Saturday, December 4, 2010

a quote that resonates

"We walk the healing path alone and lonely at times. Moments specifically designed for each of us to take us through the valley and into the desert, where God woos us with his strange, wild love. But the majority of our journey is meant to be traveled with a few others...Mutual encouragement takes into account our history, continues to dream in spite of obstacles, and enters each other's hearts through sorrow and laughter, taking one more step toward the day. We are to gather together in churches, coffee shops, conference rooms, and on riverbanks to scan the horizon for the day. The Day of the Lord is ahead. Soon. Even if it doesn't arrive for another millennium, it's soon. And we are to band with a few mad watchers of the sky who know what it means to sip a good drink and send up a burnt offering of smoke as we reflect on today's spilt blood and tomorrow's battle. We need to count the day's losses and gains for glory. Accountability is little more than learning "to do math" with others as our comprehension of life's complex theorems deepens, and as we learn to figure the numbers we have been dealt." -Dan Allender, The Healing Path

Friday, December 3, 2010

a blog I love

There's this random blog that I read. and I absolutely love it. this post makes me love Jesus more.


my heart feels free today. more free than I can remember ever feeling. Praise the Lord that before the foundation of the world, He had a plan to love me and accept me and set me free.

so excited that some friends are coming to church with me on Sunday :) and so excited that I'm off today so that I can actually make it to my community group for something new and different.

and now, I will catch up on hours of missed sleep.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Death in his grave

I stole this song from a friend. It just seems timely.

Death In His Grave (Performance Video) from john mark mcmillan on Vimeo.

"Death in his grave"

Though the earth cried out for blood, satisfied her hunger was
Billows calmed on raging seas for the souls on men she craved
Sun and moon from balcony turned their head in disbelief
The precious Love would taste the sting disfigured and disdained

On Friday a thief, on Sunday a King
Laid down in grief, but awoke with the keys
To Hell on that day, first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ laid death in his grave

So three days in darkness slept, the Morning Sun of righteousness
But rose to shame the throes of death and overturn his rule
Now daughters and the sons of men would pay not their dues again
The debt of blood they owed was rent when the day rolled anew

On Friday a thief, on Sunday a King
Laid down in grief, but awoke with the keys
To Hell on that day, first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ laid death in his grave
death in his grave (3x)

He has cheated
Hell and seated
Us above the fall
In desperate places
He paid our wages
One time once and for all

On Friday a thief, on Sunday a King
Laid down in grief, but awoke with the keys
To Hell on that day, first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ laid death in his grave

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

hear us

as we call on Your name, would You make this a place for Your glory to dwell?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a promise

Isaiah 42:16

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.

a dear friend sent me this verse. you know how sometimes God uses people to remind you of His character and His plan and His love for you? yeah, that's this.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

and then Ty turned 1 and we had a party!

a few favorites..

public speaking

I'm not a huge fan of public speaking itself, but I am a fan of how God uses it to convey and communicate His truth and vision. This morning I spoke at church about missions. every Sunday we have a "vision moment" where we talk about something that is important to us at Trinity Park and Global Missions is a huge part of our core identity so I feel so honored that I was the one who got to stand up in front of the church and talk about the passion God has given me for the healing of the nations! What a sweet's what I said:

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending Mission to the World’s Global missions Conference in Chattanooga, TN. For those of you who don't know, MTW is the sending agency for missionaries within the PCA. There were over 2100 people at the conference hearing about The Hope of Nations, which was the theme for the conference, and I was greatly encouraged and challenged by hearing about what God is doing around the world through MTW using people like us to love and serve and share Jesus cross-culturally. Thinking off the top of my head, I heard specifically about work in China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Greece, Spain, Australia, England, Scotland, the entire continent of Africa, Central/South America, and the Caribbean. I would love to talk about everything I heard, amazing stories of people coming to know the Lord but first I want to talk a little bit about what I learned about why we care about Global Missions. Why do we at Trinity Park want missions to be part of the core of our identity instead of just a program that we add on? Because God’s heart is for the nations! One of the coolest things I’ve ever done is a word study through scripture of the word “nations.” It’s incredible how many times God talks about bringing justice and healing to the nations and how He want us to be a part of it. One of my favorite quotes is from David Bryant, He says “God has a wonderful plan to sum up all things under His Son as Lord and to glorify His name among the nations for ages to come and He loves you enough to give you a strategic place in it.” I’ll just give you a few examples from Scripture: in Num 14:17-21, God says “But indeed as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.” On the front of your bulletin every Sunday, is a verse from Psalm 67 that says “May God be gracious to us and bless us that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.” And there are hundreds more. As some of you know, I have been praying through going on the mission field full time and have begun the application process with MTW to join the team in South India and actually just yesterday received an official invitation to join the team, which is super exciting! But before I went to the missions conference, I was really questioning my call and one of my biggest prayers before going was that God would give me clarity. And He really confirmed over and over again His call on my life to move overseas and love on women and children in South Asia. One of the biggest things that stuck out to me was the last talk of the conference called “Remember who you are” by a pastor named Joe Novenson. He unpacked Proverbs 11:30, it says “the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life and he who wins souls is wise” He talked about our “stunning identity” as believers in Christ and the tree of life, the tree that sat in the center of Eden, the greatest tree there ever was, the one that was part of the constant state of life in Eden, more life and beauty than we can even imagine. We, as believers emanate life, our fruit is a tree of life. When people get near us, they are getting near the tree of life. Revelation 22 talks about the new heavens and the new earth and how there’s this crystal river flowing with the water of life on either side of the tree of life and God says “the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” That hits home for me in a very real way. I love that our God is the God who heals and He lets us have a hand in his amazing plan to heal the nations. In his talk, Joe said “when people brush up against us, when they touch our leaves, they should say “there’s life here”…people are dying all over the world and we are the ones who have been entrusted with life. Joe challenged us at the end of his talk with “what will it take for you to jump in?”…So I challenge you with that as well, what is the strategic place that God has for you in His plan to heal the nations?

Even if only 1 person caught a little bit of the vision we have for the healing of the nations, me having to get up in front of a crowd and talk for 5 minutes was totally worth it. Besides, I might as well get used to it since I'll hopefully start raising support in March. Just one of the many ways that God reminds me how dependent I am on Him.

Speaking of being dependent, I'm so excited about our new sermon's on the Core values of Trinity Park and we started today with Depending. Corey challenged our self-sufficiency and reminded us of God's love for us and His call for us to come to Him when we are weary and heavy laden. He reminded us that whether we feel like we are or not, we've been dependent on God for life from the very beginning and that hasn't changed. We're stubborn and prone to wander but we're dependent on Him for all things and He promises to be there when we run to Him, and to take our heavy burden and replace it with His light load. such a sweet message for a soul that is feeling heavy laden, weak, weary, and prone to wander.

Friday, November 12, 2010

a season

there are certain times that an analogy just explains a heart condition much better than anything else...

the other day, I was hanging out with Jordan, Josh, and Camille and much to our dismay, Camille dumped an entire box of purple nerds on the floor...Jordan was distraught because they were his and he thought he wasn't going to get another piece of naturally, we all got down on our knees to pick up the nerds and put them back in the box one by, I said to Jordan, my 6 year old muse, that I felt like these nerds all scattered on the floor being picked up one at a time and put back in the which Jordan's perplexed reaction is "You feel like a nerd?"...haha, funny story but it's a beautiful analogy for how I feel during this season of being dumped out and picked apart to the core.

As I was sitting in the waiting room at Massage envy this afternoon waiting to get an awesome massage, I was watching the tropical scene on the flat screen TV, the crystal blue waves crashing on the shore of this tropical paradise and I noticed the rocks in the sand being washed over time and time again by the beautiful water, some of the rocks staying put and some being tumbled about. If I was a rock, I'm not sure I'd be very happy about that situation. It's predictable but can't you just hear the rocks saying "brace yourself!" as the wave sweeps over them once more? or maybe they just relax and let the waves take them wherever they will. I want to learn to just relax, to not be afraid of the waves but to enjoy the steadfastness of them, to learn to trust in a God who is more constant than the waves on the shore of a tropical paradise. This, of course, made me think of a verse from Psalms "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life." Psalm 42:7-8. The Psalmist is talking about his "downcast soul" and the agony that he is feeling as he wrestles with seeing the purpose in the hard season he's in, a season that feels like being overcome by waves and breakers, but he ends the Psalm by reminding himself and us to put our hope in God despite the fact that 2 verses prior he's questioning God's very existence. What a raw and real emotional experience God paints for us in His word. It also made me think of the lyrics to a song that I love by NeedtoBreathe called "Something Beautiful"...

In your ocean, I'm ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin' on my feet
It's like I know where I need to be
But I can't figure out, yeah I can't figure out
just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There's only one way to figure out
Will you let me drown, will you let me drown?

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees.
I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

And the water is rising quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can't be sure when it will subside
So I won't leave your side, no I can't leave your side.

Yeah, I know where I need to be but I can't figure out just how much air I need to breathe before the waves crash over me. The water is rising quick and I used to be scared of it and sometimes I still am, but since I can't be sure when it will subside, I just can't leave His side. I need to cling to his hand like a little girl who's terrified of and overwhelmed by the giant ocean but is willing to go in because her Dad is holding her hand and He says it's a good idea and she trusts Him.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

my sweet boy

one of my kids is really sick, just praying for a miracle.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

19 and counting..

I've been going through old journals. There are only 19 for the past 6 years, not counting the current one that I'm halfway through. no sweat, just some light reading. ha! But I came across an entry from 12/23/04 where I wrote out some things that I learned during the hardest semester of college. pretty much stream of consciousness..

"Christmas is in 2 days and it just doesn't feel like it. I'm not ready for another year to have flown by. This was by far the hardest semester of my life but I learned so much, I was floored by truth so much and I learned how to believe you. I learned that relationships change--some good, some bad, but all different and none can satisfy my apart from the Lord. He has to satisfy me because He is it, He's the only one capable. I learned that honesty is hard but good and freeing and necessary in relationships with people. I learned that grades are not eternal but that God works even in school. I learned that discipline is an entirely different lifestyle and a lifestyle change would be in order for me to be disciplined but more than that, I learned that it's about obedience. It's about following Christ and being obedient regardless of the cost. It's not about how much you really is about this man named Jesus, the cross He died on, and the grace and freedom that ensued. I learned that I just love people and talking to them about things that matter. and I learned that you don't always get to talk about things that matter and that has to be ok. I learned that true friendship and accountability is priceless and truly a gift from the Lord. I learned that my heart is weak by itself but strong with Jesus and apparently I have some amount of pride that joins envy in rearing its ugly head quite often. I also learned what it's like to know a certain amount of freedom in these things because of Christ and because I have no desire to have a yoke if it's not necessary. I learned that planned time is sometimes better than spontaneous time and vice versa. We need both. I learned that there are people who think like me and understand my thought process, and people that just don't. I learned that CO is not the end all, Christ is the end all. I learned that leadership is hard, really hard but really good. I learned that I need sleep to survive. I learned that I love scripture and I love knowing it. I learned that I love hugs and wrestling. I like to be close. I learned how easily we sink into habit and cease to engage the Lord. I became obsessed with Hosea and fell in love with 2 Corinthians. I learned the cleansing power of crying yourself to sleep or driving down a long road in silence or yelling. I laid flat on my face for most of the semester as I attempted to lay what I cling to at His feet, as I longed to grasp grace rather than forfeit it. I learned what it's like to be broken and then be scooped up and put back together, somehow ready to wake up yet another morning. I learned that hugs help but they don't fix the hurt and they don't change the fear. I learned how easy it is for good things to become bad when the Lord is second to them and I learned that no matter how hard you try to be something you're not, you'll always be you and you'll always be loved. I've grown to love email. I've learned a lot about me, a lot about why I do things, and why I think things. I've learned about my insecurities and how they hinder my walk with the Lord. I've learned that I love being real and hate being fake. I've come to adore the starry host blanket and my green pea coat. I love pictures more. I run away less. I like to hide because it's much easier than explaining but I always want to be found and found out. I've grown to love hard questions from both ends and crave being challenged. I've learned that God is constant and faithful when I'm a nervous wreck and unfaithful and disloyal and disobedient. He calls me back and offers me life. I learned that believing Him isn't safe but it's worth it."

that semester was hard. really hard. and it's crazy how many of those things I've been re-learning since and will probably be re-learning for the rest of my life. praise God that He pursues us even in our mess. our God is a Healer.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

morning therapy

Just a regular ol' Friday morning..

McAngus burger!!!

"what kind of face would a hamburger make?" -Ellen

Once upon a time, my roommate was a hamburger...a McAngus burger to be exact :)

reexamining worth

My finger on the pulse of reality
a depth too great to embrace
barren emptiness without definition
spoken only in the language of the soul

Tears wrung out of a fragile heart
as bricks stacked high dissolve
laying bare emotion for scrutiny
freeing layers of comfortable fear

A gentle hand holds steady
the sign post, the mirror, the light
as love and wisdom fill where
confusion and fear have reigned

A battle rages, balance the prize,
for a delicate line that bewilders reason
and a wholeness that eludes
even the brightest mind

A bottomless pool seemed shallow
in the presence of blinded eyes
profound weight kept distant
bears heavy on the heart

Liberation taunts, promising much
with familiar bondage close behind
Love's definition precarious
on the edge of shame and loss

Despair shouts at the top of its lungs
while hope whispers softly
audible against the chaos
not yet tangible beyond the wall

Grace upon grace bestowed around
unfathomable streams of love
support and clarity filter through dusty lenses
where worth is reexamined at long last

Saturday, October 16, 2010

family time

I've been spending a lot of time being an aunt to some pretty sweet little kiddos who are steadily stealing more and more of my heart the more I get to know their little hearts and personalities...I never knew how much I could love Saturday morning soccer games, slimy halfway chewed cheez-its, empty capri sun pouches, wrestling complete with grassy hair, infinitely interesting kiddie conversation, post-nap cuddling, Mcdonalds playplace, silly bands, kid catechism songs, superhero talk, hugs and kisses that just say "I'm glad you're around," and my sweet camera that lets me capture their awesomeness on film :)

Hashimoto the great

Drodgen the wonderful

Camilley, my best friend (and the cutest little princess in the universe)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

laid bare

I stole this from a friend's blog yesterday. It's her talking about Hebrews 4 and I loved it when I just read her explanation but when I read the scripture alongside her thoughts, it was mind-blowing...amazing how the Word of God can be revolutionary every time you read it...praise Him for that!

so, Hebrews 4:

"The writer opens up with a command to keep striving, to be diligent so that we will enter into the coming rest of God eternally. But then in v 12-13 he goes on to tell us how we go about doing that. All that came to my mind while reading these verses I have read like a billion times was, the Holy Spirit is like a skilled surgeon with the scalpel of the Holy Spirit. I think the writer is saying that we are diligent, alert, careful to enter into His rest by constantly laying ourselves out, wide open, under the care of the Holy Spirit. It all sounds so medical… He will pierce us, probe us, divide what is right from what is wrong, what is health from what is death, do biopsies on our motivations and thoughts, etc… We will basically be laid open and bare before God, completely seen and naked (v 13). Sounds pretty harsh and hard; we will see our weaknesses, our sins, all the places where our motives and thoughts are crooked and impure (v14)… OUCH. But then the writer who seems to know how uncomfortable and shameful and embarrassing that exposure process/ surgery of the Word will be, spends the next verses (v 15 and 16) comforting us, encouraging us to find hope, strength, confidence, health in the Great High Priest who stands in our stead as our substitute and now our faithful prayer warrior!

All this reminded me of one of my favorite parts of T.S. Eliot poem called Four Quartets.

The wounded surgeon plies the steel / that questions the distempered part / Beneath the bleeding hands we feel / the sharp compassion of the healer’s art / resolving the enigma of the fever chart."

I'm humbled and thankful that in a season where I feel like I am being "laid bare" before the Lord, I know that I am not alone but that I am loved and fought for by a sweet Savior who knows me better than I know myself..

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I&O day 4 - super awesome fountain!

Choosing pictures from today is going to be super difficult because I took a million...the boys were precious today and we played in a fountain, which fyi, makes for an awesome photo shoot :) I'm sure gonna miss these sweet boys when I don't get to spend my days with them...good thing we live right down the road from each other!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I&O day 3 Aquarium Day!

these are all out of order but they're so fun! we had a blast at the Aquarium today! My favorite phrase of the day from Joshua was "what's dat urchin doin'?" had to be there :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I&O day 2

Well, today didn't afford us very many pictures but the ones it did afford are super cute :) here's a sample..

Monday, September 20, 2010

I&O day 1

Also, some sweet pics from my day of adventure with 2 sweet little boys...John and Alison sat in meetings all day while we traversed Atlanta (albeit a small section) and had the time of our lives! :)

should such men as we fear?

Listen to the words of C.T. Studd, a wealthy Englishman who sold all he had to take the Gospel to China, then India, and then Sudan:

"Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time for waiting is past!...Should such men as we fear? Before the whole world, aye, before the sleepy, luke-warm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God,... and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts. We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only in our God than live trusting in man. And when we come to this position the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight. We will have the real Holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thought; we will have a Masculine Holiness, one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ."

thanks to Emily for that quote. I needed to read that tonight.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

an Atlanta adventure!

Yay for a week off! Today I took a short little flight to Atlanta to stay with some sweet friends for a week while they interview and orient to be missionaries in India! The flight was painless and I'm so used to changing flights or flying for hours that I was actually surprised when the plane landed and my journey was over! Alison picked me up at the airport and our adventure has officially commenced :) I'll have the boys, 2 and 10 months, from 8-5 or 6ish every day and we'll be having tons of adventures involving the park, some exercise, the aquarium, bass pro, the mall, the pool...and anything else we decide to get into! so excited! how could I not be excited when my job is to hang out with these precious little faces?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


well, the road was shorter than we thought it would be. Our little blue butterfly died early Saturday morning. We miss her dearly already and there just aren't words for how different the climate of our unit will be without her around. It's hard to lose her but it was time. Jesus wanted her and what a beautiful addition to His kingdom she is! She's breathing easy now, without oxygen, without bipap, without breathing treatments, without IV antibiotics, without struggle...we have all envisioned her taking deep, unlabored breaths, running for the first time ever, calling everybody "sweetie"...she's really been restored to what she was made for, worshipping and enjoying her Creator. She's healed in a far greater way than any of us ever could've imagined.

Monday, August 30, 2010

little blue butterfly

wow, if I ever needed to process a day at work, today would be the day.

Every time I explain to someone that I'm a pediatric nurse, the reaction is the same: "that must be really hard! don't you get emotionally attached?" Well, the answer is yes, emotional attachment is inevitable and mostly a good thing in my line of work but I've been extremely blessed in my first year and a half of nursing to not lose any kids that were especially close. Today, I had my first taste of what it might be like to lose one someday. and I still had to work a full shift.

The first thing I heard when I got to work this morning was that one of my favorite cystic fibrosis patients had a terrible night, couldn't breathe, went to the intensive care unit, and they were still wondering whether or not they would have to intubate her. Intubation for this sweet young lady would unfortunately be a last ditch effort and there is an extremely slim to non-existent chance that she would ever recover from it. She is precious to me. as close as family. We call her our little blue butterfly. She has a heart of gold and is often caring for us even more than we are caring for her. She was the first pediatric patient I ever took care of as a nursing student and was a huge influence on my decision to become a peds nurse. I've spent many hours reading to her, playing cards with her, watching the Disney channel, eating NC BBQ, snuggling, discussing life, and just loving on and being loved by her. So, all that to say, the day started off a little rocky. After what seemed like hours of uncertainty about what had actually happened to her and constant begging the Lord to work a miracle on the 5th floor of the hospital, we finally got some reliable information from our manager! She is in the ICU, and she is in extremely critical condition but they were able to give her steroids to avoid intubating her! praise the Lord! keep praying, this is going to be a long road for her and for all the rest of us..

Saturday, August 28, 2010

not home yet.

Tonight while talking to my sweet roommate, I was reminded of one of my favorite songs. Since I heard this song my sophomore year of college, I have referred to it as my "life theme song" and I think to this day, it holds true.

"One of These days" -Jill Paquette

It's been so long, said it's been too long
Can't remember when I've felt so known
You're so warm; shelter me from the storm
And the fears that are just so cold

They're telling me things get messy when you care
Things are messy everywhere
And don't I know it, don't I show it
Every time I look away
'cause what can I do what can I say
To help myself
Or to help anybody else?

You meet me in my need
You bring new life to me
And you go beyond what I feel
Your life brought more than freedom
Your love brought time just what I needed
To see I needed You

One of these days it will be easier to mean what I say
If I remember each and every day
That this world is not my home and I never walk alone
And before time began my days were known by You

You meet me in my need
You bring new life to me
And you go beyond what I feel
Your life brought more than freedom
Your love brought time just what I needed
To see I needed You

One of these days it will be easier to mean what I say
If I remember each and every day
That this world is not my home and I never walk alone
And before time began my days were known by You

I like the part where she says "If I remember each and every day that this world is not my home" because it reminds me that I'm not home yet. There's always this feeling that something's missing and sometimes I think that if I can just figure it out, if I can just sort through all the crap in my head, if I can just be healthy, if I can just do x-y-z, then I'll finally feel complete and whole and healed...but that's a lie. Even if I did everything perfectly, which is impossible, it still wouldn't feel right because this isn't home. this isn't the end of the journey, there's more! there's real healing and real wholeness and real fulfillment face-to-face with Jesus for all of eternity...apparently, God just has some things he wants me to do here for a short time until He calls me home..

Today I had an awesome day. I was alone for most of the day, just resting and spending time with the Lord. What sweet time it was to just be and to not feel like I needed to be going and doing and thinking constantly for my time to be worth something. I did put my clothes away and clean my room but I did a lot of sitting and watching movies and journaling. and I even got Moe's for dinner! It was just a good day. Praise the Lord for the freedom to have a day like today..

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

all the nations..

Well, I guess since I've officially started the application process to move overseas and started talking to people about it, it's time to blog about it. Don't worry, it's gonna be about 2 years before I actually get to go...there's much to be done before I get on a plane of any kind.

As of now, I'm in the very beginning stages of the process. filling out the application. the very long and intense application, might I add. and talking/emailing with the medical recruiter at MTW. the next step is to get in touch with the team leaders in the countries I'm thinking/praying about. My first one will be India and from what I've heard, the vision for the team and the time spent there is awesome. so, we'll see...

Monday, August 9, 2010

a random assortment of thought

I sat down with the intention to check my email and be done with my computer but I somehow made it to this little empty box so, I guess I'll fill it with thoughts. :)

I miss my friends. the ones who've up and left me this summer. I'm learning a lot from it and the Lord is providing and blessing my alone time. but I still miss my friends.

today I floated to the PICU at work. It was exciting in some ways but also pretty nerve-wracking in many other areas. I felt like I was learning new things but I'm not a huge fan of learning things one moment and being responsible for them the next. or being responsible for something I have never seen and know nothing about. that's always good for a little dose of panic. alas, I survived my 4-hour stint in Intensive Care and I'm reminded how much I love my unit and the kids I take care of. the kid I took care of today in the PICU will eventually make it to my unit but in a few days he'll be a little less fragile with about 5 fewer tubes of access into his body. that's how I like them. I am so very thankful for my job. I'm so spoiled to have had this awesome of a job for my first experience as a nurse.

I'm pondering moving overseas. I think it might actually happen. stay tuned for more info to come.

I love skype.

KFC potato wedges are going to be the death of me and my efforts to make wise food choices. but they are SO yummy...

should I join a gym? I can't decide if I'll actually go or not. nor am I sure that I have the money to do such things.

k, my eyes are droopy. time for bed.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

an easy yoke

i set out to explain the meaning of my last post but then i realized that there was so much that i could say about freedom that i'd be here typing for quite some time. Just the mention of the word freedom evokes such longing in my heart, it's the kind of longing where a knot builds up in your throat and your stomach jumps at the anticipation of something beautiful or exciting or long-awaited.

i was talking to a friend tonight about freedom and what it looks like or doesn't look like in the body of Christ these days. I think we miss out on a lot of freedom in Christ because of the expectations we put on ourselves, our time, our relationships. how often do we leave time with other believers feeling guilty that we didn't ask enough heart questions, or we didn't really make them feel loved, or we didn't "speak enough truth" to them? how often do we forget to just enjoy each other's company because we are so focused on "knowing" each other deeply or asking the right questions? it's amazing how much we bind ourselves to, even in the midst of being given the greatest freedom ever known to man. we are cherished and loved and sought after by the God of the universe, he did everything we could ever need to do and more and we're constantly worried that we aren't doing enough. we're foolish Galatians who think that we're perfecting ourselves by the flesh instead of being perfected by the Spirit..

I am so thankful for the little joys that God has blessed me with this week. it's been a hard week but the Lord has provided for me in ways that i wouldn't have even known to ask.

my goal the rest of this week (and maybe the rest of my life) is to pray for God to teach me what it looks like to really be free because of His strong love for me. I think I've lived long enough to realize that I can't figure that one out on my own.

right now, I know 2 things. 1. real freedom comes from Jesus. and 2. I'm a huge mess.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

come freedom, nail it down.
come freedom, come.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Your love is strong

by jon foreman

Heavenly Father
You always amaze me
Let your kingdom come
In my world and in my life
You give me the food I need
To live through the day
And forgive me as I forgive
The people that wronged me
Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one

I look out the window
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune
Or out of place
I walk to the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl
On her wedding day

So why should I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need

Your love is strong

The kingdom of the heavens
Is now advancing
Invade my heart
Invade this broken town
The kingdom of the heavens
Is buried treasure
Will you sell yourself
To buy the one you've found?

Two things you told me
That you are strong
And you love me
Yes, you love me

Our God in heaven
Hallowed be
Thy name above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us weary sinners
Lead us far away from our vices
And deliver us from these prisons

Your love is strong when mine is weak..

Thursday, July 22, 2010


tonight was yet another goodbye. saying goodbye takes a toll on the heart after a while. i've never been more convinced that we just weren't meant for separation. we were meant to have perfect intimacy with God and with each other that doesn't involve saying goodbye. i feel like God is teaching me how to mourn loss in a new way. he's showing me that it's ok and appropriate to be sad for a time but reminding me that knowing Christ is far greater than anything or anyone that i could lose. it brings new meaning to Paul saying that he counts everything as loss for the sake of knowing Christ.

heike comes tomorrow. it's perfect timing, really. seeing a friend i haven't seen in a year after saying goodbye to 5 friends in 2 short months. what a sweet blessing a week with heike will be! praise the Lord for his timely provision..

today I was reading about God's provision in a couple of the gospels. Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord who provides. the ways that Jesus reminds us of that part of God's character are remarkable. like when he feeds 5,000 people with 5 loaves a 2 fish and then has 12 baskets leftover. or when he talks about the lilies in the field and the sparrows, or when Paul asks if God has given us His only son, how could He not graciously give us all things...and there are so many more times where a sovereign God provides perfectly for his people in a way that teaches them to put their trust only in Him and provides above and beyond for their every need.

there's so much brokenness and separation and hurt in this world...but the gospel fills in all the cracks and His grace is enough..

Sunday, July 18, 2010

One man

writing on this blog is really worshipful for me.

tonight, as I was studying the fruit of the spirit, Peace, I was just blown away by the magnitude of the cross and the reality of all that Jesus did that day that he died. He said he didn't come to bring peace but a sword but he moved us from the sword of division to the peace of reconciliation at the cross. He became our peace at the cross when he made peace with the death that reigned from Adam. I love the verses in Romans 5--"If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ"--one act of righteousness and obedience leads to justification and life for all men. At the right time, he died for the ungodly. His blood cleanses us, heals us, frees us, and grants us access to God. These things are TRUE and sometimes I just press on through my days without even stopping to think and rest in the fact that this man that I say that I love had to die for me to even be able to begin to grasp the idea of love. Jesus paid it all, I owe everything to him, he bought my freedom, he rescued me, he gave me life and he's the only one who can heal my heart. this takes root in my heart in a new way during this season of my life when I'm working on so many things, wrestling through lots of heart issues with the Lord, and just trying to move toward health in so many ways. it's humbling. What a reality check--think about it, even when I stand before the Lord complete and whole and healed and perfectly holy, all I'll be able to boast is Jesus, all I'll be able to say is that He died to rescue me. He paid my debt. He pursued me and showed me grace. He wouldn't give up. He loved me into holiness. He did this, not me. I couldn't even make good choices, I couldn't fight without getting tired, I couldn't say yes to righteousness and no to my sin, I couldn't love without ulterior motives, I couldn't keep my hope from wandering to things that would never satisfy, I kept chasing idols but Jesus still paid it all. He buried my sin that day that he died and he promised me forever.

Friday, July 16, 2010

the wok

tonight was so fun! I went to C&T wok in Morrisville, my favorite restaurant, with the Jacksons, who have become sweet family in a short time and just love me so well by letting me do life with them..we ate the most authentic Chinese food this side of the Pacific Ocean, put some children to bed, poured some wine, and then watched a movie on the sweet new dvd player :) it was just a good night..

I'm so thankful for the ways that the Lord community is changing so drastically this summer but He's providing for me in radical ways and loving me more into Jesus through it all...Katie's leaving tomorrow and Megan leaves Monday..but I feel sure we'll be friends long past the separation of a few states and an ocean..there's no way Katie and I will survive a season of Gator football without watching at least one game together...and Megan and I will have Skype and the promise of only 11 months away..any longer than that and Cheltenham, here I come! :) Alas, God is furthering His kingdom and he's using my friends to do it...and I'm grateful for Kingdom-mindedness that allows me to rejoice in that!

being fed

I'm learning a lot right now. a lot about myself and the Lord, about the way I think, my habits and my health, my tendencies, my fears, and what "feeds" me. Counseling with Anne has been one of the best gifts that God has ever given me. She is so good for me, always pointing me to truth and willing to say the hard things at the perfect time, right when I'm ready to hear them. I'm still amazed at her ability to walk alongside me, help me both rejoice and mourn, affirm me and challenge me, and make me laugh and cry all in the same hour. Yesterday was mostly talking about the past 2 weeks, rejoicing over small victories and helpful choices. My homework was to do one thing to take care of myself or "feed" myself and to say "no" to something. I said no to several things and did a lot of things that were really good for me. I made myself have some alone time that was filled with time with Jesus, playing guitar, reading, singing, and praying. It's amazing how much better life is when you take some time to process and take care of yourself a little bit. It's hard, hard to make choices that go against long-standing habits and what has become comfortable. but it's so worth it in the end. Something Anne said yesterday was really helpful (surprise, surprise), "you have just been so drained in every way, especially emotionally and relationally, it's like we're trying to fill up a swimming pool that has been drained for the summer and is completely's going to be hard and it will take a while but once it's full, it's not so hard to make up for evaporation"...Anne told me to make a list of things that "feed" me emotionally and spiritually...after all "man does not live on bread alone.." the list included: time in the Word, playing guitar, journaling, Taekwondo/exercise in general, artsy stuff-scrapbook, painting, etc., reading, blogging, counseling, prayer, singing/listening to music, cleaning my room/apt, being at home...and I'm sure there are other things on the list that I'm forgetting but that's a start. It can't be too difficult to do at least one of those things every day. Yesterday, Anne reminded me what a blessing it is that the Lord pushed me to work on these things now instead of after I'm married with kids. She says "we marry people of like health" so moving toward emotional, spiritual, and physical health is worth it. I'll choose a better spouse, be a better mom, and ultimately know more of Jesus, which is really the goal. I'm so thankful that I'm not fighting alone.

Last weekend one of my best friends got married to the love of her life! Rae and I have only been friends for 11 months but we are kindred spirits. we joke that we are the same person in 2 very similar bodies :) but, really, she has been such a sweet spot in my life the past year and I was so honored to wear a pretty dress and stand beside her at her wedding. I am so excited to walk alongside her and Chad as they love Jesus more and love each other in marriage!

in other news, Heike, another best friend who has been living in China for the past year is coming to visit for a week very soon! Heike and I have been through so much together. I can't wait to sit with her and talk and just do life with her for a week. Margaritas will be obtained. I've missed her so much!

Monday, July 5, 2010

a free day

Today was such a free day. normally on an unexpected day off like today I would scramble around trying to find people who were free to hang out or drive to find people to be with but It's nice to release myself from my own relational expectations long enough to do some of the things that I love to do like read my Bible and pray and journal and play my guitar. and do things that need to be done like go to the bank and eat frozen yogurt and buy a world map for my living room :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010


"I think the devil has made it his business to monopolize on three elements: noise, hurry, crowds. If he can keep us hearing radios, gossip, conversation, or even sermons, he is happy. But he will not allow quietness. For he believes Isaiah where we do not. Satan is quite aware of the power of silence." - Jim Elliot

Today was a silent day for me. I didn't realize how much I needed it until I just turned off my cell phone, hid my laptop, and spent time reading and journaling. What a sweet gift we have in being able to meet with our Creator...He is not afraid of the mess that is in my heart, on the contrary, He moves toward me in my mess and rescues me..

This morning we sang this song at church.."Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow"..what a sweet time of worship with my new community, Trinity Park Church, in a family's home complete with a potluck lunch afterward...God is making it more clear every day His purpose in moving me toward this church plant...

I've had a rough couple days...there's so much going on in my life right now and I just can't seem to keep up...the sermon this morning was on Psalm 22..similar to a lot of the Psalms, David moves from suffering and lament to worship through the course of the Psalm...that's one of my favorite things about the Psalms and why I spend a lot of my time with the Lord journaling because inevitably, even if I start out whining, the Lord changes my heart to see His goodness and be reminded of His faithfulness to me...I'm so thankful for a God and for people in my life who aren't afraid of my mess but are willing to move toward me and walk with me through it, fighting alongside me in this battle..

We got a new roommate named Katie. She's great. We're still getting to know each other but I'm pretty sure she'll end up being a great friend. I'm thankful to see how the Lord orchestrated her moving in with us. We didn't even have to try, she just showed up and moved in and it's gonna be so fun! we miss Nichole a lot, though...I wish we could all live together..

In other news, I got lice from some kids I hang out with and just finished de-lousing my head and my entire apartment. I've tested my friendship with Ellen to the max. You know you've got a good friend when she's willing to pick through your hair with a tiny comb removing small bugs that have taken up residence all at 1 am. truly remarkable. and now our apartment is really really clean for something new and different.

I'm going to sleep now.

Monday, June 21, 2010

willow run

I'm at camp this week and I'm the nurse. woah. It's weird, I'm older and different in so many ways. I've been rather nostalgic so far, reminiscing about what my first summer was like, telling stories of crazy things that happened during my 2 summers here, missing my people, catching up with my people, remembering God's faithfulness to me in profound ways the past 6 years...this morning, Joyce said "Amy, how did you go from kitchen staff to being the nurse??" "well, I don't know Joyce, I guess I just grew up." "Oh dear, they grow up so fast"...except it's been 6 years since I worked in the kitchen. That's a long time--1/4 of my life...Being the nurse is so different. I had so much free time today that it's kinda like being on vacation instead of working at camp. I mean, I've done my fair share of work but overall, it's been pretty awesome. I've gotten to counsel a precious little girl through a sad day, talk to her about the Lord's mercies being new every morning, pray for her...these are the things that I look forward to doing as a mom one day...Camp just never ceases to be a sweet time of meeting the Lord. It amazes me how being here draws out heart issues that I didn't even know were still there. It happens every time without fail. but God has been good to remind me of his unchanging love and His unfailing faithfulness. He never changes. In 6 years, He hasn't changed. He's the same God who walked with me through my summers here, my 4 years at PC, nursing school, and my first year of work...He's done nothing but love me, pursue me, provide for me, heal me, challenge me, shepherd me, lead me, discipline me, comfort me, draw near to me, sing over me, and just love me in my mess...

"O praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead"

my heart is grateful. and overwhelmed with the reality of who Jesus is. I'm praying that the gospel would really take root and that I would really be able to live and love out of the freedom and joy that it brings. and I think I'll be praying that for the rest of my life...

Friday, May 14, 2010

for freedom

Some days I don't feel like a very good nurse. today, I felt like a good nurse. I felt free today. and joyful. in a way that has escaped me for a while now. there were moments where I was so busy I couldn't stop to think but at that very moment, I could have burst into tears of joy at the sweet relationships I was able to build and the people I connected with on a level so much deeper than "can you get me some apple juice?" Trust me, some days as a nurse are "can you get me some apple juice?" kind of days. today was a day of freedom. I felt more free today than I have in a long time and i'm surprised that it was a work day. I felt purposeful today and I was reminded often that my purpose comes from a sweet Savior who rescued me from darkness and gave me life. One who teaches me to love selflessly, who slows my anger and excites my heart with the truth, who reminds me that my life is not about me and my joy comes from loving and serving others because that is how He made me. I want so badly to experience freedom from so many things and I tasted it today. I was made for joy and freedom. not sorrow and bondage. I'm a mess, for real. and I run from freedom more often than I care to admit. I think I forget sometimes how great it is. A friend prayed for me yesterday and one of the specific things she asked was that I would know and believe God's abundant love for me and that I would experience His freedom. I think we can check that off as an answered prayer for today.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free..." Gal. 5

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

i love this.

"God has willed that we should seek and find His living Word in the witness of a brother, in the mouth of man. Therefore the Christian needs another Christian who speaks God's Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself he cannot help himself without belying the truth." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Saturday, April 24, 2010

a day in the life..

I'm at home with my family and I'm so thankful for the way that the Lord has healed us and grown us in the past few years as a family. It's truly amazing.

I went to chemo with Grandmommie yesterday and I was reminded again of the stark reality of this battle with cancer. She's tired and bald but she's doing so well. Her oncologist just laughed, incredulous at her lack of complications and her uplifted spirit throughout this journey. I'm in awe of God's faithfulness in the tiny little details...from good anti-nausea medication to super cute hats and head scarves :)

There's something to be said for divorced parents who can still spend their birthdays together. It makes being their child much simpler. Especially when their birthdays are less than 24 hours apart. What a blessing to be with them for year 49!

speaking of, the shindig is starting...I should peel myself away so that I can partake in ribs and chicken wings on the grill, fresh green beans, macaroni and cheese, and of course birthday cake! :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Haiti on the brain

I was thinking today about how I miss Haiti so I decided to put up some more pics...just for fun :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010


today, i am so thankful for the people that love me so well...and the God that loves me so completely and perfectly...praise the Lord for a 24th year and another year to know more of Him and walk with Him and see His kingdom come on this earth! I am infinitely blessed..and God is infinitely worthy of my praise!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Well, I'm more convinced than ever that the Lord is calling me to overseas missions at some point in my life...the question is when, where, and with whom?

some nuggets from Perspectives tonight to chew on:

"We read about all these missionaries who led lives that really made a difference but the reality is it was their God that made the difference-and that is the God that we serve and the take home message is the immense power that lies in ONE surrendered life"

"2 things that are consistent in the life story of every missionary: 1. someone of some credibility always tries to disqualify them or discourage them just before they embark on what God is calling them to and 2. great suffering - there's always a cost to be paid but the testimony is faith that is tested and prevails through victorious suffering"

"He who doesn't read is no better off than he who can't"

"Expect great things from God and attempt great things for God"-W. Carey--notice that God is the source..

"the field is the world...find 2 or 3 faithful people to pray with and do the next thing God tells you to do!"

"move man, through God, by prayer alone" -H. Taylor

"I besought God to give me a cause that would be an outlet for the love and gratitude that I had overflowing from my heart and He gave me the mission field"

"the goal is always to extend the glory of God"

"As now, so then" --prepare yourself for the mission field. live a simple life. buy what you need to live and release the leftover resources to the Kingdom efforts around the world. "redefine the good life"-- the spiritual disciplines won't just happen upon you when you leave for the field, prayer, time with the Lord, community, healthy habits are things that must be worked on here and now in order to prepare for being there and then.

"YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A WIN-ABLE WAR!" --there are 600 evangelical churches in the world for every 1 unreached people group

Single women can accomplish great things for the kingdom...things that men and married couples simply cannot do.

are you saying to the Lord, "cause nations to be affected by my life"

"you won't have much time for yourself"

"I am willing to fail. Risks are not to be measured in terms of the probability of success but in terms of the value of the goal" -R. Winter

--I think I will go soon. I'm praying and the more I pray, the more the Lord says "Go!" We'll see..

I'm so thankful for's so good for my heart and it protects my vision for the kingdom of God in my makes me think and pray and long for healing and redemption among these people groups who have never even heard the name of Jesus.

Jesus, make your name great..

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

a little slideshow

"how are you adjusting?"

this is an excerpt from a friends blog...with a few of my own additions..

Even though I've only been back a few short hours, I am finding it so diffucult. My heart is homesick for the place that I've called home the past couple weeks. Honestly, I feel more at home there than I do here right now. It's been hard living in two different worlds. I have my life in Milot, knowing that all the people I met and love are there....still loving...still working...still being, yet I am here. (don't worry...i still love and miss all of you here in the states!) The two worlds are so totally heart is torn and I'm slowly struggling through it. I think it will take some time. I can feel my mind already forgetting what it is like living in Haiti...and I never want that to happen. Haiti was so good to me and so good for me.

as we were talking tonight she asked me how I was doing and as I struggled to answer, she said "tell me if this is what you feel like right now" and read that to me..

I miss Haiti. and I'm afraid to do life here cause I don't want to slip back into life here and forget where I was and what the Lord did...I can still feel the hugs of my kids and hear the sound of their giggles...I don't want to forget..

Tuesday, February 23, 2010