Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Life as a Glass

I have labeled myself as an optimist.
As one who sees the glass as half full.
The glass being life I guess.
I usually try to look for the good in things, and try to live life without sweating the small stuff. (I wonder how many cliches I can fit in one post........hmmmm)
This is my personality, and I have never thought deeper as to why I do this.

Until today.

A serious of unfortunate events caused me to wonder how different my life would be if I chose to be a pessimist. The type of person that looks for the bad, and/or dwells on it.
If I looked at each 'thing' that happened to me and connected it to all of the others, evidence that the world was against me.

It is depressing.

I had no idea.
When I connected my two weeks of being sick with my fever blisters, then to my mom's ankle, her sickness, and not being able to get around, almost having a wreck, losing my promise ring, not sleeping well, feeling like I'm doing everything that I should be doing.........etc, etc, etc, the list goes on and on.
If I say; I lost my promise ring yesterday and then today all of this happened, and last week that happened, and everything is falling apart, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?????

Or, I say; I lost my promise ring yesterday. I hope I find it.
Today I had a bad day, tomorrow will be better.

And that is the difference between choosing to dwell on the bad, and choosing to have joy.
It is not easy.
My natural instinct is to whine and feel sorry for myself, to line up everything bad that has happened and look them up and down. Thinking about how terrible it is, and how sad I am.

I read this verse on another blog, and it made me cry. A good cry. (I know how confusing that must be to you guys, sorry about that)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~Romans 15:13, NIV

I hope this brought peace to your heart. Don't let satan steal your joy, he will try as hard as he can and the only way to have peace and joy is through Jesus Christ. Period.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Mikayla's story.

"I want to be a bird."
"So I can fly away from all of my problems."

I have similar thoughts.
Wanting to 'get away' from it all. To have peace, and leave my responsibilities behind just for a little while.
I did not have these thoughts at 10 years old.
I was not completely serious.
And my 'problems' did not invade every part of my existence.

The beautiful, sassy, hurting, bitter, protective, smart little girl who told me this does.
Mikayla is 10 years old. She has three brothers, a 5 year old (Ethan), and twin brothers who are older.
The first time I talked to Mikayla was a few weeks ago at Bible Club, she was over in the corner crying. After about an hour of talking to all of the parties involved I learned that her little brother had been chased, hit and kicked by some older boys. She tried to protect him, and was extremely upset and bitter. I worked out the situation the best I could, but could see the pain and hurt in her young face. I have been praying for her ever since, and trying to connect with her.

This week we started talking because she was in timeout, and after we were done I asked her if she had any questions. After a long pause she said; "Why do all of the verses have black people in them?"
This led to a discussion about skin color, classes, and the truth that God created ALL men (and women, and children) equal.
Mikayla is very aware of the difference between black people, and white people, and Mexicans.
In her words; "White people are rich, and black people are poor."
At this point I asked her what made people poor, and she shared that her family was poor because they didn't have toys or a TV.
I asked her if she wanted to be something different, she said yes, a bird so she could fly away from all of her problems. Her problems being that her dad works all of the time, and her mom is never home. This makes Mikayla mad, that her mom doesn't take care of her, and leaves her with her brothers who are mean.
At this point I asked her where she thought animals went when they died, she said the ground. I asked her the same question about people, and she said that they would go in the ground too. I explained to her that we are different than the animals, that we have a spirit and a soul, and that we will go somewhere when we die, not just disappear.
I went through the whole gospel story, explaining things as I went. Mikayla asked questions that made me think she had never heard it before. When I was done I asked her if she knew for sure where she was going when she died, she said; "Heaven.....I think." To which I replied, Are you sure? 100% sure?
At this she got a little upset; "I've tried everything! I don't know for sure! I've accepted Jesus, and gone to church, and prayed, but I don't know."
I went through the evangecube with her, again she acted like she didn't know any of it, and at the end I explained that the only way to know for sure that you would go to heaven is to ask Jesus to be the boss of your life and follow Him for the rest of your life.
She said that she had done all of that, admit believe choose, she looked me in the eye and said that she knew 100% for sure that she was going to heaven when she died.
I prayed with her, and saw a new softness in her face.
Part of me is really encouraged by this, her openness and willingness to share personal details with me. And another part of me wonders if it is enough. If she really knows what, or Who is going to save her, and if it will change her life.
If it will be enough to save her from the hopelessness, violence, prejudice, and bitterness that she has been born into.
This breaks my heart, and gives me an urgency to speak into her life, if there is ANY way that I can make a difference I will.
When I look into her brown eyes and see myself, scared, hurting, hungry for love, I know that I have to do something. I have to do everything I can to show her Christ, the only one who can save her.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey Lurkey

As I sit here smelling the savory essence wafting in from the kitchen I try to think of when my first prejudice against Thanksgiving started.........
When I was little I liked it, going to Grandma's house, then Grandpa's, then Grandma Great's. Having turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes 3 or 4 times didn't bother me.
Watching TV or playing games while the grownups cleaned up and talked.

When I was around 13 we started having one of those Thanksgiving's at our house. I suppose that might be when I first started disliking it.
Don't get me wrong, I like Thanksgiving as an idea, the principle, or meaning behind it. I wholeheartedly think that we need a time to think about and reflect on our blessings and things God has given us.
What I do not like, at all, is the emphasis put on food.
You see, I am not a fan of food. I like it okay, will fix it, even enjoy fixing it, but it is almost a bother sometimes. We spend 2 days cooking a meal that is over in 20-30 minutes. To me it is not really worth it, not even counting the hours spent cleaning up.
But, I enjoy it because other people do, and I am thankful for my wonderful family.
I am also thankful for my mother who is a wonderful cook, that she took the time to teach my sisters and I how to cook, and also taught us that food isn't the most important thing in life.

So, there you have it. My Thanksgiving spill. It may seem silly, but that is my thought process for every year haha.

be thankful,

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Subject in Italics

Thoughts are a funny thing.
Sometimes you can have them without being conscious that you are thinking a certain thought.
You can think something without making a decision to think about that thought.
Just a random thought for you.

Another thought that I thought lately is; the fact that music can effect your mood in a noticeable way.
Or maybe it is just me.
Take tonight for example, I was in a strange mood (it was a strange day), and the song 'Ramblings of a Begger' by Shawn McDonald made me question what I was feeling, almost in a negative way, I felt sad and it reminded me of the pain I've been feeling for other people who are hurting.
After that I listened to the song 'Waltz in 3' by the same artist, and it replaced my previous thoughts with one's of hopefulness and an optimistic thoughtfulness.
Still in the mood of hopeful, optimistic thinking 'Over the Rainbow' also by Shawn McDonald, gave me goosebumps, because I love this song and because I have always wanted to be able to sing like this.
In conclusion 'Shadowlands' by Shawn, again, has always made me smile and want to dance (I frequently do).

I am also thinking about change some.........but, it is a semi-depressing subject right now, and I am still enjoying my Shawn McDonald-induced happythoughtfuloptimistic mood :)

be thoughtful

PS- All songs can be found here;

Sunday, November 7, 2010

my leaky facet

I hate crying.

I do, I hate it.

For as long as I can remember I have kept my tears in check, burying emotion, holding it in.
And I liked it this way. Every once in a while I would cry, not very often, and usually not in public.

When I cry I feel extremely vulnerable. Embarrassed. And all around uncomfortable.
I do not like any of those feelings, who does?
As a little girl I dreaded when 'grown-ups' would cry. My parents, or people at church. I would squirm in my chair or pew and wish it was over. When I got older I was more mature about it, and just prayed that they would stop crying.
God has a very fine sense of humor and gave me a mother whose hobby is crying. She likes it! And does it regularly. I eventually grew accustomed to this, and kind of blew it off. But in NO way did I EVER want to be like that. *SHUDDER!!!*

Did I mention that God has a sense of humor? Just checking.
(this is a long story, just to warn you)

Part 1:
To illustrate the humor of God I would have you know that in past oh, probably 9 months I have cried more than I have ever ever ever cried in my entire life. All the time (seems like). In increasing amounts. And its getting worse.
This morning in the service I cried 4 times. Funny part; I was only in there for the song service, announcements, and prayer.

Part 2:
I have been involved in a Bible study that is currently going through the book 'Experiencing God'. (Great book, by the way, highly recommended)
And this week it talked about God making adjustments in your life.

I think that one of the adjustments God is making in my life is increasing my tears/breaking my heart.
For several reasons, that I can see now. (there are many more I'm sure)
1. To humble me, and its working.
2. I have experienced God in so many ways through this. I have seen Him working, in my own heart and others around me. He has shown me His all-consuming love for me, and given me glimpses of his majesty and awesome power.
3. He has given me an overwhelming love for people. And this often translates into tears, of course. I see people who are hurting all around me. I see Godly men and women that I admire. My family, goes on and on.

Now, knowing some reasons why behind the leaky facet aka my eyes, doesn't really help with the initial feelings of vulnerability. But, I can trust in God, and be secure in His plan for me.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

I am dreaming of............

(I know that I am just torturing myself here. But it will be fun to imagine myself in this moment for a while.)

A cool breeze teases my hair, while the sun warms my relaxed body.
I sigh.
Breathing in the damp ocean air, and reaching for my frosty glass.
The waves break gently on the shore as I ponder a refreshing swim, or a few more chapters in my book.
My cell phone is switched off back at the house. No errands to run, or responsibilities to fulfill.
Four blessed days of nothingness stretch out before me like a small piece of heaven.
I am here to relax, rest, and re cooperate.
My mind is having trouble switching off, but I am slowly making it obey my wish to be still.
Waking up each morning with no agenda is a wonderful feeling.
Mornings spent sleeping in, drinking coffee sitting outside watching the waves.
Afternoons are for lying on the beach, soaking in the sun, taking in God's creation.
In the evenings special suppers, to satisfy the hunger built up swimming and being outside.
Night walks on the beach, random shopping trips, dressing up to go eat, spending un-interrupted time with the people I love.

I just sighed the sigh to end all big sighs.
No beach for me this year. Not sure about next year.

I fall in love with the beach every time I go.
There is something about it that makes my heart feel peaceful and at rest.
Not sure what it is, but it will always be a place where I feel 'at home'.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I have always used this word to describe certain types of moods or feelings.
But today someone did not know what I meant, and this made me wonder if anyone else is sheltered in this way. And if so, then I would like to enlighten them.

To begin with, this word is actually in the dictionary, but I am not talking about the 'ghastly smell' part, or the 'cowering with fear'. The kind of funk I am referring to is 'a depressed state', though in my opinion it means more then being depressed.

Today I was in such a state, of being in a funk.
I felt.........strange. numb. easily irritated. apathetic.
Not mad.
Not sad.
Not happy.
Not anything.

This happens to me occasionally, but today I had absolutely no reason for it.
I could not think of one single thing to 'pin' the blame on.
Which only added to the frustration.

I finally 'decided' that joy is a choice.
Along with love, trust, faith, and pretty much everything else in life.

Choosing to do the right thing, or the wrong.
It is my choice.
What will I choose today? Or tomorrow? Or next week? Or in 5 years?
Of course all of my choices should be directed by God, for His glory and purpose.
Always remembering that my choices effect eternity, mine and other people's.

What an impossible responsibility.

I need you God.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

enough is enough, or is it?

I write whenever I need to get something out. I think that most girls talk about these things to other people, but I have a hard time expressing myself in the moment. Writing is how I can clearly articulate how I am feeling, and what I am thinking about.

Whenever life gets 'hard' I usually have this thought; I wish life could be simple again, like when I was younger.
And today I wondered if one of the reasons why life is harder now is because God is working on me, and my character.
The analogy of the clay and the potter has always been one of my favorites, and I can see it in my life.
I am the lumpy clay, and God is working out those lumps, one day at a time.
Some of those stupid lumps keep coming back, and at times I think I'm done and hop off of the wheel.
I think that God made us out of a special clay, because no matter how many times He puts me into the fire I'm not done, He throws a little water on me and gets back to smoothing and correcting.
The truth that 'I am not made for time, but for eternity', is very applicable here.
There would be no point to keep working on me if all of my worth and usefulness was on this earth, I am never going to be 'perfect'.
But in eternity, I will be the perfect vessel, full of Holiness and righteousness.

This sounds well and good, when I remember it.
But, alas!! We are a forgetful people.
And I must confess that so many times when I am feeling the pressure on my lumps I want to say; ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I'm good enough, I'm tired of being worked on, I don't care if you have done wondrous things through me, I want my way, off of this table.

This pot needs an attitude adjustment. Maybe a good pounding, or two.

love and tears.

You know you love something when you would give up anything for that thing.
(to clarify, I am going to use 'thing' in place of a person, dreams, actual things, animals, etc)

Nothing else seems as important as the importance and well being of that thing.
Sometimes when you think about the thing you love an ache blossoms in the middle of your chest, and your throat gets clogged up.
Tears come easily in reference to this, whether of sadness, joy, or missingness.

I know that love is an action, but it also causes certain feelings and emotions.

Love is unconditional.
Meaning that you love without expecting anything in return.

This thought led me to thinking about my love for God.
I am still trying to process this, but it is breaking my heart; I don't love God unconditionally.
Yes, I love Him. But I expect things from Him. Such as; peace, blessings, protection, wisdom, direction, and, if I was being completely honest, I expect Him to make me happy.

Would I still love God if He didn't give me anything in return?
This is a sobering question.
I should.
I should love God because He loves me, He created me, and He sent His son to die; for ME.
That is enough.
That is more than enough.
More than anyone or anything else has EVER given me.

*from the mind of Noel Boyd

Monday, September 27, 2010

This is my 112th post.

I meant to do a big 'This is my 100th post' thing......but I forgot.
So I'm doing this, which is only slightly lame.

I started blogging in 2007, almost 3 years ago.
Time is a funny thing because I feel like a completely different person, but it seems like I was that person just yesterday, or a few months ago. (I have never quite 'got' the just yesterday analogy)

This blog has become a friend, a confidant, a place to vent, and something that I can shape to whatever it is I am feeling, or thinking at the moment.

Sometimes I write because I have a story to tell. Other times because it has been a while and I want to make sure I still can. But many times I write because of how I feel after I see my thoughts laid out, in black and white. Sometimes they make sense, but many times they do not. Still, it gives me a measure of peace and contentment, like once the issues are laid out they stop pounding my brain.

I am looking forward to the next 3 years. I have no idea where they will take me, or if I will still be writing on here.
But there are two things I do know;
1) God is always with me.
2) I will never quit writing, I may stop for a while, but it will always be something I love and want to learn more about.

I hope you have you something that you love to do, that helps you focus and realize what really matters. If not, try something. You never know what you might be missing. (my 'self-help' advice for the week)

be free

Thursday, September 9, 2010

journey to nowhere.

My future stretches out before me like a long, deserted road.
From where I stand it looks like one huge, straight, blank, journey to nowhere.

The reality that I fail to remember is that life is not a straight shot. It is not planned out from beginning to end. Every stop along the way is not mapped out, and there is no tour guide.
My 'long deserted road' is actually a mirage.
And in it's place is this promise; 'I know the plans I have for you. Plans to proper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope.
This verse is sometimes overused (if that is possible), especially to someone my age.
But this is so powerful, and incredibly hard to understand.
That God, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, GOD.......has a plan for me. And the this plan is a good plan, the best plan really. The most difficult thing to understand is that even through all of the bad, stupid, complicated, hard, painful, evil, heartbreaking stuff in life; I always have hope, and a future, though Jesus Christ.
How that works I have no idea.
Maybe we have a different idea of 'hope' then God, sometimes things look hopeless.
But, I do know that God loves And does want what is best for me.

The BEST news is that this (life) is not real. It is just a vapor, a blip on a radar screen, not the dates on your tombstone, but the dash in between.
And I have a feeling that in Heaven, HOPE will fade into a PEACE, encompassed with LOVE.

Some people dwell in the past, others live for the future, I want to impact the present.
To 'Be Present' is a powerful thing.
To give all of your attention and focus on what you're doing at this moment is hard.
There are so many other things going on. Things to plan for, worry about, or remember.
Being 'Present' is, in a way, a gift to the people around you.
Jesus wasn't all about where He had been or where He was going, His main focus was on who was right there, what He needed to say in that moment.
I want to be like that.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hard Things.

I don't know the meaning of the word 'hard'.
All of my life I have been sheltered, pampered, taken care of, protected and given the easy way.
I don't know what it is like to;
have lost a close relative.
have only one parent.
had my heart broken.
been hungry.
little or no physical pain.
been without sleep for long.
felt totally alone.
had a serious sickness.
experienced something traumatic.
watched a loved one suffer.
done something that has effected my whole life, for worse.

Sure I have done things wrong (many, many things wrong), have hurt myself and others, been sick, had someone die, etc.........But nothing like things that many other's have experienced.
And I have to ask the question, because I'm sure many of you are wondering this very thing, why me??
Why have I been so blessed?
There are people that I come in contact with every single day that are hurting, suffering, feeling completely alone, without hope, desperate, empty, and lost. Maybe not all of those, but some of those feelings are present in most people.

This is heartbreaking.
I can literally feel my heart aching as I think about this.

I find it very ironic that as I am writing this we get a call that my brother Daniel was in a car accident and is on his way to the hospital.
He is fine, just banged up some........A little scared, but proud of his adventure (boys!)

Again, I am blessed. Beyond measure. Undeserving, and seldom am I as grateful as I should be.

Thankful; that God gives me many opportunities to see my blessings, and hurt for other people.
Hoping; that I will continue to be grateful for what I have, and that when tragedies come I will turn to God.
Trusting; that the Lord will continue to grow me in this area, and keep my eyes open to hurting, lost, desperate people.
Praying; all the time. for peace, love, and patience. and healing, for so many broken hearts.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

simple pleasures.

Such a lovely word.
I like simple things, clean spaces, and quiet moments.
And most often it is the little things that make me happy.
Like this corner of my room, every time I see it, it is like taking a deep breath and letting it all out.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Coffin

'To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it careful round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in the casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...... The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell.' C.S. Lewis

I have lived for 21 years ashamed of my vulnerability, trying to keep my heart locked up.
Partly because this is natural, and partly because that is what I thought I was supposed to do, what I had been taught to do. To take my heart and keep it safe, sharing it with no one, keeping all emotions at bay.
This made me aloof, seemingly uncaring, insensitive, having no compassion, prideful, and safe in my 'coffin of selfishness'.
Is this life?? Keeping anyone and anything out that might hurt me?
I don't think so.
Reading Bible stories I can't find many hero's or heroine's who did this. All of the Godly men and women that I look up to are incredibly vulnerable, giving everything to minister to just one person. Or thousands.
And isn't Jesus the very epitome of vulnerability? I mean the God-man Himself had no where to even lay His head! No home, His family didn't believe in Him, the very men that should have known that He was the Savior brought about His death, He gave of Himself to everyone, and He made the greatest sacrifice that anyone has ever made; He suffered, separated Himself from His very own Father, and died a shameful death. Jesus didn't even know the meaning of the word HIDE. He hid nothing. He gave everything. And He is asking me to do the same.
He is asking you to do the same.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

fear. panic. terror. fright. dread. alarm. dismay. apprehension. concern.

I have struggled with these things my whole life.
They are part of my daily routine.
I wake up, I brush my teeth, I make my bed, I put on my fears.
Rational fears. Irrational fears. Doesn't really matter, they all go in my mind and start dictating my words, thoughts, and actions.
And the longer I live the more things I find to be afraid of......

breaking a bone.
having a wreck.
losing something important.
disappointing the people around me.
being late.
spiders in my bed.
damaging a relationship.
someone I love dying.
not having the right answer.
hurting my family.
losing a friend.
making the wrong decision and ruining my life.
not following the Spirit and losing the opportunity to be a light.
damaging my witness.
being alone. forever.
missing the chance to be who God wants me to be.
cracking an egg and cutting my thumb off.
public speaking.
having a broken heart.
losing hope.
living my life without peace.
never knowing the full extent of what God has for me.

Isn't that ridiculous????
In less then ten minutes I came up with a HUGE list of things I am afraid of, and I know better.
I believe, with all my heart, that God's word is true, and He has something to say about fear;

'Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear, though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord FOREVER. All the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, and to seek Him in His temple.' Psalms 27:2-4

'God is refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we WILL NOT FEAR, though the earth give way, and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.' Ps. 46:1-2

'So do not fear, for I am with you,; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.' Isaiah 41:10

'For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' Romans 8:15

'There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear.' 1 John 4:18

By the mercy and grace of my Abba I will find peace, His love will cast out my fear, and will have courage and boldness to do the right thing.
Until then, because I know this is a constant struggle, a battle with my flesh, I will be secure in the fact that He loves me. Treasures me. Holds me. And catches each tear that falls.


Friday, July 16, 2010

[I promised to share some of my journal entries from while I was gone, so this is the first in a series......however long I decide to do this haha.]

Sunday, June 13

Finally feel like I am here, in Africa, for a month. And I am so glad to be here.........
I forgot so much; the smells, the roads, the food, the stars, the people, wow I forgot how much I love these people.
Long day, actually I am not sure that there will be ANY short days in Africa haha.
Sorted, organized and set-up this morning. Then registered pastor's from 1pm-5pm. Worship service, more registering, shaking hands, seeing eyes full of contagious joy. And let me tell you there are two guys who started singing this afternoon whose voices were so beautiful that I almost wanted to cry.
They know what worship is, enough said.
Started getting a little stressed tonight about the youth meetings, starting tomorrow, that we have not prepared for, at all.
I made a plan for the meetings before bed, so I feel better about that.

Monday, June 14

Today was a very good day, ending with my first hot shower since leaving home, amazing how important the small things are.
Had our first youth meeting(s) today, it went very smoothly. God gave us grace and His hand was on us. The first place was a school, and we spoke outside on this raised flagpole hill-place, to about 300 kids, ages 6-18. It was amazing, everyone seemed to have the right words. I had no idea what I was going to say, but felt God with me as I shared how Jesus changed my life (in the areas of love for my siblings, fear, peace, and love for people.) John gave a really good salvation message, Mark, Britton and Amber gave their personal testimonies also.
Came back to the compound for lunch, hung out a little. I really like these people, they're a lot of fun. Second place we went to this afternoon was an hour and 20 min out, waaaaaaaay back in the bush :P
It was fun too, we spoke to about 75 7,8, & 9 yr olds. I liked it because I got to tell the story of creation and they liked it. On a side note; I have officially experienced Africa in the form of my first turkish toilet. Hurray.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

O, to capture the moment.

I have been trying to set aside time to start blogging about Africa for a while now. It never seemed to work out, but I have finally found some time.
There is only one problem though, where in the world to start???
How can I explain a whole month of foreign experiences in a few short sentences, or even many long ones?

I wish I could capture;
the joy on the people's faces,
their openness and willingness to listen
the knowledge that God IS right here
feeling so close to the sky I could touch it
being exhausted but somehow refreshed and uplifted
working together with one mind and purpose to accomplish a common goal
listening to a pastor tell me that he knows 5 languages and is going to learn French this summer, then asks me how many languages I know
seeing great evangelist's and teacher's share their personal testimonies and love for lost people
knowing that everyone is being pushed to their breaking point but somehow coming through stronger
realizing that the child I am holding will probably never have 1/16 of all the blessings I do
walking through a village being stared at by hundreds of huge black eyes because my skin is a different color
sharing my testimony in front of strangers, terrified, but feeling love and compassion for them because they are lost and need a Savior
watching children sing and dance with such joy and passion, all the while having nothing compared to everything I have
teaching about forgiveness to teenagers that most likely have had things done to them that I can not even imagine
laughing is the same in any language, but somehow it is sweeter when the little girl's eyes flash with such joy, and her smile is blinding against her smooth ebony skin
learning new words and songs that help me communicate God's love with others

And that is just the beginning. A few memories. Just a glimspe of what God showed me. I still can not believe that I had the privilage of being His ambassador for a month in 3 different countries. I know that I have this same privilage here at home all the time, but I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to go, and see, and experience.

be bold. be compasionate. be simple. be open. be more Christ-like.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

a grand adventure.


It is here.

Dun dun duuuuuun.

After what seems like waiting forever, praying every day, hoping, wishing, wanting.....It has come.

In exactly 10 hours I will be at the Will Rogers World airport about to leave on a month long adventure to Zambia and Tanzania, Africa.

I can hardly believe it.

Though, looking back it was a long journey to get here. I feel ready, yet uncertain, excited, but nervous, at peace, with some worry thrown in. I have never been away from home this long before, and to be in a third world country halfway around the world? Wait a minute, did I say I wanted to do this? I am too young, too inexperienced. Someone older, and more mature should be going. All of this keeps going through my head, as I remember how God has brought me here. The faithfulness and provision that He has shown me is overwhelming. Starting with a $100 from a stranger at the post office, to an anonymous gift of $2,100 I can see, so very clearly, the hand of God on this decision. Is there any greater feeling then to know, I mean really know; without a doubt, that you are in the center of the Lord's will for your life??? I don't think so.

This week has been crazy. I usually like to start packing at least a week in advance because I have this dread, or fear of forgetting something uber important. But, I started Monday.....and didn't get very far. Yesterday I did a little better, but still had to do other things and my room was still a disaster at 10pm.
I finally buckled down and got-r-dun.
At the moment I am one pound under the limit and praying that my scales are not off.

I will be journaling lots while in Africa and I will try and post some of those entries when I get back. Please be praying for me and the team. I was surprised last year by the amount of spiritual warfare that I could see and feel. Your prayers DO help, and WILL make a difference, thank you!!
So, its time.
Goodbye, farewell, and au revoir :)


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

great expectations.

The belief that something should happen, or the hope that it will happen.


I did not expect my great grandmother to die, I had hoped that she would be alive for much longer. I will miss her. She was an amazing lady, who shaped much of who my own mother is today, and provided me with a Godly heritage. I would love to be just like her someday. I am not sad for her, she is in Heaven, healthy, happy and at peace.
I love you Grandma Ryan.


I have been planning on going to Africa. Wishing, hoping, trusting, believing....knowing that God would work it all out.
The journey so far has been incredible, being a witness to the faithful of my Savior.
I started out in January needing $6,500 for my trip to Zambia and Tanzania. I have watched money come in little by little since then, and been blown away by the generosity of my friends and family.
As of yesterday I needed $2,700, still alot, but not impossible.
Then I got a phone call.
Someone gave me $2,000, anonymously.
I was, still am speechless.
I did not expect this. I have not been letting myself hope too much, praying that I would go, but not setting myself up to be disappointed.
How could I doubt that greatness of God?



Sunday, May 2, 2010

the neverending week. that I loved.

This week has been one of the craziest weeks of my entire life. I'm not sure I ever had a moment that I was not planning, teaching, stressing, organizing, talking to kids, giving advice, thinking about a problem, or other things that I can not remember right now because my brain is so tired.

Monday; Mission Day from 7:30am - 6pm. Right after that the Character Focus team drove 2 hrs to Tulsa and started setting up for the children's conference the next day. After that we drove to the church we stayed at and set up all our beds and stuff. Didn't get to bed until 11:30pm.

Tuesday; OCHEC children's conference (in Tulsa). Got up at 6am, finished setting up and opened registration at 11:00am. From then on I did not have one moment to myself. My day consisted of talking to kids, serving snacks, entertaining 30 preschoolers, teaching songs, being Satan in a skit, reassuring parents, holding crying 5 yr olds, smiling lots of smiling, encouraging volunteers, and making older kids laugh. The parents picked up their children at 9pm. It was a good day :).......(that night we had some meetings, and planning, so I didn't get to bed til almost 1am)

Wednesday; Another early morning; 5am. This time the kids checked in at 8:15 and stayed til 5pm. About the same as Tuesday, except I started loosing my voice and sounded a bit squeaky. Another late night, went to bed at 11pm.

Thursday; Drove back to OKC and set-up for our second OCHEC. Went to a meeting for Africa, SUPER EXCITED about that :).
Fell into bed around 11:30, sooooo happy to be home.

Friday; Children's conference #2. Same plan, different kids. 5am - 7pm. Makes for an uber long day. The only thing I can say is the only way I made it through that day is with God's help. There is no other explanation. Had so much fun, I love kids :)

Saturday; Last day. Struggling to keep my eyes open in the warm-up meeting, thinking that there is no way I can even get by, much less find that final burst of energy to make it fun for the kids and keep their attention. Three words; God. Is. Faithful. All the time. People will try to meet your expectations and make you happy, but they will always fail. God will NEVER fail. Because of His grace I was able to finish strong, and give everything I had. And I even had fun doing it. God used those kids to bless me, so much more than I deserve.

So, that is my week. So many words come to mind when I try to describe it; but one keeps coming to mind - stretching. In a good way. In a way that I feel honored to have been given this opportunity. I know that God never gives me more than I can handle, and it humbles me to think that He trusted me to share His Truth with so many.
I had planned to share a story about one of the girls I talked to, but her story will have to wait. Its a good one though, I cry every time I tell it. :)


be free

Saturday, April 17, 2010

**Disclaimer; I, Mirage Noel Boyd, am not in my right mind, (or maybe I am) but not my normal right mind, and have just written out my rambling ramblings as they have come into my poor tired, overwhelmed, stressed out, slightly weird HEAD. The following may confuse you, will probably not make sense, and might cause you to think I am crazy. I most likely am. Makes life more interesting. Happy reading.**

sometimes life is not happy.
sometimes life seems pointless.
sometimes life is beautiful.
sometimes life is heartbreaking.
thoughts seem hazy, just out of reach, coming into focus only to disappear into a confusing web of endless questions.
my heart hurts.
my head hurts.
my body hurts, wait, thats just the gym.
why do I keep setting myself up for failure? why do I keep striving for perfection when it is not possible? (in my own strength)

I have a Savior who loves me. This knowledge gives me the courage to face each day, to keep doing the next thing, and trusting that there is a plan.

Do you ever wonder?
how the grass turns green at the same time the leaves come out on the trees, turning the bleak deadness into a luscious landscape of life?
why people discriminate against people different than them, instead of marveling at the creativity of the Creator?
when a mother knows her child is getting into something without anyone telling her?
what happens when a baby stares into your eyes and seems to know what you're thinking?
who is laughing at the exact same thing you are 100,000 miles away?
I actually didn't, until just now.

oh, and one more thing; does anyone else think it is slightly weird to write out your thoughts and then send them out into cyberspace for anyone to read? Just a thought. Maybe it is completely normal, lots of people seem to be doing it.

I guess that is about it.
(not really, but that is all I am willing to share at the moment.)
Think through your thoughts today, it will confuse you and you can join me :)


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mercy reaching to save me.......

......its something so beautiful, beautiful.

The crack of the sticks.....
The grunts of Someone holding in pain....
The jeers of lost souls.....
The knowledge that I DID THAT TO HIM......


Tears stream down my face, pooling in my hands.
Hands that are outstretched, palms up, surrendered.

I have thought about the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ many times, I've grown up in church, heard all the stories, watched all the movies.
I am ashamed to admit it, but I am rarely moved. I gloss over it, 'oh yeah, Jesus died for me, thank you Jesus!'.
How can I think that in any way repays HIM for what He did???
It does not.
I can not.
And the one thing He does ask of me, the thing that is already His, I don't even give that.
ME. All of me. Surrendered to Him, willingly, waiting to do whatever He asks.

As I sat there Monday night watching the beating scene from the Passion of the Christ I was completely overwhelmed.
And I had a new insight I suppose you could call it, every time I watch something like that I get 'righteously angry' at the Roman soldiers. There they are beating, spitting on, and laughing that THE SON OF GOD, GOD HIMSELF, and have no shame.
Other times I have felt ashamed for thinking this because I know that I am just like those Roman soldiers, I am just like Pilate, and I am like the self-righteous Pharisees.
But this night I saw just a glimpse of Jesus's perspective, He was being beat, spit on, and laughed at by His own creation. The very ones that He was suffering for, dying for, whom He loved more than I can EVER comprehend, were causing Him pain beyond imagining.
Yet, is this any worse then the pain I cause Him every time I go my own way, and reject Him???
I don't think so. I am no better than anyone else. If I could somehow grasp that concept it would save me so much heartache. If I could think about this before I do what I want, that I am causing the One who died for me pain and grief, I would stop.

I have never been more aware of the incredible, awe-inspiring, all consuming, all encompassing, crazy LOVE that God has for ME, then Monday night.
I could barely hold it in, I had no words, but somehow they needed to come out. Trembling, smiling, crying, a taste of heaven perhaps?

That is my journey so far. I am praying that this is only the beginning, a simple seed, with strong roots and no distractions.

be free

To give unselfishly
To love the least of these
Jesus I'm learning how to live with open hands
All these treasures that I own
Will never satisfy my soul
Jesus I lay them at Your throne with open hands

I lift my hands open wide
Let the whole world see
How You loved, how You died, how You set me free
Free at last
I surrender all I am with open hands, with open hands

To finally let go of my plans
These earthly kingdoms built of sand
Jesus at Your cross I stand with open hands

You took the nails, You bore the crown
You hung Your head, Your love poured out
You took my place, You paid my price
So Jesus, now I will give my life

-Matt Papa, Open Hands

Thursday, March 11, 2010

poor little rich me

I never really understood the analogy of life being like a winding road before the last year or so. I knew that life had surprises, but I had no idea how quickly the turns in the road happen, or how completely different the scenery is.
My life has changed so much in the past two years, in the past year, and even the past 6 months. Its crazy! I think about this often, but more so in the past couple of weeks. I am raising money to go to Africa again this year, and to be honest it is slightly overwhelming.
Last year I already had my money raised from the year before, and the money I need to raise this year is three times that amount. Plus I need funds for 3 other mission projects in the U.S. This has changed the way I think, drastically.

I remember when I had a job a year and a half ago, (has it really been that long???), how very different my thought process was.
If I really wanted something, I saved up for a little while and bought it. About once a month or so I would go shopping, cause thats what girls do, and maybe buy something(s).

I made several big purchases; computer, camera, redecorated my room, and paid for several mission trips out of my own pocket.
It is amazing how things change, that kind of thinking is foreign to me now. Not just the lacking a job/steady income/income at all, but my focus is different.

Just a few days ago I had a random thought; I wish I had a pair of Toms. I have these often, everyone does. They see something that is cool and wish they could have it too. But this time I stopped and thought about how back when I had my job I wouldn't have thought twice about buying some Toms. I might have saved for a month or so, or maybe just went out and bought them. Now, its not even a serious thought really. I would like some, but when you're trying to save as much as you can no matter how small $50 or $60 is a HUGE deal. And when I think about it there is no comparison. Period.

Think about it;


or shoes__

yeah.....I don't feel cheated at all :)

poor, but so very rich!

be free

Monday, March 8, 2010

Feelings of inadequacy surround me. Being humbled in so many ways. Desperation leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. Tears fall, being broken before the Lord is a painful yet incredible place to be.

I long for peace. I would rather have peace than just about anything else. Whether it is in my own life, or the people and circumstances around me. I desire this peace so much that sometimes I feel like I need to 'do' something, or change a part of my life in order to have it. Recently, as in tonight, I had a thought; what if God does not want me to just stop doing this or change how I do that. What if the real issue is my heart. My heart needs to change, I need to get to the root issue. Some of the time I think the answer is my relationship with God. I get so focused on the don't's....don't do this, don't do that, stay away from those, and I forget what is the most important; my relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything else is subject to that; how I spend my time, who I am friends with, what I say and the thoughts I have. All of these things will fall into place if I have a good relationship with Christ.

I said all that to say that I am going to try an experiment for the next week or so. Instead of choosing to fast from something or change something about what I do, I am going to seek God. Earnestly, desperately, I am going to try to focus so much on Him that everything else takes a back seat. Whether this means having a 4 hour quiet time, or not getting on facebook, I am going to follow the Spirit and pray for change, a heart change, the kind that turns mediocre girls into passionate young women willing to anything for their Creator.

((desperate for changing. starving for Truth. closer then when I started. I'm chasing after You.))

Friday, February 19, 2010


I used to think that I had it all figured out. I thought that I was so smart and knew so much. Yet, the older I get and more I learn, I realize that I really do not know anything. And I'm not even sure that I want to. Can you imagine the pressure? The constant drama, and never ending feeling of responsibility?

I have never really been a 'people person'. Compassion and sympathy are not my strong points. I struggle with pride and judging others without taking the time to think about the big picture. Showing the love of Jesus to everyone is something that has seemed impossible; until now.

My life has changed so much in this past year or so, I do not know if I have experienced so much opposition and character building in such a short period of time. It is like I have grown in my faith more in this period than the last twelve years of my Christian walk put together.
As much as I have fought, struggled and felt like every part of my life was being thrown in the fire and put to the test, I have been encouraged by this growth. I know that is so far from over, it is a constant struggle with my flesh, an all out battle between what I want and what God wants.

I have caught myself just being amazed by God's most prized creation; people. The diversity, the creativity, and how intricate we all are. I am in awe of us, of everyone. I have seen things that have both shocked and scared me, while making me think about how different my life is than the rest of the world. And realizing that every single person on planet earth is handmade by God, and how much He loves each one.

I have never experienced compassion like this before, being sensitive is a new thing for me. Tears are closer to the surface and my heart aches for people that I do not even know. I am not being prideful or trying to show off what I have done. I realize that this is only happening through the help of the Holy Spirit. I know that this is true because I am just a prideful and selfish in other situations, but I know that God is working in this area and it is exciting to me.

seeing the world with new eyes,

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Midwinter's Evening Dream

I have 3 posts that are waiting to be finished.
Deep thoughts that I had, but did not feel like finishing.
So in the midst of feeling sad and restless, which I blame on the weather, I have decided to try a different tactic and actually finish a post. It has been 5 days since I have seen the sun for any extended period of time. And my 'normal' life has been thrown completely out of whack.
Yesterday I made the mistake of smelling sunscreen. It was an innocent little bottle, just sitting on the counter. But then I had to pick it and take a whiff. It is one of my favorite smells, because it reminds me of my favorite season; Summer.
I love Spring, and Fall is beautiful.
But for some reason Summer has a special place in my heart. I love each and every thing about it. From the very first time I wear shorts, to the last time I have my quiet time out on the porch, I savor each moment.
And because I miss it so much I decided to make myself thoroughly miserable and share some of my favorite things about the wonderful thing that is Summer.
I love the outdoors, God's creation is a wondrous thing. Walking, looking, listening, climbing, running......just being outside is amazing.
Flip flops are one of my favorite things. In the summer I rarely wear anything else. I also enjoy going barefoot :)

I am fascinated by the sky. It amazes me. The beauty. The sheer size and power.
The sun is incredible, if I had to pick the one thing (as in a thing, not people or God, just to clarify) that always makes me happy I would pick sunshine. Storms are another favorite. Thunder, lightning, wind, rain. The whole show. My mom always says that God is revealing a just a tiny bit of his glory, power, and majesty.

Stars leave me speechless. There are really no words to accurately describe them. They are stars. There is nothing like them. Just the fact that the tiny light I am seeing is coming from millions of miles away, traveling years from its source, just so I can see its beauty and wonder at the creativity of our Maker.........

I seem to be saying 'I love' and 'my favorite' over and over again.
But I did tell you that this is one of my favorite things. (there I go again!)
]Anyways, back on topic. My Grandpa has a pool and for as long as we have lived in Oklahoma we have gone over every summer and used it as much as our parents would allow.
Laying in the sun has to be one of the most peaceful things ever, in my opinion.
I also love the beach, and would spend months and months there if I could.
Lemonade reminds me of Summer, hence I love it also. I thought the picture was quite nice and made me smile :)
So, now that I am way past ready for Summer, at the beginning of February no less, I thought I would share the longing with you. Hope you enjoyed.
be free

Saturday, January 23, 2010

everlasting. never ending.

I have always thought of wanting to go to Heaven as a sign of spiritual maturity and a realization of what really matters.
But today I had a new thought:
What if wanting to go to Heaven, or home as I call it, is just selfishness?
Why do I want to go home?
What are my motives?
Am I truly focused completely on God and what He wants?

I think that the answer to these questions are simple. I am selfish. I want to go home because I am 'tired' of this world. I want to escape all the pain, confusion, and chaos.
I basically want to give up. I am saying that this is too hard and I don't want to do it anymore.
I am not focused on God at all, I am focused solely on myself and what I want.

I have been trying to think about what this mindset says about what I think about God. What it is saying to Him. I am telling God that I do not trust Him. I do not think He has a good plan for my life, and that I really don't appreciate everything He has blessed me with.
Doesn't God have a intricately designed plan for my life?
Is He not trying to show me love and make me more like Him with all the 'hard' things He puts in my life?
Do I not have a mission here on this earth? One that does NOT involve always being happy and pleased about what is happening to me.

This is such a hard thing to really get.
I like feeling sorry for myself.
I like being all self-righteous because I am 'tired' of the evil world and want to go to Heaven, where it is holy.
Why is it so hard to embrace every hardship as an opportunity for growth and wisdom?
And WHY WHY WHY is my first instinct to think about myself every single moment of every single day?
Am I redeemed or not? Have I been sanctified? Am I being transformed or conforming more everyday?

I am.

If there is one thing I DO know it is that I have a Savior.
He saved me.
I am saved.
From selfishness. And pride, and everything else that makes up my old flesh.
I have faith in this.
I press on because of this.
I will overcome and one day I will go Home. But it will be God's timing. His will.
And Oh, what a glorious day that will be.

be free

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
My heart and my soul
I give You control
Consume me from the inside out
Let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love You from the inside out
-Inside Out, Seventh Day Slumber

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


God is my everything.
Without Him I am nothing.
He is the air I breathe and my reason for breathing.
I love Him because He first loved me, because that is what I was made to do; love God.
If I do not love God I have nothing. I am nothing.
The whole basis for Christianity is love. Started with love, ended with love, and there is so much love in between.
You show love by your actions. Not by words, feelings, or thoughts.
I have a conviction to love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength because it is the basis of The Truth.
If I do not believe this, then everything else is a lie and my life has no meaning or purpose.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

rAnDom ON pURpoSe

I like order.
I appreciate symmetry, and things that 'go' together.
Chaos stresses me. Disarray jumbles my thinking.
A place for everything, and everything in its place.

But, I also like to be random. As in without rhyme or reason. No method or logical sequence. Its surprisingly hard to be random sometimes. My brain is not really wired that way. I tend to think in an orderly and precise train of thought. One thing leads to another, and I rarely get 'off' topic.
As I get older I do believe that I am learning to loosen up and relax. And the more I realize that being random is a gift, because randomness leads to laughter, and if you can make people laugh then you will always have friends.
'Laughing with friends is good for the soul' - Me :)

So; this is my attempt at randomness and I hope it brings a smile to your face (because it looks SO much better that way hehe)


Grandparents on facebook is weird, and downright creepy.


When I type the lol I actually say 'laugh out loud' in my head.
I also have the tendency to mouth all the words as I type them.


Speaking in an accent instantly makes talking more fun.


Whenever you are trying to make polite conversation it always helps to speak loud enough that they can hear you.


There should be a law that all grocery stores must follow the same basic layout.


No, I did not turn up the radio because you started singing, I just couldn't hear it very well.


Having a bad day? Just go to an auto parts store, they treat girls like royalty there.


It is not about what you say, its about what you communicate.


I like to play peek-a-boo with random babies at Wal-mart. Which either makes the mother smile or give me a dirty-you're-a-creeper-look :P


Just because I'm wrong, does not make you right.


Marriage; the only family you can choose.....hmm


Writing about music is like dancing about architecture


'If I answer the phone and they have an Indian (as in India) accent, I hang up.' - mom


Normal is boring. Whoever invented normal anyways? What is the standard that 'we' judge 'normal' by?


Nothing tips like a cow.


'Ello poppet. 'Ello chum.


'Is that you breathing? 'Cause I can't hear myself think! There's too much going on here; you're asthmatic, you're a robot. And why the cape? Are we going to the opera? I don't think so.' - Kah Mun Rah (I have come baaaaack to life!)


British people have so many cool words (must be said with accent): Smashing. Brilliant. By jove! Bimble (to wander aimlessly). Cheeky. Daft. Blimey. Kerfuffle (fight). Manky (sick). Naff (lame, cheap, tacky). Numpty (stupid person). Oy! Spot on. Ta (thanks awfully). Telly. Wonky (off, not straight, something wrong.




Hope you enjoyed my attempt at randomness, on purpose :)

be free

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009_a year of learning_

I suppose that when I get older New Year's will be less dramatic and important. Right now though it is pretty cool, a brand new year. A whole year has gone by. Just the mystery of it, what is going to happen in 2010? How am I going to change? And what will I learn?

2009 seems like it just started, and yet the last year has been the most life-changing for me so far. I feel much older somehow, while at the same time knowing how young and naive I really am.

I will never forget some of the things that happened last year, they have shaped my character and personality into something completely different.

{2009} - You have stretched me beyond myself.

January and February was basketball, basketball and more basketball. I helped coach, along with running the clock and keeping the book, both very valuable life skills.
In March I planned, shopped, packed, and cooked for the ski trip (with Whitney). 3 meals a day, 40 people, 7 days.
April marked the beginning of conference season and most of my time was devoted to Character Focus. Through April and May I helped with 3 Children's Conference's, one a trip to Arkansas where I participated in 2 youth led revivals. I started teaching Sunday school in May, and I love it! My group, 10-12, has changed the way I view 'kids', and I am continually amazed by how smart they are.
In June we had our church VBS, or Character Week, it was done a little different this time, and I was in charge of a team for the first time. The responsibility was a challenge, but one I very much enjoyed. I also was able to talk with Jose, he was a 2nd grader I taught in Character First all year, then he came to Character Week. He started asking me questions, and I had the privilege of leading him to Jesus :).
July was slower, started watching the Truth Project with the leadership team, and I will be forever changed by those discussions. Was able to play basketball in some scrimmages, and found out that I'm not as old as I thought.
The end of July was the beginning of the RSI Africa trip to Kenya. This 3 week trip was unlike anything I have ever experienced. Whenever I think about the past year Africa always comes to mind first, every time. There are too many thoughts and emotions about this subject, words can not properly express it, besides this; Africa will be forever etched in my heart.
September; the whole family went to the beach for vacation. 7 amazing, wonderful, relaxing, quiet, beautiful days......*sigh*
October was crazy. Leadership retreat, picture party, camping in the freezing cold. Start of mission day, and BIBLE CLUB! Watched a good friend jump from a plane and hit 3,000 texts for the first time.
November.....most definitely a learning month. I think I wrote more in my journal than the last 3 months combined. Conclusion; God is always faithful. Happiness is not the same as joy. The friends I have are the best ever. My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty, there nothing my God can not do.
I must confess that I was happy to see November go, and December did not disappoint. It was a very good month, so very busy and fun.
Goodbye 2009, you were amazing and have showed me how life is worth it, every second.