Jun 27, 2008

Walking and Waiting

I have been in this state of stop and go lately. I take a few steps forward and then wait around for a while. It has given me a lot of time to think, to read, to spend with God and to heal.

I took a step of faith yesterday. I take a lot of them I guess but this one was intentional, haha. I drove into Baton Rouge for a meeting at church. I really felt God drawing me there but I didn't have enough gas to get back home. So I struggled with whether or not I should make the drive. In the end I made the decision to go and if I ran out of gas on the way home then praise God I ran out of gas.

The meeting was incredible. We received an encouraging word from Bro Billy Hornsby, who if one of the founders of the ARC and and incredible leader. It was so good to be back home at HPC and see everyone that I have missed so much. Bro. Billy shared some incredible life principles with us but one of them hit me harder than the rest. He said that if you spend your life helping others succeed then you will be successful.

WOW! You may have to chew on that for a minute but not me. I had been waiting for someone to tell me that it was OK to do that. I needed permission to build others. You see the world tells us to strive to make ourselves beautiful, strive to make ourselves successful, strive to make ourselves a living...but what I really want to do is help others put into action the dreams God had given them. Of course I have dreams of my own, to have a family and serve God with them, but I trust God with those dreams. I believe that if I serve Him with everything I've got by serving others then He will take care of me.

Matt 6:33 Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. This has become the driving force for all of my decisions. I really trust God...with everything. Every single thing. And because I put my faith and trust into action by making the drive out to Baton Rouge to go to that meeting God met more than just my need for gasoline (thanks Mary Beth) He healed something deep in my heart and gave me ability to trust Him completely.

Jun 17, 2008

Approval Addiction

I think that somewhere deep down in my heart there is a spot that needs the approval of others. I really can't stand the idea of someone being mad at me or disappointed in me. I don't really like it...that I am that person but I am. I wish all I cared about was that I was pleasing to my Heavenly Father. And I do seek after his approval more than anyone else but there is that part of me that needs acceptance and encouragement from people.

I am so blessed to have people in my life that understand this part of me. Some of them probably understand it better than I do. But right now...I wish I didn't need that. Oh God let me be fully satisfied when you are smiling down at me. Let me flourish when I am in your will.

Jun 16, 2008

The American Dream

I guess since my sister just had a baby I have been thinking about my life as a potential mother. I really do want to get married and have a pack of little Heathers running around but the family pictures are going to look a little different. Instead of having a fake printed "spring" background they will have tropical mountains, waterfalls, sand dunes, breath taking lakes and more sky than you can ever imagine.

I really wish my whole family would understand the dreams that are in my heart. God says in Isaiah that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He also says that what is wise to the world is foolish in the kingdom of heaven. It is really hard to explain what I feel in my heart without sounding irresponsible.

The world would have me stuck in school for another 2-5 years and then stuck in an office for the next 30 until I had a million dollars in escro and I could retire in style...the American dream, I guess. My dream is different though. I want to serve God. I want to make an eternal difference. I want my treasure to be measured in smiles on the faces God's children.

It does hurt a little to know that the people you love think you don't have it right but I guess it will have to do. I don't mind looking irresponsible because I have been responsible my whole life. I trust that my God will take care of me. I believe that if I ever slow down and return to the States that I will be provided for. I trust that insurance and electricity will be paid. The Bible says...seek first the kingdom of God and all the rest will be added to you.

I know that my God is faithful. I know that He has placed a dream in my heart. I know that I need to fight for it. I know that I need to protect it. I know that I need to stay at His feet. Please stand in prayer with me on these things. I need your help more than you will ever realize. I need your strength and your love and your encouragement.

Jun 14, 2008

It's Official

So I am an Aunt for real! Baby Izaak entered the world at about 5pm on June 12th. He was 6lbs 8oz and 19 3/4" long! He is sooo cute and as soon as I find my cable to connect my phone to the computer I will show you how cute he is. Here is how it all went down...

Wed. Night
My sister calls and asks, "So what are you doing at 4:30 tomorrow morning? Can you come to the hospital with me?"

Thurs. Morning
4:30am arrive at hospital
5:45am I call my mom to report that Sarah is 1 cm dilated and she should probably start driving to the hospital (from New Orleans) cause she didn't want to miss it.
4:30pm Sarah has been in labor like 12 hours and Izzak is still inside the oven so the Dr. does a c section and by 5:00pm we have a baby!

So it was a long day but totally worth it. I got to be a part of one of the greatest miracles ever... the creation of life. God has been planning Izzak since the beginning of time and he is finally here to start walking out the plans God wrote for him long ago. So cool!

Jun 10, 2008

Baby Izzak Calhoun Martin

Sarah is going to be admitted to Woman's Hospital on Thursday at 4:30am to start her delivery!!! I am going to be an aunt the day after tomorrow!!

Let's cover her in prayer!



Make it easier to keep up with Heather's High Points! I installed a FeedBurner a few days ago. If you look on the right hand side of the blog in the pink side bar you will see a place where you can enter your email address. If you do this you will get my blog emailed directly to your inbox! That way you don't have to click on anything!

Happy Reading!

Baby Count Down

So I am going to be a aunt in a week or less! I am going with my sister do a Dr. appointment today and we are hoping and praying that she will be able to pick a date for enduction...yes you can pretty much schedule a baby these days.

We are hoping that little Isaak Martin will be born on Friday June 13th! I will keep you posted about his arrival. I think it is so awesome that God even has his due date planned. God knows his name, He has plans for this boy, He has knit him together in my sister's womb! How cool is that!!

I have been practicing my Auntie Heather skills as much as possible at the church nursery so I hope that will pay off. I am really excited about being an aunt and I hope to be able to help Sarah for a while after the baby is born. I am so excited that my mom will be coming up for a few days after the delivery to get to know her grandson! Wow...three generations in one house...way cool!

Jun 5, 2008

Happy Anniversary, or Whatever

I just realized that our little blog here has surpassed the 500 hit mark! I don't know why I got excited about that but I did. There have been exactly 547 hits since I checked last. Half of them are probably from me in the last few days becasue I have been blogging so much and doing a little visual remodeling. Oh by the way, do you like the changes?

Any way...I am thrilled that this blog has been around for 12 months now. I can't remember life before blogging. It may have included myspace (shhh don't tell anyone). But I think I am a much cooler person now that I have a blog. Please, try not to laugh out loud.

I think it is pretty cool. You may or may not have realized that this blog has not only provided a way for me to talk about things that I find interesting but it has also helped me keep in touch with family and friends all over the world. It's like we are all part of one big network. I still love looking at my cluster map (although not as obsessively as before) for that very reason...we are all connected. We are all part of the Body of Christ.

I have really met some interesting people though this blog. I hope that more continue to come and that maybe somehow they will see something different in me. Something that looks like Jesus. So Happy Anniversary or Whatever you call it. I am so glad you stopped by.

Jun 4, 2008

Things I Choose Not to Worry About

photo of a waterfall on one of our hikes

There are some things I have decided not to worry about. It's not that I don't want to think about them or that I don't want to work hard at fixing them, I am just choosing to worry about them. I am refusing to let these things take over my mind and destroy my joy. And because I actually wrote them down in my journal I have a list of things I can go back to and say...Oh no you don't, that is on my list and I am not going to worry about it.

The problem with that is since I am the only one who knows about the list...I have been secretly worrying about some of the items. I know what you are thinking...but it really has been like a subconscious worry and then once I recognize it for what it is I bring out the list and say...Ah ha I caught you, you sneaky little worry thing.

So in an effort to solve this secret subconscious worry epidemic I am going to share my list with you. So please keep me accountable. If worry somehow sneaks its way into any of my posts call me out! Leave me a comment and say...Heather, that was on your list and I believe you are worrying about it.

I would really appreciate your help on this! Thanks in advance!

Things I choose not worry about
  1. finding a good job for the summer
  2. finances
  3. learning spanish
  4. figuring out which ministries to serve in
  5. gas expenses
  6. whether or not to sell my car
  7. spending time with family and friends
  8. taking care of all the Honduras arrangements in only 7 months
  9. writing out a budget
  10. maintaining relationships
  11. getting married
  12. being lonely
  13. losing touch with friends
  14. being without a camera
  15. persecution
  16. moving in and then moving out again
  17. where i will live
  18. what i will pack up
  19. what i will bring with me
  20. what i will store here
  21. getting sick when i move
OK so you are probably thinking...these are legitimate things to consider. And they are, so don't get me wrong. I will have to do all of these things at some point, but I refuse to worry about them. You know that kind of worry that makes you mean to other people because they can't possibly understand what you are going through. That kind of anxiety that paralyzes you. The thoughts that lead down the road of low self esteem, unworthiness and incapability.

I just choose not to do that. So will you help me out? Keep me straight?

photo from the top of a mountain behind our hotel in Swazi

Jun 3, 2008

Adventures in Honduras

During the 3 days I spent in Honduras there was a...

Hurricane scare: It turned out to be a tropical storm, but for a few hours we were wondering if the plan we were creating for the next year would have to include rebuilding everything from the ground up. It was a scary thought.

Plane crash: TACA airlines (AKA ...Take A Chance Airlines) had a plane crash in Tegucigalpa. That airport is considered the most dangerous in the world because of the mountains that surround the very short runway. TACA is one of the few airlines that fly from Honduras to USA. I was actually on 5 different TACA planes in between La Ceiba and New Orleans.

Although these made for interesting phone conversations... "Hello...it's Heather. I only have a few minutes to talk...Yes, I know about the Hurricane...it's only a Tropical Storm...just a little bit of rain. Yes, I heard about the plane crash...Yes, I am flying on TACA but not out of Teguc. No, we should be home as scheduled..." They were conversations I would have rather not had at all.

I guess I am going to have to get used to it though. That's where the faith comes in. I believe in the promise God has given me through the Bible that says he has plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11). I believe in the power of prayer and that my God reigns in this world. I trust in Him for my safety. So please join me in prayer; I will never turn it down!

For the Long Haul

So I have been posting like crazy but it is an effort to keep all of my memories straight. Someone will say something that reminds me of a day in Africa and then that day in Africa will remind me of a conversation I had in Honduras...and it keeps going and going and going.

So in an effort to keep my mind from turning into one big Dairy Queen Blizzard I want to share some things I have learned about international air travel.

What to put in your carry on:
  1. an extra pair of underwear - don't argue, you WILL need them
  2. change of clothes - if you can fit them it's a good idea in case you and your luggage don't end up in the same place at the same time
  3. mp3 player/comfortable head phones
  4. deodorant - you don't want to be the stinky person
  5. toothpaste & tooth brush - this goes along with #4
  6. neck pillow - this is controversial but I am soo glad I spent $1.97 on a blow up one
  7. light weight jacket - hot, cold, hot, cold you will constantly be regulating temperatures
  8. airborne - lots of icky plane germs recirculating in the cabin
  9. hand sanitizer - to clean up before meals
  10. Giant Book of Variety Puzzles - get one at the Dollar Tree they are amazing
  11. journal/bible - there is plenty of time to read and journal on a long flight
  12. gum and lots of it - this goes with #4 but also helps with the pressure in your ears
  13. Advil PM - it helps to regulate your sleep and keeps you from getting all stiff
  14. Med-Peds - travel socks help keep your feet from swelling & help prevent DVT you can get them at Wal-Mart for like $4 (get the over the calf kind)
  15. baby wipes - great for washing your face and giving you that "oh so clean feeling"

OK so that may be a lot of things to carry but it is totally worth it. I am sure I have forgotten things so please feel free to leave a comment and add to the list.

Other Tidbits
  • if you don't cover your bags in prayer and have people praying that all 26 pieces of your luggage make it to where you end up you will probably lose something
  • stay calm
    • even if you are running full speed through the airport trying to catch a plane that has already been scheduled to leave
    • even if you have no idea what is going on
  • know your rights so the airlines can't pull the wool over your eyes
  • be patient
  • be courteous
  • treat everyone with respect
These things may seem like no-brainers but when you have been traveling for 22 hours straight and you miss your connection and no one wants to take responsibility for getting you home and you are hungry and tired and you are a little stinky and your breath isn't the freshest ... you have to make a choice to be sweet. You have to make a choice to help others. You have to make a choice to share your last cliff bar or tear a page out of your puzzle book and give up your only pencil.

It is when we are pulled past our comfort zone that we are given the opportunity to rise up and demonstrate the substance of our character. It is easy to give when it doesn't really cost you anything. The victory comes when you choose to sacrifice your desires so someone else can be happier (maybe even happier than you).

Jun 2, 2008


Sometimes it is a good idea to learn how to drive a 4x4 truck before you are in dire need of traction. We were driving up the side of a mountain...actually Natalie was driving and we were all praying to God that we would make it up to the top. Here is a little footage...

A pic of Brandon holding on for dear life...
Nat driving on the other side of the car

Swazi Sunrise

This picture was taken on the game drive. We had coffee, tea and muffins and watched the sunrise. There is so much sky in Africa, it goes on forever!
Breathtaking, isn't it?

We also had the opportunity to see an entire pride of lions. Take a look...

Honduras Pics

So the latter half of my journey around the globe was spent in Rio Viejo, Honduras getting to know the Williams family. I may have the opportunity to spend a year serving in their ministry. Here are some pictures of their beautiful property.

The Hospital dedicated to Jack and Shirley Dyer

The dormitory

The view from the 2nd story of the dorm
On the veranda of the dorm

The site of the Williams Family House


On the way back from the Outreach at the soccer fields...the one I almost started a riot at - that's another story - we stopped to give some candy to a bunch of kids. I know, I know...I had to leave the Dietitian in me at the hotel for most of this trip. We were giving candy out left and right.

Any way, we stopped to give out candy, or Sweets as the Swazi kids call them, and I got some great pics of the kids. Just look at them! So beautiful! So excited! Take a look at the little guy in the middle...

...I'll give you a close up.He is thinking about how goooood that candy is going to taste! Just read his shirt...He is totally out of control!
When was the last time you got this excited over a piece of candy? It tells you a little bit about their lives, doesn't it?

What's the Difference?

From the top of Execution Rock in Swaziland. I love this picture. It does something to my heart. Not only does it remind me of that beautiful day, the breathtaking views from the top of the mountain, the heart pounding hike (I am soo out of shape) but it reminds me of the lesson God taught me that day.

The pictures below were taken on the way up the mountain. The views were so gorgeous on the way up that I had to stop and capture them. I wanted to document every part of the journey...you can ask Brandon... I stopped like every 5 minutes to take a picture.

Despite the beauty along the way, I knew the view from the top would be breathtaking. Even though the path to the top was difficult it was totally worth it.

I wondered how many times in life I thought it was good enough to stop halfway. How many times have I been satisfied with the views along the way?
God spoke to me and encouraged me to make it to the top. It was difficult. I was winded. My back hurt. I was tired. But I kept going, making sure to take in the beauty of God's creation around me.

When I made it to the top, I finally understood what God was trying to say.
God taught me never to settle for the good by sacrificing the great. If we push ourselves a little farther.

If we trust God a little more. If we press past the pain and discomfort we will be rewarded with the best God has to offer.

This is the difference between the Good and the Great!

Uploading in Progress

So I have a bazillion pictures from Swazi and Honduras and I am painstakingly uploading them right now. just hold on...I even have some great videos...it will be worth the wait I assure you.

Jun 1, 2008

Time with God

So I woke up bright and early...OK it wasn't early at all...more like 3:57pm, but I was fully rested and ready to go. The problem was that I didn't know what I was going to do. I have just been around the world and back. I graduated from Elevate and now it isn't even called Elevate anymore. My world has changed, but I am so excited about the future!

So since I didn't know what I was going to do when I woke up, I decided to spend some time with the Lord. No rush. No assigned reading. Open ended. It was great! I have been reading about the life of David...I really want to be like him. David was after the heart of God and that is what I want. I have such a strong desire to know His character, to know His heart.

I spent a few hours reading in 1 Samuel and boy did God show up. He taught me about jealousy and how dangerous it can be. I used to compare myself to others. I would look at their blessings...their call then I would stop looking at God and get all confused at what He wanted me to do. God spoke to me through the story of David and Saul. He showed me how jealousy consumed Saul and eventually turned into hatred and lead to the murder of almost 100 priests! Can you believe it?! Saul murdered God's holy consecrated priests. I can't even imagine that!!

Whew...taught me a lesson. I confessed. I repented. And I asked God to keep me in line. God has plans for each of us. Those plans are all different. If we try to force ourselves into the mold God has designed for someone else we will be extremely uncomfortable.

Have you ever worn a pair of shoes that didn't fit? (I am sooo guilty of this). If they are too big they rub blisters everywhere. If they are too small your toes get all squished. Either way you can't walk right. Sure you can get around, but it is painful and you are constantly thinking about how bad your feet hurt. Your back starts to hurt becasue you aren't walking straight and you don't cover as much ground as you should have. WOW!

Just apply that to your whole life! If you try to walk in someone else's shoes...their calling...you will get all messed up. I am so thankful that God has designed a pair of shoes just for me. He has even designed a road for me to walk on and made the two of them match perfectly.

Maybe you feel like you are wearing a pair of hiking boots at the ball. Just hold on. God has a plan for those boots. Just trust Him. Look at what your shoes are good for and it may just give you some clues to what God has designed you for.

Yes I got all of that from a few hours with my bible, you should try it sometime. He wants to speak to you too.

Home Again

OK so obviously the whole blogging in Honduras thing didn't quite work out as planned. I am back in the states now and I am about 5 minutes from some great undisturbed sleep.

I have just had the most incredible time! I was honored to travel with two incredible women (Claudia Berry and Paulette Wunstel) to an unbelievable beautiful place to meet a family that is giving it all to God. The Williams family is serving it up in Honduras and I am so excited with the possibility of going and serving their needs.

This has just been the coolest month! I can't wait to tell you more about it when I am all rested up and can type without having to backspace after almost every letter. I love you guys so much!

Oh and by the way...all of the luggage made it there and back again...miracle!! Thank you for your prayers!!