She Is Set Apart Spotlight

S'ambrosia testimony

This week I did a guest post for the She Is Set Apart website about my personal testimony pre-Ray. Some of you may have heard about my “dirty” secret, but others may have no idea. Either way, I’ve put it out there again in hopes that it will be an encouragement to other women and teens out there, and to hopefully start a dialogue with anyone who needs help. When Shelley and I first did the book, I had so many women contacting me for help/advice, but with the mayhem of marriage and moving, I became focused on other things. Hopefully this blog post gets the conversations going again. I’m totally open and willing to talk even if your struggle is something not related to mine.

I’d also like to announce that this post is the beginning of a continued partnership with She Is Set Apart, as I’ll be writing a bi-weekly column on relationships from the perspective of a woman who was all about being single before a cat named Ray changed her mind. If you’re interested in keeping up with those posts, please check out the site and be sure to follow it.

Meanwhile, you can either click the picture above or click here to read my testimony.

Much love and many prayers, dear friends.


Open hands expose the heart


I admit it. I didn’t leave Kansas to come to Kenya for purely noble reasons.

Ray and I know we’re called to ministry here, so it’s not like I’m living in direct disobedience to God by coming here or anything, but if I’m being excruciatingly honest with myself, there were a bunch of other factors that made it difficult for me to completely negotiate the fine line between God’s will and my own. Maybe He said, “Yes, but not now,” or maybe He said, “Yes, you can go.” I have no idea. All I know is that I was out the door as soon as I heard, “Yes”.

This is the part where you sing the chorus to Taylor Swift’s song “Trouble” before proceeding…

Many times throughout my life I’ve advised friends and family members not to look at leaving any place as an opportunity to flee from trouble, because the trouble will inevitably follow them. Many times I shared that they needed to get to the root of the issue and find healing before they made any decisions to pack up and leave. Apparently I must’ve experienced temporary deafness whenever I shared this advice with others, because I did exactly what I told them not to do. How the plank got stuck in my ear, I don’t know.

When Ray and I decided to get married, I was thrilled by the way our callings overlapped and ecstatic to know that we both felt called to Kenya. I gave the Lord a hearty pat on the back and commended Him for providing a way of escape for me. At that time I was serving in a ministry that had seen better days, and my home life wasn’t all that… homey.

I was convinced that Ray’s family would fill the familial void I felt once I made their home my own. They have that kind of vibe that reminds me of some of the things I miss most about my mom, but I have no idea how to engage with them. This goes beyond cultural differences. This is a heart issue. A heart that needs to be swept clean. Because I never dealt with my dirty laundry in Kansas and instead opted to stuff it in the deepest crevices of my luggage for my journey to Kenya, it should be no wonder that my problems have followed me. Not only is it difficult for me to fully engage with my husband’s family, but all the mess from home continually spills over into my life here. And I’m not just pointing the finger here, because some of this mess came from my sloppy habits. But much to my chagrin, I can’t leave the mess for someone else to clean. I have to take care of it myself, and I better take care of it before the rats and maggots lay claim to it.

Behold! She finally gets to her point

I’ve recently begun the journey towards inner healing… okay, I’m lying. It’s more like I was convicted about it a few weeks ago and asked for prayer, and then I just put it off until the conviction came a knocking again. So let me try that again.

Starting now, I’ve decided to really open my heart before the Lord to let Him do what He does best. I’m going to let the Lord lead me to a place of inner healing so I can love my family, my husband, his family, and others better. I am a strong believer that we encounter and overcome struggles for others more so than ourselves, so I hope to share a bit of revelation about what I discover with you along the way. I promise this will not become S’ambrosia’s personal journal to air out grievances or ramble on and on about Jack, Diddly, and Squat, but I hope it will be an opportunity for me to share the foundational principles of how I’ve learned to wash my dirty laundry (the Kenyan housewife side of me shudders at the thought) and clean house. Maybe I’ll post these reflections once a week or so… and who knows? Maybe throughout the process we can all experience some form of inner healing together.