Sunday, October 12, 2014

One year....

It has been one year. One year since the bomb went off that destroyed life as I knew it, the happy little life that I had come to love was shattered early afternoon of October 12, 2013. I remember every detail so vividly it takes my breath away. I remember the conversations, the people, the panic, the cries, and the devastation as I felt everything crumble around me. I remember how I heard the news, and then I had to go to a Scripture Union (Bible Club) hand over party I had promised to attend and couldn’t back out even though my life, my future and my hopes were shattered. I remember insisting on teaching youth group because in my mind that was all I had left to cling to. I remember crying trying to pray with my students before the service began trying to keep it together while not knowing that several of them had already heard the news. (I want to clarify that my husband did not cheat on me or hurt me… so please don’t think that about him).I remember teaching those students I had spent years pouring into and seeing God do unbelievably amazing things in and through and not knowing if I would ever get to teach them again. I remember the amazing friends who cried with me and prayed with me. I remember thinking that I never knew what it was like to wail until that night. I remember waking up the next morning to realize it was a reality and not a terrible nightmare. I remember the decision being reached that it was best for me to come back to the States. It has been one year…

As I write this with tears welling up in my eyes and the pit still in my stomach and the ache in my heart that has still not gone away, I could write of the agony and the pain of this past year where I’ve known loneliness and misery that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. But then God whispers “how would that bring Me glory?” Have I hurt… yes, have I cried more that I’ve ever cried in my life… yes. Do I still feel like I’m lost and wondering…. Yes. Is God still faithful… yes. Is God still compassionate… yes. Is God sill good… yes. Are His plans and timing still perfect… yes.

As Jesus says, “the rain falls on the just and the unjust”. The storms come, but the question is will you dance in the rain? Will you endure through the storm with hurricane force winds and rain in anticipation of the amazing rainbow?

Even in this storm, as I’ve written before, I’ve seen God’s faithfulness in the most precious and intimate of ways. The people He’s placed around me… the people who I know and the others I hear my parents say “I saw so and so… they say they don’t know what’s going on, but they’re praying for you.” To every last person God has used to intercede on my behalf, the be His arms and His voice…. I want to say thank you. To every person who chose not to gossip or speculate or slander.... I want to say thank you. To everyone who sought to deal with this situation biblically and with maturity… I also want to say thank you. And above all else, I want to praise God for the family He’s put around me and those friends who are like family. I feel like I literally have the most amazing family on the planet and I don’t know if words can ever tell them how much I appreciate their faithful, patient love as I’ve had to talk things out and seriously go through my own sort of morning process.

I honestly can’t believe it’s been one year. But still I trust… still I hope… still I wait…

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A trip to the dentist

Today I went to the dentist for the first time in four years… I know, I know… gross! But let’s get past the judging. The “dentist” I went to was a school for dental hygienists where you basically get awesome attention to your teeth for almost no money, it’s a pretty sweet deal. Because they are students they have to know what they’re doing and how to explain it and it’s a very thorough check up… nearly 3 hours. As I was sitting there honestly kind of nerding out over the cool dental gear they have out these days, my mind started going. One thing that the student who was taking care of me said was that our body HATES bacteria and will do whatever it can to fight it or stay away from it. Well, I have two permanent retainers that make it rather hard to thoroughly brush the teeth they are attached to, and it showed in my check up today. My teeth are in decent condition, no real cavities, etc… but she could tell that bacteria was there and told me that it’s through cleanings that the bacteria is removed so your body doesn’t have to “run away from it” and cause you serious problems in the long run.

As fun as it that very poor lesson in dental hygiene was, that’s not why I’m writing. I want us to look at our lives… there are things in our past that tend to make it hard to deal with certain situations and sin. Much like my very permanent retainers, they may be have a purpose to protect or preserve, a “coping mechanism” of sorts, a wall we put up and it makes certain things difficult to reach and sometimes down right off limits. Maybe it’s a behavior, a temptation, a habit that we have that we just don’t like to expose to the convicting work of the Spirit and the double edged sword of His Word. We go to church, we do a nice little topical “brushing” so we feel nice and clean and minty when we leave but we fail to allow God to do the real work. We may go to retreats or afterglows where we give Him access once in a blue moon but then after that emotional mess and actually dealing with the filth in our lives, we neglect it again for years to come only for it to build up more and more. Sin is a lot like cavities and gingivitis, by the time it hurts, it’s almost too late and drastic and painful work needs to be done. We feel like we’re protecting ourselves not dealing with the tough stuff, when really we are doing the exact opposite. People in oral health emphasize the need for consistent and frequent cleanings to keep that nasty bacteria at bay, if only we would take care of our spiritual health like we do our mouths… we brush twice a day, but how often do we read the Bible or pray? We go into the dentist (be it a bit begrudgingly, but we go nonetheless) when we begin to feel discomfort, but do we seek godly counsel when we’re going through trials or have fallen into sin? Anyway, just some things I was pondering from the dental chair today. Who knew God had so much to “drill us on” from a trip to the dentist.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The One Who Was and Is and Is to Come

Jesus gives Himself this title in Revelation 1, and I can't help by find comfort in it. To really ponder and meditate on how He was on the throne in the past, He's on the throne now, and He always will be on the throne is truly breath taking. We so often get caught up in our past either our past glories or past regrets and they become a snare to us... Jesus was there and He WAS at work. We get so bogged down with today all the stress and to-do lists... Jesus is here now and He IS at work. We look at the future and the "what if's" we see the news and the imminent threats and the hopelessness and this is what really gets me... He WILL work in the future as well.

You read in Job as Job is starting to slip down that slope of self righteousness and "woe is me!" and his "friend" reaming him up and down accusing him of being in sin and that's why he was suffering. But then Chapter 38 happens and read that ominous call from the whirlwind and God asks "Where were you when the earth was formed?" Talk about a paradigm shifter! To really recognize that God was there in the beginning, He's aware of our current suffering, and He holds our future in His hands and somehow in His amazing power and sovereignty He fulfills His promises to work it all together for our good and His glory.

It truly blows my mind to think about how really NOTHING is out of His watchful gaze or too big or complicated for Him to handle. He doesn't sit there and scratch His head and say "Wow! That is a pickle! Let's see how this thing will turn out because I sure don't have a clue!" Oh if only we took time to remember who He is and that He's the God of our yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

No words...

It's now been 10 months since the life I loved and knew seemed to crumble before my very eyes. I wish I could say that I've healed, that I'm at the point of "moving on" but I continue to feel like I have a huge gaping wound that just can't seem to heal... and it hurts. God has been mind blowingly faithful in this season of pain and has worked in ways that have left me in awe of Him and yet I still have my moments when the pain engulfs me yet again. Many of you may not know the circumstances about why I'm back, but have faithfully prayed for me and I appreciate how so many have just allowed me to have some space. I used to be the social butterfly but have been quite a hermit and I'll be honest, I've really enjoyed staying in my safe bubble of work, home and then spending time with only a few other people. My ministry experience has been on a lower key than I'm used to, God has given me the gift and passion for teaching, but right now He seems to have that on the back burner. I feel like life is on in a rather painful season of "pause" when all I want to do is get back to being "myself" again.

There are times when I have definitely felt like God was/is silent... times when I beg Him with all my heart not to be... there was a teaching just a couple of weeks ago titled "Say something" and then even yesterday Psalm 13 was coursing through my mind "How long God will you forget me?" But in that same breath as I feel like the silence is deafening... He speaks. Brokenness does not even come close to where I feel like I'm at right now, the best illustration I've used is a vase thrown against a wall and then rolled over by a paver... BUT GOD.

I've been fairly "silent" as I've gone through this season, especially recently, but in a teaching I heard this morning, there was the encouragement to use our pain/scars knowing that God has given them to us for someone else as well as ourselves. I'm trying to break the silence to whisper encouragement, because honestly, right now I don't have the strength to do much else...Are you broken? Do you feel like God is silent? Do you feel like you're in a hopeless situation? Here are three "tips" I've learned that have helped me get out of my funk and at least make it through another day of wandering in the desert I find myself in.

1. Be still - Knowing He's God and intentionally listening for Him to speak is scary but amazing and you will be blown away by what He whispers to your heart if you just listen.
2. Read your Bible - without daily having quiet times and being saturated in His Word with the addition of also listening to several podcasts throughout the day, I would be lost... seriously! Read your Bible, meditate upon His promises and more than that His character. Focus on Him.
3. Serve others - one of the best ways to make it through hard times is to serve others. Yes, you need to give yourself time to heal and be ministered to, but if you're so focused on "woe is me..." then you're going to keep slipping down that slope where you can't even see God work if you tried. Allow God to use you in your brokenness, and even that can help you to heal.

Like I said, I'm still pretty miserable, but God is good and His love endures forever and I still have countless things to rejoice about. I'm being honest to show you that if you're struggling there's still hope. Lift your eyes to Him... the maker of Heaven and Earth... He sees and knows your pain and to quote Irwin Lutzer "Even when you can't see God in the midst of the storm, He can see you."

Sunday, June 29, 2014

What is your identity?

Last night I had two very unique opportunities: I attended my 10 yr high school reunion and helped be a leader at a girls lock in where 40 girls ages 8-16 were in attendance. It was funny having those two experiences in one night because it really just kept reiterating what God's been teaching me about identity, that thing that defines who you are.

At my reunion, it was definitely still A LOT like high school. Everyone was in their own groups... you know the usual clicks that seem to define us in high school: the popular kids, the band kids, the jocks, the loaners, etc... Going to the lock-in, I saw a lot of the same thing.

It doesn't matter if you're 8, 28, or 78 we tend to allow what we do, our hobbies, our friends, families, appearance or significant others define us. The problem is that when things change, our worlds get rocked, we loose those people, etc... we don't know who we are anymore. I've come to realize that my identity was that I was a missionary. It was my everything, it defined me. That can be a good thing in some ways but now that I've lost that part of me at least for a season, I've felt lost. But God has been showing me that my identity is more than what I do... my identity needs to, wait, HAS TO be in Him. His love, grace, and holiness should be what consumes me no matter where I'm at, who I'm with, or what I'm doing. I wish I had learned that lesson long ago as I wouldn't have felt so lost but I praise Him that He's starting to help me understand that now.

My question for you is, what is your identity? Examine your life and think "if that person left" "if I got laid off" "if that gets taken away from me" where would you be? I encourage you to find your identity in the One who will never leave you, the One who's love is truly conditional, the One who doesn't judge you based on your interests or appearance, the One who died because YOU are His everything.

Monday, June 2, 2014


I honestly cannot believe it was ten years ago today that I turned 18. It's funny, they say 18 is when you become an official "adult", while honestly still at 28, I don't always feel I've arrived to that point. Every year I tend to find myself rather nostalgic, and I think this year it was even more than usual. So so so much has happened in the past year, and then when I reflect on the past ten years... well... I still can't believe it. Am I where I thought/wish I would be celebrating this birthday, honestly? Not really... but as the saying goes, "when life gives you lemons..." But really, sometimes it's really hard to make lemonade from those lemons, sometimes you need help. This birthday, God blessed me with some pretty amazing people to surround me and help me make some rather tasty lemonade.

The celebrations commenced on Saturday. My mom had booked me for lunch about a week ago and she made it for a rather specific time, but I didn't want to think too much about it. That day as we pulled into the Chile's parking lot, I started to see some familiar cars. As we walked in, I saw a table of truly some of the most beautiful, hard working, hilarious, godly, passionate women on the planet... and they were there to hang out with me! It was so special! We talked and laughed and ate way too much and I couldn't believe that I had known all of them for over 6 years! All of these ladies, God has used in mighty ways to be tangible expressions of His comfort and grace. I have laughed, cried, and prayed with pretty much every single one of them. I am so blessed by these precious friendships and even if that was all the "celebrating" I was going to do for my birthday, it would have been perfect.

But wait... there's more...

On Sunday, my dad prepared an amazing pre-birthday breakfast and then my mom, Keelan and I decided to go on an adventure. We packed a lunch, loaded up in the car (including our puppy Mombasa) and headed to the East Mountains to find a picnic/hiking area. It was so much fun just getting to have that special time laughing and being outside of the city.

Later that evening, Keelan and I went on another excursion, this time it was to an Isotopes game! I have not been to a baseball game in over 5 years so this was awesome! We took out a small loan... just kidding and got ourselves some yummy baseball food (we pretty much made sure we tasted it all) and we also got our fair share of Vitamin D as the seats we chose were super close to 1st base (like seriously not even 10 rows up) but there is also not a whole lot of shade. Needless to say, you live and learn. But really, it was such an amazingly special time to spend with that brother of mine! We laughed, watched baseball, ate lots of food, and took in the whole experience. Again, if that had been all that had happened for my birthday I would have been more than content.

But wait.... there's still more....
Today, June 2nd... marks the day my poor parent's lives changed forever. Little did they know their new precious first child, would quickly grow into the sassy fireball they now know and love 28 years later. I woke up this morning to my mom bringing me my pre-breakfast breakfast on a cute basket with a note and flower and I was able to have my quiet time. Then I was able to go to the gym and pick up "brunch" and coffee for the fam before we got ready to head out for lunch... yes, I realize there was a lot of eating...but that's just how we (I) roll. We met family and friends who are like family at Casa De Benevidez for the world famous sopapilla burgers and just enjoyed being outside and getting beautiful roses from my grandpa (there's seriously nothing like them). My mom and I then rocked a little shopping and then it was time again for a fabulous simple dinner at home with the fam. The night was ended by a beautiful sunset and watching some episodes of Castle (our family's new favorite show).

Basically, my birthday consisted of all of my favorite things and people all rolled into three amazing days! I truly am so grateful for everyone who made it what it was, and like I said at the beginning of this post, helped to make some pretty sweet lemonade.

For everyone God has placed in my life over the past 28 years... thank you. Thank you for your love and support, your prayers and your encouragement, your patience and your grace. I'm praying that 28 will be a bit better than 27 was, but although I don't know what 28 holds, I know the One who has gone before me and that He loves me with an unconditional love and that's what I have to cling to... to 28 being a year where He does exceedingly more than we could ever ask for or imagine to Him be the glory!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The things you miss

Being out of the country for five years you miss a lot of things... green chile, chick-fil-a, air conditioning... but the things you miss the most that no care package could ever help are the people and events that take place while you're gone. Over the past five years I've missed huge mile stones in the lives of so many that I care about - weddings, funerals, holidays, babies, graduations, birthdays, and everything in between. It's seriously probably the hardest thing about being called overseas.

Well, although the circumstances are not "ideal" for me being back, I have been blessed over these past seven months to take part in things I've desperately missed and hadn't been able to be a part of for the past five years: Thanks giving, Easter, Mother's day and today I got to have the awesome privilege of attending my brother, Keelan's, high school graduation. I wasn't able to attend Kyle's but I'm so glad I was here for Keeks. I have to say that growing up, Keelan and I were 9 years apart and therefore not incredibly close. Over this time of being back in the States, I've had some amazingly precious time getting to hang out with him and really get to know what a great kid...young man he has become. God has been so faithful to show me that He's got a beautiful plan for the pain and the craziness life became those months ago. He had His reasons for calling me back, and I know I don't even know half of them yet. I praise Him that even in these times of pain, He gives us these times of joy and seeing that He's got it all under control.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The waiting game

I first want to give a shout out to everyone who I've spoken with who says they read every one of these posts. It's so funny because sometimes I treat this as somewhat of a glorified journal, but the fact that God uses this blog to encourage others or just help people to know how to pray is just amazing. To quote the old time classic Napoleon Dynamite, sometimes "I love technology".

I have been a bit of a hermit so to speak over the past few months basically just content to work, go home, and then go to church a couple times a week. Basically just keeping my head down and just seeking God during this extended season of waiting. Have you ever counted how many times Scripture talks about "waiting on God"? it's crazy and then even when the words aren't exactly there, the principle still is. More than that, Scripture likes to add the word "patient" to the call to wait on the Lord.

I continue to equate this time with the Israelite's wandering in the wilderness. I HAVE to wait on God for His provision, His protection, His guidance. The thing is in the moments when I do truly wait on Him and trust Him, He blows me away. He speaks to me and reveals His faithfulness, love and power in ways that words can't describe. It's the moments when I take my eyes off of Him, like Peter when Jesus calls him to walk on water, that I begin to sink. If I start looking at the storm raging around me or just not knowing what's next I sink. But the amazing thing is His Word is so good at helping me to fix my eyes back upon Him.

Along with His Word, He has used so many of you who read these posts to be answers to prayer. I wish I could tell you all the times when I get the random text/call/Facebook message/chance meeting that He uses to provide the perfect encouragement at the perfect time helping me to hang in there a little while longer.

The waiting game is not my favorite game by any means, especially the patient part, but truly as you wait upon the Lord He is so faithful to blow your mind. I don't know when this game (or at least this part of the game) will be over, but He's with me every step of the way.

I don't know what you're going through, but He's there to be the God of ALL comfort, you just need to cry out to Him and wait for Him to respond, direct, provide, etc... So take heart my friend, and wait upon the Lord.

"Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." Psalm 27:14

"Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act..." Psalm 37:7a

"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he urned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:1-3

"Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. but those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:30-31

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Another Life

I've been fairly silent lately because well... life's been a bit at a stand still. For the past five months I feel like it's been one big season of being tossed about in the sea. Sometimes the waters get calm, other times you're having waves crash over you and force you to the depths below them. Five months... wow! And the thing about this past five months is that at times, to be honest, I feel like it's erased my past five years living in Uganda. I look at pictures, remember stories, etc... and think, "was that really my life?" "did that really happen to me?". I literally ache for Uganda and the life I had there, I miss it so much that words can't describe it. And really, if I had my way, part of me would return back in a second. However, in the past five months as I've had to deal with the various fall out and seeing the truth of who people were/are, people who I trusted and called friends only for them to rejoice at the pain I'm now feeling, I don't want to go back to THAT. I know 1) God called me to Uganda and 2) I know it was His work on bringing me back to the States. I can sit and beg answers as to why He brought me back, but only He knows. It's like a punch to the stomach when I think about my students and the ministry and the different people who became like family to me and not knowing if/when I'll ever be able to see them again. To think 5 months ago I was enjoying the red dirt stains on everything, the unpredictable power/water supply, going to the noisy market, and just driving down the pot hole ridden Ugandan roads blown away by what God allowed me to be a part of... and now that's gone. I praise Him that He's on the throne. I praise Him for His amazing grace and provision during this time. I praise Him for how clearly He's continuously spoken to me through this who thing. But I still ache and I still cry and I still pray that He would bring me back to that second life He allowed me to have for those years. That being said though, I have also learned a lot of lessons about things I should have done differently with my life Stateside, people I would invest in, and ways to pour into others making the most of opportunities and connecting with people. I KNOW I've been blessed with amazing people and this time here has made me even more grateful for the life He's given me here. He's blessed me with an abundant life on two continents, but oh how I miss my other life sometimes and only He knows when/if/how I will ever have it again.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

How to have your mind blown

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Five years ago when I had moved to Uganda, my boss, Jesse, had talked about how you can read through the Bible in a year with reading 2 chapters of the Old Testament, 1 chapter from Psalms, 1 chapter from Proverbs, and 1 chapter of the New Testament each day. That’s when I began to take on that endeavor. I have now read through the Bible every year since then. I’m not saying that to toot my own horn or anything like that but simply to share that 1) it’s possible and 2) I’m not sharing something with you that I haven’t been able to do myself. It is absolutely mind blowingly amazing when you go through Scripture no matter what reading plan you may have, but never has it been so dynamic for me than when I’ve done it in the way I explained above.

Today’s quiet time consisted of Exodus 13, 14; Psalm 32; Proverbs 1; and Romans 4 and somehow they all seemed to tie together. I love it because God knows exactly what we’re going to read and He orchestrates the passages in such crazy ways. One little thing was Romans 4 quotes Psalm 32!!! I was blown away and then had to think to myself, ok…if God is repeating something to me on the same day, what’s He trying to tell me? Exodus 13 and 14 are about the consecration of the first born, God faithfully leading His people and crossing the Red Sea. Psalm 32 also hits on how God is able to guide us and Romans 4 is about Abraham’s faith that God is able to do the impossible. And honestly, I could go on even more, but those lessons are between God and I. I simply wanted to encourage whoever was reading this to 1) read your Bible period and 2) if you are, try to read systematically through at least a book if not through the whole Bible.

Our God is an awesome and personal God who delights in when His kids seek to know Him more. Words can’t describe how awesome it is to hear His voice…the Creator of the universe, God Almighty wants to spend time with you and talk to you… we just need to take time to listen.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Tonight I finally went to see the movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty". Personally I thought it was a beautiful fairly clean film and it got me thinking. Blame it on the circumstances, but I'm rather introspective these days. I think if any of us could somehow go back and talk to our 5 or even 15 year old selves asking "what do you want to be doing or where do you want to be when you're 25 (in my case 27), 30, 35...?" odds are what would be said would be different than how life panned out. Some of your dreams and plans that you had when you were little did come true, and that's awesome, but I'm going to guess that there are still some differences from what you originally thought life would be like. The problem is that sometimes we can get so caught up in the "this is not how I envisioned my life!" that we waste the precious life we do have.

Right now, I feel like I am basically in a state of a perpetual holding pattern just waiting for what God is going to do and where the "pillar" will lead me (in Exodus terms). I realize that I've only been in this for a whopping 3 months but I began to realize that although many people have told me this, GOD HAS ME HERE FOR A REASON and I should not waste this time. One guy I've come to understand a little bit more through this time is Joseph from the book of Genesis. The guy was a bit of a brat (said by an oldest child), but he definitely got a raw deal. But from Potiphar's house to prison to the palace, God had him there for a reason. God's purpose in having Joseph go through all of those less than ideal situations was much bigger than Joseph or his family could have ever imagined.

Jesus used the parable of the three servants to bring to light the need for us to go out there and do something... it doesn't even have to be big but just...well... something for His kingdom. Most likely you will live to be 90ish (if you're lucky), no do-overs, no mulligans, that's it. And some of those years may not be what you had in mind of what you wanted, but that's no excuse. Going back to the movie, you may not end up fighting a shark or hiking the Himalayas but God has a reason He has you in the situation you are in right now... don't waste your life, don't waste this year, don't waste this day that God has given you. God has given you life to live it... and seek to hear those beautiful words in the end "well done, good and faithful servant".

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A friend loves at all times...

Proverbs 17:17 basically just hits the nail on the head as far as the "silver lining" of this season being the amazing friends and family God has surrounded me with. Even though it's a season of heartache, confusion, and pain I'm more blessed than words can say by the caliber of people God has put in my life. I know I've mentioned such things before, but well, it's kind of like when you fall in love, pretty much you can't stop sharing how amazing the other person is, that's basically the case of how I feel about who God has blessed me with. There are so many of you out there that when I think of the friends you have been over the years... many many years... I'm awestruck that God would allow me to have you in my life by His grace because I definitely don't deserve it.

This past week, I was able to go on a little trip to spend time with some amazing dear friends! First I went to North Carolina to visit the amazing Greene family. Phil, Em and the kids were such an encouragement to be around as we just enjoyed our time in the woods and just hanging out. You know those friends who are kind of like "soul mates" so to speak, where you are on the same page spiritually and just have a deeper connection as you discuss life and what God's teaching you? Well, that's the Greene family in my life. Our time together was so precious as they now are about to head back to Uganda. I will miss having random rendez-vous with them more than they will know but I know there are those friends where time and distance can't change the bond that you share.

After North Carolina, I headed west to the great state of Tennessee. I couldn't be in that area without going and visiting the one, the only, Tiffany Rockhold and then give hugs to the Clarksville crew. Again, what a sweet time we were able to have together! Tiff is such an amazing friend and it was so encouraging getting to spend a couple of days with her.

Getting to be real with and pray with such amazing friends humbles me to my core. I feel bad because really this past week they ministered to me so much that I felt like I was basically only on the receiving end really having little to give them in return other than my love and appreciation for everything. Because really what they did and how God has used them, there's really nothing I could do or say to even begin to return the favor.

God amazes me by His grace because these people I saw this past week, are just a couple of the people God has blessed me with encounters with during this season. Thank you to everyone He has used and spoken through!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Theme verse for 2014

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

Over the past year God has definitely softened my rough edges but there are still some that are very much there. This verse seems to be radiating in my mind as I embark on a new year. I go through my day asking for people to be more kind or compassionate and yet I tend to fail miserably at doing it myself. This past year has been so crazy tough that words cannot describe it, well... I guess it wasn't the whole year but just the last couple of months and I've been hurt by a lot of people but that doesn't matter, I need to forgive as I have been forgiven, what a crazy thing to really think about. I mean, can you imagine if we all just lived out this one verse... let alone the other 31,239 verses in Scripture? If we just made a point to show kindness to others, including fellow drivers, waitresses, co-workers, etc... that would be an awesome start but then to add to that compassion... wow! Compassion recognizing we're all dealing with our own pain and battles, showing grace to those who need it the most... we all like to receive it but how quick are we to show it? And the final part is forgiveness... but not as the world forgives but as He has forgiven us. Oh my goodness what a tall order... but that's my goal. Of course, it's January 1st and I've already failed at this but I will make it my goal to each day try to do a little better at being a doer of this verse and not just a reader/hearer of it.


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