Sunday, September 20, 2015

song of the day

In light of my last post, enjoy this song, that's been on repeat all year.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Learning to lean harder

This last season has been one of learning to lean HARD on our Father as he leads.  It feels like I am challenged daily to lean harder into his character, the things he has promised, and his guidance.  While this has been met with feeling stretched farther than what feels humanly possible, it has also been met with sweet times with Jesus that I would never trade for any amount of comfort.  It is times like this, where I feel completely in over my head, but completely at peace at the same time.  I feel like a walking contradiction. (which in and of itself raises all kinds of confusing emotions...especially for a thinker!)  It's in these seasons that I fall more in love with Jesus than I ever thought possible, and where my ability to trust his character goes deeper and deeper.  In these seasons I get to see his faithfulness and power, because there is no other option.
As we raise money to go to India in November, I'm invited again, to lean harder.  Lean harder into the fact that my Father provides; that he has the resources to, and that he WANTS to provide for me.  I am faced with the option of just not going, because fear says that the money might not come in, or the option of leaning into his good character,  and saying YES.  As we have chosen the former option, I have been BLOWN AWAY by the way he has met me.  It's not about the money anymore, but about God teaching me more about who he is, and showing me his unwavering faithfulness.
As we take on this new role of leading the DTS department, again, the invitation to lean harder on Jesus than we have ever had to.  When fear and insecurity is staring me down, and looming over my shoulder I get to look at the face of my Father.  In that place it ceases to be about my fear being eradicated, and becomes about him burning the fact that he is good into my soul.
It's about being with him, and that's the way it should be.  That is how I can feel in over my head and at peace at the same time.  Because I know that no matter the result, he's not going to let me drown.  No matter the result, the fact remains that he is faithful and he is good.  And at the end of the day, He's all that matters.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

What if...

As "holy week" comes to a close, and we spend it celebrating Jesus' victory over the grave, and the fact that he offers us that very same victory when we place our faith in him, I find myself filled with gratitude beyond explanation. I have spent much time reflecting this week on the life of Jesus, his death and resurrection the fact that God sent his SON, to make what we screwed up right again.  Reflecting is a discipline I am working on becoming better at this year, and I have found it has been an extremely beneficial tool in my relationship with Jesus.   This is on of the many verses that my heart kept going back to this week: "I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.  This charge I have received from my Father." -John 10:17-18  There are so many things that jump out at me here, but I want to mention just a couple, that are both simple and obvious, yet deep and impacting.  
The first - Jesus' life was not taken from him- he willingly laid it down.  This speaks VOLUMES of not only his submission and commitment to the Father's will, but of his LOVE for us.  He said YES to going to the cross, to dying IN MY PLACE.  It was not forced upon him.  He agreed with the Father that it was the best way.  Mind blowing.  I feel like I could reflect on that alone for the rest of my life on earth, and still be blown away by his love for mankind.  That is a crazy kind of love that I don't think I can get a firm grasp on.  The second - Jesus came with one main purpose- to seek and save the lost, and to give his life as a ransom. (Mk 10:25, Luke 19:10)  Again, the intense love for humanity!  WOAH.  
And then, I cannot help but think...."What if he didn't?"  What if he didn't lay down his life of his own accord?  What if in that moment in the garden, when he was crying out to the Father, asking if there was any other possible way to accomplish his purpose besides the cross, what if he ran, what if he chose to disobey because it felt too hard in that moment?  How often do I chose disobedience because the road looks too hard, and look for an easier path?  What if Jesus chose like I choose?  In Hebrews 12 we see that "for the joy set before him, he endured the cross." He looked ahead- to what the cross would accomplish, and said it was worth it.  US-broken, rebellious humanity- having the chance to be reconciled to God and live with Him for now and eternity worth the price of the cross.  Where would I be without him...if he didn't?  But the amazing thing is - HE DID! He chose to say yes to the cross and the course of history forever changed.  It is finished.  For that, I live my life with immense gratitude for that uncomprehensible love, and I lay my life down, that His life can be made known.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

looking fear in the face...

So, we have some exciting of January 1st Zac and I have taken on the role as the new directors for our DTS department here at YWAM, Montana. While this is very exciting, as I look into the future, I find myself being stared straight in the eyes by my own fears, weaknesses and insecurities.  Taking on a greater role of leadership means more responsibility.  And with that, I am met by my fear of not doing a good enough job, or letting people down, or being exposed, or the big one- God not providing (financially, name it).  Really, the list could go on.  But I have found that absolutely nothing good comes from dwelling on my fears or the endless list of "what ifs".  As I recognize these fears that seem to be staring me down, I get really frustrated.  My first reaction is, "I've already dealt with this before"  and then the condemnation of "I should know better" tries to set in. I don't want to have to face these things, for what seems to be the one-hundreth time! BUT, when I rip my eyes away from the seemingly daunting fear, and look at my Father instead, he gently and persistently reminds me of 2 Corinthians 12:9 where Paul writes, "But he (God) said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,' " and I feel my Father inviting me to yes, look my fear in the face, but choose to follow Him instead.  I can't help but laugh when I look back at the last 2 weeks of the new year.  Just this week, when I thought I just might be overcome by the overwhelming sense of inadequacy being thrown in my face, I got something in the mail.  A close friend of ours had just published his 3rd book, and sent it to us.  The title: A Fresh Look at Fear: encountering Jesus in our weakness.*  I just sat the book on my desk for about an hour, not wanting to open it, because I knew the turmoil I was about to unleash in my heart.  As I read, Jesus met me in such an amazing way, and reminded me of something that I have known and told others countless times.  Jesus was inviting me to trust him, yet again, instead of my fears.  No, I do not know what the outcome will be, and I recognize that yes, I am weak...BUT I also know that God's power works perfectly in human weakness, and I also know that God provides for his children, and that worrying about tomorrow's provision will neither benefit nor provide for me.  I also know that NOTHING can separate me from the love of Jesus...and that is ALL that matters.  So, I am choosing to look at my fear that is staring me straight in the eyes, and I am going to follow Jesus instead.  I am trusting that he will be who he says he is, and do what he says he will do, even though I am weak.  Like Paul, I will choose to say, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me....for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
(*you can purchase the book A Fresh Look at Fear here:YWAM publishing)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Because He is worthy

Sometimes I have to remind my head.  Sometimes in my head, I forget why I live in Montana, so far away from so many friends and most all of my family.  Sometimes I think I want to move and get "a real job" and not live below the poverty line of our country.  Sometimes I think I get tired of thinking about money and wondering if there is going to be enough this month or not.  Sometimes feel weary of growing close to people only to have them move across the country or across the world.  But then I am gently reminded that the reason all of these things are worth it is because HE is worth it.  HE is worth every person I invest in, every student that comes to learn more about who HE is. HE is worth every trip we take overseas.  HE is worth me laying down my desires and my life for.  HE is worth everything I am and have.    HE is worthy of every nation and soul singing his praise. HE is worthy of preaching the gospel to the lost.  HE is worth being misunderstood and rejected for.  HE is worth taking risks on people. HE is worth living on a meager income and living far from friends and family.  HE is worth investing EVERYTHING I have into his kingdom.  It all comes back to HIM...HE is the one it's all about.  HE withheld nothing, and that same love did not withhold, but gave everything compels me to pour myself out and allow HIM to be the only thing that fills me...because HE is enough. So, when I have days like today that I forget, I just need that little whisper that reminds me: "It's because HE is worthy."   And then I am reminded of this in Revelation:
"The 24 elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever.  They cast their crowns before the throne saying, 'Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.'.....And when he had taken the scroll the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb, and they sang a new song saying, 'Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.'  Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying in a loud voice, 'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!' And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them saying, 'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!' (taken from Rev. 4:9-5:14)
And I wonder how I could ever lose sight of that and forget it, but am thankful for the gentle reminder that comes as often as I need it.  My heart knew it all along, I just got caught in my head for too long.  And then I end upon my face in my living room in worship because I am so blown away by how worthy HE is of way more than I could ever give.  
HE is worthy, and that is reason enough, because HE will always be enough.

Friday, April 18, 2014

How Deep The Father's Love For Us

Today has been spent in a lot of reflection.  I continue coming back to the same thought with the same song running through my head.  The Father's love....its depth is beyond human comprehension.  The gift of his son is mind blowing, and I as I spent time reflecting, I found myself on my face in my living room, overwhelmed with thankfulness and awe of our God, and his choice to ransom us with his life.
In John 10 he said, "I lay down my one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord." simply incredible.

His dying breath has brought me life....I know that it is finished.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Song of the day

Jesus...he's just so beautiful!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chicken stew with quinoa and butternut squash

So, I made this really delicious stew the other day for dinner, and have been asked by lots of people for the recipe.  I know I do not usually put recipes up on here, but thought this would be the easiest way to share it.  It's adapted from something I saw on pinterest, but I changed it to be more to our liking. Those who know me know I don't do a very good job at following measurements are not it is:

I used leftover roast was probably the equivalent to about 2 cooked chicken breast maybe?
1/2 diced onion
minced garlic cloves I used 4 or 5
1 butternut squash
1 can diced tomato
2/3 C. quinoa
about 6 C. chicken broth
oregano, salt, pepper

Cut up the squash and steam 1/2 the squash until tender, and mash.  Set aside for later.  Saute onion.  Add broth, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, chicken and uncooked squash.  Cook until squash is tender, add tomato.  Add quinoa about 20 minutes before you are ready to eat.  Add mashed squash when quinoa is ready and mix well.  Add fresh cilantro to each bowl of stew.

This made enough for 2 full meals for our family of 4.
It was really yummy, and our boys loved it too, which is always a bonus...I think it would be even better with a little red curry added to it. 
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

photo of the day

Truss was really excited about getting guitar hero for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Good News of Great Joy...for ALL People.

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.  You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil.  For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.  For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire.  For to us a child in born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this."  Isaiah 9:2-7

God's ultimate plan, the One we place all our hope in....JESUS! Emmanuel; God is with us, and that changes everything.

Merry Christmas.  Praying that the hope, peace and love of our Saviour will reign in your hearts and homes this coming year.