two roads diverged in a yellow wood

it is definitely 5am and i think my body is completely shut down but the most amazing thing just happened and i feel i have no choice but to write it down and praise God for it. For the past several weeks, I have been struggling over a decision whether or not, and if so, where, to further my education. opportunities arose in New Orleans and home in Mississippi to do both. The past year has been very challenging for a number of reasons, and although i have learned so much in and out of the classroom, an unrest had settled in my heart. I have creid and prayed and read and sought counsel over and over from those whom i trust and felt completely torn about this decision-- one that would have been nice to have made about three weeks ago. tonight, well, last night, my friend, whom i dearly love and respect, asked me if i was going to live with her next semester. I think i just bobbled over words for a minute because honestly, I didnt have an answer. I just told her that I would come talk to her in the morning about it-- to be truthful-- i had no idea what i was even going to say. Through all the praying and seeling, i knew one thing to be true. Either decision would be right. There was not a bad/wrong one, but maybe a better one. I had no peace about either and my heart was extremely burdened (and yes, the inward dwelling can result in too much self-reflection.)
Nonetheless, the good part....
About 445 this morning, i know the Lord woke me wide awake. And with peace that definitely surpasses any human understanding, the path before me was make perfectly clear. For reasons unknown to me, I am to stay. The Lord has stretched me here in ways beyond my imagination, and although this may continue to be a testing time, I know with everything that I am that I am to be here. Not only has he given me his amazing peace about the situation, but he has also given me an excitement to be here and seek what he has for me. Really, I cant wait to see my friend in the morning, apologize for probably stressing her out beyond measure, and tell her about what the Lord has done this night-- praise him! And what a time to have peace-- four finals next week and so much christmas shopping to do!!!!


miss to the issippi

there is no particular insight or spiritual application to this blog- just bored and about to pack up to head to the hizzy tomorrow. i cant express how much i love my family. so much happens that i miss being over here, and some great things are happening in the family (i only have 10 members-- no direct cousins or anything) but we are all really close. i do have some extended family but not that i see much around the holidays. not really looking forward to the 9-hour drive though. especially after work; however, a nice layover in jackson will suffice for the endless boredom. i think i am going to get an audiobook from the library tomorrow morning.- try to keep me awake, so if anyone is bored tomorrow and as much as i despise talking on the phone, i would enjoy any jabber you have to offer. have a good one and happy thanksgiving


all the king's men

by now you must realized that school is taking a lull when i publish twice in one week- hallaleujah! ok, so my friends kati and chris and i were watching some chick flick last night about mandy moore and her father, the US president and her troubles as the president's daughter. The thought crosses our minds of how much it would stink to be the child of the president and have your whole life under a magnifying glass-- how much pressure it would be to live up to so many expectations. Then, the thought crosses my mind- not only are we the children of a king and our life is likewise under a microscope- the manner in which people perceive our lives as they look into the magnifying glass is crucial. It is literally a matter of life and death according to what they see. We have ultimate expectations- God wants nothing less than perfection. However, of course, we can not live up to this, but Christ can- and did! Nonetheless, we are to have the attitude and mind of Christ as the representation of his bride- his church in this world. So, just a prince william and harry or the bush girls, our lives as children of the king of kings is likewise examined by a skeptical world-- to carry a phrase from Dave Busby- live a life worthy of imitation


It's all greeek to me

So I am once again sitting at the YMCA, the Lord uses these precious little ones and their innocence to touch my life. Yesterday, as we do every Monday, I had a quiz in my greek class and about 30 minutes before the quiz (12 minutes before i leave work) I start looking over the words and learning the grammar in order to push though the quiz. Sometimes, in order to help me, I will ask one or two of the kids to repeat the Greek word back to me, and I try to memorize it instantly. This usually works. However, there is Mason. Mason is in first grade and he is all boy. Lego ship-making, dirt-eating, plan-crashing boy. Yesterday, Mason was making a ship, that they called Zodiac- i think it was the mother ship- and I asked him to repeat a word after me. We went through a couple of words until we came to the word apokrinomai (i answer) When I asked Mason to repeat the word, he smiled really big and looked up and me and with all confidence, he said "apple-creamo pie!" My little heart inside of me churned. He never asked what the word meant, or if he even said it right. He merely did the best he could say and was happy when he thought he was close to the mark. He was so proud as he looked away, I could not help but start to tear up. Mason did not care that the other kids looked at him strage for yelling out "Apple creamo pie" He did not question why i was asking him to say the words, following my example, he merely followed. Although he was a little off the mark, after all, asking a five-year-old to say greek can be quite a challenge, he did not stop when he messed up. He kept following my lead and saying the words as best he could. He never questioned my authority, he never asked why or how, he just followed and did it. I think this may be an example of the child-like faith that we have with our Father in heaven. Too many times we ask why or how when we really need to quit asking questions and do what he did-- follow Him. He has given us the example. With all confidence, we can grin up at the Father and try to dp exactly what He has done-- no questions asked. Sometimes we can foul it up, seeming like as hard as we try, we scream "apple creamo pie" but I think when this happends, the Father is heaven is tearing up and laughing inside as I did. He knows the real answer, but he wants obedience.


What happens when we play video games at the YMCA.....

Ok, so i know its been forever, but just to catch up-
left nashville, moved to fort worth (big debate over that decision), started class, hurricane came through my hometown, computer blew up, dads job loss, two new jobs for me, and a sliced tire. been a busy semester already. however, of all the things that the Lord has shown me many many truths about His word and our proclamation of it with our lives have come to the forefront. recently, i have been having a very trialsome experience that has brought me to the brink of sanity at times, but the result is that in my heart, for a while, i became frustrated and bitter about many things. in my bitterness, i attempted to seclude myself and busy myself with school and jobs in order to forget about the bitterness and pain that remained in my heart. I have taken a promotion at the YMCA and now I am a site supervisor for a local elementary school in the after school program. today, we introduced a video game to our students that really struck my attention as the Lord was telling me to pay attention to the strategy of the game because it was a parallel with my life. In the game, you are a little blue car that is traveling around a track, looking for flags to pick up. As you race, two little red cars are chasing you and if they catch you, you die. however, you can blow smoke out of your exhaust with the touch of a button and confuse the cars and they will stop chasing you. As i reflected on this, i realized that my life has been exactly like that. I run around in circles jumping from one flag (little and insufficient glimpse of happiness) to another, running like a madwoman as if something is chasing me. For me, it is past experiences. The hurt that has been lately is chasing me like the little red car, and i, in my attempt to run away from it, blow smoke out my exhaust in order to quell is pursuit and control of me. however, something interesting happens in the game. when you blow smoke, the cars always turn a corner and find another way to catch you but this time, they are headed straight towards you and you eventually end in a head-on collision with them, thus losing a turn. when i attempt to mask the past and run from it, it always come to face me head-on and these collisions hurt worse than the initial impact. so, i am learning that i cant hide in my room or in my car or on the computer or at my job or in school and busy myself, trying to deny what is happening and blow smoke and stick my tongue out at circumstances. I have to face them. the Lord tell us that we are in a race. it is a race towards him. we must finish the race with perseverance, full of the grace and peace of Him. After playing the game for a while, i realized that there is a key map at the bottom of the screen that told you where the little red cars and where the flags were. With this map, i was able to find all the flags without being trapped by the red cars. we have been given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. we have been given the Holy Word of the Lord and this precious gift, along with the grace to be able to communicate and pray to the Lord, is our guide. They are our guide from pain, they are our satisfaction from sorrow. even when the things of this world, that almost always seem certain, in the end, its me and Him. Our race leads towards him. There may be rubs and flat tires on the way, but our direct communication and guidance from Christ is the key to win the race-- it is the key to unlock the victory of Christ.


ok, i need sleep

lots to say...
moved to laurel
bought a car
moved to apartment in nashville
started camp training
ok, maybe not that much to say
but having fun
worshipping the Son
now ill stop the corny rhyme
because i am out of time
ill write more soon
maybe in june :)



"... the only way we were going to impact the world and the next generation is to prove that our faith in Christ is real and that it works. For counteless Christians I'm convinced its real. My concern is whether or not we have the fruit to suggest it works."
--Beth Moore, Believing God


wide open spaces

I must add another request...

my friend david has recently accepted a position at a church in San francisco. I am sure moving from the southeast to CA will be a challenge, and as he is still in seminary, please pray for guidance from the Lord as the continues the endeavor and replants his life in cali.


prayer requests

coming back home to mississippi has included a plethora of situations that need to be bathed in prayer over the next few days. please join me in lifting these up...

my grandmother recently entered the hospital for a test and suffered two strokes, one particularly severe. they will self-heal, however, she is needing surgery on an artery in her brain, and this is a very scary deal. my nana is one of the most influential people in my life, and for the first time in my life, i see her vulnerable and weak. as i came home today, i saw her and was overcome with emotion to see her in such a state. please pray for healing and comfort as she copes with the rapid change of lifestyle for her and my grandfather

my sister-in-law's family is needing special prayer for an undisclosed matter, but a family member is having medical problems which need particular intercession

maurice, my neighbor and good friend, recently had an accident concerning his right foot, and it has been quite painful and troublesome for his work and ministry. he is planning to take a trip to Zambia this summer-- please pray for healing and continuance of his plans for Zambia and help and comfort during this time

a good friend of mine (whose name i will disclose to protect the innocent =) ) has recently been the victim of identity theft. please pray for the process of replacing personal identification and the stress and worry of reclaiming one's identity

my father had a job interview last week which went very well, but we are praying for the opportunity and obedience for my father if the position is offered (it is essential for his health that he leave his present position)

my mother recently had an auto accident on the job. she is ok, but the recent hospitalization of her mother this past week had added stress and she is quite spent with the process because, being a mail carrier, having an auto accident on the job in quite a troublesome ordeal

approaching in confidence....


Jeremiah was a bullfrog

So what do you think of when you think of a bullfrog. Personally, I think of a small amphibious creature that sits on logs and croaks every now and then, as if trying to get someone's attention, but do we ever listen to the bullfrog? I think we have become immune to the song of the bull frog . Aside from the amphibious and croaking part, I have come to realize that in Scripture, Jeremiah is not unlike a bullfrog. Jeremiah croaks his little heart away, and no one is listening! In reading today, his prophesy was fulfilled and Babylon captured Judah, corresponding with his former prophesies. However, something interesting happens in Chapter 34. The Recabites are approached by Jeremiah, and he offers then some wine. They refuse because they are clinging to a command by their ancestor not to take any wine. The Israelites would not obey the constant plea of the Lord for them to return to Him, but these people clung to a promise made to an ancestor. The obedience of the Recabites alongside the Israelites is astounding. How often to we adhere to the laws of religious moral men, bordering on legalism, but do not obey the commandments of our Lord? Do we cling to the creeds of our ancestors and leaders closer than the innerrant Word of God? Is our faith based on a system of beliefs in which we were rendered, or do we base our beliefs on Scripture, then hold our churches accountable to it? The idea of worshipping tradition is not new in religious circles, however, I think it is likewise possible to worship a belief and not the source of it. Does that make sense? Not by any means am I ripping on the Recabites or any local denominations. I think their obedience is magnificent, and Scripture praises them for it. But when does obedience to a doctrine or creed lead us to focus on things other than the command of God to proclaim His Word. That is our purpose-- to proclaim His Word, and all else is subservient to it. Any thoughts?


It's alive!

Been a while, so much to say. So I've been reading in Jeremiah for a while, and this morning, I came across a view verses that have meant a great deal in my life. To add a little context, Jeremiah is trying to tell the people of Israel a prophesy that the Lord has given him, and they are not accepting the inevitable fall of Zion (sound familiar to our sporadic feelings of immortality?-- it should!) Israel will not listen. Instead they cry to kill Jeremiah; he is saved, however, and continues to prophesy. False prophets, one namely Hannaniah, come in optimism for the city, and Hannaniah prophesies that he will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar. Nonetheless, verse 28:15b-16a says, "Listen now, Hannaniah, the Lord has not sent you, and you have made the people trust in a lie. Therefore this says the Lord, "Behold, I am about to remove you from the face of the earth." Verse 17 captivated me this morning, "So, Hanniniah the prophet died in the same year in the seventh month." I lingered on the first word, so. So it happened. Many other articles could have been used: And he died, However he died. He died. None of these, so he died. God said it would happen, so it happened. It reflects the resoluteness of the Word of God to carry out His purpose with Israel. This purpose is further carried in the noteworthy verses of the following Chapter 29, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to bring you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and pray you me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all of your heart." (29:11-13). When I was a little girl, I went to GA camp (a Christian mission-based camp for girls) and my counselor signed a pillowcase for me and included verse 11-- this was my first introduction to that verse and it instantly touched me, even as a little girl. Ironically, a few years ago, I was a counselor at the same camp for a summer, and you can imagine which Scripture was the theme verse for the summer-- verse 11! Coincidence? I think not. Scripture is amazing that even though one may read a verse numerous times, the Holy Spirit still ministers to us through it-- it's alive, it will still speak! Even now, I am at a time of my life when the future is uncertain, and these verses bring great comfort today. It's funny sometimes that we may trust the Lord with our eternal lives, after our earthly existence, but we hesitate to place our faith in His Providence over the next few years, months, days and seek Him. Psalm 83:16 acclaims, "Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O LORD." What a truth to the essence of seeking the Lord! Fill us with shame, like Israel, that we may seek Your face. Make us less, so You may become great. Fill us with humility that we may boast in You!


to the trees!

Have you ever watched squirrels scramble through trees? If not, I suggest going to a park to sit and watch them for a few minutes (hint: most any college campus is certain to teem with an abundance of the little varmint) I was sitting on the stump of a tree on campus the other day, feeling a little like Rip Van Winkle, with the intention of reading a little for class, and as I looked up from the book, I noticed two squirrels playing with one another in a nearby tree. I have noticed that squirrels often come in pairs; as I watched the pair playing in the tree, I began to notice an intricate detail of the game in which they played. When squirrels play, it seems like they play one very long game of tree-tag. I watched as the two creatures faced off, vertical on the tree, one facing downwards, the other facing upwards, and they stood perfectly still, looking intently at each other, appearing to study one another. Suddenly, the squirrel on top began to run and hide behind a limb, as the other remained motionless. The hiding squirrel, which we will call squirrel #1, peeked around the limb at squirrel #2, which again remained motionless. Squirrel #1 proceeded to perform a figure 8 on the tree, crossing branches and returning to his post behind the limb, again poking its head at squirrel #2, which was unimpressed by the gravity-defying feat and remained unmoved, yet its gaze remained intently on his companion. However, a moment came when squirrel #1 moved a few inches around the limb towards squirrel #2, and at that moment, squirrel #2 shot towards squirrel #1 in determined pursuit, and they raced around the trunk, beginning their endless game.
Likewise, we are similar in our relationship with the Lord. Like squirrel #2, His gaze is eternally fixed upon us, waiting for us to seek him. We can run around as fast as we can and perform seemingly miraculous tasks, but we are only running in circles until our gaze is not likewise fixed on the goal and we are running toward Him. However, if we move from our hiding places and present ourselves before the Lord, in honest pursuit of Him, He is faithful to always pursuit us, never removing His gaze upon us, and never relinquishing His will to be intimately involved with us and join us in the journey as our companion and paraclete.
My friend Maggie once explained a writer's theory of the pursuit of God (Please forgive me that I have forgotten the name of the author). She explained that our pursuit of God and His Holiness, is like that of a child's pursuit of it parent in a game of tag; a child chases after the parent and can never really run as fast as the parent, so at last, the parent embraces the child and takes them in their arms, and at this point, the pursuer becomes the pursuee. God wants an intimate relationship with us; he wants us to pursue Him as He is pursuing us. Like the squirrel, as His eyes are eternally fixed upon us, He is patiently waiting for us to return to Him, perhaps for the first time, and to stop running in circles and take a step of faith toward Him and His intense and focused gaze on us.


feels like a famine

If we are completely honest with ourselves, in our Christian walk, we go through dry spells when it feels that the Spirit has left us (although we know it never does) and we feel weak in our personal Quiet Times with the Lord, and our personal worship, worship, as in our way of life, including the music, but not limited to it, just does not seem to be reaching the heart of the Lord. It feels like a famine of worship. For the past couple of weeks, I have been in one of those, and to be honest, it drives a soul insane to feel as if one is crying out to the Lord, and not "feeling" a response. Sunday, Amy and I visited a church here in Dallas and the pastor, Ed Young, Jr., spoke of feelings and how committments produce feelings, and feelings should not yield committments. This subject has been weighing my heart several hours, trying to discern how I seem to focus on how I feel or if I feel like my worship is genuine. I have prayed for the Lord to search my heart about its true passion to worship Him, and not to rest on the "feeling" of the Spirit inside of me-- only to trust that it is there and forever will conform me to the image of Christ. Yesterday, in the RAC (the on-campus gym) I was intending to jog a little on the treadmill; however, my batteries ran out of juice. Don't you hate that? I certainly do. So, a little on edge after a long weekend, I went to the weight machines. What made me think that I could lift weights, I have no idea. (Thank goodness no one but Amy was in there :)) As I moved around the machines, trying each one, I came to a leg press. Suddenly, I realized that music was playing over the loadspeaker in the room. I had noticed it before, yet not really paid much attention, with the intention of using my CD player. However, I had no choice but to listen and this time the music froze me. The song was "It Is Well," by Shane Barnard. I lay on the machine and closed my eyes, and listened. Suddenly, my heart welled up inside of me, as if I were going to burst and my souls stood still, weights on my legs, though I didnt notice, and the Spirit inside of me praised the Lord in heaven. It was a beautiful moment that I had missed. I missed the the overflowing joy of the Lord and the confidence in the power of the Spirit inside of me to reach the ears of the Father to praise him on my behalf. Today, I praise the lack of batteries and the divine appointment at the RAC. It is amazing how faithful He is to meet us where we are, even when we are not waiting for Him. Even when are minds are aggitated, even when we are busy, frustrated, torn, or tired. He seeks after us where we are, sometimes completely unexpected, and showers blessings of hope and joy.


bend it like beckham

I have decided that David Beckham's protege plays on our soccer team. This kid is five years old and can burn any adult out there, including his coach! (me, of course, not Whit) Absolutely amazing. My precious roommate came out to the field today in support of the Yellow Jackets (thanks Amy!) and before the game, we sat in the sun, which again was incredibly beautiful and warm, and read Scripture and prayed in the grass. After praying, I paused a moment and closed my eyes to listen to the children on the adjacent field playing a soccer match. Some of the most beautiful moments of my life have been spent in complete silence, closing my eyes, and listening to the world around me. We know that God speaks through creation, yet he does not use the only medium of our sense of sight. He is Lord of the sounds surrounding us-- he is the creator of the source of joy that makes the children laugh and play! The birds sing and the grasshoppers chirp God's song to us. I know some of you join me in this, but I too often neglect it. I neglect to listen for his beauty in the cicada's song, or the rustle of leaves as squirrels toss among them. Each part, revealing an attribute of His creation. G.K. Chesterson wrote:
"A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore, they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say. "Do it again!" until [the grown up] is nearly dead. For grown up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is.... It is possible that God says every morning to the sun, "Do it again!" and every evening, "Do it again!" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but never has gotten tired of making them. It may be that he has the eternal appetite of infancy. Heaven may encore the bird that laid the egg."

P.S. We won the soccer game!!! 2-0 =)


The wait is finally over....

I know that you have been waiting on the edge of your seat for the anxious publishing of the second blog. I am aware of the inconsistency of my writing, and despite my will to crawl into bed, I realize that I must rise up to the challenge and publish yet another, insofar that I may raise my head again and not be ashamed to show my face in the morning. (Which after today, any public appearance will most likely not be in the morning :) ) I finished my research paper around 3am-- the result of two consecutive sleepless nights-- and I am looking forward to a sleep-in day tomorrow! I'm not a big fan of sleeping-in; however, I am a big fan of sleeping, unless I can find a way to sleep-out, sleeping-in sounds like the favorable choice!
Speaking of the morning, I came across a verse a little while ago in Lamentations. It is called the most melancholy book of the Bible, hence the lamentation of Israel, yet within the book, a most beautiful passage is found, construing a portrait of the character of God. The previous verses talk of Israel's affliction and, well, lament. Then, the writer includes:
I Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, 'Therefore, I have hope in Him.' ... Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?" Lam. 3:19-24, 37-38.
I have a friend who, a couple of years ago, received the heart-breaking news that his brother-in-law and best friend had passed away in a tragic accident. Being a young Christian man, he was loved by his family and the community, and upon hearing this news, my friend wordlessly wept, and in response said only, "Through all things, praise God." What an amazing testimony of trust and submission to the grace and mercy of God! Jonathan Edwards uses the phrase that Christians should be "ready to hope" in Christ and his endless grace. I am captivated by this phrase, praying that when the Lord allows conflict or trial in our lives, which is the promise of 2 Timothy 3:12, to all who seek holiness, that we are ready to hope in his faithfulness and compassion-- that is is the author of all, good and ill, and in all, he is to be glorified!


saturday in the park

so here we are... welcome to the blog! i must admit, i told myself about a year ago that i would never understand these things and would not dream of putting any time into one. well, i was mistaken (yes, even i am wrong at least once a year) however, i have become quite intrigued as of late, and i convinced myself to create one for many reasons....

1). to share the passions, burdens, and love in my heart and to hear the same in others-- i love the Lord, and He is constantly teaching and showing things to us in love, and as He conforms us to the image of Christ, the work in us edifies Him and each other and He is glorified. Feel free to share anything on your heart-- you never know how Truth may speak to someone or how in the power of prayer, we can approach the Lord in confidence in prayer for you.

2). forum for shared thoughts- for the same reason i love to hang out at airports, i love to analyze the way people think and why and how they believe as they do

3). communication with friends who are MIA-- i often fall MIA myself, and in some feeble way, this is an attempt to keep in touch

4). On a personal level, although my roommate discerns my attempts at "reflection" as napping (don't know how i gave that one away), i think it is important to record reflection and articulate my thoughts-- whether they are worth reading is an altogether different question

5). who doesn't need one more reason to procrastinate? currently, it is procrastination of a research paper. ive already cleaned the house, took a walk, went to walmart, cooked, checked the news, im out of ideas....so here we go

speaking of research... on one of the most beautiful days that i have ever exprienced in my 23 years, today i spent most of it on research for a paper, aside from the three hours of 5-year-old soccer games and chinese buffet. although i was inside most of the afternoon, i was blessed to be able to enjoy, even if for a little while, the big blue sky (even the sky seems bigger in texas-- but maybe that's the lack of trees!) however, we won the game 3-1, scoring 2 goals-- you figure that one out :)

song lyric of the day :

Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper
Beg Him please to open up His mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister

Ross King "Clear the Stage"