Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Let's be frank, singleness can take it's toll. Being the age that I am, it's waaaaay too easy to throw myself a pity party. And now that I'm living on my own, seems as though I have a bit more time to me and my tumbling mess of thoughts.

But, I assure you this will not be one of those singleness-is-awful-woe-is-me entries. Being unattached is not awful. Not in the least bit.

[And as an additional disclaimer, I dislike lingering on this subject of singleness, particularly the whole being content to wait aspect. In fact, I'm quite reluctant to even write on it. It's talked about so much...in books, magazine articles, blog posts, spoken about on the radio, etc. But like it or not, what we learn in singleness is very applicable to just about any area of our lives, no matter what stage we find ourselves in.]

So bear with me for a minute. 

I was having one of those days...er, weeks. Really frustrated and felt like at one point, throwing myself on the floor and indulging in a good tantrum. [But then my momma's voice piped up and reminded me that that wouldn't do any good...and of course, Mom is always right.] Anyways, the battle over my mind and heart was raging. I felt like an exhausted warrior. I kept repeating my little mantra "God is in control. He knows what's best." The truth provided mild relief to my aching heart. My attempts to trust didn't seem to be making things easier.  

Then I remembered my one word I had chosen for 2012. Persevere. Recalling that whatever I face as a Christian is gonna eventually take some sweat and tears, and I need to roll up my spiritual sleeves and get to work. Just thinking about it almost sent me over the edge. 

Sounds dramatic, I know. But that's where I was, and I'm ever so thankful my Father takes the good, the bad and the ugly.

Over the span of a couple of days I found myself kneeling before my Lord, pouring out my "woes" and then being completely overwhelmed by the peace and strength He gave in abundance. The Spirit kept taking me back to the basics. God is sovereign, are you going to trust in that? 

As much as my mind was ready to "yes! I choose to trust!" My heart hadn't quite caught up. There was work still to do and the wrestling continued. 

Through devotionals and scripture, and yes, even the radio He was faithfully reminding me that He has the perfect design and plan in place for the story that He is weaving. A story that that crosses time and space and involves all of creation and I graciously get to be a part of it. 

All the pieces of truth that the Lord had been feeding to me came together in one big culmination when I read a particular portion of chapter ten from One God One Message by P.D. Bramsen. It went something like this, "Notice who officiated the first marriage ceremony. It was the LORD. The Scripture says, "He brought her to the man." From the start, the Creator was directly involved in the lives of the people He had created for Himself."

He has got it all in His very capable hands. Start to finish.

It's a simple truth, and in my pride I chided myself for being so immature as to not trust my loving heavenly Father. But the whole process unearthed deeper issues that needed to be addressed. And by His grace, they are being acknowledged and taken to the cross.

So, if you find yourself single right now [or if you're not, but you're waiting on the Lord's direction with a matter], don't lose heart. But find it in your Father's hands. Accept that He indeed can truly satisfy completely.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Oh hey friend, glad you could stop by. Why don' t you come in? 

Drop your bag right there.

Sit a while.

Tea? Coffee?

No need to rush. Mi casa es su casa. 

Can't wait to fill this place up with memories of sweet times with dear ones.

Friday, August 3, 2012

*cough* *cough*...Eww excuse me! Just dusting off this here blog...it's been awhile, huh?

Summer was packed. Packed to the gills. So much has gone down and many a time I've sat here composing a fine blog piece in my mind, but somehow those imaginary drafts could never quite make it the blog screen.

Time to for a revival of sorts. I've missed my blog, and what it did for me.

I find that blogging is a good exercise for my brain, stretching those thoughts-to-paper communication muscles. Plus, I've realized that it provides a certain level of accountability in time management. When I set a goal for myself to blog at least once a week, the positive pressure opens my eyes to potential blog posts through out each day and makes me set aside time to construct them.

{I'm pretty sure I'm giving myself a pep talk right now lol}

Nothing but good can come from being a bit more sensitive to how the world moves around me and the ways the One makes it move.

So over this next week I would like to bring you up to speed on the happenings of my little life. New house, new travels, trials and triumphs galore.

Here's to a renewed resolution to keep a personal (yet online? lol) testimony of God's handiwork. Cheers!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Funny little thing happened on Wednesday.

An elderly gentleman (who is not exactly gentle...but we'll get to that) brought home a lesson God has been speaking to my heart about. 

Not a day has gone by over the past couple of months that I haven't had the prodding whispers (and sometimes  shouts) from the Spirit to "...be still, and know that I am God..." I confess, my life is too hectic. Off the charts busy. It's like I have an aversion to moderation when it comes to managing my time. And I justify every commitment and each new "yes" to the simple fact that it's something worthwhile, good and can't be passed up. When I can't go one step more, and/or tired of fighting the guilty feeling that I'm ignoring concentrated time with the Lord I take a pitiful step back. In attempt to settle my mind and quiet my spirit to just sit at His feet, I quickly find that I'm like a tightly wound top.  It's near impossible to be still.

All the while, my soul craves to be saturated with Him. Saturated by quiet, alone time that can't be satisfied by my multiple Bible studies or daily reading of His word. We're talking a solid couple of hours, or however long it takes.

And yet, I just continue to shamefully let more time to pass. Filling up the days "doing" when I should just "be." It's sad when you have to look at your calendar to schedule solitude time with the Lord...

Thus the burden to be still just increases.

So this elderly gentleman came into the office on Wednesday. He has been in a few times, and has a reputation of sharing some crazy stories, and not exactly the clean versions, so I usually keep my distance from the cranky old man. He has lived a long time and likes doing things his way. After he left, we realized that he had forgot an important document, thus I got the pleasure of calling him. While trying to explain the situation, and I admit he makes me nervous and so I began to ramble (kind of like what I'm doing in the paragraph right now! lol), he cut me off abruptly and commanded me to "stop talking." Way to be put in my place! Haha.

While at church that evening, my conversation with the cranky-old-man came to mind and realized that I had heard his abrupt "stop talking" before, but perhaps in slightly different forms. Just the way his statement got my attention in that instance over the phone, so the Spirit was using it to grab it once again...

Time for me to just be still and listen.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Miracles do happen. Every.single.day.

Do you see them? Besides the obvious big ones, do you count the ones that are small, easy-to-go-unnoticed?

It's the small ones that escape our notice most times. But when seen, they're like a perfectly timed hug from our heavenly Father. When I take in those daily reminders of His care and oversight, it often just leaves me completely in awe that all I can mutter is a feeble "God, You are so good." 

Example...my mom had a PET scan yesterday morning. PET scans can be rather uncomfortable, especially to those that have a difficult time lying down in tight spaces. Besides having an aversion to this necessary evil, my mom has been dealing with a brutal, nagging cough...one that makes in near impossible to lie down without it near choking her when it starts. 

Do you think she coughed once during that scan? Not once.

The usual wave of anxiety came over her, but she pushed through it with prayer. But absolutely no brutal coughing.  

Thank you Lord for that miracle. You are so good, so very good.

Friday, March 30, 2012

In my purse I've been carrying around a tiny rock. Not just any ordinary rock, mind you. A special rock that has unique powers. Every time my fingers run over it as I rummage for my keys, wallet or Burt's Bees lip balm it inevitably brings back a flood of memories.

Time is quickly going by, and even with my journal and pictures that chronicle my time in Haiti, many of the once vivid memories find themselves fading. And so I'm thankful for this little rock that's no bigger than quarter.

I remember very distinctly when I was given this memento. I was walking aimlessly around New Life, listening to the mixture of cries and laughter coming from the kids playing, and the soft chatter in Creole wafting from the kitchen. I stopped abruptly when I noticed a good friend bent over, intently looking at the pebble drive. "What is she doing?" I incredulously wondered. Curiosity got the best of me and I inquired what she was so focused on. "Finding heart shaped rocks," was her reply. Skeptically I asked,"have you found any?" "Here you go," she said as she placed this heart in my palm.

"No way," I thought to myself, "she actually found one among the millions of stones strewn about"...but then she found another, and another (guess there's more than I thought! lol). I slipped my heart-rock into my pocket and continued walking...in many ways, it became a symbol of my trip.

Our time in Haiti was mostly made up of rubbing shoulders with lots of different people. Whether that was at the construction sight, driving through the towns, sight-seeing, or just around New Life with the children and staff. I was so blessed to come in contact with many beautiful hearts. Many of those hearts intent on serving the King and then there were many broken hearts in pain from the effects of sin. My journal entries are constantly retelling how I chatted with so-and-so about this ministry, or that pressing need in the community, how the kids were stealing my heart, or late night worship sessions...or just enjoying a simple game of Dutch Blitz. "Spent the remainder of the day loving on the kids. Paulson, Rosena, Lovelita...and many others. Love these kids....Ate dinner with some of the group from Rhode Island. We had a beautiful time of worship in the chapel, followed by a walk through the girls dorm to say goodnight to the kiddos....It is so refreshing to be in the thick of a predominately unselfish environment. Every person here is working hard to the good of someone else....So awesome meeting new people and learning about the visions God has burdened their hearts with." I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

So many individuals came across my path. Beautiful hearts, every single one of them.

No matter where you are it's very easy to just look at the masses and not see hearts and souls. Especially in Haiti, when the needs seem so glaring. But I never want to loose the reality that each person is unique in God's eyes, special and valuable beyond description to Him. And that's what I want that tiny rock in my purse to remind me of...the lovely people I met while there, and the very individual, beautiful hearts of the people of Haiti that are in desperate need of the gospel preached, and love of Jesus exhibited.

"Give me Your eyes for just one second,
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see."
  - Brandon Heath

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dezyem Jou {Second Day}

January 15, 2012..."God is at work. In my heart, in this team, this orphanage and in Haiti. I can't thank the Lord enough for bringing me here."

That was scribbled after one of the more emotionally intense days spent in Haiti. After breakfast, we all piled in two vehicles and made our way to a local church. Along the way our senses were completely and utterly overwhelmed by the poverty. Of that ride I wrote, "Everywhere we go it's just more and more poverty. Real poverty. Nothing is clean and safe. Survival of the fittest is a rule that is etched on every one's faces." You just couldn't get over it.

Worship at Port-au-Prince Fellowship was simply beautiful. Very real and genuine. We were reminded once again that no matter where a person goes on this earth, God is still the same...and as we worshiped together it was a telling glimpse of what heaven will be like. So wonderfully overwhelming and refreshing.

After church and grabbing a bite to eat, we made our way around Port-au-Prince, getting a snapshot of city. And it's here that I'll let my journal pick up the remainder of the account..."We headed toward downtown, snaking our way long the dusty roads crammed with people, trash and makeshift buildings. My heart broke. I've never seen anything like it in person. So much despair and devastation. People lying on the streets, children running here and there, filthy with swollen bellies...and to think that this is the "normal" to them. This is how they exist. Life just keeps going on with little to no change, and there are very little signs of repair."

You just see need after need pass you by. The enormity of the situation overwhelms, leaving a burden that can quickly lean toward depression. Where do you start? How do you best meet the pressing needs? As we toured, it struck me how "American" my response was. Not a perspective I necessarily thought I would have to deal with as much. I mean, here's a girl that travels, devours missionary biographies, National Geographic and follows countless blogs written by missionaries in destitute places all over the globe. This American ideology shouldn't be so ingrained, should it? I quickly realized my blind spot. Our first world viewpoint shelters us with the thought that everyone must/wants to be like us. I had bought into it to some degree and found that as one takes in the evident plight of the people there is this sense of urgency to respond and alleviate. It seems only natural to desire the "less fortunate" to possess the things/opportunities we do, and in some ways that is still perfectly fine... but, as the week unfolded my preconceived notions (however noble they might be), were upstaged by a slightly different vision, one that indeed addresses pain and suffering, just in a non-mainstream way. One that I pray is more Christ-like and less American.