Friday, May 31, 2013

Imagination Gone Wild

Linking up with other writer's at Lisa-Jo's today for today's word...


I dream in color. Active imagination is an understatement for me. There are moments that I have to separate the daydreams from the memories. Each moment is vividly real to me...or could be.

When I write, the movie reel in my head comes to life on paper. The characters become people I can touch. I know their history, their names, their pain, and their joy. I imagine what it would be like to walk in their shoes.

I was that kid who found something creative in the tracks left by water drops on my car window. I see an analogy in a cotton field or a top hat in the clouds. I imagine God in a smock painting each sunset as it fades to black. I imagine the incredible possibilities and potential of some of my friends.

I imagine all the time. Too much. Not enough. I imagine someday and tomorrow. What could have been or what could be.

But the imagining becomes "what ifs" when not paired with His perfect plan. This crazy brain of mine came tailor made at the hands of the God who created all we see. I imagine what God can do, because I know He's bigger than my imaginings or my feelings or my plans. My guess is that my imaginings amuse Him at times, and He's just sitting up there saying, "Oh, sweetheart, I have something so much better in mind. Just you wait and see."

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bird's-Eye View

Joining with other writers at Lisa-Jo's today to talk about...

My sight is limited from the airport terminal. The person in front of me sipping Starbucks as we wait to board the plane. The mom juggling a toddler, stroller, and too little sleep. My eyes burn from several nights spent talking, laughing, and finishing last minute wedding details for my friends' wedding. My brain is fuzzy, and all I know is I'm headed back.

Back to the big city, to my busy job, to a packed schedule, to more friends and family, to a pending move. My lungs constrict. Too much on too little sleep.

We board the plane and zip down the runway, Missouri tipping beneath me from the window. I watch the green hills and trees, the Arch, and a weekend full of memories slip into the past as we climb higher. My view is no longer limited. It stretches before me, all the way back to Texas, and I breath a little easier.

It's the difference in my human, tired perspective and God's grand design, so intricate and finite in detail that I can't clearly see it until I rise above the everyday and catch a small glimpse of the master plan. Breath. Just breath. I remember God's got this from my bird's-eye view. He knows the plans He has for me (Romans 8:28). I settle back in my seat and relax as the morning sky scrolls past.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

When the Storms Come

Disasters have the potential to cripple us. Scratch that. The usually cripple us. One of the most common questions I hear from people no matter their belief system is "Where is God? How is this loving or good?"

Ironically, this is a question I spent a season of my life wrestling. It is also the major issue in my book, Shaken, which releases in January 2014.

Unfortunately, there is no cookie cutter answer to this question. Like "proving" that God spoke and creation came into being, choosing to believe that God is good in spite of the storms is a choice based on faith.

Fire fighter from Stillwater, OK helping in tornado relief.

A few years ago, storms raged in my life and my heart raged against God. Seriously. One night in Colorado, I locked myself in my apartment and yelled into the room, wishing God was present for me to throw something at Him. Not my finest moment. But in the midst of that storm, I learned a lot about weathering the rocky seasons...

1) God is good despite the circumstances - Nahum 1:7. In fact, He is a stronghold in the midst of the pain.

2) He is peace. He stills the storm literally and figuratively. He stilled the storm when the disciples cried out to Him.

3) He allows them to test and grow our dependence on Him. In Job, He tells Satan to let Job have it because He knew Job would never renounce God.

4) Storms either make us bloom or demonstrate the shallowness of our roots. Who/what do you depend on?

In the midst of the Oklahoma tornadoes, the war in the Middle East, the death of children we have an opportunity to point people to a God who comforts, heals, restores, and gives hope.

Will you trust Him when the storm comes?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Finding Life on a Plane

One of my best friends in the world walked the aisle and said "I do" this weekend. Despite last minute details, all hands on deck, and a few minor bumps, everything came together and the wedding was beautiful.

What an example of God's faithfulness. I have had the privilege of living life with this amazing woman from states away. I've prayed for her guy, prayed she would be patient, prayed he would be whole-heartedly devoted to Christ, prayed he would absolutely adore her. I wasn't the only one praying this, and God answered every prayer above my expectation.

Over and over this weekend, I kept thanking God for His goodness to give us His best even when the waiting is difficult. I thanked Him for His sovereignty in placing Ash and me in the same room four years ago, despite our initial uncertainty. I thanked Him for the beauty of His creation as I drove the hills and farm country of Missouri. My heart was full with thanks to the God I serve who is so good.

This truth became even more real on the plane ride home. I sat next to a lady who was reading The Happiness Project, a book written by a woman trying to find more happiness in her life by creating a happiness project. The book is a New York Times bestseller, which is an indication that many people are seeking the answer to happiness.

My heart broke for this woman sitting next to me. I began to pray that the Lord would give me the opportunity to share Christ with her. As we began to talk about the book and life, she said that no matter what she does, nothing totally satisfies. She was hoping the book would shed some light and help her find happiness.

After a weekend participating in this wedding, I couldn't wait to tell this woman where life is found. Jesus came that we may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10)! Ashley and Jared have found that, not in one another, but in Christ, and now they will serve Him together. I've found unexplainable joy and contentment in Christ in a season of singleness. I shared the gospel with this woman and explained how my good and loving Father desires to give us joy and life to the full when we follow Him.

The secret to happiness is Christ. Plain and simple. It doesn't come with a better job, more money, a husband/wife, kids, or fame. Jesus satisfies completely. In the wake of a beautiful wedding and testimony to God's faithfulness and love, I'm praying that this bride-to-be that I met on the plane learns that life and fulfillment come from Christ alone.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Comfort

Joining with other writers at Lisa-Jo's today to talk about...


In the craziness, I seek a slice of normalcy - comfort in chaos. Something, anything familiar.

In college, it was curling up on my bed on a Saturday, cocooned by my pillows. FRIENDS, NCIS, or Saved by the Bell filling the silence.

As an adult, it's the familiarity of faces that have known me my whole life or the people who share in my victories and struggles every week. It's reading a book I have read a thousand times or enjoying a walk as the sun dips below the buildings and trees.

I seek that comfort deep inside. The contentment that comes from knowing who I am and Whose I am in the midst of a storm.

His arms hold me, His hand guides me, and the gentle pressure is enough to comfort in the midst of the unknown. In all the changes, He is consistent. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Brave

Joining with other writers at Lisa-Jo's today to talk about...


I visit a third world country for a week and call myself brave. What a misuse of the word. I return to my comfortable bed, good job, and three meals a day plus anything else I want, and I have truly missed the meaning of the word.

I share my faith with the waitress, leave a verse on the receipt, and call myself brave, while soldiers may now receive a court martial for sharing their faith. Believers in other countries must hide their Bibles for fear of jail time, and I'm too tired to read mine tonight.

I don't define this word. I've just Americanized it to pat myself on the back, but I've missed the mark completely.

It's that mom who gives the last bit of food to her toddler while she rocks him to sleep crying, all while she prays and trusts that somehow God will provide tomorrow.

It's the soldier who values truth over man's version of honor and believes eternal life outweighs a reprimand.

It's the believer in China who invites his neighbor to the church in his basement, knowing they risk imprisonment and death if that neighbor snitches.

We are losing our status as "land of the free" when tolerance is redefined as anything goes unless it's Christian, and "home of the brave" means we take a stand for what is right and true only when we feel like it or it suits our purpose.

God help us be brave if the time ever comes when they take our homes because we bear His name. I usually keep quiet over social media with all this political correctness. What good does it do for Christians who have never met to argue in this arena? But when sharing my faith is in jeopardy, silence is not brave. So I'll add my voice to the crowd, and pray that I'll be brave when it matters most.