Monday, April 28, 2014

Help me find my own flame

Sitting on the water tower looking over the horizon. Waiting for the sun to paint the sky with pastels that please my soul. Worshipping God for the beauty that He shares with me. But as I sit I can't help but realize that He is the only thing I am sure of right now. I've been in this mindset for a while. This time of intense insecurity. At times I think it's good because it's pushing me to emptiness. An emptiness of me. Peeling away the layers I've painted on myself. Peeling away the definitions others have given for who I am. Scrapping off the ugly wallpaper I put up to hide the me I thought others would reject.

I work in a place where passionate people constantly come and go. I am inspired and encouraged. But I also find myself jealous. Jealous of their passion, their confidence, the direction they seem to have. I almost always put everyone else on a pedestal. I pretend as if they don't have doubts or insecurities. It's sad. Some days I am able to rejoice with them and be glad that the Lord has  equipped someone with a certain passion and that they will be used and His light will shine in this world through them. And others days I'm just plain jealous. Envious to the point of once again feeling worthless.

Crying seems to be what I know how to do best right now. Crying out to the Lord asking to reveal what my passion is. Desperate to feel like I bring value to this world. Often times this brings me to a place of weeping over the true injustices in the world and feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead to being Life into the darkness. I'm not sure I'm making any sense. I just feel the need to be raw and open. As much as I devalue myself and feel worthless (which makes it hard to be vulnerable) I know that I am not alone. Sometimes the words "me too" can be powerful. So hopefully someone out there will know that you aren't alone because I'm there too.

If you care to pray for me this is my current prayer. It's a song by Will Reagan.

Help Me Find My Own Flame

I don't want to ride on somebody else's passion
I don't want to find that I'm just dry bones
I want to burn with unquenchable fire
Deep down inside see it coming alive

Help me find my own flame
Help me find my own fire
I want the real thing
I want Your burning desire

Do what only You can do
In my heart tonight,

There's no better time
There's no better time
There's no better time
There's no better time

Monday, April 14, 2014

Being honest about where I am

When you get hurt you need help. Say you break your leg and now you have crutches to help you walk. You may be slower than you used to be, but the crutches actually give you strength. They allow you to do more than you could without them. But have you ever heard of someone using crutches that didn't need them and then became injured as a result?
Probably not physically. Sure there is probably a freak case and you happen to know them and now I look stupid. Pretend with me that you haven’t. Besides the little kids playing doctor and pretending to need crutches there aren't too many adults that would opt to use crutches when they don’t need them…physically.
Metaphorically however, people do this all the time. At least I assume people do. I will talk about myself though seeing as how that is the only thing I can speak accurately on. I have been using crutches for years. I mean the majority of my life. Some I’m sure were a result of an event or traumatic experience. But most of them I started using and I wasn't even hurt. Just simply deceived. And now as a result I am finding myself in a place in life where I keep asking myself and the Lord, “Who am I?”
For most of my life I would label myself as an extrovert:
 Popular (at least in my head). 
Life of the party.
Always with people.
I was the best at making you believe that I was confident. I did ridiculous things in acting class, I would run around in stupid outfits, throw big birthday parties, get the crowd rolling with jokes. And what I wasn't able to see then, or at least I ignored it, was that I only played the extreme extrovert because I needed the approval of my peers. Everything I did needed the confirmation of someone else that it was either cool, ok, trendy, etc. I didn't like spending time by myself because then I had no gauge of who I was. I mean I was pathetic. Don’t get me wrong I have wonderful memories because of acting this way. But I've now lived in close community for the past few years and I have become the most introverted I have ever been in my life.
With this came questions.
Am I different than I thought I was?
Have I been lying to others and myself for all these years?
Maybe I’m just in a funk?
Before being where I am now I was so plugged into the church and Christian college that I was sure I had made strides in my confidence. But really all that happened was that I became an extroverted Christian. I no longer minded praying in front of large groups, teaching the Word to others was fine, making a fool of myself didn't matter, and it was all because I thought I had truly found my confidence in Christ. And I did. At least I had let go of some of my worldly confidence issues and replaced them with what Jesus said about me. But I never had to do anything on my own. I went from high school student to leading high schoolers. Going to a Christian college to leading at the Christian college. Getting plugged into the church to helping plug others into the church. I simply found people that thought I was cool and felt ok to be “me” around them.
Now that I’m an “adult” and I make my own choices, have a full time job responsibility, think about what I want to do with my life, etc. I am having to realize how much I still have these crutches. I’m limping around trying to figure out who I am & what I have to offer my community. So I have stepped into being a lot more introverted. Some days it’s not healthy because it’s my insecurities that chain me there. Instead of going to see what the community is doing or being intentional with someone I stay alone because I assume that I am not worthy of the time of others.
“I just annoy them.”
“They have better things to do than listen to me.”
“I mean they don’t really like me anyways so I won’t burden them with my presence any more than is necessary.”
Thoughts like that are not healthy.
Other days I step into my introvertedness for healthy reasons. I need to discover who I am without anyone telling me it’s cool. I need to be able to spend time with the Lord alone and hear His voice. All you guys out there didn't create me. You don’t know who I am. And while the world might want me to look a certain way, talk a certain way, have certain hobbies, and react a certain way in the end they won’t get a whole person. The Father designed me. Not you and not me. I can’t tell you who I am. I don’t get to decide.
However, I do get to discover who I am. The only thing I am certain about when it comes to who I am is that I get the privilege to know God and make Him known. But until I see myself clearly no one will see Him clearly in my life.
I will leave you with just a few sentences from Susie Larson that I read this morning that seemed to really hit home for me.
“Have you ever considered that insecurity is just another form of selfishness?”*
And because one of my biggest insecurities has to do with what people think of me this next quote came as an encouragement and conviction.
“As the gap increases between God’s opinions and others’ opinions, we are able to live more freely and are more consumed with the idea that heaven is our home and earth is the place to make Him known.”*

*quotes from the book the uncommon woman pages 27, 24

Friday, August 16, 2013

Help with my Adventures

Life has been an adventure for me as long as I can remember. I have been blessed to take part in so many opportunities over the years such as short term missions, summer camps, overseas internships, furthering my education, and my most recent blessing: h.e.a.r.t. Institute.
            In the fall of 2012 I spent a semester at h.e.a.r.t. missionary training institute in order to further my learning about overseas missions, working as a community, sustainable agriculture, animal husbandry, and much, much more. At the start of this year I was offered and accepted a staff position at h.e.a.r.t. as the food technologies manager. Through this position I have the opportunity to pour into students going through the same program I went through.
            Our fall semester is about to begin and we are excited for the new group of students we get to invest in. With this new beginning comes more learning, sharing, and adventure. One such adventure the students will take part in is an international field trip to Haiti for one week in October. The purpose is to learn about the local people, their needs as a whole, and how those committed to meeting the needs are currently doing so. During my semester as a student we traveled to Honduras for the same purpose and the experience was invaluable.
            Being a staff member I have the incredible opportunity to participate in this week of learning with the students if I am able to raise my own financial support to cover the expense. In order to do so I am participating in a Paddle of Champions canoe event on September 13-15. Myself along with my fellow staff member and more than 30 other people will be paddling giant canoes down the St. John’s River 23 miles over two days. This is a unique event in where I get to raise support for an organization called “Removing the Barriers Initiative” (who is dedicated to removing the barriers to great experiences for people with disabilities) while raising money for the international field trip plus support for h.e.a.r.t.
            In order to participate I must raise a minimum of $500, which goes towards the event cost and R.T.B.I.. Anything I raise above and beyond will go towards the field trip, future trips, and h.e.a.r.t. needs. My personal goal is to raise at least $1,500. Here is how you can help:
                        $1 per mile= $23                      $5 per mile= $115
                        $10 per mile=230                     $20 per mile= $460
                        $100 per mile= $2,300             or any amount desired
            Together my staff will man a 10-person canoe in hopes of raising $10,00 for our organization (h.e.a.r.t.) and $5,000 for R.T.B.I. The great thing is that there is no limit! You can give as little or as much as you would like. Your help is needed for R.T.B.I., h.e.a.r.t., and myself. The funds can be made out to h.e.a.r.t. Institute with Paddle Challenge on the memo and mailed to 13895 Highway 27 Lake Wales, FL 33859 or you can donate through PayPal at our website We will write one big check to R.T.B.I. for their part.
            I hope you’ll support myself and my staff in this adventure just as you’ve supported me throughout my life. I pray you feel how much I appreciate you. Please call me (405-406-4650) or email me ( if you want to know more, catch up, or just chat! Thank you so much for everything! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Not because, just


This word is often used to justify. Justify this because of that. Before we use 'because' we are, generally, asked 'why?' But to one thing I can answer without having to say because_____.

God is good.

Just that. God IS good.

He is not good because of what He has done.
He is not good because of what He does not do.
He is not good because He blesses.

There is no need to justify that God is good. How incredible is that? He is God and He is good. All the other things flow out of His goodness. His goodness is not determined or defined by things. The things are deemed good because they are from Him.

Just rest in that. Let your mind dwell on it. Our God is good. Without that... It wouldn't matter if He loved us, was on our side, or any other thing. If He was not good then what kind of love would it be that He poured out on us? If He was not good then what difference would it make if He was our advocate?

You see? It is not the things that make God good. He, by His very nature is good. Without Him we would not even have good in our vocabulary.

Now that you understand that take a moment to add on top of His goodness how He chooses to use it and lavish us with that which we have never or will ever deserve.

God is good.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Here's to new

As many of you know, this past fall season I went through a 15 week program at H.E.A.R.T. Institute in Florida. I lived in a community of cabins, shared kitchen, gardening together, attempting to raise animals, and all things community. Our focus was on training for a missional life geared towards developing countries.

I would try and tell you how incredible it all was, but it is so hard to describe an experience like such. I found myself saying over and over again that living in such close, intentional. Christ centered community is like constantly looking into an honest mirror. You learn about yourself in every possible way. What are your strengths along with what you stink at. What encouragement you have to offer along with the ugly you bring to the group with your attitude. How great it can be to live with the same group of people all the time along with the struggles of sharing your space and time with them. Pieces get put together and the puzzle starts to make a picture. Who am I, truly?

With all of this there is most definitely pain, tension, and hardship. And it makes you wonder if it is worth it. Of course it is. When I lived on my own and I split ways with all my close friends I wasn't challenged to be refined. I didn't have to change my attitude or my habits if I didn't want to. They didn't directly affect those around me in a consistent way. Yet, when the people you work with are the same people you share meals with, go to class with, hang out with, pray with, etc you and everything that comes with you affects them. So it is absolutely is worth it. The Lord gets to throw me in the fire and burn away all the ugly that doesn't glorify Him. It is a painfully beautiful process that brings about another piece of Heaven being displayed on earth.

I left H.E.A.R.T. in the middle of December to return to my home and family. Without any certainty of what my next step in life would be I settled into my sister's guesthouse and resumed my duties of being a sister, daughter, aunt, and friend. I ended up only being home for 3 weeks. In those three weeks I was able to see my nephew's birth and kiss his precious head, I shared many laughs with my nieces, enjoyed meals with friends, and got plenty of rest. Where did I go when I left?

Back to H.E.A.R.T.!!!

Currently I am a floating intern and I am bunking up in what we like to call the "Tin Can" with 3 other girls and waiting for another to arrive. The Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to return to a place where He started something huge in my life that involved alot of pain, tension, struggle, and plenty of emotions. I am excited for this season of life where I am certain that the Lord is going to challenge me in healthy ways, reveal to me what needs to be transformed by Him in my life, and be enriched by the community around me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oh what a prayer

John Piper wrote a prayer that gave me great encouragement and brought me to a place of awesome humility. I would like to share it knowing it will do something for you because it glorifies The Lord 

"Yes, Lord, we do take heart 
from Your New Covenant promises.
They are the sweetest ones of all.
And from this side of the cross we see 
That they are all blood bought and secure.
Thank You, Father, for sending Jesus Christ
To be for us, by His blood, the yes and AMEN 
To all Your promises. He is now the great ground
Of our hope and joy. Don't let us despair
In the battle of this brief life.
In Jesus' name,
-John Piper "Life as a Vapor" 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Where did the time go...

I feel as though it was just yesterday that I started my 1,200 mile journey to the HEART Institute. Yet, today marks that there are only 3 weeks until I start my journey back home. What do I share? What do I say? How can I put into words the moments of laughter, vulnerability, challenge, new experiences, pain, sweat, conversations, friendships....

At the start of the year I didn't even know that HEART existed. It wasn't on my map or in my head. But somehow I think it was in my heart. It was planted in a corner that I hadn't yet journeyed to. And finding that place within myself has opened up who I am in great ways. I have learned things about myself that I don't like. The more and more I find myself submerged in community I find more and more things about myself that are not healthy, productive, or furthering the Body of Christ. And I love it. Why?

Say you have a bookshelf. After years of filling this bookshelf you go through it and discover books that are childish, foolish, and not worth reading, in fact if you read it over again it may take you back rather than pushing you as a human being. So you clean out your shelves. You make room. You take a step back and realize that you have more room than ever to add insightful, life-giving, challenging books. Well that is how my life has been. While there may be pain, embarrassment, or possible shame it is absolutely worth it.

Community is a mirror. It reveals the beauty and the hideous secrets, bad attitudes, wrong motives, and all those areas you thought you were living into the fruits of the Spirit until they are challenged daily....

We as a community have canoed down a river and camped, traveled to Honduras, participated in Urban ministry, and lead a chapel service together. But these tasks and adventures did not come for free. We each learned things about ourselves that were ugly. Oh, but when surrendered the ugliness makes room for beauty. Our brokenness together brings a better picture of the whole.

I am thankful for these past months. I can't figure out how to share it all. My changes and transformations are not fully evident to me because they are my new normal in my new place. When I come home and am challenged to be as I used to be, then I will know the impact. But for now you need to know that I dread the day I leave. I love my home, but my home is becoming less and less a place I seem to be drawn to. I don't know where the Lord is or will take me. But I know that He is good and the life He leads me in will be full of adventures, deep breaths, laughter, tears, friendships, truth, joy, and more things than I can imagine.