Monday, December 29, 2008

Some Things Never Change

So this weekend I took a bit of a road trip (6 1/2 hour drive) to Mesa, Arizona to visit a recently engaged best friend. You know how you have those friends that are in your life forever? I know especially with girls, our girl time with our girlie friends make some of the best memories in our lives. Well this friendship started the end of freshman year at Grace Bible College and has not dwindled since. She is definitely one who makes me laugh, no matter the situation we are in. One time we ran out of oil on our way to take her to the Chicago airport (3 1/2 hours away), so we pulled over on the side of the freeway, in the middle of the snow and traffic, and changed the oil. We were complaining…yes, but with laughter in our voices and smiles on our icicle faces.

But just like every relationship, there comes a time when conflict makes itself present. And though they have been few, Elyse and I have had our share of conflicts. However, we never let them get the best of us. After a big one, she knocked on my dorm room door and asked if I could help her eat this pint of Dove’s Double Chocolate ice cream. What girl says no to chocolate?? So I did and over that pint of delicious unhealthiness (I’m pretty sure the label advertised for love handles), we apologized, forgave, and laughed until way to late.

There’s a verse in Ecclesiastes (4:9) that says,

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

That is Elyse! In so many ways, she has shown the love of Christ to me. We never have a meaningless conversation. And I can tell the Lord is the center of her life and of her will. We have a freedom in our friendship to rebuke, a love to support and encourage, and the confidence that it is all done with a heart of gold. And so my friends it is my hope and prayer for you, that you would surround yourself with people who love you for who you are. But also, that you would be the friend you wish to have. Is Jesus Christ the center of your life? Is He the center of your relationships? Does He radiate off your face so that others know you are a child of God? Do not live life so busy that you lose time for the friends and family that truly care about you. One day, they may be all we have, and if so, then there is great treasure that needs to be polished.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Bubble Full of Joy

So this weekend was a series of crazy events…but the most amazing crazy events that could have happened. I do not have time to write now because I just came from brushing my teeth and washing my face and realized that “LACK OF SLEEP” is written in the form of dark circles right below my eyes. But it will come. I promise! :) I just wanted to share with you guys how amazing our God is and how perfectly He works things out…in His timing.

“A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”
–Proverbs 17:22

What do you have to be joyful about?

Good night and sleep tight.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Good Hair Day & Some Worship

Julia Roberts once said, “My real hair color is kind of a dark blonde. Now I just have mood hair.” From brown to blonde to red, and back to blonde, I definitely am sporting the mood hair these days. On Wednesday I went to my wonderful hairstylist, Kelly, for a simple retouch, but came out with an amazing new do. I am now inching my way back to brownish…maybe :) However, while I was in the salon chair I began thinking about how a good or bad hair-do can make or break a girl’s day. Why is that? For me, if my hair feels gross or looks gross, my day takes on a gloom mood. But if it is freshly washed and amazingly styled (thanks to Kelly) then the hop in my step returns and I can hear the blue birds singing. Can I get an amen?

Then it clicked! In times like that, my mood becomes based on outer influences as opposed to the inner influences. My outer appearance or circumstance was dictating how I saw, treated, and reacted to the world around me. But in reality the hope, joy, forgiveness, and gratefulness I have experienced should be the ones doing the dictating. Then I thought, (you know how one little thought leads to a million different ones and you cannot really figure out how they got connected) how many times is my worship based on my personal experience? When things are going good I praise and celebrate and when things are not going too hot, I cry out of desperation. Now, those things are not bad, but I do not ever want to get to a point in my life where I only praise in the midst of happy days and only desire God in the times of emptiness.

We wrote a song a month ago called “Heavenly Sound” (which is going on the worship album), and it stemmed from the idea that, as children of God, when we decided to worship it is not as if we are starting something new. When we worship we are joining in with the worship that God is already receiving from the nations, creation, and angels in heaven. Revelation 4 and 5 give us a picture of this kind of worship. John says, “And the four living creatures…day and night never cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come’.” (Revelation 4:8). Worship is already happening. God does not need our worship. He does not need our praise. So praising and worshiping Him on the basis of our circumstances is meaningless.

And so I encourage you, as I have been encouraged, evaluate your definition of worship. Is the sincerity of your worship based on your circumstances? Is it merely an experience you seek or is it truly the face of God?


[Ps, Here are the lyrics for the song:]

Heavenly Sound

Tonight, heaven and earth collide
In response to His wonderful light
The angels and church will cry.

Redeemed, we stand and sing
Of the mercy of our Great King
As we join with the heavenly sound.

Holy, holy, God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
And the angels sing over and over
And we will join in with their song

And now, the Church will answer the call
And with the angels we’ll stand in awe
And with one voice declare.

The Son, worthy to break the seal
The ransom church revealed
By Jesus the risen Lamb of God.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Who God Chooses

Hey all! Things have been a bit crazy busy around here but I read something a couple weeks ago that I wanted to share with you…something to think about, mull over, chew on, and ponder. It’s from the book Your Scars Are Beautiful to God, by Sharon Jaynes.

Whom God Chooses

When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man, and skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man to play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart to create so great and bold a man,
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch all His methods, watch all His ways.
How He ruthlessly perfects,
When He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which only God understands.
While his tortured heart is crying,
And he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks,
When His good He undertakes.
How He uses whom He chooses
And with every purpose fuses him;
But every act induces him to try His splendor out,
God knows what He’s about!

~Henry F. Lyte

What does this mean to you? Do we serve a cruel God? Or do we serve One who has purpose in pain, growth in trials, and His glory in the victory of His people?


Friday, October 10, 2008

Knock Knock, Who's There?

So this is my younger brother and sister. They are two years apart and the funniest little people I have ever known. There is something to say for children who have been raised in a home full of teenagers; we just have yet to see if that say is profitable or not :) Their new thing right now is Knock, Knock Jokes. Every night during dinner this past week, they have come up with new ones. And not like good new ones. Like “just pulling words out of thin air” new ones. Tonight, they were so ridiculous, but both were laughing hysterically at one another. You cannot help but laugh simply because of the immense joy they are finding in this silly game.

They also have a band. Danielle on drums and Andrew on guitar and vocals. And let me tell you, they are one rock and roll band. Probably the next LaRue (anyone remember LaRue??) Anyone who has seen these two together know that they are inseparable peas in a pod. Best friends. They do everything together and would have it no other way. They remind me of the Animaniac cartoon characters, Pinky and the Brain. Remember that infamous line,

“What are we going to do today Brain?”
“What we do everyday Pinky, we are going to take over the world!”

That is Danielle and Andrew. But I, nor anyone in my family, could imagine our lives without them. Danielle is our miracle baby and Andrew is our cuddly clown. I have yet to go a day without them making me laugh. (Those who know them can testify.)

I love my family.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Like dark toffee chocolate, or Starbuck’s Pike Place roast with a hint of cinnamon, bittersweet is the perfect word for my current state of being. It is a phenomenon to be hurting after the loss of something so precious and valuable, yet rejoicing at the same exact time for miracles you see God bringing to pass. With an aching body and a smiling face, I never know which emotion to live in at the moment. But it is in times like these when God ever so gently reminds me that it is going to be OK.
Before I began writing, I read Psalm 143, and verse 5 says this:
“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the
work of your hands.”
I looked up into the black night sky and saw the stars in a new and fresh way. Tears plague my eyes as I realize, once again, that the Creator of the universe is orchestrating the song of my life. A breath taking symphony. And the most amazing part about it is that it is not just MY personal size song, it is THE song. The song of life, of the world, of the universe. We are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves and when we comprehend that we will begin to see things, people, problems, pain, joys, celebrations, in a whole new light.
So my friends, be excited and full of joy, even in those bittersweet moments of life.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Heart Full of Friends

Tonight was a night of mixed emotions. Some college girl friends and I decided to get together before the tides of life rolled once again. One of us moving out of state, one just recently married, one just finished basic training, and two finishing college. Now, these aren’t just any college friends. They are the college friends that have sown seeds of love, laughter, hope, and friendship in my heart forever. The friends that would come and wake me up for our 7:15 AM class when my alarm just happened to not go off. The friends that took me on a surprise trip to the beach in the middle of January after a break-up. The friends that made me a gigantic sun out of construction paper because they knew I missed the California sunshine. The friends that had a valentine’s party, just us five single girls. (We had the coolest heart shorts too!) The friends that come alongside you when they know you are struggling, just to hold you and hurt with you. They make your heart full. These are the kind of friends that I wish, hope, and pray everyone would have.


Monday, August 11, 2008

One of Those Days

Do you ever have one of those days where you just want to jump? Maybe out of frustration, maybe out of joy. Almost like the swelling emotions inside of you are taking on rocket blaster form and about to explode? [Cheesy analogy I know, its the best I could come up with at the moment.] Well today is one of those days for me. About a week ago, my so called “plan for my life” was completely ripped from under me. Ok maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but let’s just say there was a huge unexpected turn of events. Initially I was awestruck and sad. But in the midst of the craziness my mother challenged me with something I will never forget. She said, “Julie, sometimes God closes doors so clearly you mistake them for tragedies. Look for the lesson in this and test it with the truth, the Word of God.”
In Philippians it says, “Do not be anxious for anything but in everything with prayer and petition present your requests to God. And the peace the surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and minds in Christ Jesus” (Vs 4-6). Never has this verse rang so true in my life. The second half of this verse is not just another probable option in a multiple choice problem. When it says “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding WILL guard your heart and minds...” it means, it WILL. This is what is so amazing about the promises of God. They really do happen.

Now looking back I am awestruck and amazed at how God has orchestrated this whole thing. How each surprise and disappointment has turned into a valuable piece of the puzzle. So now my friends, I am going to give you the same challenge my beautiful mother gave to me: Sometimes God closes doors so clearly you mistake them for tragedies. Look for the lesson in this and test it with the truth, the Word of God.


^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

Reader Faves.