Monday, December 7, 2009

tumors and testimonies

Undoubtedly, those of you familiar with The Village Church in Dallas have heard about lead pastor Matt Chandler's recent surgery to remove a tumor from his frontal lobe on Friday.

I don't have adequate words to say, nor do I even feel entitled to say anything at all concerning this matter- other than I am praying and will continue to pray for God's healing, His peace, and His purpose to be revealed through this trial.

A video of Matt before he entered surgery was particularly challenging and encouraging for me to watch.
Watch the video. Pray. Be encouraged that God is enough.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dear I-35

Dear I-35...

the fog and the cold
bright lights and the road
city limit signs
120 miles
on the long stretch of I-35

too much time to think
distance and space
that keep me away
for six long days
on the long stretch of I-35

tears fall fast
24 hours didn't last
can't wait to get back
to smile and laugh, then do it over again
on the long stretch of I-35

Thursday, November 26, 2009

this & that

this & that - a random post of current events

It's funny how four long, hard years of social work can fit on one tiny CD. Nonetheless, I FINISHED my senior capstone portfolio!!! :) Praise the Lord. Now, all I have to do is defend it in front of my panel.
No big deal.

I love making gingerbread men. This guy looks a little silly, but he sure did taste yummy. He definitely got me excited for Christmas baking, too!

I got to party with my favorite one year old. Happy Birthday, Reese Elaine! Check out that adorable :)

Happy Friendsgiving! Papa Ben carved some delicious turkey for everyone and all my friends were quite impressive with their special dishes. Very thankful.

Sic 'em, bears!

3-D movies are too fun.
I suggest going to see the new A Christmas Carol. The animation is amazing in 3-D!
If you can see it with a cute boy, I hear it makes the movie even better ;)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Worst Blogger Ever... and other random thoughts

I've definitely been neglecting the blogosphere (yes, I said 'blogosphere') for some time now.

I've avoided blogging for a few reasons. Mostly due to a sincere lack of time to sit down and write something other than a paper for social work or english or history or...whatever.

I've also been avoiding blogging because I've felt I've just had so much to say and have been wrestling with so many big thoughts these days that it has almost been immobilizing.

I'm craving community.
Two of my best friends in the world are overseas right now. Many of my other dear friends have graduated and moved away. I find myself once again writing about this strange transition time I am in, the same one so many of my friends are going through.
It's good to know I am not alone in this.

In some ways, it feels as if my life is waiting to begin - almost as if I am being left behind in a sense while others continue on their brave and adventurous journeys.
I know that is not the Truth - just a lingering feeling.
I realize my life is happening right now. My brave and adventurous journey is here, for now.
So, what am I going to do with it?
What are you going to do with it?
And what are we working towards?
Many thoughts and questions I've been pondering these days.

In the meantime, God is constantly overwhelming me with His kindness and goodness to me.
Life, although a perpetual mystery, is sweet and I am blessed far beyond what I deserve.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What do I know?

I made You promises a thousand times.
I tried to hear from heaven, but I talked the whole time.
I think I made You too small. I never feared You at all.
If You touched my face, would I know You?
Looked into my eyes, could I behold You?

What do I know of You who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood, but the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are you sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

[What do I know of Holy? - Addison Road]

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just what I needed

I had just the weekend I needed
and wouldn't you know, I forgot my camera and have no pictures to show for it.

After a long and stressful school week,
[3 midterms, 6 (yes, SIX) papers, lots of social work endeveors, and very little sleep]
I was in definite need of some rejuvination.

I escaped to Dallas to spend time with my precious novio and my favorite cousin.
I enjoyed lots of sleep, good conversation, a sunset and a homemade meal,
lunch at Studio Grill while watching Where the Wild Things Are (so good!!),
delicious french toast at Cafe Brazil, good friends and great community at church.
A breath of fresh air.
Just what I needed to tackle this week before
joyous Homecoming weekend at Baylor :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jim and Pam forever.

Jim and Pam . . .

forever :)

This episode truly made my heart happy and made me smile from ear to ear.

The world needs more love like Jim and Pam's.

Friday, October 9, 2009

my dad

Gerald Thomas Beck...
my dad.
If you know me well, you know the special relationship I have with my dad.
He is a prayer warrior. A faithful follower. A loving and gentle dad.

Among so many things my dad has taught me, he has shown me
Boldness to serve, boldness to love, boldness to give and to share.
Mostly, the boldness to look beyond myself and to see the world.
This boldness has really got me thinking these days.

Isaiah 58-
A tough chapter to read.
Through Isaiah, God reveals His frustration for about 6 verses with the people of Israel.
He asks them why they act so pious. Why do they go to the Temple and seem so delighted to learn about Him, act as though they are righteous, and continue fasting when they are still fighting among themselves, oppressing their workers, and bragging about their fasting?
Yeah! Stupid Israelites. How dare you?! Right?!
No. I am the Israelite in this passage.
And maybe you are too? I don't know.

God says this is what He desires from us...
"No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them...
Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal...
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.
Then your Light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry, and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring."
[Isaiah 58:6-11, New Living Translation]

Feed the hungry. Shelter the homeless. Free the captives.
Then our Light will shine and we will be like an ever-flowing spring.

That is our gospel.

Monday, October 5, 2009

. . .

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
therefore He will rise up to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more.
How gracious He will be when you cry for help.
As soon as He hears, He will answer you.
Although the LORD gives you bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
Your teacher will be hidden no more;
with your own eyes you will see Him.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you saying,
"This is the way; walk in it."

[Isaiah 30:18-21]

Thursday, October 1, 2009

this girl is good

I have unanswered prayers.
I have trouble I wish wasn't there.
and I  have asked a thousand ways
that You would take my pain away.

I am trying to understand
how to walk this weary land.
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine.

When my world is shaking,
Heaven stands.
When my heart is breaking,
I never leave Your hands.

When You walked upon the Earth,
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt.
I know You hate to see me cry.
One day You will set all things right.

Your hands that shape the world are holding me.
They hold me still.

[J.J. Heller - Your Hands]

check this girl out.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


"My eyes are small, but they have seen the beauty of enormous things, which leads me to believe - there's Light enough to see that You make everything glorious."
[David Crowder Band]
. . .
Days will be difficult,
but in the midst of difficulty
. . .
I know there are beautiful sunsets.

I'm thankful for unexpected, little blessings and people to share them with.
I need to embrace these sweet little blessings with more zest.
Beauty is everywhere and God is a faithful provider.

Monday, September 28, 2009

a tandem bike

Several weeks ago, I heard a sermon in which the pastor related our relationship with God to riding a tandem bike.
"A tandem bike? Really?"
... I thought to myself.
. . .
The pastor went on to explain-
We are on this journey with God. He designed it so that He would lead and we would follow. For the sake of the pastor's analogy, God would be directing the bike, steering it, and guiding it in the direction it should go. Our role as the follower isn't to merely do nothing. We must first be on the bike-having a relationship with God.
And we must peddle.
To where?
Most of the time, we may not see where we are peddling to.
So we must trust.
We have to choose to trust in the One steering the bike-trust that He is good, trust that He is faithful, and trust that where He is taking us is actually the place we should be-even if we can't see that place yet or even if that place is unfamiliar.
. . .
I confess that most of the time, I choose to ride my own bike.
This bike doesn't even have a seat for God.
It only has room for me.
So, this bike just takes me where I think I need to go,
which is usually never where I really need to be.
. . .
I tend to be very weary and cynical when I hear cliche sayings such as these, "Your relationship with God is like riding a tandem bike."
These phrases tend to annoy me. Someone can't equate all the complexity of my relationship with God to a silly analogy.
However, there was something about the particular delivery of this analogy that has stayed with me for weeks.
Jesus spoke and taught in parables.
We are too dull and our mind's far too finite to understand the complex Truths and mystery of God. Isn't it amazing and so gracious for God to use this analogy- the idea of a tandem bike- something so simple, to teach an important Truth to a stubborn and selfish person like me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

nobody said it was easy

Come up to meet You, tell You I'm sorry
You don't know how lovely you are.
I had to find You, tell You I need You.
Tell You I set You apart.
Tell me Your secrets, ask me Your questions.
Oh, let's go back to the start
. . .
Nobody said it was easy.
No one ever said it would be this hard.
Take me back to the start.
[the scientist-coldplay]

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

thanks, Ralph

"Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day;
you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The last 48 hours of my life have been a little...stressful, to say the least. However, when I lay my head down on my pillow tonight, (more like early morning) I must remember- I have done what I could, despite some 'blunders' and 'absurdities' along the way. I must forget them as soon as I can because...tomorrow is a new day!
Sometimes, it's hard for me to let go of my mistakes and imperfections. Sometimes, I want to hold on to them tightly and cling to them, analyzing them over and over. I take them with me to bed at night. They lay there with me and are heavy upon my chest.
There is no joy in that, certainly no peace. So tonight, I must let those blunders roll off my shoulders. I must remember God's mercies are new every morning. He gives strength and refreshment to weary and tired bones. I'm grateful for that.
Thanks, Ralph. You were a pretty smart dude.

Monday, September 14, 2009

just to brighten your day

If this sweet little darling, Elli Kate, doesn't brighten your day...
I don't know what will.
I hope you smile as much as I did when I saw these amazing photos.
Happy Monday!

The fabulous photographer responsible for these great photos is Dominique Lamontagne Harmon. Visit her at to see her other work.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

my friends are coming back

My friends are returning for a new season.
Just a few more days...
and I am very, very excited.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tight-Rope Walking

What is it that makes a relationship functional?
What makes it healthy, stable, reputable?
What makes a relationship...good?
Undoubtedly, a lot of things.

I think relationships are carefully crafted acts of balance.
Right now, I'm trying to tightrope walk
and it's harder than I thought it would be.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


In Swahili, this word means believe.
I got talk to one of my best friends in the world today, Sarah. Currently, Sat Pack [as we like to call her] is serving in Nairobi, Kenya as an intern with a church called City Harvest. Sat Pack and I were able to talk on Skype [such a lovely invention] and I even got to see her face because she has a web cam! I know I sound like technology baffles me sometimes, but that's because
technology baffles me sometimes.
Kenya is always on my heart, but after talking to Sarah today, I went back and looked at all of my pictures from trips past
and I cried...mostly tears of joy, but several tears of missing dear friends.
Below is a picture I took about two years ago. This picture is nothing too exciting, riveting, or heart-wrenching. It's really quite simple. However, I love it just the same. This mural of the Lord's Prayer is painted in an alleyway next to a school in a slum called Kariowa in Nairobi.
A prayer-
Our Father, who is in Heaven
Your name is to be praised, Your kingdom come
Your will be done on earth like in Heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us our mistakes like
like we forgive others who sin against us
Do not carry us into temptation, but rescue us
from evil.
Amini. Believe.
I believe. Help me with my unbelief.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So Emo.

We are so emo...

Although I didn't have an 'emo day' at all today,
and actually had a great day,
these pictures make me smile and I hope they make you smile too.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Your Love is Strong

Your love is strong.
It is far-reaching.
It is more patient than I deserve or will ever be able to understand.
Your love is relentless.
It does not give up on me.
"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand it's own way. It is not irritable and keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the Truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
[1st Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT]
"This is real love - not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son as a sacrifice to take away our sins."
[1st John 4:10, NLT]

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Today, I feel sick.

Today, I feel sick-
not the kind of sickness that attacks our physical bodies.
A far worse kind.
Today, I feel sick in my soul.
In my spirit.
To borrow some lyrics from one of my favorite bands of all time,
"I struggle with forward motion."
To borrow some words from Paul in the New Testament,
"The trouble is with me...for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate...I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway."
[Romans 7: 14-19. New Living Translation]
Those who have much background or experience at all with a church or Christianity have probably heard this Scripture quoted many times.
It's nothing new.
It's nothing I haven't heard at least a hundred times growing up in a church.
Despite this Scripture's popularity, there is something so poignant about it, isn't there?
Paul hit the nail right on the head. I love how he boldly states,
"The trouble is with me..."
Paul, the same man who was once Saul- a killer of Christians and persecutor of the early Church who was transformed by the power of Jesus into a walking, living, breathing testimony of God's redemption, states somewhat emphatically,
the problem is me!
The problem is me.
After all, the problem never was with God, was it?
The problem always has been me.
How painful to type.
More painful still, the reality and the Truth that this sin that lives within me and the inadequacies that stare me so boldly in the face
are the same iniquities that nailed Him to a tree.
There are countless Scriptures I find comfort in that remind me that God is not finished with me yet. He does not leave me nor forsake me.
He casts my sin as far as the east is from the west and chooses to remember it no more.
His mercies are new every morning.
It was not I who loved Him first or chose Him, but He loved me first and He chose me-not because of my righteousness, because I had none.
I am suppose to forget about the past and look forward to what is ahead.
. . .
But for these brief moments, it is a time to mourn my sin.
and to celebrate His death-
for by His death I get to crucify all my insufficiencies.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Great Last First Day

[Sometimes you need streamers and balloons to celebrate the first day of school.]

Today was my last first day of my undergraduate career at Baylor University.
Say what?
[Freshman Homecoming circa 2005.]

How the time flies.

[...when we were merely freshmen.]

I met this day with some nervousness, some sadness, some excitement, a reminiscent heart...
but mostly with joy.

I get to walk on this great campus for one more semester.
This means I get to wink at Judge Baylor, sit under the giant shade trees, see friends while walking to class, drink a Dr. Pepper float at Dr. Pepper hour, work out at the SLC, walk the bear trail....etc., etc.

all for one more semester.
[Giving Judge Baylor a smooch.]

I'm a lucky girl.

Of course, it didn't hurt that the sweetest boy in the world gave me a "Have a great first day of school!" survival kit either :)

[That's right. I got my favorite chap stick, cute folders, a new thermos and sandwich holder, crayons, pens, and delicious snacks to start my first day :) ]

This will be a great semester.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I'm a hustler, baby.

Play poker, beat all the boys, and win the game.

I couldn't have done it without my novio.
He is a great teacher.

This is not a love story. This is a story about love.

500 Days of Summer:
Go see this movie.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the cutest.
I want to steal everything from Zooey Deschanel's closet.

Dear Nashville. . .

Dear Nashville,
Thank you for letting me enjoy your beauty this past week.
Thanks for letting me spend quality time with my best friend.

Thanks for wine and a picnic in Centennial Park.

Thanks for photo shoots downtown.

...and yummy cappuccinos.

...and great live music.
...and delicious dinners that remind me of being in Italy.

I will miss you, Nashville.
I'll be seeing you soon.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

the light and the tunnel

I don't know if you're in a tunnel.

If you are, don't lose heart.

There is light at the end.

I promise.
"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world..."
-John 3:19

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Journey(s)

I've started a few new journeys over the past couple of weeks.
A new journey can be scary.

Not knowing what lies ahead can cause you to fear, worry, or
. . .

The unknown can push you, press on you, and test you. But test you to do what? I think it can push you to trust.


Why is this small word so hard for us? Really, why is this small word so hard for me? I want to reach out and touch, feel, see with my own eyes the things I am putting my hope and trust in. Wouldn't that be so much easier, so much more simple?

"Those who know Your name will trust in You, for you, LORD, have never forsaken

those who seek You."

-Psalm 9:10

As I find it hard to trust, in the stillness of my heart I am reminded the One in whom I can put my trust. He loves fiercely. He loves me like a hurricane. . . a hurricane. Wow. This love He has for me can hold all of my hopes because He will never disappoint. He will never fail. He will never be late or early or inconsistent or deceiving. He will always be everything...everything I need Him to be. If I can't trust in that, I do not want to trust in anything at all.


happy journey to you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Speaking of lingering thoughts...

Two blogs in one day. Whoa.

Some lingering thoughts I've had this summer can be summed up in the lyrics of this song:

He is jealous for me.
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree-
bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory.
And I realize just how beautiful You are
and how great Your affections are for me.
and oh, how He loves us
oh, how He loves us so
how He loves us all.
We are His portion and He is our prize-
drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes.
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
So heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
and my heart turns violently inside my chest.
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
when I think about the way
He loves us.
~How He Loves, David Crowder Band
How He loves's too impossible to comprehend. I have felt so undeserving these days. Aren't we all undeserving, though? And isn't that the beauty of it all? We, undeserving creatures, are 'bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.' My human mind cannot even really begin to process this, but I am so thankful.

Long time, no blog

Oh boy.

It's been a long time, eh?

So, I have this love/hate relationship with blogging at times. Most of the time, I love it. It let's me share thoughts that linger in my head and allows me to keep in touch with dear friends now spread across the U S of A.

Sometimes, I don't like it at all. I feel overwhelmed when I don't blog because I feel the need to play a game of catch up, which is never very fun.

However, I am pushing through my blogging-apathy because I want to continue to document this time in my life.

So, here is to continue this blogging journey. Gosh, I hope I get better at this.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

there's still enough of the good stuff to go around

After a week of many transitions, I needed to add some more little things to my happiness list.

After all, I believe you can never think of too many little things that make you


10. calls instead of text messages
9. lunar flow yoga
8. a summer sun-kissed glow
7. when someone scratches my back
6. dog eared pages in my favorite book
5. live music
4. Austin, TX
3. sweet old Italian men who walk the streets of Florence ever so slowly
2. a good listener / learning to be a good listener in return
1. being reminded that God's love is strong and real