Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer

“Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I’ll follow, though I’m worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart’s testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart’s testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go –
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart’s testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.”


I learned this song years ago when my church introduced it. It’s one of the Getty’s songs and I dare say it’s one of my favorites.

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Hills and Valleys

(Part 3)
Still July 21, 2017
I asked God, “how is it possible for me to praise You when I feel so low? How can I possibly thank You in this difficult situation?”
A song got stuck in my head right then and there. It was a tiny whisper of Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells. When I heard it on the radio for the first time, I remember thinking to myself, “this is a pretty cool song. God is the God of the hills and the valleys in life. Also, this guy’s voice is amazing. Isn’t he from Royal Tailor? 😛 “
Because I just could not get the chorus out of my head, I looked up the lyrics. I also wanted to find out if Tauren was the singer from Royal Tailor or not ’cause I wasn’t sure. (He is, but he’s no longer with Royal Tailor.)
Here are the lyrics that encouraged me:

I’ve walked among the shadows
You wiped my tears away
And I’ve felt the pain of heartbreak
And I’ve seen the brighter days
And I’ve prayed prayers to heaven from my lowest place
And I have held Your blessings
God You give and take away
No matter what I have, Your grace is enough
No matter where I am, I’m standing in Your love

(chorus)
On the mountains I will bow my life to the One who set me there
In the valley I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain I didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley I know I am not alone
You’re God of the hills and valleys, hills and valleys
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone

I had to write the lyrics down in my journal. I needed that reminder that my God is not just the God of my good days. He is the God of my good and bad days. He is bigger than anything and everything that takes place in my life.
I needed that reminder that if God chooses to place me on a mountain where everything is great and wonderful and beautiful, I need to stay humble. I need to bow low to the ground because I didn’t climb up there by myself.
I needed that reminder that when things get hard and I find myself walking through a valley, I need to look up and know that my God didn’t leave me alone. I love Psalm 23:4. It says,
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
There is no need to despair. Sure, there’s a time to weep and mourn and say, “Why, Lord?!?!?” But there’s no need to lose heart. It really is possible to sing to the Lord and praise Him while you’re walking through a valley.
How did I come to that conclusion?
I made a list of God’s characteristics according to what the Scriptures say.
Here are a few:
He is faithful.
He is patient.
He is holy.
He is just.
His timing is perfect.
He sees all and knows all. (He is omniscient.)
He is everywhere. (He is omnipresent.)
He is all powerful. (He is omnipotent.)
When I started to see how big God is and how small my problems were compared to Him, I felt kind of silly for making such a big deal about this. I began to see that no matter where I am in life, I can look to my heavenly Father and know He sees me where I am. He is constantly consistent. There is never a moment where He is not who He says He is and that is such a comforting thought to me.
He’s God of the hills and the valleys.
And I am not alone.

When You’re Lonely

1. Clean something. Anything. Your room, the closet, the bathroom mirror.

2. Do some laundry.

3. Sing your favorite song.

4. Call a friend.

5. Friend’s busy? Call another friend.

6. Write to a loved one. Or text. Or both.

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7.  Make cookies or cupcakes.

8. Do something artsy- craftsy.

9. Wash the dishes while listening to your favorite band.

10. Do something nice for someone you love.

11. Snuggle with a baby.

12. Read a book.

13. Journal. Write out your thoughts.

14. Watch a movie.

15. Cook dinner.

16. Do some more laundry. (Those blankets haven’t been washed in a while.)

17. Vacuum.

18. Plant something. Or offer to take care of someone’s garden while they’re out of town.

19. Eat those cookies you made earlier.

20. Call your favorite aunt or uncle.

21. Cuddle a puppy.

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22. Pray for someone you love.

23. Tell that person you prayed for them.

24. Color a picture.

25. Watch the Jamie Grace Show.

26. Make a bucket list.

27. Make a grocery list.

28. Make a To Do list.

29. Don’t forget about those things you put in the washing machine and hour ago.

30. Have a backwards dinner. Eat your ice cream before your veggies.

31. Go find and talk to the frogs in your backyard. They might be lonely too. (Apparently one was because he was in my house this morning.)

32. Read Psalm 139.

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33. Tell God about your loneliness.

34. Go for a walk or a bike ride.

35. Go visit a friend.

36. Cuddle another baby. Or puppy.

37. Take a nap.

38. Organize your sock drawer, your dresses, or your shirts by color.

39. Rearrange your bookshelves

40. Make yourself a cup of tea and have another cookie.

You are not alone.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psalms 34:18 NKJV

For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Psalms 107:9 NKJV

The Best Is Yet To Come

So there was this song I heard a long time ago when I was visiting Jami. We were in her car driving home from The Big White House. Windows were rolled down and the sun was setting. I remember now that we had Pandora’s music on shuffle and this song came up. I never caught the lyrics or even the name of the song, but I really liked the tune.

I found the song yesterday.

It’s “The Best Is Yet To Come” by Sheppard.

The lyric video is here.

This has been floating around in my head for years. I can’t even tell you how thrilled I am that I found this. 😄

Good Gifts

You don’t realize how special your family is. 99% of the time, you take them for granted whether they’re around or not.

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That is until you have special moments like these.

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Becca tho. Why.

When you’re together and you catch up on life.

 

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When you’re laughing so hard your sides hurt and you’re crying. Or you stay up till 2am and literally fall asleep talking to each other.

That was what happened when the cousins came. We haven’t seen them in a couple of years, but they came to visit for New Year’s weekend. It was so so good. I didn’t realize how much I missed them and loved them until they had to go. I cried so hard the day they left. I had taken them for granted.


My uncle flew in from Korea and stayed with us for like ten days or so. Komo came for two days during that time. Oh, and Uncle Joe surprised us and stayed with us too. So we had our family reunion and played games and watched movies. Here are some of my favorite moments.

That time when we watched Inside Out and we all cried together.

All the puzzles we put together. With every piece, Uncle David would say, “This is key.”

When we played games and Uncle David said,”The losers shall eat chocolate because they are sad.”

The fact that Uncle Joe brought more food than clothes with him when he arrived. How does he manage to get everything through security?!?!? #donutsfordays #whitecastle #ilovemyuncle

Sam was baptized the same weekend both uncles were here. (Komo unfortunately had to go back to work.)

With every game we played, Uncle David calculated the probability of the dice or the cards and insisted that we trust the math… Because the math works and math is life.


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We also took a trip down to Texas to see some friends. Man, have I missed these girls!

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An unexpected surprise! We got to see Aunt Laura and Uncle Kerry!

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Aunt Laura and Uncle AJ renewed their wedding vows for their 25th anniversary.

Hearing parts of their journey together and hearing their new promises to each other with the ocean crashing behind them was such a privilege. Being married to only each other for 25 years is a rarity. It’s one thing to get married, but it’s another thing to stay married. Their marriage and my parents’ marriage are a testimony to the Lord’s goodness and His grace. That’s the kind of marriage I want–one that is firmly anchored to the Lord and to be growing and encouraging each other to be more like Christ.

 

With all the people I got to see these past few months, James 1:17 kept coming to mind. Every soul I got to see, every hug I got to give, and every laugh we shared was a beautiful gift from the Father of lights. I don’t know when I’ll get to see them again. It’s more fun now that we’re older, but it’s also harder to get together because we’re working and there’s college and life happens. But I realize that my family is important. I often take them for granted, but they are a good, good gift from my heavenly Father. I need to make time for them. I may not see my friends on a regular basis, but every text message, every card, and every skype call or lunch date is a good, good gift from my Father. I can’t take that for granted.

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“These are the days, these are the days. The days we’ll never get back. These are the days, these are the days. And these days are all we have.”

Winter Is Here

Christmas is upon us.

I can smell it in the air.

Cold.

Biting.

Freezing.

You can see your breath in puffs.

Clouds of warm air evaporating in the chilly atmosphere.

Whispy.

Short-lived.

Poof.

Lights glimmering in the night.

Deer and angels dancing with the shadows.

Rooftops glowing.

Windows sparkling.

It’s magical.

Christmas carols echoing in the distance.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Rejoice!

Hallelujah!

Gloria!

My cup runneth over with hot chocolate.

(Mexican’s my favorite)

Cookies fill the countertops.

Plates are passed around.

There’s warmth.

Joy.

Love.

Eyes are closed and sweets are savoured.

Hearts are full.

Memories are made.

It’s a good life.

It’s a rich life.

It’s a beautiful life.

There’s hope.

Comfort.

Peace.

For unto us a Child is born,

And the government will be upon His shoulder;

And His name will be called

Wonderful,

Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

{Isaiah 9:6}

 

We Rocked the Park

Fury 325 though.

 

I love roller coasters and all, but this one is a bucket-list-one-time-experience-ordeal. I’m never getting on that one again. It’s 325′ tall and has a max speed of 95 mph. I died a little and now I’m terrified to get back on there.

Also, I went to a concert with Dad and E. It was an amazing night.

I was so psyched that my two favorite bands were in one concert! Matt Maher and the Newsboys were bonuses. 🙂

The whole thing was just fantastic. I had a rough week and this concert was something that I was looking forward to. I expected an epic night. I knew I would have a great time because hey, I get to see my two favorite bands plus two more great bands in one night! I had hopes that I would hear my favorite songs played. But I didn’t expect this:

Joel literally walked down the row in front of us! I knew he and Luke would probably walk through the crowd to say hi and whatnot, but never did I imagine that he would walk right in front of me! That was a little exciting.

Love & the Outcome was a fabulous start. I heard old songs as well as new songs. You can bet that I’m going purchase their new album when it’s released this fall. I really like how they’re a husband and wife duo and that they write songs with such solid lyrics that I found myself worshiping Jesus with. I was so encouraged by their songs last night.

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Matt Maher was great.

For King & Country was wonderful.

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The Newsboys described themselves as crazy, and I agree. They’re crazy about Jesus and crazy about sharing His love with the world one city at a time.

What amazes me is that hundreds of people came to see these bands and have a great time at the park, but they also heard multiple times throughout the evening that it’s because of Jesus Christ that they’re all standing here today. It’s because of Jesus and His crazy love for us that He left Heaven to die on the cross, take all of our sins, and purchase our salvation. I heard it in the songs, from all of the artists themselves, and I could see it in the men and women who sang and cheered. I was reminded that my life has a purpose and that is to glorify God in all that I say and do. I was reminded of how much hope I have and where it should be placed. I was reminded of Who is truly important. I was reminded that life is short. That roller coaster reminded me of my mortality. Believe me, I was thanking God that I didn’t die during those very long three minutes!

When I was singing and I dropped my self-consciousness and insecurity, I felt so much joy and freedom. Maybe I was just on a spiritual high because I had a rough week and this lifted my spirits. But I believe I worshiped God that night. I believe I glorified Him by raising my hand, by singing every song I knew, and clapping. That’s what matters, right? That I was fixated almost always on Him, not on the artists, and that during the concert, afterwards, and even now, I’m still thanking Him for the reminders that He is God. He is alive. He is with us. He is my help. And it is such an honor that He would give me the privilege to have a personal relationship with Him.

It was an amazing night and one that I’m going to remember for a long time.