Well, the past year has somehow flown by, and I’m back again for my yearly birthday post! I can hardly believe that the number 28 is now associated with my name… I mean, I could hardly believe it last year with 27, but here we are. It has been such a joy to walk through life in the past year. It seems crazy to say that being that the past year has been exceedingly difficult at times, but overall, as I look back at all that God’s brought me through and all He’s taught and revealed to me over the last 365 days, I can’t help but be grateful. His grace surrounds me and His love overwhelms me. It’s such a blessing to see another year on this earth and I just feel so warm – to my friends and family who have truly made me rich in the relationships we share, thank you for all your well wishes and for the love you constantly shower me with.
I’m walking into 28 with both comfort and confidence: comfort in who God’s calling me to be and confidence in the Lord to see me through each step He places in front of me. A few weeks back, I was listening to a song on the new Maverick City X UpperRoom Move Your Heart album. There’s a line in I Want To See You that stood out to me and that sits on my mind from day to day: There is no one like You in the heavens or on the earth. The sound of one musician’s voice repeats this truth over and over until the whole song is filled with a chorus of voices singing the same words. It’s electric. That singular thought in the song filled me with joy in its simplicity, yet it was unfathomable in its complexity as I pondered just a few of the ways that the God of the universe – our God – is greater than the human mind could ever conceive (Isaiah 55:8-13). There is truly not one single being on this earth or in the realms we can’t see that is like our God. I don’t even know how to begin describing what that means to me, but I do know that that knowledge brings me such comfort and confidence – not in myself, but in the Lord.
It’s something I want to carry with me throughout each day: There is absolutely no one like the Lord. God changes hearts, gives me motivation for each day, and equips me for life like no one and no thing ever could. He brings beauty and good out of situations that were meant to be chaotic, and bestows His peace on my heart in a way that crushes my fears. The Lord is such a faithful and kind listener, allowing me to be honest with Him, and giving me more grace than I could ever deserve. He protects, guides, corrects, and loves me more than I could understand. Simply being in God’s presence satisfies my soul and I love Him. There’s truly no one like Him in the heavens or on this earth. I’m so blessed to be His daughter! And so with that, I’m waving hello to 28, open to whatever adventures God brings my way, and I can’t wait to walk this year’s walk with Him.
Sometimes, you just need to be submerged. It’s such a wonderful feeling when God’s presence flows over you. Hope you enjoy this Thursday tune as deeply as I have over the past few months – it’s been such nourishment for my soul for awhile now and I thought I’d share. It’s definitely one of those songs where the words speak for themselves, no additions necessary.
That’s never been more evident in our world today. That’s not to say that we should excuse wrongdoing, but it’s pretty fair to assert that our lives and personal interactions could use a healthier dose of mercy (and grace). A little less than a year ago, I heard Mercy somewhere (probably Pandora), and since then, I’ve been listening to and pondering the words almost non-stop. Maybe the unusual tune drew me in at first, but what really made me stop and listen was the utter truth and power behind the words. The truth that the Lord’s been impressing on my heart through this song keeps resonating within me each day as heart-wrenching events around the world unfold without signs of stopping. I truly hope and pray that sharing all that God’s been showing me about His character, who He is as a merciful Father, and how to both graciously receive His mercy and show His mercy to others blesses you as much as it has blessed me.
My past embraced, my sin forgiven I’m blameless in Your sight, my history rewritten
I could repeat this first part of the song over and over and over (and I have!). These four phrases overwhelm me in the best way. For starters, how awesome is it that God embraces our pasts? It seems like the simplest thing, but He doesn’t just accept them, He embraces them. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, embrace means “to accept something willingly and enthusiastically.” When we come to life in Christ, He embraces it all – our pasts, presents, and futures. It’s not begrudgingly, or out of obligation; He’s enthusiastic about us becoming His! He joyfully accepts our pasts as part of our journeys of growth, rather than disregarding them as something shameful to sweep under the rug. That action of lovingly embracing all that I am blows me away. It comforts me like that warm, fuzzy feeling one gets from running into a parent’s wide open arms when coming home to know that God sees all of me, and that no matter what, it doesn’t change how much He just wants me as His. Continue reading →
Goodness, time flies – it’s already the last day of February, and a week since I turned 23 (I got to celebrate with my friends for most of the week, which was quite spectacular!). As a small end-of-February celebration, I thought that I’d share some music that I’ve been listening to as my bread and butter for the past month, a song that I’m sure will encourage and refresh anyone who hears, as much as it did me. I don’t remember how I came across it (probably on Pandora – that app seriously gets it right sometimes), but it was close to the end of January, and I remember stopping whatever I was doing to listen to the words of this song. The words gripped me, not only because of their simplicity, but because of the power and absolute truth behind them. They’re written as if straight from God’s heart to ours, and it’s just overwhelmingly beautiful to me. Continue reading →
For awhile I’ve wanted to start this new series on best things I’ve learned from people, places, and things. Some of the anecdotes may be funny, some may be serious, but I’m excited to reflect on people, places, and things I’ve encountered that have impacted me in any positive way.
Since it’s been raining literally non-stop for almost two weeks here, I thought I’d start this series off with a bright, light-hearted one: best thing I ever learned from… the sun.
Because sunshine, I miss you, dearly.
Fall anywhere in Europe is basically a recipe for gray skies, some wind, and no sun. It makes me feel painfully, vitamin-D deficient and pale (and if you know me, you know I’m not exactly pale…). But every time fall comes around, I kind of have to laugh at myself. Because just a few months earlier, in the dry, scathing heat of the Texas summer, I find myself holed up in the corner of my house, basking in the ice-cold air conditioning, far away from the burning, could-cook-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk heat. Smack dab in the middle of summer, whenever I have errands to run and have to be outside for any prolonged period of time, I find myself internally groaning and wishing for cooler temperatures, knowing most of my strength will be sapped by the summer sun, leaving me with energy only to splay on my couch watching re-runs of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta.