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.