Friday, December 19, 2008
recently i listened to "the peasant princess" series, an in depth study of the song of solomon, by mark driscoll from mars hill bible church in seattle. it was excellent in so many senses of the word - good Bible exposition and incredibly practical, convicting, accessible application. i encourage you and your hubby to give it a listen, you can find it on itunes under "Mars Hill Church: Mark Driscoll Audio." i will say it gets a little...intense...at times, which is the only reason i specifically mentioned my married friends, obviously singles were sitting in church when Mark preached these sermons and can learn a great amount from them, it may just tend toward being more frustrating than helpful at times. use your judgment :).
anyhow, also, one of the sermons in the series is called "the little foxes," referring to the process of eliminating sin and temptation from your marriage. you, yes you, can play "whac-a-fox" and get those mean little foxes right out of your garden. hilarious.
this is my last day at the basket shop before i start my new position - strange. i'm excited to move on but its a little sad to leave. change always creates a lot of feelings, ya know? well, here i go!
disclaimer: mark may say things you don't line up with 100% whether in opinions about theology, sex, or family. i encourage you to keep listening and understand the heart of the message.
Monday, December 15, 2008
for the accomplishment
for the relief of no more homework
for the reminder of the mark my college years have made on my life
for the incredible job opportunity i now have because i was able, somehow, to graduate early.
want to hear about it? ok. super. i love talking about it.
my current boss, melany, who owns baskets on the brazos wasn't going to be able to add very many more hours for me in the spring so i was going to keep that job and add another part time maybe at starbucks or something. but, one day last week, she mentioned that her husband, bryan, who owns traditions health care and hospice may be looking for a volunteer coordinator (idea). so, thursday i walk into the store mid-day to pick up some more deliveries to take out and this is what happened...
*melany is on the phone with bryan*
melany: hey abby, bryan wants to know if you want the job
melany: *laughter* do you need to talk to your husband?
abby: i mean, i told him about the possibility (memo to audience: he was elated), he'll say yes
melany: bryan, she says she wants it....abby, he says you're a college graduate now so you have to tell him how much you think you should make
abby: ...maybe i will talk to jared
melany: *more laughter* does x-x amount sound right to you?
melany: he asked if you can email him your resume and start january 5th
abby: definitely...is he serious?! does he know i'm leaving in may?
melany: she wants to know if you're serious, bryan, she really wants it, but she wants to know if you know she's moving in may...yeah, he's serious and he knows you're moving, he just wants you to get their volunteer program started.
abby: um, ok!
melany: yeah, you've got the job, just email him your resume.
abby: *inward happy dance* ok!
God is good, all the time.
i'll give you more job details as i get them, but for now just know its a dream come true.
God is more faithful than we will ever, ever have words for. praise Him with me!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
If you have been involved in Love146, you will remember our Campaign to end trafficking on Craigslist. It has been a long road, and so many of you have been involved. Out of our efforts a coalition was formed to combat human trafficking on the Internet (End Internet Trafficking Coalition: ). We received some good news today. Jim Buckmaster, CEO of Craigslist, has been working with Attorneys General throughout the country, law enforcement, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Craigslist will be working together to fight predators, which includes verifying phone numbers, and charging the "erotic services" category. 100% of profits from this will be contributed to charity. An external accounting firm will be retained to track the details. Craigslist will not profit from this. For more info. visit Craigslist blog at:
Thank you for taking action!
Together we made a difference.
here is the info straight from craig's list
praise the Lord!
| "The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he." - Deuteronomy 32:4|
our God saves.
Friday, November 7, 2008
"Because with every decision, conversation, gesture, comment, action, and attitude, we're inviting heaven or hell to earth."
-- Rob Bell (this is from his book Sex God which i highly recommend.)
1000 Wells TAMU exists as a part of Blood:Water Mission - an organization seeking to build clean water wells in Africa in order to reduce the horrors of the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis. starting Monday, students will be asked to give up all beverages except water for 2 weeks and donate the money they would have spent to the cause. this year, they'll be kicking the 2 weeks off with a free derek webb concert at fbc bryan on sunday at 7:30.
i'd say that's bringing some heaven to earth. and i'd say Jesus cares a lot about heaven and earth.
the battalion (A&M's student newspaper), featured an article about 1000 Wells yesterday if you want some more insight.
Monday, November 3, 2008
be careful, believer. be careful.
For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. - Col 1:16
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work - Titus 3:1.
i am not telling you to not pray for our country, to not pray for godly decision making, to not stand up for what you believe. but as a follower of Jesus Christ - you are called to submit to the authorities He has put in place. He has put in place. God is in control. our perspectives are very narrow, very small. God has gone before, behind, and with us into all of time.
stop being disrespectful. stop thinking you know everything.
do what you can (i.e. vote according to the convictions God has placed on your life) in faith and let God be God.
and stop slandering people. now.
watch the election tomorrow night in faith that whoever becomes the next ruler of our nation God has placed there for a reason. "be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution" (1 peter).
do not be afraid, believer, do not be afraid.
"the Lord your God is with you" and He longs for your eyes to be fixed on Him, on eternity. "be anxious for nothing." He is in control.
God establishes governments to maintain some level of order in a broken world - not to fix anything, not to play god.
let's stop believing that God for a millisecond can stop being God. let's recognize that if Jesus Christ ceased thinking of us for a moment - life would end. "He is before all things and in Him all things hold together."
do not be afraid.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
i didn't want to be "that blogger."
"those bloggers" bug me - why have a blog and not blog, blogger?
sometimes life just gets a little crazy, or maybe its that it gets so uncrazy - so "nothing's really going on"ish - that you're not too sure what to write. i think that's where i am at the moment. life is sweet, moving quickly, approaching with more adulthood and decision making in every breath i take, it seems, but nothing is so concrete or palpable that i feel i can blog about it. i would love to have that little creative flare that seems to enable some to blog a quote or story or craft or project and explore a little depth without attempting to establish a new theory or save the world or anything of that sort, and perhaps i will someday. but, for now, i find it an immense challenge to write without swinging between scratching no surface at all and sticking my hand deep into my soul and tossing whatever i find onto the page. we'll see if the middle comes.
i just read a book called "my sister's keeper" by jodi picoult. excellent. you'll want to read it in about 2 days because of the subject matter - you just have to know what happens. i love that.
we're going to see jason mraz in houston tonight, one of our favorite musicians who actually inspired the name of my blog. so, for today i write and read and tonight "we sing, we dance." enjoy your saturday.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
as soon i say i'm going to start "planning" to write about something, i kinda spaz out inside and say to myself "self, you will never begin to scratch the surface of said plan, so just...go erase that 'getting there' post and give yourself a break, put up some more wedding pictures or something..."
then the little overachiever self says, "now self, you really do want to write this post. you really do want to expound brilliantly on some profound discovery of spirituality, rhetoric, creativity, whatever it may be. push yourself, get there, accomplish, accomplish, accomplish."
so, here i sit, potentially schizophrenic, most likely just an extremist wallowing through the mire of "finding balance" and hearing this little voice from somewhere saying - just love Jesus and quit worrying about all this nothingness.
oh, and it's not really a little voice -there's a great example of not having a very good grasp on reverence.
regardless of whatever everything i just wrote meant here's a few thoughts on what i don't think reverence for God looks like...
- i don't think it means cleaning up your actions for the sake of cleaning up your actions, having a sterlized vocabulary, swearing off the bubbly, or any other list controlled type living
- i'm also pretty sure it doesn't mean scoffing at anyone who chooses to do any of the above.
and therein lies the prob....i mean paradox. it's really not a problem, it's fantastic and full of freedom (alliterate much?). and come to think of it, it's not much of a paradox either - really it's a rather simple rhythm of life God set up that we decided we would complicate.
a prime example: gossip.
(i am not about to stand on a soapbox, promise.)
let's just think about what we say about people. let's not become obsessed with phrasing things in such a way that we then don't feel guilty for what we just said when in reality we said "that person really kind of makes me insane and/or represents all that is liscentious/legalistic/lame to me." don't know what i mean? little things like - "i really shouldn't say this, but" or asking inappropriate questions then following them up by - "that was probably kinda rude" or "this really isn't any of my business, but..."
am i saying we shouldn't have honest, real, potentially less than pristine conversation?
...do you know me?
clearly, i'm not.
what i am saying is this - "let no unwholesome speech come from your mouth"
let's just think about what that means. let's stop thinking that cussing is any worse/less holy than slandering a brother or sister or discussing matters that aren't ours to discuss.
"to everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn) and a time to every purpose under heaven" (i know that's a verse. its also a great song from the big chill soundtrack i grew up on)
in my world, there is next to nothing that "should never" be discussed. just last night i told my high school senior girls that i wanted to represent a safe place for them to talk about things/struggles/desires they may feel insane for having. how else will we cultivate community, joy, gladness, comfort, compassion, reality?
...but, there is a time and a purpose.
this is why we need our inner few friends. this is why we need our big circles. this is why we need older people to tell us about life, and younger people to help along the way. this is why we need all these relational dynamics we engage in - because there is a time and purpose for everything under heaven. let's have the reverence for the Lord who created those times and purposes by living in such a way that we honor those creations.
lastly, i am in absolutely no way saying that you shouldn't ever break the mold in how conversation in certain circles of your life usually goes. i'm just saying there's a difference between honesty and speech for the sake of attention and/or filling the silence.
i am guilty of all of the above and more so really, there's no reason to think i'm preaching here. i'm hoping for renewal in this area of my life as well as in other's lives because i think it will change the way we interact and are perceived.
i would love thoughts/disagreements/additions on anything i've said here. really, really.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
i enjoy this. i love that we have to be at home (or, in this case, parent's home) and play games, fortunately for us still holding onto the power people - watch movies, and just not have the option or obligation to get in the car and drive somewhere. times like this remind me of how important it is that my soul finds rest in God alone, because, at least for us, a "restful" (seems odd to say during a hurricane...) time like this is so rare. i am grateful that Jesus can bring peace to my soul during a hurricane, during the quietness of a safe house amidst the hurricane, and during the hustle and bustle of normal, sun, school, and social filled life.
i hope you all are safe, dry, and not too wind blown. enjoy the "quiet."
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction,
out of the miry clay;
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear, And will trust in the LORD.
How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
How sweet is the "new song" in my mouth recently.
For me, college has been a time of great wonder, joy, and excitement. It has also been a time of great searching, confusion, and, at times, the lowest points of my life thus far. I have struggled with Who God is, struggled with struggling with Who God is, and struggled with trying to read, pray, and talk through struggling with Who God is. I can't say I have always been patient in the struggle, as the verses above can claim, but I can say I have had a Jesus Who has refused to let me go and, for some reason, has chosen this past week to...as words pitifully attempt to describe...burst through several clouds in my mind this past week.
There really is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Really.
My attempts to "be like Jesus" are exceptionally futile if I am not relying fully on the power of Christ.
The Bible is a story about God - and when I am enabled to view it that way....freedom.
(I have said all of these things before and I can't really explain how true and real they are now resonating inside me. I think something has transferred from my head to my heart....)
"I tried and tried to rectify my hopeless situation,
but I bought the lie I still have work to do.
Now I'm working nine to five like I can earn my own salvation,
but there is no condemnation in You.
...child, you're forgiven and loved."
- Jimmy Needham
OH! I am forgiven and loved. How many times have these words emerged from my mouth? How many times have a prayed with a minuscule dab of faith that maybe they could be true for me? Now I know.
Yesterday, I had lunch with a dear friend, who has experienced many of the same sweet characteristics of the Lord as well. We were able to truly rejoice in His goodness and find awe in the fact that the most, if anything, we ever really did was beg Him to draw near and rebuild whatever needed rebuilding. He cannot help but be faithful.
I pray you read this post for what it is. For joy and grace and the ever constant work of the Lord Jesus Christ in the hearts of His people, and even in those yet to be His. I pray you read this and see the greatness of Christ and are encouraged in your faith that He is always there, He really is always there. He is nothing like us, but we are a little like Him - and we can grow in that likeness every day by His mercy alone. Really, alone, you can not do it. Draw near to the presence of the Lord - He will draw near to you in His own sweet timing and purpose. I can promise you - I have tasted and seen and now I crave with all that I am..
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
two summers ago, while working at pine cove, i memorized romans 8 for a few reasons, one of them so that i could "set my mind on the things of the...Spirit" while living in a very constant, busy environment. i reread this chapter for the first time in a while this morning, and it brought so many truths to mind. i encourage you to read it and see what you are taught or reminded of once more. i am reminded so often, though perhaps not often enough, through scripture of who i am in Christ Jesus - today, a conquerer of my mind by the grace of God.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
i got some books yesterday! the shack, vintage Jesus, and an anthology kind of book with C.S. Lewis' 7 most read books. i'm really excited about all of them. i know the shack is controversial and i understand why, but i want to read it before i have an opinion about it, and i think sometimes its okay to read something and glean from it the goodness and leave the rest behind. we'll see :).
also (i'm about to go mega-wife here) i'm in the market for some new recipes. you know those times when food just seems boring? i'm in one of them. any good (not too complicated) ideas?
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
here is a banner i found on www.stopthetraffik.org - a website i encourage you to check out. you can copy and paste the code onto myspace, facebook, blogs, etc.
in other news, last night jared and i went to see john mayer and colbie callait in the woodlands. holy mackerel. i had no idea john mayer was such a musician (as opposed to just a guy with a good voice). he is truly amazing and we had such a great time.
music is really good for us.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
i finished "the time traveler's wife" while jared was out of town. it made me imagine that he wasn't on a business trip, he was time traveling and would come back to tell me about his adventure, or visiting me when i was 12, or something like that. it was kinda fun :). great book but just, well, be aware of adult content.
also read "at first sight" by nicholas sparks. the quality of the language/writing wasn't as impeccable as time traveler, but it was still a good read. definitely a surprise ending that many may not like, i'm not sure that i do. it was worth a try though.
now i'm starting "a voice in the wind" by francine rivers, the first of the "mark of the lion" series. i've been hearing left and right and up and down that i should read these books for about three years so, here i go!
we're heading to a colbie callait/john mayer concert tonight. really excited, here we go!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
yesterday, for example, i went to my step class (i know, i know) not feeling well but we had a paper to turn in, so i went. we started doing step to some really dreadful techno beats and, well, in the end our music started skipping, the teacher couldn't find a new cd, and we did yoga instead! little weird things like that.
because of not feeling well, i missed my second class and a meeting, which is okay but being homebound without the hub was a little boring. its strange how quickly i've latched on to the idea of him being around so much - i love it, and i don't think its wrong at all, but it makes me think about us as people.
which makes me think about something i read in Tozer's The Pursuit of God this week. we are studying that book with our high school senior girls at church (some of my newest very favorite people), and this week we read chapter four called Apprehending God. In it, is a quote that says "[millions of Christians] go through life trying to love an ideal and be loyal to a mere principle." its so true. how often do i put God into a little picture frame in my mind (in which i constantly am changing the picture)? or how often do i compose a new law for myself?
so, how does this relate to my near instant jared-at-home-addiction? i long to know him! i am not content to merely have an idea in my head of who jared should be (who i could make him to be, who i imagine him to be, etc) , nor am i content to subscribe my life away to "a mere principle" - my idea of who i should be as a wife (my fantasies of being the perfect racheal ray/martha stewart/betty crocker combo - oh come on you have them too). no! in the depths of my soul, i want to know jared. i want to be as content in the unexpected as the expected. i want to find out what's really inside him, how he really thinks, feels. i want to support him 100% regardless of how i would have scripted every moment to turn out.
yet, i am frequently more than happy to do this with God??? yeah, i am.
(disclaimer: i am the antithesis of blogging to expose my extreme spirituality, awesomeness as a wife, etc. at least i hope i am. i am writing because it frees my soul in a way few things do and i think it brings God glory when He sees his kids experimenting, experiencing, and excited.)
my hope today is that i will see God as He is to the greatest extent that i can. my hope today is that i will recognize that i am, in the depths of my soul, no more content to hold onto an ideal of God than i would be an ideal of jared - yet i try to convince myself otherwise so often. my hope today is that i will rest in knowing that He will reveal Himself to those who love Him, and while resting to actively pursue a deeper communion with Him than i knew possible. my hope today is that i will not be content with an "ideal" or "mere principle" - but only with the Jesus who has brought me abundant life.
may the Kingdom of God be our "carefully chosen goal and the object of our holiest longing"
Saturday, July 26, 2008
so, i'm at home this afternoon enjoying some alone time that isn't consumed with homework or thoughts of what i 'should' be doing. its lovely. i started reading "the divine conspiracy" by dallas willard today, which wasn't on my list, i know, but i didn't realize we owned it and when i saw it on our bookshelf i remembered how wonderful i've heard it is and picked it up. i'm just at the very beginning of chapter one, but even the forward by richard foster and the introduction are extremely thought provoking and challenging. his goal is to help us recall, or discover, the real, touchable yet completely unlike us-ness of Christ. i'm excited to continue journeying with this book and, so far, encourage you to check it out some time.
enjoy your day and search for some healthy quiet this week.
sometimes i miss our wedding, so i thought i'd share a little more of it with you today through this picture. speaking of weddings, we went to one last night for our friends neal and rachel. it was beautiful, and for the recessional they had a slideshow full of pictures of other "happy ever afters" they know. this picture of ours made it!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The Time Traveler's Wife (started on the honeymoon...still not finished. but its good!)
(^This title makes me think of The Memory Keeper's Daughter - read it!^)
The Mark of the Lion series - Francine Rivers
The Cost of Discipleship - Bonhoeffer
A Circle of Quiet - Madeline L'Engle
Not that those won't keep me busy for a while, but I'd love more suggestions!
Enjoy your day and these flowers from a beautiful Irish garden I visited last summer.
beautiful things that spring from these rows....
...with their musical names and musical sounds..." - eisley.
don't forget to play a little today.
Monday, July 21, 2008
International Labour Office Report 2005
Trafficking In Persons Report 2008
(these take a while to download)
These facts are not for the faint of heart. I pray as I read them, and for you as well should you join me, that your hope for yourself and these victims will rest in the Lord and not the fallen state of mankind. God sees these people. Maybe He desires you to be a part of bringing them freedom. But you are not the answer to their problems, salvation found in Jesus Christ is the answer. I say this in hopes that you will come alongside me in learning about the patterns of human slavery and what we can do to be a part of furthering the Kingdom of heaven, which is already at hand, on earth. Jesus is their only hope - if you are living life with Jesus, you know what I mean. Maybe we can show them Jesus.
Friday, July 18, 2008
"what about taking this empty cup and filling it up with a little bit more of innocence?" - jason mraz
that song has been coming to mind a lot when i've thought about the unjust actions being done to these little girls that love146 is seeking to love on. please visit their website at www.love146.org. if it stirs your heart and you think it may be something you'd like to get involved in, talk to me. i know Jesus wants me involved and i'd love partners. jared and i bought the resources and want to have a dvd showing at our house this fall...
Monday, July 14, 2008
And He keeps reminding me of that. Its time for me to dig into the Word and discover God's thoughts on justice, and pray that He'll reveal to me what that means in my own life.
preliminary thoughts :
We are always looking for justice, yet the essence of the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is— Never look for justice, but never cease to give it. - Oswald Chambers
This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. - James 1:27
Love protects. Love defends. Love restores. Love empowers. - Love146
...more to come when I don't have a test in 2 hours. Any thoughts, scripture, or avenues to consider are more than welcome!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
and I on our wedding day -
May 31, 2008. It was
absolutely perfect. I'll
probably reference it
a lot - and I can promise
I'll reference Jared a lot.
He works for A&M right
now and our hope is to go to
Ireland someday and help
people know Jesus.
(photo courtesy of danielcolvinphotography)
(photo courtesy of danielcolvinphotography)
I thought through writing about some friends and putting up pictures, but I wouldn't really know how to do that. They'll come up through my postings, don't worry. You've already heard about Hillary, Olivia, and Lindsay - they're a fabulous place to start :).
This is Ireland. I went there last summer. Jared and I are going back in Summer 2009, should everything go along with what we've mapped out in our minds :). God has given us a special heart for this beautiful country and its people - we're excited to see where He continues leading. Right now, He has us serving at Grace Bible alongside high school seniors who we adore. They're teaching us a lot about Jesus that I know will help us love others in the future.
I like books, movies, Lost, and oh so much music. Plenty to come on all of the above and more :).
I love Jesus with everything I have- or at least that's what I'm seeking to do. "He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm." - Psalm 40:2. I don't know what else to do with myself but love Him.
i spent time with a dear friend last night (Lindsay - facingglory.blogspot.com) and we were talking about why we do or don't write at different time's in our lives. it inspired me to try again after quite a long silence both in my own journal and on the world wide web. we'll see what happens. maybe i'll write a lot, i hope so, but maybe not.
i explained to lindsay that i don't want to use blogging to rant or make statements i wouldn't make face to face with someone. i don't want to project an image of someone i'm not. but i do want to imagine, explore, be creative. so maybe i'll discover a little more about Jesus and myself by writing, and change through that, that would be great. but i'm not going to be fake or pretend to be something i'm not. just explore and dig, that's all.
jared helped me come up with the name for this blog - wesingwedance. it's taken from the title of jason mraz' most recent album (we steal. we dance. we steal things.), which we highly recommend and is playing as i type. i'll probably talk a good bit about music.
enjoy your weekend.