Compassion Bloggers

My joints and calf are feeling much better now, and of all my moments spent resting & reading on the couch last week, this one was my favorite:

The moment my inbox said I had an email from this guy…

His name is Shaun Groves, and he works with Compassion- a child sponsorship and advocacy organization.

Of all my moments resting & reading on the couch last week, this one was my scariest:

The moment my inbox said I had an email from this guy…

His name is Shaun Groves, and I’ve been praying HARD about what he said in that email ever since I got it. The second paragraph of his email read:

 

“I’m headed to Peru in November with a bunch of bloggers and I’d very much like you to consider joining us.”

 

I first learned about the Compassion Blogger trips soon after we started sponsoring a little boy named Wat (from Thailand) a few years ago.

Since then, I’ve read about several friends’ Compassion Blogger experiences on their blogs, (AngieNesterRee, Gussy, Emily) but I hadn’t ever really thought about what I would do if I had an opportunity to take one. They do, after all, involve (sometimes) getting shots, and (always) flying on airplanes.

Truth #1: I’m afraid of all medicines. Pill, liquid, powder or paste- I can’t bring myself to even take a Tylenol unless I have the most monster-sized migraine ever. Why? At some point along the way my brain decided to believe that I will most definitely have a bad or allergic (and possibly fatal) reaction to them. I also can’t shake the thought that someone has actually filled (or re-filled) my medicine containers with something other than what the label on it says. Something poisonous, or that I’m allergic to, of course. Irrational? Probably. But I titled this paragraph with the word, “truth”, so there ya have it.

Truth #2: The last time I traveled by plane was in 2005. I hadn’t flown for a few years before that because of a previous scary experience I had while flying, but I needed to join Kevin on a songwriting-related trip to Los Angeles. It was going to be a hard trip for him and he asked that I go with for emotional support. Upon take-off, it became abundantly clear that I was, in fact, still 100% terrified of flying, and I had one of those get-me-off-this-plane-right-now moments that shook me to my core. I had the mother of all panic attacks on that flight and spent the entire five-day trip completely freaked about how we were going to get home. (So much for that emotional support Kev was hoping for!) Because of fear, I came THISCLOSE to insisting that we DRIVE back to Alabama from Los Angeles. I cried desperate tears in the air on the way back home, and vowed to never fly again after we (somehow) (miraculously) made it back home safely aboard flight 308.

I’ll never forget that number.

I’m kidding.

I don’t remember the number, but I am totally serious about how scared I am to fly. Irrational? Probably. But, again, I’m just spittin’ the truth here.

(You can imagine my surprise when I began to feel a call to internationally adopt. More about that in a future post!)

All that said, and needless to say, I’ve had time to really think about what I would do if I had an opportunity to take a Compassion Blogger trip over the past few days.

The answer I’ve decided to commit to:

I’d go.

I’d go to Peru with God, and my husband, and a bunch of fellow bloggers- whom I cannot wait to meet. And, yes, I will get through those flights. (I will get through those flights, I will get through those flights) I’ve already got a burning, stress-knot the size of Machu Picchu in my stomach, but I know I will I have a rope bridge moment when we land safe and sound. No matter how afraid I get when I think about flying- actually sitting in that seat, smelling the smells, hearing the noises, and knowing how high we are off the ground- the thought of stepping off an airplane and sporting a smile that almost doesn’t fit on my face makes me want to try again.

While I was thinking & praying, and thinking & praying this weekend, I thought about the reasons why I should go, and the reasons why I shouldn’t go. The list of why shouldnt’s was very short and entirely fear-based. The list of why should’s doesn’t seem to have an ending (I haven’t found one yet anyway), and in a nutshell, it’s a matter of mattering, and showing less-fortunate folks they do.

I am so grateful for the opportunity the folks at Compassion have given us, and I feel blessed to have been invited to go with them.

So what is the purpose of a Compassion Bloggers trip?

Shaun says, “I think it’s helpful for all of us to remember the purpose of these trips. They are not rewards for faithful support of Compassion, nor are they your one opportunity to meet your sponsored child. Compassion International has an open door policy: Any sponsor can see Compassion’s ministry for themselves and meet their sponsored child. Go here to learn more about Sponsor Tours.

These trips are primarily journalistic: spending a week in a country asking questions, taking pictures, experiencing poverty and witnessing progress, ingesting large amounts of programmatic information and regurgitating it all nightly in the form of a blog post. It’s hard work.

Compassion Blogger trip is designed to do three things:

1. Release From Poverty: Get as many children sponsored as possible with integrity.

2. Inform Sponsors: Educate sponsors at home about the particulars of Compassion’s ministry to their child.

3. Expose & Inspire: Introduce first-world Christians to third-world need and ministry and to what the bible says about poverty in hopes that they will care for the poor even if it’s not through Compassion International.”

I hope you’ll follow along with our posts from Peru. We’ll be traveling from November 12-18th.

In the meantime, I know that I need to focus on what happens during the DASH, not the flights before and after it.

Music makes me less afraid. Let’s listen Shaun play some today!

(This performance of Come By Here, by Shaun Groves, was recorded in a bathroom on a previous Compassion Blogger trip. Gotta love those acoustics!)

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Comments

    • Layla says

      Thank you, sweet friend. :-) You always know what to say! Thank you for taking the time to talk with me the other night, too. So blessed to be your friend! :-)

      • Misty says

        Your blog is amazing and so is your heart, Layla. I just wanted to encourage you today and tell you how proud I am of you for following God’s call in your life. I know it isn’t always easy but I also know that He will bless you for your desire to draw near to Him and to live your life in accordance to His plans and purposes for you. Thank you as well for being an encouragement to me today (interesting how He does that, isn’t it? Uses so many means to reach ou to His children – awesome!) … I”ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and hadn’t realized you were a Christian until I read this post … that fact just makes you even more beautiful – inside and out! May God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine on you in all that you do in His name. Be strong in Him! xx

  1. says

    How wonderful for you both! It will change your life, I’m sure. It will hugely humble you and expand your worldview…which are good things! I say don’t be afraid of the shots. The one person I went to Africa about 5 years ago who didn’t get them was the one who came back sick as a dog!

    The Lord has given you this opportunity for His purpose. Enjoy the ride!!

  2. says

    Oh, Layla, this is wonderful news! :) I think you will be blessed for setting your fears aside and heading to Peru to serve. My in-laws have been to Peru several times with a church mission trip, and it is definitely a country in need. You will be a ray of sunshine and hope. :)

  3. says

    Hey Layla! It’s been awhile! I hope you and Kevin are doing well. Here’s one line that realy spoke to me yesterday when we had a guest on the show: “Don’t let FEAR replace your FAITH!” If God as opened this door for you to go, he can give you the faith and the drive to overcome. Keep your faith and squash your fear.
    With love- Heather Boyd

  4. Mary Feagley says

    Lots of prayers will be going with you! Thanks to you and Kelly Stamps, we have had our “daughter” Lizeth, from Ecuador for almost a year. She has the same birthday as our daughter and we are so blessed by Lizeth’s presence in her life. We know they will grow in God…together!

  5. Jen says

    I decided to sponsor after the blogger trip to Kenya just about wrecked my entire world. So just know that your words will have a profound impact on your readers and those lovely little souls you’ll get to meet. What a gift! How exciting! Can’t wait to read along!

  6. Stacey says

    Hello, I have been following you for a long time but have never commented. I completely understand your fear of flying and have the same fear myself – it started after a scary experience but has continued through many non-scary flights. It has kept me from some great experiences so I finally decided I was not going to let fear dictate my decisions.

    There are a lot of great resources to help you through the flight and each one does get better. I listen to a “fear of flying” podcast during flights and it helps tremendously – I also went through a “Fear of Flying” free online resource that helped as well. I only mention these because I know this fear can take over and take away some of the excitement of the trip. Hey, with some of these resources I made it all the way to Ecuador for a mission trip!!

    Enjoy!!

  7. says

    Be sure to keep us posted. I am sure there are MANY of us that would love to help and be a part of your mission in any way we can.
    (I wish I could fly for you because that part doesn’t bother me AT ALL).
    I am sure you will do some great work.

  8. says

    How wonderful, Layla! The Lord will be faithful to you while serving His people and follow His call! We sponsor two children from Compassion, as well. One of my best friends is currently going through the international adoption process– they are hoping for a little boy from Ethiopia :) It’s an amazing thing to watch, and tells such a story of God’s grace and redemption. Can’t wait to read about your journey!

  9. Cathy says

    So proud and excited for y’all! Let me know if ther is anything I can do to help you prepare or while you are gone!

    Cathy

  10. says

    Conquering your fears, for the sake of those less fortunate, is an inspiration to us all! I’m looking forward to your inside view of the work in Peru!

  11. says

    You will be fine Layla!!! Think of them as baby steps. Baby steps onto the plane. Baby steps (and calming breaths) during the flight. Baby steps off the plane and to your amazing destination and purposeful calling and then start baby stepping your way back home. By then- those baby steps will be easy! :)
    Have you seen the movie ‘What about Bob’ ? Rent it if you haven’t- it is fantastic!! :) What an amazing opportunity for you!! It sounds incredible to be able to give back through blogging this way!

      • says

        Yes!!! I’m SAILING!!!! :D I laugh hysterically the entire movie! I think it’s because I can sooo relate to Bob and to baby-stepping :) I am a big time baby stepper myself- I have even blogged about it and how great it feels to take those baby steps! You will have the best time Layla and you will be so glad that you went!!

  12. says

    THRILLED you and Kevin are coming with us to Peru. Your sarcasm? My sarcasm? Good times. Looking forward to getting to know you both much better.

    Now, take that enormous picture of my head down.

    ; )

  13. says

    What an awesome adventure to be a part of. You will most definitely come back a changed woman. Making the decision to go despite being afraid is very noble! May God’s peace be in your heart on this journey!

    Isaiah 41:8-10
    8 But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
    9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
    and called from its farthest corners,
    saying to you, “You are my servant,
    I have chosen you and not cast you off”;
    10 fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
    I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    John 14:25-27
    25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

  14. says

    Layla,
    Thank you so much for being REAL in this post, this is why I love reading your blog. Your #1 and #2 truths are pretty much mine as well and we did talk a bit at Haven about fears, I’m the girl who wouldn’t take the elevator. ;) Anyways, can’t wait to see what God does through this! Thank you for being such an encouragement!!!!!!!!!

  15. says

    I’ve said it about 14 times now but I’m SO EXCITED for you guys. I can’t wait to see pictures and read your words and yeah…so excited!

  16. says

    Awesome Layla (and Kevin)!! I’m so proud of you for stepping out on faith! I love Compassion’s blogger trips because it raises so much awareness AND helps kids. I’m glad you mentioned your adoption and a future post about that because I’ve been wondering for about a year and a half about that. :)

  17. Sharon Supalla says

    Dear Layla, I enjoy your blog so much! After reading your post about Compassion (which I sponsor a little girl from Bolivia, I think she is my 4th child to sponsor). I just pray that this will sink down in your spirit, that God loves you perfectly, and His love is not dependent on our own merits or performance, it is completely based on what Jesus accomplished on the Cross. It is this Truth that will cast out every fear, every lie, every anxiety, every doubt and every worry. Let this revelation of Jesus and how He made you perfect, grow in your consciousness and begin to receive a greater and greater measure of His complete Shalom (health, provision and total well- being into your life today! God loves you perfectly! And Layla, you are His beloved child!!! Don’t miss out on what God planned for your life because of fear anxiety! His perfect love casts out fear!! God Bless you Layla, and have a miraculous trip to Peru!! Shalom, Sharon

  18. Mary S. says

    dear Layla, as one who completely understands and relates to both the fears you listed, may I recommend two helpful hints? JJ Heller’s song, “Your Hands” (written at a time in her life when she was suffering from panic and anxiety) and to remind yourself constantly, “God is bigger than my fear.” I love your decorating so much, but it’s posts like these that keep me coming back. You give me hope. Thank you.

  19. says

    Excited to meet you, Layla (and Kevin) and look forward to following along!

    God will meet you, no doubt. And He will meet those children through you.

    And this song–I played that full blast in my car with tears streaming down my face, while I drove back and forth from home during my mom’s short battle with brain cancer–until I actually moved into the hospice home with her.

    Well, I cry through whole album, but I do love this song.

    Wanting Him, we want for nothing. Amen.

  20. says

    You will love it. Even the scary parts. Maybe especially the scary parts. I read this amazing quote this week on fear – it said, “‘Most think that following your BLISS leads to your destiny, It actually comes from following your greatest FEAR.” ~ Bobette Buster at Q Epiphany, NYC.

    So yea, board that plane and find your destiny through the fear. We’ll all be here cheering you on!

    ~Lisa-Jo

  21. says

    What a blessing this will be! You are making the right choice, and facing your fears will be worth it. I can’t wait to read about your experience. I’d love to do something like this in the future.

  22. Pam Ballard Pauly says

    layla, You can do this trip. God will be there going with you and before you. So many people need to hear about Compassion and you are such a great team to spread the word. AWe will all support you both in our prayers. Pam

  23. says

    Layla, I’m so proud of you for doing this! I’ve been through many scary situations and close calls. The thing that kept me going and allowed me to put myself back into these situations again is knowing that no matter what happens, GOD is in control, even when we are not which is a freeing thought and always gives me peace. We never know what will happen to us day-to-day even if we are safe in our cozy house, we just need to walk by faith, not by sight. This scripture has become the motto for my life.

    If God is for us, who and what could be against us? I believe He chose you for this trip to Peru for a reason and I can’t wait to hear all about this trip! :)

  24. says

    Layla, for the past two years, my husband and I have gone on a mission trip to Puerto Maldonado, Peru. We have friends that are there permanently and have started a youth outreach…God is doing some amazing stuff through them. I can’t even put in to words what those trips have meant to us. I feel such a connection to those kids, despite the language barrier. To be able to serve alongside my husband has been one of the most rewarding things in my life so far (we grew so much together during those trips). I promise you won’t regret this trip…just remember why you are there. We are already starting to plan our trip next March!

  25. Katie Morene says

    Congratulations on getting the best of your fear! You’ll be a great addition to the group.

  26. says

    Layla, I know you don’t know me, I don’t know you except through your blog which I have been following for a very long time and feel like I do know you but I am so proud of you for going on this trip. I will be praying for you as you go. Love your blog and design tips. Keep meaning to send in photo of my living room so you can do your magic but old minds just can’t remember. Let us know before you go to Peru and after. God bless you.

    Teresa

  27. says

    So excited for you! I love reading about other’s experiences on these trips, it definitely makes me feel closer to my Compassion child. I’ll be praying for peace and confidence as you head on this adventure!

  28. Barbara Scheihing says

    That’s so great that you are going despite your fears. God will bless you for trusting and putting all your faith in Him. I too am going on a trip with my church in a few days to Moldova and I too have a horrible fear of flying. I have taken many different trips throughout the years and realized that if I had stayed home and listened to my fear, I would have missed out on so many wonderful things in my life. During take-offs and landings I especially like to keep saying His promises over and over in my head and it seems to keep me relaxed…(except for the sweaty palms!!!) May the love of Christ shine through you to those you are ministering to and enjoy all that He has in store for you. For His Glory.

  29. says

    Thanks to Shaun Groves, this is my first time visiting your blog. Looks like one to explore more as you prepare for your trip to Peru! Can’t wait to read all about your experiences once you are there… :)

  30. says

    That’s amazing!!! From now until then, I promise to pray for you, Kevin and all of the bloggers every time I read your blog. More importantly, I promise you that I will pray that God will give you the peace and courage to handle this!

    I have sponsored a little girl named Makena from Kenya through Compassion for 7 years. I’ve been blessed by her life and by my contribution to it. I would love the opportunity to meet her one day!

  31. says

    Well Layla, this is indeed the hand of God at work in this broken world. I follow your blog and saw the title today and kind of skipped over it as I thought that it had to do with some celebrity thing….let me explain – my eldest daughter (29) is an achodroplastic dwarf – there is a long story there but for right now this is enough). Last night she posted on Facebook the plight of a wee boy in Russia – a couple that she met through Little People of America is leading a fundraising mission to get this child out of the most horrific of conditions. I was so angry at God – how, I said to Him, could you possibly say “Suffer the little children come unto me” and then leave them in these situations? I told Him that there was little that I could do but if He had compassion at all and wanted me to have complete faith in Him, He would find someway to help this child. Would I be able to send you the link – if you think that it is as compelling as I do, perhaps you could spread the word about this fundraising and perhaps we could find this wee thing a home and a family to love him? This couple have personally committed to match up to $2000 in donations……I think you have my email address and I would be delighted to send you the information to consider. Thank you so much and just like God has worked this little miracle, he will work to help you with yours too. With love

  32. says

    Layla, thank you so much for posting this. I found myself welling up with tears as I read this, because I deal with those exact same fears (flying and medication), and they have stopped me from doing a lot of things. I have totally been there — the only one on a flight freaking out, panicking, feeling certain that the flight is going to crash or that something horrible is going to happen. It’s the most awful feeling. But I am so inspired by you and the fact that you are so determined, and I am so very happy for you because I know that God will be with you and your hubby on this amazing trip, and He will take the best care of you. Thank you so much for giving us examples truth and passion and a faith — you are amazing!

  33. says

    Layla,
    The last one of my friends to visit Peru came home six months later with two babies — a boy & a girl — she couldn’t decide on one so she adopted both! She told me it was a hard place to be. Children live in the street and beg for food. When she fed them, neighbors yelled at her, explaining “now they will never get rid of them.” {As if they were hungry stray animals.} You made the right choice. Fear is the only thing to fear. You are fulfilling God’s purpose. Trust that HE will keep you safe and know you remain in our prayers. I will read every.single.word.
    Your Friend,
    Deborah

  34. says

    Girl, I FEEL YA on the flying…..I was reading that and remembering the MANY panicked/embarrassing moments I’ve had on airplanes and at airports across the country. : ) My awesome friends made me a list of bible verses that speak to fear and I LITERALLY carry it with me on all flights…reading it over and over. Also (and I’m not a huge fan of medicines either), I’ve found that one Xanax taken 1-2 hours before the flight REALLY helps. Doesn’t put me to sleep, but just helps my heart relax a little, ya know? I think it’s so awesome that you’re going on the trip! God really uses those experiences that are way out of our comfort zones, and I have no doubt He’ll bless you hugely!

    • Jenna says

      I want to just add my two cents to Sherri’s recommendation of Xanax. I flew from September 2002 – last year, having either full blown panic attacks or close to it. every. single. flight. I was worse without my girls flying with me. I am a totally natural girl and was not going to take unnecessary medications just to fly.

      Modern medicine is a blessing for us to use when needed. I take 1 Xanax right after we have dropped off our luggage and right before we head into security. It gets me through the flight without have a major freakout. The first time I was horrified that I would be the one to have a crazy reaction to the meds. After that I it became easier to know that I am blessed to have this little miracle in my life that makes flying possible and a lot better for my husband and daughters.

      I have a girlfriend that swears by 1/2 Xanax and a sleeping pill from AZ to Europe. Good luck with your adventure, my prayers are with you.

  35. says

    That is awesome, Layla! I will pray you do great on your flight, and that God really uses your trip! It sounds like it will be an adventure!

  36. Amber says

    I am so proud of you that you are putting your fear aside and doing such good for those who have such little. I hope that your heart is at peace during the flight.

  37. Aimee says

    Wow….your top two fears match my top two fears. =D Glad to know I’m not alone. Now…if I can just fly to Florida to see family…..

  38. Kate says

    I love your blog and even when I’m taking a break from reading them I never stop reading yours. I believe this is my FAVORITE POST THAT YOU HAVE EVER WRITTEN. Good for you, brave girl. I’ll be praying.

  39. says

    Thanks for writing about this great organization. We have sponsored children through “Compassion” for many years…how rewarding. I followed the “Pioneer Woman’s” children and husband’s experience several years ago. What a dream for you to take this trip. Reading what you wrote, made me feel that I need to be less afraid of a surgery I am terrified to have, but one that could make my life so much better and you know what, I am going to have that surgery and what you have written has given ME the courage to ‘go for it’. Thank you so much! I too, have a lot of fears – mostly flying and anything involving a hospital, surgery, injections, drugs….

  40. Cathy B says

    I loved seeing Wat’s picture! We adopted one of our sons from Vietnam (he turned 14 yesterday!) and children of Asian countries seem to jump off the page or stand out in a crowd. Must be because I love one so much. Thanks for the good stuff you do.

  41. says

    Layla, I can’t wait to follow your blog posts about your trip. This is such an important cause and I know you will be helping these children so very much. So happy your facing your fears and following your heart. x

  42. says

    Wow, Layla. I completely feel you on the flying bit. I’m completely petrified. But oh, how worth it will all have been in the end. I’ll be looking forward to your trip.

  43. Melinda says

    I love how God loves us – how He holds us tightly in His mighty hands, fears, warts and all and says I am greater, greater than all your fears. He loves you just as He loves those little ones in Peru and I believe He is bringing you both together for His purposes. How blessed you will be and how your heart will be changed forever.

    I can hardly wait to read your words and see your pictures. Many blessings as you go. I will be praying…

  44. shelby says

    Have I not commanded you? be STRONG, COURAGEOUS, do NOT be terrified, do NOT be discouraged, for the LORD your GOD will be with you, WHEREVER you may go. Joshua 1:9
    :)
    Cracking up a little from truth one, get out of my head! I suffered with agoraphobia for years so I hear you loud and clear. This is what I do know, a panic attack, while uncomfortable, won’t kill you, it will build and decrease, egg it on and see, it’s nothing to fear. I applaud you for doing this, do it afraid and let God shine through you and be glorified.
    Big Hugs from Cali

  45. Becky says

    What an opportunity! Valid fears; however, either could happen whether you are in Alabama or Peru. Make friends with everyone around you on the plane, get an aisle seat, walk around a lot, make friends with the flight staff, and lock yourself in the bathroom with a picture of your “sponsor” child. It will be all worth it in the end. Don’t you just love it when the “Big Guy” pushes us out of our comfort zone – in your case – out of a plane!!
    Yes, you are meant to go. Plane, pills, shots, all of it.

    I am very excited for you. I’m sure I am not just speaking for myself; if any of your 1,000’s of followers want to help defray some of the costs for both you and Kevin, I would gladly donate $10.00. Anybody want to set up an on-line account for Layla and Kevin to accept donations?

    Remember, your “going” will bless more people than you know. One person does make a difference.

    ~Becky in California

  46. says

    This is SO SO SO exciting!! It’s my dream to go on a Compassion Bloggers trip someday.. eventually… so I will be living vicariously through your every word.

    I’m absolutely certain that God will be so busy working in the most amazing ways that you will not even give a thought to the flight back home while you’re there. I”m also certain that He answers prayers, removes fear, gives supernatural peace. Especially when you’re right in the center of His will, doing exactly what He asked you to do.

    Only amazing things ahead for you, my friend! So excited for you!

  47. says

    Layla – I just want to tell you that I have been EXACTLY where you are with anxiety and panic. I had the same fears about medicine and flying. I had panic attacks several times a day. I have been panic free for over 6 years now and it was no small miracle. I was pretty debilitated for a while – couldn’t even care for my kids. I am telling you … you can do this!! You might need a little Xanax to take the edge off – but you will get off that plane in Peru and be so proud of yourself – it will be pure joy!

    After not flying for 12 years, my husband took me to Barcelona, Spain for my 40th birthday. I was scared to death, but I did it and it has opened up a whole new feeling of freedom for me.

    I will be happy to talk or email anytime if you need a shoulder. Don’t dwell … it will only make it worse. :)

  48. says

    What a wonderful opportunity for you, Layla! I have no doubt that your focus will be on the good that you will do when you get to Peru, that the flight there (and back) will be the smallest thought in your mind.

    I’ve been flying since I was four (having flown from the UK to Australia), and I’m sure I’ve flown several hundred thousand miles at this point, and let me tell you – it’s much safer than driving!

    Good luck to you and Kevin!

  49. says

    I love your blog and I have never commented before either. I think this opportunity for you and your husband is simply amazing and I think that it is great that you have decided to commit to going.
    Please know that you do not have to fly in fear.. there are so many tool to help people who are fearful. I urge you to look some up and find some help for yourself so that you can be the best possible you for your wonderful adventure. You deserve it!

  50. Kathryn says

    Layla,

    I have loved, loved your diy tips and renovations – but the Compassion blogging takes your site to the next level for me. God has given you a platform to help others – how great is that?

    And “Perfect love casts out fear.” As you look to Him, He will lead you in this adventure. Nothing will be quite the same.

    Praying for you, joyfully!

  51. says

    Yay! I’m so glad you’re going. I work for Compassion and always thought you should go on one of these trips. You will have so much fun and be so challenged at the same time. Thank you for responding to Proverbs 31:8 with your platform!

  52. says

    P.S. Now that I think of it, I remember that when I found out you were a sponsor, I submitted your name to our web team to go on a trip! :)

    By the way, I wrote a book called “Hope Lives” that Compassion sometimes uses to prepare people to go on trips like these – about how the average person can respond to poverty. I’ll send you a copy if you like, just email me your address! [email protected]

  53. Anna says

    I loved this post and the song at the end was exactly the message to repeat to yourself in preparation for the trip… that Jesus will come to meet you in your weakness and will totally be with you in that plane. He can even give you that “rope bridge” moment of victory over your fear of flying once and for all! That is what I will be praying for you as you journey to Peru in a few months. Thanks for your open honesty, Layla. It’s what keeps me coming back to your blog time after time. That and the design ideas :o)

  54. Krystal says

    Our family sponsors 3 children. One through World Vision, one through Compassion International, & one through Food For the Hungry. One of which is my 16 year olds child she pays for herself :-)
    I pray some day we can travel and possibly meet our sponsor kids. What a neat opputunity you and Kevin have <3 I can't wait to read about your trip!

  55. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    I was crying by the 2nd paragraph. There is a REASON for this trip. I am so very proud of you kids!!!!
    Replace the F word!!!!!! No more FEAR, just FAITH!
    Let Go. Let God.
    My favorite saying…… (see below)

    My Dear,
    Let me do it.
    Love,
    God
    P.S. Now, what can we do to help —- besides pray?

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Ter’e!
      We are always so happy to see you here! :-D
      I LOVE that little letter you included in your comment. Matter of fact, I think I need to print that out and take it with me to Peru!

      Thank you!!!

  56. Betsy Derr says

    A boy named Peter grew up in Uganda. He did not own a pair of shoes until he was 18 years old. He was sponsored by Compassion and got to go to good schools. He wound up at The Master’s College in Southern California where he knew a girl named Lisa. He introduced Lisa to my son, Kevin. Kevin and Lisa got married and Peter was a groomsman. Peter now works for Compassion and flies all over the world all the time getting sponsors for kids. It is so great to see how God is using him and how he has come full circle. Compassion is a wonderful group of people. Glad you’ll be working with them!

  57. says

    Layla – I’m so happy for you. You are a courageous gal! So glad that you have made a commitment to not letting fear win by making you miss out on amazing.
    I’ll be praying for you! :)

    Brenda

  58. Stephanie O says

    This post made me cry!!! I am so excited for you!!! I have a sign on my wall that says “Let your faith be bigger than your fear!” and that is exactly what you are doing….you are going to have an amazing, life changing trip!!!

  59. Megan says

    Yeah for taking a leap of faith and following His calling! Can’t wait to follow along on your trip. Will pray for you as you prepare and journey.

  60. says

    so excited that you have made the choice to push past your fears and go on this adventure. really looking forward to reading all about the trip.

    i’ll be praying for you!

  61. Angie W says

    Layla, God is going to reward your faith! Expect great miracles and blessings on this trip! I’m so excited for you!

  62. says

    Layla. I am so excited for you! You have already kicked Satan between the legs by committing to go instead of listening to the fear he throws on you. Good job! Keep telling him to leave you alone, and he won’t be able to stay. I can’t wait to hear all about your trip! I will be one of many who are praying you through!!! Much love to you and Kev!

  63. says

    May our God bless you with his peace as you venture forth, peace that passes understanding, peace in the midst of real or imagined threats.

    Thank you for your inspiring post and your willingness to say: “YES!”

  64. says

    This sounds like an amazing trip. I get terrified of flying too. Although not as much as you but I generally spend the whole takeoff in prayer. Just praying for God to take the wings in His hands and get us there safely. I’ve found flying is so hard for me because I have to relinquish all control. My complete trust has to be in God.
    God will bless you tremendously through this trip and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

  65. Elizabeth says

    OK Layla, I too was a terrified flyer (ok still am). I didn’t step on a plane for 8 years until this last December when my family went on a trip to Arizona (Los Angeles to AZ only 1 1/2 hr trip). But my fear was enormous. I took a pill. It got me on the plane. I don’t remember the flight, but there is no reason to sit in the fear and trauma if you can take a pill. I’m so sorry to hear that taking drugs is also a fear of yours, but see a doctor and have them prescribe you a few pills. I only got four just for the trip. I thought I’d never fly again, but now that I have, I will just take a pill. I was afraid to get on elevators (I’m seriously claustrophobic) but now I’ve flown, I say in my heard as a get on an elevator, “I flew, I can handle this elevator.” I also bring my prayer book and there is a travelers prayer I say over and over and over again (It’s in Hebrew so I have to concentrate to say it correctly). Think what makes you most comfortable and safe and bring it with you. And know that the trip will be extraordinary and so worth it. I’m very very happy I can share in your adventures.

  66. Marianne in Mo. says

    If all of these comments could lift you on this trip I’m sure you will be safe in your travels~I know there will be an epiphany waiting for you in Peru! So excited for you! Loved Shaun’s “bathroom” recording!

  67. says

    Yay for your Compassion trip! My husband and I have sponsored a Compassion child each for the past few years and it’s been really rewarding…I signed on when a friend of mine actually went to the Dominican Republic to meet his ‘child’ and found everything to be ‘on the level’ (i.e. his child DID exist in circumstances exactly as posted!). It’s a fabulous organization! Prayers for your nervous flight…I don’t like to fly either and am pretty tense until the plane actually touches down. Bring a REALLY good book that you’ve already read and loved to keep yourself occupied. A well-loved book is as soothing as a comfy quilt! :) Can’t wait to read about your adventures!

  68. Allyson Montague says

    Layla maybe you can talk to a professional to help you with the phobia of flying, besides God that is. We have sponsored a child from Colombia from Compassion. A great organization. Maybe putting lavender oil near your nose can help combat the plane smells. I do agree about planes and nerves. Thank goodness that the airlines have banned smoking on the flights!

  69. Ann W says

    The world works in mysterious ways. If you adopted a child from abroad, you would have to travel. If you had a child that needed medical care in New York City or someplace far away, you would have to fly. This is the perfect time for you to take flying therapy. I’m serious. I’ve seen it on TV. You talk, then you visit the airport, then you sit on a plane.(No trip). You Need To Do This. It will make your life so much better. What if you were picked up for your TV show? What if you had to do a press tour? The door is opening for you to become a real advocate for this cause.
    About medication. A lot of medicines are derived from plant sources. Aspirin has the active ingredient that was in willow bark. Antibiotics come from mold, and other natural phenomenon. If you are privileged to adopt a child, you will have to administer vitamins, fluoride, and regular medications, especially for fevers. If you won’t take a drug, how could you give one to your child? You must confront this fear. Start with M&Ms. Imagine the worst thing that can happen to you after you take an M&M. Feel your heart beat, your sweat come, tremors, whatever. You recover. Then try a baby aspirin, see what happens. Then a whole aspirin. If you visit the Altiplano in Peru, you will definitely need to take something, at least Advil for headaches. The altitude change from near sea level where you live to 8000 ft takes some getting used to. I am a pharmacist. Go visit your nicest looking local pharmacy. Talk to the pharmacist. Tell them your fears. They should let you come back during a slow time and show you around. They can show you exactly how they fill a prescription and the safeguards they take. They will probably let you watch your own prescription being filled if you ask. If they don’t, find another pharmacy. You Can conquer this, and you will need to, to become a parent. Looking forward to your trip. Please tell us all the details. I love Peru. A friend told me that Cuzco was her favorite city in the world. If you can get to Macchu Picchu, do so. In a few years they probably won’t allow people to walk around and touch the stones and buildings because they are getting loose. Ann

  70. Gretchen says

    “Contrary to normal expectations, it can be much riskier, much costlier to stay in the shallow water rather than to trust the Lord and launch out into the deep.” – Art DeMoss

    I’ll be praying for your safety and for God to give you his unreasonable peace as you launch out (or should I say, take off!). I know Peru is a BIG country, but if you meet an 8 year old named Zarely Abigail, and happen to remember this comment, give her a hug for me!

  71. says

    oh Layla I will be praying for you! I know all too well the fear of flying, but “Perfect Love cast out fear” 1 John 4:18
    So excited for you & know it will be life changing. I have a dear friend & neighbor Kristen Welch who went on that trip with Shaun a couple of years ago and it totally transformed her & her family and they have now opened a Maternity House in Africa. You can read more about it here on her blog: http://wearethatfamily.com/the-mercy-house/

  72. Vara says

    What a wonderful opportunity! You WILL be blessed and BE a blessing….and, remember, the LORD has NOT given you a spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND!! Cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you.

  73. says

    How exciting! : ) My husband and I also support Compassion. It’s concerning to me that within the Christian community, we aid the poor by bringing their children into our own families and behaving as though it is a good, happy thing. I LOVE knowing that the money we give to Compassion helps keep exisiting families together. What a beautiful way to tangibly show the love of God to another family! Good luck on your trip, I’m sure it will be amazing!

  74. says

    Exciting! But it doesn’t matter how much faith you have, panic attacks are real and they are usually hormonally driven. Have your levels checked and you may find some relief there.

    We are not religious, but meditative/Buddhist ideals speak to us-and the thing about fear is that it is something created, rather than discovered. This is why desensitizing works; we deconstruct the wall of fear that we have told ourselves is real.

    I don’t love flying, but my dad was a pilot. I KNOW it’s safer than any transportation except Amtrak. And Amtrak just doesn’t go to Peru, LOL . Sorry Kiddo. Enjoy your trip!

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Ashley! Kevin and I will do our best to share every detail of the trip. I’m so happy to hear you have a heart for adoption too! :-D

  75. Courtney says

    Thank you for being bold enough to put aside your fears and do what you know Jesus has for you. From reading your blog over the past two years, I know that you have a big heart for people. I am sure that one sponsorship through your blog would seem worth the fears and anxiety. One child being nourished and taken care of is worth a few shots and a plane ride (although I hear you on the plane anxiety!!!). Thank you for investing your time and talents to help others. I know that the mamas that can stop worrying about keeping their children alive because of the support they will recieve through your followers will certainly be worth the fear that comes with traveling. I cant wait to see your posts from Peru!!

    • Layla says

      Hi Courtney!
      You’re right- one sponsorship is worth all of it! Thank you for letting me know you’ll be with us during our trip! :-D

  76. says

    Oh Layla! I’m so thrilled for you! I love what Compassion does and cannot wait to hear all you have to say about your trip to Peru & about one of my favorite subjects: adoption. I too was once afraid of flying. Oh heck, who am I kidding? I still am, but I don’t read Psalms during take-off anymore, not that it would hurt. However, my flights for mission trips and family emergencies always seem to have purpose and calm surrounding them. I hope you experience the same. I remember a sermon about how we put God in a box sometimes and somehow that translated into therapy for my fear of flying. I instead thought of how God has our little airplane in a box going from A to B and just how in control He really is. If I don’t look out the window (which ain’tnowaythat’sgonnahappen), then I just imagine I’m in a bus & get immersed in a good magazine or four, Cannot wait to hear all you have to blog about!! Will be praying for you!

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Rachel! It really helped me to read that, and I will definitely be thinking about that!! :-D

  77. says

    I admire you and you husband for going and doing a good deed… I did not read your other comments, which I am sure were complimentary and trying to give you some strength with the problem(s) you have that you stated. My thing is that there are people like me, out of work, and struggling. I am one who would LOVE to help others in another nation, but leaving my house and bills is just not feasible. I do not have the funds to do that. Bills have to be paid if one is gone, it’s a fact of life. So I hope that you will thank your lucky stars that you could AFFORD to help others (and leave your worldly BILLS here, plus have the funds to take care of them while you are away helping others). Maybe by my saying this you will realize that that’s the true helping for others… when one has the FUNDS to help others and will do so. And the good Lord will help you deal with any emotional issues you feel are a barrier to you. Sorry — I know this is probably a comment you do NOT want. Others reading this will say, “How DARE she say that about Layla!!” But I guess I just want to make you think. Then again, who the HELL am I to make YOU think, correct? :)
    So take this with a grain of salt…. I DO wish you well on your trip in the Fall. Godspeed.
    Best,
    Gloria

    • Layla says

      Hey Gloria!

      Not to worry! Yours is not the type of comment I don’t want to get AT ALL! :-D It’s actually something I thought about from the minute I got the email from Shaun. We hit rock bottom a few years ago and thought surely we would lose everything, but thankfully our situation has slowly turned around and writing, photographing, and blogging has become a full-time blessing/job- which is another reason why I want to go on the trip. It’s an opportunity to continue to publish posts we feel passionate about. :-)

      Thank you for taking the time to swing by and share your heart today, Gloria! I’m really looking forward to sharing our Peru posts with you and I will say a prayer that things turn around for you soon. Please stay in touch!

      • says

        Thank you for saying a prayer for me, Layla… that is very kind of you and I need all the prayers I can get. ;)
        I will, of course, also say a prayer for you and Kevin for your future trip. Don’t worry, God will ease your mind and you will feel His help. Again: Godspeed!
        Best,
        Gloria

  78. Brianne says

    I cannot wait to read your posts on your trip. Your trip is going to ROCK because you are following the Lord in spite of the fear! Thanks for being an honest and faithful sister.

  79. Jenn says

    Beautiful! I’m encouraged by you stepping out in faith and obedience despite fear. So excited to see what God has in store for you!

  80. Jeanine says

    I can’t wait to hear what God is going to do in you and through you during this trip! Also, I look forward to hearing more about adoption – we adopted our daughter from Vietnam 11 years ago, and we always say that it was the hardest thing and the best thing that we ever did! May God bless you and keep you as you step out in faith. I feel sure that there are many blessings ahead for you and Kevin!

  81. says

    Layla, I am so happy to hear your news, for many reasons. One, because I am Peruvian :) Both my parents are from Lima, and I was “created” there but born in Massachussetts. I still have family there, lots and lots, even a half brother with 7 kids. Peru is a beautiful country – we took a trip there to visit family in 1985, when I was gosh, maybe 14. I will never forget that trip. I didn’t want to go – I was selfish. I didn’t want to go to a poverty stricken place, to be inconvenienced. But when it was time to leave, I didn’t want to leave there. It was just such an amazing place. We visited Machu Picchu and it took my breath away. But what you are doing, is amazing. Selfless. I have seen the poverty, the children in the streets – it was heart wrenching. We did what we could – and even now, we help support my brother’s 7 kids. I know you will be blessed many times over, before, during and when you return from this trip. I have family all over the country, so if you all need assistance, please contact me and I can put you in contact with someone. I look forward to reading Shaun’s blog and info, and your journey. Hugs!

  82. tracyo says

    Bless your heart Layla! You are so brave to push yourself like that! A lot of people wouldn’t! I am proud of you and just remember, everywhere you go, God is ALWAYS with you!

  83. says

    So proud of you, my friend, for saying YES! I know it will be the experience of a lifetime and if I could I’d sit in that other seat next to you on the plane and speak funny things to you and get your mind off the big ole’ airplane. Doing one of these trips is on my wish list of things I’d love to do too. So, you go and do and be blessed! xoxo

  84. Lisa W. says

    First of SO glad your feeling better…I am pretty sure you just don’t do good being a sitter around er!!! I do have to ask though…among many blogs and such I follow. I am kind of curious regarding helping children, in poverty, terrible living conditions, whatever it may be. Do we not have allot of that here right in our own country. I guess I decided to ask you your thoughts as I read this post…and how AFRAID you are to fly. Do I not “get it” is it SO much worse in other countries.??? We have this discussion allot, like some of the stars that go to these other countries and help…give millions and so on. My brain just cannot seem to understand WHY we don’t help our own if you will…I think these programs are SO wonderful…and very sad that there is such sadness and desperate needs such as this, but I just had to ask your opinion. Thanks for listening:)

  85. Kathy says

    God just took your hand, brought you in close and gave you a big ol’ hug.
    He is proud of you. He knows you have put your faith in him and he will not let you down…..promise. He is healing you.

  86. Dawn says

    You can be so proud of yourself for doing this. I’m became afraid of flying after I had my daughter and now, every time I have to go on an airplane with or without her, I put my faith in God that it’s not yet my time or if it is my time to go, then I will accept it and I pray for giving strength to those left behind. That’s how I get thru the flight.
    All my love to you, Layla.

  87. Brooke says

    Wow I can not wait to follow your journey! I myself am to afraid to even think about getting on a plane!

    You will do great on this big adventurer!

  88. Gwen says

    What a blessing! You’ll be a blessing & you’ll be greatly blessed. Fear of flying –DRUGS!!! There is absolutely nothing wrong with sleeping the flight away. You can get all rested up on the way there for your exhausting days & on the way home—no explanation needed. Godspeed.

  89. Deborah says

    Layla, you go girl! I am starting to pray for you now and your fear of flying and praying God’s peace and blessings upon all on you as you travel. May God be with you and bless you richly.

  90. Linda says

    I love your blog and think that you have an inner glow that shows your faith and happiness. Those people will be so blessed to see your beautiful smiling face.

    Just know that GOD and Kevin and your family and all your ‘fans’ love you and you can have a pleasant flight. Maybe Kev can sing to you on your take off. The whole plane load might enjoy that as well. I know I would!

    Praying for a wonderful trip for you.

  91. says

    I’m so excited for you! And glad that you’re feeling better too! :) I sponsored a child from Tanzania after reading about The Nester’s blogger trip. I had known a couple of friends who sponsored Compassion kids, and I had thought maybe it might be something I could or should do, but never actually did it… until Nester’s posts. I just couldn’t put it off any longer! I’m grateful. So many people will be blessed through your trip. I empathize a little with your fears. The anticipation (for me, anyway) is usually worse than the actual flight, so at least once it’s over you won’t have to stress over it anymore. :) I know, not very helpful. I’ll be praying for God to ease your fears.

  92. Suzie says

    God will honor your effort, Layla! Courage is not the absence of fear. It is being afraid…and doing it anyway. <3

  93. says

    I sponsor two children through Compassion and completely believe in everything they are doing to help children in poverty! I’m so glad you are overcoming your fear. I’m actually going to be going on a short term missions trip at the end of the month (although not sponsored through Compassion) and it is easy to get overwhelmed with fear and “what ifs”. It gave me encouragement after reading that you too have your own unique “truths” and how you are choosing to say no to fear. Congrats on doing what you feel called to do regardless of any fear and doubts you may have.
    – Lauren

  94. says

    So excited for you. The trip will change your life in a most amazing way. You will never be the same. It’s beautiful and glorious and…well, you’ll be wanting to get right on that international adoption thing when you get home. ;)

    Get ready for a fun ride! I can’t wait to read along.

  95. says

    I don’t get to comment much anymore but had to take a moment to tell you how rewarding I think that trip will be for you. We also sponsor a child through Compassion and I would love to go and visit her. However, it is so expensive so there is just no way for us to go. So if you are able to come up with the money, nothing else should stop you! Just keep thinking of little Wat and you will make it through the medicines and the flight. He is worth it!

    Bless you for supporting little Wat!

  96. says

    Oh, Layla. I am so proud and excited for you.

    Listen, I don’t think your fears are irrational. If they were, they’d be easy to dismiss. Instead, they’re rooted in a deep rationality that has just taken a twist to make them debilitating.

    October isn’t very far away, but there’s enough time for some real prayer work to get you ready for this trip. I have experienced some deep healing through healing prayer–and I mean DEEP, because my needs were so deep. We would all be privileged to pray for you during the trip, but I think some pre-trip prayer work would be wonderful and could transform your experience from having to survive the flights into being able to thrive through the flights.

    I know we’ve only met a couple of times, so you may think I’m a crazy woman for talking about this–but I would love to help if I can.

  97. says

    Layla, your great big heart and generous spirit is so inspiring and one of the reasons I come to TLC over and over again. This trip will be life changing for you and for so many others THROUGH YOU! I’m in awe of your courage, moved to tears, and can’t wait to read every word and soak up every beautiful truth in Kevin’s and your images.
    Bless you!!
    xo Heidi

  98. Gayla Templeton says

    My first question was going to be, do you work in Guatamala. Since he was singing this song in Guatamala that quesion went out the window. That gets me to question #2. How much is it to adopt a kid there? What % of donations actually get there and is not spent on GLOSSY mailings every month to get more donations to waste? I’ve been believing that I should adopt another child with the money I waste every month. I was supporting a missionary couple until they sent their glossy mailing showing them on their Disney Cruise. Okaaaaay! I’m giving away part of my SS so they can afford to cruise when I can’t? I switched from giving them $100 mo to giving to adopt in Guatamala $35 a month and I’m sure they spend a good bit on mailings to get me to do more. They should know that God is in charge of that. I lost $450 a month of my income. There is a chance I might lose that much more shortly. Long story. If I am reduced to living on SS only can I stop giving at all? God’s job, once again. Being a sponsor shouldn’t be this difficult. Maybe your group is my answer to these prayers. Does the money go to the child, the family, or the village. Will I lose this child when the needs of the village are filled? That hurt a lot the last time so I have not allowed myself to know and care for this child in Guatamala. Tell me about your group, please and thank you. Signed Tortured Old Lady who worries about what is God’s business.

  99. Cindy W says

    If God brings you to it He will bring you through it. I’m sure your trip to Peru will be rewarding. My aunt & uncle were missionaries there for over 30 years. My cousin lives in Iquitos and brings God’s word to the deaf there. I look forward to seeing posts of your trip here:)

  100. Beth says

    Layla,

    You will go, you will be safe, and it will be a life-changing experience! Don’t let this opportunity pass you by! So glad you’re feeling better.

  101. says

    As someone who has messed up, whacked out fears of anything related to the medical world, I can totally relate! I wish I could be on your flight with you so we could chat and get through it together. As someone who is a Compassion employee, and who has been on a trip…it’s TOTALLY worth it! My prayers go with you. :-)

  102. says

    I meant to respond to this sooner after reading it in my feed! I just wanted to thank you for sharing this, Layla, and baring your soul, as it were, to get the word out about Compassion. My goal is to one day earn enough monthly from my blog to sponsor a child (dare I aim for two? :-), so I appreciate your perspective and honesty. I will be following along with you and praying for you guys!

  103. Mary says

    L- I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and wish you a calm and peaceful flight. I really enjoy your blog!
    XOXO,
    Mary
    (Mom of two internationally adopted boys :)…..)

  104. kate says

    layla – i love this post. i am inspired by all the things you share to make homes beautiful but this one… it’s all about your heart and could there be a more important renovation? i can’t wait to follow along with your compassion adventure. i guarantee i will cry with every post. this is such an incredible opportunity… god bless it and grow you exponentially!!!

  105. says

    wow Layla. That is incredible. What an AMAZING opportunity. We have had a sponsored child through compassion for about 7 years now. It has been so much fun to watch him grow up from a distance. I get so excited when we get letters from him in the mail. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you guys! It will be amazing, I am sure of it:)

  106. says

    I sponsor 3 children with Compassion and to have the opportunity to visit them would be wonderful. This mission trip will change your life forever.

  107. says

    OOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGosh. I am so, so, so happy for you!!!!!!! BTW I have a fear of flying that God insisted I get over this year as I flew to the Ophan Summit in Orange County this spring and then the Haven Conf a few weeks later. Ug. Girl this is gonna be big (you going). I’m thrilled for you. Oh, and I entered my blog in Compassion’s “contest”. Wish me luck. We could white knuckle that flight together! Best, Jen

  108. MARIA says

    I’ve just happened across your site and skimmed over a few posts and now have stopped on this one. Totally in AWE for you! This journey you will embark on in just a few short months will forever change you and your family. So excited for you to rock it in Peru!

  109. says

    I had the opportunity of going to Peru on a service mission for two weeks last spring. We had such a great time and felt like we really made a difference in the lives of those we went to serve. We even got to spend the night on one of the islands on Lake Titticaca. (I don’t know how to spell that.) I think you will have a great time. I posted about our trip on my blog if you want to see what we did. http://kimborup.blogspot.com/2012/05/peru-2012.html

  110. Shane says

    Hey guys, long time reader, first time commenter.

    First, my wife and I are Christians too and have felt the call to support a child through compassion. We have children of our own, but see it as a way of fulfilling James 1:27. I’m really happy for y’all about taking the next step and adopting! I pray God will bless y’all for showing His love to those kids.

    Second, my wife and I are Auburn alumni! War Eagle! We grew up in Bay Minette, AL, but live in St. Louis, MO now as we work here.

    Just remember God’s strengths are made perfect in our weaknesses.

  111. Amy says

    God is with you on those flights. Just picture yourself sitting in the center of His palm. He’s got you.
    Reaching out in faith to walk in His plan for you is what He wants ALL of us to do. Good for you!
    Through His strength, you can make it!

    I have had those panic moments myself, and this is how I prepare for them. I focus on Him and not on me.

    You are on the right track, putting it out there honestly and not hiding behind your fears.
    Go with God!

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