Wednesday, February 23, 2011


so here we are. as you may have noticed, i haven't blogged in a while. my intention to reap with you all did not go the way i planned. i found that instead of sharing my thoughts and what the lord was teaching me through his word, i began to focus more on how i thought you may perceive what i was saying. my so called "transparency" became the opposite, as it so often does.

that being said, i'd like to continue my blog as i had an avenue through which i might share a few tidbits of my life, my thoughts, my ramblings...whatever. today i wanted to share something my friend emily shared with our missional community. we've been discussing service and what that looks like for us as a group. she shared an exerpt from "my utmost for his highest" by oswald chambers.

here's the exerpt:

The Determination to Serve
The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve . . .—Matthew 20:28

Jesus also said, “Yet I am among you as the One who serves” (Luke 22:27). Paul’s idea of service was the same as our Lord’s— “. . . ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5). We somehow have the idea that a person called to the ministry is called to be different and above other people. But according to Jesus Christ, he is called to be a “doormat” for others— called to be their spiritual leader, but never their superior. Paul said, “I know how to be abased . . .” (Philippians 4:12). Paul’s idea of service was to pour his life out to the last drop for others. And whether he received praise or blame made no difference. As long as there was one human being who did not know Jesus, Paul felt a debt of service to that person until he did come to know Him. But the chief motivation behind Paul’s service was not love for others but love for his Lord. If our devotion is to the cause of humanity, we will be quickly defeated and broken-hearted, since we will often be confronted with a great deal of ingratitude from other people. But if we are motivated by our love for God, no amount of ingratitude will be able to hinder us from serving one another.

Paul’s understanding of how Christ had dealt with him is the secret behind his determination to serve others. “I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man . . .” (1 Timothy 1:13). In other words, no matter how badly others may have treated Paul, they could never have treated him with the same degree of spite and hatred with which he had treated Jesus Christ. Once we realize that Jesus has served us even to the depths of our meagerness, our selfishness, and our sin, nothing we encounter from others will be able to exhaust our determination to serve others for His sake.

i had an interesting thought when i saw the title of the passage. i guess i have a thing for words...maybe it's my secret desire to be a writer or something, but they fascinate me. determination. this word means a few things to me. the first is obvious i guess. determination could describe a work ethic, or the way in which you resolve to pursue something. one definition that i love is "the quality of being resolute". these definitions are appropriate, i think, when understanding the importance of service in the christian life, and the weight of the responsibility. one definition, however, that i think explains what Paul is talking about, would be this, "a fixed purpose or intention". but this purpose does not come to be on it's is born out of something. and by being fixed, it is most assuredly unwavering. this intentional purpose, if you will, is to serve others because in doing so, we serve our King. "Once we realize that Jesus has served us even to the depths of our meagerness, our selfishness, and our sin, nothing we encounter from others will be able to exhaust our determination to serve others for His sake." seems pretty simple, doesn't it? hmmm.

just some thoughts...and as always, i'm not even sure they make sense.

ma, per ora, buon giorno.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

lift my head

buona mattina! that means good morning :) i hope you are all having a good morning today...i'm definitely trying. i will admit that i am extremely tired today. yesterday was a full day and when combined with my silly idea to work out extra hard, the end product was hair in a bun and involuntary closing of my eyes for the majority of the day. oye. that being said, i am a big believer in choices overcoming circumstances, so today, i am choosing not only to stay awake, but to be productive. however, first thing's first.

day 4

psalm 3
genesis 4
1 chronicles 4
luke 2:1-21

let me just start out by being very honest. 1 chronicles isn't doing much for my sleepiness this morning. i'm trying really hard to not just skim over all of the names in the genealogies because i know they are important, but the involuntary closing of my eyes is increasing by the minute.

i'm going to just share a bit about psalm 3. verses 3 and 4 strike a certain chord in my heart that feels reminiscent of my childhood. david is speaking of his many enemies and how the lord is his shield and his protecter. psalm 3:3-4 says, "But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah." what strikes me most in these verses is when david refers to the lord as the "lifter of my head". i know that this can probably be interpreted as a metaphor for the lord cheering david up when he is down, or restoring his confidence or position, or whatever, but i really like the picture it paints. i think about when i was little and how when i got in trouble or did something wrong, or was just sad, it was the hardest thing in the world to look my dad in the eye. there was something about the way he looked at me that would just completely melt my heart. i picture fathers all around the world trying to attain their child's gaze and the need to physically lift their heads. i picture them putting their finger underneath their child's chin and lifting their head so that they might see their face. there is something humbling about being on the other side of that, but there is also something restorative. i think david might have been referring to the lord as the lifter of his head in this sense too. in the midst of destruction and fearing for his life, god lifts his head so that their eyes might meet and assures him of his power and love. i pray that i wouldn't try to avoid the lord's gaze, but be lifted up to meet him. he does that so often. i would so like to admit that i am the first to run to him when i've failed or when i'm scared, but i tend to retreat. like any good 21st century woman, i have it under control. or so i say to fool myself and everyone else. the lord is forced to grab me by the chin and make me look at him, that with that one action, i might see the grace and sovereignty in his eyes. thank you lord.

Monday, January 3, 2011

rulers, prophets, and mutism

hello everyone! i hope you are all having a tremendous day today. i am trying to. :) today is my first day back at work after a lovely two week break, and i would be lying if i said i didn't want to throw my alarm across the room this morning when it went off at 6am. two days ago, i was sleeping until was blissful. but here we are. monday. sigh. i couldn't think of a better way to spend my lunch today (albeit at 2pm) than with the lord and his word, and with you. feel special...i dare you.

day 3 (because yesterday was really day 2)

psalm 2
genesis 3
1 chronicles 3
luke 1:57-80

psalm 2 describes something that i think is a pretty hot topic. it describes the lord's sovereignty over the rulers of this earth and their lack of respect for his authority. he warns them of their fate if they continue to ignore him. a key passage here would be verses 10-12 which says, "Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him." this makes me nostalgic and fearful at the same time. i think about how our country was built by god-fearing men that desired a country in service to the true king. then i think about our country now, one that is "accepting" of all religions, and at the same time, tries to snuff out any hint of christianity creeping into our government. this is terribly disheartening. the warning from the lord is not an empty one. i long for the day when there will only be one ruler, in heaven and on earth. until then, i would urge you to pray with me for those that god has chosen to lead us now. pray that they would seek his will for our country and for our people. for those that have not been called to faith, i pray that they would be, and that the lord would do a mighty work in and through them. i think about esther, how she was placed in her position "for such a time as this" (esther 4:14). i also think about the fathers out there. yes, we have a president, and a government to rule over us, but we also have men that rule over their families. would it be too far reaching to apply this text to them as well? are they not also called to leadership? they too, are called to serve the lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. i pray often for the men i know, those that are fathers and those that might be some day, that they would fight for this privilege the lord has bestowed on them, to rule over their families, to lead them, and to take refuge in the lord.

i'll also share with you some of my thoughts on luke 1:57-80. john the baptist is born! the prophet of the most high. the passage begins with his birth and describes the time when john was to be named. elizabeth said his name was to be john. when everyone questioned this, and asked his father, zechariah also said that his name should be john, and not zechariah, after himself. well, that's not exactly true. zechariah didn't say anything. he couldn't talk because when gabriel told him about the future birth of his son, he didn't believe him. due to his unbelief, zechariah was to be unable to speak until the birth of his son. so when asked about the name, zechariah wrote it on a tablet. his name was to be john because that is what the lord commanded. when zechariah confirmed that the baby was to be named john, his mouth was opened and he was able to talk. the part of the passage i like most, besides the fulfillment of prophesy and birth of the predecessor to our savior, of course, is zechariah's reaction. i tried to put myself in his shoes. i have no idea how i would act once i was able to speak again. i would hope my reaction would be the same. do you know what the first thing he did was? the scripture says he blessed god. sidenote: this phrase has always seemed weird to me. the thought of blessing god when god is the one we typically think of as giving blessings. but shouldn't it really be the other way around? should god not receive all blessing and honor? he is the only one worthy. back to the point: after receiving the consequence of silence for so long, the first thing he did was praise god. i also wonder about the "consequence" as i've just titled it. it seems from the text (earlier in luke 1), that zechariah's speech was taken away because of his unbelief (v. 20), but i think there might be more to it. wouldn't it make sense that yes, zechariah was handed this consequence as a result of his actions, but also that the circumstances surrounding john's birth would be more wonderful with the restoration of zechariah's speech? i don't know if that's true, but think about it. his speech was restored at the fulfillment of the prophecy and he immediately blesses god and then continues by prophesying about the coming of jesus, whom his son would eventually introduce! pretty cool if you ask me. the restoration of his speech got the people's attention long enough for them to hear what john's purpose would be, to go before jesus, the one who would save them. i want to clarify that i am just thinking out loud about what i've read. if anyone disagrees, please feel free to point me in the right direction!

so those are my thoughts for today. i must say, this is an interesting way of "reaping" for me. to think that other people might be reading this is a bit terrifying. on the other hand, it has already opened opportunities for discussion, so i think i'm going to stick with it for the time being.

again, have a lovely day. fino a domani...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

un nuovo anno

hello friends. i've decided to change things up a bit this year on my blog. i need a better way of journaling, so this is going to be it. that being said, it might get a little personal. that's alright though. i believe in being transparent. i believe in letting others learn and grow from your experiences. so here we go. to begin, i wanted to share with you my new year's resolution. i was talking with a friend about resolutions and about how we should really be careful when making them. most people automatically think about things they want to do or change about themselves, and don't think to ask the lord if those things are what he wants for them or not. it is important to bring everything before the lord, but i think especially those things on which we place so much importance and pressure, like resolutions. i had it easy though. my new year's resolution is to spend time in the word every single day. that is something that i have really struggled with this year. it was hard for me to transition to an entirely new routine when i started my job, and learning when and where to stop everything and be with the lord was difficult for me. i really want to reflect on his word too, and understand its meaning and its application for my life. that's where this handy dandy blog comes into play. yes, i will still use it for random posts, but i'd like to share what i'm learning from the lord each day with you. i will be following the bible reading plan from the stone (all 4), so please feel free to learn and grow with me! the reading plan started yesterday, but blogging will commence today.

day 1 - psalm 1, genesis 2, 1 chronicles 2, luke 1:26-56

it's absolutely amazing to me how the lord chooses to speak in this plan. when you read from different parts of the bible, it is hard to see exactly how things are connected, but reading the bible like this really puts it all in perspective. psalm 1 talks about delighting in the law of the lord and fleeing from the ways of the wicked. it says that those that do are like trees planted by the river, their work always prospers, and that the wicked will perish. i feel like when i read this kind of passage, i tend to breeze through it...i mean, there isn't really anything mind-blowing in it. but if i look closer, i realize that i am called to delight in the law. i know, however, that because of christ, i am no longer saved by the law, but by his blood. but i am still to delight in the law. because of christ, i am free from the law, but delight in it because it is good. the law serves to aid in our sanctification. we should delight in it as a command of the lord and follow it out of an overflow of our devotion to God because of his saving grace. furthermore, psalm 1 says to meditate on the law day and night, which leads to strength and prosperity. isn't that what sanctification is? the definition of sanctification is the process of setting something apart, or making it holy. by meditating on the law day and night and delighting in it, i become more like christ.

i'm not going to share my thoughts on each section, but i'll provide a brief synopsis for those following along. genesis 2 begins with the seventh day of creation, on which God rested from his work. this day was made holy because it was a day of rest. this is something i am still learning to model. for as long as i can remember, my sabbath day has been filled with homework. that is the opposite of resting. i learned that the sabbath day is not only meant for physical rest, but for reflection on how the lord has provided and blessed me. with the lord's help, i am trying to "sanctify" that day set it apart and keep it holy. genesis 2 continues with the creation of man and woman and outlines their roles in creation. 1 chronicles 2 continues the outline of genealogy from abraham to david.

luke 1:26-56 begins with the angel gabriel's announcement to mary that she will carry and give birth to the son of God, to jesus. this is another story that i've read too many times to count, but that has new meaning for me today. when i read it, i was struck by mary's excitement. for some reason, i've never thought about that before. maybe it is because of all the pictures of mary looking so calm and collected, but goodness, it makes a lot more sense that she'd be freaking out. this passage talks about how after she found out, she went to visit elizabeth, and they freaked out together! elizabeth told mary that even john (the baptist) leaped for joy in her womb when mary told her the news! with the christmas season just behind us, the story of jesus' birth is fresh on my mind, but this story of what happened in preparation, is so sweet. i love the thought of the two women being giggly and overwhelmed with joy. forget about the serene nativity was time to party! i'll leave you with the last thing i read. this is mary's proclamation of joy to the lord:

luke 1:46-55

"And Mary said,“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

to take a line from kidsjam: and all God's children said, "AMEN!"

Thursday, July 1, 2010

filling in the cracks

so here we are. it's been a while, i must say. i was reminded today, that i indeed have a blog. that's funny that one could forget something like that. when i was reminded, i decided to read a few of my previous posts. wow. i am constantly amazed at how far you can come in mere months of growth. speaking of growth. i think i'd like to discuss something directly related to the subject...for those that follow Jesus at least. the topic of choice for tonight is accountability.

accountability. what is accountability, you ask? well lucky for you, i just so happen to be equipped with this amazing technology called the internet. the internet says that accountability is the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable. i like this. or at least i think i like this. what does it really mean to be answerable. this must be connected in the most basic way to an action...what can you be answerable for, if not something that you've done? and if you are to be answerable for something you've done, must you not be answerable to someone else? this seems to me to be the very heart of accountability: that you must tell someone what you've done. simple enough, yet so very difficult to implement.

as a follower of Jesus Christ, we are called to live a life in which the deepest parts of ourselves are exposed to the light. terrifying as it seems, it is in this vulnerable state that we allow Jesus to show us his redemption and his desire to fill in all of our cracks...even those we refuse to admit exist. we've been talking a lot recently about what accountability really looks like in the context of our lives. it can't just be a theory, or something that we consistently talk about and hash out in every way imaginable, but never actually do! so needless to say, i've experienced some "doing" lately, and let me just say, wow. how sweet it is. to be able to share all of the (for lack of a better word) crap in my life with such a good friend and have her encourage me and pray for's just amazing. i feel so blessed to have a relationship in which i feel so safe. who would have thought that after experiencing some intense shame after a period of sin, i would want to tell someone. there are so many times when i want to run as fast as my awkwardly long legs will carry me away from anything that might expose my less-than-perfect parts. i guess that just speaks to how, in his amazing grace, Jesus can change my heart. he comes in when i least expect it, and overhauls my tiny mind's ability to comprehend that maybe, just maybe, what he has for me is best. i heard someone say once, that it is a cosmic impossibility for God to be any less good to me than he is right now. why is it so hard to cling to this? to really believe? Lord, help my unbelief! i'm so amazed that he continues to work in me even when i don't believe. that's a good thing too, because if it weren't true, i'm not sure he'd ever work in me!

so i guess that's it. accountability is a sweet thing. sin confession sucks, but it's so vital. it's exposing and vulnerable. it's icky. but redemption is good. i pray that you try it. i pray that you can find someone that will reciprocate. Lord, haste the day when this isn't necessary...but help us seek your way to live while it is.

buono notte i miei amici. baci!

Friday, March 12, 2010


i am amazed tonight, by the perfection in the timing of my God. i have had a rather unfortunate experience recently that i will not divulge, but the grace and peace i have experienced throughout are more than worthy of being shared. it is hard to even explain, but i have been so blessed to have recently experienced such direct answers to my prayers and the prayers of those that love me. i feel so showered by my Savior's love for me and i pray that you would get to experience is incomparable. the combination of teaching, growth, grace, peace, and joy is just ridiculous. i just wanted to share that Jesus is Lord and He is GOOD! i pray that you would know Him. i pray that you would love Him. i pray that you would let Him.

il suo amore resiste a per sempre.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

a homecoming of sorts

it seems no matter how often i update this blog, i never seem to know quite how to begin my posts. i feel the need to be witty and clever, but when it comes down to it, i can't seem to muster up anything that feels just right. so i settle for qualifications. apparently i have to explain away my lack of wit in hopes that my futile explanation might serve my original intention. it's quite the cycle. that introduction was a bit ridiculous...i do apologize. i wanted to begin this sentence with the word "anyway". that is simply not allowed. beginning a sentence with "anyway" makes me not only feel unoriginal, but also uneducated. it's almost as bad as beginning a sentence with "and"...perhaps not so grammatically incorrect, but just as immature (right mom?). it's funny how long i can rant about silly things like grammar. all of that hoopla...and for what? to begin writing to my nonexistent readers? having a blog provides a much needed dose of humility when you really think about it. i start to feel prideful at times, thinking that my thoughts are really worthy to be read (metacognition anyone?)...and then i realize that my mom is the only one that reads my blog and i'm brought right back to where i need to be. oh how i love being forced into self-awareness. i guess this one's for you mom!

a blog post can really be about anything...random thoughts, life narration, or whatever you like. this one, i suppose, needs to be about what i've recently discovered. i came home today from a week long trip to chicago. i had never been before this trip, and was very excited to see the city. i went for a conference, but did almost every touristy thing there is to do. as is customary for any vacation, i ate and drank basically the entire time. at this point, i can't fathom ever having another ounce of alcohol. what's funny, is that there was never a point of sheer drunkenness...we just seemed to always be drinking. it's like the city ran out of water or something, so anytime we needed something to drink, it had vodka in it. that makes me sound awful...if only my prude 18 year old self could see me ashamed and judgmental she'd be!

we definitely lived it up in chi-town. it was a grand time and i could not imagine a more fun week. i realized something while i was there though, that i feel is worth sharing. it's quite monumental. it was friday night and i was sitting in a local movie theatre, wearing my 3D glasses, and watching alice in wonderland, that i realized i was ready to come home. to be perfectly honest, i have never wanted to come home from a vacation. i've always been the girl with a love for traveling (still am), and a need to be on the go. i have never really been able to sit still for too long. i feel alive when i get to experience new things, new people, and new places. that all sounds relatively wonderful, but it came with a downside to be sure. that is, i've never felt content to just be at home. i guess i've always lived my life waiting for the next best thing...always looking forward to experiencing something else, something new. i would get super anxious if i was ever in the same place for too long. i guess i'm still quite like that, but i've realized that i truly enjoy where i am now. i absolutely love my life. i'm so thankful for the people in it and the season i am in. once i thought about home on friday, i really couldn't get here fast enough. i love my city and believe so strongly that my God is doing a great work here in austin. i'm so thankful that despite my unwillingness and rebellion, that my Lord chooses to continually pursue me and beckon my heart back to His. He has shown His love for me in his constant pursuit and unconditional forgiveness and redemption. i seem to be so good and failing to live my life in a way that pleases Him, yet He loves me just the same and rejoices when i return to Him. as undeserving as my flesh is, my heart and soul have been redeemed by the only One worthy to redeem...and how eternally blessed i am. i guess that's a pretty great realization to have. it's weird much as i have felt like i've known those truths forever, i'm reminded with such a newness that i can't help but share. i pray that you would all experience this newness of life that is so freely offered by Christ. it's unexplainable.

sono contenta.