Monday, January 11, 2010

Coupon Class and My New Obsession

Don't forget...

The coupon class is coming to Cypress (Houston) this Friday night (January 15).

We'd love to have you!

Kirby and I will teach you how to save lots of money on your groceries and toiletries. We'll send you home with recipes, and hopefully you'll have a lot of fun too.

Go here to read more about the class and find out how to sign up.


This girl.

Oh this girl.

Her name is Katie.

She's the white one in the picture.

It might be neurotic, but it's true.

I love her.

I've never met her.

I pray for her.

I think about her.

Yep. Super weird.

Click on the picture. It will enlarge. So will your heart.

I believe movies will be made about Katie one day, and we'll read books about her life.

Her story is that inspiring.

You can read about her young life on her blog.

This excerpt will get you started. Copied straight from Katie's blog: It's long. Oh get over it. This will change your life today!

It is my 16th Birthday and I am eating sushi at my favorite restaurant with my parents when I tell them that I would like to explore the possibility of taking a year in between high school and college to do mission work. This is unheard of in my family and they say they are not sure and will think about it. I am nervous, but somehow I know it is right. He changes their hearts.

I have just turned 18 and find an orphanage online. I beg my parents to let me visit over break, just three weeks. A month later I am on a plane. I am so excited. I am so scared of being, but I know He is going with me. I fall in love.

I graduate high school having made the commitment to teach Kindergarten for a year at a school in The Middle of Nowhere, Uganda. In August I get on the plane. I’m apprehensive and I cry most of the way because I miss my Mommy and my boyfriend. I am eager, but so uncertain. I trust Him. I teach 138 children how to speak English and to love Jesus.

It is October and I am just not sure I can do it anymore. I live in the smallest room I have ever seen in the back of a pastor’s house. I am more uncomfortable than I had bargained for. No one understands, not people here, not people at home. I am tired. But I am prideful and I am not going to quit. I don’t like this. But I know He has a plan. I learn, I grow, He is there.

It is December and God has spoken very clearly about opening a ministry that sponsors 40 of the orphaned children in the village where I am working. This involves moving into a different house, ALONE. It is big and I cannot imagine how God will fill it up. I am lonely and I am anxious. But I am still trusting. He fills the house, and we now have 400 children sponsored.

It is January and I am looking at a little girl, crushed under a brick wall with no one to care for her or her younger siblings. I offer to take the three home with me until we find them a better placement. I am not really sure what to do with them, but I know they are God’s children. They stay.

It is three days later and the littlest looks at me and calls me mommy. My heart might break in two. Something clicks. I am even more scared than I was the day I stepped on that plane, but I KNOW. Today I have 13.

I have to deliver a baby, give a boy stitches, pull a tooth, give and injection. I am petrified. But no one will do it if I do not. He is present, He holds my hand, they are all fine.

It is August and I must get on a plane back to America to go to college, as I have promised my father. I do not remember how to be a teenager or what it is to be normal Brentwood, Tennessee. I will have to leave my babies. I will have to make new friends. I am sad and I am terrified. He wraps His arms around me. He puts just the right people in just the right places, and they help me and they make me feel at home.

First semester is over and He speaks clearly to me that I cannot serve two masters. “Go HOME,” He says, “and stay.” I am uncertain, but I want to be obedient. He squeezes tighter. I am thankful.

I have to look at my loving parents who have given me everything and tell them that I will not go to college right now, because I feel God wants me to be in Uganda. I know how disappointed and how angry they will be. I am more scared than I was when I got on the plane and more scared than I was when I took my first children. But I know that this IS the Plan. They love me anyway.

It is February and my daughter’s biological father comes to take her away. My heart breaks in half, and I am not sure I will ever be able to get out of my bed again, let alone foster another child. I am more than devastated, but I want what is best for her, what He wants for her. She comes back and her biological father learns about Jesus.

It is March and a lame little girl is brought to my gate. She is undoubtedly mine, but I am still anxious. What if I can’t do it? I don’t know what to do with a special needs child, especially as my 13th child. I am criticized and ridiculed. I wonder. I trust and praise God for her sweet little life. She starts to walk.

I find myself in a village full of starving people that for some reason seem to want to kill me. God says to serve them anyway. I am not sure how it is going to work, or if it is safe. I can’t figure it out, but I know He can. 1,200 Karamajongs, the poorest of Uganda’s poor, are now served hot meals daily.

We keep taking in more children until there are 400 in our program. There is no way we will raise enough funds, but by now I have stopped worrying. He has always provided. Blessings rain from the sky, and all 400 children go to school.

I am 20 years old and have 13 children and 400 more who all depend on me for their care. Who are all learning to love Jesus and be responsible adults and looking up to me. The reality of it all can be a bit overwhelming at times. However, it is always pure joy. There is a common misconception that I am courageous. I will be the first to tell you that this is not actually true. Most of the time, I am not brave. I just believe in a God who will use me even though I am not. Most mornings, before I even get out of bed I am overwhelmed with His goodness, with His plan for my life; I stand in awe of the fact that He could entrust me with so much. Most days, I don’t have much of a plan. I don’t always know where this is going. I can’t see the end of the road, but here is the great part: Courage is not about knowing the path. It is about taking the first step. It is about Peter, getting out of the boat. I do not know my five year plan; even tomorrow will probably not go as I have planned. I am thrilled and I am terrified, in a good way. So some call it courage, some call it foolish, I call it Faith. I choose to get out of the boat. To take the next step. Sometimes I walk straight into His arms. More often, I get scared and look down and stumble. Sometimes I almost completely drown. And through it all, He never lets go of my hand.

There's a lot of junk on the internet.

I can waste a lot of time online (even at this blog some times).

When I read Katie's blog I get up, look at my life and think "There is more than this. Bigger things. Deeper ways to depend on the Lord. Deeper ways to know Him."

Katie's life makes me hungry to find those ways.

Today I deleted a ton of stuff off my reader.

If I'm going to be on this here internet, I want to be inspired. I want to know how to pray. I want to be challenged and convicted. The decorating/crafty blogs got the boot.

For me personally that junk seems sillier and sillier the more I read about things going on around the world.

The more I read about Katie's story I feel ashamed about the things that fill up my day when I've gotten a glimpse into her days.

Enjoy Katie!

My friend Connie introduced me to her. Now I'm introducing you to Katie. That's what friends do.

Pray for Katie.

I want to sell things and send her the money.

Let the pictures of those children sit in your soul awhile.

I'm asking God for faith like that of this young girl.

I also whisper to Aaron, just about every day....

"Let's move to Uganda and help Katie."

If I ever go missing, you'll know where to find me.


Hi. My name is Alanna. said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing. This is a beautiful story - so inspiring and moving and critical to consider. A life of purpose so clearly defined by God.

Kristin said...

I'm so feeling you on this right now. During Christmas, every commercial on TV about buying just the right gift made me feel so ashamed of the money we've wasted over the years. I felt judgemental at first, then I just felt guilty. I, too, have been so inspired by Katie's story. What a disciple!
We are adopting soon; we have all the paperwork done for a domestic adoption, now we wait. I have read over your blog and have enjoyed "meeting" you and your family. I shall not lurk any longer! Thanks for sharing your inspiring thoughts! Kristin

Stephanee&Zach said...

Oh my goodness! I read your blog often but am bad at comments but wow! I love Katie too and am blown away by her story. I too want to pack it up and head her way. Glad that so many are people are being moved to support and pray for her and her precious children.

Brock & Megs Birkenfeld said...

Thanks for introducing us to Katie!!

My old roommate is in Kenya right now for a year. Her blog is She has a picture a post of just everyday life and I absolutely love it.. that it's so real. Anyways, just thought maybe you would like to mosey on over to her blog sometime.

Love you!

emily jane said...

so um, two hours later i'm forcing myself to stop reading her blog so i can get dressed for work.
i too love this girl now, i feel proud and excited for her... i want to meet her, i want to see her.
i'll go to uganda with you!
i mean wow.

Molly said...

Whoa. That's about all I can say. Wow. So true though, all the things that she said about courage. If we could all learn to trust Him more and worry less about where we are with anything. Why haven't we learned yet that our walk with Him has very little to do with us? I think a lot of us have it wrong when we interpret "giving our lives to Jesus"...Katie's got it! Thanks for introducing her to me!

LD said...

Wow I officially want to ditch Dallas and move to Uganda. Thanks a lot, Heather. There goes my cush dermatology job.

Hendrick Family said...

Ooh! Yay! A doctor. I'm composing my Uganda dream team in my head.


LD said...

Ok I actually emailed. Like I for real jumped on the crazy train and emailed and said "do you need help? do you need a medical person?" I've been looking for a new job anyway.

Hendrick Family said...

Lauren! I'm so excited. You better keep me posted. I love that you're crazy!!


Megan Fletcher said...

I really needed that perspective this morning. Thanks for being such a good friend and introducing us.

I'm completely with you on the wasting time on here thing. WAY TOO MUCH waste!

And, what am I blogging about anyway? Do I want to add to the waste or use it as a tool God's given me? Good things to ponder.