hibernation

sometimes God calls us away.

sometimes He hides us in a place where we are alone with Him. Nothing to distract us from the sole purpose of seeking, knocking, asking.

these places can be dry and dusty.

but they are essential.

not fun.

not something you long for.

but critical to some unseen purpose that is beyond our comprehension.

to those in the wilderness, I wave at you.

you are not alone.

 

just b r e a t h e

It’s been quite a hiatus. My apologies. Sometimes I just don’t have anything to say.

Valleys can be like that. Where you are just focused in walking and living and breathing.

But I found a fabulous book that is helping me have peace in the valley. It’s causing me to dig deep and allow God to strengthen me to wait on Him alone. (Andrew Murray – Waiting on God – 99 cents on the Kindle – Go. Read. Now.)

The more we tuck in with God and allow His Word to teach us and guide us, the more I realize how absolutely frantic we humans can be! We want to DO something NOW. We have  no idea what it is to “wait on God” or what that even looks like. But oh,how essential, how absolutely vital it is to wait on Him because if you believe the Scriptures are true (I do!) then “without Him, we can do nothing”. (see John 15:5).

So while these last few months have been challenging and difficult in so many ways, I am grateful. Grateful that it’s driven me deeper. I joked with someone recently that God has pruned me back to the point that I am just a little nub. It’s not really funny. Pruning can be painful. And some of it really has been. But I do know the One who holds the pruning shears. And I am learning to trust Him more and more and more…

So read this book with me. I’m halfway through but I will be reading it again and again. Chewing on the deep truths that are contained there. And keeping my heart focused on Who He Is. Not on what swirls around me.

Andrew Murray – Waiting on God.

I’ll wait.

~Sarah~

 

50 Shades of Magic Mike

What is a Christian to do with Magic Mike and 50 Shades? Run. Far. Away.

That’s the short answer but this post spells it out very nicely – so I’ll just point you there.

50 Shades of Magic Mike

~Sarah~

 

You’re a firework!

My Facebook feed this morning was full of pictures of fireworks.

I used to take pictures of fireworks too. There’s something about colors and sparks in the sky that makes us want to try and capture what we see. But I slowly began to realize that the images I grabbed – even the good ones – just didn’t work for me. They were static…lifeless…lacking a true reflection of what I had seen with my own two eyes.

Fireworks are meant to be experienced by being there – not by looking at pictures of them later. Even watching on TV is just not the same. It’s still a dim reflection of standing there, gaze fixed on the sky, smelling the smoke, hearing the bangs and watching the colors drift to the ground. Being there. In the moment. Just watching.

God is like that, too. Talking about God, listening to a sermon, hearing a story about how He works – none of it compares with being fully in His presence, beholding Him. When we still everything in our hearts and sit with Him. Where we stop trying to capture and take something from the experience and just enjoy His presence. It came at a pretty high cost after all.

You can faithfully perform all the duties of being a Christian and still miss out on experiencing God.

“He is as willing to be a living, bright, glorious Reality to us….Let us endeavor to learn the blessed secret of abiding ever in the secret of His Presence and of being hidden in His Pavilion.” (Secret of Guidance F.B. Meyer)

Many people know the Scripture – “Lo, I am with you always” and it is true. He is always with us if we’ve surrendered to Him. But our human eyes and ears and hearts can be dull and slow when it comes to recognizing God’s presence, His wisdom and His guidance. We cannot expect to rush in, send a hurried greeting to God, and then have everything we need dropped in our laps so that we can hurry away again. No. We don’t need things FROM Him. We need Him. We need Him desperately. 

So set aside the things of this world so you can fix your eyes on the beyond, on Christ. Don’t demand that He respond on your time schedule. Give up your checklist and hand over your heart. Be patient. Be persistent. Don’t give up and walk away and say “It’s not working.” Believe me, your obedience and faith in doing it will be changing you inwardly. Seek Him and don’t give up. He will answer You. Maybe not in the way you are expecting, but He will answer.

Start today. Start now. And don’t let a day go by where you do not sit with Him. He is the source of all.

Oh Lord, let your people be blessed anew with Your Presence. Help them to hear and see with new eyes and open their hearts to receive You afresh today. Your banner over us is love. Help us to know this. Amen

I’m a dance mom!

A few years back, we spent a year in the world of competitive cheerleading when my littlest girl was 6. She was too young to try out for stage plays and the kid was simply born to perform. That combined with her size and athletic skill, well, cheerleading was a good fit.

We had no idea what we were getting into. It was a whole new world. And on top of that my daughter’s tiny size meant that she was a flyer. Little kids lifting my kid high above their heads was enough to make me hold my breath and deal with fear in brand new ways. All. Year. Long.

We did one year in cheerleading and then she switched over to stage performance. A lot less scary and a lot less expensive so I had no complaints!

Then this past year they got the opportunity to join a dance team. Once again, I had no idea what I was really getting into. Except this time, I had Dance Moms! Gave me kind of a peek into the world. A crazy, scary peek, but a peek nonetheless. Full confession? I’m totally addicted to the show. I could do without some of the high drama, language and smack talk – but the dancing!!! I love watching the dancing.

Being involved in musical theater for so long, all my kids have had the opportunity to dance. But being able to take classes has been limited because of their other activities and sports. So we took a dive in. The water has been pretty shallow this year. Only 2 competitions. But since this weekend is our first one, well, it’s all I can think about.

Interesting facts:

I had to sew.

There are sequins all over my house.

I am pretty sure I am overpacking.

I can’t wait to see my kids on stage. It never gets old watching them use their gifts and talents for the Lord.

Because at the end of the day, I just want them to do their best – for the audience of One. It’s kind of cool that I get a front row seat. I find it a privilege that I get to help these beautiful children grow and learn and become – for Him.

And I am grateful.

 

when’s the last time you did something crazy? or “why I entered the Nicholl”

Back in the beginning of 2012 the Lord told me that my word for this year was “courage.”

That is great and all, but the need for courage usually necessitates “scary things to be courageous about”. I’m already neck deep into that and most of it, well, I can’t talk about – yet. At some point I might be able to share what the last 8 weeks has been like. I feel like I’ve been stretched like taffy – it’s all good – but wow. So unexpected.

Kind of like God. He takes my breath away sometimes. And He’s taken my breath away over and over.

But when we glimpse just how big and amazing and awesome God is, we can start to believe for the crazy things. We stop getting tripped up by the impossible and instead just jump into the water and see what might happen. Even when the odds are stacked against us. God has been challenging me to pray bigger prayers. Crazy big prayers. And it’s been great. And exciting. But crazy big prayers are only one part of it. Sometimes we have to take a crazy step out of the boat, too.

So today I did something that – in my book – is just kind of crazy. I entered a screenwriting contest. Not just any screenwriting contest – The. Big. One. The granddaddy of them all. The Nicholl. You see, even though I’ve been writing screenplays for the past 8 years, I haven’t really had the opportunity to do anything with them. Screenplays are different than novels. I know what to do with them. Screenplays – well, they require far more money than I have to produce them. So I write and write and they are pretty little files on my computer.

The screenplay I just finished has been circling my heart for three long years. I love the story. And now I have a complete script. But what to do with it? I’ve been asking the Lord about whether or not to enter it somewhere (mostly because I don’t really have any other good ideas about what to do with it), but didn’t really hear anything. This morning as I sat out on my deck with the Lord, I began to look at all that God has already done. And I realized that my hesitancy was simply because I was afraid. It felt silly and ridiculous to even consider such a thing. I was afraid to fail. But fear is a very poor barometer to help decide what we should and shouldn’t do.

What exactly did I have to lose? Well, my fear.

Sometimes you just have to do something you’re afraid to do simply so you won’t be afraid anymore.

Yes, it’s a bit crazy. It is likely that more than 7,000 screenplays will be entered. That’s a crazy amount. But I still entered. I tried. And at the end of the day, I can be content with that.

Is there something crazy YOU should be doing?

Teens! Check out the Gideon!

The deadline is May 1st – so it’s time to get a move on and apply!

What is the Gideon?

It’s a Christian Media Arts Conference and Film festival held near Asheville, North Carolina August 11-16, 2012

Media Arts?

Filmmaking, Acting, Graphic novels, Comedy and Screenwriting!

Who’s it for?

The conference is designed for adults that are working in the Media Arts and all of the classes are taught by professionals.

What about teens?

We have a special Intern program for Teens between 16-18 to come and take part in this spectacular conference. This allows teens to attend without bringing a parent/guardian (this makes it way cheaper!)

Would you make a great Gideon Clash Intern? Are you…

  • a teen who is actively working in and/or pursuing training in the media arts?
  • a teen who can interact well with a team and work in group settings?
  • a teen who can interact with professionals in a respectful way?
  • a teen who is eager to learn, eager to help and eager to take advantage of all that Gideon has to offer?
  • a teen who is responsible and organized enough to manage the pre-conference interactions as well as the conference requirements?

Why come?

Let’s face it – getting real hands-on training in filmmaking and other media arts is hard to do! At the Gideon, Interns get to interact with Christian professionals who are actively working in the Media Arts. In 2011, our interns got to help shoot a music video and produce a short film! We are excited about what’s in store for 2012! You won’t find anything else like it!

What do we do?

Gideon Interns get to take full advantage of all the course offerings at the Gideon Conference (the Intern Directors help guide you through the week!) But Interns get special perks! Like getting to eat meals with the faculty, giving them a chance to ask a lot of questions and learn from these working professionals. Our interns help out in classes giving them a front row seat to all the action.

Got more questions? Feel free to contact me! My friend Vonda and I have been directing the Intern Program for four years!! And yes! I’ll be there this August!

Check out our website to learn more and apply today!

Don’t wait! The deadline is May 1st – but you can do it!

jesus is alive!

Oh how he loves us!!!

Isn’t it amazing how Jesus – from the beginning of creation – was ready to redeem us once and for all?

 

In every book of the Bible, Jesus is revealed to us:

This is my favorite video that shows it all. (The blonde is my oldest daughter!!)

Story Drunk

For the past week, I’ve been bingeing – on a story, that is. It’s a story that has been rolling around in my head for three long years! Yes, for three years I’ve been thinking about these characters, this story, this town, to the point that they are so real I feel like I’ve been there, met them and fallen in love.

The other day I was writing and looked up and realized that I had to go pick up the kids from school. Yanking myself from the story was strange and disorienting and the only way to describe it was that I felt “story drunk”.

Maybe some of you know what I mean.

But the story I am writing is one I know I was meant to tell. It’s my passion project. And I finally feel ready to write it. While I have over 100 pages of the novel completed, I have put everything in reverse and instead – I am writing the screenplay of this story.

Which as all writers know, is even crazier than simply writing the novel. (Selling a novel is easy compared to producing a movie!)

But I can’t help it. This is the project I am supposed to be working on so I am out in my field, planting and sowing and watering. Sometimes you just have to obey God. Even if you don’t understand why. Even if you don’t know what it’s all going to look like.

Even if it seems crazy.

So before I go get lost again in this beautiful story, I thought I’d pop in and say hello – and see what crazy thing God is having YOU do these days:-)

~Sarah~

on a migraine watch

a migraine watch is not a fun thing to be doing but it’s necessary for those of us who suffer with those beasts. People who have “headaches” really don’t understand the difference between a bad headache and a migraine – and they are very different. I get both, so I know.

I got my first migraine at 16 years old while I was working at a little bagel shop at the beach. I didn’t know what was happening. I couldn’t see correctly and had this strange light passing through my vision field, making it impossible to see the register. At first, nothing hurt, just this strange thing in my vision. But within an hour I was slumped over in pain. The Lutheran pastor who regularly got bagel and coffee at the shop walked me back to the boarding house where I lived and I slept…till the next day.

When I met Jesus in college, people began to pray for me to be healed. I appreciated every prayer. I still pray to be healed.

But I have had Christians accuse me that my migraines are my fault – not enough faith, my own sin, a sign of spiritual immaturity, or that my great-great grandfather did something that opened a door to satan.

Yeah.

I’ve pretty much heard it all.

And I’ve heard it all when it comes to advice. For some reason, well-meaning people will tell me things or suggest things that they think I don’t already know. I do whatever I can to keep them from happening, but that doesn’t mean I’m always successful. I can’t drink aspartame at all (which includes pretty much every diet cola). When I get a migraine, the first thing I do is look over the last few days to see if anything has changed. Sometimes nothing has. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to why I got one. But as a migraine-sufferer, I at least try to figure it out.

I had a run-in with the Sobe drinks last fall. I grabbed one at a convenience store one day and scanned the list of ingredients. No aspartame. But a bunch of  other ingredients I didn’t recognize. It was a yummy drink and found a case at the wholesale club and was thrilled to find something new to drink. Then the first migraine hit. A few days later another…then another. the only change had been those sobe drinks so I stopped drinking them and the migraines disappeared. No more Sobe for me.

On Saturday afternoon, I drank something new and yesterday afternoon, I got a migraine while driving home (terrible time to get one btw). So because I introduced something new to my diet, I have to wonder if it’s the cause. There was a lot of glare on the road and since that can also trigger migraines, I don’t know what’s to blame — yet.

The only way to know for sure is to drink another one. And see what happens. That is SUCH a scary thing to do. Drink or eat the possible trigger to learn whether or not it’s a trigger — by setting myself up for a migraine. That’s what I call a migraine watch. But it’s the only way to know…

I figured there were a bunch of you who know exactly what I’m talking about…so I thought I’d share:-)

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