Splashing in Puddles // October 25, 2010

Splashing in the Puddles

I love rain! I love playing in it and drinking it! I run through it, play football in it, and listen to it. I read a verse today that  stood out to me in this passage of scripture Proverbs 25:26. It says "Like a muddied spring or polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked." I looked up the definition of "spring," and the definition for "well" and for some reason I felt to look up "wellspring." I was amazed at what I found and the revelation I had. Besides being a season of the year or a trench of water in the ground, a wellspring is the fountain head, or the source of a body of water, a stream, or a river. It is the supply or source of anything, especially when considered exhaustible. We do so much in a day and normally our day consists of conversations and being around people, and as you know people can be exhausting and take a lot out of us. Just like us, wells and springs in the ground also dry up and lose their water and life. God has entrusted us all with our own "wells." Our mind is a well, and ultimately our heart is a well. Even our degree of influence is a well. God asks us to live generously, and to live our lives on behalf of others. He gives us dreams and visions and influence but how often do we allow our "wells" to be polluted with fear, with doubt, with insecurity? How often do we let our well dry up, or do we go to a mud puddle after the rain rather than a spring, looking for water to quench our thirst? Anything can pollute or spoil our waters, but only God keeps our well clean. Look to Christ to be the one that fills and cleanses your well. Ask him to refill you. Nothing satisfies us like Jesus and if we are not intentional to seek him, our wells we become like mud. Who wants to drink from a muddy puddle?

tears & blueprints

tears & blueprints

Just the other day, I sat in a room at the doctors office waiting to be seen. From another room a baby was SCREAMING at the top of its lungs. I am still unsure as to why the baby was screaming, but all I could think of was its tears. The screaming was giving me such a headache, but then I thought, "That baby sure will sleep good after crying so much."

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Radiant Photography is Launching!! // May 7, 2010

I wanted to make you all aware that something exciting is happening in a few hours, Saturday May 8th!

I am launching the baby I have been carrying for 3 years! Radiant Photography is here and it is beautiful!

It's been a dream for a while. Read more about my blogrimage here.


I want to invite you to come out to the Radiant Photography Launch to see my photography, learn about Radiant and what its all about!!

The website is up and running, though it is still under construction... few kinks to work out, but at least it is something!

My website is:   http://www.livingradiant.com

I am really excited and expectant! Regardless of what tomorrow holds and looks like, I know that this has been a total God project in the works and it would not exist if not for him... So with that said... you don't wanna miss tomorrow... and if you do, no worries, this train is moving and you can ride it later too!!!

The launch is being held from 10-2 at the Gilman School Family Festival. Click on "Gilman School" above for the address and mapquest it! When you arrive look for parking! Then follow the noise :) and look through the different booths and you will find mine!!

Hope to see you there and Thanks for reading along and believing in me and the dreams within!

CLOGGED

CLOGGED

This morning driving to the airport at 630 am, we hit some congestion on the expressway. Too much congestion results in a clog, kinda like a toilet does.  When lanes get clogged, no one can pass, and people beep their horns. People are impatient and selfish, not letting anyone merge. Accidents create bigger messes on an already clogged or congested expressway due to impatience or a lack of focus.

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Who is writing your story?

Who is writing your story?

A stack of books.

What if our lives were already written in a book? It would be the best story of adventure, romance, and mystery. Wouldn't it be so nice to go down to the local library, and checkout or just buy the biography all about your life a head of time? To know the characters who would stick through to the end, to see the repercussions from decisions made, or the blessings they would become.

 

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What is this all about?

Hey! If you're reading this, it is the first time you've been to my blog! Yippee! Jump to the very last page and read a blog post called LTEL... gives detail to what this is about!

Here's a scoop:

Live the extraordinary!!

I have created a blog while on Spring Break that captures my ordinary life through extraordinary living. It is a blog about my thoughts, my encounters, my dreams, frustrations, etc... of course its not everything about my life, but things that I believe will encourage people to fulfill the life that God wants for them!


You may recognize some of my previous posts because many come from the notes I've posted on Facebook.

Enjoy and look for more posts to come!!

 

At the end of a month of India // June 7, 2009

INDIA HAS BEEN INCREDIBLE! Everything from prostitute villages, to HIV children homes, hospitals, slum medical camps, and Hindu street evangelism, we have seen it all. Everything from slumdog millionaire children, poverty, and more. We've seen desperate children with knife wounds, missing limbs, etc pulling on our clothes at an outdoor Hillsong concert, on street corners, and in the markets. We have played criket and other games in the slums as children (pillalu) come running and touching our hair and skin, wanting hugs and kisses.

We have been hands and feet of Jesus as we are laying hands on the sick and seeing healing, touching the heads of children and adults and seeing deliverance, infilling of the holy spirit, and healings. We have been to youth camps where we have led worship in front of 500 bible students, in churches from the slums to the ritz, and villages where the women wear traditional dress that reflect tribal ware to keep snakes and tigers from injury. We've been in traffic that is life and death, and have seen things that people would have nightmares about. Children in apparent hopeless situations desperate for a touch of life. We have given out medicine in the slums, huts made of trash. Cows do not graze in fields but in dumps. Rickshaw getaways from fights on the streets, and living in a city with 8.3 million people.

The food keeps our stomach alive and the extreme heat of both the sun (115 degrees) and food kept sweat dripping from every crevis of our bodies. We have gotten used to eating with our right hand, wiping with the left, and being barefoot almost all the time except in dirt. We sleep in a beautiful place with a rooftop view of the city as well as the constant running of the blue train that graces our house multiple times a day. Our power in our house is unpredicable and showers are buckets filled up and poured over us. This place is incredible. Our time here has been phenomenal.

We have truly seen restoration in people in ways that contradict western culture and western church theology. We have heard and spoken to countless people who have walked years in Islam and Hinduism and finally found Jesus... their lives forever transformed. Testimonies of lives and trials that bring tears to our team, realizing that we as Americans have no concept of true honor, sacrifice, and adversity.
Jesus lives here. He is working and making himself so visible to his children here in India. I wish that Jesus would show himself in the US in the ways he does here. We have a new understanding of the power of praying in the holy spirit. We have new revelation of prayer and the importance of it, due to finding ourselves in situations where truly the only way out must have been created by the Lord. We have had team members in hospitals, found ourselves in hiding, and pulling late late nights in prayer and worship. We seriously live in a city where even mapquest and google earth have no reign. We navigate by the sun and spend most our days driving to ministry sites no less than 1 hour away. Our team is close, and have bonded well. Vulnerability and prayer keep our hearts as one, ministry happens daily among our team, and contacts. The enemy has tried to tear our team apart through sickness, unpredicatable flexibility, and life threatening situations. But as always... he has failed. The enemy has been defeated and Jesus is reigning in INDIA!! GOD IS SO FAITHFUL!

We have 3 days left here. Today concluded our last "ministry day." Tomorrow begins resort day one... we have saved our free day money the entire trip to allocate to debreif days... we are all getting massages and staying at a phenomenal place... and it is deserved. We leave the night of the 10th and travel all day on the 11th, arriving in Tulsa that night. We look forward to seeing all of you! Continue to pray as all teams begin debriefing in their respected countries. Also pray for FIJI... they start their 2nd month on our return. Jesus' name is being exalted in nations around the world. Peoples lives will never be the same and on the other side of eternity we will see slum children, the sick made well, the HIV+ restored and whole. Jesus gets all the praise here in India.
Make His name glorious. You have 3 days left... ministry and missions is lifestyle and the best is yet to come!!

Love you and thinking about you as well!

 

India Breezes, Slums, and Slumdog Millionaire // May 24, 2009

Imagine This... Every morning you wake up in your own sweat. Stop... what do you think of India right now... haha... I LOVE THIS PLACE!!

Ok.. keep imagining this... You are driving down the street in an SUV with windows that do not go up and the wind blowing in your face. India music plays on the radio, and out the window this is what you see... Trash on the road, and in the gutters. Passing buildings that are half constructed or look war stricken. Fading and peeling paint make for beauitful photography. Motorcylcles with anywhere from 1 to 5 people on them, Buses, and Trucks filled with people. They are flying by you down the roads which do not have lanes and you are driving on the other side of the road. traffic and driving here is unbelievable... It is horrible. No crosswalks, no traffick lanes. All is fair in love and war. Cows standing NOT in pastures but in trash dumps and eating what they find on the side of the road. Dogs roam and men pee on the side of the road. I think I have spotted 3 children that have pooped in a gutter where people walk, and I have seen about 6 camels running down the street. Sometimes I feel like I am in one of the Borne Movies, Spygame, or in Indian Jones. Somtimes little children come up to glass windows tapping, begging for money. Little kids play cricket in an alley or in a field covered in trash, dirt, and little grass. The heat is beating down, and beads of sweat drip down every part of your body. A language heard and spoken that YOU cannot understand, and only wish you could.

This is my life daily here in Hyderabad, India. I have been here for 2 weeks or 15 days. I have 15 more days here. I absolutely love this place.

The culure is so great! It is opposite of everything I know. I am learning the language of Telegu... and little Hindu kids are the ones teaching me. The bathrooms dont have tissue paper and so this is what my left hand is for, however we make sure to keep it on us. The colors of this city are beautiful, the clothing radiant and the markets filled with music, life, and people. The weather can be wonderful at times, and horriible at others. Nights are phenomenal with cool showers, lightening, and big breezes. Every night I see a constellation I am unfamiliar with. From the rooftop of my house, where i am stayin in the country and outskirts of the city, I can see a train that passes by about 10 times a day. It reminds me of SlumDog Millionaire. Everyone rides bikes here. The taxis are yellow rickshaws (pictures to come). The people stare at me. I am a skyscaper in a field in this city. I actually have to hid my face and head sometimes to avoid commotion. Children giggle at the site of me and play and touch my skin. I make them laugh.

My heart has been filled with so much joy here in India. The people are so sweet and the children are not like any other children I have seen in the world. My hearts gets broken everyday I stay here. I have cried and laughed so much.

For those of you who do not know, let me tell you what I have been doing so far here in this country.
Let me give you a summary.
Some days I am in the Slums of Hyderabad. Walking through dirt piles, fly-infested "kitchens", and playing games with little kids who grab my hand and touch my skin because it is something they havent seen in another color. Shy little faces peek around corners to see the "americans" and all want "snaps" taken of them.
Other days I am on a stage singing songs and playing my guitar in youth services or churches. Preaching some days, and listening others.
I have been to orphanages, HIV hospitals, and villages. Two days ago I was in a prostitute village, sharing my testimony, and introducing Jesus and his healing touch to a group of Hindu women hungry for a love they have never known. All they know is this lifestyle of making money and living day to day by selling themselves daily. I sat and talked with these women. We laughed, hugged, shared stories, and prayed. This is the extraordinary life and this is relationship. They did not want me to go. I realized that even though these women now know Jesus, they still have to return to thier lifestyle. It messes with American thinking. But God is a protector and restorer. For this group of women there is no other option for income. Either they die along with thier kids and families or they sell themselves for income to have a simple meal. Jobs are not available, especially to these women. But God is bigger and can protect the physical and emotion state of these new believers.
This is just a few things I have done and seen while I have been here in Hyderabad. Seriously, people would not be able to understand or picture what I have experienced, seen, and touched here in India. We eat with our right hand, never using utensils, and the food has flavor incomparable to any american dish. I think I have become more health concious and picky haha.

Well, this is all I can write right now. I have to go put on my sari (indian garb) and get ready to go to a youth service. I am in charge of games.
I definitely have a lot more stories, even some life threatening situations, and some experiences that YOU have never experienced.... But I'll keep you in suspense and anticipation until next time!

Keep praying for me and my team. Our health has been good but we definitely need the protection and favor of God. Christians are not liked very much here, and we have already encountered this opposition. We are safe and alive and hope you are have a great summer! More stories to come!

Roommates // March 29, 2009

I am sitting in my room @ 2 pm on Sunday. The last few days have been so funny with the weather. Friday, cool but then insane storms and thunder, buckets and buckets of rain... Saturday, a blizzard blows through with the high of 30 degrees and sheets of snow, layers upon layers... and then today, 60 is the high with sunshine... what the blazes!!??

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Starve what you want to die // January 25, 2009

Everytime I am in this house i get great revelations... I had a simple one about a week ago and it came back today too... it goes something like this....

I am in the kitchen, yes men, I am cooking. I am with 2 little kids and we are making a welcome home cake for their parents who have been gone for 4 days. I am also in the process of making them breakfast, they want cinnamon rolls... I realize that already this morning I have had yogurt, some cereal, chai tea, an english muffin, and im about to eat a cinammon roll...hmmm yummy, so good.

 

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To Hell and Back... I am forever thankful for a redeemed life // November 27, 2008

I have quite a lot to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day. After pounding tons of food, feeling like my belly might be full like “twins,” I sat downstairs, just talking with the women of the house about family and God and literally, just our lives. Where we’ve been, where we’ve come, everything in between. We shared testimonies and things the Lord had done for us. Wow. Hah. How awesome it is to think of everything: every battle, every victory, every situation and trial… and how I am still alive, a smile on my face, Joy in my heart, eyes on Jesus.

I went to Dallas this Thanksgiving, a little different than the norm. I was given the honor of staying with a family over the ORU Thanksgiving Break. HOW AWESOME IT FELT, to be with a family.

I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving in 5 years. I wish I could be. My family means the world to me and I am forever thankful for them.

Tonight, I sat and listened to a woman share about the death of her son, nearly two years ago. I listened to a woman talk about the prayers that had gone out, and had been faithfully answered by God. I sat remembering what life was like before giving my life to Jesus, what it felt like to live without Truth inside of me. I shared about the second chance God gave me, redeeming my life and giving me a life I never thought possible but only heard about.

God ordains my feet. He knew I was supposed to be in Dallas this weekend, He knew I was supposed to be at ORU as a freshman 5 years ago, He knew that I needed him, He knew I had a reason to be alive.

I have SO much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my Jesus, my Savior. He redeemed my life, unlocked my self-created cage of torment, sin, deceit and manipulation, giving me a hope of earthly and eternal life! His love is all that I need and HE is the ONLY thing that I found that has set me free from it all!

I am thankful for my family. They have brought me joy, and laughter, and at other times have frustrated me, teaching me to love unconditionally, to love despite, and to look to Jesus. They are my support, my encouragers, my dreams-supporters, and they believe in everything I put my hand to. They love me so much, they tell me, and they don’t even need to, I already know. They are my prayer warriors, they too have come to know Jesus. They break for the things of God and are determined. They are the guards of our families heart, it beats for love and unity, though it wouldnt always look like it. They are lovers and cuddlers, they love attention and love to give it.

I am thankful for my friends. For their honesty, their faithfulness, their ability to love me while I walk through processes and trials, they make me laugh, they challenge me to walk with high standards and never look away from God and his plans for our lives. They sharpen as iron, refining, shaping, influencing, and the ones that will pray for me regardless of the time or hour. They tell me when I don’t listen or need to listen better. They know when to talk and when not to. They ask me for help when they need it, or I ask them when I do. They listen, they pray, and they point me to the Lord. They know they are only human, but are confident that God is God.

I am SO thankful for My life and everything in it. I have traveled the World, done exciting things. I own a car, I have gifts and abilities, some even call me a jack of all trades. I can sing (I think and hope), and can play instruments, I am a problem solver, I can snowboard, skateboard, play sports, and read. I am great with people, thats what Im told, and I have to agree... i love people. I can communicate (some times better than other times). I can write my full name on a piece of paper, my mind thinks clearly most of the time, the best when I am alert. I can speak and I can walk, even run when I feel like it. I have no limits, and when I exceed them, that is when I will meet my Jesus in Heaven. Ha. I can take risks and have the ability to feel emotions and the effects of them on me. I know what goes into loving someone, and know what its like to be broken and damaged as a result. I am a lover and a forgiver, and I will fight through anything. I want to be one that gives life. I have reasons to smile, but even when I don’t feel like I have them, I still smile. I am even thankful for the name given to me. Maggie, it means Pearl. A pearl is the rarest of all the precious stones because it is the only one that is created from something living. I didn’t realize or learn this until just a few months ago actually, and it is a reminder of my value and the thoughts of God towards me. I always have wanted to be someone that is life-giving, speaking life and encouragement, brightening someone’s day. Without them knowing my heart, people have told me that I radiate Christ, something I once dreamed of during a time when I was once lifeless, joyless, hopeless and trapped. Dreams do come true, thanks to the lover of my soul.

I pray that my life is a life of thanksgiving. That praise to God would continually be on my lips. That in all things I thank the Lord for what he has done. I will praise and thank Him in the Good times and the Bad, because he is the one who loved me enough and brought me into this awesome life. I want to live a life of love. With God inside of me, I will have no problem doing this, because he is my continual help. He shows me how to love Him, love myself, and love those around me. He is my ability and confidence to love people, even the ones I meet on the streets of India or Spain, or even the Wal-Mart across the street. He has taught me Truth, and the ways of life. Which way to walk and where not to. It’s up to me, to make the choice.

I am forever thankful for this life I have been given. My life will never be the same because of Christ. My life is not my own ☺

 

LTEL // March 13, 2010

I started this blog at 10:12 pm on Saturday, March 13th. I am in the comfort of parents house enjoying an awesome cup of sweet tea.

I am loving the life that I have been given. I call it, LTEL. Living the extraordinary life. It is nothing glamorous at the moment, actually, it is very ordinary.  Along with two of my best girl friends, Elle and Rachel, we created this saying, LTEL, in the fall of 2007. It is the phrase used as a mark and reminder of the life that we've been given and will live out from now on. However, the reason our lives are extraordinary is because of the only one that sets us apart. His name is Jesus.

He gives us the ability to live extraordinarily lives in a very ordinary life. I love it. I love my life. We love our lives.

This blog was created as a place where I could share my life with others.

It will have stories, thoughts, encounters, and encouragement from my own life and the processes that the Lord is taking me through.

A lot of what is already on here (all posts March 13th) are anywhere from 1-3 years old, but I figured it was about time to condense them into one place besides my journal: Blogspot so people can have some background to what happens from here on out.

So... enjoy and watch the process of God in my life as I continue journalling all that God is doing in me... He is the main focus of my life, and why I do everything that I do.