Changes for the New Year

This December has been an adventure – a whirlwind of emotions, anticipation and hope for adventure to come.  After all, that last part is what life with Christ is about.

Ricky quit his job at Fidelity National Title starting Dec. 1. They were kind enough to pay him thru December as a thank-you token for what he provided while there. We were stunned at his boss’s generosity. But not too stunned – Jeff has shown appreciation for Ricky’s work and presence there from Day 1 w/Fidelity, last September.  Who knows what Ricky’s gonna do with that huge Fidelity logo he got tattoo’d on his forearm. Maybe make it a sun or something.  He quit so he could go back on his own – work for himself again as a web consultant and designer. He’s got the best ideas around…I’ve heard so many of them…and they really are innovative. We’ve always joked around that one day one of his ideas is gonna take off and make tons of money. But of course, from what we’ve learned this last year about the needs of those in developing countries, we’d love that money – so we could invest in the lives and potential of those who are suffering RIGHT NOW. It really is all about the Kingdom – an eternal perspective and using our gifts, talents, time, and knowledge to further the will of God here on earth – however we can.

My job – my mandate – my passion – my calling – my anointing…still the same, although my literal job – my position – has just changed. I hung up my saddle about a week ago as Portland Ambassador for Stop Child Trafficking Now. No hard feelings at all. And I will certainly miss it – especially the support of those at the head office in NY. But a lot went into that decision that began stirring in me back in August – too much to write here.  Long story condensed, I followed what God was tuggin’ at me to do in order to make a continual, and even greater impact on Portland concerning the commercial sexual exploitation of children.  The SCTNow name was getting in the way of what the Lord was calling me to do, and keeping me from making some powerful connections. Many, I believe, I have yet to learn about.

I still don’t know what this new “role” will look like yet – what capacity or title I may have – if it means travelling, speaking in schools, becoming part of a government sanctioned committee that raises awareness, helping connect churches and NPO’s to make a stronger collaborative impact? I just don’t know yet.  But that in and of itself is exciting to me. I don’t have to have it all figured out right now. But I do need to be constantly listening to the Lord and His directives, and consult him about every single opportunity that arises..for I know there will be many.

I penned this poem yesterday … it describes how I feel about the change, pretty well:

I’m in this fight
I won’t do nothing
There lies a seed
Of hope for bought
My hands at work
I won’t be idle
Lest evil lurk
Upon my watch
It shall sustain
For profit pulls at 
The fabric of 
My bravery
I must remain
Extol the mandate
Abolish shame
And slavery
So here we go into 2013 – both jazzed about justice and new business ventures – so much I haven’t even written. But time will tell – history will tell – just how much faith we have and how much we believe God will direct us and do his will in our lives and in the lives our little family.

A Changing of Seasons in my Life

On to a new chapter after my first time planning a big event. Although a success & for such a worthy cause, it was hardly easy and too time consuming.  Now I am finding my way back to being ok with relaxation, sleeping in, family time – i mean, real, quality, undivided family time, watching the occasional TV show – yes, even a non-educational or PBS related show, perusing Costco and Target, getting back on top of laundry, finding the vacuum, washin’ dishes EVERY day, actually drying and curling my hair instead of air-drying it and pulling it back, getting on a schedule to be able to sing with a team of talented worshipers again (dang, how I’ve missed that).

Oh, and I’m starting to wrap my head around making real meals again for dinner,  buying & eating the right foods so I can get back into a comfortable 8, taking long hot baths, going for a drive to nowhere -if only to take in the beauty of fall in Oregon…

having more fun, more sex, more ice cream (yes, I know that presents a conflict with the whole size 8 thing), more conversations with friends that run deep (& building on a few fresh ones), more meaningful worship times including some kind of Bible-study, and more vacations with my gift from God I call family.

I’m about to add these to the list: pulling out the guitar again, writing many more songs, finishing the book, Under Cover and planning w/Rick some days where we’ll just spend time volunteering as a family somewhere.

Well that’s a lot. Looks like it’ll probably be as time consuming as before! Just different. But I need different right now. I’m really looking forward to this next season in my life.


A Sample Day in my Fight Against Child Trafficking in Portland

– I parked right by an Ambulance & walked over to the driver, told him we needed a medical emerg. person onsite and he wrote down GEORGIA with AMR (@ 793-8240) who I need to schedule that with – said she was great to work with, and to mention his name. He told me to tell her he said to give me a really good ‘deal’.

– Walked by 6 people in their 50’s-70’s who were standing in Pioneer Courthouse Square, holding hands, praying. I waited for the right time, and then offered them some postcards & said briefly what the Walk was about. They were happy to take them, & said they have been called by God to come to the Square ev. Mon & Wed. @ 12:10pm to pray for city and other things. And they told me they would pray for me, this event and the planning team too. I was so encouraged by this little group of faithful believers in the Lord. The leader told me he could tell I loved the Lord because he saw joy in my eyes. That made me smile.

– LM for Mayor Sam Adam’s assist. who I supposed passed it along to someone else in his office who called me back saying that she will begin looking into my two requests! This is great news for the homefront! :

1.) to help me find a highly visible place to hang a banner to advertise the Walk

2.) to set up a video recording of the Mayor saying something in support of SCTNow (since he can’t make it to the Walk)

– Heard back from a recycling receptacle co. who works w/the City (‘sustainability’?). Was referred to a very professional man who is in charge of providing these receptacles for non-profit events in Portland…and that this service including signs for these receptacles, is FREE. YEAH! I will call this Eric tmrw.

– LM to ask a friend to borrow his truck to transport all the tables, chairs and tents – ALL donated by City Bible Church (WOW) from their facility to the venue (may need to do this at like 6:45am Oct. 2nd).

– Rec’d approval for the 2 donated banners’ layout (3rd layout try). I’m HAPPY with both! So grateful. I was hoping for 6 weeks prior to the walk, but I’ll take 3 weeks prior. 🙂 It’s all free publicity. I do hope these two banners can be completed by this weekend – the 19th; I want to bring one with me when I speak Sunday at Horizon Community, & have it above my registration table. 🙂

– Drove all the way across town to meet with an Artist from Granada, Joachim to exchange a painting of his for a tax donation-receipt re: out SCTNow Art Auction I’m thinking of naming, “Art in Action”. … only to realize after waiting and not hearing from him that I remembered the date wrong – actually thought it was THURSDAY most of the morning. So felt pretty dumb. But at least we’re still going to meet … tomorrow!

I was able to make it back in time to hug my amazing son Braylon Emmanuel, at the bus stop.

It was a packed day, but still I have nagging thoughts of what things are yet undone. Maybe the small volunteer team can pick up where I left off on the route. If I continue to return to all my to-do’s all day long, every day, I will break under the pressure and do what I usually do in those times – just sob. Or in worst cases, have a panic attack. Sometimes I have to force myself to push those thoughts out of my ever-spinning brain so I can have a good chunk of time & focused attention on my family..or on praying. So many people I know of right now, need prayer.

I really want a date night with my husband, without thinking about this event. He’s never been busier w/his small business either. So we are in new territory – the both of us are up every night on our laptops til 12-1:30am. But there is always a light: We are both tryin to make sure we celebrate one day off a week…with no technology…no work…no TV & sometimes no cell phone…it’s usually Sundays. God is helping me to prioritize every part of every day.  Again, new territory. I’ve always struggled with time management, but this is a whole new ball game! Ricky is so great about being there for me, being patient, and giving me gentle reminders. A couple times in the last few months, they were not so gentle. But for good reason. I was out of balance and his frustration was honest and well founded and helped me evaluate my schedule & make some needed changes…like:  many days of the week now, I do not have my laptop to even be tempted to work during the day. I don’t watch TV (which I’m glad is not a temptation), so these days I basically force myself to do housework, make meals and (not force myself on this next one… but) spend some time on FUN activities with the kids like fishing, live concerts in the park, cheap matinée’ movies, swimming or hot tubbing (like this afternoon with Braylon), going on a walk or out to ice cream…or watching his favorite show right alongside him.. tonight it was, the Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild! Or Angel’s choice yesterday was a movie, “Wild Animal Babies”.

I am planning a road trip for the 3rd weekend of Oct. for us 4 to drive down the Gorge & over to SE Washington … Walla Walla. Visit relatives, fish, roast marshmallows on an open fire pit, & just soak up God’s beauty – the beauty of a close knit family & of His nature in the fall. It is so amazing. I’m also planning on attending a live concert w/my mom, to see one of my favorite artists of all time, perform THIS month, on the 28th…Harry Connick Jr. I can’t wait!

I can’t believe the Lord is utilizing me the way has so far – and will be the rest of the year. It literally would knock my socks off if I had any on. He has opened so many doors for me in this new ministry to help put an end to child slavery & forced prostitution, to sing again -at church (after October, mostly but I am singing a solo Sept.26th already – a wonderful song of hope and vision-casting!)… and to just share about His goodness & faithfulness to friends.  I’ll end this long-winded post with the lyrics to the song I will be singing. It really does encompass my whole reason for living right now. I long to have God’s kingdom come and his will be done right here in Portland, as it is in heaven…and I strongly believe in the vocal declaration of these things he has already said are his will – that are YET TO COME, YET TO HAPPEN –  believing for them and rejoicing in them before they arrive and when they do, WOW. What an even greater story to tell, to brag on our Lord to everyone – yet one more example of His never ending love and faithfulness. CHECK out these lyrics below.

~ Do it Lord ~

by, Tommy Walker

I see your glory, covering the earth Lord
Just as the waters, covering the sea
I see the millions, coming to salvation
I see revival, fire in the land
I see the lost, nameless ones remembered
I see the widows, shouting out your praise
I see the friendless, loved and cele brated
Orphans fullfilling Lord, your calling on their lives

Do It Lord, do it lord
Do it Lord we are praying
Do it Lord, do it
That your glory may be seen

I see forgiveness over taking hatred
Pride and prejudice, now giving way to love
I see depression replaced with joy and gladness
And Satan’s lies, now bowing to the truth

Do It Lord, do it lord
Do it Lord we are praying
Do it Lord, do it!
That your glory may be seen

This is our prayer oh God
This is our desperate cry
In these days that were living now
Let your kingdom come
Let your will be done

I see the brokeness of families, brought to wholeness
I see the prodigals, running home to you
Father’s hearts, now turning toward their children
And the children’s hearts, turning toward the fathers

I see your Church, all rising up in power
Laying down their lives in unity and love
I hear the sound of every tribe and nation
Giving glory to Jesus Christ the Son

The road I’m walking down, to Stop Child Trafficking Now

Last fall, I learned more and more about the industry of child prostitution and trafficking, world-wide and in the US. The more I learned, the more I felt compelled. I signed up for the Austin Walk, was able to raise about $350., and had a blast supporting this cause which fights to set children free of slavery & abuse. I remember lookin’ on Stop Child Trafficking Now’s website to see if Portland, OR had a walk. Continue reading

Chains of Shame – a song about human trafficking

The words of this song were written through the eyes of a (fictional) 16 yr old girl from Russia. A nameless girl who was tricked into travelling to America, “the land of the free and the brave”, for a better job & life, yet fell victim to the 2nd fastest growing industry in the world, human trafficking. These are the thoughts I imagined her to think after nearly 3 yrs, held & forced into a life of survival sex, by one man and his organized ring of traffickers, pimps and buyers of children.


It’s in 3/4 time (a waltz). The verses’ tune is soft, w/a heavier evanescence-feel on the chorus & tag.

Chains of Shame

if God can forget all the chiefest of sins, surely He has forgotten my kind

i think it’s been 33 months since my innocence, but i’ve lost all sense of time

dreams, aspirations, love, education, plans for a future and hope

like my body, they’re stripped of their meaning; beaten, now bleeding, almost a joke

how.. could.. i be… so stupid?!
i cant believe who i’ve become since i believed him

theres.. no… way out now!!
out of this darkness, out of these chains…of shame

chains of shame

bought until worthless, diseased and addicted; who in their right mind would care

to free the (underground) oppressed, cover this nakedness, and offer poor wanderers rest
who in their right mind would really stand up to such powerful people now a’days?

if i could still dream, i’d sit by a clear stream and smile as they lock him away
нарушите эти цепи позора (pronounced: “lou-doo-shut-slites-itz. shay-pee-pah-zorah” meaning, “break these chains of shame” – in Russian)
break these chains of shame (x2)
I turned 16 years old last week
I turned 23 tricks on my birthday
I turned from bitter…to numb. I’m so bound
Tell me, how will this all turn around?
Can you help me break these chains (x2)
Will you help me break these chains (x4)
These chains of shame


Is.1:17-18 Learn to do good.
Seek justice.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
“Come now, let’s settle this,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow.

Matt. 25:37-40 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Is. 58:6-11
6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.