Friday, October 17, 2008

kids, crayons, & forgiveness.

What a day...
Today at work, the kids definately tested my patience and I'm thinking my patience and kindness didn't hold out too well.

The three-year olds today somehow found a fragment of a blue crayon, an itsy bitsy piece they dug up from the sand. A royal blue crayon. They drew ALL over the yellow fort, on every wall, on the inside of the tunnel slide, and the outside of the slide. We had no idea until a couple of them came to us to be "tattle-tells." I must admit, we were pretty shocked. And we were pretty mad, actually I'm rather embarrassed of how mad we got. The kids were put in time out as we scrubbed a good while on the fort to sorta clean the crayon off that had been baked on by the sun. Its true, it really is a funny story.

My heart almost hurts when I think of how ugly we acted towards the kids. I cannot wait to see them tomorrow, to love on them, to make sure they know I love them. Yeah, they messed up. They made a big uh-oh. But how many times do we make big uh-ohs?

If this silly nonsense made me angry, the kids disobeying and being careless, how many times do I break God's heart everyday? His love is always evident. His anger is never so extreme that the goodness of Himself is not shown through. I make stupid choices all the time...every single day. And today I made a dumb choice. I let my not feeling so well and impatience get the best of me. I let that get in the way of loving the way I am suppose to. I can only imagine how God's heart breaks when we put things before Him, when we let pride or self-righteousness, selfishness, impatience, etc get in the way of our testimonies. But He still loves us, He still forgives us, and He still wraps us in His arms of peace. A beautiful thing.

My eyes were opened today...through a hectic, funny time.

Those kids...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

not a game of tag.

I don't think these conversations will ever disappear...
I encountered such an awkward conversation this weekend...sitting @ a family thing, someone once again asked what I was going to do. Ministry, shelter, social work....was my response. Didn't go over so well. Did you know nurses are in high demand? Did you know nurses can start out at $75,000?

Some people will never understand me and I guess thats okay. Its not about money. Its not about following the world's standard of success. My life will never be about all that...

I have this desperate need to reach people. To tell them of the love their Creator has for them. To tell them of the hope they can find in Christ. To explain to them that its not a game of tag...

The church today is filled with so much hypocrisy...its disgusting. Those in the worship band, ushers, Sunday school teachers, and even pastors teach and live one way in church and as soon as the doors open to the world....they are living like they did before they were saved. Christians no longer are true Christians, but instead those of the world in disguise trying to get somewhere within a lie. It has to stop. Its not the way the church is suppose to be.

Our God is a faithful God of forgiveness and He forgives time and time again. But one cannot continuously sin, knowing it is wrong, and expect God to say "okay, I forgive you, try not to do it again." Christians think they can hide their sin in their pockets while in church, so no one will see it. Thinking they are lifting up clean hands before God and the church, but stains are all over them. God wants to continue to chase us, but we have to slow down so He can catch us.

As my pastor said, "If God is our God, then why do we consistently live like the world?"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

jamie makes it clear.

Jamie, my little sister, has been such a blessing in my life.

Though she cannot talk or walk, the impact she has on people's lives is incredible. Teachers, preachers, grocery-store workers, nurses, therapists, etc. know and adore Jamie; they know she is something to be treasured, a true blessing. Tonight, I was thinking/praying about some things and God revealed to me some pretty incredible stuff.

No matter what I do, Jamie still loves. If I get aggravated at her or can't seem to find the time to play with her, she still absolutely adores me. Many times I don't deserve this love, but she continuously cares about me. It is quite comforting to think about this is the way our Father loves us. There is nothing, NOTHING, we can do to make Him love us any less or any more. Of course, none of us are perfect, but He loves us the same. We don't deserve it. But we desperately need this love. This love mends the broken hearted, comforts the lonely, and dries the tears of the hurting.

No matter how independent Jamie becomes she still needs me. She still needs her sister to play with her, to listen to her "praise-song" video over and over, and to rock her (even though she is sixteen :)). Me and Jamie are dependent on each other in many ways. I definately would not be the same without her in my life; my goals would be changed, my views on things probably would be turned around. This is similar to our relationship with God. We NEED much. I know, I cannot go on somedays without Him right by my side. And He loves to hear our praises to Him, to see us doing everything we can to stay in His will, and to know how much we love Him.

Jamie is more than my sister, she is a miracle.
Overcoming the discouraging words of doctors and proving herself to therapists each and everyday; her life speaks of the goodness of the Father.He has never forsaken us in the fights we have been through with Jamie and remains faithful to this day.

Call me crazy, but I still believe Jamie will being a walking testimony one day telling the world of the faithfulness of God, performing the miracle that He promised many years ago.

My sweet sissy makes life a little clearer.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

just right.

I find myself here alot lately...sitting in "THE" chair in my living room. Alot of important things in my life happen while in this spot, my quiet times, my conversations with God, studying, homework, journaling, and this is the exact spot where I realized God's plan for my life. Quite an amazing spot. Here lately, this spot is my comfort zone. The place where I completely become an open book, letting God speak to me in ways I never imagined before. I come to this place with jumbled insides, a burdened heart, and many things on my mind.

I have to admit, I have not felt like myself these past couple of weeks. I've gotten pretty good at faking the "I'm okay" look, but I'm not. Sometimes my heart feels so burdened that I think it might explode. Sometimes I think of all I want to do with my life and I am completely overwhelmed. Sometimes I think of even how old I am and get a bit freaked out. Its a weird feeling I have. I feel jumbled, uncertain, uneasy, and a bit chaotic, but at the same time I feel peace. I feel like I am in the right place. The right place for God to use me. I feel like I am coming into a new season in my life, where God is being revealed to me more than ever before. I feel as though I might be in the right place to receive the boldness I have been seeking.

One thing that has set me back is my fear. My fear of disappointing others and my Heavenly Father. God has put some AMAZING, encouraging people in my life. I feel quite humbled when these people say things like, "you are going to make a diffence" but I also feel something else. FEAR. I am so scared I will let them down. Even more terrified that I will let God down.

My heart these days is just not normal. Burdened by too many things to count. I know I shouldn't worry about things, but sometimes its just so hard not to. I lose sleep at night over people...yes, people. I worry about them, worry they won't realize the way they are living is wrong, worry they will waste their lives instead of living it for the One who created all life, worry they will forget the whole reason we are all here in the first place.

But you see, I am not satisfied anymore. I can't just climb over the mountains without knowing where I am headed. I won't aimlessly go about my life, just getting by, but instead I insist on seeking His will for every step I take.

I give it all to Him.
Its all I can do.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Pursuer.

You've never failed
No, not even once

Your power is unmistakenable
Your beauty exquisite

The stars, sun, and moon scream out Your praise
The beat in my heart knows of Your never-ending love

Through thick and thin
I'd do it again
Because You are the pursuer of my heart

The bars, holds, and stones I put up
You fight straight through
Because You are the pursuer of my heart

You breathed life into me
And I will never be the same
Because You are the pursuer of my heart

Your glory is all consuming
Bringing tears to my eyes and a softness to my heart
Because You are the pursuer of my heart

You give me peace and rest
A safe haven away from a cruel world
Because You are the pursuer of my hear

tAnd I will go with You
Because You are the pursuer of my heart

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

picture book.

I've been thinking alot lately about picture-books...yes, picture-books. The books that babies look at that have no words just amazing, colorful pictures. No words are necessary because the pictures so clearly illustrate what the author wants you to know or realize.

The life of a Christian should be no less than a picture-book.

Our actions and lives should just scream Christ. We should no longer look like Ivy or Jamie or Tim...but instead become a walking picture-book for Christ. The things we do, say, and think should never lead another astray, but instead lift others up.

We should live life in such an incredible, dynamic way that others don't need to hear us speak the name of Christ, but instead see Him all over us. Some tend to say you are on a "high-horse" or just too much if you live nothing but a Christ-centered life, but thats okay. People can say what they want to say because all that matters is that you are crazy in love with your Jesus.

Sometimes it gets hard, when you pour and pour yourself into people and they don't listen or care. But honestly, thats life. Alot of people completely ignore what you say while others act like they agree and then turn around to do the opposite. Asking for serious advice or confiding in someone seems silly to me, if you ignore them, but this is how some people act. You just can't let those people keep you from doing what you are suppose to do: love. You have to keep pouring out the love and truth of Christ to see others changed. No one can keep you from being a picture-book for the whole world to see.

So will you allow yourself to be a picture-book?

BIG things to do...

This is a little list of things I want to do before I am 32.Why 32? I'm not sure.
- Get married: marry the man God made just for me that will fight with me in this world to accomplish God's plan for our lives.
-Have a baby-Adopt a baby
-Visit another third-world country
-Do ministry/outreach at struggling churches from coast to coast
-Play a duet on the piano with my Daddy
-Learn a song on the guitar
-Write a song
Start a homeless/Bible ministry
-Write a book?

So much to little time.

still letting it pour out.

As the bride of Christ, we also have a really hard time loving the unlovable. The way I look at it no person is any higher on God's list. A preacher is no higher than a prostitute. We are ALL sinners, coming short of the salvation God offers to us. None of us are worthy, not a single one of us. But most of the time we go around acting like we are so much better than everyone else. Its just not right. Instead of looking down on others, we should be lifing them up, encouraging them with the love of Christ. I think alot of times Christians forget that Jesus hung out with lowly ones. He was around prostitutes and tax collectors and before too long they were changed by the very presence of Him. Thats the way it should be with Christians. We should show so much love and joy that an unsaved person wants to know the Jesus that we know.

We are called to love EVERYONE. The saved, unsaved, sinners, homeless, handicapped; we are called to love people all around the world.

Today, Christians do want to help out. But there is a major problem. We have huge conferences, prayer rallies, cookouts wanting people to come to us to be LOVED on. We expect them to come, seeking God and the love of His people. Sometimes this works. But I feel like my mission in life is to go to them. To take the word of God to those who cannot afford to come to it. I want to love those who feel too ashamed or embarrassed to set foot into a church or conference.

Let's do it. Let's love on others and make a difference.
why not change the world?
why not take care of those who cannot take care of themselves?
why not take the word of God from coast to coast?
why not feed the hungry, physically and spiritually?

He Made No Mistake.

The choices seem endless,
Eloquently stated in our minds and hearts.
Decisions must be made they say,
They scream for us to make them today!

Turmoil upon turmoil cause us to crash,
Leaving nothing but the skeleton of what we used to be.
They don't understand, no one does,
But we still continue on the interwining paths.

We allow empty words to define us,
All the while forgetting why we are here to begin with.
He made no mistake,
I was created for this very time.

Grace and love wrap around us,
Reminding us of our purpose.
Choices spin around us continuously
And He allows the right one to fall into place.

let it pour out.

I just don't get it sometimes.

Some people say I'm too compassionate, but is there such a thing? How can someone not care that children are dying of hunger or the man on the street corner has no home. These images haunt me; it just seems so unfair. Christians in America like to do the "right" thing. We will give to the mission fund at church or give a beggar some spare change, but are we wiling to go out of our comfort zone to share the love of Christ?

My goal in life is simple: to show the love of Christ to everyone I encounter. I want the love of Christ to "pour" out of me, so that no words are necessary the love is shown through my daily actions. The Bible tells us to show compassion. James 1:27 says, "Pure and undefiled religion before our God is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

God clearly says that we, as the body of Christ, are suppose to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. Loving the unlovable or those who won't love us back can be tough, but Christians are called to do so.

I seek boldness- so that my light will shine for Christ.

putting on my blinders.

Life has changed a lot these past several months. I have had to make major decisions I never thought I would have to make. Let's just say, I have had a lot of "growing pains."

Ever since I was little I wanted to be a nurse. I realized as I got older this would be a great opportunity to share the gospel also. This past year, my plans changed. I took my first nursing class and did a lot of praying and realized nursing just isn't for me. This was the path that I wanted, the career I thought would be the best, but its just not God's plan for me.

Its really hard to tell people I'm not going to be a nurse after years of knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I feel like a disappointment in some ways to my parents, like I'm letting them down. But I have decided that I was not created to be a people pleaser. All my life, I have tried to make others happy when I should be focusing on pleasing my heavenly Father. I am putting on my blinders and not looking to the left or right but looking solely on Him.

I'm still not sure what I am suppose to do. It might still be something that goes along with nursing; I'm just not positive. I was created to love others and God's plan for my life will be revealed in time.

Careers I'm seriously looking at are grief counseling, counselor for special-needs children and their families, social worker, and I really really want to open a shelter for those no one else wants to help when I get older.

Growing up is not easy...