Sunday, July 29, 2012

Just Stuff

Last night's wedding was fantastic.  A good dance party at a wedding always makes me yearn for a night out dancing my tush off.

Church this morning felt like coming home to family.  I love that.  I was sitting with Carter, Faith, Kellie and Kasey and I knew all of them.  Their stories and their hearts and it was so good.  SO good.  BRCC is a gift in my life.

I get to give the devotional for the connect night at Crash in 2 weeks and God gave the whole thing to me last night.  From start to finish.  That's amazing and it gives me goose bumps.  God has been pouring out his love on me these past two weeks.  Showing me where I am so far short of where he wants me to be and then reminding me that in my weakness he is able and more than able and I am loved. 

Dinner with Carter tonight at Rivermont Pizza.  Yum.  Also apparently there is a Step Up 4 out.  Holla!!

Hmm.  Seems like the theme here is dance and church.  The ladies in Nica had flag things they were dancing with in the aisle at church.  I wonder what Woody would say if we suggest it. haha!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

And I will boast in the cross. I'll boast in my pains.
I will boast in the sunshine, boast in his reign.
What's my life if it's not praising you?
Another dollar in my bank account of vain pursuit.
I do not count my life as any value or precious at all.
Let me finish my race, let me answer my call.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Each Time is New

Before I jump back into the crazy of wedding season I want to take 5 minutes and just reflect on the last 10 days in Nica.

There is so much that happened and so much that happened in me that it's hard to point to one thing and say, "that was it."  Someone asked me if it was one of my best trips, and honestly they have all been great.  Each one is different.  It's a new experience with new people and God does something amazing every time.

* God orchestrated everything perfectly.  Watching Him show off His perfect timing was beautiful.  When we were there in February we visited the brothels in the market and spent quite a bit of time talking to and praying with a prostitute named Rachel.  On last Tuesday morning, Rachel showed up at the HOH for their Tuesday program for the first time and Shea and I were able to talk to her and pray over her again.  How amazing is it that God brought her at exactly the same time we were there!
Ana just happened to be at a park across the street from where the team was spending the day and Shea and her girls got to see Ana and love on her for a little bit.  A blessing perfectly timed and gifted to us.  Dave spoke at a small group and the message he gave was meant specifically for one of the ladies who was deeply struggling in her marriage.  God never makes mistakes with what He wants to say. 

* BRCC spoke at three churches on Sunday morning.  Dave, Jack, and Shea all shared and I love that.  The opportunity to impact the church as a whole on every level.  We were at a low income church and Jack and Dave were at 2 upper class churches.  I see God in that reaching out to every part of His Nicaraguan church body to correct and encourage.  Shea's message was on how God refines us until He sees his reflection in us.  The way a silversmith refines silver, without leaving the side of what he's refining.  The women responded deeply and I loved it too.  I needed that reminder that pain has purpose in the lives of Christ followers.

* We went out the last night with Oscar to a road that is known for the prostitutes on it.  As we talked to the women I was struck again with the perfect timing of God.  That as we talked to each woman we were the invitation of Christ to restoration and new life.  And that our encounters with them were planned before they were born or we were born.  Even the male drug addict we prayed over.  He came up to me quoting Bible verses.  Asking questions.  Wanting freedom.  We were at that gas station for a purpose and that purpose was God telling him he can have freedom if he'll walk toward it.  Also, as Dave was praying for freedom for him from chains of addiction and the influence of evil spirits, he almost fell down.  Maybe he needed that moment to be free of evil influence so he has the opportunity to choose Christ if he wants to.  God pursues us.  Even to the depths of our addictions and sin.  He is so good. 

* For me, God used these last few days to remind me that He gets to be the Boss of me.  He told me pretty plainly that I was there to serve.  That my obedience to Him needs to take precedence over everything else.  And he confirmed it with a note I got from Mindy that said to do everything without selfish ambition or vain conceit.  I had to do a lot of things I wasn't confident in and be in situations that I needed to apologize for or be quiet in and that is good for me.  I do want to be more like Jesus in learning how to serve well without complaining.

* Each member of both teams was great.  God always has purpose for each team member being on a trip.  I loved hearing them walk with God and toward God in all of this.  Even the little girls.  Translating for them as they shared with their new friends was humbling because they were asking tougher deeper questions than some of us older folk asked.

*  Friendships are probably the third theme for me.  Beyond the perfect timing and power of God, and my need to serve humbly, I had the best time laughing my face off with Ash and Kellie on our nights out to the gas stations and grocery stores.  Learning why short sleeves don't matter on cops, eating Bueno bars, and annoying every taxi driver in Nicaragua with our trips back to the HOH.  There are also a couple of other friendships that went deeper on this trip and I loved that.  Discovering who people are is my favorite kind of adventure. :)

So that's the last 10 days in a nutshell. ;)  We also had a massive water fight in which we broke a window in the Quinta.  Stayed up talking till all hours of the night.  Had a dance/pizza party.  Drank a lot of Coca Light.  Kissed a lot of beautiful little girls.  Hugged some women.  Spoke some Spanish.  The End. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Nicaragua: July Day 1

I was telling Jen last night how much this trip more than usual it's such a change in realities to be here.  Probably because its my busy season in work, and so instead of spending every waking moment pursuing my to do list like I normally would in July, I'm sitting on some stairs.  Looking at a palm tree.  Preparing to take 70 ladies to the zoo.  (yikes) 

It's a change in realities in that instead of worrying about how many pictures I have to edit.  Product I have to buy.  Bills I have to pay.  I'm thinking about a team of women and men, a friend I'm going to see soon, young girls I love, and a family of Nicaraguans that just had their son come home. 

The eternal and the temporary.

This week I just want to be present and I want to serve the team and the HOH staff and residents.  I know, I know.  We always all say that.  But I really do want to serve.  In a way that doesn't draw any attention to me or say- "Hey look how great I'm serving". 

So off to the zoologico. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Step Off Satan

Well.  I was going to make a list here of all the crazy that has happened to me this week.

But mostly tonight I have joy in my heart and I'm praising my Jesus because life may go crazy but Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. 

You can't have my happy, Enemy.

Quiero levantar mis manos
quiero levantar mi voz
ofreciendo a ti mi vida
en santidad y amor

Padre solo a ti te ofrezco
mi vida y mi corazón
y me postro en tu presencia
en adoración

//Hijo de Dios recibe hoy
toda la gloria, la honra y honor

Monday, July 9, 2012

Good Grief

Do you ever reach a point in your life where your own behavior annoys you more than anyone else?

I've been acting the fool around a friend of mine for like 6 months now, because I find that person intimidating.  Intimidating in the best possible way because I respect them, but seriously.  Seriously!  I just want to be normal instead of stuttering or forgetting how to have a conversation or running away. 

Over it.  No more junior high behaviour. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

 Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

 Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

 That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

 Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

 Within his bending sickle's compass come:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

 But bears it out even to the edge of doom. 
~ Shakespeare 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Relationally Speaking

I've been rewatching Sex & the City this week. 

Carrie's character is super good at relaying the questions that every woman asks herself sometimes.  The normal ones.  The crazy ones.  The scandalous ones.  Honestly, if a man wants to understand the way women think in this century, watching Sex & the City is a pretty good education.

Thus we loved the series because we see ourselves in the 4 ladies.

And for all you men out there who read this blog and are about to get judgey on me.  I am just telling you the truth.  The movies made money for a reason. 

So I have a few questions of my own that I've been mulling over.  Turning 34 this year and being married for 12 years makes me feel officially middle-aged.  Or at least officially grown.  No double dipping like it's 29 again.  There are certain realities about myself and my significant relationship that I have to face.  And in facing them admit that they aren't likely to change.

I am probably never going to be the Suzie Homemaker I want to be.  Does that make me a failure as a woman and a wife?  If I hire a cleaning lady am I shirking my duties?  I'm really good at being a business woman and an artist.  And I love it.  But is that more important than mopping the floor?

Are my priorities wrong?

There are personality traits in my husband that are never going to change.  If they haven't changed by now, a 35 year old is not likely to veer into new personality territory on his way to 40.  Unless it involves something fast and shiny.  Finding grace to allow him to be who he is because he allows me to be who I am is vitally important.  We got married at 21.  We are different now.  We are the same now.  It's the changing we do without trying that makes the relationship work.  And it's the constants we keep without meaning to that make our relationship hard.

Sometimes in life I feel like that Disney movie where the girl is in a canoe singing "Just around the River Bend"  waiting for the next thing to happen.  Waiting to wake up and find delight in a romance 12 years old.  My husband is very good at working on romance.  I'm not that good at it.  I need to be better.  For sure, one area where my priorities could use some definite improvement.

 And honestly sometimes my most difficult relationship is my relationship with myself.  I want to be funnier, wittier, thinner, prettier, have bigger boobs, a bigger bank account.  Be satisfied with simple things.  Enjoy the grand and glorious.  Shake the world for Jesus.  Hide in my office and hermit from life.  (Yes, hermit is a verb.  Hermiting is a regular thing for me.)  I want to be a better daughter, a sister with better friendships with her siblings, a better friend to my dear friends, a better Christian who doesn't let people down.  I want to be the kind of wife my husband is proud of and attracted to for 364 days out of 365.  Everybody needs a day off. ;)   I want to excel in my career and be a NAME in the industry. 

It's exhausting.

It's overwhelming.

It's normal.


Words of wisdom from the voice that is me a lot of times:

“Eventually all the pieces fall into place….until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason”~Carrie

And words of wisdom from the Voice that is not me:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under heaven:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Friday night Ruby and I were chatting and laughing in the car as we were booking it up to PA for the celebration of my friend Amanda's wedding.  In the instant that I took my eyes off the road and glanced at my sister the sky changed from grey overcast to a scene from a doomsday movie.  For real.  It looked like the End of Days was about to descend on us.  Yellow and black skies.  Lightning.  Wind.  I thought maybe we could soldier through, but just a few miles down the road the car was rocking back and forth. Trees were kissing the ground and I was convinced a tornado was hanging out around the corner to pounce on us.  We booked it back to the small town we had just passed.  The lights in the town were flickering as we pounded on the locked door of the McD's.  The manager looked pretty harrassed but she told us where we could find shelter, and Ruby and I and about 40 other people made our way to the Hampton Inn up the hill. 

We camped out in the lobby eating their fruit and playing board games as the storm played its own games outside.  I felt awful for the parents that were begging for cots so their kids could sleep.  The next day we made our way up to PA through forests and towns that looked decimated.  Power was not to be had anywhere at any gas stations, so gas lines wound all the way down the freeway in some parts. 

And then there is this week in the Burg. 

So in all of this adventure I am thankful for:

A lake day with my best friend and her husband. 
Camping out in the basement like 5th graders.
Internet up at work.
Extra time to get editing done.
Life and health and a house undamaged.
We didn't get swept away in WV in that storm.
My hallway at work is painted and pretty thx to my bro in law.

BTW, I've never heard of anything called a Derecho in all my life in north OR south America.  I think weather people make stuff up when they don't know what's going on.  :)

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