Childlike Fireworks

When I worked at Disney, there was this little spot where I loved to watch Illuminations. It’s in the China Pavilion (This isn’t it. 🙂 This place reminds me of it though.). Sometimes, when I had a day off, I would go there and watch the fireworks. I’d snack on some exotic candy from Japan or a chocolate from Germany. One day, a family stood in front of me with a boy of maybe five. Continue reading

Your Standards Are Too High

“Your standards are too high.”

I look up at my dearest friend as she twirls wire into petals. I have to look away. I’ve heard this before.

“Andrew likes you, you know.” She laughs.

The boy from the concert? He was forward. No. He joked secretly about pretending to be a Christian to win me. What does he know of life and love and companionship?

It’s so simple really. I just want…someone that will share my faith. That’s all. I want a partner. And yet, in all of the men I’ve met, in all of my searching, there has not been one. One….who’s been…why is this so hard God? The last one was my match in every way, so kind and wonderful, but he didn’t follow You. So I chase him away slowly, with every word, so that it will be impossible to return.

“I’ve already been down that road. It ripped my heart out. I won’t do that again.”

 

Waiting is impossibly difficult in this season.. In my youth, every day seems to ache with the promise of the future. I know my destiny holds so much more than to get married. I see God training me up to be a leader. I see Him positioning me for adventures in far-off places and teaching adults. But..as I receive my second bridesmaid invitation, I can’t help but look into the mirror and think selfish thoughts. “When will You send him Lord?” I feel so old at the laughable age of twenty-one. If any of you has any advice about dating, or waiting, I sure could use it.  I know He has someone for me. Rebekah didn’t get married until forty. Maybe I’m just not mature enough for him yet. Or visa versa.

Either way, I will wait.

I know he will be worth it.

I hope you are enjoying the sunshine, wherever you are. 🙂 Cherish your lovers.

The Story of Deborah: A Strong Woman of the Bible

If I may,

I want to hear more about strong women in the Bible like Deborah. I didn’t know about her until recently, but I have a new role model.

This is Judges 4.

(Warning: It gets a little gruesome at the end.)

“You hear a lot about how women were second-class citizens in the culture that you read about in the bible. It’s important to notice, though, that women were not second-class citizens in God’s eyes, ever. Deborah is a great example.

Deborah was a judge, a national leader, just like any male judge whom Israel recognized. She was even asked to go to battle. Know what she said? ‘I’ll go as long as you realize that everyone is going to know that a woman did the winning.’” -ncv

Are you serious? How kick-butt is that?!

Also, the second-class thing is untrue, especially for that time period…but that’s for another time.

Deborah

She was one of the first Judges. (Judges were a lot more important in ancient Israel than they are today. Not only did they decide legal cases, they acted as military leaders. Judges were responsible for inspiring the Israelites when they didn’t seem to care about God’s plan, leading them into battle against the people who were oppressing them and encouraging them to worship the Lord again.) She was married when she led the nation. She was a prophetess.

She would sit under a palm tree in the mountains as people came to her to settle their arguments. One day, she sent a letter to a man named Barak. She relayed the message from God telling him that the Lord commanded him to go and gather 10,000 men from Naphtali and Zebulun. God promised to hand over the captain Sisera, who had been cruel to Israel for twenty years under king Jabin (who defeated Israel when they fell away from God again).

“Then Barak said to Deborah, ‘I will go if you will go with me, but if you won’t go with me, I won’t go.’”

Deborah, in all her sass, responded, “’Of course I will go with you…but you will not get credit for the victory. The Lord will let a woman defeat Sisera.’” She went with Barak to gather the ten thousand men. When Sisera heard what was going on, he gathered his 900 iron chariots and all of his men from across the lands. He and his army went out to meet them.

“Then Deborah said to Barak, ‘Get up! Today is the day the Lord will hand over Sisera. The Lord has already cleared the way for you.’ So Barak led ten thousand men down Mount Tabor. As Barak approached, the Lord confused Sisera and his army and his chariots. The Lord defeated them with the sword, but Sisera left his chariot and ran away on foot.”

They chased his army. Not one of them was left alive. Sisera ran to the tent where a woman named Jael lived. Jael was the wife of Heber, a descendant of Moses’ brother-in-law….

Jael went out to meet Sisera and said, “’Come into my tent, my master! Come in. Don’t be afraid.’” She covered him with a rug and gave him milk when he asked for water. He told her to say “no” if anyone asked if someone was there. When Sisera fell into a deep sleep, Jael went outside. She grabbed a tent peg and a hammer. She hammered the tent peg through the side of Sisera’s head and into the ground.

“At that very moment Barak came by Jael’s tent, chasing Sisera. Jael went out to meet him and said, ‘Come. I will show you the man you are looking for.’ So Barak entered her tent, and there Sisera lay dead, with the tent peg in his head.

On that day God defeated Jabin, king of Canaan, in the sight of Israel. Israel became stronger and stronger against Jabin until finally they destroyed him.”

Judges 5 is The Song of Deborah.

I think I need reminding sometimes that I’m a strong woman of God because of He that lives inside of me. Being strong won’t ruin my chances of finding a husband. The right man will be drawn to me and the God that lives inside. There are higher things to set my eyes on than what lies on the horizon.

 

You are a pearl. Run your race.

Christie

 

 

Photo Credit: x

Mountaintops of Uganda

Do you want to hear a story?

A long time ago, in the days of Africa, I found a place of peace. I find it again, whenever my heart searches.

This story is about a mountaintop in the middle of Uganda.

I’d been living in Kampala for about a month. I remember my step-mom telling me about pilgrimages to Kenyan mountaintops, as we ate our Ugali and Matoke (Mmm Matoke…). She was going on a trip to pray with some new friends, here in Uganda. I felt a little shy asking to go. I was very new to my faith and… I had only known her for a month or so. Janelle had a few drops of broth dripping down her chin. She looked at me and snorted as she showed all of her teeth. Her dimples matched mine. She was growing on me.

Give it time. God listens to the wants of the heart. Later on the trip, I was given a chance to have my own mountain adventure. Our church was taking a trip outside of the city.

As we drove into the outskirts of Kampala, the street shops grew further and further apart. We missed the entrance the first time (I love that country, but they have luck-of-the-draw with signage) and had to drive back around. We drove on a skinny, rocky, red-dirt pathway to park near the top of the mountain. A few other church members had already arrived.  We waited until we had about 15 people before we wandered up the path by foot. We passed by a small hut on the right with a few pots and pans. Chickens were milling around inside. I felt familiar stares. I smiled and waved. Uncertain faces turned into friendly ones. Smiles are universal.

Wooden benches lied ahead behind a mass of bushes. A few monkeys watched us as we picked them up together and carried them up the hill. That was my first time seeing monkeys in the wild. I wanted to chase them. We wandered up the hill and arrived in a clearing in the woods. Light glimmered down between the leaves.

It was a very looooooong church service. Maybe two hours. But it was good!  The pastor had us wander to pray on our own for a while. I wandered out of the forest and found a sunny place on the hill. I sat cross-legged and spread my fingers in the grass. I turned my face toward the sun and smelled the warm air. I could see the city below. Another mountain was to the left. Lake Victoria shimmered in the distance. It was beautiful.

I prayed about everything there. It started out a bit wooden, but quickly flowed into a conversation. I felt Him so present there. So peaceful, I wanted to take a nap. I laid down and told Him everything. I even told Him that I thought the service was a bit long…

I must’ve fallen asleep for a bit. When I woke, I felt light as a feather. I stood up and started to explore the mountain. I jumped a low wooden fence and ran into the tall grass. I held my breath as I entered an abandoned hut. It was old and rusty, nothing was inside besides overgrown weeds. I walked a different way, and found others praying under trees and bushes. I ran to the right and found a few church kids squealing in delight. They had long been exploring. They giggled as we ran over the mountain. We passed by another group who gave us looks. I playfully shushed the little girls. We walked through the trees and played with sticks. Eventually, I found my way back. They ran off to keep playing. It was there, in a circle, that I first opened up about the demon visiting a week or two before. I wasn’t met with faces of doubt, as I had been expecting. There was pity and understanding there. Maybe it wasn’t so strange there after-all…

What a day.

So much peace.

 

Photo Credit: x