Start NOW.

"Start right now.  
Have a burden, a desire to reach souls. 
...Be witnessing to people.  Be out there.  
Be involved in whatever ministry you can.
Try to see souls saved now...
Too often we see people who are called to a certain country, and they say "When I get to that country, I will start being a missionary."
If the Lord has called you, it's time to start right away."
- Brent George, Missionary to Romania.  
http://www.missionarytalks.com

It's Going to be Ok

It will, it really will. 
I still don't understand.  I still ache to hold the sweet Ugandan babies at Amani.  
I still don't get it, but it's ok somehow...
I kept thinking of the quote that says,
"When God gives you a 'no', give Him and 'thank you'.  He was
 protecting you from less than His best." 
Thinking about that yesterday made me want to scream.  It was the absolute last thing I wanted to hear.  Reading Bible verse I usually love, hurt.  To read how God has picked us to be His people, called by His name to proclaim the gospel, only made me think of how I had claimed those promises for the Uganda trip - and all that was left of that was my broken heart.  

That was yesterday.

Today I'm ready to look up again, to decide that this isn't going to break me.
The old cliche about life being 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it?  I'm beginning to realize there's some truth in that.
I want God to use this - I don't want me to hinder the Lord working this out for His glory.  
What my mom told my sobbing self yesterday, 
just has to be true.
"God must be doing something really big here.  If He wasn't, it wouldn't be hurting this badly."
Please, Lord, do something big...turn this hurt into something that can be used for you...
I don't understand...but thank you that you do.  

When I Don't Understand

Today brought some hard, hard news for me.
It's honestly hard to believe that so much could happen in a day.
I thought everything was settled... I thought I'd be boarding a plane to Uganda in 120 days... I thought that was God's will... I thought I was sure.

I just don't understand.  

Have I accepted it?  Not really.  Even now I'm trying to work something out for Uganda, refusing to let go of this dream...

Learning that I wouldn't be going to Uganda this summer felt like part of me was dying.  
Just like a death in a family, everything reminded me of my loss.
Christmas songs playing on the radio?
They remind me of baby Emmanuel I won't be meeting anytime soon.
Baby blankets in the little's closet?  
They remind me of the suitcases full of supplies that I won't be taking to Uganda.
The picture of two sweet Ugandan babies I posted on Instagram not 24 hours ago?
It reminds me of the reality that was alive then and is postponed now.  
Walking down the craft isle in Walmart?
It reminded me that I won't be needing to make a countdown to Uganda after all.  
Reading through my Bible?
Reminds me that even though I don't understand, God is in control.

Is it ok?
No, it hurts.
Is it God's will?
If it is, He'll give me the grace to accept it.

But right now, I'm so thankful for those who know me best reminding me of God's truth...
This comment from Gandy gives me so much grace to believe... Believe that God has a plan in this.
She wrote,
..."I know that God has a plan for you and only time will tell what His plan for you is... Right now you must trust His timing and accept that you must get on with your life as you grow into the woman He has in mind....His plans will become clearer as you grow and learn..."  
 Thank God for Gandy... and for Mom who knows that it's like to have formally open doors closed to you.  She told me, "Brittany, you know that when it hurts this badly, God is doing something really big behind the scenes..."
 I don't get it.  This hurts.  And all the same, I know deep down in my heart that God does have something big... right now trusting is incredibly hard, but I know that my Father loves me... and right now that's enough.   

Burdened

 Christmas break is here.   For the first time in forever I'm sitting here with my family, watching a movie without stress, homework, due dates, and tests looming over my head.  
I can lay on my bed until the sun has begun to peek over the trees, and come downstairs to sunlight flooding the house.  I can hear the happy noises of little people playing in a world only they know - free from the turmoil normal school mornings bring.  
And in this perfect little world of mine, 
my heart is breaking.
I came home from school yesterday weighed down with burdens I had no idea how to express.
The needs of many raged around me, and my heart was so heavy over them.   
Hearts had been wounded so deeply that they had become calloused and cold, words were spoken from of bitter, hurting hearts to those who never should have received them.  Financial needs raged and the light had dimmed from far too many eyes.  Insecurity ran rampant - and my heart hurts to watch it.  

Opening up the book Kisses from Katie, my eyes filled with tears mere paragraphs into the forward of the book.  The FORWARD, people.  I almost never cry, and yet there I sat, eyes filling fast as I realized that I hadn't even started the actual book.  
Every time this hits me - and it happens a lot these days - my shatters into a million pieces over those who don't have the hope that holds me up every day - the hope of the Lord.

At 9:37 this morning, I told Mom how heavy my heart was.
Like she always does, she gave me the counsel I needed - life advice I've watched her live by.
She's great like that.  

These needs are Gods... He knows every single one of them, and He knows my heart.  He knows what He can and can't trust me with.  Right now, it's my job to pray over these needs and watch for the doors God opens for me to help -  
not about me jumping in and saving the world - thought I was capable of that once, but I'm not so sure now - but listening to my best friend and following where He leads.  

And even now, doors have been opened.  
And it's time...
Time to walk through.  

What Would it mean to Say Yes?

What if I was to say yes to this?
To say yes every time God put it on my heart to do something uncomfortable?
I say I'm willing to do anything, but when the time comes, what do I actually do?
To whom do I actually listen and obey?

Today I said yes.  
Yesterday I said yes. 
God's given me the grace to say yes many times over the past year, 
but I sure have let out my share of no's.
And now, all I can do is pray for the grace to let my answer always be yes to God in the future. 

I want to do hard things for God.
I want more than anything else in the world to be used by Him.
I want to see God move, and I want to watch Him transform darkness into light...
It all starts now, I know that.
I do know that...
and I want my answer to be yes.  

If God can trust me to say yes when He provides smaller opportunities,
He can know that I'll be ready for the bigger ones.  

I'm going to say yes.
With God's grace, my answer to Him will always be yes,
and I'll watch Him change the world...
Through one yes at a time.  

A Glimpse of Nicaragua - the Trip that Shattered my Life

You guys, my days are so full in this season of life.
But right now, I feel like my heart is even fuller.

Life isn't a piece of cake these days, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I want to catch all of you up on Nicaragua, but in this season of life,
the days run short and my thoughts run long.

But Nicaragua did change my life.
Completely and entirely.
My heart was shattered there, and I flew back to America feeling like my life was laying in a thousand pieces around me.  
Those days were not easy.
But they CHANGED MY LIFE in a way nothing else has ever before.  
Every aspect of life is different now, and I'm almost certain that's just how God planned it to be.  
I'll get into all the in's and out's of the trip someday, but for now,
watch this video.
Please.
This video chronicles the highlights of the trip that changed me forever.

A Taste of Africa


These precious girls and the rest of the African Children's Choir were incredible!  
It was such a blessing to have them come to Reimage Church to sing and give us a taste of the beauty Uganda. 
My heart is in Africa these days.
Plans are in the works, dreams are becoming realities, and best of all, God is working.

And the joy of hosting these sweet girls and "Auntie Dorthy" was icing on the cake.
I thank God for their resiliency and grace after a crazy morning like the one we had...
But just like my new friend, Ms. Tina, said, "No matter what happens, these kids will bounce back."
So true.  I witnessed it.
Their joy was contagious, their smiles were countless, and their heart for the Lord is to be envied.
At 7-9 years old, they have a boldness for and trust in God that far exceeds that of many adults. 
These girls are a joy, and they are changing the world... one song at a time. 

"When I was in my mother's womb, you knew me.  Before I was born, you set me apart." 
- Jeremiah 1:5 

  

That Moment...


The second my eyes rest on this picture, I'm back in that moment.
I can still feel that sweet little girl in my arms.  
I can still see her sweet little face, and I will forever treasure the moment when her sweet brown eyes met and held my own.  
Even through just glimpsing this photograph, I am overwhelmed with an indescribable feeling of love for that baby girl.  For her, her mother, her village, her country, and the rest of the world. 
To have the privilege of sharing my Lord with the nations of the world is my constant prayer and undying dream.
To change the world for Jesus, one baby, family, or village at a time...  Now that's the ultimate dream job.   #WhereToNextLord?

When Brokenness Began - Nicaragua 2015

Tomorrow marks one week from the day I stepped back into my home country,
and out of the country where I saw, felt, and leaned on God like never before.
 
So much to process, still so much to work through.
Still so much rawness.
Still so much joy from the people there.
 
People ask if we had "a wonderful trip". 
Yes.  Yes, we definitely did.
It was completely life changing, absolutely incredible, and honestly very hard.
I was stretched and pushed and molded by God.
I grew like never before.
 
We arrived in Raleigh for training Monday evening on July 20th, day that was very much anticipated by yours truly.
 
Our mission began with a worship service, and as I stood there, a huge smile broke over my face.
What joy! 
This is where I belong! 
Worshipping my Creator with youth who have the same drive for Christ that He's given me.
Working with teens on a mission to bring Christ to the nations.
This is where I belong.
I knew that God was going to do something great.
I just didn't know how hard it was going to be to get to that place where he could work in me.
 
After a couple hours, the mission leaders began casting parts in the drama.
I was so thrilled with the role I was chosen for.
I wouldn't have rather had any other part, and I was incredibly happy. 
But when drama training began, I flunked...completely. 
That night I flunked,
the next morning.  The next afternoon, and evening, and morning after that.
 
What on earth was going on with me??
I got acting.
I've been involved with it for who knows how long.
I understand it.
Why was I not getting this??
 
I wasn't getting it because I was the one trying to get it.
I was being overly - yet unintentionally - self sufficient.
God can't use that.
Training started, and I thought I could do it.
I knew I could do it.
But God was like, "Um, no you can't."
And I fell.  Over and over and over.
Somehow everyone had no problem learning an intense 20 minute drama in 2.5 days.
I didn't.
I was embarrassed - humiliated, even.
 
And terrified.  I hated feeling so incredibly stupid, and I did. 
I knew people were frustrated with me, I knew they saw my stupidity.  I knew I had to get my part down or I would be replaced in the drama. 
I was so scared and humiliated that I was sick.
But I had to be broken.  I had to get over that "I've got this" mentality. 
 
God opened my eyes, and then I knew.
I could NOT.  God COULD.
I began to say over and over, "when I am weak, He is strong.  When I am weak, HE IS STRONG."
I've "got" nothing.
God has everything.
When I gave up my self-sufficiency, God came in and restored my brokenness.
Now he could begin work with me, and work with me he did.
Through His grace, I learned the drama by dress rehearsal at the end of the our 30ish hours of training. 
 
Before the last practice before leaving for Nicaragua, we had a service where we'd preform the drama for good friends and family.
But before we started the drama, we took an hour and a half to worship God.
An hour and a half that would change my life.
All the team members stood in the front, and we began to pray over each other. 
One by one, we surrendered our fear, and prayed over our peers - our new family.
It was so incredible... the first time I've experienced something so powerful.
To surrender my fear was so hard, but when I began to pray, I filled with such peace that I never wanted to stop.
We felt God.
 
And when it was time to preform the dress rehearsal, it went so well.
I was so proud to have our family and friends come and see us as we prepared to leave as missionaries.
The best feeling in the world. 
By the time we left the church at 12am, we had a total of 4 hours before leaving for the airport at 3am later that morning.
 
But this was only the beginning of our journey to Nicaragua - we hadn't even left the state yet!
What else God was going to do on the trip was beyond what I could have dreamed.
It was going to be life changing, incredible, and it was going to begin to break me apart.  It was going to start tearing down walls in my life that hadn't realized were there.
It was going to be hard, but God would be with us, and that was enough.
 


Here We Go...

We leave in 3 hours and 49 minutes.
Not that I'm counting or anything...

Strike that.
I am counting.
I have been for weeks.
I vividly remember waking up at 12:36 am one night, and the first thing that went through my head was, "Only 18 days until Nicaragua!"

And now the 18 days are over, and only 3 hours and 46 minutes remain.
Sheer joy, people.
Time to soak up the last few minutes with the littles before we leave, so keep us in your prayers, and I will try to keep the updates coming. (no promises:))

~Brittany 

The Aventure Begins...

It's totally a surreal, yet unreal time.
We leaving for mission training at 2pm tomorrow...
Let the adventures begin!!
 
I'm beyond excited, anticipating 16 days of total transformation and life change.
While living in the present, my motto is "Selah and Someday".
I've always loved the Hebrew word "Selah", meaning, "pause and remember".
I stop and remind myself of what God has done, and look forward to what God is doing and is going to do.
 
I was reminded today of how this all started for me..
That night at youth group where I got the clear, simple and confusing message.
I didn't know a thing about the country, and I knew nothing of missions there.
But, a couple months later, our youth group announced a missions trip there, and the rest is history.
 
Here's the short version of our trip:
Our adventure will begin tomorrow when we arrive in Raleigh for 3 days of intense training.
We will learn an 18 minute evangelistic drama to preform the cities of Nicaragua.
 
After 3 days in Raleigh, our team will fly out on 6 different planes (basically going 6 different directions, EEEK!).
But the end result will be the same when we end up in Nicaragua.
From there... well, we aren't quite sure. 
The detail we've been given are fuzzy, but that's alright. 
#flexibility. 
 
Prayers are needed, so keep 'em coming!
We appreciate you all so much, and be prepared for long update when we return.
Love you all!
 


Challenge and Triump

Kaden.
We love him, and we always will.
But that doesn't mean he's always easy.
 
2 years after coming home, I'd say Kaden's "honeymoon stage" has officially ended.
*sigh*
 
He is full of energy, full of potential, full of questions, and "whys?", armed and ready for arguments, and full of needs for explanations for everything...  Hence, my parents are exhausted. 
 
We don't know what's going on with our K.K.
Thankfully, though, we don't always need to know.  Challenging times will pass, and we'll become stronger because of them.
 
But even with our challenges, Kaden is pretty darn awesome.
Earlier this summer, we went with family to a race at the YMCA.
Everyone in the kid's racce took off and sprinted towards to finish.
 
 
 
Everyone but Kaden.
He's not one for rushing.  He likes to take his time and enjoy the journey.
He likes to have fun, he likes to go slow.
 
 
 
So he grinned and laughed and shouted his way down the road, and then...
He saw a little girl going very slowly.
So he turned to her and held her hand down as they walked the rest of the race together.
 
 
This sis was the proudest girl there that night.
So proud of my sweet brother, and so encouraged by glimpsing again the sweet heart he has.
We love out K.K., and we always will. 


 
 


Bloom Where You Are Planted

Today choose to BLOOM - where ever you are and whatever you're doing.
God has you right where you are for a reason.
Choose to BLOOM right there!


Kaden Quotes 26-28

Kaden venting:
Kaden: "Sometimes boys look at me and say, 'hi little boy'. 
But I not little.  I tell them, 'I'm a big boy!', and they say, 'oh, hi big boy!'
And I say, 'you right'!"



As were passing a grave yard while driving in the car one day:

Kaden:  "Why we have to be quiet?"
Mom:  "What do you mean?"
Kaden"  "Brittany say we have to be quiet."
*silence*
Kaden:  "Because people in their tombs."


 
While watching the wedding of 19 Kids and Counting:

(source)
Kaden:  Brittany, my heart so excited.
*breathes heavily*
Kaden: My heart so excited, and I cannot stop it!


Just Like Me

Faces.  Grins.  Smirks. 
Teens sit in groups waiting for a class at a public school to begin. 
Most of these groups could rightly be called "cliques", and those who are not part of one sit alone.
I watch the people around me.
As I do, I realize that, for the first time in my life, I sit among the "popular kids".
Others are around us.
Some are in their own little groups, others sit silently alone.
Oddly, I find no fulfillment in being here.
Instead I find in defrauding. 
The "cool" kids talk disrespectfully.  They curse.  They swear.  They put each other down.
What on earth are they doing?!  I wonder.
But I know.
They are insecure, just like me.
They just express it differently.
When I become insecure or anxious I "hide".  I don't say a word, I avoid people, I put myself down.
They do the opposite. 
They put others down.
They become loud.
Mean.
Annoying.
 
Both responses to insecurity are not right, because both stem from fear.
Fear that has been paid for and should be gone.
My anxiety and all my shortcomings were paid for, and need to go. 
When I become anxious and choose to continue to feel fear, I indirectly and unpurposefully say, "What Jesus did is not enough for me."
 
I don't choose to become afraid or anxious.
But I do choose what I do with those feelings.
 
I am choosing to accept the price paid for me, and live free - because I am.
 
I see people differently.
Every teen has some sort of insecurity. 
Everyone is trying to figure something out, and everyone wants to appear "cool" before their peers.
The "cool" kids are insecure - just like me. 
And the cool kids have an answer - just like me.
But it's up to each one of us individually what we will do with it.

 

Do Life Big (Video)

Going to the beach every year with my cousins, aunts, uncles and family is something we all look forward to more than Christmas!
This year was probably the best year ever, and I loved every minute of it.
It's been a tradition for the past 5ish years that we make a video with all the cousins to play at the end of the week.
This year was no exception!
It was a little different from other years,
but it turned out so well!
It was made up of 8 mini videos all piled together into one.
Do Life Big is one of my two favorites :)

video

God's Ways Are ALWAYS Best

Mother's Day weekend has long come and gone, but the memories it has left with us will be remembered for a long time to come! 
 
This year we traveled to TVR - Teen Valley Ranch - a place that holds many memories for me.
 
My first year there, in 2012, was very bittersweet.
As a family, we were trying to heal from the loss of our two referrals (before Kaden and Bethany) and I was having a very hard time.
 
That year I honestly didn't enjoy the camp. 
I was waaay too shy to approach any of the few girls my age who were at the camp then, 
so I stuck to the shadows and stayed off by myself or with my parents.
Our last night I climbed up the hill to our cabin in the dark. 
I heard kids shouting in the gym, adults singing in church, and teens talking in the Chalet.
I felt alone, but I wasn't.
I sat quietly in the rocking chair and began to pray.
I could feel God around me as I sat, and my heart began to trust that his ways ARE truly best.
That night I dreamed of an African woman having a baby,
and, as I later found out, that was just about the time Bethany was born. 
God's ways are AWAYS best.
 
This year I returned to TVR with my family, my entire family including the two African treasures I prayed for that night.
And this year was completely different.
I loved being around my peers this year, and I made friends with some awesome, awesome gals.
I even learned how to say, "Hi, how are you?" In Amharic. (thanks Selba and Mectis!)
This year I went to TVR healed, I am reminded that God's ways are ALWAYS best. 
Always.
 










April 25, 2013 - a day of HOPE

Today 2 years ago my parents gave the second chance I couldn't ask for.
A second chance at life.
The day had come.
Can't say I was ready, but I was willing.
The 3 agonizing months my parents spent trying to make me regain my health just were not working.
My eating disorder was winning, and the prize was my life.
None of us could continue on like this; it wasn't just killing me, it was taking us all.
My parent did all they possibly could, nothing worked.
Thursday, April 25th 2013, Bethany, my parents, and myself traveled to Durham, NC.
That morning I stepped through a door that I would not (permanently) walk out of for four months.
During those 4 months I would experience more change than I ever had before.
I would transform in every sense of the word.
 
That day I experienced so many different emotions.
But oddly enough I felt so much peace.
I walked into a kitchen and actually ate without a fight.
I walked into a group of girls and boys around my age and was accepted with open arms.
It always makes me smile when I think of the girls fighting over which table "got me" at meal times. 
I was actually wanted there, it was another second chance for me.
The family atmosphere was amazing, I immediately became one of them.
All the rejection and outsider feeling I experienced didn't exist there.
I was encouraged, understood, supported, loved, acknowledged, accepted... need I go on?
Yes, I got all of this in my family,
and no, this didn't exist at all for me around my peers back home.
 
Don't me wrong, those days were some of the hardest, scariest, and saddest of my life,
but even that black cloud had a very promenade silver lining.
In all the darkest moment, there was always someone who helped me through it and made me a better person in the process.

I met my "sisters" there, and made one of the best friends of my life who would support me and be God's hands and feet for me when I was too weak to go on. 
 
I'll share more about this someday, but for now I'll leave you
with what this day 2 years ago meant to me. 
In a single word - Hope. 

Taking My Own Advice

"So where do you see yourself in 5 years?  Brittany?"
I took a breath.
I was far from comfortable, but this was my time.
This was my time to face my fear of judgment and rejection,
my time to stand out from the crowd,
 to show God I was trusting him, and I was ready.
All the other girls had given wonderful, ambitious, details of well thought out plans.
They spoke of colleges they wanted to go to, exact courses they would take, jobs they would start to gain experience, exact plans.
They knew exactly what they wanted to do.
Did I?
 
Exhaling, I began.
"God's been working on me," I said.  "In the past I've needed to have all the details of everything I was going to do planned out.  I needed complete control over my life.  I needed to have my plans under my power.  But that wasn't good for me.  Now God's showing me that I just need to trust him.  He's calling me to mission work, but I don't know exactly what that will look like yet.  I think he's shown me some of what I'm called to do, but the for rest he's just called me to just trust him."
 
For a moment the room was silent.
 
Some in the group didn't know how they were supposed to react to my idea, but Alison, my youth leader, spoke up and encouraging me.
I smiled as she began to share some of what she's learned about trust.
 That opened the door for some of the deeper, more meaningful conversations I'd always longed to have within a small group setting.
 
I hadn't done much, but it had been hard to do in the beginning. 
But I had obeyed, and that was enough.
 
Weeks later I sat thinking and planning and, well, Pinteresting. 
As I pinned DIY ideas for homes and children's rooms, I thought and thought about my life and my future.
So many unknowns, so many possibilities.
I simply have no idea of what exactly (within missions work) I'm called to do.
My ideas go back and forth depending on my mood, but I just don't know.
 Once again I try to figure out everything in my mind, tangling myself up in the unknowns.
And then God reminded me.
Trust.
That's all I need to do now.
Trust and wait.
And I will try, it's hard, but I'll try.
 
"Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and he will strengthen
your heart." ~ Psalm 27 : 14

I Wish I Knew

I look around a room full of faces.
Faces of those more confident and graceful than me.
Faces of people who are not plagued with social insecurity.
I look around and see those faces and in my mind's eye I see my own.
A face too round.
A body too wide.
A forced, uncomfortable smile.
And a mind who's longing for someone to understand.
I scan the room and my eyes land on a girl who smiles and chats gracefully.
Who embraces her body.
Who grins naturally.
I want to talk to her, to ask her to understand.
I wish she knew.
I wish she knew how much I need a friend who cares.
I wish she knew that I'm hurting and need to talk it out.
I wish she knew that I'm too shy to ask her listen.
I wish she knew how much I want to apologize for my awkwardness.
I wish she knew how much I admire her ease around people I'm terrified of.
I wish she knew.

And then I turn and see a girl a little younger than me.
She sits silently against the wall, her eyes averted, her hands fidgeting nervously.

I slowly take a step forward and sit down next to her.
She looks curiously at me and I smile.
All of my awkwardness melts away as our eyes meet.
We start chatting and laughing, best buddies after two minutes.
As we talk I see my reflection in her eyes.
I look happy, and suddenly I wish I knew.
I wish I knew that I can be the girl who smiles and chats gracefully,
 I can be the girl who embraces her body,
the girl who grins naturally.
I can be the girl who others can talk to when they need someone to understand,
I can care,
I can be there for someone who needs to talk it out.
I can be that girl.

Weeks pass, much changes.
I no longer need to put on a brave face when going out in public.
I am becoming more and more like that girl.
That girl who smiles and chats gracefully,
that girl who embraces her body,
that girl who grins naturally,
and that girl who others can talk to.
I am now far on my way to becoming the girl God designed me to be.
And I no longer need to wish that I knew,
because I do.

The Power of Prayer - Pray with Me for the Mac Family!

I'm a work in progress, people. 
So often I think I've finally learned something and then I turn around and God's like, "Wait!  I have so much more to teach you about that!"
So I'm taught more by the master teacher.
One little glitch I have is that I'm a forgetter.  I'll memorize something for school, and then when the test is over, poof!  It's gone.
But not when God teaches me something. 
I carry the lessons he's taught with me all the time.  And right when I need them the Holy Spirit brings them to mind.
Lately God has been teaching me a lot about prayer.
I've kind of always done it, but it's been only recently that I've really seen the power of it.
And that's been incredible.
To see God work and feel like I'm a part of it is amazing!
 
And I want you all to experience that too!
In 4 days (Saturday, April 4) the Maciaszek's are leaving for China to bring home their oldest daughter, Joy.
 
 
This family is one of the best you could ever meet.
They are genuine, keep it real, love hard and follow wherever God leads. 
In only *four* days they will leave for China to meet and bring home their 13 year old daughter, Joy.
My sweet friend, Ashleigh Stem, and I are organizing people to pray for them while they're gone.
We are asking each of you to sign up for at least one 15 minute time slot and pray for them during that time.
We have a list of things to pray for for  anyone who wants to see it on the site.
Please, friends, lets step forward as the body of Christ and pray for this precious family!
 
Please sign up here: Prayer for the Mac Fam.
Thank you!!
 
 
Capturing Joy

Kaden Teaches me to Dance in the Rain

Kaden has taught my family a lot, and learning to dance in the rain is only one of those lessons.
I have to say he does it pretty well!
And even though I got in trouble for asking him to go outside when it was raining, I think it was worth it. :)
So here you go! 
My own quote and all...
 

It's Tomorrow! Support Mabel!

It's tomorrow, guys!  
Wear purple and support beautiful Mabel, from Uganda.
Please, JOIN ME!  


Doing Something for Mabel with YOUR help!

Mabel has been on my mind constantly since reading about her,
and I am not content just to sit back and watch.
I'm doing what I can to help.
 
I'm so excited because I'm able to send her a package with some little gifts in it!
And I'm also thrilled about this...
My amazingly sweet friend, Ashleigh,  is helping me put together a rally for Mabel, and we need your help!
Please, please, please do this:
 
This Monday (March 16th, 2015), take a picture of yourself wearing purple and post it on your social media with the hash tag: #miraclesformabel. 


 
 
 
And please let me know if you are joining us! 
I'm putting together a little scrapbook with pictures of everyone who is wearing purple to give to Mabel, and I've love to include your picture!
 
And...
for those who participate in this rally, there are rumors of a Ugandan jewelry give away going around!
If you would like to be included in the drawing, please leave a comment below saying so.
 
And, friends, pray.
Pray, pray, pray for this sweet gal.
I'm believing in God's promises for Mabel. 
Please pray with  me that this sweet Ugandan treasure gets the chance at life that she deserves.
 
If you're on Instagram, I'll be posting about her under my account @brittanygilbarte
Thank you!!
 
 


Save Her Life

Sweet friends, as soon as I heard about "M" I knew I had to share this with you.
I just can't stop thinking about her, and that's a good thing because I'm reminded to pray for her.
"M" is 15 years old who has lost both of her parents and 
has a serious heart condition which requires a transplant.
She must be adopted in order to be put on the transplant list.
 
Friends, this is our calling!
We are all called to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.
I may be only 15 years old and advocating for girl my own age, but I know that this is my calling too!
With Christ all things- as in everything - is possible, and I know that "M" will find a family and regain her health because our God is in control. 
Please, pray for "M".
Join me in storming heaven's gates on her behalf. 
This sweet girl can change the world for the better, but we have to give her the chance.
 
Speak out for "M".
Share this and let's change the world for her. 
 
M is the girl in the purple shirt to the right.
 
Because with God, ALL things are possible!

For more information email info@pureandfaultless.org.


Flying Down the Mountain (Our Skiing Stories)

Well, I suppose I owe you all an apology...
It's taken me longer than planned to get this post down, but it's finally here. 
 
This post is actually doubling as a  paper for school, so excuse me if it's a bit long.
That said, enjoy our favorite stories from skiing!
“It’s strange,” I said, “In a weird way I don’t want to get back, because that means the trip is over.”  My friend and I exchanged knowing smiles as we climbed back into the car.  It was a bittersweet moment.  As we continued our journey home, I thought back fondly over our trip.  From 6am on Saturday to 11 pm on Tuesday, it had been a memorable experience to say the least.    

 
“We need to be in the car by 6:30 am tomorrow, guys,” my dad said the night before takeoff.  I admired my father’s optimism.  We had sort of adopted the Duggar family’s tendency to run on “Duggar Time”, which meant that we were often out of the door a bit later than we had planned.  This trip was no exception, but thankfully we were only fashionable late. 

 
By 8:30am everyone was finally in-tow and we had finally hit the road.  We had brought several things to do in the car – books, movies, laptops, iPods, games, etc., but Grace and I just kind of crashed.  We were out-cold until Grace’s homemade cookies were brought out, reviving us.  “Brittany, you and Grace were passed out back there!”  Michael said with a friendly smirk which I sheepishly returned.   

 
6 hours later the North Carolinians in us marveled at the real-live snow that had fallen generously all winter at the ski resort as we unpacked the car and headed up to organize our ski gear.  We soon found out that there was no Wi-Fi or cell phone service.  Yikes.  Reviewing plans for the coming day also had a surprise in store for us.  “So Brittany,” my dad remarked, “The boys and I are heading up to Snow Shoe tomorrow, but you and Grace should probably stick to the slopes here at first.  We’ll meet back here at the room at 5pm.”

 
“Oh, ok…” I took a moment to think it over.  Me, the girl who get anxious when she can’t find her mom in the grocery store, will be with her friend at a separate skiing resort than the rest of the group with absolutely no way to contact anyone should tragedy strike while skiing.  Ok… Well, let the fun begin! 
 
 
The next morning we set out for the slopes.  I ran through in my mind all the things I would teach Grace.  I looked around for the bunny slope, figuring we’d take it slow to start out with.  Suddenly I hear a “Common, Brittany!”  and I look up to see Grace sliding down the mountain. 

 
“Grace, slow down!”  I yelled, as I hurried to catch up to her.  I started to get worried as I tried to catch up.  But then I stopped for a minute and looked at her.  “Wow,” I think to myself, “she’s a natural skier.”  I laughed a little and then pushed off to catch up to Grace.  We were going to have quite a day! 

 
I tried to teach skiing techniques to Grace, but I was pretty bad at it.  We skied and fell a few too many times, and then may or may not have decided that lessons would probably be helpful.  On the way up the ski lift during the lesson, I ended up dropping my pole at the unloading area.  I turned around to get it when I heard, “Hey!  Watch out!”  as the chair on the lift swung around and knocked me down.  I was much more embarrassed then hurt, and I like to think that the man in charge of the lift was much more concerned than angry, although it felt like it was the other way around.  My face was beet red as I apologized, but my pole was a rental and I needed to retrieve it.  As I asked about it, the man whirled around, grabbed the pole, and flung it towards me.  Grace and I tried to hold back laughs as I thanked him and hurried off.  This was just the start of our adventure. 

 
That night during dinner, David had a story to tell us that completely made my day.  His nearly word-for-word explanation of what happened was this:  “I was, om, following Brandon really fast on some jumps, and was recovering from a really big jump.  I was going too fast, so I cut really hard, and ended up cutting too hard which made me start to go backwards.  And I didn’t really know where I was going, until I slid into a big pit of bubbly, grassy mud.”  At this point we were laughing so hard we couldn’t hear the ending, but it got even better.  David was completely covered with mud, so much so that it was dripping off him.  My dad couldn’t think of anything else to do to get the mud off, so he told David to roll around in the snow.  The skiers in the lift above them were smirking sympathetically while they watched David roll around in the snow.  That was an experience we’ll never forget! 

 
The next day Grace and I were promoted to joining the rest of the group at Snow Shoe, the resort with the larger slopes.  I watched in awe (and with a smile) as she masterfully flew down each slope.  We ended up splitting ways with the boys again, and found ourselves at a very busy and crowded lift at the bottom of the mountain.  Finally making it to the top of the line, I noticed an older man motioning us to ride up with the younger man ahead of us.  Grace and I wanted to go alone, so I looked away, pretending I hadn’t seen the man.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw him shake his head in frustration and mutter under his breath before yelling out, “Double up!” and then, seeing he had miscounted, “No, triple up!  Get up there!”  He started jabbing me with his ski poles, but I continued to ignore him.  I was relieved when the younger man’s lift went off, and thought I had gotten out of it.  As Grace and I quickly scooted towards our lift as I heard the man say,
“Well alrighty, then.”  I turned around to see him and his buddy following us, and it hit me that they intended to ride up the ski lift with us.  In fact, they squeezed themselves in between Grace and me.  As the lift went up, the man turned towards me, nudging me with his elbow.  “You didn’t want to ride with him, huh?” He motioned to the young man ahead of us.  “Well,” he continued, “Now you’ll to ride with me!”  He smiled satisfied, and let out a little laugh as I stared straight ahead as I began to calmly freak out. 

 
I’d like to say that that was the end of our encounter with Mr. Freaky Man, but it wasn’t.  On our way to the car on our last day, Grace and I were standing in the bottom floor of the hotel which acted as the ski lodge as we waited for the rest of the group to get ready to go.  We had been there a few minutes when a familiar red jacket caught my eye.  I turned around to see a guy who looked a lot like Mr. Freaky Man coming down the stairs.  I froze as he spotted me and gave me the look before turning to go on his way.  He had just sent the loudest inaudible threat I’d ever received.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or call the police, but ended up just quickly making my way to safety outside. 

 
24 hours later I stood in the Field’s home as Grace and I sharing stories with her family of our trip.  We couldn’t stop smiling.  We’d had such an amazing weekend, with many funny stories to remember it by.  Needless to say, we’ve already made plans to return next year.  But maybe this time I’ll work up enough courage to throw my poles back at people in the situation calls for it, and bring pepper spray, should I see Mr. Freaky Man again.