Tuesday, February 14, 2017

let's talk about love... ultimate cliche thoughts of a single lady

Happy Valentine's Day or as we say in Honduras, Feliz Dia de la Amistad (Friendship Day)!

I am writing this because I want to give glory to my King Jesus for His persistent pursuit to win my heart.
So whether you find yourself single, married, dating or somewhere in between... I pray you find love and encouragement today. <3 <3

I can't lie, a few years ago I never would have attempted to write a blog about singleness... about the contentment I have one day or the completely wrecked and lonely heart I encounter the next. That was only for my private cries to Jesus. Not for blog writing.
{disclaimer: I have, however, read my fair share of blogs on singleness and dating... just never thought I'd write one ha}

For the past few years I have truly tried to believe Paul's word as he wrote to the church in Corinth: "Sometimes I wish everyone were single like me-a simpler life in many ways! ... God gives the gift of single life to some, the gift of married life to others." 1 Corinthians 7:7 MSG

Singleness a gift?? I can't count the number of times I've refused to believe this, or begged God to help my heart believe it.

Today I am overjoyed to share with you the most cliche but true thoughts I could have about the day in which we celebrate love. 
In the past I have ignored, or suppressed, thoughts about "singles awareness day" or ate my weight in ice cream with gal pals. 

But as I sit alone in a coffee shop in Honduras enjoying my favorite latte and an oreo muffin.... I read this:




Is it possible that I have reached a day and time in which I agree with Paul's {in my opinion, absurd} comment that singleness is a gift? 
I am laughing to myself as I process being thankful to be single today. 
It doesn't seem possible.
I think about the energy some couples put into celebrating this day and celebrating their union together... For the first time in my life, I am overwhelmed with the thought that I get to use all of that energy to pour myself out to the best, and true, and only Valentine. 
The one who made a "covenant to betroth me to Him forever in righteousness, justice, steadfast love and mercy." 
The one who "had mercy on me when my name was No Mercy. The one who calls me My People when my name was Not My People." (Hosea 2:16-23)
The Valentine who says "I have loved you with an everlasting love". (Jeremiah 31:3)

This last year I have seen Jesus pursue me and woo my heart to His over a thousand times.  So to be ultimately cheesey and cliche... [by the power of the Holy Spirit] HE is the only Valentine I have room in my heart for today. 
Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him!

It is obviously my prayer to one day share this day with my husband and glorify Jesus through that.. but until then oh how my heart is filled with joy to only have to think about the One who, in the end, is the ONLY One

So whatever your day looks like today, I pray passionately that you are able to see Jesus pursuing you like no person on this earth ever could. 
Turn to Him, He is persistently waiting for you to give Him all of your attention. 
He will not disappoint. 
He will in fact will leave you with hearts for eyes for days and days into eternity.

"Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up." Hosea 6:1





Sunday, January 31, 2016

Community

"They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers... And all who believed were together and had all things in common."
Acts 2:42-47

The Austin Stone Community Church uses a training program they call "Goer Missional Communities" (GMC).
GMC is a 9 month training program for those who have the desire to make disciples among the unreached people groups (people groups that have no indigenous, self-propagating church movement) around the world. Last spring I signed up for this program with the hopes of going back to Honduras in August (2016).
The process began this past August when I moved into a new apartment with three girls I had only met once, just one month before.
My GMC group consists of my new roommates and four more girls living in the building right behind us.
I will admit, in the beginning I was a bit skeptical. Living in a community like this seemed somewhat "cult-ish"... I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.
All of a sudden I found myself immersed in a new culture and lifestyle so life giving I can't imagine living any other way.
These girls have quickly become sisters that I adore and trust with my whole heart. The words in Acts chapter 2 have come to life as we have laughed, cried, learned, shared, loved, served, and grown, together. I find myself wondering how I lived so long without a community like the one Paul writes about in Acts. People to be devoted to Jesus with... To break bread with... To pray with... To have all things in common... To have the opportunity to give and cover each other's needs.
This season of training and learning has been so incredibly joyful because of this community. Together we strive to praise God and bring Him glory, and by this we have had favor with His people and pray that the Lord would add to our number daily those being saved.

I pray you find people to commune with daily to spur you on to the glorifying of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here are some candids of my lovely group:


All the girlies! Our first GMC retreat this past September

GMC roadtrip to Marshall, TX for the National Launch Conference



Roadtrip potty break... the fun never ends

National Launch Conference this past October, where we learned to "Be Barnabas"... great time of learning and growing!
Out walking with our Thai friend Ploy




Thanks for reading, may the Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ cover you today!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Thoughts from Journeys Past and Journeys to Come

Last year my world was completely turned upside down, and inside out.
December 3rd, 2013 I made my transition back to the States after living on the north eastern coast of Honduras for 22 months. I remember being so grieved to leave my beloved Honduran family, but so excited to see what was next. So ready to be back with my family and friends, to start something new. After working at a small bank in Salado for almost 6 months, I found myself on a plane back to Honduras for the summer. I was thrilled to be going back! I had been aching to hug and see all the people I had poured out 22 months of my life with, I was truly ecstatic. I honestly remember thinking, "This will be so good to see them for a couple months, get my fix in and then head back to the states to start my new job at the School for the Deaf in Austin. This will be a great time."
Have you ever thought you knew what you were doing with your life and then BAM, God says, "No, I have a better plan"? This has happened to me countless times, but this was the first time I was completely blind sided.
During those couple months in Honduras my world felt wrecked. Everyone was asking me why wasn't I staying in Honduras, "there's so much to do" and every time I heard them ask, I wanted to burst into tears. I didn't understand why, and I didn't have an answer for them.
A couple days after an amazing camp with all of the Deaf, I was back on a plane to the U.S.
I was such a mess. I was so physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted I literally felt like a wreck. I did not want to leave, but I knew I felt like I needed to be back in the states, but  I could not give a specific reason why.
About a month later, right before I was going to move to Austin, I remember sitting in my room, sobbing. I have never felt so upside down. I couldn't understand what God was doing. Was I supposed to be in the states or in Honduras?? Or now, PERU??!!! (During the summer, the idea was brought up to start a Signs of Love Peru, and I was asked if I wanted to be part of it...)
I was so confused.
So. I prayed. And prayed.
I went back to Honduras in November 2014 for a surprise visit to see the kids I had taught in 2012, graduate the 6th grade. One the most exciting trips I've taken.
The next January, 2015, I met with a leader of the Austin Stone Community Church's Missions team. A few months later, I was approved to join a "Goer Missional Community" group starting August 2015 with the hopes of moving back to Honduras and from there moving to Peru, to proclaim His Great name to the Deaf.

I am so thankful for the Love that has been lavished upon me, I have to carry this Love to where it is not known, to be the vessel for His light to illuminate the darkness.

"I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness."
John 12:46






Thanks for reading my muddled thoughts :)

Because He lives!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Signs of Love Deaf Camp 2013

Ok! I know this is over a month late... but I still want you all to soak in the beautiful experience we shared here at Signs of Love back in August, our 13th Annual Deaf Camp.

I won't write much, because the photos speak far better words than I could ever come up with, but you should know that God showed up in HUGE and miraculous ways that weekend. Each person that entered camp that Friday afternoon, left a different person Sunday morning. We are so grateful to the Holy Spirit for showing up and turning hearts towards the Father in a way that so many had never before experienced.

As you scroll through the photos please pray for each face you see that they would continue to feel God's presence in their lives and never cease to be overwhelmed with his indescribable, unexplainable LOVE.