July 29, 2008

Pushing Through

I was playing guitar hero today (Aerosmith version for the Wii, it's awesome), and I was thinking about how much I don't like playing the game in front of people and how I hoped that Michael or Jennica wouldn't come upstairs and watch. It's not that I don't like sharing the joys of a good guitar video game with others, I just don't like messing up in front of people. And considering I had just beaten every song on easy and now wanted to move on to medium, I was definitely going to mess up.
I don't like being embarrassed. Not that anyone else really enjoys it, but I let my fear of embarrassment stop me from really enjoying myself in different social situations. I'd honestly rather sit in a corner and twiddle my thumbs than do something like sing karaoke in front of a bunch of strangers or even play some guitar hero with my best friends (except in the strange case of getting in front of hundreds of people on Sundays and singing. That, I love and throw myself into with everything I've got). Everything in me freezes at the thought of being pushed out of my comfort zone. Honestly, it hasn't been much of a problem until this year. However, this year I finally have someone in my life who is so different from me and ready to push me out of my comfort zone and into uncomfortable situations. The uncomfortable situations I face now might not be too serious or hold too much weight in my life in the long run, but I know that I'm also being pushed forward in my walk with God.
When I skip out on something because of my fear of embarrassment, I most likely miss out on a lot of fun (I mean, I assume that's what I'm missing out on. I never really know because I'm serious when I say I'd rather sit in a corner). I don't want to be in a place where I'm more willing to sit in my spiritual corner just because God is calling me to do something really awkward or uncomfortable. I've been in that place many times, and I guess my prayer would be that I would get uncomfortable for once and let God pull me out of my corner and into something great. I need to stop missing out on great things because of my fear or my embarrassment.

July 26, 2008

All Moved In

Moving is stressful. I don't know if you knew that. I'm sure you did. It's stressful. And painful. And tedious. And difficult.

But here we are in a really nice townhome. Our downstairs is pretty much set up the way we want it minus some small details. Bradelyn's room is almost done, my room is almost done being painted and Jennica's room is nowhere near done, but that's ok.
Today I developed a severe dislike for paint and painting. My hands have blisters, my arms are sore and even after a shower, I have paint marks everywhere. But God is good. I'm really very thankful to be moving into such a nice home with such nice appliances and two awesome girls. I've only had one freak out so far. I got frustrated, I went and sat down, I prayed about it and decided that God was allowing me to move on from what frustrated me. So I left. It was good. God is good. I so miss feeling connected with him. I think this new change, a new house, a new roommate (and an awesome used one. haha just kidding Jennica, I love you), a new adventure with Him is giving me a really good outlook. I hope it'll stick around.

There will be a blog at some point about the dangers of living within walking distance of a Bloom.
Close grocery store + 3 college students = big, fat trouble.

July 23, 2008

Never Alone

I can't believe I'm still awake. I'm going to be mad at myself tomorrow, but the truth is, I can't stop reading this blog. There are several different stories I've been keeping track of lately or reading through that have been moving my heart and proving to me that God is really bigger than all of this. It amazes me how something like a sick or dying child can be so painfully heavy and difficult can also be so incredibly beautiful, comforting and peaceful all at the same time. My heart is really heavy tonight for more reasons than just this. I know it can be my turn for great things now if I can learn to give it up to God. I'm excited to see what He will do with me next. I'm excited that hearing other stories has stretched my faith in a way that encourages me to put more hope and trust in God in my own life.

One thing that stuck out to me tonight in this post is when she says that as much as it hurts to cry out to God, she is thankful that she can and she does.

I am not alone. When everyone else has failed me and has left me, my God, my Lord is by my side. No matter how much pain I am in, I know the Lord is with me and He is my Rock. He is my one thing in the world that remains solid and unshakable. I can't imagine going through anything without Him. I can't imagine how empty my heart would be without Him. Even if I never feel like I get a straight, complete answer from Him the way I want it, I know that at the very least I can just sit with Him, be with Him, cry to Him and find comfort in Him.

Also, "We Cry Out" by Kim Walker is on it's 15th straight play on iTunes, and it's actually been a great backdrop to the story I'm reading. I heard it in the office on Thursday and I'm now obsessed with it. You should hear it.

July 22, 2008

Context Clues

So today Devyn wanted me to read her a book. The book of her choice was called Ella the Elegant Elephant. Not a bad book. On the cover is a picture of a small elephant with her school uniform on and a big, floppy red hat. Before I read the book, there was a small interaction that went something like this:

Me: Dev, what does 'elegant' mean?
Devyn: It means that your hat is big and ugly.

Hahaha, the logic of a 3 year old is great. She saw the picture, understood that the word had to do with the picture, and used context clue to define the word. It was a good try.

July 21, 2008

Creative Kids Make Good Liars

I'm realizing there's a connection between a child's creativity and the skill with which they lie. At least in my life with the kids I work with. They're just able to think outside of the box and they're able to think ahead in order to get something that was once working against them to work for them. Case in point: Makenna has to wear shoes when she goes outside. She doesn't like wearing shoes, and she doesn't want to wear them outside. She has to wear them even while in the garage, and she DEFINITELY does not want to do that.
So today when we were talking about going outside and how nothing they do burns their energy or makes them tired, she came up with a good one:
"Well you just don't understand that you use more energy by not wearing shoes, so if we just ran around without our shoes on today then we would use all our energy and we would be tired and fall asleep!"


July 19, 2008


This has been a really strange summer for me. It's my first summer outside of Greenville and sort of on my own. It's also my first time being somewhat homeless. That's the most interesting part. Thankfully we move in this Thursday (sort of...I guess we start moving in Thursday), but so far this summer Bradelyn, Jennica and I have been living in other people's houses or making extra trips home to have somewhere to stay. It's been an interesting time and I'm definitely ready to move into a permanent house that I can call home.

In the beginning, house-hopping was fine. I have plenty of generous people in my life who provide shelter over my head, and I'm very thankful for the family I've been staying with. However, in the midst of jumping around and living in houses that aren't mine, I'm facing a small struggle with identity. I realized it yesterday when I was about to drive home to Greenville. I wasn't sure if I felt good about going home, but I didn't necessarily want to stay where I was, but I didn't necessarily feel like I wanted to be anywhere else. So I'm realizing that this is the time where I need to make sure that I don't find my identity in a place or a group of people. I can't start feeling lost just because I don't have a permanent place to live. I have to remember that my identity is always in Christ and no matter where I go or where I live, I will always be His.

July 14, 2008

Five Things

These are just 5 random, insignificant things that are on my mind and on my heart every now and then. There's no real reason for me to say these except that I feel like it. I was supposed to have 10 but I couldn't think of them so here are my 5;

1. For once in my life, I'd like to drive a car without the fear of it breaking down (though I am actually very thankful for cars and the fact that I live in a place where I can afford to have one to get me where I need to go).
2. I have a huge problem with being jealous of other people's accomplishments, especially when it comes to music. I would love to learn how to be happy for other people even when they get what I want.
3. I can not wait to get married someday.
4. I have a hard time convincing myself NOT to believe the world is going to end in 2012. Someone put the idea in my head last year and I haven't been able to get it out yet.
5. Yesterday on my way into Providence I learned a quick lesson that reminded me I need to give a lot more without expecting anything in return besides a "thank you" and sometimes not even that.


I think I can honestly say that I grew more, changed more and learned more in my 19th year than in any other. It was a ridiculous year that went by incredibly fast and taught me so much. It's funny because anytime I've mentioned it being my 20th birthday to someone 30 or older, they roll their eyes at me. "You're so young." And I enjoy it. I'm young, but I'm learning and growing every day. I'm facing things I never would have imagined facing. I'm trying to push myself to be better, and I'm having to look back far too often at how I have failed. But the more I fail, the more I learn that God is holding me up and building me up stronger every year.

At 16 or 17, I never would have imagined myself singing at Elevation church, taking a year to not date, forming relationships with great people and awesome and inspiring couples, living for the first time outside of my home or a dorm, or dealing with a drunk 17 year old brother at 4am (hey, you take the good with the bad). But here I am, turning 20 and facing all of those things. I'm so young, and I know that I have so much more to learn, but I am very thankful that God is choosing to squeeze so many life lessons into my young existence.

Sidenote; this morning when my mom was talking to my little brother about what he had done and why, he decided to compare himself to me and call me "perfect" like he'll never measure up. All my life I've compared myself to him and wished that I could be as funny as he is, as good at soccer as he is, or as good at making friends as he is. He sees me as someone who is all "Jesus-y" and "churchy" and who never gets in trouble; who never does anything wrong. It almost makes me sad at how wrong he is. Lately, every day I wonder why I make the same mistakes, how I could be better, what I need to do to be better, and why I can't just do it instead of think about it all the time. I wish I had a relationship with my family in which we talked and communicated enough to simply understand each other...
The bright side is that this incident proved to draw out some of the most sincere prayers I've had in a couple months, and I'm anxious to see what God is going to do with this situation.

July 10, 2008

Redeeming Love

If you've never read the book "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. You have to. You just do. Trust me. I got it from awesome Meagan on Sunday and finished it this morning. That's the quickest I've read a book in a long time, and I just couldn't manage to put it down. It helps that Hosea is my favorite book of the bible and it's tattooed on my foot.

The book is helping me finally get it. Lately I've been struggling with the question of how could God love me after I've turned my back and deliberately sinned and closed my ears and my heart to Him so many times. How can He still look at me with love and adoration when I haven't been able to do anything right for Him? And even if it's true that He still loves me like that, why can't I find the strength to fix things? Why can't I control myself and get my act together?

He does love me without condition, and He always will. No matter how many times I turn away or fail, He will pull me back. But that doesn't mean I can stick to my crappy patterns that I've made for myself. The only time I will ever receive the freedom I need is after I surrender everything back to Him. When I finally learn how to understand Hosea 2:14 and let Him lead me back to the beginning and call me out of my mistakes to something better, I'll get that freedom.

Easier said than done, but I like it.

July 3, 2008

Together Again

I'm sitting next to two of the weirdest people I know who happen to be having one of the weirdest conversations I've ever heard with someone I've never met. It's been a long day with lots of traveling and a little bit of stress, but I made it to Charleston and I'm happy to be back with my "family." Savannah Grace has been clinging to me either because she (1.) hasn't had much interaction with anyone but her family lately or (2.) she really did miss me. It took her about an hour, but Rylee is back to saying my name. And it took more than a couple hours because of working in the yard and his own exhaustion, but Phillip and I finally laughed about someone being gay on tv together. AND Anita is making the coolest cake ever on Saturday for Rylee's party, and I can't wait to eat it...and take pictures of it.
I've missed them, and I'm blessed to get to spend the weekend with them.

And I'm looking forward to a special beach trip before I head back up to Charlotte Saturday. I miss the ocean.

July 2, 2008

Word of the Day

Today's word of the day is:


What Can separate me from the Love of God?


What do I believe can separate me from the Love of God?

Well...my sins, my failures, my mistakes (especially my repeated mistakes), my shortcomings, when I don't do my quiet time, when I don't do my quiet time well, when I don't pray "enough," when I pay more attention to myself than I do to God, when I struggle...

But NOTHING, neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God sent Jesus, who died for us, who bridged the gap, and now God's Love and I are inseparable. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?



My heart isn't good at doing things halfway, especially when it comes to people and relationships. When I dislike someone, it takes a good bit of effort for me to get over it and love them anyways. But when I love and admire someone, I really, truly, completely love them. I love the things they do, the way they speak, their outlook on life, the way they walk, talk, act, breathe, etc, etc. I'm not obsessed, I just have a really large capacity to love. And I like it that way. Most of the time.

James 4:8 says "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
In my head, it should say cling to God and He will cling to You.
When I love someone, I'm not content with just coming near to them and getting the surface level details of their life. I'm not happy to just be around them. I cling to the people I love; for two reasons:
1. I've learned in the past couple years that you're just going to lose people. People come in and out of our lives all the time, so I make sure to cling as long as possible.
2. I really do love them and want to soak up some of the qualities I love so much about them.

Usually I don't see this as a bad thing. I don't feel like I'm smothering or obsessed with anyone (please point it out and correct me if you think differently), I just genuinely love these people. My problem, though, is that I have not put near enough effort yet into clinging to God. I expect to feel Him clinging to me before I've made the move to really draw near to Him and know Him. And I don't think any of my relationships will ever be where I want them to be if I don't first cling to Him.

The funny thing is that I'm writing this post because I'm mad at myself for being so unbelievably clingy lately.
And now that I've spelled out the word "cling" so many times, my brain doesn't feel like it's a real word anymore...

July 1, 2008

Faith in Action

For the last week, the most blogged about topic of Elevators has been the lives of two little girls who are struggling and their parents who are fighting for them in prayer and faith. Wade and Ferris are teaching a church about what real trust in God is, and I was really excited to read on Pastor's blog this morning that he'll be sharing more about their story this Sunday. Everyone needs to hear their story and see what it means to have faith that can move mountains (not to mention that a couple thousand people praying for this family will be an amazing thing).
So many lessons can be found in their situation. One of my favorites is the strategy/vision outlook. The vision God has given us in our lives or in our ministries is solid and set, but the strategy is unknown and always changing. The vision that God has given Wade and Ferris is that their little girls, Liana and Adleigh, will be healthy and well in the end of all of this. The strategy for this situation is a difficult one. There have already been ups and downs in the girls' health, and there will undoubtedly be many more. We have to understand that there will be struggles and there will be obstacles that might start to let doubt slip into our faith. But if we remain confident in the fact that God has said they will be healthy, then we need to take the bad with the good and continue to pray in faith.
I'm so excited to see the outcome of this situation because I've seen (or really, I've read) the kind of faith that Wade and Ferris have in our God. God will heal the girls, and God will keep them strong.
Please pray for them. Pray for the girls' bodies to be strengthened and for Wade and Ferris's faith to remain strong. They've already shown so much trust and faith that God will do what He has promised, and I'm excited to see how they continue to inspire us to put our faith in God, who can make the sun stand still.