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This past weekend, my husband and I got out of the city we live in for a few days of reflection, prayer, and rest. We’re just over five months of marriage at this point.

On our way home, we stopped for coffee at a quaint house turned coffee shop overlooking the beach.  The morning had been incredibly wearing on the both of us as we laid our selfish selves before the Lord and both chose to selflessly care for the marriage–and the ministry marriage is itself–above other demands in our current life stage.

Outside the coffee house, dozens of butterflies fluttered around one flowery bush.  One captured my attention.

We’re all a little bit broken….just some show it a little bit more than others.

“When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat.  They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus” (Mark 2:1-4).

My husband broke it down and reflects…

that dude who got let down through the ceiling by his three friends definitely didn’t have his crap together. broken in paralysis but in humility, he stayed on the mat and allowed his friends to lower him down and bring him to Jesus. this is me. man, i don’t need to come to Jesus with my performance but rather trust the process. transformation is from the inside out. only by Jesus my sins are forgiven. only by Jesus i can rise up and walk.

So for all of us who might be showing our brokenness a little bit more than what seems to be the societal norm, let us pray together with Christ who has and continues to be constant despite changing circumstances.

My heart is confident in You, O God; my heart is confident.  No wonder I can sing Your praises! Be exalted, O God above the highest heavens, for You, O God, are constant, and no circumstance wavers Your foundation. There is no quake You feel, nothing is ever new or unexpected to You.  Be exalted, O Lord.  Lord over our circumstances.  We follow You, and You alone–be the voice we hear, the path we see.  When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.  Now I walk in Your presence, O God, in your life-giving light. You listened when I was overwhelmed by my troubles.  You have restored in me the joy of Your salvation.  Continue to make me willing to obey.  Continue to defend me with Your might.  Please, also continue to lead me through Your Word, that I would reflect back to You the power and Truth of Your Word as prayers–that my will would become Your will, O Lord, and that Your will would also be my will.  I am awake, O God, my loyal spirit seeks after You through Your means of being near to us, Yahweh, praise be to thee, the ever near God.  Your life, Christ Jesus, is transforming.  By Your example, I shall walk.  With Your watch, I shall rest.  And by the power of Your name, I shall rise and see Your purposes administered here on earth as they are in heaven.  

Jesus, in Your precious and powerful name we pray.  Amen.

Wedding Vows

From Stephen:

melanie, my beloved, as i stand opposite of you, i know very well that you are my woman, my bride, my wife. love is a loyalty sworn not burning for a moment, come what may i will be standing right here by your side. early in this relationship you received my rib, within six days (let’s be real, day one) you stole my heart and today, i give you my life. you are worth more than this pen can write. just like Jesus love for his bride, you’re that way to me.

melanie, as a man after God’s own heart, full of courage and the truest affirmation i have these vows for you:

i remember telling you EARLY in this relationship that i wanted to marry you, before i said i love you. well here we are, we’re getting married today and i love you. melanie, i am so ready to love you like Jesus does.

that is sacrificial,
i vow to die to myself daily, to love you as Christ loves the church.
that is service,
i vow to join my dream with yours, to be a foster parent, to some day see the willow tree and to be a part the retreat center and to build his kingdom here for the furtherance of the gospel.
that is leading,
i vow to love Jesus always and to never walk away from Him. to be submit, live in humility, and to lead you wherever the Lord decides to take us on this adventure of life.
that is shepherding,
i vow to shepherd our home, whether that is with the youth, our children, our families.
that is being THE MAN.
today, i am giving you who i am. my weaknesses, my strengths, my family,
i have the greatest affection for you my beloved and i intend on loving you well every single day of my life. i am so proud to carry the title of being your husband.

miracle

it’s when i pull you close
i feel you the most
and it’s not just because
articles of clothing have
met there stitches
and dyes have proven their colors
but it’s transcending beyond the skin
it’s the little words
that have bigger connotations
and if you believe Jesus
still does miracles
i’m looking at one of them
every time i see
that light hit your eye
it’s that shooting star
september 6th
that broke in half
a piece of me
in the parts of you
one adam
one eve
one atom
one evening
that was just the beginning
and this is just me
telling you
three words
that will never separate even if
you tried
because i love you
is heavens language
given to speak on earth
man to woman
woman to man
bind us together
like ropes for a sturdy hand
all hands on deck
anchor in the chaos
constant in shalom
best friend and lover
they say smooth waters never made
skilled sailors
but we aren’t slaves to the sea
we like dust
have found our purpose to
grow
a piece of you
in the parts of me
this is why i draw you close
and i want to feel you the most
because we were never meant to be alone

so thankful 1 peter three four reminds me of what a godly wife should looks like and when i read this it says everything that you are melanie: her adorning is hidden in her heart with an imperishable beauty and she has gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

melanie: you’re my best friend.

you are my cursive, my shoes, my rhythm, my song.
brand new and flying every day with you.
i love you.



From Melanie:

When I write prayers on your heart I do not include my name.  You said it speaks to my selflessness and intentionality to pray for you, as well as to the fact that I’m a writer too.  Today, is an open letter.  From the first thoughts and words to these following words, these I know to represent my coming to the altar with you, beside you, willing and eager to serve and dance the dance of life with you.

With marriage comes so much more than the physical.  I know it is your love language and do intend to continue loving you well through it, but let’s face it, physical touch and me is a very new concept. I’m only 9 months in.
I never want to get bored of you. So my promise to you, Stephen Goetz is a promise to seek to know Him more personally, to seek Christ in you, and to grow in a way that is always open to you for exploration.  May we step into togetherness in this new way, fully together with Him, trusting in each other as we adventure into what has been shown and into the unknowns of this life.  I am with you, my leader, my friend, my beloved man.

Days before we met you wrote:
“I only know one thing
To protect what’s behind me
One man’s trash is another’s treasure
So this heart
Has already been broken
Do you still want it if it’s busted?”

My “I do” is my forever answer to you.  I vow to love you as you are, as I continue to pray for the growth of your tomorrows.  Each day, I vow to see you, Stephen Joseph Goetz, as the man whom God continues to mold as His own. I love you and will always surrender to Christ, submit with you unto Christ, and work together as we grow in who He has called each of us to be individually and united as man and wife. Beloved, today marks our togetherness.  A subject we talk about often. Hand in hand, each giving 100%, but today more than ever before their is a war and we are winning because with His force as we join together hard times will come but the strength we have as we lean into each other, longing to honor and point to Christ with our words– those said and left unsaid–and our deeds–those done and left undone–directly implode upon the enemy’s plan to wreck each of His heirs.

Just as you thought of, prayed for, wrote to, and pictured the possibility of me before my meeting you, I too have considered what this, that is marked by today.

May we affirm one another each day in considering the worth we are as His son and daughter.  A worth far beyond rubies.

Words of affirmation.  Your second preferred love language.  In this too, I commit to love you well.

As you feel safe in my arms and I in yours, might you and I always know our hearts are to be trusted with one another.

I commit to be mindful of doing good and not evil towards you.

I love that we work side by side to create a welcoming and comforting home.

Alright, I know my eating limits your daily options. BUT, I commit to cooking you your favorite foods on occasion.

I commit to continue planning in advance how to meet your needs.

I commit to watch my own health in honoring you with my body.

I commit to be mindful with purchases.

I commit to grow and learn new skills to keep our home, our ministries, our relationships in good health.

I commit, WITH GLADNESS (trace his tattoos), to extend a helping hand to the poor and open my arms to the needy, alongside of you.

I commit to walking into any storm in life, prepared and faithful, as your partner, your wife.

I commit to build up your confidence and speak kindly of you, as you hold honor and respect in your roles as husband, youth pastor, leader, friend, brother, shepherd, teacher, student, and coach.

I commit to hear and to also see you as “clothed with strength and dignity, and to laugh without fear of the future.”

When I give instruction, I commit to being increasingly mindful of doing so with kindness and wisdom.

I commit to watching over our household with you, and not growing lazy.

Your youth already stand to praise you, they look upon us and see Christ.  Our children too, will stand to honor both you and I.  By God’s lead in our lives.

Thank you for loving me and for coming under this arbor with me. Today, I read Proverbs 31 and know today you make the decision to pursue only me for all of our days: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”

Praise be to God.

Stephen. Crown.  Heir.  Months ago you asked for your name in hieroglyphics.  Today I’d like to pray with you over the meaning of each character in our shared name.

There are two final gifts, physical gifts, I have to offer you before we join together in every which way.  These are my final gifts of “my money” rather than “our money” and I must say I’m pretty proud of them.  So the first. Your brother and father have partnered together to frame a piece my parents and brothers helped me purchase in Cairo. Already, our families have ties represented in our home. And I’ve delighted in this since January and will continue to as time grows the bonds between our Goetz and Demlinger clans.  Not separate, but together. United by the bonds of our marriage.

G- symbol of happiness
O- symbol of charity
E- symbol of justice
T- symbol of beauty
Z- symbol of unification

With a commitment to:
Surrender. Submit. Together.

A model to lean into one another as we are founded in Christ and glorify God together

And a home we seek to stand for:
Harmony | Holiness
Openness | Otherness
Ministry | Missions
Enriching | Empowering

I am ready to affirm my new name in unity with you by signing these vows before God, our families, and close friends here on your heart for the very first time.

Where do we go from here?

This song came from first listening to Jeremiah Daly’s “At Last” and incorporates one of his stanzas as well as the general theme and flow of an outcry.  His stanza is demonstrated by its being in italics.  Also, a capital “We” includes God and I; whereas a lowercase “we” is my submission before Lord seeking where, in my relationship with Stephen, we are heading.  Because of this distinction, you will find more lowercase letters than are grammatically correct.  Please look past the grammar to the heart.  This is a song developed over the course of a brutal day requiring intensity in prayer before recognizing the replenishing of spirit as I sit before the Lord and in our togetherness.

it’s as if I lost my way;

I was surefooted, but now I question

nearly everything.

it all seems so uncertain;

and yet I believe.

so Lord,

where do I go from here?

where do I go from here?

where do I go from here?

where do I go from here?

 

my hope is that

I can learn to be content right where I’m at

time will tell

and I’ll keep searching for answers inside myself

where do I go from here?

where do I go from here?

where do I go from here?

where do I go from here?

 

lead and I shall follow

please pave the way, I know

You to be with me always

trusting You stand with me now

trusting You stand with me now

so I ask once more:

where shall We go from here?

where shall We go from here?

where shall We go from here?

O Lord, where shall We go?

 

be still, I shall.

but I don’t want to sit;

when you are clearly walking with me now.

Lord, where are We going now?

O Lord, where are We going?

 

where do we go from here?

where do we go from here?

Lord, guide us,

help us,

show us, You are here.

where will we go with You?

Lord, show us

we beg You.

 

thunders rolling, cold war

he is not my enemy nor am I his

weapons down

fighting for each other

white flags waving

unto You we surrender

 

storms raging,

we’re not flailing

no, Lord

You say be still,

be calm,

have courage,

walk with bravity

 

You, Lord, are here

and so we say: thank You

Mighty King,

we bow down

with You, we shall rise

continue

we walk with

walking with one another

so Lord, where shall we go?

where shall we go?

where shall we go?

 

Seeker of lost souls

we are found not lost

with You we shall know

this is a trusted path

with You we shall know

this is a trusted path

 

With dignity, integrity

we have courage,

walking hand in hand.

it’s as if a triangle;

us under You.

so as we look to You, we ask:

where shall we go from here?

where shall we go from here?

where shall we go?

we go with You.

we go with You.

surrendered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life and New Life

Today represents both the birth of one grandma and the death of my other grandma.

My Grandmother Reva actually received the best birthday gift possible 53 years ago, a son.  However, 10 years ago, my father was unable to celebrate, when his birthday bore the responsibility to care for his wife whose mother had passed away the very same day.

So today my mother created a tribute album for her mother, my Grandmother Marjie.  My grandmother continues to be the person I attribute much of my character to.   Before Christ, she was the person I aspired to reflect the image of most.

Legacies are tricky to me.  I know it sounds harsh.  But, to me, legacies most often times are the boasting of a person’s name and achievements.  I have written on legacy before, and know that I desire to leave the legacy of “home matters;” the difference is, that legacy does not need to be attached to my name.  Rather, it is one that parallels the refuge of God’s wingspan as an eagle protecting His children.  It is a legacy that recognizes the purpose and ability God has established in me.

Another reaction to today’s contrast of events also seems to lack compassion, but has been reflected on in prayer and is worthy of sharing in transparency.  The simple task of memorializing a person’s death, considering anniversaries is not something I planned on partaking in, until my mother’s tribute was sent to me.

My grandmother passed when I was 14, a freshman in high school.  The moment I had freedom in driving, I began to spend more time speaking with her at her burial ground than I did speaking with my parents at the house.  It was about a year and a half later that I received the Lord in my life, and that stopped.

Until the moment I walked into the Family at North Coast Church, my grandmother was the guardian angel looking after me.  I had not known the Holy Spirit, and so she was the nudge I followed.  It was her life I emulated.

But that stopped. And I believe, rightfully so.

I respect the Jewish tradition of leaving rocks on the tombs of loved ones deceased.  But with Christ, I see freedom of souls.  The body buried in the ground no longer traps my grandmother, so why visit her there?

Within the last hour I was given a new perspective.  Thank You, Holy Spirit!

As the title suggests, today marks the day of my grandmothers birth.  Today, nearly 80 years ago, breath entered her lungs and she cried for the very first time.  She was embraced by two parents and entered life with a name attributed to her by her parents.  The celebration of birth, of life.

BUT it also is the day of my grandmother’s death.  Different lady, different bloodline.  Today marks the day her spirit entered into eternal life in the presence of Christ and His everlasting people.

I wrestled in the beginning of grief, years ago, whether my grandmother truly lived a selfless life of service for the betterment of people or as an act of serving Christ in them.  I gave up, recognizing that God had not given me the ability to understand.  So I faithfully set it aside and pursued His character, His life, reflected in my own living.

That was until just this hour.  Now, there is a peace in me assuring that she has life, eternal life, in God’s presence.

I am very grateful for the life Paul lived as an example of a man, surrendered before the purposes of God’s placement in His life.  I am very grateful to have read the burnout and struggles Mother Teresa experienced with her own faith as she served the lowest of the low in the Indian caste system.  I am very grateful to have lived over a decade under the leadership of my grandmother and seeing her humbleness in service: both in providing and receiving.

Their legacies point to the glory of God.  In their confessed weaknesses, His strength was made known.

Honestly, this was far from the hardest part of my day today.  Stephen, the man who God has placed as my partner in ministry, led me in worship tonight.  Especially in our wavering, we will continue to lift our voices:

“I love you, Lord:”

I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul rejoice!
Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear

Lord, as we consider the lives of those who continue to breath, and those who have left this earth, may we see their goodness as the blessings of gifts and experiences You poured out onto them, and worked through them.  May everything we see as good lead us to praise Your name.   May our sorrow in grief lead us to lean into Your comfort, into Your counsel.  Thank You for being present and for continuing to teach me, even 10 years later to view this day in a new perspective.  This day is incapable of overcoming me, rather it is a day You continue to reign over.  Thank You Lord, that I cannot fall.  I’ve stumbled, but Your strength has provided rest when I am too tired to consider anything more.  I carry on to lift Your name, sovereign King of all.

This weekend I attended “Equipped to Care,”  the first conference held at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary focused on equipping parents, prospective parents, students, and professionals on how to best care for themselves and the orphans of our country through foster care and adoption.

This is my heart. A healthy burden I intend to act on.

Within a few weeks of Stephen and I sharing life–truly sharing the life the Lord has revealed would come of our commitment to ministry–I opened up about my heart for foster-adoption.

Already, I  knew that my beloved Stephen traveled to Uganda on a short-term missions trip this past summer with a married couple expecting to bring home a Ugandan orphan, a dear sister of Christ who is newly engaged to his best seminary friend, and others from the seminary community.  He brought back the vision for multiple tattoos to commemorate what God ignited in him during his time serving, but also the injury that left him forced to humbly submit to the care of his sisters.

The time he spent with these sisters ignited his commitment to pray for a wife who cares for the orphans and widows of the nations.  In our dating relationship, he even joked that these two sisters would have refused him dating me if it was not my heart.

That’s the backdrop.  Over the past months, I shared about how I committed to adopting a homeless gal’s baby if he were born 4 years ago, and then, my intent to foster while living and studying in Charlotte.  Both huge commitments, lost.  And I had only realized the need to grieve their loss just months before meeting Stephen.  I am burdened for the children of God who are not receiving His love through the compassionate hands and hearts of His people.

As I shared my past experiences and known commitment in the future, I thought he got it.

When he praised God that I was a woman who cared for the orphans and widows I thought he was also making the commitment, saying “I am also burdened for the children of God who are not receiving His love through the compassionate hands and hearts of His people.”

Communication.  I am a visionary by design.  Future minded while enjoying the present adventure.  Stephen is innately present always, and can glance into the future with joy as he faithfully believes in the Lord’s provisions.   A glance.  And for me, a nearly whole picture.  Two different perspectives requiring exchanges of words to make sure the picture described is truly being viewed by the other.

There have been several conversations this week on the topic.  Beautiful times of unveiling one another just a bit more.  He sees who God has made me to be, what life has brought me, and what the future shapes me to aspire towards.

But in these conversations, it has been made known, he had no idea what I was expecting him to understand, to sign up for in those initial conversations.

I asked him this week.  A few conversations with times to rest and reflect in between after he sat in a conference session with me, “When you began praying for a wife who cares for orphans and widows, is this what you meant?”  Really, I was realizing that I had basically just thrown my boyfriend into what seemed a bit like a parenting class and asking “is this too much for you?!?”

For me, it was an invitation to see what I study on a regular basis, what I intend to do professionally and personally.  He was grateful for the invitation and he understood my intent, the material discussed, and the impact of such knowledge in caring for America’s orphans.  But it still led to a hairy discussion.

Conversations can be difficult.  It is vulnerably putting out what my heart weeps for and faithfully believing that this is the man who God so elected to partner with me in this ministry, and He will therefore, grow Stephen’s burden for foster-adoption.  But it cannot turn into something I hold over him either.

Stephen shared with me a little about a friend’s marriage.  How difficult it is on their relationship as the wife dreamed of international missions and is now planted firmly in the states supporting her pastor-husband.  They spoke briefly of passions and desires, but it was never boldly proclaimed, “I want to follow the Lord’s call on my life and live overseas ministering to families of different ethnic origins,” and the response would have been, “I can’t offer you a life abroad.  I’m called to stand firm in a church right here.”  As beautiful as their ministry is together, perhaps this difference would have prevented their nuptials; perhaps then, she would be partnered with a male missionary and her pastor-husband would have the support of a wife called exactly to the role of pastor’s wife in the American south.

These are scary conversations, but they cannot be feared.  It is faithfully believing in the Lord’s sovereignty in growing the partnership, equipping both parties for the mission, and uniting their hearts in their ability to serve Him as He so leads.  This is the purpose, the foundation for speaking boldly of what God has planted and how He reveals your particular ministry call will continue to grow.

I believed before that Stephen is the man I intend to partner with in a lifetime of ministry, but after sharing this call to parent and to counsel foster-adoptive children as a “will you commit to praying this call into your own life as you lean into God to teach you how to father kids from hard places?” his response has affirmed it once more:

i really love you. and i really love that God is moving in our relationship.  to deeper things.  seeing the real and the unknown but yet, hand in hand.  100%. and i definitely started praying. you didn’t bombard me at all. maybe call it a burden.  but it’s a good one.

precious woman, i wouldn’t of asked for your hand that day six days in if i wasn’t taking this partnership seriously.  i love your words. sinking deep in my chest.

Our difficult conversations have very much been in person.  The above two messages were sent via text as an affirmation of where he is at currently, while taking the day to rest on his own.  Stephen uses only lower case letters in text in respect of God’s name, hence how I have written his words above.

Please commit to praying with me for the burden I have shared with my love.  And also, commit to praying for the burden you share and your love or future love shall share with you.  Let us be the Body, moving with God as He paves the way.

And the light of Christ shall be known.  We are an extension of His grace, His love to all the peoples of every nation.

Meet the parents

I haven’t written in a few months, because I haven’t known what my voice looks like in this context, for this new stage in my life.

In speaking of the Apostle Paul’s many self-disclosures, James R. Beck writes, “through all of these self-disclosures runs a strong thread of confidence anchored in God Himself” (The Psychology of Paul, 2002, p. 96)

I know that I am confident in God through sharing His presence and what He does in my life, and now through my partnership with Stephen in living a life of worship as we head towards uniting in a covenant relationship one day; however, I never want this to be a place I unload.  So I am still prayerful of: what angle, Lord? what is the voice I am to share?  I’ve never hesitated to write when You speak.  I speak boldly of who You reveal Yourself to be through Stephen’s actions, his words, his love for me expressed to persons I know well and even those I met only moments ago.  You are so good to me, and I walk in Your many blessings.  Thank You Lord.  And yet, here, in this place….I hesitate.  This is not my journal to You.  I do not know the hearts of those whose eyes glance upon the screen.  You have been received before through the transparency on this page, and I know You will continue to receive praise for who You are in me, through me, and in the lives of those reading these very words.  And yet….I hesitate.  Sort this out in me, Jehovah.  Make Your way known. 

So for now, this is what I can offer:

Something BIG has happened, and led up to this weekend of my parents flying into New Orleans for less than 27 hours to meet my boyfriend.

I suppose this is a little introduction into the man Stephen is after God’s own heart, the woman he sees me to be in Christ, and how we minister in the lives of those gathered around us.  It also serves as a springboard for exploring the bridging of relationships between nuclear family and future family.

The Lord invited me into this weekend with the foundation of assuring His presence, His authority, an overview of His greater character (Psalm 136):

641“Oh give thanks unto Jehovah; for he is good; For his lovingkindness endureth for ever.

Oh give thanks unto the God of gods; For his lovingkindness endureth for ever.

Oh give thanks unto the Lord of lords; For his lovingkindness endureth for ever:

To him who alone doeth great wonders; For his lovingkindness endureth for ever…

Who remembered us in our low estate; For his lovingkindness endureth for ever;

And hath delivered us from our adversaries; For his lovingkindness endureth for ever…

Oh give thanks unto the God of heaven; For his lovingkindness endureth for ever.”

The Lord endureth forever.  He revealed Himself quite clearly.  And this promise is indeed a life-time and beyond kind of guarantee.  We have His love, His mercy, His reign, His deliverance, His goodness for all our lives through the (countless) days we spend in His presence amongst all His Family in Heaven.

By the end of the weekend, which followed a week of me being present with (only) my parents in Maine, Stephen addressed the “hiccups” and things he loved about our shared time.  For me, the time spent with my parents also affirmed so much of what I had analyzed about myself and family history since beginning the years of intense self-analysis that a graduate counseling program requires of its’ students.

After it was all said and done, the song on my heart remains:

“His love endures forever and ever.                                                                                                                           Lord, Your love endures forever.”

LORD, I call out to You as LORD, for it is Your supremacy that is required in this plea.  Guide us to understand how to speak continuously of You, to delight in You in ways that transcend the language barrier between those who love You and those who have no understanding of You.  As Stephen and I speak of ministry, of love, of freedom, of healing, of a life of worship, might my parents grow to have ears to hear.  Your grace is upon us, it blesses us, and allows us to move forward.  Thank You for grace.  We apologize for taking the defense.  Might we move forward in speaking highly of You in a way that makes sense to them, but does not belittle who You are in us as individuals and as a united front.  I ask that Your army is stirred up, prepared to go to battle on their knees.  I pray that Stephen and I, too, are on our knees depending on You for provisions.  You have said this is good, a blessing to be enjoyed. En-joy.  In joy, we dance.  In joy, we sing. In joy, we lean in.  We are leaning into You.  Thank You sacred King, You are mighty and Your lovingkindness endureth forever. 

I am undeserving, truly undeserving of these blessings today.

from dropping off a friend to witnessing her spoken word come to life: the visual backdrop

From dropping off a friend to witnessing her spoken word come to life… And this, this was the visual backdrop to it all

Words hold so much value and leave an impression that lingers longer than any smell or touch I’ve experienced.  The sound of a word, a stream of words that encourage the Spirit within me, draw me nearer to the vision Christ lays before me.

I was honored by spending my day accompanying a church, now new student friend through a full day’s itinerary of orientation events.  We’re guilty, we ditched some sessions to pursue our own need for discussion over home-cooked food…twice.

During dinner, she uttered the words, attempting to ease me by saying “I’m not speaking this over you, but I see him coming out of nowhere.”

Thanks God, two hours later and there I am, accidentally, and he came from nowhere.  Not saying this is it at all, but it speaks so much to the power of listening, of believing, and proclaiming the truth God reveals to us to share with one another.

Prophecy, the spiritual gift/super power he actually chose as his “if only” and he himself was the revealing of a spoken word come to fruition.

Joyous laughter is the only method of payment I have to offer tonight.  For God truly is Almighty in provisions for His chosen children.

We’re loved. Be encouraged. Truly, be encouraged and encourage others as you know Christ moves you to press on.

Within 6 hours…I landed a job (same position I held in CA before moving, utilizing my certification right before it is expires)…my parents booked my dream vacation for (most of) our family…and now…I have a date.

“Is this real LORD? Are you sure…I just, this isn’t what I envisioned. Are you sure?” “Yes. Remember when I spoke to you through your sister.” “Yes Lord, I remember.”

Lord, we thank You that You speak and make Yourself known among Your people.  Continue to encourage us everywhere we go.  May we help to make You known among the nations, among the people of every nation right where we are.  Send us as You please, but if here is where You’ve called us, lean in a way that presses us to tend the ground, prune the vines, and water the highest branches.  Your fruit is succulent, the flowers blossoming, the sky–an angelic display before our eyes.  We look to see Your face amongst all people, we yearn to recognize Your presence in every task, as we stride to serve You with excellence.  May we be people of integrity Lord. You my God are deserving of sons and daughters who live genuinely, generous, out-pouring lives for no other reason than to glorify the very name of JESUS.  Praise be Your name forever and ever, Amen.