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Showing posts from March, 2013

Seven Years.

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Remembering the beautiful life my sister Katie lived on this 7-year-anniversary of her going home to be with Jesus. As I look back at the past seven years, I can't help but recognize the testimony God has created and is creating in my life through the grief which He continues to turn into joy. And even when moments of sadness still overwhelm me from time to time, God's comfort and peace cover me beyond anything I could ever comprehend through reading His Word, through hugs and words of comfort from friends, and through the "Katie memories" shared with family.

This month, I turned 19, the age Katie was when she passed away. It's quite an experience being the same age as the last age I remember her. I often wonder if I'm seeing things like she did when she was nineteen--making similar decisions she made, or thinking the same thoughts that she pondered. After this day, I will begin to start living days she never got to experience on this earth. But …

Reward.

I really love Keith Green's music. One of his most well-known songs is "O Lord, You're Beautiful." I've heard this song many a time, but most recently one specific line has been sticking out to me.

And when I'm doing well, help me to never seek a crown. For my reward is giving glory to you.
This is SO profound. In my own experience, it's sometimes difficult to give God the glory when everything is hunky-dory and when successes are a steady flow. When everything is all right, I'm tempted to give myself all the creditfor accomplishing, achieving, and completing another successful conquest. I can often forget that God was the One who gave me the power and the strength to carry through to begin with.
I focus on the reward I earn for myself. I focus on my earthly gains. I focus on how my accomplishments make me feel more noteworthy, more accepted, more highly-esteemed. Yet, my reward is giving glory to God. OUR reward is giving glory to God.
He has given u…

Chase.

My dear friend (and kindred spirit) Allison invited me to a Bible study at Central Assembly earlier this semester, and this Bible study has seriously been one of the most EARTH-SHAKING experiences I've ever been a part of.

The book we're reading is called Chase, and it's by Jennie Allen. Each chapter covers a different word, and each word is explored for the truth God is wanting to show us. Some examples of the chapters are "Identity," "Repentance," and "Surrender."

We covered "Surrender" in tonight's study, and it was so powerful. I wanted to share some quotes by Jennie from this chapter that especially impacted me:
"To get God, we [are] learning to receive our lives rather than try to control them." "We need to lay down the false sense of entitlement we have built that God owes us a good life. Our one and only sustaining hope is that God has overcome this world and is preparing our home in the next.""Not…

God With Us.

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"How beautiful this love. You would lay down Your crown, surrender Your throne in heaven so that I could be found. How awesome is this love that conquered the grave, love that can move the mountains, yet knows me by name."

What an amazing concept that we can so often grow too familiar with. God is WITH us. At every moment, He is with us. He dwells within us. May our hearts sing of His goodness and of His love. 
"I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me." ~Psalm 13:6

Surrendering the Future.

I'm learning that living one day at a time is not just a lifestyle, but it's a change in my thought pattern. It's surrendering to God even our imaginations of our own desires. For as we construct our own ideas of where God is going to lead us, we ultimately set God's perfect plan on a scale next to our own idea of what God's plan will be for us. We can place our lives into our hands even by the thoughts we think. Instead, may we surrender even our thoughts so that will fully live by His strength each day, and not our own.

A word God spoke to my heart before bed last night:

You think you have given Me your future, but you still don't believe that I have the best in store for you, as evidenced by your thoughts. Trust that I do, for I do. I will take care of you. And as you surrender your thoughts for the future, you will have the freedom to fully live in what I have for you RIGHT NOW. Not worried about what will happen, but excited for what I am doing in you and t…

Deep Down.

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“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heator worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stopproducing fruit." ~Jeremiah 17:7-8 


When I read this passage today, it struck me anew with insight. This is my prayer. That despite the "droughts" that enter my life, especially in times of waiting for the Lord to move, I can stand firm on the assurance that my roots are in Christ. As my roots are in Christ, He fills my longings for renewal and for growth. 

Do we truly hope in Christ? Is our confidence found in Christ, or is it found in the condition of our circumstances?

If our focus is attempting to gain a filling from an external source--whether it's approval from those around us, or from the affirmation we receive from our occupation, we will never be sa…

Tears.

Those who plant in tearswill harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed,but they sing as they return with the harvest." ~Psalm 126:5-6

Honestly, I have NEVER cried as much as I have cried this past school year. Tears fill my eyes on a regular basis, and I'm learning to accept it as an expression of how I feel and love so deeply.

Many different things trigger my emotion. Whether I think about how much I love my family, the sweet memories of my childhood, the beautiful faces of my friends back home, the impact of certain individuals on my life, the pain some people have to experience on a daily basis, the longing I have for my sister Katie's embrace, the beauty around me, or the immensity of God's great love, I am left broken before the Lord.

Yet, God promises that He will record every tear we shed.
"You keep track of all my sorrows.
   You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book." 
~Psalm…

The Gift of Grace and Sisterhood.

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Today is March 18, 2013. Today brings back memories of this same date in 2006. The last day I saw my sister Katie in person, the last embrace I enjoyed in her arms. The last heart-to-heart conversation we had together.

She talked to me about GRACE.
She was a nineteen-year-old, and I was twelve. A twelve-year-old with MUCH to experience, and MUCH to learn in the next seven years. For some reason, Katie felt led by the Holy Spirit to talk to me about God's grace on that morning of March 18th. As we lay down next to each other in the hotel bed (she wearing her sheep pajama pants), with her head propped up by one arm, she looked straight into my eyes. As she met my eyes, she was reaching my soul.




She asked me, "What do you know about God's grace?" I, being a good JBQer (with a meet later that day) stated, "Well, Ephesians 2:8-10. We don't work to achieve God's grace."
She wanted to reach deeper.
She probed, "Exactly. We DON'T need to work for …

Right Now.

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I am so thankful for now.
If I really think about it, there's no other place I'd rather be than here at Evangel, studying Psychology and Biblical Studies. I feel SO blessed to be a part of Concert Choir. I am privileged to have met many AMAZING individuals thus far, to have developed such meaningful friendships. I love Walther 2nd North. I couldn't ask for a better floor to uplift me, love me, and give me such support. My relationship with the Lord is ever deepening, as He is breaking down the walls of pride that have been in place for so long.

I am so satisfied to be right here, right now. To be writing this blog on my desk underneath my lofted bed, to be getting ready soon to be heading to church.

Too often I move ahead so quickly. My dreams take hold of my present and make me overlook the current blessings God has given me. However, it is vital that I take a moment to thank the Lord for what He is doing in me at this very moment.


I would like to pray the Prayer of…

Breathtaking.

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Here are some snapshots of beautiful Colorado on Evangel Concert Choir's Spring Tour during the first week of March. Another blog is soon to come about what God did during that AMAZING week. 

"When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur, And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze" ~from "How Great Thou Art"





Nineteen Years.

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Nineteen Years. Wow. That's all I've got to say! It sure was a WONDERFUL day. 

I woke up to some amazing decorations from my Mommy, put up by my sweet suitemates and my roomie!



One of the special packages I received for my birthday--what a cute bear. I also received many thoughtful cards, and a WATCH from the beautiful Mandy. (I sure needed one!)


The sky was so pretty!

 I got to celebrate with my parents and brother! They bought a cake, sang to me, and I got to make a wish and blow the candle out! So fun. Even though they ate the cake on the other end of the screen, they had Aladdin Food Services make me a cake for me to eat. SO thoughtful.




The day consisted of so many hugs, lots of love, thoughtful words, cookie cake, frozen yogurt, laughs, phone calls, friends, family, and so much GRATITUDE.