now there’s a cultural difference for ya.

(Figured I shouldn’t include a photo… although I thought about it.)

The offering count team.

God is moved by sacrifice and He was definitely in the house this morning. Regardless of all other things, this sanctuary of people came to worship their God and He showed up in the midsts of them.

Pastor Sam was so gracious (I had no idea what he was saying, let alone that he was talking about me until one of the other missionaries told me he was addressing me) to welcome me to the service and pray blessing over those who come to Haiti to serve.

... just like Free Life - load in/ load out team getting to work! 🙂

He spoke about Jonah and the Whale – after an hour of worship – and every person sat intently in their seats, beads of sweat dripping, hot air stagnating, until the moment he prayed and released. Not that they had big things to do – only get started on their walk home with all their kids in their dress clothes (every man wore slacks and long sleeve dress shirts and every woman wore a dress and panty hose if they had them) and not one family was out the door.

Now that’s honor in God’s house.

The Usual.

Um, I just went to visit the house of a dead person, and my heart is so heavy.

I didn’t know this woman – never even met her – but the effect that she had at Danita’s children’s center still very much remains. I passed the very spot where she passed, walking with the staff member in whom’s arms she died. She was family to the team at Danita’s Children and when Brittany and I went to check on her kids it was apparent that their hearts were heavy as well. They smiled and said the right things, easily detected by someone who has so often done the same.

They immediately brought out an album of a happy young woman, in her remembrance. Their mother. Their mom. Who they would never get to say I love you too again.

The house was dark – lacking both types of energy.

Often times in Haitian culutre when parents die their children go to live with relatives and become child slaves at their new home. Think Cinderella with no knight in shining armor and no glass slipper. They sleep on the floor when the rest of the kids sleep in a bed, things like that, working all day to “earn their keep”.

Knowing this cultural tradition Brittany wanted to check on the kids and see how they were being treated, and as I watched them I wanted to mourn with them. To let them know it was ok to be upset. Everyone acting like it’s just something to get over. How is a child – 7 years old – supposed to just “get over” their mom never coming into their home again, never cooking them a meal, regardless of how fancy or extensive the meal is. She wasn’t even sick. She was young and healthy. And one day she just collapsed. They’ll never know why.

Regardless of economic status, how are these families expected to not have the same emotions in their heart because they live differently than we do in the states? It broke my heart that when people pass away in Haiti the family wakes up the next day and keeps surviving, when we so easy to stop our worlds because of insignificant, trivial moments.

Just something to think about.

Feeling so grateful and overwhelmed.. so much to write, but can’t grasp the concepts let alone form the words.

P.S. On the way back to the girl’s house (it’s been raining all day) we passed a little boy bathing in the rain gutter. And a mom rinsing out her mop in it too.

You know, the usual.

Hope to Haiti

I am leaving for Haiti this morning. I packed up four suitcases (and a “personal item” aka hugest bag I could find) and at the very end, with not a single bit of space left and every bag weighing 48 pounds, I realized that I needed a nice pair of shoes for church. So I did what any sensible girl would do in order to not give up what she wanted to pack. I wore the heels traveling.

Arriving at TPA was fabulous in my LBD and heels because I had someone special helping me, but was so not the same when I arrived in the Dominincan Republic and was alone. I can only imagine that I looked like Paris Hilton (or whatever DR diva they all know) pushing my 5 bags, by myself, in my heels. I wanted to keep saying IT’S ALL FOR ORPHANS… NOT JUST ME…. COME ON PEOPLE… I AM NOT THAT GIRL!

I made it into the taxi (the drivers are so sweet, they wanna open the door and put me in the back and shut the door while they pack the suitcases into the trunk and I’m all freaked out and paranoid because of the movie Taken so I wanna watch every move they make, just to make sure.) and to the hotel Hodelpa and checked in with only spanish phrases like, Hola… como estas? No habla espanol.. no se…

I’m not gonna lie, before I go to bed I’m gonna google some phrases so it’s not a completely awkward 3 hour drive to the border.

Once in my room with heels finally off, I had to check the first things first.

Do they watch the Bachelorette in Domincan?

and, yes they do.

sa-weeettt!!!

Epic Love: Shine Conference 2011

The Top 10 Things That I Loved About Shine

(of the MANY things that I loved… how did I EVER narrow it down, right?)

The Free Life Chapel staff ladies are seriously the most taken care of women that I know of right now – and NOT ONLY because we got to take a road trip to Jacksonville for the Shine conference at Celebration church.

BUT, we did get just get to take a road trip to Jacksonville for the Shine conference at Celebration church.

Pastor Kerri Weems and her fabulous team hosted an A-MA-ZING week of guests, speakers, creativity and attention to detail

(there was definitely a creative team who were meeting many times to pull this week off).

There were many times where we were so taken back, and in the mists of soaking in all of the excitement, would look at each other and say, “ok, see how they pulled that off.. we so need to remember that.. they were flawless there.. we are pretty good at that part..”

and were absolutely inspired and encouraged about everything that we learned, as well as everything that is taking place and developing at Free Life Chapel and in our own personal lives as women.

For my own sanity I had to gain some sort of focus and vision (..or else his people perish..just saying.:) )
for this post because mymind was all over the place with

all of my opinions and loves.

Thus, I have come up with my top 10 list – DEFINITELY not in order of importance because O, man… – of fabulous things from my time at Shine 2011.

1. THEME: Epic Love – The idea alone of this emense love that overtakes our world and identifies us as the main character in a love story that is greater than ourselves. It’s a thought that  overwhelms my heart and excites everything about my future! Whenever we walked through the enterence I immediately loved the energy that the Celebration team engulfed us in, walking in on the carpet, past the calm of the fairies and into the charged atmosphere of volunteers and women who have labored in work and prayer over the execution of these next few days. I felt immediately special and warm and welcomed and I turned to my pastor (Cindy Thomas, for those of you who don’t know her.. she’s kind of a big deal, check out my “My People” page to meet her) and said, “Ok, wow! We have to cheer like this at our ladies event, because I am feeling so fabulous right now!” I was so serious. Like I needed to flip my hair or something or wave. The energy was initially set for the entire weekend by this line of women who engaged every woman who entered.

The entire essence of the fairytale garden was perfectly captured without crossing into cheesy. Which is very easy to do.

2. MEN GOING CRAZY WHEN GIRLS GET MAD: There is nothing more courageous than the heroic men who stepped up to the plate to serve the 2000 women of Shine 2011. I have not been amongst that much estrogen in maybe all my life. Not only did these men add a charming and playful atmosphere to the golf carts and greeters and security, they also took on the challenge of soothing about 1500 of those women who sat outside in a line that wrapped around the building for hours in order to declare their favorite spot (no seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it. People would skip lunch to post up out front until the doors opened). And whenever the seats quickly filled up and majority of those 1500 didn’t get what they were after, those men, with smiles on their faces, and probably a bit of fear in their tender little hearts, were working hard to promote all the back row action – and smile along the way.

I’m telling you, ladies in conference mode can be fierce and spicy!

And a little scary.

Don’t mess with their saved seats.

3. SPEAKERS – I was so in awe of the speakers that Pastor Kerri truly outdid herself with by having them in for Shine (including herself). I have never heard any of them speak and I was so captured by what I got out of each. I connected withPastor Kerri’s “writer’s voice” as I call it. You know where someone can speak with so much passion and description, but you know that they are saying it exactly how they would write it. Like she is reading it all off the pages of her heart, bringing the emotions of a truly epic love story that we have with Christ and painting it into a vibrant and living masterpiece. Well… Pastor Kerri had that. A great “writer’s voice”.

Lisa Bevere – Lisa Bevere. O my. What to say about Lisa Bevere. Go find her on iTunes and download EVERYTHING she has. Brilliant. Not to mention, this woman really could be a stand up comedian. She had our entire group crying laughing within the first 20 minutes and Pastor Cindy repeatedly telling us, “Didn’t I tell you that I love her? I told you she is awesome, right?” I kept trying to tell the story after the conference, uncontrolably laughing just trying to repeat it, like “O my goodness, she was shaking her iPhone 4… O, it was funny… Steve Job’s wife?… O, geez… They didn’t know who she was… O, gosh I’m crying… But she was like, ‘That is not an option for me.’” (Those of you who were are Shine and are reading this are laughing right now, aren’t you? And you’re hearing it in Lisa’s voice.)

The amazing part, however, is that while I was laughing she was confronting the greatest struggles that I have directly encountered in my young life. While continually attempting to overcome the controlling part of my personality and lack of vulnerability (and discovering where that comes from), Lisa had a way of speaking to who I will be and not to who I am. Not to my fear but to my promise, and allowed me to identify with that place of adventure that burns inside of my heart while still appreciating the men in my life and who they are or are not in my story.

4. A21 – I was so drawn to the initiatives that Shine 2011 took on. A21 was moving and raw and encouraging and there was so much information. People are so eager to help and provide, if they just know how. I loved that instead of creating a buzz for their gain, Shine created awareness and fool proof opportunity for those who want to but just “don’t know how”.

5. HUGE DRESS – Ok, seriously. Can we talk about the huge dress for a minute? So the opener hits at 7PM the first night and there is a choir of little fairies with a huge fairytale tower on the right side and a huge panoramic screen above the choir. While the girls are singing the scene has a video of a woman singing a song and a drumline of about 6 guys pounding together an intense rythym.

Alllll of the sudden, the tower  spins around and inside of it is the woman from the video on the screen in a dress that is like 85 feet tall (Ok, so you know how I am with exaggerations, but wow, it was like the tallest dress I’ve ever seen, no joke. True story.) Every woman in that room (again, that number may be off slightly) wanted to be standing in that dress.

Or maybe just me. Whichever.

Either way check it out in that video above.

6. WORSHIP – I loved that they switched the worship teams up and that each singer was a worship leader. There were no back up leaders, or head leaders. It was just a stage full of worship, all consumed, and all amped. Not to mention Kari Jobe. But ok, let’s mention Kari Jobe. I am still at a loss for words for and completely obsessed with “You are For Me” and listen to it at least 10 times a day (no exageration there, so legit.)

7. DETAIL – Something that I really enjoy in all arenas of life is attention to detail. I am an administrative  intern at Free Life Chapel and I am also on our creative team so I am stuck between the two worlds of creativity and details.

It’s like cretails.

Or detivity.

But in noticing all the little tiny creative details I was so much more grateful that the team at Celebration church took the time (small shout out to the team at Celebration) to change the decor of the bathroom, down to the light fixtures and the wall hangings, all the way to the graphics and elegance. They pulled off the tiny details of logos, down to the glitteries – and with class all the way, didn’t go cheesy at all. Which would have been so easy to go disney cartoon or the other extreme to spooky-ness and make believe.

8. SERVANTHOOD – I have to share about one worship leader, Lindsey I think her name was, who sang on the first night. Lindsey has an amazing voice and a pure heart for worship, which is easily portrayed in her singing. The second morning whenever we arrived to the Starbucks in Celebration’s Annex building, Lindsey was a barista behind the counter making our coffee before service started. I love her heart for serving, which is so imperative within the heartbeat of Free Life Chapel. We love to serve, in any and every capacity. No matter who I am on Sunday (I never know what my job will be) or any other day, doing whatever it takes to grow the kingdom of Christ, and I was so impressed by Lindsey who’s humble heart was so apparent and who was serving her purpose just by living her life with God in front of others. Kudos to you, Lindsey. (Countless others I’m sure, but Lindsey is just the one I happen to have a conversation with. Georgie too – the video announcements girl – who showed me to the restroom a million times. Thank you, Georgie.)

9. SHINE BOUTIQUE – I loved just walking through the Shine Boutique, just to walk through it (reference number 7), because of how detailed the decor was to the Epic Love theme. I was obsessed with learning how to make the huge flowers on the wall and in love with the diamonds and glitter and festives everywhere. There was not one spot that did not shine (no pun intended. Ok, maybe a slight pun intended, but for real, it was super fabulous in there.)

10. THE AFTER PARTY – The after party was a blast (even for a white girl) and I loved that there were dancers there to purely engage the crowd. I also loved about the dancers, that their make-up and hair was almost theatrical in order to stand out and ease the crowd. It was the perfect way to end such a great few days together.

The greatest part of all – ABOVE ANY TOP 10 LIST – was being able to enjoy time with the other women that I work with everyday, enjoying hilarious dinners together, and even more hilarious conversations (that we will never repeat) and the most random moments that only happen when 6 women are away from their husbands for longer than 24 hours.

I have officially returned home as the shiny lead role of the epic love story, called my life.

“If you are going to be a hero, you are going to have to let God have your words.” – Lisa Bevere, Shine 2011.

How Loud Is Your Voice?

Every time i glanced behind me there she was. Her dirty Gap shirt and unkept hair couldn’t hide the huge but sheepish, gap toothed grin in response to my eye contact. Like she had never seen such a thing. Blonde hair is a comodity in Haiti, I have learned.

We were in the market. Work study day. Every Thursday the kids at Hope for Haiti give back to their community. A servalution, if you will. Whether delivering food to a family in the village or cleaning, they are in groups that rotate each week.

Today I was tagging along to the market to buy Some necessities for a women and her son (one of Danita’s students) who are both HIV positive and because of the poor immune system and bad living conditions, have both contracted tuberculosis. By being admitted into the hospital, the woman’s other children are left at home. With themselves. Brittany (one of the missionaries) stops by her home daily to ensure food is being prepared by the oldest and then crosses into Dajabone, Dominican Republic to update the woman on her children.

This in itself is a luxury.

The two girls who are with us are responsible for picking out the items on a budget and then delivering the gifts and visiting with the boy and his mom. As we walk, the street child isn’t far behind. When we stop, she’s just behind the closest hanging, playing “smile back and forth” with me.

After a moment I glanced over to play and a shop keeper began slapping the girl with a cloth of some sort. My heart in my stomach, I didn’t even know how to react, and the girl just turned her back to him with shame and embarrassment, stone cold expression on her face, taking it.

A million thoughts flying through my head, not know which one to respond to first, i just stood there. In my American nature I immediately began looking for her parents, thinking “this is ridiculous!”. No where. Then trying to figure out what to say that he would understand.

Nothing.

As he continued to hit her, my friend Brittany heard the commotion as she was making her purchase and started yelling, “hey! HEY!” and then embraced the girl by the shoulders to step in between her and the man and in Creole began yelling at him, “What is your problem? She’s just a kid, she didn’t do anything.” The man told her that she had been staring and stormed away.

Staring? Really? Brittany turned to the girl to console her and the little girl immediately broke. Se turned away from us and began to weep. Wiping her tears with her shirt, she didn’t want to expose her vulnerable heart in a world where she is desperate to survive. A tender heart is not an option.

No one had ever spoken up for her. She just knew to “take it”.

We are their voice. You and I. We are their option.

For about 100 kids, Danita became their option. Supporters like you and I became their option.

Brittany became the little girls option today. She filled the gap.

How many are there who have no voice? No option? Who just, take it?

For as much as we spend on lunch a day, we could give a child the chance at a choice. An option. An option to smile, to hope, to dream.

Whether they are poor, white, sick or hurting, they have the same little soul and innocent spirit as your child does. As you do. It’s our job to allow it to shine.

Brittany pulled the little girl over to us that afternoon and told her to pick out anything from the table of hygiene goods – soaps, perfume, lotion (not what your thinking.. you’re thinking Dillards.. think garage sale) – and she pointed to the back, to a single pair of girls panties. And smiled ear to ear as she ran away, with her first and only undergarment.

Read Stories About Those Who Gained a Voice

The A-List

When we read the Bible there key players.

They’re kind of like the A-list celebrities of the Bible.

You got Jesus. duh.

Adam/Eve. Noah. Moses. Mary and Joseph. Sarah. Ruth.

The list goes on…

But the point is that we see them as the big timers of the Word, and they were nobodies in their time. I mean prolly somebodies within their circle of influence, but even the big timers like King David and Solomon. They weren’t living to be written about. They were just living. They were walking out their lives.

I guarantee you Mary had no clue she would be the main event of a best selling Book for decades to come. That some people would actually pray to her. She was just a 14 year-old, scared, little girl. They were all people like you and me. Making courageous decisions. Or not so courageous. Praying to a mighty God. Being scared that it wouldn’t work out.

Walking through each emotion that accompanied their process. But they were the nobodies of their time, just like you and me, praying to One who was bigger and better and able to meet their needs. You know when Joshua prayed, he was scared. I bet if people in the Bible knew that they would one day be recorded about they prolly would have made such better choices.Ya know, like if you know someone is watching you it’s so much easier to do the sweet thing. If Joshua would have known he would eventually be the guy who everyone would read about when they needed to be reminded that God knew our plan before we were born, I bet he would have acted more hardcore. Like no God, I got this. I know you got a plan.

But no. He didn’t.

He lifted up (prolly with a shaky voice even) cries to God for help and protection and guidance and courage.

Because he was scared.

And I pray to the same God.

Not like ‘man we were both faithful, but lived thousands of years apart’.

Like, I have had conversations with one of the same people as Joshua. And Mary. And Moses. Heck, even Joel Osteen or Scott Thomas.

I see people doing great things and assume they have some special life or connection or  some special God or God just likes them more.

I guess it’s true what they say about people all being connected by 5 degrees… interesting.

So why do I assume that God can’t give me the same powerful answers as He gave to Moses, Mary and Joshua? Just because I can see the end of their story doesn’t mean that it was an easy ending to come to.

Know today that God isn’t just the lifter of your head, but He answered BIG prayers like splitting an ocean into two parts, putting a baby inside of a virgin woman, and leading a young boy into a leadership role of a tribe of people.

He looks at your biggest desire with not a drop of concern.

He can do the same for whatever it is that we even think in our mind or whisper about through our tears at night. He answered BIG prayers of little, insignificant, people. He asked for no criteria first. Just a willing and righteous heart.

This is what I know and this is what I will hold in my heart.

Goodnight.

XOXO,

Hope

Just something to think about: What if our lives were going to be written about in thousands of years to come. What role would be yours?