Thursday, November 29, 2007

Jehovah Jireh

Ever feel like God is working to teach you a certain lesson? Well for the past few months I’ve been getting schooled in Jehovah Jireh—the God who provides.

Despite my semi-charmed kinda life, lately I’ve been anxious about some of the tasks I see before me, wondering from my puny human vantage point how on earth they will come to pass.

But God reminded me through a friend that my fears are not uncommon to humanity, and that perhaps I am, in fact, in good company.

Gabriel said, You're beautiful with God's beauty, beautiful inside and out! God be with you.

She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that.

But the angel assured her, You have nothing to fear...The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you. Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.

And she said, Yes, I see it all now... I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve.

--Adapted from Luke 1

Which then reminded me of one of my favorite songs:

Do you wonder, as you watch my face,
If a wiser one should have had my place?
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan.
Help me be strong.
Help me be.
Help me.

Breath of heaven, hold me together,
Be forever near me, breath of heaven.
Breath of heaven, lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness, for you are holy.

Breath of Heaven, Amy Grant
I'm starting to think that the biggest part of a life guided by the Holy Spirit is just showing up and trusting. But I have a feeling this is a lesson I'll be learning the rest of my life.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


For all you have done, I will thank you,
For all that you're going to do,
For all that you've promised and all that you are
Is all that has carried me through.
Jesus, I thank you.
-Dennis Jernigan

God is so good. I could sing of His love and grace forever. Here is an extremely abbreviated list of things for which I am thankful:

  • Friends and family-- need I say more? God's unending fount of graciousness
  • Quail Springs Church-- a place where I've found healing and freedom I didn't even realize I needed
  • My connections group-- teaching me daily what the body of Christ looks like
  • My new job-- working at a place I love doing what I enjoy with fantastic people
  • Blood donors-- saving lives every day!
  • My cat-- even though she drives me crazy sometimes, she loves me no matter what
  • Learning new depths of God's love, goodness, faithfulness, and indwelling through the Holy Spirit
  • Fellow pilgrims to share the journey on which God sends
  • Lessons learned the hard way
  • The broken road that led me to where I am today, by the grace of God

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas Miracle!

They've brought me such joy to help celebrate the resurrection of Christ, and today, as I perused the aisles of Walgreens, I found that they are now here to help me celebrate the incarnation as well...

Cadbury "Ornament" Creme Eggs!!!!!!!!!

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. :) God bless us every one!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

525,600 Minutes

525,600 minutes
525,000 moments so dear
525,600 minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights? in sunsets? in midnights? in cups of coffee?
In inches? in miles? in laughter? in strife?
In 525,600 minutes, how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.

Yesterday marked a year ago that I left Brazil. In some ways it seems like a lifetime ago, but at the same time I remember the joy of friends and heartache of leaving like it was yesterday.

Going to Brazil was one of the best decisions I've made, honestly. It brought me back to life after my illness-- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It challenged me and brought me more fun than I could have imagined.

I was worried that yesterday was going to be a bummy day. When I left Brazil, I was fully intending to move back within six months, so in some ways I feel like a lot of my feelings and relationships are unresolved. When I think of my beloved friends there I haven't seen in a year now, my heart still pangs.

But God is good. Yesterday I was able to spend time with some people I love dearly, and soak up the joy of being where I am now.

Every time I think I know where the road is headed, it seems to take a turn that I didn't expect. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. :)

It’s time now to sing out, though the story never ends
Let's celebrate remember a year in the life of friends.
Remember the love.. Measure in love... Seasons of love!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Secrets and Lies

Secrecy versus honesty seems to be a current theme of my life that God is working on within me.

In telling my story like I did a few weeks ago, I was forced to confront many secrets I'd been keeping about my life-- many of them brought to light for the first time. To say that has been painful is an understatement, but it is also a victory over several weapons Satan has been using to manipulate my thoughts and beliefs.

Also, a mentor of mine recently challenged me to confront a "secret" I was keeping from a friend. I quote secret because that's truly not how I saw it; I would have admitted that I probably wasn't telling the whole truth, but I never considered myself being secretive or manipulative. However, my mentor wrote the following words to explain effect he's seen secrecy have time and again on relationships:
In relationships, unaddressed things gain power over time. Whether it's in relationships between people or the relationship between a person and the Lord, the enemy inhabits shame, guilt, and fear and uses it to erode an individual's usefulness to God and to destroy his or her joy.
I realized that by being afraid to share myself and my feelings, I was keeping the relationship on a superficial level and setting the stage for Satan to foster fear and manipulation later on down the road. In spite of every fearful natural instinct in me, I told my friend the truth. Honestly, initially it was hard on both of us, thanks to some severe miscommunication (which I firmly believe was Satan trying to destroy a relationship that glorified God). But we were committed to working through it, and ultimately it opened a dialogue that ushered in a new level of freedom, openness, and trust that I, honestly, have rarely experienced.

Since then, God has opened the doors and opened my eyes to the importance of honesty in several areas of my life. This isn't to suggest that we should bare our souls to every schmuck that walks by, but how many of us are truly honest with those we love and want to grow closer to? If anyone else is like me, they're afraid that by revealing their true selves and feelings people will respond with disgust or rejection. And at times that might happen. But God has used several people in my life recently to show me that honesty and vulnerability is a beautiful thing, and in holy relationships can reveal the heart and love of God.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?
Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts.
So it's fairly simple to cut right through the mess,
And to stop the muscle that makes us confess.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

My office has wonderfully eclectic taste in music, and I was introduced to Ingrid Michaelson earlier this week. "Breakable" (available for listening via myspace) has been on my mind, because I've recently become extremely aware of how true the sentiment is.

For so much of my life I've struggled to maintain perfect appearances, oftentimes sacrificing vulnerability and trust with who I really am. Other times when I've let people into the deeper, weaker parts of me, I've been abandoned or used or hurt.

I've survived a lot and I am pretty good about keeping a happy face, so I feel like I should be tough. But really I am just as breakable as the next person, just looking for friends I can trust with myself, and of whose trust I am worthy. Some days are glorious, and other days dismal, but our vulnerability is what makes us real and human. We're all breakable, even those who appear strong. Maybe it'd serve us all to live more gently and graciously with each other.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween-- A Review

2002-- Cowgirl (pictured with Ben T)

2003-- Ruth... see the wheat? (pictured with Amber F)

2004-- Boo, from Monster's Inc. (pictured with random Japanese child)

2006-- Cat feet (pictured with Havaiana sandals)

2007-- Geisha(ish) (pictured with Amy N)

2007 Redux-- Hermione