Monthly Archives: December 2011

Who says weakness is weak?

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I consider myself to be a fairly open and honest person about where I am in life…with friends, God, family etc. But through the past few weeks I have found myself being confronted many times with asking myself the question of am I truly in my relationships with as open of a heart as I say? A while ago I read a chapter in Grace for the Good Girl that took me by surprise and at first left me in a new place. With a new challenge. This chapter felt like she was speaking directly to me, and was looking straight at my heart…”you know the fine art of how to be vulnerable enough so people believe you are authentic, but not so vulnerable that all your mess hangs out. You know how to be vulnerable with boundaries.” Over the next few days I took a few steps back and looked at the relationships that I considered to be my strongest and deepest and what I found was a distance between where we were and where we could be. I wasn’t intentionally hiding things, keeping secrets…at least that’s what I told myself. I wasn’t always as complete in my answers to questions or in telling friends about how my day or week had been. I would make up excuses like “We don’t have enough time to be able to talk about all of it” or would say that we could come back to something the next time I saw them…but then never bring it up. A few days before I left to come home, I had two conversations that shook me. The first was brought back to a question that had been asked of me earlier in the semester…”Who am I?” I thought I had known the answer to this question prior to being asked, but when I really was honest…I wasn’t sure. As the semester came to an end, I was faced with the same idea again. How am I going to choose to respond to circumstances that come up, daily tasks and the people who are a part of my life everyday? I knew what I wanted my answer to be and what it should be, coming from a girl who had grown up in the church and was making an effort to pursue Christ in her daily life…but I also knew what my real, true, honest answer was. So here I was faced with that same challenge of vulnerability. This lead to my second conversation, with a friend who I claimed to be completely open with and not hiding anything from…

I had previously asked her to read a chapter, Can’t Fall Apart, because it put into words what I had been feeling, and so many of the reasons behind who and how I am…and she stated it in a way that allowed me to understand it all, and coherently enough for someone else to do the same. She brought up the quote that I shared earlier, about knowing just the right amount of vulnerability to have so people will see you as genuine and trying to make more room for God to work…but still holding a faint mask in between eachother. She simply asked me if I did this with her? and not in a looking down on you sort of way, but in a honest, caring friend sort of way…wanting to help me make the jump into being fully vulnerable to God.

I think that I can “hide” things from God. The frustration I feel towards my brother sometimes, about things that he has no control of…and make him who he is. The lack of grace that I show my dad and brothers when they make mistakes or hurt me. The guilt I carry for things I have done. The desire I have in my heart to want the things that I want possibly more than what God does. If I suppress the frustration, shame, anger, envy…if I push them so far down then God won’t be able to see that far. Of course not. Another part of this chapter that has always been a tough thing for me to grasp, and still rattles my brain is that because of God’s grace, we can come to him broken, stained, and lost…and by recognizing that He is the only one who can make up for what we are missing…it leads us to Him.

“That mask portrays to the world around us that we have it all together, that we can handle the mess, that we don’t need people, or worse, we don’t need God.” This quote described something that I have always found myself struggling with, feeling like I had to be strong and keep a “pretty face” for everyone else. Hands down one of the biggest lessons that I have learned in the past year or so is that admitting you can’t do something on your own, and asking for help isn’t weak…God longs for us to recognize that we aren’t made to do this all on our own…and He wants us to bring these struggles to His feet. “God doesn’t ask us to be strong. In fact I believe the Bible teaches us that He asks us to be the exact opposite.”

“Come and be filled with life at the feet of Jesus.
Leave all cares behind at the feet of Jesus.

In strength and weakness, I trust in You.
In joy and suffering, I delight in You.

Nothing can separate me from Your love.
For your love is faithful throughout eternity.”

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my everything at the moment

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I’ve written, deleted, retyped, deleted, swayed on what is too much to say…trying to figure out what all this is anyways. I’m too full of confusion, hurt and insecurity to say anything here right now.. Through these past few hours, these two songs have been on my mind and provided some comfort.

“Lord I’m tired
So tired from walking
And Lord I’m so alone
And Lord the dark
Is creeping in
Creeping up
To swallow me
I think I’ll stop
Rest here a while

And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give
And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give, that’s my everything”

David Crowder Band, All I Can Say

“Feels like I’ve been here forever
Why can’t You just intervene?
Do You see the tears keep falling?
And I’m falling apart at the seams

But You never said the road would be easy
But You said that You would never leave
And You never promised that this life wasn’t hard
But You promised You’d take care of me

So I’ll stop searching for the answers
I’ll stop praying for an escape
And I’ll trust You God with where I am
And believe that You will have Your way
Just have Your way, just have Your way

When my friends and my family have left me
And I feel so ashamed and so cold
Remind me You take the broken things
And turn them into beautiful”

Britt Nicole, Have Your Way

waiting in the terminal

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This has seem to become a tradition that happens whenever I am waiting in one of these terminals.

step in and out
between my two lives
from one to the next
not knowing what’s coming
I pray for good days
honesty, accountability
friendship
sisterhood

I long to bring
to that home
what I have
in this home

This has been a semester like no other, I can’t believe I’ve made it through…and now it’s time to take a break and go back to where I’m from. There’s a knot in the pit of my stomach, I can’t tell why. Anxiety? Excitement? Lack of food? All of the above? None of the above? I have no idea. I’m awaiting the crazy little red head boy who is going to tackle me when I get home…but I am already missing the crazy girls I call my sisters, the kids who I love to joke around with, and everyone else who makes this home for me.

Peace out Forest Grove, are you ready San Mateo??

No longer a teen!

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So yesterday was my birthday, probably one of the best I have had so far! One of my best friends came to visit from OSU and we got some time to hang out and catch up on what’s been happening for the past year. Morning of the day I got to enjoy an amazing brunch with some amazing girls!! It was a bringing together of what felt like all my friends: new girls in PCF, roommate, friend from another school, mentor, pastor…all sisters. Lots of laughs, smiles and funny stories!

I came home to find this on my door and absolutely love it!

After trying to be intentional about doing something productive in terms of the finals I have coming up…I watched Mulan. (My books were sitting right in front of me, I just never actually opened them.) Good conversations with friends, and then it was time for church. The teaching was good, a reminder to me as I am getting ready to go home.  Then came the birthday song!!! Refuge does this amazing and hilarious thing on birthdays where we get to choose a theme for our birthday song, I chose: animal safari! I laugh every time I watch this!


The night ended with a fun trip out to Portland on a dessert hunt at a place called Rumsky’s. awesome brownie fudge sundae!! and April and Elyse and I came up with a list of birthday wishes. We left it to be a part of the eclectic decor of the tables! 🙂

The last surprise of the day was coming home to this at 1 in the morning…I love you girls! 🙂

Sisters forever

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Sometimes the sitting in silence is all I want. The quiet comfort with knowing you’re here. The unsaid understanding that we have for each other is one that is scarce and hard to come by, I am lucky because I have.

I have been experiencing what true friendship means. the ones that don’t need a label, don’t need constant maintance, they just are. Knowing that no matter what I tell them, what mistake I make or what disagreement we might have…there is always a way to get through it because we are connected by a love that is greater than anything. I may not have alot of friends at the moment, but I have the most amazing sisters ever! I love you girls! :]

His daily sufficient grace

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My heart is so proud
my mind is so unfocused
I see the things you do through me as great things I have done
and now you gently break me
then lovingly you take me
and hold me as my father
and mold me as my maker

I ask you how many times will you pick me up

when I keep on letting you down
and each time I will fall short of your glory
how far will forgiveness abound
and you answer my child I love you
and as long as your seeking my face
you’ll walk in the power of my daily sufficient grace.

At times I may grow weak
and feel a bit discouraged
knowing that someone somewhere could do a better job
for who am I to serve you
I know I don’t deserve you
and thats the part that burns in my heart and keeps me hanging on

I ask you how many times will you pick me up

when I keep on letting you down
and each time I will fall short of your glory
how far will forgiveness abound
and you answer my child I love you
and as long as your seeking my face
you’ll walk in the power of my daily sufficient grace.

You are so patient with me Lord

As I walk with you I’m learning
what your grace really means
the price that I could never pay was paid at calvary
so instead of trying to repay you
I’m learning to simply obey you
by giving up my life to you
for all that you’ve given to me

~Grace, Laura Story

I just found this song and it has left me in a state of numbness. I left our Bible study tonight with a lot on my mind, both about finals and all the work I have to get done in the next few days, but more importantly some fundamental questions that were brought into light that get to the core of me. As I thought about them more and what this semester has entailed, many conversations getting at this same point as tonight…I’m overcome with a feeling that I don’t understand. Yet there is peace in it, maybe this is where I’m supposed to be…maybe this is where God wants me to be at. I ask him for clarity in my confusion. Just like the foggy streets in the early mornings here, my line of vision is blocked by the fogginess of what’s going on around me. When I ask God, the light, to help me understand and see clearly…we will see what happens…where these questions lead me.

Mission statement

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“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

I have been struggling alot lately with patience and being the friend who I should be to people. When I am exhausted, stressed or just trying to figure out my own life…I can’t always take on that of another. I get short and don’t love the way I am called to. It’s made me think, if Jesus were here with me…how often would he get frustrated with me? be completely justified in giving up on me or blowing his cap? Too often. So what makes it okay then for me to act in that same way? It’s not. I have been learning alot about grace lately. Not only how much God has shown me, but how much others show me. I constantly fail and could do things better, differently. But they do not jump ship on me or find a way to get out of it.

While we were in Seaside a few weeks ago my pastor presented a question to us about what the “mission statement” of our life would be. I have been being reminded over and over these past few months of loving others, and that if I love Christ, that is shown through loving others. In being patient, forgiving and understanding of the things I can’t change. My mission statement seems simple when I say it, as though there isn’t much to it, but it is a challenge that anyone would be challenged to take on. To show the same love and grace that God has shown me to those who I call family and friends as well as those who have hurt me or are strangers. If I truly treated each person I came into contact with as if they were Jesus, how would my life look different?