Monday, July 25, 2016

God, Friends, & Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Every now and then the Lord blesses me in such an incredibly specific way that it just blows my mind. And let me just say, this weekend has been Blessed To The Max. THE MAX

Before I delve into the gloriousness, I wanted to preface this post by saying that at the start of Sunday morning I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. A bit blue. Lately I have been noticing that sometimes, friends grow up, get out, and move on. Other times, this may only be my perception of things. But regardless, I was feeling a bit hurt, a bit lonely. And I was lifting that up to the Lord like a pitiful, mopey child: 

"Do I even have friends anymore?"

Cue God being God. {He's pretty good at that.}

My sister (on the right) got a text from my cousin (in the middle) inviting us to tag along with her on a mini road-trip reunion of sorts, to visit our old Bible college. Which I was a bit apprehensive about, because not only have I not been back to my Bible college in a year, but I also left it feeling quite negative about the whole experience. And so I was a little nervous about going back, especially because I felt like maybe no one there liked or remembered or cared about me.

This was my prayer:

"Then I said to you, 'Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as He did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.'"
~ Deuteronomy 1:29-31

And well, God totally answered it.

When we arrived, our friends flocked to us, laughing and hugging us all, some almost tearful. {The visit was a surprise.} It was so refreshing to talk to my old pals and hear how much they had missed me, what God was doing in their lives, and to remember good times.

It's cheesy to say, but through that one visit, I could feel all the lies and bitterness and negative thoughts I'd had about Bible college and my friends for a solid year just fall away.

To think that God would answer my prayer of hurt feelings with a visit of such tenderness and joy, only several hours later, well....that is something to me.

After the visit, my cousin and sister and I crashed at my parent's tiny cottage an hour or so away, and slept hard. {Introverts + a full day of socializing = major recharge time.} Then this morning on our way home, we decided we'd better stop for breakfast. We "randomly" stumbled upon this bistro we'd probably passed a hundred times, but never ever eaten at before. Lo and behold, the place was not only adorable, but our waitress was also a Christian and knew people from our hometown! From my cousin's very church, in fact!

You may also note that my cousin and I are holding fabulous plates of CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES WITH WHIPPED CREAM ON TOP. Silly to say, but this was a moment of mini-liberation for me, as I usually never allow myself to enjoy such treats like this. But today was something different...a step in the right direction, yes?

When I got home, the mailman delivered me the Mumford and Sons vinyl I ordered a week or so ago. {Also set to arrive soon? Gerard Way's Hesitant Alien and The Killers' Hot Fuss records.}


I remember once that my pastor said if you ask God to take you on adventures, He will. And I don't know, these past two days have felt very much like adventure to me. And none of it can I take credit for! Jesus is just that good. He rights the wrongs, shouts the truth, and heals my hurt heart.

God is good. 

+ I have so much more I could say about all of this, but this post is already a veritable novel as it is, so I shall refrain. But please let me know how you all are doing, because I have been pretty MIA in the blogging world as of late...egad!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Satisfied Sunday: Weakness

Photo credit for this radiant photograph can be found by clicking here. 
This morning, I am celebrating the fact of my flaws, failures, and ultimate weakness.

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
~ 2nd Corinthians 12:9-10

+ There will always be someone more skinny, talented, popular, beautiful, disciplined, joyful, and outgoing than I, but even in my brokenness, God still decided to create the one and only crazy human that is me. (And you, by the way.)

+ The world may be in shambles, and my tiny light may seem like a waning candle against the pitch-black night, but it's not about what I can do, it's about what Christ can do through me.

+ I may fail and fall consistently as a sister, daughter, human, and friend, but God's grace covers me, and I want to discover the joy of that more.

+ I don't really know how I feel about this blog right now, but this is what's on my heart and mind.

Monday, July 11, 2016

lose yourself to dance, girl

So this is like the most random thing in the world, but right now, I am really obsessed with DANCE.

Yes, Napoleon Dynamite is always relevant.

Considering I am the graceful equivalent of a three legged Weiner dog (#poise #elegance), dancing is not something I usually attempt. But in the past few days, the Lord has answered a major prayer of mine and made me feel so free. So I don't know, I've kind of been dancing up in this place, yo.

Oh, and if you haven't already noticed, the gifs are back.

Even though I'm not busting out my wicked dance moves in front of a large crowd
(New Life Goal: join a flash mob), I am dancing more, both in spirit and in body.

"Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with tambourine and harp." 
~ Psalm 149:3

Psalm 149 is kind of a wonderful passage for praise. That's definitely one I want to memorize this week. (Side Note: Verse memorization is getting a little bit easier. I've noticed that what helps me the most is asking for God's help, and keeping flash cards of verses in my car, at my desk at work, and basically everywhere else. It helps the words stick more in my mind.)

This dancing mindset really differs from the worry and anxiety that usually plague me. It's odd, even after all the insecurities I've had, dancing makes me not only more aware of, but more appreciative of my body.
Like, how cool is it that humans can dance and sing? It's just wonderful.

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

It's so obvious that I should be joyful before the Lord, but I feel like I often miss it. So, let's do things that help us enjoy Him, and enjoy life! Sing a song, bake a cake, paint a canvas.

Or do a little jig. 

+ Tell me about your life. What's new with everyone? 
Also, Happy 7/11 Day! Free Slurpees for all the children.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Satisfied Sunday: Peace

So often, I go to church feeling burdened and weary, worried and anxious. As my pastor preaches, I sit in my pew worrying my way through the lesson, cross-examining myself to the point of unease. And while this doesn't always happen, it certainly impedes my conversations with the Lord, and burdens my heart.

Today, I felt God's peace. His presence swept in like a gentle wind, a whisper. And I realized that the worry I'm so accustomed to, which consumes me not only at church, but in my daily life as well, is not what God intended for me in Christ.

There's a reason these verses are my life verses:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 4:6-7

There's a peace you can know. And it was nice to feel that today. But even when I don't feel it, it's true. Lord, help me be a woman of peace, who doesn't trouble herself over anything. You are the peace sign.

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, 
because they trust in You."
~ Isaiah 26:3

+ Am I bringing back Satisfied Sundays? I guess I am! 

++ I know this adorable photograph of a little woodland house has no real relevance to this post, but I found it on Pinterest and wanted to incorporate it into my novel, this post, my daily life, etc. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

splatter-paint soul

and when you buy an over-sized tie dye shirt because it's summer,
and when you look in the mirror and notice your hair is getting longer,
and when God is so good you want to scream,
and your soul feels like it's painted a million vibrant colors,
and you are alive:

Welcome to July. 

+ For all of you wondering, am I gonna swim in the pool?