Tuesday, June 29, 2010

{take two} Tuesday.

Today is my AMAZING older brother's birthday!!! I am SO proud to call him my brother and my hero! He is incredible! The following is the very first post i ever wrote in the blogging world! Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This is my brother me and my brother Gregg. In real life it doesn't see like we look this much alike, but i guess we do. He is older than me, but not by much. I love him to pieces. He serves in the US ARMY and makes me one proud sister! If i could tell the world one thing he has taught me....don't judge someone before you know them. That's the worst thing you could do, just love them, pray for them and eventually you won't dislike them so much.

Monday, June 28, 2010

check it out!

i gave my photography blog an makeover!!!
check it out and tell a friend!

Kekasmai Images

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Heaven Song

recently this song is incredibly comforting.
knowing i have so much to look forward to is both humbling and inspiring.
heaven come quickly, but not too soon.

Heaven Song
by Phil Wickham

You wrote a letter and You signed your name
I read every word of it page by page
You said that You'd be coming, coming for me soon
Oh my God I'll be ready for You

I want to run on greener pastures
I want to dance on higher hills
I want to drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chill
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
I can't wait to join the angels and sing my heaven song

I hear Your voice and I catch my breath
'Well done my child, enter in and rest'
Tears of joy roll down my cheek
It's beautiful beyond my wildest dreams

I want to run on greener pastures
I want to dance on higher hills
I want to drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chill
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
I can't wait to join the angels and sing...

I want to run on greener pastures
I want to dance on higher hills
I want to drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chill
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
I can't wait to join the angels and sing
No, I cant wait to join the angels and sing my heaven song

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

i heart my job.

he wants to take his Dad's job someday...



i love this life...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

take two. {re-post}

today i visited somewhere i have previously only been once, but it's quickly made it's way to the "top favorite places" list!!! Last year i wrote a post about my experience hiking Dog Mountain... just across the Columbia River from Hood River Oregon.

this year i could pretty much write the same post and it would mean a lot of the same things it meant then... God has a way of putting a much needed physical perseverance challenge in front of me right when i need it most in non-physical ways in my life.

so here is my "take two" of the week.....


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

i fight.

sometimes a certain phrase or word will come into my mind and make a home for a few days... or sometimes weeks. 2 such certain things have built a home and are now on the verge of taking over my every thought. in times such as these a blog post about them is inevitable.

"i am a fighter."


i do realize that upon first reading the above one may think they are connected and in many ways they are, but in my life right now one is producing the other in very different ways. Immediately upon writing that i realized it actually could go either way, so i better explain how it is true in my life and then see where this train of thought takes me.

i fight. the closest i've come to a fist fight is the time i slammed my bedroom door on my older brother's arm so hard he cried; i know it is one of the only time i have been the cause of tears from my older brother. sorry Gregg. Other than that insane moment of strength and passion in the fifth grade, i don't ever remember getting into a physical altercation... unless of course you count the tickle fights that end with one of the members of the party yelling at the top of their laughing lungs "i'm going to pee!". And yet i fight. i could jump into a super spiritual rant about fighting on my knees in prayer. i could talk about waging a spiritual war. i could even paint some awesome picture that would make you want to watch the battle scene's in Lord of the Rings or Narnia. However the holes in my jeans from prayer, the un-imaginable affect of a spiritual war and the thrill of victory after a battle scene would not exactly get my point across.

i fight.

on Saturday of this last weekend i went on a hike. i consider myself an out-doorsy type, and i also am no new comer to the world of Saturday hikes. For some reason May 30th 2009 was different. I can't exactly put my finger on it, even now... and leaving the house on Saturday i had NO idea the challenge that awaited me across the river. Now mind you i was going on this hike with some dear friends.... and the 8yr. old and 11 yr. old expressed how they had just done this hike the weekend before. i grabbed my camera and bottle of water and was ready to hit the trail. I knew going into it that it was almost 8 miles round trip, and i new that the view from the top was something words could not describe, however what i did not account for was the sweat and pain that would ensue on the climb to the top of Dog Mountain.


i remember gasping for breath and thinking, "if Philip (8 years old) can do this, i can do this!". i stood in the middle of the dusty trail. we hadn't even gone a 1.5 miles yet and i was panting for air. Sweat was pouring down the side of my face and pooling in my collar bone area. Now either i was more out of shape than i thought i was or this was a lot harder than i anticipated. Looking back it was more the second one than the first. Onward and upward we went. Not a lot of talking on the way up.... we all were focusing on breathing and going. pressing past the pain in our knees and the desire for more water than we had. and there it was:
perseverance. perseverance. perseverance. perseverance. perseverance. perseverance. perseverance. perseverance.

the night before i had a conversation with a good friend and we were going back and forth about taking risks and trusting verses waiting and fear. I didn't realize until that conversation that i can talk up
perseverance all i want. i can shout TAKE A RISK! from the rooftops, but when in the situation that requires me to do either i had a HUGE fear of failing or getting hurt.

relationships are hard. they involve taking risks, no matter how much of a risk taker you think you are, just wait until you are pushed beyond what you knew was there. Trust is not as flowery and precious as it sounds. It's stinking HARD. As Christians we put a filter on our mind set and try to make trust an easy thing.... i have discovered in the last month or so, that it's because we can trust Jesus with anything and everything and he will NEVER EVER let us down. And so trust must be easy. wrong. Trusting a person is not a requirement of the Christian faith. It's not something anyone is required to do for another person... it's a choice we make to allow someone to come close to our lives and possibly have a lasting affect on us. I don't want to get into the theology of trust, i just want to say trusting people can be hard to do, especially when you(or i) have been hurt by people. I am also not here to say "throw yourself out to anyone".

now moving on a little bit. Waiting and fear. Waiting is BEAUTIFUL and wonderful and should at all time be practiced!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOWEVER, when it comes to taking a risk that you know God is asking you to take, waiting (and hesitating) can be a very dangerous thing. almost 2 years ago i fell nearly 30 feet off a cliff. On the way down i hit a rocky ledge and landed head first into water. the reason i fell was because i waited and hesitated. Always jump on the count of 3 and nothing more. It's funny because this situation has become a corner stone for illustrations about jumping and going and taking risks but until this weekend i didn't realize that in a couple areas of my life i am afraid to take risk and i am afraid to trust people.

and so i fight.

now based on the last couple paragraphs you may be thinking a lot of things about me and my life. (feel free to leave a comment) Regardless of what you are or are not thinking i consider myself a fighter. when i hear the call of God, when i get a vision for something beyond what i can see with my natural eyes, i will fight until i see it come to pass or until i am the last one standing and i have to give it back to the one who gave it. When i see the call of God on a couple's life and they decide that marriage is too hard or they give into sin and it tears something apart my heart beats faster, and i want to scream "fight for it." When i know the call of God one someone's life to change the nations and i see them not pursuing the call, or someone who has a call of God they don't quite get yet but they are running in circles trying to figure out how to make themselves look good, i want to stand up and scream "fight for it."
Somewhere we have lost the urge to fight for what God has called us to. Somewhere along the way we got stuck at the top of the cliff waiting for the water to rise and the sun to set. Somewhere we stopped trusting the people God lined up in our lives to help us go after our dreams because we were afraid of getting hurt (again).

and so i say; "fight for it."

i fight. i fight to be brave. i fight to trust. i fight to fulfill. i fight to move forward. i fight for a change i cannot see but believe with all my heart Jesus can bring. i fight to jump. i fight to wait. i fight the urge to give up. i fight.

back to the Mountain. With each step that brought us closer to the top, the sun rose above our heads and peaked through the trees, sometimes seemingly hotter than the moment before. With each drink of water that refreshed our insides and kept us going, the sweat poured down. Dirt sticks to sweat. Sometimes i would look up the trail for a horizon and all i would see was more trail, it seemed only to raise in front of me and never level out. I would pick out a tree or stump as my next "goal" or "stopping point". Once i made it there i would look up and pick another one. i stopped a few times to take pictures of flowers and views, but mostly i kept one word in my head:
perseverance. i knew there was more in me that i had not given. i knew there was more strength deep inside.

i heard the words "this is it." i thought my heart would burst. i turned to the right and in a second it was all behind me, all the sweat, pain, thirst, sweat and wanting to quit. the view was breath taking. nearly 4 miles, and it was the most amazing sights i have ever seen. i had never seen wild flowers like they grew in that place. i have never seen a river look so brilliant with the sun shining like it was. the statement perseverance pays off never made sense until that moment, because for me i don't remember the last time i was physically challenged like that with a reward so sweet! There are things i am hoping for, look forward to and expecting and what it has cost me thus far will have been worth it if the view from the top is anything like it was that day.

and so
perseverance makes me stronger.

and i fight.

and i know that when all is said and done it will have been worth it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

un-worthy. truly thankful.

this last week has been interesting. i have been overwhelmed by one thought:

i am not worthy to receive this grace or love, yet i can't go on without it.

through a series of rather unexpected events and crazy conversations i have had an intense week. the deepest part of my soul gave way and i feel my depth of understanding has deepened.

have you ever com face to face with the ugly truth that you are not perfect? as much as i know this fact and have known this fundamental truth that no one is so, i sometimes get caught in the comparison game. i think that because i have not done "this" or "that" i have earned the right to stand taller.

i sin.

it's the plain truth.

we all sin.

however after years in the church and years of knowing my salvation i had somewhere along the way lost sight of the fact that i am (always) in desperate need of grace and forgiveness. i don't know if repentance became routine or if my sin somehow seemed smaller, but somewhere along the way i lost the depth of the cross.

it seems impossible. it's the cross. it's the foundation of my salvation. it's the emblem of my faith. how could i have lost that? as crazy as it sounds the depth of the meaning of the cross got lost somewhere in my pursuit of the One who hung on it.

this week something happened inside me. it felt like an odd combination of a swift kick in the rear and heart surgery.

i have work to do! i have a calling and a purpose that is greater than i know or could imagine! i have work to do! what makes me worthy of the anointing i desire? what makes me able to GO and DO what God asks me to do?

as much as i can't earn anointing or favor by doing good things or praying over X amount of students, i can control the contents of my character. the content of my character must be able to hold the weight of an anointing and the power of Christ in me.

a while back i wrote a this post about grace. the grace of God has been something that i have been searching out, reading about, listening to messages about and talking about in a pretty huge way for about nine months. this week i experienced that grace in a way i can't remember experiencing any other time up until now.

the grace of God is meant to compel us to righteous living not give us a reason to continue in sin. (Romans 6)

that is something i have "known" in my head for a long time. i do my best to pursue righteous living. i strive to seek first the kingdom of God. i also try not to be a repeater of sin. i said it yesterday like this;

sin is a swamp. icky. stinky. gross. at any point i can be in that swamp by the choices i make. at the edge of that swamp is a meadow or righteous life. it's beautiful green grass blowing in the warm summer breeze. it smells like something sweet is about to happen there. if i am in the swamp the grace of God does not come from the meadow, stand at the edge of the swamp and shout at me to come get it. it does not come into the swamp for a moment so that i can taste it and then run back to the meadow as if it was teasing me. it does not stay in the meadow and ignore the swamp. the grace of God comes into the swamp and envelopes me right where i am at. and it stays with me. it does not like the swamp. it does not justify being in the swamp. it does not encourage me to come back to the swamp for a visit in the future. it compels me towards a righteous life. it compels me to come back to the meadow with it, not looking back at the swamp. grace, it encourages me to strain my neck and look at the golden sun setting in the far off horizon of the green meadow.

this picture has been so vivid in my mind this week. i can't pin-point the moment it became as clear as it is now, but what i do know is at the recognition of this picture came a flood of tears. because in that swamp i can do nothing. in that swamp i cannot be good enough for grace to get me. i smell as bad as what i am sitting in and the sweet smelling grace of God comes to me. i can do nothing but welcome and receive it with open arms. the worst i could do is to stay in the swamp and invite grace to join me. the worst i can do is to justify how i got there and why i choose to stay. the worst i can do is deny the compelling life grace has to offer me away from the swamp.

of this i am un-worthy. of this i am truly thankful.

without the cross there is no real grace. without real grace there is no real life.

i have work to do! i have an anointing and calling! i have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of me ready to use me to change my generation! i cannot do these things and live the life i dream of sitting in a swamp. my character will be strengthened in the walk from the swamp to righteousness. my character will grow through the difficult situations i face. the content of my character will grow when i can stand in humility and say "i was in the swamp, but NOW i choose righteousness."

my prayer is that i will never take for granted the work of the cross. my prayer is that i can walk in the anointing. i can embrace the calling. i can operate in the power. my prayer is that through grace righteousness would compel me again and again away from the swamp.

of this i am un-worthy. of this i am truly thankful.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Spin my world around
Flip it upside down

Now my life changes
From this, to that

Build up there
Back to foundations here

Here it comes
All seems to change

Yet One will remain

Even if all were falling
He would be unshaken

In Him I have peace
And in Him I will stand
-Philip Westfall

**I used to know Philip when he was little... he's not so little anymore and i haven't seen him in years, but this so touched my heart and where i am at right now i had to steal it!! i got his official Faceb**k permission to steal it!
Thanks Philip!**

Friday, June 04, 2010

Minnesota Sneak Peek...

here is a little sneak peek at the INCREDIBLY AMAZING time i had in Minnesota with my Rockstar!
i can't believe the 11 days are gone and done! SO many great memories made!

I heart Minnesota.