Now that i started unpacking... look what i found

Posted by Teen Bean

Quotes from the Road Trip:

"we're leaving at 5am... SHARP!" ~ mom and dad (5 hours later we finally leave... 1st break 1.5 hours later!)

"we are not rushed" ~Tina

"yeah, that totally is a guesstimation and i don't even think it's accurate" ~ Coral

"yes, it is ture, there are 3 cows for every ONE PERSON in Montana" ~ map of montana

"so many cows, so few people" ~ Coral

"first one to miles city... WINS!" ~ Tina

"If a plane on average flies 800 mph and takes 24 hours to get to china, then the sun must move twice as fast, approx 1,600 mph, this is a complete guesstimation" ~ Tina and Coral

"oh the horsey..." ~coral
"ummmmm thats a cow..." ~ Tina (there was a horse... ~coral)

"OMG that semi seriously had to grind rail to squeeze by us" (on the mountains in montana) ~ Tina

"open range... expect cows on the road" ~ montana sign

"what a boring life (cows)!" ~ coral

"he's a guy... somehow they always know!" ~ Coral (while dad changed the flat tire)

"just eat your grape and keep your mouth closed" ~ Tina

settling in seattle... and not expecting!?

Posted by Teen Bean

I've heard lots of talk about finding the heart beat of God... or getting in sync with the heart beat of God. I've always struggled with living life knowing what i am suppose to do, but not feeling what i am suppose to do.

Seattle has been beyond wonderful. In fact, my life in general has been beyond easy. I know that ease is not, in and of itself, evidence that God is about something, but in my case i find that often when God opens doors for me, he also tends to give me a little shove. i can really live in the moment of life and get very involved/ attached to certain things, which is great for the moment of living... but uber hard to let go of.

I've lived this summer throwing around the proud statement that i am "following the call of God"... that "he wants me to move to Seattle" that "I am surrendering my life to God"... but i didn't really feel like i was. i felt way more like i had just let someone tie my hands together and blind fold me. that with out much of a fight i was just being dragged to this place... and for what?

It's hard, having this way of living, a flow, a rhythm... and then having it taken away. But not in an all bad way... i think over all i really thought that I could have two worlds. That i could live in one world, and let my heart stay in another. But i'm one person and my heart only has one heart beat. I'm not responsible for the life my heart has... Christ gave me that life... and i want to live for him. But how do i do that?

I've met some pretty phenomenal christian sense coming to this part of America.. each one has blown my mind at the
way they surrender fully to Christ, but the most soul shaking one of all had to come in the form of a slightly stooped, ADD, retired minister. an old friend of our family, Grandpa B, his gentle excitement to "show us around" has made every day seem like a grand adventure. one night he took us out to dinner and in the way only an old retired minister can, let his mind down shift into I swear a sermon he must have preached a million times. In a firm and loving way he started describing the wonder of Jesus. The hugeness of what our Christ is and what he did for us. He was so passionate and wanted us to fervently understand how much our big papa God loved us... so with cool and deeply wise blue eyes he locked straight into soul as he said "God loved you so much that he gave the life of Jesus, his only son, to save your life"

he could tell i was letting that ever familiar reference to John 3:16 roll away like water off a ducks back... so with out pausing he continued and said "you know the Greek word for give means 'not expecting it back'..."

then it hit me... Wot!?!? God gave up his son with the attitude that he might never get him back... and he did that to save my life... in the moment that God gave up the life of Jesus the rest of the story that we all know (that Jesus conquered death) hadn't been written... in the moment our Father God made the decision to Give his son, he did so fully.... not expecting to ever get him back.

It hit me then... i say i surrender every day to Christ. I surrender my dreams, my expectations, my hope... to live for Christ... but do i really!?!? Do i give them over to God in the same manner that God gave!!?! with the attitude of not expecting anything back. I haven't...

so as i sit here in Seattle... watching the sun set, thinking that i have been living that life of faith... i realize how much i need to take a step back. That if i really am going to 'surrender' to God, it means giving in the same way he did... letting go ... and not expecting to get them back...

giving up my dreams of my prayer house, my england, my friends, my loves... my everything... but not with the strings of "well, whenever i want them i can just get them back" but fully give them... FULLY!

big sigh... i'm not there, but i'll work on it...

me and the road

Posted by Teen Bean

well summers come and summers go... round two of good-byes... i'm getting better. tho my tune has started changing... more see, ya laters, less 'good-bye',

I am off to grad school.

Northwest University
location: Kirkland, Wa
2,000 miles from chicago to seattle... flip yeah!!!

i'll be studying International Care and Community Development. 18 months... of globalization, urban studies, social justice, entrepreneurship, research methods, women and children at risk, health, healing and culture, and Field Practicum... come on if that doesn't rock this world, what does!?!?

I have a job interview at a hospital to work in a microbiology department... double woop woop... very excited to sport that white lab coat again!

still don't have a house to live in... but all in good time right!?!? ha ha

i've been slightly nervous that i would just be moving to another rich part of america... i guess, i kind of view seattle as a snobbish city, but just the other day i was reading about how they are one of the least religious places in america, has the #1 suicide rate, and is one of the top city in america dealing with homeless youth... my passion is for the hurt and lost, sounds like a pretty broken place to me. i'm excited to see how i can join God in what he is up to there.

Pacific Northwest... here i come!!!

what the hell are we fighting for?

Posted by Teen Bean

Same town, same night, two girls, two stories...

both girls stayed up all night... one helping run a prayer night and the other sat in a jail cell...

both girls looked rough the next morning... one from joining in the battle, not against flesh and blood, but against the devi
l and his angle; living in the promise that to pray
is to see change; and the other from fighting against the reality that living in sin has consequences and walked the streets looking for help.
both girls ended up in the same church kitchen hungry... one for more energy to get
back into the prayer room to continue firmly guarding against the attacks of the evil one and the other wanting energy to keep running from her past...
both girls found themselves sharing the same cold
sandwich and stories about life... one fill with good- byes, hurt, strength and hope; and the others filled with good-byes, hurt, brokenness, and despair.

both girls parted ways... one back to her prayer post, filled with meaning and purpose; and the other running from a past that wont let her go.

same place,
same outer state...

but our hearts were different and made our worlds a
its who you
love and how you live, thats going to make a difference. It recognizing what really counts...

i know which one i am.... which one are you!?!?

we've hear the whispers and see the hand print of our living God!

pictures from the prayer space!!! amazing!!!

American prayer room a la Essex!

Posted by Teen Bean

Before i left england, God and i made a slightly unspoken deal. i was standing in my empty bedroom at the transit house, surround by my two suitcases to go, 3 boxes to stay (which have been happily stored at the lawtons home!!), 4 empty walls cleaned of their memories, and 1 open window.

i stood for what seemed like forever at that open window. looking at a town i had called home for the past 11 months... my mind running a thousands miles an hour, as i remembered too many good times to count. A little angry and a lot more sad, I remember pridefully thinking "God you can't take me away! there so much more to do, and i'm just getting started!!"
At that moment my mind started taking me on another journey. All I could think of was all the times i hadn't stepped up. All the times i avoid conversations, over looked the hurt, was to busy to comfort the broken, to prideful to serve, to me to make it count. I caught my own reflection in the window and looked myself straight in the eyes. I realized in that moment, what a great gift i had been given. The 217 community, incredible pioneer leaders, life time friendships, and basically a more authentic relationship with my best friend, savior, and king! And i wished, in that moment i'd done better.
Better at loving, better at serving, better at listening, better at praying. I didn't want to do it over... No... it wasn't that... its just i finally got it... and i wanted to use it! i realized how much i had been given and my heart was over flowing and i wanted to give something back, but what could i give to God, to 217, to my family, to my friends? my life consisted of 2 suitcases and 3 boxes... and besides how do I thank God and his living community for basically saving me and showing me what life really is?

As i looked me straight in the eyes, a little bit confused and a whole lot scared, that ever familiar voice of the Comforter leaned into my reflection and whispered "don't waste it". eyes brimming with the fullness of that reality, an unspoken promise was made between me and God. I never, EVER, was going to waste a moment of Gods time again. No matter where He took me, no matter how scared, no matter how confused... I decided then and there that I trusted God more than anything and I wanted to honor Him, my family, the community at 217, and my friends by living in the fullness of Gods promises.

its been hard, because it means living in my present while loving my past and hoping for the future. I feel pulled in so many directions, but being firmly planted on christ i've found my footing. America is different. I've been on the run sense i've been back, visiting family for two weeks, running off to minneapolis for another two weeks, catching up with friends, planning my move to seattle. but i haven't forgotten my promise and it has been such an honor over these last 35 days to pray into the vision of working alongside the faithful here to join Gods holy people in unity for prayer.

With a little American, a lot of Essex, and bunch of God inspired creativity; a group of my friends and I gathered today and started setting up our first ever prayer space! Spurred on by the actions of great ones. From the disciples on pentecost, the stanford 24-7 Boiler House and their faithful 24-1's, the church in Kosova and their imagination, to the gathering of five young women at First Baptist Church in Sycamore, IL we are daring to join in the ranks of the great and join God in his moving.

Ready you heavens! for now is the time of shaking. from the foundations of the earth, to the heights of the heaven. What will remain? those vessels firmly placed by the hand of God in the holy of holies. We stand before our God, ready to take our place in the unshakable kingdom!

we pray this friday 1pm to sat at 1pm (true 217 style!) we have a few prayer gatherings planned through the night... and lots of creative flare going to be going up this week as we prepare... after just one day of set up i'm already excited. we prayed over the space this afternoon and i just loved the rawness of God and the anticipation for friday burns heavy!
more to come!

Prayer set up #1: to the left dream corner inspired by gemma's amazing dream space at 217, to the left Painting prayer space inspired by Minneapolis Boiler House (i.e. The Source) and FBC girls prayer groups!

Prayer set up #2: still working on this part of the prayer room this week, but we are having a pray for the nations map to remeber all the work that God is doing (esp in china, kenya, england, dominican repulic, kosova, india, and america... as my friends and I have personnel connections to those places!), plus a chill out space... take note of the orbs... and blue lights... my fav!!!

"Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. Hebrews 12:28 (the message!)


Posted by Teen Bean

so because thinking is one of my hobbies... and often i am told i over think... (sheesh whatever) i thought i would take a small moment to record just a few of the questions that are on my mind... for the moment...

would i accept a gift from someone I love, knowing it will save people i love, but would require giving up ever seening a person i love the most?

should i tell friends i just use them?

which hurts more, laughing so hard i cried or crying so hard i laughed?

if God is everwhere, then why does it hurt so much to leave?

what if to live fully in the moment and make everyone happy would mean forgetting where I came from... forever!?

what if my future is just a blurry reflection of my past?

why do people always want to go out for dinner and drinks... does no one find it fun to stay at home?

what if there is no good or bad... just power... what would i be living for in that world and could i have friends?

what if i had a baby and loved it so much i hurt it?

who exactly said that a meal had to consist of meat and some random sides of veggies??... i don't think i like meat!!

"absents makes the heart grow founder"... who said that?... were they being sarcastic? don't people just forget you if your not around?

what if the one place i fit in, i was never allowed to be?

does swearing really make a difference?

can i take my own advice?

could i live with out music?

what if people i was meant to be close to never made an effort to listen to me, would i get tired of trying to tell them who i was?

what if premartial sex cut the divorce rate in half would christians still be so judgemental against it?

can i be what i say i want?

it flippin keeps on going... !!

proposal in the parking lot!!

Posted by Teen Bean

so finding love is a beautiful thing. we all are in search of it, in one form or another... and i'll be honest... as much as i rave about the benefit of single living; the freedom, the adventure, the spontaneity.... At the heart of it, i'm just like everyone else... looking for love (and mostly in all the wrong places!)

Needless to say i have refused to let other peoples' opinion on how i treat my body influence me for the least. If i want to cut my hair, i cute my hair. if i want a tattoo on my head, i get a tattoo on my head. If i want to eat freaking chips while sitting on my friend sarah kitchen floor, i will sit on the floor and eat the whole bag of chips. AND If I want to piece the back of my neck, I WILL PIERCE THE BACK OF MY NECK!

Despite all the grimesis, groans, scrunched up faces, raised eyebrows, useless head shakes, and disapproving sighs... i have stood strong and proud of my beautiful new addition to the creative expression of my personality. MY NEW NECK PIERCING!

so much to my pleasure, yesterday i was standing at the Red Box, waiting as my friend sarah checked out a red box movie. there i was, innocently texting away and proudly being me... when who should appear but my knight in shinning metal (ok so it was mostly just facial metal.... but it works!) and in not so many words declare not only his undying love for me and my beauty but his eager desire to sweep me off my feet and carry me away to our happily ever after. Yes, it true... all girls want to be Princesses (ask James Godward... he read it in some book!) Of course i was speechless, but managed a genuine smile and a heart felt "yes" as i realize the true feeling of being completely accepted in one of my truest forms of myself.

it was a moment like this that made me seriously appreciate the world, people, and body jewelery... it just brings people together man. So, Summer love is real, it can happen, and sometimes you just have to be true to yourself to realize it!

*as a side note... sarah, my friend that was standing next to me checking out a movie from the red box, might tell you a completely different story about how some nasty biker guy asked if i had a neck piercing, in which i replied yes, and then he said cool and just walked into the jewel store, but come on, seriously!! who are you going to believe some girl that was completely distracted by the process of checking out a movie from the red box.... or ME a character in my very own Happily Ever After!?!?

Love is true and it can happen to you... if you are young at heart (and rocking a totally sexy neck piercing!)