On the way home from work one day, I was sitting there, stopped in traffic, trying to decide what I wanted for dinner. Knowing I had pretty much no food at home and my long day was leaving me less than inspired to cook up a masterpiece or even some mac and cheese, on a whim, I decided to get off on the next exit and grab some Chinese food from a restaurant that I hadn’t been to since I had moved further away.
When I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a man in the car next to me scrounging for change in his car. I thought about how I had been there before and hoped he could find what he needed. I went inside and was perusing the menu for what I thought might meet my Chinese food cravings. The man came up to the counter next to me and was counting out the change he had collected. He was still short for what he was trying to order. I paused to ask God if He wanted me to help the man out and in what way.
Continue reading “Andropolis, You’re My Inspiration”
A few years back I decided that I needed to find something I could do to pour into my community and be a blessing, even in the busiest seasons of my life. I can tend to get into very busy seasons which make it difficult to set regular volunteering commitments and keep them. So, I thought I would try to find something that was meaningful to me, helpful to others and flexible, no matter how my schedule might shift. Sometimes the place to find a need to fill is in a place that you or someone you love at one time had need. Continue reading “Give Back”
It’s always good to feel like you are doing something that makes a positive impact in the world, but sometimes it can be hard to find the time to do something that feels so meaningful. I can tend to look at people in need all over the world and see others who are devoting their lives, or even a week or two, to go and meet those needs.
At one point in time, I too was one of those who was able to go for a week or two on a regular basis to the other side of the world and love on orphans, or build community showers, or serve at a soup kitchen in a poverty stricken area, or speak hope to those who felt hopeless. However, these days, life just seems too full and too busy for world travel.
There are only so many days I can take off of work and even those tend to get scheduled out by others in my life. Also, there’s that whole “adulting” thing where I have bills to pay and a roof to keep over my head, and therefore do not have the resources to be able to fund those trips around the world. I’ve had to accept the fact that the season of globe-trotting for Jesus has come to a close for the time being and that those adventures just won’t happen as often as they used to. Continue reading “Make An Impact: Love Each Other”
I don’t know about you, but in my recent experience, and those of some of my good friends, life has been just really hard.
It seems like there isn’t one area of life that doesn’t come with headaches and heartaches. Dealing with difficulties in life from guiding little ones in the way they should go, to figuring out which way you should go yourself, to managing stresses from work, to carrying the weight of hurtful words spoken to or about you, to struggling with unhealthy thought/behavior patterns, to facing a loved one’s addiction…on and on the list goes. It can be quite overwhelming, and definitely has been for me. Continue reading “It’s Gonna Be OK”
In my last blog post, I wrote about how I need to do more preaching to my own soul, to get truth sown deeper into my heart and mind…especially during the difficult times and circumstances of life. Well, sometimes, I struggle with this.
I can tend to get into such a place that it would take more mental and emotional where-with-all, strength and stamina than I have at that moment to even know where to start. The scriptures that had once brought comfort and peace and that strengthened me, that I wrote on my bathroom mirror and have on my screensaver and put as the wallpaper on my phone, fall flat. I can read them and have friends speak them to me and even meditate on them, trying to squeeze out the same results that I had before when that scripture brought me new life, but to no avail…I’m still just as broken or hurt or hopeless.
I have learned that for me, in those times, I need a little something else before I am able to absorb the truths that I know in my head but that are having a hard time penetrating my heart…and it’s not because the truths are not as true this time or that the effectiveness of scripture has changed. Typically for me, it is because I am spent. (You know, when it’s not because I’m being rebellious and outright ignoring or rejecting truth.) I’m mentally, spiritually and emotionally exhausted, and I can’t even think of how to approach preaching to myself. But because my God is faithful and gracious to me, He has given me a tool to use when I can’t make myself function, when I need to stop trying to fix myself and just rest in His presence. For me, that tool is worship, songs of truth that can wash over me in comforting waves and that I can proclaim when I can’t find the words for myself.
Continue reading “Truth Through Earbuds”
A couple months ago, I had an experience that shook my world. A traumatic event, not unlike other things in my past, sent me spinning. All of a sudden I found myself struggling to keep my head above water and just keep breathing. I tried my best to hide it from everyone, though several people kept asking if I was doing okay. I said I was or at least that I didn’t want to talk about it.
Truth was, I was hopeless and not sure what to think or believe. I felt completely worthless and damaged. I was questioning what was true about me, about my life, about God. I sunk into pits of fear and doubt and anger, all familiar places. I reverted to old thought patterns that ultimately are a form of self-harm, because they only serve to tear me down and minimize my worth. Over a 10-year journey, God had brought me so far in working through the old beliefs that came from a painful past, but honestly, I was wondering if I had just been deluding myself into thinking that God could really restore me and redeem my past.
Continue reading “Hanging on Every Word”
After I graduated from college, I enjoyed an extended time of unemployment…Well, enjoyed is probably a rather strong word. It was really more like ‘was afflicted with’ or ‘suffered through’. Aside from some occasional babysitting, I was having a hard time finding work. Just to let you know, occasional babysitting does not pay the bills. I was strapped for cash, even for basic necessities. That is not a fun place to exist. Thankfully, I had the blessing of a landlord/mom who was willing to let me live rent-free in a place she owned until either 1) I found a job or 2) it was 6 months after I graduated, whichever came first. So, I at least had a place to sleep and call home. However, it was extremely stressful to not be able to do the responsible things I so desired to do, like pay my rent and support myself.
It’s not that I wasn’t trying to find a job. I had turned in application after application and submitted resumes, sometimes even in places where there weren’t posted job openings. There were a few interviews that seemed promising, only to have the position dissolve, or the person that was being replaced decide to stay after all. Each time it seemed like something out from left field came up that prevented me from stepping into this professional career that I had worked so hard toward. I wasn’t sure what God was up to. Continue reading “Faithful Provider”
Most of us live in a rather sheltered and comfortable community, and sometimes it can be easy to hear intensely difficult stories and think, “That is so foreign to me. I can not relate at all.” And maybe we write it off because we didn’t find it relative to us, or maybe we glaze over it because we don’t want to hear those kinds of things and expose ourselves to that level of hurt and pain. We want to protect ourselves from the heavy, dark and painful things in this world.
Well, I want to speak into that self-protective tendency in us all. Cause I can do the same thing, especially when my own life is feeling pretty heavy. However, I have a unique perspective on this, because I actually have one of those intense stories as my own story. It has often been difficult for others to hear. It makes them face the evil that exists in this world. An evil that I never had a choice in knowing about.
Continue reading “Uncomfortable Love”
Some would call me an artist. Though, I don’t believe I am dedicated enough to claim that title. I would say that I have been gifted with artistic skills. I have been drawing since I was a little girl and have grown and stretched my creative abilities in other artistic channels as well. While I primarily work with graphite, I’ve also enjoyed working with oil pastels, chalk, charcoal, throwing pottery with clay, wood working and have even painted one oil painting. I went to school for Interior Design and learned to use my skills to create spaces, products, light fixtures and furniture (actually building, from scratch, the furniture piece I designed…I even learned to weld!) I also made digital and mixed media presentations to communicate my designs to clients. Most of what I do now is graphic design for work. But there is something special about picking up a pencil and sketchbook and just spilling out what is stirring inside. Usually I give away all of the best drawings and paintings I create, forgetting to even take pictures of them. So, I don’t always have much to show. Over the years, I have gotten busier and don’t spend much time creating things just for the sake of creating. However, there have been times that God actually puts a picture in my head that I can not stop thinking about until I get it out onto paper. This was the case about a year and a half ago.
Continue reading “Drawing Birds”