goodbye america! {africa bound}

Lately my life has felt like one big thank you note. A constant stream of gratitude - so thankful for the way people have prayed, donated money, supplies and time. 

Grateful for my friend Christina, who insisted she bring over the biggest pack in America (90 L!) last night, even though she was already home, showered and tucking her baby in bed. 

For the baby clothes and DSLR camera Courtney sent me to have on the trip, hoping I could connect with the kids while I'm there. 

For the way Duke and Sam came over to say goodbye and decided right then and there to take the shoes off their feet and put them in my pack. Quite literally the hands and feet of Christ. 

For the advice Ashley gave me before I go - knowing my sensitive heart and the way I can become overwhelmed by the need to fix everything right now.

Just love the person in front of you. Be present with them and love them the best you can

is what she told me. 

For the love, financial support and advice my parents have poured out on me. Reminding me to get cash, send them my itinerary and print my traveler's insurance. The way they know me well enough to know all the baby clothes in the world would be in my bag but a toothbrush for me? Always a chance that  might get overlooked. 

For the way you have all worn my bracelets, sharing them with your friends, asking them to help. They way you have literally carried me to this point. 

For the fact that I feel actually


writing this post because I know there is absolutely no way I could thank everyone in this one little spot. Truly the words you've given me, prayers you've placed over the trip and donations you've made have moved me beyond words. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I wish there was a bigger word than thank you because I'd say it 1,000 times. 

But there isn't. So I just have to tell you:

thank you so much. 

I leave this afternoon and feel ready. Packed. Excited. It's time. 

I've tried not to look up anything about Uganda before I go, which is highly unlike me, but also strategic. I don't want to know details about the country. I don't want to have expectations because too often I get my expectations too high up. I don't want to go into this trip mentally prepared for what I will get to do and see. I just want to go and do and be. 

And although I've already asked for more than enough, if you're still willing, I'd greatly appreciate it if you would....


that I can show people Christ. That I go and do whatever it is I am supposed to do over there. That I stay present and love abundantly, without fear or worry. That my time in Uganda is used well.


that I don't feel anxious about not exercising for two weeks. That I embrace the physical rest I know my body will need during such a mentally and emotionally exhausting trip. That I not let the ugly thoughts of not being enough without running seep into my brain and cloud my time in Africa. That I fully, fully embrace being in the moment. 


for safe travels and living fully in God's plan. That I be used for a purpose while I'm there.  

And with that, off I go! Thank you, thank you!



PS I have awesome bloggers lined up to post while I'm gone so be sure to check back over the next few weeks. They'll be blogging about a time they trusted their guts since that is, after all,

exactly how I landed myself on a plane to Africa

. They're awesome people - be sure to give them good love. XO

and the winner is...

First of all, THANK YOU! So much! To everyone who participated in my giveaway. I was absolutely blown away by the incredible support. With your help, I raised almost $1,000 of the $4,000 I need for the trip.

Do you know how amazing that is? You're all AMAZING.  And that is still an understatement.

So thank you. THANK YOU! For your support.

And now, what you all want to hear. Our winner! As chosen by the random number generator: Ashley!

Of all of the non-family members who entered, indeed, my own sister won. I swear I didn't hand pick her :)

Congratulations and happy cooking, dearest Ashira. I just might have to personally deliver it to Denver! 

And THANK YOU again to everyone who helped along the way! I love you! :)

thank you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
This is the only thing I can think to write today.
Thank you to my amazing brothers who came to Atlanta just for Cheers for Children.
Thank you to my friends for attending the event and supporting a cause that has become so dear to me.
Thank you to my family for supporting me the last few months as I, yet again, took on too many things and ran around like a crazy woman.
Thank you to everyone who couldn't attend Cheers for Children, but supported the cause by lifting up everyone who put on the event.
This year's event was such a great night - with Duke and Sam, old friends, new friends and so much dancing. Thank you so much for everyone who made the night incredible!
And some photobooth ridiculousness...
But especially to Duke and Sam for being the best brothers ever, and coming all the way to Atlanta just for it. It was amazing to have you here!
Of course, we didn't just sit around waiting for Cheers all weekend. Other highlights include:
Dinner at Farm burger, the VaHi Fest and froyo (a Biber kind of Friday!).
Pool time, Duke and Sam hanging my headboard (I told you they were the best!), some runs and green smoothies, backyard frisbee and much more. YAAY! Happy weekend :)
I hope yours was amazing and in case you missed it: thank you! For being you.