family fall 2016

family fall 2016

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Awareness.. of something bigger than us...

    The more and more I look at people's lives and stories, the more I find that we are created for something bigger than us. Yes, to the core we are selfish human beings. But at the end of the day, no matter what you believe; people love community. There is enjoyment and satisfaction that comes out of being with others. If you have ever served another human being, you can probably relate to the saying that " you gained more then you gave away." There is something very rich about "giving your life" (time, resources, energy, etc.) away for someone else. I think that is what will make parenting so rewarding. All this to say that there are millions + ways to give your life away for others in the name of our Jesus. This is not to say "do" more, try harder, etc. I am a true believer in Romans 3:23-24 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified FREELY by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ." Jesus does not need us to do more. But He has asked that we follow in His foot steps... Matthew 20:28.. "Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Jesus gave up His life for me and EVERYONE else who accepts His precious gift. I am humbly learning to model His life. For so long (and still), I lived inside a "bubble." The Bubble of the United States, a small Christian school for 13 years, a place to call home, family and friends who love me dearly. Are these things in my bubble bad?.... Should i feel guilty for them?.... By no means!! They are blessings from our Jesus. But that also doesn't mean stay inside the bubble, only make friends with people like you, assume everyone lives in the same way you do, watch shows and media stories that make you "feel" good. I have slowly and reluctantly at times asked the Lord to slowly "open my eyes", peel back my bubble, and break my heart for what breaks His. Is it hard?... absolutely... but it is incredibly rewarding. Awareness is a beautiful thing. It can also be extremely overwhelming. When I read "The whole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns, I wanted to crawl in a hole myself and pretend things didn't happen. Statistics can be extremely overwhelming but there is power and comfort in the story of ONE life....

 All my sweet friends when Jennifer and Joshua (Enrique) came home :) Jan 2006
 Annalea and Jenny (cousins)


 Joshua and Dario before our wedding

   Almost five years ago, My mom and Stan (step-dad) adopted 3 kids from Guatemala. The statistic of 147 million orphans  becomes a little less overwhelming when you look at the life of ONE or THREE!! My life has been changed forever because of these three. Did our family give up some stuff... yes... but we gained so much more. I know everyone is not called to adopt but if you claim Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are called to care for the widows and orphans. James 1:27: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." 

  If anything sticks with you from this post, please take this: Educate yourself. Become Aware. And Spread the Word. It is Scary but so WONDERFUL. 

    Like I said before, I am volunteering for an organization called 147 Million Orphans. Go to if you want to read about it. Go to and read the statistics. When you look at them, don't just see numbers, see names and faces. For my birthday, Jeremy got me a huge world map so when I read stories, I can look at the map and find the places and specifically pray for the places there. If you don't have a map, google "world map", print it off and hang it where you will see it everyday. The more you know, the easier it will be to find where you can serve. Your story won't look like mine. Evaluate the gifts and resources the Lord has blessed you with to bless others. I have a friend Bennett, that I have known since Kindergarten. He is investing in something bigger than himself. He is working for a company called "Safe Water Nexus" Go to their website and see what they do... I have taken a youtube video from their site to stress the importance of AWARENESS. Let's impact the world so the media starts covering radical stories about people giving their lives away. BTW.. this does not have to be "big" actions. It is small, baby steps from each of us. All of us need each other to make us aware of what is going on in the world. Please comment if you ever have something to share... places to serve, AWARENESS, or prayer requests. 

Speaking of prayer requests... Please pray for my oldest step- brother Dale as he marries his love, Noel, this Saturday!

Here's the video... 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fallapalooza.... Tonight!

If you are in the Nashville area, please come join us this Saturday (tonight) at 5pm in Franklin for food, fellowship, and an outdoor concert to support an incredible cause! CLICK HERE to go to the site for directions, event info, and to find out more about ORDINARY HERO! 


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our life as of late...

 Dario, Jeremy, Joshua (my handsome little brothers from Guatemala)
 Me and My Love
My love before the wedding :) I make him a little nervous...

Lauren (sister), me, and Momma pre-wedding
July 17, 2010

 The Piton Mountains, St. Lucia

 The pool in our "sanctuary" room

 Our usual meal view was incredible!
 The architecture inside Jade Mountain was beautiful. Each bridge led to a separate room
 We went down to the town of Soufriere one day and this was their hospital :) Our guide said it functioned more like a walk- in clinic. There are two other major hospitals on the island.
 The rooms at Jade Mountain

As you can see, we are beyond blessed. Jeremy's parents blessed us beyond measure with a honeymoon to St. Lucia and my parents blessed us with the ability to spend our wedding day in front of hundreds of people who love and support us. We are forever grateful for this season in our lives. The people of St. Lucia are warm and genuine. Many of the workers at the resort were our age so it was so fun to talk to them and see what their days look like. Since returning, we have moved ourselves to Nashville and have hit the books hard. Jeremy is finishing his senior year and I am working on my Family Nurse Practitioner at Vandy. 

    In August, I read "A Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision and my life hasn't been the same. If you haven't read this book I would encourage you to do so. But.. caution... do not read it until you have prepared your heart to respond. It is not something you walk away from. It has convicted me to take the Bible more serious than I ever have. Verses don't just wash over me like they have in the past. The call to be a disciple to Christ is not this lovely bubble I have always lived in. It has radical implications. Luke 14:33 says, "In the same way, any if you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." I don't know what this looks like in our life so I'm for sure not going to tell you what it looks like in yours. But I would encourage you to press in. Please remember us in your prayers as we step out in faith. We are very prayerfully considering taking next year off of school and work and serving where we are called, wherever that may be.

        Lastly, I wanted to share with you some of my motivation in starting this blog. It was not so that we can put our lives out in the open for everyone to examine. It is because I have been immensely blessed and encouraged by following the life stories of others. Blogs are not a complete picture of the joys and trials of life but they can provide encouragement and a community of prayer warriors. I wanted to share with you 3 blogs that have showed Jesus to me.....
Suzanne, Katie & Gwen

     I am now volunteering with 147 million orphans and Gwen and Suzanne in Nashville and want to encourage everyone to do their part where they feel called.

Now.. I must go study I suppose....


       I'm finally going to give this blogging thing a try. I love to journal and look back at my entries  to see how far the Lord has brought me and those living life with me. I have so many thoughts and passions stirring  in my head and my heart that it may take awhile to process them all and get them out in words. But.. I will start with the title of the blog... "SIMPLE LOVE TODAY". I am big on living one day at a time. I constantly remind myself that today is October 5th, 2010 (fill in the blank for whatever day) and that I will never get this day back again so I need to be intentional about what I am doing and saying in this moment. The "simple love" part comes from I Corinthians 13:1-3:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing." 

      The motivation behind my actions must simply be "love" and nothing else. So often I find myself wanting to do things for others to gain men's approval. My vision is to approach every single encounter and ask myself how I can love that person in that moment. That is what I believe simple love is.