In Which I Follow My Little Girl Heart


I was just a girl.

I watched shows like Brady Bunch and Little House on the Prairie like they were going out of style. Chips and dip and pink frosted cupcakes were my after-school vices of choice.

But God was at work in my little girl heart, even though I had no history of hearing His still small voice, even though I had no knowledge of what was to come.

Because He knew.

He was molding my heart, making it His. He was placing in me the deepest desire to see, to help, to understand need when I saw it.

So what does any of this have to do with Brady Bunch and Little House on the Prairie? Let me explain.

Marcia Brady was kind and witty, a leader at home and at school, she wasn’t afraid to light the fire in her bones. And Laura Ingalls Wilder captivated my heart like no other – when she battled mean old Nellie on the playground, when she was desperate for Manly to call her Beth, and when she became mama to sweet baby Rose. But it was the moments in-between Marcia and Laura that stole my little girl heart for a lifetime.

Yes, this is what I watched in the in-between.

I was just a girl. No credit cards. No financial means to make a monthly payment. No independence to make that phone call. And didn’t even think to engage my parents about this tug on my heart to sponsor a child.

Those were the earliest days, the earliest recollections of this calling that’s come full circle.

Through the years, time and time again, this commercial and countless others like it, stopped me dead in my tracks. There was something about the children that called out the depths of my little girl heart.

Time passed. Lots of time passed.

Christian Children’s Fund television commercials morphed into Compassion International blog posts from Guatemala, Tanzania, Haiti, and elsewhere.

Blog posts morphed into Facebook posts from my brother’s friend adopting children from an orphanage in Haiti.

Facebook posts morphed into a seemingly random opportunity to impact real children from that orphanage in Haiti.

One random opportunity to impact children in a Haitian orphanage morphed into planning a family vacation which included a one-day stop in Haiti.

Planning a one-day stop in Haiti morphed into sponsorship of a little girl in Haiti.

One day on the ground in Haiti morphed into correspondence with a little boy in Haiti.

And sponsorship of ONE little girl and correspondence with ONE little boy in Haiti morphed into the clicking of ONE little button that meant – yes, it’s time to GO. I’m beyond ready.

I’ve been dying to tell you, jumping out of my skin with excitement since I quietly clicked that button July 1, 2013.

I’m going to Haiti.

The dream, the calling, it never went away. In fact, it only became stronger, clearer with time.

So I’m going, and soon.

I’ll be visiting our little girl and little boy in Haiti on a sponsor trip with Compassion International. And blessings will be sure to flow when I get to meet their families, extended families, friends, and communities they do life with on a daily basis.

I already know what you’re going to ask…this isn’t so much a mission trip as it is a love mission. I won’t be building water wells, houses, schools or bridges. But I will be flying thousands of miles to let people from the poorest country in the western hemisphere know – they are loved, cared for, worthy of absolutely anything and everything. I’m prepared to face the brutal realities of poverty like never before. But I’m also prepared to receive incomprehensible gifts of joy, peace, hope and love like I’ve never known.

Before I go, I’m hoping you’ll join me as I review the steps I’ve already traveled to get to this place. As I get closer to leaving, I’ll share insight into the little and big ways I’ve prepared to go, what I’m excited about, what I’m scared about, what I’m hoping for and believing in. Because retracing the paths God’s had you on, and preparing to walk down them even further – is pretty cool. It makes His plans evident, and gives us hope that He’s ordained every day in advance.

He’s prepared a table, a place for each one of us.

I’m confident he’s set this table for me.

And I’m ready to go. So join me, will you?

Haitigraphic225x225As with my #31Days series, I’ll put a graphic for this series on the blog home page. Find the graphic and click to link back here where I’ll include links to every post I write between now and when I return from Haiti. Whether you’re joining me live, in real time, or after the fact when I’m home and settled back into everyday life as I know it, it’s an honor to have you be a part of this life-changing journey.


Other posts in this month-long series:

When Rubber Hit the Road

Meet Our Brothers and Sisters in Haiti


The Quiet Before the Story

10 Nitty Gritty Details About My Trip to Haiti

Will You Stay In Or Step Out of the Box?

Strangely Beautiful

When A Mama’s Beautiful Baby Boy Is Going To Be Your Sponsored Child

How to Empower Girls

Why We First Need to Feed Those Who Are Hungry

Why We Can’t Just Pass by Poverty


The Boy Who Stole My Heart

With and Without Translation

Journey to Haiti (slideshow with music)

Haiti. Where My Heart Longs to Linger.


  1. […] been feeling tiny pains in my heart on and off since February 2014, the night before I left for Haiti. And for months prior to this particular day, I’d had several spells of unexplained […]

  2. […] significant battles with addiction and mental health. Just as I wrote through my trip to Haiti. Just as I wrote through my trip to Dominican Republic. Just as I wrote through my trip to Africa. […]

  3. Hannah Hinojosa says:

    It’s so fun to hear how God was working in your heart for so long!

  4. […] see, He knew from the very beginning. He placed a yearning in my little girl heart. A longing to love on others in far off places. A longing to do something for little ones in need. […]

  5. Kara Hjelmhaug says:

    Congrats Amy! Proud of you- for listening to your heart and for being brave enough to take action. Proud to call you family! Love following you on here, keep it up!

  6. Rachel Arntson says:

    That is so exciting! Can’t wait to hear more about this trip.

  7. Mary Katherine Boyle says:

    Traveling Mercies

  8. Vicki Thunstrom says:

    I am excited for you! I can’t wait to hear more about it and when you get back! Your reminder of those commercials really jogged my memory! I had forgotten about them, but, like you, I think they were God planting seeds for my today! The first time I packed at Feed My Starving Children I bawled the whole way home. God has put children on my heart and I can’t wait to see where He leads me! I will definitely be praying for your trip!

  9. Justin LaVine says:

    I’m excited for you!

  10. Tara Dorn says:

    Blessings to you as you Go, Amy! I remember those commercials during Brady Bunch and Little House on the Prairie too. Isn’t is amazing when we get to see God’s hand in everything! Always preparing us and leading us, even when we don’t recognize it or know it. I will be praying for you and your journey and will love to read about it!

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