Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Enough Said.

- God

Translation: "Beautiful, i got you!! Don't even worry about it!"

Monday, May 23, 2011

awesome of the week- siblings.

I'm not sure what else needs to be said other than i love them! So very much!
And that they're awesome. (Like crazy awesome!)

That's all.

I got joy...

joy joy joy... down in my heart! Where? Down in my heart! (Kick-back Bible song anyone? Ok, moving on! It was before my time too.)

But seriously! Joy! Friends, it's so good for the soul! It really is! I'm sitting here, after a rather "normal" day simply overwhelmed by the goodness of the Lord. His favor in my life is so undeserved and yet its sweet blessing is being poured over me in crazy awesome amounts! My cup is filled and runs over most definitely! Who needs some... i gotchu! : )

Last night at church i was reminded that God is my Father! Tim Khul rocked the face off that message. God is my dad. His arms are steadfast and strong to catch me. His wisdom is great and all knowing. He is quick to protect me! His holiness sets him infinitely apart from all that i am, and that promises goodness! He is a good dad! And he delights when his daughter runs to him! It brings him joy and delight when i run to his arms! I can't help but overflow when i think about it! I am the daughter of a God who is in perfect control of it all. Everything. Every single detail! He takes delight in orchestrating the events of life to bring himself honor and for the goodness of those he loves and who love him! And for kicks, he decides to bless the heck out of his children! He loves us! Oh, how he loves us!

Dang yo. He's got me! He's got it covered! He's my dad! And well, the three year old in me wants to ask for a pink pony and a prince charming... : )

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Be all in everyday."

I attended woman's retreat this past week. Yup. I guess i'm officially welcomed into the womanhood! Hola!

: )

To be completely honest, when i think woman's ministry i think doilies. I know, it's a bit drastic. But it's the truth. So, when i signed up for Woman's Retreat i was a little cautious of what was to come. I was excited to spend the weekend with the women in my family, yet admittedly a little wary they'd have me scrap booking. (Or worse.)

Considering those were my latent, obviously unspoken expectations, i was naturally blown away! It was a fantastic weekend! Truly! Sitting in a room of powerful, beautiful, Spirit filled, ridiculously funny woman was good for my soul! I get encouraged to see woman doing life with each other! While i'm still young, in age and faith, i'm passionate about discipleship and the role of older women speaking into younger women's lives. It's essential. And well, spending a weekend in the blessings of that was so good!

Anyway, the lesson i took away is simple. But i like simple... so it's perfectly fitting!

"Be all in everyday."

So simple, right? I just love it. What really excites me though, is the possibilities of actually living it out! That, my friends, is far from simple! And I think it could prove rather radical! Think about it. Waking up every morning telling Jesus that all i am today is available for all of what he'd have for me today. Could you imagine? Where would he take me? Who would he have me bless? What would his Spirit teach me?

What about in a marriage? Just think about how waking up committing to be actively engaged in your spouse and that relationship, today, would cause a spark! Could that cover a multitude of sins? What about your job? How would showing up to work prepared to be "all in" (and not on Facebook) change your output? Maybe your attitude would be different?

So, this week, my challenge has been this. Pray daily that i'd be all in! All in to whatever God would have for me today. The people, the places, the conversations. All of it. I trust that God is doing something big! And that, my friends, is AWESOME!

This photo has nothing to do with my post. But i just love this little girl!

"Hey Nunkins, make a funny face!" This is what i get. Joy to my heart!

Friday, May 13, 2011

3 am. Spirit Fingers.

Well good morning friends! It’s 3:30 am Friday morning and I’m wide awake! Which is rather funny considering the ungodly hour of the morning it is for anyone to be awake, and the amount of wit I’ve entertained in my head as I was lying here tossing and turning.

So when wit keeps you awake... it’s best you write something! You can tweet that.

I’m self proclaimed funny when i wake up this early! Which isn't saying much. However, this could be really fun when i'm married! You have someone next to you to enjoy (or loathe) your early morning humor. I enjoy it! For now, Blogger and i have a loving relationship. It’s a little one sided at the moment. But we’re working on it. Don’t worry about it.

Forty minutes of tossing and turning i told myself to stop fighting it and just get up and blog already. (A normal, rational decision at this hour of the morning.) I joked with a friend yesterday that I’ve been waking up at 5:30 all week for no particular reason and have had to force myself back to sleep. Well, I just upped the ante, 3:30 folks! Take that! (So unholy it’s absurd.) I now find myself up, typing a freaking blog, and doing such between yawns a plenty, so let me get out something good before I crash.

So thoughts this week have been on the Spirit. It may be 3am... but i'm bringing it. My small group is going through Forgotten God, by Francis Chan. And it’s rocking my world. Seriously. My thoughts on the Spirit, and his tangible movement in my life and the Church are being deeply challenged. And it’s good. SO good. Right now i’m wrestling with ideas of integrity. Integrity in claiming to believe something and having my life align with it. It’s simple, yea? I like simple. Why am i so bad at it when it comes to believing in the power of the Spirit and living my life like it? I beginning to see a lot of it has to do with fear and pride- but that is for another post.

Anyway, last friday at Bible study, a wise sister challenged us to do something i’ve never done before. She petitioned my small group to pray, daily, that the Spirit of God be alive and active in our lives. Considering that this Spirit is the very same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, it seemed like a noteworthy attempt towards powerful living. Sure, why not! I like power. (Or something.) So, I started the week positioned halfway expectant and compliant. I was kind of fearful to expect anything too big, but my rule-following tendencies had me praying it consistently. So i could report back well.

I’m a piece of work, this i know!

But, holy heck, is all i have to say. Don’t pray such a prayer if you don’t FULLY expect God to show up! Because he does so even when you don’t ask for it. Or half ask for it. He’s in the business of making himself known and esteeming himself greater and will blow you out of the water whenever possible. Even knuckleheads like me.

So, every morning, about 7:30, sitting in my chair in the living room, following a hot cup of coffee, i asked the Spirit to be alive and active -affective- in my life! And you know what, He did! Fancy that.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is now law!” Galatians 5:22-23

These are the fruits of the Spirit! Fruit of doing daily life with him! Don’t make me sing the cheesy song. While fire didn’t fall from the sky (that i’m aware of at least) and the foundation of my house didn’t split in two (thankfully so!), the Sprit showed up in powerful ways!

Folks- i still suck at this game. I struggle to clearly hear the voice of God--the moving of his Spirit. My life is often cluttered with other noises. Yea, those voices keep his muffled. This i know. But apart from my lackluster faith in the power of the Spirit, i’ve tasted the goodness of the Lord this week in a fresh new way. And it fired me up!

God cares. He really does! Personally and intimately. He gives good gifts to his children just to be kind! And because he's AWESOME!

At the end of the day, all I really want to do is love Jesus and love people like he did! Knowing Jesus greater comes by living actively in the Spirit. A truth, while so simple, I’ve glossed over for years.

No mo yo. So, here’s my challenge to you. Pray it. Ask the Spirit to be alive and active in your daily life. And see what happens. I dare you.

I triple dog dare you.

(i wait to see what comes at the end of your week. I'll also secretly pray it comes to mind at 3 am... and then ask for forgiveness.)


Monday, May 9, 2011

Love it!


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear
is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness,
that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually who are we not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people
won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine as children do.
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And when we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson

Sunday, May 8, 2011

{ happy mother's day! }

no lady can have too many flowers!

A tribute to my Madre....who is beyond awesome and worthy of much more than a blog post... but here she is! : )

Isn't she lovely? I think so.

She supports me and all my craziness more than i can ever be thankful for!
(even down to moving to Korea!)

She and my dad sacrifice and provide abundantly to give good gifts... for which i am SO thankful for!

She's recently stepped up as first mate, but has served up love on a plate to us and whomever else steps foot in our house since i can remember.
I'm thankful for the picture of servitude and a the blessings of a humble home.
(She taught me how to cook. and passed down her infinity for olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs, avocados... and well flavor in general.)

Yup. She's awesome for many many more reasons than listed here. She is wise and faithful, patient and kind and looked at by many as a woman who looks like Jesus. I am among them!
She shows me what love looks like. For that i'm thankful!
And well folks, i love her... so so much! And so should you.

So Madre... you now have a tribute on the good ol' world wide web. If i start making any money, i'll give you cut. Until then... i'll continue to post pictures of you without your permission and wait for you to read my blog to find them!


awesome of the week- free things.

I have one word for this week: awesome. Considering this is an "awesome of the week" post... it better be, right? And i labeled it so for things that are free, so i'll tie that in too! : ) Now that i've totally explained the duration of this post, i'll go ahead and start.

Anyway, this week was awesome for a few reasons. Tuesday Morning i got in my car and headed to the court. I was hopeful that a red light ticket, totaling $490, would somehow be reduced. I rocked a cute outfit, called him "sir", and smiled a lot. And well, i'm not ashamed of that, gots to work whatcha got! So, regardless of my sweater and charm, God had favor and the judge lowered my ticket! PRAISE BE! I'm thankful for that! Following that, i went to sit at Starbucks to finish some work and got an an awesome email. "You WON." You see, there was a conference i had been looking to attend, but considering i'm ngo, i got no money yo, and sadly couldn't go. (Catch that rhyme folks?) So, I entered a contest on a blog i follow and well folks, i won! Awesome right? Free things are awesome! I can now no longer say "i never win anything!" That was Tuesday. The conference was Wednesday... in Huntington Beach. Twist my arm. I'll rearrange my schedule.

Tuesday night rocked. Coffee with a dear sister from Colorado. Movie with some awesome friends.

Wednesday morning i headed down at an hour of the morning only holy for crazies, as to avoid traffic, and found myself sitting at the beach with my Bible and apple in hand, early for the conference. I'll leave the details of that out. Because well, when you're in love, sometimes you just gotta keep things secret! ; )

The conference was amazing. A more specific post on it to come on it later, but it was fantastic! I learned so much and was inspired to think big, God-sized thoughts simply sitting in a room of awesome thinkers! Yea. Cultivate Conference... if you're considering attending. Do it. You'll be thankful you did!

Wednesday night after the conference, i found myself wandering around Laguna Beach. It was awful. The scenery was horrible. The weather dreary. Yea, i wouldn't recommend it to anyone. So i headed to La Mirada to crash with a dear friend.

Laguna Beach. Just awful i tell you.

Thursday morning came. After shooting my GPS in the face, i made it to the conference. And it finished as strong as it started. My take away was this: design, create, think, plan, do awesome things as if God gave a damn. Excuse my language, but it's just so true! My afternoon consisted of an awesome fish taco. The beach. A book. A nap. And a much needed sunburn. AWESOME, i tell you! Space and quiet are good for the soul- especially at the beach! Both of which are free!


Friday finished my week out beautifully! Got to spend the day with a wonderful friend getting lost in an old antique store. I know... awesome, right? We didn't come away with any awesome purchases, though there were many worthy contenders, but the time spent was far more valuable. And again, awesomeness for free is what i talking about!

There we have it folks. Free is awesome. Like winning free tickets. (More like God blessing your socks off by giving good gifts just because he loves us!) Like quiet space to be with Jesus. (At no cost to us, just because Jesus welcomes us into his presence just to be near him!) And like free adventures. (Because time with awesome folks is really good for the soul!) And while i'm at it, i'll add new life to the list. Because Jesus came to give me life and life to the fullest and I could never make enough money, work hard enough, or love deep enough to even begin to think i could buy it!

Awesome of the week- free things.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Recent Thoughts Part 2 of 3: Stewardship.

I was talking with a co-worker last night about dating. She was shocked to hear that I had never been in a serious relationship. She gasped in shock, “But, you’re American!” American? Why yes, I am. What do you mean “I’m American”? What does that have to do with the number of people I’ve dated? Or i guess not dated? She was convinced that all American youth date and are encouraged to date in middle school and high school. Interesting, right? Now, if we’re counting those type of relationships, I’ll add one to my list. His name was Nathaniel. We “dated” for like two days until I “dumped” him on the soccer field. It was tragic.

Not exactly the type of dating I’m talking about.

I was listening to a podcast this morning on the topic of stewardship. Stewardship being the tending to of gifts that are given to us by God, for a season of time, which we will return back to him one day. We will return them back and give an account for how we used them up while they were in our hands. Money. Occupation. Time. Resources. Energies. Relationships. And, yes, sometimes the lack thereof. This message on stewardship followed a related message about faith, and how a deepening faith will lead to tangible actions reflective of that faith. So, in my mind I married the two. Stewardship and faith and this is the question I’m wrestling with: how do I walk out my faith- in a God whose promises never fail- as i steward the gifts he’s given me?

Among the gifts worthy of stewarding, the one which got me writing this... the gift of singleness. A gift I’ve been tending to for sometime now. And I'm pleased to announce I’m getting pretty good at it. Before I get all sarcastic on you and try to hide my true thoughts, I’ll just come right out here and say it, I think I’m ready to steward the gift of a man. Just keeping it real folks.

Ok, so while I fear I have, in one sentences, refuted my boasting the stewardship of singleness, please let me continue.

When I survey the past few years, it is hard to believe the things I’ve been able to do. Ask those who are closest to me, I think they’ll concur that I am a dreamer at heart! My ideas are frequent and lofty and while I err often in followthrough, the past few years have been the realization of a few of those big ideas. (Can I praise those who are on my “umm... i have a crazy idea” email list? I love you guys- thanks for helping me dream!) I wanted to travel and explore the world. I wanted to get out of California and all that was familiar. I wanted to see Jesus in a fresh way. And i wanted to see if journalism was fit for me. Who can pursue travel journalism sitting in Victorville? How does Korea sound? ha! As I type, I'm sitting at a Starbucks in Korea (random, i know!), in the midst of traveling and teaching, and have learned so much. I think I’ve decided that full time journalism isn’t my cup of tea. And in the short time i’ve been overseas, I am convinced of just how awesome this world is, and well, that the Kingdom of God is moving into this world! I wouldn’t have come to understand these things had I not had the freedom to go and just figure it out! Singleness offers me a unique freedom that is a gift worth stewarding well. When else will I ever have the opportunity to do what I have? I cherish it with thanksgiving.

God has given me this season of “solo”, as my Korean students like to call it, to explore life, see His world, and find out who he made me to be. I am thankful for that. I cannot imagine doing all of this with romantic attachments. Or even soaking in the fullness of this process if i were already married. While I am a firm advocate for traveling and adventuring and doing all of life with a spouse, it is different (obviously) from doing it alone. Solo life allows someone the freedom and space to process and evaluate life- the good, the bad, and the ugly- in the fullness of who God is and who he is forming in you, by yourself. That-- i am thankful for. Sanctification within community and in relationship is essential, however there is something deep and rich to sitting, traveling, living with God - alone- and letting him wreck havoc! There is an intimacy with Jesus, which is eventually mirrored in marriage, that comes only when I run to Him and sit in his sweet presence.

Now, I won’t gloss over the difficulties of being faithful in a season of singleness. You know, nights are often lonely. Love songs on the radio get the best of me sometimes. Flying on a plane alone is scary. And well, cooking a nice dinner for one just isn’t as fun. But, you know, God ways are high! And by golly, if i wait around for a fella, i'm going to miss out on a lot of awesomeness. God has good plans for me even in this season! I’ve seen the fruit of it. I'm not whole when I get married. He is creating me into the image of his Son-- sanctifying me and preparing me for the works he has set before me RIGHT NOW. With no man in sight. Except Jesus... he's pretty critical to this whole thing. Faith means choosing to cooperate with that process and running to Jesus above everyone else even when my feelings want to find comfort in a man. I am the Bride of a good God- who provides all that I need abundantly! I’m the lady of a Lord who has his eyes set on me, rejoicing over me in gladness and quieting me in his love. Faith means trusting that God is who he says he is apart from experience, and that i am who he says i am apart from what all other voices say.

Because, though doubted by some, I'm completely who Jesus has made me to be, even as a single woman.

(and by "recent" i mean relatively recent. i wrote this almost a year ago. sitting in a coffee shop in Korea.) : )