Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Graduation Class 2004

Lisa, Lacy, Sarah and myself
Enumclaw High School Class 2004
"Delight yourself in the Lord and
He will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4

In high school I had this verse taped on my binder (my math binder more specifically)
One time even my math teacher joked that he should give me a better grade because he saw the verse  I remember reading it everyday in high school and thinking, "oh, that is a nice verse.
I cant wait until He fills those desires"
I don't even know why I chose that verse
I know I have always been a "dreamer"
However, I never knew what those dreams were
But lets be honest, a lot of my dreams in high school were about who I was going to marry

Flash forward 10 years
Flash forward some much growing, maturing, living , loving & serving
I look back now at the 18 year old just "hoping" that God would "someday" fill those desires
Now, I don't just hope, I know

I am not just dreaming about my desires, I am living those desires
Dreams I never knew existed are forming in my deepest parts of my soul
Desires I never knew I had are being fulfilled
They didn't come all at once but they are slowly filling up in my heart
No, I am not married
I don't have any children
I am not a world traveler...
But I see, I feel, I know the desires in my heart are being filled exactly the way God intended them to be
Of course I still have those deep desires to get married, have children and travel the world
but I don't need to dwell on why those are not being filled
 I know God is filling my heart with desires that not only bring me joy,
but also bring Him glory and in His timing

So if I had to write a letter to 18 year old self from high school, this is what I would write:
Dear Jessie,
1- keep pursuing Him and keep that verse on your binder! In fact, look up more verses!
2. Dig deeper in Him
3. Keep dreaming and desiring for God to fill those dreams
4. He is working right now, ceaselessly and strategically on your behalf
5. He will fill those desires, ones you never knew you had,when the timing is right
6. Keep delighting in Him Jessie. You have an amazing life ahead of you!

His life plan for you is a thousand times sweeter than anything your high school self can dream or imagine


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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Where I Fell In Love

I never understood when someone said they "are in love with the Lord"
Or "first and foremost, I love the Lord"
You mean you love Him more than your spouse or child?
It seemed silly for me to hear
I didnt get it

Three years ago I sat here with my first devotional and an unopened bible
I asked myself "how do I fall in love with God?" 
I came with no dreams, no direction for my life
No expectations
All I had to offer was an open heart and mind 
I didn't want to come 
(lets just say the mornings were not  the easiest for me) 

But I came 
I came with surrender
I came morning after morning to this place
 To seek Him

"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know"
Jeremiah 33:3

I started out with devotionals that would lead me deeper into the Bible
Trusting in His Timing
Walking in His Blessings
Your Beautiful Purpose
The Great Commission
Praying Boldly 

Then a funny thing happened,
What started out as something I thought I "had" to do as a Christian,
Became something I craved

Every morning I found myself craving Him more and more

A Proverbs 31 Woman is becoming someone I aspire to be

I am understanding what it means to walk with the Lord

Dreams are forming in my heart I never imagined

My hunger to know more of Him is increasing

My prayer life is becoming more intimate and tearful

I look forward to my nighttime prayers to be in the presence of the Lord

I am bold in my prayers and pray for things that require Divine Intervention

I am finally understanding true meaning of marriage and the purpose of a Godly wife

My heart is breaking for the things that break the heart of God...
...And I am actually DOING something about it

My expectations of my future husband are becoming more established

He is placing boldness and courage deep within me

I have stopped comparing myself to the world and more to what the Word says about me

I am discovering the true character of our God

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:13

The Lord accepted that I was broken, selfish and a work in progress
(still am!)
He found me anyway 
He romanced me anyway
He pursued me anyway 
He transformed me anyway

It was here at this table, in complete surrender where I fell in love 
I can honestly say with 100% certainty and faithfulness
I love the Lord my God with ALL my heart, strength, mind and soul

"I love you, O Lord, my strength"
Psalm 18:1 

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

We Are Called to Be Bold


After many days of dreaming, crying, praying and surrendering I have decided to leave my job of six years at Seattle Pacific University Athletics 


Two and a half years ago I was in need of something more in my life 
More Hope
More Dreams
More Desire
More love, impact and significance
More of Him

I prayed

"Lord, please ignite some passion in my my heart. ANYTHING Lord." 

Right away the Lord started placing dreams and desires on my heart I never knew was possible
Ephesians 3:20 started becaming my life verse
" Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine..."

I knew my story and adventure was starting
I didnt want to miss any of this journey so  I wrote my first ever blog post  

Seattle Pacific University Athletics has all I have known
A job and life I have ever known
A place where dreams discovered and fulfilled
A place where I grew professionally and personally

A place of comfort for over 10 years as an athlete and administrator

However, I have learned over the past couple years that we are not created to stay comfortable
In fact, when we become too comfortable, we stop growing and dreaming
Abundant life is discovered right outside your comfort zone


***Here is a blog post I wrote a couple weeks ago when I knew I was supposed to leave

As I was running along the most beautiful path along lake union the sun was shining, beautiful house boats to my left, the wind at my face, the city of Seattle in clear view ahead of me
I see the our most famous landmark the Space Needle
 I look up at the tallest building in Seattle, the Columbia Tower
 I also see a glimpse of a 12th flag that now holds even more meaning to our beloved Superbowl champions-Definitely a year remember for Seattleites- a name I thought I would always call myself
But you now what I kept thinking about? How I wish I was somewhere else
I don’t know where but I am homesick
My soul is longing for something more, something bigger
Something or somewhere I can give more of myself and be broken for that what breaks Him

As long as we are on this earth, we will ache for something bigger,
because we were designed for something bigger- something better.

We are designed for an intimate relationship with God forever.

- Jennie Allen" Restless"

Go and make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:18-20

I don’t think its in Seattle

In fact, I don’t think I belong in any specific city, state or country

We are called to GO into this world and be a light for Him
Wherever that is for me , is where I belong
Whether that is Africa in June
Another city later this summer
I don’t know where I belong right now
I do know its not Seattle
Or Enumclaw
I dont know

                       I may not know where I belong right now but I know Whom I belong too
I am holding onto Him to lead me into the unknown and satisfy my longing only He can fill
You know what I think? 
I think I know exactly where I am homesick for- My forever home-
A place where Seattle sunsets or the Seattle skyline will never compare
A real home where I will be able to forever worship Him, forever be wrapped in His love forever
I have no doubt God intentionally creates this feeling of nostalgia for a place we have never been
He wants us to always be reminded that His eternal home for us will always be better than any home or place here on earth
To remind us that that the only home we are to long for is His home
Knowing that my real home is with Him
Knowing that I wont be landing at a final desination but rather a path
 This creates a bravery I never knew I had to go into the unknown
Excitement, desire and yet peace waiting expectantly for when He calls me to GO

I will embrace being homesick and embrace wherever He calls me to next along this path
Because He has promised that walking along with Him is better than we can ever imagine

I can’t wait to see what He has in store

“You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You."
- Saint Augustine

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Lets Make A List

Making: The most out of the sunny, spring days in Seattle. They don't come often!

Cooking: Lets be honest I don't cook much at all. My cooking consist of putting a salad together of chicken or tuna or oatmeal for breakfast. I do hope one day to get on the cooking bandwagon.

Drinking: AdvoCare Oasis tea with sparkling water- so refreshing!

Reading: I just got done with Your Beautiful Purpose and The Circle Maker. Recommend BOTH!

Wanting: To go pick some beautiful lilacs! We have a ton of lilac bushes around the Greenlake and I love to go pick a bouquet but tonight I haven't done that yet.

Looking: On Pinterest for everything and anything related to cooking, traveling and  for my wedding.

Playing: "Lord, I Need You" - repeat. This song has has the most impact through my spiritual journey the last two years. Matt Maher is the original singer but the Passion Worship band sings it too.

Wishing: I was able to see my two nephews more often.

Enjoying: Orange Theory workout! A new gym opened up and they offer classes that are one hour interval training of weights and treadmill. I LOVE them. I feel I am getting such a good workout. The gyms are all over the nation and one just opened in Seattle. I love them so much I have been getting up at 5:30am for class!

Liking: The TV Show Castle.

Wondering: Not that I am stressing or worrying about it because the Lord has strongly placed a desire for marriage but I do wonder when the Lord will bring me my future husband.

Loving: The mornings. Such a special time for me to seek the Lord and start the day off with the Word before I just into the world.

Hoping: Is doesnt rain on Sunday for Mothers Day and my moms birthday. She deserves sun!

Marveling: At how big of dreams the Lord has placed on my heart. I look back over two years ago and never dreamed of the path the Lord has led me on. So much better than I ever imagined.

Needing: His grace every single day.

Smelling: Lemon Lavender Yankee candle- Every night.

Wearing: "Be the change you want to see in the world" sweatshirt and sweats.

Following: Some of the most amazing blogs! This is a blog post that I read over a year ago and it touched me deep in my heart. I can relate to almost everything she wrote and I have hope that I will have the same outcome with my marriage.

Noticing: When I look back over the years I see the Lords handprint in every season of my life.

Knowing: The best is yet to come.  "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." Ephesian 3:20

Feeling: Excited for what is to come in my life- Blog post to come about this!

Bookmarking: My Pinterest food board in hopes that I would one day actually make something from this.

Opening: My heart and mind to be soften and changed to the things of the Lord, especially as we prepare for our trip to Africa.

Giggling: At how amazingly cute and adorable my nephews are.


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Friday, May 2, 2014

Have No Fear

What is your greatest fear? 

I have a few that are at the top of the list
I feel that God is slowly helping me overcome them one by one
However, fear always seems to seep deep in my heart when it comes to flying

I am sitting at the airport about to board my flight to Los Angeles to hangout with my best friend 
We are going to run a half marathon that we have had planned for a while now
We also have some other fun activities planned when I get there

But that is just it... I have to get there before we can experience the fun
I am anxious thinking about getting on the plane, taking off, the turbulence
Some flights are better than others but the fear begins the same

I honestly don't know where the fear came from or how it got so deep
Maybe I am afraid because I am not in charge
A fear I am constantly working on

Flying has always been a part of my life and over the years The Lord been reminding me of just how small my fears are and just how Big He is. I have a strong feeling that flying will continue to be a part of my life and lately I have discovered a few thoughts that have helped me: 

1. The pilots are much smarter and wiser than me 
They are ones that will get me to my destination... Not me
I don't have the slightest clue how to fly a plane so I have to trust
Trust someone I don't know and most the time I never see their face
And when I am not asleep and aware, I can hear the pilot welcome us on board, give us a few details about the flight and then conclude by saying "sit back, relax and enjoy the flight"
Even that little bit of reassurance from the one in control gives me some peace

Just like the pilots of the planes, I have to trust The Pilot of my life
Sometimes the path is scary... to let go... lose control of what my selfish human emotions and desires
Then turbulence hits I fear I am falling again
 Losing control and trusting a pilot I can't see or know where I am going is not easy for me
But just like the pilots of the plane, The Pilot of my life has always landed safely

2- Adventure awaits! 
The airport is a place of adventure, discovery, and exploring
Something deep in my soul wrestles between excitement and fear when I am at the airport
For someone who has such a fear if flying I also have a sense of joy and anticipation
 But the excitement of what awaits me at the destination gives me enough courage to continue flying
 I look out at planes taking off and realize the world is literally just hours away
A plane ride away
Once I board that flight, the thrill of adventure and anticipation arise 

And just like when you board an airplane, I promise you, if you decide to get on board with Him 
with deep surrender and will be one amazing adventure

So, what I have concluded is that adventure and trust are what keep me flying, give me courage, and keep me moving closer to Him. The deeper my relationship with the Lord becomes, the more aware I am of His presence around me and the more confidence I gain for flying and in life

I can hear His whispers, just enough, so when He says, 
"Jessie, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride... Adventure awaits" 
I know this is a Pilot I can trust

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