Monday, April 29, 2013

Don't Let Others Dampen Your Fire

Do you know what you are here for?

I'm quite serious with that question AND I have a followup question for you.

If you don't know what you are here for, are you trying to figure it out?

There are many things that can deter us from living the life we have been called to live. Some of these things are the very people that make up our little circles. Similar to the Google circle, we have circles of friends, family and acquaintances that can have a strong influence on our lives. The question you need to ask yourself is whether they have a positive or negative influence.

Within these circles we will find 2 different types of people: Flame Fanners and Fire Extinguishers.

Flame Fanners: these are those you need to keep closest to you. These are the people you can count on in times of need, those who support your cause and passions and especially those who pray for you. Flame fanners do not simply agree with everything you say, they sport opinions of their own and offer up creativity to problem solving. This inner circle should be well kept. Make the time for these people in your life. Plan breakfast or coffee dates, nurture that relationship and be willing to be a listening ear for them as well. These are your base of support and will be there when it feels like the road is too long. They will give you an unexpected phone call or email "just because". Most importantly, they believe in your mission here (or they support your passion to find your mission) and stand behind you wherever your mission takes you.

Fire Extinguishers: These are the louder of the two people, unfortunately. They question everything you feel called to do and offer up no support towards your calling. It seems as though every chance they get, they point out your flaws. It can almost seem as though they spend their spare time making a list of flaws for the ones around them! These are the ones you dread seeing and quite frankly, the ones you need to see less of. I know, they may be in your family (HOPEFULLY not your immediate family!), but the truth is that they do not serve to help you. They may help grow you and mature you, but subjecting yourself to constant scrutinization is not the best way to grow in your calling. Begin by first realizing the value of those who fan the fires of your passion. Then, allocate time for those relationships. If your Fire Extinguishers are in your family, spend time with them, but don't allow their fiery words to dictate any of your feelings.

By knowing the difference between the types of people in your circle, you'll be better prepared to deal with both as they come around. Remember that some are simply here for a season. Sadly, those can often be our biggest supporters, while the extinguishers tend to hang around for a lifetime! Remember to be grateful for those who cheer you onward and pray for those who try to pull you down. They often do so simply to fill a space in their own life. They feel as though if they point out others shortcomings, people will be too busy to see theirs. They can be turned into a fan, just trust in God's timing and keep on moving forward.

Live life to the fullest today!

Monday, April 22, 2013

When the words won't come....

It's hot in here.

Seriously. I realize that some of you may still be experiencing snow storms (is Spring slightly confused this year?), but where I sit it is quite hot. I'm in front of my work station in my office. I'm seated on a tall bar stool in the furthest room South of the stairs. There's is something about these rooms...they are exposed to the sun and get really hot during the day. It makes me sweat as I try to write out some wisdom, but my son's snake seems to like the warmer temps creeping in this time of year.

It would be far more comfortable to go downstairs and plop the laptop in my lap while I slouch in the couch. That is, however, not conducive to proper posture OR a fruitful work environment for yours truly. I really just bought the laptop to be able to take it on mission trips and still communicate somewhat....I'm technologically challenged. :)

Today, I must endure the warmth to bring about a post that has been bothering the very fabric of my soul for quite sometime. While on my trip to Chisinau, Moldova I was blessed to meet many wonderful people. The culture there is different, but the youth are quite the same. They love to laugh and play games during church nights. They worry about the future while still trying to hold on to the growing pains of the past. They are headstrong, but impressionable. They are passionate and some are quite bold. They are the next leaders of a struggling nation.

Several of those whom I was able to spend time with have had vast experiences of neglect, severe trauma and even slavery. As I spent time with these beautiful young ladies, I was reminded of my own young lady. My daughter, Debbie, is right at 11 years old. Well, 11 and 1/2 if you ask her! She's the mirror image of her dad, but has inherited my outlook on life. She has the attention span of a young puppy (hello!!! totally me) and can get caught up in far too many things at once. I still have to remind her to look both ways when she crosses the street....

My husband and I strive to provide a safe environment for our children. I'm not just talking about the alarm in the house and working seat belts here, I'm referring to security in life. My husband and I made a pact to not yell (in front of or at the children...though nobody gets it right 100%) and we make sure to eat right and exercise so they know we are taking care of our earthly bodies so we stick around for a while. We are frugal with spending so that they learn about respecting money and not being ruled by it. And I share my experiences with them openly. I don't crack open the Bible and read aloud everyday, but I will share with them what I learned in quiet time or what God has been showing me in life. Safety and security are really all children want and need....

Unfortunately, there are those poor souls who do not have safety and security in life. There are some who are sold as sex slaves so mom can continue her pack-a-day habit. Others are forced into labor at a young age because dad is either too drunk to work or out of the picture entirely. Some of these girls have been lured into the sex trade by those who prey on low self-esteem and lack of self respect. Slavery is no longer a game for the brute and forceful. Modern day slavery hits where it hurts....our very sense of self.

A couple of the girls in the restoration home in Chisinau have babies of their own. The babies are girls too and it is overwhelming to watch the familial reactions between all of the girls. Every single girl there is a mother of sorts to these sweet souls. These 2 little toddlers are being brought up in a place of love and hope, but I have to wonder what will be there for them as they grow? Will the chains be broken? Will a culture be changed? Will Emma and Bianca have a brighter future in a dimly lit world? Will they be afforded the same safety and security that my daughter has?

My hope for Chisinau is that security will begin to become the norm. I pray that as the staff of BOL work to end slavery, doors will open for these girls and those at risk. It is my dream and calling to press forward with a Self Defense Training Center that will enable these girls, who have been victimized beyond our understanding, to stand and protect themselves and their loved ones. It is my full intent to equip them with everything they need to help prevent future trafficking attempts. These are real people. Real lives. Real bodies that have been beaten and violated, yet they cling to hope. They hope that there will be those who will come along beside them and lend a helping hand.

All it takes to start a fire is a small blaze. One seemingly small Self Defense center can begin to change the fabric of a nation. One girl who believes in her worth can begin to change the mindset of thousands. Change can happen, but the spark has to be started.

The question then lies, are you willing to light a small spark? Are you willing to stand for injustice? I stand because I hope for Emma and Bianca to have a life as good as my daughter. Are you willing to stand with me?


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Looking for the Right Answer

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
When the news of the Boston Marathon bombings hit, I wish I could say that I had the naive thought that it have been some sort of horrible jaded heart was wise to what had just happened.
We all have different reactions in times of crisis. Some immediately drop to their knees and pray for those afflicted, some simply go numb and wait for the shock to wear off. I become filled with anger. The Bible tells us there are 2 types of anger. One is a selfish anger, where we expect to be treated in certain ways and become angry from selfish reasons. The other is righteous anger, where our soul rips to shreds at the thought, site or sound on injustice. There are times when the shreds of my soul feel as though they may never find their way back...
I am a very passionate person. It makes me think I could be Italian, but that's not the point :) I am either going 120 MPH or at a stand still (more than most likely a stand off). I have had to learn to bite my tongue on many occasions and often fail to do so. When something needs to be done, I tend tomp into the "doing" before having thought out how I could even offer more time, money or skills. My schedule reflects my tendencies for sure: I always find myself over booked and overwhelmed. Perhaps this keeps my running hot too.
Injustice ignites an even brighter fire in my already blazing furnace. My skin will get red when I hear of parents selling their children for cigarettes and booze. I start tosweat when I see images of total devastation in a time that should be joyful. Yes, I root for the good guy in movies, but I root for him to utterly kill and destroy the bad guy. I often joke that if they made an assassination ministry I would be the first to sign up. My soul doesn't weep bitterly over injustice, it burns in all consuming flames. The problem is that if I do not watch my reactions, I can burn myself and those around me in pursuit of what is not rightfully mine.
God is a God of justice. He is not unaware of the epic sins and utter indignities that plague the Earth in these days. Heaven was not consumed with fear when the bombs went off and angels did not flee in terror of a terrorist. God stood. He saw. And for those who say He did nothing, watch the people who flooded the scene to help. He sent His best comforters to help those who had lost everything. He sent warriors to fight off the anxiety and worry that a foolish person thought could so easily be inflicted. Where do we turn when all goes dark? Turn your heads to the Light that can break through any darkness. Friends, the world is a wicked place. It always has been. The biggest part of the problem is that we turn to the Light ONLY when darkness has already taken full root upon our land...
Justice. We all deserve it right? There is none over another here and we all suffer from deeply ingrained thoughts, sins and actions that should lead us strait to an eternity separated from God. But we have been offered a gift: the blood of a Son, a sacrifice for our own wicked deeds. We accept this gift and more are opened to us. We have hope, a future, mercy, love, grace, forgiveness...and I believe we are also allotted understanding. I cannot explain the entirety of the foul thoughts that play in a persons mind when they seek to kill others...but I do know that it is not my job to fix it. I am not the justice giver. I must realize that as much as I long to make the appointment for others to have their judgement, I must wait in faith with the understanding that God is not simply doing nothing. Justice will fall. It will fall swiftly in His time, not mine.
I invite you to offer a prayer today. Father, I pray Your comfort over those who have lost so much. I pray that You will turn this nation to You. Lord, lead others to hope. May we all rest in the knowing that You are the same God who moves mountains, parts waters, wakes the dead and causes the blind to see! You are not a God of inaction and You are not pleased with the state of this world. Draw Your children closer to You today. Grant us boldness that we would rise up against the powers that try to hold us down. Awaken Your warriors Lord. May we set aside our concerns of comfort and move forward into the face of those who defy Your name. Our God is alive, He is angered, and He will judge righteously. In Jesus Name, Amen

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Silence is Deadly....

There is a question that I receive quite a bit when on speaking engagements or leading Bible studies:
"How do I know my calling?"

Why do I get asked this so much? Possibly because I am very open about my calling. If you get nothing else from this post, get this: You will only know your calling for sure if you are in God's Word daily. No excuses, no shortcuts.

So, what is a calling? Well, to me it is the undying passion for justice and equality that God has placed in my heart. I fight for the human rights of women and children. I shed light on extremely dark subjects and I seek the Lord's justice in these places of darkness. I have been called to serve in the field of human trafficking, exploitation and modern day slavery.

My calling does not come with a pretty title, nor does it garner a lot of sympathetic looks. Why? It's uncomfortable to say the least. When I begin to bring the subject up, walls go up quicker than your window at the end of the drive through line! We simply don't want to talk about it.... That, friends is a shame, and a sin.

We are called to be a light unto this world. If our salt loses it's saltiness, what on earth are we good for? My Bible says nothing (Matthew 5:13). What would that feel like to make it to Heaven only to be told by God Himself that you didn't fulfill your calling? I shudder to think, and that is why I am bold when I speak.

You see, there was a time in the United States when the senseless killing of unborn babies was abhorring. Christians became silent when talks of passing a bill to legalize abortion began to circulate. You see, the topic was off colored and not comfortable...and where did that get us? To date, there are 3562 abortions per DAY. Why? Because the topic was a little too uncomfortable for us...

You see, many Christians prefer to toe the line of uncomfortable topics sticking to things such as telling lies, stealing, your preferred workout regimen, smoking, drinking, pre-marital sex, unwed parents and the ever so occasional talk about gluttony if it applies. These are straight judgements handed down from the original Law. It's odd when I read and hear these all the time because I think of another group who judged based on the law....the same group that called for the death of Jesus because He made them uncomfortable.

Current day slavery is alive and well and is a multi-billion dollar business. Currently, over 27 million people worldwide are enslaved. Americans who know their history better believe that Abraham Lincoln would roll over in his grace. This far exceeds the number of slaves during his time in office. Of these 27 million, approximately 80% are women. What we must realize is that human trafficking and enslavement has changed. It is no longer something that only happens's in your back yard! 17,500 people are trafficked to the United States annually. The cashier at your local dollar store, the fore lorn looking girl sweeping the local bar....statistically these could be slaves.

The human trafficking industry makes over 32 BILLION dollars per year. It works as an underground industry and yields more profit than Google. Why is it underground? Because we are unwilling to get our hands dirty and dig it up.

In the country of Moldova, more than 100,000 people are victims of human trafficking. Young children are sold to their neighbors for beer and cigarettes and over 30,000 women have gone missing without a trace. In Ethiopia there exists a road of 1 mile that is lines with young women and girls as young at 8 years old who are forced to sell their bodies for as little as 50 cents! HIV, Aids, STDs, and many diseases run rampant in these areas. Why? Because human life has no value! It has no value to traffickers and if we simply turn a blind eye and keep quiet it has no value to us either. And that is something we will have to answer for...

With all of this information, what can one do? YOU can change the world! Be a voice in the dark places. I'm not asking you to pack up and move to another country (though if that is your calling, I suggest you not put it off ANY longer). Share the story of these who have no way of crying for help. Let the world know that we will NOT remain silent! I could care less if you run, fight or do yoga for fitness people! I am more interested in where your heart lies. Open your eyes to what is truly plaguing this nation, this culture and our world. Shed light into the darkest places and raise your voice for those who have no voice to raise.

We have all been called. The question is, are you willing to accept your call?


Monday, April 8, 2013

The Storms WILL Come.....

NOTE: This post has been taken from a previous online Bible Study I wrote, but felt called to share :)


Psalm 37

New Life Version (NLV)

A Safe Place for Those Who Trust in the Lord

37 Do not trouble yourself because of sinful men. Do not want to be like those who do wrong. 2 For they will soon dry up like the grass. Like the green plant they will soon die. 3 Trust in the Lord, and do good. So you will live in the land and will be fed. 4 Be happy in the Lord. And He will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Give your way over to the Lord. Trust in Him also. And He will do it. 6 He will make your being right and good show as the light, and your wise actions as the noon day.
7 Rest in the Lord and be willing to wait for Him. Do not trouble yourself when all goes well with the one who carries out his sinful plans. 8 Stop being angry. Turn away from fighting. Do not trouble yourself. It leads only to wrong-doing. 9 For those who do wrong will be cut off. But those who wait for the Lord will be given the earth. 10 A little while, and the sinful man will be no more. You will look for his place, and he will not be there. 11 But those who have no pride will be given the earth. And they will be happy and have much more than they need.
12 The sinful man plans against him who is right with God. And he grinds his teeth at him. 13 The Lord laughs at him because He sees his day is coming. 14 The sinful have taken up their sword and their bow, to bring down the poor and those in need, and to kill those whose ways are right. 15 Their sword will cut into their own heart, and their bows will be broken.
16 The few things that the man right with God has is better than the riches of many sinful men. 17 For the arms of the sinful will be broken. But the Lord holds up those who are right with Him. 18 The Lord knows the days of those who are without blame. And what is theirs will last forever. 19 They will not be ashamed in the time of trouble. And in days when there is no food they will have enough. 20 But the sinful will be lost forever. Those who hate the Lord will be like the beauty of the fields. They will be gone. Like smoke they will be gone. 21 The sinful ask for something, but do not return it. But those who are right with God are kind and give. 22 For those who are made happy by Him will be given the land. But those who are being punished by Him will be cut off.
23 The steps of a good man are led by the Lord. And He is happy in his way. 24 When he falls, he will not be thrown down, because the Lord holds his hand. 25 I have been young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the man who is right with God left alone, or his children begging for bread. 26 All day long he is kind and lets others use what he has. And his children make him happy.
27 Turn from sin, and do good, so you will live forever. 28 For the Lord loves what is fair and right. He does not leave the people alone who belong to Him. They are kept forever. But the children of the sinful will be cut off. 29 Those who are right with God will be given the land, and live on it forever. 30 The mouth of the man who is right with God speaks wisdom. And his tongue speaks what is fair and right. 31 The Law of his God is in his heart. His steps do not leave it. 32 The sinful lie in wait for the man who is right with God, and want to kill him. 33 The Lord will not leave him in his power. He will not let him be found guilty when he is judged. 34 Wait for the Lord. Keep His way. And He will give you a high place to receive the land. When the sinful are cut off, you will see it.
35 I have seen a very sinful man spreading himself like a green tree in its home land. 36 Then he passed away and was no more. I looked for him. But he could not be found. 37 Look at the man without blame. And watch the man who is right and good. For the man of peace will have much family to follow him. 38 But all the sinners will be destroyed. The family of the sinful will be cut off. 39 But the saving of those who are right with God is from the Lord. He is their strength in time of trouble. 40 The Lord helps them and takes them out of trouble. He takes them away from the sinful, and saves them, because they go to Him for a safe place.

When I say the words “Life can be hard” what is your reaction? Are you on a storm right now? Have you just been delivered from the storm? Can you see one on the horizon? Those are the observations we make in this life. It seems that the storms of life are always somewhere around us.


My family is on the verge of a storm right now friends, and it’s one of the biggest life hurricanes I have ever witnessed. I am approaching this storm a bit different than I have the storms of my past. I keep saying “I will not give in to worry, for worry is a foothold for Satan. Besides, do I have anything better to offer this situation other than my faith?”


I would be foolish to think that there are not major storms brewing within this Bible study and perhaps within your very own heart as you read these words. I will reiterate the solid fact that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. OK, so I’m about to get all super nerdy on you, so bear with me J. I am a Harry Potter fan, seriously. Anyways….in one of the movies, one of Harry’s school friends says to him “If I were you-know-who I’d want you to feel cut off from every else, because if it’s just you alone, you are not as much of a threat”. Ever since I first heard that line, it resonated with me how this really does reflect what Satan does to our minds. No worries, I won’t be doing a biblical study correlating to Harry Potter next!


So, if we are made to feel all alone we do become less active in our faith right? If you think that you are the only one in this fight or the only one going through this storm, it will render you ineffective in life. My friend, you were not created to be ineffective. You have been created as an intricate piece of God’s great plan. These storms of life are not meant to bring you to the ground, but falling to your knees and praying to the One who saves is a great place to be in any situation.


The question is, are we willing to wait on God? Read the passage above again. In a day and age of NOW, are we willing to accept God’s timing? With His timing comes His grace, and I think THAT is what we all need.


I employ you to pray for those going through this study with you. Even if you don’t know them personally, God knows. We all need to be lifted up from time to time. If you are walking on sunshine right now, then dance in God’s grace and glory! And if you find yourself beaten to your knees, know that you are not there alone for the Father will hold your head up high to fight the good fight.

In God's gracious love,

Friday, April 5, 2013

Being Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

There are times when this life seems hardly fair.

There are moments we hope will be passed by or forgotten.

We, as humans, seek to avoid pain and suffering. We don't enjoy uncomfortable things and often we can find ourselves in a rut of trying to make ourselves comfortable amidst uncomfortable situations. We avoid certain people, places and topics entirely. We don't heed the advice that we should and we try to ignore the signs that our life is not really in our hands at all. This can make us extremely self-centered and self-focused. Living in a closed shell of our own life is hardly living at all....

 Luke 6:30Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.

What if you have been called into the uncomfortable? What if your ministry isn't designed to give others that fluffy feeling? I have know MANY who have been called to ministry. There have been beautifully spoken ladies called to lead powerful Bible studies. I have been blessed to meet ladies who have been called to bring a lightness to other women's lives. Some are called to comfort the body of Christ, some are called to rock sweet babies while their weary parents get a rest, and some are called to bring God's Holy Word to the masses.

Me? Oh, I have been called :) I am called to love on those whose dignity and pride and have been stripped from them. I am called to bring awareness to the large monster that plagues every single continent: slavery. I am called to be bold in my message, to push through that which tries to silence the cry of those who lay naked in their shame and to love, yes love, those who are caught in the wicked web of sexual exploitation and slavery. My calling is not pretty, it is often not received well, and no, it is certainly NOT comfortable.

Think about the last time you attended a conference or even just a Sunday service at church. Was your heart expectant? Was it expectant for God to show matter what He had to say? Or was it expectant for a little Heavenly fairy dust to be sprinkled over your life? When we enter into God's presence, do we expect to be changed...or do we simply want to be fixed?

The honest thing is that we crave human comfort, not God's comfort. Look at your news feed and Pinterest pages. How many pictures of cute animals, pretty babies, desserts and home decor do you find? Now, how many pictures are you drawn to that depict a broken human soul? Do you have a board for that? Not likely so....

2 Corinthians 9:6-8Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.

In order to live a bountiful life, we must embrace the uncomfortable. We must be OK with the trials we face. Will it make them easier? No. But if we seek human comfort alone and try to avoid that which hurts, who do we turn to in times of need? When our comfort becomes paramount to doing the Lord's work, we have lost our way completely.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying your life is a bowl of cherries or that you don't have problems because you seem concerned with comfort. I am also not saying that your problems disappear if you turn your focus off of your own issues. What I can promise is that if our focus turns to God, embracing the uncomfortable things that happen in life, we are better equipped for what life brings. I have suffered many losses: my mother, grandparents, my child, dogs, cats, fish and even finances. God is always faithful to bring me back to where He needs me to be.

Friends, it's not about God blessing you each's about cultivating a heart that beats to the tune of gratefulness for ALL He has already done.

In Jesus' Love,

Monday, April 1, 2013

Weeding the Garden

Hello Friends!

During this long Easter weekend, I decided to tackle the task of weeding my front garden. Now, if you know me then you know that I have two black thumbs and can kill pretty much ANY plant. My husband is actually more of the gardener in this house :)

I put on my big girl pants, grabbed my kids and a large trash can, and  headed out front. Upon surveying the scene I realized something dreadful....this was an ugly sight. The grass had grown up into what once was the garden and 4 dead fruit bushes simply sat there, lifeless. Weeds were running rampant and out of control on both sides of the walk and in between the pavers. Now, let me remind you this was my FRONT garden. Not only is it what people see, but I should be looking at it every time I pull into the drive. The problem was that I had stopped looking at it sometime ago...

I joke that I would rather run a marathon than do yard or housework. It's a joke that is quite true though, and I'm not even a runner! There are some things in life that are quite necessary, no matter how much we abhor them. Weeding is my nemesis.

Here is the funny thing though. My children and I set out with a plan. We each worked in our own corner and strove to work inward toward each other. We even pulled the dead fruit bushes up and sprayed the tiniest of weeds that just couldn't be grabbed with our now grubby fingers. All of this work took a grand total of 1 hour. That's it. At the end of an hour we stepped back and surveyed our labor. It looked much cleaner and ready for a new beginning. Now, I have not yet begun on the beginning, but the part I hate is over for now :)

This experience, like so many others, made me think about my own Christian life. I pray for God to weed the garden of my life, but the process isn't pleasant. It is painful at times and takes work on my end as well as His. In order for Him to rid my life of those things that are in the way, I have to LOOK at my life, long and hard, in order to see how messy I have allowed it to get.

In my own personal life I have over committed to things that should have been passed on long ago. This causes the grass of the worldly commitments (though they themselves are not bad things) to grow into my garden, taking up space that should be allocated to growing ministry. I have to look at hobbies that have begun to take up too much of my time, creeping in like weeds to choke out the service that brings my Father, and in return me, true joy. I can also see the things in life that I simply do out of sheer, comfortable habit. These are the things that take my attention, energy, focus and passion away from where God expects me to put His will. My garden of life is quite messy, and it is right where others can see it...

So, what does one do with a messy garden? Well, first I ask God to give me eyes that I may see where things can be trimmed or pulled up altogether. Be careful what you ask for. There are some things that are good on their own, but my Father has better planned for me and I cannot grab it until I let go of something else. If my calendar is filled with "good" things, I might miss out on the great things God has planned in my life...simply because I got too busy to notice when my garden began getting over crowded.

Second, when God shows me what is taking up too much of my time, energy and passion...I have to devise a plan to let go. Yes, I said plan! I am terrible about letting go then running like a mad fool to try and grab it again. Perhaps I suffer from thinking I am the only one who can handle this task. You know, I am reminded of another who thought himself high enough to do God's job, or higher perhaps...his name is Lucifer and he was cast out of Heaven and into eternal damnation. I have to admit there are times when I am guilty of the same sins...

Thinking that we can handle things on our own is a sin. God made us for community and we are a body in Christ. The hand and foot must work together with the eye! Most times the hand is just slapping everybody else around and shooing them away because we think we can do it all! I am terrible at asking for help. By the way, by the time I do ask for help, I'm in deep. That is a sin of pride, no matter how "humble" I claim it to be. So the third part is to ask for help! My kids helped me that day and we got a big job done in 1 hour...because we all did our part.

So, what will change? Well, my priorities have changed and I am making the plans to weed the necessary things in life. Boot camps and classes are being passed on to other individuals whose time is now :). I am selective about clients and trying to rest in God's promise to provide for the work He has called me to do. AND...I am asking for help.

I cannot do this large task alone. I am but a foot (or eye, hand, mouth, etc) and need other parts of the Body to come along beside me and help. My current projects in this new garden God is tilling are a trip to Ethiopia this Summer. I will be traveling there to minister to and train the staff member of safe houses. I will also be taking a trip or two to the red light district. This is a mile long strip of road where women and girls are sold for sex for as little as 10 cents. Some of these girls are as young as 8 years old...3 years younger than my daughter. My son will be making this trip with me. What can you do? If the plight of Ethiopia and these girls pulls at your heart, you can go to HopeChest Ministries and find ways to give to their efforts. I always welcome donations to the trips I have been called to make. I am eternally grateful to those who allow God to use them in order to enable people like me to share the skill set we have received from Him to change the world. If you wish to donate directly to my trip, here are steps to making an anonymous donation:
  • Log on to
  • Click on the GIVE tab
  • Click on TRIP PAYMENT
  • Copy and paste trip code ET130702T in the reference section
  • Enter MICHELLE CARLSON in the notes
The site is very easy to navigate and donations are 100% tax deductible if you go through HopeChest to donate. THANK YOU for your willingness to serve :)

Now, I do have an ongoing project that is in need of some big funds :) I have teamed up with Hopechest and Beginning of Life to help raise $50,000 to build a small fitness center to add to their holistic approach to rehabilitation and restoration for victims of sex trafficking. This is a large undertaking BUT it will help the ministry in many ways. This fitness center will help the girls victimized to have a better understanding of their bodies and how God made us and intended us to care for our bodies. It will also open up new jobs that have never been available (I will be spending an ample amount of time training in different fitness modalities and specializations) and it will help ease the stress of the workers who tirelessly give to these young ladies. To be a part of a world change, all you have to do is click HERE.

It is easy to think that we are not big enough OR that somebody else will step up to the plate and do the work. If not you, who? If not now, when? There is a change that must happen and we can ALL take part in being that change. Allow a little discomfort to seep into your life. You will not be stagnant and passionless IF you seek out change! Live a little louder and desire to do what is different. Be the change, do the work, help each other.

Remember His mercy and blessings!