Saturday, September 15, 2012

I've moved my blog! You should be redirected soon to:

Sunday, September 9, 2012


It's a beautiful afternoon in Nashville and I am so excited just for the chance to sit down and write. So far it's been an incredible day of sweet worship and community-- two things I've been extremely blessed to find so quickly in my life in a new city. There's just something about the change of seasons that constantly reminds me just how sweet the Lord is.

A few days ago, I received a link to this video and the Lord sent me on an incredible journey after watching it. Take a look, it's totally worth your five minutes:

Are you amazed? I was. I mean, where has this truth been my whole life? What an incredible, beautiful picture of Christ's tangible love for the church.

And so, with this in mind, I felt the Lord calling me in my time with Him to read over that story again. It was so evident, in fact, that it just so happened I'd stuck my pen randomly in my Bible the day before right at Mark 14, the story of the Last Supper... and I knew I was out to hear something sweet from Him.

I chased the story of the Last Supper around from quite a few angles that afternoon but felt the Lord was constantly calling me back to something deeper. In verse 15 two of the disciples are called to go ahead and prepare the room for the supper. This notion of preparing can be unpacked a ton... but I really landed on this question:

What does it really look like for me to prepare myself to receive the covenant with Christ? What does it look like for me to prepare myself to accept His great proposal? 

If you are a Christ follower, you've already surpassed that point of preparation to receive the covenant (or essentially the proposal)-- you've already accepted it. I love the notion, however, that the two disciples were called to prepare the dinner for many. I know that there are people in my life who helped prepare the way for me to meet with Christ and I see now that it is my responsibility to help prepare the way for others to meet Him as well. But, for those of us who are in Christ, the question now has really shifted from that initial call to preparation to-

How do I prepare as I wait, after accepting the offer of Christ's covenant? 

We see from the video and know from Scripture that after accepting the marriage proposal, the man and woman each went back to their perspective towns to prepare-- Him to build a home for her and her to wait until he returned at an unexpected time. Now, I've never been in her shoes, but I have to imagine that if my groom were coming for me at an unexpected time, I'd be working to be ready without ever being caught off guard. That's what our lives are to look like also-- that's what the disciples do after this point. The Lord has been showing me a ton of this through the early chapters of Acts.

But back up just a little-- the bride doesn't just return home to her usual day to day life. One of my favorite lines in the video was the mention that she went home and was no longer called by name, but rather called "one who has been bought with a price". Her whole identity changed. People knew that she had accepted the marriage offer based on the tradition of giving her a new title in the town.

Traditions are never really too far gone, and we can see that today people know that a girl has accepted a marriage proposal through the symbol of her wearing a ring. A girl wearing a ring says yes, I'm claimed- I'm taken. It's a symbol given that comes with both a promise and (let's be real-) a sacrifice on the man's part. Now, maybe I don't stand in the boat with the majority of the girls in the world, but to me it reflects far more on the giver than the receiver. It's not about something shiny, but rather it says look what he loved me enough to sacrifice for...

It doesn't say oh, she's engaged, but rather oh, look who she's been promised to.

It doesn't say look at me, but rather look who I belong to

A ring is a symbol of that commitment and the acceptance of that offer. People see it, and they know.

So what is the symbol Christ gives us when we accept His offer to become His bride? What will people see and know that we have said yes?

It's far more valuable and far more of a sacrifice than any earthly symbol.

It's life.

Let that soak in. Look what He loved me enough to sacrifice. He has given up everything that we might walk around proudly wearing the life He has given us.

And in the same way, it shouldn't say look at me, but rather look who I belong to

I don't know about you, but I was brought to humble tears at that realization. If we have accepted His covenant, His offer to allow us to be His bride even in the midst of our countless imperfections, we should wear proudly that new life He has given us. He has changed our identity. It should now be evident that we are to be referred to as one who was bought with a price. Because we were. Goodness, we were...

Let that soak in on this beautiful Sunday afternoon in the midst of whatever you may be doing. Does your life proclaim that you belong to Him?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

spoken redemption

Blogging... I'd like to start doing that again.

I've been itching for days to write this post, but I also started a new job this week. A girl can only do so much, right? So between doing manual labor to finish up camp inventory for nine hours a day, adjusting to life in a new city, and trying to begin a plan to prep for an upcoming 5k, I've maybe let a few things slip through my fingers. Oops? I'm sure the blogging world will forgive me in time...

The week before moving to Nashville, I was blessed to spend a few short days in Mississippi with Daniel. We were both reminded one afternoon of just how sweet the Lord is and how powerfully He calls us not to forget that we all belong to Him. (Have I mentioned I'm blessed to have conversations like that be a normal part of my dating life?) That reminder was powerful for me as I come off of a full summer of ministry. I've soaking in the opportunities lately to sit at a coffee shop or in my bedroom and just dive into His word. I'm thirsty for it, and yet still I wonder if He will ever be able to stop reminding me that I cannot make it on my own...

I sat at the Panera by my new apartment earlier this week (a place you can be sure I will frequent-- it may be a little too close for my own good...) and spent a little time enjoying the Lord's presence and a strawberry smoothie. I've recently begun a study of Acts and I was blown away that day as began to dive into chapter two. I'll hopefully share later about the beauty of the first two verses, but for today I'm caught up on what we see happen in verse four...

"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."

To catch up a little, Jesus has just left the Earth with the promise that He would send someone in His place. His disciples are all together when He fulfills this promise and sends His Holy Spirit-- something I've been studying for ages and could go off on a million tangents about. I'll just say this, and then get back on track: Wow-- what a crazy thing that God Himself would send His Spirit rushing in to dwell inside of us... more on that later. Back to my point--

I began to think through this moment when the Spirit enables the twelve to speak in different languages. Why? What's the point? It seems obvious... now they can go out and share Christ's story with people all across the world. But there's more to it than just that.

The story comes to mind of the other time in Scripture that we see God change the languages of a group of people. In Genesis 11, God scatters the languages of the people at the tower of Babel as a result of them worshipping false idols. They were displeasing God, so he blocked their form of communication.The point of the change of languages in this story is disunity-- separation due to sins.

But the point of the change of languages in Acts is the exact opposite. Here, God has enabled a group of people to go out and communicate with others for the sake of sharing the Gospel.

Do you see it? Acts is the coming together of what was broken apart in Genesis.

The people can again communicate with one another. Redemption steps in.

The Spirit comes and reconnection happens. The Spirit comes and communication is reopened.

What a picture of the Gospel we can see through these two stories. Originally, all people spoke one language, just as originally we all walked as one with God. But sin happened, so God caused a separation and blocked communication-- be it between people in Babylonia, or between us and God Himself. So many years later, after the life and death of Jesus, God reopens the door for communication-- yes, between people of the world, but much more importantly between us and God.

Christ is our intercessor, the door between our sinful selves and the holy perfection of God. We see in Romans that the Spirit intercedes for us-- our salvation in Christ gives us the opportunity to again connect directly with the Father. He gives us the right to stand wholly redeemed in His blood. Accounts all throughout Scripture point to this beautiful truth and I'm fascinated by how God makes His message clear through the smallest things, even something like language. His tiny details go to show just how big our God is. I don't know about you, but I love that humbling reminder.

We've been given the opportunity to directly connect with the God who breathed the world into existence via His very Spirit abiding inside of us. Are you making the most of that gift today? I know I should fall flat on my face at that realization much more often than I do.

Something to think about... Don't let that redemption go uncherished.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

omc christmas

Every Thursday at camp, we play a little game called OMC.

It's kind of a big deal.

Here are a few favorite shots from our second-to-last week of omc. I'll give credit for the photos to sweet Emma, but if they don't look great, it's because I edited them myself. ;)

I have more to share, but blogspot is telling me I've hit my quota on space for uploading photos... enjoy these while I work on that little problem.

Saturday, July 7, 2012



It's literally been so long since I last wrote that I had to figure out how to make a new post.

And I miss that. Camp is certainly not the place for excessive free time, but I'm enjoying this little break on a lazy weekend. We are headed out to go hiking soon, and I can't lie-- I'm excited to spend a little time just loving on this staff more. Last night I was asked what my favorite part of this past week at camp was. After thinking through it, I know this much to be truth: I have loved watching my team step into their roles, own what they are doing, and be transformed by the Lord. God has spoken to my heart this past week about what a blessing it is just to walk alongside and disciple these leaders. It's a mighty calling, and I'm falling more in love with it day by day. And that transformation that is happening in the lives of my staffers is directly correlating to the transformation happening week by week in the lives of children and adults.

God has been transforming me as well. (It's no coincidence that this year's theme is Romans 12:1-2; living a transformed life.) I have learned day by day a ton about my faith, about myself, and about what leadership really looks like. I've had a major perspective shift during this game and come into realizing that my job is not simply to lead, but to coach. I cannot expect my staff to do their jobs perfectly from the get go, but rather my job is to walk alongside them-- coaching, supporting, and teaching, both in the realm of camp logistics and in the spiritual nature.

I've been walking through the story of a great leader in scripture-- Joshua, the man who was chosen by God to follow into Moses's footsteps and lead the people of Israel through a long and challenging battle. I've seen the parallels constantly and God has been speaking to me a ton on how this Scripture applies to my own heart and story. I hope to post more from this story as the summer continues and I have a million pieces my heart is brimming to share but for the sake of time, I will start with this one:

My heart was convicted one night as we sat in the auditorium preparing for kids to come in for a time of worship. Joshua chapter six describes the Fall of Jericho and how Joshua lead the Israelites in marching around the walls of the city until they fell. I began to think through why the Israelites marched around the wall (other than, of course, because the Lord instructed them to do so), and this is what I came up with:

They marched to declare the Lord's victory.
They marched to declare that the city belonged to God.
They marched to prepare the way for the arc of the covenant-- to pave a path for the very presence of God.
They marched to collapse walls. 

I am fully willing to bet that the Israelites felt really silly marching around the walls of Jericho. I'm also pretty positive that my staff felt a little silly when I made them march around the auditorium. But they are troopers and we figured we would give it a shot. We walked for a while around the auditorium praying for the same-- that God would have the victory, that all we were doing belonged to Him, that the presence of God would be welcomed in that place, and that walls would begin to collapse in the lives of kids, adults, and staff.

I'd like to tell you that the Lord blessed that night of worship in a mighty way and every kid at camp came down the aisle to receive Christ, but the reality of this situation is this: Not a single kid came forward that night.

And yet-- the more I began to pray and see with God's eyes, the more I realized that He did break down walls after all, even if not in the way I expected. That night when I threw out to the staff the usual question of "Tell me something awesome the Lord did today...", they were fighting one another to tell stories. Just to name a few- we had third graders going deeper in the concept of discipleship, and we had a pair of brothers who were extremely resistant to the Gospel begin to put together the pieces... individually. Those boys then were sat together to begin talking about what God was doing in their lives and how they could hold one another accountable as they returned to their hard family situation. Big things happened in the lives of staff as well. Over and over again, the Lord has allowed me to be present when He reveals pieces of their past that they have suppressed. He is using the hard parts of their individual stories to relate directly to the hard stories these kids walk through day by day. So even though no one came forward that night, the Lord moved in a mighty way. He is continuing to do so.

Joshua three says this: "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." That word consecrate is the same word used when God rests on the seventh day and sets the day apart as being dedicated to Himself. Set it apart, make it holy, give it to God. That's my heart beat for us each day-- continue to prepare the path for the Lord to move by dedicating fully to Him.

I'm blessed to be here this summer. This team is phenomenal, and I'm overwhelmed by how deeply I love them each, through laughs and through tough times. I cannot wait to see what the Lord continues to do this summer. Be praying for our staff and our kids-- we have three weeks to go and I'm sure not ready to see it end.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


It's weekends like this one that I'm reminded how incredibly beautiful my life here in Mississippi is. The best word I can describe for these days is idyllic. I sit at the end of them and wonder how I ever got to be so blessed.

I love everything about life here.

I love the sunshine and afternoons by the lake. I love that I have the sweetest church family I could ever have dreamed of-- one that makes me laugh constantly, pushes me to grow, and cries sweet tears as I cry them too. I love lazy afternoons with the boy who melts my heart far more than is safe to say. I love every minute of just living life together-- reading books, sitting by the pool, playing tennis, and laughing til we both can't breathe. I am blessed beyond all measure every single day.

The Lord answered my cries for friendship as I moved here in such a mighty way. This place is home. These people are family. I'm so blessed by this time and so grateful for this chapter of my life. I'm holding tight to every single second of it.

Because that's just what it is... a beautiful chapter. One far greater than I could have written myself.

But chapters come to an end and pages get turned. I admit that I can't understand why this one has to close. I admit that I'm not ready for it. Not in the least. The heavy realization of it brings hot tears to my eyes this afternoon...

I've accepted my dream job, working at the LifeWay office in Nashville next year. I get to live the dream of so many CK staffers-- working on camp all year round. I've secretly dreamed of this for years and I'm so flattered to have been offered the position. I'm brimming with excitement, yes, but right now I just need someone to push me off the edge and into the water. I know I'm going to love it when I get there. Leaving here may be hands down the hardest thing I've ever been called to do, but I know with full assurance that if I'm going to be faithful to the promise I made the Lord a long time ago, that is was Him that I would follow first and foremost, no matter the cost, then I have to go.

I have to go.

Because the Lord's plans are better than mine, even if I can't see it today. I believe that to be true, one hundred percent.

But today all I wish for more hours in the sunshine, more evenings listening to sweet friends play music, more time just living life together... more girls nights, more Sunday School, and more of the family that I know loves me so much here. More of home. Today I'm realizing that I'll miss Sunday lunches and time laughing with kids and all the things I love every day about being here. I'll miss the accountability I've built, though I know I'll take those relationships with me in the days to come. I cried uncontrollably at the realization today that I'll miss another soccer season. I'll miss being twenty minutes away from Daniel and getting to laugh together almost every single day. I'll miss this idyllic life the Lord has gifted me with during this time. I love it.

And so I'm scared, yes. But don't hear me say that I'm not excited. If there's one thing I know to be true, it's that in the morning when I wake up, the Lord will still be good. Every single day. I've seen His goodness and I know His provision. I know He has a mighty purpose for me in this next chapter and with that in mind, I'm excited to allow Him to turn the page. I'm grasping on to all that today holds and I ask that you join me as I pray for trusting Him with tomorrow. The days aren't mine to hold anyway. He is good. He is in control.

Praise God for who He is. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He did all He did simply to redeem us, that we might be able to walk in His presence once more. And walk I will. Humbly, boldly, not knowing where the path may lead, but trusting as I take my next step. Psalm 37:23, right? It's my constant prayer for my life.

Where You go, I'll go. Where You stay, I'll stay. When You move, I'll move. I will follow You.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


One of my favorite pictures from my childhood is of me and my dad early in the morning, sitting and having breakfast in tiny plastic chairs in my little plastic kitchen: him in a suit and me in a nightgown, little curls bouncing all over the place.

I love it for a lot of reasons, but primarily because it speaks to the love of a daddy, so willing to put aside his schedule and drink fake tea before work in the morning, and the innocence of a little girl, wanting only to spend a few minutes with her favorite man in the whole world.

I began to think on that photo tonight during worship. And on how our Heavenly Father loves us like that... but on even an entirely greater level.

A few weeks ago at Disciple Now at my church here in Mississippi, the speaker shared a story about his wife. He began to describe with such visible passion about how he cherished his bride and wanted to daily put her safe on a pedestal and let nothing harm her. The passion on his face as he told this story said that he meant it-- that he loved and cherished her so deeply that he wanted nothing to come close to wounding her-- physically, emotionally, spiritually. Whatever it takes, at any cost, to know that she is valuable and precious to him.

And as beautiful as that is to see in an earthly relationship, my heart is shaken at how much more so Jesus loves us like that. So deeply that He is willing to let nothing come between our love (Rom 8:38). So deeply that He was willing to humble himself to death on a cross (Phil. 2:8). So deeply that He calls us as church the bride of Christ and promises only to give us good. We do nothing to earn it, nothing to deserve it, He just loves us. Cherishes. So tightly that He never lets us go.

Last week I bought a dress.

It's a beautiful white, lace dress that caught my eye one afternoon in a store and was too idyllic for me to pass up. I'm planning on wearing it to my graduation, and until then it was intended to safely hang in the back of my closet and wait. But tonight as I cried out to the Lord in worship, I kept being reminded of that dress. I put the thought aside a few times and then with all confusion asked "Lord, why?" 

 His response was near audible:

"Put on your white dress and dance with me." 

I'm not sure if I began to laugh at that moment or not... laughing, as a natural overflow of my heart. I see what you're saying here, Lord. I'm seeing the imagery and all you're piecing together...

So with only a slight hesitation at feeling silly, I went home, put on my white dress, built a beautiful playlist, and did something I haven't done in a long time. I danced. Around my living room, all by myself, in my prettiest dress. Giving my best to Him, remembering how deeply He cherishes me, and offering up myself as a sacrifice-- all my dreams, all my desires, all my worries. Like a little girl playing dress up; spotless, whole, and loved by her Father. He delights in us, and I laughed as I twirled around my living room, curls bouncing all over the place once again. Did I feel silly? Absolutely. But it was an act of obedience and a beautiful time of worship with my Father.

The funny thing about dancing with someone is that as the girl, you're supposed to let him lead. I confess that I'm not particularly good at this... I've been reminded of such once or twice. But tonight as I danced and laughed and gave it my all, He continually whispered to my heart to remember to let Him lead. And how beautiful it was as I felt Him take over. Me, not dancing to impress my Father but simply letting Him lead as He whispered His love. If He's leading, I can no longer focus on my future, no longer stress about what's to come, no longer ask a million questions until I'm confused and frustrated.

I can only trust and follow.

And so I tell you that story tonight simply to remind you of this:
You are loved and cherished deeply. Your Father protects you daily from harm, wants to lead you, and wants only for you to give Him your all-- your beautiful, broken pieces and your very best acts of worship as an overflow of your love.

What a sweet relationship it is. What a loving Father we have... one who dances each day with His children, deeply and wholly cherished.

Such beauty. Such truth.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...