Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday, May 05, 2013


I've lived in sunny San Diego now for 1 year, 8 months and 20ish days...and it wasn't until just a few weeks ago, when my dear friend Meg came to visit, that I finally rode the old roller coaster down at mission beach. This is hard to believe due to my love of the beach, roller coasters and screaming/laughing hysterically on said roller coasters! Perhaps I waited because the roller coaster looked old and rickety or because I thought it would cost too much money or because I didn't have anyone to ride with me...all lame excuses that kept me from experiencing the thrill of the Giant Dipper. Let me tell you, this roller coaster caught me extremely off guard. I mean I was expecting a nice laid back ride. I even planned on having my hands in the air the entire time...yeah right. By the end I was gripping onto my phone and lap bar for dear life, screaming my brains out! (If you live in Seattle and are reading is definitely worth the $8 ticket price and we will be riding it when you come and visit!)

My favorite part has to be the pics you see below. At the top of the roller coaster there is a magnificent view of the beach and of course I risked my life to try and capture the moment...unfortunately, I was rushed and the sun was preventing me from seeing the phone clearly, so I ended up with pics of meg and I, rather than the scenery below! Too funny...I guess I'll just have to ride it again :)

love meg's expression...sheer joy!

we survived!

I love surprises. I love when you have an idea in your head of what you think something will be like...or how it will go...or maybe no thought about it at all and then "bam!" suddenly you're taken by surprise, knocked off your feet, blindsided. Of course, it's always nice when its a "good" surprise...something that brings you more joy than you though possible in that moment in time. 

Life has been filled with good surprises recently...blessings that I know are gifts from God. 

"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him." Matt 7:10 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

When we pray, we are aligning ourselves with God's purposes, we are asking for his provision...for our basic needs to be met. We pray for the desires of our heart to align with God's plan...for him to use us in his unfolding redemptive make us fit for service in his kingdom. God knows exactly what we need to accomplish his purposes and he will not withhold good gifts from his children who seek him and his will. What a comfort and peace to know that the God of the universe knows me intimately and that he is shaping the desires of my heart to conform with his and that he is continuously blessing me beyond my imagination with a job I love, Christian community, encouraging friendships, a warm and inviting house and nearby beach...along with the continual transformation of my own character as he molds and shapes me in his image to bring him glory.

With gratitude I offer my life back to him as an act of worship; an attempt to bring him glory, proclaiming his good name and works...pointing others to him. I am to live good gifts to those around me: my students, roommates, friends, family, and church body. 

"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality." Romans 12:9-13

Lord, help me to seek you and your purposes first; to ask for great things to be done in your name. Continue to surprise me with your love, joy and hope that comes from knowing and following your will. May my faith increase because of your generosity and faithfulness and may I continue to share your love to bless those you place in my life. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I love saturday mornings...
waking up to the sun shining through my window
sipping coffee and reading in my cozy bed
breakfast outside on the patio
and sometimes going back to bed for a mid-morning nap

It's the one day of the week that I don't feel guilty for being lazy with no set agenda, 
just resting after a long week of work and craziness.


Something worth sharing....

"Women are their own worst beauty critics," Dove says. "Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful...we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see."

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius

How do we define beauty...

: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing 
that gives pleasure to the senses or 
pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit : loveliness
: a particularly graceful, ornamental or excellent quality

Beauty is such a difficult word to define. We all have different perceptions of what is beautiful. Sure, the pop culture version of physical beauty is splashed all over TV, magazines, and the internet, but then most people would refer to another beauty that stems from a person's character and spirit, rather than physical appearance. Unfortunately, women feel tremendous pressure to present themselves as physically attractive and focus so much time, energy and money on their outward appearance. I am just as guilty of this as the next woman. 

Natural beauty takes at least two hours in front of a mirror - Pamela Anderson

While I disagree with Pamela Anderson's thoughts on natural beauty, I can't help but feel convicted by the amount of time that I spend thinking about the way I look and how others perceive me based on my appearance. When I stop and reflect on why I am concerned with my appearance it usually comes back to desiring the approval of others. What's ironic is that I feel ugly just confessing that sinful motivation. Focusing on outward appearance and "put-togetherness" as I like to call it, can be a huge distraction from true beauty that comes from knowing God and reflecting his character. My first and foremost concern should be God's approval...not something I have to earn, but something I can rest in knowing that he loves and accepts me as I am, and is constantly calling and enabling me to a higher standard of living and character that ultimately reflects his love and beauty...a beauty of the spirit that is much more attractive than any dress, hairstyle or body. 

"Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair 
and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear- 
but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart 
with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit
which in God's sight is very precious." - 1 Peter 3:3-4

The "hidden person of the heart" is imperishable and worth focusing my time and energy on. When I think of the reasons I want someone to be attracted to me, it isn't my outward beauty, but my character and desire to love and serve God and others. These past few months I've been intentionally meditating on scripture to help align my attention and desires regarding beauty and character with God's Word. 

"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, 
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
-Proverbs 31:30

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away,
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
-2 Cor 4:16

Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
-Ps 34:5

"Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come."
-Proverbs 31:25

"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, the but the Lord looks on the heart.'"
-1 Sam 16:7

Lord, help me to see myself and others as you see look on the heart, not on our outward appearance. I don't want to be distracted by the idol of performance and approval of others, help me to focus on you and the inward transformation that comes from knowing and obeying your word. Cultivate within me an inner beauty that radiates your character...your generosity, peace, patience, love and humility.  

Monday, April 01, 2013


Sometimes it's easy to forget who we are...I'm thankful that this blog is here as a reminder of who I am; the experiences that have brought me to this point in my life and the hope of being transformed into someone even more faithful and glorious by God's grace.

Tonight marks the end of spring break. It's been...
  • emotional...heartache and tears, disappointment and anger, hopeful and expectant
  • joyful...celebrating the new life of Levi West! and new life in Christ with baptism!
  • exhausting...swimming, running, yoga, biking, hiking
  • adventurous...learning to sail!
  • community...parents visit, teaching a friend to bike ride, discipleship, Easter baptism and dinner 
Tomorrow I'm praying for patience, creativity, energy and joy as I jump back into my last two months of teaching this school year. I'm expectant that God will continue to provide what I need exactly when I need it so that I can glorify him and continue to be his hands and feet in my vocation, home and community. I realize everyday how much more I need of him and less I need of me...

Monday, March 25, 2013

This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, The God who summons horses and chariots and armies— they lie down and then can't get up; they're snuffed out like so many candles:

 "Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it? There it is! I'm making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.

Wild animals will say 'Thank you!' —the coyotes and the buzzards— Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth, Drinking water for the people I chose, the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me. (Isaiah 43:16-21 MSG)

Last night at the evening service, Ryan talked about Jesus as the living water. He taught from Jesus' interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well and his offer to her of living water. We thirst for something greater than this world can offer.

  • I thirst for a full life that finds it's fulfillment in carrying out God's plan to bring people to expand his kingdom here on earth; to tell people of his glory and love. 
  • I thirst for the water that fills my soul, brings me peace, contentment and love. 
  • I thirst to be used for his glory and purposes; seeing the fruit of obedience in my life and those around me. 
  • I thirst to become more like Christ, reflecting his character and glory to the world through my words, attitudes, and works. I long to be more like love more fully, generously and unselfishly. 
I know that God is doing a work in me...I believe that he is able to carry out the transformative work that I so desperately need and that he first started when I put my trust in him. God fill me with your spirit, transform and shape me into the daughter that you have created me to be. I want to overflow with the water that comes from knowing you and your word, that it may spill out of my life and feed into those around me, ultimately bringing the glory you so desperately deserve.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Post I forgot to post...from December

So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. James 1:16-18 (msg)

"As the sun is the same in nature and influences, through the earth and clouds, often coming between, make it seem to us to vary, so God is unchangeable, and our changes and shadows are not from any changes or alterations in him. what the sun is in nature, God is in grace, providence, and glory; and infinitely more. As every good gift is from God, so particularly our being born again, and all its holy, happy consequences come from him. A true Christian becomes as different a person from what he was before the renewing influences of Divine grace, as if he were formed over again. We should devote all our faculties to God's service, that we may be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures." Tozer

God knows exactly what we need

My friend Malia reminded me recently that it has been too long since I have updated my blog. I have to agree. The last post was from September 1st...almost 6 months ago. Some seasons of life are busier than others and sometimes we need to rest from certain activities. While a blog is a good way for friends and family to keep up to date on your life, I find that I enjoy taking the time to reflect and process my thoughts through writing. This week I have a bit of extra time due to basketball season ending a  4 day vacation from week, in California...kind of funny to me :) so I thought I would put down some thoughts

The past six months have been good, but tiring...I'm ready for a new season to start.
Some highlights:

  • I became an official member of my church, The Resolved, after participating in an eight week long membership class 
  • Blessed to be the girls varsity assistant basketball coach at school! Spent hours with the girls developing basketball skills and making fun rides, tournament in Vegas, team dinners...we just finished the season and made it to the first round of playoffs! 
  • Trips home at both Thanksgiving and Christmas to visit family and friends...definitely need these times to make the distance more tolerable :)
  • Continue to be challenged in my teaching job - how to challenge my students to grow spiritually and academically
  • Blessed to be dating a man that I admire and respect because of his faith and love for the Lord
  • Thankful for my church community that I meet with on a weekly basis that encourages me to live out my faith in a way that brings glory to God.
Some members of my community group started a two year Bible reading plan this January and I decided to give it a shot...I mean I usually make it through Genesis, but then fall behind to the point of despair and just give up altogether. However, this time it's different. I have a greater appreciation and hunger for reading God's word as a source of life and truth and I'm committed to the plan with others. This week I spent time catching up on Exodus and was convicted of my lack of discipline...not only in my spiritual life, but in my personal/work life as well. I desire to be a disciplined person who devises, commits and follows through...this Bible reading plan is one way in which God can help develop this attribute in me. 

As I was reading in Exodus today, I was reminded that God knows exactly what we need and has plans to provide and care for us...that we don't need to try and devise our own plans. Moses had gone up Mt. Sinai to meet with God and during those 40 days God described to him the plans for the Tabernacle, which would be a dwelling place for Him among the Israelites; a tangible way for the people to see that He is their God and is with them. However, 40 days is a long time to wait. The Israelites grew restless and asked Aaron to provide tangible gods to be worshipped. They gathered gold and shaped it into a calf that they could physically see and identify with and then gave this idol the glory for delivering them out of Egypt...sounds silly and faithless, especially considering that at the same time God was revealing intricate and ornate plans to make his own dwelling place among them to Moses. God knew that the Israelites needed a physical representation of his presence and had plans to provide just what they needed, but their lack of discipline, patience and belief led them astray to make and worship their own devices.  

God knows best; he has plans to provide for us, to protect us and shape us into a people that carry out his purposes to reveal his glory. I desire to believe this more, to be patient in the times of waiting as God reveals his plan; to trust him more...that he will provide just what I need, when I need it.


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