Friday, March 05, 2010

Today is the day.

Well, I've been a COMPLETE SLACKER and in the craziness of the last few months, neglected to update my blog. So if anyone is still out there, here's the lowdown. I leave for India TODAY!

I've had a mix of emotions over the last few weeks.

  • excited | I can barely contain my excitement about getting the opportunity to return to India!
  • nervous | Last time I went to India, my stomach wasn't really a fan. But this nervousness has passed and I'm ready to roll!
  • unworthy | When I stop and really process what is about to happen, I feel totally unworthy. It's hard to fathom that God could use flawed people for his glory, but he does, all the time.
  • thankful | I'm so thankful that God extends his grace to all of us - his power and love is what will truly make our time in India successful.
  • overwhelmed | God choose me. If he hadn't instructed me to go, I wouldn't be.
  • joyfilled | God choose me. Just like he choose the other 29 people who are going on this trip. We're all willing to lose ourselves to bring him glory - so I KNOW amazing things are going to happen. God has already showed up in so many ways.
  • filled | The love, encouragement and prayers from so many people around me has my tank filled. I'm ready to head out and empty my tank on the Indian people. If I love them well, as Jesus has called us to do, then I have succeeded. And I couldn't do it without the support of so many amazing people.

While I'm in India, I will have some limited access to a phone. Obviously contacting my family is my number one priority. But I don't want any of you to be left out either. So, when contact is made, my sister will be updating my facebook fan page here. One of my good friends who has a spouse on the team may be updating with the news she hears as well. We also have a team blog - keep checking here for updates and pictures from the entire team!

Well, I'm out. Got some Bible reading and prayer I want to dive into before we leave.

See ya on the flip side!

Monday, November 16, 2009

10 Days in India...

Three years ago my view of the world radically changed. I left my comfortable "bubble" of Northern Indiana and traveled to southern India with a team from Granger Community Church. I had never traveled overseas, let alone to a third world country and I never expected to come back a different person. But I did. I left a piece of my heart with the people of India. I came back with a love for a broken and hurting country that somehow managed to turn my world upside down. A love for a group of people who inspired me to be more like them: giving. loving. sacrificial. authentic. strong.

And in March I get the opportunity to head back to India...and I couldn't be more excited.

This time I'll be headed to a village called Kalavai - a village that is considered the lowest of the low, a village that most wouldn't even notice if it disappeared, a village that without intervention from people of "power" would never have any hope of changing. A few years ago GCC heard about Kalavai and decided to intervene - to use the power that comes with just being Americans to change the future of this village. Every few months teams from GCC head to Kalavai to help them start and run businesses, assist in building homes, teaching the children English, providing filters for clean water and many more projects. As soon as I heard about the Conversational English Team I was all in. I knew that was exactly where I belonged. What I didn't realize though was the power behind learning English.

Ironically, in India if you want to attend college, you must speak English. All courses are not in Hindi or Tamil, but English. English is considered the "trade language" of India! Who knew?! Obviously the ten days of our trip is not enough to teach our highly complicated language, but we'll be working with local church planters who have already started the ball rolling and will continue the program after we leave. And we are bringing something with us most Indians don't have access to - native speakers of the As someone who had to study foreign languages in school, conversing with someone is the best way to learn. I can't imagine a better way to spend 10 days.

But even as a "seasoned veteran," this trip will be vastly different for me, and your prayers would not only be greatly appreciated, but greatly needed as well. Three years ago my stomach did not transition well to the long days of travel and life in India. I had trouble eating and came back 13 pounds lighter than when I left 10 days before. Not exactly the healthiest way to lose weight, and not exactly part of the experience I want to relive. Knowing now what I didn't know then is obviously to my benefit and I'm stepping up my game in the next few months of preparation. Also, during my last trip, I was lucky enough to always have bathroom facilities - strange bathroom facilities at times, but still, always accessible. This time I will not. At all. For days. It's hard for me to even fathom life in the middle of nowhere with a tent and a bush. But I know I'm supposed to be headed to India, and I know with the power of prayer and a little stubbornness on my part, I can handle it. If you are willing, please pray for these two things for me specifically, as well as safe travel for our team, for God to use us in whatever ways he can and for the people of Kalavai.

And as always, a trip like this doesn't come cheap. With the economy the way it is, travel costs are up. Currently, the cost of my trip is $3,000. If you want the opportunity to help send me to India, you can mail a donation using the attached form, or hop on the web at For those of you who are curious and like to plan ahead, half of my support is due on January 18, with the trip paid in full by February 22.

We want to bring the kingdom of God from up there, to down here on earth. One little village in India at a time. It's already begun and I can't wait to be a part of it. And by supporting me in prayer or in finances, you will become a part of it too. You will be influencing the lives of the people of Kalavai. You will be a world changer as well. You will be bringing up there, down here.


If you want to see some of the videos that captured my heart, and of the work being done in Kalavai, you can find them here. These are the people I will soon be meeting. The people I will be serving. The people who will be radically changing my life. The people whose lives you will be changing as well. If you have any questions or want the web address to follow along on my journey of preparation, more information can be found periodically here on my blog or on my Facebook fanpage.

Reflections of India

I've been thinking about India a lot lately...a lot. I decided to look back on some of my thoughts after I returned from my trip three years ago.


Well it has been almost two months since our return from India and here I am still trying to process everything I saw and experienced. I wonder if I will ever truly be "done" processing...

Last night Lindsey (one of my fellow India travelers) and I were talking about the pace of our lives. Somehow, without our knowledge, our lives have gone crazy. It seems like my life is over flowing with too many things to do and not enough time to do it in. Slowly, the pace of my life has increased back to warp speed. And it spawned a conversation about the pace of life in India...

India is a hard country and culture to put into words. As I have told many of you, even though we were actually only gone for 10 days, it felt like we were gone for at least a month. There was so many things packed into our days that it often felt like one day was really two or three. I believe most of this is simply because of we were "guests" from America and everyone wanted to see us, have a chance to talk with us and to have us pray for them. There is kind of a relaxed urgency in their way of life. The church planters we were with packed their days with visiting people and ministering in villages and homes, wanting nothing more than to love these people and help them to meet or know Christ better. Yet at the same time, there was always downtime to spend with their closest family and friends. Every day we were in the villages we "took rest" - some of us napped, some of us just laid down our heads, but there was always down time. How ironic is it that I had to travel across the world to see an example of relaxed urgency. And even after I experienced it and yearned to be like that upon my return home, somewhere along the line I returned to my old habits. Packing my minutes, hours, days and weeks with stuff, without "taking rest" every day.

How desperately do I want to remember how the Indians lived, and learn to emulate it into my daily life.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Going Back...

A few days ago I found myself going back through my blog - for a completely random not so important purpose that I am currently pleading the 5th on - and started to realize how many things I have forgotten. Ironically some of those posts are starting to smack me right upside the head. Who knew?

This one really hit me. Partially because I originally stole it off a friends blog and partially because I can't for the life of me remember who it was who wrote it. It occurs to me that maybe it's supposed to be that way...

The stuff in this short little post is enough to really get you thinking. I know it has gotten me thinking once again...


One of my amazing friends recently posted a blog - her words left me in awe. It spoke the words that many feel but never form themselves.

Since many of you may not be privy to be her friend on facebook, I decided to "steal" her words to share them with all of you. Check it out and see what I mean :

I'm sitting in a coffee shop, surrounded by many, yet feeling alone and i'm wondering... what things in life are truely worth the risk? I take risks every day.
I risk being late every time i hit my snooze button.
I risk getting a ticket every time i speed.
I risk burning my mouth every time i take a sip of coffee.
I risk falling every time i wear high heels.
But what's really so risky about these things? So what? I could be late, get a speeding ticket, lose some taste buds, fall on my face or all of these things in the same day and there really isn't going to be that much damage.
Then there are the things that seem really risky... too risky.
Telling someone you love something ugly about yourself.
Trusting someone you want to love.
Trusting someone in general.
Loving someone in general.
Allowing yourself to be known well enough to be truly loved by someone.
So what heppens if i continue fearing things like love, trust and being known? I guess i'm not really sure. I do think that a life w/o risk is a life not worth living. And i don't be the i-didn't-brush-my-teeth-last-night kind of risk. I mean the i-could-get-my-heart-ripped-out-again kind of risk, or the i-may-die-trying-this kind of risk. Doesn't the size of the risk say something about the size of the possible pay off?
Anyway, i guess i'm just deciding to risk again. Maybe that means trust, maybe that means love or maybe that means letting myself be known. Whatever it is, i think i can feel it coming... i'm not sure i'm ready, but i'm not going to run.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I've never been someone who's good at waiting. From birth, showing up two weeks early, I've always had a hard time with waiting. Don't get me wrong, I've had to do my fair share of waiting. One would think that I would have gotten used to it by now, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

For years I took God out of the picture. If he asked me to wait, I just went ahead with my own plan. I didn't want to wait, I couldn't see how God could make anything better come out of making me wait. I always thought "Hey, he's God! If he really wanted such and such to happen, he could just go ahead and do it right now." So in my warped sense of reality, if God didn't act now, he'd turn my plan into his plan and we'd all live happily ever after.

Then a few years ago I finally tried it God's way. I waited. And waited. And waited some more. And one day, God blew me away. His plan was better than anything I could have even possibly fathomed for myself. The period of waiting was worth it.

Waiting still isn't easy for me, and I doubt it ever will be. The greatest things in life are rarely the "easy" things. There is one thing I know - I don't want to cut God's story short in my life because waiting seems too hard. Once you take that chance, and actually wait on God and his plan for your life, it'll blow you away too. And the next time you must wait...and the time after that...and the time after know it'll be worth it then too. It always is. Because He always does everything right - everything.

Isaiah 30:18
But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.
He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.
God takes the time to do everything right—everything.
Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Darth MC Hammer

These guys have skillz...

Monday, July 13, 2009

30 Days

Last week at our staff meeting we were broached with a question - if you found out you would die in 30 days, what would you do?

Some might think this is an easy question to answer.

But it's harder than at first glance.

It's hard to fathom that your life could suddenly end in one month's time. Would you want to know? Would it hinder how you live your life? Even if you did know, would you choose to continue life as it is? What might you do differently? Who would you spend time with? What would you do?

It's something to think about. If you're curious, here's my thoughts on my last 30 days:

  • I wouldn't complain so much about getting up early. I would want to have as many waking hours as possible with the people I love. I wouldn't want, on Day 29, to look back and wish I had just a few more hours.
  • I would visit as many family members and close friends as possible. Not just to sit around and mope together, but to make memories. To have random fun, take tons of pictures and laugh our heads off. To love each other without abandon or fear.
  • I would say things that need to be said, but have instead chosen the easy road. Things like:
  • I'm sorry. I forgive you. Please forgive me. I love you. You're being an idiot. Please stop hurting yourself. Please stop punishing yourself. Let love in. Let God in. I'm praying for you. You are loved. You are missed. You are appreciated. You have made a difference in my life. You matter. You matter to me. You matter to God. Just try. Trust God - He really does know better than us. You helped me to become the woman I am today. Thank you.
  • I'd write letters to those I am leaving behind - to give them a piece of me to hold onto when I'm gone.
  • I'd make hilariously stupid videos to help people to laugh in the first few days after I'm gone.
  • I'd put together a playlist for my funeral - and insist it be used. Music full of love, hope and laughter.

Last week, when asked this question, there were two things I wanted to do: spend time with my loved ones, and sell everything & travel the world.

But, when I'm being completely honest with myself, traveling is not what is important to me. People are. The people I love are. Traveling would be the easy road again - see everyone, say goodbye, and then distract myself from the pain of what's to come. Of knowing I had a short time left to live. And that is not what I want my last days to look like when I stand before God. And I would never want to put my family and friends through that added pain.

So while my list is different than I originally thought, this list is me. This is who I am. My only question now is, why am I not doing a better job of these things when my days are not numbered.