“Z Best Is Yet 2 Come”

So, I’ve been reading the Bible lately as previously stated in my last blog. I’ve finished Exodus and started reading all the introductory information on Leviticus (the avoided book) which is extremely helpful in creating expectation on a previously perceived “boring book”.

Exodus has been helpful in opening my eyes to more of the details of our story as Christians. For example, you have ‘The Exodus’ (the exit or leaving) of the children if Israel out of the land of Egypt and of slavery. THE PASSOVER – which I couldn’t write enough about – full of symbolism and justice that makes me cry when I think about it. The Israelites were to take a pure, spotless lamb once a year for their passover feast and slaughter it and place the blood of the lamb over their doorposts to be safe from the judgement of G-d. GUYS. Jesus, our pure and spotless lamb spilled his blood over that tree at Calvary to forever cover the price of our sins so that judgement would be replaced with mercy in our lives.
I cry. I weep. I write blogs about it. 

The Law was given to Moses at Mt. Sinai and then immediately broken (literally and literally) by the people sinning downstairs and when Moses threw the tablets to the ground in a hissy fit of justice-rage. But, Moses was given reminders of the covenant promise of G-d redeeming His people and Moses reminded G-d of His own promises as well. We see redemption over and over in this narrative.

The BEAUTIFUL and precise instructions were given to our main man Moses for the construction of the Tabernacle (The Holy meeting tent that the Lord decided to dwell in so that He could be with the children of Israel and that they could worship Him in). Peoples hearts were overwhelmed with gratitude and generosity and began to give to the building of the temple to where they had far more than they needed. The Lord showed his compassion to this group of people by sending His Spirit (end of chapter 35) to equip His people with SKILL to complete the building of the tabernacle.

I find it reassuring to know that the Lord doesn’t always EQUIP the CALLED but He equips those in the line of His COMMANDS. We find two men here in chapter 36, Bezalel and Oholiab, along with others in ‘whom the Lord put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary… in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded’ (v.1 ish). We see no reference to the Lord speaking directly to them and telling them that they are ordained to build this sanctuary… We just see them in the path of a need that the Lord was going to accomplish. By being willing to help with whatever, they were equipped by the Holy Spirit to be useful.

G-d I want to be in line of your commands. I don’t have to be ‘called’ but I do need to be available and I trust that in my availability and being where You are that You’ll equip me for whatever YOU have commanded on the earth.

After all of this is said and done in Exodus it leaves me with such a reassured ease as I try and read Leviticus. You see, I know the end of the story and the completion of the prophecies in the New Testament. I know of the New Covenant and our immediate access to G-d and the lack of all animal sacrifices I’ve ever had to perform in my life. I can look at the Israelites wandering the desert and think, “The best is yet to come! Just hold on and keep believing!”

This all ended up rolling through my head as I made my way downstairs
to see our house sign say “Z Best Is Yet 2 Come”.

I think G-d often smiles at me, I feel it when I’m laughing at myself after ‘ah-ha’ moments come and I realise how blind I am without the guidance and revelation of the Spirit. I was reminded of the expectation I’m bringing to Hillsong Conference. I was reminded of MY story with Him and how much I’ve grown in the last 5 years. I was reminded of all the prayers that I’ve prayed and still pray and the ones I’ve forgotten that I asked for. I think G-d smiled at me and reminded ME that The BEST is YET to come…
I can look at the past all day and mentally help those people in hardship and tell them, “Wait, your story isn’t over” but in looking back and reflecting I can sometimes forget that the Lord is looking at me saying the same thing.

Moving into Hillsong Conference ISN’T same ol’ same ol’. Starting another semester with a whole flock of new students isn’t same ol’ same ol’. Each and every service and chapel isn’t the same… it’s progressively THE BEST.

Pastor Brian Houston coined that phrase for our church but I’m just starting to REALLY GET IT. It doesn’t matter if your last week was crap or the best thing ever. It doesn’t matter if you’re still sitting in emotional slavery waiting on deliverance or you were just given everything you’ve been asking and praying for. THE BEST is still to come.

Hillsong Conference is another opportunity that we as college students have to refresh and serve our hearts out – I pray that our expectation is heightened and that we follow where we feel the Spirit is leading. I pray that we end up in the path of the commands of G-d and even if we don’t feel called that we begin to accept the equipping of the Spirit and move forward knowing we have what it takes to change something. I pray that no matter how difficult it is, or how tired we become that we don’t lose sight of the BEST that is still coming. I pray that no matter how amazing and life-changing it is for us that we realise that there IS STILL more.

Many of those reading this aren’t college students here in Sydney, Australia and to those I pray that your jobs come through – I pray your children come back to Christ or find Him for the first time – I pray that you are set free from emotional bondage of an abusive partner – I pray that you see a little bit more hope in your situation but also that you know that even in the beautiful times, the birth of your children, the promotion at work, the marriage of your best friends… that there is STILL more.

Thank G-d for hindsight and THANK G-D that I don’t know everything.


The Exodus and Leviticus links you find in this blog are from guys called
‘The Bible Project’ – They summarise the books of the bible along with explaining other key topics in a comic sort of way that keeps us creative types entertained.
Check them out.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Terrified

This #ThinkBackThursday is brought to you by: Christmas Eve, Georgia, Family, and Fear.

Happy Merry Christmas Eve! 

Love you all!


So, my mom is in Kenya so I got to take over Gracie-Bath-Time duty, which brings me back to being a kid… I was terrified of the bath drain. I remember crying because of that wretched noise it would make as it was sucking the water down into total darkness. I was so scared that if I was anywhere near it I would get sucked down too. And so I would always hide between the toilet seat and the wall and cover my ears and try not to cry.

((Thank you Jesus for a creative imagination at a young age.

That wasn’t my only fear with baths and showers growing up; I also HATED washing my hair; not really the washing part but the part where I had to lean my head back and try to not mix the soapy water in my eyes. I was reminded of this fear tonight when I had to wash Gracie’s hair. She would squash her eyes tight shut and even when I was holding her head and telling her I had her and I needed her to lean back she had a very hard time with it.

Strange thing about all this is, its when we lean our heads back that we have the least likely chance to get soapy water in our eyes. We just can’t see that because we don’t have the perspective to see it. So what do we do? Sit in a bathtub with our neck tight and our eyes shut and head just barely far enough back to was out the bottom of our hair.

I DON’T have the perspective in my life to see everything that is around me, I don’t see that it would be so much easier to trust and let someone else who can see everything help me out. But there is the risk of getting that soapy water in your eye… doesn’t seem like that big of a deal until you realize they LIE on the kids shampoo when they say it’s no tears

But still I sat there washing Gracie’s hair wondering where she ever got the fear that keeps her from letting go and leaning back… Something had to of happened in her life to make her realize that she could get hurt if she isn’t careful.

Even my 6 year old sister understands this so I have no doubt that you, reading this have figured out that life can hurt. But you still have to option to let other people in and to let you go of what you’re holding.

You see, if Gracie had just let me rinse her hair and she leaned back it would have lasted a lot less time than what we had to deal with…

I’m still learning this, I’ve gotten soapy water in my eye before and now because if it I’m a cautious person. G-d isn’t asking us to throw caution to the wind but He does want us to understand that we don’t always know how to get through things the “easy” way and sometimes if we’d just trust a good opinion we could make it faster.

I’m not sure if this will apply to everyone… but for today this is my art.

NOTE: I no longer have the irrational fear of getting sucked down the drain in the tub; give me a break I was 5 and homeschooled. I no longer have (much) issues with standing under running water to rinse out my hair… I haven’t gotten soap in my eye in a long time.  Shablam!

I Don’t Believe In Fear

 

Story Time With Laina at it’s finest.

Some tunes to read to

I’m on top of the world today, and by that I mean I swam under the world with giant sea turtles, massive stingrays and sharks ranging from 1-3 meters long. I couldn’t have been more excited unless you told me I had a dinosaur of my own.

We showed up and got (wet) suited up and were taken to a small pool where two turtles had already come by to say hello and make sure we were fully trained with our underwater breathing gear. We got in the pool and one by one were strapped in with an oxygen tank and handed a mouthpiece to start breathing through. I was given a mask that looked less than flattering on my partially Native American cheekbones and told it was time to start breathing underwater. We were told to put our faces under the water and keep our ears where we could hear them for the next bit of instructions.

Breathe Normally.

Breathe in and out of your mouth. I know that sounds simple for some of you obnoxious mouth breathers currently walking around the earth, but for me, trusting that I wouldn’t die if I tried to breathe in through my nose accidently was terrifying. I actually was given to a second instructor to walk me through one on one and talk through everything. She assured me of the facts that I already knew; that the mask wouldn’t fall off, that the oxygen tank had more than enough for our dive, that my natural survival instincts will take over and in the aquarium tank I wouldn’t even think about how I was breathing but my body in fact, would breathe.

Take deep breaths… 1, 2, 3, in… 1, 2, 3, out

The instructors made their way through the little manhole from the pool to the aquarium with the fish, turtles, rays and sharks and the other 3 people I was diving with went through. Right before the person in front of me swam into a 30-minute adventure – I got on my knees and tried to practice not dying underwater. I instantly wanted to give up. Then realizing everyone was already through my only option was to leave alone or fight fear.

Fun fact about me… I LOVE SHARKS.

For me, getting in a tank with jagged-toothed, 10.5 foot, and 350 lbs. beauties was easy. But trusting in what I was given to get there was hard. Sometimes fear comes not from what is ahead but from the equipment you have to move ahead. Sometimes I have issues trusting what I’ve been given to be enough for the journey.

You can sometimes see what is coming, we are diagnosed with cancer and told we will go through treatment, it will be hard but there are facts about what we can expect. We are dealing with the loss of a loved one and we are told to see grief coming but not to worry – there are steps that are known and trained help to get you through. We prepare for our university exams that will make or break our career choices and can see it coming by the date the teachers have set. We get a birthday gift to swim with sharks and research the breed to a make sure how tightly you can hug it before it gets irritated and tries to hug you back… with it’s teeth.

What is coming isn’t often as scary because we know it’s coming. But trusting that YOU have enough inside of you to make it becomes a risk. Are you strong enough to fight after chemo leaves you weak? Are you brave enough to plan a funeral and still let you emotions breathe and not shove them into hiding? Are we intelligent enough for exams or do we need to get a day job? Will the oxygen in the tank run out?

Are we equipped?

Do we have enough for the journey?

G-d, is Your Word REALLY enough?

I’ve recently decided that I don’t believe in fear anymore; not to say it doesn’t exist, but I’ve tried to redirect the emotions that I might have once called fear and accept them as something else. Am I really afraid? Or am I nervously excited? Can I call this something else so that one word doesn’t take a hold of what I am and how I function?

When you put your BELIEF into something you feed it. It gets bigger and bigger until it paralyses you from doing what you want or need to do.

I refuse to get there; I don’t have time to believe in something so strongly that it won’t help anyone. I don’t have time to be too afraid to move when the adventure is forward, and when the things ahead are prepared for. I can’t fall back simply because I don’t think I have enough.

I can’t fall back simply because I don’t think YOU have enough, Lord. I trust that what You’ve equipped me with is more than enough to carry me through. I KNOW there will be bumps along the way but I know that you will sustain me. My tank wont run out. You have me. 

 

Scrabit: Posture

The fun thing about writers block is: deadlines. The only way to get unstuck while telling your story is to continue living.

I have been moved through various stances or postures over the last few years in my walk with Jesus and I’ve take them on as apart of my calling. I felt this was appropriate since it was G-d who was teaching them to me. The fall of 2013 was difficult for me, I was fearful to the brim and that began leaking into my relationships and life. Until one day G-d spoke to me, He began to push me ever so slightly in an invitation to move.

I found out quickly that the only way to walk past the fears that I had was literally to walk PAST them.

I was afraid of ministry, men and my calling. So He called me to jump. It was as if there was a ledge of opportunity in each area and all He wanted me to do was posture myself with my arms in the air in surrender; in a free fall straight into the things He had for me. I was challenged to jump to see if I could fly. I was curious if He would catch me. I signed up for our college worship team, I told a boy I liked him, I began again to sing. I literally felt like I was living my life in surrender, arms wide and high in the air and no way of getting back to where I was. I was to become more of who I was created to be:

a child of the King in full surrender. A kid who just wanted her Dad’s will.

Fast forward to moving back in with my parents. I was quite literally called ‘home’ by G-d. I looked for a place of my own and felt no peace about any of the beautiful apartments I was walking in – none of these were going to be my next place to grow. I had a calling on my heart to grow my relationship with my parents, which I thought was weird because I already had a relationship with them, but it was supposed to be more. G-d began taking me on this daily journey of being their daughter. He wanted me to learn how to lean on them and ask them for help. He wanted me to learn how to place myself sitting crisscross with my arms resting palms up on my legs.

The Lord was teaching me how to receive.

I had developed a lot of pride in my work growing up because I worked ALL THE TIME. I invested who I was and all of my days into what I was DOING. I had no room to allow my heart the ability to ASK. Receiving was awkward for me because I didn’t think I needed anything. If I needed something I would have just worked and got it myself but I stunted my growth in being a good daughter in this way. I didn’t know how to allow my parents the joy of being a parent… and I didn’t know how to be G-d’s kid.

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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 7:9-11 (NIV)

G-d needed me to learn how to be a child so that I could learn how to receive from HIM. It works both ways and I firmly feel He has been posturing me in this last season to receive.

And let me tell you, His goodness is great.


More recently; I’ll admit this has only been about two weeks – The Lord spoke to me about getting on my knees. It was during worship at Elevate, He whispered quietly and reminded me how holy and worthy He is and how much He deserves this honor. For lack of a better word I felt He demanded honor and who was I to not respect that? So we carried on with service while Cass Langton was speaking about what wears on our hearts and what burdens us. As she was speaking I began to realize that I too had a weight on me that I hadn’t noticed because I thought I was good. At the end of service she had us get on our knees and allow G-d to refresh us. There is something about getting on your knees that helps you really hear G-d. There is something honorable about seeking Him out while you position yourself to remember how holy He is. ((And dang, He is Holy.))

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord G-d Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come… Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him…” Revelation 4

I’m a writer; I’m ALSO a songwriter; I’m ALSO a people, so lyrics speak to me and get stuck in my head… Seryn puts this concept beautifully of what we find when we get on our knees:

On my knees I can see / where my heart needs to be

/ when this life gets to me / I’ll be found on my knees /

Lord, may I be found in your presence on my knees

 Now, if I may propose one last position – this is a position of BOLDNESS. Boldness is a position because a stance is a movement. Boldness moves you forward, boldness sticks you out and boldness is a noticeable posture amongst a crowd of followers. We are the leaders of many in the next generation and the only way we will show the light of the King is by a mark of confidence that can only come from G-d. I want to position myself to always be bold, I want to live in the position that if G-d doesn’t turn up, then I’m done.

I want to live out faith even when I can’t understand, love even when I’m struggling to do it well, hope even when there isn’t a way I can see. I want to live out fearlessness because my victor is a King.

I want to live out who I KNOW I am being called to be. My stance is active because in a world where you have something to say you will always have something speak against you. We become a moving target when we are sitting deep in the message of Christ. We are the beginning of open season for the attacks the devil might have for us but greater is He that dwells inside of me than who the devil even thinks he is.

I’m still learning how to live out all of these positions but G-d has and is calling me to physically MOVE myself into these postures so that I might feel the full surrender, learn to accept all the wonderful things G-d wants to impart on me. He wants me to seek and find him sitting in respect for Him as HE refreshes me and He is calling me to do all of this boldly before the throne with a confidence…

that HE HEARS ME.

HE SEES ME,

And HE LOVES ME.

Thank you Jesus.

Sometimes you just gotta move.

The First Step in Failure : Scrabit Genesis

#ThinkBackThursday –

So, a lot of you will be new to my writing and ‘story’ if you will… Therefore, I’ve dedicated Thursdays to reflecting back (for you and for myself) on things I’ve previously written. One of my FAVORITE scriptures growing up was Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” The revelations and realizations you get from the Father aren’t just for your now: They are for your tomorrow, they are for the future and they are for you to always remember. With that, please enjoy this post I wrote on 26 September 2013:


I actually can not do this alone, I’m afraid of failure in the deepest part of me and I need help. You see, I’ve been numb and I’ve held back so many tears that some of you believed I was strong, and maybe I even convinced myself I was. The closer I get to adventure the more my heart wants to jump out of my body and run straight to it. But this body literally trembles at what could happen if I fail.

But child, I am bigger than your failures… EVEN the tasks you haven’t attempted.

I’m not good at failing because most of the time I’m too afraid to try things I know I’m not good at, so I don’t. My life is in a funny spot right now because there keep being things that I’m unsure of and all I can hear is “Jump, you might fly” so I’ve been jumping and forgetting to breathe. Also not beneficial. But now I feel like I AM in this free fall and there is no going back. I can’t get back to the top of the building because I wasn’t ever supposed to stand there. I’ve begun to learn to let people in and to accept that I can be loved deeply and honestly. I’ve begun to trust that: even when I don’t know what comes next, I’m ok. It doesn’t mean that I have no dreams or goals – it just means I’m in the process of learning something vital for the next season, or something I need to share with someone else for this next season. What blows my mind is the people who believe in me while I don’t know… They truly are the most patient people I know.

And G-d, how patient and kind you have been with me though there isn’t a thing I could do to deserve it.

   I was sitting at a park the other day and saw a man with his dog. They were playing catch but the man would direct the dog to start running even though he still had the ball in his hand. And the dog ran. It wasn’t until the dog was about halfway to his destination that the man would throw the ball. The dog just had to obey even though if I was the dog I’d feel crazy for running after something that wasn’t there yet. But his master knew the entire time what the plan was and instructed the dog accordingly. Seriously, sometimes I swear animals are smarter than we are… and so much more trusting. I wish that I obeyed like that, following when I don’t even see what I’m running towards, heck, even when there literally ISN’T anything I’m running towards. I’ve developed fears, both real and irrational about where I’m going in life. I make myself sick over what is coming up in life and for what? G-d takes care of the birds and how he loves me.

There is nothing as reassuring as the Fathers love.

     I long for more somewhere in my innards, I believe there IS more. It takes a creative mind to look past what others would view as ‘the end’ and realize it is only another beginning. We are given SO many chances to start again and this time it has to be all or nothing. This is my free fall. This is my potential failure. If I jump I HAVE to fly.

I am not brave

I’m just throwing myself out in midair to see if G-d would grab me

Looking over the edge isn’t enough anymore.

     Fear of failure and fear of living has crippled me. G-d, take away my fear so that YOU can heal me.“Nothing cures fear faster than action.” So I’m moving and trying to take action against what I’m afraid of… some of these actions are easier than others, I’m getting to the more difficult ones for sure. My stomach ulcers are proof of that.

     “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. “Be strong and courageous.”

Hey kid, let go.

Joshua 1

         “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your G-d is with you wherever you go.” WHEREVER I go… everywhere. Lord, you’ve been with me and will go with me. Thank you. G-d, You know me – You’ve been there with me at all times and have told me to be brave because of no other reason than the fact that You are here. I don’t want to be afraid anymore.

         “The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.” Psalms 19.9

G-d, to fear You is pure, not painful or crippling. A Holy reverence that can set me free and make me whole. And once I know You let it be forever on my heart.

         “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me on paths of righteousness for his names sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalms 23

         :: And I will call upon Your name and keep my eyes above the waves, when oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace for I am Yours and You are mine. Your grace abounds in DEEPEST waters, Your sovereign hand will be my guide, my feet may fail and fear surround me… You’ve never failed and you wont start now.::

         I no longer know how to fight fear other than take action against it. I want to jump, I want to walk on the waves keeping my eyes on YOU. I heard G-d and He didn’t say no. Sometimes it’s about what He doesn’t say. Point is I heard Him. I hear the Father.

         “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its root by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. The heard is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”  Jeremiah 17.8-9

The LORD searches the heart and examines the mind.

         “Rejoice in the LORD always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The LORD is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to G-d. And the peace of G-d, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praise worthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4.4-8

         Always– every situation and through all things I will rejoice in G-d. My anxiety has been terrible lately and my patience sucks. I’m not sure what exactly to do or what I can do but something needs to change. I don’t want to live the next season of my life like this. So, what do You want to do? How do I hear You now?
                           Please be my strength.

sometimes I’m jealous of the kid on Home Alone, “I’m not afraid anymore”