Thursday, December 31, 2009

Next year's words await another voice

The year 2009 has been a whirlwind and I have to say I'm sad to see it go! It truly was a wonderful for me! I feel like I found my true self, finally. After a harrowing year before, I felt like I was in the middle of a big struggle this time last year. However, I'm glad to look back and see I came out of it triumphantly and have been so blessed by and because of everything I've learned.

I considered doing a list of things accomplished this year, like I did last year, but for some reason that doesn't seem right. Life in general, let alone living in France, dozens of crazy encounters with my best friends, and falling in love can hardly be summed up in bullet points.

2009 was the year of loved ones. I can't begin to count the blessing bestowed upon me and those around me through the love I've given and been given. If anything, I finally understood Mother Teresa's words, "I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only love."

I'm really looking forward to what 2010 has to offer and waiting for God surprise me, and us all, like He always does. So here's to adventure, growth, love, peace, patience, and life in the new year!

"For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice." - T. S. Elliot


Bonne Année mes amis! :) Je vous aime. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'll be happy when...

I was listening to White Christmas today:

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the one's I used to know
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

And the thought occured to me how much I miss Colorado and the white Christmases my family used to enjoy. And then I caught myself thinking, "I bet Christmas would be perfect if it were snowing." However, if I've learned anything from leaving one life to find another it is that change of circumstances never makes anything perfect. In fact, it barely, if at all, makes anything better. You can leave, you can arrive, you can have and lose, but nothing truly changes.

I've lost count of the number of times I've heard "When I'm married..." or "When I'm rich..." or "When I get this job..." or "When I do..." And I'd be lying if I were to say that none of these phrases have ever crossed my mind or lips, but I've decided phrases like this lend to the idea of conditional happiness and we're surrounded by them. I'll be happy when...

Why can't we be happy now? What is it we think we're going to get with money or fame or marriage? I pray for you, dear reader, as well as myself, that your happiness has nothing to do with what you have or achieve, but with who you are in Christ at this very moment.

May all your Christmases be white,

Nicole

Saturday, November 28, 2009

All I Want For Christmas Is Your Help

I'm 22-years-old this Christmas and there are about a million things I would like to have under my tree this year. Trouble is, I already have about a million things... many are things I don't really need and the vast majority of them are things I really don't need. Most of you know I currently work a few jobs to pay for school and living. Meanwhile, I spend many nights worrying paying rent, student loans, insurance, living expenses, etc. I, like most people, have fallen into the vicious cycle of tricking myself into thinking the more things I possess, the more control I have over my, sometimes, overwhelming feelings of financially related stress.

And yet, as I sit in my bed typing this, it occurs to me that my feelings of distress are nothing in comparison to the mother in Africa who helplessly watches her baby suffer, and eventually die, from parasites his little body was too small to fight off. Or the family who won't eat tonight because their crops died in a drought and have no means of income. Or, here I am worrying about my own student loans, not even taking into account the blessings I've been given to even be able to obtain an education in the first place. Or the feelings of any one of the 27 million slaves in the world, locally and abroad, who are forced to sell their bodies--whether it be for violence, labor, or sex--for the profit of pimps and traffickers.

Once I really sat and took into account the amount of real suffering in the world, suddenly my student loans feel like less of a mountain and more of a molehill. But, to be honest, I felt helpless. That was until I did some research and found that there are ways we can all help. And this year all I want for Christmas is your help.

World Vision is a global organization founded in 1950 and one of the world leaders in providing food, medical supplies, and social change to some of the world's most vulnerable communities. With over 26,000 employs in 95 countries around world, World Vision is dedicated to working with children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice, regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, or religion. Please feel free to visit their website at www.worldvision.org and/or www.worldvisiongifts.org

So, after some consideration I have come up with the following Christmas list. If you would like to give me a check/money for any of these items (it doesn't have to be the whole amount) or buy one of them and let me know, that would make my Christmas complete. :) Click on the links to learn more!

Animals:
2 Ducks: Cost $12
Give ducks to a hungry family today and they’ll benefit from hundreds of large, protein-rich eggs all year long. Extra duck eggs and hatched ducklings can be sold to buy medicine or help send a child to school. Ducks also provide valuable down-feathers and produce fertilizer that can dramatically increase crop yields!

1 Goat: Cost $75
A widow, single mother, or abandoned family will be overjoyed by your gift of a dairy goat. A goat nourishes a family with fresh milk, cheese, and yogurt. And income from the sale of the goat’s offspring and extra dairy products can be used for girls’ school tuition and other needs.

5 Rabbits: Cost $80
Rabbits multiply and multiply their blessings! God created rabbits to be among the most prolific animals on earth, making them a terrific gift for an impoverished family. With a gestation period of just 31 days, a pair of rabbits can easily become 50 rabbits within a single year. These offspring can provide food or be sold at market, producing a steady source of extra income.

Food:
Seeds for 2 families: Cost $34
Impoverished farming families in countries like Thailand, Lesotho, and Zambia struggle to raise enough food for their children. The seeds they use may be of poor quality, or they may not be able to afford seeds at all. These hybrid seeds are both fast growing and drought-resistant providing crops such as maize, rice, cassava, carrots, cabbage, green beans, peas, and onions.

Education:
Education for a Girl: Cost $35
Education is critical in equipping girls and women to overcome poverty. Yet in developing countries, half the girls of primary school age cannot attend classes. Some must work to help their families, or stay home to care for siblings. Others lack money for school fees. Your gift will offer girls the opportunity to learn reading and other valuable skills. You’ll also help them achieve self-esteem, self-confidence, and the chance to realize their full, God-given potential.

Help for Former Slaves:

Sexually exploited girls: Cost $35
Give hope for sexually exploited girls. Your gift will offer girls assistance like medical care, nutritious food, non formal education, vocational training, compassionate counseling, and, where possible, reintegration into a loving family environment.

Safety for an exploited child: Cost $50
In Cambodia, girls from impoverished communities are often taken from their families and forced into slavery as sex workers, street beggars, or laborers. Even those who escape often remain in great danger. Your gift will help build a safe, secure environment for one of these children. You’ll help prevent further exploitation by providing resources like livestock, vocational training, education, counseling, parenting skills, or training to provide income and stability.

Medical Supplies:

Shipping for medical supplies to foreign countries (Africa) : Cost $35
Your gift goes 14 times as far! Every day, thousands of children die because they do not have access to basic medicines that could save their lives. Your gift will multiply 14 times to help ship and distribute essential pharmaceuticals and medical supplies like: antibiotics, antifungals, antiparasitic drugs, deworming medications, disposable syringes, gastrointestinal drugs, painkillers, and surgical supplies.

HIV/AIDS Caregiver Kit: Cost $30
All around the world, local volunteer caregivers are serving those affected by AIDS — but the critical supplies they count on to relieve suffering are running dangerously low. Your gift will help provide and ship one kit containing supplies like latex gloves, antibacterial soap, petroleum jelly, and much more to equip those on the front lines of this crisis.

Clothing/Basic Supplies:
Necessities for impoverished American children: Cost $25
This gift multiplies to provide $350 worth of new clothing, diapers, blankets, and shoes to help American children in poverty. Thanks to corporate product donations, your gift will multiply 14 times in value!

Ministry:
4 Bibles in different languages: Cost $18 x 2
In many countries, poverty starves more than stomachs. The Bibles that feed minds and souls are scarce, especially where growing churches have more new believers than Bibles in their local language. Your gift will provide a Bible for a child or adult who is hungry for God’s Word, and can also provide Bible training or support youth Bible clubs in countries like Guatemala, Swaziland, and Zambia.

Misc.:
Congo Refugee Assistance: Cost $35
World Vision is rushing emergency assistance to displaced civilians, often women and children, in the Congo. Many are hungry, most have lost all their property, as they left it behind when fleeing the fighting.

Mosquito Nets for a Whole Family
: Cost $18
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that kills nearly 1 million children every year. Research has shown that bed nets provide one of the best ways to protect kids from malaria. That's why we want to supply 3 million life-saving bed nets for children in the hard-hit African nations of Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, and Mali. Prevention education will be provided with every bed net distributed. Thanks to our partnership with the Against Malaria Foundation, your gift enables us to purchase bed nets at deeply discounted prices, enabling us to protect many more children!

Grand total: $500
***

So, if you were planning on giving me a gift this year, or if the Christmas spirit so strikes you, I would love your help in reaching my goal--even $5 would be greatly appreciated! However, if you weren't planning on giving me a gift and/or it just isn't in your budget, I completely understand and God bless you for reading this far into my blog! But whatever you choose to do after reading this blog, I want to encourage you to remember that while celebrating the birth of the same Jesus who said, "Love your neighbor as yourself," to remember your global neighbors in need this Christmas season.

Thanks so much and God Bless you,

Nicole White

(If you need my address, just email me at nicolejeannette87@gmail.com and I will give it to you!)

The question of "appropriate" violence

I recently finished Shane Claiborne's The Irresistible Revolution and I have to say I loved it. Claiborne writes exceptionally well on the "revolutionary" idea of the true Christian life as it pertains to economics, violence/peace, loving one's neighbor and how those differ from the Americanized Christianity so many of us practice today.

However, his discussion of violence got me thinking. Claiborne argues that God's love and power is stronger and can overcome any unwanted situation--which I wholeheartedly agree with. I think if we all were to love, rather than fight, our neighbors, we would find a world revolutionized. In his thinking, Claiborne suggests that no Christian should ever act or react violently to the evils of the world--which, again, I agreed with... but then I got to thinking... Are we naive to think that the absence of action will always solve an immediate impending conflict and prove to be the most loving/peaceful option?

I noticed in his book, Mr. Claiborne is absolutely silent on the issue of self defense; other than asserting that "an eye for an eye" was meant not revenge, but as a means to prevent the escalation of violence. (An eye for an eye, not an eye for a life.) But it got me thinking, what about self defense? If attacked by a stranger, should I, as a Christian, not defend myself? And what about defending others? If, in the future, a man were about to harm my child and it took a violent act to stop him, would Claiborne suggest I watch my child be harmed? What would Jesus do in this situation and what am I to do?

I agree that peace should be our goal and as Christians our world view should be focused on bringing heaven to earth, but I have to wonder how "loving" it is to watch your neighbor die at the hand of violence when we could have prevented it by standing up to their oppressor.

Case in point: World War II. Claiborne laments over the tragedy of war in Iraq (yes, I agree with him that all violence, especially war, is a tragedy and should be mourned) and he discusses the travesty of our government sending over our soldiers to "kill" the Iraqis. However, I have to wonder if he is equally as opposed to American soldiers killing Nazis in order to free the Jews from their death sentences. Was it wrong, in his mind, in that case, or was it a so called "necessary evil"? Yes, it could be argued that the purpose of the Iraq conflict and that of the Nazis are very different, but it can also be argued that they are the same: protecting a body of people. If I ever meet Mr. Claiborne, I would really like to ask him if he believes if there is ever a point where violence is an "appropriate" response to stopping violence in this fallen world--as a means of defense. As much as I agree with the belief that we resort, as a human race, to violence much too quickly, I'm not completely convinced that stepping into an immediate situation and responding with equal force to save an innocent life is exactly a sin.

There is no easy answer to all of this and I am not going to even pretend like I have an answer. Furthermore, I'm not defending violence or suggesting that it is ever "right." But what I am suggesting is there may be a bigger picture than just the picture of cyclical violence Claiborne paints and pointing out a possible difference between revenge and defense. Two wrongs do not make a right, but what about seemingly necessary evils?

__________________

Thoughts also worth mentioning in his book:
  • He mentions "gentle revolution" and Che Guevera in the same sentence in a positive manor. Che Guevera was a brutal murder and killed all who disagreed with his "love revolution." I felt this was either a gross oversight or very ignorant of Mr. Claiborne.
  • He briefly brushes on the issue of abortion and life lost there, but makes no major effort to discuss the violence against the unborn child and how love can make a difference there. I wonder if this was intentional meaning war is a bigger issue (although he suggests we do not pick issues, but people to focus on) in his mind or if his war/peace discussion was just easier to address/all he wanted to truly address? He discusses humanizing war and putting faces to those people, but I feel he failed to do so on the tragedy of abortion, despite his few pro-life comments.
  • I appreciated his objective look at humanity as it relates to politics. Unlike most authors, he strayed away from "the scary Republicans" or the "bleeding heart liberals" routine. Instead, he pointed out the human condition of depravity on both sides of the struggles.
  • Finally, I appreciated his apparent desire to begin and end all discussions on peace and love in Scripture.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

All I want for Christmas is your help

I'm 22-years-old this Christmas and there are about a million things I would like to have under my tree this year. Trouble is, I already have about a million things... many are things I don't really need and the vast majority of them are things I really don't need. Most of you know I currently work a few jobs to pay for school and living. Meanwhile, I spend many nights worrying paying rent, student loans, insurance, living expenses, etc. I, like most people, have fallen into the vicious cycle of tricking myself into thinking the more things I possess, the more control I have over my, sometimes, overwhelming feelings of financially related stress.

And yet, as I sit in my bed typing this, it occurs to me that my feelings of distress are nothing in comparison to the mother in Africa who helplessly watches her baby suffer, and eventually die, from parasites his little body was too small to fight off. Or the family who won't eat tonight because their crops died in a drought and have no means of income. Or, here I am worrying about my own student loans, not even taking into account the blessings I've been given to even be able to obtain an education in the first place. Or the feelings of any one of the 27 million slaves in the world, locally and abroad, who are forced to sell their bodies--whether it be for violence, labor, or sex--for the profit of pimps and traffickers.

Once I really sat and took into account the amount of real suffering in the world, suddenly my student loans feel like less of a mountain and more of a molehill. But, to be honest, I felt helpless. That was until I did some research and found that there are ways we can all help. And this year all I want for Christmas is your help.

World Vision is a global organization founded in 1950 and one of the world leaders in providing food, medical supplies, and social change to some of the world's most vulnerable communities. With over 26,000 employs in 95 countries around world, World Vision is dedicated to working with children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice, regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, or religion. Please feel free to visit their website at www.worldvision.org and/or www.worldvisiongifts.org

So, after some consideration I have come up with the following Christmas list.

Animals:
2 Ducks: Cost $12
Give ducks to a hungry family today and they’ll benefit from hundreds of large, protein-rich eggs all year long. Extra duck eggs and hatched ducklings can be sold to buy medicine or help send a child to school. Ducks also provide valuable down-feathers and produce fertilizer that can dramatically increase crop yields!

1 Goat: Cost $75
A widow, single mother, or abandoned family will be overjoyed by your gift of a dairy goat. A goat nourishes a family with fresh milk, cheese, and yogurt. And income from the sale of the goat’s offspring and extra dairy products can be used for girls’ school tuition and other needs.

5 Rabbits: Cost $80
Rabbits multiply and multiply their blessings! God created rabbits to be among the most prolific animals on earth, making them a terrific gift for an impoverished family. With a gestation period of just 31 days, a pair of rabbits can easily become 50 rabbits within a single year. These offspring can provide food or be sold at market, producing a steady source of extra income.

Food:
Seeds for 2 families: Cost $34
Impoverished farming families in countries like Thailand, Lesotho, and Zambia struggle to raise enough food for their children. The seeds they use may be of poor quality, or they may not be able to afford seeds at all. These hybrid seeds are both fast growing and drought-resistant providing crops such as maize, rice, cassava, carrots, cabbage, green beans, peas, and onions.

Education:
Education for a Girl: Cost $35
Education is critical in equipping girls and women to overcome poverty. Yet in developing countries, half the girls of primary school age cannot attend classes. Some must work to help their families, or stay home to care for siblings. Others lack money for school fees. Your gift will offer girls the opportunity to learn reading and other valuable skills. You’ll also help them achieve self-esteem, self-confidence, and the chance to realize their full, God-given potential.

Help for Former Slaves:

Sexually exploited girls: Cost $35
Give hope for sexually exploited girls. Your gift will offer girls assistance like medical care, nutritious food, non formal education, vocational training, compassionate counseling, and, where possible, reintegration into a loving family environment.

Safety for an exploited child: Cost $50
In Cambodia, girls from impoverished communities are often taken from their families and forced into slavery as sex workers, street beggars, or laborers. Even those who escape often remain in great danger. Your gift will help build a safe, secure environment for one of these children. You’ll help prevent further exploitation by providing resources like livestock, vocational training, education, counseling, parenting skills, or training to provide income and stability.

Medical Supplies:

Shipping for medical supplies to foreign countries (Africa) : Cost $35
Your gift goes 14 times as far! Every day, thousands of children die because they do not have access to basic medicines that could save their lives. Your gift will multiply 14 times to help ship and distribute essential pharmaceuticals and medical supplies like: antibiotics, antifungals, antiparasitic drugs, deworming medications, disposable syringes, gastrointestinal drugs, painkillers, and surgical supplies.

HIV/AIDS Caregiver Kit: Cost $30
All around the world, local volunteer caregivers are serving those affected by AIDS — but the critical supplies they count on to relieve suffering are running dangerously low. Your gift will help provide and ship one kit containing supplies like latex gloves, antibacterial soap, petroleum jelly, and much more to equip those on the front lines of this crisis.

Clothing/Basic Supplies:
Necessities for impoverished American children: Cost $25
This gift multiplies to provide $350 worth of new clothing, diapers, blankets, and shoes to help American children in poverty. Thanks to corporate product donations, your gift will multiply 14 times in value!

Ministry:
4 Bibles in different languages: Cost $18 x 2
In many countries, poverty starves more than stomachs. The Bibles that feed minds and souls are scarce, especially where growing churches have more new believers than Bibles in their local language. Your gift will provide a Bible for a child or adult who is hungry for God’s Word, and can also provide Bible training or support youth Bible clubs in countries like Guatemala, Swaziland, and Zambia.

Misc.:
Congo Refugee Assistance: Cost $35
World Vision is rushing emergency assistance to displaced civilians, often women and children, in the Congo. Many are hungry, most have lost all their property, as they left it behind when fleeing the fighting.

Mosquito Nets for a Whole Family
: Cost $18
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that kills nearly 1 million children every year. Research has shown that bed nets provide one of the best ways to protect kids from malaria. That's why we want to supply 3 million life-saving bed nets for children in the hard-hit African nations of Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, and Mali. Prevention education will be provided with every bed net distributed. Thanks to our partnership with the Against Malaria Foundation, your gift enables us to purchase bed nets at deeply discounted prices, enabling us to protect many more children!

Grand total: $500
***

So, if you were planning on giving me a gift this year, or if the Christmas spirit so strikes you, I would love your help in reaching my goal--even $5 would be greatly appreciated! However, if you weren't planning on giving me a gift and/or it just isn't in your budget, I completely understand and God bless you for reading this far into my blog! But whatever you choose to do after reading this blog, I want to encourage you to remember that while celebrating the birth of the same Jesus who said, "Love your neighbor as yourself," to remember your global neighbors in need this Christmas season.

Thanks so much and God Bless you,

Nicole White

(If you need my address, just email me at nicolejeannette87@gmail.com and I will give it to you!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Doing what I shouldn't be doing

I haven't written on my blog in... far too long. I've been keeping a personal journal instead lately, but this poor blog has been completely neglected.

Part of it is I have SO much to do lately. I think this is the most difficult and busiest semester of my life (including when I took 21 hours one semester). I shouldn't be blogging right now because I have a TON of work I need to be doing, but I just wanted to do a quick life-update.

I have a new life goal: I want to be the head of a White House Task Force. I don't exactly know what for at this date in time. Maybe human trafficking. Maybe something else. We shall see. That's up to God.

Life is good: God has showed me so much both lately and over the past year. I don't think I've ever been more genuinely happy and at peace about my life. Each of my relationships teaches me new things everyday and I'm so grateful for the people in my life. :) Although a year ago I thought my world was ending, I've found that God is gracious so far beyond anything I can imagine even still. This has been one of the best years of my life. :)

Love continues to teach me and I continue to learn--and I love it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mary Oliver Poem

I thought this was beautiful-

Uses of Sorrow

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.
- Mary Oliver

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Once again, Love is a VERB

"My biggest concern getting out of college was NOT winding up in a jungle in Asia," said my dad. Upon graduation, the United States drafted my dad to fight in the Vietnam War. "Now, my reserve was never called to fight, but it was a very real possibility. So, count yourself lucky."

Lately I've been getting a lot closer to my dad and today as I walked home from work I shared with him my mild anxiety about graduating and finding a job. We both concluded, however, that God has everything under control and no matter what, I am going to be alright. In fact, even if I were to get "nowhere" and do "nothing" career wise, (which hopefully won't happen, but go with me here) that would be okay... because my career is not what I've been called to do. Consequently, I've come to realize that where some are off to fight a literal and physical war upon leaving college, I've been fighting the temptation to get distracted and forget what we're REALLY here for.

I think sometimes it's so easy for us, I know it is for me at least, to get so wrapped up at this stage in life in what are we going to do, how much money will we make, and how to climb that corporate ladder... some of use with intentions of changing the world and some of just want a job. But I guess lately I've really realized this:

It's a nice idea to want to change the world through a business plan or what have you.
It's a nice idea to want to make a positive impact.
It's a nice idea to want to pay the rent.

But I worry that these goals are missing what should be our true goal (while still nice and possible, they alone fall far short, even with good intentions). When these things become our focus I feel like things just start to get out of whack. Where our work place can be a place for us to practice what we should be doing, often I feel it's easy to feel like the work place is a vehicle to achieve this... when it's not.

Didn't Jesus say, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul... and love your neighbor as yourself." Well, if that is our greatest commandment, I think maybe we need to remember it has nothing to do with earning or achieving... it has everything to do with those people RIGHT next to us. In class, at work, next door, on campus, off campus, on facebook, in and out of church... everywhere... and yes, even those people we'd rather forget and pretend we don't know.

If our concern is not loving, and I mean getting down in the dirt until it hurts and still going loving, each other, then what are we even trying to achieve? I truly believe that the world is changed on heart at a time. I'm not suggesting not to follow dreams or pursue career goals, but what I AM saying is this:

When I grow up, it doesn't matter where my career path takes me or how great (or not great) I become in my field... I just want to love. I want to hurt when others hurt, I want to be aware of how I treat others and truly care, I want to rejoice when others rejoice, and as much as I want to fight for what is right, I never want to get lost in the fight, but always remember that my priority is to LOVE others... and I want to remember that that has NOTHING to do with who is signing my paycheck at the end of the month, or even if I have one at all.

I pray in a time where most of my peers are rounding that same corner of the final stretch, that we all would remember what is important, not achieving, but whole heartedly and truly loving one another and our Father.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fail haha

I haven't had any time to blog! This is terrible!

I've been writing in a journal and I need to convert my stuff over. Oh goodness. :/

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why I'm not into "business"

Jesus said, "Do unto your neighbor what you would have done to you."
But I feel, just a Dickens put it so well, "The first rule of business is, do to other men what they would do to you."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Your faith has healed you...

Last night I watched the Steve Martin movie, Leap of Faith. It is a movie about a con man who goes town to town hosting tent revivals in the name of "Jesus" to heal and save the lost. Long story short his bus breaks down in a very poor town, but he decides to swindle these people anyway and put on "a show," as he refers to it. His system is very elaborate and requires lots of people working with him. However, after several evenings of his show, complete with gospel choir, band, starry "sky" and light show, and giant crucifix, something happens for which neither he, nor his crew, were prepared: a real miracle.

I won't go into any further detail because I don't want to ruin the movie, but that basic plot line and even the details in the movie got me thinking. I don't think it's any secret how I feel about the "Name It, Claim It" movement happening today. While I am thankful I am not The Judge, I can't help but feel sick to my stomach and so angry whenever I see people selling "grace" and when I hear words like, "If you have faith, the cancer will be healed. Pray harder brother!" Often times, I imagine a very special place in Hell for those who would willingly take the name of Jesus Christ and so blatantly use His name to deceive and make a profit. (Matthew 21:12-13 way to make Jesus mad: take advantage of the poor and then do it in His name).

And while that may be true, I guess I didn't want to have a log in my eye, speck in my brother's eye thing going on here. When I see people doing things like that, I just want to be careful and ask myself a very hard question: What do I do to take advantage of the poor? When do I cheapen my Father's name for my own gain? And I'm sad to say it, but I can't answer "I never have" to those questions. In fact, when I think of my friends and everyone I know... I don't think ANY of us can answer "I never have" to those questions. Last night I said out loud, "Things like this must break God's heart. This is so awful." However, I very quickly realized... all sin breaks God's heart. Whether it is lies, war, blasphemy, or whatever... we are all equally guilty. And yet, God still wants us and still longs to be with us, so I have to assume he feels the same way about con men like this. So, there is one thing to think about.

The other thing that struck me in this movie was this, it wasn't Steve Martin's show that provided the miracle... it was the boy's faith that healed him. His faith in Christ. Now, I want to say first of all, I am not trying to bash any of my brother or sisters who are charismatic. I do not know in who's hands each person's soul rests and I do not know the hearts of people like God does, and I am not now, nor am I ever prepared to even begin to judge. I'm sure there are sincere and saved Charismatic Pentecostal Episcopalians, Southern Baptists, Catholics, and Presbyterians and people in the same churches who are a)have no relation with Christ, b)faking their religious experience/sincerity, c)just showing up. But one thing that has always made me leery of pastors like Benny Hen and Joel Osteen is the mass hysteria of their shows and I just feel that maybe, just maybe, at least a part of the experiences to be had at their "services" is more of the overwhelming feeling you get at a show of your favorite band, than one of God. And then, what's more, I have to wonder, in these shows, if some of the behind the scene work doesn't go on in real life like it did in the movie to make it more "effecitve" feeling.

Now all that being said, didn't Jesus say, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Matthew 21:21-22). So, are we to believe that there is no such thing as a miracle? No! No. But what I AM saying is that if we are healed, it isn't because of some magic words a pastor spoke, or we had an experience of mass hysteria. Miracles happen all the time, but not because we willed them or because we prayed hard enough. God is more than capable of granting the miraculous, so maybe for those of us who do struggle with doubt, we do need to remember these words of Jesus.

But we can't stop there. What about those of us who don't get healed. What about those of us who die from cancer. What about those of us who have a beautiful baby boy and he only lives to the age of six because some drunk driver decided to be careless and killed him. What about those who are murdered. The list goes on an on. Did God forget those of us who are not healed? Does He have some cruel lesson for us to learn because we were not faithful enough?

In answer to this, I once heard a man say, "I didn't understand it at first, but after a while I think I figured out that God killed my son to make me trust Him and He wanted him to come home." Well, to be honest, I have to wonder if any parent would say, "God raped my daughter to teach me a lesson." I felt his statement was so absurd because God doesn't kill people, He doesn't rape people, He doesn't give anyone cancer! God doesn't do evil thing to teach us lessons, not because He doesn't want to, but He is entirely incapable of doing/being evil.

God LOVES us more than we will EVER understand, but in my experience the miracles I've witnessed in my personal life have not been being saved FROM something, it's been being saved THROUGH something. The times God has rescued me has not been when I paid $20 to church and sang a hymn (although, both are practical and useful in their places), no, it's been when I was broken down on my knees saying, "God, I don't have anything right now, and I just need You." Things I've wanted have come to an end. Things I had are now lost forever. Things I loved have left and hurt me. But THROUGH that I witnessed the almighty power of a God whose LOVE for me is so far beyond what I can comprehend, I know that in the presence of evil God dwells and is waiting to be there for us. Sometimes it is a healing, sometimes it is an understanding; which to me is the greatest healing of all.

So, maybe next time I see someone who I believe to be a snake and oil preacher, maybe I need to remember that God has His hand in Everything, right down to that preacher's life and the lives of everyone he speaks to, and remember that God will make things right and just in that situation as well.



Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Who I am will take the second chance You gave me.

DRAFT: 

I watched the proverbial sunrise
Coming up over the Pacific and
You might think I'm losing my mind,
But I will shy away from the specifics...

'Cause I don't want you to know where I am
'Cause then You'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try to live my life...

Stop right there. That's exactly exactly where I lost it.
See that line? Well, I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there. Well I never should have said that,
That it's the very moment that 
I wish that I could take back.

I'm sorry for the person I became.
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'Cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

I talked to absolutely no one,
Couldn't keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled up inside have finally begun
To create so much pressure that I'll soon blow up.

I heard the reverberating footsteps,
Synching up to the beating of my heart,
And I was positive that unless I got myself together, 
I would watch me fall apart.

And I can't let that happen again
'Cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.
This is no place to try and live my life...

Who I am hates who I've been.
And who I am will take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I've been
'Cause who I've been never only made me...
So sorry for the person I became.
So sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'Cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been. 

~~~~~~~~~~

I have spent some time lately thinking over the past two years, and I'm realizing I really do hate who I have been. I was weak and so quickly threw away my focus on my master's heart for a temporary and deceitful story that sounded good to me. Now, however, I feel like I'm finding myself and who God wants me to be more and more each day and I just can't let that happen again. I've learned that a wolf really can hide in sheep's clothing and tempt us with beautiful things, nice stories, and so many distractions that our distractions get exactly what they want: all of our attention. And we begin to follow after their call for control of our thoughts and hearts only to wake up one day shaken, alone, deserted, and lost. Realizing that we wish we could do ANYTHING just to take it all back and to not have believed lies that brought us to this realization that we surrendered the control of our hearts, whether forcibly taken or carelessly given, to something that will not, doesn't want to be, and never can be what is best for us. 

BUT that being said, I'm almost glad I we can't take things in the past "back". The Prodigal Son had to leave home to learn a lesson and gain an understanding he never would have had he never rebelled and left. So, despite our tries, failures, and misgivings, God always wants us back and will always love us, but I'm glad He isn't unwilling to let us learn. As fragile as our hearts are, they do recover from trauma, and while scarred, I can't help but feel like God uses those experiences to shape us in a way we never would have been had we never turned from Him. 


La Vie En Rose


I have no complaints in life right now. I can't help but feel really happy. I mean, sometimes I can find things--usually money--but I can't help but realize how incredibly blessed I am realizing I am. And it's weird, but times like this almost make me feel guilty sometimes, but honestly sometimes it is just nice to experience the uncomplicated Joy of God's love. 

More than anything, I'm finally starting to feel and know that God has a place and a purpose for me and now I'm free to find it. I find it interesting how comforting and powerful it is to be still and know that He is God in times of pain and turmoil, but in times of happiness that stillness carries over and it feels good to just be able to appreciate the JOY He has put in us. 
 
"We love because He first loved us"

Monday, May 25, 2009

What Women Want

"God directed Adam's steps so that when He created Eve, Adam would have the utmost appreciation, respect, and gratitude. I think that was smart of God because today, no that there are women all around and a guy can go on the Internet and see them naked anytime he wants, the whole species has been devalued. If I were a girl today in America, I would be a feminist for sure. I read recently when one out of every four women, by the time they reach thirty, are sexually harassed, molested, or raped. And then I thought how very beautiful it was that God made Adam work for so long because there is no way, after a hundred years of being alone, that you would take advantage of a woman once you met one. She would be the most precious creation in all the world, and you would probably wake up every morning and look at her and wonder at her beauty, or the gentle, silent way she sleeps. It stands to reason if Byron, Keats, and Shelley made beauty from reflecting on their muses, having grown up around women all their lives, that even these sonnets could not capture the sensation Adam must have felt when he opened his eyes to find Eve.... I'll bet Adam felt loved by God, like he was somebody God was always trying to bless and surprise with amazing experiences, and I'll be they talked together about how beautiful Eve was and how wonderful it was that the two of them could know her, and I would imagine that Eve fel safe, loved, and not used or gawked at, but appreciated and admired." 

- Donald Miller in Searching For God Knows What 


One of those moods

I'm gonna miss you
I'm gonna miss you
When you're gone
She says, I love you
I'm gonna miss you
And your songs

And I said, please
Don't talk about the end
Don't talk about how 
Every living thing goes away
And she said, Friend...

All along I thought 
I was learning how to take
How to bend not how to break
How to live not how to cry
But really,
I've been learning how to die
I've been learning how to die

Hey everyone
I've got nowhere to go
The grave is lazing me
He takes our body slow

And I said, please
Don't talk about the end
Don't talk about how
Every living thing goes away
I said, Friend

All along I thought
I was learning how to take
How to bend not how to break
How to live not how to cry
But really, 
I've been learning how to die. 
-Jon Foreman

I'm so tired of the trappings of this world. I'm tired of people using each other to get their fix--whatever that may be.

I guess sometimes I just feel it so painfully... this world is not my home. 

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." - Phillippians 1:21 


Thursday, May 14, 2009

They are weak, but He is strong

Sometimes I wonder if this is how God sees us. 
Because I'm willing to bet we all feel this way sometimes. 

:) 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Franciscan Benediction

May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Craft

It's amazing to me sometimes how much I write and then how little of my work I actually like.

Grundlemumph

Saturday, May 2, 2009



Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers and relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. " - Luke 14:12-14

Jesus said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." - Luke 18: 22

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? - James 2:5



"Ask the poor, they'll tell you who the Christians are." - Gandhi

Monday, April 27, 2009

Living to Love/Help a Brother Out

I've been frustrated lately by people feeling they have the right to judge one another--especially those who claim to be Christians. As such, shouldn't our last concern be judgement?  Wasn't Jesus' (remember? the One we're supposed to treat as our master?) greatest commands to love God and to love others? Where there is judgement... there is NO room for love. And we were created to love, not judge. Only God can judge. 

I'm tired of us imposing this scale founded by people on everyone. Murder is the worst, being gay is next, followed by having sex outside of marriage, then lying to your parents etc. (For the record, I think all of those things are sins and are bad not because they are magically "bad," but because they are things that prevent us from fulfilling all God has in store for us and have natural consequences on our hearts and the lives of others.  I'm not condoning, that isn't the point.) However, to God, a sin is a sin. The first lie we tell makes us equally as guilty as taking a life--not because it's a check off an invisible guilty list, but because these are transgressions against the very heart of God. I'm tired of people thinking that just because they go to church, or spent an hour volunteering, have more money, or whatever they gained any favor in God's sight or are better people because of it.

For, didn't Jesus say, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness," then Paul continued, "Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me" (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

I feel like I've been through enough crap and have seen enough in life to have learned that when we start to approach others with an attitude/lens of love an acceptance ("I'm going to love you no matter what, first an foremost, and I know someone who has a better plan for you and loves you more than you'll ever realize") rather than judgement ("You are wrong, and let me tell ya, I'm gonna fix it. Otherwise, you're headed to Hell") we begin, I think, to start loving people like Jesus does. Sure, when you see your brother or sister stumbling, be able to take note, but don't judge them! Let your heart break for the struggle they are going through! Come along side them and let them know that no matter what they are loved and there is nothing they can do to kill that off. Then, and only then, do people start to find confidence in who they truly are.

I know I've written this a million times, but if we didn't ALL need help, Jesus wouldn't have died for the world. He would have died for those who needed Him. But God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only Son. We are ALL messed up. All sinners. All hurting. All broken. 

"While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" On hearing this, Jesus said, "Is it not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick? But go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (Matthew 9:10-13). 

All that being said... what's the use of not judging if we're not also actively loving one another--brothers, neighbors, and enemies the same...  Whether it be holding the hurting, feeding the hungry, or clothing the naked, may we never forget that love really IS a verb and we are failing in our calling as followers of Christ when we fail to actively love. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Drafting Poetry

So, I'm in a Creative Writing class and I'm doing my homework and publishing some of my drafts on here. Here is a starter one. It's NOT finished, but it is a start. 


A Week Ago: I Am An Invisible Child

With a flash of light,
And a burst of scarlet,
My sister dropped to the ground.
I never would have done this a week ago. 

I'm scared and unknown,
I miss the loving arms of my mom,
I want to be home safe and warm.
That changed when they took me away a week ago.

As time passes on,
All I know is my gun.
My master's wish is my command. 
I killed a man and liked it a week ago. 

Ready, Set, Aim.
My life has gone down in a flame.
If someone had cared enough to stop this war,
Maybe I would still be alive, like I was a week ago. 


Sunday, April 19, 2009

You can ask me how, but only time will tell














The new day dawns,
And I am practicing my purpose once again.
It it fresh and it is fruitful if I win, but if I lose,
Oooooo I don't know.
I will be tired, but I will turn and I will go,
Only guessing til I get there then I'll know,
Oh oh oh I will know.

All the children walking home past the factories
Could see the light that's shining in my window as I write this song to you,
All the cars running fast along the interstate
Can feel the love that radiates
illuminating what i know is true:
All will be well.
Even after all the promises you've broken to yourself
All will be well.
You can ask me how, but only time will tell.

The winter's cold,
But the snow still lightly settles on the trees.
And a mess is still a moment I can seize until I know,
That all will be well.
Even thought sometimes this is hard to tell,
And the fight is just as frustrating as hell,
All will be well.

All the children walking home past the factories,
Could see the light that's shining in my window as I write this song to you,
All the cars running fast along the interstate
Can feel the love that radiates
Illuminating what i know is true:

ALL WILL BE WELL.
EVEN AFTER ALL THE PROMISES YOU'VE BROKEN TO YOURSELF.
ALL WILL BE WELL.
YOU CAN ASK ME HOW, BUT ONLY TIME WILL TELL. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Deepest Longing of My Heart


On Easter Sunday I went to Fellowship and the point of the message was hope. And something I really appreciated being reminded of by Lloyd is the fact that in the Biblical definition of hope, "there is no such thing as painless hope, but in our pain our hope is real. They go together."

Maybe it's the fact that I tend to be an all or nothing/now or never kind of person, but I find myself again and again and again longing for peace only He can provide. I just feel like sometimes I am so acutely aware of and deeply disappointed by my own humanity I feel swallowed whole by a world that is not my home. However, then I remember the fact that my humanity and the consequences of living in it is what I have been saved from. I've been washed white as snow and I have a home... I'm just not there yet. 

I am only hoping for Jesus. Not love. Not happiness. Not friends. Not money. Not fame. Not stability. Just Jesus. That's all I want and I pray when and if I ever again put something before Him that He would remove it like He already has so many times, because I just want Him. I just want peace.


Friday, April 10, 2009

And Now I Alone

Me, Myself, and I used to fly, beautiful and free through the clouds
So far above the rest,
I always said those were the good old days.
And they were.

However, one day while dancing in the sky,
I saw something change in Myself.
I watched a silver bullet pierce the skin,
I listened to Myself claim it was Cupid's arrow.

I watched Myself fall with grace and a look of joy,
But I could tell... that wasn't joy, but death.
I watched Myself land in his hands, with a sudden thud.
I felt the excruciating pain of seeing Myself dead... or "in love."

He showed off his prize to his friends
With a toothy grin he knew he had won.
And just as I expected, when he was ready for more,
He took Me away also.

A part of Me saw what happened to Myself, but had no idea what to do,
And soon followed, blissfully unaware, and died with Myself.
I knew that the only way to live was to flee fast and far.
And now I alone am safe.
And now I alone am free to experience the world.
And now I alone know that at the heart of every man is a hunter. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

JUST DO IT

I've been blown away in the past two months how much people have confided in me saying, "I hate who I am." Whether it's being a womanizer or just being a jerk to people or just whatever. I really admire those of us who are honest enough with ourselves to see a flaw or sin in our lives and have the ability to pinpoint it and the desire to change it.

HOWEVER, I'm also amazed by the same people, much more often than not, who tell me that they can't change it. It's who they are. And I understand it. Sometimes something, like a sin (mean thoughts, lying, stealing, etc) becomes so ingrained in our thoughts/actions that it BECOMES us. But as William Shakespeare said, "If you do not contain a virtue, obtain it."

In other words, I understand that we screw up and our sins can become our habit, but that is not who we are, unless we allow it to be who we want to be. If you really want to change and you really want to like who you are, you're going to have to change. You're going to have to starve that monster inside of you until it is dead. Good and dead. And you know what? It's gonna hurt. It's going to be painful and inconvenient and it's going to feel unnatural. But I've found that where we allow our flesh and worldly desires/habits to die within ourselves there isn't a void, there's only Grace and God fills it with something unimaginably good. 

So the next time you think to yourself, "I hate X about myself." Don't beat yourself up endlessly and never change! Realize that God sent His Son to die so you could be forgiven and be FREE from whatever that thing is. Then allow that thing to die and you may be surprised what you find its place... but you can't hope it goes away. Like I said, the best way to kill a monster is to starve it. 

"And You said, 'I know that this will hurt,
But if I don't break your heart, then things will just get worse.
And if the burden seems too much to bear, remember,
The end will justify the pain it took to get us there.'" 
- Relient K


Saturday, April 4, 2009

an eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind




"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath for it is written: "it is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." - Romans 12:17-21 

It's hard isn't it? 

Monday, March 30, 2009

i am a little church (no great cathedral)

i am a little church(no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
-i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little chruch(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
-i do not sorry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to 
merciful HIm Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

-ee cummings

Friday, March 27, 2009

These things I know for sure


  • A good hug is worth so much more than a thousand words
  • Being merciful feels better than standing justified... in the long run
  • I'm always going to remember these years of my life
  • Good friends and good food = a few of my favorite things
  • Mojito Mambo Odwalla drinks are delicious
  • This summer I'm traveling over 1000 miles away to experience life in another part of the world, oddly enough right after I've found mine here
  • Listening to Paramore makes me feel cooler than I actually am
  • There's nothing as peaceful the sun shining on the snow
  • I miss Mandy
  • Something wonderful is coming
  • The shadow really does prove the sunshine 

No bird soars too high
if he soars with his own wings.
- William Blake

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Kind of Girl I Am

The other day I was standing in line and overheard a group of girls talking about "what kind of girl" they each were. I listened to each girl go around and list of her favorite qualities about herself and sum it up into one word. To my dismay I ACTUALLY heard one girl say, "I think I'm a 'pink' girl because I'm just peppy, fun, care-free, and just so pinky!" *Shiver*

Despite having a disparaging moment of grief for my entire generation because of this child, it made me wonder... What kind of girl am I?

I'm writing a song about this and I'll update it later, but it's been really interesting think about. Suggestions would be welcome :) 

P.S. If you are a girl reading my blog and you happen to think of yourself as a "pink girl," please do society-at-large a favor and go read a book. Authors like Stephanie Myers, Paris Hilton, and trash romance novels do not count. 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Because I care

I always used to hate the song "Free Fallin" because it upset me that someone would, in theory, okay with treating the girl in the first verse that way. However, after meeting people like that, I have to say I don't feel sorry for the girl with the broken heart, but the singer. 

It's such a sad thing when people hurt others and disconnect themselves and are so selfish that they don't even care when they crush others. Sad day. Just a thought. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

got your back

So, I'm at Bongo Java right now, skipping class, and doing one of my favorite activities: eavesdropping. It is glorious outside AND I think I struck gold. 

There are about six guys, probably in their twenties and/or thirties, all drinking coffee and smoking very strong smelling cigarettes, sitting on the porch next to me (the weather is nice so it's crowded) talking about their relationships. I love this because I feel like it's rare for me to be able to hear real guy talk without influencing what is being said due to my presence, as a female. Therefore, naturally I had to blog about it.
(Blog... what a silly word). 

The man in the funny hat is telling everyone how his girl friend and he have been dating for over a year and he is upset because he feels like she apparently treats him like he "isn't enough" for her. He hasn't proposed yet and he isn't doing enough and he doesn't have the right job, etc., etc., etc. 

His friend in the green shirt, however, brought up a good point. Sometimes we don't have everything in our lives together (oh man, that's another blog all together: being in the "right place" for a relationship/marriage. hmm to be continued...) but when you're with someone and they don't support you in anything you do it really makes you question, "What am I doing with this person?" Or in his words, "If she doesn't have your back and support your self and your soul, what are you doing with her?" Profound. I know. I wasn't expecting it either. 

And honestly, I think the man in the green shirt hit the nail right on the head.  And while I'm no expert, obviously, here is my weigh-in:

It's all about how we treat each other. 

Do you want a good relationship? Well it helps to find someone you click with, because you can't fake chemistry, and good circumstances really help... a lot (maybe more than we realize). But at the end of the day when you find two people who come together and form a relationship based off of an attitude of, "Hey, you know what? I like you. I think you're wonderful. And I know you're a screw up and you're going to keep screwing up. I'm a screw up and I'm going to keep screwing up. But that's okay and we'll figure this out. I want to support you and help you understand that you were put here on this earth for a reason and you are valuable. I want to work together to build a life that is honoring to God and is based directly out of His love and I want to treat you the way God would be happy with me for treating you. All I want is for you to excel, be yourself, and I' going to do whatever I can to treat you well. No secret motives. No hidden agendas. No using or abusing. I just want to be here for you and with you. " 

Call me idealistic, but if both parties treated the other one that way, I'd say that's a pretty healthy place to begin. 

And why is this SO HARD for us??? Well, I know it all goes back to a snake in a garden and I know, from personal experience, we'll never get it completely right. But I think it's such a shame if we don't try with everything we have and then to realize that Jesus will fill in the cracks. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm Still Waiting For You To Be The One I'm Waiting For

I think for the first time in my life I'm content to be single. I'm realizing God has something awesome in store for me, but that I need to have some patience in the meantime. However, after talking to a lot of people/mostly girls lately, I'm realizing it's not a bad thing to be aware of the type of guy I would (God willing) want to marry someday. 

So if I could make a  list... or a recipe, rather, I think this would be the man I want to marry, but not in this order.

  • Blonde Hair
  • Blue Eyes (my weakness haha)
  • Tall
  • Has nice hands (weird... I know) 
  • Friendly
  • Good sense of humor/can be goofy, but knows when to bring it in
  • Intelligent 
  • Loyal!
  • Affectionate, but knows when/where to stop
  • Has a heart for the lonely/hurting
  • Musical (preferably sings and plays guitar or piano) 
  • Someone who is slow to anger 
  • Encourages me in my walk with God as I do him
  • Has a tremendous amount of compassion and isn't judgmental
  • Has integrity and character
  • Is my absolute best friend
  • Someone who follows through/a man of his word
  • Can identify and is aware of his weaknesses
  • Respects me 
  • Respects himself
  • Loves kids
  • Is gentle 
  • Romantic but realizes the value of everyday love more than the little things
  • Has overcome very difficult situations in the past (I know this sounds bad, but I think it builds character)
  • Knows what it is to love (I think this is the most rare of all) 
  • Most importantly though, he has an understanding of life and the love/grace of Jesus Christ so much so that it overflows into everything he does, is, is not, and will be. 
At the end of the day, I just want someone to cherish and someone to cherish me, but I hope this is a close picture of the person I marry someday... again, God willing. 

I want to marry a man who loves God more than he'll ever love me and who is secure with me loving God more than I love him (I think that's were so many of us go wrong). I know I've jokingly, and not so jokingly, said I never want to get married. But that isn't true. I do. However, I only want to marry the person who I know I can serve God better together with than without him. Lord help me to continue to be patient! 

I'm still waiting for you to be the one I'm waiting for... 

Tattoo

I have decided to get a tattoo! I'm getting a sparrow on my left foot. It's going to be small and just black, but what it symbolizes means a lot to me.

First and foremost, the Bible uses the sparrow repeatedly to discuss God's love for us. God knows and cares for each of the sparrows he creates, but how much more does our Father love us? It's no secret I've struggled in the past with feelings of worthlessness and I feel like it will be a constant reminder to me of my Father's love for me and my worth because I am loved by him.

Secondly, but no less important, the sparrow symbolizes freedom... and I feel like I've been set free from so much in my life and it's my greatest fear that I would fall into a situation that would put me back in those bonds and not be strong enough to get out. I feel like a visual reminder of my freedom in Christ and because of Him is going to be helpful to me in the future to remember who I was and how wonderful it feels to be free from that girl.

I'll post a picture as soon as I get it! 
Yay! I'm excited! 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Let it go

"We're so scared to find out,
What this life is all about,
So scared we're gonna lose it,
When knowing all along... it's exactly what we need." 

In losing everything,

I found my life.

And life is good, bad, and truly beautiful. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Two things you've told me

Heavenly Father
You always amaze me
Let your kingdom come
In my world and in my life
You give me the food I need
To love through the day
And forgive me as I forgive 
The people that wronged me
Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one

I look out the window 
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune
Or out of place
I look at the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl 
On her wedding day

So WHY do I worry?
WHY do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need

Your love is STRONG
Your love is STRONG
Your love is STRONG

The kingdom and the heavens
Is now advancing
Invade my heart
Invade this broken town
The kingdom of the heavens
Is buried treasure
Will you sell yourself
To buy the one you've found?

Two things you told me
That you are strong
And you love me
Yes, you love me

YOUR LOVE IS STRONG

Our God in heaven
Hallowed be 
Thy name above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us wicked sinners
Lead us far away from our vices
And deliver us from these prisons
- Jon Foreman

I feel like God is waking something in me I didn't even know that was asleep. I'm so thankful for His Grace and goodness... because losing everything I ever held dear has brought me so much closer to him than I ever realized I could be. I always thought I was the "good Christian girl," but I'm realizing I'm not and never was. I'm His child and I will always need Him. I just hope that I will continue to die as He grows in me. There is nothing in me that is strong or right, but in Him I am alive. I'm finding my strength IS Him and in His love/presence.  I'm finding with ever devastating loss, something I wanted to keep dies, but something much more beautiful grows back. 

Friday, February 6, 2009

When I grow up

I think I'm finally figuring out what I want to do for a career. Thankfully, I'm no longer being pushed into teaching or anything else I don't want, but with this freedom, I think I've found something I will truly love: Grant Writing. As most people know, I want help people and feel most fulfilled when doing so. Otherwise, I just feel like this life is so pointless. Anyway, I heard this song the other night on the radio and it reminded me of the first time I REALLY started to think about social unjustice and the like. So here you go. Sorry for the ramblings :) 

Boys and girls wanna hear a true story?
Saturday night I was at this real wild party,
They had the liquor overflowin' the cup,
About 5 or 6 strippers tryin to work for a buck, and I took one girl outside wit me,
Her name was Lonni, she went to Jr. High wit me,
I said, Why you up there dancin' for cash?
I guess a whole alots changed since I see you last
And she said,

What would you do if your son was at home,
Cryin' all alone on the bedroom floor
Cuz he's hungry, and the only way to feed him
Is to sleep with a man for a 
Little bit of money and his daddy's gone,
Somewhere smokin' rock now, 
In and out of lock down,
I ain't got a job now,
So for you this is just a good time, 
But for me this is what I call life.

Girl you ain't the only one wit a baby 
That's no excuse to be livin' all crazy,
Then she looked me right square in the eye
And said every day I wake up hopin' to die,
She said, "N***a I konw about pain cuz
Me and my sister ran away so my daddy couldn't rpae us,
Before I was a teenager I been through more shit,
That you can't even relate to

What would you do if your son was at home,
Crying all alone on the bedroom floor
Cuz he's hungry, and the only way to feed him
Is to sleep with a man for a 
Little bit of money and his daddy's gone
Somewhere smokin' rock now
In and out of lock down
I an't got a job now,
So for you this is just one night, but for me this is
My whole life.

What would you do?
Get up on my feet and let go of every excuse
What would you do?
Cuz I wouldn't want my baby to go through what I went through
What would you do?
Get up on my feet and stop makin' up tired excuses
What would you do?
Girl I know if my mother can do it baby you can do it.

What would you do if your son was at home,
Cryin' all alone on the bedroom floor
Cuz he's hungry, and the only way to feed him
Is to sleep with a man for a 
Little bit of money and his daddy's gone,
Somewhere smokin' rock now,
In and out of lock down,
I ain't got a job now,
So for you this is just a good time, but fore me this is what I call life.

-City High 

---

And so I guess it's things like that, where people just need a little bit of help to get started on the road to who they are capable of being, that make me want to do whatever I can to "help." 


And Now I Alone

Me, Myself, and I used to fly, beautiful and  free through the clouds,
So far above the rest, 
I always said those were the good old days. 
And they were.

However, one day while dancing in the sky,
I saw something change Myself. 
I watched a silver bullet pierce the skin,
I listened to Myself claim it was Cupid's arrow.

I watched Myself fall with grace and a look of joy,
But I could tell... that wasn't joy, but death.
I watched Myself land in his hands, with a sudden thud.
I felt the excruciating pain of seeing Myself dead... or "in love."

He showed off his prize to his friends,
With a toothy grin he knew he had won.
And just as I expected, when he was ready for more,
He took Me away also. 

A part of Me saw what happened to Myself, but had no idea what to do, 
and soon followed, blissfully unaware and died with Myself. 
I knew that the only way to live was to flee fast and far.
And now I alone am safe. 
And now I alone am free to experience the world.
And now I alone know that at the heart of every man is a hunter.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

poor old soul

I think when all is said and done, this song perfectly captures how I feel about Adam:

"Two jumps in a week, I bet you think that's pretty clever don't you boy.
Flying on your motorcycle, watching all the ground beneath you drop.
You'd kill yourself for recognition; kill yourself to never ever stop.
You broke another mirror; you're turning into something you are not.

Don't leave my high, don't leave me dry.
Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry.

Drying up in conversation, you will be the one who cannot talk. 
All your insides fall to pieces, you just sit there wishing you could still make love.
They're the ones who'll hate you when you think you've got the world all sussed out
They're the ones who'll spit at you. You will be the one screaming out.

Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry.
Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry.

It's the best thing that you've ever had it's the best thing you've ever, ever had.
It's the best thing you've ever had; the best thing you've had has gone away.

Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry.
Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Abortion
























































I'm tired of people making abortion an issue of politics, or even "religion."

IT IS AN ISSUE OF ETHICS

I've learned recently that there are two types of people who support abortion. The first being those who do not believe that a fetus is a living being and therefore has no problem doing away with it. The second is those who are in support of eugenics (ie. the founder, and many current day employees, of Planned Parenthood).  

I'm not even going to address that blatant racists who would support "terminating a pregnancy" in order to serve the purpose of killing/having less black/minority babies. That is just sick.

However, to the other group of people I wish they would only understand this:

The issue is not a mother's choice. The issue is not paying for your mistakes. The issue is not to keep women in the home. The issue is none of those things.

The issue is this, and only this:

IS A BABY A LIFE? 

If not, I don't see the problem with abortion. But if so, and as scientific research supports, we are killing the MOST innocent and MOST vulnerable in our world before they ever get a chance to take a breath. This is a question of ethics, not politics. This blog was inspired by the Freedom of Choice Act.
For  a short review click here.

"I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?" - Mother Teresa 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So...

I don't really have a lot to blog about as of late. I've been so busy!

I have nothing other than to say that I just want to give the Glory to God for blessing me with such amazing friends and so many opportunities. I'm so thankful that even through Hell on Earth, He has been so faithful. He's taught me so much in the last six months. I'm well aware I'm not done learning, but I'm so thankful for everyone He has surrounded me with. Whether it's my crazy, fun, quite, understanding, or encouraging friends, He really has provided so much in the way of emotional needs. I've laughed and felt so loved by so many and I've been able to be vulnerable and cry with others as well when necessary. I really think that has been all His doing. I don't know that everyone gets a burning bush in life, but I feel that the warmth and kindness that others have shown me and we have shared has been my sign from Him that despite all the crap that has happened, He doesn't let go. I think bit by bit I'm gaining back my faith in the human heart.

"What man uses for evil, God uses for Good."

My God is Mighty to Save.

Friday, January 16, 2009

"For millions of years flowers have been producing thorns. For millions of years sheep have been eating them all the same. And it's not serious, trying to understand why flowers go to such trouble to produce thorns that are good for nothing? It's not important the war between sheep and flowers?" 

I love the book The Little Prince because it is so utterly profound. As I have always interpreted it, the flower represents a woman, the sheep represents the "careless" men (or even other women) who do nothing but consume, and the Little Prince represents a true understanding of love (even though he gets taken advantage of by his flower at times, he always loves her). 

While I feel that I am more of a Fox than a Flower, I think I have grown some thorns in an attempt to keep myself from hurting like I have been, but it's true that thorns are good for nothing. However, I think my world view has changed a lot these past few months and I've started looking at people not just for their thorns, but I've become more aware of the war between sheep and flowers and the cause of those thorns. 

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose." That being said, "You run the risk of a few tears when you allow yourself to be tamed." 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Growing Pains














Sometimes I'm so thankful for the blessings, friends, and everything that I am, have, and can be. Sometimes (like now) I'm just very aware that I'm in a very rough part of life. Sometimes I just wish Jesus would come back now so I don't have to deal with the pain and the questions of worth. Sometimes I just wish I could have my faith in love and people back. I'm getting tired of crying. 

I had a friend compare our walk with God to running up the down escalator--if you're standing still you are going down. But I don't know that he's right. If he is I'm screwed, but I have not the strength nor the will in my heart and soul to run. With a heart so broken, ALL I want to do is rest it and pray that someday it will be okay. That being said, I like to think of my walk with God as taking me on a hike up a mountain. I'm higher up than I used to be, but right now I need Him to carry me. Because I can't do it on my own. I just can't. 

And the funny thing is that although sometimes I feel like I don't have the strength to do anything but exist, I have a feeling... I'm on my way to where I need to be, somewhere wonderful and somewhere where I'll be okay... and maybe the best/scariest part is I'm not walking, just being carried and that is oddly comforting. 

"Finally free, finally strong,
Somewhere back where I belong" - Switchfoot