in the word wednesday

“Katy girl…as you continue to release, trusting in Him completely, you will be utterly amazed at what He will do with and through you.  You remind me of Esther. She waited, studied, questioned as she allowed herself to be prepared. When/As she walked into her destiny she gave all, trusting completely in God fully aware that even her life was at stake.  She allowed herself to be completely vulnerable and exposed…for such a time as this.  God will lead you to the very place He is even now preparing you for.”

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.  Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16

Words stay with me.  Long after they have been spoken or written I carry them along.  Sometimes I really need to learn how to hit the delete button faster, but other times the words carry God-weighted goodness. The words above I’ve held in my heart for well over a year and still have the cute card.  God whispered words encouraging me along the way to trust, let go of the masks, and embrace the adventure even with the risks.  Whereas, the verse above is one that I am carrying, mulling it over, pondering it, holding it in my heart just since last week.  When it was spoken, I didn’t recognize the context and didn’t fully see the implication.

After reading Matthew 10, I held my breath.  Jesus called them each by name. Gave them a charge to go to the lost sheep.  Sent them among the wolves.  Gave them power to heal, cleanse, raise the dead, and cast out demons.  To freely give because they had freely received.  To love much because they had been forgiven much.  To endure to the end even while others hate them because of His name’s sake.  To remember how valuable they are and that God will take care of them.  To take up their cross.  To give to the little ones.  To teach and preach and be like the Teacher. To speak what is given to them by the Spirit of the Father.

With the verse came the charge and the  confidence that the armor (Ephesians 6) has been given for me to wear into this battle.  To be like Esther knowing full well that lives are at stake–not just mine–but to trust and walk forward in obedience confidently with Him.  While knowing that He has a purpose for such a time as this as well a time for preparation and becoming…wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.



day 43

Can you believe it!? We’ve been reading the Bible in chronological order for 43 days!  I know I’ve said this to multiple people over and over but…I am loving it and I am LOVING my Leadership Bible. So good. So full of richness.  If you are looking for a new bible and like learning about leadership then I would highly suggest it!  Beyond that, I’ve been mulling over a few big themes.  Here’s my mini recap in bullets of the areas where God hit me over the head as I looked back (especially the very last bullet point…that’s my big takeaway so far):

  • Listen to God’s instructions and store them in your heart
  • God put man where He wanted him.
  • God pours out blessings right from the start. God loves to bless us.
  • Maintain big picture perspective and eternal perspective
  • Women seem to be always suggesting and planning and meddling and taking things into their own hands and not waiting…
  • God sees ME
  • Protect your people
  • God is better at providing for me than I am
  • God says no to our foolish talk.
  • Lots of grumbling, complaining and demanding keeps you in the desert and not in the Promised Land
  • God provides more than enough.
  • Gifts…with wisdom!
  • God guided them directly and clearly.  He wants to instruct us.
  • God did all this for your good…to do you good in the end.
  • God is so so so giving.
  • Remember what God has done.
  • Obey. Heed His voice. Follow Fully. Do exactly what God says.Walk in the ways God has commanded. Walk in His ways and fear Him.  Believe and obey. Hold fast to Him. Do what is right in the sight of the Lord. Walk always in His ways. Diligently obey. The Word is near that you may do it. Walk it out despite adversity. Integrity. Character. Obedience is key.

What has God been hitting you over the head with in your reading?


i confessed sin in those shoes

I wore the shoes. Cute, black heels. No socks. I don’t like socks. I was determined that if I was going down that I was going to do it looking good. These shoes are one of the most vivid things that I remember from this day last year. I can hear the clicking as I walked on the stone path.  The sliding door to get inside. Sitting in a chair with my legs crossed. My jeans fell just short enough that you could tell I wasn’t wearing socks.  I even later made a comment about how at least my shoes were cute.

In many ways, I clung to them. I stared at them. The tears fell when my eyes stared at them.  They were my statement: “I am still a person.”  Unlike the mascara that didn’t work to keep my tears from flowing, they kept me feeling a small bit of life and steadiness and feeling beautiful.  I don’t remember the reactions. I don’t remember my exact words. But, oh I remember those shoes.  I confessed sin in those shoes. I stood before a community and exposed my heart.

Beating wildly, my heart lay on the floor. Ready to be stomped on and discarded.  They didn’t. Instead, many of those faces freed their own hearts from the seeping blackness that gets in the way of new life.  They shared too.  We bared our hearts to find freedom in the truth and expose the lies.  It was beautiful. The body of Christ. Vulnerability turned into intimacy.  I left the night with a glimmer of hope.  Hope that these hearts would walk together toward Christ.  All the while, clinging to the promise: God works all things out for good. God works all things out for good. God works all things out for good. God works all things out for good.

And so, here I stand, exactly a year later. I stand wearing those same shoes.  I don’t wear them to camp out in the past.  I wear them to remind me of all that God has done and will do.

I stand in the newness of life. A different woman. A woman who no longer needs shoes to say: “I am still a person.”  I stand as a woman who wears the crown of forgiveness and who is called lovely by her Beloved.  I am His. He delights in me.

Confession is powerful. This day last year was the event, the game changer. The trajectory of my life changed. But, now, I stand knowing that healing, wholeness, and transformation need to be fought for every. single. day. There is no quick fix or magical pill.  Life doesn’t have a pause button for you to get your stuff together and then come back.

No, even today, I need to make the choice. To choose to live as who God says I am. To continually dig my roots deep into Him and Him alone. To be vulnerable and held accountable by the Body. To get back up when I stumble again because I do fall still. To let others walk with me. To keep on choosing it.  To keep on pressing on and digging deep.  Why? Because that’s where the abundant life in Christ becomes real and I am free.  That’s where *knowing* God becomes more than just words.  Besides…

Truth always wins out.

do you have anything you need to confess? have you let others walk with you? are you letting others speak truth into your life?

“now is the time to step from the dark into the light. cause you can’t change what you’ve done. but you can choose who you’ll become. and every moment is a second chance at starting over. move from the past to the present tense. you can start over again. you don’t have to be who you’ve been. you can change within. it’s never too late.” -starting over by addison road

*if this stirred your heart and you don’t quite want to leave a comment. i would love to hear from you.

turn around friday

Yesterday, I experienced my first live swim meet!  So much fun and I got to hang out with such a lovely family to watch an amazing girly.  The timing worked out that after I went shopping with my mama I was able to go and got there in time to watch her in both events.

side note: while shopping, I found boots!!!!!!!!!!! (i’ve been looking for boots since I got home in December and finally found them!) and another running skirt! and sunglasses and a cute jean skirt to go with aforementioned boots! I’m just a tad excited. Plus, they were ALL on sale/very cheap!

back on track: I live in Minnesota and we have lots of lakes so I swim and know how to swim well, but I never swam competitively.  Seeing the girls totally rock it out in the pool was impressive.  Diving was intense. I kept catching my breath whenever a head would stray to what my eye considered near the board. I didn’t really know what was going on or the scoring, but I did find out that my girly improved her times! Woot woot!

After it was done, I couldn’t help but compare it to tennis. I played tennis throughout high school and college. See, you can’t really measure exact improvements like in swimming.  Sure, you can see how many serves you got in, forehands, backhands, etc. But, there’s a beautiful thing about tennis….

it’s not over until it’s over.

Every single point is a chance to turn it all around.

Many games I would rally back after being down.  I tend to like the long…two hour games.  I could have lost the first set and then won the next two. You could be down 0-6, 0-5 and 0-40 in the last game and you STILL can turn it all around.  It’s beautiful. It’s challenging.

I can’t help but tie this into how God keeps giving us chances to turn around. To do a 180 degree turn and walk toward Him.

He’s waiting for us. He’s already won the battle.

Every single decision or step or moment can be turned into a game changer.

There’s so much beauty in that.

I am so thankful for being able to turn it all around

to be in the same game but turning it around

turning it into glory

making it all about


did you play any sports? see any other parallels or lessons that pop out? 🙂

p.s. happy friday!

p.p.s. why, yes, that is roddick and federer up there…and yes, i did get to see them and others in person!

miscellany monday

1.To a dark room

Two hours after walking through and listening to all sorts of scholars’ opinions, I finally entered a dark room to see some tiny writing. The Dead Sea Scrolls.  The whole exhibit transported me to a time where wine jugs were huge compared to our bottles, oral storytelling a lively norm, and the temple still stood. It was all oh so lovely, but oh, how I can’t wait to go see Israel someday!

2. 3 months

I started a reading plan that will take me through the Bible in three months. Intense? Yes! Already awesome? Yes! God is showing me new things every day and I’m learning to carve out more time in my day for Him. Because, it’s not about reading or making it through the plan…it’s about being intentional about loving and spending time with Him.

3. tried and true

I realized that when given a chance to eat delicious food at places I can’t go to often…I want a “tried and true” place. I really do like trying new places, but not at the expense of missing out on something that I already know I love!

4. i wanna dance with somebody

Speaking of liking what I know…I keep trying to like Pandora because then I can find some new music and expand my musical horizons within bounds–I’m ridiculously picky now about what I listen to and my iTunes is down to 1,983 songs from like oh I don’t know 5,000 probably at one point.  Anyway, I also LOVE the repeat button. So, I’m mostly a youtube girl. 🙂

5. wordpress girl

I also tried out blogger/blogspot this weekend since they had a bloggy name I liked, but alas, I went back to my tried and true wordpress because I do love it.  Though, during my little foray into the unknown, I did get a little creative and start making some fun updates on my sidebar.  I love creating and sooooooo wish I could take time to learn all things web creative related.

6. secret petition

One of the desires and secret petitions of my heart (Psalm 37:4) is that my man will have sweet skills like being able to make my blog pretty, having sweet editing software, be able to build me a deck, and oh so much more! I’d also be more than happy if he happened to have sweet toys…like a Nikon camera, an iPhone for me, and a trained horse (btw, I started laughing out loud AT MYSELF after I wrote down that last one…no idea where it came from, but seriously I would love to have a horse to ride). But really, those are just bonuses to his amazing personality and handsomeness. 🙂

7. beyond excited

Speaking of men and marriage, well, I am so beyond excited that two of my lovely interns just got engaged!! Not to mention that two others are getting married to each other this weekend (wish I could be there)!  Woot! Kind of crazy that out of a group of 8, 4 will be married soon and to people within the group!

8. birthdays

I realized the other day (aka yesterday) that I SO want an African birthday some day.  My birthday is December 18th so I missed it last year and will miss it this year as well.  Oh, and I think the month of December is absolutely fabulous.

9. creating experiences

Last week, I got to create a new experience for a little girly that I met at kids camp–love her so much.  After a lovely picnic where I found out she was allergic to bananas (uhhh–fail on the strawberry banana juicy juice), we went to get a floatie to head down a “river” (aka channel between two lakes).  She was SO cute and excited yet was totally not a fan of weeds or fish–a girl after my own heart!  I loved seeing her experience something new and step out of her comfort zone!

10. safe

My heart can get messy. My heart can feel and think all sorts of things that are put in that throw up your hands and go “I don’t know!” category.  Especially because there are parts of my story that can’t be told yet…that aren’t mine fully to share…that are still brewing for the day that God has prepared for them to be shared.  But, in the meantime, there are a few select people that hold my heart safely and let me share all of the messy.

oh, please do share a random musing or two of your own.


i’m fighting. my heart is weary, but my Shield is here.

when i find my heart wanting to say i’m scared….i remember and say “for god has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind”

hearts connected

Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another in accord with Christ Jesus. That together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

~Romans 15:5-6

“i love how God connects so many hearts and passions and visions and love. #beautiful”

“i know i said this earlier, but i SO love how god connects hearts even across oceans”

“sometimes the real, authentic pieces of my heart seem too much, too messy, but i’d rather have and share that than fake.”

~my twitter thoughts

Today, I’m thankful.  I see so clearly God’s hand working across the canvas painting away to make all things beautiful.  I see united hearts coming together to encourage, uplift, and spur each other on toward Him.  Hearts connected to bring Him glory.  These hearts that send hugs when arms are far apart.  Loving on each other from afar and from near.  I’m learning to love the ache that comes with loving so many people all across the world: from Guatemala to Japan to Washington to DC to California to Australia to Colorado to South Africa to Minnesota. Because even from afar these hearts are connected. Even if these hearts have yet to meet. And in the end,  He’s holding our hearts and we’re resting in His heart.

For that. I am thankful.

pouring out my soul

I wrote a letter to my heart and as the night came, I found my heart wandering.  Wide awake when it should have been fast asleep!  I tried to lay in bed for a while, but I’m not one for laying idle.  Granted, I’ll sometimes say the alphabet backwards (try it, it’s fun).  But, before long, I turned back on my light to give into my sleeplessness.  Admittedly, I ate a delicious snack and then settled in for a little reading.

One of the pictures in my pretty new bible (did I mention that I finally got an amplified bible and that I absolutely LOVE it–see below) had fallen out at church and I had just tucked it in the Old Testament thinking I’d put it back in place later.  Pictures serve as my prayer reminders and well mostly to make me smile at love.  But, they also are handy bookmarks.  The one that had fallen out happened to go with a verse that’s been on my heart lately anyway….

So stand still and see this great thing the Lord will do before your eyes now. -(1 Samuel 12:16)

Being that I found myself STILL wide awake, I forayed to the beginning of 1 Samuel since I haven’t read it in far too long.  God met me in such a clear, stark way.

And [Hannah] was in distress of soul, praying to the Lord and weeping bitterly…Hannah was speaking in her heart…I was pouring out my soul before the Lord…Then Eli said, Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition, which you have asked of Him.- (go ahead and read all of 1 Samuel 1)

That speaks volumes to my heart. So does this…

It has trained us…to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world.  Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope…that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds. -(read Titus 2:11-15)

Then to top it all off and put a cherry on top for my heart, I went on a run through which God totally pursued me and loved on me.  I left praying that maybe God would help this heart to hold onto hope. Holding onto the Titus 2:11-15 verse to memorize and listening to these lyrics started it out:

now i stand in the hope of new life and I’ve found a hope stronger and nothing compares -I’ve Found a Love by Jenn Johnson (Bethel Live)

Oh and then right as those lyrics hit, I look up to see a beautiful deer running alongside my dirt road (did I tell you that I LOVE running on dirt?).  Beautiful.  Plus, I got to watch the sunset and just as it faded into the distance I turned around to head back only to see an absolutely gorgeous full moon. Yep. God sure knows how to woo my heart!

So, there’s one of my little love stories for the week.  How’s God been pursuing YOU? 🙂

p.s. here’s my bible…isn’t she pretty?

a letter to my heart

dear heart,

sometimes you feel so messy. i find you traveling right along paths that are not for now. i must remind you to let go of those things that you have picked up again. not just hold them loosely as much as you wish you could. they need to go to the altar where you have fully given them to Him. remember? you can’t give away something and then ask for it back to look at it all the time. i know, i know, it’s hard. it’s messy. it hurts. but it’s necessary. He may not be changing those circumstances surrounding, but fear not, He is at work in you. healing. touching. transforming. teaching.

i bet you thought that when you closed those doors that you brought all of you with through them. i thought that too. until i realized that sometimes pieces get left on the other side of the closed door. pieces that need to be sifted. pieces of hope. pieces of love. pieces that make you catch your breath. that make you ache for something that may not be yours. is not yours, right now, regardless.

so, heart, take a deep exhale and let God be. long for His presence and for the day of coming home. i hear you yearning for a home you only know through His touch. take a taste of His goodness as He enfolds you with His presence meeting you in the deepest place. take joy, He hears your secret petitions and desires. He calls you lovely and you are His alone.

oh, and heart? it’s okay to hope and pray and dream and wait and stand still to see what He will do before you. I believe that He has amazing plans ahead. plans to prosper you, plans to give you hope and a future. so, hold tight. things may look a little messy, but that’s how it is with clay…trimming, cutting, shaping, molding, pieces flying, firing, drying, dipping, refining, firing again. it’s a process. and the end result…well, it sure is beautiful.


p.s. anything you’re telling your heart, today?


I find him lurking on the sidelines.  Treading water near the shoreline.  Near enough to go by unnoticed yet close enough to leap into the moment when the opportunity arises.  I don’t like when he stops by…especially unannounced.  He is unwelcome. unwanted. wholly part of the old.  He brings me down and brings on the tears.  He whispers lies. He stirs up doubt and wants me to hide. He shows up at the most inconvenient times when my heart is already a tad raw and vulnerable.  Ah, but that is his specialty…timing.  He wants to show up when I’m weak, but what he forgets is that when I am weak, my King is strong.  He wants to keep me from running into my Savior’s arms.  To make me feel that because of what I have done that I cannot go my Beloved.  He’s wrong. When I take refuge in my Strong Tower that is when I am complete.  The battle is already won. And as my eyes gaze into my Protector, I am radiant with joy and there is no shadow of him.  He is not allowed to take up residence in my heart or on my face.  So, every time he tries to make an appearance, I turn to the One who answers my questions and who loves me. My Defender is the one who will kick him far away so that I instead will be covered with grace, mercy, hope, joy, love.  I am after all…like a sparkling jewel in my King’s crown.

Zechariah 9:16 The LORD their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.

1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Isaiah 62:3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Proverbs 4:9 She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty.

Isaiah 51:11 The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Psalm 34:5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

ht: inspired after reading Sara Markley’s post.