Emilie [diligent worker] Lauren [guarded by God]

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I wish I could remember exactly the thoughts that ran through my head as I tossed and turned yet another night away. Sarah and Uncle Wes were heavy on my heart, and a piece of me began to dread to go home. Home is where reminders of them lay. Home means dealing with their loss, that they are not around anymore. And the scariest part about it all, is that I am beginning to forget them.

I feel like I focused so much on Sarah's death that I completely avoiding dealing with Uncle Wes's. And now, almost three years later, it has slipped away that he is actually gone. Never again will I get to fall into his big hugs. I cannot remember what his laugh sounds like, or his deep deep voice. I can't tell you his favorite meal, or even his birthday. I only know that when we get together with family, he won't be there.

I now know that he was not a perfect man, nor is life perfect. He may not have been the best man, but he was my Uncle Wes and I miss him. In the end, when his days were few, he cared most about sharing his love.

I remember our last Christmas together. I complained about having to spend a whole day, driving to Eugene, and having a meal with the whole family. I sat on the opposite side of the table as him. He looked tired, and you could tell this was his biggest outing in a long time. We took a family picture that day. I am not sure who took it, but I wonder where it went. I'd like to see that. We said our goodbye's. I said "Merry Christmas," as if this occassion was the same as all the others.

It wasn't. Those would be my last words to him. My last hug.

Staying in Seattle would mean avoiding the anniversary's that bring pain. Avoiding thinking about the days and years that have passed. So many without even a thought of him not being there.

It never does get easier. As sad as it is to say that, I am being honest. Slowly, you will think about it less, and more and more time will pass between your thoughts, or your "hard days," but those hard days never get any easier. Your heart still aches for one more hug. One more chance to say I love you.

As I lay in bed last night, I think of the main thing I have learned through loss: to love.
Time is short.
No doubt about it.
Never miss a chance to tell someone you love them.

So even a couple minutes after the lights went out, I felt the need to break the silence and tell Bryn I loved her. She may never know the significance of this action, in reality she probably just wanted to go to bed, and be left alone.

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, 

That it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you rink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

-Kahlil Gilram


Friday, November 5, 2010

November Second...

So, I definitely read the wrong day in my devotional, but it was a perfect message and I wanted to share it.

Consider this a love letter from Jesus to you.

"Grow Strong in the Light of My Presence. Your weakness does not repel Me. On the countrary, it attracts My Power, which is always available to flow into a yielded heart. Do not condemn yourself for your constant need of help. Instead, come to Me with your gaping neediness; let the Light of My Love fill you. 

"A yielded heart does not whine or rebel when the going gets rough. It musters the courage to thank Me even during hard times. Yielding yourself to My will is ultimately an act of trust. In quietness and trust is your strength."

I love her use of yielding...
When a car yields... it waits and it aware, only going when it is time.
Our hearts should be yielding... waiting and aware of God, waiting on his timing.  

Saturday, October 30, 2010


“Pain throws your heart to the ground. Love turns the whole thing around. No it won't all go the way it should, but I know the heart of life is good.” These lyrics played over and over in my head the day they buried Sarah, and I find myself coming back to them often. People leaving, whether through death or choice, is never an easy thing. It can leave you broken, distrusting, and with a hardened heart. Through out my life, I have been challenged to go against the grain. Instead of closing myself off, I’ve had to open up through the loss of people close to my heart and learn the power of tears.
            My parents separated when I was three years old and were divorced by age four. First their business had failed, and then there marriage. Before the divorce was even finalized by dad packed up and moved three hours north in search of work. Once a month, my Mom would pull us out of bed early on a Friday morning, put us on a bus, and wait for our return late Sunday night. At age six, my Dad got remarried and established a new family with my stepmom and her two daughters. Four years later, another marriage failing, my dad moved to his hometown in Texas to take over his dad’s job. My dad was not around for all the things he should have been growing up. He did not celebrate my first lost tooth, learning how to ride a bike, or making the varsity cross country team. I am blessed to say I have an amazing stepdad, (or “Pop” as we call him) who never missed a beat. But at a young age, I was forced to cope with the loss of my dad, which only lead to a hardened heart.
            In the void years between a dad left, and a “pop” found, my Uncle Wes stepped in. He often visited, letting me dance on his toes and steal the change that fell from his pockets when he walked on his hands. At the age of six, my mom did the best she could to explain to me the evil of cancer that had entered his body. Every night as my mom tucked me into bed, we would pray for Uncle Wes and this gross sickness he had gotten. Within a year, he had entered remission and at a delightfully young age I learned the power of prayer. Years passed and my uncle had the pleasure of watching his kids grow up into young men. The summer after my eighth grade year my mom explained to me that Uncle Wes was sick again. I did not cry, or get angry, or sad. I just prayed. After two years of surgery after surgery and treatment after treatment, that gross sickness took my Uncle Wes. My last words to him had been “Merry Christmas” and I was left with no goodbye. It was a Tuesday, and as I sat in the pews of the church I refused to let the tears come. I had to be strong and tears were for the weak.
            Sarah and I had gone to school together since the sixth grade. We were not particularly close, but we shared similar friends and had a mutual respect for each other. At the end of our freshmen year, Sarah was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I was devastated. I had watched this evil take over my family and my uncle, and now it was living in a friend and taking over her family and loved ones. Immediately, I began to pray and send Sarah e-mails weekly with encouraging verses and passages. Sarah battle the cancer her entire sophomore year, entering remission that next summer after a bone marrow transplant. Junior year came around, and she was enrolled in classes with us, ready to start a new year. A couple weeks into the school year, the cancer had returned and stronger. Chemotherapy and radiation would not do the trick, and the doctor ordered another bone marrow transplant. It was the week before Christmas break, and Sarah had been recovering from treatment when her kidneys began to shut down. We never lost hope, and neither did Sarah; She was a fighter. On Christmas morning, Sarah’s body failed her and she went home to be with the Lord. The day we celebrate the Savior’s birth, and our gateway to salvation, we said goodbye to a friend. Sarah never complained about being sick. She never asked “why me?” or questioned God’s plans for her life. And just like that, she was gone.
            If it had been up to me, I would have swept this loss with all the others under the rug and walked away. Tears were not worth my time, and neither was dealing with it. Thank God that he had a different plan. Allison Rayburn was just another Young Life leader on a Monday night, but she saw the heartache I had buried deep inside me. She took the time to invest into my life, meeting with me over coffee and prying my feelings out. Teaching me the art of crying, and its healing powers. She walked through Sarah’s death with me and was a consistent outlet for prayer. I learned healthy ways to let my frustration and sadness out. God wants a real relationship with us, and that includes when we are mad, sad and angry. Running became my release, and time I could let out my frustration to God. Hiking was a time to enjoy nature and its healing power. I would even go and simply sit at Sarah’s headstone, talking to her and God and thinking through life and its complications. God used running, hiking, resting, and even serving as practical ways for healing.
            After losing Sarah, I began to read through the Shack. I would hide away in my room, and let the tears come. Most times, once they started, I had trouble getting them to stop. Sunday’s became my crying days. After church I would cuddle up in my bed, reading the book, and letting my heart ache. William P. Young wrote, “Don't ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing waters and a stream of joy. Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak." There is no doubt it has been a long journey, and far from easy. Some days I was not sure it was worth the work, but only God can take the hardest parts of life and turn them into something he can use.

Just another Saturday morning

Just another Saturday morning...
or not so much.

How often are we so self-centered that we miss the greatest opportunities that God could grant us? We become so narrow-minded, we have tunnel vision, and we are completely unaware to those around us and the needs that are so great.

God blesses us, SO we can bless others.

Just a thought as I sit up, what seems like way to earlier, waiting for Bryn to get her MRI....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Things to do before I die....

This started off as an assignment for my freshmen coarse and I figured I keep up with it. :)

Fifty Things to Do (or Be) before I die:

.                Become a doctor
.               Run a marathon
.           Work at a summer camp
.              Go on a mission trip to Uganda
.                Provide medical care to underprivileged in Africa
.              Read the entirety of the bible
.           Learn to play the piano well
.             Learn to adequately play the guitar
.              Beyond Malibu
.                Win a race
.         Start an organization to help teenagers with cancer
.        Post a blog once a week
.    Change someone’s life for the better
.   Fluently speak another language
.        Adopt from Africa
.       Be able to touch my toes
.                 Forgive my dad
.   Hike the entire pacific crest trail
.   Go sailing
.       Go to Europe
.             Take in a homeless youth
.             Learn to be patient in manner
.         Compete in mathematics
.            Own a Jeep
.             Compete in a triathlon
.                Hike all three sisters (South, middle and north)
.        Have the financial means to give where God leads. (I find joy in giving)
.          Sell everything and live in a third world country
.           Scuba dive
.          Donate blood every eight weeks as my body allows
.                 Be a blood marrow donor
.                 Save someone’s life
.            Fall so in love with Jesus that I do not need anything else to be secure.
.      Sing a worship song in front of a congregation
.     Watch my brother win a snowboarding competition.
.    Learn how to fly a plane
.     Speak at a conference for teens
.     Run a sub 21minute 5k.
.     Swim with a dolphin
.     Learn how to dance
.     Watch a meteor shower.
.     Watch the stars all night from the roof.
.     Have definable abs
.     Set foot in all seven continents
.     Learn how to surf
.      Learn how to play tennis
.     save enough money to put my kids and grandkids through college
.     Ride in a hot air balloon.
.     Go on a safari.
.     Graduate college with a 4.0

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


After having a room to myself for the last 8 years, I now have a roommate. And it dawned on me this morning the many roles a roommate takes on. Your roommate is your mother when you are sick, your father when you are doing something wrong or "staying out too late", your sibling when you need to argue, your friend when you want to have fun, your partner in crime for adventure, your shoulder when your down, and the person you ultimately begin to share your life with.

I have been praying for my future college roommate for the last year or so. As my second mother always would tell me, "You are who you hang out with." I prayed two things. One, that God would bring me just the right roommate for me. I wasn't sure what that would look like, but at least I knew God knows best. Two, I prayed that weather that person was someone I would get along with or not, that they'd encourage me to grow in my faith.

So far, I feel blessed. I guess you could say Bryn inspired this random little post. A girl from Colorado, that I had never met, who is on the gymnastics team, and enjoys talking in a lisp... and already I can confidently say, well, we laugh A LOT.

Looking forward to a year of memories, of laughter, of love, of adventures, maybe some tears, and a new friend and sister. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I don't want to live life like a checklist. I want it to be full, of adventure and fun. I want to be spontaneous, romantic, loving and full of laughter. But I also want to accomplish things. Every day I end up with some sort of an agenda or to do list that I begin to check off until my task are completed. I don't want to live life inside the lines. I want something more.

brief update from college and the thoughts currently spinning.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"you are the only one who knows my heart strings oh so well... won't you play me a song?"
It's a beautiful idea... that love can be so powerful as to actually physically and emotionally pull and tug on one's heart. But sad, when we have a love this powerful, yet rarely do we see it in action. Love is not simply a feeling. It isn't something you can fall into and out of. It doesn't come and go like the wind. It is seen in the small things. A whisper in the wind. A late night chat. A friendly visit. A warm meal. A need filled. A heart consoled. A hug encountered. An embrace. A tear wiped away. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Playing the Cards you were Dealt.

Schools out: 3 days
Graduation: 5 days
18th birthday: 12 days

I've been thinking a lot about turning 18. When you turn 18, you can... buy cigars, porn and lottery tickets, order of infomercials, enlist in the military, etc. You are officially the age of an "adult," aka, not a minor anymore. You are expected to be capable of making "smart" decisions, and if not, you are old enough to know better and accept "full" punishment. You parents are no longer legally responsible for you.

But as I leave "Chapter 5: Teenage years" behind, and step into an entirely new PART of my story, I am reluctant to let the child in me go. So often, I am so focused on what is to come that I forget everything I am leaving behind. Well, today, everything I am leaving behind has hit me and I'm beginning to wonder if I used "PART ONE: Childhood" of my story, to the best of my abilities.

How much time did I waste on stupid things that will never matter?
too much.

How many times did I over-think a situation?
too much.

Did I spend more time trying to cover-up the true me instead of being myself?

Was I so afraid of mistakes, I never took a risk?

Did living up to my "identity" or "status" conflict with what I really wanted to do?

Was I so self-centered that I missed an opportunity to make someone else smile?
too many times to count.

Childhood is the time when you can make a mistake, and then learn from it. You can wear your nice white t-shirt and get it completely filthy because your mom can always soak in the washer and make it clean again. It's the time when your biggest worry should be what to wear or finishing your book report. It's the time when life is all about you... just to teach you that the world doesn't revolve around you. It's the time for learning.

The fact that 18 years of your life have gone by, means your an adult, doesn't carry much weight with me. I know a lot of kids who have had to "grow-up" before there time, and plenty of kids who are still waiting. And the fact of the matter for me is, in 12 days, I'm not ready to close PART ONE of my story.

So how about a part one and a half? I don't want to wait any longer for "life to happen," but I am not sure I am ready yet... but, are we ever ready?

As a good friend tells me, "Emilie, it's not the end of the story."

I don't want to waste time waiting for something to happen or wishing I had done something differently. I'd rather just [live].

I am the author of my story, and although many people have influenced me, I've always been the one to make the pen meet the page, and I always will be. God may already know the end of my story, he may know my mistakes and my excitement, my hurts and my loves but I am still the one in control of the pen. God will lay out a path for me, that I can choose to follow or not. And I can tell you now in complete confidence, I won't always make the right choice. He will open and close doors but it is my choice to act. If you asked if God was in control, I'd answer, in life and death, yes, in circumstances yes, does he have the ultimate authority on heaven and earth, yes but does he control me, no. I have to decide. God will always be laying out a path for me, and when I diverge, or walk away, he will always have detour for me to get back on track. But I decide where to take each step, and in what direction.

Sitting on my roof always puts things into perspective for me. I can see where the mountains meet the rolling clouds, and for some reason I am reminded what this life is all about. It is not about where you are a good writer or not, its about the words left on the page. People will not remember your successes, they will remember your failures and challenges. They will not remember the chapter or page when you got dealt a royal flush... so stop waiting to be dealt the perfect hand. The legacy you leave is when you learn to play the cards you were dealt.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

He was a good man, whose only goal was to see his boy grow up.
When sickness struck his body, he never did give up.
No one ever told him the good news, the promise of eternity.
And now he must say goodbye, the final time to us.

A boy stuck in the middle of being a child and a man,
his family ripped apart by tragedy again.
Things keep falling apart and he can't keep up,
Failure haunts him, and dreams just make reality seem more harsh.

A girl, caught in between Mother and Father,
Time running out, pressure caving in.
Dead silence in the day, chaos in the night.
All she aims to do is whatever is right.

A family beaten down, they can no longer breathe.
Waves crashing down as they tread uneven ground.
Money has run out, disaster always strikes.
Five kids left in a tangle, a mess of unrest.

When everything came crashing down, home was always home.
And just as she needs it most, stability is lost.
No one ever sees her heartache or understands that this home was not just a home.

Girl comes home to screaming and fighting,
She tries so hard to be like Jesus,
but matters only get worse.
Left on her own to fend for herself,
Jesus is her family more than most.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pursuit by the prince

I wrote this in a journal about a month ago and just stumbled over them again. I guess you can't say they are the words of God... but they sure are words my heart needed to hear... and normally I would never post this on here... But I got to thinking that maybe someone out there also needs to hear these words.

I love you so much but I can't force you to love me. You've put some distance between us- its harder for you to hear my voice. Well draw close to me and I draw near to you. Your priorities are not quite right lately. I need to be first Em if you want it all to fall into place. I promise my intentions for your life are all good and I have a perfect plan for you! But you have to accept putting me in the driver's seat, and trusting that when I take the hard route, your future is always in mind. You have to lay down your plan, and accept what I have for you. I do want to dig your well deeper, I want to give you wisdom- but you have to let me. You have to completely, undoubtedly, unashamedly, trust me with your heart. Sometimes the purification and weeding isn't that easy but I want to give you the fullest, richest life possible. So Em, trust me... Give me your heart. I don't want the world taking another crack at it. Pursue me. I can't force you to love me, but I am love so I can promise that if you pursue me you'll find love. True, real, fulfilling love. One day, there will be a man to adore you, with your gifts and talents and even imperfections. He will only push you to love me more. He will fit with your heart and your logic- I promise. But for now, just respond to my love, I am pursuing you. Better yet, I will always pursue you. There is no where you can go that I will not be chasing you, completely in love with you. So Em, Please give me your heart. I promise I'll take good care of it, and I will take you on the adventure of a lifetime. You and me. It won't always be easy but we will always be together- I won't ever leave your side. And when its all said and done, I promise you won't regret a thing.
Love always,
your prince charming.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Here I am Jesus. I know I have avoided you the last couple days. I'm upset that I feel like I'm right back in the place I started two years ago. I don't want to do the daunting task in front of me.

God, I've been so disconnected I am not even sure I can feel anymore. Let me really feel, deep in my core, the tears running down your cheeks feel.

Bottom line... I have trust issues. I don't do it easy, and when I do it, I don't do it in the right places or timing. All I can think about is wanting to curl up in your lap and lay there, content for hours. I'm emotionally exhausted.

Abba, I know this will probably be a daily thing, but please take my heart. I give you full permission, every key for every door and cupboard. Take all of the stuff that I am caring on my back. I know that you are much more capable of carrying it.

Why do I get so scared to give everything away? Because I like to be in control. I prefer steering the bike. I can see where I am going, how I'm getting there and choose my own path. But no matter what I decide, you are always in control. Please take this steering wheel. I don't want to fight for it any longer.

Take my heart.
Take the bad and good.
Clean it out.
Make it shine.

It's been so lonely, off here in space.
Fear held me back. It chained me down.
These bags of sand are keeping me from lift-off.
There tying me down.

Take my heart.
Take the bad and good.
Clean it out.
Make it shine.

My heart is so fragile since these scars made there mark.
I hold it real close and keep it from most.
They all let me down. I expected too much.
Now I'm left here with the consequences to boast.

They've lied, they've left and they've missed out.
And I thought I was all alone,
Just the first to go under the bus.
But you never left my side.

Take my heart.
Take the bad and good.
Clean it out.
Make it shine.

So, I give you these bricks I carry so much.
I quit doing your job, the world is not mine.
These body builder shoulders have only left me hurting.
And realizing that I could never do this on my own.

So Lord,
Take this heart of mine.
I trust that you will hold on tight.
It's beaten and bruised.
It's broken and not a pretty sight.
Tend my fields and plow my garden.
Bring new life to this heart of mine.

Take my heart.
Take the bad and good.
Clean it out.
Make it shine.

I've missed out on your beauty a little too long. 
Bring heaven down here. Bring heaven down here.
This life is but a glimpse, closed in by time.
I don't want to waste this life.
Bring heaven down here. Bring heaven down here.

Take my heart.
Take the bad and good.
Clean it out.
Make it shine.

I'm not really sure where that came from. It doesn't flow like a poem or a song, but I feel like it was exactly what I needed to write out. The words are true from my heart and there just for you Jesus. Please take the weight off my shoulders. Bring me rest. Hold this heart of mine, never let it go. Make me whole, quench my thirst, do your work. I love you Lord.

Meke Aloha [agape]-
Emilie Lauren

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just a thought

Talking to a friend yesterday, God began to show me something really cool... so why not share? :)

My friend was complimenting me on listening to what God told me to do recently. I was a little nervous, but I went through with it, and God being so good, It was perfect. :) She said that she loved how I was unashamed (personally, not a quality I would choose for myself...) and she wanted to be like me. Which got me thinking, it has never been what I've done, it has always been what God has done.

Through out my life, I have never been able to give God complete focus. Fact of the matter is, I'm human and until I'm in heaven, my flesh will always be stuck to my spirit. I've pursued other of things over God millions of times. But here it comes... the beautiful thing.

He has ALWAYS pursued me. 

Sometimes it just takes the time to "stop and smell the roses" to realize how much he adores and longs for me, and for you. As I talked to my friend, I felt led to tell her how much Jesus loves her, and today you.

If you were the only person on the entire planet that loved roses, literally EVERYONE else hated them, God still would have created them, just to see you smile. :) He loves you that much.

So, today I'd like to remind you, that the God of the universe loves you more than you can fathom. He adores you, he cares about you, and wants to carry all your weight. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oh the beautiful things in life....

I've been reminded to stop and smell the roses. The beautiful things. Enjoy them. :)

Last night the rain lulled me to sleep as it pounded on my window. The perfect symphony performed just for me by the God of the universe.

Arriving at school 20 minutes late and saying a quick prayer, just to find the very front parking spot is open.

Having friends that love the crap out of you, and want to stand by your side no matter what.

New friendships that blossom into something amazing.

A perfect God how can work through all things, including the imperfect.

Beating the boys in a round of bball.

Music! The way to my heart. :) I am not very musically talented but I LOVE MUSIC. It can always reach my heart and touch my soul. It moves me.

Sitting on the roof, looking at the stars.

The God of the universe, wants to carry my burdens.

Family... its forever.

Dancing in the rain. :)

Dandy's. mmmmmm. :)

Math competitions. Oh yes, they are a beautiful thing.

I'm not near done. I plan to continue to add to this list for a long time coming.... but this was the beginning.... to no end. May you find joy in some of the same things.

head to heart

I am committing myself to only eight minutes of typing so I can be in bed by midnight.
What a day. I did not except to go to sleep tonight thinking or feeling the way I am... at peace.

A while back I began to open up a lot to someone. They had realized how much I pushed things under the rug and hid them in my closet. I hadn't dealt with anything. And they slowly started to pull it all out. Once they got me going, they stepped back. The job really needed to be done between God and I. But without no one convincing me anymore that I still had spring cleaning to do, I quit. Only a shelf or two out of so many were dusted, but just like so many things, if you don't continue to keep up with the cleaning, the dust will catch up.

I closed those doors and locked them. I thought I was okay and that I moved on. I did not realize that what I was doing was actually harming me more- it was holding me back. Since then, I haven't really opened the doors. I didn't seem to see a reason to. The people I was close to came in and out of the picture and my heart has grown harder. So many people haven't stuck around that I have lost reason to trust anyone.

A friend came a long and I felt the strange need to open up a closet door and share the surface. I don't know why, but I felt he needed to know where I had come from. I let my emotions impede my judgement too many times but it did not keep him from speaking truth into my life. He described it like this. I am a hot air balloon. I'm full of fire, and passion and desires. But I have all these bags of sand tied around the side that are keeping me from reaching the things I want so badly.

I don't think he realized how right he was. I don't trust easy. And that may be a good thing at this point because the one person I need to trust the most, hasn't gotten anything: God. He deserves my 100% full trust. And He won't break it. I've started to give it to him before, and then I get this crazy idea I can do it on my own. Well, you can't.

NOTE TO SELF: Emilie, you CANNOT do it on your own.

Now, it is simply a matter of taking the many, many truths that my head knows so well, and getting my heart to agree.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

trust vs. transparency

I am caught between the balance of transparency and trusting.
How do I be completely transparent, as I do fill God has called us without giving away my heart in trust? God says that nothing in light can be hidden. So, if I'm in light then none of me should be hidden. I should be able to share freely and openly. If God calls us to (agape) love everyone, shouldn't a natural fruit of that be trust. "Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved." So, it would logically make sense for me to struggle trusting someone that I (agape) love.... because the question falls on, do they love me?

Normally, I'm not an easier "truster". It takes time to get to know me and you have to peel me back layer at a time, just like an onion. It can be difficult work and I've learned not everyone stays around to do the job, and the people who do stay around are fine with a mediocre relationship in which I'm scared to share most anything.  But every once and a while, someone comes around and I feel the need to unfold and peel my layers back.. I don't know why but I do know that it only leaves me feeling alone and vulnerable.

So where is the balance? How do you become transparent without letting your heart go? Without the pushing of emotional boundaries?

I was told the other day about the way men and women were created.
Men... they were created as sexual beings. They desire sex. That is the bottom line.
Women... they were created for relationship. They desire it. That is the bottom line.

This is where I get caught up in trusting... especially with a guy. Is giving your heart away by trusting a guy a sketchy line to cross? Like crossing a sexual boundary for a guy, is crossing an emotional boundary by trusting a guy with your heart crossing the line?

In a few short months, I will be off to Seattle. I will enter adulthood and be on my own. It's crazy to think about. I am so excited but when I really think about it, I am very sad to leave childhood. I will leave Bend, and in a way, a life. I've lived here for the most part since I was born. I will leave almost everyone I love, everyone I've trusted, everyone I've poured into, and everyone who has poured into me. Just like everything else in this life, its all only temporary.

So, do I go at life, with a temporary view point? Everything will eventually be gone anyways, why waste the time trusting and giving your heart away? Or because this life is temporary, do I give fully until I am made full by God? The first one sounds safe but in all honesty boring. The second one brings more excitement to the picture, but scares the crap out of me.

So, where is the balance? Is there even a balance? God says make the most of every opportunity. Is making the most of every opportunity involve trusting without strings attached or worries? Or do we need to protect our hearts?

What scares me so much to trust? Maybe the fact that I could get hurt in the end. Maybe the fact that there is no promise of "together forever" in the end... whether in romance or in family. (romance: as is dating or marriage. family: as in siblings.) I want to be loved me for me. Not for my past, not for what has happened to me, not for what I've done. Just me. Geeky, nerdy, cheesy, awkward me. 

Because when the day is done, I'm not defined by what I've done, do or will do. I'm simply defined as a daughter.

"Just love me, Em. I promise in the end it will all work out." -Words on my heart from God...

This is rather rough. Just my thoughts on the page. Not sure what to make of anything yet.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Perfect orchestrated day from the sky

Today was simple yet amazing. There is no way that it could not have been composed and orchestrated by a power much greater than me.
Started off with peace, Jesus, and NO SCHOOL.
Then for a PERFECT afternoon with my beautiful best friend Brea. Some great girl talk, encouragement, dreaming, listening, shopping, and just what I needed.
On-track was perfect. God spoke, and I was completely flabbergasted by the overwhelming amount of encouragement I received.
A fun trek over to Safeway for some ice cream with some of my favorite people. A beautiful surprise of seeing Brit. And lovely conversation.

Thank you Jesus.
Thank you for a day so needed off.
Thank you for orchestrating it.
Thank you for putting Brea in my life.
Thank you for this beautiful new friendship you are putting in my life.
Thank you for putting the right things on my heart to pray for.
Thank you for answering prayer.
Thank you for patience.
Thank you for butterflies.
Thank you for always being in control.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for my amazing parents.
Thank you for placing Brit and I in the same Safeway at the same time.
Thank you for caring.
Thank you for the stars shinning bright.
Thank you.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


"Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved." William Young, The Shack

I'm starting to realize how true this when we look at love from God's perspective.
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1John 4:18

So if we are loving like we are called to, with agape, unconditional, Christ like love we shouldn't be afraid of anything-including trusting imperfect human people.

It seems to me that if our hearts are truly in God's hands, and we are content in a loving relationship with him, then we have everything we need. I've always felt like God has called me to be transparent. We shouldn't want to hide anything. If we bring everything out into the light, won't the dark things flee?

This is where I get hung up and struggle... when I've trusted people in the past they've let me down. And there humans. There bound too. So it's easier to not trust people, and only trust God who won't let me down....

So where is the balance? Do I trust God 100% and not trust others? And if I'm trusting God, and he calls me to be transparent, shouldn't I trust that he has it all figured out?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saved forever

I have this friend. And I love talking to him because he always tells it like it is, and often gives me another perspective on things. When I feel like I need to blow up, be too dramatic, or act stressed, he just goes with it. He questions my theology which brings me to this blog.

Once you accept Jesus as your savior, are you saved forever?

I have always believed that once you accept Jesus free gift of grace, it covers you for the rest of your life, even if you screw up. Christ can only die for you once, right? Once you accept his gift, you have it for life?

But this friend brought up some valid arguments.
Case #1: Joe (I just made up a name) accepts Christ, but later decides he doesn't believe in God and let's Satan win. He stops living for God and starts living for the world. Is he still saved? If he died would he go to heaven?

Case #2: Jim accepts Christ. He knows full well that he is real but decides he does not want to live a life as a follower of Christ. So, he begins to live for the world and its pleasures. Is he still saved? If he died would he go to heaven?

Case #3: Phillip accepts Christ but doesn't change anything about his worldly lifestyle...meaning he doesn't really surrender his life to God. Is he saved?

Does being saved require repentance? If you accept the free gift from God, can you set it down? Or is it like a tattoo... you have it for life?

Does it take a malicious intentional sin to lose grace or your ticket to eternity?

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not sen his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." John 3:16-21

My first reaction.
BELIEVES. It doesn't say repent, be perfect, obey, or any of the above. It says believe. BUT if this believe is the same I learned about in Greek, it is Pisteuo, which encompasses much more than belief. It also eludes to belief, faith and trust. And faith without works is dead according to James... so if our lives aren't following Christ in our works, then our faith is dead, so do we have eternal life? Doesn't really seem like it. Also, sin is unwillingness to trust Christ. So if we aren't trusting God, then we are sinning.

Second reaction.
Men who love darkness because of their evil deeds hate the light. Can we have grace and eternal life without being in the light? Isn't Jesus the light? "Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." So, if they believe in God (truth), but don't act like it, are they still in the light? Are they darkness in the light?

Belief: noun. 1. an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists 2.something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction 3. trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something

 "And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace." Romans 11:6
Romans 6:5-14
Romans 11:32

I was talking to Chap Clark. He's pretty much awesome. I got to spend a piece of my summer in California with him and a group of 30 other kids the same age from all over the U.S. and a bunch of other rad leaders. Chap works at fuller seminary and is a theologian. I e-mailed him with some of my questions. This was his response.

"the Lord looks at the heart and knows that life is a long journey. its less about when we say we're saved, or when we "fall away," but what happens throughout our life that reveals Jesus' access to us as Lord. Trust that; trust him, and follow him. Let the rest sort itself out."

 I don't know if I'm any better off now than I was before I started writing this...I'm not sure if I have any new answers, or if I could really tell you if Joe, Jim or Phillip would go to heaven or not. But I do know that within a relationship, if it is rooted in love, you will be compelled to obey. So maybe it's more a matter of the state of your heart.

I don't think it's even my job to decide if someone is going to heaven. I guess my job is love. Share with them about my God, tell them about how great he is, about life after the grave, about freedom in Jesus. And it's between them and God where there heart is at.

Friday, March 19, 2010

It is too easy to be so focused on what is ahead that we forget to see what is going on right now. I love how Christina put it at on track, "Why do you want to know your future? Don't you know it will only destroy you?"

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Where do I even begin???
I can't tell you for sure the first time I felt Africa on my heart. Or when I decided I needed to go there or why I fell in love with a continent.  But I can tell you about how my dream began to come into reality.

The first time I had a vision of Africa was in On track. It was during worship and I was in the back of the room as usual when I sat against the wall to pray. I was feel so frustrated with life and the dryness I felt in my relationship with God. I laid my head in my knees and honestly began to just zone out. That is when God gave me an image of playing with a bunch of African children and helping out medically.

This summer has been like none of my other summers. Every summer I plan what I am going to do months in advance and by now would have the entire thing mapped out. But this summer was different. I thought I might work and make some money for college, but really didn't have anything mapped out. Missions had crossed my mind, but I knew we didn't have the money and I didn't want to face the idea that I'd have the opportunity to go and yet not have the ability to go. But as always, God had something else up his sleeve.

I couldn't get Africa or missions off my heart but I didn't even know where to begin. I figured I just needed to make money this summer. That was what was important. One night at on track this man came to speak to us about a fund raising opportunity. He proceed to tell us about his recent trip to Tanzania and how he and a group of engineers were raising money to build a water purification system for this mission. My heart sunk. Africa. Towards the end he told us the ways we could help. The biggest area of need was fund raising and ideas but he also wanted to know who would be interesting in going with him to Africa to implement the system and who would be willing to advertise the cause. My heart leaped. I put my name on the list while coming to the realization that I probably wouldn't be able to go and trying to be okay that this wouldn't happen this summer. Nothing seemed concrete.

On Tuesday I met Dean. Dean is dating this amazing woman Cassie who happens to be like another adopted child of the Wolfe's. Dean was visiting Cass and just happened to be staying with the Wolfe's and hanging out when I dropped off Jess from school. After a few moments of casual conversation Dean proceeded to say, "Emilie, Emilie, Emilie." But the Emilie's were ignored as Steph walked in the door from school and we asked about her day. A couple minutes later Dean proceeded once again to say, "Emilie, Emilie, Emilie." Jill explained that Dean was crazy prophetic and Dean asked if he could speak into my life. Naturally, I said "Go for it!"

He spoke for a couple minutes and its hard to remember everything he said. He started off by describing how intelligent I was that. I get frustrated when people don't get it as fast as me. I excel at Science's and I can Ace that science test and not understand why everyone thought it was hard. And I have two older siblings, very smart as well. At this point, I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped with how smack dab in the center this man who knew me for five minutes described me.

He proceeded to talk about how God would be deepening my well. That my well is full of anointing but God wants to deepen it. That he will turn my smarts to wisdom. That a lot of people  come to me with problems and the deepening from smart to wise would help me to speak to the source of the problem, rather than just the fruit like I had been doing. He talked about how I was a leader and that I should continue to lead small groups. That God wanted me to know that he was proud of me and loved me, and that I was on the right track.

But there was one thing he also said I didn't mention yet: missions. He said that God was preparing a mission for me. That he sees my heart for missions and will take me on missions but I am not called to be a missionary. He doesn't want me uprooting my family to go overseas. Something I needed to hear!

This is when I started to get excited but didn't know where this mission God was preparing would be to or when. For all I knew it could be in years. The day after meeting Dean, I ran into Kevin as he picked his daughter up from the middle school girl small group I lead. Kevin is the same man who first talked to on track about this water purification project in Africa. I asked if they were still making head way on it. He said that they were just now looking into Foreign insurance for everyone who would go on the trip; and proceeded to ask if I was still interested. I said yes!

The next night at dinner I brought the possibility up to my parents. They seemed very opened to it and said if God called me there, they would do their best to help me get there. That night was on track. I told Ian, the leader of on track, all about the prophesy and chain of events. He told me that the two people he felt needed to go more than anything were Ryan and I. :) This is when I got really excited. It just seemed right. Was I really going to Africa?!?

Since, my parents have agreed to forgive the debt I owe them of $200 for my computer if I go to Africa. They have agreed to come with me in a week or so to get the paperwork I need for my passport. I am still praying over the trip, if it is God's will or not. But this feels like it is really it!

Glory to God!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

GU....what now?

Generation Unleashed was such an amazing conference. I felt refreshed and revived and ready.... ready for whatever God had in store, ready to set aside the things or this world and run full heartedly after the Lord, ready to dig in everyday.

But now, not even 10 hours later, I feel apathetic, lost, confused and ...well, not sure what next. I don't desire to jump into my bible, or run around saying how much I love Jesus. If I asked God to continue what he started there, why have I seem to come up short?

So...what next God?

I woke up in the morning worried... scared to go home and face people when I am not exactly sure what I learned, what happened, or why exactly I thought this conference was so amazing. God, what did you do in me? What vision did you begin to set? What NEXT GOD!?!? I don't see a camp high in me; but I don't see a course of action or something I undoubtedly learned and felt was God.

I want to see crazy things happen God. I want to expect more from the God of the universe. The power that conquered the grave lives in me. Why can't I use that power to change the world? Well, the answer is that I can use that power, I'm just not ...why?

God, I know you had something prepared for me this weekend. Currently, I am not sure what that was, but I am open to what your spirit has for me. Fill me up more than ever before with your spirit. I want you and you alone. Give me new desire, new boldness, new vision, new excitement, a new heart.

Don't focus on what needs to be done; focus on what he has done. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

GU- break down

Over the mountains and through the city to Generation Unleashed we go....

Saving POWER. 
"I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." Roman 1:16

 [night one]
The presence of God definitely could be felt last night. There was no denying it. It's like Monique said, the presence of God is so undoubtedly there, the only way you can miss it is if your willing to enter in to it. Pastor Ponch spoke tonight about the tipping point, the tipping point for break through.

Saving power- a divine work of the cross that can turn the sinners life of worthlessness into a priceless work of absolute greatness.

Without Christ, our life is purposeless. Greatness is in me because of Christ's living word in me.

Three Keys to Breakthrough modeled by Paul
 1. He was not ashamed.
"I am not ashamed, because I know the things Christ has for me."
Mark 16:15, 1 Corinthians 10:13
2. He understood the gospel message
Truth and revelation of what Christ has brought- freedom.
John 3:16
God- wants relationship with man
Man- free will
Problem... All sinners
Solution... Jesus came and died on the cross.
3. Power of Christ- saving power
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you." Acts 1:8
Releasing the power of God- Luke 4:18-19
 -preach the good news
-proclaim freedom (pray for people in bondage)
-recovery of sight (pray for healing) Mark 16:17, Is. 53:5 ...Reach for God before Advil.
-release the oppressed (love the oppressed with God's love)
-proclaim the year of the Lord's favor (take the opportunity to preach and you will see God's saving power)

 [day two]
 morning session
 You can't underestimate Jesus and a life of serving him.
Matthew 28:16-20
GO. verb. heart position. to DO, wherever you are, GO after God.
Acts 1:8 Change the world; where you are at.
Faith is knowing you are at the right place at the right time.

high school session
Eph. 5:1
1 Cor. 13 all about love
the word of God and prayer- where break through is set in place
Predetermined Purity.
purity is not simply virginity.
purity is walking in accordance with God.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
Purity-state of being umixed and undefined. To be innocent and blameless. To be free from any pollution or contamination.
purity proclamation- Today, I choose to live a pure life. I reject a life of sin, shame, and selfishness. I choose to live a life set apart for Christ.
Purity must be predetermined.
Gal. 5- FREEDOM.
Purity is the battlefield of our generation.
-the way we dress
We need to know where our battlefield is, so we can predetermine a strategic and effective plan to fight it.
1Thess. 4:3-7
Purity is first a thing that starts from the inside. It starts with the word of God- living and active in you. That is the way to overcome. Then you must let the purity on the inside show to the outside.
Possessing Purity:
-we are called to possess purity.
-possessing purity is first internal/non-tangible
-possessing purity is also external/tangible
-possessing purity is inside-out
Four Keys to Possessing Purity:
1. Guard your eyes!
2. Guard your mind! (Romans 12:2)
3. Guard your heart
mind is a battlefield, heart is where your treasure is stored.
Serve God out of a doctrine of "yes". Yes to God, not no to the world. Relationship not religion.
4. Guard my ears
flee temptation.
"A little Poop in the brownies"

afternoon session
In and Through You
A generation in Crisis
Eph. 6:10-12
Learning comes from application
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Cor. 1:18-Saving power
When you stop focusing on yourself and start focusing on Christ and his saving power, lives WILL be saved.
A power-tool is going to be useless unless it is connected to a power source. Our power source is God.
His SAVING POWER in me will:
-Save me.
-deliever me.
-heal me. Mark 16:18
-empower me. John 17:18

Breakout session: Worshiping in the presence of God

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My love letter from God

God spoke amazingly at on-track this week. It was fresh and inviting; and unexpected gift to the heart. We read in Habbakuk about listening to God. Scottie started off with a conversation he had with God.
God: Scottie, do you talk when your students are taking a test?
Scottie: no! I stay quiet so they can focus and do their best!
God: hmmmmm....

During tests, God may be quiet so you can focus and do your best. Yet, if you want to do well on a test, and make it easier, regardless of the class or surprise or not, you have to prepare yourself for that test by studying...

Scottie had five points for listening to God specifically from Habakkuk 2:1-5
1. I will stand watch at my watch station.
get away, go to your sacred place, the special place to meet with the Lord.
2. Watch to see what he will say.
doesn't always talk through hearing....look for it, search it out, level of action on your part
actively engaging in the process of seeking God out
3. Listen
we know what he is talking about because we know him.
4. Write it down
5. Wait- sometimes the better things take longer

The two simple ways to check if what you heard is God:
1. Never should contradict the bible.
2. It should be encouraging, even if conviction, there should always be a way out.

Upon hearing this message I eagerly wanted to spend time listening to what God has to say to me. As I sat down in my sacred place and prayed, I felt the need to simply worship him. I sang out these lines over and over, "Deeper than my view of grace, higher than this worldly place, longer than this road I've traveled, wider than the gap you've filled. Your love is...."

After sitting silent for a few moments I began to write this. I know the inspiration was not of my own accord, and that God was fueling the pen moving on the page.

No matter what you think, my love is never ending. It is always pursuing you and there; whether you chose to feel it or not. My love is better than life. Grab onto it. You'll be surprised where it takes you. This is the greatest love story ever told and you get to be the main character. Won't you accept my love? Why do you doubt it? My love is pure, it is true, it is uncircumstantial, it is grace, it is glue to a broken heart. I promise my love will not break you like the faulty love of the world has; my love will heal you. You will not be able to full experience my love till you leave that sinful place, but I promise my love is unchanging. I loved you the same yesterday as I did today and as I will tomorrow. You do not earn my love, I love you as my work of art, I love you as my daughter; I love you as my home. I love you Emilie Lauren. You are my diligent worker, guarded by me. Nothing can change your identity in me; your purpose. This world has ruined your view of so many things. If only you could see them through my yes. You aren't perfect Emilie, I know that you know that. But I also know that I am the creator, and you are my master piece. Some lines and pieces don't make sense and seem broken, but you aren't finished yet. I like to take my time. :) Keep handing your heart to me, I know it isn't easy my darling, but I promise I will do good for it.
You know how exercising is good for you? But in order for you to build your muscle up, you must first tear it down? Well I created your heart as one of the strongest muscles in your body for a reason. It is the life of your body, even if your brain dead you can live. Without a heart, there is only death And sometimes to have a strong heart, I must tear you down, but only so I can build you up stronger. I want the best for you because I love you. I know you don't get it, but I love you. My love is better than life, and sometimes it takes laying down your life to feel my love. Your knowledge only goes so far and I can only take you this far.
I love you Emilie, even you screw up, my love never wavers. I desire you. Remember that I am an unchanging God but I will always be changing you because you are my delightful work in progress. Yes, I delight in you my dear. Don't think your finished yet; always be ready for work. Sometimes I can't work on you because the current coat of paint is drying. Be patient, wait. I will bring every project and every masterpiece to completion. But a work of art takes time, doesn't it?
In the mean time, enjoy my grace. Swim in a deep sea of it and cling to my hope which brings life. Search out my love because it truly is greater than life. And I promise you will find it. It is not hiding, its right under your nose. Sometimes you just have to look through my eyes and not the world's.
I love you Emilie Lauren.
Love always and forever,
Your Daddy.


a new year.
a new beginning.
a fresh start.

The year of light, love, freedom and victory.
These are the things I am choosing to claim in the new year. A year to embrace the light of God in our dark world, and share it with others. A year to love beyond what we have loved before; and to take in the love of Jesus. A year to live in the freedom of Christ; the truth will set you free and the truth is Christ. And a year to claim the victory of Christ; to live with no fears or regrets, but knowing that in every endeavor we have already won through Christ and there is nothing the devil can do to change that.

I love this song by Charlie Hall. It is such a good example for the new year.
Marvelous Light

I once was fatherless,
a stranger with no hope;

Your kindness wakened me,
Awakened me, from my sleep

Your love it beckons deeply, 
a call to come and die.
By grace now I will come 

And take this life, take your life.

Sin has lost it's power,
death has lost it's sting.
From the grave you've risen

Into marvelous light I'm running,
Out of darkness, out of shame.
By the cross you are the truth,
You are the life, you are the way

My dead heart now is beating,
My deepest stains now clean.
Your breath fills up my lungs.
Now I'm free. now I'm free!

Lift my hands and spin around,
See the light that i have found. 
Oh the marvelous light
Marvelous light

Lift my hands and spin
See the light within...

2010. here I am. I am not afraid. I am ready. Excited to be exact. 
I went with some friends in Portland to Southlake Church there. I really loved it. The pastor talked about the new year, and the willingness to embrace new things. It was all a part of the series they were doing called AWAKEN. He had three points that have stuck with me, 1. New problems with require new creativity. 2. New pressures will require conviction and new dependance. 3. new possibilities will require COURAGE.