Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Her Grumpiness Inspires Me

   Every time I see Raven in the hallway I yell, "Hi, Raven!"  Usually as loud as I possibly can.  Especially in the morning.  She's generally not in a good mood in the morning.  Whatever that is.
   She asks me why I'm so happy all the time, and I just want to know why not.  Happy is way better.  Plus I have Jesus, and He makes everything better.
   Sometimes I see Raven when I'm depressed and junk, so I put on my overly-excited face and yell her name.  Then I feel silly for not being happy (since I make fun of her all the time for not being happy), and my day is seriously brightened.
   So anyway.  Thank you, Raven! Your grumpiness inspires me.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


   The words of Luke 7:36-50 tell one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read.
   I can see it now.  All these men gathered around the Pharisee's table, enjoying a nice, calm, normal meal.  They're probably discussing politics, religion, or maybe something tamer, like the weather.  The disciples are relieved Jesus hasn't done anything weird or radical for once. 
   Out in the city, the atmosphere is a little different.  As soon as Mary Magdalene hears the rumor that Jesus is at the Pharisee's house, she knows she has to go.  She runs to the place where she hid the alabaster box and books it to where Jesus is.
   Standing outside the door, Mary tries to still her beating heart.  She knows she has to risk everything to gain it all.  Suddenly nothing matters except for Jesus, and she goes after Him with her whole heart.
   The room suddenly goes still when Mary walks in.  Her reputation as a "sinner" is known far and wide.  They see her alabaster box full of perfume, and they know how someone like her got the money for something so expensive.  Every man at the table is judging her, looking down on her from the pedestals they've placed tehmselves upon. 
   Every man, that is, except for Jesus.  He turns to face Mary Magdalene, His eyes full of love, but can't bring herself to look at His face.  She looks at no one, staring at the Savior's feet, focused on the task at hand.  All of a sudden she is bawling her eyes out, her tears splashing onto His feet, washing away the dirt and grime.  She wipes Jesus' feet with her hair, kisses them all over, and annoints them with every drop of the sweet smelling perfume.
   The Pharisee who had invited Jesus is thinking to hinself, If He were a prophet He would know what kind of woman is touching Him, and if He knew what kind of woman she was, there is no way He'd let her touch Him.  Our Lord knew his thoughts, and, not even acknowledging him, turned to Simon, saying, "Do you see this woman?  I entered into your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has washed my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.  You gave me no kiss, but this woman has not stopped kissing my feet since she came in.  You did not annoint my head with oil, but this woman has annointed my feet with ointment.  Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much, but to whom little is forgiven, the same love little."  Let me tell you, nothing hurts worse than being humbled/knocked off your pedestal/burned by Jesus.  Instead of looking down on Mary, now every person in the room knows that she has something they lack.
   It is in this moment that Mary Magdalene finally dares to look up.  She locks eyes with Jesus, and she knows she will never, ever look away.  She has poured everything of value upon the feet of Jesus - the perfume, her love, her old life, her identity, her whole self.  Everything is His.
   And He says unto the woman, "Thy sins are forgiven. Thy faith has saved thee; go in peace."

Sunday, September 15, 2013


   Well, my dears, at long last, here are the journal entries from my 7 experiment, which I finished September 10.  I am so glad I did this!  Enjoy this inside look at my imperfections, which happen to be many.  I hope you are inspired!

Day 1
   Well, it has begun!  Misty texted me first thing this morning to say "You go, girl!"  Praise God for her. :)
   Honestly, being the first day, it wasn't really hard.  The sacrifice factor hasn't kicked in yet.  The only thing was that I missed my 7 pm prayer pause.  I was at practice, and I will be pretty much every day, so I need to remember right at the end.  It needs to become a habit.
   I know that it's going to get hard.  Fast.  Part of me is asking why I'm even doing this, but the rest of me has a ready answer.
   I'm doing this to make less of myself and more of God.  I'm doing this to become focused on Him at all times.  I'm doing this draw closer to Him, to seek His face, to learn more of how awesomHe is.  I'm doing this to make God number one.

Day 2
   I did it again.  My prayer pause was closer to 9 pm than 7.  I don't have an alarm or anything to remind me, and apparently God is not on my mind too much at football practice.  that's the main goal of this, though.  I want to always be thinking about Jesus.  I am so hungry for Him!

Day 4
   Jordan and I opened the fridge at the ranch ysterday to find Swiss Rolls and Reese's.  Believe me when I say celebration commenced immediately.
   Me: Yay!  We have Sw... ugghh.  I'm fasting chocolate.
   And so, the battle begins.
   Bethany: Wait, you're Baptist, right?
   Me: Umm, no.  I don't have a denomination.  I don't actually need one either.  I've got Jesus, and He's enough for me!
Day 7
   Talking to Jesus before I even open my eyes on a school morning.  Belting out Amazing Grace with my church family until our worship leader is so overcome he can't even sing anymore.  Telling the girl I met 38 seconds ago about God's love at Sportsmanship Summit.
   Favorite moments during 7.  So far.
Day 13
   Confession #1: I haven't been journaling near enough.  Every time I sit down to write there is so much to say that I get overwhelmed.  I think I'll give myself a few hours to process, and  next thing I know it's been 5 days.  I'm learning discipline in so many other areas; I'd better get started here, too.
   Confession #2: I am 21 items behind on my giving.  Yes, people, 3 days worth.  I'm running out of things to give away!  I need to go on a treasure hunt or something.
   Confession #3: I miss candy bars.  And Google.  A lot.
   God, grant me focus.
Day 16
   My logic: Well, it's only been 90 degrees like three times this summer, and it's already starting to cool off, so I should be good!
   Missouri's logic: Oh, Michaela only has two pairs of shorts for the next month?  Let's make it 100 degrees every day during the last week of August.
   And in other news: I'm past halfway!
Day 22
   On Saturday, I broke 7.  I blame Josh and Sindy for falling in love.  Just kidding, guys!  But seriously, I had nothing wedding-appropriate.  My shoes were 7-sanctioned, though.  Forgive me?
My beautiful FCA girls and I before the wedding. :)
   In all honesty, I've considered giving away everything in my closet besides the 21 things I picked for 7.  I just don't even need them all.  But there's just one thing.  You see, the thing about wearing the same clothes over and over and over again is that you have to wash them. All. the. time. That or you go to get dressed in the morning and think, "Oohhhh, lovely..." I feel like I'd be having way too many oh-lovely-type mornings.

Day 27
   The other day, I cracked.  Unintentionally, and unwittingly, but it still happened.  I went to turn on Spotify for some music, and the next thing I know my sister's asking me what the heck I'm doing. 
   What I was doing was reading the headlines on our home page.  I had clicked on the internet without even realizing I had done it.  There I was, tired and stressed at the end of the day, and I couldn't even believe I had done that.
   I was this close to drying.  But before the tears fell, Jesus whispered in my ear, "Darling, I still love you."  He reminded me that the point of 7 is not perfection.  The point of 7 is not proving what an awesome Christian I am.  The point of 7 is falling apart until I can do nothing but let God put me back together.  The point is relying totally and completely on His strength for everything I do.  When I get dressed in the morning, when I interact with my family, when I eat, and when I use the computer.  Constantly.  Incessantly.  Always.
   Jesus is all that matters.