Monday, January 9, 2012

Grace is an Ocean...

Today I fly home. Today I return back to reality, vacation is over and life is back to normal.

Yet this time normal isn't going to last long. Normal for me isn't going to look the same much longer. A new normal is on its way.

And I can't begin to tell you how many emotions that stirs up within me. Excitement, nervousness, fear, anticipation, urgency, and so many others.

This past week I have had the opportunity to relax, to read, to reflect, and to be thankful. I looked out over some of the most beautiful of landscapes in awe of the creation of my Father. I was in the middle of the ocean imagining over and over again the idea that "if grace is an ocean we're all sinking," that is a lot of grace!!!

Thank you Heavenly Father for that grace that drowns me. I saw the beauty in islands, mountains and creation. Thank you Heavenly Father for creating such a beautiful world that is so perfectly orchestrated. I sat on a beach with more grains of sand than one could ever count. Thank you Father that you not only know and placed every grain of sand but that you know every hair on my head and hear my deepest cries. I am so small in this realm of creation, yet so important to the one who created me.

Thank you becomes inadequate. Awe becomes overwhelming. Silence echoes so loud. I am so thankful, so in awe, and I stand most often stripped of the right words when I think about the Lord.

I just finished the book "Kisses From Katie." In this book, the story unfolds of the life that the Lord has called Katie Davis to live. I found myself in tears most of the time. How can a girl I've never met touch my heart so deeply? I can only pinpoint one thing. Truth. She writes, speaks, and lives the truth that is outlined by our Savior. She inspires me. She encourages me. She answers questions I didn't even know I had. Her life is such a beautiful picture of the only response to overwhelming grace that I can imagine: action. To do something. To be Jesus to a lost and broken world. To help just one more. To love just a little bit more. To sacrifice all that I am.

That is my prayer. To simply "do". To "do" whatever it is He calls me to. Whatever path He sets me on, I want to trust enough to just "do".

I hope and pray that you all pray that same prayer for me and this journey i am going on but also for you and the life he has given you. Wherever you are, whatever you do, live in His will for your life. Seek him daily, rely on him for everything, and doubt him in nothing.

His grace is enough, it will catch you when you fall. His love is enough, it will comfort you in your loneliness. His mercy is enough, It is new EVERY morning. So "do". "Do" whatever He has presented you with because drowning in that ocean of grace is way more life giving than sitting on the beach dry and lifeless.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Vacation days!

December 30th, 2011

"sometimes God works through crazy circumstances"

Today, the first day of this family vacation started as any normal Allen family vaca would! Lots of hurrying, bickering, singing and laughing! And I would have been worried if it was happening any other way!!

As we waited thru delays and other planes mechanical mishaps, we acquired an unexpected 3 hour layover in new Orleans!!

The beauty of being an Allen and a part of this family, is that we meet and make friends easily! Enter in the Lester family! Shane and mindi! The perfect couple to handle this families quirkiness! As we waited, snacked and got to know each other an immediate connection was formed! They were our kind of couple!

As most conversations go they typically always move to "so what do you do" as the answers made their way around the table, my turn came up! As I explained my job transitions since my college graduation, it led to where I am today "well now I am getting ready to move to Africa to work at an orphanage." what happened next can only be deemed as a Holy Spirit moment!

We talked about our love of David Platt books and sermons, Francis chans ability to evoke all sorts of emotions, and Katie Davis her heart and the Amazima ministry in Uganda. My story became one that they understood and could relate with.

As we sat waiting for our plane, ordinary traveling strangers became friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. "Sometimes God works through crazy circumstances" they leaned in and said to me as they so generously handed me a check in their support of my journey to make His name great.

My heart is overwhelmed.
My heart overflows.

Thank you father. Thank you for being present and moving among us.

I am humbled and grateful that He has purposefully and thoughtfully considered me while writing this great life story. I am so overwhelmed that he chose a 23 year old girl to carry His name to the ends of the earth.

The most beautiful part of this whole journey has been his provision in the smallest of details. I could write page after page and story after story of how He has provided. But my prayer isn't that you hear my stories and think how great, but that you in any and all areas of your lives allow him to provide. Because when you do your life, this beautiful gift, will have so much meaning, so much purpose, you won't understand how you lived before.

So tonight as I write this somewhere over the gulf of Mexico my heart is overjoyed for love of my savior, my Shepard and my provider.