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.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

{ to make an end is to make a beginning }

It's 2015. Which is hard to believe. Another year over, and a new one just begun.


This is going to be the best year of my life so far. (claiming that because, why not?)

It'll probably bring the most change to my little world, second only to 2007.

I'm expecting incredible things out of this year. Last year was the hardest year I've gone through spiritually, and yet was most definitely my year of most growth. I'm in such a different place than I was last winter...it's amazing and can only be attributed to the Spirit of Jesus at work.

Right now, I'm tucked away in the mountains of Colorado. We are on our way with the team to Southern California for six weeks of tour west of Colorado, and another six weeks or more of tour in the midwest and east coast. It's crazy, to think how long we'll be gone, and yet so exciting to think of all the states and places we're going to be, and all the people we're going to meet.


This Christmas was beautiful. Christmas Eve was hard, missing family and traditions and all, but there was such an outpouring of grace on the entire week...Christmas Day was absolutely precious time with the remaining staff and children - memories I wouldn't trade for the world. Jesus knew exactly what each of us needed, and truly graced us staff who didn't go home with Himself in such a special way. So many moments and conversations of getting to know each other better, or just quiet evenings of being together and letting silence speak. Different than any other holiday I've ever had, but wonderful in it's way.


With 2014 ending, there was such a sweet opportunity to start over and leave what happened last year in last year. To let go of everything, be thankful for the lessons learned, and look forward to more growth and joy in this upcoming year. There are going to be so many beautiful moments, so much more of Jesus to learn and to fall in love with, so much of life to be lived. There will also be hard things, but they will be turned to glory for His sake.

I'm welcoming this new season with open arms. With tour starting in full gear, the day after New Year's, it's definitely a new start in a literal sense. Here I am, here's where Jesus has me, here's to what He's doing and the way He loves us. He's my favorite, and every year with Him gets sweeter and more beautiful.

So with all that...

Hey, 2015 - it's nice to see ya.

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
T.S. Eliot