"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23.

Friday, August 17, 2012


It is amazing to me how many emotions one can feel in a single moment. I just spent several minutes trying to be self aware (which I really am not at all) and pinpoint my feelings right now. But I couldn't. Maybe that's because of my lack of self-awareness, or maybe its because there isn't really a central "feeling" to pinpoint. Maybe right now I'm just a jumble mess.

I think that much of my life has been spent trying to be un-messy. To be clean-cut, seamless, with an unbreakable exterior. For the first two decades or so of my life, I chalked this up to my personality. I am, by nature, an internal processor, an organization-lover, and a planner. I like order and I like to know what I'm getting myself into for that I can be overly-prepared. But guess what? Sometimes the internal processor needs to talk and the external processor listen. Sometimes the planner needs some spontaneity. Sometimes the organizer needs something in life that won't fit in her compartmentalized box of a life. Sometimes, I need to be thrown into a situation and have to actually rely on the Holy Spirit rather than my prideful flesh.

Life is messy. When the Spirit of God collides with human flesh, things get messy. I, in my perfectly crafted external good Christian girl shell, can neither receive what God is giving nor give what God requires. Until I, like Mary of Bethany, break the flawless flask that holds my life at the feet of Jesus, I can't fully know His love for me. As long as I'm operating in a spirit of pride, thinking somehow that if I keep myself appearing good enough or spiritual enough, I'm not allowing Jesus to give me the fullness of His love. Because He came to the world for the sick, not the healthy. As long as I masquerade as a healthy one, I'm rejecting the healing of the Doctor. I am broken and desperately in need of the Physician's healing.

And my whole life is the only thing that Jesus wants. He loves me and treasures me no matter what my response to Him is, but being fully His costs me my life. I simply cannot have my safe, put together self while following the King of Kings. Following Jesus requires my life.

Sacrifices, by Paul David Tripp (Psalm 51:17) 

if I give you some of my time.
if I give you some of my strength.
if I give you some of my things.
if I give you some of my thoughts.
if I give you
some of my relationships.
these sacrifices
will bring you delight.
these offerings
will bring you joy.
I'm quite willing
to give a tithe.
I'm quite willing
to interrupt
my schedule.
I'm quite willing
to volunteer
to serve.
But I get the sense
that you're not satisfied
with a piece of me.
I get the sense
that momentary giving
momentary service
momentary sacrifice
momentary ministry
the momentary turning
of my heart to you
will not satisfy you.
But I must admit
that I'm afraid
of what you require.
I'm afraid of a
broken spirit.
I'm afraid of a
contrite heart.
I'm afraid to be 
crushed by your grace.
So I try to
distract you
with my service
distract you
with my time
distract you
with my money.
Deep inside
I know what you want.
Deep inside
I'm sure of what you require.
I'm afraid
because I want to hold onto
my heart.
I want
to give it to other things.
I want to 
pursue pleasures
outside of you.
I'm afraid
to give you
what would satisfy you.
I'm afraid of a 
broken heart.
So I regularly offend you
with empty offerings
and vacuous praise.
to my own destruction
that you'll be satisfied.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

can makeup change the world?

One of my favorite things in the world is to see people advancing the Kingdom on their spheres on influence, doing what they love for an eternal purpose. One sphere of society in America that I haven't given a whole lot of thought to how the Kingdom can be advanced in, though, is the beauty industry. Which, really, seems pretty obvious in retrospect.

The beauty industry makes millions of dollars around the idea of women looking or feeling beautiful. This whole industry and sector of society essentially revolves around a key identity issue. In a nation and a world filled with women with question marks on their hearts, here is the beauty industry. Here rage the battles of comparison, competition, criticism, self-hatred, and pride in and between women. We can look at this industry and scoff at the "frivolity" of it, or we could look a little closer and see a frontline of the battle for the heart. Clearly, the enemy has given some attention to this issue of beauty, but why? Could it be the this sphere concentrated on the beauty of women could be an important on to the heart of God? Could it be that through the issue of physical beauty, God wants to replace question marks with assurance, comparison with security, and self-hatred with His overwhelming love? I don't know what this looks like, but I think that God is doing something redemptive and beautiful here. This is too big of a spiritual battleground for there not to be something big planned. People like my friend Andrea (read her beauty blog here) who carry the love of Jesus with them in this industry will impact eternity by their influence and love.

The story that spurred this thought process on is that of a Baylor grad named Nicole. I was reading Reject/Apathy, an offshoot of Relevant magazine, and came across an article about her (read it here). She essentially gave up the fashion/beauty dream job (working at a fashion house on 5th Avenue, NYC) to combat sex trafficking. How does she fight sex trafficking, you may ask? She created her own line of makeup (Radiant, get it here) that supports Free the Captives, a Houston-based anti-human trafficking organization. So the makeup she creates is a vital part of slaves in the trafficking capitol of the US (and my hometown, Houston) being set free and restored. What a way to advance the Kingdom in you sphere. Incredible. I know where I'm getting my makeup.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

the underbelly of the Olympics.

Yesterday, I adapted Jamie Oliver's One-Minute Berry Ice Cream recipe and made a delicious, equally easy and healthy frozen yogurt, perfect for a hot summer day. The only ingredients necessary are a bag of frozen berries (I used HEB's "berry medley"), a small tub of greek yogurt (500g, I used Fage Total), and a little honey. To add a little depth to my fro-yo, I got some Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips and added about a cup of them them to the mix. Throw it all in a blender, freeze it til it is at a consistency you like (right after blending, mine was at the consistency of a smoothie, so I froze it for a while until it was more of an ice cream consistency), and enjoy! I garnished mine with a few dark chocolate chips and a honey drizzle. Enjoy and stay cool!

In other news, how 'bout those Olympics? I absolutely love the Games and am an avid Team USA fan, especially in women's gymnastics and swimming. I'm essentially obsessed with the Fab 5, specifically Gabby Douglas. So much love.

There is, unfortunately, a dark underbelly to the Olympic Games. With any large, international sports event, such as the Olympics, the World Cup, or the Eurocup, comes a rise in human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking, in the host city. Because of the legalization of some kinds of prostitution in the UK, the issue of minimizing sex trafficking seems to be more complicated and meeting more resistance than one would think. Regardless of the legality or politics of the situation, the reality is that right now, because of the influx of people in London for the Games, a large amount of helpless people are being used, abused, raped, injured, and traded like cattle. While we enjoy the entertainment of watching our nation and the world compete in the Games, would we not forget to intercede on behalf of those who are living in slavery. Senator Mobina Jaffer of British Columbia, Canada, who worked on combating the sex trade during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, said this of the London games:

"Over the next few weeks, as we all come together and celebrate the Olympic Games let us not forget about those young girls who have little to celebrate. Let us ensure that our cheers do not silence their cries. Let us save a place in our hearts for those women and girls who are being exploited and robbed of their dignity."

Would we not only feel sympathy for these people, though. May we be moved by compassion to intercede on their behalf, to battle the powers of darkness and bring light to London, even from across the globe. We can walk in faith that our prayers are powerful and effective and can change things!

"But this is a people robbed and plundered; they are all of them snared in holes and hidden in houses of bondage. They have become a prey, with no one to deliver them, a spoil, with no one to say, RESTORE THEM." Isaiah 42:22

Would we be the ones who say, in faith, "restore them"!