Sunday, January 30, 2011

im letting go.

recently i have been trying to trust more. trust God, trust my family, trust my friends, trust my boyfriend and even myself.

trust is : reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
as i read over this and other definitions of this word, i sat with this one. the idea of reliance on anything other than myself is scary. to let go and allow another person to take care of something that you feel that you can handle is nerve racking. after spending some time pondering recently and having a few good talks with some really important people in my life i see that the people i am struggling the most to trust are people who have NEVER given me any reason to not trust them.

i laid in my bed last night thinking about letting go. what that looks like. allowing my heart to release control. today has been a day of trust for me. as people said things to me, i took them at their word and didnt think to much into it, as i was in church this morning i sang songs feeling wholeheartedly that Christ has my back in everything i will do or have done. i found myself easily addressing surrender and being willing to let go.

this has been a struggle my whole life of desiring trust and surrender but not really ever giving in to let Christ take full control. it was as if he was sitting in the drivers seat, but i was still steering. not that i am saying that i am perfect and have perfected this problem literally overnight. but i see a difference. i feel a difference.   

i have seen myself let go. i feel myself let go. i feel the rush of comfort and surrender fall over my body as i lay my life down in front of Christ's throne and give it back. i lie face down begging for mercy and i give back my broken, wounded, shattered heart that i kept trying to put band-aids on when really it need his hands to hold and mend. i see and feel my desire to see him as Lord. i feel the longing for the burden of carrying my life on my own to be lifted. i look in Christs face as tears fall down. tears of joy as he sees His child give back what if rightfully His. i feel the love he pours on me and sees how he looks at me as righteous rather than sinful. he looks down at my life that is in shambles. he picks it up piece by piece and puts it back together. he picks up my life and holds it together. 

all i can do is praise.

i'm in a relationship with the creator of the freaking universe and i am just now realizing how it feels to surrender wholeheartedly to him? this is such a sweet, wonderful place for me. God is teaching me so much, he is transforming my mind. my thoughts have become his, my heart has been taken captive with his blood. he is beyond what i deserve and yet he desires me. 

praise you Lord. praise you.

Friday, January 28, 2011

my october...maybe

i have ALWAYS wanted to go to africa. as long as i can remember. i want to go and love on african people, mainly the kids. i see pictures of people with these african people and my heart longs to be there. my heart wants to experience that, my heart wants to love on kids everywhere in the world.

this october there is a mission trip through Bethany to Kenya, Africa. i almost died when i found out. this is my dream. i am still praying about whether or not God wants me to go. i've spent the last hour online researching and looking at pictures and watching youtube videos of the Maasai people in Kenya. i have to admit, when i first started watching and looking at the pictures i got nervous. this is new. i have NEVER experienced this. yes, i have been to Mexico and downtown San Diego and Skidrow which are all terribly sad places. but i've never been somewhere like this. it makes me even more excited that i might be going, that God might be using me THERE.

i mean come do you say no to this:

their sweet little voices make me melt. i can just imagine being there and having a HUGE smile on my face. although i am super stoked at the thought of going, i want to make sure my heart is in the right place. i dont want to go to Kenya because i can check it off my life list . i want to go to Kenya because i feel like God is calling me there. i have been praying that God would light a fire under me about Kenya specifically. that my heart would be for these people that i would be connecting with. that i would see needs and start thinking of ways to help and provide for the needs. 

who can pass up seeing this in person?

praying for kenya.


Thursday, January 27, 2011


each person in the world gives and accepts love in different ways. we learn to feel love from parents, friends, significant others, and most importantly Jesus. while praying today, i found myself frustrated that i wasnt feeling loved. i mean, i knew i was loved but it wasnt really feeling like it recently. i then started thinking about the love languages. there are 5; words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. so i found a quiz and took it.

for each question there are 2 statements and you are to choose the one that best fits how you feel now. each of the statements corresponds with a love language which you tally up and the end. these were the statements i chose:

1.I like to receive notes of affirmation
2. I like to spend one-on-one time with a person who is special to me.
3. I like leisurely visits with friends and loved ones.
4. I feel loved when people touch me.
5. I feel loved when someone I love or admire puts his or her arm around me.
6. I like to go places with friends and loved ones.
7. I feel loved when people affirm me.
8. I like to sit close to people whom I enjoy being around.
9. I like to spend time with friends and loved ones.
10. Words of acceptance are important to me.
11. I like it when kind words are spoken to me.
12. What someone does affects me more than what he or she says.
13. I value praise and try to avoid criticism.
14. I feel close to someone when we are talking or doing something together.
15. I like for people to compliment my achievements.
16. I like to be touched as friends and loved ones walk by.
17. I really enjoy receiving gifts from friends and loved ones
18. I like for people to compliment my appearence.
19. I feel secure when a special person is touching me.
20. I like receiving gifts that special people make for me.
21. I really enjoy the feeling I get when someone gives me their undivided attention.
22. I feel loved when a person celebrates my birthday with meaningful words.
23. I know a person is thinking of me when he or she gives me a gift.
24. I appreciate it when someone remembers special days with a gift.
25. I enjoy extended trips with someone who is special to me.
26. I enjoy receiving a gift for no special reason.
27. I like to be told I am appreciated.
28. Gifts from a friend or loved one are always special to me.
29. I feel loved when I am told how much I am needed.
30. I need to be touched everyday.

when added all up my top love language ( how i feel love ) is words of affirmation, then quality time, then a tie for 3rd with physical touch and receiving gifts. these are things that i thought i knew fully about myself but this quiz told me that time and words are more important than i thought. that is how i feel loved. 

i am lucky enough to be called girlfriend by this handsome man:

kyle <3

he knows how i function. he knows that i need words and time and touch. i mean we aren't perfect and are working on how to more correctly to show love to each other. but he's pretty darn good at it. there hasnt been a day that has gone by that i have doubted his feelings for me. i know he cares for me and loves me. i know when all is said and done he'll love me despite anything. i know that my heart is safe with this man. he helps me to be a better person and love Jesus more. he seeks Christ on behalf of our relationship and on behalf of me. i am so lucky. he is beyond wonderful and sometimes i have to pinch myself to make sure this fairytale life is real. 

this quiz was eye opening for me. it was interesting and helped me realize why i wasnt feeling loved. it's because i was looking in the wrong places. not everyone knows i need words and time. i may have been looking at gifts and touch (which are nice also) but what i really desired was words and time. this is so wonderful to know that God has created us each so uniquely and how each of us are given ways to express and receive love. he created me special., just like this, for a reason. 

father, help me to LOVE.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

11-14 year olds hold my heart.

Junior high ministry...never be shocked, never be surprised, never argue, never ridicule, never blame...always understand.

this is something that a good friend of mine who does ministry alongside me wrote and i have never forgot it. let me just tell you a little bit about my history in junior high ministry.

i was that girl who was crazy and boy-obsessed and had to be the center of attention, who loved all the staff and the staff loved her. i had a great best friend...erin's a little photo:

we were crazy and insane and totally in love with each other and the ministry we were involved in. i was blessed beyond words to have a great man named Mark South be my youth pastor. he was so passionate about the hearts of students and desired to see them grow and love jesus more fully with his whole heart. when erin and i were in 8th grade and moving on up to high school we both promised mark that we could come back and work on staff with him. little did i know that this promise would change my life.

this stage of my life was so great. i was able to watch different staff memebers come and go, i was able to watch Mark step down from this ministry as he heard God call him to Northern CA where he has now started a church called Origin Community Church. i was able to watch God build up a man named Jon that has now taken our ministry to a whole new level as the new junior high pastor.

erin and i did come back and worked together for 5 years. we were co-small group leaders and we able walk through life with two sets of girls. the first are now seniors and are gonna graduate this year:

this was actually our last sunday together in their 8th grade year
our next class are now sophomores and so beautiful and wonderful!
these are just a few of the lovely ladies :)

i cant begin to tell you how working in this ministry has altered my way of life. how is has taught me to love the un-lovable and seek Christ in a more intense way knowing that there are people who are following and watching my every more. they have made me love jesus more and love others more.

ministry isnt always easy either. its hard, you have to have hard conversations and call people out. you have to show love to the ones that everyone else thinks is a punk. you have to be jesus to them. those are hard shoes to fill. although i have had a connection with all of my girls that i've been graced with...there has always been one that has had a little more of my heart...her name is Celina Marie :)

her in junior high

her now.

she is such a beautiful person and i am better for knowing her. she's a too-cool-for-school high schooler now, but she isnt too cool for me :) when she hurts it tugs on my heart strings and when she is full of joy my heart does flips in my chest. she is an amazing woman and i am so glad that i know her.

i had worked in junior high for 4 years and was becoming burnt out. i was tired and seemed to be easily frustrated with the students. i decided i was done. i  had my time in junior high and now it was time to move on.

i went 1 year. at first it was nice. not having that responsibility over my head. but then my heart starting doing flip flops in my chest. i would hear about camps and mission trips and students lives changing and God just started to push my heart a little bit. over the year, it was apparent that he wanted me back in ministry. i begged jon to let me come back, and of course he said yes. the staff had changed, the students i knew were gone, and everything was different. at first i didnt like it, but then i saw how God was working through the changes that were made. i saw how Jon was seeking Christ in every decision on behalf of ministry and how we were becoming better.

then i found out who my new small groups girls were. 6th graders. i have never had 6th graders before. this is a new adventure. but I LOVE IT. they are fantastic. this one especially:

i am beyond lucky that God has called me to this ministry. these students are the most wonderful, crazy, insane, question filled, love/joy givers that i know. they are crazy and i love them.

i am so blessed.

Monday, January 24, 2011

who needs friends anyways?

so as i talked about in my first post, i am going through the process of "self-examination". a lot of this was spurred on by a comment made to me about my friendships. this comment lead me to start evaluating my friendships and debating whether or not each relationship was beneficial for me at the stage/point/place in my life. looking at my relationships that i have/had, i see hurt-- on both sides.

this process has been extremely hard. figuring out whether or not you these people you call friends, are friends or acquaintances is a rough road. these examinations have lead to nights of tears and heart break on my behalf. realizing that out there in this HUGE world of people i'm all alone. yes i have, "friends". the ones i call to hang out or go to dinner with, the ones that i call to catch up, the ones get together to do hw or go to the movies, the people that come to my birthday parties and i go to theirs. but where are the ones that are there when i am crying myself to sleep at night, or when my parents are fighting again and i just cant take it, where are the ones that are there when i just need to talk and they see it in my face?, where are the ones that call me, text me, fb me. where are the ones that are there when my life is flipped upside down? no where. coming to the realization that i am "the side friend" in many relationships. my friends all have their own best friend and i am the other one. i'm no ones best friend. that sucks

this has lead me to have to fend for myself recently. i've "tested" per say some people whom i call friends to see what would happen if i dont initiate things. you know where that lead me? two months of doing nothing. two months of questioning whether i am worth having friends. two months of negativity, depression and self doubt. and no one to talk to it about. two months of being alone.

this process has been insane. and i am far from done. many things have led me to think about well maybe its me. maybe i am the one with the problem and that i dont have friends because there is something wrong with me. what have i done that is so bad that i dont have a best friend. that im just the on the side? i mean come on, mashed potatos are great--but when they come with a steak you'll always choose the main course. what have i done to deserve to be the mashed potatoes to everyone? its not fair. i deserve happiness.

thinking through this and examining things i have thought a lot about what kind of friends that i have, the kind of friends that i want and the friend that i would like to be. finding the things in the peoplethat are hurtful and not good for me, in addition to the things that are great for me. figuring out what kind of friend i need. i need people to pull me out. i was not born naturally vulnerable, this may stem from issues that i have with trust from my past, but nonetheless im not a open person. i need people to see that i need to talk and pull it out of me. i need people who know me well enough to know how to read me and help others to do the same. i need someone who calls me. i need someone who seeks me, i need someone who desires to spend time with me, getting to know me, hearing my good and my bad. i need people who i can vent to about my life, i need people to bounce ideas off, i need people who are going to encourage me in ever aspect of my life. i need people. and i have very few.

i think that if i am asking for this type of friend, i need to not only be this type of friend, but do all this genuinely and lovingly. i want people to know that they are known , cherished and loved by at least me in the world. i feel this about all my friends now, but am completely unsure if this feeling is reciprocated. they deserve the world in a friendship. i need to be the person that puts others above myself. i need to be so in love with jesus that his love and advice will spew out of me if asked. i need to be non-critical and non-judgmental.

this is my life these past two months. this is my heart break. these are my feelings laid bare in front of you all. quite liberating!

i need to be known, i need to be loved, i need to feel important and not just second best. i cant do life on my own anymore. i need friends. i need people to love me and care for me. i need to feel invested in. i need to feel missed. i need to feel wanted when i walk in a room. i need to feel like more then just a silly conversation every month. i need connection.

despite all my heart strings being pulled this way, i was able to put myself out there with a few girls recently. i was able to display all this for them and to have them look at me with tears in their eyes and hug me was more than i could have asked for in that moment. so to you, i am so thankful. to have someone to listen, feel my pain and desire to see me not have that anymore was phenomenal. to have people in my life who want to be there for me, who want to pull me out. they are so special to me. i am forever thankful. you have pulled me out of my pit and back into life.

Christ has been working so beautifully in my heart throughout all of this. all the while feeling alone and sad, i felt Him. i felt his presence even when i was yelling at him, complaining or frustrated he was there. he was there to catch my tears the nights i went to sleep with a wet pillow, he was there when i sat on my bed wishing my phone would ring, he was there as i checked my facebook daily hoping that someone would say something to me. he was also there when i was rejected. he was there when i watched my brother leave night after night to go out with his friends and helped me through my jealousy. he was there all i had was myself. despite my horrible depression, i had hope. i knew that i would come out of this stronger. i knew that he wouldnt let me drown. i knew that he wouldnt let his precious baby feel this horrible forever. i knew it was a stage and i knew i would move through it.

he has been so faithful in my life. he has been so faithful. although i didnt see it then, i see it now. he has been faithful. his faithfulness is something that i cling to. many times it is all i have. his mercy on my poor soul when is all that i need. his strength to pull me out of satan arms and allow me to turn away again amazes me. who am i? why does he fight for my heart? God, you are so good. so good.

living in Christs love.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

to a new beginning

this is beyond beautiful.

so it this.
i've been reading over this blog to make sure that i came across the way that i wanted to. then i thought, you know what? i dont care. this is who i am, this is how i think, this is how i am going to write. but there is still a little bit of doubt in there that it's not good enough. that my writing isnt up to par. but, i have to remember its not about that. its about making jesus look glorified. that is it.

in light of turning over a new leaf, i thought i'd include this:

"bucket list 2011" 
loose 30 pounds
work out 4 times a week
get at least two A's each semester
make a 4th of july quilt
finish my teal and purple quilt
take more pictures every time i go out
talk to a certain someone about jesus
go to 5 concerts
get another job
go camping
read the whole old testament
encourage someone every week
ride a motorcycle again
go sky diving (ron ottenad)
go to the taping of a TV show
start running
go to all the museums in balboa park
cook more meals
watch all the movies that won best picture in academy awards
take vitamins every day
make weekly to-do lists and complete them
donate blood every 2 months (jan, march, may, july, sept, dec)
get a massage once a month
paint my room
print out pictures for my cork board
get up early and read my bible
blog 4 times a week
develop friendships
read books
save money for gifts for my friends
learn to love myself

Friday, January 21, 2011

there is a first time for everything.

here i am, opening my heart up to the world. this is me. take it or leave it. i'm trying to learn to be more vulnerable and I guess this is a good start. i'm trying to work on figuring out my emotions and processing my thoughts and writing them down helps me understand myself. i am in a new stage of self-examination..which SUCKS. this new place of putting my feelers out and trying to let the world see the real me. trying to figure out how Jesus has created me just the way that he wanted me and learning to be content with that. i struggle with the thought that how i am is how he chose me to be- faults and all. 

i'm learning to understand myself in a different way and be honest with myself and how i am. this is a new me. i'm turning over a new leaf. today begins a new way of thinking, working and living for this girl.

jesus has transformed me and looking at me, you wouldnt know it. that's not good enough. there needs to be a bigger and more crazy change. isnt he worth it? my heart says yes, but my actions say no. what is that? LAME. let's be honest with myself here, i strive for Christ to be the first in my life-- but realistically he's not

i think it all starts with the understanding that he created me. he created the yearns and desires in my heart to be loved and protected, cherished and wanted, pursued and prized above all else. he knows this. he knew it would be a struggle. he knew that i would place all those desires on people and be let down every time. he knew that this day would come that i would start to realize that i can count on no one but HIM. he is the constant source of love, encouragement, protection, desire and pursuit. if only my head would get that. if only i could fully know that:

> he is the lover of my soul.
> he is the protector that i long for, who protects the most vulnerable parts of my heart with a vast army of 1.
> he is the one who cherishes me like i am the only one in the world for him.
> he wants me. all of me. the beautiful, the ugly, the sinful, the holy, the broken and shamed dirty parts of my heart that even i dont want to acknowledge. he wants it. he wants it.
> he pursues me. the creator of the universe is relentless in his pursuit of me. he desires a deep connection with me, little ole me :)
> he thinks of me as a prize. i am what he wants to win. i am something worth fighting for.

the way he created me is beautifully laid out here:

"when i created the heavens and earth, i spoke them into being. when i created man, i formed him and breathed life into his nostrils. but you, woman, i fashioned after i breathed the breath of life into man because your nostrils are too delicate. i allowed a deep sleep to come over him so i could patiently and perfectly fashion you. man was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with the creativity. from one bone i fashioned you. i chose the bone that protects mans life. i chose the rib, which protects his heart and lungs and supports him, as you are meant to do. around this one bone, i shaped you...i modeled you... i created you perfectly and beautifully. your characteristics are as the rib, strong yet delicate and fragile. you provide protection for the most delicate organ in man, his heart. his heart is the center of his being; his lungs hold the breath of life. the rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage to the heart. support man as the rib cage supports the body. you were not taken from his feet, to be under him, nor were you taken from his head , to be above him. You were taken from his side, to stand beside him and be held close to his side. you are my perfect are my beautiful little have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence, and my eyes fill with tears when i see the virtues in your heart...your eyes..dont change them. your lovely when they part in prayer, your perfect in form. your gentle to touch. i've caressed your face in deepest sleep. i've held your heart close to mine. of all that lives and breathes, you are the most like me. adam walked with me in the cool of the day, yet he was lonely. he could not see me or touch me. he could only feel me. so everything i wanted adam to share and experience with me, i fashioned in you, my holiness, my strength, my purity, my love, my protection and support. you are special because you are an extension of me. man represents my image, woman my emotions. together, you represents the totality of God"

be blessed...psalm 139:14