Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Great Calling

When I was a kid I remember learning about missionaries that were called by God to go to these very remote locations to spread The Good News. From that very young age I remember the fear that if I “surrendered to the ministry” God would make me marry a preacher move to Africa. I remember that there was always some importance and mystery about this “calling” that only certain Christians had. I would like to say that I out grew these thoughts quickly, but I still had them into my early 20’s. I was still afraid of the preacher and Africa (mostly the preacher husband), but the thing I thought about the most was the calling. Would I be called? How would I know? When would happen?  I felt like being called was like being a member in this special secret club, and if this was an elite group of Christ followers I wanted in. (Without the preacher and Africa preferably) I wanted in more for what the club would do for me and less about what I was willing to do for God.

Now, many years later, things have finally changed. I no longer have a fear of being sent to Africa or marring a preacher. (I may even prefer the later) I recently was gifted a job with a local ministry. Before things were finalized I thought, “Is this the call? Am I finally surrendering?” I’ll be honest I didn’t feel any spectacular. I was excited, but I didn’t feel any different than when I accepted my job at the hospital. I didn’t feel any more pressure than normal. I didn’t feel a greater surrender. I still loved God. He still loved me, and my work was still his work. Of course I just accepted this new understanding. I never questioned “God are you sure they want me? Are you sure this is it? Did I surrender wrong?” Ok part of that last sentence is not true. I did have questions and I did have doubts.

This morning during a conversation (about a completely unrelated topic) that I had with HOH director she said something that made it all click. She said, “This is our Africa.” Insight filled my thoughts. There is no “special” calling. We are all called. Some people are called to faraway places, but the majority of us are called right where we are. We are called to our work places and our communities. We all are called to surrender our lives to God right where we are. This is the great calling and as Christians we are all accepted into the “special club” of the redeemed. What did all of this insight bring me? Gratitude! I am not be a preacher’s wife living in Africa, but I am right where He wants me to be. 

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:12

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

One Body

I like when small things work together to make big things, for instance a choir, symphony, or dancers. I love when plants are arranged to make patterns. I enjoy the sounds and formations of a marching band, and I think those pictures that use hundreds of small pictures to make one big picture is super neat. Cheesy maybe, but I have to admit that some times these things bring tears to my eyes. I think that my fascination comes from the joining of things that can function completely on their own, and by this something greater is created.

This morning, on the interstate, I saw 2 lanes of traffic, one with 2 cars and the other with 3, merge together simultaneously. The 3 cars merged in between the 2 at the exact time making two lanes of traffic one lane in just the precise amount of time. The movement could not have been planned better. Now in this instance I did not cry, but it brought a smile to my face. Of course the visualization did not stop there. It sent my brain on a rampage. I started thinking about how God meant for Christians to come together to form the church. The Bible makes the analogy of us joining together to form the body. I love that imagery. (I could write an entire article on this alone but for now I will stay focused) 

In Romans 12:5 Paul says, “So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” He is saying that it takes all of us to form the body and the body needs each part to function properly. We were all created for a purpose within the body. If I am an eye all I can do is see and if you are an ear all you can do is hear. But together we hear AND see. When we are all doing our job together we compliment each other. Together, in Christ, we can accomplish great things. But my question is, “are we doing this?” 

Do we work together or against each other? Do I think everyone should see and you think everyone should hear? Far too often I think this sin filled world clouds our judgment with our selfish desires—our desire not God’s. We condemn and judge our brother and sister. We think our way is the only way and everyone else must be doing things wrong. We shout the faults of others publicly. Our words and actions breed less love and more hate. I know I am guilty of all these things and more. 

What good is all of this information if I can only see what is going on? (Maybe I am an eye) What I have trouble with is figuring out what to do with it. I need the rest of the body to help me. We need each other to be the church. No one can do it alone. So my question for you is “how can we start a movement to form ONE BODY?”

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Counting Hairs

Lately I have put some effort into understanding the truth of God’s love for us. One reference that sticks out to me is that God knows the number of hairs on our head. Just stop and think about that--all the hairs on your head plus all the hair on everybody else's head. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of hair. It would take entirely too long to count them all. I saw a place that states that there are about 140,000 strands on a head. Wow! I think about all the people that I love dearly and I have to admit that I have no desire to count their hair. I wouldn’t even want to if my life depended on it. He also knows about all the hair we have lost. Why would God want to keep track of all of our hair? Why does he even care? It is because he loves us. He loves us so much that he knows the number of hairs on our heads. It is so big that trying to figure it out can become overwhelming. Understanding the enormity of God’s love is so hard to do. Our finite human brains will not be able to figure it out this side of heaven. But at least we have something to compare it to. So when you are feeling unloved or discouraged try counting your hair until you just can’t count any more. What helps you to understand God’s love?  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What's Love?

I am one of those girls who is fascinated with love. A hopeless romantic? I don’t know? Maybe. For as long as I can remember I have had this fascination of what love was supposed to look and feel like. I have had a few boyfriends and even been in love once or twice. Romantic love seems to be something that I have spent numerous hours contemplating. The one thing that I have learned is that what I have had has never been enough. When I had this love I always wanted more. It never lived up to my expectations. The love that I had never saved me or completed me like I thought it should. It kept me wondering, where did I go wrong? It wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I realized that what I was looking for could not be found in just any ole man. What I needed, and continue to need, is a Savior. There was a Jesus size hole in me that no man can fill.

But my love struggle did not stop there. In my finite human brain I cannot comprehend the love of Jesus. I don’t deserve it, can’t earn, and can’t get rid of it. So I ask, “Is this too good to be true?” See what I do is try to see Jesus’ love the way I have experienced love—which has been imperfect and unsatisfying. I also struggle with the fear of God’s condemnation and Old Testament-e things(but this is a topic for later discussion). So basically what I am telling you is I struggle to understand the whole “God is love” thing. How am I supposed to understand God if I can’t even understand love? (Queue the dramatic show of exasperation) I have this note card above my desk at work with Paul’s famous love chapter (1 Cor 13) that keeps me in check when I am feeling unlovely. This week a light bulb came on in my head. The verses not only define what love is, but they define who God is. God is patient, God is kind, God keeps no record of wrong, etc. God’s love cannot fit in the box that I built to define love, because God’s love is nothing like that love. God’s love for me is nothing I will ever be able to give or receive from anyone else. I don’t think that I will even truly understand this love (at least not this side of heaven). So I think that I will finally be able to stop trying to figure love out. If I love or am loved in His image then I am on the right path. My peace will not come from a full understanding. It will comewhen I put my faith and trust in Him and His love.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Forget

Yesterday I got to have coffee with two women that I had just met. They are both older—around my mom’s age I would guess. They are both Christ followers and the conversation was amazing. At the end of our meeting they stated to me that they admired how confident I am in Christ. I think it was probably one of the best compliments of my life, but to be honest, I was shocked.

See I don’t see myself as others do. I see an insecure, unworthy, unqualified, and at times emotional unbalanced woman. If I am being really honesty, I sometimes have a hard time calling myself a woman. Sometimes I still like a struggling young adult fresh out of adolescents. I am so hard on myself. I may be harder on myself than anyone else ever will be.

I forget that Jesus see’s me so very differently. I forget that I am washed by grace as a daughter of the one true King. I forget that He knew me in my mother’s womb. I forget that He knows the numbers of hairs on my head. I forget that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. It is easy for me to point out good qualities in others, but not in myself. My prayer now is that I start to see myself as God see’s me. Someone that He loves so much He sent His Son to the cross to die for my sins so that I can spend eternity with Him. That is who I am and who I want to be.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Not Ready Yet

I am a journaler. 
I love journals. 
I love to get everything out at the end of the day. 
It is a release of emotions for me. 
When I get done journaling, 
 I feel the weight of the day is lifted. 
I try to journal daily. 
Even if it just one word or one sentence, 
I try to get it out. 
But lately I can't journal. 
I haven't journaled since March, 
and I have so much that I am carrying around since then. 
So much to get out. 

In March my Mamaw got sick. 
Very sick. 
She had surgery and was in the hospital for a while. 
After surgery she was in ICU for about 2 weeks (I think).
And after almost a month of fighting she died. 
It was hard. 
It is still hard. 
And I can't journal. 
I am afraid. 
 I know when I do it will hurt. 
Just writing this now hurts. 
I miss her so much. 

During my Mamaw's sickness, 
 I experienced some life changing moments. 
I experienced things that I have not ever experienced. 
I lost one of the people that I loved the most. 
And I know she loved me unconditionally. 
I know that when I finally journal after the pain comes relief. 
I am just not ready yet. 
I know she would want me to write. 
And I will, just not yet. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Anti Gossip

I have to admit that it sucks me in time after time. It even sneaks up on me sometimes. I think that I am actually doing something good in “venting” my frustration or getting informed on what is going on around me. I guess it is not a big shock with the society we live in. We have weekly magazines published to tell us all the latest buzz of celebrities and their day-to-day lives. I try really hard to distance myself from gossip until boom I am right back in the middle of it again.

Tonight I met with my weekly Bible study group and we did something a little different. We talked about people that weren’t there. We even talked about each other. The thing that was different was that we only said good things about every person we talked about. It felt good to hear people say nice things about me, but that wasn’t a big surprise. The thing that shocked me is how good it felt to talk about those other people. We really focused on the things that we loved about them. It was awesome.

It has made me stop and think. What if we did that often? What if we did it in work settings? With our friends? With our families? What if we pointed out peoples good qualities instead of their faults? What if we built people up instead of tearing them down? What kind of difference could we make if we spread love instead of hate? 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Today is a big day.
Today is a milestone.
Today marks a change in my life
—the best thing that has ever happened to me.
5 years ago today I walked away from a life style of sin and shame.
Each day that I live free from the bondage of that life is a gift,
 and I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am to have been saved.
To my family: I love you dearly and could not have made it without you.
To my new friends: Thank you for looking beyond my past 
and seeing who I am today.
To my old friends: You are forever in my heart 
and I apologize for the many ways I failed to be a good friend to you.
To ALL: Remember there is always hope and freedom.
Love to all,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Tonight I went to a small group that I have been going to for a few months. 
Tonight it was a little bit later and at a different home.
As I drove there I realized that I had driven this road before. 
(In actuality I drive this road daily but go with me.)
One of the houses I frequented when I was using
 is across the street from the home of my new friends. 
It almost brought me to tears thinking of how much my life has changed. 
And it would not have changed without Jesus. 
Almost 5 years after walking away from that life, 
I continue to be in awe of what Jesus has done for me. 
I wish that I could tell everybody. 
I did nothing to deserve this life. 
I am no more important than anyone else. 
He wants to change all of our lives in crazy ways. 
That is who He is. 
He loves you just as much as He loves me. 
He saved me so that I could tell others. 
I want you to know that you are loved. 
You are prayed for. 
There is a love that you have never imagined. 
There is freedom and peace that I cannot explain. 

When I started this post I planned it going in a different way. 
Somewhere along the way it took a form of it's on. 
Happy Valentine's Day. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Where is the Sun?

Sometimes my mind sees things so simply. 
For instance, when it is cloudy and there is no trace of the sun
I think that the sun and blue sky have gone away, 
as if they were over some other place far away. 
I forget that the sun is actually right behind those dark rainy clouds. 
There has been a lot of gray skies in my part of the world lately. 
There was finally a break in the clouds and, to my surprise,
there was the bright sunshine and blue sky. 

It made me think about hard times in each of our lives. 
I know that there are times that I wonder 
if God is paying attention to me or is he paying attention to someone else? 
Seeing the sun peak out from behind the clouds made me realize, 
He is always there. 
Even when it looks dark and it is not apparent that he is there
He is. 
He always is. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Confident Heart

Chapter 1

I am really excited to be doing an online Bible study. 
For 1 reason it is new and fun and I can meet new bloggers. 
2 the book is just what I need to be reading. 
Recently I have become aware that, 
even at 30, I am driven by insecurity. 
I pray that God shines light on the confidence He has planned for us.