Saturday, July 23, 2011


"man was God ever smart to not let us be in control.

as i'm passing through this pressing that i described, i have experienced this up and down and all around thought train that leaves me dizzy. one minute, i feel completely confident in my actions and my stance and the next i am POSITIVE that i am the cause of all this, that i am the one who is completely off her rocker.

it makes it difficult to know if one is doing the right thing."

this was written about a week ago and left hanging. but i want to share with you a Word that particularly gave me freedom and peace...i have bolded those that particularly reached my raw heart.

Psalm 31[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 In you, LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;

deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.

5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
as for me, I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
but have set my feet in a spacious place.

9 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,[b]
and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
and plot to take my life.

14 But I trust in you, LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
17 Let me not be put to shame, LORD,
for I have cried out to you;
but let the wicked be put to shame
and be silent in the realm of the dead.
18 Let their lying lips be silenced,
for with pride and contempt
they speak arrogantly against the righteous.

19 How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues.

21 Praise be to the LORD,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”

Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.

23 Love the LORD, all his faithful people!
The LORD preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the LORD.

Thank you Lord.

i left my church today. the church that has been my home since i came to El Crucero.

it's heartwrenching and sad, and yet hopeful...because He has saved me, called me out into something bigger.

please pray for this transition, for the church i'm leaving behind and the church I'm joining. for lying lips to be silenced, for odious spirits to be tied up and sent away. let there be freedom and reconciliation.

i can't even begin to express how good it feels to be able to BREATHE.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

pressed but not crushed

i enjoy a good crisp white wine with supper. i adore that Jesus busted out the best wine at the end of a wedding feast. and i love the idea of wine being crushed or pressed out of grapes. it reminds me of the hope that something rich and good can come out of a hard and painful process.

there isn't a way to simply express the heaviness, the weight of this pressing like the wine press that slowly threshes the juice from yielding skins. i feel that weight, and like those grapes i feel like my very essence is dripping away. it's exhausting. to think that i really believed in change, that i really trusted that they too were taking the journey of forgiveness and humility. that we were really walking towards restoration. that the wine press had been put away.

and yet here we are. suddenly i find myself squeezed again, right back where i was before and surprised, because it's not what i expected.

before, wine was made by crushing the grapes with harvest dances. as wine making advanced, they began to make presses to improve sanitary conditions but also to improve the overall quality of the wine. it becomes richer, lasts longer and even reduces the need for the winemaker to use preservatives. pressed, and not crushed leads to a better final product.

did you catch that? richer. longer. less preservatives. better final product. sounds like how i'd want to describe my journey, my spiritual life.

so i stop letting this latest press freak me out. i stop struggling against it, as if i could stop it or change it. instead, i yield, trusting the Winemaker to take the sorrow and hurt and longing that is poured out and turn it into something that blesses.

Monday, July 11, 2011


i'm always blown away by the Lord. meaning my vision of Him is always way smaller than who He is...which keeps me humble. :)

i have two stories i want to share, and they're both sharing the same idea: that God is in control, that God is able, that God has an intricate and beautiful plan...or in general, i need to TRUST the Lord.

the first one involves some Mexicans, a wheelchair and a warm night. anyone want to take a stab at that one??

randomly my husband got called to take a girl to managua and randomly i decided to tag along. then randomly, i didn't want air conditioning so we rolled down the windows. randomly the man in the jeep next to us asked how to get to Costa Rica (a common question in the middle of managua's highways). they start to follow us and my husband decides randomly to talk with them so they don't freak out when they see us winding up the mountain and there are no lights. so we randomly stop at a gas station and realize they are taking a donation from Mexico to Costa Rica to a parapalegic kid and oh yea, they only have a half tank of gas and not one peso (mexican or nicaraguan). so we randomly have 30 cords we can use to pay for their parking at the gas station so they can stay overnight and wait for a money order.

o sea. randomly? i don't think so. as we drove up the hill towards home i just laughed. how is it possible that i can see these intricate weavings in others' lives, and point out how the Lord is totally working it out for them and yet I worry and doubt in my own life? more grace is needed.

and then there's this whole confronting the lies, opening the doors, stepping out thing that i'm doing and i'm just left without words. in the few days after i posted about why i haven't been sharing, i have been invited to speak at three different events. THREE. i haven't taught outside the English classroom since I came to Nicaragua. and all of sudden there are all these new opportunities. there is movement and discussion and it's like a huge wall fell down and i'm exposed.

and it terrifies gut reaction is to hide, to pretend that i don't have time, pretend that i can't because i'm too busy. but that would make me an OBVIOUS hypocrite, which i try to avoid being as much as possible.

so here's to being dazzled, awed, and just plain stunned by my Father who is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."


Thursday, July 7, 2011

listen to what i mean, not necessarily what i say

so a while back i was complaining to the Lord (and probably anyone who would listen) about how i am really lacking a community here. the aftermath of some really painful stuff left me isolated and left out in my church community. thankfully, through His grace, there has been healing and there is a recuperation that is happening...most of all, there's just some plain ol' obedience. so i know it's gonna get better. but i had just been feeling sad, lonely...missing my sister friends from kansas and those that really KNOW me. you know?

and then i got some pretty sweet skyping.and random dinner invites. and then i started seeing opportunities spring up here, little blips of invitations to participate, to be part of this church community.

would you believe me if i told you i don't want to do any of it?? (except the skyping. that was good. and the dinners. those were delicious)

i know. i KNOW. i can't quite figure it out. but then i thought of Moses. Moses was pretty awesome, breaking up fights and defending his fellow men. and in the middle of this, the Israelites are complaining hardcore because of their bondage. So God came down and in a really outlandish way got Moses' attention, trying to place him as a leader. He even gave him a snakey stick and a leprosy trick and some bloody river water flair to help him 'prove' his 'real-dealness' to the people. to the community he would be entering. but Moses was still like, nah, i can't. so God got pretty mad and then He placed Aaron as his mouth. because in the end, Moses said, Your will be done. 'Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.'

as i have these new chances to be back in my community, i feel resistance. but in the end, i want to say yes to Him. i think i've just gotten comfortable in my little hidey-hole that i carved out in my soul over these past months and i don't really want to come out. too risky, too unknown. and i feel like i can't. like Moses.

i don't expect He'll send me a mouthpiece like Moses (besides, my brother is in kansas and i'm in nicaragua) but i know He'll equip me.

so instead of being anxious and resistant, i'll say yes. i'll get out there, wet my feet a bit. will i mess up? most likely. will i feel uncomfortable? yep. but will it be worth it?

i can only hope so.

what are the difficulties you've encountered in community? how did you overcome?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

just saying...

can i be really honest? i mean, like, beyond what most would be comfortable saying when they're being really sincere?

i don't write here...because i feel invisible. and that it's not worth putting it out there. that it doesn't matter. that what i'm living and doing isn't important.

yep. said it. all of its ugly glory. and those who would rush to say but that's not true! don't say it. it will just feed this ugly lie.

what is the truth? Lamentations says "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him." He is enough. He is what makes this worth it, any of it!

i guess we could call this a refining moment. the layers being peeled back to reveal just another crack in what i like to pretend is perfect. c'mon...everyone likes to think that they're right...we have difficulty saying i screwed up, i have flaws.

what i'm realizing is that this particular belief of mine may very well be silencing something God wants me to do...not because people will read it, not because it will make an impact, not any reason other than He wants me to do it...which means it will be for good.

so i'm gonna ask for more grace. grace upon grace He promises, so i'm gonna take Him at His word. and i'm gonna try to do this. because i feel deeply that its something i'm supposed to be doing...for whatever reason.

so here it goes.