there is magic to be done

  

i hate when i go so long without writing. it feels like i am moving too fast. and i was. not taking time to sit and ponder where my heart has been going. to go deeper into the Deep that has found me. that i have prayed for. i am too quick to move on.

pausing now to account for and remember and re-turn. and i guess to report!

i love you grace, but i also still get frustrated when there seems to be so much to keep track of and remember and control my own growth… there i go again. needing to freaking pause. remember. its not me in control. its Jesus in ashley. He is in charge of my pruning. He is in charge of my growth. He is in charge of my rest. i simply partner and posture myself. and accept the grace and room and remember there is no rush. there is no test i have to be ready for. and everything is connected. all of this Life with Him makes most sense to me when i am constantly abiding and connected. it flows together and stands on its own… Jesus and His Story and this Life, it is so cool to me how they flow best when i am most intimately connected to Him. one concept is connected to another and another explains another.

i finally feel like i am out of school and travel the world mode and into summer mode. while i am still working a full time job, i am able to enjoy my time and feel very present. i am back to enjoying Jesus which i feel like i havent done in forever. i have wanted to, but i have been in my own way, trying to control my rest and growth and hoard love for myself and judge others and not love well. my time in europe really showed me that, as well as my best friend getting married. getting to be around her who models everything i want to be, as well as getting to be around her friends. all that to say, even though i am loving myself more and more, and i love my grace and my freedom, but i see that i have been using my freedom selfishly. and i dont love my life nearly as much when i do that. i dont love others well at all. all this sounds super self-annihilating and brutal and probably not very fun to read thus far, but it is more to be a confession of sorts, an honest repentance, and in hopes to usher in freedom for others who can relate, i dearly hope.

all this to say, this is the place that i was coming from. Jesus opening my eyes and heart to what i no longer want or have to operate in. i asked Him instead to speak words of truth over my summer and my heart heard two words: bride and marriage. as soon as i heard those words i knew that they were about Jesus himself. only Jesus. my Truest Love. my Greatest Love. i was so excited for everything that meant. intimacy. connectedness. rest and growth. remembering. returning. Love-Knowing. i was tweaking and ready. then, in the area of wanting to love others better, i was reminded that that is the fruit of the Spirit that i do not control the growth of. that is part of my new nature that so wonderfully just naturally happens when i am connected to my True Source.

all of this leads me to what i have been desiring to write about for some time now.

the question of my entire junior year was this: how are we as Christians different in showing love and winning others… how are we different from people who are just “being nice” ? what does it mean to love? what does that even look like? what does it mean to lay your life down for others?

i believe i came as close as i ever will be to finding the answer in 1 Corinthians 15:

Now if we have told you about the Anointed One (how He has risen from the dead and appeared to us fully alive), then how can you stand there and say there is no such thing as resurrection from death? Friends, if there is no resurrection of the dead, then even the Anointed hasn’t been raised; if that is so, then all our preaching has been for nothing and your faith in the message is worthless. And what’s worse, all of us who have been preaching the gospel are now guilty of misrepresenting God because we have been spreading the news that He raised the Anointed One from the dead (which must be a lie if what you are saying about the dead not being raised is the truth). Please listen. If you say, “the dead are not raised,” then what you are telling me is that the Anointed One has not been raised. Friends, if the Anointed has not been raised from the dead, then your faith is worth less than yesterday’s garbage, you are all doomed in your sins, and all the dearly departed who trusted in His liberation are left decaying in the ground. If what we have hoped for in the Anointed doesn’t take us beyond this life, then we are world-class fools, deserving everyone’s pity.  But the Anointed One was raised from death’s slumber and is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death. For since death entered this world by a man, it took another man to make the resurrection of the dead our new reality. Look at it this way: through Adam all of us die, but through the Anointed One all of us can live again.

i interpret this passage for my heart in this way: while i believe that this is very much talking about the life to come, in heaven, and a physical resurrection of Jesus, i believe that that life starts now and that that physical resurrection symbolizes and signifies something so much larger than a dead man coming back to life. our eternal life, our ABUNDANT LIFE, the Holy Spirit in us Life, started the second i said yes to Jesus. and every moment i continue to say yes, i am partnering with the resurrection. the resurrection that overcame every power of evil, death and darkness. how this passage was a game changer was this: every action i ever do, every time i choose to do something for someone else in hopes they see Jesus, every time i attempt love, EVERY SINGLE THING I DO is fueled and powered by resurrection power.

that. is. the. difference.

it is a kingdom power difference. love is not a feeling. it is a choice. and that choice’s power is not of my own doing, but the doing of the resurrection and the undoing of death and darkness power. when i do something “down here” there is work being done “up there” that greatly influences “down here.” resurrection power is now the heartbeat of my life. the energy and the rhythm of all my comings and goings and doings and beings. this is what makes me different in the world. not on my own, but because of what He has already done. and i partner and walk it out, but He is in charge of how it hits people’s hearts. i just trust and walk and enjoy Him, and choose to protect other people because they are worth it. i want to use my freedom solely for others to be set free. for them to see that it is not only possible but wonderful.

and after learning all this, i am seeing that i want to start putting my relationships above all else. before anything else. i have my ideas of what that looks like, but that is how i know my life will be the absolute richest.

i am a lover. and there is always magic for lovers to do.

updates: europe. i went there. i went to italy and france. i did so much that thinking about it makes my brain explode. it was the best and i soaked up as much of every minute as i could. quick summary: rome in my opinion was touristy and tacky and i didnt love it other than the most incredible historical sites and laughing with my best friends the whole time. milan made me want to be a fashionista. florence was incredible also. paris was magic. i never wanted to leave. it felt like that feeling when you are in magic kingdom at disney world for 11 days straight.
i have being reading a little bit more which i love. i read the book scary close. i was obsessed with it until the last couple chapters that unsettled me a titch and i need to go back and figure out why, but overall i think i really recommend it. now i am reading a book by jan meyers, listening to love. other than the cure by john lynch i have never read anything more true about me. i read two sentences and i am undone. it might take a while.
i caddied. anders’ first pro tournament i got to caddy 36 holes! i think i did 34/36 if i am being honest, but i was pretty proud of myself. and since this is my blog and i can go on bragging about myself, it was in 107 degree heat. thank you very much.
i am with my sisters and it is the best summer ever. i am working at bull street but mostly spending as much time as possible with hannah and abbey and obsessed with every minute of it.

prayer requests: energy. i work all day and give and give and love it, but want enough to stay up late and have fun celebration parties for no reason with my sisters, to be able to do fun things with anders who deserves my best, to enjoy making plans with my friends and getting coffee and doing dumb stuff because we can.
also pray that all of this will be that absolute truest in my life. that the Holy Spirit will be my best friend above all else, and everything else falls under that.

to becoming love,

ashley

walk on

“Travelers who have crossed the Alps know how dangerous those mountain passes are, how narrow the foothold, how deep the rocky ravines. They know how necessary to safety it is that they look up continually. One downward glance into the dizzying depths might be fatal. So if we would surmount the heights of faith we must look up-look up. Take your eyes off yourself, off surrounding circumstances, off means, off gifts, and turn them to the Great Giver.”
A.B. Simpson

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i’ve been exercising a lot lately.

its no big deal, but its a pretty big deal so leave a comment if you’re proud of me.

but yesterday i was relieved to not have to go run when one of my bestie girls who i look up to the most asked me to go on a long walk. it was about an hour of talking through sparatic breaths and waiting to cross streets and nearly getting run over by people who were actually running, and poor thing, she talked about herself for maybe 10 minutes, and the rest was me babbling on about myself through confusion and mental exhaustion and frustration. the walk was all around Appalachian’s campus, and by the time we got back, new thoughts came clear. not in hoped for answers, but in the exact reminders and half thoughts that i needed to keep going. to come full circle back to a place that i have been to before, but then make it too complicated. go the long way. forget, and have to re-turn.

these are some thoughts from our walk, aka from her wisdom, that spoke straight into the depths of what I have been wearing myself out yet again to hear.


there is a lie that i have been buying into. so subtle, so alluring, so seemingly true.

you have to do cool big world changing things-start a ministry, go over seas and live without any resources, be Super Christian Woman- to validate your faith and prove your life is worth living. that it is only enough for God if you are radically sold out and seeking the next adventure right and left.

thank. God. i was reminded of Enoch. the human mentioned for two seconds in Genesis. “Enoch walked steadily with God. And then one day he was simply gone: God took him.” that is IT. that is all we know about that sweet thing. but later in the New Testament, what i have heard to be called “the hall fo faith”, he is included! because he walked with God, that was enough. God saw his heart, his faith, and that was what mattered.

it was enough to walk with God, intimately enjoying Him every day, adoring His Presence, becoming His friend, listening to His Voice.

i need to have grace for myself, because at least twice a year i wear myself out trying to formulate and grow myself and figure out and control, and beat myself up for forgetting yet again. for thinking of what needs fixing about myself. for focusing on the wind and waves, instead of the Calm and Rest Himself.

but i am brought back to the place that changed. EVERYTHING.

it. is. finished.

i am under grace. the curtain is torn so that i can love fully and be loved completely with nothing holding me back. everything else that is added to me or changed or that i accomplish and do is icing to knowing and walking with my Father.

it is mary and martha. for sure this is my absolute hands down favorite most applicable and relevant story to me. martha doing and proving and fixing and busy, mary being and resting and listening and enjoying. i just want to sit at his feet. i feel as i type those words that that is the absolute most true thing about me.

do not hear me say i don’t want to do any of these things or take the easy way out. the only thing i am taking is the pressure off. i want to do these things. I have always had a heart for adventure and for new and for big. but i believe that as i walk, He will lead me to them, and they will be icing on the cake.

why would i want to do amazing things in His name to be in the hall of fame, and miss knowing his heart, his voice directing my path, calling me to greater things in time, knowing the Name that says i am worthy and enough and already written in the hall of faith and the book of life, and nothing i will or will not do can change that. he WILL direct me. he WILL teach me how to love better. he WILL show me how to live. but i want my biggest accomplishment at the end of my life to be that i am able to say the Holy Spirit is my best friend.

He will accomplish what he started in me (phil 1:6). He will accomplish what concerns me (pslams 138:8). I just keep my eyes on Him and walk.

Matthew 6:30-34 (MSG)
30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

“Wisdom means to choose now what will make sense later. I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be, to inspire me and not terrify me.”

― Tracee Ellis Ross

Lizzy gerl to Mozambique!

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Sometimes I do not think when I look at Lizzy that I have ever seen beauty shine any brighter. Her heart for the Lord is unlike any I have ever seen. In excitement and Joy, she knows the heart of her Father, and she has been dreaming of showing others in Mozambique for about as long as I have known her. Please read the beauty of her words and give what you can or feel lead to give, and I hope you have the honor of meeting this beauty-full human.

from her blog:

This summer I am heading off on an amazing adventure to Pemba, Mozambique on the east coast of Africa. I need to raise $7,000 by April 25th and I’m so excited to see how the Lord will provide. My fire was lit for long-term international ministry during the summer of my sophomore year of high school. It has continued to grow and Harvest School, the missionary training school I’ll be attending this summer, is a huge step forward into that call. I am about to learn what it truly looks like to live with and love and learn from some of the most spiritually wealthy people in the world. My heart is bursting and this is my attempt at articulating almost 3 years worth of thoughts into one blog…bear with me.

The past few years have been full of lessons. Deep disappointment, overflowing joy, lots of tears, and days of constant laughter have marked the path of processing this passion for a place I’ve never been. Confusion and doubt have threatened the joy in my heart but I’ve learned more about God’s character than ever before. When I was believing the lie that I would never see this dream come true, He reminded me that he saw my passion (he’s the one who put it there), that he knew how I longed to go. He taught me how truly His heart was for me and how He was preparing me through being present where I was to step into the next part of this journey. It wasn’t time yet. So I waited. There is so much of Him to be found in the waiting. We don’t just serve a God who tolerates us in our questioning. We are children of a father who delights in showering us with love. In the middle of my doubt, He sent me strangers and friends from across the country to divinely reinforce the knowledge that was so hard for me to believe: He has, for some reason, chosen me to carry His love to Pemba. He didn’t just calm my fears, He removed any source of doubt that this was His call for my life. When the enemy told me I was inadequate for this assignment, Jesus reminded me that He never asked me to be, all He wants is an available, teachable heart whose sole purpose is to love Him. He chooses the lowly, the unimportant, the broken and makes them righteous, worthy, and wholly new. I am nothing, He is everything, and I am in awe of His graciousness.

I have no idea what I’m getting into, but I am trusting in His steadfast faithfulness that never wavers. I’m not going with the notion that I’m somehow better than those we have the opportunity to love. These brothers and sisters understand the greatness of our King and live their lives with a freedom and rest many of us have never known. The dirty, starving, unloved children of Mozambique are receiving crowns of beauty instead of ashes every day. Emotionless, traumatized, violent kids are being transformed into peace-carriers, made into the likeness of Jesus and overflowing with joy wherever they go. And they are going. In Pemba, I’ll be learning the greatest lessons from His greatest treasures. His little ones who know of His power and cannot keep it hidden. Cannot keep their light under a bush. Are not intimidated at the thought of telling someone about Jesus because they understand it is truly good news!! He is worth talking about.

Everyday in Mozambique, miracles are taking place. Food is being multiplied. The blind are given sight. The deaf hear. The mute speak. The lame walk. The dead are raised. But the physical miracles, while world-changing and good, are not the ultimate point. Without the relationship, nothing matters, nothing lasts. So the most incredible miracle of all is that people who were once dead in their sins, tortured by an enemy who used to hold the power are being set free into new, glorious, abundant life with Jesus Christ! Nothing can compare to the surpassing greatness of knowing Him in His death and resurrection. I am beyond excited for what’s in store and I plan to update anyone who wants to read as often as I can. If you are interested in Harvest School or just want to learn more about Iris Global and the amazing work they’re doing, you can find more information at irisglobal.org. 

Please please please, friends or strangers, join me in the testimonies that will rise up from this summer. Pray with me for the hearts of Mozambique, my classmates, and our leaders.

Like I said before, I need to raise $7,000 by April 25th. That’s a lot of money in not a lot of time. If you would like to offer financial support, you can click on the link and follow the steps to make a donation  –> gofundme.com/oxutmg

I could not be more grateful for you love, prayers, and support.

Blessings,

Lizzy

tastes and treasures

If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory. Colossians 3
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiates 3
Some people store up treasures in their homes here on earth. This is a shortsighted practice—don’t undertake it. Moths and rust will eat up any treasure you may store here. Thieves may break into your homes and steal your precious trinkets. Instead, put up your treasures in heaven where moths do not attack, where rust does not corrode, and where thieves are barred at the door. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6

i haven’t written in a while. haven’t been here in a while. haven’t felt like i have had much to offer. much that I’ve been filled with. much that i have been seeking.

i have, however, been feeling like i haven’t been journeying well. haven’t been seeking well. growing well if at all.

lies that feel more true. knowing what i know that i am never behind in time or with Him, that He doesn’t have expectations for me to meet with a checklist of my progress. knowing that He is not distant with arms crossed waiting for me to get it together and then return for a scolding.

it was good to walk into a weekend where the first night my heart was spoken to that it needed to be reminded, and awakened yet again, for the millionth time (and thank You that there will always be more. infinite do-overs. that i don’t want, but know i will need):
“just come back to Me. re-turn. remember. re-relationship. I have missed you. I am. right here with an arm around you always. whether you feel Me or not.”

and i can breathe.

and say i am sorry. with no scolding. no guilt. just missing and wanting Presence and Life and Love-Knowing and Becoming.

i would love to stop there. but i get to go on. after remembering Home, i am wooed a little deeper:

(pause. if you haven’t read the scripture at the top, now is the time.)

that sense of Home. it is but a sense for now. a taste. of eternity. but to put on the perspective that there is an actual Home… not here on earth. an unknown Home that i am told is the actual truth and my actual destination and citizenship.

my heart and stomach fall. a pit in my stomach. butterflies and not the fun ones.

i am going to die.

this side of life. what i know. all i know. its going to end.

i’m scared and daunted and doubts arise that i don’t live with everyday and surprise me that they are in me.

arise new nature… its time to believe. there is not a lot of time. its time for a new perspective. heavenly and eternal and imperishable. how are you going to live, ashley? this is an unrepeatable gift, this life. this now. its beautiful. i love it. i love celebrating and soaking up every millisecond. but there is more. how are you going to live in and for the more? for that whats-coming. what are you going to dream about-what are you going to goal- that is rooted in eternity? how are you going to live today for those days. how will you treat others and make choices and think and use your time, dear one?

we are told to not think about death and live in the now. that is half true and wildly incomplete. because

I WILL NOT DIE. not really. i have been told i already have. that i should, every day. and that instead of a finale, i am transformed in the blink of an eye. that eternal life is what is more true about me. its been gifted and given. this is not a morbid perspective to wake up with every morning and let that reality sink in. but it is a BIG, out of body, i am so small, this story is SO large, God is God and He is forever, perspective and reality. i am going to go on forever. but much is wrapped up in that. much that i can do today that points to those days.

i’m ready to get started. everyone is saying new year new you. i have heard new year true you. i like that. time to start believing and living from the true me. living fearless. believing all of it. dreaming big rooted in eternity, not just what i want to experience on this side of the veil. storing up treasures. loving with abandon. whatever that looks like. dying everyday. whatever that looks like.

so that i can live never-ending. at Home. with Jesus. Forever.

to becoming Love,

ashley

p.s. wild how scripture defends itself and is connected and all tied together, huh?

beauty-full

let your adornment be what’s inside—the real you, the lasting beauty of a gracious and quiet spirit, in which God delights.

-1 Peter 3:4

beauty comes from a gentle, gracious, settled, quiet spirit.

being honest (and when am i not brutally so), that was not incredibly appealing at first reading.

but rather, physical beauty is what i thought i longed for, and what i thought others were looking for in me. I want to look in the mirror and be satisfied with what i see. to be confident and settled in what was reflected. not pick myself apart and wish for difference and compare to beauty around me.

but what is confidence if not the root of all this. if others think that i am beautiful, that is the ultimate reflection, right? that will lead me to believe i am beautiful and have more confidence and feel better?

but.

what if confidence is a settled spirit. trusting that settled spirit. a quiet spirit at rest. a satisfied spirit. to let go of other’s opinions, to be free from judging them, in my heart and out loud, and not to constantly be striving to prove.

another version of this verse says that beauty comes from a gentle spirit. well, gentleness is a fruit of THE Spirit… from God, part of my new nature… that means i have gentleness because i already have His Spirit….no longer needing to pray or ask for gentleness…it is freely given. a package deal. but i want it to be fully uncovered…  operating from that fullness.

when i picture myself being gentle, it is being a peace maker… slow to speak. not demanding the center of attention or trying to prove anything. but settled. patient and humble, not thinking of myself as less than I am, but to see myself ONLY as God truly sees me. Gentleness, to be kind, to give grace, and to act in goodness.

i see Jesus inviting me to imagine. imagine myself down the road. to picture who i want to become. and i see myself. fully me. but fully more alive. more awakened to his Presence. more my TRUE self, uncovered. i see myself smiling. a lot. laughing. HAPPY and joyful (being settled in all circumstances… no matter what they are). seasoned with life. i think of how i treat other people. i think of how i look. somehow i look the same, but i FEEL like i am more beautiful. i am more pleasant to be around. more who i believe God is inviting me to become.

HEAR ME SAY THIS: I HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT HE LOVES ME NOW, JUST AS MUCH AS HE LOVES THE LATER MORE RENEWED UNCOVERED ME. He loves me on that journey. though that version of me is the REAL AND TRUE me. i am becoming more and more THAT ashley the more i become like Him. because when I reread the definition of beautiful, it is Jesus.

His settled-ness is captivating. And His beauty invites.

we as women (and honestly i would be shocked if men have missed it) all know and have experienced painfully the world’s standard of beauty. it is SO easy to fall into! the enemy constantly pushes me into comparison mode. he wants to steal, kill and destroy me, and if i were my enemy, i would be hell-bent on keeping me from knowing and choosing to believe these truths. it would change everything and dangerous would be an understatement against his dark kingdom if i fully believed all of this. and he is cunning; what better way to keep me from knowing this then to create a standard that is always changing.

pushing away the broken standards of this broken world, i think of some of my friends who are so in love with Jesus, that His Presence walks into the room when they do, they radiate Him and they are full of Captivating Beauty. they are most beautiful when they are not obsessing over their false sense of outward beauty, they are most beautiful when they are at rest with their appearance and the spirit. and in turn, i don’t see them as their outside as much… i get to see what Jesus sees… 1st Samuel says that man judges outside appearance but God looks at the heart. so i am praying for a perspective change, because God tells me that i will love people the way that i love myself. when i am self critical, self judgmental, self aware about all the wrong things, this is the extent i “LOVE” others!! and vice versa. but i choose the perspective of Jesus, to become free from that. i become more gentle and gracious. slow to judge. choosing to see both the beauty in me and the beauty of others.

and a gracious spirit. to give grace, to myself, to others. grace leaves no room for even a single judgment or comparison.

so.

i choose to trust this truth. believe then see. venture outside the shires and risk this to be truth. (Lord of the Rings reference because 1. i love it 2. Arwen is a bad-ass beauty)

i will not spend one more second of my abundant playful celebration, life stuck in false comparison. my eyes are set on things above. my beauty-full windows to my settled shimmering soul eyes. heart eyes. green-blue-grey earthly eyes. waiting and expecting and alive in true settled beauty-fullness.

the more i walk along this journey, hand and hand with beauty Himself, the more I become.

like Him.

beauty-full.

a challenge to my beauty-full sisters: let’s go forth and stop comparing ourselves and others on a standard that doesn’t exist. let’s offer our strength and settled spirit and life giving vital beauty. let’s choose to love ourselves and each other. let’s celebrate every single part of what we have been given. lets drop the yardsticks of ever changing comparison. lets love ourselves! we are worth it! we shimmer and shine when we believe this. that we are beautiful because we are beauty image bearers. its at our core. we are beautiful because we are!

lets believe it and live full of beauty. it is who we are.

to becoming Love,

ash

tunes part 2

Every once and a while I love sharing how Jesus shows Himself through worship music that finds me. Enjoy!

Take Your Place – Jon Thurlow
Faithful to the End – Cory Asbury
Hope Will Rise – Warr Acres
Strong God – New Life Worship
Steffany Frizzell Gretzinger’s whole album – The Undoing
Brave – Bethel’s whole album
Harvest’s album – Curtains (especially God Demonstrates His Love, and Make Us Ready
White Flag – Chris Tomlin
Christ Is Enough – Hillsong
Glorious Ruins – Hillsong
still the whole passion 2014 album, especially Let It Be Jesus (gets me every time) and Elevation Only King Forever album.
I Surrender – Hillsong
Good Good Father – Housefires
Shane & Shane – The Worship Initiative, every one of those albums is boss.

mystery + icing

He decided to make known to them His blessing to the nations; the glorious riches of this mystery is the indwelling of the Anointed in you! The very hope of glory. -Colossians 1:27

If you had even a faint spark of faith, even faith as tiny as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and because of your faith, the mountain would move. If you had just a sliver of faith, you would find nothing impossible. – Matt 17:20

So, first and foremost, I urge God’s people to pray. They should make their requests, petitions, and thanksgivings on behalf of all humanity. Teach them to pray for kings (or anyone in high places for that matter) so that we can lead quiet, peaceful lives—reverent, godly, and holy— -1 Timothy 2:1-2

 Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. James 5:16

i don’t get prayer.

i just don’t get it. doesn’t make sense to me. never really has. how is it actually effective? for what reason does it have power? how are our prayers effective…

and on and on my crazy crockpot goes. endless rabbit trails. i think I have a million rabbits up there. runnin down their trails. in a crockpot. rabbit stew.

my point exactly.

anyway.

i don’t get it.

But.

i don’t have to get it to see its power.

praying big specific prayers is dangerous. in the best way.

i asked Jesus to show me His mighty holy side. i am getting tastes (let me know if you want to hear about the hiccup story). long story short, that’s a mighty prayer.

many have heard that Appalachian State has been going through a really hard season. haunting and tragedy and loss; loss of innocence. loss of security. loss of life.

a prayer walk was lead throughout campus and mighty things were proclaimed and prayed and asked for.

James 5:16. that sounds like a promise to me. and we know that we are the righteousness of God because that is why Christ died for us. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

prayer is faith spoken and proclaimed. in any prayer spoken, any request, any form, thanksgiving, proclaiming, hoping… it is faith manifested. it is fruit. proof of faith. it is choosing to believing the unseen.

of course i analyze, wrestle and struggle.

Love is finding me in different ways that i never thought would come, and here i am trying to analyze the magic. plan ahead and formulate. instead of the dance, the beauty, the resting, the celebrations of my wild freely given abundance of a Life. i know the latter is the real me. i feel and hear it beckoning.

but then fear.

of history repeating and my future dreams crumbling and broken heartedness cackling in my ear to remember pain and never risk again.

but if i feared faith every time, there would be no prayer. there would be no mountains moving. if I try to figure out and analyze and predict and fear change… there would be no butterflies or grace or magic or wild receiving or risk or might or majesty that i know deep is calling out to deep. the heart beat of my celebrations.

i want to partner with the Mystery and trust what i cant see and don’t understand. i lean not on my understanding but depend fully on the One that knows the number of hairs on my head, the amount of days i have left, what they will entail, for my Good and always His Glory. always.

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. Proverbs 3:5

He decided to make known to them His blessing to the nations; the glorious riches of this mystery is the indwelling of the Anointed in you! The very hope of glory. Colossians 1:27

all i aspire to do is Love-Know Jesus more. to know is to love. and that is Heaven on earth.

everything else is icing.

i love you, icing.

And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent. John 17:3

[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him.

Ephesians 1:17 (AMP)

Answer my prayers, O True God, the righteous, who makes me right.
I was hopelessly surrounded, and You rescued me.
Once again hear me; hide me in Your favor;
bring victory in defeat and hope in hopelessness.

Understand this: The Eternal One treats as special those like Him.
The Eternal will answer my prayers and save me.

Psalm 4:1,3