Sparks 2015 Preview.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a van on my way to Sparks for church camp. We’re taking 30 students with us and I couldn’t be more excited.

This is the week where life change takes place for these students. Where chains are broken and healing takes place. I’m so honored that God chose me to play this part for them.

I pray that God’s glory would be shown this week in all we do. I pray that we would continue to be His hands and feet this week. That we desire to draw near to Him.

Thank you for your continued prayers this week. Thank you for making this possible for us to be here.

We can’t wait to tell you all about our week when we get home.

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Refuge Seniors- Here’s to You.

As I’m writing this, we are smack dab in the middle of graduation season.
And while we have a handful of seniors that will be, or have already, walked across the stage, there is a specific few that I want to address.

They are the real deal. The bees knees. I love them all so dearly and count it a great honor to have gotten to walk through life with them the past couple of years.

Breanna, David, Laura, Toshali, this post is for you.

Graduation marks the end of one chapter, but the beginning of another one.
I am so honored that I got to be a part of this chapter that is coming to a close.
As you step out into new areas, there are a few things that I hope you all cling to and grow through.

Believe

The definition of believe is to to accept or regard something as true.

This world is full of false hope and false ideas of happiness. I pray that you would cling to what you believe. That the foundations you have built are built on things that are true and honorable and lovely.

1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

Dream

The definition of dream is a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.

You are the dreamers of dreams. I pray that you would dream bold dreams. Dreams that ordinary people would laugh at, because you my dears, are anything but ordinary.
You are world changers. You are revolutionaries. You will move mountains.

Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Wish

The definition of wish is a desire or hope for something to happen.

You may be adults now, but never lose that childlike sense of wonder and whimsy.
Wish for great things. Wish for them because you are great things.

1 Peter 2:2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.

Live

The definition of live is to be alive.

There is a vast difference between existing and living.
Don’t just exist in this world. Live. Be bold. Be fearless.
People need you. We all need you.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Inspire

The definition of inspire is to fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

You have all inspired me to be the best version of myself that I can be. Whether you have been intentional in that or not, you have.
I pray that you become intentional with it. That you are intentional with the influence you give off. There are so many people waiting to hear the stories that you are writing.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

Laugh

The definition of laugh is to find amusement or pleasure in something.

I pray that you don’t let the weight of this world steal your sense of humor and the joy that is found in laughing.
I’m a firm believer that laughter is the best medicine. So laugh dear ones. Laugh as much and as loud as you want.

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Succeed

The definition of succeed is to attain a desired object or end.

I pray that you succeed in all that you do. I pray for wisdom and discernment to know the difference between His will and yours. I pray that everything you set your mind to, you achieve. You were born for greatness and you have become greatness.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

Soar

The definition of soar is to rise quickly upward to a great height.

I pray that you spread your wings and soar among the stars. That you fly above every negative thing that the enemy would throw at you. That you would see the beauty that is only seen from above. That you would marvel in it. That you would cherish every minute of it.

Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Dear ones, I pray that whatever you do in this life, wherever it may take you, whatever new things you experience along the way, I pray you know how deeply loved you are in this moment. That you have always been loved and will always be loved by those that you leave behind as you embark on this new journey.

I pray that you do well in all that you do. But most importantly, I pray that you do good.
The world is full of successful people, and you no doubt will be among the lists of them.
But this world lacks goodness and kindness and gentleness.
So do good dear ones, do good.

And as you embark on new journeys, always remember that the light is always on back home.

In Remembrance.

Today, I’m reflecting on the life that was my mom’s.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I said goodbye to her.
A year since I last saw and touched her face and held her hand.
A year without hearing her voice.
No midnight Words With Friends requests.
No seeing who can send the silliest Pusheen sticker on Facebook.

I’ve spent a lot of time this past year reflecting on this moment. The moment that my life changed forever.
I remember every conversation that I had that day and the days following and how I desperately tried to make sense of what had become my reality.
And even a year later, I still find myself trying to make sense of everything.

I miss my mom. I miss my dad.
I know they are together now. And I know how great that is.
But it doesn’t make the hurt go away. Not completely anyways.

I know that over time, this day will get easier.
I know it will.
And maybe even one day it will make sense.

But all I know today is that the time I had with my parents was so much shorter than I wanted it to be.
All I know is that I get incredibly jealous of those of you that can actively gripe about your parents silly annoyances and how I desperately wish I could still have those same arguments with mine.

The idea of another empty Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is one that I don’t typically look forward to.
The barrage of commercials and social media ads only serve as a constant reminder of that which I no longer have.

So to those of you that still have both or only one of your parents left on this earth, hold them tight the next time you get a chance.
Make sure they know that you love them. Show them that you love them.
Call them. Spend time with them.
You never know when the next time you say “See ya later!” will be your last.

If I had known that Saturday night that I would never have the opportunity to talk to my mom again, there is so much more that I would have said. There is so much more that I wish I would have said.

Those things will forever be stored in my heart.

I know that they still know that.
That they are with me.
I feel them in the breeze.
I think that’s God’s way of reminding me.