Friday, December 23, 2011

The Good Father

Just because we don't get what we want doesn't mean God is a mean God. It doesn't mean he doesn't care. If we understand that he's good well trust that when he says no, he is being a good father. What parent gives their child everything they want?  We are children. We don't know what's good for us, this is why we have a father. We're free to trust him, he will never harm us and if he takes something from us or doesn't give us what we want he will give us something far greater than he took and more desirable than we thought. He will give us a deeper closeness with himself and a strange disenchantment with this world. We will start to see things as they really are: fleeting pleasures and will truly long for our home. 
He loves us too much to give us what we want because often what we want will not satisfy,  often it is not him. Our earthly dads have said no to us because they've lived longer and experienced more, they have some wisdom. Our great. Father says no because he is the story writer, he is wisdom by definition, he knows what hes doing, he knows the way the story ends. Not only that, but he promises us that for those who believe the story always ends for our good, always.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Comfort for Failures

I'm finding the very thing I want victory from is the very thing God uses to show me his deep, unchanging love. Every time I try so hard and fall again, I find him there, helping me up- rescuing me. It's here that I get to experience the patience and compassion of the father. It's here that I truly see nothing can separate me from his love. 
My problem is I don't want to be rescued, I want to get it right. I want to give him a nice clean slate to get his glory from, forgetting he works in the mess and is most glorified in it. The gospel confounds me. 

The comfort I've found is that on my absolute worst day, God is at work and on my best he's at work. His dedication to me isn't greater on my good days and he doesn't get frustrated with me on my bad days. He is constantly at work on all of my days. Chipping away at the nonsense in my life. Neither day is of any consequence in his eyes, because his purpose in all my days is to make me more like him and to show me more of himself. So every day is a 'good' day that the Lord has made, I can rejoice and be glad even in my failures. 

The steadfast love of the lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lam 3:22-23

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Preparing For the Wrong Thing.

I woke up this morning, thinking about the phrase, "preparing for marriage." Something about it seems a bit off. Should I encourage my single friends to prepare themselves for marriage? I think the term makes marriage out to be the pinnacle of life- the end goal of existence. I have a feeling my single friends might feel a pressure from others or even their own thoughts that say, "You better get yourself straight, learn how to cook, get your finances together, become more gracious and spiritually mature, develop your communication skills so that God will see that your ready and bring someone along." And I'm going to venture to say I'm not sure I agree with this.  

Because marriage is not the end goal of our existence, God uses it as a tool to prepare us for glory. It's one of the many things in life that he will use to grow us. He can use marriage to teach us how to cook, to make us more gracious, to develop our communications skills, etc. Perfection isn't required for marriage, getting your self together isn't a requirement. I think you can have it all wrong and God can and will use your marriage to grow you up in Christ. Because the pinnacle of life is not marriage, it's Jesus and to become more like Him. 

I knew a girl that was very insecure, didn't say more than two words. Needless to say she was a bad communicator and really struggled to connect her emotions with her words. She didn't enjoy God's Word and didn't understand the gospel. She believed she was saved by grace through works and was often discouraged by her failures. This girl met a wonderful guy who pursued her despite many voices telling him to stay away. "She's not prepared," they'd say. But God graciously kept him pursuing her. I should say this guy wasn't perfect. He had a thing or two to learn about communication. He struggled with being too good at connecting his emotions with his words and could be a bit harsh. But He loved Jesus and shared the gospel often in their dating relationship. A little over a year later they were married and a year after they'd been married, the Lord opened the girl's eyes to the beauty of the gospel. She finally understood she didn't have to work for her salvation. Jesus did it all for her. Then the following year they found out they were expecting. They were excited and nervous but trusting God would work out the details. 7 months later, they're son passed away at 31 weeks. God gave that girl grace to find joy in suffering. He gave her peace that surpassed understanding. He showed her he could use her for his glory. He showed her she had value and worth  and was put here for a purpose and gave her a voice. Her son's death gave her life. And that girl was me.

I was the one person that you would say was unprepared for marriage, but somehow God saw it fit to take me from singleness to marriage and graciously used my marriage to teach me how to do things I struggled with being single. I share that story because I hope it encourages someone to see that God uses all the "life changing" events like marriage and children as a means to grow us, not as the things that we should be 100% ready for.  Because honestly, He will make sure there will be challenges that we are not ready for, so that we fall to our knees and depend on him. I just want to encourage my single friends that the reason why you're not married isn't because you aren't prepared enough, it's because God is growing you up to be more like him in your singleness. His goal is Christ-likeness not marriage. There is nothing wrong with you, (well there is, but that's taken care of) you are not forgotten, you are right where you are supposed to be. No need to wait around for life to start. Life has started, you're in the middle of it, God is working in you now. Live.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


"Grace, even in the small things of life, is never small grace. - Greg Lucas

I was confident I'd get it right this time. 

Money has always been an issue for us. We never seem to be disciplined, self controlled or wise enough with our money. Yes, we've tried the budgets,, pretty much everything and they all seem to work for about 2 months and then we're back to square one. It's a heart issue, we know. Some months we do better than others, but the pattern remains and in my opinion we can do better. I was determined to make that happen this time.

We had a huge bill to pay that month. I set some money aside in the account and made sure to communicate to Anthony and myself that that money wasn't to be touched until we had enough to pay the bill, which wouldn't be until the following week. 

I did a good job of keeping to this. I was disciplined and very good, I was sure God was pleased. 

But a few days later I went to grab a bagel for breakfast and realized they went bad. 

I'm pregnant, I can't skip breakfast. I had to buy something. 

Thankfully, we had about 5 dollars in cash on the dresser. I grabbed it and stopped at Dunken Donuts. I spent 3 dollars and 75 cents on a sandwich. That left me with 2.25 for lunch.  

I decided to go to Taco Bell for lunch. When I got up to the drive through and saw the menu, I couldn't resist the Burrito Supreme meal. 

I had to have it.

But a meal cost 5 dollars and change, that meant I had to take money from the account and use the debit card. In that moment I didn't care and I orded the meal.  I pulled up to the cashier window and handed the lady my card. She swiped it and handed it back. 

And then it hit me- I messed it all up. I had done, such a good job of being disciplined and now I ruined it. I sat there and began the condemnation, "You never get the money right. Why can't you be more disciplined? I wonder what God thinks about this. Why do you keep messing up? Why can't you have self control? Yeah I know it's just 5 dollars, but that adds up. Ughh, God you don't have to be gracious, you really don't. And besides, what could you do? Have someone give me the 5 dollars back?" 

I realized I had been thinking these thoughts for quite a while. I turned to see what was taking so long. That's when the manager pops her head out the window and says, "The register isn't working, you can have the meal on us today. Have a good day." 

I pulled away in disbelief. "Wow, God! I dont have words."

"I'm blown away!!"

And so, I got it wrong, but gleaned a treasure I would know nothing about had I gotten it right- where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. And it's the overflow of grace that makes me want to do good. So to those of us, who feel condemned because we keep messing up be encouraged that nothing can separate us from the grace and love of God in Christ Jesus. Not even our sins or mistakes. God is always there ready to lavish us with his grace because he knows that is what will soften our hearts to do good in the first place. Condemnation leads to death, Grace leads to life and good. Because Jesus did everything right, we have the ability to do things well, by the power of the Spirit. Not to attain love from God, but because we are loved. It is the world of condemnation that keeps us sinning. So enter the world of grace, accept it and realize that without it, it is impossible to do good. Don't be silly like me and try to prove you can get it right without his grace. Grace is what got us in, and it's grace that keeps us going till the end. 

And from His fullness we have all received grace upon grace. - John 1:6

Monday, February 21, 2011

Christina Perri - Jar of Hearts Official Video

This is a place I rarely visit, as I'm happily married and very loved. But every now and then a memory pops in my mind. I remember the girl I was. I had no voice. I was used and used and never spoke. And if I had a voice I would have said this:

It describes almost to a "t" what it was like to be a girl not understanding her worth in Christ. Not realizing she is beautiful because she is an image bearer of God. Not realizing that what she is looking for in a boy can only be found in Jesus. Not realizing she's a fool to have given her heart to a boy in the first place. Not realizing her folly was paid for.

I forget this part of my life often. When I think back it feels like I'm peeking into someone else's life. Maybe I'm ashamed or guilty, I'm not quite sure as I don't like to linger here. But I am thankful for a God who redeems and heals not because I deserve it but because he loves to love sinners.

....that I will never undersand.

Monday, November 29, 2010


today was the first time since this summer that i took my camera outside of my apartment and challenged myself to take some pics. i'm kind of proud of myself. i think i might have trespassed to get these but it was so worth it. :)  there is a boys home near us that has the most interesting playground. it's adjacent to a cemetery, the swing set is old and rusty and there are shoes hanging from the electric wires. strange. but perfect.

 what a strange wind it was today. whistlin' and whirlin' and scurlin' away

like a worried old woman with so much to say. what a strange wind it was today.

what a strange wind it was today. cool and clear from a sky so grey

and my hat stayed on but my head blew away- what a strange wind it was today.

-Shil Silverstein

Sunday, November 28, 2010


my babe preached today.

the topic- suffering

i wanted to share some encouraging quotes from his sermon.

lucky for me, he types out his sermons so i didn't have to try to remember all of this:

"Fear God, no one can really harm you in suffering."
"Nobody can harm you if you are zealous for what is good. But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be happy. Don't be afraid of them, and don't be anxious." 1 Peter 3:13-14.
The greatest harm is separation from God. Real and true harm is hell.  You may be able to take my arm, or take my leg, or throw me in jail, and the affects of sin and a broken world may take my son away, but they can never take my God away from me. Nothing, can separate me from Him!
"In the life of the Christian, God uses what the world says is only horrible and only bad for good, always!"
"There is a huge difference between enduring suffering because you have an intellectual trust in God and enduring suffering with joy because you know God, and the hope that you have.  One says, "yes, this suffering and pain is bad but I know that God can be trusted. so, I trust him.  The other says, this suffering is good, because God is good and He uses all things for good, even my suffering.  One response fears God and brings glory to Him. The other, fears other things and brings glory to them."
"If your kids are your master, and you fear them, in that you put them where God belongs and, heaven forbid, they're taken from you, and you have to suffer the loss of them, your world falls apart. You are harmed. Glory to your kids. If your job is your master and you fear losing your job all the time, and then you suffer the loss of your job, you world falls apart. you are harmed. Glory to your job."
"How you handle suffering has very little, if nothing to do with the loss and everything to do with what you value. "
hope that was somewhat encouraging to someone.

Those who recognize that their suffering in this life is never as great and as serious as their sins find joy in an unexpected place in the midst of suffering. Because the great mystery is not, Why do I suffer? No. The great mystery is why would the sinless Son of God suffer as my substitute on the cross for my sins, receiving the wrath that I deserve so that I might be forgiven and declared righteous. That is the Great Mystery of Mercy.- C.J. Mahaney

Saturday, November 27, 2010

fish, birds, objects and lilies


this is going to sound really strange.

but sometimes i wish i were a fish, or an inanimate object.

who has no worries or cares.

who feels no deep sadness or ridiculous anxiety.

who just lives every day without the slightest concern for the next moment.

who assumes everything will go according to plan, 

who has no responsibility and feels no pressure

who doesn't care what any other thing thinks about it.

because in the world of fish and objects thinking doesn't happen.

some days this kind of a life seems attractive (sad, i know)

and because i seem to be stuck in the strange thought at the moment, i will close this post with Matt. 6:26-34

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns,
 And yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 
And why are you anxious about clothing? 
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 
Yet i tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not arryaed like one of these. 
But if God so clothes the grass, which today is alive and tomorrow thrown into the oven, 
will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?... 
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, 
for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

maybe i'm not that strange, maybe i'm on to something....

more than friends

i'm glad to say we are more than friends.

we are best friends.

best friends forever.

love you babe!

strange season

(strange season via philip gowman)

i'm in a strange season in life.
one no one prepares you for.
because no one expects it to happen to you.
so they prepare you for the hard time they're confident you'll endure...
the sleepless nights, the unexplainable crying around 6 pm, the hard to accomplish feeding schedule...
but no one mentions what to do if your baby dies.
why would they?
how strange would that be.
i'm sure if someone did this, i would be appalled.

and so i'm here in this season of childlessness.
it's not the childless season i was in before.
no, this is different.
before i was childless by choice.
now i am 

i wake up in the morning refreshed, i have no confusing schedules and routines to figure out.
no stress about the feeding schedule, no wondering when was the last nap, so i can make sure i get a feeding in before the next play.
no preoccupation with baby that has me wondering where my day went.
no accomplishment with finally getting baby to sleep.
no little joys that make the fatigue and stress all worth it...

just my normal life.
everything is the same as before, but very different.
this really shouldn't be.
what am i supposed to do here?
should i just wait around to get pregnant again?
or should i be grieving?
but grieving is a process that doesn't necessarily happen every day.
it comes randomly throughout the day.
i can't plan it into my schedule.

it feels wrong to move on. 
to take advantage of the free time that i have.
because i really shouldn't have it.
but since i'm here god must think this is good
he must know what i should be doing with this time.
he will show me.
maybe it's ok to not know what to do. 
maybe i don't have to prepare for everything in life.
maybe some things are meant to be lived out and looked back on for later. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

black friday

i'm not a big Black Friday fan. 

long lines, cranky people, and yes even good deals couldn't get me to wake up at 3 am on my day off. 

but those who love this day might appreciate this: