Friday, February 20, 2015


This week at Bible Study we were asked to think about what we say to ourselves most and what our self-talk consists of. I knew I spent a lot of time daily in my head thinking about things I have to do, planning, processing, and figuring out this adult life thing I've been trying to navigate. As I sat there and pondered, it was difficult for me to think of what I constantly say to myself. As I entered the week I wanted to intentionally recognize what it was I found myself saying in my head all the time. Like most of us, I knew there were a lot of negative things I repeat to myself each time a conversation doesn't go as planned, an interview and job opportunity didn't work out, and when I look in the mirror. Despite this, I sat there and thought "truly there must be something positive I say. How can the only thoughts rolling through my head be negative if I am loved deeply by the God of the Universe? God's love for me is deeper than the ocean I look at at work, that I visit often, and can't get enough of." Later that night on my drive home it hit me.

| | G O D  K N O W S | |

With out a doubt, these are the two words I utter to myself most. God knows the outcome of this interview, God knows why everything seems to be going wrong this week, God knows where I am going to live in the future, God knows how I'm going to pay my student loans, God knows what my day holds. God knows.

In one of the most trying and unpredictable seasons of my life, these simple words have brought me such peace, joy, and comfort. Knowing that the God who paints the sky with an incredible sunset each evening is the God who is sovereign over every detail in my life brings me peace that surpasses all understanding. People often ask how I work two jobs, rarely get time off, drive so much, and move often. I can't help but think God knows. He knows what he has for me now and in the future. He knows what I'm going through, dealing with on a daily basis, what I long for most in this season, and what lies ahead.

Each night as I look at the sunset and find such peace in knowing that God is the God he says he is. He is the God who knows us deeply, created us so intricately, and has an incredible plan for the days set before us. I can't help be stand in awe of the Creator who paints the sky with a different sunset each night and knows what the heck my life will look like next week, next month, and next year. Man, we serve a mighty God.

I took this picture in November the day I found out I was going to 
be starting a new job at Biola in the marketing department with the events team. 
What a blessing that has been.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Art of Slowing Down

For as long as I could remember, I have always tried to do things as quickly and efficiently as possible. When I have a list of things to get done, I try to do as many of them as I possibly can at the same time to save time. I drive too fast, roll every stop sign between where I am and my destination, and try not to get caught speeding so I can be on time wherever I am going. When doing homework, I used to skim the assigned reading so I could be done with it and move onto to the next task. When I am eating, I have the next bite ready before I am done with the one in my mouth so I can finish faster. I live a high paced life and the more I can squeeze into a day, the better I feel.

From a young age, we are trained to move fast, finish things quickly, and don't even try driving the speed limit or you'll be the one who everyone speeds around with a piercing glare. We hate standing in line at the grocery store, fast forward through tv commercials when we can, and expect our webpage to load immediately when we click on it. Everything about our society seems accelerated, hurried, and always in a rush. The concept of patience is nonexistent.

Sometimes this rushed mentality that plagues our society seeps into our spiritual lives. I know I am guilty of looking at the time when church seems to be going over a few minutes, or I try to squeeze a few moments of intentional prayer on my walk to work, and the worst is going to bed and realizing that I didn't even give a spare moment of my day to open my Bible. But you better believe I checked my Instagram feed multiple times that day and all my emails were seen, read, or saved for later.

In the recent months, the pace of my life has slowed significantly. One of my New Year's resolutions is to stop rolling stop signs, to force myself to slow down. While the temptation to roll through the red light when I'm turning right, or going through the pointless stop sign in a parking lot is great, I am trying my best to come to a complete stop each time I am supposed to. This stopping and slowing down thing is hard though. Yes, it is a bad driving habit that is hard to stop but also in my spiritual life it is hard to force myself to slow down. To slow down, listen, pay attention, and surrender to the Holy Spirit.

Forcing myself to slow down in all areas of my life, especially in my walk with God has been more difficult that I anticipated. I thought if I stopped for a few days and prayed and meditated and journaled that I would wake up a few days later and everything would be better, or work out how I want, or be easier. But it doesn't. It takes time. It takes time for the caterpillar to be transformed into a butterfly while in it's chrysalis. This process cannot be rushed. If someone finds one of these delicate chrysalis's hanging so peacefully from a tree and wants to see what is inside, it could kill the butterfly inside if it is opened too soon. We must wait, and not rush, God's perfect process.

The same is true for us. We try to rush transformation in our lives. We think a few weeks, months, or a short season is enough to teach us what God is trying to communicate to us. Only God knows the exact timing we need in this season of transformation. Everyone's transformation takes a different amount of time. For some it could be shorter than expected, for others a little longer. We must learn the art of slowing down. The joy and peace that is found in the waiting. As we slow down, stop, wait, and listen to God, our lives are being transformed. Transformation does not happen over night.

In this season, I am learning what it means to slow down and be patient. To be where the Lord has me, be grateful for the people he has surrounded me with, and grateful for the transformation that I know is taking place, even when I cannot always see or sense it.

One way I trying to intentionally slow down in my life is taking in the beauty of the world God has created around me. I love the ocean (I'm going to pretend this is a picture of ocean, even if it's not!) and if I have a spare 15 minutes in the morning before work I stop by the beach or if I don't have somewhere to be when the sun it setting, I try to stop what I'm doing and take in how amazing our world and One who made it is. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Transformation in the Waiting

The image of the butterfly and the transformation it experiences as it goes through it's lifecycle has been significant to me and my faith journey for several years. Just like the caterpillar must die and give up all it knows to become what it was meant to be, a butterfly, we must die to ourselves to become all Christ desires us to be. With new life that is found in him, we can soar with Christ daily. I recently started reading a book called When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd and it has completely changed the meaning of this metaphor in my life.

My focus has always been on the outcome, the beauty that is experienced in the butterfly, the final stage of the life cycle. In a season where I feel like I am constantly waiting for things to change in my life, my attention has shifted to the chrysalis stage. The time the caterpillar spends in darkness, being transformed, and waiting for all God has. There is so much wonder in the mystery of what is happening during this seemingly dead and long time period when we can't see what is actually going on. In order for the transformation to occur, the creature must be still. And W A I T. It might be tempting to think of waiting as mere passivity. But is so much more than that. In her book, Kidd says that the words passive and passion come from the same Latin root pati meaning "to endure". It means diving deep into who we are in God and living that out boldly.

This season of examining myself, the way I love, relate to others, live my life, and view God has not been easy. But it has been an incredible journey of learning about God's grace, unfailing love, and perfect character. I feel like the last seven months, since graduating, have been seven months of waiting for a real job, waiting a place to live permanently, waiting for my real life to begin. Some days have been filled with joy and blessing and some days have been filled with tears and frustration. Life looks nothing like I imagined it would right now. But as I wait for God to reveal his plan for this season of my life, I'm not just waiting and doing nothing. I am entering into the places he is calling me. Exploring what is means to love deeply, being content in whatever my circumstances are, and trusting in the divine plan of the God of the Universe.

I'm choosing not to sit around waiting, hoping, and wishing for my life to change. I am going to be S T I L L. I am going to allow the Holy Spirit to transform my heart, endure the hard conversations, and give up what I so dearly hold on to.

In our hurried society, it is easy to want to quickly go through this process and try and do it on my own. It's not a quick process. I'm exploring what it means to slow down and actually be still. Be patient. And truly wait. For it is in this waiting that the transformation begins to take place.


When I was looking for a picture of a chrysalis to include, there weren't many beautiful pictures to choose from. Then it occurred to me that the chrysalis stage is not the most beautiful stage of the butterfly life cycle. But i found beauty in the simplicity of God at work on the inside creating beauty despite what we can see on the outside. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Livin the Part-Time Dream

I cannot believe the month of August is practically here. Where the heck did the last two months of summer go? As I was sorting soggy towels, seating guests, and gazing at the most amazing view all day at work, time flew by! Life at the Montage has been such a great learning experience. I love my managers, the people I work with, and seriously NOTHING beats the view. Absolutely nothing. Two months out of college and I have the best "office" I'll probably ever have! I now have a very unreasonable expectation for what any future office I have should be like;)
Yes this is really what I get to look at all day. 
(no I didn't take this picture myself!)

In the last two months I have lived in six different places. Many people, especially at work, are baffled at this nomad lifestyle that is my reality this summer. But really it's nothing new for me. The last three summers I lived out of one suitcase and a sleeping bag and moved every seven days. This summer my stuff is all packed in my car, I get a bed, and have been staying in the homes of so many gracious people for at least two weeks at time. It's quite luxurious compared to summers past! I have met and gotten to know so many incredible people in my nomadic adventures this summer. The Lord has been so faithful in providing homes with loving people to live with who are close to work. I have loved having conversations about faith and life with my beloved hosts as I've moved this summer. Praying about a more permanent living situation in the fall. God has been so faithful in providing loving and gracious people to live with this summer and I am trusting that he will provide a place and roommates for whatever is next!
When people have asked how my summer has been, I usually answer (with a hint of sarcasm), "I'm livin the part-time dream!" I never really thought life would be the way it is right now. Living by the beach, having a part-time seasonal job at a hotel, and having no idea what is next definitely has it's pros and cons. With so many changes and unknowns, God has been constant through it all. As I have thought and processed so many things this summer, God has reminded me that he is ALWAYS good. He is loving and has a sovereign plan. I would say up to this point in my life, most things have been fairly predictable. Before one job ended I had the next lined up, school always started in the fall, and I got to choose my work schedule for the most part. While things aren't as predictable and I wait every Wednesday for my work schedule to find out what time I have to show up each day, there are so many blessings in my life. I think the best part is that I get to be in the sunshine everyday, either at work or laying out on my days off. I have spent so many hours in the sun this summer and it is the greatest! I have prayed and worshipped and processed and meditated so much while laying in the sun. There is no place on earth I feel closer to the Lord. I love feeling sunshine on my skin. I'm thankful that I get to do this so often these days:)
This next week I am starting a new *temporary* job at Biola as the Parent Program Coordinator. I will be filling in while someone is on maternity leave. It will be weird to be on campus when students move in and on the first day of classes but I am so blessed that God has allowed to return to a place I love so dearly, even if just for a short time! I am going to continue to work at Montage and I am so thankful both places are willing to be flexible with hours!
So for now, I have two part-time jobs and I am livin the dream! Nothing compares to life by the beach. While I feel like everything in my life, especially work and housing, is temporary and part-time, everyday is a full-time dream with God. His blessings blow me away everyday. Every college graduate longs for stability, income that is higher than minimum wage so we can pay off that million dollar degree we just earned, and to understand big kid life stuff like taxes and 401K plans and credit scores. Right now I don't have any of these things but I do have a God who loves me and never leaves me and is guiding me towards what he has next for me. The last week has been especially difficult buying into the lies of this world but each day God has reminded me through scripture, a conversation, and monarch butterflies, that he is good. If we go through life living for someday, we will miss out on all God has for us today. So today, despite the part-time status of most things in my life, I am livin the full-time dream with God. Praise him from whom all blessings flow!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Beginning of the Beginning

As my time at Biola wraps up, there are lots of last assignments, last meetings, and last things that are happening. When the semester started there were a lot of “last firsts” as well, “last first day of school”, “last first meeting”, “last first event”. As I’ve been reflected on the past year and my four years at Biola, I am blown away at the Lord’s goodness. Seeing the way he has orchestrated each detail, each class, each friendship, and each opportunity, has been incredible. A few weeks ago when the final countdown to graduation began (though I’ve been counting down the days for months!) I felt inclined to think, “Welp this is it, the beginning of the end”. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought, “This is not the end, it is simply a transition into the beginning of a new season.”
My senior year at Biola has been nothing short of incredible. An absolute dream. From loving apartment life to having the amazing opportunity to plan events in a role I love more than I ever thought I would, to becoming a real crossfitter, running two half marathons, to laughter and tears, I would not trade this year, or my entire Biola experience, for the world. As great as this year has been, I know it is coming to an end and as I reflect, I am so thankful for all the Lord has taught me and allowed me to experience. I am thankful for each friendship, each professor, each late night, each crazy decision, each hard conversation, and each beautiful memory.
As I move somewhere new and start at a new job, find new ways to spend my time (other than writing papers or lesson plans..hallelujah!), figure out how the heck I’m going to pay my student loans off, meet new people, look for new community, and grow as an individual, I know that God is guiding each step I take. God is preparing me for what he has ahead. This week is not the beginning of the end of my time at Biola, it is the beginning of the beginning of something new and exciting.

Praise him from whom all blessings flow.