An Attitude of Gratitude

Abba Father,

Thank you for challenges and risks

Thank you for stories used to encourage and reflect your glory

Thank you for passions to pursue

Thank you for the Holy Spirit’s heart beat in my chest

Thank you for bringing my prayers into the light

Thank you for spontaneous and grounded worship

Thank you for getting in the way when I step out in the wrong direction

Thank you for unearned abundance

Thank you for being an ever present and living God

Thank you for intimacy and depth

Thank you for your presence in nature

Thank you for making me a vessel of your sweet whispers

Thank you for incomprehensible love

Thank you for the pure refreshment found in abiding and resting

Thank you for real and raw community

Thank you for bearing fruit from faith as small as a mustard seed

Thank you for always showing up

Thank you for the slight discomfort on earth and hunger for a heavenly home

Thank you for new mornings that bring new promises

Thank you for walls that come crashing down

Thank you for every beautiful brother and sister

Thank you for turning weakness into strength

Thank you for rapid growth

Thank you for the intentionality of your plan for each life you love so dearly

Thank you for speaking so boldly and clearly even when you are cut off and ignored

Thank you for smiles

Thank you for laughs

Thank you for tears

Thank you for the highs and lows

Thank you for each purposeful moment 

Thank you for the beautiful journey

Love,

A tethered heart

A Change of Perspective

Most people use mountains as a symbol of the big and ominous trials of life. They focus on moving mountains and getting over mountains. They see mountains with a filter of fear, anxiety, and stubbornness. It looks something like this: 

But what if we looked at mountains as big and beautiful rather than big and scary. The mountains bow in reverence to the Lord Almighty, so there is no need to fear them. They were created to show the power and majesty of the Lord, who is for us and not against us. They were not created to turn us away from the Lord, but to pull us in closer as we gaze in awe and wonder of our massive and mysterious God. 

We spent the end of our time in Nepal doing trekking ministry. After a couple days of trekking through the Annapurna Mountains in the Himalayas, we spent time evangelizing in a secluded village, and then trekked to Pokhara to spend the night before heading home. 

After the first day of trekking, we stayed the night at a trekking lodge and it was such a sweet time. We drank lots of tea, ate meals, and bonded as a team all while looking out at the Lord’s beautiful creation around us. It was rainy most of the time, so we were basically hanging out in the clouds that surrounded us. Regardless, the view was breathtaking. The mountains hid us from the rest of the world and it felt so peaceful. Little did we know we hadn’t seen anything yet. In the morning the clouds had disappeared and in there place stood mountains that made you strain your neck to see. It was unreal how big they were, and somehow we couldn’t see them the day before. After a mere ten minutes of gazing with jaws dropped, the clouds rolled in once again and the bigger mountains disappeared. 

In that moment I realized that what I had just witnessed was just like our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Most of the time we question if the Lord is working in our life or if he really has a plan because we can’t see him or hear him. But just like the mountains hidden by the clouds, our heavenly vision is often clouded by our earthly vision, our earthly desires. The Lord is always present, he is always moving, we just can’t always see it. But we have to trust in the moments that life is cloudy that the Lord will bring clarity, because he WILL show up in BIG ways. And we can’t just go on about our own lives not taking the time to wait for the Lord because we will miss it if we don’t take time to be still and abide in Him. Instead, bow in reverence to the Lord our God, just like the beautiful mountains do. 

So next time you see a mountain, look at it more like this: 

Now I will step off my soap box and get to packing because next stop…. USA!

The Power of Prayer

Before this trip, I was wrestling over the importance of prayer. I continuously used the excuse that God already knew my heart and my thoughts so I didn’t need to take the intentional time to pray often, but really it was an issue of laziness. 

But I got a nice wake up call as soon as I stepped foot in Nepal. Within a few hours of landing, we were walking around a stupa (temple) interceding for the people with prayer. The plan was to walk around and pray for an hour, but I was out of thoughts without the first ten minutes (I later realized that that was one of my problems, I need to rely on the Holy Spirit rather than my own thoughts), so I asked one of my team leaders to pray out loud so I could get some inspiration. What I found is that she was using her surroundings to feed her prayers. For example, she would see a mother worshiping and thank the Lord for her passion and diligence, but also that she would be unsettled and find the true source to turn that passion and diligence toward. She also talked about how she imagined little balls of light being left behind with each step we took. It was in that moment that I learned how important it was to mix the physical with the spiritual, and how important it is sometimes to walk while you pray or lay hands on the people you are praying for. There is something very powerful about it. In those moments the Lord can use us as vessels to transfer light into the darkness and you can almost physically feel it happening, there’s nothing like it. 

Since that day, we have gone on many prayer walks and hikes, and laid hands on dozens of people. It is now one of my very favorite things to do. There’s just something about feeling the darkness being lifted away by the light of our Savior.

That’s what makes it really hard for me to not be at home right now though. My family has continually asked for my prayer for my brother’s movie because there is a lot of spiritual warfare going on there, and I feel a tug at my heart to be present there. But I know if I never went on this trip, I wouldn’t have known how real spiritual warfare and how powerful prayer is, and therefore wouldn’t have been able to make a difference that way. The beautiful thing that I keep reminding myself is that prayer doesn’t have a distance barrier. I can be present there through my continual prayer. I can cast out darkness with the power of the Lord from the other side of the world. Isn’t that the coolest thing?!