Thursday, December 4, 2014

it has been ages.

You know when you haven't seen a really good friend in ages, and you make plans to meet up, but you feel a little nervous? You know that you really are truly friends, but it really has truly been ages; and ages tend to make you wonder if anything is really going to be the same.

It has been ages.
It is not going to be the same--in the best way.

I think I stayed away from this little blog nugget for the past, um..., 11 months because I just didn't like what it was and didn't know how to change it and was just tired of it. (Angsty, much?) I so often felt like this was still just my "college girl rambling" blog and I wanted it to be my "somewhat grown up, funny, real" blog.

So, welcome.
Welcome to my somewhat grown up, hopefully funny, real blog, where I will rant, joke, and pour my heart out in turn. I will do all of it with absolute honesty. Zero fluff zone, sir.

Let's try this out. You might hate it--I'm planning to love it.

And for a little giggle, watch this video and get a peek at why I updated this blog title and address. Really, it's going to require further explanation, but for today just watch and laugh. I'll explain later. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

no one hands it to you

I've been thinking and praying and hoping for my one little word for 2014. I had all but settled on "brave" when I realized...

that's really not enough. 

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation. But 
take courage;
I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

"Be strong and let your heart
take courage
all you who wait for the LORD!"
Psalm 31:24

I do want to be brave, but I'm not sure that it's something I can just switch on or off; and, like I said, I don't think "brave" is quite enough.

Then I heard it. I recalled it--felt it even.

Take courage.

I can do brave things every once in a while, sure--but I long to be courageous. I long to have that as part of me. Deep down. At heart. 

I know, though, that courage is not something you just fall into. No one hands it to you. You don't become courageous by mistake or wake up one day and discover that it has overtaken you. 

You take it

You take it.

You fight for it, even.

 "Be strong and courageous
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:6

One of my favorite characters in Scripture is Joshua. Most of my favorite people in the world remind me of him. They live with no fear of man because they know the power and sovereignty of God. They speak with confidence and courage because they know wherever they walk, the LORD has already walked before them. 

Their obedience, their faithfulness, their belief, and (yes, again) their courage can knock down walls to bring God glory.

I'm not sure what, specifically, I want to accomplish with this one little word (it's really two words--I get it), but I know I want to do that

I want to courageously break walls down so the Spirit can rush through and do His thing...

Be it in the quietness of a heart or with all the chaos of Jericho.

Grow a courageous heart in me, LORD. Plant it deep. I'm willing to fight for that kind of courage.

I will take it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

a little low: 2013 in review

A year ago, I wrote a little post about a little word:

I remember being worried that I would forget about it. It was a whole new kind of resolution for me--one word from the Lord that would impact everything. Resolutions are typically forgotten, though, and I feared I'd lose sight of it altogether. 

With twelve months to my credit, I did not forget. 

I didn't always make the best choices to support that one little word, but I didn't forget it. 

I got irritated when I should have been grateful.
I judged when I should have trusted.
I spoke my mind when I should have listened. 
I splurged when I should have saved.
I rushed when I should have waited.

And every time, I heard the whisper: "Low." 

There were high points and good moments and right choices through the year, but I think my favorite part of 2013 was not that I perfectly achieved the goals I set...

I didn't forget what God had spoken. 

He held me just as accountable to it in November as He did in February. I think that's a resolution gone right. 

This year was hard. In a lot of ways, it felt low. This year was good, but if I could only use one word to describe it (sure it was an opportunity or growing or fruitful or stretching or rewarding), more than anything it was hard

I planned large events for the first time.
I made big apologies that were waiting to be made.
I moved in with new roommates and moved out two months later. 
I said a lot of goodbyes. 
I struggled with healing and processing. 
I prayed, brokenhearted, for friends who were helplessly hurt. 
I felt like a grown up. Like a surprised, unprepared, unsuspecting kid disguised as a grown up. 

Reflecting now, I wonder if maybe the Lord gave me "low" to prepare me rather than challenge me. Regardless of how He gave was the very word I needed. 

He's good that way. 

He's good in a lot of ways, really. 

I made some sweet new friends in 2013 and, even if it gets a little confusing when we have the same name (grin), it's been good. 

I went on a road trip to Arkansas with my daddy to meet the one person alive who is most like his mother. It was so good for me.

One of my most favorite friends got married and it was so good to celebrate with her.

I went on my first vacation in years with my parents. We had a blast. It did so much good.

I went on my first date ever. Y'all. It was good. 

We can't forget the time I met the Backstreet Boys. That was good. wink 

I laughed. A lot. That's always good. 

At the end of it all, I realize that it's not God's gifts to me that make me love Him or even by those gifts that I know He loves me; but those gifts tell me He thinks of me. That, I love. 

My hope is that, as your 2013 comes to a close, you can know in spite of --maybe even because of-- your low days, there is a Father who thinks much of you and often. 

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them! 
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand--
when I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139:17-18, NIV