Friday, November 30, 2012

my room

A glimpse into my room. No, it is not normally this messy. Honestly. My room is my little haven away from the chaos of life. There I create, read, read and read (hence the gazillion books in the picture, and that isn't even half of them), jam out to good music, sleep, study truth, and build the dreams of tomorrow. Yes, I am thankful God has blessed me with a room of my very own.

All text © 2012 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2012 Hislight Photography

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Sue

Today I am thankful for Sue. My sister Susanna, who is one year older than me, has been my best friend since we were in diapers (yeah, pretty much). We've been through a lot. Her and I, playing dress-up, making sand food (like mud-pies, except with sand instead of mud ;), making experimental concoctions in the kitchen, playing spies (and literally being 'partners in crime' ;), painting our nails, putting on makeup and doing girly things, and staying up late watching our favorite TV shows together. And that isn't all, there is a whole lot more, but then I would have to write a book and I don't have time for that currently. :)

   Now she has moved away, is going to college, and is marrying this awesome guy next year. Yes, it is a shift in our close relationship, but that's what real friendship is: Being able to stick close despite distances, or obstacles. So today, and every day, I am thankful for Sue, my bestest friend. 

Who is your best friend? What do they mean to you?

All text © 2012 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2012 Hislight Photography

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Washington Needs to Hear From You this Thanksgiving!

   Dear Reader,

Between the national election and a major hurricane hitting the East coast, it’s certainly been an eventful month!

   We’re approaching the end of 2012, but IJM still has work to be done this year. I encourage you to join me (and IJM) in calling on the Senate to help pass two anti-slavery bills before they leave Washington—your action can make a huge impact! Your voice truly matters, and our senators need to hear it from you!

   As I anticipate a Thanksgiving with loved ones, I want to say thank you for all you've done. I am truly proud to serve alongside you and IJM in this fight to end slavery.

Last call to make your voice heard on 2012 human trafficking legislation!

   The U.S. Senate only has until the end of 2012 to pass two critical anti-trafficking bills: the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and the End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act.
We need your help to make sure both of these life-saving bills stay high on Washington’s agenda and come to a vote before Congress adjourns this year.
Washington Needs to hear from you. Your voice matters!
Holly Burkhalter

Holly’s News from Washington

The Washington Post lead editorial on November 7 was titled, “President Obama’s second term: Now the hard work really begins.” As I think about the things our government can and should do to eradicate modern-day slavery, I couldn’t agree more. We need some very hard and sustained work by the President and his cabinet, and we need vision and goals and commitments that we’ve not seen to date.

Your Voice Matters: Meet Daniel DeCecco

"As Wyoming is the only state to not have passed an anti-trafficking law, it has been part of my agenda to get a bill put forward…And so far, I’ve seen many legislators stand very supportive of a bill—and even to see bipartisan support among legislators from different backgrounds has been really encouraging to me. I believe that our government is formed to fight against things like this."
Your Voice Matters,

All text © 2012 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2012 Hislight Photography

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Where is Your Hope? || 2012 Elections

Election’s Over—God’s Still in His Heaven, All’s Right with the World

Well, it has been a week since the November 6 presidential elections. I’ve been thinking a lot about the elections results, and it is very easy to be discouraged with the outcome. This election I was actually able to participate, and I had the amazing opportunity to witness firsthand the passion, energy and faithfulness of tomorrow’s leaders through Generation Joshua (GenJ).
I volunteered with GenJ Thursday the 1st through Tuesday the 6th. I walked miles and miles passing out literature door-to-door (and sprained my ankle because of it ;), waved signs by the freeway until I couldn’t feel my hands (or face), call-banked with about six other girls all in my hotel room, sorted literature for hours until I had memorized every word on every pamphlet, and all the while held optimistically onto the hope that at the start of the new year we might have a new president. It was an amazing experience, and I enjoyed every part of it. But when the results for the election were announced Tuesday night, and Virginia was colored blue, I just about wanted to cry (seriously). We had all worked so hard in the Loudoun County area to get the Republicans (or those undecided) to vote. Virginia was one of the key states, and every single vote counted. It was a hard blow. Everyone on my team was frustrated at the work they put into the elections, and at the outcome.
Wednesday morning I headed back to my home (I had stated in Sterling, VA for the campaigning). Frankly, I was in despair. I set my hopes on a new president, and when God decided He had other plans I just wasn’t happy. I had forgotten that our hope is not in any politician, nor in a political party, nor even in the United States of America. I am proud to be an America, and thankful that God has blessed this great nation. But driving home, I just let myself be overwhelmed with despondency. I tuned in to the radio, and the first song I heard was My Hope Is In You by Aaron Shust. The chorus goes like this, “My hope is in You, Lord / All the day long, I won't be shaken by drought or storm / A peace that passes understanding is my song / And I sing my hope is in You, Lord” And then the bridge goes, “I will wait on You, You are my refuge”. How amazing, how true are these words. I prayed right there in the car, “Lord, whatever happens, You are my refuge and I will place my hope in You!”  (My prayer was a good deal longer, but I shan’t bore you ;).
So you see, although we need to stay involved in politics, fight for what is right, and be good stewards of this amazing nation, we need to remember that ultimately the only thing that matters (truly matters) is if we have accepted Christ as our personal Lord and Savior and surrendered our life to Him. Heaven is our home; this earth is only a temporary stop. We are strangers and exiles here, but we are citizens of Heaven.  Remember the words of God in Hebrews:
 “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:13-16, ESV)
And so, take heart dear reader! No matter who wins or loses elections, God is and will always be faithful. He reigns over all the earth, and our victory is assured in Him!
So what can we do now? For starters, share the Gospel—the Good News of Jesus Christ—with the people around you. Get involved in your local church. Look for ways to help the lost and hurting in your community. Shine Christ’s light in a dark and hurting world. Next, pray for our president. Yes, he may not be who we would have wanted, but he is still our president and we can pray for God’s guidance in his life to make the right choices, to stand up for the voiceless, and to (maybe one day) look again to God.
Stay strong and courageous, this life will be a struggle and we will have to work hard for what’s right! But it will be a struggle worthwhile because we have already won victory in Jesus!

In His name,

All text © 2012 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2012 Hislight Photography

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Leadership in the Law

Last summer I had the privilege to participate in the Loudoun County Leadership In the Law Camp. For an entire week I learning about law, practiced mini cases in front of a jury of my peers, and worked on my big case for moot court that weekend. It was an exhilarating, albeit new and slightly intimidating, experience. I met eleven other students who shared (for the most part) a like minded passion for Justice. One girl in particular who I roomed with, she and I became great friends during that week. She is incredibly talented and smart, and I am certain will go on to do great things. I also happened to bump into a friend of my sisters from Patrick Henry College. He is a lawyer now and was chaperoning for one of the nights with the boys cabin. And, each team, I being the Civil Defense, had a real lawyer as their mentor. Let's just say, mine was simply fantastic. We won half of our case, but the experience (in this Moot Court instance) is what counts.

   All in all, it was a time I shall never forget. It sparked in me a renewed interest in law. And though I may never become a lawyer, it reminded me again of the importance of justice and of standing up for what is right. 

All text © 2012 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2012 Hislight Photography