Saturday, November 28, 2009

get faithful friends.

In 24 years i have had my fair share of friends. Best friends. Facebook friends. Camp friends. Long-distance friends. School friends. Twitter followers/friends. Choir friends. Work friends. Myspace friends. Car friends. Long time friends. Short term friends. Deep friends. Pen-pal friends. Shallow friends. Sports friends.

the ones that have impacted my life and i hold closest to my heart have one thing in common: they are faithful friends.

faithful friends are hard to find, but once they are there they most likely will not be going anywhere soon. this is part of the brilliance of faithful friends.

need a shoulder to cry on because your mom is too far away? get faithful friends.

want someone to txt until midnight just because your room is too quiet? get faithful friends.

need the truth spoken in love but your dad won't answer his phone? get faithful friends.

want to look at someone and know that they know your thoughts? get faithful friends.

need a place to sleep because your room is lonely? get faithful friends.

want to wake up at 3 am but need a good reason to? get faithful friends.

need to know you can "ugly" cry without worry of silly looks? get faithful friends.

want to look forward and see something constant in your life? get faithful friends.

this is Jesse and Taylor. J and T. Jesse and Tay. Pastor Jesse and T.T.

these are my faithful friends. My thankful list for them is longer than Santa's shopping list.

I remember the first time i met each of them. I remember lots of random encounters with them. Good Friday 2008. I remember watching from a distance as they fell in love. I remember sipping chai with Tay as she told the story of Jesse's proposal. I remember talking wedding plans. I remember Jan. 30 2009 so clearly.... but mostly i remember God's hand in it all. It's all HIS fault. He set us up, and we fell for it...I could never have guessed upon meeting either of them that just a few short years later our lives would be where they are now.

family outings.
coffee dates.
prayer txting.
biggest loser.
ferry rides.
michael buble.
late night adventures.
floating the river.
road trips.
hospital visits.
cup cakes in a mug.

They have been the essence of faithful. The sacrifices they have made to let me be apart of their life blow my mind. The way they love me as if i was family is astounding. The prayers they have prayed on my behalf have blessed my heart beyond words. The belief they have in the call of God on my life is humbling. The way they show selfless love towards each other is an example i have yet to see matched (other than by my parents).

Jesse, thanks for sharing your amazing wife with me. I'm so grateful. I'm sure you didn't think the first year of marriage would look anything like it has... much less that your wife would have a twin/shadow. Thank you for going to Seattle so we could have a girls weekend. Thank you for letting her rub my back and wipe my tears as i fall asleep. Thanks for sharing the incredible gift God gave you in Tay. I'm blessed that you would share her with me so freely and graciously.

Tay. There really are no words. Between the 2 of us in the last few months i am pretty sure there is nothing we have not faced. The giggles. The tears. The pain (physical & emotional). The joys. The silliness. I never thought i would get another sister, but God had a surprise for me hidden away in Bend via McMinnville and Bend again. I am so blessed. I love that we finish each others sentences and thoughts. I love that we laugh at the same things. I love that we order chai exactly the same way. i love that both our dad's are pastors. I love that we both LOVE michael buble and may or may not take pictures of the TV when he is on. I love that we can sit in silence and be completely ok with it. I love that when words are not enough you just are. i love that we can eat a whole bag of puppy chow together. i love that we have had a consistent txting conversation for about 8 months. I love that my days end with a goodnight from you and start with a good morning. I love that we can talk about the deepest things 1 minute and in an instant can be laughing so hard we are crying. I love that we wear the same size. Thank you for everything you have been to me this year. Thanks for being my mom when i needed it. Thanks for being my Best Friend. Thanks for being a sister in Bend. Thanks for being YOU. Thanks for being honest. Thanks for believing in my dreams. Thanks for wanting the BEST for me. Thanks for sharing your kitchen with me. This blog post could not contain the reasons i am blessed by you. Even in the last 7 days, as life has taken another twist or 2, you have been faithful and wonderful to me through it all. i am so blessed. my heart is overwhelmed with thanksgiving and all i wish is that i was better at showing it.

dear Jesus, thank you for J and T. thanks for incredibly fun times. thanks for the faithfulness of friends that only you can give. Jesus, bless them YOUR BEST... Open doors they never dreamed possible. Take them to places they never imagined. Bring encouragement at the perfect moments. Shower down wisdom where it's needed. Drop surprises at the perfect times. Set them up with people who enhance the dreams and calling you have placed on their lives. Set your kingdom before them as a prize to reach for. Enlarge the ministry you have called them to. Deepen the deep places. Open the windows of heaven and let your presence envelope them. Keep all kinds of evil away from their house. Cover them with your protection. Provide for all their needs and some of the wants too. Show your faithfulness evident in their marriage and life. Mostly, will you somehow show the thanks and gratefulness that my heart and hands can't type into a blog post. Amen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

this is where i am.

this is where i am.
full of faith.

this is where i may be for a little while, but knowing it will pass is a heart warming thought.

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Hebrews 10:35-11:1

thanks for your grace as i walk out this season. it feels like a horrible ending, but i know it's just the beginning of somethings beautiful and brilliant.

Monday, November 09, 2009

get RAD parents.

ok, so i did my "Get 7 brothers" and "Get 5 sisters" posts... i was going to title this one, "get parents", but for some reason it didn't seem to work...

need anything? get RAD parents they will at least do what they can to make sure you get it.

want to know how to make good food? get RAD parents, they teach these types of things.

need advise from a million miles away? get RAD parents, they gladly will offer.

want to drink chocolate milk, just for fun? get RAD parents.

need a shoulder to cry on? get RAD parents they own lots of tear stained t-shirts.

want to laugh until you cry? get RAD parents they are funny folks.

My parents are stinking AMAZING! I don't even know how i got so blessed with them! I am probably one of the luckiest girls in the world.Papa and Mam'moo have been married for 27 years and get cuter and cuter all the time!

My Papa loves my Mama and they have been amazing examples of self-less living. I don't even know how they have been able to do all the things they have done. The only explanation of who they are is the POWER of God working in them and through them. They don't waver in the sight of adversity, they don't bend at the change of popular culture. They stand. They look UP for direction. They blow my mind with the strength they have exhibited through the thick and thin of life.

Cancer. Tumors. Surgeries. Death. Sickness. War. Pain.

things that make most people shutter have only brought strength to my parents. Not easy, but who says working out is a piece of cake? They have muscles, because of the fight they have fought.

they fight for their marriage.
they fight for their kids.
they fight for truth.
they fight.

dear Jesus, thank you for my parents. thanks for silly times. thanks for the love that nothing can take away. Jesus, please bless my parents with YOUR BEST... Open doors they never dreamed possible. Make straight the crooked and crazy paths. Bring encouragement into the dark place. Drop confetti on the bright places. Bring wisdom in chaos. Break off anything that hinders what you have for them. Set your kingdom before them as a prize to reach for. Enlarge the ministry you have called them to. Grow the weaker areas. Deepen the deep places. Give them new dreams, more desires, let the Holy Spirit inspire creative thoughts and ideas. Most of all give them everything i failed to as a daughter. Give them grace. love. provision. Amen.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

the pressure of growth.

i feel like i need a t-shirt that says: Warning! Contents under pressure. Much Grace needed.

i'm in a microwave of spiritual growth right now, and it's way intense.

the pressure of loving deeply.
to love at all is to risk. to love beyond what you thought possible is to forgive. to love beyond forgiveness is to lose control. In the last 5 months i have learned to love deeply. Someone i love hurt others and hurt me in the process. i learned to forgive them through a process of choosing love not hate. beyond that i learned to love them so deeply that i realized last week i was willing to do anything to control that love. i loved to the point of tears. i loved to the point of breaking. i loved deeply. when it came to let the risk of that love go i realized how deep it was. i won't stop loving this person, but i won't be able to control how that love is shown, accepted or received. all i can do is continue to love. in the pressure of learning to love deeply my heart was wrung and possibly broken. however, somehow in that broken, hurt place i realized that i can't stop loving the "un-lovable". i can't control how that love is taken. i can't lock my heart up because of hurt. i can love again. i can love more deeply. i can love beyond what i thought was possible or reasonable.

the pressure of trusting deeply.
i could put a "..." from my loving deeply to trusting deeply, because they go hand in hand. to love deeply is to trust deeply. to trust deeply is to believe that beyond your control of the situation is a God who is 100% faithful. He always comes through. ALWAYS. in the last week i have had to figure out how to take that from my head and heart and into my hands, feet & speech. i have to trust with my life. i have to trust that letting go of what i thought i could control is the best thing i can do. i have to trust that in letting go, flight will come, healing will come and LIFE will come. Not because it "just happens" but because the faithfulness of God is undeniable. do i really trust who God says he is?

the pressure of deep faith.
i am tired of the word faith. i'm over it. i'm over the Christian lingo. i'm over people telling me to "stir up my faith". Not because i don't have faith, but because we have lost sight of what faith really is. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Heb. 11:1) Certain of what we DO NOT SEE. i can't see where the money will come from. i can't see how the healing will come. i can't see the buyer for a house. i can't see the promise. Certain of these things? Not because i have some secret knowledge of how they will happen or that they are a guarantee, but because i have FAITH in a God who hasn't failed me yet. we (the church) are really good at talking about faith, however i see us worrying and complaining a lot more than we are actually living the faith we claim to have.

so please excuse me if i've been emotional. please forgive me if i have offended you. please don't think i don't like you if i didn't smile or say hello. i'm in a microwave. i'm being stretched like a balloon already full of air, with someone still blowing. the pressure is intense. i don't have all the answers. i don't even understand this growth, i just can feel it happening.

yesterday i cried "Jenna tears" or "pretty tears". the kind that come from somewhere else and gently slide down your cheeks and onto the table. the kind where, somehow you know your face is not looking all crooked and weird, but soft and beautiful. it was in that moment that the pain of what i had been feeling collided with the light and i saw the growth that had been happening. it was rich and beautiful. i didn't even care who saw the tears. somehow i knew it was going to be ok.

so please excuse me if i've been bold and crazy. please forgive me if i screened my calls. please don't take my silence as pride. i'm in a greenhouse and it's sticky in here.

i'm sorry if this post is vague and cryptic. i can't explain the details behind the deep love. i can't explain the pain behind the deep trust. but if you see me and my eyes are bluer. if my passion seems quiet. if my hair is wild and un-tamed. it has nothing to do with bad things. it's the pressure of growth coming to the surface. my one request is that you please give grace to this growth.