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,