Monday, January 28, 2013

When you give a child a home...

Just a heart for children, a little awareness and the building of a home. Such simple things, beautifully simple. These little things are going to radically and permanently change the lives of the children who stay at the Greta Home and Academy in Haiti.

Want to support work like this? Donate to or volunteer with... 
Samaritan's Purse to benefit the Greta Home in Haiti.
Danita's Children in Haiti (another phenomenal Christian orphanage which is building a medical center and school on their current site).
Impact India in India (the ministry of Raj & Colleen that I served at this past November). They're planning to build a home very similar to the Greta Home facility in the near future.
Door of Hope Ministries in India where David is going to build an orphanage for the orphaned children of persecuted Christians.

Want to plant the seeds of awareness that lead to change like this? Share your heart on whatever platform you have! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Tell people about the work being done and the lives being changed, show them how they can be a part of it, and watch it spread like wildfire!

Friday, January 25, 2013

What I Wore // Sevenly, Warby Parker, TOMS & No. 41

Featuring Wynne //

Wynne, why do you wear what you wear?

I absolutely love buying + wearing things that give back.  Purchase with Purpose I call it.  I think once I realized that you could both look cute/stylish AND help someone with the way you purchase, I was all in.  I've meet artisans that give their life to making the goods we wear and I KNOW what it does.  I love that with warby parker + toms they GIVE 1 when I buy 1.  I love that sevenly introduces me to a new cause/organization each week and that I can wear the shirt and think of the people they are helping.  and obviously I love no.41 as I have been to Rwanda and met and seen these girls who's lives have been changed by this company.  So really - it's two fold.  I love to wear things that look good & I love to tell the STORIES when I wear the items.  it's all about the stories! 

Shirt - Sevenly // Jeans - American Eagle Outfiters // Bag - No. 41 // Glasses - Warby Parker // Shoes - TOMS

Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Lasting Legacy

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Purchase with Intention // Boy Gift Guide

This gift guide is inspired by my little brother who is turning 13 at the end of the month. He loves to look spiffy, work out hard, support the troops and enjoy excellent music.

1. TOMS Maverick polarized sunglasses // 2. OAK lifestyle Ordinary backpack // 3. Blood:Water Mission Sports Cap water bottle // 4. Hersey running shoes // 5. LSTN Beachwood headphones // 6. Salute the Brave running tank

--- --- ---

TOMS eyewear provides eye surgery and glasses for people in need.
OAK lifestyle gives a backpack full of school supplies to a child in need with every purchase.
Blood:Water mission provides clean water, sanitation and AIDS relief in Africa.
Hersey is fair trade and American made.
LSTN provides hearing to a person in need with every purchase.
Salute the Brave sends a care package to one of the troops with every purchase.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

When life has killed the dream...

Discouragement. It's a sly dog. Slipping in without much fuss and then before you know it it's messed with your whole perspective on life.

In India we faced many things that could have been discouraging, but my eyes were focused on The Lord, knowing His Word and being guided by His heart, so discouragement had no place in me. I spent my days rejoicing in the face of the suffering I saw because I was filled with the hope and life that trumps whatever our physical conditions are.
As we moved on, closer to home, things got even more discouraging and it was tempting to give in to the emotion. However, turning to Jesus, pouring out my heart to Him and my team, we reflected on the faithfulness and desire to bless us that The Lord has and we thanked Him and praised Him for it. Then our perspective was renewed, and we saw that He had doubled our blessings in this new location, this harder location.
When I got home the discouraging circumstances multiplied again... Canceled flights, snow storms stranding me in Chicago, sickness, jet lag, loneliness, lack of purpose, etc. When I brought these before The Lord and made petitions I was always refreshed by His unexplainable peace and joy, but when I let the discouragement take root I saw the bitter effects in my attitude and outlook.

Discouragement (and its slimy partner, Doubt) comes to everyone, even the most steadfast and unwavering believers. Our God will work it together for our good, using it to strengthen our dependence and deepen our faith in Him rather than our circumstances, if we will cast our cares upon Him. But how do we keep encouraged? If discouragement is going to come, as believers what do we cling to as unchanging encouragement in the face of it?

Perhaps you are waiting to see His promises fulfilled and the wait has seemed too long... Maybe you are walking forward in faith as The Lord has directed and with each step forward the chance of ever reaching your goal is made to appear more impossible than the last... Perhaps your family member has developed cancer and you don't know how to walk through it with them or encourage them... Maybe you can't make financial ends meet... TAKE HEART. Our God is in the resurrection business and He will never leave you, which means that He is always with you! Take that in.. "The God of angel armies is always by [your] side." Never dwell on the discouragement. Ever. Set your mind and heart on The Lord, His past faithfulness, His present blessings, His constant mercy and abounding love for you. Seek His face in the truths of His Word and in prayer -- thanking Him and asking Him to do what He certainly will, come through and have His way in your circumstances.

One of my greatest joys is to be an encouragement to others. It flows naturally out of me when I'm living rejoicing in The Lord, regardless of my circumstances. Staying encouraged is a choice, because drawing near to Jesus every moment is a choice, but it is worth it -- not only for my own life but for every life that mine touches.

K. P. Yohannan has written as short and encouraging book called "Stay Encouraged". You can read it in 30min and begin applying the truths immediately! You can have your free copy shipped to you by ordering here. I suggest that after you've read it and been blessed that you pay it forward and pass it along to another person you know who could use the same encouragement!

Friday, January 18, 2013

What I Wore // Noonday, Wear Love & 147 Million Orphans

Featuring McCall // 

McCall, why do you wear what you wear?
There are so many great, affordable, fashion-friendly items out there that help others. As women, our purchases can have the power to do something good and good is something I like doing, which is why I became a Noonday Ambassador. This gives me a chance to not only fill my wardrobe with treasures from around the world, it also gives me an opportunity to share with others about the many injustices occurring all around us, and how we as women and as Christians are called to do whatever we can to help right these wrongs. The answer may be something as simple as purchasing an item we'd want  to purchase anyway!

Necklace - Noonday Collection // Metal Bracelet - Noonday Collection // Black Bracelet - 147 Million Orphans // Cardigan - TJ Max // Shirt - Wear Love // Jeans - thrifted

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One more day, one day more.

Worn out.
The kind of exhaustion that has you yawning and dragging all day but leaves you with fitful sleep at night. It's a hard way to live, being exhausted. Mine isn't caused by excessive activity or long days of hard work, I'm not weighed down by stress or grief, I have a bug I picked up in India -- several bugs actually. The abdominal cramps and diarrhea are horrible. As accustomed as I've become to the episodes I still feel helpless in the face of them. Then there was the shame of collecting stool samples for medical testing. And now my daily battle is with keeping enough food in me to last the day and the whole night (I've woken up early in the morning with such extreme hunger I couldn't sleep until it was time to get up before eating) and this weariness.

Praise The Lord, for His mercies never fail. They are new every morning.
My daddy picked up the test containers and dropped them off again for me. So thankful. I don't think I could have endured the humiliation. My mother is ever patient and sympathetic to my sudden hunger and constant tiredness. Sweet nurse was able to give me the name of the medicine I need. Our doctor is able to have a prescription written up for me without a doctor visit. This is Jesus stuff, people. He is a God of detail orchestration and a Father who delights to give good gifts.

And this is the thing, Jesus had to put on humanity to come to us and He grew so tired apart from His Father. I risked getting bugs in order to go to India to love the ones Jesus wanted to love through me and the result of getting those bugs is this physically drained state. It doesn't keep me from my daily tasks and the calling to love anymore than being away from Heaven made Jesus unable, but weariness does come in life and in service and if we allow it to, it will hinder us.

I am at the end of my rope. He has come through for me there, and He sustained me to that point. Tomorrow, as with the past twenty years of my life, looking to Him will give me the strength and mercy for the day, and when I am weary He carries me and I can see the cure of the weariness just ahead.
I'm talking about the needed medicine and healing from these bugs, but I mean to direct your eyes to our heavenly rest to come. "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..."

Monday, January 14, 2013

Putting your money where your mouth is

If you know me you know that I am passionate about advocating for the least, leveraging my resources to give, and that I am motivated to do so by love.
Whether it is through awareness raising (there are SO many ways to do that!!), going to the least and coming home with stories to share, or using your money to serve (there are SO many ways to do that, too!!), through public speaking or silent prayers (never ever underestimate those, they are essential!!), whether it is part of your job or something you fill volunteer hours with -- advocacy makes a difference.

Lets talk money for a minute. I am a young woman with a low yearly income but also minimal expenses. I got a credit card two years ago to develop good credit. Not wanting to treat it as free money, I was very stingy with my use of it at first. However, the way you develop good credit is by using it and then paying it off. If I had to use it every month anyway I figured I would spend as much as I knew I could pay off each month. If I was going to be spending that money I wanted to spend it on something that mattered, something bigger than me. I changed my World Vision account to use my credit card to sponsor Khushi, the little girl in India I sponsor. It was super convenient to not have to worry about having enough in my bank account on the withdraw date of the sponsorship. I decided soon after that switch that I would sponsor another child, this time through Gospel for Asia, with the money I had to spend on my credit card. About a year later I added an IJM freedom partner monthly gift to my credit card. Until just this week I have been spending the rest of the amount of credit I use per month on gas for my car. This week I began sponsoring the work of the Justice Rescue Project in Haiti and now spend the total amount I want to per month all in giving! I never exceed my credit limit and I always spend enough to make good credit but never more than I can pay off. It's perfect.

If you find that you have resources you could be using to give and want to talk with someone about options, feel free to e-mail me! I love to share what I know about giving and empowering others to give!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Story Telling // Of red sand beaches and little brown hands

"They weren't orphans, they were kids to me, and I just love kids."
// excerpt from my journal

We had spent a few hours at the children's home, playing and cuddling and laughing. I was learning a few names and memorizing faces. After dinner Raj packed us all, team and children and staff, up into two vehicles and we drove to the beach.

I didn't take much note of which child sat by me on the way there, I was still learning who they each were. When we arrived, we parked on the side of the road, trash was littered all over the sand by the curb and there was a man selling ice cream from a cart. Some of the children needed to use a bathroom so Colleen took them one at a time out of the bus and helped them go in the bushes -- there aren't public restrooms available out there.

I hadn't been by the ocean in years. I don't think it has ever looked so beautiful to me than it did there in India. The hazy, humid sky was all yellow as the sun slipped away through it. The wonderful red sand getting caked onto our shoes. The foamy waves crashing again and again, a never-ending toy for the children to play with.

I had fully intended to hang back from the water, avoid getting wet and just take in the beauty of where we were... to allow it to sink in that I was finally in India, with children, and to delight in the journey that the Lord had taken me on to get me here. The team had got their toes wet and returned to a dry part of the beach to play soccer and build sand castles. But the children in their excitement were following the waves back out, not realizing that the water was going to come right back up with great force. 

My motherly heart compelled me to stay close to them, holding their hands so the under-tow wouldn't knock them down, and voicing words of warning when the waves began to roll back up to the beach. The boys tried to jump over the waves over and over again. When that got old they found a plastic toy to let the waves pull over the beach as it came and went. It didn't take many times of that before the toy was sucked away with the tide for good. 

Meena had worn her high-heeled sandals down to the water and the tide kept pulling them off. Most times the sandal just got sunk into the sand and was easily retrieved but one time it got pulled away with the receding water. Making sure that the girls stayed far enough back, I scurried after it, catching it up just as another wave crashed up on the shore soaking me up to the knees. The next few waves had a really strong pull as they washed away and Ruthie's footing became unstable. With Meena in one hand, keeping her balanced, I tried to keep Ruthie upright with the other but she ended up on her rear in the water just as the wave disappeared and, whether out of sadness for being wet or fear from being knocked down, Ruthie returned to the rest of the group crying. My heart ached, I so desired to comfort her, dry her off, help her to know how secure she was and that I never would have let the wave pull her away -- ever.

I told the rest of the children it was time to stop playing in the water. Drawing back from the waves I snapped a few photos. The oldest boy, David, caught my eye and, delighted to have an observer, wrote his name and drew an enormous heart around it in the sand. Encouraging his masterful artwork with smiles and enthusiasm, I watched the waves come up and wash away part of his drawing. "Oh no!" I said in a tone that said we had a funny problem on our hands. More than happy to solve the problem the wave had created, David dove straight back into his work. His heart ever happy, no problem too daunting, not a hint of disappointment, only growing joy, as the cycle continued: draw, be praised by "big sister", wave comes, have "big sister" show concern, re-draw.

Evening was coming on, as much I would have liked to have denied it, and it was time to pack up and head back to the home. Not rushing, hanging back as long as we could to enjoy the setting sun and each other's company, eventually the toys and children were collected and guided back to the vans. As I was talking with Brittany (one of my team mates) Glory came up to me, lifting her arms up, asking to be held.

Remaining fully present in the conversation I was having but turning my heart toward the little darling I gladly picked her up and snuggled her. I could tell she was tired, with her head resting on my shoulder and her arm around my neck, her little body growing heavier in my arms the more she relaxed. As Britt and I wrapped up our chat Glory had regained a last little bit of perkiness.

She hammed it up for the camera (sweet Ranuka squeezed in on some more love and attention from the "big sisters" too), never asked to get down from my arms, instead held on tighter as we walked back to the vans. With my soaking wet pants clinging heavily to my legs and my sandals kicking up tons of sand onto them with every step I was uncomfortable, really ready to change into my PJs for the night. Glory was falling asleep in my arms and it felt like she got heavier with each step. Nothing in me wanted to put her down though --- nothing. I scaled the sand dunes with my precious bundle and arrived back at the vans very sweaty and sandy and tired and oh, so content.

Friday, January 11, 2013

What I Wore // Noonday Collection

Featuring McCall // 

McCall, why do you wear what you wear?
There are so many great, affordable, fashion-friendly items out there that help others. As women, our purchases can have the power to do something good and good is something I like doing, which is why I became a Noonday Ambassador. This gives me a chance to not only fill my wardrobe with treasures from around the world, it also gives me an opportunity to share with others about the many injustices occurring all around us, and how we as women and as Christians are called to do whatever we can to help right these wrongs. The answer may be something as simple as purchasing an item we'd want  to purchase anyway!

Scarf - Noonday Collection // Earrings - Noonday Collection // Bracelets - Noonday Collection // Shirt - Old Navy // Jeans - thrifted

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Away we go! // Day Nine, Ten and Eleven

Day Nine // Negotiating Pay

Source: via Morgan on Pinterest

Once the employer has to have you, you get to decide what you are worth. Salary isn't all you are negotiating for. "Build the package" that will help you to meet your goals. Do you want time off? Paid vacation? A company car?

Day Ten // Can you make it on your own?

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

Chapter 10 helps you to determine whether you have what it takes to be self-employed. I am very much wired to be self-employed. It means more work than a position of employment, but it also means freedom to grow, change, fail, improve, create and strategize... Freedom to do what I believe is important with my time.

Day Eleven // Opportunity is out there

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

New Opportunities (around every corner) + ambition & action + passion to do the work = dream jobs are available and achievable!

--- --- ---

I've officially worked my way through the eleven chapters in "48 Days to the work you love" and now I have a little over a month to get the ball rolling. I am pointed in the right direction, excited for the future.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The technical side... // Days Six, Seven and Eight

Day Six // Resume

Defining areas of competence in a clean but eye-catching way. Done! (Feel free to copy the design for your own resume!)

Day Seven // What do you have to offer

images gather from Pinterest

In an age of increasing use of technology both to accomplish tasks and to connect with each other, there is a loss of personal touch. Giving people a reason to get together and interact face-to-face is going to be important. Give them something to share, a place to love meeting, an experience to have together. That is where I come in! Keeping that personal touch in people's lives through writing, speaking, photography -- sharing hearts and stories.

Day Eight // People Skills

Source: via Ruche on Pinterest

How you answer questions, show etiquette, what your body language and attire says, how much your tone of voice matters, and the words you use... these all speak volumes about your confidence, respectfulness, general behavior, and whether or not your presence would be a pleasant addition to a group or a regret. These things matter at home, at the check-out counter in Target, at church, in a job interview, and among peers. Don't fret if you have some polishing up to do -- Eye contact, a smile and a firm hand shake work wonders!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goal setting... // Day Three, Four and Five

Day Three // Happy Moments in Your Life

images gathered from Pinterest

time by the lake // traveling with Dad // family dinners // long walks through fields // 
caring for children // among books // getting my puppy // photographing my world // long drives // 
shopping and coffee dates with Mom // time with my siblings // time with dear friends // 
listening to music and singing along // getting dressed up // having people out to the Farm to enjoy our blessings with us //

Day Four // Five-Year Goals

images gathered from Pinterest

making enough income for a new car and a house, travel and all my bills // working out while listening to good teaching // taking long walks with my husband // cooking healthy meals and cutting out most sugar // read two books a month, one aloud to my kids at night and one just for me // learning to play an instrument // taking two trips a year, one to a lake with my husband, the other altogether as a family // cook and eat together // hug lots // smile lots // correct gently // memorize one verse every two weeks // adoption and missions trips as He bids me go // share my heart through writing and speaking and images // host friends for dinner and fellowship at least once a month // spend time with lonely people // share our blessings (especially our fresh country air and wide open land)

Day Five // Analyzing You

Prone to... find quiet places, get tasks accomplished, over-analyze, travel, capture beauty on camera, process through writing, lose track of time reading or designing something, pioneer plans, take the lead, be decisive, go on long walks alone, spend one-on-one time with friends, dream big, breathe more freely in rural settings, stand back an observe, recognize beauty, listen.
Dream of... moving ordinary people to care for the least, being a good momma, being a valuable wife, owning an estate with lots of land, managing a staff and a household, leveraging many assets to care for others, adopting, using my influence, encouraging and blessings friends and family in abundance, raising children that love to learn and work and care for others, sharing the beauty I see and the things that are put on my heart.

Because He loves them... // Post by Leah

...because He loves them...

“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted 
according to the graces we have received and 
let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” 
― Mother Teresa

A woman who works towards abolishing sex trafficking in Thailand made a statement about the Western Church that I found to be quite interesting. She said that the mentality of the church seems to be, “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, touch no evil… and we won’t be evil.” I believe that in many cases, this is the misconseption that western believers have. Often times, supposed followers of Jesus are found completely isolating themselves from the "outside" world and hiding in a Christian bubble. However, we are supposed to be the representation of Jesus on this earth, He is our example. So what did He do? How did He live? 
Who did He go to?

Jesus didn’t go to the prim, proper, healthy, and reputable people with His love, grace, favor, mercy, and compassion. He went to the ones that in His culture, no one claiming to be “righteous” would dare be seen with. Beautiful Jesus was also known to devote His time to people that others may have seen as unworthy of their time. The ones hungry for love was where His tender gaze fell.

He knelt down with an adulterous woman
He had dinner with a tax collector
He sat at a well with a woman who couldn’t keep a husband
He touched the leper
He fed the hungry
He delivered the demon possessed
He let a sinful woman wash and kiss his feet
He invested in loving and blessing children
And He made unlearned, laymen His disciples

 Jesus was not concerned in the slightest about His reputation. In fact, He made Himself of no reputation (See Phil. 2:7). He wasn’t afraid to be seen with the so called, “less than ordinary”. Why? Because Jesus didn’t see them that way. He looked on them with love and compassion, and all He could see is, “Here is a person who is redeemable”.  Jesus was not in the business of identifying people by their weaknesses, He was in the business of handing out new identities, free from blemish. In fact, He became our darkness so that we could become the Light of the world. And He wasn’t worried about what anyone would think of Him.  The one ambition of Jesus was to please the Heart of the Father.

As followers of Jesus, as little anointed ones, we must be willing to do everything the Father asks of us no matter how controversial it may seem. Out of love for Him, we should not be concerned what others may or may not think of us. When we feel the Father smiling over us that alone should be our gain.

SO what has provoked me to ponder this? Well, the Father asked me and my friend (Heather) to do something this year that took us by suprise. It wasn't at all what we were expecting. Yet, because we love Him, everything inside of us wanted to do what He asked of us. 

{What did He ask of us?}

In essence, He told us that He had some wonderful treasures inside a certain gentlemen’s club and asked us if we would gift them with evidence of His love this Christmas. And we said yes.

Read the continuation of this testimony on Leah's blog...

Many parts, one Body // Testimonies from my India Travels

As I have aged I have come to truly appreciate individuality. In fact I fall rather in love with people being who they were made to be. And I believe our Father does too.

via Jessica on Pinterest

"A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying Him." // Thomas Merton

And the Lord said to Moses, See, I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and ability, in understanding and intelligence, and in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, To devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in bronze, And in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all kinds of craftsmanship. And behold, I have appointed with him Aholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and to all who are wisehearted I have given wisdom and ability to make all that I have commanded you...
// Exodus 31:1-6 (amp) //

There were nine of us total on the mission trip to India, all very unique people with different backgrounds and in separate stages of life, all with specific skills and passions and each person was on the trip for a reason. Two of the girls on the team had taken ballet for years and that happened to be the perfect blessing for the oldest girl at Impact India. There is no length too great for God to go to. Another girl is a hair-dresser in the States and was able to give all the children at Impact hair cuts before we left. The one man that was on the trip was the father-figure and security all of us young girls needed during our time half way around the world from home. He also did photography throughout the trip and the photos he took will be incredible ministry and advocacy tools. Knowing someone was taking excellent photos on the trip freed me up to focus on quality time with individual children and one-on-one's with my team members, which was what I was meant to do on the trip. There was one girl who tirelessly jumped rope with the children, a girl who patiently kept a stubborn two year old company, a girl who brought her guitar everywhere so that we could teach all the children we met praise songs, and a girl whose sweet and peaceful presence brought comfort to children. Two of the girls stood out as being uniquely suited with both talents and hearts for the special needs children we worked with, which was beautiful to see.

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
// 1 Corinthians 12:14-25 (kjv) //

Among people who are aware of the great need in the world and are burdened to care for the least I hear the most disheartening phrase spoken over and over with urgency, "Just do something!" The Lord has been aware of the needs in the world as long as they have existed, He cares more than we ever can and He has a perfect plan to orchestrate many individuals together to perform His purposes for those in need. If we are so wrapped up in the urgency of the need, we fail to see that He already has a plan in place. If we fail to see His plan, then we frantically rush about making our own plans of how to solve the world's problems. But in the face of such great need and the reality of our limited ability we become discouraged knowing we can't do it all and then comes that phrase, "Just do something!". These words are spoken out of human inability, separation from God's will and, consequently, desperation.

If you take a few steps back from the need you will recognize the nature of our God and the way He goes about things. He is a God of peace, He prepares and equips those He calls, and He calls us to rejoice always (even in the face of great need, because we have a great Christ for that need!). He is not only willing to help the least, but His heart is passionately for them (Isaiah 58). He is able, or can you reasonably say that a God who can make our souls whole cannot provide any physical relief (Mark 2)? He is a God of intricate planning and design, just look at the genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1)! If this willing, able, intricate God has placed His heart for the least within you, you can be sure that He has a specific purpose for you to fulfill, in a precise way and time, with the abilities He has and will give you. He fully intends to do the work that must be done, His Body is a channel for Him to do it. A channel is not any help if it is off trying to do something on its own, it needs to be connected with the proper other pieces that are uniquely suited for their jobs, and it needs to do exactly what it's Master asks of it (just as Jesus only did what the Father was doing).

During my time in India I caught a glimpse of the vastness of the Body, of the intricacy of the members, and of the incredible importance of each member doing exactly what it was made to do. The person who gave $5 toward the cost of my trip, the person who gave $500, the Bible study groups that were praying for our team, the individuals lifting us up for 30min everyday of our trip at 2pm and at 2am (and every half hour in between), each person who sent encouragement or checked in with any member of the team was perfectly timed to our needs in those moments. Are you catching a glimpse of the vastness? If just one of those pieces had not fallen into place any one of my team members or I would not have been able to go on the trip, or we would not have made it through customs (I saw God open doors into the country for us through prayer alone), or been able to minister as specifically and personally to the families in the slums or the children in the homes or the ministry partners we worked with. Each person was called for a seemingly small but specific role in that trip and altogether we were the Body, used as a channel for the rich and free love of God to minister to souls in India.

So, please, don't just do something, do the something that the Lord has called, and will equip, you to do, no matter how small (giving $5) or how impossible (moving forward in faith that I was called to be on the trip to India even though I could not pay for it at all) it appears. For if He is glorified in a tree's obedience to be a tree, how much more must He be glorified in His individual children being exactly who and what He uniquely made them to be?