climbing to the top

olive branch in hollywood

olive branch in hollywood

sitting with friends

waiting for tests to determine

hiv.

finding broken bodies gone

done with this world.

my heart wants to close.

wait under the bed till the sun shines

so brightly that all the

gray finally disappates

in the glory of above.

but while the fleeing feelings linger

i see others pushing forth

readying themselves

bracing against nothing

but jesus

running through these last days of death.

these questions stop me

How are you living today? Do you see yourself pulling back from life or pressing into it? What is threatening your joy? What has stolen your hope?

what does “pressing into” look like today?

how can i live to the utmost?

and glorify my lord through all?

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crazy

here in bloomington

there’s been a lot going on

so much (we’ve been soooo busy),

it is just so good to sit down

to breathe

and be still.

our church plant pastor’s wife

has cancer.

breast cancer.

the word that stifles

everyone’s heart.

pierces it with fear.

and causes men like my husband to question

why?

i have dealt with church plant problems before

i am not unfamiliar.

but with hard times

i have seen so much growth

and courage

and serving

and Christ work like crazy

in everyone around me.

although, the fear and unknown

surround us

the surgery still awaits us

there is hope

and our community

it there

we’re here to help

serve

with anything.

suddenly, so many people

united.

one body

yearning for one thing

renewal.

here are a few prayer requests my friend posted that you are welcome to add to your daily prayers:

As always, meals, gifts & cards are wonderful, but our Heavenly Father is the great Physician & Comforter. Please continue to pray for Erica…
-that the Drs. would remove the cancer & that her body would be healed
-that she would be comforted by the presence of the Holy Spirit
-for her marriage w/ Dan to be strengthened during this time
-for Alex, Gabriel & Isa to feel loved & cared for not only by their parents, but by God Himself

thank you all.

the day off

leaves in nashville

this morning i shared these quotes with my husband from paul miller’s a praying life. it was good for us both to hear so i am assuming that you also probably need to hear it too.

-“instead of hunting for the perfect spiritual state to lift you above the chaos, pray in the chaos” (72).

-“when you stop trying to control your life and instead allow your anxieties and problems to bring you to God in prayer, you shift from worry to watching. you watch God weave his patterns in the story of your life. instead of trying to be out front, designing your life, you realize you are inside God’s drama. as you wait, you begin to see him work, and your life begins to sparkle with wonder. you are learning to trust again” (73).

-“what does an unused prayer link look like? anxiety. instead of connecting with God, our spirits fly around like severed power lines, destroying everything that they touch. anxiety wants to be God but lacks God’s wisdom, power, or knowledge” (70).

with all matt’s new classes and students, anxiety has definitely become a struggle. for me anxiety looks different while i am worrying about way too many things that i really don’t need to be worrying about. these couple quotes have been really good for me to reflect on and realize that i need to pray without ceasing. life cannot be lived without prayer. we need God at all times.

anywho. i had the day off today so i cooked lasagna and a big double batch of cheeseburger soup (it is one of my all time favorites from growing up–it was in the original zion cookbook). i am going to freeze these meals for the next couple weeks until thanksgiving and we FINALLY GET TO GO TO NEBRASKA!!!! WOOT!!! WOOT!!! i am not very ecstatic about returning to the “good life” as you can tell. for dinner tonight i am making chicken bbq gouda pizza. i made it about a week ago, but it disappeared rather quickly and i still have enough ingredients for two more pizzas. i am pretty stoked.

hope your monday is going well too. adieu.

the giver of growth

today was my third day of work. it was better than monday and tuesday (each day is positively progressing). most the houses that we clean, i do not mind the work. however, there are other things that make the job slightly less agreeable. some of these things relate to management and others to the people with whom i am working with. after a day of long conversations with a coworker, we centered a bit on church and my  beliefs as a christian. i remember trying to take things slowly and not rush our conversation. i wished that i could be more forward with my feelings about God and  his grace…(i didn’t want to fail my at my chance to share. good christians share the gospel! they perservere and are not light of heart!). consequently, a later conversation with my mother and this verse shed some light on my fear and doubt:

what then is apollos? what is paul? servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, apollos watered, but God gave the growth. so neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and He who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. for we are God’s fellow workers, you are God’s field, God’s buildings. -1 corinthians 3: 5-9

although, this job would have not been my initial decision in the job world, i can not just try my best and be a holy representative. i must pray for my desire for these people’s growth and betterment. my job is not just to clean thoroughly and quickly, BUT also to learn to love the people around me who i would rather not hang out with. to allow God to build his kingdom through me, i must become a “fellow worker” and learn to love like him.

this will indeed take time. meanwhile, i am exploring the best that our town has to offer in terms of housing (mostly homes of academic professors). today, at my first house, the amount of hair (and not just head hair!) i accumulated from the bathroom floors could have easily stuffed a comforter. the house also took delight in piling rocks and random shells on the counters in the bathrooms and preposterously around the jacuzzi tub. i did not feel like getting my beach towel and suntan lotion out. yesterday, i cleaned a decked out (full to the brim of rare antiques, lush rugs, rooms drug right out of restoration hardware, etc.) home from 1850. it was a shaker style, colonial home. as we drove up to the house and as i walked about inside, i felt like i was entering a southern, pre-civil war home (maybe, i did feel a bit like mammy…so what?). it was dreamy,  positively delightful, and utterly divine to have the honor to clean their home.

the little boy was akin to little fauntleroy, except with iPad and animal pjs.

little lord fauntleroy

the book i remember as a child

the book for those who are unfamiliar with the children’s book was written by frances hodgson burnett (she also wrote the secret garden, the little princess, etc.) it is a sad/happy/depressing tale like the rest.

furthermore, there are other places that i clean that are not so pleasant, where dog pee has settled into the very essence of the house and i almost retch as i am hand washing the foyer. or there are places that are just dank and remind me of my grandparent’s old musty basement with old dead bugs and all. nonetheless,  the good is starting to out weigh the bad. i have a job. a good husband. a roof over my head and a pca church plant, we get to be a part of. what more could i really ask?

except for…chocolate chip cookie dough and salisbury steak with gravy…(oh, wait, i made it already). salisbury for dinner and cookie dough and scrubs for dessert! woot! the Lord is indeed good.