30 December 2010

dry bones

These past few days have been full of a lot of reminiscing. I'm the kind of person who, when on the threshold of something new, I take a minute to look back on life. I don't live in the past, but I think it's a wonderful experience to look back on your life, especially on the verge of a new year, and see how you've changed or how you've remained the same - whether good or bad. It's a pretty interesting reality check.

This year has been one of the most revolutionary, wild years I've ever had. At the same time, it's been one of the calmest, most "home-like" years.

This year has been full of "firsts."
First time truly serving God by serving others.
First time leading my own Bible study.
First time getting INVOLVED in a church.
First time getting a CT Scan/blood work.
First time opening up about a struggle/addiction I've battled for most of my life.
First time attending a Messianic Jewish congregation & learning Hebrew & Shabbat dinner, etc.
First time doing my own Shabbat dinner.
First time going to the doctor by my choosing.
First time legally having alcohol (not that I had much before I was 21..)
First time wearing/owning a pair of jeans.
First time cutting my hair short(er).
First time finishing a Bible study.
First time temporarily deactivating my facebook.
First time coming to Mid GA & not coming home.
First time legitimately holding hands with a boy..twice or three times or more...which is hilarious.
First time being chair of anything important, really - aka Relay for Life at BC.
First time committing myself to accountability about my life in general.
First time painting my face.
First time lofting mybed
First time going to PCB.
First time as a "greeter" at church.
First time going to Passion.
First time painting for someone else.
First time dressing up for Halloween (as a crayon no less!).
First time going to Marietta Diner.

The list goes on and on - I'm not even kidding.

As much as things have changed, I'm incredibly grateful. I feel like I've grown more spiritually in the past 12 months than in any other 12 month period of time in my life so far. It's insane. I'm loving it, but I also just fall into sin a lot as well. I've got great new friends. I've had times where I've felt absolutely fed up. I've cried...who are we kidding? I've cried A LOT in the past 12 months..but I've also laughed a lot in the past 12 months...I've laughed so much. I've learned so much. I've been burdened and I've been set free.
I've fought a lot - for pointless things and for things that deserve to be fought for. I've watched a lot of tv, filled up two journals, and played callouses onto my fingers with my guitar. I've thought I was in love.
three times.
One time I was right .. and still am .. and forever will be.

I've learned so much.
I've learned that trying to impress people always leads to dishonesty. I've learned that falling apart isn't the end of the world, but staying there is. I've learned that adventures happen for an absolutely necessary reason and running with them is glorious. I've learned that the world is made of colors - there is no black in nature. I've learned that watching other people is only okay for a time. I've learned that I will always have my sophomores. I've learned that complete honesty defeats fear. I've learned that I can't do everything, but I have to do something. I've learned that baking cookies is completely relaxing. I've learned that I don't have to open up, but I need to. I've learned that it's not about me. I've learned that nothing is a coincidence. I've learned that there are 1440 minutes in a day--10% of that time is 2 hours and 24 minutes. I've learned that I waste time. I've learned the definition of 'friend.' I've learned .. to wait.

But, the biggest lesson is that God's Word is still alive today. With it comes comfort. God uses other people to teach us things. God equips us for every possible circumstance. I may not understand what His plans are, but I'll hold on until they get here because I know they're beneficial and a.w.e.s.o.m.e.
I've also learned that I really like shoes...but I knew that already.

27 December 2010

Your Faithful Love

I’ve been working on this for a while and I don’t think I’m finished, but I wanted to compile it on here because I just want to share. It’s absolutely incredible.
I was reading through Psalm 119 a few months ago – a section at a time, which is really interesting if you haven’t tried it – and noticed that certain phrases were repeated over and over. One of them was some variation of Your Faithful Love. I started putting a box around that phrase and highlighting it green. Green because green signifies life. After finishing that, I started in Psalm 1 for my daily Psalm and I kept seeing this phrase over and over. In my Old Testament class we’d be reading something and I’d notice it elsewhere in scripture. I finally went through Psalm and picked all the ones out I could find and I’m still finding more. The Hebrew word for the phrase in these verses (there are more, but I only included the ones that specifically or very closely translated to "Your Faithful Love") is chesed. This sometimes translates as "Covenant of Love," which is also interesting. Chesed is used in Ruth for describing Boaz - Ruth's kinsman redeemer. It was actually a huge part of the study on Ruth I did last semester & last summer from Kelly Minter. It means something like this: "consistent, ever-faithful, relentless, constantly pursuing, lavish, extravagant, unrestrained, covenant, furious love." Pretty intense, huh?
Maybe it’s just my translation (HCSB), but it just blows my mind how often God uses His people to point out His Faithful Love and how many promises are attached to His Faithful Love.

Genesis 47:29 “When the time drew near for him to die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise me that you will deal with me in Faithful Love. Do not bury me in Egypt.”
Exodus 15:13 “You will lead the people You have redeemed with Your Faithful Love; You will guide them to Your holy dwelling with Your strength.”
Exodus 20:6 “but showing Faithful Love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.”
Exodus 34:6 “Then the LORD passed in front of him and proclaimed: Yahweh—Yahweh is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in Faithful Love and truth”
Exodus 34:7 “maintaining Faithful Love to a thousand generations, forgiving wrongdoing, rebellion, and sin. But He will not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ wrongdoing on the children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation.”
Numbers 14:18 “The LORD is slow to anger and rich in Faithful Love, forgiving wrongdoing and rebellion. But He will not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ wrongdoing on the children to the third and fourth generations.”
Numbers 14:19 “Please pardon the wrongdoing of this people in keeping with the greatness of Your Faithful Love just as You have forgiven them from Egypt until now.”
Deuteronomy 5:10 “but showing Faithful Love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.”
Ruth 1:8 “She said to them, “Each of you go back to your mother’s home. May the LORD show Faithful Love to you as you have shown to the dead and to me.”
1 Samuel 20:14 “If I continue to live, treat me with the LORD’s Faithful Love, but if I die,”
1 Samuel 20:15 “don’t ever withdraw Your Faithful Love from my household—not even when the LORD cuts off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.”
2 Samuel 7:15 “But My Faithful Love will never leave him as I removed it from Saul; I removed him from your way.”
1 Kings 3:6 “And Solomon replied, “You have shown great and Faithful Love to Your servant, my father David, because he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity. You have continued this great and Faithful Love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne as it is today.”
1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His Faithful Love endures forever.”
1 Chronicles 16:41 “With them were Heman, Jeduthun, and the rest who were chosen and designated by name to give thanks to the LORD – for His Faithful Love endures forever.”
1 Chronicles 17:13 “I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me. I will not take away My Faithful Love from him as I took it from the one who was before you.”
2 Chronicles 1:8 “And Solomon said to God; “You have shown great Faithful Love to my father David, and You have made me king in his place.”
2 Chronicles 5:13 “The trumpeters and singers joined together to praise and thank the LORD with one voice. They raised their voices, accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and musical instruments, in praise to the LORD: For He is good; His Faithful Love endures forever; the temple, the LORD’s temple, was filled with a cloud.”
2 Chronicles 7:3 “All the Israelites were watching when the fire descended and the glory of the LORD came on the temple. They bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement. They worshiped and praised the LORD: For He is good, for His Faithful Love endures forever.”
2 Chronicles 7:6 “The priests were standing at their stations, as were the Levites with the musical instruments of the LORD, which King David had made to praise the LORD –“for His Faithful Love endures forever”—when David offered praise with them. Across from them, the priests were blowing trumpets, and all the people were standing.”
2 Chronicles 20:21 “Then he consulted with the people and appointed some to sing for the LORD and some to praise the splendor of His holiness. When they went out in front of the armed forces, they kept singing: Give thanks to the LORD, for His Faithful Love endures forever.”
2 Chronicles 32:32 “As for the rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign and all his deeds of Faithful Love, note that they are written about in the Visions of the Prophet Isaiah son of Amoz, and in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.”
2 Chronicles 35:26 “The rest of the events of Josiah’s reign, along with his deeds of Faithful Love according to what is written in the law of the LORD”
Ezra 3:11 “They sang with praise and thanksgiving to the LORD: “For He is good; His Faithful Love to Israel endures forever.”
Ezra 9:17 “They refused to listen and did not remember Your wonders You performed among them. They became stiff-necked and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in Faithful Love, and You did not abandon them.”
Nehemiah 13:22 “Then I instructed the Levites to purify themselves and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, my God, and look on me with compassion in keeping with Your Abundant and Faithful Love.”
Ester 2:9 “The young woman pleased him and carried Faithful Love before him so that he accelerated the process of the beauty treatments and the special diet that she received. He assigned seven hand-picked female servants to her from the palace and transferred her and her servants to the harem’s best quarters.”
Job 10:12 “You gave me life and Faithful Love, and Your care has guarded my life.”
Job 37:13 “He causes this to happen for punishment, for His land, or for His Faithful Love.”
Psalm 5:7 “But I enter Your house by the abundance of Your Faithful Love: I bow down toward Your holy temple in reverential awe of You.”
Psalm 6:4 “Turn, LORD! Rescue me; save me because of Your Faithful Love.”
Psalm 13:5 “But I have trusted in Your Faithful Love; my heart will rejoice in Your deliverance.”
Psalm 17:7 “Display the wonders of Your Faithful Love, Savior of all who seek refuge from those who rebel against Your right hand.”
Psalm 21:7 “For the king relies on the LORD; through the Faithful Love of the Most High he is not shaken.”
Psalm 23:6 “Only goodness and Faithful Love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD as long as I live.”
Psalm 25:6 “Remember, LORD, Your compassion and Your Faithful Love, for they have existed from antiquity.”
Psalm 25:7 “Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with Your Faithful Love, remember me because of Your goodness, LORD.”
Psalm 25:10 “All the LORD’s ways show Faithful Love and truth to those who keep His covenant and decrees.”
Psalm 26:3 “For Your Faithful Love is before my eyes, and I live by Your truth.”
Psalm 31:7 “I will rejoice and be glad in Your Faithful Love because You have seen my affliction.”
Psalm 31:16 “Show Your favor to Your servant; save me by Your Faithful Love.”
Psalm 31:21 “May the LORD be praised, for He has wonderfully shown His Faithful Love to me in a city under siege.”
Psalm 32:10 “Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the LORD will have Faithful Love surrounding him.”
Psalm 33:5 “He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the LORD’s Faithful Love.”
Psalm 33:18 “Now the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him – those who depend on His Faithful Love
Psalm 36:5 “LORD, Your Faithful Love, reaches to heaven, Your faithfulness to the skies.”
Psalm 36:7 “God, Your Faithful Love is so valuable that people take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.”
Psalm 36:10 “Spread Your Faithful Love over those who know You, and Your righteousness over the upright in heart.”
Psalm 40:10 “I did not hide Your righteousness in my heart; I spoke about Your faithfulness and salvation; I did not conceal Your Faithful Love and truth from the great assembly.”
Psalm 40:11 “LORD, do not withhold Your compassion from me; Your Faithful Love and truth will always guard me.”
Psalm 42:8 “The LORD will send His Faithful Love by day; His song will be with me in the night—a prayer to the God of my life.”
Psalm 44:26 “Rise up! Help us! Redeem us because of Your Faithful Love.”
Psalm 48:9 “God, within Your temple, we contemplate Your Faithful Love.”
Psalm 51:1 “Be gracious to me, God, according to Your Faithful Love; according to Your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion.”
Psalm 52:1 “Why brag about evil, you hero! God’s Faithful Love is constant.”
Psalm 52:8 “But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s Faithful Love forever and ever.”
Psalm 57:3 “He reaches down from heaven and saves me, challenging the one who tramples me. Selah. God sends His Faithful Love and truth.”
Psalm 57:10 “For Your Faithful Love is as high as the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.”
Psalm 59:10 “My God in His Faithful Love will come to meet me; God will let me look down on my adversaries.”
Psalm 61:7 “May he sit enthroned before God forever; appoint Faithful Love and truth to guard him.”
Psalm 62:12 “and Faithful Love belongs to You, LORD. For You repay each according to his works.”
Psalm 63:3 “My lips will glorify You because Your Faithful Love is better than life.”
Psalm 66:20 “May God be praised! He has not turned away my prayer or turned His Faithful Love from me.”
Psalm 69:13 “But as for me, LORD, my prayer to You is for a time of favor. In Your abundant Faithful Love, God, answer me with Your sure salvation.”
Psalm 69:16 “Answer me, LORD, for Your Faithful Love is good.”
Psalm 77:8 “Has His Faithful Love ceased forever? Is His promise at an end for all generations?”
Psalm 85:7 “Show us Your Faithful Love, LORD, and give us Your salvation.”
Psalm 85:10 “Faithful Love and truth will join together; righteousness and peace will embrace.”
Psalm 86:5 “For You, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive, abundant in Faithful Love to all who call on You.”
Psalm 86:13 “For Your Faithful Love for me is great, and You deliver my life from the depths of Sheol.”
Psalm 86:15 “But You, Lord, are compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abundant in Faithful Love and truth.”
Psalm 88:11 “Will Your Faithful Love be declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in Abaddon?”
Psalm 89:1 “I will sing about the LORD’s Faithful Love forever; with my mouth I will proclaim Your faithfulness to all generations.”
Psalm 89:2 “For I will declare, Faithful Love is built up forever; You establish Your faithfulness in the heavens.”
Psalm 89:14 “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Faithful Love and truth go before You.”
Psalm 89:24 “My Faithfulness and Love will be with him, and through My name his horn will be exalted.”
Psalm 89:28 “I will always preserve My Faithful Love for him, and My covenant with him will endure.”
Psalm 89:33 “But I will not withdraw My Faithful Love from him or betray My faithfulness.”
Psalm 89:49 “Lord, where are the former acts of Your Faithful Love that You swore to David in Your faithfulness?”
Psalm 90:14 “Satisfy us in the morning with Your Faithful Love so that we may shout with joy nad be glad all our days.”
Psalm 92:2 “to declare Your Faithful Love in the morning and Your faithfulness at night”
Psalm 94:18 “If I say, “My foot is slipping,” Your Faithful Love will support me, LORD.”
Psalm 101:1 “I will sing of Faithful Love and justice; I will sing of praise to You, LORD.”
Psalm 103:4 “He redeems your life from the Pit; He crowns you with Faithful Love and compassion.”
Psalm 103:8 “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and full of Faithful Love.”
Psalm 103:11 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His Faithful Love toward those who fear Him.”
Psalm 103:17 “But from eternity to eternity the LORD’s Faithful Love is toward those who fear Him, and His righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep His covenant..”
Psalm 106:1 “Hallelujah! Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His Faithful Love endures forever.”
Psalm 106:45 “remembered His covenant with them, and relented according to the abundance of His Faithful Love.”
Psalm 107:1 “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His Faithful Love endures forever.”
Psalm 107:8 “Let them give thanks to the LORD for His Faithful Love and His wonderful works for the human race.”
Psalm 107:15 “Let them give thanks to the LORD for His Faithful Love and His wonderful works for the human race.”
Psalm 107:21 “Let them give thanks to the LORD for His Faithful Love and His wonderful works for the human race.”
Psalm 107:43 “Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things and consider the LORD’s acts of Faithful Love.”
Psalm 108:4 “For Your Faithful Love is higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches the clouds.”
Psalm 109:21 “But You, GOD my Lord, deal kindly with me because of Your name; deliver me because of the goodness of Your Faithful Love.”
Psalm 109:26 “Help me, LORD my God; save me according to Your Faithful Love.”
Psalm 115:1 “Not to use, LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your Faithful Love, because of Your truth.”
Psalm 117:2 “For great is His Faithful Love to us; the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever. Hallelujah!”
Psalm 118:1 “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! His Faithful Love endures forever.”
Psalm 118:2 “Let Israel say, His Faithful Love endures forever.”
Psalm 118:3 “Let the house of Aaron say, His Faithful Love endures forever.”
Psalm 118:4 “Let those who fear Him say, His Faithful Love endures forever.”
Psalm 118:29 “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His Faithful Love endures forever.”
Psalm 119:41 “Let Your Faithful Love come to me, LORD, Your salvation, as You promised.”
Psalm 119:64 “LORD, the earth is filled with Your Faithful Love; teach me Your statutes.”
Psalm 119:76 “May Your Faithful Love comfort me, as You promised Your servant.”
Psalm 119:88 “Give me life in accordance with Your Faithful Love, and I will obey the decree You have spoken.”
Psalm 119:124 “Deal with Your servant based on Your Faithful Love; teach me Your statutes.”
Psalm 119:149 “In keeping with Your Faithful Love, hear my voice, LORD. Give me life, in keeping with Your justice.”
Psalm 119:159 “Consider how I love Your precepts; LORD, give me life, according to Your Faithful Love.”
Psalm 130:7 “Israel, put your hope in the LORD. For there is Faithful Love with the LORD, and with Him is redemption in abundance.”
Psalm 138:2 “I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your Constant Love and Faithfulness. You have exalted Your name and Your promise above everything else.”
Psalm 141:5 “Let the righteous one strike me—it is an act of Faithful Love; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let me not refuse it.”
Psalm 143:8 “Let me experience Your Faithful Love in the morning, for I trust in You. Reveal to me the way I should go, because I long for you.”
Psalm 143:12 “and in Your Faithful Love destroy my enemies. Wipe out all those who attack me, for I am Your servant.”
Psalm 144:2 “He is My Faithful Love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in Him; He subdues my people under me.”
Psalm 145:8 “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in Faithful Love.”
Psalm 147:11 “The LORD values those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His Faithful Love.”
Proverbs 21:21 “The one who pursues righteousness and Faithful Love will find life, righteousness, and honor.”
Isaiah 16:5 “Then in the tent of David a throne will be established by Faithful Love. A judge who seeks what is right and is quick to execute justice will sit on the throne forever.”
Isaiah 54:8 “In a surge of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but I will have compassion on you with Faithful Love,” says the LORD your Redeemer.”
Isaiah 63:7 “I will make known the LORD’s Faithful Love and the LORD’s praiseworthy acts, because of all the LORD has done for us—even the many good things He has done for the house of Israel and has done for them based on His compassions and the abundance of His Faithful Love.”
Jeremiah 9:24 “But the one who boasts should boast in that he understands and knows Me—that I am the LORD, showing Faithful Love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things.”
Jeremiah 16:5 “For this is what the LORD says: Do not enter a house where a mourning feast is taking place. Do not go to lament or sympathize with them, for I have removed my peace from these people”—this is the LORD’s declaration—“as well as My Faithful Love and compassion.”
Jeremiah 31:3 “the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend Faithful Love to you.”
Jeremiah 32:18 “You show Faithful Love to thousands but lay the fathers’ sins on their sons’ lap after them, great and mighty God whose name is the LORD of Hosts”
Jeremiah 33:11 “a sound of joy and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the bride, and the voice of those saying, Praise the LORD of Hosts, for the LORD is good; His Faithful Love endures forever.”
Lamentations 3:22 “Because of the LORD’s Faithful Love we do not perish, for His mercies never end.”
Lamentations 3:32 “Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, Faithful Love.”
Hosea 4:1 “Hear the word of the LORD, people of Israel, for the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land: There is no truth, no Faithful Love, and no knowledge of God in the land!”
Hosea 10:12 “Sow righteousness for yourselves and reap Faithful Love; break up your untilled ground. It is time to seek the LORD until He comes and sends righteousness on you like the rain.”
Joel 2:13 “Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the LORD your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in Faithful Love; and He relents from sending disaster.”
Jonah 2:8 “Those who cling to worthless idols forsake Faithful Love.”
Jonah 4:2 “He prayed to the LORD: “Please, LORD, isn’t this what I said while I was still in my own country? That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to become angry, rich in Faithful Love, and One who relents from sending disaster.”
Micah 7:18 “Who is a God like You, removing iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not hold on to His anger forever, because He delights in Faithful Love.”
Micah 7:20 “ You will show loyalty to Jacob and Faithful Love to Abraham, as You swore to our fathers from days long ago.”
Zechariah 7:9 “The LORD of Hosts says this: Render true justice. Show Faithful Love and compassion to one another.”

If He didn’t mean it…why would it be repeated over and over in scripture? If you weren’t worth it, why would God send His Faithful Love to you forever?

25 December 2010


I'm not a huge fan of Christmas. It's always awkward at my house. Mom is never satisfied with what she's gotten us, thinking we're not satisfied. My family doesn't know what to do with a dedicated day to being lazy, though we are lazy a lot, but most of all a whole day dedicated to being with each other.
And there's always a fight of some kind.
I've been feeling pretty out of place when it comes to my family. My older brother is 24 & my younger brother is 15. They both still live at home with both of my parents. They interact on a daily basis, are very much in tune with each others' lives, and have gotten pretty decent at co-existing & functioning together. When I come home, it throws the equilibrium in the house off kilter. You'd think 3 boys & 2 girls would be more balanced than 3 boys and 1 girl. Lies. I think Berry College has gotten me too used to high estrogen levels. I miss being around boys, but not necessarily my brothers & dad. One of those in particular, but I digress.

I spent most of last night purging my email inbox & getting rid of saved emails that I didn't need. Maybe it's that end-of-the-year inventory kind of thing. I ended up in tears a few times.
Today was spent mostly sleeping or watching movies until around 5 when I started listening to/watching the Passion main sessions from 2010. I really didn't mean to. I thought I pressed shuffle on my iTunes, but evidently managed to open Andy Stanley's message. I decided it was a God-ordained collision and just let it roll. His main statement was this:
It is a mistake to decide what you're going to be before determining who you're going to be.
True story. I've heard this twice, at least, since last January and still haven't thoroughly thought about it. It makes you question what you value. I'm fast approaching the end of my college career and I have no idea what I want to do - none. That's the question of the century - what does Beth want to do with an English major and Art minor after graduating from Berry College.
I need to decide who I want to be first...what I value. What's important.

Beth Moore's message was next. Lord have mercy. I love that woman so much. God speaks through her, even a year later, and it just blows my mind. SO thankful and blessed to listen to her insight on the Word. She talked about how God equips us. I'm sure I've blogged about this before.
Still, wow.
God equips us by preparing us. No detail is accidental.
God equips us by adjusting us. He changes us to conform us to His will.
God equips us by restoring us. We are made in to what we could not be without that brokenness.
God equips us by filling us. We can't be what we're called to be without Christ in us.

"Ain't no high like the Most High." - Beth Moore

24 December 2010

God --> love --> us

I've been thinking about this for a little while - mulling it around in my head. I can't quite remember what exactly made me think of it, but it blew my mind and it has been blowing my mind for a while. I don't think I've blogged it, but if I have - I'm sorry. It's worth repeating.

God loves us.

Scripture says God loves us abundantly - extravagant, unending, explosive, mind-blowing, faithful LOVE.
Scripture says our hearts over flow with said love.

If our hearts are overflowing with the never-ending supply of love offered us by God, what happens to the abundance? What happens to the love that doesn't fit into our cup?

Scripture says we are all sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God.
A sinner, by definition, is spiritually dead and, therefore, separated from God, which is love. This, in turn, means a sinner, by definition, is incapable of loving.

God died for the sinner.

Jesus died for me.
Jesus died for you.
Jesus died for, collectively, us.

Because God conquered sin, death, through this sacrifice, sinners are able to come into the presence of God -- Love.

Because God loved us, even as sinners, and allowed us to enter into the presence of Love, we are filled with God's love.

The abundance of Love that our poor human hearts can't contain....
We use that to love other people.

God uses His abundance of Love through us, those He loves, to love others.
Without God, we wouldn't be able to love one another.


19 December 2010

Love like

Praying lately has left me breathless. I kind of wish I was kidding with you. It really has. There are a few specific things on my heart in a heavy way. I can't shake them.
One is huge in hearts of many while the other is huge in the heart of one or three.


I miss praying with my friends. A few months ago it was so prevalent in my life - on the phone, in person, in text, wherever we happened to be. I so very much miss going to the Lord with a kindred spirit. "Where two or three are gathered, there I am in the midst..."

I keep remembering the last night of worship at CR. You might remember my blog about it. I know I mentioned being surrounded by some of the most incredible people that night. God's been reminding me of little interactions with each of those people that night. Mindblowing.


18 December 2010

"mercy fallout"

I'm on my way out the door, but I had a few things I wanted to get down first.
I am absolutely blown away by how high, how wide, how deep, and how long the Father's love is.
absolutely blown away. Dimensions I can't begin to comprehend.

Psalm 103:3-5 "He forgives all your sin; He heals all your diseases. He redeems your life from the Pit; He crowns you with faithful love and compassion. He satisfies you with goodness; your youth is renewed like the eagle."
Psalm 103:10 "He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our offenses."
1 Corinthians 3:9 "For we are God's co-workers. You are God's field, God's building."

CO-workers?! With GOD?!
MY righteousness is like filthy rags. I don't even want to know what the worst of me is like. Yet He forgives me, heals me, redeems me, crowns me, satisfies me.
with Him.

"Caught in the mercy fallout..I found hope, found life, found all I need. You are all I need."

fallout: the radioactive particles that settle to the ground after a nuclear explosion

16 December 2010

balance and circles

My mind is blown at how God manages to revolutionize lives in one meager year - 365 days. I've been through a lot of changes in this year - spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, psychologically..I mean in every possible way you could think. God has changed me. Even in the past four months He's been changing me, but that's an entire post for another time. I was reading a Messianic Jewish blog I found a few months back and he linked to an article I feel like sharing. I'm not a huge fan of FFOZ, but this is pretty much spot on:

Pagan Roots of Christianity

Read before you judge. Trust me.

Oh..go listen to "Dress Us Up" by John Mark McMillan, as well.


I love November and December because there are so many movies on television and, despite the pull toward consumerism, this time revolves around getting together with family and friends that you truly adore (in some cases, not so much adoration..but you get my point).

Every year, this time of year frustrates me to no end. It's not the family. It's the movies. Hollywood turns up the sap and every movie ends with two previously estranged individuals falling in love and kissing in the snow. It's inevitable. Merry Christmas.

It's hard not to get caught up in the cute package of winter romance - it's sparkly and has a big bow - but inside it's pretty empty. Okay, don't misunderstand - love is huge and love is grand and love is great and some people DO fall in love at Christmastime, but...for those of us who don't exactly fall into that category, it's not something to dwell on or be frustrated by.

This whole ordeal has been on my mind for two days now. How does God suffice when, frankly, snuggling on the couch would be much more appealing? How does God suffice when there seem to be NO good guys left in the world? How does God suffice when there's a Christmas party or even wedding? How does God suffice when my flesh wants something else?

Honestly, I don't know. It's something I struggle with more than I thought. But in the great scheme of things I am certain of these things:

1. God desires me. He is captivated by me. Psalm 45:11
2. I belong to God..and He is for me. Song of Songs 7:11
3. He esteems me enough to use me, though I would betray Him. 1 Corinthians 3:9
4. He has a plan & I have something important to be doing for him. Romans 1:11-12, 13:8
5. He holds my world in His hands. Psalm 16:5
6. His Faithful Love is everywhere, promised again and again. He cannot break His promise, even if we are faithless. 2 Timothy 2:13

"Loneliness is God's cry for intimacy," a friend told me a few days ago.
What do you think?

15 December 2010


Have I mentioned how much I love my mom's Keurig? Well, I do. It makes chai tea...which right now is my weakness. I'm going to turn into chai..na. Chaina..bahaha China.
Okay anyway, I've finished two scarves and watched a ton of movies, including Eloise At Christmastime which is one of my absolute favorites.
Mom & I started watching Princess & The Frog but Riley showed up...and wanted to make videos which are on facebook. Ray Charles makes an appearance.

Getting through So Long Insecurity has been harder than I thought. I finished chapter 3 last night, but had some scripture hit me before I was finished - 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Psalm 27; and Psalm 90:17.
"Let the beauty of the Lord be on us..." - fall.on.us. Wow.
Talk about a love encounter.
Talk about a countenance change.

I was reading through my journal from a few days back in October. One morning before church I prayed for a countenance change - it's incredible how that theme has come somewhat full-circle. Josh even mentioned it in church last week or the week before. Crazy.

I wish I had something mind-blowing to tell you..something out of the ordinary or extravagant...but I don't. Not from our perspectives, necessarily.

"For although we are walking in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of our strongholds (insecurities, sin, memories, thoughts, past, present, future). We demolish arguments and every high-minded (prideful) thing wthat is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

14 December 2010

Book List

Even though I'm on a rather long break, I still had enough to do for school to take up my morning. One of those being checking out what books I need to spend my life buying for next semester. The list is excruciatingly painful and lengthy:

1. Lyrical ballads 1798 & 1800 (Wordsworth & Coleridge)
2. The Monk - Matthew Lewis (never heard of this..but it's Romantic lit)
3. Frankenstein of the Modern Prometheus: The 1818 Text (Shelley, obviously, & other commentary)
4. Songs of Innocence - William Blake
5. Songs of Experience - William Blake
6. Lord Byron: The Major Works
7. John Keats: The Major Works
8. Emma by Jane Austen (whew. I have this one..and it's my favorite of her novels. Tro did good)
9. Shakespeare's Sonnets (Renaissance Lit here we come)
10. Faerie Queene - Spencer
11. Paradise Lost - Milton
12. Complete English Poems - Donne
13. Odyssey - Homer
14. Aeneid - Virgil
15. Inferno - Dante
16. Don Quixote - Cervantes
17. Death in Venice - Mann
18. Immortality - Kundera

That's the list for my 3 Lit classes - British Romantic, British Renaissance, and Western Lit. Traditions.
Most of those are books that, as an English major, one "should have read," but I'm quite certain few actually do read.
Alas, between those 18 headaches and Relay, I'm up for a rather laborious spring semester.
Not to mention 2D Design and 20th Century Art History - the first semester in a while where my art history hasn't paralleled nicely with one or all of my English courses. Also, no religion this semester. I wish I had time for a religion minor. I wish. I wish. I wish. I wish.

12 December 2010

my boring life

Glee was grand. I finally watched the last episode. I liked it.
I also caught up on Grey's Anatomy - the last two episodes - and I seriously almost threw up at the end of the last one. Arizona came back from Africa because of Torrez, but Torrez shut the door in her face.
I feel like an idiot for being so caught up in the drama of Grey's, but it's just so good.
Now, I'm watching Sarah Palin's Alaska. This show seriously makes me laugh. I mean, don't get me wrong, Sarah seems like a great mom .... but I'm kind of glad she's not VP right now. She's hilarious. They had moose hotdogs.
She talks a lot about seeing Russia from her house and THAT cracks me up.

I also fought with Caitlin over the significance of Titanic. This is a weekly discussion.
And every time we discuss it, Titanic comes on tv.

I've also restarted So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore. I started it last February, but never finished it. With school and everything else going on in my life, I didn't have time to really devote myself to it. I've realized in the past few weeks that I'm still bound to some of the same insecurities I battled with a year ago...some of them, praise the Lord, are no longer chained to me - glory be to God alone because I can't do it. I'm not saying Beth Moore has the power in her words to get rid of my insecurities, but I think she's got a pretty good recipe for figuring out what they are and fighting back.
I'm tired of being bound by my insecure thoughts to the point that it just makes me angry when i feel myself leaning in that direction. It's time to make some changes. Big ones. I doubt it'll be a one-stop fix. The process is bound to be long. I'm willing and ready.
I read chapters 1 & 2 last night and seriously got uncomfortable. I almost put the book down, but I got through it. I'll be doing two chapters a night until I get finished with it.
Praying Satan doesn't have any foothold in my head or heart and I can persevere to the end.

11 December 2010

To-Do Lists

I always make lists. Who are we kidding?
This one is specifically for...stuff that I want to do.

1. Go ice skating.
2. Visit the zoo.
3. Build a fort.
4. Be barefoot.
5. Go to Savannah.
6. Coffee in Mactown
7. Nutcracker
8. Watch the sunrise in Savannah on New Year's Day
9. Write another book.
10. Learn a legit song on Jude.
11. Write a song
12. Visit Chattown.
13. Live closer to the rest of the world..aka Atlanta.
14. Paint.
15. Get rid of my bed & hang a hammock from my ceiling

two old poems

(we're talking 2008 old)::

-four weeks-
From somewhere deep inside
this is where it will all converge.
On yellowing paper
with a pen losing life
to a drying well of time.

Four weeks
That’s all I have.

When I close my eyes
this wall crumbles with no resistance.
I open them to see it still there
rough, looming
and lacking distance

Four weeks
I must knock it down

With 8 days of pleasure
come[s] 20 days of despair,
One deadline
and I’m left with a bruise on my head.
No need to explain

Four weeks
It’s dry and I’m here.

Sketches and no math skills
More paper…and then a ladder
To look over and see
what is the meaning behind it all.
There is you and I don’t understand.

Four weeks
This one ink blot…

-nine hour drive-
fading and shading
the deceptive in between.
a dividing yellow
teaching Morse code
tall shapes fall behind
covered in more general blues.
details become blobs
but I’m not regretting my decision
I’m eighteen minutes shy
of a nine-hour drive
and, oh, if the weather isn’t perfect.

10 December 2010

Reality Check

I can't tell if I love these multiple updates in one day.
I was actually in the middle of my quiet time when I opened my computer to re-check my grades and start up Pandora.

I checked them a few minutes ago and one of them read .4 lower than I need it to be. I immediately went into hyper-ventilating, Beth-freak-out mode. I forgot how stressful grades are to me. I hold my breath until I get them.

My head says I trust You, but my heart says I am scared to death that I can't handle it (because I don't trust You to).
What is that? What even IS that?!

For thirty minutes, my heart was racing - what if I lose my scholarships? What if my GPA just falls to pieces. What if my other grades are worse? I seriously emailed my professor and asked if I could do anything to bring my grade up in the next 24 hours.
I'm not kidding.
That's how ridiculous I am.

I told my parents good night and came back for a little time in the Word, but didn't even open it because I couldn't.
What even is happening??

Charlie Hall just played on Pandora - a song called "My Brightness" which I've never heard before. Ever. Right after "Salvation Is Here" which says "God above all my hopes and fears. I don't care what the world throws at me. It's gonna be alright...I KNOW my God made a way for me."

Beautiful words that I suck at believing.

Charlie Hall.

I've been hit from every corner. I've been thrown from side to side. I'm cracked up on the inside, so I come to you for life. Your presence always heals me, so I want to drink it in. 
You know where we're going, God. You know where I've been. 
Your love is like a rock when I'm spinning. Your love is like a rock when I'm spinning. Your love is like a rock when I'm spinning around. 
Yesterday I felt so angry, today, so insecure. I hate it that I wrestle the God that I adore. Your presence always heals me, so I want to drink it in. 
You know where we're going, God. You know where I've been. 
And your love is like a rock when I'm spinning. Your love is like a rock when I'm spinning. Your love is like a rock when I'm spinning.... 
And I know less about you. My heart loves you so much more. You're my pride in sadness. You're my brightness. I wish this thing could pass from me, but I'm wanting what You want. So bring me high or bring me low, just hold me in Your love. 
And your love is like a rock when I'm spinning. Your love is like a rock when I'm spinning. Your love is like a rock when I'm spinning. Your love is like a rock when I'm spinning around...

What exactly does it mean to t.r.u.s.t. God? Does it mean we freak out or that we're able to just let things go?

I checked my grades again. My professor hasn't put two of my grades in yet.

Reality check?
More like God ripping my trust-mask off like a bandaid.

Little Moments

I really love little moments.
Don't get me wrong, the big ones are great too - like Worship Nights at Connect Rome and birthday parties, graduations, babies, weddings, monumental spiritual encounters.
Those are lovely.
But I can't help but be captivated by the little moments - the glimpses into someone's heart, seeing the sky for the first time in a day, even if there's no spectacular cloud picture up there, lunch, smiles, a hug.
It's those things that really fill me to the brim.

I've had a thousand little moments today and I am just gushing with the knowledge of God's presence in these little places and beautiful people.

09 December 2010

God FTW Thursday

That basically describes my day.
My heart is overflowing.

3am was pretty rough last night, I can't lie. I did NOT want to get up this morning, but I'm so very glad I did.
I had a pretty uneventful morning working on computers in the Liberry. Those ladies just ask so much! Had lunch with the beautiful Abigail and we were joined by Suz & Cody. My boss brought his cherry sunburst Gibson Les Paul to work after lunch. I almost died from not breathing. It was gorgeous. We didn't get a chance to play, but we will tomorrow. I'm so excited.
We headed out to the Liberry to finish more computers, but I left around 330 for a playdate with Emily. Starbucks, TJ Maxx, and Ross ensued. After not finding leg warmers there, we ran to the mall & found some in Rue21. We left there with leg warmer twinsies and visited Connect Rome where we chillaxed with some cool kids there for a while. This guy came in because he was in the mall, I guess, and saw the CR stuff and just wanted to know about the church. He said he wanted to have somewhere to get plugged in at. He's been gone from Rome for about 3 years and is currently without a job here. God humbled me through this guy today. Wow. I pray..goodness I pray..that somehow, some way, CR can hook him up with a ride this week so he can come encounter God and just be loved on in that place. Because when you go to CR..you get loved on. A lot. Jeannene and I left there and went out for dinner to Panera. OH..there was a gorgeous sunset in the mix too. I missed half of it, but the other half was just mindblowing.
After a wonderful dinner & tons of chatting, JBean dropped me off at M/L for a little Disney time with Susan and Madison. Hello Lion King!! It reminded me so much of April and John Burnett because we roar a lot.
After finishing the movie and sitting for a bit, I ran over to the liberry (for the third time in one day, might I add..the most ALL semester..and I walked, but 'ran' sounded better) to see the one and only Sarahtaco. After extended conversations about everything under the sun because that's what happens when we're together, I walked home in the cold. I almost didn't notice though. I couldn't help thinking back over my day and all the ridiculously incredible people I'd seen.
THEN I saw Abs again...and upstairs..in ma room..low and behold..THERE WERE COOKIES! From Kurtis because she is love. =)

I feel like I talked all day about being in Rome and how God has such a purpose here right now in my life. It blows my mind to even think about thinking about it. It made me think of the song "count your blessings" (and by song I mean hymn) from back in the day...I felt like God was literally showing me my blessings in Rome today..over and over and over again. People, sunsets, places, memories. I don't know. It just absolutely made my heart melt. I am in awe of how God crosses our paths with other people.
I remembered sometime earlier this week how I sent Jeannene a text during Passion last year because we were both there and I wanted to meet up with her. I don't even remember how I had her number or why we were friends. Emily and I are just barely friends, but she has been such a ridiculous encouragement over the past few months. I honestly can't remember off the top of my head when I got her number.
Katie and I met because of Relay.
Susan and I randomly became friends in paint class. I don't even remember how. And Madison is her roommate so we became friends and Mads gave me JMM which is heaven in CD-R form!
And Sarah. Sweet Sarah who I've known as two different people for a while. Talk about scatter-brained. She works with my bffrussian, Bell, and has for 1.5 years, but I never really knew her. Then I saw her with Susan a lot, but I didn't know she was the same person as the girl at telecom. Then I put them together and it was crazy. Like a sushi roll. And now she, susan, & i are going to be summer roomies. WOAH crazy!
Abs and I have been friends for three whole years. Three. Since freshman year. She was legitimately the first person I met here. WOW.

God, You are mind-blowing. And I am unreasonably, extravagantly, ridiculously blessed.

the morning after

True life, I almost blogged at 3am when I finished my paper, but decided to spare you my corny jokes and obnoxiously disorganized thoughts. Said paper came out to an even 8 pages of actual writing, plus a Works Cited page and cover page. Ten.

Besides being stuck high above the world in my loft with Jude, cookies, books, Alfred, and the chapstick I thought I'd left on the floor, I had a huge motivator sometime around 11 or 12. I checked my grades online - really I was checking for the Brit Lit syllabus to see the real requirements of this research paper - and noticed that my Lit Studies professor had put our grades in...I started to sweat a little until I realized I made a NINETY-EIGHT on my essay. That's right, the one I spent all of Monday working on. THAT one. Seven pages. I made an eighty-four on my exam - the nasty one I took Tuesday and was sure I failed.
Who am I kidding? God is good..beyond good.

All that's left is my Old Testament final. Tomorrow morning. Which I'm not worried about.

08 December 2010

break my heart for..

This is kind of a random post and most likely won't be very long because I'm headed out to dinner shortly - Mexican. Not the Mexican from home, aka THE Mexican, but it will do for now. And I need a break before diving into this ten page research paper that MUST.BE.DONE. tonight.

I had a conversation with someone today that really just broke me. I won't divulge the details, but I can say it wasn't a conversation where one or the other of us had done something wrong. It really sent my mind into a whirlwind, though. I know Hillsong sings a line that says, "break my heart for what breaks Yours." I have honestly never felt so broken over something that I've known about than what was discussed in this conversation.
It has a lot to do with worth. What do you value? What is most important to you? Where have you allowed Satan to come in and conquer territory that belongs to God?
Where's your heart?
My whole body is crying out, "Abba, take our hearts hostage." Don't let us fall into the trap of thinking our only way out is to give in to Satan's snares and traps. Take our hearts hostage. Captivate us with YOU until there's nothing else we see, nothing else we desire.


Well, it's Wednesday. Halfway through this week of insanity.
I have one ten page paper to write before tomorrow at 10am and a test on Friday at 10:30am.
Not. Too. Bad.

I've had Beautiful Exchange stuck in my head all day - I woke up with it playing on repeat up there. I even looked up the chords. Too bad I'm at work all day. Jude and I will get quality time tomorrow, I hope.

My painting is finished, but I forgot to take a picture. I'll add that later this afternoon after I go to class. I'll actually add pictures of all of them on this post so you can take a gander at my garish work. I've definitely enjoyed the class, but I feel like I know LESS about what I'm doing now than when I started.
Isn't that how things work, though? I feel like I know absolutely nothing about writing an essay, though I've been writing them for years now. I feel like I know less about God than I ever have...but I am closer to Him now than ever. I don't mind that so much. There's beauty in not understanding. Don't mistake that for confusion. I'm not confused about God...just very much incapable of understanding.

As much as our words hold little value and mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, I love them. Words. Words. Words. What can words possibly mean? They are supported by nothing. I heard a story one time of a woman who believed the earth was resting on the back of a giant turtle. Someone asked her what that turtle was standing on. She said another turtle, and so on. Our words are like that. You can't honestly say you trust the word of every person you come into contact with. That takes time. And even when you trust the promises someone gives you, it's through seeing their actions back up those words.
Faith without works is vain, yes?
All of that to say this: I love the analogies we make for our Father's love. They are new everyday. Even if one song has said it a million times, it will hit you so hard in the face sometimes and just blow your mind. I love it.
I don't know if I heard this somewhere and wrote it in my journal a year ago or if it's original, but I love it:
"Take hostage our hearts, Father."
Take hostage our hearts, Lord, and steal us away from every distraction we would long for outside of You.

I'm so quick to move instead of listening to You.
I'm Your child. Take my heart.
Obedience to me, impart.


From Drop Box
(the first 4 paitings in this order: bottom left, top right, top left, bottom right)

(self portrait)

From arts
(This one's the final. Bad quality photo, but the painting's not any better than what you see..seriously my least favorite)

05 December 2010

I'mma blog but....

I'm pretty much speechless right now.
Well,...okay yes. I am. I could t.r.y. to explain how I'm feeling, but I don't think there are words.

Tonight was Connect Rome's night of worship for December. The second one I've been to.
The first was great, but I left with a headache. It was a worship experience I'll never forget, but it wasn't on the top of my list.
Tonight....tonight is on the top of my list.
You know how in really huge corporate worship settings there are enough people praying the presence of God around the room that you can feel it? Like Passion, for instance, which is absolutely incredible if you haven't experienced it yet. GO!
Okay, well take the tangible presence of God in Phillips Arena on any given night of Passion, smush it and stuff it into the small, cast-off Mexican restaurant of a church that is Connect Rome.
I'm serious. Blow your mind? That much God in one room? Yeah..me too. It completely ... I didn't even know anymore. I just didn't even know.
I don't really think it was a "defining moment" in the sense that we would think of it as humans, but it was definitely a God encounter..a Love encounter.
You can't walk away from that unchanged or unaffected. Countenance change.
That's actually my point:
love encounter --> Countenance change.
love encounter --> Countenance change.
LOVE encounter --> countenance change.
It's that epic. It was that epic. It still is that epic.
Usually when I get into worship, I start praying..a lot. You could call it a conversation because that's what it really is. Sometimes it goes along with the music..sometimes it doesn't. Usually it gets written down, but tonight it didn't. For one, my journal was across the room, but I just..I couldn't make my hands work if I tried.
When David Crowder said, "Let love EXPLODE and bring the dead to life," he must've had some sort of vision from this night of worship. "I'm lost in Your freedom. This world I'll overcome."
I know, walking into that place tonight, I was dead. My faith had dwindled. I was staring these finals in the face and I didn't even know how it was going to happen...but tonight. wow. Talk about a revolution in my heart. Rejuvenation? Restoration? They all apply, I think.

I'm always in awe in worship with other people. I was absolutely surrounded tonight by some of the most incredible people I know. Literally...on ALL sides. It was wild. Let me tell you, to feel their spirits being lifted up...That blows my mind every time - even with complete strangers..but especially with these beautiful people that I know. I knowwww them. Maybe I don't know their life stories, but I know THEM. And just to know that God has loved us SO.MUCH. that we are actually able to love other people..my heart just goes nuts.
side note: I am seriously eating cookies like they're candy right now. I can't help it. Oh.no.
I had my eyes closed most of the time and didn't even realize it...but the few times that I actually saw and took notice to what was going on around me. Woah.
Those images are burned in my memory. When I go to bed tonight, I'm going to close my eyes to see people worshiping.

Love encounter --> countenance change.

Going Home

I am practically anti-go-home right now. It would be easy for someone on the outside looking in to say my reason lies in the drama of the past few months, but they'd be wrong. I know it could look that way. I know it could look as if my dissatisfaction with middle Georgia lies within drama of all sorts, from family to friends to work to life in general there...but it doesn't.

What constitutes "home" to us? Maybe "home is where the heart is." Merriam-Webster gives a hand full of definitions. one's place of residence. the social unit formed by a family living together. a familiar or usual setting. a place of origin, headquarters. an establishment providing residency and care for people with special needs.

Okay, I know the last one applies. =D
But that's not what I'm getting at.

A home to me is this: It IS where my heart is. A home is where you grow, where you are nurtured and fed. Home is the place where you feel most comfortable, but are most stretched outside of those comfort zones. Home is where you are challenged and loved.

Home. Home for me is here. Rome.

Yes, I'm most comfortable here. I own this place. I live here. I am here. My life is here.
Yes, I am most challenged here. I have no idea what I'm doing, but God still makes it happen. I am selfish and greedy, but God has called me to give nonetheless. And give abundantly. I am an outsider here...but I'm an outsider with other outsiders...and together we are family.
We are family.
They are my family.

I am stretched here to bring my heart, my brokenness, the frayed pieces of my string-of-a-life, and lay them down in order to do for God. In order to be all for Him. I'm called to open my hands and let go of all I've held on to in order to catch the righteousness He is raining down on me. I am inspired by so many people here - both in my church and outside of it. I am challenged by my Bible study girls. I am inspired by their love for God and desire to seek Him. I'm also inspired and comforted by their humanity and how they live for God, even when they're broken and a mess.

When you find a place where you connect to God...when you find a place where, even in your cluelessness, you KNOW what He's called you for.....you are where you should be.

God calls us out of places and to other places. My earthly home might change sometime in the future...but right now.
this...this is home.

03 December 2010

unencumbered numbered words

Two things:

1. I don't ever want my words to become merely words. I don't want my encouragement or blog posts or letters or texts or emails to others to ever become just vomit out of pure habit or rhythm. I don't want what I say to ever be more or less than what He has to say.

2. I had a profound thought in the shower...and forgot it.

02 December 2010

reaction paper #8

Here I am procrastinating a reaction paper...again...and not doing Bible study homework for tomorrow.
At 8am.
I love Bible study and I feel like my next comment is horrible....8am is e.a.r.l.y. Especially on one of the only days I have free.

I'd actually love to be painting right now, but considering it's 11:30 and freezing cold outside, I will refrain. And procrastinate in some other way.

Romans was referenced last night at Campus Outreach which reminded me that it's been a while since I've visited with the New Testament. With OT class and my fascination with Isaiah and the Psalms, I've neglected those last few books for a while. I read Romans 8 last night ... and ended up reading a few chapters. It's hard to stop in Romans. It's just giddy excitement and anticipation for what God is doing. Isn't that awesome? We've lost that.
8:18 hits close to home right now. The stuff we're suffering with right now isn't even worth comparing to the glory God has for us in the future - the things He's been working on since time began...and let me tell you, my mind is blown practically daily by how he has woven together such an incredible masterpiece - His kingdom - in such a way that one would almost think it was painted.
Tapestries during the Renaissance became less like rugs and more like paintings. With over 600,000 colors in each, well, let's just say it was a group project. When finished, they looked like paintings.....not woven threads.
God's kingdom is so interwoven that it looks like a painting, but it's really a tapestry made up of individual strands and fibers so closely knit together that one cannot tell a single strand from another. They are so intricate, so detailed, that losing one would destroy significant detail. Losing more than one would devastate the entire work.
How are you loving? How are you building your brothers and sisters up in the Word, in the love of our Lord? Are you allowing yourselves to be woven together or are you allowing some, or even yourself, to slip away?