Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I was chatting with a friend of mine from highschool online tonight and she was telling me that she is doing the Esther study from Beth Moore with another friend we graduated with.  It was just encouraging.  I went from elementary to high school graduation with these girls and I remember them accepting Christ.  If any teachers or missionaries at CCS ever wondered if their contributions matter.  Here it is.  Adult, Bolivian, educated women walking with Jesus and pursuing him of their own accord. 

It matters so much.  What we invest in other people. 

I wonder how many people will be in heaven because of that little international mission school.

Also.  Today God sent me an answer to prayer that was unexpected and major and I am overjoyed at the movement of the Spirit in me and other people.

When He moves it's amazing.  You hold my world in your hands, Jesus.

I am amazed that you love
I am amazed that you love, me. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Terrible Twins

I woke up this morning and checked facebook as usual.  (I know.  It's a problem.)

And right away, I saw something that made me feel jealous.  Over a friendship.

From there, I went to work and was culling my pictures from last night and answering messages and saw something from another photographer that made me feel uncreative and low.

And then I got an e mail from my husband (that I'm sure he didn't mean this way) and I felt like I had failed him as a wife.

This week I got a text from someone I serve with that made me feel pushed aside and unimportant.

So today I've been wading in this kind of insecurity:  I'm an uninteresting friend.  I'm a bad wife.  I'm a mediocre, uncreative artist.  I'm a terrible business person.  I'm ineffective in my spiritual gifts.

The reason I want to talk about it, and put it out there is another friend this week was telling me about her insecurities.  We all have them.  And they can be really powerful.  They can rule us.  If we let them.

So I want to just talk about what I've been doing today to creep out from under the lies and stand up again.

*I told Jesus exactly how I was feeling.

*I remembered that friendship is best when shared and another person's relationship with my friend shouldn't diminish mine.  As people of Jesus we are supposed to love freely.

*I made a game plan for ways I can hopefully help and bless Ryan this weekend.  

*Jesus reminded me that if I'm serving him it doesn't matter who notices or doesn't notice what I do.  Taking a backseat shouldn't be a problem if I really love Jesus and I'm doing things for him.

*I asked Jesus to help me sharpen my skills as an artist.  To not let me rest in one place.

*And I listened to the latest sermon from Mars Hill.  Talking about being appreciated.  Because like my friend Sarah says, Jesus is kind.  And sent my heart exactly the word I needed to hear.

Holding onto negativity and bitterness and letting lies about my worth live in my heart is dangerous to me.  And to the people around me.  Because it spills out of my heart onto them. Operating out of that place reminds me of water swirling down a drain.  Your life is going to get worse.  Your problems multiply.  Your attitude get stinkier.  The only way to combat insecurity is to look up and get out of the drain of lies.  Insecurity is the twin of pride.   They make life about me.  When it's not.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

1 Cor 13.  The Message

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Hardest Thing

Last week my friend's 2 year old daughter passed away in her sleep. 

This is Adora.

What follows is memory after memory engraved on my heart like a slideshow.  Cries of grief at the hospital.  Grief so deep I never want to hear it again.  Prayer.  And prayer.  And more prayer with friends and family and Jesus family. 

I've been unable to talk about how I feel about Adora's passing over.  Mostly because I don't know what I feel.  2 year olds shouldn't die.  There should be no pink caskets.  I think part of my heart has just been in rebellion.  I hate this.  For the grief of my dear friends.  For the grief of their friends and family. 

Even more I think that the outrage is right.  If this world wasn't broken 2 year olds wouldn't die.  Her dad Jared said it in the ceremony at the memorial service.  It isn't fair.  It's not.  That part of our hearts that remembers the world before it was broken, that is made in the image of God is outraged.  Grief and tragedy come to everyone in this world though.  And as much as I have asked God why over the last week and a half, God has asked me why not?  Why not Jared and Melissa and Adora? 

Melissa and Jared are just ordinary normal people.  They aren't super special. (Sorry friends)  But to see the faith that has sustained them through this has been extraordinary.  It's still hard for me to put into words the movement of the Spirit in my heart as I heard Melissa talk about the graciousness of God in this toward her.  How she would choose this again if this is God's best for them and for Adora.  While still feeling the incredible grief of loss.   Jared said at the service that as much as his heart hurts so much that he wants to rip it out of his chest he can't blame God.  Adora wasn't his.  Adora was God's. He said he was glad to have had her for 2 years when it could have been 2 days, or a month, or 6 months. 

As they chose Christ, and continue to choose Him in this, the thing that I am keeping.  In all of it.  The sorrow.  The helplessness.  The grieving.  Is the beauty and the hope of our salvation.  Not because we are special, but because God takes ordinary people and makes us extraordinary.  I have seen the power of Christ this last week.  Not in the raising of the dead, but in the life of people who without Him would be dead in grief right now. 

Woody said this week that when the gospel hits you, it should be like a semi truck hitting you.  You don't walk away the same.  Forever changed.  

I would change that a little bit, and say that when the semis in life hit you.  The griefs.  The failures.  The tragedies.  The mistakes.  That in it all if you are a member of Jesus family He changes the impact of the semi trucks.   

It also adds meaning to the words of worship when we sing I Surrender All.  Jesus is so much more than a lifestyle choice.

I want to keep it all in my heart for a long time and meditate on it all.  More than that I want to go deeper in to Jesus.  Further up and farther in.  What an amazing hope and a beautiful Savior. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Nicks and Naming

Everyone gets them.  They accumulate like shoes in a closet.  Some are cute.  Some are unfortunate.  Some are comfy and you wear them a lot.  Some are special and only come out on occasion. 


Here are some of mine, and Oh do please share yours. :)

Crys - comfy fave
Cookie - let's leave that in the closet
Crystalina - also closet worthy
Cryssy - sisters only
C squared
Bubbles - there's a story here
Crysalis - more closet time
Crys-mas - again with the closet

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