my friends may you grow in grace

"my friends may you grow in grace
my friends may you grow in grace
my friends may you grow in grace
and in the love of Jesus Christ

to God be the glory
now and forever
now and forever

remember when we sang that song together?

we've come so far. or maybe so close. it depends i guess.

some of us have grown apart.
and some. some of us have grown deeper.
but regardless of whether or not we acknowledge it.
we grow in grace.

that is my prayer for you my friends. that you may grow in grace.

we're all different now, you know. different, but covered by grace.

i still love you. i hope you know that.

i really love you.

the weight of a moment

this moment has substance. if you opened this moment up, life would explode out of it like an old aerosol paint can. a little rusty and well used on the outside, but life itself comes rushing out upon contact.

i think that life is that way sometimes. we sit around willing life to pass us by, to get to the next moment, the next semester, the next season, the next relationship, the next best thing. meanwhile we miss the beautiful thing we've had all along. like an old rusty can we set deep into the shelf and forgot about.

i many beautiful moments have i hidden away deep in the darkness, dusty and forgotten? maybe, just maybe there are hundreds of them, maybe even thousands...

and what if? what if? what if i went home and scrounged in my cupboard and found all the old moments and gathered them up. and what if you went home and did the same. what if you went home and opened the creaky door, and reached far into the back, until your hand hit the wall? what if you gathered all your moments too? what if we gathered them in our hands, and ran outside. what if we ran into the front yard and threw them into a pile on the green, green grass?
and then...
what if we lit a match? what if we lit them all on fire?

and what if the heat caused them all to explode and life came rushing out?

what if instead of existing, we remembered what it was like to live?

a letter from a friend

the following is a letter a friend wrote to me upon my graduation from high school. she is a lover of truth and Christ and spoke wisdom into my life. i came across it while cleaning out my room at my parents' house. it encouraged and convicted me, so here's an exert from it.

"God has given you this ability to sincerely look at a person, situation, or problem and pour out unconditional love into whatever it is. It's the same kind of love that Christ has. Bre...Christ has empowered you with this love! This love can change the world and you are already doing that. Thank you for loving yourself, but loving Christ and others as well. Not many people have the life changing qualities that you have. Don't lose them, Bre. They will get you through the changes that you will endure during college. They will help you see the goodness in the bad. They wil help you love when all you want to do is hate. You've been greatly blessed, Bre. "

"You're an incredible girl, Bre. An incredible girl that is going to change the world. What the heck, Bre, you are already changing the world. You are a leader, a lover, a speaker, an inspiration. Seeds of Christ are already being planted because of you. But with all of these qualities comes a little bit of scariness. Many people will look to you to see how you handle yourself during difficult situations-though you probably won't be aware of being watched. Never the less, they'll watch how you talk, treat others, how you perform under pressure. Like it or not, women of Christ are being watched."

"Something dramatic must have happened in our hearts, then, to make them fit to be the dwelling place of a holy God."
-John Eldredge

need we be reminded.

"are you suffering?
if so,
then why are you not rejoicing?"

it's been on my heart this week. not so much that i've been joyful, but rather that i haven't.

you know, perseverance is hard. so hard. but sometimes i worry so much about persevering, that i forget to take joy. we are a people called to joy. a people called to great joy in the face of great difficulty.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything."
-James 1:2-4

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed."
-1 Peter 4:12-13

i must confess to you. i haven't taken joy. oh, no doubt, i've been persevering. but taking joy? praising God? if i have at all, not nearly as much as i should be. i'm quite convicted of this. its easy to just get by, to scrape through the fence. but if you get to the other side, and that's all you have, what have you gained? i want to have joy when i arrive at the other side. i want to have joy when i struggling under the fence. i want joy.

no more just getting by.
no more barely breathing.
no more pride.

i choose joy.

You Oh God, are a Forest Fire...

"the Lord is my shepherd
i shall not be in want
he makes me lie down in green pastures
he leads me beside quiet waters.
he restores my soul.
he leads me down paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
i fear no evil.
for you are with me.
your rod, your staff,
they comfort me.
you prepare a feast before me in the presence of my enemies.
you anoint my head with oil.
my cup overflows.
surely your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and i will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

-king david (psalm 23)

for no reason known to me. you choose to bless me oh God. even if i was blameless, i would not be worthy of your gaze. yet. you call me child. when the darkness closes in, you pour out your blessings all the more. in the presence of my greatest fears and heartache, you bless me. underserving, prideful, unworthy me.

my life is so anointed and full of blessing i cannot contain it. it spills over like a dark red wine and covers me completely. Father, i admit that i have never known a love that compares. i've never known a love that makes me burn inside. a love that makes me lay down my pride. a love that makes me fall on my face in reverence. a love that covers me in my brokenness, shame, and selfishness. i've never known a love like this.

it's like a forest fire Father. you burn in me, and cannot be contained. this love is dangerous. it spreads quickly and with ease. it's out of control in the best way possible. it raves and ravages my soul. it burns away all impurities. i'm not just aflame. i'm fully consumed by your love.

"consume and ravage my heart, make my eyes to see, your beauty, your beauty, your beauty i must see..."


sometimes its enough to just be a friend.

i greatly enjoy being a friend. but not just any friend. i enjoy being a friend who has a servant's heart. now, this isn't to say that i like to be used by my friends, that's not what i'm getting at here. but i truly enjoy caring and doing what i can to make my friends happy. its something that just makes me feel good.

driving around holland.
and making pancakes at 2am.
and loving on them.

its not something we think about often, you know. Jesus as a friend. we think of him as Lord, Prince, and Savior. and its not that he isn't all of these things, because he is fully. but he was also a friend. a friend to his disciples, to poor, to the unloved.

i'm not sure that i truly understand what friendship is. honestly. i fall pretty short. but man, to love my friends and serve them like Jesus did??!? i want to kneel down. i want to wash your sore, tired feet my friend. come here. let me show you love.

"Speak- say the words that no one else will ever say
Love- love like the world we know is over in a day

I'm gonna show you a love in every language
I'm gonna speak with the words that need no form
I'm gonna give you what you never had before"

-Jars of Clay (Show you Love)