Friday, December 31, 2010
-to EXPERIENCE God's grace and faithfulness
-to LOVE others well
-to make new FRIENDS
-to LEARN.....and the list goes on!
I don't remember ever being so excited to enter another year. This will be a huge year of transition, change, and trust as I transfer to a different school this semester. I believe this move was totally ordained by God as I watched Him open doors and move mountains. While this year will be met with the unknown and challenges that will require the strength and grace of the Lord, I am praising Him with anticipation for the things He has yet to do this year. He was faithful and good in 2010, and our unchanging God will do the same in 2011. 365 more days of praising God, relying on His grace, and seeking His face. What will 2011 mean to you?
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows."
My cup overflows. I have written this post in my head multiple times today and could never quite find the words until I remembered this phrase from Psalm 23. My cup overflows. This sums me up right now. This sums up life with Christ always, yet so often I fail to see the overflow of His grace due to my selfish heart. The past month, though, has given me the chance to take the blinders from my eyes and seen the abundance of Christ in a new way. I have seen God's hand so clearly in my life, seen His power, seen His beautiful grace. With abundance, my cup overflows.
Today I sat down and updated the last year of all the poetry I have written into my poetry scrapbook. I dug through old journals, finding those words that blend together as the Lord gives them to me in those sweet times of prayer or fellowship. I found myself completely overwhelmed by God's faithfulness and His grace. I have been given second chances that were not deserved, salvation despite my sin. And I just wanted to go and tell anyone who would listen! I don't want people to go another day without knowing Him and His goodness. I have been reminded this past month of my tendency to limit my definition of God's faithfulness. So many times, when life goes MY way, I respond with, "God is so faithful!" And He IS! But part of our Christian walk is learning to say, "God is so faithful!" in the midst of a painful storm. As I read through years of poetry inspired by the Spirit, I saw myself write through trials and triumphs and every single time God proved Himself faithful. This month has been full of awe-inspiring answers to prayer, learning to trust God and people with the unknown, and seeing God's faithful hand over my past, present, and future. My cup overflows.
Today, seek His face with me. Be reminded of His faithfulness. May we be drawn even more in love with our Savior, and even more in awe of His abundant grace.
"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep his commandments."
My cup overflows.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Starting the day with chocolate chip pancakes :)
While listening to the afore-mentioned Andrew Peterson and pondering the wonder of this day...
We opened one present- new sleds! And plenty of snow to use them with!
And...ridiculous pictures at the theater where we saw the fabulous Chronicles of Narnia movie!
Not forgetting the reason for this day...
"For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government shall be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:5-6
Praise our God for this incredible gift of love!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Thought I'd share one of my favorites with you: Go down to the right and pause the music player!!
Gather round, ye children come
Listen to the old, old story
Of the power of death undone
By an infant born of glory,
Son of God, Son of Man
Gather round remember now
How creation held its breath
How it let out a sigh and filled
Up the sky with the angels
Son of God, son of man
So sing out with joy for the brave little boy
Who was God and He made himself nothing
Well he gave up his pride and he came here to die like a man
Therefore god exalted him
To the place of highest praises
And He gave Him a name above every name
That the very name of Jesus
Son of God, Son of Man
So in heaven and earth and below every knee would bow in worship every tongue would proclaim Jesus He reigns with the angels
Jesus came here to this earth for US, His children. So amazing!
While home from college, I've done some rearranging and organizing in my bedroom. Tonight I was going through my keepsake boxes and I found these words written on it. That label on the box took me back nearly 5 years ago when I was in 6-7th grade. I was praying from the depths of my young heart for a little sister. We would name her Emma, my mom's next favorite girl name. She would be adopted from Guatemala, China, Ethiopia, I really didn't care. But with childlike faith I called out to God for this little girl who was out there somewhere waiting for her big sister to fly on a plane and come get her. The only problem is, the Lord's plan and mine didn't quite match up.
And so, 5 years later, this box sits in the top shelf on my closet, still etched with the name "Emma's clothes." Some of the clothes have been taken out, but there are still some there. The handmade blankets I made for dolls (or my baby sister) are still neatly folded in that box. Any other time, I would have pulled down that box, peered inside, and felt heartbroken. But tonight was different. I realize now, after all these years of waiting, that the Lord did answer my prayers. He said no. He saw my aching heart, longing to pour out my love on a little child. 5 years later, I can open that box with complete joy and peace, knowing that "Emma" was just another piece that God used to draw me closer to Himself and to the orphan. He used the disappointment of never having a sister to make me fall in love with Him, for He sustained me and filled the empty hole in my heart until one day, Lord willing, I will fill that hole with the love of my own daughter who will come from one of those countries. And maybe I will name her Emma.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Anyway, she texted just to say Merry Christmas and that she was praying Psalm 91 for me everyday. I was having a very rough day and was seeking the Lord asking Him to guard me from the enemy's lies that night. I immediately went to read what this psalm had to say and it was BEAUTIFUL. My soul was refreshed, and I have it hanging right by my mirror so I can look at it every morning as I get ready.
I'm praying it brings encouragement to someone else's soul as well.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
Surely He will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the dakness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
you will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, "The Lord is my refuge, and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra, you will ttrample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."
Amen. Amen. Amen. We rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Love this scripture, and I love you, Jesus!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The first thing I learned is that my artistic skills (or lack thereof) are incredibly frustrating haha.
The second thing I learned is that it's nearly impossible to put such an incredible thing such as the salvation into a picture.
Thankfully, words were able to flow better than a picture, so a poem is what developed instead. God really gave me a clear vision of my walk with Him as I wrote, and it was really neat to be reminded of where I've been, and His faithfulness to me. So here it is!
Monday, December 6, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
This is the most powerful video I have seen in a very long time. Please watch it.
Again and again my heart grieves for the needy. For the orphan. And while I do some things, i'm not living radically. I have depraved indifference. I don't have reckless faith.
"We must go, live to feed the hungry, stand beside the broken, we must go.
Stepping forward, keep us from just singing, move us into action. We must go."
Connecting with other humans, family and friends, other forgiven sinners, brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Today, however, I find it amazing that I can find "fellowship" in so many ways but never even see a person.
How our world has transformed our social lives.
I will even venture to say that we are lonelier because of it. Hurting hearts are crying out to be heard, and instead, they are sucked into a virtual world of friends. Not that these things can't be good. Reading blogs has been a huge way that God has grown my passion for orphans, and drawn me closer to him. I have LOVED getting to meet all of you as well (so keep commenting)! :) Emails keep me connected to people. Texting is wonderful for keeping up with friends and family.
But in the onslaught of technological social outlets, I feel like we have lost sight of the fellowship God intended us to have. Listening to eachother talk about life. Real life stuff. Laughing and rejoicing together. Crying together. Praying for eachother. Digging into the word together. Growing closer to God together and falling more in love with Him in the process.
I'm craving a good ole' conversation over a cup of hot cocoa (since I don't drink coffee!) :)
Yes i would probably cry. But there'd be lots to laugh about too. Lots to praise God about. Lots of things to ponder, pray, and brainstorm about. God put us on this earth because it was not good for man to be alone. So why are we turning to our computers to fill this need for friendship and fellowship?
Perhaps it is because we have lost trust in people. We live in a fallen world and so disappointment and hurt are bound to happen. Perhaps we know we will be faced with dissapointment and so we don't even try. Or maybe we're scared to love in case we get hurt. Our heavenly home is the place that we will find perfect fellowship. We will never lose trust in people, never be hurt, never be talked to behind our backs. We will never be lonely, never be searching for fellow believers in which to call "friend." We will be living life together in perfect unison, all for the same purpose of glorifying the Father! Imagine how many people we will meet?! Day after day there will be someone new, a new story to hear. I get so excited thinking about that.
For today, though, we have been called to this earth. A sinful earth, yes. A place where fellowship will be made up of sinners who are guarenteed to mess up along the way. But today, I am praying that God would enable me to be an instigator of Christian fellowship here where I'm at. To rejoice, cry, pray, learn, and grow with others that we may reflect the Church, the body of Christ well.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
And along the way, they saw God's hand work in amazing ways. Small? Sometimes. But amazing nonetheless. They learned lessons, cried tears, and rejoiced in the victories of those who they helped.
Reading her story was a breath of fresh air, and encouragement to see the life of someone who didn't change the world but changed the world of one child/person at a time. As I was reading I thought to myself how I hope one day I'll have a book like this. Little lessons along the journey of serving the least of these- the most precious in the eyes of the Father.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
My mind is going so fast and I'm remembering my post not that long ago about being still...need to remember that.
So because of my many jumbled thoughts, this will be a very random post. Because as of now this post has become a place to put them all so I can sleep and wake up and watch the wonderful Macy's day parade tommorow with my Daddy (and the rest of the family, of course, but it's always kind of been our tradition to watch it together even after everyone else gets bored!) AND eat way too much food.
I guess I'll start out with a funny story. I went to this Cardio Kick class at our gym today. I love going to work out when I'm home, especially going to different classes. I don't have alot of time for that at school. Anyways, I'd never been to that class before and well...I didn't know what I was getting myself into! By the end of the class we were wearing those big red mitts and practicing kicks and punches on eachother! Um, excuse me, but I don't kick and punch people. Even for pretend. Or even for excercise. I can find other ways to burn calories. But it was an experience, and now I can say I know how to properly kickbox. Just in case I ever decide I need to exert some energy.
God is doing some pretty big things in people's lives.
I read this post this morning on the Blocks' blog. They announced today that they're moving with 6 of their kids down to Guatemala to work with an organization that provides holistic care to the orphans of Guatemala. They currently have 3 schools and orphanages. I have read this family's blog for over a year now and am inspired, challenged, and encouraged by everyone. Amy asks questions all the time about how to live radically, her posts often resemble the thoughts of my heart. Her family has taken steps to live a life of reckless faith, resulting in 5 adoptions, numerous fundraisers for other adoptions, sacrifices, and now a move to Guatemala. They are really an inspiration to me and an example of how I would like to live my life. And, I'm not gonna lie, I would love to move down there with them lol.
This verse has been running through my mind today...
"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5
A verse we all memorized as little kids. I know I still think of the tune that goes with it. But I think as we grow older, those scriptures we memorized as children begin to take root. It's more than a verse to me now. It's peace, comfort, hope, and encouragement. The Word is so sweet. I'm so thankful for that gift God has given us.
I feel overwhelmed as we go into Thanksgiving tommorow. I am so blessed. I keep telling my family, "I'm so glad I'm home. I'm so glad I get to be with you." Because I am. I am truly so grateful to have this time with them. Being away from home makes me appreciate the simple yet most precious blessings of life so much more.
Sorry for the random post. I respect you if you made it all the way through! :-)
I pray that each and every one of you has a blessed Thanksgiving tommorow. Stop and ponder all that He has done for us- we have a marvelous Savior.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I CAN'T DO IT! And this is really an issue when Christmas is so close.
I wrote this poem today for my parents and was going to save it for Christmas but I can't! So i figured it'd be a little surprise if it came from my blog? Just tell me yes so I feel justified in revealing this early. And now I get to come up with another Christmas idea for them! :)
Anyways! That was just the introduction to the real post :)
(photography by Becky Anderson)
God has brought me on quite a journey in multiple areas of my life the past 4 months. One of them, though, has been bringing my heart to a place of true and genuine gratitude for my family. I have never ever been so thankful and dependent on my family as I have been recently. Without God and my parents, I wouldn't be doing life. The encouraging phone calls with them are often God's gift to keep my head up.
I have also never missed my family so much as i do now (which makes sense considering I've never lived away from home). And while this ache to be with my family hurts, it has been beautiful in growing in me a greater love and appreciation for them.
So today, as i ponder Thanksgiving, and the incredible blessings that God has gifted me with, my family is at the top of the list this year right next to God's faithfulness. Because He has been faithful to me. Oh so faithful. And one of the results of His faithfulness is allowing me to be born in the family that I'm in. I'm so thankful.
Dad, Mom, Noah, and Caleb- I love you guys!! See you in 52 hours :)
Never appreciated that goodnight kiss
So many things I didn't expect to miss.
Yet now that I'm gone I see just how blessed
I was to grow up in our safe, loving nest.
You gave me everything I could ever need.
Always so careful to guide and to teach
Now I have a safe place on a hard or bad day
To call and to cry and know I can reach
The familiar voice of my mom or my dad
My brother's funny antics that make me feel not so sad
This incredible gift of my family
Was one I've always had but just didn't see
Because sometimes you have to move away from it all
To appreciat the ones always there when you call.
Friday, November 19, 2010
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in all the earth.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress."
I don't really have any profound thoughts or remarks (not that anything i say fits that category anyways haha), but i feel that these words speak for themselves. The Lord has just been impressing them on my heart. I was journaling yesterday and asking God how I could hear His voice. I've been trying so hard to read the word, seek wisdom, and in that moment I did hear His answer through the Word. Be still, daughter. And that's what I did. I just sat. Answers didn't fall from the sky, revelations didn't occur to me, but I just sat and basked in the presence and peace of the Lord.
Be still and know that I am God.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I feel like learning and gaining knowledge is the first step in anything. Before you create a solution to a problem you first must learn about the problem and how best to solve it. So...this was my effort to learn a little bit more.
The documentary is available on Netflix, if you have access to that. Otherwise, I think you can access it on the internet. It is time well-spent, you'll learn a little more, and who doesn't love seeing hundres of chubby China baby cheeks? :)
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Today I taught my first piano lesson.
I had agreed to teaching at the beginning of the year when I first visited the after-school program at the local community center here. Someone had donated 2 mini pianos and they needed a teacher. God tapped me on the shoulder and I said yes.
It took awhile to get things running, but the director and I finally were able to work out a day and time, and she picked out a particular child from the program. I was envisioning the sweet little 5 year old girl who can't stop smiling. Or the little Hispanic girl who I can barely keep from hugging. Or the darling African-American boy with the chubby cheeks and beautiful skin. But God had other plans.
He had picked an older boy for me, a 5th grader. A boy who comes from a rough family, a boy who has anger built up from all these years. The boy who yells at all of us everytime we play a game. The boy who has us all wondering how to handle him. This is the boy God had for me.
And so I went in today with my Walmart bag full of books, unsure of what to expect but knowing God had something good planned. And GOOD it was! The 30 minutes with this boy absolutely flew by. He tackled each note that I gave him, and insisted on trying it over and over again until he had it perfect. He was SO proud of himself. At the end of every step, I would praise him and he SMILED. SO BIG. It made my heart absolutely leap.
I can't wait for next Tuesday now. We're going to learn even more notes, and I trust that God will use his fingers on the piano to lead His people in worship someday.
Glory be to God.
I remember flying home from Guatemala this past summer with my dad just trying to debrief everything that God had shown me. Alot of my visions for the future and opinions i'd once supported strongly were being swayed and it was alot to take in. We were talking about the kids at Eagle's Nest, and how while we were there, 5 different missions groups came in. 5. In one week. That was like 100 different people coming into these kids lives. And 100 people leaving these kids lives on the same day. They all came in, hugged them, kissed them, told them how much they were loved. But then they left.
I watched Claudia attach to different people everyday. I wasn't her favorite anymore and it broke my heart. This was by far the most painful part of the trip, but it was also the most influential. I realized that while each and every one of those people (including my dad and I) were there out of the desire of our hearts to love the orphans and show Christ's love to the people of Guatemala, damage was being done to the hearts of these precious kids. They were being taught to attach and then pull away everyday, and that's just not healthy. They identify themselves with one "community" and then when they're gone they find another one.
Now- I am NOT saying that short-term mission trips are bad. Not at all. God uses mission trips to grow in our hearts a passion for His people, and Lord-willing this will manifest itself into lifelong service, not just a week. Will I still go on a short-term mission trip? Yes. Even back to Eagle's Nest? Yes. I am not advocating the Church to completely eradicate short-term missions. They're a pivotal part of furthering the Kingdom.
However, I think that this post just reminded me of the need for us to evaluate our mindset in missions. It is WAY more fun to go travel to a country and hold babies. Trust me, my arms ache to go back. BUT, when we think of these kids...would it be better to put the money towards another native nanny that could become a "mommy" to the orphans instead of us Americans coming in for a week and playing that role?
My dad and I were still discussing this on the airplane back home from Guatemala. Finally, I said, "We don't need people on mission trips. We need people to come in and adopt these children and give them forever families!" This would completely take care of the attachment issues with mission trips- there wouldn't be children to go get attached to because they'd be living right in your own town! Granted, there are some countries that don't allow adoption. But if the Church would join together and make it our goal to adopt these children then we wouldn't have orphans to visit after all. We could support eachother in our adoptions and the care of these children.
Sighh...i'll get off my soapbox now! Aren't you glad I have Spanish class in 10 minutes?! :) But...this is definitely something to ponder. And I'm excited to read the book mentioned in the post (When Helping Hurts: How to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor and yourself)
Friday, November 12, 2010
As I drove back to school last weekend I listened to a Beth Moore sermon (love her!) on Hebrews 10:35. It says:
"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you recieve what He has promised."
She talked about how as soon as we lose confidence, be it the power of God, who we are in Christ, the hope that we have, we are essentially making room for the enemy. And as soon as we start losing confidence, this is a response to a lack of trust.
So as I drove I had been praying that the Lord would help me to trust Him for a revival. And that if a revival on my campus isn't in His will that He would show me how to live in a way that is radical and shows the light of Christ.
Since then, I have read the rest of Hebrews 10. The last verses talk about Christ's coming, and how there will be the faithful few who will be saved. The earlier portion of Hebrews 10 talks about the persecution the Christians experienced because of their faith.
I've been reading Radical by David Platt and have been very challenged so far. He really makes you ponder the American church, and how we are living our lives of complacency.
There's so much to think, question, and wonder when it comes to living the Christian life. Today i can't seem to express it all in a blog post. Maybe I should change the title from Confidence to confusion haha.
But nevertheless will I end this jumble of thoughts with confidence, trusting that God will manifest His Spirit among us. And that He will show us how we are to live in light of His glorious grace and mercy as we demonstrate His love to others.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I have been enjoying the last few moments of fall. The warm sun on the crisp day, the gorgeous leaves all point to His glorious splendor.
P.S.- I am having MAJOR photo uploading issues. So frustrating! But if you click on "view all images" it should take you to the album of photos.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
For the past year and a half I have battled some sort of low blood sugar condition. It is not a constant struggle but it is a daily part of my life. Some days I don't even notice it, other days I lean on God to carry me through and give me the energy to press on!
Early on I didn't respond very well to this trial. I still don't respond very well alot, just ask my family. BUT, I have learned alot this past year and have discovered if I combat it with Scripture the Lord will bless it. And so, I have meditated and pondered 2 Corinthians 12:9 and repeat it to myself constantly when my body reminds me of its brokenness. On an off-day my body feels very weak, but the these precious words state that in my weakness God will give me power!
"But he said to me, 'my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so Christ's power may rest on me."
2 Corinthians 12:9
Paul speaks in His scriptures about the "thorn in his side." He suffered from some ailment, though it's not exactly clear what it was. Regardless, you see in his letters that he accepted it as a thorn that God had placed there. I'm sure he prayed that God would release him from it, but he also realized that it was an instrument God was using to grow him and bring him closer to Christ.
As I look back over the past year I see that much of the change in me has been through this thorn in my side. I am learning an utter reliance on Christ, a surrender to His will, a reminder of the fallen world we live in, and an appreciation for the utter grace and mercy He gives so we can make it through each day.
So while it would make this day much easier to have a body that runs perfectly, that is not what God has for me today, and by His grace and the Word I have decided to say that this is His day and there is joy in that. I am here to glorify the One who made me, and Lord willing through my weakness, He will be made known and His power will rest on me.
Whether the thorn in your side today is a health problem like mine, a broken family, or a draining job may you find power in these words of truth as you let the Spirit rest upon you in the midst of your weakness.
Friday, October 29, 2010
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people - so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war - so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world - so that you can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
"We must go, live to feed the hungry, stand besides the broken, we must go. Stepping forward, keep us from just singing, move us into action. We must go." Tim Hughes (video of his song below)
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of God is not in him. For everything in the world- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." 1 John 2:15-17
Friday, October 15, 2010
One of the biggest themes of the past 2 months has been learning what true faith is. God has shown me that I had put limits on Him. I knew that He was capable and willing but I was willing to settle for less, pray for less.
But He surpassed all my expectations and desires for college and left me standing absolutely in awe of His greatness.
I have had the sweetest times of prayer and reading the Word with my sweet Savior. He has been slowly making me examine my heart. As I take classes and plan for the next few years of school a vision for my future is slowly forming and it is exciting.
The following is a poem I wrote not too long ago as I pondered what God's calling on my life is and how I am to prepare for it here at school:
Friday, September 10, 2010
I saw these pictures on Eagle's Nest website today. Those are the very same floors I walked on just 3 short months ago. It feels like a year ago.
Today my fabulous math teacher surprised me yet again with another side of him- his deep, wise, and Godly heart. So instead of delving right into linear equations he opened his Bible and gave a short lesson on wisdom, and how at the end of the year it matters more that we have grown in Christ and not math (though that would be a good thing to). because at the end, it's Christ that matters, not whether or not we can figure out complex math problems. So, the scripture he read to us was
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
Wow. It was like the teacher knew right where I was at. It just hit me.
Never in my life have I felt insufficient and incompotent for life. There are so many decisions, and i'm at a point where every turn has another fork in the road.Yet at the very same time, I have never felt my every need so supplied. It is as though the Lord is letting me see my need and my helplessness but then turning right around and binding the gap, filling the holes for me. He is teaching me to ask and recieve with humility. When I feel homesick or miss my family so much I just want to drive home, He is teaching me to turn my face to Him and letting Him fill that void in my heart. In the past couple weeks since coming to school I have been presented with several big decisions I need to make, and I have spent alot of time thinking about what to do or where to go or what to choose. Today when he read that verse, I was just filled with peace that I don't need to know these things. God does, and all I need to do is ask Him to reveal it to me.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
My brothers and I drove over to my aunt and uncle's house yesterday for one more overnight visit before I go off to school. It has been so bittersweet as we've repeated all of our favorite traditions that have been formed throughout the years over many many visits.
We went to the same Monical's we've been to year after year.We watched Pink Panther, a movie whose quotes we've managed to merge into nearly every conversation lol. We drank root beer from frozen mugs. We laughed, swam, and still have today to make memories as well.
These traditions become so precious when you're about to move on and leave them behind. I've mentally prepared myself for this week for forever, but you just don't know until you get here.
I've smiled so much, and had lots of tears too. While the "lasts" make my heart ache, I can't wait to see what "firsts" God has in store for me next week.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Coming and going. Strengthening relationships and saying goodbye. Leaving the family that I love so dearly, the town I was born in, the church I grew up in.
It is a bittersweet season. Painful to say goodbye to sweet friends, precious family. Yet so much hope for an amazing year away at college.
Fear about homesickness, making friends. Excitement about all that God has to teach me, learning and growing in classes, and meeting all of the people God has called to be in the class of 2014 with me.
It's a summer of transition, but the Lord does not change. When the shadows of doubt or the moment of sadness when I think of leaving, He brings me back to HIS GRACE, GOODNESS, and FAITHFULNESS.
This summer of transition is the first step of an exciting journey.
Lead me on, Lord.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Into this hurting place
You take me far away from home
Though I'm never alone
You show me hurt, pain, despair
Needy people everywhere
You show me orphans without care
Hungry children everywhere
And so I question as I see
Just what you want from me
How can I go back there,
back to comfort, luxury, not a care.
I need a vision somehow,
I need a word from You right now.
There is silence in the air
And questions everywhere.
Now that I have seen
I have to take responsibility
To act and love and care
For the people left back here
It doesn't fit with the American Dream
Doesn't follow a movie or a magazne
it's gonna' take a step of faith
To get me to this place
I just want my life to be
A lovely, fragrant offering
But I know that this will mean
Alot of sacrificing.
From my journal on 6/27:
Searching out my calling here. My role. I don't knowhow this passionand burden fits into my life back home. Shopping malls, restaurants, dorm shopping, vacations. All good things, yet how to balance priorities. Search my heart, Lord.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
This will be a boring post with no pictures- i'm so sorry! I have a few minutes over lunch to write this so it has to be quick. We are having the 4 big girls stay in our room tonight and the camara is going to be ON the whole time! :)
Traveling was great yesterday. I got sick from the hotel breakfast (in Chicago go figure haha) but I quickly recovered. All of our flights were nearly on time and everything went very smoothly.
Today they have us on ladders (YIKES!) painting a building that will become a bus stop. Our hands are covered in green paint.
We have had precious time with the managers of the orphanage both yesterday and today, and I think it was God's hand on this trip that we would arrive yesterday so we could have this time with them before the big teams come. Both my dad and I are so thankful we've been able to sit down and talk with them about what God is doing at the orphanage, with the church, and adoptions (or lack thereof in this case).
I am still trying to process all that I've seen and heard so far, and right now I just feel like I'm taking it all in. My prayer this morning was that God would refine me this week, and continue to break my heart for what breaks His, and give me a vision for how my life should look in response.
I think the week is going to jam-packed and I'm so excited to see what God will do in these busy days.
Please pray that my energy levels continue to be stable with my hypoglycemia, and that things would work out still for the girls to spend time with us tonight. They are all craving our attention and it's been overwhelming trying to listen to all of their sweet voices, give them all hugs, and make sure everyone is getting enough loving.
Thank you sweet prayer warriors. I'll post again soon hopefully with pictures!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
To a land whose beauty seems more glorious each passing day
This children have grown to fill my heart, thoughts, and dreams
This country, this people, it is my everything
Until it hurt to remember, and I slowly turned away
Too hard to remember that bitterly painful day
But now i"m returning, a trip fresh and new
Believing every word, that God's promise is true.
In my weakness His power is perfect and right
In my hurting He turns what is dark into light.
So I give my week, my heart, my all
Trusting He's there to catch every fall
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest in me.
2 Corinthinas 12:9
To some, this poem will not make sense. To others, those who have been to a foreign country or been passionately involved with a certain ministry and people, this will resonate with your heart. I am so in love with this country and people, have had so many sweet memories in Guatemala. Yet coming back from these trips is always absolutely heart-wrenching for me. Last summer after returning I finally just had to block out everything, all my deep emotions and love for my heart country because it just hurt too much. As I've prepared to go back, I've prayed through all of this, and have opened my heart back up to this place and people I love so very much. It's easy for me to go into the trip already fearing what I will see, the things that will break my heart. But I do not want this. I WANT to be beautifully broken, broken by what makes the very heart of God break. And so with this poem last night I gave my week to the Lord, trusting that the hurt and tears will be used for my good. My weakness and incompetence will be made perfect by His grace. And the immense joy and laughter I get to partake in for an entire 8 days with the most beautiful children I know is making me incredibly impatient to get there.
I am ready, Lord, please do a good work in my heart and in the hearts of Your people!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
In 7 days I'll get to speak and hear Spanish. In 7 days I'll get to hear the beautiful laughter of children in the orphanage, hear the delightful squeals, and feel their pudgy hands around my neck as I scoop them into my arms for hugs long over-due. I'll get to see the precious girl who stole my heart the very first time I walked into the orphanage. See how beautiful she has become, hear her "grown-up" voice, see the little girl she's grown to be.
This is a gift. And it is so overwhelming to me that I get to be the one to go to this country and be the hands, feet, and mouth of Jesus.
God has already been on the move in this adventure. Our airlines went on strike last week and He graciously brought the company to peace and we will fly out as planned next Thursday. Thank you Jesus!
I'll post with some specific prayer requests here in the next few days as well as my vision and hope for this trip (that is already known and planned-out by God anyway!)