Wednesday, March 24, 2010


This morning, as a handful of us girls caught the sunrise, I was reminded of my early Wednesday mornings a year ago. Wednesdays last spring were when I had my child development field work and got to teach preschool. It made me really miss those sweet kids and think back on some of the wonderfully adorable things they did. While I may have already shared this story with some of you, I think it is worth visiting again.

One Wednesday I was responsible for the gross motor activity and I had decided to do an obstacle course with the kiddos. The obstacle course included a tunnel, balance beam and trampoline. To make it a bit more exciting, I told the kids that while we did the course we would pretend to start as caterpillars, but as we went through the tunnel we would be transformed into butterflies. We would then test our wings on the balance beam before "flying" on the trampoline. We each wore a pair of antenna too!

Well, the kids started to go through the course in small groups, having fun being butterflies. As I walked the next group of preschoolers through the course, Max, began in the tunnel. When he came out he spun with his arms out and exclaimed, "I'm being twansformed! I'm being twansformed!" He of course lost his antenna in all the excitement, but after we got them back on he finished the course.

I loved Max's excitement that day. And as I thought about the things God was doing in my life last spring, I felt like I too was spinning around on the inside saying, "I'm being transformed!"

Praise God that we have been transformed! We may fail to recognize this transformation at times, but that does not change the fact of what has already taken place. That in Christ, we are new creations, the old has gone and the new has come!

Lord, thank you for securing life for me when I was utterly helpless to do so on my own. Thank you for transforming me and giving me the grace to walk in this newness of life. As troubles and joys come, may I see them in light of this transformation and Your continual sanctifying work in my life.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Velocitization is a natural, optical illusion. After an extended period of forward motion, your brain becomes used to the speed at which objects go by and when you stop, stationary objects appear to still move as they would if you continued moving forward.

This happened to me this morning as I finished my walk. I couldn't help but see a parallel between my warped vision and how I feel about life lately. I am moving almost continuously, so much so that when I try to pause, I keep going, or at least my brain does.

However, in all of the chaos of life I find myself thankful. Thankful for my Savior. And that in the busyness, I am not rushing about trying to earn my salvation, but rather confident of the grace that has been provided for me.

Also thankful for a roommate who sneakily did my laundry while I was out babysitting.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Smart Water Bottle

Smart Water has the smartest 1 L water bottle.

You fit my hand perfectly and are so easy to carry.
Yet you're not too tiny, you have enough water to satisfy thirst, or enough to share!
And you're opening at the top is just the right size; you probably didn't want me to spill even if I were drinking water and driving on a bumpy road.

You're so fine, you blow my mind!

Dream Deferred

I will borrow Langston Hughe's title, but I am not going to talk about raisins drying in the sun. I will talk about cupcakes and frosting again. I think they're much more optimistic than raisins.

So today a dream of mine (the one that was the sprinkles in a few posts prior) has been deferred. We could say I took the slightest nibble of that cupcake and then it needed a new frost job. That is putting it euphemistically, I could also say that my tearful worries and fears have become a reality. But facing your fears can be good, cupcakes can be re-frosted and deferrals can make one realize the depth of their dreams and hopes.

They are the "if the Lord tarries" kind of dreams and hopes, but they're still valid and important. Sometimes I push off these kinds of hopes because I am afraid they will always be the deferred kind. I know they are not guaranteed.

I will find comfort in the eternal and guaranteed hopes this night, letting them trump the temporal and iffy ones.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fine and Not So Fine

Two weeks ago Alicia and I were responsible for the Nav West lunch. For dessert, I had decided to make my mom's chocolate cake. All that week I had been feeling disconnected from my family. But as the cake baked and its smell filled the air I felt like I was almost home. Then I saw my mom's facebook status, and it said, "Baking a cake to take to work for a co-workers birthday tomorrow...its chocolate and smells delicious. I hope she likes it." The fact that my mom and I were baking the same cakes and smelling the same smells at the same moment filled my heart with great delight. Cheesy, but it made me so happy.

Last night, after a full day, I was driving home from campus and trying to convince myself that I was fine. As I parked in front of my house, one of my best friends called. I heard her hello and the tears began.
"How are you?"
"I was just trying to convince myself that I am fine, but I'm NOT fine!"
So thankful for the care she offered, her genuine concern and her sweet encouragement. Thankful that I don't have to explain my thought processes because she knows them.

Then today, during my afternoon break from Nav West, I was still not so fine. I was buying a water bottle at a Target in Mission Veijo, when I heard a voice from behind me. "Alissa?" I turned around and who did I see? My mom's old boss. She was babysitting her grand kids for the week. How random! But our short interaction was encouraging to me. She gave me a hug and told me that she loves getting my letters and is praying for me. It may be silly, but I saw someone from Blythe!

These interactions are all different, but they all strike a similar chord within me. The chord of shared experience and life, and the comfort there is in it.

All that said, I have cried more this last week than I have in a really long time; tears of joy, tears of fear, tears or worry and tears of thankfulness. Tears from being in a place in life that I have never been before (I'd love to be more explicit, but am not at liberty to do so).

Joy-some big excitements on the horizon and seeing the sweet faithfulness of the Lord to me and those I love the most. A lot of hopes stirring...
Fear and Worry-that these hopes won't come to fruition...that if I'm this worked up about these things I'm unfit for life.
Thankfulness-thinking about Jesus, the cross, redemption, victory over sin and life in the Spirit.

But in all of these mixed emotions, I see God prodding my heart and asking me to trust Him more deeply and to have my hopes firmly rooted in Him.

I have had to ask myself some of the questions that I ask the girls I disciple. The one I have not liked my answer to is, "What do my thoughts, feelings, fears, behaviors, and etc. say about who I believe God is?"

I confess, they have been saying that I don't believe God is sovereign and good, but He IS and I have seen this in my life, the lives' of others and in Scripture. So I will take these thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. I will be transformed by the renewing of my mind, in God's time and care. I will trust Him.

Lord, thank You for Your grace as You continue to refine me and draw me into deeper intimacy with You. May I have the faith of an obedient child.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

For my tall and gangly friend

Tall and gangly friend,
Tall and gangly friend,
Tall and gAngLY friend,
With beauty untold.

You walk around
You talk around
Painting the world
With words.

You skip about.
You hop about.
Frolic and play
Yes, the Eskimo way.

What to do
O WHAT to do?
With you, with you,

Shall I lock you up,
Shall we lock you up?
So no harm will come
No harm will come your way.

I think,
I think,
The ugly duckling is
Indeed a swan.

Tall and gangly friend,
Tall and gangly friend,
Tall and gAngLY friend,
With beauty untold.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sing it Sara, Sing it!

So many times I miss home. I miss my family. I desire to be with them, to share in their ups and downs more tangibly. I find myself hoping for the holidays, or the next time when we will gather around the table together.

Last night, I was on the phone with my family. They called me and it was so great to get to be there with them for a few minutes. Before we hung up my dad prayed for us all, together. It was medicine to my soul. Makes me long for their sweet embraces all the more!

As I love them from afar and praise God for my cell phone, I can't help but long for my heavenly home. I can't wait to be home.

Here are the lyrics to one of my most favorite Sara Groves' songs. She has such a way of putting words (and music) to the feelings of my heart.

Going Home

I've been feeling kind of restless.
I've been feeling out of place.
I can hear a distant singing,
a song that I can't write,
but it echoes in what I'm always trying to say.

There's a feeling I can't capture.
It's always just a prayer away.
I want to know the ending,
things hoped for but not seen,
but I guess that's the point in hoping anyway.

Going home, I'll meet you at the table.
Going home, I'll meet you in the air.
You are never too young to think about it.
Oh, I cannot wait to be home .

I'm confined by my senses
to really know what you are like.
You are more than I can fathom,
more than I can guess,
and more than I can see with human sight.

But I have felt you with my spirit.
I have felt you fill this room.
This is just an invitation,
a sample of the whole,
and I cannot wait to be going home.

Going home, I'll meet you at the table.
Going home, I'll meet you in the air.
You are never too young to think about it.
Oh, I cannot wait to be home .

Face to face how can it be?
Face to face how can it be?
Face to face how can it be?

Monday, March 15, 2010

I'll take the one with sprinkles, please.

Today I am filled with joy.

A deep joy of knowing Jesus and seeing His faithfulness in my life and in the lives of those I love (the cupcake, if you will?). I am content in my situation (the frosting). And have some circumstantial happiness (sprinkles!!).

As this happiness began to sink in tonight, some fears also came my way.

What if the cupcake falls?
What if the frosting is too thin and runs off?
What if the sprinkles disintegrate? (Yes, this can actually happen.)
What if...What if I trust You with the beautiful cupcake, sprinkles and all? After all, You made it.

Yes, I will enjoy it while it is here to be enjoyed. And I know the cupcake isn't going anywhere, even if it gets smushed or the sprinkles fall off, its still tasty.

So Lord, thank You for this day; for the cupcake, with frosting and sprinkles. I see You have been in the kitchen for a while baking. I even see that you have carefully frosted the cupcake and put sprinkles on it.

You sure are good!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The girl who forgets her own middle name!

Today as I talked to one of my dearest friends, she told me that I sounded so pathetic and cute that I should be in a Kleenex commercial. Ha! I have used over 150 Kleenex these last two days! And slept a ton! Oh my! But that is not what I want to write about at all, I want to write about my dearest friend.

I first met her in April of 1997, I was in the fourth grade and she was in the third. My parents were in the middle of the interview process with the church and our whole family was visiting Blythe for the first time. This was not a particularly good trip, but there was one ideal day, and that ideal day I spent with Lauran Hellen in an alfalfa field.

The alfalfa was beginning to bloom and was dotted with lavender blossoms. It was crawling with lady bugs. I had never seen so many! The lady bugs consumed our day. We had a coffee can to collect them in and fixed it with alfalfa. We then spent hours in the field collecting lady bugs, and getting to know each other. I don't really remember what we talked about that day, but I remember going home and thinking that Lauran would be a good friend.

For whatever reasons there were, it took me along time to become friends with Laruan. Now that she is one of my dearest friends, I still feel like the first day we met truly epitomizes our friendship. We may not collect lady bugs like we once did, or be basking in our Blythe backyard, but we share life as it comes our way, and we're still very much young at heart.

I think my nyquil started to work before I even started typing this...eek!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

In a dry and weary land
Where there is no water,
My soul thirsts for You.

I will not grow weary,
I will not become faint,
I know You will renew me
As I wait.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Near Sighted

As I sit on my bed and type this, I can't make out the photos on my desk. I know the images in my head and can even remember some of the feelings from when the photos were taken, but I can't actually see them with my eyes. I'm near sighted. I can see what is a few feet in front of me, but without the help of my contacts or glasses not much is crisp and clear beyond that.

Walking with Jesus, sometimes I feel near sighted. I see what is in front of me fairly clear, but the things at a distance become blurred. I can make out the general shapes and sizes, the colors, but my eyes don't see the details.

As I think about my future, I know what kind of woman I want to be. I want to have faith. I want to value the eternal. I want to be transformed by knowing Christ. I want to love in His strength. I want to run free and unashamed. I want to live in grace, in light of the Gospel.

The details of how this will actually look are hazy. Tomorrow, this week, the rest of this semester, the summer; they're in view, I can make parts of them out. There are the general disciplines that will of course help me do this: spending time daily in the Word and in prayer, living in community with other believers and loving the lost well.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." -Hebrews 11:1

Lord, I know what I hope for, help me to be certain of what I do not see. Help me to be a woman of faith.