Your Small Yes Can Change The World…Even In The Mess {Win Book #5}

[Winner: , Tami, you are the blessed winner today!!!! Your name was randomly selected and you won!!!! Congratulations on winning the 5th & final book! I’m so excited was able to give away 5 copies this week! I personally bought 4 Rhinestone Jesus books to give them away to my blog readers! You all are a gift to me! And… I love you! xoxo]

Thank you everyone who stopped by the book party and shared your thoughts, stories, and YESES!!

Today, I’m doing my #YES live and speaking at the #CAFO2014 Summit 10 conference in Chicago, IL. Pray big!

Y’all, I can’t wait to introduce you to Tina Zielke who did the extraordinary and said “YES” and moved to Rwanda to love big on orphans! She is the real deal and when I asked her to share her story for the Rhinestone Jesus book party, I knew she would make a big heart-impact and inspire so many to say Yes In Their Mess. Check out her blog, My James 1:27 Trip.

My yes in the mess… Back in 2010 (that seems forever ago now) I was working as a full-time nanny. I have always just loved to be around kids. Which was evident in church as well. Awana leader, nursery worker, Sunday School teacher. I absolutely adored my job, and loved going to work everyday. Then one day as I was playing with the toddlers, this random thought crossed my mind. “I would love to do this for orphans.”

Well, that was a strange thought out of left field. I shrugged it off and went about my day. The next day I was rocking Grace to sleep upstairs, and again as I rocked and sang to her I thought. “There are so many kids who never get this, I would love to do that for them.” Well these thoughts out of left field are persistent! I had not said a word to anyone for a few months. It was starting to keep me up at night.

I would in an instant have this image of this little girl being ushered into a crowded orphanage. Feeling more alone than she has ever felt before. Scared. Mourning. Confused. And my heart longed to scoop up this imaginary child. I would go straight from my bed, to the my knee’s in prayer for orphans. After months of praying like crazy, and having this deep desire that was only growing to serve orphans, I finally called my pastor.

Mind you it was “one of those days.” The grilled cheese burned on the stove, the toddlers were crying, the dog pee’d on the floor because he was scared from the smoke detector. THAT of course was the moment my pastor returned my call. But this desire that was growing so strong in my heart, couldn’t wait another moment. I picked up the phone and blurted out without a breath between “I want to go to a third world country and work in an orphanage!”

And of course his response was “Why don’t you come in for a meeting, and lets talk about this.” Good, this was impossible. He could talk some sense into me! I was called to just pray for them right? Right?! I am a high school drop out, with a GED, with a past. A redeemed past, but a past. Me going overseas was just a ridiculous idea. But the flame was fanned even more. We prayed, and decided to look for a short-term trip that worked with orphans.

My excitement grew and grew. I randomly googled “visiting orphans” and lo and behold, there is an organization called Visiting Orphans. I signed up, and couldn’t believe I was going to be actually be going! My fear and excitement rose and rose. It always seemed to be equal parts terrified and excited. Wait. I am doing this ALONE?! I don’t know a single person on this team! Oh man, this just keeps getting crazier and crazier.

For the girl who never thought before much past her front door, was now planning a trip to Africa.

Rhinestone Jesus

Well of course I went. Terrified to my core may I add. Of course the day I was to meet my team in DC to fly out, they had an issue with the van from the hotel. Little did I know, standing at the gate, as it was starting to board. And I just stood there…alone. Was quiet the “nice to meet ya” as they made it in time, but I was already shaking in my boots. That trip stretched and pushed me. That little girl who grabbed my hand the instant I got off the bus? I couldn’t help but think of the girl I prayed for in the night. All those nights on my knee’s, all of a sudden the kids were not imaginary.

They were right here. In front of me. I came back home, and got to say at first, my heart was so broken, it hurt to look at the photo’s. It took me a few months before I could even bring myself to hang up some pictures, of some of the kids I had made real tight bonds with. On that second trip, I met the sweetest 3 week old baby. In a room full of babies, for some reason my heart was drawn to him. Everyday I would go in there to hold him. Pray over him. Cry over him. I would stare at him and memorize his features, so I could find him the next time I came back.

I was so afraid in an orphanage of so many, I would not find him again, and could not say his name for the life of me. So I tried to memorize him. His ears, his eyes, his nose, his lips, his hair. I pleaded over him for him to know he was loved, to be loved, to be an honorable man when he grew up. I went home and did the next logical step. I sold everything I owned I owned, and boarded a plane with a one way ticket.

I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew I had a whole lot of passion, a lot of faith, and a prayer.

That was nearly two years ago now. And that little boy? At 10 months, I was confronted with the idea of being his foster mom. Now he is 2 years old, full of life and passion, and I get to kiss him goodnight every night, scoop him up and hold him close when he cries. His Rwandan name is Habinaza. But we call him Moses. Since he was left in a box at the gates of the orphanage, in the rain. He only had one name, so we made Habinaza his second name, and Moses his first name.

The teenager I met that day I stepped off the bus and talked with for hours. She is getting ready in her room this morning to head off to boarding school. And God has brought a few others into my home as well. I hear “mom!” more times in a day than I can keep track of. I am still a mess. I live in raw dependence of God. And when you live in raw dependence it often times in not glamorous, but messy and hard. But God has yet to not provide and come through on any needs we seem to come up against. It all started with a “yes”.

Frankly a very terrified and excited yes. It started with a ember in my heart for orphans I had never met. And now it has become my residence. It started with shaking hands, as I sat on a plane as it took off, knowing no one else, and wondering what in the world I was doing?! And now…this is my amazing, blessed, and hard life. And I wouldn’t change it for a thing.

Today, I’m giving away the 5th & last FREE copy of Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly Safe Faith is No Longer Enough

  • Leave a comment and enter to win! (you can’t win unless you leave a comment here on my blog!)
  • Share this today to all your crazy social media friends using the hashtags #yesinmymess #RhinestoneJesus
  • Pray today for Mercy House Kenya

I will post today’s winner’s name in [this] post!


“There aren’t big or small yeses in God’s kingdom. Every yes matters.”
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