31 Days of Imperfection, God-Sighting Saturday

You’re NOT in Control! {31 Days of Imperfection – Day 4/God Sighting Saturday}

I sit at breakfast and can’t help but be annoyed.  Somehow a faucet that was perfectly fine yesterday now has a consistent…




And I think: “Isn’t this just how life goes?!?” as I recall other “drips” in life… like computer problems that have plagued the last few months: viruses, programs not working correctly, issues with internet connections.




I see the “drips” in the lives of people around me as well.  Loved ones who just can’t seem to get a break when it comes to health issues.  Others who experience one set of bad news after another.  Friends who find themselves rejected time and time again.




And, at least in my life, this constant dripping seems to scream: YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

I like having things in order, put together, in their place.  I like being in control and having a plan.  I like… being perfect.   As all these things continue to drip, the cup catching the water begins to fill up…. then the bowl… then the bucket… and soon even that is overflowing.  Each drop of water: a reminder I don’t have it together… I’m not in control… I’m not perfect.  Each drop: one more temptation to believe the lies of Satan, to feel like a failure, to wonder what I’m doing wrong, to try to fix it on my own, to become overwhelmed.

And occasionally, you just have to remember to empty the cup, the bowl, the bucket.

And the emptying happens…

… in tears.

sometimes we just need to literally “drip.”

in music.

“What if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights is what it takes to know You’re near?
What if the trials of this life are your blessings in disguise?” (Blessings by Laura Story)

… in God’s Word.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. … you are precious and honored in my sight… I love you.” (Isa. 43:2,4)

 … in a card from a friend.

You sometimes wonder… can I do this?
                 You can do all things through Christ. (Phil. 4:13)
You ask… do I have what it takes?
                 You’ve got all you need. (2 Pet. 1:3)
You question… is who I am okay?
                 You’re more than okay–You’re His. (Ps. 139:14)

Praying for you today, friend!

… in remembering:

I’m not perfect, but I am loved.
I’m not in control, but I know personally the One who is.
I can’t fix everything, but God placed me in the midst of people willing to help.
I am overwhelmed, but my God is bigger.

And as God’s voice grows louder, the annoying “drip… drip… drip” of Satan’s lies slowly fades away.

God-Sighting Saturday

God-Sighting Saturday – I SPY HIM IN HIS WORD

Wooo hoo!!! I actually remembered my God-Sighting Saturday post this week!!! 🙂  While there are countless places I saw God this week, I wanted to focus on a couple ways I saw Him in/through His Word this week.

1.  I’m thoroughly enjoying the current Short Course at First Trinity focusing on the I AM statements of Jesus. This past Monday we focused on the passage in John 8 where Jesus says, “I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.” What a blessing it was to gather with over 50 people and focus in on the truth of God being light in this dark, dark world.  Even cooler, is that God calls US the light of the world as well.

2. Sharing the simplicity yet amazing-ness of Jesus’ love with the preschoolers at chapel.  When you give God’s love away, there’s always more!

3. In my personal devotion time, I’ve been focusing in on various names for God.  Three of the names I focused on this week (Rock, Support, and Fortress), came from 2 Samuel 22 where David is singing a song of praise to God.  At first I struggled figuring out where I’ve seen God as “fortress” in my life.  I get the concept but any thing I could think of seemed more like “Rock” or “Refuge”.  After some reflection, and a visit to dictionary.com, I guess what stood out to me as different with fortress is that it’s a BIG thing… all the definitions were about whole fortified TOWNS.  As I looked at other scriptures where God is called fortress, it was often connected with the words “rock” or strength”, at one point salvation itself is described as a fortress, it’s a place you go to in times of trouble, and it’s never closed to us.  Suddenly as this all came together, it became so clear to me that God is often my fortress through people.  He surrounds me, often with lots of people (thinking BIG), it’s especially evident in times of trouble, though is always there to go to. 🙂  Reflecting on how I needed God to reveal Himself to me in that specific day as refuge, I realized that GOD is my fortress so when I’m in Him, there is no need for me to worry about trying to protect myself.  Instead, He calls me to live my life in the safety of HIS protection and simply be who He’s made me to be.  Such freedom.

4.  Deuteronomy 6:5-9 “Love the Lord Your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. … talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up… write them on the doorframes of your houses…”


In the Little things…

Last night at the Short Course Bible Class on Psalm 34 we talked about noticing (tasting) God all around us, even in the little things.  Here are just a few little (and big) places I’ve tasted and seen God the last few days (in no particular order):

  • A fixed closet door
  • New fun colored pens to write letters to my friends
  • Singing and learning about God with the preschoolers in Chapel
  • Observing 22 youth go without so other could have
  • Beautiful women to share life with
  • Answered prayers
  • Communion Sunday… the body broken. the blood shed. for forgiveness. for all.  for each.
  • Sunday Wanderings through the blogosphere
  • Sharing and receiving “words that make souls stronger” (Eph. 4:29)
  • Cinnamon Graham Crackers with Peanut Butter
  • Cleaning my apartment one room at a time, knowing that God is doing the same in his house, my heart
  • A candlelight dinner in my PJs with Jesus
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Opportunities to practice giving myself grace
  • Brownies and a fun card from dad
  • An extra 15 minutes of sleep due to no school for the preschool this week (though I did miss praying with all the teachers this morning)
  • Laughter with staffmates
  • Connecting with other interns
  • Coming home to a clean house
  • Homemade chicken fingers and fries

So what about you?  Where have you tasted and seen that God truly is good recently?


Sunday Wanderings…

Sunday afternoons.

I don’t generally plan out my Sunday afternoons. 

Sure, I somewhat have an idea of what I’d like to maybe accomplish along with what needs to be done.  But at least for a few moments I like to just let myself do whatever I feel like doing at any given moment. 

Today, my wanderings have taken me all over the internet, into the lives of people I’ve never met…. even into some the deepest, darkest, painful corners of their hearts.

Starting with a blog I follow regularly, I clicked a link, and then another.  Soon the bread-crumb trail I’d left behind disappeared, but that’s okay.  Somehow, in the midst of the wanderings… in the process of peeking into the lives of others, God has revealed his faithfulness in my own life… in my own joys and pains… in my own celebrations and defeats… in my own brokenness and healing. 


Thank you Lord, for Sunday wanderings… straight into Your heart!



A peek into a few of the places I’ve wandered today in no particular order:



Grit and Glory by Alece

“Discernment is bittersweet. But I always want to sense His Spirit inside me, leading me into all truth.
Because even when it hurts, truth will always set me free.”


And another from the same author:

“I want to say I’m willing, even when I don’t know what He’s asking me to do. I want to follow Him even when I don’t know which way He wants me to go. I want to serve Him even when it means giving up my own notions of how I can best do that. I want to honor and glorify Him with every breath, every word, every step.

The only problem with being a living sacrifice is my tendency to crawl off the altar. When I can’t see what’s next, when the flames of uncertainty seem too much for me to bear, sometimes I climb off. I choose to follow fear instead of faith.”

Ann Voskamp on (in)courage

“Because when we remember how He blesses, loves us, when we recollect His goodnesses to us, we heal — we re-member.

In the remembering to give thanks, our broken places are re-membered — made whole.”

Max Andrew Dubinsky and Lauren Nicole Lankford at Make It MAD

“I don’t have all the answers. I’ve just got a few good ideas, and a few things I wish all women knew about themselves.

Like the idea that men weren’t created so you could find out who you are.  We don’t hold your identity.

That you know we want to love you and support you, share your dreams and take care of you; protect who you are.

That knowing who you are is why we are attracted to you.

We want you to be the woman who knows that every single morning she gets out of bed, God is smiling down on her because He. Is. Satisfied.”  ~ Max


“I write to ask you to begin believing the truth about yourself.

To believe that you were created to be the masterpiece of God’s creation, the height of beauty, an imitation of your Maker’s heart; that you hold inherent value by simply being a woman. To begin believing that in the same way you would die to be an incredible woman, there are men that would die to be incredible for you.” ~ Lauren



Lauren Lankford at A Deeper Story

“I ask you to let go. To live with less. To open your hands. To be thankful for extreme loss. To leave things in order to find life.

This week, get rid of things that you’d rather keep. Create a void. Shake your security. Force yourself to miss something. Bleed it out. And then, seek God.

You’ll hear things you’ve never heard, and you’ll breathe in a way you never have.”



Elizabeth Esther at A Deeper Story

“…when we make decisions from a place of fear we deny ourselves the joy of seeing hope fulfilled.

I’ve found it’s far better to make decisions from a place of hope and trust.”

Bekah's Heart, Blessing, Joy

Vacations are for Detours

I come ‘round the last curve in the road.  A smile grows on my face as contentment grows in my soul.   If I wasn’t sure before, I’m now convinced that this impromptu detour down “J-Hill” road was a great idea.

I can’t wait to get down the drive and park the car, quick turning off the radio allowing for the silence this place demands. 

I look around for a rock to carry up. Unsuccessful, but decide the rocks don’t have to be literal, my figurative ones will work just fine for today.

The ascent begins and I ponder… Was it really nearly 10 years ago that I made this climb for the first time?  I also recall some of the “rocks” I laid down here nearly a decade ago… some of the same burdens I’ve come here to lay down again today. 

I pass the crossbar and continue the hike, thankful that the frozen ground makes this journey a little easier than the typical summer day with shifting dirt and sliding rocks.  Near the top, I finally turn around.  The awe-inspiring view steals my breath once again.  

As if there were an automatic recording, the familiar tune and words begin to come out of my mouth…. “Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary…”

I ponder again… how many times have I climbed this hill?  How many times have I sung that song?  How many rocks have I laid here… my sins, my burdens, my hurts, my joys.

I linger for a while but eventually begin the hike down to the car… hearing in my head the instructions that for many years came out of my mouth… “If you turn your feet sideways it makes it easier to get down without slipping.”  (As this thought passes through my head, I also slightly regret not changing into the gym shoes that were in the trunk.)

On my way down I pay specially attention to the names that remain on weather-worn rocks.




Julius.   I pause a little longer here.   

I wonder… What burdens or pains or hurts or sins might he have left there with his rock only weeks before he left every burden behind forever and went to the place of no more tears. 



The names and rocks continue, some more familiar than others.  Each name representing the same thing…  a life changed in this place.  Each rock carries a story… one often known by God alone.   Each rock left there together forms a certain shape reminding… We are free.  Over the last decade, hundreds have made that same climb leaving behind their “junk.” And now, collectively, that “junk” is somehow able to point to our risen Lord.  To God Alone be the Glory!

Thanks God for today… for that spontaneous voice in my head that prompted my journey to 7821 Lyons Creek Road… one of the places in this world that has the label “home” in my heart … a place that gives a little glimpse into what our forever home will be like.

Bekah's Heart, Internship Highlights

‘Tis Good, Lord, To Be Here

Today was a beautiful day.  I’m currently back at school in Nebraska for a Mid-Year Conference with all of the DCE interns from all over the world. These few days back on campus are hard to describe.  Most of us interns have used the word “weird” in that description more times than we probably can count.  It’s this interesting dynamic of loving this place but not really fitting in… at least not in the way we have in the past.  Our roles have shifted, and that’s okay.  In the midst of this awkward, indescribable, mid-way check point, it has been such a blessing to just see God presence everywhere I turn.  Here are just a few examples of where that was found today alone:

  •  A conversation with a beautiful woman with whom I’ve literally had one prior face to face conversation with before, yet somehow our hearts just know each other.  I don’t get it, but was so thankful for our time together this morning and God’s presence there.
  • Chapel.  I miss chapel.  What a wonderful REST was found in the very SIMPLE yet profound proclamation of the Gospel today as it was describe as a song, a melody that can, in a way, be the “background” music to our life.
  • Lunch (at Dragon Palace) with fellow interns, talking about anything and everything and nothing.
  • A chance to share with other DCE students our experiences and where we’ve seen God at work through our internships.
  • Being able to “pick up” friendships where they left off and just get straight to what really matters… to know and be known.  

As corny as it may sound, I really felt like the last verse of a hymn we sang in chapel today encapsulates this trip back to Concordia for me.

’Tis good, Lord, to be here.
Yet we may not remain;
But since Thou bidst us leave the mount,
Come with us to the plain.

It is so wonderful to be able to reflect and see all the many ways God has blessed my life through Concordia… to be able to come back and be overwhelmed in a good way… to realize the number of people through whom God has blessed me and made me who I am.  But now, as good as it is to be here, it’s obvious that this is not where I belong right now… and God comes with me to what’s next.


Lord, ’tis truly good to be here… to behold Your beauty… to see You at work in my life and the lives of others… to hear and remember your gospel melody that accompanies my life.  And now, as I prepare to wrap this time here up, may You remind me of your promise to go with me and continue to open my heart and ears to that beautiful melody of Your love.  ‘Tis good Lord, to be Your child.  Thank You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


The Stuff God Uses…

On my way to work this morning, I heard a new song I hadn’t heard before.  At first I thought it was just one of those goofy “morning” songs the announcers sometimes sing as it talked about lost keys and cell phones.  But, as it went on I realized it was a real song about the sometimes simple things, “little” things, that God uses to get our attention and teach us what he has for us.  Check out “This is the Stuff” by Francesca Battistelli: 

I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please ‘Cuz I can’t find my phone

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that’s getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I’m blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You’re doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

45 in a 35
Sirens and fines while I’m running behind  Whoa

This is the stuff …. It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I’ve got a new appreciation
It’s not the end of the world

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff
Someone save me
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I’m blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
And I’ve gotta trust You know exactly what You’re doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use


Lord, in the middle of my mess, remind me how much I’m blessed!  Use whatever it takes. Amen!


Joyfullyblessed by God’s Provision

So here’s a simple, but awesome story of how God provides in ways that only God can.

So back on Thursday, the zipper on my coat broke.  While certain times and places you could kind of “make do”, I decided that Buffalo in the winter is not the place or time. 

Originally the plan (before the zipper broke) was to look for a new coat when mom was here next week.  So despite all my desire to stay AS FAR AWAY from a shopping mall on the Saturday before Christmas, I was right next to the mall and had about 30 minutes of time to kill this afternoon.

I decided to drive around a little and see if I could even find a parking spot near JC Penny’s.  Not only did I FIND a parking spot, it just so happened to be THE VERY FIRST parking spot closest to the door RIGHT near the coats. (To make a long story longer, when I was a kid, we’d call close parking spots “Thank You Jesus” parking spots as a reminder that we can thank God for ALL the blessings he provides…even things like parking spots.  So I called my mom to tell her about the “Thank You Jesus Parking Spot” and headed into the store.)

So, basically, I found a coat I really liked that was normally $200 for only $80.  While I liked it a lot, I still wasn’t willing to pay $80 for a coat since some of the other ones were on sale for like $40.  So I tried on a couple of the other coats and they didn’t fit right.  However, in trying them on, I realized they were actually on sale more than the sign said.  I took the original coat over to the price scanner and found out that until 1 pm (it was like 12:45) the coat was actually only $60.  PLUS, I ended up finding a coupon from the flyer when I walked in the story that was $10 off any purchase over $50.   To summarize, the $200 coat ended up only costing me $50. … and I really like it a lot. 🙂

Isn’t it awesome the way our God provides?!?

I also wanted to share some fun times God provided from later today. 

First of all, I stopped to see Laura today.  She is doing well and wanted to say hi to everyone and thanks for all the encouragement and support. (She especially loves her prayer blanket as you can see below!)


Another big blessing was an afternoon/evening spent with the Whiteds.  Here are some fun pictures from the cookie decorating extravaganza!

DSCF9030 DSCF9015 DSCF9019 DSCF9020 DSCF9021


Unable To Count That High

The leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and more fills the fridge.

Pies and cookies line the buffet table ready to be eaten as soon as our stomachs can hold another bit of food.

Bodies of friends lay asleep in the living room buried under blankets, pillows, and other remnants of last night’s sleepover.


I sit at my kitchen table…


in awe…




How gracious is our God!



Awesome God, I can’t help but pause and bring you thanks and praise for this day. 

For a new day to be alive and live in you. 

For an amazing time of worship this morning with Your Family, focusing us as we began this day of giving thanks.

For beautiful friends to spend time with and celebrate with this week. 

For big meals… and small meals… reminders of your provision.

For a house and food and family.

For grace… freedom… life.

For the fact that as I begin to “count my blessings,” even just in today,… I suddenly realize, I can’t count that high!

I give you thanks.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bekah's Heart, Crossroads, First Trinity, Internship Highlights

Joyfullyblessed… by Crossroads CONNECT

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?  If I haven’t, well it’s A LOT!  Sometimes I even hate using the words “job” or “work” to describe my internship here at First Trinity because I just simply love what I get to do each day.

Anyway, I’ve decided that a lot of my friends/family back home (and even some of you here at First Trinity that are not directly connected with High School or College Ministries) never really hear about what I’m actually doing on this internship.   To fix that I’ve decided that every once in a while I’d give an update about one specific area of ministry I’m focused on.  While there are many I could start with, I’m really excited about Crossroads right now, specifically Crossroads CONNECT  and thought I’d share about that first.

Crossroads (for those that don’t know) is the name of the high school minsitry here at First Trinity.  This ministry makes up about half of my job description this year and deals with everything related to high school ministry… activities, events, Sunday school, summer trips etc.  The idea behind the name “Crossroads” is that high schoolers often find themselves at a crossroads in the decisions they are making and Crossroads programs are aimed at connecting the ancient truth of God’s Word with real life issues of high school students.  It comes from Jeremiah 6:16 which says:

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it and you will find rest for your souls.”

A new Crossroads program started just four weeks ago and is called Crossroads CONNECT.  This weekly gathering specifically for high school students meets on Thursday nights with three main goals:

  • to connect high school students with Jesus (to connect “real life” and “faith” in high school students’ lives)
  • to connect high school students with each other
  • to connect high school students with the First Trinity Family as a whole.

Throughout the year we hope to reach these broad goals through many means including devotions, Bible studies, games, activities, service projects, and more.  

What we do specifically each night kind of rotates.   Once a month we will have a service project around church.  This not only was a request of the students (to have more opportunties to do service projects) but will also help connect them to First Trinity as a whole as they explore opportunities to serve and see others who serve in the church.  Once a month will be more games and activities.  While we hope to create an environment every week where students would feel comfortable to invite their friends, this game night each month will be specifically geared toward inviting friends to check out Crossroads.  The other weeks of each month are spent doing activities, Bible studies, etc. which dig deep into the issues high school students face and what God’s Word says about them.

So there’s kind of an overview of Crossroads CONNECT!

Want to pray for this new program?  Here are some specific things to pray for:
– that God would continue to be present each week as we discuss real life issues and His Word
– for opportunities through this for students to connect with other congregation members and that God would provide adult volunteers passionate about these goals
– for the relationships that are being formed through this weekly gathering
– for students to be challenged to know God more and to show Him to their friends