lets say YES

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In one of my recent blog posts I posted a picture with the saying

“A journey of 1000 miles must begin with a single step.”

I cannot express how amazing and inspiring this quote is to me, and hopefully to you… I wanted to share this with you

Your journey begins with one thing. That is saying yes. Saying yes to tapping into your God given potential to be a vessel of progression, transformation, innovation, love and compassion.

Here’s a thought. Imagine if we chose to spend all the time we think about OURSELVES, OUR PROBLEMS, OUR LIVES, on…. others. Imagine all the differences we as a human race could make?

I am using this blog to promote that kind of change, it starts in the heart, and the mind. It is about thinking about the way Christ views us and how much Christ sacrificed for us to be given everlasting life. I mean there are no words to express the significance of this kind of love and unending grace.

That is the most exciting thing about being a Christian, that we KNOW where home is, and we know that this short life on earth should not be lived for ourselves, we are merely vessels that God WILL use if we allow ourselves to be obedient before the Lord and say YES to Him!

So often people that speak with me want so badly to live a life of purpose, yet they do not know God. Yet they want God to just speak and tell them the plan for their life. But here is the thing. It’s simple. Walk with the Lord and devote time to His word and in His word He will speak to you, reveal to you and make your life so clear.

I am asking that you think about saying YES to God, and devoting your time and thoughts to Him and to others. Let’s spend our time and energy on the things that really matter, because one day it’ll be gone, and where will your treasures be stored up? I know I want mine to be stored in heaven, because NOTHING of this world will last. Heading into the new year I want to make more connections with anyone who is reading this. I want to be praying for you and your families, for your hopes and dreams and for your decisions to allow God into your life, and to find yourself walking with His son every day. I’m feeling that the year of 2017 is all about saying YES to God! I have a very exciting God story in the making… let’s just say I am learning about saying YES all over again… let’s see what happens! Can’t wait to share in His perfect timing.

You are all loved.

Psalm 32:8, NIV I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

 

What does orphan Sunday mean to you?

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I know it isn’t Sunday, its Tuesday.

I know orphan Sunday has passed, but has it really?

I’m not sure what orphan Sunday meant to you? Maybe it didn’t mean much, maybe it meant nothing at all. But to me, it meant everything. Having the ability to be apart of these children’s lives who were once abandoned, and now accepted in a home and family means the world to me. It means laying down my wants and needs to help them fulfil theirs. I have never knew real strength or perseverance the way these kids do. Yes I have endured challenges and hardships in my life, but not to the extent that these kids have. Have I ever known the true pain of starvation and hunger?

No. I have not.

Some of the kids have told me what they went through before coming to PNN. Some of the children told me how they would cry at night because of their hunger pains, because the food never came. I could only hold back my tears and be strong for them and hear them say that “God is too good” because now they have clothes to wear, food to eat , a shelter, and a family to call their own. They are coming to know their heavenly Father through seeing exactly what He has done in their lives. How He has removed them from their pain and placed them in a place of hope, a place with a bright future. I have not known what it feels like to not even know my roots, my birthday or where my parents went. But these kids do. To be confronted with this is one thing, to think about it is another thing. I want to use my voice everyday, not just on Orphan Sunday for my kids at PNN, and the 147 million out there with no one. Let’s use our voices to bring their stories to life. To allow their struggle and voices to be heard. To unite on different sides of the world, and stand united in the struggle together. It is easy to forget about all of these children because their struggle is so hard to relate to, it seems impossible to imagine. Working with them, living with them I cannot use my voice for anything besides them, to tell of their strength, to talk about the hope now found in their lives, and to speak on behalf of the millions of others, and hope that you would consider them too.

 

The craziest thing of all of this is that they are kids. Kids that weren’t allowed to even be kids. It is not fair that children have to go through these horrible things. But that is the world we live in, unjust things happen, children suffer, people suffer, but we have hope in a God who is much bigger than all of the unfair things that happen in the world. Why? Because He loved us so much that there is grace offered through a sacrifice called Jesus Christ. Without this grace that we are so undeserving of there is hope for all of us, hope for all who live to know who Jesus Christ is, and live to know how we can live like him. What made me fall in love with who Christ is in my life is his love for the children. Over and over again we learn about how much the Father and His son love children, and how they will never be turned away, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Children are close to the heart of God, they are highly valued and appreciated. So thinking about orphans we as Christians are told in the bible that we must care for those widows and orphaned in society. Thinking about the least of these, we are actually helping Christ himself. So won’t you join me by mentioning all of these children in your thoughts and prayers? Won’t you promise not to forget the millions of children out there with no one to stand up for their rights? If we unite as one in a common cause we have the power through Christ to make a change in this world. Because we have hope in the one who loved us first.

Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Psalm  82:3

 

That is what excites me about all that GOD is doing at Project Nyame Nsa!

Family Friday 


For anyone who didn’t know November is adoption month! This is a time for us to reflect on how far PNN has come and how we are no longer a concept we are a reality! Lives are being CHANGED! As one of our girls Sarah says “God is too good!” She is so right! 

We can celebrate adoption and how God has brought home over 22 children into our care! We can celebrate Friday and knowing our children are celebrating the weekend! We can celebrate their ability to laugh and smile and ENJOY their home lives after school! We can celebrate that they can verbalize who God is to them, and what He has done in their lives! How He has provided all that they need, all that they never thought they could have. 

God is amazing … that being said it also is a month to remember all the kids who DO NOT have a home or family. And let me tell you that all kids need families, they thrive in families, so if it is anyone’s heart to consider sponsoring a children and adopting them by prayer or finincial support we are launching a sponsorship program soon! If it is on anyone’s heart to consider adoption (this isn’t for everyone) I would really hope that you’d pray about it and think about the 140 million children out there with no hope, love or family. You might not be able to help all, but you can help ONE and by helping ONE you help the world. 


I came across this in the airport and thought it was beautiful and something I needed to include in this post. I don’t know where you are reading this or what God has put on your heart, whether it’s adoption or not, or something completely different or out of your comfort zone. I don’t know but God does, He’s the one who put that desire there. Don’t feel afraid, because a beautiful journey can only begin with a single step. Take it from someone who is learning this every.single.day. It’s truly a lesson we will never stop learning. It’s a lesson that God teaches us time and time again. 

I remember stepping foot in Africa and thinking to myself what are you doing God, where are you taking me. Little did I know those initial steps lead to a thousand times a thousand mile journey that has just begun. 

Whatever it is that you are fearful of, scared of taking the first step trust God and do it. You might miss out if you don’t take one small step forward. In the direction He is leading. 

So consider these children in your thoughts and prayers because God tells us he will not leave us as Orphan’s he will come for us, and that he has done for our 22 children, with more on the way!!

Today I chose to celebrate Gods goodness in our kids lives, and I chose to use my voice for the millions of other children with NO family. Let their voice be heard and remember them wherever they are. 

We have a big God who works in wonderful ways, never let anything overwhelm you when we know who sits on the throne in heaven. 

On that note! Happy Friday! I am missing my kids so much today but ….

coffee tastes better on Friday! Especially when your heading down to North Carolina to see these girls … 

enjoy your weekend! I know I will 😉 

 

Life Lately part 2

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Good morning and welcome to Life Lately part 2… if you missed out on the other posts

click here and click here 

As I share these pictures I want to thank everyone for their sweet messages on my quick visit home! It means so much to hear from you whether its a text or email! The encouragement and support means the world to me. I am blessed to share my journey with so many people who have become apart of it! I’m posting from New York, but reflecting on the past two months with more behind the scenes from PNN, so enjoy as we travel to Village of Hope in Ghana! If you are new here and want to learn more about the non-profit I started read more here.

 

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Beautiful view of the back of our children’s home! There are local communities that live behind this physicality and we enjoy waving to them when we climb up to the apartments on the third floor. (Where this pic was taken) This is one of my favorite spots in the Village to just have a moment to appreciate this beautiful country I now call home.img_1312

Snapshot of a new and exciting project in the making! img_1305

On Monday nights I do a bible study with our lovely ladies. On this particular night we took our devotion from Matthew chapter 6. We focused on the part that speaks about not worrying, and trusting that our God will always take care of us.img_1296

We start and end our devotion with a song, on this night we were practicing our God is an Awesome God with some small hand gestures!

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Auntie Meg! My senior year roommate in high school! We got so close and have become like sisters ever since. About a year ago I spoke with her on the phone about my upcoming move to Ghana, and Meg was so excited and wanted to join! As God would have it she spent a month working with me at PNN and was such a love and light to our children. I love this picture that was taken during one of our epic soccer matches!

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Here is Sarah, Meg and Alberta. These girls & guys (not pictured) love their Auntie Meg so much! Alberta tells us that Auntie Meg is her best friend, and she is totally right about that 🙂img_1358

School pickup with our beautiful twins Paulina& Paula! When these girls first came to PNN they were so quiet, shy and never really smiled. It didn’t take much time at all before they opened up! They are always smiling, laughing, singing or dancing! They are a joy to watch and be with, their story inspires me as I too see how God builds us up even when we are at our lowest points.

Here is a clip from our Friday night worship! These kids have come to learn every word in Mighty to Save, here is a clip of the twins dancing! These girls inspire me!

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These kids crack me up, you never know what to expect at a school pickup. On this particular day they had bubbles so we took turns seeing who was the best.

What bus ride wouldn’t be complete without a #selfie? I have about 30 from this 10 minute bus ride.

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Unpacking the bus for the day. After school the kids grab their lunch boxes, change out of uniform,  wash their clothes, play, relax, watch some TV or read before dinner and homework!img_1523

You can find Kasme on the soccer field every day after school, this kid is active and a great soccer player! Simon on the right always ends up falling asleep for some time before you see him shooting some baskets!

In September I had a visit from my sister!!! I was so excited because it was her first time in Ghana! Pictured above is my sister Cristie and Eddy! They really got so close and he always says he will marry Aunite Cristie! It was safe to say it didn’t take more than an hour for her to fall in love with our kids and vice versa. Watching the kids latch on to her, embrace her and want to be around her as quickly as they did was amazing to watch. We had so much fun with dance parties, movie nights, and games outside. Yet my favorite memory was playing in the rain with the kids. Not like a drizzle but a downpour, we had so much fun and eventually had to call everyone inside to change and get in dry clothes. My sister and I still talk about how much fun it was, and even when it rains like that now, I still feel as if we are missing Cristie even more.img_1286img_1292

Enjoying the sunshine before dinner. Here is Junior 🙂 He just turned six!

 

oh DaeDae, this girl is something else! What is better than lunch on the beach? Ask DaeDae and she will tell you! Going in the water with her friends!

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These two didn’t leave the shore, they stayed playing in the small waves all day. Some of our other kids spent the whole day in the ocean…img_1167

Our boys enjoyed some beach futbol! Right around sunset, what could top this Saturday outing?

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My view on the ride home! Almost the whole bus fell asleep! The beach really wore us out!img_1529

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After the beach we hit some traffic and didn’t get home until 7 pm. The kids were so tired and just went to sleep. The property was so tranquil and peaceful so I snapped some pictures of this very rare moment. I was in awe of God’s beauty, taking in evening sky and appreciating all of the amazing changes in my life. Also realizing I had about week left until I was going back to NY.

Enjoying some time coloring! There was cupcakes but the kids ate them so fast I didn’t even get to capture it! Lol! I have to bring back way more cake mix this time around 😉

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Kasme told me he was building Jesus and Mary’s house! The best part is it had wheels! Such a precious moment.img_1583

Calvin showing off his drawings! He is so creative and has so many gifts, like singing! This kid is an amazing singer.

I wanted to snap some pics of my journey home! I was so tired so I kept sleeping and waking up at different spots so I thought it would be funny to see where I would wake up. First I woke up at the tip of the western part of the African continent, just leaving Africa. Then I woke up right smack in the middle of the Atlantic, and lastly right over NYC! There you have it! Was a very different Halloween than I had ever experienced,much different than Halloween in Chapel Hill, yet one of the most memorable!


One of our board members ran in the NYC Marathon in honor of raising money and awareness for our children at PNN and for orphans! This was an amazing accomplishment that we feel blessed to be apart of! Thank you on behalf of our children for dedicating yourself to our cause! May God bless your hard work!

Ciao for now 🙂 I woke up wanting to share this particular verse

Pslam 126:2

Our mouths were filled with laughter,

our tongues with songs of joy.

Then it was said among the nations,

“The Lord has done great things for them.”
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14 picks from my closet for fall this season

 

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(Yes I just went there)

Take a girl who loves seasons away for a bit and it kinda results in this upon my return…

 

Not to say I haven’t been enjoying endless, humid, summer weather in Ghana 😉 But man does it feel good to wear a coat, and feel a little bit cold 😉

So this post is going to be different than other posts that I typically do. This is strictly just a fashion inspiration post for the fall season. I am just sharing my favorite fall accessories and clothing items now that I am back! All of these items were photographed by me with my help of my sister, direct from my closet to your screen! Let me know what you think in the down comments below 🙂

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1. High Waisted Jean skirt, this is a timeless skirt that you can wear from spring until fall depending on what you pair it with.
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2. Something floral something about florals in the fall is so much fun. I love this bodysuit because its soft, comfortable and in the perfect fall shade of burgundy
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3.Something fringe simply because fringe is fun whether its a cross body bag, a pair or boots or wedges
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4. Top Hat I’m a hat person so I am always looking for reasons and seasons to wear these babies 😉 one of my fav looks
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5. Something shiny This dress is the color of a penny and so cute and fun for the fall and any upcoming holiday parties, I really love this dress
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6.Round sun glasses these are perfect for any fall look, an oversized sweater, or a leather jacket they go with every look. I got these at Urban outfitters recently click here if you want them too!
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7. Lace up sweater another one of my fav looks this fall, it’s comfortable but can be dressed up or down so easily. I saw this in a window in Boston and decided to check it out and ended up walking out with it:)
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8. Knit Beanie this is pretty self explanatory, we all need a beanie in our lives
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9.Choker I also found this in Boston this past weekend and really loved it and got it at Free People to see it click here
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10. Grey Boots love grey boots, we all need a perfect neutral color 🙂
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11. Dark Polish featured colors are Wicked and Lollipop and  I think I have worn Wicked every fall since middle school to get them click here (not featured) is Malaga Wine by OPI which is another great fall shade
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12. Something velvet I cam home and quickly realized velvet is a thing, so there you go 😉
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13. Something pumpkin 🙂 I mean it is really fall if you haven”t had something I mean EVERYTHING pumpkin flavored
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14.Daily Devotions  This is something you can use all year not just in the fall. I love this one because they are normally short if you don’t have time, and go by the day so you can start whenever you want. I got this one before I left at Barnes an Noble click here if you want to make a perfect and most important addition to your daily routine. This is just the one I use, but any devotion is a great way to start or end your day in God’s Word

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I hope you enjoyed this fall fashion post, I am also working on Life Lately part 2, and post about Change and all the craziness that it can bring to showcase more of the recent, awesome stuff going on in Ghana!img_0373

 

 

Coming home… surprise!

Surprise for the next month “Devon in Africa” will be “Devon in America”

because

I AM HOME!!!

With that being said it was not an easy decision to make, the week leading up to the flight I would go back and forth in my head and weigh the pros and cons and leaving vs staying. I was praying about it and would ask God to make it so clear, and to give me peace in the decision that I was making. I came across another blog and read about this girl who traveled back home after months away on… Halloween….

The day my flight was booked, and the day I would be arriving in New York. I took it as a sign and began to get excited about returning to my first true “home” when I stumbled across this

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I have this saying on a small canvas right outside my bedroom in Ghana. I really read it and thought to myself this is completely true, and totally false all at the same time. (Just my opinion) This is how it is both true and false all at the same time..

  1. I followed the desire that God put in my heart to go to Ghana (so yes I went with all my heart in that decision)
  2. It would be impossible to take back the piece of my heart that belongs in New York, and North Carolina
  3. So, when I am here half my heart will be in Africa, and while I am in Africa pieces of my heart will belong here!
  4. So there you have it

(Now back to this surprise thing) This was a complete surprise to my whole family (except my dad) who got me from the airport and took me right home on Halloween to surprise my sister and mom! We got an awesome video of my moms face when she opened the door and saw me sitting down… It was amazing.

I have been sorting through so many emotions, flying back on the plane I actually could not believe I was going back to America. I felt like a stranger returning to my own country. All the differences tip the scale, because commonalities are so few. It’s hard to describe what it felt like knowing four months ago I stepped on that plane committing my life to this country I have come to love, have come to see and call home to return to the other side of my life. The hot days, the nights walking barefoot in our chapel praying to God, the place that you see so much poverty, but feel so close to God, as if you could taste heaven’s goodness, but see all of the problems of the world at the same time.

Everything feels different, feels new, I almost feel like I am a tourist or visitor experiencing all these wonderful things back in America, something as simple as blow drying my hair, having a day without the power going out, running out for a cup of coffee or just taking a hot shower (I have missed hot running water)

But besides all of this I think about all of the changes that have occurred these past four months, with what God has done in my own heart, and in PNN and with our children seeing the healings, restoration, and life He has instilled back into their minds and hearts. It has been far from easy, it has been a long road, it has been a short road, there have been amazing moments and really hard and devastating ones. But for the next few weeks I am home.

I didn’t cry leaving, I started to get emotional on the flight as we were taking off wondering if I was making the right choice to visit home. Then when I was walking through customs I started to cry because it was so real and it felt so overwhelming to be home again. Because it had felt like so long since I was back. I can tell you I am enjoying it more than you can imagine, being with my family, having some down time doing PNN stuff and having time to journal and truly reflect on what God has been doing, and stepping back to be able to see it all. God is good and He is faithful, He is with us always even when we are searching, He is right there.

For now I just got back from Boston after I surprised my brother to visit him at school. This was one of the biggest motivations to push me to book this flight home. I think we really really surprised him!

I’m missing Ghana and the kids, I get daily updates and photos of what’s going on, happening, changing the good and bad and seriously missing them! I’ll be doing some reflection posts, another Life Lately part 2, (if you missed part one click here) talk about being home and what I’ve been up too, and maybe even start posting about fashion because that is a interest and passion of mine as well:) I mean who doesn’t love fall fashion, or who has missed it as much as me?

Thank you for stopping by, hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall (COLD) weather as much as I am!

Cheers from my coffee to yours 🙂

Ciao for now