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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

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This is the end…if you want it.

17 Mar

If the last 5 years have proved to me something about my life – it’s that when there is 1 major change, five million more changes proceed with it. Changes can be good – it’s a new flavor of life. You just don’t quite know what the Lord can do now.

20 months ago – i was in  my heyday of life so far. I was at peace with the Lord, I was moving out of my childhood home to live with 4 AMAZING women, i had a boyfriend, my job was going great – no longer was i being pulled between two different stores for I was an official partner at 3303, my nephew was growing and breaking my heart with his CUTENESS (still does…my gosh!), the Summer was ending – that Summer was THE best Summer of my life. But with all the goodness, I knew something had to give…and 6 weeks after moving in, I became a single girl…again. Did NOT expect it, but it happened. And my first heartbreak I experienced my junior year of high school (that i thought was the most horrible thing ever) was put to shame by how helpless and pathetic I felt. And for the next 18 months…I once again became my own worst enemy, torturing myself to no end.

And then my car broke down

And then I moved out

And then I got a dog

And then…well, there’s another “then”, but I won’t discuss it further.

But that was the tip of the iceberg.

That “And then” is the thing that can send me spiraling to the end of nowhere.

It’s the thing that will destroy me to no end.

It’s like when you get a really bad cut on your knee when playing “Wolf” in your friends driveway…and then having her paramedic step-dad dig out all the gravel only to reveal your tibia protruding. And THEN he pours hydrogen peroxide on the cut while you watch that evil liquid kill all the blood cells and foam up.

That story may be from personal experience…. 😛

But sometimes…you need to be in that position. Lord knows what came out of the last time i found myself in the same predicament. Brokenness turned to openness…which then turned into renewal and peace and maturity.

In the case of the wound – after it gets all cleaned up, a butterfly bandage is placed on the knee cap to assist the wound to close. And then some gauze…and after a week or less of having your knobby, skinny, skeleton legs bandaged, everything begins to heal. And what emerges later is an awesome scar that feels funny to touch…but makes for a good story.

In this case, I will be able to use this trial (which I find to be unneeded…) to be part of my testimony. The Lord has a reason He put me here again. Let’s just hope it doesn’t break  more hearts than needed.

Regardless of what happens, I will surround myself with awesome girls (Can I just say how much I love my roommates- new AND old? I had a much needed conversation with Nicole and Justine…and then came home to have another great conversation with Morgan and Chelsea!) Totally worth staying up until midnight (which was once early for me to go to sleep….odd.)

I will also take this time to personally thank Matt Theissen for using his  heartbreak to write the songs on Relient K’s Forget and Not Slow Down album. So thankful! 😉

The Lord can do a lot in this time of my life – His faithfulness in my past has proved that to be true over and over again. But it’s painful watching everything happen before your eyes…it’s painful to remember when you were. But unlike 20 months ago when everything was going amazingly well for me and I knew something had to give…I am facing the opposite circumstance. With everything seemingly falling apart and responsibility at an all time high – life can only get better. For 2o months, I have been waiting for everything to “get worse before it can get better.” And it’s happened. I don’t like it. Rather, i hate it. Despise it. Loathe it.

And then my brain clicks on…or maybe my conscience, and I realize that my pride is getting in the way. My pride is telling me I can’t be happy for this change. I can’t be bitter to a situation that has nothing to do with me today. But I want to. So I think I’ll just be crazy bitter for the next couple days to get it all out so I get sick of this bitterness and get over it. Because I don’t want to be a part of it. I want to forget it and move on. I want to have nothing get in my way of my relationship with my Lord. And this is. It’s distracting. And I will do what I have to if it comes to that.

And now for the lyrics, you knew those were comes, right?

Forget and Not Slow Down

How many times
Can I push it aside
Is it time I befriended all the ghosts of all the things that haunt me most
So they leave me alone
Move on with my life
Be certain the steps of left and right don’t fight the direction of upright

I’d rather forget and not slow down
Than gather regret for the things I can’t change now
If I become what I can’t accept
Resurrect the saint from within the wretch
Pour over me and wash my hands of it

It’s time to decide
Which is out of my mind
Cause it’ll be me unless I put some thoughts to rest and leave some faults behind
I’ll watch the glint in my eye
Shine off the spring in my step
And could be blinding depending on the amount of You that I reflect

Cause I could spend my life just trying to sift through
What I could’ve done better but what good do what ifs do
Oh oh
Oh oh
There’s something I should tell you now

 

 

 

Waiting for the Break.

7 Mar

Dear Jason Wade,

Thank you for writing awesome music…and putting on an amazing show last Saturday. I waited for you outside for over an hour in the freezing cold, but you never showed…I forgive you though, your music has helped deliver me from hard times many times over. 🙂

Sincerely,

Your biggest fan (no, really – i am.)

Winds of Change

I guess nothing turned out like I planned.
Everything’s sure to fall out of hand,
And it takes a lot to find it,
And it takes a lot I know,
To believe that there is meaning
Inside this moment.
In the winds of change.

As it turns you upside down,
As confusing as it seems,
Keep your head high and your feet on the ground,
And turn and chase your dreams
In the winds of change.

Butterfly

she wants to be the girl who’s swept off her feet in the end
she wants to live a life that’s real and not just for pretend
she dreams of laughter echoing and says it’s her favorite sound
she dreams of plastic parents that will never let her down

and I know it won’t be long
till you turn into a butterfly
I know you’re weak and you’re hanging on
cause you’re dreaming of an open sky
go and give it another try

and I know it won’t be long
till you turn into a butterfly
I know you’re weak but you’re hanging on
cause you’re dreaming of an open sky

Signs of Life

A heart that’s been buried in the ground
Can break if it’s never found
I spent so much time digging that grave
And even if it’s pain that I feel
At least I know that it’s real
I’d rather be broken than afraid
Can April hours spring
Signs of life in me

Yeah, oh

Just slow down and take it in stride, yeah
There’s no deadlines as long as you’re alive, yeah

Alive, yeah

Joshua

The air has never felt so warm
the sky has never looked this way before
there’s nothing comforting in change
I can’t seem to find any peace in this confusion

I can’t help my mind from racing
and my heart is beating faster than ever before
tell me is this really happening
I cannot tell if I am dreaming

but last night
I saw you standing in the moonlight
and you took my hand and we walked
beside the river
and you said
don’t be afraid, be strong
I’m with you

Somewhere In Between

Would you catch me if I fall out of what I fell in?
Don’t be surprised if I collapse down at your feet again.
I don’t want to run away from this,
I know that I just don’t need this

Cause I cannot stand still,
I can be this unsturdy,
This cannot be happening.

Cause I’m waiting for tonight,
Been waiting for tomorrow.
And I’m somewhere in between
What is real,
And just a dream

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.

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

Do not awaken…

10 Sep

I have to start scheduling my blogs out so i don’t annoy y’all too much…

But there are some things i feel if i don’t get it out, i never will!

I was flipping through a workbook i did for a study last year on the Song of Solomon. Though that book is about dating, courting, and marriage…there are still some things you could get out of it if you don’t fall into the three categories!

For example, a LONG time ago after my serial-dating rampage, I came across the verse that says, “Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases.” Song of Solomon 2:7. It says that same thing two other times throughout the entire book. What i got out of it, prior to the Song of Solomon class, is to not date unless He, the Lord, gives you a green light. Not a manipulative green light that’s actually red. Not the obvious red light that satan cons you into running. A CRYSTAL clear GREEN light.

There was a point where i thought He was giving me a green light because i had a dream with A LOT of green…but folks, that’s the manipulative green light. We know He leads us by His peace. The lack of a heavy heart. A good thing that satan tries REALLY hard to break. Sometimes (at least for me), it’s easy to mistake spiritual warfare for conviction. It’s hard to differentiate sometimes…but the power of prayer is strong. Really strong. Sometimes all that’s needed is seeing that persons face, and knowing the Lord is blessing You and the battle is obviously satans handiwork.

But back to the Song of Solomon book — under one of the chapter questions was written in pen, “God has a way of changing things.”

I stopped dead in my tracks at that point. Sitting on the ground, I cried out to the Lord. I honestly cannot remember what I asked Him, though…but it was definitely the Spirit in me taking control.

I’ve said it before, but I need a change. I need something to change. Not just my lack of a “love life” and the excitement and anticipation that rings from that…but just something…

…and that’s when i need to remember that GOD has a way of changing things.

He’s kept this last year for me SUPER stable. Which I needed. But now i am growing restless…but I know that with the peace of following in His will, He wants me here. And i need to be here. This is not how the rest of my life will be. Things WILL indeed change. Maybe even sooner than I expect. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe in a year (hope not)…but life won’t remain this way for me. This is just another season. A season of stability. I am hoping for a season of adventure.

But for now, i must…i repeat, MUST remember this is a season of life He has lovingly given to me. For everything there is a reason. He will make beautiful things happen.

My good friend, roommate, and sister-in-law-SQUARED — Nicole, gave me a sweet note a few weeks ago after I opened up about August…and September, being rough months for me. She blessed me with lyrics from a band, Gungor.

Beautiful Things –

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll even find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Redemption.

27 Jun

I believe the day was July 2, 2006. A Sunday just like today. It was our week to go to Calvary Chapel Lake Stevens (at that point my family was alternating Sundays between CCLS and CCMarysville.) Kelley was teaching from 2 Corinthians. From  the 6th chapter…my  life changed that day. I made a promise with God.

If you have read any of my blogs or notes over the last four or five years, then you’ve probably heard some of my testimony. Today i was once again reminded of God’s redemption and deliverance. How amazing is He?

It is surprising to me how i truly cannot remember the day that my unsaved high school boyfriend and i finally broke up for the last and final time, for I usually am really really good at remembering those dates. What i do remember though is that the final time we went out was not even for a month in length…having been saved in between our relationships, my perspective changed and for the first time i experienced the Spirits conviction..and i eventually became physically sick. Even today, when I have a meatball sub from subway, I am reminded by the power the Holy Spirit had on me. I knew what needed to happen…but my flesh wanted the opposite. I am thankful for the drama and deceit that lead to the end of that relationship…even if my heart had to break again.

It has been almost exactly four years ago since all that had happened.

2 Corinthians 6:14 says that we are to “not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers”. It all finally made sense why i was so convicted. And in the moment after Kelley read that verse in 2006, I made a promise with the Lord to never ever ever date an unbeliever again. How thankful i am to say that I have kept that promise…and just barely. But i also manipulated the promise and became a “serial dater”  and went through Christian boys like candy. And though I unintentionally hurt some innocent souls, it is how I learned how to recognize the Holy Spirit. I wish it didn’t have to be so…but the Lord did some good works from it all. I wouldn’t know His peace if I hadn’t experience His conviction.

This morning when Kelley announced we were reading from 2 Corinthians 6, my heart broke. In a good way. I was looking around the room and realized there are sooo many people who I love in that room. People who I have shared wonderful memories with and hope to have in my life forever. No longer do i feel like an awkward lost stranger as i did 4 years ago..but i feel loved and accepted! The Lord delivered me from loneliness in the last 4 years in ways I never expected. I never expected after graduating to be living with four amazing girls in this house! I never expected to be serving in the Upperroom. I never expected to have weekends full of amazingness. I never expected any of this wonderful life i live. He knew what I needed…and gave me more. He is so amazing!

I may think my heart is broken. I may look in the eyes of the guy i want to marry…full of wonder, pain, and hope. I may manipulate situations like a pro. I may get lost in my thoughts during prayer or teachings. I may have THE hardest time repenting of some sins. I may fight with the Lord to surrender my hopes of the life I want…thinking that my life how it is now is not what i want. But the truth is…is that God’s faithfulness in those pitiful days 4 to 5 years ago has proved to me that He will be faithful forever. truly, FOREVER! God will exceed all my expectations. I can be hurt all i want by what i don’t have…but God is there with open arms showing me His life for me. I may have my life all figured out, but unless it aligns with His will…then it is useless. The guy, the job, the house, etc.

I can ponder day after day after day why He would bless me with His peace for a relationship…only for it to sadly end. Or why it is super hard for me to want to excel in school as well as i did in high school. Or why i had to get into not one but TWO accidents in the last seven months. Or why my dad has to live 1000 miles away. Or why i am not prettier, more charming, less annoying.

But it all is useless. This last week I have been attempting to live my life more on purpose because so much of my time is wasted on useless stuff. Facebook especially. Or just sleeping and being lazy. Or spending my money on useless stuff.

Jesus is so lovely…and I am soo thankful He captured my heart when He did. I am so thankful I have so much love in my life. I am so thankful for those sucky trials i went through…and still am going through. He is my GREAT Deliverer. And there is no turning back.