Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sweet Revenge

I remember the first time I tasted Vanilla.  My mom used to bake with us often, and the sweet aroma that floated from the bottle when the cover was removed was tempting.  We always begged to taste it, but mom would say no.  "You won't like it"

Being young, we thought that was crazy.  How could something that smelled so sweet and delicious taste bad?

One day, she relented.  She poured some in a teaspoon, and had us dip our fingers in the dark, sweet, goodness.  We put our fingers in our mouth, and looks of disgust spread across our faces.  Mama was right...of course.

Whenever I think about the bitterness of Vanilla, I think of life, and anger, and forgiveness.

I have been asked how I forgive the pain in my past. How I move on, and how I let go.

It's because at one point...I didn't.

For ten years, I kept a secret to myself.  Keeping the secret was the first time I remember lying.
I held in frustration and confusion, and gained severe anxiety..attempting to protect others from it.   When things finally came to light, I didn't forgive.

Because vengeance, and anger, and hatred, and bitter feelings are easier.  Because that is what comes naturally to our fleshly, worldly self.  We are in the world, and the world says to hold onto that anger, and to let it feed you.  The idea of anger, and bitter feelings was sweet smelling, and I thought it would be good.  I thought that drinking from it's sweet darkness was going to give me the relief I needed...but once it touched my tongue, I knew that would never be the case.

But I didn't leave it.  I kept going back to that sweet aroma...hoping that maybe the next time I tried it, it would taste better.  It never is.

And when I finally decided that there must be a better way, that something has to help relieve that anger and frustration..I 'stumbled' across Ephesians 4:31-32

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with ever form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, even as God, in Christ forgave you.

And you wonder how you let it all go.

Forgiveness is less like vanilla, and more like the cupcakes.  They take time to mix up, they take time to bake, but when they are finally finished, and you sink your teeth into that sweet goodness, it's delicious, and it was worth the effort that you put into it in the first place.

Sometimes, the anger comes back, and I let the bitterness take over...but I'm quickly reminded that it isn't worth it.

God forgives the dirtiness in me. I have sin too. I have hurt people too. Yet God still loves.

Though I am unworthy, He still loves me.

I am not above anybody else.  I don't deserve forgiveness more than anybody else.  My sin isn't less ugly then anybody else.  Why should I judge someone, and have bitter feelings toward someone, just because they sin differently then I do.

So, let it go. Forgive. Taste the sweetness that it brings.

Secured tightly in His grip,


Friday, September 20, 2013

There Will Always Be Spring

The Leaves, they are changing.

There is a distinct difference between the smell of fresh cut grass in the spring, and the smell of fresh cut grass in the fall.
It's all around me. I can feel it whenever I go outside.
Fall is coming.

I used to despise fall, mostly because I despise winter, and since fall comes before winter, it's natural to despise it as well.

This year however, I've been looking forward to it.  Waiting for the beauty of the colorful mountains and the crisp cool nights.

Winter always comes. In the seasons, and in life.  You can pretty much count on it.

I used to not enjoy the warms seasons of life, because I was too worried about the cold seasons that might pop up.  I was constantly worried about the winter, and not enjoying the beauty of everything in between.

I've learned that it doesn't matter whether it's summer or winter.  Jesus is there. He's painting a beautiful masterpiece in the mountains, and He's writing the book that is my life.

I can't praise him for the beautiful parts, and be angry at him for the hard parts.

All I see is what's placed right in front of me, He see's the whole picture.  He knows the path He's leading me on.

When the sharp winds blow, I can feel him whisper in the breeze. "My love, spring is coming"

And I cling to Him. 

Because even when it hurts, when the cold air is stinging my cheeks. He's there to shield the wind.

And I stay in the warmth of my Saviors arms. 

Spring is coming. 

Secured Tightly in His Grip,


I was raised in the church

I hear people talk about how they were raised in the church.  I was too.  My small church, was a major part of my life.  A group of people that quickly becomes your family.  Family that is there in all aspects of life when you need them to be.

I've known these people since I was too young to even remember going to church.  For 24 years they were a solid part of my life. Teaching me about the love of Jesus, Teaching me to make him my lighthouse through all the dark storms life brings.

The first time I remember being in church was when I was around 3.  I was sitting in 'big people church' swinging my feet underneath my very own chair with a picture bible in my lap.  Every time the pastor would say to turn to another verse, I would flip my pages to another story.  Just to copy the grown ups.

I remember all of the kids and the pastor forming a giant circle up front during worship service.  We'd sing along to all the songs, turning around and around in circles.

My church family helped to teach me about the love of Jesus.  They had a hand in my eventual acceptance of Him, and my repentance.

They were there through hard times, praying with me.

They were family. A big family full of love, encouragement, laughter, and  hearts for Jesus.

Here I learned about my true love of music.  For 9 and a half years I sat at my piano, leading worship.

When I left just under a year ago, I was worried about finding a new church. I didn't go anywhere for a month, because I was that nervous.

I didn't want to be an outsider, infiltrating another family.

But, when I was invited to a church, I couldn't say no.

So I went.

More nervous than going to the doctors as a six year old, knowing you were going to get shots.

But, I went

I've been there every Sunday since.

Sometimes I sing with the worship team.
Either way, every Sunday, I get to sing praises to my Savior with a congregation that loves Him too.
To worship Him, and to thank him for never letting me go.

Sometimes I still ache for my 'Family'. The people who helped me grow in Jesus, that helped me understand Him, and helped me grow in Him. They planted seeds, and watered them, so I now have solid roots in Him.

I still ache for the summer picnics, and the smell of food cooking in the crockpots for lunch after service.  For planning worship music and sitting behind my piano, giving it all to Jesus. For laughter and deep conversations, or for laughter and pointless conversations.
For familiarity.

Every week, as the months have gone on, new things become familiar and my roots continue to grow deeper in the Rock that is my Savior.

It's a new family, and a lot of change.

But, I know one day my kids will be there with me, kicking their little feet under the chairs with their picture bible, copying the grown ups.

Secured Tightly in His Grip,


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The City on a Hill

"you are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but put it on a lamp stand, and gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

We, are meant to be a city on a hill. A light for the world to see.

Whenever I read this verse in Matthew I think of driving in darkness and then spotting the bright lights of a city in the distance. It's bright and comforting.

WE are supposed to be like that. The bright comforting light of Jesus, waiting for the wayward travelers on their struggled journey. To welcome them with the beautiful light and love of Jesus.

We live in a world of torment and hate. A world where judgement is prominent and the lights seem to dim. Sometimes it feels like I hold this little light in my hand and heart and it glows faintly in the deep darkness. I can almost feel people glowering at me, willing my light out, because they prefer the darkness. The blinding light, even if small, is too much...and they hate it.

Sometimes when you feel that you stand alone you look for that basket to hide the light. Thinking you will cover it, just for a little while until you feel the stares of hatred and judgement have passed, and then you can pull it out again and let it light your way.

..If you cover a candle for long enough it will burn out.

We are a city friends, and when we burn brightly together the power of Jesus is there, burning through us.

Don't feel like you need a basket. Keep pushing on. Find others whose lights burn in this deep, dark world.
Build a city. Don't cower to the world and smother your light.

Burn with the beautiful, sacred love of Jesus.

Secured Tightly in His Grip,


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Love...

"I am the thorn in Your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway"

A Love,

Deeper than the deepest depth of the sea.

A Love,

Stronger than a thousand horses.

A Love,

More Merciful, More Beautiful, More Spectacular,

Than anything you have ever experienced in your life.

My Sweet Jesus,
Is that Love.

When I'm broken and torn.
He picks up the pieces and puts them back together with love.

When I Fall
He picks me up with love.

When I Sin,
He takes me back with love.

I make stupid life choices.
But He loves me anyway.

I break His heart,
But He loves me anyway.

And when I'm broken, on the ground, in sin from my stupid life choices.
When I cry out in shame.

He loves me anyway.

A Love,
The Greatest Love of all.

Born of a Virgin,
To Die on the Cross

My Jesus.

It doesn't matter what you've done...
He loves you too.. and He's knocking.
Let Him in.

Secured Tightly in His Loving Grip,


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fields of Grace...

I was driving home from choir tonight and decided I needed some quality time alone.

So I pulled over on the side of the road, and walked into this field (was I trespassing? Potentially... but that's beside the point.)

I'm standing in the middle of this giant field. Just me. Every pain, every emotion that I've felt over the last weeks flooded out like a giant tidal wave, and I started to yell. (yes, I trespass in random fields...and I yell in them.)

I yelled about how I've been waiting THREE years.. was I not hurting enough... that He had to give me what I wanted, and then take it all away after barely six weeks? I yelled about my broken, sad heart. About the heaviness that life has had. About how I just want a break. I want something good, for once.

All I hear back is "Job"

When I'm in the depths of despair, the last thing I really want to be reminded of is JOB. I mean, seriously?!!? Give me somebody I've got something on, cause I've got nothing on Job.

And Job 38 starts running through my head.

And I start to cry harder.


Who am I to question (yell at?) the God of the Universe of his intentions. Um, I'm a speck of dust on this world.

And I fall on my face in the field (I trespass, yell, and fall on my face in random fields)

And I fall. Broken. In the sweet arms of Jesus. In tears. In surrender.

And I prayed. For forgiveness, and mercy.

I get back in my car, and Matthew West sings through my speakers.

"You're starting over now
Under the sun
You're stepping forward now
A new life has begun
Your new life has begun

An’ there's only grace
There's only love
There's only mercy and believe me…it's enough
Your sins are gone
Without a trace
And there's nothing left now
There's only grace…"

When you're broken, and have no where else to turn.

There's Only Grace

Secured Tightly in His Grip,


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

You were Superman...

You were my Superman. The smartest, the strongest,the bravest. Always going to be there, whenever I needed you most.
That's all you ever should have been.

Until you weren't.
Until you taught me what it felt like to hurt, to break, to hold everything inside, in hopes that maybe, it would all go away.
Until life became a broken record. Repeating itself over and over.

You taught me that no person can really be trusted, and in that, I discovered a one true constant.


When I needed somebody to talk to, He was there.
When I cried, He held me..
The the only reason I could keep holding on... He was the only thing that mattered.

Sweet, Sweet Jesus.
His mercy and love filled the holes and cracks and tears inside that you made.

Through His Blood, He saved me. He made me whole again when I never thought that was possible.

He taught me forgiveness and He taught me how to feel again. He taught me that He is all I need.

I lost count of the ways you let me down
But no matter how many times you weren’t around
I’m all right now

God picked up my heart and helped me through
And shined a light on the one thing left to do
And that’s forgive you

I forgive you.

But I still wish you would have stuck with being Superman...

(Still)Secured Tightly in His Grip,


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A River of Life

There is A LOT of flooding right now. A LOT. It comes with the spring I suppose. As the snow melts, the river gets higher. When the river gets higher the current gets stronger, when the current gets stronger, it tears open new access points. Ripping apart fields, playgrounds...pretty much everything it can.

The water needs to flow.

Sometimes the solid banks of the river just can't hold in all of the water. It needs to be flushed out, and there is only one way to do that. Take over everything in the way.

The most interesting part of this for me is seeing the after effects. When the water is all dried up...what does the river leave behind? What does it take away?


Life is like this raging river.

There are pains.

They come through tearing up everything you once thought was in it's right place. Leaving behind ugly rivets and torn up hearts and souls. Tearing up the sod of life. Taking away all of the good, and leaving behind ugly scars of the bad and broken.


Sweet, Sweet Jesus.
My Rock, My Savior, My Solid Ground.

My River

The River of True Life, The River of Mercy, The River of Living Water.

So sweet, My Jesus.

He comes through after the river of life has ripped up all that we thought was good.

He replaces the pain with love. He smooths over the scars and sweeps away the bad.

Only Him

He wraps his loving arms around me, when the winds of sorrow come, He gives me a reason to keep singing, and He sings over me, He comforts me. Because the pain can never compare to joy that is to come. The pain will fade when glory takes over.

He's there.

He Heals... He makes all things new.

He never lets go.

Secured Tightly in HIS Grip,


Monday, April 11, 2011

Let The World Hear Your Tune

Last night, for the very first time I stepped outside and heard spring peepers. It was quite glorious because it means...

SPRING is finally here!

They have been hibernating away all winter, and now they want to be heard. Tucked away through the cold bitter winter, they are awake, and want the world to hear their tunes.

It's so easy to hibernate. To get comfortable where we are, to do what we can to get by. When we wake up though, we realize just how much we have been missing.

How marvelous it feels to wake up and let God take control!

The song by Casting Crowns While You Were Sleeping says just what we can miss while we are sleeping.

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping?
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King?
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

It's easy sometimes to feel that you are doing what you need to do to get's hard for some people to get up and get out there and tell the world, or even just their friends to wake up to what is real, true and holy.

How will you feel when they are gone, and you didn't give them the chance to wake up and see what they've missed while they were sleeping.

The world needs an awakening...

It can't happen when even WE, the Christians, the ones God called to preach to the nations, are sleeping ourselves.

Just like the spring peepers.

We need to wake up and let the world hear our tune. The tune of Jesus, the tune of redemption, grace, mercy, and love.

Secured Tightly in His Grip,


Monday, April 4, 2011

In The Deepest Darkness of the Night...

The Moon, Oh how I love the moon. I think I could lie on my front lawn all night watching it. A full moon especially.

A few weeks back was the "Supermoon". I don't think it looked any bigger, but it's beautiful anyways. I grabbed my camera, and rushed out the door. I didn't care that it was 25 degrees out.

However, my little snap and shoot camera in no way can capture the essence and beauty of the moon. Impossible. (I took them anyway).

I love all nature. I can get so wrapped up in the beauty of God's creation. To think, he spoke these things into existence. From a grain of sand to the sun in the sky.

Pure Beauty

These things we take advantage of every day, Make me all warm and fuzzy inside.

But the moon...

This giant ball of light, piercing through the darkness of the night.

The moon reminds me of Jesus. The light, in the complete darkness of a cold, angry, sin infested world. He's still there, shining through the darkness in all His glory.


Day after day, night after night. He's still there, saying "I'm still here. Find me, follow me, let me light your way!"

He's there in the deepest darkness of the night...When you cry and think that you can't do it anymore. He's there, a reminder that the morning is coming again, and it's a chance to start over fresh, and new. But only through Him.


Sweet, sweet Jesus.

Secured Tight in His Grip,