Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rhythms of Grace

I just can't get enough of this song . . . and it brings me back to wanting to be more caught in the rhythms of grace than I currently am. 

Verse 1
My life is a light for Your cause
My will laid aside for Your call
And reserved are the depths of my heart
Only for You
Verse 2
I'm caught in the rhythms of grace
They overcome all of my ways
Realigning each step everyday
To live for Your glory
Chorus 1
There's none beside You God
There's none beside You God
Verse 3
You're there in the dark of the night
While holding the sun and it's light
Through the triumph and trials alike
There's no-one beside You
Verse 4
Your voice called the stars by their name
'Cause You whispered them all to their place
To testify to Your wonder and praise
Both now and forever
Chorus 2
There's none beside You God
There's none beside You God
I love my life to shine Your light
'Cause there's none beside You God
No eye has seen
No ear has heard
The depths of Your love, Lord
No mind can fathom
The love You deserve
How great You are

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

my prayer this week in a song by elevation worship

I need you to soften my heart
To break me apart
I need you to open my eyes
To see that You're shaping my life

All I am,
I surrender

Give me faith to trust what you say
That you're good and your love is great
I'm broken inside, I give you my life

Verse 2:
I need you to soften my heart
To break me apart
I need you pierce through the dark
And cleanse every part of me


I may be weak
Your spirit strong in me
My flesh may fail
My God you never will (repeat)

Chorus 2x


Saturday, May 14, 2011

God's faithfulness at a funeral

i went to a funeral today for my friend's mom. she was just 51 years old. but oddly enough i walked out praising God and singing these words

Great is Your faithfulness
Great is Your faithfulness
You never change
You never fail, O God

True are Your promises
True are Your promises
You never change
You never fail, O God

So we raise up holy hands
To praise the Holy One
Who was and is and is to come

Wide is Your love and grace
Wide is Your love and grace
You never change
You never fail, O God

You were, You are
You will always be

my friend's brother stood up and read these verses ...

Isaiah 55:8-9

8For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9(A) For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

and then her brother said God has always been faithful to our family every day ... and today is no different.

how great is it that instead of doubting God or blaming Him this family can cling to Him just as their mom modeled all through her life? Our God is just that good ... and it continues to amazes me! yes there's pain and grief and tears, but God is still good. He is still the promise keeper. He is still the lover of our souls. the funeral made me think about a lot of things ... but i praise God that i could walk out of there trusting Him more and not less.

Monday, April 18, 2011

new additions to the house

my grad students came and hung out for the first time at my new house for some enchiladas and dominoes. they graciously brought me these items. there's an amazing lowe's gift card in the cute little tool box ... which can also work as a lunch box for a mini pbj we decided
one night last week Deb and I thought it would be a good idea to get a fire pit. so ... off to lowe's! we started a fire, put the fire pit together, roasted some marshmallows, and decided that my house would be smokey for the rest of the summer since our clothes were super campfire ish. a few days later i came home and Deb had brought these chairs and little table from her parents' home. score!
this is a cheap basketball for my hoop. if anyone wants to shoot hoops ... come on over!!
i bought a 2 step step ladder when my parents where here because ... let's face it ... i'm short... so short that a week later when my parents were up again my dad was kind enough to buy a 3 step step ladder and trade me for my 2 stepper ... thanks Dad!
Four doors down on the curb is where i found this great find. yet to determine if it really works ... but it says it does so that's got to be a plus.

this is the free lawn mower just delivered tonight by a friend's grandpa who i just met last night at .... pizza ranch in story city! thanks grandpa Paul!!

Feel free to come over and enjoy!!

Thanks God for providing all i need and more. You are too good to me!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

a work in progress

so my dad had to tell me rome wasn't built in a day ... and it's something i have had to keep in mind since buying a new house and having my never ending to do list as well as my "i should process this" list explode. but here it is so far .... God's work in progress that he graciously gave me to be a steward of

and yes ... they did leave the basketball hoop!

here's the back of the house ... where i have spent some time since it's getting warm! woot woot for spring. i got a random grill that was on the curb about 4 houses down so i'm excited to fire it up and toss the frisbee around

here's the living room upstairs

the kitchen/dining/living

the sunroom
my reading nook
someday i will put shelves in that big opening that used to be a door and fill it up with books
the den downstairs ... just like home since all the furniture is from my parents' home
my office ... not complete without a wipe off board

the other side of the office
my room ... also much like home since the set up and the furniture are from my childhood.

so ya ... that's my house so far. please come see it and hang out anytime! i would love to share it with you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


it's interesting when lent rolls around. growing up we had lenten suppers and services ... but we weren't those people who gave up candy or pop or anything for lent. but when i came to college at first cornerstone didn't even mention lent and then easter came without thought and meditation. the day came and went and my heart wasn't super affected. bummer. recently they started talking about lent a bit more and how it's good to give something up that gets in the way of knowing God more. not getting rid of eating dessert or drinking pop because that's a good goal and perhaps i should eat less sugar or intake less caffeine anyway in order to loose weight or be less dependent on caffeine ... but to give up something and replace it with something that brings me closer to the one true God who gave up his son in order for me to live the life i was intended.

so a couple years ago i gave up watching movies for lent ... and i come around to this year ... unfortunately i have the same problem i had a couple years ago. movies are my default. i come home and if i have nothing to do i watch a movie. cable is crazy .... i rarely watched tv until my sr. year of college ... and tv isn't all bad. but sometimes i just waste time in front of the tv watching things that aren't encouraging me to think about things that are good and right and true and helpful. last weekend at the saturday night service at cornerstone we talked about the surpassing worth of knowing Christ and that Paul counted all things loss compared to knowing Christ Jesus. if that is true (and it's in the bible so you know ... ) then it makes the decision quite easy to give up movies until easter ... it is not a sacrifice then because knowing Christ is so much better than anything else.

interesting though ... i still didn't make the final decision until today. i haven't watched any movies since ash wednesday (leaving my options open) but i didn't commit. and why? if it's so much BETTER for me to just cut off one of the main things that distracts me from God in this season of my life why would it be hard to make the commitment? and then my ugly heart comes out ... i would give up movies for God, but would i give up movies knowing that i will have to explain why i am giving up movies? that's the kicker ... am i ashamed of letting it be known that i am actually seeking to know God? that knowing him is important enough to give up something that is fun but really hasn't been that beneficial when i look back over the past few years? am i concerned that people will get the wrong message and i'm just doing this out of legalism ... just trying to be a better christian or something? and perhaps people will always misunderstand, but God knows my heart and i don't have to be ashamed to be honest when answering questions.

glimpse into my heart that needs God to continue to make it new .... crazy that i would give something up for God but hide that from the world. not like i need to proclaim it from the mountain tops or anything, but what a bummer to be tempted to lie about it ... for what? approval? comfort? .... lame

so it's official ... i am excited to give up watching movies until Easter in anticipation that God will use those extra hours in my week to know and love God more! (and when i fail, which i will, He is there ready to pour the grace of His gospel on me).

happy lent my friends! happy lent!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

important but not-so-urgent

i went to this supervisory workshop back awhile ago and they taught me about this thing called Covey's time management matrix (i didn't know that was what it was called until google so kindly helped me out 30 seconds ago). so i was rummaging through my file folders at work this week (while trying to rearrange my life) and ran across my notes about this matrix. there's four different quadrants to help you prioritize effectively ... important/urgent (must be dealt with now-i must react to the crisis)... important/not urgent (the happy place where things are planned and i am proactive-this is where we should try to be) ... not important/urgent (phone calls, emails, interruptions)... not important/not urgent (wasting time, busy work, trivial).

the barn is my sweet spot. i like it. it's comfortable and often highly enjoyable. i've ended up in the office for almost 2 weeks straight. and i feel as if the office brings out the worst in me (well perhaps the lab does, but i haven't been there enough to know). after being a crazy busy barn filled 50 hr/wk work week January ... i entered into this odd time in the office with little animal work on my to do list (which often ends up as high priority). it's been really showing me how challenging it is for me to be in that important/not urgent quadrant of Covey's matrix. i don't know if it's because i enjoy being just busy enough that i can leave the less desirable things in the parking lot (just waiting for me to have time) and have a legit excuse why they are still sitting there. ... or if i just can't see the long term benefits perfecting things like standard operating procedures and our all too new purchase order system or processes to ensure data integrity and completeness.

it's interesting for me to see (and this week it's been slamming me in the face) what an uphill battle it really is to be in that important/not urgent quadrant. if something is urgent ... i'm there. i'll be emailing at 10pm and in the barn at 6am ... it's important and urgent let's figure it out and getter done. emails pop up ... i answer. grad students walk in ... i chat (and love it). interruptions occur ... i get distracted. urgent but not so important perhaps. trivial ... unfortunately i'm probably not that bad at this quadrant either. but man!! important and not urgent ... but faithfulness in the little things that will make a difference in the long run. .... it's a fight to be there. and i guess it shouldn't surprise me at all. it's never natural to fall into good, effective, quality, beneficial. just like if left alone i will fall into sin, not out of it.

so what is important? and how does important surpass urgent? (okay if there's a fire i should still put it out ... but there's still something to be said about fire prevention ... instead of fire fighting)

and perhaps it will always be a fight. and perhaps remembering some battles are worth fighting is part of that fight.