Monday, July 30, 2007


I will leave my sister tomorrow (Tuesday) to return back to Atlanta, but I thought would emotionally prepare myself for having to leave her by talking to you siestas in blogland :)

We've 5 years apart, and have always been close (maybe due to that age difference or the fact that my younger brother would have been pulling out my pig-tails while I was tattling on him). lol. I hate telling her 'goodbye,' for several reasons that include the following: 1) I don't know when I'll get to see her again...maybe not until Christmas 2) She's the best sister you could ever have. She knows what I'm thinking, and we have no need to complete each other's sentences. We don't have to - we already know the other's thoughts. We laugh the same ... sound the same ... and past that, are as different as one could be from the other.

So, if you'll forgive me for the lack of creative writing, and bear with my list-format, I'll share some of the highlights about my vacation here in Clearwater, FL with you spiritual sisters :)
1) I loved that she came out to meet me with camera in hand late Tuesday evening when I arrived. She just had to capture her younger sister driving the Budget truck so that she could laugh for weeks to come.
2) I loved my new sleeping partner. She keeps me warm, weighs 55 lbs., and thus made a great 'spooning' buddy :) I introduce you to Bailey:

3) I loved going to Downtown Disney while my sister enjoyed her favorite activity of pin-trading. It's quite a sight to see ladies. I got the total giggles of the hard-core commitment of these Disney collectible pin fans. We ended the evening by eating at Wolfgang Puck's at Downtown Disney. Ohhh so good!

I also was introduced to Ghirardelli chocolate at Disney. Can someone please tell me how I've made it through life without ever having had them?! Holy stinking cow!

4) I loved going to Sea World with her and her friends. I am a roller-coaster lover if there ever was one. Sure the weather was hot; sure we walked around soaking wet (everything) for hours after a water-ride b/c my sister and I just had to have the front row seats on this particular ride; sure we ate the park out of its food because you work up an appetite from all that walking; sure you aren't the biggest fan of that 'park' look (the 'I need a shower in a bad way, but am having too much fun to care' look); and sure your hands are gross after feeding the dolphins and seals fish. And of course, if you don't think that Shamu is your new bff by the time you leave, you might need to spend a few more hours there before you leave.

5) I loved watching The Cosby Show with her before we go to bed, and giggling way too late into the night.

6) I loved dancing in the car to all of our favorite songs.

I've missed you girlfriends. And I'll be posting soon about a word the Lord has given me. But for now, I love the fact that I have 192 blog posts to catch up on according to my bloglines. ONE HUNDRED NINETY-TWO! You siestas can do some work in a week!!! LOL! PS - If you are a blogger, and don't use bloglines, PLEASE click on the link! Your life will be changed and you'll save yourself a lot of time checking in with other people's blogs. (Thank you Mandy for introducing me to it and making me more blog cool.)

Shamu says 'peace out' :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Boaz Budget

I embarked on a 8.5 hour trip yesterday to come down and visit my sister Sheila in Clearwater, FL. I've missed her, and I'm looking forward to 'playing' like we sisters do, beating her in Mario Kart (for you Jennyhope), sleeping in, going to the beach, and being a nerd as long as I want to in Barnes & Nobles. So, I'm writing to let you siestas and any beloved lurkers out there know that I'll be a little quiet in blog land for the next week. I'll check in when I can, and be sure to post some pictures from my time here at the end. And finally, you sweet girls are the ones who have to read what the Lord is brewing in my whenever I get through this holy beating with Him, I'll let you know.

For now, I just needed to brag about my Jesus. I had to drive a U-Haul yesterday (well - actually it was a 'Budget' truck, but everyone knows the generic U-Haul term). It's full of my apartment belongings from my past 2 years and my sister is kindly letting me store it at her house. This is going to help me out particularly if I go to Boston too. case you missed it - I HAD TO DRIVE A U-HAUL truck for 8.5 hours! I don't know about any of you ladies, but this has not been on my resume yet. These are the moments in my life where I really wish I had a boyfriend. I'm not saying I'm discontent without one, but I'm not exactly U-Haul experienced. I thought about borrowing some other girl's boy, but then decided that probably wasn't too legit. So, I waved my finger to the Lord and somewhat sternly reminded Him that He was my Husband. Hence, he better 'act like it.' :)
Kiran helped me all morning with the traveling to and fro's and loading. (She is such a true friend...I am humbled that I get to be her friend.) I told her I was petrified of driving this thing! She told me in all hysterics and seriousness 'Oh Shelly! It is so blog-worthy though. You can do this and those women know you can!' Lol - I took whatever motivation I could at that point. I had several blogging spiritual mama's praying for me, and I needed to let you know that I truly felt those prayers. The drive took me less than it has in the past and I really felt like His angels just picked me up and flew me here. Thank you!
I also felt that since we'd be bonding so much, my Budget truck needed a name. (I give my cars a Jesus Name...I know...I'm weird). So, hence the Lord was being my man yesterday and taking care of the heavy duties of this drive, Kiran and I only felt that Boaz Budget was fitting. We all need a Kinsmen Redeemer right?
Apparently, I was a sight to see. There were a handful of men that lined up to see me off at the Budget Truck company. They stood in a line smiling, chuckling, wishing me a safe journey, and shaking their heads. I also passed by truckers on the road who would take a double-glance at this new driver on their eye level. I guess my over-sized diva glasses and big gold earrings didn't help my look. But I had to be as girly as I could possibly be. So maybe I did overcompensate a little; but the U-Haul just wasn't working with my whole look and personality, so the accessories were in due call.

For your pure laughing enjoyment
(Sorry about the shortness of my shorts. I think they'd ridden up a little when I climbed to get on the truck.)
I bid you Adieu

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I needed a Tinker Bell

Hello blogging siestas! I finally have a moment to catch up on some tags and try to redeem myself from looking like I'm ignoring them. I'm not though! And I'm so sorry if I haven't honored one yet. You can send me a reminder; I'll need it these days! Okay...enough of that. Can you bear with me if I do two in one post!? (Ahh! The breaking of blog etiquette!) :)

Mandy, my bff, wants me to share 8 things you may not know about me. Seeing as this is blogville, this shouldn't be too difficult. But, I'm going to post some really weird ones to see if I can actually list anything that she doesn't know about me. Then I'll tag 5 of you :) And following this one, I will complete homegirl Jennyhope's tag. They're both fairly short, so if you stick with it, I'll give you a high five and a lollipop. Okay....kidding :)

1) The cornea of my left eye has a wee small hole in it. I was on the beach one day as a kid and a grain of sand decided to have a fight with it.
2) My great great great (etc.) grandfather was the chief of a Cherokee Indian tribe. (Does that mean I can claim princess status? lol).
3) I am a shameless dancer at weddings. Give me a dance floor. No partner or alcohol required.
4) I toilet papered my highschool principal's house. And he still doesn't know!
5) I love to drink the juice from a pickle jar when all of the pickles are gone! (I know...gag if you're really missing out though.)
6) I have this huge fear (and hatred of) rubber-bands or pony-tails being aimed anywhere near me for shooting.
7) I giggle in my sleep (like 3-4 times a year apparently).
8) I watched Peter Pan one too many times when I was a kid. You know how I know that? Because there was a period of weeks when I believed that I could fly. This meant I also tried to fly. I'd spend my afternoons in our front yard, running a full fledged sprint to the other side of the yard (giving myself ample take-off room), and then flail my hands simultaneously as I took a big leap to get off the ground at the end. One day, I got smart and decided to pull out my mini-trampoline (I used to do gymnastics) out at the end of my yard so that I could get higher ground when I took my big leap. I just knew it would propel me into flight status. I bounced on the trampoline with all 50 lbs. of me, then waited to soar into the blue skies...and landed abruptly bottom first on the ground. My hands that were in flight status didn't even break the fall. Needless to say my rear end hurt, so I sat there for a few seconds catching my breathe. THEN, I had a hissy fit slapping myself right there on the ground because I'd landed in a massive bed of ants!!! Did you catch that people? My rear end landed in a massive bed of ants! I never tried to join the Peter Pan movement again!!!

I TAG: Military Mommy, My Heavenly Wings, In the Midst of It, Facedown, and I am Not.

5 things I want to do before I die:
1) Go to Israel
2) Go sky-diving
3) Take dance classes with my husband (oh wait...have a husband!)
4) Fulfill God's purpose for me
5) Go to Barcelona and Paris

5 things I can do:
1) Eat sweets! lol
2) Dance
3) Chill at the beach!
4) Chemistry - b/c I'm a dork
5) Shop!

5 things I cannot do:
1) Eat mayonnaise, butter, or ketchup - uggh!
2) Leave things unresolved
3) Sing. (Sadly, this doesn't stop me in the least bit!)
4) Physics
5) Cook

5 things that make a man attractive to me:
1) His heart for God
2) Humility...I hate pride :(
3) Eyes
4) Love and respect he has for his own family.
5) Honor/integrity/courage

5 celebrities I crush on:
Uhm....I can't say that I have any celebrity crushes, but if I did...
1) Matthew McConaughey
2) Robert Redford
3) Carry Grant (he's just wonderful isn't he?)
4) Pierce Brosnan
5) Jude Law

anyone who wants to tag themselves here for this one, go for it! I've got to get to work on packing! Love you all! Can't wait to see the answers :) Let me know when you do!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A 4:30 am scroll of remembrance

Update: For all of you girls who apparently have a heart after my own...I'll let you know where the black and white dress is from :) This store: Forever 21
My weekend:
1) Eating at Ted's Montana Grill for the first time. After I got over my shock of drinking from a paper-made straw and my recyclable glass cup of sweet tea (they're an eco-friendly restaurant which was totally cool in my world), I was able to enjoy my tree-size portion of broccoli that came with my meal. ALL of it. I got to meet up with two of my Georgia Tech girlfriends that I haven't seen since graduation and we talked non-stop. And of course, because we're girls, we just had to take photos out by all the beautiful scenery outside. And despite your first thoughts of vanity, we won't get to see each other again because we all moving, so we had to take a few! (Er...uh...I'm supposed to be moving.)

2) A spend-the-night party with Kiran, Andrea, and myself. We watched a chick-flick, and then managed to stay up until 4:30 in the morning talking. My heart is still about to pop from the encouragement of spending time with these girls.

"But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."

As long as it is still called 'Today' ... we, on the other hand thought that just 'Today' was insufficient, and decided to add 'Tomorrow' in that verse as well, seeing as our conversation extended to the next stinking day! (My body cannot handle those nights anymore; my spirit on the other hand could not stop boasting in my Jesus).
"Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name." Malachi 3:16

I have not ceased thinking about this verse since my slumber-party with my siestas on Friday night.

Can you just picture Him leaning a bit on the edge of His holy Throne, His ears inclined to hear your voice as you talk about Him? Taking notes!!!??? I don't mean to imply that He is on some egotistical trip of pride, but I suspect He loves hearing the heart of His children come to further grasp how wonderful He is. In so grasping who He is, they become more devastated by His love. To know Him is to love Him girlfriends.

Take the time to boast in the Lord with one another. Be encouraged by one another. Ask each other the hard questions. Laugh until your sides ache. The Lord will set your heart to burn with the glory of His Name. I just get the giggles picturing Him leaning over to one of the angels, giving them a holy elbow nod, and going 'Did you hear that? She thinks I'm Wonderful. She thinks I am faithful in that situation." A big smile just must come across His face as He nods back to me in the unseen heavenlies, with a knee-slap of delight echoing through the skies, saying 'Yes child' back to me! And the angels cry 'Holy, Holy, Holy' all the meanwhile.

I don't want Him to have cliff notes. Bless the Lord, all my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.' (Psalm 103). Sisters, sometimes you may have to command your soul to 'bless the Lord,' but His person alone is enough reason to praise Him. But I'm sure it will be fine if you go to bed earlier than 4 in the morning from doing so!

Scroll-writing girlfriends

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

He may be seeking an occasion

"Then Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines. So he came back and told his father and mother, "I saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife."Then his father and his mother said to him, "Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?" But Samson said to his father, "Get her for me, for she looks good to me. However, his father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel." Judges 14:1 - 4

Samson, a declared Nazarite from birth, goes against the command of Deuteronomy 7:3 "You shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons." He sees this unnamed woman, and she 'looked good to him.' Samson's father and mother indirectly plead for him to not take a wife from the Philistines. Need they remind him who the Philistines are!? Yes - that would be one of their numero uno enemies The ones ruling over them!

Samson throws a feast in celebration of his father going to get this woman and decides to pose a riddle. If anyone was able to answer it, Samson would give thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes (uhm....some really cool party favors! lol. Okay - totally kidding. Sorry). Four days pass, and the guests are stumped. They approach Samson's wife asking her to 'entice' her husband, that she may find out the answer to the riddle, and then let them know. Through her weeping (talk about the manipulation and influence of a woman), Samson eventually discloses it to her. She shares the answer to the guests.

Samson, realizing that they only knew the answer because they had asked his wife to entice him, kills 30 men. And that is just the beginning.

God take one small intermarriage and uses it to oppose His peoples' enemy. You will find that Samson's wife is later given to his good friend (They were clearly not thinking about the possible repercussions of that move.) As a result, Samson destroys the wheat fields of the Philistines. The Philistines, not so happy about their loss of grain, took revenge upon Samson by burning his wife and father-in-law's house down, with them inside.

Samson flees and encounters the men of Judah. The men of Judah, not wanting to get in trouble with their enemy who was ruling over them, return him back to the Philistine bound by rope. Samson breaks free of his binding ropes by the Spirit of the Lord, and kills 1,000 of the Philistines. Later, he is captured again when his second wife betrays him. The result? The Philistines bind him, gouge out both of his eyes, and force him to entertain them one night while they are praising their god Dagon. Never one to quit, Samson makes a move one last time, lifting up the pillars that sustain the house, bending them, and causing the house to fall on him and all of the 3,000 Philistines inside it to death.

God was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. (14:4). He wanted to deliver His chosen people from the ones who were falsely ruling over them. Did you catch how the LORD sought this occasion? Don't miss it dear one. He used what looked like a bad idea to Samson's mother and father (the intermarriage) to begin the process. He also used betrayal (two different times by both of Samson's wife). He used it again when the men of Judah allowed fear to be the motivator of their decision. Samson being in their 'world,' was a threat to their own personal safety for they knew the Philistines would come looking for him. Thus, Samson allows himself to be bind in rope by them and returned to the Philistines. Again, and again, and again, Samson's life is allowed by the sovereign, yet permissible will of God, to enter into the hands of those who were his enemies, so that God could be the ultimate Avenger and Redeemer for His people.

Too often I am afraid we stand with mouths gaped open in shock like Samson's mother and father, worried about a circumstance that looks horrific externally. Or maybe we are like the men of Judah who want to keep our spiritual bubbles 'just so,' and any threat to the way we run ministry, the way we like life, the way we see God, we just bind in ropes and toss back to the enemy.

Sister...your betrayal, or the ropes He's allowed your circumstances to be bound under, may be the exact vessels He is using to seek an occasion against your enemy. For the sin, stronghold, or addiction that is 'ruling over you,' you may feel like He's turned you over to them just as he allowed Samson to be turned over to his enemies. He may just have (Romans 1:24)...but if I could grab your sweet face in my hands to tell you that it could be for your ultimate victory in Christ, I would. When we are given over to the unsatisfying and sickening life of depravity (the enemy of our flesh), God can ultimately use it for our good. It may be that He has allowed you to feel the mud of that pit, or the tightness of those binding ropes, so that you will know that He Himself is orchestrating your freedom behind the scenes so that He can be a Mighty Deliverer to you. He is only waiting for you to cry out to Him.

Perhaps, the most profound thing to me about the life of Samson was that he desired even to die, so that he could kill the greatest number of Philistines possible by doing so. "So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life." (16:30). Could it be that God is asking you to die (to the sinful nature of your flesh ) so that He can truly act upon the occasion He has long been seeking to destroy your enemies? I am sure that with the crucifixion of our flesh, God is readily more available to kill your enemies. And it is in death my sweet sister, that He raises you up with resurrection power. Let Him seek an occasion in your precious life.That rejection, that manipulation, and that death may really be the occasion He is using to give you a life of liberty.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

He will be Wonderful

"Why do you ask my name, seeing as it is wonderful?" Judges 13:18

(Preface: Y'all. I'm so sorry, but I cannot yet write what the Lord is stirring in my heart with my current reading in Judges. He has got me in a tizzy over Samson (aka - the Fabio of the OT as Lisa says at The Preacher's Wife, to which I about fell off my bed laughing). My head has been spinning for days, trying to connect the spiritual dots of what He is speaking to me, and I am not there. There is TOO much! I trust He will get it through my thick head in His timing. So until then, I'll precede with the following.)

Can I invite you for a dose of up-close and personal glimpses into my ever-dramatic Jesus life? For those of you who don't know, I have had a burning passion to attend seminary for the past couple of years. I have not been able to get out of Georgia Tech fast enough so that I could take my Bible, Greek and Hebrew flash cards that I bought months ago, and highlighters to seminary as my new BFF's. (Well, bff Mandy is there already!) I have not yet opened my flash cards because I am waiting for the perfect moment of sitting at my new desk, unraveling the package, and actually knowing what to do with my new crisp white cards. I know - I'm clearly a nerd, and I have just embraced it. (It really works better if you just do girls...). I am very aware that I can learn about my dear Jesus anywhere, and in my opinion, He really is the greatest Teacher of them all. There's nothing I love more than sitting at His feet, throwing all the commentaries and online tools aside, and just listening for Him to speak.

But I believe with Him instilling this passion in my heart, He has commanded me to go. After much prayer, I made the decision to attend Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston this upcoming fall. I am to leave in approximately one month to be a pretend yankee :)

The kicker? Get ready for this...I have NO money! Hahahahaaaaaaa!!!!!! (I am giggling as I write this.) My job this summer that I had hoped would allow me to get myself there this year has not come anywhere close to meeting those hopes. It was pitiful. And since my Dad passed away several years ago, we are just now getting our feet back on any ground. I think my LORD may have aligned it to be just so though. Because in these circumstances, I have the privilege of knowing that the LORD my God IS God.

I have stepped back the past few days in laughter over my Jesus. He has called me to move to Boston, go to seminary, and all of this without a dime to my name. I told Him that I can't wait to see how He intends to pull this one off. He's got a big 'problem' on His hands that He has to take care of! He must be faithful to Himself, His Word, and His children. And He will not fail me (Joshua 1).

I know that because of the wonders of His person, even if I am unable to go to seminary, this would still not be Him failing me. Wherever He leads me, it will still be the best possible place and season that He could be glorified, and is in my best interest. He is always for showing His glory - He is a Jealous God. So I want to make sure I'm there getting to witness it.

At this time, He has not released my spirit to stop believing Him for the impossible - to be my Jehovah Jireh in a big way. Consequently, I am continuing to believe that I will set foot on that campus come early September. But you know what makes my heart dance sisters? The fact that even if I don't, I'll be setting foot exactly where He wants me to be anyway. He is Wonderful. And nothing is impossible for Him: Be it dropping money from the spiritual bank itself to get me there OR making sure that nothing thwarts His purposes for me, and keeping seminary out of the picture to ensure just that.

Moses only had a staff. David only had a slingshot. And the disciples only had five loaves and two fish. How long must it be before we realize our "only" is the very thing He has intentionally left us with, so that He could do the impossible in our lives. Our "only" is the very thing that allows us the privilege to know Him more in ways we would not have prior. Our "only" is the very thing that keeps us aware of the pauper state of our souls, and the everlasting love of God.

I wanted you siestas to know what was going on, only because I want you to be able to rejoice with me in about a month. I want you to be bragging with me about my Jesus because He is going to be doing some mighty big showing off. Be it financial provision, or setting my ever prone-to-wander feet somewhere else in the paths He has!

"Why do you ask my name, seeing as it is wonderful?" Judges 13:18

We cease asking LORD. Because time and time again, I know You to be Wonderful.

My "only" is Your's...

Monday, July 16, 2007

How do you title this?

Y'all. Sweet Patty at Girlfriends in God bestowed the following blogalicious award to me. We meet at a LPM conference in Boone, NC and she has been nothing but a treasure since then. You'll have to visit her site and scroll down to about the 2nd post to find out what she said about me, and actually see that I'm not just making this up, because for now, I'm brain-dead and can't figure out how to link the actual post 'here.'

Anyway, I've had to visit several blog sites to determine what in the world the proper blog etiquette was after this happens, so forgive my lack of blog manners if I miss something.

I need you women (and men?) to know that this blog world has been nothing but a extra surprise to me from my Beloved, a gift from Him that consisted of you. I would like to continue in my ramblings about how anything here is only because He lives, but I think I'll leave it at that. It is only because He lives!

"Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, I give thee." Acts 3:6
How I love Him so...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Always a Daddy's girl...

I have sat here for a moment trying to decide upon some of my favorite Dad memories. Maybe it was the way he would wrap me up in the covers so tight as a little girl that it took my combined leg strength to get out of the safe cocoon wrap. Maybe it was that time he looked at me in absolute bewilderment my freshmen year of college as he picked me up at my dorm for my first Georgia Tech football game with him - he was decked in his black and gold school colors. I, on the other hand, thought fashion was more important, and wore some red and blue plaid pants (I know - you can cringe), with a blue shirt. It just so happened that I was also sporting the opposing teams colors! He looked at me absolutely dumbfounded, shook his head, smiled, and held my hand to walk to the game. Or maybe it was all those teenage years that I went roller-blading with him as he jogged around St. Simons Island; he would always buy me my beloved fresh boiled peanuts afterwards!

Today would have been his 54th birthday. It has been about four years since his unexpected death, and I still find myself wondering what I need to get him for his birthday this year (while vowing to not get the dreaded tie or socks that every Dad seems to be stuck with :) )

I miss his smile. It put any anxious thought or way within me to rest.
I miss talking on the phone with him. Four years past his death, and I still have days where I forget that I can't call him like I used to everyday.
I miss standing on top of his feet in hug position to dance with him.
I miss the way he smelled.
I miss the way he said my nick-name...
I miss his bear hugs.
I miss him believing in me.
I miss him making up songs that rhymed about me.
I miss listening to him try to sing an oldies song, only to mumble his way through the stanza, and barely know the chorus. It was always an opportunity to laugh at each other.
I miss catching him loving on my cat, while he pretended to be too manly for that.
I miss the way he cared for me.
I miss his phone messages he would leave from work, "just to tell me that he loved me."

And so now,
I will miss his grin, or concerned glance, when I bring home the next 'man' in my life.
I will miss knowing if he approved or not.
I will miss him walking me down the aisle to be married. No other person seems fitting to give me away and I just don't know what to do about that.
I will miss him cradling my future child in his arms the way he held me.
I will miss knowing what his face would have looked like at my college graduation. It was his biggest dream for me, and the day seemed so incomplete without seeing his face as I walked off that stage.
I will miss him raking up a big pile of leaves for my children to run and jump in the way he did for me.
I will miss him knowing what a wonderful grandfather he would have been.
But most of all, I will miss him knowing (despite his imperfections) how wonderful of a father he already was to me.

Call me crazy, but to me, it's still his birthday. He is too much of the reason I am who I am, and thus is ever-present in my heart. I miss him to an amount that hurts nearly everyday.

To a man never to be replaced in my life, the LORD alone has given me something worth counting my 'loss'. Himself. He would be the only One able to fill such a void. Let me assure you girls that He is always the 'more' that you need. Christ Himself, the Word that became flesh, the King of Kings, has become my gain. May I never be satisfied with nothing less than all of Him. He is It for me. The One who sustains my universe has stooped down, and allowed me to climb into the lap of the Father.

Psalm 119 "It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. Your hand made me and formed me...may those who fear You rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your Word."

Given to one Father by another dearly missed one...I have found Him to be my Life and Love.
A birthday...even if only in my heart.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The call for 'Elizabeth's'

Last night, I went to Carole and Rob's house for an evening composed of 6 kids, 5 adults, lots of wonderful food, and sweet fellowship. Once the company had left, I sat around with Carol, Rob, and their eldest Chris (going into the 7th grade). Their youngest, Blake, was passed out youngin' style on the sofa chair from a full day of serious play. I played with the boys - and looked like it! We sat around, talking and laughing, for another hour until midnight struck and I needed to scoot home. With Christopher making sure he didn't need to walk me out with an umbrella, and hugs from Rob and Carole, I made my way to the car. And as is the case for nearly every time I leave their house, I fought back tears the whole way home.

I don't think Carole (nor Rob) could fathom the depth of their impact upon my life. They don't realize that the moments little Blake serves me my bottle of water have the same touch upon me as the occasions when the two of them pray over me before I head out the door. I'm not sure they grasp the fact that Christopher's little magic card tricks touch the depths of my spiritual soul as much as the couch moments that Carole and I share when we are boasting (and crying) in the Lord together. But for this 24 year old post-college graduate that is a bit of a vagabond right now, they do.

My heart is aching for a trend that I see throughout my generation. We are lacking our 'Titus 2' women. His Word tells us that the "older women are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensitive, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."

Now hear me! I am not implying that these older godly women don't exist! I'm merely noticing the pattern of my generation (20 and 30 year old's) being disconnected from those women who are a generation ahead of them or so. I am sure there are a plethora of reasons we could validly say have had an impact on this. Maybe my younger generation has not stepped into the church enough to even be a presence that indirectly demands recognition. Maybe my younger generation is not brave enough to confess their desire (or need) for being discipled. Maybe my younger generation has allowed pride to rob them of the invaluable lessons that comes from a mentor. Or maybe the older generation has dually missed it. Maybe they think that our DVD Bible studies, online sermons, podcast teachings, and conference attendance gives us plenty of 'teaching,' and we would have no need for them. Maybe they think that we think they wouldn't be relevant, thus discrediting their knowledge and depth of insight.

Time and time again, one of the most confessed needs of my college sisters was their desire for a woman older then them to walk with them in life. They were not seeking a crutch, or someone to 'baby' them, but because they were so desperate for Jesus, they were hungry for the touch of one who has seen His face, and could come and teach them. Face in hands, eye to eye, to come to grips with the good and bad of one's spiritual heart.

Mary needed it. May I speak for my generation to let you know that we do too? The angel Gabriel lets the young teenager know that she would conceive the Most High son Jesus by the Spirit. (I wonder what in the world it must have been like to be her...I mean seriously - how did she explain this one to Joseph?). Yet before Gabriel departs, he leaves her with this timed word: Oh yea. Your relative Elizabeth, as old as she may be, is pregnant too in her 6th month. (paraphrasing). Mary then 'went in a hurry' to visit Elizabeth. And she does - for three months. Mustn't they have compared bellies during these three months? Mustn't they have sat somewhere feet propped up, talking and laughing and feeling the beginning kicks of their anointed children? Mustn't young Mary gleaned encouragement, strength, and courage from Elizabeth? I suspect Mary must have been a wide-eyed teenager overwhelmed with this new phase of life. No doubt the God of time divinely intersected the paths of these two women for a little mentoring, a little laughing, probably a lot of hormonal crying, and a lot of praising Jesus.

We are all a Mary. We are all Elizabeth's as well. I beg you you embrace your season of being a Mary, take heed to those your elder. Be brave enough to seek them out. Learn from them. Hear their hearts. Sit at their feet. And as we embrace our seasons of being an Elizabeth, trust Christ in you to be sufficient to lead the younger ones. Step out in faith, and go grab the younger one that wants you to think she has it all together; I can assure you she is longing for your wise touch.

May He be the reason 'what is good is taught,' so that the Word of God does not go dishonored (Titus 2:5). I hope that one day I can be the women of God that Carole is...for she is undoubtedly an 'Elizabeth.'

Monday, July 9, 2007

Just a few reasons why I love Him so

Okay! I've been tagged by my sweet Patty to answer the following questions. I am going to do my best to be anti-Shelly in completing it, which means I'll try to be brief!

Here are the rules:

1. those tagged will share 5 things they dig about Jesus…
2. those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers…
3. those tagged will post a comment here with their name and a link to their “dig” Jesus list…

1A - The fact that Christ died on the cross. As much as God is a forgiving and merciful God, He is also a God of justice and righteousness. We wouldn't want Him any other way! But because of the latter, He is a God of holy wrath. Thus, the death of Christ on the cross is something that God is marking deeper on my heart. Ladies, if we are not being reveled and shattered by the cross of Christ, we are missing it.
2A - That He is my Jehovah Jireh and Jehovah Mekoddishkem: He who provides and the One who sanctifies me respectively. These areas are ones where I continually realize my poverty (whether materially, spiritually, mentally, or emotionally), so this side of our LORD always overwhelms and humbles me. Because I am so lacking here, getting to know Him as this has been more than I could have ever believed.
3A - That He is stinking fun! I never have more fun than when I am having fun in Him; and with my siestas! He is NOT boring, nor is His Word!
4A - And speaking of, His Word is another thing I love about Him. Oh how I love it.
5A - And for a final thought on what I love about Christ, I'd have to say that I love how He is a jealous God who wants His glory to be made known. Consequently, He is watching over the affections of my heart and keeps me in line by His grace. It is a privilege to be on His journey.
6A - He's my boyfriend. What else can I say!??? I'm a drama queen that can be high maintenance, yet He still loves me! lol
7A - I'm His favorite :)

2. I tag Mandy, Abby, Anna, Kim, and Jenny

PS - ANYONE can leave their own comment about why they dig Jesus :) I just couldn't 'tag' everyone or I would allow blog world to become a time-consuming stronghold! lol...Forgive me!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Goat-training and sleep depravity

I went to a first-time babysitting job on Friday evening for a set of adorable 3 year old twins, and an 18 month old. I LOVE little ones, so this is nothing but fun for me. However, before my night even started, I realized that my three nights of insufficient sleep were taking their toll. On my way there, I was following the directions I had written down on a notepad. Guess what? Directions to Macon, GA will not get you to a neighborhood by the Atlanta zoo. But I sure tried! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I realized I was following the directions to Macon from last week's directional needs and NOT the 3rd page of my note pad's directions (which contained those to the sitter's house).

1) I also want to esteem all of you mothers out there. I now understand why you have trimmed biceps and triceps. Clearly, I had not eaten a sufficient amount of my Wheaties that day, for it was all I could do to hold one each on an arm. I looked like a struggling sumo wrestler. Another realization that I needed more sleep.

2) I also understand why you're all stick thin. I could not master the art of feeding the three of them, making sure the green beans went in their mouth and not their noses, and answering a plethora of 'why' questions in the process. I never even thought about the fact that I hadn't managed to feed my own self until about 10 pm that night. I was too tired to care by that point.

3) Guess what else? The 3 year olds diapers doesn't go on the 18 month old. If you do that, it will fall off.

4) The twins apparently had made covenant with one another to not cease talking when they were supposed to go to bed. So they didn't...For an hour, my sleep depravity left me making the poor choice and thought that if I kept walking up the stairs to make them mind me, they would hush. (I'm sure you mothers are laughing!).

Praise Jesus. He brought to 'remembrance all things.' (Yes - It says ALL!). Warning - you can laugh at what follows. I once trained a goat (yes - you heard me...a goat) at the Atlanta Zoo my junior year of college for an Experimental Applied Psychology class. It's quite a fascinating field in all honesty, and the practical things we learned are actually used in child behavior. SO, I remembered how I taught my beloved goat to bow (yes - if you go to the Atlanta Zoo and find a goat named Amani, he will bow for you on command). Now hear me! I'm NOT saying that children are like goats!!! But I remembered how to reinforce and not reinforce whatever behavior it was that I was desiring. Oh yes mam - they were silent within the next twenty minutes :) Jesus really CAN redeem ALL things. Even the embarrassing confession that you trained a goat in college.

5) On my way home, despite my being tired, my empty stomach took reign. Hmm...what do I want at midnight! Oh but of course - Arby's! Because who doesn't love curly fries at midnight!?? I placed my order, got my sandwich, and drove off WITHOUT my fries or drink :( (Did I mention that earlier in my day I drove up to my dry-cleaners, rolled down the window to hand her my clothing, and didn't have any of it with me. Yea...I looked real cool then too.)

In conclusion, I want all of you to know that I got lots of sleep Saturday night. I was scheduled to work a double 13 hour shift at work, and told Jesus that I just didn't have it in me. Wouldn't you just know it that we had an extra person for the evening shift who was able to take my place. Oh He is so good.

And so is my bowing goat :)

PS - If you haven't done so yet, I'd love for you to give a new blogger friend of mine a hello by this.

Overcoming blogging fears and embracing siesta land :)

Hey everyone!

I have a couple of things to bring to bloggityville, but first comes first! I've got exciting news! (Well - for me and Mandy at least!) Trust me, it will be for you too once you get to know her. Carole is a precious woman of God that has been a mentor, friend, and unspeakable blessing for me during my hears here in Atlanta. Mandy and I are putting together a blog her so she can take ownership of the siesta identity she has already owned but has been hidden beneath technology (i.e. - blogging!) fear! lol The idea came because we have been SOOOO blessed to join the blogging world.

We want her to experience the same blessing that you all have given us, so we’re setting it all up for her & she’ll find out about it on Tuesday!

If you can, stop by and leave her a quick comment!


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A bit of a speech problem

The men of Ephraim were called to arms, and they crossed to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, "Why did you cross over to fight against the Ammonites and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house over you with fire." And Jephthah said to them, "I and my people had a great dispute with the Ammonites, and when I called you, you did not save me from their hand. ...Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. And the men of Gilead struck Ephraim..And the Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, "Let me go over," the men of Gilead said to him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" When he said, "No," they said to him, "Then say Shibboleth," and he said, "Sibboleth," for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time 42,000 of the Ephraimites fell."

The Ephraimites were having a bit of a fit with the current judge of Israel, Jephthah. Jephthah had just finished leading his fellow Gileadites into a victorious battle against the Ammonites. The Ephraimites, wanting the plunder and spoil from the battle that the Gileadites had gained, were angry that they were not invited to join them. (Not exactly pure motivation here hum!).

Jephthah would not have this talk or behavior from the Ephraimites, and fights them in battle, overtaking the fords at the Jordan. (Now, I will refrain from making the judgment call about whether Jephthah's actions against the Ephraimites were too severe or not.) However, when any Ephraimites tried to disguise the fact that he was an Ephraimite and escape as a fugitive across the Jordan, the Gileadites called them to a test of pronunciation. An Ephraimite could not say "Shibboleth," due to their own language dialect, and pronounced it as "Sibboleth" instead. One letter off and an Ephraimite was discovered to be who he truly was. The result was death.

I have not been able to stop saying "Shibboleth" and "Sibboleth" in my head this past week. (You want to talk about feeling even more weird in Jesus than I already do - try having these words repeating in your head without asking your permission if it was okay for them to land there in your subconscious for days on end.) Go ahead - say them out loud a few times.

All I have been able to think about is the hissing sound made in the latter word. This has thus turned my thoughts toward Satan, our cunning serpent and deceiver. He hisses lies, and twists the truth just so to make you actually believe it to be the truth. He comes to you as an Ephraimite (so to speak), trying to cross over to your God-possessed land that you worked hard to attain in battle, and wants to step into it! He wants to take back the plunder of fruit that you have born as you've been victorious in Christ. It is to your Father's glory that you bear much fruit sister! And your enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy. He's jealous and he's downright mad. He wants access to your land, and it is not going to be pretty when he comes prancing in as a fugitive on the run to wreak havoc.

Would you try asking him to a test of pronunciation? (Now hear me, the enemy knows Scripture; I'm speaking more theoretically here - not literally!)

May I call you to authenticity before the Lord for a moment? I have had to ask the Lord to show me my 'Sibboleth's' (if you will). There were some areas where I had allowed some hissing to take place in my thought life; the enemy had twisted the truth just so to keep it initially subtle, but nonetheless, be a flat out lie when compared to the Truth of His Word. My "Sibboleth" sounded like, and even really looked like, my "Shibboleth."

Let me give some practical hissing occurrences for you:
1) I believe God's best for me.
I've settled in 'this' particular area. (I thought I was fully trusting the Lord, but when I really let the light of His Word search my heart, I realized maybe I'd started giving heed to the hisses of the enemy, and started believing some lies rooted in fear, thus settling.)
2) I believe God has more for me than my mind has ever conceived.
I've settled in my life of ministry for what I do well and am competent in. (When I cease actively walking in something that is beyond my own capacity to do for Him, I am probably not walking where I should be. He is a big God that demands big faith because He demands His endless glory to be made known. If I am not receiving the dreams He has for me that scare me half to death, then I am possibly walking in the pitiful limited dimensions of my flesh, and have ceased believing Him for the 'MORE' that He already is).

Beloved, you have been given the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). Cease allowing the hisses of his lies define your present reality. The ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9) is alive and active, seeking whom he may devour. I beg you to take your thought-life and heart to the Lord, and allow the touch of His nail-scarred hand to draw forth any areas where you have allowed the poisonous venom of a hiss to taint the Truth that He has promised to be alive and active in you - if you will allow it.

Call the enemy out sister. Call his stinking self out. Oh I pray you get as mad at him as I have been. He will not come pretending to be truth in my life (as a disguised Ephraimite did with the Gileadite) for I am going to call him bluff when I compare Him against Christ Himself - the Word that became flesh. And for this one, I will make the judgment call about the severity of the punishment upon discovering him not to be real. Indeed and without arguing, you need to slaughter those pretentious thoughts and acknowledge them as death, that the alive and active Word may reign upon your heart. Tread upon him until it becomes death to you. He is nothing but a hissing venomous fake, and I am frankly tired of his old games. Care to join me in calling him out???

Dare your enemy to say a 'Shibboleth' to you...I bet if you listen closely, it doesn't come out as pure Truth.
If the Lord so speaks, and you're brave enough to do so, let's confess them as we post comments. What twisted truth or lie have you been allowing him to hiss at you? Make sure you replace it with a reference of biblical Truth. I love you dear siesta. I call you to the hard stuff only because He has first called me to it...and I want as much of Him for myself as I do for you.

Monday, July 2, 2007


Y'all. My Boston best girlfriend Mandy had a humorous song linked on her worship blog tonight. Check it out here. Just click to play. It totally made me laugh.

(Disclaimer: I know the 'yah' does not mean Lord, since it's not Hebrew, but it still made me laugh)

PS - I promise I've got a rhema coming soon; Jesus has just been dealing with it in my own heart first (which can take some time in between blog posts). And I make it a point to never write something to you that He has not worked through and through with me first. It just would not be fair in siesta land!

I love you girls! (And I can officially say, 'guys' now too! I've got a few braves souls out there!) :)