June 30, 2013

What's your name?

I was listening to KLOVE in the car the other day and the song "Hello my name is" by Matthew West came on.  It, particularly the second half, has been stuck in my head ever since:

Hello, my name is child of the one true King 
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, and I have been set free 
“Amazing Grace” is the song I sing 
Hello, my name is child of the one true King 
I am no longer defined 
By all the wreckage behind 
The one who makes all things new 
Has proven it’s true 
Just take a look at my life 
What love the Father has lavished upon us 
That we should be called His children 
I am a child of the one true King

How cool would it be if when we introduced ourselves, this is what people would see!  Have you thought about that?  I'm sure you've thought about how people see you and what they think of you.  Everyone does.  Why else do you comb your hair in the morning?  Why do you walk a certain way or say certain things?  We're always self evaluating how people see us.  How do people se ME? 

I do it all.the.time.  "Instead of how do they see me?" I should be asking "do they see Jesus?"

Did they notice that my outfit is impeccable today, or did they see Jesus helping that little girl tie here shoes? 

Did they admire my earrings or did they see my eyes sparkle when I told them my little sister got saved on Saturday?

Did they complement my voice, or did they see that all the dishes were done?

Did they see your average 19 year old, or did the see a child of God?

I'm done with self.  I'm done with masks.  I'm done with facades.  
I'm saved.  I'm changed.  I'm free.  Amazing Grace is my song.

In the words of the popular Sunday school song, "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine."  When I say "Hello, my name is Joanna..." I want people to see Jesus.  I want them to see I'm different. 

I want them to see a child of the one true King.

"Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain."
Philippians 2:14-16

June 6, 2013

Live Your Summer


The memories of days spent sewing and creating; the soft breeze that flows over the lake; the rustling of leaves; the thunderstorms; the gentle rain and the smell of cut grass; the books devoured on the swing or picnic blanket or couch under a fan; the meetings with friends; the crazy adventures to water parks; the grilled meals eaten on the deck; the mosquitos and fireflies; the dancing in the back yard at twilight when no one is around; the singing of merry songs; the exhaustion after a competitive sport; the sweat and laughter; the heat that emanates from sunburned arms and face; the sweet taste of lemonade; the sun floating through the tress; the girls in bright colors; the flowers that grow; the laundry on the line; the light blue sky; the harsh shadows; the meeting of new friends; the reunions with family; the anticipation of tomorrow, these are things I remember about summer.

It's hard for me to let go of things like this.  I savor those moments when I can remember exactly what something was like.  The taste, the feel, the smell, the sound, and the look bring me straight back and I remember.

This summer is different. I can no longer fly on a whim or pick up and just go.  This summer,

  • I'm in school. 1 Test every 2 weeks, or at least that's the plan.  Every minute should be spent productively.
  • I'm working.  I have to be places at a certain time and be engaged.
Because this is my life for the next couple years I've been struggling with burnout.  I study, study, study , and do, do, do but never get anywhere and am never finished.  I live in the past with my memories or I live in the future with my plans.  This is no life.

But guess what guys!  I'm learning to live.

I know, I know, eat, drink, sleep and you'll live.  But it's so much more.  I'm not living for tomorrow anymore.  Sure, I make plans and I have goals and trips I'm looking forward to but I'm not living for them.  I'm living now.  It has been a crazy journey to come to this point and I'm not sure I've completely arrived but God has been changing me little by little.  He's showing me what really matters.  Of course I "knew" before, but this is so different.  It's part of my being now.  I can't escape it.  It isn't locked away in my brain anymore but starting to flow through my hands and feet.  How cool is it to watch God work; to change a sinner like me?!  It's crazy folks.

My calendar is chalk full of activities and deadlines and get-togethers, but I can truly say with Martin Luther that “There are two days in my calendar: This day and that Day.”  I want to live like there's no tomorrow.  I want to invest in people now.  Jim Elliot said "Wherever you are, be all there."  That quote has changed my life in so many practical ways.

That Day (rapture/eternity) is coming, and I don't have time to not slow down.  I don't have time to not take the time to love someone. Does that make sense?  When I realized that I almost fell over.

Life is beautiful guys.  Life is fleeting.  Life is busy.

Sometimes, you've just got to be still.

Be still and know that He is God!

Then get off that couch and go change your world!

Right about... NOW.   Yup, now is the time.

Go MAD! (Make a Difference)

Liebster Award

So I don't normally do tags, but I didn't know what liebster meant, so as your resident logophile I went and looked it up.  It's pronounced (leeb-stuh).

 German To English - Liebster  
(der) n. sweetheart, beloved person, darling, dear

And there you have it! A new name for your petit chou. ;-)

1.   Favorite person in history and why? Probably Dietrich Bonhoeffer, for his brave stand against Adolf Hitler during WWII.

2.   Favorite scents? Rain, lilacs, clean. 
3.   What is your favorite Bible chapter, verse, or passage and why?I don’t have one, but recently I've been meditating on Luke 12:22-28
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! (Luke 12:22-28, ESV)
4.   Favorite season? Usually autumn, but right now I'm loving right where I am.  Spring has changed my life this year.
5.   Genre of music? Classical, gospel, alternative, folk, hymns
6.   Favorite kinds of books? (i.e. fiction, history, etc.) Biographies, textbooks on things I'm interested in
7.   For travel, do you prefer driving, flying, or train? Oh!  How I would love trains. :-)  I'm an air force brat and I get excited whenever I'm even in an airport, but I don't mind driving a bit as long as I'm riding and have a pillow. :-)
8.   Middle name? Kay
9.   Favorite style of shoes? I don't have any, but heeled oxfords.  
10. Ice cream or Mousse? Gelato
11. Favorite color combinations? Aqua, turquoise, slate grey, cream and soft brushed gold.

So I got to the end and read the rules after I had answered all the questions already... so I'm changing the rules. :-)
will be awarding 11 people
3.  Kara
4. Liza
5.  Elizabeth
6.  Annie
7.  Ali
8.  Liza
9.  Joanna
11. Kelsey

The 11 questions to those I Award:
1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Award Rules:
1. You must thank the person who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions posed by your nominator
3. Pass on the award to 11 new recipients and make sure they know!