Friday, April 22, 2011


I am rejoicing and praising Jesus that the newest short film from Ellerslie has finally arrived! It's been amazing to see it come together and witness the Lord work behind the scenes. Prepare yourself for this, it is deeply convicting, but oh, the utter JOY of what He has done! May you all come face to face with our beautiful Savior as you watch what He alone accomplished...

Please go to the bottom of the screen and pause the music:-)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

snowflakes and rivers.

Today is that kind of day. You know, the kind of day that, in the middle of an oncoming spring, the silver winter claims for it's own...perhaps, for the last time. The mountain air crisply enters one's lungs and the gray clouds hang heavy in the sky, promising a last winter snow. And they keep their word. Looking up, lovely, tiny, enchanted snowflakes dance a slow waltz from their gray castles in the sky.

It is a perfectly, beautiful, winter day. Not just any winter day, the kind of winter day where anything is possible just because it is spring and this day is here despite the odds. The kind of winter day that is sad in it's beauty, knowing full well that it's time is coming to a close. It creeps in through the windows of this little mountain coffee shop, surrounding my dancing fingers, making it just a bit harder to finish this dance across the keys. Looking out at the mountain river rushing by, I watch the gentle snowflakes fall into it's waters, transforming from snowflakes to river water. What is it like for them, do you suppose, when they are consumed by that great water? I should very much like to ask them. It is such an enchanted day, I'm almost certain they could answer. I don't imagine snowflakes speaking in words, but I believe they must sing out their replies, like tiny silver bells. Can you imagine a snowflake sounding any other way? Yet, I don't think one could have a very serious conversation with a snowflake, they are such flippant little things, here one minute, gone the next. We'd talk of nothing in particular...things like the ever changing sky, my what strange weather we're having today, what a beautiful tree that is across the water. Just sealing wax, cabbages, and kings things. Nonsense things...

Now, what about that river? If I walked down and sat on it's shore, asking what it's like to be filled with tiny, dancing snowflakes, I imagine it would chuckle deeply it's reply. We would talk of a great many things, not just snowflakes and nonsense, but deep, abiding things. Truth. Rivers know a great deal of truth, I'm sure. Truth about their Creator, truth about time, truth about this life and all it's heartaches and joys. It would tell me of all the history it has seen, of the vast amount of time it has lived, always here, always flowing, always the same, yet ever changing. It would tell me this is what it is to live this life with our Creator. To flow ever deeper, ever quicker, ever the same, yet ever changing in all that He is. It would plead with me to let Him take my life and cause it to ebb and flow in His will, letting His hand guide the waters of my soul. We would talk of His great and abiding joy, of His love and the utter overflowing of life that He gives. Yes, this is what I would talk with the river about, if such a thing were ever to occur.

For, it is that kind of day you know. The sort of day where hauntingly beautiful music is all that will do. The notes float about, in my head, in my spirit, in my heart. They weave in and out, here and there, making all that I am witnessing so much more beautiful.

Listen. Breath in. Breath out. Just's the perfect day for living:-)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

a blue dress.

My God is faithful. He is faithful when my world is tilting on it's axis. He is faithful when I feel that I cannot take another step down the path I am walking. He is faithful to rejoice over the greatest and most beautiful events in my life. He is faithful, even in the tiniest of small things:-)

It's these small things that constantly catch me off guard. I want to be the kind of person who never doubts for a single moment that my God will come through. I don't want to be dumbfounded each time He is faithful to provide not only what I need, but that which I simply want as well. No, I do not believe that if I just have enough faith, I'll get a billion dollars or that new brand name such and such just because I want it, nor is this what I desire. I would rather (as I state so often) live my whole life relying totally on my God to provide what I need, than to lose sight of that because I possess so much.

With that said, once again, I do highly believe that He desires not only to provide what I need, but in many cases what I want as well. It is amazing to me, that when He does provide what I want, it always deepens my faith and draws me closer to His heart. That same heart that gave all He had in order to save me:-) And so, this is the story I have to tell...

Yesterday morning, I was in a foul mood. Yes, it's true. I try very hard not to allow such things to happen, because I truly believe there is never a cause to have a bad attitude about anything. I claim to have His joy running through me, no matter the situation, so if this is true, I never have an excuse to be awful...right? Ha! Oh, if this were only true all the time and I do strive to allow Him to work in me to make this a true statement. Unfortunately, there is nothing that puts me into a bad mood faster than dealing with money issues.

You see, I adore my life, I adore what I'm doing and I would rather do this than to have all the money in the world, but because of this, the enemy will often come in and cause something to go wrong here or there in this area and I will fold like a lawn chair! I mean, seriously?! My Father owns cattle on a thousand hills and I'm worried about money?!


Yet, never have I been hungry, never in my life have I been without all that I need. Yet, still I cave when I have to deal with these issues and allow myself a free card to act in such a way that does not bring Him glory. So, what's a girl to do?

Well, here's what I did. I became frustrated with the companies I was dealing with over the phone, my voice became more and more irritated the more I was transferred from this person to that person, and my head kept dropping into my hand as I rubbed my eyes and temples in...oh, dare I say it...a dramatic way. Ugh. I pride myself in the fact that I am not very often dramatic, yet there I was, sitting like a little girl who has just been told she can not have another cookie.

But, my "cookie" was actually a beautiful blue dress that I wanted more than any dress I've wanted in a long time. This particular dress was more expensive than I could afford normally, but I had just received a gift in the mail last week that would allow me to budget it in and I had been excited since then about this lovely dress. Now, because of this unexpected problem with my already tight budget, there was no way I'd be able to get it and it was all I could think about.

As I sat there across the table from A, I kept saying to the Lord, "But, I haven't had a new dress in almost three years, why can't I have it?!" and before He could answer, I was stubbornly thinking, "Oh, never mind! Just forget it! I know you're providing all that I need and I've lived without the dress for this long, I'll be fine." Oh boy, I was really being dramatic. Yep. I am ashamed.

Yet, He is patient and kind and loving. I can just picture Him smiling as I repeated some of these thoughts to A as I left the restaurant we'd been working at. She kindly asked if I was ok and I emphatically stated I was just fine, that the Lord had always come through in the past to provide what I needed and I knew (and I did) that He'd give all I needed for this month. "Just can't have what I want,
I stubbornly thought to myself.

Heading over to take care of the kiddos that afternoon, He began to whisper of His faithfulness to my heart. As I stood at the sink washing dishes, I heard Him clearly say, "Beloved, you are mine. I love you more than you can imagine and I want to give you the desires of your heart. Do you believe me?" "Yes." my heart whispered back. "Then, allow me to have the desire for this dress that has become something you are holding on to. Let there not be even the smallest thing in your soul that you hold onto more than Me." This pierced my heart through! The thought of a stupid dress having such a sway over me that I would have a terrible attitude toward my precious Jesus. What was I thinking?! "Jesus! Take it! I don't want it anymore if this is how the enemy uses it. I desire You above all else! Forgive my selfish heart."

I know this is a very tiny thing, yet to me, it was becoming huge! And then, I immediately thought of all the women and girls out there who would love just one beautiful dress to wear and here I was becoming upset because I would have to continue to wear the same dresses I'd worn for the past three years. Do you know how petty and selfish it looks as I type out the words? Yet, our God cares about the smallest of things.

While I stood over a sink of dishes, begging Him to forgive me and feeling His arms surround me, I can just picture Him smiling. He is after all a God of joy:-) I can picture Him grinning as, later that day, He lead A into a store she never shops for clothes in. I can picture Him smiling as she questioned why she was even there and then, gasping, grabbing something from off the rack wondering how in the world it got there. I can picture Him laughing with joy later that evening as I came home to find A with a surprise she could not wait to give me. I could hear Him whisper, " You are mine. I delight to give you that which your heart desires when you allow your whole heart to be mine alone," as I pulled out the beautiful blue dress that I had just released back to Him. The same dress that had originally been almost $100 dollars, which He had let A find for $15. And all I could do was just cry and then laugh and hug my sweet, beautiful friend who had listened to her God about such a tiny, insignificant thing. Holding the dress in my hands, not knowing what to say, she firmly said, "This dress is from Jesus to you, because He loves you and He's showing you that He cares about everything, every area of your life. He's telling you this season may be a bit tighter than others, but He is watching and faithful and will provide all that you need and want."

Yes, that is the truth. He cares about every area of my life. He is good, so good, far better than I'll ever be able to deserve. He has given me a life that I never could have dreamed of and though there may be times when I struggle, He proves over and over and over that if I will just trust Him with all that I am, He will give me the desires of my heart.

What is your "blue dress" today? Let me encourage you, whatever it is (and it may be so much bigger than any dress) give it back to Him. Let go of whatever it is that you are grasping so tightly and allow Him to exceed all the dreams you have for yourself. I am still learning this lesson, but there will never be a time that I don't put that dress on and think of my precious Jesus and all that He has done and is doing in my life.

He cares about it all, every single detail of our lives. Even a silly dress:-)

Friday, April 8, 2011

what is it?

In and out. Back and forth. It dances and weaves, a thing alive, yet not living, and all about me. Here it, over there! Look, do you see it? It's breaking forth. It's growing greater and greater. Now, lesser and lesser. I reach out my hand, but no matter how I try, I cannot hold it, or touch it. It can touch me though. It grabs ahold and covers all that I am. It glides before my eyes, showing my feet where to step, making my path sure, though not steady.

I am caught up in all that it is. I am enchanted by its beauty, what it can create, how it seems to me a magic thing, always the same and forever changing. Orange, pink, blue, purple, it is all these at their truest forms. I see it every day, though on some it remains hidden...yet, I see it still. All that it is I desire to be. Without it, I would die, I could not survive. The world would not exist if it was no more.

It pierces like a sword and is soft enough to lull a baby to sleep. Though it gives life, it will take life if given long enough to fully posses someone alone.

What is it? Do you know? Anyone care to take a guess?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

a life wasted.

I hear it over and over and over. Not just about my own life, but about those around me who have decided to walk away from all they held dear, who are surrendering all their dreams, hopes, and plans for the future into the hands of the God who knows us all better than we know ourselves. And the voices scream:

- "What a waste!"

- "You'll never have anything now."

- "But God never calls you to something you can't be comfortable in." (What?!)

- "What difference are you truly making? Don't you know if you were a doctor/lawyer/whatever you'd be making more of a, you wouldn't be struggling to get by every month!"

- "What good does it do to constantly be serving and never get anything in return."

- "How do you know God doesn't want you doing that (whatever that is) just because it's not all about 'Jesus' all the time."

Here's the thing. I am not saying that the Lord does not call people to be doctors or lawyers or go to college and become "prosperous". In fact, I highly believe that He does, in fact, call many, many people to college and certain careers. I don't believe He calls every single person into "full time ministry" in the sense of leaving everything and working for a ministry somewhere or going out to the mission field.

However, I do believe that no matter what He calls us to, no matter what we're doing, we are required to lay down our lives, plans, dreams, for what He has planned. That is, if we're fully wanting all that He is willing to give. For we cannot hold anything back if we want abundant life with Him. All of that to say, I get so frustrated with this society, with the world's voice screaming that if we walk away from all the plans we had for ourselves, from the careers, the house, the car, the clothes, then we are "wasting" our lives.


As if leaving behind anything the world holds dear and walking where He has called is a waste of time. Ah, but this is exactly what the world convinces those who have not tasted and seen the face of Jesus. If God has called "me" to be the man or woman in the closet who is to pray, pray, pray, forever unseen, tell me, is this a waste of time? Is fighting the battle unseen a waste of a life? Or am I one of the mightiest weapons wielded in the hands of my God because of it? If I am called to serve someone in order to allow them to fulfill the call God has placed on their lives, never receiving acknowledgement, always in the background watching the Lord further a work because I am willing to be in that place, is it a waste of a life? If I walk away from everything because He has called me to the mission field, if I am willing to give my life for a people and I never know how I touched them, is it a waste of a life? If I go to college, acquire a degree and then use it where I make no money, yet as I use it in this way my joy in Him overflows, is it a waste of a life?

I ask, what is life to be wasted? If I believe in eternity, that Jesus will one day return in all glory, what is a life wasted? Is it living only to please myself? Is it doing exactly what the world has demanded I do in order to have success, pursuing the career He clearly did not call me to, the money He clearly is not giving me, the house He clearly did not provide? Is it gaining all this and more, living in luxury, maybe going to church once a week, saying a prayer before a meal (and of course when I'm in trouble or need help) and doing exactly what I want in general? Then in the end, losing it all as I stand before Him and realize I have done nothing that matters, that all of this was in vain? Tell me, is it a life wasted as I hear Him say, "I never knew you...nor you me."

Oh God, may it never be! For this, this is a life wasted, gaining everything in the entire world, yet losing my soul. Once again, I am brought to something C.S. Lewis said, for he can put something so clearly for which I am floundering to find words for.

"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance, the only thing it cannot be is moderately important." 

— C.S. Lewis

Yes, to consider it moderately important, for me, is a tragedy. For, I have seen the miraculous, I have seen God heal my Dad from injuries received from an accident, right before my eyes. I have seen Him do the miraculous in my own life, for being where I am today, doing what I'm doing is a clear testament of that. For me Christianity can not possibly be false and of no importance because of all this. So, though I may be wasting my life to some, I have come to realize and believe with every fiber of my being, that no life is wasted if it is poured out and spent for Jesus. It is my upmost pleasure and joy to be used up for His glory, for He gave everything, oh, I will never understand all that He gave up for me. This is the truth I have come to understand:

"God can't give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing." 
— C.S. Lewis

Yes, let me be poor, let me possess nothing this world would give me, but let me have Jesus! Let me have Him in full, let me understand the "endless frontier" of living a life with Him, of coming to know more and more and more of Him. And, He has promised that I will never want for anything if I am living a life with. No, I may not be rich, I may wonder where in the world I'm going to get enough money for such and such, ah, but the beautiful thing is that every single time I wonder this, He never fails to come through. And others clearly see and know that it is not I who is aquiring anything for myself, but it is He that gives all in exactly the time I need it! And because of this, He is glorified and I am amazed once again and my faith increased because of His goodness.

The reason for all of this, however, is to encourage you. If you are the one taking the blows the world is aiming at this area of your life, if you are the one the world is screaming at to become "successful" and do what you or others want you to do, if you are the one struggling to know what you should do, then hear this. Follow wherever He is leading. Follow no matter how it looks in the natural, for our God works in the unseen, and your life will never be wasted by taking His hand and walking where He leads. Release all of your dreams and hopes for the future to He who's pleasure it is to give all He can to you! Oh, the joy you will know! The life you will live! For He created you, He knows the desires of your heart because He gave them to you, and He will be faithful to fulfill them far beyond anything you could have ever dreamed. He says:

"'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'"    
-Jeremiah 29:11

"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever."
-Psalm 16:11

Ah, if this is a life wasted, then let mine be wasted all of my days...