Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Truth in Grace

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." II Corinthians 4:9

"But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift." Ephesians 4:7

Last night, as I laid in bed waiting for sleep to come, I caught myself thinking about grace.  It's hard to grasp the reality of this concept.  It's a gift that we don't deserve.  We are not entitled to it.  But yet, we are "justified by his grace, as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.." (Romans 3:23). 

When I mess up, I want to fix it.  I want to punish myself for screwing up.  I know I can't actually do anything to correct things gone wrong...and I think I've realized this concept a whole lot more in these last few months than I ever have before.

I've never been Catholic and I've never actually been to a Catholic church, but I found myself thinking about confession and trying to atone for sins through actions.  Paul speaks clearly to Timothy: "[God] who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began" (II Timothy 1:9).  So I was saved for his purpose by his grace... 

This past summer, while in China, I was able to understand a little glimpse of what all of these verses really mean.  During a hard conversation with a team leader after I had crossed leader/follower boundary lines, I admitted to him that I've always been really hard on myself - I have been since high school.  At that point in my life, I strived for perfection.  I didn't want to disappoint anyone, nothing excluded.  It was in college when I realized exactly how unrealistic that expectation seemed.  But sometimes, I still manage to strive for perfection.  In my leader's wisdom, he started referring back to a time in his own life when he did the same thing.  Since he had become a Christian, God had showed him that in being hard on ourselves, we are saying the atonement Christ is not good enough to cover all of our sins. 

While I wrestled with this thought, the truth in it stuck with me.  Over the next few days, I struggled to conceive how to accept grace.  How does this conception happen?  Is it supposed to be immediate?  Is it a process?  It's a hard concept for me to grasp becuase I've been in a pattern of sin with my own atonement for many many years.  Jesus, how do I go about this sanctification process and truly accept what you have already offered?

Thinking about grace is quite humbling.  It increases my awareness of just how big God is and how small and insignificant I am - but yet Christ died for me, for my sins, for my atonement. 

I can't say that I've done well grasping the concept of grace...I'm expecting the Lord to grow me in this area even more.  I don't have a conclustion for this lesson; it may not be completed for many years to come.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Yesterday, I was challenged to take a look at my life and evaluate the relationships in my life.  In all honesty, this challenge to re-evaluate couldn't possibly have happened at a worse time in my life. 

However, it's not really MY timing that matters.  It's not about me and my own selfish, petty desires at all...it's about learning how to serve God with my life through my thoughts, actions, and attitudes.  So it's all about God.  It's always been about God...and it always will be.  My life's purpose is to glorify Him.  This is where relationships and community make it or break it.

I want to share some verses that I've meditated on about community:

"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love." Ephesians 4: 11-16

In these verses, it says that we are supposed to build up the body until each part works properly.  I'm not working properly, and I recognize the importance of being teachable.  As part of this life-long challenge, I am going to be stretched in learning how to be taught. 

I am asking for help in refinement.  I can't do this alone - I will need guidance and I need to know that when I'm wrong in my words, actions, and attitudes...I can depend on the body, my community, and my closest relationships to correct it. 

This is just the beginning of the process. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

homey-ized office

here's my office.  now, mind you, i didn't actually take pictures of the bookshelves or all of the file cabinets.  they are just too boring. enjoy!

top: view from my computer
middle: view of my wall next to the computer
bottom: view of the door/hallway from the desk

Friday, December 11, 2009


working in an office 8 hours a day is definitely something i never really considered.  i was going to be a veterinarian.  i was going to be talking to people all day about their pets.  then i was going to be a pharmacist.  again, i would be potentially talking to people all day about their medicine.  then i was going to be a doctor.  i would be talking to patients about themselves. 

basically, none of the above options involve sitting a room by myself with only a computer to connect to the outside world.  now, mind you...i've come to like my little office.  i've got it decorated (pictures to come in a later post), i have it "homey-ized".  i know it's not a word - just go with it.  but here's the thing.  i like community.  i like talking to people.  i like interacting with them.  the only interaction i get at work is if 1 of 2 ladies comes in...my boss, or the department coordinator person (at least i think that's what she is). 

monday was my boss' birthday - so we had a luncheon at another lady's house.  i still really don't know anyone in the office.  i have a few acquaintances, but i don't really see them on a daily basis.  so we're enjoying some appetizers...and i'm standing awkwardly amongst some acquaintances.  now, mind you - most of these ladies are from the office, so we work "together" and might see each other every day.  the conversation turns to a cookie exchange party one of the ladies whose office is down the hall from mine is having in a few weeks.  this might sound petty to some.  who would want to go hang out with a bunch of ladies and talk about work on the weekend?  hmmm.  do i have to think about this?!  ME!!! 

sadly, i have not received an invitation to said cookie exchange.  i do not plan on receiving one either.  the hostess of that party did the awkward "i'm not going to look at you because i didn't invite you" look as she answered.  well, i definitely feel like i'm a part of the in-crowd at the office!  actually, i still feel like people look at me like i'm a student worker.  okay, granted i'm still that "age"...but if i was married, would that make me more mature?  would that make it more acceptable to invite me because i would have a spouse to bring?! 

this lady is supposed to unite our department - and my boss is invited (who is still single, mind you)...so i'm pretty sure i was just told (in a round-a-bout way) that i'm not important and i don't belong here.  i'm like the students who work less than 20 hours a week.  FALSE. 

i have been overlooked.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just Another Year

birthdays.  they happen every day of the year for someone somewhere.  mine?  it happens today - november 24th.  it has for 23 years now...and it will continue until Jesus decides to take me home to Him.  in the spirit of today being the beginning of my 23rd year of life, i wanted to recap the last year.

a year ago:
  • i was still in college.
  • i wouldn't believe that i would be working full-time in college station a year later
  • i had only spent about 5 weeks in east asia (now it's more like 11 weeks)
  • i didn't really understand what "being on your own" meant
  • i truly didn't comprehend how much community means to me
in the last year:
  • i had my last significant Christmas break
  • i graduated from college (yikes!)
  • i went to east asia with my best friend Leslie for the 3rd time
  • i moved out of my parent's house
  • i became an adult and got a full-time job (thanks to JC for planning it soooo well!)
  • i've decided that having no plan for the future (or leaving it up to Jesus) is the best way to live
23 is good.  it's not scary - i think i will grow into it nicely.  after thinking back on this last year and seeing the extravagant amounts of growth that have taken place personally for me...i wouldn't take it back or do it over.  i'm excited to see how God moves in my life in the next 365 days until i turn 24.  let today be about Him and the growth that He has allowed in me.  i definitely would not have made it to be who i am at 23 if i had not met Him at 8.  sweet :)

i know that i'm definitely thankful this week. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

high school

so yesterday in the church service, i ended up sitting behind some high school kiddos.  now maybe because i am turning 23 tomorrow...these kids looked SO young.  like was i ever that small?  hmmm. 

well, sitting behind these little munchkins and observing their behavior reminded me of myself at their age.  you remember, don't you?  trying to always look your best for that one boy who never seemed to realize that you are alive?  or maybe giggling with your girlfriends because you finally got to sit next the guy you are crushing on?  or trying to find your identity in what others thought of you (in my case, it was definitely the boys)? 

yes, so it would appear that i was one boy-crazy teen.  thank goodness for maturity...for the sake of growing older...for being able to find my identity in something way more perfect than any hormone-crazed teenage boy, who, by the way, still doesn't know i exist...

hmmm.  so in this week of being thankful...i think i am thankful for turning another year older tomorrow.  for being wiser and knowing my Creator that much more!  23 sounds so scary - the middle '20s.  ew.  i've been complaining  A LOT about it.  too much.  i've heard that 30 is better than anything that far...so bring it on! 

now, the post tomorrow might be completely turned around from what i'm saying here.  there might just have to be some things about being 23 that need to be expanded on...but for now, i'm pretty glad to be out of high school and see the transformation that God has definitely brought around in my life. 

here's to be being all grown up!

Friday, November 20, 2009


i think that the events of the last few weeks have given God the opportunity to really show me how sin has absolutely broken this world apart...and exactly how PAINFUL that reality is. 


there is redemption.  grace. peace. love: not the imperfect-based-on-standards love; the absolutely-love-you-no-matter-what love.

i praise Jesus i'm not doing this alone.

Monday, November 2, 2009

How to be like MJ

  1. Moon walk.
  2. Wear sparkly clothes.
  3. Grab your crotch (a lot).
  4. Pop & Lock It everywhere you go.
  5. Randomly yell "owww" in a high-pitched voice.
This list was inspired by 'This Is It'.  He's pretty cool.  I'm just saying I wish I could get away with all those things all the time and still be considered a legend or king of something.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


when i was in high school, i definitely had things appear to be in order.  it seemed effortless: my class schedule was done for me, i had swim practice right after school each day, wednesday night activities accounted for...it was easy.  but then came college, which was a whole new experience.  you have to be responsible to finish the reading that is considered the "homework", allot a certain amount of time to different extra-curricular activities, even plan out your class schedule every semester.  i made it work...and it didn't seem too hard at the time.

but then, whoa.  i graduated.

[pause for dramatic effect]

currently, i feel like all the organization and time management that i tried so hard to maintain in high school and college has been taken out of the picture.  my life feels like a mess - a giant spaghetti-filled-platter dropped on the floor mess.  ya know the kind where you can't believe that it just happened and then you still find sauce on the cabinets like a month later?  that kind.  my thoughts can't put time into the same context as it once did.  maybe that's what it's like to get older...you just can't think clearly.  [oh crap.  i'm only 22.] 
nonetheless, a new thought now:  in ephesians (5:15-17), paul talks about living wisely because the days are evil.  maybe this "phase" (that's what i'm going to call it for right now) is a way for God to really show me how i don't know if i'm going to make it to tomorrow.  quick sidenote: i saw 'this is it' for the second time this afternoon.  once you see a movie for the 2nd or 3rd time, you start to notice really small things.  in the documentary, michael jackson (later referenced as mj) tells his fans that he would see them in july.  he never made it that far.  i'm not trying to be morbid.  i think it's a really valuable lesson to think about.  if my last day was today, did i make the most of it?  every day that i'm miserable at my job, do i make the most of it?  do i live everyday wisely?  do i really understand what the Lord's will is?

i pray that i am DAILY thinking about how to make the most of the moments i have...

Friday, October 30, 2009


Well, I know I'm not good at these things. I had one back in high school, and it seriously just fizzled out. I have a lot of thoughts...and I started this blog to share them; to get them off my chest. So, I'm starting again (even if I never really quit). Here it goes:

10 Current Happenings:

  1. I have become addicted to listening to Pandora at work.

  2. Oh yeah, I have a full-time job on campus. It's mostly boring, but I never have to limit my Facebook time. I guess that could be considered a plus...but there will be more to come with this topic later.

  3. I hate running, but I have started running (again!). Like I ran last night and I really want to do it again tonight. whoop for exercise!

  4. I have new tv shows that I've started watching (thanks to my roommate Meghan): House, So You Think You Can Dance, Glee, and I guess Gossip Girl because of Tahni...[yay for living with 7 other girls!]

  5. It's 90% certain I'll be moving to East Asia in June. JUNE. I still can't fathom actually having a date to pick up my life and move over 7000 miles away. dude.

  6. This "semester" of my life is not quite going the way that I imagined. There's a lot more to share there too, but that's the basis.

  7. My house (The Shalom Shack) is having the best Halloween party tomorrow night. It's gonna be awesome :)

  8. Am I really almost 23?

  9. My roommates think it's funny I'm obsessed with Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Transformers.

  10. I can't wait until November 13th.

Well, that's a brief story of my life as it goes right now. As you can tell, work doesn't leave me with much "work". It's mostly just trying to fill in the almost-8-hours that I'm at the office. Someone please save me already?!?
Interestingly enough, however, I found out that two of my co-workers are Muslim today. I've been working here for 6 weeks now...and I had no idea. They goes to the mosque every day at lunch to pray. So, that little fact got me thinking...and then I did some research. I know that other religions (the ones who don't believe in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ) have strict rules to follow because there really is no real meaning of grace in their lives. GRACE: so powerful (and of which I am so undeserving).
Anyway, I looked up times when the 5 prayers are supposed to be prayed. On this same site, there was a list of things not to do while in prayer. [http://www.qibla.org/err.htm] I don't really have words that describe the depth of sorrow I feel for them! And these men are right here in my office. I've been able to share with a different co-worker my experience in East Asia because he is trying to move there once he retires. I am excited and so eager for my office posters (shown at end of post) to arrive in the mail so they can serve to open more conversations. Even though I might feel useless almost all of the time, I still know that I am here for a purpose, if not my own. Father has blessed me with this job - and I am grateful. The last few days have shown me I need to stop whining and just live each day that we are called to. If I'm not here to actually do work most days, maybe at least I can pour into the lives of those around me. How great? A job that lets me do what I love to do? Hmmm. And in the beginning, I doubted College Station was where I was supposed to be. Ha.
The Red Door


Great Wall


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

cross roads

cross roads: the places where you have to make a decision. which road to choose? which road is right? which road will lead me to place i desire to be? which one will bring me closer to the One who gave me life?

so, then, most importantly: how do you choose? not only which one, but how about the process that gets you to the decision? isn't that part just as important as the road you choose? i decide it is. so now how do i go through this process? how do i decide which item should take priority in my life?

for several months, i knew where "the plan" was leading: go to class, study, pass classes, graduate, move into storage, go to o-week, prepare to leave for EA, GO TO East Asia. and then july 16th brings me here. i know it's now the beginning of august, but july 16th showed up much sooner than i anticipated and more than that, it just came and went. 2 days before, i was here:

i was happy. in one of the best places IN THE WORLD. a place of extreme majesty with beautiful mountains, and one the greatest wonders of the world built by man. so, fast forward 2 days, and i land in houston - thrilled to see my family. but houston? seriously? yeah. i know. it's not quite the great wall. it can't compare, not even in the least.

so begins the process of culture shock. sleeping late, trying to enjoy this freedom before someone tells me it's actually been too long to get over jet lag and secretly still hoping to be 13 hours ahead. reality. present tense. i live in it every day, and whenever i get back from the "East", i never want to transition. okay. right. you're thinking this: why not just live there? exactly. BUT there's more.

rewind. i graduated. amidst everything in the speed of life, college is gone. not really gone. i'll still be there. well, in the same town, but the bliss of having late classes and lots of free time is slowly sinking in as a reality. (don't get me wrong - there are lots of pluses here, too: not having to buy over-priced books and school supplies as well as not having to study. whoop.)

jobs: the necessary evil. i have to pay for rent, gas, insurance, bills, etc.; life and the expenses i accumulate are hitting me. and is this job supposed to be my career? not yet. i'm transitioning for a year - wherever that leads. so yes, i can still have both. work now, move overseas later. BUT there's more.

this last (little?) one i have no control over. but the older i get and the more i pursue Jesus, the more i realize how little control i have. so here, in this context, "control" is a loose term. i believe i said once (and now again) that the more independent i try to become, the more dependent i am on Jesus. to me, it shows my insignificance and the inability i have to make the decisions without being led into them. this is a good thing, though. i would be lost, literally, if i didn't have this dependence. it is my life.

oh right - so this last one. the third road. the one i can't pursue. the one i have to wait and trust that one day, maybe today, maybe tomorrow, it will come true. the love story. yes, Jesus is the ultimate love story. but where's the one he's planned for me? the gift of a man pursuing a woman in the image of Jesus and the church? sigh. not yet, it seems. and yet, at the same time, i feel ready. the next step. i'm looking - and nothing. the words that have appeared here don't even begin to describe the turmoil inside. it's not overwhelming, but it's not disappearing.

the tan i now have on my feet:

the reminder of the steps i took this summer. the number of times i stepped out in faith and trusted that Jesus would take care of what i needed and when i need it. how is life here different? it shouldn't be, a wise friend told me last night. the things i struggle with here are amplified there. i know this. i felt it. and yet, i can't take my clenched fist off this last road. i want it and desire it. but there has to be a point when i let go, right? it's kinda like the tan - it's not completely overwhelming, but it's not going away overnight either.

processes. they can take minutes, but some take years and entire transformations of surroundings to complete themselves. i'm still processing: trying to start working, letting go of the only thing i've known (school!), and the fact i'm not planning an event appropriate for a white dress. dependence while achieving independence. faith when it's hard to believe.

career job?
overseas work?

for now, i'll remain at the cross roads.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mazda Speed 3

i've never been the type of person to get really excited about a car...and then i saw a guy driving THIS car down harvey mitchell parkway, and i fell in love! i'm not this kind of person...but then i guess i just proclaimed that i am. my next car, ladies and gentlemen, is amazing. i'm super-pumped about the MazdaSpeed3. it's the best :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Just a couple of thoughts:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 is my life verse right now.

My God is bigger than this economy.

I live for nothing less than serving Him and only Him -- only He suffices.

My life has been ruined for nothing less than living to reach nations for His kingdom.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Katie's Style

i went for it. i decided against a "trim", which is what i always instruct (even after my drastic change this summer). this was the example of what i had wanted:

getting a haircut is interesting. it's not like buying a car or a house. each day, you have the option of making it look different and even over the next couple of weeks, it creates character of its own. so, here's a question: why do i always make a bigger deal out of these things? it'll be different in a few days and it will eventually grow out.

i took a picture and this is what mine turned out like:

it's different, and it will take me a few days to get used to it. but overall, it's really comfortable and hopefully, it will be easier to take care of. whoop!
thanks katie for letting me borrow your idea :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Celine Dion in 2009

Celine Dion. Amazing voice, gracious personality, loved by all. I mean, really...Beauty and the Beast anyone? Adored by all ages - because I saw them all there last night. Celine Dion in concert. Awesome. Nothing more to really say.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Jeremiah 29:11-13

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and hope. Then you will call upon Me and come to pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.'"

Recently, I finished reading the phenomenon series "Twilight". I am not saying that this series is phenomenal. In the midst of reading, I was extremely terribly frustrated; in the end, I wasn't satisfied. After searching and reading almost everything on Stephanie Meyer's website, I still wasn't fulfilled. I can't pinpoint these feelings: there's nothing about Bella and Edward that makes me want to be them. I can't fathom a world where anything so terribly unreal could even be considered legitimate. Harry Potter never did this to me. When the seventh book was done, I was content. JK Rowling could have her characters in her mind and I was happy with the way it ended. Meyer's perspective is different. I think it has to do with her writing style. As a reader, it was easy to get caught up with knowing what the characters were going to do (even though the only one I really appreciate now is Alice). This whole ordeal is very difficult for me to sift through. I think of myself as a internal processor: I need time to think through situations before I know what to do. I can come to great conclusions during a conversation, but I need to think things through. This blog is turning into my internal processor.
So, with saying all of that, I can't help but feel that there is a spiritual stronghold present. Meyer has declared on her website that she is a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, essentially meaning she's Mormon. And that's it. She claims that there is a correlation between her beliefs and these books. Mormons claim to be Christians - and therefore belief in Christ is enough? I think not. As a Christian, I can't see her faith in Christ in the books. So far, the only things I can perhaps work with on this point are this:

  1. In Twilight, Bella has the option to choose between good (avoiding Edward) and evil (falling in love with Edward). At this point in the book, there would be nothing to write about if she had chosen what was good for her. This is similar to Eve's decision in the Garden of Eden. The difference is that Bella didn't have someone telling her which one to pick. She had the opposite: Edward told her not to pick him.

  2. In New Moon, Edward sacrifices himself for the good of Bella's life. Wait, though: it doesn't do good. Christ sacrificed himself for us and it gives us joy - this sacrifice created the opposite.

  3. Later, in Eclipse, sensuality comes out in handfuls as Bella tries to tame her physical reactions to Edward's presence. As a young adult who has dated, I understand this moral dilemna. I haven't actually had a conversation quite like what Bella and Edward had in his room during a "kidnapping" incident. However, the fact that this said discussion had to occur disturbs me. The couple decides to wait until they are married - but Bella still secretly doesn't want to commit to Edward that way. As if being transformed into a vampire for eternity isn't committing? Come on girl! What are you thinking??

As I said, I don't understand where these things are coming from. I needed to see them in writing to verify what I know I'm trying to say - and I'm beginning to see the light (thank goodness!). In conclusion of this rant, I needed to prove to myself that Christ's light is different than the dark demonic "representative" shown in Twilight. I want to be done with this. Shake it off my hands. I need to distract myself: all those teenage girls need to be distracted. Life doesn't happen like this! It's never sparkles and dazzling. It just can't always be like that. There is happiness down the road - but eternity in heaven is so much more worth living for than this false ideal of a 'forever' with a boy. Boys can't fix everything (see post #1). Christ can only suffice, and thus my theme proves itself once again. EVERYTHING.


The urge to create a blog has interested me recently. What do people talk about? How do they keep up with others this way? What makes them want to submerge themselves into the lives of other people?

These questions as well as the many topics arising in my head to discuss have led me here to this place to begin this adventure. I don't really seek the approval of anyone in creating this extension of myself: I simply want a place to pour out the inner-workings of my mind for my sanity. Putting my thoughts into words might help me to reach conclusions I wouldn't have been offered otherwise.

Some people blog to keep family updated on certain life activities and some might have nothing better to do with their time than rant and rave about life's lemons. Others have different motivations that can only be explained as "personal". I think of myself falling into this last category. I don't have any specific agenda in beginning. I DO have a hefty list of things to do these next few months, so the reasoning is not for the lack of better things to do. As I've said, it's personal.

Sigh. Now, with all of that said, I believe it is appropriate to explain the meaning of the title. There is only one person that I can name who can fulfill every single need in my life: Jesus Christ. If you are still with me up to this point, I have to say: yes, EVERY NEED. love, joy, peace, comfort, knowledge, guidance, promises that are kept to prove the simple point of life. JC died for my sins. He saved me from eternal separation to the One who brings me life. Only He can suffice (anyone see a life theme here?!)