Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I’ve been meaning to write this blog for several weeks now but kept putting it off because I didn’t and honestly still don’t know how to adequately put into words what I am seeing and experiencing and learning while at Casitas everyday. I’m praying right now as I write this that God would graciously give me the words I need.

For those of you that don’t know, Casitas is a government run orphanage for girls age 12-18. On average 90 girls live at Casitas. They have lived there for varying amounts of time and for varying reasons. One girl arrived at Casitas two days ago and another has lived at Casitas for a year and ten months. A few of the girls have no families that they can go to and will likely live at Casitas until they are eighteen years old. Others have families but their families cannot care for them, sent them to Casitas as a punishment, or are very bad environments for the girls. In addition to the difficulties that come with living in an orphanage these girls have experienced extraordinary amounts of suffering and hardships in their short lives.

I have been going to Casitas for several weeks now, but every time I walk back in there and see the way they live and spend their time and smell the awfulness and hear a new story of one of the girls my heart breaks a little bit more for them. At times my heart literally aches for these sweet girls. I am saddened and overwhelmed and angry by the things I see and hear each day.

I often find myself questioning why these girls have to live here and saying its not fair and wondering who loves these girls like they need to be loved instead of trusting God with their lives. But fact is life isn’t fair and we deserve nothing, but God in His grace chooses to give us beautiful gifts. Why some of us are blessed in some ways and others aren’t I can’t answer that question. But, I do know that God is sovereign and all knowing and I don’t have to or need to understand the “whys”. He knew before these girls were ever born that they would spend a portion of their lives living at Casitas and He knew that I would be there getting to love them and hear some of their stories.

When I question who loves the girls like they need to be loved God graciously reminds me that He does. He is the only one that loves perfectly. Even if they were living with their biological families or if they were in a foster home or transition home no one but God would be loving them the way they need to be loved. Our families don’t even love us the way we “need” to be loved. We’re human. We’re imperfect. Therefore, our love is imperfect. But, God, His love is perfect. I constantly remind the girls of the perfect love of our Heavenly Father, but I’m only able to do that because God is constantly reminding me of His perfect love for us.

Earlier today I heard the song “Yours” by Steven Curtis Chapman for the first time in a long time, but seriously, what perfect timing. Here are the lyrics. It’s kind of long, but I would encourage you to read them all anyway, because they’re so beautiful. He never says San Pedro Sula or Honduras or Latin America, but in my head I substitute my city and country for the places he says.

I walk the streets of London
And notice in the faces passing by
Something that makes me stop and listen
My heart grows heavy with the cry
Where is the hope for London?
You whisper and my heart begins to soar
As I'm reminded
That every street in London in Yours
Oh, yes it is
I walk the dirt roads of Uganda
I see the scars that war has left behind
Hope like the sun is fading
They're waiting for a cure no one can find
And I hear children's voices singing
Of a God who heals and rescues and restores
And I'm reminded
That every child in Africa is Yours
And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky
To the depths of the ocean floor
And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
You're the Maker and Keeper, Father and Ruler of everything
It's all Yours
And I walk the sidewalks of Nashville
Like Singapore, Manila and Shanghai
I rush by the beggar's hand and the wealthy man
And everywhere I look I realize
That just like the streets of London
For every man and woman, boy and girl
All of creation
This is our Father's world
And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky
To the depths of the ocean floor
And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
You're the Maker and Keeper, Father and Ruler of everything
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
The glory is Yours, God
All the honor is Yours, God
The power is Yours, God
The glory is Yours, God
You're the King of Kings
And Lord of Lords
And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky
To the depths of the ocean floor
And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
All the greatness and power, the glory and splendor and majesty
Everything is Yours
Yeah, it's all Yours
We are Yours
The glory and honor is Yours, everything is Yours
It's all Yours, God
My life is Yours, my heart is Yours
My hands and my feet are Yours
Every song that I sing
It's all Yours, all is Yours
All belongs to You
Our gifts are Yours, God
All our dreams are Yours, God
All our plans are Yours, God
The whole earth is Yours, God
Everything is Yours

Friday, December 7, 2012

I Want To Be Like You

This past week was absolutely crazy and very out of the norm. We had so many visitors in town from the U.S. I might as well have been in Texas… but I wasn't.

On Saturday our lovely friends and mentors, Robyn and Stephanie, from Texas and Oklahoma were in town for four days. We had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas together! Christmas number one – check.

Saturday evening commenced our Christmas festivities. It involved decorating a brand new Christmas tree with new lights, ribbon, and ornaments (donated to us by a friend) while taking numerous breaks to stuff our faces with tons of chips, dips, crackers, cheeses, meats, fruit, and of course sweets and choreograph dances to “Call Me Maybe” (videos to come soon, promise).  Sunday was Christmas day! To open presents first and then have breakfast, or to eat first and then open presents? A tough call, for sure. But, we wound eating a huge, yummy breakfast and then making our way to our presents. Breakfast included homemade pancakes (however syrup appears to be very unpopular here in Honduras), bacon (made my yours truly), eggs, fresh pineapple, juice, milk, and coffee (my new favorite!). Afterwards we made our way to the living room for present opening time. I had the privilege of playing Santa and passing out presents to all the girls, Tia Julieta, and myself. We dumped open our stockings and found lots of fun goodies from Robyn and Stephanie, my favorite – a toss up between matching pajamas for all 7 girls in the house and my Texas A&M mug (that’s how I know Robyn loves me). After changing into our new Christmas pajamas we watched a Christmas movie favorite, Elf, but in Spanish of course. After pizza for dinner and a long and wild game of spoons we decided it was time for bed. And, by time for bed I mean the girls went to bed and Robyn, Stephanie, and I stayed up talking for a few hours. Sleep, who needs it?

During all of the cooking we did in the kitchen Sunday morning, Robyn and Stephanie (who cooks for a living) realized our kitchen was not very well equipped for cooking efficiently. They decided to generously outfit us with a new kitchen! So, they spent the morning shopping for us. I was convinced they bought basically the whole store until I went there yesterday and saw for myself there were still items on the shelf. Because of a great sale at the store they went to they were able to buy all kinds of new appliances, plates, Tupperware, baking necessities, and pots and pans for the house. After lunch and some really great conversation we put the girls to work cleaning out the cabinets and then it was time for organizing the kitchen, my favorite! After dinner, we finished organizing the entire kitchen and explained how to use everything in the kitchen. You can’t begin to understand my excitement to be able to cook in a well equipped once again and how incredibly overwhelmed I am by the generosity of my friends Robyn and Stephanie to do this for us!

I spent a lot of the four days with them overwhelmed, and not in a bad way. They are so wonderful; you really have to meet them to understand how incredible they are. But, seriously, they are full of wisdom, encouragement, and love for us. I want to be like them when I grow up (because 22 is not really adult like, right?) and by that I mean that in their lives I see the Lord reflected constantly and I pray that my life looks like that now and in the future.

The same day Robyn and Stephanie left several people from the Buckner offices in Dallas, TX came to town. It was great to be able to meet some of my bosses and put names to faces. It was even better to get to sit down and have long conversations with them and share my heart with them and hear their hearts and wisdom. And, it was so fun to see them love on these girls that I live with in the transition home. It was easy for me to see that for them Buckner is more than just a job for, it is a place they have all been called to and they truly do all their work as if working for the Lord.

Please pray for us in the house! A few days ago two of the girls that were here moved out and three new girls moved in. Pray for the transition, so far it has been smooth, but of course we’re still learning and adjusting. Please pray for us that we would feel be a family, which prays, laughs, and talks together. Pray that our time together would be fruitful and that God would use it. Pray that God would give me wisdom and discernment in conversations with these sweet girls. Pray that I would take advantage of every opportunity to love them.

Thanks and gig ‘em.
Peace, love, and pursue Jesus.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Everybody Praise the Lord

In light of Thanksgiving (one of my favorite holidays) I thought this blog would be very appropriate.

1.     I am thankful for the gift of salvation. Without Jesus I am nothing and I have absolutely nothing.
2.     I am thankful for parents – the way they’ve raised me and support me, and for the example they are to me.
3.     I am thankful for my baby sisters, Lydia, Alisan, Jamie – they are my best friends. I can’t imagine doing and walking through life without them (even on their most annoying and obnoxious days).
4.     I am thankful for the rest of my family – Grammie, Grandma Alice, Aunt Betty, Uncle Russell, Justin, Stephanie, Brandon, Aunt Alicia, David, and Ashlie. I am thankful for your love, support, and friendship and the way you care for me.
5.     I am thankful for my best friends. Regardless of whether we’ve been friends since kindergarten or we’re fairly new friends, know that you are special to me and I treasure our friendship.
6.     I am thankful for a church family in Tallowood Baptist Church, which is completely committed to teaching the truth of the gospel and to missions.
7.     I am thankful for the numerous adults and mentors I have in my life. I am thankful for your commitment to Christ and the way it manifests in your life. As a result many of you have shaped and influenced my life in ways you didn’t even know.
8.     I am thankful that God has given me the opportunity to serve Him in another country.
9.     I am thankful that while I am here God has constantly provided for me – financially, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
10. I am thankful for hospitals, doctors, and nurses that figure out what’s wrong with my dad and who take care of him when he is sick. I am thankful for God’s hand of healing on my dad’s body.
11. I am thankful for the Tango app. Seriously, this is my new favorite app. I can text and talk on my phone to people anywhere for FREE as long as I am connected to wifi.
12. I am thankful for food. Even though I am not eating yummy thanksgiving food with my family I am thankful that there is food on my table for me to eat. So many people, including some of my kids don’t get enough to eat on a daily basis.
13. I am thankful for water. It’s such a basic necessity that we all too often take for granted.
14. I am thankful for the opportunity to have received an education from a great university and for the opportunity to continue that education when I return to Texas.
15. I am thankful for my pets. I miss my cats and my dogs (yes, even the two little bratty ones). They’re so great to snuggle with especially my black lab/dalmatian; she’s a lap dog right??
16. I am thankful for my Bible. Being able to have the word of God in my hand, to hold and read is such a treasure and blessing.
17. I am thankful for music. Need I say more?
18. I am thankful for sports. If you know me at all you know that I love sports. I can’t explain it, but I love them and I love my teams. For those of you wondering, yes I got to see Texas A&M beat Alabama while in Honduras!
19. I am thankful for cameras and pictures that capture and preserve memories.
20. I am thankful for all of the kids I babysit for in the US. I love the time I’ve spent with them. And, I love to look back at pictures and videos of us and remember and laugh.
21. I am thankful for the ability to drive. I (for obvious reasons) am not allowed to drive in Honduras and sometimes it makes me crazy, especially when I have to wait for half an hour for a taxi. I’m so blessed to know how to drive and to have a car so I can go wherever I want or need, whenever I want, something I have definitely taken for granted for at home.
22. I am thankful for the beautiful world God created. The view outside my bedroom is absolutely stunning. The mountains – incredible. Good job God, you’re a great artist.
23. I am thankful for shoes and socks that are not falling apart, that I can wear to keep my feet safe and dry. So many of my kids are not that lucky.
24. I am thankful for Buckner International and the work they’re doing in the US and around the world – specifically in Honduras through Buckner Honduras and the staff here.
25. I am thankful for nail polish. I know that sounds silly. But, sometimes its fun for me to sit down and paint my nails with my girls and feel kind of girly.
26. I am thankful for how much fun God has made it to learn and improve on my Spanish speaking. I truly enjoy going to Spanish class three times a week and practicing with my girls and with my students.
27. I am thankful that I have a house that I can call a home.
28. I am thankful that I have a bed to sleep in, here and in Texas. I recently learned that at the orphanage some of the teenage girls don’t have beds to sleep in at night and that breaks my heart.
29. I am thankful for Tallowood and Breakaway podcasts. They’re a little bit of home from afar.
30. I am thankful for the protection of the Buckner staff while living in another country. I know they always have my safety in mind. 

And now for a few birthday shout outs.

Happy birthday to my friend Drew, my cousins Brandon & Justin, and my lovely friend Amber. I hope yall all have great times celebrating your birthdays this week!

Thanks & gig 'em.
Peace, love, and pursue Jesus.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Never Alone

First, I would like to apologize for the lack of blogging and updates. I think its safe to say blogging is not my thing. But don’t worry I’ll keep blogging because my sisters said I had to (they’re kinda bossy like that).

So, this past week was a little different for a few reasons. First, I had a different translator with me instead of my sweet Giselle. She was wonderful but it was a little bit of an adjustment to not be with my friend. Second, in the afternoon instead of teaching English to the kids at the CTC I taught English to the moms of the kids at the CTC. Third, my dad was in the hospital all of last week and its not every week your dad is hanging out in the hospital and having surgery (back to that in a second).

Teaching English to the moms at the CTC had me extremely nervous (you can ask my parents) I had no idea what to teach them or how to approach teaching a group of people older than me because its something I am definitely not used to doing. I could teach kids all day long but adults, well that’s a little bit different. Thankfully, God calmed my nerves and worries from pretty much the first second I walked into the classroom with all of the moms. I decided it was best to start from the beginning and learn simple phrases like, “Hello, what is your name?” and “How are you?” It wound up being a really wonderful time to interact with the moms. They were all so sweet to me and thankful that I was there to help them learn English. I’m looking forward to getting to spend more time with them while I am here.

Okay, now back to my dad situation. I’ll give yall a quick summary for those of you that are not aware of what has been going on recently. My dad was sick on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with what they thought was a stomach virus and he got super dehydrated causing his pacemaker to go off and shock him seven times early Friday morning. Apparently this feels like having an elephant kick your chest, but I wouldn’t know for sure because, well, I don’t actually have my own pacemaker (although I’ve asked my dad if can get one to survive some of the Texas A&M football games I have to sit through) and I’ve never actually had an elephant walk on my chest. So, my dad called 911 and they took him to the hospital, they found out he had an infection in his blood but an unusual one (of course my father can’t make things easy). A few days and tests later they found out it was a problem with his gallbladder and that he would need to have it removed. Thursday my dad had surgery and he went home Friday after a long week in the hospital. All of this (not so quick) summary to say I was worried about my dad. I spent the majority of the week physically present in the classroom with my students and moms or at the house with the girls but not at all emotionally or mentally present with them. This was not at all fair to them, but I more than anything just wanted to be in Texas with my family. After all, Lydia got to come home (and skip class, shame on her) to be with our family and I wanted to be there too, but not exactly an option. I was praying that God would have his hand of healing and strength over my dad and that He would calm my anxious heart. But seriously, the sinful, anxious, worrier part of me would have no part of that; on I went about my business of being anxious and worried about everything, constantly. God did however give me a beautiful, much needed reminder of his constant presence and faithfulness. I posted this on Facebook a few days ago, but I’ll post it here too.

“When your mind moves toward a problem area, you tend to focus on that situation so intensely that you lose sight of Me. You pit yourself against the difficulty as if you had to conquer it immediately…When a problem starts to overshadow your thoughts, bring this matter to Me. Talk with me about it and look at it in the light of My presence…You will always face trouble in this life. But more importantly, you will always have with you, helping you to handle whatever you encounter.” – Jesus Calling

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.” Psalm 89:15

God is faithful, always. In the seemingly good and in the seemingly bad, He is always faithful and He is always present. He promises to walk with us through every situation and to help us overcome, all we have to do is turn to Him and allow Him to. God is constantly using situations to remind me of His faithfulness, His goodness, and His provision. There is no reason to fear or worry because I know who my God is.

The whole situation makes me think of one of my favorite songs: “Shadows” by David Crowder Band and Lecrae. Go listen to it, because it’s wonderful. I love the words.

Prayer Requests:

Please pray for my focus; that my heart and my mind would be here in SPS not worrying about happenings at home. Pray that I would concentrate on walking with my Savior and that He would show me every opportunity to share Him.
Please pray for my dad’s continued healing and recovery after his surgery and stay in the hospital.
Please pray for my girls at the transition home. A few of them are moving out soon! Pray that they are prepared, that they have peace about the situation they are walking into, that they would trust God in every aspect of this transition. And pray that the time we spend together is fruitful, beneficial, and glorifying to God.
Please pray for the English class I teach in the morning and for the students I have been able to build relationships with, that those would continue and that they would see Jesus reflected.
Starting this week I am going to one of the orphanages every afternoon. Please pray that God would show me how He wants me to be involved here and what He has in store for Casitas. Most of all pray that these teenage girls would know the saving power and grace of Jesus Christ.
Please pray for my Spanish and its continued improvement. It is getting better, but sometimes it just makes my brain hurt, haha.

Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support. It is because of your faithfulness to pray and support me that I am able to be here.

If you would like to continue to support me financially, please go to the donation tab at and enter my trip code, HO12-LT01.

Thanks and gig 'em.
Peace, love, and pursue Jesus!