Friday, April 26, 2013

Intimidation is my enemy. I am my enemy.

I think I've been blogging too much. I think I've been thinking too much is what it probably is. Typically my blogs update themselves up to Facebook, but I think I'm going to let this one just be undiscovered. Just be another blog on my page. I think this one is more for me than anyone else. I find that journaling things out and then typing them out has help me process, has help me understand more. And lately my days have been filled with struggles and the pages of my journal filled with tears. And so I guess this is just another blog that will be filled with my struggles. It may seem like it's coming out of left field. But it's been one that has been weighing on my heart, sitting in the bullpen, just waiting for it's time to be let out of its cage and onto the page. To be released through shaking hands on keyboards and tear-streaked cheeks. It's just something that has been there within me and I think it's time to let it out. To truly put it on paper and on the screen.

There are times when I believe I have it all figured out, when I feel like finally I can depend on who I am in Christ to get me through days. But then there are those days that wreck me, that make me reel back from its slap to my face. Days like today. Days where they start off great and then words get said that make me think about things I pushed from my mind a long time ago. And I hate it. I hate it so much, because then sitting on those things causes me to get distracted from my purpose, and then the day is over and I've done nothing I was supposed to expect think about unnecessary things.

Today I was asked the simplest of questions. "Why are you single?"

Now I am a 22 year old woman, who is pretty comfortable with herself on most days, one that has taken a long time to realize that being single is okay. But everyone once in awhile someone has to come along and put a lion in a cage with me and ask me to battle it. This question is my lion. This question comes at me teeth bared ready to take a chunk out of my heart. And today it did. Today I was attacked.

I was just talking to a friend casually who happened to mention weddings and all the stuff that comes along with being a young adult in their 20s and I mention many of my friends getting married. She asked me when I was getting married and I kind of chuckled and said it's not in the plan at the moment. Because I've been content with giving that answer. Because right now I don't have a plan to get married, I don't even have a plan to date, but every once in awhile the enemy likes to sneak into these questions and play games with my mind and my heart. Today he snuck in and i didn't even see it coming.

"What what do you mean you're not going to marry?" She stared at me in disbelief.

"Who says I have to be married now?" I asked her.

"Well I mean look at all your friends getting married people older and younger and your age, don't you want that?"

Ugh. and this is where it went downhill and I totally let it happen, because I totally didn't answer this question the way I should have. Because in the back of head... in the deep part of my heart sits 6th grade me. The one who was called ugly and made fun of for having hairy arms and legs by the boys. The one whose insecurities overwhelmed her. She's still there. She's still here.

And the words are falling from my lips into the space between us before I have time to think of what I'm saying. "I guess I'm just not good enough." I say it and then suck the air back into my chest. Did I really just say that... Why did I just say that? It didn't even sound like my voice.

And my friend says "Maybe it's cause you're intimidating... I mean even the really Christian guys are probably intimidated by you. I mean I just don't understand why you are single."

"What does that even mean?"

"You know you're so into this Jesus thing I mean it could be what's keeping guys from you."

I could feel myself getting upset as I replied. "Why do you need to understand? Why does anyone need to understand why I am single. Why does it matter, am i less of a person, does it mean something that a man does not ask me on dates, does it make me worthless? I don't understand. Why can't people just be okay with who I am. Why do you need to understand when even I don't completely understand. Why can't I just be?"

"I'm just saying, maybe you should tone down the Jesus."

"I can't, it's who I am."

"But who you are is also still single."

And then I told her I didn't want to talk about it anymore because my little 6th grade girl was getting so worked up inside of me I had to get out. I had to walk. I had to cry. I had to pray. So I climbed into my car, leaned against my steering wheel and bawled. The sixth grade girl inside of me screamed at me. And the word intimidating echoed through my brain, throbbed throughout my ears, rolled itself off my tongue and through my car. Intimidating, to fill with fear. Why would anyone want to be described like that. To fill someone with fear. And words began to fill my mind in that moment. You're single because you fill people with fear. You aren't lovable because people are scared of you. You are too drastic, too reckless, too much.  

The tears are falling and the words are filling my brain and I'm trying to not drive into someone. And I'm saying God, what is going on with me. I thought we had covered this already, I thought I had let this go. I thought that I told you I was okay. Why am I feeling this way. Why am I hurting so much.

And sitting at a stoplight I hear. "What have I told you. You are loved. You are my daughter. No earthly romance can satisfy what your soul desires. I love you my child. I love you."

You see I'm not going to lie. I have a huge huge desire to be a wife and to be a mother. I was just telling two friends that last night. But I also have an even bigger desire to serve the Lord. And right now those two desires don't line up. And every so often in the moments I feel content, it gets brought, someone mentions a guy, someone mentions setting me up. And I have to shove that little sixth grade girl down deep inside of me who's screaming to be seen, to be called beautiful, to be loved by a boy.

It's hard to even explain. I love who I am. I love who I have become and I know that I have so much more growing to do. And I know I cannot do that with anyone else but me and God. But it's a struggle in a culture that says if you're not dating something must be wrong with you. But that's the problem there's nothing wrong with me and I don't like it when people assume there is. I know in my heart that someday it will happen for me. That someday God will say "My faithful servant you are ready, I've been preparing you and now is the time." But I know that day is not even close. I have so much growing in Him to do before I can grow in Him with another person. And there is NOTHING wrong with that.

Because in this moment, if I had to choose to leave everything behind to move across the ocean for Him and for His children, or to get married and live the rest of my life here. I know exactly what my choice would be... and it wouldn't be this earthly happily ever after. And I know that when the right guy come along our passions, our desires, and our love for the Lord will line up and create something beautiful. And this guy will understand that I will always... ALWAYS choose God over him... But that hasn't happened yet. And I'm not going to jump into anything just to make it appear like nothing is wrong with me.

Yes I'm a weird, awkward, and extrememly radical person. It is going to take a special person to understand all that. but God is already taken care of me. He knows me better than anyone else, better than I know myself and He loves me. And that is all I need.

Yes somedays I am my own worst enemy. Somedays I am that sixth grade girl. But God is working in me, He is making me realize that my life can only be filled in Him, no matter what this world says. He is filling me up, He is preparing me for a greater calling, for whatever that may be. So for now I am going to buckle up and be along for the ride. Just me. not alone. With Him. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

So for the girls out there. There is no flaw in you. You are beautiful and God loves you so stinking much. Just because you're single doesn't mean you are worthless. It means you are worthy of so much more than what this world thinks of. Wait for Him. His plan is far better than anything else. Become a godly woman, one that men can respect and be encouraged by. One that's beauty and love for the Lord and His calling and His people overflows from the inside out. Because that beauty outweighs anything those magazines throw at you!

And for the men, There is no flaw in you. I know it seems that women struggle with this more, but I know that men do to. I know it's just as hard and probably even harder sometimes. But God is rising up amazing men. Be one of them. Encourage hearts and love recklessly. And wait for Him. He is amazing and a man of God is what every woman needs, just like a woman of God is what every man needs. It's not easy no, but it will be worth it.

He is working in each of our lives. Somedays are harder than others. Somedays you will be that sixth grader just wanting to be accepted. But the beautiful thing is we already are, by the only One that matters. By the one who has always loved us. So let go and see you are loved, there is nothing wrong with you. Everything will happen in His perfect timing, whatever it may be!

Letting go of my sixth grade self,

HIS and yours,


A Graceful Heart.

No one has ever mistaken me for beauty or grace or anything of the sort. I'm really more the clumsy type, always saying the wrong words or doing awkward things, always tripping or falling over something. I am anything but graceful. Just ask anyone who has walked behind me on a hike. And yet I desire a graceful heart. A heart that goes beyond a simple love. But a heart that loves extravagantly, not a reckless abandonment way, but more with a reckless grace.

I desire a graceful heart that is forever young. That's beat is timeless, its joy is effortless, its capacity for love limitless, that it would transcend boundaries and leap from mountaintops. That it would entice others to tiptoe close to the edge of delight and to the edge of faith. To open new connections, a heart that invites others in for a cup of tea and wants them to share dreams and celebrate life and love and God. A heart full of grace and full of love.

I've never been good with grace. It's concept that has taken me a long long time to grasp onto. To understand that it is freely given and asks for nothing in return. And desiring a heart like that is beyond difficult. It's a challenge everyday. to freely give without asking for anything in return. Most days I feel like a used washcloth, people keep wringing out and wiping up and wringing out. And each time I have to seek God and ask Him to fill me up again. But somedays I don't. Somedays I am my not so wonderful selfish human self and my grace is non-existent.

Sometimes I like to keep myself guarded, because I don't like to be hurt. But in reality having a graceful heart I think means being hurt. Jesus had a graceful heart beyond graceful hearts. He gave and gave and gave asking for one thing and one thing only. Love. For His followers to love Him. He didn't ask for gifts or words of affirmation or anything but love. And even when no one gave Him love, even when people left Him hanging on a cross, He still had love, He still had a graceful heart for all those who left Him. And He still has a graceful heart for all of us.

That is the kind of heart I want.

A heart like Jesus.

And at times I feel how He feels, I find myself saying I don't want it... I don't want to feel how heavy this pain is. And yet I do... everyday... He shows me ways he feels and ways He sees and each day I continue to ask Him to give me a heart like His... a truly graceful heart. One that is not selfish or self-seeking. One that listens when people need an ear. And speaks when someone needs a voice.

I am a work in progress. My heart is by no means graceful. I have a lot of selfishness to get over. And everyday I make the choice to choose a grace beyond measure or the selfishness of this world. I fall short everyday, but grace covers a multitude of sin. And luckily for me I have a God who despite the pain in His heart still loves me despite my ungracefulness.

So no I've never been mistaken for beauty or grace or anything like that. I am clumsy and awkward and sometimes don't know how to express myself and I get attached to people fast because I just want to love and see them the way Jesus does. But I'm learning that there is nothing wrong with that, even when it hurts me. My desire is to love the way Jesus loves, and even Jesus's heart hurts from love unreturned. I just keep trying to learn from Him, His word, and the people He places in my life.

Just trying to grow in my ungraceful life and become stronger, in my spirit, in my mind and in my heart. Learning that I must continue to freely give of myself with grace, and never ask for anything in return. To love without bounds, even if hurts. Because God is here with me, loving even more. So must I.

Desiring a graceful heart,

 HIS and yours,


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hurt and His Promises.

I woke up with ebony faces on my mind. I woke up wondering what my overseas friends and families were doing, how they were doing, are they surviving. I woke up with a burden heavy on my back and an ache heavy on my heart. I woke up yearning for something more. My greater calling.

It's a struggle everyday to remember that God places me in these seasons to teach me new and greater things. And sometimes it takes a conversation with my dad, full on runny nose and leaking eyes to see that God is moving, even when it doesn't seem like it.

Today was rough. Really rough. I woke up hurting and it just seem to get heavier as the day went on. At work, worrying through my new position handling money... I've never been good at handling money; I'd much rather be holding orphans than holding money! to being ignored by someone I love when I'm trying to share my heart, to almost getting rear-ended, and spilling coffee all over my floorboards in my car. It just seemed that for a moment I had happiness and then too quickly the enemy came and filled those open cracks in my spirit with incidents.

If I'm honest the days are hard. My dad explained to me that I need to look at this season as my life as another time to plant more seed, to stretch out my limbs and reach for others, to love, to share my stories, my heart, and to share His word with. And I think that's what I've been struggling with the most. Here it's easy for me to think that most people don't need me, don't need my love. But unlike overseas it's harder to see here, because the need isn't as much physical as it is spiritual and emotional. People here are really good at seeming like they are put together, I am not one of those people, I feel like I am never put together, that I'm always out of sorts. But it's kind of how I like to live my life. Always on the edge ready to jump when God says jump. I don't know if that is a good thing or not, but it seems natural enough to me.

But today I felt more out of sorts, I felt like I was on the edge, but on the wrong cliff. I kept getting poked and prodded in my spirit. Definitely from the enemy, finding the littlest cracks and sneaking through and I'm seeing that I am truly a continuing work in progress, seeing that these cracks needed to be filled by Jesus's grace and mercy. And I don't know what the point of this post was but to just let it all out of my heart and my mind. To see that yes I am hurting, everyday, but that God is working everyday. He's out in front of me and He will make everything fall into place.

My dad, in his wise words said it this way. God is using this season in my life to peel away the things that cause me to worry and cause me to not depend on Him. He's peeling them away and He's seeing into my heart and He sees where my heart is and it's burdens and He is faithful to those who are faithful to Him. I just have to continue every single day to give it to Him and remember that He already knows what I am to do with the rest of my life. He's the best author out there.

So driving home today after my almost accident as I cried and scream and prayed for something anything to remind me that He's still working even through my hurting. A song came on from my ipod. A song called Promises. It's by Sanctus Real and basically I heard it and it was like a mini answer to my screaming prayer. That I need to hold onto His promises and never let go and through everything He is there always to the very end of the age.

Holding onto His Promises through the hurting,

 HIS and yours,


Monday, April 22, 2013

Why I am mad at Church.

I've been thinking a lot lately. I know scary. Me and thinking. I mean this morning I almost had a panic attack because I thought I had lost my Bible... and it was underneath my pillow the entire time. How it got there I don't know, but that is beside the point. The point is I've been thinking. Thinking about people and places and buildings and it all lead to the Church. And just how frustrated I have been with it. Not the physical building but the people inside of it.

As I have gotten older and started to take on my faith as my own more and more things seem to irritate me. Call me a liberal a conservative a Christian, a heretic, call me whatever you like, but labels have never been my kind of thing. But if it suits you to put me in a category by all means go ahead, if it makes you comfortable lock me in a box. But I'm not much for comfort or for boxes. But a huge part of me believes that the Church is. That the Church finds comfort in it's four walls, that they preach all these messages of outreach and loving people and what not but that's all it is. Words. Sermons, hands-failing, but never hands-reaching.

Morgan Chilulu puts it this way "A church that lives within it's four walls is no church at all." Truth. Here in this one sentence. Too many churches live within there walls. Within their labels, within comforts and boxes. And I'm beginning to understand why my sister and friends don't even like the sound of the word. Don't even like the sound of Christian, or Jesus, or Faith. Because so many times they've entered into this building. This place that is suppose to be a sanctuary, a place of love and forgiveness and all they have received is hypocritical glances and stares of distain. No loved offered, no hands reached out. Just ugly stares from these so-called Christians.

There is this idea that a church is made for certain people. But this idea could never be more wrong. A Church is not a place for perfect people. If it were it would be empty. We are all in need of a Savior and His unending grace. Not one person deserve more or less. And I think that is why I get so mad. Because when I walk into Church I feel the judgment. The eyes on me, wondering what I did Saturday night, wondering if I am doing the right things in my life. But no one truly invests. No one sits down with a cup of coffee, a hand of prayer on my shoulder and asks, What is REALLY going on in your life. Why are you unhappy, why are you hurting?

And if I feel like this as a believer and lover of Christ. I can only imagine what those people who don't believe or don't truly have a grasp on Christ feel. You see Jesus wrecked my life, shattered it to pieces, and put it back together again more beautifully than I can imagine. I didn't need a church to do that. I don't need a church to tell me who I am or who I can become. That's God. I don't need a church to be a follower of Christ. I am a Church.

Too many churches want to stay within their buildings, but that is not who I am called to be. I'm not called to be held back by four walls. I am called to be the Church. Our loving, pursuing Father God set aside the glories of heaven for the stench of this broken world. But do our churches? He left ninety-nine in safety for the one who wandered into harm. But do our churches? He beckons us to leave the comfort of our cushioned churches and homes, and work places to reach out in love to those who are hurting, and searching. But are our Churches?

I'm not condemning any one church, I'm not even sure what I am doing. I'm just thinking. That if Christ hadn't grabbed my heart the way He did, I don't know if a church would have been a huge help to me. I didn't find Christ in the church. I found Christ in people. And too often I think the church focuses on becoming a building rather than a people for His Kingdom.

If I am honest, most times I felt more welcomed at the churches in Africa than I ever did at my churches in America. And it is in those moments that I understand why my sister looks at me funny when I say I want to go to church. Why she feels that the church is nothing but a building full of judgmental people. Why a church says it will support and reach out but never does. I can understand and grasp onto her thinking. And realize that she and many of my friends don't want to go church. So I am called to be the church. And maybe we are all called to be the church. Just seek Him. Ask Him. If you can handle the truth, He will not leave you without an answer.

Not in a pushy overbearing you must have Jesus way. But in a loving, hand reaching out kind of way. The same way that God reached out to me. I must reach out to them. It's not a job, it's a life. It's not a goal to save souls and walk away once someone has said the sinner's prayer. I am a long-term person. And if one person sees the love of Christ in me, it's worth every minutes of time spent. In fact it's worth spending the rest of my life for.

Because I am called to be a church. To live outside my four walls. To leave the safety of the ninety-nine for the one who has wandered into harm.

Trying to be a better Church,

 HIS and yours,


Saturday, April 20, 2013

care-free, worry-free days.

I have to laugh at how frustrated and worried I get. Recently it's gotten worse since I've returned home and gotten more settled in to this "role" here. How much I worry and fret about unnecessary things, is absolutely ridiculous.

You think by now I would understand and remember how faithful our God is. I mean He even tells me in His word not to worry. "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food; and the body more important than clothes." Matthew 6:25.

And I'm human... I do realize this. And I'm living in a culture where planning out your life is a part-time job. But here's the thing... I'm not a planner, never have been and I probably never will be. I picked out my college very very last minute and most it was based on the fact that I liked the way it looked in the fall. I like doing things on a whim or when I feel that gentle tug on my heart. Plans just seem boring.

Overseas it was so different. It's hard not to look back at the person I was there and wish she was here. It's hard to explain to people that it was there, it seems I didn't have a care in the world. It was there that though my burdens were heavy, His yoke was extremely light. That there people don't have time to plan. The people that I have fallen in love with in Uganda, Haiti, Tanzania, Kenya, people I interacted with. children I held in my arms, women whose hands always seemed to find mine or the hair on my arms. They didn't know where their next meal would come from, some didn't even know if they would make it ALIVE to the next day.

And yet life was so full.

Full of love. Full of joy. Just overflowing.

Not knowing if they would have food for tomorrow but welcoming me into their homes and feeding me their food and loving on me. I never felt so worry free. Life seemed like it was there in that moment and for me that's how I've always desired to live my life and this was everyday. For the family who shared their bread and rice with me. For the family who always served me Chai, because they knew... knew how much I loved the way they made it. For the family who taught me how to cook Chapati's three nights in a row until I got it right.

Those people truly embodied Matthew 6:25. WIthout a care in the world, without a worry in their mind. They have faith, they have love, and most importantly they have Jesus. And this is what I desire deep in my soul. An overflow of joy and of love for others and for God... an overflow of carefree, worry-free days. Just an overflow of Christ's light shining from me and warming other people's hearts, the way so many people over there warmed my soul. Because the only plan I've ever had is to serve Him and love His people.

I know worries will always be there, but I cannot... CANNOT forget that God provides... He always provides. My worries range from my car payments to Holo across the ocean. To problems at work, to the problem in the government overseas, to my family here and to my family in Tanzania.

My worries stretch across the seas. But my God stretches further than the oceans, I must never forget that. My heart has found so much joy serving these beautiful people that the world calls "poor" but to me they are so rich. Rich in joy, in faith, and in love. Riches of the Kingdom. Riches from the Most High. That's the kind of riches my heart desires.

Casting out the Worries,

 HIS and yours,


Friday, April 19, 2013

An outstretched hand, a sick woman, and a blind man.

I've been thinking a lot about the stories of the people in the gospels. The many people who believed in who they knew Jesus to be. Not just the 12 that followed Him around, but the others.

Like the man with leprosy who had faith to ask the Lord of Lords to make him clean, or the sick woman, who believed and had faith that even just to grasp Jesus's cloaks would heal her. And the blind and the mute, and the paralytic. I mean the list goes on.

But these people had faith to move mountains and faith to believe that they could be healed. And I think, all too often, that we forget that the God, the Jesus of the Bible is the same Jesus we have today. Sure we have faith in little things, like praying for a light to turn green when we're running late for work. But what about bigger things?

I mean He is God over ALL, our limits do not limit Him,

This thought brought me to women and men I would pass when I would go to Mwanza City in Tanzania. I don't know why there, but I've realized that most of my thoughts lead me back to Africa. But these men and women and sometimes children would be stretch out on these dusty, dirty mats, legs tangled together, crippled. Sometimes no legs at all. And they would shake their cup at me and I would walk past, because it was instilled in me for safety reasons not to give them money or stop. So instead I would walk by and shoot up a prayer;

"God I don't know what you'd have me do, but I do ask for those legs to untangle themselves and those feet to learn to move again, all in your name."

Many moments I wish I would have stopped, just asked to pray with them and give them a few shillings, at least to have just known their names. I don't know if it was the safety preaching I received coupled with the language difficulties, but I never stopped and sometimes it still haunts me because I know Jesus would have stopped.

And I ask myself, was I Jesus to them. No, not enough. But the wonderful thing is God hears my prayers. I don't know and may never know if they are healed and walking around over in Tanzania in this moment. But that prayer was my reach to touch His cloak, the words "I am willing" from a blind believer. And God's reach is immeasurable and I know He will continue to work.

But I also know that He is asking me to reach out more and be His hands and feet. He reminds me of praying for the man in the village with the broken collarbone, to reaching my hand out and stretching my fingers across his ebony skin, and reaching for Jesus's cloak. He's calling me to say "I am willing" and reach. To stop walking past in a daze. To stop. To truly see people. See their hurts, their pain, their needs and reach out my hand.

I am not called to live a life of walking by, I'm not called to be safe, I'm promised that when I am in danger, when I'm in those tough moments, I reach out my hand and God is right there with me. And with Him there is no better place to be, there is nothing I can't do, with faith and an outstretched hand.

Reaching out,

  HIS and yours,


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

a Journal of a Post...

I found some journals today... I realize I really like to write. I also realize I'm really glad that I really like to write. I love the piles and piles of journals I own, written and unwritten in. They tell my story. My own story from my own hand, in my own words. My life in pen on paper, the story of how God has constantly moved in my life. 4 of those journals were taken with me overseas and to other missions trips. I'm attached to these and I don't think I will ever be able to throw them away. They have such good gems in them. Life lessons, struggles, pains, joys. It's amazing. That my own words from so long ago could mean the world to me today. God is always working and moving, even in something I wrote down years ago. Now I know why He made me to write. He gave me the gift to write so that I could touch not only my own life with my own words but so many others. And that HUMBLES me beyond no end.

So I share with you snippets of these journal entries, snippets into the deepest parts of me, into the deepest parts of these pages. Where God has, is, and continues to teach me about His love, His plan, and the abundance of His Grace...


"If I am going to serve Jesus. If I am going to do this. I'f I'm going to be a Christian... Dear God, let be the real thing!"

The beginning of me trying to live out a truly poured out lifestyle, and struggle to know what that really means and who it would make me. 


"Tough, hard, pain, affliction, questions. Words. No Words can explain the struggle and the battle raging in my heart. I have this huge desire to serve God in all that I do, but distractions are beginning to drown me." 

 Times of toughness, spelt out to shape me and mold me and change me into a stronger servant for Him.


 "So many desicions to make. God I need your hand to guide me in the right direction, in Your direction." 

Simple prayers lifted up, written down, hit my heart.


"God will make beautiful things out of the dust in my life. May He use my feeble hands and efforts and love to build Himself a Kingdom."

Struggling to realize that even though I'm dirty and tattered, God will use me and calls me to be the Hands and Feet of Christ for His Kingdom.


"I keep thinking 'really God me, you want me?' And I tend to ask that question a lot when God calls me to do something." 

When my first nudging of moving to Africa after graduation came, all I could think was "really, me, you want me, I'm so unworthy." In this one sentence, just reading it, I can still feel my questioning.


"God help me have strength to love today. Especially when I don't feel like it. Give me strength to work past pain and exhaustion so I can love and serve You and Your children. Teach me of Love, Your reckless love." 

I laugh, seeing how I prayed for an over abundance of love for those kids and now that I am home the love... His love is still overflowing from me and He is still having to teach me how to love.


"And I realize that this is the place I am suppose to be right now. To follow Jesus, obey Him, and make my best efforts with His grace to treat people with love and care for them unconditionally. To love them where I am whenever I can. To realize that Iowa is where I am now and where He needs me now and to wait on Him to move me and never move myself. He's got me."

And today... waiting on His calling, on His plans, no I'm not in Africa right now, I'm not where my heart is at, but He has me here in this place for a reason and I am beginning to see that He can use me everywhere and anywhere when I lay myself down.

Every entry comes from a journal in the picture. Every journal went through a journey and I continue to go through that journey as I fill one journal and move to the next. It's kind of the way I look at God writing our stories... We have a series of short journeys. He scrolls those journeys in a journal, the way I do every time I go someplace new. I fill it up and move onto the next journal. Every time I fill up a journal it's usually by the time the old journey is ending and the new one is beginning. And I believe that is the way God is working and writing my story this moment. He's filled up a journal my short journey has finished and now He is beginning a new one, as I begin this transition period. I just have to wait and realize that these journeys are here for me to get to my final destination and that is to be with Him. So I just need to be patient and maybe go buy another journal to pass my time. Though I'm pretty sure I have another box full in my closet somewhere.

Journaling through Journeys

HIS and yours,


Monday, April 15, 2013

Just some rambling thoughts

God is extremely good. So, so, so extremely good. I mean words don't do it justice and I often forget how good He is, but then there are days or weekends like this past one that remind me how faithful, and loving, and amazing He is.

This past weekend I got to spend my days serving some beautiful young women and serving with some beautiful people. It's amazing how God knows exactly what you need and the moment you need it. I mean yes I'm still struggling with some tears and unhappiness, but for a moment I got to see that even in my hard times God can use me. He takes the stories He has given me and allows me to share them with other people. He gives me the faith and the words to speak into people's lives and I know, I know I couldn't do it without Him. It's crazy that He uses me, me of all people!

I met some amazing people this weekend and made some wonderful new friends and after all the questions and wondering why I am not in Africa right now and why I am in Iowa, God gave me one of those answers. As I stood behind a podium and talked about my faith and the long-life changing journey. As I sat at a back table and watched young women discover the love of God and let it transform their hearts and minds. As I stood and worshiped with so many people who love God like me and who have a heart for His people. You see, I am unhappy, it was apparent coming home from this weekend and realizing that my heart struggles every day to realize that right now this is where I am suppose to be. But this weekend my heart had no struggles, no cares, it was free in the arms of Christ and He took and filled it with so much love for the people I worked with and the girls I got to meet and watch grow in their faith and love. He is amazing. He is wonderful. He is extremely good.

He just works and moves His hands over my life in amazing ways. Like getting an email from the family I lived with in Tanzania. I cried and cried as I wrote back asking how my beautiful brothers and sisters were doing and how Mama and Baba were doing. And I praise God for the way He places His hands on my heart and reminds me that even though sometimes I get upset and weepy, He is working and He knows what I need.

He allows me to sit and talk with girls who struggle with grasping on His love, just like I did for so long, to encourage them and remind them how deep, wide, long, and immeasurable His love is for them. Allows me to sit and talk with amazing people about my heart for Africa. He allows me to remember that His calling in my life is to serve and love people no matter where I am. That He knows my deepest desires and where my heart is, but that He also knows that other people around the world... yes even in Iowa... need Him like I do. So He calls me to serve here. And although I grumble and complain, He still manages to use me. He still takes my brokenness and my unhappiness and pushes me to believe deeper and grow more and become stronger in who He is.

This real world is so frustrating and many days I just wish I could be at home with my King. Many days I wish I didn't have to worry about money, or working, or finding a car, or all the American dream things. I wish I could just be sitting in the dirt with kids in my arms, cooking chapiti, and speaking a language I don't understand. I wish I could be doing so many other things. But God has placed me here right now, and I know from this weekend that He is calling me to do greater things here than I have been.

That I need to stop getting so frustrated and upset with the way life is going, because He will suplly al my needs. He will take care of me. That I don't need to worry about relationships or money or a car, because in all His timing... His perfect timing, He will work everything out. And in that I am content, in that I am resting.

Yes, I still have my episodes of crying and calling out to Him asking Him why and He listens and He answers in crazy awesome God ways. He's working and I just need to be patient in all the opportunities to be patient. To continue to look to Him and ask Him, "What can I do for you today, right now in the place that I am?" To stop being a giant baby and wipe off my tears, get on my knees and pray fervently for who and where and what He is calling me to in this moment and the moments to come. I know the answers won't come right away, but my faith tells me that He is moving constantly and the answers and the people and the places will reveal themselves to me. I just have to wait.

And in the waiting He is placing people in my life to talk to and who listen. People to share Him with and love on. And that I must do, that is what I was made for. No matter where, no matter when, no matter what. to love God and love His people. Always.

   Trusting in His supply,

HIS and yours,


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nothing Can Separate...

Nothing Can Separate...

"Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind..." -William Wordsworth.

Sometimes I'm just angry. Sometimes I'm just upset. Sometimes I just want to cry, scream, stomp, shout, and everything in-between. Sometimes I just wish I could understand, understand what God is doing in my life, and sometimes I wish I could take it with a little bit more grace, a little bit more happiness, a little bit more joy, just a little bit more than the way I have been.

But I haven't and yet nothing can separate...

Those three words have been something I say to myself constantly. The other day I was extremely upset, I'm unhappy with my life right now. Yes. I admit it. I am unhappy and trust me I'm not real good and hiding it. I'm unhappy that I'm working a minimum wage job. I'm unhappy that I don't have many friends around me. I'm unhappy that I'm in Iowa. I'm unhappy that I'm not cradling orphans in my arms and I'm unhappy I don't have calloused hands from widows grasping mine. Sometimes I'm just unhappy. My mom asked me why I thought God brought me home early from Africa and I replied... to make me more unhappy. My mom asked me if I was even listening to myself... Yeah I was listening to my flesh of course, I know God never makes me unhappy, He's teaching me something, something my unhappiness has blinded me from. and yet. Nothing Can Separate.

It's crazy right. Nothing, absolutely nothing can separate me from HIM and His hand over my life. No matter how unhappy, or angry, or how many temper tantrums I throw because I'm not getting my way, He's still there, cradling me in His arm, calming down and reminding me that His ways are higher than my own and that no matter how hard I push and push and push Him away, He's still there and nothing can separate.

I don't know I'm broken and my life is laying in His hands, but all too often, especially recently I've been trying to grab it out and take over. And I realize that this is what is making me unhappy. This is what is making me miserable, I am trying to force what I want into His plans, when in reality, it may not be what He desires for my life. And that, my friends, is a hard pill to swallow. And I can't say that I can tie this blog post up in a bow and make it pretty, because that's not my life. My life is not pretty, it's messy and tangled and I am still unhappy. This post cannot resolve the unhappiness I have right now. Only God can and I must allow Him to move in my life. I must stop trying to take control, I must stop pushing His hands away every time He pulls my hair back out of my eyes and tells me to "LOOK DAUGHTER!" Because through everything and anything, nothing can separate.

Nothing can separate me from Him. His love from my love. It's always there, even when I try to run away, even when I try to bury it deep, even when I try to fill it with other things. It is there. He is there.

I don't know what is in store right now. I don't know where my life is going. But where does it say that we have to have our lives planned out and figured out and living them at 22 years old. Who says I have to know what I'm doing for my entire life, God has taken care of me yesterday, today, and tomorrow, why should I worry about it. Some might boil that down to carelessness of my generation, but I just call it faith.

Yes, I'm unhappy, but I have faith. I have faith that God is moving, that God is working and that I will continue to follow Him, even in the unhappy moments. Even when I'm crumpled in a ball on my bedroom floor crying. Because He is there, He's never left or forsaken me. My life is in His hands. Nothing can separate.

Letting go,

 HIS and yours,


"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:30-39.