Monday, April 27, 2009
Boy oh boy, where to start? Yesterday was undoubtedly the saddest day of my life. When I was in kindergarten, my teacher asked each child to write a true story of an event that happened in my life. My story was entitled "The saddest day of my life." Catching right? My story depicted the tale of falling in love with an animal (a golden retriever at the pound to be precise) and then not being able to bring that animal home with me (someone else got to it before we did). My paper was bombarded with tears and misspellings, which only proved my title to be true. In the short 5 years of my life, I hadn't experienced anything so sad. With 13 more years of experience, I can now say that yesterday took the prize for the saddest day ever. Allow me to explain...
11 years ago, I was attending a public school in Gilbert and just going through the motions of every day life. Fast forward a year, and I was given 2 horses for Christmas. They breathed life into my veins. My horses taught me to love unconditionally (even if you get bucked off or trampled), they taught me how to communicate with other means than words (try telling a 1000 pound animal what to do with just body language -- it's pretty powerful!), they taught me how to truly care for something other than myself (rain or shine, there was always work to be done with them!) and they gave me the thrill of life. They, in return, took care of me, were willing to learn, loved me back, and respected me. We shared many great memories together -- from 5 am rides in the summer time to the local 7/11 to buy slurpies and funyuns, to competing in Barrel racing shows, we definitely shared some wonderful times.
Once we got the horses, we moved out to Queen Creek (so that they could live in our backyard). This move impacted my life severely. Because of this move, I began home schooling, we found a new church and developed brand new relationships with quality people that I still admire to this day. After a few years of homeschooling, I began attending the local Community College which also had a severe impact on my education. After I finished the courses needed for High School, I began working on Nursing prerequisites... which brings me to where I am today -- 18 and accepted into ASU's Nursing School. The horses acted as catalysts for my future. With them, brought change, and the change was for the better.
Last semester (fall 08), I had applied to Nursing School and didn't get accepted. I was confused by this (merely because I felt a calling on my life to become a nurse), but trusted that God had a plan for me and for my future. Looking back on it now, God gave me the gift of time. In this past semester, I have had the ability to love on my horses and nurture them, I've also made many new and awesome friends, and I've been able to spend time with my family -- especially my brother (who is leaving for the Army and then Dental School starting in early June).
Today, I have been overwhelmed by God's faithfulness to me. He provided me with the privilege of owning horses. He also provided me with a loving home to send them to. He has provided me with the finances to pay for them over the past year (which is an incredible story -- you should ask me about it sometime...). He provided me with the gift of being accepted into Nursing School, after first being rejected -- merely to give me the gift of time. He found a loving home for my goats, and has orchestrated my whole life and made it beautiful because of His faithfulness to me.
Growing up, my favorite movie was Charlotte's Web. That movie made me cry every-single-time I watched it, mainly because of one scene in particular. The scene begins with Fern (the farmer's daughter) rescuing the runt of the litter (Wilbur) from slaughter, and nurturing him back to life. When Wilbur grows up to be a healthy pig, Fern's dad found him a new home. The part that made me lose it was when Fern said goodbye to Wilbur and watched him drive away to a new life. She knew that he would have to go on living without her... Yeah. Tragic. I felt like I was reenacting that scene in real life yesterday. I kissed my babies goodbye and watched them drive away.
For someone who prides herself on loving, abandonment is the hardest thing in the whole wide world. My horses went to a lovely home, as did my goats, but in my heart, it still feels like I've abandoned them. My heart feels empty. Like a mother who's lost her child. My eyes are swollen from the tears that seem to be endless. I feel like staying under the covers all day and never coming up for air. As much as my heart hurts thought, I'm filled with peace -- which is just plain weird if you ask me. Peace that confirms to me that I made the right decision. Peace that illustrates God's faithfulness to me. Peace which surpasses all understanding. My soul is at ease, even when my heart feels hollow. But I entrust myself to the One who has worked my life together for the good. To the One who gave me the gift of my horses, the gift of time, and now the gift of Nursing School. He has a beautiful plan for me, and this was simply just a part of His plan.
This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. Love, Kel
P.S. check out this website for my "goodbye" pictures of me and my horses (you might need to scroll down...) http://treasurethetime.com/blog/ Thank you to Mrs. Bradshaw for everything! I have so much love in my heart for her, and her precious family.
P.S.S. My dad got a blog :) and he gave his account of yesterday... http://mlassiter.blogspot.com/
Saturday, April 18, 2009
This week has been different. Lovely, yes. Difficult, for sure. Confusing, most definitely. Beautiful, undoubtedly. The theme of my life (sadly enough) is praying -- without true faith for what it is I am praying for. You know that passage in Matthew... the one that says "I tell you the truth, if you have the faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
Yeah, that passage most definitely sums up the theme of my life! When I was little, my greatest desire was to own a horse :) I prayed about that more than anything and one day, completely unexpected, my prayers came true. God fulfilled the desires of my heart. I can remember a time 6 years back when I was saying goodbye to my horse (he was deathly ill), at the equine hospital -- the vet said that he shouldn't make it through the night -- I kissed him goodbye and prayed; Again, without faith. And today, he greeted me with a kiss, just like he has every other day since the time I brought him home from the hospital -- fully healed. He is a walking, breathing, living, loving testimony of God's goodness to me. And a textbook definition of a miracle. The vets could not explain his complete healing. I could. Prayer and faith in a BIG God.
Moving on, the other craving of my heart has been to become a nurse. The premise behind the nursing profession is one person caring for another. Beautiful. This has my name written all over it :) I feel like nursing is what I am uniquely called to. Throughout the past few years, I have been working towards my goal of becoming a nurse. Recently, I received notice that I have been accepted into Nursing School! This too happened after years of praying without faith (I prayed but didn't think that acceptance was likely). I am living proof of what Jesus said to the disciples in Matthew. My prayers were littered with mustard seeds and surely they have moved mountains. I know that I am only embarking on this journey of Nursing School, but I wouldn't be here today -- living the life I'm living -- owning horses of my own -- accepted into nursing school -- if it weren't for my faith.
From my horses, to becoming a nurse, to my car (that's a great story -- ask me about it sometime!), to having a love for someone who profoundly hurt me (another great story...), to testing in the top 3% on my Nursing Entrance Test, my life is what it is today, because of Jesus. Those things that I've just listed are just a glimpse into the miracles I've witnessed throughout my lifetime. To me, that is just evidence that I serve a God who is present and active. A God who dwells in His people and with His people. A God who's spirit is relevant to my life, today.
Two weeks ago, I began praying for direction. Yes, Nursing School is the general direction of which I am headed, but there are so many details that need to be set before next August. One of those details would be my horses. Two weeks ago, I began praying for direction. The horses are not mine. I've wholly surrendered them to God. They are His. They have been in my life for over 10 years, and have helped form me into the lady I am today. He has used them to illustrate what moving mountains look like -- to a girl who holds a mustard seed at heart. He has shown His goodness to me, through them. Today, I met with a family, a family that will potentially provide a new home for my babies. Two weeks ago I was praying (without faith -- I didn't think that anything would happen), praying that I would find a way for them to be taken care of. Praying that they would be loved on while I was preoccupied with school. Last week (on Tuesday), I heard from this family, and today I met them. They are sweet people. More than that, I know that they would love my babies with the same passion and spirit in which I love them. They're in the process of deciding and seriously talking about bringing my loves home with them, but it would appear that I've found my horses a new home today.
I am at rest. My soul is at ease. God has a plan and fully surrendered is the best place to be. Funny how fast things can happen -- one min you think you're in control, the next min, you give something over to God, you hand over the reigns, and the next moment, they're gone. His plan for me is beautiful. He has a lovely ending to my story, and as sad as this makes me, I have hope. More than that, I have faith.
*The picture is of an actual mustard seed. Notice how little it is and that it's inside of a necklace :) *
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
This past week, I was reflecting on truths that I know, and came up with yet another question to drop on unsuspecting friends during casual conversations. :) Are you ready for this? *I happen to think that it is a profound question* If you were to complete the following sentence with only one word, what word would you use to fill in the blank?
God is __________.
Pretty grand huh? I think that this question (when answered) gives a true glimpse into the heart and soul of the person answering. This question is so profound because it essentially sums up ones' view of God -- in one word. Allow me to illustrate.
-If someone were to answer "God is forgiving", that could imply that perhaps this person has a past that they are ashamed of, and when they view God, they choose to dwell on the truth that God has forgiven them of their sins and washed them white as snow.
-Another possibility could be the answer "God is sovereign." The inference that could be drawn from this is that one chooses to dwell on the truth, and take comfort and peace in knowing that God is a big God. That the God they serve has everything under control and that He has a beautiful plan for their life. That nothing is outside of His reach, and that everything is under His power.
So yeah, I really like this question to say the least. My answer to this question, in case you were wondering is love. To me, God is love. Sounds cliche right? But really, I tend to view life through a love colored lens. The way I see it, God breathed me into existence because He loves me. Even when I turned from Him and was lost in my sin, He loved me so much that He wished to make a way for me to be back in relation with Him. He sacrificed Himself, out of His great love for me, to make atonement for my sins. He purchased me with His blood because of His love for me, and, in return, has given me freedom. He has liberated my soul because of His love for me, and He dwells in me and speaks to me out of His love for me. Yeah, to me, life revolves around love. Which is truly a mind blowing concept! Because of His love for me, when I encounter people who are broken and hurting, I wish to pour love into them, His love, through me, into them, because I know that the one thing they truly seek is unconditional love and I know that God's love is satiating and eternal. Love is what makes my world go round and it is because of God's love for me that I am satisfied in Him.
Moving on, I found myself reading 1 John 4 last week. It has this to say: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. We love because He first loved us. If anyone says 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother."
I think that so often, many people feel as if there is a long "Christian To-Do List." I've heard fellow believers talk about how draining it is to be a follower of Christ. They've mentioned that they feel that there is so much to do in a day, that they hardly feel as if they have the time to do it all -- from praying, to having devotions, to evangelizing, to loving others. Not to mention the guilt or feeling of inadequacy they experience if any one of these things is not accomplished in a day. Here's a thought... why don't we spend our time loving God? When our focus is on loving God, everything else is sure to fall into place. When we truly love God, we want to speak to Him, and prayer comes as naturally and is as necessary as breathing. When you whole-heartedly love God, you wish to gain more knowledge and understanding of Him, through reading His word. Out of your love and adoration for God, you will naturally love those that He loves, and if you find someone that is lost, you will desire for them to know and experience God's love and presence in the same magnitude with which your heart experiences it.
Chew on this fellow believers... If your focus is currently on checking off the items on your "Christian To-Do List" -- meaning that if you are currently focused on accomplishing the great works that are unspokenly expected of Christians-- focused on things like praying, having a diligent quiet time, evangelizing, loving others, or any of these like things (all of which a great things might I add) this merely means that your focus has been diverted from God and to the works of this world. My encouragement to you would be this, may you love God. May you abide in Him, and may your eyes and heart be focused purely on Him. May you come to find that out of true love for God, everything else in your life will fall swiftly into place. He loves you. May that truth resonate in your heart today and may you stop focusing on works and start abiding in Him.
I'm done. :)
Monday, April 13, 2009
On Saturday, I went hiking in the rain. When I got to the top of the mountain, I realized that some of the most simple things in life are beautiful. I've decided to list the things in which I find true beauty. Enjoy!
*Hiking in the rain
*Watching the sunrise from the top of a mountain
*Long prayer walks
*A big messy kiss from a horse with an adorably wet, sloppy face -- from bobbing for apples in his water (probably the most beautiful thing on this list... seriously) :)
*Solitude time in the Forrest -- and actually feeling the presence of God
*Laughing to the point of side stitches and tears (Kevin has this art mastered)
*Falling into slumber while having someone read to me
*Sleeping (literally) under the stars while being surrounded by people I love
*Lying in the fetal position, in a big chair, with a great book, late at night (how's that for a sentence fragment? :p)
*Writing and receiving letters
*Loving someone so much that you think that if your heart gets any bigger, it will explode inside of your chest
*Watching your dreams come true before your eyes
*Date nights with Kevin (even if all we do is talk while sitting on your bed)
*Competing against Britton in anything that can be turned into a competition :)
*Long, tearful conversations with grandpa about life, love and Jesus
*Playing tag in the backyard with silly little goatlings
*Getting lost in thought on the back of a horse
*Spring flowers that bloom after weeks of hard work
*Sitting outside during an Arizona monsoon shower
*Singing loudly :)
*Letting others know that I care about them
*Smelling like fire after a long camping trip
*Riding rides and winning prizes at the Fair/Rodeo
*Baking non-fail cookies and sharing them with friends :)
*Smiling all the time (even at strangers)
*Finishing a dear friend's sentences
*Having close friends that can read my facial expressions (including, but not limited to -really -seriously and -I don't approve) :)
*Sunday night dinners -with my whole family talking about politics and eating amazing food
*Dresses (they definitely take second place)
Yeah, that's all I've got for now! I hope that your eyes may be opened up to the simple things in life that are truly beautiful. Until the next post... peace, love, and granola. :p
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Gah! I have so stinkin much to say! All week last week, I meant to sit down and blog, but I never made the time... Anyways, more blogs to come for sure! :p Mmk so how about I start with where my heart was last week!
Last week, I came to the realization that I'm done. I'm so done. I am just done with this life. I realized last week that this life brings me no lasting fulfillment and that it doesn't hold my soul. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely things in life which I enjoy, spending time with and loving on others would definitely be at the top of this list. But coffee dates only last so long, and friendships often come in waves. One season in life they're here, the next they're gone. So yeah, last week the prayer of my heart was God can I just be done?
Please don't misinterpret what I'm saying! I'm not suicidal. I do not plan on taking my life. :P Last week, I just came to a place where I realized that there was nothing I'd rather be doing than spending time in the presence of God. There is nowhere else I'd rather be than with Him. Last week, the greatest desire of my heart was to be with Him and never ever leave. This world doesn't hold my soul, but He does. He is my strength and my portion. In Him I have found lasting fulfillment and because of His satiating love, my heart longs -- more than anything -- to be with Him.
So yeah, last week I sulked over and became envious of the story of Enoch... to say the least! :) In genesis 5 (vs 24), it says "Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him." How incredible is that? I would love to have the same said for me! My desire is to walk with Him, and last week my prayer was to be no more because I wanted God to take me too. I'm ready to be with Him. Obviously, I'm still here, which only means that God isn't finished with me! I'm only in the middle of my story. He isn't ready for me to have my happily ever after yet -- the beautiful ending where I am reunited with Him. That must mean that His will for me is to be here, and until He is ready for me to join Him, I will continue to do what I enjoy most, loving others.
I read a quote last week that I instantly adopted as my life motto. It said "I wish to love the whole world. One person at a time." So until He calls me to Himself, I will continue to do that which He has given me a passion for, loving. God is so good and the cup of my heart is beyond full. I love because He loves me.
In closing, I read a passage in John last week that gave me hope. In John 16 it says "In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart for I have overcome the world." Sometimes I feel like as a follower of Jesus -- in being set apart for Him -- I have a lot on my plate. Following Him with my whole heart, renouncing the sin of the world, loving others fearlessly, being quick to forgive, and slow to anger -- worshiping Him with my thoughts, actions, and the motives of my heart... the list goes on. Yah, I feel like I'm having to swallow and digest something equivilent to the size of the world. Talk about heartburn! :p I've often felt the pressure the perform, and to perform perfectly. Yet last week, God graciously reminded me that He has overcome the world. It is not for me to overcome on my own. He has already defeated the yolk of sin and made a way for me to be triumphant too!
Not only has He written the play of my life, but He has also cast all of the members too. He has orchastrated the music that beats within my heart and all I have to do is trust Him. He will take care of the rest. He has a beautiful ending for me, and for my story, but I'm still in the middle of the production. So until my final act, may it be said of me that I abide in and trust in Jesus. May I not lose sight (or heart for that matter) of His grace and may I rejoice in the truth that He has overcome the world for me.
May your heart be liberated by the truth of Jesus and may you know Him in an intimate way. May you join me in running the race to be with Him and may our stories intertwine. May you know the power of God's love and may it transform you. May you never be the same. This is the story that's been on my heart (the overview at least...), if I've left you with questions feel free to ask. Until the next blog post... Hi ho hi ho its off to love I go. ba da duh da duh da duh da duh da Hi ho Hi ho Hi ho Hi ho. :)