Friday, December 3, 2010

you seriously do not want to come in here. i promise.

i mean it. you really don't want to know what's been swirling around in my head the last few weeks.
it's crazy.
and most of it would probably not make any sense to you at all.

but if you're brave enough, read on. :)

i've known for a while now that after grandpa passed away, i wouldn't be here much longer. but i didn't really know what it would mean. actually, i'm pretty sure that i STILL don't know what that means.

that knowledge is part of what makes up the craziness within me right now. i feel like i'm stuck. i really do. i have a job that i like four out of five days. i do. i really do. but it's that one day that is really throwing me for a loop. i feel like God has something completely different for me. i feel like i'm not supposed to be where i am for much longer.

and yet i'm in a position where i am absolutely petrified of what that means. i have a plan for my life. and i'm wondering if i should really just throw the whole thing out the window. but i know that God wants to use what i am passionate about. throwing out my plan, my dream, really, would mean that i throw out what i'm passionate about too. and i don't think i'm supposed to do that.

i'm terrified of what complete surrender would do to me right now.

in all honesty, i'm in a great position for God to do whatever he wants with me. i don't have a husband to worry about. i don't have kids to raise. i just have me. i'm 26 years old and i'm in a great position for God to pick me up and put me somewhere else.

i don't know if he's going to do that right now though. mostly i know that because i haven't given that over to him completely. i want to. i really and truly do. but i'm scared.

i'm scared that giving in to what he wants means that i won't get to do any of what i want at all.

i need to throw up a sail and allow God to take me where he wants me. i need to let go. i need to give him the control. i need to raise the white flag. i need to surrender.


which brings me to a wonderful post by jon acuff of stuff christians like. oh jon acuff. how you like to allow God to use you to screw me up. and i really do mean that in the best possible way. i really do! i appreciate his authenticity and his willingness to throw out his failures and flubs and show us how God has used them. it's pretty awesome. jon wrote a post yesterday entitled "the soft x." it pretty much ripped me up. in a really good way.

i'm stuck in this place where i don't want to be. i'm stuck in the place where i don't feel like i'm doing anything for God's Kingdom at all. i'm stuck in this place where i feel like i don't matter. i'm stuck. i'm stuck wanting more. i'm stuck needing more. i'm stuck in a place where i don't know or understand what's going to happen next.

while i was reading jon's post yesterday, this paragraph stuck out to me the most. this is what i feel God is telling me right now:

“I know, my son, I know. I know, my daughter, I know. That thing you wanted is not going to happen. Not the way you’ve always dreamed. I know this hurts. I know this stings. I know you feel like I am distant or not aware of where you are and who hurt you and what you think life was supposed to be like. I know in moments like this you doubt that I can count the hairs on your head or have your best in mind. But please, I am not done. I have barely started to reveal your life to you. I am the God who satisfies your desires with good things. That is me! And when it comes to your hopes and your fears and your dreams, I know, my son, I know.”

i know that he knows. he's got a plan all of his own. and he only needs me to surrender to him. it's still just such a hard thing to do. to give your life away completely. to allow someone else to take the reigns. it's hard.

but it needs to be done.

so here it is God. i'm throwing up the sail. i'm waving the white flag. i'm handing it to you, and i'm not taking it back. take it. take my life and use me for what you want.

you know, my God, you know.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

today i'm not ok.

i don't think anyone's really expecting me to be ok right now. but today, i'm definitely not. really i feel more numb than anything i think. i don't really feel much of anything. i have my linkin park playing, which would usually suggest that i'm extremely angry or irritated. i don't know that i'm really THAT angry, but i almost feel like that's what i should be listening to right now. i'm sure that makes absolutely no sense, but hardly anyone reads this blog anyway, so it doesn't matter.

i feel pretty numb, honestly. if i could describe how i feel in two words right now, they would be numb and lost. maybe a bit a scared in there as well. i'll explain those last two in a minute.

grandpa is gone.

i know that i will eventually see him again. i know that he's not suffering through the pain of that stupid cancer anymore. i know that he's not suffering through the pain of living without grandma. but somehow, it almost seems like those things aren't making me feel any better at all. and i don't know how to deal with that.

feeling number two, lost, brings about feeling number three, scared.

i've known for a few years now, that part of the reason why God brought me home for this season was to be here for my family through all of the big changes we've had in the last five years. abby's marriage to shawn, the birth of my niece and nephews, mom switching schools twice, finding out grandma had cancer, losing grandma, mom getting so sick the last couple years, finding out grandpa had cancer, mom retiring, and now losing grandpa too.

good changes and bad. just... changes. some have been easier on the family than others, but some of them i don't know how we've made it through.

i've had a lot of changes in my life too, i guess. most of them involved working at the church. this church has been through so much in the last few years that it's almost unbelievable. it may be selfish of me to think this, but i think that part of the reason God brought me home was to help with all of the changes he wanted to make here.  not a lot of people know, but there were three of us a few years ago that started praying that God would prune and mold and shape our church into what he wanted it to be. we told him we didn't care if it was hard or if it hurt, we wanted to be in his will. not long after that was when everything started happening. sorry everyone. i'm starting to get off on that and that's not what i wanted to do. really i just want to mention that i think God had me here for a few reasons related to the church.

for the last couple of years though, since grandpa was diagnosed, i've known that my life would change a lot when he went home. i've known that i'm here to help momma and daddy through things. through all of the changes and all of the hard stuff. i don't know that we'll ever get completely through all of it though.

something that's been running through my head the last year or so though, is that i won't be here much longer. i know that i'm not leaving tomorrow or anything, but i know deep down in my soul that God's not going to have me here much longer. i know that, but i have no idea what that means.

i feel like i'm kind of in limbo right now. i don't know what i'm supposed to do with my life anymore. i don't know what God wants me to do. i don't know who he wants me to be. i feel like i don't know anything anymore. hence the feeling of being lost.

and with that comes the feeling of being scared. i am completely petrified of what lies ahead for me. i have never done too well with change anyway, and i don't know if God is going to take me through big changes or little ones. i just know that he's going to change something. and it scares the crap out of me.

i better quite now. i'm done with my break at work and i need to stop writing before i completely lose it.

this week is only going to get harder, i think. and i'm so not looking forward to it.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

my momma

so i was writing a post about me and my insecurities... and realized that that's not what i want to write about tonight. i want to write about my momma.

she's been through more in the last three and a half years than i think i could possibly ever endure. she's shown more grace, more compassion, more wisdom, and more strength than any other woman i've ever seen.

it all started three and a half years ago when grandma joyce, my mom's mom, went into the hospital. she and grandpa had both been ill around Christmas in 2006, so we didn't get so spend Christmas with them like we usually did. a couple of days after Christmas, grandma went into the hospital. after tons of tests, we learned that she had an inoperable tumor in her brain. treatment wasn't likely to be too effective. it sucked.

but i watched momma as she cared for grandma. she made sure that she was at the hospital all day long. every day. she waited with grandma for answers. she kept everyone informed. she put her life on hold to care for her momma. i don't know a ton about momma's childhood, but i know that grandma and grandpa were very hard on momma in a lot of ways. so much so that grandma and mom's relationship suffered. but i watched momma put all of that aside and focus on caring and loving grandma and grandpa through everything.

for four months, we went through treatment. in and out of the hospital in wichita and in hutch. here... there... all over. and momma still made herself available and was there whenever she could be. she was still teaching full time during the whole thing as well. her students' education didn't suffer a bit. they didn't miss a beat. she was amazing through it all.

losing grandma is one of the hardest things that i've ever been through. i can't imagine how hard it was for momma. there were so many times she was there with a warm smile and a reminder that we all know where grandma is. that we'll see her again. that we're only separated for a while.

losing your mom is something i NEVER want to go through. i don't think that i could handle it with half of the grace and faith that momma has.

factor in that the last three-ish years momma has had horrid principals and experiences at school... good night. she had so many different things getting thrown at her. she was torn down repeatedly by her peers. made to feel like she couldn't be an effective teacher any more. she was constantly told that she was wrong and that her kids weren't learning anything. all of these things were such lies!

and yet, momma held her tongue when she needed to. she stood up for herself when she could. she didn't let her temper get the better of her. she was patient with the people that seemed out to ruin her and everything that she has put into teaching for the last 16 years. she jumped through the hoops she was forced to jump through. she did everything they told her to.

i won't lie to you and say that she did it all with a huge smile on her face. because she most definitely didn't do that. who could? yeah, there were a couple of times that she almost let harsh and hurtful words come out of her mouth. she is human, after all.

but through everything, she always told me the same thing: she prayed for all of those people. all of those people that hurt her. that continue to have such a detrimental effect on my mom. she continues to pray for them even now. does she like them? absolutely not. but she still continues to pray for her enemies. prays that they will come to know Christ and the saving grace that he provides.

she's not teaching anymore. and i know that she's struggling with finding who she is now that she's not teaching full time. suddenly not doing something that you've done every day for the last 16 years is something i can't even imagine.

she's a retired teacher now. not necessarily by her choice either. she may not be in a classroom anymore. but my momma... she's still a teacher. she's one of the best teachers anyone could ever learn from. she's shown great humility. she's shown great compassion. she's shown perseverance. she's shown love. she's shown patience. she's shown grace. she's shown strength. she's shown faith.

all of this rambling (and i really did ramble a lot there, didn't i?) to really only say one thing:

i'm proud of my momma.

i couldn't ask for a better person for God to have chosen to raise me. she's everything i ever want to be in a woman. in a wife. in a mother.

she's the best example i've ever known.

she's my momma.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

did i just write that?

carlos whittaker. i heart him. his ability to be honest and completely transparent is something that, even though i know i shouldn't, i envy. he's been posting "Soul Creative Questions of the Day" the last few weeks. A few minutes ago he posted #8:

Finish this statement.
If I was a piece of furniture I would be… 
 without pretty much any contemplation at all, i hit the post comment button and wrote what first came to mind. here's my response:

most days… the table just inside the front door (or garage door) where you dump all of your crap when you walk in.

on the good days though, the kitchen/dining room table, where family, friends, and loved ones gather around with a ton of amazing food doing life together and supporting one another.
i reread it quickly and then hit "submit comment."

then i thought about it. "wait, did i really just post that?" yes. yes i did.

the truth is that there are a lot of days when i do feel like that table. you know which one i'm talking about. the one that you unload on right when you walk in the door. the one that holds the mail. the one that catches your keys. the one that is always there without fail. the one that, if it wasn't there, you'd miss it, but you don't really notice the importance of it each time you pass by it. every day i'm here. i'm ol' reliable.

i was sick last thursday. i missed work. i don't ever miss work. ever since then, i've been thinking: "does anyone really even notice when i'm gone?" not necessarily just at work. do they notice when i miss church on sunday mornings? if i'm not there, wherever "there" may be, does it really matter? do people notice?

do i matter?

then i'm ever so gently reminded of psalm 139:
1 O Lord , you have examined my heart
  and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
  You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.
3 You see me when I travel
  and when I rest at home.
  You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
  even before I say it, L
ord .
5 You go before me and follow me.
  You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
  too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
  I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
  if I go down to the grave,
s you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
  if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
  and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
  and the light around me to become night—
12   but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
  Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
  and knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
  Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
  as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 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.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,s O God.
  They cannot be numbered!
18 I can't even count them;
  they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
  you are still with me!
God knows me. he knows me. little ol' reliable me. he wants me. he know my heart. he knows my hurts. he knows my questions. my worries. he knows it all. and he still loves me.

the God of the universe that is greater than any of us could possibly ever fathom... he knows me.

so do i matter?

heck yeah i do. 
he knows me. 
he loves me. 
i am his.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The "Is that contestant on American Idol a Christian? Scorecard

As part of the release of Jon Acuff's book, Stuff Christians Like, he's created what could be one of the largest scorecards EVER! He's doled out more than 130 "guest blog" posts like the one below to create one MASSIVE guest post! To add up your score with the over 130 other ideas on the scorecard, check out Jon's website,!

92. When asked why they picked such a bad song to sing by the judges they respond, “Spiritual Attack” = + 3 points

To add up your score with over 130 other ideas on this scorecard, visit!

Monday, April 5, 2010


this is actually only part one of this post. part two will come later this week!

so there have been a lot of things rolling around in my head for the last couple months or so. God's been working on my heart in a lot of different ways. i thought it might be a good thing to try and get some of them out "on paper." even though this isn't actually paper. :)

ministry. i know that i don't have to tell anyone that actually in any sort of leadership role in the church that sometimes... well sometimes ministry completely sucks. does sharing Jesus with a bunch of teenagers suck? no. that doesn't suck. does working with five year olds on a Sunday morning suck? no. it can get interesting and be challenging, but no, it doesn't suck. ministry in it's own right, it's pure passion, it doesn't suck. so what is it that does? the mundane things getting in the way of Jesus. the insecurities getting in the way of a God who wants to love us.

there are a lot of things that have happened in my life the last couple of months. not all of them have been good, but i've learned some things about myself and about God that i wouldn't have learned otherwise.

i've been reading anne jackson's  mad church disease. i've had this book since April. i started reading it then, but never finished it. i have a habit of doing that. if you were to take a look at my bookshelves, you'd find at least fifty or so books that i've started to read and never finished. something that i desperately want to change!

anyway, Brandon, our creative arts and community pastor told me the one day that he had started reading this awesome book. what was it? mad church disease of course! it was free a little while back for Kindle and Nook. he'd downloaded a copy of it. so i decided to pick it up again and see what anne had to say. i'd forgotten how right on she was with some of the things i was feeling when i started to read it in april. the interesting thing though, is that now, she seems even more accurate in her descriptions and everything. it's CRAZY how much her thoughts and feelings mimic mine. or rather, how mine mimic hers.

there are a few things that hit me right off the bat. seriously. on page one. of the stinking foreword. not even anne's writing. craig groeschel's. he says this in the beginning of it: "i loved Jesus, but his church was wearing me out." he then goes on to quote Bill Hybels: "the way i was doing the work of God was destroying the work of God in my life." how true these two statements seem to me!

at the start of anne's introduction, she says this:
At some point along the road, your heart, your mind, your spirit--maybe even your body-- have been damaged while fighting the battles of good and evil.
Mine too.
When we should have been fighting with our fellow believers back-to-back, we find ourselves bandaging our wounds from friendly fire.
When we should be breathing life into a comatose world, we find ourselves gasping for air, just trying to survive.
how true this is of the body of Christ and the men and women in her leadership positions! how did it get to this point? how do we get away from this?

in my post on february 5th, i wrote about how i don't know who i am anymore. shortly after i wrote that post was when i read this next part:

... that was all a front. I was an empty shell, thinking my good-girl exterior would compensate for my dying heart. In the shadows of my life, I was medicating years of hurt by escaping.

that lead on to this next part:
"Since I had allowed spending time with God to be replaced by spending time doing this for God, my spiritual tank had been sucked dry. When that happened, I began to lose perspective on almost every area of my life. My defenses were down, and I allowed myself to start believing the little lies the enemy would throw into my path. 
      Do you really think what you're doing matters? You're just a little girl on the support staff. Nobody really cares what you think. You'll never be able to lead like one of the guys. It's just the world you're in."

that's where i am right now. if i can be completely honest for a few minutes (and of course i can, this is MY blog :D), i don't really go to church anymore. *gasp* did i really just say that? yes. yes i did. it is rare that you will find me in church on Sunday morning. and on those rare occasions, i make it a point to come in late. why? because if i come in late, there is a much smaller chance that i will get stopped and asked to do some sort of work. so how's that? i work full time in a church office, and i don't like to come to church. of course there are a lot of reasons for that, not just trying to avoid working. some reasons i may flesh out later, but for now, we'll just leave it at that. it's just so hard sometimes to come to church when i know that there's a really good chance that i won't get to refuel. that i won't get to spend time in worship. that i won't get to be fed. contrary to popular belief, i don't spend 40 hours a week at the church reading my Bible, meditating on scripture, and singing worship songs at the top of my lungs. that bulletin you hold in your hand each Sunday (that most of you don't read anyway!)... i made that this week. those posters you see for VBS? i designed those. the newsletter you got in your mailbox last week, i did that! and no, i didn't do it in between worship sets with Brandon. yeah, Jeff gave us a short devotional thought during staff meeting where we also had prayer time.... but is that supposed to be enough?

ok, so i'm ranting. i think i'll quite for now. more of this post will be along later this week! :D

Monday, March 22, 2010

little munchkin man is here

welcome the newest addition to our family! lucas was born in the front seat of my sister's van on saturday morning. he's amazing. so tiny. so handsome. so perfect.

he's a wonderful reminder of a lot of things i need to write about. but i'm going to write about them later. :)

here he is:

Friday, February 5, 2010

the worst feeling...

i've decided that the worst feeling i have ever experienced came as the result of this: being told by someone that they have lost their trust in me while looking me dead in the eyes, seeing that they really mean it, and realizing that i am wrong. second worst feeling? being pretty sure that i'm never going to be able to get that trust back.

i'm human. i fail. a lot. i have a terrible stubborn streak. i'm prideful and arrogant. i don't accept change well. never have. and i don't know that i ever will. i'm not anywhere near where i want to be as a person. there is a persona that people have in mind of me, i think. but i can almost guarantee that 90% of that persona isn't true at all. i've built up this image that isn't really who i am. i didn't really intend to do it. it just started to happen. one person would think one thing, and instead of really trying to set them straight, i let them think whatever they wanted. it was easier that way.

i moved home four years ago and i remember being so frustrated because people around here seemed to think that i hadn't changed at all. they tried to pick up with me right where they left off. i fought and fought for people to see who i really am, and the whole time, it was like nobody really cared. the andrea they knew before fit into their nice little expectations of me. i couldn't be who i really am.

so i started to hide myself. this person that i discovered and was able to become while i was away at school started to crawl back into her shell. i started letting more and more assumptions about me and my life be piled onto this hole that i crawled back into. and slowly but surely, over the last few years, i've come to the point where i barely recognize myself. i don't know who this person is staring back at me with hollow eyes and a dead spirit. i don't know who i am anymore. i've been so buried in all of this crap, that i can't find my way out of it. i don't know who i am.

most nights i sit at home, alone in my room with my laptop open, searching for any way that i can be myself. searching for any way that i can be real and authentic and bare all of this crap that's piled up on me. i've found a place or two where a community of people exist and all we want to do is be real with one another. i can go there and share my burdens with others. i can't do that here. i can't share what i really struggle with every day here.

there are days when i want nothing more than to pack up everything i own and move to a place where no one knows me. i dream of this place, i don't know where it is, where i can be the person that i am. no preconceived notions. no expectations. just people who don't know me. that will have to take as much of a chance on me as i will have to take a chance on them.

all of this from someone telling me they don't trust me anymore today. i stretched the truth lied. i felt threatened and jealous and insecure. so i lied. and that lie... i don't even understand it. i don't understand why i would lie to cover up this person inside of me that i don't even know anymore. i don't understand how i got to this place where i think about myself first, much more than i think about others. i lied to protect this person that i'm not. how did i get to be that person? how?

most of this probably doesn't make a lick of sense, but it's out there now and i can breath a little easier. i can breath a little easier knowing that someone might be out there reading this and understanding how i feel. i guess that is my hope, anyway.

so there are my thoughts for this evening. thoughts spurned on by one comment. one truly powerful statement.

"i've lost trust in you."

five words that i never knew could hurt so much.