Friday, May 15, 2015

New Life

As I hop around my house prepping for my friend's baby shower tomorrow, my thoughts fall on last weekend. Sunday was Mother's Day, and we had a busy but awesome time. That day was even more special to me, though, than normal. In the midst of honoring moms and acknowledging just how great my own is - I unexpectedly ended up being baptized.

The two may seem unrelated, but I find them to be so beautifully intertwined and pretty neat that it happened on such a holiday. Some of you who know me a bit better may also be wondering - Weren't you baptized as a baby? - or - Wait, what about your views on infant vs believer's baptism?. 

Well, we won't go into my thoughts too deeply on that subject here (though I will say I'm for both), but I wanted to share what took place that morning at church. We had scheduled to have baptisms that day and most who were being baptized had planned on it ahead of time. I however, had not.

See, I WAS baptized as a baby and didn't feel the need to do it again. Even so, many people over the years pushed against that saying that I'm commanded to as a believer. But I just wasn't going to do it out of pressure or coercion. So, I sat there as they played music and prepped for people to come up and I prayed. I told God that I was grateful to witness this but also that I was a little disappointed my friend (who I was hoping would be baptized that day) wasn't there to profess her trust in Jesus. He responded in assuring me that she would at the right time, but then came the kicker - "What about YOU?" He said.


As I wondered if I heard this correctly, my heart sped up and my spirit quickened within me. I started to shake a little and my palms got sweaty. I asked God if he wanted me to and told him I needed his assurance. Just like I didn't want to do it out of coercion from others before, I didn't want to be forced to do it out of my own struggle with image or get caught up in the feelings of the moment.

He said YES. I want YOU to.

So I slipped off my shoes, slid by surprised looks in the seats and got in line. When it was my turn, I approached the water and an even more surprised Sean (Pastor). I sat in the water, we prayed, and down I went.
The water was warm, comforting, and for that moment all was silent. I was lifted out of the water and as I stepped out onto the floor and walked forward I felt completely clothed and wrapped in the warmth of that water as it stilled and waited to drip. It was a beautiful thing. The body rejoiced. And I was so glad I obeyed.

So, how in the world does this relate to mothers day and the celebration of a new baby tomorrow? NEW LIFE! REBIRTH! My creator gave me life, I lost it, and he bought me back. I was buried with him in his death and raised to new and everlasting life with him in his resurrection! I have been washed by water, but greater than that, I have been washed by his blood and given the very Spirit of God. And now I sit here to share this with you as the rain pours down outside washing the air and quenching the thirst of the earth.
How magnificently he speaks to us.
How great his love is for me, for You.


"..for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God."
1 Peter 1:23

Monday, March 02, 2015

Our garden!

This morning I am sitting  by the window, looking out at the rain falling down and the green life rising up from the ground. The rain is so refreshing, so life-giving, and that is evident by what our garden is producing. I am so delighted to see the result of the work of our hands and the newness that comes with it. Here is a glimpse of what I see!

He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4:26-29


Monday, February 02, 2015

: fotografia

This blog post is incredibly overdue. 

The contents of it are not, however! I received a beautiful camera from my ever-loving husband for Christmas - my first dslr, mind you - and am delighted to restart my journey in photography. I LOVED it back in my high school days, taking both film and digital. (Oh, how I miss film.) Now, I am excited to learn with my new Canon and invite you to join me as I share my work! Here are a few samples of my beginnings - and I only hope to progress as I go!

This first photo, "The Chase", is one of my favorites. Pictured here is Sophia (5) mid-run with a pigeon and its full wingspan fleeing the scene. I love the motion in this photo!

                                     Olivia (20 mos)  

             Arizona sunset. View from Lookout Mountain. 
                    January 2015

                   My most favorite feline friend: Luc

I will hold back any thoughts I have on these first few and ask you to share your own first, so please feel free to comment. Thanks for reading!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Giving my life to Jesus?

What does it mean, or what does it look like to give my life to Jesus?

I know that I have been given a spiritual gift and, though I am still figuring out what that is, I know deep down that there is so much more to it than recognizing and using that gift.
And I will certainly do the following: I will bow down to Him as King and I will claim His name and and I will proclaim His victory. And I will hold tight to the knowledge that nothing in all of creation can separate me from Him. And I will worship Him in song and dance and, though I struggle, I will share His good news and carry out wonders through the power He has bestowed upon me through the Holy Spirit who now lives within me. And I will marvel at His beauty daily and I will commune with Him in prayer, aloud in company and silently when I am alone. And I will love others and acknowledge everything I have as His, not clinging tightly to it but sharing my home, food, money, my care and my time with those who need it. I will give up what He tells me to and make Him the top rung on my ladder. Though distracted, I will strive to put Him first before everything and everyone. And I will seek understanding in His word; through counsel, teaching, fellowship, study and the power of the Spirit who reveals truth through His word.
But - what does it look like to give my life to Him? I ask Him all the time for good things and He gives to me abundantly, and He has given His very own life for mine. So, now how do I live FOR Him and not just BECAUSE of Him? I will tell Him that it is His. I will offer it up as a living sacrifice and trust it in His hands and trust His lead, for He knows how to best put it to use. I will confess to Him my doubts and fears and failures and admit that I really don't know how to do it on my own, that I am nothing without Him, that I NEED Him. And I will wait expectantly to watch Him in His marvelous action (Psalm 5:3). And I will ask Him what to do and where to go and how to handle situations, and when to speak and when to be silent and for Him to take my life and to use it - to make me His hands and feet. And I will move and act when He says even when it doesn't make complete sense. I will offer myself to Him and in doing all these things I will learn to hear His voice and discern it from all others. - And in doing so, I will realize that what follows is a choice of obedience to the extent of my individual understanding and ability and that His grace will cover the rest. And I will know then, what giving my life to Jesus looks like.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The things we've lost.

The things we've lost wasn't up to me. It may sound like a grammatical error, but those things are a sum of one whole that was lost.

Somehow in this world, we can have a multitude of things and still feel at a loss. And that's why I've often posed the question, what are you working towards? Do you work for the weekend? or the next vacation or holiday? Well, what happens to all of the in-between? The first steps and glances and secret words whispered. The letters and sweet moments, the feeling of something new, something learned. A fear faced. Hand holding. How do we miss the beauty in the small things? We can so easily miss out on the now, the things we've always wanted while we're focused on what's to come or what we miss and feel we're missing out on. It can be so hard when you have to make a decision. When there's so much your heart desires but you have to choose for now and hope for the rest later.  When it's what we miss, though, sometimes the heartache can outweigh the joy. It seems there's often a give and take. There are things, or others, we give up, or sometimes have to lose, in order to get something else; somewhere else. And it can be good.

But what about when you are what someone gave up? Then, you are reminded of who's hands you are in, the Mighty One's, and perhaps you are right where you should be. Perhaps what you feel you might be missing isn't what He wanted for you anyway. And if you were there, maybe then you'd really be missing out. On what is in store, on why He's allowed you be broken, and the brokenness itself. There is beauty even in that. And what you once had, maybe someone threw it in the garbage. But that does not destroy the good of what once was. The sweetness of the memory. You can hang on to it and put it away behind a door in your heart to keep for the rest of your days.
And that's ok.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Never Alone

I am literally never alone.

The thought of this has been with me this week and it's kind of overwhelming. And by that, I mean that it stops me in my tracks, it amazes me, and it comforts me. I no longer live, but the Holy Spirit lives within me. So, my body here is a temple, a housing for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit. That's God's spirit! So Almighty God, who is everlasting, now that He lives within me, I can be one hundred percent assured that He will never leave me! It puts a whole new perspective on the fact that He will never forsake me. I mean, think about it, those of you who know the Lord,  we know what great sacrifice Christ paid for our sins. But time and time again we continue to mess up, to fall short, to live imperfectly and find our need for him, and sometimes it can lead us to a place where we feel our sin is too great, that we've screwed up an unforgivable amount. But if the God of the universe, that same God who was crucified on a tree to conquer death for us, once for all, if He has chosen our bodies as a dwelling place for his very own spirit, how much greater should our assurance be that what he says is true, "I will never leave you nor forsake you," (Hebrews 13:5).
So when I am down, it is He who rises up in me. When I am dragging along, it is He who helps me stand. When I feel the weight of this world, it is He who lifts me up. When I am weak, it is He who is strong. When I am lonely, it is He who is always there. Such great comfort and encouragement has been brought to me by my meditating on this thought.
It has also caused me to better care for myself. I am not perfect nor consistent in this, but it has helped me improve. I think about it like this: If Jesus was coming to stay with me, how would I prepare my home? Would I not want it as clean as possible, warm and welcoming to best serve my holy guest? Well, the Lord has come to stay, not for a visit, but for eternity. So as I keep this helpful truth in mind and practice, I hope you will just as well - in what we consume, our cleanliness, our dress and adornments, and our purity.
Take care of his housing.
And take assurance in his constant presence.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Good News

After some realization that there are some who actually read my blog without me knowing, and some conviction on the matter, I decided it was time that I make a statement of faith. Yes, it’s time that I post something, anything for that matter, but I realized that there may be someone who comes upon this blog, perhaps you, that needs to hear the message of the gospel. The what? you say. The good news, my friend. Let’s try not to let this get preachy, but simply state some words of truth for a moment. Let’s break this down into a way that we can start to understand it. First, I’m just going to lay down what scripture has been presented to me for this very purpose.
Here we go:

“There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3:10
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 3:23
“The wages of sin is death.” 6:23a
“God proves His love for us in that while we still were sinners, Christ died for us.” 5:8
“but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 6:23b
“For, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 10:13
“because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.” 10:9-10

Now, this is just skimming the surface, and while I’d love to share loads more, I think this should be a light read to start so that it is not so overwhelming. So there it is. If it’s not for you, do me the favor of at least thinking about it. I will continue more later, but if you care to discuss any piece of it more deeply or have questions, go ahead and comment.
Thanks for reading!