Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pray Earnestly.

Prayer has been on the mind a lot lately. Not just my mind either... I feel like I've had different variations of the same conversation with people over the last few weeks. Why do we pray? So many people have so many different answers to that question, and so many people have so many more questions. Some people say, "What's the point? God's going to do whatever his will is--why should I ask for anything different? It makes for false hope." Some people pray at meals and before bed, some only pray when life gets hard... some pray only when they feel hopeless. Some have given up on prayer. Too many people have given up on prayer. We talk about this God that we love, the creator of the universe that wants to have a relationship with us, but how much time do we really spend daily in conversation with him? Sometimes I talk to God when I'm driving, or when I'm walking around campus. Lately I've really felt challenged to pray differently--to pray earnestly. I think often we "commit" to pray for something or someone and eventually it fades because we don't think we're "seeing results." It sounds silly when you put it that way--seeing results--as if prayer is some get rich quick scheme or work-out plan. But that's the nature of people today. We don't wait patiently for the Lord to work. One thing doesn't satisfy us quick enough so we move on to the next thing. But it's biblical! To pray earnestly and wait patiently. Why don't we take it seriously?

Psalm 40:1 ... "I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry."
Romans 12:12 ... "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."
1 Thes. 5:16-18 ... "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
Matthew 21:22 ... "And whatever you ask in prayer you will receive, if you have faith."
Acts 1:14 ... "All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer..."

I would encourage you to look up the context of each of those verses. The Lord has really been teaching me to pray differently lately.

Funny enough, I kind of had a revelation about prayer while watching "A Christmas Story" not too long ago. Prayer is one of our means of communication between us and our God. For me, prayer and worship are the two biggest ways that I feel like I connect with God. So, in the spirit of Christmas, think about this: if your parents didn't give you everything you wanted for Christmas, would you stop talking to them? Of course not! That's absurd. So why do we do that to God? We pray for a while and when we don't feel like it's working, we stop. Why don't we trust that the God of the universe knows best? We get frustrated and we cut off this sacred, beautiful communication called prayer. We need to realize that maybe He is doing what He is doing because if he gave us what we wanted right now, we might "shoot our eye out."

I'm learning to pray earnestly. To devote myself to prayer, and trust that God will do the rest. It's been a cool learning experience. Praise Jesus!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

10 things I adore...

Inspired by bleubirdvintage, I've decided to post my own "10 things I adore". In no particular order, here we go...

1. Chocolate chip pancakes! For some reason I think they taste better at night...

2. Volkswagon vans! I want to buy one and travel the world in it. OK, maybe just travel the USA

3. Babies. I can't wait to have "little me's" running around someday... look how cute!

4. Fun headbands that Brittany makes me! Or just fun headbands in general. I really love this one though:

5. ENO Hammocks! Best $50 I ever spent, for real. It's my favorite place to nap. Or read. Or just lay... it's basically heaven that you can take with you anywhere.

6. Handwritten letters and postcards. No one does this anymore. I love getting letters. :)

7. A good cup of coffee. Goes well with friends, books, music... pretty much all things wonderful.

8. Sunflowers! They just look happy, like they want to brighten your day. There will be sunflowers at my wedding someday.

9. Hats! Of all kinds, really....

10. My sisters... my two favorite girls in the whole world! Miss them. Can't wait til Thanksgiving and Christmas time!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Tonight at church, JR talked about how we all have a story, and my "brother" Cody got up and told his story, which left me in tears. I think one of the biggest reasons that I'm so passionate about writing and about pursuing journalism is that I love to know people's stories. I think if anyone stopped and took the time to know someone else's story, they would be surprised at how many people around them have stories that they had no idea about. That's what I love about going into an interview with someone, is that I come out with a story, and then I get to share it with the world. Well, OK, right now I just share it with ASU, but you get the point. I just love that everyone has a story. I wish I could stop every person I ever come in contact with and take out my recorder and ask them questions (as creepy as that sounds). It's amazing how much of a person's heart you can get to know just by showing interest in their lives.

My favorite story I did this semester was on two guys from Nigeria, and it was about their love for soccer and how different it is for them to be in America, especially at a school where there isn't a mens soccer program. I probably only needed ten minutes to ask them the questions that I had written down, but we ended up sitting and talking for over an hour. We had this common bond in this game that we all love, and so many other interesting conversations stemmed from that one little common interest we shared. I left that interview on that Saturday morning thinking, "I love that I was just randomly connected with those guys--two complete strangers, that I ended up sitting there talking and laughing with for over an hour."

The bond that was formed over something as small as soccer is such a great example of the Kingdom of God to me. All we need is this one common love--the love of Christ--and our stories begin to unravel. I could talk for hours about all that the Lord has done in my life, all of the grace and mercy he's had on me in all of my imperfection, all of the things he's done that I don't deserve... and I'm sure all of you could also. I wonder if I could challenge us all to learn someone's story this week. It could be someone you've known for years that you've just never really gotten to know deeply, or a complete stranger. The thing is, everybody has a story. There are stories upon stories out there to be heard, and who are we to think that we're above listening to them? God may use the story of a complete stranger to change your heart. And hey, if nothing else, you'll get to know something interesting that you didn't know before.

Maybe you know someone who's story is "still being written." They don't really get it yet... they're still searching. I know some of the people in my life that I love the most are in that place right now. For them, I've learned to pray. I heard an old mentor of mine say once that she's learned that her job isn't to tell people about Jesus--it's to tell Jesus about people. I've never prayed the same since then. I tell Jesus their stories, although he already knows them--I tell him how I can't wait to know the rest of it, when he's done with it.

So learn a new story this week, and pray for the happy ending of a "story gone awry" of someone you love. I know we all are capable of both.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Better Love

Tonight JR did what he calls "the princess talk" for a bunch of girls at church, and it got me thinking just about how the world gives us so many false beliefs and ideas on what love is. So we search for all these things that are going to fill us, and we miss the greatest love there is, a love that makes it possible for us to even have love. All this reminded me of this song. My friend Jamie Bosanko actually wrote this song, but it's recorded by Drew Holcomb, and it's just about this "better love" that we can only get from a relationship with the Lord. It's about searching and not being satisfied with worldly love, and finding that there is this better love out there. It's a great song... here are the lyrics, but I really recommend that you download and listen to it.

"Better Love"
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors

So stop me if you've heard this one before.
I'm walking out the door, I'm done.
Cause this counterfeit love that we've been served
is like a band-aid for cancer, it won't stop.
How long can we survive on chocolates and movie lines?

A better love, a better love I see.
A better love, a better love I see...

Stop telling me that everything is fine.
I see straight through the lies that we're told.
Cause the love we've seen is tired and abused;
it's made us all confuse dust for gold.
How long can we get by with breakups and sad headlines?

A better love, a better love I see.
A better love, a better love I see.
A better love, a better love I see...

And in the middle of the night,
I try and try to fight the taste of the world gone bitter.
But somewhere out in the streets,
there's a melody that speaks hope for something bigger.
So don't you try and talk me down this time.
There's something more to find out there.

A better love, a better love I see.
A better love, a better love I see.
A better love, a better love I see...

Monday, November 9, 2009

not myself these days... i miss me. sounds vain, but that's not what i mean.

Man... it's been an interesting couple of weeks. I almost feel like I've walked around in this cloud, not physically feeling like myself because I've been so sick, which made me struggle to feel like myself emotionally and spiritually also. I just sort of woke up, went through the day, went to sleep, and hoped maybe the next day would be a little better. I kind of checked out, and unfortunately that always seems to happen when I feel like the people I love need me. When people's grandparents pass away, and parents file bankruptcy, and ex-boyfriends make sisters cry, and pregnant best friends are hypersensitive and need someone to talk to... life happens, and its problems seem to pile up when you shut the world out for a while. But don't worry, they wait for you to come back, and when you're exhausted from catching up on a week's worth of missed classes, feeling physically, mentally and emotionally drained, that's when they really like to make sure they get to you. The thing is I have been so drained that I haven't been able to be there for some of the people that I love the most, and I'm so frustrated with feeling this way.

Today I'm tired, and I'm feeling overwhelmed, and I'm not really feeling good again. It's like a vicious cycle, and I just want a break. I need a break. I want to go home, let my mom cook for me, play fetch with my dog, watch football with my dad, and have coffee with my sisters. I know all of that is right around the corner, but Lord, I need you to help me get through these next couple of weeks. I don't want to walk around in a cloud anymore. I don't want to be sickly anymore, or sad, or overwhelmed. I don't want to be too drained to pour into other people. I'm struggling, Lord, I haven't felt like myself in weeks, and it's really starting to wear on me. I'm leaving my burdens at your feet, God, because I can't carry them anymore. Heal my body, restore my soul, and bring back the spark of energy that I haven't felt in so long. I just want to be able to love and invest in the people that I love so much, and I haven't lost my heart for that, but I don't have the energy or strength to do it. I'm so sick of feeling this way. I want to be me again.