Let Me Clear My Throat


“Encountering …
March 5, 2012, 10:31 am
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“Encountering God in love is as important for people who live in their head as for those who live in their heart. Both need to learn to ground their identity on experiential knowing of themselves as deeply loved by God. But each will face different challenges in doing this.”
-pg. 31, Surrender to Love

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what should i do with my life?
February 28, 2012, 6:04 pm
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As I am constantly plagued by this question and often find myself on the verge of a midlife crisis a week shy of 22 years old, I may have found my answer.

“Deep down, however, something within us seems to remember the Garden within which we once existed. Part of us longs to return; we know that this is where we belong. But another part of us seems bent on living out our illusions of freedom and autonomy. We tell ourselves that we can create other gardens in which to find soul rest and encounter love. But what we create are weed-infested gardens of compulsion and idolatry. Instead of rest we get addiction and self-preoccupation. And our restlessness grows, our hearts yearning for something both familiar and unattainable.”
Surrender to Love, David G. Benner

I don’t know much, but I do know that the idea of freedom and autonomy that I paint myself into is the product of my own idolatry and lack of faith in the Lord’s sovereignty in my life.

The only way to get to the next step of my life is to surrender to love. Pray for me as I continue to be humbled by the writings of Mr. Benner



April 12, 2011, 5:32 pm
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Why did I try to avoid the unavoidable for so long? Why do I believe that I will eventually gain power over sin while keeping two feet walking forward into even more sin? Why do I feel invincible from the darkness with out any dependence on Jesus? And what the hell happened to me to harden my heart into believing I could live each day on my own? I don’t even know who I am anymore. I was finally getting a glimpse of the woman I was becoming, and to be honest, I liked what I saw. I finally have all my ducks in a row, and the things I would have died for last year, I finally have those things. And then, Satan comes sweeping through with his sweet lies and his deceitful words and my doubts grew like weeds in a garden that was intended to be untouched.

So I return to the blogger world with a broken spirit and a severed heart. Is this cyclical process of picking up my cross daily to look like Jesus what I signed up for? WHY, WHY, WHY am I having so much trouble seeing the beneficial, fulfilling, tender, awe-inspiring reasons that come from relationship with Jesus. There are so many specks on my glasses, so many things in my view. I want a clear view. I want a breath. I want perspective. I want to find my own fire. Taylor Williby, don’t give up on me now.



beauty.
December 2, 2010, 6:34 pm
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its the beautiful things that get us. perhaps the greatest seduction is not the ANTI-GOD but the ALMOST*GOD. poisonous fruit can look tasty. thats what is so dangerous about ideas like FREEDOM, PEACE AND JUSTICE. they are all seductive qualities, close to the heart of god. after all, its the beautiful things we kill and die for. and its the beautiful we market, exploit, brand, and couterfeit.

WE FIND OURSELVES POSSESSED BY OUR POSSESSIONS… and enslaved by the pursuit of freedom. nations fighting for peace end up perpetuating the very violence they seek to destroy. Serpents are slippery and slimy things.

jesus for president, by: shane claiborne and chris haw



patience.
July 11, 2010, 9:28 pm
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I wait.
Dear Lord, Thy ways
Are past finding out,
Thy love too high.
O hold me still
Beneath Thy shadow.
It is enough that Thou
Lift up the light
Of Thy countenance.
I wait –
Because I am commanded
So to do. My mind
Is filled with wonderings.
My soul asks, “Why?”
But then the quiet word,
“Wait thou only
Upon God.”
And so, not even for the light
To show a step ahead,
But for Thee, dear Lord,
I wait.
Elisabeth Elliot

How long, Lord, must I wait?
Never mind, child. Trust Me.



boiling.
July 7, 2010, 3:02 pm
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Heaven is real.

We get to delight and take part in many glimpses of heaven amidst the dandy stroll through this thing called life. Although there we bask in victory with our savior, let’s not forget the reality that we are at war. Spiritual warfare is an overlooked yet powerful phenomena that I find myself caught in the middle of. After spending a weekend at the beach surrounded by Godly women that have known my heart for years, suited up for battle with me, wept over loss with me, and rejoiced in the harvest with me, I find myself experiencing extreme culture shock having settled into my Marietta home for a couple more weeks of summer. It blows my mind that I can be so drenched and romanced by the holy spirit one second, and in bondage to things of this world in the next moment. Hence, the aforementioned unrelenting tug of war between good and evil for my heart.

But am I allowing myself to be held captive? Are my broken moments reflecting a belief that God isn’t strong enough, or that my God isn’t good? I would never speak such things. Yet the way I deal with loss, brokenness, and lack of control reflects the belief that God isn’t pulling His weight.

Here we are, back at square one. Releasing control of things I so desperately want my say in.

Things of this world, I hate you so bad. All things cancer, I loathe you more. As I write, it requires all that is within me not to smash this laptop. One of the worst things about cancer is that I don’t get to direct my anger at someone specifically, so am I mad at God?

[insert words expressing severe frustration]

For me, I will wait in this weakness, hardship, persecution, and difficulty (2 cor 12:10).

Continuing to sow in tears, and desparately desiring to reap with songs of joy (ps 126),

Stephanie

EDIT 4:33pm

Shortly after my angry post, God pretty much slapped me across the face in a loving way with His truth.

“Remember every road that God led you on for those forty years in the wilderness, pushing you to your limits, testing you so that he would know what you were made of, whether you would keep his commandments or not. He put you through hard times. He made you go hungry. Then he fed you with manna, something neither you nor your parents knew anything about, so you would learn that men and women don’t live by bread only; we live by every word that comes from God’s mouth. Your clothes didn’t wear out and your feet didn’t blister those forty years. You learned deep in your heart that God disciplines you in the same ways a father disciplines his child.” Deuteronomy 8:2-5

Bring it on world.



blessing vs. suffering
June 23, 2010, 12:23 pm
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Check out these beautiful truths from a great man/team leader for the Young Life Hertford trip, Brent Shoemaker.

“What if being blessed meant suffering? What if pain was the road that landed you at destination blessing?  Do suffering and blessing go together?

What is the better blessing anyway, a new job or a new heart?  A new boyfriend or a new way of seeing God as Father? A new set of circumstances or a new way of viewing your circumstances?   So much of what we attach to “blessing” is circumstantial but the real value of blessing is what happens inside.  What would you rather have?  Inner Peace or Outward Power?  Contentment or More Stuff?  More friends or Self Worth?  I’ve been challenged so much lately to rethink my entire approach to “blessing”  & “better.” For so long I looked for the outward manifestation of God’s goodness and now God is directing my eyes to my heart.  What is the true blessing Stephanie, new circumstances or a new freedom in me that is not dependent on your circumstances? Stephanie do you want to own more stuff or do you want to be free from your stuff owning you? So what kind of “blessing” are you looking for?  Scripture is clear, God is most obsessed with the condition of our hearts and desires to “bless” us by by conforming us more into the image of Jesus. (Sanctification)   Maybe you’re looking in all the wrong places for a “blessing.”  It’s possible that your greatest blessing is happening right now in your heart as God uses this painful life to actually give you life.”

30 days until I get to serve alongside these sweet people in Hertford, England.