Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Hello sweet friends,I pray that you are doing well. I find that the season of blogging for me has shifted, and I now write the thoughts of my heart privately. Teaching has gone so well this first year, yet also taken up much of my time. I realize I will not be a consistent blogger, but will follow God's promptings when I feel led. 

Over Christmas break, I finally broke into a book that has intimidated me for a while. Eric Mextaxas' Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. However, its daunting 607 pages could not keep me away once I began.

If perhaps you are unaware of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he grew up in an affluent German home in the time leading up to WWII. His father was the head of neurology and psychiatry at Berlin University. Both parents came from aristocratic families. Dietrich grew up under his mother’s strong Christian traditions and his father’s intellectual approach. At the age of 13, he decided to pursue theology at a purely academic level. However, God had a different plan. He became a theologian but also a pastor, writer, musician, and author of fiction and poetry. Highly educated, he saw with prophetic eyes what was happening to the German church as the Nazi regime took over Germany. He boldly defied the Nazi philosophy and attempts to kick Christ out of the church. His beliefs and convictions ultimately cost him his life in a Nazi concentration camp. After witnessing Bonhoeffer’s death, the concentration camp doctor reported: “In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.”

This book has changed my life in a way that I’m not quite sure how to explain. I found something in this biography that I have not found in a book before. Something in my soul was shifted and awakened. My spirit craved for more, and when I finished it this past week, I was near tears. The days that followed were quite peculiar. Spending so much time learning of a man and his faith developed a sort of bond in my heart with him. It may sound silly, but perhaps you have connected with a fictional character or person of history before in such a way that when the story ends your soul breaks, as if you are being torn away from them. It feels like such a loss.

The more I read, the more I grew to love the man to whom this book was devoted. Never before have I heard a man speak with such conviction and faith. He stood when no one else would. He knew the truth of God and gave his entire life to see the church hold fast to it. He did not let emotions rule his life or dictate his sermons. He spoke in such a way as to give power to the words rather than their delivery. He sought to do God’s will above all. He did not take God’s grace cheaply. It was a cost that he was at peace to pay.

This man has changed my life. I saw much of the same convictions in my own heart as I see the church loosening its grip on Truth. I understood his frustrations in a way I did not expect. He lived life with such service, and if ever he acted out of selfishness it was quickly repented and corrected. His love for God’s Word, and the practice of meditating on it daily was inspiring. He was not self-seeking; he only sought for God’s Truth to be spoken. He did not care about the frivolities of the world.

He enjoyed the goodness of humanity and beautifully joined it with the goodness of God. He saw God’s creation as good, and sought to enjoy it as God did. He was open to hearing the beliefs and opinions of others, but never wavered on the Truth in Scripture. He was steadfast in his trust and faith. He cared for the young and old, devoting much of his time to educating the next generation and reaping wisdom from the older. Even while in prison, he blessed his captors and fellow prisoners.

My heart swells when I think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was honest, kind, steadfast, trusting, faithful, devoted, passionate, intelligent yet humble, and ready to serve God in any form or fashion. He confessed to having a temper, but he trusted God to refine him in that area. He was the type of man that I pray to marry someday. His heart was truly after that of God’s. No circumstances caused him to waver. He knew his foundation and stood strong upon it.

My heart longs to encounter men of faith like this. To see them living out the Gospel in this broken and depraved generation. I know they exist, and I do not seek to berate the men of this generation. However, when I look at Bonhoeffer and see his heart, I long to be led by such a man, whether it be in the form of husband or pastor. I long to hear TRUTH spoken unashamedly and boldly. I long to be convicted and encouraged in the same sermon. I long to see the sermons lived out, not just spoken. I long to know a man who trusts God beyond all else.

I am a woman, and I am meant to be led. Perhaps that is why my spirit was so impacted by this man’s life. It is the image upon my heart of what I long for. But the beauty of it all is that Bonhoeffer was just an ordinary man whom the Spirit of God dwelled in. He was merely a reflection of the True God.
Jesus Christ is the reason I adore Bonhoeffer. It was not the man Bonhoeffer that I am drawn to, but rather Christ that I see in his life and words. Bonhoeffer was utterly surrendered to be erased so that God might shine out of him. That is why this man stands out to me.

I pray that I may follow in these steps, put aside my desires, my dreams, and ultimately my will in order that I too may shine Christ’s light so brightly. That I too may walk in the Holy Spirit’s guidance. That I too may live a life of trust in the haven of the Father.

I want to live a life worthy of my calling, and I trust God to help me do so.
I pray that you be blessed and inspired by such people of faith. This world needs Light. Let us not shrink back in fear of offending others, but rather share the Gospel of God with unashamed love.

“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” Hebrews 10:39

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Giver of Joy, Instrument of Peace

As the first month of teaching comes to a close, I realize how completely and utterly I need my Lord and Savior.

I've seen more than ever how quickly I fall into my human nature to be easily frustrated, annoyed, and impatient. I've seen my tendencies to strive and stress flare up more than ever. My habits of falling into anxiety and distrust glare in my face. 

And yet, I do not despair for I have this One Thing. 

My Savior. 

I take this time to reflect and reevaluate why I am in this season. Why God has me where He does. What His desire is for me here. What I can do. What He will do. 

Elizabeth Elliot once said, "You do what you can do. God will do what you can't." 

I find so much comfort in that tonight, as a confessed perfectionist and responder. I want to fix everything that I can. But in all honesty...I can fix very little, if anything. 

But, I can do something. 

Elizabeth also said, "The most God-like work that you can do is to give joy and be an instrument of peace." 

When I heard her say this, I realized that that is what my soul desire is in teaching. I want to share the joy and love I have found in Jesus. It may look differently than I expected it to, not so much in words but rather in small seemingly mundane actions. But I can still make a difference in the lives of my students. 

And so that is why my prayer has become that of Saint Francis of Assisi:

"Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life. "

And so I stand as one forgiven and redeemed. Ready to start a new season, one of victory and thanksgiving. One of joy and peace. One of giving.

Hallelujah, What a Savior!
Hallelujah, what a Friend!
Hallelujah, it is finished!
Hallelujah, it is done!
Hallelujah, King forever!
We thank you for the cross!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Seasons Come

Hello friends,
I apologize that the blog has taken a back seat. But my first year of teaching has begun. Let's just say "teacher" has encompassed my entire life, which I aim to balance a bit more.

This week was the first of the school year, after two weeks of New teacher training and then district wide training. These past three weeks have been some of the most difficult of my life, but I can say that my God has once again proved ever faithful.

Y'all can I just say that I am so weak. I have no strength of my own at this point in life. Yes, I am only in my mid-twenties but after this week I see how utterly I depend upon my Savior.

On the Friday of the first week of teacher training, I hobbled home with the familiar pain of a kidney stone. Within 5 hours of trying to just suck it up, I end up going to the ER. I quickly returned to the place of child crying for her Father's comfort and mercy. When the doctor walked into the room, all of a sudden the pain disappeared. Suddenly and surprisingly. So they gave me some IV and a small dose of ibuprofen. And I went home. I assumed the stone had passed in that moment, and I was so relieved!

If you are not familiar with kidney stones, they are said to be the worst pain you can go through even worse than child-birth. When the pain gets to the severe point, it always astounds me how much I just want to be held by God. I cry to just feel one breath, one touch of His. I just want to know that He is near to me, that He hasn't left me.

The next day I went to work to try and finish up my room. I had to go because I was running out of time to finish it all. Somehow, God helped me to get alot done.

Fast forward to the next Thursday. It's the middle of the night and I wake up with the familiar pain again. This time I needed to go the ER quickly. We got a CT scan, and sure enough the stone was still there. I cried because I needed to go to work the next day for Meet the Teacher night. I asked God why he would allow this to all happen right now. Right now, the first few weeks of school, the first time I was supposed to meet all my students and their families. Why God?

Well, I made it to Meet the Teacher with alot of help from my other 4th grade team teachers (They are amazing!) and I made it through the whole 2 hours.

As I look back at these past three weeks, I realize how small and dependent I am. God gave me the strength to do what I did. I can honestly tell you that this little girl with a very low pain tolerance (I think that's changing) would never have ever thought she could do what she did.

Just like the last episode of kidney stones, God's Word was my greatest comfort. I put on my dad's Audio Bible and picked Isaiah. All of a sudden I heard my name called,

"O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of agate, your gates of crystal, and all your wall of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children."

I felt Him say this words to my spirit. He was saying this directly to me. I looked to see where it was in the Bible. It was Isaiah 54. A chapter that is a very special one to me. In that moment, I took hold of the promise for me and all the children I will teach. Also, I laughed a bit because He is going to take my silly stones and set them in antimony ;)

Remember my "Why God?" question? Well He answered me. This is the season where I truly become less, that He may become greater (John 3:30). This is the season where I see His strength shine through. It is the season I come to truly understand "For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps."

He is the Great Helper. The Faithful Upholder. The Sure Foundation. The Peace Maker. The Holy One.

Are you going through a season where you are just trying to keep your head above the water? Is it just a day to day living where you don't even want to think about the next day? God has more for you. Survival mode is not life.

Isaiah 41 is for you. When you think you can't go on one more day. When  you think there is nothing left to live for. When you think that all hope is lost. Remember, the sun will rise tomorrow, and so will you. When we are at our end, God is at His beginning. Take faith my friend, God is with you. Call upon His name. He will answer.

"Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am." Isaiah 58:9

"There is none like God, who rides through the heavens to your help, through the skies in his majesty. Deut. 33:26

"You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off"; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am  your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

This is a song that I have found so much comfort in. Listen to it, knowing that this is what God is saying over you. Seasons come and seasons go. God is faithful through them all.

Blessings sweet child of God.

Monday, August 5, 2013


So sorry it's been a while since I last wrote. It has been a very busy past couple of weeks.

Two weeks ago, I went to Senior High camp with my church. That Monday I had an interview with the school I student taught at. I gave it over to the Lord, surrendering every possible outcome. The same day I got a call offering me the position of 4th grade Math and Science teacher! Praise the Lord! He is so faithful!

Recently on the radio, I heard the song Overcomer by Mandisa. Something stirred in my spirit and I immediately sent it to a friend who I thought it was totally for. Little did I realize that it was soon to be the song for my own season of life.

I have come to realize that I either pine over events or stuff them away. I'm a very passionate person and therefore either passionately pursue or passionately ignore things. (Can I find a little balance please? ) ;) One area I feel that I have stuffed away and just told myself to accept was a moment in the summer after my 3rd grade year.

I witnessed a horse back riding accident and from that moment on experienced extreme bouts of fear/anxiety and panic attacks. It may sound extremely odd to many people, but I believe that it was the beginning of a spiritual battle in my life.

The Lord has brought me leaps and bounds in my battle against fear. He has taught me the power of Scripture and prayer in the moments I am crippled with it. My God is strong and mighty to deliver, yet I have often just accepted the situation and honestly never dealt with the trauma of that day so many years ago.

You see the enemy does not want us to deal with traumatic moments in our life. However small it may seem to others, God does not belittle any event that hurt you. The enemy wants us to stuff away the trauma and ignore the problems we have because of it.

But God has something to say about this.


"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. WHo is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" 1 John 5:4-5

As believers we are born of God and therefore overcome the world and all the plots of the enemy against us. But in order to overcome we must "fight the good fight of faith" and hold tight to the life God has given to us (1 Tim.6:12). We have nothing to fear or dread because we are in Christ and He in us. We must choose to believe what God has told us, and have faith that we are indeed overcomers who already have the victory.

I realized last night as I went up for prayer at church, right now is as good a time as any to be rid of this trauma in my life. And there I went and laid it before the Lord, releasing a burden I have carried for too long. I repented of allowing the fear and anxiety to define me and have its way with my life, I forgave others who have fed the fear in my life, and I declared myself free in the name of Jesus. I felt a wave of courage and new life come over me as my friend led me in prayer. They said one word, "Overcomer," and my heart lept within me.

God told me in that moment, "You don't have to try and become an overcomer. You are an overcomer."

This whole time, all these years...I have been an overcomer. I was blind to this fact because of my fear, and that is exactly where the enemy wanted me to stay. But no longer. We are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37), we are overcomers.

If you have gone through any traumatic experience and still feel burdened by it, today is the day my sweet friend. Today is the day to let it go. God is faithful to deliver you. All you have to do is let Him take it. You were meant to live in the freedom and peace of Jesus Christ. Tell  Him right now that you don't want to hold onto it anymore. He won't make you keep it. :)

"The same man, the Great I AM,
the one who overcame death,
is living inside of you,
so just hold tight,
fix your eyes
on the One who holds your life
there's nothing He can't do

Don't quit, don't give in. You're an overcomer."
-Overcomer by Mandisa

Monday, July 15, 2013

Thankful Heart

Hello friends! I am back from a wonderful fun-filled week with sleep-talking jr. high kids, wolf spiders, and sunshine! This Monday morning, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude. The rain outside my window reminds me of the providence and care of our Lord. He certainly proves himself faithful time and time again.

Camp was truly an incredible experience. The Lord showed up every night and not only did he wreck the kids, he wrecked me. Ugly cry, snot and all. (Why can I not be a pretty cryer?) The Lord touched my heart in a way that I have not experienced in nearly a year. I knew after the last night that my life's desire is to be spent for God's glory.

I spoke one of the nights about passion. As I prepared for the talk, I looked back at my own life and saw how the Lord had developed so much passion inside of me. It is an uncontrollable emotion that exudes from the heart and cannot be missed by others. I realized that this very passion that wells up within me is the same passion that took Jesus Christ to the cross.

I received this passion from Him, and I in turn give it to others. The passion of Jesus Christ is contagious, and it is my every intention to spread it all across the world.

I saw over this past week the faithfulness of God. He was my energy when I had none, my strength when I was weak, my renewal when I felt done. He truly stood beside me as I sought his power this week for the kids. And He did not let us down.

It has been my dream for over a year now to see children encounter God as they did that last night. I saw kids called to ministry and missions. I saw kids in awe of God as they felt his manifest presence come down from Heaven. I saw the gates of Heaven open and the joy of the Lord pour out on his beloved children.

My God is faithful. My God is good. He delights in His children. All it took was a simple, "Yes." A yes to whatever God wanted to do that night.

Looking back at this week I am so grateful for my church family. I'm so grateful to witness jr. high kids experience the living God, and pass it on to me. I'm so thankful for my own family that the Lord is constantly perfecting and using to come together. I'm grateful for the blessings of a nice clean home ;) and modern conveniences. But most of all...I am grateful for a God who is intimately acquainted with His children.

It never ceases to amaze me how my God moves and changes hearts. His patience and compassion overwhelms me. I am still on the road to understanding God's love for me, but as I ask for daily revelation of His love, I see that I will never be able to truly comprehend this love. This week, however, I glimpsed his truly overwhelming love and the innumerable thoughts he has towards me.

How is it that I, a small speck in this universe, am so outrageously important and treasured by the God of all? How is it that He cares about the little details of my life? How is it that He can even see any good things, much less amazing incredible things in me? And yet He does.

I want to be the girl He sees. I want to be the girl He knows I will become. But as I sit here typing how I want to be this or that...I am reminded...I am just as He wants me to be.

So today I am thankful for who my God is and who I am because together we are perfectly one.

My God is so great, so strong and so mighty, and today I am thankful for Him.

Here is a free download I made. May it bless you and remind you that thankfulness breeds happiness.

1. Right click on the image
2. Click "Save image as"
3. Save to desktop
4. Print

Monday, July 1, 2013

Those Who Wait

Hello friends, and happy 4th of July week!

I pray that as we celebrate our nation's freedom, you are also able to celebrate the freedom you  have found in Christ Jesus. He is so good and so beyond all that we could ask or hope for.

This weekend has been full of fun and quite a bit of sleep, praise the Lord for that! Friday night we had our youth lock-in...13 hours with some of the most hilarious students I've ever known. Surprisingly, we all stayed up the whole night! Much to my brain and bones disliking...seriously though...I'm still recovering.

I cannot believe that today marks the first day of July. This year has flown by so quickly, but I am somewhat grateful for that. This year has come with some big challenges in many different areas, but as I look back at the past 6 months of 2013 I see my God ever faithful.

I find myself in this season of absolute hunger for the Lord. I feel very much like the Canaanite woman of Matthew 15. I am eager to eat even the crumbs that fall from Him. I want anything and everything that I can have of him whether it be his presence, his words, his encouragement, his love, his peace, anything. It's as if I cannot get enough of Him.

I know this is a good place to be, but I wonder at my getting to this point. When I sit back and look at where I am today, I realize that I really have no direction at this moment. I see myself as if I am in a small boat in the middle of the ocean waiting for orders of where to go. The ocean's vast expanse surrounds me and I sit waiting eagerly for any sign of where to go. The captain calls every now and then and I jump at the first sound of his voice, only to hear him say, "Nothing yet. Just wait." And OH how sad I am to sit back down once again and wait. Storms come and go, but my orders remain the same, "Just wait."

Friends...can I be completely honest with you? I don't really like waiting. Ok I really don't like waiting! I feel like I've been waiting my whole life, and my soul is finally about to burst. That's why I jump for every little crumb that falls from our Master's table. I am so hungry for anything I can get from Him.

I find myself sitting in this metaphorical little dinghy saying, "Please God, please just give me something to do! Anything. Anywhere. I'll do anything. Just let me do something for you!"

It is easy to become frustrated and discouraged in this place, I realize. After all, it is not quite in our nature to wait patiently. But it is then that I am reminded of Lamentations 3:25, "The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him."

What a blessed reminder. The Lord is good to those who wait.

Waiting is in and of itself one of the greatest blessings. It envelopes a secret blessing that many do not wait to uncover. 

All throughout scripture the heroes of faith were those who had to wait. I am reminded of God's creation. No flower blossoms as soon as it is planted. No child is able to labor efficiently at birth. No, all of creation must wait to reach its full potential. Even a mountain does not start large. Everything must wait to be what it is destined to fully be.

And so it is with us. We must wait in that small little boat, learning trust, patience, peace, and faith. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).

My God has said He is faithful (2 Timothy 2:13), that his word proves true (Psalm 18:30), and that he will not go back on his promises (Isaiah 55:11). "I have spoken, and I will do it" (Ezekiel 17:24) says the Lord.

And so as He has given me this hope, this very faith that I call my own; I can be assured that my God will not go back on His word. He has a reason for making me wait. He knows my full potential and intends to use it, but He also knows the beauty and blessing of making me wait. I do not know what lessons I have yet to learn in this waiting, but I know that what God has in store for me and for you is good. It is truly good indeed.

And so sweet brothers and sisters, I must ask for God's grace to wait faithfully where I am. To seek His face day in and day out. I long to discover the hidden blessing of waiting. I have hope in my Lord. He will not abandon or forsake me. He has not forgotten me here in this little boat. No, He watches over me and smiles at my silly impatience for He knows all that He has in store for me. He knows the adventure that awaits this little girl. 

Enjoy this free 8x10 printable I created as a reminder that the Lord is good to those who wait and continue to seek.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Open for Business

Hello whimsy friends!

The new shop is up and ready for business! I am so excited to finally have a site of my own (no more crazy fees : ) !

Ever since I was little, whether it be art, stories, or games, I have enjoyed creating. I take great joy in the things I create and that joy is only out-weighed by the joy I find when others enjoy what I have made.

I often think about how much joy the Lord had in creating the world and all of us. It makes me smile to think how much more joy He finds when we, his beloved children, take much joy in what He has created also. As creation, we reflect our Creator. It is my joy to reflect my Creator in all that I make.

He is kind, faithful, trustworthy, encouraging, hopeful, uplifting, light-hearted, and joyful, and I pray that my art brings those same traits to the new homes they go to.

Each wooden piece is unique and one of a kind. I take great time planning out the pieces and wondering what might bring myself and others joy. Words carry so much weight in them and I want the words I paint to edify and encourage.

I only put items in the shop that I myself would buy and place in my home. If I don't love it, it won't be sold in the shop. I believe in creating quality pieces that will last.

So go ahead, check out the shop that is the perfect mix or lovely, whimsy, and Jesus.