Feb 25, 2010

No Prayers to Say...

What do you say to the Creator of everything when you hurt so deep down in your core that you don't have words that express the feelings?... I dunno, but that's how I have been feeling.

I keep looking back at the last few months and I remember lots of pain and frustration involved. No one thing has caused any of it, and no one person caused the problems.. It, like always, is a mixture of one thing on top of another. I think I have finally come to the point of realizing I have just had enough, I am not happy with most anything right now.. Or, maybe a better way to describe it is, whether caused by some stupid blunder on my part or someone else, there is nothing in my life that isn't being effected and causing me to cry out to my Savior.

I feel like a crazy person.

I cannot explain the pain or frustration I feel. And, I cannot put into words all the little ways God is molding and adjusting me.. In part because it is incredibly intimate, and then because it is incredibly hard and painful. I have definitely had the "when is enough?" thought more than a few times... And, I do not mean this flippantly, or because I feel so persecuted or anything like that.. Just because my life seems to be filled to overflowing of "just one more thing" I have to deal with, work through, let go of.. Something virtually every single day comes into my view that threatens to just take over.. my emotions go spastic, and it takes me a while and a lot of praying and thinking through the logical reality in order for my emotions not to run away with me.. So that I do not say things I want to.. Or react the way I soo would love to..

I do not feel like responding to people well. I do not feel like letting everything I say and do bring Honor and Glory to my Savior. I do not want to think about the fact that I could have said or handled something better. I do not want to do anything but be selfish and focused on me...

And then, I cry... I have cried more in the last week then I did in ALL of 2009... haha awesome. I love how Jesus speaks to my heart though. To just come and sit with Him. To be still and know He has it all together if I would just take a moment and breathe, and let Him hold me. If I would just allow Him the chance to help me it would be better, I would feel better. Just give Him the chance to speak to my heart and do what He needs inside me... Life would just get easier, not become perfectly wrapped up in a 30 minute episode, but I would not be so stressed, aggravated, frustrated, overwhelmed, annoyed, or so close to giving up and cutting ties.

I have no words to pray. I have no way of telling Him what I am feeling or needing, so most of my prayers have been me just sorta presenting my feelings and heart to Him and telling Jesus I need Him to do something about it. I have no idea if that is how He works.. but it's all I have right now.

I love my Savior, there is no doubt... But, life is just hard right now.

Feb 19, 2010

I Miss...

For some reason today I really miss Africa.. I am pretty sure it has to do with the fact that a few pictures that I had never seen were posted on Facebook by one of the friends that went to Ghana with me... But, regardless I really miss Africa today. And, to share that with you, here are a few pictures.. Old, but mean the same to me :)

I didn't realize he had taken this picture, but I love it.
A boy had shut his heel in a door and gashed it pretty badly.

"Face" painting.
Thanksgiving morning after we scaled an iron gate to get out of the hotel and head for the beach for the sunrise.
A treetop tour. Me taking pictures of a sweet view.
My friend cuddling with this boy.. Albert didn't get down for almost 2 hours.

Another picture I didn't know he'd taken... The kids just wanted to be as close as possible, touch us, and have us respond to anything they said...

I miss this.

Feb 16, 2010

To Say Love...

How much do I love you?...

The other day I was standing in the kitchen with a couple people I know but am not super close with. It was late, and we had all just spent several hours salsa dancing, and were rewarding ourselves with ice cream, conversation, and laughter. Two of the four people I was with do not believe in Jesus in any way, and at least one of the the two would do anything to prove those of us who do believe wrong. Us "Jesus followers" are almost pitied by them... The other two believe in Jesus, but do not voice much of that belief around the others... for fear of being judged, pitied, looked down upon, or whatever their reasoning is... In the midst of conversations going around, I overheard one of them telling another that his first language was actually Hebrew, and he is in the process of refreshing his knowledge of it..

I had two options. 1. Ignore this conversation since I was actually not involved in it, or 2. Jump at the chance to show my tattoo that has Hebrew.. and explain why...

Well, since I am not shy and I am really excited about my tattoo, I instantly pulled out of my conversation and said "Since you can read Hebrew.. I have something to show you.." One of the friends who knows Jesus cautioned me in a joking way about "showing too much" ... But, I knew this was a perfect opportunity. I showed my tattoo, and he read it and contemplated. I showed the others there that were curious, and then I was asked the question I was waiting for.. "what does it mean?" ... so I began explaining each part of it, and the cool thing was the guy who could read Hebrew helped me explain what it meant... I did not get the chance to explain each detail because of another person wanting to show off their tattoo... But, I do not really care about that, what I care about is that I got to show it and explain it, and not be cautious or worried about how I might sound.. I simply shared with them who my Savior is to ME...

So, after this encounter I began thinking... "why not?" and I cannot come up with an excuse.. Why would I not take every opportunity I had to mention who Jesus is to me?... Why would I keep my mouth shut about why I love Him, believe Him, and follow Him? I hate that I have this wonderful thing, this gift, this complete security, and I lackadaisically decide when and where I will share... I feel like there is something significantly wrong with that.

What is my response to problems people share?.. "I'm so sorry, hope it gets better!" ... Sadly that is my response sometimes. I try to be intentional and say something like "Jesus loves you." .. I mean why not? He does.

But, seriously, why do I get that weird feeling in my stomach when I know I have the chance to mention Jesus to someone? Why do I get that fearful thought that I might "make it worse" or become just another over zealous Christian? I mean think about it... If I am trying every day to line up my actions with my beliefs, but have not actually whispered the reason behind my actions.. does it matter?

So, my goal for the next.. well just a goal in my life, is to practice integrating Jesus whenever it works. Mention Him whenever I can.. but, more than that to make sure that my life lines up at the same time. Not first, because I will forever have things I am failing at. But, I need to talk about my Savior as much as I would talk about a funny story, song I like, book I read, movie I saw etc.. etc.. I want it to be a natural thing coming out of my mouth. I want people to understand it is nothing "against them" but simply who I am BECAUSE of Christ. People need to hear AND see the love of Jesus in me.

Feb 13, 2010


I hate that I am such an impatient person. I have always been one.. I cannot count how many times I've heard "patience is a virtue".. to which I spit back "not in MY life!" or how many times I would hear my grandma say "hold your horses." .. and I would retort "I don't HAVE any horses..."or my mom's much more subtle "patience..." in her soft calming voice.. and I'd just frown usually or echo some long reason about why I did not want to be patient.. and yet my mom would so lovingly BE patient with me...

I mean, I realize I have come a Loooooooonnngggg way. I used to be incredibly impatient.. I mean to the point of I would burn almost everything I cooked cause I would get impatient and walk away and forget about it... Thank goodness my cooking skills have significantly improved or I would probably still be living on ramen and cereal! But, mostly my sudden cooking prowess came once I actually gained or learned the patience to wait for things to heat up slowly or the need to stand and constantly stir something...

Other areas of my life have not so significantly improved... Take traffic for example. I will often take the longer route just so I do not have to sit IN traffic with retards randomly deciding to do stupid things instead of follow the understood pattern of traffic. My hair, makeup, nails, and bedroom are all very clear examples of how I am often too impatient to simply take the time to DO my hair or clean my room. I hate laundry and dishwashers for this same reason...

However, when it comes to people.. I tend to take a different approach on this topic. I can be excruciatingly patient with someone in a situation that is out of their control, like standing in the grocery line and something spills causing me to have to wait.. not their fault. Like someone learning the martial arts, I will teach the same move a hundred thousand times if they need, as long as they are trying, I will be perfectly fine repeating...

On the other hand, when it IS within their control to understand, comprehend, listen, move, etc.. etc.. my patience has a sudden breakdown. I have ALWAYS hated repeating myself, it drives me absolutely insane, and I have no idea why. I remember it driving me insane at 3... And, I am not talking about the "wait say that again.." or "I didn't hear you, what?"... those repeating once or twice I can handle.. more than that I get pretty significantly frustrated. Always have, and I know this is something I need work on every single day.

In all of these areas I can look and see how I have grown and definitely improved since high school.. or even a year ago. I am much better at not conveying my impatience, and even at convincing myself that I am really honestly just being impatient, and in the grand scheme of things it is not important enough to get upset over...

The problem is that I am still way more impatient then I should be with those around me. If I go into a situation knowing I will have to wait, I have nothing but patience... but someone asks me the same thing for the third time in just a short period of time and I want to reach over and slap them! I try very hard to say what I mean, at least appropriate for the situation, sometimes I will say things because I know I will eventually FEEL that way, but even if I do not feel it, the right thing to do is say it anyway and allow the feelings to follow (which they always do..). I get very frustrated when people constantly ask me the same question as though I will give them a different answer.. I understand this is one of those totally unfair expectations to put on others.. most people do not actually say what they are thinking, feeling, wanting, needing etc..etc.. So, for me to expect people to know that what I am actually saying is ACTUALLY what I mean.. or at the very least I am saying what either needs to be said or is simply the right thing to say regardless of feelings.

So, all this to say.. I recognize my obnoxiously slow growth in the patience department. But, I am still honestly trying... But my impatience screams that I should be further along.. haha *sigh*

Feb 11, 2010


This will be a totally random assortment of topics...

I have been thinking recently about how the whole idea of truly honest and completely loving those around you. There is this weird feeling I have had for as long as I can remember.. I honestly truly desire for those around me to feel loved and cared for. Like they are important, and I desperately hope they see Jesus in me, and His love for them through my actions. I am really really bad at this sometimes. Especially when I get impatient, annoyed, frustrated, or forget to look at someone else's needs before my own for whatever reason...

I had an absolutely wonderful roommate date night dinners with one of my roomies last night, and it was just such a relieving stress free time of talking about anything and everything. I love her perspective on life, and her sense of humor gets me laughing all the time!.. One of the topics we touched on was guys (big surprise haha). We talked about how aggravating it is when guys make comments like "you're the type of girl guys want to marry...." ... yet somehow none of them want to marry either of us. In fact, none of them even want to ask us out on a date. Annoying. However, we also talked about how much we really like where God has us, and the ways He is growing us... And, even how much we have to still grow in certain areas, but how it is a great journey, just not what we were expecting.

One of my friends is leaving for more military training sooner than expected.. I will miss him a whole lot. But, I am really excited for him, and extremely proud of him and what he's doing.. More than words can accurately express, but also, I am really happy to see how excited he is to be doing this. He comments all the time on how he's always wanted to do this, and how he was made for this. I LOVE that he feels that way and has that perspective :) It makes the feelings of worry for him, and the feelings of missing him and his consistent presence much better knowing he is doing exactly what God has called him to. There are definitely times that I am unsure if it is even fair for me to have the feelings of missing him when compared to some of his other friends and family.. but, it ultimately does not really matter, I enjoy his friendship, and I am excited to see where God leads him. But, I will miss him all the same.

It is no secret that I LOVE the word Hosanna.. I love the meanings it carries, and how it takes so much to explain one word. But, mostly I love the emotion that comes with the word. While practically speaking it means "Save Now" it really is the type of thing that means "You are the only one who can save me because you are powerful and might, so please save me now."

1. (an exclamation, originally an appeal to God for deliverance, used in praise of God or Christ.)
2. a cry of “hosanna.”
3. a shout of praise or adoration; an acclamation.
–verb (used with object)
4. to praise, applaud.

Below is Hosanna in Greek and Hebrew... The Greek is in the New Testament and you read it left to right, the Hebrew is in the Old Testament and you read it right to left, so they meet in the middle.

ὡσαννά הושענא

So, in that, I have combined these two words with the star of david and the cross (more mixing of the OT and NT). Because the very God that we see all over the OT is the exact same God we know in the NT. I have had this all placed on my right hip because of the story of Jacob and his wrestling with the angel, and getting touched on the hip. However, before the angel could leave Jacob asked (or more demanded) a blessing, but the angel needed his name.. and finally after years and years of claiming and stealing Esau's identity and blessings he admits he is Jacob (which basically means cheat). It is as though for the first time he is admitting who he really is. There is no faking, no pretending, no misdirecting, he is owning up to everything he is good and bad. The very person that God made him to be, no one else. The angel blesses him and tells him he is no longer Jacob, he is now to be known as Israel...

So, this is my permanent way of saying that I am exactly who God made me to be. I am not perfect, and I am fallen and broken, but I am no one else, I am flawed and unable to do anything without my Savior. He alone saves me.

Feb 10, 2010

Crazy Love...

So, two of my best girl friends down here and I are doing this LTG (Life Transformation Group) and we are reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. But, thankfully we decided to actually read it together, instead of apart then coming together to talk about it (otherwise I'd be the slacker who didn't read probably).

But, last night we began reading the first chapter, and after a while beforehand of discussing how we wanted this LTG to work and look, we settled on letting it just sorta "be." We decided there would be no set time, no amount of material to cover... we just want it to be very organic in nature, flow as it needs to flow.

I am pretty excited about reading this book, especially with these two girls. I am really looking forward to hearing their thoughts, and pondering the wide variety of things Chan has to share with us :)

Feb 9, 2010

Love Never Fails...

I was looking for a different song I had heard on the radio. It seemed to describe how I was feeling, but from the perspective of someone else talking to me... But, instead I found this song and was sorta instantly mesmerized. At first it is like aww, that is a cute song, and then you are like.. whoa.. this is so true.

Sometimes I hate how focused on nothingness I get. The day, the current annoyance, something someone said, the tasks for tomorrow... whatever. I just get blinded or forget what I am doing or supposed to be doing, and instead choose to ignore these amazing things that I am blessed with. I forget what makes me laugh, I forget I am loved, I forget I am cared for beyond any real understanding for why...

I am just really thankful for how much Jesus does love me regardless of how retarded I am.

Feb 8, 2010

Old Friends...

There is just something about old friends that make me smile. Yesterday for some reason I was just really yearning for old friends.. ones who understood random things about me, went through things years ago that we still think are funny or sad or just a part of our history... The friends who I can say "doesn't that person look like ____" or spout off a random word or saying, and they know who I am talking about. Nothing at all against any of my friends here, they are absolutely wonderful, and I need AND want them in my life... but at one point yesterday I was watching two friends who have such a long history.. and I just really longed for that connection with an old friend...

I love love love how Jesus just understands :) I utter these weird prayers sometimes and usually they are not complete.. but they are heartfelt.. So, I said something like "Jesus.. I just.. ugh.. you know.." lol makes no real coherent sense, but He understood loud and clear... I love that.

A couple hours later when I was settling down to head to bed early (for once!) one of my best friends from college got online and we started chatting.. I said probably 3 times I missed them a lot, and after a bit they said that facebook's chat was messing up, and it would just be easier to call.. So, they called (and while we had issues with cellphone reception) we talked for another hour probably. Just about everything going on, what is new, thoughts on things, etc..etc.. I LOVE talking to them. There is something about them that is just so very calming... Maybe it has something to do with the thousands of hours we have clocked talking about what God's doing, dealing with ups and downs.. (usually on rollerblades in the middle of the night)... But, true to form, our best conversations always seem to take place late at night.. and yesterday was no exception :)

The best part of all of it is how much changes, and how much is so securely grounded. I know without any doubts that they are there, regardless of their situation, they care.. and while we are in different "stages of life" it has done little to change our friendship. I wish more people were able to see and have this type of friendship. I love that they seek me out and pointblank talk to me and constantly guide things to God and how awesome certain things are that God is doing.. even when I do not understand His plan. And, sometimes they just let me vent and know I am important, and they care even if that cannot actually change anything about my situation and what I am going through...

Gosh I love old friends. :)

Feb 7, 2010

This is it...

So, What do you do when you feel like things God has been telling you for two years are now upon you?.. I haven't a clue either. lol

I am at this weird point in my life where I can see what God was telling me almost 2 years ago, and I see His hand in each of these little steps, meetings various people, going places, doing things etc.. etc.. I can see how He molded my dreams, and my thoughts... I see each of these steps, so.. what now?.. Well, this is sorta what I see right now as the visual for this.. He told me to sit down. Sit in the darkness, in the midst of night, unable to see, unable to move, and just wait for Him to "come back for me." Not at all like He's left me, but that He's in the process of preparing some things and just needs me to wait for Him without straying or wandering away... Sit and wait. I am not to DO anything, I am not supposed to fix anything, I am not supposed to make things happen.. I am to wait for God and his timing. He told me almost two years ago this was coming. I doubted a bit, mostly because I was not sure I had actually heard from Him or if I had made it all up on my own. I was a bit worried I had just made up a feeling or thought in my head.. but, I prayed and prayed and asked others to pray, and moved ahead as though I had indeed heard from my Savior. I figured if it was not actually from Him, He had no reason to let me fall since I was earnestly trying to seek Him and follow His face.

So, now... Now I have been asked to wait. I understand what He is doing, but I also have NO idea where He is leading me, and I really am not sure how I feel about some of the things that are going to happen in the next little while. But, what I do know is this:

I have never been let down by my Savior.
I have loved every step of my journey thus far.
I have AMAZING family and friends who love me dearly.
I am not God, and so thankful for that!
God knows what is coming, and I do not need to know.
I am seeking Jesus, and in that, He will deal with my mind and heart each step of the way.
I choose Faith and Trust through this all.

I will be ok, God is not sending me careening to my death. :)