Saturday, September 25, 2010

Psalm 139

1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you.

[I cut out verses 19-22]

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

That last verse is one I quote often. Every time I read my Bible, I quote that verse before I start, and also Psalm 119:18 "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law."

Now for the MSG version, because it's pretty heartfelt.

1-6 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
I'm an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I'm never out of your sight.
You know everything I'm going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you're there,
then up ahead and you're there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can't take it all in!

7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you're there!
If I go underground, you're there!
If I flew on morning's wings
to the far western horizon,
You'd find me in a minute—
you're already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I'm immersed in the light!"
It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you.

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.

17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
God, I'll never comprehend them!
I couldn't even begin to count them—
any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
And you murderers—out of here!—
all the men and women who belittle you, God,
infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
See how I hate those who hate you, God,
see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
Your enemies are my enemies!

23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I'm about;
See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

I'm in a very weird mood today. I will have almost no contact with Jared this weekend because he's doing poverty immersion. [Living as a homeless person for 40 hours]. Because of this, I was in bed by 10:30 last night. I haven't been to bed that early least a month. I set my alarm for 8 this morning, because even getting up that early would have gotten me 9.5 hours of sleep...but I didn't actually get up until about 10:45. 12 hours of sleep. I'm worthless. My boyfriend is away and that makes me sad so I sleep, because what else do I have to do? My attitude about life lately is really messed up. Going into this, Jared and I both knew that this weekend apart was going to be good for us. It's a time of separation that, if used, will draw me closer to God. If I'd just stop avoiding God, and just stop being lazy...

Psalm 139 helps. I know that I need God every single day, and I need for Him to be preparing me NOW for the things my life will hold. And I know He is. I know He's doing so much more in my life than I can even begin to see. And how do I thank Him? I ignore Him. Or just throw a prayer at Him here or there. I'm not convicted about the things I do wrong. I'm convicted about not being convicted.

I'm so sorry Abba. I've wandered away, but I know you're still right here beside me. I want to love you, I want to WANT you. Thank you for loving me, even when I neglect You. Thank you for the blessings that You pour out and I drink up, and please Lord help me to produce a useful crop for You. Use me. But mostly Father, help me to feel you. I want to be infatuated with you. Completely and totally consumed by Your love. Giddy. I want to be giddy.

Bah. I'm sure I'll blog more this weekend. Just pray for me to be consumed by God. Pray that He reveals Himself to me and shows me just how much He loves me. That's what changes lives...the realization of God's love. And it's something I've realized before. I've been romanced by my Lord before, and I know He'll do it again. I know that if I would just spend time with Him, I'd see His love. So pray that I get my priorities aligned. Pray that I truly make God the Lord of my life. Just pray for me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Awesomely Overwhelming

On May 23rd, in Africa, I wrote in my journal: "I'm sick of this bread and that funny tasting butter. I'm sick of all the horrible smells of this city. I miss home...but I think all the things that I hate about this city wouldn't matter if I were living here with the person I love." That was in response to wondering how in the world Andrea was going to live in Maputo, but seeing her with Matt made me realize how much it wouldn't matter where she was as long as she was with him. Yes, a lot of days will harbor feelings of homesickness. That's almost inevitable, but it will still be beautiful and content.

This weekend was so overwhelming, but at the same time exciting. Listening to Paul and Marionette speak was like saying, "Oh, hey future." When I try to view it from the outside, I see how ahead of myself I seem. And maybe I am in ways. But the thing is, I'm very very sure of my life with Jared. And the longer we're together, the more ways I am sure. God willing, Jared and I will live the majority of our lives in Africa. Wow. It's crazy to write that. Of course, it's something I still have to pray diligently about, but I know I want to marry Jared and spend my life with Him and I know without a doubt that I want to serve God with Jared by my side every single day...and I also know that my life isn't going to look normal or comfortable. I've known this for a while. Since I truly encountered God, I've felt that I wouldn't be content until I did something drastic (in the eyes of the world) for the Kingdom. I always felt that I couldn't be okay just living a normal average life. Yes, some people are called to serve God in their normal lives. Yes, America has needs too. I get that, but I'm not called to that. So the thought of living overseas is by no means "out of the blue". I guess I've never specifically considered it, but it's not like it catches me completely off guard. That doesn't make it any less overwhelming or scary. No, at this moment I do not feel specifically called to Africa. But I do feel called to work with children, probably orphans, and I do feel like Jared is the person God created for me. (And he is most definitely called to Africa) so it may not be the prettiest or the most perfect equation, but it still adds up.

I'm definitely struggling with taking things one day at a time while still opening my heart and mind to what my future will probably hold. And honestly, I absolutely hope that this is what my future will be. As scary as it is, I can't imagine a better way for God to use me personally, and Jared and I together. Who wouldn't want to bring God's Word to people who haven't heard it? Who wouldn't want to personally be used by God to change orphans lives? If this is what God has for Jared and I, it's an honor. It's a privilege. Don't think that doesn't mean I haven't thought of every single way it's going to suck. The thought of raising my children away from their grandparents absolutely shatters my heart. The thought of breaking my father's heart makes me want to cry. Knowing how much my mother is going to protest makes me exhausted already. I know that a lot of days I'll be tired and dirty and unhappy. Some days the thing I will want more than absolutely anything else is a good old fashioned hamburger. Some days I will throw fits and just want to go home. I know it's going to be hard. Almost every part of this is going to be hard. But the thing is, my children would grow up loving God in a way that me, as a child in America, didn't have a chance to. They would grow up seeing that every day is for serving God. They would be better off for it. No, they wouldn't have all the perks of comfortable American life, but honestly...who needs them? They're not doing anyone any good. And as far as breaking it to my parents?...God will give me strength and courage...and He will give them comfort and peace. As far as all the things I will want to whine about?...what better way to grow. I'm far too attached to my comfort. As far wanting to be home?...well we talked about that this weekend too. In a way, Africa is already home. I definitely left a part of me there. It was a smaller part than most people left, but was hard to leave and I never doubted that I would be back.

So yeah, obviously if I'm ahead of myself, I'm WAY ahead of myself. But somehow, I don't feel like I am. Time and God will tell.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


My friend Adrienna is so amazing. She is less than a month into her walk with God and she says things that are so enlightened and so obviously straight from God. I am actually jealous of where she's at. It's a blessing to be even a tiny part of it.

I've been in a place of stubbornness. I know that I need to turn to God. I know that God makes all things better. I know that I am content and complete and joyful when I am focused on God. But I'm stubborn. I am currently missing the joy in life. Everything seems too hard. I am too tired. I lack motivation for anything and I just want to give up. Sink, not swim. Not because I am any less blessed than I was a week ago. Not because God is any less awesome. I'm just stubborn.

I need prayer. That God will show me my purpose...for today, this week, this month, this year. In Your perfect timing, just lead me God. I need God to show me how to surrender. I need Him to show me what surrender looks like. How do I die to myself today? How do I truly let go? Of everything. I pray that God will fill me to the brim with His passions and His desires, and I want to care so so so much for those things that I AM motivated and I enjoy working for His kingdom. I absolutely want to be consumed by every way. It sounds beautiful. But I'm too tired, and I'm stubborn. God, I need you. Rip this life out of my hands, because I know that I can't handle it on my own, but for some reason I just can't let go. Show me all the ways that I grieve You. Show me the things that keep me from loving You like I should. Like I want to. Burn away every single piece of me that isn't pleasing to You. Transform me, Abba, body mind and soul. Make me new. Make me like You. Rid me of myself, dear Abba. I know I don't have to beg, Father. I know that You want these things for me more than I could ever want them for myself. Give me patience and peace God. Help me to just turn and look upon Your beautiful face and just rest. I love you, Abba. Not enough, but I do love You. So just come consume me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Boyfriend has joined the blogging world. He's pretty insightful at times, so in my completely biased opinion, he's worth following.

This morning at church I was reminded of how much I need God, and how much I don't focus on that enough. As a congregation, we were praying for God to breathe on us. To make us alive and to be fully HIMSELF inside of us. I've definitely noticed my lack of passion over the last month. I've prayed a lot about learning how to pursue after God in times of blessing, because I am overwhelmingly blessed right now. I have Jared who I can't even begin to thank God enough for. He encourages me and blesses me and loves me constantly, no matter how whiny or
immature I may be. He's the person that, God willing, I know I will have a beautiful life with. And what's even more exciting is that I KNOW without a doubt, that my life with him will be completely focused on God and spent serving His people. To continue with the blessings, I have an amazing family and the best friends anyone could ever ask for. They build me up and tear me down as needed, and no matter what they love me and have my best interests at heart. I have Chi Alpha, which is so ridiculously good I can't even describe it. My involvement with XA in the last year has drawn me so much closer to God and through that, changed my life. I've been slowly transformed to be more like my beautiful Father God, and I still have a lifetime's worth of changing to do. Point being: I am blessed beyond recognition. So how do I need God when God has given me everything I need?

I want to be on fire. Burning, blazing, unquenchable, and most importantly...spreading. I want to be CONSUMED by God...I want to be OBSESSED with God...I want to be considered crazy for God. I want God to be always on my mind. I want everything that I think, say, and do to be for the glory of God. I want to make Him famous (which is something Jared said in his blog today). In my journal on July 22 I wrote:
"They brought the apostles back, but not by force because they were afraid they'd be stoned. They were afraid the believers would stand up and defend them. Why don't we act like that? We're so passive and passionless."
I was talking about John 5. On July 29 I wrote:
"Paul, "without hinderance" told about Jesus day and night for over 30 years. He had no other focus in life. Absolutely no distraction. No family. No home. No job. He went where God told him and said what God told him and trusted what God told him. He was imprisoned for half that time and just kept on with his mission as if he were anywhere else. Beaten, stoned,
mobbed, flogged...every city he went to tried to kill him. No wonder he wanted to go to Heaven, but he knew he still had work to do so he didn't question it or get mad. He fully recognized that this was bigger than him or any other man."

Passion. I pray for consumption. I want God to be so alive inside of me and SO in control of me that I'm not seen at all. I want to be completely united as one with Him. I want to hear His voice, and recognize His nudging. I want to walk down a road simply because God told me to. [John 8:29]

Philippians 3:12 "I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." I want Jesus to take hold of me. Oh, how I want that. I want to think, breathe, eat, drink, pray, walk, study, talk, fellowship, and live like Jesus.

Breathe on me, Abba. Consume me.