Saturday, May 23, 2015

now it springs forth

"But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: 

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you...fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth,  everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”


“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise." - Isaiah 43


These verses were given to me within a twenty-four hour period by two people who are incredibly special to me and influential in my life - and then this chapter kept popping up in random places throughout the past ten days. I figured Jesus was trying to teach me something, so I stopped to listen. And I heard,

"I am doing a new thing. Do you see it?"

(turns out, that's actually exactly what the scripture says)

A new thing.

Being done by....me, Liza?

Nope.

Being done by....other people around me?

Nope.

Being done by.....

Jesus.

God the Father.

And if He's doing it, if He's the one Who's Lord of my life, my story, my heart....then I should trust Him at work, and simply walk in it. Let go, walk in faith, walk in the Spirit, and trust Him to reveal my steps, give me wisdom, and show me how to live with honor, how to pour myself every day, how to love the people I love (and the ones I'm called to love), and stand in confidence.

Each season He's brought me through has been beautiful. Each transition has brought it's own difficulties, but I'm learning to see them as opportunities for Jesus to get more glory. Life with Jesus is all about opening doors, walking forward, climbing hills and mountains, jumping over ditches, new adventures, and never assuming we've reached the peak of knowing His power and His love. His mission on earth was and is restoring all things to Himself - and He is worth every closed door, every hard transition - because we don't consider the suffering of today to compare to the glory that is to come.

I've realized all over again in the past week that I'm called to live an impossible life. There's too many moving parts, seemingly conflicting pulls and tugs, and too much to think about to do anything well. But I have all I need for life and godliness, and I have the power, Spirit, LIFE of Jesus living inside of me...and if He's doing the work, then nothing is impossible. How crazy is that?! Nothing is impossible with God. And He is Emmanuel, "God. With. US." And I have no words. Overwhelmed by love ~ "I have called you by name, you are Mine" ~ and renewed with a vision for what He's about, what He's doing in my life, in the lives of those I love, in His Bride - the church - and the world.

There is beauty in knowing the depths of love of your Father for you, His precious one. There is power in knowing He lives, dwells, abides inside of you. And there is freedom in knowing that He is active, and at work, in control, always.

Behold.


He is doing a new thing.

Friday, March 20, 2015

to be loved.


To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us. { tim keller }

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

life on tour // { installment of the traveling scrapbook }

For those of you who keep up with me on Instagram, you know my various hashtags, including #travelingscrapbook. So here's an installment on the *blog* of the traveling scrapbook - a photo snapshot of where we've been since last time I posted, letting the smiles and landscapes and images speak for themselves.

 {jumping on the actual real life *oregon trail* at our host home in heppner, oregon.}


{visiting mission aviation fellowship - MAF - in idaho. that's Nate Saint's actual airplane he flew in Operation Auca right there...such an incredible testimony}


{children praying before a concert}

{ brief stop-through in windsor, colorado - and of course we took a summer 2013 semester picture, cause we always do that, for some reason }


{ illinois }

{ KATE. I love that my bestest of friends drove nearly two hours to see me when we were staying south of chicago}

{ happy birthday uncle freddy! }


{ also illinois.}

{ happy birthday uncle josh! }

{ CHLOE AND CARMEL. Worlds colliding! All part of "prove to Liza's teammates that blogging friends are real, actually quite lovely, people." haha.}





{ our beautiful host home farm in hickory grove, south carolina }

{ yes, this is abbeville. yes, I was more than a little excited to be back. It was a short, but precious stay and Jesus is very, very good.}

{ abbeville, south carolina }

{ Courtney and I may or may not have stopped by Clemson on our way from Abbeville to Seneca}

{ seneca, south carolina }

We're currently in Arkansas, with another busy two weeks of tour ahead before heading back to Colorado for our Spring 5K and Resurrection Sunday. I have now been working with His Little Feet for seven months - it's pretty amazing how much has changed and how fast the time has gone!

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God....Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another....if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us...So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him...There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." - 1 john 4

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

the risk of vulnerability

Loving people and being vulnerable takes courage.

It also takes humility.

And great confidence.

COURAGE because you're risking being hurt. You're opening up your heart and life to someone who may wound or use you. There's no guarantee of being received and loved. You're entrusting part of yourself to them, with no promise of being trusted in return. Loving people in a godly way, well, the way Jesus loved, takes all that we are, and leaves no room for insincerity or selfishness. It's all, or nothing. That takes guts.

HUMILITY because truth isn't always pretty. Sharing testimonies of God's faithfulness often involves sharing some of my worst failings. My greatest victories have risen from moments of human defeat. I'm not proud of my past, but pretending I don't need Jesus is false and prideful. And being vulnerable often involves asking forgiveness - admitting you're wrong. And for someone like me, who likes to be "all together", that's hard to do.

And finally, CONFIDENCE because I know Whom I Have Believed. Being vulnerable is just a trap for being miserable if I'm not confident in the love of Jesus. Because no matter how a conversation turns out, or what I've done, or what someone has done to me, I know Jesus loves me, and if my heart is bent on loving and serving Him with everything I am, then the opinions or comments of others do not matter. He does discipline those He loves, but it's to grow them to be like Himself, not to condemn them.

I am not an expert in vulnerability.

But I am learning.

I used to pretend I had it all together. After all, I was the model child, from a model family, and someone like me *must* have it together and no one should ever be able to question that.

The road to unconditional love and vulnerability for me has been rocky, difficult, and painful.

Asking forgiveness. Admitting when I've had a hard day. Loving people regardless of what they've said or done. Telling the truth about a situation, even if it might make me look bad or weak. Being honest with myself and the Lord about my heart. Allowing others to speak into my life without justifying my behavior, or taking offense. Not covering up my sin, but being honest about it's consequences and using my story as a launchpad for a passion filled life with Jesus.

If there's one thing I've learned on this journey of what it means to love unconditionally and be vulnerable, it's this:

Loving well and being vulnerable is not weakness. It's strength. 
It leaves you without a cover, but it leaves you free.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

life on tour // {multnomah falls}

It was a Cat in the Hat day.

Cold outside. Too wet to play. And misty.


We were in the middle of an eight hour drive.


But it's a His Little Feet tradition.


And we don't mind getting wet.


So we did.


(stopped, and got wet. in a big way)

And while Christa was taking the children's pictures, we asked if we could run up to the bridge. And we ran. And there was a sign about ice, but we didn't see any.


It was totally worth it.

We looked super awesome from down below....and really wet up close. *grin*


"As the waters fill the sea, so let Your glory be! Shine, Jesus Shine!..."

Saturday, January 31, 2015

changes.

Sometimes, you know when something is about to happen. You can "feel it in your bones", and even though it's still a little bit of a surprise, you're ready for it.

Other times, change blindsides you and leaves you reeling. You separate from your reality, feel like a stranger watching someone else's life as everything you knew falls away.

(Just so you know, this is an announcement.)

Something has changed in my life, that I think y'all should know about.

It's something that I've been thinking about for almost a year, and in the works for the past...five months.

And yesterday, finally, it happened, so I can tell you.

I HAVE A NEW BLOG DESIGN!!!

Whimsy and travel themed, what you now see is the work of my dear Brianna. It's been a long time since she's re-done my blog (as the last design was the creative genius of the precious Carmel), so it was fun to be in touch and working on scrapbook-y stuff with her again. I hope I wasn't too picky...hehe.

Anyway, thought I'd tell y'all....just because.

And here's some smiles for your morning:


Have a nice day! *grin*

Friday, January 30, 2015

"mirrors" [written january 28]

this came to my heart the other day, and I really wanted to share it. It's a little more abstract than I usually write, but hey, no problem with that, is there? be blessed.

Today I felt like a very small child.

It was early morning - very early morning - and my girls were asleep, and everything was still and quiet.

I was sitting cross-legged, in my flannel pjs and sweatshirt, looking at myself in the mirror (not hard to do, since my host home has mirrors for closet doors - so honestly it's hard to *not* look at yourself), just looking at myself. And looking at myself.

I was on the phone with a treasured friend of mine, and we were talking about life, and love, and people, and Jesus. And I was looking at myself in the mirror the whole time.

It hit me, as we talked, as I looked at myself, that this is my life. This is my story that I'm living. And, as Aslan has so famously said, "No one is ever told anyone's story but their own." And I'm walking mine.

Every place we go, the people I meet ask me how old I am, and if my parents are okay with me being out here on the road like this, and do they miss me, and what am I going to do after this?

And today, as I talked to a very real person on the other end of the phone line, about very real things that have happened/are happening/are going to happen, I realized that it's just little old Liza sitting here on the bed, in her pjs, talking.

Not too long ago, I was ten years old and my biggest problems usually had to do with piano music and schoolwork and whether or not I had dessert or not, and pleeeeease don't put chunks of tomato in the spaghetti sauce. And now, I'm twenty years old, with quite a bit of responsibility for some very special children, and I'm having to work through grown-up things, and talk and act like a grown-up.

I never imagined my life to look like this. And yet, I'm not really surprised. Somehow it just happened. Time passed, and somewhere in the turning years, I grew up.

I kept looking at myself, fiddling with my hair, and asking myself, "Is this really me? Sitting here? In California? Doing what I'm doing, living what I'm living?"

And in that moment, I felt very small. Very young - maybe ten years old.

You know, of course, I'm not. And I know that. But it was a funny feeling, sitting there, talking like a grown up and feeling ten years old.

"There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens...
I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." - Ecclesiastes 3

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

life on tour // {that time we did san francisco}

Last Monday, the whole team went to San Francisco for a day trip.




 Essentially, we parked at Pier 38, rode the cable car to Nordstrom's, took everyone into the mall to use the restroom, got back on the cable car back to the pier, walked across the Golden Gate bridge, and left. Haha. But all that took us a few hours, and oh, the things we saw and the fun we had!


Alcatraz, the historic island prison, from the cable car...what a fascinating history that old jail has! I never really knew...


We walked from the Pier to the cable car stop, and got startled by that guy who sits around with tree branches in front of him and scares people. Hehe - that would be the most hilarious "job" ever. But probably not everyone appreciates it as much as we did...



Riding the cable car was definitely a highlight - we got to see so much of the city in such a neat way. With all the steep streets, it felt a little like a roller coaster!



These sweet smiles...what a privilege we have to love and serve them this year!

While the team was loading up to head towards the bridge, David, Zeli, Freddy, Ben, Josh and I ran over to the fish market to grab some seafood - because, why not?



Yummmmm! A taste of home. Different than South Carolina shrimp and crab, but still incredibly good. It was hard to share...*sheepish grin* Truth: it wasn't even mine. *guilty grin*


And then we began our walk across the Bridge - so worth it! And it's really not as long as you think it is. I mean, it sort of is...but you only are tired for a little bit in the middle when you realize you still haven't gotten to the second tower yet.... *wink*



It was such a perfect day to be out and about - Jesus knew what we needed, that's for sure. It was MLK Day, so the city wasn't very busy, and the weather was beautiful.


Something else super cool was we drove through El Presidio to get to the Bridge, and that's the military base where my Dad was born...a while ago. *wink* My life full circle! I guess I never thought I'd get to visit where he was born. I love family history, and it was pretty neat to think of how close I was to where my grandparents lived and where my life story basically began. *chuckle*


The crew! Everyday is such a beautiful adventure with this wonderful crew. I love that I'm blessed to experience so much of America for the first time with people I love so much - proclaiming a message that never gets old, and serving our King together. It's truly living: preaching the Creator, while enjoying to the fullest what He created for us for to savor and soak in. His Creation reflects His face and sings His praise! And even something like the Golden Gate Bridge, a work of man, is a testimony to the mind and creativity He has given to us. Such a fascinating thought. I love Jesus.