Rearview Mirror


As I look in the rearview mirror of this last year, I see God's hand in everything. Looking at the way He has managed my journey brings clarity, joy and peace.
"Looking back, its easier to understand why He placed us in the home that He did; why He brought certain people and circumstances into and out of our lives; why He permitted difficulties and pain; why He took us to different places and put us in various jobs and careers...Looking ahead is not always so clear. Have you ever had that lost feeling when the road ahead seemed twisted, foggy, and scary? Before you move into the next year, stop and look in the rearview mirror of the year gone by, and joyfully realize that God meant it when He said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say "The Lord is my helper I will not fear" (Heb. 13:5-6). With the promise of God's presence and help in mind, you can move ahead into 2011 with the utmost confidence." -Joe Stowell


Shall not He who led me safely
Through the footsteps of this day
Lead with equal understanding
All along my future way?-Adams

God's guidance in the past gives courage for the future.

He has managed my journey by "the works of His hands" Psalm 92:4

"The works of His hands are faithful and just" Psalm 111:7

The Lord says: I will guide you along the best path for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You Led your people like a flock. Psalm 77:19-20


When we look back and contemplate
What we've been through this year
We'll praise You, Lord, for all You've done-
Your faithfulness is clear. -Sper

Establish the work of our hands

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-yes establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17
For you alone God can establish the work of our hands. It is pre-destined. You have the blue-print. You are the blue-print.


"I lost my will, in God's will and that is where I found it."

Sometimes I am trying so hard to figure things out, that I don't stop to listen. Even just trying to figure out the next right action. I get overwhelmed and bombarded by choices (all good choices) and then I don't know which one to choose. I can get so focused on wanting to do the right thing, wanting to walk in God's will, not wanting to make the wrong choice, that it hinders me from moving at all. He knows that my heart is in the right place and that all I want to do is please Him. But unfortunately one of my battles is the overwhelm and then the indecision that follows. He tells me to keep it simple, He is not a God of confusion...and yet I can make it so complicated at times.

I was obsessing about something yesterday. All I wanted to do was please the Lord and give Him my best, but I got so worried about trying to figure it out that it became an obsession. When I am worrying over and over about something, then I have taken MY will back. I have taken the wheel from Him. Hmm...I am pretty sure HE is the one that has got it, not me. The plan and purpose were all HIS to begin with-not mine. I ask, seek, knock...but I must then stop, listen, rest. Surrender. If I am trying to figure it out, that means I have not laid it at His feet.
My mom could tell I was troubled, so she grabbed my hand and started praying. It was one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever experienced. It was like a David in the psalms kind of prayer. Very real, raw, authentic, humble. It was a release; a beautiful surrender that we both did together as we came before the Lord. Where two or more are gathered...
After she closed the prayer, we were both very quiet and peaceful. With tears in our eyes. With my eyes closed I just said, "Your prayers are powerful mom, don't ever forget that"
In all humility she asked me, "how do you know?"
I replied, "Because I am alive. Because I am alive."
WoW. It was breath-taking.


"It's in your hands, it's in your hands I trust you but I don't understand. It's in your hands, it's in your hands, close my eyes and follow your plans. Trust you cuz it's all in your hands"

Following the leader, the leader, the leader...

From the Daily Bread:

"The three wise men followed the star. With no idea of the outcome they all took the next step by faith in the Lord. Will we trust God & follow His leading even when we face uncertainty and overwhelming circumstances? To follow the leading of God, to step out in faith & obey, is always the path we should take whenever we can't see the way."-Sper

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves & knows the ONE who is leading. -Chambers

Master speak and make me ready,
When Thy voice is truly heard,
With obedience glad & steady
Still to follow every word. -Havergal

Love the Lord your God...obey His voice. Deut. 30:20

Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. Psalm 95:7

Unexpected Moments :)

Expectations can steal us away from the moments in our life that are given to us as a gift. We might be so focused on what we think should happen or the way it should happen, that we miss what is actually happening right before our eyes. I am guilty of this for sure. I get so excited and subconsciously have these huge expectations going into a situation, that I miss out on the "unexpected moments." We are all human and most of us, if not all, have underlying expectations whether we realize it or not. The intentions are good of course, expecting the best, seeing the world through rose colored glasses...seeing the world through God's eyes. These are all good things. Unfortunately sometimes these good intentions can be turned against us when we are focusing on the expected outcome more than God's sovereignty. Good things can easily take my eyes off of the focus...the real focus; which is God. I have noticed that the real moments that have blessed me the most in my life, are often the ones that I have not seen coming/have not prepared for in any way. Because we didn't get what we expected or hoped for in the moment, we miss out on the good that we did receive from God. It is ALL good coming from Him, as He works all things together for our good.

Mom and I had a conversation about this the other day. I was feeling overwhelmed because I did not want to miss out on anything while I am here. Knowing that I only have an allotted amount of time here, I wanted to make the best of it. But this expectation was actually distracting me and overwhelming me and worrying me. I was so consumed with trying to be present that I wasn't present. Mom just kept saying, "it's the unexpected moments Mal, the unexpected moments." This is soooo true!!! I wasn't trusting in God's sovereignty. He blesses us when we least expect it and from places we might not even think of. We might not get what we want but we always get what we need. I want what I need, because He knows better than I do what I need. I always end up being blown away by those little "unexpected moments" that only He could arrange. He does it this way so that I know it is coming from HIM. If I had foreseen it, or "earned" it or even planned it, then I might not give credit where credit is due. Credit is always due to GOD. His glory always prevails. I pray to just go with God's flow today, trusting HIM in all things and keeping my eyes and heart open to the moments that He sets before me. Thank you for the unexpected moments God! In Jesus Name I pray!

Basement-how it all started

The Basement Story from The Basement on Vimeo.

Proverbs 31 woman

"she honors her husband all the days of her life" Prov. 31:12

Not just when she meets him, or when they get married and from that point on...but ALL the days. Like now. I want to be able to give my whole heart to my soulmate...to my future husband. I want to be able to say, "I only had eyes for you." My heart belonged to Jesus until I gave it to you and now it is for Jesus and YOU. One of my friends said to me about a month ago that she had been giving her heart away little by little, and not to Jesus but to crushes and dating and her plans. Constant pursuing or being pursued. God illumined this in her heart and convicted her to go back to her first love and give her heart wholly to Jesus. Progress not perfection, and everybody's journey is different. I do not want to settle for less. I want to be honoring him now and always. If he looked at the interactions I have with the guys in my life now, would it be honoring to him? Would he feel honored? I hope so, and I want to strive for this. I am not where I want to be, but I am not where I was. Keep moving forward, keep the bar high, eyes fixed on Jesus-the ultimate example, strive to be more like Him and never settle for less because HE wants the BEST for YOU!!!!

My daddy :)





















Found these old pictures of my daddy...aww love it!!! Pictures really are worth a thousand words. Memories and pictures sometimes seem like all I have left of him, but his LOVE is still alive and his spirit in heaven. The memories and pictures are precious to me :-) but they don't replace or even come close to the LOVE in my heart.





Surrender

"A life of significance is most often preceded by a heart eager to surrender to God's will regardless of the cost."-DB Joe Stowell


Mary finds herself at a crossroads, when the angel Gabriel comes to her to tell her she has found favor with God and was chosen by him to birth the Son of God. She can submit to God's will and surrender all of her plans, dreams and ideas and just trust Him. Or she can continue on her merry way and go with her plans. We see that Mary does not hesitate. When facing the "devastating interruption that her pregnancy would bring to HER plans," she cheerfully and humbly accepts this honor. For she knew to whom she belonged, that her life was not her own, it was an offering of worship-a living sacrifice for her Almighty God. This does not mean that the cost was not high and the risk was not big, but she knew that "reputation is not Lord, worry is not Lord, money is not Lord..." Jesus is Lord and she follows HIM alone. "'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May it be to me as you have said'" Luke 1:38.

Fully surrendered. Her plans and dreams laid at His feet so that she can fulfill the calling, purpose and plan that God has for her. Mary continues to inspire me daily. She replaced worry with worship. She had everything to worry about, but she chose to worship through everything. She surrendered to the assignment, and how grateful I am that she did. Nothing made logical sense, her family and friends would think she was crazy, her fiance Joseph might think she cheated or was lying, not to mention the nosy neighbors in the small town of Nazareth calling her a harlot. But she pressed on, persevered, endured for the sake of Christ. Knowing full well that this life would not be easy for her, but knowing all the more that GOD knew this life would not be easy for her and he had her back. He found favor on her. "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God" (v.30). Against all odds, she trusted and followed her Lord.

"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" Luke 1:45

Sometimes nobody else can "see it" but us and God...and that is enough, more than enough. Because then we must really rely on faith and our personal relationship with Him. Sometimes when I notice I am looking for outside circumstances or people to tell me that "I am okay" or "good enough" I realize that the only ONE who can tell me that-that really makes a difference-is God. He is the only ONE that can fill the void, calm the anxiety, and speak directly to my heart to ease the fear. His perfect love casts out all fear. No one else's love can do what His love can. In fact, just recently I was having one of those moments and feeling like I needed someone to tell me that I was okay and God just whispered in my ear that He was the only one that really counts. My mom could tell me the perfect thing over and over and it would never be enough until it came from God Himself. So I went alone into my room and just cried out to Him and let Him tell me exactly what I needed to hear. Sometimes circumstances won't change and sometimes they will, but the good news is that God never changes and His love endures forever.

Leaving a memory of LOVE

Our time here, each and every minute is a gift...we are on borrowed time from God. Just went to a memorial service of a high school friend named Sam. He was born on 1-22-86 the same exact birthday as me. He would have been 25 in about about month. It took my breath away as I walked into the service and saw all these old friends from high school. The room was packed out for Sam. This says a lot about the person that he was...he loved EVERYBODY!!! No favoritism, no discrimination...just LOVE all around. He was born with a heart defect and it was actually a miracle that he even survived birth let alone 24 years of life. Sam must have been so happy to look down on us in this room full of people that he loved, that love him...knowing he brought us all together to celebrate life!!! He was all about unity, and he definitely re-united many people today.

God sends people into our lives, on our paths and on earth for a short time sometimes. These special chosen ones, are often reminders to those around them of the fragility of life. The gift of life. To cherish every moment and to LOVE LOVE LOVE. Love is the only thing that remains when our earthly bodies do not. The room was filled with love today. Accomplishments, accolades, money, "success" none of it mattered...Sam can't take any of that with him to heaven...he leaves his love behind and his spirit carries it with him always. It lives on in our hearts. I don't want to leave behind earthly riches, I want to leave behind LOVE that lasts eternally. His message was that of Jesus' message reminding us of what's really important. Giving us God's perspective more than our own. He was a light for God and was a gift to us. For 24 precious years, God shared Sam with us. : )


I pray that Sam's death moves in the hearts of those that God specifically placed in his life...reminding them of the importance of life and that the pain would draw them closer and closer to the sacred heart of Jesus. Closer and closer to HIS abounding love. IN Jesus Name I pray!

Deliverance































At the Basement Christmas party, right after taking a group photo with Matt-he introduced me to this little boy named Sam. He is eight years old. Matt began explaining to me that Sam had walked to Church of the Highlands on tuesday November 30th-"unknowingly wandered there"...God had a plan. Sam had no idea what the Basement was...he did not even know what he was about to walk into. I can definitely relate!!! I had no idea what I was about walk into when I took Nichole to that concert in 2009! WOW! But God knew! I believe that God hand-carried me there... just as he did Sam. So Sam stumbled into this huge building, packed with fired up people from around the world. Somehow he makes his way into the service and has his first Basement experience. He was touched by the love of God and had a real experience with God. It was no longer something to believe in, "It's gotta be more like falling in love, than something to believe in." God brought Sam to his knees, and led him to his salvation.
Sam was able to meet Matt and hangout with him after the service. He poured his heart out to Matt and told him all that he had been going through leading up to this moment of salvation. God's grace was all over Sam. Remembering that Sam is only 8 years old, Matt tells me how Sam was doing drugs up until this point on that Tuesday night. An eight year old. Totally lost, hooked on drugs, emotionally and physically unavailable parents...and in his wandering and searching and longing for more-all he found were drugs as a coping mechanism. He did not have anyone to share God's grace, love and mercy with him...nor had he ever tasted such things. Once Sam was able to taste & see God's goodness, he did not want to go back to drugs. I am happy to tell you that Sam has not returned to those things. Once he experienced Jesus, he found that nothing else was better...Jesus was and is better than any high or any drug or anything else this world could offer Sam. WoW!! As Matt told me this, I looked at Sam and was astonished. I could not believe that this innocent little boy had been through such a storm, and then to see and hear what God had just saved him from. It took my breath-away. It was also so beautiful to see how Matt had taken Sam under his wing and was being a big brother to him. Matt said that him and Sam had been hanging out ever since that tuesday night, and that he invited Sam to the Basement Christmas party. What an experience for this little boy!!! God has such a HUGE plan for Sam! I am so thankful for Matt...he is just so humble and sweet and gentle with Sam, and with everyone he encounters.


‎"I want you to get out there and walk--better yet, RUN!-- on the road God called you to travel. I dont want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere." --Ephesians 4:1 (MSG)

What I live for

Watch the whole thing but especially pay attention around 2:33 mins. :))
Blown away at what God is doing through the Basement team!!! So grateful to get to serve with the best team!!!

Whosoever Ministries Outreach from The Basement on Vimeo.

Really Listen : )

Fear- False Evidence Appearing Real

Mary replaced worry with worship. Joshua did it even though he was afraid. We will face fear, we will have worry...these are both spirits that produce feelings that want to hold us back. F.E.A.R.- False Evidence Appearing Real. "Fear is just a crutch that tries to hold us back and turn our dreams to dust, all we need to do is just TRUST."-Fireflight. Dream anyways, love anyways, speak anyways, go anyways, live anyways, DO what God is calling you to do anyways!!!! Don't lose heart, don't give up beloved! "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than the fear that stares you back right between the eyes." It is not that Joshua never felt fear so God used him; Joshua felt fear so he had to rely on God' strength even more in the face of fear. We cannot wait to not feel fear...courageous people feel fear they just do what they are being called to do anyway. Esther faced her fears and did what God was asking her to. "I came to you in weakness and fear and with much trembling" 1 Cor. 2:3. I can relate to Paul very much here. I feel that I God has sent me into mission fields, weak, fearful and trembling. I felt very ashamed about this fear and "not good enough" many times, but His truth revealed to me that in my fear He is all the more glorified. "so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." 1 Cor. 2:5. Often times my insecurities do make me fear men, but my reverence for God and His holiness far outweighs this earthly fear. I put no confidence in the flesh and I shall boast of my weaknesses so that my God gets all the glory and His strength is known to all. "God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong"(v.27). I hold on to this hope and truth. Not perfectly...but it's progress not perfection. Not perfect, just forgiven-as Matt always says. : )


Fear is going to try to keep us from having the victory. I will not fear, because God is with me. He is greater than anything that comes against us.
Whatever you are lacking, God will be that for you. In fact, the more you lack, the more His power rests upon you and is glorified in you. "No matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ" 2 Cor. 1:20.
"God is telling Joshua, 'You are not going to get where your going, unless you make God's word the focal point of your life'"-Joyce Meyer. My friend Liz explained it like a ballerina who must keep her spot to stay balanced while spinning. Her eyes must stayed fixed on her spot in order to stay balanced and accomplish the goal/task at hand. It gives me peace of mind to know that others have questions and concerns and even worry. "The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts" Luke 3:15. It is normal, and that awareness will help us in the fight against darkness. They can be used against us as distractions, so it is very important to be conscious of the movements of our heart and mind. Hold captive every thought and make it obedient/in right alignment with God's word. If we are not conscious of these movements, it is much harder to dispel the lies and fears...they become white noise in the background...leading to oppression. Keep our eyes fixed on the prize. "Run in such a way to get the prize...Therefor I do not run like a man running aimlessly" 1 Cor. 9:24, 26.


I thank God for His truth and His word; without it I would be lost, a slave to my unsteady feelings. I long to be more and more of a slave to His Holy Spirit...in His freedom I will live. I continue on, running this race, not for me, but for my Father and what He has willed. What an honor to be a part of His plans and His purpose. That He would entrust even a little to me, blows me away. Mary and David both thanked God, He knew them as they were...through and through. Searching the heart and mind and soul for every anxious thought and offensive way, and yet He called them a "somebody." Luke 1:48 (Mary) and 1 Chronicles 17:17 (David) WOW! Brings me to tears.

Advent


During this season of Advent I want to carve out extra extra quiet time to prepare my heart, be attentive as I work actively for His coming in my heart. Invite the sacred into your life. Make time and space for a deeper, more intimate relationship with God. It's not about piling more tasks on our Christmas to-do list. It's about giving ourselves and others permission to love God in a renewed way. This is a compilation of several different books, and sources I have been reading about Advent season as well as some verses the Lord has illumined to me. "Deep calls to deep" Psalm42:7. "Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me." Psalm 43:3
Time in His presence is irreplaceable; He is the source of our impact in & on the world.


An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream (Matt.1:18)...We discover in all five dreams that obeying God's will takes courage, dedication, and real love for people and the mission God has placed in our care. Mary and Joseph obeyed God's will, and so must we.

Instead of shouting to us from the sky in frustrated anger, our God knows how to quietly and gently show up even in the earthquakes, winds and fired of our lives. In response to our noisy frantic, self-exhausting ways, our Lord say, "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10

The prophet Elijah experienced the voice and gentle touch of God at one of the lowest moments of his life. Exhausted by his efforts to run from the death threats of Jezebel, queen of Israel, Elijah came to the point of feeling so alone and so disillusioned that he wanted to die 1 Kings 19:4. Those feelings of despair, however gave God an opportunity to show His wisdom.
First strengthening him physically...The Lord renewed His servant's physical strength by giving him sleep, food, and water (19:5-8). Then God renewed Elijah's spiritual perspective by speaking to him not in a howling wind but in a "gentle whisper" (19:9-12).
What Elijah heard in the calmness of God's voice was also experienced by other men and women. Troubled people like Abraham, Job, Ruth, Rahab, Joseph, and Paul all discovered that even in their worst problems, God was gently using the voice of His wisdom to get their attention, surrender and trust. Agur is quoted by readers of Proverbs as an exceptionally wise man (30:8-9). Agur, however, had a different view of himself. Overwhelmed by how foolish he felt in the presence of his Creator, Agur wrote "Surely I am more stupid than any man, and do not have understanding. I neither learned wisdom nor have knowledge of the Holy One" Prov. 30:2-3. He felt clueless in his own understanding after listening to what his Creator was quietly saying to him.
By seeing and admitting what he couldn't understand on his own, Agur came to the place of wanting to treasure every word of God more than his own understanding (Prov. 30:5-6). So the wise man prayed, "Two things I request of You (deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies from me; give me neither poverty nor riches-feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You and say 'Who is the Lord?' or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God" Prov. 30:7-9.
By reminding us that we are not our own, Agur brings the wisdom of the where we stand in relation to our own Owner, Provider, Protector.

Only Hope! : )

There's a song that's inside of my soul.
It's the one that I've tried to write over and over again
I'm awake in the infinite cold.
But you sing to me over and over and over again.

So, I lay my head back down.
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours, I pray, to be only yours
I know now you're my only hope.

Sing to me the song of the stars.
Of your galaxy dancing and laughing and laughing again.
When it feels like my DREAMS are so far
Sing to me of the PLANS that you have for me over again.

So I lay my head back down.
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours, I pray, to be only yours
I know now, you're my only hope.

I give you my destiny.
I'm giving you all of me.
I want your symphony, singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs, I'm giving it back.

So I lay my head back down.
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours, I pray, to be only yours
I pray, to be only yours
I know now you're my only hope.

Convo's with God

A window is open in the heavenlies that will present extraordinary opportunities to re-organize and simplify a current situation. It won't be the end of the world to miss this opportunity, but it would be to your advantage to respond affirmatively. Don't be afraid to take the steps necessary to make these changes, says the Lord.

2 Corinthians 8:10-11 And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have.


"Whatever is on your heart, go and do it; God is with you." 1 Chron. 17:2

In the quiet, in the stillness I know that you are God


"I give you the land...
this is your inheritance;
Even though you're not much...
a few straggling strangers." 20-22
They wandered from country to country,
camped out in one kingdom after another;
But HE didn't let anyone push them around,
he stood up for them against bully-kings:
"Don't you dare touch my anointed ones,
don't lay a hand on my prophets."
23-27 Sing to God, everyone and everything!
Get out his salvation news every day!

Shout Bravo! to his famous Name,
lift high an offering and enter his presence!
Stand resplendent in his robes of holiness!
30-33 God is serious business, take him seriously.
1 Chronicles 16

Keep listening to HIS voice. "In quiet and trust is your strength." Isaiah 30:15

silver boxes!

The words we speak are powerful. They carry life or death. Words of encouragement, affirmation, validation...are like beautiful silver boxes under the Christmas tree!!!! My mom just gave me a dozen silver boxes!!!!
: ) Just to come alongside someone in their journey, struggle, persecution, trial...to be a witness in the case against them. God is our witness but He also sends us witnesses that come alongside us. Our adversary will never win the case against us. It is written! In Jesus Name! They overcame by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. Thank you to the witnesses that testify in YOUR name!