I've moved!

Once again, I've decided to change location. My new email with my college rarely lets me visit blogger now, quite frustrating really. So I've decided to avoid the aggravation all together and make a new site. The link is here. I'm not promising to be a better poster, but I think I should be able to, since I can update from my phone now. Alright, I hope this works out! Thanks for supporting me here, so often you really made my week. Blessings in Christ,
Mercy Morecraft

11:11 pm.

An eternity ago, I was born. I breathed in and cried, lungs faced with oxygen brand new. My first glimpse of the world through squinted eyes and mouth.

300 thousand breaths passed. And now another adds to its list.

And another.

And another.

300 thousand seconds ago my thirst for life started.

How does one express 300 thoughts, wishes or dreams? Inspiration all around and my mind's thesaurus doesn't contain enough letters, pushed together to create new words, to describe the joy and beauty of a life so blessed as mine.

Even when the beauty is the beauty of a cry, a bloodied knee or a broken heart.

Even when the beauty is a baby's breath, in and out, a rhythm to let go of thoughts, waltzing to the Land of Nod.

Even when the beauty is a memory held in still life.

It is 11:11 now and I need the sleep. Dear friends, enjoy the beauty of this week, let His love fill you with every passing moment because we really get only a few before we are done.

Here is my thought this week: Today has never happened before. Make every moment worthy of its space in time.

Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)

Off the top of my cranium...

I have several serious subjects I want to discuss with you...

What is your opinion of the death sentence? For or against? Why? I admit, the Casey Anthony case has been on my mind quite heavily these past few days, as I would assume you would understand.

What is the real difference between an introvert and an extrovert, and why does it really matter? Should we spend the time getting to know this about ourselves so as to know how to better relate to others, or is this more of an issue of too much self-indulgence in self-centeredness?

I also have a few things I need to confess to you...

Procrastination has always been something I have had trouble, but I've been putting off really getting to the bottom of it.

I also have an issue with food. As a kid, I could have cared less. Now however, I love food. But it isn't healthy food that is my favorite. Since my goal is to stay in a good shape, this isn't helping much.

Which boils down to self-control. Which seems to be the root of at least 95% of all my evil. Unlike pride. Which, apparently, I don't really have since I'm admitting all these faults. on. the. World Wide Web.

Or do I just not care, which might be worse?

However, I won't be discussing any of these subjects tonight, as I have a few, less world-changing more just fun and informative, things to tell you!

1. I am second-shooting a wedding this weekend! :D :D I know, I know, I said I would never do another wedding as long as I lived. OR if I didn't have a second shooter. However, I will BE the second shooter, so that just makes this fun :)

2. My sister's baby girl is visiting us for the weekend :) She is 2 1/2 and probably the best snuggler of all time. Except when you are trying to sleep. Like last night. Sleep was not an option. I did wake up with 3 new bruises though :P I'm hoping tomorrow to take her on a field trip. Not sure where. Any suggestions around Northish Atl?

3. I'm going to try throwing sugar out of my diet for the next few weeks. Thinking perhaps my sudden intake of sugar {MnM people might be discontinuing Pretzel MnMs! :( :( } might be the cause of some rather nasty headaches lately. We shall see!

4. I had something else to tell you, but I forgot. Oh well, I'll post again later!

cheerio and sleep well!

I feel like...

Waltzing off to my own wonderland this week.

Care to join me?

{one of the many magical trees I met on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland}

Paper Puppets, People?

A couple weeks ago I went to visit my brother John and his family out in Athens. <3 <3 <3

The two oldest, Iz and Ace, and I decided to make some crafts. Iza decided we should do puppets!

Ace was not too thrilled... so he decided to color on the windows.

Here is Iza and my finished products! Whadda think??!

I was going to an Owl City {adam young!} concert that night, so I had a certain person on the brain... can you guess which one is Adam?

This is my {gorgeous} chica, Iz! This is her puppet, whom she named to match Adam. {can you guess? Its pretty awesome for a 5 yr old}

In my family, there all these funny pictures of me, so no laughing. {its apparently because my camera is "too difficult to figure out"}
And because Im always making funny faces. ;)

Yeah. We are pretty rad. {ps. Did I mentioned that the puppets were named 'Adam' & 'Eve'?}

Because He lives,

{Whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more}

Imagine, if you will...

Brooding clouds gather in the distance; a young girl, high heeled and ready to be done with work, runs to her silver Honda, leaping over puddles and skipping between each rain drop. Breathless and giggling, she slides behind the wheel, enjoying the snap of the seatbelt and a break for her feet. A lone drop slides down her wet windshield as she grabs a towel out of the backseat and, fruitlessly, tries to soak some moisture out of her soaked clothing and already frizzing hair. Plugging in the ipod, "... a chickadee in love with with sky" fills the empty sound and the car shifts into 3rd gear. The clock skips through the minutes, suddenly its 30 numbers past when she first found refuge in her silver steed. Humming a bit off-key, thinking dreamy thoughts, when suddenly the heart beat stutters, stops. Her house still stands, a tree house in her magical forest that separates her from reality... One of her entrance guards, a double- trunked tree under whose shade she spent many hours, has fallen to the storm. Now her canopy has a new opening to the sky, which is clearing up to a light blue, stating its own innocence. Down to the ground she smiles at the dogwood flowers singing their joy in His protection, still standing when they could have fallen. A breath in, breathing out, the beat of life restarts.

God has a way of making you stop from reality, getting your attention, focusing on the preciousness of every solitary breath.

Psalm 37:4, 7 "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him & He will do it. ... Rest in the Lord, and
wait patiently for Him."

Tonight my mind is a jumble of thoughts and emotions, ideas and frustrations, possibilities and shut doors. I know that I tend to make problems a lot bigger in my mind if I don't talk them over with the Lord and just wait. Otherwise I become this giant ball of nervous energy that doesn't accomplish anything except start hyper-drive and drive people crazy.

I want this blog to be about encouraging others; drawing you to see His beauty that is created just for you, every day and in every situation. So often I fail, and I hope you forgive me and look past those obvious errors. However, I do hope this blog does, in some way, uplift you and motivate you to really smile, breathe, and whisper {or shout!} thanks to our God and Savior.

sleep well, dear readers, wherever you are!

because He lives,

Insomnia attack

12 things that make me happy:

1. a tuned cello and 3 extra hours
2. stargazing on a dark night with wide open spaces
3. oreos and milk; twizzlers
4. different tempos
5. fireflies at twilight

6. Color and Black & White
7. hearing my camera shutter
8. baby kisses
9. a warm hoodie
10. sight and seeing

11. Driving with the sunroof open and the windows down
12. belly laughter


My sister and I in Paris, in front of the Louvre. If you are wondering, so far Paris is my favorite.

I am not a great writer. I stumble over words, tripping over imaginary blocks of unfamiliar words and lackluster imagination. But I need to write. I suppose that urge should be expected, being the youngest daughter of a pastor who has written more in his 45 years of teaching than I could ever imagine, combined with the passion and joy of a writing mother and poetess, my first memories being read to and sung to, with lyrics and tunes she would create on a whim. Her mother has been a journalist for as long as I know, and her po
etry she wrote when just my age, waiting for her sweetheart to come home from WWII, always inspired photographs in my mind.

Tonight I hope you forgive my ramblings. Focus has never been my best trait. Tonight I am daydreaming, unable to sleep because I am nervous, unable to stay awake because the Land of Nod beckons.
Memory is a wonderful land to visit, but oh so terrible a place to live. When all you know is in the past, nothing to change but everything to happen just so. Mistakes are so easily spotted, like watching a movie and grimacing when you know your hero has just made a grave error. It doesn't do any good trying to stop him- he can't hear you, he is in another time. I find myself so often wishing, wondering, I could have pushed pause. or rewind. or delete. But I know that is absurd, for everything has happened for a reason, with a wonderful end purpose. And even when I can't see the design for the threads in the way, its ok. I am already intimately aware of His incredible beauty.

I am so incredibly blessed, whatever happens. I have all I need in Him, my Love, my Joy, my Light! And I am perfectly secure in Him.

I love the song In Christ Alone, by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend. If you haven't heard Adam Young's version, check out his blog post here. Its worth your time.

Tonight I started out nervous, sad and distracted but am now calm, content and focused on Him. Thanks for listening :)

because He lives,


I really owe you all a post. I'm so sorry I'm such an inconsistent writer! However, you already knew that, and apparently still read this blog anyways, so thanks for putting up with me. ;)

Here is a quick recap of my past few weeks:
1. I went to see my sister and brother-in-law and their kids for a few days -- LOVED IT!
2. Loft, "little sister" to Ann Taylor, has instigated an ongoing relationship with me- I now am one of their part-time sales associates :D <3 <3 <3
3. The above statement means that I have been working for 2 1/2 weeks, in between part and full-time for Ann Taylor Loft, and have realized the joys and sorrows of having a schedule created for you by another person.
5. My brother Joey and his wife and their little boy came over twice last week, and we had a blast :)
4. Because I have been so busy trying to see family and getting a job and keeping a job and figuring out college, I missed my first CLEP test [govt] of the month and had to reschedule. I am now taking it this friday.
5. Next week, I am taking American Lit. and College Math.
6. The week after, I am taking British Lit.
7. If I am still alive after all these tests, I am going to see Owl City in Concert [Lord willing]!!!!!!

So, here is my list of things to do before June 14th [the concert]:

1. Show up to work at least 5 minutes before time, every time.

2. Create a budget.

3. Study and pass Govt, Amer. Lit, Col. Math. & Brit. Lit. with a good score on each.

4. Continue running 3+ mi a week. Try to add some weights in between, for good balance.

5. Edit pictures of my friend's baby's baptism. [so cute!]

6. Send checks to Kate.

7. Write letters back to Megan, Courtney and Katie. [sorry girls!]

8. Get transcripts from CLEP when done with these 4 tests.

9. Tune and begin again with cello.

10. Try to at least semi- master an ok French pronunciation.

11. Remember to breathe and focus not just on what God is doing in my life, but on Him.

Sadly, blogging did not make it into the list this time.

I will try to post again soon, with pictures :)

au revoir!

I have pictures!!

But, I forgot to download them to my computer.

So that will have to wait.



have I told you yet I have a new job?!?!?!?!?!? :D :D :D :D :D I cannot truly express to you my excitement over this job. Ridiculously happy, perhaps, but really, wouldn't you be happy as well chatting with people and getting to 'play' with pretty clothes? That's right, I am now a new employee of one of my favorite shops, The Loft [little sister to Ann Taylor].


So, you should all come visit me, end of story. ;) [unless you are a guy, because we don't sell mens clothing... unless you want to buy for your mom, sister, etc. Then you are more than welcome :) ]

Actually, what already cracks me up is watching the husbands come in with the wives. There are three types of husbands that I have seen so far: The type that follow the wife like a little lost puppy, furtively looking over their shoulder to make sure the door isn't too far away; the husband who is brave enough to branch out into the store, looking for clothes he would like his wife to try on [personal favorirte]; and then there are the door-huggers. Like tree- huggers, they love the feeling of freedom and the outdoors. Or they are scared of women's clothing. Either or. But they are pretty fun to watch. They step in the door, walk around with their wife uncomfortably for a few minutes, then move to stand in solitude right beside the door going out into the open world. Oh, they might move when another customer comes in, or someone goes out, but they rarely leave the comfort zone of about 10 feet in diameter. I understand this feeling, as it is probably how I am when I go into any video game store or men's shoewear.

I thought I'd include my list-of-things-I-really-need-to-accomplish-ASAP to make myself feel responsible [now I've told you, I really must get to work]:

- get a helmet for rollerblades. when as unbalanced as me, this is a pretty important task.

- set a date for a family photoshoot. [super stoked about this, but my best lens is in VA, and I don't have any saturdays free for 2 weeks! ack...]

- clean up basement boxes. even though we moved about 7 years ago, I still have a mess of my own boxes that haven't really been dealt with yet. [sorry mom!]

- create a budget for the money I am now earning. This one won't be very difficult as I've been going over it in my mind to where I know what I really need to save up for, and how much I can splurge. ]

- Study for the Government CLEP. [big one- Im supposed to take it tomorrow, but unforeseen circumstances mean I have to put it off until next week.

- Study for American Lit, College Math. & English Lit CLEPS [all three must be taken by June 9th at the very very latest. goody.]

- prep for art show reception this Saturday!

Ok, I really am going to try to post some pictures soon, so hopefully it won't be too long!
Thanks for sticking with me!

Because He lives,

Light blue is a good color for a room.

Thus far, I have been turned down for every job I've had an interview. I didn't realize how stressed I had become about finding a job until I talked with my sister the other day and blurted out, "I don't know what I'm going to do!". ... Well, of course I know what I'm going to do. I am going to continue applying and hoping there is the interview call. I am going to keep showing up at places hoping they hire me just so I won't show up so much. ;) I'm going to pray, a lot. But mostly, what I had forgotten until I thought about it, I am going to trust and love.

I don't know about you, but I find it much easier to trust God with the big things than the little, everyday obstacles we encounter. I have no problem asking God to prepare the perfect life mate for me, the one guy in the billions of people in this world thats made JUST for me, and that we grow old together. But I have an issue asking God to provide the money for my next tank of gas and next CLEP test.

Why? Why do we worry and concern and fret over these small details, unwilling to give them up to our Lord? I love Luke 12:22- 32 ...“And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things... I love knowing that when I am following the way God has shown me I need to go, He is going to make everything fall in place.

What about you? Any "moments of revelation" happen to you lately? What are your joy stories? :)

because He lives,

Love Colors

This is just a quickie, as I really ought to be asleep by now, but.....

Have you ever heard of Hello, Friend? This is probably my favorite blogger in the world, second only to dear friends that are smashing at blogging as well, but have decided to hit pause [*coughcoughjasminecoughcough*].

Anyways, she and I apparently are in love with the same color right now: Mustard!
Check out her blog post here on all things lovely and creamy burnt yellow. By the way, I LOVE how she does these pictures, but am still not sure how to do it. Any ideas?

Anthropologie has an adorable long sleeved cardigan. I'd love to own this and wear it with possibly a white sleeveless shirt underneath, nice form fitting [but not tight] slacks [rolled up 2 on the bottom] and possibly some cute flats? A nice turquoise or coral necklace? What would you pair with this?

OK, I'm really off to sleep now. Otherwise, there is no way I will make it up in time to go to Augusta-- super stoked, going to see my 7 [almost 8!] yr old niece at her gymnastics meet this weekend! Yay for amazing and fun families! :D

Because He lives,

Quick Ideas

So, I have another blog. Its called "Becoming More Crafty" ... :) And, as youknow, I am terrible about posting so two blogs is rather ludicrous. However, I can't really make up my mind to delete either of these blogs, so I am going to make this blog more about serious posts and pictures, and the other will be more about... crafty things and fun ideas I find online. But I have a total of 1 follower on that blog, and 47 followers on this blog! So, Here I am, asking for followers, and if my followers go up, I think I'll feel more inclined to keep posting.

Alright, that was just a quick sideline. Today I am supposed to hear back from Barnes & Noble! I interviewed with them this past wednesday, and I think it went well... of course, we will know how it went later on today, Lord willing. Also I interviewed with Anthropologie on friday, but I became really nervous, so who knows how that went. :/

One of my best friends, Eve, had her senior recital @ Reinhardt friday night, and she was incredible! I can't believe I've been allowed to listen to her phenomenal playing since we were in 3rd grade.

I entered an Arts Contest and just found out 3 of my pieces have been accepted!!! So, the showing is in May, and now comes the pre-show stress... I have to get them printed, framed, and prepped for hanging. Want to see them? ... Ok, since you begged, here they are :

Diabetic's Best Dream and Worst Nightmare {Paris}

Morning Mail {Paris}

Sidewalk Crepes {Paris}

I was a bit disappointed that my pictures from Kenya weren't excepted, but I am thrilled to have these three in the contest. Neat,huh?

Alright, I promise a real post later-- hope you have an incredible day!

because He lives,

On the Hunt

71 days. 1704 hours. 6,134,400 seconds. I stood at the doorstep for a moment and thought over the past 2 months and 11 days. How many miles had I gone? 147 miles from my home to Birmingham, where I met up with the Chanceys. From Birmingham to Washington, D.C. - 743 miles. From Washington, D.C. to London- 3678 miles. From London to Nairboi, Kenya - 4238 miles. And then back, Nairobi to London - 4238; London to Paris - 213 miles; and back to London, those same 213 miles. From London to Dallas - 4757 miles. From Dallas to Birmingham - 638 miles. Then those same 147 miles to my home, where I stood, remembering the memories those miles held.

Now I am home, and what a lovely word it is! I miss the places those miles cover, but it has been so fantastic being with my parents again, seeing my friends, sleeping in my own bed. The little things, like how the sheets smelt freshly laundered, have become a sudden reason for little bursts of happiness. It was a crazy week and a half when I first got home. Helping Mom with her final two webinar classes, seeing my nieces in their various school and ballet performances, going to the Jimmy Valiant premiere and so on. I entered the Arts Festival again! I am hoping at least a few of my pieces get in. We shall see...

Today I am going to try, once again, to outline the next few months of work that I need to accomplish. I am starting back college with CP! again, so that will be hard but good. Also, I am in the market for a job now! I am hoping to find one in either sales, or dealing with food. I love what both opportunities present, now I just need to find someone I can convince I am worth hiring. Not having any formal experience is difficult enough, but I know I can do the task at hand, with God's blessing. Remember the last time I said I was outlining the following months? Well, though it was incredible, I do hope nothing like that will happen for now. I don't think my body can go through jet lag again too soon.

Alright, I need to run-- have a fabulous day!

Because He lives,

Day #12

"Airplane, airplane, sorry I'm late..."

I've been thinking a lot about trips, especially since the time of my departure from Kenya is imminent. It has been such an incredible experience, living here for 2 months. One of my favorite parts of this house has been the office upstairs, with one of the most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen.

Today's picture I took from a line in lyrics:
"Could we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars; I could really use a wish right now."

because He lives,

Day #11 [yesterday]

I seem to have a hard time posting on the right day... Poli!

Yesterday our power was off, again, during the entire day. This was a minor frustration, limiting only internet access and the power to use the oven and blender.

Sadly, we were having puree'd tomato soup... and we only had fresh tomatoes. Thus, I got to make tomato puree by hand!


We were all grateful when the power came back on before the soup was finished ;)

In the meantime, I created a video of how to puree tomatoes by hand [will try to post soon], and I got to wear one of my favorite necklaces, made for me by my oldest niece Jaybird when she was 7. :) Life is good.

Because He lives,

Days #09 & 10, combined

I know, I know, excuses, excuses. But yesterday I accidentally left my camera bag in the car before downloading photos, and by the time I realized I needed to get it out the dogs had been let out and were patrolling the yard. Not a good time to go get a camera bag. Especially whenthe dogs are big rottweilers. Especially when they aren't your big rottweilers, but your landlord's so they don't know your scent.

SO, you had to wait until today. Don't worry, yesterday's picture was boring anyways. ;)

Day #9 was the day for contrasts and shadows.

Day #10, today, was the perfect day for sun flares. Beauty helped me get the focus right, and in return got to pose with me! :) I love willing subjects ;)

Have a great day, will try to post again tomorrow!

because He lives,

Day #07: A substitute foundation

Have you ever had a baby, who doesn't know how to walk but knows how to stand, hold on to you for balance? Suddenly you become quite aware of every muscle movement you make; suddenly that baby's hands become an object of fascination and ... strength. You realize your strength because you know that tiny person is depending and trusting on you not to let them fall or get hurt.
Today I played outside with M and B, where most of the time I couldn't move because M decided to test her balance on the stairs, holding on to my knees... I realized, this is what my Father does, but perfectly. Every time I stand, I am clinging to Him, and trusting Him to not let me fall. Here especially, I have been daily wonderstruck by the knowledge that my trust in Him is perfected by His never letting me go. No matter what I do. No difference how safe or dangerous my situation becomes. No care of time of day.

Today was an amazing moment.

[lyrics courtesy of Michael Buble's "Hold On"]

because He lives,

Day 06, a day late.

Sorry I didn't post this last night, I was so tired I completely forgot to share it on here and not just on FB! Anyways, yesterday's picture:

Necessity, mother to... distant relations? I had to create a Salad picture for my mom's class last night, but here in Kenya during dry season, there are no good, delicious looking greens. However, there ARE hundreds of tomatoes. You can dice up tomatoes for a great salad topping, right? :)

Day 05 -- 2 Timothy 1:7

Even in the most complicated of times, or the most tangled situation, God is in control. What a beautiful thought!

Day 04 -- Mosquito Nets

My protection from the local night terrors, my bed's mosquito net is also a fantabulous and exotic headdress ... Or it would be, if I ever played pretend... Which may or may not still be true... Maybe. ;)

Because He lives,

Day 3!

"Write a letter, but the words don't come." I really hope I am not the only person those lyrics fit! For [almost] every letter I write, I usually throw away the first 2 or 3 drafts... However, today has been FULL of correspondence, and I really do love it when I hold the finished product in my hands, ready to mail. :)

31 out of 365 days... Days 1 & 2

I decided that I am not creative enough. At least, not lately.

So, for the next 29 days [this was day 2], I am taking a different self-portrait every day.

Here are days 1 & 2-- feedback would be fantastic [i.e. leave me comments!]

Day 1-- Heels and Pajamas. I love wearing heels, even bringing a pair with me to Africa! :)

Day 2-- Your music can define you. What would your sentence say?[Titles found from my ipod: Stellar Kart, Train, Hawk Nelson, and Adam Young.]

Because He lives,


I just finished a fabulous Skype conversation. :) Don't you love having a delicious chat with a good and likeminded friend? I do...

Anyways, we were talking about our trials, and different difficulties we were going through, and laughed and encouraged each other to keep going, sympathizing and empathizing where necessary. And as we concluded, she said, "I'll be praying for you!" and I thought, "wow, I feel so happy to know that!"...

Its amazing to me to see what wonders prayers do for my life, not just in the results, but in the action itself. Philippians 4: 6-7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Peace...What a wonderful word.

I also love Matthew 18: 19-20, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

What about you? Does it bring you joy and a sense of contentment after talking with a friend, knowing that they will approach the throne of God with you, together in the same request, for His will to be done?

Just a thought I wanted to share. :)

Because He lives,

Keeping Other Roads [or, excuse if this post seems to jump around...I have a lot on my mind tonight.]

I love the poem "The Road Not Taken," by Robert Frost. Do you know it? Here it is:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost

My mom used to read, or rather, quote it to me when I was a little girl -- she had it basically memorized, since she had read it from the time she was little. Whenever I am away from home for a while, I like to go back and think it over. My favorite lines are:

"Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back."

I take photographs that way. When I first went to London, my very first day my parents were so jetlagged that they took a good nap. However, I was too excited and went off to explore the city, camera in hand and British accent ready for testing ;) I took photos like this part of the poem; I would see a picture, go to it and shoot away, and then take whatever path I saw that I thought might have a good picture in the process... I thereby managed to get lost in 20 minutes, a new record for myself! For several hours I went through alleys and down pathways, twists and turns until I realized my battery was almost gone. If it wasn't for full memory cards and empty batteries, I probably would still be out there, snapping away!

I know I am philosophizing now, but have you ever thought how this process of pathways has molded your life? Have you ever looked back and seen the different paths you might have taken, but didn't, "and that has made all the difference"? I have, fairly often. What if I had decided to act differently with so-and-so? Would we be friends now? What if I had followed up on my idea of creating this group, or that? What would I be like now? What if I had decided to pay attention in science class, instead of passing notes under the table in 7th grade, and thinking I was so smart?

There are so many 'What if's in life. So many possible roads not taken. But each road we did take, whether it be to say hi to the barista behind the counter, or buy eggs and milk from one store instead of another, managed to shape our life in some way. Think of the important decisions you made this past year: I made a decision to be an au pair for the month of December, to help out some fantastic friends and their kids who happened to live but 15 minutes from my own home. In doing so, I learned how to make wise money choices, how to get along with people better, how drive a stick shift much better, so on and so forth! In the last week of my job, I made the decision to not continue down that road, but take a path very little have trod, and cross an ocean to be with friends and start a path that I will be on for two months, learning more of the world by experiencing it first hand than I could have ever learned from just secondhand accounts-- like what a giraffe's tongue feels like against the palm of my hand, or how a photo and a smile can change an acquaintance of insecurity into a real relationship and blossoming friendship. How two 8 year old girls from two totally different backgrounds can forge fast friendships in the matter of an hour.

Sure we have all thought "What if?" but have you ever thought of the consequences of "Because I?" Because I was terribly self-centered as a kid growing up, I thought I didn't have to be kind to boys and thereby ruined some friendships I will probably never get back. Because I spoke thoughtlessly, I hurt a lot of people I cared for but didn't take the time to show it.

A lot of people tend to think of "Because I" or "What if" in past tense. Have you ever thought about it in present or future tense? What if I choose to go running tomorrow, instead of my normal sleeping in and late breakfast? Because I want this or that, should I act this way or that way?

I have a lot of friends. Many dear wonderful friends that I have met or become acquainted with through various ways. Each one, in one way or another, has helped make me who I am today. But have I ever really stopped to think about how I act toward them? Have you ever stopped to think how you act towards those you know? We often get into this groove of going our way. We have our own plans, our own knowledge of how life should be run. We get settled into this way, and then --wait! We forget, there are other people on this planet, who have their own lives, and their own grooves and their own set of plans. Praise God He has given us rules so that we may know the way to go-- otherwise I would be hopelessly lost. But, to return to what I was saying, we tend to have our own goals in mind and we sometimes forget that how we get those goals accomplished sometimes ruins our prize before we are done.

Here is what I mean, straight up. You love someone, very very much. You care for them so much you say you would do anything for them, right? Then they go, and they live their life, and all the sudden-- they have a different plan than you. Maybe they tell you straight away, maybe they don't. Either way, it comes as a shock. Here is where the road splits: how are you going to react? Will you give up your plan for them, or will you fight until you get your way?

I will admit, I have a hard time letting people I love go their own way, especially when I think it could lead toward disaster [not physically, but emotionally]. I think they are crazy, absurd, blind if they don't see what could happen to them. I try to reason with them, give them my points of view... sometimes I tell them thats what their point of view should be and change it right now! ;) However, I have realized... That rarely works. Incredibly, there are some people in this world not only as stubborn as me, but they can be in the right as well, and shockingly-- I can be in the wrong! [ha, you didn't see that coming, did you? Me admitting to being wrong... occasionally ;) ] But here is what I am getting to, and please understand me: if you, like me, have difficulty in this area, don't fight so hard for your position that you lose the person you care for. Don't fight so hard to be right and to win that in the end, the person you thought you were trying to save doesn't care for you anymore, or at least doesn't want to see you for a while.

I am not talking about arguments for or against sinning. Those are not debatable issues, but moral issues where God has clearly given a right or a wrong. I am talking about areas of gray.

Oh I am so tired right now, I can barely think to end this post, but I must or else I shall find another rabbit trail to follow. But here is the long and short of what this whole post was about:
I love Robert Frost's poem because it shows how life is, two paths always presented before you, one of which you will end up taking because you can never turn back. Don't regret taking a path not worth taking until the end. Don't ever take a path that will make you say 5 years from now "Why oh why did no one stop me?". Don't argue or bicker unless there is a righteous cause.

"If at all possible, ... be at peace with all men." Romans 18:12

and I think I shall take another verse, and be quiet the rest of the night...
"Those who guard their mouths and their tongues, keep themselves from calamity." Proverbs 21:23.

Because He lives,


It is incredible here in Kenya.
I had no idea what I would be doing while I was here, but its basically been just being a friend, and helping move boxes and talk to people, take tons of photos and be myself.
Which is fantastic.
It is so different from America. People who have never been here wouldn't understand. However, I don't have the time to expound, but I felt like I should update.
I love that everyone smiles here. EVERYONE. Its incredible to think, because so many people have suffered. Our lives in America are so richly blessed, and we are such a thankless group.
If you are reading this and you are comfortable, happy, have good food to eat, Thank God! Because we tend to take that so lightly.
I wish you many great returns of the day, especially that God will give you a purpose and place to serve Him!

Because He lives

[From Facebook, with love]

"Dear Facebook friends,

It has been two months since I last was on here. Two months FULL of laughter and tears, trips and travels, homecomings and staying home. I went to the beach for Thanksgiving, spending delicious amounts of time with family, and then came home and became a live-in au pair for the month of December [excepting Christmas week]. Sadly, because of my busy schedule, I was unable to take any more CLEP tests, but Im ok with that because part of the reason Im doing this program is so that I can still continue to live while doing college work. I started working a bit on recipes, but have now realized what a monumental task this is going to be- I will consider myself very blessed if I get this project done within two years! I never did land a job at Starbucks or B&N, but I was given an even better job: spending time during the weekdays as a nanny and personal assistant to a dear family I love very much. It was wonderful getting to be involved with their life, and getting to encourage them this past month. I was encouraged and grown spiritually as well, so it was a month well spent.

Now the new year has arrived: 2011. I'll be honest, when I was a kid I somehow got it into my head that I would never survive past the age of 18, so I am very grateful to be alive. :) I want to tell you a funny story about God's providence: His timing is perfect. Earlier this past week, I joined 90% of America in making "new years resolutions". Of course, I also took fallen man's depravity into mind, so I only went as far as March, knowing I probably would have to change them again after that. ;) I decided that what I really needed to do was concentrate on school work. Therefore, January I was to take 4 CLEPs, February take 3, and March take 4. I would also be working on the webinar with my wonderful mother dear, and going through book lists with my daddy. I missed seeing my extended family, so I planned to set aside more money for travel expenses-- fly to Tx for a week, VA for a week, and maybe if I could, squeeze in a trip to Wisconsin with my best friend Ariel, so we could see some friends up there and actually enjoy snow for more than a day :) [You are probably picking up by now that I am using verbs in past tense- I HAD planned on doing all this....]

I decided all this on Tuesday, December 28th, 2010, at 10 am. I showed my friend my list, and she approved, so I started to get ready for the day. I began work and my phone rang on that day, at 10:30 am. This conversation ensued:

Me: "Hello?"

Matt Chancey: "Hi Mercy! How would you like to go to Africa?"

That sentence changed my life.

Its funny how life works. Apparently, living in Africa is on everyone's bucket list except mine. Ive always wanted to visit South Africa again, to see my "African family" that I love so much, but Ive never had a desire to live there.... But God works wonders, and I can't wait to tell my children in future years that for two months, my address was Nairobi, Kenya ;) Here is a great quote I love: "“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain]

THEREFORE, Dear facebook friends, after much prayer and talking to trusted advisors and reasoning and praying some more, I will be going to Nairobi, Kenya for two months to help Matt and Jennie Chancey move and get settled in to their new life in Africa! I cannot explain enough how excited I am about this trip. Slightly nervous and/or terrified? Yes. But with the knowledge that I honestly believe God has called me to go to Kenya on this trip, and that through Him I am not only safe but I can do great things for His kingdom and for the people over there, I am thrilled to be given this chance. Plus, its with one of my favorite families on earth- how much more amazing can it be?

I am asking for your prayers, for myself and the Chanceys, and everyone we will be meeting- pray that we will be used for His Kingdom, that we won't get sick or hurt in any way, that we will be highly effective and able to help those who need it over there, and encourage the Christians we will meet. Pray for our families here, that they won't miss us too much, and that they will be safe while we are gone. And most of all, please pray that God's Will will be accomplished! Thanks for reading this, and I will talk to you soon Lord willing :)

Because He lives,


ps. If you want to know more that I didn't mention on here, message me and I'll try to answer any questions. :) "