Sunday, October 30, 2011

remind me what it's about.

"God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life that I may burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life but a full one like You, Lord Jesus."  -Jim Elliot

The Lord placed this quote in the center of my journey to Windsor a couple years ago. It continues to amaze me how He consistently brings it back time and time again when I'm least expecting it. Tonight, I was not expecting it. Walking into our beautiful little chapel this evening, where He has changed me so much over the last two years, I came face to face with the words again and was once again broken. I need to be reminded every single day that I draw in breath of the reason He brought me on such a journey and placed me where He did. It was not so I could work for an amazing ministry and one of the most incredible couples I know (thought what an amazing bonus that's been!) it was so He could truly get a hold of my life, throw out the old me, break me, and hold me close all in preparation for...well, whatever it is that's coming in the future. It doesn't really matter what the future holds as long as I'm walking it with Him, as long as He's receiving the glory due His name, that's all that matters. I say, "Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee!" If this means I'm called to be a Gladys Aylward, called to live the rest of my days rescuing beautiful children alone, if this means I'm to live a short life, but one that blazes out with the glory of God, if this means I'm to marry a man I'll have to let go for the glory of His Kingdom like Elisabeth Elliot, whatever it may be, all I want, all I desire is that He would "light these idle sticks of my life that I may burn for Thee."

Yet, I look at who I am, what my life has been in the past and the mistakes I've made and I tend to lose sight of how there's any possible way He can use me. How can He possibly light the sticks of a life that is soaked in water that would prevent any spark from catching ablaze at all? Then, I hear songs like this one which I've been listening to non-stop the last two days, and I remember that one, very important fact: "This is not about me and who I hope to be. At the end of the day I want to hear people say that my heart looks like Your heart. When the world looks at me, I pray all they see is my heart looks like Your heart." This song is suppose to be the voice of David. I've been thinking about him a lot lately, about his story and how he crashed and burned in some of the worst ways, yet the Lord still called him a man after His own heart. This gives me a lot of hope for my life. That though I've crashed and burned too, if I follow David's example and walk in another way, constantly seeking the face of my God even when I fall, He'll be able to light a fire to this water logged life and make it blaze for His glory.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

longer post...

...coming after this day is over and many adventures are had with two precious kiddos whom I love more than life and two beautiful women who are dearer than I can express. Be expectant for very, very grand adventures. For now, I'll leave you with this:

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”        - Jim Elliot 

This is just what I plan on doing this beautiful winter day....Have a beautiful day with Him, my friend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


“To wait is not merely to remain impassive. It is to expect—to look for with patience, and also with submission. It is to long for, but not impatiently; to look for, but not to fret at the delay; to watch for, but not restlessly; to feel that if He does not come we will acquiesce, and yet to refuse to let the mind acquiesce in the feeling that He will not come.”  -Andrew Davidson

I came across this quote today and it definitely knocked the breath out of me, for it captured all that's in my heart within this one paragraph. There are so many things I feel like I'm waiting on in this season. Some things I'm longing to begin and others I'm longing would end. Yet, I've learned that waiting is such a gift from Him, no matter what it is I'm waiting for. I've gone through too many waiting seasons to not recognize when I'm in the midst of another one...though, at times the recognizing does not make it any easier. Tonight, it does not make it any easier, but despite it all, He is so good to make me wait. Even though there are times when I want to scream, "Why must I wait so long?! Why can't my prayers be answered now?!" Yes, even in those times, when I've gotten over my moment of dramatics, I can feel Him firmly wrap His arms around me and whisper, " Am I not enough? Is there anyone else that can comfort you like I can? Will you not give me all of your heart and hold nothing back so that I may give you all that I desire for your life?" My answer is yes. It's always yes, but I need Him to ask me over and over so that my heart is reminded of what I'm waiting for and I can answer over and over and over, "Yes. Yes. Yes." And He is so good. I cannot express how wonderful He is and when we're alone, my soul truly knows that for the rest of my life, I want nothing but to pursue Him with all the strength I have.

It's a fight, this pursuit of my God. There are many enemies who would stop me, knock me down, and ultimately kill me...but, you know what? Every single step I take, every inch I gain, every mile I run towards Him is worth it. I can think of nothing else in this life worth pursuing with all that I have in me, for I get only one chance at this. I'm allowed one shot to make this life count, because I'm definitely not planning on walking this way again, and I must know that it made a difference even in the smallest of ways. If I try and try to rescue many children and succeed in rescuing only one child, if I try and try to tell many people about this God who loved them so much He died for them and only one person hears me, if I try and try to share the joy of Jesus with all those around me and only one soul discovers it, if I try and try and try for all that I can accomplish for the Kingdom of Heaven and because of this I am poured out, used up, spent, and broken, then it will all have been worth it. Each one. Each one. For it does not have to be many...I am not many, yet my God would have died to save me if I had been the only one on this earth.

This is what I'm clinging to with all my heart. Though I may wait on many things, to end or begin it doesn't really matter, I will do it with longing and joy in my soul. For if I pray and pray and pray and if none of these things is accomplished in my life time for His Kingdom and the glory of His name, it will have been worth it. Yes, though even one is worth it, the spending of our lives if we never see the fruit is worth it all. For God never wastes anything, and every second spent pursuing Him, no matter what I see accomplished, is worth it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Fog. That's what I walked out to this beautiful, late winter night, for it seems I'm going to never get a normal night's sleep again:-) Which is fine with me as long as He sustains me through it all. I mean, how could I possibly waste time sleeping when there are so many delightful things to see as winter dances her way in? For example, have you ever noticed how clear and bright the stars are after it's snowed? It's as if the snow has washed away any haze from the air. Though, tonight the stars are hidden behind this deep layer of clouds that are hovering low enough to reach out and grab my hand. What would it be like, do you suppose, to have your hand held by a cloud? Perhaps it would be all cottan-y and soft...or maybe it would send a chill through you that would make you draw back. That's what these clouds would feel like, I'm quite sure. They are not friendly clouds. Friendly clouds smile and hover about in all their puffy whiteness on summer days, when the sky is so blue it hurts. These clouds are beginning to menace if they are smiling, but not the kind of smile one wants from clouds. Alright, I'm being a bit dramatic, because the truth is that I love these misty sort or nights, but if I didn't have such a love for precipitation in every form, I could imagine myself quite frightened of said clouds and fog. But, I'm not. No, not even a little bit...although, I really would rather not run into these clouds in a dark ally way...who knows what might happen! Hmmm.....what are your feelings on such things? Whatever it is, I hope you sleep wonderfully.

It crept in tonight. And the world was changed. And now I can't sleep because it's here and I'm so very glad! The words come easier, for I'm once again in my little English hide away of a room, staring out at a Narnian landscape and my soul is still. I feel like this when I'm on the sea, as if I can truly breath, as if my spirit just pauses, takes a deep breath and continues on once again refreshed. It wasn't until last year that the snow brought peace with it into my life. I used to hate even the thought of snow and swore I'd never live anywhere that snowed every God has a wonderful sense of humor! For not only did He place me far from the ocean, but He made sure that this place was laden in snow every single winter. And do you know what I discovered? That in the end, He knows me far better than I know myself, that He knew one day (though it took a few years) I would come to look on the mountains that now fill my days and the snow that comes with every winter, and I would smile and relish every moment I have here. He knew that Narnia would become far dearer to me in my mid twenties than it ever was in my childhood and He made sure I'd be somewhere that transformed itself into just that so that I could hide away and fall more and more in love with Him. This is truly what the snow and cold now represent for me, a season of cozying up with Him and going deeper and deeper still.

Yes, winter crept in tonight. Ah, what wonderful days are ahead of me! Days filled with Earl Grey tea, coffee, dark early morning breakfasts at Egg&I, Aslan, reading, designing, waiting, dark chocolate with sea salt and hot tea, peppermint!, anticipation, hot chocolate, warm soup, journaling, new coffee shops (that come highly recommended), friends that love Narnia and snow just as much as I do, kiddo laughter, snow ball fights, ice-skating, mittens, layers, a lovely green winter jacket ( I'm a bit obsessed with kelly green and purple), warm hats, Little Women, and oh, so much more! Jesus, Jesus, and more Jesus! For He is the delight of my days and it is only because of Him that I get to look forward to all of this. I am far more blessed than I have any right to be.

This is what I'm pondering in the dark of this first winter night. I wonder though, what it is about the first snow of the winter? There's definitely something about it. This snow is not like any if the very flakes dancing from the sky were enchanted. Perhaps it really is because it transforms all that there is into something straight from fairy land:-) Alright, I'm off to bed because my brain is becoming a bit foggy and pretty soon I'll be talking of cabbages and kings...sleep well friend!

Friday, October 21, 2011

in which i discuss random things.

Loving my life right now...even if I am really tired. Here are a few random happenings and things I'm loving at the moment:

  •  molasses bread and pesto anyone? not together, just saying they're both amazing;-)
  • a little girl that wakes up with the wildest hair I've ever seen. Seriously.
  • friends that trip over pumpkins (you know what they say about tripping over pumpkins...
  • His amazing joy.
  • chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon frosting...not together...well, you know that actually might be rather good together...
  • a kindred friend that is matching me (clothes wise) lately more than is normal.
  • I've officially decided that I miss my Dad and Beth and home more than should be possible. Christmas, why are you so far away???
  • golden leaves.
  • early morning send off.'s. not that I actually loved this, but I do love the thought of seeing them again...even if it is far away.
  • have I mentioned that I hate my cell phone? cause I do. a lot. I was not meant to own a cell phone.
  • Emily of New Moon.
  • sleeping with the window open whilst snuggled under my down comforter...or I would if I were actually sleeping...ha!
  • coffee.
  • music with a decidedly appalachian mountain flare. 
  • pouring every emotion I have inside me, into that violin that is a part of me.
  • the color gray.
  • bright sunshine and golden leaves
  • prayer, prayer, and more prayer.
  • Jesus...
  • thinking about Jamie's wedding in November...thinking about returning to an old life, yet still loving the current one. and wondering if Robin Hood's somewhere in my old life, or in the new...
  • honey crisp apples. best apples ever. 
  • ballet flats. I would very much like to own a pair of purple ones.
  • realizing just how much I love time alone. really, really. I'm a forced extrovert who's secretly an introvert just wishing to steal away and take a nice long walk alone...or go read in some corner of the wood. 
  • thinking about my grandpa every time I look at the beautiful ring he gave my mom on her 16th birthday that I now wear. I miss him more than I can put into words, for he really was my knight in shining armor.
Hmmm, that's quite a few things, but so many deep things have been going on the last few days, it's good to just see the simple ones written out. Maybe I'll write about those deep things sometime, maybe I won't. Some things are just too deep and some too sacred to capture, no matter how hard one might try. What are some wonderfully simple things happening in your life right now?

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Beautiful boy, you were the first thought I had this morning. I think about you all the time. Since the day you were born, not a single day goes by that I don't think of you. That wonderful day that you came into my life changed me forever. You were the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen and from that day forward, my heart was never my own again because I willingly let you have it and I don't ever want it back. I don't ever want to live another day of my life without knowing that you are under the same moon as me. That's the joy of being the oldest, Lord willing, I'll never have to live without you:-) God knew I needed to be the oldest in our family, because once you came along, the thought of living a day without you just does not compute with my soul.

There will never be words enough for me to let you know the vast amount that I love you. I love you so much it hurts. I'm so proud of who you are and who you'll become, for I know that our wonderful God has mighty plans for your life! I know that He has a life of adventure waiting for you just around the corner. A life that puts the Lord of the Rings and Narnia to shame it will be so filled with wonder and adventure. Do you know that I pray for you every single day? I pray that He will make you into a mighty man for His Kingdom, a man who stands for justice, who rescues the least, who never drops his sword, but who is willing to hold that sword to the side in order to scoop up a little child. This is what I pray for you in the night, that is what I dream for you. And I know, my wonderful, incredible little brother, that your life can be the most amazing testimony of a life completely poured out and spent for your King, and you will have the most incredible joy and a life overflowing with the beauty of a God who loves you far more than you can ever imagine. Get to know Him, sweet brother, and you'll discover someone who is Aslan brought to life. And oh, what an amazing life you'll have if you let Him write your story for you.

I love you so much, so very, very much, Charlie. Tonight, as the hours pass and I wait for the dawn to arrive, I'm thinking about you and praying for you and I'm missing you.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


So, I love to be classy and all "breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Jackie O" put together...but, let's face it, I'm a little too "beachy" and "whimsical" to totally pull this has something to do with having all that sand and salt water in my blood I think. Sometimes I can pull off the whole classically put together thing, but not on a normal, day to day basis. I mean, if you could see my room, you'd really see what I mean. I can't seem to go rambling about the woods without finding some little treasure (aka birds' nests, funky branches, dried flowers/weeds, little pebbles...) I can't live without that I'm sure were just lying there waiting for me to find and take home:-)

With all that said, it would then stand to reason that my dream car would not fall into the exactly...normal...girly sort of car. Nope. I've got a little hippy left over from being raised by a mother who was quite that in her day. So, if I could drive any vehicle I wanted and didn't have to worry about money, this is what I'd take far above anything else. I used to have one and not a single day goes by that I don't get into my very normal car and pretend that I had again what I now only dream of...

Yep, did you picture me in that? Cause these are so totally me:-)

 It's so beautiful here this evening. The clouds above the mountains look like they've caught fire and are burning with the last light of the sinking sun. Twilight and the first light of a coming dawn are my favorite times of day. I think I could forever live in either one...But, you know what the best thing to do in the twilight is? To rock a very sleepy little boy who is hot and sticky (why are children perpetually sticky, no matter how many times you wipe them down?) from playing very hard. Nothing can melt my heart faster than the sound of a little voice asking to be held or, as this little boy says, "Will you cuddle wis me?" Little man, I'll just sit here and "cuddle wis you" until the end of forever. Yes, my heart has been officially removed from my chest and is now running around with four little kiddos who fill my days and several more that are now on our campus. One of our precious little Ethiopian boys ran up to me today, jumped in my arms for a hug, then pulled my face down between his little hands and kissed my cheek. Oh, that did it. I'm officially twitter pated! And sitting in that chair tonight, rocking that beautiful little boy whom I get to spend every day with, all I could think was, "Please let this be my future one day!" But, until I hold my own little boy or girl, I'm completely content to sit here for as many twilights as He sees fit and rock this little boy and his precious little curly headed spit-fire of a sister, who looks up at me, pats my face with her soft little hand and croons, " I wuuuuvvv youuuu!" Yes, I would have every single day that I live this life overflowing with children of every color. That's what I dream about for a future...and maybe a VW van thrown in there somewhere too;-)

I hope you have a beautiful night overflowing with His sweet love and dreams for your future as well, my friend...

Friday, October 14, 2011

he and I.

You know what? I'm so in love with Jesus, I can't find the words to describe it! I'm learning not to begrudge the terrible hits the enemy can send but, to sharpen my sword, not spend a moment letting the hit send me to the ground and to jump back into the battle with a cry of joy! Doesn't mean I won't shed some tears and need to rebalance that sword I'm holding, but I'm holding it still and that's the point. When it gets hard, when I'm not sure where to turn, I'm truly learning that I don't need to talk to anyone about the details, I don't need to be held in anyone's arms, but simply to fall into His, to cry out to Him, to tell Him all the details, though He knows them already, and to let my soul find the rest it needs there. For there is no one on this earth that will ever be able to fulfill me like He can and it's times like these that prove to me just how true this is. There have been such sweet walks alone with my Savior, such wonderful conversation, such beautiful moments of simply being alone with could I ever be lonely with such a God there every moment?! It's becoming my favorite thing to do in my day, rambling about in my little wood with Him and if I can't for whatever reason, I sorely miss those walks. An ideal day would be to begin and end the day with such walks, for I cannot seem to ever get enough of Him! In fact, the more I'm with Him the more I long to be with Him even more still.

There is a quote by Jonathan Edwards, written of his future wife Sarah (though he did not know at the time she would be his) that sums up exactly what I would strive for each day:

“They say there is a young lady in (New Haven) who is loved of that Great Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this Great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight; and she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on him… she has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in their affection… you could not persuade her to do anything wrong or sinful…. She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness and universal benevolence of mind…. She will sometimes go about from place to place, singing sweetly; and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure; and no one knows for what.  She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have someone invisible always conversing with her.” 
I am sure it would take a life time for me to attain anything close to such a life and I certainly am far from it now, but I would hope that one day someone could write or simply know that my greatest desire, my one true pleasure, delight, and joy come from Him and Him alone. May all things that have been set up as idols in my life be torn down so that this relationship with Him is unhindered! For there is nothing, nothing this world holds, nothing I would hold onto that is worth the cost of even the smallest rift between He and I. And as much as I ache to be His alone, to have my focus completely on Him, how much more He longs for these things!

Do you know, you who are reading this here in this moment, that He longs for the same things with you as well? That your relationship would be daily and intimate with Him and that you would discover His joy and peace like you've never known them before. These are only a small statement of the vast aspects of who He is that He wants you to have and know. Begin today! Do not let another moment pass with anything in your life that is hindering you from knowing the fulness of who He is. For He loves you more than you could ever imagine. And that love is far too great to leave you where you are if you'll reach out and accept it...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


It's happened again. Our campus has been transformed by the lives of the most precious kiddos around. The orphan choir is back and we now boast having the sweetest faces of Ethiopia and Honduras running here and there. My heart has officially been removed from my chest (not that I ever got it back from our Haitian kids but...) and is now in the hands of these adorable little ones. Have I mentioned that I have the best job in the whole world?! Cause I so do. Who can say that, right smack dab in the middle of a work day, they got to stop and play duck duck goose with three beautiful little girls from Ethiopia (who didn't quite understand our "american" way of running around the circle, but darted in and out of it trying to catch us and each other...I liked their version better anyway) and didn't feel guilty about it at all...actually quite the opposite? Oh, that's right! I can!! And my heart just melted as I ran about with them. 

Gazing into their beautiful faces is just like staring straight into the eyes of my God. It's powerful, let me tell you. Being around them, loving on them, and trying to understand their very broken english, makes my heart deeply ache for the children out there that I pray will be in my life one day. The children He will call me to rescue. To me, in this moment, that's exactly what these kids are...and I can't get enough of them. I look at them, and I just love them so very much. It's a strange thing, to have little people walk into my life that I didn't know anything about just a few months ago and, wham, instant love! There will never be any words I'll ever be able to write or say to describe it. 

I think the same thing every time I gaze into the face of little Harper Grace. Her sweet little Korean face is a daily reminder of all that I left behind in that land that stole a part of my heart. The people, the sounds,the smells, the cold winters, and springs that boasted air drenched in the sweetest cherry blossoms...all of it somehow squirmed its way into my soul and not a single day goes by that I don't think about it. Or them. All those faces, some that I can't even remember, some running together, but all those dear, beautiful faces that looked up at me every day from their desks...yes, my heart aches for them. I wonder where they are and what they're doing...did anything He said through me carry into their teenage years? This is what I think about in the night, this is what I wonder...did it make a difference? I long to know that it did, that He received the reward of the time I spent there. I could have done so much more. But, I was so young, almost too young to fully comprehend what had been placed in my hands and oh, how differently I would do things now. Yet, that time was more for Him to work in me then for me to do anything grand. For I absolutely know that I would not be the same person I am today if I had not gone. All the heartaches that happened, all the joys, tears, and laughter, all of it made me who I am. And I trust that not a single word from Him went out without accomplishing what He wanted it to. For He never wastes anything.

So, today and tomorrow and the next day and the day after that I'll look into the little faces surrounding me in my mid twenties, I'll dream of the ones that will come in the future, and I'll think of all the ones that filled the days before my twenties had even begun. And I'll smile and know that He used every moment to the glory of His name...and I'll dream of Heaven, when I'll know all that I'll never know on this earth about so many little faces that have passed out of my life...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Expiration dates are just a are schedules!"

-Author shall remain anonymous per request...;-)
However, this is now one of my favorite quotes
of all time! You know who you are...thank you!!!
This made my entire year so much happier!!!

P.S. I think I'll fly to Neverland tonight...wanna come?

Monday, October 3, 2011


This morning was an English morning. This morning begged for a nice long ramble. It was the kind of morning that gently crept over the horizon in soft blues and pinks, and whispered in one's ear, "Come walk with me. For I have secrets to tell you..."This morning beckoned and I was helpless against its call. This is one of my favorite ways to begin the day, for there is something about getting out into the world at the start of a new day, while everything is still clean and fresh and bathed in the retreating night.

"Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow."  ~HenryDavid Thoreau

"Walks.  The body advances, while the mind flutters around it like a bird."  ~Jules Renard

Yes, I couldn't agree more, Mr. Thoreau and Mr. Renard. For you see, one of my favorite things is to ramble about, either in the silent dawning of an early morning or in the gentle rain of any time of day. Nice long rambles, with nowhere particular to go, dreaming of Winnie the Pooh, fairies, and Narnia around every corner, and listening to nothing but the place I happen to be rambling through. Often, I find that the songs that are quietly sung when I'm alone and quietly tip-toeing through some wood, are the most beautifully simple melodies one can hear. Birds perform gentle solos intertwined with harmonies of those who might be flying by. Rivers rush or creeks slowly hum along, knowing all there is to know about everything. Winds blow or breezes saunter through rustling leaves, creating a myriad texture of sounds. Perhaps, the gentle tap-tap of rain touches upturned branches and tiny creatures scurry here and there through tall, stately grasses back to their little homes and burrows. Yes, in such a state, I could be the greatest writer ever (haha, not by far)...except, I can never seem to hold the wonderful thoughts I've come up with on said rambles captive long enough to get them down on paper. Oh well, I suppose you'll have to trust that I do indeed have incredible things to write when I'm rambling about over field and glen. Perhaps, one day I'll actually accomplish the impossible and get some of my grand ideas and adventures from mind, to ink, to pen, to paper. Perhaps:-)

This morning's ramble was quite enchanting, I must say. The sun was peeping over the horizon and everything was drenched in that wonderful pink that only comes about with the rising of the sun. It's entirely different from the mysterious pink that creeps in with the evenings. I'm not sure which is my favorite....The place I saunter through truly could be in England...or Narnia:-) I almost imagined myself there this morning, for everything seemed to have that "otherworldly" quality that comes only so often. The golden sun was just breaking over the river and through the trees, when there, bathed in that golden light, was a beautiful doe. She was standing right in the middle of the gently flowing river and seemed to be golden herself. Such a sight rendered me totally transfixed and that familiar ache grabbed my you know the ache I'm talking about? Not the kind that hurts in a bad way, but the kind that comes when something is so beautiful all it can do is hurt.

I stood watching her, until finally she sauntered up the opposite bank and bounded through the trees out of sight. It's at moments like this one, when I am so overwhelmed with something so incredibly beautiful, that I think of Heaven and I wonder how anything can be even more beautiful then what I may be seeing at the time....but, I know it must be because I long for so much more. And I can just imagine Him slowly smiling and saying, "Oh, your soul can  not even comprehend what I have prepared for you. That which your eyes have never seen even a shadow of..." That thought makes me long for my home more than I can find words to express. Not only the home coming, but more than all of that, to just gaze upon His face. This is what I long for more than anything else, with every fiber of my being. And I think, "Come, Lord Jesus, come!" Yet, at the same time, I do not want to wish away the here and now that He has me in. Though it may be filled with pain and suffering, there are still just as many times of beauty and joy. For He is good to wait. Good because there are so many in my life (and yours perhaps?) who would not be going home if He came today. And this thought makes me cry out for the boldness to tell them of who He is and what He has done for them.

And so, I'm so very thankful for these aching beautiful moments that make me long for more...for they are a gentle reminder of what is to come and what truly matters while I'm still in this moment here on earth.

How can you explain that you need to know that the trees are still there, and the hills and the sky?  Anyone knows they are.  How can you say it is time your pulse responded to another rhythm, the rhythm of the day and the season instead of the hour and the minute?  No, you cannot explain.  So you walk.  ~Author unknown, from New York Times editorial, "The Walk," 25 October 1967