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"Home"

"Wasn't that the definition of home? Not where you are from, but where you are wanted."~Abraham Verghese 

These words got me thinking. For so long I was so stuck up on the idea that my "home" was somewhere else. As I traveled overseas, visiting Haiti and Uganda, I always believed that my home was out there, never was I satisfied with where I was at. No matter how much I told myself that this is "home" I always daydreamed about the Haitian culture, the people, the kids. I envisioned the Ugandan red dirt, the streets, the villages on a daily basis.

Home. I am realizing- is not a geographical place, its the people. It is where you are wanted. Needed. Where your presence is missed when you're gone. Haiti and Uganda are places I've visited, made relationships and I would love to see them  again. However, Huntington Beach, where I was brought to live from half way around the world, this- is my home. To leave this, to leave my family who loves me and…

Loosen up that grip of yours.

Sometimes in life we lose things. Sometimes God does give and take away. We get attached to something, and we begin to make it a part of our lives and BAM its gone. just like that.

Today I had a revelation. I was sitting in church, and I was feeling afraid. Afraid that all I have right now, the people in my life- that I will lose them. I've been feeling imprisoned by the thought of "God gives and takes away." With God I'm supposed to be free, the prison life is not what He's planned for me, yet I feel my grip grow tighter around the things I am terrified to lose. No, I'm not putting people above God, nor am I idolizing them, its just sometimes- I can't even picture my life with out them. So I would be terrified if all of a sudden I didn't have them.

Why am I feeling this way? Because I've believed the lie that Satan keeps trying to feed me. Yes, God does give and take away-I've blogged about this before, but it usually turns out for the bette…

The journey

Tell me about the journey you're on and I'll tell you mine. 

This journey we're all on, its a hard one. We might think we're headed in the right direction, and some of us on the right path. But then there are some that are directionally challenged...yeah that would be me. Always have been.

I'm starting to believe that most likely life doesn't throw us "curve balls" or "throw lemons" at us, life is made up of our decisions, our motives, our desires, our actions....but ya know, we're human beings so we like to think that life happens to us, something to blame when things go bad. On the contrary, we're the makers of our lives, we eventually decide what we do and what we live for. Do we believe in God. What's our definition of "right" and "wrong." What do we consider "grey areas" in our lives. I mean there are countless things that are ultimately left for us to decide. So what is going to be?

The journe…

Drama, cliché...call it what you will, I don't care.

What's the point of living when you're not being an inspiration? When you close yourself off to the world and don't let anyone in and pretend that everything is dandy? What's the point? There is none.

This summer revealed a lot about myself. And this blog entry is not attention seeking, or deserves any praise in any way. This entry is about being open, its about letting people in on the messiness. Not hiding. Not pretending.

Quite honestly, I've lost myself. Sounds very dramatic. And some might say so, but sometimes the little things, the little failures, little losses add up. I know I keep bringing up my beloved Haiti and Uganda, and how much I just want to be there, and how much it breaks my heart not to be able to, quite honestly it destroyed me this summer. Have you ever had something in your life that was so great and you were 110% sure this was it? Nothing else compared to having it? You gave your whole heart to it, your whole mind? Anything less then that yo…

Confessions of an empty heart.

It's been a while.

Where do I begin? Its been a while since I've felt joy. I've smiled, I've laughed-but when the day comes to an end... what then? It's been a while since I've opened my bible. Or payed close attention to a verse. It's been a while since I've had a meaningful conversation with somebody. It's been somewhat easier that way. Its been a while since I've encouraged someone or showed grace, its been a while since I ran to God...

My anger has blinded me. My impatience has overtaken me. My ambitions have swayed me. My passion has stolen my heart.

Ever since I came back last summer from my trips, I've longed with all my heart to go back to Uganda or Haiti. My love for those countries has grown so much that I began forgetting, ignoring, diminishing my love for where I am. No matter how hard I've been trying to find joy here, or see God's blessings here...all I get is emptiness in return.

Every direction I turn is a dead end. L…

Not going.

"Not going" 
Ahh these words sting.
I am still stuck in the same place I've been...utterly sad and broken. 
No matter how many positive things I see in my path, my heart can't grasp it. "You're staying here Nat." 
I really have nothing else to say on this matter anymore. 
Upon hearing of Haiti/Uganda, upon seeing their photos- I just can't even handle it. 
When people ask me "Any adventures this summer?" At that moment I am forced to face it... It happens over and over; and to make matters worse, this question gets thrown in my face right when I begin to feel some-what ok with it. 
I just can't. 



Ouch

It's sinking in. Ouch.

Summers are usually the times when I fall in love all over again. Where my heart opens up again and lets the children of Haiti or Uganda fall in. Where I get that twinkle in my eye and a knot in my stomach from excitement. Where I get little arms around my neck, kisses on my cheeks and little hands brush through my hair. Where I smell the humidity in the air of a different land, where I hear the praises to our God in a different language, I taste different foods, and I emerge into a familiar life.

Not this summer.

I can't even begin to express how much I miss Haiti and Uganda. But I know God has something planned for me here. Although I'm having a bad attitude about it, I know the character of God, I know that whatever He does, He does it for our good. I know it. But still...ouch.

Feeling like Jonah still- just like in my previous post-not stuck not in a fish, nor am I restless at night, but I'm stuck in America feeling trapped. It's almost a…

Being Jonah

The book of Jonah- wow. Everyone has heard the story. God calls Jonah to Nineveh to share the Word because the city was full of wickedness and God wanted to destroy it, Jonah refused; instead He went to Tarshish to run away from God. Silly Jonah, silly me. Jonahs disobedience causes a huge storm to rage and whoever he was traveling with was distraught and all began to call out to their own gods. What did Jonah do? He went down to the lowest parts of the ship and went to sleep. Really?
So the solution to the raging storm was to throw Jonah overboard, then he ended up in a belly of a fish for three days. If that doesn't cause you to surrender I don't know what will. So Jonah finally surrenders and decides to obey the Lord. He goes to Ninevah and preaches, they turn away from their own ways and turn to God. The process was smooth and Jonah was angry because God decided to have compassion. See, Jonah knew the character of God, He knew God was a merciful and compassionate God- He b…

Be known for being loved by God.

What do people say about you? How do they describe you? Obviously, it's hard for an individual to know exactly what kind of reputation he/she holds, but generally speaking, what are you known for?
When your name comes up in conversations what comes to mind?

Finally, what do you want to be known as?

A risk taker? The girl who dresses weird? A guy who always laughs? Someone who wears a lot of bracelets? Someone who travels? A Christian?

 How about this: Be known for being loved by God. This concept has nothing to do with what we personally do. This love was poured down on us with out us asking, nor striving, reaching for it. It was a free gift by God. All the other descriptions always have something to do with US, OUR doing, even being called a Christian. Because we know sometimes people can look "christian" dress "christian" and act "christian" therefore gaining the reputation of "yep, that guy is a christian." But personally I want to be know…

A Humbling Reminder

Question. Have you ever had this overwhelming reminder of how messed up you are? A reminder of all of your shortcomings?

It's a humbling feeling isn't? I am absolutely incompetent of living this life without God, and when I try to take on the world on my own, that's when I begin failing and that's when I am reminded I am absolutely nothing.

It is a hard concept to grasp but I giving myself away. "He must become increase and I must decrease." - John 3:30. No, this does not mean I need to walk around with a low self esteem, with a constant weight of my failures on my shoulders. After all, "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.."- Romans 8:1
John 15:5 tells us "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." Why do you think it says that? "Apart from Me you can do nothing"- that's because God didn't plan for us to li…

Sojourner

Every night, I lay in bed consumed by the thoughts of another world.
Every night is a battle with in my heart, the longing for the place where I want to be.
The memories, the faces, the dreams-flash before my eyes.
Instead of daydreaming, I lie sleepless at night, imagining life outside myself.

I see two worlds collide- Haiti and Uganda becoming one in my heart. It's not longer divided, it's unified. My heart beats equally for both countries, and I know the Lord isn't done with me yet.

I twist and turn tonight. Oh the possibilities. Looking towards the future that is held in my Fathers hands brings me utter sleepless peace.

My imaginations, my dreams- will become reality one day no doubt. Actually it will be better than I have ever imagined it be. As I delight in my God, He will give me the desires of my heart.

At times it seems impossible. At times I put limits on my God. At times I become complacent. At times I let myself think that this is all there is...the constan…

As if I'm hearing it for the first time...

"Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." And Jesus answered and said to Him, "Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve."
- Luke 4:5-8.

I was watching tonights episode of "The Bible" on the History channel. This particular scene gave me a visual and it was as if I was reading or hearing this for the first time....

Notice how it said "showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time..." Satan is trying to lure Jesus, by showing Him the life He could have, Satan would make Him King. Jesus wouldn't have to endure any pain or suffering, people would bow down to Him and He would ha…

Heartbeat

The moment you feel something and your heart skips a few beats, the moment you see something and you can feel your heart break in two and then as you begin to think about it, your heart breaks into many little pieces... yet the thought of that something is keeping your heart beating...with all it's broken pieces. 

What's your heartbeat? What makes your heart race? What makes you want to just drop everything and follow the beat of your heart?

I do know that the heart is evil and it can not be trusted, but when the heartbeat is from God, there's nothing that can stop it from beating.

The world. The children. The families struggling to provide. The need for guidance.

Here and around the world. I have been learning something really important lately. My dream ever since I could remember is to start an orphanage...God has been challenging me. There are so many orphans out there...I've seen the numbers, I've seen the faces...but what I have failed to see are the faces of…

"Have you fasted? Have you prayed about it?"

A lot of my friends from Africa fast...all the time. Any time I'd talk to them about an issue I have or something I'm wanting to hear from the Lord they'd say "Have you fasted? Have you prayed about it?" 

My friends in Africa cherish the time they are in complete need of Jesus.

I sit here in my house, having everything I've dreamed of having and more. Eating foods of my choice, sipping on my delicious coffee, browsing the Internet, and doing homework. How am I in desperate need of Him?

I have decided to do a 21 day fast...I've acknowledged what rules my life, what occupies a lot of my time-social networking. It sounds so silly, and not a big problem at all....or what I like to call it a "First World Problem." As I was praying, asking God to reveal to me what has a hold over me, that's what He pointed out.

Today is my second day with no Facebook, no Pinterest, no Instagram; it feels awesome. Freeing really. Its tough though, I used to check F…

Doubtless heart

Ever wonder why it seems like our prayers are just bouncing off the walls? As if they are unheard? Uncared for? I don't know about you, but I feel like that at times...

This morning I stayed home from church but I spent time in the word and listening to Francis Chan, and boy am I glad I did that. I've realized something....

I don't pray with complete faith, I pray with doubt...I may not sound like it, but my heart doubts. I pray in a way that tests God "will see if You come through God." Or I pray with "I'm going out on a limb here, don't think You'll accomplish this, but here goes nothing." In my opinion God doesn't listen to those prayers, and then I sit here and wonder "What the heck? I'm praying and praying and nothing happens." Well, hello- I'm praying with a doubtful heart, with an unfaithful heart. No wonder.

"'Have faith in God,' Jesus answered. 'I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mount…

It's a beaufitul struggle...

"Why do we think if we trust God too much He will fail us, nothing has come when I chose its that in me I'd trust.."- Barlow Girl

Oh God I underestimate you.

During my prayer time this beautiful morning, I realized I doubt God so much. I underestimate Him. I put Him in a box of a human being mentality.

Overall, I'd like to think of myself as a positive person, I try and look at things or people with great possibility. People are capable of achieving anything they put their minds to. People are never too far gone from God's grace, and a person no matter where he/she has been deserves love. However, looking at my own life, I don't have that kind of outlook. I see more negativity than positivity. I tend to focus on why certain things will not work out instead of focusing on how things will work out.

I also look at things through my false human eyes, when God wants me to open my eyes and heart to His glorious and majestic ways. I so often forget His will, His pow…

I didn't intend on getting attached...

Yesterday I get in my car and drive away from the place I fell in love with...my job. Weird right? People don't usually love their jobs, I did...with all my heart.

As I got in the car I turned on 95.9-The fish radio...and this is what I hear "Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope. You're gonna do great things, I already know. God's got His hands on you, so don't live life in fear..." I looked up and said "This is from you God." 

I don't know where I'm going or what exactly I am going to do. Financially it will be difficult, but "be strong in the Lord and never give up hope.." rings in my ears.

My job consisted of taking care of children all day every day. Feeding, diapers, playing, sleeping-the normal stuff. For a year and a half, that's all I did every single day. Not to mention, the people I grew to love...that's tough. I mean it's not like I will never see them again, it's just not the same. I used to see …

Two things...

Two things: I have begun to worship and I've got three homes so far.

Let me explain number one. I have begun to worship- first let me ask you a question. What or who are we supposed to worship? Come on Saints, you all know the Sunday school answer-Jesus. That's the truth. However, I've noticed something in myself lately, my worship has shifted. I have begun to worship the idea of helping the poor, being the "savior," loving on the needy and the children of the world. You are probably a bit confused by this right now, I mean we are supposed to love the poor, help them, and pray for them. But who ultimately does the work? Who ultimately deserves all the credit? God. IF I do any good on this earth it is because He has allowed me to, any desire I have to help, it is all because He has put it there first. Nothing of my doing will save a person, God must do the work while using me. What I love most is being in dirtiness of a human being, I love being in the midst of co…