Monday, August 22, 2011


I wrote the story below 5 years ago. I can't believe it has been that long... Lately, I've been doing a lot of reflection/evaluation in my life, trying to gage where I've been, where I am at, and what I still need to work on in my walk with Christ. These sentiments expressed here have never left me and although I've struggled in my walk at times, this has held fast and has only grown stronger. At this time in my life, with so many changes ahead for me and many of my friends, along with having returned from Riverland, this event may have happened 5 years ago, but the feelings are as true as ever in my life.

Smelly Memories

"So I was driving home one night after class and I was having a hard time finding the comfortable point between the super cold air or the lovely Oklahoma humidity. I decided that I would try the outside air option instead in hopes that this would bring homeostasis.


Anyway, I'm not sure if the air actually smelled this way outside or if it was just the air from inside the dash, but it smelled of heat and mold; it had a strange bitterness to it as well, and as much as you would think this would be unpleasant to me, it was the very opposite.

The smell was exactly like the way it smelled in Matamores, Mexico at the children's home where my family and I would go every year to do mission work when I was a kid. As I smelled this air, I imagined children playing soccer in the dusty field behind the pig pens and then drinking Joyas after teaching VBS. I remember how it felt to know that what I was doing was really important and that I loved it very much. That smell even made me miss the bunkhouse we stayed in and the simple life we led while living there.

Almost as quickly as it had come, the air changed and it smelled of night and grass with a touch of exhaust. As the smell faded, I felt a rush within me, as if something was pulling me back to this world. Tears began to rise, but I held them back. I know that what I really missed was the simplicity of life- loving God not just with my words but with my entire life and leaving everything this life offers in the dust.

I want to have that again someday. I want so much more than what this world offers." 
(Angela Willard, 2006)

I'm ready to jump. To free fall with the only net needed, Jesus Christ. It's so simple.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


So much has happened since I last wrote on here... My best friend got married. I've been to the other side of the world. Summer is almost over. I can't believe it. Seriously.

God has been stretching me so much this summer and I have had to take a step back and look at everything that has happened and try to find the lessons and blessings in it all.

Let's break it down:

  • My best friend got married. If you have already been through this, help me out. I have come to a further realization that our loved ones lives will continue on their own path and even as juvenile as it may sound, my dreams of growing up beside one another, having babies side-by-side, and drinking sweet tea on eachother's porches each week are likely to not happen. As we each seek to follow the journey Christ has set before us, we must realize that it will often take us away from what we thought we wanted. I know for me that I used to want so much for my life, good stuff, too, and although I still want those things, I want my God more. I want his will more. I want the narrow path more than the less narrow path. As I watch my dearest friends venture off, I must look to God and God alone and accept what He lays before me. Another aspect of this new realization is that I must trust God with my loved ones lives as they trek a new path without me. They are no longer doing what I do, living where I live, seeing the same people I do. Do I trust God with their lives and decisions? I, at times, barely trust him with my own....I pray for His wisdom as I tread in unknown waters. 
  • I went to the other side of the world. My heart and head finally came to agreeance with the Spirit and I made my way to Riverland in Central Asia to encourage a small group of believers there. So many people have asked me if it changed my life and my answer is, yes, of course. How could it not? But the real change happened before going overseas. The very fact that God has changed my heart to burden for the nations and that my desire to go was greater than my fear is the true miracle. I had prayed for so long for Him to change my heart to be like His. It reminds me of a verse I love in Psalm 119, verse 32 says, "I will run in the way of your commandments, when you enlarge my heart!". I needed for him to enlarge my heart, to change it so that I run in obedience to him.
  • I am learning the strength and character that comes from patient waiting...story of my life really. I get a little scared thinking about what God is going to ask me to do with all this strength, character, and wisdom He is developing in me. All I know is that He is the same good and righteous God in times of joy and in times of trial and I want to trust Him with my whole life.  There is change on the horizon for me and I get excited thinking about what is coming and yet scared too...Trusting is not my strong suit. I am so thankful though that He isn't done with me yet. He is still using me and growing me and I am beyond humbled. For this, I am so thankful.
  • As summer begins to wind down, I get so excited thinking about autumn and the holidays! And my birthday! 26. Good grief. I am trying to find joy in all of life, especially the simple things. This summer went so fast I almost didn't enjoy it and I am going to make sure that doesn't happen in these next seasons. I want to live life simply and gloriously for Jesus. He is in the small, beautiful things in life, not just books of theology or Christian thought discussions. He's in the joy of the changing of the leaves, laughing with my best friends, and so many other wonderful things. It's easy to forget that. I want to remember again....

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;  
 his mercies never come to an end;
they are new
every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."
 The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
   to the soul who seeks him.
 It is good that one should wait quietly
   for the salvation of the LORD.
 It is good for a man that he bear
   the yoke in his youth."

Lamentations 3:22-27

Love muchly,