When the Ordinary Becomes Extra

I’m afraid some of you have misunderstood.

There have been words thrown at me the last couple of weeks – godly, good, brave, crazy…

I’m not worthy of any of them (except maybe that last one).

The Mercy House is a home God is building. My family is honored to be on the construction crew, along with our fellow laborers, Maureen, and people just like you. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see those words reflected. I see a scared woman who sleeps too little and worries too much. She tries to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders and remembers when the burden is too heavy to give it back to God.

Our family isn’t any different than yours. We are ordinary people. Our garbage can stinks. Our kids talk back and throw fits in open places. Our marriage is a miracle. Our dog looks longingly at her leash. We are just like you.

My hubby the other night after hammering dozens of copper pendants said, “So this is what it feels like to jump off a cliff?”

I laughed.

Then I cried. “Free-falling, isn’t so bad, huh?”

I’m just like you. I was just given a glimpse into God’s heart (the poor) and I couldn’t turn away.

Now that I have seen….

I am responsible.

We are ordinary. God is anything but.

When you look into my life if you seen anything out-of-the-ordinary, He gets the glory for it.

Are you standing on the edge? The first step off  into the unknown is terrifying. But don’t worry, He won’t let you fall.

He is extraordinary.

**The story behind the song is truly an example of the extraordinary. It’s about a little orphaned girl named Albertine from Rwanda. You can hear her story here.


  1. 1



    Part of what makes your story so extraordinary is that you see what you’re doing as normal. You’re doing all you can imagine doing, which is respond. SO many others see the suffering and look the other way.

    You are right to give God the glory for what is happening with the Mercy House. You are right to say that He has orchestrated it. That is very clear. But you must also know that what you are doing is NOT ordinary.

    Keep going and don’t give up. I’ve learned that just because you leaped out in faith once doesn’t mean it’s easier next time, or the next. Every step its a new challenge. A new fear. A new enemy. A new rationalization. Keep telling us the stories of the Mercy House. We will continue to lift you up in prayer, join you in your Tuesday fasts, and seek God’s glory in all we do.

  2. 4



    What is extraordinary is what God is doing THROUGH you and your family! I promise you that every person who has stepped out on faith like ya’ll are doing has looked at themselves like you do, who have been amazed that God has chosen them (and sometimes incredulous: “Me, Really? Are you sure you’re talking to the right person?”) But the biggest, bravest, most Christ-like thing you or any of us can do is lay down your will and submit to Him and follow his leading. :-) Keep following and listening to Him, I am keeping your family and Maureen in my prayers!


    P.s. Crazy? Crazy is good. God can work with Crazy. :-)

  3. 5


    Kristen, you are an inspiration working right in the middle of God’s will for you and your family. Don’t let anyone’s lack of understanding of your mission dissuade you from obeying your marching orders from the One True God!!

  4. 7


    oh, kristen. you can’t do this to me. :) i’m bawling. i’ve heard this song, but somehow, i’ve never heard the story behind it. while i’m living in zambia and it’s capturing my heart more every day, my first “africa love” experience was in rwanda. this stirred up so many emotions in me- i miss my sweet friends there so much. but God has me here and now for that same purpose- i’ve seen and now i’m responsible. i just want to love on these people the best i can every day.

    thanks for sharing.

    and yes, we are all ordinary people. i love it though because when God uses ordinary people to do big things, it so clearly points us back to Him. thank you for being used and letting us share in your journey!

  5. 8


    Thanks for sharing Kristen. I love your heart and the fact that you are allowing God to do something extraordinary with your ordinary life. That is what stands out to me. Keep living it in front of us! You are an encouragement. Please know that our family is praying for you. We unfortunately have not been able to give financially yet, as we literally have pennies left in our bank account from sending in our dossier! BUT we will be giving as soon as we can, and we hope to get on your monthly plan. God has such big dreams for this ministry. I just know it!

  6. 9


    Love this post! A phrase has stood out to me in my bible reading lately, “a planting for the display of His splendor”. When we obey I believe that is what we become so keep displaying His splendor. It’s beautiful!!!

  7. 10

    Monica says

    Thank you so much for this post. Sometimes a reminder that God use ordinary people to do his work is a great thing to remember. I have been reading your blog for months now and have on many occasions found myself comparing and wondering if I have missed the mark somewhere. I know you don’t know me personally but I feel we are connected. I feel like a story, an amazing story is being told through your family but I forget that we all have a story and that God will use me and mine if I let Him. We are in ministry and God is using us right here to bring kids to know about His great love. I love that He is using yours to help His children in Africa. My husband and I are praying about ways we can help your ministry but for now we will not be moving to Africa :), unlike my daughter who is currently studying Missions and has a great desire to move there by next year this time. Enjoy this time it will be amazing to continue to hear about all that God is doing in your life.
    You and your family are in our prayers as you begin to follow Christ on this journey.

  8. 11


    Don’t forget, God uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary. What makes you different (extraordinary:-), is your willingness to do something. Most folks sit back and figure God will use someone else – when He wants to use us all. When we went to Mexico, we got the same kind of comments. But then I heard all the comments from people who said, “If ……, then I would go, too” But they DON’T and you ARE doing something extraordinary because you are DOING what He is asking of you. And as for stepping off the cliff – been there a number of times in our lives:-) Did you see the Indiana Jones movie where he had to step off the edge into what looked like a huge chasm? He stepped out in faith and found that there really was a path/bridge, but he couldn’t see it until he took that life-changing step. That is what scene came to mind when God asked us to “step off a cliff” (gave me some comfort:-). Following His leading into the unknown is always exciting and more rewarding than you can imagine, but sometimes it is also just hard. He knows you can do it or He wouldn’t have called you to it. You ARE extraordinary because He chose YOU to do this right out of your ordinary life/family. That is what makes it so wonderful and amazing to others! You are an inspiration for others, that is why you get these kinds of comments:-) Extraordinary blessings to you today!!

  9. 12


    I love this post, Kristen. I love the humility in it, and the truth in it.

    I totally get what you are feeling, I think. When we moved over here, we got a lot of applause in christian circles. And it was hard to know what to do with that. But, I totally hear your heart and resonate with Brooke’s song . . . “Now that I have seen, I am responsible.” Absolutely. All-in.

    And it can look like a million different things, but it’s got to look like SOMETHING, right?

    Thanks for stepping out of the boat,
    and not forgetting them,


  10. 14

    Beth says

    “….the unknown is terrifying but he won’t let you fall…” – this struck a chord with me today. I am in the middle of a battle of stay or go at a work place that is healthy for my wallet and unhealthy for my mind, soul and heart. Thank you.

  11. 15


    And slightly OT, did you know that Brooke Fraser is coming to the House of Blues downtown on November 9th? She is one of my favorite artists, NZ and otherwise :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>