Tired Contentment…

A few days ago I was told I have a warm and inviting smile. I’m not really sure how someone has a warm and inviting smile versus a normal smile, but it was a nice compliment. It got me thinking about it though, and I realized the most common compliments I receive always involve my laugh and my smile. Apparently my two greatest distinctive features…

So, what makes me smile? Well, I could easily make a list a million miles long about what I laugh at and what makes me smile.. But, what I really want to do is actually address what causes me to be joyful… I mean here’s an example of normalcy for me…

Saturday night I slept a grand total of.. MAYBE 4 hours. I mean I went to bed about midnight, and didn’t need to get up until 7:30… but clearly God and I had some business to attend to, so about 1:30 I gave up trying to sleep, and read my Bible, journaled, blogged, and prayed… For HOURS. It was a great time with my Jesus…

Sunday morning I was definitely dragging a big.. I mean who wouldn’t be after not falling asleep until 3-4am!.. But, I didn’t feel it in my attitude or mood at all (which I don’t typically have the problem of sleep affecting my moods), but it was more so than normal. I mean literally I was joyful inside, my heart was content, and I was happy… which carried over into Sunday school class, and church, and interactions with friends, and movie night..

I laughed a ridiculous amount.. I mean seriously. Our leadership team prays before anyone arrives for Sunday school.. we laughed and seriously struggled to pull it back together for prayer for a good 20 minutes or so. Then, lunch was lots of fun with a large group of people all laughing and enjoying each other’s wit. Then I went to the park with several friends and threw a Football and Frisbee around for a while.. attempted to throw with my left over and over.. which caused my stomach to hurt from laughing so hard at my failed attempts lol I got to spend some great quality time with a couple friends.. Then went over to a friend’s house and watched Bolt… Which is HYSTERICAL.. I mean seriously sooo funny. And my friends and I cracked up the whole time.. in part because of the movie, and in part because of each other’s reactions to the movie. It was great.

So, last night when I crawled into bed… TOTALLY exhausted I was completely full inside. My “cuddle meter was full” even though I hadn’t actually cuddled with anyone lol I went through the entire day tired, and lacking some serious sleep, but I was fulfilled.. mostly due to my extremely long conversation with My Savior where we talked about everything I was feeling.. But, also in part because the sun was shining (although the wind would take you away if you weren’t careful), and my friends and I were able to just enjoy each other’s company and humor and wit. I can’t even begin to describe to you how truly good that combination is.

So, I highly recommend the occasional time of forgoing sleep to chat with your creator.

Letters to Heaven…


You know my heart, you know my every moment, my deepest times of pain and my wonderful times of joy. You know how I’m feeling and exactly what I feel, and what I’m think right now. You see my turmoil, and my battle to keep towards you.

Lord, my precious Savior, my Sweet King, My daddy… I need you tonight. Not because I’m in despair, but because I don’t want to wait until I am to turn to you to take over. I want your all consuming fire to cover me and protect my heart. I want you first and always. I desire you, in me more than anything else. I’ve felt you more viscerally and more completely than I have anything I can remember; more than breaking bones, more than bumps and bruises, more than a hug, more than a kiss. In that time when I felt you, breaking my heart to create a new one. I heard you whispering to my heart, to mold it to become pleasing to you. I felt the bleeding from my chest into my stomach, and I gave thanks when I was crying. When I wanted to curl up and stop participating in the world because you were all I wanted… You held me, you loved me, and you cried with my pain. I’ve felt you more than anything I can remember.

My Lord, my Jesus, I need you to take hold of me and calm my heart, it’s tired, confused, impatient, and I can’t center it or calm it, I need you to do it for me. Still my mind, calm my fears, control my worries, bring me back to utter faith in your promises to me. I want more than anything to just rest in you, to simply sit and drink in your presence. Help me not to be impatient, but to just rest knowing you’ve got control and it’s perfect.

You know what I need, you understand what I feel, you see what’s going on around me, and still you can still speak to me through the muddle of emotions, thoughts, and actions. I need you. Please show me what to do, exactly there is where I want to be. I want to be doing what you want from me, I want to go where you want me to, I want to BE who you want me to be. You alone, there alone is what I want. No matter where you take me, what I do, who I encounter… You there with me first, now, during, last, always.

I love you my Sweet Jesus.

The Same Spirit…

I heard today on my way into work this idea that is so basic yet so ironically hard to remember…

It is the SAME spirit that flows in us. The same one that makes me love being around people as much as I can, the same one that makes me want to love the poor, the same one that makes me want to Love people for Jesus, the same one that makes you not desire those same things with every fiber of every portion of every moment like me.. The same one that makes you love theology and apologetics that I can listen to for a bit, but have no desire to repeat, the same one that makes you delight in teaching, giving, mentoring, praying, reading… these are all gifts from THE SAME SPIRIT.

We were made differently on purpose. We were created each with a part to play, a dance to complete on purpose. My path was set up and created this way so that at some point I would need you and your passions and you would need mine. It’s the same one. It’s ok that I don’t desire what you do, it’s ok that you will never understand how much I long and desire and ache to do foreign missions full time… It’s ok that you work to get a paycheck so you can do other things.. it’s ok that I desire to be itinerant and you desire to be close to home.. We were made to be that way so that on every front in every situation in every moment someone is created to hold the line, to be the best, to take watch while someone else rests.

hmm.. I like that 🙂

Black and White Perspective…

Random thought to start my blog with, I’ve been listening to podcast sermons on my way into work lately.. and it’s been absolutely amazing. I pop it on and my driving kicks to autopilot (not literally but I get so focused on what I’m listening to that I tend to just let myself go through the motions of my drive to work). The podcasts are perfectly timed, so I end up with about enough time for 1-3 songs before I arrive to work. I find that I seriously desire and look forward to these drives. 🙂

Here’s my question.. What are you using as your perspective? This is a rather new thought in my head, and I’ll do my best to unpack it, but it may come out some in random form instead of linear (sorry).

So often we look at our lives and we compare it to “the Jones” I mean it may not literally be the Jones’, but it may be your best friend, a group of people you wish you were a part of, a group you ARE a part of, the news, the world, your family, your city etc..etc.. the list can go on and on. I can think of a whole bunch of things that I use as my perspective on life and myself.

How often do we assume the “lesser of two evils” mentality? How many times a day do I think it’s ok just this once, or because no one is around, or because so and so did it it MUST be ok, or at least I didn’t do ______… whatever, fill in the blank for yourself. But, the reality is Jesus didn’t give us the freedom of gray’s, He gave us black and He gave us white. We either are right or we are wrong.

Now, hear me for just a second… the problem with gray is it inherently means you’re using the wrong things as a perspective… Gray means it’s right for me but not for you. It’s ok that I sin because it’s not as bad as your sin. It’s ok that you’re lying as long as you don’t… murder… It’s ok to not help someone because surely God will help them… The problem assumes that God doesn’t want you to do it, or that God isn’t asking you to be who he wants you to be.

I’m not a fan of grays in life. I never really have been, I tried for a while to let gray be ok… mainly because several people pointed out my black and white perspective and I got gun shy and it took me a while to figure out if black and white was truly ok. What if gray was right?… Well, the reality is if Jesus is my perspective there is no Gray.

Now, I’m NOT talking about “I don’t drink so you shouldn’t” or “You can eat ham, but I don’t” nothing like that.. All of that is explained in the Bible. I’m talking about moral issues, choices of right and wrong, not personal preferences. I’m not talking about the body of Christ having different strengths and choosing not to do something they aren’t good at. God gave us variety in “us” in our community so that we can all have strengths and weaknesses. It’s ok if I choose not to do things I’m not good at, and instead focus on the things I am good at… none of those are inherently a sin… unless God tells me to and I say no… that’s when it becomes a sin.

What I AM talking about is when I (or people) choose to not say anything… When I choose to not listen when God speaks to me.. When I allow fear to get in the way… When I don’t say “Jesus Loves You” because I know the person isn’t a Christian… When I choose to do something because it’s not NEARLY as bad as so and so… When It’s ok for me to listen to THIS song because it isn’t as bad as THAT song.. As soon as I rationalize what I’m doing, it becomes a sin, I’ve missed the mark.. Chance are I missed a moment with my Savior. The idea that I missed a moment with my Savior makes my heart hurt. To think of all the times I chose not to look at Jesus and spend a moment with Him… Uhg, I can’t explain how much that hurts.

What I do know is that I hate the idea of gray. I hate that someone feels it’s ok for me to not say something and CHOOSE to ignore the love I could lavish on someone else… How can I say I love my Jesus, my Sweet King, my Savior, my Daddy.. How can I say those things and then tell someone else “I’m sorry, I won’t show you what He’s shown me.” That’s not Love, that’s ignorance and selfishness.

If you believe in Jesus, then it’s black and white, no gray.

Forgiving Can Actually Be Pride…

Today at Sunday school my friend Patrick spoke, and first.. he did an amazing job, and I love listening to him teach because he always has a unique way of putting everything. Ok, on to his point..

He talked about how the cross is the answer. He went into detail talking about how when it talks about how Jesus died on the cross He left our sins there even though He came down and rose again.. “This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” – Colossians 2:14b … Think about it, every sin we’ve ever committed is still there.. nailed to that cross, with every drop of blood, it’s stuck, still there… But, what about the fact that every sin we have YET to commit, the one we’ll do tomorrow, the day after.. the one we choose to beat ourselves up over…

Ok, so that brought up the whole issue of the fact that we will beat ourselves up over things that we’ve done. When we screw up and we sin.. then we ask for forgiveness.. then we beat ourselves up over it… The real issue actually becomes a pride issue. Ok, wait what?! Pride?… no no.. ok, maybe.. But, think about it.. If you ask Jesus for forgiveness, and then continue to beat yourself up over it, what you’re actually telling God is that your forgiveness is more important than His forgiveness…. Which actually is a pride issue.

When our forgiveness of ourselves is more important than God’s forgiveness of us that becomes a pride issue. hmm…

I have more to say from Patrick’s talk this morning.. but I’m really just gonna leave it at that.

The Friends in Feelings…

So, I’ve been thinking lately about how wonderful my God is to me. haha, I know that sounds odd, but really. I don’t really know if it’s simply the things I’m going through and the things I’m praying to Him about, or if it’s because I’ve begun taking steps to actually hear Him, listen and read what He has written me. But, what I do know is when I ask Him to help me, help my hurting heart, cover me with His peace… whatever it is, I FEEL Him do it. sometimes it’s a day or so later, but I think some of that has more to do with me an my stubbornness and the fact that I have to remind myself on a regular basis that this isn’t my fight to win, this is for me to give over to Him and let my Sweet Savior fight it for me.

I’ve also been learning how important it is to trust those around you. I feel like this is a lesson I keep having to re-learn, but seriously I have a tendency to have this feeling that I have to do it all on my own, that I don’t want to “burden” them with my problems, I’d rather just deal with it and not cause them stress. It’s a dumb idea.. like the Army’s old slogan that caused their enrollment to drop significantly.. “Army of One”.. no one actually WANTS to be an army of one. We all desire community, people to help us along our way, friends to make us laugh, those who love us to hug us and make the world better… Sometimes it simply comes down to stubbornness and not allowing God to use others to tell us what He has to say. I don’t want my stubbornness to keep me from hearing my Savior, I don’t want this weird “I can do it myself” mentality to get in the way of allowing someone else to show love. How dare I think I can stand on my own?.. It’s dumb, and I know it’s dumb…

So, what am I doing? I am really trying to surround myself with people I can rely on. I have several friends who have told me over and over that they not only don’t mind hearing what I have to say, but they want to (that was an odd idea for me, even though that’s exactly how I feel about them). A lot of times the hardest part of letting others in is the seeking them out and letting them know you need to talk, a hug or you need simply to have some time with them. I’ve discovered that in certain moods there are certain friends I seriously desire to hang out with because they have this air of peace about them… and I firmly believe that’s because they so seriously seek Jesus and His kingdom. There are also times when I just want to be around people, but not talk, I know I need community, but I know I also don’t really want to talk about it, so I tend to just want to be close in proximity to them, just be in their presence.

I guess most of this is just me wanting to say God is good, and I have amazing friends who show me that all the time. Thanks 🙂

Chaos as a Pace…

So, I don’t know how you function, I tend to function best when I have more to do then I can possibly fit into my schedule. I relish in feeling like my life is “hopping.” I love it when I look at my planner and I can’t figure out how I managed to pull it all off. I laugh though when I actually have to tell people what my plans are because they get this glazed over “OH MY GOSH” look on their face. haha!

I have had people tell me before that I shouldn’t be so busy because that takes away my ability to hear from God. And while that CAN be the case I seriously fight the idea that it simply is a given that because I love being busy and go to great lengths to maintain my pace of life (for the most part at least).. I refuse to believe that one causes the other. However, what I will concede is that if I am not purposeful about it God can slip to the bottom of my list before I’ve even set foot on the floor in the morning. One of the things I do have to be careful of, and intentional about is to make sure God gets His time just like any other friend of mine, and that I plan out time specifically for them.

I love my chaotic pace of life, I also realize it more than likely later there will be times in my life where I simply can’t maintain the pace that I keep currently… a perk of being single for sure 🙂

In case there are any questions, let me explain why I enjoy a fast, busy, slightly chaotic pace of life.. I like knowing I’ve been productive. When I can look back at my day and I remember every task I accomplished, the people I talked with, the people I remembered, the chats with God, the worship moments, the service projects, the gifts I bought etc..etc.. I very much enjoy the exhaustion at the end of the night when I’m lying in my bed knowing that I gave everything I had to my day. I tried to seize every moment, I tried to laugh and express the joy and love I feel from my creator. Part of it goes back to making my goal to live my life 110% every day for my Sweet Savior. I hate the idea of living my life as a means of tithe alone.. I don’t want it to be about the 10% I give back, I want it to all be about the fact that it’s God’s anyway. So, in my mind I like knowing I was productive and I like knowing that I gave God everything so obviously he will bless it because that’s all I had… That and I feel like I am more on top of things when I’m busy, my mind feels sharper.

Haha.. I realize part of this seems like an odd approach, but I really want to know I did everything on my end to allow God to use me. And, in a way my chaotic pace allows me to do a barrage of things… And, no, I don’t feel like I do them less effectively because of how busy I am, it’s the exact opposite, I feel like I do them all more diligently because I have just this certain amount of time to give this task, so I better do it well the first time so I don’t have to come back to it later.

Odd I know, but I enjoy it and don’t feel bad for it… unless the pace allows me to leave God behind, that’s when I have to re-prioritize everything.