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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

insta boast | part one

you can tell you are close to someone when you start talking in weird-unnatural-funny sounding voices. it happens over time, usually without any sort of explanation. you subconsciously pick up weird phrases & tones that never existed prior to that relationship. if you ever read through my texts or overheard private conversations I have with my go-to-people, you'd probably think you were either listening to toddlers struggling to talk or maybe someone with a weird accent or perhaps a speech impediment?! [I'm exposing my humans as I type this, ha!]

sometimes our lingo involves adding an unnecessary "g" sound to any word that starts with a "c". or we may call each other weird names that are not even close to an offshoot of our given name. or there's my boyfriend who is an expert at cartoon voices, in fact I sometimes wonder if he completely missed his big break as a cartoon voice actor. some of us say "gol", which originates from the expression "golly" and "gah" - perfectly meshed into one easy to use exclamation. I'm sure all of our mothers & grade school teachers would shake their heads & roll their eyes if they heard us communicate to one another. bless it.

recently my twin sister & I were talking (in our language) about an instagwam boast we had scrolled past. in that split second our silly, everyday, seemingly normal, yet very unusual language communicated one of the LOUDEST revelations I have had in quite some time.... WHAT IS MY INSTAGRAM BOASTING?! in this case I don't just mean post, like an actual BOAST. what is my secret language on social media?! am I communicating encouragement or garbage? am I subconsciously fueling my self worth with a little graphic heart?! am I doing enough, to compete with professional cameras & air-brushed women?! what do my posts say about me? what are my POSTS BOASTING? does the time spent hyper scrolling even bring any sort of lasting value to my short time on earth?! why do I NEED a certain filter? why is coming up with a caption the hardest part?! my head was literally oozing with my over-analytical thoughts. in that second, I made a rash decision to delete the IG/FB apps from my phone for lent & to carefully continue to monitor my posting & time spent scrolling. 
Instagram is a mobile photo-sharing application and service that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly or privately on the service, as well as through a variety of other social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.
boast (verb) talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one's achievements, possessions, or abilities. (noun) an act of talking with excessive pride and self-satisfaction.
please don't get me wrong. social media is an excellent tool to promote GOOD in this world, social media can give advice on how to live a healthy life-style, it can keep us up to date with friends around the globe, social media can encourage strangers, it shares cute stories & informs us of things happening around the world. unfortunately while social media continues to make the world feel very small, it's continuing to make me feel even smaller. SO I am writing a blog series about my experience as a recovering IGQ (instagram queen). join me as I try to write about what I've been learning, by experiencing life outside a square filtered catch phrase.





* series disclaimer: this is clearly just my personal convictions & struggles with social media (mainly Instagram)... that's why I've taken to my own online diary. I am certainly not condemning social media. I LOVE social media. my psyche just needs a break from hyper scrolling. so post on.!

Friday, October 7, 2016

defining the refined

the past isn't supposed to define you,
it's supposed to refine you.

_

maybe it's just me, but it seems that my past mishaps are generally messy, complicated, twisted and maybe full of unexpected/unwanted situations? mistakes made and lessons that were humbly learned. [ NOTE: on the other hand my past is ALSO filled with a lot of good things too - travel, opportunities, adventure and people that have all formed/shaped me to who I am today]. I seem to (unfortunately) naturally fall into a toxic trap of thinking that my "negative" past is the only thing that actually really defines me, today I am learning to let it REFINE me.




Jesus freely gives me the opportunity to be daily refined, not defined. when I allow myself to believe I'm defined by my past, it physically feels like a dark cloud is constantly looming above my head. my head is filled with a constant whisper of the past. my messy brain re-calculates my every past move and I sit there consumed with how I would have or could have done things differently - if I would have gone there or could have met them sooner!?


it's funny and sad how difficult it is to remember that I'm not labeled by what was. I want to believe that the best is ahead and that I am fully capable of living/walking out in the freedom of not being defined by past choices. the Message says what we see today is gone tomorrow. Jesus knows our past and literally only sees our future. HELLO my past isn't going to dictate my relationships, my dreams or how I view myself. 



when I was filled with doubt, now I can be assured. where I was confused I can now see clearly. when I was at my best, I can still be expectant. when I was anxious I can now be content.  God please continue to refine me so I'm no longer being defined by my past (or really the future at that). at the end of the day I just want to be refined/molded/shaped into the best woman I can be. I want to love harder, smile more,  show grace, laugh louder and know Jesus more than I did ten minutes ago. 
_

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG | So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

gratitude attitude

HELLO why/how is it already 2016. I can't say I enjoy getting older or the fact that ten years ago I was in high school ....!? it scares me to think how fast 10 whole years can fly by. I'm not a fan of change, growing up or adulthood for that matter. 



in my short 26 years of life experience, anxiety has always [almost naturally] accompanied even the most basic life change. this past year especially, seemed to hold the most change, probably the most I've experienced so far as an adult. [ekkk... why me God?!] some changes were good, some were hard, some were uncomfortable, some changes were REALLY great and some were out of my control. things like my work load, relationships, responsibilities, family, finances & city all changed last year. every month & season seemed to offer a "fun" change, accompanied by anxiety. thoughts constantly festering in my little jumbled brain, over analyzing situations and worrying about what the next day would look like. my nervous-nelly tendencies certainly felt their glory in 2015! but thankfully satan didn't have a chance to win.

with each change & anxiety, came a mental thankful list. lists, on lists, on lists, on lists (you get the point).... countless lists of a zillion other things I was thankful for, amongst the said change. the more I recognized what I was thankful for, the less I worried about the actual change taking place. it's like God was distracting me, funny how that works?! thanks God. it seems to only take about ten seconds, to thank God for the little things & I quickly start to notice my worries erase?! 

it's a little too early in 2016 to predict any sudden changes... then again who even knows what tomorrow will look like?! either way I PRAY that I can maintain an attitude of gratitude in 2016... I want it to become second nature. I want to be so thankful that there is not even enough time to worry or be anxious. it seems like an audacious pray ....but I serve a bold & strong God, so I'm confident this is achievable!

• step 1 to saying YES to life in 2016... having an attitude of gratitude.!!  

PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray [write a thankful list]. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you downIt’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

ten years old.

2016 is quickly approaching.

TEN YEARS ago I started blogging as a slightly emo, naive, free-spirited, eager-for-life-to-start teenager. today I am 26 years old, some how an entire decade has now passed... and I am still a slightly emo, naive, free-spirited and even more eager-for-life-to-start twenty something. what a conundrum?!

7.26.2006 | "at camp this summer, Ken Rudolph was speaking on passions & dreams. He said something around the lines of, you'll know when your dreams & passions are the ones God has for you, because you'll be completely satisfied. I'm pretty sure I'm starting to figure out my real dreams & passions. Its not about what I want, its what God has for me!"
TEN YEARS later life has a lot weirder & slightly confusing responsibilities. more natural growing pains. a lot more uncomfortable life twists. harder conversations. added gray hair. meaningful friendships. seemingly hasher revelations. more love & appreciation for my family. messier cries. added freedom. huge accomplishments. different pressures. surprisingly caring less & less of what others think of me. bigger perspective. fulfilled dreams. failures. different view of the world. surprises. risks. tension. lots of laughter. wonder.

tonight I reluctantly read back through old posts. thank you JESUS for keeping me close all these years. I love knowing why people are the way they are. what made them do what they did or say what they said. it's funny to look back on ten years of what I said and what I've done. this entire time God somehow has carefully crafted my path along the way. this blog quickly reminds me of countless lessons learned, tears cried and heart bruises that are still healing. 

+ this just in, my goal this new year is to actually start blogging again! I miss writing (aka typing) out weird things that are in my head or resting in my heart. God has a funny way of reminding me of who He is & who I am to Him when I type/write. here is to the next ten years. 

NOTE: in 2006 THE OCEAN by MAE was my song


Monday, August 19, 2013

12 vs. 24

FIVE tiny lies my TWELVE year old self said about turning TWENTY-FOUR:

1. I grew up with blond hair...so naturally, in my mind I still had blond hair as a 24 year old...no one told me gray hair started coming as early as twenty!? Or that my once natural blond hair color would turn into a mousy ashy brown!? AND high lights cost too much & take too much time.

2. In the natural progression of the [Christian] American Dream, you're [supposed to be] swept off your feet by some hot guy with a chiseled jawline, is about 2-4 years older than you & who obviously loves Jesus...hopefully at church camp, maybe youth group or the Christian college you [are supposed to] end up at. Unfortunately, there were no marriage worthy "hot" guys in my youth group growing up, the summer I worked at church camp I was too shy/timid/self-conscious to talk to boys & by the time I ended up at a Christian college last year...I was seemingly too old or maybe missed him?!

3. My mom had three babies by 24...of course, in my 12 year old mind I would have at least one or two kids by the time I was 24. Now here I am at 24 and I haven't even kissed a boy yet?! You do the math. And I can honestly say that at this point in my life I don't even want kids (right now)...but women are SUPPOSED to want lots of babies though... riiiiight?! I absolutely LOVE other people's children.... 

4. I have LOVED Nashville, Tennessee...my entire life...I was pretty certain I would be living in a cute bungalow, on a beautiful oak tree lined street, in the historical Franklin, TN at the age of 24...for now an old rental that leaks occasionally, with room mates, in cold/hot/cool/warm/cold/bitter cold Michigan will have to do...

{side-note-extra} It still cracks me up how we view ourselves at an older age!? Because I was pretty sure when I was 12...that my 24 year old self was supposed to be a lot more fit than I actually am now...!? HELLO. Working out takes more discipline than Barbie let on...Jesus help me.

5. In natural conjunction with loving Nashville, growing up I of course loved CCM! Yep. I said it. I loved going to concerts, festivals & the dream of being a band-wife who wears cool clothes, while selling merch. With that being said, I always wanted to have a job working IN the Christian music industry. In my 12 year old mind, at 24 I would be working for some cool music company or at least in the industry working with bands and artists. Now I'm a full-time admin & part-time photographer by trade. "Work" is definetly not as exciting as I painted in my mind...

All of that to say... God has managed to fashion way cooler plans / adventures / twists / turns / travels / paths / friends for my life, than any 12 year could imagine up... thankful for that today!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

here I come!

here I come Michigan. I'm moving back [what?!],
after a semester in Chicago, I'm coming back... for good!

- - -
ahh! life is funny sometimes, right!?

since arriving in Chicago, I've had a difficult time adjusting. I've been restless, confused, annoyed, unhappy and discouraged. I thought the home-sickness would go away. I thought things would get better. I thought since I was supposed to be here, it didn't matter whether or not I was happy. I thought a free education would be easier to pay for. I thought a lot of things and then realized all of my thoughts were wrong. and the longer I was here the more I couldn't see myself being here for four more years. which of course gave me a mind set of failure and disappointment. I must have failed and gotten it all wrong... if after a long process of getting here, I am having second guesses!!

I started praying out of confusion and frustration... assuming my second guessing was just my emotions talking. I began to ask/beg God to heal my restless heart, to take away my fears, to fill me with hope, give me new perspective -- because I could not become a failure or quitter.  I didn't want to entertain the idea of coming home for good. so I kept pushing the idea away. but the more I prayed the more I had peace and understanding about coming home. I realized [again] I wasn't in control and that in the end, God's plans are better than the ones I try to map out and aimlessly travel on ............ bottom line: over the last few months God has taught me a lot about myself / others / relying on Him / stepping out. I've met some amazing people, explored a new city, checked things off my bucket list, tried something new, followed God where He led me, learned a lot of patience and was of course reminded that I still don't like to do homework. I also realized instead of just being/existing in school, I could actually continue to LIVE life at the same time I am studying AND save money! crazy right?! why didn't I think of this two years ago?!

so here I go, I'm starting another adventure! in Michigan this time [or wherever God takes me next]! AND I have a lot of peace about it, but again totally not what I was expecting at all!! I'm excited and super open to whatever God has next for me. I am stoked to have the chance to be home, while still getting equipped with an education. I am also VERY thankful for everyone that believed in me and supported me with love, encouragement and prayer[s] as I made this initial move.  I was not in Chicago for a season by mistake.... God revealed things to me that I couldn't have grasped stuck at home. I am also still a firm believer in the fact that God's timing is in deed perfect :) I no longer see this as giving up or as a failed plan, rather as giving in... to whatever God wants for my life.... and being content with whatever it may be. thank you JESUS for not seeing me as a failure, instead choosing to use me in any situation I'm thrown in. life is so unplanned & not what I expected .... but a twist in a plot always makes for a better story!




Monday, April 8, 2013

lets leap [again]

hi blog. remember me!? me neither. who am I!?! I use to be so faithful once upon a time.

during this seemingly silent blog season, there has been many, many, many, many, many, many [getting the point?] growing pains, lots of blind faith, determination, confusion, pain, sin struggle, learning, anxiety, crying, darkness, weakness, adjusting, not really living life... oh wait I was feeling this way a year ago too, but for different reasons?! what's happening God, this wasn't supposed to happen!!

all that to say. God is up to something [again] and I am just going to stop setting unrealistic exceptions on things I want out of life, because this far -- NONE of my expectations on life have come to fruition or seem to ever measure up in my messy thought life.

things I'm sure of; I find myself in yet another season of neeeeeding to get the heck out of the boat of fear, that is holding me back from actually LIVING my life and walk on the water again -- more blind faith & trust than before. and it's time to accept the fact that no matter how uncomfortable it may be, unexpected twists in a plot will ALWAYS make for a more exciting story. here's the pen back God, I'm done trying to write my life out.

lets leap [again]


Saturday, March 2, 2013

JOB 23 // the message


“But he knows where I am and what I’ve done.    
He can cross-examine me all he wants, and I’ll pass the test        
with honors.I’ve followed him closely, my feet in his footprints,    
not once swerving from his way.
I’ve obeyed every word he’s spoken,    
and not just obeyed his advice—I’ve treasured it. 

“But he is singular and sovereign. 
Who can argue with him?    
He does what he wants, when he wants to.
He’ll complete in detail what he’s decided about me,    
and whatever else he determines to do.
Is it any wonder that I dread meeting him?    
Whenever I think about it, 
I get scared all over again.
God makes my heart sink!    
God Almighty gives me the shudders!
I’m completely in the dark,    
I can’t see my hand in front of my face.”


--
my life.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


You called me out upon the waters
the great unknown, my feet may fail
and there I find You in the mystery
in oceans deep my faith will stand
and I will call upon Your name
and keep my eyes above the waves
when oceans rise
my soul will rest in Your embrace
for I am Yours and You are mine
-
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
let me walk upon the waters
where ever You would call me
take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior



Sunday, January 20, 2013

tendons - bellarive

I LOVE music. I LOVE lyrics. I LOVE music + lyrics. I can't sing, I can't play any instruments ... but there is just something about music that literally changes the way I feel! maybe music a/effects everyone that way... but if not, I think this song will change your emotions/how you feel if you read & listen at the same time.  .  .  .







Barely beating now

My heart is overcome
I fear there's nothing left for You

Can You hear my heart from there
It seems the distance is 
What I chose to bear

So rip these tendons, they hinder my reach towards You
Rip these tendons, they hinder my reach towards You

Would You meet me here
Where I rest my bones
Where I lay my head down

This place is my escape
Oh God, I need You to initiate

Light up the sky
Set our hearts on fire
Light up the sky
Let us see our Creator

If the Titanic was made to sink
Then so was my heart
For I made sure it was impenetrable
Oh, what a wretched man I am
Who will save me from this flesh
Paul whispers in my ear,
“Oh, don’t worry my friend …
You’re in good company”
Poets before me have tried
to measure this love
And if 40,000 brothers cannot
with all of their quantity of love
make up this sum
Then how can my heart contain this mass
It would only burst at the seams into
a million tender pieces
So what then
What good is a broken heart to You
Could you even hear my heart from there
And like a father assuring his son
to come home
“Oh my son, it’s enough, it’s enough”
So who am I to accept this grace
that just falls like rain
‘Cause we all know I chose to lay
my head in this desert
But like a fish out of water
We only know then what it means
to be parched
So if Christ is alive, the love,
and the groom
Then take heed my friends
For chivalry is not dead
For I know no other lover who would
have met me here in this place
So I awake and I rise from my bed
of complacency
Oh, my God I’ve been sleeping
with a corpse
Oh, and these bed sores they still
rest in my bones
Oh, how I’ve made a beautiful dance
with this cadaver but my audience
is appalled
Oh, how strong these tendons
How they desperately need to rip
from this ancient Adam
So light up the sky and
Set me a flame
Burn this bone and tissue
For I no longer want to be
entangled in this sinew
That hinders my reach towards You

Sunday, December 23, 2012


I've heard the Christmas story a time or two. I know it's all about how humbly the Creator of the universe came to earth, as a tiny baby human. I love babies & the miracle of pregnancy & that women can literally bring life into the world... but I can't say I've ever really thought about Mary actually carrying Jesus for nine months, feeling pain and Jesus being THAT much of a human!? Jesus was a baby human being... so human & yet so perfectly God?!
--

"God became a man. While the creatures of earth walked unaware,  D i v i n i t y  arrived. Heaven opened herself and placed her most precious one in a human womb.

The Omnipotent, in one instant, made himself breakable. He who had been spirit became pierceable. He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. And he who sustains the world with a word chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young girl.

God was given eyebrows, elbows, two kidneys, and a spleen. He stretched against the walls and floated in the amniotic fluids of his mother.God as a fetus. Holiness sleeping in a womb. The creator of life being created.



God had come near.



He came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conqueror, but as one whose first cries were heard by a peasant girl and a sleepy carpenter. The hands that first held him were unmanicured, calloused, and dirty.


No silk. No ivory. No hype. No party. No hoopla."



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"life is hard, but even the harshness of life points toward PURPOSE. if you're willing, you can probably trace your passion all the way to the deepest point of your pain. for many of us, God uses painful experiences to BIRTH our life passions." // beth moore 

Monday, October 29, 2012

sun stand still

sun stand still : He'll work out ALL the details, we just have to walk in whatever He called us to : He's calling us to something bigger than we can handle : He knows we can't do it on our own : if He called you to it, He will do it : what we believe of Him, affects what we ask of Him



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

needed.



the lyrics of this song are so intimate/personal. as I've been listening to this song this week, I can't stop pondering on the fact that I am allowed to be in a intimate/personal/close relationship with the Creator of the stars?! ::: sigh ::: take a second and let that really sink in...yeah...I can't handle it. makes me so thankful for the cross/sacrifice!

You have been
And You will be
You have seen
And You will see

You know when I rise and when I fall
When I come or go, You see it all
You hung the stars and You move the sea,
And still You know me



You know me
And nothing is hidden from Your sight
Wherever I go, You find me
And You know every detail of my life
And You are God and You don't miss a thing

You know me

You memorize me

Monday, September 24, 2012

fun times!

hey blog! it's been a while... I guess nothing has changed, I still just type up random thoughts that pop into my head & chances are it probably doesn't make sense to outside readers -- but I promise somehow all these thoughts God made clear or connected dots in my jumbled crazy mind....

Like lately...  God is showing me that He has a sense of humor, in that my current ending-of-a-season is literally exactly like it was two years ago!!? therefore I should be a pro at this kind of thing right....?! mmm... how about no.
--
September 2010...
I was planning to relocate to Australia January 2011. worrying about finances, getting ready to make a huge move, starting to see an end to a season, expectant for new/exciting things to come, anxious about change, having to constantly psych myself out to actually follow through with the plans God was leading on, working a lot, worrying some more about finances, procrastinating with the bigger details, not sleeping much because anxiety keeps people awake, and literally crying a lot to God asking if THIS is REALLY what He wants me to do... because what I thought I wanted and (then) had right in front of me seemed a lot harder/scarier/bigger & not-so-fun as I imagined.

September 2012...
I am planning to relocate to Chicago January 2013; now all I do is worry about finances, try to make myself ready for a move, I'm starting to see the end of a really good season and it makes me sad/nervous, I'm expectant of new/exciting things, I'm constantly anxious about the change, I am finding I have to psych myself up to actually follow through & take the steps needed to see this change happen, I'm working A LOT, add some more worry about finances, starting to notice I'm once again procrastinating with some of the bigger details, lately I haven't been sleeping much because anxieties flood my mind when I'm left alone with my thoughts, I find I'm crying a lot more to God in doubt -- wondering if this is actually what He wants me to do next; because even though it's something I've WANTED & WAITED for... everything about it seems too difficult, scary and not very fun....as I was hoping it to be....
--
obviously God knows how I'm wired. He knows how I deal with stress. He knows how I am with money. He knows that I feel anxious and He sees that I'm not having fun right now, but He also knows that I'm not completely reliant on HIM when times are fun & care free!!

All of that to say... huge shout out to the Creator of the world for being patient with me, for wanting to use me in a very specific way and choosing to take me on crazy [& sometimes scary] adventure[s] with Him... even though I have a messy/broken past!! 

He knew in 2010 what my 2012 would look like, so I could be [somewhat] prepared to handle all the crazy/scary changes that are coming...even though it's scary/difficult, it's kind of an adrenaline rush to think about the things God has planned for me...I know what my 2010/2011 looked like, so I cannot imagine what else He has in store for me next!!


"Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

2 corinthians 12:7-10 


I took this picture on a Thai beach... thinking... is this REALLY my life?!
I'm finding that following God's plan for my life tends to have that reaction.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

hiatus

gotta take a blog hiatus! not sure when I'll be back... but right now, I don't have time to collect my thoughts & throw them on here. it makes me sad! but time away is a good thing!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

love love

I love love, weddings and marriage! last weekend my lovely friend Jenna got hitched. it was a cute outdoor wedding on a beautiful farm property, then the reception was in a pinterest-ed-out barn. the cherry on top was that I got to see some of my Australian family! it was such a blessing to see some lovely long-lost faces.










Friday, June 29, 2012

guest post: Bangkok to Detroit, same same but different

My friend Lindsey recently got home from an anti-human trafficking trip in Thailand.  I LOVED how she worded this post, so I had to repost her :) leave her some love on her blog!
*see blog here


Bangkok to Detroit, same same but different 
How can two evils be so alike and so different and half a world away from each other?
I’m still processing and working my way through Thailand (I recently went on an anti-human trafficking mission trip). The dark, the evil, the sadness, and also the light, the joy, and the purity of the Father’s love. In Bangkok sex is no secret. It is not hidden and prostitution is socially acceptable. Sex sells on a menu and where there is one girl there is many. One of the hardest realizations for me was the daunting feeling these young girls grow up with knowing the expectation for them to bring in money by way of prostitution is heavily set upon them.....some even from birth. Sixty percent of men that fly into the Bangkok airport fly in for sex. To use, abuse, belittle, and degrade young girls.....because they think they ‘can’ or they feel ‘entitled’, whatever their motive is it is wrong. When you walk down the streets of Pat Pong, the 2nd largest red light district in the world sex is not hidden. Signs that read ‘Super Pussy’ or ‘Super Girls’ are plastered all over. Every corner is home to 2-3 people asking if you want to go to a ‘ping pong show’ which is a sex show. Every bar leaves open just a large enough crack in the door so you can peer your eyes in and see dozens of teenage girls either half-dressed or naked. Innocent baby girls. Yes, there are brothels hidden in the depths of the city that house continual sex trains off 11 year old girls that most do not know about. Yes, there are hidden sex rooms the higher you travel up in the bars. There are also obvious sexual acts that are so sickening you turn your eye and somehow convince yourself what you see is not real… I’m sure that is how those young baby girls feel too. But for the most part, sex in Bangkok sells itself right in front of your eyes. There is a purpose for these tourists, a plan of action, a pre-determined mind set, and innocent lives fall responsible to fulfill. 

Almost an entire world away…across oceans and miles away in Detroit, Michigan some of the same evils listed above take place. The difference? In Detroit for the most part it is hidden. You don’t walk down a designated street for young woman or lady boys. You don’t walk down a four block neighborhood and see 4,000 girls/lady boys selling themselves. You don’t walk up and down streets to see young western men (and old ones, too) purchasing sex before your eyes. In Detroit, Michigan, my home, it’s the same but it’s different… sex is hidden. Now if all you’ve ever been exposed to is prostitution within the United States you won’t fully understand this; you may think ‘prostitution is not hidden here’ but when you travel to the worst of the worst, Detroit appears to be a cake walk when compared… but that is not true. Looks are deceiving. Just because we do not have designated streets or sex sold on a menu does not mean that Detroit is any better off than Thailand – but rather the opposite. It’s the hidden that is worse. If 11 year old girls were the same as the 15 year old we met in ‘Super Girls’ bar in Pat Pong they would not be hidden in a brothel… in the same way, if the women in Detroit who are caught up in the Sex trade industry were ‘not in as bad of conditions’ as the others then the evil wouldn’t be hidden. I’ve been all over Detroit at night, 10pm, midnight, 2am, 4am, in the strip clubs, at the bars, strolled over Michigan Avenue and it is nothing like Bangkok. But when you go deeper into the neighborhoods, drive up and down the streets that look like a war zone, peer into the busted windows, boarded up doors, the crack houses……it is there that you will find Bangkok in Detroit. 
via Connie Rock

I went out last night with a local ministry who offer prayer and pass out bagged lunches and hygiene packets to the afflicted in those very streets and neighborhoods of Detroit. I had gone with the team prior to my trip to Thailand and then again after my return home. Night and Day difference. I left Thailand thinking ‘what in the world… my city is nothing like this’ and after last night I came home and thought ‘they are almost the same’. How can two evils be so alike and so different and half a world away from each other? In Thailand people say ‘same same but different’ that is what I think about Thailand and Detroit – same, same…but different. Here we have to look for the evil, search for the girls… in Thailand it’s all in front of your face. I’m not saying one is better than the other… actually quite the opposite. Both are disgusting and inexcusable. Last night while driving through these broken neighborhoods I thought I was in a war zone. A similar war zone I felt while in Thailand. These girls were afraid for their lives. The same look of desperation, hopelessness, and distress gazed from their eyes. In the last week three girls were found dead in the neighborhood we were in. All left to die in their own pool of blood from their slit throats. One of the girls was only eighteen, her life barely lived. Each girl we came in contact with (which were many) immediately wanted prayer. Similarly each wanted protection. 

This morning the Detroit Free Press released an article stating 70 arrests were made in Metro-Detroit within 3 days in connection to sex trafficking. Five girls and one boy recovered from child prostitution, ages ranging from 13-17. Arrests made in the city I grew up in. Sex trafficking is not just in Bangkok, Thailand or Amsterdam, or any other third world country. Sex trafficking is here. It is in our own backyards. It is everywhere. We must do something besides turn a blind eye to the topic that makes us feel uncomfortable. 

Find out what you can do in YOUR community. Find out how YOU can make a difference. And be encouraged… Jesus Christ has OVERCOME this world – and no evil, no prostitution, no pimp, NOTHING CAN OVERCOME HIM! Share His hope, love, joy, and goodness; wherever you are is a good place to start. Pray for your city, your state, your country, and this world. Sex trafficking is the 2nd largest crime in the world and each night thousands and thousands and thousands fall victim. Enough is enough. Let’s change our city. 

Google search ‘Human Trafficking in the United States’ = 18,700,000 results  
Google search ‘Human Trafficking in Michigan’ = 1,210,000 results 
Google search ‘Human Trafficking in Detroit’ = 897,000 results 

And pray for me as I seek the Lord on returning to Bangkok in October. 

At His Service, 
Lindsey

Thursday, June 28, 2012

summer time

first of all where did JUNE go!? this summer seems to be slipping by way too fast for my liking!

last week I went on a lovely relaxing vacation with the fam! lots of driving, sand, sun and eating out...typical vacation, right? other summer happenings have involved bon fires, driving with the windows down, warm weather, sun tan lines, eating lunch outside at work, watershed ... summer has been so good so far!



Friday, June 15, 2012

Yahweh

seriously?! this song gives me chills. that Kari Jobe knows how to lead the Church in powerful worship!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

morning glory

whoa! blog world in the AM... haven't seen this side of things in a while! like since my library days! anyways, this morning is a little bit more laid back than the usual rush cause I have to pick up my brother from a half day at school soon... BUT that's is besides the point!

this AM deserves a post BECAUSE it's only 9 AM and God is already talking to me... not that He doesn't on any given day, but today I REALLY needed to hear from Him!

1. bright & early a lovely friend of mine -- creative, hard working and very servant minded -- who does A LOT for the ministry I work for, sent me a really encouraging text. [when hello it should be the other way around, cause she does SO MUCH for us at lighthouse] it's like she knew I needed a pick me up at 7 am! it's also funny how encouragement is contagious... cause now all I want to do is send out encouraging texts the rest of the day!

2. lately I haven't really had time to actually read through twitter... I usually just post dumb/random things through out the day, but don't get a lot of time to read through others tweets... but I did this morning! and Brian Houston post this tweet and I was like WHOA! he read my mind! [aka God just knows us & our needs]

"Every single day of your life is a fresh chance to be an overcomer. Today is no exception!"
-said in a thick/strong Aussie accent of course


walk in His encouragement today.
no matter what today brings, glory in it!


ps this time next week I'll be on the ocean with my family! cannot wait to smell the salty air!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Selah ::

two songs that make my nose tingly for more of Him
& cause me to just wait on Him... 


1. OVER MY HEAD / STARFIELD; this song describes what has been going on in my mind. my tiny human mind does not understand His ways. how is that HE would choose to use me!? all of HIS grace lavished on me is literally over my head..



Over My Head by Starfield on Grooveshark

Unquenchable songs and endless praise
A million tongues poised to sing
Could still not convey
The worth that Your name deserves
Beauty for ashes
Joy for pain
Mercy instead of my blame
Ruins me for more
I'm lost in Your presence, Lord

Hallelujah...

Lost for the words to say
I'm left here in disarray
Waiting for You, waiting on truth
I've thrown reason overboard
Knowing that there's still more
I don't yet believe, I can't even perceive
I can't seem to understand
Can't seem to find my way
It's over my head, it's over my head
Learning this mystery
Trust what I cannot see
It's over my head, it's over my head
The wonder of all You've made
Foundations Your hands have laid
Bringing me back to my knees, to my knees
I'm lost for the words to say
Lost for another way
Bringing me back to my knees, to my knees
I'm lost for the words to say
Lost for another way
Ruined for anything other than Your love
I'm desperate to know You, Lord
Desperate for what's in store
Finding my hope in only You, in only You
Take me beyond this door
Lead me to something more
Open my heart up for more of You, more of You



2. MAKE US READY / HARVEST BASHTA; basically my cry and prayer for my life. this is exactly what I want... 
Make Us Ready by Harvest Bashta on Grooveshark

Let there be oil in my lamp
Let the fire not go out 
When I hear the Bridegroom comes

Make us ready



So take my lamp set it on a hill

Set it on a lamp stand 
I wont be hidden
I wont be hidden

So take my lamp set in on a hill
Set it on a lamp stand 
I wont be be hidden
I wont be hidden 

I’ll be dripping with the oils of love
I’ll be dripping with the oils of love

Monday, June 11, 2012

next move

it finally happened. I have an answer for where/what I'm doing next. I got accepted to Moody Bible Institute...starting in the 2013 Spring semester! God has taken me on quit the journey to get to this point.  lots of questioning/ups/downs/cries/toil/encouragement/anxiety... and now looking back I can see why He was doing what He was doing, when/why He was doing it....

I read Psalm 136 the other night... while I was just praising God without words to express how THANKFUL I am, that after all of this time... I finally feel like I'm out of the wilderness, no more just wandering around aimlessly [for now anyways .... ]

"to him who led his people through the wilderness; His love endures forever!"
God has been so faithful... even in my unbelief and doubt, He remained so faithful.  I'm thankful for a God who takes care of us in time of wandering/wilderness.

I can't wait to see what He does in and through me in Chicago! I hope to be studying for a major in Women's Ministry or Ministry to Victims of Sexual Exploitation. excited for this next chapter or adventures... is this really my life?! is still a very relevant life statement... a year after being in Australia/Thailand.

anything I do. anywhere I go. I just want Jesus to spend & send me! all I can do to thank HIM is give Him my life... day after day after day. thank-You, thank-You, thank-You for wanting to use a broken messy life!