Thursday, December 31, 2009

Funny email

I get some funny ones from my stepmom or aunt, and here was a great ending for one today:

The Senility Prayer

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and te eyesight to tell the difference.

Oh, this was funny to me. Thought I'd share.

- Posted on the go...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 2009

This Christmas has taken me by storm. I've been anticipating my trip home to see family since November, and I'm sad to say that it's overshadowed what this season means. As I'm sitting on my last flight, eagerly anticipating running into the arms of my dad and Lecia (dangit, I'm tearing up now), I decided to stop and ponder this Miracle we celebrate.

My first step was to repent of putting family and what made me comfortable above Him and His immeasurable Gift to the world through His Son. Stop and let this simmer: THE SAVIOR HAS COME! The One foretold for hundreds of years by the OT prophets is now here! Immanuel, God with us! Can you imagine how those who knew must have felt? All of this time, since the beginning of Creation has been pointing to this One!

I prayed God would help me understand what this meant to them and what it means to me. GOD IS WITH US. The God Who hid Himself in the Holy of Holies, the God Who veiled Himself so that Moses might not die from His glory, is now in human form! A baby born in a manger! How amazing His plan is. How LONG He prepared the way for His coming. How long He promised Israel salvation through Him and now to all who would believe!

Forgive me, Father, for making light of this...this INCREDIBLE thing that You have done! This intricate Story that has been woven throughout Creation is the Source of HOPE. It is THE path to salvation! Through Him; it all starts with the babe in a manger.

Forgive me for minimalizing, for institutionalizing, memorizing, and reciting. Forgive me for not pausing, meditating, being transformed by this amazing plan You have authored and orchestrated since the Beginning. You are the Author and the Origin of love and Truth and all that is good.

Jesus's birth that we celebrate represents HOPE to all who believe. Father, I ask that You would make that hope clear! I ask that You would raise it up like a banner through Your Body to shine into the darkness! I ask that You would hollow us out, whittle us down, mold us until we are simple vessels for You. My life could have no greater purpose! There is no greater aspiration than to be poured out by and for You. Make it so in me, Lord, make it so.

- Posted on the go...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Prov. 3:5-6

Oh, how I love this passage. I really do. And I believe it. I believe we have a simple and direct promise hidden there...most of the time.

Most of the time I buy this. Most of the time I will bank my hopes and dreams on this. But not always. This was made painfully clear to me by a friend this week. And wow, am I thankful. And I'm embarassed. I should be.

For some reason, I have always been a keen observer of relationships between girls and guys. Even before I even had any experience to speak from, I could read the situations relatively well for my friends in order to offer valid and applicable advice. My aptitude for observation and drawing relationships of behavior (like a true science mind) bode well for my study. I learned a lot, and I think my true motive was ultimately self-preservation. In high school, it was my number one goal to not be "that girl", the girl that looked stupid for going back to the egotistical guy that had cheated on her and lied about it time and time again. Logically, I knew high school relationships weren't likely to be life-long, so why were these girls so open to giving second chances? Life's too short for that. And I couldn't believe self-respect would look like that.

Anyway, I'll spare you the long path of revised observations I've traveled since then. Maybe there'll be podcasts to come on each of those chapters. ;) There are a couple of pieces or theories that I've carried with me all this way that are now a source of strife. Those are what I want to get out here (and hopefully out of my knapsack on this journey).

One of them comes from about 10-14 years of age. I remember thinking that if I wasn't married by 26, I was a total failure. I figured I better hang up all hope at that point. The plan was to have all my kids (and I want about 5) cranked out by 32. We'll see if I even get started by then. And here recently, I've noticed myself literally experiencing toned-down versions of the stages of grief. I literally have to put that dream to rest. It has to die. Put best by my friend and spiritual mentor Rob Weideman "You have to put your dreams to death. They have to die. Only then can God make something beautiful from the ashes." (I think I paraphrased that slightly, because my memory got blurry with both of us tearing up during this the middle of a coffee shop.) About a month ago was the sadness phase, and a few weeks ago the anger phase set in. I could feel myself being hardened to romance, love, etc. I wanted Taylor Swift banned from the radio. I got nauseous during New Moon and wanted to correct the delusional Twilight characters. I think I even tried to be too realistic to my young high school friend and in turn almost dashed her hopes and dreams of every dude loving with the intensity of homeboy from the Notebook. (P.S. I have issues with that move as well.) So I've been praying for God to bring hope. I need renewal. He's the Author and Giver of all things that are good (James 1:17). I just keep praying for a good story.

Another part is that I was super-limited on how I thought this whole thing could go down. I'm still working on being more open-minded. But the most convicting part about all this came last night when I had a minor meltdown over a super-insignificant deal. And my faithful friend for years and years Casey asked me the right questions, the hard ones that left me without excuse. He pointed out the irony of my request: I want something to spring up organically with me in control and having figured out the situation the whole way through. Yeah, I know. Hilarious, right? But legit. That's what I want. I realized that the reason I spend so much time thinking and analyzing this area of my life is that it's the one I trust God the least with. BOOM. There was the gunshot. That was when my heart hit the floor. I don't trust Him. I am who Heb. 11:6 is talking about: "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him." Wow.

I claim this in every other area. It's ridiculous how hypocritical I am about this. If God told me tomorrow to pick up and truck it to Africa, I think with some prayer and affirmation, I would GO. I truly believe that. I recently had a situation that tested my faith, and God changed my heart. I'm learning to trust Him with that as well. But THIS. This life desire and scientific pursuit? It's mind-blowing how much free time I would have and how much emotion wouldn't be wasted. What a great distraction from the Enemy. He's dang good at his job.

So there. I said it. I've confessed, and I'm repenting. I will learn to claim Heb. 11:6 AND Prov. 3:5-6 in all areas regarding my heart. Thanks for "listening".

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Thank You for the Contrast

Recent weeks have been full of blah. Not that there haven't been good things happen or fun experiences, but an undercurrent of discontent washes out most of that. As an idealist and a hyper-analyst, I become burdeningly aware of how askew the world (and my life) is from God's best. Add that to a sense of mourning for my former dreams and expectations for what my life would look like at this point and it gets pretty dreary.

But tonight it clicked. Tonight and this weekend have been unexpectedly great. And I wouldn't know how great if I didn't have the contrast of the previous weeks. In our tiny little human perspectives, we require so much staging for us to see what God wants us to see. Tonight I'm thankful for the valley. It makes the peaks immensely more victorious.

I will be here as long as He has plans for His glory to be revealed through my life, and I eagerly await the day I get to leave all this for eternity with Him. But until then, I will rejoice in the Hope that does not disappoint. I will praise the One from Whom all goodness flows. For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen. (Rom. 11:36)

- Posted on the go...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Just in Time...

I know the story's going to be a bombin' one, but do all the recent chapters have to end with me sitting on my tail, feeling a little like God's looking at me, kinda chuckling? I write this almost laughing at the irony that occurred today. Nothing big, and I'm pretty sure I can't explain it in a way that will communicate the weight it had to me personally. But wow, are you kidding me?! My only response was to let out a seriously high-pitched squeal that I hope my neighbors couldn't hear...only to follow it up with audible speaking to God about the situation with slight irritation. Again, if you've been to my house, you know that presently I don't really have much barrier to keep my living room private. So if the squeal didn't alarm my neighbors, perhaps seeing me walk around muttering seemingly to myself did. ;).

All in all, it's funny. Hilarious, actually. Perfect. Ask me in a few months. I'll fill you in on the details.

- Posted on the go...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Evangelism derailed?

I was wrapping up discipleship time with Mary (our pastor's oldest daughter, a fabulous sophomore in HS) with prayer when I was interrupted by a stern knock on my door. I'm always surprised by unexpected visitors, because I rarely ever get one outside of a delivery man. I see a 19-year-old-looking guy and a dude in his early twenties, both decked out in suits but not matching. So I ruled out Mormons but not yet Jehovah's Witnesses.

I'll preface the rest of my story by saying there's no telling what I'll actually describe of this encounter. I've had so many conflicting thoughts all evening following it that it should be interesting to see what floats to the surface during this alotted timeframe. That's what I love about blogging: I plan all day what I should communicate, sit down to type, and then a whole other beast ends up on the post. So here goes...

They start by inviting me to their church, Liberty Baptist, and then ask me if I attend a church here. I explain my church is about to have their grand opening this Sunday. Their church actually used to meet at Giaudrone years ago, so we spent a few min connecting about the woes of the mobile church before they launched into a spiel I was toooo familiar with: "If you were to die right now, would you go to Heaven? Why or why not?"

Having been through multiple evangelism training sessions and whole mission trips devoted to this method, I was equipped with my answer: "Yes, because Jesus Christ died for my sins." I was met with an unexpected amount of distrust.

"Yes, but He died for everyone's sins, that doesn't mean everyone is going to Heaven." Or something along those lines. I was a bit flabbergasted at this point. Immediately I'm at the crossroads of many options: Do I start taking this kid through the Roman Road to prove I can do what he's doing right now? That's how VALID I am in my salvation? Do I start ripping off verses to prove my spiritual-ness? Do I pull out my church resume to prove that I am a true believer shown by works? It all seemed like an opportunity for a spiritual whizzing contest if you know what I mean. AND Mary, my mentee is looking on. I factor all this in quickly and respond with:

"Because I have a personal relationship with Him." Again, I must have sounded too rehearsed because the boy wasn't convinced. At this point, his lack of social graces was showing, and his whopping social blindspot was getting annoying. He continued with "Yes, but was there a specific time you asked Jesus into your heart, and you knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that you were saved?"

"Yes" was the calm response I was able to muster before I calmly wrapped things up. I was floored. I turned to Mary with a "can you BELIEVE that?" look and possibly those words. I started running through all the options I could have thrown at them like calmly mentioning doctrinal taboo such as predestination, speaking in tongues, or snake handling just to throw them off. That would be absurd, and I'm glad I chose against those responses.

But I was definitely left with so many questions. Never had I been on this end of one of those "church surveys". Isn't that the PC name for those things? As a receiver, here's what I felt:
  • Who did this dude think he was to question the validity of my salvation?
  • It's not his place to delve into the depths of my heart just because he ended up on my doorstep?
  • What exact phrases was he needing to hear to be satisfied?
  • As a fellow member in the Spirit, could he not at all sense the Spirit from me? Can't people tell a little bit of that stuff? I know people have in the past.
  • Was there not a practice run in their training session that could have curbed some of his linebacker evangelism tactic?
And the most concerning thing I was left questioning was:
Do I feel that urgency to bring people to Christ? Is the reality of Hell THAT compelling in my own life?

I don't think it's a coincidence that the sermon I heard on Sunday was one that moved me tears at multiple points because I was asked what I would give up so that my friends and neighbors would come to know Christ. Is their eternal destination a reality to me? Big questions.

I was also left with a sense of guilt for being on the giving end of this method of evangelism, for thinking I could waltz up to someone's front door, coax them into the Sinner's Prayer, keep a tally of converts feeling a sense of victory, and then go about my merry way as if I'd truly done all that was asked of me. And I hope that these kids had plans of assimilation and discipleship for those that were responsive. I pray they did. But I also know that relational evangelism is most effective.

Father, may we be ever so sharp to recognize each and every opportunity to share with others about You and the grace You've so generously afforded us. May we walk around and live out the Truth that You are a God Who changes hearts. Make us vessels, candles, jars of clay. May we be foolishly on display and open books to show the beautiful story You make out of our messes. Pour us out. Loosen our ties to this world. Embolden us with Your LOVE that we might spill over. Be made much of through us.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Titus 2

I got a piece of that picture tonight. It started with a meeting of the prayer group that met for 5 weeks prior to our services at Discovery (Nicole, Kirstin, and myself). Jon, our pastor, was to connect with us later to talk about future direction for the ministry. We only had one problem: Starbucks was closing in 10 minutes.

Conveniently, Nicole's mom and dad (Chuck and Linda) lived really close by. As soon as we could cook up the idea, Nicole was already on the phone planning the invasion. And before we knew it, we were sitting around the deck table in sweatshirts Chuck had required that we don. While discussing the plans going forward, we were blessed with intermittent morsels from Linda about prayer and about being a young woman in ministry.

Then Jon left, and I think Chuck went inside for a bit (only because I remember ending up with just us girls- I mean, women). And I just wanted to stay there...a long time. I wanted to soak every word Linda was willing to share (and then apologizing for lecturing later) of her wealth of wisdom. It was such a blessing. To have your potential and your present state affirmed by amazing women of God is way more than inspirational. It's discipleship. I've been blessed to have that at my disposal consistently from my own mother. She's always ready to remind me that God has a plan and is constantly at work on me and in me and through me for good.

Now (along with 4 of my favorite friends) I have a church full of those ladies.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Bit Odd

Yes, I am...unapologetically so. But I'm also a little frustrated at being considered in the category of a circus freak when it comes to my outlook on dating and the like. And I don't really date that often. No, despite my family's suspicion, I'm not waiting to marry Jesus. And my "requirements" are not a huge list of 85 things that they have to meet. I promise! At my age and level of understanding of the whole dating/love/compatibility topic (And seriously, people, give me some credit. I've been studying the science of compatibility in detail since my college years. I got tons of data to work with.), I've narrowed what I NEED - and yes, I feel comfortable saying need - down to 3 things.

And I don't go around thinking every man (to be a man) needs to have these three things. I'm not judging you or your husband or your brother. I'm not picking out people that I could be friends with. I'm not saying all godly men look like my 3. When I talk about my 3, I'm only referring to one person, and that's a dude I plan on linking my life with for the rest of it. Yeah, it's a big honkin' deal, so I take it pretty seriously. And in the same way, why would I waste anyone's time or emotion "trying things out" if the basics aren't there? I'm not going to start something hoping or expecting someone to change. Get serious! I'm not enough to be changing big stuff for. It's hard enough for us to keep growing and submitting and learning in our walks with Christ without beating ourselves up. None of us need other PEOPLE adding to our concern for unconditional acceptance.

In the same way, I know me. I'm a lot to deal with. I'm not putting myself down; I'm just being honest. I'm intense. And I just think it's fair to me and to a guy that he know more of this intensity before he invests anything and/or asks me to open myself up to a heart opportunity. So if you're coming to the table with "she goes to church, and I think she's pretty", please don't be surprised when I hit turtle-shell mode at opportunities to spend one-on-one time with you. I got room for friends...all day. There are tons of opportunities to hang out with me and my friends in order to get to know ALL of us better. Do that. Put in the time. Study your subject, wherever or whoever the girl is you've set your sights on. Have more specific things that you like about her if you're going to ask her to show parts of her heart to you. P.S. if you come on the scene in friend mode, you've got a way better chance of getting to know the real her. Be patient...but persistent.

I'm pretty sure (and I've been told) that I don't give off the "yeah, I'm totally approachable vibe". That's kinda on purpose (only when it comes to a dating scenario). Again, it's just statistically weak (the chance of compatibility success). So I'll admit there's a piece of defense mechanism to it. I'll say it: no, I don't want to get hurt. Who does? And yes, I've had my heart broken, and I've been wrong about love. So, booya. Yes, I said it. ;) And I believe in God's plan for my life. I believe He's bigger than my fears and my insecurities. I believe He's bigger than my snap judgments and those made about me.

But for a bit, I'd like to be normal. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to just meet new people and try things out. But I know too much about compatibility for it to be that simple for me. I'm not just dating to make new potential friends. I've got a lifetime full of guys friends, and I add to the number all the time. AND I'm thankful for them. BUT to spend repeated one-one-one time with a guy, where there's an air or an openness to future possibilities of dating, he's going to need to have the 3...or at least not exhibit lack of the 3. And then at some point I'll figure out that he's someone I think I could want to be around for the rest of my life. Hopefully by that point, I'll have done my usual (grown on him like a fungus that he couldn't get rid of), and he'll be stuck.

So you've been waiting, so here are the 3:
  1. Has to love Jesus and be willing to do his best to say "yes" to whatever He asks.
  2. Has an urgency to further the Kingdom of God (does NOT have to be a minister, but understands his baseline role as one as a believer)
  3. I can't be able to beat him up, beat him at every sport, weigh more than him, or be taller than him.
See? Not asking that much. ;)
Lord, I find comfort that You are so much bigger than all my neuroses. Father, please make this man's courage bigger as well. Give him wisdom, gentleness, and strength as he weasels his way into my heart. Don't let him be scathed by my theories or my opinions, but in Your time let him see what You see when You see my heart (potential included, because let's get serious: Prov. 31 competency is a little ways off). And please grant me wisdom and discretion about how to avoid this topic in social situations that come my way in the future. ;)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I guess it should come as no surprise that as you begin to exercise faith, bigger obstacles come. Did I say obstacles? I fully meant opportunities. ;) But we default to "obstacles" most of the time, right? Maybe it's just me. It's kinda funny think about how deeply I have bought into the deception that I have any control at all on what's to come. Have I had any up to this point? Um, no. Why would I think that's about to change?

Seriously, though, when we investigate the thought process behind most of our human worries (and especially you, Christians), don't they sound kinda silly? Has God been walking with us thus far? Has He more than graciously provided for all of our basic needs and then some? What reason would we have to think He's just going to up and stop?

Now the reality is that it might not look like we think it should - His best. But we don't know. Check out Job 39-42 where God sits Job down and starts asking HIM all the questions. What do we know? Did WE put creation into being? Do WE have a voice that calms the waves? Get serious. So in the same way, His best may look disastrous. But He promises to work good (Jer. 29:11, Rom. 8:28, Isa. 55:8-9). I feel like a broken record with those, but they keep being so honkin' applicable. So I'll keep reciting them.

AND let's give credit where credit is due. So the Enemy's big guns aren't going to be applicable for everyone. But the goal is not debauchery with Him. It's ineffectiveness. What will most quickly and efficiently handicap a vessel for the Kingdom? That's the Enemy's MO. For us overthinkers, it's doubt. Pride (thinking we have some control) and doubt, which leads to fear, which renders us useless. My challenge is for us (me, me, me) to get better at calling him out early in the process. Remind him he's not invited to this thought party. Recite Truth. After all, the Word is our only offensive weapon AND it's what Jesus did when HE was tempted. And lastly, pray, giving it over to God as often as necessary while listening and looking for His response. We can expect that. We just have to remember His timetable doesn't look like ours. ;)

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Everybody's got 'em. Some have more than others. I have too many. I see so much freedom in the simple-minded outlooks of others. I've asked God many times why it can't be mine. I'm left with the conclusion that all my analysis must have a purpose for the Kingdom. Like a gift or weapon, it must be wielded well or it's a waste or even worse, a danger.

So many opinions rise to the surface of my mind quickly: (laugh if you want)
  • about Jon and Kate Gosselin and their marriage
  • about Ahmadinejad being a crook and a joke as a leader and how in the nation he continues to be allowed to lead
  • about teenagers in our country and the lack of parenting
  • about the government's role in healthcare
However, one thing I've noticed is that I am so limited to my human perspective. And limited it is. I need Truth. I need a constant infusion of Truth to interrupt and address my human-sized thought processes. So I'll keep these opinions to myself for now. I need to spend time on some Truth before I'm equipped to speak. THAT's where freedom is. (John 8:32).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Our highlights from Tijuana, Mexico

The testimonies about what God did on our trip

Thursday, July 02, 2009

He's so much Greater

I already knew that, but man, He dropped off a load of blessing on my trip to Mexico. You never know exactly how and where He's going to work. You just know that He is, and you try to get your "yes" ready for when the missions are doled out. It's almost funny to read back through my blogpost prior to the trip. It was interesting to talk with another of the girl leaders who had a day pre-trip that looked a lot like mine in terms of doubting, considering backing out, and just overall feeling discouraged about what the trip had in store for her.

There was not a single time on the trip where I needed my space. There WAS one afternoon/evening where I had the second worst migraine of my life (and wanted to die) where I wanted everyone to go away for quiet and darkness. But that's an extenuating circumstance. AND my team and the missionaries down there were so gracious to pray over me, give me compassion, and nurse me back to health. But in terms of social space, I was never craving that. I enjoyed being around the whole team the whole time. In fact, as soon as I got back to my empty house on Saturday evening, I was sad. It was fun living in a compound, seeing the same happy faces with a similar purpose on a daily basis.

I was incredibly encouraged on this trip. I had multiple people speak specific words of edification into my life on this trip. I was affirmed in certain giftings (that I'm encouraged and feel compelled to develop). I was able to be just a clear and empty vessel for whatever the Holy Spirit wanted to do through me. It was so liberating.

That's most of what I love about missions. You have no distractions. You are entering a new place, with new people, with only one objective: obedience to whatever God puts in front of you. You won't be able to plan perfectly for it. Flexibility is the name of the game. But there's nothing like it. Things I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed being a part of:

  • Specific and directed intercessory prayer for others. It's such a privilege to lift up another before the throne of God and be a conduit for that person to experience Him. And also, what a privilege to go to battle with and for another soul. THAT's what it's about. I love getting to see God be God.
  • singing for Jesus. My voice was totally different on this trip. I felt it the first day when we worshipped before we left Washington. I felt freed to lift up my voice in praise to Him. It was different. I sounded different.
  • Encouraging others. I loved getting to speak Truth and compliments into those around me either in Mexico or on my team. I was there with some stellar youth from Washington, Cali, and Montana. They all have beautiful hearts and are extremely gifted. Not to mention they were a BLAST to be around.
  • Being doctrinally challenged. I got to know an amazing pastor who really took to challenging me in my faith. He shared my passion for the preservation of the Truth of Scripture. He does not take his job of handling the Word of God lightly. I so respect that. He wielded it well, and was very encouraging to me in his teaching of it.
I feel like I have lots to learn and process from this trip. I see a threshold or a crossroads in my near future. I'm just trying to remain on the altar. (Rom. 12:1) It's hard to be a living sacrifice. You DO want to keep crawling away. And honestly, the Enemy didn't waste any time shooting fiery arrows at me. He immediately hit me in my weak spot the day I returned. But the One my heart loves is faithful. He continues to fight for me. He's given me amazing people to fight with and for me as well. This isn't the end of my Mexico lessons...just a quick overview.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm not going to pretend to have a cute little title that prefaces or allows some clever insight into what this blogpost will include. Honestly, I don't know what's coming. I'm a bag blogger. I haven't invested emotional output in this guy for over a month!

And a lot has happened. I've learned a lot. A more accurate description would be to say that God has revealed Himself in many ways. He's amazingly faithful like that. He's so pursuant. I don't understand it. What's new.

And tomorrow I leave for Mexico for 10 days to help lead a team of youth in doing VBS for kids in Tiajuana. I'm still not 100% on that spelling. And so many things intimidate me about it:
  • There's so much unknown and that can't be planned for. I'm a bit of an overthinker when it comes to things coming down the pike because I don't "roll with the punches" super-well. And I don't like scars or regrets. So I figure if I can foresee all the problems pre-emptively, then I can forego them. ;) You can see how well that schema works out for me.

  • I'm real. Way too real. I'm one of those expressive folks whose faults are really obvious early on. I'm impatient, opinionated, mouthy, and even a complainer sometimes. (I know, I hate that about myself too.) It's only a matter of time before these kids knock me right off whatever pedestal they may have fashioned for me in their minds before this trip.

  • I'm needy when it comes to my social support system. Said differently: I live in community and enjoy sharing my life pretty significantly with those around me. I check in pretty frequently with various folks in my life sharing my heart and thoughts and asking them to weigh in and offer advice about such things. I call my mom pretty much every day even if just for a minute to share my latest neurotic observation or analysis. This will be 10 days around folks I don't know that well. And I won't be able to call up or text or email the folks I depend on for affirmation.

  • I spend a lot of time by myself. Not an option on this trip. It's literally not safe. We're in Tiajuana, folks. My family can tell you what I'm like when I'm forced into small spaces with the same people for an extended period of time. Refer back to the second bullet point and draw your own conclusions.
BUT, the good news is:
  • I look forward to the opportunity to learn flexibility. I'm pumped to see how God will be amazingly bigger than my plans and calculations.
  • God loves me. And accepts me. And is able to use me despite my mess. Plus, He uses the weak to shame the strong and the foolish to shame the wise. I meet all the criteria!
  • I look forward to the fellowship between God and me. I think too often I don't allow time or place for this. It's sad but true.
  • I'm pumped about being trained in loving people better. I think one of the reasons I still have some edges to my personality is that I'm not around people in close enough community to have them sanded off. What a great opportunity for that.
So God will use this to prosper me (Jer. 29:11, Rom. 8:28, Phil. 1:6). It will happen. I'm excited for the opportunity.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wow, it's been forever...since I blogged. I'm kinda scared to do it now. I'm always nervous about what emotional place I should be in before I let loose on here. What's ironic is that when I'm in a great place with everything is when I don't take the time to jot it down on here. Oh well. The blog will have to take what it can get.

I'm learning a lot of things. And they're not super-comfortable. I don't like lessons that involve my pride getting pricked. Most of the big lessons usually do. My most recent one involves the realization (which is not necessarily new, just manifested through real circumstances) that two things about me will always make it hard for me to develop and sustain deep relationships: 1. pride and 2. insecurity. They're hard workers and together they build nice big walls of fear and doubt with perfect footholds for Satan to climb on. That's junky. I don't accept this.

God wants more for me. He loves me perfectly, and I don't understand that. And I don't do a great job of receiving that...and certainly not abiding in that. 2 Tim. 1:7 says I wasn't built for fear. And I forget where, but the Word says that perfect love casts out fear.

He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion (Phil. 1:6). I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). He loved me first (while I was still in my sin), and I am altogether complete in Him. What can man do to me?

Equip us to love, Father. Remind us first always that you love us with a perfect and complete love. Our hope is safe in YOU alone. I'm so thankful for the promises of His Word.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Adulthood...rated PG?

I wish. I wish I could just summon parental guidance when I needed it. And I practically can. My parents (all 4 of them) are great about giving advice and helping out anytime I need it...and even when I don't realize I need it. And I'm so blessed to have had them all these years to feed me, clothe me, house me, support me, and encourage me.

But today was different. Today I received the keys to my first house...that is mine...that I now own...that I will be paying for over the next 30 years. Geesh. And that was my reaction.

After Shu left, I just walked around the empty rooms...trying to slow my heartbeat. Trying to not breathe quickly. Trying not to cry. And I did good. (Yes, I intentionally chose my usual Tennessee terminology). I didn't cry. But I did go straight over to my friend Alyson's house to interrupt her and Paul's dinner. You can't say enough about the importance of community and quality friends. They were perfect. They talked me down. They even walked over with me and went back through the place, giving me ideas about furniture placement. They really liked it. I feel so much better now.

All in all, I'm going to be okay. I did a quick prayer-walk before I left the first time. I expect God to do so many things in and through that place. And I know that He'll be with me there. He's still and always will be my Shepherd. I'm excited to start this journey.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Our Puddles

In true Washingtonian fashion (I consider myself one now), I took advantage of the sunshine regardless of the 42 degree temp outside and went for a jog/walk out on Ruston Way. It was perfect and the kind of day that makes me LOVE this state and LOVE my town. The scenery's hard to beat. I was down on the end past all the business after making the loop, and I noticed a bird flapping/splashing around across the street. It looked like a suzy, but I'm not placing bets. (Sorry, Dad, I know you woulda been proud if I could call a duck when I saw one.) Yes, he was on the hill side of Ruston (across the road from the water) in a big puddle, just hanging out. The puddle was pretty big - maybe 20 yards at its widest point and no more than a foot deep at any point. But it was brown, and pretty muddy. And an inlet of the Puget Sound was just across the road!

I couldn't help but immediately think of us (mankind) and God. We work so hard to get our "puddles" to fit, to be enough, to make us happy. We get everything in our lives catered to what we think we can "control" and call it good. God has infinitely more, and it's usually not even that far away. Now, it has its costs. Sitting in the Sound, you're gonna get thrown around a bit from the wakes of the ships. The water's gonna rise and fall. But there's so much opportunity. I can pretty much bet there isn't much food, fellowship, or provision for that little bird in the puddle. The Sound, on the other hand...tons more birds, infinite food supply, and ridiculous scenery.

God, I want the Sound. Never let me be content in my puddles. Remind me that contentment rests only in hoping in You. It's not here. It's not even in the Sound. It's in You. Forgive me for my facade of control.

"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." -Phil. 4:19

"But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." - Matt. 6:33

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wow, so much stuff...

It's been a big week. So many things have occurred. It's kinda thrown my thinker's brain for a loop. I haven't really had time to sit and overanalyze before being bombarded with the next task or event. I don't know what I think about that. So many many bigger ones.

I've seen answered prayers, disappointments, pleasant surprises, scary opportunities, and new-ness...all since Sunday. Geesh, what a week.

Most of it ends well. A few things I'm still confounded by. Maybe more of this will be hashed out at a future date. I'm learning things about myself. I haven't decided whether to share them with you yet.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Where's the Line?

So I'm an idealist. And I know this. And it can fuel so much energy for positive change. Just in general, I believe that idealism IS necessary as fuel for positive change. Recently my idealism has fueled me to take on a representative-type role at my work. Our patient care system (a computer program) is far from ideal. And we, as pharmacists, are very familiar with many of its short-comings. Since different pharmacists work in different areas, we all get different perspectives and notice wierd little caveats. So I wanted us to pool what each pharmacists understands about the system and share those insights with everyone else.

One of our managers totally took me up on this and assigned me and another coworker with this task of compiling tips and disbursing them weekly in staff developments. And I think it's going relatively well. The problem is when I'm reminded of the broken parts of the process because of meds not getting to patients. Sometimes it's the computer system setting us up for failure. Other times it's apathy on someone's part along the way. Sometimes I get frustrated about things that have nothing to do with the computer system but are still making my job unnecessarily more complicated, such as insurance companies and outpatient facilities who won't accept the patients we're trying to discharge.

Oh, a broken world. Sigh. It's crazy when I think about the original plan. If Eve hadn't eaten the fruit, I wouldn't have a job. There would be no sickness. There'd be no need for healthcare, insurance, or my career. But we're way past that.

So I've yet to master the discipline of having peace in the midst of being unsatisfied with the way things are. Contentment doesn't look like apathy. It's not the same. Do I learn to separate my emotions from my idealism? Then how would I maintain the passion that IS the fuel for working for change? But there's got to be a better way to control the frustration that comes from an imperfect world.

I want Psalm 112:6-7 to be characteristic of me at some point in life:

For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Blinded by Happy

It seems like I often fall into a cycle of learning a cool new Truth about God and His love or having a heart-changing encounter with Him, and then in my effort to "abide" I find myself sitting on the sidelines, totally missing the game. I get in a happy (pseudo-contented) place, and for some reason stop pursuing. I think it's a maturity thing that I don't have yet. My mistake is trying to abide in that experience instead of IN HIM always and only. My contentment or happy emotion is a sad and gross substitute for being in constant fellowship with Him.

It's funny how no matter what you think you've known or where you've been, I always feel new at this. I feel like a kid walking with Him. And I get a strong sense that right now it's where He wants me. Now if I can just keep holding His hand and walking (Micah 6:8) instead of running off the trail to chase a distraction or sitting and trying to stay where I am.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I find it interesting...

that people are praising Obama for shutting down Guantanamo, because he's the same man who said the first thing he'd do in office was sign the Freedom of Choice Act legaling any and all types of abortion. Hmm. Is that not torture? Of the worst kind? To an innocent life?

Don't get me wrong. I'm fine with Gitmo gettin' gone. I just think he's contradictory in his stances on the true value of human life. Who gets to decide that value? Do we? Why? Who said? I guess it could be spun multiple directions. I just wish people would think a little bit more, read a little more, and try to understand what's real. Myself included. I could certainly spend more time scavenging for sources of unbiased information. This just came to mind in reading a friend's status. That's it.

I'll end with this...and I've said it before (and fallen victim to its truth many times): Misplaced hope is a sure source of disappointment. I hope for change just like anyone else. But I already have a Savior. And he's not of this world. And THAT'S the only safe place for my hope.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Yep, I said it...

I'm going to boldly travel into uncharted territory. Perhaps to a place where no person in my position has gone before...well, except for that Joshua Harris kid that we kinda laughed at for a bit. I'm going to address the topic of the young single a young single Christian. I know, questionable you say. Please, spare me the cliche's. I know, I know: God's got something great for me, you just know it! And let me guess: God's timing is perfect, and it just isn't His timing yet. Grrrrreat! It's still not always the land of contentment over here, and it's easy as the single person to tie some of that to singleness. But that's not even what I wanted to blog about.

So here goes the real issue on my heart: we as Christian singles need more faith. We need faith that God loves us, that He does have a plan for us, and that His will IS for our good (Rom. 8:28) and better than we could ask for (Eph. 3:20). But please, if you're married, do NOT take it upon yourself to speak these Truths to us. We're like tarp and your words are like rain. It just rolls right off us. And not because it's not true, but just because we don't believe you can relate to how we really feel at all. And I'm sorry your pure intentions aren't rewarded with our response. It's just life.

But the reason I bring this up is because I'm kinda tired of the pressure. You know, that silent, underlying pressure in any social situation where a group of young Christian singles are gathered. Will any of these people hit it off? Do I see/feel compatibility in this situation? I dream of a time when Christian singles (myself included!) can meet a Christian single of the opposite gender without immediately sizing them up as dating potential. I don't even know if it's a conscious process for some. But let's be honest, it totally happens. I wish we could all just truly hang out and be friends purely, experiencing legit and natural friendship processes. Instead, we're making mental pros and con lists and seeing if their name sounds good with ours. Don't lie; it happens.

I'm not calling anyone out as much as I'm preaching to my own heart. I guess as a facilitator of this type of group at Discovery, I wonder what my role is in working toward this ideal. Isn't it a burden sometimes? Being an idealist? I'm not even sure where to start in this one.