Thursday, July 11, 2013

And we're off!

I truly cannot believe that tomorrow is when I will be heading to Uganda. It still feels as though I should have a month to get everything together, mentally prepare myself...I don't know. I feel as though now should be the time that I am prepared to just trust God and let Him do the work that He does best (which is everything) but for some reason I am feeling even more controlling.

Please be praying over this next week for flexibility in the schedule and my disposition to be ok with that. It's a mission trip, so something will go wrong. (If you haven't been on a mission trip, sorry to burst that bubble!) But please pray that it's not TERRIBLY awful what happens and that I'm able to just brush it off.

Please also be praying that, as a group, we are bold for Christ. As well as the distribution of 220 beds, we will be sharing all that Christ has done for us. Please pray that we let God speak through us and that the people that we speak to are receptive.

Also, pray that we have fun and grow together as a group! This is so important to show that the Church grows TOGETHER. Time and distance don't separate us.

If you would like to stay up to date on our journey, feel free to go to Sweet Sleep's Blog. We will be updating twice daily on what we see, impacting stories, and all that we learn. You can also know how to pray for us while in-country from Sweet Sleep's Blog.

I want to say thank you to everyone who has prayed, donated, or just read my journey to this moment. It really has been a journey that I could not have done without any of you!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It Became Real

It became very real today that in a month I will be leaving on a plane to go to Uganda. I'm already very nervous and almost having buyer's remorse.
For instance, it took less than a week for me to be decided that God was telling me to go to Uganda. WHAT?! What am I doing?? I work with technology and if Uganda HAS reliable electricity then that's a blessing! Why do I think that I can make a long-term difference? How do I even think that they will really care? There's sooo much going on right now that you think it would be wise to actually stop everything for 10 days as you go to a third world country?? Can you really trust your group? How do you know that you won't be harmed while you are over there? What if you lose your passport? My God, WHAT IF I LOSE MY PASSPORT??

Typing out my fears doesn't really help. But here's what does.

I know that I have been called to this trip. Uganda has been on my heart for so long that not going would have been the stupidest decision I could have made. I know that I told myself that I would take a break this summer, so why not take 10 days and REALLY take a break? I also know that the cause for my trip is very near to God's heart. Taking care of the less fortunate and helping the widows and orphans are what He tells us to do (throughout the whole Bible. Check it out.) Since it is near to His heart, He will be blessing this trip in so many ways that I may never be able to see.
"The purpose of good works isn't to change us or save us; rather, it's the demonstration of the change within us." A.W. Tozer
I wouldn't be going to Uganda if God hadn't decided to truly break me. I wouldn't have learned so much already about God, myself, and the world if I hadn't trusted that God really is a living being. I believe that God's heart is being displayed in the work that Sweet Sleep has been, currently is, and will be doing. I believe that I shouldn't be worried about trusting my group or thinking that I will have to be a "one woman island" when we enter Uganda because I'm supposed to be trusting in God alone. I don't know what will really happen when I enter Uganda. Knowing all the history of Uganda, its people, and the heartaches that they are currently recovering from have been enough right now. After meeting the people and putting faces to disease, poverty, and civil war...I don't know what is next. I'm slightly worried that I'll come back and truly think I need to live in Uganda, but I'm also worried that I will come back and not be doing enough. Only a blog post every once in awhile, a donation here and how do I balance the long-term change in Uganda that I helped create with my "real" life? When things start to not fulfill, how do I not feel like I'm just jumping on a bandwagon?

Monday, May 20, 2013

The LORD is Faithful!

Friday: Find out that I need $1,500 for my plane next week. Commence freakout and mass texting to see if I can send people a copy of my support letter.

Saturday: Still freaking out.

Sunday: Freaking out more. But still trying to lean on God more than my freaking out. That night I can't sleep. I'm just staring at the ceiling not able to even get a sense of relief from closing my eyes. So I start thinking. I'm thinking that now I have even less time to get my fundraising in. How I'm supposed to believe that God is going to come through and is able to provide more than enough of what I need. And how I can't stop freaking out. Then I remember that I haven't responded to an email from a family friend about a potential fundraising opportunity. Throughout this whole Uganda journey I've learned that if I get this feeling that I could lift a car off a baby, aka an adrenaline rush, and a severe prompting to JUST DO IT that I should follow that gut feeling. So very late last night, I answer his email. And then I can go to sleep about 30 minutes later.

Monday: Wake up and can go about 30 minutes into my day without freaking out. And then I remember that I'm still $1,500 short of a plane ticket. And so the freaking out begins again. I call Imagine Design Team to see how my bracelets are doing. Melanie says that we've raised about $100 which was awesome to hear! I gather up all my checks to send to Sweet Sleep and the total is $1,050. And about half of that amount was from my own money. I had listened to a podcast earlier today that was talking about Abraham, Isaac, and if he should've trusted God. A God that said, "Here's your promise, here's the actual promise come alive, and now I want you to kill it." Or, at least, that's my version of Abraham's thought process. I knew that God had given me a promise that He would get me to Uganda. Truly, there is no other way to describe this mission journey besides God has promised to send me to Uganda. And now, I felt as though He was asking me to lay it all on the line and kill my promise. Umm, WHAT? WHY? But He has been faithful before. He has brought me this far. So I gave up a lot of my security in one check and got busy praying. I knew that God would open a door at anytime with anyone in any place. I just thought it would be at the end of this week. Instead, God answers my prayer and even gives me almost a double promise! I got an email back from our family friend saying that he would like to partner with our mission journey and donate $3,000! DOUBLE THE AMOUNT THAT I REALLY NEEDED. So all I could do was hug my mom and cry because God provided. He really does have unlimited supply and He really has promised that He will send me to Uganda.

If I ever needed a bigger gesture that God is truly faithful and that I WILL be going to Uganda on July 12th then this was the gesture. I know that God doesn't always work like this and I know that what I see in Uganda will change my whole worldview. For some reason God REALLY wants me in Uganda and I cannot WAIT to see why!

What I've Been Watching: Invisible Children Video

Invisible Children Video

This is the video that started the Invisible Children movement. It talks about a current issue in the world which is the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army). Now, the war has ended in Uganda but they have moved to the surrounding countries and continue to take children. Also, Uganda is still trying to heal itself from the war. They still need our help.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Be Still and Get Moving

The theme of this week has been "Be Still and Get Moving". God works in oxymorons so just let me explain.

Be Still
Psalm 138:8   Hebrews 13:6   Psalm 62:1
Obviously, this whole process of going to Uganda is teaching me the importance of being still and letting God work. I am definitely more prone to feeling as though I need to take everything in my own hands and that I will be the one that makes it all happen. I needed to learn that it wasn't me that was actually doing the work. I could put the support letters in the mail, but do I hand deliver them? Do I make sure that they are put in the hands of the people that will help me? No, God does that. So that already helps take some pressure off of myself. I don't have to feel as though I need to be in control because as soon as something leaves my hands I don't have any control.
God knows what He is doing. I have to trust that He does even when I have a little doubt that this might be the time that He doesn't come through.

Get Moving
Galatians 6:8   Isaiah 6:8   Romans 5:5
But this does not in anyway give me an excuse to put off sending out support letters! Or talking to the person that I know needs a little encouragement. Or thinking that God is going to move in some HUGE way so I can just "be still". So when God tells me that I'm going to Uganda in July and I have about a week and a half at the latest to get $1,500 for the plane flight you best BELIEVE I start moving! But it also shows what I should have been doing these past two weeks, then not to feel ashamed or stressed that I procrastinated, and to keep moving forward.

By the way if you happen to have $1,500 in your wallet and want it to be tax-deductible please email me at

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What I Am Reading

"He challenged them to embrace radically different standards, to love their neighbors and their enemies, to forgive those who wronged them, to lift up the poor and downtrodden, to share what they had with those who had little, and to live lives of sacrifice. Then He likened their effect on the world around them to that which light has on darkness. Light dispels darkness; it reverses it. Likewise, truth dispels falsehood, and goodness reverses evil."

-The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wow, it's been awhile.

Just realized that I haven't done a post in about a month. I knew I kept forgetting something!

This past month has been...a trip in itself. I thought for awhile that going to Uganda wasn't going to happen. I wasn't sure what was going on with our group and communication seemed a little spastic. It was very very VERY frustrating especially since I highly value a person with great communication skills. This past month has really taught me to
  2. Trust that God has made a promise that I will go to Uganda this year
  3. Trust that God has already made the way to go to Uganda in July
Even with trip miscommunications we are officially underway on getting everything together! This means that even with the communication level that I like we now have a bigger problem: financials. I wasn't too worried about it (REALLY, which if you know me is probably pretty amazing to you) until I was filling out my Visa application. It then hit me how THIS IS REAL. I am filling out a Visa to stay in Uganda, somehow I have to get money to get there, and yet God is still going to be the same throughout this time. 

Even when schoolwork is piling up, my laundry hasn't been put away for two weeks, and my fish's tank is needing to be cleaned God is still the same. Even when I start to feel like I need to control everything but that I know it will still slip out of my hands, even when my first reaction is to snap at others, even when I just want to sleep, God is still the same. As long as I keep my eyes on Jesus then everything else becomes strangely dim. And it really does! He promises a peace beyond understanding that will guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7). He says to cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). And since I'm trying to live by the Spirit, I'm trying to stay in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). I thought that for awhile I got it but that just goes to show that I really didn't. I can never fully understand everything that I want to understand, but He promises peace in the uncertainty.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

What I Am Reading

"Blessed, because as truly as the widow's meal and oil failed not according to His word through Elijah, so shall every promise made to His saints yet receive its perfect accomplishment. The unimpeachable veracity, unchanging faithfulness and almighty power of God to make good His Word, is the impregnable foundation on which faith may securely rest." 
-The Life of Elijah by A.W. Pink

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Uganda is Underway!

So my parents have given their blessing to go to Uganda come July! And I've done a full count of financials and realized...

I can't do this alone.

Which is why I'm going to need your help! If you would like to financially contribute to the journey, please consider checking out the "Uganda Support" page for bracelets such as these:

Or, if you would like to be kept up to date with emails please email me at

And, as always, PLEASE PRAY.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What I Am Reading

"Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason-a life of knowing Him who calls us to go. Faith is rooted in the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest traps we fall into is the belief that if we have faith, God will surely lead us to success in the world."
-My Utmost for His Highest March 19 by Oswald Chambers

Monday, March 18, 2013

Praising while Praying

So last Wednesday, I found out that I have a spot going on the Uganda trip!!! SO. EXCITED. I have been praising God for the past 5 days because He did make a promise that I would go to Uganda this summer and He made it happen!

Now I am praying that my parents will "officially" be on board with this idea. Or at least quickly-on my time frame-get on board. God is teaching me a lot of patience right now because I have WAY too many ideas going around and around my head for support/fundraising and I feel as though I need to wait for my parents to make their decision. I am an adult, and they recognize that, but they would like to make sure that I am as safe as I could be.

So please pray that my family is as comfortable with the idea as they could be and that they get in touch with all the leaders so that they feel even better about what I will be doing/who is going with me.

(By the by, the summer camp that I went to when I was younger did a blog post on Teaching Spiritual Discipline. Essentially, Waiting on God. Here's the link if you want to check it out!)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Song Lyric That Gets Me

"Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at least.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below."
-Be Still My Soul by Katharina A. von Schlegel

Monday, March 11, 2013

I'm Still Waiting.

So no word on Uganda. Just a feeling that I'm taking as a promise that God has said I am going to Uganda this summer...somehow.


But I'm trying to learn something through this waiting period. 

I'm reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and thought I could learn to do prayer a day. So I'm learning patience. And to pray and praise through. That's actually what they say in the book. The patience part is just me.

I also read this article by Kristen from We Are THAT Family titled "When God Says Wait It's For A Reason" today. And yes, the title essentially was God's own tunnel vision to me. 
"Because even when you have the power to make things happen and go your way, it doesn't mean you should."
 And this is my struggle. This year has been where I learned to be the go-getter, the GET IT DONE and MOVE ON kind of girl. So when things are in my power to get it done, I get it done. Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten how to be slow and still. I learned to be a river when I should just be the stream. I'm still moving but it's not all about my power.

So God didn't send the storm to speak, or the whirlwind, or the hurricane, or the train, or really anything else that would have slammed me in the face and made me be more patient. But He's giving just enough encouragement to get through tonight. And He will encourage into tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. And until I hear a "YES!" or "Thanks for playing but NO." I'm going to hold on to that promise.

"But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me." -Micah 7:7

P.S. Here's the article by Kristen!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Song Lyric that Gets Me

"I am the Lord, your God

I go before you now

I stand beside you

And I'm all around you"

-Come to Me by Bethel Music ft. Jenn Johnson

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Must Be Crazy

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7

I have to be the craziest person that I know.

Two weeks ago, I made the firm decision to finally go on a mission trip to Uganda next summer. I have been thinking about it since last summer so I thought, "God, here's the plan and this is how it's going to work." I should've known that God was going to say to me that that was NOT His plan. He has the plan that going to Uganda will be even sooner...MUCH sooner. So he continues to drop hints like these verses showing up in my devotionals:
  • "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27)
  • "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," (Matthew 28:19)
Long story short, Friday night I decide to "listen" and I tell God that IF I research trips and IF I find a trip going to Uganda and IF I get a spot then MAYBE I'll go on it. The next morning I'm finding out about trips through my Internship supervisor. And Sunday, I'm about 85% sure that I will go on this trip. And then Monday morning I read my devotional. (If you are reading My Utmost For His Highest then we read the same one!) This is how it ended:
  • "Paul focused his life on Jesus Christ's idea of a New Testament saint; that is, not one who merely proclaims the gospel, but one who becomes broken bread and poured-out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for the sake of others." (Chambers, Feb 25)
And then my mom sends me an email saying, "You need never be afraid to stand up and do what is right, My child. I will always go ahead of you and prepare the way....Can you trust that I am strong enough to handle any situation?" (Shepard, Today's His Princess Love Letter) And that pushed me the last 15%. 

I am all in. I am going to Uganda. I am dropping my agenda, possibly even my goal to graduate on time next year and the certainty of being able to be independent, to pay my own rent, and to get a summer job. It's only 10 days, but it will effectively RUIN my summer. 

And I can't wait. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

It's All About Trust

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. - Proverbs 16:3

You may not feel like trusting. It might be easier to let go of God, grit your teeth and say, "No, I HAVE GOT THIS." It may be easier to feel the old anger and bitterness start to well up and say, "I do NOT deserve this! I am doing all that you ask AND MORE." It may take all of your focus and crucifying your pride to say, "Lord, there is beauty in this and You are going to create it."

And there always is.

God ALWAYS provides and ALWAYS gives the boost that you need JUST when you need it. I know that once I was still enough this morning I started to think of all the things that were going wrong so far today. I knew the negative thoughts once they started but I couldn't fight them off until I said, "Lord, I am trusting that by NOT replying to this email how I want to respond that you will bless me for it." I know this sounds self-centered but I know that He works for my good because I love Him. AND HE DID. I got my sponsorship packet from Compassion International about four days earlier than expected AND all the hard work I've put into school was blessed by getting into an Honor Society! He knew these things would boost me up out of my negativity and see that the world is bigger than me and my issues.

I trusted that He would provide. He could change my attitude about the day and that He would give me the grace and love that I needed for TODAY. And now, I feel like my heart is going to EXPLODE with so much grace and love it will last me the whole week!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What I Am Reading

"Do you trust God that when He says no or 'not in this way' to you, you still believe He is good and doing what is best?" - Francis Chan, Forgotten God