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a prayer

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Make me broken
So I can be healed
‘Cause I’m so calloused
And now I can’t feel
I want to run to You
With heart wide open
Make me broken

Make me empty
So I can be filled
Cause I’m still holding
Onto my will
And I’m completed
When you are with me
Make me empty

‘Til You are my one desire
‘Til You are my one true love
‘Til You are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me

Make me lonely
So I can be Yours
‘Til I want no one
More than You, Lord
‘Cause in the darkness
I know You will hold me
Make me lonely

Some most of these words are ones that I never thought I would be asking God for, that my prayers would be filled with “make me broken, lonely and empty”. When I heard this song for the first time yesterday it fit perfectly in its place with where I’m at right now, and I knew that this was God reaching out to me trying to show me how much He wants me to run to Him.

A few weeks ago I read something in Life of the Beloved, by Henri Nouwen about being broken. He said that “the first step to healing is not a step away from the pain, but a step toward it. When brokenness is, in fact, just as intimate a part of our being as our chosenness and blessedness, we have to dare to overcome our fear and become familiar with it.” I have been through some very drastic highs and lows this semester, and not ’til recently did I begin to look at  these things as gifts in a way. Without some of these things I wouldn’t be who I am not and I would probably be doing my own thing and have given up on trying to find God. One of the things that I’ve learned through these past few months about these struggles has been in where I place my value. Most of it is in people at the moment, which is why it hurts so much.

“Make me empty
So I can be filled
Cause I’m still holding
Onto my will
And I’m completed
When you are with me
Make me empty

‘Til You are my one desire
‘Til You are my one true love
‘Til You are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me”

I want to be able to say that God is what fills me up, where I find joy, comfort, reassurance, direction. I can’t say “I’m completed when You are with me”…it’s more like “I know I will be completed with You here with me”. Lately the way that I look at songs has changed, instead of singing that God is enough for me, and that I stand in awe of Him…when that’s not where my heart is majority of the time, in fullness…I’ve been singing these songs more as a prayer, as a request to God to help me make this my life.

Make me lonely
So I can be Yours
‘Til I want no one
More than You, Lord
‘Cause in the darkness
I know You will hold me
Make me lonely”

In the beginning of the year I looked at my time and its value in terms of how many and which people I spent time with. So when the answer to that was low, or no one…I would get very discouraged. But as the months have rolled by, I’ve had more experiences of all kinds around this subject, I’ve began to look at time alone differently. I like always having people around, even if it’s just simply doing HW together, just having someone there makes me feel better. But what if God wants time with just  me? My friend was telling me a story yesterday about getting what we want and what we need, and knowing the difference. She was saying that someone had told her about something that they had been trying really hard, putting all their energy into making it happen, and it she wasn’t seeing results that she wanted. Finally one day she really let go of her control of it and let God work in it the way He intended. Things were great from that point. She went on to say that what if maybe the reason she wasn’t getting the results she wanted when she was doing it on her own was because God wanted her to lean on Him for strength and answers…and if her energy and effort was enough to make it happen than she wouldn’t look to God.

I’ve been looking at how this story is present in my current situation…what might God be trying to show me by not handing all of the answers and resources to me…when I’m honestly trying to make it all happen by my own strength.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:6-9

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it’s not just “x”

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Right now I’m overwhelmed with frustration and sorrow for the ways that some people think and see other people. I’m being faced head on with contradictions and ignorance from people about the world of people with disabilities. Can we all just take a moment and before we label someone as “autistic”, ” dyslexic”, “ADHD”…really look at them as a human being. One who has feelings, dreams, strengths and weaknesses, talents, gifts and challenges just like all the rest of us.

“Autism, is part of my child, it’s not everything he is.”

Such a huge part of why I want to be a SPED teacher is for the parents, family members, friends and general

people who come in contact with people with disabilities. I want to be there to answer questions, show love and acceptance, be a support through the struggle and expand the community of people who recognize that just because there is a difference between you and me doesn’t make you any less valued of a person.

They’re not “an autism” or “autistic child”…they are a child who has autism.

He’s not the “CP kid”…he’s a kid who has cerebral palsy.

She’s not the “deaf girl”…she is a girl with a hearing impairment.

They aren’t the “retards”…they’re the kids with a developmental delay or intellectual disability.

It’s not “wheelchair bound”…it’s I need a wheelchair to help me.

It’s not suffering…it’s a part of who they are…a part of their individual life and the way God made them.

LEGGOOO!!!!

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You know when you are so excited for something, and it is within your grasp, but still distant at the same time. Well, I’m there right now. Spring break has begun!!! and in approximately 4 hours I will be loading into a van with 10 other students and a few friends to begin our trek towards LA for the week. My night so far has consisted of: laundry, cleaning, Fame, packing, Pizza Schmizza, Mamma Mia…and now I’m sitting with Hercules playing in the background and a friend sleeping on my couch…as I’m watching the clock slowly change.

The anticipation of this coming week does not come without memories, stories, lessons and adventures from this time last year. Here’s to another great week, let’s do this!!

I want to live like that

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Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I’m only just a memory
When I’m home where my soul belongs

Was I love
When no one else would show up
Was I Jesus to the least of those
Was my worship more than just a song

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I’ll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Am I proof
That You are who you say You are
That grace can really change a heart
Do I live like Your love is true

People pass
And even if they don’t know my name
Is there evidence that I’ve been changed
When they see me, do they see You

I want to show the world the love You gave for me
I’m longing for the world to know the glory of the King

This song, Phillipians 4:6-7 and God’s love have pulled me out of the spin cycle that I seemed to be stuck in today. Thank you God for your love, strength and eyes watching over me…knowing how much I can handle, even when I don’t think I can.

For a change

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Words flow from my mouth

and into your ears

my heart

is made to be seen

to be held

but in the end

there is no protective shield

that comes over my heart

it is left exposed

hurt

and burdened

I pass over the threshold

of the barrier

between reality

and my facade

the tears stream

questions are asked

but it seems

no answers are given

Why do the tears only come

when no one is near

to wipe them away

to hold me

and tell me I will make it through.

I run to You

with fears

questions

tears

hurts

lay them at your feet

but just for a change

can there be someone

to pick up my broken pieces

and help me finish my puzzle

Today is…

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a burnt orange kind of day…on a scale from hot pink to puke green. A few days ago a friend of mine said something like this to me and I have been using it myself to help me through the hard days and enjoy the good ones.

that little monster
hiding under your bed
in your closer
behind every tree
every time it looks different
and you never know
which it will be
or when it will come

when it shows itself
you try and turn away
run the other direction
keep it as far from you as possible
but that only prolongs
the hurt
the fear
when you face it head on
and call it out
for what it really is
you don’t seem so afraid
when you call out for help
you’re given strength
to face the monster

i’m hurt right now, healing. calling out to God for help, courage, strength and hope.

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.”