Friday, April 20, 2012

i know what God is asking of me. he is asking me to remember that my team was never mine. that they were entrusted to me for a season, but i have to give them back. i have to trust him to continue to grow and use them without me.

and i hate it. it's so hard to love on them and invest so much of myself into them and have to give them back. i've spent so much time crying over this loss the past few weeks, and i know that is only the beginning. as a matter of fact, there are tears rolling down my cheeks as i write these words. my heart aches at the pain of losing this group of people that have become my family.

at the start of this year, i told God that i wanted my team to be better leaders, better Jesus followers because they were part of this team. i feel so blessed to have seen that happen. i know that God could have used anyone to make that happen and i feel so incredibly honored and thankful that he chose to use me. it could have been anyone, but it got to be me.

i love that i got to see healing happen. the story of redemption was played out in each person's life on my team in some aspect. i got to see growth and love on people in hard things. i saw God make beautiful things out of brokenness.

i feel like my heart is being torn apart, and God is asking me not to try and hold the broken, bleeding pieces but to let him have them. to not only give him my pain, but to trust him with my people. to trust him to continue to tell the story, his story that he let me be part of. to trust him to bring other people into their life to pour into them. to trust him to bring other people into my life that i need to pour into and that i need to let pour into me.

i hope i get to stay in the narrative for some of them. but even if i don't, i want to chose a thankful heart for the gift this year has been. i have seen the body of Christ act the way it was meant to. i trust that God will bring that same love through his people into my life through different people, even if i haven't seen it played out yet.

hold me in my pain, Jesus. help me to keep my heart soft and usable. help me to be thankful for what you have given and not bitter for what you are taking away. thank you for using me this year and for showing me such love through my team.

Monday, April 2, 2012

i got a glimpse of what one of my friends was like as a little boy, and it really grieved me. he was hurt by a lot of people, and really missed out on people loving on him well and real community until the last few years. it's easy for me to forget that the person i see in front of me isn't the person that has always been. i know how much growth i've seen in him this year, but i can forget how different things might have been before i even knew him. listening to another part of his story made me think about a few things:

1. how thankful i am to have him in my life. i've told him numerous times, but i don't know if it has sunk in. he is really special to me. he is one person that has consistently cared for me without expectation of my response.
2. how much i want to pour into people. i want people to be loved on well, to find "home" with people who love them and to be known. i think it's what i've wanted for as long as i can remember, but it is nice to have it confirmed.
3. how good God is at telling the story of redemption in our lives. as hard as it was to hear what a difficult and lonely childhood my friend had experienced, it was also encouraging to hear how God has redeemed those hard parts of his story. because of it, he's really good at connecting with kids, asking good questions and caring for people.

thank you for making beautiful things out of us, Jesus.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

beautiful things.

this is my current favorite song: beautiful things, gungor

all this pain, i wonder if i'll ever find my way.
i wonder if my life could really change at all.
all this earth, could all that is lost ever be found?
could a garden come up from this garden at all?
you make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of dust.
you make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of us.

you make me new. you are making me new.

my heart is heavy as i feel tired and exhaustion from the long semester. i am dreading the end of the semester, because i know how painful the change will be. yet, i feel like God has been so good at giving me hope-showing me how he is changing me, how much he loves me. my team have been his instruments of love all year, but especially in the recent months of pain and loss. i am so thankful for his provision for me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

this just may be my dream library.
i think belle would approve.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

a fabulous weekend full of laughter and friends-
six flags with jenna. josh and mike
dancing at the hoedown
appetizers at applebee's
hearing truth at church
brunch with anne, natalie, saritha & terri
care group

Friday, October 21, 2011

i am blessed.

today involved good things-
coffee and muffins to start the day
worship chapel
making weekend plans
impromptu lunch with core four
much needed rest
grilled cheese for dinner & enjoying newtown with terri
initiating my green dress

thank you, Jesus for these gifts.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

feeling thankful for:

-coffee with serlin at LCH

-my pleated green skirt & boot combo

-a conversation with evan over "a failure of nerve" and sharing what we both learned from the book, and its current application for our lives

-time with jenna


-being a "mom" for the night. i watched evan and giselle, and took them with me to thursday throwdown tonight. they were so good for me. from giselle in her princess dress, to hide & go seek, to evan snuggling with me, it was a some much needed kid-time.

-soup and bread for dinner, thanks to terri!

-buying tickets to hear rob bell

-baking, with help from jarrett

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

i head to bed thankful for a great many things, but here are just a few:

  • celebrating terri's birthday today. she is such a dear friend, and i am so incredibly blessed to have her in my life. it was a joy to show her a little of how much she is loved.
  • earthquake cake
  • an overdue phone date with my sister
  • a meaningful 1-on-1 with jarrett. a really good conversation, that i think was what he needed to hear. praise be to God for giving me wisdom and the right words.
  • a good conversation with tara during the volleyball game
  • compliments on my new haircut
  • celebrating with abbi over a job well done in chapel
  • feeling pretty in my purple dress and boots
  • phil & joanna's wedding invitation in the mail
  • heading to bed looking forward to tomorrow-i remember a time not terribly long ago, when i would dread work the next day. i feel so thankful to be able to look forward to work.
"give thanks to the LORD for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. to him who along does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever." -psalm 136:1,4

one thing that i feel like God has been pressing upon my heart is the importance of remembering. i spoke in chapel in mid-september, sharing about the journey that God had led me on so far and some of the things he had taught me along the way. i was so blessed to be able to get feedback from students right away. God was so gracious to allow me to see some of the impact i made with this act of obedience. but beyond that, it was so good for my head and my heart to be reminded of God's faithfulness. and not just tales of God's faithfulness to other people-whether in the Bible or people that i know. but his faithfulness to me. not his faithfulness to the masses that i am one of. but his faithfulness that is specific to my life.

i don't think about his hand upon my life enough. i don't think about his plan for my life or what that even means nearly enough. when hard things happen, i don't often remember the purpose behind some of the hard things in my past and how God used them.

but i think i'm starting to. i feel like he smiles when i finally start to understand something that he's been waiting patiently for me to see. when i finally see that he is the lion who has been a part of my journey the whole time-not to hurt me, but to help me. not to wound me, but to heal me.

"‘I do not call you unfortunate,’ said the Large Voice. ‘Don’t you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?’ said Shasta. ‘There was only one lion,’ said the Voice. ‘What on earth do you mean? I’ve just told you there were at least two the first night, and –’ ‘There was only one: but he was swift of foot.’ ‘How do you know?’ ‘I was that lion.’ And Shasta gaped with open mouth and said nothing, the Voice continued. ‘I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.’…‘Who are you?’ Shasta asked. ‘Myself,’ said the Voice, very deep and low so that the earth shook: and again, ‘Myself,’ loud and clear and gay: and then the third time ‘Myself,’ whispered so softly you could hardly hear it, and yet it seemed to come from all around you as if the leaves rustled with it." -The Horse and His Boy, C.S. Lewis

so, i've decided that i want to be more intentional about remembering, more intentional about being thankful. and i find that when i am, it is so much easier for me to trust. trust in his plan. trust that his plan is for my good. trust that his faithfulness is forever.

my goal is to reflect upon his faithfulness to me each night before bed. the thankful list might not always get written down, i want to be more thankful and to have grateful habits in my life. here's to being thankful.

"the LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD endures forever." -psalm 138:8

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

its easy to feel like i can take the world by storm, when i have a kindred spirit by my side.

i got to spend the past week with one of my favorite people, becca.
having adventures. exploring all sorts of places. embracing fun wherever we found it.
such a refreshing week of friendship-every day a blessing.
i already miss her joy, her honesty and her delight in life filling my apartment.

while it was hard to watch her disappear through the airport doors today, i drove home filled with gratitude for the gift that i had been given. i think that God gave us both what we needed for this week.

wherever you are, it is your friends who make your world. -william james