Category Archives: Upward Thoughts

Judges 6:14 (part 2)

“Go with the strength you have…I am sending you”.

I’ve always appreciated the analogy of life coming (and going) in seasons. It makes things like this a little less painful…

Our family is preparing for our “season” in South Africa to end. We are planning on returning to the U.S. the first of June 2015. While we are, of course, excited to be returning we share the sentiment that it is hard to leave what has been home to our family for three years. 

We are excited about our “next step” and continue to be amazed by the faithfulness of God. 

My philosophy…

Category : Mom Life , Upward Thoughts

Be a superhero to someone, and


Have your cake and eat it too (even if it’s for breakfast!)

Starting Point

The Old Testament prophet, Nehemiah, once said “I cannot come down because the work is too great.” He was rebuilding the wall that was in ruins and didn’t want to stop doing [God’s] work.

I feel this way about South Africa. It’s no secret that Africa confronts dire poverty and a growing AIDS epidemic, but it’s entirely different to be here–in the midst–it’s overwhelming. (When was the last time you prayed HARD that a 7-yr. old’s HIV test would come back negative?) It feels much bigger than anything one person could even make a dent in. But once you see what we’ve seen there is no turning away. We’re now responsible for the things we’ve witnessed. In all honesty, I am willing but have no idea where to begin.

Recently I listened to Craig Groeschel speak about “Ridiculous Provision” from the life of Elisha. AMAZING! ( watch it here)

When the widow seeks help from Elisha, he asks her two things: what do you want me to do? What do you have?”. At first, the widow replies that she has nothing to offer–except a jar of olive oil (symbolic today of Holy Spirit). Elisha told her to collect every empty jar she could and continue to pour out the oil. She did and filled several jars–until there were no more empty jars. When she ran out of empty jars the oil stopped flowing. Groeschel makes the point that God starts with what we have (empty jars) and then fills it.

So– when I look around me and see hunger, disease, hate, indifference, innocence lost– I feel that the question is posed to me: “What do you have? What do you want Me to do?”

I don’t know the answer…yet. But I think it’s the right question to be asking.

For now, I’ll work from these truths:

1. The work is too great and I cannot come down from here
2. I have some “oil” that I can start pouring out
3. God needs empty jars before they can be filled

Life is short…

Category : Upward Thoughts

Love this poem by Emily Dickinson:


I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.

Nor had I time to love; but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me.

Kasey always sums up life to be: Love God. Love People.

Genesis’ Prayer

Category : Mom Life , Upward Thoughts

We’ve had a lot of questions about why we chose to name our first daughter Genesis– Genesis Grace. The short answer is that I believe she is the start, the beginning, of something great (I’ll share about defining greatness another time.) In truth, we had the name picked out years ago and when we heard that it was a girl we knew she was going to be named Genesis. As the months of anticipation grew, we began to think about what scriptures and what prayers we want to speak into our daughter. This is what we pray for our Genesis Grace every day:

“Genesis Grace”
The beginning of grace

We pray into her life:

Beacon of Grace
“Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.” John 1:16

Learn Like Mary
“Mary, sat at The Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught…then The Lord said, ‘There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her’.” Luke 10:38,42

Heart like Mary
“While Jesus was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.” Matthew 26:7

Courage of Esther (to stand up for the weak, the oppressed, and the persecuted).
“Who knows if perhaps you have come here for just such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
“I will go to the king…and if I perish, I perish.” v 16
“Grant me my life– this is my petition. And spare my people–this is my request.” Esther 7:3

Embrace the love of her kinsmen redeemer
“Spread the corner of your covering over me, since you are our kinsmen redeemer.” Ruth 3:9

As I was thinking through this prayer, I realized that praying it alone isn’t enough. She is going to need to see all of these things modeled in me. I’m not praying things over her that I wish were in my life– I praying that these things become life to me. This is the legacy I pray I leave for my daughter.



Category : Upward Thoughts

Hillsong United recently released their “Zion” album. All I can say is “Wow!”. There was a lot of buzz around the “Scandal of Grace” track, but I’ve found my favorite track is “Oceans (where feet may fail).” This song has been playing over and over in mind.

The chorus goes:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders//
Let me walk upon the waters//
Wherever You would call me//
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander//
And my faith will be made stronger//
In the presence of my Savior

The thought of Peter stepping out onto the (stormy) sea–having trust without borders– is a constant challenge to 1)always walk in faithful obedience, and 2)understand that God may call you to some beyond amazing adventures!

Listen to Hillsong United’s “Oceans“.

Undaunted: Facing my Fears

Category : Upward Thoughts

I’m currently reading (almost done with) “Undaunted: Daring to do what God calls you to do” by Christine Caine. I would HIGHLY recommend this book. Christine Caine founded the A21 organization to end human trafficking and abolish slavery. Throughout this book Caine shares moving stories of those she has rescued as well as from her own life.

Caine shares her thoughts on overcoming fear. Fear says, “I’m willing to go–as long as…” A glimpse into those conversations with God when we still feel the need to try and control the situation. We still haven’t totally surrendered if we are bargaining for control. Wow!

I tried to put caveats of safety and assurance of a safe return on our venture to Africa. While I absolutely believe in the blood of Jesus to protect my family, I know that we are not guaranteed anything in this life. So when Caine states that:

“Courage, after all, is not the absence of fear. It’s the will to persevere even in the face of fear.”

I took a deep breath (knowing this chapter was written just for me) and kept reading…


I’ve been saying 2 Timothy 1:7 over and over in mind as I struggle to face my fears.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)


It’s definitely a challenge, but I want to be this example for my kids. I want them to know that their mom and dad were “all in” for Jesus.

Judges 6:14

Category : Upward Thoughts

Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have… I am sending you!”

I have never felt more overwhelmed and inept than when I realized God was calling us to South Africa. I had always pictured missionaries to Africa as extreme missionaries– the kind that would make Bear Grylls proud. Not me. But when God says “Go!”– you go!

It’s not everyday that I feel God speaks directly to where I am in life. However, this verse was a direct encouragement to me as I was reeling from the latest revelation of His plan for us.

If I could add my paraphrasing to this verse it would read: “Go in the strength that you have [all of it]…for I am sending you [Which means I will make up the difference/lack of].”

I’ve been reading YouVersion’s “New thru 30” reading plan as we head towards Easter and realize that this statement is made by Jesus constantly. When feeding the multitude he asks “What do you have?” (i.e. From where are we starting?). Then, “Go!” (And I will make up the difference.)

The challenge, for me, was to step out regardless of how inept and unprepared I felt, and know that by faith God will make up the difference.

Who But God

Category : Upward Thoughts

“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.” Romans 8:28 AMP

Who but God would’ve known that I needed a woman named Peggy Gannon in my life 12 years ago that would open up and share an experience that required her to sell everything and move to Russia. To this day, I remember her telling with great emotion that she knew the call of God was greater than any possession. That didn’t make getting rid of everything easy– she wept over pouring out a jar of corn kernels that represented the blessings her family was thankful for (a Thanksgiving tradition at her house).

I replayed this encounter over and over in mind when my husband told me it was time to move– to Africa. With the exception of a few mementos and heirlooms we were able to store in our parents attic, I knew this was my “sell all” moment. I wish I could say that I handled it with the same amount of grace as Peggy, but I don’t think I did. I wept as I watched my son’s toys being given away and as we dismantled the nursery to bless another family with our crib (the crib that both my babies slept in). I cried as we put the for sale sign in our yard (the yard my son helped his daddy “mow”). I cried when I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl eight weeks before we were to move– knowing her grandparents would not get to see her grow the way they had with my son. I cried buckets as we prepared to bid our families goodbye. I smiled outwardly as people would comment “How exciting! What an adventure! You must be so excited”; while inwardly I was shouting “Than you go!”

Not to be misunderstood, I knew this was the right move and it came down to a matter of obedience. I had accepted that part, but was really struggling with doing it “wholeheartedly” “with a joyful heart”–in essence, I felt guilty for not wanting to want to move…crazy, right?

But God is so gracious– I found great encouragement in the story of Hagar (of all places). In a moment of great distress an angel from The Lord comes and comforts her. She then calls God by a new name that means “You are the God that sees me.”

“So she called the name of the Lord Who spoke to her, You are a God of seeing, for she said, Have I [not] even here [in the wilderness] looked upon Him Who sees me [and lived]? Or have I here also seen [the future purposes or designs of] Him Who sees me?” Genesis 16:13 AMP

The God that sees me– at my best, at my worst, at my strongest, and at my weakest– He sees (and knows!) me. Right here where I am– and still wants to use me for His purpose. Love Him!