Hola, Néih hóu, Bula, Bonjour, Aloha, Konnichi wa, Mogethin, Kia Ora, Hi

-Hola, Néih hóu, Bula, Bonjour, Aloha, Konnichi wa, Mogethin, Kia Ora, Hi-
No matter what your language, cadence, or creed, I'm glad you're here =)

"She's tired of flat lands and cornfields, Seashells traced in snow. She wants more bugs on her windshield, She don't want to go alone...She talks about her waterfall fountain, And her house out on the bay. She's in love with broken glass mountains, Fireplace cafes."

Translation, please!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

That's my King

It is no secret to any who know me, that I love Christmas. My family, back at least two generations, loves Christmas. We love buying gifts and the magic of secret keeping until, at last, Christmas morning arrives and everything is revealed. However, that is not the only reason we love Christmas. And yes, this is going to be one of those "true meaning of Christmas" posts that I'm sure many of you have already read this season. However, I don't really want to focus on how Jesus fits into Christmas, as much as I want to talk about the actual event of His birth.

The Little Drummer Boy came on the radio today and even though I've heard it countless times, I was struck with something new. I heard the familiar "rum pum pum pum"s and began to sing along and was suddenly hit with a feeling of excitement. Even though I'm well aware the story in the song is fictional, I could picture the scene so perfectly. Can you imagine how awesome it would have been to BE there? To welcome the baby king? I just got so giddy at the thought of it. What an honor it would have been to be there, to be present at the arrival of the Savior.

But the more I thought about it, the actual birth of Jesus, the more I began to realize that His birth wasn't celebrated. Again, I love Christmas, I know this stuff. This was just the first time I could picture it. I could picture the stable, the dirty, smelly, noisy, stable. We often think about the angels singing in the sky, proclaiming the arrival of the King, but I think we rarely think about donkeys braying, or even the more vulgar sounds of animals doing their business in nearby stalls. No little drummer boy to be found. How's that for a welcoming?

A pitiful number of people were excited for Jesus' birth. There was a decree for His death, there were non believers, people who had given up long ago, people who believed and hated Him from the start. But there were a few who honored and adored Him from the very beginning and I am so thankful for the nurturing they gave to that big God in a small body. I am so thankful that God was merciful enough to show us love in the most tangible way He could.

Can you see it? Can you picture that scene?

For the first time, I really can.

I can see the pain on Mary's face, and the wonder and terror on Joseph's.
I can hear the animals and the night noises. The sounds drifting in from the over-full inn, and the regular echos of wind and people in the street.
I can smell the stable animals and the straw they live in.
I can imagine the love and wonder the earthly parents of the Savior King must have felt.
I can sense the weight of prophecy.

Picturing this scene fills me to the brim with joy and peace and gratitude. I am in awe at the gift we were given. I am in awe at how we, how I, sometimes squander it. How I sometimes forget it. How it is easy to take for granted the magnitude of this man's life, from start to finish.

All of this to say, that Christmas is truly my favorite time of year. It is a whole season that, as a Christian, pushes me to remember, to focus, to act, on the birth of my Jesus. And every year, it is my prayer to get a little better at carrying remembrance with me farther and farther into the new year. That I might never let it slip from my mind that we are deeply loved by the Father. And that the joy from that knowledge might overflow onto others.

The gift buying, the secret keeping, the decoration, and the bliss giving season is wonderful and heaps of fun. But I think it would do me well to recall a little better, that the true meaning [yeah, I said it] of Christmas, is that God loves us. He loves us madly and selflessly, without reason, and far beyond our deepest secrets and worst flaws.

What a guy =)

Merry Christmas and thanks for reading

Thursday, November 22, 2012


This evening, I had the privilege of seeing something beautiful. I was at work (yes that's right, something beautiful, at work) but not in my normal capacity.

See the school district hires my company to provide service in the school kitchens, so when an organization wants to use those school kitchens outside of their normal function, they need someone from my company there to "supervise." To be totally honest, I did like no supervising. I answered a few questions, helped out when I was needed, and that was about it. They were grown, intelligent people, they didn't need a babysitter.

Anyhow, the group that was there tonight was from Outward Church, and they were there doing a massive amount of prep work for tomorrow, when the real show happens. They provide families with some cheer. This year, over 100 families are being blessed with a full turkey dinner, a bag of toys, a bag of useful things, a bag of Christmas decorations, and a Christmas tree to hang some of those decorations on.

Sounds fairly simple, right? Pretty much all of us can picture what a Thanksgiving meal looks like, and how. a decorated home shines. Now picture it times 100. Yeah.

And this is not the only day they've been working on this event. Aside from all of the planning involved, there was also a crew who drove out to Scio to collect some donated Christmas trees. They cut, loaded, and hauled over 100 trees in the pouring rain. And then they unloaded all of them at the school we were at today, and trimmed them up all pretty, flattened out the bottoms, and placed them in tree stands to be delivered in the morning. That's right. ALL of the goodies heading to these local families are being hand delivered by volunteers ON Thanksgiving Day. And then yesterday there was a group of people working to prepare the side dishes, and then today they were beautifying the trees and cooking turkeys and organizing everything so the delivery will go smoothly tomorrow.

It cost $70 to fund one family, and while a few things were donated from businesses  the money was largely raised from within their church. Everyone knows what the economy is like right now, money is tight for a lot of people, and yet they gave to allow families of these elementary kids to have a brighter holiday. They gave money, resources, and time.

I didn't know what I was in for when I agreed to take this shift. My thought process was, "Sure I'll work, it'll help make up for all the days off recently" and then I got there and was so blown away by how much larger of a scale this thing actually was. It was beautiful.

I didn't hear a single person say they were tired or didn't want to be there or even hint at being grumpy. One guy even told me he had worked a 15hr day yesterday and when I said, "and then you've been here all day?!:" He replied with, "Yeah, but this isn't work, this is fun" (I feel like I should mention that he was covered in mud from Christmas trees)

I'm not trying to say that this church is better than another. #1, it isn't true, and #2, they probably wouldn't like me saying that =P But the attitude of joy and generosity that they projected was lovely. I think it is important to stress (as if I haven't done it enough) that this was not a fundraiser for the church. They weren't getting paid for being there, they in fact paid to be there.

I think there is a danger in church culture (or in really any culture) to get caught up in raising money for ourselves. To clarify, I don't think there is anything wrong with fundraisers, it is GOOD to build a budget. But when was the last time I actually did something with a group of my peers that benefited our community? That didn't charge them for a service? That was just a gift? I'm a little ashamed to admit that it's been a while.

I think that far too often our focus tends to be on how we are going to flourish and not often enough on how we can help others flourish. Even the good intentions of, "once we flourish then we can help others flourish better" can be a trap. Maybe we need to listen more and worry less. Maybe we need to be willing to move if God says move. To trust Him enough that maybe we use our withering budget on someone who doesn't have one at all and trust that God will always provide what we actually need. Again, I'm not saying that it's a bad thing to have a budget, and if God says to raise one, then I think we should do it. I just also think we should be listening. I know nothing about this church or these people or their budget, so I'm not trying to compare, I was just inspired by them tonight.

They will be in my prayers tomorrow, that hand delivering everything goes smoothly, and that hearts are affected and softened. And for energy for those dear volunteers, lots of energy.

Side note, one of the pastors at this church apparently knows my Uncle Levi because his wife met Levi while she was in YWAM in Hawaii while Levi was on staff there. Small world =P

In short, I'm thankful that even when I feel like I have little, I have a lot. I have far more than a good amount of the earth does, and I thank God SO much for that. I'm thankful for people like the ones I met tonight, who inspire and challenge me, even while being total strangers. I'm thankful for the family I have, the wonderful people God gave me to are beyond awesome. I'm thankful that tomorrow (er, later today) my home is going to be full of people I love, and who love me. I'm so thankful for my friends who hold me accountable, and for my church community that is always teaching me something. And I'm so thankful that God plucked me from a life of death, that He saved me from a life of hopelessness and fear and gave the choice of having one to work at and to cherish and to thrive in. And I'm thankful for yams and turkey.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

For God so loved the world...

At the beginning of the summer, I decided I was going to read the book of Isaiah, solely because I didn't know where to turn my bible to and I had never read that whole book from start to finish. And so, I began. However, I did not do a great job at staying consistent, because, in all honesty, I got bored.

Please don't mistake my meaning. I do not mean to say that I find the Bible boring. I do mean to say that perhaps I shouldn't have chosen to read Isaiah simply because I hadn't done it yet, because, let me tell you, it has not felt like the words of the Living God. It has felt like the words of a dead man. 

And I know, I know, there's all the things that we say in church that faith isn't about feeling, which is true. I get it, which is why I haven't stopped reading it. My pace has slowed [sometimes stopped] but I will finish, because it isn't about how I feel about the words today or the next day. It is about learning, and feeding, and pressing into God even when I'm not getting the Jesus goose flesh. 

That whole entry was actually a tangent...I don't know if it takes a substantial amount of skill or inability to begin something off topic. Probably the latter. Ha.

To the point: There was something in Isaiah that I read a while ago that I still just find so very humbling and awesome. I told the ladies I have a small group with [via our Facebook group. Lanta, I'm getting dependent] and I thought I'd copy it here because the more I write [in this case, type. But yes, I did also write it down.] something, the more I remember it and I need to remember this. And I think it's worth sharing with other like-minded people.

I just read Isaiah 53, which is all about the horrors Christ endured to save us. The humiliation, taking our sin, dying, etc. And it occurred to me, it's a very sobering thing to remember the trauma Christ endured for us, for me. It wasn't even a temporary thing, like "endure these terrible things and then it'll all be over". God still hurts for us. No, not a temporary thing, but a tangible thing. A physical thing so that our weak, human minds could wrap around a very small piece of a very big concept - sacrifice. The very act of Christ physically dying before human eyes, was every bit as loving as the actual death itself. 

Mind. Blown.

I cannot think of a reason why God would grace us with His presence here on this earth, other than for our benefit. He didn't need to die, he didn't need to show Himself to the world in order to defeat Satan. No, I think He did it the way He did it, just for the sake of us. For the sake of our hearts, to physically show us how loved we are by our King. He didn't have to let us in on it, but He did.

"The very act of Christ physically dying before human eyes, was every bit as loving as the actual death itself."

Monday, October 15, 2012

If referencing Narnia so much is wrong, I don't want to be right.

My prayers were spoken in her voice.
Quiet and strong, wise and brave,
She read my heart back to me.
As if I had handed her its ragged pages.

Divine guesses and nudges,
Raised to being, brought to life.
You etched out my dreams, 
Drawing faint and broken lines.

Pushing, pulling, and prompting
The kindness out in me
Raising my chin, lifting my eyes,
Squaring my shoulders, bearing my fear.

She became a bridge, a direct line,
A switch board, an ancient door.
She was all wonder and heart
As if she were the wardrobe or the painting.

And I, the fresh snow, the frozen stream.
I, the stone fox, felt You like the warmth of Spring.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

People Suck.

You know what?

People are messy. Community is messy. Love is Messy [yes, with a capitol M].

We, as humans, suck.

We really do. When I think of the numerous times I've hurt people, whether intentionally or accidentally, the amount is staggering. When I remember the times I've felt hurt by others, the numbers just keep climbing.

We are capable of the ugliest of traits. We can be selfish, stubborn, cruel, manipulative, and greedy. We have all been hurt - but we have also all hurt others as well.

We suck.

But that's what makes redemption so cool! The inconceivable way that God can take my worst traits and mold me and grow me and USE me for good is breath taking. Because let me tell you, I'm selfish. I'm selfish with God IN my life, can you imagine if I chose to ignore him, or even if I didn't believe, how much more selfishly I'd act? My motivation would probably center a great deal more around what I want. I think I'd still want to help people because that is ingrained in me, but I bet you there'd be a lot more of a self serving attitude behind it.

Yeah, we suck. And the stark contrast between how much we suck and how much God doesn't is really a beautiful thing.

So even though people suck, there is so much redemption and so much hope in the love of God. Gosh He's cool =)

Monday, August 20, 2012

10,000 Reasons

There's a song we sing at church that I really, really love. It's called 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redmond and this is a link to a YouTube video of it. Musically speaking, I honestly prefer the way I've heard it in worship rather than the original, but that is mostly because I love drums. But that doesn't matter because the lyrics are what make this song so close to my heart.

"Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul. Worship His holy name. Sing like never before, oh my soul. I'll worship Your holy name."

Something about that resonates with me. Maybe it's the desire to somehow repay God for the good He's done. Maybe it's an attempt to display complete adoration of my King. I don't really know, but every time I think of these words, something stirs in my heart and I am moved beyond belief.

This might sound natural to those of you who have experienced something similar, and would probably sound totally insane to those of you who haven't. But the presence and love of God is very, very real.

I can't think of words that accurately describe the pull I feel, or the reaction I have to certain things. But I do know this - as much as they well something up in my spirit, I have no idea what they mean.

I have no idea how to "bless the Lord." I can't fathom how my weak and human and sinful soul could bless the highest power, the most loving Father.

I started thinking about this about a month ago, and I still don't have an answer, but I have a theory. The sermon at church isn't online yet so I can't give you a link. But let me tell you, I am the luckiest girl alive to have such an incredible, dedicated, and wise community around me. Anyhow, the sermons on Sunday centered around God as a Father.

One of the men preaching told a story about his young daughter had cut her foot and he had to take her into the ER for stitches. She was only about 6 years old and she was scared [and really, who can blame her? No one, that's who]. But she pulled closer to her dad, and he drew closer to her and it was a natural response because even though there was pain coming, they love each other. He said that even though it was scary and his little girl was in pain, it was one of his fondest memories of the two of them and he was so blessed by her closeness.

And THAT is my thought process. That God loves His children and it's that simple. That our Father is blessed by his kids' love, by our closeness.

It's not some tradsies thing, it's not some kind of test or gamble. It's really just love. And from that love stems our obedience and the beautiful, beautiful thing that is relationship with God.

Cool, huh? =)

Thanks for reading =)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Camping recap and a small smorgasbord of emotions.

The last few days, I've been camping with my family and a couple of friends. I always look forward to camping, I'm always up for an adventure. But it seems that year after year, trip after trip, I end up sick. It seems that my body doesn't adjust well to different germs, but alas.

The trip was only four days, but we just did too many fun things to mention all of them. My brother caught and killed his first fish, we saw a UFO [almost definitely not, but it looked like no other flying vehicle I've ever seen before], went canoeing [fell out of the canoe as well], and really just got to spend some time away from the every day. Which was lovely =)

One thing I was struck by though, was how much I missed the regular crew of people I pray with and hang out with. I mean, we were only gone four days, and we knew we were coming home. It wasn't like, "we're leaving and we're not sure when we're coming back." And I had my family plus a couple extras with me, so it's not like I was lonely. But I was really hit pretty solidly how important that particular group of people is to me, and how much my life is impacted by their presence. I've never been so challenged in my life, and I've never been more committed and on board with a cause as I am right now. They're my team mates and some of my best friends and I KNOW that they have my back and that they love me.

That being said, I came home to a video that my lovely friend had posted on Facebook and I was really impressed with the eloquence and wit that this woman conveyed her message with. Waiting for the man God has for us is something that I think most girls my age [of all ages really] have a hard time with, and I'm sure there's more than a few men who struggle with the same thing. This woman does such a good job being funny and being wise and encouraging, even if you're not a fan of spoken word, I strongly suggest you give her a listen.

Thanks for reading =)

Saturday, August 11, 2012


On Monday, August 6th 2012, I experienced something semi horrific, but mostly hilarious. I was at Applebees with some friends for trivia night. The evening was winding down and the game was wrapping up and I had to make a trip to the ladies' room. So off I went, minding my own business.

Now, I have this irrational fear that I will somehow end up in the men's restroom in public places. I often have a sudden jolt of fear, "Am I in the right bathroom? Are those women's feet in the stall next to me?" This time was no different, I walked into the stall and noticed the seat was up and had my little mini panic session. Shoulder helper number one made an appearance and whispered, "Don't be dumb, Netti. It's the end of the night, they just cleaned the bathrooms." That was good enough for me, I went about my merry way and finished my business. 

I was so very lost in my own world that I didn't even hear another person enter the room. I exited the bathroom stall and headed for the sink When, to my horror, I noticed a man - a MAN - standing at a urinal - I repeat, URINAL.

That's right. I was INSIDE the men's restroom at Applebees, and hadn't noticed until I had to walk behind a man standing at the urinal. He glanced over his shoulder slightly, but I don't know if he saw me, apparently men don't make eye contact in the bathroom =P 

It didn't compute at first. My thought process went kind of like, what is that man doing in the bath-OH MY GOSH I'M IN THE MEN'S ROOM.

And then I was faced with the dilemma of hand washing. I had already been en route to the sink, but had changed course to the door, but then every ounce of habit revolted and I went back to the sink, when shoulder helper number two yelled, "ARE YOU CRAZY?! You're in the men's bathroom! Do NOT wash your hands, RUN!"

So I did.

I booked it right out of that bathroom and walked calmly [but briskly =P] back to my table where I promptly applied hand-sanitizer and texted my mom the story. Who, then told me that my dad had picked up her phone and had dissolved into laughter =P

However, that is not the end of the story.

We finished the night, and one of the teams of friends sitting near by had been one of the runner ups. A man approached them and began explaining to them that when their team wins second or third place, they give their prize to the runner up. I looked to see who this man was, and it was HIM. So again, I did the sane thing, and ran. 

My brother found me outside and laughed at my embarrassment, as well as laughed with me over the awkwardness of the situation.

True story, I can't make this stuff up, I love my life. 

Thanks for reading =)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The demon wasps of Green Peter

It began with a group of friends wanting to enjoy the sun in Oregon's fleeting summer. And if we caught a few fish in the process, that would make the outing that much sweeter.

We met too early in the morning, which accounted for our goofy behavior, but I feel that goofy is one of the better emotions to begin the day with. The seven of us (Myself, Jay, Kessi, Jon, Jeremiah, Megan, and Calvin) caravan-ed our two cars out to Albany where we added an eighth member (Josiah) to our crew. A quickish stop at the store and we were off!

We stopped at a little diner for breakfast right off the highway...I actually have no idea what the place was called, but it was phenomenal. We did have to wait a while for our food, but it was well worth the wait. Our portions were more than generous (I gave half of mine to the fellas I was sitting with) and the prices were more than fair. Many of us opted for the "Super Special" which consisted of two eggs, two links, and a giant (I mean GIANT) pancake (one pancake was probably the size of 4 normal ones.) for a grand total of $4.25.

We made our way to Green Peter Reservoir, passing through Lebanon and parts of Sweet Home, and ended at a place called Thistle Creek. I'll admit, I did choose the spot partially because of its name. I just really like thistles. And it didn't disappoint! I did see one thistle off the trail, and that was enough for me =)

We parked in a nearly empty parking lot - where there was no fee for the day use area! - and unloaded. My poor little sister started feeling sick so she stayed up top in the picnic area with a book. But the rest of us grabbed snacks, fishing poles, and swim suits and headed down the trail.

There is a reason the area is called "Green Peter", the water is colored a stunning emerald green and looks like sea glass from higher up the mountain. The view was terrific and I was, not for the first time this summer, struck by how lovely our state is and how incredibly glad I am to live here. We settled on a spot that we felt could have some decent fishing advantages as well as swimming space for those who weren't fishing.

Megan and I had gone back up the trail a ways to make sure that where the guys were headed was where we wanted to settle for fishing, and we decided that they were right and the place they were at would do. So we went back and began the little climb down to the water.

The park we were at was heavily wooded and although the trail was clearly marked and well maintained, the trees around it were showing signs of the warm months. The fallen trees had become mossy and rotten during the winter, but had dried up and turned brittle in the summer heat. It was messy, but definitely looked safe and harmless. I looked at where the guys had climbed down and saw a spot just barely up the trail that looked like a more gradual climb and I thought that would be better seeing as both Megan and I had our hands full.

We began to tromp through the corroded mess, excited to have a grand old time. We walked past this old fallen log and I leaned on it for support as I tried to decide where my foot should step next. This was when things took a turn.

Megan gave a short shriek and I asked, "you ok?"

"There was a bug. Oh my gosh, it bit me!"

I turned around to brush whatever was on her off, and was met by something I had not anticipated. Black wasps, so big I thought they were beetles at first, were swarming around my friend, covering her back and landing on her arms.

I reached for her to help, but she was already running back up the hill. That was when they began to come after me.  I hadn't realized we were in trouble until I felt the panic of not being able to get them off me. I dropped my things, abandoning them where Megan had hers, and ran. Megan reached the top and ran right, I ran left, both of us trying to get the nasty creatures off of our skin. My brother heard our screams from the bottom of the hill and had been hollering, asking what was wrong. Somehow, I don't know if Megan or I had screamed that there were bees, or if he had seen them chasing us, but he figured it out and began yelling instructions.

"TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF!" Came the order from the water. I was already ahead of him there and had stripped off my flannel, leaving it on the trail and running away from the mess of stingers and sharp teeth (or whatever wasps have in their mouths). I stood at the top of the hill shaking, watching the wasps swarm around our abandoned things. I'm not sure who asked what, they guys' voices were kind of mushed together in my brain at this point, and I couldn't see any of them. But someone asked if we were ok and what we wanted to do and all I could think was that I wanted my fishing pole. Which was just plain silly because there was no way I was going to venture back down there for a fishing pole and knowing how the stings felt, I was definitely not going to ask anyone else to.

It is no secret that I have a very -healthy in my opinion- fear of flying insects, especially things that can hurt me, specifically bee and wasp type creatures. I thought I was scared then, but that the worst was over and soon they'd settle and Megan and I would be able to walk down where the guys had previously stepped and it would be fine. It was right then that a few wasps began to fly around my head, landing on my arms. I ran a few steps down the trail - my scream alerting the guys (who were waiting for the wasps to settle so they could come up to us) and I heard Jeremiah say that they might have marked us. Apparently wasps and some bees are not only equipped to sting over and over without losing their stinger and dying, but they also mark their enemies so that they can find them by smell and finish off the job. I'm fairly certain I was marked as a threat because they chased me. Literally. I ran, and they flew in a straight line behind me.

When I couldn't hear them anymore, I stopped running to catch my breath and try to sort out what was happening in my brain. I can't remember the last time I've felt so terrified. You can call me a big wuss if you want, but this was horrific for me. So I stood there watching my hand shake and trying not to cry, when *Bonk!* ANOTHER ONE HIT ME. I didn't take the time to count, I just ran. I know I heard my brother yelling something, but I don't know what or if it was to me or not.

They took care of poor Megan, who got stung much more than me, and in much worse places. But she was able to stay pretty close by because I suppose they were too busy chasing me to keep bothering her. Once the guys had given her neosporin and made sure she wasn't going to have a heart attack, my brother came to find me. I was a fair distance back up the trail by the time he found me =P But he was really good at being a calming presence and telling me to buck up at the same time. We headed back down the trail where Megan met us with neosporin and deodorant (Thanks to Jeremiah! Apparently deodorant helps to hide the scent that they use to mark enemies so we weren't such a target anymore.) When we got back to the "path" to the water, we were met by Calvin risking being stung and retrieving our things. Both with his hands and long sticks =P What a guy =)

I did my best to kind of patch Megan up, she got stung up her back and a couple of places on the back of her arms that she couldn't reach. We picked up our newly rescued things and walked carefully down to the water, where Megan and I spent pretty much the entire day. We were glad for the water both because of paranoia/fear and because the cool temperature was soothing on our war wounds. We spent the day floating on a log and performing acrobatic tricks that required great skill also on said log, and watching the fellas create a raft and paddles from various logs and materials they found.

Despite the pain and fear, it really was an incredibly fun day. I am so blessed by the friendship I have with these guys (and Megan and Kessi!). It is so awesome to know that I have so many men in my life who are protective of me and care enough for me to have my back and take care of me when I'm hurt or scared.

We plan on going back to Green Peter someday, Megan wants to, in her words, "extract my revenge and kill them all!" and we also want to fish and enjoy the beauty of the place without worrying about everything we hear buzz.

Thanks for reading =)

P.S. Yes, I know we did destroy the wasps' home and they had every right to defend it - I apologized to them, but I don't speak wasp so I think my meaning got lost in translation.

Also, in case anyone is interested, we're pretty sure this is what got us. Apparently they have one of the most painful stings in the wasp family. This made us feel much less like big babies for whining about the pain just when the wind blew across our injuries =P

Friday, July 20, 2012

Extra! Extra!

I have a very dear friend, Megan, who shares my enthusiasm for thinking as well as general sillyness. Recently, we've started a joint blog that we can both write on, just because we think that collaboration is a good thing. It's always a wise thing to look at ideas from the perspective of others. So, we've started this blog, really in an effort to share our hearts and our love of Christ. We want to research and hunt and honestly  just live intentionally in the love of God. We only have one post, but we'll be adding more soon! But I wanted to post a link to our little project just to get the ball rolling. Welcome! =)

Kingdom Crux

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


There is a trend in my generation that I'm not quite sure I understand. We are immature, we are scared, we are apathetic. And we refuse to grow up. Let's get something straight right off the bat - I'm not immune.I am 22 years old, I live with my parents [and the rest of my family which is beside the point, but somehow made me feel better =P], I hold a fairly dead end part time job, I did just complete my associates degree - but I truly have no idea how to channel my passions into a career, I sometimes make bad decisions and choose to be irresponsible, and I just can't seem to grasp some basic foundations of a healthy life. It short, this strange phenomenon afflicts me too.

But I WANT to grow up. I have no desire to identify myself to anyone as a "kid" I don't want to live my life as a twenty or even thirty something pretending that I'm really five years younger and giving myself an excuse for immaturity.

There are some mile stones that our culture identifies as part of being an adult. Things like turning 18, moving out on our own, holding down a job, paying the bills, going to college, etc. All good things, all part of becoming a growing, functioning, and mature part of society. But I don't know that I'd say that those are the things that determine adulthood. I think that, from my point of view anyhow [and perhaps this is because I fall short on many of society's standards and want to believe that I am still an adult in my own right. Or I suppose I could be on to something here. It could be some of both, it could be none of either], emotional maturity is what kind of defines adulthood for me. Am I the same person no matter who I'm with? Am I the same person when I'm alone? Am I the same person when I talk to God? When I talk to my parents? When I talk to strangers? Or do I just play a role, fill a need?

I realize that everyone has different gifts and abilities that they bring to the table. So in different combinations of people, the "role" we play might be different. But I think that my generation is just filled to the brim with floaters. We flit, just waiting for someone to tell us what to do. Why on earth is that ok? Why do we not lead, why do we not fight? What the heck happened? My parents' generation was a working one. When they wanted or needed or needed something, they worked until they got it, and then worked more. But we, gosh, we are not that disciplined. We go, "it's haaaarrrdd" or "I don't like iiitttt" and then we quit. Or we get distracted or bored, and then we quit. There is a shocking lack of focus, of direction, of perseverance.

Maybe I shouldn't way "we", maybe these are my issues alone [but to say I'm the only person struggling with something sure sounds awfully conceited and inaccurate] but I don't think so because, unless I'm just super blind, I see it in other people my age as well.

I work in a middle school and even though my contact with the students is fairly limited, it is pretty obvious that this up coming generation is feisty! They are entitled, spoiled, and often arrogant, but by golly they're fighters. 

I want to be like that. I don't want to be passive. I don't want to be immature and just kinda float around just because I don't know what else to do. I want to hunt something down, I want to pursue and chase, I want to commit. I refuse to be a statistic. I want to be a servant, I want to grow, and I want to embody the small amount of Christ's goodness that I am capable of.

I do not want to settle. I do not want to be one person with one friend, and a different person with another. I don't want my maturity to depend on what those around me are doing. I want to stand on my own feet and I want to be confident enough to not have to wait around for someone to tell me what to do. I don't want my growth to be paced by the growth of others. I want to grow as quickly or as slowly as God deems good for me.

I think that is something my generation for some reason lacks - we don't have a lot of willing leaders. We have a lot of insecure women and a lot of scared men. And our origins aren't an excuse - they might be a reason, but as soon as we can recognize it, we no longer have an excuse for not changing, for not growing. It's on us.

I've often been known to say, "I'm grown" to my family. Half in jest, half in seriousness. I am legally an adult, I've contributed to the household bills [not much, but some] since I had my first job and I've done an ok job at being responsible for my decisions and the consequences that might come from them. I have zero desire to back track or to be called [by myself or others] a "kid". I want to be responsible [that doesn't mean boring] and I want to be a good influence because I want to see others reach their full potential. But I am guilty of being selfish and lazy and at times apathetic. And I've decided that enough is enough. I don't need to wait around for someone to tell me to knock it off. I don't need to be led on a leash to truly be "grown".

By no means am I proclaiming myself to be a revolutionary leader, that idea actually terrifies me [there's that insecure women thing coming up]. But I am deciding for myself that I'm sick of complacency. I'm sick of dreaming and thinking, "if only". I want to be intentional and I want to do it without anyone telling me I should. And I think that it'd just be fabulous if other people my age would take this up as well! We have such talent and intelligence lurking under a stagnant facade. Imagine what a force we could be, imagine the good we could do- the causes we could surround, imagine the lives that could change - definitely not excluding our own. I don't want to roam, I want to search. I don't want to float, I want to explore.

And I don't want to do it solely for my benefit, and I don't want to do it alone.

I'm Netti, and I'm 22 years old. I love to write and to have adventures and stay up late and listen to stories. I love change and I love passion and the honor of helping and seeing others realize their potential.
And [regardless of how my culture defines adulthood] I'm growing up.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Our youths didn't eat so others can, we've got some pretty awesome young'uns around here =D[30 hour famine]

The youth group at my church just finished a fundraiser they were doing for an anti-hunger/poverty organization, World Vision.
The idea was that they all got sponsors to pledge a certain amount of money while they took part in the fundraiser, and then that money goes to the organization. What was the actual activity you may ask? Well a whole group of middle school and high schoolers, as well as their dedicated leaders, all fasted together for 30hours.

[Also, my lovely sister, who also blogs on occasion, posted several pictures of the event on her site, The Adventures]

They all started on their own at 12:30 Friday afternoon, and then met at church that evening to all stay the night and to spend Saturday together. I wasn't there at all on Friday, and I didn't get there until around 1pm Saturday, so I can't fill you in on everything these wonderful people did. But the parts I was there for were thought provoking. The idea was to get the students to really begin to think outside themselves and to gain a nice big window into so many places on our earth that suffer from lack of what we consider basic rights. They watched a lot of hunger/poverty oriented clips that were informative, and discussed them of course =P And, since it is youth ministry, there were games a plenty. But many of the games they played reflected what they were attempting to recognize this weekend. Each team was a part of a "tribe" named for a country known to have high rates of hunger/poverty. And each tribe learned some about the specific hardships of their country, and had to function within those hardships for a few of the games. One example being a student who had "lost a leg" due to [if I remember correctly] "lack of medical service", having to participate in a game as if she had actually lost her leg, hopping the entire way.

For one game, they had to carry water from different places around the campus with difficult vessels with which to carry the water [ladles, dixie cups, etc]. Giving us just a microscopic taste of what it could be like to have to carry your water in from another location.

But the object, as one leader pointed out, was for everyone, leaders included, to think outside of ourselves. The point was to realize that so SO many people die from Malaria, a super preventable disease. That my daily shower uses more water than some people might see for a week or more. That even though 30hours is a huge deal for our culture, and then even more so for youth within this culture, some people are forced to go for much longer without food. I mean, people die from starvation. Their bodies literally feed off themselves until there's just nothing left. And we throw a fit if our food just doesn't come as quickly as we might like.

The idea was for the group to break their fast [after communion] together with a dinner this evening. So, since I was cooking said dinner, I didn't see a lot of the students' reactions, but from what I've heard from a few of them and many of the leaders is that it was a worthwhile and fairly impacting experience. I'm just mostly so proud of them! But I'm telling you seeing a slough of middle and high schoolers to consciously choose to not eat in order to benefit others is a rare thing. They make an impact on me every time I'm with them and I just can't get over how awesome they are!

So, if you want to benefit a great cause and you need something to do with a group for a day or two, I'd definitely recommend this! How cool would it be to be in a group all supporting each other in struggles that will benefit people who need it so much more desperately? Very very very cool =)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Love is...[Part II]

1Corinthians 13:4- 7 "4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
[Found Here]

A little while ago, I kind of spoke to what love being patient means to me, and I'm thinking that I kind of want to make an exploration of love - based on these few verses - a little blog series.

So, next on the list is, "Love is kind", but I think that kind of mushes into love being patient and all of the other definitions in these verses. Kindness meaning loving in a friendly, generous, and warm hearted nature. Jeremy Taylor said once, "Love is friendship set on fire." I think that's about as accurate as I can get by what I mean by a kind love.
Since "kind" doesn't seem to have a lot of room to explore, I think we should move right along to, "It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."

"Envy: A painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.

Boast: 1).
To speak of or assert with excessive pride.
          2). To possess and often call attention to (something that is a source of pride) <boasts a new stadium>

Proud: Feeling or showing pride as having or displaying excessive self-esteem.
[Merriam - Webster]

So if a real, true, pure, holy love doesn't do any of these things, then what would a whole and Godly love look like? Because the love I see going around today generally doesn't fit this mold well.

What I see today doesn't last very long - actually it last exactly the same length of time as it takes for one or both halves to get bored, or hurt, or to feel unneeded, or scared, or selfish. [I'm not trying to be dramatic here, I'm trying to observe the things I see that don't quite fit right].
What it seems our culture is wading through right now is this attitude of, "When you stop making me feel good, or you hurt my feelings, or I decide you're boring, or maybe you're not filling my need anymore, or maybe I'm just tired of having to fit another person into the equation, as soon as that happens, I'll drop you."

It's heart breaking.

Remember when you were in middle school, or even high school? The relationships we saw around us, or maybe that we were involved in, typically weren't made of lasting stuff. A long relationship then was a month. That mentality appears to have somehow clung onto our heels and has followed us into adulthood. "How can this relationship serve me? What can I get out of it?"

But if real love doesn't envy, then it doesn't feel the need to be jealous of anything my significant other has. Friends, money, attention, etc. And then it has to work the other way, I shouldn't feel envy over the things they give to others either. If he's paying attention to another woman, and I know he loves me, it shouldn't matter. It shouldn't spark that deep insecurity, that gnawing at our cores. [I know there is something to be said for intuition, sometimes that gut feeling is right and maybe what seemed to be a simple conversation doesn't turn out as innocently as it appeared. But then that wouldn't be a pure love anyhow. And I know we ALL have our struggles. Sometimes the smallest things can set a flame to an insecurity we thought we buried long ago, I get that. But if it's a pure, honest love, then those things shouldn't, ideally, be the first things that jump to mind]
Love doesn't look for what it doesn't give me, it looks for what I can give.

"It does not boast", it doesn't flaunt, it doesn't say, "Look at me! I have a boyfriend!" It doesn't say that I have worth because I have a guy looking at me. I don't think this means that we're not supposed to be happy about it and share our joy with others. If it is truly a selfless love, then, in my experience, people tend to want to know about it. I know that there's nosy people who always want to know everyone's business, and then there's that "mushy" stuff that I don't think anyone outside of the relationship actually wants to hear/see =P. But I think that if it's a solid love, other people kind of glean some joy from the others' happiness. I think that might be what not boasting your love means. That we don't have to shout it from the rooftops for attention or for validation, but that we simply enjoy it. We just love it =P.

Anyone who thinks their relationship is perfect is just so out of the loop. No one person is perfect, then put two people together trying to know each other more than any one else, that's a recipe for a whole lot of mess. Anyone who thinks their significant other is perfect is probably in for a nasty surprise. BUT together, the two should make something beautiful, something powerful. I think that to be confident in this is so different than to be proud! Pride says, "I can, I am, I will". Confidence says, "We can, God is, We will" There is that ordained thing, that blessing I guess, that gives married couples after the heart of God just so much authority. That union, when used the way [I think] it way created to be, is something to reckon with.

Like I mentioned in my first entry about this, I'm 22. Never had a boyfriend, never been in a relationship. I know nothing - but I see a lot. I see what works and I see what fails. I think that's actually what took me so long to decide to write this, the fact that I really have little to no experience in the matter. But the heart doesn't need to be broken to know how to love. My heart breaks for the kids I see every day who are growing up with one parent, for some that's lucky. Some live with uncles or grandparents, or are in the foster system. That's not to demean those relatives or foster families at all! Anyone who is willing to step up and raise a child well is pretty awesome in my book. But kids NEED their parents. We all need that, and to grow up and develop without them alters our entire lives.

I think that's mainly where my interest in this whole thing is coming from. I'm not in a rush to get married, not even to jump into a relationship, but I am in a rush to see the family dynamic restored in the lives of kids. I am in a rush to see the institution of marriage return to what it was meant to be - safe and strong. That is what I want to be to my kids and for them to be to theirs. I want to continue the chain through the generations, and I want it to be an epidemic. I want to see families flourish. And THAT is why I want to know the breakdown [as much as one can] of love. I just want to give it my best shot, because I want to be able to give my marriage and my children their best shot. And I want to see my generation and the ones following try and do the same.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Youth Retreat

Ok, so I wrote most of this right after the retreat, but haven't quite finished it until now.  So please excuse the time lapses =P

This weekend was just so good =)
When I was in youth group, you always knew before hand who would cause drama, who the worst issues would be between, what girl(s) you wanted to avoid, and so on.
These girls though, just wow. Even when they were annoyed by each other, they resolved it. That was a total and complete, and very pleasant, surprise for me.

There was a challenge proposed for all of us, and that was to abstain from wearing makeup the entire weekend. Which, although a few girls had a pretty difficult time with it, we all managed to do. And gosh, they are so beautiful! All of them, so lovely.

And that's just the outside, each and every girl on this trip has something precious in them that is specific to their individual selves. I can't get over how they loved each other and were really vulnerable with one another. They all actually WANTED to learn. They all WANTED to be there and to get something out of it. Incredible. I never showed that initiative when I was their age. I am just super impressed with all of them =)

It was so beautiful to watch them open up and really be honest with God and themselves and the leaders, as well as the other students. And oh lordy the leaders! What women of faith! Seriously, the ladies leading this thing are steadfast and passionate and loving. They are so committed to these students. They all pray for them and invest so much in all of their lives. The huge thing for me to see, and I think probably for the students as well, was the leaders, most of them anyway, tell their stories. Hearing about the lives of these women, what they've come from, and where they're at now was so powerful. It was like their openness and honesty gave the girls permission to do the same, to be vulnerable as well.

Purity is a huge thing in this generation. It's like everything that is popularized is out to destroy innocence. It's sick, and actually really pisses me off. How dare anyone even think about impressing on any girl that she is somehow below some standard. And I'm going to full out rant if I keep going here.

The Men's retreat was awesome too - I mean, that's what I hear anyhow, I wasn't there after all =P
What the guys focused on was asking the two questions, "is it wise?" and "is it loving?" when thinking about how they relate to girls. They did a lot of...well, guy stuff. You know, paintball, beating on each other a little, male bonding...I'm sure it was fun for them =)

Really what I feel like this generation is SO in need of is people who will stick it out with them. People who are willing to be there for them and be willing to be a good role model for them. Which I guess is really what everyone wants/needs, but I think this group of middle/high schoolers needs it especially. There's a whole generation that comes from brokenness, and there's this desperation for acceptance. I love their openness =)

Really, what I think it comes down to, is the beauty that is born from pain. The redemption that comes from seeing a broken heart turn into a healing heart is stunning. And that is just a little what I think God had in mind for this retreat, to start some healing. To mend some trust. He is so good =)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Introducing - Meandering Ramble =)

Everyone, I want to introduce you to a suuuper talented person today. Her name is Laurie and she just so happens to be my much loved Aunt. She writes beautifully and this poem of hers is one of my favorites. I'm going with the girls from my church's youth group on a retreat this weekend and I am SO excited. I really want to do a post with some feedback on it, and maybe even from some of the guys [who are also having a retreat this weekend]. I think listening to what God is doing in our youth is incredibly important so I'm excited to be a part of it =)

Anyhow, to tide me over getting to write about all that, I'm reading This. Seriously folks, this woman could write life into a rock - give it a read =)

See ya in a few days <3

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Love is Patient

1Corinthians 13:4- 7 "4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
[Found here]

I think there's a reason that patient comes first in the list of what love is. Things that we have to wait for gain value over time as we abstain from just grabbing it. Or maybe it's simply out of our reach for a while, and that is what gives it value, that we have to wait for it to come down to where we can grab it. Or actually, we are probably more likely waiting until we've chosen to grow enough to be able to reach it.

Love is patient because patience is loving. Obvious, I know. But somehow my generation seems to miss this.

I know so many people who just are all the sudden in a relationship. Like, BoomIt'sOnFacebookWeLoveEachOther kind of quick. Even if you've been friends for a bit, like you didn't meet on a first date, that doesn't mean you actually know the person.

To me, it just makes immeasurable sense to be good [or best, or close, or whatever term you prefer] friends with the other person for a much longer time that what appears to be the norm these days. Like a year at least.If I'm interested in someone, I want to know them. I want to know that I can trust them, based on their track record, and based on their actions. I want to have actually seen that their personality, that their good qualities, are who they really are. If I can't trust a man as a friend, then I sure can't trust him with my heart.

Logical, right?
I think so.

And I know, I know. There are people who haven't done it that way and have been together for 50+ years. I get it, the way that makes sense to me is not the only way to go. I'm aware. But I've also never heard of a couple who got together super quick that didn't have to really struggle through things for a while. Obviously all couples have struggles, but the pattern seems to be that when it's a more quickly formed romantic relationship, the struggles are much more difficult, and generally more deadly to the relationship.

Why enter into that pain knowingly? If I knew the guy as my friend for some time before hand, it follows that I would be better prepared for how to work within a relationship with him, and he with me.

Again, not saying that other ways are wrong necessarily, but I do think that it generally makes less sense.

I want the man I marry to already be a part of my social circles, to already be loved by my family by the time we're ready to love each other.

Maybe that's a little unrealistic, but I really don't think it's crazy to want something like that. It worked for my parents after all =P

Not to say that you don't like each other, I definitely understand how emotions and attraction work =P
But to wait for each other, until it's healthy to be together, I think that's so beautiful.

We live in a culture that is obsessed with instant gratification, and I love that the heart can be shielded from that. I love that if my heart is really loved, then a man will wait for it to be ready, will wait for God's timing in it. And that I can do the same for him.

This is getting kinda mushy, and I'm actually a little uncomfortable with it. Ha. =P

Anyhow, Love is patient. Boom. <3

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Chase

The Chase

I heard your soul in my melody, I heard it echo mine.
I saw your eyes in the waters deep, I saw them in the sun.

I caught a glimpse of your heart in the whispers on the wind.
I felt you in the ocean, like a distant one armed hug.

I have seen you around corners and in quiet spaces
I have leaped from high places to try to catch your fleeting smile.

I have chased and hunted and sought for you.
I wanted nothing but to find you.

I hung my head in deep despair, I covered my face with failed hands.
I cried for my loss, for my failing the search.
I cried for my lonely heart, for my purpose.

I felt you when I fell on surrendered knees. I felt you in the air around me.
I heard you in the desperation, I heard you through the sadness.

I saw you in my brokenness.
You, who never wanted a game, never wanted a chase.

You, who simply wanted a willing heart, a listening heart.
It was always You, not waiting to be found, but wanting stillness.

The beauty I had hunted and desired was not meant to be owned.
Not meant to be found and controlled on my terms.
The security I looked for in You was not mine to take - Yours to give.

I wanted to be all You are, to be the master, to be the power.
I wanted to have the tenderness, to have the loving heart.

But You are not to be tamed or kept in a cage. You are meant for the wild things.
You are meant for my heart, so like all wild things --

--Afraid and brazen and unsure and ready to run.
But lovely and soft and kind and wholly Yours.

I saw your reflection in my eyes, felt your peace in my heart
The hunt is ended, I found the nothingness with out You

You, who are all that I am.

WoMan[Gender Roles]. And a smile [=)]

So, this whole gender role topic keeps popping up...Maybe it's just in the air - maybe it's something bigger than that. Whatever - it's here and that's all that really matters.

Now, I know we're in the 21st century here and the different genders are supposed to get fair and equal treatment - which I agree with. Men and women are equally gifted, intelligent, and loved. However, the fact remains that there are somethings that women can do that men can't, and vice versa.

This makes one think that for some reason God wanted it that way. [Or, even if you chose not to believe in the creator, you've got to at least acknowledge that evolution or whatever else also functioned within this system].

I'm not so much thinking about the roles of men and women in society, like in politics or whatever else. That kind of thing I think it should pretty much be free reign there. Whatever person is best for the job, regardless of gender, they should get it.

Moving along, I'm more interested in the male/female roles within a relationship and within a family dynamic.

I think to even start this concept, we need to define what a man and woman are. Because at some point we stop being children, age into youth/young adults, then at 18 - a legal adult, then 20somethings, and then magically into grown and responsible men and women? No, there's got to be some turning point.

I think how I've begun to describe a man is a guy who is after the heart of God. I mean, yes, age does have something to do with it. But not so much as making the decision to live for something greater and beyond yourself. To live for the good of others. And I guess that's how to describe a woman then too.

I think it's kind of a serious title. To be a MAN - so many guys I know love this. They want to be masculine and they want to be a man. Which is GREAT. For sure - I love it. I love guys who are willing to step up and into the role they were designed to fill. But if said guy just wants to hunt and eat meat and watch explosions, would I call him a man? No, probably not. Because, while all of those things are well and good and seen as depictions of manhood on our culture, they don't change the heart. They don't have substance. Again, its not that any of that stuff is bad - I enjoy...well all of it actually =P But I don't think that doing/liking those things is what defines a man. I think that's what makes a maturing [I say 'ing' because everyone, through our entire lives, has moments of immaturity. we never - hopefully! - stop growing] individual, the pursuit of substance, the pursuit of growth.

Again, pretty much all of this goes for gals too. I mean, I don't know as many ladies that are as obsessed with bacon as many of the male gender, but the concept is the same =P
But girls, I think, need to pursue something more..sweet I guess. Gosh that sounds terrible.

The role of men in a Godly relationship is to be the leader. The protector, the head, the guardian. And women are supposed to be life givers and nurturers. But women have this amazing thing about us that we are also meant to be fighters, we are meant to protect just as much, although in different ways, as men.

Men protect with an offense, women with a defense.

Women nurture, men train. I think. I'm 22, I don't have a lot of answers, I have a lot of observations.

So that's what I mean by women pursuing something sweet. It's not a sissyfied version of what men do. It's a vital difference that allows balance. And same as what men are meant to do - it's not a heartless and cruel version, it's that same balance.

In a relationship, whether it be marriage or dating or whatever, if the man is meant to be the head - the leader - then by default, if that man is not leading well, then the relationship and/or family is going to hit some rough times.
That is a HUGE amount of pressure and responsibility. I am in no way ignorant of that.
But that's where the woman comes in. With her nurturing heart and encouraging words, the women is meant to help the man carry that burden in a team effort.

It's really quite a beautiful system - there's an equal amount of dependence [note: not co-dependence] that each person has to have on the other person for the thing to work.

Then there's the whole issue of when the man or woman doesn't fill the roll they were meant to - if the man stops leading, if the woman stops nurturing. That leaves a hole to be filled, and someone who is not meant to fill it, stepping into it anyhow.

Which, as you can imagine, leads to all kinds of discontent and bitterness and anger.

I think that becoming a man is more important to guys than becoming a woman is for girls.
Maybe not more important, but more difficult.

It seems like girls just kind of ease into womanhood as we age.
Guys aren't as lucky - they need someone to show them, to guide them. Which is what fathers are for, but we have a generation of guys that have been raised by absent men. And when there's absent men, there's struggling women and children. [Not to knock single parents at ALL - that is a battle I hope I never face. They are some incredible people].

The man is a vital role, there's no beating around it. The woman is too, but again, I think it's generally easier for us girls. It's almost like guys need that ceremonial ritual that the ancients used to do. Send male youths out to do something in the wilderness and when they come back they're viewed as men. Which would be kind of nice if our society worked that way - it'd make it easier on these guys for sure. But it doesn't work that way and guys have to work to prove, mostly to themselves, that they are MEN.

It's taken me about a week to actually write this thing, from thinking about it, to writing about half and then letting it sit there for a few days, to tonight when I'm determined to finish it.
I really don't know much about this, I've never tried the theories, these are simply my observations as I've watched single and dating people my age, and couples that have been married for years.
But I've decided in that week that I want to be aware. There's this quote I keep seeing, but I can't find who said it. It says, "I often wonder, if more girls were willing to be ladies, more guys would feel challenged to be gentlemen."

Now there's the comeback, "well if more guys were men, less girls would need to fill that role" which is true. But the first statement stands too. If more girls were women, more boys would be men. There's that balance thing again.

So I guess what it boils down to, is if you want a man, BE a woman. If you want a woman, BE a man.
Be that person who is searching for the heart of God, who is pursuing purity and holiness and wants the very best of God's will for the other person. It doesn't mean we never screw it up, because I know at least I will - the rest of you might have this thing down better. It doesn't mean that we guess right every try. But it does mean that we do actually try.
That we strive.

Monday, January 2, 2012

LIttle blip on royalty.

I've got this thing for royalty.

Especially ancient, like medieval, royalty. Specifically Celtic.

I love the idea of a whole country of kings, and then the High King. The Aird Rhy.
It's kind of like the Kingdom of God that way, maybe that's why I like it so much.

But I'm intrigued by honorable Royals. When there is so much power at the tips of one's finger, and they choose to do good, to put the lives of others ahead of their own, that's just incredible to me.
I identify with royalty, not because I feel superior in any way, but because I get that sense of purpose. I get the feeling of being designed for more than average life. I get the call for responsibility over frivolity.
I get the idea of being birthed for something greater than my own desires.

When I think about who I am, in the sense of my identity in God, I think "Daughter of the King"
Which in reality is what we all are if we choose to carry our title.

Anyhow, I think daughter of the king - and then I'm reminded that that means royalty. That means responsibility and accountability. That means vulnerability and lack of selfish privacy. It means that no person I encounter is outside of my "duty", outside of my loyalty.

God has given us this task, to hold His standard, to be His flag bearers, to be His foot men and archers. God has given us the task to be warriors and healers and servants. We are a kingdom in the most literal and basic sense, as well as the spiritual. He has commanded us, not like a king who has chosen wrong - who has chosen tyranny, but He commands us like a king concerned for the greater good. Probably because that's what He is =P

I've got a thing for royalty.
I've got a thing for people who recognize it in themselves and use it to honor our King, not for our own selfish gain.

Something to think on.

It seems like the influence each and ever person on this earth has is pretty underestimated. Everyone affects something and someone whether we realize it or not. Combine that with the light of Christ and you've got a pretty undeniable force.

Been rolling around in my noggin, thought I'd share.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Customary New Year Blog ;)

Happy New Year! =)

Last night I got to ring it in with people I love, which is really an incredible thing. For a lot of people this holiday centers around "who will I kiss when the ball drops?" not to mention a lot of people are too smashed to think about it, but I digress.

For me, I've never really done new year's resolutions. I didn't see the point - still don't actually. If I want to change something I don't need a specific date to spur me into action.
But this year I almost have one =P My auntie has started a family wide Get Healthy campaign....actually its more of a competition. I love to win. So there's my goal for 2012 =P

After a lovely party last night, I came home with a book I've been dying to read [thanks to Calvin for letting us borrow it =D] The Hunger Games kept me awake until 5am. I just woke up like an hour ago. I have some serious anticipation issues. I hate not knowing what happens next. I hate the feeling of being hunted, which takes place in most of the book. I hate it so much I don't even do well with hide and go seek. The anticipation!
So I read the whole thing. I'll probably regret it when I can't sleep tonight and have to go to work, but for now all I can say is, read it!

I thought it was a pretty easy read, but the story is goooooddd. It's original and the characters get at you, you have to love or hate them =P

That being said, here's the cliche reflection on last year:

2011 really sucked for a good portion of it. I encountered the worst drama over some pretty dumb over-reactions, misconceptions, and fear of confrontation/communication, that I have ever been in. But I guess when the heart is involved all sorts of crazy things can happen.

Seriously though, too many people hurt over just a few people's choices that led to no good for what felt like forever. It's getting better now though.

But this helped me to remember that my family really are my best friends. I love them and am incredibly blessed to have been born into it.
I have gotten to form some new friendships that I treasure.

I got stronger, learning how to be weak. Learning how to accept that I can't fix everything, I can't even try sometimes. It's not always my place.

As always, God has shown me things to learn from, to grow from. I am almost always surprised when He does that for some reason. It's like I go, "oh yah, I forgot you were standing there" almost every time. =P

But this year, as painful and frustrating as it has been, has room for redemption, which I love. It is my favorite thing to see something that has been torn to shreds be recreated, be resurrected, and return stronger than ever from surviving so much opposition.

And then there's Natasha.
She came to live with us in June and for some reason stuck around in our crazy family =P
She's been incredible. It's been amazing to watch God work in her life so apparently. I'm proud to call her my sister.

I look forward to 2012, what with the zombie apocalypse and all.

Kidding. But if there ever was one...golly I can't decide if I'd put up a fight or if I'd just die. Who would want to live to remember that anyhow?

But in all seriousness,
I finish my Associates Degree this year
I hopefully get to travel more
I get to be with people I love and who love me
It's not illegal - or not yet - to love my God.

I am a very lucky girl.
Happy New Year beautiful people