Thursday, April 19, 2012

College and Radical Abandonment

      Hey friends!! I have been so busy with studying and writing papers and being with family and friends that I haven't had much time to post. I'm learning to cherish the moments in this season of my life right now. There is only a little over three months until I'll be making the big move to Boyce College in Louisville, KY! I absolutely love it Boyce! I love how everyone is so focused on God and growing closer to Him. I'm so very thankful that this is where the Lord is leading me for the next season of my life. He has been so good to work all details out thus far. He knows what we need, and He provides it! It will be so bittersweet though, because I will miss my family and friends and church so much! I'm trusting Him though, because He knows what is best for me. Wherever He leads, I'll go.

      I don't have much time, but here is a video that I have watched probably about a million times. ;) It is so good. It always reminds me that I am to be radically abandoned to my Savior, constantly forsaking all that I have and all that is good in the world's eyes to follow Him. He gave everything for me, and so I should be willing to give everything for Him. Oh how I love my sweet Savior!

Monday, April 9, 2012

He Finishes What He Begins (Calvary Love)

A friend and I were e-mailing back and forth a while back and I wanted to share what has been on my heart. Here is a little part of what God has been doing in my heart and mind over the past weeks:

It seems that God is constantly humbling me. I am so thankful for that though, because as the sinner that I am my tendency so often tends to be prideful and comfortable in my little life I'm living. Once again God opens my eyes to see that its not about me, it's not about me at all ~ It's about Him and His glory. I was just thinking yesterday, that if I could really really grasp that ~ that this life is about His glory, and that all it is is a training ground!! A place where I find that I am absolutely nothing without Him. A place where I can experience heartache and failure and where I can see how I fall so so so short. A place where He teaches me to know Him and be His. How differently my life would be if I could completely wrap my mind and heart around that!

...and to add to that, if this life is just a training ground, a place where God is showing me Who He is, and my chief end and eternal purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever...then why don't I live like that? Why am I not constantly on my face before Him in awe? Why don't I talk about Him every. single. chance. I get? Why do I not have more patience, more love, more forgiveness, more joy? "What do I know of this Calvary Love?" Sweet GRACE, friend! How thankful I am for that! We have far to go, precious friends. far to go. Our Savior always finishes what He starts, and that is a promise.

"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 1:6

"...will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." We are constantly being perfected, perfected, perfected...until the day of Christ Jesus, until the day He brings us home. He is working in you today if you are His! He is working in me today! What an encouraging thought! We weren't the same as we were yesterday! I remember my pastor saying this quote a lot:

"I'm not what I ought to be, but praise God I'm not where I used to be!"

He is working friends, but until that day we strive to be made whole. It is my prayer that He will pull me near and He will open my eyes more and more and more to behold His beauty. These quotes from Amy Carmichael have had a huge impact in my life. They are so convicting, but that is exactly what I need. That is exactly what I want, because anything that convicts me only serves to draw me nearer. I hope the Lord will use these in your life like He has mine.

If I belittle those whom I am called to serve, talk of their weak points in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points; if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting “Who made thee to differ? And what hast thou that thou hast not received?” then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I find myself taking lapses for granted, “Oh, that’s what they always do,” “Oh, of course she talks like that, he acts like that,” then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I can enjoy a joke at the expense of another; if I can in any way slight another in conversation, or even in thought, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I can write an unkind letter, speak an unkind word, think an unkind thought without grief and shame, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I do not feel far more for the grieved Savior than for my worried self when troublesome things occur, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I can rebuke without a pang, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If my attitude be one of fear, not faith, about one who has disappointed me; if I say, “Just what I expected” if a fall occurs, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I am afraid to speak the truth, lest I lose affection, or lest the one concerned should say, “You do not understand,” or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness; if I put my own good name before the other’s highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying “Peace, peace,” where there is no peace; if I forget the poignant word “Let love be without dissimulation” and blunt the edge of truth, speaking not right things but smooth things, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I hold on to choices of any kind, just because they are my choice, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I am soft to myself and slide comfortably into self-pity and self-sympathy; If I do not by the grace of God practice fortitude, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I myself dominate myself, if my thoughts revolve round myself, if I am so occupied with myself I rarely have “a heart at leisure from itself,” then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If, the moment I am conscious of the shadow of self crossing my threshold, I do not shut the door, and keep that door shut, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I cannot in honest happiness take the second place (or the twentieth); if I cannot take the first without making a fuss about my unworthiness, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I take offense easily, if I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I feel injured when another lays to my charge things that I know not, forgetting that my sinless Savior trod this path to the end, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I feel bitter toward those who condemn me, as it seems to me, unjustly, forgetting that if they knew me as I know myself they would condemn me much more, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If souls can suffer alongside, and I hardly know it, because the spirit of discernment is not in me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If the praise of others elates me and their blame depresses me; if I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself; if I love to be loved more than to love, to be served more than to serve, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I crave hungrily to be used to show the way of liberty to a soul in bondage, instead of caring only that it be delivered; if I nurse my disappointment when I fail, instead of asking that to another the word of release may be given, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I do not forget about such a trifle as personal success, so that it never crosses my mind, or if it does, is never given room there; if the cup of flattery tastes sweet to me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If in the fellowship of service I seek to attach a friend to myself, so that others are caused to feel unwanted; if my friendships do not draw others deeper in, but are ungenerous (to myself, for myself), then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I refuse to allow one who is dear to me to suffer for the sake of Christ, if I do not see such suffering as the greatest honor that can be offered to any follower of the Crucified, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I slip into the place that can be filled by Christ alone, making myself the first necessity to a soul instead of leading it to fasten upon Him, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If my interest in the work of others is cool; if I think in terms of my own special work; if the burdens of others are not my burdens too, and their joys mine, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I wonder why something trying is allowed, and press for prayer that it may be removed; if I cannot be trusted with any disappointment, and cannot go on in peace under any mystery, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If the ultimate, the hardest, cannot be asked of me; if my fellows hesitate to ask it and turn to someone else, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the Cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

That which I know not, teach Thou me, O Lord, my God.

~From the book ‘If’ by Amy Carmichael

Teach me Lord, because I fall so short. What do I know of Calvary love? I know You, sweet Savior, and I cling to your promise that You will finish what You began. Oh how I need You!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

New Again

Happy Easter friends! I am so thankful that our Savior makes all things new again. Even the cross. He is risen! Hallelujah!!!

Love in Him,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Remembering the Price...

     When I think of those three days, my heart is filled with sobriety, gratitude, and joy all at the same time. As I remember Jesus and what He did, tears swell and a smile forms. Know why? Because what happened on that cross looks like something terrible from the outside. something absolutely horrible. And it was. Jesus cried from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" The Son of God was being beaten by mere men. But those of us who are His today are able to see the other side of the story, and it calls for rejoicing and worship! What happened on the cross goes much much deeper than what can be seen with the human eye.
     When Jesus cried out, "My God my God, why have You forsaken me," the Father poured out all sin and all His wrath on His perfect Son. In that moment, Jesus bore all our sin and death. What kind of love is this? That He would lay down His life for us? It is a love that conquers all other. I am reminded of the movie, The Chronicles of Narnia, when the people killed Aslan. They didn't realize what they were doing. They didn't realize that in three days, He would break the chains and rise again.
     It was the same for our Savior. The people thought it was over. They thought they had finished Jesus. But what they didn't know is that actually...He was finishing something stronger than death. He cried out "It is finished!" from the cross, which in other words is, "Paid. in. full." He paid for us with His life and He finished our salvation.

"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation."
~Psalm 13:5

     But it didn't stop there! Three days later, the women went to the tomb and found the stone rolled away! They assumed the worst and thought the body had been stolen until they saw the angels and heard them proclaim, "He is risen!!! He is not here!!!"

Mary Magdalene continued to sob until she saw Jesus with her own eyes. She didn't recognize Him at first. I can just picture Him grinning as he exclaims "Mary!" She immediately recognizes His voice and clings to Him.

     Today He lives!!! He sits at the right hand of the Father, and His spirit lives inside His children's hearts! Our God is NOT dead, He is SURELY alive, He's living on the inside and roaring like a lion!

He faced death for us, He stood in the gap for us! Oh praise Him!! Let us rejoice this Easter as we remember what He did!

  Let us sit at his feet and thank Him. He is worthy of it all! I love Him so much! I challenge you to read Isaiah 53 this Easter. I read it this morning. It is such a reminder of what our Savior went through. This weekend, let's remember the price He paid for our Salvation. Let it bring tears. Let it bring rejoicing. Let it bring us to His feet.

Love in Him,

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


When I was younger, I had tons of dreams. I dreamed of being a famous singer, an actress, an orthodontist, and the list goes on and on. But now that I'm older, as I've grown closer to my Savior, I am realizing that my biggest dream is not any of those things. It is to be a woman after His heart. And the dream that falls right after that is really precious to me as well ~ being a mommy one day! I dream of little feet and little faces that look a little like mine. Little hands and little smiles, little noses and little joys! I am discovering through the Bible and through older Godly people that one of a woman's greatest roles in life is to be a mother. To raise children up to be men and women after His heart. To teach them His words, His songs, His life! How precious. How absolutely sweet to dream about the days to come should God bless me in that way. Here is the song that inspired this rather random and daydreamy post today:  ;)

Waiting On Him,

Monday, April 2, 2012

Happy Birthday, Baby!!

1 year. 1 year full of baby smiles, baby kisses, baby blessings! These two little lives have blessed my life with joy! They are my first cousins, but they feel way closer than that! ;) God sure did give our family two precious gifts when He brought them into our lives. They were born only a day apart: Callie was born on March 31, 2011 and Will was born on April 1, 2011. These two have my heart! I am praying that they will grow up to be a mighty man and a virtuous woman who fear the Lord and who follow Him with all they have! Men and women who are after His heart.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." ~James 1:17

Dear Will and Callie,

How precious you both are to Lyssa! Thank you for making me smile and laugh when I need to most. Thank you for touching my heart. Thank you for the times when you unexpectedly give me kisses, just because. Thank you for falling asleep in my arms ~ that melts my heart. Thank you for letting me take a bazillion pictures of you. Thank you for doing things with me that probably seem silly to you, like letting me paint your feet and make footprint pictures on paper. Thank you for reaching for me and wanting me to hold you. Thank you for quieting down when I sing "Jesus Loves Me" to you. Thank you for bobbing your head when a song comes on you like, that makes me smile. Thank you for making silly faces at me. :) Thank you for letting me teach you things like how to blow bubbles. You make days fun! You both are precious and beautiful and I thank God for giving you both to us! I love you both so much!