Thursday, September 27, 2007

Please Pray!

Calling all Prayer Warriors...

I just got an email from a friend:

Please say a prayer for Skye (her grandson who just turned one). He is having trouble breathing and spent three hours at the doctor, receiving three breathing treatments. Then the DR sent him home with a breathing machine. Pray the shots they gave him will kick in soon an he'll breath easier.

Update (9/28) Skye is in Children's Hospital. They had to take him in the middle of the night ane he was admitted this morning.

Update (10/4) Skye went home from the hospital Sunday afternoon. He is much better, but still a little congested and having two breathing treatments a day at home. -- THANKS EVERYONE FOR PRAYING. I know you didn't know this family, but your prayers were lavished on this family.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"You feel as if everyone should write a book before they die, but their book is already written. The pages live within those they've touched." -William Shue

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Clothes Line of Cyberspace

I gotta tell you. This whole blog thing is not only pretty intimidating but frankly, kinda scarey as well. My thoughts, feelings and fears hang on the proverbial clothes line of cyberspace. It would be nieve of me to think that no one reads my words. It's a catch 22, really. Yes, I want others to read my blog, but at the same time, what if something I say sparks a negative remark? As a writer, you'd think I'd be used to it. But I suppose, I've never written for such a large unbiased audience before. Perhaps I shouldn't care. Perhaps I shouldn't be so analytical. But then again, that's like asking me not to question. I don't know how not to be me. Though, in all honestly, I'm still figuring out what makes me, me.

My whole life has been a struggle. A struggle to prove myself at each and every turn. I'm constantly underestimated, overlooked, and underappreciated... I often feel invisible. But these factors, have led me to be the way I am today.

I rarely take anything at face value
I question everything
I'm fiercely competive, but also utterly passionate
I'm an artist
Writer
Photographer
Poet
Tomboy
Cook
Organizer
Creative
Sister
Daughter
Aunt
One who finds the silver lining in everything
Outspoken, yet shy
One who loves deeply, and whole-heartedly
Pensive, reflective, introspective and imaginative
One who doesn't follow the crowd
A child of God
Half Spanish, half German
One who smiles a lot
Constantly thinking
One who wonders what others think
Generous
Humble
Meek
In need of refinement
A sinner
Forgiven
Thirsty (for Him)
Searching
Adventurous
Funny
Not afraid of getting dirty
One with many 'hats'
One who also wears many 'masks'
Emotional
One who doesn't often express my emotions
Free
One who is tactile
Deeply committed to friends
The Bride of Christ
Was once hidden and unknown
Optimistic
Kind hearted
A child of the 80's
One with learning disabilities
One who spells phonetically
One who shies away from conflict
One who often feels misunderstood
One with a child-like curiosity
Extremely inquisitive
Tall
Right handed
In need of Him
Very observant
Apart of the 268 Generation (Isaiah 26:8)
Easily distracted
A worrier
A list maker

Monday, September 24, 2007

Roulette Wheel

I'm so tired I can hardly function, which is why I'm going to bed very shortly. Shocker, actually getting 8 hours of sleep. I can't wait. But, I haven't blogged in a few days and while tons of things have happened, I don't know how to pick just one to talk about. You see, my brain is pretty much like a roulette wheel. Always spinning. A ball, my thoughts, always bouncing around from one place to the other. Which makes it very difficult to concentrate. Also, the best way I can describe A.D.D to someone.

I'm not I've ever explained what the title of my blog means. If I did and I'm a complete goober, then just stop reading HERE.....

Ok, good, you're still reading. I thought long and hard about an appropriate name and finally came up with "Strenght in the Struggle" based off a song by Lindsay Haun, called "Broken". Read through the song and you'll see why it fit so perfectly.


Wake up to a sunny day
not a cloud up in the sky,
then it starts to rain
My defenses hit the ground,
And they shatter all around.
So open and exposed.

I found strength in the struggle.
Face to face with my trouble.

When you're broken in a million little pieces and you're tryin but you can't hold on anymore. Every tear falls down for a reason. Don't you stop believing in your self. When you're broken.

Little girl don't be so blue,
I know what you're goin through.
Don't let it beat you up.
Heaven knows that getting scars
only makes you who you are...
only makes you who you are.

No matter how much your heart is aching,
there is beauty in the breaking....yeeeaaaahhh

When you're broken in a million little pieces and you're tryin but you cant hold on anymore. Every tear falls down for a reason. Don't you stop believing in yourself. When you're broken.

Better days are gonna find you once again every piece will find its place!

When you're broken in a million little pieces and you're tryin but you cant hold on anymore. Every tear falls down for a reason. don't you stop believin in your self When you're broken.

Friday, September 21, 2007

VOTD: Scales

August 28, 2006
VOTD: Scales

“So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened.” Acts 9:17-19 (English Standard Version)


As always, a song inspired these thoughts. My good friend introduced me to Shawn McDonald, which – if you haven’t heard of him – you’re missing out! He has a unique way of phrasing that which he’s expressing. I relate to that. I often think in terms of analogies. In his song, “I Am Nothing”, this is what stood out to me:

“…Please mend these broken wings
And take the scales from my eyes
Without You I am nothing
I will not survive…”

I began to research scales. For fish, they are a means of protection. For humans, most often it is used to describe the fact that something has hindered us from seeing the Truth, usually those whom aren’t Christ followers.

You see, earlier in chapter nine, Saul had been blinded by his hatred of Christians; killing them at every chance he had. After reading this, it’s my opinion that with God’s funny sense of humor, He decided to literally blind Saul when He met him on the road to Damascus. Or perhaps, when He put the scales on Saul’s eyes, it was to protect him, much like the fish. Saul, knowing the Lord did this to him, had no choice but to follow and depend on Him.

How much are we like Saul sometimes? We are blindly running around, thinking we know what’s best for our lives, when really we have no clue whatsoever. (Perhaps I’m the only one to do this, I don’t know.) Just a thought: maybe sometimes we need scales on our eyes, to protect us from ourselves.

We are nothing without Him.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Where have all the gentlemen gone?

"I'm Just a Girl,
Standing in front of a Boy,
Asking Him to love Her."
-- Nothing Hill


Isn't this how we all feel at one point or another? The need to be accepted and loved is overwhelming... nearly, breath taking. In some ways, I think women's lib set us up for a fall. Sure we've gained a lot of privileges, but at what cost? Is it really necessary for women to be on the same level as men? No, I don't think so. Which, I find to be quite humorous that I'm even talking about this. Not only is this not even what I wanted to write about, but also, I don't think I knew I had these feelings until I read them on the screen.

Sometimes my fingers do my thinking for me. If I analyze my words, I tend to over think a theme. But to freely allow my fingers to glide over the keys... that's when my true feelings come out. (Try it some time. Open up Word and just start typing. Don't edit yourself. Write about whatever is going on with you. You'll be surprised, not only by what comes out of you, but also how you'll feel after. Trust me.)

I get so frustrated with men and how they treat women. Has anyone else noticed this? Perhaps it was the way they were raised? Perhaps they don't know any better? Or perhaps, society has taught them to have different values than what was once considered "gentlemanly". Recently, I've noticed a shift in how I'm treated as a lady. For instance, I rarely see men open doors for a woman. Heck, even continue to hold it open as they walk through in front of us. (I honestly don't mean this to be "guy bashing" type of post, I have a point, I promise.)

The only problem with this? We're partly to blame. We wanted to be independent. We wanted to stand on our own two feet. Reminds me of that song from, "Annie Get Your Gun": Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything, Better than you.

I wasn't alive for the shift in women's lib, but I would assume the men resisted the change as much as the women thought they wanted it. Time and time again, I'm sure women pushed forward for change (we're quite persistent after all). But it's my guess that if those women back then, saw how things are now, they might have thought differently.

I don't mean to say that all women are good for is "birthing babies", but I do think we should allow a man to lead every once and a while. Allow a man to be a man. If you're married, your husband's head of the household. If you're dating or single, God and your Dad are your authority.

OK, I think I'm digressing from my original point. I brought up all this because I'm upset with one of my best friends. We've been friends forever. We used to write LONG letters to each other and talk all the time. But within the last year or so, we rarely talk. The occasional phone call, a letter every few months, but I miss the connection we used to have. While I realize some friendships are seasonal, I didn't think ours was. I thought I was different. So, I can't help but get my feelings hurt when I'm treated this way. Oh, I know they don't intentionally set out to hurt me, it's just a byproduct. But it doesn't mean it hurts me any less.

I wrote a letter, basically explaining how this was making me feel. I also said, I don't know how you can maintain a friendship with only occasional communication. In that moment, Jesus spoke to me. "My dear, precious Child. This is exactly the way I feel about you and Me. I long to spend time with you too. I can't wait for the chance to sit with you and hear about your day. But you've been so busy lately. I wait and wait... why haven't you been spending any time with Me? Do you not love me?" In that moment, with tears in my eyes (as they are now), I realized my mistake. I took for granted God's "omnipresence". Just because He's always around, doesn't mean I'm spending quality time with Him.

I need self-discipline to make time for Him, as He deserves. I do so enjoy it too. I'm just a goober and make excuses. Why? Several years ago, I was inspired to write VOTDs (verses of the day). I can't tell you how much I grew during that time!! It was amazing. Why oh why did I stop? I can't give you an answer. What I can say is that God's given me this really unique way at looking at the world. He teaches me through seemingly random events in my life as well as through the lyrics in songs. (I listen to my iPod all day at work.) I'm able to translate these things into life lessons, which in turn I share with others. I never know who might read them. All I know is that I'm obeying when I write about Him.

I pray in the coming weeks and months, you'll see nothing but God through this blog. I pray you'll be encouraged from this girl's ramblings. And I pray, together, we'll grow closer to Him.

VOTD: Rhythms of Grace

August 17, 2006
VOTD: Rhythms of Grace

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” Matthew 11:28-29


Recently, while reading, “Sisterchicks Do the Hula” by Robin Jones Gunn, God brought this verse to my attention. The phrase, “Rhythms of Grace” struck a cord deep within and has been mulling around in my head for a week now. Ever know what you mean, but not know how to express it? That’s how I feel now. I know there’s this amazing concept, but I just can’t seem to pry it from within myself.

I think what God is trying to tell us here, is that, walking with Him is often easier than we make it out to be. You know how you feel when you go on a retreat with church or on a mission trip? For the first few hours, it’s like you’re in detox from the world. You find it hard to put down your cell phone… ‘Was that a text message I just received?’ You wonder how you’ll ever survive without MySpace… how quickly we’re addicted! And then, all the sudden, you just don’t care anymore. It’s as if you realize it’s OK for the world to go on and not to know anything about it. I don’t know if anyone can sympathize with me about this or not?

Once you remember the real reason you’re there, “the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace”. The everyday burdens just fall off… there’s no stress… no need to be anxious… it’s just you and Jesus. He likes that, you know? When we come to a point where we gain that Heavenly perspective. If only, we could maintain that. You know, it’s like looking at one of those Magic Eye puzzles. Remember those? My mom gave me one to try the other day. At first glance, it looks like nothing. But once you stare closely and cross your eyes, the next thing you know, a 3-D image appears! (Mine was a cross.)

How much is that like our relationship with Jesus? (Think through my analogy for a second.) It’s not that Jesus is hidden from us. Far from the truth, He’s everywhere. But until we blur out the world and focus only on Him, we won’t see Him clearly. As though, new parts of his character just *pop* out to us, like the image in the picture. Oh sure, He teaches us new things everyday, but when you’re in that state of hyper-focus, how much more are you able to learn? I know that to be true in my life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

VOTD: Walk in the Power

August 16, 2006
VOTD: Walk in the Power

“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (English Standard Version)


Has God ever asked you to do something you thought was impossible? My roommate and I were talking about dreams last night (i.e. “What do you want to be when you grow up?”). I told her I have many passions, especially artsy things such as: photography, writing, and recently painting. This is one of those “impossibilities” which I didn’t think I could do.

You see, to make a long story short, several years ago, I was prophesied over. I was told that I would “draw the pain of my past and turn it into a children’s book”. While I don’t completely know what that means yet, I did know I couldn’t do anything until I learned how to draw. To encourage this dream, my mom gave me a “Drawing for Dummies” book. I got to the third lesson and got discouraged; that was probably one to two years ago.

Well, a few months ago, a friend knew about this seemingly hidden desire of mine. She asked me to paint a mural for a project my church was doing. (40 Days of Community – we were to paint what community meant to us) At first, I thought, “Are you nuts? I can’t paint. I can’t even draw.” She told me, “Pray about it. Sketch some things out. If you really don’t think you can do it, you don’t have to. But I think you can do it.” After reading her email, my heart began to beat faster and I felt alive; I knew I was going to do it! For the next few weeks, I prayed about what I should do, “God, you know I have no idea how to paint; I don’t even know where to begin. I need you to speak to me.” Two ideas were constant in my head: a park scene and an ice cream truck.

In case you didn’t know, thinking about an idea and sitting in front of a blank canvas are two totally different things. But I knew I had been called and had a commission to fulfill. I couldn’t shake the idea of the ice cream truck; I took that as a sign. (Not that I believe in ‘signs’ but you know what I mean.) I sketched it out first in pencil. Mom always says, “Measure twice. Cut once.” Figured that idea applied here as well. All too soon it was time to actually paint. Scary.

HOURS later, (why do things always take longer than you think they will?) I can’t tell you how much fun I had! The finished product looked like something a first grader might do, but you know what? I honestly didn’t care. I was very proud of my work! You know why? Two reasons, really. First, I had the courage to do that which I thought I couldn’t. Second, “His power was made perfect in my weakness”. Once I stepped out of the way and walked in His power, He then used my weakness for His glory! That’s not to say my painting changed the world, but I was able to testify what God did through me. Very cool experience. I’m glad my friend pushed and encouraged me. I need to go out and buy some more canvases; see what other “masterpieces” come out of me!

The next time God asks you to do the impossible, don’t be so quick to say, “No!” Instead, stop, pray and think; He might just have an unexpected blessing for you on the other side, if you step out in faith and obedience!! You never know until you try, right?!

Finished Result:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An Intimate Voice

At some point this morning, I started humming this familar tune. The words escaped me until I was making mundane copies, when all of the sudden, I confidently said, "Sin has lost it's power, death has lost it's sting...." From then on, the rest of the day, these words were exploding from me. The amazing thing is, I believe it to be a "pocket of grace" from God. I haven't heard that song in a while, so perhaps He knew what I needed when I needed. Imagine that.

I'm going through something again. It has no name, necessarily. Somewhat like "The Nothing" from "The Neverending Story". Part of me wants to hide and give the appearance of everything being OK. But then, by not vocalizing my weaknesses, how then can He be strong in my life? How then can He shine through and get ultimate glory?

I know this is just another storm. We all have them. Some of us batten down the hatches and ride it out, while others of us, sail into the storm tossed sea and discover what God's trying to teach us. I suppose I've taken up residence in both camps. But perhaps, for once, what if I were to look into the storm and ask Him what lesson I'm to be learning? I mean, if I'm constantly in a spin cycle, have I really learned anything? Or was it in one ear and out the other? I just think I was created for greatness. I don't say that in a "look at me, aren't I special" kind of way. But rather, I know God has a purpose for my life. Finding it, that has become the challenge. But maybe, just maybe, I'm not supposed to "find" anything, rather I'm to pursue what brings Him glory and there I'll find purpose? I feel silly to struggle with purpose at age 30. Seems like I should have figured things out by now. Oh well, I've always been a few years behind my peers. Forgive me, I'm basically just rambling, but these are thoughts I'm having.

God's blessed me with this really unique way to look at the world, which I find to be quite fascinating and at times, really frustrating. The challenge of getting what's going on in my head, onto 'paper' in a way which makes sense to others besides myself. A wise, young friend recently told me, "...you have a delicate, intimate voice in writing..." I suppose, I'm just trying to find my voice again after not writing for so many years. Please excuse me while I "clear my throat a bit."

Anyway, back to the song... I honestly didn't know what I was going to say to preface this song. It's not what I find most enjoyable to be so open and honest with, well, the world. But often, I feel God leading me in a certain direction. What choice do I have but to follow? I mean, sure I can disobey, but what's the point. God's quite persistent if you didn't know.

Marvelous Light by Charlie Hall

I once was fatherless,
a stranger with no hope;
Your kindness wakened me,
Awakened me, from my sleep

Your love it beckons deeply,
a call to come and die.
By grace now I will come
And take this life, take your life.

Sin has lost it's power,
death has lost it's sting.
From the grave you've risen
VICTORIOUSLY!

Into marvelous light I'm running,
Out of darkness, out of shame.
By the cross you are the truth,
You are the life, you are the way

My dead heart now is beating,
My deepest stains now clean.
Your breath fills up my lungs.
Now I'm free. now I'm free!

Lift my hands and spin around,
See the light that i have found.
Oh the marvelous light
Marvelous light

Lift my hands and spin
See the light within...

VOTD: I’m a Flintstone Kid

I have something stiring within me, trying to escape from the caverns of my brain, onto the page of this site. But it's not ready yet. I need to do more thinking and research. Until then, however, I wanted to share an old VOTD (verse of the day) I wrote last year.


VOTD: I’m a Flintstone Kid
June 1, 2006

“Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” Philippians 4:11-14 (The Message)

I have a lot of time to think while driving. I live far (at least 40 minutes away) from everything I do: work, small group, exercising, and hanging out with friends, etc. If you ever see me alone in the car, just jabbering away, then I’m usually talking to God and/or myself… or just singing at the top of my lungs. Recently, I was listening to Casting Crowns and God planted a seed, which I’ve been mulling over for about a month. (Come on now, you should have known a song inspired this votd!) Honestly, God most often speaks to me through music.

I was listening to “In Me” when the chorus reminded me of the older (80’s) TV commercial for Flintstone vitamins. [You know the one: “We're the Flintstones Kids, Ten million strong, and growing.”] Only Casting Crown’s chorus really struck a chord deep in me. Read for yourself:

“‘Cause when I'm weak, You make me strong
When I'm blind you shine Your light on me
'Cause I'll never get by living on my own ability
How refreshing to know You don't need me
How amazing to find that you want me
So I'll stand on Your Truth, and I'll fight with Your Strength
Untill You bring the victory, by the power of Christ in me”
--- “In Me” by Casting Crowns


Honestly, this chorus is chalked full of goodness, but the part that gets me every time I hear it: “How refreshing to know You don’t need me, How amazing to find that you want me”. I mean, think about that for a moment. The Creator of the Universe doesn’t need our help to do anything, yet He wants it!

Recently a “storm” has blown into the harbors of many of my friends, myself included. It feels completely unexpected, but we’re all having to just TRUST that God’s got us in the palm of His hand. Nothing is a surprise to Him. Pretty astounding, huh? Since before time began, He knew about whatever situation you might be in. If only we had the foresight to look at storms as opportunities of growth.

I think God often uses us despite our weaknesses, more likely because of them. Look at the characters in the Bible: Moses killed a man, but God used him to deliver His people from slavery; David committed adultery and had Bathsheba’s husband killed, but God still called him a man after God’s own heart; and maybe even the best example, Paul had thousands of Christians killed, but then God used Him to write a good portion of the New Testament. If God can use the Hero’s of our Faith to teach us stuff about our lives, then don’t you think that God too can use us?

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm not your average girl...

I so relate.

Video by India Arie

Sometimes I shave my legs and sometimes I don't
Sometimes I comb my hair and sometimes I won't
Depend on how the wind blows I might even paint my toes
It really just depends on whatever feels good in my soul

I'm not the average girl from your video
and I ain't built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen
I'm not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I'm wearing I will always be India Arie

When I look in the mirror and the only one there is me
Every freckle on my face is where it's supposed to be
And I know my creator didn't make no mistakes on me
My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes; I'm lovin' what I see

I'm not the average girl from your video
and I ain't built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen
I'm not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I'm wearing I will always be India Arie

Am I less of a lady if I don't wear pantyhose?
My mama said a lady ain't what she wears but, what she knows
But, I've drawn a conclusion, it's all an illusion, confusion's the name of the game
A misconception, a vast deception
Something's gotta change
Don't be offended this is all my opinion
ain't nothing that I'm sayin law
This is a true confession of a life learned lesson I was sent here to share with y'all
So get in where you fit in go on and shine
Clear your mind, now's the time
Put your salt on the shelf
Go on and love yourself
'Cuz everything's gonna be all right

I'm not the average girl from your video
and I ain't built like a supermodel
But, I Learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen
I'm not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I'm wearing I will always be India Arie

Keep your fancy drinks and your expensive minks
I don't need that to have a good time
Keep your expensive car and your caviar
All I need is my guitar
Keep your Kristal and your pistol
I'd rather have a pretty piece of crystal
Don't need your silicon I prefer my own
What God gave me is just fine

I'm not the average girl from your video
and I ain't built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen
I'm not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I'm wearing I will always be India Arie

Friday, September 14, 2007

Coincidence? You decide.

OK, so a few months ago, I recommended my friend at work to Netflix. After a few days, I emailed customer service and asked if they gave some kind of referral bonus when current members help bring in new members. To which they said, 'Sorry, no, but thanks.'

Fast forward to today, I get this email from Netflix.... Give one month free to your friends and if they join, you get one free movie for each new membership. I was like, WAIT! Didn't you all just tell me you don't do that? And now, you come out with this new thing?!?! Did you steal my idea??

You decide.... Coincidence or not?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Everything

Watch first, read later:




Do you have tears in your eyes? I do. Each time I not only hear (and really listen) to this song and see this skit, I can't help but be moved by the love of my Father.

I don't know how honest I need to be here. I'm fighting within myself as what to say. It would be easy to just publish at this point, but perhaps I'm to share a little bit more about myself. Which, honestly, is scarey. I mean, I appear to have everything together. On the outside, maybe. Now, I'm not saying my life is all bad. In fact, I can't believe how blessed I really am. But... it doesn't stop the way I feel sometimes.

You see, I struggle with depression. On the surface, everything appears to be fine. I have a job. I pay my bills. I have a house and a car. There's always food on the table. I don't lack for anything. God has always provided for me; which I find amazing each and every time. But even after all that, there's still something "not right". Unless you know or have experienced it yourself, it's hard to explain. But, I think it's one of those things which isn't discussed within the Christian realm. As if, being a Christian makes everything *all better*. We shouldn't talk about being sad or whatever. That's just not reality, folks.

What I find interesting, is that people you'd never think struggle with it, do. It becomes this shadow which follows you everywhere. Most days, I'm perfectly fine. But other days, when I allow the shadow to overcome me, it's all I can do to keep breathing. Ready for some real honesty? Like the girl in this skit, killing myself has crossed my mind a time or two. Gosh, it sounds so melodramatic to type it out, but it's true. It's how I felt. It's what happens when I took my focus off of God and began to sink. (Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not suicidal. Part of me is just ready to go "Home".) But then I remember the people that I love. Plus, I know God's up to something. (Psst... He always is, even if we don't see it.) I know God has a plan for my life (Jeremiah 29:11-13).

A few years ago, I was prophesized over (which is a whole other story for another time), but God told me I'd write about the pain from my past. Perhaps this is part of that? I don't know. But I wanted to share a little more depth than usual.

So if you're struggling with depression too, please don't give up. Believe it or not, it helps to talk about how you're feeling. Plus, it gives feet to your problems. They can't remain stagnant and grow a fowl stench, but instead, you can share how you feel with others. I bet others feel the same way too. Also, another plus, you may have the opportunity to share what God is doing through your situation, much like He's doing with me. You just never know what God's up to.

Here are the lyrics to this song:
Everything by Lifehouse

Find Me Here
Speak To Me
I want to feel you
I need to hear you
You are the light
That's leading me
To the place where I find peace again.

You are the strength, that keeps me walking.
You are the hope, that keeps me trusting.
You are the light to my soul.
You are my purpose...you're everything.

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

You calm the storms, and you give me rest.
You hold me in your hands, you won't let me fall.
You steal my heart, and you take my breath away.
Would you take me in? Take me deeper now?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Cause you're all I want, You're all I need
You're everything,everything
You're all I want your all I need
You're everything, everything.
You're all I want you're all I need.
You're everything, everything
You're all I want you're all I need, you're everything, everything.

And How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pursuit

Every single time I've worshiped with Daniel Bashta as the leader, I've walked on those golden streets and entered Heaven. I can picture myself at Jesus' throne, giving all I've got to Him. I get kinda self conscious when I worship, especially when I allow myself to let go. To focus solely on Him and not allow anything that's going on around me to be a distraction. When I do that, I can't help but cry. I lift my arms up in adoration. I jump up and down with sheer joy! And I cry. That's what I do. Daniel has this way of breaking down all of my barriers and helps lead me right to the throne to love on my Creator! Check out this clip of Daniel leading worship at Church of the Highlands:

Close of Autumn

I can find a song for every aspect of life. Certain lines jump out at me and feel like a constant theme. Perhaps one day I can make a list of "Top Favorites" in my life, but until that happens, I was listening to my iPod the other day and this great song by Caedmon's Call played:

When I'm cold and alone all I want is my freedom
And a sudden gust of gravity
I stop wailing and kicking
Just to let this water cover me, cover me
Only if I rest my arms, rest my mind
You'll overcome me and swell up around me
With my fighting so vain, with my vanity so fought
I'm rolling over

'Cause in just the same way
That the stream becomes swollen
Swollen with cold up over the ground
When my heart draws close to the close of autumn
Your love, your love abounds

All the time I'm thinking
Wondering how would it be
To breathe in deep
I guess I need to be careful
When I ask for a drink
(Just might get what I ask for)
And I know just what you'd say to me
That's why I don't ask you
What would I ask you?
I'm like a bullheaded boy these days
Crying my toy's gone...
You're shiny and new

'Cause in just the same way
That the stream becomes swollen
Swollen with cold up over the ground
When my heart draws close to the close of autumn
Your love, your love abounds

Guess I'll drop my anger here
Before I float away
And the chains around me
An awful lot of talking
I don't leave you much to say
You didn't ever leave me
And my greatest fear
Was you'd leave me here
A long time back my feet
Could touch the bottom

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

...6 Years Later

I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about what day it is today. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sleeping in, as I didn't have class that day, and my mom comes crashing into my bedroom to tell me the news. She told me a plane just crashed into the Twin Towers. In my sleepy stupor, I thought I was either dreaming or she was playing a trick on me. But, before she left my room, she turned my TV on.... and there before my eyes, was a sight I'll never forget. Frankly, I don't want to tell you what I saw. We've all seen it. We all have witnesed the horror. Even as I write these words, my eyes are filling with tears...

On a day like today, it really puts things into perspective. War has always been in another country, making it harder to really feel the heartache associated with it. But September 11th changed all that.

For the record, I'm so PROUD of our Armed Forces! We are free today because of their sacrifices, not only from the past, but also those who serve in Iraq right now. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I know you all aren't thanked nearly enough. Thank you for all you do, every day. You matter.

This morning on the radio, they had a play-by-play timeline of the events six years ago. As I washing my hair, I just began to cry. Cried for those who died and for the families they left behind. I can't imagine what that must have been like and frankly, I don't want to. Do you remember in the days following, time was so precious with family. The world really did stop turning... we stopped being so busy and just enjoyed the people we loved most. Wonder why it takes a tragedy for that to occur?

So, six years later, what's different? The optimist in me hopes that this tragedy didn't scar us for life, instead give us the strength to do what needs to be done. We remember the courage and the bravery of those on Flight 93. Would we have done the same? I hope. I think we honor them by living our life to the fullest. They wouldn't want us to continue to mourn them, but rather, get on with our lives. By the sheer fact we continue to thrive as a country only speaks to the determination of our resolve.

God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood
If tomorrow all the things were gone
I'd worked for all my life,
And I had to start again
with just my children and my wife,
I'd thank my lucky stars
to be living here today,
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom
and they can't take that away.

I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota
to the hills of Tennessee,
Across the plains of Texas
from sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston
and New York to L.A.,
There's pride in every American heart
and it's time we stand and say:

I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

I'm proud to be an American
where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

What Is Your Deepest Fear?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us
You're playing small does not serve the world
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you
We were all meant to shine as children do
It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone
And as we let our own light shine
We unconsciously give the other people permission to do the same
As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others

....Speech from "Coach Carter"

Monday, September 10, 2007

Where Were You?

Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning) by Alan Jackson

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

The greatest is love
The greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day

Friday, September 7, 2007

Daily Sufficient Grace

Grace by Silers Bald

My heart is so proud.
My eyes are so unfocused.
I see the things You've done through me
As great things I have done.
And now You gently break me.
I cry just like a baby.
You hold me as my Father,
And mold me as my Maker.

And I ask You
How many times will You pick me up.
When I keep on letting You down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness aboud?
And You answer, "My child, I love you,
And as long as you're seeking My face,
You'll walk in the power of My daily sufficient, grace."


At times I may grow weak.
And feel a bit discouraged.
Knowing that someone somewhere
Can do a better job.
For who am I to serve You?
I know, I don't deserve You.
But that's the part, that burns in my heart,
And keeps me hanging on.

And I ask You
How many times will You pick me up.
When I keep on letting You down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness aboud?
And You answer, "My child, I love you,
And as long as you're seeking My face,
You'll walk in the power of My daily sufficient, grace."


And You are so patient with me, Lord.

As I walk with You, I'm learning
About what Your grace really means.
How all of my transgressions
Were paid at Calvary.
So instead of trying to repay You,
I'm learning to simply obey You.
By giving up my life to You
For all that You've given to me.

And I ask You
How many times will You pick me up.
When I keep on letting You down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness aboud?
And You answer, "My child, I love you,
And as long as you're seeking My face,
You'll walk in the power of My daily sufficient, grace."


"My daily sufficient grace."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Worst Case Scenario

I previously wrote about my roach trials.... and learned entirely too much of the subject! Well, I'd begun to have a false sense of security. I haven't seen a dead nor live roach in about a week. I started going barefoot again. Not jumping at every movement I see out of the corner of my eyes. (Though, honestly, I still turn on lights before I go into a room.) But as I was heading upstairs, all that security came crashing down around my socked feet. There on my kitchen counter... was a roach!!! ACK!

Now, it's not like I live in a pigsty or anything. I'm really pretty clean. I rarely leave dishes in my sink. Put dirty items straight into the dishwasher. I don't leave food out or crumbs around. I disenfect regularly. So, it's not like there's a blinking sign saying, "Open all night". Perhaps they are just attracted to the possibility of water? Perhaps because it's been so hot, they seek shelter? Whatever the reason, I'm not really interested. What I am interested in, is for them to leave and NEVER come back!!!

Armed with my "knowledge", I felt secure in my ways of killing the creatures, but then I read this (see below) yesterday. Oy!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Let these dry bones dance now!!

I'm a connoisseur of music; always have been, always will be. Often, God uses song lyrics to get my attension. I've learned many a lesson about His grace, mercy and love through this avenue of study. Today wasn't any different.

I'm sitting in traffic, jamming to my iPod, windows down, sound turned up and this one line from Dashboard Confessional's "Bend And Not Break" always makes me smile, it says, "Talented at breathing...." Why does that make me smile? Think about it. Of all the things to say you're talented at, one doesn't usually list "breathing" as one of them. The lyrics to the first verse are as follows:

I catalog these steps now
Decisive and intentioned
precise and patterned specifically to yours.
I'm talented at breathing
Especially exhaling
So that my chest will rise and fall with yours


That got me to thinking. If you disregard the real meaning of the song and look at it through the eyes of a child; a child of God. You'll see that He merely wants us to follow in His footsteps. To be so in tune with Him, that we not only walk in His steps, but also allow Him to breath on us.

Have you read, "The Chronicles of Narnia"? Or have you seen the movie? Do you remember when Alsan breaths on the children? One author describes it this way,
The characters who are touched by the lion's warm and fragrant breath don't begin speaking in tongues or shouting hallelujah. Rather, Aslan's breath serves to reassure them (as it does with Lucy after Aslan's “resurrection”) or even bring them back to life (as it does with the creatures who have been turned into stone by the White Witch).

How many times have I ignored that Gentle breeze and tried to reason or explain it away? How often am I too busy to know that He's speaking to me? Like the characters in Narnia, I too have been turned to stone at one point or another and have been in need of "Aslan's" healing breath.

Breathe on me, Breath of God. Please, breathe on me....

God, the Master, told the dry bones, "Watch this: I'm bringing the breath of life to you and you'll come to life. I'll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You'll come alive and you'll realize that I am God!" ~ Ezekiel 37:5-6 (The Message)

You know how you'll hear something over and over but never really get or understand it? I just had a moment of clarity!!! Daniel Bashta at my church sings "Dry Bones", based on the very verse above!!! I get it, Father!!! I get what you're trying to teach me. My bones have been oh so dry for far too long, and you long for me to WAKE UP!

"Come Breathe your Life into me. Fan the flame, oh mighty rushing wind. Let these dry bones dance now!"

Monday, September 3, 2007

I learned a new trick!

I love to take pictures! I've gotten out of the habit recently, but wanted to share some of my past favorites! See what you think!

Labor Day

Today is Labor Day. Yeah, no work! Though, ironically, I did nothing but work today. That is, after I woke up without my alarm clock, around noon! Noon! Can you believe it? I haven't done that in forever! I wanted to have a fun adventure, but all I ended up doing was household chores! I did...
  • Four loads of laundry
  • Vacuumed the upstairs
  • Watched some US Open
  • Cleaned/disenfected the kitchen
  • Waxed the hardwood/kitchen floors
  • Watched "White Oleander"
  • Took out the trash
  • Disenfected the inside trash can
  • "Shimmied" the TV to try to get a better reception (that involved a ladder and praying that my gaurdian angel would look over me)
  • Watched Oprah for the first time in forever
  • Folded all the clean laundry
  • Mowed the back yard
  • Watered what I believe to be dying plants, but hopefully there's still some life in them
  • Had pity on the neighborhood cat and gave her a can of tuna
  • Watched a few episodes of "Dirty Jobs"
  • Took an unscheduled nap on the couch

Which, pretty much leads me to now.... it was a good day. I got a ton accomplished!! I'm tired and a little sore, which honestly is a great feeling! I'm really not looking forward to waking up and heading into work, but such is life. I actually left a pile of work under my desk to deal with when I got home. Oy!!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Tickle Me Grant

videoHow precious is this?!? My sister discovered Grant is ticklish!!

I always savor the moments I spend with him on Saturdays. Like how he'll crawl over to me and put his arms up in the air to be held... or when I go to put him down, he fusses and still wants to be held by me... or when I rock him to sleep by singing praise songs... or when I'm leaving to go home, he'll wave "bye bye" at me. I love this kid!! I just had no idea I could love someone so much.