Monday, January 30, 2012

Let My Lifesong Sing to You!

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     This past Sunday in Sunday school, we got to talking about how everything worth doing takes time. Almost all of us in the class play an instrument, so Brother Mike asked us if we learned how to play them overnight. All of us replied with a firm "No!" This got me thinking about the time when I was learning to play the guitar. When I first began, I had to learn the chord shapes, and my fingers had to move in a way they were not used to moving. After learning some chord shapes, I started practicing them a LOT. The steel strings would cut into my tender fingers. The pain would sometimes be almost unbearable! I did not know I was signing up for all this pain when I wanted to learn how to play the guitar! Day after day, I would continue to do the very thing that caused my untrained fingers so much pain. Why did I continue? Because I knew what the outcome would be. I knew it would be beautiful. So I endured.

    I thought on that for a while and suddenly had an "Aha!" moment. Jesus began to press on my heart that this is exactly what He has been doing in my life.

"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." ~Romans 5:3-5

     See, just because I am a Christian and my Father is the Almighty King of Kings does not mean that my life will be all rainbows and butterflies. There are going to be hard times so that endurance, character, and hope will be produced in my life. Elizabeth Elliot was asked this question one time: "But doesn't God want me to be happy??" She replied with, "No, He wants you to be most holy."

     It isn't about what I want. It isn't about me at all. It is about making much of Him. This is where my greatest joy is found, in making much of my Savior. "In Your presence is the fullness of JOY." ~Psalm 16:11

     I slowly endured the pain of learning to play the guitar and as time passed, the sounds that came out of my guitar were not just broken notes anymore. The sounds that came out made a beautiful, joyful song! It was a song that couldn't have been there without enduring the pain.

     Lord, I want my life song to be beautiful to you. Mold me, make me, and stretch me until my life is a sweet, sweet sound to Your ear.

"I love You, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
O my soul, rejoice!
Take joy, My King, in what You hear,
Let it be, Let it be a sweet, sweet sound
In Your ear."

"Let my lifesong sing to You
Let my lifesong sing to You
I want to sign Your name to the end of this day
Knowing that my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to You" ~ Lifesong by Casting Crowns

So why do we continue? Because we know that God has planned the outcome. We know that it will be most beautiful to Him. So we endure, joyfully! :)

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Find You On My Knees

Image credit: Google

"Troubles chasing me again
Breaking down my best defense
I´m looking
God I´m looking for You

Weary just won´t let me rest
And fear is filling up my head
I'm longing
God I´m longing for You
But I will

Find You in the place I´m in
Find You when I´m at my end
Find You when there's
Nothing left of me to offer You
Except for brokenness

You lift me up
You never leave me thirsty
When I am weak
When I am lost and searching
I find You on my knees

So what if sorrow shakes my faith
What if heartache still remains
I'll trust You
My God I´ll trust You
Because You are FAITHFUL"

I will find You on my knees. This song has been playing in my heart over and over since Kari Jobe's new CD came out. (It is great by the way, you should check it out! :)

I've learned through difficult trials that these words are SO true. It's when I come to the end of myself that I am closest to Him. It's at that point when I have nothing else to offer except my brokenness that I can almost feel His arms around me. It's when I discover just how weak and frail I am that I can see best how strong and mighty and glorious He is. It's in the darkness that I can best see the light. The valley is the place of vision. 

He is GOOD, even when things don't seem so good. He is the One who is working, even in the darkest places, because "even the darkness is not dark" to Him(Psalm 139:12).

I have experienced those things in the past season of my life, and I am so thankful! He has been working in my stubborn heart, bringing me closer to Him, turning my eyes towards Him, tuning my heart to sing His grace.

I've heard it said before that everyone is either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or going into a storm. I believe that. But I also know that Jesus walks with me through the storm. Most of the time He is carrying me. I'm not on this journey alone. I can't make it to my destination in my own strength! He is a good Father, who teaches His children what they need to learn and "will use no painful remedy that can be avoided." This earth is nothing but a training ground for those who belong to Him.

"[We live in] a fallen world, which must not be a real heaven lest we should love the land we journey though so well as to want to pitch our tents in it forever and cease to look and long for the home whither we are bound." ~ Elisabeth Prentiss

"Count it all joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." ~James 1:2-4

So as Elisabeth Prentiss put it in her journal years ago, we are on a journey of "stepping heavenward," and this journey is uphill. But it a journey filled with the joy of knowing Him! He is all I need. He brings beauty from the worst situations. The same God who walks me through the valley is the same God who stands with me on the mountain! The same God who paints the sunsets and rainbows! Thank You Lord! You are a good Father and I trust You.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Passion 2012 (Glimpses of Eternity)

Hey y'all! A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to go to Passion 2012 in Atlanta. Louie Giglio headed it up. He had some great men of God preaching as well. I am so thankful God worked it out for me to go! I almost thought I wasn't going to get to after several plans fell through, but He is faithful and provided a way. :)

There were soooo many great lessons learned that week! I think the thing that will stick with me most though is the 27 million people who are in slavery around the world. Slavery is prevailing now more than ever ~ even more than during the African slave trade. One of the biggest and most disgusting forms of slavery is sex trafficking. Women, little girls, little boys, and even men are being used and sold against their will. And you know what almost took my breath away? Atlanta, Georgia is the main sex trafficking site in the world. IN THE WORLD! Wow. That shocked me. So what do we do? God calls His children to be kind and to do justice:

"He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?"

~Micah 6:8

So we have to be their voice, because if we don't....then who will? So 45,000 college students came to Atlanta prepared to do something big about it. By the end of our 4 days together, we gave 3 million dollars towards the cause of slavery! YES! Praise the Lord! We had to stand in line to give, and after we gave, we were directed out to the International Plaza. There were stations set up filled with things that represent people in slavery. The station included little girls dresses, shoes, balls, Christmas decorations (one of the things made by people in slavery) etc. We got to decide which item we would like to write a prayer on for them. I chose a little girl's dress. It breaks my heart that girls as young as five years old have to go through something like sex trafficking. Here is my dress:

The things that we wrote our prayers on were used to make a huge piece of art ~ Something that would stand so high and shine so bright that it would make a statement to Atlanta. We are being His hands. 

Then, on the last night, we had a candlelight vigil for those enslaved. We walked silently from our community groups to the international plaza, where the giant hand stood representing freedom. At 12 AM, candles began to be lit. Slowly, the whole international plaza was illuminated, and the hand was lit! Screams of freedom and songs began being sung. "We'll be a city on a hill, burning brightly. We'll be a light to the world, shining Your glory."

 Another amazing experience at Passion was the music. Every time we came together, we sang songs of surrender, like "We raise our white flags, we surrender all to You ALL for You! We raise our white flags, the war is over LOVE has come, Your love has won!" There were times when we all would be singing out acapella, 45 thousand voices strong, heads back, eyes heavenward, hands lifted. Completely surrendered. The only thing I can compare it to is Heaven. That is what I think Heaven will be like. Lots and lots of people, God's people, singing to Him, worshiping Him with all they have! The KING will be in our midst in Heaven though, and I can only imagine what I will do.

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel? Will I dance for You Jesus? Or in awe of You be still? Will I stand in Your presence? Or to my knees will I fall? Will I sing hallelujah? Will I be able to speak at all? I. Can. Only. Imagine....

Thank You Lord for precious times with You at Passion. Thank You for reminding me to surrender all. You are worth my all, and way more than I could ever give. And yet You love me still. You are my greatest JOY! I love You!

The sweet group I went with. :) I am second from the right.

I hope you have a great week filled with getting knowing Him more.

Love Always,
Psalm 37:4
John 3:30

Friday, January 20, 2012

Offering Our Gifts to Him

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Hey everyone! Happy Friday! I have a sweet story I wanted to share today. I recently began working with the children at my church. They are such a blessing! They make me laugh, and I think I learn more from them than they do from me. One sweet little girl came up to me and handed me a brown paper bag that was folded over a couple times and stapled shut. I mean, it was REALLY stapled shut! Lots of staples! Also, she cut out Disney princesses and taped them to the front of the bag. So cute! She handed it to me real fast and walked away.

Me: "Wait up Abby! What is this?"

Abby: "It's a pwesent fow you!" (She has the cutest little voice)

I opened it carefully and inside sat a couple little things. One looked like something she had made out of those melty beads, and the other was a sweet little angel pin. I gave her a big hug and thanked her a million times and made a really big deal out of her sweet gift. She just smiled :) Later on I talked to her mom and she told me that Abby had bought those things with her own money, for a quarter a piece. How precious!!

After I went home that night I got to thinking about her gift, and God reminded me that that is exactly how He feels when we offer our gifts up to Him. God doesn't need anything because He is God! They seem like huge gifts to the child, but to Him it is nothing. He may not need them, and they may not be much at all to Him, but Oh! How He loves when His children offer things up for Him! He delights in their efforts to honor and please Him. He makes a big deal about it and always, ALWAYS blesses their obedience! He treasures them because of His great, unending and unimaginable love for His children!

"God notices the most trivial act, accepts the poorest, most threadbare little service, listens to the coldest, feelblest petition, and gathers up with parental fondness all our fragmentary desires and attempts at good works. Oh, if we only begin to conceive how He loves us, what different creatures we should be!"
~Pg. 68, Stepping Heavenward by Elisabeth Prentiss

A little girl's gift blessed my heart and I have thought about it countless times over the past few days. I want to offer up everything for my Savior. Good works didn't save me, but good works are fruit of my salvation. It's because I love Him that I want to sacrifice for Him. I don't like to call it sacrifice though, it's a joy! He gave everything for me, and I want to be willing to give it all up for Him to use however He sees fit. I don't know what that will look like, but I'm ready and willing. Here I am, Lord, send me! Use me up for Your glory!

Thank you Abby for helping me remember how much God treasures and loves me, just like He does all His children. You are precious :-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


A few weeks ago, I began praying about starting this blog. I wasn't sure if this was something God had for me to do or not. It kept coming to my mind again and again. I finally prayed that if this is what He wanted me to do, that He would give me a name for it. A few days later, this word came to mind: Becoming. Becoming! I love that word because as Christians, we are always becoming more and more like our Savior. We are being made and formed into His likeness. He is constantly chiseling away parts of us that do not look like Him. Sometimes the "becoming" hurts, but it always ends with beauty.  
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
~James 1:2-4
I didn’t understand the “count it all joy” in this verse for a long time. It took “various trials and the testing of my faith” for me to understand. The reason I can count it all joy when I face various trials is because it is those trials, those hard times, those valleys, that are making me perfect and complete in Him! That day won’t come until I stand before my Maker in Heaven, but those trials are His precious hands working in my heart.
The next part came a bit later after a little more thought: His Lily. Becoming His Lily. Have you ever read Leslie Ludy’s books? I highly recommend every teen girl to read them. I read them a year ago, and they changed my life! I love how she used the verse from Song of Solomon 2:2. “Like a lily among the thorns, so is my darling among the maidens.” Being His girl means being set apart, like a lily among the thorns. We are in this world, but not of this world. We shine a beautiful light into the darkness, which is Christ Jesus. I yearn to be that pure, perfect, white lily that my sweet Savior intended for me to be before the foundations of the earth were formed. For now I am still becoming, still learning, still enduring. I am okay with that though, because my Jesus is walking beside me and guiding me along this precious journey of becoming His lily. He is always faithful.
Love in Him,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Things

“Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.”
Isaiah 43:19

This seemed like a great place to start a blog. New things. One thing I have learned about my sweet Savior on my journey of being His is that He loves new things. He loves to bring new things from the old, broken things and make them beautiful. It happens when you least expect it. Early in the morning, just before the sun rises, is when it is the darkest outside. Pitch black. And then, as you stare into the dark, eerie sky, wondering when and even if it is coming, it happens! The sun begins to peek over the horizon, and with it brings the gift of beautiful, new light. New things. Beautiful things. Needed things.
I have prayed about starting this blog for a while now, and I believe now is the time. This will be a place where I will share what is going on in my life, what the Lord is doing in my heart and what He is teaching me. I will go ahead and let you know that it may not always be pretty, because I want to be real. I am definitely not a perfect person. I’m just a sinner saved by a perfect God. A perfect Savior Who is my joy, my strength, my light, my song, my salvation!! Everything good in me comes from Him and anything good that comes from this blog is from Him. It is ALL because of Jesus. I am so humbled and thankful. I hope and pray that through this little blog that you will find comfort, encouragement, and most of all a Savior who loves you.