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Friends, I’m so excited to share some awesome news with you today! Let’s just say I’ve had a hard time keeping it to myself. I can barely contain the joy, so let’s get right to it!

When I went on the sponsor trip to Haiti with Compassion International last February, I met a 2-year-old boy named Charles. I wrote a blog post about my time with Charles and his mama. If you never read it the first time around, or need your memory jogged, now would be a great time to check it out (click here and the post will open in a separate window.)

I know some of you don’t have time to read the original post, so let me refresh your memory! I met two-year-old Charles and his mama at one of the Compassion projects we visited in Haiti. Charles’ mama shared her painful story with our group, and revealed that Charles had one leg. She was beyond grateful for Compassion’s Child Survival Program, as they have been a tremendous source of hope and support. Needless to say, I was deeply moved by Charles’ story. Later that morning, I had the opportunity to interact at length with Charles, his mama, a translator, and Compassion staff. By God’s pure grace, I was offered the opportunity to be Charles’ sponsor once he’s old enough to officially enroll in Compassion’s Child Development Sponsorship Program. I was, of course, delighted to say yes, and gathered all the necessary information to make the connection back home.



When I returned from Haiti, I spent nearly nine months trying to track down Charles. I wanted to do my part to keep the promise. So between February and October 2014, I called Compassion International’s hotline three times to see if there was a way to link Charles’ name with mine in the system. While Charles and his mama have been participating in Compassion’s Child Survival Program, Charles is not quite old enough to enroll in the Child Development Sponsorship Program, therefore, there has been no easy way to officially link our names.

Let me just say, after the first two phone calls to Compassion, I was beginning to realize it was going to take an act of God for this to happen. But I was determined to do my part and follow it through to an end.

During my third call to Compassion in October, I was advised to send an email detailing all the information I had so they could investigate the matter further.

I sent that email to Compassion on October 30.

Within a week, I received a personal phone call from a staff member at Compassion. She notified me that she was going to contact Compassion’s country office in Haiti, and would get someone on the ground to investigate the matter. The goal, to ensure Charles’ continued participation in the program and officially link his name to mine for sponsorship.

I was excited and hopeful, y’all. This was actually going to happen!


(So here’s where the story starts to get really cool.)

On November 18, 2014, a man named Antonio (aka Tony) posted a note on my blog’s Facebook page“I would love to share my experience with your sponsored child Charles with you. Please contact me when you can.” That same night, I also found comments on my blog from Tony, one comment on the post I’d written about Charles, and another on a post I’d written about my love for Haiti.

Within four hours of the post to my wall, I was Facebook messaging Tony, this “random stranger” from Texas. Tony had just returned from a sponsor trip to Haiti with Compassion International on November 10-15. While he was there, he met and engaged extensively with Charles!

Within four days of the post to my wall, Tony and I agreed it would be awesome and much easier to chat on the phone about our sweet Charles. So we exchanged numbers and talked at length about our experiences. It was amazing. Simply amazing.

But friends, this isn’t the end of the good news! I saved the best news for last. Because it’s the biggest, most awesome and amazing of all!

Did you ever wonder how Tony tracked me down? How in the world did he know I had anything to do with Charles? I won’t bore you with the lengthy sequence of events Tony and I unpacked that ultimately connected us, but let me just say THIS WAS A PURE ACT OF GOD! There’s no way I would’ve ever connected with Tony and discovered these updates about Charles had it not been for God’s miraculous orchestration of events. Many hands were involved, friends. Many hands were involved. People followed the Spirit’s promptings, one after another, which ultimately led to me discovering and sharing the most AWESOME NEWS OF ALL with y’all today…

Our sweet Charles has a prosthetic leg! He’s well and joyful, and is moving about with relative ease! And his mama has a smile on her face that’s filled and overflowing with joy. I’m as tickled pink as I could be! For THIS is a miracle. This. is a miracle. Believe it, friends. Believe it when you see it.

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This is an act of God, all the way around. He has worked. He has shown His glory. He has shown His great power and delight in bringing joy and healing to His children.

Today, a boy walks and dances.

Today, a mama beams joy.

Today, this mama sponsor beams joy, too, for she understands God’s sovereignty and goodness, even in our pain, even out of our darkest moments.

Today, a man in Texas understands the power of the Holy Spirit. Because he listened to the promptings in his heart and stopped to engage with a little boy in Haiti, we can begin to fathom the lengths to which God pursues us. Even when we aren’t aware, even when we don’t believe, He’s working. He’s sovereign. He’s in control. He’s got this.

It’s a miracle. Pure awesomeness.





Yesterday was #GivingTuesday. Perhaps you gave to the nonprofit of your choice. Perhaps you didn’t, but are moved by Charles’ story. Compassion International is funding a Child Survival Program for mamas and babies in India! Yesterday, Brianne McKoy wrote a lovely post about the opportunity to help fund this project. Check out her blog post and maybe, just maybe you’ll feel led to give. Because who wouldn’t want to be a part of this joy?! Or maybe you’ve always wanted to sponsor a child. Head right on over to Compassion’s website where hundreds of children are waiting for a sponsor.


I came home and cried that night. Cried to my husband for a world that’s cold, a world that’s harsh, a world that isn’t welcoming all the time. Cried because I didn’t want to do this anymore, this 31 Days. Cried because I wanted to quit.

Earlier that day, I’d spent a few hours in the hustle and bustle of the street. It was my third journey out and about gathering interviews for my series, 31 Dreams from the Street. The interviews were exhilarating and adventuresome at first, but draining and exhausting by week three.

I spent three and a half hours wandering the street and a whole assortment of locations that day. My goal was to gather seven interviews, enough to last the whole week to come. But I only gathered five that day. I tried and tried for six and seven, but continued to come up dry.

Now that I look back, there was good reason I never gathered interviews six and seven that day.

You see, two hours into that day’s adventures in interviewing, I came up against a wall. An invisible wall constructed by a fellow human being who happened to be in my vicinity, who happened to find herself in my path when I was out and about interviewing.

I won’t share details of this encounter, because honestly? The memory is fairly traumatic, like the kind of memory that will stick around for a lifetime whether I like it or not. But I am choosing to share the experience vaguely, because I think there’s something to learn from it.

So this encounter. I didn’t expect it. It came out of nowhere. Had I known it was going to happen, I would have evacuated the vicinity immediately, long before it even happened. But I believe all things happen for a reason, that God works all things together for those who love Him. And He will work this, even this, together for my good.

She was there, in my presence, while I was interviewing another.

She asked what a blog was. And then she proceeded to laugh when I told her what I write about. She laughed in a casual and dismissive way, as if my blog and writing were the stupidest things she’d ever heard of.

I continued with my interview.

At that point, I’d only had my new camera for a couple weeks, so I was still trying to learn all the settings on it. The lighting in the space I was in was notably different than the space I’d just been in. So when I went to take a photograph of the person I was interviewing, I had to take THREE or FOUR shots in order to get ONE that worked. The lighting was really tough to manage with the all manual settings I was attempting to use on my camera. (Let it be known, this had never happened before. I was totally caught off guard and felt like an idiot the way it was. Because I would’ve gotten that shot on the first try had I been a professional and/or fully acclimated to my new camera.) Anyway, before the last shot, she made a snarky, sarcastic comment that really got under my skin. I will never forget her words. They couldn’t have been more rude and belittling. It wasn’t until later that I realized I should’ve responded to her comment differently than I did. But these are the battles you face as a nice, people pleasing person, even when you’re belittled straight to your face.

I continued with my interview.

When I was about to leave the space, I handed a blog business card to the person I was interviewing so they could check out the post later if they chose to do so. This was standard operating procedure for the month. A business card was quick and convenient, with all my information in one place. But when I handed that card to the person I interviewed, the woman laughed. Right there, right in my face. As if me having a blog business card was the lamest, stupidest, most ridiculous thing she’d ever seen.

Having been knocked down not once, but three times during this interview, I was ready to bolt from the scene as quickly as possible.

So I did.

As soon as I handed off that blog business card, I thanked the person I interviewed as kindly as I could, and I bolted. Far off. Straight away. As far as I could go.

Because I’d been made to feel like a fool, like an idiot, like a tiny, tiny girl who didn’t matter one speck.

At that point, I’d gotten five interviews for my series. I had two more to go to meet my goal for the day, but for the next hour and a half, I wandered aimless.

I never did get two more interviews that day. Because I was scared. I felt hollow. Defeated. Low to the ground, like a nothing, a nobody. This series I’d conceived? It suddenly felt like the most lame and ridiculous thing in the world. This writing, it seemed like worthless dream chasing.

I wanted to quit.

This 31 Days had officially eaten my insides alive. It wasn’t worth this. At all.

As far as I was concerned, my encounter with this woman was a 31 Days worst nightmare. Not only that, it impacted my ability to be fully authentic with the person I was interviewing. When someone is subtly and not-so-subtly criticizing you in front of another, you have to wonder about the negative impact it has on everyone.

So I came home. And later that night, I cried. I talked it out as best as I could with my husband. And we agreed, I’d write my thoughts and feelings about 31 Dreams from the Street during the last five days of the series. But I never did tell him about that woman. Because it was simply too embarrassing and belittling. I never will tell anyone the details. They will remain in me, lifted to God, as He’s the only other who saw, really saw, what happened that day.

Over the course of the next four days, I lifted it up. I handed it over. I decided I had to be brave, to keep going, to finish this series just as I’d planned. I needed to get through these interviews, brutal or not.

Four days later, I ventured out. My husband freed me with his words. He said, “Commit to a certain amount of time. Decide that whether you get one interview or ten during that period of time, you’ll be done interviewing after that.”

I got four interviews that night. They all went well.

A couple days later, I got another interview.

And a day after that, I stepped out of the interview box and offered a guest post to my daughter.

On the airplane to the writing conference, Darlene offered to be interviewed when I told her I was wrapping the series and needed another interview.

And on day 26, I decided I just couldn’t do another interview. I gave myself grace. It was okay. I’d already learned the lesson. I’d moved on from the trauma that was.

I don’t know why this happened.

I do know I wanted to quit that day.

I do know my interactions with that woman were traumatizing, forever and unfortunately etched in my memory.

But God calls me to goanyway. God calls me to continue, anyway. God calls me to write, anyway. Because NOT everyone is going to like me. NOT everyone is going to like what I do. NOT everyone is going to like what I have to say, or how I present myself in this world. If you are that person who doesn’t like me, that person who doesn’t like anything about me? Okay. So be it. The people pleaser in me surrenders. To you. You don’t have to like me.

So I will be brave. I will continue. I will follow this call. I will write, anyway. I will be me, anyway. I will, anyway.

Because I must.

So as I wrap this series, I accept the fact that I don’t write for everyone.

I write for GOD. Because He made me and He called me. Because He knows the most traumatizing things that happen to us, and loves and heals us just the same.

I write for ME.

And I write for YOU, you who have taken time to read one, two or twenty-seven days. For all of you who care, for all of you who understand, for all of you who get it, even a little bit? Thank you.

Cheers. To not quitting because of someone else’s belittling.

Cheers. To the 31 Dayers who have been bold and beautifully brave despite how hard any day’s been.

Cheers. To you.





*This post is a part of a month-long 31 Days series titled Dreams from the Street. If you’d like to read more from my series, click here and you’ll be brought to the series landing page where all 31 posts are listed and linked! You can follow me on Twitter at where I’ll tweet links to all 31 posts using hashtag #write31days, and I’d LOVE to connect on Facebook at! I’m so glad you stopped by. Make yourself comfortable and take a peek around the place. You’re welcome back anytime.

On July 11, 2014, I published a post titled “Change is Coming to this Blog!” In the post, I explained that I was working on a new blog mission, vision, tagline, guiding scripture, and core values. I also wanted to define, more clearly, what I’ll be writing about from here on out.

Well, today’s the day, folks! It’s time to launch the vision I’ve had in my mind for the past six months.

But before we get started, let me share a little behind-the-scenes secret. Earlier this week, I woke up in the middle of the night, in my half-awake half-asleep state, and all I could think about was this launch. My worry was that it was too much, too complicated, too wordy. So in my middle-of-the-night state, I vowed that I would keep this as simple as possible. So here’s my best shot at making that happen!

It all started with this – the tagline for my blog had to change. I always LOVED the “extraordinary encounters” part of my old tagline, but as I wrote these past two years, I realized there was something bigger I was trying to communicate through the blog. Three individuals I engaged with in February and March 2014 inspired me in specific and complementary ways. As a result, I knew what I could write about forever, “love what you live. live what you love.” So here it is, the new tagline integrated into my logo!


As of today, you’ll find the updated logo in the header on the home page of my blog. You’ll see it at the top, like this…


I have new covers for my Facebook and Twitter pages, and I also have new business cards which reflect the changes to the blog. The business cards are my favorite. LOVE the way these turned out! (Thanks to Shalon Estrada from Pretty Lovely Design for her beautiful work.)

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So you might be asking yourself what all of this means. And why did I feel the need to go to such extreme measures to change one little tagline?

Well, there’s actually a good reason I’m making these changes. Like I said earlier, I want to more clearly define my worldview and what I’m going to write about in this online home from here on out.

In the past six months, I’ve taken a lot of time to define and refine the foundation of this blog. The changes I’ve made will benefit all of us. Starting today, my writing will be funneled through the new parameters I’ve set for the blog. If a post doesn’t fall within the parameters, I won’t publish it. This will benefit you because you’ll know more what to expect when you visit my blog. I’m hoping the posts won’t feel quite as random as they might have in the past. Under this new model, there will definitely be a theme, a big-picture message that’s weaved through all the posts on the blog.

So I made this graphic. I’ll be honest, I kind of love it and I kind of hate it. I spent too much time making it, and unfortunately, it was one of the too busy, too wordy images I couldn’t get out of my mind earlier this week in the middle of the night, but I’m not going to remake it! So here it is. It’s intended to give you a quick rundown of all the new bloggy things launching today. I’ll explain in a minute. For now, just take a peek!


Let me be clear up front. This vision is BIG. This vision runs deep. This vision has the potential to last the life of this blog. Sure it may need tweaks, refining and rewording along the way, but big picture, it’s good to go for a LONG time.

So let’s get to it! These are the foundations of this blog from here on out.

I believe that God created every human being to fulfill a unique and specific purpose here on earth.


My purpose is to inspire people to discover, embrace and walk boldly in their unique purpose.

Based on the observations I’ve made about life on earth so far, you’re likely to discover, embrace and walk boldly in your unique purpose IF you

love what you live. 


live what you love.

You can expect every post on this blog to be written with these qualities, these core values in mind…









From here on out, ALL posts on this blog will fit into one of four categories as follows:


These posts will feature people who love their life. My goal is to observe and interview people who love a particular aspect of their life, or maybe they love everything about their life! This might include their work, their hobbies, the volunteer work they do, or just about anything about their life that they LOVE. I’m planning to be generous with my borders and boundaries on this one. At this point, I’m envisioning everything from Mary Kay consultants to body builders to real estate agents to pumpkin farmers. Everything from muddy race running to blogging to mosaic making. From nonprofit thrift store management to Special Olympics coaching to animal rescue missions. There’s something to learn from people who love their life. I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to learn their secrets. I’ll be writing these posts with the belief that if you LOVE your life, you’re most likely tapping into your purpose.



These posts will feature people who whole-heartedly embrace the life they live. The original vision for these posts is to observe and interview people who love what they live, people who are making the best out of less than ideal situations, people who are living in joy, beauty, peace and love even though life has proven to be challenging. At this point, I’m envisioning a whole host of individuals, including people who have special needs, people living in poverty and extreme poverty, people living with mental illness, people who have suffered abuse, people who have battled addiction, acutely and chronically ill individuals, infertility, stillbirths, adoption, and a whole host of others unnamed and yet to be imagined. Within this category, I would also like to dive deeper into the impact of these special situations on the family at large. Therefore, I hope and pray I’ll be able to interview moms, dads, siblings, special friends, and family members that have been impacted and have found beauty in the ashes. I have a feeling that God has more in store for this category than I’ve imagined. I can see already that He’s going to expand my definition of “love what you live” exponentially through these interviews. I’ll be writing these posts with the belief that God wastes nothing, that your purpose might very well rise up from the ashes.



These posts will be personal reflections on embracing and walking boldly in my purpose. I’m going to work this “love what you live” and “live what you love” out in my own life, and I’m going to share it with you in real time. What does it mean to love my life, even when it’s hard, even when it’s messy, even when it’s less than desirable, even when it’s barely tolerable? What does it mean to live a life I love? What makes me tick? What fuels me, makes me feel lit up inside? What risks will I take? How many times will I step out of the proverbial box or boat? In what ways will I be stretched like never before? And how will I know if I’m living my purpose? I’m not exactly sure how these posts are going to look. Some might look a lot like posts I’ve written before. But I think many of these posts are going to cause me pause. I’m going to need to reflect and look at my life from angles I haven’t before. And one thing’s for sure, I’m going to be jacking up my courage. Big time. Because in order for me to live out my calling, the purpose for which God created me, I’m going to need a lot of courage. And faith. I’ll be writing these posts with the hope that you’ll feel empowered to live, love and discover your purpose if you know someone’s on the journey with you.



These posts will be written for you. And I’m SO excited about that. Among the handful of careers I wanted to pursue for the longest time was psychologist, and one aspect that’s been missing from this blog is getting down and dirty in the trenches to help YOU. So with these posts, I’m envisioning that I’ll step back and draw some big-picture conclusions. What words of wisdom can I draw from interviewing people who love their lives? What words of wisdom can I draw from interviewing people who have chosen to embrace the lives they live, even if they’re less than ideal? What words of wisdom can I draw from embracing and walking boldly in my own purpose? If there was ever a how-to aspect of this blog, these posts will be it. I want to empower you. I want to inspire you. I want to engage in meaningful, authentic communication with you. I’m going to get vulnerable and real, and I hope you’ll be willing to go there with me. Oh yeah, and I’m guessing that I’m going to ask some hard questions. Because nobody ever started loving their live and living their purpose until they started asking and answering some really hard questions.


Last, but not least, I’ve chosen two scripture passages that will guide this blog.

Psalm 139:13-16 (click here to read the passage)


Isaiah 61:1-3 (click here to read the passage)

These are some of the most beautiful pieces of scripture there are. They both speak beautifully into the new mission of this blog. I can’t imagine any better words to guide my writing than these.

So yeah, let’s do this!

I feel like I’m baby blogger with this gigantic God-sized vision. And I have to be honest. This scares me. This is most definitely going to stretch me beyond my wildest imagination. Because in and of myself, I don’t have the power, the connections, the strength, the resources to make these interviews happen. In and of myself, it’s going to be a real challenge to embrace and walk boldly in my purpose, and share vulnerably with you. In and of myself, I don’t have the power to create change in your life. In and of myself, I can’t make this God-sized blog vision come to life.

But as Kristin Welch of “We Are That Family” stated in a recent blog post:

“There will be a big gap between your yes and the reality of your dream. That space is God-sized. If we have all the answers, resources, funding, the perfect plan, it might be our dream and not His. But when we don’t know all of the details or have all the answers, it gives God room to show up.”

God’s assured me with His still small voice that He’s prepared and trained me for this, that He’ll equip me because He’s called me. So I’m choosing to say yes. Because I don’t see any other plan for this blog. And I believe this is what God is calling me to do with this space. I believe He will show up. Big time.

So let’s go.

You and me.

Let’s live and love. And on the way? Perhaps we’ll discover the purpose of our lives.





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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