Monday, February 1, 2016

8 Weeks Out - What am I learning...

Through this training I have learned many things about myself, my habits, and my attitude.  Some that I'm really proud of and others that I'm not so proud of.

In my long distance running, the Lord would grab me in the miles to speak to my heart.  This preparation is different, there are no miles to get lost in.  But He's grabbing me, and it is in my moments of feeling hungry... which seems to be more often these days.  Although I'm eating a very healthy amount of calories, with awesome proteins, carbs, and healthy fats... I do not have the freedom to snack or be spontaneous.  Every meal is laid out - it is the same day in and day out.

What I'm learning...

1)  In my hunger the Lord has shown me how often I feel as though I have the right to snack or eat something.  By that I mean -

-I have the money on me, I'm hungry- so I'm going to stop and pick up a bag of chips and a soda.
-I'm at the movies, I'm going to splurge and get a popcorn, pretzel, large drink, and candy... Free refills, right?
-I'm pumping gas...that candy bar looks great!
-We are celebrating (enter any type of celebration: birthday, baby, anniversary, wedding, good behavior, good choice...) I can have a little extra.
-Haven't seen her in a long time, it's a special lunch... lets get the big meal and a dessert!

Those are just a few but you're catching my drift...right?
It has been very eye opening this concept I have of food.  Way too often I'm not wanting food out of necessity but out of convenience, demand, and well... because I can.  Ewww, I sound like a spoiled brat!  Is that what my relationship with food has become?

2)  Through my hunger, I've learned I've got a bad attitude and it is my job to choose JOY -

Man this one hurts.  Talk to anyone in my family and you'll find out just how short my fuse has been recently... I'm hyper-sensitive so I feel super defensive.  Say the wrong thing at the wrong time and I'm off... it's terrible because I can hear myself speaking and think; "SHUT UP!  WHY ARE YOU SAYING THAT! NO!" but I can't stop, it just keeps pouring out.  Then I am so convicted over the way I responded/acted that I have to go and apologize.  Which is so embarrassing but it is where I'm at.  I am trying so hard to work on my attitude, how I respond, and to not be so defensive and feel like I'm being attacked.

Choosing Joy... this has really been a struggle when it comes to "celebrations" and events.  The holidays, Savannah's birthday and my birthday were a really difficult time for me.  I LOVE birthday cake, candy, and celebratory goodies so to not get any of those sweet treats was so difficult for me.  Difficult to the point where I didn't want to make holiday cookies and was blowing off celebrations because I couldn't participate in the sweet goodies... bottom line, this competition is MY CHOICE and I don't get to have a bad attitude or pout about saying "woe is me" because this is something I've chosen to do for myself.  That's been a real difficult pill to swallow - looking at myself in the mirror, saying TODAY I CHOOSE JOY!  Today you will celebrate, you will encourage, you will be joyful not because of the food that's being offered but because you TRULY love this person and are full of the joy of the Lord.

Here's the hard question God asked me; "Is the supply of your joy coming from the food and situations/celebrations you're in or from Me?"

Ouch.  and how pathetic.

It made me reflect on the question - what is the purpose of food in my life?

3)  It doesn't matter how long you've worked out, trained, removed certain foods from your diet... it doesn't get easier.  The cravings still come and go.  I may be able to manage them better than in the past but there will still be struggles with cravings.

Right now I'm battling sugar...again... hard core.  Like to the point of holding my daughter's cereal box in my hands and smelling it.  Watching those dang "tasty" facebook videos and drooling.  And daydreaming through the Valentine's Day candy isle.  It is difficult right now, I'm not going to lie!

4) Fear of success & people pleasing - not everyone understands why I am training for this competition.  There are two extremes of people when they find out what I'm doing- Those who think I'm crazy (after running 5 marathons why not this)  and the others who are completely questioning my salvation! haha.

What I've had to come to accept is that it isn't about anyone else except me and the Lord. Fitness is a very personal journey and it is why so many women get emotional about their weight and the goals they want to reach.  There can be a lot of hurt, pain, and scars from the past that are revealed in our journey!

This competition is not about a trophy or a certain body weight or seeing how fit I can get in the shortest amount of time.  This competition is about becoming the best I can be, walking across a stage in front of my peers and judges with my head high proud of the accomplishment, the sacrifice, the dedication.

I will walk not in pride but God confidence - this is my body and I am so proud of the way God has designed and made me.  I no longer HATE my body, SHAME my body, or look at myself with disgust.  I have pushed my body in workouts, sacrificed in nutrition, and treated it with the most respect and it in return has done something amazing!

Here we are, 8 weeks out and things are progressing quickly!  I'm beginning to notice changes and feeling leaner and stronger.  I get to order my suit here in the next 2 weeks, which is very exciting!  I've been practicing my posing so I hope you can tell the difference ;)  No more robot girl!  Getting comfortable in my skin, shoes, and suit!  Clearly there's still a lot of room for progress but I'm so happy with where I'm at - I keep pushing forward to get better, do better, and be better!

Here is my progress from September:

And where I'm currently at with 8 weeks until competition:

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Fitness Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary... 

Today I'm celebrating my 4 year Fitness Anniversary!  In January 2012 I made a life-changing decision with my sister-in-law and committed to getting healthy by running my first marathon.  You could say the rest is history but in these last 4 years so much has changed.

Before I decided to run my first marathon my biggest though was, "who me?!"  I wasn't strong enough or good enough to do something so GREAT!  I believed a lie, that where I was in my life and health was as good as it was going to get for me.  I'm so thankful I hushed those lies and chose to step out in faith for a goal that at the time seemed so unattainable.  It lead me to new friendships, running several races, a sprint triathlon, and helping others train for their first marathons, including my dad!

Sharing that time with my dad is something I will never forget - if I wouldn't have stepped out of my comfort zone to run my first marathon, I would have never felt the JOY of running by my dad's side for his first marathon!

I never thought training for my first marathon would ignite a passion, love, and desire to not only make myself better but become a certified personal trainer and help other women be the BEST versions of themselves through the renewal of their mind, body, and spirit. 

This past September 2015 I made another life-changing decision to compete in a fitness competition in the bikini division. The physical transformation has been insane but nothing like the mental transformation and realization that God's handiwork and design of our bodies is so intricate and one is like me, He truly knit me together and chose me. 

I  do not post these pictures to brag (seriously, look at my robot posing- don't worry, posing classes begin soon so I'm not so freakishly awkward). I post these to encourage you to think outside what is comfortable. 

If you've set a New Years goal to make a life change, it isn't going to be easy- in fact it's going to be uncomfortable, painful, and difficult BUT that is what makes the reward so great. 

My commitment in 2012 has resulted in 70+ pounds lost, a huge gain in self-confidence and proof that you can change your future even in your 30's!  I never want to go back to where I was - I wasn't just unhealthy.  I was depressed, hopeless, sad, and felt as though I had no value or worth.
That isn't the truth at all.

I'm no where near stage ready but the gains I've made are far greater than just muscular! 

What do you want for this New Year? How will you make it happen in 2016? You never know how your goals can and will inspire those around you!!!  

"Commit yourself to the Lord, whatever you do, and your plans will succeed!" -Proverbs 16:3

Sunday, September 27, 2015

What's Next Hillary?

I've spent the last 6 months learning my new role and position at the Landen YMCA as a Personal Trainer.  I've also been learning how to be a working mom, balance house chores, teach 1st grade, and function on 6 hours of sleep...

From my first interview with the Y I prayed that the Lord's hand would be in every aspect of my work & with the members.  If I were not meant to be there that He would close the door and give me peace- knowing that it wasn't my lack of abilities or talents but that it wasn't His will.

Thankfully, it was part of His great plan that I join the staff at the Landen YMCA and it has been awesome.  There are moments I fail miserably but overall the Lord has brought some of the most amazing people my way.  The staff I work with is wonderful and the members enjoy engaging in conversation!  God has blessed me above and beyond with clients that are kind, loving, and overall wonderful people.  The Landen YMCA has become more than just a job, it has become a family and community I truly enjoy to be with.  And I'm not just speaking for myself, Savannah as well has found herself a wonderful community within the Child Watch program and that makes me very happy!

 After sharing my Fitness Journey with a member they asked; "So, what's next?!"

That's been on my mind for a long time but with trying to get use to the new job, hours, and life as a part-time working homeschooling mom I wasn't sure what I was going to go after.  I've always wanted to build muscle and see what my body could do but when would I have time to get serious and start lifting heavy?

That question has hung around with me for a while... I talked to my sister about getting more defined and starting to lift seriously and what that would look like for me but I never moved on the idea.

Several weeks ago,  I met my friend Erin for coffee.  We were sitting outside of Winan's Coffee here in Maineville when 2 hours into our time together she said; "I need to tell you something really crazy... I'm looking into doing a bikini competition."

THAT'S IT..  that's my NEXT thing!  I looked at her and said; "I'm in!  That's exactly what I want to do!"

After a few weeks of research, chatting with our husbands, and getting in contact with a local Nutrition Company Erin and I had made the decision to compete in a local fitness competition this spring.

Before you X out of this blog because you're like, Hillary- that's so stupid.  I can't believe you're doing this.  Let me give you a little bit more...

If you've followed my health and fitness journey over the last 3 years, you know it has been not just a physical transformation but a spiritual transformation.  One that has exposed strongholds, spiritual weaknesses, and parts of my heart that are ugly and truly not given to the Lord for His control.

This winter I'll be launching a new Group Fitness class at the Landen YMCA called "RENEW YOU" which is a faith based group fitness class based off the Proverbs 31 Woman.  It's designed specifically for woman who are tired, worn out, exhausted, and feel like they don't have ANY time to make their personal fitness a priority.  The group fitness class with not just be a physical workout but it will be a renewal of the MIND & SPIRIT as well.  From worship music to prayer and words of affirmation - Renew You will strengthen women in their personal fitness journey!

I tell you that because the Lord has placed so strongly the importance of Health & Fitness in the lives of all women on my heart.  Competing in this competition is not about winning - competing in this competition is me fully surrendering my body to the Lord.  Pushing myself past what is comfortable.

Fasting from foods, habits, and behavior that distract me from choosing His presence and listening to Him.

Being strong in Him knowing it is only through His strength, His power, His word I will be successful.

Our health & fitness plays a BIG part in our personal relationships with the Lord yet it is often not discussed in our small groups, churches, and devotions.

The desire of my heart is that through this process, through my journey, through the tears, sacrifice, and trials that Christ will shine through me and it will empower other women to do bold things for the Lord.  That in all my actions and conversations HE will be glorified.  I will be transforming physically but also emotionally and spiritually and that as I move along in this journey everyone will see me but also see Christ!
Our competition is in the Spring 2016 and right now we are in the beginning phase of cutting fat and lifting heavy.  It's a new kind of eating, a new kind of working out, a lot of researching supplements, trusting an unknown process, and being sore.

Ultimately I am learning the pain of discipline & sacrifice in every aspect of my life.

If you'd like to follow us our hashtag for training, meal prep, and motivational quotes, and inspiration is #iownthiscuzheownsme

I own this because He owns me... it's our anthem when we've got nothing left to give but still have 3 reps to finish the set.  It's our strength when our legs can sprint any longer.  It's our encouragement when we see new muscles developing.  It's our heart beat when we can't find the time to get our workout in.  It is our reminder that we made a commitment, we set a goal and we will NOT be successful unless HE is in the center of it.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Your Promises to me

A little over a year ago, I walked away from ministry.  Even though it was what I knew I was suppose to do, it was scary!  It's a comfortable place - my entire life has always included some form of ministry with the church.  I knew I needed to step down to focus on my roles as a wife and mother but what in the world was I doing?

It was last year, just 2 years into my own personal health & fitness journey the Lord revealed a passion and love for something I never knew I had in me- a desire to help others who need to make changes in their personal health.  As I got more involved in my business with Shakeology and Beachbody, it started to become more specific.  I want to help women- working moms, stay at home moms, wives, sisters, young or old... exhausted, worn down women who feel like they have nothing left.  Women who feel selfish for taking time to workout.  Women who are worried it looks ungodly to want to focus on their outward fitness.  Women who need refreshed, transformed, and renewed - not just in their daily lives but minds and in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
How can I tie those together?

As I started pursuing personal training, getting my certification and focusing on Health & Fitness the lies of the enemy started creeping in.

I've always struggled with acceptance and comparison so you know the enemy hit me where it would hurt the most... he started filling me with doubt...

You've failed at everything else - what makes you think you can do this?  
You're a terrible test taker, how will you pass certifications?
You'll just give up and walk away in a few months.
Who will hire you?
Who would want to personal train with someone who has no experience?
You're being selfish.
Your hours of availability are crazy, no one will hire you.

3 months after I applied at the YMCA, I was called for an interview.  Within 7 days I had the job.  The people I interviewed with had such confidence in me - like they knew I was going to be great, members would like me, and that I would do well.  

My crazy hours, 5a-7a and 6p-9p, were hours they needed covered.  They were willing to work with my schedule, allow me to bring Savannah into child care if I need to, and support me if I need certain days off.

Financially, I had to at least break even with what I was doing with in-home child care.  I was able to cut my hours down from 30 hours a week to 13-18 hours a week and still bring in the money necessary, if not more.

I could feel God's hand in this and knew something great was happening.  God's hand has been in this from the beginning and even though I know the Lord has provided and blessed me with some really amazing clients - I still hear that voice of doubt...

You won't be able to keep this up.  
You'll run out of clients soon and walk away in a few months.  
Your workouts aren't good enough.
You aren't as good as the other trainers.

When I begin to feel overwhelmed and cave into those doubts the Lord reminds me of my heart for the renewal of hearts, minds, and bodies of the women I encounter.

While I was running a few weeks ago, the Lord gave me a vision about women, health & fitness, and how the church rarely addresses our physical health & fitness, strongholds we have with food, and self-shaming.  I got really excited - mainly because it wasn't something I wished for or thought to myself, "oh, that would be nice."  It was an actual vision, a promise the Lord planted in my heart that will be seen out but ONLY if I trust Him and allow Him to lead the way.  I will not be able to do it in my own strength and will have to trust in Him and His guidance.The enemy is already trying to plant those doubts and insecurities in my mind and heart but I am focusing in on His Promises!  I have a feeling the enemy will continue but I am standing on His promises!

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." ~1 John 4:18

"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." ~Psalm 16:11

The LORD of Heaven's Armies has spoken--who can change his plans? When his hand is raised, who can stop him?" ~Isaiah 14:27

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." ~Galations 5:1

“But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” ~Isaiah 43:1

It doesn't matter what I feel
It doesn't matter what I see
My hope will always be
In Your promises to me
Now I'm casting out all fear
for your love has set me free
My hope will always be
In Your promises to me

I do not doubt the Lord orchestrated my position at the YMCA for this specific vision!  It means I will get to see His hand work as this vision turns into something real... I completely surrender to His perfect will so this vision He has given me is completed.

**I will post more specific details about the vision and mission as it comes together - right now I can tell you it's about combining the word of God + worship + women + health & fitness so we can transform, confront, & renewal our hearts, minds, and bodies!  Oh man that's good...

What doubts, fears, insecurities and lies does the enemy feed you that keep you from fulfilling the visions God has given you?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

6 years later...

It was 6 years ago I started watching my niece, Annabelle at their house during the day.  My sister needed a sitter and I was home so I offered.  Who would have ever guessed that me watching my niece would have turned into a full-time gig?!  But it did.

In 2010 when we decided to build our home in Maineville we would have space for me to bring in several children to watch while their parents worked.  My heart was to help parents who couldn't bear leaving their children and wanted to have peace about where their child was being dropped off.  I was a new mom and wanted to help any way I could.  This would not only give Savannah playmates but I would be able to bring in some extra money.

I wanted to offer a home I'd want Savannah to be in if I had to work.  One that was full of love, laughter, and the Lord.  A place where learning was fun, songs were sang, creative play was encouraged.  A home that was safe not only for the children but for the parents.  Where they could drop their child off and without a doubt know their child would be loved, cared for, and safe.

Each year I would tell parents; "This is my last year!" But it never really was... I always managed to meet a family who I wanted to offer that security to.  Each year Savannah made a new set of friends and we welcomed new faces into our home.

6 years and 10 children later, we have made new friends, have so many sweet memories, and there are even 2 little boys I wouldn't mind an arranged marriage with ;)  The parents have been amazing, the friendships will continue, and the memories will always bring a warmth to my heart.  I have accepted the fact that I will be the weirdo at their weddings saying; "I babysat you when you were a baby!" and get that weird look like... Okay lady!

So much laughter and joy has echoed through our home... I cannot thank the parents enough for trusting me with their children.  Allowing me to invest, teach, and pour into their children.

I have officially closed this chapter of In Home Child Care and will be focusing 100% on homeschooling our sweet Savannah.  Savannah enters 1st grade and I'm so excited for her to continue in her love for learning.  She has done so great with Kindergarten so I know she will continue to excel in her passions for Math & Science as we have more freedom to explore the world around her.

I have also opened a brand new chapter completely for myself as a Personal Trainer at the YMCA here in Landen.  It's truly amazing how the Lord orchestrated this position, it has been wonderful confirmation that I am doing the right thing.

As I walk away from child care we are entering a new an exciting season of growth for both Savannah's life and my own.

I look forward to watching the children I took care of grow-up and continue in the friendships with their parents and children.

There are so many things I am going to miss about having multiple children in our home but I'm also really looking forward to being with just Savannah.  We truly do not know what it is like to have the house to ourselves... to not offer child care.

I have a feeling the transition will be difficult at first for Savannah- she has loved watching kids, been a BIG helper, and always enjoyed the time with the kids.  I do not think it will take long for her to get use to her new routine of school, trips, and exploring her world.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


I write this with great anticipation- tomorrow morning I take off to Kyrgyzstan with 9 others!  There is so much anticipation that I'm actually finding it difficult to put into words... Hillary, speechless?!  I know, it's a little difficult for me to grasp, too ;)

When I last wrote you, I shared a deep part of my heart.  A conviction really that the Holy Spirit placed in my heart.  Thank you for allowing me to be transparent and responding like so many of you have.

It has been in these last 5 weeks that the Lord has continued to speak.  He has removed fear and worry of travel, safety, Savannah & Allan's care and replaced them with straight confirmation.  From words in the book I'm reading (Crazy Love by Francis Chan), to every.single.sermon our Pastor has preached, to orchestrating Savannah's care, Allan's work schedule, and finances.  God has proven daily that THIS trip, this assignment to Kyrgyzstan is one He is calling me to.  He just needed me to say YES.

I've also learned a lot about myself and my personal relationship with Jesus Christ these last 5 weeks.  In reading Crazy Love, this is what the Lord has revealed to me - The Lord has given me the desires of my heart to be a wife and a mother but they are not mine.  They do not belong to me.  My role here on earth may be to take care of them and serve them but my ULTIMATE purpose on earth is to expand the Kingdom and be Kingdom focused.  When I stand before the Lord, all the nice things people have to say about me will not matter.  What will matter is what I did to expand the Kingdom and share the message of Salvation to those around me.  How I served others, loved others, and gave God all of myself and my heart.

Here are some quotes from Crazy Love that convicted my heart, made me rethink my personal relationship with the Lord, and re-evaluate-

"On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves.  On the average day, we don't consider God very much.  On the average day. we forget that our life truly is a vapor." ( pg. 41)

"Why are we so quick to forget God?  Who do we think we are?... Evein though I glimpse God's holiness, I am still dumb enough to forget that life is all about God and not about me at all." (pg. 44)

"From start to finish this life is about God.  He is the main character.  How is it possible that we live as though it is about us?

In the presence of God, He gives us a deeper peace and joy that transcends it all. (pg. 46)

"Why, when we constantly offend Him and are so unloveable and unloving, does God persist in loving us?" (pg. 61)

"The irony is that while God doesn't need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don't really want Him most of the time." (pg. 63)

"Our love for Him always comes out of His love for us.  Do you love this God who is everything, or do you just love everything He gives you?  Do you really know and believe that God loves you, individually and personally and intimately?  Do you see and know Him as Abba, Father?" (pg. 64)

"We could die at any moment and generally think our puny lives are pretty sweet compared to loving Him, yet He persists in loving us with unending, outrageous love." (pg. 65)

"Jesus's call to commitment is clear:  He wants all or nothing.  The thought of a person calling himself a "Christian" without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd." (pg. 85)

"In the midst of our failed attempts at loving Jesus, His grace covers us." (pg. 87)

"God wants our best, deserves our best, and demands our best... It's easy to fill ourselves up with other things and then give God whatever is left... Leftovers are not merely inadequate; from God's point of view, they're evil.  God is holy.  This holy God deserves excellence, the very best I have." (pg. 90/91)

"If life is a river, then pursing Christ requires swimming upstream.  When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream." (pg. 94)

"Many of us believe we have as much of God as we want right now, a reasonable portion of God among all the other things in our lives.  Most of our thoughts are centered on money we want to make, the school we want to attend, the body we aspire to have, the spouse we want to marry, the kind of person we want to become... But the fact is that NOTHING should concern us more than our relationship with God; it's about eternity, and nothing compare to that.  God is not someone who can be tacked on to our lives." (pg. 96)

"Are you willing to say to God that He can have whatever He wants?  Do you believe that wholehearted commitment to Him is more important than any other thing or person in your life?  Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people He has made?" (pg. 97)

I highly suggest reading this book - it is excellent!

Questions Answered:
I seem to be getting the same questions so here are some answers to the common questions I've been asked:

1)  Where in the World is Kyrgyzstan?!

It is central Asia, boarders China but is Russian speaking.  They are approx. 11 hours ahead of us, which works out nicely.  So when you're waking up to start your day, I'll be wrapping that day up!

2)  What are you going to do for food and workout?!  For those of you secretly laughing because I won't have a gym or meal planning/prep: No worries!  I've packed T25 (if someone brings a laptop) and if no access to that, I have created 3 different training sessions to rotate through each morning using my body weight.  Food wise I have packed lots of unsalted fruit & nut mixes, dried coconut and mango slices (no sugar added), Shakeology, Quest Bars and chips, Wild Planet tuna, whole wheat pita bread, Justin's Almond butter, and some organic veggie & kale chips to make sure I get my veggies in!  So I have meal planned/prepped in a way - Fail to plan, plan to fail... RIGHT Challengers?!

3)  Updates and/or Internet Access?!
We will be staying in an apartment with wi-fi connection.  My hope is to post at least a picture and quick update each day with what we did, God moments, prayer requests, and so on to my FB account!  If I get time to blog, I'll post it on FB as well.

Our Pastor will be posting Twitter updates, if you'd like to get those you can follow:  AP Ministries @CincyAP

The Missionaries we will be serving alongside have a blog.  They will be posting updates as well - feel free to check those out at:

4)  Where'd my donation go?!  

Donation Details:

Would you believe that we have had so many people give to this trip, we are trying to figure out how to get the rest of the donations over!  What an AMAZING problem to have...right?!

Those of you who donated physically:  I was able to fill 2 medium size suitcases with everything you gave!  Diapers, baby clothing, underwear, Children’s Tylenol, Zinc, Multi vitamins for kids and adults, Vitamin C& D, anti-bacterial cream, and coffee!

To those of you who donated financially:  I was able to purchase my flight, lots of coffee for the missionaries (which is HUGE because there is not coffee available to them... can you believe that?!), newborn diapers, bubbles, toy cars for the boys, and play jewelry for the girls.  It will also take care of the cost for the 2 extra suitcases full of donations.  I will also be carrying a significant amount of extra money to give to whatever any immediate needs may be while we are there.

Because of your obedience and sacrifice to give, there will be opportunities to bless many and meet needs...
Do you know how huge that is?

5)  What are you going to do in Kyrgyzstan?

We've got a jam packed schedule which is beyond exciting for me!We will be visiting the lost mountain village of Kashka to have a Christmas party and deliver Samaritan purse boxes to approx 50 kids.  Help out on the farm with kids from an orphanage.  We will be playing with the kids and the animals as well as making the forms for the foundation for the barn, and putting up a fence  around the garden and painting the house.  Go to the hot springs for a swim :)  Go to a men’s home, pour the foundation for the barn and continue painting the house.  Fishing.  Go to a homeless shelter and the women’s shelter at the farm and the seniors home .  Deliver food to the families at the dump.  Visit the seniors home.  Work at the Medical Clinic at the Baby Hospital, get a tour of the hospital, and pick up supplies and food for the baby orphanage, take some of the children from an orphanage to the Russian Ballet.  

Thank you so much for your prayers, support, encouragement and for partnering with me in this mission!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

the BIG announcement...

In December I knew the Lord had something BIG planned for 2015, but I didn't know what to expect.  I felt something in my spirit but wasn't sure what it was about.  When I say "BIG" I don't mean like a new house, baby, job or car BIG - I'm talking about spiritually BIG.  A spiritual lesson, breaking, and possibly transformation.  My heart had been heavy, overwhelmed, discouraged for months.  I was feeling worn down spiritually... have you been there?  Do you know what I'm talking about?

Determined to make 2015 a better year, I contacted a friend and asked her to meet with me weekly for prayer, encouragement, and to be raw with.  You know the friend you can spill your ugliest thoughts & struggles with and they don't look at you like you're crazy?!  Or throw a scripture or spiritual saying at you to encourage you... they listen to the crazy talk and agree to pray with you and over you.

We decided to meet weekly and read Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  This book hits exactly where my heart is at:  I know God has called me to a passionate loving relationship with Him, I know my purpose as a follower of Christ is to expand the Kingdom, I know my time here on Earth is just a vapor and I'm not promised tomorrow... but why do I get so caught up and consumed in ME?

The Holy Spirit hit me with a strong conviction... it was so heavy and I knew I had to admit it and say it out loud.  The confession:  On a daily basis I am not living for Christ, I am living for Savannah and Allan.  They are my life.  They are my priority.  They are who I wake up for and serve.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my job as a wife and mother.  Allan and Savannah truly make my heart beat... but that is what the Lord was convicting me of.  They should not be my reason for waking, He should.

Savannah is on loan, she is not mine.  She ultimately belongs to the Lord and it is the Lord who has trusted Allan and I with her.  To raise her, love her, and teach her.

What a hard confession to make.  It wasn't until I admitted this sin of putting Savannah and Allan above my personal relationship with Christ that I felt a shift.

Sunday our Pastor gave a message where he discussed God's currency, which is time.  We are only given a short amount of time on earth to live out God's message of salvation.  To complete His assignments that will expand His Kingdom, be the hands and feet of Christ, and share the Gospel of Christ.  When my time on earth has faded and I stand before God, he will not recite all the complements I received for being a good mom and wife, He will hold me accountable for the way I used my time to accomplish His works of expanding the Kingdom.  Was I obedient when He asked me to serve, step out of my comfort zone, and do something BOLD for Him?

A lot of times I hold back doing things because of money.  We don't have the money to go, donate or give to bless others.  But Pastor said something that right there Immediately overwhelmed my heart:

When God provides you with an assignment it is not tied to money.
Money is tied to your assignment.


If God calls you to do something... he doesn't want you to wait until you have the money to do it.  He wants you to be obedient and say YES.  Once you say YES, it is His job to provide the money to complete the assignment He has called you to.

And with that, I knew in my spirit what God was asking me to do.

A few people from our church are leaving for Kyrgyzstan Friday, February 27th to serve in an orphanage & mens home.  The cost of the trip is approx. $2000.  I decided that it wasn't for me because we didn't have an extra $2000 laying around.  But the Lord put SO HEAVY on my heart that I needed to say YES.  Commit and watch Him provide.

Oh the FEAR that overwhelmed my heart.  I am a mother and wife.  I cannot leave them.  What if something happens to me or them?  I would be so selfish.  And it was in that thought the Lord grabbed my attention and said NO!  I am calling you to this country, I will provide and need you to trust me.

I do not have $2000 but last night decided to overcome my fear and be obedient to the assignment God has called me to.  I committed to serve in Kyrgyzstan for a week and know this is just the beginning of something so GRAND for 2015.

Here's what I need from you:

1) Commit to Pray-

    a)  Over Allan & Savannah: peace to flow through them.  That although we will miss each other that the Lord will give them sweet peace.  They will stay healthy and safe while I am away.
    b)  My parents and Allan's parents as they take care of Savannah.  For wisdom and love to flow through them as they invest and pour into Savannah while I'm away.
    c)  My travels:  safety to and from the airport, as we are flying, during our layovers, and as we are driving in Kyrgyzstan.
    d)  Personal Fear:  that I would let go and surrender all personal fear of leaving my family to love those orphans and leaders in the city we are going.

2)  Financially-

     As I said, I committed to this assignment trusting fully the Lord to provide & meet every need.  I need to raise $2000 by Wednesday, Feb. 25th.  That's a pretty bold number in a quick amount of time but I am trusting the Lord.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit

3)  Donations - I have a list of things that are needed in the orphanage and home that I can take in my suitcase.  If you are interested in giving to that, please email me for more information:

I am scared, nervous, excited, and overwhelmed but know this is exactly what the Lord is asking of me!  Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement!

Feel free to contact me if you have more questions about the trip or how you can help!

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."  ~Matthew 6:33