Amen.

8 Dec

SWITCHFOOT – LET THAT BE ENOUGH

I wish I had what I need
To be on my own
‘Cause I feel so defeated
And I’m feeling alone

And it all seems so helpless
And I have no plans
I’m a plane in the sunset
With nowhere to land

And all I see
It could never make me happy And all my sand castles
Spend their time collapsing
Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
Let that be enough

It’s my birthday tomorrow
No one here could now
I was born this Thursday
22 years ago

And I feel stuck
Watching history repeating
Yeah, who am I?
Just a kid who knows he’s needy

Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
And let that be enough

https://i0.wp.com/paidcontent.org/images/editorial/_original/airplane-sunset-o.jpg

Over and Over Again.

2 Dec

It’s a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over again.

No matter how many notifications I get on Facebook throughout the day or text messages and calls from friends – it does NOT fulfill me. It can’t.

It can’t have the lasting fulfillment that only Christ can give.

The only fulfillment I know I need, but resist so often.

Why is it so hard to see how wonderful I life I have in real life. Not over the phone or computer, but really face to face life.

Why do I feel the need to review my Facebook to see how friends, new and old, perceive me?

Am i the only one who does that?

I mean I do want to make sure no overly horrible pictures are on my Facebook…or ones that could potentially defile someone who has different convictions than I. But I do want to make sure my pictures make me seem…popular.

How dumb.

The tagged pictures on one’s Facebook can say a lot about the person though

And why is it when I do see old friends…or meet a friend I met first on Facebook (non-creeper way)…it’s awkward?

And why is it that I often have nothing to talk about without the person already knowing about it because I post about it on Facebook?

No matter how many awesome pictures I am tagged in…or the extent of “likes” and comments on my random and dumb status updates. I am still not fulfilled.

And when I’m in a real life conversation with someone, it’s not as in-depth because of Facebook.

Even when I log in to 50 notifications, I still want more.

And so I spend time thinking of funny things to share or pictures to post.

More time than I do spend on the Lord.

This blog is probably really hard to follow, my apologies.

Anyway, what I am getting at…is that Facebook can be a blessing. Especially with my dad and family living so far away.

And I am also able to encourage folks with Bible verses and lyrics, too…

But the vanity and idolatry of it all, is not good.

It’s a bittersweet dealio.

I want to delete it, but I want to stay in contact with my family. But then I think that there are plenty of other ways to stay in contact and I’m just using that excuse as just that, an excuse, to stay on Facebook. And I know I will regret deleting it when 5 years down the road I want to read the old blogs I wrote on my Facebook two years prior….I still regret doing that with my Myspace. Dag nabbit.

But yeah, maybe it’s something in which we call self-discipline that I need to practice.

Yeah, that’s probably it…I’m not a very self-disciplined person. But you gotta start with the small things to be disciplined in the big things 🙂

 

 


Looking Up.

28 Nov

You know those weekends where each day is completely full to the brim? When you are actually home, it’s only for sleeping?  (If you actually get there…)

Well, that would be my weekend. This long 4 day weekend was completely full and I loved each moment of it.

It was so full and amazing that I have a hard time believing it was only 4 days long.

Wednesday was the last day of work before Thanksgiving. Once that was done I headed to church for the normal Wednesday service. Once Shane ended the night with “Amen”, the boys gathered their nerf guns and the girls gathered their sheets. It was bound to be an epic night.

The guys were in the lower building for an epically awesome Nerf gun war. You should have seen some of their guns, bigger than my 2 year-old nephew. Though I wish I could have participated…the girls had their own agenda in the Upper Room.

Karaoke and a blanket fort.

Yes, it doesn’t seem as epic as the boys adventure, but once you watch THIS video

You will understand. And the girls did a fairly good job with it.

It may look like a giant sheet fort, but inside are tunnels and lots of Christmas lights.

We spent the first part of the night singing our hearts out to Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Simba, and Cyndi Lauper.

And then we all gathered in the fort for stupid, silly songs and games that we haven’t played or sung in years and years.

And even though me typing out doesn’t make it seem as fun as the boys event, it was probably one of my most favorite times as a youth leader to those girls. Of course singing “My Heart Will Go On” with my roomie Katheryn would make any night awesome.

The girls lacked attitudes or the standoffishness that can often come with these events, they were ready for fun and fulfillment. And we got it. I am so thankful for this event.

The girl event got over at midnight and then a group of us decided to go to the Chris’s house and watch a movie. AKA put a movie on a fall asleep.

I woke up bright and early in the morning to head to a school footfield to watch a bunch of guys in the annual Turkey Bowl with Katheryn. I got to watch my teething nephew who just wanted to pretend drive a car. With his dad. Who wanted to play football. It was a good thing Jericho got what he wanted because Jaden is still hurt from the last football game on Halloween.

Once that was over I went to my sisters house for Thanksgiving. I took a small nap (woke up right before my sister was walking over to me with a poopy diaper.) And then got started on the potatoes. Sweet and red. My two favorites!

It was only a small gathering – my momma, Jaden, Heather, Jericho, Jude, Sarah, and me…but it was perfect. And we got lots of cracky time with the sisters. 😉 (cracky is not a bad inuendo…it’s a sister thing.)

I left around 8 to head back home to get ready for some black Friday shopping. I got picked up in a stuffed car at 11 pm and headed to an outlet mall nearby. This outlet mall is very well known for drawing people down from Canada – aka: it was packed. But we were still able to maneuver by having speed walk competitions. Yes, we were that group. But it was fun and only one guy got pushed over. And maybe a near miss with a guy and a full cup of coffee. 🙂

After that mall, we went to Best Buy, where Chris (not Christopher, mind you) was picking up the awesome TV he smartly bought online as to avoid the lines.

By that time, it was 330-4 and we were hungry, so we stopped by our favorite diner, Don’s. Which is really a grungy truck stop-esque diner. But the food is decent and the service is great. And they’re open 24 hours. 🙂

Speaking of which, I still have half my sandwich in my fridge. Sweet!

Despite the 4 cups of watered-down coffee i consumed and the nap Ben tried taking on the floor, we headed to another mall about 30 minutes away to go to Urban Outfitters.

I had the privilege of my own back seat with the Chris’s where our exhaustiveness played out in our conversations with each other.

We left that mall around 5:30 and I got dropped off at home. It was an epic night for sure.

The next day I did some chores. We all decided the night before that Saturday was going to be a lazy day, so I went back to the guys house and we got ready for our Turkey feast on Sunday. And also went to Target.

Okay, so it wasn’t that lazy.

We ate and watched movies. And played some video games on the new tv.

There’s the laziness. 🙂

The next day, it was Saturday.

I did some packing (going to be living with my older sis for a bit while things with my dad get figured out) and then headed, once more, to the Chris’s to pick everyone up to head over to the Bavarian town of Leavenworth for a birthday excursion for my good friend, Justine!

It was my first time driving on the pass. The second time I’ve taken my own car out in the snow. I could care less about the snow – it was driving off the mountain that I was scared of. And it being dark only scared me more. But by the time I thought it could only get worse – it got better. Praying in my head worked great, too.

We got to Leavenworth around 730 and walked around the town to window shop. Many of the shoppes were already closing, but there were still some cool ones we roamed around. We headed to a sledding hill and tried sledding down with the few scraps of broken sleds we could find. I have a nice bruise on my rear, but it was worth it!

We ate bratwursts and kielbasa at a restaurant and then headed back home. Making sure to stop at the pass for some real snow fun.

Have you ever jumped off a side of a mountain into a nice, soft, pile of snow?

It’s one of the coolest things EVER.

And while I didn’t quite do that…jumping off a hill is almost as cool. Especially when you get lodged in the snow all the way to your waist. And maybe having to get pulled out because your foot is stuck.

There’s nothing quite like feet of snow to play in. Not inches, feet.

We got home around 1 AM and a dead-tired me went straight to bed only to wake up early for church. Church was awesome, we are in James, my favorite book. It was also communion, too. I am so thankful for my pastors and the rest of the church family, I am very, very blessed.

I worked in the espresso bar during the gap betweeen 1st and 2nd service and then headed to Safeway to get more stuff for the Turkey feast.

Now, way back in October, when I went camping with my friends…we decided to do our own Thanksgiving with our friends. Turkey and all.

And this Sunday (well, last..) was that day. Being obsessed with sweet potatoes, that was my dish. I was going to do one I found on The Pioneer Woman’s site, but I found a better recipe that included cranberries. We had an extra bag, so it was perfect! I also helped out with the stuffing and gravy. I am very, very, very, very impressed with how everything turned out. Everything was perfect. Everything except the rolls were homemade from scratch. The turkey was moist. The stuffing was great. The mashed potatoes were perfect. And the Martinelli’s was plentiful!

…sorry about the blurriness, some day I will have an actual camera instead of a camera phone…

I was very impressed with how natural being in the kitchen was for me…I am definitely growing up.

We all then gathered around the TV to watch Elf. I was about to fall asleep until a nerf gun pelted me.

Figures…lol.

It was right around then that I got the only bad news of the weekend, but I will wait to elaborate.

This last weekend was full. It was fellowship at its finest. It was full of teamwork and love. It was amazing. It was perfect.

I’m very thankful for this weekend and for the people the Lord has brought into my life in just the 6 years I’ve known my Jesus. ❤

 

Beyond the Obvious.

23 Nov

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Ephesians 6:2

It is true that misery loves company, so it would only make sense to surround yourself with folks who have the “cup half full” perspective when in midst of trials and testings…and having to wait patiently to see what the Lord has up His sleeve.

…if He has sleeves 🙂

Talking with a friend the other night, we realized that the group of us we refer to as the “Regs” (sorry I used it in public). More specifically those of us who were on the Joplin trip together, are all going through trying and changing times.

Each and every one of us. 

Moving, marriages, break-ups, new churches, pruning, family issues, the list goes on. But one thing is the same, we’re all going through a changing time in which all we have to hold on to is the promises we were given by Him who created us. And thankfully He gave us each other to bear each others burdens and lift each other up in prayer and fellowship.

And lots of laughter. (Thank you, Nicole, for praying for laughter!)

I guess with Thanksgiving being tomorrow, this blog is more an ode of thanks to Jesus for giving me these people to share my burdens with. This is me saying, “Thank You”, for blessing me on that trip. I never could imagine it being such a blessing in my life, but it is. He changed me for the better there. He humbled me and gave me hope again.

That mission trip was the start of a new chapter of my life. I can only go forward from here, knowing that I have some of the greatest friends (new AND old) by my side praying and supporting me.

I’m blessed and I know it.

I have the most amazing family who goes out of their way to see me. Who supports me and truly loves me. I love my family. My Grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins…sisters, brothers, dad, and mom. And of course, my nephews. My amazing, chubby faced nephews.

And though most of my family lives far away, I have the Jerde’s and Songstad’s (my two brother-in-law’s families) who make me feel like family. Because all in all…we are.

And I love my friends who keep me out late on weekdays watching movies and passing around the truth stick. Who invite me to gatherings at their house, who pray for me, who listen to me, who give me wisdom, who can be fools with me, who love the Lord with me. I’m sorry all you people out there…I have the best friends in the world. Hands down.

So, thank you all. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all the people in my life.

All my family, friends, youth groupers, church family, etc.

You bless me.

 

 

Persecuted Not Crushed.

18 Nov

Now, I don’t really follow football. I don’t really know any of the players except Matt Hasselback or Tom Brady…but with all the media on Tim Tebow recently, it has sparked some interest in me.

A player who chooses to give all glory to God when scoring a touchdown. A player who is nice. A player who has a childlike faith in Him. A player who posts Bible verses on his Facebook fan page regularly. A player who has a heart of compassion. A player who really strives to be like Him who created him and is not afraid to be set apart and face persecution.

And it’s not like the persecution we face in our lives – it’s wide spread. ALL OVER THE MEDIA. And yet, he continues to do as he has done.

I read an awesome article on Fox Sports and just laughed to myself as I read this –

“He is too nice, and thereby we want him to trip up so we can feel better. We want him to be revealed as a hypocrite, and when that fails to happen, we settle for gleefully celebrating his failures on the football field. And why? Because he dares to say thanks?” – Jen Floyd Engel

I wonder if this lady even know that the very thing she said is the very thing we were told would happen?

“For no guilt of mine, they run and set themselves against me.” Psalm 59:4

“Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack. My adversaries pursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? 5 All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin. They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life.” Psalms 56:1-6

“But for Your sake we are killed all day long; We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” Psalm 44:22

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

There are SO many verses I could bring up, but it  all comes down to this – Jesus was persecuted and in striving to be like Him, we will be persecuted, too because of His name.

But will the persecution do for us? Will it cause us to stumble?

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Romans 8:36

It makes me so thankful that this guy is being persecuted. Because despite all the slack and persecution he has been receiving for loving Jesus – he is still steadfast in his faith. That is what we are called to be, what a great man of faith he is. I am proud to call him a brother in Christ. And from a woman’s perspective, that is WORLDS more attractive than all those guys criticizing him.

He will fail, we can’t hold him on a pedestal – he needs Jesus for a reason! I just hope and pray that he will continue to make his love for Christ known, not being fearful of the persecution he is to receive, but rather welcoming it and allowing his faith to grow in it. Christ is faithful.

Way to go, Tebow 🙂

All That I Can Say…

16 Nov

Props to Sarah JERDE.

There are so many times I think of wonderful topics to blog about, but once I click on “New Post”, my mind goes completely blank.

Hence the reason my posts have lacked regularity over the past few months.

Also, for some reason it is easier for me to write when I am in midst of a trial or crisis.

But anyway, we are nearly 8 weeks into my least favorite season – Fall. This season usually is full of rain. Now, I don’t mind DOWN POURS, rather, i love down pours. But Fall is usually full of sprinkles…all. day. long. It’s usually fricken (i had to add that to show you my distaste) ugly and miserable.

But this Fall has been different (today and a few other days are an exception). This Fall has been unusually sunny and pretty. It has been rather enjoyable and has kinda even made me like Autumn. Just slightly.

With Fall comes change. The leaves on the trees change and fall off. Ladies start wearing more modest clothing and our coffee drinks involve some sort of peppermint, pumpkin, or ginger flavoring.

Sunday night I had my second ever pregnancy dream. For a girl who isn’t married and has no possibility of being prego – these dreams are slightly disturbing after waking.

My first one, I was a teen mom and had no clue who the dad was. I remember crying in a recliner, worried about what everyone would think.

This one was different. This time my belly was HUGE and I was days away from being due – and it was a girl. I remember even seeing her face, she had beautiful brown eyes. And I remember thinking for some reason that I was due to be in labor and was in my bathtub…but had no contractions. Weird…

But anyway, I woke up before my dream could really be done and don’t know how it ended (i HATE when that happens!)

I knew pregnancy dreams meant something (and I do believe most dreams are our bodies way of analyzing the on-goings of our life). When I got to a computer, I Googled, “Pregnancy dreams” and ignoring a lot of the weird fortune-telling stuff, the common denominator was that pregnancy dreams symbolizes an spect of myself or my personal life that is growing and developing. One that I may not be ready to talk about or act upon. It could also represent a new idea, goal, direction, or project. One of the sites also said that if I dream I am pregnant and not trying to get pregnant in my actual life – then it could mean the fear of new responsibilities.

Check and check.

Change is coming to multiple areas of my life.

One of my pastors will start his own church plant in a couple towns over – his family is very prominent in my life, especially his daughters. Not having them at church each week will be weird, but I am sooo very excited for him and his family. The Lord will do mighty things, i’m sure of it 🙂

Since I’ve been part of the church, the high school and junior high groups had their own little shindig in the “Upperroom” on Sundays and Wednesdays – back in September it was laid on our youth pastors heart to switch things up

Also, I will be moving in with my sister and her family for a little while. I’m hoping six weeks maximum. I’m waiting for my dad to get a date he will start his job at Boeing (figures once he was hired, they would decide to have a hiring freeze of his line of work). As far as I am aware, he still has the job. So, please pray for that! Once that date is set, I will be living with my dad for the first time since I was a third grader. I’m really excited 🙂

I think the best word to describe this period of life is: Re-calibration.

A word I came to be familiar with whilst working at Starbucks – re-calibrating the espresso machine was something I did often to make sure the shots were up to par so that I could make the best drinks possible. A tedious task (especially with the Washington weather changing so crazily), but necessary. So, that’s how I will see this time of life. Tedious – yes. But necessary.

It’s the trimming of the limbs to bring forth new fruit (in Christianese).

God will make this time beautiful, even despite some of the bitter attitudes to some of the changes. Even when we can’t see, we must still believe He will do good for those of us who love Him. He will.

I am just so thankful I have so much love around me from my family and friends. God always provides the perfect people to be my side and ride along when life gets crazy. I’m scared of some of these changes. Anxious, too. I am sad for some of the people leaving the church to help with the new one, but thankful they are still such a big part of my life even outside of the Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.

I know in a year from now, the beauty will be known.

I know in a year from now that life for me can be way different.

God is working in my life, He is making that so evident.

I have hope in this re-calibration and choose to glorify Him thru it all.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is the tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

Pretty Girl…

11 Nov

I once wrote a blog about the ear piercing song “Pretty Girl” by Sugarcult. That song gives me the creeps. Okay, I tried to find that blog, but apparently it may only be a draft (which I have dozens of, btw.)

Anyway, that song by Sugarcult gives me the creeps. It takes me back to the days of my intense and naive naivety when I was 16-18. The manipulative thoughts some tried to put in my mind. All I can say is, thank Jesus for Jesus. 🙂

It’s actually not all that relevant to bring up the song above to introduce the new “Pretty Girl…” songs. It’s just that I  realized that I can now totally redeem any song with “Pretty Girl” in the title because of a string of other awesome songs by an awesome band I have started listening to. The Avett Brothers.

For a couple years now, it has been suuuuuuper hard for me to listen to secular music. I just don’t like all the innuendo and harsh words that most music runs off of these days. But I have come across a few bands who are tolerable – if not very enjoyable. Many have Christian music ties (i.e. The Civil Wars with Joy Williams!) The Avett Brothers do have some swearing…and I am sure that if I spend time analyzing their lyrics, there’s probably some innuendo…but all in all, the music is fun and awesome. My favorite thing about their music is all the “Pretty Girl…” songs. For example “Pretty Girl from Chile”, “Pretty Girl from San Diego”, “Pretty Girl from Locust”. The list goes on.

Reading the lyrics makes me want to know if the writer had a fling with girls from those cities or just randomly saw them at a random place, like at the airport. It makes me want to know more, to really take time to understand what is being written. I like when musicians are able to do that.

So anyway, if you haven’t…you should listen to The Avett Brothers. Their music is chill but catchy. It’s the kind of music I can listen to in all seasons, it’s not just Summer or Fall music.

Have a blessed weekend!!! The sunshine streak has ended and we have some stormy weather here in the PNW now… 🙂