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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Am From

I am from mess and noise
From stuffed animals and an old driveway basketball goal
I’m from the suburban brown bricks of the lower middle class
From fast food dinners, garage work outs,
And the tree in the yard that grew up while I did.

I’m from Uno games and yelling matches
From momma’s hugs and dad’s anger
From sisters laughing and tears flowing
And desperate desire for things to get better.

I’m from Bible stories and truth spoken
From Christian hip hop and learning to trust
From Houston basketball and not fitting in
From hopes and dreams laid aside for something better.

I’m from a mom who knew how to trust when nothing went right
And from the strength and faith that I learned in turn
From friends who taught me how to walk with Jesus
And from Jesus carrying me when I couldn’t walk.

Now, I'm from a city no one knows across the world from all I’ve known
From hours of language learning and loving those who don’t understand
I’m from longing for familiar and excited for where He has me
I’m from sharing with people who have never heard
And from Jesus putting me where He knows I belong.

I’m from hopes and hurts laid aside to follow Him.


Today, is doing a synchroblog that has me inspired. The title is I Am From. Check it out here:
I enjoyed writing my own version of this post based on a poem by George Ella Lyon

Friday, July 19, 2013


One of my favorite things is when David's words in the Psalms correlates exactly to words of Jesus or Paul in the New Testament. Especially when it is words I need to be reminded of or some of my favorite themes. One of those themes is "Home."

What does home mean to you? What do you do when you are home? What do you feel? What is the best thing about being home? What is the worst? What do you expect at home? What do you look for in a home?

Home can be a very hard concept for me. For one thing, growing up "home" was not a place I looked forward to being. It was often scary, hard, and full of anger. At the same time, I was comfortable there and knew who I was. When I went to college - specifically my last year of college and beyond, home began to take on different meanings for me. Home was where I could relax. I could be completely myself and not feel like I needed to be "on" as I did most of the time when I was outside my home. There were even a few other friends' or families' houses that I became so comfortable in, I correlated them with "home." For me, home is a place where I completely fit. I know exactly how I fit, and I can relax because I know who I am.

 Growing up "home" was not a place I looked forward to being.

 Now I live across the world from what I previously considered home (and for the most part still do), the great state of Texas. The problem that I started running into towards the end of living in Texas was that there were things about America that all the sudden didn't quite "fit." I didn't feel comfortable or relaxed there. I felt confused about if I should be like everyone else I knew or met, and was a bit unsure why I wasn't like them. If I thought hard about it, I knew who I was even there, but it was hard. It wasn't relaxing or very peaceful.

China, as much as I love it, will never be home.

Here I am across the world, and it definitely doesn't feel like home either. Although I love it here and there are a lot of things about the culture that make sense to me and I like even better than the states, I don't fit.  All you have to do is look at me to see how different I am. Everyday I am reminded that I am SO white. The culture can frustrate me, and being out and about in the city is tiring. I don't know the language, and even if I ever become fluent, it will be my second language. China, as much as I love it, will never be home. But, neither will America.

I desire somewhere I fit. Somewhere I can rest and relax. Somewhere I can know who I am and the people I love dearly from so many different places can be next to me. I've yet to be in a place like this, but I long for it so much that I could almost say I miss it. I know this place must exist because of the deep desire in my heart to find it.

I long for it so much that I could almost say I miss it.

Today I read Psalm 69, which if I'm being honest, is a bit of a depressing Psalm, but a few parts really spoke to the deep desire in my soul for home.

"For it is for Your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons. For zeal for Your house has consumed me... For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah and people shall dwell there and possess it; the offspring of His servants shall inherit it, and those who love His name shall dwell in it." Psalm 69: 7-9

Immediately Father brought to mind a few favorite scriptures to add to the beautiful words I read:

"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life." Matthew 19:29

"These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:13-16

For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

I desperately miss my home. The one I know in Texas, and, even more so, the one I don't yet know with my Dad in heaven.

Would love to hear from you. Your thoughts on home, and any scriptures you may know or love about home. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

And the winner is...

Let me first apologize for taking so long to post the results to this incredibly important and life changing contest.

The reason for the delay is that at first I went and bought a sun visor (which is what most people voted for). Unfortunately, I ended up hating it. Anytime the wind came from the wrong direction it would smash into my face and cause me to be unable to see, which turns out is not the safest thing in the world. In general, it was also uncomfortable. Finally, it was too dark to see through at night which is when most of the bugs are out in the first place.

I, therefore, went and bought the second most voted for item which was the traditional face mask. I like it. It works well. I've only swallowed one bug since buying it and that was because I forgot to put it on one night and was singing on my scooter. Open mouth + no face mask = swallowed bug.

So, without further ado, here is a picture of me in my leopard print, multicolored face mask atop my recently named scooter 小红 (xiao hong) which translates "little red." (One of my amazing Chinese friends named it and will no longer allow me to just call it "my scooter").

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cruisin' Round Town on my Red Scooter

Check me out.

Ballin'. I know. Please notice the leather jacket. I amaze myself with how cool I am.

Really, though, riding my scooter around town is one of my favorite things of living here so far. I have so much fun with one earphone in jammin' my Christian Hip-Hop. You know how I do.

There is, however, a dilemma. It's getting hotter here and when it's hot, the bugs come out. In the last week, I've decided that I've swallowed too many bugs and need a solution. Now, there are very many highly fashionable choices to protect one from bug swallowing whilst riding a scooter. They are so fashionable, I'm not sure which option to choose. So, I'm putting it to a vote. I will post the options below and whichever style gets the most votes, I will buy and will post a picture of me wearing said option on my scooter.

A. The first option, of course, is the traditional and ever popular face mask (with many different styles available):

B. The second option is quite popular down here. The Sun Visor is functional and fashionable:

C. The third and final option is one that I have only recently found. Maybe not quite as fashionable, but possibly more functional:

It's up to you now, my friends. I am counting on you for help in this difficult life decision.

Long Distance

It's hard to know what to post that is different than what I write in my emails to people, but here I am in East Asia and I know there is lots to say about my time here so far. 

I've been here a month and a half, and feel like I am slowly getting settled in. It's interesting the things that people told me about moving overseas that I heard over and over, but disregarded. For example, so many people told me it would be hard and draining to keep up with many people back home, but being the extrovert/people pursuer that I am, I wasn't too concerned. Turns out - every email, phone call, and skype date feels daunting. People want to know what is happening here, and how do I know what to say? I'm living life. Most days just feel like another day. They want to know what Father is doing in and through me, and right now my focus is learning language and at times I feel like I'm doing absolutely nothing. 
Also, many of my friends have never had friendships with people living in other countries, and don't know what communication in different time zones/situations looks like. I think it intimidates some of them, and so typically if I want to talk to someone, I have to make it happen. Probably people are just thinking that it's only been a month and a half and that's not too long to go without chatting with someone. Unfortunately, on my side of things, it's a month and a half rarely talking to anyone that is not here (and most people here speak only Chinese). I miss people a lot quicker, typically, than they are going to miss me. 

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. I'm not upset. It's just interesting and I'm learning how to navigate it. It's good to learn how to do community in different ways. 

Do you have any thoughts or tips about how to do community from afar? Would love to hear from you.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Let's be honest, life recently has been a mess.

It's felt like my world is imploding a little bit. Like that building did in College Station. Missed it?

So that's what my life feels like right now. Maybe that's a little over dramatic, but not by too much. It's hard to go into details, and some I don't have the freedom to talk about right now, so I just won't.

Bottom line: I could very much use prayers. If ever satan was trying to destroy me, it's now. But turns out, my Jesus is the Victorious King.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Offering

My friends, Sorry for the length of this particular blog. I hope you will still honor me by reading it.

At the beginning of the summer, a friend encouraged me to not just begin blogging when I move over to the far side, but rather to start blogging now - during these last 5 months of training - so friends can know what's going on and know how to pray. She mentioned that satan will attack me during this time and that there are those who will want to join with me in prayer and fighting these attacks even before I move.
I very much appreciated her words, and understand the wisdom of what she was saying. I have not started until today, however, because I was unsure what to say. The summer felt chaotic and unsettled and while I was participating in my training, it certainly wasn't the focus for me.
But now, it's getting close to time to leave. There is a little over four months before I will be headed to China. That idea is shocking to me, but I believe this is right and of Father.

Honestly, I am often scared. I'm scared of not learning the language well. I'm scared of my inadequacy. I'm scared of being on my own when my friends leave. But more than anything, I'm scared to leave my community and friends here. I fear that I won't hear from anyone for a year, and when I return, the friendships will no longer be there. I know that some of this fear is unfounded - friends in Christ are forever friends. But this is where satan's trying to get me, friends. This is a weak point and he works to distract me with it. I've seen myself be distracted from training and preparing, from the love of the community that I am with now, and from any joy that comes from knowing I am joining the Lord in His work. Over the summer and as the time has come closer, I have noticed that thinking of moving has become only a sad thought to me. Every once in a while I would get excited - if I was talking to someone who could catch the vision with me, maybe - but generally, the excitement and joy is rarely there.

Today, I read in 1 Chronicles 21. I read the story in which King David orders Joab to count the fighting men in Israel. When this is done, God tells David that he must punish him and Israel for his sin of putting his faith in the number of fighting men rather than in God. He sends "pestilence" on Israel for 3 days, but when the angel that God had sent as a destroyer was reaching Jerusalem, God told the angel to wait. David saw the angel outside of Jerusalem (in the sky) and David cried out for mercy. God told David to build an altar to him on a certain man's land. David goes to the man and asks to buy the land for the altar and animals from him for the offering. The man tells David that he will give the land and animals to David to sacrifice to God, but David tells him no. The story is told also in 2 Samuel as well, and for the verse I want to point out, I like the 2 Samuel version better (although there is only a one or two word difference):

"But the king said to Araunah, 'No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.'" 2 Samuel 24:24
As I was reading this today, I thought, When before have I had the opportunity to offer something that really COST me something? I realized that often the things I offer to God are easy to give. I give Him some of my time which, all things considered, I am rich in. I give Him some of my money which, all things considered, I am rich in. I give Him all of my problems which is wonderful to give Him. I do work that is part of His heart and His work here in the states, and it is a joy - which doesn't mean it isn't an offering, but it never really COST me much.
So here I am, on the brink of this intensive time of training, fundraising, transitioning, goodbye-ing, and moving. I see clearly now, that I have a sweet opportunity here. I get to offer to the Lord my God that which cost me dearly. What a joy and a privelege. Friends, this is something I can rejoice in. That even when I am broken and hurting for what I am sacrificing, there can be joy that I have something to offer that costs me much and I get to give it willingly to my God as a fragrant offering to Him. And I believe it is. I believe that in my life, it is one of the most fragrant offerings I've ever had the privilege to give because it costs me so much.
Friends, pray that I rejoice in this offering. Please pray against attacks of the enemy to steal the joy of the Lord from me. Pray for trust and peace in what God has called me to do.
If you stayed with me this long, I applaud you. If not, the bolded stuff is the most important. ;-)
You are so loved.