Monday, December 24, 2012

christmas adventures

I've been reading The Hobbit. And loving it. I've never loved that type of book, just because I've never given it a worthy chance. But my oh my, it is such an adventure. A man leaves the comfort of everything he's ever know for something so much BIGGER and BETTER. More vast and dangerous, yes, but much more like life really should be.

This morning I was thinking about the imperfection of me. My need for comfort. Of my own heart, and my prayers and my desires and how blurred and confused they are in the midst of this world.
I want to stay in my little "hobbit hole". But in Bilbo I've found a kindred spirit, because deep inside, when the opportunity comes for adventure, I'm ready to dive off the deep end and set out for something I've never known.

How gracious He is to listen, and love, to purify and understand.
To say NO,
when no is needed. And to say YES, when the time is right.
Praise God for His "nos".
Praise God for His "yes'"

Praise God for His adventures.
It seems like daily, I wake up, and He's waiting there,
with His hands extended, whispering,
"lets go! ... I want to take you somewhere you've never been.
I know its not what you had planned, but I PROMISE you,
it's sweeter, and deeper and so much more wild than ANYTHING
you could have ever dreamt of yourself."

who wants to go to Flodigarry, Scotland with me?

"And so, we can just pour out the fullness of our heart,
the burden of our spirit,
the sorrow that crushes us,
and KNOW that He HEARS,
He LOVES,
He UNDERSTANDS,
He RECIEVES,
and He separates from our prayer all that is imperfect,
ignorant and wrong
and presents the rest, 
with the incense of the great high priest,
before the throne on high,
and our prayer is HEARD,
ACCEPTED + ANSWERED
in His name."
-A.B. Simpson


Sweeter, deeper and so much more WILD.
so thankful for that today.
merry christmas.

"Because of God's tender mercy,
the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
and to guide us to the path of peace".
LUKE 1: 78-79

Monday, August 13, 2012

the things the mountains say

Braunwald, Switzerland. Where Hannah Hunard wrote "Hinds Feet on High Places". Get me there. SOON
This morning I had a sweet reminder from a mentor + friend to think on "the certainty of God's promises" in Hebrews 6.
I can lose myself so often in all the expectations (fueled by the world around me and my own wicked heart) and the plans I decide will be my own. But then, to be reminded of the TRUTH, that I don't have to do any of that. I don't have to be expectant of anything other than that HE has gone ahead of me. He is a SURE and STEADFAST anchor for my soul. I can trust Him. So what more is there to do than to let loose my grip and walk ahead and love those put in my life. Without concern for myself. What an incredible thing that we are freed up, by His grace, to lose that selfish concern and consider others greater. To pour ourselves out, in the smallest and simplest ways. It is a simple and yet profound thing to say and believe that I trust in Him. But it ends in truly believing that love is absolutely the happiest thing. "There is pain too, certainly. But Love does not think that very significant."

"The secret of expreriencing true love is to go lower. Pour yourself down. Go lower and lower. Give and give and give, and serve with joyful abandonment...
Love is not a feeling. It is an overmastering passion to help and bless and deliver and comfort and strengthen and give joy to others just as the Lord Jesus always did.
Here on earth we have the opportunity to do what the God of love does all the time, and to learn to abandon ourselves to loving, to giving, to seeking, and to saving others. Not a lovely feeling of affection, but the extreme eternal ecstasy of creating happiness and good and blessed things for others to enjoy. To cast ourselves down like the Brumbach Falls, in happy giving, asking for nothing in return except the joy of doing so. When we really begin to learn and practice that lesson we shall begin to feel "at home" in the eternal world of selfless love...
God has been saying to me over and over again, "It is so happy to love without asking to be loved in return. Dare to be happy!" -Hannah Hurnard

Believe steadfastly in the invisible things. "For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 
2 Corinthians 4:18

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. 
Hebrews 6:17-20






Tuesday, July 3, 2012

becoming

"there is a season for wildness, 
and a season for settledness. 
This is neither. 
This is a season about becoming."



earlier this morning I went to watch the sunrise.
I sat on the deck, in my favorite chair overlooking the lake. and waited, with bleary eyes, for the sun to rise.
I was expectant.
the sky was completely hazy, and there was no hint of the sun except for a tiny slit in the clouds. A tiny little glimpse.
I wondered how much prettier it probably looked from up above. on the other side of all of the haze.

I was impatient. tired of waiting for it to be more.
to be prettier. to be what I expected.
What I wanted.

And I felt the Lord tell me to wait. 
Then, at 6:58 the sun finally peeked through, and filled the sky with so much more than I could have imagined.
much more than I could have ever expected.

what a sweet and silent promise.
to just wait. For His time. He is making this life so much more beautiful that any of us could ever expect.
There are seasons of fullness and there are seasons of emptiness.
seasons of joy and seasons of pain.
and they are ALL good and all perfectly orchestrated by a God who PROMISES that He knows where we are going (job 23:10)
and promises that He has so much good for us. More than we can even begin to imagine.
If we would just rest and trust in Him.

there is so much life to be had.
not in beautiful places and relationships and experiences and adventures alone.
but in Him. In knowing him. 
The Lord sets the boundaries of our lives and asks us to remain faithful in and through them. (Acts 17:26) To be present in them.
He meets us here. Right here. In our joys and our pains.
Intimately and perfectly.
With so much grace.

There is no greater love.
It is overwhelming.

So, on this eve of my favorite holiday of the year, I pray for more.
For more waiting and more trusting and more hurting and healing.
More celebrating and living and eating and drinking and loving. 

We will see so much more beauty than we could have ever expected on the day we get to meet Him face to face. Oh my I can't wait.

 
Plough deep in me, great Lord,
heavenly Husbandman,
that my being may be a tilled field,
the roots of grace spreading far and wide,
until You alone are seen in me,
Your beauty golden like summer harvest,
Your fruitfulness as autumn plenty.
I have no master but You,
no law but Your will,
no delight but in You,
no wealth but that which You give,
no good but of that which You bless,
no peace but that which You bestow.
I am nothing but what You make of me.
I have nothing but what I receive from You.
I can be nothing but what grace adorns me.

Quarry me deep, dear Lord,
and then fill me to overflowing with living water.
- the valley of vision
 
 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

preposterous things.

 the Lord God is my STRENGTH,
and he will make my feet like hinds' feet,
and he will make me walk upon mine high places.
HABAKKUK 3:19


much-afraid trembled and looked at him shamefacedly.
"I don't think - I want - hinds' feet, if it means I have to go on a path like that,"
she said slowly and painfully.

The Shepherd was a very surprising person.
Instead of looking either disappointed or disapproving, he actually laughed again.
"Oh, yes you do," he said cheerfully.
"I know you better than you know yourself, Much-Afraid.
You want it very much indeed,
and I promise you these hinds' feet.
Indeed, I have brought you on purpose to this back side of the desert,
where the mountains are particularly steep and where there are no paths
but the tracks of the deer and the mountain goats for you to follow,
that the promise may be fulfilled.
What did I say to you the last time we met?"

"You said, "Now shalt thou see what I will do," she answered,
and then, looking at him reproachfully, added,
"But I never dreamed you would do anything like this! 
Lead me to an impassable precipice
up which nothing can go but deer and goats, when I'm no more like a deer or a goat that is a jellyfish.
It's too - it's too-" she fumbled, for words, and then burst out laughing.
"Why, it's too preposterously absurd! It's crazy! Whatever will you do next?"

The Shepherd laughed too.
"I love doing preposterous things," he replied.
"Why, I don't know anything more exhilarating and delightful than turning  
weakness into strength,
and fear into faith,
and that which has been marred into perfection.
If there is one thing more than another which I should enjoy doing at this moment
it is turning a jellyfish into a mountain goat.
That is my special work," he added with the light of great joy in his face.
"Transforming things - to take Much-Afraid, for instance and to transform her into --"

He broke off and then went on laughingly.
"Well, we shall see later on what she finds herself transformed into."

- hinds feet on high places.

i guess its time to climb the mountain

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

much is expected.

i sell flowers for a living.
i sit people down, in a high end culinary store, day in and day out, serve them glasses of champagne, and talk to them about their weddings, and design, and create, and dream.
I live in a pretty world. i live a dreamy life.
its a good job.
a very very good job.
I live my days from 9:30ish to 5:30 with two of the most inspiring, life-giving, gospel-centered women I've ever know.
they live their lives with Jesus' name on their lips. 
And i am truly blessed.

but its a funny feeling. for each of us. to walk away each day. from this job. these days. to know THIS is where the Lord has me. THIS is where I must be. to declare his name and his love. but oh my how much more HE longs for me to move than I do in my everyday. to serve. and to humble myself.

(i lie in the dust, revive me by your word. psalm 119:25)

it is a chilly night. and im craving a grilled cheese. i complain in my head that its going to cost me $7.00 for my dinner.
then, like a slap in the face. im reminded.
a woman, with her 7 year old little boy huddled into the back seat of their car at the gas station, loaded with everything they own, approaches me. and asks me. ME. to buy her little boy some dinner. a hot dog inside the convenience store. and some juice. i say, absolutely. i ask her if shes okay.
she tells me everything is going to be fine. shes sure of it. everything's going to be fine.
i wish her well. ask her if she needs anything else. she says no. and walks away.
it costs me $3.89 to buy her little boy some food.
i get back into my car, and weep.

(god left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. 2 Chronicles 32:31)

i am humbled. i am so blind. so ignorant. so apathetic.
to the brokeness of this world.
to the little ones all around the world who fight day in and day out to EAT. to not starve.
to DRINK. and not thirst. to be WARM. and SAFE from harm.
not a day in my life has gone by that i have had to FIGHT for any of these things.
I am the minority of this world.
this brokenness is so real. it cannot be ignored. it cannot be ignored because I am comfortable.

(For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. Luke 12:48)

this is not something we ignore. this is NOT something I can ignore.
If i believe, like i say i do, that a GRACIOUS, compassionate, LOVING, infinitely powerful, KIND,
radiant GOD decided to save me. and provide for me in the ways He has.
I cannot ignore.

I am called. to care for the orphan. and the widow. I am called to give a cup of water to the least of these. and to welcome into my home those without warmth.
I am called to share the gospel of JESUS CHRIST with everyone I see. whether with words. or my life. or my love. I am called.
We all are.

I have 3 pairs of boots. 8 warm jackets. probably 100 shirts. 5 pairs of jeans. and three different kinds of shampoo. I live in a home, in the suburbs, with heat. I have my own room. with a bed. and blankets. and pillows. I take hot showers every day. I eat until I am full. I own and read books. I am loved completely and fully by my parents. I have friends who would go a million miles and back to help me.
I am college educated. I drive a nice car. I own my own copy of the bible. actually I own FIVE of my own copy of the bible. I know how to read. I know how to write. I can turn on my faucet, and clean, safe water comes pouring out.

I have been given much. I have been given much. I have been given so much.

MUCH. is expected.


Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father 
means caring for orphans and widows 
in their distress and 
refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27 

so if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.
1 Timothy 6:8



'tis the season to give. to give freely. and to give much.
Merry Christmas.

Monday, November 7, 2011

to trust.

James 4:4-10 The Message 

"You're cheating on God. 
If all you want is your own way, 
flirting with the world every chance you get, 
you end up enemies of God and his way. 
And do you suppose God doesn't care? 
The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover." 
 
And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find.
 
It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud; 
God gives grace to the willing humble."

So let God work his will in you. 
Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. 
Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. 
Quit dabbling in sin. 
Purify your inner life. 
Quit playing the field. 
Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. 
The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. 
Get down on your knees before the Master; 
it's the only way you'll get on your feet."


"the Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?" proverbs 20:24
trust.

Friday, November 4, 2011

to my big sister, casey.

today is the day my big sister turns 24.
to call her a big sister is funny, because we are almost like twins.
exactly a year and 18 days apart, we grew up at each others sides.
the three cook girls. all so different. and all so the same.


she was purple and i was always pink.
she had the long, gorgeous dark, shiny hair.
i was the funny blonde.

she has blue eyes.
i have dark brown.

she was fun and crazy.
i was quiet and shy.

we are opposite from eachother in every way.
and thats what i love about her. about us.
the coolest thing about being given the gift of a sister is that i've walked through life with her.
i've seen her ups and her downs. her highs and her lows.
and oh how she's seen mine as well.
and her love for me still holds true.
and mine for her.


i've know Casey as a off the wall, climb through the cabinets, hang off the chandelier kid,
to the hand holding, tear suppressing big sister walking me to my 1st grade class, (and mayyybeee my 9th grade class too... i was shy?)
to the protector, to the choir buddy, and my volleyball friend,
to my dinner out at Macaroni grill in her black honda accord buddy,
the shopping at forever 21 and making our hair look like mary kate
and ashley olsen's from Holiday in the Sun,
to the drive in the car and listen to me cry my heart out about whatever his name was.
she is my friend.
and the one who listens so well.
when that's all i need.
and i am thankful for that.


ive watched casey change and grow and become, through so much, with such grace.
ive seen her walk down the aisle to her husband Jason, (my broski in law, whom i love!)
and ive watched her raise her first daughter Lily to be a too smart for her own good, precious, firecracker, just like her mom.
and ive watched as shes nurtured her sweet little Natalie Reed into our lives aswell.

what a joy and a blessing to have a life set before me.
that i can learn from and be encouraged by.
to have a big sister who can lead me through.
she is an example of what it means to be patient. and gentle. and quiet spirited.
and hard working. and selfless. and a sweet, sweet mother.

so. casey,
here's to 24 years of life. and to the absolute gift you have been for the (almost) 23 of mine.
I love you dearly, and can't wait to see what is to come in the goodness God has for us as sisters, and wives and mothers and friends. you are my light and i don't know who i'd be today without you.

i love you.