Monday, March 30, 2009

fall or rise

this past weekend was absolutely amazing. i was in atlanta for my best friend from second grade's bachelorette party. knowing that it was going to be 12 girls cooped up in a 2 bedroom condo for 2 days of chaos sounded, well, miserable. but true to form, my assumptions were far from reality. this weekend, in all it's hilarity and tight quarters, was a weekend of freedom.

dancing. laughing. eating. remembering. celebrating.

why freedom you may ask? in the past couple months i have felt so unlike myself for various reasons. old masks here. new masks there. impress this person. work harder for this person. and so on. but enter your best friends from growing up and i found myself in a place of release. i cannot express to you how liberating it felt to be, well, me. these girls KNOW me. they know the brace-faced, bushy haired, tomboy and they still love me. they know the rebel. the angster. the revolutionary. they know it all....and they still love me. they love me when i am polly-put-together and love me when i am susie-screw-up. they still think of me as the same person and love me regardless. it's not even a question. i don't even have to think about if they still love me whether i fall or rise.

all i am trying to portray is an unconditional love that i haven't felt in awhile...or let myself feel rather. a love that a Father has made and loves me to rest in. this weekend was a great reminder that He has made me in His image. i don't have to work for His love. and the weekend showed me where i frequently equate His love to earthly examples. this weekend taught me to shake off the old and herald in the new. and laugh while you do it.

so i thank you girls for being shining examples of the heart and bringing this one even closer to more of Him and His plan.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8

Psalm 16
A miktam of David.
1 Keep me safe, O God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing."

3 As for the saints who are in the land,
they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.

4 The sorrows of those will increase
who run after other gods.
I will not pour out their libations of blood
or take up their names on my lips.

5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.

6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

8 I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,

10 because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

11 You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

spiritual tilex

this morning i was going through my normal bathroom routine....fixing the hair, debating putting makeup on, wishing i didn't wear contacts....and as i began to think about my weekend guests, the innate desire to scrub everything in my bathroom astounded me. i dropped everything, even though my proverbial time crunch was beckoning, and ran to grab the tilex and scrubbing bubbles (dear loyal friends of mine). have to clean! have to clean! emily and katie beth are coming! have to clean!

after positioning the entire bathroom for the speediest scrub down this side of the mason dixon, i felt a check in the ole spirit. i've come to recognize the check and the Lord laughing a little at me, in hopes of teaching me something. i'm sure i inserted a quick quip or two in before i decided to succumb to, you know, the maker of the universe and all.

He began to speak to me about why i like to clean so much. why i like to fix things. why i like to fix things in me. they were gentle, yet keenly targeted questions (in true Jewish fashion) at 8am. and i began telling Him that i like everything to be really clean for my guests. i want them to feel like i prepared for them. that they didn't drive 2 hours for mildew, dog hair, and wine stains. so during my well-programmed soliloquy, the Lord drops something in my heart. He began to teach me that this is why He has placed confession in our lives. because, as humans, we like to have things in order, almost to earn love or earn friendships. we like to have our lives scrubbed with tilex to make sure those we desire will continue to see us in our utmost state of 'perfection.' but confession allows for us to say "here's the ugly and you still love me? genius!"

it's a marvelous system for those of us who struggle with the law vs. grace. so now my challenge is to put the sponge and disinfectant down, let those people love me and i them, and dance because the Saviour made it this way.

i like this real love thing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


my dearest friend, emily young, wrote this for me today and i thought it was so poignant i would feel remiss if i did not share:

"Were it not for the enemy none of us would feel the need to protect or harden our
hearts. To love freely and with abandon- as we are called to do. Jesus did, so we should too. It sounds simple, and though it's not that black and white, I think it can be. Of course a little within the lines, but feeling ashamed to admit the desires of you heart is too much pressure to put on yourself. I think as humans the hard part about loving with abandon is that we expect something in return. Maybe not even love back. Sometimes we just expect rejection (i.e. when we assume the worst). If we obey the call to truly love others freely with abandon, we do so for the Glory of God. And in that, I think there are no regrets."


check her blog out:

fight to rest.

i just feel like writing. nothing in particular quite yet but here goes.

i love Jesus. it's been the most amazing ride from age 14 on. i think the thing i love about Him most is He is a redeemer. in all those times i try to figure things out or feel poorly because my inept ways don't quite make the cut....i take heart because He is a Redeemer. breathe.

i was reading in numbers this morning, going through the vast regulations that were so prevalent in the old covenant. i found myself thinking "why would the Lord ever put in place something that He knew wouldn't work?" i'm sure you, as a deep student of philosophy, have thought this before. i have too. yet i rarely sit around long enough to hear about it. my thought (among many) was because it allowed a table for which the Lord could show our need for a saviour. an alter if you will. an alter built from rules, regulations, to do's, and blood. lots of blood. insert the once-for-all atonement and it means so much more. this atonement that broke the alter and rent the curtain in two. if we never truly saw what life would be like if there was no sacrifice then maybe we never would appreciate isaiah 53. i actually (admittedly) thought it would probably be easier to have such set rules so you knew exactly what to do. which leads me to my next point.....

from there i move towards how quickly my little mind runs back to regulations (the old covenant). and loves to keep people on that track as well. something i absolutely love about my roommates is that they are so free living. if the house isn't clean, the pillows are in disarray, and the hair dryer is not put up.....they are completely ok. me on the other hand, am sitting in the corner, conversing with my o.c.d. and begging it to give me a break for 2.5. i was reminded of that this morning as i was reading in numbers, how my particular ilk leans to rules. this is one of the things i am learning while i live with these amazing, and largely different from me, roommates. to let go. to be free. to breathe. i know this sounds simplistic, but to me it was revelation. i am learning to give it up. to let the Lord govern my thoughts more than i ever thought i needed. to be myself. to be the woman the Lord created. freed.

i see that freedom is so much more. and some of us (namely, me) have to fight for it a bit. fight to rest. fight to be free. fight to live. just like israel and canaan. the Lord showed the promised land and then told them to go fight for it. wow.

i heard a pastor say that if you aren't resting in a fight you don't know the Lord's strength. so Lord i ask for rest amidst the swarm of thoughts and doubts. grace to rest in Your kindness.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009


i am an event coordinator. and not just your small 100 person event, but an event that draws thousands for one short morning. with this in mind, i am in training here in nashville and have that overwhelming since of "how in the world can i do this?" i asked my friend and trainer how she handles everything. she quickly retorted "you can't do this alone so don't even think about it." and for what seems like the first time, i don't want to. i admit, my first reaction is to wonder why i can't just do it all myself. my small mind bends towards thinking it would be so much easier. i can control myself. i can tell myself what to do. i can depend on myself. but when you get into "needing" other people, that's when i gets ever so scary. albeit, i am now set-up to have to need people on a daily basis. need the community. need a dependable person. and however scary this is to me concerning my job, it seems like this fear goes much deeper. it feels as if this notion has been in my ways much longer than the american heart association has been in my life. i sit back and wonder what it's like to need people (or a person) and be ok. how does it feel to relish the fact that you are created for community?

i realize the Lord is doing some work in me concerning trust, dependency, and fear. all of which take on several forms and faces in this walk of mine. but as i look towards the Lord i remember He is the gentlest of surgeons and it would be folly to get up from the operating table. folly to think you can go it alone, continuing to harbor whatever form of sickness, and forgo the operation. sure when operated on you are exposed to the surgeon, sure you are vulnerable to nicks and cuts. but the operating process is something that will yield healing and restoration, and much faster that any home remedy we may swallow, believing it to be a swifter, easier way.

and so now i see the Lord, yet again, showing me that He IS community. He is the Trinity. three in one. if He is constantly in community, how much more do i need?

"Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Your builders make haste; your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you. Lift up your eyes around and see; they all gather, they come to you. As I live, declares the LORD, you shall put them all on as an ornament; you shall bind them on as a bride does." Isaiah 49:15-18

Thank you Lord for not forgetting me. For not being threatened by these walls and old ways of thinking. Thank you that the old shall be made new and be as an ornament of splender.