Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Today, I found out some of the most thrilling news: my dear friend, Sarah, photographed Taylor Swift's new album images!


I can hardly write for lack of words! Seeing these images brought me back to our teen years when Sarah was first launching her new business and she had just taken me on to be her Studio Manager. I remember working out of her bedroom at first and then eventually upgrading to the small laundry room upstairs in her parents' home. 

What an ideal set up: working with the one girl on this planet that makes me laugh so hard that our conversations are more like a few random words being spat out between deep, hearty laughter. Yet, we have always worked so well together. She had the creativity and vision, I managed the details. 

A dream job.

Seeing the newly released images brought me back to one of my first tasks for Sarah: to file the EIN number of what was then called Sarah Anne Photography.

Who knew that this would be part of her success story? We have always been dreamers, Sarah and I, but to see growth, development, and expansion take place is such a wonder of its own.

My favorite kind of people are the people I get to dream with; but we fight to never be satisfied with dreaming only. They push, pull, mold and shape what they have in their hands until it eventually becomes a tangible form of the vision they sought after all the time.

I cannot stop thinking about how proud I am of Sarah.
She started with a dream board in her teenage bedroom.
She spoke life over her circumstances and worked diligently with every opportunity brought to her, however small.
She puts herself into her work and uses her business as an outlet to simply love people, laugh with them, and empower them.
What a privilege to call her friend! Though we are an ocean away, she sharpens me without having to say a word.

Well done, dear friend! Your diligence has brought you before kings. I love you so much and am believing for exceedingly, abundantly and immeasurably more to continue pouring out over your life.  This is just the beginning!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Twelve Midnight.

It would be an understatement to say that some progress has taken place since my last post. Nearly two weeks have gone by like months. They have been so full of stress, anxiety, excitement and disbelief.

I have since been enrolled into Hillsong College, received acceptance to acknowledge prior learning and skip all of first year. What a privilege to join my favorite community of second year students! What a challenge it will be to jump right into leading teams of other students. Also, I have generously been blessed with financial support for the first payment of this semester's tuition. 

It would require writing a book to talk about all these little battles that have been fought through every step. The most important thing is:

God is SO good!
He is unwaveringly faithful.

As I have experienced these last couple weeks, Matthew 7 has developed a whole new depth like I have never seen before:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
(Matthew 7:7-8)

The thing about faith is, we have to have enough of it to actually knock. It is so easy to pray and pray and pray; hope and hope and hope, but never move from our position in front of the door to actually lift our fist and make contact with the surface of that door. Until we have the courage to knock, seek, or ask, nothing will be opened, found, or received.

To my relief, I had the support of people around me to be encouraged enough to knock until the clock struck twelve. When a new hour finally came, God came through to say, "My mercies are new every morning."

There is provision for every minute and every hour. There are battles to be fought, but every battle for believers should be won. We can walk in confidence with our heads held high because we know we walk in victory through the blood and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

Faith will never grow until it is exercised. If no one is around you to encourage you, let me do it: step out. Don't hold back. There is more for you on the other side. God is faithful to respond to your desire to please Him. Walk in His will. What else is there to live for, really?

With every hour passing, a day ends and a new one begins. His mercies are new every single morning; in every chapter of our lives.

PRAISE THE LORD, there are more victories to come!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The 11th Hour.

I thought it had come and gone by now – that very last moment of holding onto any ounce of hope left inside.

Honestly, looking back has made me realize that, in the past, I have typically done everything possible to avoid the tension of this hour... It is far less painful to choose the options where the doors swing open wide and I just step on through.

This time it feels like I am waging war against something, even against my own self at times.

But I cannot ignore it any longer. The future is too valuable. The cost of this vision too high to let go of.

I am doing everything I know to do – the paper work, e-mails, applications, order forms, planning, research and praying (more like begging at this point) in faith that God will come through for me.

If I have any faith at all, I constantly wonder if it even measures up to a whole mustard seed. Hopefully it does not fall short at half a mustard seed or three quarters.

"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" is the scripture echoing across my brain. (Mark 9:24 NIV)

Here it is: I have been going back and forth, up and down since January to figure out whether or not to attend vocational ministry school. Truth be told, it has been more like a battle between courage and fear... and simply working into a solid vision.

Some of you reading this may be thinking, "Oh boy, there she goes again... always so indecisive about ministry school." My only response to that would be: yes, it is annoying that I have been 'heehawing' around it for a few years, but I once read a very wise statement which said "The right thing at the wrong time is still the wrong thing." I can truly say, I do not regret any previous step that has brought me here.

"God has made everything beautiful in its time." (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

My season here is only just beginning.

I am settling into this call and clinging to it with all my might.

Life has never fit in such a tailored way like it does right here, right now.

Through this church, I get to come alongside women and remind them of their worth. I get the honor of telling them how valuable they are and how capable they are of accomplishing their dreams. Few things are more rewarding than watching each woman break out from shells of insecurity or shed her baggage from difficult circumstances. I love seeing things shift in my life as a result as well. This is only the start of strongholds I want to see broken down around the world for the rest of my life.

This is where faith steps in...

Man, I hate money.

The one and only thing I regret about this year down under is the student loan that came with the package.

I realize this is super personal and I am a bit uncomfortable about sharing it so publicly, but my hope is to praise even more publicly when all is said and done.

Logically, I should not even bother updating my application or ordering transcripts to be sent to Hillsong College. Enrollment is one week away and at this present moment, I still have this student loan to be paid back and no job to pay the $5,000/yr tuition fee.

But I am doing it anyway. Why? Because God is bigger than my student loan and any need I will ever have. He is not dictated by the economy or the fact that I have yet to gain employment.

Though I have been shaken, brought to tears and down to my knees in so much discomfort and resistance to this call, I am finishing the process anyway. I feel like a fool every step of the way.

Do I know for a fact that God will miraculously come through for me with a massive breakthrough of tens and thousands of dollars all in one week's time so I can go to College debt-free and financed like I believe He wants me to?

All I know is that He is faithful. His name is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord Provider. He is steadfast, full of grace and mercy. Abounding in love. He says He is a good Father who knows how to give His children good things.

I call Him Lord.

In light of that, I am braced to honor, love and serve Him no matter what the outcome.

Though honestly, my greatest cry is, "LORD, for your name's sake, set me free from this! Let me step into College and into all you have put on my heart to accomplish. I know I am entirely at fault for choosing such an unwise resource and I don't deserve relief through your provision... But Father, the one You love is in debt; and I have no other way out from under this without your great mercy."

For your name's sake, Lord Jesus, be glorified in me.

Until the clock strikes twelve...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Church Life... Why?

For all the Christians out there who serve day in and day out within their church homes.

Why do you do it?

Anyone who has invited me to serve somewhere over the last couple years can attest to the fact that I have an initial hesitation in response to the invitation and often times say "no."

This is a new development in recent times and I am finally "putting thoughts to paper" under the assumption that I'm not the only one out there who carries this instinctive yield in her heart of hearts.

In testimonies and sermons we often hear someone on the platform proclaiming freedom from the idols and vices they once hid behind- drugs, alcohol, lust, media, and other surface issues that cut off circulation to the depths of their conscience. 
Another example would be those who hid because of the pain of heartbreak and abuse inflicted upon them by someone significant in their life.

But what about us... The ones who hide their pain & struggle behind Christian ministry? 

I have never run to drugs. I've never abused alcohol. My dependence or unhealthy outlets such as comfort food or the negligence of have never been so extreme that I can say I have ever lost control, hit rock bottom and required medical attention.

What was my vice? What has been my outlet? What has also let me down and hurt me more than anything else in life?

Christian ministry.

There is nothing in my life that I've had a harder time saying 'no' to. In high school I was in church just as much or more than I was a full time student and a part-time athlete. As I was given more church leadership, I experienced more judgement and pain from the people I called friends to the point where I didn't know how to commit to friends for the longest time out of an instinct to protect myself. With every passing year came a new set of friends to try and grow with.

While growth and leadership blossomed, so did legalism, self-righteousness, pride, and captivity. I had to be perfect. If I wasn't perfect I wouldn't be a good example to the children I ministered to and their parents. If I wasn't perfect, my peers would have even more of me to pick apart. 

Church life taught me how to be a good diplomat; how to be politically correct. At least I had the favor of my leaders. I could lead, I could teach, I could sing from a platform and no one could touch me. 

Eventually a breaking point came. All the striving has been exhausted and the last several years of moving away from my original grounds has created opportunity to examine how I truly want to live.

This isn't a question of whether or not to stay in the church. For many I think that does become an issue. If that's you, let me encourage you to let down your guard. Yes, people in the church hurt sometimes. Other times leadership is poor or something didn't come through for you. Let me remind you that the fear of the Lord is the only fear worth retaining no matter how much it hurts. Jesus said these two things go hand-in-hand: if we love him, then we feed his sheep and tend his lambs. Don't let the imperfections of human beings trip you up from running the race to win. Indeed, we are all human.

Which is why it makes me crazy when I start to step deeper into church life again. There is this expectation among the involved church-goers to be a part of everything.

"Did you go to Saturday night service? Did you go to Sunday morning? What about Sunday night?"

"You missed out on God's message to you tonight! Should've come to service..."
(As if God can't speak to you anywhere else or in any other way. HE is God!)

"So you attend women's ministry... But are you serving in it?" 

"You should join my team! (Even though I already know you're involved in other things.)"

It seems a bit intensified these days because my church has a leadership college integrated into it and therefore attracts people who live and breathe church life.

I've probably poked at and may have offended some people by now so let me continue on with clarifications.

While I carry scars from church life, few things have taught me more. I gain so much from showing up for services each weekend. The church has always been my outlet for exercising my God given gifts and talent and I absolutely love being a leader in those things. There is nowhere else I have flourished more than inside church walls. I love being a part of church life!

But what is it worth if I'm doing it for the sake of living up to people's expectations or even simply their suggestions? How meaningful is it to pour hours of effort and service if it is out of obligation?

Though I am attempting to embrace a lifelong pursuit of full-time ministry, I know what it is to be a full time student and to have commitments that require a high priority alongside, but outside of church life. Why are those things so hard for involved church-goers to respect?

Before I ever started considering full-time ministry, I wanted to be in the marketplace and really thought that's how God would use me in this world. Perhaps they will blend. But I can't tell you how many times I have felt labeled as less of a missionary for having a marketplace mentality, even to this day.

I'm just going to say it straight: that is NOT how it is supposed to be. When is Christ's body going to see the legitimacy in the people who can only make it to church once or twice a week? Why do we feel like it is so hard to relate as a ministry school student to someone who is going into a marketplace profession? Suddenly the mentality has shifted to this idea of reaching out to university students without actually sitting in classrooms alongside them.

God uses and places his people in all parts if the world- the missionary to the third world, the mega church pastor, the Fortune 500 company's CEO or associate, the student in university, vocational training or leadership college.

We have got to stop letting the details hinder us from looking at the common, core mission. No matter what our place is, we are called to GO INTO the world to MAKE disciples. While serving in church is a good thing and should be part of our Christian walk, we aren't meant to hide from the rest of life's requirements and priorities.

I'm not interested in letting my work life, studies, or home life suffer because I've made church life my only priority. 

Loving and serving Jesus is my life's entire priority and that can be exercised by cleaning my apartment, getting my degree, putting in the hours to the best of my ability at work, or faithfully serving in church every week. Even pastors have to pay their bills and taxes like everyone else.

Colossians 3:23 says, "WHATEVER you do, do it with all your heart, as though working for the Lord, not for men." (caps. added)

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit." -Philippians 2:-4

"For it is by grace that you have been saved, not by works, so no man can boast." -Eph 2:8-9

"The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." -1 Samuel 16:7b

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." -Romans 12:6-8

We could be an established pastor, the most faithful servant, the most committed leader... But if our relationship with the Lord is not established one-on-one before all else, what is it worth in the end? What source do we have to pour into people? I don't want to continue living my life in a way that the time I spend in the quiet place is significantly less proportionate to the time I spend pouring out.

I'm not going to exhaust myself signing up for things because other people expect me to or excite me into making an emotional decision. Every area of life has its significance and God watches how I steward them all. I refuse to neglect one because I prefer the other. I certainly don't want to remain in a legalistic lifestyle of believing that what I do and how often I serve in church is the defining factor of my relationship with God.


Open our eyes to the truth of our hearts. How can we be more faithful to you today? Help us to see and respect our brothers and sisters and encourage them in the diversity of positions you have placed us in to fight this battle and expand your kingdom. Teach us to recognize the significance in the menial daily responsibilities that are also of worth to you. Make us more like you and more faithful to you each and every day.

In Jesus' name,

(Thanks to Sheila Walsh... her testimony was the push I needed to write this.)

Friday, May 04, 2012

Recalling All Christians.

This post is dedicated to the community of believers I have been surrounded by my entire life: those who grew up in the church, live in a Christian nation, carry the affiliation of "Christian," live in Christian community and continue that journey to this day.

There was a point in John Wesley's life when he thought he should stop preaching because he was only beginning to understand the true nature of Christianity. Thankfully, a Moravian told him, "preach faith until you have it, then because you have it you will preach it."

What is about to be written has been bombarding my mind lately and I need to start preaching about it until it becomes real in my own life.

What am I doing with Christianity?

I am writing this post because I find myself constantly playing this game of tug-o-war where the life in my comfort zone and familiarity is on one side while the vision of something entirely new and uncomfortable pulls on the other. Lately, the tension from both sides is building and pulling stronger and stronger, back and forth.

Honestly, it is so painful to even write this post right now. I know it holds me accountable.

"I will go, I will go, I will go, Lord, send me..."

"I surrender all..."

"I throw my life upon all that You are 'cause I know You gave it all for me..."

"There is nothing else that's of worth to me... You are all that I want. You're all I need."

"Wonderful Saviour, my heart belongs to Thee..."

"I wanna sit at Your feet, drink from the cup in Your hand..."

"Praise to the King of kings, You are my everything and I will adore You..."

"All of You is more than enough for all of me, for every thirst and every need..."

"I trust in You..."

"May the vision of You be the death of me..."

"Yeah, I want everyone to know, everyone to know, I wanna tell the world about Your love."

I don't know how long it's been since you committed your life to Christ, but I've been singing songs like these for over 20 years.

Now that I'm six weeks away from achieving my Master's Degree, I'm beginning to feel like I've ticked off every box of major life expectations that are within my control (Ph.D.'s are optional and marriage requires a committed man... jobs partially depend on the employer). I've done everything my parents have asked of or encouraged me to do.

Cool. So... what now?

It's exhilarating and overwhelming to attempt to answer that question. The easiest answer would be, "Look for a job."

But I keep singing these songs, and reading these words from my Saviour & people like me who followed Him ages ago: 

"GO and make disciples of all nations..." (Matt. 28:19)

"Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8)

"...before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." (Jer. 1:5)

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news... who proclaim salvation," (Is. 52:7)

"but we preach Christ crucified..." (1 Cor. 1:23)

"And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" (Rom. 10:14)

"live a life worthy of the calling you have received." (Eph. 4:1)

I am constantly proclaiming these statements through song or claiming these commands as a part of my lifestyle and the TRUTH of my entire existence... what am I supposed to do now?

What are WE supposed to do with Christianity?

God doesn't make this a mystery. I constantly overcomplicate my life when, really, life's purpose is so simple: Accept the salvation of Christ's death and resurrection. Then, go; tell nations about what Jesus did. 

WHY IS THAT SO SCARY?!?!!?!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

It seems frightening because all I've known (and gratefully receive) is an abundance of comfort in the blessings and inheritance that has already built my life up to this point. I don't want to keep going to all these countries I've never seen before! I don't want to keep missing my family like I do or keep missing out on the changes and events happening in my friends lives! I want to go home! I want to settle down! I want to get married and have a pay check in the mail and savings account building because of a job that I enjoy! When do I get to feel comfortable again?!

But my life isn't about me.
It's about the Kingdom that I call home.
It's about actually living out what I claim to believe.
It's about taking the seat that was set apart for me;
to rule and reign as a princess of the Most High God.

For some, that means being salt and light in your hometown, in an office, in your family and among your friends. While I still in my humanness hope that those scenarios can be a part of my journey again, even for  a little while, I know I wasn't made to stay in one place or go back forever. I just know it. 

For some, this calling sounds like, 
Go, make disciples in your office.
Make disciples of your family.
Tell your campus about the love of Jesus.
Go make disciples of your community.
Tell your country about what Jesus did, no matter how "Christian" the culture is.

What matters most is that we can answer this question–

What am I doing with Christianity?

–in a way that satisfies the calling God has placed on our lives– as individuals and as members of one body.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Earlier this week, a preacher challenged everyone in the room to use our own words to exalt God with praise. I stopped short, lost for words. At first I was troubled by the thought that I was unable to just let the exaltations flow, but once the session came to a close I managed some time alone to think, write and enjoy the view of where I live right now.

Sitting on a cliff's edge, I sat soaking in the sunset against my back. Before me, the soothing sound of waves crashed, the salty ocean air blew against my face, and the sight of surfers in the big blue ocean sent cheerful greetings from below.

With little editing, this is what I wrote:

"Father God,

Water is much like You. In small amounts, You are easy to handle, refreshing to take in, and harmless to play around with.

But when I finally stand in– wade deeper into– Your great, massive presence I quickly lose control. I get lost in the enormity of waves cycling through the sea. The sound of crashing waves is like a warning to anyone who comes near; an alarm to signal the power and intensity each one contains.

Oh God, just like I sit at this cliff's edge staring at the rocks below– so it is with my life. I'm at the edge. I can either walk away with my little thermos of water or take another step forward and leap off the cliff to be carried away by all that You are.

Oh I so long to be carried away by Your overwhelmingly powerful presence and will; to be in a state where I have lost control, but allow myself to be swept up and carried by Your presence all over me.

Jesus, I don't want to settle for my convenient cup of You whenever I get thirsty. Let me know You like I know the ocean.

In Jesus' Name,

Thursday, March 15, 2012


The more I learn about Christianity, the more I revisit the thought that God keeps his mathematics simple.

We are supposed to have childlike faith, so shouldn't we view God and his promises simply?

God has the following characteristics (among many, many, many amazing traits!):
He is able.
He never fails.

He also says, "apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

So the conclusion I am reaching is that it all adds up to this:

God is able to do things SO GREAT I cannot even imagine them or come to think of them with my teeny tiny human brain. (Ephesians 3:20)

God is able, he can never and will never fail, and I abide in him.

Therefore, I am able and I can never fail because of who he is.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Treasure Hunt.

15th Official Blog Post in AU. 25 January 2012
This past weekend was filled with the sound of wedding bells! Perhaps you are the bearer of this good news or maybe you are on the receiving–and squealing with excitement– end like me. Regardless, I think we can all tell that it is that time of year again.
Despite the fact that my current circumstances do not quite suggest that the “m-word” is in sight, I am just so excited! I’m excited just to be a woman!
Yeah, that sounds weird.
Let me explain why...
It is not for the reasons you think– I am not thinking about the awesome dress, the decorations, the attention, or the venue... Here is what has been on my mind:

The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD.
-Proverbs 18:22 (NLT)

Basically, I think that is just the coolest thing ever! If you know me at all, you know I like to look at the parallel versions and Greek or Hebrew translations just to see if I understand the meaning correctly.

Good news: this verse says what it means and means what it says! 
In God’s eyes, not only do I get the pleasure and the benefits of a partnership– I get to be the catalyst for favor to come from Yahweh and into a man’s life! Plus, we will be one anyway so favor that comes to him means favor is coming to me, too.
Ladies, doesn’t that make you feel so valuable? Ha! By taking up a partnership, a man would be so blessed in ways he does not even realize yet! What could a godly man want more than favor from the Lord?!
I promise I am not trying to sound as vain as a peacock. I just think we should boast in what the Lord has given each of us just a little (or a lot) more and maybe try to rummage through the overgrowth of fears and past experiences which seem to hide away the treasures that exist inside relationships.
Women: be encouraged. You are a treasure and a blessing. Bring him good, not harm, all the days of your life.
Men: find a “keeper,” in God’s perfect season for you. She’ll be more worthwhile than you know. If you already found one, ask God to let you see all the ways He has favored you because of your marriage.
Heavenly Father,
May we walk in Your way. Give us eyes to see relationships the way You see them. I pray that this generation of marriages be set apart and rebuild any brokenness of marriages before us. May we take wisdom from those that have lived in partnership according to Your Word. Let Your Holy Spirit lead us all– married and singles alike– to be a light unto this world; a city on a hill. Teach us to be holy; set apart for this world to see that You are truly the difference in our lives.
In Jesus’ Name,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Looking Back.

14th Official Blog Post in AU. 6 January 2012
I moved into a new apartment! Let’s just say the amount of stuff I have is ridiculous. Amidst, the crazed and tired atmosphere, something strange happened and it has been burned in my memory ever since.
I left a piece of toast in the panini/sandwich maker.
God only knows how long it’s been in there.
First of all, I realize that that is absolutely disgusting. I am trying my best not to be embarrassed about sharing such a gross fact with all of cyberspace.
All day the image of this formerly toasted, stale bread kept coming around...
That piece of toast is such proof of how distracted I have been this past season–
S p a c e y, overly adaptable, unusually withdrawn socially, non-committal...
not quite myself.
But there is a changing of seasons and I am in transition. I like it!
Change always seems to help prevent complacency.
Here’s to the new year:
A year of awakening.
A year of fruitfulness.
A year of productivity and diligence.
This year I will live genuinely according to who He has made me to be.
And discover the things I never knew I was capable of.
This year, I will not hold back from God.
He desires to make my life flourish.
He makes me influential.
I will be all that He dreams for me.
I will create, build, and distribute what He has anointed my hands to do.
This year, I refuse to accept self-destructive habits, thoughts, or attitudes.
I refuse to be so distracted that I leave toast in the sandwich maker.
I will be successful because He makes me capable.

Teach us to be more focused, faithful, and free to live out the confidence You are calling us to walk in this year. Keep us from wasting this precious time. You have a plan for us in each day. You take the things we dream of and make them grand. I want to live in every moment of developing those dreams to the scale that You are capable of. I know this development only comes in faithfulness to today; in attention to the little things. “Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire.”
Let it be. All that You have spoken, let it be.
In Jesus’ Name,