Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Into my journal we go

This morning as I was sitting at my favorite coffee shop and reading the Good Word, I found myself journaling away on a verse I found in Ecclesiastes 1. Here's a glimpse of my journal entry...

"With much wisdom comes much sorrow. The more knowledge, the more grief. - Ecc. 1

Man, that statement is SO true. As more trials come so more wisdom follows. It seems that suffering breeds understanding and knowledge. It's unattainable any other way. Thus in the trials, the suffering, the pain - character and integrity are formed. I've seen the results of those refusing to walk the difficult, slippery, pain stakingly narrow path and it's a lukewarm Christianity that makes my stomach churn. I can only imagine what it does to the Father's heart when His dear sweet children refuse to fight the good fight and would rather surrender to the visible world than the supernatural promises. Complacency and laziness are the fruits of the "booksmart" Christians of today. Experiential knowledge, the kind where one endures "tears for food" and a stripping of "all we once held dear", is a thing of the past in American society. And here I sit, wondering how people can be such fair weather lovers of Christ? It's in the pain, the confusion, the deep wounds of the heart that the honesty and love of the Lord are produced. It's in the suffering that the indelible bond and relationship with the Father comes. For He is our shelter in the storm. And friends, I guarantee you that there will be storms in your life! But if you just run from the problems or stuff them and never face them, how will you ever grow and be used by Him for His ultimate good and pleasing will?"

Saturday, November 5, 2011


This week, this month, this past year has been in such a constant state of change. If I'm learned one thing, I've learned a thousand. And this time in my life confirms over and over that every season, every tear, every heartache, every joy, everything on this earth is temporal.

It's temporal in the way people come and go in our lives. It's temporal in the ways we're involved in certain things and then suddenly not. It's temporal in our jobs, our interests, our friends, and even our own families. Life this side of heaven is forever changing.

And though everything changes and things are stripped away from us, it seems the Lord bring other people, other things to our lives to bless us and teach us some new lesson. For so much of my life I wasn't even open to meeting new people, and now, in this season, I've found my life bombarded by new faces, new friends, those who are quiestioning, curious about this thing called the Christian life. And I'm abundantly blessed by each and every one of them.

As I sat with two dear friends at a local Pub last night, eating a burger and catching up on life, I realized once again, that very moment would be here one moment and then suddenly gone. And I found myself thinking "cherish the moments, relish the memories for in a blink of an eye the tide will once again change and this very moment will be no more".


And temporal is the very reason why I feel the need to live each moment to it's fullest. For I won't be passing this way again and I need to be fully engaged in the here and now. For I'm not guaranteed tomorrow and tomorrow has enough worry of it's own. There's not anything I can do to change that reality. I've been given today and God has been gracious in providing me people, adventures, and abilities to be His hands and feet in the physical world.

So adventures - here I come! Memories to be made - places to see, people to love, and experiences to have. And the constant reminder that today is what I have and this season of singleness, this season of having an amazing roommate, this season of new friends, new jobs, new everything will last but a moment.... cherish them.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Not what you want, but what He says

I'm still reeling from the wisdom and challenges shared at church today. So much rolling through my mind, and I'm overwhelmed with the reminder of what the Christian life, the Christian walk is.

I can guarantee you one thing, this life is not easy. And you know what, it shouldn't be! God never said that we would walk this earth with ease and comfort, no, he over and over challenges us to daily pick up our crosses and walk on.


When the going gets tough, that's not when we walk away from God. No, it's the time that we take up our crosses - meaning our broken hearts, our disappointments, our hurts, our fears, our losses - whatever we hold dear, we count it ALL as lost. The stripping away of something can and should be used for our refining, if we allow it to.

The Christian life is a privilege. It's a gift. It's a tender, sweet relationship with the One and Only. Just like we care for and tend to our closest relationships, so we should care and tend to our relationship with Jesus. Just as we put our boyfriends/girlfriends/families/friends in a position of importance, so should our relationship with our Savior look. It's DYING to our self and UNITING with Him.

And what does that look like? Most often, it means not doing what we "feel" like. It means not getting what we "want". It means a heck of a lot of waiting. It means a heck of a lot of patience and persisitence being born. It means trusting in the visions and promises of the Lord. It means believing the unseen wonders when the seen world says everything but. It means holding onto hope while letting go of personal expectations. It means laying down our dreams and desires for a season or forever, so that His glorious good and grace can shine through.


It means speaking up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. It means standing in the gap for other's when they know not what they're doing. It means interceding for the lives of others when they have no words. It means loving, caring, carrying, encouraging, building up, discipling others. It means placing our own sinful selves in the refiner's fire and allowing him to strip us of all we hold dear.

And in the process of DOING these things, as we take action, He speaks. As we live our lives, He moves. As we press on towards the prize, as it says in Hebrews 12, He gives us the endurance, the strength, the drive to make it to the end of the race, victorious. And what we must never forget is that VICTORY is ours. Period. End of story. God gives us the victory, whether we see it this side of heaven or not. We can rest assured knowing that He holds it all in His hands and uses every scrape, bump, bruise, pain for His everlasting good.

He is working, my friends.
He is moving.

He's moving mountains we cannot see in deeply hidden souls. He's mighty to save. He's a God of the impossible. He makes ALL things new. He takes what man says "never" and says "always". He takes the broken promises of man and restores them with His everlasting promises. He takes the broken and gives them rest. He gives voice to the fatherless and widows. He speaks. He Works. And oh how He LOVES!

He is working in our waiting.

But what we must remember as followers of Christ is the Commission given to each of us, found in Matthew 28: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you ALWAYS to the very end of the age."

Friends, if you call yourself a follower of Christ, your life should look different! It should be a light to other's who don't know the Lord. We are the walking examples, the living, breathing, in the flesh beings Christ uses to bring others to Him. And if we're living our lives the same as everyone around us, doing whatever we want, whenever we want without ANY regard for what the outsiders looking in see, we are NOT living our lives as He has called us to.

How are we to make disciples and teach them everything Christ commands, if we don't even take His calling and commands seriously? How are we to  be a light when our life is filled with darkness? How are we to be Christ's ambassadors if we're living inside the enemy camp?

And again I go back to - IT IS NOT EASY! It's not easy. It's not fun sometimes. We may very well get ridiculed for the very things we hold dear. But we must, I implore you, we MUST choose daily to follow and lead as Christ would have us do. There is NO room for lukewarm. There is no gray. There is no wishy-washy about it. You're either in fully or your not. You either choose diligence and sacrifice, love and encouragement, or you don't.

Diligence and sacrifice may be getting up earlier just to spend a few moments with Jesus before you start your day. It may be walking away from an addiction to porn or alcohol or food or whatever other vice you may have. It may be choosing joy despite the circumstances of your life. It may be facing the hidden heartaches that are buried deep within. It may be inviting the Lord into the depths of the soul in order to bring healing to the hurts and disappointments found there. And it may very well be daily choosing Christ.

Don't even try to justify ANYTHING less than what He has called you to, my friends. Justification is not the answer. No, those are called excuses. That's your human armor, your defenses rising up in you. Refiner's fire it not an enjoyable experience. I don't know about you, but the last time I checked walking through fire is not comfortable. It hurts, it burns, but it's necessary to clear out the dross of our souls and make us more like Him, His image bearers!

He has a plan. He is working. He is waiting for those who will rise up and stand in the gap for His plans. So, what's it going to be? What life will you choose? Which path will you follow?

I can leave you with is that everything of this life is worth it. Everything He leads us through, every struggle, tear, pain, hurt, disappointment - everything will be worth it....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Love. No Question

It hit me today, hearts are sensitive, especially when it comes to love....

Let me explain that a bit better. I realize now that once I open my heart up to someone (whether a friend or a relationship), to love them, to stand beside them, once my heart goes there, I'm 100% dedicated. I won't be shaken. It takes a lot for that committment and love to fade once my heart has gone there. And oftentimes, it means me loving far beyond the relationship. My heart is a tender place and it doesn't let the people it loves go easily.

Love, to me, is something that I may very well have towards someone for the rest of my life. And no, it's not always some type of romantic "I love you, goo goo ga ga" kind of love. No, it's a deeply rooted love of the heart and soul of another. It's a love that's often times unexplainable. And I'm the type of girl that will tell someone I love them whether I've known them a week or a lifetime. For I don't ever want an opportunity to care for someone go wasted. And if I'm the only love, the only care, the only hugs, encouragement, support that people see this side of heaven, then heck, I will spend the rest of my life looking a fool for loving someone. There is no other choice. No other option. I can't not love.

Many times the natural world would tell me someone doesn't deserve my love for this reason or that. They would say that my love should fade over time, that I can't just love someone for the sake of loving them. But what about all those words in the Word of God that say "love your brother" or heck, the one's that say "love your enemies". Shoot... that's no easy task, the last time I checked! If we call ourselves Christ followers, we're obligated and required to love. You don't get to pick and choose. You don't get to judge. No, you must love. Period. End of story.

So, dear friends, please know that I love you. Regardless of what you've done, or where you've come from, or where we've been. I can't not love you. As Paul writes in I Corinthians 13 - "faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love." The GREATEST thing we can do for one another is love.

I leave you with this...

Love is Patient
Love is Kind
It does not envy
It does not boast
It is not proud
It is not rude
It is not self-seeking
It is not easily angered
It keeps no record of wrongs
Love does not delight in evil
But rejoices in the Truth
It always protects
Always trusts
Always hopes
Always perseveres.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

To you, my friends...

To you, my friends, I write my heart. To those who have come in my life for a moment, a season, or a lifetime, I write. For today and each time I remember you, I'm thankful for the wisdom you shared and the memories we created.

To you, Laura - for your continual sacrifice of love and grace to a girl deeply wounded from a tainted past. For being the very spirit of Jesus in my life - showing me continual encouragement and forgiveness. For being the best 1st roommate a girl could ask for. For these things - I thank you, woman of grace.

To you, Jenny - for the countless nights of tears, listening ears, and simple reminders of the truth. For being the one to share so many memories with me. For encouraging and laughing with me through the years - I thank you, woman of understanding.

To you, Cortney - for being my voice of sanity in times of trial. For your faithfully believing and trusting heart. For choosing me to be your roommate. For loving me despite my days and nights of tears, insecurities, and fears. For the adventures, for the dreams, the visions and desires for God's kingdom come. For being a woman of steadfast, unshakeable faith. For being the friend I've always prayed for - I thank you, woman of faith.

To you, Caitlin - for teaching me to camp and love all things outdoors. For taking me on life's adventures throughout our childhood and into adulthood. For being my listening ear and clarity speaker when life seemed most confusing. For standing beside me in every decision, even the one's we didn't agree on. For being my kindred spirit - I thank you, woman of adventure.

To you, Brandy - for your spunk, your open vulnerability, your heart for His. For being the friend who so often meets me right where I am and brings me laughs when I need them most. For being a friend who has become a sister to me - I thank you, woman of strength.

To you, Callie - for sharing your sweet heart with me and opening up to new friendship. Your love for our sweet Jesus, your patience, and your care are remarkable gifts in my life. For all the memories and to sharing a birthday month - I thank you, woman with a heart for Jesus. 

To you, Jenny Sue - for being my shoulder to cry on, my sister in my deepest moments of pain, my confidante in the struggles and fears I faced as a child. For being one of my biggest protectors from those that have hurt me and for defending me when no one else would. For loving me regardless the distance or issue - I thank you, sister and friend.

To you, Jennifer - for living your life as a wife and mother with open honesty and tender mercy. For your insight, prayers and care for a woman you barely knew - I thank you, woman of joy.

To you, Kevin Michael - for showing a girl what true pursuit is. For bringing such joy to my life. For being a gentleman and a friend. For the man you are, who cares deeply for those he loves. For showing me your heart and protecting mine in the process. For being such a good man - I thank you, man of integrity. 

To you, Matthew David - for being my best guy friend and 'brother' in the midst of the deepest heartaches of my life. For listening and giving advice when I knew not what to do. For reminding me over and over that I'm worth fighting for. For being an example of true masculinity - I thank you, man of character.

To you, Steven Carter - for being the man who showed me what a real Christian man is. For living your life with such open honesty before me. For sharing your heart, your questions, your desires, your love with me. For being a good man - I thank you, man of God.

To you, Matthew Steven - for showing me how to laugh and live openly, freely. For sharing your family with me and allowing me to learn from their amazing example. For being a man who saw beyond my flaws- I thank you, man of grace.

To you, Catherine - for opening my eyes to the spiritual truths that surround me daily. For journeying with me through some of the darkest points of my past. For choosing to love me regardless of what comes up. For being the mentor, the woman of Proverbs 31 that I have been praying for so long. For being my light when I couldn't see it - I thank you, woman of Faith.

To you, Deb - for showing me that purity lost is not identity in Christ lost. For laughing, adventuring, running, dancing, eating, etc... with me. For listening to my crazy confusing heart and for encouraging me through life's difficulties. For being a true friend - I thank you, woman of love.

To you, Alec - for reminding me of what I'm worth and what I deserve. For living your life as an open example of a man after God's own heart - I thank you, man of God.

To you, Tim - for being a trainer's best cheerleader. For the friend you've been these past 2.5 years. For showing me and encouraging me to follow my dreams. For being such a man of integrity - I thank you, man of Faith. 

To you, Joel - for showing me that with diligence, hard work, and the Lord by your side the impossible becomes possible. For living your ministry as your life. For your heart and allowing it to show up. For being the friend to teach me the ropes in everything from faith to Crossfit - I thank you, man of persistence. 

To you, Christopher - for encouraging me to write, to continue to pursue Christ, and to live my life as an open example of His grace and love. For being my biggest cheerleader - I thank you, man of Faith.

To you, Wendy - for being my "mom of guidance" when it seemed I had no one else to turn to, to talk to. I thank you, mother and mentor.

To you, Kathleen - for all the watermelon stool chats. For your advice and wisdom through the years. For standing beside a silly young woman who just wanted an adventure. And for still asking the tough questions - I thank you, mama and friend.

To you, Fred - for taking a college student and teaching her the ropes of owning a small business. For being a fatherly figure to a girl who didn't have her own. For protecting, guiding, and encouraging me to pursue the life Christ called me to. For being such a wonderful boss for over 4 years - I thank you, man of generosity.

I could keep going with more people who have walked into my life for a moment, but I felt it necessary to first write to those who have left an irreplaceable mark on my heart. Each of you, every one, has taught me and given me so incredibly much. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your love, your care, your trust, and your friendship through the years. Whether we talk often or not at all, please know that you mean the world to me. I declare God's sweetest blessings from Heaven to be showered on each of you. May He always guide your paths.. may He always be your security, strength, and confidence. 

I love you, my sweet friends. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Look to your heart

Okay, my friend just sent me this post from my mentor and wonderful spiritual mother, Catherine. SUCH wisdom and truth here. Check out Mack and Catherine for all your faith questions/counseling/inner healing at

"If you are looking at external things as the source of your frustration and disappointment, you are missing the mark. When we are in a struggle, we tend to place blame on our spouse, our boss, our job, our finances, him, her, them, it, those, etc. In other words, if she, he or it would turn around, I could be at peace. Sound familiar?

The thing is, all these external things merely reveal what is already in the heart. The external issues don’t so much create the frustration, anger, pain, sorrow, resentment, bitterness, etc. They merely are the catalyst that exposes the issues of the heart.

We can “prop up” our attitude, our behavior and our actions through determination and will only to a point. But when the right amount of stress from external issues piles up, the real condition of the heart will be exposed.

The great news is that God is all about healing the heart! All we need to do is to recognize our need and give Him permission to do what only He can do…Change our heart!

If you see this need in yourself, and you are tired of “posturing, posing and pretending”, then ask God to heal you on the inside, then everything on the outside will take on a whole new perspective!"
Oy... hearts... I tell ya!

Monday, October 3, 2011


That's right folks... it's October 3rd again, and today I turn 26 years old.

I don't know how I got here... a decade ago I got a driver's license. A DECADE!

Today, on this day, my birthday, I find myself a bit cynical, a bit frustrated, a bit, how do I say this delicately? Umm... a bit with the mentality of "screw it". This life certainly hasn't been what I've dreamt or expected. It certainly hasn't been a walk in the park or a cake walk. Nope, it's seemed liked hell on earth at various junctions, that's for sure.

I looked back in my journal today from a year ago. I spent my 25th birthday flying home from a dear friend's wedding in Seattle. I came home to an amazing roommate who bought me cupcakes and sang to me. Blessed by a friendship I've never experienced before - that woman of grace showed me a birthday I never will forget. She remembered, she listened, she loved, and she wrote me one of the sweetest most encouraging cards I've ever read. That's what started the 25th year of life.

In that year I moved into our now "old" apartment with Cortney. And that very December our lives and prayers were answered in the reconciling of the heart of a man for a woman. And suddenly friendships bloomed and I found myself surrounded by one of the most incredible group of people I've ever experienced. We did life together. We celebrated together. We grew together, and all was well with our souls.

However, there was that part of my heart that so longed for companionship, for a "manpanion" if you will. Every birthday for year's I found myself in the same boat... single. And I often have prayed and wondered if God was calling me to be forever single or if he'd ever bring a man into my life. And at the 25th birthday mark I found myself being slowly pursued by someone, but found my own heart not ready for it. My heart was elsewhere for a time, and I blew this guy off for months. Winter came, and still my heart was a "no", spring came and I was still unsure, then the summer months drew near and I found myself falling for this man.

Then there was my home, my family, the friends I left in Seattle. They all seemed to move on and move up in the world, while I sat in California confused and seemingly alone. Relationships faltered, more time passed without interaction and it seemed that maybe I'd lost them. Funny how a life threatening illness brings people together. And that was exactly what happened when my mom went in for brain surgery in February. There were intense moments of me facing the thoughts that she may very well not make it through, and I would somehow have to put the pieces back together. But by God's grace and that prayers of others that woman is fully functional and fully healed.

Let's not forget about the jobs I've had in the past year either. The one that was a corporate joke that ended up laying off half it's staff at the end of 2010 (me included). And the job that I now have and love, most of the time. :-) Oh and the other job I've been able to pursue. That's right, you guessed it, being a certified Crossfit Trainer. How in the WORLD did I ever get into that? Thanks to a few dear friends who introduced me and now I'm convinced and obsessed!

Prayers have been answered in this past years. Dreams have come true. But hardships have also fallen and it seems that I'm walking, yet again, in the dark. I feel that I'm waging war with the enemy of souls as we speak, and the only thing I can do is pray and intercede on behalf of others. I've not once seen so many lives effected the way they have been in the last 3 months. I've never experienced such incredible shifts in human souls. And it seems that one drop in the water has had a ripple effect on nearly everyone I hold near and dear.

Those friends who came into my life in December are now at odds with one another, to the point where I don't know what's going to happen with us. To my hearts ache, that boy and I didn't work out. The Seattle home is no longer what it was for those 2 weeks in February... it's gone back to it's old ways. That job I've so desired has been placed on hold for a time. And I often awake anxiously aware that everything can change in an instant...

And here I sit - 26. I feel I'm in the same place I was last year - confused and seemingly alone (besides the very few that walk this journey with me). And I wonder if He's working for the good when the natural world around me makes absolutely NO sense. I wonder if He'll make all things new. I wonder if this constant giving and taking will ever stop.

But I can't help but remember that He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a future and a hope. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand! I have no other choice. I can't wage this war, set foot on these battle lines without Him by my side. These giants are too big to overcome with the human nature. I need a God-sized hope,  a God-sized faith, a God-sized army to walk alongside me if I and all those I'm on my knees for are going to make it to the other side of this journey free, strong and courageous.

So this year, 26, I declare the following:

Walls Tumbling
Breaking hearts
Deep Faith
Ears to hear
Eyes to see
Hearts to understand

And I must choose to "Follow the alternate course, even if the change of plans appears to be absolute folly from the perspective of human wisdom" - Streams in the Desert

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Life's too Short

Here I sit on my typical blogging perch at my dining room table, munching on chocolate chips and peanut butter, listening to a random variety of music in my iTunes, and I just had this realization... Life is too short.

Life's too short to busy ourselves with the mundane.
Life's too short to worry about the "what if's"
Life's too short to just sit on the sidelines.

These last few weeks I've had a few wake up calls. This life is not about me. This life is not about what I can acquire, what I can gain. No. This life is about other's. It's about the great adventure that God has called me to. It's about His plan, His will, His direction. It's time to step up to the plate and partake in all things this life has to offer. I hate how busy I get with silly projects, or when I blow people off because I get swamped with some work project or just feeling overwhelmed with the "things" of life (you know - laundry, bills, cleaning the house, etc). I wish I could sit at a coffee shop and chat with people for hours. I wish I didn't mind if I were late just to invest time in someone else. I wish I didn't care if I were interrupted in the middle of something just to hug a friend. I wish I didn't get agitated by the small things and lose my focus on the much bigger picture.

This week I've come to realize that I live my life way too much out of fear, way too much out of the "what if's", way too much in the comforts of the American Dream. I want to travel. I want to experience. I want to go. I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth... and I want my selfish, sinful nature to die so I can do so.

Oy! So much going through my mind today... so much on my heart. I feel I've lost much in these past months. And sometimes I don't know if I'll ever get it back. But there is one thing I do know - I serve a God who is exceedingly, abundantly more able to do more than I could ever ask or imagine. He's at work today and everyday. He's the one that leads my paths and allows me to intersect into the lives of others. And with that comes me dying to self as Paul says in Romans 7.

Father, let me not live this life going through the motions. It's too short to live it that way. Let me have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to understand your glorious ways and plans. For I don't want to waste another moment of the precious time I have....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Music and Lyrics

There are a few things in my life that would be really hard to live without and one of them is music. I find that I always have something playing in the background of my life. Even as I write this post I'm listening to the sounds of Aaron Keyes "you're working for our good... your plans are for us to prosper. You've not forgotten us. You're with us in the fire and the flood. Faithful forever, perfect in love. You are sovereign over us." I mean seriously, how can words like those not pierce your soul?

This week music and lyrics have literally stopped me in my tracks. It's been a bit of a doozy week and I sometimes find that I lack the words to describe the feelings and desires of my soul. Thus enters music, like David Crowder's "Shadows"-

"When shadows fall on us, we will not fear, we will remember. When all seems lost, we're thrown and tossed, We remember the cost, We rest in Him, the shadow of the cross."

God is our strength and refuge in times of trouble. In times of doubt and fear He's our portion and our courage.

Then there's the sappy country songs like the latest from Taylor Swift and Blake Shelton that just bring tears to this country girl's eyes as I listen... it all seems so unreal, unattainable, like the constant carrot that I can never reach. But every human soul still longs for that connection with another.

"Drop everything now, meet me in the pouring rain, kiss me on the sidewalk. Take away the pain. Cause I see sparks fly whenever you smile!"

"God gave me you for the ups and downs. God gave me you for the days of doubt. And for when I think I've lost my way, there are no words here left to say. It's true - God gave me you!" - (shoot! I want to be this to someone, someday!)

And the funny thing is, though I have something amazing staring me in the face, all I want to do is run. Run from the possibility, run from the pain that may come, run from the struggles, run from the love, just RUN away from anything!

So here I sit and ponder - begging the Lord for answers, for clarity, for confidence and courage. And all He keeps telling me is to rest and stay. Running is not an option. And then I hear 'if it's encouraging others, let them encourage". Dang it Lord - I don't want to right now! It's too scary, too risky! I just sense him saying in response, "I never said it would be easy..."

Oy! :/

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I am...

Lots running through my head these days. Funny how bringing a few key people into our lives shows us things about ourselves that we never really want to see or admit. These past weeks and months have been just that. So here, today, is a gut wrenching, overtly honest post on me, my life, my choices. And let me preface with, Praise God for His grace and mercy!

I'm a liar.

Yup. I said it. I'm one of those liars who omits certain facts about certain things so as to not offend someone or to save face with those I love. So I leave out the details. If I'm not asked, I don't tell. It's just easier that way, right? But what I'm finding is that truth will surface whether we like it or not. Truth will come forward in everything. Truth wins.

This is the case in my life, even as of this morning. I have a very discerning friend, who calls me out on my ish. Though everything in me cringes when something I've intentionally left 'vague' is brought to light, I know it's for the better good of me to hear it. Everything in me wants to run from any type of confrontation. But God knows I need to experience those very things to grow into the woman of character He so desires me to be. Ouch, Jesus- I don't like this!

I'm a doubter.

I often don't believe God has good for me. Nope, I often think quite the opposite. it seems more and more in my life that the more I pray, the more He says no. And I don't like no. I want a yes when I fervently ask for something. It's been no for so much of my life that I am in a season, right here, right now of utter doubt in His love and goodness. I barely have the words to pray. It's more a few moments of 'ugh... Ugh!!! UGH!!!!!!' No words. I have nothing, my bucket of hope is empty. :/

I'm not a virgin.

Oy! This is not something I freely admit. No, this is something that I hid for far too long. It's only been in the past year that I've had the courage to bring this, one of my biggest regrets, to light. I slept with a man who was not my husband. I allowed it to continue for years. And the funny part? The Spirit of the Lord was upon me so powerfully everytime I chose this sin. So incredibly so that I was brought to my knees in agony and tears.

When it all ended, what was left was a shell of a woman, shamed and remorseful. Over and over I prayed for forgiveness, but I still hid. I didn't let a soul into it. No one ever knew. And the enemy had a hayday with me.. 'If you tell, no one will ever want you. If you tell, people will hate you. If you tell, you're going to hurt others.' And the truth only came out when someone finally cared enough to ask. And I lost it! But in the midst of that, God brought me something I cherish to this day - freedom. And His constant reminder of His forgiveness is found in my favorite color... pink (another post coming on the significance of this soon!)

I'm apathetic.

Sometimes, especially recently, I just don't care. I find that I lack the responsibility, compassion, and even patience with life in general. I get frustrated easily. I don't have the energy to listen to the truth of others. I don't really care to grow or change. I'd rather sit in my own little world. Alone. Without the drama. Without the pain. Without the frustration. Without the expectations. Without the mirror staring back at me. Without every draining thing. I want to post up shop with a 'do not disturb' sign on the door.

Despite every last one of these things, one remains. God's forgiveness. Though I mess up, stumble, or fall - God is always there to catch me. He's there in the roommate that loves me enough to sit down and tell me over and over that I can never do anything to change that love. He's there in the embrace of a new friend who barely knows me but sees the eyes of my heart. And He's there in the moments of 'ugh' where I know not what to say. It's by His blood and His pure mercy that the color pink shines through most brightly in my life.

And as I sit in the refiner's fire, I remember that everything is for my growth - as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Ok, Jesus, I trust you to do this...

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Recently, it seems that God is over and over revealing the simplicity of his love and eternal sacrifice. For so long my life has been led by all these colloquialisms, all this verbiage of who God is, what God does, how God works, when God's coming, where God's leading, etc. All of which are good things to study and to understand. The truth of the Gospel is so much deeper than we can ever even begin to fathom.

But, at the same time, Gods love is simple. He chose to create us, we chose to disobey Him and ureka we have what has now become our world, our reality. But the hope is no longer gone for God, in an example of eternal forgiveness and sacrifice sends himself, in His son, to this messed up, sin ravaged world and says, 'because I love you, because I choose you, oh humans, whom I created in my own image, because of all these things, I'm going to take what you've made perverted and make it new. How? Through my death for your sin, my burial for your choices, and finally my being raised to life again so that you too can walk in freedom, forgiveness... So that you may have LIFE once again!'

And the best part, He sends His Spirit, which is far too often forgotten, as our constant companion. The spirit makes it's home in our hearts...


Simple. Everything, and I mean everything, that is the Christian life, is all dependent on one choice. Our choice to chose Him. He's already chosen us... And He leaves the door open to our response.

Simple, right?

But we fall into the 'what if' trap and the voice of the enemy resounds... 'What if this is just a bunch of hype? What if this God never actually shows up? What if everyone makes fun of me, or better yet, what if people walk away from me because of my choice? What if I lose everything tangible... Everything I know and love??'

What if...

But what if you're wrong? What if you don't choose freedom? What if you just keep living your life without Him? Just take a few moments to see the brevity, the depth, the reality of these questions.... Does it mean fear/anxiety for the rest of your life? Does it mean drug or alcohol addiction for the rest of your life? Does it mean continually walking in abusive sitations? Does it mean working your life away without a purpose? Does it mean going through the motions every minute, every hour, of every day for the rest of your life?

What if I told you, the simplicty and the grace of the gospel breaks the chains? What if I told you the mercy of the Father washes you clean, to perfection? What if I told you LOVE overcomes all the fears? What if I told you this one choice could bring you everything for life on this earth? Would it be worth it???



What's yours??

Sunday, June 26, 2011

When Questions come

Recently, a friend of mine shared a part of his life and some of the questions he was facing with a certain subject. The very questions I too have struggled with time and time again. The questions that make us, in some ways, doubt our faith that God is good. All the time. Period. As I started thinking about the questions my friend had, of sin, of human nature, of free will, etc - I, too, started thinking of my life and how I too walked along such similar shores at one point. Once the questions were posed, I couldn't quite get my mind off it, so at about 1am last night, I wrote the following. It may make no sense... but bear with me. :-)

Dear friend: I had some thoughts. I'm definitely not an articulate writer, and I absolutely agree with others that we cannot give you a list of 'chistianese' answers that will suddenly make everything that is the Christian life make sense. However, I can share with you what I've learned as a follower of Christ these past few years and hope that you too can glean a little something from it.

1st off, reading through the 1st few books of the old testament is a great place to start when we start down the path of sin and how it got here. They are intense examples of sin in the world and what God did, before Christ, to bring us back to Him. All I can say is in the 1st sections of Genesis we see that God made the world,
everything in the world and He made ALL things good. There was no sin in the garden - not even a hint of it. And within the garden we see that God made a helpmate suitable for the man and He called her 'very good'. All things in this world were as they should have stayed - perfect and within His plan and will for our lives.

However, enter the serpent and the fruit, the woman and the man and we have the Fall. Suddenly, humans are given over to sin (thanks to their free will) and with that they are given hardship, difficulty, toiling the earth, pain in childbearing, etc. Sin enters the world. And what God made good, man suddenly is able to twist and make fit into his or her own little box. No longer is it God's plan of a perfect garden, but man's slightly marred plan that dictates. and slowly, (actually not too slowly because adam and eve's own child killed his brother), we see man perverting the perfection that once was. And this slow process gets worse by each generation. So much so that God has to step in and reroute his children to his good by flooding the earth and starting over.

And here's where most christians get hung up... If God is so good then why do we have suffering? Or why is doing this or that so bad? Why can't I just have what I want? And the fact of the matter is that God is good. Period. He's good all the time. And the best analogy I have of His 'good' being our hardships and questions is that of a mom or dad parenting their children. As kids we want more ice cream or we want to jump off the deck, but because our parents love us they step in to protect us from injury, to protect us from ourselves. The same is true of those moments when our parents make us do embarrassing things, like return that whistle we stole from the general store. It hurts when they parent sometimes, but its by their parenting that we grow up to be strong, confident humans in the world. So it is with God. Those 'no's' he gives us are not just to be mean - those no's are protecting us from the unseen hurts they could cause.

For instance, God has told me 'no' on a particular friendship for a long time and I keep refusing to listen - to let this friend go. But in letting them go I'm letting God take the reins and show His goodness and mercy to them. The same holds true with any sin - excessive drinking, adultery, idols - whatever it may be. He tells us 'no' to these things for our own good. But He never refuses our own free will. We still have the opportunity to decide our fate.

Have you ever experienced something like that? Gone down a path that you knew deep down was wrong, was not where you should be? And the deeper you got the harder it was to get out but your soul was screaming for freedom? Knowing what you were doing was wrong? That little voice that's calling you back to reality, to the safety and comfort, is God.

There will always be a longing in our souls, something deeply engrained that will beckon us back to the good perfection of the Garden. It's only natural that we miss what we've lost, though we weren't physically present at the time it was taken from us. But the Fall has left each and every generation with an imperfect life. And it's in the midst of these moments, these questions that we pose before the Father, that we are met with His gentle grace and whisper, "I'm here, I'm working, I love you... it's only for a season and all will be restored. Trust in me and I will shower you with mercy."

Day by day.
Hour by hour.

Choosing to follow the straight and narrow, though we may stumble and fall along the way. It's achieving for us an eternal glory that we cannot see nor can we fathom. But I leave you with this... it's worth it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things!

"...when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad... I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel... so bad!"

This is so not my typical post. It's one of those posts that just popped into my head today as I was going through the motions of "life". It's a post with no real reason or challenge or good word. Nope. Simply put - this is me, what makes me tick, what brings joy and blessing to my life. So without further adieu...

1. Coffee Shops complete with good literature, a journal, my Bible, a cup of java (or green tea Frappe's) and a cookie. This is my getaway with God. My date with Jesus, if you will. And I tell you, if I miss date night, my heart feels it.

2. Nap time on the beach. I am most rested by these simple naps. All that's needed is some sunscreen (my NW paleness gets a little rosy too quickly in this Southern California sun), a towel, and some water. By far the most relaxing way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

3. QT with friends and family. I LOVE anything that involves me and those nearest and dearest to me. Whether it's a meal, a game of ultimate frisbee, churching together, or serving alongside each other, when I'm surrounded by friends my heart is blessed abundantly.

4. Having an "ah ha!" moment with Jesus where the Spirit hits me to my core and I can't help but share what new revelation just happened. SO good!

5. Friday nights with the roomie (and her bf if he's around) complete with red wine, dinner, and movies or chat time on all things philosophical.

6. Music. People often think my taste in music is a bit, how do we put this..... odd. I like the sounds of techno, with a bit of salsa mixed in. I enjoy everything from folk to hip hop, country to new age. Alternative to Bach. I've a plethora of music on my iPod ranging and not limited to: Yanni, Hoobastank, Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks, DJ Doboy, Enya, Michelle Branch, Angels and Airwaves and just about everything in between. And I LOVE it! :-)

7. Listening to podcasts while getting ready for the day. Yes, I am one of those nerds. There's nothing like listening to some of the great preachers of today. Such wisdom, such perseverance, such gusto to share the Truth of Christ to all.

8. Dancing. This too ranges from the cheer dances of back in the day right down to salsa or ballet. I attempt all of them at different points in my life. And may I just say, one of the best places to get your groove on is the shower. I'm just sayin'.

9. Doing anything in nature - outside of the busyness of this thing we call life. Whether it's camping with friends or a Sunday drive up to a random canyon and hiking it alone - there's something restful and rejuvenating about being in creation. It's a powerful experience, to say the least.

10. Watching something prayed for, hoped for become a reality. Whether it's my friend's gym going from a dream to a real life business, broken relationships restored, or my own mom's healing - I see the hand of God in so many things and am truly blessed by the tangible evidence of His hand at work. It makes me want to pray all the more and ask for the Spirit to intercede more. Jesus let me not be quick to forget your goodness and grace.

11. Traveling to new places. There is such a bug in me these days to get out more, to travel to the places I've always wanted to go. Europe beckons me, Israel calls me home. Africa and South America - all of them just fascinate me. What are the cultures like? What are the people like? What's their history?? Oh Lord let me see this world of yours... and let me see it with your eyes.

12. People watching, especially my friends. I absolutely love the honesty of life in community. I love watching my friends fall in love with their significant others. I love watching them learn and grow. I'm blessed to watch people once lost, now found, speaking of their salvation experience and bringing others into it. I am gladdened (is that even a word?) by new friendships and those friends making connections with other friends and building their own community.

These are just a few of my favorite things... there's so much I love and this is only the beginning. Thank you Lord for the gifts you give and the simple joys of life.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Heart Break Love

There's something gut wrenching and life changing about heart break. It hits us to the core, rocks the very foundation of our soul, and we're left with a sea of questions and "what if's". For some reason, tonight the phrase "heart break love" has been going through my mind over and over again and I'm not quite sure what goes on with my heart when I hear it. But I had to put words to the deep heart change I felt the first time the phrase went through my mind.

Heart Break love for another. The deep, unrelenting love that seems never to go away no matter how hard you try.

But this heart break love I experience today is so much more than the broken heart found after the death of a relationship. No, this heart break love is the love I so desire to have for this world. The kind of heart break love that calls us to action. The kind of love that Christ has for a hurting world. We often pray "Let my heart break for the things that break yours, Lord." But how often do we take this phrase literally? How often do we see, sense, and feel the heart break love that the Lord has each and every day of our human existence?

Open my eyes to the heart break love of a family torn apart, for all the broken hearts. Let me have the heart break love for the lost that know not what they do. May I have a heart break love for the women of this world battered and beaten just for being alive. May I experience the heart break love for the children who lose their lives before they even know what's happened. Father, give me the heart break love that only you can give. Let my heart see and know the things that hurt you deeply. Give me the courage and the strength to step in and be the love they need in the midst of their deepest pain. Let my soul yearn to touch others - give me the hands and feet of Jesus, I pray. Spirit, prompt my heart to action. And let heart break love become my way of living.

Heart Break love for all that is Yours. May it be!

Monday, May 9, 2011


Let me preface this post with: though my dad and I have had many years of brokenness and disagreements - he is now a man of faith in Christ who has slowly been growing through the pains of the decisions made.

Tonight, I sat with a group of amazing people at a table, at a class all about doing Life with God. Ironically, the class is duly called "Life with God". Tonight's talk was all about God as Father. And the 1st thought that ran through my mind, even before my friend Matt started speaking was, "oy... what a difficult and confusing subject to speak on." The questions started rising, "if God is good - then why do I experience this or that?" "If God really loves me, then why did this happen?" "Is God the Father like my own father? Because if so, I don't know that I'd want much to do with him."

And the list goes on. However, the night progressed, the talk began, and I saw that each and every one of us has some sort of view of God - many of which are tainted with the crap of life. It may be that we need to perform in order to gain His love. It may be that we somehow need to buy His love. It may be that we feel abandoned. Or it may very well be that we lack a humanly father example of what a heavenly Father full of grace and mercy may look like. The latter is where I lie.

For much of my life, my father has been absent, sometimes physically absent, but most often emotionally unreachable. He was the man that went to work each day, came home and ignored his family, only to go out again the next day and continue the cycle. When my dad would speak it was full of harsh words or criticism that left a little girl wondering her worth. "Am I worth protecting daddy? Am I worth loving? Am I beautiful? Am I your little girl? or am I the annoyance that I see in your eyes? Am I your greatest disappointment? Will I ever get it right?"

Then the abuse came, the punching, the strangling, the throwing down the stairs or across the room. The anger in his soul overtook him and soon left him family-less. And for all those years after the divorce, I felt abandoned, unprotected, vulnerable. I felt utterly alone and the lack of care and provision given by my father drove me to a life of independence, that even to this day I struggle with.

Year after year I felt I had to somehow prove myself to this man that wasn't even a part of my life for 12 years. I was the people pleaser - the girl that never asked for help and did it all on her own. I didn't seek counsel - I just did life.

And slowly, my heart turned away from the voice of the Heavenly Father calling me to His purposes. I didn't trust this "father" in the sky. I didn't know him, I didn't tangibly see his "goodness", I didn't know if he would just abandon me like so many others had. So I ran from Him. I tried so hard to hide myself from Him - proving that I could do it on my own, relying on no one, especially Him. And you know where it got me? Into a relationship with the wrong boy at the wrong time. I was seeking my identity that I couldn't answer from my own earthly father in the eyes of some boy who was just as flawed and scared as I was. Needless to say that relationship ended - and the funny thing is after the fact I so desperately desired for my dad to somehow come to bat for me. To somehow go to that young man and tell him "you don't mess with my daughter - you understand?"

The fatherly role has been such a tangled mess in my own life. I've tried everything to fill that hole that only God the Father can fill. And slowly, over the years, I've realized something. I can't equate my earthly Father to my Heavenly Father - for there's no comparison between the 2. I've literally had to painstackingly re-draw my outlook on what a Father is. And to this day I still have moments with the Lord where I'm afraid to talk with him, I'm afraid to be real with him - to fess up to the sins of my life. There's still moments where I'm trembling in the corner, silent, waiting for him to come smack me on the side of the head or throw me across the room to get his point across.

But God is so much more tender and gracious than that. It's not in His character to do bad to his children - He's not in the business of harming us. Though life may throw us some pretty hefty curveballs sometimes, we can know and trust that He's always working all things for His good - even those things the enemy means for evil. God is merciful. God is patient. God is just and kind, compassionate and loving. He is trustworthy beyond compare. And I don't really know how to explain this reality unless Christ is in the middle of it all. For Christ has somehow given me the eyes to see the perfect love and forgiveness that only the Father gives. His spirit intercedes for us, His grace is sufficient. He loves us - adores us - smiles with us, laughs with us, cries with us, and does life WITH us.

Oy - there's a lot in this post.... I leave you with this:

There is FREEDOM in the FATHER as there is with the SON.


Take a listen to my latest fave song:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Year Later

Today is the one year anniversary of my move to California. All day I've been reminiscing over what's gone on this past year - the ups, the downs, and everything in between. The funniest part? I still have to remind myself sometimes that I actually do live here. California is my home. Oh my gosh!

Looking back, I remember being SO excited to finally get down here... I was counting down the days months in advance and finally the day came for us to leave. Crazy!

The one thing I do know is that God is good - all the time. Though this year has had it's difficulties, I would not change one second, one moment of it for anything. Each step has been a stage of growth for me, learning to rely on Him in it all. Boundaries have been set, new beginnings have been made, and today, a year later, I finally know what I stand for, who I really am. I'm a daughter of the One and Only, beloved by Him. I don't think I could have said that a year ago with such conviction.

Over and over I saw the work of the Lord shining through the friendship of others. And there are a few people that have meant much to me as I made this transition. One of which is my dear roommate, Cortney. This girl has challenged me, pushed me, asked the difficult questions. She's sat with me for hours as I poured out my doubts, my questions. She's laughed with me, cried with me, and just done life with me. She's a woman of grace and dignity, a woman of strength and beauty. She has been, and still is, a true God-send. And I have one person to thank for putting the two of us into contact and starting this wonderful friendship. So Steve, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for caring enough to put me in touch with this amazing woman. I would truly not be where I am today without either one of you.

Then there's mama. The one person in Seattle that encouraged me to go after my dreams, though I didn't know what they would bring. Thank you for being my shoulder to cry on from afar on the nights when I thought I made a mistake. Thank you for believing in me and letting me go so gracefully. Your love is how I stuck it out for the year. And I thank you for not letting me give up on my dreams prematurely.

Oh Jenny-o, my dear California dreamer kindred spirit. We both knew we loved this place those 5 years ago on our 1st "big girl" trip to Huntington Beach. I still laugh at the memories we've shared on my many visits through the years. Thank you for seeing my true heart for this place and telling me what I couldn't put words to, "You should move here - you come alive when you visit you know." And you were right. This place has become home and I'm so incredibly blessed to share life here with you. Thank you friend.

Debber Boo, you are a true gift to my life. Thank you for keeping me laughing, for loving me, for encouraging me to see things I often refused to see. Thank you for reminding me of God's grace, His forgiveness. Thank you for the many nights we sat up watching movies, drinking wine, eating chocolate and pouring out our hearts to one another. You're my adventurer, my risk taker, my bold friend who loves well. You mean the world to me.

Catherine, my Catherine. I could not have asked for a more incredible woman of faith to come along side me in my life. You have meant SO much to me and have helped bring me to a place of courage and faith that I never thought possible. You've taken a terrified, people pleaser and turned her into a confident lover of Christ (though I still have a LONG way to go). Thank you for your wisdom, your love, your insight, and encouragement as I've faced the trials of this year. Thank you for your prayers. And thank you for helping me see what God sees.

To the community that I've come into - each of you are an absolute answer to prayer. I remember looking back at my old journal recently and reading a prayer I prayed over a year ago, "Father, I pray for community like that, for friendships like those." I never would have thought He would give me community, let alone the very community I prayed for that night. Thank you for your friendship - it means more than you know.

And my sweet Jesus - I don't even know where to begin. Thank you for standing beside me every step of every day. Thank you for being my source of encouragement when I felt I couldn't go on. Thank you for your companionship, your love, your tender mercy. Thank you for every sweet whisper and gentle reminder that you are at work. I praise you for bringing me here, to this place. And as I head into year 2, use me, teach me. Amen!

Oh. My. Gosh. I actually live here! And now, I just wanna go celebrate! :-)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Caught in the Middle...

Lately, I've been bombarded by the reality of the Christian life. It's not some simple walk in the park, and there are many times where, if I'm completely honest, it's absolutely draining. Oy!

We're called to wait. We're told to persevere. We're encouraged to pick up our crosses. But sometimes I really just let my prideful self come out and go "can I please just have what I asked for? I mean, seriously, it's been such a long time since I started asking... don't you think I deserve it by now??"

Well, this weekend I got myself a bit of a wake up call. "Do everything without complaining or grumbling..." That means life in general. That means rejoicing in the fact that life sometimes doesn't go as planned or wished for. That means putting away the selfish desires. It means dying to self and living for Him.

And the funny thing is, for some reason we take God's refusals as bad. But what we so easily forget is that God is good - period. His good is far better than our good could ever be. He sees the bigger picture, He knows best. God's refusals in our lives are always His mercies. When He takes something away or says "not yet", it's His way of protecting us, of growing us, of loving us.

His grace is sufficient.

The thing we ought to remember in the midst of those "winters" of our souls is the very fact that "spring" is on it's way. And God has us here, in this moment, in this time, in this trial. Period. There may be no "reason" that we can see or understand. Though we may see it not this side of heaven, we can know, and fully trust that He's working this trial, this difficulty, this issue together for His perfect good.

It's so easy to say He's working. It's much more difficult in the hiccups of life to truly trust that He's still moving in the midst of what seems a very still, unchanging part of our lives. He's silent for what seems eternity, and suddenly a reminder pops up out of nowhere... a simple moment where He speaks and reminds us of His love.

This past week, I've had 2 of those simple, yet remarkably powerful, reminders. One of which was me praying, again, about a certain subject and out of nowhere I look up and see these little pink flowers on this bush (for those that don't know, pink is my all time favorite color). And as I sat in my car staring at these silly little flowers, tears flooded my eyes as I heard His still small voice say, "I'm working my daughter. Take these flowers as a reminder. Each time you see them, remember this promise - I'm working!". The funny part is.... these flowers are EVERYWHERE! I literally walk by rows and rows of them throughout my day and they almost whisper as I walk by "I'm working. Trust me."

The second moment was last night. As I often do, I arrived to my time with Catherine (one of the most amazing women I have ever met in my life!) a little early. I sat in my car, with random old school Jesus loving music playing in the background, and one song just hit me. It's called "In the Middle" by Casting Crowns. It's all about the extremes of daily life and how often we settle for the middle ground, though there's so much more we can reach for. And again I felt the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of my car so powerfully. All I could do was cry, overwhelmed with the fact that I so often fall into the middle... not acting or reacting to anything - just going through the motions. "Somewhere between my faith and my plans... Deep water faith in the shallow end... we're caught in the middle."

These precious moments with Him have made me realize so many things. But one of them is for the true me to please stand up. Not the timid, quiet, lacking confidence girl that I've been over and over in my life. But the woman who chooses joy, who chooses encouragement, who chooses to speak up when necessary, who chooses to defend and protect at the right moments, who chooses a life not satisfied with ordinary, and who chooses grace. No longer do I want to be caught in the middle. No. no! I want to grow. I want to continually learn. I want to gain character. And I want to trust His good for my own good in everything - though it's terrifying to admit.

His grace is sufficient.
His mercy never ceases.
He's working.
Even when we're caught in the middle.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I am unworthy.
It's by the grace and the death of Christ that I am given a second chance.

Unworthy am I.
As a child selfish, a liar, a cheater.
As an adolescent willing to do anything to get ahead.
As a young adult a partier, a sinner, a girl wearing the scarlet letter for the decisions she's made.

So tainited I come to the Throne of Grace. Humbly I bow, for I cannot look to His face. Broken I beg for his relentless love, only to be taken to something greater above. Dirty and disfigured I go to ask for His forgiveness. His response - "my child, you are indeed forgiven". What happens next is something amazing, for He takes the rags, the tears, the damage, and cleans them and puts them all together into a beautiful mosaic.

My life once unworthy is now made new. The mistakes before haunting, are now for good. The dirty is clean, the tainted is no more. For Christ in His death forever settled the score.

And I am the cripple that once was, now sitting at His table - daughter of the Most High.

Take a listen to "Carbon Ribs" by John Mark McMillan - SO good!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Post Surgery

Oy. What a week. A week full of life change. A week I certainly don't want to live through again anytime soon.

Praise God for His grace, Praise God for His care, Praise God for His love showering over my family these past few weeks. The good news is that my mom's surgery went well. She now has numerous coils in various veins in her brain, but she's good, she's alive, she's healing - thank you Jesus for doing this miracle in her life.

This week was a heavy one. A week where roles were suddenly reversed and I found myself discussing Wills, Trusts, final wishes and everything that comes with it. And it's funny... I made it through the week without many tears, and a strength that came from a place I know not.

So here I sit, back in California, and the week still hasn't hit me. I feel it brewing in the depths of my heart. It's building, the reality of what just happened is slowly showing up. I don't know what to feel, I don't know how to respond.

What just happened?

One thing I do know - I need some one on one with the One and Only. But I find myself avoiding it... as if it's going to hurt too much to go there, to let it out, to just cry.

Processing. Praying. Meet me sweet Jesus - thank you for your protection and provision in everything.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Brain Surgery

This isn't going to be a fun post. No happy cheery here. No "wow" revelations. Nope, this post hurts and I haven't even written it yet. Mom is having some health issues. And by health issues, I mean she's having issues within her brain, in the veins of her brain. It seems that a certain vein has tangled itself up inside of her head and has started causing her head to pound and her equilibrium to be off. She's been dealing with this for months, and finally after tons of testing, the MRV came back to show her diagnosis. She's at risk for an aneurism. Any sudden movements, any high blood pressure, really anything that could jerk her could cause it to start bleeding (let me also say, praise God for tests that show these things so they can be fixed!).

She's going in for surgery sometime this week. It was supposed to be today, but now the doctors are pushing it back because one doctor couldn't be there. They make it sound so dangerous, one of the "riskiest surgeries we could perform". Awesome. I don't want to hear that crap... one of the riskiest surgeries and you're performing it on my mom's brain today, tomorrow, who knows when? In the meantime my mom is in a state of wondering what's going on. And the rest of us are sitting here praying and hoping that everything will be resolved quickly.

I had a moment last night me in California, her in Seattle and I got so angry at myself for being so far away from her when she's in this situation. I'm supposed to be there, I'm supposed to take her to the doctors appointments, I'm supposed to help her, encourage her, pray for her. And I'm here. What the heck am I doing here?!?! Why now God? Why this? What is going on?!

Oy. I don't know what to say. I have no words. I'm overwhelmed. I'm tired. I'm scared. I'm just.... ouch.

I leave for Seattle in a couple of hours, who knows how long I'll be gone, who knows what happens next, besides the Lord? Oh Father please, I beg, let everything be okay. Please!

Please pray... for the doctor's hands, for a quick recovery, for strength and courage as we face this mountain. Thank you!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Never lose heart

King Solomon. The richest, wisest man of all time. A man, who in his own time, had such an abundance of silver and gold that it had the same value as dirt. The very thing that the worlds riches weigh upon were so plentiful that it actually lacked worth. And though this man had everything his eyes desired, he still felt that everything was meaningless. No matter how much he saw he was never satisifed, but left unfulfilled.

How often is that our mindset in today's world? Though we have everything we could ever need or want, we still find ourselves unsatisfied, unfulfilled. And we walk around, following the same routine, day in and day out, as if something is finally going to break and change. And we lose heart that this life, this world we live in will never change, that we'll walk through this life in a state of constant dissatisfaction.

Maybe instead of fixing everything all the time, we should be seeking something in our lives that is bigger than our problems, our fears, our discouragement, our unfulfilled hearts. Stop trying to fix and start laying those heartwrenching days, those difficult hours, those disappointing moments of life at the throne of Grace.

So, it seems that prayer might be part of the answer - setting our minds on things above and not on earthly things. Being open, honest, real with the Lord about those things that go on; allowing and inviting Him into the places of our heart that are dissatisfied, unfulfilled. And we may soon see that with Him in the center of our lives our mindsets change... suddenly the unfulfilled hearts find new refreshment in His grace and mercy.

Never lose heart that Christ has a plan for you.
Never lose heart that He is working for your good.
Never lose heart that He loves you and longs to bless you.
Never lose heart that He's there in the midst of the darkest hours of this life.
Never lose heart.

For He loves you.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Transitioning from 2010

NEW Year.

Isn't it amazing how every January 1st we get the opportunity to start a new year with a clean slate? Another year is gone and a new one has come. Man what a year 2010 was - full of challenges, change, and courage. One that I will not soon forget. Praise God for the trials. Praise God for the tests. Praise God for the mountains of difficulty that this life of mine brought this last year. There's not a moment that goes by that I don't remember His grace, His mercy, His love as the agony of life came. Praise our Faithful Father!

For the first time ever (I think) I have yet to write "new year's resolutions". I did not sit down and write a list of goals for 2011. I haven't even thought past the 1st day of 2011. And for some reason, that's totally okay with me. I don't need goals, I don't need resolutions - all I need is my sweet Jesus to walk beside me and guide my every step. Sure there are things I'd like to accomplish, like starting my own business or taking guitar lessons, but I know those things will come. Keeping our eyes on Jesus is what takes us from today into the eternal tomorrow. His plans and His will are what we should follow...

"in his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." - Proverbs

The Lord determines his steps. That is a morsel of truth that I've learned greatly this year. I'm a planner - always have been. But this year has taught me that no matter what I think I'm going to be doing, no matter what I have planned, He often has a different stance, a different direction for life. Over and over my "plans" for 2010 failed, but those failures were just what I needed to realize that it's not about me, it's not about my timeline - it's about Him, always.

So I sit here tonight looking ahead to 2011 and wonder "what's next?" And all I hear is the simple voice of the Father saying: