Friday, May 29, 2009
So, much has happened in the past few days! On Wednesday, I drove up to Peoria (all by myself) and helped some dear family friends prepare for a Church (plant) BBQ. I had an awesome time getting to know this family, and hearing all about their aspirations and dreams for the church they are planting! The BBQ was amazing and I met some really beautiful people. The highlight of my evening was meeting Sarah. Upon first meeting Sarah, my heart instantly beat with love for her. After talking with Sarah for just a short while, it was so evident to me that Jesus is her life, and breath and everything. She burns with zeal for her creator and father. What an inspiration she is to me!
So... after spending a lovely 2 days up in Peoria, I decided to make the long haul back to the valley. Ha! I left at 9 (pm) with the intentions of taking the 101 all the way back home. After taking the 101 North, I began heading Eastbound. It was here that the problems began!
On the Eastbound 101, there was an awful crash and I was in bumper to bumper traffic. Oh, and did I mention that the next off ramp was 3 miles away? Yah. Fail! So I called my friends (the ones I had been staying with in Peoria) and asked for directions. The accident was so severe that they had all traffic exit the freeway on 7th Ave. I was freaking out -- mainly because I didn't have my bearings and because it was dark... but we plotted out a way for me to find the 51, and take it through Phoenix and end up near the 101/202 area!
So, after a minor snag in my plan, and 30 mins of sitting relatively still, I finally found the 51 and headed Southbound. After staying on that for a while (and having a dumb camera flash at me -- I was going to speed limit too! Tardfoo!), I decided that I wanted to get off on the N. 202 heading Eastbound. Ha! Oh man oh man.
After exiting the 51, and hopping onto what I thought was the 202, I realized that I was completely lost. Like -legitimately- LOST. Oops! It was dark (so I couldn't identify any mountains), and after going through so many twists and turns I couldn't figure out what direction I was headed in. Oh and did I mention that I didn't even recognize the street names? Weird. I was freaking out! I contemplated getting off of whatever the heck I was on and driving around for a while to get my bearings, but then I decided against that... Someone could have eaten me. Ew no. After sticking it out a while longer, I began approaching Tempe Town Marketplace! Woohoo!!! *I thought to myself* the 202 is on the North side of TTM and runs parallel to it. Now if I could just find a way to get on the 202, I know that I can find my way home...
After another min of driving, it occurred to me that I was on the North side of TTM and running parallel to it. Tada! It hit me *I was on the 202* :D Ha! I was proud! And I stopped shaking. What an adventure I thought to myself afterwards! All this to say, I think that my trip home can adequately illustrate my walk with Jesus. There are times in my spiritual life when everything around me is dark. My eyes become focused on the task at hand, tunnel vision sets in, and fear sinks in later. Often times, I'm not sure which way is up, or where I am heading -- I frequently find myself unsure of where I'm going. Other times, I feel like I'm at a standstill -- as if I'm caught up in a traffic jam. The light that gets me through, my hope in hard times, is the knowledge that Jesus is faithful to direct my next step. Right when I feel like giving up, stepping away from this hard and sometimes confusing and dark path, He shows me a sign and confirms in my heart -- as well as my mind -- that I am right where He wants me to be. I'm merely following His will for me, and the direction in which I am headed will always be homeward bound.
My encouragement to you would be this: Jesus loves you and wants you to abide fully in Him. Do not be anxious, cast aside your fear and rebuke your will. Keep trudging along, and He will illuminate your path. Devote yourself to Him, and He will lead you home. May you find rest in knowing that you are not alone on the freeway, but that there are others here beside you, in both the slow lanes and the fast. May you comfort yourself in the truth that Jesus will protect you, and that the spirit will direct your journey, and that at the end of the day, you will have experienced another day of adventure in your travels of life.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
That is slightly profound. The truth in those words have recently resonated in my heart and give me great joy. In the past week, I have been fretting over things in my life, and today I was reminded of God's faithfulness to me. He rose the sun. Think about it... Every day, the sun rises and sets. Do I need to pray and beg God to rise it every morning? No. If I (hypothetically speaking) forgot to pray and ask Him to rise the sun, would He forget? No. His faithfulness is great to me. He knows my needs before I ever ask of them, and He does not forget me. He cares for me, and out of His great love for me, He provides for me. My heart is at rest knowing that God rises the sun every morning to demonstrate His adoration for me. That is something beautiful. I'm done fretting over things in this life. I don't fret over the sun and it still rises. Today, I'm choosing to abide in Jesus and I have been made aware of His love for me.
I hope that some day, you may come to know that God loves you. He accepts you just as you are, and you are His beloved. He will never leave or abandon you. He will draw near to you and He can mend your life. He can restore your heart and fill it to the brim with joy and you can be satisfied in Him. He can be your portion, and give you hope and rest and peace. May you come to know that you are forgiven, and more importantly, adored. Just. as. you. are. May you stop fretting and stand in awe of the One who rises the sun.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Hmm. I have lots to say, yet by the same token, I have nothing to say at all. There sure are a lot of changes going on over here!
1) I'm living in down town Phoenix next semester with the most amazing family ever (next to mine of course). Like seriously AMAZING and I am so, SO excited to share life with them and their precious girls.
2) Kevin is gone. And he took my cousin with him :( poo. Remind me again why I get left out of all of the once-in-a-lifetime-trips?!? Oh yeah... it's because I have a uterus. poo again.
3) I'm churchless. I have officially flown the nest -so to speak- and no longer have a church to call home. On one hand, I'm flying and that is exciting (the thrill of not knowing where I'm going to go adds some spice to my life for sure!), on the other hand, I don't have a home to go to. I don't have a place to land and that's down right weird.
So yeah, life as I know it is most definitely changing, and adjusting to a new way of life is pretty difficult. I have no idea what my summer will look like. Even my summer plans are changing, but I take comfort in knowing that I am God's beloved, and that He has most definitely been working all things together in my life for the good (His faithfulness towards me is SO so evident in my life!) and I have peace in knowing that He will continue His good work in me. Even when I feel like asking Him to keep the change and stop bestowing it on me :) Oh well, if I wasn't being stretched, I'd likely be stagnant, and I'd much rather take the uncertainty of being stretched over the latter. God is good. So good. And I am fully aware of His great love for me. I'm done.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
This week has be exceptionally difficult for me. *Note: I should probably be working on my finals right now -- which is due in 24 mins, and isn't near being finished -- but I'd rather be blogging... let's see if I can make this quick.* Yeah this week has been really hard. Really hard. I feel like Chicken little, and yes the sky seems like it's falling. I do not intend on informing you why (sorry), but let's just say that I'm having to really, really, trust in Jesus with the outcome of my life. I trust in Him to write a beautiful story for my life and my summer and I trust Him with all of the relationships that He has placed in my life.
This week, I've learned (yet again) that relationships are sticky. They're messy and difficult, but I have hope that with hard work, like any good thing, they will be fruitful. Through the sowing of many tears and the process of burying my will to take up God's will for me, I trust that He will in turn take my hurt and do something beautiful with it. I trust Him, because of His faithfulness. So, I'm sitting here, supposedly taking my final, with swollen eyes from the tears that pour endlessly from my face, and I'm writing this from a heart that is really hurting, but I take comfort in knowing that this life isn't about me and what I accomplish, but that this life is for and about Jesus. He has conquered this world for me -- in His death -- and I can stand victorious with Him -- because of His Resurrection -- that brings me hope. And hope is all I have. Hope is the one thing that can never be taken from me, and the current source of my joy -- even through pain. While taking my final, I found myself singing (without even thinking about it) a hymn. I thought I'd include the lyrics...
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot,
Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet,
though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul
Christ has regarded my helpless estate and has shed His own blood for my soul. Because of that, I can say that it is well with me. Okay I have five mins until I have to turn in my final. Yikes! So long <3
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Ha! So I really really really don't like receiving annoying forwards, but I got this one tonight and thought that it offered some truth (and it made me think...), so I thought that I'd pass it along. *I can't believe I'm actually supporting a forward* Oh well. I hope you enjoy :)
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person..
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are.They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
Thank you for being in my life <3
Monday, May 4, 2009
Ha. Words are funny. Words are essential in communication (which is something I am very fond of :) and they enable the soul to be expressed. Tonight, I feel as if words fail me. The past few weeks of my life have been ________ (word fail). Fill in the blank with: joyous, comical, hurtful, happy, lonely, satisfying, sad, fulfilling, incredible... the list goes on.
Last week, my brother was accepted into the Army. I love him. He is an extension of me -- of my soul. I understand him like none other. Kevin is wonderful. He speaks painful truth to me in a loving manner and can make me smile so big my cheeks hurt(*literally*). We can communicate without words. All this to say, I'm going to miss him. My summer won't be the same without him. Hume won't be the same without him. Trips to CA to see our grandparents definitely won't be the same without him -- there will be no one for me to poke and pester in the car :( -- Essentially, my life won't be the same without him. It will be a lonely and somber place without his corny jokes and his companionship this summer!
Last week also brought on more change in the form of my animals. I have decided that I love to my detriment. :\ My heart gets involved with anything that has a pulse and that opens me up to so much pain. My horses (as you can probably tell from my past blog posts) have brought me so much joy, and have reciprocated the love and affection I have poured into them. Last week, they, along with the goats, found a new home. That killed my heart, but simultaneously I felt (and feel) so much peace. As my grandpa once told me, "Kel it is better to love, and experience hurt, than to close yourself off to love and never know it." Gah. Wisdom at its finest I tell you.
Tomorrow, I'm having my hair chopped off. In two weeks, Kevin is graduating. After graduation, he will be leaving for the Army. After all of that, there will likely be some changes around the home, and I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. I have so much free time now without the horses in my life, and I don't have a "thing" anymore. It used to be the case that if someone asked me what I was into, I'd say horses -- some say music, others say sports, for some it's entertainment, but for me, it was my babies -- now my cover is gone, and I'm exploring new things. Not only am I exploring new things, but I'm doing it solo -- Kev will be busy with his new "thing" aka the Army. Have I made my point yet? Change isn't for that faint of heart (wise words from Briauna Heart) and I'm most definitely receiving my fair share of change.
The truth that comforts me is the knowledge that when all around me crumbles and walks away, I have placed my hope in an everlasting, ever constant, unchanging God, and He loves me. My heart is alive with hope even in the midst of my "Under Construction - Speed Limit 25 mph" life. My heart is at peace. Thank you Jesus for breathing new life into me and for enabling the spirit of God to dwell in me and work through me.
I'll leave you with a quote from the best *stinkin* book ever -- Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes (unmasking the real you). This quote is quickly becoming the anthem of my life: "The highest, most demanding call on my life is becoming like Jesus. It's not just copying what Jesus would do, it's the very life of Jesus flowing in me and through me and out of me because God's Spirit has taken up residence in my heart." How awesome is that? May that be said of me someday when I pass -- that I didn't try to live life well and not screw up so as to just make Jesus look attractive -- but may it be said of me that Jesus lived in me and His spirit worked through me to grab a hold of and administer love to the hearts of others around me. This excites me and brings me great joy. :)
I'm done. Actually no, no I'm not... I just finished book club with grandpa and he told me that he's considering taking me on a trip to Arkansas to go fishing!!! Gah. How exciting!!! Yes, it's just a thought, and I shouldn't get my hopes up, but seriously, how is a girl expected to sleep at night with ravishing thoughts of fishing on a lake, in a cute little boat, with the man she aspires to be like when she grows up sitting right next to her for company? :) Yeah no, my hopes are already up. They win and I'm excited for this summer! I laugh in the face of change. Mwahahahaha. When I am out of my comfort zone and safety net, it would logically follow that I am actively having to rely fully on Jesus. And that, my friends, is well worth the price of change any day :) *Please remind me of those words in a few weeks when my second soul is relocated to Texas and I feel as though change is the enemy!* Okay I'm done rambling! Byes.