Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Meet Kristen, in 4th grade...

In July I began my blog with a reference to Chynna Phillips and my 4th grade school picture. I could not find the school pictures, so instead I posted this.
There have been several requests for the 4th grade picture to be posted on here. To those of you who have seen it you know why people would want this posted...it is truly HILARIOUS!! However, there are two small problems: 1) I have not sat down to figure out how to post pictures on here (anyone want to volunteer to help) and 2) I cannot find it!! Last night I looked in all of the places that stuff like that usually is kept and it is no where to be found. So, for now you will have to use your imaginations. Close your eyes and picture blond hair cut above the ears and the same length around the entire circumference of the head. Blue eyes peering out from under bushy eyebrows that touched in the center, and teeth that protruded slightly past the lip. For school picture day she chose a navy blue button down shirt with gold paisleys. You may think this is an exaggeration, but on more than one occasion the picture has been mistaken for a boy (thank you Jason Clarke). In order to remedy the physical appearance the teeth required a year of wearing a headgear (yes, the contraption that extends from inside the mouth to around the face and to the back of the head) and two more years with braces. The eyebrows that to this day are consistently plucked and threaded to keep the shape, were once shaved off entirely in an effort minimize their uni-brow effect...That was 7th grade, and when my math teacher asked allowed in front of the entire class why I looked different today, Christy Mungia (class bully) yelled, "because she shaved her face off this morning." The hair was treated by my best friend, Amber, who attempted to girli-fy it by encouraging me to borrow her headbands and bows as it slowly grew out.

This afternoon, I dug threw my parent's giant stack of pictures until I finally found it. Meet the 4th grade Kristen...please try to keep your laughter to a minimum. Praise Jesus that hair grows and that braces were invented!

For fun, I also thought I would include my school picture from the Catholic Pre-K I went to. I was 4 years old, so apparently my mom was okay with me sporting the "boy" look from 4 until I was 9 years old!

I tried to find a picture that could redeem my child femininity, but there weren't any. My mom insists that the rough looking years of short hair and buck teeth, followed by a few more of headgear and shaved eyebrows developed my character and personality. I hope it developed something, because otherwise I think it is just straight up child abuse. Mothers, use this as examples of what NOT to do to your daughter's hair.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Table

Some of my most precious memories are from dinners where people linger long after the last bite was taken, but the feasting on laughter and deep conversation continues. As a child we were forced to have a sit down meal together almost every night for dinner. I wasn't fond of it then, but looking back the dinner table is etched into many of my favorite childhood memories. It's where we talked about the events of the day and made plans for the future. Throughout college, grad school, and still today many of the hardest conversations have been hashed out over dinner. The kind of conversations that are necessary, but extremely uncomfortable. The kind that in the end are the most loving and result in the most good. I can go back to specific meals shared at restaurants and homes where the ridiculous line is continuously pushed and laughter is uncontrollable. Dawntoya, Summer, Lauren, and I have literally been shushed at a restaurant for laughing too loud. Sharing meals is where relationships have flourished and new levels of depth reached.

The word table is used over 90 times in scripture, and I love that God communicates with us through the imagery of the table. One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 55:1-3, "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David." The beauty of the gospel is that we come with nothing, but are invited to freely feast! We have promises to cling to that we will dine with Jesus for eternity in Heaven.

A few months ago, Lindsey Brittain and I created a reading group. As we searched for a name for the group, we eventually settled on The Table. The Table consists of a book discussion and a shared meal together. So far the group has read Jane Eyre (sort of) and The Kite Runner. Everyone loved reading The Kite Runner, and we shared rich discussion about the book. Here are some pictures from the night.

Lindsey cooked a fabulous Italian dinner for us!

All the girls that came to The Table in October

Introducing Kent and I (for the 4 of you that look at my blog). He was stuck with 6 women, but he served us all diligently and had amazing questions for discussion.

This month we are reading Lovely Bones written by Alice Sebold. The Gospel intersects all facets of our lives and all truth is ours to claim, so I look forward to the next Table event to share a meal and discuss truth.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Angie's (not so) Adventurous Adventures

Last Monday morning the alarm clock rang at 4:40 a.m., and 7 minutes later I stumbled out the door to meet Duran at the gym. The rest of the morning fell into the typical routine of quickly getting dressed, downing some Fiber One cereal, spending some time with Jesus, and finally rushing out the door armed with the bag I lug to work each day and my fabulous oversized brown purse. Mondays and Fridays are Starbucks days (ok, sometimes Wednedays too) so I have to be out the door by 7:26 a.m. in order to get my hit of caffeine and make it to work by 7:40. If you are not a math person, that means that I can get coffee and make it to work in 14 minutes! Praise God for answered prayers of driving a 6 mile radius everywhere I go. I slid in the door of Garden Ridge Elementary with 20 minutes to spare before the energy of children crashed into my serene environment of checking my email and getting materials ready for the day.

What's missing in this scenario?


Where was Angie?

Oh, here she is...

The bottom of my purse.

I tried. I purposefully put her in the bottom of my purse on Sunday night, so that I would remember her on Monday morning. But, let's be honest. Who has the cognition and the humor at 7:26 a.m. on the first day of the work week, to pile up pillows to take pictures of a stupid wooden angel (Sorry, Ang!)? Not me. I did invite her out with some of my students on Monday. Here she is with my favorite 5th grade boys.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday...all the same story. She rode in my passenger seat at the bottom of my purse. I would remember around 10 am that I was supposedly documenting her adventures and then bring her out. Here she is with little Chelby and enjoying Shane & Shane's new album.

Angie was supposed to be in this picture too, but Chelby kept moving her away from the camera too fast.

I admit when I fail, and I most definitely failed in the payment of losing this bet. Angie did not wave to a single passing car, she was not invited as the 3rd wheel on Thursday night date night, and didn't participate in our Home Group retreat on Friday.

Bex, you win. Don't change the locks or have us evicted from Timber Ridge.

Love, Kristen and Angie

Friday, October 19, 2007

Introducing Angie

Meet Angie. Out of my two roommates (the other is Rebekah), I like Angie better. Angie is an excellent listener and very clean. Rebekah must pick up on the bond between Angie and I, because I catch Rebekah attempting to kill Angie. I have found Angie tangled in my sheets (attempted suffocation), in my shower (attempted drowning), in the refrigerator (attempted frostbite), and in my suitcase upon arriving in Chicago. Angie just waits patiently and quietly until she is found in these obscure locations, she never utters a word of complaint or slander.

On Tuesday night during a drive to have dinner with our friend Jourdan, Rebekah and I found ourselves in a small disagreement. She is stubborn and I am overly competitive, so we ended up making a bet on who had the correct information (details will be spared of what the conversation was about in order to respect the confidentiality between roommates). A bet is not fun unless there is something on the line. So, it was decided that the losing person had allow Angie to ride buckled up in the front seat of her car for 5 days straight. The loser would need to pile pillows up in the passenger seat of their car so that Angie could see out the window and wave to passing cars.

I lost the bet.

Being a woman of my word, Angie will be buckled up in the front seat starting on Monday morning. If you ride in my car, you will be forced to ride in the back so that Angie can have shotgun. I have decided to take Angie's adventure a step further and take her everywhere I go next week. I will photo-document the week and blog about the places we go together.

Welcome to the Adventures of Kristen and Angie!

Monday, October 08, 2007


She couldn't open her eyes to look Him in the face. She hoped if they were closed tight enough she could disappear within herself. The girl knew what she looked like, and she couldn't stand to see disappointment on His face. Her garment hung loosely from her body, it resembled a rag more than it did a dress.




The girl knew it was a mistake to come, and she turned to run. He caught her arm with ease and refused to let go. With His other hand He gently touched her face as if to invite her to open her eyes. Tears of shame and guilt began to fall down her cheek and onto His hands. Neither of them spoke. After a long moment of silence, she forced herself to look at Him. Their eyes met. He smiled and embraced her. As He released her, she caught a glimpse of something white. The girl looked down and saw that a garment without stain and without filth now covered her.

She was clean.

The tears returned. She couldn't believe His grace, His love, His mercy.

He embraced her again and asked her to dance.
A few months ago I was praying over a beautiful young woman, and I was struck with this image of the girl believing that she was still clothed in the filthy garments. She felt that God was ashamed of her. All I could do was beg God for the woman to look down and see that she was clothed in a new garment. A garment that was pure and white. I begged that she would know that God dances over her and delights in her for His sake and glory.

We find ourselves again and again in the stained state of shame and guilt. We believe that we've disappointed Him and that His love and grace are fleeting. The bible points us to Christ and proves that our thoughts are entangled in a web of lies.

"Return, faithless Israel, declares the Lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the Lord. I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the Lord your God and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice, declares the Lord. Return, O faithless children, declares the Lord. " Jeremiah 2:12-14 (ESV)

"And the Lord said to Satan, The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! Even the Lord, Who [now and habitually] chooses Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this [returned captive Joshua] a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and was standing before the Angel [of the Lord]. And He spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And He said to [Joshua], Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich apparel. And I [Zechariah] said, Let them put a clean turban on his head. So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with [rich] garments. And the Angel of the Lord stood by." Zechariah 3:2-5 (AMP)

"Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The LORD has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:"Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing." Zephaniah 3:14-17 (ESV)

If you are in Christ, He has made you clean and covered your shame with His Son's blood. Look down. Return to Him. Believe that you are clean. Rejoice in His grace and live for His glory.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Time I can never get back

So, I just did something completely out of character. I went to a website called simpsonizeme.com and uploaded a picture to see what I would look like on the Simpsons. Yes, I just wasted 10 minutes of my life doing this. It is actually pretty funny...

Who am I??

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Life Snapshots

Two deep posts in a row, time for a fun one!!

These first pictures are of the Albertson's Garage Sale. I have never been apart of anything this disorganized in my entire life, but God knows how to work in chaos. Everything was sold for less than $10, but made over $600. All glory to Him!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Next, a snapshot of our fun girl's night at On the Border. I am so thankful for the girls in my life.

Finally, a random shot of a guy that stands on the corner of Josey and Keller Springs singing into a flashlight. It wasn't easy to capture these photos, Brittain and I had to pretend we were getting gas just to get close enough. I don't know why he does it, I don't know what he is singing, but I do admire his boldness!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Meet Addison, my niece. She is sassy, cute, and full of personality! She has tons of toys, but what does she spend her time playing with? A box. This is me above her pushing her around in her "car".

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And a preview of her Halloween costume. Meet the new Wonder Woman!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Let me know if anyone wants to join me singing a ballad on a corner anytime soon! :) Oh, and sorry for the off-centeredness of some of these pictures, I think I did something wrong. I am not a very savvy blogger.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Thoughts from the day

Last night I put blankets over the windows in my room so that my body wouldn't be woken up with the sunrise. I wanted to sleep as long as my body would allow. I naturally woke up a little before 9 and layed in bed contemplating going to the gym. Suddenly I was reminded of coolness from the night before and jumped out of bed so that I could go for a run in the 75 degree weather. The sun was so inviting that I decided to grab Starbucks and go for a drive to one of my favorite spots in Highland Shores to spend time with Jesus near the water. I sat outside and the sweetness of God filled the air. So, all that to say, the first 2 hours of my day were euphoric. Then a picture fell out of my journal. Meet Promise (left) and Louise (right), my favorite two little girls from my first trip to the Daniel Hoover Children's Village in Liberia, Africa.

Every time I look at their little faces my heart leaps and aches all at the same time. It leaps at the fact that they both have been adopted by American families and that they are no longer intimately acquainted with a lack of food and parental guidance. It leaps that I was able to hug and kiss on them for 2 weeks straight. My heart leaps as it remembers Louise climbing in my lap one night without saying a word, just wanting to be held. It aches knowing it will most likely never see these two little faces again this side of heaven. It aches thinking of their experiences of war during their first 4 years of life and that they will never know their biological parents. Seeing this picture for the millionth time this morning made my mind go into a tailspin...

As I sat there surrounded by $500,000+ homes enjoying my morning, some little girl was most likely orphaned or sold into prostituition. As I sipped on my $3.00 Americano a little boy in the Sudan will walk for days without shoes, drinking his own urine to stay hydrated. As I hold my $20 dollar bible freely, someone in the East is memorizing scripture so they don't lose their life for owning a bible. As I savored the moments of my sabbath, a mom in this neighborhood will change the diaper of her 11 year old son with Cerebal Palsy. Another mother in the area will monitor her daughter's brain activity to be sure she isn't having another seizure or stroke. Someone will grieve the loss of a husband and be forced to raise their child alone. Somewhere a man will attempt to comfort his bride as she writhes in pain from a miscarriage. On Sunday, churches around the United States will be filled with broken hearts, lost dreams, and lifeless marriages. Guilt will be covered up with expensive clothing and strategically placed makeup. Shame will whisper in ears, and in attempt to drown it out the music will be turned up. People will insist they are fine while they are lugging around thousands of invisible chains. A girl will hate the decision she made last night that seemed so right at the time. Men will cross their arms along their chest as images of pornography dance in their head. Someone will tell a lie in order to cover up sin and then add a smile to ensure the listener he is telling the truth. A parent will stay quiet as their teenager numbs himself to life through his drug addiction. A man will seek death of another as revenge. Someone will grieve the loss of their grown child serving in Iraq. And the list of the broken continues on and on...

It is not getting any better. Government strategies and education are not working. Satan, the Prince of Darkness, lurks and convinces that our pain will be satisfied by the things of this world. He lies.

How do I reconcile my day with these heavy thoughts? Return to the gospel. Pray. Cling to hope.

"My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes! Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me. I cling to your testimonies, O Lord; let me not be put to shame! I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart." Psalm 119:25-32

Trust. Know that He is returning.

"For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:53-58.

The wrestle and the search for the line of being present with where the Lord has me, while being keenly aware of the hurting surrounding the world continues. All I know is that God is still good despite brokeness and sin, and that though suffering may last for a moment joy will indeed follow. The Gospel must remain central. I must remember that Jesus died for this broken place. I must remember the hope that is offered through God's grace. I must point to the cross, cling to the cross, and never move on from the cross. To God be the glory, please come quickly sweet Jesus!!

Monday, September 10, 2007


After Matt's sermon last week I realized that Narcissism is indeed something that plagues us all. His words sparked my memory of an old journal entry that I thought I would share.
i am an addict,
an addict of self.

i nurse my flesh and walk in comfort.
i am an addict of self.

i am intimately acquainted with all that i think i need
and make every attempt to see those met.

i am an addict,
an addict of self.

i feed my desires the choicest of luxuries, comforts, and delicacies;
anything that will curb my satisfaction pangs.
i am an addict of self.

eat, drink, and be merry is what my flesh screams out,
and there is no fight or even resistance from within.
i am an addict of self.

deserver of comfort, earner of rights,
happiness found within my own hand.
i am addicted to self.

i will steal, lie, conquer, twist, ignore,
project, hold back, exalt, humor, massage, insult
all to protect and glorify myself.
i am an addict of self.

i beg you to tear down this monstrous idol.
demolish it and carry me away from the rubble.
consume me, break me, open my eyes, protect
me from reconstructing another idol in my own image.

i am an addict,
an addict of self.

Jesus, you wooed and awakened me with a touch of your grace.
my soul was stirred and reactive.
you imparted love and mercy,
you know my filth and stench,
but still you chose to sacrifice, wash, clothe me in white.

i am an addict,
an addict of self saved by the blood of Jesus.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Watermelons, Sushi, Shopping and Jazz

I TURNED 26!! My sweet God knows my favorite things and gave me a little taste of each of them to celebrate my entry into a new year. Enjoy the fun pictures.

The celebration began a few weeks early with a fun pool party at Summer's house. It was complete with volley ball, cannon balls, and wiffle ball. The watermelon ended up in the pool at least 100 times, prank calling was somehow involved, and Kevin Bailey ripped a phone book in half. It was truly a great day!

The girls...

The following Sunday I went with two of my favorite people to an Etta James, Al Green, and BB King concert. The show was awesome and we had a great time!! Just know that if you ever see this group of amazing singers the show will be OVER 5 HOURS LONG!

Jonathan and Lindsey

On my actual birthday we headed to Denton to see Kimberly's new house and enjoy some sushi and ice cream (two of the greatest foods on earth). Bex had everyone write some kind of poem, cheer, etc as my gift. I couldn't have asked for anything better!!! Picture Sara Duran doing a cheer in the middle of the Square in Denton. She spelled T-I-M-E, because she gave me a subscription to Time Magazine (something I have been wanting for a long time). Bex and Lindsey wrote out poems that were sweet and hilarious. I was going to post them, but they are covered in inside jokes that wouldn't be interesting to anyone else. Thank you to all of you for your sincerity and your friendship.

Finally, last weekend Lindsey Brittain and I went to Chicago to see my best friend, Claude and go to a Chris Botti and Diana Krall concert. It was one of the greatest weekends ever. Ladies, Claude is a complete gentleman and a romancer...someone catch him! We dined a fancy restaurants, went shopping, and laughed a lot...but the best thing that happened was the concert. In the past year I have grown this intimate spot in my heart for jazz, so I couldn't have asked for a more perfect present! Download some of their songs, they are incredible!!! Claude, thank you for everything this weekend. For the past 13 years you have been there through all ups and downs of life and I couldn't ask for a better friend. Lindsey, you are my friend. My real friend. Someone who gets me and still loves me. Someone who sees through my perceptions into the heart of who I am..the good and bad. Thanks for making me laugh, praying for me, and letting me be an over-planner, controlling and uptight :P.

Claude and I

Lindsey and I

Diana Krall Concert

To all of my sweet friends who purchased gifts, treated me to lunch or dinner, wrote out cards, or called/emailed/text...THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


When I was little I loved playing house with my Cabbage Patch Dolls (Shout out to my favorites: Lyle..a red headed bathtime baby, Xena...a premature, bald headed baby, and Sheldon... an African American baby that I dressed in a tuxedo). That is the beginning and ending of the typical girl-y things I partook in as a child. I refused to put on a dress till I was in 5th grade, I asked for race cars for Christmas, and I loved going hunting with my dad.

On weekend hunting trips with my father I would sit up in the deer blinds for hours looking for deer (or as my dad initmately titled them, "The Infamous Whitetail Buck"). My job was to silently indicate that I spotted a deer by gently nudging or gesturing. Then Dad would quietly lift up his rifle, aim, and hopefully kill the deer (if you're grossed out, keep reading...I promise there is a point). When he succeeded in hitting his target, we would load up in his truck, drive to where the animal fell, and haul it back to camp. From there the deer had to have it's flesh and insides removed, and I have many vivid memories of watching deer be gutted and skinned. To skin the deer my dad would hang it by it's hind legs, and remove it's skin until all that remained was raw meat.

**Allow me to pause for a moment to enter a disclaimer: 1) I now know that this is something I am supposed to be disgusted by, and 2) this is not something that most girls partook in as children. However, it seemed normal before I was issued my Dallas-ite card. Please continue...**

My prayer tonight was that the Lord would strip me of all my selfish control, ideas, plans, pride, etc. The word raw kept coming to mind. So, I prayed that God would strip away all of my flesh until I was left completely raw. As I prayed, God illustrated it with memories of hunting with Dad. I could once again see the animal hanging helplessly, stripped of all of it's outer skin until only rawness remained.

After this hunting entry 90% of you will never read my blog again, but before you log off recall what Romans 6:6-8 says,

" We know that our old self was crucifed with him in ordert hat the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him."

So if you are in Christ, dying to yourself and asking him to strip you of your flesh is actually a beautiful thing. Obviously death to our fleshly desires doesn't come easy or feel natural, but be encouraged that we are promised to LIVE WITH HIM (v.8). For me to attempt to capture that hope of life with Him in words wouldn't do it justice, so just allow the promise to sink in, resonate with your soul, and produce worship.

FYI: If you think that I am inhuman for hunting or have a crazy belief that animals will go to Heaven , you'll be happy to know that I no longer consider hunting a hobby. However, thank God my dad still does so that we can forever enjoy the delicious meals his cruelty produces :).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Room

She closes the door behind her forcefully in hopes that the shadows of the day will disappear and the sounds of the world will remain trapped on the outside. She instantly feels at comfortable, but somehow knows instictively this is not her home. However, the solitude of the environment seduce her to stay. She breathes in the air and then releases slowly. The process repeats until life's monotonous repetition fades into a memory and she can once again feel her own skin. She cautiously opens her eyes and realizes this is not a dream, she is finally alone with herself. Her eyes wander around the room to drink in the surroundings; the room is ornately beautiful, plush, and comfortable. A small voice whispers, "leave", and for a long moment she glances at the door contemplating exiting the utopia she stumbled upon, but a more charming voice woos her to stay and assures her safety. She again forces herself to relax until and longs to be numbed from the pressures from the world.

The girl walks to the center of the room and twirls as if she were a small child in a dance recital. She does this again and again until she collapses and she is laughing uncontrollably. When the room stops spinning, she notices a small wine refrigerator in the corner of the room. She walks over to pour herself an expensive glass of chardonnay. She drinks the wine quickly and immediately feels it's effects. Her eyes close, and the small voice returns saying, "leave", but again ignores the voice and pours a second glass of wine. She settles into the plush couch with a magazine, and for the first time in years is please with herself and feels lucky to have found such an exquisite place of escape. As she buries herself further into the couch she catches a glimpse of her reflection in the mirror across the room. She stares at herself for a long time until a subtle smirk creeps across her face. She returns to the magazine, but finds that she drawn to her own reflection. Her eyes return to the mirror and she finds the image staring back completely captivating. She walked towards the mirror inching closer and closer to the girl staring back at her. She stares...hours pass. The girl likes what she sees as she studies her own reflection inch by inch. Her mind is entirely consumed and she loves it. She turns back toward the couch to find a mirror in it's place. She tries to look past her reflection, but cannot see anything beyond herself. Feeling a buzz of confusion, she looks to the right and again is met with her own reflection peering back at her. Very slowly she turns her head to the left and finds her eyes gazing once again on herself. The girl panics and runs to the door that she entered the room through. The door is mirrored and she fights against herself to get the door open. Tears sting the corners of her eyes and slowly fall down her cheek. Sobs exit her throat and she collapses on the floor. She's been here before and never intended to return. The door unlocks and opens. Jesus picks her up and carries her away from her reflection.

A few months as I was overwhelmed with myself and repenting for the amount of times I thought of myself before everyone else, while I was praying God gave me a picture of me in a room filled with mirrors. He communicated to me that often I enter this room and am selfishly consumed with my own reflection. Obviously this is not just my physical reflection, but symbolic for how much I considered my own needs and preferences before other people, the gospel, and God. I hated the picture of this because it was lonely, selfish, and prideful. I literally could not see beyond myself and it was frightening. Praise Jesus, he doesn't leave us alone with ourselves or our own reflection. He will enter that room and carry us away. He is graceful and merciful. For me, I prayed he would shatter the mirrors so that I could see beyond myself and gain an eternal perspective. At times my flesh longs to escape into a serene environment like I described in the story above. There have been moments that selfishness wins and I am again in that room surrounded with my own reflection. However, I am never satisfied when all I can see is myself, so I find myself again begging God to shatter the mirrors. God is faithful to come quickly to my rescue and forgive. Instead of being captivated by my flesh and the image I see in the mirror, my prayer is that I worship the Living God that created me for His glory. I want to be found at Jesus' feet peering up at His face.

Monday, August 13, 2007

School days are here again

Though I made big promises of consistently blogging to rediscover my passion for writing, it hasn't happened nearly as much as I thought. Thursday I start working full-time again. So, before I am off to the real world again, I thought I would add a few pictures from the summer months.

The summer began with a trip to Chicago with my sister. One of my best friends from high school lives there, and so we thought it would be a perfect "sister-only" trip. Though are destination was Chicago, we found ourselves in Las Vegas for a few hours due to our flight being canceled to Chicago. Through a few fortunate events we ended up at The Venetian for the night...COMPLETELY FREE!! Here are a few pics of the room.

Though Vegas was an adventure, we were eager to get to our destination. The trip was filled with fun, shopping, sightseeing, eating amzing food, tatoos, and on and on.

While we were sitting in the airport waiting for our flight back to Dallas, we received news that our uncle had passed away. Though it wasn't a fun reason to spend the next week at home with mom and dad, it was good to see family. Here are a few pics of my niece at Cita and Papa's house (that is what their "grandparent" names are :).

The following weekend was a gift from my good friend, Lindsey. She bought us tickets for the John Mayer concert for an early birthday present for me. Love me some good John Mayer! Thanks, Linds.

Oh, these last pics prove how we really are grandmas.

July was just as busy and fun. I spent a lot of time working for de CLARKE (www.declarke.com) and doing private therapy. At the end of the month, Summer and I escaped to Memphis to see Dawnie!!! I will spare all the pics since Summer stole the pics I took and put them on her blog :).

Somewhere in there Bex and I had time to crash Josh Patterson's pedicure!

Haiti Now was a big event put on by some of our good friends. God is doing major work in Haiti (www.haitinow.com) and we all were able to witness the documentary they produced. Later in August a group of 20 will go to Haiti to be used by the Lord. Pray for them. Here are the 6 of us that piled in a VW bug.

In August I was asked go to Southern California for the Connecting Ministry. I wrestled with God a lot on that decision, but finally decided that if someone had to go to San Diego and Los Angeles, I would be the one to go! So, at the beginning of August I boarded the plane with Sara Duran and Shanah Brown and then met up with two girls from Austin Stone Church and Watermark Community Church. I was the driver through out the trip, and I drove 6 people all through roads I've never been on in this car.

I realize I don't use my camera enough to capture all the amazing things God allows me be apart of. For instance, Wednesday afternoons were reserved for dates with my niece. We ate Bahama Bucks, went to the pet store, and spent time in the pool. My favorite thing about the summer is that time with God could actually extend past 45 minutes in the morning since I didn't have to rush off to work, and if I decided to spend the day in shorts and a t-shirt I could!! However, we all know that there is a time for everything, and it is now time for me to go back to work. I am thrilled about driving 6 minutes to work and acutally living and working in the same community. Updates on here will still be a priority, especially if it is my pass to read all of your blogs!!!