Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guest Post: Bella

With this being the last day in July and summer coming to a close, I thought it fitting to begin a series of guest posts on the LBD blog. These posts will be sporadic, but will hopefully give you a taste of God and His children and how we are all connected and the beautiful things that come of projects like this one. Please, enjoy.

I have been thinking these days of the simplest things we do as humans. Holding a hand. Speaking an encouraging word. Laying next to someone. Braiding a child's hair. Brewing tea for another. Sharing a story. Relishing. Enjoying. Volunteering. Donating. Loving. Being.
Sometimes, just being somewhere or with someone is enough.
It is simple, but it is enough.

I often wonder what life would be like if we were all obedient. If we listened and did what we are told to do, even though we might be scared or fearful or hesitant. So many times we listen to the lies of the world and the enemy instead, and we avoid hard things because their whispers are so loud and the hard things are so hard.
Sometimes hard things seem too hard.

A great man once said that comparison is the thief of joy. This is one of the best things I have learned this year.
This is not my blog. It belongs to my sister, my little sister. She had the gumption and faith to step out and live her life in a way that meant something more this year. She is beautiful. She is kind. She is giving and loving and sweet. She is on a redemption journey, and she is sharing it with people. I was never very good at sharing my life and faith and hope with people. I have always avoided that, because oftentimes I feel that my story doesn't make sense or it isn't pretty enough.
Everyone's story is different.
That doesn't mean it's not as good or beautiful or gorgeous. We all might not have the same handful of mustard seeds, or the same amount of bravery, but that doesn't mean we're less than.

In September, Tatiana is flying to Romania to work with children. She will braid their hair and hold their hands and laugh with them. Orphans are her heart, so she's going to be with them. She will give and give and give. Her journey is across an ocean and at least ninety days long. Her story is one of bravery.
In September I will move south in my state to a small town. I will spend my days in classrooms and hesitantly planting myself in a new church and sharing coffee and being a friend. My journey is one in which I will learn for other people, for little children in another place, but I won't get to them till later. My journey is two more years long. I will give and give and give, but in a different way. My story is different, but I like to think it's brave too.
I am going to be honest. I have had to assure myself of that. I have had to tell myself that this year. Because sometimes it is difficult to think about my future and her's while they're side by side and not to weigh their worth. And not to think, her's is just a little bit braver. 

This post is to encourage you all in your stories, because they all have meaning and I think you should know that. Your bravery doesn't have to be as much as Tatiana's. Your faith doesn't have to match mine. I can almost guarantee that your handful of mustard seeds are more than mine. My faith is small. But I can do great things too. I can move mountains too.
So whether your story says that you wear a little black dress for a year, or you give to orphans you may never meet, or you fly halfway across the world to serve, or you live friendships out that people hold so dearly, or you study for eight years to save lives for the next forty, or you spend a week at a summer camp, I want to assure you,

you are brave too.

Obedience to our carpenter and His gorgeous will for all of our lives is the best life you can live. It looks different, it feels different, and that's because it is different. No two stories are the same. And that's more than okay. That's beautiful. That is something wonderfully made and delicately fashioned.
Don't try to do spectacular things.
Do the simple things.

Please, just be.

You are enough already.

Please take some time to be here and donate to the orphans in Africa. The small things count.
And if you would like to follow Bella and her story, you can read more here

Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29

I spent a whole week + one weekend more with the girl in the little black dress this last month. She is doing wonderfully, making hundreds of friends, and working her summer away in the foggy state of Washington. It seems that there is a walkie talkie attached to her hip or hand in a proverbial manner. 
I lived my week in the kitchen while Tatiana spent most of her hours only a few feet away sanitizing the mile-high piles of dishes that the campers made. 
It was camp life, and it was beautiful.

If you think of Tatiana in the waning weeks of summer, write to her, pray for her, and donate to her cause. 

There are children everywhere. It is so easy to remember that when you are working at a camp and continually surrounded by them. But let's not forget the ones who we've never met, and might never. 
The little ones in Africa. 
Let's make a change.


Travel news

Hi everyone!

God has been good throughout these last few weeks. If there is one thing I have been learning at camp this summer it is that God wants us to care for the people around us, not just care about them. I have been thinking and praying a lot for my children in Jinja and I've been so thankful to those who have sent mail/comments/e-mails and so on my way. I've been meaning to write a post for all of you to tell you what's going on. Plans of travel are continuing to be put into place, but also checked to the curb. Many of you know I had been planning a visit to see my dears in December, but it doesn't look as if I will be in Africa at that time. While I am still headed to Romania for three months to work with a team of missionaries and the orphans there, I will be headed home to be with my family for Thanks Giving. Africa looks as if it will come early-mid next year. Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I work some things out with Redeemer House. I long to see each of my darlings and know that day will come soon.

And please donate to the children as well! Every little bit counts and is appreciated too!

Thank you for keeping up with the blog even when it lacks posts and a lot of love. Obviously, if you are reading this, you are no doubt a faithful friend and you should know I appreciate you.

Much love to you!

p.s.-pictures of the little black dress will be here soon.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

These days of July

You all deserve a million updates on how we are doing at the LBD Project. I am working on updating funds and getting back to messages. Please forgive my slow replies. You can blame the darling campers who hog 99% of my time these days. They are all adorable problems.
Thank you for the continued patience and love, and please know i have been blessed by you. There is not a message/comment that goes unnoticed. But I would ask, that even though I am away and cannot post everyday(or even every week), that you would continue to pray. Continue to give. Redeemer house and I would be ever do grateful.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 10

I am officially off to camp on Saturday to see the girl in the little black dress. As you can see from the photo, Tatiana is having a wonderful time. We're hard-pressed in the area of communication these days, so I'll be sure to stay up long into the nights with her collecting stories and news to bring back to all of you. Continue to keep her and the orphans in your prayers this summer, and remember, a little is always enough. Whether is be prayer or dollar bills or just love, we're ever so grateful.
P.S. I am positive that the little black dress is on underneath that tutu.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Enter July

Hi everyone!
Thank you so much for the prayers and support that I have been receiving. As you can probably tell, updates have been few and far in between. I apologize and ask for patience from you. We are all in a very busy part of life right now. But I have been so extremely thankful for the e-mails and words of love.
I am living in Washington and loving the children here at summer camp. It continues to make me even more excited to meet my small ones in Jinja in December. For now, they hang on my wall beside my bed. You will most likely find me running around in my magenta rain boots and my black dress playing games with nine year old. I am really in love with this season of life.
Please continue to pray for me, the children, and the project. And please consider donating. You will not regret it.

Love to you all!

If you would like to help The LBD Project:

You can make a donation by clicking the link.
You can send your checks to:
Redeemer House
PO BOX 1521 

Redmond, OR  97756