“I Have a Dream”

This week marked the 50th anniversary of March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where an estimated quarter of a million people gathered in the nation’s capital to raise their voices for in support of a strong Civil Rights legislation that would greatly reduce segregation and mistreatment for African Americans.

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When one thinks of this impactful event, the first thing that comes to mind is Martin Luther King Jr, the fearless leader for Civil Rights. Standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, a monument commemorating one of America’s influential presidents who helped eliminate slavery in America, King delivered the historic speech, “I Have a Dream”. He noted in the opening statements that what was taking place on that August day was the “greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation”.

Deep passion permeated every word spoken by King as he described his vision of a nation where one was not judged based off the color of their skin. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” Pursuing the goal of Godly equality characterized the life of King and many others as they fought for a better future for their children and grandchildren. The Civil Rights leaders understood that a person should not be treated differently by their appearance, by their skin color, or by their economic status. Instead, King advocated for the day when his children would one day live in nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.

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King was renowned for his efforts to ensure that men and women were regarded as equal. He understood that God calls for mankind to treat one another with respect and love, because all are created in His image. Although the African American community was met with animosity, King gently reminded the nation that, “darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Retaliation with bitterness to such hardship would have been expected and was the reaction of some. However King understood that the only thing he could change was himself and his reaction. He once stated that he had decided to stick with love, because hate was too great a burden to bear.

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Even though our nation isn’t currently fighting for legalized racial equality, there are still many issues that a Christian’s heart should be broken over.  The fact that 40 years ago, America legalized the killing of more than 55 million babies under Roe v. Wade. The fact that gay couples can freely be with whomever they choose. The fact that immorality is rampant and celebrated in the media.

The list could go on and on. Even though American Christians find themselves in the middle of a nation that does not honor the Lord, there is still hope. In Matthew 5:43-44 Christ gives this charge, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” The Lord understood that our flesh’s first reaction is to hate our enemies. However, He calls us to something higher – to love and pray for one another. It is not always easy to love like Christ loves, but as Christians we have the Holy Spirit living in us to sanctify us.

In light of the anniversary and celebration of the achievements of Martin Luther King Jr and others, be thankful to the Lord that much has been accomplished in America to honor Him in the nation’s past, be prayerful over the nation’s current leaders, be mindful that there is still work to be done, be active in making your voice heard and be loving towards others.

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Adoption – Ordained by God

I ran to the bathroom as fast as I could before the tears started pouring down my cheeks. Once inside the bathroom, I sat down and wept. A few moments earlier, some words had been spoken that had cut into my heart like a knife. Someone had been explaining what an orphanage was to some children and said some extremely hurtful and insensitive things concerning adoption. Not only did the words sting my heart, there were also a few other adopted children within earshot of the discussion.

As I cried in the bathroom, it hit me like a ton of bricks….

Not everyone

….views adoption in the same way that I do!

….views it as precious or mandated by God!

….views adopted children as equal to biological children

….views orphans as people deserving our love

To me, being adopted is the greatest gift I could ever imagine receiving apart from my salvation. Being adopted is a part of my identity, because not only have I been adopted physically, I have also been adopted spiritually by my Heavenly Father! Because I am adopted, I feel as if I can understand the Lord’s adoption in a more unique way than most people!

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While I was trying to compose myself in the bathroom this afternoon, my heart filled with anger,

Familiar feelings flooded my heart…

I am unwanted

– I am worthless

– I am a mistake

– Even though I’m adopted, I’m still different than everyone else

I wanted so much to march out and let the lady know how inappropriate her comments were and to set her straight! Instead, I quickly prayed that the Lord would calm my heart down until I could spend some time laying my emotions before Him.

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Later this afternoon, I was able to get some time alone and sort out my feelings before the throne. I told the Lord how much that woman’s words affected me, and the lies that Satan told me. My heart had foolishly allowed a few careless words to cut me to the core and hurt me. The Lord sweetly began to remind me of truth!

This is what the Lord says, and this is what I choose to believe…

– I am chosen!

– My life has purpose!

– The circumstances surrounding my birth do not define me!

– I am who the Lord says I am!

– The Lord chose to use adoption to display His glory!

Dear reader, I encourage you to promote adoption and to talk about it in light of the Gospel. One of my favorite quotes about adoption is

“The Gospel is not a picture of adoption, adoption is a picture of the Gospel.” – John Piper

Each life matters. Each orphan matters. Each adoption matters.

It all matters, because God values each life, each orphan, each adoption.

Love knows no borders. Love knows no colors.

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I’ll be honest, my heart is still stinging a little bit tonight. But I am making the conscious decision to trust in the Lord. I am trusting that what He says about me is truth.

Watch this video on adoption, it is one of my all-time favorites!

I Like Adoption

Monday Musings – Life Lately!

Hello all!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “Monday Musing” post, and I find that these are the easiest ways to give updates on my life. So, here we go!

June has turned out to be a pretty crazy!

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This past Friday, one of my friends called me up and said that she was going to be in Charlotte, and would I like to get together and chat for a little bit. A few weeks ago, I had emailed this friend, asking for some career advice, and she was in town, so instead of talking on the phone, she suggested that we just meet up. The reason she was in town was because she works for the Faith & Freedom Coalition, and they were a part of the North Carolina GOP convention. When she called, she mentioned that she could get me in to the State Dinner and the prayer breakfast the next morning. Immediately, I said that I would love to attend!

Saturday afternoon, I made a pit stop to grab a Venti iced coffee. (Ask for an iced coffee with a shot of vanilla and a little bit of cream! So tasty!)

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With my coffee in hand, I put on some tunes, and headed off to Charlotte. I love road trips and throughly enjoyed the drive! When I arrived in Charlotte, I parked, made my way inside and headed straight for the bathroom to fix myself up a little bit – my car’s air condition isn’t working very well, and it was about 80 outside.

This was my outfit of choice for the evening, nothing too crazy, but I much prefer to look classy!

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After making sure that I looked presentable, I headed to the lobby to wait for my friend. There was a comic book hero conference going on (don’t ask, I have no idea what they do!), but I was provided with plenty of entertainment while waiting. Once my friend showed up, we chatted for about half an hour, then she looked at her phone and declared that it was time to go to a reception. I followed her to a small room where there were about 10 people mulling around. There was a man with a camera, and it was obvious that we were all waiting on someone to show up. Low and behold, we were waiting on Karl Rove, the keynote speaker for dinner to arrive.

Karl Rove was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to George W. Bush. Being heavily interested in politics, I was thrilled to have the privilege of being a part of this small reception for him. When he walked in, he immediately began shaking people’s hands, asking for their names, and carrying on a brief conversation.

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We chatted for a few moments before he turned his attention to the next person. But then it was time for pictures, and he graciously took as many pictures as everyone wanted. His autobiography was passed around, and I had my copy signed for my dad, because he’s a huge admirer.

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Mr. Rove could not have been more gracious or kind. He made me feel like I was catching up with an old friend instead of meeting a celebrity! After chatting with everyone for a little while, it was time for all of us to head to dinner.

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Mr. Rove gave the keynote speech, and discussed a wide span of issues, from conservative morals to taxes. I was engrossed in his talk, and throughly enjoyed every minute of the evening.

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I was back at the hotel bright and early the next morning for the prayer breakfast. When I arrived, I was informed that I would be sitting at the same table as Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar – the keynote speakers for the prayer breakfast. I was lead to my seat and able to snag a picture with Mr. and Mrs. Duggar before the breakfast began!

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For most of the breakfast, I had the pleasure of chatting with Mr. and Mrs. Duggar! They were two of the sweetest and most authentic people I’ve ever met. I felt like I was just chatting with my parents because they asked me questions, and had a genuine interest. I told Mrs. Duggar that there are 6 children in my family, and that we were all homeschooled growing up. I ended up sharing a lot of my story with them (being born in Romania, adopted siblings, etc.) Then, it was their turn to address everyone at the breakfast! They shared part of their story and encouraged everyone to trust the Lord, even when life circumstances aren’t easy!

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After the breakfast, I chatted with them for a little while longer about our shared passion of being pro-life. Mr. Duggar asked for my business card and said that he would contact me with more information about the Heartbeat Bill he’s crafted.

The entire weekend was absolutely incredible! I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to meet some of the people that I did. I am very grateful and humbled to have attended the events and had the conversations I did with people!

Next up on my agenda is putting the finishing touches on VBS at my church, and then I’m headed to speak at a conference in DC this weekend!!

P.S. Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures, all I had with me was my iphone!

Pro-Life Emphasis Week – Recap

Wow…just wow!! I am still trying to process everything that happened this past week!

I had the honor of planning and putting together a Pro-Life Emphasis Week at Liberty University! When I first became the Senior Class President, I honestly didn’t really know what to do. I knew I had a cool position, but past a title, I was kind of at a loss at what to do. So, I decided to pray about it. The Lord asked me what both He and I were passionate about, and I responded, “Life”. When the Lord placed me in the position of Senior Class President, I never knew what was going to happen, but I set about planning for a Pro-Life Emphasis week for the student body. The early stages of planning began in September, and have been in the works ever since then.

The purpose of the week was to educate ourselves on how to be pro-life not only in word, but also in deed, and to inspire the world’s largest Christian university to hold life as precious and dear, just like our Father!

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The beginning of the week was awful, and Tuesday was probably one of the worst day’s I’ve had in a long time. I cried openly in public more than once. Everything was falling apart on Tuesday. There was a lot of stuff happening back home which was breaking my heart, and things were not coming together with pro-life week. I found out that I didn’t have access to the money that I was counting on (which was about $1000). Thing after thing wasn’t going right. When I got into bed on Tuesday night, I felt defeated and discouraged and was so close to just throwing up my hands and cancelling the entire week.

When I got up on Wednesday morning, my dear mother had sent me a Facebook message…

Remember that this week belongs to God, and He is well-able to make of it what He wants. You don’t have to do it in your own strength, and even through your willingness to put this together, He doesn’t want to share the glory of it. Get physical rest, and stay in that place of obedient,joyful rest in Christ.

More than anything I needed that reminder.

This wasn’t my week.
This wasn’t my glory.
This wasn’t my success.

….this was God’s.

Wednesday morning I prayed this prayer…

“Father, you were the one who placed this idea on my heart. You were the one guiding me through everything. I gave this week to you a long time ago, but I’ve taken it back into my own hands. I’m sorry that I’ve been running around like an idiot trying to get everything done. I’m sorry for stealing your glory. I hand you control of this week. I’ve never been in a place where I could fail so miserably. Lord, I ask you to come through and make this week a success! Even if it doesn’t look like what I think it should, it’s in your hands.”

I do not have sufficient words to even begin to describe all that God did!!! I literally just stood back and watched the Lord work all week.

Pro-Life organizations set up tables in the back hallway of DeMoss all week.

Rock For Life sold T-Shirts and other pro-life merchandise, and raised well over $1000.

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Some of my friends who stand for life

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My incredible friend Sean, who runs the pro-life club on campus called Lifeline also set up a table!

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On Wednesday, we had Mike Spencer from the Life Training Institute come and do a session on “Abortion and Apologetics” Students listened for an hour as he discussed how to intelligently discuss the subject of being pro-life from science, philosophy, etc. Then they participated in an in depth question and answer!

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After campus church, students participated in a prayer walk!

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I had the opportunity to meet Clayton King before church and discuss the week a little bit with him! He was adopted as a baby and lives in North Carolina! I feel like we should be friends!

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On Thursday, I had asked Phil Kline to give a talk on “Abortion and the Law”. He gave the best talk I’ve ever heard on abortion! Quickly, he captured everyone’s attention, and held it for well over an hour. Mr. Kline is the former Attorney General from Kansas, and is the only prosecutor to ever obtain abortion clinic records from Planned Parenthood. It was an incredible honor for him to participate in the week!

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Friday’s convocation will forever stand as one of my all-time favorite memories. I had asked the entire student body to wear either red or white shirts, depending on their section. One third of the students wore red, to represent the amount of people “missing” due to abortion. I’m going to be honest, even though I had broadcast as much as I knew how, in the back of my mind, I never really expected people to participate. When I arrived to convo on Friday morning, I was blown away. Tears started pouring down my checks as I saw the student body participating!!

I have never been more humbled or in awe of all that the Lord accomplished!!

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Johnnie Moore spoke on why Christians should hold life as sacred, and did an excellent job!

The week was ended in the most incredible way ever! Phil Wickham came in for a free concert!! A love offering was taken, and all of the proceeds went directly to the Liberty Godparent Home! The concert was one of the most Christ-centered concert’s I’ve ever attended and Phil shared some of his new songs with us!

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I had the privilege of meeting him and chatting with him about the week! He was incredibly gracious and kind!

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Best pro-life emphasis week!!!

March For Life – Recap

This past weekend, I was blessed beyond measure to participate in the March For Life in Washington DC. My mind is still trying to process all of the experiences and things that happened, but there is one word that I keep coming back to, and that word is…awesome!

The definition of the word “awesome” is: Extremely impressive; inspiring great admiration; causing awe.

I hope that better words will come in time, but for now, the word “awesome” is all I can seem to come up with. I would like to offer up my humble recap of the March For Life, and I hope it encourages you that there are still countless others in America fighting for the lives of the unborn.

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3:45 am…*Beep Beep Beep* Off goes my alarm clock!! I quickly turned it off so that my roommate wouldn’t wake up, and dragged myself to the coffee maker, before showering and getting ready. The weather forecast was below freezing all day in DC, so I put on a pair of leggings, pants, boots, two tank tops, a regular shirt, a cardigan, a coat, a scarf, gloves and a hat!! My body was going to be warm! After getting ready, I made my way to our rendezvous for the bus. There were about 60 students from Liberty University that attended the March For Life. My heart was so happy that there were so many students up at 5:00 am, eager to go walk for the lives of the unborn.

The drive to DC was uneventful. When we arrived, we regrouped and headed to the National Mall, where we were able to get right up to the stage.

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Sounds of Liberty, a singing group from LU started off by performing the Star Spangled Banner. Then speaker after speaker came and addressed the crowd! There were speakers ranging from senators and representatives, to a guy who had been born out of rape! Rick Santorum and his family were there and told a story of how a doctor had recommended that they abort their youngest daughter, but they chose life for her! What an inspiration!

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My heart was deeply encouraged that the Gospel was proclaimed and preached from the stage by countless speakers!

After about an hour worth of speakers, the crowd began the official “March” to the Supreme Court Building! While we were walking, it began to snow. I’m not gonna lie, my little tail was about to freeze off, but I tried not to think about how cold my body was, because I was surrounded by so many others, who were freezing as well, but we all had one common purpose. The actual walk to the Supreme Court Building took about 2 hours! Many people were carrying signs saying “Defend Life”, “Defund Planned Parenthood”, “Life is Scared” and others! One of the coolest things was walking by the Senate office, and seeing the line of people out the door of people going to talk to their respected representatives to declare to them that Americans hold life as precious!

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When we got to the Supreme Court Building, everyone dispersed.

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My heart was beyond encouraged when I heard the estimated number of attendees at the March For Life. 500,000! Half a million people showed up in Washington DC to declare to the government, our President, America, and the world that we support LIFE! It was so surreal to be with that many people who all shared the same goal!

I am resolved to work as hard as I possibly can to end legalized abortion. Not on my watch will I simply sit around while babies are being murdered at the hands of the American people!

Choose life – my birth mom did!

My heart was broken this week as I watched the Democratic National Convention, and saw the crowds cheer for “women being allowed to make their own choice over their bodies.” Over 25 speakers indirectly referenced abortion and their outright support for abortion. As I watched the crowds cheer in support of the murder of innocent lives, I wanted to vomit. The topic of the sanctity of human life is extremely near to my heart.

I was born in Bucharest, Romania to a young girl during a time of poverty in the country. Romania had been under communist rule for 44 years, and at the time I was born, they only had their freedom from Nicolae Ceaușescu (the dictator) for a little over a year.

Hardly a day goes by that I am not acutely aware of the Lord’s hand on the events surrounding my birth.

My birth mom chose life for me!

I do not know what she was going through before and during her pregnancy with me, but I do know that she chose to give me life! I do not know my birth mom, but I thank the Lord every day that she did not chose to end my life. Today, I have the two most incredible people on the planet as my parents, and I have more gratitude in my heart that I can ever begin to express.

I am grateful for….

* Being born
* My adoption
* My parents
* My family
* Life

Beloved, life is precious…anyone who tells you otherwise is liar! One of my favorite quotes on this subject is by Ronald Reagan…

“I’ve noticed that everyone that is for abortion has already been born!”

As Christians, we should have a firm stance on life and protecting the unborn. We should go about it with love and our ultimate goal should be to lead others to Christ’s redeeming love in the process. I urge you to take a stand for the sanctity of human life, but to do it in a manner that honors the Lord.

I have been blessed beyond measure. Not only was I given the gift of life, I was given the gift of adoption. My parents also adopted 5 other children from Europe. Other than my Jesus, they are the most dear and precious things in my life…