"Hear my prayer, O Lord; let not my soul faint under thy discipline, nor let me faint in confessing unto thee thy mercies, whereby thou hast saved me from all my most wicked ways till thou shouldst become sweet to me beyond all the allurements that I used to follow. Let me come to love thee wholly, and grasp thy hand with my whole heart that thou mayest deliver me from every temptation, even unto the last. And thus, O Lord, my King and my God, may all things useful that I learned as a boy now be offered in thy service--let it be that for thy service I now speak and write and reckon. For when I was learning vain things, thou didst impose thy discipline upon me: and thou hast forgiven me my sin of delighting in those vanities. In those studies I learned many a useful word, but these might have been learned in matters not so vain; and surely that is the safe way for youths to walk in."~St. Augustine's Confessions

But how?

I am always tripped up by the question "How?" When brainstorming, my friend, the Queen of Brainstorms, has to consistently remind me that we are in a safe Brainstorm Bubble because otherwise I will throw idea after idea under the bus. I have been dubbed "The Bus" on several occasions because I quickly see the flaws with the idea and point them out quite readily. Perhaps not very conducive to free thought, but I tend to think it sometimes pushes us to ideas that will actually work as opposed to setting us up for failure. I'm always looking for the "how" it will work and "how" we can do it.

The very big "con" side to this way of thinking, however, is that I often stop myself dead in my tracks from pursuing something I really want to pursue. The word "HOW?" in glaring neon lights blinds my future-gazing eyes, and I turn around, walking away in lengthening shadows.

Sometimes I am empowered by "How?" I see the many challenges and I rise to meet them. Other times I run that bus back and forth over the idea until it's flattened of all its life.

I actually think that sometimes being stopped by the "How?" is God's way of protecting me and keeping me in His timing. Sometimes it's His way of saying, "Watch how I am going to do this!" Though, of course, sometimes it's just plain fear of failure.

Yesterday, though, God spoke something very clearly to my heart that I just have to cling to. He is so precious. I love when He speaks to me.

I was idly thinking about the whole "How?" issue when He said, " 'How?' is not the question. Neither is 'Why?' or 'What?' or Where?' When I give you a vision, I give you the 'What' and the 'Where'. The 'Why' is My glory and I am 'How.' The only question that remains is 'Who?' Who will I work through? Who will submit to My will? Who will seek and answer My voice? Will YOU be the 'Who' and let ME be the 'How'???"

I almost had to pull to the side of the road (I was driving) I was so thunderstruck and convicted. Asking "How?" with skepticism and doubt is not walking in faith.

I feel a heart shift taking place. As God continues to reveal Himself to be the How in my life, I want to constantly offer myself up to be His Who. And really, the only "Where" I want to be is in His presence.

Psalm 91
Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

Killing My Pride

Every once in awhile when I want to empower myself, the thought "I am invincible!" crosses my mind. I guess that thought surfaces from my subconscious to encourage the creator in me to just get out there and create without restraint or fear of judgment, rejection, condemnation, embarrassment, or failure.

But I don't really like that thought. Actually, I quite hate it. It's so prideful. And so false.

I am so weak. God is so strong.

Nothing is impossible for God.

GOD is invincible.

Now that's a thought I can live with.

If He chooses to do the impossible (or even what I alone deem impossible) through me, then glory be to His name - because it will certainly be obvious that it was His strength.

That's the way I prefer it, anyway. Why mess with pride anymore? Not gonna. Done.

Soli Deo Gloria.

God Lessons

God lessons are the best. And the worst. So absolutely painful, and yet so absolutely fulfilling. They truly have a contradictory relationship.

I am happy - if "happy" is the right term - to say that I have been learning lesson after lesson in God's school. I wish I could say I pass every test given, but I fear that I have failed quite a bit. Not to worry, though, as it is through the failures that I discover what I still need to learn.

It's interesting, isn't it, that God would love us so much to want to develop our character. We could just be mindless autobots worshiping Him incessantly. I'm so encouraged that He came to give us life and life more abundantly. We don't surrender our right to free will when we come into His fold; we align our free will with His perfect will and surrender the need to do it our way.

I battle the need to control daily. But I'm wondering if the solution to that is not "giving up control" like we are told constantly. I wonder if the solution is to....well, actually, I don't know. I was going to say something about controlling ourselves into a constant state of laying down control, if that makes sense. But perhaps the solution truly is to lay down control. Hmm...that was rambling and vague.

What I know to be true above all else is that I need grace, daily. By the second. Married to that truth is the truth that God is faithful. Consistently. And to that all I can say is, "Hallelujah." A simple word whispered, shouted, sung, spoken with the utmost awe and gratefulness.

Hallelujah that God is taking me on a journey of character development and nearing His perfection.

Hallelujah that God Himself is on this journey with me.

Hallelujah that His grace is faithful when I fall flat on my face...my knees....

Hallelujah that though I don't have solutions, He has promises. Promises faithfully kept.

Hallelujah that He provides companions on the journey.

Hallelujah that He is all I need - even more than I need character, solutions, control, etc, etc, etc.

Hallelujah that He is in the midst of my every moment, even when I don't "feel" Him.

Hallelujah that He is nothing like me and yet I am something like Him, and becoming more so every day.

Hallelujah for His mercy! Hallelujah for His grace! Hallelujah for His love!


Some of my favorite lyrics are below....they sum it all up for me. :)

The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
So if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When You lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley
If You want me to

Blind Man's Bluff

Do you remember that game? I can barely remember ever playing it. Perhaps I only know it from books and movies. "Secret Garden" has a round of it just before Collin's dad realizes Collin is walking. Kind of a nice moment.

Basically, one person is blind folded and the rest of the children scatter and the poor blindfolded child has to try to find them. Another version would be Marco Polo, often played in pools nowadays.

I always hated Marco Polo.

I feel trapped in an eternal game of Blind Man's Bluff. I am blindfolded and spun around a few times (like just before hitting a pinata or playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey) so that I'm disoriented, and then told to "go!"

Go? Go where? Do what? What is my goal?

But before I can find out, everyone scatters. Perhaps they even leave. Perhaps they are gone completely. So I wander about, swatting the air, trying to feel my way....somewhere.


I'm not even sure.

And for all I know, we are playing by an actual bluff or cliff that I might go over at any point. Perhaps I will. What then?

All this vain striving is ridiculously exhausting. I am weakened down to my very core. My heart is heavy and full for unexplainable reasons. Not that I am unwilling to explain, but that I am unable to explain. By all accounts I should be bursting with joy or at reveling in contentment. Instead, I am restless, agitated, and frustrated.

Taking on the impossible is daunting.

But nothing is impossible for God. Nothing.

Am I trying to take it on by myself? Surely I will fail then.

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it....Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air." 1 Cor. 9:24, 26

How can I run if I am blindfolded? How I can I fight if I can not see?

What is this blindfold anyway??? Is it uncertainty? The looming impossible growing closer and closer? Fear? Doubt? Feelings of inadequacy? Simply not being able to see the future?

I have such vision. I have never yet failed to see a vision come to pass. Yes, I'm only 23. But I believe that God gives me certain visions and then the means and strength to see them realized.

Perhaps like the main character in our play, I base my worth on performance. Perhaps I feel my value comes from the acceptance, affirmation, and attention of others.

To a certain extent, yes. Everyone loves applause.

But on the whole, no. I am me. God created me specifically with a purpose in mind. He has plans to give me a hope and future. A future that includes so many possibilities.

I wish I could see through this blindfold and stare at the visions I KNOW are before me. Perhaps it is as simple as taking it off.

If only I knew what it was....

The funny thing is, not only do I feel deaf and blind, I also feel like if I am suddenly able to see and hear and that it will be overwhelming and not at all what I expected. Perhaps part of me desires to remain deaf and blind. Perhaps it is simply easier that way.

But it isn't! I hate "beating the air" in vain. Is all this striving and struggling worth it??

Of course it is. For from the struggle, the butterfly gains strength to unfold her wings and take flight. Without the struggle there is no soaring.

Okay, then. I'm struggling. When can I soar? Can it be soon?


A friend of mine is a singer/songwriter and has somehow captured all of these thoughts in a poignant song. Below are the lyrics. If you'd like to actually hear it, you can go to his myspace music profile and listen. http://www.myspace.com/jonathanregier


I don't know where I am going
I don't know where I've been
But if you know what I'm after
Would you care to let me in?
Would you care to let me in?

Walking right beside me
Another man sees so clear
He follows what he is after
So why can I not hear?
So why can I not hear?

A bird soars in the sky
A fish swims in the sea
A star lights up the night
Is there a place for me?

Lost along this journey
I look but do not see
Alone my strength could falter
Does anyone believe in me?
Does anyone believe in me?

A bird soars in the sky
A fish swims in the sea
A star lights up the night
Is there a place for me?

What would make you smile?

It seems that I have so many friends here who are able to pick up a guitar or sit at the piano and pour out a song of hope or desperation or longing or whatever they are feeling. I envy them for that. So much. I can sing my song, yes, but I am unable to simply let it pour forth from my fingers and allow the aching in my spirit to manifest in beautiful or painful or even wretched music. I feel as though I could have written an album of songs tonight. But I suppose my ability lies in words. Anyone can write, though. It takes someone special to write and play music. I wish I could.



Why does time seem to be slipping by so quickly and yet dragging so slowly? There is not enough time in the day, but events you look forward to seem so far away. The ones you dread loom in the distance with no escape, coming closer and closer, faster and faster.

My every thought is filled with daydreams, schedules, and lists all running together like a cacophonous tribe of demanding children. Choosing which to entertain for the moment is impossible as they intertwine and steal focus. Oh wouldn't it be nice to have nothing to think of! To be perfectly happy without a cloud in the sky! To lie on an exotic beach or ramble through the wooded mountains or explore a tucked away bookstore or admire ancient works in a museum.

And yet...I'm not even sure if that would make me happy.

I AM happy. There is nothing questionable about my happiness. There are even moments when one might declare me giddy! Yet, there seems to be so much I must do and have no idea of even how to start accomplishing it. And meanwhile....time ticks on.....and on...and on...

Time is cruel. And wonderful. And horrible. And kind. It's so complex and yet so simple.

There are some things I can't wait to finish. There are some things I am impatient to begin. And all rely on time.

We are so dependent on time! The horrid reality is that one day someone is going to say, "Time's up!" How many things will be left undone? What will not have been accomplished? Will it even matter? How will I feel when that happens? It could happen right now! Oddly, I wouldn't mind. I love my life, but eternity with Jesus? So much better.

Yet there are so many things I want to do on this earth still. Time is a friend.

I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

Creative Meltdown

I must confess I don't feel very creative. I feel like an imitation. I appear to be writing only melodramas that really have no place in American or Christian theatre.

I ache so badly to be writing something from my heart, to write something that will transform someone else's life.

Why am I blank?

Why am I dry?

Why can I only write low quality junk??


To Jump or Not to Jump

Wrapping myself up in my fluffy comforter, inhaling the sweet smell of fabric softener, I could not feel more content. The window is pelted by rain, the only thing separating me from soaking in the freshness that pervades the earth. Steam curls from my mug of creamy hot chocolate--liquid mothering. I am safe. I am warm.

And I am restless.

Deep within me something stirs. An ache, a longing. Excitement bubbles up and then fizzles as it has no direction. I impatiently stretch my legs and fling away the once comforting blanket, now a textile constraint. I pace the room like caged lion, intuiting that his purpose is to prowl.

I stop in front of the mirror and subject myself to a meticulous inspection. So much I would love to change! I push back from the bureau on which the mirror regally rests and turn my back on the live portrait.

Why am I so restless?

I reach for one of many journals, a particularly beautiful one that was given to me eight years ago and is finally almost full. I scribble my frustrated thoughts, never caring about penmanship; an uneasy mind has no room to worry about something as mundane as crossing t's and dotting i's.

Page after page flies by and still--nothing. The angry outburst subsides and mellows into a reflection on what I would like to do with my life.

Suddenly, revelation dawns: I am not doing what I want to be doing.

I go to class, do homework, go to work, go to rehearsal, go to bed, eat if I have time. This monotonous ritual is literally sapping my creative energy, filling the emptiness with restlessness, and causing an apathetic lethargy that cannot be cured because I am not doing what I want to be doing.

A simple revelation, but earth shaking just the same.

Instantly, the keys to freedom are in my hand. But will I use them?

Will I take the opportunities around me to push myself to pursue my dreams? Will I use my time wisely so that when I do not have to be at one of the places I am committed to being (school, work, rehearsal) I am exercising my talents and gifts to actually do what I want to be doing?

I am on the brink of something. I stand on the edge of a cliff. I have run from my prison of inactivity and now face the decision to jump into the ocean and make my escape complete.

Of course, doubts flood my mind. What if I fail? What if I drown? What if I make a fool of myself? What if I cannot accomplish what I want? What if I get in my own way? What I am not actually following the voice of God? What if I am listening to my own voice? What if i am destroyed by the rocks at the bottom?

I block out the many voices of doubt in my mind. I focus on the choice before me.

Do I jump?


Our doubts are traitors
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.

Here Am I, Send Me

I was driving in the clear darkness of night listening to MercyMe and unconsciously singing along. My brain kicked in when it heard my voice sing, "Here am I, send me."

"What?" I thought to myself. "Do you really mean that?"

It got me thinking.

How many times do we raise our hands in response to an altar call that invites us to "do more for Jesus"?
How many times do we agree to go where He sends us?
How many times do we say, "Send me, Lord!"?
How many times do we say, "Not your will, but Yours be done"?
How many times do we open our lives up to Christ to be used as His vessel?

And how many times to we go right on living our own lives??

Or maybe it's just me.

Perhaps, I am alone in thinking that I offer my services up to God only to renege on my promise to Him.

What does it mean to say, "Here am I, send me"?

It means that I want to be used by God. It means that I want Him to choose me out of the crowd and bestow a special mission on me that will result in the salvation of the world...because I was the one who was sent.

How wrong is that???

I might as well say, "I'm here God and I'm comfortable. If I happen to be in a place where it wouldn't be too uncomfortable to share Your love--preferably with someone who knows you and preferably someone I know as well--then by all means, point me in the right direction and give me the right words and I'll say them and get the heck out of there!"

Strange that I am so excited about this love that God gives me, this grace that I revel in, this redemption I can't live without, and yet I don't share this excitement with hardly anyone.

For example, I have 678 friends on facebook (a small number compared to some) and I talk to maybe 15% of those "friends". Heck, I don't even know who half of them are. But yesterday, I posted for all the world and those 678 people to see that I bought a car. I was so excited! Here I was, advertising to anyone who wanted to know that I WAS EXCITED about something.

I'm not necessarily advocating "status witnessing"...you know, where you use your status to say something great about God and how great He is...I do that from time to time, but more as an extension of my thoughts than witnessing...in fact, it bothers me most of the time when it's plain that that is the reason for some people's statuses. But that aside!!!

I'm not saying that I should share my excitement about God on facebook, because let's face it: facebook is empty, shallow, and while a good communication tool, it is a poor relationship tool. What I am saying is that anyone I came in contact with yesterday whether on the phone, on facebook, at school, in a store, wherever!, could tell that I was excited about something. A car. A car! Something material! I was not afraid to say it to anyone who asked.

Yet, had my excitement been about how I felt God's presence so strongly, I probably would have shied away from explaining my real reason for excitement.

Here am I, Lord, send me.


I believe that this generation that is rising up has the potential to change the world. Never before have young people been so ambitious. Never before have they sought so hard for the truth. But where will they find it? What will their ambition be directed towards? What change will they create if God's people do not rise up first and actually mean the words they pray so flippantly?

Here I am. Send me in my school.

Here I am. Send me in my community.

Here I am. Send me in my neighborhood.

Here I am. Send me in my work.

Here I am. Send me at the beach. In the mall. On the bus. In the airport.

Here I am. Send me to my friends.

Here I am. Send me to my family.

Here I am. Send me in my household.

Before we can be sent to the whole world and fulfill Acts 1:8, we have to accept being sent in the lives we are living everyday. Each new day is so full of possibilities. Loosen the chains on your tongue and speak the word of God. Loosen the cuffs around your hands and praise the name of God. Loosen the shackles around your feet and spread the glory of God.

Here I am. Here you are. Send us, Lord. For real.


I am an audacious person.

It takes a lot of humility to admit that.

It takes a lot of audacity to say I have enough humility to admit I'm audacious.

Everyday I wake up in freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of religion. I have choices that I am allowed to make freely without the threat of someone beating down my door, dragging me outside, raping and mangling me, and then killing me because they didn't agree with my choices.

I have the freedom to choose what I am going to do, how I am going to live my life, and whom I am going to serve.

Or do I?

Do I really have that freedom? Well, sure, the Constitution allows me. And even God has given me free will.

And yet, with all my freedom, I am still an audacious person. And I am going to hell.

Stop gasping. Relax your shocked expression. I'm not the only one.

When was the last time I was on my knees, on my face before God? When is the last time I cried out to Him....really, truly cried out? When is the last time I examined and tested my life in the light of Scripture? When is the last time I repented of my wickedness?

I don't have an answer for you.

When is the last time I watched something unholy that filled me with unholy thoughts? Last night. When is the last time I had a thought that would not only be displeasing to God, it would literally make Him angry? A few minutes ago. When is the last time I failed? Every moment of every day. When is the last time I ignored the prompting of the Spirit? I can think of so many times.

I am not proud of this.

And yet, I am an audacious person.

Why?? Why do I consider myself an audacious person?

Because I walk around with the label "Christian" on my forehead and yet my life isn't proving that at all.

Where is my fruit?

Do not comfort me with Christian cliches. I don't need that. That's exactly the opposite of what I need.

I spend my days worried about being beautiful and well liked and having direction and fulfilling my dreams.

Shame on me.

This is not the weak misery of a self-pitying person. This is not the cry from the pit of despair, wallowing in a fit of depression.

This is the conviction of the Holy Spirit reminding me that I am walking on very thin ice. This is the Holy Spirit reminding me that my foundation is not very strong, that the house I am building on it will blow over by the breath of someone who talks fast and passionately.


I convince myself that I know Jesus, that I talk to Jesus. I convince myself that I am out of sorts and lazy and "don't feel" like being a true disciple today and will make up for it tomorrow. I convince myself that my sins are not so big, that I will overcome them one day, that I'm not all that bad.

I am lying to myself. I am nudging myself more and more towards the center of the broad way.

You see, I can lie with the best of them. I can be angrier than the worst of them. I have so much pride it's not even funny. I have evil thoughts that entertain themselves in my mind until they become actions. I burn with envy and hatred.

How many people have I murdered in my heart? How many people have I defiled in my heart?

I deserve every ounce of God's wrath and then some.

I am not pure. I am not holy. I am not blameless. I am not upright.

But I am audacious. And that is not a good thing.

Where is my fruit?

Where is my holiness?

Where is my heart?

Why am I not more like Jesus?

I should be becoming more like Him every day. I should be laying aside the things of this world. I should be actively finding the lost and leading them to the narrow way.

I should be. But I'm not.

My friends, we live under a lie that we are good enough. That we are making it. That one day we knock on heaven's gate and God will be happy to receive us. Is this true? Or are we lying to ourselves?

Unholiness cannot be in the presence of holiness.

On our own, we can never reach that state of holiness. We need Christ's blood and God's grace for that. And yes, grace and slavation are through faith alone. BUT WE HAVE TO FOLLOWING HIS COMMANDS AND LAWS IN ORDER TO STAY IN IT. WE HAVE TO BE BECOMING MORE LIKE HIM IN ORDER TO STAY IN IT. WE HAVE TO BE BEARING FRUIT.

Fruit doesn't mean holding campaigns and crusades. Fruit doesn't mean building a bigger church. Fruit doesn't mean the number of people you lead to Christ.

Fruit is love. When is the last time you truly handled a situation in love?

Fruit is joy. When is the last time you traded joy in for depression?

Fruit is peace. When is the last time you were anxious?

Fruit is kindness. When is the last time you were angry without a just cause?

Fruit is goodness. When is the last time you allowed the wickedness in your heart to overtake you?

Fruit is gentleness. Fruit is faithfulness. Fruit is patience. Fruit is self-control. You get the picture.

I am audacious enough to pick through the fruit of the Spirit and say, "I've got that, I'm working on that. Got that one down." Shame on me.

If I were to die right now, I don't know if Jesus would say that He knows me. Me. This good little Christian, pastor's kid, encouraging, expression, sweet, prayer partner, dreamer, filthy wretch of a person. I wouldn't if I were Him.

It's time for me to get back on my knees and not get up again. It's time for me to get my heart purified, not just "right with God." It's time for me to humbly beg for God's forgiveness, for His purity, for His grace, for His holiness to transform my life. It's time for me to lose the things of the world, the thoughts of the world, the ways of the world. It's time for me to build a strong foundation.

It's time for me to actually do it this time. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.....oh how true.


I have a longing to be beautiful. It really doesn't matter how many times I hear people say that I am...I don't always believe them. In fact, it's usually on the days that I feel I look great that I don't hear anything. That's unnerving.

Why do I waste my time wondering what other people think of me? And yet, most of the wasted time is worrying about what I think of me.

I have confidence. I know my assets. But I suppose what mars any outside beauty is my knowledge of inside ugliness. Just the longing for beauty...the vanity that rears its ugly head...is enough to destroy the image in the mirror.

So why this longing?

I am always attracted to beauty. Who isn't? God gave me a heart for beauty...in essence, a heart for Him because God is beauty.

I long to be beautiful because I long for complete purity of heart and soul. Perhaps until I see inside myself the woman Christ wants me to be I will not be able to appreciate what is outside.

This may be a backwards way to look at it, but then again, maybe focusing more on the inside than the outside is good.

A Low Day Continues Into Night



Self pitying.










No purpose.



In need.

That's me.


I am literally freaking out. I feel like my mind has been suspended from my body and I am not sane anymore. The paranoia that was serious, but rather comical, over the weekend has ceased to be comical and is now simply serious.

I am plagued by fear, tormented by imaginations, and constantly wrestling with my sanity. I mean this all quite literally.

I feel as King Saul must have felt when he needed David to soothe his spirit.

I have not been able to sleep much this weekend or this week. My nights are wracked with worry as each sound springs my eyelids open and I am forced to check the surroundings for signs of life other than mine. I lie there, fearing the moment when sleep does take over for my defenses will be down and I can no longer fend for myself.

The sun comes up, my alarm sings out, and my head throbs with pain for no nourishment was received in the last hour or two of fitful dozing. I stumble through the motions of being awake, longing for the moment I can again close my eyes without apprehension.

I really do fear I am losing it. My exhaustion leads to a weakening of the mind. Doubt creeps in--about everything! Should I be attending this school? Should I be studying this school? Why can't I find a job? Should I find a closer place to live? Should I go home??? Why was I so eager and stupid?? Why can't I be more frugal and less foolish with money?? If I was created to have a sound mind, where is it now?

It would be a situation I would normally scoff at, but it has been six days now. SIX DAYS of agonizing torture.

The question is no longer "When will I sleep well again?" It is now "Will I ever sleep well again??"

I must have faith that God will save me before it is too late. I mean this in all seriousness and with very little drama. I must trust that He gives His beloved sweet sleep and that I am His beloved. I must hold on the promise that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I know that God is not the author of confusion but of peace, so I must swear by that.

I'm just so tired. And so tired of being tired.

Dreamers Of Today

Why do some people get a chance to pursue their dreams and others don't?

Is it a lack of ambition? Some people just don't dream bigger than their surroundings. They are okay with the cards life has dealt them and don't care to try anything outside of their comfort zones. Taking the job that is offered them, living the American dream is dream enough for them.

Is it lack of opportunity? There are a ton of dreamers out there who are suppressed by the circumstances they have been born or thrust into. They struggle against their environment but to no avail. A few squeeze through the darkness that oppresses them, but this is a rare occasion. Movies are usually made about these people.

This is something I just cannot understand. What makes one person's dreams more important than another's? Why do I have the opportunity to pursue the further education that will help me accomplish my goals and other people don't? Is it God's will that some people are forced to wallow in their miserable, hopeless lives?

I'm a dreamer by nature. I dream every day. I intend to accomplish each one. I want to encourage others to do the same. But what about those who refuse to? What about those who can't see any reason to?

I don't pretend to understand God's mind at all, but I do wish this was something I could understand.

My heart is heavy for those without dreams. It must be a very bleak existence.

Oh Great God, Be Small Enough To Hear Me Now

A few days ago someone asked me, "Why did you choose to believe in God and Jesus?" What a good question for someone to ask.

My answer? I didn't choose Him; He chose me.

Somehow this great, awesome Being decided that He loved me enough to forget every bad thing I've ever done and love me just as I am. Me. Me who messes up, who makes mistakes, who is selfish, vain, angry, and bitter at times, who rejects His mercy and does things my own way, who forgets how very blessed I am and instead complains, who can't seem to be consistent. Me.

Where can I go to get away from God? There are times when I want to. I want to run as far as I can, hide as deep as I can, and ignore the ever present Love that can see me wherever I am, that runs down the road ahead of me to greet me when I think I've escaped.

I live in a country where I don't have to fear for my life because of my beliefs. I can openly read my Bible, worship, and speak about God and what He's done for me. I can fellowship with other like-minded people and learn from a pastor every Sunday. I can pray in secret or in public, for myself or for someone else. My money says, "In God We Trust."

So why do I take it all for granted? Why do I ignore this awesome God who is so available to me? Why do I treat my faith as an addition to my life instead of the core of my life?

We were driving in the mountains yesterday toward a little mountain town. The road was closed so we were forced to take a detour. I am rather grateful for the detour. It was the most spectacular drive I've personally ever driven. We were surrounded by mountains, on top of mountains, sandwiched by mountains. The air was cooler and thinner; literally breathtaking. I was overwhelmed by the vastness of the mountain range. They are so big! I was in awe that God could create something so grand. It made me think of the oceans, forests, and deserts I've seen. They are all so grand. I think that God created these grand examples to show us His very nature: He is grander and greater than we can ever imagine. His ways are so much higher than ours. How deep, how great is His love for us. There's a song by Matthew West, "More," that says:

Take a look at the mountains
Stretching a mile high
Take a look at the ocean
Far as your eye can see
And think of Me

Take a look at the desert
Do you feel like a grain of sand?
I am with you wherever
Where you go is where I am

And I'm always thinking of you
Take a look around you
I'm spelling it out one by one

I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine, and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow, I'll say it again and again
I love you more.
That song made so much sense to me yesterday. And yet it confused me more than ever. Here I am, a little insignificant person that God is inviting to spend eternity with Him. Why would He want ME? What is my value to Him?

And then it struck me.

I am His creation. He made me. And He wants to keep His creation near Him forever.

It's a little much for my mind to fathom. He's so big, I'm so small. But I'm so glad He chose me.

The next question asked of me was, "What if you believe all of this and then find out it's not real?"

My answer: "First of all, I do believe it's real, so I'm pretty sure I won't be disappointed. Secondly, it will have been worth it to have lived a life of peace, joy, and love, caught up in the grandness of the world."

Oh Great God, be small enough to hear me now. Make yourself real to me and to those who can't seem to find you. Your wonders speak of Your greatness. But Lord, be small enough to hear me now.

Click below for a wonderful song on the matter.
Small Enough

The Narrow Road

I received a letter today from my dear friend Lydia in which she enclosed a quote that really struck me.

For many years we may have had love for God in general and never known Him. He is only known when love for Him takes on a personal character; when we meet Him in the pathway of life; when He becomes a person in contrast with our own; when we enter into conscious, vital, and personal relation with him, so that He is our Father and we His children; not merely one of His children, but His child in a special way, in a personal relation different from that of His other children, even the closest relation conceivable in heaven and on earth: He our Father, our Shepherd, our bosom friend, and our God. ~To Be Near Unto God by Abraham Kuyper

I envy Enoch. He walked with God so closely that one day God just took away to be with Him forever. Enoch never died. He experienced a one-on-one, completely personal walk with God. They were friends...bosom friends.

I want my walk with God to be that close. The truth is that so often I pile on the excuses as to why I can't spend time with Him. I say a grocery list prayer before I go to sleep and ask Him to keep His promise to "give His beloved sleep." I sing Christian songs with great gusto and fool myself into believing that that is a relationship while the thought "I should be spending time in His presence" lurks in the back of my head.

Why is it so hard to walk with God personally on that narrow road?

As Americans, I think we have this sense of entitlement to personal space. We schedule our time down to the last minute and are angry when someone encroaches upon it. We have this fear that if we are too open and intimate with someone they will betray us or let us down. Committing to something or someone is definitely an issue with which we struggle. This translates to our spiritual lives as well.

Trusting your future to God's provision is a rather scary thing. It's like the biggest blind date of your life. You don't know where He's going to take you, but you get to know Him along the way and inevitably fall in love. If one can get past one's fears of intimacy, commitment, and lack of control, the path can be one of satisfaction and delight. I think it's totally worth it.

So here's my challenge...for myself...for you:

Walk more. Take God's offered hand and walk with Him down a road that will lead you home. Spend more time soaking up His word. Learn His nature. Truly know Him the way He always intended us to know Him. If it means waking up 10 minutes earlier, watching one less sitcom, taking your lunch break outside with your Bible and a journal, or spending an hour on your face before Him, do it. Do whatever it takes to really know what it means to be a child of God. Learn to love Him even more.

You won't regret it.

When I Was Weak, Unable to Speak, Still I Would Call You By Name

As an actress, I know what it's like to be melancholy. As much as I try to deny it, I get hit with bouts of sadness, loneliness, and feelings of worthlessness that seem paralyzing to all creative energies. I've learned how to come against it and drag myself up. The melancholy is usually due to a bad audition or worried thoughts about the future and are easily overcome by a boost of confidence, good audition, or the resolution to work harder and perform better.

But what about melancholy of the soul?

I find myself having a wonderful day when suddenly a thought crosses my mind that fills me with regret. A memory I've tried to repress pops up and condemns me with shame. A past decision creeps back to haunt me, paralyzing my confidence, demoralizing my heart, convincing me that my mistake can never be erased. I plunge from my mountain top to the depths of despair, melancholy festering beneath the surface of my forced smile.

Or possibly I wake up, lethargic and noncommittal, not really caring what happens today. I feel too drained to do anything productive. My spirit is not submerged in depression, but simply damp with the mist of melancholy.

Why is this? Why am I hit with hints of melancholy when I am usually so filled with joy? Why is it that the moment I relax my guard I am attacked?

You see, I believe that joy is a choice. God gives it to us freely, but we must choose to live and walk in joy. It's not always the easiest choice, especially when pity parties are so much fun, but it's a choice we need to make every day...sometimes every moment. When we are dragged down, rolling in the muck of our own misery, we must reach out a hand and choose joy. We must call out to the Giver of Joy and claim that which is rightfully ours. The joy of the Lord is our strength, the only strength we can use to climb out of our self-dug pits. Without joy, we have no strength and without strength, we can't do anything. I love how those two verses go together: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" and "The joy of the Lord is my strength." Joy is vital. Without joy we have nothing. We don't have the strength to push away regret, to lift our heads out from under shame, to shake off misery, or to exchange tears of sadness for shouts of praise.

It starts with a simple cry to the One who provides for us. In that moment of weakness, I cry out, whimper, sob, scream, or whatever I have the strength for, and beg for rescue. All I need is a little joy, all I ask for is a small portion, but God in His infinite goodness, opens heaven and rains down all the joy I could ask for. I am literally soaked with joy and overflowing, able to fight off the storm of melancholy that is drenched in the holy rain of joy. In my weakness, God has given me a voice, a voice that can call out and plead for redemption.

And He always answers.

Rain Down

Father, Forgive Me!


It amazes me over and over again how God redeems our past, our present, and even our future. Why does He do that? I have been hurt enough in life to know that forgiveness is rarely easy. Yet this awesome Being, this holy Deity, regularly forgives millions of people every second for the hurt they've inflicted on Him. Only God.

My heart is heavy with the amount of times I've begged for forgiveness and cried out, "Father, forgive me!" I grieve, for I know how easy it is to receive that forgiveness and then fall right back into trap He rescued me from. But oh! how I rejoice that His forgiveness is unlimited.

He refreshes and renews me, and like a good friend, constantly encourages me, always pushing me to new heights. There were things in my heart, dreams I held tightly, that I was afraid were lost forever, but my Redeemer lives indeed and He has redeemed that which was stolen from me. Every last thing.

I don't have answers to nearly anything. I don't know what the future holds. I don't even know where I'm living a month from now. I have doubts, worries, anxieties, fears, and a million questions. I struggle with trusting God for the next piece of the puzzle.

But here's something God revealed to me today:

There's no box to the puzzle. You can't look at the picture and put it together because some of the pieces are interchangeable. They all go together but they can go together in different ways. Whichever way the puzzle ends up being completed is going to be a beautiful picture worth framing and hanging on the wall because God Himself has put each piece in place.

He is patiently putting each piece of my life together.

Father, forgive me for ever doubting You.

In the Beginning

I am me. I am no one else but myself. I am human. And I am weak.

I know this to be true.

As Jo March says in Little Women, "I'm hopelessly flawed."

I am okay with this. It is in my weakness that I discover strength. Strength I never knew I had. Strength that doesn't come from me, but from somewhere else. Not quite the depths of my soul, for it is strength I could never dredge up on my own.

No. In my weakness, He is strong.

Who is "He"? The love of my life. The best friend I've ever had. My everything. "He" is God. "He" is my Father, my Lover, my Comforter. "He" is my reason for living.

For you see, I am weak. I fail. Consistently. But He redeems. Consistently.

These are my confessions. This is my heart.