Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I am so aware of His faithfulness this morning. How can I have anything to give if I'm unaware of all that I've been given? How can I forgive if I'm unaware of all that I've been forgiven? Thank you for the incredible mercy, grace, and forgiveness that you have poured out on me Lord, these 32 years. I have walked this life with you, continually oblivious of what the gift of that grace cost you & I will never completely understand. Forgiveness is costly only to the forgiver. I have been bold to walk, in selfishness, always receiving but never giving that grace & forgiveness to others. Unwilling. It pierces me to write it. Oh Lord, but You. You redeem, encourage, come along side. You never left me, even though I feared you would. You remained with me. You are so valuable...so precious...a treasure that this girls desires & I will seek you. Shepherd me, my Lord. Making One’s Calling and Election Sure 2 Peter 1 3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Acts 1:7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Friday, May 25, 2012

all for You.

Today I am so thankful for my little family. The yells for mommy in the morning, the thump of feet on the wood floors, the pajamas, toaster waffles and coffee filled mornings. We have thankful hearts with His name on our lips. We drive to school and Gavin declares thats it time for our "on the way to school" song. We blare it and the kids and I raise our hands in the air, clap our hands, and praise God for His goodness once again. If I let the song run over into the next, Gavin reminds me thats it time to pray. We turn it off as we turn onto Arroyo. We pray all the way up Arroyo. Its the same drive everyday, but a different prayer & it always includes..."Lord, let us shine for you today?!". I love being their mommy. I love touching their hair, hugging, and cuddling. I love how unique they are. I can't imagine life without the messiness that I am always trying to clean up. Sigh. Help me Lord to teach them to see themselves as you see them. If I could only teach them not to please me but to please you, God. If I could only teach them to fear you and not man. Father, as you reveal my deep seated root to please people, in the face of all my insecurities you gently remind me of how you see me. You give me pictures...pictures of how you view us.
As a photographer, my last shoot is always my new favorite. My latest image is always my new pride & joy. Every picture completely unique and beautiful. I celebrate the latest image, its nuances, light, subject, magic. I marvel at the beauty. And then God speaks. This is how I see my precious creation. Every person unique and beautiful and I delight in each one. Each one is my favorite. Each one was created for my good pleasure. Each one is to be celebrated and important. Each one.
I was created for Him and His good pleasure...not anyone elses. I am to live for Him and His purpose. There is such joy in knowing how He sees me. Such freedom in living only for Him. Teach me. Teach me Lord. Break the chains that bind me, Oh God. Pull out the root, ever so gently Lord, of sin that is so intwined with who I really am, ever so gently, Lord. Thank you for your creativity, gentleness, and love. Thank you for the gifts you've given me...their all for you Lord...all for you.
Romans 9:20-21 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Isaiah 58 6“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousnessa will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 9Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

One good choice

A blank page and a heart beating out of my chest. It must be time to write. I feel a little rusty but God has been moving so much in my heart and soul and life that I feel compelled to share something. To testify, atleast to say that He is amazing. My heart pounds in prayer, I'm short of breath when His spirit is near, & my heart is quickened at the sound of His voice. A few months ago a friend layed hands and prayed for me and my prayer life has not been the same. It started as a longing in my heart...a desire for more. I prayed...God, teach me to pray. I'm missing something. I want to know how to pray, effectively. I want to hear your voice. I prayed this for about a month and then one week it grew stronger. I prayed again Lord, show me to pray. The next night a few of us girls got together and at the end of our night, one friend looked at me and said, "Can I pray for you?" I eagerly said, Yes! The Holy Spirit put it on her heart and she was obedient in stepping out in faith. She took the time to pray for me and stir the gifts of the Spirit in me. Her hands felt like fire.(2 Timothy 1: 6-9 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time)

God answered my prayer that night and I experienced what happens when you invite the Holy Spirit to your prayer time. (Jude 1:20-23 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them;)

I have been stuck in a battle over my physical body. Well, it hasn't been much of a battle, more like total defeat. And I really don't want to talk about it. So, I will. I gave a half hearted attempt for a couple months and kept going back to my old ways, the problem was the battle in my mind was already lost. I was convinced I was a failure and would continue to fail. I would try...but was SURE I wouldn't be able to get anywhere. So I moped and complained to my husband, one night, overwhelmed by defeat. He said, well, you can sit there and mope or you can get up and make one good choice. I tucked my tail between my legs and walked away, knowing he was right, but didn't want to admit it. I let it soak in, while I watched tv and i'm sure I ate something. :) Then the phone rings its a friend from church just calling to see if there is anything he can pray for. This meant so much because I know this particular man & his family are literally hanging on for dear life, right in the middle of major pain in their lives and they called to see how they can pray for us. That was it!! He was defeated and could choose to sit and wallow or move and make one good choice. That was the moment that changed it for me. The next day in the car a sermon comes on and the pastor talks about how we have a future and a hope and we can sit and wallow in past defeat & go nowhere or we can allow Christ to work in us and move us towards that promised future and hope. I'm learning that the battle first takes place in my mind and in my will. Both requiring armor...defensive armor over my mind...taking every thought captive & making it obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5) & offensive armor...the sword of the Spirit & the word of God to move my will into action to live out what I believe. Now I know He loves me the same, even if I never lose another pound. However, His love is so chastening, wanting me to live a life free of addiction, a life of joy, a life of obedience and self-discipline.
I am now working out, eating right, and feeling so much better already. I have a long way to go but all i'm focusing on is the next good choice. The same can be said in my spiritual life. I am fighting for time with God, eating His word, worshiping while obeying...even when it feels totally awkward being out of my comfort zone...the joy of obedience is inexpressible. It's like I'm running hand in hand with Jesus and He's excited I'm running with Him. Its like the final minutes of your workout when you know the end is drawing near and you want to sprint to make it to the finish line. I recognize that He is coming soon for His children and I'm ready to sprint the rest of the way, tears in my eyes, sweat on my brow, only to hear, "Well done my good and faithful servant." This life is not all there is. This is just the beginning of eternity! Please know this... This time matters. For all of eternity depends on your relationship with Jesus Christ. Please hear this: 1 Timothy 2:5&6 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.
Have you lost the will to fight to push, to run? I had too. Pray. Assemble. Don't be afraid to ask your friends to meet and pray! You would be blown away at how many are longing for it. Fight for time, after the kids are down to bed maybe?

Psalm 32
1Blessed is he
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2Blessed is the man
whose sin the Lord does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4For day and night
your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer. Selah
5Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord”—
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin. Selah
6Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you
while you may be found;
surely when the mighty waters rise,
they will not reach him.
7You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
8I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.
9Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.
10Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the man who trusts in him.
11Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Haggai 1:5-2:5
5Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
7This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. 10Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.”

12Then, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.

13Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. 14So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius.
4But now be strong, O Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong, O Joshua, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 5‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’

Joshua 18:3
So Joshua said to the Israelites: "How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you?

Psalm 4:7
You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.

Psalm 51:12
Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and provide me with a spirit of willing obedience.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year

I'm happy to be sick & stuck at home this New Years day. It may sound silly but it seems to be the only thing that stops me. And I needed it. What a perfect day to be still. A perfect day to soak in & embrace the inspiration around me. My soundtrack Bethel Live. My camera Canon 5D Mark ii. My husband Josh. My kids Gavin, Grace, & Bo. My God in my heart & speaking still. I'm aware that this time is short and it counts. I often dream of how I can serve Him & how I can do more. I'm concerned with what impact i'm having. But more and more I realize He wants me, not what I can do for Him. He wants me still in His presence. Had I been moving today I might have missed the joy in the silliness, tears, drippy noses, laughter, shaved mustache, gorgeous blond curls, dirty feet & constant conversation with my God. Happy New Year indeed! I eagerly look forward to what joys my God will bring & reveal in 2012.

One Thirst lyrics
Bethel Live

You say to us seek Your face
Our hearts reply Your face we seek
Come teach us Lord reveal Your ways
Anoint us for the greater things

We have gathered with one thirst and hunger
We're here to drink of glory and wonder
Here to cry out come and fill this place

Our single wish, our sole desire
To gaze upon Your beauty God
We will not rest not will we cease
Till with our eyes Your face we see

We wait for You to
Come and show Your glory here today

We wait for You

Hallelujah come

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Lord, I love what is familiar...I love what I know. I want to stay in what I know & what is familiar. But you call! You call, so loudly, so clearly, so desperately that I am intrigued. I question why you call. I am fat with knowledge, fat with your word & oh so comfortable right here in what is familiar and what I know...especially how I know you. But I hear you & your getting louder & its unsettling. Why are you so desperate to get my attention? I'm curious, more than intrigued. So, I fatten up and this time questioning, am I missing something?
And there it is on the page, the very page I have read 100 times. But now listening with ears that want to hear.
You call me to go!! to move!! to walk!! to bring!! to run!! to follow!! Wait...I don't want to hear anymore.
But I've heard & now must make a choice.
But... I am comforted by what is familiar, by what I know. Maybe I'll just pretend I didn't hear Him or overthink it to the point of confusion and then convince myself that I must really understand it all before I move & risk moving in the wrong direction. Days pass. I disobey. I don't listen to the call. I drown it out with lots of busyness & t.v. I am doing it my way and I am miserable. I've heard the call grow fainter. I'm afraid. Did I miss it? I thought I wanted to miss it but now I'm afraid that I did. I turned from the Holy, creator of the universe & exercised my will to say NO & I am now terrified to return. Unfulfilled, I head to His word, ashamed, timid & yet still longing for Him.
I open His word & there I see Him. So beautiful, running to me as I stumble to put one foot in front of the other. I come in faith that His redemptive offer still stands and that His blood can cover the multitude of sins that I just racked up! I am humbled to the point of pain. Sorrowed so deeply that I left Him & denied Him over & over.
Father, how can you receive me back? I am not worthy of your call. But still you call & I see it in your eyes that you have work for me...beyond my comfort zone...beyond what I know and what's familiar.
You call me to faith. You want me to trust you. You've earned my trust by the incredible love you show me, through your redeeming grace. The fact that your word is meant to light my path suggests that I am going somewhere! I am moving & there is a path that you have ordained for me while I was yet unformed. You call me to take a step, firmly on you my solid rock & step in faith, listening to the call, following your beautiful voice.
Thank you.
Thank you my God.

Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Job 29:3
When His lamp shone upon my head, And when by His light I walked through darkness;

Hebrews 12:1
[ The Race of Faith ] Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Monday, September 12, 2011

A real Praise Report

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield;My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.
My heart is overwhelmingly thankful. Praise Him with me! This attitude of worship has infiltrated my body & my spirit so beautifully. I just want to rejoice in His faithfulness. I am so thankful and want to praise Him. Just want to praise.
He has saved me, and not only from sin & death but from a meaningless life...a powerless life, a joyless life.
I want to rejoice. I have to praise!
My sweet Grace came through her surgery and has been healing up so incredibly. Infact the day after the surgery the doctor found a small hole that had pulled open in her soft pallet...which would have required further surgery down the line and after 2 weeks, we went in and it had healed and closed without surgery. It was our little miracle and one that came as a result of His grace & your many prayers that flooded heaven that week.
My mom survived Chemo...and so gracefully. What a horrible, long battle to watch. It is so strange to have to endure such misery to save your life. So now she is working full time and straight after work heading to radiation(6 weeks for the breast followed by 6 weeks for the brain. We are continuing to pray for endurance and praying for a miracle of God to remove this brain tumor... that is what she will battle next.

There was a time in the hospital where I questioned God about His faithfulness. I questioned why I couldn't feel Him this time. And was He faithful even when I couldn't feel Him? And then so clearly...the answer. I am Faithful in so much more than the warm fuzzy feeling you are asking for. I am faithful to EVERY single one of my attributes & promises I have made... every minute of every day.
Thank you Lord. Wow.

Exodus 15:2
The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

God is not just worthy to be praised because He got us through a tough summer. God is not faithful because they both are healing up. His faithfulness is not bound by the outcome of any circumstance. I have captured a glimpse of what His faithfulness looks like. It is complete. It is beautiful. It is deep. It is real. It is hard to grasp. It is in His word.

La 3:22 23 "The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness."

Heb 10:23
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

I praise Him! Praise Him with me!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Breaking new ground

I haven't posted in a while. This month i've felt the darkness, had more questions then answers, and saw the messiness that is my life. Now I can say with beautiful confidence...He gently led me through the darkness, even while I questioned Him all the way.

Yesterday, I kept picturing a tree with roots as I thought about this last month. Picture the roots as faith, breaking new ground as they dive deeper and deeper, and the tree and its branches as praise, giving Him glory in response. As the roots go deeper, the branches raise higher, the tree gets stronger, and is able to weather the storm. All because His grace planted the seed.
When I asked Jesus into my heart as a 7th grader I was this little sprout with all the faith I needed at that point. Though I've always prayed to grow deeper in my faith, I never understood the pain that came with breaking new ground...or atleast in this case. The ground that was broken felt cold, lonely, and frankly I questioned if this is how it was supposed to be. My questions led me to His word. His word is truth. I clung to the promises that He has NEVER broken.
The glorious part of this whole journey and I think the reward of breaking new ground was I had the privilege of experiencing that Yes, He is even here, in the deepest part. He is still here with me at this depth...so my faith grows and my arms raise with praise. I look forward to growing deeper still, no matter the cost, knowing that in His love He will be there.

Gracie had her cleft pallet surgery 2 days ago and just one day after my mom went in for her 4th round of chemo. We have waited 2 years for this surgery, and it took 3 cancellations for me to finally yield that I had no control and was along for the ride. So, I held it loosely, and then all of a sudden the doctor came in, cleared her, and they carried her away to surgery. It was a surreal moment of excitement and terror. The door closed and I thought... that was oddly easy. I just handed her over. Josh and I turned...walked hand in hand to the waiting room...filled with anxious parents. I grabbed for my bible and journal and had to walk outside while Josh napped. (He is such a good example to me...just rest. haha)
All I could do was look out the window. A song came into my heart( I love how He does that).
So I quietly sang...
If my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear Your voice
I'll hold on to what is true though I cannot see
If the storms of life they come & the road ahead gets steep
I will lift these hands in faith
I will believe
I remind myself of all that you've done
And the life I have because of your Son

Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours
I am forever Yours
(Love Came Down by Brian Johnson)

I believe His love is deep. How can I KNOW how deep His love is unless I see it in the depths?

The smell of the hospital soap reminds me that we've been here before. It reminds me that He was faithful before.

I am thankful that He took me there. Thankful that He WAS with me. Thankful that my sweet Gracie was handed back to me, whole...all sewn-up and given a fresh start. What a complete joy she is and what a privilege it was to have 2 days with her alone, in the hospital to play dollies, hold her, and pray. She is one of the toughest little joyfilled girls I know. I am so in love with her and so proud to be her mama. God teaches me so much through her.

Jeremiah 17:7-9
7 “ Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
And whose hope is the LORD.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

A verse about the wicked:
Job 18
16 His roots are dried out below,
And his branch withers above.

Psalm 37:3
Trust in the LORD, and do good;Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Phillipians 1:6
6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will (be faithful to)complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bo is 1!

I Chronicles 28:20
“Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.

My baby turned 1 yesterday. Just for the record...I'm not ok with this. haha When did this happen? I'm learning that motherhood is a constant letting go process. They just continue to get more and more independant...and we have small goodbye's along the way. Yes, even at 1.
My Bo is hillarious. I just adore his little personality. Right now he prefers crawling and standing on one knee. He loves to say Whoooo at just the right time. He loves his sister and big brother and is officially into EVERYTHING!
He still cuddles and sucks his thumb and that is my favorite time with him.
It is so much fun celebrating milestones in my children's life. What an honor to have family and friends to walk beside us and sometimes carry us in this journey called parenthood.
I love my Bo and I love being his mama!

Psalm 92:1
It is good to give thanks to the LORD,And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;