wee bit o’ me and you

1. what books are you reading?

2. what movies/tv shows are you watching?

3. what’s your favorite color combination today?

4. what’s the first word that you see in the room around you?

5. what’s on your song playlist lately?

6. pottery, painting, or drawing?

7. walking on the beach or laying on the beach?

8. ruth, esther, or mary?

9. matthew, mark, luke or john?

10. get up early or stay up late?

——–

mine =)

1. one in a million by priscilla shirer, drawing near by bevere, the fitting room by kelly minter, out of control and loving it by lisa bevere, and a few others “in progress”

2. so you think you can dance…. =) and the torchlighters heroes of faith videos from voice for the martyrs

3. green and pink

4. live love

5. tree by justin rizzo, forever love by francesca battistelli, waiting here for you by christy nockels, not what i thought by jessa anderson, brokenness aside by sons & daughters, safe by britt nicole, she is love by parachute

6. pottery today. i am missing working on the wheel.

7. walking on the beach totally! or running. but walking and talking is my fave.

8. i’m picking ruth for today…..she went through the hard and stuck with it and boaz seems totally solid and legit.

9. john. i do love him.

10. today…get up early. but really i’m happy with either as long as i get enough sleep!

your turn!!!

Reading the Bible Chronologically

One Maxwell Leadership Bible

One cute journal

One chronological read-through plan

Six months time

+ Lots of pencils and pens               

a journey of love

Every time I read through the Bible, I am blown away by all of the new ways God speaks to my heart and life.  I remember when I first became a Christian that I didn’t get the whole “read the same book for your entire life.”  I am totally a check it off the list, achieve it, and move on type girl.  I legit voiced concern that I would get bored with re-reading the same book.  I love how God’s shown me that His word is living and active. Such a testimony to His truth and trustworthiness.

While going through these six months, in many ways, I held tight to the anchor of a steady, consistent plan.  The anchor that kept me still while everything else thrashed around in my world.  Outwardly I did not experience earth-shattering news like I did last fall, but I went there inwardly.  I intentionally opened cracks in walls for others to help tear them down and expose the core issues, the core roots.  In that same way, the stripping down gave a chance for some roots to go down deeper.  Lately my heart’s echo has been to “be unmovable and unshakable in You…so let my roots go down deep.  be like a tree planted by the streams of living water…”

There’s so much I could say about the journey this last six months.  I could let you know that I loved seeing how the stories weave together in the Old Testament and the intricacy is beautiful.  I could laugh about how at one point I was a week ahead on the plan because when you’ve read through in 90 days you know how to read and yet was three days behind at the end.  I could whisper my fears of not knowing what to do now that the plan is done.  Yet, that’s where I find myself in life right in this moment and it’s oddly fitting.  Because now that the plan ends, I get to settle into a few of the parts of the Bible that my heart needs to soak up.  I’m learning how to stay when all feels uncomfortable like rough sand whipping in the wind against my face.

But right there, with no plan really means I’m letting go with trust.  Trust that even though I’m letting go of it all over again (and will likely have to keep letting go) that I’m trusting God knows.  He sees my heart and knows me.  And besides, in all good stories the people who stay during the hard…they so appreciate the beauty when the desire blossoms with vibrant life.

what are you praying and believing for even in the hard and the unknown?

That’s Fun.

Even though it’s Saturday, I’m playing along with Annie and listing 5 “favorite” things falling under the topic of “That’s fun.” Now, I use the quotations around the word favorites because I don’t do favorites really. They’re my “favorites for today” or for now. Don’t hold me to them. I’m flexible and a lot of factors go into choosing these. Ha, so without further adieu…

That’s Fun…

1. Playing music loud and dancing and/or running, working out, really doing anything. Basically loud music is fun.

2. Books. I’m a book junkie…I have around 120 books on my amazon wish list.  Those are just the ones I took extra time to make note of now.  I have six books on table by my bed (The Fitting Room by Kelly Minter, Out of Control and Loving It by Lisa Bevere, Drawing Near by John Bevere, Half the Church by Carolyn Curtis James, Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley, Spiritual Adoption by Ascano).  Not to mention the ebooks, books on my other table, and pretty much everywhere.  I’m always looking for book recommendations too–SO send them my way!

3. One-on-one time with kiddos. Playing, laughing, sharing, doing life. Hearing what makes them excited. Listening to fears, dreams, and just what’s on their minds. Playing with face paint, foam swords, kick ball, bowling, baking, sitting in comfy chairs just talking.

4. Creating. I LOVED designing my brand new running shoes…just have to wait for them to be made and shipped. Writing. Playlists. Pretty designs in my journals. Creating plans, organizing events, picking out crafts, games.

5. Surprises and unexpected’s.  Being able to surprise someone with a gift or something they need. That unexpected invitation. The words that come out of no where, but line up with what you think God’s been nudging your heart about. A package you forgot about that shows up. A card just for no reason. An I thought of you when I saw this so I bought it for you. A big surprise hug. But, really, I’m just saying that being known and loved & knowing and loving others is fun.

There you have it. 5 fun things.

Oh and here are a few links that caught my eye this week. 

this breaks my heart because divorce is something i see affecting so many kiddos.

babies get “dumped” and that splits me in two so i obviously love what this group is doing in South Africa.

i love when kids get loved on well. especially through food like ice cream! love this ministry too.

i’m saying my own personal “i do, i do still.” staying and being planted is harder for me than starting new.

loved this in plan b when i read it and i love it still because i’m learning how to wait.

i am love, love, loving bianca’s marked by love study on tuesdays.  challenging “homework” to boot.

oh and have i told you how much i love joy? so funny, real, honest, raw. her posts are always a highlight. plus, i have serious dog jealousy going on…when can i get my big, fluffy dog or at least a dog to run with me!?

and with that. even though there are TONS of other things i could share we’ll leave it at that for now =) besides it’s seven lines and that’s biblical.

Loss…

I almost said these past few months, but then I realized that it’s been this year.  2011.  I’m marking it down as the year that I started to learn how to grieve.  I never took the time before. I rushed from one trauma into the next thing.  I couldn’t catch my breath long enough to let the tears come and when they come sometimes they overwhelm.  Tears that I didn’t want to cry.  I scrunch up my face in protest, but learn that doesn’t work too well–even now writing this post, I see teary eyed because once you’ve opened the floodgates, you open them wide.  Yet all at once, there are those days where you so badly want the tears to come and they don’t.

That’s the thing about loss and grieving.  They aren’t what you expect at all.  They come in their own jumbled mess of a box without a timeline, formula, or plan.  Even now, I catch myself needing to give myself grace when I say, “You should be over this. That shouldn’t trigger that.”  I’m throwing wrenches, hammers, screwdrivers, and everything I need in my toolbox.  Grabbing ahold of all the tools I can get because I know the fight is fierce. I’ve been there. I’m in it. Fighting PTSD like triggers that come out of nowhere.  A song. The way someone says something. An invitation.  Unexpected knee jerk reactions that cause me to throw up my walls, retreat, draw away, and put on my “tough” face.  Oh the ways I need to speak life and truth to myself: “Not everyone does that. They’re a solid person. You’re okay. Engage, don’t withdraw.”

In the midst of the loss, I stand tear-stained confident that He who began a good work will continue to be faithful to complete it.  He began this grieving and healing process, He will walk with me through it.  He promised to comfort. He will. He promised to make beauty from my ashes.  He will. Even though I see loss written all over, He is the great reward.  As is written, “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”

Though, what I’ve lost mattered to me and it mattered to God because I matter to Him…I also keep in mind that He is far better.  So, when the door closes again and I experience another loss, I can rest in knowing Christ.

————

a little five minute friday turned into more than five minutes if you need because well it’s friday and sometimes when your teary eyed you need a bit more. thank goodness lisa-jo even gave permission 😉

what experiences do you have with loss and grieving?

not what i thought

god,

you’re not who I thought you were.

in a good, hard way

you show me

your ways are not mine

when I go knocking for ways to run

you slip in with your “not now, baby girl”

you gently pry my hands

so i can let go

purposefully

lay down my “isaac”

to finally admit

God, I want this

but I want what You have more

even in the midst of learning to

surrender

you love me

you teach me how to soar

and be planted

all at once

because that’s beautiful

dreaming, hope, trust

with deep roots

right there in the breaking

i find you giving me the

yes, walk this way

but be prepared to

keep

surrendering all

and remember

“i’m everything i promised

my faithfulness is true”

hope

and this makes me think that maybe just maybe i’ve had hope all along.

and trust i’m choosing. over and over. trust that hope won’t disappoint.

hope in god. that is.

praying.

seeking.

asking.

knocking.

waiting.

#abh

grateful

You know the deal. Happy Friday! 5 minutes. Raw, real, unedited, pure goodness. Write from your heart and write it out fast or slow but just finish in 5 minutes.

5 minutes on…Grateful:

For friends who speak truth in love and are real with me. Who laugh with me when I’m being ridiculous and I know I’m being ridiculous.

For decisions.

For God being trustworthy.

For people who albeit not perfect…who do show me time and again that not everyone will break my heart and that there are still people who keep their word and follow through with what they say they will do.

For sunsets and dirty feet splashing in the water

For a job to pay off my last loan.

For a year in Africa holding babies and learning to love

For a bed and heat and a sleeping bag and books all over

For a God who Sees. A God who sees and will work all things out for good and will bring out justice.

For someone to walk with me and sit with me while I dig deep. For that refuge even if I still go backwards.

For a chance to learn how to take courage and be present

For learning that home is really only in God. bits of it may be in africa but He’s taught me time and again it’s only in Him and that the longing and ache is really for heaven

For the pain that draws me closer to His heart and will give testimony my very own “But God” moments

Because He will do something. He’s already done something. He’s got it all under control.

free

my repeat songs lately?

free to be me by francesca battistelli

not what i thought by jessa anderson ( i got this for free and i LOVE it. god is SO not who i thought…in a good way. a real good way. in fact i love this song i’ll probably write more about it now now. =) loved the song explanation too.)

what if we were real by mandisa

perfect by pink (clean version only!)

dynamite by taio cruz (yeah yeah celebrate life.)

you are more by tenth avenue north (this is my song that i hear and go sigh. god i know you keep speaking this over me even though i keep trying to be the girl in the corner with tear stained eyes and the shame she can’t hide)

brian wahl (have i told you i love him? because i do. not the love like i want to marry him just the love that i love his music)

 

noticing a theme?

i’m wrestling with the wounds of the past and the “traumas” and finally ripping off my dirty quick fix hide this bandages so that there can be actual real healing. because at some point the bandaids have to come off.  at some point you decide. decide to fight through the hard. decide enough’s enough. decide to surrender to be free. decide to be you. life’s full of decisions and more often than not i play the analytical mythical find the “best” and end up in indecision but when i decide i decide and i’m starting to decide. so by no means am i perfect…i’ve still got open wounds…wounds finally open take time to heal too.

but tonight. i tasted a bit of what i lost when i came back to the states. a bit of that freedom to be comfortable in my own skin. of the confidence and grit and stubbornness.

i ran.

since i don’t like any of the running shoes i have currently…i left them all at home.

bare feet. sun setting. my sweet spot within minutes.

a mile or so later. sitting on the end of the dock splashing my dirty dirty blistered feet.

so much transpired in a moment from thinking i was putting my dog outside to finding my feet hitting the pavement and my heart learning to lean into the moment.

a moment of chatting away with god without having to use any words.

a big exhale of trust and letting go expectations.

—–

has god surprised you by a moment lately?

all or nothing

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who have dimmers and those who have on-off switches.

People who have dimmers can regulate how much they drink, smoke, exercise, have sex, eat, work, play BrickBreaker on their BlackBerrys.  They can “dial it back.” They can “take it or leave it.” Their motto is “Moderation in all things.”  We need these people.  They become actuaries and veterinarians.  Our pets would die without them.

Other people are born with on-off switches. They are all the way on or all the way off; there is no in-between. Their motto is “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”  They drink like the Taliban have taken over the country and plan to turn every liquor store in the nation into a mosque.  They can’t jog the occasional two-miler.  They won’t be happy until they cripple themselves overtraining for an Ironman.  They can’t eat one Oreo.  They have to eat like twenty, like a Hoover set on a deep shag.  If the doctor prescribes one Percocet every eight hours, they take two every four and sit drooling on the couch, watching Jeopardy reruns.

-Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me

What kind are you?

p.s. bet you can guess what side i fall on?!