Celebrate GOOD Times

SO much life has happened.

I have no excuses or apologies but I will say that I absolutely miss writing – I miss updates and thinky thoughts. I miss having time and making time to do what I’m passionate about. This semester of school is full of doing things I need to do, which is fine haha I just miss the other stuff.

It’s so beautiful. I have the MOST beautiful friends here.

I think lately I’ve forgotten to celebrate the things that deserve a celebration. Life feels a whole lot like life lately and not quite like it’s exciting or BIG but honestly it’s freaking huge.

  • I’m engaged.
    Phill asked me to marry him a few weeks ago, or maybe it was a month or two – (Honestly this is my issue, school has been so full and fun this semester that it has been THE HARDEST thing ever to actually keep up with my own life.) So we are getting married at the end of November (just a few days before I graduate Hillsong College) and we begin more life together. He makes life feel like it was always meant to be this way, both very normal and very exceptional at the same time. He makes awesome feel like it is a standard that should have always been tied around my days, weeks, months… That is why I say we will begin MORE life together 🙂

[The Engagement: It was a Saturday and Phill and I were supposed to be spending the evening with a few friends but I text them to confirm and they bailed on us. The reason I didn’t think anything of it was because it had already happened the same way the week before as well haha. So Phill asked me if I wanted to drive in the mountains to go get some spring water (I don’t really think any of his requests are weird anymore although I realise how odd that sounds). So off to the mountains we went – we got some McDonalds on the way because we are really classy. I forgot to tell him I had to pee (this is relevant I promise) so when we pulled off in the middle of no where I told him he had to wait on the other side of the car which gave him the perfect opportunity to sort out the ring in his pocket. I did my business behind some bush and thanked the Lord for our Maccas (McDonalds) napkins. We walked down to this beach thing inside the mountains where we fist EVER hung out together. We weren’t even dating at this point although Phill was totally trying to date.
I saw a random fire set up and told Phill how irresponsible some people are to set a fire and leave it unattended. I didn’t drop this for a while. Phill told me this is where he knew he wanted to date me (no surprise, I’m pretty awesome) and said since this is where he decided he wanted to date me that maybe this is where I wanted to tell him I’d spend the rest of my life with him (awwwwwww). I was in disbelief, I knew the ring would be coming sometime but I thought it was still being built or designed or something, I believe my first response was “Wait you don’t have the ring?!” and then a few more sentences expressing my concern for the people who bailed on the fire pit. It all felt very surreal. I said yes and we sat out on the beach for a little while before decided to get pizza and celebrate with some housemates 🙂

The fire was set up by some of our friends and they even cut down a tree to build a seat.]

  • We had just about the most irritating month ever as soon as we got engaged; things just weren’t going our way (for lack of liberty to share the details).
    But if you can imagine the best soccer player you know was running straight at you but then instead of actually playing soccer he is just kicking you in the gut. It was like that for about a month. But thank the LORD for undeserved favor and stuff is getting back on track.
  •  Which brings me to my next thought: marriage counselling was awesome. We had the most amazing couple to talk us through all the marriage things and we did so well that they thought we cheated.
    ((Another thought: you deserve someone that you’re compatible with – so compatible that the online survey thinks you’ve cheated. I get that some opposites attract and as far as Phill and my personality goes we are quite opposite. But we ARE like-minded, more than I think we realised.)) It was such a relief to walk into conversations with a couple that had been married 35 years and for them to give us their blessing on our lives. I think too many people settle. Heck I’ve done it. We all have. So stop judging. But also stop giving up on the ‘someone out there’ who is perfect for you. I have as many reasons as many other to think otherwise but guys GOD IS GOOD and has stuff under control.
  • Another exciting part of my life is that 8 (EIGHT) of my family members will be here with me in a very short amount of time to celebrate this three-year journey of college and the lifelong journey of marriage. I seriously don’t know how I get to be so blessed. Seriously. I could cry. I feel very loved and honoured and SO EXCITED to show them this place. Australia has been so wonderful to me.

  •  Which brings me to my next point
    – lets be real this blog is an intro back into writing and the form is all over the place –

This one is a little nerve-racking.

I’m staying for a little while.

In January 2018 I will transfer into my Bachelors degree of Theology with a focus on Biblical Studies.

BIG GULPS HUH.

Australia has felt like home since the first few months of being here and although it still sort of throws my head for a spin I’m happy to announce that I’ll be here a bit longer. Phill and I will continue working here in OZ while I work on my degree.

  • FINALLY – PHILL AND I SIGNED A LEASE ON A COTTAGE!

How adorable is that sentence? Phill moves at the beginning of October and I’ll move after we get married. I forget what a miracle life actually is. What is my life that I get to live in Australia in a cottage and marry the man who spoils me with breakfasts on the weekend and support for all things my heart dreams up.

Life should be celebrated and I am thankful.

Thanks for letting me update.

I’m organizing my chaotic life to let me do what I love (actually writing more than once a year). As I said… no excuses, no apologies. It’s just how life has been

(ABSOLUTELY FREAKING CRAZY… and so SO wonderful)

Love On Your Little Ones

Live your life with children, explore faith with them as well as the back yard. Love them innocently and fiercely because they get it. This #ThinkBackThursday brought to you by 5 years ago – Feb 2011
I can’t explain a lot of the feels I have in my heart for my sister. Sometimes one of my friends will bring her up because it changes my demeanor instantly. I wonder if G-d’s face changes when He thinks about us…
Be blessed, be new and thank you for having a look into the stories that make up my life.

Today was a day that Oklahoma decided to have good weather. I enjoy those. You could hear kids playing in the neighborhood as their parents called for them to come inside for washing up. I had a few friends over and for whatever reason I was parked behind them, so when it was time to say goodbye I had to move my car for them to get out. I pulled my car back and was about out of their way when I see my little sister running down the driveway crying. I’m a softie for her firstly, because she is my sister, but also because when something breaks her heart it usually breaks mine. This wasn’t a scared cry; this wasn’t a hunger or a pain cry even. She was running down the sidewalk shrieking, so I jump out of my car and run to her and hold her.
“Gracie, what’s the matter? What happened?” I start to cry simply because I can see in her 6 year old body, brokenness. Something is eating her apart inside and I can’t do anything. In a painful, sobbing voice I hear her scream, “Why don’t the little ones belong to Him?”

I couldn’t answer her.

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so

little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.

She was torn apart because she knew the kids in the neighborhood didn’t belong to the Saviour. The kids who most people just want out of the road, the kids who people look over and wonder what their parents are thinking letting them play in the street.

Gracie has taught me more than I could ever explain about life and about G-d. The story above was a dream I had one night and woke up crying to. Children have such a precious heart; they have such a strong faith that when someone tells them something is they believe it. One day Gracie wanted to stay home and watch TV while everyone else was leaving… I told her that it wasn’t safe and she had to come with me because no one would be there to watch her. She told me G-d would be there to protect her.

How do you argue with that?

I told her that if she got hurt there would be no one to take her to the hospital. She said that if she got hurt G-d could heal her. Who am I to tell her she’s wrong? That the faith she has isn’t always true? (I didn’t leave her alone but I had a hard time convincing her that she just WANTED to come with me).

I want child like faith. I want to have passion for the little ones who don’t yet belong to Him. I want more G-d… 

As We Tarry There

((Maybe don’t read this one at work, or maybe grab a tissue.


It’s really hard for me sometimes to say that I miss my grandparents, when I don’t honestly remember that much about them. My grandma (on my mothers side) died when I was about 4 or maybe 5 years old. I remember that she was heavy set and soft. She had white hair and my own mother has the frame of her hands, they’re rounded and not harsh. They are soft and always in need of physical contact to show love. I have those same rounded hands too; my fingers and features are soft. So while I can’t say that I miss her because I don’t remember much about her I do know her. I remember her Bible being filled with so many highlighted and written in words that it was like 17 devotionals in one. This is a part of my heritage. I remember that when she died I cried because I saw my cousin Ricky crying, and I knew that something bad was happening if he (in my eyes at the time a ‘big kid’) was crying. I remember Precious Moments coloring books at the hospital. I remember telling my brother that I was sad and I wanted to see her again, he told me that if I wanted to see her I would need to go to heaven. He brought me to my mom and I got saved that day (so that I could see Mee-Maw again).

So although I don’t remember her well – I know that she knows me and I know that she has molded my life without being in it.

My grandfather died when I was 10, I remember a little more about him. I remember him eating Ritz crackers with peanut butter on them every time I was over at his house. I remember that he would tickle you until you shrieked and then act like he was going to let you get away but as you ran his arms would catch you and pull you close again. I remember his big funny glasses that now remind me of the guy from Up (or a hipster). I remember his skin being terribly thin and me being afraid of hurting him when I hugged him later on in his life. I remember mom waking me up the day after a celebration ceremony I was a part of for having read the entire bible and memorized a zillion scriptures (seriously a zillion) and maybe learnt how to build a fire? It was pretty much girl scouts for Christians. She woke me up to tell me we were off to Georgia because my grandfather had passed away. I remember his favorite song was In The Garden. A few of the cousins, my mom and myself sang it at his funeral and THAT I can never forget – I can never forget this song.

I may have not known much about my grandpa but I do know that he had a heart to be with the Lord, he was good at sitting with Him.

I don’t remember much about my grandparents, but I do know them.

memawThey’ve been apart of molding who I am since way before I was conceived. I’m so thankful for my heritage that has since passed on and I’m thankful for my grandparents who are still with me.

I love my Grandma Cheri (dads side) more that I could ever explain and I hold part of her personality with me always. I know that without her realizing she has an inflection in her voice when she speaks and emphasizes different syllables. And I know that she has already forgotten how to log in to her Facebook. My love of dogs comes from her and I’m fully convinced that as soon as I can, I won’t be able to keep away from having those lovely fur-babies in my home. I do things that she does without even realizing they probably came from her, like mass cooking awesome food and loving to decorate cakes. We enjoy sushi and being feisty and stubborn as.

But, G-d reminded me of this song this week, as I’ve been so focused on what’s coming this year, what is the next thing I have to do I’ve forgotten too quickly how to tarry with G-d.

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

Refrain:
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

To tarry is to stay longer than you intended, or delay leaving a place.

Time spent with G-d cannot come back void and you can never be there ‘too long’. Life happens all around you and all around the world without you, the worries and tasks will be there after the morning and after you’ve sat with the Saviour.

He walks with me. He talks with me. He tells me I am His own.

Lately my prayer has been that G-d would restore to me the joy of salvation. I’m not unhappy, but I want more joy. I want more peace regardless of circumstance and joy that is simply based on what Christ has already done by saving me. No greater joy have I found than to sit and be in His presence and have Him tell me that I AM HIS OWN.

And the JOY we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.

Although I didn’t know my grandparents enough to ‘miss them’ as much as my older family members – I do know my Saviour, and sometimes I just miss tarrying with Him.

Sometimes you need extravagant moments with Jesus. Sometimes you just need to sit and hear Him calling you His own. Sit and listen to the melodies He is singing over you, let it echo through your being. Learn to seek Him and find the characteristics you have learned from Him that you might not realize are in you.

We truly come by them honestly.

Scrabit Adultery

#ThinkBack(to)Thursday
so… I posted late. It happened. 

I had a BEAUTIFUL get-to-know-you coffee with a wonderful woman who I have no doubt will be in my life for a long time and then family time. I remembered that it was Thursday around 2am (Friday) as I was drifting to sleep.

Life happens. Sometimes I write about it.

  • November 2010, I had no idea what was coming

 

If the first thing G-d spoke to you was to love someone who would constantly be unfaithful to you, could you follow His call? Would you be alright with knowing that your whole existence was to be used for
G-d’s love to be shown?

((G-d, I’m picking Hosea back up, maybe because I’ve seen myself
not being as faithful with my time. I’ve just been thinking through all you had him do.

“When the LORD began to speak through Hosea… “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of (( the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD)).”  Hosea 1.2 emphasis added

G-d, this was when You FIRST called Hosea, not much warning or development towards trusting You that I can see. Would I, even now have the ability to follow that call?

The closest thing I’ve been to marriage (thus far) is just a boyfriend-type relationship and couldn’t imagine the pain of living with him if he cheated on me. We’d probably break up and never speak again. But to Hosea, You G-d, kept after him to LOVE Gomer. To fight for this woman and her children that he wasn’t sure if were his. And what was G-d’s reasoning? “because the LAND is guilty”… No, Hosea, YOU did nothing to deserve this – you were just willing to listen to G-d.

Adultery is defined as * voluntary sexual intercourse between a married (a committed) person and a person who was not his or her spouse. I’ve never been married and have never had sex, so again I can only imagine – but I have seen the affects of adultery on families and the bitterness it leaves. Of all this pain and of these horrible stories, G-d said the VILEST form of this act is when it is His people departing from Him.  … “the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.” The worst, most offensive, shameful, loathsome, hateful, wicked, evil act we can do is walk away from G-d; or, to depart from Him.

But, G-d… we do that all the time. Remember G-d? all that time we get “too busy”? Remember when we’re just exhausted and too tired to spend time with You? And, yet, You sent a Son, YOUR Son to love a world like ours. You let Your Son pick this world to be His Bride and I am guilty of causing a pain I couldn’t even imagine because in my selfishness – I’ve been just like Gomer. And with my actions at some point I’ve taught children to be unfaithful. I’ve shown them some form of justification in my actions and that is something I can never take back.

(1.14) “Therefore, I am now going to allure (draw) her; I will lead her to the desert and speak tenderly to her.”
((I’m bringing My bride back and regaining her attention – says the LORD))

(1.16) “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’”, you will no longer call me ‘my master.’”

G-d is coming to restore our broken relationship and reunite His Bride to Himself. Just because He loves us and wants us to be set free from our unfaithful ways, I don’ t know how to hold onto my stupid decisions anymore because of His love.

I can’t.

 Drawn to redemption by the GRACE in His eyes… Oh, how He loves us so…


 

This was when G-d taught me about being His bride. When I was 20 years old G-d had already been explaining and laying on my heart what it would require of me to be close to Him and to accept His forgiveness and care. The Lord began burdening me to teach other women what it means to get ready to be a bride. I had NO idea that a year later I would be engaged and on my way to be married and walk through this very thing, my heart was broken because I was betrayed and I never wanted to hear the words, “You are enough” again.

My G-d is a redeeming G-d. I wouldn’t trade my past for anything because now more than ever I realize the prize that it is to still be loved by Him.

And we are SO loved by Him.

Who’s Your Daddy?

Just a little #ThinkBackThursday. Pardon any shortage on an image or formatting… we don’t have WiFi currently so I’m eating up my phone data.


I went to Office Depot today to buy little envelopes. I got through the checkout line and along with my receipt the cashier gave me a business card that was good for a free PC check up… I chuckled in my head as I saw it and almost offended I thought, “Hello… doesn’t she know who my dad is? He’s the biggest computer geek I know, why would I bring a PC into here when my dad could fix it? Doesn’t she know who I am?”

I’ve always felt this way about my dad, I’m 110% convinced if there is a computer problem my dad can fix it so I’ve never worried about anything when it comes to the computer. I’m not the most computer savvy person in the world that you will meet but simply because I am my fathers daughter I really don’t think too much about it.

Dear G-d, why can’t I think this way about You? Consistently? Yes, I know you’re big enough to solve my problems but even in the moments when there isn’t one why am I not constantly thinking, “Pft, no harm can come to be, no evil force can stop me, no nation will stand against me… don’t they know WHO MY DAD IS? He happens to be the savior of the world, the comforter of the broken, why would I let my heart become troubled knowing that He can fix any problem that comes up?”

Fact is – I’m human and struggle with doubt. I guess I don’t doubt my earthly father because I’m an earthly person and that’s what I understand… I’ve seen my dad in flesh and have seen him fix thousands of computer problems.

I feel like an idiot to admit that I’ve doubted my heavenly Father but I have; I’ve seen the work of His hands in all of creation, I’ve gazed at the stars knowing that He holds each one, I’ve seen G-d’s protective hand over my life and others and yet, because my mind is limited I have to still remind myself that He can take care of me.

G-d, please, help me to see the problems in my life as something that I don’t have to worry about because I’m YOUR daughter. Make my response to them as quickly as I would respond to a office supply store telling me that they’re offering me something that I know my earthly dad could already do. Change my doubting heart, G-d.

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand. “ – Romans.1.18-23(ish, MSG)

G-d, I’ve been with you a while, I know you well… help my heart not doubt so that I might not trade your glory for cheap fixes…

I’m sorry G-d.

Do you know who MY Dad is?

Scrabit : Go Fish

I can’t believe I hadn’t posted this one yet. When I reflect on all the good things I have in my life I am simply left speechless. Some of those things are material possessions, most of those things are relationships, the most important of these things are family. If you ever have the opportunity in your life to have (birth, or help create) a little girl of your own, do so. I can’t say I’m PLANNING on it at all because I’m missing a few legal and unpublicizable steps to do so; but I sure wouldn’t mind to have one. For some of those who end up reading this it will actually sting more than help because maybe you have no idea what it means to have a father who is good or who gives, or maybe to have one at all. To those I pray that you build, I ask G-d (the GOOD Father of all) to find you where you are and lavish you with strength, wisdom, forgiveness and peace and all that you could need for your tomorrow. Find a good man, be a good man, become amazing parents and demonstrate what only Jesus can do in families. I believe in you even if you don’t know me because I believe my prayers to G-d are heard for you.

As always, please enjoy this #ThinkBackThursday


This one is dedicated to the Daddies and Daughters… But if you’re neither one of those you can read it too.

(Yes, I’m talking about Gracie again… she’s a brain)

////

            I can hear Gracie downstairs this morning asking my dad to play a game with her. Today’s choice: Go Fish. As I’m listening to the game the one thing that really sticks out to me is every time I hear her say, “Daddy, do you have any…?

“…number 3 puffer fish cards”, “…number 7 nemo cards”, “…number 8 starfish”, and so on.

Children remind me of who we’re supposed to be.

When my dad has a card, even though he’s losing one he still seems pleased at Gracie’s reaction of joy.

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7.11

I’ve heard the expression, “you have not because you ask not” but a lot of times I forget just how true it is. I can’t expect someone to know something about me unless I tell them. I can’t expect someone to know what I want unless I ask them. Now, understand that our heavenly father is all-knowing but we have to show the desire to want more. We have to ask.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” Matthew 7.7

What’s great is that G-d has so much more than just a good hand of cards for us. He has plans for our lives and a desire to grant us eternal life.

Daddy, do you have any…

…peace? “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. “ Philippians 4.6-7

…hope? “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time” Titus 1.2

…strength? “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.“ Isaiah 40.29

…power? “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1.8

…freedom? “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free” Psalms 119.32

I could go on and on about all the things G-d wants to give us if we just ask Him. But the thing about Him is that when we ask, because He is eternal and all-powerful, He doesn’t tell us to “Go Fish” He will always have everything we need. As amazing as any father could ever be, he can’t match up with all the gifts and love G-d has for every one of us.

My G-d is more than enough
He will supply all my needs
He is my El Shaddai
He always looks out for me
Jehovah Jireh, He is my G-d

Familiar Phrases

For your listening enjoyment while reading: No Longer Slaves

At Team Night this week I told G-d that I was done doing things for Him. I am done waking up early to do devotionals and I’m done with Leadership College. I’m done attending and serving at church for Him. I’m done striving to do what I can to make sure that when I’m 50 I’m still faithfully serving. Why?

Because this whole gig isn’t working for me.

So I sat. I didn’t tell Him that I was done in the context of ‘Stuff You, this is isn’t something I want to be apart of’ but, I sat there telling G-d I was done because it’s exhausting to try to work for grace. It actually accomplishes nothing. My personality type is a ‘doer’ I want to accomplish things and find an organized approach to make sure that no one sits in a pointless meeting longer than they ever have to.

I forget something so special when I live in fear that if I don’t wake up and read and write every morning that somehow I no longer have the Spirit actively with me. Or if I forgot about Him for a moment I maybe somehow would have a day where I wasn’t being used for anything worthwhile.

“You need to trust His ability to LEAD you more than your ability to follow Him.”

My faithfulness is no reflection of His.

Teamnight was all about songs, the ones we sing to connect to G-d, confess truth of who He is and who we are, and the song that G-d sings over us (Zep. 3:17). So I asked G-d if I could listen in. I wanted to know what G-d was singing over me. It blew my mind when I felt like He was responding with something already dear to my heart, “His banner over me is love”. I don’t know another person or thing on earth that knows what the melody of love is, but He does. He resonated that in my heart and it felt as if my heart responded to the familiar chorus. My mom used to sing a song to me ages ago with those lyrics (His Banner Over me Is Love – I could have found a better version… but these outfits! I also found it extremely appropriate that it was children singing)

Almost everything in my walk with G-d has something to do with Grace, my sister. As we sang No Longer Slaves and proclaimed “I am a child of G-d” over and over, I thought about what it truly means to be a child of someone. I don’t DO things for my parents to get them to love me, in fact I’m sure I’ve done things that would give them every right not to love me but they still do. I think about morning cuddles and that wonderful age of 2-4 years when you just run up to your parents and throw your hands above your head and wait to feel weightless. I’ve never been super emotional or sentimental but at no point in my life do I remember not just waiting for Gracie to throw her arms up towards me. It overwhelms you with love for these little squishy beings when they CHOOSE you. You feel cooler than the other people in the room when they throw a fit until YOU pick them up.

Guys, I shamelessly go on and on about my sister frequently because my heart actually has never understood more of G-d’s love than when I think about her. I legitimately ACHE when I think about how much I love her… and shoot, she’s not even my kid. But a long time ago I asked for something tangible from G-d to understand His love, He gave me grace… and He gave me Grace. And if I don’t even fully understand how much parents love their kids then this is just the beginning of G-d’s love… like the VERY VERY small and humble beginnings.

How great is His love?

“I am surrounded by the arms of a Father

I am surrounded by songs of deliverance”

At this point in the evening I might have started crying at the thought of my sister and the thought of me being G-d’s child, I couldn’t even process or express how much I loved her and then I got a nudge in my Spirit, “I love you more”. Again, my mom used to say this phrase to me (and still does via 9,000 miles of iMessaging). More than I love anything on earth, He loves me MORE (than I understand). G-d knows how to get my attention.

I love you more
I cannot fathom the depths

I sat after telling G-d I was done working for something I already had, and was just there, listening to this song I left up at the top for you all. The bridge starts to sing;

“You split the sea so I could walk right through it,

you drowned my fear in perfect love”

I stood, letting go of the fear that somehow if I didn’t DO something to get His attention I wouldn’t have it. I lifted my hands knowing that He couldn’t leave me there.

((He always picks me up.

((His grace is always enough.

((I am a child of G-d