Make Me Broken

Do you remember being a little kid and breaking something? Your first thought was “o no!” I better glue this together before mom sees! The thing is, no matter how well or how much glue you used, you could still see the cracks and could tell that it was at one time broken.

I haven’t written in a long time, mostly because I needed some time to find myself again. When something major happens in your life, I feel that it changes you forever, and you’ll never be the same as you were the day before it happened.

After my dad passed, I began hearing the Sidewalk Prophets song “Keep Making Me” on the radio. Every time I heard it, I could relate so well. In the song the person is actually asking God to make him broken because he is so calloused that he can’t feel. Sometimes, I think especially being around the church so much, we put so much time and effort into others faith walks, that we take our own for granted.

When everything happened to my dad, it broke me. I wasn’t asking God to do it, but I needed to be broken to grow closer to him. When we hit the bottom, sometimes we really realize how much we need Him. I would have never thought in a million years that I would be thankful for being made broken.

When we were little we would try and glue broken things back together, but we could always still see the brokenness. In real life all of us have moments where we break to pieces, and our choice of glue is either depending on ourselves or on God’s love. The great thing is that if we lean on God, trust him, his glue transforms our brokenness into something new.. A vase into a flower. A flower into a bouquet. This doesn’t mean we forget the brokenness, it means we use it to become better.

If you are a vase just centimeters from falling down and breaking, I pray for God to give you understanding and peace. If you are broken and trying to heal on your own, I pray for God’s “glue” to put you back together. If you are transforming into something new through God’s healing I pray that you always remember how much his love helped you, I know I always will.

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Christmas in November

I’ve always been the “let each Holiday have their own time” type of girl. Christmas never was thought about until the day after Thanksgiving. This year is different. This year the Christmas bug has hit me and it has hit hard.

I have been trying to reflect on why this is so. Why am I so eager to hear the Christmas songs, decorate the tree, light the house up like a Griswold, bake a million cookies etc. The answer has finally dawned on me.

The past month was a tough one. Losing a parent takes a toll on your heart and mind. But Christmas, Christmas brings the love of Jesus, hope, joy, and peace. All things that heal a heart when it’s been hurt.

Now I have a better idea of why Christmas songs come on earlier every year, why Christmas trees go up before the Turkey dinner, and why some people are in anticipation of Christmas as soon as it ends.

Next year I may not be ready for Christmas as soon as I am this year, but I’m going to try not to complain when I hear the songs, see the early lights etc.. Because I know to someone it’s God’s way of bringing some much needed joy, and appreciation for his wonderful gift of Jesus.

So if you see me singing the carols and dancing in the car, having my husband help me haul our extra large tree into the living room, or smell cookies baking from a mile a way, know that Jesus’s special season is helping this girls heart out.

May the Christmas hope and joy find you exactly when your heart needs it, no matter what month it is.

Syrup in a creamer tin

Two weeks ago yesterday I sat in a booth with my husband at the Egg and I restaurant. As I looked around me that morning the world seemed so different, I was different, my life had changed forever. This Saturday was the day after losing my dad. You see for many people the passing of a parent is losing someone you saw , and spoke to frequently if not everyday. For me this wasn’t the case.

I lost a parent I hadn’t seen in 12 years.

Some of you won’t understand or relate to that, and some of you may be in the same boat. You know, Time is a funny thing. Time evolves, time changes, time deepens wounds, time grows love, and time makes you think, time is something you can never get back, time is something you hope to have more of.

As much as each of us believes we are the batteries that run the clock of life, we are so wrong. We have no control. We can’t plan or hope for time. And as hard as it is to understand, we must realize that this mysterious life is led by a God who loves so deeply, even when the clocks stop ticking when we deem too soon.

That morning at the Egg and I, I was in a daze that no one, except for the great man who sat across from me and who then and now continuously shows great love understood. In the midst of my daze, I had to remain human enough to proceed on with my order and communicate with the waitress. You see that day was not just mixed up for me, but the restaurant had an extremely busy morning. When ordering my coffee that morning I asked for creamer. When the waitress brought the creamer she apologized that she had to put it in a glass because they were out of the tin they normally put it in. This didn’t matter to me because the creamer was still creamer. Later as she brought my pancakes she apologized again because she had to bring the syrup in the creamer tin because they were now out of what they normally used for syrup. Again it didn’t bother me because it was still syrup.

As I reflected on what was happening that morning, the little things like syrup and creamer Made me realize the irony in the situation. No matter how much time had passed, no matter what problems, my dad was still my dad even if he didn’t fit the traditional role. In this realization, this is where I learned to lean on God and on his plan.

I will never see my dad in this world again, but I know someday we will be reunited. I will someday understand why God separated our journeys. Until then I will lean on God, call on him when my heart breaks, pray for peace, and praise and serve him.

If you are reading this separated by a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a friend, a loved one, I pray that you will ask God for help. He may or may not lead you back to the person, he may or may not give you reasons why, but in the mean time you will grow closer to the only one who can carry you through.

Remember syrup is syrup, no matter what it looks like, or is put into. Make the most of the time He has blessed you with, and never forget you have a Heavenly Father that loves you more than you can imagine.

Listening

Imagine this, you are alone in a dark room and even though it’s completely dark you are blindfolded just to be sure that you can’t see. Your mission is to find the door to get out, but what you didn’t know is that the room was very messy, there are lots of things you could trip over. A voice promises you that you will make it to the door, no matter how many times you trip,  as long as you listen and follow the directions he gives you.

You may be wondering at this point where I am going with this. This month our sermon theme at church is listening. And I would bet for all of us this is a difficult thing to do.

One evening as I was walking Charlie, I was trying to imagine what a life spent listening to God would look like if you could make a picture of it. That’s where the dark room scenario came into my head. We live life blind. Although we can see, we are so blind to what will happen in the future, and we cannot see the way God is working in our lives all the time. Our lives are like a messy room. We trip, fall, and sometimes don’t know the way out. If we take the time to listen to God we will be able to get out of those messy times with his guidance. When we decide to handle these messes on our own, the messes grow quickly and it becomes harder to get through. Finally, each one of us lives our lives searching for our door. For us that door is to spend eternity with God in heaven. The best news is, is that he promises us we will get there with faith and a real relationship with him.

If you feel like you have tripped on one of lives messes I pray that you ask God to help you through. Listen to what he has to say, ask him into your heart,  and pray for strength.  He will lead you to the path to be with Him forever.

 

Chocolate Pudding

A few weeks ago I was determined to make chocolate pudding out of a box. Like following any recipe, I got all of the ingredients out that I needed and measured them; milk and the pudding. Now it’s important to know that at our house we only have soy milk ( due to the good old lactose intolerance). Just when I was about to put all of the ingredients in a bowl I noticed something on the box that said this “NOTE THIS PUDDING WILL NOT SET WITH SOY MILK” Dang.

Have you ever had a dream but were told you weren’t the right fit? Have you ever felt like you are an ingredient that won’t work in a particular recipe? Have you ever not felt welcome because you just don’t fit that crowd? Have you ever wanted a relationship with Jesus but felt like you weren’t the right type of person?

I hope if you ever have felt this way that you try anyway. Never let something or someone determine whether or not you follow your dreams. If you don’t fit the mold, break it. How will you know if you never try?

Mix the ingredients anyways, even if you see a blaring note that says it wont work. Oh and by the way, the pudding set just fine.

What is the destination?

On September 4th, 2003 we began the journey of a lifetime. A journey that took us through high school, college, and led us to a destination that occurred June 29th, 2012. On this day, we reached our destination saying I do, and vowing that for better or for worse we would stick together.

This month our church’s sermon series has been a road trip with Jesus. We have reflected on Jesus being the journey not the destination, and that someday we will get to the ultimate destination following and letting Jesus determine our path. With our first wedding anniversary quickly approaching, I couldn’t help but reflect on how a roadtrip, a journey and a destination fits into marriage.

About a week ago before falling asleep, I kept thinking about what the destination of marriage is. If you think about it, dating is quite the road trip and journey, and for most people their destination is finding the right person to spend the rest of their life with. When you find the right person, the day comes when you say I do, but what comes next? Marriage is definitely a road trip,a gift and journey every day. It’s full of ups, downs, good times, hard times, funny times, sad times, and new times. Each day is a new part of the journey, but what is the destination?

I am not sure if there is a sure answer to this. I think for every couple it’s their very own. I’d like to think of our marriage as a journey of a lifetime growing closer to each other, and most importantly growing in our relationship with God and serving him together. I hope one day when we enter our <eternal destination and God asks us “What did you do with the gift of marriage I gave you” we can look at each other, give a high five, and say “we did it babe.”

I am thankful as I write this that I am married to my very best friend. I pray that we always remember the promises we made to each other a year ago, and if we ever find ourselves not being able to, that we ask Himfor help. I pray that you who read this are enjoying the journey of marriage with your spouse, and if you’re not, I pray deeply that God can carry your marriage back to his path, to reach the ultimate destination together.

What is the destination of your marriage?

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It’s going to cost how much more?

 

Brad and I are getting ready to celebrate our 1st year wedding anniversary on June 29th. Trying to follow tradition, we found out that the traditional gift for the first year of marriage is paper. Paper? We decided to interpret this in our own way with giving each-other Ipads. Now I’ll admit that this was Brad’s idea, it all started when he surprised me with an Ipad sitting on my kitchen table. I knew that he had been really wanting one as well, and we decided to go a search for one for him.

We both are really in-decisive people. Brad couldn’t decide if he wanted the regular sized Ipad, or the new smaller mini. Searching at many stores, we came to the conclusion that he would like the mini the best, yet we didn’t buy it because we just wanted to be sure. We finally decided to head back to the store to buy it. When the cashier began to check us out, we noticed that the cost of the mini was up $50. We asked how could this be… we found out that we missed the sale which ended the day before, the day when we were out looking! Giving each other the look we both knew that at the end of the day we still wanted the Ipad no matter the cost.

If you have made it down this far, you may be asking what is the point of this story. Well, here it goes. As we were finding out that the Ipad was $50 more than the day before, it reminded me of this past year of our lives. In a year we have had many, many changes occur. We got married, got a dog, and both began our careers, which happen to both be in the ministry.

I could have never predicted any of these things happening in my life. It’s like I woke up one day and God asked me for $50 more, just like the store did for the Ipad. These new things in my life ask for a lot of time, work, dedication, etc. Just like I’m sure you have experienced in your life. At the end of the day I still want a relationship with Jesus, and to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. I know that God is going to continue calling me for more, because after all we are here to serve His Kingdom. I pray that when God’s price goes up for you and I that we don’t complain no matter how worn we are, but rather give each other the look, and listen to His call.

How much more is God asking of you?

 

Navigator

If you’ve ever been the navigator of a road trip, I am sure you’d agree that it is one of the most stressful and trying of times. You know that a wonderful destination is ahead, but to get there you must carefully read a map, rely on directions by memory, or follow the direction of a GPS. As the navigator, the ease and quality of the trip is often times dependent upon how smoothly the directions, or navigating go. When using a GPS we sometimes ignore the “dings” of which route or turn to take because we know that its’ way may really not be the best or most efficient. Unfortunately, there are always times on trips that we feel that we are lost, or may have taken the wrong turn.  No matter what, or how far we gave gotten off the path,  when the final destination is reached, the stress of getting there fades, and full enjoyment of the new destination occurs.

In our lives we have a Great Navigator, his name is Jesus Christ, and our final destination is with Him in Heaven. Just like trying to follow directions, we often times decide to take our own paths, or ignore which route he wants us to take. People in our lives may tell us there’s a better way to go, or we may have our own idea of the best way. Sometimes we get so lost that it is hard to find our way back.

I can think about times in my life that I have felt lost and far away from God, and have followed only the path that I thought I should take. My heart has been closed before to hearing and fully loving Him. The great thing is that within all of us we have an internal GPS, a God Positioning System, and as long as a seed has been planted in our hearts and deep down somewhere we believe in Him, when we ask for His help He’ll guide us right back to His path.

I pray that when God’s GPS sends us a “ding” or gives us a direction that we listen and take it. I pray that if you feel lost that you know that you are loved, and just by talking to Jesus and asking him and accepting him as your Savior, that you’ll know that he’ll help navigate you to a place more incredible than we can imagine or ever plan for ourselves.

Where is the Great Navigator guiding you?                                                

It’s Always Raining Harder On The Highway

Rain.

It’s always harder on the highway.

Have you ever noticed this? While driving quickly down the highway during a rain storm your car gets pounded by heavy rain drops, your vision is diminished, you flinch every time a truck drives by, your wipers are working full speed, and sometimes it can even be scary! The funny thing is, as soon as you pull off onto an exit it seems as though the rain slows and you can see clearly again, even though the speed and intensity of the rain never changed.

Life is a lot like this scenario. When problems or stress occur in our lives we try and run far and quickly away, and even feel like the problems we face are being pounded on us like continuous rain drops. Yet when we take the time to slow down, think about what’s going on, reflect upon what’s really happening, seek advice, and pray, we can sometimes become more clear.

I have seen and heard of a lot of heartbreak lately. Members of my family, members of my school, members of my community are all facing this. I pray for peace for these people who carry much on their hearts.

Often times we hear the phrase “Everything happens for a reason.” Even though I believe this fully, in the rough and rainy moments, it is tough to understand.

Recently, I heard a song with a line that said “Even heartbreaks go through Him first.” This gives me much peace knowing that God’s plan, even if totally different than the plan I had for myself, is always the reason to “Everything happens for a reason.”

If your life currently feels like a highway during a storm, take the time to pull off on God’s exit, and I bet you will be amazed for what he has in store for you.

Music

 A few weeks ago I attended a friend’s piano recital. As she played beautifully, I began to think about how everyone in the audience was probably hearing and interpreting the music in different ways. I as a ballet dancer, began picturing what a ballet piece would look like to the songs played. I wondered if the musicians in the audience were thinking about the technicality of the piece. Artists in the audience may have been inspired to create something new. Some may have wanted to share what they heard with someone else because they loved it. That’s the great thing about music,we have the chance to share the same song in such a variety of ways.

Here on Earth we have two types of music, the kind that is made by instruments, and a very special kind, God’s. We can share both types dependent upon our different talents or interests. Sharing God’s music can be through our actions, thoughts, talents, ministries, and especially words.

As Christians we need to think about how we are sharing God with others. This is something that I struggle with daily. I ask myself,  “Are the words and actions that I share a reflection of God, his word, and his love? Or am I saying that I am a follower of Jesus, but using my words to judge or hurt others?”

Often we hear that Christians can sometimes be the most hurtful people in the church. Using God’s word or church tradition to hurt others who we view may not be living the Christian lifestyle or who are living or think against our beliefs. We can sometimes even bully the very people we sit next to at church on Sunday.

The hard part about being human is that our lives contain so many things that can distract us from God. Careers, health, politics, school, you name it. It is human nature to have different opinions and choices on all of these aspects of life, but it is also tough to separate our feelings and stress about these while in the midst of sharing God with others.

There’s going to be people out there who think so far from the way that you do, and act in ways you may never believe. We have to accept this fact. This is where sharing God’s “music” is key.

I often think about what a church would look like if Jesus was here physically on Earth. What advice would he give us on sharing God with others? Would he say to disrespect others and hurt those straying away from the church because they don’t think or act in a certain way? I really doubt it.

I think the way we create followers of Jesus is to share God’s holy word with others. I think the way we keep followers is to show love and grace.

When you hear God’s music, how do you share it?