Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Birthday Blogs- Kate

June 5th
Kate Cottrell

She's brave and independent...

She's introspective and reflective...

She's passionate and compassionate...

All things I love about her... HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATE!!!!!!!!!!

I am so proud of you and the journey you've been on for the past 2 years. 

And I'm so thankful that Mark asked us plan SDR together... that was 6 years ago!  Who knew that I'd get a best friend out of it?! 

Thank you for teaching me the value of long-lasting friendship, and not running away when things get tough.

I feel like every conversation I have with you is meaningul and life-changing.  I have learned so much from you, and your life is an inspiration to me every day-- even when you're thousands of miles away.

 Love you.  Miss you. And I can't wait to hug you!  Happy Birthday!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Birthday Blogs- Andria

I don't know what happened in September about 26 years ago, but almost all of my besties have birthdays in May or June.. and this year, unfortunately, I'm on the other side of the world.  :(  So here's my official kick-off to the Birthday Blog in honor of the beautiful people in my life who I love dearly and wish I could be with this month!

June 2nd
Andria Groover

Thank you for listening to all my junk and constantly reminding me that, 'Christ is all'...

Thank you for being so comfortable in your own skin. You're my inspiration...

Thank you for teaching me how to dream big...

I feel like I'm losing my other half... I don't know what I'm going to do without you...

But you definitely left YES (and me) better than you found it...

Know that I love you deeply, and I always will. You I hope you have the happiest of birthdays today!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thy Sweet Mercy

I've felt inspired to write recently.  And although the idea of "starting my blog back up" and catching everyone up on my move back to Texas and the last year of my life seems overwhelming and crippling, I am driving out the feelings of anxiety that would normally paralyze me and keep me from even trying.  Instead I'm taking the "How Do You Eat an Elephant?" approach... "one bite at a time..." 

So here's a tiny morsel of some of the thought patterns filling my life right now:

This morning this hymn had me weeping uncontrobally, specifically this verse:

Without Thy sweet mercy, I could not live here,
Sin would reduce me to utter despair,
But through Thy free goodness, my spirit's revived,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.

Recently, I've been coming to terms with the innate wickedness of my heart:
-I am selfish...
-I live in jealousy...
-I keep score...
-I hold onto bitterness...
-I squander my time, my money, and my talents...
-I seek the approval of others
-I am ungrateful and discontent

The list goes on and on.  But recently I've learned about a God who doesn't ask me to clean myself up, but rather to come just as I am.  And the more I learn about this loving God, the more I despise myself for my sinful heart, wondering how someone could show mercy towards me, but all the more I love God for loving me inspite of my wretchedness.  

I think Paul would understand me...

Romans 7:15-25
"For I do not understand my own actions.  For I do not do what I want but I do the very thing I hate.  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.  So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.  For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.  Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

And as the hymn says,
'But through Thy free goodness, my spirit's revived,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.'

Later Paul goes on to reassure us:
Philippians 1:6
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."