Thursday, May 30, 2013

And we trek on.

I leave for Kenya in 27 days. 
Of COURSE a part of me is walking on a cloud of perpetual bliss and humility at the thought that Jesus chooses ME. Messy, whinny, ugly ME. I don't deserve to work for The King. And every morning when I open my eyes, my breath is once again knocked out of me when I think about the fact that I get to. For life. It's like falling in love again each day. 

There's a battle going on within. While I couldn't be happier that I get to experience what He's up to with Agape for 3 beautiful weeks, I am afraid. Afraid of the fact that I will fall in love completely and then have to deal with coming back home. (Because I'm sensitive to and passionate about third world "stuff" and am still ruined forever from South Africa last year). Afraid of being torn away from where I often feel I'm meant to be. That part is going to be pretty painful. And I'm trying not to let it be a damper. 

I seem to struggle with spiritual warefare when a trip or something big is coming up. Lately I'm having bad dreams and a sense of dread and fear. About several things. (I'll spare the novel but I'm open if anyone cares to ask). It can be exhausting. Which I believe is the goal of the enemy. Even so, I know he doesn't win. 

I also keep thinking about the future. After the trip. What next?! I'm not afraid to say it: I need to move on. I need to find my ministry and move and begin flourishing. My time with Modesto seems to be nearing an end. I just wish I knew what that meant. Living in limbo without any answers as a single 30 year old can be exhausting and daunting on about 20 different levels. 

*SIGH* So I look up. And keep walking. One foot in front of the other. And I ask the Spirit to turn that weary walk into the powerful, strong, victorious march it should and can and will be. Thank you Jesus that I don't have to be strong. I just have to let you carry me. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Whether it's graduating high school or living between several large and extremely different worlds, change is hard. Most people fight it. It causes us to do crazy things. It makes you feel odd, disconnected, not as good at flowing  with everything around you as you used to be. Your view of everything changes and suddenly it's as if you've put on a new pair of glasses and the focus shifts into a new dimension that you've never experienced before. It makes your heart skip a beat sometimes, when you least expect it, with surprise or realizing something isn't in fact the way you always thought it to be. 

Whether you're a graduate, you travel often to different cultures, or you have just moved, don't fight the struggle that comes with acclimating. And find the area that maybe you're not supposed to acclimate back to. Use this time to draw near Jesus, knowing He felt all the above the the highest extreme when He walked the Earth. Enjoy the opportunity to see things with His glasses. Record it to look back on. Don't be ashamed of being different or having a hard time with things others around you find normal. Be you. Be real. It's beautiful. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I'm starting to think that just maybe, we're supposed to always be dreaming up huge scenarios. So huge, that others would laugh at us if they knew. Maybe if we do anything short of that, we're saying that just going through daily motions is all there is. 

I have to think that would be similar to slapping Jesus in the face and saying we don't care to live in power and authority and victory over this world and it's demons. That a daily motion of routine and sameness and in-effectiveness is an acceptable choice for a believer. 

Nope. Try again. 

There all along.

I found something this week. It was hidden in the pages of a child's book read at 2:00am. Disguised in the form of a customer at work. Waiting to surprise me as I ran into an old accaintence at the store. Sitting in the background of deep and faint childhood memories. Speaking loudly in the middle of pictures and words flying back and forth on Facebook with my adopted older sister. Woven into the threads of many strange dreams and then found in the silence of a 4:30 am drive to work when I was desperately striving to get my memory verse retained but too tired to. It was heard in the sound of voices blended together in harmony over one simple guitar and a few chords. Etched within the lines on Pa's face as I watched him delight in being with Mary and Laura. It was hovering among the words of the podcasts that played on my iPhone. It was feeding me along with the lunch I enjoyed while discussing Kenya and Jesus and ministry and hopes and dreams and the future. It was seen in the sunlight as it dances between the leaves of a tree in the breeze. It was felt as I cuddled with the tiny 3 week old puppies at our house. And it danced with me as I used every ounce of energy for Zumba. 

I found the beauty of watching the Holy Spirit work. In the mundane. The simple. The normal. The hard. The tiring. The refreshing. The gentle. The quiet. He is ALWAYS moving, breathing, weaving, planning, speaking, ministering. We just aren't usually looking.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Get over it!

I've been learning an important lesson that I just can't shake for the life of me. It's harsh. But I believe it's the key. 

We need to get over ourselves: 
1.) We need to get over sin & weakness. We're all screw ups. We all act idiotic at times. But then when an opportunity comes to become incredibly powerful and great for the kingdom, we spiritually cross our arms and stomp our foot in refusal. We claim we're too screwed up or weak to handle something so big. But it's not an acceptable excuse. Shall we discuss the most powerful people in Scripture & the choices they made at times? David murdering and commiting adultery? Aaron crafting a golden calf for the Israelites to worship? Rahab making her living as a prostitute? Tamar deceiving her Father-in-law into impreganting her? Peter's lack of belief that caused Him to sink? Jonah's stubborn selfishness? I could go on for days.......these people are prime examples of human beings who chose to embrace being extraordinary despite their past. Think about it. 

2.) We need to get over our dignity. Some of the most amazing and most powerful people I've met have learned this lesson well. If we just stopped caring what others think of us, we'll move and function in the Spirit in a way that leaves others walking away from us encountering healing, freedom, refreshment, Jesus. Unfortunately, too many times we won't be "weird" because we care about other's opinions of what we're doing. As if they're so much more put together than we are. 

3.) We need to get over entitlements. 
There are so many things we are taught to feel entitled to. Independence. Home-owning. A job. Retirement. Healthcare. Choosing our future and making our own plans. Debt. Choosing when to have children and how MANY to have. But if you know Jesus, He is calling us to something so much bigger and wilder than the way that our society has raised us to think and view the world. And only when we get over all we think we HAVE to have do we truly begin to see what He's up to in a way that will become so much more exciting and fulfilling than we could've ever guessed. 

4.)We need to get over our DESIRES. 
There are a thousand things I want to do with my life. Live in the south. Spend time in the Bayou. Spend at least several years in Africa. Minister to young women. Write books. Compose. Act in theatre again. Work for Disney or Pixar. Be married to someone passionate about audaciously serving Jesus. On and on and on. But I'm beginning to see that by continually handing my desires over, that whole "miserable, life is overwhelming, how can I EVER work hard enough to get there, I'll never be qualified enough for anything, I will never be able to afford it" feeling that most Americans experience begins to fade. It's scary as heck to hand it all over at first. But then you realize that Jesus wants GOOD and FUN and HAPPINESS and JOY and SUCCESS and WHOLENESS for you. More than you want for yourself! And suddenly you want nothing more than His plan. Trust Him. Try Him. Test Him in this. You'll see. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I'm seeing places ALL over scripture in which God uses and says He'll use the weak to teach and shame the strong. 

I'm just wondering. What would happen if we all stopped waiting until we felt stronger or more ready and just let God powerfully work through and IN our weakness? Because I'm starting to realize it may actually be a more positive thing than our culture has taught. And just maybe, if we got over it, we would rise up to change the world. 

*Until we cease surviving & begin vibrantly living*

Friday, May 3, 2013


It's hard to sum up in words everything God's been saying, teaching, and doing in my life. The list is quite extensive and not always one that can be adequately expressed. Have you ever been shifting into an awareness of something so big that something in you just could not for the life of your being talk about it, even while every ounce of you wanted to shout it from every rooftop? (It makes me think of Mary when she "pondered these things in her heart." The greek word for pondered there meant to quietly meditate.)

The point I want to make today is that I've come to believe perhaps if we aren't experiencing Jesus in this way, something is very wrong. I was raised with the idea that life can just be mundane and not all that crazy big. That our eternity in Heaven is when the party really starts. And it appears to me that much of our society lives in a state of dis-content birthed out of feeling hopelessly bored and un-excited about life. (And why do you think we have so much obesity, gambling, club life, and Hollywood? Because people are bored and looking for a distraction.) But I've really shifted into seeing with different eyes lately. I am willing to argue that part of our experience and Kingdom is taking place NOW. WE are the Kingdom of the Living King. And watching Him at work and working alongside Him should be an incredibly wild, adventurous, and breath-taking experience. Every day. All the time. One of the reasons I know I don't FEEL like it is sometimes is because I spend entirely too much time looking at other people's lives, keeping in touch with them through texts and tweets and Facebook. The problem with this is that we're made for community and contact. Social media creates a weird half-contact with another that just doesn't cut it. And in the process we've in-advertantely been comparing ourselves to everyone else and seeing whether we think our lives are as good.

I am tired of my life and conversation being held online. I want to be able to actually hold a letter from a friend when I'm sad or emotional. Recognize their handwriting. Get a leap of excitement in my stomach when i open the mailbox. I want pictures of my favorite people plastered on my walls and physically in that mesh zipper of the suitcase when I'm in airports and other states and countries rather than the photo album of my iphone. I want my relationships built around early morning cups of coffee, trips to Disneyland that don't involve "checking in" at every ride, thrift store shopping, working together on a theatre production, building houses and playing with kids in Mexico and Africa, road trips and ridiculously spontaneous adventures in which we get to watch Jesus constantly at work in front of us, through us, and in us.

Don't get me wrong. I love social media, but I worry about our generation and the way we LIVE in it. I want to rebel against it just a little more often. Get together with people and turn the phone off and talk and do Jesus together. Sometimes being a bit old-school is a good thing.