Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I will bring praise...

Ignoring my alarm clock until the very last second, I woke up and scurried to get myself ready for the day. Packed a lunch, put on a pot of coffee, got dressed, did hair and makeup and was out the door in 15 minutes flat. Just as I pulled out the driveway I realized I left my cell on the charger, as I looked in the rear-view mirror to back up I noticed several spider webs in my backseat (yuck! as if seeing the massive roach scurry out from underneath my bed lastnight wasn't gross enough). Reluctantly ignoring the remnants of my nightly visitors, I threw the car in reverse and sprinted back to the house to grab the cell, in the middle of the chaos I managed to find myself humming Brooke Fraser's latest worship anthem "Desert Song." Racing back to the car, I jumped in and sped off, hoping my forgetfulness wouldn't cost me an 8:01am sign-in at work. Finally on my way, I start to sing "I will bring praise, I will bring praise, No weapon formed against me shall remain, I will rejoice, I will declare, God is my victory and He is here..." my song is cut off by the sound of a siren and flshing lights - I hadn't even gotten off my street. (Let me insert this piece of information : I've NEVER been pulled over in my 6 years of driving) Heart pounding, hands shaking, I glance at the clock as I reach over to my glove box to find my car registration card - "ugg, why did I go back for that phone?" I thought. Now I'm really going to be late, not to mention everyone in the city of Gulf Breeze is slowly passing me, looking hard to see who the girl driving the white Lexus is that's holding up traffic (needless to say, I'm glad I'm not singing in service tonight). 18 minutes and $106.00 later I soberly pull off the Methodist church lawn and shakily drive off..."Why God? Why? You do know that this just tops off my week, right? As if recovering from the flu, returning from a long weekend trip and jumping back into a full-time work routine without one day of rest wasn't already tough enough - you gotta add a fancy little ticket to the list." No response from God (at this time I'm ready to have a full blown conversation with Him), I just sat in silence, feeling nothing, hearing nothing, knowing nothing. After a few seconds of silence, the rest of the song I was singing earlier started to flow from my lips - "All of my life, in every season, You are still God, I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship..." the words stunned me, they resonated in my heart like a chinese gong in an empty sports arena. In every season, I have a reason to worship. One more thing to add to my life lesson list: He is still God and I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship. Once again, Humility. (See my last blog to understand this statement.) As a female who enjoys to talk (and sing), it's always shockingly humbling to have the words I utter put me back in my place; but I'm ever so thankful that He loves me enough to correct me. Today, I will bring praise because I have a reason to worship...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Comfort this confused little heart...

(just throwing that out there...)

Do you ever just want an entire day of silence? A day to simply sit on the back porch swing with a nice tall glass of iced green tea, Bible and journal close at hand - no cell phone to interrupt, no agenda to follow, no job to report to, no responsibilities to tend to? No people. No noise. No plan. Just silence.

There's not a day that goes by that I don't wish I could just disappear and spend some seriously intimate time at the feet of my Jesus. My heart begs for that. To be free of the chains of this physical world and to be in the purest and most righteous of places - the presence of my Savior - with no physical limitations and with no time constraint. I know that's where my help comes from. I know that's where my passion will be renewed. I know that's where comfort is found. I KNOW that's where the author of this life will pour out His divine guidance over this confused heart.

It's amazing how incredibly different my life has unfolded. It's so far from what I imagined it would be. I certainly never thought I would move back home, be in a relationship and be working full time at my home church. (Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not complaining about ANY of this.) While all of these things are good, they're so very far from "my plan". Submission. That seems to be the theme of this season. First and foremost, submitting to "God's way" and prying my crooked little fingers off "my way", submitting to parents as I live under their roof, submitting to someone else in a relationship, and submitting to a job that I don't always understand. (Keep in mind, this is one strong willed girl saying this--you can bet brokenness has become part of my daily routine) So here I am, laying down all the broken pieces, trusting that some day soon the pieces will be picked up and put back together, forming a more glorious picture than I could have ever painted for myself. Patience. That's lesson #2. (I mean common, did I not learn enough patience living in a 3 bedroom apartment with 5 girls and one car?! Or over 3 years of carting whiny 2 year olds around town, desperate to entertain them?) Patience isn't just waiting, patience is finding contentment in an entire circumstance and finding a way to make sure that I use every ounce of difficulty as a character defining and strength building tool. True patience is more valuable than gold, because no matter what, you always come out a better person. Humility. Beautiful life lesson #3 would be humility. In my experience, humility is feeling your heart cry, "God I can't do this without You." Humility is standing before several hundred people on a regular basis and exposing them to your heart, revealing to them your flaws, and remaining silent when they cannot be pleased (otherwise, I'm no longer serving an audience of One). Humility is looking him in the eyes and admitting I'm wrong. Humility is lifting up my hands and accepting that I just need to surrender.

If you know me at all, you know that I don't know how to be anything but honest. I feel I've come to the end of myself, but I finally realize that the end of myself is where He's been leading me all along. It's not till I reach that point, that God can begin leading me into the beginning of Himself. So here I am, a broken mess - just waiting for those pieces to become that majestic work, so filled with beauty and elegance, color and texture, glazed with such sweet aroma, more valuable than anything made by mankind. I still don't understand how dirt becomes something of worth, but I've been alive long enough to know that my God does miracles, so I'm trusting that this little bit of faith will go a long way. ♥

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blog Fever...

It seems like every once in a while, I'll get a random itch to write a blog, and guessed it - this is one of those random moments. So hooray for you (if you care), you get to read up on what's been going on in my little ole life.

Common knowledge to those around me : I just returned from vacation in was wonderful! I made lots of new friends, slept in (this is such a luxury these days), relaxed by a beautiful pool, hiked up a really cool trail, ate lots of yummy food, burned a hole in my pocket at two beautiful malls, caught up with God, and spent some much needed time with the b/f and with family (by family, I mean Neil, Cece, and little one on the way). It was such a blessing to have an opportunity to get felt like I could finally breathe again (figuratively and literally).

I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but I always feel a weight lifted off me when I'm away from my usual surroundings. I'm easily inspired and somewhat refreshed by foreign environments. Maybe it's my constant craving for adventure that makes me this way, but after returning from somewhere different, I have all these fresh ideas and goals. I guess I share all that to say (by sharing this with you, I'm hoping that YOU [yeah, I just brought YOU into this] will hold me accountable to seeing these things through) while I was away, I dreamed up a few ideas, set a few goals and have, as of this moment, officially set into motion a plan to see these things become a reality.

Goal #1 - Be more knowledgeable of the Bible and set aside more time for in-depth study
Goal #2 - Record my first full-length album (and have it released by January 2009)
Goal #3 - Do something with my design ideas (Designs x Danya)
Goal #3 - Be free from monotonous routines
Goal #4 - TRAVEL! (I have a list of grounds I want to set foot on before these feet stop walking)

I say this honestly : PLEASE please PLEASE feel free to 1: support me in prayer; 2: keep me accountable to seeing these things through before the end of the year. I have so much burning inside of me, yet, I feel I can't do anything about it because of lack of time, resources, and/or energy. 21 is a ripe age for making these things reality before I have too much responsibility, right?

Well, I think I've successfully gotten my point across (not to mention it's 10:32pm and I have to be up at 5:30 tomorrow morning), so I believe it's time for me to wrap it up. I plan to be updating soon!

Much love and blessings,

Pics from the trip - Enjoy!