Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's Where I've Felt at Home

Home. I have felt it in many places.

I have felt it sitting on the porch swing at my parents’ house in Ohio, as I look out into the woods and pastures I have known my whole life.

I have called different camps home, as I walk through the dining hall or sit on the dock.

I now call my house I live at in Louisville home. I feel it when I grab my coffee and a chair and sit in front of the sliding glass door and look at the backyard.

I thought maybe home was places you are familiar with.  Then I thought about how I have said, “It just feels like home” when I have only been there for a few days. Why is that?

I have felt at home walking on the sand in the Outer Banks on vacation.

I have felt at home sitting on a roof in India, riding a bike though a town in Germany, reading a book in Nicaragua, and dancing with gypsies in Turkey.

So, the feeling of home can come in a place I have only just stepped foot in.
 I have felt at home in places I didn't blend in or didn't speak the language. I think that home is where you have a sense of belonging, even though I didn't look like I belonged while walking down the road in India. And I didn't sound like I belonged when I opened my mouth to talk in Germany.

Maybe it’s not that I have to look the part or sound the part, it’s simply the fact that my heart yells “I belong here!” But how can I belong to so many houses, to so many bunk beds, to so many nations? I don’t. But I belong to a God that walks and runs with me. He has made his home in my heart and my heart travels with me wherever I go.

But where is my home? If God has made a home in my heart, where is my home?

It’s not here, not yet. My home is in heaven and heaven has yet to come to earth, but we’re bringing it here, one day at a time.

It’s in the places that I have felt at home that I have seen a glimpse of heaven.

It’s been while sitting on the floor, walking down a road and laughing with others that I have known home.

It’s where I have seen his Kingdom come; his will be done, right here on earth just as it is in heaven.

Welcome Home. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

O taste and see

It was afternoon ministry and we had made sandwiches to take to kids that hang out at the local trash dump. Their families live off of the trash. I don’t think they eat what is there, but they use the resources they find while scavenging the mounds of junk. These families use another’s waste to maintain their homes. It was heart wrenching.

Mothers pushed and orchestrated their kids into lines to receive a simple chicken sandwich. I watched and took pictures as they were handed their lunch. I saw no life. Only sadness.I saw them smile but there was no joy. No hope. How do you find hope in a trash heap? You can’t. It’s lifeless.

I passed out bracelets to little girls, took pictures and made small talk with the moms. (And when I say small talk I mean very little talk. I only know a handful of Spanish phrases.) I walked around the enclosed area taking it all in. The dirty hands, the putrid smell, the downturned faces. Everything was so dull for a country that I lived in color! The rest of Nicaragua is vibrant and this place was hues of gray.
Hearing someone yell, I turned to watch a dump truck pull in and drive towards the back of the property. Then I saw the older boys begin to sprint towards it with their younger siblings trailing behind. Once they reached the moving vehicle, they jumped on the back and began to throw bags of “new” trash towards their siblings. Trash was being thrown and dragged towards their mothers and I watched with my mouth hanging open.

I had never seen something so disgusting. As I processed it later I realized I had seen that play out in my own life. I have chased the garbage truck too, hungry for new trash. The world was the truck and its hallow ideas of identity and satisfaction were the waste. You think it’s going to bring you something good, but it’s the same old thing just in a new shiny wrapper. But if you know nothing else, if you have never tasted hope, then why not keep chasing?
These families knew no hope; they had never tasted the riches of a relationship with the King. I have. I have over and over. New mercies are poured out on me every day. Mercies that give me a visual of how ridiculous I look chasing after the world instead of the Lord.

I have tasted hope. And I’m never going back.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Most Common Question

Why do I do what I do?

I could give you a lot of reasons. I mean first and foremost, I do what I do because God has called me to do it. I mean, sure that’s a great “missionary” answer and what not, but it is actually true. If I didn't feel like God was supporting me and instructing me, I wouldn't be here. Why? Because that would mean he had something better in mind.

Next, is that I do this because I love it. Yep! I love it. Here are the things I love about it:

I love being able to do what I do best; hanging out, making friends, speaking truth. These are legitimate gifts God has given me. I love making friends. And what I love even more is when I have the opportunity to see transformation in the friends I make. 

I love interacting with teenage girls. Yeah, I’m not far from my teenage years in age, but God has taken me far from the mess I was as a teenager in high school. I enjoy being able to share my story and still share a laugh. I love leading them in prayer and then hearing them say, “I feel so much lighter now. Like, I feel like a physical weight has come off of my shoulders.”  Most of all, I love being there when they hear God speaking to them. When they hear God whisper, “I love you.” 

I love that I can have fun. I love having fun, it’s so important to me! I love that I get to lead others into fun and that God is having fun with me. I love that my life is far from boring. 
I mean, who wouldn't want to play with a 6 ft soccer ball?
I love being interwoven into someone else's story, just as they are now a part of mine.
I do what I do because I love doing it and because God loves me doing it. 
Plain and simple.

If you would like to know more about what I do, visit our website at Or click here to go directly to the staff pages to meet my YWAM family.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It never leaves. His love is here.

But the Lords love for us is unchanging.

It reaches high, high into the trees, past the clouds and on into the starlit sky. His love is as vast as our oceans, and stretches even past the arms of our Milky Way galaxy. His love is here.

His love. It never leaves. How could it if it is continuous? How could His love even fathom straying for a second? It doesn’t. It never leaves.
      It’s never failing, never ceasing. It never leaves. His love is here.
      I can feel His love. It wells up inside of me, bringing warmth into my heart. It makes me bring my hands over my heart and seems to force my eyes close. I can feel it pulsating in my fingertips, and my mouth has to curve into a smile. His love literally lives in my heart. It bustles around and sways to the music. His love is here. It never leaves.

His love has been chasing me. 
And sometimes I run. But other times I allow it to catch up. And when it does, He mulls me in affection. It’s a sweeping hug and it knocks me off of my feet. His love surprises me. It never leaves. His love is here.

 When I take my eyes off of His, a new identity sets in. It tells me I don’t deserve His love. It tells me that I am unworthy, too disgraceful to receive a pure, limitless joy. The world whispers into my ear that I am to go back to the love I once searched for. The love that felt so empty, it could never sustain my constant thirst. That is the love the world offers, it is a love I have drank from and it never satisfied me. Never. It left me alone, feeling hopeless, humiliated. It came with no plans of staying, that love left. And I don’t know where it went.

      But just as the Lord never leaves you, He never leaves me. He held out His hand in hopeful expectation. And when I look up, finding Him there, I reach for his hand. It is then that I notice the scars, wounds deep into His flesh. And I know. I know those are because of me. Because I drank from a shallow well. But Jesus isn’t concerned with that. No, He’s too busy staring into my eyes, holding me close. He wipes away my tears and my shame melts away.
His love, it is here. And it never leaves.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

So, so proud.

I had this thought. Someone was praying today, and I had revelation.
            God could do it all. (Hold out, keep reading) But really, He can do it all. He could whip this world back into shape in a blink of an eye! But He allows us to do it.

  He gives us tasks and hurdles to tackle. He has given us missions and callings. He has given us the Great Commission. That’s a large amount of work there. 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

So, what I’m getting at, is God entrust us with things to do.
And a lot of the time we butcher it. We do it half- heartily. We give up. We ignore the request. We choose in our hearts that the outcome is bad, we choose in our hearts to have a repulsive attitude.  
 But other times we follow through. Other times we run, head on into the fog. We set our eyes on the prize. We fall, but we get up.
Sometimes we even think we ace it! We think we do it exactly as needed. And maybe we do!

But I think when we choose to try, when we choose to strive. I think when we choose to jump without seeing His outstretched arms, that’s when He is most proud.

We may fail miserably. Like... bad. But I think those moments, when we want what He wants, His heart swells. I get this picture of Him looking at us, smiling, nodding, clapping. He might even do a fist pump.

  I know when I get excited that I accomplished something God has called me to, I want to run at Him and give Him a hug. I want to bury my head into His chest, so close that I hear His heartbeat. But what I feel in my heart is even better.

   When I’m faithful to do what God wants me to do, no matter the results I get this impression in the depth of my soul. I picture God taking my face in his hands, so gently, and saying, “I am so proud of you, my love. So, so proud.”

I wouldn't trade that for the world. I would rather endure the hurt of falling while trying to accomplish something just so I can feel my Father telling me that I have made Him proud.
        So, so proud. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013


(2012) Location: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India.
 I met Aneshea outside of the little slum church we led Sunday class in.
She was sitting on the step, clutching her stomach. She was skinny, her hair unkempt and her face had a green tint from a paint that Indian women wear to make their skin lighter. In India, to be lighter is to be more beautiful. In America, to be lighter is practically a sin.
                 Just kidding, but not really. 
Anyways! Aneshea didn’t stay for Sunday class. One of the Indian YWAMers picked some lice out of her hair and she walked home. But I didn’t forget her. And I don’t think she forgot me.

The next time we came to visit, she was sitting on the church step again, waiting for us.

   This time she came over, grabbed my hand, like she knew me and led me through the slum as we recruited children for Sunday class. This was my favorite part about Sunday class.
            We would walk the narrow path behind our translator, single file, like ducklings, avoiding low roofs and stray dogs, yelling, “Sunday class! Sunday class!”
            Throughout my visits I learned that the other girls didn't like Aneshea. They called her crazy and pushed her to the back of the room. Whenever this would take place, she always retaliated and before I knew it people were being slapped and I was to intervene.
            I felt obligated.

I later found out that Aneshea was actually a little crazy. When she was younger she contracted typhoid. The fever altered her brain, basically my translator told me that, “her brain got too hot.” Aneshea was known for constantly lying and from what I observed; she often seemed to be off in her own world. It was as if her mind drifted above the tin roof, far away from India. And then, she would get up in the middle of a lesson and leave. Just like that.
                        But I loved her. I loved her so much. I had no reason to love her.
She was rude, she lied and she smelled bad. But I loved her.
            She memorized my name, “Moooly Grraacce McCooooly”. And I memorized hers. I tried my hardest to make sure I loved on her as much as possible when I was there. Talk to her as much as I could. Every visit she was different. Cleaner, more respectful and appeared healthier. And after every visit I prayed for her. It seemed like the only thing I could do. I had to pray for the young Indian girl in the slum, because who else would?
                        The last night we were there I took a picture with her sitting on my lap.
Another DTS went to India. The same place I went. Visited the same slum that my friend Aneshea lives. I asked Ben, the group leader, to take Aneshea a picture. The one we took together the last time I saw her. Ben knew who she was, he had been the India before, but when they went to visit the slum, she wasn't there. He never saw her and to be honest, I assumed the worst.
           But the Lord is good. As I was going through pictures with my friend who was just in India, my heart fluttered with hope. A group picture popped up. There was one tired girl off to the right, her eyes were so sad. But I knew them. Aneshea. Aneshea!
I have faith that this is my friend. That is the girl who stole my heart a year ago. And in one picture she has stolen it again. 
It gives me more reason to pray. More reason to pray in faith. Because this picture is a testimony that my God is faithful. My God is loving. My God is trustworthy. My God is the God of me and my small Indian friend Aneshea, who I will continue to pray for. And hopefully, someday meet again.

If you would like to know more about what I do, visit our website at Or click here to go directly to the staff pages to meet my YWAM family.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


There are many things one could say on a blog. I could complain. Or get on my "soapbox". Or tell a story.
 I would love to tell you stories.
 Whether it be a story about myself, or others, I know I will have many to tell.
      I am a YWAM-er  I am in YWAM. I am on staff at Youth With A Mission, in Louisville, KY. A city you can only pronounce correctly once corrected. I am in an organization that trains people, young and old, and sends them out into the nations.  I have now been in YWAM for a little over a year. 10 months as a student, 3 months on staff. Half of my time here was not actually here, but in Europe and Asia, on outreach.
     I don't have a story in particular to share today, but I wanted to get a move on with this blog thing. Here is a little about me, if you didn't know it all already (I'm a talker)...
I'm the one on the right. I love working with children, and am especially passionate about working with handicap children. I enjoy spring, because it's not too hot and not too cold. I like to drink coffee, coke, cranberry juice and sometimes water.
This is my family! We are all from Ohio. (L to R Dad, Mom, Molly, Kyle)(my eyes are NOT shut, I'm just squinting) 

I'm big into worship.
And I'm big into friendship.

I have a passion to see those in India and Nepal  know the Lord, especially young girls.
I love doing dramas! I believe that skits and plays can be used as a tool for people to come  to know Christ.
If you would like to know more about what I do, visit our website at Or click here to go directly to the staff pages to meet my YWAM family.