Let Hope Fill You

God is so eager to move on our behalf. Did you know that? He is waiting for us to ask Him a question, for us to tell Him our dreams, and to have a conversation about the future. He knows it all, but He actually wants US to reach out to HIM. He so much wants to see you flourish in this lifetime. No, in fact, He wants to see you come to an all new level which you have never been before. A higher standard of life that you have yet to experience. And it’s achievable! Did you know that!?

When I dedicated my life to following Christ, God placed new desires inside of me. I laid down who I thought I was and started all over. But I hated myself before Jesus, so this was a very hard process for me. I made so many mistakes and brought so much hurt into peoples lives that I didn’t think I could escape the guilt and torturous thoughts. I was drowning in depression and suicidal tendencies. I hated myself. I didn’t want to be anywhere near myself. Every morning when I woke up, I wished the day were already over. My heart ached. Every time I put my head to the pillow, I wished I were dead so that I didn’t have to see tomorrow. Loneliness consumed me. And loneliness to me wasn’t that I had no one around me, it was actually the fact that I couldn’t articulate my feelings and thoughts. I analyzed too much, and so I thought and thought myself into loneliness.

All of that, and I wore a mask to hide it all.

No one in my life knew how I struggled or what my normal disposition was like. And if they did, they were the wrong people to confide in, and eventually I burnt the bridge anyways.

Wow, hey? Because that’s not who I am anymore.

I now know that I am not alone. I am not fearful for tomorrow. I feel excited and overjoyed. And…I am DREAMING! I’m inspired and hopeful!  I am secure and yet I have freedom. God’s unfailing grace is all I know now. His unrelenting love called me out and lifted me up from my muddy state. But this didn’t happen in one day, one week, or even one year. Actually, I’m still trying to be better than I was yesterday. I don’t want to be stuck in the same state of mind day in and day out. That’s boring! And if I didn’t call on Jesus every day, then I would slip back into my old habits, mindsets, and eventually just reverse all of this growth. I am only human and I often still struggle with despondent thoughts, but it’s different now. I don’t need to dwell on it because I have been given tools to get through these things. Prayer being the first and foremost tool that I use DAILY. Why would I want to stay where I am when I can go so much higher with Him?

The meat of what I want you to know today is that He is WAITING for YOU to call on Him. Say, “Jesus, I need You, I’m lost and I can’t do this anymore without You!” It’s easy. Can you really change your ways and habits so drastically? “A man can’t, but the Lord can.” He’s waiting for you.

 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29 AMP

I love because He first loved me

I love where I am.  I love being in my home with my family, my cat, my blankets, and my coffee and tea stash.  I love being near to my bedroom, a couple of steps away from a good nap.  I love being able to go into my backyard and lay on the grass with my daughter while she squishes ladybugs.  I love waking up in the morning and walking downstairs to see my husband drinking his coffee at our dining room table.  I love how the sun shines into the kitchen a two o’clock in the afternoon and my kitty bathes in the sun spots on the linoleum.  I love looking into my husbands eyes when he gets home from work.  I love having a hot shower and rinsing off the day right before I head to bed to be with my best friend until the morning hours.

And the things that I take for granted but I know I love them are these things:  being woken up by my daughter at seven o’clock in the morning, sharp.  I love waiting for my husband to get comfortable before we watch a movie together.  I love writing my to-do list on my white board and then feeling the satisfaction of wiping it off at the end of the day.  I love getting packages, even if it means me answering the door in my pajamas and undone hair.  I love reheating my coffee and taking the first sip, warming me up from the inside out.  I love hearing my daughters little whimpers when she wakes up from her nap.  I love walking into her bedroom and finding her waiting for me with her goofy little grin and her smiley eyes.  I love getting phone calls.  I love visiting with my brother.  I love when my sister comes over to my house and immediately looks for cookies.  I love watching my mom be goofy with her granddaughter.  I love that I have a relationship with my family.  I love when people open up to me.

I love looking for answers to questions and having to go to Jesus for it all.  I love giving thanks to Jesus for the life He has given me.  I love seeing this life in a new way because of Him.  I love that I need Him and that I can’t love or live without Him.  I love that I am a child of God.  I love that I have a new name and a new identity.  I love that I am sober.  I love that I am happy and full of joy.  I love that I do not live in fear or shame.  Yes, I love where I am.

The things I love are obvious.  And I love that they are obvious.


A Wind of Regret

As you may have noticed, there have been changes made to my blog.  I am not really sure what sparked it, but I wanted to all of a sudden switch to WordPress.  I initially wanted to go with WordPress at the beginning of this adventure, but it seemed too complicated.  I naturally went with Blogger because it was simple and it was connected with Google Plus – something, at the time, that I had been learning to use.

If anyone follows me on Pinterest, you will know that my style is minimal.  So for whatever reason, having the “next blog” on the top of my page while using Blogger made me feel like my blog was messy.  I did spend more money than what I had wanted starting up a blog, and I now wish that I would have steered clear of the domain name and just went with a pretty theme from Etsy.  But alas, these are a few of the many things that I have learned along the way.

Now here I am, cozy in my husbands long-sleeved plaid shirt, knit socks while drinking coffee trying to justify the 3 posts I’ve made in the last year.  I apologize to those of you who have been encouraging me to write and post more and not seeing any of it.  I get half way through writing a post and decide that I have no idea how to conclude it and it gets left in the drafts.  I’ve been challenged by God to write more and put my feelings into words.  There have been so many times where Jason is left in the deep dark blue trying to figure out what’s going on inside my head and I haven’t a clue as to how to portray exactly what I’m feeling to him.  This is a way for me to take my time explaining myself, a way to share my interests and creativity, and also share what I’ve found during my time surfing the web.

I don’t know where to go from here, but hold up your mug of coffee with me and let’s cheers together to a new season of posting once a week and putting aside whatever fears I have of inconsistencies in my writing and moving forward from this rut to a high hill top.

I truly had no idea how frustrating this would be, but I am so happy to have people in my life to encourage me.

So …….. I’ll post again soon!

“No matter what season I’m in, I’m content because of Him. It’s Him that gives me strength to be content in every situation. I’m not content because of something that happened, I’m content because of Him. He’s why I’m content and He’s where my confidence comes from.” – Eric Johnson

Your Love Will Be Safe With Me

Re: Stacks by Bon Iver has been on repeat in our house since about July.  Last year, July 27th, I got engaged to the man my heart sought for.  I kind of convinced myself that our love story was the very least romantic of them all simply because it was indeed similar to a high school romance; I yearned for him and he was against the very idea of me.  My then-fiance and now-husband stunned me with this beautiful tune the evening of our engagement, a song that we both regard as a part of our love story.

I first “noticed” Jason when I had started consistently going to Victory Family Church.  He was the strikingly handsome guy with the guitar on stage, singing with his raspy voice, worshiping Jesus.  Girls, can I get an amen for guys with guitars?  I mean come on.  That’s not even fair.

To fast forward through the weeks that we were acquaintances through a friend, Chad, finally we wound up hanging out every weekend in a group of friends.  In his opinion, I was a very prominent reason why he would hang out with the younger group of people in the first place (him being 27 at the time, and me 19).  The thought never occurred to me that I would have a chance with him, especially because of the age difference.  I fought feelings for him day in and day out.  I prayed to God that He would take the feelings away if nothing were to ever come of them.

Let’s take a pause here, a bunny-trail.  Many people don’t realize that I was in a very vulnerable place when I first came to the church, especially after the months where I rededicated my life to Jesus.  I felt as though that even the IDEA of having feelings for someone would stunt my spiritual growth because it was something that I had struggled so heavily with in the past.  I was beating myself senseless because I felt like I was right back where I started.  Rational?  No.  But that’s the way it was.

It was around December when Jason and I were beginning to see a little more of each other besides the odd hangout on the weekend.  To name a few: We were in the same choir together, refs for a ball hockey tournament which required meetings, AND we actually went out for coffee once!  Just the two of us!  Imagine the butterflies I had, please.

All the while, I did not realize that I was under Jason’s microscope and finally one day I was asked if I was ready to date somebody (via Pastor Dan – a youth pastor at our church whom I have a very close relationship with) – And I answered no because I was too caught up with my feelings for Jason that I couldn’t even fathom being ready to date someone else as it wouldn’t be fair to them.  He proceeded to tell me that Jason liked me.  And I lost it.  No, not in a good way.  I was so upset that the man I looked up to as a father would tease me about something so sensitive.  I was so persuaded that Jason would never like me that I couldn’t even receive the truth!

Again, let’s fast forward.  Jason and I had a meeting for a ball hockey tournament that required all refs to be present.  He was my ride since, at the time, I was not driving.  Afterwards, I asked Jason if he wanted to hang out with people, and so we both started texting around and no one was answering.  So Jason suggested that we go to his house and wait it out.

He made us tea and (this is all still very vivid to me) began walking over with the two cups and said “So…Want to talk about the elephant in the room?” — in my head this meant that he was going to tell me to lay off and that we were never going to work out so let it go.

“You dig me..” Duh. “And I dig you..”

The rest is history.  🙂

July marks the month of our engagement and I have so many reminders of how in love I am with him.  Re: Stacks is the song of the month because the first kiss I had with this man of God was to this tune, and when he got down on one knee, this is what I heard playing blissfully in the background.  I wish I could paint a perfect picture of how it all went down, but this will have to do.  Thank you for reading, you wonderful human being.

My November Heart

There is something especially romantic about rain and the in between season when you’re not sure whether it’s fall or winter – the spontaneity keeping you at the edge of your window, marking each droplet on the street.  For the 1000th time, it’s raining, but it’s November in my heart.  I know that today is merely a blink in the midst of eternity, yet I jot it down as one that I need to be present in.

I’ve decided to, unwillingly but desperately, start a blog.  You will find my thoughts, devotions, and stories in and among the posts that I will be composing for the next however long.  Whatever they will consist of, I would like to point you toward the true Author of this story.  As a daughter of the Most High, with my heart thrown at the feet of Jesus and completely overtaken by His boundless grace and unrelenting love, I am vulnerable to you now.  Here I am.

God’s grace overtook me when I needed it the most, but when I least expected it.  He knows me better than I know myself, and understands that I need His love more than I need discipline.  Discipline is easy, because I’ve always known that I need to change.  I am so diligent when reading Proverbs that this walk gets blurry and I forget why I am here in the first place.  His Love.  Not because He told me “No”, though I understand the need for it, but because He loves me.  I am the one Jesus loves.

He tore me out of my oasis of familiarity and depression and brought me into a new glory, a new beginning.  He offered me a conscience that I had no idea existed.  He offered me a way out of my chaotic sense of being, moving me to paint the walls of my house purple and not black.  With the blood of Jesus, I am free from believing that the void in my heart is impenetrable.  His pierced hands have led me anew.

I am not bound to anything and I no longer need to be held back by fear.
Which is why I say, here I am.  This is my lovesong.