Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Must Read...

It's not often that a blog post completely stops me in my tracks and causes me to scroll back up and read again.

Today that happened.

Take the three minutes to go here, and read this post. It just might speak to you too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Who Am I?

As I eluded to earlier, I've been processing this question a lot lately:

    Who am I when no one is looking?

Somewhere in my teenage years, I lost "me". I lost who I really was at my core. It was just easier to feel accepted if I became a mirror of those people around me, because then, the chance of rejection was less. Sadly enough, I stayed that way for way too long. So much so that when asked, I didn't always know what my favorite tv show, or song artist, or movie, or restaurant even was anymore.

One day I sat down, and inspired by the movie Runaway Bride, I made a list. I figured out what I truly liked, and, what I really didn't like at all. Very sad that it had to come to that, but yet that is where my journey began. It was the first time I really thought about who I am if no one is around.

Since then I've revisited that question many times, only each time on a different level.

Most recently I stopped to think about my relationship with Christ, and decided it was time for a little "check-up". Here's a few of the questions I took the time to stop and ask myself:

  • Who am I when no one is looking?
  • Who do I, or what do I worship when no one is around?
  • Am I fully leaning on Christ when the sun is set, the computer is off, the phone is silent and it's just me and him?
  • Do I take my own advice? Is He my strength during times of sorrow? Do I praise Him in my times of joy? Do I praise Him in my times of sorrow?
  • Is He my number one priority in a "me-centered" world?
  • Do I have faith in His plan? If I pray for rain, do I go out and buy an umbrella?
  • Am I just going through the "motions" when others are around? Or is this truly who I am at my core?
These are the questions I've asked myself, and yes, I have my answers. I have a pretty good idea of who I am, where I am at, and where I need to be. We are all a work in progress - and I gotta say, I'm proud of how far God has brought me. A few years ago, my answers to these questions would have been different. And a few years from now, they will be as well.

Sometimes it's worth the time to stop and re-evaluate who you are when no one is looking. Because that's the person God sees. That is who you are at your core. Choose to be the real you. And if you hide "you" because you're ashamed, then take steps to change it. Yes it seems like a long road ahead, but take it from someone who was so lost just a few years ago, it's so worth it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Light Hearted Randomness

In no order what-so-ever, I give you, random things about me...

  • I need to have both smooth and crunchy peanut butter in the cupboard. My texture of choice varies depending on what I'm eating.
  • My niece said my name for the first time this weekend - melted my heart!
  • I sometimes force myself to do something I don't like to, or don't want to, do. I used to always give in to fear, this is one of the ways I keep fear from ruling my life.
  • I watch more tv on the Internet than on do an actual tv.
  • When I'm driving in the car, and searching for a radio station, if the first thing I hear is an ad, I keep on surfing. But if I'm already listening to a station, I don't necessarily always switch away during commercials and chatty djs.
  • I used to hate the quiet. Now I not only enjoy it sometimes, I need it.
  • It took me years to realize who I really am, only to discover that it will always be changing, growing, evolving.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Glimpse of My Thoughts

A few weeks ago during a bible class this question got brought up:
    Who am I when no one is looking?

More thoughts on this later...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The conversation...

This just happened:

Mom - "A shower sounds nice, but I don't have the energy."

Me - "Um...then how are we going to drive for the next 6 hours?"

You just never know...

It's almost 10 o'clock at night.

Normally I'm getting ready for bed about now.

Currently, I am getting ready to drive for 6+ hours. To the Indianapolis airport. And back.

This could make for an interesting night.

Monday, April 20, 2009

This season...

Life can change in an instant. One minute you know exactly where you are headed and why, knowing with all your heart you are following God's prompting and will, then suddenly, the road ends. A choice was made. The road is no more. And there you stand. Confused. Hurt. Lonely. Wondering where to go now. Waiting for God to recalculate and get you moving again. Only, for this moment, God is silent.

This is the season I'm in right now, in this instant, as I type. And I'll be brutally honest - it's hard. Really hard.

I never quite understood what people meant when they spoke about hearing God's voice, talking with God instead of at Him, knowing His will for their lives. It's a very abstract concept when you have never experienced it. Then, a few years ago, I heard it. It took me a while to realize who it was, but it was Him - my heavenly father. I didn't hear his voice about everything and I didn't hear it often, but I was starting to be able to recognize it. It's like how you recognize the people around you by their voices or their movements. You know it's them because you've spent enough time around them to just know.

I won't say my life became perfect the minute I started to recognize God's voice -- it didn't. I prayed for God to tell me what His will was -- and He did. But for a while, I fought it. I prayed for a "flashing neon sign" to tell me what to do...and when He gave me one, I ran. Because it was scary. But I learned to take steps in the direction He was guiding me. And the more faithful and obedient I was, the more He spoke. We were in constant conversation.

Then one day, it all changed.

Because we don't live this life alone - others are on the journey with us, and God gave us all free will. And the road ended. The neon sign faded and died. There I stood, not knowing where to go next. Waiting patiently to hear God's voice for guidance, only to hear nothing at all.

I know there are times when God chooses to remain silent. I know this, but it doesn't make it any easier when you have gone from climbing high on a mountain, to suddenly skidding to a halt at the bottom of a valley. Not knowing how to navigate this new territory, how to continue to remain faithful, how to not lose hope in God's will for your life, how to trust that God will recalculate a new path.

Over the last few weeks I've learned that even though God is not talking, He's still with me. He's next to me on this journey, and He's hurting with me. He's shown himself to me a few times, reminded me of His love and power and spoken through many around me. But just as you miss the voice of your mommy or daddy as a child when they've been away, I miss hearing God's voice.

Then yesterday I heard a song on the radio that I had all but forgot about. A song that spoke to exactly to where I am right here, right now. I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp:

"I've never felt so torn before
Seems I don't know where to start"

"Though the questions still fog up my mind
With promises I still seem to bear"

"Well the only place I can go is into your arms
Where I throw to you my feeble prayers well in brokenness"

"I still believe in your faithfulness
I still believe in your truth
I still believe in your holy word
Even when I don't see, I still believe"

This is my now. This is where I'm at. This is the season I'm living in.

I may not see God as I have been used to seeing Him. I may not hear God as I have been used to hearing Him. But I still believe. I still cry out to Him. I still run to Him. I still trust Him with all that I am. And I know, in His perfect timing, I'll hear His voice once again.


I just updated my blog template - somehow a fresh start makes me feel like blogging even more...

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I wouldn't say I'm a risk-taker.

If anything for many years I've been a risk-avoider.

I don't think I'm much different than anyone else - we all avoid risk for one main reason: to prevent getting hurt.

Sometimes this is a good thing. Like when you want to jump out of your treehouse as a child or throw flammable objects into a bonfire.

But the risks I tend to avoid the most aren't the ones that leave outward scars or can be healed with a band-aid.

In the last few days I've realized something. While I've deluded myself into thinking I've just been protecting myself, I've actually been hurting myself even more. Ironic isn't it. Over the years my self protection has served me well, but I came to realize that I've also been avoiding risks I should be taking.

I've decided taking risks is like weight lifting. Yes, it's tearing your muscles, and it causes some pain, but you end up stronger in the end. But you have to be smart with who you trust to train you. I could easily do permanent, unhealthy damage to my body if I listen to someone who doesn't know what they are talking about. Quite similar to risk taking. Risks can cause pain, but when you listen to God's guidance on which risks to take, and do so with Him by your side, you'll end up stronger in the end.

Recently God asked me if I trusted Him enough to step out and take a risk. A risk that could possibly invoke some serious pain. I can't say that I jumped right in an obeyed. I didn't. It took Him asking me over and over to realize that no matter the outcome, I needed to trust God, I needed to obey and I needed to let go of my fears. And so I did. Yes, I experienced pain. But I took the risk knowing that is what God was asking of me.

It wasn't like the heavens opened up and host of heavenly angels began singing the Hallelujah Chorus. But it did change me. It made me stronger. It made me lean on God. It made me closer to Him. It made me a better version of me.

And that, to me, made it all worth it.

What risks in your life are you not taking?

Where I'm At...

One of my friends just recently wrote a blog post about her life - oddly enough it expressed exactly where I am at right now as well. So I'm copying it here and giving her some link love. My thoughts follow.


Slow down

At the beginning of the school year I set a goal to create some space in my schedule for rest. That hasn't happened much this semester. In fact I had been running so fast and doing so much I couldn't hear myself think.

Last summer a friend of mine pulled me aside and asked how I was REALLY doing? I was so caught off guard I didn't know how to respond. This friend was patient enough to give me some space to answer but the truth was I had no clue. I had been running forward so hard for so long I had never taken the time to think about it. My friend knew this and quickly reminded me how important slowing down to rest is. They were painful words to hear at the time but words that hold truth and love.

A few weeks ago I talked with this friend again and was asked the same question. I stumbled over my words to come up with a quick answer and change the subject as quickly as possible. As I drove home after that conversation I realized how distracted I had become by life. The words of last summer's conversation replayed over and over in my head. Here I was again flying through life without taking time to breathe.

So I started this year's spring break with nothing on my schedule. Since Friday afternoon I haven't done much. I've met a few friends. Spent lots of time just chatting with Jesus and reading. It has been glorious. I'm so glad I started break this way.

I read this today, which is what inspired this post, and thought I would share it.

How kind the Lord is! How good he is!
So merciful, this God of ours!
The Lord protects those of childlike faith;
I was facing death, and he saved me.
Let my soul be at rest again,
for the Lord has been good to me.
He has saved me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.
And so I walk in the Lord’s presence
as I live here on earth!
Psalm 116:5-9


I hit a crossroads not long ago - there were two different paths to take. One all about me. One that was not. I needed God more desperately than I have in a long time and in that desperation, chose correctly. I chose to take time to think, pray, read and just listen for God's voice. I chose the quiet over the noise. And I'm finally at a place again where if someone asked how I was doing, truly doing, that I could honestly answer "I'm in a good place right now."