I Asked For More

Lately, I have been asking Jesus to help me love people better. I never felt I was very good at it because I’m a task orientated person. I’m a thinker and most of the time I feel (teehee) like emotions are irrelevant to the decision making process. I feel like I walk too quickly sometimes to seem approachable; and I always look busy, when in all facts – I just walk REALLY quickly.

I asked Jesus to help me love people better and He didn’t make my heart any bigger – He just gave me more people to love.

I asked G-d for more creativity and for ideas to be downloaded into my heart and I feel like all I’ve gotten is more weird dreams. Not like, “I have a dream that one day… my future will be like __________” but like, I go to sleep and dream of a giant praying mantis in my bed or a mix of my cousins and people I used to work with in the same building treating porn as if it was a family movie night, or sometimes hiking on a mountain and suddenly I’m in a dentist chair and my teeth are falling out. But you can’t forget the classic Chilismare… you’re in Chili’s working but you’re working with the worst manager ever and none of your co-workers came in that day and the entire restaurant fills up at once and you’re slowly running your head off all while sinking into the floor, which is now quicksand.

I have CRAZY dreams; I asked Jesus for more creativity and now I find myself with more opportunities than ever to input creatively to the groups and people around me.

But what do I have? I have a giant praying mantis in my bed and random people watching porn*.

I have been praying for provision and a job, not like sitting and praying – I apply and chat with people about who is hiring and follow up with calls. So far I’ve gotten an email to tell me they went with someone else and a manager telling me he’ll get back to me. Oh! And I got put on a list of a future interview the next time they do interviews.

I asked for provision and it comes in the most last minute, random moment and in friends who care to make sure I have groceries.

I ask the Lord every time I post that it would find people in a timely manner and that G-d would use my words to encourage, inspire, and point someone to the only answer I know – Jesus. I asked for the Holy Spirit to move into my man-formed sentences and spelling errors and cover my ‘project’ of words with His own.

I asked for people to find my words AS THEY NEEDED. Yet, when I feel like I’m just typing into the internet and no one is getting anything from this… someone comes to tell me that what I’m doing has encouraged, inspired and moved them more towards Jesus.

But in THAT moment the timing is for me. It’s when I want to give up or stop bothering my newsfeed with yet another “Hey read my blog!” that Jesus reminds me this was HIS calling to me, and though it can feel redundant – my calling IS words – my calling is consistency. 

I miss the mark sometimes, but one thing I can tell you is how gracious and faithful G-d has been. He forgives and restores. My Saviour looks out for me and protects me and encourages me.

I find it SO odd how Jesus responds to me. It never feels like an answer when it is happening but very soon after I’ve gotten over myself, I can look back and see the beauty of His language and timing. I’m learning His language and I’m constantly learning to trust His timing but I also don’t feel bad that I still haven’t figured it out.

* I don’t watch porn, there was not ACTUAL porn playing in my brain – but you know how dreams go – you get that sense of what is happening even though none of the dream makes sense.
* (P.S.) I woke up that morning and had some serious Jesus time for those of you who read this and are still dealing with an addiction porn. I pray freedom and renewal for your mind. I pray that the intense bondage that might be over you be broken right now in Jesus name. I ask that every woman or man or child you’ve ever fantasized about would find a home and healing and that G-d world restore worth inside of them as it has been stolen with every thought that anyone has come up with of them. I pray that the people in the industry would realize the love of our GOOD father in heaven and that they would know inside of them that there is more for them. So much more love. I pray that you, as you read this would feel a release from the pull of porn and that you too begin to love people a little better. – Find Help Here

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread (and peanut butter and bananas and honey)

I was very recently asked my opinion on the “10 year plan” which at this point in my life is comical because my plans always change. Always. But they asked me, so now I’ll share my thoughts.

I’ve always been a ‘planner’ type and loved carving out those 5 and 10 year plans when I was younger. I’m sure if I remember correctly my 7th grade year would have looked something like this:

·      I want to be a Junior High Pastor (Grade 6-8)

·      I want to be a Christian Music Artist

·      I want to be an assistant to a youth pastor

·      I want a puppy

·      Be a racecar driver

  ((All Of The THINGS))

Contemporary music artist… this is fun, lets fast forward a bit to my 5-10 year plan at around 17 years old:

·      I want a Bachelors Degree in Business Management

·      I want to write a book

·      I want to be a worship leader/in a band 

·      I want to work at a church

·      Be a racecar driver

 

Now, have any of these ended the way I thought they would?

Absolutely not.

My “Junior High Pastor” experience was formed into 7 years of leading WIRED (The Monday after school fellowship/message/game event for 6, 7 and 8th graders between me being 15-21 years old. My “Christian Music” experience was lived out in writing songs and helping to lead at youth, college ministry and various house churches; and continues here in Aussie. I ended up being Assistant to the Youth Pastor and got a puppy so I did that right!                                                                

((madpropsLaina))

            My “Bachelors in Business Management” was learned at Chili’s in Broken Arrow and Pryor, Oklahoma by actually BEING a manager. My writing and publishing has increased to a consistent weekly process for the last 12ish weeks and I have a goal set to outline my book soon. My racecar driving ended up looking like more speeding tickets than I can count or care to remember. 

            My last 10 year plan started with my management position at Chili’s – I had every intention of working management for 5ish years (between 21-26) then move to Ireland and be able to pay for three years of theology school AND travel a year on top of that (I was going to save a LOT of money in those 5 years). I honestly was never expecting to end up cutting that short by 3 ½ years to move to Australia –

 Like, flip. What?! I live in Australia.

What is incredible is that all these dreams I’ve been given and desires I have had were lived out in such a way that they were all far greater that I could have imagined. They WEREN’T what I was expecting but as I’m living through my planned out days realizing how foolish black ink can really be I see that 5/10 year plans kind of suck.

            I function better in “I like this, I enjoy doing this, I’m going to take the open doors that are in line with this thought and direction” I think it’s good to set achievable goals and things you’d like to accomplish and give timelines and due dates, but to say “I’m going to be living here with this job and this much responsibility on my plate and this much free time and this much income” well, that (for me) isn’t practical.

            It doesn’t make sense. Maybe it works for some people but I pretty much have an agreement with G-d whenever I fill out a week of my planner than whatever He wants and whenever He wants to interrupt with whatever He wants me to do or say or path to take – He has permission to alter my schedule. I’ve just had far too many plans fail because they weren’t big enough.

            You see, I was raised in a culture of abundance and G-d has done entirely too much for me. The potential fall here is to see the abundance and somehow assume it’s deserved. At this point we pervert it and it becomes EXCESS. This has been one of the more difficult mindsets to break in my life if we are being totally honest. I am learning and training myself to realize that I have been given enough for today. My blessings and abilities are there to be used in my waking and before I go to sleep. I have EVERYTHING that I NEED so why would I let ANYTHING that is sitting in my hands to use – just sit.

I was given today my daily bread but what happens when I see the bread and think, “Yeah, naturally there is bread because I need it, I’ve earned this bread… so on top of this bread I think I should have some peanut butter and bananas as well. After all if I could have provided the bread than somehow I can make these delicious toppings happen as well” But you see, this is where we start to view our gifts and talents as excess… we see it as something earned and more than we need. What if we believed that G-d answered our prayers for daily bread and then we looked at our blessings and counted them as that instead of looking at all we have and seeing the ‘cherry on top’ mentality?

Your ice cream is sweet enough.

Recently in a pout-fest with my housemate via texting I was wondering what on earth I was doing here. She graciously reminded me,

“You prayed for this, you paid for this and now you are here. Isn’t that enough? Even if you never know isn’t this answered prayer enough?”

I’ve gotten to do everything I’ve ever wanted to do it just hasn’t always looked the same. I got here by doing well with what I was handed; and it is my daily prayer that I continue to see everything I have as daily bread. As something to be used today because tomorrow I’m going to need more and it might not look the same.

Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”

So, do what you will… but good luck with that.

I hope I live in a way that sees my blessings as abundance and something to be used, I’ve been given a lot and my heart has had loads of fulfillment in the seasons I’ve walked through. But, it was only there to build upon and not to see as “Oh check out my awesome toast that I bought”. Get over yourself.

but also, I love you all. 

Still, Be Still

Self-talk: The part of my writing that is optional to read because it’s my brain regurgitating itself onto the pages of my Microsoft word document. It typically has no order or clear point but this is what I deal with on the daily. Welcome to it.

I don’t like being stuck on the same thought process or project for a long time. Which is actually a little bit ridiculous of me to count two weeks as a ‘long time’. Laina, get over yourself. It’s taken to the next level of ridiculousness when I remember that I want to write a book, and that usually has a theme; it usually has a thought process that lasts between 4-32 chapters (I pulled those numbers off of Wikipedia… it’s on a page that I haven’t written yet). Basically I just maybe need to be a bit more forgiving with myself. And I possibly need to be a little less critical of being in a season that is longer than my comfort lasts. So again, I’m posting about the waiting.

Let’s call it “Part II” so that it looks like I meant to be on this again.

Scripture: The part of my writing that isn’t optional to read because it’s G-d’s Word retyped onto the pages of my Microsoft Word document. It’s typically whatever I’m reading at the time and what I pray finds you exactly where you are at, in the moment when you need it most. May it speak truth to you in your misunderstandings daily.

 “Be still, and know that I am G-d; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”

Psalms 46:10


Be Still and know that I am G-d. I feel like I’m overcomplicating this. I am overcomplicating this. How do I not overcomplicate this? Lord, what does being still look like for me right now? I have this fear of wasting time and being ‘unproductive’ – G-d, I’ve seen your redemptive power in my life so many times before. I actually can’t get this wrong. Break my mindsets that in any way to have final say over what is beneficial for me.

Take back the years the enemy’s  stolen
Satan has no power over our time

It’s like He just wanted to whisper over me, while sitting at a coffee shop (like a good hipster college student) I broke. Whilst pondering over this scripture that I have memorized and forgotten that it was tucked there: I remembered all the times before when the Lord had shown His faithfulness to me and reminded me of what He has done. I was reminded that HE IS G-D. I was reminded that HE WILL be exalted in the nations and HE will be lifted in all the earth, in spite of where I stand with Him and despite if I’m coming along on the journey. He will move and His glory will be seen. ((Oh Lord, I want to come along)). I’ve seen the depths of wasted time in my life, I’ve seen the laziness, I’ve seen the moments I didn’t want to seek Him, I’ve seen the seasons when I was too prideful to actually share any good news. And although I could at any point recount the ways that I’m actually just a sack of bones taking up space –

the LORD sees my time as worth something when I sit.

He created me… I know that some of you doubt that but it’s true. I’m His doing. One thing some of my close people know about me is that my strongest love language is quality time. I can honestly just sit with someone and love them more for it. We don’t even have to be talking I just like to be with them. (some of them). So G-d isn’t surprised, in fact I believe He was waiting on me to learn, that my love languages translate into my needs as it comes to G-d as well. He wants me to finally get that I have to learn how to be still before Him not just because it’s commanded, but personally for me because I need to learn to love Him that way. By a sacrifice of time. It is in those moments I realize it isn’t even a sacrifice; G-d has redeemed the time over and over and again anew in my life.

No time spent with Him sitting still and quiet in His presence will come back void.

It simply can’t.

And so, with that, I’m still learning. I’m taking comfort in the fact that my time with Him even when I am sitting and especially when I am sitting is precious. It’s there that I learn to breathe, to grow closer to Him EVEN WHEN I’M NOT SAYING A WORD, I just love Him more from being with Him.

Synopsis: The part of my writing that you could have skipped to from the beginning if you didn’t want to read Part II of waiting and being still. Haha, sucker! I put it at the end!

I should have listened the first time (and then KEPT listening) to what I thought G-d was saying to me… story of my life. But also, I just tend to forget easily or freak out when I do hear silence. I still think I prefer anything other than silence unless you’re a real life person in the flesh, so negative points to Laina for being hypocritical and having a double standard for G-d.

Thank the LORD that He is gracious on me because dang, I’m not the brightest at all times.

Also, if you’re feeling this way or have felt this way then blam, now you aren’t the only one! Not that you ever were. This is why I write. Share your stories and find out that you aren’t alone. We were never meant to do this alone.

Find G-d

In Time, Child

I find irony in a #ThinkBackThursday about ‘Timing’… so please enjoy my silent chuckle and my smile as I share with you my thoughts. 5 March 2014


There is so much importance in timing.

It’s something we avoid from elementary school: There are tasks we have to do daily – some are bigger, some are smaller but it’s when we overlook the important ones to pick something easier that we can sometimes miss out on the reward of obedience.

Step two is easier and more immediately rewarding even though, if we had taken step one AND THEN TWO we would have gotten more out of step two (track with me). We would have been wiser and more equipped for what we had to do. There is also the issue of skipping steps and never returning to square one because you got distracted and are now “busy”.

“G-d, step one is harder and I really just don’t want to. So I know you’ve given me every sign in the world that leads there… but step two is also beneficial for others so I’m just gonna go ahead and move forward.

Look, G-d! I’m being productive! I got this.”

WRONG.You very much DON’T have this.


 There is so much importance on timing and yes, while you can spend your time doing beneficial things for others, what painful, stripping, purifying, life changing step are you not taking? You can move forward, that’s the scary part. And you WILL be used if you’re willing, which is terrifying. Half hearted leaders wandering around who refuse to get their crap together and worse, they won’t let anyone else know that they are broken.

I’ve done it long enough to know when I’m taking the second step just to distract myself from the first.

I might not know you well enough to call it out, but you do. That’s why I write. Well that and I’m a super nerdy homeschooled kid who happens to express herself best through writing… And usually I write because G-d is dealing with me, and social media is public accountability.

((Really I just enjoy it))

So I pray G-d messes you up as much as He is messing with me. Take the first steps. Take the hard steps. Yes “But, life will be easier if I can just get______” but your reward is in obedience.

There are people on the other side of that – and you’re cheating yourself and them if you skip to what is easy.

I wrote a letter. Have fun with your day.

:: In time, Child, healing is coming and a love so deep will appear.
In time, Child, your wounds won’t bleed and you’ll grow out of all of your fears.
In time, Child, though now it’s hard, the sun will shine and bring joy. For in this time, Child, you’re learning to cope and most of all, trust in the LORD” ::