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.

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.

All Aboard The Struggle Bus Express

Leaving Sydney last week was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I’m not one to be overly attached to people and friends to the point of not leaving them so that’s not what I’m talking about. My flight was scheduled to leave at 3pm (Sydney time) on Monday the 7th. 4am Monday morning hit and I was woke up with a stomach cramp of mass proportions. I got up and kindly left all of the food I had eaten the evening before in the porcelain dome.

I repeated this task every half hour for the next 6 hours.

I text my parents right away to let them know I needed prayer from every direction and let Facebook know I needed anything they wanted to give; kind wishes, warm thoughts, your shooting-star requests, prayers, hail Mary’s or the daily 11:11 dreams thrown into space. I needed anything that would get me well enough to fly for 17 hours. By this point we had discussed the possibility of rescheduling my flight(s) only to realize that airports are still TERRIBLE about rescheduling flights and it would end up costing 4x what we paid to book them in the first place. Thanks airplane man.

I decided to get on the train to the airport struggling between “What if I throw up everywhere?” and “G-d said if you pray He hears you and healing is yours”.

Believing in prayer AND practicality can be exhausting.

But I went. I reminded G-d of all the prayers that everyone was saying over and over in case He forgot that I really needed to make it through customs without throwing up. He remembered. I got to the flight and slept the majority of the way across the Pacific, taking NO opportunities to watch all the free movies or play the games on the personal screens. I asked for water, ice chips, a bread roll at dinnertime and ginger ale. before I knew it I had somehow made it to Texan soil. From Texas to Tulsa was only 45 minutes, which was pleasant until the landing felt like we ran over a large rock on a skateboard. But I was HOME.

Jet lag is a very real and very sneaky thing. Putting food into your mouth and thoughts into your head becomes a challenge as you try to convince yourself that it is in fact, not 3 in the morning but it is early afternoon.

Sleeping patters are also a joke for about the first 3 days.

The getting here was a difficult journey; a struggle bus if you will… but the reward of the destination is always worth it. Homemade chicken noodle soup and a warm bed is always worth it.

My housemate in Aussie and I frequently talk about (and I’m sure I’ve written about) what it is that makes some people maintain faith and some people walk away after many years. I suppose it’s a matter of still getting on the bus when it comes even if the ride looks like you might have to run to the bathroom a few times. I think it has to do with trusting that prayers were heard and even when you don’t feel you have the strength to do what you have to.

I think it looks a lot like holding onto commitments and convictions that you can grow unsure of but going back to the place you were called, the place you wrote out the promise, the place where you realized G-d IS REAL and you really will be ok.

Find the place you can breathe and sit there. Go home a while and sleep a few 11 hour nights. Find some comfort food, repair, and then board the journey again.

Keep going.

Wherever you are, you’re almost there so Keep Going.

I’ll leave you with that. Partially because my brain is still a little lagging and partially because that is all I had to say.

Much love for you all.

(Travel) Back Thursday

Today in class we were challenged to tell the person next to us why we are here. We were asked to remember the reason that we came to college. It has been a great breath of fresh air this week to think on the season that led up to moving to Australia – G-d was doing great things, Oklahoma was the kindest it had ever been to me, I felt closer to my family than I ever had and it was time to leave.

I can’t honestly remember why I was on a plane in January other than the trip here but I wrote this while trying to avoid overthinking. Please enjoy!


Flights are annoying, and boring, and lonely. You have to turn your phone onto airplane mode and just sit. I play Sudoku but eventually that gets frustrating. You can read or write depending on how much space you have to move your elbow from one side of the seat back tray to the other. But mostly, you’re left to be with your own thoughts and feelings. You think about the last time you flew, where you went, what trips you have coming up and so on and so forth. If you’re smart you brought snacks. Thought exploration is exhausting.

      “Here it’s You and me alone G-d, You and me alone.”

Learning how to be alone is going to take me time… I enjoyed being alone once upon a time, for a season. But now as I have been out of that season for a bit of time I don’t really enjoy loads of “alone”. I find time spent with people more valuable and enjoyable because frankly, I’m pretty happy right now and I don’t want to learn sometimes – because I don’t like correction.

So, here I am. It’s a baby flight compared to the 17 hour one I have ahead of me but it’s a good reminder and starter for what I have to look forward to.

Alone time.

I’ve been praying for a family when I get to Australia already. I group of parents that will call me their own and let me cry on their couch when I miss my bloodline; A mom and dad that will possibly let me adopt a puppy under their care (wishful thinking). A couple that will care for me and invite me over for Sunday dinners, a counselor to talk to. There are people in my own life currently that model what they do well. These are positions in my life I don’t care to live without… I’m too old to care if my roommates like me or not. I just need a family to care for me. I am NOT an adult.

I have already started praying for the young girls I will live with (I have an odd feeling they will be young), for their growth while they are there and for their hearts as they take a few years to adventure into education. I’ve already begun to pray for my professors and faculty that they don’t mind my brashness and attitude I tend to write and live with. I don’t know who will be picking me up from the airport but I’ve already begun to pray for them too.

I don’t believe in coincidence anymore. There will be a reason behind my conversations with people, and Lord willing, He’ll maybe use me to draw out things people don’t see in themselves. And may it begin when I am alone… May it start on my plane ride there, with the patient people sitting to my right and to my left as I cry my way from Tulsa to Texas and onto Sydney. I’ve had too many “random choices” that led to G-d moments with random people to think when I walk it isn’t on purpose. When I wake up in the morning it is for no other reason that G-d allowing me to be apart of someone’s story. To show them a little more of the Creators heart wrapped up into who they already are.

If you collect me from the airport that first day in Sydney, know I was praying for you. Future housemates, I hope G-d wrecks you in whatever time we have together at Hillsong. Absolutely levels your foundation and rebuilds and fortifies who you are (whoever you might be). I hope you fight with me, I hope you cry with me, I hope you learn how to share with me and be real with me, I hope you learn how to heal as I learn this walking in healing. I hope we laugh together to the point of tears and spend a few hours exhausting the “next episode” button on Netflix. I’m leaving it in G-d’s hands which makes it more exciting than I can stand.

Teachers… I hope you don’t fail me. (haha, kinda serious though)… I hope you understand what I’ve learned from childhood to now is to be bold about who I am and if you don’t agree I typically don’t care. If you’re right then I’ll learn eventually. And I will admit it to you. But I am already praying what you teach is fully absorbed by my little ol’ self. I want to be a student to the fullest and give you back as much time in my work as what you’ve put into educating us. You are valuable and will be a life changing person for me. Even if I think your class is dumb.

((I hope I don’t have to take any dumb classes.

For those who I’ve been forced to say farewell to and will have to say it to soon… I hope you know how dearly you will be missed and I hope you know how excited I am to leave you. I love having conversations with a lot of you (some of you all are more of a challenge) and I love downloading and learning from you. I am excited to sharpen my skills and thoughts and come back and learn again what G-d has done in your lives and share what He has done in mine. I’m excited to miss you because it’ll make the reunion hug that much more squishy.

Squishy hugs rule.

Reunions are beautiful.

And my friends are freaking great.

So, as I prepare for the flight and the time I have to be alone just know… I’ll probably spam your Facebook with writing. I’d apologize but I really like writing and if you don’t like reading then don’t click on the links 🙂 If you do like reading, be my friend. This is how I process and learn I’m excited to see what there is to see and meet people that will become my adoptive family for a season… And if I get a puppy in the next year I’m gonna freak out 🙂 Thanks for reading if you actually took the time.

I have love for you all.