Where a Whispered Yes Leads

Our friends and family all know that just around the corner there are some big changes coming for our family. Well internet world, your time has come. 

I’ve been waiting to write this blog post for a while. A lot has happened in a very short amount of time and God is calling our family into new territory. We started saying yes to the possibility that God may want us to step outside of our comfort zones and serve him half way across the world. While reading this you may wonder, where this is coming from. Dustin and I have always planned that we would someday do missions. We also planned that we would probably be done having kids at that point. We planned that we would go to a spanish speaking country so we could use our language skills. WE PLANNED.  

Then we started wondering what it would 
look like if we stopped planning and just started 
saying yes to what God had planned for us. 
What would that look like? 
It wasn’t a loud in your face yes by any means. It was a quiet and nervous yes. A yes that was unsure of what lay ahead. A yes that was open to God’s plans, but felt ill equipped.


A whispered yes. 

About a year ago we started looking into a few service possibilities, but very passively. Asked a few people to keep their ears open, and occasionally checked some Mennonite service sites waiting for an opportunity to jump out. More recently we started actively looking, and when we did, God flung the doors wide open. We had been praying for God to prepare our hearts for where his plan would take us. We prayed that whatever opportunities lay ahead, we would feel at peace with where we felt God was leading us and a strong connection and desire to serve there together. We had put in our name with several Mennonite Mission organizations and filled out applications. Then Dustin decided to get in contact with Tim Troyer from The Reckoning, who also serves on the board where Dustin works. He had asked Tim to keep his ears open about a year ago, but hadn’t talked recently or heard anything. About the same time Dustin contacted him again to check in and let him know we were serious, Tim was praying for a couple to send to Africa. A couple. Husband and wife. Man and Women. Us.

Africa feels like new territory to us, but exciting territory with endless possibilities of God showing up wherever we say yes. And while God definitely shows up everyday wherever we choose to serve Him, this is where we feel we are being called. This change is a little scary and will be like something we’ve never experience, but in a good way. We’ll be pushed to rely on God more and draw close to Him in our moments of fear and doubt. We’ll also have the opportunity to serve Him and provide justice for those that he has called us to serve. There are still many details to be worked out and there will be many blogposts to follow,  and ways we will be asking for your support, but this is a start. A look into our journey of saying a whispered yes and having God lead us to the ‘most thunderous place on earth’ (look up Tororo, Uganda weather. God has a good sense of humor).

 “Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be 
there in no time.” James 4:8 MSG

For those that want to follow our family’s journey to Africa, check out A Whispered Yes. The site is still in progress, but it’s coming along, and we will be able to add more as things continue. Thanks in advance for all your support and prayers! We have a lot to be thankful for and wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Simple Steps For A Thankful Heart

Thanksgiving week is upon us. A week where we take time to remember all that we are thankful for, liked baked corn and pumpkin pie just to throw a few out there! The challenge is to continue on in thankfulness and gratitude. This is the very reason why I started this blog! Giving thanks makes all the difference, but still can be so hard. So here are a few tips to encourage us all on in thankfulness.

`1. Write it down! Ann Voskamp is such an inspiration and holds so much wisdom in her book One Thousand Gifts. Writing down our gifts makes it tangible. It allows for us to take the time to think through our thankfulness. I still have a hard time writing them down! When I do, it makes a difference. 

2. Give thanks in prayer. Ever have those prayers that are just a long list of requests? Yup, me too. When we give thanks in our prayers we are acknowledging and treasuring what God has done in our lives. Whether it be small or big we can honor God through giving thanks in our prayers.

3. Talk about your gratefulness. I take so many things for granted, but I don’t want to just take what God has given me for granted, I want to see them as gifts! I think that by talking about our gratefulness we can be gratitude role models for others. I don’t mean waving around our blessings in a hoity-toity look what I have sort of way, but in the humblest way possible, acknowledging that all we have comes from God. For me that means that I make sure I convey a heart of thanks for my children. I want them to have the same joy in the Lord and a heart of gratitude. To do this, I’m going to have to talk about it. To make gratitude a part of every day living. I’m going to fall short often, but it’s a challenge worth taking!

4. Don’t hold what you have so tightly. When you can share your gifts, your time, your resources with others and are a blessing to them, you are not only counting your blessings, but allowing others to be filled by your blessings. Even when you think you have little to offer, there is always something. It may be as simple as baking cookies for your neighbor, babysitting, or sending an encouraging text. Thankfulness is not only found in receiving, but also in sharing.

When we are thankful and filled with gratitude, it’s pretty hard not to be filled with joy as well. I pray you all have a contagious joy this Thanksgiving week, and for many weeks after!

Five Encouragements For Mamas

I write to all you mamas, because I’m a mama. This is what I need to hear this week. I hope it encourages your very full mama hearts!

  1. What you do is important. Like soooo important. At the very base you are keeping tiny human beings fed, clothed (mostly) and alive! Dig deeper and there is so much more that you do each day. You nurture, you love, you teach, you guide, you lead, you discipline, you encourage, and on and on. You tackle household tasks daily, read countless children’s books, run errands, cook meals, and never quite feel like you are catching up on anything. But they see you. Your children see you working to put Christ first and they know they are loved. What you do is important.
  2. It’s ok to not do it all. Remember how you never quite feel like you are catching up on anything? It’s ok. You don’t have to do it all. No on expects you to. Choose the areas that best let Christ use your gifts. Put relationships first. Know that it’s ok if the house gets a little lot dusty while you sit down to play with your kids. Lay down those expectation of perfection and tell Martha to sit and listen for awhile alongside Mary. It’s ok to not do it all. 
  3. Taking time for yourself is a good thing. Make the moments that you spend with your children and family intentional and focused on them, but then know that it’s ok to take some time for yourself! You need time to recharge. To spend time alone with the Lord. To mindlessly look through your Facebook or Instagram feed for a bit. To perhaps, dare I say it, shower in peace! Taking time for yourself is a good thing.
  4. You are beautiful. Ok so the day two day old top knot and spit-up stained shirt may not leave you feeling that way, but you are. And even if no ones tells you you’re beautiful today, (husbands that may happen to read this…go tell your wife she’s beautiful!) you are. Because you are created in His image. Christ sees you fulfilling this beautiful task of motherhood in glory to Him, and even on the bad days He sees your beauty. You are beautiful.
  5. You are loved and treasured. Before your feet hit the floor this morning, before you even began one task, you were loved. Christ died for you before you ever came into this world. You didn’t even have to do anything and He loved you enough to die for you. Your worth doesn’t come from how clean a home you have,  how smart your children are, or how many followers you have. Your worth is found in Christ and you don’t have to do anything to earn it. You are loved and treasured. 

Be a blessing and be blessed today!

Linking up with She Lives Free!

A Challenge for Joy

Gifts pile up. When my heart is busied and my mind is scattered, looking at this list slows it down. Giving thanks and expressing gratitude can bring such joy and peace in whatever season of life we are currently in. Treasuring the here and now is not always easy. We want to jump forwards, get past the messy parts, forge ahead. And while we must always look to our future with hope and expectancy, not treasuring where we are now, will always leave us running ahead of ourselves and never quite catching up. Never quite grasping the joy and the goodness that God has in store for us right here and right now. It’s a challenge for sure, but I want to take it. How about you?

#734-750
barefoot babies into the evening Fall dusk/Little hands grasping my face/rubbing Gracie’s arm and singing Wheels on the Bus at bedtime/Nursing and rocking Lillie while Gracie sings to us/Friends over for dinner/Pink pig sprinkles/Sounds of geese flying south/Gracie changing into pajamas every day at nap time/Lillie falling asleep on my chest when not feeling well/Rocking to sleep on the porch swing/Drawing Lillie close and being able to nurse her when not feeling well/Nights of little sleep/Watching Lillie place rings on the ring stack and proudly clap/Fall hike with the girls and Dustin/Smiles and words from Gracie that seem beyond her age/Pizza and cousin time at Grandma and Grandpas/Lavender and Purification oils to calm and sooth

Worship Through Mothering

I’ve been trying to post some Monday encouragement these last few weeks. As I sit here Sunday night, I’m coming up a little short. A teething, feverish baby taking up most of my brain power, while the other bits are focused on what I need to get done this week while simultaneously thinking about zoning out in front of a hulu show. But even while this Sunday I spent most of my time soothing a fussy babe and maybe not feeling quite so holy, this print that I noticed on my instagram feed kept popping up in my head.

Using mothering as worship gives a whole new meanings to soothing fussy babes till your back is sore, waking up multiple times at night to nurse, and overall doing things that you sometimes don’t feel like doing in the moment. As I write these words, my not feeling so good babe, has started to fuss. So I’ll wrap up with saying that you should definitely check out this print and the other amazing ones in Echoes of Mercy shop. She has an amazing story, and I think this print may need to go on my Christmas list this year! 

Be encouraged this Monday, Mamas! 

Linking up with She Live Free

Picture Perfect

Because even when the days aren’t this picture perfect, these are some of my greatest gifts.
The days when I get frustrated too easily, tears flow all around, words snap, runny noses drip, food spills, and bottoms are wiped for what seems the hundredth time, it’s still a great gift. Because later when the spills are cleaned and the tears are wiped and you all hold a perfect smile amongst crunchy fall leaves you get a glimpse of His perfect goodness in giggles and gentle hand holding. You find that the things you may forget to count as gifts can still point back to Him when viewed in joy and love. In those not so perfect days joy and gratitude can still be found. 
Not every day is picture perfect, but sometimes they are just a little. 

Start Here: How God is Teaching Me to be an Influence for Him

I’ve been praying lately that I can be a positive influence with the words that I speak, or in this case, write. I want these words to come out of me because they are words that are going to build Christ’s kingdom-not my own. This is hard. I’m a people pleaser. I want people to like me. I want people to like what they read. I want them to take notice and commend me for how great I’m doing. I want acknowledgment that I am doing something worthwhile and influential. This is what I want. God wants me to be an extension of his grace and love and to point people to his perfect goodness and not my own, because you sure aren’t going to find any perfect goodness here! His kingdom is real and worthwhile working for, but it’s hard to let go of selfish ambition and easy to get caught up in me. I’m a continual work in progress. I’m a never-ending prayer lifted before the Lord daily to mold and form into what HE has created me to be. In my prayers when asking God how I can be an influence for him and live a life of significance, these words have been laid upon my heart. 


Start Here

Start with my girls. Lead by example and allow them to see God’s love, mercy, grace, and goodness through my simple daily activities. Start being a positive influence right in my own home and continue on from there with those I interact with through the day. I may not have a big audience or thousands of followers, but I have influence. Start here. 

Love Well

Let go of selfishness and love as Christ loves. Extend help and grace where it is needed. Serve with a joyful heart and give thanks along the way. ” To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”. Micah 6:8  Love well. 

I’ve got a lot of work to do, and some days feel harder than others, but He is present and He is working to equip me for His purpose. I have The Word to turn to and His Holy Sprit’s presence. When the days feel long and the work seems meaningless I remember these words. 

Start here. Love well.