founder of @standingsidebyside
2.7k Followers 1.2k Following 105 Posts
founder of @standingsidebyside
2.7k Followers 1.2k Following 105 Posts
When you serve others, you are walking in the exact footsteps of our Savior. Serving takes sacrifice, after all, those footsteps led Jesus to the Cross. Why do we think it will be any different for us as Christians? Comforts will be lost. Tears will be shed. Growing pains will be constant. Emotions will be stretched. But it’s worth it.. because in the end, with God as our reward, it was never truly a sacrifice at all.
God’s sovereignty walked out with feeble but faithful steps. This is not a simple fix. This is not clear cut. There’s a child with two parents desperate for someone to acknowledge them. There’s a child with one parent who has no hope of a future. There’s a child with no parents unable to understand real love. So unbelievably complex. So unbelievably difficult. And yet, so unbelievably worth it. To acknowledge a child, to give them a future, to show them love, these are the things we strive for when working with the vulnerable. Jesus does all of this perfectly, so we must look to him for instruction and guidance. And we must point back to Him, in everything. For through Him we are entrusted to care for the orphan, the lowly, and the poor.
Our current (electricity ) will turn off every now and then, and when it does everyone says, “current go!” One of my favorite things is to watch this little boy swell up with excitement (literally overflowing with happiness ) as he shouts “current now come!” and “the fan turning!” He jumps up and down, rolls around on the bed, and can’t contain his laughter. Every single time he does this. With the same amount of joy. Oh, to have a childlike perspective. To see the extraordinary in something simple. This is what the Lord is teaching me. So when the light turns back on, I too will celebrate.
Super Blood Wolf Moon. - #lunareclipse #75200mm
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,” Matthew 18:5
“Be exalted now in the heavens As Your glory fills this place You alone deserve our praise You're the name above all names.”
“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
“We are all living in cages with the door wide open.” - What a prison our own mind can become. Comparison. Anxiety. Lies. Doubt. Angst. Worry. Rejection. We become so comfortable here that we fear what may be awaiting us. What a shame it would be to stay imprisoned in something that isn’t shackling you? The truth is, it’s a beautiful view on the other side and the door is open. You just have to have the courage to fly. - #fujifilmxt2 #caged #freedom
“If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every women in Africa would be a millionaire.” - So many of us believe that people are poor because they are lazy and uneducated. Because they seek the hand out and refuse to learn. This statement couldn’t be more false. As Mother says, “We want to help. We want to help, but you have to empower us to help.“ It has been years and years of colonialism, corrupt government, and the giving and taking of resources, value, and dignity that continues this cycle of thought (on both sides ). Latitude and longitude lines should not determine the person’s worth. When will we stop allowing this to define people? When will we choose to see the person for who God has made them, rather than where they were born? When will we stop allowing this to feed into our biases? When? Let’s start now.
For eight years you have been my confidant, my iron, and my encourager. You have lifted me from low places and you have pushed me to look to the Lord in all things. Friendship is one of God’s greatest gifts and words of gratitude cannot begin to describe the gift you have been to me. I hope everyone has a Louisa in their life.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
After her performance she looked right at us; her family, her support system, her encouragers - as if she was asking ‘Did I do okay?’ ..and yes, Ella, a million times yes. You were unbelievably brave and incredibly inspiring. I am continuously impressed with how you have taken on your fears, and through this, you have taught me how to take on mine. - #openmic #blumenthalarts #fujifilmxt2
My desires, cares, and prayers will never be disconnected from Liberia. This is the country that raised me. They saw my faults and my imperfections. They knew my passion and sculpted it despite my failures. We have worked together, cried together, laughed together, learned together, and lived together. So much of who I am is because of who they are. - Today, for my 26th birthday, my only desire is to raise $2,600 for our land development. My Liberian family has never stopped to think of themselves, only to think of the the Lord first, and then those in need. So I must do the same. Prayerfully consider donating today through the link in my bio or Venmo:standingsidebyside. I appreciate each and every one of you who has followed this journey.
I love that the new year gives you the opportunity to look back and reflect. One memory stands out as my favorite. My dad and sister arriving in Liberia. After 6 years of doing ministry in this beautiful country, they were the first family members to visit and meet the people who have made a lasting impact on my heart. Each of them had such different experiences and it was an honor to see Liberia through their eyes. There were so many new things I was able to learn because of their curiosity and questions. They truly cared for each person as they shared stories, passions, and concerns. They carried the burdens of others and gained an incredible perspective. God used this trip to deeply impact many of our children in a great way. They were able to love well because they made it a point to remain equal to those they were serving, to come in and live the way they live without hesitation. I believe that their time spent in Liberia will shape eternity for their own hearts and for those they poured into. I know it has shaped mine.
Not one single day, in the last 7 years, has passed where angst, worry, and fear have not taken over my mind and heart. Even through it all, God has brought peace. The peace that “surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7 ) A year of growth, worship, and gratitude. My anxieties over lifes circumstances will only end in peace through “prayer and thanksgiving.” (Philippians 4:6 ) This kind of peace has given me an “inner calmness” that dominates my perspective, despite my understanding of His plan. To know Him is to love Him. To love Him is to trust Him. And to trust Him is to hold on to this irrevocable peace that Jesus gives His children. Jesus found immeasurable peace as he spoke on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:24 ) This is our example. And how could we believe it would be easy, when it was never easy for Him?
“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Galatians 5:17
Keep in mind that the holidays aren’t merry and bright for everyone. People are hurting. Families are broken. Loved ones won’t be present for the first time. Parents can’t afford for Santa to come to town. The forced yuletide joy is unbearable at some points during the traditions that will never be the same. And maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s good that our own brokenness opens our eyes to the people who are hurting around us. Don’t go blindly into the holidays thinking it’s the most wonderful time of the year for those around you. It’s most likely the worst. And we have to pay more attention to that. Be mindful of the brokenness. And be overwhelmed with worship when you celebrate the birth of God’s Son. That’s the only hope we have in this broken season. Jesus.