Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lord I Love You Because....

-You are the significance and meaning in life
-You are my sufficiency
-Your Word is lovely, living, and active
-You love me extravagantly
-You lavish my journey with good things
-You give me your grace on a daily basis
-You teach and stretch me through my limitations
-You are my joy
-You are my hope
-Your mercy is new every morning
-You draw me to yourself
-You are the passion that burns within me
-You bless and strengthen others through my giftedness
-You show me the depth of my need for you
-You stir my spirit
-You constantly show me your tenderness
-You call to me through ordinary, mundane things
-You constantly are refining and growing me
-You permaeate me with your peace
-You fill my thoughts
-You make me better
-You inhabit my praise
-You give me friends and mentors to draw strength and life from
-You hold me in all seasons
-You rejoice over me
- You work through my humanness

I love you. May I forever revere and fear your name and your ways. Thank you for redeeming me, for choosing me, for cancelling my debts, for believing in my capabilities and weaknesses, and thank you for abiding with me.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Heavy Hearted....

I don't know who knows this, but the 5-year-old adopted daughter of Steven Curtis Chapman was killed accidentally on Wednesday afternoon by a family member. To make the tragedy worse, I read that the entire family was there and witnessed the accident. They had been at the Chapman home celebrating the engagement of Steven and Mary Beth's oldest daughter Emily. They were also preparing to celebrate their son Caleb's graduation from high school.

To say the least my heart is so very heavy for this family. I cannot even comprehend or understand the amount of grief and intense and immense pain this family is walking in right now. If this happened to me I don't know if I could even find the strength to form my breath. They are all constantly on my mind, on my heart, and in my prayers.

The only prayer I can offer up for them at this moment in time is the prayer of Psalm 91: They who dwell in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. The Chapmans will say of the Lord,"He is my refuge, and my fortress, my God in whom I trust." Surely the Lord will save the Chapmans from the fowler's snare and froim the deadly pestilence. He will cover the Chapmans with his pinions. He will cover the Chapmans in the shelter of His wings. His faithfulness will be the shield protecting and defending the Chapmans. The Chapmans will not fear the terror of the night, or the sudden death at mid day, or the pestilence that stalks in the darkness. No harm will come near the Chapmans in their season of grief. The Lord will command the angels concerning all of the Champmans to guard them in all of their ways. The angels will lift them up and carry them so that they will not strike their foot against a stone .

Bless these precious servants, Lord. Enter into their suffering, grief, and loss and extavagantly overwhelm them all with your love, mercy, and grace. May they be blessed.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Family Fun....

This weekend was so much fun. I absolutely love taking little weekend trips to bigger Texas cities with anyone I am close to, but especially my family. We took one such excursion this weekend to Fredricksburg and San Antonio. Back in the fall, we decided we would go to the wedding of a guy whose family we are close to in San Antonio. My parents decided that since the drive from Abilene to San Antonio is pretty lengthy, we would just make a weekend out of it. Grant and Laura also went along. I love when my immediate family is all together in the same space! Mama, Laura, and I watched The Holiday on the way down there, we ate delicious BBQ at Hard Eight in Brady on the way to Fredricksburg, and then repeated the BBQ for lunch at the original Rudy's in San Antonio on the way to the wedding. It was yummy.

The wedding was beautiful and the reception was at a really cool stable that once housed the Clydsdale Horses. It has now been rennovated as a beautiful, rustic venue for very nice parties. I got some pictures. That should come as a big shock, right?! After the wedding Daddy and Grant wanted to go to Bass Pro Shop so the girls made an executive decision to visit La Cantera which was new to Mama and I. This outdoor mall was so beautiful! It had fantastic, but expensive stores. My favorites were Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, and Williams & Sonoma. It sort of reminded me of the Towne Square in Southlake. The shopping was fun :) I had been saving up for this trip to Fredricksburg and SA.

Then on Sunday the girls shopped Main Street in Fredricksburg. I LOVE shopping in this fun liittle Hill Country town. One of my favorite things about it is walking down quaint little streets and stopping in quaint shops that are busting at the seams with precious things. Believe me, the Lord teaches me restraint and self control with a little dash of discipline thrown in :) I love seeing how the new things in this little German city has mixed the old and the new. I love the Ausin stone that all the major buildings boast. Thanks to the hospitality of three different individuals, we always have wonderful spaces to stay and enjoy time together. All in all this weekend was wonderful. Thanks Mama and Daddy. Be blessed this week :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Prayer Conference....

I am so excited. God totally opened up a great opportunity for me this summer. The woman who heads up the prayer ministry at my church asked me to accompany her and three other women to Pheonix, AZ in June to go to PrayerQuake 2008. I am really looking forward to being immersed in how to pray more effectively, how to approach my King in new and innovative ways, and receiving the blessing of spending time with four mighty prayer warriors.

For months I have desired to go deeper into the heart of my Jesus in intercession. I have really been interested in the power of praying prayers of blessing. And, when I received a brochure today outlining the choices of presentations, they had a presentation on the power of blessing! How great is God?! I get more and more excited as the dates for the conference draw near. I am praying that the Lord will give me a new understanding of the power of intercession. I am praying that the Lord will give me a revelation of His heart so that I may speak directly to Him in the authority given to me through the gift of the blood of Jesus. Prayer is my lifeline. Prayer is power. Prayer is surrender. Prayer is communion. I want to live and breathe in a posture of prayer in complete humility and authenticity before the Lord. I want to fear and reverence his name. God is good.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Mother's Love....

My Mama means so much in my life! My mama is a woman of deep, steadfast faith. She is a woman of beautiful gentleness and tenderness. I have learned so many things from her. Here are some of my favorite lessons...

1. She has taught me to cling to Jesus and to press deeply into Him. She has modeled an amazing, Spirit-filled joy and an infinite agape love in my journey of faith. She has nurtured me in the development of my spirit, encouraging me to search and find Jesus for myself so that I may walk out my own story. Because of this, I enjoy such a rich, captivating journey with the Lord everyday.

2. My Mama epitomizes godliness and she has taught me to pursue it myself. She has modeled such a beautiful relentless pursuit of Jesus in our home and in our family. I believe when someone steps into our family for any length of time, they know beyond the shadow of a doubt that our family is commited to the Way of Jesus Christ. Mama has taught me to create a beautiful, Christ-centered home of my own.

3. My Mama is a gifted administrator and has such a precious love for God's little ones. The Lord has given her such a godly way of leading her employees. They know that she is a woman of God who is quick to pray for them. The thing that I love most about her as an administrator is that she knows not to depend on her own abilites and strengths, but to give all of herself to the Lord and allow Him to work in and through her.

4. My Mama is a woman of excellence and she is an amazing wife and compliment to my Daddy. I am constantly praising the Lord for my parent's marriage and for the life that they share. My Mama provides such a safe haven for my Daddy. She constantly makes all of us laugh and smile. She brings such joy and life to my Daddy. I am thankful that the Lord orchestrated and founded the marriage covenant they share. I have been immeasurably blessed to witness such a godly, Christ-honoring, sacrificial love between my parents. Thank you for working so hard to live out your love for the Lord and one another for Grant and I to try to emulate.

5. My Mama is a commited friend. She speaks kindness and blessing into so many lives. Her friends know that she is a safe place. She loves her friends fully and fiercely. My Mama is such a gifted minister. She brings such authenticity and humility to the kids in her Huddle on Wednesday nights. She speaks truth and love whenever she opens her mouth. Her words heal and bring restoration into brokenness and lonliness.

Mama, you are one of my heroes in the faith. I am who I am because of who YOU are. Thank you for being my mentor, my friend, my safe place, my example, and my model. Thank you for all the richness you bring into my life. Lord, thank you for choosing my mom to guide, mold, cultivate, love, and nurture my journey to your heart. She truly is a woman of esteemed honor. I will love you forever, I'll love you for always, as long as I'm living, my Mama you'll be!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Bits and Pieces...

The ladies at Highland just finished a rich study on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John that I was blessed to be a part of. I gained so much rich knowledge from being in the Word everyday during this study. It made me really sit back and think about how I love others as an expression of Jesus. I was challenged, convicted, encouraged and edified in my walk with the Lord. I got to know some beautiful women who have become vessels of His love in my journey. Our last session was today, and we ended out time together with a time of affirmation and blessing of everyone. My favorite part was that we got to right our blessings out to keep forever. The things the ladies wrote were beautiful, warm, and heartfelt. I am thankful and blessed to be nurtured by such wonderful women at Highland.

God has been really teaching me about hospitality lately. He keeps reminding me that my house doesn't have to be perfect, He just cares that I invite people in. I love having my home full of friends and family that I cherish and treasure. I also am reminded that Christ extends His welcome to me every day as I surrender myself to His heart and into His plan.

I ran across this prayer recently and I had to write it out and keep it. It really blessed my spirit and spoke of such a beautiful concept. It is taken from Beverly Ross who is a blogger like me out of the Dallas area. Here is the prayer:

"I pray that I will not only love much, but that I will love well; that I will learn to love appropriately. I need to use my head and test my feelings so that my love is sincere, not sentimental gush. I pray that I may live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus would be proud of: beautiful in fruits from the soul. I pray that these fruits will be rooted to my core so that they may take up residence in my soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God."

I thought those were very powerful words to an amazing concept. Be blessed this day.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Random things about the author

A person who knows me well can tell you four of my favorite things right off the bat. Those four things are that I love to burn candles, that I can never have enough picture frames in my house, that I am semi-obsessed with beautiful, oftentimes expensive stationery, and that I am a quote collector. They can also tell you that I always have a current prayer journal. But I guess that is a given when I am an intercessor, right? Here are some fun little facts about who I am.

I have a Westie named Sophie who is an independent, little spit-fire of a girl who brings so much joy and fun into my life. From the time I was little I have always thought that Westies were the most precious dogs, and now that I finally own one, I would have to agree. Although sometimes Sophie makes me want to pull my hair out! I just have to remember why I love her and that she is a terrier and she is bred to be independent and a digger. Westies are supposed to be white but I would say that 95% of the time she is a deep brown shade chiefly because the dirt is her dearest and most loyal companion :)

I have a loathing hatred of any clanging noise. For example, whenever I have to wash my dishes and I am putting my silverware away, I cringe as I place each piece into its assigned place in the top drawer of my counter. If anyone is clanging pots and pans together I am bee-lining into the next room. I have no idea why this is. That sound just gives me goosebumps!

My favorite colors are red and navy. I have always tried to dress in a modest, classy style, and somehow, a little less than have of my wardrobe ends up to be one of these two colors. Although navy and red are my favorite colors, my bedroom is painted a very soothing but rich shade of sage.

I LOVE to travel. London is my favorite city in the world. I could be British very easily. I love the English accent and the tradions of afternoon tea, the queen, and the keeping of beautiful gardens. I have a feeling Savannah, Georgia and I could be kindred spirits even though I have never had the pleasure of exploring its potential. Two of my favorite things reside in Savannah. Southern hospitality and Paula Deen.

I love watching cooking shows. If you ever visit me, and you turn on the TV, it is highly likely you will be greeted by either Paula, Ina, or Giada. You would be sad to know that I can't cook right now. I am wanting to learn. The microwave is this girl's best friend for the time being. Now, if God brings me the prospect of a husband, that will change real fast :)

I am about to make a confession. I figure this blog is a safe place and that I won't be judged for it:
My favorite foods are chicken strips, hambugers, and pizza. I know, I know, I need to learn to be a healthier eater. I guess it was all those years manning the little league concession stand.

I love music. My soul is uplifted and my heart is ministered to whenever I turn on a CD or turn on the radio. My favorite artists are Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, Phillips Craig and Dean, Point of Grace, Shante & Shane, Rascal Flatts, and Josh Groban. There is something about music that connects deeply with my heart and soothes my spirit.

I love being surrounded by people, but I also find a lot of peace when I am face to face with the Lord. I think we are wired for community. I know I am refreshed and challenged when I am being spurred on by other people. I cannot get enough of the raw honesty and vulnerability that comes with communion with the Lord. His presence brings me a joy like I've never experienced.

I desire to be a woman of hospitality. I think hospitality is essential in the Christian journey. Hospitality invites others into our most intimate and sacred space and says, "Come into my life and what I am all about." My precious parents have modeled the most authentic example of hospitality that I have seen. Inviting people into your home invites them further into your life. I love the warmth and coziness of a full and bustling home.

So there you have it. Until next time, be blessed.