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Second Chances…

27 Oct

Do you ever grow through times when your past comes to haunt you?

You know you’re forgiven, but the disappointment that you know your past will bring to the future is stumbling and depressing.

That’s the funk I am in…

Mainly because I caught myself almost making some of the same old mistakes, but how many times will i have to learn.

I’m thankful for His grace and mercy, how sweet it is. But I know the times I let my heart go into the hands of someone else will prove problematic.

If God can forgive us for our mistakes, can’t other people?

Is it really hard to believe that we all far short of His glory and mess up? We’re all guilty, all of us. Equally. Even if you commit five sins and I commit six, we’re still sinners together.

….do you know where this is leading?

Because I am going there…

to the topic of my future husband.

Haha.

The scars of my past relationships make me afraid to tell that wonderful man, whoever he is, how fall I’ve fallen short of the Lord’s glory. But…I know that if it’s the Lord will, that man will have the mercy and grace to forgive me as I am forgiven in Jesus’ eyes.

All the boys I’ve lent my heart to…

All the times I have been uberly prideful…

All the moment such despicable sins bring me far from His glory…

That guy will forgive.

But I just wish I hadn’t done all those things…

I wish I could be the most perfect woman for him, because I know he’ll deserve it.

But I guess my shortcomings is what will spice up life and make me that perfect woman for him…

And I guess I must remember he is far from the glory of Jesus, too…

And he has made mistakes…

So if I want to be forgiven, I need to forgive, too.

Second Chances – NEEDTOBREATHE

All my past is color
Placed inside my hands
Empty is the canvas
Patiently I plan
Stars are bright above me
That’s not where I am
Greens will be behind me
Blues will make the man

I can’t help but fear I’ve done this wrong
Cause seldom second chances come along

Greys are all around me
Fading into black
Stars were bright above me
Won’t you bring them back

I can’t help but fear I’ve done this wrong
Cause seldom second chances come along
If time can break us, will it make us strong
Cause seldom second chances come along

The Older I Get…

25 Mar

The more wise I become! I amaze myself…and I give the glory to my Jesus!

Unfortunately, not everyone allows themselves to experience such a privilege.

But truly, the Lord has really been “seasoning” me, so to speak, over the last couple years. Through said wisdom, I watch out for warning signs…and i LISTENED to them. I knew what to pray for – and am thankful when I open my eyes and realize He is faithful to answer my prayers. Just not always in the manner I expect!

This verse caught my eye last night while going over 1 Thessalonians 4 at The Gathering –

“Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” 1 Thessalonians  5:24

It’s amazing to see His handiwork. It’s an amazing feeling when you take each moment as it is, not jumping to conclusions. It’s an amazing feeling when a dumb little thing can totally give you a different perspective over a heartbreaking situation.

Lessons have been learned, my expectations have grown, and my faith in my FAITHFUL Lord Jesus has increased.

Over some stupid little thing…but a stupid little thing He knew I needed.

He really is amazing…

And His grace and mercy is never ending.

It’s not good to be afraid to pray for something, He already knows it all…you can’t hide! Bring it to His throne – and His will be done!

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Going Through the Motions

24 Mar

Growing up is most definitely rewarding, fulfilling, and interesting. But there are, of course, certain things in the moment that seem rather…useless.

Can i get an, “Amen!”?!?

Those moments always seem to make sense later on though…

When I look at pictures of myself and others, I ALWAYS look at the eyes. The eyes are said to be the window of the soul. They give away the truth of what the person is experiencing. Whether the truth is exhaustion, joy, fulfillment, accomplishment, sorrow, heartbreak, etc. Compare pictures of yourself or a friend from today to the ones two years ago, do you see the difference? The difference of a child becoming an adult? The difference of maturity in the eyes of a person?

Being able to see that difference is why i love Facebook. (Yes, I am going there!)

You see… it wasn’t always as easy to see the day by day changes of you and your peers after a couple years in a couple minutes. But with Facebook, all you gotta do is hit the right arrow key, and you are flipping through the life of a person and are able to see growth (or stagnancy) in but a moment! And I guarantee, if you look at the eyes of the person, you will notice a difference.

A difference that makes me yearn for the days of yesterday…but remind me to enjoy today because I don’t want to spend my whole life wishing I was still in the yesterday’s.

Life is definitely not where I want it.

Far from it.

I want to be a wife, I want to be a mom, I want to be a soccer mom (just without the jeans, haircut, and mini-van).

But this is where He has me. Today.

I am single. But that doesn’t mean I am not able to prepare myself for the future. It’s doesn’t mean life is boring. I still get asked out, which makes for good stories to giggle about with my friends. And I also still get to experience the giddyness of a new relationship…again (but hey, i love the giddyness!) There are possibilities in impossible situations…or in desperate circumstances where temptation lures for me to be bitter and evil.

What usually hangs me up on moving on from something…is remembering how great the past was. How happy I was at a certain time at different periods of my life…reminding myself in the blissful moments to take everything in, because I just might not get the chance to in the future. Something I had to learn to do.

The eyes I look into today do not hold the same innocence and immaturity as they once did. And as sad as that could be, I know it’s for the better.

I realize that my life has been wasted, once again…for far, far too long. I could have enjoyed my life much more had nothing ever happened, but now…I kinda am thankful. I know I learned a lot through everything…and 90% of the time I wish I didn’t have to learn it at all. At least at that time. But I find peace in knowing He has a reason. I am just impatiently waiting for that reason. I know through all the change taking place in my life at this time, my heart has and will continue to seek openness with my Jesus. For Him to do His good work in me as He promised in Romans 8:28. And there is still SO much that He can do.

And when i do find myself hurting, all I know I need is Jesus.

And maybe Jason Wade’s voice singing in the background…

😉

Better Luck Next Time -Lifehouse

Sometimes we fall
Ain’t nothing new to me
Don’t get me wrong
I must say you gave up for this time now

Stop tell me where you going
Maybe the one you love isn’t there
You’re going under
But you’re over it all so you don’t care about all that I had to see
I’d watch you wait until you come around

Don’t close your eyes
You need to see it all
It’s no surprise
That they break you down
At least they won’t give you up

Stop tell me where you going
Maybe the one you love isn’t there
You’re going under
But you’re over it all so you don’t care about all that I had to see
I’d watch you wait until you come around

It’s all wonderful
Living happily
To lose it all
Think you have everything

Stop tell me where you going
Maybe the one you love isn’t there
You’re going under
But you’re over it all so you don’t care about all that I had to see
I’d watch you wait until you come around

Stop tell me where you going
Maybe the one you love isn’t there
You’re going under
But you’re over it all so you don’t care about all that I had to see
I’d watch you wait until you come around

Haste the day

28 Dec

It’s been at least a week since I posted last, woops 🙂 I lacked motivation and/or a topic to write about, but alas…a topic has come to mind. And wouldn’t you know it, it was portrayed throughout my week without even realizing it!

I used to be one of those people who let fear run my life, always scared to be daring for fear of getting in trouble or yelled at. Once I got out of high school (or more so the last couple years of high school), that fear subsided…and what emerged was a fearless adventurous young woman. I guess by my 16th year, I realized there’s more to live for. Once I gave my life to Christ, fear was the only thing holding me back from enjoying life and living it to the full. For the first few years of the “new” me, I put fear behind me by doing shenanigans.

I remember my first shenanigan. I was 16 and my new church friends and I threw water balloons at cars in Marysville. It was so innocent and foolish…and yet, it changed my life for the better. I will NEVER forget the moment when we threw a balloon at a car from the MP soccer fields, their brake lights went on and we all dashed off as the bright field lights came on. All I could see amongst the fog was the silhouettes of all my friends. It was glorious. And it was only the beginning…

and then I started going to Calvary Chapel Lake Stevens, where even the pastors (one in particular) were in on the pranks. I became friends with Kaelee and Nigel, former prank-enemies, but together – indestructible. Two years of my life were full of shenanigans, but since this is not what this blog is about, I will shorten this part up with pictures of our greatest escapades.

…and then there’s Creation Fest, where shenanigans are eminent…especially when involving the Porta-potties…and pillows.

I know it seems like foolishness to many folks, but being involved with such things helped me forget about the chains of fear I placed on myself for the first 16 years of my life! I love adventure, and I very much despise letting moments pass by without redeeming the time…but not just with shenanigans.

This thought has come up a lot in the last week, I first realized it while visiting with my good friend, Deborah – who now lives in Oregon. Every conversation we had always turned back to Jesus, what He has done and is doing in our lives…and I appreciate that quality in her oh, so much…she is an AMAZING friend!

The day after Christmas I got the wonderful opportunity to visit with my aunt Tammy, uncle Jeff, and their sons from Arizona. We had dinner at Ivar’s on the sound and my one prayer for the night was to redeem the time. By the end of dinner, conversation was still fruitful and I wished I could have had more time to spend with them. Living here in Washington makes it hard to see them  as much as I’d like, but thankfully there’s facebook to keep us updated these days 🙂 It’s just more fun to interact in person!

All this being said, here’s some scripture that stuck out to me this week.

“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Colossians 4:5-6

” ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.’ ” John 10:10-11

Each moment wasted is a moment you’ll never get back, so redeem it. I don’t know about you, but when I let a moment pass in which I could live to the full…I feel like crap. It’s not just with unbelievers…but believers as well. I don’t have many friends like Deborah who always turn the conversation back to the Lord. Admiring that in her is a motivation for me to do that, humbly, with my Christian friends, too. It’s easy to get caught up in work…at work, but are you redeeming the time? Are you working for the Lord…or for men? The days when I work for the Lord are days I feel worthy of the money I earn.

When I was 19, this was portrayed as being an innocent yet silly teenager. I feel sad when I see teenagers try to act like they’re 25…because when they are actually 25, they’ll look back and realize they missed part of their youth. I had friends in school who’d look down on me for finding shenanigans fun, because real fun to them was getting drunk and high. I had people tell me that “churchies” are lame and don’t know how to have fun, really, I did. But now looking back to my teenage years, my regrets are not the times I participated in shenanigans, but the times I participated in worldly “fun”. It’s no fun.

How will you redeem today?

I have a reason to sing

18 Dec

It’s funny when I travel down a familiar road, all my surroundings are the same…but my heart isn’t.

This time during my junior year of high school, the Alderwood mall finished its remodel. My friends and I spent at least one day a week at the mall, going through the same motions each time. I could bore you with the specific details, but it always involved parking on the 3rd floor, Lovesac, and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.

I could go to the mall any other time of the year and not think twice about that time of my life…but once the Christmas comes around, memory lane rolls out with it. I was sucked into a world where Christ was not Lord back then, but I am thankful that I can look back at the time without much regret. I was naive, but what 16 year old isn’t? I am thankful for that period of my life, without those memories 6 years ago…and the people involved, i’d be a different person. It took years for me to find thankfulness…many painful years.

And yet, I found myself in a similar situation on my way home from the mall. Driving the same roads with me in my jeep…city lights in the distance, farmland to my left…everything was the same on the outside, but my heart is in a completely different place. And it made me sad, fore this battle is still being fought. This battle is still very real in my life…and it’s taking a lot more time than I’d like.

As I was driving down that road, “Desert Song” by Hillsong United was coming to a close – and my ears perked up as the last couple verses were being sung.

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve received I will sow

I know I’ve sung that song many time either during worship or in my car, but those words were new and  pierced my heart as needed. How do we sow what we have reaped? Not by mourning, that is for sure. My favorite verse of all time is

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-3

I can’t tell you how many times that verse has given me strength and encouragement. It’s good for me to go through trials, it’s how i mature 🙂 It’s a love-hate relationship with those trials, when i’m in one…i DESPISE it! But when I am not, i WANT ONE! Weird, eh? I actually craaave a trial, Justine and the d-group girls can testify to those very words coming out of my mouth, now knowing that a month after I said that, a trial hit….of course 🙂

There was something else that stuck out to me in the “Desert Song”

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He was the same God with the same thoughts and love for me while I was lusting over a boyfriend as he was while I was wishing that boy never existed. His thoughts of me don’t change, He always has and always will love me. I am favored by Him. And He will shower me all my life with His love and grace, I just need to branch out of the idols of my life and turn to Him for fulfillment and peace. With that being said, as “whole-hearted” was last week – this week’s topic has been all about grace.

What a waste….

15 Dec

Why is it in my free-time I turn to surfing the internet meaninglessly dreaming of vacations to Charleston, SC whilst I could be letting God be the center of that time? Now that I am out of school for the month, I have made plans to read books. Yes, books…I love me a good book on our walks with Christ – or personal testimony’s. One such book that has been on my list (and my roommate just so happens to own it, along with 2 others by the author) is Blue Like Jazz. I’ve heard phenomenal things from many people about this book – and I will be one of them once I am finished.

I think I am about 1/4 of the way through, and I honestly can say this book is already life changing. But please don’t ask me what it is about because I will probably give you some jumbled up answer, but basically it is about anything and everything having to do with our walks with Christ. Donald Miller has a gift of bringing many random thoughts and experiences to relate to one another to teach us about the Lord. There are times when I just have to stop reading and laugh, I think I’ve already done it twice (and like i said, i’m not even half way through!). If you have read it, you know what I’m talking about.

But even despite knowing how GREAT this book is – and how close it is within reach, I have not opened it all day. Instead, I chose to find cheap tickets to a far-fetched dream to Charleston this Summer. Maybe I’ll actually go…but I probably won’t. I have done the same thing many times this last year!

But alas, today is today and I will focus on today. Which includes me finishing up this meaningless blog and get to work and read that book.

So goodbye for the next 2.5 hours, readers. I am going to serve my Jesus.

You are all I need

8 Dec

Now, I am one of those people who don’t need to try very hard to be successful. Many things have come easy to me in my life, and while that may sound good to some, there is one HUGE downfall. Not having to try hard, means not giving my all. Most importantly in my relationship with the Lord, I don’t give my whole heart.

A couple weeks ago I had a dream, I can’t remember what it was about, but a name was given to me right before I woke up. Now, as any single girl would, I jumped to conclusions and thought that was the name of the guy I’d marry. But eventually I came to my senses and I began telling myself I was foolish – not that it isn’t possible, but I don’t want to be sound blinded by guys with that name. I had another idea…maybe I should look up the meaning of the name! So last night I did just that, and my heart slightly dropped. First, it’s a Hebrew name…it didn’t even occur to me that it was! And most importantly, the  meaning in Hebrew is “whole-hearted”.

It’s something I fail at…it’s easy for me to sliiiiiiide on by. I know the right words to say, times to raise my hands during worship, and how to act. But many times, it’s not whole-heartedly. I find myself struggling with my pride to realize that I am not a good person and I DO indeed need a Savior. I get so involved in the motions that I forget that I am in a relationship with the Lord.

I received unexpected grace (yet..when is it expected?) from a friend this past week. I didn’t quite know what to expect from the whole situation and I was scared I would ruin everything. He challenged me to really think and pray about where my time and thoughts are invested…in other people, myself, the internet? Check…check…and check. My thoughts need to be on Jesus, my time needs to be invested in Jesus, i need Jesus. Yet, my thoughts have been holding me captive.

It’s funny how certain words or themes come about each week as I have been doing my study with an awesome, awesome lady. This last week we focused on Colossians 2 for a Kay Arthur study. In verse 8 it tells us,

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

Kay Arthur mentions that “In Greek, the phrase ’empty deceit’ describes the philosophy which might take us captive.”

Verse 9 goes on to say…

“For in Him dwells ALL fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are COMPLETE in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” and 15, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

So pretty much all the fullness, everything is in Christ who makes ME complete. I don’t need facebook or people to fulfill me, I need Jesus. If I draw near to Him, He WILL draw near to me – that’s a promise. He is the only one who can fully fulfill us forever. So, I challenge you to do the same – focus more on Him, and less on the things of this world.

I’ve taken baby steps these last few days, but now that school is done and out of the way for this quarter…it’s time to really focus on my relationship with the Lord. It’s time for me to be whole-hearted about something. To go along with the theme of this week is my current favorite song by JJ Heller – All I Need (P.S. If you haven’t given her much of a listen, I suggest doing so! She’s awesome!)

I don’t need a thing
My good Shepherd brings me all
You are all I need
You let me catch my breath
Even in the valley of death
You are all I need

All I need to be complete is Your love
Your blood that covers me

You lift up my head
You provide the wine and bread
You are all I need
There’s no need to fear
Even with my enemies here
You are all I need

All I need to be complete is Your love
Your blood that covers me

Goodness and mercy are following me
You are all that I need
You make a home for me
With pastures of green as far as I see
You are all I need

All I need to be complete is your love
Your blood that covers me