Friday, December 23, 2011

The Magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in HIS Presence...

As I sit in the chair in the living room of my house drinking tea at 2:00 in the morning on Christmas Eve Day, I'm beginning to realize that this life, it has always bee about JESUS, not me. It has always been about what He has done and will do- not about what I can do to change myself, my life, or others. No, because I can't. The only thing I can do is surrender myself to Him, everyday, and let Him do His wonderful work in me, my life, and the people around me. Only Jesus can turn this person into a living image, and proof of His power, love, and grace.

Last night I was up reading through my journal from Uganda. It is crazy to think that that was almost five months ago, it feels years away from me and yet like it was just yesterday. In one of the entries There is quote from a man named Larry Tomczak that says this; "You are the only one being in the universe that can cause defeat in your life. Wholeheartedly decide by the grace of God and the power of His Holy Spirit, to please God. All demons in and out of hell, all the people in the world, all your apparent weaknesses, short comings, inadequacies, adverse circumstances and unfavorable surroundings cannot prevent you from having glorious victory! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!" When I read this last night, I felt like I had been punched in the chest and I started crying. Is it crazy to think that God knew me writing this down on July 22nd of this past summer would need this quote more than ever on four months later on December 23rd. Most likely He knew, and He knew what I was going to go through and what I've been through. That I haven't been me since returning home and to school. That I don't feel like me, the radical me. I've noticed, others have noticed I'm sure. I'm hardly reading the Word anymore, I'm more likely to do stupid things, and I hardly ever speak about God the way I used to.

I can pretend to be okay up in my bubble at school, but people see, they know, they don't ask, but they know. Nobody REALLY wants to talk about feelings. Which is okay, because I don't want to talk. I'm much better at writing things down, my mouth doesn't get in the way. But when I come home, I feel it even more so, things are different, I am different. I am defeating myself in this walk of faith. and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't struggling, there is no way a person can be a Christian and not struggle, not stumble. They can have the best outward appearance and say all the right things, but only they know what is going on inside. Only them and God.

Words cannot express the apologies I have to offer to people for the person I returned as. I returned changed for the better, when I stepped off that plane from Uganda back onto the Iowa soil, but being silence by the enemy the moment I got into my mothers car, I felt defeated. And that feeling never went away. Because I felt like I had no outlet, nothing important to share, everyone else lives moved on while I was overseas, everyone else had their own stories, their own summers. And mine was just another nonchalant answer to an uncaring question. But I do apologize. They may not read this, or may not know, but I know and God knows and I am sorry, I know my word probably doesn't mean very much to anyone after things I said and did. But those apologies go unanswered if I don't apologize and ask for forgiveness to the One who I've hurt the most. Every moment I've turned my back and let the enemy silence me, I've hammered those nails in deeper, I've dug myself deeper into a pit. And that pit, no counselor, no friend, not even family could help me out of. Only God could get me out of that. Corrie Ten Boon put's it perfectly "There is no pit so deep, that God's love is not deeper still."

So what to do, but to remember what God has done, is doing and will do. Tis' the season to celebrate the life of the Savior, the One who sacrificed everything so that I could be here in this moment, alive, and in love with Him and only Him. To realize that I need to return to Him and only Him. To not put my hope or faith in man, but in the Son of Man. to go back to the joy of my heart where I find reassurance, to go back to writing love letters, to singing love songs deep from my heart. To not caring what people think about the fact that I love this Man, this Jesus. to remember that He has forgiven me and to know that He washes me clean as snow and as He forgives me, I must forgive myself. His grace abounds over so many things. And that is not only the magic of this season, but everyday I wake up with a chance to choose to live my life for Him. To remember His presence, His glory, His honor, His strength and power. The only one that I will have for ETERNITY.

"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." -Psalm 73: 25-26.

In the Love of our RISEN LORD,


HIS and yours,

Cami

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rest for the Weary



"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." -Matthew 11-28-30.

This is pretty much my life verse. Especially since coming to college. It's been four years and I would imagine by now that I would remember how stressful these weeks leading up to and the week of finals are, but it seems every year I am more surprised by the amount of stuff the professor pile on us, thinking that their class is the most important and only class we are taking that semester. Sometimes I just want to say "Um, excuse me, you do realize that I am taking four other course and yours and they are equally as strenuous." It seems sometimes that the PhD's just go to their heads and they forget that they were once like us, lowly undergrad students just trying not to drown in the ginormous ocean of school and work and relationships.

I feel bad at this time of the year, every year, cause I know I get short with people, because of the level of business and stress that just piles itself onto my shoulders. It seems to that this time of the year every student is competing with everyone else to see who has the most to do. To me it's not much of a competition I'd rather be the student taking two naps on Sundays then the one that skips church and ever other social activity just to make sure they can get one of there seven 20 page papers done. But what can I say, it's my last year with this type of work, but before I know it, life is going to speed up and I will be running around at a job trying not to stress myself out with that. Is there ever a time where we won't be stressed?

Haha. I laugh when I ask that question. The truth is, I think there is always a little stress in my life, I think it is good. but too much can probably drive you nuts. But God offers such and amazing peace and balance, and a huge life raft when we feel like there is no where else to go but down, and we begin to sink. He calls us out of the deep waters and into His arms. Because He can give us the rest we need. He can help us walk on the water, instead of drown in it's depths. I don't particularly have solution to the copious amounts of homework that professors give, or the eighty hours you might work a week just to pay the bills, or your family that may be failing and falling apart, or the friends that seem to be disappearing left and right. I have no solution for that. I myself am still trying to figure out what this all means and what God is doing and why I am here.

But in all honesty, that's what helps me get through my days. not just every other day or most days, but every single day. It is knowing that all this stress all this work it's part of a bigger plan. a better plan. I think about it like this. if I would not have taken that extra Soc class, I wouldn't have worked in an awesome group and met an amazing person, who i consider a great friend now. Think about all the things you've done that may have caused stress on you, but you come out of those things a better person. Stronger, Wiser, Awesomer (that's not a word... but it is now) :) God can bring us through anything and when we feel like we can't stand He says to us "come to me all you who are weary and burdened. all you who are stressed and restless, those lacking sleep and I, I will give you peace." He takes our burdens upon Himself.

Words cannot explain the amount of joy that I will have next week friday when I am driving home for CHristmas break. But as of right now, words cannot express the amount of peace that God has blessed me with. Yes I've had two panic attacks in the past week, but God has taken over and I know that in Him I can do all things. In Him I can overcome the stress, the homework, the broken things. And you can too. He can help you. He is the only way. Surrender it to Him. Those things that weigh you down. The failing family, the work load, the struggles with friends at school or siblings at home. And remember that He is growing you, He is making you stronger. Because when you get through this you'll not only come out a better person. But you will come out with a stronger Faith, a deeper Love, and a Knowledge that the Almighty can do anything, when you open you heart and welcome Him in.

You are all in my prayers. I may not know you by name, but God does. Through it all He is near, He is here. Even if it does not feel like it. Just open your eyes, your heart, and Surrender. Blessings to all who read this on this glorious Sunday.

In Christ's Peaceful and Rest giving Love


HIS and yours,


Cami

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Much is given; Much is asked.

Busy. Busy. Busy.
The first word that comes to my mind when I think of the next two weeks of college until Christmas break. Busy.

I haven't slept in 24 hours and I'm trying to catch a breath, I know really the only way to do that is to sit in the presence of God, it seems though my body does not want to turn off long enough and my mind does not want to stop wandering, wondering about all the things I need to do. I think the hardest part of the mornings is that the minute I wake up my mind starts going. Except for this morning. This morning is different. One because I never went to sleep, but two because I'm up before seven and all of my roommates. I can turn on my music and prop open my Bible and just meditate on the Word and on Him. What a wonderful way to wake up in the morning.

I know that He will help me get through the rest of this day. While I was reading this morning I came across the passage Luke 12:48, it's a interesting and thought provoking passage, especially at 5:30 A.M. but I never read it throughly and applied to who I am. "...From everyone who had been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

It's interesting to think about. What could possibly be asked of me? What could be given to me? And then when I do sit down and think about. It hits me. Life. this life. these moments to share the gospel, to love Him and spread His love. The chance to sing and dance and pray and shout and love in His name. The chance to further His Kingdom, for His glory. How awesome is that. I get excited just thinking about how much we have been asked of with these lives. But then I realize I've been asked much, but have I even answered this call. Yeah a little volunteering here, a little scripture there... but am I really living out what I have been asked? Are you living out what you have been asked.

Now, not all of us are asked of the same things. We all have a different calling, a different purpose in God's awesome MASTER plan. I think that every single person can be used, can be the hands and feet of Jesus. They only need to be willing. And to understand that they are being given much, and much will be asked. But honestly in the end it is all worth it.

To be everything that I go through on earth for Him and Him alone is all worth is. Whether I go through life peacefully, whether I come to my end of life early or late, whether my life is full of trails, whether I marry, whether I'm single, whether I live in America, whether i live overseas. whether i have food, clothes, water, whether I don't. Any of it no matter what I this society tells me is right, it's nothing compared to when I come to the end of my life and I stand before the Judgement seat of Christ and here him say "well done good and faithful servant." and to dance with my King. Because honestly no matter what I'm doing I want to be doing it for the Kingdom, people desperately need to see Jesus and not just on a third world missions trip, but every single day. Jesus is alway with us, why can't we let Jesus shine through us always?

I know, it's hard, but it's worth it. All the money in the world, all the love in the world it is NOTHING, compared to Jesus. Nothing. We have been given so much and we grab ahold of it and take it and run as far away from the much that is being asked. Without the asking, there is no life, there is no journey, there is no story worth following without direction from Him. The One who guides us all.

Look deep, love deep, walk deep. Dive into the Faith. Look at all that you have been given. Much has been given and now Much is asked. Lift it up to Him. The Almighty, The Creator. Our Beloved.

Blessings in Christ abundant Love,

HIS and yours,

Cami

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Flat Tire



My throat is dry and my voice is hoarse. I think it is from screaming at my tire for an hour. Flat tire's are the worst. I'd never gotten a real flat tire before, I mean if you don't count the flat tires when your friend's step on the back of your shoes, but if not then saturday night or early sunday morning at midnight was the first time I got a real flat tire.

I can be honest I was genuinely angry when my tire went flat and I was in a dress and high heels. Luckily I had a change of clothes in my car, but in all honesty the timing of this flat couldn't have been worse. I was angry, I couldn't get a hold of anyone in my family and I was just frustrated. So I yelled and yelled and yelled some more. I had it out with God, it's been a tough semester trying to find myself again, more find myself in Him. I feel as if it is something I go through multiple times. You know that passage in Romans where Paul talks about when he wants to do good evil is right there with him, I feel like I am the epitome of that passage. I constantly want to do good, but I feel like every time I turn around I'm messing up. Messing up school, messing up friendships, messing up relationships, messing up life in general. And I always look at God and ask "Why in the world do you want a sinner like me?"

I just kept thinking as I was sitting in my car literally crying out to God, this is the worst timing ever, why God, why now, why at this moment. But even though it may have been the worse timing for me, He knew it was perfect timing. Because, well His timing always is. He honestly knows me, He knew I needed to be broken... or broken down ;). And God knows I typically need something big to happen to get my attention, because I tend to overlook the little things and signs. So a flat tire was His choice. And as I look at it now, He was just showing me how I have become just like my tire. FLAT.

Like my tire, which got a slow leak in it and then blew to shreds, I have become like that. I slowly let myself become complacent with everything, with my family, with my friends, with my school work, and especially with my Faith. I'm ashamed to admit how often I ignore His voice until the time something blows up. I know I need to learn how to rejoice in Him at all times. Even when I am feeling like I can't hear Him, He is still there.

I'm just one of those strange people who when things are going good it is easy for me to forget to thank God or remember to praise Him for His amazing glory, but when something goes bad I am immediately upset with Him or I remember to pray or yell at Him. And I think that this flat tire was something to show me that I constantly do this. I say I want to be a follower of Christ, I say I want to be a Prayer Warrior, and yet I forget. Yes I'm human, but so was Jesus. Yes Jesus was perfect and I am definitely not even close to that. And yet He holds me to that standard, even though He knows I will fail, He still loves me, even in my failures.

And having a God like that is worth all the flat tires in the world. Because I know what I need to do in my Faith, and that is seek Him even more and deeper. I don't know why I stopped seeking HIm every morning and evening, I make the excuse that I am busy, but God's got a gazillion children on the earth and He still has time for me, so I do not think the busy excuse will cut it anymore. I cannot explain how sorry I am for the person I have been and I know things I have said and actions I have done may not be able to be taken back, but I am sorry to all those people I have hurt in these past four months going through whatever I was going through. To my friends, my family, but most of all to God, because He is the one that know's absolutely everything and still sticks with me. No sorry can fix me, only He can. I know that at any opportunity I have I will share Him, seek Him, love Him. and be Reckless. because this life is fleeting and only what is done for the Kingdom will last. And in all honesty, I don't want to be remembered. I want Him to be glorified. All I can do is pray, seek, love, and go where He calls me. To Walk in his Mercy, His Grace, and Faith. Because only He can satisfy.

Walking in Faith,

HIS and yours,

Cami

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's starting...




It's starting... The weddings, the engagements, the dating. It's crazy to think how fast things have gone, and here I sit twenty-one years old and while people are taking the leap into relationships and making the decision to get married, I'm trying to make the decision to move to Africa. It's a hard decision to make, not that marriage is something to be entered into lightly, because it's not. But when I think of it, it's moving into a new life with a person by your side. My decision to move to another country by myself and live among the people there is something totally different. I mean I know I won't be alone, God will be there.

It's just crazy the drastic difference of my life compared to my friends life. It was amazing talking to my friend tonight and seeing that we both realize it's okay to not be in a relationship, it's okay to not be looking constantly, because neither of us want to settle. Listening to my friend talk about his future and all that's in store really helped me think about my future and what God has in store. Something that I continue to push away, because I don't want to think about the future because I really have no clue what I'm going to do come graduation day.

The thing is that I know God's got someone out there for me. Someone that loves Him more than me. Someone that will talk with me about anything whether it's Jesus, sports, books, music, or work, or whatever. Someone who will travel on a whim to wherever God may be calling us. But right now that guy isn't ready and neither am I. God is still preparing us and although I get impatient I know the right thing to do is wait. Wait for him and wait on HIM.

So I'm just going to place my heart in the hands of God, because I know that He will place it in the hands of a man that He knows deserves it. I'm all in.


HIS and yours,

Cami

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Patience to Survive.

I just need to scream.
I'm frustrated and ready to be out of here.
I just need patience to survive this.
God give me patience. Help me to feel that you are here even when I don't think you care.
Please. God. Please.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Heaven Breaks.

It always starts like this,
A harmless and simple thing to fix.
Contagious and spreading quick…
Like cracks in ice,
Wholly claiming our lives
While we sleep.

We’ll pray for Heaven’s floor to break,
Pour the brightest white on blackest space,
Come bleeding gloriously through
The clouds and the blue.
Forcing one place from two,
Killing formulaic views,
Only love proves to be the truth.

When heaven meets the earth,
We will have no use for numbers
To measure who are and what we’re worth.

When Heaven meets the earth,
We will have no need for mirrors
To tell us who to be
And where we fit into this awkward point of view.

When angels meet the earth, may our bodies be light.
When angels meet the earth, may our heavy hearts untie.
When angels meet the earth, may our bodies be light.
May our bodies be light for you.



Really good song. Listen to it.

HIS and yours,
Cami

Monday, October 17, 2011

God is deeper still.

"The God of peace will soon crush satan under your feet." -Romans 16:20
Journal Entry, 12-10-10:
"Sometimes I just don't know what to do anymore. Why am I here, what am I doing here? God, I feel like I have no purpose, no impact whatsoever. Jesus, did you ever feel this way? I feel like I have no one, is this You showing me that You're the only one I can truly depend on. Because God I want to depend on You. I hate this feeling. God why can't you send me someplace else? Show me how to be happy, I feel sad or angry all the time. I just want to feel you deep in my soul, God! I don't want to feel the sting of their words and the burn of their judgmental glances. I just want to be able to turn the other cheek. to let it go. Lord let your spirit fall over me to become a better lover of Christ. Take away the doubt, the sadness, the anger, the loneliness, the impatience, the longing to have an earthly romance. Rip them out of my heart and replace them with Your love. God, I don't want to be Cami, I don't want my life. I am Yours. Mold me. Teach me obedience, discipline, and love. God I want Your fire, I want your river to flow in me and through me to people and to nations. Your grace abounds above all. Rain down. Help me to be forgiving. Teach me how to give without asking for anything in return. God only you know me, only you know what is going on now and what has been. Help me God, keep me from the enemy."

It's interesting to see that 11 months ago the things that I was feeling have returned to me even more intensely. And yet this time around it's different. It's a higher mountain I have came down from and a deeper valley I have fallen into. Never giving myself time to relax and reflect on all that God did this summer and all that He continues to do. I just keep trying to move at warp speed with no regards to the voice of God telling me to slow down. And in the midst of my hectic ways I push God away and think that I can do this on my own, when deep down I know I can't. It has taken a lot of anger, a lot of questioning, a lot of sadness, a lot of pushing people away, and a heck of a lot of tears to learn that I can't survive without Him. It true. It's not some corny line that I'm giving you. He IS my LIFE LINE. no matter what I try to tell myself I am nothing and have nothing without God.

It seems that sometimes I have to go deep to see that God is deeper still. Through everything He is always with me, even when I think He is not, He is. His love for me is invincible, the fire of His love stops at nothing it sweeps everything before it. Flood waters can't drown His love, it cannot wash His love away. His love can't be bought and it can't be sold. It is for me, over me, a part of me for all eternity. The truth is I've just been so mad at Him, so mad. because where I am right now, every part of my flesh tells me to leave. And yet my spirit says No this is where God wants you. And I've been fighting it. Wrestling with it, angry, questions. Why. And it has taken a long time but like Jacob, God's finally busted my hip. No more fighting, no more wrestling. It's time to listen and to act upon what He has told me to do. What He has entrusted me to do.

Depend on Him and Him alone. I find myself putting too much stock into other people instead of God. Not that friendships are a bad thing, but when that's where I put all of my hope into, I just end up getting hurt. It's been the story since my freshman year of high school. I have a horrible problem with making friends with people who don't know how to stay in contact. While I'm the one constantly dropping letters in the mail or little messages in their inbox, or even a phone call. It seems I have very very very few friends that will take the time to sit down and have a conversation with me, to take time out of their busy schedule to call me, to drop me a letter. Heck to just talk about the day would be nice. And I let it get the best of me, because I constantly think I am getting nothing from this. I don't know if that's the right attitude, but I'm human and believe it or not, I do stupid things.

But the cool thing is, that I can lose touch with every friend I've made, and it will probably happen, but I have someone who is always there. He's written a huge book full of Letters to me, He's always there when I call, He cares about my days so much He's planned out every single one up until my last breath. It's so amazing and something I often forget to think about and thank Him for.

Right now I'm on this journey to rediscover the things that really give me joy and where God really wants me and what I am to do with the tasks He has placed in my hand. But to constantly remember that I am not to do them alone or with anyone else but Him. I pray as I am on this journey, that I slowly fade out and that Jesus comes in shining through me. That when people see me they don't actually see me, they see Him. That's all I want, that's all I ask, and that's all I will continue to seek out to accomplish all for the Glory and the Honor of my Heavenly Father.


God is deeper still...


HIS and yours,

Cami

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Running, Singing, Talking, Loving On.


"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." -Zephaniah 3:17.

Wow.
After a rough day, God totally blesses me with a wonderful relaxing night with a wonderful beautiful friend.

It's crazy how consumed I've been lately with frustrations and stresses of school and of this world in general. This world frustrates me so much. I frustrate myself so much. I catch myself thinking more highly of me, than of Him, and really who am I? There is nothing I could write, I could say, I could sing to give an adequate description of our Glorious King. He's indescribable. There's nothing I could form, I could bring, that could be added to the majestic splendor of our Glorious King, for He is unchangeable and all I am, at my best, is merely a breath for Him.

He is so magnificent and that at any moment I could pass from this earth and do I really want my last thought to be "Okay God what have you done for me today?" No, definitely not, and I'm ashamed that lately that is a thought that's been going through my head. What has He done or not done for me. Instead of stopping taking time and saying "okay God what can I do for You today?" because that's what more important. I've been told lately that by human nature we crave relationships, I can say that I haven't been the best lately with my relationships. I've been frustrated with friends that I have and the ones that are horrible at keeping in touch or just don't really feel like friends anymore. And I feel I put so much into those relationships that are faded away and I am no receiving anything from them. And the time I am wasting on the friendships or being frustrated I could spend with God. Spend reading His word, praying, singing, loving Him. And yet being the sinful human I am, I am trying to store up my treasure here on this earth, instead of in heaven with Him.

Seriously though, I've thought about it a lot. If I suddenly don't wake up tomorrow, do I want the people around me to say, "Yeah she was just a girl I knew, nice, lots of friends, but that's about it." or do I want them to say. "Yeah she had few friends, but Man did she Love and Reflect Jesus." um.., I'll choose the Second one Regis, Final ANSWER. Who cares how much money, clothes, friends, and so on I have on this earth. Nothing compares to working for God's Kingdom cause His love, this prize, this race is eternal. But I really need to work on my running.

Whatever I bind on earth will be loosed in Heaven, whatever I lose on earth will be bound in heaven. I don't want to leave this earth knowing that when I get to that gate, I won't hear the words I long to hear from Him "Well done good and faithful servant." I desire deep in my heart to hear those words when I reach Heaven. But to hear those words takes sacrifice, to let go of the things I so desperately want to hang onto on this earth. It's a constant battle between spirit and flesh, and I'm ashamed to admit that more than I would like it to, my flesh overtakes my spirit. And that has to do with a poor battling spirit on my part. For not training for this race, for thinking that I can constantly do it on my own. Because I can't, and I don't have to.

God is like the ultimate coach, and the Bible is like the ultimate guideline, teaching me how to run the biggest Marathon of Life. To realize that I can't run this race without Him. I need a coach right there in front of my guiding me and teaching me. Filling me with water when I thirst and a banana when the cramps and pains start to hit me from running for so long. But Paul says we must keep running, striving for the prize that is so much bigger than anything on this world. To loosen the chains that the world has us in and realize that God's way, God's will, God period, is just so AWESOME.

Giving up those things are hard, and it's taken me on a hard path, but without the trials and without the testing how can we learn to persevere, to feel the awesomeness of the end of the race and knowing that we did everything that our Coach told us to do, that we won, not by default, but because we were trained by The ALMIGHTY. Until the time He calls me home, I will keep running, keep praising, keep singing, even though there are no words that are not His, i will bring everything I have before Him, so He can take me and make me more like His Son. May He take all those things that keep me from a deeper love and may I let go without regret because what He has is so much better!

"At that time I will gather you; at that time i will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes." -Zephaniah 3:20.


In Christ



HIS and yours,



Cami

Sunday, October 9, 2011

21.

Yesterday was my 21st Birthday. I went out, and yes I had some drinks. I had fun with my friends and roommates, and the whole time I was out I was thinking of the fact that I have been alive for 21 years and I feel as if there is so much more than this. I can't believe that God has allowed me to live for 21 years and I only hope the next 21 and beyond will be pleasing to Him. I can't believe and fathom of all the things that He has blessed me with so in honor of Him giving me 21 years of life. 21 things of the awesomeness of Jesus. There is so many more than 21 but I feel I couldn't fit all the reasons in this box.

1. He died for me
2. He loves me for who He created me to be and not the sinner I am
3. He carries me through the trials and pain
4. He brings me so much joy and gives me so much love
5. He's blessed me with an amazing FAMILY
6. He's blessed me with a best friend and twin sister for the past 21 years
7. He's blessed me with a best friend, whose not blood related (but might as well be)
8. He's given me the opportunity to finish college
9. He took me to Uganda, and left a big piece of my heart there
10.He is my strength
11.He is my provider
12.He is my help
13.He is my soul and my love
14.He's given me wonderful friends at college
15.He's taught me how to love deeply, even though it hurts sometimes
16.He's taught me how to believe, to have faith, even through the darkest times
17.He's blessed me with amazing travels and friends through those travels
18.He's put the clothes on my back, the shoes on my feet, and the food on my plate
19.He always comes through for me and my family, even through the struggles
20.He knows my heart, He knows my soul, He knows my thoughts and loves me
21.He's given me an opportunity to return to Uganda, and yet He's also opening other doors as well.

There are so many more things, He is the ultimate best friend, lover, Father, GOD. I love Him so much, and I know at times I am horrible at showing Him and telling Him, but the amazing thing is that even though I am a sinner, He takes me as I am and shapes my heart to mirror His. and I can only pray and hope that the day when I stand before Him and He looks at me He will say "Well done, good and faithful servant."

God Bless you all on this day that the Lord has made.


HIS and yours,

Cami

Friday, October 7, 2011

Slowly seeing the LIGHT.

He is teaching me to let Him be my light in this darkness. People don't understand no matter how hard I try to explain. But He understands. He knows. He's been through it all. I know I just need to trust in Him. He will illuminate my path to me. He will guide me to my destination. To my life. The only life I can have, with Him. He has left me breathless so many times, and now He is telling me to trust in Him, to trust in His way. TO Have FAITH. to BELIEVE. And let go of what I'm holding deep inside to be the one and only person He created me to be, whether people like more or not. Whether I am loved or unloved. To leave everything behind, like his disciples and to just follow without question. It's hard and I get frustrated very easily. No I'm not perfect, I am a sinner, I know that, it's hard to accept that I can't be everything He asks of me. But I will never stop trying. BEcause this life is not worth living, if I'm not living it for him. His light will bring me through anything and everything. Just have faith and believe.

HIS and yours,

Cami

Fireflies by Jessa Anderson:

You illuminate the open air
I am silently catching every glimmer I can
Cause i know that when the lightning hits
I'll be standing here breathless in the wake of each glimpse
Your beauty radiates
It's filling the sky
You're breaking through the darkness
I'm like a child
Standing in amazement
Here in the night
You shine brighter than fireflies
Caught up in the mystery
I can't deny
Everything around me
Reflects your light
You shine brighter than fireflies
I'm surrounded by your brilliant glow
And i marvel in wonder at the sight i behold
I am running with an empty jar
Want to capture it all, I'm chasing after your heart
Your love is infinite
It's filling the sky
Now that I've seen who you are
You're all that i want
I can't turn away
Now that I've seen who you are

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dark to Light to Happy to Sad...

"After I had given up to go, the thoughts of the journey were often attended with unusual sadness, at which times my heart was frequently turned to the Lord with inward breathings for His heavenly support, that I might not fail to follow him wheresoever He might lead me." -John Woolman.



This has been the longest month of my life and it's not even over.

The truth is I don't even know where to begin, I don't know what is going on and I just want to feel like my self again. I haven't wanted to write about this, because then I knew once I had it down on paper or on the computer screen it would come alive and be real. I can't explain what is going on with me to anyone, not my friends, roommates, or family. I'm not good with words that come out of my mouth, I always seem to get in the way and totally mess up what I'm saying. The only way I know how to express myself is to write and that is something I really quit doing a while ago.

I've never felt this down in my life and people have tried to diagnose me saying that it is this or that or whatever. I don't know what's true and what's not. I know that I am human and I'm not a perfect Christian and I make mistakes, and yet it seems when I do something wrong it feels like the whole world is angry at me. and yet I don't know how to explain that to people. The feeling that as if I don't hate myself enough, everyone else is constantly looking and judging and building up a bitterness toward me and my moments of mistakes. And yet, I continue to love people and accept them for the stupid things they do with no bitterness no hatred, and it feels as if I am the one doing everything wrong. How? God How... I don't know what I'm doing.

The tears are getting annoying and the loneliness gets stronger everyday. I know that He is here and yet I am not doing anything to draw nearer to Him. It's my fault I feel like this and yet I'm so angry at Him for allowing me to feel this way. For not even giving me one person who can truly understand and accept me for the stupid-mistake making person I am. To understand that yeah I am going to get down I'm not going to be a happy happy person all the time I'm not going to want to laugh all the time and yet I desire to be that person. To be JOYFUL.

It's not that I am losing Faith, I love Jesus with all my heart I really do, but this flesh is so strong and this world is so MEAN and the struggles sometimes truly overtake a person and hold on to their hearts and to their souls and it takes a lot to get over. And I know I can't do it alone I know God is going to get me through this, but I have to stop sitting on my butt waiting for Him to come to me. I need to RUN to Him. Sometimes I just want to argue with Him, to yell at Him, to tell Him that this life is not easy... but it's all things He already knows. He sent is only Son who has gone through all the things I am and more, and yet I forget so many times that He knows. I wish I could be like Jacob and just wrestle Him, and want Him to break my hip, to subdue me to understand that He knows what He is doing and I am here for His purpose, not to make my friends or family or other people happy, but to please Him. I know I constantly let those people get in the way of my relationship with God. I want them to understand that this sadness, this thing that's going on with me is not me. but they don't need to understand, because this life is fleeting and the truth is I might not wake up tomorrow, and I would rather be in the graces of my Father then in the graces of friends.

Though I constantly feel like I'm going from dark to light to happy to sad, and the people around me are thinking I am some crazy person, I know that this struggle this trial WILL PASS and that by running to God, He can take me through anything, no talk with a human being CAN help me the way the Heavenly Father can. Because the darkness cannot put out the light, it can only make God brighter. So may he be Bright in my life. may He shine in ways I never thought possible though this darkness in my life right now. I'm not ashamed to say that I am a sinner, I'm not going to cover it up with glitzy post about how awesome my life is because I have Jesus and nothing bad ever happens to me. Lies. I would be lying. This life is anything but awesome , anything but easy. It's a constant struggle, a constant battle between flesh and spirit, heaven and earth. And God has given me the opportunity to wake up and decided which I choose dark or light.

And I will continue to choose the light, because though it's the hardest way, it's the way the earth shuns. It is the only way that will lead me to Jesus, to dancing with my King in golden streets. Because Heaven would not be Heaven without Jesus. And Jesus would not be as sweet without the struggles we go through to reach out and touch the train of His robe. I'm not saying give up the struggle, do not doubt, stop trying to turn childish beliefs into mature ones. The old Testament heroes of faith were people who dared admit their bafflement, who dared to wrestle, who even dared argue with God. And out of anything God can do a mighty work. And in Him is where I put my hope, my trust, my love, my life.


May His light shine upon you, wherever you may be.

HIS and yours,


Cami





"Cause it's the inside outside upside down kingdom. Where you lose to gain and you die to live." - Jessi Fisher

Monday, September 5, 2011

a Flaws a Flaw, Thank God...

(Journal Entry from September 9th 2010)
To be comfortable in my own skin. To see and to love myself the way God loves me. It's something I have been struggling with, something I have been striving for. It's hard and I constantly ask God why I look the way I do. Everyone around me is so much prettier, so much skinnier, has a boyfriend or something along those lines. It seems that every girl I pass is tiny, my roommates, the girls in my class, in church, on T.V. It's always in my face, that I am not an average sized girl, it's pointed out to me constantly and the only thing I can think to do is stop. Stop eating, stop looking in mirrors. I'm afraid of what this world is telling me that it's voice is slowly getting louder than the whispers of my Lord, "All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you." Song of Songs 4:7. He see's no flaws when I see many. This earth has continually distorts my vision of who I am supposed to be. God's daughter, loving who I am and how He has made me.


Wow, it's crazy to look back on where I was almost a year ago. I know I have changed a lot since last September. I love who I am, and yes I times I still struggle with how I look and comparing myself with others, but I have learned to listen to the little whispers of God rather than listening to the ridicule and shouts from this world. It is hard living in a society where woman are told to look a certain way. i have to say being in Uganda really change my perspective on how I look. I don't know how many times I was told I was beautiful and how healthy I looked. I'd never heard from any other person besides my father tell me that Iw as beautiful, it touched my heart. Especially coming from a high school and a college where looks are something that is extremely important and Gorgeousness according to the world's definition is not what I have. It's been told to me bluntly and not so bluntly that I am not really that pretty, actually I could use a little more make-up and a little less food.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I was ashamed of myself, constantly trying to eat less, run more, wearing baggy clothes so people wouldn't notice that I wasn't as small as my friends. But I'm not that person any more. I love who I am. Every pound, every pimple, every freckle, ever frizzy hair, white legs, big feet. God made me into this person, and who am I to say that I am worthless when He finds great worth in me. When I ridicule not only myself but others I am bashing God and His creation. And Who am I but a puny girl with nothing great to offer God.

I've learned in life that God makes each one of us the way we are for a purpose and we can either sit around and complain about what we don't have or get up and use what we do to Further His Kingdom. I constantly hear woman say i'd like myself more if I looked like this or I had that blah blah blah. And I just want to say "Open your eyes and see how beautiful God has made you!"
but no one really wants to listen to someone this world believes to be average, ordinary plane jane.

But there is Someone higher that this world, higher than the heavens who hears my voice and calls me Beloved, Tirzah, BEAUTIFUL. and for me that's the Person that I want to please, the Person who has my heart. the Person who truly knows me, because He created me. The One and Only Person who matters to me. Everyone else and their opinions of who I am and what I'm suppose to look like can't, won't and no longer affect me. Because My God is higher, is better, and has my Heart.

All I need is Him. I don't need the perfect face, perfect body, make-up, nice clothes, a man, pretty friends, shoes, or whatever else this world says. I don't want this world. I want the ONE who made the world.

I love Him and He loves me. What more could I ask for. For a Heavenly Man whose love has no bounds.

He's all I need, all I want, all I am. Forevermore.

Loving on Jesus,

HIS and yours,

Cami


Embrace:
This poetry is my own twisted symphony
Afraid of who I was, crippled and broken
The simplest notion translates to a tragedy
This unfair heart is reaching out, unspoken
Love me, take me, mold me, and shape me
Into the mystery of who you are
If only I could escape this debris
And I need you more than I need this world
Lord, catch me when I run to you
Forever in your embrace, this my soul will take.
Because without you I am nothing
You love me despite my failure and discomposure
You love this girl of little faith- turn her into something.
Forever I am yours forever you are mine
Let our hearts collide, because without you
These waves will drown me out.
by: Kara Johnson

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Love?!?!

Verse for the day 1 John 3:1-2.
This verse is something I need to carry with me, not just for today but every single day. "How great the love of the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of GOD!" How GREAT! That He fills me with so much love and lets it rest upon me. That He fills my hungry heart with more of Him as I search Him out more. His love and presence are limitless. They are not bound by time, by life or death, by this earth. The Almighty if infinite. He is a loving, yet just God. One that I fear and one that I love.
He is with me always, to the very end of the age. It's okay if the world does not know me, I don't want them to know me, for it did not know Him. And this life is fleeting and this earth is passing away. There is no importance to have my name in a book or magazine here, I'd much rather have my name in His book. The Book of Life.
I will not lose heart and I am not of this world. Inwardly I am being renewed everyday by the knowledge, love, and glory of the Father. My light and momentary trouble are achieving for me an eternal glory that outweighs anything and everything this world could ever give me. Because I do not want to focus on what is temporary, but what is eternal.
As I grow and seek out God's will for my life and learn how to fear Him and love Him, it's becoming easier to let go of this life, that most people so desperately cling onto, and place it in His mighty hands. I have learned that when my life is in His hands everything fits into place. And when I try to take control, it's just chaos. So I leave my life up to Him, because He knows exactly what He has for me and He knows exactly what He is doing. I've become confident in everything He is asking of me and guiding me to do all for His Kingdom.

"For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God who said, "Let light shine out of the darkness," made His light shine in our hearts to give us light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." -2 Corinthians 4:5-6.

Shining my Light...


HIS and yours,

Cami

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dust. to. Dust.



"the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." -Genesis 2:7.

I don't know about anyone else but the dirt is one of my worst enemies. Seriously for a person with contacts and clumsiness dirt has a way of finding itself in my eyes and nose and mouth and face. It's annoying sometimes, and if anyone has ever been in Africa then you know the dirt there is some of the dirtiest. No pun intended. It's hard to get off your clothes and your feet and hands and underneath your fingernails and for me it was always on me. And me being the normal person I am wondered how in the world did God form a man from this? What every person wonders, How can God make such beautiful things from dust, from the thing that gets people dirty.

It's an interesting concept to think about. "For He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust." -Psalm 103:14. We were formed from nitty gritty dirt and yet Jesus washes us clean, over and over and over again. And I think about it and I wonder why didn't God just snap His fingers and tada a man? But of course God is so awesome He gets His hand dirty... with DUST... and creates a man. A living, breathing, walking, talking man! And then from that man's rib he creates a woman. How amazing is it that our God can take nothing but dust and create something so wonderful so beautiful.

Dust. to. Dust. "All go to the same place; all come from dust and to dust all return." -Ecclesiastes 3:20.

This seems like a bunch of rambles but I know there is a coherent thought in here some where. I recently heard this song about how God makes beautiful things out of the dust and it just made me think hard. That God will make beautiful things out of the dust in our lives, and He will use our love and weak human efforts to build Himself a Kingdom. But just like God, we have to get our hands dirty. One of my favorite things in Uganda was the dirt. I loved the smell and the feel of it. I loved when we were filling up one of the rooms with dirt, because I smelt like it the rest of the week. It was awesome and I loved the feeling of it underneath my fingernails and the feel of it in my eye and the taste of it in my mouth. Gross right. But I was building something for God, towards His Kingdom and that was worth all the dust in my eye.

Life isn't about seeing how you can get by shining bright and clean, it's about getting a little grit in your skirt, a little dirt in the eye and underneath the fingernails, all in the name of God and building His Kingdom. The slogan for the organization I worked with this summer was "Get Dirty For God." and I have to say it fits not only my personality, but the work and the calling that God puts on lives. He doesn't call us to be Sunday Christians, He doesn't call us to be Fake Christians, who go serve somewhere for two weeks, stay in a hotel, and then go home and show all our souviners to our friends and families. He calls us to go and get dirty. To live with the people, to eat what they eat, feel what they feel, and get dirty.

You don't know the dirt is there until you get it in your eye or underneath your fingernails. And I think in our society we are blind to so much that is going on in the world, the rest of the world is like that to us. We don't know they are there until a hurricane or earthquake or famine hits them and then we want to move. But the truth is God is calling us to move now, because disaster is already there, we just have to open up our eyes long enough to let the dirt get in our eyes.


In Christ's Cleansing Love,

HIS and yours,

Cami

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I want to be reckless.

Things change so fast.
People change.
Faces change.
Places change.
Feelings change.
Life changes.
I've changed.
And yet, some things are the same.

I don't know how to put into words what my heart is going through. God only knows how much His love is pouring into me right now and how much I need it. It's been hard adjusting back to American Life, to Home life, and now to "Northwestern Life". Things here have changed and yet stayed the same, but I, I am different and right now I am trying to listen and take direction from God on what that means. My soul cries out to be with Him always, to forget about classes, forget about what this world calls important and GO to wherever He wants to take me. To be reckless... recklessly abandon to Him and to His will.
I'm not talking about a irresponsible uncaring kind of reckless, but a reckless that has Christ all over it. Christ in it, through it. I find that my recklessness desire is slowly creeping into my "Northwestern life." I want to make friends and share the love of Christ, and I could care less who they are or where they come from, but just the matter of loving new people that God has called me to love.
To run across the green singing worship songs... to SING, to DANCE, to LOVE, to LAUGH, to CRY, to be RECKLESS in all these things. What would that truly look like. Is there such a thing as a Christ-like recklessness? I don't know, but I want to find out.
I miss Uganda everyday, more and more. I miss singing and talking with the people there. Deep down I feel like I will return there, but only when it is God's timing and I need to realize that, because I know that He has things here for me to do, otherwise I wouldn't be here. Though since returning home I have seen many things much more clearly then I have before. That God has asked me to be a missionary wherever I am. He has called me to these friends, to this school, to my family, to the classes and the places I go. To shine His light, to share His love. To step out of my comfort zone even more so and REACH.
I know one thing is for sure. I need to shed this shy, nobody likes me exterior, and show people my heart, which is Christ. to Love DEEPER, to Laugh HARDER, to Sing LOUDER, to Dance CRAZIER. All in the name and honor and glory of my beautiful Lord, Jesus Christ.
No matter what's going to happen with Christ as my strength, I can do all things. Without Him I can do nothing. With Him the possibilities are ENDLESS.

In Christ's Sweet LOVE,

HIS and yours,

Cami



“…I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb… And they cried in a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” (From Revelation 7:9-10)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hellos, Goodbyes, Departing, Returning.



It's strange. The two words that can describe how I have felt since returning home not even 24 hours ago. It's strange to be riding in a car on the right side of the road. Strange to put my clothes in a washer and not in a bucket, to turn a faucet handle and water comes streaming through pipes, hot water nonetheless. Strange to sleep in a bed and not on a concrete floor. Strange to flush a toilet. Strange to not hear Mzungu yelled at me from every street. Strange to not see beautiful orphans. Strange to think that I am home, but my heart is still in Uganda.

This summer was everything I couldn't imagine, nothing was how I planned it in my head. And I know that is exactly how God likes it, and in all honesty I can't argue with Him. He knows me. Instead of being in constant contact and care with orphans, I help take care of sixteen American teenagers. Having sixteen very important lives in my hands was something that scared me to death, at times I felt like a mom or a big sister, but I grew, man did I ever grow.



But watching over these sixteen American kids, didn't detract from the bigger purpose God had for me, He sent me to Uganda, a place and a people that are forever engraved onto my heart and in my mind. The staff members, that I got to work along side with and got to know have forever changed my life with their love for the kids, for me and for everything God has given them, even when compared to American lifestyle, it's nothing. And the orphans. Words cannot describe what my heart feels for each one of them, even though I may not have been able to spend the amount of time I desired, God gave me chances and stories. The joy on their faces to receive a pair of socks and shoes, that some wouldn't put on because they wanted to save them for as long as they could. With so little they live and are blessed and are joyful. There are stories among stories that would take up pages and pages and yet I can't find but one word to describe the feeling in my heart. HUMBLED.



I am excited to share stories and pictures with family and friends and yet in my heart I know the stories and pictures will never ever do the experience justice. They could never truly feel what I have felt. Seen what I have really seen. Held a new born baby and dedicate it to the Lord. Cry, Laugh, Be Frustrated like I have been. But without the stories and the message that I bring back, people will never know the need and people will also never know the blessing, and the work that God has in His hands.



It is crazy to see this summer come and go so fast when it seems like just yesterday I was leaving home to go to Florida for training. And now here I sit, two months later, home. My words cannot even explain this summer and all that God taught me, through good and bad, expected and unexpected.



I know His plan for my life is far more than anything I could ever imagine and i will continue to wait on Him with prayer. I can't even fathom right now that I am home, or soon headed back to college and yet that is where I am headed. For I know my purpose is no yet finished there, especially at school. I pray that I can make it through this year smoothly and that God will help me to stay disciplined and not be distracted from what He has fro me.

The people and love of Uganda has forever left a giant footprint upon my heart and I know and hope that someday i will be able to return to that place. I have never felt more at home and comfortable then I did there. In my heart Uganda will always be; its orphans, its people, its love, its culture, and so much more. I praise God for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Who am I to be able to be a part in furthering the Kingdom of God? and yet He wants me, He is calling me unto Him and I will continue to serve Him with a heart full of joy and love in whatever He has me do.



"If the LORD delights in a man's way, He makes his steps firm: though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with His hand." -Psalm 37:23-24.


In Christ's unexplainable love,


HIS and yours,

Cami

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A New Journey



How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Isaiah 52:7

And so a new journey begins. In 11 hours I will embark on one of the biggest journeys of my life. Africa. It's been a dream of mine since I was eight years old to go to Africa, and here I am 12 years later and God has brought that dream to life. In all that He is, He never ceases to amaze me.

My life has been made up of tiny journeys combined to make bigger one, but this one takes it all. God knows deep down in my heart that this is where I want to spend my life, with the orphans and the widows, loving them with my every being. I love Him so much, even though times I am the worst person at showing it, He knows and I know that I love Him and will always love Him, nothing and nobody can ever take me or separate me from my Jesus. Everything I need is found in everything that He is.

I realize that throughout my life He has been building me up for moments like these. To be poured out, to live a life worthy of His calling. And I realize when I am not doing these things, when I am not pouring out my life for the Gospel and for Jesus Christ, my life is meaningless. It is something that I struggle with, but it is something that needs to reflect in every aspect of my life, like a diamond or a prism shining in every direction, every person, every part of my life and who I am.

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping” God has been leading me by my right hand, guiding me, allowing me to take my steps and follow in His. Trust me their big feet to fill, but I've got the rest of my life to keep trying. :) Too often I get so focused on my destination I forget about the beauty of the Journey, the best part. The journey is what builds up, makes a warriors and lovers of God, it's how He test us, proves us, and refines us. That is the importance of our journeys and with God guiding us we won't ever be lost.

So here I begin a new journey, but when this one ends I know there will be a brand new one waiting at the next turn, because God always has a plan, He knows exactly what He is doing. And with my Beloved, there is no doubt at the very end of this journey I will be in my King's arms, dancing in streets of gold, full of joy and love, for the Man who has won my heart for now and all eternity.

HIS and yours,


Cami

Saturday, June 11, 2011

1 Week; Dependent



"If you are a child of the King, nothing on this earth can satisfy you...nothing"
- Paul Washer

The time is coming closer. Soon I will be united with my team members in Florida, I can't wait to see all of them, train, and then before we know it we will be flying to Africa. A lot has happened in the time I have been home. I've gotten to see new friends, old friends, lots of baseball, and spend time with my family. But not only that, I've seen God work in amazing and unexplainable ways. My dad keeps asking me "how big is your faith?" Usually I say big, but I know it's nowhere near as big as my God is. I'm learning to be dependent on Him and only Him and put all of my trust in Him.

I know there is no way I, by myself, can prepare for this trip. The truth is I'm taking a good look at the person in the mirror, because I know once I step on that plane I won't ever be the same. I keep worrying about the money and the material things and the plane tickets. But this all worldly things that will be taken care of by the One who controls this world. I need to stop looking at the worldly things, instead I need to look more to my Father in Heaven, because He has provided everything I need.

"You must stop looking on the wrong side of things... Lift your hearts to heavenly places and look down upon events from that vantage point. You will see life's temporary sufferings as a gathering of pearls and jewels with which we will be adorned in eternity." -Richard Wurmbrand.

I know that I am going to love wherever God takes me for the summer as well as for the rest of my life. I am dependent on Him. Nothing on this earth can satisfy my hunger and my thirst. For God gives me living water, water that goes deep that never runs dry. Where this world will someday run dry, but as I look ahead, as I run this race marked out, I know I am running toward the Heavenly goal. The path, the place, the race that He has marked out for me.

Jesus has all I need in this life and eternity. Nothing can or ever will change that. The worlds got nothing on my Jesus. And He has me in the shelter of His wings guiding me towards my goal and into His Kingdom. And I can't wait until that day. But until then I will attain my place here on earth. Seeking, Loving, and Waiting for the day when He will return for His bride.

I can't wait to see what's in store for the summer.
I can't wait to see what's in store for the rest of my life.
But I know that whatever it is and wherever I go, the Lord, my God will be with me every step of the way.


HIS and yours,

Cami

Dependent on You
By: Jon Thurlow

Surely I’ve calmed and quieted my soul
Like a child press against his mother
Surely I’ve calmed and quiet my soul

And there’s not a care in the world
when I am trusting You completely
And there’s not a care in the world
when I am trusting You completely

So help me to trust You and
Help my unbelief
I, I wanna be dependent on
I wanna be dependent on You


Psalms 131
Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Two weeks



In two short weeks I will be leaving home and headed to Africa. Words cannot even explain the excitement I am feeling in my heart right now. The fact that I am going to be living out my dream in two short weeks has not yet hit me and I don't know what will happen when it does. A lot has been going on in this short month that I have been home. Many battles within myself and also among people. It's hard to come back to my "hometown" because I know I do not belong here anymore. That it is time for me to move on from this place and the people here. God is calling me somewhere else and I want to be where He takes me, because in all truth, that is where I belong.

I can constantly feel myself changing and growing. A guy I have a couple classes wrote this "Christian spirituality is like jazz music. Loving Jesus is something you feel. It is something very difficult to get on paper. But it is no less real, no less meaningful, no less beautiful." That is the best way to describe me. I feel Christ moving through me, guiding me, showing me where I am supposed to be. And sometimes it gets tough, because the world does not understand. God deliberately chooses things the world considers foolish. Because God is not of this world and neither are we. We are designed to love and dwell with our King.

"Men choose a religion, but a Christian is chosen by Jesus Christ. To be a Christian means to belong to Christ. Jesus asked me to renounce even my life to follow Him faithfully, not to fear the world even if my body must perish. I prefer to know that God, the Almighty, is with me, even if it means that the whole world is against me." -Pastor Mehdi Dibaj.

So God chooses things the world considers foolish, well that would be me. I am foolishly, crazy in love with God, and if that means the world doesn't want anything to do with me, than I will make it more known and I will fall even more in love with Him, for with God there is no depth to his love. Nothing can measure the love He has for us. And if we stop for one moment in our worldly consumed day we would be able to feel and to realize a fraction of that love. Through the sunshine, the green grass, the wind on our faces. We must see Him in everything, because He is in everything.

My heart flutters with anticipation to see Christ in a little child's face. To hold and hug and love and comfort that child with all that I am. To know that I am may be considered foolish by the world, but to God I am His daughter, His servant answering His call. Answering the call of my Beloved. No one else can answer this call, because it was designed for me. And no matter how much I push the ignore button, or hang up on Him, He continues to call, because this is His design, His plan for my life. And no one can get in the way of that. No family, No man, No friend, Not even SATAN can separate me from my Love, my Father in Heaven, because He is where I am, He is everything I need. Everything I have. Everything I want.

The Lord, my God. He knows me, He loves me, it's Him I cling to, it's Him I desire to see, and in Him I am what I am.

HIS and yours,


Cami

Monday, May 30, 2011

from this day forward...

I will make a difference.
Jesus, I thank You that You suffered and died for me on the cross to pay for my sins. Father, I thank You that You raised Jesus from the dead to be my living Lord and Savior. Holy Spirit, I thank You that You will lead me to do the right thing and change my world. Today, Lord, I want to make You a promise. I will not be ashamed of Your name or Your Gospel. I will do what I can for those who are persecuted and pray for them. I will look enemies in the eye and love them with Your love. I will pray for them and love them-- no matter what the consequences. I will follow Your voice wherever You lead me, unafraid, for I know You will be with me. If I should stumble, if I fall, if I should deny Your name, if I should feel guilty that I did not pray or forgot to do something You've asked me to do, I will not quit. I will not wallow in guilt. i will turn back to You, confess my sin, and do what You called me to do, because that is why You died for me. I will stand with You and my brothers and sisters around the world, because no matter what happens, no matter what I face or how it looks, in the end, we will be victorious- we will inherit eternity and heaven with You. I can do nothing else, because
... I am am Your daughter, a radical lover of the One and Only King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stronger

Best way to describe how I am feeling.
Stronger By: Mandisa
Hey, heard you were up all night
Thinking about how your world ain't right
And you wonder if things will ever get better
And you're asking why is it always raining on you
When all you want is just a little good news
Instead of standing there stuck out in the weather

Oh, don't hang your head
It's gonna end
God's right there
Even if it's hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger
Believe me, this is gonna make you ...

Try and do the best you can
Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it's gonna end
God's right there
Even when you just can't feel Him
I promise you that He still cares

'Cause if He started this work in your life
He will be faithful to complete it
If only you believe it
He knows how much it hurts
And I'm sure that He's gonna help you get through this

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
In time it's gonna get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger

Monday, May 9, 2011

It all sounded so easy.



It all sounded so easy at the beginning of this year. School. Friendships. Africa. Graduating. Now, I just don't know anymore.

This has probably been one of my toughest years yet. Friendships have gone south and at times I think there is no way I can save them. Africa is probably something that has my heart on edge. I can't wait to be there and yet it seems every time I turn around I have to have more and more money. Money that I don't even have. It's frustrating and has me at tears more often than not. And then the idea of changing my major pops into my head, because I haven't been able to write in so long and I feel like my writing isn't improving or going anywhere. But if I do that, I might not be able to graduate next year and that means an extra year, and that means more money that my family doesn't have. Yeah I always hear it will get better, but at this moment it feels as if it can only get worse from here.

At these moment is typically where I say... "And this is where my Faith comes in..." My Faith, the thing that has been shifted, tormented, broken, shook, tattered, lost, found, weakened, strengthened. My Faith has been tested and tested and tested. Over and Over again. I'm hanging on to the train of His robe, crying out, apologizing for the sinful human I am. I don't know what to do or where to go. and I know I must trust in Him. The hardest part is I don't believe it. at least not right now. I'm being honest, I'm being real. I don't believe that all the TRUST in the world can get me through all of this. It is not something I can explain, because it's unexplainable.

I am thinking someday I'm going to look back on this day and laugh at it with the Lord. Because deep down in my heart I know that He is going to pull me through this. It's not that I don't believe in Him, I don't believe in myself. I don't believe that I will have enough patience to wait on Him, to cry out to Him until He answers. Because I am an impatience, selfish, uncaring, human being. I am ashamed of who I am and I admit that flat out. I admit that I am jealous of the attention my brother gets from my parents, I am ashamed of how little I appreciate all that my parents have sacrificed to "just get by" for our family. I'm ashamed of what a terrible friend and sister I am. I am ashamed of what I constantly clog my mind and heart with. But most of all I am ashamed that I don't believe in myself enough. Because God believes in me and loves me with all His heart. He sacrificed more than anything for my life to be a testimony to Him. And right now my life is worth nothing. It is no testimony. It's just a picture of a girl just "trying to get by."

but God is not calling me to just get by. He is calling me to give up everything. I constantly talk about it. Giving up everything, but I realize how much I hang on to compared to how much I give up. I told someone once that I wish I could just be in Heaven with God now. They responding saying, well if you are in Heaven now than how are people going to experience God's love without one of His followers there to share it. And that's when I realized something. God has granted me the privilege to live this life, He has given me a choice to live the way I want and yet He calls me to Him, even when I ignore Him. This life is mine to live or mine to give up. And right now I just want to "live" to "just get by." But the better choice is to give it up. All of it. The happiness, the love, the anger, the pain, the stress, my family, my friends, my dreams, and let Him take control.

He is drawing me near to Him and no matter how much I try to push Him away, He will continue to draw me nearer to Him. Because He loves me. So no matter how many tears I shed, no matter how many times I fail. God has and continues to pick me up. to hold me to a higher standard. to a higher calling. His calling. And even through what I am feeling right now, I am going to do whatever it takes to respond to that calling, no matter how long it takes, no matter how much it hurts. Take my hand God and guide me. Take me through the river and cleanse me.

"Precious Lord, take my hand.
Lean on me. Let me stand.
I am tired. I am weak. I am worn.
Through the storm.
Through the night.
Lead me on to the light.
Take my hand, precious Lord,
and lead me home."
-Thomas A Dorsev

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

About a Year Ago... Steps of Faith



It's crazy looking back to a year ago and how much things have changed, how much I have changed.

Around this time a year ago God called me to take a giant step out in my faith. He had been calling me for five months and I followed faithfully, waiting, listening, and praying. He put through testing and taught me how to lean on Him for guidance, protection, and all my answers. Through my listening and crying out to Him, He blessed my life with an amazing person. I was able, for five months, to see this person through the eyes of God. To see how much love God had for this one person was amazing but to see how much love this person had for God now that was indescribable. I was blessed by this person's life and testimony to God and I can't say I've ever met another person like them. I don't know where this person is now, I don't know if they remember me, or if I will ever meet them again. but I know that if I wouldn't have taken that step out in my faith, I would have never known that people like that, warriors of God, lovers of God, really are out there. I will never forget that person and the way God used them to bless my life and to remind me of His faithfulness.

And now here I sit a year later ready to take another step of faith. Not knowing where I am headed or who I will be with, just listening, waiting, and praying that God will guide me in His way. Africa seems like a dream, and yet in a short 48 or so days it will be a reality. My finances aren't all in, I feel as if I am no where near prepared for this journey and yet I know and I am trusting in God, my Provider for everything. Because it will all work out in His perfect timing. And if I have learned anything from a year ago, is that if I step out in faith and obedience, I will be richly blessed. And these blessing are heavenly, no earthly prize could compare to the way my Jesus makes me feel.

"We live by faith and not by sight" 2 Corinthians 5:7 So I will walk blindly into the place God has called, because He has the best eyes and He has a hold of my hand and will guide me and will always be with me to the end of the age. I know He will provide all I need and more, because He is so Awesome.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rambles




I don't know what is going on in my brain right now but I can't concentrate.


Surrender means you have to quit doing things your way and do them God’s way — quite a paradigm shift...


Sometimes in the tumult of a testing time, or in even the busy-ness of day to day issues we need to stop our hearts and remind ourselves about God. We need to stop and be at peace, reassured and confident that we are children of the King, that there is an eternal purpose for our efforts and refinements.

Even if we have no answers or any other way to reconcile what is happening to us or around us, we can be secure that God is God, the God of mercy and compassion, love and peace, grace and hope, Jehovah our Provider, Jehovah our Healer, Jehovah our Breakthrough.

Even if we know nothing else we can have hope in Who God Is. He is the same today, yesterday and will be tomorrow. He will never leave or depart us, never abandon us. Our names are written on the palm of his hand, and there are nail scars to reinforce the point.

Be still. Be still. We can stop our mind rushing this way and that way with worries and fears and doubts. We can bring it to obedience, aligning it with the truth found in the Word of God, the truth that reveals Who God is. We can stop the dashing this way and that looking for answers, remembering that our help comes from the Lord, and Is the Lord. We need to be still.

Be still may not even involve praying or worship, just an attitude of heart that when the thoughts creep in that cause the stress and doubt and fears that we just turn our heart towards God. That we know who He is.

Knowing who God is will help immeasurably in the storm and the fire. Knowing His promises for those situations brings hope and faith. It causes trust to rise in our hearts, so we can be still and trust God. This is why knowing the Word is so vital. It strengthens us for the hard road, and refreshes us in the dry place. It teaches us who God is.

Be blessed tonight/today, no matter what you are experiencing in your life and your day, your Lord and Savior knows what is going on and loves you and is with you. Be blessed and be still, and know your God.

"We don't know all the tests God will give you, but we can predict some of them, based on the Bible. You will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedies. In my own life I have noticed that God tests my faith through problems, tests my hope by how I handle possessions, and tests my love through people...When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life. Even the smallest incident has significance for your character development. Every day is an important day, and every second is a growth opportunity to deepen your character, to demonstrate love, or to depend on God. Some tests seem overwhelming, while others you don't even notice. But all of them have eternal implications."
-Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Uganda = Two Months



In two short months I will be headed to Uganda. It is crazy how fast the time as flown and yet it hasn't gone fast enough. My joy cannot be explained in my anticipation to be going to serve in an orphanage for the summer. To be able to not only serve my beautiful, amazing God, but to serve His beautiful children as well. I think what is the most exciting things is, that I know that that is where I am suppose to be. My heart as always been in serving and with this summer I get to see if that is where I will stay. Even though I won't be able to stay once the summer ends. Having to come back to school :/ I know I will go back to Africa once I graduate, it may be for a year or two or for the rest of my life. But I know that God is calling me there, at least right now.

And what better time to go. To take this leap of faith. There is nothing holding me down. Nothing holding me back. My family is supportive, my friends are moving on in their lives as well, and there is no other man in my life, beside my God. And He is the one calling me to this place. I can't explain the feelings I have and how hard it is to not be anxious or complacent. But I know that God has asked me to be patient. To wait in His perfect timing, because His plans are epic beyond anything I could ever dream.

The coolest thing about God's call is that it reaches out to everyone who is willing to answer, or asking to be called. And He sends His chosen people everywhere and anywhere. You see God does not need us, we need Him. Yet He asks us to abandon ourselves to His call, to His Kingdom, so that we may inherit a great prize. Better than anything on this earth. So He may not be calling everyone to Africa or Asia or Russia. But He is calling us to work for His kingdom to run this race that He has marked out for us. Even if that means being a missionary in your hometown or in a different state. Or a teacher, a pastor, a businessman, a doctor. The title of your job should not matter, who you serve should. God blessed us with all these gifts and talents to use for His kingdom. But all too many of us get caught up in the green and greed of this world and instead of working towards our heavenly inheritance and serving God. It turns out to be working toward a earthly goal and for an earthly master. One cannot have two masters. Who is yours?


God is calling me to Uganda, maybe just for the summer maybe for the rest of my life. I have so many dreams and ideas of what I want my life to be like. But right now God is asking me to nail those to the cross, to let go of all these things and trust in Him. The truth is though it might be scary at first, I have and still am slowly learning that as I draw nearer to the heart of God, what he desires for me and what I desire are becoming the same things. His plan for my life are like my dreams on steroids. His plan is more than I could ever imagine and whatever it is and whoever I am with i know that my Father in Heaven will be with by always to the end of the age. Because He is my God and I will love Him, worship Him, praise Him, and serve Him with my every being.


HIS and yours,

Cami




"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" -Matthew 25:34-40

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Keep Your Eyes Focused on the King, and on No Man.

I've slowly been realizing that my heart does not belong here. It is something that is hard to explain and it is not that I am invested in the people or the school or the family I have. I love them, but God has begun to overtake me, and I love Him so much more than any of these things. My heart does not belong with these people, with this places, but my heart belongs with God. I think the toughest thing is not the revelation of this, but the revelation that it is time to leave my place of comfort behind. God has blessed me with so many people, some I only knew for a short time and some I've known forever, and each one He has used to touch my life in a radical way. But He is calling me to a higher purpose, He is calling me to His heart, He is calling me to His Cave. He has called my name "My Beloved, Cami, come up here, come to me my Daughter." And now is the time to leave it all behind. To not consult my flesh, because I know it will scream at me to stay down, to be careful. But it is no longer time to be a careful, cautious women. It is time to take up a shield of courage and run head on into the army of the Philistine. Into this battle.
It is no longer time to find pleasures in this world. Even as I pray for my future, my career, my future husband, where my path leads. I know where ever I am going God will always be with me, while these people will fade away. He has shown me what He asks of me, and it seems like a lot. But what kind of follower of Christ, what kind of Lover of the King, what kind of Women of God would I be if i took that step back and looked to other men for the answers, instead of, without question ran to where my God is calling me. "Keep your eyes focused on Me daughter, and on no man" He calls me and it is time to stop ignoring Him. It's time to sing song of love for God deep down in my heart, to dance with no shame. David was the premier man when it came to this. He was a man after God's own heart. Today's men and women often shy away from singing songs of love. We shy away from dancing out of sheer delight. But David he sang and danced to the point of becoming undignified for his Beloved, the King. All too many of us shout when our favorite team scores, or cheer when our friends get engaged or get a significant other, but we are silent when our God triumphs, when our God calls on us.
NO MORE. no more SILENCE. He is calling. "Our Jesus has proven His valor, He has proven His great love, and here He stands with nail wounds in His hands and feet and an open spear wound in His side, saying, "Will you partake of Me? Will you come to Me and know Me? Will you rest your head where I rest Mine? Will you allow Me to make you likened unto Myself? Will you allow Me to make you mighty? Allow me to implant Myself inside of your believing heart.
He doesn't need men and women who merely esteem Him as great, but believer who are willing to be made great by His life. Jesus isn't look for men and women who merely agree with His gospel, but believers who are willing to flesh out and actually live His gospel in their daily lives" (Eric Ludy).
You see if your reputation is more important to you that you are unwilling to leave everything behind for Jesus, then you are unworthy to call yourself by His sacred name. If you allow your ambition, your intellect, your wealth, your abilities, your lusts, or your fears to restrain you from offering yourself wholly and completely to God, then you are unworthy to call yourself by His scared name.
The name of Jesus is too precious to be spent on those who degrade it with their attempts to integrate it with their selfish existence. The name of Jesus is for those who are unashamed of Him and for those who venture forth to join in fellowship with him with a burning heart. This radical commitment is not for those who believe that reading the bible once every couple months or talking about purity before marriage constitutes for a relationship with God. This commitment causes a complete shift in everything a person is. In personality, in talk, in action, in friendships.
It's hard, people won't understand, especially those who are close to you, family and especially friends, they won't understand and even if you try to explain they may look at you like you are the weirdest person on earth. But remember and realize that we are not made for this earth and we are not made for these people. We are made to dwell in heaven with our Lord, to worship Him with all of our existence and if that means leaving my friends behind. So be it. I will lay them at the foot of the cross and run without looking back. If that means giving up my desire to be married. So be it. I will lay that at the foot of the cross and run without looking back. If that means giving up my home and comforts to live with the orphans, the widowed, and the poor. So be it. I will lay my comforts at the foot of the cross and run without looking back. Because none of that can compare to the unfailing amount of love my Father in Heaven can give me. No friend, no Family, no Home, no Husband, could ever compare, could ever love me like my God. And that's just that. May I cast all worldly things aside, for my Father's Kingdom to be furthered here and forever more.

His and yours,

Cami




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.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so
that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other
people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson