Friday, September 28, 2012

a sinner's Savior

Sometimes I worry. Sometimes I freak out. Sometimes my mind races trying to figure out how plans will come together, how tasks will get accomplished. Sometimes I question whether I am making the right decisions.


Sometimes I am content to trust God with what I cannot see. Sometimes I am confident that He has my back and goes before me. Sometimes I trust Him to provide for every one of my needs.


The difficulty is that I realize that there are no times when I should be worrying or freaking out or questioning. I know that all times I can and should trust God and be confident in Him and know that He will provide for me...He always has.

But, the sometimes still come.

Perhaps it is because I am not as vitally united to Him as I need to be. Perhaps I am not praying about everything and giving thanks often enough. Perhaps I am clinging too tightly to what is in my hand to receive what is being offered to me. Perhaps it is just that I am a sinner.

Sometimes I simply need to be reminded that I have a sinner's Savior.

"My child, don't you worry...I am a sinner's Savior, Miracle of age, unconditional Love that is yours everyday. I'm the Gateway to glory, My promises sure, My mercies everlasting. Oh, and I am yours." ~ Katie Heckel, "My Child, Don't You Worry"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

being poor

The other day I read a blog post about being poor. It listed all these realities of what it is like to be poor. Now, it would be important to note that this was written based upon being poor in America. It provided a very American perspective. Living overseas and having many international friends makes me realize that these realities may not span across borders.

Regardless, I read this list and was heartbroken. I am not poor. I am just not. I read the list and cried. I simply do not know what it feels like to sit with your sick child in your lap for hours in the emergency room because that is the only place that you can get treatment. I grew up middle class.

Being poor is something I grapple with regularly. I really do not think of myself as frivolous or materially wealthy. That is okay. Sure, there are things that would be nice to have, or I would like to do. But, I am not poor. I do not have an iPhone or an iPad. To be honest, I cannot even afford to repair my MacBook Pro's screen after it was cracked a few months ago. The display is still functional, so cracked it shall stay. I keep track of every 500 riel note (13 cents) I give to parking attendants. I always wash and reuse ziploc bags. I never turn on the air conditioner in my bedroom, even when it feels like 116F outside and I toss and turn all night, sweaty. I make my own yogurt. I eat more beans and less meat. I sometimes tell my friends that I have "other plans" when they invite me out to lunch or dinner, even if the "other plans" are eating leftovers in my living room because I do not have the extra cash to go out somewhere. But, I am not poor. I eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and I am always able to eat 3 meals per day. I have Internet access in my home. I drive my own motorbike. I am in graduate school. I run...for fun, and I buy quality shoes to do it in. Sometimes I go out and buy a latte at a cafe. Sometimes at the end of the month I regret buying that latte.

I am not poor, but I see people who are everyday. I see people who are struggling to survive, to just get by, to dig between the couch cushions to find some change to pay the heating bill, to borrow from the loan shark to buy their son a school uniform. Re-used ziploc bags, sweaty nights, and regretted lattes just don't seem the same.

I am not sure what all of this means. I know that sometimes the poor just get poorer, the rich just get richer, and those in the middle just try to stay there. I know that sometimes justice does not seem to win, and to be honest, I am just not sure what to do with that...

"A poor person's farm may produce much food, but injustice sweeps it all away." Proverbs 13:23

Monday, September 17, 2012


Different people have different filters. Sometimes I think that there are people who have no filters at all, but that is not really true. We all filter ideas and thoughts before they manifest themselves. We consider what we say, to whom we say it, how we act. There are ideas that are released through the more porous public filter, the things we don't mind the whole world knowing. There are thoughts we release through a less porous filter to a wide, but limited, population. There are things we release only to the filter of friends and family. There is a filter that is harder to get through that releases information to only a select person or few people. We all filter things differently.

I know that I am pretty careful about how I filter information. And, I have realized that this affects others' perceptions of me. I will be honest and say that I am not person who typically wears my heart on my sleeve. There are deep things in my heart that most people do not know. However, I am an incredibly passionate person, so I am realizing that people think they understand my heart more than they actually do. And, I am not upset with them. I am not judging them. I understand why they believe certain things about me. But, I want to assure them that there are many things they are not privy to, there is information that did not make it through the filter to them. I am not hiding it. I am protecting it. I know there are people that will argue that is not okay, that I do not let people into my life. I disagree, and I think I have some great friends who would support me in that--because they know my heart.

There are always aspects of people that do not make it through the filter to what we see and know. I think I just needed to say that today.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I have been told that I am quite passionate. I have been told that I can actually be quite intimidating. I realize that I have a tendency to do things at full throttle. If I agree to do something, I am committed to it. I will see it through, and I will not do it halfway. There have been occasions where I have known that I did not even need to submit an assignment for a class and would still come away with an "A," but I could not allow myself to skip the assignment. Not only did I have to do the assignment, but I also had to do it to the best of my ability.

I like to do things with excellence. This used to be out of a desire to achieve perfection. But, I gave up on perfection quite awhile ago. I am not striving for it anymore. Now, I seek to utilize the gifts within me to bring honor and glory to my God. Believe me, I am well aware that I am not perfect. And, the truth is that there are plenty of things I am NOT passionate about. I am not passionate about learning to juggle or being a concert pianist or working with the elderly. Those are all admirable things in their own right, and I have respect for those who pursue them and are passionate about them.

The truth is that my passion stems from something beyond me. I feel that it is unfair to neglect the gifts and abilities that the God of the universe bestowed upon me. How dare I haphazardly put together a project when He gave me the ability to do it excellently? Who am I to decide that something is not worthy of my time or hard work when it has been set before me? I think my God expects better of me because He knows what is within me.

"As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." Ephesians 6:6b-7