Saturday, December 6, 2008


1 Corithians 13 :4-7
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Last week I went to see the movie Fireproof, staring Kirk Cameron. The movie illustrated the concept of pure, unconditional love. A love that is strong enough to endure the flames... flames of infidelity, addiction, pride, bitterness, resentment, distrust, brokenness, hurt... A couple's broken marriage portraying the picture of our rejection to Christ. A husband's pride and cheap addiction, a wife's deceit and bitterness, all comparable to the idolatry and infidelity we commit daily against Christ. Every shift in priority, every shade of gray, every step closer to the line...oh how Christ must ache with agony as his Father looks down and sees his Son, his Gift rejected again and again and again. Yet each time I surrender with pitiful apologies and broken repentance, he brings me to complete restoration. Who am I that he should keep no record of wrong, that he should never lose faith in me, endure all my horrid transgressions? And yet he loves me the same. And I think, could I do that? Could I love someone who betrayed me? Forgive someone who traded me in? Trust someone who continuously lied? Bless and rejoice over someone who rejection who I am? My flesh screams no, but my Spirit withstands the flames. With a love like Christ, pure undefiled, agape love... a love to endure every circumstance and keep no record of being flesh is weak, but my Spirit is strong.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Beautifully Broken Reflection

I was so unique
Now I feel skin deep
I count on the make-up to cover it all
Crying myself to sleep cause I cannot keep their attention
I thought I could be strong
But it's killing me
Does someone hear my cry?
I'm dying for new life
I want to be beautiful
Make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart,and be amazed
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough
Just want to be worthy of love
And beautiful
Sometimes I wish I was someone other than me
Fighting to make the mirror happy
Trying to find whatever is missing
Won't you help me back to glory
You make me beautiful
You make me stand in awe
You step inside my heart, and I am amazed
I love to hear You say
Who I am is quite enough
You make me worthy of love and beautiful
-Bethany Dillon
Do you ever listen to a song and feel like your thoughts were just displayed for all to hear? With every word your heart feels a little more heavy, yet more relieved? You realize you aren't the only one....your brokenness and insecurity isn't so unique? And the best part is the ending, the breath to lift your sunken spirit, the hope flickering in your defeat. Theres relief in being broken, raw and unguarded, and yet theres tormoil. My heart constantly in conflict between feelings of doubt and insecurity, acceptance and perfect love. This causes me to check my own heart, I feel inadequate and scrutinized only when I am looking at a reflection, whether in the faces or the words of others or in the image of myself. It is only when I am looking into the heart of Jesus, eyes focused on the reflection of his words of love and truth can I feel enough. complete. perfect. accepted. truly loved. truly truly perfectly faithfully loved. So what does that say about me? All too often I am looking into the wrong reflection... I will never be enough, never be perfect, never feel adequate- unless- unless I look to Christ as enough, to Christ's perfection.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

In His Shadow

Psalm 91
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. 3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. 4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. 6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. 7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. 8 Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. 9 If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, 10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. 11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. 12 They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. 13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! 14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. 15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. 16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
A few months ago, while I was at my cousin's church, a visiting pastor's wife approached me. She knew my family that attended there and had overheard that I was newly engaged, so she came over to congratulate me. Soon we were in conversation and talking about my soon-to-be-husband. When I told her that he was in the Army and serving in Iraq, her face immediately softened. She took my hand and said, I have a story to tell you... she proceeded to tell me a story of a small country town during World War II...and the strength of the women in that town. There was a book written about their legacy and the legacy of the soldiers they were waiting for at home. Their soldiers, gone to war, were blessed to have such faithful, godly women in their lives. Each morning, these ladies met at the townhall for prayer. They gathered in a circle and together prayed aloud Psalm 91 over each and every loved soldier... Jesus was faithful to intercede, and God was faithful to hear their cries. That town, was the only town in their state to leave a legacy like they did...when the war ended and the women tied their yellow ribbons around the "Old Oak Tree", EACH and EVERY soldier came home. There were NO casualties from that town. God Almighty, our Defender and Protector, heard every prayer from the lips of those faithful women and kept each soldier safely in His shadow. I pray that I would be reminded and convicted to remember this story and not only faithfully pray for our troops, but to claim the Lord's peace and TRUST that my soldier and all those I love will find shelter in His wings...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Red Flags at the Lake House

I am sitting in my livingroom with a cozy fire gently glowing, watching "The Lakehouse" occurs to me that though the plot impossible, it reflects so much of how life feels at the moment. Love letters through a mailbox. Two worlds entirely apart. A lake to separate them, yet bring them together. A hope of life to come. It seems so strange to be an entire world away, to wake up when he is eating dinner, to fall asleep at his alarm. An ocean, a continent, a desert. So many things that keep us so far apart. Still, my heart is eternally tied to his, our lives meant to intertwine. Love letters through a mailbox...a facebook account, a webcam conversation absent of a headset. Sometimes I think I can't remember what "us" felt like before the deployment. I can't remember a conversation that didn't entail wishful thinking or didn't end with the word "soon", but rather now, five minutes, tomorrow... Being an Army fiance is a wonderful blessing I wouldn't trade for anything. Not for an 8 to 5 job, a suit and tie, a saturday night date, a tuesday dinner, a cell phone number to call... loving a soldier takes a strong heart. Waiting for the next 20 minute phone call, going to sleep without a goodnight. Loving a soldier is feeling so proud your heart is going to explode. Seeing him in ACUs and falling inlove all over again. Waiting an entire year just to say hello to HIM. Loving a soldier is worth every red flag on the mailbox, every crossed off day, every second of the 8 hour time difference. Loving a soldier is everything. even if for a while, you live at the lakehouse....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Peppermint Tea

...5 months, 3 days.... time that has lapsed since I held my soldier in my arms. On one hand, 5 months isn't so significant. Two seasons come and gone in a flash, summer vacation complete, a fifth semester commencing. On the other..5 months equals one semester of college; nearly two, three major holidays, my birthday, our anniversary, a wedding half-way planned, and ten boxes of peppermint tea. Oh the moments those 5 months have held. Some joyous; a trip to Texas, presents from Iraq, treasured love letters, a best friend's wedding, the arrival of a friend's beautiful baby girl... others more trials than memories; a never-ending battle of faulty Iraq internet connection, broken webcams, sleepless nights, hooah moments marked by tears, a stressful job, a schedule with no freedom, a life without my other half...but yet amidst the joy and trials, one thing remains. Love. not just any simple love, but unconditional perfect love. The love of a Savior whose arms are always open, whose hands are always strong enough, whose heart is always gentle. My Savior, my Friend, My Dad. For every moment I've felt alone, He has held me close. Every fear, He has promised comfort and perfect peace. Every sleepless night, He was always by my side. For every hooah and every sip of peppermint tea.

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