Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A year ago today I set out on my voyage to journey across "the pond" and left behind everything I knew...

Talk about a crazy many adventures, so many many detours.  As I reflect on the past year, and all the decisions I made, I realize that most of my ideas and decisons were good ideas with a pure hearts motive, BUT most were not carried out as God's decisions.  I never really consutled Him...I just kind of thought since they were not "bad" plans, they must be good..right??? 
Beth Moore beautifully captures what my past year entailed through her crafty illustration she tells in her bible study "Breaking Free". She puts a spin to the "Footprints" poem...
Imagine in Heaven, God lovingly shows you His plan for your earthly life.  You see footprints walking through each day.  On many of the days, two sets of foot prints appear.  You inquire: "Father, are those my footprints every day, and is the second set of prints when You joined me?" 
He answers, "No My precious child.  The consistant footprints are Mine.  The second set of foorprints are when you joined ME."
"Where were you going Father? 
"To the destiny I planned for you, hoping you'd follow." 
"But Father, where are my fooprints all those times?" 
"Sometimes you went back to look at old resentments and habits.  Sometimes, you departed from My path and chose your own way instead.  Other times, your footprints can even be seen on another person's path because you liked their plan better.  At other times, you simply stopped becasue you would not let go of something you could not take with you." 
"But even if I didn't walk with You every day, we ended up OK, didnt we?" 
He holds you close and smiles, "Yes, child, we ended up OK.  BUT, you see, OK was never what I had in mind for you."
"Father, what are those golden treasure boxes on certain days?"
"Blessings, My child, I had for you along the way.  Those that are open are those you received.  Those still closed were days you did not walk with Me."
If I have learned anything from this past year, it is that, I am not ok with "just being OK".  I am not ok with missing out on golden treasure boxes filled with blessing.  And mostly, I am not ok with being on a different path away from my Father!!!  
Lately, I have been given multiple opportunities and choices.  I have described it as feeling like I am in an inclosed, dark hallway with multiple doors...not knowing which one to choose, or which direction to start walking. I have felt overwhelmed and defeated as, I am so dependant for Him to reveal, LITERALLY, every step I take.  I cant even plan the next hour withour asking God, "what next?"...I am in a season, where every desicion is based on the one before it.  I feel like a toddler learning how to walk again...frustrated, and wobbly... not able to complete a simple task without help.  It was in the many moments of defeat that I was smacked upside the head with His amazing truth!!!!:
"Let Him who walks in darkness and has no light, trust in the Lord and rely on his God.  Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches!  Walk by the light of your own fire, and the torches you have kindled!  This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment!!!" Isaiah 50:10-11
Sure it is much more frustrating to walk around in pitch blackness...but I would rather be frustrated than tormented.  His word, brings light to this simple truth:  if I knew beforehand the plans He had for me, I would not need Him and I would do everything on my own.  God only allows me one day at a time, so that I am forced to rely on only Him..
"Your wisdom and knowledge led you astray" Isaiah 47:10..."then call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me and find me with all of your heart!" Jer. 29:12-13.
I no longer want to be led astray.  I have now found joy in heading down my "hallway" in pitch darkness.  I am content, having no control over what door my God is about to open to me!  I am no longer tormented by doing things my own way and following my own light.  It is a moment by moment battle fighting my flesh to do things completely God's way, and seeking Him with my whole heart... but the treasure boxes each day have been nothing short of blessings!!!
"But He knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold!"
Praise Jesus, I am not left to be a piece of scrap metal...but have been bought at a high price to be tested worthy as gold!

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Christmas Present!!!

Famous question the day after Christmas.... "What did Santa bring you?"

My boss has two little boys the ages of 2 and 4, so naturally He had the privilege to play Santa Clause.  He told me his oldest son has been asking for a toy garbage truck to go with his toy garbage cans and trash man all was the only thing he put on his Christmas list to Santa.  Being so excited to give it to him, I asked how his son liked the present on Christmas morning.  Surprisingly the garbage truck disappeared in the mess of wrapping paper as it was quickly replaced with the Power Rangers he received.  His son became enamored by his new obsession with his action figures, and is now asking for power ranger accessories.... it is already on his Christmas list for next year!

Heading back to my desk, I couldn't help but chuckle, as the 4-year-old story is nothing short of the daily battle in life.  Never Content.  Always wanting more.  Wondering, what will ever be sufficient? 

Ironically enough, in my study time today, I read Jeremiah 17:9, my "heart is deceitful above all things." 

My Boss's story is so closely related to a life long journey of searching for the next "thing" is very evident that my heart has deceived me.  I do not have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I have said "If only I had this, I would be happy"... only to receive that "thing" and wind up more miserable than before I had received it. 

The past few months has been a blessing of allowing the Lord to change this pattern in my heart... to allow him to be the only "thing" I long for... not to strive for anything else...not allowing my heart to be deceived one more time!  In knowing that deception is far removed from a life that follows hard after the Lord... my goal has been "to seek and to find Him with all of my heart." (Jer. 29:13).

I cannot recall what Santa gave me yesterday, but I do know my heart was reminded of the best gift I received almost 13 years ago...the gift of Salvation from my Jesus.  Celebrating the birth of my King reminded me that my heart is done searching.  I am content and fully satisfied for eternity.  My sins have been paid for and I am loved by my Marvelous Creator...  NO earthy possession, relationship, or pleasure can top that truth!  My gift is not just eternal, it is a gift I enjoy every moment, of every day... as I experience a real, on-going relationship with my King!  I am humbled by the blessing my Lord has bestowed upon me!

"You can have the world, just give me Jesus!"- Jeremy Camp


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Simply Genuine!

Two weeks ago one of my dearest friends held a ceremony for her son who past away 6 months ago.  The day of his ceremony was to be his one-year-old birthday.

Personally, I did not want to attend the ceremony at all…the thought of re-visiting the tragedy taunted me.  However, love for my friend out weighed my own personal animosity and I went.  I will forever remember that blessed day.

Cooper lived six months and one day, to God‘s design.  Every one of those days, he lived out his purpose; his purpose being to bring his family joy.  Everyone knew Cooper to be the happiest baby; his limitless supply of snuggles and smiles, made for very proud parents.  Coopers love was genuine, as babies cannot fake emotion…all his smiles and laughs stemmed from the joyful character the Lord created in him.  Cooper wasted no time in spreading love to his family; making sure his 6 months left a mark in this world.
Babies have no concept of time, therefore, Cooper had no comprehension that his days were short coming.  But with that, babies are also void of busyness and distraction.  Their purpose in life is not thwarted to burdens that we as adults struggle with.  Babies are simple, genuine, and to the point.  Their limited view helps them maintain an unclouded view of life.

At the memorial, my friends spoke of their son Cooper, and the joy he was in their life.  They spoke of the hardship the past six months have been without him…but in the midst of their devastating loss, they chose to remain obedient to the Lord, by trusting in God completely.  They spoke of the peace they had in knowing their sons’ days were numbered, even before He was born.

“…all the days ordained…were written in your book, 
before one of them came to be.”
-Psalm  139:16

As the memorial was ended in prayer, and balloons were released into the sky, I turned back for a glimpse of my friend.  To my surprise she was beaming.  Her smile radiated of peace…a joy flowed from her, that I know could have only come from the Lord.

I turned back to watch the balloons drift into the sky, as sun rays were beaming through the trees.  Tears streamed down my face as I knew Cooper was celebrating true life with His Creator on the day of his birth.  There was a celebration in Heaven that day, just as there were in the hearts that were blessed by Coopers short life.

The image of my friends smile, and the balloons sent to Cooper is a snapshot that will always remain in my heart.  The image serves as a reminder to how short my life is, and that my days are numbered. My goal is to live a life of simplicity as a baby does…seeking dependency and joy from my Creator…not being consumed with busyness and distraction…keeping an unclouded view of life... and to love those in my life with genuine love.  I hope at the end of my days, I too, can leave my loved ones behind with a beaming smile of peace.  

Friday, December 9, 2011


There are people in life God uses to bless you imensly and for me her name (is now, newly edited) MRS. Diana Steffen!  "Never tell your nieghbor to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now"- Proverbs 3:27.

A few months ago I emailed her asking for advise, and without hesitation she called and sceduled breakfast the very next morning.  Since then, she has blessed and guided me through this journey...being such a faithful sister in Christ.  Her amazing talents and confidence she exudes from the Lord has been my contiunal inspiration.  She is a woman of her word and does not settle for mediocre.  I admire her in every possible way!  My prayer is to leave fingerprints in others lives the way she has imprinted hers in mine!

She was so kind to feature me in her blog today; I am honored, and left humbled!  Thank you Diana, I love you very much!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

years of lies, destroyed by one moment of truth!

Insecurity is apart of every girls life in some way.  When did it start for you?

For me, insecurity started when I was 6.  My parents have a VHS, home video as documented proof.  My dad was dishing out pizza when my little self told him I couldn’t eat it because I was FAT…and had to rock a leotard for my dance competition!

What the heck???

Try to convince me we do not live in a messed up world when a SIX year old is calorie counting!

Needless to say, the battle of my insecurity did not stop at the age of 6, but got progressively worse…

I created the definition of an awkward Jr. Higher. 
Morning swim practice left me at school with wet hair,
and a slicked back ponytail.
I had long, gangly legs that reeked of high waters…
sending a flash flood warning through the halls of an Arizona state school. 
If it wasn’t bad enough that I still wore a training bra…
"I got caught stuffing" as toilet paper fell out of my shirt in gym class.
I was void of any knowledge that under no circumstances was bright blue eye shadow and electric pink blush flattering to my skin tone. 
To top everything off, my face started to take on the reflection of a pepperoni pizza.

Dowsed with insecurity and void of any self-confidence, it was no wonder I started on a path of self-destruction.

I thought I was ok, because my self-destruction could not be labeled as anorexia or bulimia, cutting, or any other form of physical self-harm.  But what I later realized... I had mentally damaged myself.

I was consumed with nutrition labels, scales, hour-long workouts, and negative self-talk.  I would sit in front of the mirror and rip myself apart. 
I would yank and tug at the extra “love” on my hips, thighs, and butt…it disturbed me, even disgusted me.
I felt inadequate compared to the size 0 girls on TV and on the cover of Teen Magazines I subscribed to.
I envied their flawless skin, and long flowy hair. 
I would practice for hours to get my hair and make-up to resemble theirs, but when it wouldn’t cooperate, 
Id pull my hair out and throw my brush at the mirror.

Fortunately, I grew out of my awkward phase. 
My practice of “brush throwing” paid off as I conquered my curling iron 
and I discovered the world of bleach and highlights. 
I threw out my costume make-up and purchased stock in Clinique cosmetics.
I went on acne medicine, shut the floodgates 
after discovering “long” jeans sold at The Gap,  
and over time, 
I became eco friendly as my “swollen bee stings” 
turned into an actual bra size sold at Victoria’s Secret.

To the world, I was considered “the pretty girl”…and never heard the words ugly or fat directed towards me.

So why did I still tear myself apart?

One dangerous word.  Comparison.

My favorite hobby became comparing myself to every girl I saw in passing,  in magazines, and in the movies.  My thoughts became consumed, as I would re-construct the perfect me…by thinking…

If only I had that girls hair
…and that girls perfect thighs
….and that other girls flat stomach
…if only my skin could radiate like hers
….my eyes would be perfect if only I had that girls eye lashes…
The list went on, until I had mentally taken apart every other girls features and added it to how I envisioned my perfect self could look…
If only I had………

I allowed myself to dwell on this “perfect self” 
I had mentally created….
so much so,
that when my reflection was not met with my perfect mental image,
I became devastated with what I saw in the mirror.
I truly believed I was worthless, ugly, fat, and undesirable.  
I allowed the lies of pop-culture to win.

I am forever thankful, that my loving Savior did not allow me to stay in such an ugly place for long.  That He delivered His truths to rebuke the lies I had become immersed in.

Psalm 139:14 rang through my brain over and over, reminding me that I am made exactly to my Creators design.  The Creator of the universe looks at me, and smiles at the beauty He created.  He is the definition and the designer of beauty.  What human can argue with their Maker?

“You turn things upside down,
as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to him who formed it
‘He did not make me’?
Can the pot say to the potter,
‘He knows nothing?’

(Isaiah 29:16)

I was at my lowest of lows…with streams of tears flowing from my eyes…
When I looked in the mirror…
I envisioned myself as Eve might have….
Being transported back to the Garden of Eden before sin was present.
Before TV’s, magazines, movies, billboards, and Internet images graffiti’d our world
Before mankind construed a corrupted worldly standard.
And back to a time when God was the only Being present…
Before any other woman was created…
hindering the ability to compare myself to anyone but me.
… the only Being my image was meant to please, was my Maker’s.
…God’s opinion was the only one I longed for.
And when His voice was the only One I could hear,
believing to the very core, the words He spoke…

“you are fearfully and wonderfully made, my works are wonderful”

Peace encompassed me at that moment, as I surrendered to the Lords standard of beauty, and fled the lies I had built my thinking upon. 
I was determined to live with this new perspective, and set my mind on God’s truths. 
I unsubscribed to my many magazines, stopped watching TV, and refused to compare myself to anyone but me. 
As I turned from my old ways of thinking, and surrendered to obedience of faith to my Marvelous Maker…
He slowly healed me from years of mental self-destruction. 
I have nowhere near arrived, but the leaps and bounds I have made in the past few years, are testimony to God’s grace in my life.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

BUT I asked for a sister...

I was an only child for 5 years when my mom finally grew a baby bump, making me an older sister.  I prayed every night during her pregnancy that she would have a girl…I ate all my vegetables,  said my “please and thank-you’s”, and did everything I was told…hoping God would answer my prayers and reward my good behavior.

I was anything but thrilled when my grandparents drove me to the hospital to visit my new little brother.  I begged my parents to trade him in for one of the babies in a pink blanket.

My parents did not go along with my brilliant plan, but instead brought my brother home, along with a Ken doll.  They assured me, that just as my Barbie would love Ken, I would love my brother.

It took a few years for me to learn from Barbie…for me to actually love my little brother and accept the fact that I did not have a little sister.

Unfortunately for my brother, it took the first two years of his life, of me trying to re-create him to perform like a sister .  I dressed him up in my old tutu’s, put his blonde, curly hair into pig tails, convinced him pink was the new blue, and made him attend all of my tea parties.

Those days lasted but a minute…until he learned the joy of ripping off Barbies head, was amused by bulldozing my doll house, got poop on my tutu, and laughed hysterically as he discovered the thrill of spiting “tea” at me during our so-called tea parties!

My brother is wired as a full-fledged boy, loving all things dirty, masculine, and sporty.  He could never be transformed into the little sister I always wanted…

BUT, what I came to learn was he is the BEST brother anyone could dream up.  I grew to adore him, and today we are the best of buds.  We share our own language, have more inside jokes than we can keep up with, and he is the one person who has made me pee my pants laughing over his ridiculous humor.  His kind heart and love for Jesus make me an obnoxiously proud older sis.  I grow more thankful for him with each passing day, as he proves to be the most astonishing young man I have ever met.

However, having the best brother on the planet never took away my desire to have a sister.  Knowing I would never have one after my mother tied the tubes…I became determined to create my own “little sisters”.

“Sing O barren woman… for you have not been in labor.  For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married” –Isaiah 54:1

The barren woman could not have children of her own, she had far more children in spirit…the children she ministered to.  Rather than being tied to the tasks of motherhood, she was allotted free time to pour into the souls of children.  She did not have to labor; except to serve the Lord by serving the many children He brought to her care.

Although I am not a barren woman (at least not that I know of), I was a barren sister.  God never gave me a little sister with the same blood running through her veins, but He blessed me with sisters far beyond what my Mom could have ever reproduced. 

If the Lord gives you a desire, He will fulfill it.  IN HIS OWN WAY…which is far greater!  If the Lord allowed me to have a sister, I might not have the heart for discipleship and the longing to create lasting, sister-like relationships with the young ladies He has graciously placed in my life.

I may not have the normal sister-hood with each one of my “sisters”...
the satisfaction of knowing her for life…
But God is faithful to give me fruitful seasons with His impeccable timing.  
Each “sister” will always have a place in my heart, and I will forever thank the Lord for the blessing she was to me!

Friday, December 2, 2011

BECAUSE I love her...

The poem below introduces the One who captivates my heart!  Enter your name into this poem, and allow the Creator to captivate your heart as well!  No one can compete with His perfect love!


I made her...She's different. She's Unique. With love I formed her in her mother's womb. I fashioned her with great joy. I remember with great pleasure the days I created her (Psalm 139:13-16). To me she's beautiful...I love her. I love her smile. I love her ways. I love to hear her laugh and the silly things she says and does (Psalms 139:17). She is herself, and no one else...this is how I made her. I made her pretty, but not beautiful, because I know her heart, and she would be vain....I want her to search out her heart, and learn that it would be Me in her that would make her beautiful...and it would be Me in her that would draw friends to her (1 Peter 3:3-5). I made her in such a way that she would need me. I made her a little more lonesome than she would like to be.... only because I want her to lean and depend on me. I know her heart. I know if I had not made her like this, she would go about her own chosen way and forget Me....her Creator (Psalm 62:5-8) I have given her many good and happy things...because I love her (Psalm 84:11, Romans 8:32). I have seen her broken heart, and the tears she has cried all alone. I have been with her and have had a broken heart too (Psalm 56:8). Many times she has stumbled and fallen alone only because she would not take My hand. So many lessons she has learned the hard way, because she would not listen to My voice (Isaiah 53:6). So many times I have sat back and sadly watched her take her own way alone, only to watch her return to My arms, sad and broken (Psalm 34:18). And now she is mine again! I made her and then I bought her. I paid a high price for her, because I love her (Romans 5:8). I have had to reshape and remold renew her to what I had planned for her to be. It has not been easy for her...or for me (Jeremiah 29:11). I want her to be conformed to My image. This high goal I have set for her because,



Thursday, December 1, 2011


With such a big revelation from the Lord, I was left to ask, “Now what?” Where do I start?”

Aside from seeking the Lord through prayer and quiet devotion, I sought out the people in my life for their wisdom and guidance.  They all had many wonderful ideas…all being different from one another, EXCEPT they all told me to start with blogging.


I have never considered myself to be writing savvy…. and never put it to practice outside of school walls. My big mouth never needed me to search out another outlet to communicate…seeping words as fluidly as a teapot…there could not possibly be much else to communicate!  Not to mention the security, spoken words has over written words.  Spoken words can soon be forgotten, while written words are glued to a page once written.  I never thought my words were adequate enough to be put on a page…until I realized “THESE ARE NOT MY WORDS!”

 I was afraid my thoughts and passions would be regarded as nuisance, and argot my excuse for not blogging.  I have since realized the silliness in anxiety in fretting over what others will think…. If all count God’s words in me as nuisance, but one is left encouraged…I am dignified to boast!!!  Savvy or not that is reason to write!  No longer will I be burdened by the insecurity of writer's block, but will embrace what the Lord is teaching me to be used for.
I wrote these words in preparation to publish my blog…backlogging blogs as to not become overwhelmed.

I did not anticipate how overwhelmed I would be by Gods blessing and His faithfulness to allow me the opportunity to connect with as many people as I did in one day!

I was shocked by the countless messages that consumed my inbox yesterday…messages filled with inspirational, vulnerable, and personal stories!!!  Messages not only left by close-knit friends, but with acquaintances and distant friends alike!  Why was I shocked, when the Lord simply answered my prayers?

I will admit, writing is not my favorite.  But connecting with people is.  In one day I have connected with more people than I have in three months through the means of blogging!!!  I am so thankful to the people in my life that pointed me down this direction to utilize my keyboard, not just my mouth!

Many have asked me since publishing my blog…what now?  What comes after blogging?  What will your ministry look like? What do you aspire to do?  Will you go back to school?  Will you jump into teaching and speaking at places?  Do you want to council?

That’s the beauty of living by faith…As long as I’m faithful to follow the steps God has placed before me (blogging), he will be faithful to provide more steps in His perfect timing.  Take this journey with me…. as God not only writes my personal story…but as He establishes yours as well