Thursday, August 30, 2007

sleep was fleeting...

My roomie and I were very excited to see the sky lighting up and thundering at around 10pm last night. We opened up the windows so we could watch.

The thrill wore off at 2am when I woke up to my room thundering and all lit up! I was scared out of my wits! And though my roomie says she woke up, she was not moving. So, I was alone and the lightning seemed to be right on top of our house and room.

Rumbling and cracking in the was crazy! I got up and looked out the window. We were surrounded. It was beautiful, and yet frightening at the same time.

I felt God's presence and wondered at how much fear I had of the lightning...and how much more powerful God is. My fear was better placed in God's hands, as He was fully in control. Of my life. Of this storm. It raged on throughout the night, filling the sky with power and glorious light. I slept poorly, but stand in awe of God's amazing glory.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

faith, not doubt

I am listening to last Sunday's message (I was hanging out with three year olds last Sunday...), and my pastor is talking about faith and Gideon's life. Lately, I feel much like Gideon...full of arguments and doubt. I have a lot of dreams, and yet, I struggle with doubt. As I listen, my pastor says, "You have to choose to believe." God has spoken many promises to me, and I have a choice. Do I believe or do I stay paralyzed out of fear, mostly of failing?

I just started my cell group. I have one member. Historically, I have come up against a lot of arguments about gathering people. I am now being called to not only have a cell group and grow that, but to also help grow my leader's group. Can someone say "aaaahhh" with me? Ha ha ha. Truthfully, my panicked thoughts are driving me into God's arms. I cannot do this in my own strength. And I don't think God wants me to do that. He wants to show me miracles to build my faith. That is exactly what I am praying for. Nothing is impossible for God. And here I am, hoping for the impossible. I am so grateful that God is in charge. I am excited, don't get me wrong, but I know that I need God to do this. I am not willing to do it without Him.

Now my pastor is saying we need to stand up and break the spirit of fear and poverty over our lives. This word is for me. I have struggled and struggled...I have let my weakness dictate to me what I do. I need to give it all to the Lord and receive the Lord's grace. His grace is sufficient for me. I have to get over my weaknesses. I was talking with my friend Katie the other day about a man who wrote a book about focusing on your strengths instead of trying to improve in your weak areas. We too often get caught up in our weakness and then cannot move on. God made us to overcome and walk in the dreams He has for us. It is simply allowing the cross to do its work in our lives, being transformed by forgiveness and mercy.

I am learning to agree with faith. It is an amazing thing how my heart is different simply by starting a cell group. I am desperate for the Lord. I realize how much I need Him to lead me so I can lead others. I am grateful that He chose me, and I am trusting that He has the best for me.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I wrote this right before my birthday a few weeks back...thought I'd post it here :)

I am going to be twenty six...that is one year older than I thought I would be when I got married...boy, was I off! I think I am going to borrow Emery's idea and write about twenty six random things about me. Sound like fun? No? Then go ahead and stop reading now, because I am going full speed ahead...

me as a baby sporting a mohawk

1. My parents were so cool that they gave me a mohawk at five days old.

2. When I was three, I would eat raw onions off the chopping board!

3. I have to have chapstick and a source of water by my bed before I can comfortably go to sleep. I have done this for years...

4. I collect sheep. Not real ones. And it wasn't my idea. But somehow, someone thought it would be cool to give me sheep and stuff with sheep on it. Now I have a collection, and it seems that lots of people are in on it.

5. I sing to myself a lot, especially when I am working on something. Sometimes it is in my head, sometimes not. That is when my boss laughs at me. Not because I sound bad, but because it is usually this mumbly humming/singing that doesn't really sound like singing.

6. I always have a song in my head. Right now, it is "Not who I was" by Brandon Heath. Not sure if that is exactly what it is called, but it is my best guess. I am better at lyrics than titles.

me again

7. I love reading! I have read 22 books so far this year and am reading 2-3 right now...

8. My favorite color is green. It is the color of life, and my eyes. I had blue eyes for my first few years though.

9. I do not like peas. They smell like sweaty gym socks to me. Funny, they are green too, but that does not improve upon my opinion of them.

10. My verse for this year is "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit." I am praying for restoration- a restored relationship with God. There has been a lot in my way of that, and God is helping me tear down the walls.

11. So far I want to have three kids...maybe four. I used to want two. The more I babysit, the more I seem to want. I am a mama, even if I do not have my own yet.

12. I have a park in my front yard. My roommate bought a pink basketball so we could be ballers and go out and shoot some hoops. I must admit it is kinda cool to have swings a few steps away from your porch.

13. Twenty six is a large number. I am halfway there. Oh wow. I just remembered what it was like being thirteen. Hahaha. I desperately wanted to be older, a woman. Now I wish I hadn't wished that so much. It was good to be a child, a young teen.

14. I used to climb trees. I would sit in them all day at the park. Or I would ride my bike all over the place.

15. In every job I have worked, I have been promoted. I have been a 17 year old 3rd key manager, a 19 year old recovery team lead, and a 22 year old supervisor. I am now a 26 year old (almost) QMRP. I do not like to stay in one position too long. If it is not challenging, I want to move on.

16. What does QMRP stand for? Qualified Mental Retardation Professional. I like my made-up version better- Qualified Manager of Residential Programs. Mine sounds nicer and is still accurate. In order to be a QMRP, I had to be approved by someone important in the state. I am sure you are impressed.

17. My bed is known as the bed of convenience. People, clothes, and random items migrate and rest on my bed. It becomes a stomping ground for roomies, and has already been initiated into this new house as such.

18. I love chocolate. Yum. I pretty much eat a little everyday in some form or another.

19. My current nicknames include: Beena, X-tina, Chrispix, Tina, Cholina (don't ask), Beans, Precious, and Boss Hog.

20. Yes, in the twenties! My favorite birthday so far was my 24th. I was surprised twice, once during A-team, and once (well, multiple times) at the fair. I am hard to surprise, so I enjoyed the love.

21. I love to dance. I don't do it enough. I want to learn how to do more partner dances, but I have to meet my partner first!

22. My diploma from Cal Poly is signed by Arnold Swartzenegger. I will always think of him as the Terminator.

23. I love to laugh and make people laugh. I also do not do that enough.

24. I am learning to love myself the way God does. I am also learning to believe that God loves me as much as everyone else.

25. I have a spot of hair that always grows out platinum blond. I call it natural highlighting!

26. I am praying that this year will be even better than the last, that I overcome my obstacles, that I finally meet my husband, and that I begin to be the leader God is calling me out to me. Twenty six, here I come!


Friday, August 10, 2007


Have you ever known that you needed to do something, but still do what you shouldn't, simply because it is familiar, comfortable? I am in the midst of a decision in my life and I know what I need to do, but I am still kicking. It's like when you are a kid getting scream because you don't know what is going to happen, the whole procedure seems scary, and you just know it is going to hurt. Of course, ultimately the immunization protects you from nasty sickness despite all of that, but you don't care. That doesn't matter. What matters is the pending doom at the end of the needle. All you see is the immediate future. Not the lollipop at the end or the fact that you won't die from whatever it is you are being protected from.

So, that is how laying down a life of sin is. Like that analogy? You don't realize how bad it can be without the just see the process of going through it. It is hard to stop sinning. No matter what it is. Drugs, sex, negativity, anger...we become one with our sin and when God asks us to walk away, we feel pain at the thought of the unknown. We are so untrusting and uncertain that many times it takes us years to finally let go.

God has given me new lyrics to a song in process. It says "come home, come home, come home, weary traveller". It is about returning to the heart of God. I feel like God is speaking that deep in my soul, and that he wants to speak it into others' lives as well. Come home. Sounds simple, huh. It is just a decision away.