Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Story

Love came down at Christmas...

We've all seen it.

Year after year, different places, different faces... but the content is basically the same.

The Nativity.

The sparkling angels

Mary glowing and perfect

The stable tidy and clean as all the animals watch in silence to welcome the birth of the Christ child.

I was thinking the other day about our representation of Jesus' birth.

I don't believe it was the beautiful, clean, serene, majestic scene we see at Christmas.

Child birth is messy and scary. 

Stables are typically smelly and dirty.

I think its so amazing that our Savior came in such a humble way, when He deserved so much more.

I think the point of Jesus coming as a child to be born in a stable was not simply to represent his humbleness and willingness.

It seems to be an incredible testament to the fact that He is willing to come down, into the middle of our mess.

Jesus isn't waiting for you to clean your life up before He can come in your life. 

He came into this imperfect world as a baby, in dirty stable to show us all that He doesn't need us to be clean first.

Jesus came to clean us up.

Christmas has been so amazing this year.

I honestly have so much to be thankful for. 

An amazing family that I love so much (with a new nephew or niece on the way, yay!!)

The best friends in the entire world. 

And an incredible Savior who didn't wait to offer His grace until I thought I deserved it. But knew I didn't deserve it, and offered it anyway. 

Because it isn't the gifts or the food that make this holiday so spectacular.
Its the family and the the friends and celebration of our Savior

So I know there is only a few hours left of Christmas, but if you haven't already, take the time to thank Jesus for all the blessings in your life, and for the sacrifice He gave.

It is Jesus' birthday after all, and I think the number one item on His wish list is for you to spend that quality time with Him.


"Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream; the cold clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Frozen

"I don't have anything to write about anymore. My words have become boring and too plain for stories.."
-Parachute Musical

This is my fear. 

That one day all these words inside my head will simply dry up. 
No longer flow. Refuse to come out. Cease to exist...

That the words that I say or write will no longer inspire or encourage but simply be flat, boring, meaningless...

Not just to everyone else, but also to myself.

Because in all honesty, while I LOVE writing to ignite a spark in someone else... sometimes I write just for me. 

It scares me to think that one day I could sit down to write, only to have nothing of value to say. 

One of my dreams is to write a book... or books...

But sometimes I struggle to finish a few lines in a blog.

Sometimes I can't find the words to comfort a friend.

A lot of times, it comes out all wrong, or worse not at all.

I am afraid that I will sit down to begin something great, only to be unable to finish. 

My fear is that even if I do finish, this thing that I have built up in my mind to be great, turns out to be not so great...

My fear is that I will write something so completely honest and vulnerable only to have that sincerity scoffed at.

I heard a quote once that said "How vain is it to sit down to write, when you have not stood up to live."

Have I lived enough to write something of any worth? Or will my attempts be viewed as naive?

These are the thoughts that occupy my mind every time I start to write, and most times, I turn off my computer and walk away. 

I feel as if this fear keeps me frozen, unable to make any moves towards my dreams.


The only thing that keeps me going; that keeps me believing in myself is YOU. 

Its the amazing people that I am lucky enough to call my family and friends.

Its those of you who care enough to read EVERY blog I post, even when I post every single day. 

Its those of you who don't just read what I write, but text/comment to let me know that I have in some way encouraged you. 


Its those of you who promote the words that I say be encouraging someone else to read it. 

So basically what I am saying, is that I am nothing without you.

That words are simply words until someone can read it and take it to heart. 

That this blog that I write is meaningless unless someone somewhere is motivated to hope, love, change, try again, start over, jump, take a chance, forgive, be better...

So here I am, telling you that I am scared to death.

That pursuing this dream is one of the most challenging beginnings I have ever had to face.

But I am going to do it.

Not just for myself, but for you...

Because if I can't see past my fears and have courage, then I have no business telling you to.

So lets do it together. Whatever your dream may be.

Lets start today, even if its a small step...

Like telling someone your dream for the first time, or announcing to your entire world through a blog that you aren't going to let your fears hold you back.

Right now is all we have, and in the famous words of Emily Dickinson, Forever is composed of nows. 


If you gotta start somewhere why not here
If you gotta start sometime why not now
If we gotta start somewhere I say here
If we gotta stat sometime I say now

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Love is...

"I don't pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me..."

Love is a friend who always pumps your gas, and who will hold your hair back when you're puking.

Love is sitting in a driveway talking til 2am in the summer.

Love interrupts your work day to have a "meeting".

Love knows your favorite things, like books and sugar free red bull.

Love reads every blog, quotes you, promotes you, encourages you and is always your biggest fan.

Love refrains from killing you when your being stupid.

Love always has your back.

Love tells you that you aren't crazy for falling for the boy, in fact love does their best to make it happen.

Love spends a whole evening making cupcakes for your birthday.

Love writes the best letters. 

Love drives across town, just to see you.

Love understands and doesn't judge.

Love is having the same best friend since you were 4.

Love talks about the ugly stuff and the uncomfortable stuff...

Love does its best to protect you and never wants to hurt you.

Love texts you at 3am, just because they are thinking about you.
Love stencils and uses puff paint with you.

Love lays in the freezing cold to stargaze.

Love puts you first.

Love knows your secrets and loves you anyways.

Love is being the "favorite".

Love argues with you about stupid stuff.

Love has the best hugs.

Love still calls you sweat pea and pumpkin even though you are 23.

Love lets you still sit in their lap.

Love lets you win.

Love always reminds you that you are loved.

Love is an amazing Savior.

I am so blessed to have so many people in my life to love, and so many people who love me. Love is all around us. So whatever love is to you, I hope today you feel loved and I hope that you are inspired to love others. Its the little things that we do for other people that can change their lives...

 1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.

Love doesn't strut,

Doesn't have a swelled head,

Doesn't force itself on others,

Isn't always "me first,"

Doesn't fly off the handle,

Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn't revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
11When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
12We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Contemplation

September 2nd, 2009

If you know me well, you know I'm a dreamer, a bit of a deep thinker if you will.


This may or may not translate through my words, or my appearance, but I tend to spend a lot of time in contemplation. Tonight, while I was supposed to be doing my homework, I began to think about my life.

The good things and the bad.

Where I am, where I am headed.

The things I wouldn't change for the world and the things that I pray to God will change soon.

To some this may sound odd, but this is where I find my head lately. And before long, the questions begin to stir around.

The what ifs? the what would'ves? and the how could yous?

All start into a spiral of wondering.

Did I make the right decisions? Am I a good enough? Can you forgive yourself? Can you move on? What is next? Why are you upset? Why them and not me? What is wrong?

are you happy?

Thats the big one, because to be completely honest, I feel a bit selfish for ever even asking myself that question. I have so many blessings and wonderful things in my life, that I would be crazy to not be happy.

But yet I find myself in this state of confusion. Its my curse of over-analyzing, a trait I received from my mother I am pretty certain.

Its more than just simple superficial things I wish that I could chage, because Lord knows there are a bunch of those.

I feel as if the answers to my questions, the end to my wondering are all wrapped up in one big life-changing decision. Like in one instant all my worries and fears can be fixed...

when in reality, it will probably take a million different small moments... I am not good at waiting.

Patience is something I don't pray for, because I really don't want the tests and trials that come along with it.

The future scares the heck out of me.

Because sometimes I just want to know that i've made the right decisions, that my life is making a difference, that there is something more to come.

And i know with all my heart that God's hands are holding tight to my future, so its silly for me to ever worry... but I worry still.

A couple of weeks ago I was kinda depressed about some situations, and I was talking to my mom. I was trying to understand why people act or do what they do. My mom, who I honestly believe is the smartest woman alive, told me to focus on myself. Make sure that my life is in line, and that I am doing the things that God wants me to do.

It sounds simple, but oh so hard sometimes.

I want so much more that just ok.

I want passion and change and love and hope and courage and something wonderful.

So here is my declartion that I am tired of simplicity and average and normal.

I want extaordinary and indescribable.

My life WILL make a difference. My words will change lives. My heart will be open to love. And my feet willing to go wherever the Lord leads.

So, as far as the past goes, the questions the wondering, I can't change it. I have to believe in the decisions that I have made, and trust that I am still on the path that God created for me.

The future is coming whether we like it or not. So I guess its time to stop fearing. Start living for now. Take life by the horns. Fight with your whole heart, and never give up. Its going to be amazing...


"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive"

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness


August 24th, 2008

I wasn't built for this. I was created a little differently I suppose.

I am sure there are more of my kind out there… but I feel they are too afraid to expose themselves. We are seen as traditional, conservative, unrealistic… We are the few who have not given up on our knights in shinning armor.


Not to say that we have never wandered, or been tempted to settle for less. We have spent years trying to become what we have been told we should be.


We have been told that chivalry is dead, and that prince charming will never come. We have been told lie after lie, and so many have chosen to believe it.


We have adapted to "Today's Standards" of how a woman should act. "Don't be too fat, or too thin. Too dark or too light. Don't be too sexual or too chaste. Too smart or too dumb. Be yourself, but make sure you fit in."


We are told not to wait for "the one", but to find him. To track him, and hunt him down. We are told that if he won't pursue you, then you must pursue him.


It's the 21st Century after all. Ever wonder why in all the fairy tales, you never see Cinderella searching the entire kingdom for a prince, or Sleeping Beauty fighting the dragon? Cause that is not the way its supposed to be.


I am tired of chasing after this thing called happiness. I am tired of being the "guy".


I was created to be pursued, romanced, and swept off my feet. I need a little more of that in my life.


For the first time… I'm going to let happiness find me.




Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ramblings on nearsightedness

September 3rd, 2008

They say love is blind. Then is it possible that trust is a little nearsighted?
Nearsighted: Unable to see distant objects clearly.
I don't suppose that I am worried about right now. Granted… this isn't easy. I guess my problem lies in what is to come.
 Not that I don't have faith… Because I know that it's going to be everything I hoped for and more. Isn't that faith? The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. 

But does that mean we should ignore it? Become blissfully unaware of the future that is coming? Faith is an amazingly, beautiful, wonderfully complex thing.  Faith is good… I would even say vital to living your life to its fullest potential.
But is it an excuse? It has been mine. Life is hard. It forces us to fight, decide, love, let go, push through, move on, take chances, and risk everything.
Faith is imperative. So, instead  of fighting, deciding, loving, letting go, pushing through, moving on, taking chances, risking everything… we wait. We "put our faith in God" and now, we feel as if we must wait for the clouds to open, and the answers to be written in the sky.

That isn't faith. There are circumstances, when God will ask you to wait. But this waiting is not a spiritual vacation. It isn't lying by the pool, or twiddling you thumbs; because faith is an action.
 If you are truly faithful, this waiting will be an opportunity. To serve God, to love others, to give of yourself. Because, contrary to popular belief, the world does not revolve around you, or me for that matter… I believe, that many times, God is just waiting to see if we will take that first step, whatever that may be.
Maybe it's letting go of something or someone. Maybe it's finding the strength. Or maybe it's as simple as getting involved. We spend so much time waiting, when God is hoping we will move.
God's timing is not about time, not how we think of time anyways. God's timing has more to do with the conditions of our own lives. Our level of faith, our willingness, our strength, and possibly our weakness… So you see, Faith is essentially not the problem.
  • The problem, I fear, is me. The problem is my inability to make the right decision, or even an adequate one. I fear that I am nearsighted.  What happens when right now, becomes yesterday, and tomorrow becomes today?
    Things seem so complicated… I don't feel as if I can see very clearly. And I don't want to be blind and oblivious to what is going on around me. I guess my problem is more of an issue of patience and wisdom, rather than faith. I want all the answers now, and I know that my decision making ability is lacking in wisdom. I
    f any of you lack wisdom, let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed.
    My life, it's pretty good. I have never questioned if I was loved. The hurt and the pain that I have experienced… has healed overtime. I am blessed.
    Maybe, I'm not meant to see the indistinguishable. Not right now anyways.
    This could possibly be my chance to live out my faith. No, I definitely do not have it all together… not even close.
    But maybe, those trials and imperfections, are what makes  this crazy life so beautiful.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

He knows my name...

The greatest desire of mankind is to be known completely, and to be loved not just in spite, but because of who we are...

I was thinking today about the dating process. About how every single person wants to put their best foot forward when entering a possible relationship. The result is that most people put on a show... well maybe that's not the right way to put it. Not that most people lie about who they are, but rather they hide the things in their lives that aren't so pretty so as to seem more appealing.

We are all guilty of packing our dating resume, because there is something inside of us warning that if they only knew...

I think its a beautiful thing to have someone that you can be completely honest with. That you can share the good, the bad, and the ugly with.

Someone who knows your secrets, your heartache, your failures, your past, your dreams, your wishes...

Someone who is constantly in pursuit of knowing you even better than the day before.

Someone who loves you... the imperfections, the flaws,the mistakes, because those less than perfect things are part of what makes you who you are...

Isn't that what we all want anyways? Someone who knows our deepest darkest secrets, who knows our biggest aspirations and loves us... period.

I find it amazing that we serve a God who desires to know us in this way. A God who pursues you in such a passionate and intimate way that He truly knows EVERYTHING about you and STILL loves you.

He knows you've messed up, and while its painful for Him, there is nothing that you can do that can separate you from His love.

Psalm 139:1-4
God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
I'm an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I'm never out of your sight.
You know everything I'm going to say
before I start the first sentence.

Isaiah 43:1
...I have called you by name; you are mine.

Isaiah 49:16
I have inscribed you in the palm of my hands...

Luke 12:7
And the very hairs on your head are all numbered...

Galatians 4:9
But now that you know God, or rather have been known by God...


He knows you and He loves you... end of story :)


"I have a Maker
He Formed My Heart
before even time began
my life was in hands
He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and hears me when I call"




Monday, November 29, 2010

One

"At this moment there are 6,884,652,671 people in the world, give or take a few. Some are running scared. Some are coming home. Some tell lies to make it through the day. Others are just not facing the truth. Some are evil men, at war with good. And some are good, struggling with evil. Six billion people in the world, six billion souls. And sometimes... all you need is one."


I find it fascinating how one person can seemingly change everything.

There have been times in my life when one person made me feel insecure and afraid and worthless.

I never really had issues with self-confidence or worth growing up. I always knew who I was. I always knew that God created me to be something amazing...

Somewhere in high school all that changed. I no longer felt confident and beautiful and worthy... but rather I felt like nothing...

Its almost like I can remember the moment when it all changed. And I can't put the blame all on one person, but rather a series of one persons who gave me the distinct fear that I would never be enough.

The blame doesn't go just to relationships, but to friends and leaders and family... people who didn't see or didn't care...

And this is not to point out people or cast blame on any specific people, but just to exemplify how easy it is to change people by the words we say or by the the things we do or by the things we don't...

Even crazier, is how one person can make your life seem so much better.

How you can go from dreading the days to come, to waking up with a smile on your face every single morning.

How the insecurities and heartache you felt before can suddenly melt away in the presence of someone else.

How the dreams you were ready to let go of, can suddenly seem within your grasp.

How the love that you had hoped for was there all along.

How all the doubt and fear and questions don't really seem important.

I want to be that one for someone else.

I want to be a person that changes people for the better.

I want to encourage people and instill in them the belief that they are worthy and capable and amazing.

I think of amazing people throughout history who changed the world by their willingness to be that one. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teressa, Esther, Moses, Jesus... the list goes on and on...

I have the honor of knowing many people who have been willing to be that person in my life. People who love me and encourage me and push me to be a better person.

I don't want to live my life selfishly. I want to live my life in the constant pursuit of helping people.

Its amazing what a text, a letter, a hug, a smile, or even asking someone how they are REALLY doing can do to change someones life.

We never know what someone else is going through. Some of us are pretty good at pretending to be strong even when we aren't.

I guess I've been convicted, cause I wonder often times if I do make a difference. If anyone is actually influenced by what I say or do, if I inspire anyone to be better or encourage them in any way...

And I think about times I may have been the person to tear someone else down or give them a reason to believe that they weren't good enough...

So if your reading this, I want you to know that you are amazing. That God has created you with a specific purpose in mind, and He has given you everything you need to accomplish amazing things. That it doesn't matter what you have been through or who you have been, because all that matter is who you are now and who you are striving to be. So don't believe that lies that have been holding you back, but rather cling to the promises that God has given you. You are capable. You are worthy. And because of God's grace, you are more than enough.


"To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”

Friday, November 26, 2010

Do you believe in magic?

Dreaming like I mean it...

Driving home tonight I was looking at the stars.

The bright night sky and the cold reminded me of when I was younger, and my sisters and I would look out the car windows on Christmas Eve trying to spot Santa Clause...

I remember having so much faith that he was real (Santa used to come to my house, for real, but that's a different story).

Its amazing how open and trusting we are as children.

We believe in Santa, the tooth fairy, prince charming...

Its not just the belief that these people exist, but the belief that anything could happen. That you wildest dreams actually can come true.

But somewhere around the time that we stop believing in Santa Clause, we stop believing in our dreams.

Someone tells us that we aren't good enough, and we stop believing that we are capable.

A stupid boy comes along and makes you feel worthless and ordinary, and we stop believing that good guys (our prince charming) actually exists.

And our stories become boring and flat, no climax, no plot twists... simply tragedy after tragedy.

It makes me sad to think that many people live their entire lives this way. They think that their lives are meaningless and they settle for less.

Life isn't meant to be lived flat on a page. Life is meant to be experienced.

We have to take chances and we have to continuously pursue our dreams. When we stop believing in the dreams inside our hearts, I truly believe a part of us begins to die...

We only get one story you and I. One chance to make our mark on this world we live in.

So maybe Santa Clause isn't real... maybe we are supposed to grow up and realize that not everything in the world is as simple and beautiful as we believed it to be...

But I believe in fairy tales. I believe prince charming (the good guys) actually does exist. I believe that some moments in this life are magical. And I believe that all of my wildest dreams can and will come true.

God has given us all the ability to dream out loud... to live a life that will bring Him glory. It would be such a waste not to live our lives to the fullest...

"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Here in Your presence

"Every fear suddenly wiped away, here in Your presence..."

I find it so amazing that God actually desires to be in our presence.

That He desires an intimate and passionate time with us.

I guess its safe to say that one of God's favorite things is QT...

Last night I was thinking about the song "The more I seek You"

Its one of my favorite worship songs, because the chorus so beautifully describes an intimate time with God...

In general, I am a pretty affectionate person. I love hugs and being close and cuddling...

There is just something extremely beautiful about laying against someone, breathing in sync, and being able to feel their heart beating...

I guess it gives you reassurance that the person is real... that whoever it is that you are lucky enough to be spending time with actually exists.

It makes me thankful... thankful that they are breathing... thankful that their heart is beating... thankful to even be with them...

"I wanna sit at your feet drink from the cup in your hand, lay back against you and breath, feel your heart beat..."

Isn't amazing that we can have this same experience with God?

That He desires for us to spend that quality time with Him, to lay against Him. To feel His chest rise and fall and to hear His heartbeat... His desires...

I am so guilty sometimes of getting too busy too overwhelmed and not spending that intimate quality time with God like I should...

I guess sometimes it feels silly or weird to turn on the worship music in my room and just let go...

Or to crank it up in your car and sing at the top of your lungs...

I want to live my life in the presence of God.

I don't want to wait for a worship service to find Him.

Worship isn't an act or a time or even a service.

Worship is a lifestyle.

And that's how I want to live my life. Not waiting for the right moment to give God everything not thinking that I don't have time.

But truly living a life that worships God in everything that I do.

I just want to encourage everyone to take it to the next level.

Don't let time or people or insecurity keep you from living a lifestyle of worship...

My deepest desire is to be that close to God... to feel Him against me... To hear His heartbeat and know His desires for me...

"I'd rather be anywhere but here with You..."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Daydreamer

"Everything starts as somebody's daydream"


I would most certainly consider myself a daydreamer...

I love the thoughts of possibilities and hope and purpose.

Sometimes I get completely lost in a daydream.

I like to think about the future; my wants, desires, and aspirations...

Its almost like a nice break from the everyday, the mundane, the monotony...

"For I know the thoughts I think towards you, says the Lord..."

I have heard this verse my entire life... and I have always been reassured that God had a plan, an amazing plan...

But reading this version, that God has thoughts about me...

That the God of the universe would daydream about me.

Its like when you have a crush or start a new relationship...

The simple things like a text message or even hearing their names gives you this unbelievably amazing feeling.

Your whole day, no matter what you are doing, you can't help but think about the person... what they are doing, when you are going to see them, where this is headed...

I imagine this is how God feels about us...

I imagine God sitting up in Heaven, planning our futures with an amazing smile on His face...

I imagine Him contemplating the extraordinary things He desires for us to accomplish.

I mean the God of the universe... who has given us a whole book of love letters...

Who sends us flowers every spring...

I guess I am just overwhelmed by God's amazingness this morning...

How can I not have confidence in my future when its all planned out by a God who daydreams about me?

"What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?" Psalm 8:4



Monday, November 8, 2010

Butterflies

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies...


You know what I'm talking about.

Its the moment right before something incredible happens.

Part fear, part excitement, and part keeping yourself together when you feel like you are about to explode into a million pieces.

Things you've waited on for a long time.

Things you never knew you wanted.

Things that are new and scary, but exciting all at the same time.

When you feel as if everyone in the whole world can hear your heart beating and you start to feel the butterflies...

I was thinking how appropriate it is that we call this sensation having butterflies in your stomach. Butterflies are actually a physical response to love, excitement, or nervousness... typically associated with something new or change...

I wonder if a butterfly gets butterflies.

I wonder if in that moment right before the caterpillar begins to ca coon himself, he gets scared.

Because he has always been a caterpillar, and he has probably gotten pretty good at it.

He knows where to find his food and where to crawl to stay away from danger...

He has never had wings or ever flown... sometimes it might seem easier to just be a caterpillar...

I feel like a lot of us are in the same place. We feel like we know whats best, and maybe we are afraid to step out, or even just too comfortable with who we are where we have been...

Because to be honest, its easy to stay here. It would be easy for things to stay the way they are, and never have to change.

But change is part of life, and without change we may never know what we are capable of... we may never know if we can fly...

So to completely honest, I think I have had more butterflies over the past week than I have in my entire life...

But I am honestly so excited to see where God is taking all of us on this journey.

Its OK to be scared.

Its normal to have doubts.

But its time to stop making excuses and to start actively pursuing the future that God has waiting for us...

I don't want to be content crawling around on the ground if God created me to fly...

I don't want to settle for anything less than His best...

And sometimes its scary and uncomfortable and pretty crazy...

I have complete confidence that all the things that are happening now are going to turn into something absolutely amazing...

So lets love each other and pray for each other and be thankful for all the blessings.

:We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." ~Maya Angelou



1 Corinthians 2:9 "...No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him."




Thursday, November 4, 2010

Speak now

If you are waiting for a sign, this is it. Do it, it will be amazing...


Taylor Swift has been quite an inspiration lately.

Don't judge...

In the prologue to her Speak Now album, she talks about the moment in a wedding ceremony when the preacher says "Speak now or forever hold your peace".

Its a moment that can be quite uncomfortable at times... and I've been to weddings where everyone was on edge...

Many people dream or desire to do something as bold as bursting into a church, and making their true feelings known, but it rarely happens in real life.

The whole thing is about living without regret and saying the things you need to say before its too late...

Honestly, I don't think I am good with words.

Writing is completely different from speaking... when I write I can hit backspace, or I can erase....

Spoken words are so final... you can't take them back and there is no time to edit.

So I guess this has been a struggle in my own life, simply because I don't know how to say the things I long to say.

Maybe you feel the same way, maybe you feel like there is something you need to say...

Maybe its telling someone your sorry, even if you don't feel like it was your fault.

Maybe its telling someone you were wrong...

Maybe its telling someone that you are finished falling for the same old thing and that you are really letting go this time...

Maybe its telling someone how you really feel...

I think one of the hardest parts, other than finding the words, is the fear of how the other person will respond.

Maybe they won't forgive you. Maybe the won't let go of the past. And maybe they won't feel the same...

But I've come to realize that its not about how the other person reacts, its about the fact that you had enough courage to speak in the first place.

I honestly think when we look back on our lives, the most regret we will have are the times we didn't act or speak when we knew that we should have.

In my own life I know there are people that I need to say things to and I'm not going to hold back anymore...

So start today.

Make the phone call.

Drive to their house.

Write them a letter...

You never know when it might be too late...

So maybe like me, your heart is beating out your chest... and you feel like you might either have a heart attack or throw up before you are able to speak...

Its not about having the perfect words or about saying it without stuttering...

Because I think if its someone you really care about, they won't necessarily care if its worded eloquently. If you are vulnerable enough to share your heart, I think most people will get that.

If you know what you need to say, then say it.

I think its time to Speak Now...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Even if

I will remain confident in this I will see the goodness of the Lord...



I had an amazing conversation with an amazing girl... who just so happens to live entirely too far away.

This conversation which outlined each others hopes and fear and dreams and shortcomings... my friend reminded of some pretty important things.

Because you see, I am in a place right now where I want things, things for myself, things for my life, things for others... and some of these things I want more than just about anything. My friend seems to be in the same boat...

However, she began talking to me about how she wanted to be so lost in Jesus, that even if things didn't turn out the way she hoped, it was OK, because her confidence was in the Lord.

While I saw this statement as extremely mature and profound, it was hard to warp my mind around it.

I don't see myself as a selfish person, and not that I think I deserve anything, but I don't want to let go of the things I want..

And honestly I have been driving myself absolutely insane over the possibilities and what ifs...

I don't want these decisions and this next period of my life to make or break me.

I want to to be so confident in Christ and so content that it doesn't matter if I get the things I want... now or ever...

"Whether he does, or whether He doesn't He is still God"

God is God regardless of any good or bad thing that happens in my life.

Its like in the Bible when the three men were thrown into the fire... they had total and complete confidence that God was going to save them. But the most powerful part of this whole scripture is the part where it says "even if He doesn't.."

They had so much faith that even if God didn't save them from a slow and painful death, they were willing..

Because the truth is, even if I never received another blessing another good thing and even if my whole world came crashing down, God has already done more than enough.

"I don't need nothing to love you stronger I don't need nothing to love you more.."

I am struggling, because its hard for me to see past the now. Its hard for me to be confident at the moment. But this is what I am working towards.

I have to stop driving myself crazy with all the analyzing and questions, and realize God knows what is best for me...

I feel like a lot of times I look utterly ridiculous to God. I feel like the kid throwing a fit in the middle of Wal-Mart while everyone is wishing someone would straighten me out... I feel like God just laughs at me...

Because while I'm throwing a fit over what I want, God is trying to help me to realize just what He has for me. And I know its going to be better than anything I can think up on my own...

Because faith isn't faith until its all your holding on to...


"Even if the stars fell like rain
Even if tomorrow never came
Even if the world I know should crumble
Nothing's gonna stand in my way
Even if the sun left the sky
And even if these tears never dry
Even if the mountains fall and tumble
If what's left of me is taken I will not be shaken"


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Grab your running shoes

Moral #1: If you work hard, stay focused, and never give up, you will eventually get what you want in life.
Moral #2: Sometimes the things we want most in life are the things that will kill us...


When I was younger, all I wanted to be was an actress. My friend Ashley and I would always pretend like we were Mary-Kate and Ashley (we would always fight over who got to be Mary-Kate).

I would envision myself in movies starring alongside Hollywood's finest. I could see myself giving my acceptance speech at the Teen Choice awards... I thought fame was all I really wanted.

Now, amidst all the Lindsey Lohan's and Brittney Spears' of our day, I can see how fame might not be all its cracked up to be.

In hindsight, I've probably wanted a lot of things that weren't in my best interest. Things that could have been the end of me...

But how do you decipher? How do you know the things that don't just sound good now, but will actually be good in the future? The things that won't put out your fire, but give it reason to burn brighter...

I guess I am in a place where its hard to see past right now. I know what I don't want, and I suppose that's a step in the right direction...

And I feel like I know what I do want, but even then... is this best for me? Or even if it is what I want, does what I want also want me?

I am a girl... an analytical girl... and I have the tendency to get an idea in my head, and run with it. I envision how things could play out, work out, turn out...

Could these desires be everything I ever hoped and dreamed? Or is this simply my flesh clouding up my current purpose?

Can I tell you what I want?

I want to live out my passion.

I want to help people who feel scared, or trapped, or broken, or lonely...

I want to encourage people to follow their dreams and support them in every way that I can.

I want to be a role model to younger girls that you don't have to act/dress/look a certain way to attract a guy, but simply be the you that God created you to be...

I want to encourage a generation to be so much more then the previous generation.

I want to raise up leaders who change the world...

I want to change the world...

And I want someone beside me...


I feel like my ambitions have changed drastically over the years, and I feel as if (most of them) aren't selfish and are pretty good things to want...

I don't want to spend my entire life waiting to live.

I don't want to feel like I have to wait until I find a husband or get out of college or become a "grown up" to start living.

"... and let us run with patience..."

That seems like such a contradiction to me. How can you be patient when you are running? Because when you are running, isn't it because you are trying to get somewhere in a hurry?

But I guess its because life isn't a sprint. Its not a quick short-burst of energy. Life is a marathon. Its a really long race... that takes practice, time and patience. It takes knowing when to pace yourself, knowing when you need to take those deep breaths (sighs). And knowing when its time to run with everything we have in ourselves.

Because the truth is, that so many of my dreams are being carried out right now. And it would be a terrible waste to look back and realize the opportunities I had missed.

Patience has never really been my thing. But I still feel as if so much of my life has been lost in waiting.

So I guess I gotta learn to balance. I have to learn when to wait and when to run. I have learn when to be patient, but how to keep moving forward. And probably most difficult, how to decipher Gods voice from my own or the possibility that they are one in the same... 


We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that God has waiting for us...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Aspirations

The world was not worthy of them... Hebrews 11:38

I've heard it said that people who make the biggest difference in our world, are those who think most often about the next...

What would it mean to be someone that the world didn't deserve. That the world was privileged, honored, and even completely unworthy of their existence.

Hebrews 11 lists numerous people that graced this undeserving world.

People who took chances, gave everything, risked their lives, gave their lives...

I believe this scripture displays the ultimate example of being Christ Like. Because the world did not deserve Jesus...

Can you imagine, going down in history, having the privilege of being being placed in such a high place of honor. To be considered too good for this current world.

I once heard a man ask, "If the Bible was written today, would you be in it?"

It makes me question my impact... my commitment... my everything...

Have I given everything? Am I willing to take chances? Am I ready to give my life?

We often think of the people who were martyred... the people who literally give their lives in exchange for whats next... but we rarely think of those who live day in and day out for the kingdom.

"Dying for something is easy because it is associated with glory. Living for something is the hard thing. Living for something extends beyond fashion, glory, or recognition. We live for what we believe."

I honestly don't know that I will ever have to face a martyrs death, but I would like to live a life that makes an impact... that changes the people around me... that changes the world...

Want to know the secret to accomplishing these things? The crux that everything else hinges upon?

Faith.

By faith...

With faith...

The entire chapter of Hebrews 11 centers on faith... and it seems that nothing good or great was accomplished without it.

I want that faith. I want to move mountains...

I want to live what I believe. No questions, no compromise...

I want to be like Christ... 

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see...



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Thoughts

Because with happy thoughts and little fairy dust, we can learn to fly...


I feel like sometimes I over analyze, contemplate, and even spill my guts to the point that people may mistake my melancholy moments as how I perceive the world.

I like to write. I like to write so that people, including myself, will know that they aren't alone in how they feel. That its OK to be broken, hurt, get angry, have convictions, act like a fool, laugh uncontrollably, and sometimes even cry...

But having said this, today, I am just happy, and I want to share with you some things that make me happy. I encourage you to make a list today of things that bring a smile to your face. Because I think that sometimes we get so caught up in life, that we forget to "stop and smell the roses" so to speak. So here are my happy thoughts (in no specific order):

Jesus, Ridiculously amazing Jesus moments, Ivan, Holy Fire/Unashamed/drama, My Fam Bam, Getting paid, Lazy days, my friends (BTW you are the most amazing people in the world, for serious), My sunroof LOUD music and singing, Boots and scarves, Laughing til it hurts, a new book, surprises, good movies, finishing a good book, writing, texts or tweets that make me smile.. or even a good cry, naps, sugar free red bull, birthdays (not just mine), Laffy Taffy jokes, creativity, seeing shooting stars, playing in the rain, getting my hair done, going for walks, deep conversations, quality time with people I love, hugs, Doing random stuff like carving pumpkins or making gingerbread houses, getting letters or cards, when someone recognizes me (makes me feel famous, lol), driving around aimlessly, my future, my dreams, my hopes...

I am sure there is a lot more, but honestly, this is more than enough to be thankful for, and to feel happy about. I don't want to take the little things for granted... even in my worst days, I want to look back at this list and be able to remember exactly how I feel right now...

So maybe your in the midst of the most terrible day of your life, we all have those days. Life isn't perfect, but we have the ability to choose joy over fear. Because despite the bad, the terrible, the ugly, the heart-wrenching... we all have something to be thankful for. If nothing else, the fact that Jesus Christ died for your sins, and loves you so deeply and so unconditionally...

So go, right now and make a list. Comment on my blog, on my facebook wall, tweet me things that make you happy. Share your list with someone... anyone. Because someone might need to be reminded that even in the dark times, life is good.


"I will remain confident in this I will see the goodness of the Lord"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm not a copy

"You were meant to grace the world with your dance"

Ever had an experience, a time in your life where you can point to... the moment it all changed?

The moment you decided you no longer to be who you were, and actually embraced a new self...

Last New Year's I was visiting a friend up north. I had the opportunity to attend an amazing worship service, which totall rocked my world.

I don't often sit and wait and hope that someone will come and pray with me... but for some reason I was begging God for the company. I wanted to know that someone understood or even knew what I was going through.

I began pouring out my heart to God, things that I had not yet even admitted to myself.

It wasn't long until a woman came and began prophesying over me....

Now understand, that while I have grown up in church, there is some church stuff that kinda freaks me out and I can be quite skeptical about. And to be honest, I was a little freaked when this woman started telling me all this stuff I had just been praying about...

I had felt abandoned and hurt and caged. I felt as if I wasn't free to by myself or even aspire to be the person God was calling me to be. I was afraid of what people thought, how I would look, what they might say...

I'm honestly not one of those people who doesn't care what people think... to a certain extent...

This womans word's sent instant chills down my spine... it had to be God.

The most memorable thing I can remember her saying is that she could see me dancing in a field of wild flowers. That she saw me a white cotton dress just spinning, without a care of who was watching or what people might think....

Now if you know me at all, you know that I am not really a dancer... but this vision of freedom that she explained to me was so breathtaking and enticing.

I don't want to be the person who holds back because of fear of hurt or failure. I want to laugh out loud, sing in my car, and dance when I feel the urge.

Because life isn't about living in perfect lines and following all the rules.

Life is about messing up, taking chances, and looking like a fool from time to time.

But those times when we go after things with our whole hearts, when we put our everything into something, when we refuse to back down, when we stop caring about everyone else's opinions, we we do things simply because its what we want... those are the times we will look back and feel most fulfilled.. most like ourselves.

So maybe I look foolish or maybe people won't like the things I do... but my desire is to follow God with my whole heart. I don't want to be anyone but who God wants me to be.

People often say you may be the next Bill Graham or the next Mother Theressa... well I am going to be the first Paige Carter...

I just want to challenge you and encourage you, to let go of whatever is holding you back.

Maybe its people in your life who never encourage you to pursue your dreams, but rather destroy your spirit.

Maybe its things that consistently get in the way.

Or maybe its yourself... your own fears and insecurties...
Start today... dream your dreams and pursue your goals. Live the life you've always imagined.
Because tomorrow never gets here, and today is all we have.
So lets all go out and dance in the rain... dance in the wild flowers... its time to be free...


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Crazy little thing called loved

Above all else guard your heart, for it is your source of life. Proverbs 4:23

Its been a long time since I've blogged two days in a row... but when inspiration strikes...


I think we are pretty careless people.

We are careless with our actions, our thoughts, our words...

We rarely stop to think of the possible ramifications of the thinks that we say, think, feel, do...

I suppose we are most careless with our hearts.

Which is crazy, because the Bible specifically commands us to guard our hearts... and care for it first and foremost.

However, it seems as if I come in contact with people everyday who throw around the word love like its as normal as breathing.

I will be the first to say, I love people!

I have been blessed beyond belief with some of the most amazing men and women that I have the privilege of considering my friends.

My favorite times are the times when we all sit around after church and just talk and laugh. I love when we can sit around and make jokes and laugh until it hurts. And I love our deep conversations about books... about God... I LOVE these people, more than most of them probably know.

It seems, however, there is a complete lack of respect for the word in itself.

I believe that we are called to love, and love with our entire beings, but can we possibly feel the same way about food as we do about people?

Or how about these 13 year olds who jump from relationship to relationship proclaiming their love for the flavor of the week. Really, how many "soul mates" do you expect to find before you hit puberty?

Is this what we as a society consider guarding our hearts?

In my own life, I would like to say that guarding my own heart has been top priority, that more often than not, it was more of my lack of openness than my openness that left me with heartache...

But even still, I look back on how often I was careless with my own heart, my own love...

How quick I have been to forgive and forget, when wisdom told me to forgive and be cautious. Its easy to get caught up in love and forget the bad... at least for a while...

The stupidest mistake in life is to think the ones who have hurt you the most, won't hurt you again...

Its not about forgiveness, its about wisdom.

Its one thing to stop holding grudges, its another to act completely carelessly with no regard to previous transgressions.

This is where guarding my own heart gets tricky.

I have to learn a balance. Guard my heart against the people and things that have proven to cause heart ache, but learn to be open to the possibility of love...

Because you can't live your life completely guarded and you can't live it carelessly.

Living your life carelessly will certainly lead to the same pain over and over. While living your life completely guarded will be certain to lead to a very lonely existence.

Love and life, both take a certain amount of risk. Without risk, none of it would be worthwhile.

To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Jesus why I'm hot...

She's got a love like whoa...
I've been studying a lot about love.
What it means to love God.
What it means to love myself.
What it means to love others...
Its been so interesting learning more about God's love and the way that He desires for me to love everyone.
I have discovered this phenomenon, which to explain I will have to give you a little back story.
I have a good friend that had a "crush" (if you will) on a very well-known preacher. I mean, I completely understood. He is a great speaker, good-looking... he seemed to have it all.
Earlier this year, we got the opportunity to meet this preacher, and he was everything she had hoped and more. However, much to her dismay, we also discovered on this trip that he was engaged.
I thought my friend was going to cry. Not because she was so in love with him, but because it seemed as if a little bit of the hope in her heart was crushed.
We ended up talking a random stranger about this, and she said "I understand, because you are attracted to the Jesus inside of him".
I havne't been able to quite let that statement go since.
Its true.
There are famous pastors or preachers or singers or speakers or leaders that maybe aren't the most physically attractive, but something about them is.
This is what I want more than anything.
I want to find something that goes so much deeper than skin. I want to look at someone and be attracted to the Jesus inside of them first and foremost.
Because the truth is, Jesus looks good on people.
I want someone who I am attracted to their heart and their passion. I want their words and encouragement and love for others and God be their best attributes. I desire these things far over anything physical.
And to be honest, there have been times when I have wanted to give up, or settle for something less.
But I am so thankful to have some great men in my life, that exhibit all this and more. And this is what gives me hope that one day its all gonna be worth the wait.
More than anything, I wish for someone to fall in love with the Jesus in me. I think the greatest compliment in the world would be for someone to be attracted to me for my love for God and others... my passion and desire to serve him... thats what I want.
Some days I feel like I'm failing, like maybe people can't even see the Jesus in me, let alone fall in love with him.
This is my daily desire, to show God through me, and serve him in everything that I do.
One day its all gonna work out, I have no doubts. I may get discouraged, but I know that if I am striving with my whole heart to serve God, then he will give me the desires of my heart.
"I will love you more than the ocean loves the rain. I will be your strength even in the pain. And our love will grow, every morning night and noon. Oh but until then, I will for someday soon..."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In the stillness You are there...

Be still my beating heart...

I feel as if I am starting to sound like a broken record...
And if that be the case, feel free to click the box in your upper right hand corner and exit.

Its hard to explain where I am... mentally, emotionally, spiritually...
I feel as if I have it all under contol most days...
But, there are plenty of days when I just feel lost.

Spiritually, I am in a much better place than I have been in a long time. My biggest struggles and downfalls don't seem to be an issue...

But I guess I feel as if that brings on a whole new set of issues in itself.
This place I am in, I know its temporary.
I know that I am not supposed to be here forever.

However, that feeling of knowing, has left me in such a place of expectancy.
Which expectancy isn't necessarily bad, it just seems that rather than patience,
my emotions take over and want to rush into any opportunity presented.

Its one thing to tell your mind to calm down, but how do you tell your heart?

I get excited, or stressed, or I start to contemplate the what ifs and possibilities, and I feel as if my heart is literally beating out of my chest.

And its a good feeling to be honest.
I haven't felt so free and well excited about possibilities in a long time.
But in the same breath, I know that I have to guard my heart.

I've been hurt, and honestly... it has sucked.

Because its soooo easy to get caught up in a dream, that you never stop to think about how to get there, or worse, if the dream doesn't work out the way you had hoped...

I am a girl.. its just the way my mind works. You give me the slightest hope, and I already have it all planned.
This hasn't always worked too well.. actually so far it hasn't worked out at all.

This morning on the way to work, i was just reminded to "Be Still and Know that I am God"
wow... sooooo the words I needed to hear.

Because its days like today when I am ready to dive into my heart's desires with out a second thought.. I feel God telling my its not the time to dive.

There are times for action and there are times to be still.

Today is a still today... and I have a pretty good feeling that I have quite a few be still days ahead of me.

But I know that in the stillness, God is preparing my heart, and preparing the dreams that are waiting for me.

So rather than get my hopes up and then crushed, its time to let go and let God. Do my part, and let Him take care of the rest.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven...


What is Paigerific? I’m glad you asked, although I don’t have an exact definition to offer. Paigerific is my thoughts and my heart. Paigerific is my passion and my fear. Paigerific is my success and my failures. Paigerific is my blood, sweat, and tears. Paigerific is more than just simply word. It’s a million different words all rolled into one. Words like hope, grace, determination, imperfection, love, faith, insecurity… The one word I would use to describe myself? I am Paigerific.

 


Paigerific
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