Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend!

After not seeing my dad for more than a year (that's how things go these days!), he came out to CO for a special Father/Daughter photog bonding trip to Telluride, CO. Our first trip to CO was to Telluride 13 years ago - so it was kind of commemorative! It was also my first photography trip since getting my first digital SLR camera. Here is some of the handiwork that resulted :) Click on any of the pictures at the bottom to see my Picasa album of the photos I took on our trip!

It was a great trip. We stayed in an awesome condo in Mountain Village. On day 1 we biked and went on a 4x4 tour, and on day 2 we did Ouray and visited the waterfalls. The views everywhere were amazing, the atmosphere in town was fun, and so was interacting with the "local" who led our 4x4 tour.

Still, as great as any vaca might be, I am still happy to be home... there is just nothing that beats home sweet home :) Now, it is on to watching God provide for me in the coming weeks as He continues to unveil the direction for this season in my life!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


It's time for a new blog post, and I have plenty of fodder to write about, but I'm just not sure what I want to say!

Life has definitely been picking up the pace lately... my calendar is filling up, and I quite like it that way. I am doing things I have wanted to do for years, but just never got around to doing - like volunteering. It feels really good to finally do that and to be able to move it from the "Things I Wish I Was Doing" to the "Things I AM Doing" list. Other things that God is slowly but surely moving onto the right list is making progress in my pursuit of my dream to create a ministry for youth. The big ticket item that God is using for that is an upcoming internship with Heaven Fest/Worship and the Word Movement and a Master's program for nonprofit management. I feel like I am well on my way to the plans God has for using me in ministry. Yet, God is already using me in ministry now, which is also one of those things moving to the right list. He is using me in a performing arts ministry and hopefully will be using me in a youth-centered ministry called YoungLife in the fall. SUPER psyched about that, I love YoungLife. Their camps were a highlight of my experiences with my own high school youth group.

I have definitely been learning a few things in this season. One is that good things come to those who wait. There is a worldly mentality out there that says if you have a dream, go for it - now! Don't wait, don't just dream about it - go do it! Thanks in large part to Nike, this mentality, I think, has become even larger in our society today. Often times, this mistakenly led me to, indeed, try to do it "now." And that led me to trying to create things and start things that it was not God's will for me to start at the time. I also attempted to start them with my own ideas on what it should be or what I wanted it to be - instead of diligently pursuing God's vision for what it should be.

The world would tell us to do whatever we can to sieze our dreams today... but God has taught me the value of obeying the word "wait." After unsuccessfully trying to launch my vision of what I think my business/ministry should be, I have let go and let God fill me with His visions for what He wants for this ministry. And He gave me a vision for something I never would have thought of, but that perfectly fits with my testimony! He gave me a vision that included things I never would have thought of, but that perfectly fit my passions and interests and dreams I've had. God is SO faithful to answer us and lead us in the right directions when we wait on Him. I'm glad I'm learning that lesson now, but it sure would have saved me looking silly through those failed attempts if I'd known that earlier.

The other thing I'm learning, in conjunction with that lesson and also through reading through the life of David in the Bible, is that God rewards obedience. God did so for David, and he's doing that for me too. He rewarded my obedience when he told me to wait and seek Him regarding my next steps in my career by providing me with the direction that I was looking for and allowing that direction to move me closer to the dreams of my heart that he's given me. He's also filled me with peace and His promises. He's blessed me with provision as I've earnestly sought Him.

Even as I've been filled with anticipation for this new season and a bit of anxiety, God has been so so faithful, and I just praise Him for having His hand on this human life of mine. Even as I've imperfectly yet earnestly sought His face, He has answered me and provided.

God DOES make a way through the pain, but it all revolves around seeking His face and living our lives as obediently as we can, to the best of our human ability. We will always make mistakes but God rewards our efforts. And he blesses abundantly, more than we can ask or imagine. Praise Jesus for His blessings!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Thieves of Joy

Despite reflecting on the recent victories in my life yesterday, I realized just a short time later that some things have been stealing my joy lately... it just hit me that I haven't been smiling, laughing, or cracking jokes as much lately. And that made me sad. I miss my joy, I want it back.

Health issues have been stealing my joy. Not feeling good for 3.5 weeks certainly took some of it away.

Heartbreak stole my joy. Heartbreak over my ex-husband and another relationship that wasn't meant to be.

Church closing... even though I have still seen my family from church plenty, I haven't been ministered to in the same way, and work had caused me to be out of church at all for a couple of weeks. Not being nestled in the right church community right now is stealing my joy.

And you know what? All of that sucks!!! I miss my joy! I want it back!

I spent a year being trapped in a miserable marriage, and that stole my joy... then I came home, and was overwhelmed with joy, with family, with blessings, and with miracles.

You can sure as heck bet that I am not letting my joy go without a fight anymore. But it wasn't until yesterday that I realized it's been missing these last few weeks. Some of those things that have been stealing my joy are things that aren't going to go away over night... like the heartbreak. And finding the right church is going to take some time. Even still though, I don't have to let the devil steal my joy.

They always say that love is a choice, and you're not always filled with feelings of love. When you don't feel especially filled with love for your spouse or your siblings or parents on a particular day (and we all know those days happen), we have to make a choice to act in love towards them anyway.

I'm realizing more and more in my life that joy is truly a choice, too. There are so many things in this world that will fight to take away our joy, first and foremost, Satan. Just like you have to choose to act loving some days, you have to choose to keep your joy. Choose to be joyful in spite of your circumstances. And sometimes it's going to be a fight.

But I'd rather fight for joy than just give in to the thief of joy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I have a lots of thoughts swirling in my head this morning... but I think they all revolve around the theme of victory.

Victories in life can be large or small. Often, it's the small ones that may not look like much to the outside world, but they mean everything to us on the inside. Two of these recent victories that are developing in my life have to do with purity and convictions.

I have never really lived a life of purity. I gave away my virginity, went through a phase of promiscuity, and did not seek purity in what I wore or how I spoke.

Lately, God's started doing a 180 in me. I am filled with an overwhelming desire to live a life of purity and even filled with a burgeoning passion for it. In fact, I'm praying about and tentatively stepping forward to start a ministry encouraging teens to pursue it. I've been feeling a vision for a ministry rising up in me within the past couple months or so (although the desires to be an entrepreneur and work to serve youth have been in my heart for years), and I knew it had to do with youth and music... but I didn't know anything more than that. Now I am thinking, "What is the one subject I would like to speak on to make a difference in these teenagers' lives? PURITY." I finally feel like, "Yes, THAT is what I want to create a ministry about."

I am 26 years old. I've been promiscuous, I've been married, and sooner than later I'll be divorced. But at the age of 26, for the first time, I am seeking to be more modest in my clothing choices. I want to start wearing a purity ring. I'm going to set myself apart for my husband and stop compromising in relationships. I'm going to make careful choices about how I interact with guys, whether I'm dating them or not. I'm censoring the music I listen to and changing the station when something crude or sexual comes on. Same thing with movies and television shows, except that I don't watch enough to really have to do that often.

My point in saying all of that? is that if I can do that at 26, considering my past and versus being 13, 16, or 18 - anybody can. It's never too late to start living a life of purity, and there's no amount of impurity of which God can't save you and bring you out.

The second area of victory is with convictions. For most of my life, I've never lived by convictions. Which isn't necessarily to say that I didn't have any... I knew what was right and wrong for me, but I went against those things to fulfill other needs of mine, needs that I guess I thought were more prominent. Needs that I trusted myself and others to fulfill instead of God. Subsequently, I've learned the hard way, and one too many times, that God is the only one who can fulfill those needs - especially the ones I was trying to meet, like loneliness, a sense of worth, comfort, acceptance, support, and love. Now, we can find those things in human relationships, but they will always be imperfect. And those can be blessings He gives us through those relationships when those relationships are within God's will. The places I was trying to find those things were not God's will.

My victory is in finally reaching a place where I am living by my convictions, and though faced with the option to forego them and compromise, I am not. Though the option to do so keeps reappearing, each time I come back to saying that there's nothing for which I will sacrifice my convictions and the holy things I want this time, or for which I am willing to step outside of the Lord's will.

PRAISE JESUS for the victory! Praise Jesus, because He has really used this whole nightmare marriage experience to produce real and lasting changes in me, the kind I have craved for and prayed for but for which I never had the strength. I used to try with all of my might, and even though I prayed, I always fell to my weaknesses again. Sometimes it really does take a nightmare experience for a lesson to really take hold in our lives. I don't wish them on anyone, but I sure am thankful for them.

Praise Jesus for the victories.