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The call to write, not just for myself, but for others, began in 2003.

Let’s just say I was a little slow to listen.

Yep. I’m admitting it here. Now.

I was a little slow to listen.

Okay. Maybe I was really slow to listen?

I witnessed events unfold through the years. They’re all detailed in a private document I wrote in April 2014, titled “A Possible Calling.” Perhaps the truth’s in the title. As much as God’s tried to (gently) bat me over the head with His truth, with His vision for my life, I’m still calling this whole writing gig “A Possible Calling.” Because I’m human. I’m not God. Even with all the evidence, even with all the unfolding of this and that, it’s still hard for me to prove to myself and everyone else that this is my calling.

I struggle with this, can you see?

A wiser and older owl I met in November 2006 affirmed the vision I shared in the quiet of a dark hallway nook. A vision, which at the time, seemed like utter crazy talk. I seriously felt like I was making stuff up, people. Like I was pulling dreams from the sky and taking them on as my own.

Anyway, that day, among other words of wisdom I wrote down in detail when I got home, the wiser and older owl shared two pieces of advice I’ve never forgotten…

“Don’t look to people to affirm what God has already made very clear to you.”

and this…

“Walk. And follow the lily pads of grace.”

She clarified, stating that if this vision is God’s will, if this is God’s call on my life, that He will lead me through. One by one, He will place “lily pads” in my path, next steps along the way. And I will know. This is what I’m supposed to do next. This is His call.

Doesn’t it sound mystical? Maybe even a little kooky? “Lily pads of grace?” What the heck does that mean?

Well, let me tell you in plain words, friends. Maybe I didn’t know then what she really meant. But I know now. “Following the lily pads of grace” quite literally means to take one step after the next, after the next. First take this little leap of faith, then this door will open. Go through it. Take another little leap of faith here, and you’ll feel a tug to go there. So you do it. Then, you get a kick in the butt and realize there’s no other way but to do that next thing. So you do it. And it goes on. And on. And on. Until the light bulb turns on. I’ve taken 20, 30, 40 steps towards this vision. And truth be told? All of those steps have been leaps of faith.

Leaps of faith can be scary. Leaps of faith require courage. But after a while, leaps of faith make way for the answers you’ve been looking for. Things start to make sense. Little by little, the purpose of your life becomes clearer.

So today? I’m announcing the next leap of faith I’m making on this journey I’ve titled “A Possible Calling.”

I’m jumping on the next “lily pad of grace” God’s set before me. And as far as I can see, I’m jumping on over to a big one.

Well, I’m not really going to be jumping. I’m going to be flying, down to South Carolina where I’ll be attending my first writing and blogging conference! It’s happening next month while I’m doing that crazy every day writing challenge called #31Days.

I already know this writing conference is a lily pad set before me by God…

Because I’ve been a part of this community for more than four years.

Because I’ve been following this conference closely for two years and I’ve longed to be there.

Because it’s never been a possibility for me to go until this year.

Because I approached my husband about going to the conference just one week after I’d written that document, “A Possible Calling,” and he said yes. Pretty much right away. Without much persuasion on my part.

I already know this writing conference is a lily pad set before me by God…

Because my all-time favorite blogger, Ann Voskamp, was scheduled to be a keynote speaker when I signed up to attend, and then we got word she wasn’t going to be there at all. With or without Ann, I knew I was supposed to go anyway.

Because I asked Jennifer if we could room together, but she isn’t going this year.

Because I emailed a different Jennifer, Michele, Anna, Nasreen, Alia, and Kris to see if any of them would want to room with me. Four of them aren’t going to the conference this year. And two of them are, but already had roommates.

Because the week I’d planned to just go ahead and book a hotel room by myself, it was announced that the place was sold out. No more rooms available. Everyone make space. Find a place to crash. Bunk up.

Because I knew there was no other way but to put an announcement out there – I need a roommate. And believe me, that was the LAST way I wanted this to happen.

Because the eighth potential roommate decided she couldn’t afford to go this year.

I already know this writing conference is a lily pad set before me by God…

Because the ninth roommate? She had a room. And hallelujah, she had space for me! The funny thing is that we were already connected through Twitter, but hadn’t ever connected in that space personally. I’ve since discovered that there’s only one thing I need to know. She’s beautiful. She’s amazing. She’s kind-hearted. And God was determined to match us as roommates. In other words, God had the pad laid out. It just took me nine tries to find the right one to hop onto.

So I’m taking this leap of faith. Because after all of that? After all these years of feeling called to write, way back to 2003? I think it’s high time I attend a writing and blogging conference. In fact, it’s long, long overdue. Clearly God thinks so, too, or He wouldn’t have made the way.

So yes. I’m leaping. To a Christian writing and blogging conference called Allume. It’s next month and it’s sold out. 450 spirited, sold-out souls will gather to share and learn what it means to be called to write. And bless my leaping soul, I’ll be one of them.









Go is my one word for 2014, the word that guides everything I do.

I published a post titled “Go. Like It Matters. Go. Like It’s Your Life.” on January 6, 2014. I loved that post. So much so that I’ve kept it on the home page of my blog all these months. It’s linked to a graphic on my sidebar.

So why am I referring to a post I wrote back in January when it’s mid-August? Because there’s one part of that post that especially excited and moved me when I wrote it. For the past couple of months, I’ve been feeling the need to revisit those words.

“Go. tell them all the beautiful things they never knew about themselves.

Go. tell them what they really need to hear. Tell them you see them. Tell them you noticed. Tell them they’re loved. Tell them they’ve not been forgotten. Tell them they’ve been heard. Tell them they’re precious, worthy, irreplaceable. Tell them there’s a plan for their life. Ya, Go. Do that. And do it again.

Go. where little girls laugh. And big girls are free to laugh again. Go. Restore the little girl voice.

And don’t forget the vision. Go. Continue becoming the beautiful, old, wise woman.”

There’s something about those words that speak to me deeply. When I wrote that post, I knew what every word meant, and much of it is playing out in real time. But I’m believing those bolded words in particular hold the greatest meaning. Those words flowed out. Those words got my heart racing. Those words had power. Those words felt right. Those words gave me life, joy and peace. Those words felt like my future.

Seven and a half months into the year, I can say with confidence that those bolded words will carry with me into 2015 and beyond. I’m not even close to being finished with those words.

But there is something I feel called to do with a handful of those words right now.

Five words have been calling to me. They’re the five words that have stuck in my mind since I wrote them in January.

Restore the little girl voice.

I’ve wondered. Is there something in those words that’s not just for them, but for me, too?

So in late July, I began brainstorming an August series titled Restoring the Little Girl Voice.

In early August at my 20th high school reunion, I had the opportunity to visit my childhood friend’s home, the place I spent countless hours growing up. As I climbed the staircase into the treehouse we played in time and time again, as I sat in the corner of her basement eating pickles, reminiscing about the exact spot we played pin the tail on the donkey as kids, and as I sat at her dining room table eating breakfast quietly with my husband that Sunday morning, I was reminded that this restoring the little girl voice was good.

Last week I wrote that post about what a great honor it will be to join Compassion International on a sponsor tour to Dominican Republic and blog on behalf of children living in poverty. I recounted God’s working out His story in my life from the very start, from way back when. When I was still a little girl. I knew, yet again, this restoration of the little girl voice was a good, good thing.

And when Bonnie Gray suggested writing a letter to your little girl self in her new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace, I had confirmation I was on the right track. I needed to do this.

So here’s my plan. For the rest of August, as the Spirit leads, I’m going to be writing a series titled Restoring the Little Girl Voice. Today marks Part 1. I don’t know how many parts there will be. This is a write as needed series, which is totally unlike me. But I’m giving myself freedom to explore with no rushing, no expectations, no boundaries, no specific desired outcome other than restoration. At this point, I’m not sure what restoration will look like. But that sentence, restore the little girl voice, is calling for attention.

Maybe you’re still not sure what this is going to look like? Here are my thoughts…

I’ll be going through old photo albums from my childhood. Anything from birth to 17 years of age will be up for grabs. I’ll be looking for pictures that evoke some sort of strong emotion in me. If it feels like there’s something that needs to be healed, restored, or laid to rest, I’m going there. For each photograph, I’ll write a blog post, a letter to my childhood self. A letter telling that little girl all the things she needs to know, all the feelings she needs to feel, all the thoughts she needs to express, all the things she might want to consider to make life a little easier from there on out.

I’m fully aware that I could journal and make this a private exercise. I’m aware I might make some people a bit uncomfortable. Because I’ll be digging into my past, into my little girl self. I might reveal thoughts that most would keep private. I might dig a little deeper than I thought I would. I might uncover thoughts and feelings I never knew existed, thoughts and feelings I pushed down for years, thoughts and feelings I’ve battled to this day, even as an adult.

But I’ve thought this through. I’ll be wise and prudent. If this needs to go private at any time, I’ll make that happen.

I’m also aware that this exercise will be healing. And I’m aware that exercises like this, when made public, have the potential to bring about healing for others. That’s why I started this blog. To help you know you’re not alone. To help you see we’re all in this together. To help you find meaning in life. To help you discover the purpose of your life. So I’m willing to be vulnerable. For you. So you might bear witness to the bud of my life unfolding into full bloom. And in turn, that you might be inspired, that you might finally allow yourself to bloom. Because don’t we all need a little uncovering, a little unfolding of our best, most authentic selves?

So let’s do this. Now is the time. I’m setting out on an unknown journey to restore my little girl voice, and perhaps, along the way, you’ll be encouraged to restore your little girl voice. And hey, men, I haven’t forgotten you. Perhaps along the way, you’ll be encouraged to restore your little boy voice. It doesn’t sound as pretty, but it’ll work all the same.

Restoration, it’s a good thing.

So let’s restore.

Let’s begin.

Let’s begin again.

Let’s restore the little girl voice.

This is the trailer for Bonnie Gray’s new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace. The book is incredibly soulful and healing. I recommend it heartily and without reservation for anyone who’s seeking white space, room to breathe. This video is peaceful, breathtakingly restorative to me. It’s a beautiful representation of the tone in which I’d like to write this series, Restoring the Little Girl Voice. Thank you, Bonnie, for your beauty and authenticity.



It occurred to me last summer as I walked into that home daycare for a little speech therapy. It was a revelation, really. Then, and only then, did I start seeing my job in a whole new light. Perhaps God was using these 14 years of home visits to prepare me for something else. Maybe that something else wasn’t about speech therapy at all, but more about helping fellow human beings discover their voice. Maybe it wasn’t so much about articulation as it was helping others articulate their best selves. Perhaps it wasn’t so much about language as it was about breaking down language barriers so the heart of human souls could be revealed. Perhaps it wasn’t so much about pragmatics and social communication as it was about developing authentic relationship.

I knew it right then and there.

The Lord had invested years and years into my adult life so I would be prepared. For moments like this.

You 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. A longing to step right in the middle of extreme poverty. A longing to look long, stay long with the faces and know they were real, live human beings with hearts and souls, burdens and dreams.

He fed my little girl longings in the oddest, most unlikely of ways. Television commercials. Memories of those television commercials are the only way I know today, that this lifelong dream, this current reality is from Him and Him only.

For years and years, those television commercials continued to pop through my screen as I watched Little House on the Prairie and ate cupcakes with pink frosting, potato chips with french onion dip. In-between scenes of Laura Ingalls with Pa and Ma, the Lord showed me faces. Faces of a little girl with a pink shirt, boys walking through a dump, and a man with a gray beard who reminded me time and time again that I could sponsor a child in that far off place. Sally Struthers told me I could sponsor one child for “just 70 cents a day.” The date on that commercial is 1987. I was 11 years old. God was working already.

The years passed.

My little girl heart grew into a mama bear heart.

But the longings never left. Never.

Sally Struthers had long been replaced by new familiar faces. Brighter, more brilliant campaigns dazzled the television screen to fight global poverty. But the celebrity faces didn’t really faze this mama bear heart. Because a mama bear heart knows what a mama bear heart knows. Those commercials? Those kids living in extreme poverty? They were still speaking to me. God was still using them to remind my little girl heart what it yearned for most.

That is, until He spoke through a different screen.

Yes, He knows me best. Introverted. Visual. Communicates best through writing. Moved by emotion and story.

So television commercials turned into Twitter in August of 2010. Because God’s timing is perfect.

It was Ann Voskamp’s blog post in September of 2010 that changed everything. Ann was in Guatemala with Compassion International, visiting her sponsored child. She wrote this post, “How to Make Your Life an Endless Celebration.” And it wrecked me. Tears streamed down my face as I read her post. My little girl heart came alive in a new way. God began whispering. This is the way.

From then on, I was sold out for this organization called Compassion International. I believed in their mission to release children from extreme poverty and I knew this was a match for my little girl heart. So signed up to become an official Compassion Blogger. I also became a fiercely loyal follower of Compassion’s blogging trips to visit sponsored children all around the world. And somewhere along the way, I began dreaming that maybe one day, some day, I could go on one of those trips, too. Maybe one day, some day, I’d use my blog to be a voice for children living in extreme poverty.

I wrote that defined dream on my heart, in a journal, and later in a private document titled “A Possible Calling” that detailed all of my God-sized dreams.

Our family sponsored a little girl through Compassion International in August 2012. In December 2012, we became correspondents with a little boy who has since joined our growing family of sponsored children.

I began to feel a call on my life to do something more.

So on July 1, 2013, after much prayer, conversation, and financial consideration with my husband, I clicked a button that meant I would be traveling to Haiti in February 2014 to visit our two sponsored children through Compassion International. The sponsor trip was marvelous, beyond my wildest dreams. It fulfilled every longing my little girl heart ever had. Because of God’s faithful provision, I’d stepped into a world of extreme poverty and became a voice for the voiceless through my daily blog posts.

But He who begins a good work will carry it out to completion. God was not finished with me yet. In fact, He’d just begun.


On July 1, 2014, exactly ONE year after I’d clicked the registration button to travel to Haiti, I received a personal message from Compassion International. They wanted to verify my email address. They needed to send me something. I opened that message as I was getting into the car after a speech therapy home visit, and didn’t have time to respond because I was on my way to the daycare where I’d had that revelation last summer. So I made my way to the place of revelation. Tears streamed and holy goosebumps popped as I thought up all the amazing reasons Compassion might be contacting me on this seemingly random summer day. But I didn’t let myself get too excited because I am a realist, after all. Perhaps Compassion was contacting me in July because they needed me to pull something I’d written about the sponsor trip I’d taken back in February?

I got myself to a public library as quick as I could, and responded in the most proper way possible to verify my email address. I received an email back from Compassion International within an hour.

“We are all so grateful for your commitment to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. [We] also wanted to invite you on a sponsor tour. Another one…” And later in the email, “There are so many great stories that occur during the week of a sponsor tour, as you know, and we want to start exploring what it would be like to capture those stories through our bloggers.”

My heart raced.

This was nothing but God’s pure grace, divine favor, a miracle. Compassion International just celebrated five years of blogging trips, and now they’re beginning another adventure, inviting bloggers to join a sponsor tour.

I’d been chosen to be a part of this new adventure.

As I sat there in the car reading the words over and over again on my tiny iPhone screen, all I could do was pray over and over again “Dear Lord, I am humbled and grateful. Dear Lord, I am humbled and grateful. Dear Lord, I am humbled and grateful.”

After gathering myself, I texted my husband and asked him to “call me right away if you have time!” “You’ll never guess,” I said when he called. “You’ll never guess.”

God’s grace.

His favor.

A Miracle.

Most definitely, yes.

I’ve been keeping this secret since July 1st. It’s just been me, my husband, Compassion and God himself that have known. I shared the news with one sweet soul one week ago, our parents yesterday, and my prayer and support team yesterday afternoon. And now, today, it’s your turn to know. It’s time to make the news public!

I’ve been invited to travel to the Dominican Republic with Compassion International and join a sponsor tour in January 2015. I’ll be traveling with a bunch of sponsors and TWO other bloggers. Kris Camealy, Sandra Heska King, and I will share stories throughout the week on our blogs. We’ll travel the beaten down, graveled up roads our sponsored children travel. We’ll see Compassion’s Child Survival Program in action, we’ll visit homes and Child Development Sponsorship Program projects, and we’ll see the most amazing fruits of Compassion’s efforts when we meet young adults enrolled in the Leadership Development Program. But most exciting of all? We’ll meet our sponsored children. We’ll meet them face to face. In fact, we’ll witness a whole host of sponsors meeting their sponsored children. And it will be beautiful, divine, holy.

The moments will be orchestrated by God himself. The stories, prepared in advance for us to tell. May our words be a vessel through which He speaks truth about the value of every human life.

As I drove away from that daycare yesterday, I remembered the revelation I had at that same daycare one year ago. Perhaps God’s been preparing me with these 14 years of speech therapy home visits. He’s wanted me to learn what it takes to enter in to others’ private space, others’ holy space and bring voice to the voiceless. He’s prepared me for a lifetime, really. My little girl heart has grown up into a great big mama bear heart. He’s fulfilling the promises He set in me from the beginning. That makes my heart beat hard, takes my breath away, gives me holy goosebumps. And brings wells of tears to my eyes. Because God is good. His promises ring true. Always and forever.








DominicanminiSimilar to every major series I write on this blog, this post will serve as the landing page for my Dominican Republic trip with Compassion International in January 2015. All the posts I write about the trip will be listed and linked here, at the bottom of this blog post. You’ll find this Dominican Republic graphic displayed on the right sidebar of my blog homepage. Click on the graphic anytime, and you’ll be brought right back here where you’ll find all the blog posts in one place!

Other posts in the series about my trip to the Dominican Republic:

The Sweet Girl I’m Going to Visit in the Dominican Republic

I’m Empty. Apparently That’s the Way God Wants Me.

Bonita y Muy Guapo

Giving and Receiving Through Child Sponsorship

A Best Friend for Eternity

How a Formerly Sponsored Child Taught Me Anything’s Possible

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Have you always dreamed of sponsoring a child? Why not do it today? I promise, it’ll be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Maybe Dominican Republic’s your place? Or perhaps you’re feeling called to Africa, Asia or elsewhere. Check out Compassion’s website by clicking right here. A whole host of children are patiently waiting for a sponsor. If you could meet them face to face, I just know you’d understand what an honor it is to release them from poverty and give them hope for a better tomorrow.





DSCN6809It was the second week of August 2013. The sun was shining and the sky was blue. For some reason, I had more time than normal before my last speech-language therapy home visit that day, so I took the opportunity to stop at the grocery store where I planned to do business banking and pick up an ice cream treat.

But I never did make it into the store that day.

This thing that happened? It was a little crazy.

So I got out of my car at this grocery store I’d never been to before, and all I could hear was somebody whistling in the parking lot. It was the kind of whistling that was hard to ignore, although everybody but me seemed to be going about their grocery shopping business as usual.

I looked around and looked around some more. There were NO signs of a whistling person anywhere. But then I looked a couple rows down and saw an older man with a line of grocery carts. He was pushing the carts towards the store, and I noticed he was the one, HE was the one whistling!

So I crossed the two lines of cars separating me and that man in the parking lot because, hey, I had a little time and I really wanted to know what compelled this man to whistle so intently while he was working! I approached, told him how lovely his whistling was, how it captured my attention across the parking lot, and asked if I could tell his story on my blog.

When the man responded, I discovered a MAJOR problem…

He didn’t speak a lick of English. In fact, he responded to my inquiry in Spanish.


What was I to do?

I’d only been blogging for 13 months at that point, and I’d never run into a situation like this!

If I was any other sane person, I would’ve let it go at that. But no. I had to do something!

So I went back to my car and pulled up a translation website on my iPhone while keeping a close eye on the whistling grocery cart pusher. One of the first sites that came up was, so I clicked on the link, found Spanish translation, and crafted something to say to the man. (And ya, I knew that whatever I said had to be simple and to the point, because I hadn’t taken a Spanish class since high school, so even with translation, I wasn’t going to be blowing the dude away with my Spanish proficiency.)

This is what I had translated on my little iPhone…

I love your whistling. Can I write an article about your lovely whistling for the internet?

OK. OK! So 8 1/2 months later, I realize this is craziness, utter stupidity! The fact that I went back to this whistling, Spanish-speaking grocery cart pushing man just to say that seems ridiculous. I admit it. But for some reason, in that moment, I was compelled to return to him and know more about his story, and those were unfortunately, the best words I could muster in those moments of rush in the parking lot.

So I got out of my car, took my handy dandy phone with those words translated to Spanish, and sought out the whistling grocery cart pusher once again.

Utter craziness, I know.

When I approached the man, he recognized me from before and stopped immediately. I pulled out my phone and read the words, in my feeble attempt at Spanish.

Amo su silbido. ¿Puedo escribir un artículo sobre su silbido encantador para el Internet?

(I love your whistling. Can I write an article about your lovely whistling for the internet?)

The man must have understood at least some of what I said, and must have thought I was fluent in Spanish, because he then proceeded to tell me what sounded like his life story – IN SPANISH! 

As he proceeded, sentence after sentence, I debated in my mind – was this rude, demeaning and inappropriate to let this man go on and on in Spanish, when I don’t understand much of anything he’s saying? Or is it OK? I let my heart and my gut rule, and I decided I’d stay. Although I have to admit, it made me feel a little uncomfortable and desperate for a translator because I knew he was revealing to me, right there in the grocery store parking lot, a story that was heart-wrenching and incredible.

So there I stood, in the middle of a grocery store parking lot, listening to this man tell me his life story, in Spanish. And I didn’t understand a thing. Or did I?

My “translation” and understanding of bits and pieces of the man’s story compelled me to stay when logic told me it’d be better to flee.

This is what I understood of the whistling, Spanish-speaking grocery cart pusher’s story, despite our language differences. Words paired with gestures, paired with my strong intuition and skill interpreting others’ communication from 14 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist, led me to understand this.

The man had been whistling since he was born. There were no tears when he was born, just whistling, right from the start. He was most definitely sure of that.

He had no schooling. He could write only a few words.

He’d experienced and observed many devastating and horrific things over the course of his life. His wife died. He gestured having an arm cut off from the elbow down three times. He gestured getting his head cut off another time. He took my pen and wrote “WICKED” on his hand, and had many names for Satan in Spanish.

But even in all his pain, the whistling, Spanish-speaking man had a deep faith. In our short time together, he pointed to the ground and then back up to the sky several times. There were many references to “Biblia.” And he even brought out his lighter and lifted it high to the sky to demonstrate the power of God in all the pain.

After about twenty minutes of chatting, it was time for me to go. I didn’t want the man to be fired, so I found an opportunity to politely wrap up the conversation and bid the man a warm farewell as best as I could.

I returned to my car and scribbled notes about my encounter with the man.

I went home that night and told the story to my husband. It all seemed a little crazy, but there was another part of it that felt holy, like it was a divine appointment between me and this whistling stranger.

My notes and the grocery store flyer sat on my night stand for weeks. I finally decided to tuck them away in a special spot in case I wanted to refer back to that story someday.

Six months later, I took that trip to Haiti. And it wasn’t until I returned from Haiti and sought wise counsel about next steps for my life, that I realized – my encounter with that man was profound. I finally got it. I finally understood.

That whistling, Spanish-speaking grocery cart pusher taught me the only thing I need to know about LIFE. Though life’s handed us the worst, the most devastating and horrific of circumstances, we can CHOOSE to be joyful, we can CHOOSE to whistle and make the most of each and every day. We can CHOOSE to let faith rule our lives rather than fear.

It’s true for me, and it’s true for you. Will you choose to be brought down by your circumstances? Will you choose to let life get you down? Or will you whistle your way through life with faith, finding joy and opportunity in every moment?

That whistling, Spanish-speaking grocery cart pusher taught me the only thing I need to know about the PURPOSE of my LIFE, too.

The purpose of my life is to be a translator-of-sorts.

To translate stories of fire and ashes – into beauty.

To translate stories nobody understands – into stories everyone can understand.

To translate stories untold – into stories told.

To translate stories of lifelessness – into stories of true life.

To translate stories of pain – into stories of purpose.

To translate stories hidden – into stories brought to light.

To translate stories of misunderstanding – into understanding.

To translate stories of doing what you love, and loving whatever it is that you have to do.

Yes, it’s mysterious work. And I’m still trying to figure it all out.

Before, I believed there was no purpose in me sharing this story – because I didn’t know all the details, because I didn’t understand all of the man’s words, because I didn’t really know his story after all – so I stuffed it away in a hiding spot to keep to myself. There was simply too much mystery in it to believe it had value.

But now, I rest in peace, knowing the mystery is what’s profound. The mystery is where I’m meant to reside. This gift of translating mystery into some sort of beautiful reality? It’s what I’m meant to do.

So whistle on, whistle on people.

Whether you’re winning or losing or somewhere in-between, whistle on, whistle on.



That last night in Haiti, I sat on the edge of a bed in a Port-au-Prince hotel room facing my roommate, Georgeann. I’d just met this woman one week prior, but I’d learned enough of her to know she was authentic and completely trustworthy. So in that moment, both of us bare-footed and ready for bed, with all the noise and clamor of Port-au-Prince in the background, I shared the secret of my heart.

There are things I’ve experienced here in Haiti that I’ve never come close to experiencing back home.

Yep. These are the things that have been weighing on my heart. These are the things that have been pressing on my soul since I returned from Haiti, nearly two months ago now. These are the things that call to me, speak to me, dare me to find the soonest opportunity to return to that beautiful country. These are the things I long for when I know in my heart I’m missing Haiti.

How was it possible for me to develop such a deep and rich love for a country I visited only one week?

How is it possible that an adoptive mom’s story really is true, that she’s never heard of anyone going to Haiti just once?

And the question I’ve asked myself time and time again since I returned – why would God have brought me to a place I loved so much, a place that sat so perfectly with my soul, only to take me away again?

It takes me a second to realize the obvious – my family and friends are here in the United States. Of course I desire, of course God desires for me to return to my country, to live, love, nurture and serve those He’s placed in my path. Here.

My life is here.

My life. is here.

My life is beautiful, blessed and rich beyond measure.

But my heart still speaks. That deepest place calls out, longs to linger in the beautiful match Haiti was for my soul.

Perhaps you understand if you’ve been to Haiti.

So I believe. God will have me return.

I believe God is already preparing a way.

I believe He knows exactly where I’ll go next, exactly where He’ll have me next.

And I’ll be open, beyond ready when it’s time to go. Because I know, He will call.

It’ll be specific. And it’ll be with people and for purposes far greater than myself.

Because I simply can’t afford what Haiti needs. Nor can I afford what Haiti has to offer.

So I lend myself as an offering, before He calls. I’m willing to go, it’s my desire, no doubt.

But in the quiet God tames me. He says wait. Hold up. I’m working. Wait. Not yet. Let My plan unfold. I will show you the way.

So I wait.


Very patiently.

I ponder and pray over every clue, wondering if this is what He’d have me do.

And I ponder all the reasons I dared to utter that sentence in the Port-au-Prince hotel room…

There are things I’ve experienced here in Haiti that I’ve never come close to experiencing back home.

I keep these things close, tucked away in the recesses of my heart. For God bestowed on me these most precious gifts, and I’ll treasure them as such until He calls me to return to that beautiful, soul-stirring place called Haiti.

That beautiful place where mamas aren’t afraid to tell truths about the depths of their pain, and they aren’t afraid to share the source of their joy either.


That beautiful place where girls showed me what it looks like to have a servant heart. That beautiful place where I learned what it really means to receive.



That beautiful place where kids from extreme poverty say “I love my life.”


That beautiful place where dreamers dream and believe ALL things are possible, with God, through Christ – even when ALL signs suggest otherwise.


That beautiful place where words mean something. Yes, that beautiful place where words are powerful, limitless, LIFE GIVING.



That beautiful place where simplicity wins, integrity shines, and dignity is always of the utmost importance.


That beautiful place where creativity is fostered, not forced.


DSCN6180That beautiful place where leaders rise among sleeping giants. That beautiful place where great leaders of a country literally stand before you. And you can feel it, this rising up of of a nation as they fulfill their call.


That beautiful place where hearts just like yours affirm, make you feel known, completely understood, tell you you’re beautiful, we love you just the way you are.


That beautiful, beautiful place where humble hearts reign. And you’ve never experienced humility like that ever, ever before. And you finally know, THAT’S what true humility looks like. Yes, that’s a beautiful place.


That beautiful place where joy is unspeakable. And pain is never, ever far away.


DSCN6250That beautiful place where faith crosses every border.


That beautiful place where human souls sing, triumph, keep pressing forward…even if, even though…



That beautiful place where eyes can’t help but notice the poverty, the destitution, the lack of everything, everywhere. That beautiful place where I couldn’t help but notice the wealth, the riches, the abundance in everyone, everywhere.



Yes. Those are the things about Haiti that I can’t quite replicate here, back at home. Those are the things that have been hard to explain. Those are the things that have lingered in my heart. Those are the things that call me, beckon me to return.

Is it possible for a heart to be 100% engaged in one place and 100% engaged in another? So be it. Let it be mine.

If, for any reason, these words have spoken to the deepest part of you, whether you’ve been to Haiti or not, please let me know via comment, Facebook message, or email. Whatever God has in store for me and Haiti, I’m most certainly going to need travel partners. I’m believing He might have one or more of you join me in the future. Who’s it going to be?

Some food for thought this Friday afternoon.

Blessings on your journey, wherever it may lead you.


**If you’d like to read about my journey to Haiti in February 2014, click on this link and read to the bottom where you’ll find links to every post I wrote about Haiti. It’s an honor to invite anyone and everyone into this life changing story.


  1. Antonio Macias says:

    Amy I see that we are truly united by the same heart. I have not been able to express in words how the people of Haiti have changed my life. My spirit cries out to return. My spirit cries out to share Haiti with all of those who I love. It cries out so loudly that before I left Haiti I was all ready making arrangements to return. In March 2015 I plan on taking my wife and 4 kids with me. I’m also taking my neice as her graduation gift and may end up taking more people. I must share this beautiful place and these beautiful people with others. God is truly doing an amazing work in Haiti.

  2. Oh Amy, I loved this post more than a comment could ever capture. You have written my heart & thoughts exactly, and close even to what I’ve written from my journey as well!

    I love my life here. But there is an unbelievable joy, peace and contentment when I’m serving in the DR or wherever God calls me outside my comfort zone.

    I know God has called our family to do more, go more, and be more…and while I have no idea what that looks like, I know that more than ever I am his willing servant.

    • Amy says:

      Dear Summer: While we’ve never met, I’m convinced, based on all I know about myself and everything I’ve read on your blog, that we’re soul sisters. I have SO enjoyed following your story and watching it unfold the past year and a half, and am convinced we’ve experienced similar feelings along the way. Of all the posts I’ve ever written on this blog, this would be one I would definitely NOT want you to miss. So I’m glad you found and read it today, Summer. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. I appreciate it so much, and it is SO good to know we are not alone. So good to be able to say “me too.” 🙂 Blessings, and grateful we’re on this “outside of our comfort zone” journey together!

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