"I will return her vineyards to her..."-Hosea 2:15
Saturday, February 27, 2010
"I will return her vineyards to her..."-Hosea 2:15
Friday, February 26, 2010
After dwelling on Hosea 2:14-16 for probably the bajillionth time, my eyes were opened to something new: the important connection and perfect order taking place within the journey. A painful journey, but truly one that is prescribed by God - drenched in purpose, refinement, and ultimately the Lord's drawing us closer to Him. How this new outlook on Hosea has shaken my heart. This journey is not about someone or something else - it is about God and knowing Him more. I am hoping to blog about four distinct seasons within this section of Hosea, highlighting parts of the God-ordained journey that takes place within the scripture and in our lives. No matter what "part" or place you find yourself in, know there may be times when you reach a new place, that next fork in the road. In this journey of life, we experience several of the same seasons many times. But truly, each fork in the road, each step and season is God-ordained and He is with us there.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
"For i know the plans that i have for you," says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me." -Jeremiah 29:11-13
Words straight from You, Lord. You know, we don't. You know what's best for us, even when we think we know better. You know the reason behind the seasons we're in, even those of sorrow and depression. We can not do this on our own. So, I will look for You. I will pray, and trust that You hear. I will find You as i seek You and look to You.
I got to take Jodi and Grant's - two of my dearest friends (Jodi is one of my best friends and roommates) ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS this past Sunday! This is only round one, i'm guessing there will be more! Mmm, what a joy it is to get to capture the joy and new life Jodi and Grant are about to embark on. :)
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I feel like it's time to read my favorite book again (Hinds' Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard). As i was going through the book, revisiting chapters that i had underlined or starred, i came across parts that really shook me. The chapter i'm having most trouble with, is when the main character asks the Lord to remove something that had been so rooted in her heart. Something she had tried and tried to rip out on her own, but to no avail. Her desire was so much stronger than her own strength. I truly recommend this book. Oh gosh, how i see myself STILL on this journey to the high places. But before I can truly find my way there, the Lord has so many more places to bring me - through the desert, the shores of loneliness, the forrest, and many other seasons meant to refine and strengthen me. I'm not going to write anymore, but instead share with you an excerpt from this book, the prayer i am so scared to pray. Lord, my confidence is wavering. I have obeyed You, I have walked with You, and still You have allowed this pain, a darkness to surround me. I trust You can break it. May this be the prayer of my heart, and the hearts of those holding on to something out of fear, resilience, or as one last foothold of freewill:
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
I sense His relentless pursuing. If i take even the tiniest step towards Him, do i feel this heart of stone begin to crack and crumble under the weight of His glorious presence. He surrounds me with blessings, He's pouring out His love. So why, why hasn't the joy of thy salvation been restored to me? Why do i remain in this deplorable state?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Yesterday, i copied photos onto my external hard drive. I realized how important this was the hard way - from computer gliches that permanently erased precious moments in time...grrr. But that's beside the point. As i copied photos onto Carl (the name of my external hard drive...don't ask me why, i don't remember) I looked through folders and folders full of old photographs - travels, birthdays, holidays, days spent photographing in solitude, reliving the bittersweet memories of old friends, and more. Some photos i rediscovered for the first time in years, and i was overwhelmed by how they put this journey called life into perspective. While these moments unfold and are revealed to us as we live on, they've already been planned out: You saw me before i was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. - Psalm 139:16 The Lord has counted all our days and unveils the experiences, moments, and events in our life in His perfect and good timing. While i've been inspired once again by a few of these photos from my past, I've been itching to write about one of my most favorite things: The view from airplane windows.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
What a joyful, beautiful season my roomie and one of my dearest friends, JODI is entering into! Last night (Thursday, February 11) Grant, Jodi's lovely fiance, PROPOSED! Finally - the moment she had been waiting for and dreaming of actually happened! :) When she called, Rachel and i were doing homework and watching tv - Jod had NO IDEA that it was happening last night (props to Grant for surprising someone so intuitive ;P). She left the apartment to see a movie with her boyfriend and came back with a fiance! Oh my goodness, how radiant is her joy. In less than four and a half months, she will be Mrs. Jodi BOSTROM!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Fasting takes obedience, that's for sure. Already, at the end of day 1, the aromas of greasy, deep-fried goodness flooded my nose as i passed the restaurants on Washington Ave, on the way to class. Even the awkward and ordinary scent of different cuisines mixed with laundry detergent in my apartment hallway made my stomach turn and my mouth water. WOW! Even something as simple as a fast proves how much we take for granted. Putting food into my body simply for the sake of being able to function rather than for pleasure, or out of boredom or another emotion is a whole new concept to me! And healthy food, mind you: The runny tastelessness of almond butter replacing that good old jar of Jiffy Peanut butter...not being able to drench my vegetables in a pool of butter and salt...eating banana chips (a new favorite snack of mine) in place of greasy potato chips...not being able to have an Icee or candy at the movie theater...watching Sarah eat a healthy serving of Hamburger helper and a pop and a cupcake IN FRONT OF ME ;)...and always being hungry hungry hungry.
Monday, February 8, 2010
This weekend was rough. The image of Jacob wrestling with God (Gen 32) is an image full of hope, in my eyes. God seeks out Jacob and wrestles Him. God is so pleased when we take our struggles, our fears, our confusions and our limited human perspectives and wrestle him with it. To me, this is not an act of challenging His sovereignty, but allowing Him to bring understanding or acceptance. Wrestling with God allows us to succumb to His will and to bring all that we are struggling with before Him. We acknowledge His greatness and affirm that He and He alone is all powerful. In wrestling with God, we get tired out, so His strength and His will can reign.
Friday, February 5, 2010
How painfully humbling it is when the Lord points out how our concerns for our own well-being or the tending of our own wounds have caused us to look inward rather than fixing our eyes on Him. Though the journey inward and the examination of our own hearts is completely necessary, we must allow the Lord to venture there with us, for our emotions and desires can cast a cloudiness of confusion and interfere with the Lord's will. When our circumstances - busyness, stress, despair, confusion, guilt, even times of joy - cause us to remain fixed on us and our introspection, it's easy to lose sight of the God that is infinitely greater than us.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
The chorus of Imogen Heap’s song Wait It Out has been a song I keep playing over and over again. Her creative lyrics, so poetically composed, get me every time! And the chorus of this song brings up an excellent point:
“Everybody says that time heals everything, only the end
But what of the wretched hollow?
The endless in between?
Are we just going to wait it out?”
That classic response and words of encouragement offered during the “time in between” often have to do with trusting that time heals everything, knowing what lies ahead will be even more amazing, and the idea of finding clarity and peace at the ‘end’.
While all of this encouragement may be good and true, what are you supposed to do during the time “in between”? The painful time of grieving the loss of a loved one, tending to a broken heart, the time in between jobs, big events, the time between knowing where your life is headed and waiting for the next step to be revealed? Even the joyous ‘in between’ in the season of engagement and waiting for your wedding day ;)
When we are so focused on the end, the healing, the closure, the knowing, the new season, the time in between can seem dreadful and pointless. We so badly want to see what’s around the corner or for our struggles to be resolved. We want to see the purpose to our strife or broken heart, see God’s promises being fulfilled, witness the fruits that are produced because of our obedience, see the darkness and uncertainty of what lies ahead drenched in light and clarity. It is only human nature to be concerned about the finish line and not the race or journey. Though we have faith, it is the times when our faith is affirmed and we see God’s hand that makes our relationship with Him so much…easier.
But when our faith is tried, it is more true. Think about how much we are refined and grow in the time in between! The Lord definitely has a purpose for our journey in it’s entirety, even the awkward in between. He has mapped it out:
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith...” –Hebrews 12:1-2
Instead of cursing this “wretched hollow” or wondering if the Lord has abandoned us in a time of need, in the in between we loathe, can’t we rejoice knowing the Lord has a purpose during this time? Let us take refuge knowing He is taking this time to “perfect our faith” and bring restoration. “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you” –Deut 31:6 Our God has gone before us, He knows every struggle we will encounter, everything we will experience in the time in between. And He holds our hearts, if we allow Him to.
Francesca Battistelli’s song Time In Between is one of my favorites. How this song explains the beauty of the time in between:
“It’s the time in between, that I fall down to my knees,
waiting on what You’ll bring.
And the things that I can’t see,
I know my song’s incomplete
Still I’ll sing in the time in between”