Friday, December 23, 2011

You Have Been Invited...

It's an hour til Christmas Eve.  Rivers and Roads by The Head and The Heart plays sweet melodies in my ears, as my eyes are lit by white lights.  I hear the sound of peace, and it rings quite loud in my spirit.  I can close my eyes and feel many rhythms pounding on this heart. It's quiet, and it's crazy.  It's loud, and peaceful.  I am deeply grateful for both.
In just a little over a day we will be celebrating Christmas.  I love everything about the Christmas season... The lights, the smells, the rush of buying presents, the cold (well, not here in North Carolina with barely getting below 50 degrees), the smiles & food.  But as it comes closer & closer, I believe the Lord has been allowing me to see things that I, on my own, wouldn't go looking for.  But when He shows us things out of the ordinary, even when it's heart to see, His peace follows us there.
It has really saddened my heart to see people struggle, to see them deal with something that is so much bigger than themselves while thinking they can control it, or they will just have to deal with it, when they could have absolute freedom and redemption, and a road marked with thanksgiving and joy rather than despair and heartache that will never be mended.
And since being home I've seen & felt so much in just 3 short months.  I've seen the peace that surpasses all understanding, I have felt the touch of my Daddy that completely destroys every other desire unworthy of my heart.  And I have seen the heartache, I have felt the despair, I know what hurting & loss of heart feels like.  And sometimes it's just in our nature to question, to ask why things have to be the way they are for some people and how we can be the ones to bring hope & joy & life back into their eyes & hearts.  But I was there.  And you've been there.  Maybe you are there right now...
But let me ask you this, would the good be as good if there was never bad?  Would the hopeful be as hopeful if there was never hopelessness, and would life be as beautiful if there was never death.

We have been saved from something.  Not just hell, or eternal damnation.  Yes those are incredible things to be saved from!  But we have been saved from a life without relationship with Jesus.  We have been invited into a life with Jesus... The King of Kings has sent a handwritten invitation, sealed with His very own sons blood... and inside He asks you to come.  To dwell with Him, to feast with Him, to live & breathe & rejoice with Him.  He doesn't tell us we have to get dressed up, or we have to fix things before we come... He's not looking for  the things we can we can do for Him or give to Him... He just desires us.
We have an invitation to see life like never before.  To see colors that don't exist to the natural eye.  To feel a hope that never brings disappointment.  To be in an eternal story.  To be Loved by Love Himself.

My hearts desire this Christmas, or my "Christmas Wish", would be for everyone to see the beauty of the Father, for them to see His desire for them, and to accept the invitation to be loved on for eternity.  Yeah, there will still be bumps in the road, and sometimes it may seem like nothing is getting better.  He doesn't promise us a perfect life.  But He does promise us peace and love, joy and freedom and redemption.  He gives us strength when we have none, and He calms our mind when we feel we've gone crazy.  He's so close and sometimes we forget He's even there.
I am so thankful for Jesus.  I am so thankful that He was born, that He loves so deeply and He isn't scared to get messy in my life... That despite the pain of His crucifixion, He died so that there would be no separation, so that He could have full relationship for eternity, so that His bride would marry the King.  How crazy awesome is that!

I know this is a little all over the place.  I feel I have so much in my heart that it's sometimes hard to get it out.  I guess my heart is just trying to say that Jesus loves you, so extremely much.  And He wants your heart to be free & alive.  And all the bad stuff that may have happened to you wasn't Him doing it to you... but He wants to use that to bring you closer to His heart, so that you can know a Father and a Love like no other.
You are loved & treasured and He enjoys being with you.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!  Love on the ones around you like crazy.  And rejoice in everything... the big, the small, the good, the bad.
And let the Lord love on you, cause He loves to.

love & peace to you.

 Oh Yes, and please enjoy this beautiful winter song by my life friends - Johnathan & Melissa Helser

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sweet Breeze in Ephesians

I went to bed last night with the intentions of waking up when ever my body said to, enjoying a cup of coffee in the sun and reading the Word... And that is just what happened.  May not seem incredible to you, but it is to me.  You see, for some reason I have a fear deep inside of me.  I thought I had dealt with it before... well, I know I dealt with it before, but it always tries to get me down again and again and again.  It's this stupid little insignificant fear that whispers in my heart "He won't come.  He's not going to speak.  You are wasting your time.  You could be doing something that you know the outcome of, then there won't be a chance for disappointment."  And a lot of the time I listen to it, and then I regret it & hope for better next time.  Well this morning, I took a step and decided to ignore it, and to see what the Lord had for me this morning.  Because there really has never been a time that He didn't meet me, that He didn't hear me & respond to me... And so my basis on this lie is, a complete lie.  And what to do you do when you fight against it?  The exact opposite of what it's telling you.

So I pour my cup of coffee into my beautiful ceramic mug that I found hidden in the treasures of my grandmothers humble abode.  I take out my Bible, open up to Ephesians... I pick up my pen & open up my beautiful moleskin... And I start reading, and I start writing, and I am quickly taken over by the beauty of revelation... There really is nothing like it.  It's pure, it's rich, it's alive, it's deep, it's soothing, it's beautiful, it's a sweet breeze on a hot summer day, it's a warm fire with friends on a cold winters night... It's the language that you speak, know, understand, love... It's life & it breathes it upon every sleeping place in your heart.  And so this is what He spoke... and I really didn't know whether to share it or not, but I believe it will bless you, or at-least I pray that it does.

Ephesians 1:3-4
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him."

I always have been and always will be Gods desire.  And before anything was created, His desire for me was so much that He chose me. Not just for His sake, but for mine.  You see, this love goes deeper than anything we've yet experienced.
It's a love that so desires our wholeness, our righteousness,
our blamelessness & our holiness, that against what we think
should happen & against what we believe we are worth...
He sacrificed it all.  For me.  For you.

To be holy & blameless...  There is no shame.  There is no guilt.  There is no intimidation or insecurity.  When you stand holy & blameless, you stand tall & courageous.  And this has always been and will always be His desire as a perfect Daddy.
And so He prepares us, like all good Father do.  Because He knows our flesh will come against us & the Truth, Beauty & Reality of this gift will be attacked.
He gives us all we need.
He makes available to us, inside of Him...
[ you may stop here to dwell on the insanely incredible ridiculous awesomeness of that ;) ]

We have no excuse.  Our lack is erased.  We are holy & blameless before the King Of Kings!
But!  Will you choose it?
Because it's yours...
Will I choose it? Because it's mine.
Or will we ignore & reject all He has done, all He has said, all of who He is?  Will we allow our flesh to take over and pervert & distort the beauty of Jesus and His Father?
Or will we gracefully & mercifully enter into His gates with thanksgiving & His courts with praise... Because that is what we were created for.  He is who we were created for.

 I love when you're near.
I love when I hear you speak.
I love your touch... It restores this broken body.

I love your eyes that speak such healing glances
& captivates my soul in the deepest places.

I love your smell... sweet of honey & strong as rain.
It's a refreshing wind and it comes so swiftly...
it overtakes me inside & out
and it rearranges my mind & erases my doubt.

I love your desire, your selfless craving for me.
You don't push, you don't shove
but I am completely engulfed even more so than
a fish at the bottom of the sea.

Your releasing hold breathes life into this soul.

And in it forms of life spring up
like the signs of a new season coming through
Love & Hope abound once again
Peace and Grace begin to dance
Righteousness, Purity... show us their immense beauty
Truth is alive... it's rooted deep in the soil
Here I never have to hide...
You've made me alive...
Fully alive.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Moving as the Spirit leads!

Well hello my lovely friends :)  it has been quite a while since we chatted.  I wanted to write you and update you on what the Lord is doing next in my life!  Enjoy & I promise I will try to update this more frequently :).

Ever since I was little, I was a planner.  I loved knowing what was going to happen next & plan how I could prepare myself in every aspect for what was in store.  I believe part of this is a gift and blessing from the Lord on how He made me... but I also believe that it can be taken too far.  I leaned too much into my own understanding of things & trusted too much in "plans" which natural made it so I wasn't trusting enough in God and who He was.  Over the past few years, the Lord has been breaking me of this.  Every time I would plan something, and even in good intention, somehow it would not work out.  He is so gracious though to always have something else for us, which is better than we could ever imagine or plan ourselves.  And that's where this next season is going for me... I am walking into the unknown, without a strategic step-by-step plan of what I will be doing... but I have never felt so at peace and so alive and so expectant for the spirit to do what He does best!  I am learning to bend but not break, to be blown by the spirit while being grounded at the same time.  And with each season He takes me higher with Him, and brings me lower in myself, giving me freedom, revelation, restoration & love.  I have no reason to doubt His goodness or to loose hope or trust in Him.

About a week ago I had a plan, and the plan was to return to Hawaii to do an internship with a department there, and then to staff another DTS with the same incredible people I staffed with last time.  But several weeks back, the Lord starting to shift something in my heart.  At first I didn't understand it, and was honestly scared to even pay attention to it because I still had unbelief, doubt & fear in my heart of the unknown, and the "what if" that resided in me.  After 3 weeks of ignoring the nudging of the spirit, I gave it.  I listened, and I began to dream with Him.  I spoke to some incredible people for wisdom and advice... but in the end I knew I just needed the word of the Lord.  Because when all else fails, the word of the Lord does not... it is sturdy, He is trustworthy & someone you can stand on no matter what is going on around you.  So I listened, peacefully expecting the spirit to speak... and He did.

So I am embarking on a new season... I am staying home in North Carolina :).  It is crazy because I've never been excited about this place.  It's always been "get me out!" but when the Lord moves you somewhere, when He speaks things to you, your heart begins to come alive with the things that make His heart come alive... and for now it's this place.  I get to invest in my life, I get to dive deeper into relationships, I get to discover the unknown and sink deeper into Intimacy with the Father in a place where before I was scared to stay.  Isn't He incredible?  He has a perfect love that casts out all fear and He gives me peace that surpasses all my understanding AND it hearts my heart and mind in Him.  He has given me Truth to stand on!
I still don't know practically what it will look like being here, but I have no doubt in my mind that He has it all under control, and He is teaching me to trust Him in places I wouldn't let myself before, and to really become one with Him in ways I didn't know I could.  I am excited! I am expectant! and I am hopefully for what He has.

You can  follow more of these types of

posts about everyday life & what the
Lord is doing by visiting my "Travel Blog"


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Small Things Make All The Difference

Good mornin' my fall friends & family!  Wow, it has been a fantastic week.  I seem to finally be in the right time zone & no longer suffering from 6 hour jet lag.  It has sure been a long 2 weeks getting over that, but it is finished :).

Every time I return home I am quickly reminded of how much I enjoy the small things in life... a smile from my niece, a Chai Latte with a shot of espresso, the warmth of a hug from my parents, the cool fresh air [& of course boots]... It's the little things that make up the big picture, don't ya think?  Here are some small, but good memories, from the week so far.

 [Pastries filled with Nutella & Marshmallows baked with Cinnamon Sugar & Brown
Sugar on top, drizzled with Sweetened Condensed Milk... Tastier than all get out!]

 [My lovely neighbordhood on the fall as I drive home to make grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup!]

[Always a funny face being made with the bro]

 [Starbucks with Bells & creating a rock wall, teehee]

[Cozy Day]

 [Pumpkin Ale with Brown Sugar Rimming &
my beautiful new Steve Madden boots!!! I couldn't be more stoked about them ;) ]

Now if I do say this makes for a pretty good week entering into fall.  Wouldn't you agree?
Proverbs 13:7 reads a pretty great verse about living simply... Here it is in The Message:
A pretentious, showy life is an empty life;
   a plain and simple life is a full life. 
Have a beautiful day & remember to appreciate the small things & to count your blessings :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happenings [+ an encouraging word for YOU!]

Good Tuesday morning lovebugs.  What consisted of your weekend and Monday?  I had a pretty happenin' one.  Went to a few shows, spent a lot of time with some dear friends & family, sipped on some delicious tea, & enjoyed life... Who doesn't like to do all of that? Oh yes!  And I went job shopping :)  Enjoy a recap of the my weekend and a bit of this week too!
And make sure to make it all the way to the bottom for an encouraging word for your heart!

[Gettin' dolled up to go to Charlotte Saturday night.. Nothing
better than a lace top, highwaisted pencil skirt, key necklace,
and fishnet stockings!]

[Seth Snider is an incredible musician, an amazing photographer, & a dear friend.  He is headed
to Australia to connect the church& the community together by coffee.  Genius idea!  He put on a
dinner & benefit concert for his mission and also released a CD which is super good!  You should
also check his stuff out!  Below his CD down there are some links to his work]

[Have you ever heard of Tyler Ramsey?  Well you need to!  He is a phenomenal musician &will def put 
you in an incredible mood - not to mention he is also a member of Band of Horses.  Check out his stuff!]

 [Sunday afternoon with the lovely niece & nephew who always steal my heart!]

[Crazy Love is an incredible book by Franchis Chan about the deep love of the Father for us,
And how a life lived in response of that is suppose to look.  It will make you think & create
a good shifting to happen within side of you.  I would recommend you getting your hands on this!]

 [And of course I ended the day Monday with sharing a goooood cup of tea
with my wonderful momma :: Try it out, 2 bags of green tea, 1 bag of blue-
berry tea, and a dash of honey steeped for 3 minutes.  You won't regret it!]

This week has been good for me, yes it is only the second day, but I can feel the Lord closer & some type of new hope rising up in my heart.  I sometimes think He allows us to experience what it feels like to have Him not fully as close as He really wants to be, this way we hunger for Him, and we thirst for Him even more.  I began reading in Proverbs 10 this morning and stumbled upon a verse that was so comforting to my soul... In the 3rd verse in The Message it reads: "God won't starve an honest soul..."  We get hungry, and we should... If we never got hungry than we would never go back for more.  But the Father gives us just enough each day, that we can survive, that we can thrive, but that we need to come back for more each day.  Because we cannot last on yesterdays bread, He has created a new batch of fresh baked bread every single morning for us to feast on... But it's our choice if we choose to feast!  In Matthew 4:4 Jesus repeats something that was said in Deuteronomy, "It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God's mouth."  I have just had a season of great excitement, and almost ease of spending time with the Lord... but I have been coming to a place where it is again a struggle.  I wonder why this is some times, because I have experience Jesus in so many ways I probably couldn't recount them all, and I know who He is, and I know that He is almighty & I fully believe He is as good as He has proven Himself to be... but there is this struggle I feel that follows me around.  But then I read verses like this, and I am not only encouraged in the midst of it, but I am excited to continue fighting for what I know I want and a big sigh of relief comes to my heart because it is not only what I want, it is what the Father wants, and He fights for me for it.
We need Him daily, no matter how good or bad things are.  And we also desire Him daily, whether it's the actual Word of God that we desire, or His presence, or His touch... Whatever it is, in whatever form it may be, we desire Him even when we don't realize we are.  AND! The good new is this:  He desires us too, has never stopped desiring us, will always desire us... and He will never let our honest souls starve.  He is good!
I hope you are encouraged and this brings a refreshing breeze to your soul.  Grace to you in whatever situation you may be in.  Jesus loves you a whole lot & sees where you are & understands.  Just continue to love on Him, no matter how big or small you may be able to do it today.  He responds to us.

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