Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spoken in Dreams.

Yesterday, I was having dinner in our backyard with Noah, the 11yr old girl I live with in Phx. She was reading her school book out loud to me and practicing her front hand spring too. We got to talking about faith in Jesus, and somehow I brought up my dreams. I told her that ever since I was little, I have felt like God speaks to me through dreams.

I went to bed early last night, about 9:30pm. The following sequence is what happened in my sleep.

I am running. It is green, it is grassy, the skies are overcast. I don't know where I am, but I am running. I am chasing. I am chasing a dear friend who is well ahead of me. She is running. From what? I ask. She responds with "that direction." "I will run anywhere but there." Instinctively, I knew that she was running the wrong way. I knew that she was running away from something, and my heart of hearts told me it was the truth. I picked up my pace. I'm running faster, wishing to catch up to her and hopefully stop her. We run past a field with horses, she stops. I grab her hand and we turn around. We begin the long process of walking back. It is a long walk, for her, it is painful. We make it back to where we came from. A bathroom. It is bright white and sparkling clean. She is now cleaned up, renewed and restored. She has found healing.

*I wake up. It's only 12:04. I fall back asleep.*

I am walking out of the bathroom. I turn the corner and a man is hiding behind a pillar. His intent is to hurt me. I begin running through the parking lot, hoping to make it to my car, to safety. He is close behind me and his intent is to catch me. I am fumbling in my purse for my keys and my taser. My intent is to hurt him, before he hurts me. I am approaching my car and realize that I do not need to fear, for he can destroy my body but he cannot destroy my soul. Now, with strength and confidence stemming from my soul's security, I stop, turn around and stand. I stand tall. I stand strong. I stand confident. He approaches, perplexed. He comes all the way up to me, face snarling only inches from mine. He is afraid. He turns around and flees.

*I wake up. It's 2:24 and my heart is pounding. I am nervous to fall back asleep. Hesitant, I close my eyes.*

I am climbing in my car, I back out of the parking lot and drive home. With a heavy heart, I go straight to my room. I am covering a friend in prayer. My phone rings, it is her. She is at my door and has come to say goodbye. She is leaving tonight for another state. I answer the door and wrap my arms around her. She is dropping out of Nursing School and leaving to nanny for a little boy. I see the boy. He has no arms or legs, he has no heart or lungs, he is systemically infected. His prognosis is certain death, and it's only a matter of time. My heart knows that she is forfeiting her hope of a future (education), for a life that is decaying. My heart is grieving.

*I wake up. It's 4:37 and my stomach feels sick. It is impressed on me that this past dream was a parable of my friend's heart. I don't fight my slumber this time.*

I am walking inside. I have said my goodbye to her and feel as if I, too, must leave. I get my keys and begin to drive. I drive and drive until I end up at my grandparent's house. I walk up to their door and knock. They open and welcome me in.

We are catching up in their dining room. All appears well and then it happens. Now, I am not only aware of the physical world, but my eyes now see the spiritual realm too. I am still sitting. We are still talking. My eyes become focused on the back of their house. I see the enemy. He has my cousin caged in the back room. My cousin is stuck. I see the battle between good and evil, light and darkness. I see the battle for my cousin's soul and the enemy is prevailing. I am sad. I saw the angels of God wishing to break in and break my cousin free. I realize that my cousin is imprisoned because he has given the enemy control of his life.

My cousin opens his door and comes out. With physical eyes, I see him approaching me, he appears conflicted. With a spiritual perspective, I see the enemy taunting him. My cousin walks towards me. He begins acting wild, like the man chasing me in the parking lot, he is clearly not himself. My grandparents are distressed. They had seen him act strange in the past, but it was evident that my presence was not helping.

I am aware. I recognize that all my cousin needs is Jesus. I know that Jesus would have the ability to break my cousin free of his bondage. As if He had heard my thoughts, Jesus steps into my grandparent's living room. I, however, am the only one who can see Him. Upon His arrival, the enemy, who was in my cousin, could not remain in him and fled. Just as darkness cannot remain in the light, evil cannot remain in the presence of holiness. At the fleeing of the enemy, my cousin falls flat on his face. The impact of my cousin's body on the wood floor removed my spiritual eyes. I am now fully present in the physical world. My grandparents are concerned as they rush to my cousins side. They think he has fainted. I smile and know that my cousin encountered the glory of God. I am assured that his life will never be the same. The oppression he had experienced would now be replaced with liberation. His condemnation would now be replaced with joy.

*My alarm goes off and it is time to start my day. I climb out of bed smiling, how great is our God?*

Saturday, August 28, 2010

You alone can make my soul take flight.

I really like Phantom of the Opera, but that is definitely not what this post is about! I wanted to recount God's faithfulness in my life this week!

So often, it is easy to forget the small God moments in your life and only remember the BIG ones. This post is going to be quite the contrary. Today, I want to tell you of the two small successes in my week this week that remind me of HIS faithfulness in MY life.

1. I took a nap on Wednesday. My Wednesdays are going to be slightly crazy, as I will have 11 hour clinical days, so naps are definitely a must when I get home around 5:30! After my lovely nap, I was lying in bed feeling entirely unmotivated to pry my body out of the comfy warmness of the covers... so, I pulled my bible onto my lap and opened. I've been making my way through the book of Matthew lately, but for some reason, I felt prompted to read Philippians. So, I read and SOAKED it up. My soul ate up the words as if they were eternal bread. It was wonderful. While reading, the scriptures made me think of a dear friend in my life, so I then texted this precious friend and told her how thankful I was for her friendship! What should she reply with but "Kelly, read Philippians, it is my heart for you." Um hello. How great is our God? He has SO bound us together by His blood and given us intimacy with both Him and those who partake of Him!

2. I feel like I am supposed to work the homeless population someday. This semester, I am taking a Community Health course and as a result, I have to log in 70 hours with a Community Health Nurse. The large majority of students in my program will spend their time accompanying a School Nurse in the public school system, but I so desired to be with the homeless. So, I stepped up and just planted the bug in my teachers ear. She said that the assignments had already been made but that I would probably come to enjoy school nursing. I don't doubt that, but I walked away a little confused. I felt so strongly that I was to work with this special population... SO, when I went to class again on Thursday to pick up my assignment, my teacher asked if I could stay a little bit longer for some extra orientation! All that to say, she pulled some major strings and I will be in the community, working with a Public Health Nurse! Ahh! Great is His faithfulness in my life!

Mmk, I need to work on this journal now! It's due in a few hours and I've been procrastinating :) I'm at Paradise with my dad, we're doing homework together! Oh, and watch this video! It will make you smile. Great is His faithfulness in day to day life. My soul has felt light all week.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Overwhelmed. Underwhelmed.

It is with this that I leave you... okay, I'm being slightly dramatic, but I feel like once school starts tomorrow, my blogging days will sadly come to an end. Then again, I'll likely make time for it!

But as I said, I will leave you with this:

One, I am totally overwhelmed. I feel like I could have a freak out session right about now, and school hasn't even started yet! I've already got so many homework assignments to finish (yes, they give us assignments before class starts) that I'm having to remind myself to breathe! Add to that, laundry (still have a BUNCH to fold), cleaning my car (I'm almost done -- I just want to finish now!), filling my car up with gas, packing up my room here in Queen Creek, moving my life back to phx and yeah, that's pretty much what the next 4 hours of my life is going to look like! But that's okay. I will survive.

Two, intercession on Thursday was amazing! During this beautiful time of prayer, I was so convicted that when it comes to God, so often my mind is underwhelmed by His _______ (insert adjective here). Goodness, greatness, faithfulness, beauty, steadfastness, provision, creation... I think you get my point. Also during this time of prayer, He made His purpose for my life known to me.

I repeat: HE made HIS purpose for my life known to me! Uhm hello! This is only what I have been waiting for the past 19 years! My purpose is this: to be in AWE of Him each and every day. Sounds simple, right? Cliche? Perhaps. But I tell you this: it is already proving to be difficult!

If I am in awe:

My mind would dwell only on Him and His greatness.
My mind would be full of His thoughts.
My eyes would see His heart of mercy towards others.
My eyes would only take in His majesty.
My ears would be sensitive to His voice.
My heart would be still and wait patiently for His prompting.
My legs would be obedient to follow the path He has prepared for me.
My hands would be used to deliver healing and show of His goodness.
My ears would be captive to His people, listening to their troubles.
My mouth would be equipped only with fruitful, encouraging words.
My heart would be like a pitcher -- filled with His grace, meant to be poured out upon those whose glass is empty.
My mouth would be satisfied with the living water and never again would I find myself thirsty.
My stomach would have its fill on the bread of life and He would be my portion forever.
My heart would be broken and thus propel my feet into movement and my faith into action.
My body would succumb to His desires for my life and if I were in awe of Him, that would be enough.

When was the last time you could say you were in Awe? My challenge to you is this: before your head hits the pillow tonight, set aside time to be in AWE of Jesus. So often, I believe we are underwhelmed with Him.

<3 Kel

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hi hi.

(here's a throw back pic that I just found from Kev's White Coat Ceremony :)

I don't really have anything important to say... so maybe I shouldn't say anything at all?

I guess I'm just content and I am realizing that more and more each day. I feel like God has supplied me with uber loads of contentment right now. My heart feels a-glow and that hasn't always been the case.

I bought a new book yesterday that I'm excited to start! It's called The Art of Discipleship (it's taken me 3 days to get the spelling right on that word!) and it is wonderful. It covers the Sermon on the Mount and in the beginning, it prefaces with a few words on cheap grace.

Lately, I've been feeling like grace is cheap in our culture today. I feel like God's love is too, not to mention Jesus' death. It's as if we are sending people the message that they can go on living the way they want and just use Jesus as their glorified safety blanket. It's been bugging me and to that I say a life for a life. Don't get me wrong, I rejoice over God's love and grace and am thankful for Jesus' death, but I believe that that which cost God much cannot be cheap to us. I believe Jesus' words when He says "he who is willing to lose his life, for my sake, will find it." I believe that this grace, HIS COSTLY GRACE is liberating, but that it comes -only- once I have given up my life for HIS sake. It's the beautiful exchange. How great is our God?

Moving on, my goal for this semester is to memorize the Sermon on the Mount and I'm hoping to wrangle up a few MacKay girls to join me!

School starts on Monday and I am excited. I move back to Phx on Sunday and couldn't be more thrilled to be with the MacKays! They have truly been family to me and without their daily presence in my life this summer, I've developed a gaping void. Mainly, I just miss Kiley's hilarious stories, dance time with Brynn, Drew's daily motivation for me to do something productive with my life and Noah's reminder of what childlike faith looks like. I also miss Mrs. Mac's wisdom -- she also knows just what to say, and isn't afraid to say it either! and let's not forget the daily side stitches from Mr. Mac's jokes. 4 more days and I really can't wait :)

Mmk, I think I'm done. I was just reflecting on God' goodness in my life today and thought that I would share.

(I miss this face)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My dreams have found a purpose.

It's 9:33 and I should be getting in bed right now... but, I have decided to blog instead :) As of last Tuesday, I officially helped birth a baby at work, and intend on spending 12 more hours in that pursuit tomorrow. Hence, I should really be getting some sleep... but my mind is full.

What is my mind full with you might ask? Dreams. I am a perpetual dreamer. I aspire to accomplish grandiose feats in my time and complacency seems to be my ever present enemy.

While up at Hume, I was talking to Grandpa Boy love love love (as he's saved in my skype contacts -- my grandpa skypes and that's only ONE of the many reasons why he's the greatest) about dreams. Not the kind of dreams that you have while fast asleep (I like those kinds too), but the kind that keep you awake at night with excitement and eager anticipation. I went on to tell my grandpa of a handful of dreams that I have for my life. To name a few, I listed things like: serving in South Africa next summer, working for a few years in a hospital in the US, being employed with Doctors Without Borders and filling people's tangible needs worldwide. Dreams like attending Bible College and making a difference, like being the healing hands of Jesus and touching lives, but inviting Him to touch their souls.

These dreams, all wonderful to me, are of course for the purpose of "furthering His kingdom" or "doing hard things, so that He might be glorified." I find that I use these, often times, Christian cliches to describe the purpose of my dreams, the purpose of my life. But my grandpa, well, he spoke the words that I needed to hear - words that my dreaming half didn't particularly want to hear, but that my soul deeply needed.

He told me "Kelly, those are all wonderful things, but do you realize that works have become your focus? Kelly, you are dreaming of DOING FOR GOD, but all He really wants is You. He wants your full attention in this present moment, and He wants Himself to be enough for you."

*Insert conviction here* I find, and with this I will close, that I am prone to doing for God, rather than being with God. Not to say that God isn't in those wonderful things or that God hasn't instilled those precious dreams in my heart, but what He wants is me. He just wants me and when I'm occupied or busy with doing, I often times lose sight of that.

My encouragement to you is this: may you come to know the heart of the Father and may that be enough. If you are trying, striving, reaching and hoping to work towards DOING wonderful things in life FOR HIM, know that seeking daily intimacy with Him is enough. Just being with Him is enough. I would encourage you to unwind, let go and climb into the lap of the Father who is waiting eagerly for your company -- the company of your heart and full attention. May you experience the love of the Father and may close intimacy with Him bring opportunities into your life that are larger than you could have dreamed. May He be enough for you and may your dreams rest in peace.

Good night.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer summary in photos.

I know! School doesn't start for another 3 weeks, but still...

(My first loaf of NON FAIL BREAD)

(For the win)

(First time I've ever made my own dough)

(And Pizza for that matter... delish)

(Bone Marrow Transplant elcome home banner for Evan ~ Clinically cancer free! Rejoice, again I say REJOICE!)

(My Trinket)

(Kev and his girlfried, Ellie, making dinner)

(Love this Lady. Lisa = Superwoman)

(Lisa's awesome fam)

(Blackberry cobbler! Um yes :)

(I have the best grandparents ever.)

(Ellie: Kevin, we're going to have a competition to see who can eat corn and go the longest without cleaning their teeth with their tongue. Kevin: Ahhh no. Okay...)

(Ellie's brother Austin... who ever would have thought that Kev would find a girl who's just as close with her sibling as we are :)

(4th of July

(First day of work!)

(Summer Biblestudy with Grace :)

(Jake love)

(Uncle Jeff and his miracle son, Tanner)

(Auntie Linda's Birthday)

(Pete's Coffee = infatuation)

(Nursing School Buddies for Life)

(Riviera Grill date)

(Love of my life. Every bit the person I aspire to be.)

(I decided that if I could swim half mile in the pool without stopping, I'd take on the lake... it wasn't until afterwards that I learned that the lake was a 1.1 mile swim. Probably not the smartest thing I've ever done... ha)


Hii :) I’m currently sitting in Victory Circle. Yes, I am up at Hume Lake. It truly is my most favorite place in all of the world! With that being said, I have seen many beautiful places in my time (be it on the road trip with Grandpa Eddie last summer or my recent trip to Southern Africa) but I believe that the reason Hume trumps all is because I have accumulated many memories here. Year after year, my family has traveled up here and year after year, God’s made Himself known to me. Be it through solo time on the side of a mountain or through group worship around the fire; God’s presence has been tangible in my life and I so highly associate this place with Him.

(Hume = Magical)

I must admit that this year is different. I am no longer attending camp as a camper, but staying in the cabin with my family and enjoying leisure time together. This morning, Kevin and I hiked from our cabin (Hoover #47) up to the top of the mountain road, which landed us at Joshua Wilderness Lodge – home to Joshua Wilderness Institute 9 out of 12 months of the year. Anyhow, after walking to the top, we decided to take a different way home, to explore a road we had yet to travel on. On our way back, we happened to stumble upon a trailhead  “Oh joy” was my first reaction! I’m pretty sure Kevin’s resembled this: “Oh, please no!” haha

Needless to say, I was insistent that we follow this newly found trailhead to it’s proclaimed final destination: The Little Brown Chapel. Kevin and I hiked UP for half a mile (it gets kind of spooky the more you go up), dodged the gnarly spider webs, beat off the bears (just kidding) and had a grand time adventuring together! When we finally made it to the top, it was not what I was anticipating. It literally was a “Little Brown Chapel.” Likely the size of a small cat carrier, The Little Brown Chapel was a hand carved wonder -- that could have been mistaken for Mountain Barbie’s Baptist Church, complete with pews and a podium. So cute!
I, of course, opened up the tiny little chapel doors only to discover something greater than I could have imagined! Inside were dozens of hand written notes, most resembling journal entries, that told stories of the people who had also discovered this quaint little structure. We read a fair amount of them, laughed at quite a few and left our own signatures behind. It was a grand time I tell you. Even now as I’m reminiscing, I am smiling.

We ran all the way home. I love it here. It feels like some things never change. I love the familiar faces, the wonderful smell of the pines, the fine dirt that gets all over everything (including my computer screen…), the freezing cold water that you swim in anyway because it’s part of the tradition, the morning walks around the lake, the afternoon conversations and the inescapable presence of God that is found in the stillness. How great is our God?

(Inside The Little Brown Chapel)