"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace"

Friday, March 30, 2012

a mother to the motherless.

I recently received a message from a dear friend from high school. It's amazing that though we've been out of high school for 7 years, I feel like it was only yesterday I talked to Keri. She is one of those people...the kind that make an impact on your life. The kind of person who you never forget, no matter how much time has passed. You remember them, not for their "status" or their "achievements" (though she is incredibly cool & amazingly smart) but for their heart. The kind of heart that is so rare. so pure. so selfless. Keri has always been an example to me. She has always amazed me at how well and how easily she loves people. It's like you could just stand next to her and feel loved...you know those kind of people. I always felt accepted and important around Keri. She's passionate. She cares with such a deep love that she can't not take action.

As I opened her message & read, I could've wept. I was speechless, amazed, inspired, challenged, and humbled. She is an almost-25-year-old woman who is displaying the love of Jesus in a way that I personally have never seen before. She gets what it means to die to self and to live as if this life is a vapor- gone before we know it- she is caring for who Jesus calls "the greatest". She is being a mother to the motherless.
"Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” - Luke 9:48.

I am honored to be Keri's friend. I just read this morning about abiding in Jesus- the vine- and being His branches that bear fruit (John 15). Keri is a fruitful branch and I am excited to see the fruits that grow out of her ministry and her home as she obediently follows what God has called her to do. When God calls us to something, He is faithful to see us through. 

Please visit Keri's website: http://godskidsourkids.webs.com/  . Your heart will be incredibly impacted and touched and moved. Please please think/pray/ask if you would support Keri, financially & prayerfully, in her efforts to defending the cause of the fatherless(and motherless) and orphaned. Even if you don't know her, please consider giving...we are all the body of Christ. And please share this with anyone you know!

My prayer for Keri is:
"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family[c] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
(Ephesians 3:14-21)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I want to brave like that.

Sometimes there's so much I want to write about that I don't know what to write. Sometimes it seems like my brain spins a million miles a second throwing out ideas left and right. Sometimes the only way to focus my thoughts or work through things well is with music. The other day I was taking a walk and listening to some good old caedmon's call. Oh how good it was to listen to some good old familiar music. I was again reminded why they still remain one of my favorite bands. I love listening to them because it seems like each time a do, a different part of their lyrics gets my heart. This time the lyrics came from the song "there is a reason". Here's the part of the song that stuck out to me:

Late at night the darkness makes it hard to see
the history of the saints who've gone in front of me
through famine, plague and disbelief
His hand was still upon them...cause there is a reason

He makes all things good. He makes all things good.
there's a time to live and a time to die
a time for wonder and a for wonder why

I LOVE these lyrics because so often I do forget those who have gone before me. Those in the old testament of the Bible who lived through so much and yet God had a reason for that season and He provided. perfectly. And that doesn't mean it was easy, but He knew the future in a way they could not see. And the God of those people is still the God of us today. He hasn't changed. He still provides and still has a reason for everything.
I've been learning lately what it means to really trust God. Not just "I trust you God." but "I really do trust that Your ways are better and beyond my simple understanding"...sometimes it feels like a blind trust. actually, often times that is the case. I'm learning that the more I sink into Him and make myself let go of things that seem "safe" or "make sense", the more I feel peace. this makes no sense to me. shouldn't it be the other way around? wouldn't it make sense that if I think what i'm doing is "safe"/comfortable that I should feel peace? I think what God teaching me is that I am holding onto things that aren't HIM for security.
But sometimes I don't know how to get from what feels safe to what seems impossible. It's kinda like someone telling me to just step off  of a cliff with no harness or parachute or something of the sort and telling me I'll actually be safer if I just step. crazy, right? who would do that? That's sorta what God's been teaching me. I keep hearing Him say "just step off, I'll catch you" & I say "um first off I think that is a bad idea, but if- and only if I would decide to step off I need to gather some gear, I need to bring my security blankets with me". He says "no, all you need is to step". I say "yeah but I at least need this". And again He says, just step. Why  is it so hard to just step? It's one simple choice, one simple decision. Do I not trust that He is good enough to catch me? Do I not trust that His plans for my life are way better than my plans for my life? I know the right words, I know the right thing to say...but do I really believe it? Do I believe that when He calls me to do something that He will provide...in His own way? Am I okay with the fact that God isn't going to do it "angela's way" and He isn't afraid of my whining? He says He will be with me when I pass through the waters & they will not overtake me (Isaiah 43:2). I think the bravest people on this earth are the people who take that step of the cliff and trust God and walk the journey He takes them on- focused on Him, trusting in His sweet and beautiful love. are they confused? probably. do they have clarity or answers? probably not. do they know how long it will last/take? usually not. do they have questions? yes, tons. but they follow with blind trust in Jesus through fear, doubt, hurt, pain, joy, peace, silence, broken hearts. If i'm brave, i'll trust blindly in my God who never leaves me. I want to be brave like that. Like those who have gone before me.

"The sweetest moment on this road is moving forward not knowing where to go" - Alli Rogers

Friday, March 9, 2012


I realize my birthday is almost a month and a half gone but I never posted on how fun it was! Early in our marriage, Seth learned (the hard way, rather) how important birthdays were to me. Since then he seemingly attempts to "top" the previous year's element of fun and surprise. I love to have fun, but I don't always know how to make it happen which is one reason why Seth is good for me- he comes up with great ideas & is able to carry them out well.

I had been complaining/joking for a couple of weeks how old i'm getting (some of you may laugh at this, but turning a quarter of a century is a monumental year)...it's like "official adulthood" from this point on. It's the small things really...I can't blend in as a college student anymore and am entering that season of life that is full of a lot more...responsibilities. I fall into a new age category on surveys...the 25 and older group. I found 2 gray hairs the other day...definite sign of aging. Something about turning 25 just seems so defining...to me anyways. (mom & dad, if you're reading this, i'm sure you are laughing hard at my dramatic emotions & yet are not surprised one bit, haha :) ). 

Yet there are alot of great things about getting older. And I am excited for these seasons and years to come.

With that said...I had a wonderful birthday, thanks to my buddy.

On thursday night (my birthday day)...he cooked me a super delicious dinner...salmon & veggie stirfry coupled with an AMAZING apple crisp from scratch complete with blue bell icecream (thanks to jake & jen) for dessert. THEN after dinner he told me to bundle up because we were going to go stargazing. He had his truck full of blankets & an airmattress to put in the back of the truck. So we made some hot beverages, bundled up & drove to the middle of nowhere & watched the stars for a couple hours....the night sky was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. And we even saw some shooting stars. pretty awesome.

Then  that weekend he surprised me with a weekend getaway to Mt. Magazine St. Park...about 2 hours from Little Rock. We went hiking, played board games, explored the surrounding town of Paris, AR (very, very small town Arkansas to say the least). My favorite part of the weekend was how we just talked alot...with me being an emotional/feeler/talker/need-to-process-everything-outloud-type-of-personality this was the best gift he could've given me. Poor guy was probably emotionally/mentally drained by the end of the weekend. Favorite memory of the weekend would have to be our saturday morning breakfast: we ventured down the mountain to the small, quaint town of Paris, AR on a mission to find a place to eat breakfast. After driving around the whole town about 3-4 times (took about 5 minutes total) we decided on a place called "The Grapevine". We walked in the restaurant and literally everyone stopped what they were doing and just looked at us. Yes, kids even turned around in their chairs, put down their forks and just starred at us. We awkwardly found a table and then everyone resumed their usual saturday morning breakfast...it was obvious we weren't one of the "regulars". haha. I love living in the south just to have experiences like these.

Here's some pics:
                                                              I woke up to this on thursday morning! 

                                                                      Making veggie stirfry!
                                                          Getting the airmattress inflated in the truck for stargazing 

                                                                We've got our hot beverages!

                                               Probably one of the best apple crisps i've ever eaten. 

                                                                   on a hike. 

                                                      One of the tallest points in Arkansas 

                        This was the lodge we stayed in...the back of it (here) over looks the valley below...it was beautiful!

I am and feel so blessed. Not in a suzy-sunshine kind of way...but in a true, deep, and honestly speechless kind of way. God is good and so faithful and keeps teaching me that every day i'm on this earth. I get to experience His steadfast love & His unending grace. I don't know what this next year will hold but He does & His plans are good. He does not grow weary or faint (as seth reminded me of this morning- Isaiah 40) as I sometimes do but He gives us strength. What would I do without my Jesus?