Friday, December 28, 2012

A Year of Observations

If I could sum up my 26th year or perhaps the year 2012, it would be the year of learning through observing.

On the outside  it would appear as if not much has changed in my life...we live in the same apartment, I am still at my job, Jer is still looking for full-time employment and we are still a one-car couple. However there have been multiple changes this year...changes I have observed and learned a lot from:

1. Niceness is both a strength and a weakness

I am more inclined to be a nice person. Perhaps it is because I am naturally a nice person. Perhaps it is because I am a people-pleaser. Perhaps it is a mixture of both. Now most of you would say "Duh" to this point, but it was ground-breaking to me. When you are nice or kind to everyone all the time, you cannot call them out when they need to be called out. You cannot help someone grow as a person if you only have kind words, instead of words that might be hard to hear at first, but are needed to help an individual. Now I am making it a point to find that happy balance of natural kindness and necessary firmness.

2. Leaders aren't forever, Neither is the current situation

Things change, times change, leaders change. Nothing is forever. Knock on doors while waiting it out. If God is opening or closing a door, He is faithful to guide you if you ask Him. Sometimes you cannot change a situation, but you are called to be there, to be used by God as He sees fit. Sometimes it may feel like you are not helping those you care about, but your presence or just knowing that you care has meant the world to them. You never know how God is using you in your current situation.

3. Squeaky wheels get the grease

I have been hearing a few good old fashion expressions like this or "time for them to go out to pastures." Both make me laugh because of the vivid descriptions associated with the meaning. Both are very true statements...especially the title statement. Whether it is something insightful, self-satisfying, in a complaining tone or to gain attention that is undue, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Its a bummer for those who strive to do things without complaining or do things without trying to bring glory to themselves. Sometimes it is those quiet tires you have to check on...their tread might be worn down, might be running out of air or they could be flat...check on all tires.

4. Extroverts can be Wallflowers

The older I get, the more of an observer I become. I tend to add less to a conversation (unless its with those I am very close to) and tend to observe more. Some would take this as a sign of an introvert, but I am as much of an extrovert as I have ever been. I get my energy from people...many times by observing them

5. Passions from my youth, which was really awhile ago

I came to terms this year with the fact that I am in a new stage of life. I am no longer a young adult, but rather an adult (who is on the younger side). This made me realize that my childhood was awhile ago. However, this has caused me to reflect on my childhood more. I have realized this year more than ever that many of the things I was passionate about in my youth, I am passionate about now. Different cultures, traveling and meeting new people. When I was a kid, I had a money box....when people traveled to different areas around the world, they would bring me the currency from the countries that they had visited and I kept it in a box. When I was nine years old, I got a book which highlighted children from different cultures and countries...I would read this book nearly every single day. I dreamed of being an archaeologist.  When I was 19, I was reminded of these passions when someone gave me a prophetic word, stating "You are going to go to many place in the world and see biblical miracles." Little did I know that would be happening through my work, which has encompassed both the passions from my youth and adulthood.

Learned a lot of other things this year, but these were the highlights. If I learned this much this year, cant wait to see what I will learn next year.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Muslim GOP Candidate

I'm constantly amazed by the racist comments that are still being stated 4 years later. People still believe that Obama wasn't born in the US & are still convinced that he is Muslim. Never has a white candidate been accused of these things.

On the other hand, I'm also amazed at how many Christian Republicans who were once very outspoken about how Mormonism is a cult, are suddenly silent about it while fully supporting Romney. Even Billy Graham has removed the statement that "Mormonism is a cult" from his website and has endorsed Romney.

*Side Note- it's pretty disheartening to me that in recent years that Billy Graham has been so political. I have always admired him for choosing not to be part of the Christian Right when approached by Pat Robertson in the 1980's. Perhaps this is due to him being older or Franklin Graham being more in charge of the organization.*

A friend of mine & I were discussing these things this week and she posed this question: Do you think that Republican Christians would ever vote for a Muslim GOP candidate (since they have voted for a Mormon)?

Now I doubt in the real (bigoted) world this would happen, but for arguments sake, let's say it was between a Muslim GOP candidate and a democrat... who do you think the Christian Right would choose to endorse?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Introspective, reflective,
Probably dwelling too much,
I remember these events,
And how my life has been touched.

At age twenty six I have,
A lifetime or more,
Of trials, tribulations,
For richer or poor

I think of the adventures,
And the ones still in store,
I wonder what is next,
As we knock on different doors,

So many 'nearlies,'
That I have lost count,
It feels my chain is yanked,
Or is it of greater amount?

Could it be Your reminder,
That You are still there,
To keep seeking and asking,
Remaining in prayer?

Is the answer around the corner,
Will Your hand guide us there,
You've taught us so much,
We are willing and with You prepared.

To serve & honor You,
The best that we can,
We will take what we have learned,
Striving to flee from sin's hand.

We're ready to be used,
Your ministry we crave,
Bring us to this Lord,
Please show us the way.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Sometimes I think back to when I was 19 & note how it was probably the best year of my life.

When I was 19 I started dating Jer, started working at OD & met some of my dearest friends. Things were good with my family & life was pretty care-free.

Since then I have not had a year that has been as carefree. I have gone through multiple trials and tribulations (and some great times too).

But the things I have gone through, the life experiences I have had, have formed me into the person I am today.

I read a great devotional from Our Daily Bread the other day It was about God's timing...reminders of how Joseph had to be in prison till he was called to his destiny or how Esther was uncertain of her future when she married the King. They went through long periods of trials, till they received their inheritance from God.

I often wonder if life will ever be that enjoyable again. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. It may be here or it may be in heaven. But no matter what, I'm thankful for today. I'm blessed with an amazing marriage, a great job & amazing loved ones. Life isn't always easy, but the little things in each day are such a gift. Living in and enjoying today is key. Life lesson #247

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Today Is The Greatest Day I've Ever Known

It hasn't even been a month since I got back from my trip and so much has happened.

I'm 10 pounds lighter (20 pounds total), happier at my job and significantly less anxious.

God did amazing things leading up to, during and following this trip. The situations and people He has placed in my life have been so influential and imperative in my development as a person. All I can say is- WOW!

In this time we have had ups & downs. A lot has been revealed & a lot remains unknown. I am thankful for the change & opportunities that God has granted us. I have seen how God has used Jer & I and hope that He will use us more in the future. It's all very humbling. He takes good care of us :)

I have been drawing & taking photographs more recently. I very much enjoy these creative outlets. Trying to incorporate music, language & other arts more too.

Ever wonder where you will be in 5 years? I look ahead and realize that my life will probably be more different than it ever has before in 5 years. I probably will be a parent, we will either have our own place (or trying to save for our own place) and I will be in my 30's. Sometimes it seems like we will never get out of our current situation, but then I realize how drastically things can change. I want to enjoy today- even though finances might be tough & Jer doesn't have a job. We have a wonderful life, with wonderful people in our lives and I am very thankful for the experiences that have brought me to where I am today.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Giving it to God

I got sick this week and I think it caused me to realize how close to burning out I am.

This week a co-worker began to show signs of being burned out. Good changes have been happening at work, but I think we still have to be careful as things continue to improve... We have been going full speed for a long time, and we need to give all the burdens associated with it to God.

It's tough to give our burdens to Him. It's tough to give our uncertainties about the future to Him. It's tough to give our pain to Him.

But when we do, He will give us rest- the rest we so desperately need.

As I'm resting and trying to get better, I'm overwhelmed by His peace that passes all understanding.

He reminds me of His faithfulness through a friend who called just to pray with me.

He reminds me of His faithfulness through my boss who cares more about me than the work I produce.

He reminds me of His faithfulness through my sweet husband who takes such good care of me and has put me first, sacrificing so much.

I guess I didn't fully realize what it meant until I was married, but two really do become one. Wanting my husband to find steady work is not just so we will be financially stable, but because I know how fulfilled he is when he works in the field that he is passionate about. It's probably my biggest burden I carry and I need to give it to God yet again. He has shown His faithfulness so often, I need to trust Him and find rest in Him.

Easier said than done. Help me Lord.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Next Step of Faith

It's an interesting season of life right now...

The long delay of two more days,
Seems like an eternity,
The fear that nothing will change,
A depression that nags at me constantly.

But You have brought us this far,
Your guidance has been clear,
So why do I continue to lack faith,
And struggle with this fear?

Thank you for providing,
Thank you for making certain things known,
Draw me closer to your side,
For with You we are not alone.

It's been a humbling past two months, with God not only making His voice clear on certain things, but also showing us why He had us do things a certain way. Let me trust You in this next stage Lord, no matter what the outcome is. Thank you for how You are refining us daily. Please continue to work in us, to be more like You. Amen.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Only Church I Could...

A few weeks ago when the whole Chick-fil-a controversy was in full bloom, I asked my husband a question:

“Have you ever attended a church that you would feel comfortable taking an openly gay friend to?”

We both thought about it for a minute. He said that he thought some of the people of the church he attended as a teenager would probably be welcoming, but wasn’t sure about the church in general. Initially, I couldn’t think of one either. But after going through a mental list of all the churches I had attended in my life, I thought of one- Community of Faith Church.

Community of Faith Church was the small church we attended while we lived in rural Maryville, Missouri. It was a typical picturesque, Midwest, country church… the kind that still had church potlucks and had just a few lines of pews.

 Based on this description, I am sure that it is hard to believe that this is the church we would feel comfortable taking an openly gay friend to. When we first started attending, the pastor of the church had only been there for a short time. He had just moved his family to from a more populated city to our town of 3,000 people. While Jerry and I often got frustrated with our hick-ish, small town, our pastor and his wife had a deep and sincere love for Maryville.

The jobs we had while we were in Missouri often required us to work on Sundays, so typically we could only go to church once a month (twice if we were lucky). We never got a guilt trip from our pastor about how little we attended- they would just minister to us when we did see them.

I remember talking to Jerry about how shocked I was after hearing a few sermons that dealt with issues like pacifism and some very relevant examples of loving our enemies. I couldn’t believe that I was hearing sermons like this in a small town in Missouri. And the best part was our pastor always presented a biblical, loving stance on the issues- reaching out to people on both sides of the issue.

This is why this is the one church I would take an openly gay friend to. Other churches I have gone to have stated (from the pulpit) that homosexuals were trying to destroy the family, indoctrinate our kids and even went as far as telling their members how to vote (on issues like Prop 8). Statements like these ostracize homosexuals and quite frankly don’t make Christianity appealing (after all, who wants to be part of a group who distains them?). There is a way to present the truth in love, yet most churches don’t seem to do this.

And this is why I appreciate this pastor so much- and why my heart has been so heavy the past few days. I found out that someone reported him to the head of the denomination because of some comments he had made online about Christianity and homosexuality. Now the denomination is launching  an investigation on this.The individual(s) did not follow the procedure lined out by Christ in Matthew 18, but rather reported him for the things he said. Here is the thing- nothing he said went against the Bible. He submitted to what the Bible said on this issue while encouraging others to love, respect and not participate in homophobia (a biblical stance as well).

So, no matter what happens, I want to thank this pastor for showing love and truth, despite the consequences he might face. I want to thank him for creating a church environment that I could feel comfortable taking any friend, at any stage in life to- knowing that they would not feel judge or ostracized by other humans, but would instead be presented with the truth of the gospel in love. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do Pastor Andrew- you have been such a blessing!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Seasons of Life

About a year ago I came to the realization that life is both short and long. Nothing new or profound I suppose, but it's struck me that my childhood felt like a lifetime ago & that I was already in my mid-twenties... a strange place to be. I believe each year is a gift & have wanted to spend some time reflecting on each year. I tried on twitter, but failed. So a I am attempting here, so that I can ponder each season of life & how each year has developed me into the person I am today.

Born in Panorama City, CA. I was the first born & lived in Burbank, CA. My father was a Youth Pastor & my mother worked at a grocery store.

Age 1- We lived next to my grandmother in a small rental home. Both of my grandmothers babysat me while my parents worked. My parents bought their first home- a small condo near West Hollywood.

Age 2- My sister Katie was born 2 months after I turned two. Six months after that, we moved to Maui, HI where my dad had accepted the role of Associate Pastor at a small church that meet in a golf barn.

Age 3- I was sick on my birthday. My grandmother flew to HI & made me a cat cake

Age 4- Unless prompted by photos, I don't remember much till here. I remember jumping out my van and running down to a playground where my 4th birthday was celebrated. I nearly lost my vision in my right eye when I ran past an open can & sliced right under my eye on Thanksgiving at our church. A doctor in training stitched my eye (can barely see a scar today).

Age 5- Started Kindergarten at King Kamehameha III Elementary School. Met my friend Trina for the first time in Mrs. Hamaoka's class. Our cafeteria caught on fire & we had to wait outside for 2 hours while firefighters put it out.

Age 6- Ms. Wong was my teacher. First & last time I got straight A's till college. Met my best friend Lindsay

Age 7- my sister Olivia was born. I was a Scottish girl for Halloween. Started hula & got my dog Callie. My first international trip (to Canada) & got the Chicken pox a few weeks before that.

Age 8- Was obsessed with 'Skip It'- a hula hoop game for your ankle. Started playing soccer but was often on the bench. I could often be found inventing things, going on an archeological dig or researching other cultures.

Age 9- Ran for ASB against one of my friends & lost (I was ok with it though). Joined AWANA & started the American Girl Club with my friends.

Age 10- Joined the school choir & did my first duet. My brother was born & I watched my two younger sisters in the hospital lobby until a family friend arrived (my first babysitting gig).

Age 11- Had my first crush. Participated in May Day as a Lady in Waiting in our Hawaiian Court at school. Went on my first camping trip. Went to California for my first youth conference. Went on my first trip to Mexico.

Age 12- My dad accepted a job in California & we moved back. Started at one school for two weeks, then transferred to another when we moved. Learned to influence people with humor.

Age 13- Had my birthday party at boomers with my new friends. Got 2nd chair flute in band. Tried out the trombone and drums that summer.

Age 14- Went on my first trip without my folks to Washington DC. Started High School that Fall & held hands with a boy for the first time. Went to my first concert (MXPX of course). Best friend came out for the summer.

Age 15- My first boyfriend & first kiss. I was continuing to learn sign language & got my learners permit.

Age 16- Broke my foot right before my drivers test (and had been walking on it for 3 weeks). Taught myself bass & guitar. My family got a cute dog named Nalani.

Age 17- My dad resigned from his job after some church politics & we were unsure of our future. He started a new church at a bar. I went to my first winter formal.

Age 18- Had a bonfire party with a friend to celebrate becoming an adult. Went to prom with my friends at the Grove in Anaheim. Started college at Vanguard University.

Age 19- Stayed out all night with friends going on all sorts of adventures. Formed a life long friendship with the Frambly. Joined ASB. Started dating the love if my life. Started working at Open Doors.

Age 20- Became an RA & got my first 4.0 in college. Took one of my favorite classes at VU. Tensions were growing between my family & I, as they did not approve of me dating Jer. Went on a trip to Colombia with Open Doors.

Age 21- Second year being an RA & was busy with that, debate, Open Doors & teaching guitar. I had been blacklisted for reporting a staff member who hadn't been living in accordance with the Community standards.

Age 22- Moved to Portland. Lived with 4 other girls & it was one of the years I grew the most. I worked a very tough & frustrating job. I got engaged & was busy planning a wedding.

Age 23- Married my best friend with almost all my family & friends there (sans my parents). It was difficult, but became easier with other family support. I moved with Jer to Missouri & began our adventure there.

Age 24- The year of traveling. Went to multiple cities in America (Chicago & New York) and spent 3 weeks backpacking Europe. We got our cute little Bunny- Barack OBunny. My parents began talking to me again.

Age 25- A tough year. Jer ended up in the ER for hyperthyroidism & we lost a lot of money to an error in the University's tax system. Jer couldnt find steady employment. Moved back to California & got an apartment in Anaheim.

Age 26- Still a little tough. A lot is still unknown, but I know God has something around the corner. Blessed by my husband, family & friends. More to come later...

It's been an amazing life so far. These are but mere snap shots of each year. There is so much more to reflect on in each year. Some years were easier, others more difficult, but all shaped me into the person I am today. I pray that God will lead me to a future where He can use my gifts to my full potential in serving Him. I am one blessed lady.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Recently, I have realized how much I crave creativity- in both myself and others.

I'm happiest when I create. Perhaps this is part of Imago Dei. Whether a design project at work, sketching on a piece of paper or creating music, I feel at peace.

I strive to surround myself with creative people. I thrive off of the influence of their unique creative ideals.

Will my creative works be part of my life's work? Or will it just be something I enjoy? I do not know- but I love this journey we call life. It is always interesting to learn more about how God has created me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Well that was a huge, unexpected turn-around. Not to say anything will happen for sure, but this week has been a wonderful reminder of God's faithfulness.

Additionally, I feel like God has taught me the lesson of continuing to knock on doors. Keep trying new doors and see what lies ahead. What a great reminder! Thank you Lord!

Lord- keep refining us and use us according to your perfect will. We love you Father. Help us honor you in all that we do. Amen!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ever Only Hear Part of the Answer from God?

Thats where I am right now. It's tough- not sure how to proceed except with more prayer. Lord please grant me your wisdom & guide me.

It has officially been a year since we have been back. Though this year has been full of trials, I am so thankful for it. It has been such a blessing to be around family and friends again. I love our apartment as much as the day we moved in and going to Disneyland on an almost a nightly basis has been amazing! Baseball games & get togethers with friends- it was what we dreamed of a year ago. Despite the struggles I am thankful for where I am now and how God provides.

Additionally I am so glad we did Europe when we did- no way we could afford it now. I am so thankful we had that opportunity :)

So whatever is next, I am excited because the now has been pretty sweet! I know He will show us when the time is right

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Palm Springs

So I know I have been really overworked and needed a vacation, but didn't know how badly till right now. I slept 12 hrs... Can't remember the last time I did that!

We have been having a blast doing nothing. I really feel like this little getaway will help me get through the next few months. It is so important to rest sometimes. Usually our vacations involving doing lots, which is fun, but this was so needed for where we are in our lives. So glad to have this time with my best friend in the whole wide world :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Self I've Never Known

As each day passes and lines on my face form,
I morph into an older version of a self I've never known,
The days of my childhood seem a lifetime ago,
I slip further from the dreams I had as a girl

Am I called to be average, to blend into a wall?
Am I called to something greater- a history maker at all?
I'm slipping away from my childhood ideals,
Into an average life, a thought that once made me ill

Am I too old to change, am I stuck in my ways?
Is the future dissolving, my dreams fading away?
Alas I cannot take this, nor accept this grim fate,
I am called, I just know it- my soul to something great

My passions as an adult stem from that of my youth,
In each step that I take, I see this as proof,
Yet I am directionless and I cry out to God,
"Show me the way; equip me with Your staff and Your rod"

I'll pursue all the passions, divinely imbedded inside,
I will follow Your will, refusing to cower or hide,
I will be used by You, show me how to be grown,
And use me mightily, as a self I've never known

Monday, April 9, 2012


Jerry and I had an amazing conversation yesterday about our faith, purpose and relationship with God. Jerry is one of the most gifted theologians- he has amazing perspectives on matters of faith. Yesterday's conversation was further evidence on why God brought Jerry and I together... he constantly challenges me and encourages me in my faith- for that I am so thankful.

I read a great devotional tonight out of the book of James. It is amazing how God can completely change your mood through His word. I have been pretty stressed at work lately- I have woken up anxious and have felt generally overwhellmed. Upon spending time with Him, He gave me a few subtle reminders of His faithfulness. I was also reminded of this while hanging out with a friend. God plants many reminders of His faithfulness, through His word, people and His peace.

I am at a place in life where I dont know what chapter is next. I am trying to continue with my art, music, writing on the side- waiting for God's guidence. Do you ever feel like you have been called to something big- but have no idea what it is? I know my gifts- I just don't know how God will use them. It's a strange place to be...I pray for His guidence and clarity. Either way I am in a very happy place in my life and I am so thankful for what He does.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It Has Been 4 Years....

Since I've graduated from Vanguard. A lot has happened since then: I have lived in Portland & Missouri, I got married and I even received my Masters last year. I've experienced the pain of losing someone close to me & the joy of a renewed relationship. I have watched my husband as he has gone through major health & job issues. I have changed a lot. I'm not the only one that has had a great deal of change happen in my life since then.

Looking at some of the students I went to Vanguard with, I see a great change too. Everyone I knew was secretly gay has come out. Everyone who drank, did drugs or was sexually active secretly does so in full force now. Everyone I knew who was secretly doubting their faith has primarily abandoned it now.

A Christian school should not have so many of these cases- right? Here is the reason Vanguard did- secrecy.

Vanguard had a Student Conduct Committee that drew very similar parallels to that if the Salem Witch Trials. If you were breaking contract & decided to come clean, you were forced into a "care" program, forced to resign & forced to name your accomplices so you wouldn't get into further trouble. You would have to sign a contract stating you would not do it again & would be legally bound by this.

What this process taught students was to keep it a secret if they struggled with anything opposed to the VU contract. I was outspoken about my problems with this process as a student & four years later I am even more outspoken about it now.

What would it have looked like if there was no punishment, contract etc if you were gay, questioned your faith or were partying while at Vanguard? What if these issues weren't secretly sought after, but instead addressed in truth & love (vs a stigma)? What if students were not punished, but were able to openly be themselves while mentors brought & encouraged them with the truth if the Bible.

We don't force legalistic rules on people outside of our communities, so why inside? Why not say " you struggle with this- I'm not going to treat you any differently, but I am going to tell you about the truth in love. I am going to pray for you. I am going to let you be yourself & I'm going to let you make your own choice."

One of the most beautiful things about God is He doesn't force us to follow His rules- it's a choice. If these students were given a choice instead of legalism jeopardizing their stay at VU, I bet they all wouldn't be so turned off by Christianity.

God- speak to the hearts of these people. Let them know You are not legalistic. Let them know You love them as they are. Let them know You want them to be Your children- to come to you first & You will be the one who makes them clean, who will help them their struggles. Amen.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Our Daily Bread

I am so thankful to not be falling behind anymore now that Jer is working part time. We are making enough to make ends meet and I am so thankful & so much less stressed. However, it's just enough to make ends meet- we don't have enough to save for the future.

It's sometimes a little discouraging to be a young person in this economy. Our parents were able to take this time before having kids to save for another car, a house... The future in general.

But our trust needs to be in God alone. He is taking care of our needs today. In His time, He will provide Jer a full time career job. If it's His will, he will help us get another car & a house in the future. And that is very comforting.

Thank you for our life right now God & how you are taking care of us :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Ol Prospector

Jer and I are working on a claymation short called "The Ol Prospector." Words can't express how excited I am.

Things have slowed down a bit & I have been able to do more of the things I love (like work out, art and working on Spanish). I'm very thankful for this.... had a relaxing evening last night & I've been getting tons of sleep. I feel more like myself.

I started Big Brothers Big Sisters. It has been a wonderful experience so far. If you have ever thought of doing it, I would highly recommend it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Love of My Life

As each day passes by, I realize more and more how blessed I am to be married to Jer. I knew from day one that he was pretty incredible, but it's been wonderful growing up with him and really understanding how blessed I am to have a husband like him.

God has blessed him with some pretty amazing gifts and talents. His heart for young people is amazing. Even though he hasn't been working in his career this year, he has done an incredible job at staying upbeat, trusting God and serving Him in other ways.

He always brings joy and laughter into my life. We can have deep theological discussion or make jr high jokes. He is so sweet, kind and compassionate. I love you sweet husband- Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Telling It Like It Is

So it's been a little while since my last blog. We have had an exciting past couple of weeks. For about two and half weeks he had two Chinese university students stay with us. They came to America through a program in our church to help them with their English-speaking skills, but also to learn more about American culture. Our place is a bit small to have two people at our house for that long, but it was so much fun and it was such a blessing to be able to minister to them. A co- worker even had two Chinese Bibles we gave them.

This Tuesday we had Bible study. There is a man in our Bible study who is in his 70s and is a very committed Christian. As I have gotten to know him, he has really spoken into both Jerry and my life. Two weeks ago, he had some insight on why he thinks post traumatic stress disorder happens. He said in his day they never made soldiers go on six or seven tours like they are now- a person can't handle that much. This week he had a very insightful comment as we were talking about reaching out to people. He candidly and honestly shared that he still deals with the sin of being prejudice. He said just when he thinks God has helped him with it, he might judge a Muslim or an interracial couple before knowing them.

It truly moves me when people are that honest. And it spoke deeply to me- we all have our prejudices... I may not be prone to judging Muslims, but I know I judge a lot of people I think are cultural Christians before getting to know them. His honesty really spoke to me about giving that sin up to God. Sometimes we never know what letting our guards down can do. I was truly blessed by his humility.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spiritual Warfare

To be honest, i have always viewed that term as a self centered, Christianese one. I always thought of people who said that they were going through some 'major spiritual warfare' as people who thought that their lives were much worse than they were. Often their 'spiritual warfare' was their dog dying or something like that- it didnt amount to real persecution. I blame this cynicism partially on growing up as a pastor's kid who had met a few drama queens in her day.

I have recently been convicted of this stance. It's not to say that everyone who claims spiritual warfare is right on, but rather that it does exist & that it can range in degree.

There are seasons of life and in this season, I realize that there is some spiritual warfare. As Jerry said, it is humbling to experience it.

C.S. Lewis once said “God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain”

This serves as an important reminder... if we are facing spiritual warfare, we should aim to do so in a way blameless before the Lord. This isn't to say that we need to be perfect but that we should strive to honor Him through the process. A valuable lesson for me

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wuthering Heights

Just started reading Wuthering Heights on my iPhone. It's not as bad as I thought it would be thus far. It's a book I have always avoided, but knew that one day I would have to read it. I can thank my book club for that :)

I am trying to incorporate reading, music, photography, writing, language and art into my weekly routine. It's much more tempting to play sudoko after the gym, but I know in the long run I will thank myself for incorporating the arts into my weekly routine.

God continues to work through my husband to help me with my anxiety. It really only comes out when multiple stressful situations emerge, but I don't like letting anxiety rule even a small part of my life. Lord, let me give all of this to you. Amen.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I've experienced a few email this week where a person wants to point out a mistake someone has made and will cc other people. I have been both the receiver or cc-ed. In all of these cases, it later came out that the sender was misinformed.

Now I think this bothers me for a few reasons. First- it is passive aggressive. Second, it humiliates the person on the receiving end. Third- it doesn't follow Matthew 18 (go first to the person).

It's one of those etiquette things that has just come about in recent times... I'm glad I learned about this while I am younger, so I won't do this later in my life.

This is not to rag on those who sent those emails, but rather a conviction to ensure that I do not do that. Life Lesson #467

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why My Bible Study Group is the Best

So I love my Bible study group- mainly because (outside of being Christians) we have nothing in common.

Everyone has kids, is much older (outside of one couple) and is in a different walk of life than we are.

Now it seems strange that I would like this, because as humans, we are naturally drawn to people who are like us. However, i think a group like this is essential for Bible study.

Why?- you may ask. Because this group challenges me in the Word. When I am with my friends, we typically have pretty similar convictions, moral and political beliefs: rarely having to bring up a challenge for someone to think differently about something than they did before.

My group members will challenge my beliefs or interpretation of a verse though bc they come from a different walk of life. I love being challenged... It either strengthens my own convictions or allows me to think of something in a different light.

And that to me is an important way to grow in my walk with God. I am so thankful for this group!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Love Your Christian Enemies

I was reading Luke 6:27-36: love your enemies. In a modern, contemporary, Christian context I often hear this about "the Muslims, the gays and those God hating secularists."

Ever since I was a teen, I could never relate to this modern interpretation. I have had and continue to have dear friends from each of these "groups."

For awhile, I thought this wasn't a verse that pertained to me as much, since by nature I am fairly laid back.

But recently, I realized that it applies to me in a much different context and was I convicted!

Plain and simple: my enemy was the Christian Right. I hated how they would ostracize and demonize homosexuals, liberals, Muslims and atheists. I would get so mad at how they would focus on the sin and not show Christ's love at all. I hated how it would become an "us vs them" battle.

Basically, I hated how they treated other people and I began to have a growing distain towards the Christian Right. They were not showing Christ's love towards their enemies. Then I realized: I was not showing Christ's love to the Christian Right.... I was not loving my enemies.

It's something I continue to struggle with. God has put many opportunities in my life to love and dialogue with those who I normally get frustrated with. He has taught me a great deal.

So now as I grow in Him, I ask Him to help me minister to both groups (the non-Christians and Christians) in both truth and love. Lord, help me to love all people with Your love!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

So Glad You Are Here 2012!!!!

As I have stated before, 2011 was a trying year (for both myself and some of the people closest to me). But through those trying times, God was faithful. He molded me and shaped me in ways I never knew imaginable. I was also able to take our relationship to the next level....

All my life, I would just take the difficulties thrown at me. When difficulty, after difficulty hit last year, I would just thank God and pray for the desires of my heart. One night, at a time when I was so overwhelmed, I was praying with my husband. My husband knew that I was at the end of my rope, burnt out by all the trials I had faced- yet I was praying the same way I always did- thanking and saying "if it’s Your will." I will never forget when my husband interrupted my prayer and said "now is not the time for that kind of prayer- now is the time for you to be honest with God."

It really threw me off, because once he said that, I knew exactly what I was doing. I was almost praying to God out of superstition....thinking if I thanked Him, the bad would stop. This was all done subconsciously until this moment. And then I prayed, crying out to God like I never had before:

"You know I can handle a lot, but I cannot handle one more trial. I am tired of not hearing Your voice. I need Your guidance right now- I am burnt out, I am at the end of my rope. Intervene."

It was prob the most emotional prayer of my life. Within days He made Himself known and began turning things around in our lives.

I am so thankful for my husband and how he pushed me to grow in my walk in this way. I know it sounds crazy, but this event completely took my relationship with God to a whole new level.

I don’t know what 2012 will hold, but I declare, in faith, that this year we will no longer be in the wilderness. My God has heard my plea and has answered faithfully.

I commit to seeking balance in my life in 2012- in my relationship with Him, my husband, work, health, other relationships, what I am called to (through the gifting’s He has placed in my life) and in the thing I love to do.

Those are my resolutions if you will- Declaring in faith that He has brought us out of the wilderness (not to say trials will not happen, but that He is bringing us out of a rough season, taking our yoke upon Himself) and that I will seek balance in my life. Here's to 2012!!!