Saturday, September 27, 2008

What Hole in My Wall?

So, one of the many joys of living in a house that is over 100 years old, is that things are ALWAYS falling apart, breaking and dying. One of these beautiful things is my wall. I've always hated wall paper, but my mom has always been a big fan and it was not until my high school and college years that I realized why : ) Basically, some of our walls would just fall apart if it weren't for the giant band-aids we call wallpaper. I'm pretty sure the drywall in my room has been around since the house was first built in the 1800's and its a wreck! In high school I wanted to put a whiteboard on my wall, but my mom insisted that my brother put it up for me (due to her fear of my walls collapsing). Well... lets just say it took him several tries and when he was done I thought... "why is it crooked? and why isn't it snug up against the wall?" He left my room angry and said something about the stupid molly bolts? When I looked behind the whiteboard, I realized that there were SEVERAL holes in my wall that I think just caved in when he was hitting the nails : ) So, ever since then, there has been a vast array of pictures and such hung over some of these holes to cover up the disaster. Last semester, I decided that I would just start painting over all the holes in my wall instead of hanging more weight on the already decrepit drywall : ) I never had time to actually do it though, so I just taped up a drawing of what I was going to paint and I finally started on the first hole last night : ) Can you see the hole? I think I might just start taking pictures of everything in my room that has been "re-decorated" to cover up the disaster areas : - )

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Were You There?

So I was in chapel 2 weeks ago and Eric Thoennes shared this video before he spoke, but I completely forgot to post it. It is very powerful. You have to watch the whole thing though, because the last 30 seconds is a sermon by John Piper (I think?) and he gives a powerful way to look at the cross. He says that "before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us, leading us to faith and worship, we have to see it as something done by us, leading us to repentence. Only the many or woman who is prepared to own his share in the guilt of the cross, may claim his share in its grace."

Needless to say Eric followed that with a powerful message on our true identity and what that means in terms of the cross. The song in this video says, "sometimes it causes me to tremble" and I wonder if it really makes us tremble often enough when we think about this. Does the power of Christ's death on the cross and the realization that we were in the crowd yelling "crucify," does that make us tremble?!?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Prosperity Gospel

I know that if you're from Calvary you've probably already seen this, but it is one of those powerful videos that really sticks with you and makes you think, so I've decided to post it anyway for those who haven't seen it yet.

P.S. I stole this from Ryan Guard, so thanks Ryan : )

Monday, September 15, 2008

Silence to Hear

Cannon Beach, Oregon is a place that is silent enough to hear. I wish I could be back there right now, back at this exact spot in the grass/sand by the ocean. It was at this beautiful place that God gave me one of my treasured times of embrace this past summer. I cannot think of anything better than being fully embraced by God with all my senses. In the morning there aren't too many people on the beach, but it wouldn't really matter anyway, because at this spot you're far enough from the shore that you can't hear people. All you hear is the ocean, the birds, and the wind against the grass. It is so beautiful! I love the feel of the cool morning breeze and the smell of the ocean is so refreshing and light. I can quite literally feel God's arms wrap around me as I sit in silence and just soak it all in. There is nothing more peacful than sitting in silence with God. I have needed this so much lately.

Sometimes I just feel like the world is screeming at me! I feel like I'm in the middle of one of those scary carnival scenes in a movie, where a child is lost in a huge crowd and all they hear is loud laughter all around them as they spin in circles crying and no one hears them. It's like being trapped and just wanting to drop to the ground, roll-up in a fetal position and rock back and forth till' it all goes away. I know that I am never trapped or stuck and that God always gives a way out of trials, but I'm just too stubborn to let go and let God do the work. I become a hamster on an exercise wheel instead and run myself to the ground. Its so exhausting and burdensome!

I have so much to be grateful for lately, but its a whole new road for me. I feel like my eyes have been opened to what's around me, but my hands have been tied behind my back. It's good to be reminded that God's in control, but my natural instinct has never been to "be still." When I look all around me, I feel so stuck, but when I realize that I'm in the arms of God, there's no place I'd rather be! I hate that I need constant reminders, but I LOVE knowing that God hasn't given up on me. His grace is SO big! I prayed that my heart would break for what breaks His and how could I have expected anything less than this? My heart is breaking constantly, yet I've never felt so alive. Everything is vanity outside of my relationship with God. How in the world does that ever go to the back burner? I am ashamed, yet restored. God is so good all the time. Good just doesn't always mean happy. I pray that my heart and my mind and my mouth would just be silent, so the Spirit could speak to and through me, because that is all that matters and that is when my joy is made complete. You have captured my heart once again, I love you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Series of Fortunate Events

This last week I was incredibly spoiled by my friends and family!

I decided to ex-ney the friend party this year for my bday and only do a family thing on the weekend, but because I wasn't doing anything with friends, they all just went over the top and blessed my socks off anyway! Every year around the time of my bday I seem to run into the same problem. Who do I invite? Do I do something with my church friends, my school friends, my longtime girlfriends or just family? Well, I usually invite everyone, thinking it would be so great if they all became friends, but it never works out quite like that. Everyone kinda sticks to their own peeps and I end up way stressed out trying to spend time with each group to make everyone feel welcome. So that's why I stuck to celebrating it on the weekend with my family.

My friends on the other hand had a different idea :

It all started on the day of my bday (Wednesday) when 3 of my girlfriends took me out for a surprise evening : ) We began with an traditionally amazing car ride in Jade's white stallion, followed by dinner at the "Cliffs" in Laguna Beach. Of course, we had some time while waiting for our table, so we took full advantage of a sweet leather store and hat stand near the restaurant.

Dinner was accompanied by the HILARIOUS & priceless gifts of a Venus Fly Trap, a juggling kit, a desk calendar called "Useless Information," a giant bathtub tea bag, an orange colored pencil, my new favorite children's book called "I Like You" and a box of 12 new journals (1 for every month of my 22nd year). And THEN to top the night off even MORE we headed down to Newport for some lifeguard tower time : ) with the absolutely necessary sparkling cider toasts, some prayers of thanksgiving and direction & some stomach cramps from laughing so hard : ) What a night! I am so grateful for these times and these gals.

And that was just Wednesday! Thursday came with an additional set of peeps to praise God for : ) I call them my SFSP-ers... or my second family. The summer school class that I blogged about before brought with it 10 beautiful people that have poured into me in a way that no else ever has or ever could due to unusual circumstances. This group of peeps along with several divinely annointed profs and their families have been with me during a pivotal new direction in my faith. God brought us together and created the most ridiculously vulnerable and safe space in our midst where the Spirit of God has taken a whole new meaning as He has used us in each others' lives to proclaim TRUTH and pour out LOVE!
Well, 6 of these beautiful people threw me a little shin-dig on Thursday night that just blessed my soul. They got together and home cooked me some of my favorite things : ) shrimp pasta for dinner and chocolate dipped fruit with whipped cream and ice cream for dessert! It was so fun to see everyone in the kitchen at once all working together to cook, clean and serve each other. This group just naturally works together like the church should : ) I completely forgot to take pics though. Oops.

Friday night came around and I just planned on hanging out with fam, eating pizza and playing cards, but they too had a little more in store for me. My dad, Joey and his friend Nate set up a pretty legit woofle ball stadium in our backyard. They lined the outfield by tying from tree to tree that rope that has colorful triangles of plastic material hanging from it and put about 5 or 6 flood lights up in different trees to light up the field, because it was dark by the time we played. They made the backstop with large pieces of lattice and had frisbees on the ground for bases. Josh had put speakers outside for the movie we were watching later, so in the mean time we used them for music during the game. It was soooooo fun!!! And then we did one of my favorite things: made s'mores outside while we watched Top Gun on the barn doors with a projector (while cuddled up in quilts). It was the best birthday I can ever remember having with my family.

This series of days was almost difficult to take in, because there was so much happening and it didn't stop there! For my last surprise, my sister (Lindsey) and 2 of my longtime girlfriends (Katy & Kelly) took me PARASAILING in Balboa! I had soooo much fun! You go almost 500 feet high and you stay so still! I thought I'd get blown all over the place, but it wasn't like that at all. It was really peaceful... and I saw 7 dolphins!!! It was unreal! These girls spoiled me rotten!

This year was one of the strangest bday years, because I have never had so many surprises! I'm typically a very hard person to surprise, because once I know something's coming my curiosity runs wild and I usually cheat to find out what's going on : ) I'm not sure what held me back this time, but I think it was good : )