Processing Summer 2017 (in short)

Its been a long time. I have done a lot since I last blogged and I’ve missed it a lot. I’ve known for a long time about the importance of writing/spilling my thoughts as process. I let myself be too busy to process though and I can see the effects it has on me, spiritually and emotionally. There’s a lot I need to process at the moment. I’ve done and been a part of many good things the past few weeks; big things with big impacts but I didn’t let myself rest and glean from it till now.
This is the end and the beginning of seasons. Summer is closing and it truly is bittersweet like never before. The last four months held so much newness and growth. I’ve met people who became family, strengthened relationships and worked hard. I’ve learned about commitment, the way people think, and more of who God is. I am rooted deeper in who I am and what I can give, knowing Who’s I am and what I’ve been given.
There’s also been much hardship and spiritual warfare that I’ve kept all too silent. When I didn’t process these wonderful things, I avoided warfare and thus have not conquered.
So here is my Summer processing. This is probably more for me than for anyone else, but seeing other’s sowing/reaping is encouraging so take what is yours.
Camp Thurman is my favorite place on earth. I’ve truly fallen in love with that place. Every year from now till whenever I’m called somewhere else, I’ll be eagerly anticipating going back to the beautiful 14 acres where fears are conquered, identity is found, and God is discovered around every corner. Its a place where you can’t escape Jesus if you tried. Every day we pour into kids. We teach them, love them, play with them, listen to them, laugh with them and cry with them. Its a summer camp but the impact it has on these kids and staff alike can only be God-driven. I love the people there who love like crazy. I’ve learned a lot about how to love well from them.
GetAway is the only stay-away week we have at CT. I had the honor of working it and its safe to say it changed me quite a bit. I worked with a counselor and our 12 eleven to thirteen year old girls. Each one of them taught me so much. Our bible studies and one-on-ones were heartfelt, sometimes teary eyed, and always ended in hugs and a sense of peace. They taught me how to love when I don’t understand or can’t relate to a circumstance. The counselor I worked with taught me patience and how to have an ear to hear at all times. I learned how much I need to be poured into when I’m pouring out as well as how important processing is. Worshiping with kids who have no hesitation to love their Abba is so refreshing. I decided there that I am committed to this place and to loving kids in this way. I am blessed to be a part of such a beautiful ministry and I will be for years to come.
Multiple times this summer I’ve had the chance to catch up with old friends. Each time brings something new to the relationship as we each grow separately. I love being able to love someone far away and come back with old love and refreshing words. I’ll probably post separately about what I’ve learned from these people. They have blessed me beyond measure.
Through the summer I’ve developed quite a hunger for the word of God. This is relatively new to me. I’ve grown up with God and church. I’ve known the importance of reading and understanding it. But for the first time, I’m genuinely interesting and craving it. Its fun and way more adventurous than I ever could have expected.
This summer has been chock-full of big future decisions. In 6 months I’ll have held a job, finished highschool and started college, began my journey to YWAM, made important choices for the No Fear in Love conference and pursued music and people more than ever. All of this is sometimes overwhelming. But through it all, as long as I give myself time to process, I am excited and in love with life and God.

Declarations 5/8/2017

Recently, as specific choices, consequences, and circumstances occur, I’ve been forced to take a closer look at what I truly believe about myself. The things that I’ve firmly believed are questioned and even some things which I was adamantly against are softening in my heart. There are certain things that I know and other things which I am learning whether it is a right or good decision to trust.
I have learned the power of declaring. To speak over yourself what God says about you is to take the authority you have as daughter or son of the Most High God and proclaim it as truth. It unites body, mind, and spirit to do what they are intended and to be connected as He created. Also, a declaration is not kept secret. Declarations are loud and heard and meant to be remembered and respected. This past week there has been multiple instances when a declaration of who I am was called upon by God, friends, by parents, and my own realization.
This is a public personal declaration of who I know I am. This is my testimony thus far. This is my belief and trust that God is a good, good father. I highly recommend everyone make and write down their declarations in a place where others can see/hear them.

I declare that I am a daughter of God. I am created from a creative God, therefor
my ideas and aspirations and creativity are holy and made priority in His mind. I declare that I have a strong desire to love everyone and love well, to take sacrifices as they come if they benefit those around me. Though I know the importance of loving myself as He does and I will not take unnecessary or hurtful sacrifices. I will love with abandon to my own pleasures and comfort but stay steadfast in sturdy, growing, strengthening relationships with the people around me and His word and the Holy Spirit.
I trust Him to teach me to love well and to know the desires of my heart.
I declare that I know I am royalty and will use my position as daughter of the King to carry hope, wisdom, and passion wherever I go. I will not put down these things in hard times but rely on Jesus to carry them for me.
I declare that my passions will never take back-burner for a moment’s pleasure. This is sometimes difficult and I expect to fail at times. I also expect to continually grow and lean on God and learn how to put passions first. I trust Him to remind me and hold me accountable. I know I am pure and holy despite.
I declare that my passions are: God and my relationship with Him. The relationships with the people around me, pursuing and persisting. The subject and abolishment of human trafficking. The importance of creativity and wonder in everyone’s life. Pursuit of both health and joy, in correlation though not always in symbiotic.  Relationship before rules. One-on-one talks and discipleship as well as congregational conversations. Worship as a life style. Keeping passions alive in myself in others. Curiosity. And helping younger girls put into my life that they are worthy of real love and real passions.
I declare that I have a strong desire to honor people in where they are, to validate their emotions, positions, and timelines as they are. Their past or their future have no effect on their wonderful humanity, minds, and hearts. They are loved, they are holy, the are pure. I have learned this for myself and promise to share this understanding.
I declare that I refuse to settle for anything less than what is given me. He has given me, His daughter, the kingdom, certain loves and desires, so I will not settle for one. I have many loves so I will not settle on one career, one path, or stay stuck in my ways. I love change and embrace newness and this is a good thing.
I declare that romantic love is important to me not only for the person, but also for the image of God that it is. I intend to value it, the other person, and God in this relationship. I want Him to be the One who holds us together, our gaze fixed on Him. If we stumble, we will realign with Him, accepting His forgiveness as well as consequences. We, together and individually, will seek guidance and advice from those in our life because we want our focus to be on loving well. Cherishing, protecting, dreaming, loyalty, and openness will be important aspects of our relationship.
I declare that people are priority. I love the people around me. I have a strong desire to build deep relationships with the ones put in my community and family. I desire to be available to be called on at any hour for any need. I want to know and be known. Even in the places I have been hurt, I will give second chances over and over for the priority that is to build long lasting, loving relationships among family, friends, partner, peers, employers, leaders, younger people, etc.
I declare that I will not be afraid of hypocrisy in the places where I have been appointed leader. I will not fear failing, nor success and those having a negative affect on those who I am leading. I will trust God to keep my walking like my talking because it is a strong desire of mine and His. Mistakes will not define where I am supposed to be. If I make one bad step, I will not stop walking towards my goal. I will lean on Him.
I declare that Jesus is my first love and always will be. He comes first, before any other relationship, circumstance, or lie. He is in constant pursuit of me and I of Him. I love Him deeply and always will.
I declare that my art will always reflect truth. Sometimes truth is sad and painful, I will not sugarcoat anything. But I promise to always reflect truth and reality, in my art and my songwriting. There is goodness and there is pain, there is wonder and there is reminiscing, there is fiery passion and there are dry seasons. All of these are real and I will not forget one or the other because truth is vital to a well-lived life.
I declare to always pursue healing. I am never stuck in one place. Healing is a gift which He loves to give. It takes pursuit and trust, which I give to Him. I will do what I can to heal others as well and share His healing, physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
I declare that all of these declarations are core values. My declarations will be added to and changed in various ways. But these are my core truths. These are all especially important to me. I will not stray from these desires and core beliefs.

Fast Food Grace, Love Like a River, and Humility in Our Tied Up Hearts

Its been a little while. A lot has happened since I last posted. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to write about in this post but here I go, typing away. Maybe this is a sort of update. Probably I’ll end up running down a rabbit-trail and decide to stay there. What is life without rabbit-trails?
One of my current favorite songs is Let You Go by United Pursuit (feat. Will Reagan). Listen to it. Seriously. The whole album is amazingly written, recorded, and will completely entrance you if you let it. It’s a fantastically relatable collection of songs and none of them lean on “feel good-God loves me-I’m gonna be okay” mentality. It’s real and raw and a representation of God in all His realness and rawness.
Some of the lyrics in Let You Go are,

We have sought the truth when we’ve felt the pain

Even wandered beyond our faith in the name

We cannot pretend we are always ok

We cannot depend on fast food grace.

I realized how often I hand out fast food grace and also how much I expect only fast food grace. It’s the kind of grace that says, “Yeah that’s okay, you screwed up, try again.” This comes with a side of lost trust, a pang of hurt, and sometimes a touch of do-gooder. It’s not the kind of grace that says, “Yeah you messed up but I’m not looking at that, I’m looking at your heart.” This kind of grace is unconditional, unconventional, and does not see a deliberate mistake as from you but as to you.

You are molded by the life you live. Your plans, completed or changed, chisel at your personality and heart. The words, powerful in all their subtlety, said by those who affect you, can rub you the wrong way or smooth your ruffled feathers. The unexpectedness of life shapes you in intricate detail. This is all because we are perfectly designed to be unique in person and humbled by Creator. It’s the beauty of humanity. So mistakes and wrong choices are not a reflection of you but of what is surrounding and holding your heart.

This is not to say that every mistake is innocent. And it doesn’t shift blame from your shoulders or make you unresponsible for the things you do. It is just a different mentality than we are typically used to. It means looking at the heart when someone hurts you, not at the wound caused by them as a reflection of their person. People are never wounds.

Fast food grace is short-lived, un-nutritious, and leaves you wanting. Real grace is loving. Sometimes loving means not tolerating. Sometimes loving means trusting when it’s hard to. Sometimes loving means, “How are you?” Sometimes it means space. Loving is relationship with the One who created loving. It’s not a code to be cracked because love acts as a swiftly moving river. There will always be a steady current. But sometimes it falls heavy and powerfully. Other times it moves slowly and peacefully.

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy.
It does not boast.
It isn’t proud.
It does not dishonor others.
It is not self-seeking.
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Nowhere does God say love is fragile or timid or “give what you get”. Love is extravagant and personable and trusting and strong. Love isn’t easy. But it’s natural. Humans were not made for easy.

   Another song from United Pursuit that I am enjoying is Looking for a Savior. I had a hard time choosing a portion of lyrics from this song, so just go listen to the whole thing. Here are the first verse and chorus,

I abandon my addiction to the certainty of life
and my need to know everything.
This illusion cannot speak, it cannot walk with me at night
as I taste life’s fragility

I am looking for a savior I can see and know and touch,
one who dwells within the midst of us.
May a broken God be known within the earth beneath our feet,
let our souls behold humility

In the last season of my life (I feel like I am transitioning into a new one), I learned that life doesn’t go as planned probably more than it follows what you concocted to fit you perfectly. Certainty in a fallen world is a difficult thing. Certainty in God is easy as pie.  Life and the plans placed within it are fragile and unpredictable. We learn this as we grow and often it is one of those lessons we learn multiple times throughout our life. So we collapse with our crumbling plans and search for a savior to pull us out of it. The kind of savior who is tangible and real and raw. One that breaks when we break because he knows the incredible weight and emotion that we go through.

   In that we find humility, knowing that our savior, Creator of heaven and earth, of birds, stars, music, and emotions, knows our hearts so well that when ours break His breaks too. What a wonderous thing to think that God has personally tied His heart to yours. He feels every stab and every laugh. In that place of simply knowing, we find a connection to our Creator so unbreakable, a bond so indestructible, that no broken plan, heart, or dream can loose those strings.

The Process of Healing and Finding

In the past few years I have been physically unhealthy. It has been obvious to myself and my family that something, though who knows what, is wrong. Nights have been long and restless, as I wake up throughout the night. An anxiety and depression set in, with loved ones and I assuming I was simply having a bad day or that some trivial error had tipped me off the brink. Unexplained pain that I learned to ignore riddled my body and even caused joint injuries over time. I never considered piecing these things together as one issue until recently. I was talking about to my mom about the pain in my muscles and joints. By this time we knew I had some copper/zinc level issues and credited basically all of my symptoms to that. After we talked; her asking questions and me answering, she handed me an open book and told me to look up fibromyalgia (a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas). As the list of symptoms fit mine, we decided we would treat as if I had it, even though we don’t have the concrete diagnosis of an experienced doctor.
So, after about a week of knowing what is wrong with me, I have been taking care of myself as if I had fibromyalgia and have noticed definitive differences in the days when I take care of myself and the days where I didn’t. Hopefully soon I’ll have the words of a doctor to confirm and listen to.
But this is not a post about fibromyalgia. This is a post about process. Life is a process, right? Always. Even since before you popped into this beautiful world, you were in the process of being created and formed. And then for your mother, not so much popped but heaved in arduous manor, her letting you go was a process. And from then on you began the process of growing. Solid foods, baby steps, talking…relationships, identity, core values. Humans are built on process. We function on doing and discovering and thinking about what others are doing or have discovered. Then there are all the miniature processes within the bigger ones. Like the way your neurons are firing like lightning as you read these words. You are seeing them, reading them, understanding them, as well as comparing and relating the message I’m giving you to your own person. Life is beautifully filled with movement and development.
Process is evidently important then, isn’t it? We believe in a divine, lovely creator who can measure the waters in the hollow of His hand, and mark off the heavens by the span,  and calculate the dust of the earth by the measure, and weigh the mountains in a balance, and the hills in a pair of scales (Isaiah 40:12). Wouldn’t we expect Him to have a beautifully designed method and operation for life?
When it comes to health, my process has been messy. Then again, I could give examples of many personal processes that have been handled messily. But talking about health specifically, I never paid too much attention to it. My family, my mom especially, is relatively aware of our health and when the need arises we take supplements and generally know what to do to fix the problem. So when this issue that I couldn’t fix came up so prevalent, so heavy in my own life, I didn’t know what to do with myself. This past week has been a roller coaster.
I realized how much I lean on my ability to fix things for myself. I always thought that if I want something done, I’d have to do it myself. I’ve always hated asking for help, even if I truly needed it. My natural inclination is to find a solution to the problem and execute. Its this kind of independence, the one where you can’t depend on someone when you’re in your hardest times, that breaks you down completely. I’m grateful to have realized this so early on in this process of healing. I’ve had this revelation before, as you’ll see in posts before, but not so much that I can’t escape it. I like when that happens; the revelation that is inescapable.
I can’t do this. I can take supplements, work on my sleep and take steps toward being healthier. But in the long run, I can’t do it. And for that I am grateful. I need to learn daily that I am not the source of my own comfort or life.
But the process of healing is always beautiful. Whether it takes years or days, doctors or Google, tough decisions or easy ones, healing is beautiful.
The process I am in right now is learning to trust and learning to decide to have a good day. The daily decision of “I’m not gonna let today suck” is important and sometimes difficult. But it fits the season I’m in of aiming for intentionality. When everything is a conscious choice, you’re forced to have a different perspective on life in the sense that you see everything and its harder to take things for granted.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it and say I’m grateful for this sickness, I’m not. But I am grateful for the choices I have to make and the way I have to look at life. Its beautiful and interesting and an excited learning curve. Life is great y’all.

The Things I Have 2/25/17

I stood at the kitchen sink, scrubbing a soapy spoon that had some substance on it which seemed it could have been used to glue a spacecraft together. As I scrubbed, my mom stood behind me at the stove, browning beef for tacos that night. The conversation between her, my dad, and I led to her reading aloud a post from a blog she frequently reads. In the post, the author, an American mother living in Thailand, described her daily joys and hardships. She talked about the mundane and the adventure, the times for weeping and the times of rejoicing. She concluded all of it with a list of what she had. It wasn’t all good, and it wasn’t only ‘important’ things. It was everything she had in that moment. I wanted to do it for myself. I think in this past season of planning, I lost track of why I was planning. I love thinking about the future and dreaming and making a gameplan. I truly enjoy it. But in doing so, I forgot that the reason I was doing all of it. This is supposed to be a ‘year of intentionality’ where I prioritize good things and live in good relationship. So here I go. This is me hitting the reset button.

THINGS I HAVE in Feb. 25th, 2017

A cup of coffee (often two) everyday

Multiple ways of listening to and discovering new music

I have two best friends who like to make music with me.

Access to all information. From the huge library in my house to the WiFi access, I can learn anything I want to.

A lot of younger sisters who look up to me.

Parents who love to love and keep trying no matter what.

A younger brother who is growing up and into a friend.

An outlet for worship and a band that truly loves eachother and worshipping.

People who pour into me so I can pour out.

Connections to amazing people who can share talents and ideas with me.

Pain in my muscles and joints.

Fatigue and brain fog that makes me feel inadequate at times.

Frustration that I can’t operate according to my age.

A family that supports travel.

Plans to go to Australia and Cambodia.

Friends who I miss dearly. Some who live far away and some who I’ve lost touch with.

A boy who loves me and is pursuing me gracefully, despite mistakes we’ve made.

A friend who loves me and lets me vent and laugh and go on adventures with her.

A solid plan to raise awareness for human trafficking, a subject dear to my heart.

Sadness that sometimes takes over my body but I refuse to let be a part of me.

Parents who both work and responsibility of the younger kids.

A love for newness and trying out what I don’t know.

A music teacher who is invested in my friend’s and my music.

Pages upon unorganized pages of art in my room.

A school curriculum that I’m nearly finished with.

A powerful example of real gospel in a camp that I work at in the summer.

An ability to create and have ideas.

A mattress on the floor.

Excitement for tomorrow and the next day and the next day.

A curiosity for neurology and an ability to learn about it.

A full house that’s always loud and chaotic.

A skill which I can use to support me and others in my future.

Tulips on a windowsill and a comic on my nightstand.

A book about a friend in the works.

A closet full of plaid and sweaters.

A driver’s permit and soon a license.

A coffee shop a few miles away where I’ve had many tearful, joyful, and exciting conversations.

I have many things. Most of which I am grateful for. Some of which, not so much. But this is my life and this all will change. I am happy and in love with it all.

Growing Up, Sitting Down, and Shutting Up

My last post was about 2016 and the blessing of a mess it had turned out to be. Honestly, I think that when I was writing it I was pretending to not be down in the dumps. Y’all pretending to be what you’re not is never ever a good idea. As I typed out those words, more forcefully than it usually takes to write a blog post, I pulled at every string to try and just make the post “work.”  But of course, I couldn’t finish it to my satisfaction because satisfaction hardly ever comes from force. Satisfaction of a job well done comes from working hard and well, with joy and intrigue, and a culture of peace in yourself. And really I had none of these as I wrote my recent post.
This blog is a personal public diary. I began it so I could process somewhere others could read it and see my process. And I’m quickly learning about how putting a process out into the world is a scary thing. Because even though I have few followers, trying to leave nothing out and put all of myself into an un-erasable platform is difficult. But its good.
So I guess this post is sort of a redo. I’m not sure. Its not that I don’t agree with what was said in my last post, its more that the mindset it was written from wasn’t me and wasn’t what I want to live with. I simply wasn’t in a good mood and was grasping for God yet not listening to Him.
Which is funny ’cause earlier this morning, as I was handling a mountain of dishes, alone in the house (a rare occasion), and listening to music, I thought about 2016. In all its upside-down glory, 2016 was as maturing as it is difficult. I definitely learned a whole lot. I learned enough how much I don’t know and how unprepared I am for the world. But also, how I don’t need the acceptance or satisfaction of others because I have the acceptance and satisfaction of my Creator. I learned maturing and hard-times go hand and hand but are not symbiotic. You can go through the hardest of knocks without growing an inch. But these hard knocks are recipes for miracle grow if you realize it.
2016 was the year of “grow up, sit down, and shut up” for me. That’s basically what I heard every time I listened to God. Most of the time more eloquently, or creatively, but not always. God is straight forward and He doesn’t need anything fancy or high and mighty to get His point across. Throughout the year He taught me how to take from my experiences, both spiritual and tangible, how to sit down and rest and let God do His work, and how to quit talking and let Him speak over me. That makes 2016 a pretty good year. And I’ll be wiser with new situations and ideas in the future.
I fully expect to forget what I’ve learned occasionally. But my mindset has changed. Where once I believed I had to work for love, I now know its mine unconditionally. And that word has a whole new meaning now.
I am excited for this next year. I have a plan, I have big dreams, and I have a God who backs them up. Last year did kind of suck in a lot of ways, I’m not sugar-coating, but I’m grateful for what I’ve been given, what I’ve learned, and the people I know. I refuse to let suck override goodness. I will be intentional with what is mine, from family, to schedule, to mindset, to relationships, to body, to spirit. Intentionality will consume me. I will continue to let God do what He does and trust Him. And I will listen to what He says without my own talking and planning clouding my mind. 2017 will be a good year.

Being At Peace With Where You Are Pt.1

I have been trying to write this post for a month now. And every time that I’ve sat down to finally finish this thing, I only get through about a paragraph. I credited it to lack of inspiration, or that I needed to do something else more important. But then I realized that no, I’m just afraid to put my mess into the world. I was afraid of portraying myself as hypocritical and naive, when really, in this post, I’ll just be portraying myself as human. A human that is in desperate need of a savior.
This post is about my year. Twenty-sixteen has been a hell of a ride with extremes on all spectrums. I felt extreme joy and extreme sadness, a whole lot of extreme confusion and mostly a whole lot of extreme love (even if it didn’t feel like what I thought love should feel like.) I know that a lot of people, at least in my life, have had kind of a sucky year as well. With the election, the current events, and (within my circles), plenty of financial and relational difficulty, twenty-sixteen just hasn’t lived up to its expectations.
Personally, I had quite a few opportunities to do some awesome things. I got to go to Tijuana, where I met God in his miraculous joy. I went to the 18InchJourney, where I met God in his pursuant joy, I worked at a day camp where I couldn’t escape God in his gleeful joy if I tried, and then in October, when I was able to see the love of my life after a long separation, and I met God in his merciful joy. Those have been the highlights, and those have been wonderful times. I learned an incredible amount this year. A large part of that being how little I really know.
So, throughout and around these wonderful events of joy, I experienced a lot of heartache. Some of it caused by my own mistakes and naivety, some seemed to come just blow by blow. Sickness, hurt, bitterness, and canceled dreams showed up around every turn. By the end of the year I just became tired. There are still many good things in my life. My family is still in tact and in love. Though I’ve lost some friends, the people who are really important in my life became closer. And I am able to do nothing but lean on God. He is my refuge and my strength. It took a long time to learn that, and I’ll probably be learning that for the rest of my life.
Ultimately, the emotion I felt the most would be confusion. For the first time, I asked God why he would let things like this happen. Why would he let sickness gain control and heartache take over? There was a while where I believed that he ordered our every situation. As my parents discussed in church this morning, they used to believe that if their child ran into the street and was hit by a vehicle and killed, that was a part of God’s plan. As if God played us like puppets and we had to learn how to love our master. But that can’t be. Yes, God is sovereign. Yes, God is in control. He is our creator and our father and He protects us from what will destroy us. But he does not cause circumstances. He never decided that sickness, financial strain, or heartbreak was a good idea. What kind of parent would inflict pain on their child? A tyrant. Our God is a good, good father. And he is love, he is joy, he is peace. The evil and hurt and wrong things that happen in our fallen world were caused by distrust and an idea that maybe he doesn’t love us as much as he says he does. Of course, this isn’t true, but when you believe it and operate from a place of distrust, you will do hurtful things to yourself in others in attempt to protect your own heart. Our world is fallen and sickness, accidents, and untruth lives but doesn’t prevail. He prevails as king and lord.
Its not a question of power either. He has the power to make time stand still, defy physics, and change hearts. But he has graciously and lovingly given us the gift of free will. He won’t ever break that. Our will is ours and ours alone. And its when we choose to love him back that we flourish and can be at peace with where we are. Being at peace with where we are in our life is a side-effect of knowing you’re loved. Its an act of trust.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.“A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

There is a lot left I have to say. So far, this is more of a set up for the point I’m trying to make. So I’ll make another part to this. But for now, read the above scripture from John 16 (starting on verse 13) and try to see how Jesus is pleading you to ask of him. Ask for help. Ask for joy. Ask for him. It his desire and his delight to give it to you.

Beautiful x 12/4/16

It is beautiful to have emotional outbreaks because you have an audience.

It is beautiful to have emotions because they are deep and moving and placed inside you.

It is beautiful to let it out because you have someone to listen to you.

It is beautiful to let things go because you are free to make choices.

It is beautiful to hold things tight because you have the strength to do that.

It is beautiful to need a savior because your story is a love story.

It is beautiful to wonder because you will find more than you were looking for.

It is beautiful to sing defiantly because your music is an invitation.

It is beautiful to cry out because you will be pursued.

It is beautiful to engage because you have always been engaged.

It is beautiful to challenge because anything you ask for will be made clear.

It is beautiful to seek because that desire spurs on hope and dreams and relationships.

It is beautiful to cling beause you will always be held close but never held down.

It is beautiful to need because you will be given to.

It is beautiful to feel because that is how its meant to be.

It is beautiful to want because you are unique.

It is beautiful to bow because the throne room is incredible.

It is beautiful to seek council because the throne room is yours.

It is beautiful to stand because you were made to stand tall.

It is beautiful to sleep because your peace is important to the kingdom.

It is beautiful to expect because as it is in heaven, so it is on earth.

It is beautiful to hope because love is unpredictable, but always consistant.

It is beautiful to run because your lover is waiting.

What to Say When You Have Nothing to Say

Throughout life we weave in and out of seasons. We go through seasons of creativity and wonder and in these times things just feel generally at peace. And then other times of hardship and questioning, and nothing feels at peace. It is inevitable that as a human living in a broken world, you will go through all the ups and downs of life. And it is inevitable that in these downs, when things hurt and your world is fragile, that you will feel like there is nothing to say.
Everyone experiences this and for a variety of reasons. Whether its because you’re fearful of saying the wrong things, or because you assume that what you do have to say isn’t of any value, or maybe you just don’t feel as if you have anything to say at all, neither profound or worthless. So what are you supposed to do? What do you say when you have nothing to say? How do you minister to yourself and others when you feel empty?
First of all, you can’t fix it. You cannot change your circumstances or anything really. And that is a huge blessing to you. Its not up to you. The things that are up to you are: your choice to love Him, your choice to love others, and your choice for joy. Striving to attain perfection will only bring you exhaustion. You have to let God protect your heart and hold your hand. He absolutely will. That what He’s been wanting to do since you were only a thought in the Godhead.
So here is what you say: Thank you. Thank you that you protect me and hold my hand. Thank you that you don’t let me go. Thank you that I can fall onto you. Thank you that your dreams are my dreams. Thank you for what you’ve given me. Thank you for thinking of me. Thank you for singing over me. Thank you for wiping my tears away. Thank you for laughing with me. Thank you for creating a space for you and me. Thank you for letting me run and never letting me get lost. Thank you for your complete steadfastness.
Thats it. Thank Him over and over again. Peace starts with gratitude. With gratitude you are totally satisfied, wanting nothing. Not to say you shouldn’t dream and aspire, please do. But unsatisfaction will leave gaping holes in your heart and life. Satisfaction = peace = joy = relationship with Him =  trust. Always, forever, unchanging.

Psalms 107

 

 

 

Letting Go

As I’ve briefly explained in previous posts, right now my life is taking interesting turns and new directions in ways I wouldn’t ever expect. And a lot of the time it’s not comfortable. Sometimes it even hurts. I thought I was prepared for tough times and hard knocks with the recent transitions in my beliefs and world views. But now I’ve  learned that changed mindsets do not change the physical world. I would say it can change reality; my reality. Because my reality, my world, and the way I see it, are all based soon what I believe about it. It’s important to be able to grasp where this world came from, who our everything belongs to, and where our place in this epic story is. When you believe that you must appease God in order to gain His approval, and you go through all the motions, say all the right words, avoid all the wrong things, then and only then are you in line with God. But if you believe you are son or daughter of God, heir to His throne, loved extravagantly and unconditionally, in deep connection with King of the universe, then you know that you are forever in line with God.

So what happens when you’re stuck in the physical, and things aren’t necessarily well, and you know the truth but you can’t shake the reality of your emotions? For me personally, I knew all these things. I knew I was a daughter, and that I didn’t need to earn His approval ’cause it’s mine to take. But lately, I’ve had the very real emotions of resentment and disappointment. I was utterly confused because I didn’t want to feel this way, and I couldn’t even think of a reason why I felt this way. I took it out on my family a lot. I’ve said a lot of things I didn’t mean and I’m very sorry for that. I have no reason to resent or be angry at anyone in my family and I knew that, so the confusion grew.

Then I was listening to “Strength” by Jonathan and Melissa Helser and He spoke to me. He told me that I’m not resting yet. I thought I had finished with that conversation because I’d learned to trust Him. But no, it was only the beginning. I was still striving to be something. I was striving to understand Him, striving to look like what I knew, striving to rest. You will never get anything by striving. Never. So through all this trying to become and laboring to know, I got tired. I became exhausted when the results that I wanted were not coming through. So I had this revelation and didn’t know what to do with it until I saw a beautiful blog post about bitterness. And then I realized I had been harboring other’s bitterness and disappointment. It wasn’t mine, but I unwittingly took it on as my own and let it impact me. That is quite a slippery slope.

I’ve always let myself be someone who people can tell their secrets to, and I much prefer deep relationships rather than shallow acquaintances. But I didn’t know how important it was to protect myself from other’s reality. I had let other’s problems seep into my world and lodge themselves in my life; a place which they do not belong. I still absolutely believe we should be available to listen and help when we can with other’s problems. But when you let it become your own problem it affects your life in ways it shouldnt and prohibits you from walking in freedom you know is yours.

I had to let go. Actually I still do. The way I’ve been doing that is writing every single problem, concern, fear, worry, or confusion in my journal and saying “This isn’t mine anymore.” Some of these people need me to understand their issues and be there for them. So I can still empathize and comfort them. I will not let that drop, but I simply won’t take it as my own. I know who I am, where I belong in this story, and where this world came from so I won’t let other’s misunderstandings of it tamper with my reality. Letting go is a process and I’ll write more about that subject soon, but I need to wrap up this post for now, even though its relatively short. So in conclusion: when you know your reality and where and whom you belong to, don’t strive to be something else. You won’t get there if you’re striving. And don’t let other’s realities taint your own.