Sunday, January 23, 2011

Catching Up

Jess and Maelle
Saturday I met a good friend I haven't seen in awhile for lunch. She brought with her, her sweet 3 month old little mess of cuteness for me to steal and hold for a few hours. I couldn't have been more excited! Over good pasta and heavenly cheesecake we caught up on the past year's events, news, ways in which God has worked and provided, and lessons learned. It's so incredibly refreshing and encouraging to have friends, though miles away, who you know are lifting you and your family up in prayer. I left our lunch feeling so thankful and richly blessed for the friends, both near and far, that God has placed in my life. 


The past couple weeks a local radio station I listen to a lot has been talking about having a "word of the year", picking one word that sums up what you want to focus on this year. To be honest sometimes I struggle with the cheesiness that exists on christian radio stations, but this I thought was good stuff. I decided to pick a word. It was harder then I thought it would be. After 2 weeks of narrowing down options and spending some time thinking and praying, I finally picked a word. One word...ALIVE.

I want to intentionally focus on being ALIVE this year. Sometimes it's so easy to go through the motions of life, to be present, but still miss SO much. I want to focus on each moment, to breathe deep in life's goodness, to experience fullness, to be ALIVE in each action, each conversation, every friendship, my family, my marriage, at work...each day, each week, every month...ALIVE. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


BAM...Last Thursday morning on my drive to work, God called me out. Black and white, He put me in my place. I so needed the redirection. Sometimes it's easy to associate our "personal" relationship with God with what we know, our human friendships. So naturally it's easy to expect God to work the same way our human friendships often do. I find I do this most when it comes to times in life when I've been hurt. I get hurt, so somewhere deep inside a small quiet thought processes my relationship with God as "well, God has my back, God's on my side." It's what we often expect of our friends right? 

God doesn't work like this and He reminded me of it that morning. I was doing some reflection on the journey of life, on Matt and I's journey this last year. He gently and lovingly, but very bluntly reminded me of these things...He DOES NOT love me more then those that have hurt me. God shows NO favoritism. God loves and pursues EVERYONE the same. He reminded me that He loves those that hurt me JUST AS MUCH as He loves me. God's heart breaks at the brokenness that causes hurt in EVERYONE. Gods knows all and sees all. He is not on my side. He is on the side of bringing full life and restoration out of brokenness. He is on the side of always giving forgiveness and love. He is on the side of showing grace and mercy. He is on the side of bringing peace and unity. God is on the side of passionately pursuing the above- REGARDLESS. God reminded me that if I am in relationship with Him, I need to always be about the same- regardless.

2011-To Whatever Comes

I'm a little late on these thoughts, but the last couple weeks have been super busy and I still wanted to share. I said goodbye to 2010, with if I can be honest, a huge sigh of relief. I felt like I could breathe again. I made it. was a CRAZY whirlwind year, full of many great blessings, but also full of change, transition, and hurt... I know the change to the new year isn't some great huge dramatic change. It simply starts another day, another week/month with different numbers in the date. But for me, I was counting down the switch. As I reflected back on 2010 I found myself in a weird tension. I was/am so grateful for the many great blessings and provisions God gave our family this last year. I wanted to focus my heart the positive, on the GOOD things about 2010. But I also found my heart in a place of being tired. I wanted to get rid of 2010, to put it behind me. I found myself yearning for a new clean slate. I found myself praying "God, I need this year to be as calm and smooth as any year in life can possibly be." What I heard back was this....
You don't need a smooth, calm year. You need to continue to focus on pursuing me, walking with me, and letting me guide you through whatever comes. So...

2011-Here's to a new year, a new slate, a new focus, and a new perspective. To whatever comes...

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's A New Season

Filled with Faith that God will continue to provide.

Fill with awe for the ways God has
been present in our lives this year.

Filled with remembering to continue to take steps
forward together as a family.

Filled with love. We've got each other.

Filled with joy, laughter, and entertainment. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Relentless Pursuit

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it's the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
Mario Andretti

I’m finding an ugly pattern in my life. I want to be someone who is always learning and growing, so one thing try to be diligent at is setting goals, short-term and long term in my life. I always start out extremely motivated about these goals. But what I’m finding is somewhere, somehow during the pursuit of my goals (not all but some) I inevitably run out of steam. Perfect example. I desire to be a runner, not just a casual “I can run a mile” runner, definitely not the hard core “I can run 13 miles in 1 hour” runner either, but a runner. At some point in my life I have the desire to run a full marathon. Call me crazy, but it’s a HUGE life goal of mine. I thoroughly enjoy running-when I stick with it. I love the challenge, the stress release, the energy it gives me. I love being able to zone out, breathe in fresh air, watch beautiful country sunsets in the early evening…Next weekend I’m running my second mini-marathon. To be honest, I’m nervous, a little sick to my stomach actually. Somewhere around Mid-August I ran out of stream with training. My husband likes to give me a hard time for it. I could rattle off a ton of excuses; it got super hot, it was very time-consuming, I was training alone… Bottom line-I was not relentless in my training commitment. My pattern reared its ugly little head; even though I had a tremendous desire and motivation to reach my goal I lost focus. I lost steam in the day to day, week after week, month after month, journey. I forgot about what it takes to reach the end result. I got discouraged. I WILL complete the race next weekend, but it will undoubtedly be painful and nowhere near as enjoyable or as fulfilling as it could’ve been had I trained harder and longer. I definitely will not run it as fast I as could have.

I see this same pattern in my spiritual journey sometimes. My greatest desire, a deep soul burning desire, is to know God. Not a knowing that understands all there is to understand, or has the answers to every question, because that’s not possible. But I want to be intimately connected with Him. More than anything else in my life, I want my life to reflect Him, to overflow with Him, to point to Him. I want to be firmly secure in an understanding of who I am in Him. If I do nothing else with my life, that is what I want to be remembered for; a woman who walked closely with God. There are so many times when I have the desire to know God, but I seem to run out of steam or drop off in my determination to daily seek Him. I’m sure you can relate. Yes, this Pastor’s Wife has moments when I realize I haven’t prayed much recently or find myself trying to remember the last time I read my Bible. I even have times when I have the desire to pray or spend time with God, but I seem at a loss of what to say or what to do, digging for energy yet finding none. My focus gets off track so easily. I lose focus of seeking to truly know God and instead spend time focused on learning more information. I’m starting to recognize that when I run out of steam in my spiritual journey, it is because I’ve been focusing on the wrong thing …information vs. relationship, checking a to do list vs. relationship, fulfilling a role vs. relationship, etc. To know God is a constant journey. I lose steam because much like running I get lost in the day to day, week after week, month after month, year after year, journey. A journey in which I must put in the work on the good and bad days, the exciting and boring days, the painful and carefree days, the days when I want to and the days when I don’t. I could rattle off endless excuses. I get tired, I get lazy… Bottom line-I’m not always relentless in my commitment to training on my spiritual journey. Unlike running a race, there is not an end to this training. As long as I’m here I’m in training.

To know God, to build that intimate relationship, I have to move past simply the desire to know Him and move into a determination and commitment to pursuing Him. I must be relentless in my pursuit of Him.
showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace.

This last week I was reminded and challenged by my hubby to make sure I check my heart. God sees through everything on the surface. He sees straight through to my heart. God knows when I’m going through the motions, when I’m losing steam, when I’m getting off track. More often than not, I know it to. The question is in those moments will I choose to get back on track and truly relentlessly seek God above all else? I never want to “fake it”. This week I’m focusing on regaining focus. I’m letting many good things go (like books, podcasts, articles, music even) and focusing on simply, humbly, intentionally, relentlessly drawing near to God.

“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”

The Message, Jeremiah 29:13-14

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Thanks

I am thankful…

That my security is in Christ; not a job, not things, not looks, not relationships, or anything else.

That I have good health.

For the opportunity to learn.

For my husband Matthew. For specifically: his leadership and wisdom, his servant’s heart, his passion to teach, his love for others, his ability to communicate well, and his commitment to a vision God has given him. I learn so much from him and am constantly challenged and inspired through how he models life lived in Christ. So blessed to have him by my side!

All of us are lacking in certain areas of life where we have not received the modeling we needed. I am thankful for those in my life (specifically a few individuals) who have modeled for me healthy relationships, marriage, parenting, family, etc. This has been HUGE for me in so many ways! 

For Thursday nights and good weekends!

For the ways I see God working in my friends’ lives. It is so exciting and so encouraging to watch!