Friday, January 1, 2016

Project Patience has moved!

I'm really excited to announce this New Year that Project Patience has moved!

I've been in the process of switching over from Blogger here, to WordPress. I was also able to obtain my own domain, and throughout a whole lot of technical maneuvering, (Thanks, Aunt Sue!) migrate all my previous posts and all their comments over to the WordPress site.

You will now find Project Patience at...

All new posts will be posted there.

I'm continuing to update and work with the whole look of the blog. It's quite a lot of fun, really. ;)

Blogging is a huge project, I'm finding. There really is a ton that goes on behind the scenes, and I'm so thankful for the smoothness of this shift, and the ability to reach out to others who have already gone through the process.

So, yeah! Go to to keep an eye on all the new developments. :)

Hello, 2016! Let's make the visions reality.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Journal | woodland wandering

Gray, pleasant December weather shrouds my homeland... no snow, no bitter cold, no icy roads. Not yet.

The world looks more like a subdued, colorless October-- quiet and cool--with rainy days and some gusty winds.

I did not mean to be absent from my blog this month; I actually had about four posts under construction... yet they remain drafts. Life has been a bit busy, what with finals and Christmas preparations... and other things. I just felt no push to get anything posted, and decided that maybe I was meant to take December as a blogging break.

(Besides, I'm not really good and themeing things to fit the holiday season... and I'd feel kind of obliged to post Christmas-y things for you guys if I posted this month, ya know? ;) )

But I am writing this journal ~ as the rain patters on the roof above my head.

I went for a walk this morning, up to the woods.

(This is after I slept in. The day after my very last finals. No school, no chores, free!)

In all honesty, because I want to remain honest here, I've been having some difficult times.
And I want change.

Because this is not where I am meant to be. This is not wear Jesus died to put me. He has lifted me up, set my feet upon a rock, and has not given me a Spirit of fear, but of love, of power, and of a sound mind.

A sound mind. 

Most of my internal struggling has been in the mind, and any outward conflict has been because I allowed what was wrong in my mind to take actual form in my life. We really do create the majority of our circumstances. (I say majority, because I know there certainly are things beyond our control.) But also, most of the time that a struggle arises is because we have allowed ourselves to view it from a position of vulnerability, defensiveness, or defeat.

(I should be using the pronoun I instead of we because I don't wish to point fingers at other people. I'm just speaking of my own experiences.)

Do you ever have the opportunity to walk through the woods?

It's very calming. And the best part is that you're all alone.

 I can talk to Him out loud.

Have you ever declared God's word out loud? Repeating what you know He has said... instead of what you currently see or feel? 

His Words do not return to Him void.  There is enormous power in the Word of God (learning so much about this lately...), and in knowing it in your heart. 

Believing what He has said. Declaring it in defiance to whatever junk may be coming your way in thought or action.

I always treasured the angel's words to Mary, because I believe they apply to the lot of us:

"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!" {Luke 1:45}

(LOL-- Christmas reference! I did it!)

Simply: speaking out what is True, what is promised, and what is pure & good over your life will knock out those wrong thoughts, corrupt feelings, and frivolous notions. The confusion dissipates in light of all that God has said to make your path straight.

I have so many topics I want to cover over the next few months on this blog. The New Year is going to bring a bountiful slew of new posts-- I look forward to writing and sharing, and I appreciate from the bottom of my heart those of your who take the time to read, share, & comment. ^_^

I still have things in front of me to work through, to put in their proper place.

But I have the armor, I have the equipment, and it's time to put it into practice.

I'm so grateful for a God who gives me grace and Loves me unconditionally. Thankful for His words that restore and encourage-- for all the blessings He has bestowed-- and for this season of celebrating my Savior's birth.

Merry Christmas

            Happy New Year

                      ...and looking forward to some fresh perspective. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Journal | thankful, grateful, blessed

I don't think I've ever been at a point in life before where my blessings were as obvious as they are to me now.

I've always been able to look around and count them off:

--roof over my head
--food to eat
--family to love
--friends who care

Going through the motions, taking that one day a year to pause and dwell briefly on the "little things" I guiltily was aware that I took for granted... but didn't everybody? And we did our part to stop and allow ourselves guilt about it for that one designated moment on that one designated day. Then we had been humbled adequately, and life went on.

But when your whole life gets turned up-side-down and shaken... things do change.
There came an actual point in time where I very well was not guaranteed the "little things" (that are actually huge things). There was a point where everything got questioned.

--family to love me
--friends who cared

And all that was certain was God.
I am so grateful for His help, for protecting me-- and my family-- through so many circumstances. From age 0 to age 18, He's never failed. And I'm still here! Praise God.

In addition to the little-huge things, there are blessings beyond the necessities-- He got me my GED and guided me through the SATs... He's provided me with the ability to go to college-- at no cost to me. He gave me the most amazing job this past summer where I met people and did things that I know have impacted my life forever, (and things just fell directly into place for all of that, when the process of meeting requirements looked so complicated!) He helped me pass the road test, gave me my license-- He even gave me a car! Family closer than ever, friends that I can trust with my life, a blessed relationship, my HOME, and always His peace, His guidance, and His protection.

I could go on forever.

But Lord?

You also give me the sunrise. You give me the full moon in October.
The birds that sing in the morning, the woods to walk through, the stream that babbles.
The leaves that turn colors, the frost that beautifies the window glass, the fog that blankets the morning air.

The work to do that keeps the home cozy and clean, the wood that heats our water, the cows to milk that sustain us. The young chickens that lay eggs in abundance, the kittens to snuggle.

The dishes because it means we have food, the laundry because it means we have clothes to wear, the clutter because it means we have even more than we need.

I'm grateful for the hard lessons.
The difficult times because they make me appreciate the good ones.
The truths that I might not want to hear sometimes, but definitely need to. I'm thankful for those who have the courage to speak them, who care enough to put my spiritual well-being above my comfort.

I'm thankful for being able to see when I mess up, to be able to identify when I'm doing something wrong or even thinking with a wrong perspective-- and also for those who help me see when I just don't. I'm so thankful for new mercies each day, and for the constant offer of grace, the opportunity at any given moment to change for the better and to grow.

I'm thankful for hindsight. Being able to look back and be in awe of all that's come to pass, and all I've miraculously been carried through. Seeing how much I've changed, and those around me have changed. And it reinforces my trust in God, knowing that there is more to come, that it is worth it, and that it will be more than alright with Him leading.

Change hurts sometimes. But strangely, I love changing.
Because I Love Him, and His ways are higher than mine.

Lord, the two little words sound so inadequate... but Thank You.
Help me to live a life of thankfulness, help me to keep the right perspective, to breathe gratitude, and to give away what You have given me. How amazing that this is one of the only things You have asked of me!

Help me to be appreciative-- I know I fail.
But I know how BEAUTIFUL life suddenly becomes when someone is living with a heart that is simply in awe of Your wonders and overwhelmed with gratitude. I want to live like that.

You are Awesome. So Awesome.

(And also... thank you for coffee. )

Friday, November 20, 2015

Journal | peace, be still

The infant cries and whimpers in my arms as I rock her back and forth.

Her sobs are loud and violent, she will not be comforted.

I sing to her...

You call me out upon the waters,
The great unknown, where feet may fail...

I murmur words of comfort to soothe her, but she cannot hear me above her own voice.

and there I find You in the mystery,
In oceans deep, my faith will stand...

Back and forth in the rocking chair, surrounded by the cool darkness of the nursery. Her sobs turn to hiccups; her hiccups to sniffles.

And I will call upon Your name,
Keep my eyes above the waves.

When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace.
For I am Yours...
and You are mine.

And now she is still.

Lord, as I rocked the little child to sleep tonight, I recognized something.
I recognized that in those times I despair, and cannot be comforted, there is not one moment that You are not holding me in Your arms, whispering Your words to me, and trying to give me rest.

Blinded by my tears, I cannot look about the proverbial nursery, at the many framed memories on the walls, and see the proof of all You've brought me through. I forget the victories, forget the joys. Yet they are there, if I would only see.

You do not forsake me. I cry for answers, for affirmation-- but I cannot hear You above the roar of my sobs. My tears are an ocean. I stare at the crashing waves.

But You? You speak in a still small voice. You walk above the waves.

And I? I must be still so that I may listen.

For You walk upon the water, and You call me out to join You.

Song lyrics from..
Hillsong United. "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" Zion.  Hillsong, Sparrow, 2013. CD. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Love Song | a ballad of November

For my two Dearest Loves...

This month we'll look back on three crazy years and give praise again for everything He's brought us through. Our lives changed forever that late November night. We knew we had stumbled into deep waters... we knew Jesus was the only way to survive... but it's amazing to me now, looking back, the exact depth and width and enormity of all that was really going to happen.

I've done a lot of walking and praying-- through muddy corn fields, knee-high snow, pastures with birdsong and new growth all around-- over and over, throughout the changing seasons. Looking to God... being taken apart and rebuilt again, surrendering to Him all over, so many times.

Not my plan, not my will, Lord... but yours be done. I trust You.

So much letting go.
Letting go of Me.
Letting go of my life.
My fears.
Believing He was holding me.
And letting go of you, Zachary. And any control I might reserve for myself over what was going to happen.

The commitment to wait was graced and gifted with God's peace-- it is the only way we ever could have done anything. To chase after You, Lord, is not a quest You let us undertake unequipped. You provide generously-- all the strength and joy and patience we need to endure.

Zachary, I cannot thank you enough for being the man you were, willing to let go and become the man He wanted you to be. The man you are today is amazing to me, and you're still changing.

Thank you for putting your hope in Him.

And most of all, thank you for stepping aside and pointing me to Jesus. Thank you for that selfless act that made Love true.

Lord, You overwhelm me with all You've designed, how I see it now falling into place. Your ways are unsearchable, and Your promises true. You are so wise and so good, and your plans so much greater than I could ever conjure up for myself. Without You, I'd have missed one of my life's greatest blessings... Thank You for Zachary Scott.

I knew true Love was not easy, and that it would hurt. I was so afraid of failing. And falling.

But I have come to know two Great Loves, one the sun, the other the moon: one shining glorious warmth and joy into my heart and life, redeeming me; the other a precious reflection of that light, and earthly example to me of the heavenly realms.

I have learned a lot in this journey to True Love... and I look forward to the enormous amount I have yet to attain.

Father, I had to learn of Your Love first.

I discovered Your wondrous Love for me, amidst chaos and uproar. You were my only option for peace and guidance. As soon as I took hold of You, I was shown the truth: that Your were all I really needed. I'm glad for the struggles, I'm grateful for the hardships-- I never would have appreciated You fully without them. I just Love the thought of You ruining Satan's plans, of the way You were able to use His darts for my good, once I surrendered to You.

You caught me up in Your arms. You taught me Love. You took away my fear, and You led me into Love with You. I was a cup overflowing, and I was learning to share what You had given me. To spread it.

There was a revolution in my Heart. A paradigm shift in my mind of how I saw You. When I found out who You really were, and how You cared for me, it changed the course of my life forever.

I always knew that marriage on this earth was created to be a reflection of the Believers' unity with You, that marriage was a sort of trinity, Man and Woman bound with God, just as You are a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Before I entered any sort of earthly relationship, I truly wanted to have the right focus and the right direction. Thank You so much for giving me the opportunity to prepare, and for sweeping me away in a fashion I never could have imagined You would.

The greatest epiphany a person can reach is recognizing that HE Loves us. First. His Love is an unconditional choice. He doesn't Love us only once we choose Him. He Loves us first.

Often, people run from Love, from commitment.
Because of Fear-- fear springing from past experience.
Fear of being let down again. Used again. Hurt again. Rejected and discarded.
Because they dared to reach out and Love first once before, and they were betrayed.

But you see, God doesn't fear to Love us. Even though He knows that so many of us will turn away. He still dares to Love... to reach out, to even die for us. Despite the fact that He'll be ignored, despised, and betrayed. Even, on occasion, by those who do in fact love Him back.

When a person realizes that You, Father, Love them first, and that You always will... they can't help but fall in Love with You. Because there is nothing to fear. Not anymore. Your perfect Love casts out fear.

We Love Him, because He first Loved us.

God, the same went for me.
I'd been raised a Christian... but it wasn't until I was 14 that my understanding of Who You really were exploded. That's when my relationship with You became my own... and it's been quite the journey ever since. (Another story for another time. :) )

And down here on this earth? Amidst all this beautiful chaos?

A reflection was stirring.

When did I finally choose to Love you, Zachary?

When I couldn't help it anymore. When I knew beyond a doubt that you Loved me. And you had dared to Love me first.

You had proven too many times that your Love was real. You didn't pack up and leave when it was clear that your affections could not be reciprocated. You waited for me, when I told you not to. You Loved me even in my fickleness, my doubt, and my {unintentional} hurt of you.

I remember my heart crashing into a wall when I realized what I was doing. What I was rejecting. What I was letting fear barricade from my life.

Zachary, you were no where near being Jesus. ;) But God used you as a prominent vessel for His voice into my life in those days. You actively encouraged me and pushed me to build my life more closely upon God's promises. I saw so many traits of Christ embodied in your actions... And gradually, as I had thrown aside fear for Him and accepted His Love... I knew I could do the same with you.

And honestly I don't remember when I crossed that line in my heart and finally Loved you. But sometimes, Love just comes softly. And Love, in our human capacity for it, is built. Love is a choice, it is action, it is sacrifice, it requires change and growth because it cannot just sit comfortably still and expect to flourish... Love is hard. And Love is so worth it.

Lord God, I cannot thank You enough for the life You have given me. I know much will be asked, and I pray for Your guidance and strength to answer the call and follow wholeheartedly after You. No matter what the obstacles and trials in life. I praise You for the wondrous work You have going in me, and for the fact that You will see it through to completion.

And tonight I praise You for the work You have done in the man I have the privilege to call my Best Friend. Thank You, praise You, bless You! --for Your mighty Love which flows over and sweeps us away. May we only grow closer to You Lord, and in so doing, grow closer to one another.

You are the Song that we sing, and may it be a Love Song to You.

In Jesus' Name. Amen.