Sunday, November 27, 2011
i have a post ready for you this week but tonight, i need something from you...
my curiosity has gotten the best of me. my stats tell me you all are from all over the world. Japan, Russia, Canada, Germany...
i want to know who you are!
give a little roll call or shout out in the comment section.
hope your week is wonderful and your heart is full.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
in the room next to me sleeps a brand new 20 year old.
the room she is sleeping in is MY room taken over by Jamie shortly after her brain surgery years ago. i live my days in there, live my nights in her room. because she just decided that she didn't like her twin bed anymore. and i might have given in.
that's what little girls named Jamie do to you...they make your head spin and shake up your life a little bit. and steal your heart in the process.
20 years ago...i waited in the waiting room for hours with my Prissy and every other residing person of Albany, GA just waiting for Jamie Leigh Laing to arrive.
20 years ago...God threw my parents a curve ball that they never could have expected.
20 years ago...He decided to show off His faithfulness and love through a tiny baby girl who would live her life proffing the doctors wrong.
i've spent these 20 years watching my parents fight for the helpless. (i think i know where i get part of it from) not just for Jamie but for every child that will walk through Dougherty County's special education program. for every child that isn't gettting what they deserve...they have fought. they've won some, lost a lot. but He has given immense favor.
i've spent these 20 years learning how to REALLY seek God. to plead my case before Him. to go to bed with tear stained pillow cases and swollen eyes. you can read about it in books or study it in school all you want to but until you watch your sister (or daughter) have seizures back to back. or have someone call them the forbidden "R" word. or hear her cry and not know what is wrong. THAT makes you realize at a VERY early age you need Him more than you ever thought possible. and i am thankful for the opportunity to realize that when i was so little.
sitting at my Granny's and hearing her explain to me one day when Jamie was really sick that if we have faith like a mustard seed, all things are possible with our God. it hits you. this isn't just some random uh-oh that happened in the labor and delivery room. this is orchestrated by her very maker. the One who made her, made her perfect.
i've spent these 20 years seeing her prove the doctors wrong. and this past year was no different. Jamie started back with occupational therapy and her strength/flexibility on her right side has grown immensely. she also can walk with her physical therapist holding onto her arm beside her. the doctors said we would NEVER see that. and look where we are.
20 years of anticipating a huge miracle that quite frankly happens daily and i hardly ever realize it. 20 years. it's hard to believe.
do you know the rates of marriage of handicap children are going down? more divorces happen in these circumstances than any other. statistics also show that siblings of disabled children have a tendency to be rebellious, do drugs, and run away.
can i get a hallelujah. if those stats don't do anything but prove how big God has been in the Laing family then...still...hallelujah.
she has excelled. loves people. is so spunky and full of life. funny. loves Cedarmont Kids. (i hate them). i think she secretly understands spanish...the girl changes her dvd's to spanish every single time. and then changes them back. and then back again to Spanish. scared of small dogs. loves to hear people scream. known as "JANIE LANE" in her class by her classmates. stealer of lunch rolls in her class. spoiled by her teacher aides. loved by every single teacher at her school. fakes crying when she wants to be a baby. still sits in my lap. stealer of my bed. nap taker. book lover. plays my daddy's piano (she got all of the musical talents, i'm telling ya). a daddy's girl all the way but a sissy's girl when daddy is at work. loves the movies...mainly for the popcorn and laughing as i spill it. calls me "day." we are still not sure where that came from.
she is beauitfully perfect. HE. MAKES. BEAUTIFUL. THINGS.
so let me just encourage you today, if life is not going like you planned...take a step back and look at the beautiful thing that He is doing. His story is way better. and perfect.
Jamie, you are so loved.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
these past couple of weeks has been the realization that i am more "tied down" to Albany that i thought. and it's not even by a husband or children of my own. its the people that i serve. and my homeless friends. and my mento. and i am perfectly okay with all of this.
my heart is kind of splattered all over the place. i guess that is normal? i am not really sure if it is or not but it is true.
i long for a plan ride across the ocean.
and a hut.
and dirt floors.
and long walks to church every Sunday.
and fresh cut flowers being sold out of a cart on the corner.
and the cutest children i have ever seen.
but i don't just simply want to go. i need to be sent. and He needs to be the one to send me. and He will. when He is ready.
that may be when i graduate. and that may be a year after i graduate. i can honestly say that i have no plans after graduation. which is the scariest thing ever since i am a planner at heart. my Type A personality wants to have a set plan. and unfortunately our God just doesn't work like that sometimes.
fill out applications for overseas...i am doing it presently.
fill out applictations for here...i will do it.
wait. quietly. and patiently....i must.
what a process this senior year has been. what love He has graced me with. and what amazing people has He brought into my life. i am blessed beyond words. i have an incredible net of women who pour into me like no other, i have best friends who pray Psalm 91 over me everyday, and i have the sweetest mento around.
i am happy here. i am in love with this season of my life.
most intense month of my life is still taking place. its the new normal.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
"created in Christ Jesus for good works which He has prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10.
you're probably thinking that this verse has nothing to do with love. but actually it has EVERYTHING to do with love.
first, we were created....because He loved us. secondly, He has prepared things for us to do...because He loves us. and lastly, He has good works for us to do for others...because He loves them.
it's this perfect, romantic, jaw dropping, awe inspiring, breathtaking kind of love.
stop for a second. really think about it. He loves us so much that He has a story for us to live out. and not just some cheesey romantic novel you buy for a buck fifty but an adventure with a love story put in at just the right time. there are people for us to touch. works to accomplish for His kingdom.
and He didn't give us passions and dreams for us to just sit there and think about them. go live it. and this love isn't supposed to be lived just in the four walls of your church. it isn't supposed to be kept between you and your Christian best friends. it isn't supposed to be given to people who look like you. no, this love is meant for your world. your city. for your school. every single person you come into contact with. God loves them so much! and He is sending you places to tell them that. to show them that love.
L-O-V-E is weapon for His kingdom. something that Satan cannot combat with. because people of this world don't get it. it's all foolishness to them.
go give some food to the homeless man you pass every single day. go to the government housing in your city and pray over it. go sit by someone you don't know and listen to their story.
stop keeping it to yourself. use the weapon He has given us. it drives out fear. and it shakes the grounds of Hell.
my prayer for you this Valentine's Day is not that you find your soulmate. or not that your spouse takes you out on some fabulous date. i hope you don't find satisfaction in a dozen roses or a cute boy. nope. i pray that you sacrifice- pouring out yourself for someone for His glory.
praying this becomes your heart:
"I am the Lord's servant, may it be done to me according to Your will." Luke 1:38
be willing. surrender your story for His. live His love out. and shake the grounds of hell.
tell me how you used love!
Monday, February 7, 2011
praying for um, i would say a good 2 years of where God would send me when i graduate college. big dreams. He is a God of big dreams and cools stories. feeding the hungry. setting the slaves free. getting the poor clothing. easing the hurts of the mourning. all of that Isaiah 58 stuff.
waiting. waiting. waiting on it.
it hit me like a boulder. in the face. all of those things up there....they need to be done here. right now.
i love this city. i serve this city. this city has seen my best days. the ugliest, broken cries. me and Albany have this beautiful history of my 22 years of life so far. but you know...everyone knows i am called to missions. everyone knows that one day i won't be living here. and i just assumed that living overseas would be easier without a husband and kids. you know...taking the easy route i suppose.
yeah, general conclusion...He isn't looking for the easy route. and i don't know best. best may be me married with 7 kids in tow. who knows. i sure don't. i can't see the next steps like He does. and i am really grateful for that because it would probably freak me out.
Albany is His. and it is hurting. and it needs restoration. and quite frankly, God doesn't need us to do that. He just doesn't. He's God. He can do the story on His own. but He LETS us. He wants us to be a little part of the story. to be able to glorify Him by serving the city.
does this mean i know what this next year holds? definately a negative. do i know that it is going to be bigger and better than i can dream? you betcha.
so giving up what i had my heart set on to let Him take over...it's a beautiful mess. and my heart is a little all over the place. i don't have it all together and i am pretty sure He likes it like that.
so i am living for today. not the day when i graduate. not the day when i get on the plane for THAT plane ride. it's about living to honor Him and living to love others in the process.
so for right now, Albany is my Nineveh.
His interruptions are probably some of the most beautiful things we can ever experience. i am rather stoked about these next few months.
**disclaimer: family, this does not mean that i will not leave after graduation. it is my Nineveh NOW, let's think about that day when it comes:)
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
and Sunday i saw a picture of just what Jesus desires this raw worship to look like.
a little boy. a perfect, beautiful little boy in a wheelchair is about 4 rows in front of me. on the end of an aisle. not where he usually sits so i usually don't get to see him until after church. there he is strapped in his chair. his mom beside him worshiping. and he begins to worship. worship like i have never seen. the kind that catches you off guard and takes your breath away. clapping his hands, smiling up towards the sky all at the same time. and being who i am my mind went here...
imagine what goes through his mind some days. he probably thinks about how he is a burden. he probably wishes he could go to the movies like his brothers. he probably thinks that no one will ever love him enough to marry him and take care of him.
but he praises. and to Jesus its probably the most pure form. because he is sitting in a chair he may never get out of. he is clapping with hands that go through physical therapy. he is pursuing his creator even though he may feel inadequate but he knows to our Daddy he is perfect. he was made in His image. there is not one flaw in Him.
clapping when we can hardly move our hands.
and all the while Jesus is looking us straight in the face like He did to Peter saying, "what's it to you?" we can't judge our stories based on other peoples. He uses us differently. and yes, we are all made in His image but we all are different. He molds our hearts and shapes our stories.
paint a canvas. project something onto some screen. color a picture. take a picture. make a movie. teach a class. move to China. just do whatever He wants you to.
worship Him fully. trust Him continuously. and do something good for His kingdom.
and read John 21.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
my daddy got home. told me something about a wreck he heard about on the way home. i didn't think anything of it. a wreck to a sixth grader is something uncomprehendable. it happened to a stranger. a poor family. we prayed for them. daddy really prayed for them.
our house phone rang. it was for me. it was mandy.
"hey ivy. did you hear?"
that's all i remember. i couldn't comprehend it. i didn't want to hear it. i was scared to death.
my friend jacob. was in that wreck. my friend jacob and his sister were trapped in the backseat. my friend jacob. died. as a sixth grader he left this earth to go dance with our Jesus.
the next hours were full of questions. full of tears. full of screaming. screaming in my room. screaming at God.
i distinctly remember with my hair soaking wet from the shower and all in my face sitting on the couch with my daddy. he patted his lap. i got right on it. i cried. him and mama probably shed quite a few of their own those next few hours and days. with swollen eyes and a hurting heart i looked at my daddy and i said, "daddy, i'm scared."
that fear was validated. it was understandable. i had realized how fragile life was. not just my Granny's life who died four years earlier but the lives of people my age. the lives of merely children. and i was scared. and i was honest. and i was raw. i didn't care who saw that.
and that is exactly where i am right now.
every single prayer starts or ends with "Daddy, i'm scared." this is a big year. i finish college. i fill out applications for the next step. i will seek God daily for where He wants the next season of my life to be spent. i am going to say goodbye to the only life i have ever known. school since i was 5. how do i do life without school? how do i leave Jamie? how do i think about getting on a plane and praying my grandparents won't get sick while i am serving overseas?
these questions plague my mind. and i am not going to even attempt to act like i have it all together. i am a mess. a wreck. but the thought of not going where He sends me makes me even more of a wreck. the lives He is preparing in this very moment. the harvest He is preparing. it gets me so excited. so excited to see what He is going to do this year. in the next five years. in the next twenty years of my life. to see where He will take me and my future husband. to imagine the red, yellow, black, and white family that He has for me. everything is moving so fast. i can remember writing in my journal about 2010. and now. its long gone. His promises still remain though. He doesn't lie. ever. and He will come through.
2 more semesters to shine on my campus. 2 more semesters to reach my professors. 2 more semesters to be intentional with every single word. every single action. every single attitude. every single grade. i have Jesus. and i need to represent Him in the purest light i know how.
and that scares me. merely weeks to show them Christ. merely weeks.
i will not stand back and watch my peers run away from God. pretend He is dead. because He is alive. and He is stirring up a revolution bigger than anyone can ever imagine. He is here. even now. even when the problems of this world seem strong, He is stronger. He is good. He is in control even.now.
Daddy, i'm scared but i'm jumping anyways.