Wednesday, March 18, 2015


I am convinced it is not a coincidence that I got a flat tire today.

The first reason is because I reached my financial goal on Friday of DEBT FREE!! I should have been looking for something financial to come up that would throw a dent in that.

And secondly, my first thought was to miss church and take care of the tire rather than waiting until after. I am thankful that my ride did not feel the same way. I needed to be at church tonight. God had a message he wanted me to hear.

In our women's group on Wednesday nights, we are doing a 5 week study on our identity in Christ. It's interesting that I am a table leader for this study because I am far from being a leader on this particular subject. Of all the things the Bible teaches about regarding our relationship with Christ, I probably struggle with my own personal identity in Christ the most. Oh, I believe it for everyone else, but for myself I find it is a struggle I wrestle with often.

Years ago, in college, I remember this struggle clearly. And on days where I need some help remembering my identity, I can still hear my sweet friend Christina's voice as she lifted up my chin and said "lift up your head, you are a daughter of the King."

Psalm 139 says God knows my every thought before I say it out loud. He sees everything about me. He knows me deeply and intimately because he created me. All of my days were ordained. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

These are beautiful words, but at the depths, they are hard to grasp. It's hard for me to see myself this way, or to imagine that God would. I see myself through the eyes of the world, and through the way I perceive others to see me.

Don't get me wrong, I acknowledge positive qualities in myself, I'm not saying I think I'm a bad person or worthless or anything like that. But if I'm being honest, in those deep places of my mind, I don't quite get it yet. How can God know the craziness of my thoughts and my selfish ways and still see me as wonderful. How does he see me as beautiful. And even when writing that, I feel guilty. Because that is like saying he created something imperfect, which I know he doesn't do. So I should see myself as beautiful and wonderful because He made me and He doesn't make mistakes.

And so it is a battle. Which means I need to be listening to messages like we had tonight. Messages that acknowledge that this battle exists.  Messages that remind me who I am in Christ. Messages that teach me how to put on the armor of God so that I can fight the battle and win. Messages that remind me who God is.

So my stupid tire didn't win tonight. I went to church anyway and heard the message I need to hear. Does it solve everything that is in my heart tonight, no. But joining with a group of ladies and learning about the Word of God helps to work a little deeper into believing the things God says about me. And equips me a little more to fight the battle.

This is the kind of week where the phase that makes the most sense is "The struggle is real."

Matthew West- Child of the One True King

-The Real Me


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Life...a Year Later

It's pretty amazing what a difference a year makes. I started this blog exactly one year ago. I didn't even plan this, I swear. 

Saturday was February 14th, that's right Valentine's Day. Before you switch the page because you can't stand to hear me complain again, it was a really good day. Not because I was with the man of my dreams or anything like that, but because I spent the day with friends that love me and was remembered by people who care about me. I have more people like that in my life than I deserve and I need to remember that during times when I am self-centered and whiny...which has pretty much been my mood for the past month. 

The last 6 weeks have been a bit of a tornado; both professionally and personally. Since the professional part is more fun, I will start with that.

Two weeks into the new year the director of my department called one of his famous meeting that no one wants to attend because it always means someone else from our work family is leaving. This time the leaving family member was him. Since then it has been a whirlwind of "structural changes". Change-that word that no one likes to hear, but this time, it has turned into a positive change for me. My direct manager was promoted to our new director and because of a current organization hiring freeze, this requires a significant department change...allowing for the promotion of three of us to supervisors. Starting yesterday I became the new Chat and Discipleship Ministry Supervisor for Internet Evangelism. I know that in the coming weeks...months...I will have a lot to learn, but I'm very excited and honored to lead this team. Supporting people, leading them, helping them succeed, is probably my favorite part of working on a team. I am excited to see how these changes impact our team (not just my change, but all the others too) and grow our ministry. 

On the other side, I'm still struggling through the personal side of my life. Frustrated sometimes with where I am at this point in my life. Lonely and insecure with myself. Struggling to understand or rather trust God's plan for my life. Making the best choices I think I can make and hoping I'm on the right track. But sometimes I just feel stuck, watching others move past. Part of me is hoping that when I move to my own place (happening soon) I will feel more establish, more settled. But another part of me knows that I must learn to be content no matter where I am. 

At the encouragement from one of my bible study leaders, I've started listening to an audio of John 15 from the Bible every night before bed. This is in place of my normal 30 minutes of love songs with Delilah. Listening to John 15 seems to be more beneficial for my head space. This chapter of John is packed with a whole lot to learn and I'm still working on it. Here are a few thoughts:

Verse 4: "Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine."
     Trust- I must trust Jesus in order to remain in him. I cannot "bear fruit" or operate in God's goodness by myself. I can do nothing fruitful on my own. Sometimes I find myself feeling alone. In those moments I need to question I currently connected to the Vine? or am I going it alone? Too much independence is not always a good thing.

Verse 16: "You did not choose me, but "I chose you" and "appointed you" so that you might go and bear fruit-fruit that will last..."
     God chose me. He appointed me. For a purpose. For HIS purpose. God help me to live out your purpose and the bear good fruit that will last beyond myself.

And because life is all about change...there have been changes at my church as well. Starting with the name. It's funny, you wouldn't think the change of a name would be a big deal, but I internally reacted a little more than I thought I would. But then again, when you think about it, names mean a lot to us. Take your last name, it more than just a name, it represents family. When a woman gets married she takes the name of her husband because she become a part of him. I started attending UpsideDown Church about a year and a half ago. The name referenced Acts 17:6 These who have turned the world upside down have come here too." The vision behind that name is what drew me to the church in the beginning. Reaching people in a real, relevant, and radical way. Outreach, loving change in our city. And once I joined, UpsideDown Church became my family. Now, realistically speaking, the vision of the church (to reach people) and my family, is not changing, but the name is. We are now Pathway Church of Charlotte "to point people to Jesus Christ, the only pathway leading to abundant and eternal life"; and I'm slowly embracing it. (I'm good with change most of the time, but not all of the time.) Other changes have come as well, but that is for another day.
Oceans (where feet may fail):

Friday, January 30, 2015

My Heart As A Taylor Swift Song

If my heart was a Taylor Swift mash-up song it would go something like this:

And all I've seen
since 18 hours ago
is green eyes and freckles and your smile in the back of my mind making me feel right
I just want to know you better know

We are alone with our changing minds, 
We fall in love till it hurts or bleeds, or fades in time
And I never saw you coming, 
And I'll never be the same

Loving him is like trying to change your mind, 
Once you're already flying through the free fall
Like the colors in autumn, 
So bright just before they lose it all

I guess you didn't care and I guess I liked that, 
And when I fell hard, you took a step back, 
Without me
And I might be okay, but I'm not fine at all

I bet this time of night you're still up
I bet you're tired from a long hard week
I bet you're sitting in your chair by the window looking out at the city
And I hope sometimes you wonder about me

And I just wanna tell you it takes everything in me not to call you
And I wish I could run to you and I hope you know that
Every time I don't I Almost Do

In my dreams you're touching my face
And asking me if I wanna try again with you
And I Almost Do
And right before your eyes
I'm breaking
No past, no reasons why

All lyrics taken from the Taylor Swift "Red" album