insideout.

here in cali… July 6, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — alinna @ 11:38 pm

so the past month here in santa cruz has definitely been something to write about. just in terms of my own steps with the lord and life in general, it’s been sort of like i’m re-learning myself at 22 years old… which has been pretty strange. i guess revelations about who you are should be something that you consistently want to have throughout life, but it’s just been interesting to have that happen in the midst of so much other transition as a “staffer” with crusade this summer. in terms of “staff life” it’s been pretty eye-opening to be on the other side of things since i was a student on an international summer project last summer. i’m not sure if the lord is leading me more towards or away from this life, but either way, i’ve definitely gotten to see a different side of things. i’ve felt so blessed to have the groups of girls that i’ve been leading this summer… the lord has definitely shown his faithfulness in that area as i was VERY anxious and nervous about how they would mesh and whether or not i would feel the least bit significant and needed in their lives out here. i’ve also gotten to realize a lot about the relationships i have, and my eyes have been opened in a lot of ways in terms of how much i trust the lord with them and whether or not i truly desire for him to be my first love and closest companion… it’s incredibly easy to stray away from a hunger for that.

one of the main things that i’ve seen this summer is that it’s ok to grapple with this strange transitional place that i am in life. i think i’ve sort of downplayed the intensity of being near graduation, being in a serious relationship and thinking/talking about where it’s going, having a great deal of my closest friends graduate and start “real life” while i’m still finishing up with school, thinking about what i want to “do with my life”, and just being in transition in general. it’s not that i feel TOTALLY lost, but it’s just that i’ve never been here and have thought to some extent that i can just live and things will fall into place since i don’t really know what i’m doing…. naive? i’d say so. : ) but i think the lord has been showing me that THERE’S HOPE and A PLAN, and that he’s gone before me and knows all that’s coming up. not that i don’t need to make decisions and keeping walking through life, but that he’ll be right beside me through all of it. maybe those statements sound pretty simple, but i guess they’re just things that are coming alive to me this summer. i was having a pretty hard time when i first got out here. i just sort of felt like i was grieving the closing of some areas in my life and also feeling pretty lost about what’s to come, and coincidently was led to read in lamentations one night (way to bring up the spirits, right?)… but it really did…

i read this….

i remember my afflicaiton and my
wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
i well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
yet this i call to mind
and therefore i have hope:

because of the lord’s great love we are
not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
i say to myself, “the lord is my portion;
therefore i will wait for him.”

the lord is good to those whose hope
is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the lord.
it is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.

let him sit alone in silence,
for the lord has laid it on him.
let him bury his face in the dust-
there may yet be hope.

lamentations 3:19-29.

i know that’s a lot, but it was so amazing for me to see that it’s the times of wandering and wondering and affliction that god uses to bring us to his compassionate and loving faithfulness. he NEVER leaves us alone, and he’s ALWAYS aware of exactly how we feel. it’s ok not to know what’s coming, and it’s ok to look back with fondness at where you’ve come from, but WHAT BETTER PLACE to be than walking clinging to the heavenly father because you know he wants what’s best for you. i just frustrate myself so much because i want to trust the lord and put things in his hands, but then as soon as i feel unsure or start to doubt what’s to come, i run up and take everything back so that i can make sure that it works out how i want…. as if i could do a better job with my future than he can. so it’s starting to sink in that there is hope even when i don’t feel like all of my questions have been answered… and i so badly want to relinquish control, and live in the truth that the lord is my portion… to wait on him.

i’ll be home in about a week.. and i’m sure (and hope) that that will be the time when i start really processing through all i’ve learned here this summer.. so i’m sure there’ll be more to come. : )

 

blessed… April 13, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — alinna @ 11:30 pm

so why is it that i am constantly comparing the person that i am, the life that i lead, the things that i have, and so much more, to everyone around me? i think i’ve always known in some way that this is something that i struggle with doing, but it’s really come to the forefront of my mind lately that it’s something that i need to constantly surrender to the Lord.… it’s so strange the ways that the enemy can attack us.

one of my favorite songs lately is one by sara groves called “you are the sun”. it’s a great song in general, but the part that really speaks to me says,

“And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can’t be a light unless I turn my face to you”

i’m sure that i learned this in elementary school, but i was reminded one day while i was listening to the words that the moon has absolutely no light on its own… it only lights the night because the sun shines through it.

amazing. God is so smart (duh).

this is a perfect parallel to how i truly want to live my life for God… i want to glow because HE is making me. i want for people to look at me, and see Him… to see that what He wants is behind every movement that i make, thing that i believe, attitude that i portray, word that i speak, way that i love, thing that i find joy in, talent that i’m blessed with, moment that i’m thankful for, relationship that i nurture… (well, it’s definitely a tall order, but you get the idea). i don’t want the comparisons that i make between myself and others to shape the person who i want to be… i want to be who i am because i know that it will please the Lord. it is so tiring to constantly size yourself up to everyone else, and i am 100% sure that it is in no way pleasing to the Lord… i mean, of course there are positive aspects to watching the way that people live around you, or reading others thoughts, and allowing them to challenge you in the ways that you conduct yourself and view life, but when it becomes a distraction, discouragement, and point of focus and frustration, i believe that it is then a tactic of the enemy to get our eyes off of who we should actually be turning our faces towards… Christ, and everything that he is trying so hard to teach us everyday. easier said than done, i know… but i think it’s definitely worth working on.

“YOU are the sun”

 

my heart’s cry… January 12, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — alinna @ 4:12 pm

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee;
Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.

Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee;
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise;
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

“Take my Life and Let it Be”
Frances R. Havergal, 1874

i heard this song at our weekly meeting last night, and thought it was so powerful. i was talking to daniel later that night about the meeting, and was saying that i like when we sing more God-centered songs as opposed to i-centered… it sounded kind of weird, because we’re, of course, always singing songs about God at church or other christian functions, but i often feel like they have a tone of bless me and fall on me (which mind you, i don’t think is BAD.. i know that those are things that He desires to do as our Father. it’s just so wonderful and refreshing to stand and sing about giving ALL of ourselves to the Lord for His use, so that he will receive glory that has nothing to do with us.) the idea of Him taking all the parts of me and using them in the ways that He sees fit was a beautiful and challenging thing for me. it spurred me to think more about this, and to evaluate the places in my life where i make it more about me than Him. i just love these words, and i want them to be the cry of my heart.

**colossians 1:16.

 

this is me.. thankful. January 3, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — alinna @ 4:44 am

i’m really thankful. and not often good at verbalizing that in the ways that i really want to. i’m so thankful for a break from school and a time to really think about and concentrate on the ways in which i want my last (or next to last) semester at app. to look. i’m really thankful for a comfortable and secure place to go back to.. and to come home to. i’m thankful for peace and for the fact that when it’s not always there, it becomes just that much more worth being thankful for. i’m thankful for honesty.. for those people that we all (hopefully) have in our lives that will look us straight in the face and say that there’s something that needs working on… for those people who do love us just the way we are, but too much to let us stay that way. i’m thankful for things that challenge, reshape, and sharpen… for not being able to stay complacent. i’m thankful for silly things that really have no purpose, rhyme, or reason, but are fun anyway. for being able to grow up and make decisions on your own.. and for figuring out all along the way which of those you’re really sure you won’t be making again. for being able to be the toothfairy for my little cousin, and having sweet little hugs and kisses at night from miracle babies. i’m thankful for homecooked meals and presents and words that come straight from the heart in hopes of making your day. and for family and friends who see the not so wonderful sides of you and choose to love you so much anyway. i’m thankful for being able to lead, and to know that there are people who look up to you even if you really can’t wrap your mind around what’s so worthy of looking up to. i’m thankful for being wrong sometimes, because it really helps with the whole “you’ve got so much to learn” part of life. and for those few : ) people who think you’re funny and appreciate the quirks and hang ups that you realize are extremely strange. and for the people who let you talk and talk without just waiting for the times when they can interject something about themselves.. and for learning not to be the person in conversations who does that. : ) i’m thankful for long carrides with people you don’t often get a chance to have good talks with.. because you really learn a lot about yourself and them. and for snuggling and always having something to talk about.. but also when it’s ok if you don’t and can just be quiet. and for grace. and a lord who loves you so much that you’re never ever able to understand how or why. and for the fact that he misses you so much more than you possibly could him when you don’t get time together.. and for getting to a point in life when you feel different and empty when it’s been too long. and for the fact that even when others don’t choose to accept or desire him, it doesn’t make him any less true and real, gracious and loving, forgiving and redeeming, powerful and awesome, unending and almighty. for the fact that i know that… and for the peace and assurance it brings.

happy new year.

 

if at first, you don’t succeed.. December 16, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — alinna @ 1:15 am

so this morning, i got a text message. and at the end of it was a verse (1st corinthians 1:26-31). so, i did what i would normally do, and read it. and since it came from someone who cares a great deal about me, i naturally expected for it to be encouraging and thought provoking, but i can say now that i definitely wasn’t prepared for the ways in which it hit me. i started this page in response to those verses, well not because it said anything about starting a blog once you read them (duh), but because i really feel that there are someone things that you learn in life that are meant for you and maybe someone else along the way, but not for everyone else… but this, to me, was something that i think everyone should understand.. so here goes….
it’s about god. and why he chooses us. not that this is something that we can really figure out, but i think it’s at least worth thinking about. in these six verses, paul is writing to the corinthians, and he challenges them to think about their calling. of course, he reminds them that they’re all (along with himself… paul was a pretty humble guy in general) foolish, weak, without power, and pretty much all together undesirable according to the standards of the world around them. and after he had them all nice and disgusted with themselves, he tells them that for these exact reasons, they are chosen by their father. he says that god knew what he was doing when he chose the weak, foolish, low and despised “nobodies”… he did it to put all of the (suposedly) strong, wise, high and adored “somebodies” to shame. he did it so that no one could boast.. so that no one could think that they had it all together on their own.. so that everyone would have to come to realize that christ should be the source of anything good that comes out of their lives.. and that is has nothing to do with us.
so i started thinking about all of this. why would god PURPOSEFULLY choose people like this? what kind of god does that? why would he specifically choose to bring people to himself that are the very farthest away from being anything like him? why would he pick the weak, tired, doubtful, broken, hated, powerless, awkward, wayward, screw-ups all because that’s what they are? why would he want the people that no one else wants?

and i realized it’s because he’s amazing.

and it’s because he knows that we’ll be the ones who can be compassionate.. because we’ve been there. and we’ll cling to him, because we have nothing else to cling to. because who could be more aware of all he’s changed in their life than the one who is in the most need of changing? and who better to pass on the sincere testimony of that change than the person completely awed by and fully aware of the need that they had for it? who can be more thankful for and aware of their unworthiness than those who have been deprived and left wanting in every area UNTIL their relationship with the father? who better to realize and bask in the feeling of true and unconditional love and commitment than someone who has never experienced it before and longs for nothing else? who could really and truly desire to trust and totally fall into a deeply committed and constant relationship with their maker more so than the one who has been continually failed and abandoned by everyone else around them? who will more closely cling than the one who has never had anything stable to hold on to? who would extend more forgiveness and compassion than the one who has repeatedly fallen and been picked up again?
SO if all of this is true, and the lord can so use all of these “imperfections” in our lives, why are we always trying to hide and run away from them? why do we so despise the so-called broken parts of ourselves? why do i strive to be so perfect and have it all together (EXHAUSTING), when my heavenly father wants nothing more than to takes the things in me that are not of him, mend them, and use the testimony of that to reach the world for him. why am i so afraid of my weakness, when he has promised that he would be made strong in it (2nd corinthians 12:9). why do we feel the need to put on a face that falsely portrays perfection and a lack of need for help, when he longs to be needed by us. why do we strive to be exalted, when he seeks the lowly. because, just like paul said in verse 31, “let the one who boasts, boast in the lord.”
shew… so i guess that’s it. i’m sure it came across with a lot of conviction, but i guess that’s appropriate, because that’s what i was.. convicted… convicted to give myself to him. just as i am. and to allow him to deal with that. : )