Journey to Rwanda

Friends, I haven’t blogged in a while. I’ve been busy (more on that later) but now it’s time to get down to bidness. I have an opportunity to win an expense-paid trip to Rwanda with one of my favorite bloggers: Jen Hatmaker! When I got the news of this contest, I was busily trying to pack away kids winter clothes and bring out the spring clothes. For those of you who know this experience, you know it’s a BIG job. The house gets turned upside down. It’s the kind of “don’t come near me until this is done” job that everyone dreads. Anyway, my plan was to put down facebook for the day and tackle this job. Boy am I ever glad I was lacking discipline that day.

I debated whether or not I would spend the hours it takes to apply for this contest. To write a statement about myself, email my friends and beg them to vote daily would take several hours. It would take time out of my to-do list, and my to-do list is long. But the truth is: I love Jen Hatmaker and I love Africa and there’s just no way I could *not* give this a try. When I heard about this contest I turned to my husband and said, “It’s me! There’s no one else! (Surely none of the other 300 plus applicants feel this way…)

I first discovered Jen Hatmaker in a bookstore at a Christian Summer Camp. Earl and I hired a babysitter for a few hours so we could grab a cup of coffee and enjoy some quiet time. Her book “7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” jumped out at me and I devoured it in days. God had been pressing on my heart to live more simply and every word in this book resonated with me. From there, I did one of her devotional studies through our local MOPS group (Out of the Spin Cycle). Earlier this year, I hosted a ladies bible study in our home, using another one of her books (Tune In). And most recently, I read “Interrupted” which just spoke to my very soul and nearly made me sell all of my belongings and move to a tent in Jen’s backyard. Because that’s how close we’re supposed to be.  Crazy? Maybe.

One of my dear friends and I even went to hear her speak last year. We drove 8 hours to Maryland. Listened to her speak for a day and then turned around and came home. And like a giddy tween at a Milli Vanilli concert (don’t judge) I said, “We drove all the way from CT just to see you!”  I could see her thinking: ‘Crazy? Maybe’

(Those eyes would say crazy.)

One last juicy tidbit about me and Jen Hatmaker. When I met her, she asked me to repeat my name. I’m used to that because it’s quite unusual. I didn’t think anything of it. BUT, when I was reading the forward to her “Tune In” book earlier this year, it said: “to my mom, JANA!” (caps mine.) I have never been more serious in my life: JANA! Not JENNA, not JANE, not even J-A-N-N-A, but JANA! Is this friendship meant to be, or what?!

Don’t get me wrong. I strive in my heart, in my actions, in my daily living to follow Jesus. None other. Not even Jen Hatmaker. But sometimes people can resonate with you in a way that has your head shaking “yes!” Jen’s writing articulates many of my own thoughts so clearly. The truth is, she’s sold out for Christ and she’s passionate about serving His people. I want that fire in my belly again and I’d love the opportunity to serve alongside these fearless Christian women.

This trip is sponsored in part by Noonday Collection, whose mission is to fuse fashion with justice and inspire women to use their purchasing power for good. Several other inspiring Christian leaders are slated to go on this trip. Friends, I want to go too! Aside from my wedding day, the births of my children and the piece of dark chocolate with sea salt I just ate, this could be the happiest time of my life! It’s for me! There’s no one else!

So please, go vote for me! DAILY!  I will hound you until May 28th when this is all over (and then maybe again if I can make it to the top three). It’s just too simple *not* to vote. Just click on the link at the end of this post (close the pop-up window if you’d like), scroll down until you find my picture and click on the blue “vote” button. That’s it! If you’re an over-achiever (and you know you are!), here’s how you can maximize votes:

Vote DAILY until May 28th!

Sharing is caring. Share the links with friends through email, on facebook, twitter and all of the other online hot spots!

Vote from your computer, your phone and your tablet in order to get in several votes per day!

I’m sending you a great big THANKS in advance! Now what are you waiting for? Vote for me here!