Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Fruit of the Spirit is...

I try and live a life that I would be proud of later in life, but most importantly, I live a life that is honorable to The Fruit of the Spirit that our God, the Father, has laid out in front of us. I try and live a life where I am loving, patient, gentle, kind, good, possess self control, joy, peace, and most importantly live out through my faith. 

"And you must love the Lord your God with 
all your heart, all your soul and all your strength." 
Deuteronomy 6:5 

"May the Lord show favor towards you, and give you peace."
Numbers 6:26

"Great is your faithfulness"
Lamentations 3:23b

"My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks
to him in song."
Psalm 28:7

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
Psalm 23:6

"Meanwhile, the saints stand passionately patient, keeping
God's commands, staying faithful to Jesus."
Revelation 14:12

"Pursue a Godly life, along with faith, love,
perseverance and gentleness."
1 Timothy 6:11b 

"A person without self control is like a house with
its doors and windows knocked out."
Proverbs 25:28 
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness
and self-control."
Galations 5:22-23a 

He's Everything

I said stop
I said don't do it again
I said don't touch me
I said get your hands off of me.

You promised. 
You promised it'd be different.
You promised you'd love me. 
You promised we'd be together. 

So much pain
So much waiting
So much happiness gone down the drain
So much more to life

I could see through you
I could see the pain
I could see you didn't want me
I could see me leaving. 

Then I met Him
and all my pain went away.
He cared for me
He loved me. 

He's everything you're not. 
He's everything I need. 
He's everything. 
He is everything to me. 

He's the one who took his life for me. 
He's the one who took his life so we could live freely
He's the one who took my pain away
He's the one who saved me. 

I praise Him everyday
I think of Him daily
I'm committed to Him,
and He washed my sins away. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Peace Corps

I want to share with all of you a journal entry that I wrote dated: Friday, August 15, 2014 

I have always feared that I will not like my job, or more importantly and scary--that I'll get bored. I think this has been a concern of mine for awhile but more so since going abroad. After having the experience of witnessing the wold as our Lord Jesus wants us to see it. After witnessing the seclusion, the beauty and simplicity interlaced with complexity, I realized there is SO much more to life than just work. 

Being a social worker, I want to make the communities and lives of individuals better while being active and having the chance to see the world. There is only one things I can think of that involves both expedition and exploration and working to enrich the lives and communities--The Peace Corps. 

We know a few people who are currently serving and I think with my skill set and passions, the Peace Corps would be perfect for me. It's scary for mom and dad to think about--they have already told me numerous times that I can't do it because there is too much hate and danger in the world. 

I am a 23 year old college graduate who doesn't live at home anymore. I'm an adult, I should be able to make my own decisions about life and employment. I want support and not the feeling that everything I do in  life will be judged and criticized as not the most safe, simple and money advancing thing. I want compassion for my faults, understanding for my need of simplicity within complexity and the acknowledgment that one does not need to make a lot of money to be happy. 

I am at the point in my life where I would take immense experience, challenges and joy over money. That's the Peace Corps for you--a challenging opportunity that offers enormous rewards. I would shave my life be immeasurably enriched and through my experiences and words, so would my family and friends. 

Similar to what Francis Chan writes in his Introduction to David Platt's book 'Follow Me,' I lack joy and challenge (Chan lacked peace). He said that his lifestyle did not resemble the life of Jesus and I couldn't agree more about my life. Ever since my time abroad, I haven't fell all there in the life of Christ, and although I never went to church when abroad, I felt so spiritually invested--the need and want to grow and the chance to be challenged in my own conviction and grown through the experience of helping others. It's memories of these times which lead my dream and hope of the Peace Corps. 

I told Aunt Leslie that I wanted the Peace Corps and she supported me. I just wish my parents were the same--I don't thin I have ever been so sure about anything. I want to help, I want a challenge, an opportunity to grow and become the Child of God, the social worker and the confident, independent young lady that I want to be in life. I can grow and hopefully by the time my term is over, I will know a little more about myself and what I want to do in life--just maybe. 

What I've learned in the past few years is that God works in strange ways--I've always heard that but not through my experiences, I believe. I've been put through a l to and have battle wounds (both physically, emotionally, and written) to prove it. I don't want to look like I'm running away from my problems because no matter where I go in the world, I can't escape them, but I can work at overcoming them through putting my strengths and passions to use. 

Present Day

I went against my parents wishes and I involved my siblings in helping write my cover letter for why I want to be in the Peace Corps. I felt so good, even though I was going against what my parents told me again and again. I did something that I believed in, something that I wanted, not thinking about anyone else. Finally doing something for me, only me. I couldn't have been happier to submit that application. 

Three months went by and it escaped my mind. Maybe I wasn't as certain as I thought I was. Maybe I just wanted to do something that my parents told me 'no' to. A few days ago I received an e-mail saying I am being considered for a PC position in Swaziland. I don't know what to do. I haven't gotten the position yet, but I'm being considered. I want to go abroad, but I want to go back to New Zealand. I'll post about this in a little bit, but thinking about my trip to New Zealand was the one time I had 100% Pure Happiness, Joy and certainty in life. I want that again. 

Life is chaotic and I wish we knew God's plan, but we don't. We just have to pray and do what feels right, do what is the best for you in the time you have. 

Be messy. Be God's masterpiece. 

My Messy Masterpiece

For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. — Ephesians 2:10 

I've struggled in life. I've been pushed to the breaking point, my faith has been challenged and tested, and I have been ashamed at my own life. These are all things I am willing to tell you because I have learned that I am a mess, but I am God's mess. I am a mess. I am a beautiful mess. I am God's masterpiece. Although I have faced struggled and challenges in life, God has created me, he had thrown the challenges and road blocks my way because I am His. 

I created this blog three months ago, and this is my second post (three months late). I guess I was trying to muster the courage to open my past up to strangers, and friends and family. I think sometimes it's harder to share to your friends and family because they know you and have an image of what you are or what they think you should be in life and sometimes you can't live up to that. Strangers don't know you, they come into something unbiased, sometimes, but I feel they can't be as judgmental as someone who knows you. Maybe I'm wrong, please don't prove it to me. 

I had this image of what this blog was going to be. Sharing my past life experiences through a variety of mediums, whether be songs, pictures, poems, short stories or blog posts, I plan to share with all of you what makes me a beautiful mess. To keep the variety, I will share my present and future, as well, what is happening in my life, the life questions and struggles that I face everyday, the craziness of working in the Youth & Aquatics department at a very nice country club, my training of swimming and trying to become a triathlete again. My Messy Masterpiece doesn't define my past. It defines me as a whole, as a child of God, a recent college graduate and a woman who has no idea what she wants to do with her life, except live a great and sometimes messy one. 

I hope you enjoy what I write and feel free to contact me and tell me what you think! 


Colton Dixon is one of the few truly Christian singers that comes out of the TV phenomenon, “American Idol.” He sings some of the typical Christian songs, but then has other songs which relate to a lot of things that people go through. His songs relate a lot to what I go through in my life, my faith journey and my struggles. I think, personally, the most important song he sings is “Scars,” a song that reminds us who were are. According to Colton, it’s “a map of where we’ve been in life; you can look at a scar and it immediately takes you back to what happened to create that. And at the end of the song, it ties in with my faith, and it says, God, Your scars remind us who we are.” 

I have many physical scars on my body. On my right hand, I have a scar that was from taking cookies out of the Panera walk-in oven, the oven mitt didn't cover my whole hand, so when I reached to grab the tray, my hand brushed up against the rack, causing me a load of pain and a gnarly burn. 

I have a gash on the bottom of my right foot from the Reed’s Lake Triathlon that I did my sophomore year of college. We started in the water for the swim and when they said, ‘Go’ I pushed off a rock and felt slight pain. When I got in my tennis shoe for the bike, I noticed blood and I realized how much blood there really was when I started my run. Every step I took it was me stepping into a puddle of blood in my own shoe. I was okay. 

I have on the left side of my head, underneath my birthmark, a chicken pox scar, reminding me how truly awful my chicken pox were. I sucked my thumb when I was little, so I would scratch the itch and then suck my thumb, causing lovely chicken pox in my throat. 

I could continue to go on about all my scars on my body, we might be here all night if that were the case. I want to talk about Colton’s lyrics for ‘Scars’ and why I believe it the most important song that he sings. In my life, I have had struggles and challenges which I didn’t think I could get over. But by listening to this song and by fighting for my faith against the Devil who was trying to take it away, I was able to learn, grow and defeat the struggles and scars that I faced in my life. I was defiantly defeated, broken and bruised, three of the four words that Colton opens his song up with. I cried and I was confused about where I stood in my life and where my faith was through these struggles. Like the song, my struggles cut through my religion and my beliefs, I truly was at rock bottom. 

Now, before I go on, I haven’t discussed these scars with many people at all. I thought that I could handle the scars in my life…I was wrong. But that’s the great thing about Calvin College, a Christian college in name and atmosphere. I had friends who helped me, I had the counseling center, which provided a safe and unbiased place for me to share my struggles and my emotions. I wish for anyone who has weight bearing, rock bottom scars, struggles, and challenges, that you seek help. I would never want another young woman (or man), to be where I was two years ago. To feel the way I felt and feel hopeless about many things in life. Whether be talking to family or friend, pastor or preacher, counselor or psychologist, open your troubles up and DO NOT keep them bottled up…it’s not healthy. Speaking from experience here! 

Back to ‘Scars.’ I believe the most important verses of this song, to me are: 
Today’s another day
To learn from my mistakes
Knowing that we’re not forsaken 
They give life to where we’ve been
When we fall and start again
Scars remind us who we are 

I’m aching, I’m breaking
Lord, I’m suffocating, oh
Lord, wake me and save me
Use the abused me
Take me and fill me up

I hold this song very close to me. Every time I hear it, I remember where I was two years ago and how far I have come since that time of my life. I remember that I was defeated, broken and bruised. I was sinking lower and lower, digging my hole of rock bottom even more, wondering if I would ever recover. I remember that Jesus bears scars on His body, showing that he will always forgive our scars, our struggles and challenges in life. Scars are an important part of growing up and living as a Christian. Believing that Jesus’ scars have forgiven your scars is breathtaking and awe-inspiring. Today is another day, learn from the past and the past mistakes you have lived and create a better you. It’s okay, you’re not alone, take your struggles one day at a time and keep your faith strong no matter what, because God will pull you out of your pain. 

Colton Dixon’s “Scars”