Ash Adventures

When we moved we had to rename our house, since our old name was partially our old address.  So Sarah combined the first letter of all our names and created the “mash” house.

Well our dear “m” aka Melbie happens to be in her homeland of Michigan, which ironically begins with a “m” as well.  “M” is missed.

That’s how we get to “ash adventures.”  Yesterday we went to a nearby creek to go tubing or “floating” as they call it here.  Well floating didn’t quite describe one very low and rocky part of the creak, if you ask me.  As Sarah and I approached this spot we realized that our raft had lost almost all of it’s air.

We literally bounced through the current and rocks.  I landed on a rock with another girl I had just met, who had a very bloody knee.  From that point, we were able to crab crawl to the shore.  Our poor raft was completely flat with two big gashes in it. Who knew we were so tough on that poor thing?   I looked around and saw a pretty rough looking group with bloody elbows, knees, and one girls hip.

We were about 15 minutes down the creek, and had about an hour and a half of creek left.  Thankfully the men stepped in, began blowing up rafts, and the girls restructured everyone so that we would have rafts to go down on.

I got a “river rat” tube, which was my friend for the rest of the quite peaceful ride. Despite the trauma, it was well worth it.  It was a beautiful ride, and made me really grateful for Northern California.  I wish would have had a camera to capture the view of the mountain at the top of the creek!

Here are a few of the battle wounds… (can I just say some are not quite blog appropriate?)

ta da!

last week i wrote about learning how to distress furniture, so today i thought i’d share with some pics of my finished room.  considering all the furniture was either given to me or bought at a garage sale or thrift store, i am pretty proud of it!

after sharing a room for the last few years i have a whole new perspective on having MY OWN room.  although my roommates are just across the hall.  (i couldn’t let them get too far away!)

we feel so blessed with new house we just moved into.  it feels so peaceful, and has a beautiful deck surrounded by trees that make East Texas seem a little closer.  i’ve already entertained many times since being back.  what a blessing!

over my head…

Yesterday morning I served in the healing rooms at church.  We get into groups of two or three and ask the Lord to touch the sick.  Some come into receive healing in their hearts as well.

A young man came to our group and as soon as came a heaviness seemed to descend like a cloud that surrounded him.  It was clear that he needed freedom more than anything else.  I asked him if he wanted to be free, and began to see an inner struggle in his eyes.  A battle clearly raged in him.  A great call rested on this young man and it was obvious that the enemy was threatened by him.  We waited on the Lord and soon after realized that the counseling this man needed were more than we could offer him.  We found another lady who specialized in counseling and asked for her assistance.  She took him and began to process with him at a deeper level.  I felt in over my head with this situation.

As he left us we prayed over him and ourselves, rejecting anyway the enemy wants to bring discouragement, hopelessness, or depression.  You don’t often hear stories like this one from people in ministry, yet I think it is important.  I feel that I need to be more vulnerable with the moments where I am humbled and feel incapable.  The truth of the matter is that He doesn’t give me more than I can handle.  But I must be honest sometimes it feels this way.

John Maxwell puts it like this, “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”

After yesterday morning, I went to the prayer chapel, and just soaked in God’s presence.  I sought for the reality of Him to be greater that what felt so real in that ministry time.

The true test came today as the sermon ended and it was time for the ministry team to come forward.  I had a choice.  I could bask in the failure of yesterday, or I could again chose to step out.  Each time it is a risk.  Each time there is potential to get in over my head.  I chose to step out.

The first lady I prayed for had severe back pain diagnosed in terms I probably couldn’t pronounce let alone spell.  So I leave the details of her condition alone.  I began to pray inviting the presence of God to come.  The pain left her upper back and her legs.  Hallelujah!  The pain in her lower back still remained.  I felt prompted to ask her in anyone had ever measure her legs before.  She said no, so I had her sit down and extend her legs.  Sure enough, her right leg was about a half an inch shorter.  I said one time, “I command this leg to grow out in the name of Jesus.”  And faster that I have ever seen that leg just shot out!  She jumped from her chair, laughing and dancing.  It took a minute for her to calm down enough for me to ask her about the pain.  Through laughter and excitement at so clearly seeing God touch her she exclaimed, “it’s gone, the pain is gone!”  We thanked God, and I moved on to pray for the next person.

The bottom line here is a lot of stuff is over my head, but ALL things have been placed underneath His feet. (Ephesians 1:22 and Hebrews 2:8)

We never know the breakthrough that lies on the other side of risk.  We must step out to increase in grace and anointing.  We must fear Him more than failure, for He is greater than any failure.

I pray that today you will step out.  I pray that you will get in over your head!  I pray that you will see greater breakthroughs in your life than you could of ever dreamed.

remember when?

I love “remember when’s”!  My patient siblings have heard my stories countless times.  My roommates laugh at my stories, and the fact that they will hear them all multiple times.  I am quite the sentimental one so I cherish the moments I get with those my heart holds so dear.  Thankfully my family and friends patiently listen as I often laugh through recollecting.

Thursday I flew back from Texas to California.  For some reason telling family goodbye seemed harder this time around.  Maybe it was the big blue eyes of seven nieces and nephews I now look into when it is time to go.  I’ve traveled quite a bit, yet leaving the ones your heart loves doesn’t get easier, does it?  Even at the age of 26, I felt a little teary telling my mama bye.

I guess it doesn’t help the matter that I’m not quite sure what He has for me this summer.  Opportunities have come and gone, and all I’ve felt is where He wants me.

I put on my iPod, and soon realized I wasn’t alone.  As I sat on the plane I discovered something.  My heavenly Father loves “remember when’s” just like I do.  He began to speak to me.  He began to remind me of some of the most amazing trips and opportunities that have come my way.  I soon realized that sometimes it was the very thing I didn’t want to do, that was laced with incredibly good gifts.

In 2008 after finishing an exhausting project, I just wanted to rest for a bit.  I wanted to catch my breath, and actually get some sleep for a change.  The next thing I knew my leader mentioned 4 states and how he felt we where to send teams to them. As soon as he said Pennsylvania, I knew.  But I pushed that little prompting down as far as I could.

Later we began to wait on the Lord as a team to discover where God wanted us to go.  We waited for a moment, then one of my good friends looked up and said, “I think Anna is supposed to go to PA.”  Four others second that motion.  I was a little annoyed and let them know they were supposed to be praying about where they were supposed to go and to kindly leave me out of it!

At this point you may think I’m a bit ridiculous in my demand of the LORD… and maybe your right?

So I told the LORD I didn’t have the money for that trip, and if He wanted me to go on that trip he would have to provide “x” amount.  He told me someone to email.  In a matter of hours, they told me they would give me 2x my “x” amount.

Finally I began to surrender!  (He is ridiculously patient with this girl, isn’t He?)

The trip turned out to awaken so many things in me including a new leadership style, greater humility, learning to use worship in warfare, a heart for Israel, and a desire to go there.

So my Father is reminding me of His faithfulness.  He is using “remember when’s” with me just like He did with the Israelites many years ago.

Turns out that my love of remembering is yet another way I am made in His image.

the big picture.

This year in class, a speaker was teaching on dreaming.  He challenged each of us to write out a list of 100 dreams.

So one day, I sat down and began writing.  My pen slowed down around dream 86.  Perhaps I have a little visionary in me?  The last 20 or so came a little slower, but I am proud to say that as of this week I have over 100 dreams for this life.

I think dreaming is so important and so much a part of being created in His image, the Ultimate Dreamer.

In the midst of dreams I find it also important to discover what season we are in.  This has been my challenge stepping into this summer.  I have been asking the Lord what season does He have me in.

This morning I believe He spoke into that.  The trouble with finding out what dream I am in now is that it inevitable means surrendering the other 99+ dreams this heart holds so dear.

But surrender I will.  I pray over this life that He would breath on everything that I labor after.  I don’t want to do any dead works without His wind blowing.

The tension of dreaming is that it often requires waiting as well as surrender.  In this “now” generation sometimes the time between writing the dream and seeing it fulfilled almost seems unbearable.

But the beauty of dreaming is that it gives me the bigger picture.  I am so small in the light of eternity and even the vastness of the universe, yet He has chosen me.

He has chosen me to be a part of His story.  He sees me wholly, flaws and all, and yet He still lets me play a role is seeing His dreams accomplished.

So this morning I surrender to the season.  I surrender the dreams yet to come to pass.  I surrender to His love.  I surrender to His call.  I surrender to His voice.

He is so trustworthy.

just a spoiled girl…

I have spent the last week and a half with my sweet brothers and sisters, and the cutest, most adorable children in the world.

I am grateful for the laughs, the tears, deep conversations, the “remember when’s”, the prayers, meals shared, and adventures had.

I am thankful to have a family I truly enjoy spending time with.

I am thankful for the sweet smell of babies.

I am thankful for the inquisitive minds of six year olds.  

I am thankful for affirmation from a five year old boy.

I am thankful for “tickle spots”, and one of the best laughs I know.

I am thankful for a baby girl who will fall asleep in my arms.

I am thankful for ridiculously generous siblings.

I am thankful my siblings married well.

I am thankful that my sister prayed for a little sister, and got ME!

I am thankful that she is and always has been my best friend.

I am grateful for amazing week I am going to have with my mom and dad.