Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lessons to Be Learned

This has been a week full of hard lessons and part of me is tired of being a perpetual student. Well at least these lessons mean that God is taking the time to challenge and grow me deeper in my relationship with Him. Allow me to share a few of the lessons I've been learning this week.

Lesson #1- The church is not perfect and neither am I. I need to be willing to let the grace of Christ into every area of my life, especially in the area of relationships. Humility must become my lifelong companion.

This week has been heavy and filled with a lot of drama and stress. I think I even told Jon that I wanted us to move to Fiji and live as hermits for the rest of our lives. Seeing that Jon loves Fiji, he almost agreed. I mean how cool would it be to be a pseudo Fijian?!? Anyway with the week coming to a close I can say that my heart just hurts. Speaking vaguely...people are hard to deal with, myself included. When sin bumps up against sin (especially within the Body of Christ) it is not pretty except if we allow the grace of God to intervene. I guess the one question I feel I should ask myself in dealing with any future circumstances is this: "Was the Lord glorified?" Unfortunately in this particular case my heart was not always glorifying to God so I'm left asking Him to use the experience to humble and teach me and to do so in the lives of those involved. Cryptic comments over... ;-)

Lesson #2- Our God is not small and the dreams and callings He places on our lives are not small either. When he calls, we are compelled to obey. I don't want to settle for anything less. He is the God of the impossible!

When I was not consumed with the drama of the past week the other thoughts taking up space in my head were centered around adoption. Adoption without a doubt is a calling in the life of me and my husband. My heart beats for this child whom I have never met and who probably isn't even born yet. However there were times I was afraid to just come out and say that we will adopt Now, there is no denying that at some point down the road God will open the doors for us to begin that exciting process. The details of said adoption are not anywhere close to being set in stone. Jon and I are burdened for a specific country (those of you who know me well don't have to guess about this one) but due to regulations set by that government adoption looks like it may be a few years down the road. However, that hasn't stopped us from talking and dreaming about what our family may end up looking like. We have discussed how we could incorporate that specific culture into our family and wonder how friends and family would react. One of the things I enjoy talking with Jon about the most is imagining how God will orchestrate this entire process. What miracles will He work? I can't wait and see!

Lesson #3- The best medicine for impatient people is the journey of waiting on the Lord.

Even now with adoption most likely years down the road I'm seeing that it will not be an easy process. My heart already yearns to bring this precious child home. I think about the mounds of paperwork, red tape and the guaranteed obstacles we will encounter on this journey and all I can do is pray. God has already performed a miracle in my own heart, giving me an intense love for a child I have never seen, or felt. I think the next miracle will once again be within increase in my faith and patience. Can I trust God to complete this in his own perfect time? Do I trust that He is good and will provide for all our needs?

"I believe; help my unbelief!"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Still in my mid-twenties

I am turning 26 today! Yikes. In honor of my birthday lets recap the amazing year of 1983 and the decade of the 80s. Travel back in time with me...

US President: Ronald Reagan
Average Income: $12, 133.00
Price of Gas (per gallon): $1.29
Price of Bread: $.66
Price of Stamps: $.20

Top 3 Grossing Movies of 1983
#1- Return of the Jedi
#2- Terms of Endearment
#3- Flashdance

1983 Facts
- The last deloreans were produced in 1983. (This one is for you Jon)
- The "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign debuts
- People Magazine's most intriguing people of 1983: Debra Winger, Mr. T., Joan Rivers, Matthew Brodrick, Michael Jackson, & Jennifer Beals
- Challenger makes it's first flight.
- Top television shows of 1983: 60 minutes, Dallas, The A-Team, Magnum P.I., Dynasty
- The compact disc was introduced for recorded music.

1983 Fashion Accessories:
- Puff Paint
- High tops
- Slap bracelets
- Trapper Keepers
- Neon socks
- Leg warmers
- Jellie Shoes
- Parachute Pants
- Big hair!

Grammy Award Winners 1983
Pop Male Vocal: "Thriller" Michael Jackson
Pop Female Vocal: "Flashdance...What A Feeling" Irene Cara
Pop Duo/Group: "Every Breath You Take" The Police
Record Of The Year: "Beat It" Michael Jackson
Song Of The Year: "Every Breath You Take" Sting (songwriter)

You grew up in the 80s if . . .
- You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton Dance
- You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom
- If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock"
- You can sing the entire theme song to "Duck Tales" (Woo ooh!)
- It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons
- You wore a ponytail on the side of your head
- You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school
- You ever wore fluorescent neon clothing (some of us...head-to-toe)
- You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted
- You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up"
- You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
- You remember Popples

For more 80s fun check this out...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ray Comfort

Another compelling sermon given by Ray Comfort speaking about the Gospel of Christ! Good stuff and so convicting.

ray comfort.mp3

Friday, February 13, 2009


Lately I've been thinking a lot about the next phase of life, specifically parenthood and being a mom. Jon is close to finishing school and with that exciting change on the horizon I know that starting a family is getting closer. We'll have to wait and see how God's timing will orchestrate everything but my heart is starting to ache just a bit.

Often times I find myself praying for the Lord to keep my feet firmly planted in the present because my thoughts and dreams can quickly distract me from the work God has given me to do right now. I have to remind myself that God is using and will continue to use this time to prepare both me and my husband for what lies ahead so rushing it would do us no good. We are not just wading through the routine of school and the rigor of working nights for nothing. We haven't wasted our time...God hasn't wasted our time. God has been shaping, refining and teaching us the past couple of years. It has been so gradual that it's easy to miss at first but as I look back two and half years ago I can say without a doubt that I am in such a stronger and more intimate relationship with my Savior than ever before and the thought of being a parent only spurs me on to love God with more fervor.

Here are some random thoughts about parenthood that have been rolling around in my brain. Allow me to think out loud for a bit.

- A week or so ago Jon and I were talking about being parents and the ideas we have in how we want to raise our children. During our conversation I began to feel overwhelmed thinking, "I have no clue how to do that!" It's true. I have no idea what it takes to be a mom, and how my husband and I will raise our kids up in the love of Christ and teach them about the Gospel. It's a daunting task and praise be to God that he will guide us through it! So I guess praying now for godly wisdom wouldn't hurt.

- I wonder what the life of a mother should look like. I know that God has given me other passions and gifts in my life. How does that fit into being a stay at home mom? Where do I get the outlet of serving and using the gifts God has placed in my life? How do I serve and love my husband in a way that is supportive to his ministry and our marriage. It seems like quite a balancing act. I need the grace of God to guide me when the time comes.

- As we think about our future family, Jon and I continue to talk often about adoption. We feel that God has compelled us to pursue this opportunity and I honestly can't wait. There was a time in my life (not that long ago) that I wondered how and why people felt compelled to adopt. How do you know? I understand now that you just know. The only way I can think to explain that calling is to say that our family would be incomplete without bringing an adopted child into our home.

Well I think that is all for now. I should probably close this chapter just for now because it's easy to get ahead of myself. God is so good and I can only imagine what he has in store for us down the road.

Lord break my heart for what breaks yours.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My sister is growing up!!

Happy Birthday Tiff!! I wish more than anything that I could be there to celebrate with you. You are loved and missed a ton!! Hope you have a wonderful day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

25 Random Facts About Me

I have been contemplating putting this list together after getting tagged like crazy on facebook. I've been feeling the pressure so...I'm caving in. Here goes.

#1- I am the daughter of a pastor and a nurse. I am also the oldest of 4 girls

#2- When I was a child I was hit by a car as I walked to school. After being taken to the hospital by ambulance they found that I didn't have any major injuries, just some bumps and bruises.

#3- I am in love with India. This passion began when I was a freshman in college. It all started with Share the Well, an album by the Christian group Caedmon's Call. My husband and I now sponsor a little girl in India. Her name is Aleena. I am fascinated by all things Indian. I find their culture beautiful yet so dark all at the same time. I enjoy listening to Indian music, learning about their religions as well as their culture.

#4- I have a very slight case of claustrophobia. I seriously have no idea where this came from. Every once and a while if I am wrapped up in a blanket or have something tight around my feet I get the uncontrollable urge to have to move and free myself. I recently experienced this feeling on a plane (the first time this has ever happened). I had to breath deep a couple of times and remind myself that I still had plenty of space. Thankfully the feeling passed quickly.

#5- When I was little I either wanted to be a marine biologist or a singer. I have no clue where the idea of a marine biologist came from except to say that at one point in time I was fascinated by sharks.

#6- One of my fondest memories growing up is when my dad would take me out on father daughter dates. My dad, though human, gave me a wonderful glimpse of what my heavenly Father is like and he also showed me the importance of men treating women with respect.

#7- I hate peas. When I had to eat peas I always swallowed them whole, like pills. The texture, smell, and sight are all completely gross to me.

#8- There was a time when I thought I was a very flexible person, able to take on change with ease. I now realize that is far from the truth.

#9- I really enjoy learning and studying art (paintings, sculpture, music etc), and architecture. I see the creativity of God through the hands of his creation.

#10- I am by nature always cold...well maybe not always, but most of the time. I sleep with socks on (more so in the winter months) and often have to wear layers even when I am inside.

#11- I love to travel and would jump at the chance to visit places like England, Italy, France and India.

#12- I use to hate Shakespeare, mainly because I never really had anyone teach it to me in a way that made it interesting. It wasn't until my junior year in high school when Shakespeare finally came alive. I was taking an acting class and performed a scene from The Two Gentlemen of Verona. I've loved the plays of Shakespeare ever since.

#13- When I was in junior high I performed a solo in front of the entire school during an assembly. I forgot the lyrics right at the end of the song and I remember clear as day that a girl in the back of the bleachers stood up, pointed at me and laughed. I think it is safe to say that that moment was probably one of the most humiliating moments I have ever experienced. Even to this day the thought of it still stings. I saw this girl again a few years later and although she didn't seem to recognize me those feelings of resentment were still there. As she walked by I smiled to myself because despite her actions...I still get up on stage to this day and sing. I love every minute of it!

#14- I hate boxy cars. I'm not even kidding!

#15- I have moved somewhere in the area of 20 times during my life, that includes living in 9 different states. I seriously have lost count.

#16- I don't make friends easily. I'm not the type of person to tell you my life story the first time we meet. It's hard for me to open up to people because deep down, part of me figures that I'm going move away from them eventually so why invest.

#17- I am tired of shallow relationships. God has been so gracious to me lately and is finally teaching me what it means to really invest in people. I'm beginning to learn how to be vulnerable and deep with friends. This has been such an exciting but challenging thing for me to learn. So if I ever ask how you are doing, I really mean it.

#18- I have a texture issue with different foods. I don't like bread with raisins or cookies with nuts. I know there are more things I dislike but it is 5:30am and I'm having trouble coming up with them.

#19- There are three "dream" jobs I could picture myself doing right now.
- I would love to work for a missions organization and have a chance to travel
on short trips to see what the Lord is doing all over the world.
- I would also enjoy working for an adoption agency which focuses on
international adoptions.
- The other thing (which would probably not be a job) would be to spur
the local church on to missions work. If I can't go...I must be a part of

#20- There is a small part of me that is scared and hesitant to be in ministry with the church in America. We are such a spoiled people who feel no need to rely on anyone, let alone God. My heart for change and more of God is what keeps me optimistic about being in ministry in the States.

#21- There is a huge part of me that wishes God would call Jon and I overseas as missionaries. There are times I struggle with jealousy when I see the work friends will be able to take part in God's work throughout the world.

#22- My job has changed me. I am a far different person than I was three years ago. Never would I have imagined working at a place where I have been spit on, hit, kicked, called names and cussed out. My skin has become thicker but my heart remains soft to the plight of these girls. There are many days when I am sick of dealing with their drama but God in no way overlooks the downtrodden. May I learn to love these girls better than I do now.

#23- I spent 6 weeks overseas during the summer between my junior and senior year of college. My time was spent in Papua New Guinea where I put together a VBS program for the kids in the local villages.

#24- Evangelism is a topic close to my heart. I believe that is also why missions is something I have been burdened with for quite some time. I have not been bold in sharing my faith lately. This is something I feel the Lord challenging me to grow in.

#25- My husband and I feel led to adopt. Although we know that it is not the time yet my heart still beats faster when I think of bringing home a child and making him/her a part of our family. What stirs me most about adoption is that all Christians can relate. We have been bought with a price and are now considered children of God!

"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Her Morning Elegance- Oren Lavie

A really interesting music video!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

God's Grace Sustains Me

It has been an interesting couple of days. My workplace has been without power since Tuesday morning and on Thursday they had to move all of our girls off campus into a different facility. It has been one huge mess with a lot of chaos. Most of my nights have been spent in dimly lit hallways with little to do. I feel like I've been stretched to my limit more than once and only by the grace of God have I been held together.

Last night was one of the most blessed nights I have had at work. Due to the lack of distractions, I was "forced" to spend the night reading. Despite my circumstances I felt sustained in every way and spent the entire night reading through scripture, reading A.W. Tozer, The Life and Diary of David Brainerd and journaling my thoughts and prayers. The sweet sense of the heavenly made me despise being distracted by anything less. The words of Tozer resonated with me as he spoke of our belonging "to an amazing fellowship of the redeemed throughout the world." My heart was encouraged and I couldn't help but long for more of God and his mighty work in my life. The words of believers through the ages was encouraging and spurred me on to seek God without distractions.

This sense of thankfulness and encouragement continued on in the morning hours. On Sunday morning due to the weather, church was cancelled so we had our community group over to our apartment for a condensed version of a Sunday service. The time our group spent together in fellowship, worship, prayer and scripture reading was beautiful and I was reminded yet again of this great community of believers we are a part of. Our lives, both presently and all the way back to the early church, are knitted together by the one we have come to know intimately as our Lord and Savior. The Christ that died and rose again is the same God we serve today. His power has not diminished and his church is still living and active, vibrantly displaying his glory in all areas of the world. I can hardly speak of how amazing that truth is. I was encouraged today and am hoping to spend tonight much in the same way as yesterday. My longing is for more of God...I cannot be content with anything less.

"Oh, I thought, if I could be spiritual, warm, heavenly-minded, and affectionately breathing after God this would be better than life to me!"- David Brainerd