Tuition Flavored Bread

Well, I’ve always had a knack for sharing too much – then again, that’s why I started this. I felt like what was dropped in my spirit was to share my story; Share my ‘right now’ moments with Jesus. So please read this as just that, my story.

I got an email a few weeks back about a students’ favorite time of the semester: tuition is due. Cool.

I’ve been abundantly blessed with my season and my time here so far. G-d has been providing more than I need in many instances and I’ve seen blessings on blessings that I’m floored by. I moved here and my parents agreed to do what they could financially to help out with tuition and emergencies so in this case of the tuition email I wasn’t too worried as it came to the actual financial number on the page. I mean, no one wants to drop $2800 ever… unless you’re buying a jet ski, or a trip to Australia to come visit me, or like a really cool puppy with hunting and fishing and defending skills. So, I do what any college student running low on savings does and forward the email to my dad. His response shouldn’t have made me cry but in context of my season in my heart-feelers – I broke.

“How do you want to have this happen? You can pay it and I can raise the allotment so you get that money back quicker or we can put it on my debit card…”

Why any of this is important – I’ve been walking through a pretty dry and obnoxious desert season since Colour Conference. Maybe it didn’t start out this way but by this week I’ve grown pretty frustrated and unentertained with Jesus. Last week I wrote about ‘Daily Bread’ and having all we need… this week I’m frustrated that I’m only getting what I NEED which makes me sound terrible but this is real talk Wednesday (or really Friday by the time you read it). As far as revelations on Jesus, songwriting, being creative, writing, seeing G-d in all of creation it has been difficult for me to just sit and think “Wow, G-d, you’re doing so much” He is – He has, even if He never did one more thing for me He would have done enough. But feelings and being a human sucks and sometimes we have attitude issues. Previously in my week my journal looked a little something like this:

‘G-d, I’m not super happy with You – I’m just frustrated because I feel like I’m hearing a lot of words, and they’re all good words but I am personally struggling to find You. I feel like I’ve sat and I’ve waited and I feel like I keep being given JUST ENOUGH to get by’ ((and as I was writing loads of, “Laina, seriously? JUST ENOUGH?” thoughts came over me as I remembered what I had written about no more than a week prior)) –

‘No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11’

So, back to the part where I tie this in a pretty package and explain my heart-space-thoughts.

I’m sitting at the coffee shop with Krysia and Brian reading my dads email and trying to think through how to respond and what to say and what might be a good idea. I look at my bank account in the states and it has $2800 in savings… so I start to think, yeah I can pay tuition but it will wipe everything I have so I will either be relying on my dad or have to get a job or both. Which begins to start ripping away at my heart. You see, the last set of ‘instructions’ or ‘nudges’ I had about coming here was to sit, and learn how to receive from G-d. To rest (which included trusting Him with finances and not working) – and see how big G-d really is, I’ve worked the last 10 years of my life so it’s no issue for me to have a job and complete school. What the issue is for me is to sit, trust, rest and receive. As I typed an email back to my dad I let him know, ‘Yes, I can pay it but it’s all I have left so I will need you to help me’. I started realized what G-d has been up to (at least a very, VERY small part of what He has been up to). I’ve not been super pleased with my season and I’ve kept asking Him for something more than what I have; A word of confirmation, a day where I don’t feel like I’m wandering, water, something more than the minimum of what I need; and I could tell He was whispering, ‘How do you want to have this happen? You can give me the rest of what you have and I can keep giving you what you need or I can put it on my card…’

for lack of better words I felt like G-d was offering me a cop-out; maybe not a cop-out but an easy out for this season.

He can and will cover it. He can make it easy.

But, it took me realizing a smidge of what He is actually doing to say, ‘no, I can pay it, I’ll give the rest of what I have and trust that you’re going to set me up with just enough for this next season, discipline isn’t pleasant but you have peace for me through it and righteousness that you want to place in me.’

It killed me to say, “So dad, the last words I got from G-d was to sit… but I haven’t learned that lesson yet so I don’t feel like I need to get a job, which means I need you, to be faithful and help. I just need help.” because it makes my feel LAZY AS. Which kills me. I hate being lazy, I hate sitting, I hate waiting and I hate relying on someone else for my needs (I’m clearly in a learning process) I wanted to be able to say “Cool, I’ll just go get a job and this will all go smoother” but I have zero peace about that.

Chapels here in college have been cutting to the heart lately for me. Catrina (our principle) spoke yesterday which ended in Krysia (my housemate) giving me a glare as if they both had read my prayers to Jesus that day. Catrina spoke on the desert, how in the Bible this is an area of preparation, and that something great is coming when we are in these seasons. Sitting in the desert means we are on our way to the promise land even though at the time it feels like it takes everything we have to find an oasis. But, if the option is the easy out and remaining comfortable or spending what I have to see if G-d will show up… I guess I’ll take the latter.

I guess I’ll continue with my last set of instructions, I’ll continue to speak His Word over my life and take this desert as a reminder that something great is coming. I’ll choose to believe that His word is living and active and when I feel like I’m remaining the same, I choose to believe that His word changes me.

((He has GOOD for me.

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!                                                                


            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.