Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Letter to My Lover

My lover,

You have searched me and searched me out, and you know me better than anyone else.

You know my every move; you even finish my sentences!

You know everything about my daily routine, from the number of times I hit snooze to what kind
of tea I drink before bed.

You know what I'm going to say, even before I say it.

My lover, you know me inside and out.

You are always there for me, whether it's opening doors or closing them when my hands are full.

I get giddy every time I think about it!

You never leave me, I am always in your company.

Whether I climb onto the roof or hide in the basement, even if I take a plane to Timbuktu you always find me.

Even when I turn off the lights and hide in the dark, you know exactly where to find me; it doesn't matter how dark it is.

You have made me who I am, even from the very beginning.

Everything good in me I owe to you.

Even when I was ugly and scorned, even when I was "under construction," you knew how I was doing, and you loved me.

You knew everything that would happen to me, and you were prepared.

I count valuable every little thought you have of me, and you think of me a lot!

When I wake up, I have a good morning text from you.

I hate it when people say awful things about you, because I know how fantastic you truly are.

Can't they just shut up?

Look at me carefully.  See if there is anything I can do to be a better bride and lover to you, and show me how to be the best I can.

-Your Love

inspired by Psalm 139

An Eternal Love

Imagine there's a guy that's really into you.  He writes long, beautiful, heartfelt letters expressing his love for you, and texts you constantly to see how your day is going.  You never answer them, except if one is especially eloquent, then you reply, "I like your writing style."

Every once in a while, you have a really hard day, and you sob on the phone to him at 3am, and he drives down and sits with you and dries your tears.  You thank him as you fall asleep on his shoulder, and he tucks you into bed.  You don't acknowledge him the next day, not even to look his direction.

Sometimes he makes suggestions that you know are right and will help you in the long run, but you yell and slam doors in his face even though he voiced his concerns with love and compassion.

You are the world's biggest jerk to him, snubbing all his affections and advances, only acknowledging his existence when it's of some benefit to you.

Even through all this, he loves you.

Passionately, unrelentingly, he loves you.

He pursues you, and continues to, even through your rejection, because you once told him you loved him too, passionately and unrelentingly.

But the weight of the world came between you and him.  Little things, really, that piled up to bigger and bigger things, until there was a wall between you and him, and sometimes, you forget that he stands patiently, just beyond the wall, waiting for you to walk around.

He waits, on one knee, ring in hand, those four words perched on his lips.  You need only to walk around the wall and walk into the arms of the one you once loved, that you let go of, who has loved you our entire life, who loves you more than life itself.  Even your blatant rejection and abandonment has not deterred this relentless, passionate love.

He waits, for you and only you, because you are his love, his bride.  He delight in you, rejoices in you, and dances over you with song.  He paints paintings, composes symphonies and writes poems about you.  Were you to even acknowledge him, and show a smidgen of appreciation for all he had done for you, the universe itself would sing with his ecstasy.  Nothing has stopped him from loving you, not time or distance or pride or ego or dignity or judgment or rejection or abandonment.

He has nothing left to lose, and you have worlds to gain.

What is stopping you?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

My God

"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as for as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.  As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust."

Psalm 103:8-14

My God isn't an angry God, sitting in heaven, waiting for me to sin so He can smite me.
My God doesn't treat me like my sins deserve; He pardons me when I should die.

My God doesn't hold my sins over my head, reminding me of them constantly.
My God removes my sin completely; it is farther from me than the east from the west.

My God doesn't hold me to an unattainable standard and laugh as I fall short.
My God holds me to an unattainable standard and gives me His Son to make up for my shortcomings.

My God is a God of love and compassion.
He remembers my sin no more.
He gave His Son, who bled a died so that I could feel the love of God.

That is my God.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Valley

There once was a valley,
a valley of bones.
And I was there,
walking alone.

Out of the fog
there came a Voice:
"Speak to these bones,
tell them to rise!"

Quietly, then louder
I began to speak,
continuing on 'til
my words reached their peak

When suddenly a rattling,
prattling noise
erupted from the bones
as they began to rise.

And appeared there
before my very eyes
a standing army
of innumerable size.

But I looked closer
and I could tell
not a single heart beat
not a pair of lungs swelled.

Then I cried in despair,
my heart burdened with strife,
"What good is a body
without any life?"

Then the Voice came back
now stronger than before,
"Speak life to the bodies,
let them be dead no more!"

So again I spoke,
my voice ever rising
'til the dead came to life,
bodies revitalizing.

As I looked across
the human sea
I asked the Voice,
"What is the meaning of these?"

Then the Voice answered,
thundering, booming,
"This is My army
prepared for the war looming.

"I have called them, marked them,
though they be dead,
I have anointed them,
with My seal upon their head.

"These are the ones I call
these are the ones I adore,
ones that have died,
ones who live no more.

"I call them, I raise them
I snatch them from death.
I open their eyes,
I give them breath."

"But Lord," I exclaimed,
"What is their worth?
Why use the dead,
why give them new birth?"

"Son of man, look out
at the ones I gave breath.
Tell Me, did I not also
rescue you from death?"

Inspired by Ezekiel 37:1-14

Sunday, November 24, 2013

When you feel lonely

O Lord, You have searched me
   and You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
   You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
   You are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
   You know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in - behind and before;
   You have laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
   Where can I flee from Your presence?
If I go up to the heavens,  You are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there Your hand will guide me,
   Your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
   and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
   the night will sine like the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.
For You created my inmost being;
   You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   Your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from You
   when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
   Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in Your book
   before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, O 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.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.

~Psalm 139:1-18, 23-24~

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Stress 101

I've been majorly stressed lately, between having a job, going to school and trying to get into college and get it paid for.  The other day I was extremely overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.  I was asking God, "Why?  Why!  Why am I so stressed?  Why can't I get out of this depressed mindset that I'll never be able to do all the things I need to do, I'll never get into college, if by some miracle I get into college I'll never get it paid for, etc.  I was asking God all this stuff, and He just told me, "Talk to Me."  I remembered all those verses I've learned.  "Cast all your cares upon Him," "Do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will worry about itself."  So I poured my heart out.  I told Him that I couldn't do this.  I told Him that this was too much for me.  I asked Him to give me peace in the midst of all the anxiety I was feeling.  And He did.  Instantly I felt better.  I wasn't worried.  I wasn't stressed.  I no longer felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.  It felt like I could breath again.  A few days later, I again found a hidden gem on Pinterest.  It was a list of verses to read when you're stressed.  I found it incredibly enlightening, especially in light of my recent stress, and I hope you find it encouraging as well.

Jeremiah 29:11
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

I often have a hard time with this verse.  I feel like it's over-quoted a lot, and often taken out of context.  Many times I see this verse and I don't think too much about it, or sometimes care.  But I read this verse in the context of being stressed, and I saw it in a different light.  This verse means I don't have to stress.  God knows what He's doing with my life.  I don't have the slightest idea.  But God's got it all in His hands.  He has good plans for me, plans to make me grow, plans to give me a good future, plans to bring glory to Himself through me.  The bad things that happen, the disappointments and the failures, are all part of His plan.  If it didn't work out, it wasn't meant to be; He's got something better.  I don't have to worry about all my problems, because they're all in God's hands, and that's the only place where it's guaranteed that 100% of them will work out in a good way.

Psalm 29:11
"The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace."

He might take away my burden, but if He doesn't, He'll strengthen my back.  He will give me the strength to do my part, and the peace I need to wait on Him.  Everything happens according to His time, which is always right.  He will give me the strength I need to accomplish my tasks, and He will give me His perfect peace that I so need as I wait for Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

This is another verse that I feel has lost some of its power from being used for everything.  But still, when I looked at it and thought about my stress, it speaks specifically to that.  I am very stressed about the future, but listen to what He says:  Trust Me.  Don't listen to yourself.  Seek My face.  I will direct your paths if you let Me.  He knows the plans He has for me, I don't.  He knows what's best for me, I don't.  He knows what He's doing, I don't.  Seek His face.  He'll show you where to go.

Ephesians 4:26
"'In your anger do not sin': do not let the sun go down on your anger."

I will admit, I've never thought of anger as connected to stress.  But it makes sense.  It applies to my life.  Many times recently I have snapped at my family, ignored my friends and gave God the cold shoulder because I was so stressed.  I was angry with my circumstances, and I shut the world out.  Being angry is not the answer to stress.  Getting mad, inwardly or outwardly, won't make your stress go away.  Most times, it'll make it worse.  Don't blow the situation out of proportion.  I have big problems, but I have a bigger God.

Ephesians 4:31-32
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

I'll be honest, I cringed at this one.  When I'm angry, when I'm stressed, when everything is going wrong, the LAST thing I want to do is to be nice to people.  But that's exactly what God tells us to do.  As a matter of fact, the times that we really don't want to be loving and kind are the times that we really do need to be loving and kind, for our sake as much as others.  Going out of your way to help someone can turn your day around.  Even if it's just picking up a box of cereal that fell off the shelf, when you know that you've helped to make someone else's day a little easier, your day gets a little easier.

Matthew 6:19-21
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

How many times have you been stressed over material things?  I know I have been; and WAY more than I can count, too.  I stress about what to wear to church, whether I have enough clothes, whether I have enough of the right clothes... and we haven't even gotten to my phone!  Material things can stress me out way more than I realize.  But that's not worth stressing over.  Later in Matthew 6, Jesus talks about this.  He mentions the birds, and how they always have food even though they don't work for it.  He talks about the flowers, and how they always have splendid garments even though they don't weave.  He says that God knows that we need these things.  God provides for the birds and for the flowers, He will surely provide for us too.  Instead of worrying about whether we have wealth here on earth, Jesus challenges us to make sure we have wealth in heaven.  He even tells us how to make sure that we do.  He says, "Seek first [God's] kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Give of your time, your money, your talents.  Give of yourself.  God wants YOU.  When you give to Him, He gives back to you.  He will bless you for blessing His sons and daughters.

Hebrews 12:6
"Because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son."

This verse isn't really quoted much in church.  You don't hear it in every sermon.  It's not printed on greeting cards.  You probably can't find it cross-stitched on a pillow.  But it's there, right in the Bible, and it makes an important point.  A lot of the junk we go through is because of our own mistakes, and I am a living example of that.  But every difficult situation that we put ourselves in is for God's purpose.  He will teach us something in every single circumstance, whether or not it was of our own making.  He lets this stuff happen to us because He loves us.  It's hard to wrap my mind around, but it's true.  He loves us.  He wants us to be like Him, to be perfect.  A lot of times, the only way for that to happen is to go through junk.  So we go through junk.  Some of it is of our own making, some of it is people or circumstances God placed in our lives to help us grow.  It's not easy.  But God didn't promise easy.  He promised He would be with us, every single step of the way.  A friend of mine once put it this way.  Imagine the smallest possible step you can take.  Now take half of that.  It's only like, what, half a step away?  That's how close God is to you, all the time, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

So here's what I took from this.  God gives us steps to deal with stress.  First, He says, "Don't worry, I got this.  I know what I'm doing.  I've got good stuff for you.  Trust me."  He tells us that He will give us the strength and peace we need to handle all the crazy stuff we're going through.  He reminds us again to trust Him, and that He will make a way for us.  But we have to remember not to go crazy through all of this.  It's hard, but He will help us.  He reminds us that the stress goes away when we reach out and help others and love them like He loves us.  Then He gives us comfort, reminding us that He is always here, loving us with His unfailing love.

He doesn't want us to be stressed.

He loves us.
He will never leave us hanging.
He is always there, always listening, waiting for us to call His name.

He is half a step away, waiting for you.

I can't handle this photoset.

So I was casually browsing Pinterest when.........................


This photoset.

This photoset gives me a whopping case of the warm fuzzies.  Seriously.  I need to work through my feeling about this photoset.

This is going to be a long post.

So here's Loki.  And here's Mystery Girl, who loves Loki dearly.  Loki has never been loved like this.  He doesn't know what to do.  His villian-y reaction is "Ew.... get away from me!"

"Hey, maybe she's not trying to hurt me.  This is still weird though."  (he still doesn't quite know what's going on)

"Okay, maybe this isn't so bad, but, nobody *coughcoughTHORcoughcough* had better see this."

"So, how am I supposed to do this?  What do I do?  I'm still not completely comfortable with this situation."

Then he gets it.  He accepts her love.  But this thing he has for her is far beyond, "Hey, you're cute."  He loves her because she loves him for who his is, despite his flaws, despite what he's done.  He has found someone who completely accepts him for who he is.

But Thor had to ruin the moment COMPLETELY.  Thor has always been the lady's man, with the gorgeous, flowing hair and all.  He thinks it's cute that his brother has a girl.  He doesn't see how important this is to him.  He thinks it would be funny to try to get this girl to fall for him too.  

But look at Loki.  Look at how hurt he is.  Look at how protective he is of her, with his hand on her head.  He loves this girl and doesn't want Thor to take her away.  He knows how much the ladies love Thor, and he doesn't want to lose her to his brother, who has taken everything else away from him.

So obviously, this embrace is over.  Thor thinks it's so funny, like, "Look, my loser of a brother can't even keep the girl he's got in his arms!"  To him it's just another one-up of his brother.

Loki is obviously hurt.  He expects the girl to follow Thor off, her eyes glazed over as she gazes upon Thor's flowing, golden locks.  He knows.  He's been here before.

But she doesn't.

Not even close.

Mystery Girl isn't taken with Thor.  She doesn't even look at him.  She's hurt that Loki is hurt.  She shares his pain.   Whether from experience or from great compassion, she knows how Loki feels.  She sees how deep this hurt runs.

And she knows how to fix it.

There is no hesitation here.  She goes all out to show him that she's not going anywhere.  You can see it on her face.  She cares for Loki, and no one else.

Loki doesn't seem to think so.  Perhaps he thinks that Thor is just punching him to add insult to injury.  He's clearly not happy.

But then he realizes that he was wrong about her.  She isn't just another shallow girl that is just trying to pick the most handsome brother.   He realizes that she truly does care for HIM, Loki.  

You can see it in her eyes.  She desperately wants him to accept her love.  She knows he needs it.

And he finally realizes that too.

(This is not my art, I do not own this, I do not take credit for this.  I found it here:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

You can't sink if you're swimming.  God's grace is an ocean, and we swim right through it.  We try to stay afloat in this life, but that's not what we're supposed to do.  Jesus said to abide in Him, to stay in Him.  He wants us to sink into His grace, and we can't if we're swimming.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I still haven't seen the Hunger Games. #ireallywanttoseeit

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