a friend

As I enter another period of transition in my life, I keep catching myself reflecting on the friends I have made through out the years and how unique each relationship has been, but I have also noticed similarities between them.

I was lucky to live with one of my best friends for 3 years in college. We stayed up late reading magazines, eating Wendy’s, and talking in British accents; but more than that this girl new what I was thinking by how a pursed my lips. She knew if I was amused, about to laugh, frustrated, or trying to hold back something that wouldn’t be that kind. To be honest, it was pretty annoying. I could basically get nothing past her. She could call me out on just about anything and pull me back down earth. At times it drove me crazy, but I don’t think I would have survived college without her laughter, perspective, and support.

One time I showed up at a friend’s house and she had bought a bag of jolly ranchers and picked out all the blue ones, just for me. This same amazing person would show up to high school with my favorite drink from Starbucks – she never had to ask what it was, she is just the type that notices the little things. She lets me call her and cry, and yell, and blabber on about anything, with great patience. She is the type of person who really pays attention to her friends and loves to give back in little ways. I’m convinced she can make anyone feel special in an instant.

Then there’s the amazing friend who I have just about everything in common with. We love alfredo pizza from cici’s, cheesy movies, and our puppies. She knows when to ask me the tough questions and when to give me a little bit of space, but she does always ask the tough questions. She pushes me forward and asks me what God is telling me to do. She makes me better and she gets me. She is a blessing. I don’t have to explain myself because she already knows and she already gets it.

Friends are truly precious. I’ve been lucky to have these 3 women in my life. All the relationships are different, but they are, in the end, relationships of give and take and of love and kindness.

I stopped writing in this blog after told my original story, because I really wasn’t sure where I wanted to go from there. I blogged for a while about the different things that God was laying on my heart, but I was never quite sure where this blog was going – or if it was going anywhere.

But I think the reason why I want this blog is found in friendship and relationship. I hope this can be a place where I can give like my friends have given to me. I hope I can share what grace has done in my life, and make a few friends a long the way. This excites me and scares me. It will require vulnerability and honesty, and even more grace – every time I get ready to push the publish button. 

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the evil one.

You may have read in my last post that I have recently been enthralled by the concept of knowing and being known by God, and through this journey something else has come to my attention. In knowing Him better and studying scripture to find out what He’s like, I realize I better understand what He’s not.

I feel more familiar with the Lord’s voice and His promptings, and almost alarmingly aware of what is not from Him. Satan can sound seductively kind, caring, and helpful, as he tries to pull us away from the plan God has for us. I have a professor who refers to Satan only as “the evil one”. I like this, as it makes it impossible for us to forget that all Satan is, is true evil. The name Satan often conjures up images of a man in a red outfit with a pitch fork, I’m pretty sure he loves that this happens as it take our eyes away from the evil. There is nothing Satan is that is not evil. In Hebrew Satan can be translated as adversary or oppressor, this often interpreted as a struggle against evil.* All that is evil is the being we think of as Satan. The evil one encompasses the depth of the depravity in our world, everything that is fallen, everything that would obstruct our path as we seek to follow God. The evil one is absolutely our adversary, it is an evil that is against us at every step and every turn, and so we need God. We desperately need God to help us.

The depth of the evil that seeks our destruction should show us how great our need for God truly is. The pure evil that would attempt to turn us from Christ is not something that we can handle on our own, oh how we need our God to save us, and help us.

Again, for me, part of this battle is truly being known by my Father. Knowing Him, so that I know His voice above all others. Being honest enough to voice my struggles and failings with Him. I need to know His voice and His guidance so that I am not misled by the evil that would seductively trap me. I think the evil one has many tactics, and one of those appears to be to often approach us under the disguise of something sweet, or not so harmful.

Last night I found myself in one of these situations where Satan comes across as trying to take care of me. “It’s ok you don’t really need to do this, it is fall break after all.” “It’s ok you are tired and you worked so hard on homework all afternoon.” “Look your tire light is on and you shouldn’t drive across town in the dark with the tire light on! You could get hurt!” The last one is what got me. My tire light comes on at any subtle change in the weather (and actually been on for about a week), and so when I felt that lie, it was really almost laughable. The problem is that I actually thought something like “Oh man that’s so true, my dad would not want me driving right now.” Oh my gosh, really?? No thank you, Satan. And so I kept driving to my church to worship and find community and was so blessed by those moments with my God. The evil one was trying to mislead me and his attack was obvious, but it is not always so clear and not always so easy to choose Christ and His power in those moments.

In this the need to know God, really know Him, so that we can respond to Him and Him alone seems so imperative.

*Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary ; Neff, D. D. (1991). A dozen Greek and Hebrew words you ought to know. Christianity Today, 35(12), 30. and; Satan: The Early Christian Tradition By Jeffrey Burton Russell

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knowing Him.

Hello! I’m so happy you’ve stopped by my little blog today! I was planning on writing and telling you all about the conference I attended last weekend…but instead I’m posting something I wrote right before I left. I think many of you know that life has recently been pretty hard, many unexpected twists and turns have occurred and through it all God has constantly reminded me that He is God and in all things He is good. “God is good” just keeps playing over and over in my head, and this post is a little snippet of one of the ways He has been so good to me lately.

 

Seeking Him.

In the last month I felt God constantly and rather sweetly reminding me to seek Him first. I’ve been reminded of Mathew 6:33 in many different and sometimes unexpected ways.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”

For me seeking Him has been getting to know Him better, to know and be known by Him. This concept hit me in really beautiful way that in seeking Him and knowing Him, my creator can more intimately know me as well.

I have the knowledge that He created me, that He knows my thoughts, my actions, and every hair on my head, but there is something really wonderful about being made more aware of the intimacy He offers in relationship. In knowing Him and seeking His wisdom, learning about his character and grace, I find myself becoming more honest in my prayers and petitions to Him, more inclined to share my heart. Far too often my thoughts have been, “well He’s God, so He already knows my heart, my pain, my ideas, my wants…” but He offers something so much greater as we seek Him and He seeks us.  Seeking to really know my God has been an eye-opening experience, not because I’d never thought of this concept before, but because at this time in my life, in these moments, knowing Him through His word and learning about His character and many attributes has inspired deeper faith through greater honesty and vulnerability within me. It is truly a gift to be known and heard and cared for by The One who thought me up from very the beginning.

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A little more about me…

Hello All! This is another post with the Influence Conference in mind. For those of you who don’t know next Thursday I will be flying to Indianapolis to attend this awesome event. I even get to steal my brother’s girlfriend for the weekend and bring her with me. Not only am I excited about an awesome girls weekend, but every day I get to connect a little more with other women attending the conference. Blogging is one of the ways we are doing this. I first heard about this conference through Casey’s blog, which is one of my favorites. Not only is she a fellow Baylor girl, she shares her heart and her story in a truly honest and beautiful way.

So here is my addition to  “Get to know you” Part 1

1. The most played song on my ipod is….NeedtoBreathe Let us Love. As soon as I hear the opening notes to this song my heart is immediately engaged.

2. If I could only work on one project this next year it would be becoming officially licensed as a therapist! I have a passion for working with teenagers and young adults and helping them find their identity. I would love to move forward in that and begin forming my own practice.

3. I think my families favorite stories about me all seem center around my fear of bugs, frogs, and spiders. When I was very little (like age 2) my dad told me I had a big green bug on my head and I went ballistic. Luckily his mom was there too, so He got in trouble for that one. However, at about age 10 he hid a hot pink stuffed animal frog in my room, but told me that he had seen a real frog in there and we needed to go catch it. My whole family came into my room with me and my dad pretended to catch the frog…he then proceeded to toss it to me. I screamed and went ballistic. Needless to say I do not like having creepy crawly things on me. In both instances my dad claims he felt really really bad, but the stories are continually told…I’m sure had I not been the one being traumatized by hot pink frogs and fake bugs I would think it was funny too.

3. The best part of waking up is those few moments I have to cuddle in bed and think about my day or remember my dreams. Those few moments that are just for me before anybody else is involved, and before anything has to be done. I love those moments. I love getting to listen to music for a few minutes and read a little…sometimes from the Bible, sometimes just from a good book. It’s a time of reflection. I look forward to those moments everyday.

4. This one is tricky. The question is “what is your favorite time of day, day of the week, or month of the year?” hmmm. I love relaxing mornings that end with brunch and wonderful people…but I would have to say Sundays are my favorite days. I love Sunday. It’s generally peaceful and relaxing. I enjoy going to church and lunch with family followed by some time for myself. Even doing homework on Sundays seems a bit more relaxing (although I try to avoid this and actually have a day off). Sunday’s are just special. Well I guess I’m answering all of the questions, but I really love December. Like many people I think Christmas is amazing, but there is something about December and the coming of the New Year that fills me with excitement. If I had to pick to pick a month, it is definitely December.

Well there you have it…a little more about me 🙂 I’m so excited that this time next week I will be at Influence!

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3 things about me

Hello Influence Ladies!! I’m so excited to meet you all next week! I can’t believe it’s almost here!

Three random things about me…this was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but here we go.

1. About 2 weeks ago I got the sweetest most wonderful puppy in world. I am officially a dog person. After 25 years of being a self-proclaimed cat person…this little pup has stolen my heart. She has me acting all kinds of crazy…talking to her, running home whenever possible to check on her, worrying about what she’s doing when I’m at work or school, buying her sweaters…the list goes on. I am so happy that my sweet little Hollie is part of my life.

2. I am an avid reader of Christian Romance novels…kind of cheesy but I can’t put them down, especially historical fiction. I have always loved to read, but I find that now when I have some free time and want to relax some Christian chic lit is where I turn.

3. During the past few years I’ve moved around a bit, from Texas to North Carolina, and finally back home to Oklahoma. All of this was due to school and pursuing my Master’s degree, which I am happy to say will be complete in December! It was a lot of moving, but it was amazing. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. It also made coming home feel extra special. I feel very blessed that I got to finish my Master’s in Oklahoma close to family.

So now you know…3 things about me! I can’t wait to see you all in person next Thursday!

XOXX

Kelli

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a work of his hands

I have recently felt so overwhelmed and comforted by the fact that I am a work of His hands.  How blessed we are to be created by God, and to continually be shaped by Him everyday of our lives. He created us intentionally for a specific purpose with specific gifts, strengths, and weaknesses. I am finding comfort in the fact that He is so intimately aware of my weakness.

There is something so sweet about the idea that He knows me in my weakness. After all, it is through our weakness that His strength and power are seen; it is when I am weak that He is made strong. He does not rely on me to accomplish His work, but I am so lucky that God created me with specific strengths and weaknesses so that I can better serve Him. It seems to me that in my weakness I have an opportunity to let Him be God in my life. In my weakness I can choose to obey and honor God.

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

We are works of His hands. How beautiful. How freeing it is to know that He molds us and shapes us so that we can add to His glory, and bring glory to His name. Even in our weakness there is a chance to bring Him glory. I love that.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

He created us!! I am a product of His wisdom and His design. How awesome! How amazing that our God thought us out according to His purpose.

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb,
“I, the LORD, am the maker of all things,
Stretching out the heavens by Myself
And spreading out the earth all alone…

Isaiah 44:24

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lost in the woods

Getting lost in the woods.

I continually dream about living somewhere with lots and lots of trees.  Yes, compared to other dreams of mine, this one may be rather small, or lack great significance towards accomplishing things in life.  However, it makes me very very happy.  I live in Oklahoma, and while it is much prettier than most people assume, it’s no North Carolina, Georgia, Oregon, or Washington.  I truly hope at some point life will bring me towards a state that has some magnificent trees.  I take after my dad in this dream.  We both love the outdoors.  We love hiking, wandering, reading, and just sitting outside preferably surrounded by beauty.  To me one of the most beautiful things out there are trees, flowers, and nature in general.  I love the forest.  I love our annual summer trip to New Mexico spending days surrounded by such natural beauty.

I love being completely surrounded by trees and nature.  Just being there feels like worship.  One day I think it will be beautiful to live somewhere where I can walk through the woods whenever I like, and soon be surrounded by it.  It’s one of those things that makes me deeply, truly happy.  It’s one of the things that I find to be the most beautiful.  It makes me feel cared for and loved by my creator that He allows me to see such great things.  Being there just me and the woods, it feels like sharing a secret with my Savior. It’s almost automatically intimate and I love to savor every moment with Him.

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