Thursday, December 20, 2012

Part 1: Struggles

This past year and a half has been an incredibly hard, yet beautiful process that God has been taking me through.  I cannot believe it has been over a year of this pruning, this deep and intense gardening in my heart.  I am ready for it to be over, but I know it is all for a God designed purpose.  I wish I could explain that incredible change, but my words just cannot do it.

It has been a pretty depressing week and my soul and body is very tired of the financial struggles we have endured of the past four years.  I wish I could go into deeper detail, but I would rather talk about that later.  Anyways, we went to NY for Thanksgiving and ever since I have been home I have felt a literal weight and stress on my body that I cannot seem to get rid of. I did not realize how stressed I was until I was taken out of the stressful environment and brought back into it.  

After asking God if He was still present during this past week, I felt like I was suppose to start reading Job, specifically in the message version.  I wanted to share the parts that really spoke to me.  Interestingly, this was all found in the Introduction to Job and not into the chapters.

"...Job suffered in the same ways that we suffer- in the vital areas of family, personal health, and material things. "

After I felt the holy spirit say to read Job, I felt like I already knew his story and I can't relate to the intensity of this story so, Lord I don't want to read it.... its depressing! 

"It is not suffering as such that troubles us.  It is the undeserved suffering.  One of the surprises as we get older, however, is that we come to se that there is no real correlation between the amount of wrong we commit and the amount of pain we suffer.  We do right then get knocked down. We do the best we are capable of doing, and just as we are reaching out to receive our reward we are hit from the blind side and sent reeling.  This  is the suffering that first bewilders and then outrages us.  This is the kind of suffering that bewildered and outraged Job..."

Over the past few months I have honestly felt like I am being punished.  Now, I obviously know that is not true, but I often wonder why we have the struggles we have when so many around us live in new homes, have ample food, newer cars, etc.  A couple months ago during my bible study group,  I had the ladies pray over me and a couple words were spoken over me.  Here is what God spoke to these ladies: 

God will complete what He has begun.  

I don't want you hurt but made whole. 

I am committed to the process with you.  

Put your hope in my and you will not be disappointed.  

Your need for provision is a set up for God's glory. 

"Job gives voice to sufferings so well, so accurately and honestly, that anyone who has ever suffered- which includes every last one of us- can recognize his or her personal pain in the voice of Job...he makes poetry out of what in many of us is only a tangle of confused whimpers."

"Perhaps the greatest mystery in suffering is how it can bring a person into the presence of God in a state of worship, full of wonder, love, and praise....So instead of continuing to focus on preventing suffering, perhaps we should being entering the suffering, participating insofar as we are able- entering the mystery and looking around for God.  And so Job's experience is confirmed and repeated once again in our suffering and our vulnerable humanity."  

Job 36 "  It's true that God is all-powerful, but he doesn't bully innocent people...He never takes His eyes off the righteous; He honors them lavishly, promotes them endlessly.  When things go badly, when affliction and suffering descend  God tells them where they've gone wrong, shows they how their pride has caused trouble... but those who learn from their suffering, God delivers from their suffering.  "

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fear

God has done so much in my spiritual life the past year and a half.  It never ceases to amaze me and I'm not sure I could even fully explain it to people.

The Lord has taken me through a deep pruning process that has lasted roughly a year and a half.  Recently,  the holy spirit has brought to light my issue with fear. I did not realize that I have struggled with this for a very long time, possible since childhood!  Once we except fear it becomes apart of normal, every day life.  For me, fear is like my arm or like a part attached to my body.

Fear is a chain and heavy burden on my spirit, soul, and mind.  And I've been living with this for years.

Let me take a minute to explain how fear is effecting my life on a daily basis.

I am mostly stricken by fear at nighttime.  I can remember since childhood being afraid at night and letting my imagination take me to dark places, monsters under my bed, and weird figures hiding in my closet.  I remember being afraid to go out in the dark at night or in the garage growing up.  Or I remember being afraid to walk down the dark stairs and long (did I say dark?!) hallway to my parents room.  All this to say,  fear has been apart of my life for a long time.

As an adult,  when I get on the highway I visualize a car wreck, I think someone is going to hurt me when I walk to and from my car (in my own driveway). Here's another example, my husband works late nights (from 8-2:30am or later) so, that leaves me home alone......with Ian and the two dogs...... but none the less, alone.  I consistently think someone is going to break into my house (hello, we even have an alarm system!)  or attempt to break into our house when I am...alone.

 Do you get the picture?

It's gripping, life altering fear.  

I'm afraid to be alone at night, afraid to drive......life altering fear. And I didn't even mention getting in an airplane!! Hell no.  Ironic because I want to see the world.....be God's light to the world!

The holy spirit is really bringing  a lot of this to the fore front of my mind so that this can be dealt with.

I've been doing a study guide on fear, worry and stress and here are some encouraging verses that are really helping me in my time of fear and worry.

Proverbs 3:34 " You can go to bed without fear;

    you will lie down and sleep soundly."

Genesis 15:1 " the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.”

Psalm 91:5  Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.

Psalm 112:7 "They do not fear bad news;
    they confidently trust the Lord to care for them"

Is. 51:7 “Listen to me, you who know right from wrong,
    you who cherish my law in your hearts.
Do not be afraid of people’s scorn,
    nor fear their insults.


Is. 12:2-3  "See, God has come to save me.I will trust in him and not be afraid.The Lord God is my strength and my song:  he has given me victory. With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation."

Is. 41:10  " Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.


Psalm 56:3-4 "But when I am afraid,I will put my trust in you.  I praise God for what he has promised.  I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?   What can mere mortals do to me?" 

 Psalm 27:1  "The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid.  The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?"


John 14:27 I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid."


Deut. 31:8  "Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you."

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kingdom Advances

Lately I have been really discouraged, overwhelmed, and a bit frustrated with studying Early Childhood Education. As I've posted before, I felt God wanted me to study child development.

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" Mark 8:34

I love kids, but I don't want to be a teacher.  Frankly, I cannot even imagine working from 7:15 am till 5 Monday through Friday for on average $10 an hour 0_0  Oklahoma teachers are some of the WORST paid in the country.  Which is more than awful.  Children are obviously our future and important.   I guess some people don't realize that? But I won't dive into that fully.  Don't get my wrong, I love teachers and am extremely thankful for the good ones.  It takes a special calling!!

Anyways, I don't want to be a teacher or stuck in a classroom or make my life career from teaching.  People who study Early Childhood Education do it to become a.....teacher.   Obviously God has some other plans here I just don't exactly know what yet.

I do know that I'm called.

Called to love the nations and children around the world.

...to give shoes to the shoeless...

...to a missions college...

I'm called to be at Tulsa Community College at this time in life to study Children's development.


"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled" Matthew 5:6


This is my second year at TCC and I'm so close to graduating! Last year I asked God for confirmation (pertaining to studying Child Development) and in all my books except government and civil war history focused on KENYA.  Crazy cool, huh?!  My child psychology books main focus, yes the entire book, was......... Kenya. Not Africa or another country in Africa, but.....Kenya! Okay so that was awesome.

This year I've said, "Lord I do trust you.  I'm discouraged because I'm not really interested in the material I'm learning.  Could ya send me some reminders that I'm doing this because you've called me to?"

I prayed that on my way to class yesterday and during class my friend Patricia said, "hey, I want to pay the $90 conference fee (one of our assignments for another class)" She then said that in her prayer time God has dropped it in her heart to pay for my conference fee because I was studying Early Childhood Education to advance the Kingdom!

I say to the Lord... I lean on you, I trust in your way even though I may not understand it. Make my path and I shall follow it. Help me to remember this!


"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" Mark 8:34

"Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?" Songs 8:5  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

With a Heavy Heart...

With a heavy heart I write these words...

mere mumblings of my heart laid out paper.

Its been so long since I've spoken to you, heard your voice, or heard your thoughts.

My heart is heavy, but healing is vast, deep, a long drawn out beautiful process.

It's been over a year. Looming heartache is dissipating.  

God promises healing, but because of my faults I feel the stings of a life I never lived, nor will ever live.

I feel God's spirit moving in my life, creating new and beautiful things.  

"The sun will rise, wont you dry all your tears and lay your burdens down?"

My prayer? My prayer is that God will continue to bring forth beautiful things in these hearts.  Separate, lovely, beautiful, different, God-inspired, God-driven, God- breathed desires that come from Him alone.

What a beautiful picture of God's grace and healing in hearts of those that need it the most.






Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Sun Will Rise



                                                             ...There is Hope...


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Waiting on God

I am at an extremely interesting time in my spiritual life.  I cannot even begin to describe all that is going on and not going on in my heart.  I do believe some things are beautifully kept between me and God...what a treasure that is!

This past year has been a complete whirlwind in a good way.  God's mercies and redemptive grace has shown through in my life like never before.

Beautiful prophetic words have been spoken over me that I will cherish always.

Encounters with the holy spirit this past year has given me hope and joy that God has His hand upon me and my families lives.

And now.....

I feel like I am in the waiting game with God.  I'm working on patiently waiting on God to fulfill those promises I've been waiting years for.

My honest and human emotion is for this waiting period to end soon, but I know that during this time God is defining who I am, God is molding me, and most importantly God is teaching me to HEAR and LISTEN and WAIT for Him.








Friday, August 3, 2012

One Year

One year of...

blogging...


life change...


a radical prayer life...


a changed marriage...

growth...


exhaustion...


God's promises...


hearing God's word & obeying it...


waiting on the Lord...


trusting God...


falling more in love with Jordan...


extravagant worship.






Monday, July 9, 2012

Creation of Sound

God has truly opened up a whole new world of music to me. Which says a lot! I'm a very, very picky person when it comes to music. So, the christian music I hear on the radio makes me want throw my stereo out the car window. I wish all worship sounded like Radiohead, M83, Jose Gonzales, Sigur Ros, Beachhouse.... I think you get the picture. Recently, a friend, hey Jacob, has introduced me to some great new worship that has changed my life. During this music fast, I am truly seeing that music is not only a creation from God, but that music is also a way we communicate with the heavenly father. Being the daughter of a extremely talented musician, hey dad, a wife of an extremely talented musician, hey honey love, a woman who sings everyday, and a lover of music, I often notice how amazing it is that the musicians body is totally engulfed in their creation of sound. It's SO amazing to me that a guitar even exists and that man has the ability to creative something extravagantly beautiful from wood and strings. Truly a gift from God. You know what is even more incredible? That music has the capability to invite the holy spirit to invade the space where it is heard. Most of all, I have once again learned that when I am tuned into the holy spirit it's much easier decode truth from darkness.

Monday, June 18, 2012

While You Were Gone...

My husband was recently on tour for a little over a week.

I didn't think I would be bored or lonely, but I was :)  I'm just so in love with that man.  I did enjoy being alone and embracing the quiet, the stillness, the sounds of the outside world, and my thoughts.

I prayed a lot. Worshiped a lot. Danced in God's presence a lot.  I rejoiced in Christ's promises.


"lonely is healing if you make it. Lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless"





Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fasting and Prayer

I have finally given into the fact that I NEED to take a break and fast from Facebook. 0_0 People (er, mom and the two mother people that read this), I seriously love Facebook. It's my outlet to the world because I am a stay at home momma.  Ah hem, that means the other person I interact with throughout the day poops on the floor and can't control his emotions.

Why am I fasting?! Oh, thanks for asking.  I'm fasting, not only from Facebook but from "alternative music" *old woman statement*, because I am asking God to break down some barriers and open doors that only He can open!

I'll let you know how it goes :)

-Allie

Unitarian Universalist Church

I felt I was suppose to blog about this so... here it goes!

When I was pregnant,  I didn't feel comfortable in church and I certainly didn't feel comfortable around christian people.

Why? To me, my pregnancy was a visible sign of my sin and a big sign saying "JUDGE ME! I have totally had sex and I am so not married."  I am NOT saying Ian or Jordan were mistakes or sin, but I am saying that my life leading up to Ian was based on a lot of wrong choices and being led away from Christ's purpose for my life.

Since I didn't feel comfortable in church guess where I went to find acceptance?  All Souls Unitarian Church.  And ya know, its a beaaauuutiful place with amazing people, amazing music, wonderful cultural experiences, gay and lesbian pastors and couples, and some sort of spiritual environment of love.  I went because I felt I was not judged or looked down upon for this growing life in my womb.

Recently, I have felt that God is redefining me, God is teaching me right and wrong, God is showing me WHY and WHERE to find answers to my questions about worldly stuff through His word and Holy Spirit.

At first, I thought Christians could go to a Unitarian Church and still find God, but the truth is, a Unitarian or Universalist Church is a place of tolerance and acceptance of sin.  It is not a place where the Holy Spirit is present, but a place of a different type of spiritual confusion.

God is not a God of confusion!!!

All I know is that I am called, as a follower of Christ, to be set apart.  God's word is clear about issues and I have found that all I have to do is ask God to reveal His word and the right way to me.


Its a beautiful thing.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Obedience Itch

Itching.  I feel like sometimes God is itching at my heart to do His will. The only way to scratch and itch is with your nails (or a pen), but if you think about it, the only way to scratch a God itch is by obedience to what he asking of you.  You can't itch a scratch with a feather and you can't itch a God scratch by ignoring it.

Simply put, an itch must be scratched the right way. Ya dig?

The past few months I felt a little itch on my heart that I was suppose to post songs on here.  Specifically, me singing some sort of worship song.  My response, "hahaha.. oh... yeah right, okay Lord.. Im sure Ill be doing THAT soon. You re kidding, right?"  And then I realized how thankful I was that barely anyone reads this and my mom has heard me sing a play a billion times.

So...with some restraint I'm posting a little video of me singing a Keith Green song. No clue what the purpose is, but I'd like to be obedient to that itch. I'm no broadway star or performer (As much as I wish I was on broadway)  Or maybe God is just trying to embarrass me?! No, that can't be it ;) I mess up a couple times, but I kinda didn't want to record this again :) I just wanted it to be done.

My prayer is that God will continue to teach and guide me to listen even when I really dont want to.  I pray that I will never grow tired of pressing into God and His goodness.

With Easter approaching I felt this song was appropriate.  I always ask God to reveal the beauty, the hurt, the process of Easter every year. I ask God that each year it would touch me in a beautiful way and this song "Oh Lord, You're beautiful" seemed to speak to me in that way.

I feel that the goodness of the Lord has really been revealed to me this Easter season.






"Oh Lord, you're beautiful. Your face is all I seek
And when your eyes are on this child your grace abound to me.

Oh Lord, please light the fire that once burned bright and clear. Replace the lamp of my first love that burns with holy fear."- Keith Green 



Friday, March 9, 2012

Bloody and Bruised

Lately, I have been thinking about how we are all God's children, how we were all once babies, someones sweet miracle, or someones surprise!  We all have moms that birthed us into this world. Whether they wanted us or not, God longed for our tiny hearts the moment it started beating.

When I see homeless people I think, "That is God's CHILD! That man or woman was once someones precious bundle of joy. That stinky, drunk person was someones perfect joy."




Today I heard the dogs barking outside, it was one of those 'something is going on barks', so I rushed to the kitchen window to see very bloodied and hysterical woman in the street.  Two men in a large truck with a work trailer were just stepping out of the car.  I first thought this woman had been hit by a car! I instantly started seeking the Lord in prayer and rushed outside! I heard the woman's words as she was weeping and in pain, she said, "He has been beating me all day! I got away this time! Is he coming back??He's been beating me for years!"  Her eye was round and swollen, bloodshot and purple.  Her mouth dripping like a bloody red faucet, and the skin on her inside lip tattered and torn,  her teeth were cracked, she was dirty, and I could smell the strong stench of alcohol.

James 2 says, "Mercy triumphs judgement"




I ran inside and intentionally fetched a burp cloth because it was made of heavy, soft cotton.

As I grabbed the burp cloth from the closet, I put it back thinking, "WAIT! This is Ian's burp cloth, in fact its the nice kind! And it was my little brothers so, it has so many dear memories...I should get an old rag instead."  After that thought I picked back up the burp cloth.  That burp cloth has nurtured babies and gently wiped the milk off their lips for 6 years. Is this soft cotton not appropriate to also wipe the blood off a needy child of God's lips too? Certainly not.

 I rinsed it through cold water and rushed back outside, shaking from sadness and sorrow I put my arm around this beaten lady and whispered, "Lord Jesus, father be with her."

Blood was everywhere.

The first thought that came to my head was this woman is Gods precious child who is hurting, in despair, and need of comfort.

Every time she tried to talk blood would spew from her mouth and she would mix words of remorse...fear...pain...sorrow...second chances long gone...

It broke my heart. 

To me the definition of a mother is to nurture, restore, comfort, provide, and  a safe harbor.  Has God not called us to be mothers to the world as ambassadors of His message?  After all, we are all God's children. We are all brother and sisters in Christ.

Hopefully this woman will be okay. I don't mean okay as in her physical wounds, but her heart wounds.  I pray somehow she will find God's love and cling to it- for He restores, nurtures, provides, and is a safe harbor.



"But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?"
1 John 3:17




Monday, March 5, 2012

Transformation into forgiveness and freedom

I feel as though the Lord has completely transformed my heart and lit a fire of extravagant love for him in my life. Its been awhile since I've felt this way, and how I have missed this feeling of totally and completely falling in love with God and his goodness.  A couple months ago, I felt God calling me to leave the church I went to :( and calling me to go to Believers Church.  And honestly, I didn't want to do it; nor did I see the point.  After two weeks of wrestling with this choice I started going to Believers.  My family has been going to this church since I was about 12 years old or so.  After my first year of ORU, I went there every Sunday. I stopped going because I felt judged for the decisions I had been making in my life. Which in all honesty, I doubt anyone was actually judging me :) It reminds me of the story about the prodigal son.  He ran away from home, left the graces of God and his family behind and didn't look back. Then one day, he decided to come home and beg his father to let him work for him.  I'm sure he felt he would be rejected, judged, and condemned for his lifestyle and mistakes, but that is not what happened.  His father accepted him with open arms and had missed him, welcomed him home!  I have truly learned that our heavenly father is always waiting on my with open arms when I totally screw up.  God says, "My child I have truly missed you! Welcome home! I'm sad you left!"  All of that to say, I feel that in going BACK to Believers God is bringing me FULL circle from where I left off five years ago when I got back from Kenya.  

Back to my thought of being on fire for God....

I fully believe in the forgiveness of Christ and I believe that whatever you do if you seek God's heart and forgiveness- YOU GOT IT!  I have always, always felt this way, but I believe I have just now stepped into full forgiveness for being like the prodigal son. And in forgiveness there is freedom! Freedom to worship whole heartedly!  Freedom from worry and stress, from fear of abandonment and loss.  There is nothing comparable to being in the Holy Spirit's presence feeling totally forgiven and free!

What an intense time of preparation for God's calling on my life. I cannot even begin to explain and I wish I could! But God is about to do something great! 

Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Years Fooey

At the beginning of a new year I think three things:

1. Thank GOD last year is over. I had some great times, but I need a new start.
2. Geez, last year was a total waste...whoops (insert awkward laugh)
3. This year has got to be different.

I think new years resolutions are a bunch of fooey, as my grandma Mathews would say.  I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever ended up keeping my new years resolutions.  Or if I lost the 15 pounds I ended up gaining it by the time the end of the year rolled around.  I mostly don't keep resolutions because......... they are man made ideas of what I think I need to change in my life.  Meaning I never really consulted God on what I was suppose to get in order for the new year to be a successful one. I call that an, "Ahhhhhh.....crap" moment. An Ah crap moment is when you realized you messed up (or wasted an entire year). 

This week I felt God tapping on my heart, I felt God saying "new years resolutions" in a really haunting voice (totally kidding about the haunting voice, by the way).  I have this little routine where I ask God to speak to me! Then He normally tells me something that A. I was NOT prepared for, or B. something I didn't want to hear.  This was a "B case" and my response to the Lord about new years resolutions was, "They are dumb FOR so many reasons and I can never keep them so...... eh lets SKIP that" 

I thought about all the things that I didn't do last year that I should have done, things that God gently asked me to do, but I dropped the ball.

I thought about Project Viatu's capability to reach people around the world.  

I thought about these words an elder at my church "randomly" spoke to me, "You and your husbands ministry will be more than you have ever imagined."

Those moments, those little glimpses of encouragement from God are what keeps me straight.

So this year I asked God what needs to change in 2012.  Wanna hear some responses?

1.  Join a bible study. I've been praying about finding a bible study and last week I got a call from from a friend asking me to join her bible study.  

2.  Have a committed prayer life.  I am praying about two missions trips, to Kenya and India. I'm a little less willing to go, which has NEVER happened.  I'm the type of gal that is to SCREAMING to get on a plane anywhere to experience culture and life elsewhere- I love to travel and I want to spread the good news of Christ.   

And the things I desire to happen in my walk with Christ.

1. To be a light to those around me.  I prayed last Thursday, Lord help me to be your light.  Let me be an encourager to those that need You.  And on Friday I was in the Library at school, I felt like I need to get there early for some reason, and as I was sitting down to revise my paper I noticed this woman crying.  She told me her story, we prayed together, and I shared with her about Just Joy! Ministries .  And she is sending me a book called, 'Dream Giver.'  It was a very cool encounter. 

2. To hear Gods voice.  Saturday night before our open house party I prayed, "Lord let me be a witness to the people that come to our house warming party. I pray everyone would feel your presence as they walk through my doorstep." Lets just say, that prayer was answered in a way I didn't think possible :) 

3. My biggest prayer is that God transforms my attitude towards my husband.   I pray that God will help me to be a kind, loving woman who also shares Christs love to and through my relationship with Jordan.  I lack in the kindness department and that is a real work in progress.

Through all of that I feel God saying to just be with Him and everything else will fall into place.  

Hebrews 10:23


 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful