No, no, and not really. Being a gentlemen isn’t about materialism. My top three interests are women, philosophy, and pop culture.
“Women are more likely to be attracted to personality and men are more likely to be attracted to physical...
I want continuous worship.
I want the Holy Spirit to consume my life.
I want wisdom and discernment.
I want prophetic words.
I want God’s eyes.
I want to see His children how He sees them.
I want to love people how He loves me.
I want my soul to always sing.
I want to see the unseen.
I want even more peace in my life.
I want to see His face.
I want to hear His voice.
I want to disciple the nations.
I want to bring His presence everywhere I go.
I want to dance with my Creator.
I want to run to Him, because He has captured my heart.
I want more and more and more of Him!
I want to be pursued.
I want to be romanced.
I want to be in deep, meaningful love.
I want to be second, because God is first.
I want to dance to no music.
I want to be kissed in the rain.
I want to go on adventures.
I want to be held.
I want to be pushed to greatness.
I want to cook dinner for two.
I want to pray with him.
I want to worship with him.
I want a box full of love letters.
I want the key to his heart.
I want to give him the key to mine.
In 1988, I was born in Portland, OR. In 1997, my family moved to Redding, CA. Since then I have left and came back twice. San Jose, CA for 6 months and Nampa, ID for 4 months.
Although I have moved a couple times in my life, no place I have been since 1997 has ever quite trumped my desire for Portland. I always missed it, and since I was about 18 I have had this amazing longing to move back. I could never really describe why, though. I was 9 when we moved to California, so I didn’t have much of a reference besides having a zoo with elephants near by and actually seeing snow in my front yard every winter.
But, longing and desire nonetheless.
As long as I have been thinking of a career, I have been thinking about children. Working with them… Not giving birth to them. When I started taking college classes I mainly focused on ECE (Early Childhood Education) because I assumed I wanted to be a preschool teacher. After getting halfway through the Intro To Curriculum class I quickly realized teaching wasn’t for me. So, I put school on hold again.
Fast forward 2 years. This past summer I read White Oleander and began thinking about the psychology side of working with children. Specifically, I considered being a social worker for foster kids (that book really broke my heart). Fall semester classes: Creative Writing, Anthropology (Religion, Myth, and Ritual), Human Sexuality, and Intro To Psychology. Okay, so really only one of those classes focuses on what I hope my major will end up being, but who cares?
While all of this is happening, my dad is researching more and more about the sex trafficking industry. He has a huge heart and it just breaks for everyone involved, specifically the children and young women being abducted into it. Over the past few months he has posted many blog posts about the destructive issue, and talked to me about different findings he has come up with. Once I told him my plan to become a social worker he immediately asked if I ever considered working with the kids who have been rescued from sex trafficking. I hadn’t, but now I was.
During all of this, God was doing some real work in me. I had spent the majority of this year with walls up in my heart. I didn’t know where they came from, but there was no doubt that they were there. I’m pretty sure I wrote a blog about it a couple weeks ago. Anyway, God broke down those walls and I was smiling again. My heart is happy and I can once again feel the peace of the Lord flowing through my life. Hosanna in the highest!
So.. Longing for Portland, feeling called to work with children, considering the psychology aspect, and more specifically, considering rescued children from the sex trafficking industry. This is what has happened so far.
This past weekend I was in Portland visiting some amazing people who I met in June. They were on tour, and since I was doing the booking for a local venue at the time, I booked their show. Instant friends. They are amazing. Seriously. I love them all dearly… Already.
They live in Salem, so we would drive to Portland to hang out every day. Well, the first day, while driving up to the city, I started talking to Anya about my thought of getting into the rescue industry and the aftercare part of it. Oh, this girl. THIS GIRL! They were words ringing in my ears. Heartbreaking, but revealing. Little did I know, Portland is one of the (if not the) highest trafficked cities in the country. Freaking seriously?! I had no idea. It makes sense, though. It is a port town with a lot of shipments from Asia, and the laws against prostitution are very lenient. There are more strip clubs, adult sex shops, and bars per capita than any other US city. (And, ironicially, churches.) Desire to move to Portland and consideration for getting into the sex trafficking rescue industry. Coincidence? I think not.
The church that all these amazing people go to in Salem is also the church that the YWAM president (or whatever his title is) goes to. Anya and David just rattled off names of people that they want to connect me with. People who already work in the industry. Even Anya’s mom had people she wanted me to meet. My. Mind. Is. Blown.
Clarity. So much clarity.
So, on my way home I called my dad. (I know, I know. Talking on the phone while driving. So dangerous.) I was so excited to tell him about my weekend and how God revealed so much and brought so much peace to the desire of my heart to move to Portland. And BAM! He tells me his cousin, my second cousin, lives in Oregon and works with IJM. The International Justice Mission. What do they do exactly? They bring justice to victims of sexual abuse and trafficking. They have saved 1,000 girls from the sex trafficking industry so far.
Apparently it really is all in the family.
In the last 6 days God has shown me why I dream of moving to Portland, why I want to work with children, why I began to consider the psychology part of it, and why my dad had been talking to me about the sex trafficking problem.
WOW. Mind blown. Again.
All of this is proof that God really does dream through us. I truly believe that when we dream of something, something that does not go against God’s character (in fact, something that glorifies Him), it is God revealing His dreams for our lives.
I still don’t know the specific details, but I do know that God has big plans for me. I will live in Portland and somehow work with the women and children who have been rescued out of the sex trafficking industry. It is so freeing and peaceful to finally know my purpose. It is even more humbling to know that I will be given the opportunity to show God’s love and redemption to the young girls who are rescued.
So there it is. My Portland story. God really is so good to me.
A new season is beginning. Yes, I know.. Fall. BUT, that is not what I am talking about. I am entering into a season with more prayer. I have been stagnant lately. Things have been quiet. I realized that I wasn’t spending time with God regularly… And I didn’t like that one bit. So, here I go.
Prayer. Prayer. Prayer. That is the name of the game. And this game is going to be played for the rest of my life. It is beautiful, really.
I came to a place where I had to admit that I didn’t love God enough. That severely broke my heart. What hurt the most is that I said that to God, and I knew in my heart that it was the truth. I wasn’t talking to Him every day. I wasn’t worshiping. I would read and think about the daily bible verse I got on my phone, but besides that, my mind was elsewhere.
I don’t want to live like that. I CAN’T live like that. I lost a lot of my joy. People at work were asking me if there was something wrong. I just didn’t have the happy smile face that I used to. And it wasn’t because of any certain event or heartbreak or stress. It was because I wasn’t pursuing a relationship with God. I wasn’t thanking Him for not forgetting to wake me up every day. I neglected to pray for the people I love. WHAT KIND OF PERSON DOESN’T PRAY FOR THE PEOPLE THEY LOVE!?!?!
Someone who was dry.
Well, now I’m thirsty. And I plan on filling up on Jesus. It truly is the only way to live.
I was laying in bed the other night and I started thinking about how I wanted to go back to how things were when I was living in worship. But then God convicted me of that thought. We shouldn’t want to go back to how things were, even if they were great. We should want to grow forward into something even greater. I believe that this coming season is going to be so fulfilling. More so than I have ever known before.
Part of that is because I am once again going to go to church. I had nothing against it, I was just lazy. I have been to church once since January. And even then, I didn’t stay to listen to the message. I realized that when I don’t go to church I feel very disconnected from God. And I know that God is not disconnecting Himself. It is all me. It is my mindset. If I’m not constantly in environments filled with the Holy Spirit, then I cease to really think about it. I get distracted.
So, one of my goals is to be diligent about being fed. Whether it is from a message at church, conversation with good friends, or sitting in my bed reading the greatest love story ever written (the Bible)… I will be fed. I will grow. I will pray and pray and pray.
God is beautifully good. I am blessed.
As humans we are different. We have different hearts. Different passions. Different strengths and different weaknesses. But when we go through life with the Spirit of the Living God dwelling inside us.. That is when we are one.
I’ve been in a dry, community-free zone for months now. It isn’t easy, and Lord knows it’s not good for me. He also knows my heart more than I do. Leave it to God to bring light and hope back into my life while I am seemingly working. I never imagined that booking music would lead to so much joy and beauty. I have been tremendously blessed.
When we got the email about a group going on a “Tour of Sorts” I, for some reason, HAD to book them. Relying on my wonderful boss to let me respond to emails was causing so much anxiety. I am not anxious. I never have been. But I just needed to get these people to Redding.
It happened. I requested the day off so I could be there with no work haze. It was lovely. They were so lovely. I was so excited for weeks for bands I had never heard and people I had never met. Why? Rachel, Anya, David, and Jordan. That’s why.
While our conversations were brief (due to them playing a show and us falling in the lake), the bond was real. It was hopeful and so full of light. These are people I will travel hours to visit. People I hope to share more conversations with.
Through their coming to Redding, I was able to reconnect with other lovely people who haven’t been present in my life for over a year. Life happens, and people drift apart, but I am so thankful and blessed to have been able to drift back.
God is amazing, really. His passion for our hearts and relationships with people is astounding. It’s beauty. It’s love.
God is truly mind-blowing. He is just bringing so much adventure to me this year. I get to go to the East coast for the first time to see my sister in less than 2 weeks. I get to stay in NYC with my cousin for a couple nights while I am over there. I am taking a week-long solo road trip down the coast of California this summer. And I’m thinking there will be a Pacific Northwest tour trip in the fall.
I have never traveled this much. I always felt super bad about taking time off work, but I am realizing that I work a lot. Like seriously… A LOT. And instead of taking a day off here and there, I will just work my butt off and take a couple chunks of vaca time throughout the year. Three to be exact. It is going to be such an adventurous year, and for the first time I am allowing myself to say… I have earned it!
Also, I am paying my car off this year. That is HUGE!
Thank you Jesus for 2012 and the adventures it holds.
Life is funny sometimes. No, not sometimes. Always. Just when you think you have everything figured out, all your plans set, God decides to throw you a curve ball. I guess that is the ignorance of thinking you know it all.
After talking with my good friend about the events of the last couple days, I was relieved to hear her say, “It takes a really strong person to be able to make that kind of decision.” I don’t know if I thought otherwise, or if I just needed to hear it from a friend. Either way, I feel comforted.
I know that life is full of surprises and adventures. I will never know what is coming next. All I can really do is trust that God has my best at heart. My life will be something great. Something worthwhile. All I have to do is keep learning and keep trusting.