The One About A Bracelet

SUMMIT NIGHT

Our alarms were set and set with just enough time to get ready; set to not be rushing, but set so there wasn’t much time to dawdle either. We were going to have roughly 2-3 hours of sleep, or closer to two if you were like me and had to wake up to use the bathroom during that already too short chunk of beloved sleep.

I cannot tell you how much it sucked to crawl out of my warm sleeping bag, throw on even more layers, grab my headlamp, stumble out into the bitter cold alone and walk down the dark rocky path to use the squatty potty, which required extra skill with so many layers on, and then stumble back slowly to the hut with a slight limp from sore muscles and lack of proper oxygen flow being at 15,520 feet above sea level. But I digress…

As we went to bed for our short rest, and set our alarms for the unseemly early wake up, we all had laid out what we needed, or thought we needed, for our summit night climb. You want to see people check, double check and then triple check (or triple guess) themselves – climb Mt Kilimanjaro where you have no idea what to pack or wear any given day. It’s fun (insert eye roll).

My backpack was packed, with the goal of carrying a light of a load as one could get away with for the rough climb ahead. Sitting next to my backpack were my trekking poles, headlamp, water bottles, very dusty boots, and my outer and extra layers I was going to still throw on when I woke up. The neatly folded piles were quite the juxtaposition sitting next to my duffle bag that look like it had imploded due to my unpacking and lack of proper repacking while getting set up. In my completely unprofessional opinion, and after consulting with my people several times, I was ready for summit night. 

When the alarm went off in our dark and chilly cabin, we all quietly started moving around, preparing ourselves for the last push to the summit. The closer it got to leaving our cabin to meet up with the team, the more my nerves grew with all sorts of emotions. You want to talk about anxious, excited energy, I had it whirring through me and didn’t know how to calm it. In trying to keep my tired head on straight with what I needed to do, all the while trying to manage my rising anxiety, I started the mental check list of everything I needed.

Gloves: check. Kleenex: check. Sunscreen: check. …check check che…wait! No no no…I don’t have everything!! We’re MINUTES from walking out the door and I was missing something that in my mind, and heart, was crucial. I don’t know if I actually verbalized this moment of panic, or if Barry knew me well enough, but he came over and asked me what was wrong; what I was missing. I told him, with tears brimming in my eyes, “My bracelet.” 

I didn’t have the bracelet that my oldest daughter had given to me at the very beginning of my Kilimanjaro journey, ten months earlier. My daughter Ryah gave me this simple little bracelet made up of pink yarn and six silver cubes with letters on them that spelled out the word “strong”. When she first gave it to me, I remember just staring at it and asked her, “You think I’m strong?” She looked at me like I was crazy, “Uh, yes!” She told me that I must be strong to take on such a big task with a huge goal, and to train as hard as I was. For someone like myself, who never once in my life felt strong, I was totally blown away that someone could believe that I am. Her belief and confidence in me was a huge motivator in my training, especially on days when I wanted to throw in the towel. The bracelet never fit around my wrist, but I had that bracelet in my pocket on every hike I went on while training for Kili. Every. Single. Hike. 

I had brought it with me on Kilimanjaro, with full intent on that bracelet making it to the top of Uhuru Peak. But here, minutes before departing for summit night, I didn’t have the bracelet in my prepared items and could not find it anywhere. I felt so sad. This may sound ridiculous, and perhaps one could blame exhaustion, nerves and/or altitude, but I had tears in my eyes thinking that I had messed this up and lost the piece of home I needed to have with me.

When Barry asked if he could help, I told him not to bother, it was no use and just a silly bracelet after all. I’m fine. (Code for: I’m not fine at all). Without hesitation or request, Barry and Zack, who both barely know the story behind it, but seeing that it was important to me, started searching for it. They were on all fours with their headlamps looking under my bunk, tornado styling it through my duffle bag until Barry found it in the bottom of my bag. I immediately felt like everything clicked back into place. I didn’t even feel that nervous anymore.

I know I could have made that climb without that piece of pink string with the silver letters, but to have that tangible motivation; the reminder that I had girls back home looking up to me who think I’m strong, it was priceless in my journey. 

I zipped the bracelet into an inner layer chest pocket and went to work. Eight or so hours later, as I stood atop Mount Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peak at 19,341ft, I put my hand on my heart, where the bracelet was, and cried happy, happy tears.


“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:13

Burn it Down

Today as I sat in my counselor’s office, we spoke about Kilimanjaro and how it’s quickly approaching. We spoke about various aspects of the trip, and I laid out some of the fears I’ve been wrestling with. One of my fears is that I won’t summit the mountain – that I will have done all this hard work and not accomplish the overall goal, and within that, I will let people down.

She listened to me spew my fears one after the other. She then leaned in and asked,

“What does this mountain represent to you?” 

Huh? 
My first thought was that it doesn’t represent anything. 

Yet, it does.  I sat there and thought on it…

Through tears and with a shaky voice, I spoke what I think this mountain represents to me. 

It represents beginning again and freedom. 

Freedom from all the years of lies I heard and the lies I told myself.

I’ve been envisioning the lies as sticks, sticks being added to a pile that has been growing and growing…for years. I keep turning to the lies, whether someone handed that stick to me, or I picked it up for myself, I just accept it and add it to the pile. 

I am unable to be brave – take the stick. 
I am incapable of doing hard things – take the stick. 
I am not worthy of having or receiving God’s best – take the stick. 
I am too broken – take the stick. 
I am not enough for my family, for my friends, for ministry – take the stick. 
I am weak – take the stick.

Soon, I am surrounded on all sides. Surrounded, stuck and isolated.

But enough is enough. 

I’m burning it down. 

When I take my first step through the Marangu Gate and onto that mountain, it is my way of taking a match and burning down the whole freaking pile of sticks.

There is strength in admitting weakness and there is bravery in beginning again…and again and again…

The victory for me isn’t in taking that final step to the summit – although that would be quite amazing if I can do that!
The victory for me is in that first step, knowing all the countless steps it has taken for me to get even there.
And the victory is in believing God’s Truths, moment by moment; not entombing myself with lies. 

Kilimanjaro isn’t my end goal,

it’s my starting point.


Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2

“Why raise money to build a soccer field when these kids need more basic things like food, shelter and clothes?”

This is a question I hear often and even wrestled with it myself at the beginning of this journey…

Kids from Mathare do live in a desperately poor community. It is often referred to as a slum, with all the features of one: no infrastructure and few resources for education, food, work, or healthcare.

The hopeful news is that the work Missions of Hope started almost 20 years ago has visibly and substantively changed the community, even for families whose children do not attend MOHI schools. There are more businesses, roads, electricity, water, etc, because the government has responded to the work of MOHI to build public awareness for the community. Always, the students in MOHI schools get two good meals a day, uniforms, healthcare, and a GREAT education. All of this was non-existent prior to MOHI and it’s partnership with CMF.  

The need for safe places to play and learn the lessons provided by sports is a next-level need, but a need nontheless. Imagine what it says to a child in Mathare that her community has the capacity for such a resource?

Access to faith-based sports programs gives kids the opportunity to grow in new and significant ways, to put their gifts and education into practice to become all God intends for them: Christian leaders for Kenya and the world!

100% of your donation goes to support clean, safe, places to play for these children living in one of the biggest slums in the world –the Mathare Valley, Nairobi, Kenya

We are currently 67% of goal….and only a few more weeks to go!! To donate to our team’s fundraising goal, please click here. Thank you for being on this journey with me and thank you for your generosity!


Thank you as always to Dane Voorhees on the beautiful photos from Kenya!

The WHY Behind It

The number one question I get these days: 

Why? – why am I going on this trip; why did I decide to take on such a big challenge; why Kilimanjaro; why Africa….

The problem with the why questions, is that my answer to that is so big and detailed, that I usually end up giving a shortened, abbreviated answer. There’s not usually enough time in that moment to give the full answer that I want to give, so I  just go generic and keep it simple. 

Here’s what my generic, simple answer looks like, “Because I like hiking and Matt’s passion and excitement for the MOHI organization in Kenya has spread to me.” 

All fine and true. 

But that’s not the full answer. 

The full answer is much deeper. It’s messy and raw. It surely isn’t an ‘in passing’ kind of answer, and until now, I haven’t really shared it with too many people. Not because it’s some big secret, but because it can be hard to talk about. Most of the time I’m content to just give the simple, generic answer because it’s easier. 

Unfortunately, I keep feeling this prodding in my spirit, that I need to share my why…in all its messy, dark form. Gonna get real folks…


Let’s rewind back to last year. Actually, we could rewind back to various years and seasons in my life when this would apply, but I’m going with the most recent year that applies to the context of this story. 

Last year wasn’t good for me. On and off for years, I have struggled with depression and anxiety. Sometimes it’s manageable, sometimes I’m totally awesome and yet sometimes, it’s crippling. Sometimes when I’m in the dark recesses of my mind, I fall into the enemy’s traps and lies and I spiral.

Last year I spiraled.

Did you notice anything off with me last year? Most of you would probably say no. Maybe my people closest to me would say something felt off but couldn’t put their finger on it. I’ve gotten really good at hiding it. Faking it. But faking it just feels like a lie and masking the struggle is exhausting.

I begin to believe the lie that I can handle it on my own. So many lies start to make sense and sound like the truth to me. Lies such as: I can’t open up about my struggles. I am in control. I don’t need help. I am alone.

The problem with battling the darkness in one’s mind, is that it isn’t a battle you possibly could win on your own. The enemy thrives in the darkness. He loves that we keep our struggles to ourselves. He loves to see us struggle and to see us drowning.

There was a specific night, last November, that I couldn’t sleep. I was drowning in the darkness that I was allowing myself to get lost in.

I was losing control.

I was believing every lie fed to me by the enemy: I’m not good enough. I’ve messed up too much in my life to ever deserve any goodness or love. It would be easier if I were gone. No one cares.

That night I was tossing and turning, quietly crying, riddled with anxiety and I knew it was time to bring light to this darkness. It was 3am. I went downstairs, turned on a lamp and wrote out a long letter to my husband. In that letter I expressed all the things I couldn’t actually vocalize with my words. Words often fail on my lips…written words are easier for me. I shared with him what I was going through, what it felt like for me most days, and I asked for help. Gang, asking for help is not easy.

Over the next couple of months, I opened up to people in my life who I thought needed to know my struggles. I didn’t need everyone to know, but I did need specific people to know. Darkness is diminished by light. I needed to bring my battles and struggles into the light. I went to my doctor and got on some medication to help with the depression. I began to take steps to healing and was feeling better day by day. I was abiding in the life giving hope and Truths in God’s Word. 

Something that I began to see within myself was how I’ve let fear rule my life. Fear unchecked can turn into anxiety. Fear and anxiety left to fester in the hiding, battling alone and in isolation, can turn into depression. At least this was what I saw patterns of within my own story. I knew that a turning point for me would be avoiding isolation and not giving fear a foothold. I started to say yes to things that otherwise I would’ve said no to out of fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. You get the idea… 

When my friend Barry posted on his Facebook that he was going back to Kilimanjaro and had some spots left open on their team, I actually didn’t have any hesitation; it was a yes. I knew deep down that I had to do this. I knew that this would give me the perfect opportunity to say yes to more hard things and little by little overcome some big fear hurdles. This whole, huge adventure really has nothing to do with hiking, well, I mean, the hiking is a great benefit. But it was never really about the hiking; it has always been about going out in faith to accomplish things I think God has for me. Just putting one shaky foot in front of the other and going.

My first fear challenge in saying yes to Kilimanjaro was the fear of failure. What if I don’t summit? What if I let everyone down? Barry’s wife Mendi spoke such truth into my life that first night we met up to talk about the trip. I had tears in my eyes as she spoke, telling me that if I don’t summit, I did not fail. She told me that failure would be in me not going on this trip. Failure would be me not leaving my family to get on a plane and fly to Africa to do something incredible. Mendi, you spoke the words my heart needed to hear that night. Thank you. 

I’ve had many fear challenges since then, and I know there are still plenty ahead, but it has actually felt quite exhilarating to overcome them, or at least make progress toward overcoming them. This year of training and saying yes to big things, has also been a year of healing and growth for me. It truly has been a blessing to be apart of this adventure and we haven’t even left yet! 

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing…As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”

John 15:4-5, 9

Until the Mountains Fall

My Book Review

I saw that one of my favorite authors was selecting people to be on her launch team for her next release, and I applied immediately. I had the privilege of being chosen to be on the launch team for her new book; a book I had been anxiously waiting for. The publisher sent me an early copy so that I could read it and start reviewing and promoting it. Matt made a comment to me after I was selected that went something like this, “How do you even know you’ll like the book? What if it’s not any good, then what?” I tried not to laugh – how could I NOT like a Connilyn Cossette book. If you know her books, then you know what I mean. Not a single bad book in her repertoire.

As to be expected, I loved, loved, loved this book. Not that I could possibly have a favorite among her gems, but this one is up there for sure. I think this one resonated with me more than any of her others because of the message behind and within the story. The story of Rivkah and Malakhi is a spin on the parable of the Prodigal Son.

There is a powerful beauty in this story. I’ve heard the parable of the Prodigal Son many times, but in this way, how she made it feel so real and raw, moved me to tears. Rivkah leaves her family to pursue her own freedoms against a law she doesn’t want to live by and becomes ensnared in something much larger than she could’ve ever imagined.

“But still she fled, leaving me battered and bleeding among the remnants of my brother’s life, each of her parting footfalls another blow to the dream I’d not deserved, but had foolishly dared to hope for.”

One of my favorite moments is as Rivkah’s father who has pursued the hunt for his daughter for a long time is confronted about spending too many resources and time to find her. He says…well, I won’t spoil it. It is literally one of the highlights in the book for me. It is a simple line that holds so much power and made me stop reading and go “wow.” 

I love that this story takes us through the dark times and struggles that come when we try to run our lives the way we think they should go. We often don’t even mean to take a wrong path, but in going away from what we know is right, the path can become dark and twisty. That has been a theme in my life, creating for myself these dark and twisty paths; paths that my heavenly Father didn’t intend for me. And although He didn’t intend those paths, He always uses it for His glory and redeems us and our stories. He doesn’t leave us. He will never leave us. He will never give up on us. He is waiting for us to turn back to Him and return to His open arms.

From the author: 

“My hope for this story is that we will all be reminded that no matter how far we’ve run, no matter how we’ve wasted the days and talents we’ve been gifted with, there is no place we can go to hide from the One Who Sees and there is no pit we can dig deep enough that he won’t graciously climb into to rescue us and carry us to safety.
Thank goodness for a God who keeps pursuing us and loving us, even when we are caught in the same destructive cycle the ancient Hebrews were swept into time and again. But our Abba is always there, isn’t He? Standing on the roof. Hand shielding His eyes as He searches the tree line for any movement. Ready to run to us with arms outstretched, robes flying, to welcome us home.”

How wonderful it is that we have a God and Father who loves US like that.

It reminds me of this song that you need to check out if you haven’t already. Hillsong United’s “As You Find Me.”


I’ve been strong and I’ve been broken within a moment. I’ve been faithful and I’ve been reckless at every bend. I’ve held everything together and watched it shatter. I’ve stood tall and I have crumbled in the same breath. I have wrestled and I have trembled toward surrender. Chased my heart adrift and drifted home again. Plundered blessing till I’ve been desperate to find redemption and every time I turn around Lord You’re still there.
I was found before I was lost. I was Yours before I was not. Grace to spare for all my mistakes and that part just wrecks me. I know I don’t deserve this kind of love, somehow this kind of love is who You are. It’s a grace I could never add up, to be somebody You still want but somehow You love me as You find me.

“Could my return to the arms of my abba be all that was required to wash away the blackness that had consumed me for so long?”

Rivkah, Until the Mountains Fall

Thankful for books like this one by Connilyn Cossette to point us back to Jesus and remember how GREAT is His love for us.

Go read this book! …even if you haven’t read the other ones in the series (which you totally should, by the way).

What Are We Raising Money For?

Missions of Hope International (MOHI) is transforming lives and giving hope to thousands of children and their families in Nairobi, Kenya. 

||click here for more information on their organization||

A new avenue that they are pursuing is enabling kids to play, grow and develop through sports. MOHI is teaming up with CMFI to implement a sports discipleship program AND create a one-of-a-kind, multipurpose synthetic turf sports field to be built at their Joska school campus, outside of Nairobi.

The current soccer field at the Joska school.

I am teaming up with MOHI and CMFI to raise money for this grassroots ministry. My goal is to raise $5,000 that would all directly go into the funds for the sports program and field. The money will be used to design and run sports programs, purchase sports equipment, train coaches and mentors, as well as build a turf field. 

Sports are a great avenue to teach kids leadership and problem-solving skills, while inspiring good character, self- esteem and confidence. The goal of the MOHI leaders is to teach skills and also disciple each child to develop his or her identity in Jesus Christ. Sports can develop feelings of belonging, teamwork and purpose; and for kids growing up in the slums of Kenya, these values can be difficult to learn. 

Every kid should have a safe place to learn and play.

This program would support access to sports for every child, regardless of their status. They will foster an environment to build relationships with others, and most importantly, building the foundation for a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Sports may seem like a trivial need, but sports and playing is an important part of our lives and development. Playing is what kids are built for and what they deserve to do, regardless of geography or culture.

We become stronger individuals, build better communities and create a more positive future through play and sports. Sports have the power to unite people groups, awaken self-worth and help children cope with hardship and loss.

Through sports and play, kids are empowered to dream big dreams, stay out of trouble and reach for their highest potential.

While researching more about the importance of sports, play, and kids, I have found some really cool organizations that soley exist to bring soccer balls to kids all over the world, who otherwise would be using some makeshift item, including balls of trash, for a ball.

I get so excited after reading story after story about the joy and excitement that come to the kids and communities when they get a real soccer ball! It makes me even more amped to be a small part of helping get this sports ministry going in Nairobi. 

We can do this folks!

We can join together to help launch this ministry that will have a positive impact on kids’ lives, both now and hopefully for eternity

It would mean so much to me if you were a part of this journey, to see this goal met so that we can give these kids hope and opportunity. 

You can join me in helping to make a difference in a child’s life.

To donate, click here.

T-Shirt Campaign

“Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.”

Ezra 10:4

|Another version of that verse says to “take courage and do it”|


I hadn’t heard this verse before, but I know God gave it to me to find for this year and this season of my life. I can’t think of a more perfect verse to be my verse for this year and all that I’m working towards. It’s a great reminder, motivator and encourager as I go after big goals…referring to the mountain to climb, as well as the fundraising for MOHI.

I love where it says “we are with you” – I feel the support of people around me in all of this! Love being surprised by who wants to jump on board and help out. A new and fun way to support me in my fundraising efforts is to head over to the Bonfire links below and order yourself a t-shirt or two! Proceeds will go to the MOHI sports ministry in Kenya.

A BIG thank you to my friend Duncan for designing them for me!! Various colors are available and there are kids sizes too! Please keep in mind when ordering, Bonfire t-shirt campaigns work a bit differently in that they don’t print and ship out the shirts until the campaign cycle is over – so your shirt will likely ship the first week of June.


click on the t-shirt you like to take you to the Bonfire link to check out more colors and order!

Click here for the Bonfire Store with my available shirts.

Another in the Fire

Have you heard this song yet??

I first discovered this song by Hillsong United through my sister-in-law, Jamie, and it has basically been on repeat ever since. I have been playing it so regularly, that now our whole family can easily belt it out, and I love hearing them sing it.


I will add the video/link at the bottom of this post – listen now or listen later, but listen!!

I love the powerful imagery within this song.

When I hear this song, I picture Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; the three who stood up to King Nebuchadnezzar. The king threatened to throw them into a fiery furnace because they would not bow down and worship his gold idols and false gods. They boldly claimed that not only would they not bow down, but the one true God was able to save them…BUT IF NOT…if God chose not to intervene and rescue them, they would still not bow down. This angered the king tremendously so he ordered the furnace be cranked up to seven times its normal temperature – even the soldiers who threw them in were killed from the fire’s brutal heat. But as the king stood and watched, he noticed a fourth person in the fire with them…walking around! They were not alone. God sent them protection and kept them from being touched by the fire. (Daniel 3)

Then I picture the Israelites crossing the Red Sea to get out of Pharaoh’s grasp. They finally were released from slavery and were leaving Egypt when Pharaoh changed his mind and wanted them back. He pursued them along with all his top soldiers and officials; hundreds of Egyptians, in their fancy chariots, charged after God’s people. As the Israelites stood on the bank of the Red Sea, looking back in fear of the approaching army, Moses spoke to them saying “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” God gave instructions to Moses, that probably sounded absurd to him, but at this point he’s seen some crazy stuff. He did as was told and the waters of the Red Sea parted. The Israelites, the hundreds of thousands of them, crossed without even getting their feet wet.

Side note: the narrowest part of the Red Sea is 16 miles across, at its widest, it’s 190 miles across. The average depth of the sea is 1,607 ft. We don’t know where they crossed, and regardless, can you even just try to imagine the wall of water on each side of these people crossing through?? Insane. I would love to know what was going through some of their heads as they walked along through that miracle! After they had safely passed through, and as the Egyptian army was in hot pursuit, God commanded the water to release. He drowned the enemy. Entirely. (Exodus 14)

Two powerful examples of God being right alongside His people. And as awesome as those stories are, there are so many more like that…back then, and even today. This song reminds me of His faithfulness. It’s such a beautiful picture they have painted with these lyrics. Regardless of our trial or situation, God is with us. The writers of the song wanted it to be an anthem of being able to speak that truth over our circumstances.

No matter what you are in the mist of, or where you’re headed, you’re not alone.

You have never been alone.

You will never be alone.

I realized that everyone’s ‘fire’ is different. We all have our own struggles, trials and situations, but the common factor in it is that we all have the opportunity to put out hope in our savior, Jesus Christ, to lead us through. Sometimes His leading looks different from what we’d want, and sometimes it feels a lot like He’s not leading us or saving us at all. But He’s still good. His character never changes. He didn’t promise an easy life. He flat out acknowledged that we will have hardships and struggles, but that we don’t have to worry – He has overcome it all. (John 16:33)


“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2

So…whew!…that was a long way of saying – you should totally check this song out! You can obviously go to your Spotify or Apple Music or Napster (you know who you are) and listen to it, but I’m adding it here from YouTube for your convenience…

Lyrics:

There’s a grace when the heart is under fire
Another way when the walls are closing in
And when I look at the space between
Where I used to be and this reckoning
I know I will never be alone

There was another in the fire
Standing next to me
There was another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
Of how I’ve been set free
There is a cross that bears the burden
Where another died for me

All my debt left for dead beneath the waters
I’m no longer a slave to my sin anymore
And should I fall in the space between
What remains of me and this reckoning
Either way I won’t bow
To the things of this world
And I know I will never be alone

There is another in the fire
Standing next to me
There is another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
What power set me free
There is a grave that holds no body
And now that power lives in me

And I can see the light in the darkness
As the darkness bows to Him
I can hear the roar in the heavens
As the space between wears thin
I can feel the ground shake beneath us
As the prison walls cave in
Nothing stands between us

There is no other name
But the Name that is Jesus
He who was and still is
And will be through it all
So come what may in the space between
All the things unseen and this reckoning
I know I will never be alone

There’ll be another in the fire
Standing next to me
There’ll be another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
How good You’ve been to me
I’ll count the joy come every battle
‘Cause I know that’s where You’ll be


So good, right??

I was playing around the other day with some designs and made this one. It’s the chorus to this song and I just love it. I have them available to purchase if you are interested – all proceeds will go to my fundraising efforts for the sports ministry in Kenya through MOHI. All info on my trip and the info on the fundraising can be found in previous blog posts.

These are high quality prints on heavy weight paper.
8×10 – $10
5×7 – $8
4×6 magnet – $8
4×6 – $5
+ $5 shipping unless you’re a local who’d like me to just hand it to you!

I don’t have an online store, so if you’d like to order one, please head over to my CMFI page and send your payment through there since that’s where it’s all going anyway!
Please list in the comment section the size(s) you’d like. Assuming you’d like to keep your info private, please then send me an email with your address and I will get your order going!
My email is thecotefam@yahoo.com.
Thank you!!

Directionally Challenged

Do you ever wish God would make clear the path you should take?

Like, where’s my big blinking arrow with neon lights?? I need traffic signs to tell me where to go people! Unfortunately, that’s not how it usually works.

I have had one of those weeks where I doubt and question everything, which I’m sure is super fun for those in my daily circle who have to hear about the process (sorry gang).

It seems like for the past several weeks I keep pacing around the same dilemma, but God hasn’t sent me a directional arrow of any kind, not even a nudge. Just when I think, “Oh here it is; here’s my siiiiiign!” the next day a ‘sign’ for the other direction pops up, negating the sign of the previous day. (insert eye roll)

I do, however, love the ways He chooses to speak to us, whether it be through a friend, a song, His Word, whatever it is. He gave me just that in the midst of my ‘should I or shouldn’t I’ debate. I stumbled across this devotion online by Jennie Allen (You Were Made For This) that was perfect. Here are a couple snippets from it that I love…


Life is too short to spend time worrying about where on this planet you should be.

“Wherever you are, be all there.”

Jim Elliot
Rather than becoming paralyzed with fear that you might move when you should stay or stay when you should move, pray and commit your ways to the Lord. Then go do something!
It takes determination to trust Him while you’re still in your place, doing the seemingly mundane tasks of life. Let’s assume that if we’re breathing, then we have a purpose for being here. Every one of us with breath in our lungs still has something left to do.

So instead of wasting my life worrying over whether I’m making the right choice at the proverbial fork in the road, I’m going to make the choice knowing I’m always in His hands and nothing surprises Him.

In my current fork in the road, I chose the path that isn’t easier and really, my least favorite option. I will chalk it up to knowing when it’s all over that I can put it in the ‘challenge overcome’ pile and look back at it with a sense of accomplishment that I persevered.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Prov 3:5-6

“Being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” Colossians 1:11-12

||and literally while I’m writing this, “Right Where You Want Me” by Sarah Reeves started playing in my shuffled playlist. Go listen and enjoy the funny little ways God does give us nudges.||

Partnerships

Before I go any further into these blogs, I wanted to make sure you have a chance to hear about CMF and MOHI. Our church has been partnering with these two for quite some time and I love seeing the good work they do. CMF is a global mission team that has been serving in 25 countries around the world for the last 68 years. Their mission is to create dynamic, Christ-centered communities that transform the world. Their leaders are always looking ahead to implement new strategies and move into new areas to share the gospel.

How CMF makes an impact…

  • Church planting. These churches train leaders, multiply, and become a starting point for transformation in the community. 
  • Building university student communities. Their Globalscope program allows young leaders to provide a Christian community and model authentic relationships with Jesus for the world’s most unreached generation.
  • Engaging the marketplace. The Market Ministry team live and work in closed countries. The Marketplace Ministry teams create new business ventures that will lead to jobs and economic Kingdom transformation.
  • Serving the poor. They focus on a holistic approach, which addresses the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of an individual or a community.

Within the element of a holistic approach to reach impoverished people in their full need, it includes the following: medical ministries, water projects (providing clean, safe water,) community health evangelism, micro-finance (small loans to businesses in Nairobi to develop and maintain), Christian education and child sponsorship. 

Christian education, particularly among urban poor children, is an important component of CMF’s holistic development. CMF has seven child sponsorship programs in six countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Thailand, Brazil and India. Their largest child sponsorship program is in Nairobi, Kenya where CMF works in partnership with MOHI to bring holistic change to more than 12,000 sponsored children. 

MOHI shares Christ’s love to restore hope to individuals in the disadvantaged communities through spiritual, social, physical and economic development. Because of the things they’ve been doing there; lives and communities are being changed in Nairobi as churches are planted, schools established and small businesses turn a profit. Most importantly, God is being glorified in one of the darkest slums of the world. 

The slums of Nairobi, Kenya, rank in the top five of the biggest slums in the world. Nearly a million people live in the Mathare slum alone, an area of less than one sq mile.

A population of this density, living without basic human services, is a breeding ground for all kinds of physical, emotional and spiritual problems. These overwhelming issues led Wallace and Mary to create Missions of Hope International in 2000. They began by serving 50 children in one school in a section of the slums. Today, MOHI has expanded into remote villages in rural Kenya, as well as maintaining growth in various slums. They have a dedicated staff of more than 850 Kenyans and an international team of partners and leaders through CMF. They currently serve more than 14,500 children in 21 communities throughout Kenya. 

A large part of MOHI’s growth has been due to the child sponsorship program, which was started by MOHI, then developed by the help of CMFI.

The program provides an excellent Christian education, nutritious food, medical care, extra-curricular activities and the opportunity to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. 

In all they do, the MOHI staff and CMF missionaries seek to draw men, women and children to Christ.

They view every connection as an opportunity to share Christ’s love.

I am so very excited to join together with these organizations as we raise money for their newest dream of beginning a sports ministry program in Nairobi, along with the building of a sports field/facility.

YOU can join in and be a part of their awesome story. By giving to the fundraising campaign, you can help support the incredible vision to reach more kids and families.


This link will take you to the page to donate and give you more info:

https://give.cmfi.org/climbing-kilimanjaro-so-kids-in-kenya-can-learn-grow-play-wsports-7y.cause


A big thank you to my friend Dane Voorhees for letting me use so many of his photos. I love how he captures life in his photos and will be using plenty more of his photos along the way.