Saturday, May 23, 2015


In my last post I shared with you how God breaks my heart for the vulnerable.  Well, here's the real story of the hurt ISIS is bringing to women, children, and families in Iraq - but there's something we all can do about it.  

We can pray. 

And we can give.  

Here's the link to a firsthand account of how ISIS is murdering, trafficking, and torturing the families and young girls in Iraq, and at the end of the article, there is a link to an organization that is tangibly helping these families get back on their feet and survive. 

The following verses were pressed into my heart and mind last spring when I was struggling to share myself - my heart, my effort, my time- with my students once I came back from maternity leave.  God showed me then that we are called to give sacrificially out of the comforts He provides, to spread His love and His glory and His comfort. Please join me in loving these broken brothers and sisters in Iraq. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in  Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

2 Corinthians 8:1-5, 8-9

1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

2 Corinthians 9:8-12

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 10 He who supplies a seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When my heart hurts too much.

Our world is terribly, horribly, sadly, broken. When I see pictures of burned and dying tiny children after terror attacks, or hear of babies martyred by ISIS, or kids and teens and young people sold into sexual slavery, or the vulnerable in our world being hurt- beaten, abused, starved, ridiculed, tortured, neglected- by people who should be protecting and loving them- when I hear and see these things, I don't know how to deal with it. It breaks and hurts me so deeply in my tender, young, mother's heart, that I actually struggle to breathe through the pain.  And I'm just thinking about these others' hurt.  I've always been sensitive to others, but after having a baby of my own, every hurting baby, child, youth, and young adult is my own daughter.  And I sob over them.  

For awhile, when I first became overwhelmed with these emotions, I tried to hide from them.  I refused to visit Facebook or news sites when the stories of ISIS murdering children began to circulate. I avoided looking at or clicking on any links related to ISIS. I felt paralyzed by fear and pain and helplessness and hurt. I couldn't stand to read these sad, sad things, when I could do little to nothing to help them.

Then one day, my husband asks, "What would you really ask a genie for, if it was real, and you got one wish?" And I thought for maybe 0.00000001 milliseconds.  If you don't teach 5th grade math, that's a reeeeeeeaaaaaallllllly small fraction of one second.

"I'd ask it to place a magical charm of protection against all children, youth, or vulnerable, weak people, to protect them from physical, sexual, mental, psychological, or spiritual harm." 

Tyler stated that he thought he'd ask the genie not to ever give any more wishes, since if a genie truly existed in our world, it'd be altering reality with a power outside of God's, which would make it demonic in nature.  And that, friends, is not the tip of the iceberg on how analytical Mr. Tyler P. Entrekin can be. 

But it got me thinking, why don't I ask God more fervently to use His power on behalf of these little ones and hurting ones?

So now, I'm trying not to shy away from the stories of the hurting.  I'm trying to be brave, and allow myself to hear, see, and experience the pain of others.  If God gave me the gift of compassion, I should not hide from feeling.  And then, I'm praying. 

I'm praying for God to protect the children who are in abusive homes, the children who are sold into slavery, the children who have no home, the children who are hurt, beaten, starving, and unloved. The children who are struggling, and depressed, and downtrodden, and scared, and helpless. I'm praying for Him to right wrongs that I am nowhere physically near to, but that I itch to fix.  I'm begging Him to stay the hands of those who are so sick and so far gone into the black of sin that they can hurt children.  I'm pleading that He be the Protector, the Father, the Provider, the Safety, the Healing, the Love, the Comfort, for the young and frail ones in this world who need Him.  And I'm clinging to the promises that He hears my prayers, and that He listens when we ask in His name.  

Romans 12: 6, 8, 21
“6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them... the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.  21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

John 15:7
“7 If  you abide in me, and my words abide in you,  ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you”

Excerpt From: Crossway. “ESV Classic Reference Bible.” Crossway. iBooks. 
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Opening up

Some people feel comfortable sharing their feelings and thoughts with others- they fill up their blog with post after post full of musings and emotions. They write songs about their deepest spiritual encounters and struggles. Not me. As I put it to a friend recently, "I communicate like a dude." (No offense to men. I respect men. Even stereotypical ones.) I'm completely dense and clueless to body language and other context clues. I prefer to keep my feelings close to my chest. And when I do open up, I usually have a hard time finding the right words- stuttering and "ummmm..." -ing,  trying to identify what that feeling is.  I feel awkward with cheesy cutesy lovey dovey stuff, because it's so VERBAL, and I'm so NOT.

I wasn't always this dude-ish; I think somewhere in the past few years, I've let a natural shyness and awkwardness overwhelm me.  I use to overcome my shyness and awkwardness with my creativity.  As life's gotten busier, and friend circles smaller, I feel like I've let my timidity fall over me like a veil, and I've been hiding behind it.  The longer I hide, the harder it is to force my way out. 

So today, I'm peeking out. Lifting the curtain a little. Practicing using words to express myself.  Committing to get on my little blog more often and think out loud.  

For now, that's the biggest thought I want to share. I'm saving all the other good ideas I have on a sticky note, so the next few times I make myself open up blogger, I'll have stuff to talk about. ;) This time, I'll share a few links below of more "wordy" individuals who've inspired me lately.  Enjoy. 

This lady is a courageous fighter for a cause that's heavy on my heart.  We need more people paying attention to and helping fight the sex trade. 

I love how this woman found inspiration and comfort in Christ's servitude.  I've never thought of my role as a woman in that light before. 

This article really got to me. I've been much more conscious of keeping a calm demeanor around my one year old, and trying not to lose it when a situation is frustrating. Of course, today, I had to shriek unintelligibly and stomp my feet because I couldn't get the freaking power drill to work for me. Need. More. Arm. Strength. But at least I'm trying. And Corrie Beth gave me a hug after I screamed, which was really sweet and encouraging! :)