31 October 2012

But if You Will

As I mentioned the other day, I just finished reading Be Quiet & Say Something by Jessi Connolly.

There was one point as I read it where my eyes filled with more tears than at any other part in the book because I was reading what I believe.

Jessi wrote this portion describing a season when her still-in-womb baby was potentially very sick.

“And I’d lay on the couch with my hands open and weep. Do Your will, Lord. Have Your way. But if You will, give us our daughter.” (Be Quiet & Say Something, Jessi Connolly)

This is the prayer that Jesus calls us to pray.

We’re called to pray for His glory, for His will, and for His joy in everything.

That doesn’t mean we don’t pray what we desire.

It means we’re so well acquainted with Jesus by knowing the scriptures, praying, community, and more, that we can pray DO YOUR WILL  and finish that with this is what I need you to do Jesus.

As I read that part, I raised by head and said to Jesus

Lord, that’s my cry. That’s my call. That’s my prayer.

I want Your will in everything. I want Your glory. I need You to do what You will because that is what is best.

And I’ve got all sorts of desires.

So I give them to Jesus all the time. I name them off to Him. I give specifics. I tell Him how much I desire the things I feel He has put on my heart and I start and end every prayer (whether I actually utter it in the moment or not – it’s my hearts cry) the same way Jessi does in her book.

 Do Your will, Lord, Have Your way. But if You will . . . here is my desire.

            Pray then like this:
            “Our Father in heaven,
            hallowed be your name.
            Your kingdom come,
            your will be done,
            on earth as it is in heaven."
(Matthew 6:9-10 ESV)

30 October 2012

Tune-y Tuesday (Jesus in disguise)

This is the series that won't end!
When I ended in a while back, I had no intention of bringing it back.
 But I've got to share these words.
Cause this song CHALLENGES me.

Mostly because if I'm honest, I know I probably would have a hard time recognizing Jesus if He showed up today.

And I would have had an even harder time with Him in the days when He roamed the earth.
'Cause He blew apart the rules.
and I love the rules.
a lot.

And yet I also see Jesus in so many ways and places and spaces.
So much!

Also, I LOVE Brandon Heath's voice. I've been a fan of his voice and how he just calls me out and points me to Jesus through his songs.

So . . . take a listen.

Ever get something in your head
It’s nothing you heard, or something you read

Ever had a cut but you never saw a blade
Brought to your knees but you never prayed

Jesus in disguise
Jehovah passing by
The burden of a tear
Hanging in your eye

Jesus in disguise
A scar across the sky

You were looking for a king
You would never recognize
Jesus in disguise

Ever feel like you’ve been somewhere before
You hold the key, you know which door

Speak the word your lips have never known
Because your heart told you so

Jesus in disguise
Jehovah passing by
The burden of a tear
Hanging in your eye

Jesus in disguise
A scar across the sky

You were looking for a king
You would never recognize
Jesus in disguise

So open my eyes wide as I can
Blind as I am, blind as I am
Open my eyes wide as I can
Blind as I am, blind as I am

Jesus in disguise

Jesus in disguise

Jesus in disguise

Jesus in disguise 

I love love love the line about speaking words on lips that you never knew.
Cause when Jesus gives me words I never knew I get so overwhelmed.

I rely on this verse in moments when I'm so unsure of the right words to share.

    When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.
(Matthew 10:19 ESV)

29 October 2012

Comfortably Envious

Back in July I read that Jessi Connolly had written Be Quiet & Say Something. I quickly hopped over, paid the money, and didn’t read it.

I’m excellent at getting excited and then forgetting. So excellent that if I hadn’t just heard a sermon series at church on spiritual gifts, I might think my forgetful excitement was a spiritual gift. I kid.

Recently I sat down and read through the story. 

It was a story that brought me to tears, frustrated my sinful heart, encouraged my sanctified and saved heart, motivated me to stop looking daily at my stats (as if looking at them will change anything anyways), and ultimately reminded me of things I already knew but had for some reason let flee from my mind.

One thing she highlighted in the book was something that Jesus has been telling me for weeks.

“When we look to the right or the left at the grace given to others long fully or pridefully, we can miss the beauty of influence.” (Be Quiet & Say Something, Jessi Connolly)

As a blogger it's easy to look around and question what I'm doing. I can read blogs that have thousands of readers and find myself in a jealous and envious stream of thoughts. I can get angry at those bloggers because I don't see why God lets them have their sphere of influence.

Or I can go to Jesus and say here I am, sinful and small - use me for Your goals because I know that then You will receive glory in the process. 

Jesus has been calling me out on envy and jealousy for weeks, and if I’m truly honest, months and years.

I went through Galatians with the #SheReadsTruth crew a few weeks ago. There was one day that punched me in the gut.

 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.
(Galatians 5:19-21a ESV)

I read that portion and could check off the things that I don’t struggle with currently. I've done this before and written about being skewed while reading scripture (as in reading only what I want to read in scripture).

I got to jealousy and casually stepped over it, ignoring the word.

Strife, not me, yay me! . . . jealousy  . . . oh fits of anger, well sometimes but not too often . . .

I kept going until I hit envy.

Oh Jesus, you wrote it there twice for me didn’t you?

How do I stop being jealous?

By being satisfied in Christ.

So I’m working on it. Failing mostly but attempting to go to Jesus for satisfaction and letting go of control.

I have so many desires for where I want my life to go.

But more so I desire Christ.

Oh Jesus, get glory in my life.

Forgive my jealous and envious heart.

27 October 2012


I'm joining in with five minute friday. Welcome here if you're joining me from that neck of the woods. I hope you'll stick around. I've got a long way to go but I sure do love Jesus.

The voices are really loud lately.

Like, really loud.

Telling me that my worth is nothing.
That my tears aren't heard.
That my sorrow will not end.
That God is not near.

And sometimes I catch myself believing them.

Those voices.

I need to remind to myself, every single day, that those voices are lies.

I am loved by the King of Kings.
I was created by the Alpha and Omega.
My thoughts are known by the Beginning and the End.
My plans are watched over by the Good Shepherd.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son - Jesus - so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.

Eternal life is going to be so good.

Because of Jesus.

So I'm shutting off the voices the only way I know to be effective.
By reading the Bible and learning it well.
So I can combat the lies with truth.

And I'm going to Jesus every single day with my desperate pleas for help.
Because He responds.
He responds with love.
with hope.
with joy.
with truth.
with care.
with compassion.
with sanctification.
with grace.
with so much.

Because His voice is the Voice of Truth.

I love His voice because I know it.

I love His voice.
Because I know it.

And His voice knows my voice.

Sometimes I get blown away by His voice.
Because it always always always always always (I want to keep writing always) always remains.

Five Minute Friday

26 October 2012

Pleasant Places

This portion of scripture is stunning to my heart.
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
           you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
           indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
           in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me;
           because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
          my flesh also dwells secure.
(Psalm 16:5-9 ESV)

Isn't that so beautiful?

My faith is in the Lord. I trust in His Sovereign plan for my life. His ways are what I walk in, joyfully and peacefully. He has placed me where I should be. He speaks to me and my soul response with joy. He alters my heart.

He is my secondary heartbeat.

When I say secondary, I don't mean that He is secondary, or that He is second rate. 

He IS the heart in me. He IS the choice I've made.
Christ is who I have chosen to rule over all that I do.

He is always before me. He is always with me. With Him by my side I can rest easy. My heart joyfully leaps in His presence. I am safe in Jesus, the Lord of my life.

25 October 2012

Recipe Card: Chocolate Chip Cookies

When people who have had these before see that I've made them again, they get excited.

True story.

Make 'em. They won't disappoint.

I almost didn't share the recipe.
So it could stay as my hidden and special recipe.

But hidden things are dumb. 

Speaking of dumb, a little insight into me:

I say stupid and dumb a lot.
And totally.
And sure and probably other ones as well.

I try not to use them in my writing.
But oh man, they come up in my speaking.

Just come over.
I'll bake you cookies.
You'll hear 'em.

24 October 2012

Prove It

To be known by God is incredible.

It’s incredibly terrifying because it means He knows all of my thoughts, sinful as they typically are.

It’s also the most comforting thing ever because His love is greater than all else.

            O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
            You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
                        you discern my thoughts from afar.
            You search out my path and my lying down
                        and are acquainted with all my ways.
            Even before a word is on my tongue,
                        behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
            You hem me in, behind and before,
                        and lay your hand upon me.
            Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
                        it is high; I cannot attain it.
            Where shall I go from your Spirit?
                        Or where shall I flee from your presence?
(Psalm 139:1-7 ESV)

Yesterday, I made a decision for which I'm paying for and will for a while pay the consequenceces.

But God is bigger.
Jesus is all I can cling to right now. 
The fact that He knows me and loves me, through my deep sin, is overwhelming.

Yesterday as I lay on the floor with a solid ugly cry face on, calling out to Jesus to provide refuge, I realized another reason why grace is so incredible.

Because I don't deserve it.

And I can prove it.

Just take a minute to walk a day with me.
Maybe I'd make it a minute, but spend an hour, a day, a week, a month. 
My sin will show up.
Cause my sin is vast.
His grace is bigger.

The grace of Jesus is SO much bigger than I ever knew.

Far too often I think I kind of deserve it, since I love Jesus so much.
But my (small, inadequate, and simple) love isn't enough to gain salvation.
Jesus is enough.


I'm so grateful for this grace I can't comprehend.
Yet lately I'm also feeling like I need to say sorry to Jesus all the time.

 My inadequacy and sin doesn't stop His grace.

I am fully known and fully loved.


I am blown away.       

Does anybody else ever read scripture and feel inadequate and yet completely cared for at the same time? Oh man. I sure do.

23 October 2012

Tune-y Tuesday (burn us up)

I thought Tune-y Tuesday was done. 
But then I remembered a song that has played a lot in my car this summer and I needed to be faithful to what I'd heard God tell me each time I listened.

Every time I heard it come up on my player, I felt like God was asking me:

do you mean it?

That's a hard question to answer.

Of course I do Lord. Of course.
Of course I'd go anywhere, do anything, die for You.

Yet I know the truth.

I'm far more like Peter. The one who passionately jumped onto the water to walk with Jesus and faltered only when He looked away from Jesus.

I'm far more like Martha. The one who gets so caught up in doing that she forgets to rest and listen to Him.

I'm far more like Sarah. Trusting that the people me are hearing from God yet also completely questioning that God is accurate in what He says.

I could list most of the people in the Bible with a glaring sin issue and relate myself to them. Maybe I could find one or two who have sin issues that aren't my struggle. But probably I can see myself in all of them. Oh man, I'm so grateful that Jesus offers salvation.

Yet I love this song. The words in it, the sound of the voices, they induce chills.

My favourite line comes near the end

but even if You don't

I love the Lord with all my heart.
I falter and I sin and I in no way deserve His grace.
And I trust in Him.
Where He leads me I will go.
I might question and fight, worry and wrestle every minute of it.
But I walk in His way for me.
Even if He doesn't offer me what I expect.

Because the call on my life is faithfulness to Him.

The dudes in this song are incredible, not because the song is cool, but because they are real. This story is not false, not embelished. It's real life.

They would not bow to a false idol.
They trusted God, to the point of being killed.
And they weren't killed.

They were so very faithful.
They knew God's call upon their life and lived it out.

Take a listen will ya?

I know I normally share the lyrics but I need to just point you to the Bible. This one requires you to read the Bible. Learn this story. It's incredible.

And if you wanna read the story yourself, check out Daniel 1-3. The first few chapters don't talk about this part of their life but chapter 3 digs right in. It's incredible.

21 October 2012


There’s something you should know. 

I have always been and I will always be a sinner.

I wish it wasn’t true.

I wish I was drawn only to good things, and when I say good, I mean holy and righteous in the eyes of God.

But I’m not. 

I’m drawn to sin constantly.

I need Jesus all the time.

BUT I also need you to know something else.

I’ve been redeemed.

See long ago, God created the earth.
He created it perfectly and lived in community with His creation.

But they got distracted by their desires to serve themselves.
And the world got filled with sinners.

So God sent His son Jesus.

Jesus lived on earth.

Day in, day out, childhood, adolescence, teen years, young adult, 33 or so years.

He never sinned.

Did you catch the part about Him never sinning ever? Cause that part consistently blows my mind.

No selfish motives.
No judgmental thoughts.
No regrets.
No disgrace.

He never sinned but He did call out the sinners.
He called them out by offering truth and forgiveness in a new way.

He offered Himself.

And people either followed Him or got pissed.

So pissed that they arranged to have Him killed.

He was killed on a cross, which is one of the worst ways a person could die.

Then He rose.

And when He rose, He defeated the power of sin by His own power.

He conquered all the power of sin.

He gave life.

Christ still speaks.

Follow me.
Your sins are forgiven.
Accept grace.
Receive hope.
Walk with Me.

I'm redeemed by Christ.
I rest completely safe in Christ.

19 October 2012


I've never done this Five Minute Friday thing before but last night moments after midnight, before tucking my face in my pillow for the night, I needed to write a few more words before sleep. These were them.

Look. Will you just let yourself look for one minute? Cause if you do you're going to notice that thing you've been missing.

Open your eyes sweet soul.

Open your joy again.

Look deep into the wells of your heart and grab back onto the hope you've held onto so long. Grab it back! Don't just hold it like it's natural. Recognize that hope is hard and hope is real.

Look! You're starting to catch on. You're starting to see that there is purpose in this season.

Look to the One who you love because He is the One who is always looking at you.

Look dear heart. His love is bigger than your fear. His grace is wider than your shame. His kindness covers your sorrows and His hands are covering you. Wait, His hands are cupping your face, drying your tears, and whispering this:

Look child, I'm here. Hope again.

Five Minute Friday

Wanna try out this fun Friday phenomenon. It's easy. Click the button to get the details.

18 October 2012

Love Out

Something happened today on twitter. I was doing my typical, hang out with people via the online world when I got a reply that said:

Um, that is fantastic. Write about that, stat. 

So I figuratively ran back to that convo to see what the heck I'd written. And of course, it's only good because it's inspired by my Mom.

Let me share the convo:

What I wrote there was inspired by my Mom. She was the Mom who didn't have to work when I was little. She started part-time around when I was 8 so I had a lot of years of just the two of us. My siblings are all significantly older than I am so I basically had all day with her everyday.

I get that these days, being with your kids is a lot harder. Money is tight everywhere, and staying at home with the kids is hard to come by. I pray that I'll get the opportunity some day to stay home with my own children if God leads me to marriage and parenting.

My Mom was the first person who I got to see everyday all day. I got to see how she loved (which is greatly), how she served (which is often), how she cared (which is a lot), and the list goes on. She showed me love in her actions to me and to everyone she met.

Nowadays I spend a lot of times with friends who have kids. I love the opportunity I have to love all.

But sometimes I hear a mom say something like:

tell Mommy how much you love her
who's your favourite person? MOMMY!!!
if you do that Mommy will love you more

And my heart hurts. 

Because that is not the right way (in my humble single girl opinion) to show or even gain love from your child.

I love my Mom not because she has ever said you had better love me now but because she is the most consistent person in my life. She loves me no matter what. She takes time to listen, time to care, time to offer wisdom, and time to let me figure things out by myself.

She is compassionate and kind. She is wise and loving.

She is never forceful. And on the rare occasion when she is, she's a fast apology.

I think this love translates to more than parenting though. It goes to friendship.

The line I tweeted bears repeating.

I *think* the key to gaining a good friendship with her is to love out more than you expect love in.

In every area of friendship in my life, I need to love out.

At my Mom's work, she is known for her kindness. When I talk to anyone who works with her, they always have kind words to say about her. It's because she's authentic to love.

And if I'm unsure of how to do that in my own life, in friendship and relationships, I can look to Jesus.

Well, I can look to Jesus when I'm unsure about anything.

He was the ultimate LOVE OUT person - to the point of death, even death on a cross!

He did it all for love, for our love.
And not to gain our love.
But to give us love.
Love, that if we accept it, leads to life.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.
(1 John 4:18-19 ESV)

I want to love out.

How about you? How do you love out?

17 October 2012

Authenticity Complacent

I used to think that I was good at being authentic. And when I say used, I mean like, up until the other night on a midnight walk with my roommate. We were chatting and she basically called me out on my fear. 

You’re so scared of what people think that you’re not willing to do anything.

My defense was that I try to please people because I don’t know if they’ll stay constant and forgive me. Whereas I know God will stay constant regardless of what I do.

When I think of how I try to please people, it probably looks and sounds good. I serve extra, I give extra, I love extra. All good things. 

All despicable things though if I’ve lost my first love.

My church recently went through the 7 letters in Revelation to the 7 churches. The letter to the church in Ephesus might as well be written to me:

            “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. (Revelation 2:2-5a ESV)

Gross – I hate when I realize a sin that I am sitting comfortable in – in this case complacency.

I’ve forgotten my first love.

I want to remember it.

My first love is Christ.

Here are some of my sermon notes. You can listen to the sermon here:

Verse 2 – “I know” – full and complete knowledge
This statement of “I know” can lead to comfort, discomfort, or even fright and should lead to all three. Jesus is speaking of their works, toil, patient endurance, bearing with evil, and then their deep sin of forgetting Him – their first love.

We never want to hear Jesus say I have this against you.

I think that’s the most frightening thing to ever hear from Jesus. Yet it also brings comfort because with correction always comes grace if married with repentance.

Christ calls them to remember, repent, return, and rekindle. Remember the death of Jesus. Repentance is not one time but is a life-long disposition and is much larger than a “sorry”. Returning  to the works that they did at first all of the time – with His love as their motive, which is what they're called to rekindle with.

Duty is not what He is asking for. He wants love because that will change everything.

I want to live for Jesus in everything, not for people. I’m genuinely unsure of how to do that because I’ve gotten far too talented at pleasing people. BUT I do want to change.

Authenticity for me means being honest about this.

During the walk with my roomie, she reminded me that I need to be willing to live. I should prayerfully consider what I do, AND I need to be willing to step out and take chances in life.

I’ve stayed too safe. I’ve tried to please the people.

I want my motivation for pleasing and loving people to be out of devotion and obedience to Christ.

My first love, and most important love, is Jesus

The Jesus that offers salvation for any who repent of sin and call upon His name - that Jesus.

15 October 2012

(not) Influence(d)

What happens when you write a blog and you hear about an incredible conference?
Well, you look it up and you decide to go.

Until God says no - in the form of finances being too small to make it happen.

So you email the planners and see about sponsorship.
And they offer you suggestions and opportunities.
And you consider it.

And God says no - in the form of incredible unrest and zero peace about going to the conference.

So you pray and plead and almost cry about it.
Or at least that's what I did.

Back when influence was announced, I got so excited. I was sure that it was where I was meant to go. 

God kept saying no.
He kept saying wait.
He kept saying Nadine, trust ME!

I'm still not sure why He didn't let me go this year.
Scratch that, I do know. I know full well.

I could have gone. And I would have learned a lot of helpful things. I would have met Jesus (because Jesus always shows up when we ask Him to come) and I would have left so encouraged and uplifted and all that.

But sitting at home, watching tweet after tweet come by with the #influenceconf tag on it, I realized something.

Jesus was still with me here.

I could still learn at home.

AND He kept asking me when I was going to repent of jealousy.

I'd read the posts and get excited about what it said and then sad that I wasn't there.

I'd see yet another photo of smiling bloggers meeting, laughing, smiling, and building relations and I would look around and see nobody here.

So if Influence taught me one thing (and those tweets taught/encouraged me more than once), it was to always go to Jesus with my sin heavy soul and say "help".

Because He is faithful to help.

    As for me, I am poor and needy,
        but the Lord takes thought for me.
    You are my help and my deliverer;
        do not delay, O my God!
(Psalm 40:17 ESV)

He is faithful to help when I call upon His name.

And guess what?!? After a few prayers and conversations with Jesus to determine my motive and make sure He was on board with my plans, I bought my ticket for Influence Conference 2013. 

I'm so excited for less than a year from now.

Blogging is something that freaks me out. I question myself almost weekly. I feel funny when I tell people I'm a blogger because I never know what they'll say. 

Blogging is something that encourages me so much. I feel confident that I'm being faithful to a God who is more faithful than the sun always rising.

You realize that the sun always rises right? K cool.

In a year I'm going to hug a lot of friends. 
I'm going to talk to people who get why I say that blogging freaks me out and encourages me all at the same time.

Until then I'll keep reading, writing, commenting, video-chatting, and the like.

Blogging is crazy. It's odd. It's fun. I love it. I hate it. I'm sticking around.

Watch out #influenceconf - this girl is coming next year!