Sunday, December 14, 2008


So it's been quite a few months since I've posted!

It has certainly be a crazy, interesting, incredibly tough, and promising year. God has done more in our lives this year than ever and what a ride it's been! Right now we are just looking forward to a relaxing holiday - a time to reflect on the lessons of the year, the sovereignty and the holiness of our God, and a time to start anew - washed in His blood, held in His hand, secure in His love, and carried by His strength into the next adventure!

The following song gets to the heart of the matter . . Enjoy!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Well, we had a great time at the beach. I thought I'd share some of the pictures with you - they each attempted to capture a portion of the "Sacred Romance" (to quote John Eldridge) - I.E.: a facet of the Creator's heart toward us. It was awesome to get away from the craziness of life and politics to sit back and reflect on the beauty of God's creation. Just to mentally relax and be present - no major epiphanies for me this week - I got to have a vacation from those too!

Ahhh - long walks on the beach, coffee on the porch watching the sunrise over the ocean, pancakes for breakfast, and fresh Ahi tuna for dinner(YUM!). Good stuff!

One verse to reflect on during these uncertain times:
John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

(That's a dolphin in front of the sunset if you can't tell from this small version) :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Well I've been slacking on the blog thing lately - sorry 'bout that!

As for an update:
We were able to go to NJ last weekend for a wedding. We had a wonderful time reconnecting with each other, old friends, and some family members! Tomorrow we are headed off to the beach for a much needed rest. I look forward to what God has for us over the course of the week in terms of our marriage and life direction! I will do my best to blog some of my thoughts and happenings upon our return next week!

Until then, here is my new favorite song by Natalie Grant - enjoy!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Excerpt: Until God Becomes our All

The following excerpt is from the book I'm reading by John Eldridge called "Walking with God" This chapter really hit me hard. It's long but worth the time. Spend some time with this - digest it - let it roll around in your head and heart for awhile (especially the questions at the end). I hope you will enjoy it!

Until God Becomes Our All

"How do we best understand life?"
I was meeting with a young woman the other day talking through some hard times in her life. I don't know yet how to make sense of my accident or the fact that both my arms are now in casts. But life goes on, and I had to go to work. So I was meeting with this young woman who was dealing with some distress of her own, when she asked me what I thought was the truest way of looking at life. "My husband thinks life is just hard. I'm feeling that it's sort of random. We're not really good for each other right now. What do you think? " Oh, the beautiful timing of God. I am suddenly aware that Someone else is in the room. There is a sort of pregnant expectation in the air. What would I say? What do I believe?

"God wants us to be happy," I said. "But he knows that we cannot be truly happy until we are completely his and until he is our all. And the weaning process is hard." Even though I was playing the role of counselor in that moment, I was feeling that God had arranged the whole encounter for me.

"The sorrows of our lives are in a great part his weaning process. We give our hearts over to so many things other than God. We look to so many other things for life. I know I do. Especially the very gifts that he himself gives to us - they become more important to us than he is. That's not the way it is supposed to be. As long as our happiness is tied to the things we can lose, we are vulnerable."

This truth is core to the human condition and to understanding what God is doing in our lives. We really believe that God's primary reason for being is to provide us with happiness, give us a good life. It doesn't occur to us that our thinking is backward. It doesn't even occur to us that God is meant to be our all, and that until he is our all, we are subhuman. The first and greatest command is to love God with our whole being. Yet, it is rare to find someone who is completely given over to God. And so normal to be surrounded by people who are trying to make life work. We think of the few who are abandoned to God as being sort of odd. The rest of the world- the ones trying to make life work-seem perfectly normal to us.

After the accident, I was really disappointed that life was suddenly beyond my grasp. Literally. The forecast for the next several months looked bleak. But do I ever feel this disappointed when God seems distant, when I seem to be losing my grasp of him? What is it with us? I am just stunned by this propensity I see in myself -and in everyone I know- this stubborn inclination to view the world in one and only one way: as the chance to live a happy little life.

Now don't get me wrong. There is so much about the world that is good and beautiful even though it is fallen. And there is so much good in the life that God gives us. As Paul said, God has richly provided us with everything for our enjoyment (I Timothy 6:17). In Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote that to enjoy our work and our food each day is a gift from God (2:24). We are created to enjoy life. But we end up worshiping the gift instead of the Giver. [emphasis mine] We seek for life and look to God as our assistant in the endeavor. We are far more upset when things go wrong than we ever are when we aren't close to God.

And so God must, from time to time, and sometimes very insistently, disrupt our lives so that we release our grasping of life here and now. Usually through pain. God is asking us to let go of the things we love and have given our hearts to, so that we can give our hearts even more fully to him. He thwarts us in our attempts to make life work so that our efforts fail, and we must face the fact that we don't really look to God for life. Our first reaction is usually to get angry with him, which only serves to make the point. Don't you hear people say, "Why did God let this happen?" far more than you hear them say, "Why aren't I more fully given over to God?"

We see God as a means to an end rather than the end itself. God as the assistant to our life versus God as our life. We don't see the process of our life as coming to the place where we are fully his and he is our all. And so we are surprised by the course of events.

It's not that God doesn't want us to be happy. He does. It's just that he knows that until we are holy, we cannot really be happy. Until God has become our all, and we are fully his, we will continue to make idols of the good things he gives us. We are like the child who throws a fit because he cannot have a toy or watch TV. In the moment, he could care less that his mother adores him. His world is out of sorts. He does not see that his heart is not in the right place. He needs his mother's love and comfort far more than he needs the thing he's made an idol of.

Whatever else might be the reason for our current suffering, we can know this: "the LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 13:3). We are so committed to arranging for a happy little life that God has to thwart us to bring us back to himself. It's a kind of regular purging, I suppose. A sort of cleansing for the soul. I have to yield not only all my hopes for this fall, but my basic approach to life as well. Of all tests, I do not want to fail this one.

Now, I am not suggesting that God causes all the pain in our lives. I don't believe he pushed me off my horse to make a pint. In fact, I believe he saved my life. But pain does come, and what will we do with it? What does it reveal? What might God be up to? How might he redeem our pain? Those are the questions worth asking.

Don't waste your pain.

Eldridge's blog:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

And God Showed Up

And God showed up. . . . in the form of a text message!

I was praying the other day, asking God for discernment and wisdom to help me figure a few things out. When I had finished, I went downstairs to check my phone. Lo and behold there was a series of text messages waiting for me. The content of the messages spoke directly to the questions in my heart at that time, and were sent by someone who had absolutely no knowledge of the situation I was praying about!

How cool! I am writing this down so that when my feeble memory fails, I can look back and see that God does indeed speak - in a very personal way about seemingly insignificant problems!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


So the more lessons I learn, the more lessons I have to learn.

Hard lessons I've learned from this week:
1) My intentions and the results of my actions don't seem to match up as expected most of the time. Collateral damage ensues.
2) Asking God for direction and actually waiting to hear an answer before acting would likely prevent the collateral damage due to point #1.
3) "Letting it all hang out" is not always a wise course of action. I've been working so hard on trying to be "me" (whoever that is) and being real/honest/transparent, that #1 occurs too often and the results leave me feeling like I'm naked in public. Damn it's embarrassing!

There are so many voices saying different things it seems almost impossible to determine the truth sometimes. Who/what to believe? Really wish God would show up with some neon signs to point out which direction to go instead of forcing me to be quiet, patient, and prayerful! But I guess that's what faith is about. I've started reading "Walking with God" by John Eldridge. It seems to be very timely considering my current circumstances. It is basically about learning how to listen to what God has to say on a daily basis.

I was on my knees today - completely drained, repentant (for my portion of culpability), and ashamed from a current situation and I heard God quietly say to me in my heart: "You are my child, I made you just the way you are, and I love you." "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." That will be enough to get me through the day.

We shall see what I learn next. I do hope to have a little reprieve from my lessons to let things heal a bit first! In the meantime I will keep the following Psalm close:

Psalm 62
5My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
6He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
7On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
8Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Wow does time fly! It certainly has been awhile since my last post!
I just returned from another Z-health certification, which as usual, has been thought provoking to say the least! The course was about strength and suppleness- the main concept being "threat inoculation." For me, the week was indeed about threat inoculation, strength, and suppleness in the interpersonal realm. God has again use this course and some people in my life to bring me to a deeper understanding of who He is and who I am in Him. So here goes . .

1. God works all things together for good for those who are called according to His purpose.
I finally got it. Following some tough struggles over the last 9 years, this truth was finally cemented in during an interpersonal conflict last week. I came out on the other side realizing that God used this particular situation to heal me from old wounds. It was weird, I was wounded with the same type of wound I have experienced in the past, but in a smaller, less lethal dose - just like a vaccine! Because of this, I was forced to depend on God as my true, unwavering, friend, who loves me with a perfect love. Even weirder, is that the conflict will not likely be fully resolved - I have just became strong enough now to realize that the problem is not always with me. It also brought me to the next epiphany.

2. I am now through apologizing for myself. I was on my way to this realization before, but now I'm really starting to get it. Until now, I have often felt that I was a burden to people, or that I was inconveniencing them somehow by being me. No longer. I do not think that I am as much of a burden as I was led to believe. I will no longer apologize for who I am. God made me the way I am, and He is not through with me yet. I will therefore continue to live and grow in the confidence that I am loved by the King. And, although this may sound harsh, everyone else will just have to deal with it! :)

3. I finally learned that I can be around and enjoy people who have different values than myself, and still maintain my own integrity. Until now, I have always been somewhat uneasy in these types of situations - either because I feared my own weaknesses, or I because I felt judgmental. For the first time last week, I experienced the freedom that comes from loving people as they are, without feeling like I needed to join in or change them to be accepted. One step closer to loving people like Christ!

The following passage was in my head for about 2 weeks before this trip. How wonderfully applicable!

I Peter 1:3-9
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."