Following our calling to the Dominican Republic


Sum of your mistakes

emoji ugh

“You are the sum of all of your past mistakes”.

This was a lie from satan that I believed about myself for so long.  It was truly something that had kept me in chains for so long.

Today, God spoke the exact same phrase to me, but in the form of a promise.

“Tamara, you are the sum of all of your past mistakes because that is where I grew you and molded you.”

I began to think about all of the biblical figures that messed up royally…and how God used these exact people for His glory.

Take David, for example. Man, what was he even thinking?  He had an affair with a married woman, and she became pregnant.  His solution?  Let’s have her husband killed and then she can come live with me. (Oh my word, how many times has our own best thinking gotten us in an even bigger mess???)

Yet….BECAUSE OF  ALL OF HIS MISTAKES…God continued to refer to him as “a man after my own heart”.  He redeemed him and made him king of Israel.  

Then, there was Gomer.  She was a prostitute.  God sent her a PROPHET for a husband.   She continued to return to her old ways over and over because they were known and comfortable. (Can you even imagine the church gossip that ensued?!)

YET…BECAUSE OF ALL OF HER MISTAKES…God sent Hosea to relentlessly and recklessly pursue her heart!  Because God is a faithful lover of our souls.  He did this as an example to all of us of His unconditional love and his ability to redeem even the most undeserving wanderers.

Then, there was Peter, who betrayed Jesus in His final hours of life.  Peter was part of Jesus’ posse. And, still, Peter denied even knowing Him THREE times the night before Jesus’ death.

YET…BECAUSE OF ALL OF HIS MISTAKES…when the angels descended, Jesus sent a message through them to “his disciples and Peter”.  He named Peter specifically, and continued to use Peter as a disciple to preach of the gospel after His crucifixion. 

I don’t know about any of you but this gives me great hope!

I also know that I don’t learn anything from the mountaintop, where things are good and mistake and problem free. The mountaintop has always been my resting place, where I rejuvenate for my next trek into the valley.  I am thankful that God loves me and sees value in me that He takes me to the valley.  There has never been a time that a mistake or hard time has not taught me a lesson that I would need for the next assignment that God has for me. He promises us this:

“Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” James 1:4


If God can use David, Gomer, and Peter BECAUSE OF their mistakes, then…

Yes, I am a sum of my past mistakes because they grew me to be the person that I am today.  

A person in which God sees worth and wants to use for His glory!

So, let go of that shame that you are holding onto for saying or doing the wrong thing.  Let go of those feelings of worthlessness because you, too, screwed up royally.  Let go of those hateful or judgmental words of others that play over and over in your head like a broken record. Yeah, you can stop beating yourself up.  (Seriously though, stop that crap!) God will use your mistakes, screw ups, and hard times to mature you and complete you so that you are not lacking anything! God created all of us with a purpose that only we can complete!  YOU were the one specifically created for that purpose that will glorify Him!

Gosh, THAT is some freedom that I can dance in.  Can I get an amen?


On being intentional and your one word…


Each year, I write about the importance of having one word for the year.  I have written about it —> Here and Here.

Basically, I begin praying in November for God to give me a word that will direct my life, and mold me to be closer to His image the following year.  Each year, my words are spot on.  Typically, it makes no sense when He first sends it to me.  However, by the end of the year, it has helped me in ways that could only be of Him.  He uses this one word to inspire and guide me throughout the year.

My one word for last year was Intentional.  It really served as a reminder to be conscious in so many areas of my life.  God used this word in a big way to draw me closer to him and grow my relationship with him.  He also helped me to be more intentional about the words that I used in many situations in my life.


I have a challenge for each of you reading this:

  1. Begin praying for God to send your “one word”
  2. Once you get it, write it on something (paper, rock, paint it, etc.)
  3. Post it on social media. (This will give you a reminder and accountability)

It is not always easy to hear what that word is.  Often, I want to decide for myself.  Don’t despair! When you have the one word for the year, you will know because you will have a peace around it.

Here are two wonderful websites that might encourage and help you:

I may possibly have my word for 2016 but am continuing to pray over this.  Good luck, and I can’t wait to hear what word God gives you and how He uses it in your life in 2016!


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When God speaks through peppermint mocha lattes…

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10

invisible personThose close to me know that I struggle with invisibility…and now the whole interwebs know as well.  It’s a nagging childhood wound that doesn’t seem to want to go away.  It’s definitely a scar that satan uses to pull me down…to tell me that I don’t matter…and I am not good enough.

Today has been a really rough day for me.  For a few months now, we’ve been going nonstop, entertaining teams and guests, working our ministries, and dealing with numerous illnesses.  Seriously, I feel like this whacked out little peacock:


Can you say ragged?

I know how important self-care is here on the mission field but have been too busy to slow down.  Satan knows this.  When I get rundown and tired, he wants to isolate me so that he can bully me with his mean ole words. He is such a jerk face!

However, tonight, I didn’t let that happen.  I immediately messaged the people in my life that I  love and trust.  I told them,

“Pray for me!  I am struggling with invisibility tonight and am wallowing in a huge pool of pity!”  

Each one of them sent crazy encouraging words to me, along with lots of prayers.Starbucks_Peppermint_Mocha

Earlier in the day, I had posted on Facebook how I needed someone to bring me a Starbucks peppermint mocha latte STAT…

…because that would cure my pity party and make me visible again. I am quite certain of this!

Right in the middle of the crisis in my mind, I got a message from a childhood friend that said, “I work at Starbucks and I want to send you all the things to make a peppermint mocha anytime that you want to!”


It felt like God spoke straight through her to say,

“I see you there, Tamara!  You are not invisible to me!”

God really does love me…

And He kicked satan’s butt with kind words from friends…

…and a Starbucks peppermint mocha!

You go, God!!!

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Redeeming Love

I recently reread the book “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers.  I read it many years ago when I was still “doing church”, and, not yet, understanding “true relationship with Christ”.  I enjoyed the book for its love story quality back then, but truly fell in love with its biblical teachings this time around.

(Before I go any further, if you have not read this magnificent book, stop everything right now and go read it!  Yes, now…because this post will have spoilers in it.  Then you will regret not reading it first, and I will feel bad for ruining it for you.  So…save us all this heartache and go read it…then come back here!)

redeeming love

In this story, Francine writes about a man named Michael Hosea, who truly has a heart for God.  He has been faithful to God and praying for God to send him a wife for many years.  One day, he sees a woman who immediately captivates his heart, and God tells him that this will be his wife.  Come to find out, she is a prostitute.  Michael questions God, “I have been faithful to you, and you send a prostitute to be my wife?”  However, being the man of God that he is, Michael begins to pursue her, and, eventually, he marries her.

His wife’s name is Sarah but she does not reveal this to him right away.  Throughout her life as a prostitute, her name is Angel.  Michael does not think this name suits her so he calls her many different names throughout the  story.

Because of all of the lies that she has been told about herself and the things that she believes about herself, she continues to run back to her old life over and over and over.  Each time, Michael pursues her and brings her back to his (their) home.  Until the final time that she leaves.  At that point, he knows that she must return to him on her own.  He continues to love and pray for her everyday, but he no longer actively pursues her.

Michael’s love for her was pure and faithful without expectations or pretense.  I caught myself falling madly in love with Michael!  Oh, to have someone love me the way that he loved Angel!!! Oh, to have a Michael Hosea!!!

After finishing the book, I began to study the book of Hosea.  I am in absolute adoration of how the Bible continues to come alive to me.  While studying Hosea, everything clicked!  Hosea is all of our stories.  We all tend to “prostitute” ourselves when we trade an intimate part of ourselves to something that is temporary…whether its our time, our thoughts, our love, or our bodies.

The more that I read, the more that I realize how intense God’s love is for us.  When we ‘prostitute’ ourselves to the things of this world, He continues to pursue us and call us home.  He has always wanted us in His arms, in His home, in a reconciled relationship with Him!

When I was searching for my identity through partying and men, He patiently pursued me.

When I searched for my identity in success, approval of others, awards and acknowledgments, and the need to acquire more and more material things, He no longer actively pursued me but did not allow these things to give me peace.

There was always an underlying discontent because I was settling for less than I was worth.  We do this when we allow negative thoughts to overtake us.  We do this when we fill our bodies full of junk food.  We do this when we settle for relationships that do not direct us first to God.

Much like Angel, I would continue to go back to my old life…to my old sins…because I had believed so many lies about who I was. I would go back thinking that, this time, I would find peace because I would finally fill the dark, empty places in my heart.  Each time, much like Angel, I would secretly wish that He would rescue me from myself.  I secretly wished that He would wrap me up in His arms, and I would finally…FINALLY…feel safe in this world.

It wasn’t until I looked my sins straight on that I was able to truly surrender my life to Him!

“Being found isn’t as beautiful if you don’t admit you were once lost” (#shereadstruth)

Then…and only then…was God able to show me where I belonged.  Only then, did I realize that HE was my Michael Hosea…

And HE was offering me true redeeming love!

This is something that He offers to all of us but we must be willing to accept it!


 (If you would like a really great Hosea bible study, go here —>#shereadstruth )


One Word 2015

OneWordLast year, I posted about having One Word for the year.  This is a word that God gives you to guide you through the year.  Last year’s word for me was Understanding.  It’s amazing how much God used this word to teach me so much.

I felt that I truly was taught to understand not only myself and my circumstances, but also so much about the world around me.  It was a year of breaking down and building back up of self.  It was a year of taking more time to listen, so that I could truly learn from and about those around me.  It’s amazing how God knows exactly which word that He wants to use to mold and shape me more and more into His image.


As always, I began praying for my word for this year in November of last year.  I got NOTHING for the longest time!  Finally, close to the end of January, my word came to me.  The word for this year is… Intention!  This year, I want to be more cognitive to “live less out of habit and more out of intent”.  I am focusing on all aspects of my life: spiritually, physically, relationally, and mentally.


It’s amazing how, when I first started focusing on this word, I wondered what this journey would look like. I began by getting up about an hour before the rest of my family to spend very quiet time with the Lord.  I knew that this was going to be tough for me because I love morning sleep-ins!  However, most days, I am able to get up, start the coffee, and study His word.  I now love this time because my house and my community is quiet so I can’t be easily distracted and am able to focus.

In order to be more intentional in this area, I finally submitted to something that God has been pushing me to do…the women’s bible study.  I cannot wait to share more about what God is doing with this small group of women in my community (but that is another blog post).  I am truly in complete admiration of the Lord right now!


Last year, I packed on an extra 10 pounds to the already too many extra ones that I have have been carrying around!  My goal is to get moving every day in some form or fashion.  I haven’t been completely successful in this so far, but I am going by the 12 step rule…progress, not perfection.  Although my daughters now do online schooling, I still teach them Bible and PE, so I have built-in workout partners that have to do what I tell them to do.  Score!  In all seriousness, we have really enjoyed working out together, and learning new exercises.

I also want to be more intentional about what I put in my body, as well as what I serve my family.  Thanks to Pinterest, I am able to find healthy, yummy recipes that my family likes.


As I get older, I realize that I am becoming more and more of an introvert.  It’s not that I don’t like people and crowds.  I actually love them.  It’s just that I need to be alone to recharge afterwards.  I have to be conscious to keep a balance between the two.

This year, I want to intentionally invest in my relationship with my husband and children, and those in my life that love and invest in me.  I want relationships that have meaning and value.  I want to be intentional about loving others.


As I mentioned, last year was a huge time of understanding truths in my life.  Many of these lessons were hard to learn but the growth made it all worth it.  I feel like a flower garden that had many weeds interwoven throughout it.  God came along and ripped out weeds that were preventing growth and were slowly killing anything from blooming.  For a long time, it looked bear.  Finally, the flowers are beginning to bloom in so many different and vibrant colors.  With that, comes peace.  I am now so protective over that peace, and want to guard it with all that I have.  I know the things in my life that help me to stay balanced and the things that keep me sane.  I want to intentionally focus on those things.

happiness jar

In our house, we started this “Happiness Jar” to write small things throughout the year that made us happy.  I cannot wait to see what “living more intentionally” will do in all our lives.  My hope is that this intentional living will fill that jar to overflowing!

What is your word for this year?

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Community Walk


Lately, in our community, we have experienced numerous deaths of our young people.  Mostly, it’s the young men that have been in motorcycle accidents or dying in their sleep.  When someone dies here, the entire community grieves with the family for 9 days.  They set up a tarp near the house, bring in tons of chair, and serve food to everyone.  It speaks to how closely knit our community is.  They share their happiness and their sadness with one another.

On several occasions, we have discussed how God is using our youth to grow our community.  You can visibly see God’s hand at work!  More and more of our “jovenes” (the word used for the teen to 20-something group) are accepting Christ and living their life for Him.  It’s truly remarkable to experience!

Recently, a young 20-something year old man died in his sleep.  While visiting the family, a group of us were discussing how many young people had passed away or been injured lately.  Our assistant pastor, Jorge, said that it feel like satan was attacking our community. His words really sank in for me.  It’s true…satan was attacking the group that was being used the most by God right now.

Oh, you know...just a random horse coming through

Oh, you know…just a random horse coming through

Pastor Tomas planned a community walk in which we would all pray protection over our community.  I remember doing something similar to this in the states, in which our pastor asked us to go out on a planned night and pray over our neighborhood.  My family walked our neighborhood together, stopped in front of each house, and prayed for the family that lived there.

IMG_3310What we experienced on Saturday in this community was nothing short of awe-inspiring!  The entire community met at a specified point and walked from one end of the community to the other.  Along the way, we sang songs.  We had a “band” set up on a trailer with speakers and a mic system.  We were definitely heard throughout the community and into the heavens!

IMG_3302One of the main songs that we sang stated: “God gave us *insert something here, such as our homes, our spouses, our children, etc*.  They are gifts from God, and you cannot have them satan.  Go away!”  They let him know, in no uncertain terms, that he would not take these things from us and was not welcome here!

IMG_3317At each barrio, we stopped, and Pastor Tomas or Pastor Jorge prayed over that community. They prayed for each individual group in each community…the churches, the jovenes, the children, the men, the women, the elderly, the businesses, the homes, etc!  Our community was covered with a blanket of prayers and protection.

To see everyone come together in such a powerful way showed the love that they have for one another and our community.  The faith that this tiny community has can move mountains.  It definitely should scare satan enough to send him packing his bags and high tailing it out of here!IMG_3309*I challenge each of you to give the best present possible to your neighbors and community this Christmas season:  the give of prayer!  Walk your communities, and pray for each home, business, and family.  I dare ya! 😉



Why fast?

Abraham being obedient

Abraham being obedient

You know how God said to Abraham…

“Hey, I need you to pack up your family and all of your stuff and all of your goats and go to this new land.  I can’t really tell you why right now but I just need you to go, ok?”…

…and He went!

Jonah not being obedient

Jonah not being obedient

Then God said to Jonah…

“Hey, I need to you to go to Nineveh and tell all the people there that they are really screwing up and need to do better.”

…and then Jonah fled…….FROM GOD!!!

So God had his friend, The Whale, gobble him up help Jonah change his mind.


My heart had begun to resemble Jonah’s more than it had Abraham’s.  I kept feeling myself fleeing.

At a women’s conference that I once attended, the speaker was discussing the importance to spending our first minutes of our day with God.  She described it like this…

“Think of God coming to your house every day to chat and have coffee with you.  He shows up everyday, takes a seat beside your favorite chair, and waits for you to sit with him.  You run to the kitchen, get him a cup of coffee, and tell him that you will be right back after you {insert anything here}.  Then, you jump in the shower, make the kids breakfast, start getting ready, etc.  Each time you pass God sitting in the chair drinking the coffee, you say ‘I’ll be right back’.  As you are grabbing your keys to leave for work, you look over and remember that He is waiting for you.  So, you say, ‘As soon as I get home from work, I will sit with you’….except you don’t…because, well, life…”

I saw God sitting there…quietly sipping His coffee…waiting for ME!  But, I knew what He wanted.  He wanted to speak some truths to me that I didn’t want to hear.  So, I was fleeing…

“Hold on, God…I’ll be right back after I (check FB, look on Instagram, numb myself silly with sugar, etc) 

That is why  I chose to fast.

I knew that it was time to spend some serious one-on-one time with God.  In order to do that, I had to remove things that I used to distract or medicate myself.

So, what did I learn?

Evil sugar!

Evil sugar!

1)  I learned that giving up sugar was harder than social media.  The thing about fasting is that is shouldn’t be easy.  It is designed to make you uncomfortable so that you will reach to God for strength…instead of Oreos.  Here’s the thing: Oreos filled the immediate discomfort but then left me empty later.  When I reach for Him, I have to slow down, be purposeful, and BE STILL.  This takes longer but fills empty places in my heart.


2)  I am addicted to….scrolling stuff!  It is what I do to “check out”.  I don’t care what I am scrolling…just, please, let me check out for a bit and  scroll something so I don’t have to engage!  By taking this element out, I spent time with those that I love and that love me back.

you are loved

3) It’s ok to miss out, and FB and Instagram are liars!  Living on a island, FB and Instagram have been my connections to the “outside world”.  I was concerned that I would feel lonely or feel like I was “missing out”.  Quite honestly, FB and Instagram have been lying to me.  I don’t need “likes” to know that I am worthy…to know that I am liked…or loved.  Those that know and love me still found ways to communicate with me and show their love.  However, and this is the biggie, God is showing me that I am worthy in HIS eyes.  God is helping me to understand that my identity and worth need to come from Him.  I am STILL struggling with this.  As someone that has always only wanted to be told that I am worthy, important, and special, I am STILL seeking that from outside sources.  It is a need that I have always yearned to be met.  Slowly, I am trying to understand that it can finally be met by the only one that has ever shown me unconditional love…Jesus Christ. I wish that I could say that I believe this completely, but the lies that I have been told oftentimes speak louder than the truths that I am learning.  I am so vulnerable in this area and am clinging to God’s strength in this.balancing_life

4) Balance!!!  It is so important.  There are many areas of my life that I need to focus on daily, weekly, monthly.  If I forget one, I am out of balance.  During my fast, I realized that I had not been feeding my creative side.  This is an important side of what refuels me.  I have several things that I found on Pinterest and made.  I am hoping to share some of these on future blog posts.  I also spent a lot of time following up on blogs that I read, finishing books that I started, and studying various scriptures.  I did A LOT of journalling.

Weekly Plan

Weekly Plan

I found this fabulous WEEKLY PLANNER  to help me remember to keep my life in balance.  I absolutely love this because it makes me be more intentional about all areas of my life that need to be nurtured.


5) The Coke here is still addictive!  Anyone that has ever visited can attest to this.  It is made with real sugar cane and sold in glass bottles.  CrAzY addictive!  I didn’t even care about Coke in the states and rarely drank it…but here…Oh my!!!

So, in a nutshell, that’s how my fast went.  There were times that I struggled…hard.  Those were the times that I just had to lean into God.  There was never a time, though, that I wanted to quit.  During that time, I had a peace about me.  Because I didn’t hear all the voices of the Internet, I could hear HIS voice more clearly.  I truly had to turn off all of the noises of the Internet so that I could slow down, relax, and hear His voice to help me remember mine.  I was a bit sad when it ended, and even considered extending it for 10 more days…

In the end…it was the Coke’s fault….


Donde he estado?

nsf checkSomeone once told me that our emotions and relationships are like a bank account.  We naturally make withdrawals daily.  However, if we don’t make deposits…then we will get overdrawn.

That’s exactly where I was…I was feeling a tad bit overdrawn.

Living in a country that worships much differently than you do, and in which, there is a language barrier, church can be a difficult place to grow your faith.  I no longer pray to understand what the pastor is saying.  Now I just pray for God to allow me to feel His presence around me.  My relationship with God is much more intentional and purposeful here.  The time with Him is much more valuable and necessary.  I am no longer being fed the way that I was when I went to the church in the states….

…and I have been feeling distant from Him.stressed out woman

I find myself trying not to feel the things that I am feeling.  I find myself trying to fill my time and body with things that distract me and allow me not to feel.

“Love yourself enough to do whatever is needed to care for your soul”

(from Revealing Jesus by Darlene Zschech)

IMG_5535 - Version 2


I am halfway through a 40 Day Fast that ends on February 21st.  This is not a fast in which I don’t eat for 40 days.  This is a fast from things that I was using to numb myself…so that I could be distracted and not feel.  These things also kept me from growing my relationship with Christ.

This is what it looks like:

~No FB/Instagram/Twitter (I am still on Pinterest but she is pressing her luck and may be eliminated as well because I catch myself just wanting to SCROLL SOMETHING!)

*I would like to thank all of my sweet friends that have sent messages of genuine concern for my well-being.  Many of you have noticed that I have not been on FB lately and sent messages asking if everything is OK.  Truly…super sweet…thank you!

**Just so you know, I still get FB messages through Messenger which sends them straight to my phone like a text message.  When I respond to your message, I am not actually on FB, so I am not breaking my fast. AND, my blog post automatically goes to FB/Twitter.

~No sugar (OH, sweet Jesus…what was I thinking???)

~No soda (In the states, I rarely drank Cokes but, here….they put crack in this stuff!  It’s made with real sugar cane and is highly addictive to me.  Don’t try detoxing from this stuff at home, kids…It ain’t pretty!)

Those are the things that I have been eliminating but I have been adding things that are good for me as well…

~Minimum of 4 fruits/veggies a day

~80 oz. of water a day

~Exercise 6 days a week with 3 of those days being running

For my mind, body, and soul to feel strong, I need to spend time with people that love me, time creating beautiful things (that’s why Pinterest is allowed), thinking time, time to read, time to strengthen my body…and, most importantly….time with God.  These are ways that I make deposits.

During this time, I have been trying to reconnect with myself and God.  I have been praying and journalling and reading and spending time with those that I love, at home and in my community. I have been building a strong body, mind, and soul.  I have been listening for God’s voice and asking Him for guidance.  I have been filling myself with things that feel good and are good for me.

I want to remember that I am a child of God…that is fearfully and wonderfully made.  Somewhere along this journey, I forgot that.  I forgot to look at the beauty that God created in me…and have only been seeing the cracks and jagged, broken edges.

During this time, I have been asking God to empty me of me…

…and fill me with Him…

…That seems like a better option than filling myself full of Oreos…


Please pray with and for me during this time. Have you ever done a fast?  If so, how did it go? 


One Word


Several years ago, I read an article about choosing one word to keep with you for the entire year.   I have tried to find that article on the internet numerous times but can’t find it.  There are NUMEROUS websites and blogs that now discuss this ONE WORD philosophy.  There is actually a book that was written about it.

I don’t choose this word.  I usually start praying in November for God to show me the word for the following year.  Yes, in NOVEMBER…because I am stubborn!  I usually want to tell God what I think the word should be…over and over again.  The article stated that you will know when it is God’s word.  It may not make sense at the time but will by the end of the year.

This word would be something that you focus on, pray about, and live towards for that year.  As you focus on it, God will put you in situations in which He can teach you how this ONE WORD is important in your life…or ways in which He is using it to help you become more Christlike.  He wants to use this word to mold you.  Throughout the year, during my morning devotional time, He would point me to scripture surrounding this ONE WORD.  Seriously,by the end of the year, I GOT it!  I understood why God put that particular word in my path.


Two years ago, the word was FORGIVENESS.  I have made it no secret that, for many years, I struggled with unforgiveness.  When someone hurt me or I felt wronged by someone, I would hold a grudge…for years!  There are a few relationships in my life that have always be difficult.  Relationships that I could not let go of the hurt.  I could not forgive.  I had bundled up all of my anger, resentment, and unforgiveness into a tattered little package, stuck a black bow on it, and kept it on display as a reminder of my hurts.  By the end of that year, I had opened up that package and sorted through it.  I realized that I didn’t need any of the stuff inside of it.  God helped me to see that.  He helped me to get rid of it.  Does it mean that those difficult relationships are healed?  No, it just means that I no longer hold anger, resentment, and unforgiveness toward those people.  God holds none of those things towards me.  I have done many things in which He could choose not to forgive me…BUT…each and every time He forgives…and loves me!

releaseLast year’s word was RELEASE.  When He first gave me the word, I thought “Huh?”. I seriously could not understand how that particular word would apply to my life.  As always, God showed me!  I had to release a lot things this past year.  I had to release a country that I have called home for 43 years.  I had to release a life that is much different than the one that I now live.  I had to release relationships that I wanted so badly to work out.  Most importantly, God continued to show me how to release much of myself.  This word has actually given me some of the hardest lessons to learn about myself.  I hold onto so much…junk!  I hold onto other people’s words…and allow them to become truth.  I hold onto negative self-talk…and allow that to define me.  This particular word is still a work in progress for me.

For 2014, I *think* I have the word that God wants for me…but do not have complete clarity and conviction toward it.  I am not concerned because last year’s word didn’t come until the middle of January.  For now, I will pray and wait because I know that God knows.  I know that it is something that His heart has for mine…to continue to mold me into His image.  I think it’s pretty fabulous that He loves me that much!!!


Do you have ONE WORD for 2014?  What is it?

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Whatever floats your goat…

goatWe are about to get some goats up in here!  Lauren and I are seriously so excited that we are probably getting on Mo and Lexie’s nerves.  To that I say….”maa-maaaaaa”!

Seriously, though, this project is so exciting…and scary too!  Lauren and I have wanted goats for about 5 years.  The ones that we are getting are dairy goats.  We never realized just how much we needed to know to care for a dairy goat so that it produces a good, quality milk.  We are learning everyday with the help the wonderful woman behind this project…

arden and eddie

Meet Arden.  This is her with her late husband, Eddie, that was killed by a drunk driver in 2010.  When this happened, her world fell apart, and her goats are the thing that kept her going.  The rest of the story would be best told by her…

This is her Facebook post as she was sitting on the plane waiting to visit the DR for the first time.

arden on plane

“I have come a long way in these last 42 months. If you had told me 5 years ago where I would be now, I am sure I would have laughed out loud and told you you were crazy! All the credit goes to my Great and Powerful GOD, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sitting on a plane headed to the community of La Represa in the Dominican Republic. During the most difficult days endured because of the drunk driver that killed my Eddie in May of 2010, God kept laying on my heart that there was something more, something for me to do. To go to La Represa and help a widow. But how can I help a widow thousands of miles away? I don’t speak their language. I am not a theologian that can quote scripture. What I do know is goats. For a while now I have been pretty sure that these beautiful goats that Eddie got me for my birthday in 2006 were Gods divine providence. God knew that on my darkest days these goats would need me to get up and care for them. I’m not sure what Gods intentions are for dairy goats in La Represa. I do know that the people need better nutrition. I am hopeful that the goats can provide some form of revenue for the widow. What do I know is that God has laid this upon my heart. So here I am, in this airport. Here I go *obediently* following a path that God has laid before me. My prayer is that I can be an empty vessel (albeit cracked) that God can fill with His Glory and use me to show a widow thousands of miles away how much He cares.”

We had the privilege of staying with Arden during our recent visit to the states.  We got up early in the very cold mornings to learn about nutrition and milking of dairy goats.  As you can see with her FB post, she loves goats very much, and loves God even more!

Please read her recent blog post—>HERE

You will fall in love with her also…just as my family has!  Please pray for her, for this project, for our family to have the wisdom, knowledge, and ability to carry this project out in a way that will make her proud and will glorify God, and for our community to prosper from it!  us with arden