Monday, December 28, 2009

firstborn vs girly-girl

I'm alive. Barely.
Though I'm not sure anyone ever reads these ramblings of mine.
If you do, and have been worried about my silent state over the past week or so, I am dreadfully sorry. You see I have been deathly ill, or pretty near to it. I also may or may not have a flair for the dramatic, and in plain speech I have been sick, very sick.
Though hopefully this evening marks a turn for the better, and I do believe that my dear mother is making chicken noodle soup which should speed the healing process along.
I have learned some things through this terrible flu, (and I'm not even going to mention the word 'swine' *shudders*), of course I'm always learning, and take it upon myself to share with you these life lessons. Although I do believe that I write more for myself than anyone else.

Whenever you are sick you seem to have loads of time on your hands, with nothing to do but think. Of course alot of the time I was too miserable to think, but I did have one or two thoughts.

First; that I have a split personality. I'm not talking about a mental thing, or a bipolar whatever. Let me explain........One part of my personality likes to be in control. Is responsible, can take charge, is independent, not afraid. Remains calm and cool under pressure, and likes taking risks, adventurous. I call this my firstborn-leader-take charge personality.
The other part of my personality I call my girly-girl personality. This one comes out in alot of different situations, but mostly when I'm unsure, scared or with certain people. I'm a little timid, quiet, more than willing to let someone else make ALL the decisions and be 'in charge.' I enjoy being 'taken care of' and protected. Being alone is a fear, and not knowing who to trust scares me. I don't let people see this side of me very often, which isn't always a good thing I think. Working on it.

Second; I have always thought that I like being left alone when I was sick. This is not true! It sucks, and I will gladly accept any help from now on :)

Third; I have the best friend's in the whole world, and I miss them. I'm going stir crazy! I need OUT!!! *sigh* I don't like being cooped up.....though I couldn't go anywhere right now if I wanted - feeling and looking like death prevent me from doing such things.

Thats about it, and it probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense due to the fact that my train of thought isn't flowing properly and my memory has gaps in it.....(hint; please don't use anything I may have done or said in the past 3 days against me!!)

be free
~noel~

Monday, December 21, 2009

{soli deo gloria}




For God's Glory Alone

Can you know something is the truth, and not believe it at the same time?

Belief is an action. Not a feeling, or a thought. What you believe is what you live out in your day to day life.

I am;

Struggling.

Reaching.

Striving.

Searching.

Wanting.

Waiting.

Trying. . . . . . Trying to be more than what I can be. The constant battle to push my'self' out, and fill that emptiness with Christ.

Where is the balance between; A) Giving up, because the task 'to be like Christ' is impossible. B) Becoming self righteousness and legalistic, forgetting about grace. C) Being 'satisfied' with how far you've come, pride basically. Or D) Focusing so much on 'fixing' yourself that you're scared to help other people, or witness, because you might do it wrong.

I confess that I swing between A and C. Quite a big swing actually, I find myself asking God to just take me home, cause I'm tired of trying, and heaven would just be easier. Than I look back to what I was like few years ago and start feeling good about myself, and how much I have grown.

Notice all of the "I's"???

Those are my root 'issues'......Stubborn, selfish, pride. Could they be any bigger? *rolls eyes*

If only I could somehow control my body/actions/words with a 5 min delay, or a 5 day delay. If I could just think through everything I did, than I could get it right more. But than I wouldn't need God as much.

Note to self; ANYTHING GOOD/RIGHT/HOLY/ACCEPTABLE/PURE/WISE/TRUTH that comes of out of you - Noel, is of GOD. period.

Had a revelation; (this is what I call those 'aha!' moments when God lets me see through His eyes for a little bit, and I actually 'get' it, what He is trying to show my dense self)
Did you know that God is not this huge judge sitting on a throne way above everyone just waiting to point out each and every little wrong thing we do? Its true!

I was sitting there thinking about all the things I have done wrong, and just expected this feeling of guilt and shame......but it never came. Instead I just had this overwhelming sense of love. That yes I have sinned, but God still loves me. And when He looks at me he doesn't see all of the bad things I have done, but rather through the blood of Jesus; clean, pure, holy.

Why? This blows my mind! How can I even begin to understand it......Tis impossible.
And yet, understanding is not the same as believing. And I truly believe that God loves me, so much!

In conclusion I shall share a quote that Megan and I wrote together;
Life is drama
Drama is what makes life not boring. What makes life not boring is also what makes it stressful.

be free
~noel~

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

UN-failing love.

my heart is heavy.
thoughts spinning, climbing, weaving, whirling, plunging, going everywhere about everything.
I wish.
I don't know what I wish.
I don't know what I want
I don't know who I am.
I don't know who I am supposed to be.
I don't know where I am supposed to go.
what I am supposed to be doing.
thinking.
saying.
feeling.
hoping.

Trust.
what does that mean?
I use this so tritely.
I am holding onto my life with a death grip, my knuckles are white. I can feel it.
I'm not sure I can let go. I keep trying. Its not working.
words. all words.
words mean NOTHING.
actions being EVERYTHING.
Oh God.....
my heart is like stone. but still beating. still feeling. still wanting something more. more than life, more than little pieces of happiness strewn across a desert of heartbreak.
why doesn't my heart break for the things that break God's heart?
my selfishness and pride.
so many lost. hurting. needy. outcast. oppressed. sick. captive. deserted. confused. broken. dying.
yet, I can sit here with tears running down my face, and still in another hour or so I'll be right back where I started.
I. AM. NEEDY.
I. am. hurting.
I am confused.
I am dying.
I am taken captive.
I am broken.

God sees beauty in my brokenness.

Less of me. More of You, oh GOD!

The answer; to love and be loved by God alone.
This IS The Truth. Veritas. Amen.

broken before the Lord,
~noel~

Beauty for ashes
A garment of praise
For my heaviness
Beauty for ashes
Take this heart of stone
And make it Yours
Trading all that I have for all that is better
(beauty for ashes)

Lord I want to yearn for You
I want to burn with passion
Over You
And only You
Lord I want to yearn
Oh You give life and breath
Through Him You give all things
In Him we live and move
That's why I sing
(yearn)

Use me, break me, waste me on
You, Lord
Ruin me, take me, waste me on You
For to die is to live
To starve is to feast
And less of me is more of Jesus
Lord, I want it all
If I loose my life
I gain everything
(I want it all)

I've tried more of me
And I've come up dry
Trading You for things
Things that go away
My happiness is found in less
Of me and more of You
I have found the answer is
To love and be loved by You alone
You crucify me and the world to me
And I will only boast in You
I'm so satisfied
At the thought of You
Growing up in me
Covering everything
You are loved by me
(the answer)

How long, O Lord
Will You forget me?
How long, O Lord, will you hide?
Hide Your face from me
How long must I wrestle with me
And everyday have sorrow in my heart
I will wait on You
I will wait on You
I will wait on You
For I will trust in Your unfailing love
My heart rejoices in Your salvation
I will sing to the Lord
For He has been good to me
(Psalm 13)

-Shane and Shane

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

adding to the noise

'My Soul waits in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him.'
-Psalms 62:5



Waits. Silence. God only. Hope.



Waits.

I have a problem with waiting; I don't like it. period. I like action, I want to do something. Say something. Or move on. Just sitting, doing nothing, is NOT my personality. at all. I give something 5 minutes, than move on to the next thing. Or at least do something ELSE while I'm waiting....But, just in case you haven't figured it out, God does NOT work that way.


Silence.

If I have a hard time waiting, silence is even harder for me. First of all, I'm a girl and because of that I'm ALWAYS thinking, about something. Seriously, its annoying sometimes! I want to turn off my brain somehow, make it stop going around and around in circles......
That whole 'be still and know' thing gets me every time, I purpose to sit down and give God my undivided attention......but somehow unless I'm actually reading the Bible, or praying, I find it hard to clear my mind and focus on God for a long time. Something I need to work on.



God only.

So powerful. Just think about it; GOD. ONLY.
To use Dr.Tackett's example; I see my life as a box, and I put God outside of that box. I say He is the ONLY God, which is true, but I don't show that in my actions. I don't treat Him like my best friend, or Father, or bridegroom, or even Savior. I do not involve Him in the everyday routines of my life, only when I'm in trouble or happen to think about something I 'need'. Every time I think about this I feel so stupid. How can I treat Someone, who has given me everything, like nothing??



Hope.

In my opinion, HOPE is one of the most powerful words in the English language. It is a small word, but can mean so many things. One of my favorite things is that it almost always implies something positive, if you have hope you have something to look forward and hold on to. Hope is hard to explain, it is not feeling or even really an action. It is somewhere in the middle. Hope pulls us forward. The power of hope is about change, something better that is in front of us.


This verse has been continually coming to mind for the past few weeks, and these are some thoughts I had.
I was worrying about something the other day and heard God whisper to my heart; "Trust, sweetheart. I love you more than you could ever imagine, and the plan I have for you is going to blow you mind."
How great is the LOVE of the Father!
And how beautiful is a broken heart in the sight of Him who loves me.

be free - be broken - be trusting -be hopeful - be silent -be loved (beloved)
~noel~

Sunday, November 29, 2009

God's Box

Why do I try to put limitations on God????


Why do I put God in a box and say, 'This is what You can and can not do' ????


So stupid. ignorant. retarded. insane. untrue. messed up. wrong.



I can not comprehend how BIG God is, but so many times I don't even give God credit for what I KNOW He can do, much less all that He CAN do.

I do this all the time, but most recently when I started praying about going back to Africa next year. Get this; I TOLD God that if I had at least $300 (of the $500) deposit by January than I would take that as a sign that He wanted me to go.
Well, at the end of November I had the whole $500 deposit......yeah. My God IS that big.

This has just prompted me to dream big, and have ridiculous goals, starting with the Africa trip next year. I'm going to try to go on BOTH, GAH! I'm so excited, my 'brain' keeps telling me to not expect it to happen and not get my hopes up. BUT I serve a MIGHTY God, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, I KNOW that IF this is His will, it WILL happen!!!

so awed and amazed by how big my God is.....

be free
~noel~

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Asante Sana Mungu

I am thankful for so many things it really is impossible to write them all down, its probably impossible to even think of them all. But I'm going to give it a shot......

_God (duh, but it has to be said!!! Actually, there should be a separate list for all the stuff about God because I could go on for hours......)
_Family (I could go on about this for a while too, but I'll just say; 'Mom, Dad, Rachel, Hope, Noah, Miykah, Eli, Daniel, Samuel, Gabriel, and Trinity...I LOVE you all SOOOO much, and am so grateful to be part of this family!!)
_Friends.....there really are not words for how blessed I am to have you all in my life, and I'm not even going to try and name them all, but I love you and yeah, thanks for letting me be in your lives :)
_Freedom
_Hope
_Church Family
_Hard Times
_Africa
_Memories
_Music
_God's Creation; Mountains, Beach, Sunsets, Hills, Fields, Dogs, Rain, Thunderstorms, Sunshine, Moon and Stars
_Joy
_Guitar
_Kids :)
_Yellow
_Running
_Basketball
_Starbucks.....COFFEE!!!

_Technology = phones, computers, cameras, internet, facebook *gasp*, ipod, etc.
_Lecrae
_You Grow
_Fish Club, Bible Club, Mission Day...
_Singing
_Airplanes......haha
_Words
_Forgiveness and second chances
_Love
_Basketball


be free
~noel~

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

(yearn)

tears fall.
searching. for words to say
thoughts. strangely empty
mind. numb, unfeeling
heart. hurt. bruised and broken. shattered, but still beating.

Longing for home, my real home. heaven. oh happy day.......

Outpouring of emotion.
Desperate plea; 'Oh God, take me as You find me. Heal me from the inside out. Crush me. Try me. Use me. Fill me. Break through these walls. Bring me low.'

Tired of being 'me'; sinful. selfish. lazy. unkind. shallow. judgemental. prideful. worldly. stupid.

To say that I need Jesus seems inadequate. But I can't seem to find another word.......

*want *covet *desperate *longing * essential *desire *crave *necessity *hunger *require *yearn *thirst *imperative

(me without Jesus --*destitute *void *drought *inadequacy *empty *lost *dying *dry *poor *homeless *damned)

Out of all those the one that 'clicked' with me was 'YEARN'.

-shows the depth and passion of the desire
-implies a wholehearted desire for something that seems unattainable
-restless or insistent craving to fulfil some urge or desire
-physical or emotional suffering as a result of the apparent hopelessness of one's desire

Jesus, I yearn for You

~noel~


Sunday, November 22, 2009

~monday~

dum-Dum-DUUUUUUUUUM.............

Monday is by far the most interesting/crazy/LOOOOOONG/tiring/emotional/A-mazing/AHHHHHHH/yeah -- day of the week.

Mission Day - Western Hills Church
40 Student missionaries
9 1/2 hrs, 1 day a week

It starts at 6am (such an insane hour!) when I get out of bed and have my quiet time. Even though spending time with the Lord makes me get up earlier, and I'm technically serving God all day, if I don't have this time than my day is NOT good. I've learned this the hard way.

I arrive at the church at 7:30 am, and stay there for 13 hrs.......very very very long hours, but SO worth it!
In the morning we (the team's, 4 in all) have team meeting's and prepare for Character First. My favorite part of the morning is when we practice singing together, its amazing. I always leave with a smile on my face.

Next is Fish Club, there are 4 people on my team, (my Dad, Mr. Werner, Mrs. Sauer, and Nick). We go to Santa Fe South Middle School, and host a club for Christian kids. They come and pray for their friends, then once a month they invite them to Club and we share the gospel.
I have already been able to build relationships with two girls, and am looking forward to making many more.
Last Friday the Fish Club hosted a cookout for the entire school. It was so much fun! We served lunch to over 300 kids, did a skit about a modern day Good Samaritan (a kid was beaten up by 3 girl bullies, and had an asthma attack hehe, it was pretty funny), and shared the gospel. I sat down and started talking to five 6th grade girls, and they asked me about Fish Club, I told them it was a club where Christian kids came and prayed for their friends to know Jesus. One of the girls asked me what a Christian was......well, that was the perfect opening and I got to share with all of them for about ten minutes. All of them acted interested, so I gave them phone number and email, and I'm praying :). I am so excited about what God is doing through me and everyone else!!

After lunch we have another team meeting for Bible Club, which is probably my favorite part of Mission Day, I'm not going to lie :). I think it is because I can actually SEE the impact I'm making on kid's lives, I KNOW that I'm making a difference.
Bible Club is an after school program started by NOVO Ministries.
There is 16 people at my Bible Club, at Lee Elementary. It starts at 3:00 pm and goes until 4:30pm. I love all 75(ish) of our kids! Well, I love kids in general, but these are special! These are the ones God has placed in my 'mission field', the ones I have the privilege of showing Jesus' love to.

After all this I come back to the church exhausted! But its not over.....we have one more meeting about the plan next week, and than we have about 45 min (if we're lucky) to eat a little bit and get ready for.....

You Grow starts at 6pm, and is A-mazing. Every single week I am so refreshed, challenged, encourage, drained, awed, overwhelmed, convicted, and so much more. Right now we're going through the Truth Project, my third time....but somehow I usually always learn something new each time, God is pretty amazing like that :). I'm not sure I ever experienced worship for real until I started going to You Grow. It has stretched my thoughts about worship to places I couldn't even imagine.

So....that is my Monday, every Monday. And I LOVE it, usually. I can't think of anything else I would rather be doing than what I do on Monday's; serving-loving-crying-encouraging-witnessing-discipleling-laughing-worshiping-learning-teaching-smiling----- LIFE CHANGING-----

be free
~noel~


You live among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragdedy for me to turn away
All my needs You have supplied
When I was dead You gave me life
How could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow You into the homes that are broken
Follow You into the world
Meet the needs of the poor and the needy, God
Follow You into the world

Use my hands, use my feet
To make Your kingdom come
To the corners of the earth
Until Your work is done
'Cause faith without works is dead
And on the cross Your blood was shed
So how could I not give it away so freely?

I give all myself
Yes, I give all myself
I give all myself......to You

-Follow You, Leeland

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why not?

I have been asking God 'WHY?' so much in the past few weeks, I know that everyone does it, I've done it my whole life.
Why this, why that, why do bad things happen to good people, why is the grass green, why is the sky blue, why oh why do I do what I do.
But recently I've been whining alot, just a heartfelt cry to God; 'WHY is this happening? Why is this your plan? Why me? Is this really You?'

Anyways, yesterday God showed me something about this........something that I really fought and struggled with, I did NOT want to see through His eyes, I was enjoying my little pity party.
I just felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me; 'Well, why not?'
Those three words shook me to the core, I had nothing to say, nothing to think, nothing I am.
I knew right away what I should be asking myself when life isn't perfect;
'Well, why not Mirage Noel Boyd? You don't deserve any special treatment. In fact you are only where you are, (alive, healthy, wonderful family, amazing friends and church family, working with kids, lacking NOTHING), because of the grace of God, His love for you, and the blood of His Son, Jesus.'
Yeah, I felt smaller than a speck of dirt.......so humbled and amazed and awed, no words, none. Just the worship of a broken heart, with all my pride and selfishness on the floor.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But there's more....
Seriously, I was like really God? Really? I don't know how much more I can handle right now. Yet, God knows.
I just realized that I had been taking Him for granted, especially the last week or so. I would be feeling depressed or sad or overwhelmed and immediately be like, 'Oh God, I need You.' And expect an instant band aid. I want Him to take away the pain and give me instant peace at the touch of a button, or just by saying His name.
When I should come into the presence of the Almighty God with fear and trembling, speechless because of His love, mercy and grace.
I was taking the power of the All-Powerful God lightly, how does that happen? I felt so stupid. Just the fact that I can talk to Him like my best friend is a miracle, yet I treat it like its not a big deal, or its something that I have a right to.

After all that I felt the arms of my Abba Father wrapping around me healing my broken heart, and erasing the hurt of yesterday. I'm getting chills just thinking about it.......

HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE OF THE FATHER!!!!!

be free
~noel~


Words fall like drops of rain
My lips are like clouds
I say so many things
Trying to figure You out
But as mercy opens my eyes
My words are stolen away
With this breathtaking view of Your grace

And I'm speechless, I'm astonished and amazed
I'm silenced by Your wondrous grace
You have saved me
You have raised me from the grave
And I'm speechless in Your presence now
I'm astounded as I consider how
You have shown us
A love that leaves us speechless

So what kind of love could this be
That would trade Heaven's throne for a cross
And to think that You still celebrate
Over finding just one who was lost
And to know You rejoice over us
The God of this whole universe
It's a story that's too great for words

Oh, how great is the love
The Father has lavished on us
That we should be called
The sons and daughter's of God

We are speechless, so amazed
We stand in awe of Your grace
We stand in awe of Your mercy
We stand in awe of Your love
You have saved us from the grave
We are speechless

I am speechless

-Speechless, Steven Curtis Chapman



Sunday, November 8, 2009

Texas


I am an Oklahoman er, woman....whatever.


What I mean is that I love my home state, always have, always will. I love the smallness, the crazy weather, amazing thunderstorms, good people, and of course the fact that my church, and most of my friends and family live there.


BUT........


I have a small part of my heart that belongs to Texas......shocking I know (now I see who loves me unconditionally :P)


Besides the fact that I was born here (there, I'm in Texas now lol), and lived the first seven years of my life, there is just something special about this state.


I'm not talking about the ego, which is EVERYWHERE;


'Don't mess with Texas'


'Texas; its like a whole 'nother country'


and my personal favorite.......


'Everything is bigger in Texas'. (including cowboy hats, belt buckles and trucks.....yet, smaller jeans for some reason...but I'm stereotyping, which usually gets me in trouble).


I think its the people, it might be the accents (I've always secretly wanted to be a southern belle hehe), and it probably has a little something to do with the stores....


You go into a restaurant, named appropriately; The Cotton Patch, and the hostess greets you as if you're famous, asking what you prefer and how your day was. The waitress, Ashley (who probably came right from a Miss Rodeo contest, red curly hair and all), treats you like family complete with, 'I'll have that riiiight out for ya honey' and 'Ya'll have a nice day now'.




I ran an errand for my uncle, I admit that the traffic here scares me, and every time I drive I freak out a little.......but I was doing fine, until the construction. I'm not sure how it happened, but I somehow got stranded in the middle of the intersection, blocking two lanes, one coming the other way. Yet, no one honked or made gestures.....I'm pretty sure they were just smiling, or it may have been laughing, but I didn't really care. Everyone stopped until I figured out what I was doing, I smiled and acted like I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn't :P (my aunt was like, 'cute goes a long way here...' whatever lol). But everyone was so nice, and when I got lost the next two times, people were just as nice as I went the wrong way and pulled out in front of them.


Where cab drivers wear cowboy hats, and an Asian man can dress like Will Rogers. Rhinestones are on everything, country music is played everywhere, and there are more trucks than SUV's.


I have laughed alot;

In line at Stein mart; lady 1, 'are these earrings too big?', lady 2, 'honey, we're from Texas, nothings too big.'

At how it goes below 60 deg. and everyone starts freaking out and pulling out their scarves, gloves, and coats.

These older couples at Barnes & Nobles who were making fun of Texas Tech, with their Texas Longhorn shirts on......I laughed HA!

So in conclusion, I love Texas; the state. The people are nice, except for the obnoxious ones......(but I can dish it out, if I want lol), and the weather is beautiful.

be free
~noel~

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

'Oh for grace to trust Him more'

My life has this strange habit of completely throwing me off balance every once in a while. This earth shaking usually happens just when I think my life is happiest, I feel like everything is great and think I am having the most fun.

I, by no means, have 'it' all figured out, but I think that God chooses to rock my world just when I think I am doing fine by myself and have everything under control.

HA! Such a lie.....

Can I just take a few minutes to say how disgusted I am with mySELF?? And that I really don't understand how I can make the same mistakes over and over?? I have heard so much TRUTH the last few months, but it somehow just sits in my brain and doesn't guard my heart or guide my actions. Stupid flesh.


I feel like a completely different person than I was a few days ago, God has been teaching me so much, and none of it is easy. Than again, when is it ever?

Things I am Learning;

*Life is hard, but always worth it

*God will never leave me. period.

*I forget so easily; to continually go to God with everything is one of the hardest things I've ever done

*to have 'dates' with God, to tell Him about my day and all of the things I'm going through, to share my emotions freely without having to fear rejection

*happiness is over-rated

*I have a hero. His name is Jesus

*that there are so many songs about life being hard and going through hard times, but not many about life being perfect and always being happy..........reminds me of the verse in John 16; 'In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.'

*searching for true and lasting joy; I feel like I'm so close, my fingers are brushing it, but still so far away.......'For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.' - 1 Cor 13:12

*that I can be hurting on the inside, and still experience joy......such a God thing

*feeling like a failure in so many areas, yet God still puts me in situations to counsel and shepherd people....what???? Just a reminder that nothing good that comes from me, is ME....but only God working through me.

*sometimes in life you just have to hope and dream, even though it might mean falling and getting hurt.....(I have a hero!)

*girls are stupid. nuf said.

*stress + angry + scared + VERY confused + other emotions = crying. every time.

*starbucks + laughter + friends = <3 id="SPELLING_ERROR_5" class="blsp-spelling-error">rizzle


And all of that in just four days........pretty much exhausting.

On the bright side; my room is clean, I filled 5 pages in my journal, and I made an awesome playlist that I can't stop listening to :). (its on facebook if you're interested, it called; Hold My Heart) Oh, and I made it to 75 sit ups in the gym, shooting for 80 in the morning.

I love Jesus, He loves me and that's about all I know!

be free
~noel~

Alone again again alone
Patiently waiting by the phone
Hoping that You will call me home
The pain inside my love denied
Hopes and dreams swallowed by pride
Everything I need it lies in You

'Cause I'm broken
I know I need You now
'Cause deep inside I'm broken
You see the way I live
I know Your heart in broken
When I turn away
I need to be broken
Take the pain away

I question why You choose to die
When You knew Your truth I would deny
You look at me
The tears begin to fall
And all in all faith is blind
But I fail time after time
Daily in my sin I take Your life

All the hate deep inside
Slowly covering my eyes
All these things I hide
Away from You again
All this fear holding me
My heart is cold and I believe
Nothings gonna change
Until I'm whole again

-Broken, 12 Stones

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Life.......

.....that crazy thing that happens when you open your eyes each day

The funny thing about life is it just keeps going, there is no stopping it. Doesn't matter if it is hard and stressful, you can not make it speed up, or just skip a few days. Or if it is good, and you feel like you want this moment to last forever. Life stops for no one, its an unchangeable...but lets not go there, I don't feel like singing :P


Do you ever feel like you are looking forward to something too much? Like all the hype and anticipation you have built up will never compare to the real thing? I think that is part of my personality, I love the anticipation of things. The waiting, the thinking......and sometimes, when 'it' actually comes, it is a let down. I have learned to counteract that personality trait with not expecting things, always thinking in the back of mind, 'it might not happen'.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This made me very happy......this gum tastes just like the Novida Pineapple soda from Africa

Thank you Sarah! :)





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



I have been thinking about 'growing up' alot lately. Not sure why, but I have some thoughts (of course lol)...................

I've always thought of being 'grown up' as boring, or at least 'not fun'. Something about all the responsibility, and having so much pressure from everywhere to 'DO' something with you life.
Everyday it seems like someone asks me 'the question'; What are you doing???? I need to just carry around a business card that says; I do NOT have a job, career path, college classes, boyfriend, or plan for my life........nor do I care what you think, and please keep all thoughts, opinions and advice to yourself.
But that'd be rude, and slightly expensive.

Has it ever occurred to anyone that MAYBE I'm exactly where I am supposed to be? That MAYBE God wants me here at this point in my life. And MAYBE the creator of the universe KNOWS what He is doing........*GASP*

New motto; Life is complicated......get over it.


Anyways, I said all that to say that I have a new thought about being 'grown up'........
.............Being grown up is when I am:

*comfortable with myself

*secure in who I am in Christ

*not trying to impress people

*accepting my responsibilities, but not allowing them to rule my life

*able to get out of my 'box' in order to make others feel more comfortable in theirs

*realizing that I will never be done learning

*striving to make the best of each day, because I don't know if I will have a tomorrow

*knowing that laughter really is the best medicine

*having my priorities straight; (1) God, (2) Family, (3) Friends

*fulfilling my true calling; being a LIGHT to as many people as I can

*dreaming about the future....that is getting closer all the time (EEEEEKKK!!!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


On a lighter note; Fall is here! And I've decided to give the whole 'cool weather' thing another chance. Perhaps I've judged too harshly and put Summer up on a pedestal.......Last night I kind of enjoyed the shock of the cool breeze, and the crisp scent of the air. I suppose that means I have to give sweaters, boots, jackets, gloves, scarfs and hats another shot too.........So this week I promise not to complain, and find as much joy in 'dressing up' as possible :)

life is good~eternal life is better~happy is a yuppy word, guess that makes me a yuppy~I like being random~Jesus loves me~music is life, or pretty close anyways~I miss Africa~I'm singing a song for church for the first time; ever~my eyes are blue!!!~procrastinating is all fun and games til you have to do something~new hobby; photography-ish~looking forward to lots of stuff~

be free
~noel~

PS I couldn't find a song that fit my mood.....so here is a picture of something that always makes me happy :)


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

I have heard this saying many times in my life, and I know that is has not been very long, I admit that. But I do not know if I have ever understood more clearly what it meant than on the Reaching Souls trip to Mombasa, Kenya this summer. I had an amazing time on this trip, it was life changing, and I do not say that lightly. The people I met, experiences I had, things I saw, and friendships I made have changed my life forever, and will continue to do so. But this story is not all about me, it is about my new hero; Jerry Hamlin. From the moment I met Mr. Hamlin, when he gave us all, (the young people), awesome evange-bracelets, I knew that he had a special relationship with Jesus. Just the soft way he spoke and his passion for reaching the lost. I was encouraged over the next few weeks, as Mr. Hamlin went with us to the schools, sharing the gospel message and giving away bracelets and candy. He was so generous that he even gave away some of mine. He also brought thousands of Evangecubes to give to the pastor's and their wives, I had the privilege of using one to share the gospel with a group of girls.
The one thing I will never forget about Mr. Hamlin happened on our way home. Some of you may have heard about our little adventure on the way back. If not, let me just say that being stuck in four airports for five days was the not most pleasant experience I have ever had, but it may be the most memorable. It was Sunday, August 16, and we had spent the night on the cold, hard airport floor. We were all hungry, thirsty, freezing, tired, and homesick. Speaking for myself I was beyond stretched and starting to have some very un-mission trip like thoughts.
At some point we all loaded up and drove into downtown Nairobi, only to be told to turn around and drive back to the airport. I ended up in a taxi with Tera, Dana, and Mr. Hamlin. I clearly remember my thoughts and feelings as I sat in the backseat and stared out the window. I was tired, lonely, scared, missing my family, homesick for anything American, and pretty much just done with the whole 'mission trip' thing.
What happened next I will never forget; Mr. Hamlin was in the front seat and started talking to the driver. He asked him his name, about his family, where he lived, and then he asked about his spiritual state and if he knew where he was going when he died. Mr. Hamlin talked to this man for the entire twenty minute drive. I have no idea how this impacted the driver's life, but I know that it made a huge impression on mine. I want to to be just like Mr. Hamlin when I grow up, to be so focused on sharing the love of Jesus with other that I forget about my own selfish desires. For my actions, even when I am halfway around the world, separated from my family, completely thrown out of my box, to speak louder than my words. And for those words to shout to the whole world that Jesus loves each and every one of them.


be free
~noel~


Am I foolishness to you
And is it laughable the things I do
Can your callused minds see past yourselves to His Divine
Am I foolishness to you

Can I sing about my Maker
And have you not roll your eyes
Can I weep about my Savior
And the way He died
I know it don't make sense
To those who ride the fence
But I'm sold out to Christ

You call it loosening up
Loosening up
I call it spiraling down
Only one thing's the same
Only one thing remains
Jesus Jesus

Can I sing about my Maker
And have you not roll your eyes
Can I weep about my Savior
And the way He died
I know it don't make sense
To those who ride the fence
But I'm sold out to Christ

-Fence Riders, by Jimmy Needham

Saturday, October 10, 2009

WHY?

Why do I always try to do things in my own strength???
Its so ludicrous to think that I can even come close to doing ok on my own............
Yet so many times I mess up, and say the wrong thing, or have the wrong attitude?
Why are human beings so dense?
Why do I make the same mistakes over and over without even thinking about the consequences?

*sigh*

And I'm done being mad at myself about it, I just want to change! Surely that is the first step, admitting you have been wrong and wanting to do something about it.

Stupid flesh.....................

'Lord Jesus, please help me to walk in Your Spirit. To listen for the still small voice, and to stop trying to do things by myself. I'm so tired of living like this, but I need Your help to change!! I love You :) - me'

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

~drumbeat back in my heart~


I know what I want to say but I can't seem to find the words........


emotion

–noun
1.
an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.
2.
any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, love, etc.
3.
any strong agitation of the feelings actuated by experiencing love, hate, fear, etc., and usually accompanied by certain physiological changes, as increased heartbeat or respiration, and often overt manifestation, as crying or shaking.


I have been feeling so many emotions lately, and on one hand its not that surprising, I am a girl and all that, but on the other its weird because I'm usually not very emotional.

Today it just kind of hit me, that when you're watching a slide show for the second time and you start crying, again, just because you feel like it, maybe there is something going on. I don't even think its necessarily a bad thing, just different.
Maybe I'm becoming more sensitive as I get older.......but I don't think that is it, although I wouldn't mind, I could use some sensitivity (my sisters are agreeing I know lol).
God created emotions for a reason, though sometimes I'm not really sure what the purpose is.............I go from happy to sad, excited to depressed, stressed out to chilled, tired to hyper, love to indifference, and from all these to a weird numb feeling..........

WHAT in the WORLD is going on??

Its kind of exhausting really, maybe getting in a routine will help or at least balance me out a little.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how blessed I am, and I'm not saying that lightly, I mean really and truly blessed, in every sense of the word. Yes, there are things I might change about my life, but they're all little things, that really do not matter.

One of the things that has really been on my heart and mind recently is: AFRICA.

'Course I know that I will always be thinking about Africa in some way for the rest of my life, how could I not?

But I've just been thinking about how incredible it was that I got to go...............I am the first person out of my immediate family to leave the country (besides Mexico), and what a privilege for me, a small town girl from Oklahoma, to go to another country, across the ocean, and share about Jesus. To bring light and TRUTH to a place that needs it so badly.....

Why ME?

I'm also really excited about Mission Day! Just to think that I am part of a group of 40 young people with such a passion to share the Gospel. Our mission field is our own back yard, and how can we NOT make a difference?????? *mind blowing*

Oh my......You Grow last night......it was, well there is not really words for it.

The only thing I can think of is:
~ to be able to truly worship God
~in one spirit
~with like minded believers
~totally surrendered
~focused completely on the one TRUE God
~not caring that you're singing off key, you might look foolish kneeling on the floor, your mascara is running everywhere, and maybe lifting your hands and moving isn't your cup of tea
~but you really don't care, because the One you're worshiping made you and loves you just the way you are

Its indescribable, for real.

be free
~noel~

P.S.
This song has really been on my heart lately, it just reminds me to start each day with purpose and remember that with Jesus in my heart, how can I not have a song or beat in it??? :)

This is a draught
Been living without
The one thing life requires
What a mess
Passionless
Somewhere I lost the fire
Oh my my Where has it gone
Can anybody turn this beat back on
My heart is fast asleep
Dreaming it could bleed
For something that's real
My desperate appeal
God I’m getting tired of the way I feel
When I would rather be alive

I want to wake up
I want to restart
Put the drumbeat back in my heart
I need to be revived
Bring me back to life

Coming on slow head to toe
The pulse is back again
It’s grace in my veins - replacing the pain
Bringing me back from the dead
Oh my my now I can see
You heard me cry emergency
Screaming out for help
You saved me from myself
The fires returned
I’m letting it burn
There’s nothing better in the whole wide world
It feels so good to be alive

-Heartbeat, by Remedy Drive

Thursday, September 24, 2009

JOY :)

God is my ultimate source of JOY, peace and happiness!!

But there are some earthly/temporal things that have really made me happy lately, and I want to share them with you :)


My Bible and Journal

I have really been enjoying my quiet time, and just writing my thoughts
and questions down.
My Perfume

Outside!!
I love how peaceful and quiet it is, God's creation is so amazing!

Basketball/Running

I love basketball, and I have discovered that running calms my thoughts
and allows me to vent my frustrations lol






Cell Phone
I hate to say it......but I love my phone, well more like how it
helps me talk to people. But I would be so sad if something happened to it


Mirror/Door
This is the back of my bedroom door, it makes me happy because I was
creative ALL by myself!!

Africa Shelf
This is my shelf that reminds me of Africa, and that makes
me happy :)



Music
This isn't all of it.....what? I REALLY like music lol



Roxy Shoes
These make me very happy right now...I found them at a consignment shop
for $12.00!! So comfy, and cute :)



Thats about it.....looking forward to this weekend, and dreading it at the same time. I'm having a party *YAY*!
and giving a testimony for church, plus some NOVO evaluations *SCARY*!!!
peace
be free
~noel~





Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Africa {part 4}

I really am going to finish this time, I promise!!
So........Thursday, August 13

We came back from the safari. We actually didn't get back to Jumuia until 5pm, I was so tired.....but found some energy to play bball with some of the guys, you gotta have priorities right? :P

The next morning the people who didn't finish shopping, myself included, went back to the market to finish. I got some great stuff! I'm so glad I bought some stuff for myself, because looking at it reminds me that it was real, that it happened. That I, Mirage Noel Boyd from Wheatland, OK, went to Africa without my family for three weeks, I made friends, sang in front of 2,000 people, shared my faith, gave testimonies, saw lions, monkeys, elephants, and giraffes, and survived 5 days in an airport(s)......

5 days........



Friday, August 14


We left for the airport at 3pm, and spent 2 hours checking in and going through customs. Our plane was supposed to leave at 7, but it was delayed................and delayed..........and delayed some more. Finally at about 11pm they loaded us all on buses and took us to a resort/hotel, it was beautiful, but I just wanted to go home. I remember during the hour drive to the resort just looking out the window, crying, thinking ' this can't be happening.' The funny, or not so funny, thing is that it was just the beginning.


Saturday, August 15


Woke up, had breakfast......some of the ladies had this 'sharing' party, where we brought what we had and shared, mostly makeup and stuff. The really sad thing was they told us to pack stuff in our carry on in case we lost our luggage or something. Well, I did that on the way there, but decided to put my souvenirs in my carry on on the way back, so I could get to them easily when I got home......

Yeah, there were so many times when I looked at those carvings and necklaces and just wanted to throw them lol. Why didn't I pack extra clothes????? Anyways, being in the same clothes for 5 days is not cool, just saying.

Around 1pm we got back on a bus and drove to the airport, where we got tickets for a plane leaving at 2:45......it was delayed, of course. And more waiting began. Because we waited in the same airport on two different days, at about the same times, I had a serious case of deja vu....and can't really separate the two days. I do know that I had a lot of fun with everyone, and I was really encouraged by every one's attitude, and how we all made the best of the situation. We FINALLY got on plane to Nairobi at 11pm, and you should have seen the mob......it was insane! We got to Nairobi around midnight, and got checked in, got all the luggage through security.....than nothing. For real.......................eventually we kind of just sat on the ground in little groups, we hadn't eaten since lunch, so we brought out all the rest of our food and shared (mostly my food lol).


The next 24 hours I don't really believe happened, seriously, it seems like some really messed up horror movie, or a nightmare from someone elses mind.


We slept on the floor, without pillows or blankets, it was SOOO cold, there were no chairs or anything. I wish we could have taken pictures because I'm sure the sight of us all sprawled out on the floor, heads on bags or jackets, shivering, I had my jacket on with the hood up and a tiny little pillow covering my face.......I'm sure it looked hilarious.


I'm not sure when 'morning' came, eventually we all 'woke' up and moved to another spot so we could be together. We played cards, rested, and talked..............


At some point they told us that our whole group had to go downtown to the main office and get boarding passes there, so they loaded up all 40 of us AND our luggage, and took us downtown.

We all sat there with our luggage for an hour, than they told us to go back to the airport.....on the way my car got searched by the police, that was scary! (ask me about it sometime)


When we got back we finally got some seats on a plane and 16 people got out, I was supposed to go, but my friend had classes starting the next day, so I let her take my place. We sat in line outside of the airport for 10 hours.....we finally got some food, my first meal in over 24 hours. Looking back now, I'm actually glad it happened. I wish it didn't, but I had made alot of memories and just got really close to those people. (sleeping together on airport floors can do that you know :P). I don't know what I would done without Megan, David, Marcus and John.....I love you guys! :)

A miracle happened at about 1am Sunday morning, we got seats on a plane to London!!! It didn't leave until 5am, but I didn't care I just wanted out!
So from this point on the 'adventure' got so much better! Being in the London airport was so amazing, it was clean, cool, had nice bathrooms, food (Starbucks!! lol), and people spoke English...with an accent!!
We ate at a pub inside the airport, fish and chips :)
At 6pm (on Sunday August 17), they drove us to a motel and guess what? I got to go on a 2 hour night tour of.........LONDON!!!! For REALZ!! :D


Oh. My. Word. It was amazing there aren't words. It feels like a dream now, but I have pictures :). I'll post those later, they're amazing.


So in conclusion....I finally made it home! It took 5 days, 5 airports, 4 planes, and over 100 hours of traveling time, but when my feet touched Oklahoma 'soil' and I saw my friends and family at the end........PRICELESS


be free


~noel~

Friday, September 11, 2009

Symphony of Waves

Heaven......

I know that anything that I can ever imagine times farzillion is nothing compared to what Heaven will actually be like..........................

But I can't help but hope and wonder and wish that the beach will be there somewhere in some shape or form.


The mountains are beautiful, and I have a partiality to rolling wheat covered hills, but there is something about the blue of the sky contrasting with the blue of the ocean. The sound of the waves breaking on the shore, or watching wave after wave after wave come rolling in. The white of the surf, the khaki of the sand, the five different shades of blue in the ocean, perfect blue skies scattered with whimsical white clouds.............there is something about it that soothes my spirit and calms my jumbled brain. The smell of the salt air and whisper of the wind in my hair brings my thoughts into sharp focus, and somehow nothing seems to really matter, nothing of this earth anyways. I think I could stay here forever.....or at least a few more months.

I do not think the people who live here appreciate the beauty around them.

Do they ever see the gulls swooping gracefully over the water, or how the water goes on forever, or the sun seems to float on the horizon and wonder WHO made them? WHERE did it all come from? And HOW does it all work?

I KNOW!!!

My God, THE GOD, made it ALL!!! Each tiny seashell, every grain of sand, every drop of water that composes the symphony of the waves...............and He made it for me to enjoy.

The Bible says that even the rocks cry out and declare that He is God.......


Just some 'beach' thoughts :)
I had so much fun, with my family and just doing nothing. I am so grateful for this vacation, and am sad to see it end. But vacations would not be as fun if they happened all the time.....so back to reality, yet I go back with a smile, ready to see what the next few months will bring. I also go back with a tan, and shopping bags...that makes me happy too!

be free
~noel~

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Africa - {Part 3}

Now for the fun part :) or fun-er......because the whole trip was amazing!

Tuesday morning (August 12) we went to a market and shopped, that was a lot of fun! The stuff was really cool, so different, and my favorite part was watching people try to barter. The people who owned the shops were hilarious. They acted like you were personally starving their children if you suggested a lower price.......and some were kind of creepy about it.

Tuesday afternoon we left for our safari (which actually means trip or journey), it was a 2 hour drive to the entrance of the park, and another 2 hours until we reached the lodge. It was fun though, we had all the young people in one van, there was much laughter :).

I'm having a hard time thinking of words to say, there is really no way to do it justice.....maybe pictures will be better than words;

Entrance of the Park....
(I found the skulls very reassuring)

Megan, John and Marcus, and our driver; Juumbo

Giraffe we saw on the way in
Voi Safari Lodge

View from lodge - Watering hole

Baboon (soooo ugly lol)

Elephants

Giraffes.....they were my favorite animal


Leopard (so awesome!)


Zebra

At some point I became bored with 'another zebra'.....so I took pics of the tourists :P

Marcus and David were bored too.....LOL
David, Marcus, Austin, John, Tate, Megan, and I
I had so much fun with these people, they are
awesome! The trip would not have been the same
without them :)
It was a looooong ride home......poor David :P
The Safari was amazing! I felt like I was in some reality video game of Animal Planet......to think that I was right there, watching all of those animals. Once in lifetime experience.
I really meant to finish talking about Africa in this post, but the photos took forever........and there is NOT enough time for me to talk about coming home (NIGHTMARE!) or the insane surprise ending to our trip.
(that called a teaser, ladies and gentlemen, tune in next time.....)
be free
~noel~

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

lost in the fake reality......

I meant to finish up about Africa before I posted again, but I've been going through some things, and it always makes me feel better to write it down.

These 'things' were brought on by the Truth Project, as has happened before, and have really just shaken my hold on what I thought was real, and what my life (I thought) was all about.

I find it ironic that I am going through this right as I get back from a life changing mission trip. That as I come off the spiritual 'high' that you get whenever you are totally immersed in something so focused on God, I start to lose my focus so quickly. I am really just digested with myself, that I am SO easily distracted by things that don't matter. And even more, the fact that even after I am AWARE of this issue, I continue to be distracted. Time and time again I have to pull my attention back from wherever it was........(who knows really).......and focus on Christ.

I think it all comes down to; Where am I Finding My Significance?
my family?
my friends?
my talents?
all the ministries I'm involved in?
being an example?
mission trips?
quiet time?
relationships?
sports?
stuff? (cell phone, comp, clothes, car, etc)
knowing that I'm right?
music?


Or am I truly looking to Christ Jesus for EVERYTHING?

Honestly? I would have to say no........and even more sad, is I don't know if I have ever truly found everything that I needed in God. I say that I am trusting Him, and that all I have is His. But I'm always working other angles, looking for ways to make myself look better or even having false humility, all for the praise of men. How stupid.

And how must God feel each and every time I do this? It actually physically hurts me to think about this, I get a sick feeling in my stomach. Because I know that I can never stop in my own power, that it is not possible for me to find all of my significance in Christ without a miracle. Is a miracle possible? Oh yes, I serve a God of miracles.

You want to know one of the coolest things that I have heard in a long time? (and I've heard this before, but didn't really get it)
God, The God of The Universe, (mountain maker, ocean tamer, star creator, wind breather, you know....GOD), well, He adopted me into His family.............He LIVES in me!!!
(now do I understand this? nope. Do I believe this? Yup. Do I believe that this is really real? I don't know if I can actually comprehend it)
God is 3 persons.....but one. Infinity divided by 3= infinity. Infinity divided by 36 = infinity. How is this possible? I have no idea. But I do understand that this is how God (all of Him) can live inside me, and live inside you, and live inside cousin Bob :) All at the same time. mind blowing.

Read a verse in Ephesians this morning that goes with this so well;
Eph. 1:13 - 14
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

I thought it was pretty cool, that after I listened to the message of truth, accepted Christ, than I was sealed in Him, adopted into His family, with the Holy Spirit, who is given as a pledge of my inheritance, that I am God's own possession..........wow.

Now if I can just keep these Truths in the forefront of my mind, for them to be the what I am thinking about and meditating on. I feel like I have just scratched the surface, and that there is SO MUCH MORE that God wants to show me.

lost in the fake reality...
consumed by the skin of this world....
knowing in my heart what is real, but being deceived is NOT an excuse.....
I know WHO is the way, the Truth, and the life.....

~noel~


numb

my heart is cold
I feel nothing
my mind is numb
there must be something
something more
than just getting through the day
doing what has to be done
struggling with words to say
where is the passion?
the fire?
the bravery and courage?
life seems like just a struggle to get higher
out of an endless nothingness
where is the light?
am I blind?
or will it just always be night?


broken

Lord I want to be broken
spilled out for You
oh God, I want to be broken
my plans and wishes torn in two
please use me now
in ways I can't imagine
and through that
give me a peace that man can't fathom
do anything you want with me
'cause all I want is to BE FREE
give me the strength to trust
when you close and open doors
my heart is broken
and my pride is on the floor

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Africa - {Part 2}

Lets see, I think I left off at the end of the Pastor's Conference, which was a Friday. The next day, Saturday, was the first day of Open Air Meetings. I was nervous, very nervous. Megan and I were volunteered (or as my dad says, voluntold), to do the singing for our team, and to run the children's program also. The children's program is very important, because if there is a lot of children at the front of the truck than none of the men will come, they will think it is for children.

This is what the meeting looks like




My team consisted of 12 American members, and about 50 of the Pastor's and their wives. I loved my team! All of them, I got to know each one of them and it was amazing how each of us had our own strengths and talents that God brought together for His purpose.



Back to the meeting; when we got the village we unloaded and started setting up. Now over the course of the past week I thought I had gotten used to the poverty and dirt, but this village was a whole new level. And I have to admit that I was shocked and a little put-off at first, I'm ashamed of it now, but my first thought was about myself and whether I was safe, from disease and such. God quickly rebuked my spirit and I was able to focus on what was really important. We were supposed to have the children's program during the big meeting, but we had sooooo many village kids as we were setting up that we went ahead and started. We had at least 120 kids, we sang some songs, taught them 'Jesus Loves Me', and gave the salvation message. Most of the kids raised their hands and prayed the Sinners Prayer. It was amazing.







After Brent, our team leader, started calling people to come listen, Megan and I climbed up on the back of the pickup and sang. I have to tell you, I was really nervous......I had never sang in front of people like that before, complete strangers in a different country at that. But the Lord was gracious and we did a pretty good job, I think. We sang 3 songs; This is the Day, All in All, and the Zeal of God (in English and Swahili). The rest of the meeting went well, I don't remember exactly how many salvation's we had, but there were many.

The second day of open air meetings I will remember forever........It was the day that I was stretched, pulled, and pretty much thrown of my box by God. At the morning meeting I was not feeling well, but sang and helped Megan anyway.

That afternoon we set up for our second meeting at a public beach. When we pulled up I was like, 'Are you serious???? God, you don't really expect me to do this, do You???'

The beach

There were at least 3,000 people there, all different nationalities and religions. There were white people, Muslims, and so many black faces. The whole time we were setting up I was trying to think of reasons not to go up there and sing. Two of the African pastor's sang this amazing song, with harmonies, clapping, and dancing.......then, Brent says, "Now please welcome two ladies who have come all the way from America to sing for you."

That did it......if I was not completely terrified before, I certainly was then. I don't really remember climbing up the steps to the back of the truck, but suddenly was up there. I felt like was by my-self, completely vulnerable, with thousands of people staring at me.....waiting. Megan started singing, and I followed, my knees shaking and my voice breaking more than once. Than it was over, done, and Tate was up there giving his testimony like nothing happened. I was completely drained, but at the same time felt like I could do anything. I mean, what could be worse than what I just did?
We were able to get back to the resort earlier that day, and I remember just being on this high, like I could conquer the world, it was pretty awesome.
The third, and last day of open air meetings, was pretty relaxed. The Pastor's got to do everything, so we just watched :). That was so much fun! They did all the preaching, teaching, singing, and giving testimonies. And they did it just as good, or even better than we did. They have so much passion and enthusiasm......it really inspired me.
Monday night we all went back to the high school, where the conference was held, and gave all of the Pastor's and their wives a certificate saying they completed the conference, a RSI pin, and a set of tapes with the teachings from the conference, (the infamous tapes :P).
Than we had a worship/celebration service, it was amazing, incredible, awesome, inspiring, emotional....I'm running out of words, but you get the idea. If I could go back and relive just one experience from the trip it would probably be that night, probably.
Thats about it for now, more to come :).
be free
~noel~