Wednesday, August 10, 2011

new blog...!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Will Wait For You There

I will wait for You there
Down on my knees where I met You
Give You all of my cares
Find grace to hold onto now
I'm calling for You

I will wait for You there
Far from the world and its violence
It's left me broken and bare
I need to hear You in the silence now
I'm calling for You

And with outstretched arms
I will sing out melodies
And my beating heart
Will pour out a symphony
Hallelujahs in the morning
Hallelujahs in the night
I will wait for You as long as I live

I will wait for You there
Down on my knees where I met You
'Cause life is a war fought with tears
But You are the strength I hold onto now
I'm calling for You

Life is hard. It's hard for everybody. It doesn't matter who you are, where you came from, how you were brought up, what you're involved in, or what your plans are. Life happens.

What if the next time you faced a trial, you didn't plead and whine to God about how it's so unfair and ask Him when it will be lifted from your plate?
What if you trusted Him and believed Him for healing?

What if you looked over your life and your previous trials and recalled to mind that the Lord is faithful?
What if you got on your knees and waited for Him there? Life IS a war fought with tears...but God Himself is fighting for you. Exodus 14:14-The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.
Exodus 33:14-The Lord replied, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

He is so big...big enough to create like 350 billion galaxies or something to that effect...don't you believe He's big enough to hold your heart tonight?

I'm challenging myself to keep going when rough spots hit. To not stop everything and wonder when God is going to redeem the situation...

instead, I want to stand in His sweet, fragrant, intoxicating, overwhelming, beautiful, powerful presence and trust that He knows what He's doing and move on to further serve Him...because He's told me and showed me time and time again that He does know what He's doing and that He is so worth trusting.

Lord Jesus, save us from ourselves.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

august third.

Today's the third. There is nothing pleasant about this day. Not at all.

On this day exactly two years ago, in the early mom got a phone call. It was my cousin Vanessa telling her that my aunt and uncle died in a multiple-car accident because an 18-wheeler driver decided not to stop...

Before August 3rd, 2009, I didn't know anything about death, dying, the shock that accompanies death, or the grief process.

Before August 3rd, 2009, I hadn't gone through anything so tragic so fast...

Before August 3rd, 2009, I had never seen people absolutely, completely, utterly broken.

But after this day, two years ago today...

I remember falling on my kitchen floor after I got the news because I did not have the strength to stand up anymore.

I remember grabbing my big brother by the arm as he grabbed mine because we literally HAD TO hold each other up.

I remember my former youth pastor Kimberly driving me to Vanessa's and my silent prayer that our faith would not falter because of this...

I remember seeing Alicia and Shelby, doing the only thing I wanted to do...and hugging them tightly.

I remember laying down on the grass in Vanessa and Ryan's front yard because I could not breathe anymore in the house.

I remember looking up at the sky and wondering what was going on...and why Aunt Kim and Uncle Anthony weren't around.

I remember the next morning, after a terrible, restless night...going downstairs and not having anything to say, and not being able to feel anything...

I remember my mom coming in from a walk, telling us that she had asked God that morning how in the world the sun was still shining...

I remember that Friday morning, at the funeral, being doubled over in my seat during the slide show, seeing their smiling faces in every picture.

I remember.

On my part, the grief is not nearly as bad today. I do not cry every time I remember them anymore. I do not silently scream out to God, asking Him every now and then, I ask Him calmly why they just couldn't have stayed a little bit longer...I imagine what things would be like if they were still here...

God is on His throne. He knows. He knows just as much as He did on that day, two years ago.

I promised her the weekend before that I would come visit her more often.......

Sometimes, I look at people who go out to lunch and go hang out over at their aunt and uncles'...and I remember that's the way it's supposed to be...

There is a reason, and I am thankful I will see them again soon and very soon. But in the meantime, to the beautiful, caring woman and the godly, redneck teddy bear man that I had the privilege of spending so much of my childhood with...

I love you both. And I miss you with my whole heart. I'll cry enough for all of us at Shelby's wedding on Friday. Wish you were here, but know you are in a pain-free, worry-less, beautiful place with your Creator.

Praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ-who has sent His Spirit to be our Comforter and Guide, who has never left us or forsaken us, and has never been less than perfect. Praise God that He does not get tired of our complaining and our anger and bitterness in grief, and that He promises to carry us to completion. And praise Him for the lives of my precious aunt and uncle.


Monday, July 25, 2011


I got the amazing and so completely UNDESERVED opportunity to go to Valparaiso, Chile on a week-long mission trip about three weeks ago. I have never had a huge desire to visit other countries (I always thought that my brother's wanderer's spirit was ginormous enough for both of us!) but I knew this would a rare opportunity.

And now, looking back on it and even more so when I was walking on the coast of Vina del Mar in the 40 degree weather and huffin' and puffin' up the hill we adopted with new friends...I can't wait to go back someday, Lord willin'.

Our nine-member team from FBC Hurst left on the ten-hour plane flight late Tuesday night and made it generally in one piece-I did get sick and definitely tossed my cookies about
eight hours into the trip...BUT all in all, that wasn't too bad-considering I've been on a plane probably less than six times in my life-none longer than three or four hours. As one girl pointed out, I had about "six mamas on the trip" with needless to say, I got my dose of some good ol' First Hurst lovin'!

It was so amazing to be with my family again. I have been so blessed to have TWO church families currently...and I love Edge Park with all of my heart and hold those precious people so close to my heart, but I am so glad that I got to spend time with the people that have helped raise me and have taught me so much about the Lord over the years. I became a Christian at First Hurst, was blessed by the children's ministry and the youth ministry and have met so many people on the 10-15 mission trips I have been on with them! :) I am forever indebted to these great men and women of God.

Our team consisted of two men and seven women, and all were over the age of 44 (WHICH IS NOT OLD!!) except me...which was interesting after our second night of having ice cream for dinner... I never thought I would be on a trip full of adults and have dessert for dinner multiple times, Laura would say...hey, what are you gonna do?! :)

My prayer for this trip was simply that God would reign. That I would not hinder what He is doing in this beautiful country. That He would speak through us, and that not a sound would escape our lips that was not from Him. He is so big...I wanted to help His power and His Spirit move and not be a hindrance to His work at all. Something awesome that happened was the awesome youth pastor I work for prayed over me at Edge Park twice before I left, and his prayer matched exactly what my heart was crying out for.

George, our translator and Kimberly's faithful summer intern, did the devotion
al booklet for the team and the main focus of the devotional was being on-purpose. Each day, we had a challenge about being ON-purpose for God. I personally loved that!!! So many of my friends are so frustrated and upset about the way their life is going, or so concerned because they don't feel a certain call in any direction in this point of our lives...and
all I have to say is...BLOOM WHERE THE LORD HAS PLANTED YOU, PEOPLE!!! As my best friend would say, "God will let you know on a need-to-know basis." Wherever He has planted you right now,whether you like it or not, whether you will be here for the rest of your life or if it's just a short season, be on purpose for Him. Be intentional in your words and actions and time spent.

But to stay on topic before I go on that rant...

A friend at Edge Park asked me what my favorite part of the trip was, and I think the thing that stood out to me the most was the morning we got to visit the boys' home. It has been on my heart since starting at DBU that I would absolutely LOVE to work in an orphanage someday. So when I found out we were getting to do that, I was so excited!!! At first, they said only a few people could go in, and that they wanted a man to go in since it was a boys home, a translator, and church members from I hung back, knowing that my presence wasn't exactly needed...but then the boys all came out to the park across the street from the orphanage and my heart just melted! These boys are SO PRECIOUS!

The pastor's wife, Gabriela, did a GREAT job with telling the boys a story and singing songs in Spanish with them. They loved it and then Alex, the pastor, asked me to pray with one of the
boys, Samuel, who wanted to receive Christ!!! Seeds were planted in these precious boys' hearts.

To explain further...our church has a partnership with a church there, Jesus Esperan
za Viva, and they do home visitations on Cerro hill with 50,000 people on it..and that's one hill-out of 41 total hills in the city. We also have a partnership with a school there called Escuela Mixta de Paraguay.

As for the church members...they are rock-solid, faithful, giving, compassionate, blow-you-away AMAZING! They overcome so much to walk the steep hill every single week to share the gospel
unashamed and to build relationships with these people who so desperately need a Savior! The pastor has a church-planting heart and they are praying for someone to start a church on the hill, because their church, Jesus Esperanza Viva, is a one-hour bus ride from the hill. Yet they faithfully come visit these people on this beautiful hill every single week to build relationships, to love on them as Christ loved all of us... What blows us away is that we throw every excuse possible to not share the gospel...and America is suffering for it, y'all...

The school is great. The school tries to emphasize moral lessons and after-school programs, so we brought supplies to paint sheets for a drama, brought biblical time clothing and some modern day props for the drama (a reenacting of the Good Samaritan), and puppets. Most of our team were busy at work and I couldn't find anything to make myself useful doing, so I hung around and got to know some of the kids... :)

The people of Chile are so precious. They are sweet-hearted and wonderful. Their hearts are full of love and compassion and are so giving. On Sunday night (when I was missing my youth group kids something FIERCE!!!!..and everybody from Hurst thought I was crazy for missing my teenagers...they obviously just have not met Fusion Student Ministries!) during a church service that we are convinced was a glimpse of what Heaven will be like, they announced each of us from First Hurst by name and called us up and gave us a piece of chocolate! It was insane. I felt like we were on vacation instead of mission trip! I'm pretty sure they blessed us WAY more than we blessed them.

I feel like there is still so much more to share, and hopefully I can share with all of you at some point. I beg you, brothers and sisters, to pray for these people, the kids, the church members, the people on Cerro Placeres...

All in all, I am so excited that we are starting a partnership with these beautiful people. I doubt they will ever know the impact they have had on us. I am praying for a chance to go changed my life, and I am forever blessed by the ministry of Jesus Esperanza Viva and the work that the Lord is doing there.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Sorry it's been a while...especially to the sweet ladies in my dad's office who like to read my blog posts! :) Yall make my day...keep him in line! :) I babysit around 30 hours a week, wait tables every Saturday, and also have a youth internship which takes up the only remaining day-Sunday-and some random evenings after jobs one and two. So, needless to say...I don't get on the computer much.

Something the Lord has been showing me all summer long after putting it on my heart during the last few months of the school year is GRACE. I have always thought "Grace" was a great name for a daughter because to me, the best definition of grace is God giving you something you don't deserve.

Think about it...a boss may have grace on you when you make a mistake. I know my bosses do in the 2 1/2 years I've been a waitress...I've made a lot of mistakes, but they've been very forgiving! People often associate "graceful" with "elegant," perhaps to describe a person. Grace is a beautiful thing. People beg for grace to be extended to them. The Methodist church says there's 3 types of it: prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying.

I have a hard time believing that people love me. I am super hard on myself and so unforgiving when I mess up. I am always trying to buy and earn peoples' love...even people who I should know will always love me, like God and my mom and people who have been in my life unfailingly.

But, God gets me every time.

One of my favorite things about Him is that He loves me when I don't love myself. On the nights where I have nothing to offer Him but my tears, He takes them and turns them into healing and growth. When I am so ashamed and don't want to talk to anyone, don't even want to speak the circumstance or what I've done aloud...the Lord lovingly comes in, smooths my ruffled feathers, and reminds me time and time again that I don't have to be anything on my own. My competency comes from Him (2 Corinthians 3:5).

THIS is what gets me. I don't have to be anything on my own. It sounds so trivial, so have been a Christian for 9 1/2 years, to have gone to church and lived in a Christian home for 19 1/2 years, to even work in a church and still struggle with the constant striving that is TOTALLY UNNECESSARY!

But it's hard for me to peel away all the layers of being obsessed with perfection, my constant thought that I have to hold everything together, that I have to be the one to hold it all together, the huge lie that I don't need anyone's help-be it God or anyone else.

Every time, God grabs my heart and reminds me again that I am His. Jesus paid the price. I don't have to live a life filled with religious practices and legalism. I am called to follow Him and to live the best life I can in order to bring people to His Name.

I am not called to be perfect.

May I extend grace to myself and to others just as the Lord has extended so very much of His awesome grace to me.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Strength Through The Storm

I will not waste your pain, my Beloved.

I will use every tear you have cried to put a passion in your heart to do something great for My Kingdom.

You can find comfort in your darkest hour by praising Me through the painful place you're in.

Soon you will see that, through it all, I carved something in your character to that will draw you and others closer to Me.

You are MY precious princess, and I WILL shake the earth if that is what it takes to see your chains fall to the ground.

The Lord Who Feels Your Pain

Saturday, April 30, 2011


When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
-John 19:30

It's thought-provoking...

After 30 years of life and 3 years of intensive ministry, after rejection and beating, the final words of Christ while hanging on the cross are "it is finished."

This seems so...despondent, so fatal, so final.

in the Greek, these three words are a single word,
a single cry of VICTORY!


These are not three little words.
They are one huge exclamation of joy!

My New Testament professor wrote this for one of our online sessions a few weeks ago. I love it! Jesus wasn't giving up, he wasn't giving in, this wasn't the end. It is finished...Christ won over all :)

By His wounds we are healed.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Swimming the English Channel

Yesterday in my Christian Leadership class, the professor told us a story that I loved:

56 people have successfully swam the English Channel, though THOUSANDS of people have tried it. If you try to swim the channel and "register" your swim (which is the only way to get credit if you make it), then you are supplied with a small boat just in case you get tired, can't go on anymore, and give up.

The reason it's so hard to swim the English Channel is because the water is extremely cold and it's not the cleanest, but more than that- there is a point where the current is very strong, where you might have to just swim against the current for two or three hours just to not be thrown backwards.

Knowing this...

Imagine that everyone on Earth were in the ocean. That means that Olympic swimmers AND people who can barely even dog-paddle in the shallow end of a swimming pool are both there. The goal is to swim from California to Hawaii. Because there's so many people in the ocean, there are no small boats to pick people up for when they can't go on any longer. It's all on you-every man for himself.

To reach Hawaii, you would have to swim 2506 miles. No break, no stopping, no food or drink stops to revive yourself on the way. Now, Michael Phelps might last two or three more hours than the average person, but eventually he won't be able to swim anymore either. All these people need a Rescuer.

Now, can you imagine if a man on a boat came over and told you that he is here to save you, to give you rest from your long journey, to help carry you over to the other side...can you just imagine if you told him,

"No, thanks. I got this. I can do it on my own."

It's absolutely ridiculous! But how often do we do this to our Savior?

He is waiting for you. If He feels far away, try taking a step towards Him.

"He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there, He is pleased even with their stumbles."
-C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Even more so, how many times does the Lord ask you to take a step out of the boat onto the water with Him, and you tell Him right back, "No, Lord, I'm comfortable where I am, I don't need to go walk on water or do anything else because I'm scared about what You have for me next. Don't take me away from my security blanket, my comfort zone."

Get out of the boat. Reach for Him. He's waiting and can't wait for you to come back.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jesus Cracks Me UP!

I am sitting here literally GIGGLING. I'm listening to a podcast by Francis Chan, my favorite speaker, and he is teaching on a story about Peter, John, and Jesus. Here's the biblical text:

John 21

(Jesus said to Peter)... 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

Here, Jesus is trying to get Peter to mature, to grow up, to open his ears to what Jesus was about to reveal to Him, and what does Peter say?

"Well if that's how I'm gonna die, how is John gonna go?"

Then Jesus says, "Peter...honey, worry about yourself. You are responsible for you and how YOU follow me."

This cracks me UP!!! Here is three men who are probably in their thirties... And Peter looks to "the disciple whom Jesus loved" and totally misses the point that Jesus was trying to make. I laugh because I babysit and work with kids a lot and I see this so often. Sometimes I just have to tell the tattletale to take care of themselves and not to pay attention to what the other kids are doing. But how often do we do this?

I'm a girl, obviously. I play the comparison game. I wish I could look like a certain person. I wonder if people would treat me differently if I had a better personality or better looks or have more intelligence or common sense or people skills... I think girls do this so much that it just becomes natural. It's automatic thinking.

But I think we do it spiritually, too. We say: well, God is doing a lot in their life, so I wonder what I'm doing wrong. Why didn't He call ME to this certain ministry? Why does everyone and their mother know exactly their purpose in this life while it feels like I just have light for this one step that I'm on?

It doesn't matter. You are responsible for YOU. Jesus, our heavenly babysitter and children's ministry volunteer, cares about what YOU do for Him, how YOU react to His call, and what YOU do with what He gives to YOU.

It's not all about you. But you need to quit worrying about what everyone else is called to, is doing with their life, and what they look like. There's a purpose in it all, and He always redeems it. :) It's between you and the Lord.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Lord You Are Good and Your Mercy Endureth Forever!

The Lord is wildly pursuing my heart and totally refining me! I've been asking Him to do so for so long and it is so awesome that in His timing, He is teaching me so much. It's not the easiest thing in the world to have the dark corners of my heart exposed, but I am loving it because He is at work. I love the way C.S. Lewis talks about this:

"If you let Me, I'll make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that's what you're in for. Nothing less or other than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if you don't, understand that I'm going to see this job through. Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest until you are literally perfect. This I do and will do. But I will not do anything less."

When we FINALLY give ourselves completely over to the Lord, He is ready with huge hands to scrape out all the dross from our hearts. It's not easy to let go of control because it's one of the things we hold on to the most. It's not easy to see all the ugliness of ourselves. But when all the ugliness is removed, there is that much more room for the beauty of what the Lord has for us next :) He is SO good.