31 January 2011

Psalm 84

How lovely is Your dwelling place, LORD of Hosts.
I long and yearn for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh shout for joy to the living God.

Even a sparrow finds a home, and a swallow, a nest for herself where she places her young -- near Your altars, LORD of Hosts, my King and my God.
How happy are those who reside in Your house, who praise You continually.  Selah.
Happy are the people whose strength is in You, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca (tears), they make it a source of springwater; even the autumn rain will cover it with blessings. 
They go from strength to strength; each appears before God in Zion.
LORD God of Hosts, hear my prayer; listen, God of Jacob.
Consider our shield, God; look on the face of Your anointed one.
Better a day in Your courts than a thousand anywhere else. I would rather be at the door of the house of my God than to live in the tents of the wicked.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield. The LORD gives grace and glory; He does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity. 
LORD of Hosts, happy is the person who trusts in You!

This has to be one of my favorite Psalms. So many artists have made powerful songs out of these words, but the truth behind the scripture itself is mind blowing.

1. Verse 5 - "whose hearts are set on pilgrimage." - we're not tied down to where we are or to one singular place. Instead, we are ready to move and go as God calls us and moves over us. Our hearts don't belong here. They seek something so much bigger, so much more powerful than this poor earth can possibly contain. Our hearts wander and daydream about days spent endlessly in the presence of our Master and Creator.

2. Verse 6 - "As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a source of springwater" - WOW. Baca roughly translates to "tears" in English. What an incredible picture of how we should live. We will travel through times of heartache, tears, chaos, and frustration, but the tears we cry aren't useless emotions that tie us to our pain and suffering. Instead, they bring us closer to God provide a source of life for us - they water the seeds of faith, trust, love, and compassion that God has planted in our hearts and in the hearts of those around us. If a situation makes you cry - whether you are experiencing it or witnessing it- God has purpose for those tears. They will create a pure stream by which He will bring life. Your tears bring healing, not death. In tears, there is life.

3. Verse 10 - "I would rather be at the door of the house of my God" - we don't even have to be INSIDE all the time. Be a door holder. Don't hoard the blessings and grace of God, but hold the door open for someone else to enter His presence and experience His unending love.

4. Verse 9 & 11 - Both of these mention a shield. Shield is "magain" in Hebrew. God is our protection. Not only does He deliver us from the Valley of Baca, but He protects us in ways we cannot comprehend. This may be by allowing us to deal with a harsh situation over a longer period of time or even by taking us out of a situation in order to protect our hearts from dealing with unneeded pain and stress. God may also protect us by bending us and breaking us to keep us in His will and away from a lifestyle, group, place, or mindset that would destroy us.

This is the BARE minimum..God's word is alive and bold. His word breathes life. Set your heart on Him. Find your strength in Him...and be still. Let Him move over and in you. Allow yourself to be transformed in a face-to-face encounter with the Almighty. Fall before Him and be still.

28 January 2011

They didn't tell me this when I bought it..& thoughts on Sunday

Church on a Sunday is like a big family reunion.
That's why we need small groups - an immediate family - a group that does life with us.
Then we can come together on a Sunday to boast in God's blessing and comfort, and fellowship together.
That's how you grow as a church - you grow as individual families, then come together and share what you've learned and how you've grown in your own intimate communities.

I've legitimately never been in a place where God has made me so uncomfortable.
He's done a fabulous job of convicting me and changing me and making me uncomfortable in my skin, but this is different.
Nobody told me how completely scared to death I would be when God revealed a little bit about His plan for my life.
Scared is probably an understatement - let's go with cower-in-the-corner-under-a-blanket-and-mattress completely fearful. Hello Jonah.
It's not one of those, "Wow, God. I feel honored that you would use me for this," moments. Nope.
It's more along the lines of, "God...are you .. I know you're not kidding, but..YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?! Why would you even use me for that?! I would be so much better over here doing this other thing! Are you sure I can handle it?" Kind of like Beth Moore with the hairbrush.
It's more of a fearful awe of how absolutely sick-massive bigger-than-the-whole-everything our God is. I can't handle it. I don't ever want to get to the point where I can handle it. I want to know God and I want to be close to Him in the most real way, but He legitimately scares me.
He's loving, kind, gentle, peaceful, satisfying, and extravagant in His grace and mercy, but OH MY GOSH..


Not only does he completely control the whole wide expanse of..whatever this is that we're living in/on/around, but he also has a big massive organized plan of how He can/will use us for His glory.

That just freaks me out...to the point of taking a shower at midnight to try and wrap my mind around not being able to wrap my mind around all of who He is, yet still being dumbfounded.
God is nauseatingly huge.

26 January 2011

Happiness vs Joy

There was a time in my life when happiness was rare, partially by my choosing, honestly. I refused to be joyful, happy, or worth being around. I've tried pretty hard to forget those years of my life.
Middle school.
Friendships were never good enough. My parents could never care in the right way. I'm sure there were times when I fell asleep with a smile on my face or at least partially content with my life, but I only remember the tears and overbearing darkness.
I don't know anyone who looks back on those three ominous years of their life with a those-were-the-glory-days thought. It's awkward. Everyone is growing up, realizing their gender, and fighting acne. I had friends, but we fought constantly. I felt abandoned. I remember crying myself to sleep one night in eighth grade and deciding, or realizing rather, that being unhappy wasn't worth all the effort. It takes more muscle movement to frown than to smile and so does being angry/upset/unhappy.
Sadness and anger, even being melancholy, puts me in a funk - I feel so confined. Those feelings are constricting and overbearing - only giving satan an entrance into my mind which is so often the true battleground.
I made a decision that night to be happy. Seven years later, I still struggle to maintain that happiness.

Happiness can be acquired outside the Holy Spirit, but joy can only come through Christ.
I didn't always know this. Honestly, God hit me with those exact words today during class.
Maybe saying that is harsh. It is harsh, but it's also true.
Happiness depends on circumstances, situations, atmosphere, and surroundings.
Joy is dependent only on Jesus. We can only lose joy if we place our focus elsewhere.
Being happy and joyful is enjoyable to me, but I sometimes still catch myself wanting to conjure some heavy burden when someone asks "how are you?" simply because that's what most people expect - what a waste of our time and thought!
The true story is ... there's usually nothing wrong. I might be stressed, but not abnormally or oppressively so. That seems boring but, while I'm not always soaring, being filled with unending joy by God is the most relaxing, contented existence one can have.
Happiness may be a temporary high, but "ain't no high like the Most High." My God's joy is always present, even in a day of cloud-covered gray explosion.

25 January 2011

Not Without Love

1. Romans 13:8 says, "Do not owe anyone anything except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law." I have meditated on this scripture so many times over the past five years. What does it mean to only owe LOVE to those around you. That's led me in many directions, but most specifically at this point in my life, I feel like a lot of that love deals with honesty and transparency, and these rely heavily on what I say. I don't like breaking promises and I cannot stand to make a promise I know I cannot keep. This might explain my inability to make decisions. Maybe I have commitment issues? I don't think that's quite the problem. I struggle with my words and think them over so much sometimes because I want to make sure my words are honoring my heart - God - but when emotion takes over, it's so hard not to make a promise or give my word when it shouldn't be given.

2. I read a verse last Friday night that I've never read before:
Romans 2:11 There is no favoritism with God.

 3. I've been on a Jimmy Needham kick for the past few nights after hearing "Dearly Loved" at Cups and Mugs - what a powerful song. I haven't found one of Jimmy's songs that isn't transparent and upfront about God in a real way - there's no sugarcoating or dancing around the truth. It's a 20-something-year-old guy with a guitar singing the Truth. At the end of each album he adds what is called the Benediction. Each one is a poem that prompts each listener to examine his or her heart, mind, and intentions. This specific benediction is from Jimmy's second album, "Not Without Love." It is powerful.

23 January 2011

Livin' it up

I've been in Rome sweet Rome for roughly 1.5 weeks.
Excitement is an understatement.
The pictures are endlessly exciting (thank you THE incredible Madison Willoughby for such wonderful pictures)
Basically we've been visiting Cups and Mugs a lot...and taking pictures.

Decorated cups & mugs are the best. Quotes from the night. They're all quite hilarious. 

The epitome of my friendship with this girl. She is love.

Fouche Gap - coldest place in Rome, but gorgeous. We tried to stay for the sunset but the wind was killer.


Sometimes we get a little carried away with Apples to Apples..
okay we get carried away a lot.

Adore these girls!!
I know this is probably horrible, but this is one of the many reasons I love this girl SO much - she is hilarious and doesn't mind it - she's pretty comfortable in her skin. I cannot help but die laughing when I see this.

I do life with these girls so much and I enjoy them more than I can ever tell you. I'm hoping this is a small glimpse of how incredible my semester has been so far. The stress is there; I can't deny it. But I can't overlook these incredible women of God and their impact on my life. I so so adore our times together and can't wait for more. We are livin' it up Rome-style.

p.s. I may or may not have leap-frogged a big yellow pole. 

21 January 2011


I say a lot of things.

I was going to expand on that sentence, but I felt like it really just needed to stop there. I say a lot of things. I do.
My friends are often the topic of my conversations, blog posts, statuses, tweets, whatever. They usually show up...a hot ton. Even if I don't mention them, our catch phrases (hot ton being one of them) show up or something they said or even something we discussed.
God created us to be relational beings - hence why we desire such a deeply rooted relationship with HIM, though we often might put something else in the place of that.
He also created us to have relationships here on this earth. I can testify that I have learned so much about having relationships in the past few years. In high school, I invested my entire energy on maintaining relationships and smothered almost every single one of them. When I came to college, I wasn't so awesome at being friends and, honestly, I still put too much stock into them sometimes. I get caught up in learning about people and knowing them and being there for them that I go overboard. God has been working on me, though. I'm trying to be more diligent about feeling that same way with him - desiring His presence, wanting to know Him more and learn about Him.
It's definitely a learning process. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely adore time with my Abba Father, but I'm easily distracted by .. everything - school, relationships, anything yellow.......

None of that is the point of this post, though. I'm having an overboard moment and I want to express it here.
God used this really incredible analogy last year in the middle of an art history project to give me a glimpse of how He plans things. (I discussed this a little here and here.) He weaves the lives and paths of people together to create this wonderful, glorious picture.

I'm not quite sure where He's at in this picture, but I've been touching base with some pretty incredible people. Today was probably one of the worst days I've had in a while. I honestly didn't want to be in Rome anymore today - I wanted to hide out on some deserted (but WARM and SUNNY) island by myself and just sleep forever. I've just been exhausted for the past two days - mentally, emotionally, physically, and in every way possible. Today was just the pinnacle of it all. I was drained and couldn't shake it, but I was constantly running into someone who would encourage me or just smile or say "hey friend" and talk with me for a bit.
Tonight I actually got the opportunity to visit with two of my dearest friends. One told me that when we chat, they always end up with a smile on their face. The other spoke some incredible life over me that I can't even begin to explain right now because they confirmed SO much in my life that is just wild. I'm still processing.
Both of these ladies bring me so much joy because their hearts are absolutely, beautifully in love with the Creator of the Universe. They are true women of God, seeking after Him with diligence and just such sweet spirits. I love it. I love love love it.
I can't tell you how much joy it brings to sit and talk about everything under the sun AND God. It's just nuts.
God has called us to be lights in the darkness. These two ladies were definitely lights for Him today amidst the darkness that overshadowed my heart.
Grateful doesn't quite do my heart's feelings justice.

(The Crux of it all)

So much has happened in the past 4 days. My heart has been in a thousand pieces all week - over and over again I've seen how Satan destroys, tears down, divides, and demolishes the hearts of God's people and renders their minds incapable of escaping the memories - even in my own life.
Twenty of the twenty-four hours allotted to Thursday were awful, but I spent 4 hours with incredible people - one hour at a meeting that, though my headache overwhelmed me, brought a peace to my heart. The other three were spent with these beautiful ladies talking about hilarious things, serious things, and God things.

If God can come in on a day like today where everything falls apart and patch it all together like He's magical Elmer's glue.....I am beyond confident that He will come in and restore the hearts, minds, and bodies of His people. HE.IS.HEALER.

"No, in all these things we are MORE than conquerors through Him who loved us." - Romans 8:37

stick that in your juicebox and suck it, satan.

19 January 2011

I once said I was a coffee connoisseur

If you know much about my life you know that I was introduced to coffee at a young age - Kindergarten. It was Brazilian and I fell in love. Unfortunately, my parents weren't too keen on the idea so my love and I remained separated until high school. I worked for a solid six months at a quaint small town coffee shop during my junior and senior years of school. It was wonderful. Our beans came from Dancing Goat in Atlanta, which was definitely not a mistake. The slow roast, the robust flavors - I couldn't get enough. I'd often stop by on my way to school for a giant cup only to return around 3pm for work and yet another large cup of goodness.
Since then, I've been somewhat of a coffee snob. I slowly lowered my standards back to the mechanized coffee sensation of Starbucks, but always knew there was something missing.
Recently I've been introduced to two wonderful coffee shops, or cafe's if you prefer, that stole my heart with one sip.
BareBulb Coffee opened its doors in late summer/early fall to the middle Georgia community and has drawn in so many locals. It's the new spot for Perry folks to go when they want a good cup of coffee and good conversation. I've even noticed a few groups having Bible study there during the day. Their kids corner is perfect for mothers who need time out of the house. Open Mic on Friday nights is always packed with people of all ages and artists of all kinds. BareBulb fully supports local artists and musicians which is wonderful. The atmosphere is inviting and warm - exactly what middle Georgia needs!

Cups and Mugs graced my second home with its presence just in time for the glorious snow storm of 2011. Their wonderful variety of cups, mugs, and seating offers something for everyone - whether you're meeting a group of friends to catch up, need a place to study, or want some time out with the kids. I absolutely adore their assortment of mugs - ones with flamingos, monkeys, mustaches, and every other kind imaginable. This place is perfect for beautiful Broad Street in Rome. The nook in the back is my favorite, by far, and the baristas are so friendly - I promise they all know me by name and I've only been twice! Their coffee is out of this world with flavor and perfection. My addiction has recently turned toward Chai tea and this place has the most glorious Chai in all of Rome! Cups & Mugs, you are my new favorite place.

Here's a little prose

Writing happens at night..keep that in mind. Here's a little prose:

I've become one of those people who doesn't notice the passing of time. Friday seems so long ago when you asked. I've come and returned and gone again, only to be in the same place once more.
I forgot to decide if I wanted to say something.
Forgive me for putting you on pause while the rest of my life hit fast-forward.
Oh, right - here we are again.
I still can't decide. May I pencil you in for a decision on a later date? It's not that you're insignificant. So many other things are crucial. We'll talk soon.
After time passes and I forget to remember to decide again.

18 January 2011

Classes: Day 1

Today isn't exactly the first day of classes, but it feels like the very first. Last week was such a mix up that it doesn't count at all.
This is what I learned today.

1. I'm a member of the elite squad known as the "upperclassmen." This is my story...okay not really. This is how I know, though: my professors skip me on roll because they already know me. They ask about my family & specifics about my life. Classmates point out that we sat in these very seats last semester.
2. I'm writing more for my art classes than my literature classes.
3. Virginia Troy loves me - she used my presentation from last semester as an example for another class.
4. Scheduling class from 12:30pm to 4:45pm is a bad idea unless snacks and juiceboxes are involved.
5. Renaissance literature has taught me this: We've all been training to be in the circus. Make love, not war. Taylor feels about Shakespeare's sonnets the way I feel about the Word. Barry Manilow is G.R.O.S.S.
6. I will spend the remainder of the semester perfecting my dino doodle.
7. I'm very much a behind-the-scenes kind of person and I'm co-chair of Relay for Life, therefore I'm stressed out. It's not that I can't handle the paparazzi. I'd just prefer to let someone else deal with them. It also means I turn into Santa Claus. Not only am I gaining weight, but I'm also making lists and checking them twice. Hopefully I won't grow a beard. I've tried to stop wearing red.

I learned something else pretty crucial today - I have the most incredible support group ever. I KNOW this and have known this for quite some time, but God seriously whispered it to me all day today in the most incredible ways. I had lunch with three phenomenal ladies, dinner with my co-chair, and have so many incredible franndates to look forward to in the next two weeks. On top of all of that, I woke up early enough (even though I woke up later than I intended) to spend a good amount of time in the Word - wild. Usually that doesn't happen.

Wonderful start to this busy semester. I pray God is honored and His name explodes all over this campus this semester. My dreams are huge, but my God is bigger.

"You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on You." - Isaiah 26:4

17 January 2011

love your enemies

Though we are followers of Christ, we do not do a good job of presenting ourselves as humans - imperfect beings. We say we've "made bad choices" or "done the wrong thing", but we don't open up because we are insecure.
It's easier for us to throw out "big" things - drugs, sex, excessive partying, porn, you name it - when we're generalizing. Sometimes we even use those more extreme examples in such a way that we're gloating over them.
When it comes right down to it, we leave out the rest.
This is me showing you "the rest" of me:
I have been frustrated for most of today. Earlier, I was livid - irrationally upset. Why? Because someone wasn't doing what I thought was right, regardless of their reasoning. I could justify it by saying what this person has done is wrong..it is five times wrong, but they still deserve the love of God.
I'm really trying to wrap my mind around the concept of loving people.. I've got the whole love your friends side of it down pretty well, I think. (If I don't .. you can tell me, but be nice)
But when it comes to loving people who have done something so ... so ridiculously wrong I just don't know what to do. Sometimes I wonder how God looks past all the bad things we've done and sees the masterpiece He created. I'm the target of my own frustration here as well.

Scripture says love those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44). We're called to be examples of Christ to those around us - even those that absolutely bother us. How is that even possible when you just want to get in someone's face and yell at them for some of the idiotic, pathetic, heartless things they've done?

I've done idiotic, pathetic, heartless things, though. And I don't want someone yelling at me about it. There was a time when I didn't think they were idiotic, pathetic, or heartless at all..and I would have been so unreceptive to yelling then. Now that I realize what I've done, I would just cry.

I don't have an answer. In some situations, I think Jesus would've been compassionate, but in others I wonder if He would have put his foot down and yelled.

Semester 6 of 8

I spent a full day thinking on and off - mostly off - about what my next memory verse should be for this year (Check out Beth Moore's blog for more information).
Side note: I'm thankful for accountability because I'm absolutely no good at memorizing or remembering or being intentional about the scripture if I'm not accountable to someone or something about it. So thank you to my sweet siestas - on the blog, on twitter, in Texas, or right here in Rome. It's beautiful seeing how God moves in you.

My first scripture had a lot to do with my awful inability to keep my mouth shut which you can read about here, but I'm warning you: It's not pretty.

I sat for a good twenty minutes flipping through the Word looking for something that caught my eye or really hit me. Nothing. My mind kept wandering to other things and somewhere deep inside I thought it was dumb to LOOK for a scripture. God ordains things. Let Him bring it.

As soon as I sat back in my chair I heard John Waller's "Perfect Place." If you haven't heard any of his music, I definitely recommend you checking it out - wonderful music and mind-blowing lyrics.
This particular song says this:
Thou will keep me 
In perfect peace when
My mind is stayed on you
Peace flowing like a river
Peace never to be stolen
Peace that you give 
Is not of this world
My mind is stayed on You

That's it. 
Thou will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is stayed on You.
You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on You, for it is trusting in You.
Isaiah 26:4

I may be stretching this a little, but later in the same chapter of Isaiah is the verse by which 268 Generation is based. 268 is a "Jesus movement" - this generation is set apart for God. We are a chosen generation.
And God will keep our minds in perfect peace if we depend on Him.

Classes can't stir us. Money can't make us fear. Circumstances and situations with friends, family, coworkers, classmates, professors, banks...none of this can sway us if our minds are stayed on Christ.

memory verse #2 
Isaiah 26:4
"Thou will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is stayed on You."

13 January 2011

a year of skies

Today is legitimately the anniversary of my sky pictures.
January 13, 2010 - January 13, 2011
I'm in shock.
I know I missed a few days here and there and probably took too many pictures on other days, but I didn't believe I'd make it a full year. For one, I get bored easily, but I also forget most things that are not inherently important.
God has used these skies to show me SO much about who HE is and who I am in Him. He's used my sky pictures to reconnect me with friends I don't talk to or see often. He's used them to connect me to people I have never met before. He's shown me that His mercy doesn't stop. His grace doesn't end. His love isn't mortal. 
We may think He is subject to change like we are, but He is constant.
He is constant.

12 January 2011

What I've learned about me

The title of this post makes it seem self-centered and maybe it is, but I've realized quite a few things about myself over the past month. I've been at home for break and have spent a LOT of time alone or with someone, but not talking. Let's see where this goes.

1. I feel like my decisions are never good enough for my dad. Growing up was tough because he wanted to control everything and I wanted to be Miss Independent - yup. Kelly Clarkson sang that song in honor of me. I feel like this is a big root of some of my main insecurities that I'm kicking in the pants.

2. Words mean a lot to me. It's no secret that I write - I have a blog and I journal and I'm an English major. I've learned that words can encourage and can kill, but a lack of words has the same power. I enjoy writing letters, sending messages of encouragement or just affirmation, and having long conversations. I've had a ton of long conversations this break...a hot ton. I didn't realize until two nights ago that my primary love language is probably words of affirmation. I love hugs to an exponential degree and i absolutely enjoy having adventures with friends, even if we don't say anything and are just studying in some hidden library corner. I even love gifts! Though I often don't know what to do with them or what to get for someone. But I've realized that a vital part of my heart is having someone say, "I love you" or "You did a good job" or "Your hair looks really cute today." Part of that might be superficial, but who doesn't like it when someone compliments their looks? If they go too far, it's awkward, but that's okay. I really just enjoy talking. That sounds pretty selfish, too. I'm going to pray about it. I hope it's not.

3. I have itchy feet. Staying in one place for too long makes me antsy and I run out of things to do, even if I have a whole list made for the sole purpose of NOT getting to that point. Rome isn't that way as much as Perry because I always have something to be doing there. Down time is rare and much appreciated. I love going, doing, and being.

4. I'm not very funny. My humor is simply quick wit applied at the right moment in the right situation after someone has already said or done something funny.

5. Everything is relative. I learned this in high school when I laughed in the face of danger aka my freshman lit teacher. Home is relative to where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing. Happiness is relative to your choice to live in God. Your legacy is relative to what you deem important - honesty, money, relationships, forgiveness, etc. Your image is relative to what you carry - TOMS? Polo? Jesus?

6. One thing is not relative. Jesus is not bound by circumstances or situations and, therefore, neither am I.

7. I tweet too much. For some reason, I feel like what I say is important so I tweet it. I've realized this and sometimes delete tweets because they really benefit no one. I tweet too often when friends are around because they say funny things I wish to remember later and laugh at once more.

8. Snow is not the end of the world. It just seems like the end of the world. However, God made the sun and the sun is quite warm. Snow and ice, like darkness, cannot stand in the presence of the sun or the SON. (I'm of the mindset that God enjoys warm weather as well, not snow and ice. I'm pretty sure I've proven my point.)

9. Prayer works. I've known this, but God has continued making me aware of it this month, much like over the past year. My journal has become more of a prayer journal than a let-me-write-down-what-I-did-today" journal. I didn't mean for that to happen. It just did. I do write down the important things from some days, but it's usually accompanied by a prayer and a to-do list. I also pray a lot...because I will need a new journal in a little over a month. I like writing my prayers, though. I feel like I'm writing letters. It's personal. It's really personal. Sometimes I even cry.

10. I'm a flaky person. I've noticed lately that I am horrible about making a decision that I think is worthwhile, then realizing it's not and changing it. I hate it. I do it a lot. I hate it. I need some accountability so that I stop. I will literally change my mind if I just don't feel like it on occasion. Thankfully those are few and far between (I think), but I often change my mind because I actually THINK about my first decision and realize it was a bad one or less efficient than what I've come up with in my head. Unfortunately, this usually involves activities with friends and I end up looking like a flake. Please. If I do this to you, tell me to stop being flaky. 

09 January 2011


Sometimes I want so bad just to understand. I want to stop having questions and wondering why and I want to rest in the peace of knowing.
That's a lie. I want to know so that I can fix things if it's a question about something that just doesn't seem right. I want to know so that I can continue noticing something that is right.
I want to know. I want to know why snow comes when it doesn't usually. I want to know why fights happen. I want to know why a 'worship experience' doesn't touch everyone like it touches one. I want to know why a generation above and below me can't see GOD. I want to know why people buy milk and bread when there's a potential snow storm. I want to know why, even when I feel closest to God, I don't feel satisfied. I want to know what made God choose green for the grass and trees and blue for the sky. I want to know why He didn't use black. I want to know why I waste time. I want to know why things change. I want to know how God knew that hugs would be so powerful. I wonder why it was a hug and not something else. Why make dirt brown? Why is memorizing scripture so complicated? Why is cold weather so uncomfortable?
Sometimes I think I find too much comfort in words.

"When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise." - Proverbs 19:10

07 January 2011

Pushing Daisies

"It's like an emotional Heimlich. Someone puts their arms around you and they give you a squeeze and all your fear and anxiety come shooting out of your mouth in a big wet wad and you can breath again." - Chuck

04 January 2011

Top Ten

Just a glimpse at the top 10 most-viewed blog posts here in 2010.

10. New Song A song I found in August that completely blew my worries out of the water. You should definitely add this one to your collection.

9. Elizabeth Barrett Browning One of my favorite poem finds of the year. It's old, but so worth it.

8. frustration word vomit My reaction to building tension in my life and life in general. Sometimes being outside the situation helps you see what needs to be fixed in your own life.

7. fairytales and cinderella Another of my "life analogies" on decisions & patience.

6. Your Faithful Love The final compilation of a pattern I noticed in scripture about God's love for us and what His love really looks like.

5. impossibilities A pretty transparent decision not to be angry mixed in with a decision to be uncomfortable for the name of Jesus, but not idolize "doing."

4. heaven in CD-R form Christmas, Thanksgiving, and paganism

3. everything looks different when i wake up A few brutally honest facts about me as I am now (some things have changed).

2. givepeoplethebird.com Happy 1st Birthday Connect Rome and my story about getting there.

1. Let me tell you what God did... A testimony...God allowing me to see His answer to a prayer. I witnessed the Healer in action. wild.

02 January 2011

Passion 2011

Nope, I'm not there, but that's okay.
I'm glad I'm not because I got to stream it LIVE last night (yup) with a friend of mine who's near Atlanta but not at Passion either (and she's never gone - only  heard about it).
That was beautiful.

I want you guys in on this. Seriously. Wild.


01 January 2011

Day one: disrespect

Would it be okay for me to blame the events of the last 20 hours on the fact that Chickfila and Zaxby's BOTH closed before 8:30pm last night?

I get fed up really easily when people change plans back and forth multiple times. It's one of my pet peeves....to say the absolute least.
We usually go to Gramma's on New Year's Day for lunch. Yesterday during the day mom said she wasn't going, but changed her mind saying we'd end up going down there anyway. I woke up this morning to her saying she wasn't going & she'd called Aunt DeAnn to see if they were going, but Aunt DeAnn was sick. So we weren't going at all. Lauren's dad called her a few minutes later saying for her to come home because they were going. I told her I wasn't - by this time I was getting fed up. I came to my room to start some football when mom comes in and says that if I want to go she'll take me down there, it's not a problem. I told her I wasn't going to make her go if she didn't want to go in the first place & it was going to put her in a bad mood. She kept insisting she would go if I wanted to. (By this time, I'm getting even more fed up.) I told her no, that I didn't want to go. Twenty minutes later (it's around 11:30 by now btw), dad comes in and says that he and mom are going down there for lunch but coming right back and he wants me to go. I told him I just really didn't want to - I was tired of all the plan switching and I just want someone to make up their mind. He took a ridiculously long shower, then I got in. Mom knocks on the door when I got out and said Lauren said would I pretty please come. Okay, pet peeve #2, don't go talking to people about me wanting to or not wanting to do something & then come tell me their opinion to side with you or whatever. That makes me angry too. That's just sneaky and sly and not nice. I told her that..but in fewer, nicer words. I barely got to my room when dad comes knocking on the door, "uhm. are you going with us?" I told him I had just got out of the shower and had a lot to do before I got ready and i was already 12:30. He said he wasn't trying to rush me but wanted to know. I was quiet for a while. He got angry because I didn't say anything. I finally said no. Then he said, "No what? What question are you answering?" ....... I don't even understand this part. I told him to stop asking so many questions & he wouldn't be so confused. Then I started fixing my hair. Around 1, I walked into the kitchen to grab some food. Dad came in there & started yelling about me being disrespectful and he never expects anything from me because that's all I am and I'm never any better. I said some stuff that I shouldn't have said because it was really disrespectful, but I didn't mean to..I opened my mouth and it just came out. So then he slapped me, grabbed my wrists, & pushed me into the hall. If you know anything about me, now or in the past, when people grab me like that, I lose control. Maybe I watched too much tv growing up, I don't know. It just sends me into a place where I have no control, which is obviously not good in a situation like this. This is the second time dad's dared to do that to me. The last time I ran out the door in the rain & didn't come back for a few hours. Needless to say, mom then told me to pack my bags because it was time for me to leave. In my head, I wanted to say I wish I'd never come home & I was ready to leave six days after I got here, but I didn't. I did point out yesterday that stuff like this is why I told them Christmas morning I wouldn't ever come home and stay for more than six days after this break.
I shut the door. They walked out the door & left. I fell asleep crying & woke up to Florida losing to Penn State at the half.
You'd think it was a dream.

I feel like I've tried harder this break than any other time at home to really be respectful to my parents and not do something or say something or act some way that would upset them, but I still can't seem to make it work. I don't know what to do any more besides just not come home which just seems ridiculous.
I guess that's why my first memory verse for this year is Proverbs 10:19 "When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, bu the one who controls his lips is wise."