Sunday, May 29, 2016

Getting Back on the Saddle :)

I am definitely not the best or most consistent blogger in the world.  Point in has been almost 2 years to the day since the last time I blogged.  I definitely wish that I had continued blogging during that time as I had so much happen in my life that included losing a job, moving across the country, getting a new job, living with 3 other women I didn't know in a house and now...having now been back home for almost 2 years I guess it is a good time to try and get back in to this.

As believers and followers of Christ, we are called to love each other.  That seems like a simple thing, right?  Not so much when we are so involved in ourselves, our schedules & our lives.  We so desperately want to be loved by those around us, we end up not really loving those around us well sometimes.  Love is one of those things that doesn't require a big bank account, fancy clothes or eloquent words.

For those that are struggling today with loving others and putting others ahead of are not alone.  Take a small risk for someone today.  Ask someone around you, what is happening in their world and really listen.  Call or text someone a message that let's them know you are thinking about them.  It is a risk to put ourselves out there, but the reward is so worth it.

There are two commands for us as LOVE the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind & strength and to LOVE our neighbor as ourself.  I read this quote from Frederick Buechner and I think you will agree that this is simple and amazing all at once.  It says, "wherever people love each other and are true to each other and take risks for each other, God is with them and for them and they are doing God's will."

May we love each other with a reckless abandon :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

10 long weeks

I want to go ahead and acknowledge the randomness & scatter-brained blog below...I think my heart is just a little vulnerable and raw tonight, which equals randomness ;)

I am one of those girls that tends to cement important dates or events in my mind.  Whatever the memory is I somehow keep these details locked up in a filing type of system in my brain.  Usually, to have those types of memories locked up hasn't proven to be the best for me because Satan uses those to either bring me down or make me feel bad about myself.  (I'm trying more recently to BE PRESENT and a byproduct of that...I to start having more happy memories in those filing cabinets that will outnumber the yuck memories.)  At any rate, one of those memories is that 10 weeks ago I had a crushing blow.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can read more here.  I messed up.  I hit a real low in my personal, spiritual & emotional life 10 weeks ago that impacted many people, including one of my best friends.  It has been the hardest 10 weeks...70 days...that I have probably been through since becoming a Christian over 15 years ago when I realized the weight of my sin.

I have been so broken over how much I've hurt people in my life that I love.  I know that I'm a work in progress, but most days to be honest that doesn't really help much when I'm hurting so very bad.  When all I want is to have a friendship back that I hurt by being this way.  Most days I don't know what I'm doing.  Most days I am flailing and feeling so raw & vulnerable.  During this time hasn't been all hard as the Lord is working on my heart & my hurts.  He has been showing me new ways to love & be loved.  New ways to embrace the good around me.  Unfortunately, change takes time and these things in my life take A LOT of change as Jesus is picking up my broken pieces.

Just the reality of it being 10 weeks since I've really had a good heart to heart with one of my best friends.  10 weeks since I've felt like my life was normal...but maybe it wasn't normal.  I don't know.  10 weeks where most honestly it has felt like I've been walking through the deepest/loneliest valley I've ever known.  I still don't know most days how to process what I'm feeling, learning or thinking, but I know that the Lord has a great plan for all that I'm going through.  He is in control and I trust Him.  I just want to be faithful to the One that is holding me together.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Extrovert living in an introvert's body

The older I get the more I realize just how much of an extrovert I truly am.  I would say that I am 75% extrovert and 25% introvert.  Is it possible to think of it in percentages?  Ha ha!  I love being with people, having deep conversations, listening to stories & laughing, connecting with friends, etc.  Because I live alone I think that I get PLENTY of time by myself ;)  (Confession: I end up going to Target just to be with people...lame...but true.)

With it being Memorial Day weekend and because my friends are either already busy with plans or out of town I decided to go alone to the falls up near Multnomah Falls.  I absolutely love the falls. I love how connected to God it makes me feel.  There is just something spectacular about seeing that kind of beauty up close.  The rush of the water over the ledge; the enormous rocks that have been beaten up over time because of the water, but continue to remain faithful to being a part of the beauty.  It was breath-taking.  At first it was hard being there alone, but quickly God allowed me to be thankful for where I was and what He wanted just He and I to experience together.  I even got to have a nice conversation with a sweet couple visiting from England, which was just what I needed to not feel so alone.  He provides in ways that we don't even realize we need, until we reflect on our days.

I never want to take God's creation for granted.  Today is one of those days where I am made speechless by it and enjoyed soaking up the sheer awesomeness, even if I was by myself :)  May each of us remember that God uses things in our lives that draws our heart closer to His and He just wants to be WITH us...abide with Him.


Here are some pics I took:

View from Vista House

Waterfall through the trees

Beautiful bridge over the water

Water flowing at Bridal Veil

Bridal Veil of my faves :)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The importance of being grateful

Many times throughout my life I've been told to be grateful for whatever I have.  To appreciate the moment or people around you that you are with.  For too long I've taken people, experiences, and I guess life for granted.  I've not been fully appreciative of the moment and therefore, have missed out on some of the joys of being present.  I think about trips I've been on or times out with friends where I am not present because I dread it ending instead of living in and enjoying the present.  Oh how I wish I could go back, but with this type of revelation comes the knowledge that the journey continues as I learn & I can make conscious changes to be present..

For the past couple of years I've tried to listen to the Holy Spirit's direction on what word he would want me to live by for the year.  This year the word(s) "be present" are what I've tried to live by.  To be honest...I haven't done a great job.  I'm sure my friends can attest to the fact that I haven't been the best active listener or made the most effort to actually be present.  Knowing this about myself, I've definitely tried to be present.  To be all in for whatever event or person that I am spending time with.  I feel like the more grateful I am for what I'm doing or who I'm with, the more present I will be or want to be.

I'm certainly not saying I have this all figured out, but it is something else new that I have discovered about myself these past couple of months.  Take moments today to be grateful.  Whether you are grateful for your health, a moment, spending time with friends or family, or anything else that makes your heart smile.  Be present in all the moments.  You will quickly see how much you have to be grateful for.  Things I'm grateful for: yummy food :), roof over my head, friends that love me, family that supports me from far away, daisies, sun, blue skies, my best friends and so much more.  What about you?  What are you grateful for?


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Trust without borders

In a post not too long ago I mentioned how I connect through worship.  It literally has become my heart's cry to know Jesus more through worship.  One of my favorite songs is Oceans by Hillsong United.  You may be familiar with it.  I first heard it at a Hillsong concert in Portland last year that I went to with my good friend, KaoXu.  When I went, I had no idea what to expect because I had never been to one of their concerts, but I was familiar with Compassion International and so KaoXu was going to volunteer to pass out packets, so I decided to volunteer as well.  Little did I know that I would be so deeply moved by a song.  Here are just a couple lines from the song:

So I will call upon Your name
And Keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

When I heard this song, I just literally felt a moving in my soul and heart that knew I would never be the same because of what the Lord would do through this song in my life.  Little did I know that just a couple months later the Lord would call me to trust Him in a way I'd never done before, to let my whole in HIS embrace.  There are not enough words to express and explain what that has felt like.  I pray that as Jesus continues to restore my soul & put the pieces back together that I won't forget to trust Him without borders and to know that He loves this sinner.  I'm sure that everyone has heard this song by now, but just in case you haven't or want to hear it again I've put it below.  If you do watch/listen to it, hear the Savior's call for you to trust Him, to hold His hand and know that he will hold you and guide you on this crazy journey we are all walking with Him.


Friday, May 9, 2014

"Don't be so hard on yourself..."

Have you ever been going through a challenging day and God uses someone or something to point you straight to Him?  I had one of those moments today.  It was a very hard day.  I struggled a lot with many tears, pain and other things that have come as a result of sin that I talked about in this previous post.  As I was in the middle of the struggle, I felt like God wanted me to read Jesus Calling for today.  I don't read Jesus Calling every day, but when I felt like the Holy Spirit wants me to do something I knew I needed to do it.  I wanted to write it out for you today.  You may be struggling with mistakes that you have made in your past and beating yourself up over them.  I know I do that, but I hope that this is an encouragement for that I'm sure I will have to keep coming back to.

May 9th...Jesus Calling--Don't be so hard on yourself.  I can bring good even out of your mistakes.  Your finite mind tends to look backward, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret.  This is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration.  Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to Me.  Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design.  Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes.  Thinking that you should live an error-free life is symptomatic of pride.  Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses.  Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me.  I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes.  Trust Me, and watch to see what I will do. (Romans 8:28; Micah 7:7)

Jesus CAN and WILL bring good out of my mistakes.  I have to trust that my failings and the things I'm going through can give me empathy for other people in their weaknesses, which I can attest totally has.  I have so much to learn...but I have to remember to not be so hard on myself.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Giving up on being perfect

All my life I've been the kid who has always striven for being perfect.  I am the first born and carried the responsibility of pleasing my parents all the way into adulthood.  In school, I worked hard to get the best grades so that my parents would think I was perfect.  I would literally get so worked up about schoolwork or tests and the need to be perfect that I would make myself sick.  For too long in my life, I tried to be perfect and make the appearance that everything was ok because that is what we tell ourselves, right?  In order to be accepted by others we have to talk perfect, look perfect, and for sure don't let others see our sin because then they would know we aren't perfect.

Well, I've decided that trying to be perfect is not attainable anymore for me.  I can't keep striving to be something I'm not meant to be.  I want to be comfortable in my imperfections.  I want to be comfortable with the fact that sometimes I talk too fast to the point that others don't understand my words.  I want to be comfortable with the fact that I screw up and if someone knows's ok.  It isn't easy for me to come to terms with the fact that I'm not perfect.  I know it is something that I will battle for a long time, but I've learned in the past few weeks that part of the healing process is learning to be ok with me.

I feel like the more that I trust in Jesus, the more I become ok with the fact that I'm not perfect.  I've learned that He loves me despite my imperfections and that it is ok for other people to know that I am not perfect.  Please know that this is a process that I am/will fail on, but I am working on changing this in my life.  I want to be ok with the imperfect person that I am...because Jesus loves me.

Does anyone else feel like they are having to be perfect?  How did you change that striving in you?