Why I’m Joining #192HoursOfPrayer

Originally posted March 23, 2014

Today I am honored to join a group of writers all over as we pray for a beautiful young girl following her heart and God’s call to Haiti.  I stumbled across a blog post linked to Lisa-Jo Baker’s 5-Minute Friday and without hesitation I asked if I could join in.

I love the chain reactions that happen when we follow God prompting us.

Kaitlyn, of It Just Takes One, a student, writer, and lover of Jesus announced that she will spend her spring break serving a village in Haiti.  Click here to read more about her journey.  Then Rebekah, from Three Bees in a Blue Bonnet answered God’s call to cover Kaitlyn in prayer over her journey and she posted about it on 5-Minute Friday.

I almost missed writing about the prompt on Friday because it was almost midnight before I realized it was even Friday.  I was rows and rows deep on the link-up.  I read the 10 blog posts before mine but felt compelled to scroll up a few rows where I landed (seemingly randomly but definitely not) on Rebekah’s post where she told about her call to create #192HoursOfPrayer.  It was beautiful, it was inspiring, and I wanted in.

So here I am, signing off of this post to spend the next hour in prayer for Kaitlyn.  A stranger, a fellow writer, a sister in Christ.  I will pray for her today through Thursday from 4-5pm.  I am honored to be a part of this movement, this sacred act of prayer.  If you are reading this post I hope you will pause and cover Kaitlyn in prayer.  I pray for her safety, for God’s clear direction, and mostly for hearts and lives to be changed because she followed God’s call.  I pray that he uses her obedience in a mighty way.

​Be sure to join us in prayer at #192HoursOfPrayer or follow Rebekah at Three Bees in a Blue Bonnet and ask to be added to the prayer schedule.

Check out Kaitlyn’s It Just Takes One blog and follow her journey!

And join us on 5-Minute Friday!  You never know who God will lead you to there!

Casey

Joy Returning

Originally posted March 21, 2014

Every Friday I link up with the ladies on Lisa-Jo Baker’s site for 5-minute Friday.  It is 11:30 pm and I almost missed it again.  This week I took part in my own 5-minute Tuesday because apparently that is how I roll these days.

Lisa-Jo gives a prompt, then we write without edits or re-dos for 5 minutes.  Today’s prompt is JOY.  Go.


For months, they have looked at me with their sad eyes asking, “Do you think maybe one day we will move back?”  Maddie May said to her Kristen just last week, “Maybe if daddy gets fired we can move back to North Carolina.  That would be good.  I would like that.”

Heart breaks again and again.

I thought things would be different once we bought our house, once we lived in a real home again with space, and a yard, and neighbors.

But still it is hard some days, many days.

When they say, “It’s a little better, but we still want to go home.”

Oh how my heart hurts and wonders when they will love this as home, when they will look out their doorway and see a place they would hurt to leave, when they will begin to put down their precious tender roots that I love so dearly and will do anything to protect.

It is still hard some days. But then the sun comes out, and they trot off to the woods.  Big brother with his pocket knife, not so big brother chasing behind, and little sister in her polkadot rain boots.   Off they go, only to return covered in mud, smiling ear to ear, beginning to love this place we now call home, beginning to peel a layer or two off the shield they have been carrying for 20 months.

Soaking wet, covered in mud, with 3 inches of rain in their boots.  JOY, Unspeakable joy.  It is returning.

If you have a blog you should link up and join us at 5-minute Friday!

The Beautiful Girls in the Crowd

Originally posted March 19, 2014

On Fridays I love to link up with 5 Minute Friday on Lisa-Jo Baker’s page.  Lisa-Jo gives a prompt and we all write for 5 minutes without editing, or correcting, or over thinking it.  We just le the words flow to the page.  You should join us.Last Friday, I missed the prompt.  Ironic that the prompt was CROWD as I was surrounded by people.

I sit in a crowded church.  It is a beautiful holy space with ornate carved wood, gorgeous stained glass and an echoing silence that fills the space.  Glances around the room reveal beautiful faces stained with tears, eyes red from crying and bodies tense with anticipation at saying goodbye to the one they love.

You can feel the air stand still as every person in the room holds their breath as 3 gorgeous blonde girls, with their mother’s smiles and contagious personality enter the crowd. It is like they are absorbed into the room it is so filled with love and pain for them.

It is a crowd of people gathered for one reason.  Love.  Crowds can be loud, or rowdy, or dangerous, or uncomfortable.  This crowd is love.  They gather to say goodbye to a friend but they also gather to try, in any way possible to take just an ounce of pain away from those beautiful, hurting girls.

Days later the crowd will be gone, but the hurt will still hang heavily around the necks of the beautiful girls.  The crowd will go home, but their love will remain.  They will pray, they will cry, they will still hurt for the beautiful girls.  Life will go back to normal for much of the crowd, but the beautiful girls will remain in their hearts.

Crowds can be a place to be lost, a place to be anonymous, a place to be scared.  Or they can be a place to feel kindness, receive healing, and accept love.  When the crowd is gone, and life returns to its new normal, the beautiful girls can soak in the love left behind, to rest in the prayers being poured out over them as they learn their new lives.

This crowd was love, because what else could it have been. 

Casey

Write – Five Minute Friday

Originally posted on February 6, 2014

Inspired by Lisa-Jo Baker’s 5 Minute Friday prompt “WRITE”.

5 minutes, just write.  No over correcting or proofing, just write.

Sometime last year, in the chaos of a huge move, in the tininess of our apartment, in the sadness in my heart, I thought I heard God.  It made no sense at first because I felt like he was telling me that I need to tell my story.

I argued with God, because that is what I do.

I argued that I could not tell the story because it does not feel complete.  He took my life from a mess to less of a mess but I still have so far to go.

Then it hit me.  The story cannot be complete until I begin to tell it.  There are still chapters He is writing that I have not yet exprienced that involve the people he has waiting to be placed in my path.

So I started writing.  I am not a writer.  But I love to write.

And suddenly on the most chaotic days, when kids are messy, laundry is in a pile on my kitchen table, and I feel like I am a mess, I realize that when I stop to write, whether about nothing or about everything I feel like I am me.  I am where I am supposed to be.

A Hero

Originally posted on January 31, 2014

For a kid, a hero usually wears a cape.  He or she saves people, thwarts evil, and smiles at the acolades and applause.

For me, a hero may not wear a cape, but she definitely saves people.  She saves them while wearing an apron or heels or yoga pants, or a stained t-shirt she has had on for 3 days.  She thwarts evil by being brave.  She hears the voice of doubt and accusation in her ear but she is brave anyways.  She tries hard things, she speaks out, she stands up, she moves.

My kind of hero rarely receives acolades from anyone other than those in her innermost circle who see the work she is doing to change the world.  She may never hear applause.  But she smiles because she knows each day is a gift to be lived with meaning and purpose.  So after the hard, and the dirty and the messy and the I’m not sure I can do this any longer, she pauses. She listens for that still small voice of God that says you are enough, you are brave, and you matter.

And she smiles.

She smiles because she knows that her very small steps of faith might just be enough to encourage someone else.  She knows that she is not really doing anything more than allowing God to work through her.  She smiles because she knows that Jeremiah 29:11 is true. She is a hero because it is usually easier to ignore the call, the direction, the change.  But she hears, and she obeys, and she changes lives.  She saves people, she thwarts evil.  And at the end of the day she smiles.

I’m excited to join Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday’s blog prompt.  I hope you will read about it here and join in!