Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's Christmas.

Perhaps it's the rhythm of nostalgia threaded throughout each note and word, but I've found the Christmas songs that have been sung by people for centuries contain deep, hidden truths and profound statements that reveal stunning scenes of the Story we celebrate. Here are a few of my favorites:

"Long lay the world in sin and error pining. 
Till He appeared and the Soul felt its worth. 
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, 
For yonder breaks a new and
glorious morn...
Truly He taught us to love one another, 
His law is love and His gospel is peace. 
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother. 
And in his name all oppression shall cease."
-Oh Holy Night

He comes to make His blessings flow 
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace, 
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.
-Joy to the World


The Story we celebrate runs deep and wide. It's more than just a manger with shepherds peering in on Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. It encompasses far more. It reaches back to the Beginnings of Genesis and propels into the "not yet" we still long for. It's 400 years of silence that's broken by a cry in the night. It's a story of rescue founded on the expectation that filled the hearts of God's people as they awaited their King. It changed everything and is still changing things.
It's Christmas.







Thursday, December 2, 2010

Repeat the Sounding JOY!


Today is day 1 of the best month of the year, of course. The lights, the music, the Griswalds + Uncle Eddy, the excessive overplay of claymation on ABC family channel and the fullness of joy that resides in hearts this time of year are just a few reasons to smile.

I hope you celebrated...

jubilated...


and maybe even decorated.

I sure did.

Merry Christmas, Y'all!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the best week of the year...highlights.



I turned 24, Thanksgiving was a party, Black Friday=Shopping, Auburn won. I even tried my hand at some recipes by the Pioneer Woman. This and this is delicious! Oh, and Christmas music is now playing on repeat. It's the most wonderful time of the year...officially!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The best week of the year...in my book.

It's the most wonderful week of the year!

To me at least...

Here's why:

Today: Dad's Birthday...Cheers to 56 wonderful years of Ronald! Here, here!

Tomorrow: My birthday...24 years ago my dad was at a Celtics game in Boston when he got a call from my mom that was about a month early..let's just say he made it back just in time :)

The rest of the week: Food, family & football (war eagle!)

oh, and get out the Mariah Carey Christmas album and maybe even N*Sync...because Christmas Music is "allowed" (I've already been listening to the dismay of many around me...).

So let's get this party started and join me in being thankful the Pilgrims, their fellow Indians and Abe Lincoln have given us a good reason to stuff ourselves!

Peace. Love. & Cornucopias.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

must have music for the soul.


Live at The Banks House from United Pursuit on Vimeo.

Thanks to Chase and his good (and talented) friend Paul Hassel (check out his photog skills here) I've been introduced to the music of Will Regan & United Pursuit. They are friends of Paul and Chase and are from Knoxville, TN. This is dang good, spirit-filled Jesus music. Get their new album on itunes. NOW!


"there's no place that i'd rather be today; than here in Your love."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

bookmarked.



both of these books are books i've wanted to read for a long time and i am finally getting around to simply reading for pleasure...what is that anyway?!

Friday, October 15, 2010

life right now.



















































A few people have been asking me what I'm up to/doing....this time last year I had a million ideas and kept hitting a million walls. God made it clear that 1. He loves me and 2. He's got me here for a purpose...and it's a good one. So here's a brief update with a few main points about what's up with me in da gump

Dreaming with friends about REstoration, REconciliation and REdemption in Montgomery...from the physical to the relational aspects. (More on this later!)

Staying globally minded...and realizing how complicated English is while teaching ESL. South Korea, Thailand and China represent! We have 20 nations represented each week...love it.

Hanging out with an oldie but a goodie...a best friend turned boyfriend ;) It's the greatest.

Working hard for da $$ as a Children's Ministry Admin. Assistant. It was the last thing I ever thought I'd be doing, but it is great and fun to be around the kiddos!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

fill in the blank.

Fill in the blank for yourself....and say it out loud. Then believe it.

"O, _________ where is your sting?
O, _________ where is your victory?"

[pride.
selfishness.
lust.
hate.
anger.
grief.
apathy.
fear.
addiction.
........etc.]

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

october.


"October gave a party; The leaves by hundreds came--The Chestnuts, Oaks and Maples, And leaves of every name. The Sunshine spread a carpet, And everything was grand, Miss Weather led the dancing, Professor Wind the band."
- George Coooper


Thursday, September 30, 2010

turn! turn! turn!

it's been awhile....i am really going to get better at this-i promise. currently, i am in a new season of life and appropriately so! FALL is here (my favorite) and so are a lot of exciting things. So...as sort of an introduction back to blogging..."turn" with me to the video below. and get excited about where you are in life too...and as my fellow, hk-ers would say, "embrace it!"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

a year defined.

2009-2010 [rachel's definition]: The time where stillness and solitude met and set the course for a year of understanding what it means to love yourself, stop running and journey along whatever road is put before you with this in mind: You are loved and held dear to the heart of God. Walk boldly and fearlessly forward, throwing yourself at the threshold of uncertainty and see it as opportunity. Do not be afraid of the blank spaces life presents you with-as if life has become a mad lib page to be filled in with places, people and things. Ask and seek for you will indeed find…and perhaps best of all- be found.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

back in action.

I'm back from Asia.

And I'm still not sure what to say about it...many adjectives come to mind, but it is one of those experiences that "It was great!" in response to the "How was Asia?" question doesn't do justice.

So, I'm still thinking. Still processing. Still learning.

What I do know is that it was a month and a half of deep investment into a team of people I grew to love and a city that I found myself marveling at daily. My time there was rich and full of joy.

Hopefully, the changes that have taken place in me will work themselves out as I continue to focus on the Source of my life, love and the Anchor of my soul.

[p.s.]
This blog is about to take a turn...I've had some thoughts and want this to be more focused, more purposeful...more about Story. My mind is swirling with ideas...we'll see where this takes us!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

our God.








22So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, 'To the unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth,K)"> having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him.
Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28for

"'In him we live and move and have our being';b]">

as even some of your own poets have said,

"'For we are indeed his offspring.'

29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man..."

acts 17.

Monday, August 2, 2010

latest happenings.

If you've been following my blog while I've been in HK I want to apologize for my lack of posts. Time was precious during the days we spent teaching and honestly, it was difficult for me to set aside time to give you a little glimpse into what was going on with me, my team and in that great city...I'm sure I could have made time, but alas...I did not. As a compromise, here are some updates:

As I write this I am sitting on the floor of the Bangkok airport in Thailand. The clouds are hovering and rain is falling and I am reminded of the brokeness that exists here (one of the top cities for sex tourism/traffiking). I struggle not to judge every man I see here and wonder if he is one of the 80% of men who enter this place to rent a girlfriend and/or indulge in this terrible awful industry. (sorry, tangent...)

We're headed to Laos for the week to spend time with a couple who recently got married and have moved their lives to Laos to teach English and bring light, love and hope to a spiritually dark place (more on this later).

We finished teaching on Friday and saw many of our students for a youth rally on Saturday. It was there that we realized...the past month spent with rowdy students who we thought could care less was worth every second.


There were tears...the students and ourselves have been changed forever because of the time we've spent together.

One of the best parts of the week was taking some of our students ice skating and to see Toy Story 3. They were very much afraid of the ice...classic.

I haven't had much time set aside to really begin to process all I have experienced so far. I started to go through some questions on the plane and am starting to see themes that have been woven throughout the past month and a half. I've know God in a new context and have seen him make the ordinary sacred. It has been a month of growth and of challenges that I know are shaping me and molding me to be more like Him.

all i know is that this whole thing happened. it was hard, but worth it and i am marked by this place, this role and this team. Pray for me and my team as we begin to talk through specifics of how this experience will play into the things we are all stepping into next...

I hope to be able to write more while we are in Laos!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

thoughts from the 13th floor.


{people everywhere :: mong kok ladie's market}

As I write this, I am sitting in my 13th floor bedroom that overlooks a portion of the city. As the clock ticks close to 6:30 pm lights are beginning to shine through apartment windows and reflect off city streets....these are my thoughts:

7,000,000 + people live in this city that spans over 4 primary districts and is six times the size of Washington DC. It's a city that blends east and west and a global city rich in influence.

As I walk the people saturated streets of Hong Kong I can't help but wonder how many of them are searching for something they can't quite put there finger on. With only 5% of the population professing faith in Christ, that leaves room for a lot of speculation. Prestige, power and wealth is the fuel that runs this beautiful, tropical, urban metropolis...it's nearly impossible to miss.

I know I am here for a purpose...even if that means knowing how to pray for a place specifically. I pray that this city would awaken to grace. That individual lives would be transformed. That the Kingdom would come to the greatest and least of these. That God would continue to raise up His people in this place. There is something divinely distinctive about this place...He is ushering His Spirit into Asia and I believe this city is one of the gateways He is using to make His name famous in Asia and all the world.

The time I have spent here has served to remind me the truth that the gospel and the longing to be filled, restored and reconciled resides in all people. Regardless of who or where they are. They deserve to hear and know what is theirs in Christ. Pray people would hear, and not only hear but believe. "For belief comes from hearing and hearing from the word of God."

Pray for Hong Kong.

Friday, July 23, 2010

it's a party in the big hk

I couldn't help but steal this video from fellow team leader chase so you could get a glimpse into some of the random happenings of asia. Last week, my team was having our nightly meeting planning for the next day when our attention turned from lesson planning to the YMCA and a group of dancing asians 13 stories below us. thankfully, chase and his team snagged some video. It's long, but you can't miss the YMCA at the end.

TIA...this is Asia.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

bieber fever.

Reason #727 why I love this team.

Today was Fame Day at our school. My team dressed as celebs and put on a "concert" for our students. And as any middle-school American student would know, a Fame Day would be incomplete without the one and only...Justin Bieber. It seems that 16 year old JB has taken the world by storm and has a place in the hearts of our student's (especially our female student's) hearts.

With the help of our talented cameraman, Charlie, the lip sync stylings of our Canadian teammate Derek and a special appearance from Lady Luda, Chisom, we put together a little somethin' to end the day...You'll want to watch this.
p.s. {more updates from the past 2 weeks coming}

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

team.


this is my team. otherwise known as "cupcake dynamite"...


Derek. Charlie. Emma. Chisom. Michaela. Stephanie. Laura. Lauren. Julia. Lisa.
they've come from fresno, canada, st. louis, south carolina, connecticut etc. etc.
i can't wait to work alongside and serve these teachers in the coming weeks!





Tuesday, July 6, 2010

portion.



Before I left last week, I asked the Lord for a word for my time in Asia.

That word was “portion.”

I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I was about to find out.

Soon after I arrived I immediately began to feel overwhelmed and unsure. I am not a teacher, nor have I been to Asia before. The thoughts of leading a team of teachers in a place I had never been engulfed my mind. “Why did they let me do this?” was the question I kept asking myself. My heart literally raced for days. This, along with exhaustion from the journey over more time zones than I care to count resulted in no sleep…for 4 whole days.

During these sleepless nights and the days that followed, I resonated deeply with these words…

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever…” Psalm 73:26

He is enough. For this moment. For this hour. For this day. It is God who works in me. For his good pleasure. And I could rejoice in those sleepless nights...for it is in them that I learned this truth for myself.

I am happy to say I have been sleeping! And that I no longer am unsure of why God has brought me here. It is for a purpose. A good one. It is here, in this culture and in this context that He is making me more like Him and less like myself. And for that I am thankful.

{Quick update}
We are one day away from being finished with our training. My team is WONDERFUL! 8 girls and 2 guys...full of 10 different personalities and giftings. We have had some good times and I've experienced many a thing for the first time...hey, when in Asia right?!

I am ecstatic about this team connecting with the students we come in contact with that they may know grace, love, mercy and truth. We've all been changed by grace...and can't help but give it away.

Continue to pray for our teams, for protection, for favor and wisdom and for the hearts of people to awaken to something divine.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

tonight.


"i pray light will
leak through our pockets,
we'll be drenched, overcome
and at night the fireflies,

streamers at our sides,
silent, flaming arcs of hope."
{josh garrels}

Thursday, May 20, 2010

a declaration.

You, Oh God, are the end that bleeds into eternity.
In a moment of forgetting Who leads,
When the anxiousness of my mind slips into my heart,
During the moments where I let go of Your hand
and attempt to build on a foundation of self
Your grace sweeps me back into the place of rest
Where You extend to me peace like a river
and I move only by the current of Your Spirit.



Monday, May 17, 2010

...one year later.

One year ago today, I moved back to Montgomery with plans to leave in 6 months. Well, needless to say, I'm still here.

And I'm rejoicing.

["He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of men! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things." Psalm 107:7-9]
I have experienced God in ways I didn't know before and have seen him exercise his love and grace in my life in ways that have forever changed me. I am radiant over the goodness of the Lord and expectant of what He will write in this next chapter. If there's anything I've learned...He's a much better writer than me.

Friday, May 7, 2010

HK.

Hong Kong Time Lords from Euan Preston on Vimeo.



Some of you know this, but for those of you who do not I have an opportunity to spend 6 weeks in HONG KONG this summer! I am absolutely ecstatic about finally making my way to "the orient" and investing in the lives of college students as they teach english and share life with a hundred or so middle and high school Chinese students. My role is being a leader for an amazing team of American college students from all over the US...I get to serve students and encourage them on their journey AND engage with the people of HK...how great is that!?

God is funny. If one of those jobs I really wanted somewhere else had worked out I would not have this opportunity to go and do something that is such a desire of my heart and I am so confident that this is where God wants me from June 29th-August 8th. My heart is to see people awaken to grace, and what they are passionate about and do it to the glory of God. That's what I'm going to get to see during my 6 weeks in Asia and I could not be more excited!

In order to go, I'm raising support (and working extra!) if you'd like to support me (or just know more about what I'm doing/who I'm going with) please shoot me an email and I can get you hooked up! email: rachbeers09@gmail.com

I will be sharing my journey right here during my time there...so be sure to check it for updates!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

decide.

to dream.
to go.
to stay.
to take it.
to believe.
to write.
to overcome.
to care.
to love.
to help.
to give.
to stop.
to speak.
to let go.
to hold on.
to ask.
to be free.


It may sound too simple, but we all are one decision away from the things we thought were impossible or from performing one small act that seems unimportant, but could change the course of someones day.

Or maybe life.


decide.

then do it.

for the good.




Friday, April 30, 2010

excited & expectant.

The past few months have been spent praying and asking God for a community of like-minded believers who desire to see God glorified and the gospel demonstrated in Montgomery. I knew that if God wanted me here that was something to start praying about. Long story short, I reconnected with some "old" friends and found out about City Church. It literally happened the week I made some big decisions that would require me staying here and is a beautiful example of how sometimes those "signs" we ask God for follow faith.

I am excited about this group of people I am beginning to call friends and the heart and passion behind this Church!
Greater things have yet to come and greater things are yet to be done in this city!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

another reason i love david crowder.


"Here in the city, the visible expression of what is both possible and what is also wrong is unavoidable. Desperation and hope, beauty and terror, all in one place. The word "grandeur" comes to mind."

david crowder (in the photo essay/book "awakening")



i made the paper!

Well, folks...I made the paper. It's just one quote. Here's the proof

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

beautiful things.



I'm known to "overplay" songs...I've been known to press the repeat button on several occasions and make those in my company endure a song "One more time!" i.e. U2, Brooke Fraser and most recently this song. In this case, I've also posted it on my gmail, twitter and various facebook friend's walls...i love it that much. Who knows, you may hate it. Detest it actually and if you do...excusez-moi. The lyrics, to me at least, are just what I need to believe and be reminded of in this place. It asks the questions we all ask in different seasons and circumstance (or are afraid to ask). We wonder if things could really be different? Can things change? Do we really believe He can do ____? Ultimately, if I can ask the same questions that the Israelites asked in the 4o years of zigzagging through the desert: "Can the Lord spread a table in the wilderness?" In the end, this song turns my heart to the hope and promise we have that yes, He can. He is making all things new! You. Me. Us. Now. Today. Tomorrow. Forever and ever...Amen! Take a listen...then listen again...and again and again...or not.

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll even find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Sunday, April 4, 2010

narnia & easter.

Every year, Easter and Holy Week become more and more beautiful and richer to me as I gain a greater knowledge of Him and what His sacrifice meant and means with each passing year. I love C.S. Lewis and especially love the Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis felt that sometimes theology was best taught through story, and the exchange between Susan and Aslan that happens in the Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe is one of my favorite examples of this in his work and commemorates this day where we celebrate the divine exchange.


"But what does it all mean?" asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer. "It means," said Aslan, "that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know ... that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death... itself would start working backwards.":the lion the witch & the wardrobe: c.s. lewis:


"O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God,who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 corinthians 15:55-57

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

hump day, favorite day.

In honor of Wednesday, otherwise known as Hump Day, which commemorates the middle of the week and the resulting downhill slide to Friday, I've decided I am going to make Hump Day "Favorite Day" on my blog. I'll be posting a couple of things from the past 7 days that have made me laugh, cry, smile or a combination of all of the above. Enjoy!

Here we go....


1. When I was in 1st grade, I wanted to be an astronaut. My dream died the day I found out astronauts had to be smart in math and science. Also, there was something about a height requirement? I'm still waiting to know if that is true, or just what mom said to get my mind off black holes and "space food" and decide to be a storm chaser instead. (Which was also a short-lived aspiration) Anyway, Buzz Aldrin (the man who walked on the moon and uttered those famous words, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind"), is not only a renowned astronaut (and pitiful to watch on Dancing with the Stars), but he is now a rapper. With Snoop. Don't believe me? See it for yourself...



2. There's a new coffee shop in my city. It's called "Gallery Coffee" It's part art gallery part coffee shop. I'm excited about it because every other independent coffee shop in Montgomery has closed. So, let's lift our lattes to hoping this one stays awhile.

3. Andrew Garcia performing "Forever" on American Idol.


4. Psalm 118. It's always been a favorite of mine and I was reminded by a friend that it was this psalm that most people believe Jesus and the disciples sang at the Last Supper before Jesus was arrested. Reading it with that in mind just gives it a whole new meaning. It's beautiful.

5. Days With My Father. This is a photo essay that left me in a puddle of tears. I've been told I'm "overly emotional" and have been known to cry at the end of movies like "27 Dresses" (which is clearly not a sad movie) but if you don't at least feel a bit of emotion welling up inside after reading/looking through this...you may need some emotional help. Just sayin'.

6. Jeremy Cowart's photo essay "Voices of Haiti" (No. 32) ...this photo has been one of my favorites so far. It's hope. It's joy. It's the kingdom.

7. And last, but not least....SPRING IS HERE!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

hope.

There's nothing better than a little inspiration.

Right now, I am reading a book called "The Poor Will Be Glad: Joining the Revolution to Lift the World Out of Poverty". It's an amazing and practical account that invites the Church in on how HOPE International and other organizations are working to help the poorest of the poor pursue their dreams and no longer rely on charity, but live the life they were made to live through employment and microfinance. I am not a "businessy" person, but I have continued to learn about these social enterprises and am starting to believe that they, along with a holistic approach, could be the weapon that slays the dragon of poverty. My eyes have been opened to the unintended consequences of our good-hearted charity and how sometimes, it can hurt rather than help the poor. In the words of the author:
"Relying on charity might provide enough for bare existence, but it will never be enough to help a poor man off his knees. Charity will never allow an individual to be the way God created humankind to be..." pg. 67
The book has challenged and inspired to work for lasting change in people's lives and as the opening says, "is a compelling call to carry God's mercy and compassion to the hurting people of this world."

Here are some startling facts about the developing world...
  • 850 million people go to bed hungry every night.
  • 11 million children die every year before their 5th birthday...
  • That's 30,000 children a day...
  • 1 child every 3 seconds
  • 20% of the world does not have access to clean water
  • 6.6 billion people live on earth...
  • 4 billion of those people live on less than $4 a day all of whom living in developing countries.
  • these numbers bother me.


The touching video is about how HOPE is working with the beautiful people of Haiti (with music by my favorite...Josh Garrels!) Watch and learn!

Monday, March 22, 2010

city.

I've been thinking a lot about cities recently. My city. American cities. Global cities. For the past year, God has been growing in me a heart for "the city", but I haven't really understood what it meant or how it translated into my life and sphere of influence. Sunday morning I was reading Hebrews when this verse seemed to jump off the pages and into my heart and I've been thinking about these words since...

"For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come."

If these words are true, and I believe they are, then my heart and efforts for "the city" cannot be in and of themselves for "the city" alone. Some day, the city will crumble. It's buildings will topple and what we do for our cities alone will not last...unless they are done with hearts set on the purposes of God and making His name and not our own and not the name on the map, great.

In these days I am asking God for a sincere brokeness for this city I currently call home. To be honest, at this point I am not broken for this place, but desire to be. I am keenly aware that I am here for a reason and that reason is ultimately to bring Him glory and radiate his life signaling Light into the darkness - a peculiar darkness that I myself feel and has caused many people to believe it is, perhaps, a lost cause. Just like no person is too far from God, I also believe no city is either. We don't need "saviors" to come into our cities and try to "fix" them. No, we need passionate dreamers and leaders who know what it means to be restored and set free by God's grace and are intimately acquainted with God's heart and desires for his people. We need people to love our cities in tangible ways. People who no longer merely talk about the state of the places we call home, but walk out what they believe in ways that not only change people's lives, but change their hearts. I think I want to be one of those people.

I have struggled and fought it, but I have finally come to a place of peace about being here and believe I am in Montgomery for this season for a purpose beyond my comprehension. And though I know this place, or any place for that matter, will never be completely free of poverty, loneliness, political corruption, violence etc. I believe our cities will rise when we invest into the lives of individual people in them -- it is then that we will all catch a better glimpse of the city that is to come.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

personal statement.

My friend Katy is in OT school at UAB. Friday night, I helped her put the finishing touches on her "personal statement" for her resume and what not. For the past few days, I've started thinking about the whole idea of a "personal statement" and what it would look like for me to write my own. There is something about writing down your vision, heart and hope for life that makes it a little more real and gives you that "UMPH!" to put the pen down and daydreams to rest and JUST DO IT.

These are just a few of the questions I'm asking myself:

What am I passionate about? What makes my heart beat fast?

What is the "thing" inside of me I long to pour out on others? How?

What's the vision that has been cast on my heart?

What am I afraid of? What stand in the way and tempts me to compromise or settle?

How can my carrying out this vision affect the lives of others?

What experiences in my life have helped shape my vision and equipped me?

How can I funnel my experiences, gifts and passions?

What is my motivating force?

What's the big picture?

What do I desire to give myself fully to that I may journey down the "long road of obedience in the same direction?" (that idea/quote came from one of my favorite books "Red Moon Rising" )

Lots of broad questions that have resulted in more questions and many pages of ink...and counting.

What about you? What would be in your personal statement?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

the long way home.

I love to get lost...well, sort of. Really, I just love to skip the left turn into my neighborhood some afternoons and just keep going, and somedays...I get lost. There's always an element of anticipation, and perhaps fear that takes the passenger seat whenever I venture past the city limit signs and find myself in a place I've never been. There have been times I knew I should probably turn around...(this is Montgomery, you know) Other times, I have found places I like to believe are places only I know. The days I get lost in thought and possibility and the spontaneity of the "shuffle" setting on my iPhone and end up in some place where the Maps App becomes necessary are quite simply...the best.

On busier days, I may journey only as far as the loop that runs around my neighborhood - what I called in my younger days, "the long way home". Somedays at just the right moment, I may catch the sun before it sinks to sleep behind the trees at the lake in the back of my neighborhood to remind me that ah yes, this is my favorite part of the day. Sometimes, I may see a flock of birds I can't identify take flight or a little boy and his dad fishing. It may be that simple, but it's always a surprise. I've found you never know what snapshot of grace or what moment of wonder and awe (even in the small things) you may experience when you take the long way home.

That's how this life is. We are indeed taking the long way home. It's always a surprise. Always nudging us to our final destination. Step by step, stride by stride. We never really have clarity, but we can have the one thing that keeps us walking and looking up - trust in the God who is leading. And there is inside my heart the same anticipation that accompanies this "journey" as well. During the last 6 months I have felt something new, something deeper. There is a longing in my soul I first attributed to something I had yet to find, but with the help of Romans 8 and C.S. Lewis, the Holy Spirit helped me identify this longing as none other than what Lewis called the "inconsolable longing". It's the product of what happens when we find God- really find Him and rest in Him...his glory, his goodness, his love his mercy...and can't get enough - all on the long way home.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

not my words (but i wish they were)

"I am no longer anxious about anything as I realize this, for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient...So if God should place me in great perplexity, must He not give me much guidance, in positions of great difficulty much grace, in circumstances of great pressure and trial much strength? No fear that His resources will prove unequal to the emergency! And His resources are mine, for He is mine, and is with me and dwells in me!"
-Hudson Taylor
pioneering missionary to China -1800's
"Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret" by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor

Thursday, February 18, 2010

empty space.

Life right now is not what I thought it would be, yet it is what it is. I am still living in Montgomery, still working as an editorial assistant/writer at my dad's publishing company and still looking/praying/wondering what's next and when whatever "it" is will show itself. All that to say, it is a daily struggle for me to choose to live in the inbetween joyfully and wholeheartedly.

I've been asking God the same things for a long time, and yesterday I was reminded through His word that He hears...and He knows. "And God heard their groaning...God saw His people-and God knew." Exodus 2:24,25

{ Deep breath } He knows. He hears. He's coming. He's already here.

Thankfulness and expectation. Blessing Him and listening to Him. Delighting in Him and simply resting in His presence. This is what He desires of His people...regardless of circumstances.

I believe God will be glorified. Even if it means saying, "Yes, Lord" and choosing to live, not just exist, in what seems like empty space. For it is the empty places He desires to fill.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

my thoughts: life on the edge.


"We were made for the edge of the mountain...."

I heard John Piper make this statement this week and have been thinking about it ever since.

It is true. We were made for the moments that leave us speechless, make us less self-aware and envelop us in a glory so astounding and so riveting we cannot help but praise. It is there, at the edge, we see more of Him and less of ourselves and understand, if even for a moment, that He not only demands, but deserves our praise.

I long for life on the edge. Never forgetting what greatness His hands have wrought in ages past, and expecting nothing less of Him in these days. The edge tells me He is central and He is best, and at the end of the day I am nothing more than a mirror reflecting His greatness and glory as I abide and live in the One whose hands hold the depths of the earth and cup the water in the sea.

The edge demands a response:
6 Come, let us bow down in worship,

let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;

7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

"Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways" Isaiah 2:3