Sucky Sound Systems, Surprising Stories, and Skepticism

G-d is actually beautiful.

I was thinking this morning about how doing #ThinkBackThursday is getting more challenging the longer I do it. It’s weird – I’ve used the majority of my old posts from Facebook (be my friend! If you mention my blog you get a 3% discount on being my friend!) and I was running out of material. I was about to start creeping through my 10 year old journal but, no one REALLY wants to read who I was crushing on at 14.

Lo and behold, I found a post from October 2010 that I don’t recall ever stumbling over in this last year. And wouldn’t you know it… it’s in perfect timing with what I NEEDED to hear this week.

I write for me.  I publish for accountability. I pray that somehow in the middle it might be the encouragement, challenge, blessing or honesty you need. I truly could never say ‘thank you’ enough if you pray for, support me or have been apart of reading my stories. Please enjoy this #ThinkBackThursday


Thursday we had a worship night at church and all was going well until Jesse and I here a loud pop in the monitors in front of us. Jesse was roughly 4 feet away from me so I casually and in the full attitude of worship lean over and ask if he can hear Kevin anymore or the piano.


You see, when we cannot hear Kevin that’s a bad thing. While I have attempted to train myself to just know what key we’re in and sing it in tune the whole way- there is still comfort in being able to hear the piano and KNOW you’re in the same key.

I couldn’t get the attention of our wonderful sound man Steve (thanks for the photo Steven B.) without making a scene so I felt pretty stuck, and then suddenly, the monitor popped back on.

This actually was wonderful.

Unfortunately, our sound system didn’t like leaving people feeling happy and fuzzy so again, the sound went out. I wasn’t sure what to do, there wasn’t much I could do, so instead I just prayed. If I remember correctly it was something like, “G-d, this might be a silly request but… I don’t want to create a distraction with not being able to hear correctly so if at all possible could You somehow make the monitor start working? I mean, I’ll still love You and do my best either way… it’d just be nice”

I felt in that moment like He was legitimately asking me if I’d be surprised if He did, He reminded me of the scripture in James 1.6-7 about coming to G-d with our requests, “Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way…” I felt like He was asking me if I was going to truly believe that He could; if I was going to believe that He would answer something so – in my mind – trivial. In an honest answer back to G-d I said, “I’m not sure.” I couldn’t tell Him that I w o u l d n ’ t be surprised but I remember thinking, “G-d, I don’t honestly know if I will be surprised, I just know that You can”.

((Before I completed my thought the monitor came back on. I smiled.

I don’t know what it was in my heart that shifted to where I just decided to believe. I still don’t understand why I can’t live there constantly. Where I ask G-d without doubt and know that He’ll answer if it’s His will. I’m ok admitting that in my almost 20-year-old mind I still struggle with trying to figure out why it seems G-d answers some prayers right away and on some He waits. All I know is to trust that His word and promise to me are true. And that I must be patient in not understanding because HE knows whats up.

I’m not perfect. I don’t have everything figured out. I’m learning. I’m accepting when I can’t do things alone. I’m committed to the only thing that has never let me down.

I’m His and that’s all I need.

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.