Wednesday, December 30, 2009


oh.nine. you were mighty fine. last year, right about now, you were full of wonder and excitement. right now you are full of memories. for now, here's my thankful list from this wondrous, exciting, memory filled year.

i'm thankful for...
...january 30 2009. you will always be the day that held a surprise, that changed my life.
...snow. although it's cold, it really is beautiful.
...-4* weather to walk through drake park and take pictures in.
...february 7th. the day jenna left to live a dream i got to pray into. rad.
...learning about love on so many levels.
...mexico. you will always tear me apart. in so many ways. trips to portland. fantastic girl time at Forever21.
...photog genius surrounding my life. Alycia White. Benjamin Edwards. Gary&Courtney. AbiQ. Jasmine Star. You all inspire me to pursue my dreams.
...preaching. this is what i was created to do.
...road trips to Seattle and beyond. Oh Pike Place, always save me some french bread love.
...february 21. i moved in with 3(+baby) people i barely knew and now call family. Mike, Allie, Sienna and Brie my heart is forever thankful for each of you in my life. seriously i am blessed beyond words. it connects me to places unseen by my eyes.
...ali roberts. small. powerful. mighty.
...wintercamp09. changed my life.
...april 12. the easter that changed my perspective on eternity on my doorstep.
...healing that is undeniably God.
...april 21. celebrating 2 years in Bend Oregon. out dreams.
...Beth Fischer. Seriously. NO WORDS could describe the thankful spot in my heart for you.
...Mission-Minded quotes. oh Ann Dunagan, you feed my mission driven heart!
...i heart sisters.
...the sound that gmail chat makes when you receive an instant message, it gave me 2,000 heart attacks, a million goose bumps and stopped the waiting. i will always recognize it.
...the hike up Dog Mountain that taught me to preserver.
...truth reviled. although painful, healing will come. J,S & R, i love you with all my heart and wish i could have saved you each from the pain of a world so far away, and lost in sin. for the first time in 2 years we were all together this summer. thanks Jesus, that was great.
...road trips to California. too much fun to list.
...wake boarding. Eric & Lindsey, please come back to teach me more tricks this summer!
...Lopez Island. Mama, i know you think i hate it, but i don't.
...Pastor Cliff Tadema. Thanks for believing in my Papa. My heart has never been more proud.
...13 questions that i never saw the answers to, but know they changed a life.
...lunch on wednesdays. it's always cheap food, but BRILLIANT conversation. Stephenie Madsen i blame you for my deep affection for wednesdays, but wouldn't have it any other way.
...Jesse & Taylor. WOW! need i say more?
...Twitter. seriously who told me this was a good idea?!?!
...July 26th. Jeremiah. way to take a risk.
...perspective. it changes things.
...real grace. thank you, thank you Lord we praise you. You ARE GOOD. Jordan, the words that you penned, but i'm sure were stolen from my heart. CarissaLynn i believe Jesus invented skype for us.
...fuel for my dreams. Katie Davis. Bianca Juarez. Shilo Taylor. real life heroes.
...P.B.&J. Lashae Brewer. You, sister, inspire me.
...september 21 septemeber 28, october 10, october 19, november 21, november 22 -wonderful yet painful. i wouldn't trade you for the world on a string.
...hope that never dies or runs out.
...surprises 7 years later. i can plan my life, but only God knows how it will unfold and pop out to surprise me. i love it that way. 180 lifegroup girls. i love you all.
...Seven. you will always and forever have a very special place in my heart. i love you.
...seasons. they change. they add flavor. parents. they will live in a Mansion in heaven, i'm sure of it.
...Silverline Music. not my favorite band, not my favorite style of music, but i respect these 5 men of God who walk in the anointing God has placed on them, even if they play mean jokes on me :) Nikon D70. Keep clicking away ole'buddy, you serve me well.
...Phil Gammel. You saved my imac. for this i am eternally grateful. I have your Christmas present waiting for you.
...Westside church. You are only a building, but you contain a vision that challenges me to run well.
...losing control. it's a brilliant miracle that we need to embrace.
...podcasting messages from around the world. food to my soul. yummers. Jesus who never turns away from me. Thanks friend. We had a good year. You kept me sane in the silence and lonely times. You held my hand and held me back. You saved me over and over. Abba in Heaven. You love me and i move your heart. this will always amaze me. Thanks for speaking to me in so many ways. thanks for guarding me. Let's keep talking in 2010. counselor, The Holy Spirit, thanks for the Power to walk in the ways of the righteous. without you i am lost. Thanks for the intimacy i long for. Thanks for the whispers and peace. Thanks for taking my secrets to the throne. Thanks for bridging the gap between the seen and unseen. thanks for the signs of who You are.

this is what i can think of at midnight. i am thankful for so much. i'm sure i missed somethings, but seriously. i am so thankful for this last year. it was truly full of wonder and when i said "bring it on" last year on my blog... i had NO IDEA what i was getting into. but so thankful i did.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

my least favorite 4 letter word.

"On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.""

Acts 1:4-5


waiting; stinks. is a bummer. is not fun.

i waited to take my turn on the little red bike. This is the thing about sharing bikes. You must wait.

i waited on the couch for the arrival of 2 little bundles papa & mama were bringing home. this is the thing about babies, they take awhile to get here and you must wait.

i waited for my birthday. this is the thing about birthdays, they only come once a year. You must wait.

i waited for track season to come. Winter had to come before spring, and so you must wait.

i waited for the plane to land in the place i only saw in my dreams. India is far away and so you must wait for the plane to land.

i was told a promise, without a date of delivery on it, but a promise non the less. it's out there and i must wait.

i waited for the secret to become a reality. it did, but i had to wait as to not spoil the surprise.

i waited for the phone call. it never came, but a few days later an email came in it's place.

tic-tic-tic-tic. the sound of the clock was never comforting in the waiting, it just proved that i was. waiting. the crossing off days on the calendar only furthered the proof that i was waiting. a certain "bleep" noise often gave me a heart attack and was proof that, for at least a moment, the waiting was over. sometimes waiting is an obvious state of being. sometimes it's kind of sneaky. sometimes when you are waiting you hold your breath. sometimes when you are waiting you skip through daisies.

i had been waiting for a certain something so long, i waited subconsciously. The waiting. it's there, but you aren't always conscious of the effect it has on your life. Eventually the waiting ended, or so i thought it did. But it really didn't. And then it really did. This is when i realized i had been so caught up in my subconscious waiting i forgot to actually breath.

after nearly a year of waiting i got a answer, not the one i wanted or expected or had spent many nights hoping for, but the complete opposite.

2 weeks and 3 days later i heard something. it shocked me in my seat and sent my mind whirling: "you've been waiting for the wrong thing. The waiting you were doing wasn't wasted or wrong, but your focus in the waiting could have been better directed.Wait. for. the Holy. Spirit. Wait."

i wasn't distracted waiting for the wrong thing. i just could have waited better.

i hate waiting. hate. yes it's strong word, but it's the truth. i am getting good at it, but that doesn't make me love just means i can do it.

a new normal has taken over my life in the last 19 days. i'm still waiting, but instead of waiting to hear the "bleep" that gives me a heart attack, i am waiting to hear a voice. a still. small. voice. a kind voice. a voice that doesn't condemn me, but builds me up. i am waiting on the Holy Spirit.

And when i have waited long enough i know that the waiting will turn into holding the promise. the promise with an un-known delivery date. the promise that won't delay. the promise that only the Holy Spirit knows the tracking number to.

but for now i am learning more and more to embrace this little 4 letter word.

and so.

i wait.

Friday, December 04, 2009

the art of surrender. part2.

Surrender (sur⋅ren⋅der) –verb: to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.

i like to think of myself as an artist of sorts. i can paint pictures in my head much better than i can on a canvas. i can capture moments in time with the push of a button and the right lighting. i can attempt to convey an image with words.

i also like to think of myself as a closet perfectionist. i love it when things are symmetrical and balanced. i like the dumbers 6, 10, 22 and 150 because they divide in half perfectly. i like my socks to match, and not only each other, but what i am wearing. i like my bed to be made everyday. i like my books in order and my nails painted, not chipped. and although i like all those things that way, i am not anal about them being that way. My bed is not currently made, i have more books in boxes than on my shelf in order. just re-painted my nails, and they are already chipping.

surrender. it's a tough word. it's not a word that makes me want to jump up and down and do the happy dance. it's not easy or fun. Every time i think i have surrendered something God, i find out i can surrender it more. Many times i go to the alter. i fall on my face. i give up my life to the will of God, and yet 24 minutes later i am trying to pick it all back up and figure it out. this is why i say surrender is an art.

i have been learning to yield my desires to the perfect will of God. To give up what i think is best in exchange for the un-known is a scary place to be. To be headed one direction and all of a sudden find the road ended with no warning or sign of continuing is terrifying. Relinquishing my control to the Power of someone i can't see is hard to do. this is why i say surrender is an art.

not very many artist wake up at age 2 and can paint 'a starry night' (van gogh). It takes time and practice. it takes messy up a few (hundred) canvases to get it right. it takes throwing the brush down and walking away. it takes the understanding that it may take years before you get it right. not every artist will be known like van gogh. Not every painting will be sold for the value the painter put into it. learning all these things builds the artist up. makes them a stronger artist and person.

surrender makes me stronger. it builds me up. it may take me a few hundred times to get it right. it may take me throwing my hands up and walking away. it may take years to understand the
reasons behind the surrender. it's not easy or fun... yet somehow in surrender there is Joy. real. lasting. Joy. that doesn't come from a free coffee, nice smile or splendid weather. It's unshakable by our circumstances, it lasts beyond this moment, it lifts you up and holds your head high when situations want to get the best of you. this is why i say surrender is an art.

i think this joy comes from the deep set knowledge that The One i am surrendered to holds the keys to life and death. I am surrendering my desires for His un-imaginable plan. I am surrendering my hope for a Hope that never ends. I am surrendering my future to Someone who holds eternity in the palm of his hand. this is why i say surrender is an art.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

the art of surrender.

here i sit in the messy studio called life. On the wall to my left there is nothing but a huge canvas. It's framed beautifully, but the painting is not complete. The edges are all there and the paint is creeping into the middle, only part of the picture is clear, as if the artist doesn't know how to fill in the blank spots. The once white sheets that cover the hard wood floor are matted and covered in all shades of emotions. Red. Blue. Purple. Green. Yellow. The stool i sit on is strong from the foundation i came from and soft from the love i have been growing in. The water that cleans the paint brushes is made mostly from tears i have collected. Half painted canvases lay about the room. They are dreams that have yet to be framed by the years of a life lived long. the tin and rusting garbage can is full of crumpled sketches that never made it from the notebook pages to a canvas. They are the dreams that were born from silly places, mad places and places only meant to grow a creative imagination. Behind me is a window. Sun light pours in from the cold outdoors and warms my back. I can hear the wind rushing through the juniper trees. The door is open a bit and i can hear the music of other lives pouring in as if to encourage me to keep painting. My tshirt is stained from sweat and paint. I think the left sleeves has a mascara stain that will never come out. The jeans i wear are ripped at the knees and hem, those are the perks of being short and spending time on my knees. I like to paint barefoot. My toenails are pink. My hair is a beautiful dark mess of curls and braids. My face is striped in different shades of pale by the tear streaks in my foundation. My blue eyes stare wildly at the mostly white canvas on the easel in front of me. Searching for the brush i need, my hands shake and knock something off the table that rolls across the floor. I think it was a bouncy ball. As i look back at the canvas the confusion of what i am working on stares back at me. There is vision in my head. There is something i am trying to convey in this piece, yet it doesn't seem to be making sense. The colors are blending weird and the moments are passing drying them in places i didn't expect them to stay. It looks differently than what i had originally thought i was painting. It's beautiful, but not what i thought it would be. I hear my Teacher behind me...somewhere beyond the window, encouraging me to keep painting. Telling me that it's OK, and that this happens to all His students. I dip the brush into my favorite color. Purple. Music. As i bring the brush to the canvas i can feel my hand shaking and the tears coming. Listening to the Instructor i let the wet paint brush glide across the stiff canvas just as i am told, not because i understand, but because i trust my Teacher.