Sunday, December 30, 2012

repeat the sounding joy.

Began on December 29, 2012.

Oh, friends! I have a wonderful reason to be gathering you here this day.
Makenna Joy is one! Last year on December 29th I was torn. We had to be at home, but Miss Kaneenia was being born. Our hearts were anticipating getting our arms around that Little Light.
We soon would, but the wait of that week to recover from my cold {which always staggers around Christmas} + to give the Clay's space was hard. Thankfully, Miss Makenna and I have made up for those snuggles. Little Light loves eskimo kisses... she will lean in a lil' more just in case you want to give her one more kiss before you go... and she loves pulling on this kid's hair. {ME}

Can you believe it's been a year since I announced her birth in our small corner of the world wide web? This year has flown. Overall, it has been full of long days--some good, some bad. When you have a year of long days, you want to see it go, but maybe it goes a little too fast.

I am reflecting on this last year. It's been an interesting one... but it has been a blessed one. Just because life is hard doesn't mean it's not abundantly full! We have experienced empty years + we are grateful for our life in this lil' town of ours that He has led us to.

Now, as for Miss Makenna... 
You won't get a long, sappy, heart-wrenching letter. Her special birthday letter was already delivered to her... for now you get to know her... and I get to look back on my unknowingness of picking this song before Mak... and how fittting it still is today.

Look at all the angels watching you
They're singing songs that we have never heard
And their voices ring like bells over the mountains
Oh, if only we could hear their words

God is near, little girl
God is near, little girl


^^not mine

Your eyes are brilliant, deep sky blue

Their quiet wisdom is an evening song
And the angels must be breathless at
Your beauty

Like the world catches its breath before the dawn

God is near, little one
God is near, little one

Jesus bends to hear you breathe
His tender hands are holding you tonight
His heart is ravished when you look at Him,

^^not mine
And oh, the endless mercy in His eyes

^^not mine

God is here, little light
God is here, little light
God is here, little light
God is here, little light

I have played this song so many times that her precious big brother Luke came in the room the other day when I was singing it and said, ''That's Makenna's song!" :)

I can't remember how I found this treasure of a song, but it tis so precious.
I don't know why God has put these little lights into my life--ALL OF THEM--but He has. I am so incredibly blessed to get to see these families day in and day out + serve them in the way that I try. Their quiet wisdom is an evening song... even if our play time is the farthest thing from quiet! As I gaze at what the Lord has done in this babysitting journey + gaze ahead I can do nothing but bow my head and praise Him. It may not do a single thing for all of the families that I have the privilege of being around, but the Lord uses it, as He does all my activities + day to day happenings, for His miraculous glory and my undeserved good. Looking forward to all He has planned ahead! Remember when this whole babysitting thing physically came about? Click HERE. :) Also, beware of the fact that I had just started blogging. I was that chick that used like four exclamations points after every sentence. Imagine that!!!! ;)

With all of this said, my heart is heavy today on this subject, especially as I am thinking of Makenna's joyous entry into the world. Looking forward to all the Lord is going to do in this precious connection + friendship in the future. In the meantime, trusting the Lord will do more than I can ask or imagine in this season of life, I will keep on keepin' on...

And when duty calls... and it will...I will wipe messes, give eskimo kisses, give snuggles, and read when my throat or heart is just simply spent. I will keep them away from hot ovens and fast slamming doors. I will tell stories of God's faithfulness because sometimes I find it hard to live out; Their wonder and curiosity with that childlike faith gives me a push... to just trust. To have dance parties, watch movies, and to make frozen pizzas + oranges + ice cream.

If we are faithful to the little things, we may or may not be blessed with more. I'm not chasing God for His blessings.The fact is that if you can become content with God in these little things in your season of being 'between the rains'... you will be using your blessings for their ultimate good + true purpose if and when they come along. So, when my flesh's last worry is to be content the war is raged + contentment + godliness will overpower by God's grace. If I'm not content here, I will never be content solely on the One that all joy, security, and wellness with thou's soul belongs to. If I'm not content here, I shall never be righteously content anywhere, in any circumstance He will allow me to be in. I would rather be content based off of truth with less circumstantial blessings than content sitting on a throne of lies with more.

So, when I don't want to keep on keepin' on...

I will listen to my Grandpa's stories. I will praise God that we have made it as far as we have. I will rub backs. I will praise when I don't want to... I am emptied and I shall be filled.
In trials, an introvert's nature is multiplied something terribly awful. So, when I don't want to get out of bed for more reason's than one, I will mutter a prayer surrendering the day to His Will + Glory. Muttering musings that have something deeper; that something deeper lying in my desire for Himself. I will answer to those ''how are you's'' surrending to the golden boy. I will humbly accept the prodigal. The Golden Boy represents cheap grace, and the Prodigal loves the mystery of this costly grace. The last thing I want to be doing is writing my last blog of 2012, because there were so many that went unwritten. But, my direction has needed to be elsewhere. So, please forgive me, dear blog, and everyone who has suffered the effects of my one-thing-at-a-time frame of mind in this season. :)

When life is hard... when unthinkable shootings unfold... it makes us want to hide.
Christmas' can be messy, but wasn't the first Christmas? The young as me Mary gripping Joseph's hand in pain as the Innkeeper misses the miracle at his door. {Oh, how I long to expand on that! :) Soon and very soon, I hope.} This all makes us want to hide. We put up another wall. So, days after this tragic event comes we celebrate when Immanuel found a way to not scare us, but to invite us into His loving presence.

Then, He sends people in your path to soften your heart...

To make you act silly every once in awhile...

To give you hope for your future in the cutest, sillest, and most glorious of ways...

There is nothing more beautifully vulnerable than when a baby gazes expectantly upon an older one...when they are longing to be answered + you relate + you agree with their child-like joy. You repeat the sounding joy.

As we close, may we pray for those of Newtown who need unexplainable peace. They need Hope.
May we surrender our Golden Boy personality when we want to hide... and be okay with showing the prodigal.
May we let the hope of Christmas pour into our new year.
May we surrender 2012... so many things will spring from this year that we haven't conceived yet... and that tis something to celebrate.
Let's strive to please God and not men.
May we praise God for Makenna Joy + all these Little Light's that simply can change one's world... and have already.
May we repeat the sounding JOY... in every possible, unthinkable, glorious, practical way that He leads us about in doing! :)

I got treasure up in heaven; I got dirt all over me,
Princess Emilee

P.S. 50% of this blog belongs to Makenna and the remaining to Jason Gray. {If you don't know who he is, I pity your lack of thoughtful, life-changing music. Do yourself a favor and look him up on YouTube!} I have had the hardest time this-putting-together-of-words-thing that it would have been impossible without their inspiration... and ultimately, it was wholly brokenly written through God's wondrous grace.

^^not mine

What a year! :)


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Father of the fatherless.

This song. It tis what I blogged of last Christmas.

It's tradition.

You see, I listen, but I only let myself sink it in by myself... or in a dark backseat...

because this song makes me cry.

I see her beautiful eyes staring into mine in that village along Lake Victoria.

I listened to this song in Uganda. I breathed grace deep as I slipped a friends headphones in my ears on that bus that was our home for a week...lush land surrounding me... boda bodas flying by...while my Uncle's hands were gripping tight to the steering wheel I listened hard.

I see a little boy that never grinned at me.

I see the more hopeless the older children get.

I see a high school boy that came to our door come early November that we fell in love with.
He wanted to rake leaves + God wanted to work on all of our hearts. We talked with him, we silently worked with him, we gave him cookies, and we prayed with him. Come the next day he came back to say good-bye. The young man only stays somewhere until his foster parents just got tired of him. He had been rejected and put into 40+ homes since he was five years old because his mom and dad had 'issues'. When he walked away from our front door... he reached the sidewalk... he looked back at me... and I waved... as did he. He was an answer to prayer, the Lord did so much through him. My tears welled and spilled over when we reached the house of God come mid-day on a Wednesday. I cried.

I cried for him. I forgave Adam and Eve. Again.

Because they came into the world, sin entered. I'm not saying I wouldn't have done the same thing that Eve did... I'm saying that they were the ones that began this domino effect and it makes me stinkin' furious.

Without them Newtown wouldn't be grieving. Without that ugly serpant we wouldn't have lost babies that are taken too early in our eyes from this world. Without the evil one we wouldn't have abortions... or broken marriages... or arguments... or ungratefulness... or pride...

But we do.

So, what do you do when we are faced with this spiritual warfare day in and day out?

Christmas will end soon. 2013 is coming.

Just because Christmas is ending doesn't mean our hope runs out or our kindness has to dwindle.

We submit to God. Because praying is not nothing... trusting in God is not nothing... resting in Him is not nothing... being still and knowing is not nothing...

So, that's what we do. We give baths, we rub backs, we breathe deep, we tense up, we snore loud, we brew coffee, we get out of bed, we trust God, we love Him, we pray hard, we pray big, we send e-mails, we love loud, we laugh loud, we hate little, we take rests, we work hard, we give glory.

For He is our Peace.

He is our Father.

In a world of hopelessness...

I see her smile + giggle... I smile even though her future is unknown, because she needs some hope. So, I held a fatherless child... spinning that Princess in a foreign land hoping that eternal life would be her inheritance.

and in a world of hopelessness...
He. Is. Our. Only. Hope.
έν τη σαρκί ύμων είδετε τόν θάνατον, αλλά διά του αγιου πνεύματος έχετε ελπίδα καλην.

I won't nail it down for you, but the bottom line is: Death is a reality, but we have a good Hope. We have a better Hope. His name is Jesus.

And today we celebrate His birthday. In a world of hopeless situations and fatherless children...
I smile, because coming in a manger as a stranger to a tree to a throne... He has overcome it all.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Your Peculiar Treasure.

P.S. Stay tuned for my next blog post about 'messy Christmas'! :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

i just have to show up.

On the way home from a dinner theater with friends this evening:

Me: Yea, I keep telling everyone that this year is my year to meet my future husband. My Grandparents went to the eighth grade dance together; they've been married for 53 years this December. Plus, friends of ours {so and so} have been married a long time as well met in the eighth grade.

Well, let's call her Martha--Martha: {after we all had a few giggles} You do know that that is very unrealistic, right?

Me: Well, yes, of course.

Conversation continues rapidly... a few minutes later:

Martha: So where do you predict that you are going to meet this future husband of yours this year?

Me: That's for God to decide. I just have to show up.

Then, for some reason the truck erupted with laughter. Grin.

Today is a day that my blog from yesterday kept beating me over the head. Life is hard. Ugly, painful tears were shed. We will learn about that more, Lord willing, in our next post. For now, continue savoring His Word and the time that you shall intentionally spend in it. He is good when life is not. Remember how He paints! :)

Today's list of littles:

  • A pat on the back.
  • Making a hot chocolate package to giveaway.
  • It was Layne + Lance's {of cLOVErton} birthday today.
  • Time to be a good + true introvert. I take those moments where I can.
  • Hazelnut cream coffee from a friends keurig.
  • Laughter.
  • A good, short, heartwrenching cry.
  • Quoting + discussing different scenes from Andy Griffith with a friend from church.

Oh, and one more 'little':

That African Grandpa shirt. I love it. Speaking of eighth grade, that's the guy that met his bride in that very year! :) If He wills, my Dad will have a shirt like that someday!

I got treasure up in heaven; I got dirt all over me,

Saturday, December 8, 2012

o come let us adore Him.

The Anticipation Overwhelms.  {--Spotify link.}

another LINK for your LIKING. {--my Twitter link.}

   If you ended up listening to the song that is withheld in those links you heard mainly instrumentals.
The only lyrics being one that most likely you already knew was coming being, ''O Come, let us adore Him."
O come... let us... adore Him...
   In this beginning of December, in the beginning of Jason Gray's album ''Christmas Stories: Repeat the Sounding Joy", this song builds anticipation for all to be beheld in the coming of this season. It comes fadingly and disappears sharply--the season and the song.

   Something about this anticipation makes you want to stop it all. Stop it before you forget. Before you forget what Christmas-time looks like and feels like. When too many words get in the way. When life tries, when disciples are cutting off ears, it is hard to tell them, "Let. me. adore. Him." It is hard to say no to those you want to impress or please. It is hard to tell those who are willing to help yes. The beat quickens and you wonder if they are wanting you to dance... or if they want your own beat to be swallowed whole by theirs. Well, girlfriend... Well, guyfriend... strive to please God and not men. This whole Christmas will leave you drained if you don't allow the cut from that disciple to heal. If you don't allow God to perfect that beat of yours; conspiring it + you into what He wants it to be, your life will be drained. If you allow life to become something that overtakes you instead of inspires you from time to time... Christmas will not be for you. Christmas will be a Christ-Miss. How I beg that that will not be your story.

In a world of Scrooge's and Peter's, that may be all you see.
But, you see, there are little girls learning about Jesus.
There are two year old boys wanting to see Jesus and in turn praying to Him.
There are Ben's singing Christmas carols. {from the Andy Griffith Show's Christmas Story episode}
There are children being born.
There are women child-less giving their desires to the Lord.
There are friendships growing.
There are singles living with loneliness, but clinging to the hope of Christ.
There are friends laughing and children giggling.
There is a God that hears our prayers... and He is my very Best Friend.
There is hope. A hope that surprises. A hope that came down... and took the whole world by surprise.
A hope that nurtures us and gives us confidence to fulfill our ministry. There are Hope's Nests everywhere you look... if you would even try.

There are watercolors in life completely painted with tears and colorful blessings.

There is an anticipation more than what a little child goes to bed with on Christmas Eve having dreamed of Santa. Something greater than Santa is here. On this very night why don't we anticipate being ABLE to give? Why are we stressing about Christmas plans and family get togethers when we have the opportunity to even have one? What if Christians stopped complaining about everyone else taking Christ out of Christmas and start putting Him back into theirs too? What if they had compassion on people that said, ''Happy Holidays" because hope is what is needed for them + that is right up ''Merry Christmas' '' alley. What if Christians worst fear this December would be a Christ-Miss? Christ isn't missing, but WE are the ones that choose to be absent whether intentionally or fadingly so. What if we allowed ourselves to become children again? What if we let ourselves see Christ's birth in a new way? If we had never heard a Christmas song... had never read the Bible... had never seen a nativity set... and first opened our pages to THIS STORY that created all of this abundant life and the eternal life that awaits... what would we see? Would we see the heart of Mary? Would we see a man of mercy? Would we see the innkeeper's restlessness; his generosity? Would we see no one but Jesus only? Would we treasure these things and ponder them in our hearts?

You say, ''Who cares about that!?" You might say, ''Don't add any untruthfulness to Scripture!" or ''Why imagine when you have everything you need to know?''
Is it untruthful if pondering these things draws us closer into relationship with the King that came as a baby to this poor, broken world? Is it untruthful to put us into the innkeepers place? Is it untruthful if I put myself in Mary's shoes? Did Mary not wonder what this Emmanuel child would be like? Did she not dream about when his little feet would pitter-patter by her side when in the womb his feet she would feel?

Is it untruthful if we anticipate heaven? Is it untruthful if we imagine it while knowing that we are not coming close to a fraction of it's Light? Is it untruthful and wrong of me to dream of my future husband doing this, being that, or coming to me when even if none of those specific events come about? Is all this untruthful if it brings us closer to the God that made our hearts? To the God that knew Mary's first shames, Joseph's doubts, the innkeeper's stress, and the angel's praises? To the God that knows every thought before it comes to be? To the God that knows my every emotion, hormone, and hair on my head? {I have thick hair and a LOT of it. I call it a mop. I like it every once in awhile, but I mostly just want it to lay flat and 'calm down'. He must really love me! :)}

What does this look like now? When Christmas is over? When 2013 begins? When tomorrow morning comes?

Here is a beat that He gave me today when He reminded me of a desire in me that still loves to make up little songs that my Bestie and I were going to sing on stage someday:

What does this look like for us here? For us now?
 We shall watch, we shall walk, and we shall wait...
For He will act with unending grace; unending grace.

For He will find a way. The Way. Emmanuel will find a Way for the one He loves.
We have all seen it before. Christmas is no stranger. Old Faithful may not be a stranger to us either, but when you go do you pass it by condemning it for doing the same thing over and over again? Or do you have a thankful spirit that it reminds you? That it will 'touch' you differently than before?

Christmas is no stranger. When it passes do we condemn it for having the same story, same songs, same lame story? Or do we have a thankfl spirit for the remembrance of our lives because of God's Son coming as a babe in a crowded barn? Do you love it for passing through your heart and touching you, growing you in a way it didn't formerly through the Holy Spirit?

Let anticipation dwell in you. When the Lord sees you His heart flutters like a groom looking at his pure bride. Why, then, do we despise the thought of submitting to His joy?

O come let me adore Him, disciples. Let's savor this season. Let's not rush through the mystery of His Will. I don't like what my life looks like right now persay, but God has placed me in the middle of this crazy, nerve-wracking, butterfly stomach life. The watercolor He is painting with my tears and His colorful blessings given to me is worth more than I can see. What am I to do in all of this uncertainty? I shall watch for Him; watching for servitude possibilities. I shall walk humbly with Him + walk while encouraging and loving others with my whole heart along the way. I shall wait...

For He will act with unending grace.

I got treasure up in heaven; I got dirt all over me,


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Welcome, December.

Y'all, the time is approaching. He started brewing a long blog in me today after an afternoon of swinging in the crisp cold air on my front porch--doing math of all things. This writer chick has not had that inspiration in an eternity it seems... even a hint of a beginning ignites anticipation. :)

I'm excited. I'm welcoming December despite it's challenges:

Welcome, December.

Today's list of littles:

  • Pictures that may be blurry, but very meaningful to me.
  • Carving out an unusually long amount of time to spend with the Lord rather than 'just' my daily readings.
  • Oh my goodness gracious, what would I do without my journal? I may not write in it much, but this month, due to not blogging it has became one of top go-tos on a bad day. Alot of those lately. Also, I have been going back to old journal entries from 2010 and 2011 around this time of year. It has been joyous.
  • My dog. Y'all, he is amazing.
  • Random blogs like this.
  • FICTION! I haven't touched one fiction book since almost earlier this year and I was thoroughly in need of one... if only for a few chapters.
  • Knitting. Enough said. I love it. God uses it for me + for the receiver.
  • Talks + prayers with lil' children about Jesus.
That tis all for now, y'all.
Pray for me as the Lord is working on a Christmas introduction. I'm excited.

In Abba,
yours truly.

Friday, November 30, 2012


This is my first and last post in November. I have failed you terribly.

This month has been a roller coaster. God is working unconceivably much. But, He just hasn't laid a huge blogging subject on my heart. I suppose that's okay, too.

I am praying that He would allow me the time, ENERGY, and message to come to you often in December. We shall see.

I can't wait to tell you a piece of breaking news. That will wait until December 18th... unless I explode first. :)

If I don't see you for awhile...

  • Live for Jesus.
  • Drink lots of egg nog. Drink even more coffee.
  • Drive around, look at Christmas lights, and sing to your favorite Christmas album
  • Give much.
  • Hallmark Christmas movies are terribly wonderful. Watch one. It may be cheesy, but on occasion who doesn't want cheese?
  • And, if your watching The Voice this year: VOTE. Just sayin'.
  • Savor + enjoy your family.
I haven't written a random post in a LONG time... in my views-- maybe not yours. :)
It feels good.

Leaving you with one last quote before December overtakes us:

"Life is as vast as the flavor of double bubble gum."
by: yours truly.

In Abba,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

this is for You, part two.

This blog is going to be the end of me. Sincere feelings, what can I say? Before you begin, know that this is one blog that I have worked on night after night; it has brought me to my knees-- and then to my face before God asking Him for something. Anything. I'm afraid of two things: The first being what Ann Voskamp describes like this, ''when you write, you are before a holy God, describing the things of the LORD-- that is what scares me." The second tying perfectly with the first, I don't want to cheapen a thing or make a mistake.  Continuing on with much prayer, a heavy burden, and heavy eyes...

After playing with the Pastor's youngest offspring for several minutes + waving at the good-bye window, I walked over to the table, grab the Greek NT where it had been placed, make my way to the ever-so-comfortable couches, and open the pages for the second time.

Grant had told me the story of this New Testament. His Pastor gave it to him when he began learning Greek in 2001, and for some reason that I'm not sure of, he passed it onto me. :)

Grant and Suzanne; not my photo.


As Makenna was quietly playing across the room, I curled into their loveseat opening the NT. Then, I saw something at the beginning. Aw, he left the note from his pastor in there, I thought. I read it... feeling as if I was intruding on a sweet conversation. As I was reading it, though, I see more ink. What is that? I turn the page. The first lines having the date: "October 14, 2012... Then: Emilee, ..." in Grant's handwriting. Aw, I'm part of the story. This is what brought the tears to surface.

We read about Jesus' encounters with the crowds, His family, His Father, and His disciples... peering, sometimes it seems to be intruding, on their divine conversations. We close the pages and through the Holy Spirit He whispers, ''Beloved, you are part of the story.''

Thursday, October 18, 2012

this is for you, part 1.

It was a Sunday. Last Sunday, actually.

We were in the next state over for my niece's second birthday. I woke up in my big brother's home in Missouri, traveled home in the mornin', accomplished some to-dos, Bible Quiz practice, and then... my evening with Makenna.

I hadn't watched Makenna on her own before. So, it was definately a quiet time of babysitting in comparison to our norm. But, after all, we would be lying if we said that we didn't miss these two:


Aren't they the sweetest? :)

I received the usual instructions that the parents give minutes before they walk out the door.
I tried to absorb everything the eldest two kiddos were saying 100 miles a minute and discover Makenna- now MOBILE- crawling like it's nobody's business and greet her, too.

As I turn around, Grant {He is not a stranger here. If you have been reading Peculiar Treasures for any length of time you know the name. :)} extends his hand with a maroon, thick + small, Greek New Testament with the words, ''This is for you.'' I bow my head, turning the pages, ignorant to all the adventures to come over those pieces of paper--even in minutes to come-- and say thank-you.

It was a Sunday. 3 years ago today, actually.

I went to Sunday school knowing that this was my last 24 hour period in good ol' Mississippi. It has been my last until this day 3 years later, unforunately. My last Sunday school class with the teacher that taught more than could be in any curriculum. She invested her life into me, she did. Nights spent sipping lemonade watching The Andy Griffith Show in her master bedroom, craft days full of paints + ideas, and lessons full of Paul's journey's and how to be a fisher[wo]man. Also, to be noted: Mrs. Khristi introduced me to coffee. Oh, yes. Enough said. Mrs. Khristi taught me Sunday school in that church of less than 70 in attendance... and sometimes-- only me.

We were going to be moving to Iowa the next day, on my Mom's birthday. While being excited for this new journey {That's for another blog, another day!} I was saddened while experiencing those precious last's. As class came to an end and whatever kids came that morning scattered she approaches me with a maroon, thick + large, study Bible with the words, ''This is for you.'' I open that book, while Mrs. Khristi points to her personal letter in the front, and say, ''Thank-you.''

It was 6 years ago this November 3rd. I was in that designated school room in that tiny town I lived in while in southeastern Iowa, hovered over that devotional book before a single equation was completed, that invited you into God's family. Meanwhile, through my Mama's words, teacher to one student, ''Do you want to become one of God's children today?'' The Holy Spirit gave me an ah-ha moment. I had heard it, I had wanted it, but I was finally ready to receive it. Jesus extended His arms with the words, ''This is for you.'' Much like the Holy Ghost goosebumps all over me now, I stepped over to our couch, also in the primary colored school room, and prayed. I cried, and cried, and cried. Although my hands were folded they were really extended acknowledging that deep red {can somebody dare to say maroon?} blood spilled out for me. Accepting humbly that Christ fought for me-- and that if I were the only one to accept, He would have still done it. Bowing my head, saying thank-you not knowing the weight of what I was doing, beginning my crazy joyful adventure with Abba.

You see, I may not remember what Grant said to me after the initial give 10 years from now, I don't remember everything Mrs. Khristi said, and surely I don't remember my entire prayer for salvation. We never forget the words or the action that screams this is for you, though.

All of these gifts, however small they ARE in comparison to Christ's gift, speak life over a girl with words of encouragment right up there first in line on that love language list... and I'm almost positive you know the second: Gifts.

What is there to do, but to bow our heads and say thank-You?

Christ's gift for me of forgiveness, acceptance, and countless promises.

These 3 teachers giving the gift of their lives, at times materialistic things, and the gift of
their friendship. Even if for one, because they have an audience of One.

I got treasure up in heaven; I got dirt all over me,

P.S. Part two is minutes away. If you are left wondering-- there is a reason why! :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

we win in the end.

Written on Thursday, October 11, 2012.

I don't know how you stumbled upon this post. You may have clicked this link via my Facebook account. Through a comment on a blog I follow. Maybe you check in regularly and this is the first title your eyes stumbled upon. No matter how you got here, I have asked God BIG for this post. He may not use it BIG for 10 years, but let's believe Him that He will. Also, if you don't want to be friends with bluntness on the other side of that screen-- I advise you to leave. Or stay out of curiousity. I think that's why I'm still here.

My mind will not shut off. My mind is the book that you do not want to read. My mind is a writer's mind {or maybe it's just me ;)} and I have book beginnnings, e-mails to be sent, thank-you cards to be written, and blog endings CONSTANTLY STREAMING THROUGH MY MIND. It is a blessing apparently, but it can be a curse. It has all of these beginnings, but I have to jump up on an olympic trampoline to attempt sealing them. I do have days, though, when I don't have to search-- days when all I have to is find a keyboard or journal. God impresses these beginning thoughts on days like today so that I cannot stand it anymore. He impresses so much on this mind of mine that I have to press with my fingers. I type it until I am blue in the face, 2AM comes, He simply tells me it is finished, or tears are falling down my face. Whichever comes first. So, I am asking Him to come and seal all of these beginnings at what may seem like the end of me.

My Grandpa has cancer. We don't know what stage he is in yet. We have so much to think about, pray about, work out. We have nothing to worry about. God tells us not to worry. So, when I can't sleep at night, I tell Him. I may not know what or how to tell Him, but I do. I meet with You and my soul sings out//As Your word throws doubt far away//I sing to You and my hearth cries holy.

We potentially may have something to grieve, but in the process we shall not grieve the Holy Spirit. Crazy joy is possible. I love my Grandpa Kerwin. I don't want him to be sick, I don't want him to lose weight, and I want him to stay around until his life seems to be in the appropriate place to end. I want him to give us a hard time and a good time for years to come. I want him-- with us. That is in the hands of HIM, the great I AM. He IS. The LORD is here. He is the One, the Only, my Everything.
Hallelujah, Father You're near

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

homesick for uganda, sept. '12.

I am heartsick. Homesick.

It is a mixture of (1) yearning for a purpose in my personal ministry and
(2) the Lord laying Uganda on my heart. (3) Desiring their kind of relationship in the middle of people glorifying busy. It hurts. It bleeds.

Who would have thought that in the world of comfort that I live in I would yearn for this?

Just so ya know... you have seen the whole room. There was a wall behind me and the bathroom that you are about to see to my left.

You may ask why I would long for this place. Good question.
Because, with every part of me, I believe I am called to days like these:

Outside of our guesthouse bedroom door this video was taken with the children singing in class
nearby... It was raining, I was journaling about unity in Christ, and we were all getting ready to tackle our first and only full 24 hour period at New Hope.

I may not like this:

Or even this:

He led me

To her...
And to them all...

So, how can I resist? If this is my burden, why am I in Kansas?
He has a reason... and I shall explore what that reason is.

I am not old enough to consider them my spiritual children persay...
but how else can I discern this love, LORD? I. miss. them. Yet,
I was with them for half an hour. They are in Your hands, God, I know that, but will they ever know, too?

I don't know what You are doing in me. I love it and hate it all at the same time.

Lord, in these last few days you have subtly laid adoption on my heart... Why?
I am not even considered raised myself. Sometimes, I feel like a little girl all over again at Awana with my baby doll in her stroller telling my leader that I wanted to be a Mommy when I grew up. Dreaming about it. I do want to still, even more than then, but in these several years the stroller looks more like the babe tied to my back and with a beautiful different color of skin. Whether that is on the streets of the USA or of Uganda when I am carrying that baby if the Lord wills... I am homesick for them... I want to be a Mommy.

When I can do nothing but pray {which is what I need to embrace fully}... Why does my heart
seem to be dry heaving for him? {The little boy who touched my soul and never smirked a smile.}

And, at the very same time be so joyful over this man's life that I am absolutely beside myself.

Abba Father, I could go on until the sun came up and beyond about what I think is in my future. I could go on about what happened. You hold the key to my heart. You know these dreams, these memories, these groanful prayers. No one can make my life plans. Only You can put them on YOUR calendar and tell me when and where to show up. No one can take this burden away from me, because You gave it to me. Show me how to use it. I can't hug on that little girl. I can't shake their hands. I can't sing with them on Sunday morning. All of these "I can't" lead to the fact that you can. You can deliver them. You can minister to them. You can show them the way. You can give them a family. You can restore their lost innocence.  I am homesick, Jesus, and I don't know what to do.

So, I am putting it before your thrown with a lump in my throat, a spring in my tired step, and a burden so brilliantly heavy and a yoke so easy I can't explain.

What can I say? What can I do? But offer this heart, O God, completely to You.

From the keyboard of a Peculiar Treasure,

“All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” --Galations 2:10

Sunday, September 23, 2012

move #5.

Written on September 20, 2012

We found out that we got the house today. It was an awesome day-- so, very ordinarily beautiful. I kept having flashbacks to finding out we were moving-- in Mississippi I stood in the driveway looking at the houses about the subdivision KNOWING what the verdict would be. Being woke up in northern Iowa feeling like our swift move had been planned for months. Today, I hear the ding of Mom's text and I just seemed to know. It is bittersweet thinking about all the memories in this house......………………………………………
People have gathered here, we have made memories, but with every house if used correctly has the symptoms of being LIVED in. This was the first place we had lived for longer than 1
1/2 years since Pulaski. I hope we break a record in this next gorgeous house as well. So, Lord, bless it to Your glory. Bless our memories and help us use them for You and You alone. May we be thankful, may we live abundantly, may we fall. in. love. with. You. May we fellowship and may we sweet our heart out. That we would speak life so HARD and LONG that we would have to come to You for a refueling. Jesus, let it be that in everything we go through, by the end of it... I pray that we would have lost ourselves to You so many times that we don't recognize our own pitiful selves. Yes, Lord.
We love you.

Your beloved,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

emilee's summer highlights.

Summer is gone... and I'm okay with that. I did not read all the books on my summer reading list.
I went swimming about 4 times total. One of my dreams came true of starting a girl's small group Bible study, but I question how much effort I put into it. Did I love them enough? Did I teach and pray with them enough this summer? Did it matter to them? I was sharpened, but were they? Lifting these things before Him.  Several friends moved away. I didn't go to camp and therefore summer felt empty... if even the slightest bit. I don't want to count all the times someone we knew or one of our family members were sick or in the hospital. We have claimed our own personal emergency room... and this summer, we might as well have camped out there. So, as you can see summer wasn't perfect, but life isn't perfect. Jesus fills every hole, exalts us in HIS timing, and steadies our heart. When loneliness and insecurity creep in He banishes them from camping out in my being.

In the craziness... in the tears... there was laughter beyond measure. In the unlimited space below, I will count down several highlights from my summer. If certain things didn't make the highlight it could be that I just forgot them... or they were just darn unexplainable. We are incredibly blessed. Something else to keep in mind: I didn't include anything that has to do with starting the school year-- sincerely summer. I encourage you to meditate on your summer and welcome fall with open arms!

So, in no particular order...
It was great. Really, it was. I could so tell that the evil one was trying to get in the way...
An anxiety and self doubt that was like none other... From now on, I will pray that I will refuse it, but one thing I know for sure: I will KNOW when it approaches. Time at RADIANCE was priceless. I learned more than I can truly capture. From the business side, the lesson preparations--whether it was me or not-- and the spiritual realm as well. It was an educational and a time for spiritual growth. Our prayer time was an out of body experience almost-- in a good way! Teenage girls praying for strength while gleaning advice from one another. Precious.


Monday, September 17, 2012

pine cones and empty mailboxes.

I stuff the church mailboxes in an attempt to keep my hands busy and to serve in any way possible while enjoying some freetime at one of my favorite places: church-- our church. In it's unfunctional, yet completely functional way... we love it. We have a place in our heart for every church that has been considered home to us at one time or thee other. And, in this season, we are extremely thankful that He has placed us HERE, RIGHT NOW.

With every familiar name while stuffing those mailboxes, I pray with prayer requests assumed and requested by the person themselves.

With every empty mailbox, I pray for the lost. As our evangelist said at Central Hills Baptist Retreat several summers back in the middle of Mississippi, ''Every time you see a pine cone on these 300+ acres these next few days pray for those unsaved people. Every time.''  For that family members curiousity. For that friend's soul. So, with every empty mailbox there is a pine cone out there predestined to have their hearts with Jesus. With every empty mailbox there is someone that doesn't want to become involved in church.  Bring them to you, Jesus.

I stumbled upon the J's box {see leaving, lasts, and His purposes part 1 and 2 from August's archives, plus ''Moses and Marriage: More on the Divine Name'' from July's archives.} and emptied their updates accidently put in. Unfortunately, they won't be needing those announcements anymore. I did NOT take their name out from that little slot, though.
They remain in our hearts. With every name taken out of those little slots, we should have a canvas of
those away, but not gone from our hearts. Yet, with those updates taken out they got put in another's box. For the rest, they were literally recycled.

Rachel's children may have been no more that day that Herod's army came for them, but because of that we may live. For Jesus to live to die those two and under had to die... Jesus had to escape to Egypt... so that you could live.

God has a purpose for everything. Irritates me to no end alot of the time, but I absolutely love Him and His ways. Hallelujah, they're not mine.

I had to look over that space that once had a dear friend's name on it, but got rearranged and taken out earlier ''this'' summer to go off to further their education. Another name now feels the slot. It gave me an opportunity to pray. With every name... every name non existent in that certain church hallway in between the sanctuary and the offices. Appoint Your love and faithfulness to protect them, O God.

I still have several math problems to finish over the weekend. My bed wasn't made today. Remember when I said that sanity would be lost soon? Today was one of those days. School was in a fine lined time slot. The day just. kept. going. My clothes aren't put away. My room needs organized. My MIND needs some rest... but in order to sleep I must write. :) Bottomline: On my terms today was an absolute fail.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

until I break them.

I am seeing people being broke on the alter with women of God. We are people of unclean lips... We live among our people. I'm determined that God uses every red face and every tear behind it. Every. Tear.

They are not letting their own Gehazi pluck them from His hand. I want people to see me--the broken me-- because I am called to faith not to "fine."

In a Scripture that has molded me FOREVER... I read.

“He said, “Go tell this people:

" ‘ Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

For how long? Until I break them.

Break me, Jesus. SHOO Gehazi.
I believe you. I'm clinging to You.
Lord, I don't want to recognize myself tomorrow. Let it be so. You, Jesus.
What else is to say? So much to process. The nodding heads... His showering rains of mercy. Oh, Jesus.
Bring more words today. Restore us from Girl A to Girl Z. Every drumbeat. Every lukewarm heart. This is not a normal Saturday. And I am one blessed girl to be among these women... And to be alongside 150,000
women at this Living Proof LIVE event.
I'm sure this is not the last time you will hear of it. It is not the last time I will feel it. More people stream in Lord.

Are they getting it? Ah, Jesus. Let us shout. Let us cry. Let us break in Your presence and be blessed.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have 150,000 of my girlfriends and our brothers at home to pray for.

His broken beloved... standing in Him...
worshipping with His women,

Monday, September 10, 2012

that's write.

'nough said, friends. Enough said.

Having a happy Monday here... hope ya'll are, too!
Coffee, fellowship, school with a special friend that we met in Uganda, random adventures at our zoo + cheering on friends in cross country, and a quiet night at home. Not too bad at tall. ;)

His beloved,

Saturday, September 8, 2012

pumpkin spice lattes.

Somewhere in between getting out of my bed this morning {against my will-- almost every morning}, my time in 1 Corinthians and in worship,  and this blog just beginning to be typed at 12:15AM something happened.

What is this something you ask? Good question. I am glad you asked.

His love is better than life.
God doesn't speak to me audibly, but when He lays something on my heart it is like a lyric to my favorite song.

His mercies are new every mornin'. It's true.
It seems, though, that this new beginning of fall seems like a much bigger one... whether it should feel like it or not.

The guy at Starbuck's payed attention to my name. It made me happy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

my mark.

I have a great yearning to leave a legacy-- a mark --on this world. And, just for a moment, signing "Emilee was here! :)" on a Staples notepad pretending like I'm going to buy a 99 cent Sharpie... Satisfies.

Lead us into the middle of Your will, Jesus. You know what is best, Father.
Call us. Shape us. Teach us. LOVE us. Install a gracefulness and a kindness in us that we would be beside ourselves. Yes, Lord. And, help us to stop and sniff the roses. Or the Sharpies.

{just a joke people! God has a sense of humor! ;) }

In YOU alone,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

leaving, lasts, and His purposes: take two.

Tyler and Erin left today. It was one of the sweetest mornings and one of the worst.
So many blessings in such a miserable day. I believe I am writing this post more for me than for anyone else, but I pray that God will use it for others: including Tyler and Erin.

You know how I said that last Sunday I successfully didn't crawl into a ball and bawl?
Well, let me tell ya... No success happened this morning... and this afternoon.
A fraction of the congregation did witness it-- and I didn't really care.
Now, they have seen part of the worst of me and hopefully they have seen a glimpse of my best! ;)
This morning when people asked me how I was I didn't tell them I was good, because I wasn't,
but you can't explain this burden. While it was a gut wrenching morning,
I was very thankful for the people that encouraged me throughout. They were led by the Spirit... and what could be better?

If Tyler and Erin couldn't come back to stay there is one other thing I wanted today: to not feel this.
This being a raw indescribable ache. Without this though, I wouldn't ever get it out.
No matter how hard I want to numb it, I have to face it. Even my favorite latte at Starbucks can't numb this pain. Even though God used the people behind that latte as a big encouragement :)
God alone can comfort me. I am comforted, then I remember why I am being comforted,
wet eyes. Repeat.

The tears will come again... I'm almost certain, but there is a healing that will take place.
First step is-- admitting that I need it. Today, in the LORD's timing, was my first required
get together with my mentor, Jael. As we were closing we prayed for one another and as she prayed about this request she asked God to help me as I mourn their absence. Where had I been?
What did I think this was? I need healing. It doesn't mean the pain will never come back, as with most healing, but in His timing this thought won't consume me.

The burden of the tear will come more often than the tear itself. Today,
the burden of the tears hanging in my eye didn't feel like Jesus in Disguise, but God has a purpose for
it. He has to.

In the midst of this, although to outsiders it doesn't seem so, He is steadying my heart.
Did I want Him to? Not really. This afternoon after our terrible yet very necessary
goodbyes all I wanted to do was go home, put on jeans, my favorite hoodie, cry my heart out,
and lay on the couch. Thankfully I went against that and ended up tagging along with some ladies from church to go to the Little Apple. I knew that I needed something and that answer wasn't to hang out depressed at home. So, in a sea full of tears the puddle of laughs were much needed.
It may have been the very opposite: a sea of giggles and a puddle of tears, but that is not what my heart was feeling. I hear adult teachers say it over and over {whether they do bluntly or not} that kids don't have a tattered heart as much as adults do. That it is easier for us to heal, because we are not adults. Where in certain cases this is true, today I didn't want it ringing in my mind.
The verse that came along with that thought was, '' Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can share its joy.'' ~Proverbs 14:10
EACH HEART... not just every adults heart. The whole thought process behind that point of view makes me grimace. How can we minister to kids when we think their burdens aren't as big--even if they are only big to them??
Backing off that rabbit trail: Of course, I also didn't want to hear that people
understood. I'm sure they do to an extent. But my heart knows my ''bitterness'' different than anyone else. In saying that, I feel so inadequate to be blogging about missing this awesome family when they only left Kansas. I didn't lose a family member to death. I didn't lose... so many things that seem bigger than my own little world's problems, but

if it is translated as something huge to your heart, it is huge to God on your behalf
From So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore.

It may not be big to my teachers. To my peers. To our congregation. To anyone for crying out loud, but it matters to God. He saw my aching heart today and HE understands. ''The man that still has the holes in his hands from the nails, and the cut in his side from the sword understands.'' ~Grant, August 19, 2012.

I find the timing of singing ''It is well with soul'' ironic...
Almost every time it is sang at church I don't shout if forth with truth. Yet, I sing with my lips and
my mind to give purpose to that song; taking it as a challenge. Today I had to sing it with the heads of the 5 J's {with the 6th on it's way!} two rows in front of me. It wasn't well with my soul. It isn't well with my soul,
but peace attendeth my way... and He is teaching me to say that this is well. It is His Will after all.

Grant was right when we officially sent off the J's during the services this morning... It did seem like just yesterday that they came. So much has happened in such a short amount of time. Two words: utterly thankful.

We had the blessing and opportunity to talk to Tyler and Erin alone this morning.
I had prepared several cards for them and it was a great opportunity to present it to them.
While silently I didn't want to be there when they read it in retrospect I wouldn't have had it any other way. It may have been challenging to watch the beautiful reactions... yet, in the middle of the most challenging things God brings the best beauty.
Our eyes weren't dry. The air was sickening. I'm sure my puffy red face was just gorgeous. ;)
Yet, the silence was comfortable. Of course, a few Greek discussions, knowing glances, and nods were squeezed in before the 2nd service was released. :) The tears... finally... steadily... came. Relief. Holding them in was not going to do. At one point, I had to talk to Makenna as she and her Mama were passing me. I was desperate to smile. Desperate to laugh. That smile she brought... and a laugh she indeed delivered. Even if the tears still were flowing.  The time came to say goodbye. The moment dreaded for months... arrived in a blur. Precious words and hugs were exchanged yet the moment had to end.

That isn't where the curtain falls, though.
The friendship continues on.
Someday, hopefully and prayerfully, we will be able to physically
be in the same room joyously savoring each other's company. Until that time comes though, the friendship indeed continues on. The bond may not be the same... it may not ever look, taste, be, or sound this same way again, but I pray that it would not fade nevertheless.

My family and I have known goodbyes. We have known hellos.
This goodbye wasn't pretty... yet these todays are worth tomorrow.

From So Long, Insecurity as well.

There will be a day when all our tears are washed away.
When all my brothers and sister that I haven't meant will come together.
When all the ones I have across the nations: Uganda, Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas... will worship our Abba together. We will see Him in His glory. No more goodbyes... only to our yesterday's and all the trouble within.

There will be a day when this will seem like a flash and smaller than a mustard seed.
Thank-you, Jesus.

''We have found a Love greater than life itself. We have found a Hope stronger and NOTHING compares.'' {not even your own personal this.}

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, Thou has taught {is teaching} me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.

έν Χριστός,

Friday, August 17, 2012

leaving, lasts, and His purposes.

They are leaving.
Summer is leaving.
School is coming.
Sanity will most likely be lost soon.

Yet, God will still make a way for His purpose's.
Don't let the craziness in your life take away from
God's best.

There is a family in my life/our congregation that are leaving after 8 wonderful months.
Now, they will not be apart of my weekly schedule.
Tyler and Erin, our intern this summer and his wife, and their family are leaving Sunday.
You may remember my post ''Moses and Marriage: More on the Divine Name.'' in July. That was
Tyler's masterpiece. :)

My Mom and I were out to eat in early January with friends at our local Mexican restaurant over lunch and went over to talk to Grant and Tyler was with him. {Our Pastor, my Greek teacher, and Makenna's daddy.}
We hadn't yet met Makenna, but discussed how she was doing, how it was KILLING us that we hadn't seen her yet, and my recent blog post about her birth. Then, Grant realized that I hadn't met Tyler officially, yet. The introductions proceeded. Tyler this is... and this is...

Whether or not they had had their initiation as part of staff yet or not I don't remember, but
I do remember thinking like all those African children that asked us the same question.
How long are you going to be here?
When I received these questions the first few times I found them as just a question out of curiousity, but it was a much deeper issue. They were afraid of being rejected... of another special person in their life leaving them and possibly never coming back. That question broke my heart as much as it was ringing in theirs. It seems that when Tyler, Erin, and their kiddos came to church that was my attitude. They aren't going to be here very long. So, my heart didn't want to invest.
It was that moment that I look back on and say,

Funny how life works. Correction: Funny and how wonderful GOD works.
Ironically, Pastor Grant told us ladies that we could bypass Tyler and just get to know Erin.
And, I was somewhat okay with that. In the Lord's timing, in late January of this year, though I joined a  Greek class with 3 awesome, godly guys. Although, when I did begin, I thought that it was only two. Turned out that Tyler is, in our opinion, a Greek expert. He would sit in or pop his head in the class whenever possible to be of assistance... His oldest child and only daughter, a preschooler, would sit in with us as well during the school year. She is truly a joy!

I came to find out that Tyler and I had one very significant thing in common:
We are both Bible nerds. Geeks, Jesus freaks, geeky Greek people... Whatever you want to call us.
In all seriousness, though, we are both very passionate about knowing the background of Scripture. The Greek + Hebrew verbs and tenses, their culture, and what was going on in and around that event. He is in seminary and I'm almost in 8th grade, but hey, Jesus made a way. :) In the midst of Greek vocabs, church activities, and extended notes... we have a blast. Or at least I do anyway. ;)

Cheesy grins today after Greek class. :D

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Jesus in disguise.

''ever get something in your head//it's nothing you've heard, or something you've read//ever had a cut, but you never saw a blade//brought to your knees, but you never prayed....''
''ever feel like you've been somewhere before//you hold the key, you know which door//speak the word your lips have never known//because your heart told you so''
It is the wierdest and best feeling ever. Although I have feeled it in many situations...
countless moments... ''it'' showed up in Uganda.

I remember walking slowly from my bedroom inside New Hope's guesthouse into our living room making myself imagine the United States on a map... In my mind I would spin the globe to the other side of the world. It was my way of savoring that moment. I had to remember where I was and how God brought me there. It was so...  right. I felt at home. I didn't feel like I was in the Africa that everyone tells you about. I didn't feel like I was in a Lion King commercial the whole time. It was not what I expected... in the best way and also in the worst. Culture shock happened more coming back to the States then it did in Africa... His preparations were marvelous. Marvelous.

I felt at home. I felt safe. God has placed me right here for a reason, but He also sent me there for a reason. There was no other place that I wished I could be. I savored every minute.

Did I ever get freaked out? Absolutely.

I could count on my hands the moments that I had of fear during our trip.
It was that moment that I held the key... I knew which door... I spoke words my lips had never known... because my heart told me so.

This ''it'' is a beautiful, mysterious, and Divine One.

Jesus... in disguise.
With every ''Hi Muzoongu!'', traffic scare, conversation, showing of affection, prayer, and laugh...
God was working. God was working on my heart. I pray that He was and is working on those
that I became friends with as well. He's not finished with me yet.

At my first concert {2 days before my 10th birthday} while we were living in Mississippi Brandon Heath was a part of Winter Jam's tour that year.
He sang 3 songs before TobyMac/DiverseCity came and delivered their performance. He sang this song called ''Wait and See''. Before beginning the song he said something along the lines of ''God isn't finished with me yet. And I'm so glad that He isn't, amen?!!'' I didn't understand then. All the crowd cheered while silently I wondered-- even if for only a moment. I wanted to be finished. I wanted to know all His mysteries, meanings, and plans for my life. Now, though, I'm thankful that He isn't finished and that I don't know. I wouldn't believe Him even if He told me anyway :) I will enjoy the process... We have to commit to that. Let's commit to seeing our day to day struggles as a process, a sharpening. Find Jesus in it. Let Him reveal Himself to you. To you.

Whether you experience a hug, a word of encouragement, laugh, or not tomorrow.
God is still working in you-- if you open your heart to His mercy and healing.
It's not too late. The pulse of your day can be completely changed by

but we mustn't miss it!

This song, ''Jesus In Disguise'' makes me happy. I first heard it Saturday night on the way home from the Austin's hospital visit and now know almost every word. It brings back memories from earlier this month to years back... When Jesus was in disguise for me. For His kingdom. Moments when I speak, pray, or act and I barely remember anything afterwards. When I know that I know that I know that the Holy Spirit moved. When I get something in my head that I haven't seen or read I shall not ignore it. Jesus may be in disguise. His Spirit just may be woven into every passion, tear, and shout of laughter. So, let's not ignore. Don't miss it by sitting on the sidelines.

I didn't feel like every laugh, tear, and step was significant in Uganda. Yet, somehow Jesus used it. In spite of our fears and failures... He wants us. He chooses us. He is for us.

Jesus, use us. Move within us. Shower Your love on us. Lead us.

Over and out.
In Abba,


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

fall is coming.

My pants reach to my feet...

Raindrops on the leaves...

My hat feels just right...

The fact that fall is coming is more than alright...

Monday, August 13, 2012

crisis, plans changed, and lessons learned.

On Friday, my oldest brother, Zach and his wife, Tonya, and two kiddos came to visit us.
We hung out, visited, ate supper, and went to the park Friday.
Our plans on Saturday were rather fun and delightful, but they wouldn't become a reality.
For now, anyway.

Friday night my nephew and I had a sleepover in our living room. We stayed up late, giggled
about ''staying up ALL night'', and watched his pick of cartoons. Spongebob VS. Yo Gabba Gabba or something. ;) After Austie fell asleep, I watched an episode or two of some of my favorite shows before hitting the hay.

   I woke up Saturday morning to Austin crying. My Mom and Dad were stirring in the other room and Mom came in to hold Austin while he was waking up. I blew it off as him having a bad dream, waking up scared. Within minutes my nephew was having a seizure. It didn't happen five hours away, in the other room--out of my sight, it happened within ten feet of my unbelieving eyes.

I won't go into detail about that... I don't want to drain you the way that this unknowing has drained us.

       My nephew has type 1 diabetes. We thought
that his sugar was low, but it was fine. We don't know why it happened even today.
It seems like it was an eternity ago. We had a LLOOONNNGG weekend.

     My Dad and I held down the fort at home with my niece until he was transferred to a big children's hospital 2 hours away and took care of. All he wanted was to go home. We went to the hospital and Tonya's fam came as well.
We played in the play room, watched my younger neice, and watched Andy Griffith in the waiting room. Thankfully, now, he is in the bed and home that
he longed for... and will make this Aunt feel old this Wednesday! He starts KINDERGARTEN!

    We rushed out of the house Saturday. Some belongings are still all over the house.
We ate supper at 10 Saturday and got home at 12:30. We are mentally exhausted although we are ''recovering'' quickly. BUT Austin is safe. So many people in that hospital were off much worse than we were.

Austin and I at a family friend's baby shower awhile back.

     They didn't do any tests. We don't know why it happened. Hopefully, soon,
we will. If not, God knows. He knew that our plans were going to be changed.
I wish they wouldn't have been. I wish I wasn't mentally drained and somewhat, ahem,
cranky. This is the way it was and is, though. Nothing has ultimately changed.

Here is a few bottom lines of what came out of this... some lessons new, but most old reaffirmed.

  1. I am closer to Jesus than ever before when crisis hits. No matter how small or big the crisis. Ultimately I come out better on the other end. It makes me tune into dependance on HIM and not my ''weak strength'' My lungs were filled with a new song, an urgency, and it drew me nearer to Him.
  2. Life is fragile. God seems to be slapping that in my face lately. So, I will listen. :)
  3. An appreciation for close friends. Even if some friends didn't get a text, call, or e-mail throughout the whole ordeal that doesn't mean I devalue their friendship. It just means that certain friends knew us well enough that they would have been disappointed if they wouldn't have known right away. Although, I know more friends would have responded just as quickly as others, it is good to know you have people nearby that you can count on. And, in the past, we have lived without that. It isn't something we take for granted.
  4. We can't plan. We plan, God laughs, what can I say? :) He knew. We didn't. Write your plans in pencil... Ultimately, something may have to be erased. We don't know why, but that's okay.

Another lesson that I have been beaten over and over with:
  1. God doesn't call you to be authentic when you're confortable. He has called me to be authentic. Period. It seems, that I like being an imposter much better although. It is easy and I'm not to bad at it. It may seem harmless, but in the end it isn't.
God provides. Abide in Him. Have an awesome week... Lookng forward to coming to write again soon!

In Abba,

Love this handsome little man.

Friday, August 10, 2012

when I stray.

When I stray from unceasing prayer and my relationship with Christ I...

Long for His presence. Missing all of its sacredness and His beloved mercy washing my everything.

I get cranky. About everything. And is shows.

I forget. What He did then didn't really matter... Right?! Of course it matters. I drift... Not all the way, but enough to take my eyes of the prize.

I don't think I'm beautiful. I lose sight of His love words and hold fast to laws and judgements. Who am I to separate the two? I am not doing anyone any favors by thinking terribly about myself.

I'm miserable.

I judge all those who are doing the exact same thing as me: living with spiritual drought... Even if for only a few days.

Rain on our hearts, souls, and your weary inheritance, Abba. We thirst for you.

Lord, you can make me new. May I not be a hypocrite. I beg for You. Be. Come. Work. Renew. Help me, thank-you.

I miss You, but, after all, I ultimately know that YOU are missing me. Love you, Lord.


Be driven by delight and not by duty.
It makes a difference- I promise.
Be blessed today treasures!
You have a purpose... You have Jesus.
Get to know Him. Don't stray, please.

We're running to Your arms, Jesus.

In Abba,