Saturday, December 30

Caught In His Hands

I've missed you. Deep down in my heart of hearts. I have missed your friendship. I know that we're moving on. I know it's better this way...somehow. But I miss you. I'm so thankful, for the time we had. Thankful for our season. You have made my life better.

Do we ever see it? In the midst of our days, in the midst of our circumstances, do we see the blessing? When drama is at its peak. When plans do not go our way. When those we love do not love us the way we had hoped in return. When we are disappointed and heartbroken. When opportunities arise and then disappear. Do we see God moving in the midst of us? Do we see that His plans are better, higher than we could have ever imagined?

I have been mulling it over for a couple of weeks now. The disappointment, the missed opportunities, the plans that never came through, the love that did not show its face as I had hoped it would. My hope has been deferred, my heart has been misled, my faith has been tested. And I stand here not knowing how to react, not knowing how to move on, not really knowing how to let go. I want to let go. I want to be at peace. But I don't know how. I can literally feel physical tension as I try to hold myself together. It has been going on for way too long.

I keep seeing a picture of Christ, reaching His hand out to me. I want to reach back. And I keep asking, "what happens next?"

I think in the letting go, we learn how to be held. Held by God, held by hope, held by something much greater than ourselves. In letting go, we are able to love deeper. Letting go, means that our control is gone, that what we have been hoping for is not really up to us anymore.

What is real will return to us, when all else is gone. What was meant to be, will be, when our striving is gone. We are searching for Christ, each and every one of matter what our disguise or vain excuse. He comes through, in the letting go. He comes through when there is nothing left for us to hold onto. He comes through.

That is my prayer. That I would be able to let go of every false hope, every misleading excuse, every misconception. Because I want to see Him. I want to know Christ. I want my heart to be at peace with Him. In letting go, I want my life to be caught in His hands.

I can't make it on my own. I need help. I need a redeemer. I need the chance to say yes to Him, letting go of all that lies behind me.

Wednesday, December 13


Set my heart to be at peace. That has been my prayer. And this morning as I sit in this classroom, white Christmas lights outlining the board, Christmas music playing lightly in the background, students outdoors at PE I realize that God has been in this day. My paperwork is not done, my boys are still in the business of pushing the limits, but I am at peace.

I have been so afraid...of not measuring up, of teaching the wrong things, of simply not being enough. I have been ready to give simply walk away and not return. But that would not be right. Because God gave me this job. Because He has a lesson to teach me here. And if I do not learn the lesson now, I will most certainly have to walk through the same things again.

I am learning not to be afraid...of mistakes, of people's opinions, of impossible expectations and paperwork, of beliefs that are not the same as my own, of the potential that resides inside of me. I am learning to rely on God for grace every day, every moment. I am learning that this ability to wing it may be a gift directly from Him. I am learning that His ways of teaching are far better than my own and so much better than the state's way of doing things.

As much as I hate to say it, I have needed this place as much as it has needed me. Whether this season is coming to close or whether it will continue for awhile, I don't know. What I do know is that God is with me, helping me. And as long as He remains my focus, I will remain at peace and all will turn out well.

Monday, December 11

Love Has Come

Someday I hope to get past the past. In fact, maybe I'm almost there and the past needs to let go of me. Either way, I am reminded of the verse somewhere in the old testament that says if we want to return to where we came from, we will have the chance to do so. This week, he wrote to me. Right out of the blue. Interuppted my Sunday morning routine as I clicked on my inbox. And I thought it was a mistake. Because the letter was really like picking up an old conversation. Picking up the same conversation, the same heartbroken routine we always fall into. Except I don't want to fall anymore. Instead, I sit right down, contemplate where I am, where he might be. I ask God where He is. I ask God when my heart will be restored again. And really that's my question. Will I get another chance? Will love come to my door again, or will I have to learn how to walk alone? These are the lonelier questions. In my heart of hearts, I know it will come. I know God will redeem the past. He reminded me today that He is still in the business of encouraging. He gave me the day off to enjoy good friends. (Really I was assigned to jury duty...but they let me go by 10:30 in the morning.) So simple, yet so what I needed. I am not alone. There are others who walk this road. In between shopping and cheesecake, incognito pastors and footballs in the parking lot I am reminded that my present and future are way better than where I have come from. I have no need to fear. Love has come. God is love. And He is all around.

Saturday, December 2

The Rest

I've been waiting.

Waiting on better days, deeper relationships, time to pass, changes to come. I am looking back at this year and seeing what God has brought me through. So much healing, so much vision, so much to be thankful for.

And so tonight, I look at this restlessness...I look at this worry that I will not be satisfied, and I ask myself...where is my faith? I am waiting on so and so to write or call. I am waiting on the weekend to come. I am waiting for that letter in the mail. I am waiting, hoping, pining away.

But am I waiting on God? Am I truly sitting and listening to His heart? Do I know what He wants? Have we planned and dreamed together?

Tonight, I sat alone and contemplated my desire to be out with people, to be a part of a group and enjoying the evening. It didn't happen. So, I did what I should have been doing all week. I went into my room and began to play the piano. I had only played for probably about 15 minutes when I went to grab my guitar and then, as if on cue, the phone rang.

I did not recognize the number and when I answered I did not recognize the voice. The person calling was a guy I had met randomly at a place I did not even expect to be last night. It was even more random that I had given him my number...that rarely happens. Anyways, we spent two and half hours talking about music, God, relationships and a few other things in between. By the end of the conversation, I didn't feel quite so alone. I didn't feel disappointed that I had missed an evening out. I actually felt loved and appreciated. I felt like the evening had been well spent.
Divine appointments come at the least expected moments and exactly when we need them.

I say all this to say...I think I have been waiting on the wrong things. I have been waiting for that perfect relationship. I have been waiting for him to show up at my door. And you know what, after tonight, I realized...he probably will show up at the least expected moment. But for now, at this moment...I need to appreciate what God has given to me. I need to hold on and push forward in this season. I need to pursue God. I need to pursue FRIENDships. The rest will come...with patience and with trust.

Waiting is so much more than sitting on the bench and wishing for a chance to play. It is training beforehand and cheering on the others who train beside you. It is focused and determined. It is knowing that one day, at just the right moment, your chance will come and you better be ready.

Waiting has a goal in mind.
My goal is to know Christ, truly know Him.
The rest will fall into place.

Friday, December 1


I talked with a friend of mine tonight about beauty. We talked about the contrast we feel between culture and Godly expectations. We talked about our own disappointments and life experiences and how it has molded our perspectives. We shared our questions.

I am still wrestling with thoughts at home tonight. I am wrestling with feelings of not measuring up...with questions...with hope and dreams...with disappointments...with not knowing what is good and what is selfish.

Beyond the outward beauty, what is there beneath? Besides the Lord. Besides places and friends. Besides my life story. What is there? I cannot speak eloquently about theological matters. I cannot debate politics. Movies and music are beyond my years of experience and training. I love to read, but I hardly remember the words after turning the page.

I am fully convinced that beauty comes from the Lord. I know for a fact that God draws us in by His beauty and I truly believe that anything that is beautiful about me comes from Him. My hope, when speaking with others, is that they are drawn to God in me most of all...that in some way they are touched by Him when interacting with me.

It could be that I am lonely and only feeling sorry for the fact that there are not many to share my true heart with. It could be that tonight I am not feeling my most confident self. It could be that I am too worried about such matters as friendship and love. It could be that I do not trust others to first of all, see the real me, and second of all, to care enough to stick around when I feel boring, or lost, or hopeless, or worried, etc.

I have hope for redemption. I have hope that one day God will show me the truth...that He will blast my twisted theories right out of the water. I have hope that one day not only will I be comforted in God's love towards me, but that I will be comforted and secure in relationships which are based on inward beauty, on truth, on the things that do not fade away.


I sat with my most favorite professor on Monday morning in Tulsa before flying back to Jax. She is my favorite because I know that she believes the best about me. She is my favorite because she has never been afraid to tell me the real deal. She has forced me out of my comfort zone, she has spoken the truth even when it hurt my feelings. And in the midst of the trials she has always offered a better way. Dr. M. once said that she did not want to teach me to become a teacher, she wanted to teach me to become a good teacher.

I told Dr. M that I wished I could sit in her classes all over again. She told me that I already knew everything. She told me that all I needed was the confidence...the confidence that I am a good teacher, that I DO know what I am doing.

She also told me that mean to me is not always "mean" for the kids. Sometimes I will have to be mean in order to love them. I needed to be reminded of that one.

God show me how to love these kids. Show me how to teach them. My grip on them seems to slip from my hands and I am desperate to draw them in again. I am desperate to prepare them for what they need to know. But the truth is that I do not even know what they need to know. The truth is that I do not know how to reach their hearts. But you do, Lord. You see straight through their behavior and academic performance. You see their lives, their thoughts, their motives, their potential. Show me how to love them God. Show me how to prepare them. Show me how to get past performance and to please you in all of this.

Sunday, November 26

Copper Mountain

Ski village.
Lovely. The mountains across from Copper Mountain.
Before the big day.
Sunrise from our window.
Our super cool snow gear.
Best seat in the house. :)
Just before the big plunge.
My brother and me.
Snow Patrol.
Commemorating our hard work on the slopes with a cup of joe.

Sunday, November 19

My Glove Compartment

So I was sitting in bumper to bumper traffic today on Blanding Boulevard and decided to take a look through my glove compartment. I had not looked through it since moving here about a year and half ago...weird but true.

Anyways, it was like opening a treasure chest I had forgotten was there. I found an old bottle of ibuprofen, the earphones I had been looking for, first aid items from the cpr/first aid class I had taken in Tulsa, a straw, and of course my title and registration. But the best part of the contents was three tape cassettes I had totally forgotten about. The first was my grandfather's testimony. The second was an incredible sermon about vision. And the third, a part of my song journal that I had lost track of.

A theme began to emerge. I listed to my grandfather's testimony. The sound was so old school that I thought about one day attaching it to the end of one of my music albums. He told of when God brought him through a terrible nervous breakdown and showed him that there was more to his faith than he had been taught as a Baptist preacher in seminary. Healing. Deliverance. Lives set free. I wish he was still alive today, so I could call him up and ask him more. But I also think that God has a reason for awakening these questions inside of me only now after grandpa is gone. He wants ME to search the scriptures. He wants me to know because I have searched for Him. "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings." (Proverbs 25:2)

And the song journal. Wow. Confidence began to arise in my heart as I listened. The bits and pieces. The sounds of worship. All the songs came through like fresh air. I began to remember, even more, the vision God has placed in my heart.

As for the third cassette, the vision sermon, I haven't listened yet. That one is set up for tomorrow's driving entertainment. It promises to be good.

Saturday, November 11

Happy Veteran's Day

Thank you, Josh, Joe, John, friends, uncles, cousins, grandpa and everyone I don't know. You face death all day long and yet you stand. You walk a path that is greater than yourself. You bring freedom wherever you go. You make me want to stand. Thank you.

Friday, November 10



Letting go of what should have been for the chance that what is still to come offers a better outcome.

I've been trying to think of some profound story of hope today, in lieu of pip's new site. I know hope has recently raised it's hand in my life. I know that it's my turn to grab ahold and not let go.

I didn't start writing until today as I visited a friend from the past. I saw my past, in the midst of my present state. I saw where I had come from. I saw the state of my heart then and now.

Hope came quietly. It did not interrupt this healing. It did not bang upon my door. It came as desperation gave way to trust. It came as trust turned into faith.

Hope stayed safely hidden, when I thought I had lost it for good. In its own wise ambition, hope stayed away so that, when I was ready, it would have the strength to rise again.

There are moments, like this moment right now, where I wish I could carry this hope back and place it in the times I needed it most. It might have protected me better from the choices I made. There are moments, when I want so badly to go back and touch the heart of this friend with the same hope I now know.

But hope was there. Safely hidden. Safely whispering. Safely carrying me to another shore; the one I now stand on, looking back today through a window.


Letting go of what should have been. Knowing that what is still to come will bring a better outcome.

Check it out.

Sunday, November 5


So this passage was so personal as I went home last weekend. I got to see so many grandparents, aunts, uncles, second and third cousins, friends from highschool, church, ministry, etc., etc. And with each encounter God brought life. He used me to refresh others and, in turn, he used many of them to bring refreshment to me. On Sunday morning, before I went to see a very close friend and talk to her about the Lord, I flipped open to the first chapter of Colossians.

3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— 5the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel 6that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth. 7You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our[c] behalf, 8and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[d] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption,[e] the forgiveness of sins.

Going With God

What a season of change this has been. God is picking up the pieces of my broken heart. He is mending and healing. He is vindicating and redeeming. And He is sending me out to spread the message. I am not even sure if I can keep track of all the pieces that have been so recently put together. But I know He is. There are things that only He knew about and yet they are coming to light. My dark corners are being lit up and swept clean. My fears and inhibitions are being challenged. My weaknesses are being covered by His grace.

I went to NY last weekend. NY is a land that I so desperately want to see changed by God. I went because I heard God's call to share His love with a friend of mine. The trip ended up being so much more than just what I had planned. I still get teared up talking about it. For so long I have wanted to tell my friends back home about the Lord. I have wanted to tell them about the change that He brings. But I did not know how. I did not even know if I was being changed. And then just recently, I began to see it. I began to see God working in my life in such a fresh way. I began to realiz His call on my life and to be confident about it. I began to step out of my questions and into this faith that He has asked me to live my life by.

It is amazing to see what God can do when we step out of the boat. It is amazing to feel the burden lifted, to let go and know that He is God. The details of my life are being so rearranged. Even in the natural, I am cleaning and budgeting and reorganizing my belongings. I don't know what is next. But I do know He is there. And I know that I want to go where He is. Life is so exciting when God is in the lead.

Friday, October 27

On A Mission

Well, I'm in NY; landed in Rochester an hour earlier than I expected. Some leaves are left on the trees so I am seeing a bit of color. After seeing my breath in the air I decided to go buy a winter coat. Florida clothing just isn't going to cut it! I have no idea what God is going to do this weekend, but I am hoping not to miss it. I like the idea that Him and I are on a mission together. I read a friend's blog the other day and she made the remark that God's fingers were laced through her own. That is how I feel today...ready for change, ready for hope, ready for miracles and seeing God work in and through my life.

Sunday, October 22

Woman at the Well

I woke up from my Sunday afternoon nap and wished that I could figure out the dream I had just been walking through moments ago. I wrote it down and got up to do some other things. But I really wanted to read. I looked at Amazon for some new book ideas and decided instead to head to Books a Million.

I actually went looking for a few things, a Bible for a friend, relationship books, basic Christianity books to give to a couple of people. And right there on the shelf I saw a book about dreams and their interpretations. It is rare to find a good book on dreams in the Christianity section. So I picked it up along with another book on none other than dating and relationships and headed to a chair to do some reading.

The book on dreams was interesting and I contemplated after skimming every chapter that maybe I should buy it. The relationship book was good until the author went on about God not having any part in bringing us together with our marriage partner. It held arrows of disappointment between the lines so I proceded to take it right back to its section and leave it there. Just as I was about to put the dream book back as well, I heard this women frantically searching the shelves saying, "Do you know where the dream section is? I'm looking for books about dreams."

I thought it uncanny that in my hands I held the only dream book in that section. I showed her what I had found. She began to tell her story of a reoccurring dream she had been having as if her life depended upon it. She told me about how she had been a pastor and how her husband had left her because of adultery. She told me about her new marriage and how it was so full of disappointment. She told me that she was no longer in ministry, no longer fulfilling her calling. She even showed me the tatoo she had gotten with her first husband who had passed away. This woman was crying out. She kept asking me what her dream meant as if I would have the answers because I had read the book.

I had read the parts of the book that were meant for her tonight. I showed her what I had read and then I began to ask her pointed questions about her life. I asked her where she was at in her walk with the Lord. I asked her more about her dream. And the whole time I was thinking, am I really qualified to be interpreting this dream for her? Do I really know what I am saying? But I could not deny that God had placed this divine appointment in my evening. I could not hold back the words that he placed in my mouth in those moments. I could not stop from sharing my testimony of the moments when I thought I would not go back to church, when I thought that my life was falling apart too much for God to use me.

God was showing her that her disappointment was holding her back from what God had planned for her. He was showing her how the enemy was bringing death through the circumstances that held her heart captive. I have gone through the same seasons in my heart and I have been trusting God to bring me out.

God showed me that He loved me and trusted me enough to speak life to her tonight. I feel like He brought me to another level. I feel like Jesus when He said to the disciples, "I have bread that you know not of"...when they wondered why He was not hungry after ministering to the woman at the well. Tonight I am full just knowing that He used me to speaking peace to a woman in need.

Tuesday, October 10


Days ahead, I will look back
and see you here
See your eyes looking intently into my own
See the smile that brought me home.
Finally, settled.
Finally, full of hope.
I asked to know you once again.
I have wanted your arms around me,
wanted to hear your laughter,
wanted to put my hands in yours
walking through the rest of this life.
And now I am seeing that you came running
before my mouth ever opened
before my eyes ever moved in your direction.
My broken heart...obvious, and I see the tangled web of emotion
and lies attached to my dreams,
You bring silence to my storm.
You mend my broken spirit, heal my broken heart,
breath life into my deflated lungs.
You cause me to sing again.
I could not have planned this, could not have guessed.
But you have brought it to pass and I am grateful.
I asked to see your goodness.
I asked to know you more than ever before.
I see that you have been waiting to hear my voice for so, so long.

Sunday, October 8

The Real Deal

I've been reading "So You Want to Be Like Christ" by Charles Swindoll as a Bible study with a group from my church. I'm enjoying it's conversation in simplicity and quietness before God. I am being challenged in my own disciplines of reading the Word and spending time in silence and meditation. Life is busy and full of noise. I know I need to sit and listen more often.

Anyways, there is this part of the book that really bothers me. It's the part where Swindoll warns his readers of those who think that God speaks to us apart from the reading of scripture. On the one hand, throughout the book, he is saying, listen to God's voice. On the other hand, he is telling Christians that we should not expect to hear a still, small voice speaking directly to our hearts. He says that God speaks only through what is already in the Bible. I am guessing that he does not believe either in the baptism or the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I am guessing that He does not believe that God speaks fresh words to His people.

Although I know that many go overboard on this topic, I believe that God speaks in so many ways through so many different people. He did so in the Bible days, why would He stop now? Yes, if we were to search the contents of the Bible, every word we have heard from Him should line up with scripture. But what about those without the scriptures? What about those who are not able to put their hands on a Bible and flip through the pages? Are they not able to hear from God? It almost makes me want to put the book down. I find it all disheartening. Even more so because I did not hear anyone else bring up the topic during our study this past week.

And so, in all of this, I am realizing my hunger. I grew up believing that God heals and delivers...that He WANTS people to be healed and delivered. I grew up believing that God speaks through prophecy and directly to our spirits. I can't remember the first time I spoke in tongues because I grew up in a family where it was a normal part of our lives. I grew up hearing about the power of God, longing to see it in and through my own life. It was only just in these past 5 years that I had become jaded by the charismatic community. A manipulative group of people and a few bitter tasting experiences can do that to a person. So I played it safe, wanting only the simple message of the gospel, the quiet sounds of worship, people devoted but not irrational and awkward. But even now, now that I have returned to a community of people who are so fired up about Christ, I feel as if something is missing. I read a book like this, I hear someone pray for a sick friend not that she would be healed but that she would be okay with not finding a cure and going to be with God in Heaven, and it all just makes me so sad.

This is the verse on my mind tonight:

Phillipians 3:10,11
[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].

My prayer is, God, show me what is true. Show me what is on your heart. Show me your goodness. Show me your plan. I'm tired of trying to define it on my own. I'm tired of trying to search after correct theologies and 5 year plans. I want the real deal.

Saturday, October 7

Embracing Status

Back to the recent conversation in my last post, about not knowing what else I want to do...

For as long as I can remember I have just wanted to be married. It has taken up my thoughts, my dreams, my plans, etc., etc. It's not even the novelty or the wedding day or the diamond ring. It's the simple knowing that I have someone to live my life with, someone who is going in the same direction, someone who I can commit to, someone who will commit to me, someone who I can trust wholly and completely.

Well 27 is here and I am not any closer to knowing who or when or how than I was at 22. I find myself entering into a new mindset. I am done worrying about it. I am choosing indifference at the moment. In translation...I am not looking. Looking and worrying and trying to plan leaves me disappointed and unfulfilled. And in the disappointment I have often forgotten that there is a life to be lived. I have forgotten that I have gifts to open, beauty to share, worlds to discover, a God to know.

And with this new mindset, it is not a wonder that I am at a loss for what to do. I have based my plans on having someone to share them with. I have hoped and dreamed for a friend for so long that I have not cultivated my confidence in being alone. I have not cultivated my confidence in the Lord. This is the time and season for such things. God help me.

Friday, October 6

Recess and Science Experiments

Tonight I'm thinking back on a recent conversation with a friend. It went something like this:

Friend - "So, what are your plans in the near future?"
Me - "Well, finish this year of teaching...then who knows."
Friend - "What else do you want to do?"
Me - "I don't know, I just feel like there's more."

I've been saying that a lot lately. Mostly to God, mostly to myself. But I struggle because I feel like if I leave teaching behind, I am somehow leaving my calling and ultimately disappointing God. At the same time, if I neglect this dissatifcation, I am afraid that I will be missing out on some unknown fulfillment, some unknown blessing that might only come through a leap of faith.

I love my kiddos...I love having a part in shaping their lives. I do not love conforming to the government's rules and regulations as to how they should be taught and tested in the classroom. I do not the love the stress of trying to juggle a circus of paperwork and meetings and discipline procedures. I look at my classroom and I am heartbroken, because there is no time scheduled for recess anymore; there is no time for science experiments; there is barely an emphasis on art and music. The beauty of life and living and education is being set outside the classroom door. And I fall victim to it, because of my inexperience and insecurity as a young teacher. I do not know how to meet the academic expectations and to show my students the value of what they are learning at the same time. Test, after test, after test and for what? To show information that has been handed down through a system, through a bunch of men and women who sit in a boardroom somewhere and pass on their new and improved ideas. Some of them are good. Some of them, I'm not so sure. These children need to breath some fresh air. I need to breath some fresh air.

Saturday, September 30


So I thought it would be fun to make my own music space today. If you do not have a cd in hand, click on the picture to go and listen.

Thursday, September 28


There is a verse that talks about writing the vision down so that the herald may run with it. At the beginning of this year, I wrote down in my blog that I wanted to record my songs. I didn't know anything about recording, I didn't know anyone who could help me, I didn't even have more than 2 finished songs.

I sat with mom tonight and discussed this musical journey. It started so long ago, under my grandpa's tree, playing a guitar that belonged to the church. I couldn't have been more than 7. And then lessons at the end of high school. And then leading worship in Rochester in so many different settings. After that ORU, where I was not accepted into the music program, and where I could not even get into the choir. Voice lessons, private guitar lessons, long nights in the piano lab..writing...dreaming...praying. It's where I met Leah, where I met the Edison boys, where I roomed with Zoe. And between these three and Tulsa, and LA, and Jacksonville...I have come to a place of divine appointment. I can't forget my trip this summer either. If I hadn't been given the gift of Scotland, I wouldn't have begun to write again, I am was there where my heart began to really open up again. I might not even have been ready to record. My life is full of friends and family and happenings so intricately woven that seasons and places lead me to other seasons and places. God knows the beginning from the end, I am sure.

So today, I recorded my first five songs. It feels so good to say that. If you want a copy, email me...I'll send it your way. :)

Monday, September 25

Getting Closer to a Dream

Ok, so the songs may be recorded this week. I have some friends who are going to help me out. This is a huge step. I actually feel nervous and not quite ready. I feel like I need to rewrite every one of them again. I feel like I could work for 5 more weeks and then maybe they would be ready. What if I hadn't taken so many naps this weekend? For that matter, every weekend. How much further would I be? What if I was playing right now instead of blogging?... Oh yeah, I am remembering that I need to be ready to teach school tomorrow. I've been a little stressed due to lack of sleep, which is due to many things including song writing. Well, I'm actually asking God for help. When I moved to Jax I put the music business in His hands. He is the one who will breathe on the words and the sounds. He is the One who will open doors. I just pray that my heart is in line with His and that I am disciplined enough to work at it and bring out a good sound.


I made it. :)

Well, to those of you who remember BASIC days you might appreciate this story.

At 17 I was pretty sure who I wanted to marry..yeah, that's right 17. But thank God that did not work out. After getting out of that relationship and graduating high school I started making some big life changes and got involved with church related activities and joined a Christian college group. What an amazing group of friends I had in that place. Anyways, even though the marriage thing hadn't worked out as planned before, I was still pretty hopeful that by 22 I would be settled down someplace with someone. 18, 19, 20 went by...still, no prospects. Eh, I still had time. That's when I met Tracy. Tracy played the guitar, led worship at church, had her life together. I really looked up to her. She was also 27 and single. Truth be told, I felt sorry for I prayed, "Dear, God...please don't make me wait that long." 21, 22, 23, 24...I even went to a Bible college where everyone made the joke, "ring by spring or your money back." No ring by spring, not even more than a first date. 25, 26 ...he wasn't in NY, he wasn't in OK...maybe Florida?

27...How funny. I made it. I don't feel sorry for me. I actually feel privileged, thankful that I have lived life fully up to this point...traveling, teaching, carrying freedom to come and go as I please. Do I wish I had someone to share it with? Most definitely. Does my radar still send out its signals? Um, yeah. But I'm not worried. I feel just as hopeful as I did back at 17, 22, 25. The only wish I have is that I'll get to share my younger years with someone else...traveling, serving, loving, etc., etc. Tracy did get married not too long after 27...maybe I won't have to wait much longer either. :)

Saturday, September 16

Seeing Christ

I remember the moment so clearly. Standing in the middle of my living room, late at night, holding the one thing my heart believed in. It should have been a moment just like any other, a moment leading to many more just the same. But a sinking, helpless feeling crept in and in some untangible way, I knew it was the beginning of the end.

It is moments like these that have recently crept back into my day. For some reason I have been brought back to remember. In the midst of worship tonight I began to see it again, feel the pain. Why, God? Why now? Why is it so hard to move my heart in a new direction? Will I always carry this disappoinment? Will I always question the hope that tries so hard to spring up in my life? Will I ever move beyond this? Will I ever see something better? Will there be a new day? New love? I wish there was a way to put every memory in a box and send it on its way. I wish there was a way to take out my heart, wash it clean and let only the light in. I wish there was a way to make joy the only station broadcasted across the soundwaves of my life.

And so tonight, as we sang "You are the only one I live for" over and over I just began to pray. I want so badly for it to be true. I want so badly to walk away from disappoinment. I want so badly to know what it means to see God and see His promises come to pass. I want so badly to say that Christ changed me and see that same power change others.

And so, as the memories pass by this is my prayer, "show me Christ". Show me where you were in the midst of it, Lord. Show me where you are in the midst of me now. Show me Christ and let His power become the power that changes my life...transforming death to life, light to darkness, disappointment to hope, insecurity to confidence, shame to relief.

Monday, September 4

Fear and Surrender

After my last couple of posts I know it is time for a change. Many times, on this blog, I risk being vulnerable...letting everyone know my business. But I find this heart stuff incredibly hard keep inside...something important happens, and like sitting with a very dear friend, I have to come and put it all down. I have to make sense of what's going on. I have to let it be released so that I can move on.

It's been a long road, this whole church situation, this whole heart situation. A friend of mine called to see if I was headed to church this past Saturday night. I told him that I wasn't sure because I didn't really want to show up alone. Maybe that's been my problem all along. Maybe that's why I eventually shrink back. I don't know. I'm usually really good about putting my brave face on. For some reason I just haven't been able to find it. So, I church...met my friend there, feeling like a dork because seriously I could have come on my own and been just fine. And it was so good...not just good...but so good. That was Saturday night...Sunday morning, I was there again...on my own this time...and ended up going to membership class. Do you know what the whole weekend was about by the way? ...Why it's important to get planted in the house of God. It's been so long since I've been able to do long since I've trusted God enough to let myself be planted. Yeah, it's about time.

There was something else last week that had me in tears. My kids are constantly hugging me, wrapping their little arms around me, telling me stories, etc., etc. and it is usually at times when I need everyone's attention or we are lining up or "fill in the blank" inopportune time of the day. It really began to bother me when I noticed that my reactions were not loving and patient, but more like "c'mon we've got places to go, things to time for play" kinds of reactions. As I searched my heart I began to see the face of fear. And without going detail for detail I realized that I have been holding my students at arms length in fear that I would not be able to control them in my classroom. I looked at situation after situation this year and saw how fear held me back from fully embracing them each time. What is this fear? Where did it come from? I'm not quite sure, but God knows and I'm asking Him. I just keep thinking of Jesus and how He embraced the little ones around Him...He took time not worrying what everyone else would think. I hope that I can begin to do the same. I'm wondering how much this has affected my other relationships as well. I mean how often have I held others at arms length in order to maintain control and not be vulnerable to criticism or rejection?

Sunday, August 27

Two Years

I remember the day I walked out of my religous safety net and into the world. I remember God's arms around me tight as He set me down to take my first steps. I fell into dirt and mud and cried because I didn't think that I could go on. But, there He was. He picked me back up, set my feet upon a rock. He put a new song in my mouth...a song of praise to my God. Life has never been the same. I just hope it keeps getting better.

Two years have passed this summer. My heart has not been the same since. I left religion on the doorstep of my own apartment. I left church as I knew it. I haven't turned back. That summer revealed an open door I had never was the door of making my own choices, of hearing God with my own ears, seeing Him with my own eyes, making my own mistakes and tasting grace that no one else but He could give.

Yes, I have entered places of worship since that time. I have knocked on doors of small groups and Bible classes in order to get plugged in. And yet my discontent remains. Where is sincerity? Where is honesty? Where are the real, life giving unconditional relationships? These are all claims of American Christianity today, but I find these claims often empty and hard to swallow. I told my friend Carrie today, "I love God. I love the people of God. But I just don't love church." It makes me feel like I have a real problem.

I met this guy yesterday who was so lost. Turned out that we were riding in the same car for my friend's birthday. He has never been to church a day in his life. The only reason he knows God is real is because he knows that someone was with him when he fell off of a two story roof a couple of years ago. As a girl with opinions and hopes and dreams I wouldn't give this guy the time of day. He was beyond rough around the edges. As a Christian, I'd be afraid to show up by myself with him at church...what would they think about what I'm doing throughout the week, right? But as a follower of Christ....I better be acting in love towards this guy, treating him as someone of worth. Even my close friends were acting as if he was no big deal. But I couldn't, my heart went out to him. So, I listened to his story and asked a lot of questions. He said I should be a psychologist or something.

JESUS hung out with the prostitutes thank you very much. What should I be doing ...staying in my comfort zone just so some guy can't hit on me and make me feel uncomfortable? He was so obviously in need of being valued. He asked me to go to dinner and I turned him down...I should have gone. Do you know what I did instead? The safe thing...invited him to church. C'mon. I can't even get myself there half the time. I should have gone to dinner. I should have stepped out of my safe little world and felt uncomfortable for awhile. Jesus would have said yes.

Two years ago I also loved someone who bitterly questioned my love for God. He broke my heart when it had already been laid out in so many pieces. I would have stayed with him anyways. I would have forgotten who I was just to keep on loving him. Someday, I know that he will see my prayers answered. Someday I know that Christ will dwell in his heart just as it dwells in mine. For now, I remember and hope and let go. For now, I learn from that season and love others around me better.

Finding Life

From the Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning:
"Sooner or later we are confronted with the painful truth of our inadequacy and insufficiency. Our security is shattered and our bootstraps are cut. Once the fervor has passed, weakness and infidelity appear. We discover our inability to add even a single inch to our spiritual stature. There begins a long winter of discontent that eventually flowers into gloom, pessimism, and a subtle despair-subtle because it goes unrecognized, unnoticed, and therefore unchallenged. It take the form of boredom, drudgery. We are overcome by the ordinariness of life, by daily duties done over and over again. We secretly admit that the call of Jesus is too demanding, that surrender to the Spirit is beyond our reach. We start acting like everyone else. Life takes on a joyless, empty quality. We begin to resemble the leading character in Eugene O'Neill's play The Great God Brown: "Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and grace and song and laughter? Why am I afraid to live, I who love life and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of the earth and sky and sea? Why am I afraid to love, I who love love?"

I am reading this book and thanking God that someone else in the world feels the same way I do. I thought coming to Florida would be like coming home. I thought that I would settle here, plant myself, get a life. But what I thought and what is in my heart are two very different things. I may venture out again. I may finally be courageous and step in a direction I didn't think that I could go. I just might surprise everyone, most of all myself and probably least of all God. Maybe, just maybe I will be brave.

Jaxson Deville came from the Jaguars football team to help us pump up our reading program this year. He had the kids jumping up and down singing a song about their dreams. These were the words, "Dream It, Do It, Believe It, Become It." We went back to the classroom and began to talk about our dreams and how we would get there. So, being the teacher, I had to share my own dream before expecting them to share theirs. And oddly enough, even though I love being with those kiddos every isn't my dream. I feel like I'm committing a sin just saying that out loud. Because I am gifted with children, because I do love them, because right now this classroom is my place of ministry. Why would I give up something so good? I don't know. I just feel as if there's more.

What if I gave up now? What if I just settled into lesson plans and early morning meetings and looking forward to 20 minutes of recess every day? What if I just settled in on using my paycheck for classroom odds and ends, trips to Target and paying off school loans? What if boredom became my friend instead of my loathed enemy?

I have been a girl without vision holding passion in my hands. God help to open my eyes in the direction of your sunrise. God help me to be the girl that follows you with my whole heart and who is not afraid to leave security behind.


"I think in many ways, there's been an incredible movement in everything from music to politics toward going to sleep."
~Sheryl Crow

A quote to reflect my recent quanderies on waking up and taking part in the world around me.

Saturday, August 19

I love surprises

So I went to a concert with a friend last night...a Robbie Seay Band concert that is. They have an incredible ministry through music...check them out.

So yeah, my friend knows the drummer in this band and we were backstage for awhile. I was told that some Canadian girl was playing before the band. She came in, sat on the couch beside me. I introduced myself and asked if she was the one playing. We talked for a few minutes about Nashville and random things and then we all went downstairs to hear her play. When she came on stage she apologized that we probably wouldn't know any of the songs she was going to play, because most of us had probably never heard her before. And she was right, I didn't know the first song. But then the second song sounded like one of my favorite songs. I leaned over and said, I think she must cover this song. But then I knew the next song, and the next. And all of them were songs by a girl named Jill Paquette who's music has totally ministered to me through the past few years. "Wait a minute", I said to myself..this girl's name is Jill...and then the two and two came together...and I realized that I had just been talking with one of my favorite music artists.

Lol..I talked to Jill some more after the concert. She's a great girl. Definitley check out her music...she has a beautiful way of expressing her journey with the Lord.

ps-Wen, it was you who sent me Jill's cd for my birthday a few years ago...thanks again. :)

Friday, August 18

Question of the Day

"Miss T., what color are you?" she asked today.

I laughed being as I am in the minority in my classroom. :) Ah, the joys of living in Florida with a tan all year long.

Heart of the Matter

So I went to the doctor today to find the results of my tests. My heart is fine, just has a few extra beats every once in awhile. I laughed and told him I felt as if I had made up the whole episode. It's funny because I was actually a little worried when all of the weird symptoms were happening. It was stress I think, even though they happened during summer vacation while I was traveling.

There was something about being in Scotland that made me forget what was going on. On the day I returned home I realized that for 10 days there had been no episodes whatsoever and there hasn't been one since.

I sat in Glasgow Cathedral's cemetary for quite awhile one overcast day, next to a stone that spoke of the joy of meeting again in heaven one day. As I sat there, the feelings of brokeness and sadness over lost love and altered trust seemed to wash over me. The words on the stone reminded me of the hope that Christ was in the midst of the situation, that He would work to bring both of us where we needed to be. And then a song rose up in me that I had never heard before and I began to sing. Looking back, I do believe a transfer occurred. I left my brokeness in the cemetary. I left my sadness and burden behind.

God so ordained that trip for me. I've had such an energy to keep going since I've returned. The stress and burden I felt about school and work and all of those things has disappeared. The sadness is gone. I have started writing music again. I'm playing almost every day and almost every time I have started writing a new song. I've come home with my burdens lifted and such a sense of urgency to carry on.

God heals our hearts by surprise and in His own way I think. I had no idea He would send me to Scotland. I had no idea that He would expand my borders in songwriting, though I have longed for Him to do so. And I still have no idea what the rest of the story is, who I will meet, where I will go, what ministry I will fulfill. But my heart is better, at peace. I am enjoying getting to know Him, getting to trust Him, and walking by faith in a greater way.

God give me grace to continue to walk in your peace and in your path for my life.

Monday, August 14


I love blogging at Panera...they bring free samples of great food at just the right time. I just got passed up by the sample guy though. It's really disappointing...he had a chocolate chip cookie on his tray. Oh...good...he's coming back...I am now enjoying a strawberries and cream croissant.

Chicken Sunday

We read Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco today, where Grandma Eula takes her children to church and teaches them to show others kindness in spite of misunderstandings. Her voice is like slow thunder and sweet rain and she laughs from a deep, holy place inside. "Miss T., what is a deep, holy place inside?" That is the question that brought tears to my eyes, the one that makes me so thankful for where God has placed me in this season.

School Days

Ah, the south...where school days start in August. I am in the middle of week 2. My class is a breath of fresh air. Wow, what a difference. I feel so much more confident, so much more at peace. I'm not exhausted at the end of my day. It's actually good to be back.

This one's for you, Beth....I had two third graders discussing something very important in the lunch line. One of them turned to me and said, "Miss T., tell him that we did NOT come from an egg." I thought to myself that either this little one was either very informed or had no clue at all as to how he came into the world. He continued to argue with his friend that he had most definitely come from an egg. "Well, then WHERE do babies come from, Miss T.?" Lol...

Saturday, August 5

Get Ready

I just spent over an hour posting's really hard to choose between 450...I haven't counted by there's quite a few below. Enjoy...comment...hopefully you'll enjoy them. I know I do.


Stirling Castle's great hall. It had been painted this color (gold) to signify wealth.
Tapestries also spoke of wealth. This particular king had 14. They are currently being reconstructed by hand.

Seriously, you could fit at least 6 people in this hearth. I'm sure Santa had no problem way back then. Posted by Picasa


Imagine, if you will, the throne room.
Original wood beams inside the castle.
Walls around the Stirling Castle. Reminds me a bit of a scene in ever after...just need a glass slipper and some rain.
The walls around the wall of the castle at Stirling. Posted by Picasa


This is the castle we saw on the way to Mull via the ferry. Not sure of it's name.
This tall monument is dedicated to William Wallace. His sword is here. We didn't have time to go. Btw....according the Scots...Hollywood did not stay even close to the true facts.
The garden area at Stirling's Castle. This was the best castle by far that we got to see.
They still hold military balls and weddings in this great hall. They were setting up for one that night. Posted by Picasa

Around Scotland, cont.

Looks a bit like upstate NY.
Cameras do not do justice to island beauty. These "hills" as they call mountains here were very high and very beautiful.
Another favorite. This is at the ruins of the nunnery at Iona.
Two bridges. Posted by Picasa

Around Scotland

My favorite picture out of the lot.
Paisley. Where, yes, the pattern was first designed.
Loch Lomond.
Tree with a twist. Posted by Picasa


I was sitting towards the back of the bus as drove through Mull. (One lane road for over an hour by the way.) Can you see the bus driver though?

Starbucks...where Leah could not use her employee discount.
Oban. Posted by Picasa


There were prayers posted at every door where we stayed in Paisley. Here are a couple of them. The first was posted inside our bedroom door.

 Posted by Picasa