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

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.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

autumn. november. leaves.

“Winter is an etching,

spring a watercolor, 

summer an oil painting

and autumn a mosaic of them all.”

Stanley Horowitz 

You wont spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires,
but you will be anxious to do the will of God.
1 Peter 4:2

this season of life is a new version of every other i've walked through thus far.
a new piece of the mosaic that is my life, pieced together day by day.
i fall short once again. and the lord ushers me into yet a deeper rest in Him.
my perspective is so very nearsighted. to say the least. so very flawed.
i can see only the immediate.
my vision is blurred.
fogged by my own desires, wants,
all the things i constantly think i need.

then the lord, in his gracious mercy, pulls me back in.
pulls me back to him.
focuses my heart.
focuses my desires.
that they be for Him and for Him alone.
that they be sanctified. sharpened. refined.
painful. beautiful. perfect. in Him.
for his kingdom. and his glory. and his ultimate will.

i wake up each morning and wonder how anyone could ever
do this life without the hope of our sovereign God and his perfect love for us through jesus christ's death on the cross.
and his resurrection.
i fall short of his glory every day.
oh to know his infinite love for my infinitely sinful self.
oh to rest in his perfections.
oh to dwell in His house all the days of my life.
oh to be a lionhearted woman for making his name known.

there is nothing sweeter.
there is nothing more.

"There is no safer place in all the universe
than under the wings of the sovereign, 
all-wise, all-loving God. 
But the shadow of these wings may take us 
to dangerous places in the cause of love."

A Sweet + Bitter Providence: Piper