a glimpse...

Soo i had quite a few reservations with starting a blog...one being im not quite sure i have much to say worth your time. But im trying it out. The last nine months of my life have been a whirlwind and definately not the way i would have imagined or planned... Here's a glimpse of my life and my mind and my heart. I welcome you to be apart of my journey as the Lord, in his faithfulness and goodness, guides my paths and teaches me about life and about his Character.

Friday, June 17, 2011

South Africa!

So I just got home a few days ago from Cape Town South Africa and It was an AMAZING trip! We went for about 10 days and worked with an organization called Living Hope. The Lord has really blessed this ministry in so many ways and it was such a blessing to get to be a part of the work he is doing there.

We started out just going door to door in the townships (which are the impoverished communities) educating them about HIV, Tuberculosis, and Diarrhea. I loved being able to do some health education. It was really sad how little these people knew about these diseases that were taking so much from them. Many children in the community were dying because they would get sick and get diarrhea, become severely dehydrated. We were able to inform them about mixing clean water, sugar, and salt together to nurse the child back to health. Most of the people we talked to were affected by at least one of those three diseases so educating them about these illnesses served as a great opportunity to share the hope of the gospel with them and pray for them. Almost all of them were very receptive to our wanting to pray for them. Many of them are hopeless and sorrowful and it was a true blessing to lay hands on them and pray for the Lords comfort. Something I Know he is faithful to provide for his children. One woman had even just lost her husband to a brain tumor a few months before. In the afternoons we would do kids clubs and it was a delight to love on these little children!

While i was there I kept thinking about two different verses. The first was Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for harm, to giveyou a future and a hope."

This verse just kept resonating with me as I would look around and see the way these people live...they truly have nothing! Their lives are so difficult and full of pain and suffering. Yet the believers that I met there truly understood and trusted that the Lord has purpose and good in his will for their lives. And not good in the sense of "he will deliver me from my circumstances and bless me with the comforts of life.." but they trust that no matter what their circumstances or life situations that the Lord is sovereign over it and that he will use it for good. They don't seek just material things they seek after the Lord. They have such Great Hope. The Lord had begun to teach me about hoping only in him and through this past year and I thought after losing dad that I would go to these people and tell them amidst their suffering that the lord is faithful and in Him there is hope. But actually they taught me sooo much more about it than I ever dreamed. It was such an encouragement and challenge to my heart. In America there are so many other things that I try to put my hope in, whether it be in money or comfort or relationships or success, whatever it is its temporary but we try...But with them, they really truly have NO other hope except for the gospel and it was beautiful to see them rejoice and hope in the Lord despite so much that they had been through.

I also kept thinking about Psalm 130:7 which says.... "O Zion, put your hope in the Lord for with him is unfailing love and with him is full redemption." In these townships, because of the desperate situations of the people, they live in what we called, "Survivor Mode." Some of them have no concept of helping others or ethical conduct...they simply try to survive. In watching that behavior and the things that go on in the townships it can be a little discouraging to see the reality of sin in their lives. But this verse kept reminding me of God's love for these people. No matter what they do...his love is unconditional and he longs for them to be reconciled to him. And with that he offers FULL redemption. It was just a nice reminder that while its easy for me to judge and avoid or even hate these people who do such awful things....The lord longs to reconcile them and redeem them.

There are so many more things I could say It truly was a great experience and my heart was encouraged, filled, challenged, broken, and convicted all in a span of 10 days. I pray that the Lord continues to help me process all that I have seen and that he would continue to teach me and sanctify me according to his purpose for my life.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

God's Timing

So most of you know dad is in the hospice now. He's been there for almost two full weeks. He is the most precious man I've ever known. He doesn't talk to us anymore but the way he raises his eyebrows and half grins when mom rubs his feet...its precious. The way he blinks and squeezes our hands when we tell him we love him, its precious. The way he grunts when we read scripture to him...precious (as long as it means amen and not OUch im in pain.) All the nurses come in constantly and wake him up...which we would rather them not....but they just cant get enough of him because he's so precious.
I was talking to a friend the other day and she was asking me how I felt and honestly most days I have no idea! I know i feel tired. But emotionally I just don't know. It feels like a crazy mixture of sadness,numbness,a little bit of anger (though i try not to),fear,and just weirdness. Somedays I don't feel anything. Its just crazy what your body does when you're in a situation like this for such an extended amount of time.
Today I was alone at the hospice with dad for a while and I just had this overwhelming desire to cuddle with him again. The nurses would probably yell at me if i climbed onto bed with him..It just keeps hitting me all the things that we cant do anymore. For example, a couple weeks ago when he was still kind of talking, I came home freaking out (just a bit dramatically) about what to do with my life and needing direction and he grabbed my hand and explained to "his babygirl" that i have plenty of time and it will all work out etc and though it was nothing profound i just realized how loong it had been since he had given me advice. I really miss that. He always knew what to do.
Anyways to get to the title of all this....God's timing. I was getting a little frustrated with God's timing because I felt like this was all just dragging on and its so hard to watch him suffer and its so hard on mom...its just hard and being a person obsessed with comfort and ease...well i just kept asking God why he hasn't taken dad yet... And today I got the answer. We have a friend who is not a believer come to visit dad and ended up having a looong discussion about salvation. Dad had been ministering to this person for quite some time before he got sick but nothing seemed to stick. Maybe that conversation wouldn't have happened had dad not provided this opportunity still being at the hospice. I know the Lord works all things for the good of his people and for his own glory and I know this situation is no different. I pray that many would come to see him in new ways or come to know him for the first time because of Dad's journey.
I feel so blessed to have a Dad that loved me so much, treated me like his princess (which im sure brent wishes he wouldn't have endulged quite so much haha) and taught me so much about my savior. He is leaving behind such an amazing legacy and I cannot wait to hang out with him in Heaven.

Thank you all for the prayers!

Friday, September 3, 2010

a little loneliness a BIG idol...

I will start by saying that I believe in the all surpassing love of my savior and that his shed blood demands my guilty conscience depart, and that everything in the post below is under the knowledge of grace and applied mercy.

Now for some confession.

Loneliness. To feel this I don't think entails any sin. My problem lies wherein it becomes an idol. I feel my heart hardening to the Lord's direction. You'd think after everything i've been through the last two years that i would have learned that The lord will do as he pleases and that, incredibly, that will be precisely what is for his glory AND my good. The two are never separated. I get so overwhelmed with loneliness that I quickly turn to anger or bitterness or just shear determination to get back to birmingham. I want to be sensitive to the Spirit's guidance but so often i find myself consumed in planning and planning and setting my hopes and happiness on getting back to birmingham. I really feel convicted that it has become an idol and i assume the attitude of ... I will not stay here, i cannot be away for two more years, i can't take the loneliness, I'm tired of being selfless, basically a pure brat who wants what she wants and wont have it any other way. i know..its disgusting. I say this mostly for prayer. Ultimately that my heart would be aligned to what the Lord has for me, that i would be wise, not bitter, and run towards his direction with confidence knowing that i am blessed and provided for and loved so dearly. He desires no harm for me and I know theres a lot of pruning going on with me. And i trust that pruning is a good thing...much better than being dead, cut off and thrown into the fires. (im referring to john 15) but pruning is so painful and i feel as though i get stuck in the pain of ohhh you're cutting things off of me...which leads into either bitterness or guilt that "I" actually had something needing to be cut off... instead of allowing my heart to cling to the promise that he who started the good work in me will carry it out into sweet fulfillment and to rest in grace and christ's righteousness...

I think LIMBO is a good word to describe my life at this point. unable to move backwards or forwards. And spiritually i feel stuck at times. I share this to ask for your prayers for there are many times when i know not where to even begin except to cling on to even the most basic truths of the gospel or of god's character. Somedays all i can do is cling onto the truth that God is GOOD and everything else just seems overwhelming.

I hope at least some of this makes sense. If not...well.. welcome to my brain. haha. oh and it is 4 am. so i think maybe i get a pass.

...another quick thought on the loneliness... The Lord is such an intimate God who i know offers comfort and community. I must learn to enjoy his presence alone when He is all i have. But that takes earnest seeking and sometimes i don't feel as though its worth the energy. thats if im really honest with myself... IF only i truly understood/believed what sweet and amazing relationship he offers then i should seek after him with everything inside of me.

Lord help my unbelief.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

my posture.

So I've been reading/praying through this amazing book that i recommend to anyone in a relationship. Its technically for those married folk but I am finding it to be amazingly helpful. Its called Prayers of an excellent wife by andrew case and theres one for husbands praying for their wives as well. ANyways..i've been meditating on the one I prayed through today and Its a simple well known concept but im finding that im amazed by it!

Psalms 121:1. I lift my eyes to the hills..where does my help come from? my help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber, indeed he who watches over ISrael will neither slumber nor sleep. The lord watches over you, the LORD is your shade at your right hand, The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. THe LORD will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

I just think this is so cool. And I've been meditating a lot on my posture before the lord and in this world and it is my prayer that my posture consists of my eyes looking up to the hill full of confidence of the help that comes from my God. Its hard to put into words but once you know suffering and i mean know it intimately, i think it is then that the Lord teaches you more about hope. Why understand the value of hope if you don't desperately need it. Our pastor came over yesterday and He was reading from

Romans 5....

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we NOW STAND, and we rejoice in HOPE of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

another version says, hope does not "disappoint". Some people would rather not suffer and not understand Hope as much. But scripture makes it clear that it is a BLESSING to suffer because it produces HOPE and that will NEVER disappoint us, rather it is a sweet sweet gift and i feel blessed that the lord has chosen to reveal this hope and love to my family.

No where does it say this is fun though. haha.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Awesome pics of Dad






So i've been uploading a lot of our camera pics into my computer and i came across some awesome pics of dad! It was such a sweet reminder because being surrounded by him as he has been for the last year...its easy to forget what things used to be like. He is so precious. Here are a few of my favorites! He's so fun. The best dad ever! I miss these times. Its hard to think about losing the piece of your family that held it all together. He was the glue...He was so vital to how we all functioned as a family. Of corse the lord will help us transition but this just feels so wrong. I know its not...its just as the lord has planned and it is for his glory and our good..somehow. But i miss it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mifffed!

I just am feeling "miffed" today. -- a petulant, bad tempered mood. I know.. everyone beware. If people who knew me in high school could be around me today they would be shocked to see that the "emotionally dead" girl is now the biggest emotional mess they've ever seen. I dont know what to do with myself. I know i know i have a lot going on but im so tired of my life being an emotional roller coaster. I want to go back to second grade where recess was the absolute best thing in life and the only stress in life was how to tell the difference between there and their. O the glory days. I feel like I'm having to grow up too fast. Or maybe this is normal and I'm just resisting it with everything I have. I guess this is the time to preach the gospel to myself and find my solace in scripture but really all i wanna do is enjoy my java chip frape that i shouldn't even be drinking and cry. I really need to grow up.


The other thing I've been thinking about today is that I have no idea what its like to be in the real world and it scares the crap out of me! My thoughts are consumed with questions of the future, when and how to get married, how to make money, where to finish school, to work now, to move now, to move in the future, to stay with mom, to live by myself, to understand bills and taxes and ahh i just get so overwhelmed. I wanna be in a different place/phase of life, i want the next four weeks just be done. Me being unconscious during them would not be all that bad either... but I just feel like im being blown in the wind and the other second i feel like my feet are stuck in cement. See what i mean about being an emotional mess.

and of corse what my mom would say about all this is to "live in today. not worrying about tomorrow for God has only given you the grace to get through the worries of today." i know i know. I just want to master life. I want to be good at it...have it figured out and it depresses me that this is an impossible task. No one ever has it all figured out. And i think my desire stems from just not wanting to experience pain but I'm learning now that pain though its horrible is not all that bad. Its just part of life..it will always be here. And to try to avoid it with everything i have would be a pointless waste of time. So why do i keep trying to have the perfect life. Why cant i just accept what comes each day. Sigh. If only I had all the answers.

The other thing that really bugs me is money. Why do you have to have it for everything! geez. anybody know a way to make a bunch of money fast that doesn't include prostitution or the lottery. Thanks.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

On an Animal Safari!

So we've been trying to think of fun things to do as a family these last couple days and we thought about the wild animal safari in pine mountain. Although it was scorching hot and you got slobbered on..It was so FUN! everyone was laughing so hard. Here are some videos.

Mom got spit on by a llama having some digestive issues

Alisha was freaking out with all the things coming in her window

and Dad just didn't quite know what to do!

I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for something fun!
video video video