Showing posts with label faithful. Show all posts
Showing posts with label faithful. Show all posts

Monday, September 11, 2017

it isn't the only answer [STAY. ft. julia]


who says leaving is the only answer
who says you're not good enough
and what makes them the authority on that
why has giving up become the chosen option
when darling, there are so many more
it's not like pain isn't real
bc it is
what if pain is a blessing
what if staying could mean the difference between ending your story without really living it
the difference between life and death
doing hard things is hard - that's how its supposed to be
some days you will feel beat
sometimes you'll just cry
it's ok
don't say goodbye to second chances
don't cross off all the available options to the most empty of them all
stay. please. k.


[ okay so this is probably one of the toughest things I've written. it's tough bc its a subject a lot of people have chosen to brush past for many reasons. maybe you don't deal with these thoughts or don't want to think about them...well, whatever it is, they are still real. still there. Elissa emailed me + a bunch of other fantastic bloggers awhile ago. this is part of a post series about staying. about realizing that God has given you this life as a gift.  and that, you're loved. completely and utterly loved  LOVE, J]

in case you didn't already notice, Julia is completely and totally amazing! she seriously blows me away, and I'm so humbled to call Julia my friend! please check out her blogs the barefoot gal & twilight to dawn. And don't forget to show her lots of love in the comments! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

his supercalifragilisticexpialidocious vision

what do you think the vision is for your life?

sure, make it through high school.
collage, jobs, kids, marriages.

but beyond that...
what do you think God's vision for your life is?


I know what my vision for my life is.
I graduate high school with perfect grades, before heading off to a conservatory to study dance performance.
I'll live in a perfectly, Pinterest-y dorm room and have lots of friends.
While I'm there, some visiting important-person will say I'm amazingly talented and ask me to come dance on Broadway.
I'll move and dance in lots of Broadway shows, while getting married to my incredibly hot husband.
We'll have a few Jesus-loving kids and live happily ever after.

but God's vision?
err, not really sure on that one.

right now I'm struggling with some hard people that love malice and gossip.
they deliberately hurt in order to deal with their own hurt.
they seek conflict instead of peace and humility, simply because it's easier.
and.
it's.
so.
painfully hard.

because where is God in this?
where is justice?
what's the next right thing?

the prophet Habakkuk asked God the same thing.
in chapter one, Habakkuk is complaining to God about the evilness of the world. 
he asks, "How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?" [Habakkuk 1:2]

and God answers him saying, 

"Look at the nations and watch-
    and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe
    even if you were told."

Habakkuk responds with a second complaint;

"Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?"


and agian, God answers saying;

“Write down the vision I am giving you.
    Write it clearly on the tablets you use.
Then a messenger can read it
    and run to announce it.
The vision I give you
    waits for the time I have appointed.
It speaks about what is going to happen.
    And all of it will come true.
It might take a while.
    But wait for it.
You can be sure it will come.
    It will happen when I want it to. 

whhhhaaaaaaaaaatttttttttt?!?!?!?

friends, His vision for your life is more amazing than you could ever imagine!
it's bigger than high school and Broadway and hot husbands.
it's SO SO SO SO AMAZING!

and all he asks of us is to wait.
to listen.
to write and read about his goodness.

today, I challenge you to stop.
to look through your journals,
read your old blog posts
think through your life.
see God's faithfulness.
see the beginning of his vision.

and know.
know that it's just that;
the beginning of an utterly amazing vision.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

the unspoken anniversaries


Sometimes days come that we don't want to acknowledge.
They may sneak up on us;
or maybe they shout out their coming arrival.
Whatever the case may be, the calender still turns.
The memories of days past still come.
And these memories we face become anniversaries.

Anniversaries of things that can't be mentioned in chit-chat.
Memories that are held close,
stored deeply in our very being.

We're not to talk with strangers about these things.
Sometimes, we can't talk with anyone about these anniversaries,
these feelings.

But the days arrive and the thoughts unpack.
The sun rises in order that we might live through this.
We convince ourselves that we are meant to walk through these anniversaries alone,
although nothing could be further from the truth.

So when the day arrives, stand tall.
Look it in the eye.
Gather your troops- friends, chocolate, movies, family, journals, phone calls- whoever they are.
Let them walk the day with you.
For you, dear one,
are not meant to face these days alone.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

i am a gossip


it started out as a harmless, giggly conversation.
A silly moment. 
And then all of the sudden my friend looked at me and said,
"Elissa, you do gossip a lot." 

I choked.
I was the only Christian in that room
The only one with the responsibllity to be a bright light in a darkened world.

"It's not nessicarly a bad thing..." She went on.
But the words cut down through all the layers and hit my core.

I am a gossip.

These words taste like vinegar comming out of my mouth.
They rock around in my brain,
Tumbling into every thought.

They cut through my crap and cockiness in which I stood before God last night.

For I am a gossip.

And I hate it.
I hate this ugliness inside of me,
This sword I have deeply misused.

I hate that I'm seen as a gossip to some non-Christian friends.
I hate that I bring shame to the name of Jesus on this earth.
I hate it.

For I am ashamed of this sin.
I am naked in my inadequacies.
And aware of my failure.

And Jesus knows.
He knows me as I sit with my two little gossip buddies,
Yet he loves me fully.
He knows me as I keep record of wrong,
Yet he loves me endlessly.
He hears me tarnish his gift,
Yet he still loves me.
Perfecly.
Completely.
More then I could ever ask or imagine.

For our God loves us so greatly that he will never change the depth of his love.
In any moment.
In any action.
In any situation.

For we, my brothers and sisters, are loved by a very big God.
Bigger then any shame.



Saturday, August 6, 2016

the girl in the screen


I walk up to my room, empty of laughter and whispers, yet so full of things that call out their last use.

The paint brushes we used until 3:30am making water-color hand-lettering.
The chocolate cookies we ate compulsively.
Her cup of water.
A beautiful card that I still haven't actually read because I could only get two sentences in.
Two black flip-flops, one with a redneck contraption resulting from: first night of mission trip/long walk/broken shoe/hairband/a future engineer.
A pink notebook.

It's all petty and little and stupid.
She's moved before.
I've visited before.
We've done this.

In fact, we're almost pros at long distance friendship.
Our fb messaging game is beyond stellar.
Facetime is a regular occurrence and rarely lasts under an hour.
She knows what's happening.
I know what's happening.
We talk, and cry, and laugh together across a giant ocean.

Yes, it's hard not zipping to her house that's no longer 7 minutes away.
It's sad to miss each others races, concerts, recitals, shows, time after time after time. 
I hate not having sleepovers.
I hate not being able to have her meet the people I talk about.
It sucks.

Yet at the same time, I know how to sit with the sucky-ness when it comes.
Throughout my journal, you'll see me talking to God about whatever, and see a totally random, "I miss Jayna" thrown in.
Because there are days when I feel whats missing.
But not everyday.

There was something about this last visit that made it harder to swallow.
Maybe it's because she used to live here. 
We have memories in my house.
My town.
She got to see some of my friends.
Meet up with some of her friends.

And then we hugged and said goodbye.
Goodbye with the knowledge that Korea is a lot farther the Hawaii.
Knowing that we might not see each other for a long time. 
Knowing that this-
these giggles
hugging during the tears
sharing make-up
sleeping in the same bed when we had two
singing
painting
feeling completely and perfectly at home
no need to entertain
nothing to hide or pretend
true and authentically being

is what I'm missing.
Now I go back to being friends to the girl in the screen, knowing she's so much more.

This is a kinda sad post.
And it's okay, because I'm kinda sad.

But you wanna know something?
Being sad really is okay.

And in this little grey cloud, I'm confident in my need for Jesus.
I need his love to continually pour over me.
I'm reminded of my infinite value because of his infinite grace.

This emptiness?
It's a side effect of our world.
These skin and bones are not my own.
This place?
It's not where I belong.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

When All Time Stands Still



It was a grey car ride. Melancholy filled my lungs as I sat in my pink pants and tunic shirt, staring out the window. It was mostly quiet, for no one really wanted to say anything. As we approached the Seattle, my mom began putting words together. Filling us in on what to expect. “...this is probably it…I think Abbie, Ralph and Cathy might be there...think about anything you want to say…” As we walked briskly up into that little house, my legs brushed the lavender bushes I had spend hours trimming with kitchen scissors. Making sachets. Dread hung in the should-be-cheerful, yellow living room. The kitchen chairs were pulled out in order that we could squeeze. I ate a lot of teriyaki food in those chairs. My Grandma came out from the bedroom wiping a tear. Her daughter, whom she had spent 43 years caring for, was dying. Years spent in doctors offices, conferences for parents with children with special needs, staying up at night. The official diagnosis was Rett Syndrome. My aunt was the longest survivor, the first in America to be diagnosed. Us Weisz women like attention. But not that day. The second I walked in a felt like I needed to leave. My body felt like it was being crushed by a encompassing weight. I sat stiffly, with my ever present ballerina posture, staring blankly at the petite brown recliner. I made her throw pillows to match that chair. I came home from the drugstore armed with nail polish and gave her the best pedicure. As everyone made small talk about who-knows-what, I simply sat. Clenching every muscle subconsciously. Us girls left to grab some lunch. The oxygen felt good. And we returned armed with smoothies. I still remember what I ordered at Jamba Juice. Shuffling into the should-be-cheerful, yellow living room, I sat again. And then, I went in. We went in. 
Into that tiny little bedroom, I stood. I didn’t know what to do or say, or even if I should say anything. I remember running my hands through her hair. Rachel taking a picture or two. My daddy standing against the wall, talking about his sister. I don’t know how long it was. I don’t remember if I said anything. I don’t remember if I kissed her forehead, or said, “I love you.” I don’t remember. Finding myself out in the living room, my brain in complete standstill and all emotion frigid. Then they asked if I wanted to go in again, one last time. Say goodbye. And in that moment, all of the heaviness and sorrow collapsing in around my heart, I lost the battle. I said no. I found myself sitting in the hard, wooden pews at Westside Presbyterian Church just over a week later. Thinking about what I had to say about my aunt and the impact she had on me. In the moment a choose not to tell her those things, whether I needed to say one last goodbye to the woman who told me so much without ever opening her mouth. That day I choose to keep quiet about the impact of a beautiful soul. 
And today, will I lose that opportunity again? 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Millie


Over the past two years I've had the privilege to teach violin lessons to a few sweet kiddos. We meet most weeks, and hold our recitals at nursing homes. I've loved sharing joy in music, and learning to teach music. This weekend, at our Christmas nursing home recital, I met a lady named Millie.
Millie came from a family of servants in the Kent countryside of Britain; she traveled the world as a missionary, with her husband. Her husband, Ted, was shot and killed in Cuba.

  Mille, who is 98, told me all this after we played our little arrangement and passed out our little cards. She took me back to her room to give me a copy of the biography that had been written about her and her husband. Mille also gave me a copy of her Christmas card.
Here's what it said:

My Dear                                                                                                           December 2015
  
   Happy Jesus Birthday! I really believe that! I pray this Christmas greeting finds you all well. This year, I'm almost finished reading my Bible all the way through. I'm sure it is close to the 100th time! What thrills me is how, that in the middle of the night, verses come to me like the one, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Prov. 3:5-6. I thank the Lord we are all so healthy. We don't know how much longer we have, so make the most of every minute! Not everybody is expecting the Lord to come back, but when I was a young girl, my father would open the drapes and say, "I wonder if it's today?" Now I am doing the same! 

    Lets celebrate Jesus! 
           Your ever loving, 
                        Mille

I love love love this. This Christmas, I'm going to try and look at things with the perspective of 98 year old Mille. Will you join me?


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Sunday, November 1, 2015

our daily bread


Every day of their journey, God kept on showing his people how well he would look after them, if they would trust him, and obey him. When they were hungry, God made the sky rain food--bread coming down from heaven! "What is it?" they asked each other.
 -Taken from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Text copyright 2007 by Sally Lloyd-     Jones

After the Israelites had been brought out of Egypt, they were walking.
 Stomp, stomp, stomp.
Day after day, night after night.
And they got grumpy and whinny. They were tired of walking, of setting up and taking down camp. They were tired of traveling, of extreme weather, of blisters on their sore feet.
      They were like a 4 year olds who haven't had a nap, food, or their blankies.

They finally made their camp; and they were hungry.
  So God sent down manna from heaven every night, and instructed them to take only what they would need for each day. Their were told to take no more, to take no less, than what they would need for that day.

I would have been the whiniest manna hoarder in the camp.

After God had rescued the Israelites from slavery, from cruelty, from abuse.
God brought them to a huge ocean where he made a way.
He lead them through a ocean on firm ground.
God saved them hunger, from thirst, from more then they could handle.
He made a way, when there was no way.  

God, give us today our daily bread. Give us no more, no less than what we need. Teach us to look back on our running from you, and your rescuing of us.
Show me the oceans you have parted,
the paths you are paving for me.
Remind to ask and receive.
Show me how you make a way, when there are no ways.

 
Thank you so much for visiting Letters to Jayna! I am so glad you dropped by! Please take a moment to leave a comment and let me know what you think. Also, if you like what you see, feel free to follow me through Blogger, Google+, and Bloglovin'. I look forward to hearing from you!  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

beautiful in it's time


A few years ago, Hold On by TobyMac was my current song obsession. The lyrics spoke perfectly to my heart, constantly encouraging me. 
I was so lost in a cloud, walking blindly through a valley.  
   Sadness and pain surrounded me, and for good reason. 
Loss after loss.
 Hurt after hurt.
And months later, I couldn't snap out of it. 
I couldn't shake the little sadness cloud hanging over my head. 
   I used to wake up and sit in a chair, starring off into space for a hour every morning. 
People told me it would be better- but months after these losses, I had less and less of an excuse for my sadness cloud.  

So baby hold on
just another day or two
I can see the clouds are
moving faster now
and the sun is breaking through
If you can hold on, to the one that's holding you
there is nothing that can
stop this crazy love
from breaking through

I held onto God- I let Him lead me out. 
  I felt like I was walking with a blindfold, not knowing the reasons for any of this hurt. 
And God told me to hold on.
   To fight the good fight,
Allowing Him to be my every breath, my every move.

Two and a half years later, I got the opportunity to see TobyMac in person. 
On Sunday, my dear friend Alyse had her 16th birthday and we headed out to see him.



And it was awesome!! We sang Funky Jesus Music and danced and screamed and partied our little butts off.

  I had kinda forgotten about that song until I found myself singing it along with the hundreds of other people in the crowd. And it was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. 

And God kept his promise; he held onto me.
  I'm in a much better place to experience joy!
My heart sings out to God, and his sunshine fills my heart.

He has made all things beautiful their time- he really has.

Q: Has there every been a song that God has spoken to you through?

Thanks for visiting Letters to Jayna!  Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think. Also, please take a moment to follow me on Blogger, Google+ and Bloglovin'. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

All the Time


You know what?

 God is good, all the time.
All the time.

  Even when it's crazy overwhelming. Even when things aren't going the way you hoped, or thought. Even when it's hard. Or even when things are good.

God is good. All the time.

  I like to forget that. I forget that God's grace covers me when I am anxious.

I don't feel like everything is going my way, or is perfectly fair.
   
  I forget that I don't do the right things for the approval or rewards of others.

Sometimes I use lies to motivate me.

 I don't cover myself in God's love- instead I tell myself that God does love me, I just need to keep trying to be a good person.

I let myself run on my own steam.

I allow lies to control my actions.

 But you guys, God is good all the time.

He is good when I freak out over a casting list.
He is good when things aren't fair, and don't go the way I want.
He is good when I am overwhelmed.
He is good when I think more of others opinions, then of his.
He is good when life isn't.
He is good when I try to depend on my own strength.

He is good.

Slow yourself down this week. Remind yourself constantly that

God is good, when..................


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Question: Do you ever struggle to know that God is good when..........?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Our God is in Control


This is not how it should be

This is not how it could be

This is how it is


And our God is in control



When we finally will see


We'll see with our own eyes


He was always in control


And we will finally really understand what it means


So we'll sing holy, 


holy, 

holy is our God

While we're waitin
g for that day

When we started this journey

But this is where we are


And our God is in control


There will be sweetness forever


When we finally taste and see


That our God is in control


And we will finally really understand what it means
So we'll sing holy,

 holy, 
holy is our God


While we're waiting for that day


We'll keep on waiting for that day


And we will rise


Our God is in control





This is not how it will be

And we'll sing holy,
 holy,
 holy is our God

This is not where we planned to be

Though this first taste is bitter

And we'll sing holy,
 holy, 
holy is our God

We're waiting for that day

(Holy, holy, holy) x2

Our God is in control

(Holy, holy, holy)

Our God is in control

(Holy, holy, holy)




-Steven Curtis Chapman 
 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

today




Today, I arise with a grateful heart.
The sound of rain reminds me of the storms I have been pulled out of.

I choose to give thanks, and rejoice in this day.
I choose to look for God's gifts to me.

I will remind myself of the never failing love I have received,
and do my best to dispense it to those around me.

Today is a gift.
You have filled my lungs with life.
You beckoned me from dark, to light.

And I choose to give thanks.

Warm nights gazing at the stars.
Good friends filling the kitchen with laughter.
Snuggles from a sleeping 4 year old.

   Your heart fills me.
       Your love surrounds me.

Who am I?

Who am I God, to receive these gifts?

I will worship you today.
Fully
Passionately

I will surrender my schedules, my agenda, my goals.
  I trust that your plans are better then my

You will give me joy, when I align myself with your character.
You will give me strength when I cry out to you.
You will answer my unspoken needs.

Today, I will find you in the little things.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Watch out Hawaii!


In 21 days I'm going to be sailing across the ocean to visit my long lost friend in Hawaii. We will get to spend 7 days of sunny, tropical bliss, doing what best friends do. I get to meet Jayna's sweet, little baby sister Annalee, whisper all night in her bedroom, and go shopping. Shaved ice is certainly on the agenda, and we also get to celebrate her 16th birthday. In case you haven't noticed, I am pretty excited!

 What I am most looking forward to though, is seeing my friend.

{Jayna and her mom}

The past two and a half years have been long, and kind of lonely without my partner in crime 10 minutes away. My posts were long an sappy and depressing in the months after you left. A lot of sad things did happen right around that time, but I was also covering myself in doubt.

I felt like my hear was being ripped up, and God wasn't stopping it. I remember crying out to God, asking him why he was taking all these people away from me; people that I loved deeply. It was sad; although I see and know that God was walking through those situations, I still don't understand the bigger picture.

 Sometimes that's how it goes.
We question our circumstances.
Our boats are rocked, and we wonder why this happening.

Even though I do finally get to see my friend, I still have no idea what God is doing.

I'm not sure what's going to happen next. But I know that it's gonna end up awesome.



 So now I'm curious. Have you had a situation where you questioned your circumstances? How did it turn out?

Hey, thanks so much for dropping by Letters to Jayna! Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think. And if you like what you see, take a moment to follow me on Google+, Bloglovin, and Blogger. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Overwhelmed with Love

Yesterday, the internet blew up. I could tell who lived in Washington State by Facebook statuses. Screaming at the TV was pretty common during the football game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay.   Seattle was behind, and was getting whopped on. Then, in the last two minutes they scored two touchdowns, ting the game they eventually won.  It was amazing. If your sitting, reading like "Why the heck is Elissa writing about football for heavens sake" stay with me.

If your new to the blog, I don't really write football commentary's. I write about ballet and coffee. And God. But there was something that happened at the end of this game, I cried. I seriously cried over a football game. (Not like sob cry's, but like, a few tears slipping down my face cried)

The quarter back was crying and the end of the game, and when he was asked about it by the news, he said, "I am just so overwhelmed. God is so faithful........God is so good."

And that's when I cried  teared up.

You guys, even when we lose, God is faithful. Even when life sucks, God is still good. His character doesn't change with our circumstances. His love is the same at every single stinking moment of your life. He is SO GOOD. So faithful. He is our rock, and we will not be shaken.
 -Elissa