Far from what I once was, but not yet what I'm going to be

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Streetlight USA

So as some of  you may know, I work at Streetlight USA.  The mission of Streetlight USA is to provide safe housing, prevent further risk of exploitation and promote healing for victims of child sex slavery. Streetlight's vision is to eradicate child sex slavery through increased awareness by creating nationwide, community based collaborations and safehouses.

Streetlight USA was created to provide restorative services to 11-17 year old girls who have been recovered from sex trafficking, and to help bring an end to child sex slavery. We are now a national organization, receiving children from all over the country. As our focus has been refined and our mission made more robust, we have implemented changes to equip us for being a more potent force in the fight against forced prostitution of children. . .

We have hit the restart button with the new energy and the expertise of local advocates and champions who are partnering with us to fight this injustice of domestic minor sex trafficking. We have a strong network of law enforcement, social services and civic and religious organizations that are walking with us, and we are preparing to be fully staffed to take the maximum number of girls.

For more information about Streetlight USA or to see how you can get involved or what you can do to help, email me at cara.streetlight@gmail.com


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Still Breathing

So there's this really awesome guy that used to go to my church named Justin. Justin, from a very young age, has been incredibly talented when it comes to music. I have always been a huge fan of his music and that is still true today.

I go through these phases where Justin's music is ALL I listen to. . . Well right now I'm in a Justin phase and wanted to share this song with all of you. It has such truth and meaning to it and I hope you love it as much as I do.

Justin Unger - Still Breathing

To know no testing takes me beyond what I can stand
I know whatever happens I am held within God’s hand
God says now don’t be anxious though trials may come your way
Just understand that they are here to show your need to pray
So I breathe I’m still breathing
So I’ll sing with all that I am
I’m still breathing
He counts the hairs on my head
Knows thoughts before I speak
He answers prayer before I ask when it’s His will I seek
He sees each sparrow when it falls
He made the land and sea
He knows each time I stray from Him
And yet, He still loves me
I’m still breathing
So I’ll sing with all that I am
So I breathe I’m still breathing
And I’ll sing with all that I am
I’m still breathing
The grace of God surrounds me
The storms have not all passed
But I’m too weak to make it known
My strength will never last
Our loving father knows my need
That’s why He walks with me
And in my weakness I am strong
He gives His strength to me
I’m still breathing
So I’ll sing with all that I am
So I breathe I’m still breathing
And I’ll sing with all that I am
I’m still breathing

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Lately, I've found myself having to explain love to quite a few people. Not saying I know everything there is to know about it - because I DON'T! But there are little things about it that I know and feel that others should know as well.

For example, I know that when I was trying to find love, I couldn't. It wasn't until I completely gave it over to God and said, "Lord, I'm trusting you completely with this." And when I stopped trying to find love for myself, He brought it right to me.
"A woman's heart must be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him to find her."

Those are definitely some words to live by if you ask me!

I think a big problem today when it comes to love is that people have this idea in their mind that "THE ONE" is out there and that he or she will be PERFECT. But perfect doesn't exist. I found some very wise words that I whole-heartedly agree with on this particular subject . . .

"Love is not just about finding the right person, but creating a right relationship. It's not about how much love you have in the beginning, but how much love you build till the end."

So beautifully written. And oh so wise.

I think people also get so caught up in their "first love" that they refuse to see the flaws and problems in their relationship. But . . .

"Being someone's first love may be great, but to be their last is beyond perfect."

And I think that's what we all should strive for. Not to be someone's first love - but to be their last.

I am a firm believer in that you have to be happy and you have to feel whole and be content when you're single before you can get yourself into a relationship. If you can't be happy and feel whole by yourself, you're just going to bring a lot of baggage and lot of issues into a relationship. You're not ready to be with someone else, until you can be by yourself - and be okay with it!

So often girls feel like this . . .
Not pretty enough
Not talented enough
Not smart enough
Not good enough
But you can't be in a relationship
until you realize this . . .
And believe it with all that is in you

And to wrap it all up, a lovely quote from Winnie the Pooh,
"If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you."


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Life is Wonderful

I have come to realize over the course of my life that there is no such thing as perfect (other than Jesus of course!) And I think movies tend to give people hope for a false reality. Movies tend to make believe believe there is such thing as perfection. A perfect life. A perfect love. But it just can't happen.

I don't mean to sound like a debby-downer or betsy-buzz-kill or anything. I just like to look at things realistically and not have ridiculous expectations for life. I think it's important to accept reality and make the best of it.

Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

And I'm not Wonder-Woman, but God made me wonderful.

And that sure is enough for me!

After all, it's the bad times that make the good times so great.

It takes darkness to be able to see the light.

So embrace it! In the happy moments, praise God. In the difficult moments, seek God. In the quiet moments, trust God. In every moment, thank God.


Monday, December 12, 2011

The Best is Yet to Come

Last week was an interesting and eye-opening week as I saw a few people I love so completely and utterly broken. It's not easy seeing a loved one like that.

There was a lot of comparing going on as well. Things like "She's perfect and I'm not" or "She's funnier, she's more godly, she's this and that" and it was so sad for me to sit there and listen to this.

And it got me to thinking about a mother's love for her daughter. I don't know why in the world that would have popped into my head in those moments... But it did. And I thought to myself "If I had a daughter, and this was her crying out to me, what would I say?"

And I just so happened to log onto pinterest (latest addiction) and came across these quotes. I truly believe it was the Lord showing them to me, because I don't believe in coincidences!

Someone will always be prettier.
Someone will always be smarter,
Someone will always be younger,

Instead of wishing you were someone else, be proud of who you are. You never know who has been looking at you wishing they were you...

You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can come together

The best is yet to come...


Friday, December 9, 2011


Well my night has been eventful to say the least. And the theme of the night can be summed up in one word: STRENGTH

So for all those people out there feeling like they lack strength, here are some thoughts to chew on:

Perhaps strength doesn't reside in never having been broken... But in the courage it required to grow strong in the broken places.

You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it.

A strong woman is one who feels deeply and loves fiercely. Her years flow just as abundantly as her laughter...
A strong woman is both soft and powerful. She is both practical and spiritual...
A strong woman in her essence is a gift to the world.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel

I hope you can take something from these quotes as I have


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Beautiful People

I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes a person beautiful. Outward beauty is so important in our society. It irritates me that people can be so beautiful on the outside and so ugly on the inside, and all people seem to care about is the outward appearance.

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

I have been trying to evaluate myself. Asking myself if I am beautiful on the inside. I think there are definitely things I can work on, but overall, I'm proud of who I am.

I think what makes me beautiful on the inside is the Lord. Which reminds me of this song...

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people don't just happen.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Where my Heart is

I came across a quote the other day that said "If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders." I think that's a great quote and it's really powerful when you think about it. It's so true that our heart is where our mind is.

So I have really thought about "Where is my heart?" I so long for it to be with Christ. I so long for my heart to be filled with the awe and wonder of my Lord and Savior.

Well since I came across that quote, I've been examining myself. Catching myself when my mind starts to wander. And where has my mind been? STREETLIGHT

I have a huge heart for StreetLight USA and am a proud partner of this incredible organization and ministry. Streetlight is dedicated to eradicating child sex slavery in our city, and our nation.

What most people don't know is that the number one country for human trafficking, is the United States. That blew me away. It's so typical for us to think "Well, yeah it happens in other countries like Cambodia, but not HERE, not in my country..." Another thing most people don't know is that girls are being kidnapped and forced into the human trafficking industry.

Wanna know another fact that's going to blow your mind? The average age of a girl being kidnapped and forced into prostitution is 13 years old. THIRTEEN. That doesn't mean that's the youngest girl out there, that's the AVERAGE. There are girls that are 8, 9, and 10 out there.


This is something that bothers me. It just doesn't sit well with me. And it shouldn't! This is an issue that should bother each and every one of us. But a lot of people just don't know! They don't know the facts. And one of StreetLight's goals is to educate people on what is going on in our backyards.

StreetLight is an organization that is solely devoted to these precious girls that are having this crime against humanity brought upon them. StreetLight is a safehouse for the girls that our vice squad rescues from the terrible life of prostitution. StreetLight houses these girls and gives them the counseling and emotional help they need.

I hope this lights a fire in you to get involved. To help support us at StreetLight! We are in the middle of launching a national campaign called Campaign 13.

Campaign 13 is all about raising awareness and raising support for StreetLight USA.

The thirteenth amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery, yet we still have slavery in our country. Sex slavery. Of CHILDREN. The average age, as I mentioned, is 13 years old for a girl to be captured and forced into this terrible life. We ask that people would be willing to fight the fight with us. To stand up and become modern day abolitionists to abolish this form of slavery in our societies.

Click here to find out what else you can do to get involved!

I will definitely be posting more about StreetLight in the future. I hope this breaks your heart like I know it breaks mine and I know it breaks the Lord's. Stand up and fight this heinous crime against humanity.

Become a Modern-day Abolitionist.


Monday, December 5, 2011


So yesterday morning in church, we learned about the power of prayer. I learned so much! It was such a great message about how EVERY prayer is answered. Always. Maybe not the answer you were hoping for, but it gets answered. Or maybe now is not the right time, but in His time, He makes all things beautiful and perfect. So sometimes the answer is "wait."

One point that Pastor Kent made that hit me hard was that in James, when he talks about prayer, he simply says "have faith." He doesn't say you need great faith, or super-human faith, or extreme faith... He simply says you must have faith.

FAITH. It doesn't make things easy, it makes them possible.

I loved this message.

And I got to thinking about what I had prayed about in the past week. And the one thing that stuck out in my mind was that I prayed "Lord, break my heart for what breaks Yours." Eight small, simple words. But such power behind those words.

And today, my heart was truly broken. And I KNOW His heart breaks for the same reason.

 Watch this...

This video is so difficult to watch. The pain. The anguish. The sorrow. The depression. The hate. THE BROKENNESS.

This clearly breaks His heart. And I know it breaks mine as well.

THINK before you speak!

Words can break someone into a million pieces, but they can also put them back together. I hope you use yours for good, because the only words you'll regret more than ones left unsaid are the ones you use to intentionally hurt someone.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cloudy Days

Today, my attitude was a reflection of the weather. It was cold and dark and rainy today. And that's how I felt inside. Cold, dark, and rainy. Just one of those days where you want to curl up in some comfy sweats and have a good cry. Not the greatest of days. Not the happiest of days.

But my lovely "brother" Jeremy told me just what I needed to hear. He said, "Remember the sun is always shining even on the cloudiest days." That simple wise sentence gave me just the warmth and comfort I needed in that moment.

Dearest brother, I thank you for your warmth. And for always turning my frown upside down.

Everybody has these days. And unfortunately today was one of those days for me. But I have so much to thank God for and I can't lose sight of that.

So here's to a better tomorrow.

May God bless us all


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Words of Wisdom

So I stumbled upon a beautiful quote today. It said "I can't brag about my love for God because I fail Him daily. But I can brag about His love for me because it never fails." I pretty much think this is the greatest thing ever.  Because it's SO TRUE!

And it got me to thinking about how even though there will never be a day on this earth that I am perfect, that doesn't mean I shouldn't strive to be like Christ. I want to be like Him. In every way possible. And these are some things I can work on to be more like Him.

  • Forgive them even when they are not sorry
  • Love them when they least deserve it, because that's when they really need it
  • Live simply. Expect little. Give much. Love extravagantly.
  • Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts
  • Let my faith be bigger than my fear
  • Realize that when I am down to nothing, God is up to something
  • Let my past make me better not bitter

None of these things are easy. And they never will be. But I yearn to be a woman of God. Nothing worthwhile in life is easy. It's always going to be really hard. And I'm going to have to work at it every day. But it's the LEAST I can do. God sent His ONLY son to die for me. Little, insignificant me. I can't even begin to fathom that sacrifice. The pain.

Just think... You are loved more than you will ever know by someone who died to know you. That's some deep and powerful stuff right there.

Daily Reminder: Don't forget to pray today, because God didn't forget to wake you up.