02 December 2009


i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

by e.e. cummings

18 November 2009

wednesday meditation

ah life.

days have passed so quickly...

so much to say, but to somehow keep up with this blog, I'll share what I'm meditating on...


"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one things I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Phillippians 3:12-14

"Dear souls, how little they know that the abiding in Christ is just meant for the weak, and so beautifully sutied to their feebleness. It is not the doing of some great thing that does not demand that we first lead a holy and devoted life. No, it is simply weakness entrusting itself to a MIght One to be kept--the unfaithful one casting self on One who is altogether turstworthy and true. Abiding in Him is not a work that we hav eto do as the condition for enjoying His salvation, but a consenting to let Him do all fo rus, and in us, and through us. It is a work He does for us: the fruit and the power of His redeeming love. Our part is simply to yield, to trust, and to wait for what He has engaged to perform."
Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ

27 October 2009

the hood.

From [biblical and] theological perspectives, the neighborhood is an important place by its very nature. It is home; the place we inhabit. It’s where God’s presence is most tangible and it’s where the church is called to be. We human beings are most human when we embrace the places of our lives from the inside; when we live rooted lives that respect the daily places that inhabit us and make us who we are. So too with God: the God of the Christian faith is the God who takes on flesh and blood and moves into the neighborhood; the God en-fleshed in our most mundane surroundings, forever sanctifying them as sacred. So too, the church: by its very nature it’s an embedded community that cannot exist apart from its most local surroundings. It is a neighborhood reality, a church most true to its character when it lives and breathes right where it is.

-Simon Carey Holt, God Next Door: Spirituality & Mission in the Neighborhood, p. 89

17 October 2009

i'm less afraid to fail than to never try.

i'm not sure i'm ready to do this.

update, i mean.

i feel like there is so much, but i'm not quite sure how to articulate it all just yet.

i say that i do this for the sake of those who read this (hi mom:)

but, i think (although, i hate to admit it) that writing here is beneficial for me too.

so, cue the music (preferably, this). quick update...

over the past 3 weeks, I:

*stopped working at IJM (international justice mission)
*moved quadrants, i.e. across the city (from SE DC to NE DC)
*started working part-part time at my church with a non-profit, The Antioch Group
*obviously, along the way, became obsessed with parentheticals
*started a neighborhood prayer group (really excited about this!)
*completed 2 wks of my training to become a counselor at Capital Hill Crisis Pregnancy Center
*started my new job called "Emily, wake up and Apply for Jobs (and don't forget to work out or you will get grumpy)".

Ok, yep. that about covers it.

well, in between you should throw in:

*weekend trip to NYC to see margie (=new jewelry:)
*lots of porch talks with my neighbors
*a few flag football games (as a player, not a watcher)
*mornings at the coffee shop with my trusty laptop
*killer house warming partaaay (thanks friends and new hood!) (=ed amazing paintings for our living room & too much pumpkin bread)

it's been great. it's been difficult. to be candid (and to steal from a previous post of mine that still rings true), there are days when I feel very happy and very content in life. Then there are days when I feel uneasy and desirous of everything I am not. I wish I could have a conversation with each of you so that I could more accurately and more honestly explain to you how beautiful, frustrating, simple, intricate, busy, exciting, troubling, painful, peaceful my day to day life truly is. Please don’t believe that my life is without fault and perfectly joyful, and please don’t believe that I am miserable or unsatisfied. I swing, back and forth. I do, however, attempt to pump my legs as hard as I can to swing closer to the joyful side of things.

My pastor said this morning that the trials we go through in life are the exercise room for our faith to be challenged, to change, and to grow. ("Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." james)

i really like that image.

yesterday, my friend mentioned that it seems i'm in a waiting room.

waiting room or gym?

the gym analogy makes me feel a bit more productive, so we'll go with that one.

but i like the waiting room analogy too. i like the image of sitting with people, of having them sit with you, learning about each other, listening to each other and patiently, joyfully living the in between. although, this "in between" feeling i'm experiencing is basically the epitome of what we as believers are called to live forever on this earth, right? we are always in between. we are in between being created in our home and going home to our creator.

so, perhaps, we should just assume to be in the exercise room 24/7, or sit in the waiting room 24/7, i'll let you pick the analogy that makes you most happy :)

well, anyways.

So yes, i'm working out a LOT. (not literally, but figuratively)

(is this post annoying anyone else? we aren't getting anywhere...)

(i'm sorry)

(i'm stopping)

(i'll come back, i promise)


16 September 2009

O God,

Help me discover the gifts you have gien me and how to use those gifts in a way that is worthy of the giver. Help me discover something of who I am from the things that I write, whether those things are a letter or a journal entry , a poem or a play, a novel or a note to a friend. In those lines and between those lines help me discover how to live my life. Grant that I might live it honestly, without pretensions or pseudonyms, and fragrantly, with the aroma of extravangant love spilling from the brokenness of my heart onto yours.

~a prayer for discovery

14 September 2009

Ocean City Triathlon!

Headed to the beach again this weekend! This time, for something all together different than the previous mentioned R&R.

Saturday morning as I packed up my swimsuite and googles, I kept questioning if this was actually happening. (Mind you, the kid googles from Target are probably not the best to use when doing a sprint-triathlon, but in an effort to save money--they actually did quite well!)

I don't consider myself an "athletic" person, but I do enjoy working out and I like to make that a priority in my life. However, I have NEVER competed in a race. When first approached by Melanie back in May about doing a Sprint-Tri, I really didn't give it a second thought. Sprint-Triathlon? Me? That's just not something I do.

But, then I started thinking about it and realized that it would be a good challenge and would allow me to change up my workout. I easily am distracted and bored if I keep doing the same thing at the gym. Reason #1 I don't think I'd be able to do a marathon or even half-marathon. All you do is run, and that is very daunting. But--a sprint-tri? As soon as you are tired of swimming, you start biking! As soon as you are tired of biking, you start running!

So this is what it looked like...

.35 mile swim, in the ocean.
13.5 mile bike
3.1 mile run, on the ocean shore

Here is me at the finish line! After traveling on/in the ocean, the road, and the shoreline~

Here is the wonderful family and friends that convinced me to do this. They cheered me on the whole way!

Some things I learned:

1) They write your age on your calf in permenant marker. I'm convinced this is done to push you harder. I mean, it doesn't feel too good to have someone pass you that has 53 written on their calf.

2) Be prepared for changes. We arrived at the race and learned that the running leg would be on the shoreline (like, on the sand instead of on the road).

3) If you don't have a road bike, you should prep yourself to be passed by everyone. It's ok, there is always next time. :)

4) All technical skill goes out the window as soon as you hit the waves. It was as if I forgot all the things I did while training.

But, I accomplished all of my goals:

1) Do not stop!
2) Do not be last!
3) Have fun :)

It's probably safe to say that I have been bitten by the bug. I am already looking at road bikes online...

But for now, all I want is a big juicy hamburger and french fries!

04 September 2009

date with obx.

headed to the coast for some r&r.

could not be more terrified and grateful to have this time away. time away from the chaos (chaos: typically refers to a state lacking order or predictability--yep my life, check check). i haven't updated too much recently, but much has changed and continues to change. i'm not in a place to articulate it all quite yet, but stay tuned...

so yes, time away.

time away from the internet (save mr.bb), time away from job searching, time away from logistics, time away from the 8-5, time away from suits, time away from...

and time away to enjoy, to stop, to sit, to read, to wear t-shirts, to meditate, to soak up, to love, to run, to swim, to play...

obx, i have never met you, but i feel a bit like a 16 yr old girl on her first date, nervous/excited and all knotted up.

see below, my new 3 day home:

23 August 2009

the fathers' house

I've been house sitting at the Fathers' house next door. It has been a grand experience.

For one, they live in a real house, like with real furniture and real door knobs. I, on the other hand, live in a somewhat disheveled house, with walls that have been painted white at least 6 times and appliances that take about 2 hrs to explain exactly how to get them to work. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my quirky hill home. They also have flowers, and a balcony....which make me love my house just a little bit less. :)

So yes, our neighbors (two priests), happened to ask me to water their plants and look after things while they were out of town for the past two weeks.

Of course, I dived into Merton. They have all of his writings sitting on their bookshelf (!!!). I was introduced to Merton by a dear friend in college, and I have been constantly intrigued by his thoughts on faith and God ever since.

On my 2 week bedside table sat a book of Merton's poetry with brilliant commentary to follow. Below is a sample of one that instantly pierced my soul, surprised me with its relativity and soothed me nightly as I re-read it over and over again...

"Probably the earliest of this group of poems, this poem presents a series of natural “emblems” that are called upon to function as meaningful signs in a season, if not of fury, at least of emptiness and apparent deadness. The barren natural landscape with its hidden vitality serves as an analogue for the inevitable and necessary winter periods of the human heart and spirit, which are summoned to undergo the detachment and purification of naked faith, “the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1)

Love Winter When the Plant Says Nothing

O little forests, meekly

Touch the snow with low branches!

O covered stones

Hide the house of growth!


Vegetal words,

Unlettered water,

Daily zero.

Pray undistracted

Curled Tree

Carved in steel

Buried zenith!

Fire, turn inward

To your weak fort,

To a burly infant spot,

A house of nothing.

O peace, bless this mad place:

Silence, love this growth

O silence, golden zero

Unsetting sun

Love winter when the plant says nothing

Fire, turn inward

To your weak fort,

To a burly infant spot,

A house of nothing.

(note on Stanza #4: "Here the paradox of the “weak fort” (from “fortis”—“strong”) combining protection with vulnerability, both contrasts with the “steel” tree of the previous stanza and suggests St. Paul’s statements, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). It is identified with a contrasting paradox, in which the “infant spot” is characterized as “burly”, a site of new beginnings, a lif-generating womb, that has unexpected strength and substance. This “fort” and “spot” is finally identified as “A House of Nothing”—apparently the opposite of “the house of growth” hidden in the opening stanza, but properly to be identified with it. Recognition that “the house of growth” must also be “A house of nothing” is the essential insight of the poem, the point at which the lessons of winter are revealed as a paradigm for authentic spiritual development: only by being reduced to nothing, by dying to autonomous, self-generated aspiration, can genuine growth take place. The concluding lines of the poem provide the context in which such a recognition can take place.")

I want to be a house of growth.
I want to be a house of nothing.

God, give me naked faith, “the evidence of things not seen”.

15 August 2009

tour del sur :)

road trip

hilton head island, SC--beach, best dog ever, elliott
savannah, GA--paula dean, candy, talking streets
birmingham, AL--urban cowboys, tip top grill
daingerfield, TX--family love, romeo, b-laire, watermelon, rodeo, jesus

So long D.C. South, here we come!

my co-pilot

Mr. Elliott Daniels


Best pralines I've ever tasted.


Why, hello there Ms. Paul Dean.


....almost home

Welcome to Texas, thank you Blue Bell :)

Just in time to go tomato pickin'


just a doll :)

yes, I know. It is upside down.

you know, just petting the deer.

playing cowboys.

momma loving

gurl, we are canning!

We LOVE Robin :)

sweetheart. :)

the gang headed to the watermelon festival~

yes, the hillbilly express made an appearance.

somebody was a little excited about the beads...


rodeo time

mis padres/themostamazingpeoplei'veevermet.
i hope to be like them when i grow up.


family :)

ahhhhhh. dairy queen.


04 August 2009

His Holy Pillow

It is here you birthed me
My flesh, my breath, my self
To unassuming parents; broken, healed, redeemed, called children of yours

It is here you filled me
Your spirit, your longings, your purpose
Penetrating every part of me, infiltrating each moment, thought, and heart’s desire

It is here you changed me
Watched me continually, and continually still, bounce between
holding tightly and letting go
struggling and freedom
weary songs and joyful melodies
arrogant perspectives and broken revelations
empty, desirous of everything and overflowingly full

you are before and after and in between it all

It is here your voice came alive to me
The experience of love manifest
I saw your face in my momma’s selfless grace
I witnessed your mercy in my sister’s constant care

I heard your whisper in silence, in laughter, in daddy's bear hugs

It is here you invited me
to breath in and out slowly

to rest

to relax

and to fall deeper into your holy pillow

10 July 2009


great op-ed on what is happening in Honduras:


09 July 2009

proverbs 3:5-6

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
your wine vats will brim over.
But don't, dear friend, resent God's discipline;
don't sulk under his loving correction.
It's the child he loves that God corrects;
a father's delight is behind all this.

06 July 2009

i'm going bananas

over bananas.

I like bananas and I eat them often, but never before have I been abnormally obsessed with them. They are an amazing food. They do incredible things, like make ice cream all by their lonesome. I'm serious. I know, you don't believe me, but try to trust me. I'll share with you just 2 quick recipes that you must try, and you will become a believer in power of bananas. These recipes have no sugar, no cream, no milk, no butter, no flour--and they are the sweetest and best tasting thing ever!

Recipe 1: THE Banana Cookie/Granola Bar/Best 'on the go' Breakfast Ever.

3 Ingredients:
3 Bananas (really ripe and mashed up)
2 cups of old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon of Vanilla extra

Mix all together. Feel free to add cinnomon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or whatever tickles your fancy to taste. In my opinion, the more spice the better! Drop into tablespoon size balls on a cookie sheet. Cook at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until cookie is lightly brown. *put in a air tight container and keep refridgerated--I like to spread some PB and sprinkle some extra cinnamon on mine~)

Recipe 2: Banana Ice Cream

1 Ingredient:
Frozen Bananas.

Yep. That's all. Frozen Bananas. Over the past months, I have found a dear love for frozen bananas. I like to eat one on my way to the gym or just as an afternoon snack--but this past week, I found out that frozen bananas are miraculous. They make ice cream.

Ok, here's how you do it:

Freeze Bananas (peel them and put them in a plastic bag in the freezer) Once completely frozen, remove from bag and cut up into smaller pieces. Place frozen banana pieces in a food processor. Blend for about 3 to 5 minutes. You might loose faith at first, but keep blending, just keep blending. You might stop a few times and scrap down the sides of the food processor and stir everything up. TaDa! Banana Ice Cream! This creation seriously rivals any new hip cool frozen yogurt! Move over PinkBerry.
*I also like to add a dash of cinnomon to top mine off* (oh, and you should be ready to eat this as soon as you make it, it melts fast. I haven't tried freezing the ice cream yet, so I'm not sure if it freezes well--I'll try that next time!)

Let me know if you try these or if you too have any simple banana recipes :)


28 June 2009

moving forward, not knowing where to go

it's that time again.

i'm pretty convinced that "I'm at another turning point..." is a phrase that might not ever be exempt from my vocabulary, but, instead has become an essential statement to describe life.


although, while talking to my best friend, i realized something. if i'm always at another turning point, then, in reality, i'm just going in circles. hmmm. that's not really the direction (read: direction-less) i want to be walking towards.

well, neither here nor there.

i'm at another turning point. it is a vulnerable place. a place that has become quite familiar but no more comfortable than when i first encountered it. my job at IJM is over in September. i'm unsure of what is next, and, although, i do not want to be overly concerned about what is next, i am realizing that is inevitable. my nature bends that way. the way towards worrying, preoccupation about the future and fear with a little touch of schizophrenia.

i know my dear Father calls me to a different way. a way that is full of peace. a way towards freedom. i know he calls me to rest. i know he calls me to not be concerned with man's voice or man's approval, but with the Kingdom of Heaven. However, it is so easy to be concerned with the things of this world, even good things. i find myself spending hours that turn into days of pondering different scenarios of life, of "ifs" and "whens".

i had dinner with a good friend the other night. she asked me, quite directly, "Emily, are you more concerned with what you are doing than with who you are becoming?"

i didn't have to blink before i knew the answer to that question. conviction comes like a sweet perfume, begging to overcome the stinch and allow itself to pour over me. i needed that perfume. you see, i've been trained my whole life to care more about what i am doing more than who i am becoming. this world begs me to care. we attend colleges for a certain training in order to do a job. we move across the country for jobs. i am trained to care about what i DO.

do we as believers move to places, to colleges, to communities because we feel that by moving there it will shape us? it seems that this is usually an afterthought. Are our decisions about life based on the desire for our person, our soul, our mind, our being to be shaped more into the person of Christ? i want my decisions to be based on this. (obviously, i'm not saying that you shouldn't make decisions based on what you do--but, perhaps, put the same amount of preparation and thought into how that decision will change WHO you are.)
I want to ask myself, who do you want to BE Emily? Isn't that what this is all about? this life--be-coming more like Christ? showing Christ to the world? i fully understand that what we do is in direct correlation with who we are, but let's face the music--i'm most certainly putting the cart before the horse. furthermore, and more importantly, i want to focus my attention on WHO trasforms me, restores me, changes me. i want to pursue and seek after my Father. i want to know Him more fully. i want no other distractions from my one desire to know Him. no doubt that if i live on that vine, my fruit will follow. unfortunately, i'm concentrating too much on what field i want God to plant me in, instead of the fruit he wants to produce in me--regardless of where i am planted. (i'm reading Galations at the moment, hope this analogy is making sense...)

i say often that i am waiting on God. waiting on what? should be the question that follows. then the truth would come out. i would list a number of things...i'm waiting on a job, a place, a person, an opportunity, more money, a direction...

See, i'm a very silly tree.

Didn't i just claim that i was waiting on God? whom? God. ah, yes.

Him. God. Father. Jesus. Lover. Spirit. Speaker. Stir in me. Stir up WHO you have called me to Be.

alli rogers' song echoes close to my heart today. could you please pray that i will trust my Daddy God enough to be brave? pray that i trust his still small voice above the deafening screams of the world around me.

I will find my place
I don’t know what’s going on today
but lead me down
whatever path has led me here
I may never conquer this fear

But you have never left me
I have sunken inward and scattered out again
And you have never left

And if I’m brave I will find my place
Maybe courage is not all they say
Cause I have found
that the sweetest moment on this road
is moving forward, not knowing where to go

And you have never left me
I have broken down
and danced around your truth
And you have never left

If I’m brave I will move through fear
Through circling around and nothing’s ever clear
I will find my place, through jumping up and down
and I still can’t see your face

But you have never left me
I have run away and denied your name
and you have never left
You have never left me
And if I’m brave I will, if I’m brave

15 June 2009

vague stirrings

(excerpt from Traveling Mercies, Anne Lamott)

...A memory came to me then, of our pastor telling us just the week before how she gets direction from God in prayer; she said that when she prays for direction, one spot of illumination always appears just beyond her feet, a circle of light into which she can step. She moved away from the pulpit to demonstrate, stepping forward shyly into an imagined spotlight, and then, after standing there looking puzzled, she moved another step forward to where the light had gone, two feet ahead of where she had been standing, and then again.

"We in our Faith work," she said, "stumble along toward where we think we're supposed to go, bumbling along, and here is what's so amazing--we end up getting exactly where we are supposed to be."

But I couldn't discern even what direction to face. And I didn't understand why as usual God couldn't give me a loud or obvious answer, through a megaphone or thunder, skywriting or stigmata. Why does God always use dreams, intuition, memory, phone calls, vague stirrings in my heart? I would say that this really doesn't work for me at all.

Except that it does.

11 June 2009

what do you want to say?

what i want to say is stop. just stop and enjoy where you are. soak in the people around you, soak in the smell, soak in every conversation. don't wish you were somewhere else.

what i want to say is if you do wish you were somewhere else, then take the plunge and go there. yes, it will probably be difficult, but it will be a wonderful difficult experience.

what i want to say is listen to patty g. before falling asleep.

what i want to say is the grass really does seem greener on the other side. sometimes it actually is, i've found that it usually is not.

what i want to say is i wish i could eat an avacado every day.

what i want to say is read the psalms. over and over again.

what i want to say is knowing God is a really uncertain, joyful, frustrating, ironic process.

what i want to say is i really don't know anything. i'm just learning about everything.

what i want to say is i'm scared, of many things, but mostly being alone.

what i want to say is dance, dance often.

what i want to say is try something you know you will fail at. yes, something you might fail at--you might not fail :)

what i want to say is our God is a God of JOY, JOY uncontainable. This Joy erupts, it spreads, it multiplies, it is profoundly central to the gospel i cling to. This joy is experienced, is expressed, is fostered through many ways, people, activities, moments, thoughts, places...

what i want to say is good food + good people is one of the best combinations.

what i want to say is i wish i could live in daingerfield and in d.c. at the same time.

what i want to say is probably what you want to say.

what i want to say is life really is completely unpredictable.

what i want to say is i could probably talk on the phone all day long. oh wait, i do.

what i want to say is He is my faithful witness.

what i want to say is soul be stirred. soul be stirred. soul be stirred.

01 June 2009

in the news...

human trafficking news across America:









Feels so unreal...Researching and reading articles like these opens my eyes to see the reality of what is happening around us, even in the land of the free. I am continually shocked at what I learn on a daily basis through IJM of what is happening in the realm of human trafficking across the globe and always caught without words to see what is happening only a few streets away from me.

Most likely, girls and boys are being trafficked and sold for sex in a city near you. Did you know this? I know this question gets tiresome at times, but how can we, normal everday people, aid in the fight against this injustice? How would you want someone to respond if this was your niece or your daughter who found themselves in this situation?

I recently attended an anti-trafficking forum put on by World Hope International, a wonderful organization that is doing great relief and development work all over the world. Obviously, this problem is very complex. It is overwhelming to see the multiple factors that play critical roles in this type of organized crime and thus make it very difficult for me to even begin to see how I can play a part in advocating for the victims. The forum brought together professionals in this field and concerned citizens to brainstorm innovative ways to fight human trafficking. I attended a couple of breakout sessions, one entitled "The Role Men Play in Sex-Trafficking" and one centering on research in Cambodia on sex tourism and the part pornography plays. [i wanted to run out of the room during this session, it was utterly terrifying]

A lot to digest, but I do have to say that in the midst of what is a very sad and unsettling situation, I do see hope. God's people are doing something and it's exciting to see those in bondage being set free.

If you want to learn more about human trafficking, let me know-- (emmaleeseybert@gmail.com)-- I, personally, am just learning, but I can email you about some great organizations that will offer you much more information.

20 May 2009

reflections on love.

So...we have been studying the different characteristics of love throughout the month of May at IJM. The journey has definitely been an eye-opening experience thus far...

Each day as we pick apart 1 Corinthians 13 I have been forced to pause and take a significant look at how I love, how I perceive God as love, and how I choose to accept love.

This morning we meditated on how love believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. We also looked at this quote from C.S. Lewis that has captivated me all day... just wanted to share~

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” C.S. Lewis

07 May 2009

"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently" ~ today's dove chocolate~

11 April 2009

in between

today is the day they waited

today is the day they longed

weeped unceasingly


probably doubted

sat together in silence

in awe

maybe in fear

appalled at Him

his image burned in their minds eye from the night before

his appearance was so disfigured, beyond that of any man

and his form marred beyond human likeness

not just any man

but their greatest friend

not any friend

but the friend who was God and became man

a man that became a brother, a father,  and a lover to humanity

today they waited

today they longed

to see him raised

lifted up and highly exalted

they knew it was the Lord's will to crush him

and cause him to suffer

they knew he was crushed for their iniquities

the punishment that brought them peace was upon him

and by his wombs they were healed

but today,

today they waited in darkness and unfathomable sadness

to see the promise of yesterday come to fruition tomorrow morn

can you imagine the pain of waiting they must have experienced?

...if yesterday we died with Christ, then today we were buried with him.

today is the day of longing, of deep anticipation

yesterday i wanted to strive to feel the weight of His death, of my death

the death of me, of my sin, of my emptiness, of my unworthiness, of my loneliness

today i want to experience the longing of our rebirth, of new life

the waiting

the wondering

the in between

the pain of not knowing, but somehow believing

today, i ask for my faith to increase

03 April 2009


How is it April 3rd ? Anyone else asking that question…

It is hard to retrace my steps since I posted the crazy pics of driving for days hours from Texas to D.C.

I want so badly to stay connected with my friends and family back home and unfortunately that desire is not met with the right amount of effort in order for it to be fulfilled. I want to will work harder on this.

Forewarning: this post is going to be really random, I can already tell.

For starters, a quick life update is as follows...

From 8:30-5:30 I spend my time as the Receptionist/Administrative Asst., or the “gatekeeper/nucleus”, as some refer to me as, at International Justice Mission. It has and continues to be a grand learning experience. I don’t know how other people think inside their heads, but inside my head I don’t think I ever had an image conjured up of what I would be doing after I finished (really?stillindenial) undergrad. However, I can somehow say with great certainty that I never imagined that I would be living where I am and doing what I am doing. I say that with both wonderful amazement and hints of disappointments. Words could not express and I, myself, admittedly do not fully comprehend how my time at IJM has forever shaped me and changed me. I get the privilege to wake up every morning and go to work with people who love God. Love him wholeheartedly. I daily stand amazed at our staff in D.C. and around the world who commit their life in full service to Christ, who make unbelievable sacrifices, who encourage me to be kind and gentle and joyful in all circumstances, who remind me that God is faithful and trustworthy…I am awakening to a refreshed sense of who my Father is through the work that we do at IJM.

I am praying about what is next. Last night at foxhole’s (mi casa) roommate prayer night, I begged my roommates to pray for me. If I could explain “where I am”… I am walking in a fog. Key word being: walking. I haven’t fallen and broken my leg yet; however, that day might be quickly approaching. I am taking one step at a time and though the fog has not lifted I am not standing still (which is progress from a few weeks days hours ago). Please pray with me. As much as I would love to see clearly what will happen in two months or two years—don’t pray for that. I am pleading with God that I know He is with me and that in the midst of all the haziness that I will feel His presence. That’s what I long for. Pray for that. [Confession: If I were really honest with myself, I kinda like the unknown. I think I thrive on the times in my life when I felt completely blindfolded and God guided me to really random places, really good places. It is in the times that I am clueless and am forced to thrust all my faith in God that I feel most alive—that I feel the greatest joy. Funny that I run from that so often. Oh flesh, I hate you]

moving on…

I feel at home here. It feels weird to type that. It’s a very true statement, but again, I would have never imagined myself saying that. The biggest reason D.C. has become a home to be is my Church. I LOVE my church. I can’t go into great detail right now, but I saying that I have been abundantly blessed is an understatement. God has placed me in a community of believers who have wrapped me in their arms and I feel a part. I feel needed and wanted. God is teaching me pounds and pounds of Himself...it's getting a little too heavy--but I want more and more. I get giddy on Wednesday's because I am so excited for home group that night. Sunday mornings could not come often enough...

I am also excited because I feel that God has been tugging at my heart in certain areas and am exploring how to best serve my community here...

Just to share a bit...

My community here is so integrated and involved in the lives of so many in D.C. I LOVE IT! Concerning local missions my church has formed a non-profit org. over the years called "CareComany". Care Company's mission is to express the unity of the Body of Christ by demonstrating God's love and justice through Christ Jesus to those struggling with poverty in Washington, DC. We seek to mobilize and provide resources for churches and individuals with serving the Lord and love our neighbors in the city. It is through connecting the community, service organizations, and local churches that a more cohesive ministry will be developed to the glory of God and the transformation of the city. The Kingdom of God is already at work in Washington, DC. Our goal is not to create something new, but to help provide a greater strength in our service by uniting our ideas, resources, and efforts.

(Isn't that incredible?)

To get excited even more, my church has formed another nonprofit to concentrate on international missions called The Anticoch Group (TAG). TAG exists to create a communal culture that is defined not only by its institutional or demoninational life but by its missional life; not only by how it satisfies the needs of its members but how it serves the needs of others, particularly the poor and the persecuted; not only by what it asks member to do for the church missions programs, but by what it asks members we can do to help them to realize their personal vision and mission for the stewardship of their lives and resources for God’s world.We want to be a community like Antioch whose ecclesiology (what we are as a church) will be shaped and determined by our missiology (how we serve God’s world).


Needless to say, I am thrilled to be in the community I am in. I am learning so so much.

Other news?

I am a snowboarder. Yep, you read that right. For the first time in my life I traveled to the mountain and got on a board. You better believe I buttered that slope. (translation: I gracefully slid from side to side down the mountain~) A group of about 18 people from my church flew up to Maine and stayed at one of our friends cabins tucked away in the mountains. It was breathtakingly beautiful. I have never seen so much snow. This Texas girl was memorized at the window every morning. The best thing about the entire experience was the people I was surrounded by. We didn't really know anyone that well before we went. (which my enthusiastically extroverted self was entirely thrilled about!) As the weekend unfolded I began to see the body of Christ so clearly. It was as if God had given me 3 marvelous days away. Away from the city, away from my job, away from the norm--to experience an little taste of His extra-ordinary ways. We bonded. We shared. We laughed until we cried (only a few hundred times). We spent the last morning sharing communion with one another and glorifying our maker. It was simple and intimate. I loved every minute of that weekend...

I can't end this post without mentioning last weekend. Last weekend we at International Justice Mission invited people to come join us to pray. To plead with God to come and do what we know he CAN do. We call this the Global Prayer Gathering. People came to pray that our God would defend the orphan, set the captive free, protect the widow, free the slave, restore the weak and vulnerable... To our surprise about 900 people showed up (along with our amazing field office staff). Go here to see some video footage: http://www.ijminstitute.org/index.php/gpglive

ahhh I want to share much more about the GPG. An entire post dedicated to that coming up soon...

the bed is calling my name.

with all my love from d.c.,

28 February 2009

as promised....

photo journey to TX.

made it to the metro, barely (a journey in itself)

Crissa spent some time in the airport studying how to live the southern lifestyle :)

of course, cereal was our staple food supply. unfortunately, we ran out before we left D.C.

first stop: the big D--visiting my wonderful sister and brother

final destination: d'field @ 1 a.m.
i will have mom's utterly confused yet full of joy face forever imprinted in my memory

ahhhhhhhh i think i came home just to soak up this view. Crissa and I spent the morning walking my favorite road in the world and breathing in the crisp clean gorgeous air of TX

oh, don't worry, Crissa fell in love :)

6 years of cheerleading for the beloved Brahma bulls...really? yes.

sweet potatoes=best road snack ever

walking in Memphis :)

too bad we already ate dinner...

starbucks saved our lives

not to worry--we stole more cereal from momma

next stop: capital of country music

the newest inductees :)

crissa's first time to enter into the cracker barrel of the south

she was in awe of the candy selection

i found exactly what i needed. peeps. truly on my top 5 favorite things list.

we made it! miss black cherry carried us all the way home :)

we made rules for ourselves in order to not overuse the car when we can clearly get around on foot/public transportation. plus, i honestly enjoy the freedom of not having a car. so we decided to mostly use it on the weekends for grocery shopping and running errands.

confession: we have used it everyday. probably 3x a day.

needless to say, the rules have changed and we have fallen ever more in love with miss black cherry