let's get naked

Month: April 2017

Still Victorious: Victoria

Still Victorious: Victoria

“Victor” is in this woman’s name, so how could these series be complete without her? Victoria is a woman is so irrefutably beautiful. Her beauty is apparent not just outwardly, but her adorning is in the hidden person of the heart. She has the imperishable […]

Still Victorious: Kayla

Still Victorious: Kayla

I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Kayla for a week when we both attended the Raw Blend Worship Intensive in 2015. She has been a woman whose love and encouragement has stuck in my mind and heart ever since. Kayla is […]

When it Rains

When it Rains

I remember being a little kid at my grandmother, Ima’s house.

I remember a huge thunderstorm sending a crack of lightning across the sky just as the rain began to pour. If your grandma was anything like my Ima, you were probably told turn off the lights, tv, and your mouth because the Lord is doing his work.

It’s always funny to think about our elders having this view of stopping literally everything just because it’s raining outside. But when she would order for quiet in the house I would find myself scooting over to the big window in her living room and watching the beauty of the storm. I remember cracking open the sliding door to hear the rain and thunder better because, in an odd way, I felt closer to God as it stormed outside.

Ima’s words would dance in my head, “The Lord is doing His work” and my childish imagination would sprint off picturing a huge silhouette of a man standing over the earth with lightning coming from His fingertips and thunder rumbling from his voice. I would watch the rain and think “God knew that raindrop was going to hit the ground at that second because he knows everything”

As my grandmother’s house was quiet, was soul was still. My body was frozen in place not wanting to miss this moment of watching God orchestrate another powerful display of his mighty hand. It doesn’t rain often where I live it now, but when it does, it pours. This is a lot like my life. I grew up a happy kid with two amazing parents who are still together. While my teen years brought heartache from a crummy breakup and a lot of reckless behavior, I always knew that I was in the palm of God. In my life, the storms that have come have not only been the rain but thunder, lightning, and even some flooding.

I write this with tears in my eyes because I woke this morning to the biggest thunderstorm of the year. Coincidentally, I feel like God is leading me through one of the hardest storms of my life at this moment. I am walking through a season where no one around me is in and that is lonely. I am pregnant, hormonal and honestly scared. I miss my mom and just wish I could snuggle up close to her. It’s storming ya’ll. But just like during storms of my childhood I so appropriately hear Ima’s words echo in my soul,

 

“Turn everything off, the Lord is doing his work”


I have to turn off the comparison: looking for where I am to look like someone else’s journey. I have to turn off focusing on the fear. I have to turn off the anxiety of being misunderstood. I have to turn of the blazing comments of the enemy that try to steal away the joy that God has freely given in the season. As I weep to God to help me turn off these distractions my soul once again becomes quiet.

I sit on the balcony and watch as I did as a child. He helps me put my tears into perspective as I cry. I really am not sad, I’m desperate. I am desperate to be in this place again with my childlike eyes watching the raindrops hit the ground and to think: “He knew that raindrop would hit at that second, just like he knew I’d be here needing to see it fall.”

I watch lightning dance through the sky as thunder follows and think what a gift to be in the storm. What nearness to the Father. How gracious is He to come close and let me be still before Him in this literal storm and in the storm of my heart?

I am grateful God primed me as a little girl to love the storm. I relate to it, it would bring excitement and hope. I would watch God from the beginning to the middle and end. I would sleep the best during a storm. I would have the most peace. In my adulthood, He is re-teaching me all of the above because the love I had for the storm was jaded by my stupid fears and sin.


So I when it rains, I watch, as he strips away those fears and brings back my love for the storm.

Still Victorious: Caresse

Still Victorious: Caresse

I’m more than excited to share this next story with you because it’s about an amazing woman who I’ve watched come into her own over the past few years. I met Caresse Tate when she was auditioning for our church’s worship team a few years […]

Still Victorious: Earl

Still Victorious: Earl

I met Earl in 2011. At the time, he was the boyfriend of my best friend, Sarah. At first he looked like he didn’t want to talk to me at all, as he clicked around on his phone while playing with the ends of his […]

Still Victorious: Tiffany

Still Victorious: Tiffany

Tiffany was one of the first people I thought about when God gave me the idea for this series. If you don’t know Tiffany, first of all, I’m sorry that you’re missing out, and second, let me paint the picture of who she is. I met Tiff when she joined worship team some years back. My first thoughts about her were, she is absolutely gorgeous, can saaaaaang the paint off the walls, and she is ALWAYS looking on point. I was a little salty cause I barely had my life together. HA! But forreal!

When she told me her story for the first time I was shocked. She told the story of a angry, hurt girl who grew up in a pretty rough area. She has seen things that should have made her hardened to the world and other people. Despite her past, Tiffany is one of the sweetest and squishiest people I know! I was so shocked about her past because of the woman she is today. Her heart is full of compassion even though she has been done wrong many times. Her outlook is so optimistic even though the world around us looks bleak sometimes. Her story and perspective is powerful because the trials she has faces should have damaged her, but through Jesus, they have fortified her faith.

One thing I love about Tiff is that there is no competition in her heart. She doesn’t compare herself to other people or covet what someone else has. She is one of the most drama-free women I have ever met and when she graciously took my mess of a self under her wing she gave me a very raw, front row look at her life, her struggles and didn’t pull any punches in our discipleship.

I have watched Tiff absorb blow after blow from life and always be able to bring her pain and praise back to Jesus. I have seen her brokenness, her sorrow, anger and grief with the passing of her beloved brother. I know what her eyes look like when she’s trying to hold back the tears and keep it together. I have seen the wind knocked out of her, and even in those times her hope is the most anchored in Christ. She is the definition of steadfast.

 

What is the biggest trial you have faced where you saw God’s victory in your life?

“The biggest area I’ve seen God’s victory is in my marriage. There were times where I felt like ‘this is ending’, like it was hopeless and like I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s was so dark in the midst of it that I had to trust God.”

What is something you know about God now that you didn’t realize before this trial?

“That sometimes God takes us through trials with other people where it’s about Him trying to change out heart. Sometimes it’s about Him trying to strengthen our faith even when we’re being hurt by someone else. It’s not always about them changing. To me, I’ve seen him do things to show out–to really display his glory, to be glorified so that when other people look at the situation and how it worked out, they have no other explanation than God. It’s a difficult thing to grasp until you actually go through something hard and there’s no other option but to pray and believe. Cause there’s nothing else for you to hold on to.”

What is the greatest encouragement your can pull from your experience?

‘That he can work anything out. I feel encouraged to the point where I don’t sweat the big stuff. Things happen and it doesn’t change how you feel, but it doesn’t matter because the fact still remains that God’s got me because He has shown me His provision. It may not change how I feel in the moment, but I know I don’t have to worry about if my family will be okay. Not at all.’

___________

We have the promises of God “as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf.” Hebrews 6:19-20

 

15 Aspects of Life Women Should Appreciate More

15 Aspects of Life Women Should Appreciate More

My son has a fascination with hands. When my husband plays with him, he will wave his big hands over my son’s little face and Elijah starts freaking out! He will grasp at my husband’s hands like they are the most captivating and magnificent creations […]