15 in 15

Friday, June 13, 2014


I have so many amazing things on my mind and I am going to have to spread them out over a few posts. This whole writing thing is hard for me in a sense that some days are completely blank and others I have bucket fulls of things to say. I am trying to learn the art of writing every day regardless of whether it is published or not to train my brain to be consistent. However, I know that God reveals things in HIS own time which leads me to today!

I have 15 days to raise $1,500 to finish funding my trip to Rwanda.

Not even kidding. June 30th is my deadline. I love last minute and random, but even I am a little shaky and uncomfortable with God's version of spontaneity here. Not at all not believing, just uncomfortable. Don't you just love it when He turns something around on you? I always talk about loving not having a schedule and being spontaneous. I do, but
 I wonder how many times He's been on the edge of His seat waiting for me to pull it together? None of course, because He is God but hypothetically speaking... I am sure I have come sliding into the finish line more times that not just in the knick of time. Just before the buzzer sounded.



I'm writing this to be real, I don't just blaze through things with no fears or worries or wonders. I'm just like you. Sometimes we think people that do big things are somehow just blessed with some super gift from God. No so. I think we just believe Him for who he is in spite of all those things that could keep us from living out our dreams. It's just a crazy faith that I know doesn't come from me. I'm a chicken at heart :)



Know this. I fully trust that I will go through the doors God has flung open for me. I could have NEVER orchestrated these opportunities on my own. I could have never imagined being used in the ways He has chosen for me to be used. I could have NEVER imagined the people, you people, my people supporting me through prayer and encouragement and physical support the way you have. To have the cheerleaders behind me that I do is a game changer. I have Wendy coming to live in my home with my kids, others pulling shifts, Crystal making and selling headbands, people donating their hard earned money, clients booking photo shoots, people buying and hosting Noonday shows, texts of encouragement, folks holding yard sales and it all matters, every single thing matters so much to me on this new journey. I could not be where I am without my people. This is just the cherry on top for why I love people so much. They are good, they are full of sacrifice and possibility and grace abounding. They are passion and purpose and I love doing life with so many incredible, giving, sacrificial people. I am so blessed!

So, one of those sweet loves, Mrs. Caroline Brown came to my house the other night for our last Bible Study feast/meeting and blessed/embarrassed/encouraged me with a song by Brit Nicole and some precious words of how I had encouraged her and empowered her to be who God made her to be.

In leadership/marriage/friendships/life, it's really easy to sometimes think that what you are doing really doesn't matter, that you are replaceable, that people aren't really receiving what you are pouring out. Have you ever poured yourself into something to only feel that people don't even care some days, that they aren't even listening or even using what you have handed to them for anything? I do. Yes sometimes it's a pride issue but sometimes I think it's genuine sadness and just a fact of life. It forces us to remember who we are serving and why! (Insert conviction of self here on how many times God gives me opportunities I don't use.) BUT, having said that, Caroline let me know in a precious way that what I am pouring my heart into by serving our group has made an impact for her, it has reached her heart and it has rippled out from her onto many others.

She knows how much I love music so she blessed me with a song. One that she says reminds her of me every time she hears it, and it's sweet, can' you believe that? :)
Have a listen. (mouse over the bom of your screen to pause the web site music first)



 
 
I didn't cry when I heard it at first with Caro and Kim at my house. I think I was too tired to be emotional, I had cooked all day, write that down, but I put it on my running playlist and I found myself running harder and faster than I have in months yesterday and with tears pouring down my face. I can only imagine that those passing thought I was dying. Music speaks to me in such a huge way and I could have written this song myself if I was a songwriter. It's exactly what I believe, exactly what I wish for my family and my children, for the girls in my group, for all those I love.
 
I wanna set the world on fire
Until it's burning bright for You
It's everything that I desire
Can I be the one You use?

[CHORUS]
I, I am small but
You, You are big enough
I, I am weak but
You, You are strong enough to
Take my dreams
Come and give them wings
Lord with You
Nothing I can not do
Nothing I cannot do

I wanna feed the hungry children
And reach across the farthest land
And tell the broken there is healing
And mercy in the Father's hands
 

These lyrics are my prayer. They are what I belive and what I am seeing play out. This blog, Giving God Our Yes and Learning To Fly is exactly and echo of her lyric "take my dreams, come and give them wings".. Ya'll this is how God encourages his children. This is how HE breathes life into winded lungs. This is how HE reminds us of who we are and what we can do when we just give HIM our yes and believe! One person's gift to another, one story woven with another and therein lies HIS presence. Our reaching out and fostering relationships with people matter. Our gifts to each other no matter how seemingly small matter! To Caroline, this was a song that reminded her of a friend. To me it was a gift of encouragement, of God whispering in my ear at the perfect time, of affirmation to go and be and do. Alone it's just words, with the Spirit leading it was a tremendous gift.
 
 
 
 
I have 15 days (now 14 actually) to raise the remaining $1500 for my trip to Rwanda. I know God has a plan for it that is already in place. I know that I have no reason at all to be anxious. I know that through the blessings of my hard work and the gifts of my people I am headed to reach across the farthest land, to HEAR from the broken that there is healing, and to find mercy for myself and others in the fathers hand. I know there are MUTUAL lessons of redemption to be shared. I know that because I know who God is, I know how big He is and how much He wants to use me in all my own brokenness and faultiness right in this season to be light. I know because I see His reflection all around me in the places and people I do life with. He is sovereign over all things.
 
I posted a donation page early on when I first found out about the trip, but I have not updated it much. I have been working alot, doing end of school year stuff with my kiddos, trying to be supportive of Brent as he returns from Africa and sorts things out and I am still off social media, except for things that post automatically from here on my blog or for things through my Photography business so there hasn't been space for lots of my stuff to be put out there. But here is opportunity if you thought about donating but haven't yet. This trip has been completely funded through lots of awesome Noonday Shows, Photography Clients, and friends generous gifts of their hard earned money. I do not take that lightly. I appreciate every open door that leads to Rwanda, also known as The Land Of A Thousand Hills.
 
 
If you would like to make a Tax Deductible donation to my trip, you are welcome to write and check to:
 
 Africa New Life
       c/o Kerrie Thornton
                       7145 SW Varns St. Suite 201
               Portland, Oregon 97223
 
Please do not put my name on the check anywhere, but instead put a sticky note on it saying that it is for my trip to Rwanda. All donations must be in by June 30th. I am happy to mail them for you, but I leave for Haiti on June 23rd so any donations made after that need to be mailed directly to Africa New Life. They will communicate a receipt to you for your taxes. I am releasing it all to Him and am so excited to see how he blesses us all who are a part of this tiny piece of His story. When I think of all the stories He is weaving it overwhelms me in a good way. Thank you for being a part of mine, for being the friends who genuinely believe, encourage and empower so many to live life fully wherever they are. YOU are my inspiration!
 
 

 

 
 
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
 
xoxoxo,
Manda
 


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