Friday, October 17, 2014

You're a Creative Genius


I kept watching inventions being invented and creations being created

Some were plain and simple others were beyond my imagination

They must have a lot more serotonin than me- thinking all these good thoughts

As I kept watching these virtuosos passing me by, I started to feel crippled inside

I wanted a talent, I wanted a dream-I wanted to be someone that no one has ever seen

But as I kept watching all the other prodigies I began to lose hope

Until I looked down at my non-calloused hands and silky smooth feet

Woe me, what a pity- you reap what you sew

What a wakeup call out of the abyss and what a joy to become my own best friend

Instead of longing to be what was already done, I started appreciating the beauty within

I’m a gift yet to be unwrapped a soul to become unraveled

Who knew?

I’m my own creative genius with God given talents

Monday, October 13, 2014

Choose

Today I’m choosing to let go instead of holding on a little longer

 I stopped giving my past mistakes and hurts the recognition they think they need

I decided that today I am all the person I need to be

It didn’t come easy…this rare confidence

Sadly this beauty is oftentimes unseen

The authentic love that takes me back even after 7x seventy

I will ask you to do something if you choose

Take his hand, don’t let it go

In the quiet messes and loud trespasses

Don’t lose hope

The darkness can’t subdue the light that has already won

Go to Jesus and take him with you

My dearest I don’t know you

But you are known by the greatest love of all

Hands spread out beyond the horizon and heart deeper than the ocean

Choose to never be alone again

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Passion

So a few years back a friend told me to read the book "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. When I heard the title of the book I was immediately hesitant to buy it, I don't want to know how I'm wasting my life because I know the facts were I was living mediocre and to actually think I may have to change was not something that I invited with open arms.

I started to realize that maybe this is why some of us are so hesitant to live like Esther, Ruth, Job and Jeremiah. Fear of changing, fear of what God would have us do, fear of where God would have us go. Fear we would be mocked like Jeremiah and be a laughingstock to our friends for what we believe. "O LORD, you deceived; me and I was deceived you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me." Jeremiah 20:7

This past weekend I went to the bookstore and there it was "Don't Waste Your Life", jumped out at me and I knew I had to get it. I've only read a short amount but I can tell you my palms were sweating, my heart was beating fast because this is a life changing book. He says "God created me-and you-to live with a single, all-embracing, all transforming passion-namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. “John Piper. Life is not about my happiness, its not about stores, vacations to exotic places, climbing the corporate ladder, life is simply about God. Glorifying God in all aspects of our lives but notice he said all-transforming passion. Another word for transform is to change. By glorifying him we are changed and the love we have for Jesus should be enjoyed and displayed in all spheres of our lives. When we live for God in all parts of our lives we began to share His glory with others.

This of course is just a glimpse of what I read but it was almost disappointing to me that life was not about being happy. I mean that is what we are striving to be right? Happy. Striving to make enough money to get what we want. Striving to look just right to be wanted, striving to please other people. I felt a loss that life is not about my happiness since that is what the world around is chasing. John Piper says this "The wasted life is the life without a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples."

I think of Esther with unmistakable beauty and faith in the Lord "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." She stepped out in faith to save her people; she was willing to give up her life for what she believed. Esther 4:16.

Or what about Ruth and her devotion to God and her mother in law Naomi

Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16

What about sweet Jeremiah, the laughingstock of his people he said this "So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name; his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.

What do these three people have in common...passion? When times were tough they pushed on, they didn't live for themselves or their happiness but instead they lived for His glory. I want to be more like them, I want to have a passion so deep I can say if I perish I perish, where you go I will go, and his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.

John piper gives an example of how we can view God "You can magnify like a telescope or like a microscope. When you magnify like a microscope a dust mite can look like a monster. Pretending to magnify God like that is wickedness. But when you magnify like a telescope, you make something unimaginably great look like what it really is. With the Hubble Space Telescope, pinprick galaxies in the sky are revealed for the billion star giants that they are. Magnifying God like this is worship.

We can pretend God is only a fragment of our lives but we are deceiving ourselves. God is magnificent, he is the creator, my prayer is that I see God as he really is and glorify Him in all spheres of my life.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

More than Moments


I crumbled onto my bed in final defeat. My pillow is the only sanctuary in sight and as bitterly rest my head I throw out rash remarks to heaven. Where are you God? Can you hear me? My thoughts try to convince me that God is punishing me or else he would take this from me. I keep wondering if God is my healer and redeemer, why is he not redeeming me? I go to church, I surround myself with solid friendships and I pray. Where am I going wrong? Just three short weeks ago I was on cloud nine and now here I lay in absolute desolation. Old familiar worries appeared out of nowhere engulfing me in a stream of restless and anxious days and nights. If I were to be completely honest there were times in past three weeks I just didn’t want to exist. The cloud depression brings takes away every ounce of joy and hope for a good future. The things I've always wanted and worked so hard to obtain seem to be lost in some sort of mosh pit at the bottom of my stomach. I don’t think it’s fair when you try to do things the right way and everything falls by the wayside. I’m not playing the victim, I don’t write for pity but I write this because anxiety, depression and the like really, really, really suck. I find that so many people deal with fear, anxiety, and hopelessness daily but just keep on a fa├žade that everything is peachy keen.

I wouldn’t write a blog post inundated with defeat without a glimpse of hope or I won’t write-which is why you haven’t seen anything from me in a while. I’m finding that the mind is incredibly powerful, you may be saying “duh” right now but seriously it can be detrimental what we allow to run rampant in our thought lives. For the past 3 weeks I have honed in on my worry completely entangled in fear. In a way I have let worry rule my life and bring me into a deep pit where no one can rescue me.  I have prayed in the moments I was not engulfed by my fear, I have shouted out to God in the moments I was not focused on my fear, I have cried many tears in the moments I couldn’t take any more of my worry. So basically I am handing out little bits of myself to God in frustration and giving gobs of attention to fear/worry/or whatever you want to call it.

In the midst of trial it’s hard to have the energy to focus on the truth that God has good for us and that HIS perfect love drives out fear but we MUST learn to if we want to overcome pitfalls and not get in them in the first place. I am the last person that is good at that obviously but I have a glimmer of hope that I am capable of getting to this place. WHY? Because the Holy Spirit lives in me and if the Holy Spirit lives in me than I am able. Also, something vitally important to point out is that we are worth it! We are God’s masterpieces- to him we are priceless and his deepest desire is for us to reach our full potential- and that my friend is not living in the darkness. I’m slowly learning that I will stay in the pit if I dwell on the pit but if I dwell on the TRUTH of Jesus my thought life changes and all of a sudden I find myself capable of facing another day. It’s NOT an overnight makeover, it’s a one day at a time focus on what we are capable of THROUGH Christ not through our own power. It’s not handing God bits and pieces to  God and saying "have some of me and make me better". While God is completely able to do anything I truly believe we need to say God here is ALL  of me to see true life transformation.


I have done life with Jesus and without Jesus. And the only time I have gotten out of the pit was when Jesus was the hand reaching out to me and lifting me up. When the world seems bleak and life seems way too hard it’s easy to doubt that Jesus is who he says he is but it’s in those times true, courageous, and everlasting faith is built because we are believing that even though it seems he is nowhere in sight God is walking if not carrying us through every moment we give to him. That is why we must give him more than moments, we must give Jesus ALL of us each and every day!

 

Romans 8:37-39

Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Finding Rest From Worry

Your anxious, your exhausted, your depressed, your weary, your weak. Unfortunately I’ve felt those ways many a times in my life due to having high anxiety- ever since I was young I have worried. There are times when I have my worried mind mastered and tamed but then there are times that my mind takes over and the days are harder and longer. I hate that feeling where you just wish the day would be over so you can go to bed. It seems like such a waste of a day to chuck it up to wanting to be non-existent for a while.  There are times I even get frustrated with God because I know he can heal me from worry but yet it remains. But the truth is over the years through the trials I have faced with all the stages of my fears, anxieties, and panic attacks the only place I could find rest was with Jesus.  

The only place where I could find solace in my tears was crying out to my Savior. I have learned I won’t know the why’s to my worries but I do know how to keep pushing through them and perhaps even overcome them in time. I hold onto the promises of Jesus that when I draw near to him he will draw near to me, what I sow in tears I will reap in joy, when I call out to God for help he will come and save me, if we are in need of rest he will provide it. Jesus is the safe place that we all can call home where perfect love drives out fear. He has gotten me through every dark valley to see the mountaintop again, there were seasons I experienced the most desperate droughts but I didn’t come out of them without becoming better and learning more about God’s love.

 God has our very best interests in mind. The comforting thing is that he knows every detail of our worry and every why to our worry. I may not understand but I do know that God has good for me and if I rest in the truth he has good for me than I can entrust my worries to him. I can even push through the hard days and give thanks on the days I want to wish away. He is showing me that even in the valleys he is good, he is perfect, he is complete and I am made whole knowing this truth. I am made capable knowing this truth. I am made strong knowing this truth. I am made new knowing this truth.

If you worry like me and are tired of it, I encourage you to rest in his promises, be vulnerable in prayer, thank him for his presence, and trust that you are in his perfect and loving care.

 
 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
 1 John 4:18

Friday, March 21, 2014

I forgot to have fun


I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off thinking I would survive. I was cramming every nook and cranny of my life into some schedule. Everything was packed and I was constantly on the move and because of this my patience was slim. I didn’t have time to deal with Jman’s fussy behavior. Basically I would just snap at the drop of the hat and expect my son to be perfect. But over the past couple weeks I’ve done a little less running around, read a couple books, prayed a little more and I’ve realized that I have been living without intention. I’ve been living with expectation. I have this expectation that I need to have a jammed packed schedule to constantly be in motion. I have this expectation that my son is 8 and should not be whining still. I have this expectation that I have to talk to every single one of my friends to feel like I’m still in the loop. I have this expectation that I have to be doing something to mean something. Meanwhile, my joy is hanging on by a thin thread and I’m morphing into a less than ecstatic mom that is lacking adventure, smiles, and laughter.
 
Today I have been pondering this a lot and really can’t believe that I am willingly missing out on so much joy by living in by these silly expectations. I don’t want to miss embracing motherhood fully for what it is, a beautiful gift from God. He entrusted this not so little anymore child into my life to be intentional. Thinking on my childhood I remember the moments that mattered to me the most were the moments of adventure. The times I was out exploring and there was no rush. I remember the long bike rides in the park with my dad or how me and my parents used to drive through the windy roads to get a sweet treat at the end of a summer day. It was leisurely and so peaceful and I didn’t feel like we were constantly in motion running from one thing to the next. Not to say that never happens after all life does get busy and messy but as I remember those times I remember how at ease I felt about life. I have forgotten how to have fun, to live in the moment, and the importance of intention. But today is a new day filled to the brim with possibility and new adventures to begin and for the first time in a long time I can tell you- I can't wait!!!

 
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12

 










 

 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Love Covers


Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Something about this verse give me such peace and warmth. Probably because I know I will fall short, I know I will fail. Yet even amid my frailties and brokenness there is something that covers my sin. The most beautiful refuge I could ever ask for is the truth God offers that we can be held by daily. Love is more important than our brokenness! Did you hear that? Love is more important than our imperfections, the thing we can’t get right, that temptation that keeps getting us off track.

If we can receive the gift of grace from Jesus that is handed to us with open arms, if we can offer that same gift of grace to others than it covers all the dirt, grime, bitterness, darkness, shame, and weariness. In other words love shelters, protects, and shields us from hopelessness and defeat. And it’s when we receive the gift of grace and give this gift to others that we find a new life springs up within us and our love only grows deeper and deeper. I hope you find comfort in this verse today.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Be it


Breath in each solitary breath, encapsulate each moment with gratefulness

 

Shake the sandman from your eyes, quench the thirst in your spirit

 

 Do you hear your passion? You can’t miss it when you listen

 

We all have a rich craving to whittle out our own mission

 

The endeavor may seem steep, too long and hard

 

But every boundless journey comes with some resistance

 

Grace stretches beyond the horizon, let faith help you believe it

 

Be mesmerized that you are capable, your fashioned with the means

 

Appreciate with intention each seemingly futile step

 

Don’t take for granted the desire of what makes your spirit rise

 

It’s yours to claim, no one else can shape it the way you see it

 

Whatever it is that awakens your senses to pureness and beauty

 
God will give you what you need to go out and be it.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist anymore

If you know me and my blog you will know I’m a single mom and I’ve never been married. I have crossed the boundaries of intimacy with men many times. I hid in shame over crossing the boundaries and I even started to believe this was the way it had to be. I couldn’t have a relationship that wouldn’t be built upon anything but lust. Sure, I had met some strong Christian men before and there was that hope within me that maybe this time I met a leader. I so badly wanted to be with someone who took physical temptations seriously, someone who dared to not live by what is considered the norm. As I would date these Christian men, I would soon discover that purity had been thrown out the window. And honestly without a man leading in this area, I knew I was a sunken ship. But even still I would stay in these relationships because I started to believe this was the way it was now. The area of purity had turned gray and I stopped praying about the desire to stay pure myself.  It was one of those things where I could hear God calling me to purity but I was letting myself be defeated by what I could see vs. what I believed was the right thing to do. I could see that everyday more limits are being pushed in the entertainment world, I could see that sex sells and I need to be sexier, I could see that a lot of men didn’t want to lead or be held responsible. I stopped looking for the truth, I stopped seeking values, I started to see gray.

 
Yet amid the gray areas God still lived in me and he started to be bold with me about purity through other people. My hair stylist began talking about purity. I mean she was the last girl I expected to be talking about it. She just didn’t fit the mold. She was sassy, had a glamorous tattoo sleeve, she wore bright red lipstick, and if I didn’t know her from doing my hair I would be intimidated to talk to her. Yet as I  was getting my hair done one day she pours out her story and journey to purity. She met a man that wanted to honor her and God. She told me to fight for purity, that it was worth the wait. As I left the salon I felt a little surprised how God was showing up in the unexpected places to tell me that purity maybe is not dead. Then two of my close friends who shared the same struggles as me recently met a man that wanted to lead in purity. One is now married and the other one on her way to the alter in the next couple months. I can’t even describe the joy that exudes from both of them because they waited.

 
So, I decided that God doesn’t want me to brush off purity. He doesn’t want me to stop fighting the battle. The things I didn’t think existed anymore were beginning to show up right before my very eyes…value, respect, love, honor, obedience. Maybe I could experience what my hair stylist was talking about, maybe I could experience what my friends now had. Maybe I wouldn’t have to settle for what was the norm. And sure enough God showed up even more by bringing men into my life that stood for purity. In the past several months I have met grown men that were saving themselves for marriage and being completely open about it. And to make it even better, these men are not urcles- they are amazing men that have so much to offer.

 
I think God is showing me the redemption of creation. Yes we come from fallen people (hence Adam and Eve) but that doesn’t mean we have to keep the excuses that it’s too hard or they did so it’s not bad if I do too. Just because some people have stopped caring about purity doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. I’m learning to invest more time in seeking what is not the “norm”, I’m trying to figure out how to separate myself from the cycles of defeat. I recently went to see the play “The Great Divorce” by C.S Lewis. One of the scenes depicted a man holding tight onto one of his possessions- which happened to be a scaly lizard. He was asked to let it go and have it killed, but he was terrified to release this lizard that went everywhere with him, like an appendage. He couldn’t imagine what his life would look like without this lizard. In actuality he really didn’t want the lizard as it was bothersome and held him captive.  As I watched this man struggle to give up this possession I could see myself in his struggle to let go of what I know and what I see. After much turmoil and doubt, the man finally decided to give the lizard away to have it killed so he wouldn’t have to live with it anymore.  I believe that his greatest fear was that he thought if the lizard was to die he would surely die too. However, in an instant the lizard was gone and in its place there was a beautiful white stallion. He decided to give up his stronghold to what he didn’t see or what was not familiar to him and found that something far greater was available to him all along.

 
I think I forgot what could that something far greater could be available to me if I choose to believe in something that may not be prevalent these days. God didn’t give up the battle and desires for us to be restored. He wants us to trust that there is more than what we have grown accustomed to. The right thing can just be a little harder to find and takes a little bit of removing the dust to uncover the beauty that was intended for each one of us to experience. God has started to surround me with a lot of people that want to fight for purity. So, if you are struggling with purity in your life I urge you to call for him and he will show up with an army. I want to shout out to my friends and the wonderful men I know that are fighting for purity- thanks from the bottom of my heart for being a leader in a not so easy area of life.

 
This post is not meant to be preachy because I have struggled with my fight for purity for years. God knows my struggle, I turned away from him many times in my pursuit of restoring purity. But I hope for anyone that reads and struggles with this to know that you are not alone. It’s hard to not sit in the gray area but I have been shown recently that purity is alive we just have to look and fight a little harder for it. Peace and LOVE.

 

 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How I Learned to Be Loved

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Like a lot of people I based my worth or how I was good based on my performance. But last year I had a breakthrough and found that performance doesn’t get me anywhere but frustrated at myself.  Sure, its easy to say that God doesn’t love us based on performance, but when we walk or stumble into our next failure the urge to hide in shame ultimately creeps up again regardless of the knowledge that his grace can’t be earned.  My natural instinct used to be to feel like an outcast that wasn’t supposed to pray to God because I messed up over the same thing again and again. I started to condemn myself and it dragged my heart down into a deep place of numbness because there were some strongholds that I just couldn’t conquer. I felt embarrassed to go back to God with the same request. So I just didn’t anymore because I felt like a hypocrite and that I might as well not ask for forgiveness because I would never get things right. And I knew if I was to really want to be changed that would mean God would expect something of me that I couldn’t accomplish- which would equal greater disappointment. Ultimately, I was living in fear of failure and fear of never being the woman he created me to be. But this thinking just kept me in a vicious cycle of feeling afraid, ashamed, embarrassed, burdened, and insufficient.

After years of hiding out I decided that I would try approaching God with the truth in my mind that he loved me no matter what.  I stood before God and poured out my failures each time they happened. I didn’t pray with fear but instead I prayed with confidence that God loved me regardless of my performance. I have to say at first it was really weird to boldly trust that the Lord accepted me and loved me even in my shortcomings. But something started to change, the condemnation I felt started to turned into a calm presence that I can do all things through Christ.  What started as a training of my mind to approach God in confidence that he loved me, over time a truth my heart trusted. I started to fall in love with God in a much more authentic way because he was able to love me in a more authentic way,the way he desired to love me all along- completely.  His love is the most sincere, the most genuine and he desires to be in the muck with us as crazy as that sounds. And those fears that God would expect more of me than I felt I could deliver was blown away because I felt embraced for me, even in my lifeless sin. His spirit was renewed in me because I let him love me in my weakness and found I was made stronger.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Grateful

I know a lot of people that pick a word for the year to live by and to grow into. I already have mine picked out but my pastor added an interesting spark to the “word”. Instead of it being a “word” have it be a “theme”. My word or pardon me “theme” came to me before the new year had even started. It came sweeping in gracefully and triumphantly “Grateful”. As I hear that word and repeat it over and over I wonder what that theme is going to look  like for me this year. I wonder what God knows that I don’t know. Should I be bracing myself for dear life or feeling light as a feather? I don’t know but right now to be honest I feel light as a feather. Last year I began a new journey of independence by buying my first house and starting a new job but it was also a year of confusion. Holding onto relationships and trying to figure out where to go from here. Wondering if I should travel down the same roads again or pave new ways. It was a challenging year bearing a lot of weighty thoughts and decisions. However I would never take that year back because it brings me to this place now. This place of eerily beautiful peace and abounding love. My relationship with God has changed for the better because by the end of last year I discovered even in my most shameful moments I don’t have to hide. I’ve learned how natural it has become to run from God when my report to him on my “bad” days was nothing but sinful defeat. It’s funny how it’s so natural for me to want to hid away from the one who loves me unconditionally and the ONLY one that can make me new. I’m discovering despite my urge to run from God when I mess up I need to fight it and run TO him. He is available to me when I am scared to show my face, he is available to me when I think he is shaking his head in disappointment. I’m learning that is all wrong and God WANTS to be near me. He WANTS to be close when I struggle or mess up. I think God would be filled up to the brim and relieved that we finally get it when our natural inclination is to run to him despite our performance. So I believe since I have learned this about God that is why the word “grateful” is giving me that lighter than a feather feeling. To realize this truth and claim this truth is life giving!