Tuesday, July 20, 2010


There's something about moving that inevitably forces you to start a new chapter in life. I'm sure sometimes this new chapter is a little less drastic than the one I'm experiencing now, but none the less, every move leads to a new beginning. I never moved as a kid. We lived in the same 2 story house on the corner, since before there was a me. Mom and brother still live there actually. Good ole 322 Antler court. There are so many memories for me in that house....

There's the ones that I'm too young to remember...
But there's also things that I'll never forget-
...like my brother never really wearing a real outfit around the house. It was either shorts or a shirt...but never both!...or how my mom never failed to make Christmas special for us. Whether its craft day or bake day or stories of real elves leaving elf prints in the fireplace or hiding all our gifts even when she knows I'll find them anyway or dressing up with scrooge hats, she always made Christmas so fun.
There's also a few memories that I would be ok with erasing from memory...for example, this one time my mom's brilliant make it from scratch costumes didn't turn out quite so brilliant. Especially for a girl trying to keep friends in Elementary school! Come on mom...
Point is...that house is special to me. A good part of my growing up happened there...things happened that I look back on and laugh at, smile about, and love looking at pictures of. And then there's other memories from that house that bring tears to my eyes, make me angry, but even still, were a big part of my growing up as well. So I took the good and the bad together...and in August 2007, started a new chapter and moved away.
And just like my house back home, each place I've lived here in Tyler and each semester I've completed carries with it alot of memories. I only thought that my growing up happened in that corner house in Lewisville. Sure, my hair got longer, my feet got bigger, I learned to cook in my easy bake oven, I learned to make my bed and do my chores, I got older and experienced oldest child responsibility...but my real growing up...that happened in Tyler, Texas.

I'm talking about the growing up that makes you question what you believe and why you believe it. The growing up that requires you to make your own mistakes, some of them way bigger and worse than others, and face the consequences of them for yourself. The growing up that lets you choose your own friends and then experience the climb back to life after you've followed them farther than you wanted to go. The growing up that means adults now speak the truth to you even when truth isn't always what you want to hear. The growing up that means you stop running from things and burying pain, but instead experience surrender and love and forgiveness and healing. The growing up that means letting go of the relationships in your life that only bring you down, no matter what the cost....
In some way or another, each of those statements fit into the past 3 years and even the past 3 months of my life here.
However, a few weeks ago, I moved into a new apartment. And I can't begin to tell you the excitement that I felt! I had so much space to decorate. All these new and clean things to work with. And a new roommate who I love and fully believe is a blessing straight from the Lord. But more than all of that...this place felt to me like a haven and a fresh start. These past few weeks while my roommate has been across the ocean doing her thing, I've lived in this new apartment by myself. I've experienced so much of something that I never had before, and that's quiet. I have spent more time resting in Him...listening to Him...being alone with Him...than I think I have in the last 3 years combined. I read this verse this morning and I'm FINALLY getting to my point for this post-

Psalm 103:2-5 "Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his Holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles..."

I am so excited to be where I am. I can look back on college and begin to see pieces of why God allowed me to go down the paths that I did. There's still a lot that I don't understand. And there's still a lot of lessons I'll probably have to learn to hard way. But you guys, in the time I've had to look back on the last few years and the quiet of these past few weeks of my life, I've learned something. And that is, the Lord's love for me never fails. The same God who says that He knows every single thing about me is the same God that says "I love you more than you will ever understand". His ways are not even close to my ways and His thoughts aren't my thoughts. But His promises...yeah, those are something I can cling to. His character...trustworthy. His love for me...deeper than I'll ever understand. And His plan for my life...perfect.
I'm SO excited for all of the good things that are coming from this chapter of my life in Apartment 3201. Those words in that verse are powerful and real to me. They describe perfectly, the journey I'm on and the promise of hope that we can have. He's forgiven me. He's healing me. He satisfies me. And He redeemed me. holy schmoly that's good stuff.

REDEEM: to obtain restoration or freedom from captivity by paying a ransom.
HEAL: to bring to an end; to free, cleanse, and purify; to become whole.
SATISFY: to put an end to a desire by sufficient or ample provision.

Love you all. Have a great rest of the week :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

China on my mind.

I miss these sweet faces more than I can put into words. I miss the joy that they brought into my life every single time I was around them. I miss their affirming words. I miss them greeting me with the biggest hugs and calling me beautiful no matter if I felt it that day or not. I miss their questions. I miss the jokes. I even miss having to tell them to hurry every 5 seconds when we took them places.
These friends of mine brought out a side of me that I really didn't know I had. Never before was my heart so burdened and pulled towards another culture. I had never felt such an urgency to share the good news. Too be honest, I've never been brought to tears over someone not knowing Gods love for them. That is, until I met these six precious people.
I dream of seeing them again. I wake up in the morning and roll over to check my email just to see if they've emailed while I was asleep...which they usually do with the crazy time difference there!
Even from thousands of miles away God comforts my heart and lets me know that He's working on them. He's keeping them safe...He's watching over them...He's pulling them to Him. My hearts cry is that one day I can call all of them my brother and sisters.

...Will you pray for my friends today?