She Challenges Me


I hate to tell you this, but this is day 5 already. Birthday giveaways are winding down, and even though it’s Friday, I’m not going to do a 10 Things Post. Don’t worry, though. That’s coming Sunday!!

I could probably go back through my blog over the last year and pinpoint the time that I started reading Jamie The Very Worst Missionary. And when I say reading, I mean really reading. There’s a difference. I promise. You know, kind of like the difference between hearing and listening. When I started really reading this blog, my eyes were opened and my heart challenged in a way I never expected. And it made me want to be a better blogger…oh, and a better person.

She says things that I probably wouldn’t ever dream of verbalizing…or writing down. Yes. I would have thought them, but she just puts it out there. I love it. Jamie The Very Worst Missionary isn’t just reaching me when she’s talking about crack whores and dog piles. Check out her blog followers on the right sidebar of her page. Lots of people are into reading her thoughts. Also, I think my following Jamie on Twitter has helped me link up with all these other bloggers that have been featured during this birthday week. Thanks, Jamie.

What I like about her blog is that is normal everyday stuff she writes about. Things I can relate to. Obviously I can’t relate to a mango larger than my head because I live in Illinois, but a centerpiece, a place where all your friends gather to talk about life? Yeah. I connect with that. I get feeling like crap when you screw up but being thankful for God’s grace all at the same time. I love it that she puts it out there. And even when she calls the church a social club, I feel that old familiar ache to fit in just subside. Why? Her words say it better than I ever could, so, Jamie, I hope you don’t mind me sharing them.

“Long before I ever posted a single word to this stupid blog, and way before I became a missionary, I stopped trying to be what the church wants and started trying to be who God wants – one who worships in spirit and in truth. Sometimes the club doesn’t like it. Sometimes a few members protest because they think I’m dangerous.
And I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me because, when I look at my life, it’s like I can hear His voice….and I hope you can, too, ever since so long ago when God nudged me and said…Speak up.”

It might have been that post. I can’t say for sure. And maybe it’s just me feeling like I’m more free to express what I’m really thinking, but maybe when I read that I felt God calling me to speak up. You have something to say. Speak up. Don’t hold back. I love it because it’s you. Speak up.

So really, I just want to say, Thank you, Jamie. I don’t know if you’ll even read this, but thank you anyway. Your humor makes me laugh and your spirit of love and grace and brokenness inspires me to be…well, me.

Jamie’s recommendation for our giveaway today is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Here is what she wrote: “My recommendation is Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Poisonwood Bible”. It’s one of only a few books that I’ve read more than once. I think Kingsolver does a masterful job taking us through the story (of a missionary family in the Congo) using several different, super-unique perspectives. The story itself is interesting and beautiful and human, and so well told. And, of course, there’s that whole missionary connection. 😉 If you haven’t already read it, you MUST!”

Added another book to my Kindle library this week…

So in order to have a chance to win The Poisonwood Bible, you have to do a few things for me. You have until June 16 at 11:59 p.m. to comment and enter for the giveaway. I will announce the winner on June 17 at noon CST!

First you have to answer the question below here in the comment section. You can give me a serious answer or be a total smarty-pants. I don’t really care. It just has to be in the comment section here on the blog and not a comment on my Facebook page. Answer it already.

Secondly, see those little buttons at the bottom of the post? If you have Facebook or Twitter or any of the others, I’m asking you to share a link to this post. Also make sure you put that I’m giving away stuff so your friends can get in on the action, too!!

Thirdly, you need to go “Like” my page on Facebook. Okay. That’s not a requirement, but I’d really like it if you did!

That’s it. That’s all you have to do. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow and see what the new giveaway will be!! So answer the question below! Like right now!

Ever wanted to be a missionary? Are you a missionary? Where have you been or where would you want to go?

You can still enter the previous days’ giveaways!!

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years


Walking on Water

The Me I Want To Be

Grace of God

Visioneering & Evolving in Monkey Town

About the author

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  • Nancy

    Have I ever wanted to be a missionary? Heck yeah! I went to school for it and everything :). In the states I’ve been to Colorado and Michigan…overseas I’ve been to Albania. I’m sure Hersch will say this is a Sunday School answer…but I think we’re all missionaries! I’m failing quite miserable as one these days…good thing He uses me in spite (and because) of that!!

    • It is a Sunday School answer, but I love it! You’re not failing. You’re raising two beautiful girls. If that’s not a mission field, I don’t know what is!

  • Ahem, This was a question where that particular response was not “sunday school.”

    I have always wanted to go to Africa and South America. I love the Jim Elliot story. I have made it to Guatemala. Hopefully will make it further south someday. One day.

  • For like a week or two at a time, yes. Full time life, um no. Yes we all do have our own mission field, but I’m not sure I want to be a professional one who has to ask people for money all the time and stuff. Where would I want to go? Hmm…the Spanish speaking world is a little obvious for a Spanish teacher. So I’m going with Eastern Europe. No particular reason though.

    • I’m kinda with you, Andrea. I don’t know that I could do it full-time. I love going on short trips, though!

  • Wiggsfamily

    Never wanted to be a missionary, but here we are, living in Tegucigalpa, working with former gang members and single moms that have been used and abused most of their lives. The last year and a half since arriving has been the hardest of my life. I miss my home back in Oregon, I miss my friends, I miss my church, I miss my nice cushy life and fat paycheck. BUT, God has worked in me in a way that would have been impossible back in Oregon, in my nicely furnished suburban home…the difficulties of adapting to a new culture, finding spiders big enough to eat my dog, dealing with the traffic, learning to speak (not very well yet) spanish, seeing the never ending pain, suffering, and need everywhere we go. It has all drawn me closer to Him. A friend told me shortly after arriving here “as missionaries we forget why we’re here. We aren’t here to feed the poor, work with drug addicts, build houses for the homeless, or teach them a technical skill. We are here so that WE can be conformed to the image of Christ. The mission field is just how He has chosen to do that in us.” When it gets hard, that’s what I remember. He’s refining me, with fire, every day.

    Oh, and I also love Jamie. Her honesty is a refreshing change to the sterilized stuff we normally ready from missionaries (even the stuff I write is pretty sterile). It’s hard and dirty work here, she doesn’t sugar coat it one bit. Sure, some people may not want to hear it, but for those of us in the trenches, thank you. Thank you for making the rest of us feel like it’s okay to speak up.

    • ” We are here so that WE can be conformed to the image of Christ. The mission field is just how He has chosen to do that in us.”

      I LOVE that thought. Thank you for all the work you’re doing. I know it can’t be easy at all being away from home, but like you said, God is conforming you to his image…and he always does a great job!

      Thank you!

  • Sarah

    So. Do I want to be a missionary? Well. I’m from Texas and I want to move to Berlin. To spend time in the parks. Mauer park to be exact. to walk among the people. To have them Walk along side of me. So… I suppose…ya. I wanna be a missionary. More than that tho…. I want to be who I am Called to be… Not just to Do things.

    • In my opinion that’s one of our highest callings, to seek and live out who He has called us to be. I’ll be praying that you’ll move to Berlin and live and walk with the people!

  • Tiffanielenhart

    Yes!! We were in the process of becoming missionaries to Haiti before the earthquake hit. After the earthquake we were able to bring two boys that we were in the process of adopting home on hUmanitarian parole visas. We have put our plans on hold while the boys transition into our home, go through intense therapy, and heal from a very traumatic history of abuse and neglect. Right now they have no desire to return to Haiti and we make all big decisions like this as a family. And so we wait… I have no doubt that when the timing is right, we will be serving there full time. Until then I have three (one adopted in 2007) pieces of Haiti here to love on and minister to in the meantime!!!

    • Wiggsfamily

      You don’t have to move to a foreign land to be a missionary. Sounds like your dream of being one has already come true. God just changed the location. Love those boys like Jesus does.

    • Love this story. Love how God spared you from already being there for the earthquake and is using you to bring healing to some that lived through it. Isn’t He just so cool?

  • I have never wanted or thought that I would be a missionary. My husband has been on several mission trips and I do see that possibility in my future. I try to remind myself that it’s not about what I want either. My parents live and “work” in Jerusalem but my father also preaches for several Sunday’s in the Bahamas, on a small island there. I woudl like to think that if the Lord ever called us to serve somewhere else, it would be there! hehe

    • Ha! Love it! I would like to think that if He ever called me to serve, it would be somewhere with a beach, as well! Thanks!

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  • Adrienne Butler

    So I’m new to your blog, but looking forward to getting to know you through your writing!
    Ok, to the question: I haven’t been a career sort of missionary, but I’ve been on mission trips to Ecuador, Jamaica, Canada, Swaziland, and within the US. Most of those were evangelism-driven, and, looking back, I would’ve done things differently now that I know more about the Lord’s heart for people. He doesn’t have a “reach the world within x number of years” mentality, He wants us to actually love whoever is in front of us. And now I see that salvation-driven methods aren’t always loving.
    But….I still think missions are great, and most the missionaries I’ve met are great. Plus, my grandparents were missionaries in Nigeria when I was young.
    I’d like to go to North Africa to do “missions,” but more in a living-normal-life-among-people sort of way, rather than preaching/outreach ways. I’m looking forward to what the Lord’s going to do in our country and other countries through mission work!

    • Sounds like you’ve been some pretty amazing places! I totally understand re-evaluating “missions” in the past. I would have done things differently on some, too. Thank you for stopping by! Can’t wait to get to know you, too!!

  • i actually already own this book! and i LOVE it. So good! I read it after I came back from Africa. I didn’t grow up loving God so being a missionary or that missionaries even still existed was not on my radar. part of God shaking me up in life was when I went to be a missionary and live in Africa for a year. loved it. so incredibly much. and i so very much want to go back. =)

    • Oh, I can’t wait to start reading this one. I’ve mentioned it to a couple of people, and just their reactions to it makes me want to read it! Where in Africa did you serve?

      • yes! i haven’t heard of anyone disliking it. 🙂 missionaries suggested it to me! and I spent time in South Africa–about three hours outside of Johannesburg. We did go to Swazi for a couple weeks too!

  • Anonymous

    I am not a missionary, I have been on a mission trip to Africa when I was a teenager with my youth group. Every since then, 15 or so years ago, I have felt a small tugging that maybe someday I will be doing something similar to that again. I am a neonatal nurse now and in 6 months will finish the neonatal nurse practitioner program. I feel that somehow maybe somewhere I will be able to use that on the mission field in some sort of way. But, I am a wife of almost 13 years and a mother of 3 and I really do feel it may be something that is meant for me and my family but have no idea how, when, where, or even why.

    • I have no doubt that you will use your talents on a mission field, whether that field is in Africa or in your hospital in the States. I’ll be praying that God will show you a glimpse of His plan for you! Bless you!

  • Ciara

    I don’t think I believe in missionaries. Wrong answer? I believe in walking with God and serving him wherever you are and following Him wherever He calls you. I’ve been on ‘mission trips’ that really effected me and changed how I saw the world and God so don’t get me wrong, I’m not against missions or missionaries. When my husband was a young boy he felt God call him to Russia (we are from/currently living in Ireland) so he went off and learned Russian, went to college and got a degree in Russian. He has been over there several times either through college or with churches. Recently God challenged him that He never actually called my husband to be a ‘missionary’ there but to simply go there. For now we are just waiting on His time to go and allowing Him to use us where He has us.
    (I just found your blog through Jamie’s blog!)

    • Never a wrong answer here! I think it’s a wonderful way to look at it. God calls you to be a certain place. Go there and be and live among the people. Love!

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