Saturday, March 31, 2012

Moving on... but not forgetting.

I've been putting off this post for a while now, but I think it's about time I got it all down, especially since it has been keeping me up the past couple nights. And as I sit here I'm doing everything I can to shove the tears that are puddling in my eyes back down deep inside so I can get through this, because this is the hardest part. Moving on.

In 6 short weeks I will be graduating from college. and I am scared for my life. Scared because i stopped planning my life around my sophomore year of college. Scared because I have no idea, really what I am going to do after school. But what scares me the most is once I leave school all the friends I've made, all the people I have learned to love here, will forget me and I will never see them again. And that is what I'm scared of the most.

It's getting harder to keep up friendships, especially with those who will not be graduating with me. My friends who still have another year or two left. I get where they are coming from what's the point of staying friends with me when in a month I will be gone. And I guess it's true, it is time to move on, but I don't want to forget. My friend Mike put it perfectly for me. This is what he said;
"I've been trying to think of what to say... I just don't know. It's inevitable. It happens because life has to move on and people need to move on; not forget, just keep moving. And that's the hardest part. Moving on."

The truth is, I have a problem with forgetting. but I have a habit of making friends with people who are really good at forgetting. Forgetting to text back, forgetting to put a letter in the mail, forgetting to call, forgetting. forgetting. forgetting. And for someone who doesn't forget very easily, it is one of the toughest things to deal with, it's one of the toughest things not to get angry about. And the thing that scares me the most is that where God is calling me to I know I won't have a single friend, I won't have a single person of my own background, that speaks my own language (maybe). And i know I am going to need a support system from those friend back home, but a part of my heart feels that it will be harder to find.

It's something I've been struggling with a lot. It is something that God is teaching me right now, with friends and family, teaching me that people will forget, people will move on, but God, He is always with me and He will never forget. And for me, that's a love I need, that's a relationship I can't seem to find in any human being, because only God can do it. It's understandable and it's okay that this is happening, and for me it is good, because it is drawing me closer to God. It is making me put my trust, put my faith, put my life in His hands and know that He has it all taken care of.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm okay with the friends I've made moving on because I am moving on, but I won't ever forget them. Each person no matter how close of a friend or acquaintance they are God has used to impact and change my life, I'm am grateful for every person He has placed in my life, without them I wouldn't be the person I am. Without God I wouldn't be here today. And I owe it to my friends, my family, and most importantly to God to move on. not forget, but move on.

Because where He is calling me, nobody can follow. It's a journey and a destination meant for just me and Jesus.

Moving on, but not forgetting,

HIS and yours,


Sunday, March 25, 2012

and that's a Rap. From my Heart to Yours

So sometimes I have this problem called not sleeping. It hits me on nights when I have to much going on in my head. Surprisingly enough that's almost every night. I know. It's gotten worse the closer I get to graduating. Sometimes I'll just lay in bed and wait for sleep to come, other times I'll get up and go sit on my couch in the living room. And then there are the nights where words string together in my head and I end up writing for a few good hours and then once I get it all down on paper I can sleep.

So last night it was one of those nights and it turned out all I needed to do was write a rap... or a poem, whatever you feel when you read it. And then I slept. It has no title or a name, but it's personal... so here it is. From my heart to yours.

i need another story,
something to get off my chest
it's getting kinda boring
got something to confess
my life's not glitz and glam
i'm not as good as i may seem
on the outside i look nice
but on the inside my heart is mean
i don't cuss and i don't drink
but you've got to understand
i do the things i do
not to please God, but to please man
i walk around with this cross around my neck
but my sin is piled so high
i can barely tell the speck
in my brother's eye from the plank in my own
you think by now i would have learned
you think by now i would have known
i'm working on it day by day
and what He's given none can take away
but God it's harder than it looks
all those Words You've written in your Book
it may sound easy, yeah i know
but it ain't easy on this road
many will try, but few will find
this grace that has been given
in this thing that we call life
but i know i cannot waste it
all that He has sacrificed
for me to become free
for me to live this life
yeah, i'm still a sinner
but His grace it covers me
for how blind i once was
i now can truly see
and even though i fail
yeah, i stumble and i fall
His love it covers me
He'll still be my All in All
i may not be perfect
i make mistakes, okay
but i choose to follow Him
every second, day by day
the devil, he can try
to break me and to bind me
but God conquers all
He will always find me
no i don't have it all together
no i'm not the best
but as He becomes greater
i become less
so i give this life to Him
yeah, the God that's over all
the One who truly knows my heart
and will answer when i call
i may not be the greatest
but God used the weak to shame the strong
and i pray for all those who don't believe
pray we can prove them wrong
for without Him we are nothing
and in Him we are free
i may not be the strongest
but i can do all things
through Him who strengthens

HIS and yours,


Friday, March 23, 2012


"As i sit behind this screen typing words the way they seem they come spinning out my soul leave me bare and so exposed and as i sort through all this mess that's always jumbled in my head i am ashamed of who i am a wayward son a wayward man. and i find that my heart is traitor inside can You come an vindicate it. i wanna love you but i don't understand why my heart is a traitor. i love what i can't stand. i wanna follow all that You've ever said, but my heart is a traitor. I want to be free of this, can You break me free of this? "

I don't think I have ever found a song that speaks into my life like this one by David Dunn called Traitor. It explains daily what I go through, trying to cast aside the sin that so easily entangles my heart. That so easily entangles all of us.

It is something that I constantly battle with, and Paul talks about it Romans, when he wants to good evil is right there with him. He does what he doesn't want to do. It never made much sense to me before, but recently i've come to discover that knowingly sin entraps me day to day. Whether it's actions or thoughts, they are constantly there and my heart is constantly betraying me. My heart is a Traitor.

The easy thing to do is to just brush it off, sin is sin everyone does it. True, but those who recklessly abandon themselves to Christ, recognize the sin and face it head on. Which is something I have been trying to do more in my life. It is hard, especially when the world around me tells me that it is okay to do what everyone else is doing.

The truth is it's not okay. I have watched friends and family fall into this and lose. I've watched friends and family walk away from this with the power of Jesus. That's the only way to overcome. We cannot do anything on our own. We need Him, He knows us, He loves us. Our lives should be His.

It's hard to be in this world but not of this world. It's tempting to give in, to live the wayward way of the world. But the momentary happiness we get from the world does not compare from the surpassing endless amount of joy we receive from our Heavenly Father.

Yeah, it's a tough life, Jesus doesn't just say it's narrow for fun. It's a hard path to walk, but for the few that find it, and choose it. The prize is eternal, is glorious. is Jesus. and really what earthly person or things can compare to and eternity of dancing on golden streets WITH Jesus.

Personally I'd rather wait another million years for that, then for anyone or anything else. Because He is all together worth it.

To be honest there is no way to escape this, sin will always be around us until the day Jesus returns. But as we grow in our relationships with Christ and realize yes that our hearts are TRAITORS He has grace that sets of free.

"as these words come pouring out i finally know what they're about. about the God who conquers all who helps me stand when i can't crawl and when i'm down on my face because i've chosen my own way and even though i've done him wrong he is there with open arms when i find that my heart is a traitor inside then he comes and vindicates it." -"Traitor" David Dunn

Living for Him one step at a time,

HIS and yours,


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Singleness...My Number?

I don't know why, sitting here on my small couch in my apartment I had a need to write this. Maybe it's because I'm extremely tired and sick. Maybe it's because I don't want to write my philosophy paper. Or maybe it's because I'm surrounded my the constant nudging and questions about marriage and relationships and singleness. It's not easy being at a Christian College, where it seems, especially now that the weather is nice, couples are everywhere. Where it seems everyone has someone to "go on a walk with" or "go out to coffee" or the things that couples do.

These thoughts came into my mind last night, while I was spending time with some friends around a bonfire. Questions arise asking about people we've dated or kissed or so on. Now I'm not ashamed of my past and I am an open book, I will share willingly, because I have nothing to hide. Everything I have been through God has used to shape me into the person I am today.

I have had one boyfriend in my 21 years of life. I have kissed one person in my 21 years of life. These were one in the same, we dated in high school, we were young and immature. But I wouldn't trade those days for anything. He is a wonderful man, a smart guy, and a great friend. But people grow up and change and go separate ways, and God used that one relationship in my life to show me what it means to be single.

I remember coming into college, this Christian College thinking. "they aren't going to like me, they aren't going to find me pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough." They meaning the guys on this college campus. Oh, how immature I was. looking back on those days, I wonder how I ever survived the days. But God has pulled me through many obstacles, most I have put in my own way.

I learned my freshman year of college that my value and worth is not in what man thinks of me. It's quite the opposite.

If I let any man speak for my value with his actions – I’ll let it be Jesus.

When I discovered this the spring semester of my freshman year, my heart was changed. I gave up on the makeup and the dressy clothes, trying to make myself appear better to man. Suddenly I wasn't layering on the eyeliner and caking on the foundation to cover up my face. My face looked bright and new every morning. I washed off the makeup and the cynical disbelieving heart.

Replaced by the joy and the love of the Lord. Learning that this life I have doesn't need to be wasted on writing letters to my future husband, or trying to get approval or earn value from man. But this single life i have is time for me and God. time to figure out who I am. my likes, dislikes, passion, desires. MY LIFE is GODS.

And now looking back four years later I can say I've never regretted my decision to toss the dating scene over my shoulder. There were always crushes and people I liked, but none of the compared to the love I had and still have for Jesus. See the time that I so foolishly wasted on trying to be someone's girlfriend has now become my favorite time to spend with Jesus and following is call for my life. Me and God, what could be better.

He is a jealous God, He wants us for Himself. He is calling us to Him. He had been calling and calling me, and four years ago I abandon what I thought I knew and decided to cling to Him. To let go of the ideals, to stop worrying about the number aka how many people like ME. And began to worry about how many people saw HIM in me. rather than ME in ME.

If I would have stayed lost in those ideals, I would have never discovered my love for kids. My love for God's people. My love for writing. My love for photography. My love for serving. My love for HIM. I would have missed out on all of the gifts and all the opportunities I have seen. You see the way we serve the Kingdom as individuals is much different than the way we serve the Kingdom with someone else.

It is crazy to look back to only four years ago and see how much God has changed and impacted my life. To be able to say I will graduate college with a BA in Cultural Studies, never having a boyfriend, never having a prospect, and not knowing what will happen afterwards. I am proud of that. To know that after college I will leave this country, travel 8000 miles across the ocean and follow God's call, walk Jesus's path. Something I could never do if I were not single. Something I could never do if it weren't for Jesus.

I'm not worried about the future, because I know it's in God's hands. and I know someday i will stumble into love, all in His perfect timing. but right now and for the rest of my life, no matter what happens. HIS love is and will always be ENOUGH.


HIS and yours,


Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Words. I can't seem to find them. I don't know where to begin except to say that God's love is overflowing. That God's church is alive and that He has once again blessed my life in unimaginable ways.

I have returned home after being in Haiti for 10 days. As I sit hear with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart I am going to try and find the words to explain all the feelings overflowing from me. But I know God understands what is going on inside of me as well as the 13 other amazing team members He has blessed me with to serve along side for the past 10 days. Here we go.

There are names and faces and places imprinted into my mind and my heart. All of from Haiti. In a general since we arrived at UCI on Sunday night, after our bus had broken down and we spent two or so hours on the side of the road in middle of nowhere Haiti, but even through that God was evident and present. Presenting a wonderful evening full of stars, songs, and team bonding. Throughout the week we got to spend time with kids at the school and nutrition centers. We got to do construction, hike mountains, build relationships, worship, play volleyball, and love.

For me Haiti is a place that will be in my heart. It is a place that God has used to confirm His calling in my life. a place where I learned more about God's love, God's grace, God's provision and trust than anywhere else. A place where I saw that less is so much more and Love does more for a person than materialistic things ever will. a place where the people are alive and in love with God and a place where God's glory is and will be and that of course I was changed more by it all than I could ever imagine.

Through Haiti, I have fallen more in love with God. I have an overflowing love for my team members, the people who have seen me at my worst, at my best. Whether singing around the dinner table, hauling concrete buckets, falling in a cave of bat poop, or dancing with kids in the grass. The team that God put together for this trip, I couldn't have asked for anyone better and I wouldn't add or take away any of the people. Being able to watch each of my fellow team members spread God's love and word with the specific gifts that God gave each one of them was so encouraging and I know it would have been something I never would have seen if God had no challenged me into leaving my camera behind. To see God's love overflowing in people that I go to school with encouraged me that Northwestern can be impacted and that these people have the ability not only to impact our campus but to impact people around the world. The love I have for my team member is overwhelming, and it's been hard today not waking up and being around all of them. But God's doing some marvelous work in all over lives and I can't wait to see where each one of them ends up, all for the Glory of God.

The feelings I have for the Haitian people are hard to put into words. I love them deeply, but it's not our American superficial love, but a love overflowing from the glory of God and His grace. The way that worshiped and praised God in everything they did was so impacting on my life and to my heart. That even though with little they give so much of themselves to us and to God. They were constantly praising and thanking God for everything. Also reminding me that I never deserved God's grace but that God has freely given it to me out of love. Every person I met and interacted with impacted me in different and wonderful ways. Teaching me how to lead, to love, to be patient, to act, to worship. Things that I have never seen before my eyes were open to God's universal church and how alive it really is and how blind I have been.

Edison, the little boy in the picture. He touched my heart the most. There were so many kids and so many people, but this boy pulls my heart strings. We didn't speak the same language, but God has a ways of breaking down those barriers and doing miraculous work. We communicated through singing, though jumping on a trampoline, through handshakes, through laughter, through dancing, through him just sitting on my lap and letting me hold him. God's love and light in this little boy made me realize the calling on my life. Though it's not in Haiti, it is with children like Edison. Children I can sit with and sing with and love on. It reminded me why God calls us to have a child like faith.

So in all this God has taught me dependence, trust, and faith in Him. That only through Him can I truly have life and love and the desires of my heart. That I don't need fancy clothes and a fancy house to be rich. But that I am already rich in God and in the friends, the family, and the experiences He has freely given me and blessed me with.

And I guess the best way to end this is to just say Blessed Be the Name of the Lord. or as we sang in Haiti "Annou Beni Non Senye A."

In Awe of God's Amazing Love and Grace,

HIS and yours,


Friday, March 2, 2012

The Wonders of the Love of God.

In a little less than 11 hours I will be departing along with 12 other team members from Iowa to Haiti, to spend the ten days we have for spring break to serve each other, the people of Haiti, and most importantly the Lord.

It is crazy to think how God has come through, how He has shown Himself faithful. how He has made complete beauty out of the mess I call my life. The wonders of our God astound me, and I will spend the rest of my life getting to know and loving Him deeper.

So as I embark on this journey I can help but see that He is calling us all on a journey in our lives. Whether going somewhere or staying somewhere. Whether working a 8 hour job or runnnig with orphans on a dirt road. Whether married or single. He is calling us on a journey, calling us to Him. Calling us to be His hands and feet. So what are we waiting on?

We are His hands and feet. We are the agents of change. We are the history makers and planet shakers and it's time for us to get so close to the Father that we can hear His voice without question. This is where we will find our voice. This is where hearts are drawn to the Fathers' love and lives are changed. This is where we will find boldness, and more importantly love.

And isn't that the message of the gospel. The greatest command. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Love. such a simple word. Such a powerful word. And yet this word gets thrown around so simply in our society. We take love and use it to gain things, for an advantage. Love is not for gain. Love is for losing.

One man, lost his life for Love. He was thrown in the dirt, beaten, broken. for Love. and instead of treasuring this word and holding it dear. We throw it in the dirt, beat it, and break it. Just like we did to Him. Jesus message is simple to Love to Go make disciples of all nation. To spread the gospel. Love.

It's something that God has been teaching me. To see the beauty in all things. To love people the way He loves them. Deeper, truer, selflessly, asking nothing in return. It's tough. and that's the thing with love. If we want to walk in love, we are going to have to do it on purpose. It doesn't happen accidently. It's a choice.

Love is a loaded word in our society. But in God terms it simple. Love is something true is something real. is something that conquered sin, conquered death. God is Love. and not only for the time I am in Haiti, but as I return back to school and for the rest of my life I pray that I can remember what Love really is. Not the stories in the movies, not the things that society tells us. but the Love that is God. and that He will teach me how to Love. Really Love.

and I pray that He will do the same for you as well.

Purposely walking in His love,

HIS and yours,