It’s Not About the Pink Cadillac.

It’s not about the pink cadillac, or the fancy prizes. I could care less about those things, I have all that I need material wise (and maybe too much, which I’m working on), but what I really need is financial provision. I’ve been a MaryKay consultant for about three weeks, have already put in an order for over $400, in which I received very little return, but I needed to get “active.” In the last three weeks, I’ve been daydreaming of what MaryKay could do for my new family. Let me first begin with why I love this product.

I remember going to my grandma’s house when I was a child. I would go through all of her jewelry, clothes and her sample makeup and we’d do makeovers on each other. Spending time at my grandma’s house was always an adventure. No Netflix meant watching those silly animated church videos, which I still sometimes long to watch. Not having a phone meant using my imagination, for instance driving a really fast car in a race, when in reality I was sitting on a rusty old lawn mower. My grandma’s house was the best. She had this huge case full of glass dolls, and if I was very careful, she would let me hold them and rearrange them in the glass case. I remember asking her if I could have them someday, she said yes and I put my name on the bottoms of all of them. At the time of her passing, I went back for my dolls, but my cousin who seemed to neglect that my name was on them took a permanent marker and wrote her name upon the bare porcelain. My heart was broken. Those were my dolls. I still remember how they looked when the light from the windows shined down upon them in their glass case. The dolls were awards my grandma received for doing Avon. And those little sample make-ups we used while dressing up were her Avon samples. I remember my grandma having girl friends over to talk about  Avon all the time, and I remember her passion for it. My grandmother’s passion for Avon  inspires me to be passionate about MaryKay. I want to instill in my grandchildren passion for something and to see that hard work really pays off.

For a long time, I thought MaryKay was silly, and that all the products are for old people. But as I have been able to familiarize with the product, I see that it’s just quality makeup with a beautiful mission; to make women feel empowered and beautiful. Yes, I agree, some consultants are more for the beautiful side of things, pushing someone to buy lots of makeup. But I don’t work that way. I don’t want to push people to buy makeup they clearly don’t want. But I am going to ask people to consider buying something. I have a lot of opinions about the products, I could tell you what I feel is best or not. And I can tell you right now that my face has never felt better.

My purpose with MaryKay is to continue to strive to become debt free. In a few short months I will begin to be paying for loans. In the next two months I will be moving in with my soon-to-be-husband and paying for the rest of our wedding as well as rent. We don’t have the money for everything. I work a part-time job at minimum wage. I daydream constantly about a day where we can say we’re not living month to month, that our debt is no longer a heavy burden. And maybe this whole MaryKay thing is a way to that goal.

It’s never going to be about the cars, prizes or fancy things. It’s will always be about supporting my family, and our dreams.

For the next two months, all profit will go directly to the wedding/honeymoon as well as our first two months rent. If you feel so obliged to buy something, you can contact me at adventureonmyheart@gmail.com

My dreams and goals:

Act: Theatre, movies, teach

Become debt free: $500/month for 10 years

Serve: Live a year in Thailand, and sponsor as many children as financially possible

Adopt: It’s been on my heart to adopt.

To Wait or Go.

My heart has been aching to return to Thailand. It constantly races when someone mentions it or I glance at my wall of smiling faces. I miss the children, I miss the culture, and I miss the freedom of travel. My life has been full since I’ve been home, but I always wish I was there. My heart yearns to be there, holding those smiling faces in my arms, hearing them laugh and giggle amongst themselves.

A year ago, I was thrilled to say I was going to Thailand, nervous and excited all at once. And since then all I’ve been thinking about is returning to the place, but this time with my beloved by my side. It’s something that I’ve been praying for for quite some time, and I feel like we are supposed to go. But here we are. We applied, we were accepted, but how do we know when it’s God will or our own desires getting in the way? There is a battle in my heart. Every time I decide to go, my heart gets anxious about money and the fact that we’d need to raise $5,400 together and we both don’t have that money. And every time I decide not to go, my heart sinks and I feel like I’m disobeying a call. Tears well up inside and I can’t even look at those faces in the pictures, because I feel like I’m giving up on them. How do we know when to wait? 

I’ve heard from people to go now, before we have too many commitments, because once we settle down it will be harder to go. And on the other end I’ve been told to wait. To wait for a time when we are both prepared and stable. And here I am stuck in the middle of being practical and being “a young adventurer”. So what do I do? I’ve sat here waiting for the opportunity to go, yet my heart is filled with fear of graduating college, not having a job, and not having enough money to pay my bills. I ask God every morning if He can give me a clear answer, and every day I go to sleep with a different decision. Today is no different, but today I want to be free of the battle within my heart and decide. But how do I know when to wait or go? 

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The Eff Cancer Movement.

I haven’t posted in a while, due to school, and honestly, the daily woes of life have gotten in the way. But today I am not writing about Thailand, I’m writing about a girl named Hayley. She is a woman from my school, that is fighting cancer. I have met a few brave souls throughout my 22 years of living, but Hayley definitely holds a place in my heart. She not only is going through aggressive treatment, but is also a senior in college, fighting to get a degree. Her beauty is in her love for Christ, and her love for people. I’m only an acquaintance, but she has impacted my life in many ways, from the first time I heard of her condition, to when she greeted me with a hug when I bought an EFF cancer t-shirt. She is all around an amazing individual, and she has used cancer to reach out to so many people. She has started a movement that I pray will catch like wild fire, and she is a loyal friend to those around her. I am truly blessed to even know Haley. 

If you would like to help support her in her treatment, you can buy t-shirts on her Etsy page: 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/effcancermovement

Like the Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/effcancermovement?ref=profile

And if you would like to vote for her on the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway, that would be awesome! 

http://www.drpeppertuition.com/profile/571770237

Keep her in your prayers my friends. 

You Make Beautiful Things.

I’d like to share a story about what God showed me through the children and the experiences He laid out for me in Thailand: 

I have struggled that last three years of my life with self-worth. I have lost all innocence, and haven’t been able to receive God’s grace in my life. The question that constantly knags at my heart is, “How do you see me God?” I went to Thailand in June and felt like I was home. The first morning I woke with a peace I’ve never felt. The sun rose through my window, casting its warm glow on my bed. I asked God, “How do you see me?” Nothing but silence, but I still  laid there and smiled enjoying the peace in my heart. The song You Make Beautiful Things by Gungor played every morning, it was Mike’s (our house dad) favorite song and he would play it every day when we arose from our beds after long, sweaty and restless nights rest. The bug bites itched uncontrollably, and we were constantly sweating. We would work during the day and then get washed up and hangout with the kids after school. It was generally the same routine everyday. It’s one of our last nights and we are having dinner at one of the girls homes. We decided to make friendship bracelets with the girls. As I’m braiding, my braid being the most complicated, I didn’t expect that any girls would want to do it. But, this little girl came up to me and asked me to teach her.Image This little six year old learned so quickly that the other girls saw that it was easier than it looked and they began to want to learn. As I was showing the other girls how to make the braid, Mike came up to me and asked me if I knew her story. I replied, “No”. He then broke my heart with her story. She had only been living there a month so far with her older sister. About two months previously, she was waiting to be picked up outside of her school in her village and a man came up and hit her unconscious, then raped her body, then left her on the side of the road. I looked at her, my heart aching and I said to myself, “wow, she is so beautiful”.  Despite what has happened to her, she was so beautiful, and a child of the light. She had a joy that captivated me. The it hit me, I saw her how God sees me. God was trying to tell me I was beautiful the whole time, but it wasn’t until I could feel the way God felt that I truly understood that I am beautiful. I have scars, I have nightmares, but I am still beautiful. 

Home.

This post is long over-due. I have been home for over a month now, and I am still processing.  Everyone asks how my trip was, and my only words seem to be, “amazing”, “mind blowing”, “awesome”. It’s hard trying to be home, here in America, because my heart is in Thailand, in so many different ways. God showed me a lot while I was there, and put some crazy stuff on my heart that I really didn’t expect. Every day since I’ve been home, I wake up and my heart longs to go back to the humid weather, to see the faces, to hear the laughter, and experience the culture. I have never felt like I was at home in such an unfamiliar place. And thats the crazy part about Thailand; it felt like home. There have always been two places I consider home, and home for me is the feeling that I get when I arrive at “home”. Its like I can breathe, I am comforted by the surrounding and there is peace in my heart. The two places are when I’m with my family; where ever they may be, and at church camp. But then I arrived in Thailand, and I woke up and felt like I was at home. So my heart is 7,000 miles away, in a place I know little about, but it’s tied up in a bunch of kids’ smiles and laughter. They are such beautiful children of the light. 

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I want to go home. God put some radical things on my heart while I was there. The organization captivated me and the kids tugged at my heart. I woke up one morning with this picture in my head. 

It was Christmas, and I was in Thailand, hanging out with the kids. But I wasn’t alone, my boyfriend, and both my parents were there with me, playing amongst the children and laughing. I began to ask God; “am I supposed to be here for Christmas?” and began to really pray about that. 

It’s kind of crazy, but I feel with my past experiences with God’s provision, anything is possible. My heart longs to go home, and what better time to go home, Christmas. God’s been planting some big things in my life, and I think Thailand is more than just a one-time missions trip. As I have had a lot of time to think, I ask myself; “well, why not?” So as people who have been praying and supporting me, it would be awesome if you could join me in praying about this.

Thank you again for all the support over the last three months, I appreciate all the prayer. =D I will keep you all updated on what is next. Maybe Adventure on My Heart: Christmas in Thailand. ;DImage

 

Thailand.

Its been a little over a week since we departed on this adventure. There have been many joys throughout this trip, but also a lot of hardships. I have been blessed with an amazing group, that I can now call family. It feels as though we have known each other for years. I am blessed to be surrounded by an encouraging community that is centered around God. 

The children here are beautiful. We sang in church yesterday, Your Beautiful by Phil Wickam. I realized as we were standing in front looking out at the faces of the children, how beautiful His creation truly is. All those faces, so unique and they carry with them different stories. Being here has made me think a lot about my own life. This first week I realized how much time I devoted to the internet. It is a blessing that we have internet where we are staying, but I realized it became too much of a distraction from bonding with my team, and being fully present. I have decided to fast from wifi until we depart. This is hard for me because of the people I won’t be able to communicate with. I am blessed though, with people who understand the desire to be present with the Lord and the work that He is doing here in Thailand. 

Best parts of the trip so far:

1. Seeing the kids. Ohmylanta I can’t describe the joy that comes when we get to play with them! Their smiles, hugs and laughter. They have so much energy and they are eager to know us. We have been hanging out with the girls a lot, but we were blessed with hanging with the boys the other day. We were able to go to a big soccer field and have a soccer, or should I say “futbol”, game. This trip is all about the kids and it is SO MUCH FUN! I don’t think I have had this much fun playing games in a while. It is definitely exhausting, but so worth it. 

2. The food:

I was pretty nervous about the food here, definitely. But so far, I haven’t gotten sick, and things taste pretty good! I love all the noodles!! When the kids ask me what my favorite food is, I say, “Mac and cheese”, they look at me with confused looks, and then the looks increase when I say its cheese on top of noodles. Its been fun sharing life with them. And its been awesome eating along side the kids, and talking about random things such as hot dog pizza. 

3. The culture:

We have been truly blessed with the opportunity to explore Thailand and really experience the culture. We went to a hill tribe the other day, one that two of our kids are from. It was awesome to see what life is like out in the country. Thats where my heart broke. Its mind blowing how they live. We learned about Buddhism, and went to a temple. That was hard because of how dark that place was for us, but it was really cool to just walk around and pray. Today we went and rode elephants and I was hugged by an elephant. Last night we experience the Sunday Night Market, and I bought all my loved ones gifts, which left me with no money. ha! The cultural experiences have really helped our team know where these kids are coming from, and it gives us a better understanding of how society works, and it gives us the opportunity to test our Thai on strangers. 

4. Seeing God Work:

There have just been some amazing ways I’ve seen God here. Yesterday was really hard for me, I fasted from food for the day, praying for my hip all day. My heart was really hurting yesterday, and God really spoke to me through a young girl at church. She grabbed my hand and I knelt down to her and she said, “You know, you’re really beautiful.” I replied, “thank you, you are beautiful too,” and she affirmed me again, “no, you’re really beautiful” and then she ran away. I see God everywhere here, yet my heart is still processing what is happening. I realized how much I depend on the comfort of people around me, and not on God. That is why I’m fasting, because my heart is broken, and I don’t want to be comforted by the people around me, I don’t want to go to my boyfriend for that comfort, I’m turning just to God. That means cutting connections with everyone from home. I need to be present here, while I’m still here. This place is full of God’s creation and it brings tears to my eyes, tears of joy for the work that is happening here. I just want to find my solitude in the Lord, without distractions. I’m here for six more days, and as we all know, God can do great things in a matter of minutes when we focus only on Him. I miss my family and friends, so much, and I cannot wait to share with them the joy that has been flowing over here. This place is beautiful. God makes beautiful things. 

Sa Wat Dee Kha

The Departure.

Tomorrow is the big day! It’s crazy to think that three months ago, I didn’t think this trip would ever happen, or that God would even have this plan for me. I can’t describe how blessed I feel with the support I have been given in this process. Last night, our group had a packing party, and it was the first time that we were all together, and it felt so good! I really feel like we are going to become a family over in Thailand! My boyfriend came with me to the packing party, and it hit me about halfway through closing prayer that this man who I am holding hands with, is going to be 7,277 miles away from me. I have to leave him tomorrow. But not only him, I am leaving everything I know. I woke up the other day and realized that for the first time in my life, I’m going to be a minority. I am not saying that is a bad thing at all, but for the first time I will be clearly white in a non-white culture. The fear that the evil one is trying to put in me is almost canceled out by the joy of this trip. But I do know that the enemy is still trying to work. I felt it really clearly yesterday. So I am just asking for prayer as I prepare for leaving tomorrow. I still haven’t packed, I haven’t checked off everything from my to-do list, etc. I just pray for peace, especially in the hearts of the loved ones I’m leaving here. And some of your may be thinking, “it’s only two weeks!” But, this is literally the first time I have ever had to leave what I know for anything. This is the first time my mother is not going to be able to call me every other day, the first time I won’t get to call my long distance boyfriend every evening, the first time I won’t understand what is going on. It’s my first time leaving everything I know. But ohmylanta am I excited! I can’t tell you how excited I am, I mean I’ve been up since four, doodling around with the stuff I’m packing. =D Today is going to be a fine day, and tomorrow is going to be the beginning of an adventure. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers over the next two weeks. And pray for the hearts of my team members, the hearts of the children over in Thailand and for the overall safety of traveling. I’m looking forward to sharing this adventure with you. =D