Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Power of Music

Single Minded, whole hearted
One thing I ask

That I may gaze upon your beauty, O Lord
That I may seek your holy face
That I may know you in an intimate way
And follow after you all my days
And follow after you all my days

All of life comes down to just one thing
And that's to know you, Oh Jesus
And make you known

As we sang this song in church today, I was struck by a couple of things. First of all, just the impact that music has on my life. There are certain songs that will transport me to a different time, to a specific part of my past. This song immediately took me back to freshman year of college. Sitting the auditorium of First Baptist Waco for Touchstone. Crying...tears of brokenness. For the first time in a long time, or maybe ever, I realized that my life wasn't about me. Sure, I knew it in my head before, but it hit me like a ton of bricks that night. I sat in a pew, head in my hands, tears streaming down my face, mourning the selfishness with which I had lived my life. I went home that night, made a phone call to end a relationship that I had been in for very selfish reasons, and started to let God take the reigns for the first time in my life. I can hardly begin to explain the feeling that came over me when I heard this song this morning. Memories of what the Lord has done in my life in the last eight years. Memories of that feeling of brokenness. Memories of such a sweet time in my life. Music. It does it to me every time.

I was also just struck all over again with the words of the song. Reminded that I should have a single focus in my life. Sure, there are things going on all around me, and a ton of stuff going on in my life, but there is one thing that should shine above all others. Such a sweet reminder that my relationship with God really is it. It's all I need, and I should spend my life trying to spread the gift that He's given me through a relationship with Him. What a challenge!

Monday, June 09, 2008

A Marriage Worth Celebrating...

This weekend one of my dearest friends got married. I knew it would be a great weekend. How could it not be? My college friends Natalie and Emily were coming in from Nashville, there was tons of fun hang out time with them, and great wedding festivities all planned out. I'm not sure if I have ever been more excited about one of my friends getting married. The greatest part of the weekend, though, was watching Michelle & Charlie enter into marriage. A covenant that I know they take seriously and one that is setting them up for a life of ministry together.

My favorite memories from the weekend are mainly from the rehearsal dinner. As we sat around the room at Texas Land & Cattle and heard person, after person, after person, after person testify to the work of God in Michelle, and in Charlie, and in their relationship, I was just floored. One, because I could not be more happy for my dear friend. I mean, what a way to go into marriage, surrounded by people who love you and are affirming that God is in what is happening in your life. Wow. On a personal level, I was hit with something else at the rehearsal dinner, that what they have is completely and totally worth waiting for. I know it seems simple and kind of obvious, but it was huge for me in that moment. I, like most single girls I know, sometimes get impatient with being single. But it was so fun to tell Michelle on Friday night as we were about to fall asleep, that her marriage to Charlie was already an encouragement to me, and already spurring me on to walk in what the Lord has for me, just as she has done on her own in my life for the last 7 or 8 years.

Everything about their wedding was just amazing! It was so fun for me to be a part of and I truly walked away from the weekend just feeling incredibly blessed. I have friends who follow wholeheartedly after the Lord and spur me to do the same thing. I got to see one of those friends marry the man God had for her - it just doesn't get much better!
Bridesmaid's Luncheon.

Me, Ryan & Emily at the Rehearsal.

Pictures before the Wedding! (Nat, me, Em)

At the Reception (Nat, Sarah, Liz, Meredith)

There was much dancing...

The college friends with Michelle!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Catching Up

I know, I know….I have become a terrible blogger! Life has just been pretty consistently crazy for the last couple of months. I have made the big move to Lake Highlands. I no longer live within walking distance of work…which is really unfortunate considering gas prices. I absolutely love being in a house with all its perks. One of the biggest perks being the ability to park right in front of your house. When you forget something you don’t have to make the long trek back into the back of the apartment complex to get it, you just run in and are back in the car within the minute. There are many other perks…including great roommates, hardwood floors, and a place to entertain.

Of course, I also went to Brazil, which was amazing, hard, challenging, and stretching. I will attempt to do a whole separate blog entry on my trip, but for now, I will tell you about my favorite moment from the trip. We were in our last village of the week. We had done VBS in the morning and the afternoon, and were hanging around outside waiting to have our service that night. Amit had a group of kids gathered around him on the steps of the Catholic church, so he grabbed a translator and started sharing the gospel with them. It was incredible to watch their eyes just glued to him as he told them about the most amazing thing anyone had ever done for them. Sweet, precious Linda was translating for Amit. In the middle of Amit praying the prayer of salvation with some of the kids, Linda just broke down and started crying. Once she composed herself, she told us that she could just see the hunger in the kids’ eyes. This particular village doesn’t get many visitors who would share the gospel with them, because only a few short years ago they would stone any Christians that stepped foot in the village. It was one of the most powerful things I have ever experienced. I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing down my face. After they finished praying with the kids, Linda told Amit that the old man sitting a few steps behind the kids had prayed the prayer too. I LOVE how God uses us…even in places we aren’t expecting to be used...actually, most of all in those places! God taught me a lot while I was there. A lot about Him and a lot about myself and my walk with Him and a lot about how I relate to other people. I love that He taught me things, but the hard part for me is always bringing that back to my life here in Dallas. I'm still working on it - more on that later.

Since I’ve been back from Brazil I’ve been busy unpacking the rest of my boxes, finishing up the semester with my 8th grade girls, watching Rebekah graduate from A&M, and enjoying a restful Memorial Day weekend in Dallas. It has been a super fast, great, and busy month. The next couple of weeks hold lots of wedding festivities for Michelle. So unbelievable that she is getting married! I might not post until after the wedding next weekend, but I most definitely will after that!