Friday, October 24, 2008


Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Praying at the abortion clinic in Richmond

there’s a time for peace and there is a time for war
a time to forgive and a time to settle the score
a time for babies to lose their lives
a time for hunger and genocide
this too shall be made right
-- derek webb --

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

A New Journal

I just finished the first entry in a new journal. I love new journals. I find excitement and anticipation in flipping through 200 blank pages, knowing that in 3 months every one will have words on them. It didn't used to be that way. I used to take more than a year to fill a small journal. But my journaling habits took a dramatic change a couple of years ago when I overheard a friend talking about her journals, that her entries were letters to God, more like prayers and honest reflection than a diary. At the time, she was 25 and just starting her 25th journal.

Such a simple thing-- journaling to God-- was a brand new idea to me. I included God in my journal, to be sure, but as an afterthought. "My day was... and this happened... God would you..." I decided to try my friend's method, and began each entry with "Dearest Father..." It was a breath of fresh air, and it brought new depth and purpose to my devotional times with God.

Yes, I just started a new journal, which makes me think of the events that will fill the next few months-- mostly, the unknown events. When I started my last journal, I had absolutely no idea what God would do in me as I filled those pages. Changed relationships, changed perspectives, changed jobs, changed worldview, changed dreams. I had some pretty well-established dreams and ideals in June, and they are completely different now.

Then I think of the plans I have for the upcoming months-- five weddings to shoot, portrait sessions, starting my own business, visiting friends, the holidays, weddings to attend and participate in, etc. This journal will be full. I'll probably ring in the New Year with it. I might last through the end of January... maybe.

There's a lot happening in the next few months. I can't wait to see how God changes me, what "theme" this journal will hold, what circumstances He drops in my lap. He likes to surprise me.

So much to look forward to. So many areas to trust God. I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Matt & Tori

Matt asked. Tori said yes. They are on their way to happily ever after.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

What does it mean?

What does it mean to change the world?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dreaming Again

Once upon a time, I dreamed.

I don't mean sleepytime dreams, or rosy daydreams, or even those dreams that happen in the strange in-between period of half-awake and half-asleep, hardly conscious, but somehow aware of what floats through the mind. No, I don't mean those dreams.

Once upon a time, I dreamed wide-awake.

I dreamed of changing the world.
I dreamed of affecting people for the cause of Christ. I dreamed of joining hands with saints of old in a long line of passionate individuals working for the kingdom of God. I dreamed of traveling the world, leaving my mark on the ground beneath my feet, and on the hearts and lives I touch. I dreamed of communicating truth with excellence, resulting in transformed lives. I dreamed of being an Elisabeth Elliot, a Darlene Diebler Rose, or a Gladys Aylward. I dreamed of hearing the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant... enter into the joy of your Master."

I dreamed of changing the world. But sometime in the last year, I stopped dreaming.

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, or why my dreaming lost steam, slowed down, and died out. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I expected God's plans and promises to take a particular form, and they looked very different than I envisioned. Perhaps it was because I tend to ask God about my dreams after I attach my heart to them. Maybe I just grew tired of God peeling back my fingers to wrench my "dreams" out of my hands so He could actually do something with me. Or it could be that I was just too close to God's work to see what was taking place.

Whatever the reason, I stopped dreaming. Stopped asking. Stopped looking. God still worked on me, and in me, and through me. I didn't stop seeking Him, but I did stop inquiring of Him, and my perspective shrunk into something small and shallow. I was so focused on life that I couldn't see the context of God's work and direction. But last week something changed.

God asked me to lay my heart on the table and allow Him to move it, change it, guide it, and fashion it when and how He wants. My former "yields" looked more like "Fine! Take it!," followed by a heart lock-down, but God asked more of me than a huff-puff pout. He asked for my whole self, no-holds-barred. I wrestled. I questioned. He answered the same: Surrender. Give it to Me. He gave me the grace, so I gave back heart. I set my desires, plans, and longings on the chess board, then stepped back to watch His masterfully-designed plan work itself out. It hurt. There were tears. But when the tears left, peace settled in, and has remained. My soul can breath again, and I didn't even know it was stifled.

I can't see my way ahead. I feel as if I'm at a trailhead with 5 possible routes before me. I know the routes and what they look like from where I stand, but I'm blindfolded and don't know which way I walk. I am not stationary. I'm being pushed, or drawn, along by a force outside of myself. It's as if I'm playing "Blind Man's Bluff." I can feel movement around me as God changes people and moves circumstances, and changes and moves me. I can feel it, but I cannot see my way ahead. Yet He draws me, and I follow after Him.

Once upon a time, I dreamed. And in surrender, I have begun to dream again.