Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I tend find that when I hear something over and over again, God is preparing me for something... or trying to get a message across. For example, for weeks before the fire, my daily Bible reading revolved around God's faithfulness and goodness. I heard over and over again, "I am Faithful, Allysa, I am always good and I am always in control." One Sunday on our way home from church, I even told Tevie that I felt as though I was being prepared for something hard, a tragedy, if you will... that I had this feeling that something was about to happen and I needed to be prepared... not because I had some psychic vision, but because, through repetition and other divine interventions, God was telling me that NO MATTER WHAT, He remains the same.
I heard someone say a few weeks ago that if you feel God is distant from you, it's because you moved. He never moves. Aren't you grateful for that? Grateful that we don't have to chase Him, that He isn't making us play some supernatural game of tag. He stands, arms wide open, patiently waiting for us as we throw our pity parties, follow the paths of the world, and search for fulfillment outside of His grace.
I don't know about you, but for me, song lyrics can speak to me in a way that spoken words can't. Maybe because I am so musically minded. If you put something to music, I can remember it. Weird, I know. It's been that way since I was a kid. During those weeks, or months, of preparation one song came up again and again. Which, to me, means it's important and I better listen. Here are the words and you can find the Hillsong United version here.

Hide me now
Under your wings
Cover me
within your mighty hand
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God
Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know his power
In quietness and trust
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God

The first time I heard this song I wept uncontrollably... in my car, of all places. The most comforting words in this song are the prepositions. Knowing that when life's storms are raging, Jesus and I are ABOVE them and He is King OVER the flood. "Who is this man that even the wind and waves obey Him?", his disciples asked. So, when I feel as though I am drowning, it's because I took my eyes off Jesus and began to sink. Now, we're human and because we have to live in chaos every day, it's going to feel like we're wading right through the middle of Hurricane Katrina. I find comfort in knowing that I'm not wading alone. There's Someone with a huge umbrella and (Praise Him!) a bigger paddle than mine, because I'm too weak to paddle the whole way.
In the words of my beautiful, precious, Jesus-lovin' friend, Kristin, I've been overwhelmed lately by the fact that Jesus is a pretty big deal... and most people have no idea. As I sat around with my dear girlfriends last night, we talked about just hard life is right now. How satan is at us from EVERY angle (that jerk!) but even in the midst of the mess, we have a peace that passes all understanding. My heart aches that there are people who don't know that peace. Who have no idea what life with a Savior is like.
I have no idea what's going on in your life right now. I know most days mine feels completely upside down. I'm exhausted, busy, depressed, joyful and various other emotions all in the same hour sometimes. I heard a preacher say one time that if you don't feel the devil hitting you head on, it's because you're moving in the same direction. SO, when satan attacks and attacks and attacks, I praise God because it means I must be doing something right!
Life.Is. HARD. But, praise be to God, He's in control and is weaving our current struggles into a beautiful tapestry, even though all we see right now is the messy, tangled underside.
Stay strong and keep the faith- the reward is SO worth it!


Late Night Ponderances

First, I am not even sure that ponderances is a word and, if it is, if it's spelled correctly, but it was the first thing that came to mind. I started this blog weeks ago... I don't why I am just now posting it, but God knew exactly when I needed to post it. It may mean more to those I love now. Ironically, I wrote this the day before the house fire... I am so grateful I have to opportunity to say all of these things, but there's another reminder that we aren't promised tomorrow.

September 15-
I don't know whether to blame it on stress or the 4 diet cokes I had yesterday, but I couldn't fall asleep last night. For all you type-A's out there, you know the feeling. When you didn't finish assignments at work, your homework, or even the laundry, you lay there feeling too guilty to go to sleep but not guilty enough to get out of the bed and actually accomplish something.
On Sunday afternoon (9/12/10)  my family learned that my Great Aunt Faith and Uncle Greg were in a very serious motorcycle accident. While I love my Aunt and Uncle very much, my mom has been an emotional wreck. She and my Aunt Faith have always been extremely close and since losing my grandmother in 2002, she has, in my opinion, looked to Faith for maternal guidance. While their injuries are very serious- we still don't know the extent of my uncle's brain injury- we praise the Lord that they are alive. (update: both are out of the hospital. My uncle is in rehab and doing better all the time).
My mother-in-law was with me when mom told me the news. She said, "Well, that's how life is, isn't it? You never know when it's going to turn." Okay, maybe I shouldn't put that in quotations because it's not verbatim, but that's essentially what she said. She's so right. We just never know...
So, last night when I couldn't sleep, I worried if my family, the people I love so much, know just how much I love them? In your life, do they people who mean the most to you KNOW that they mean the most to you?
I hope that you'll indulge me while I give a couple of shout-outs to people who make a differene in my world. These words by no means capture the full meaning of my love for each of them, they are, rather, in the words of Julie Andrews, a few of my favorite things.

(You'll notice all of these are members of my family, that's because it's impossible to include all of the friends and LWC family that I hold so dear. That will be a seperate post of these days. Even better, because I am a Southern woman, not by birth, but by the grace of God ;), hopefully you all will receive a little handwritten note of these days. Southern women love pretty stationery and a reason to use it.)

To Gran- thank you for always singing while you worked, letting me watch you cook and bake, and teaching me the secrets to Mario 3, and for never making an excuse for Loving Jesus with all your heart.

Chuck- you instilled me a love of art, The Princess Bride, words games, and pretty clothes. Thank you for playing the same games over and over, reading the same stories again and again, and tickling my back until I fell asleep. But most importantly, you always let us catch you sitting quietly reading your bible.

Brynnie Sue- I'll never forget making our bunk bed into a rocket ship, countless hours of playing Barbies and house, and no matter how many times we moved, taking my best friend along. You are so beautiful.

Chaser Racer- your goofy, funny, crazy, laid-back attitude is so refreshing, and a total surprise since you grew up with two diva sisters. I am jealous of your athletic abilities and so proud of your desire to live for Jesus. You are growing into an incredible man of God. Stay strong and keep the faith. I love you, Francisco Rodrigo El Chupacabra Ramirez. :)

Dad- thank you for studying in front of us (you too, mom), striving for success and admitting when you're wrong. It's not easy to do but by doing so you've showed us that it's okay to make mistakes. Without that, this perfectionist would be out of control. I believe you want to be a man after God's own heart. Thanks for getting back up each time you fall and for loving me so much.

Mom- thank you for standing by your man, even when he drives you crazy, because by doing so you've been such a beautiful example of a faithful and loving wife. Thank you for being a confidant, my shopping buddy and my friend.

Tevie- you love me far more than I deserve. You are smarter than you give yourself credit for and I am so proud of you. I thank God everyday for blessing me with a man who lives to be a servant of His and strives to be more like Jesus everyday. You are all of those things AND ridiculously handsome... it's not even fair to the rest of the men in the world. :) Mostest. xo

Maybe one of these is exactly what you need to say to someone you love. Feel free to copy and paste. No need to cite the source. :)
We aren't promised tomorrow, so take full advantage of today.

Much Love,