Love Does and Souper Sunday

I met Bob Goff!!!!

  He spoke at The Assembly in Broken Arrow this morning. 

The man is a great example of love in action. His whole life is about taking the love of Christ to a broken world and introducing them to the Savior who makes all things new. 

I’ve read Love Does a dozen times in the past couple of years. It’s one of the best books I have ever read–and that’s saying a lot. 

To end my awesome afternoon, I went to Souper Sunday, a benefit dinner to raise money for Total Source for Hearing Loss and Access (TSHA). 

  What a cool organization!

It’s a hub for the deaf community in Tulsa and I’m so happy to finally be connected again! 

This past week, I attended a deaf church and a coffee social. 

My heart is full…

Life is good because my Father God is good. 

Cultivating friendship

My friend Michelle and I set out to visit a deaf church tonight. 

Another friend, a fellow Rhema student, told me about this church a few weeks ago, but it was during the week of Winter Bible Seminar. 

We drove around for 30 minutes looking for the church and when we finally found it, no one was there!

After our wild goose chase, Michelle and I decided to get a pizza at Mazzio’s. 

It was the first time we’ve had a chance to really talk off the clock (we work together) and there was so much I didn’t know about her. 
One of my goals for 2016 is to make time for important relationships. 

How do you do that?


Go out to dinner, grab a coffee, go for a walk…

What you do doesn’t matter. Just spend time with people. 

Developing friendships–or any relationship for that matter–will not happen without time and intentionality. 

And here’s another key: don’t spend half the time on your phone! 

Pay attention. 

Nothing will shut down a good conversation like fiddling with your phone. 

The goal is not to be BFFs with everyone. But if you never hang out with others, close friendships will not happen. 

Assurance vs. Control

  I had an opportunity to interpret tonight! 

It was my first time at Victory Christian Church and my interpreter friend allowed me to help her out during a small group Bible study. 

Sign language is such a part of my life now. Meeting some deaf friends and getting involved in deaf ministry is an important aspect in my move to Tulsa. 

My first priority is being a student at Rhema, of course, but I can’t imagine not signing…

God is faithful, though, and He knows what He’s doing. 

Whenever you’re in a transition period, trust that God is working on your behalf and leading you to the right people and the right places. 

Sure, my involvement in deaf ministry looks nothing like it did back in Birmingham. 

And that’s okay because:

  • God knows my heart. 
  • God knows my gifts. 
  • God has a plan and a place for me. 

This is all the assurance I need.  

Interpreting tonight was fun because God opened the door. 

The biggest lesson I’ve learned since moving is that I like control way too much. 

Just call me a recovering control freak…

My 5th and final goal for 2016 is to stop seeking control over every detail. I don’t have to be a micro manager. 

Being in control is not my job –it’s God’s job. 

AIDB Christmas Chapel

Tonight was our last chapel of the school year. 

We had a big gathering with all the schools from the Alabama Institure for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB). 

The chapel was packed! 

I played a shepherd in the children’s reenactment of the nativity story. (My leopard print tunic made me the most fashionable shepherdess of them all.)

There was drama, dance, music, and a brief message was preached. 

Afterwards, we ate dinner together. The kids received goody bags full of Bible study material, candy, etc–the staff did too. 

Everyone enjoyed the time of worship and fellowship. 

I am happy to be a part of such a thriving deaf community that really pours into the lives of the children. 

Please pray for the chapel volunteers and staff at the school. 

They need guidance and wisdom for the upcoming year as more events like this are planned. 

Heart language matters

I saw the importance of communication today.

For many years, Mr. and Mrs. Lee have rented a storage unit whenever they move.

Mrs. Lee is deaf.

I remember the first time I met them, which was the first month I started working at Storage Depot (before I started learning sign language). My boss had to write back and forth with Mrs. Lee about pricing and unit sizes.

heart languageFast forward to now, 11 months into my learning sign language. I was able to interpret for Mrs. Lee and she came to life! She talked and talked! It was so cool to see the power of communication in action.

Knowing someone’s heart language is important, especially when you’re on the mission field.

Each of us was born with an innate desire to be known and understood. Language barriers are the biggest deterrents to connection.

I’ve received a TON of help from the deaf community because week after week I show up and try. Even when I completely mess up, my friends kindly and gently encourage me and teach me the right way. Who could guess that my bumbling efforts would be so well received? I certainly didn’t expect it!

For many of my deaf friends, though, their own parents never made an effort to learn sign language. One of my friend’s mom started learning sign once my friend was grown. As my friend shared the story with me, there were tears in her eyes.

“This is what I’ve always wanted.”

Heart language matters. If you want to make an impact learn a culture’s heart language.

And this is true of any culture–not just deaf culture.

So, for all of my friends who feel drawn to a certain country or culture, take this advice from someone who has seen the difference: Language is key.

Showing kindness

Today at church we talked about kindness. 

I was voice interpreting and did pretty good. (I’ve only done it a five or six times so it was stop and start.)

The critic inside me was screaming, though, that I didn’t do a good job. I tried not to listen but it was hard. 

Maybe I can’t do this…

But I persevered because my mentor is teaching me to not give up, to give myself grace. 

We talk a lot about extending grace and kindness to others. And we definitely should!

My problem is that I’m great at giving it to others and terrible at giving it to myself. 

The voice I was hearing was me–expecting to not mess up, which is impossible because I’m a beginner. 

Talk about unrealistic expectations. Geez…

If we want to be gracious, merciful, and kind to others we must first understand that grace, mercy, and kindness is for us too. 

As Christians, God tells us to show others the love He gave to us. 

We can’t show love–or any of God’s characteristics–to others if we haven’t received it ourselves. 

Let’s remember this week to be kind. 

Start with yourself and go from there. 

Facing old enemies

Perfectionism really is the enemy. 

Everything you’ve heard about perfectionism is true. 

You will never win and nothing will be enough when you’re a perfectionist. 

I am a recovering perfectionist. 

  And today I experienced a major relapse. 

Normally, as I learn sign language, making mistakes does not bother me. 

Today, though, I froze while voice interpreting and I did not recover well from the stumble either. 

I allowed my mistake to throw me off. A few tears were shed…

My old fiend, Perfection, mocked me and I listened. He’s close friends with Satan, so he’s really good at his job. 

Thankfully, my friend and mentor refused to let me stew over the mishap for too long. 

I’m glad she stopped me from hanging out in that ditch. 

If you find yourself in a ditch today, I want to help you get out too. Don’t allow perfectionism to steal your joy and happiness. 

Do your best and move on!

Keep trying!

And know that I–and all the other encouragers in your life–will not let you stay in the ditch. 

Get back on the road where you belong. 

Celebrating a wonderful beginning

Last fall, I started my journey of learning sign language. This September will mark my first full year as a student and future interpreter.
I never imagined this journey would be as fulfilling and jam packed with adventure as it has been.

When I started learning, I honestly had no idea what to expect. Taking a sign language class was me stepping out in faith. It’s something I had wanted to do for over 3 years and I decided that it was time to quit putting it off.

I fell in love almost instantly with the language and it’s people!

All along the way, I have committed myself to prayer, asking God for opportunities to learn, grow, and serve.

The answer to this prayer has come in the form of great friendships–including one friend who I consider my mentor–with individuals who are willing to teach an eager newbie.

The opportunities to serve are beyond my wildest dreams for only being a beginner! All I can say is God is faithful…

There’s a lot more I could talk about but I will stop for now. We will definitely talk about this subject more as the year progresses.

Today I just wanted to reminisce and give thanks to God for a great first year.

I dream of peach ice cream

Good news!

I got to take the kids home from camp today. They were pretty worn out and slept the entire way. That, to me, is a great sign that they had a lot of fun this past week. (I bet their camp counselors will sleep wonderfully tonight as well.)

The trip back home from Montgomery was a bit…tiring. Traffic on I-65 North was crazy. I ended up taking Highway 31 North home. Traffic was still pretty bad, but it was much better than the interstate.

On the bright side, our caravan made a pit stop in Clanton.

If you know anything about Alabama, Chilton County is a magical place in the summer.


We’re as sweet as a Clanton peach.

Peaches are in season!
And–my personal favorite–peach ice cream comes back!

It’s a fact: You can’t drive through Clanton in the summer without stopping by Durbin Farms for some ice cream.

A camping we will go! 

Today’s post is more of an update. I had the opportunity to pick up kids for Camp Shocco for the Deaf.

For many deaf children, it’s the first time they’ve heard the gospel. Also, it’s a camp that allows a deaf child’s hearing brothers and sisters–and other close relatives–to come as well.

This year’s camp attendance is great! Over 100 kids filled the chapel when I left this afternoon. Wow!

 Please be in prayer for camp this week. Pray for all the kids and staff. I’m believing that a lot of kids will be saved. I’m also believing that everyone will be safe and have lots of fun.

On a personal note, I’m believing to be off this Saturday so I can help take kids back home and hear about their week.

Birmingham Community Deaf Church, Deaf Christian Fellowship, and the Alabama Baptist Conference for the Deaf are paying for camp this week. 
They still need donations to pay for students’ tuition. The cost per camper is $250.

Donations of any amount are appreciated.

Feel free to send a check to one of the addresses listed on the letter or leave me a comment if you want to send a donation electronically.

Remember to pray for camp this week, okay?