One of the amazing things about social media is you can "come across" the most talented people! Somehow, I saw Allison Hodges on Instagram @untilitoverflows. She has the most gorgeous collaborative project going on with other female artists and photographers. It takes my breath away!
In the planning of this summer series project her instagram feed popped up. I stepped out and contacted her to see if she might join us and do a post. She graciously agreed and I absolutely LOVE her post. African missions is part of our family's story and I was thrilled to have her share!
Until it Overflows
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” John 10: 10 AMP
One of my favorite verses is John 10: 10. It’s the theme of my faith journey, it’s the theme of my Instagram (@untilitoverflows), and it’s the theme of pretty much everything I do. Living life to the full creates purpose and impact - it also creates memories. One of my most memorable summers was my first official mission trip to Africa. That experience has begged me each subsequent summer to ponder two questions:
Am I giving?
Am I living?
First, am I giving my time, energy and resources in a memorable way?
Summer is a great time to make memories for your family. It is also a great time to make memories for God’s family- there is possibly nothing more rewarding than mission work. He has given so much to us, that in our abundance, we may overflow onto the world around us- His love, His joy, and His provision. Find a place to serve locally, nationally, or even internationally. Beyond helping others, you and your family (immediate, extended, or church family) will reap eternal and immeasurable dividends, far beyond anything you could ask for or imagine.
Second, am I *really* living?
Jesus is the reason I wound up in Africa – He is the giver of God-sized dreams. Jesus came that we might have life, and have it fully. Maybe you want to learn how to horseback ride this summer or teach your kids to waterski... but you don’t own a boat or a farm. Ask God - He can provide when there seems to be no way. Maybe you want to write a book or go to a marriage conference? Ask God- He is your best resource and will show you where to start. Maybe you want to host a Bible study in your den or a dinner party on your deck. Ask God - He is the Lord of celebration and fellowship... in *every* season.
I will return to Uganda this summer for the first time since 2013. These memories will be five years in the making. My dream God planted in my heart so long ago is again becoming reality, and my entire family is coming along! We will be serving together, but receiving far more than we give. And I will get to keep living life... and living it to the full... until it overflows. (follow along June 25 - July 7 @takeheartuganda on Instagram)
*An excerpt from the introduction of Allison’s book, “A Highway Will Be There,” about her life, her faith, her marriage... and of course, Africa:
"As I write this introduction, the white keyboard of my laptop has the dust, the remnants, of the red Ugandan dirt on it. I can feel it gritty on my fingers and fresh in my heart. I’m at a loss. But here I am. Available to tell the story that God has made of my life – thus far – and the stories of others that God has brought into my life. Their stories with their blessings: All whom God has woven into this magnificent larger story… this story that goes far beyond even the ones mentioned here. I can’t make a good word come out, unless it pours from Your mouth into mine, Spirit. Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.
"This is a story of God’s heart for adventure. Of His amazing grace. Of his mind-boggling miracles. Of His mighty, relentless and reckless love. Of the precious orphans he loves, Oh how He loves. And of this orphan… born with parents, but waiting for purpose. Born into material blessings, but into spiritual bankruptcy. Never a day without bodily nourishment, but many years without manna, without soul food.
"This is a story about adventure, a real life story. Because I believe we serve of a God of adventure, a real and living God who has created each of us with a very specific purpose… with a very unique story. Each of us has a part to play that is ours, and ours alone.
"So many times in the writing of this book, and in the space between trips, I lost sight of the end goal. I forgot about the finish line. This book is a microcosmic picture of my faith walk, on which I also tend to forget the final destination. Like Scotty Smith has said, “We are Cinderellas with amnesia.” We know that there is a fairy-tale to be told, for we are living in the echoes of it, but many times we simply lose all sight and all vision… all faith - that there truly is a happy ending for us in Christ, even in the worst pain and suffering.
"Lord, give me the strength to persevere and finish this part of the story…"
“The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” I Thess. 5: 24
Join me and order her book this week! Click HERE to order it. We would love for you to leave a comment telling us what you love about Allison's book. Follow her on Instagram @untilitoverflows and you will be as blessed as I am by her collaboration. You can also follow her @takeheartuganda as well.