2.28.2011

Hope

Hope is a word.
It’s a four-letter word…not that kind of a four letter word…but a different kind of word.

It isn’t negative.
It isn't positive either.
Hope plants itself somewhere in the middle.
It is a borderland word.

It is a word that provokes thought.
It is a word of possibility…what is…what was…and what will be.
It must stretch and relax within the realm of tension.

Hope is a gift.
Hope causes patience, delayed gratification, bliss.
The soul rejoices when hope fills the heart.

Hope is based on a mentor’s experience.
Hope is a sunny day in a hammock.
Hope is a newborn baby.
Hope is like snow…magical, soft, silent, still, pure.
Hope is a pool of blood at the foot of a cross; hope is an empty grave.

Hope cannot exist in isolation.
Hope isolated dies…it must be around others that hope in order to survive.
Hope in community receives all it needs to survive: sunlight, water, and fertilizer (this is the stuff of magic; fertilizer is waste excrement but it is in this stinky nauseating disgusting steamy mess where hope is birthed and nurtured).
Hope has parents that go by names like: despair; desolate; destitute; fearful; empty.
Hope has offspring that go by names like: heaven; peace; joy; fullness; love; miraculous.

Hope is a phoenix: it is mis-perceived/conceived expectations; it dies; then is rebirthed better and more beautiful than our imagination can imagine.
Hope isn’t idle, nor is it sprinting.
Hope is a sunset stroll under an umbrella of giant oak trees.

Hope cannot be found…yet when hope is found, it's an ah-hah moment.
Hope is progressive.
Hope moves forward no matter the weight of the burden.
No obstacle, no disaster, nothing can prevent hope.

We hope for change, for better times, for improvements, for hope.
But hope learned long ago to give us what we need…and not what we want.
A heart full of envy, pride, lust, envy, sloth, greed, and gluttony leaves no room for hope. 
Hope finds room in an empty heart.
When we long for…when we pray without ceasing…when we persevere…we hope.
-written by Justin Steinhart (a friend from New Life)


2.23.2011

Struggling Through Heartache

"I have yet to meet a humorist, a comedian, or a clown who didn't have some deep hurt at the heart of his or her humor. When we laugh at something, we are in essence saying, "I identify with that!" If someone stood up and described all their blessings, we would be disgusted. When they stand up and share all their faults and foibles, we laugh and love them for it. Rosita Perez kindly encouraged me in a letter with these words: "Whoever says laughter isn't healing just hasn't hurt enough."
Laugher does not mean you're ignoring the pain, living in denial, or just not aware of the troubles around you...For me, laugher is how we take a much-needed break from the heartache, such that when we turn to face it again, it has by some miracle grown smaller in size and intensity, if not disappeared altogether." -Liz Curtis Higgs from "Only Angles Can Wing It"

I read this quote this morning in a book a dear friend gave me for my birthday called, "Joy for the Journey." I pulled it off my bookshelf two mornings ago and decided to look through it for some encouragement for today. After reading this blurb, I have come to realize how important laughter is to me, especially through the heartache....

The past week has been filled with emotions, heartache, confusion, many many tears, hard talks, and yes, much laughter. The moments of pure joy and laughing not only felt like that much-needed break from the heartache, but it made the conversations about the hurt and heartache that much more bearable. It's weird and I don't quite understand how God works that way...I actually don't really understand how God works at all sometimes....all I know is that He is good, He loves me, and He has something so amazing planned for my heart, for my soul, and for my life. I've been dumbfounded by the peace He has poured over me at times where I should be so angry, so bitter, and having every right to hate all humanity (well, not all humanity, just those who have wronged me).

I don't understand a lot of things in life, like why people hurt people they love, why sin takes over and becomes so fun, why God allows painful situations, why he then turns the heartache and hurt into something beautiful, why He graces us with His presence and peace in the midst of the storm when we don't deserve it...because we are simply horrible, awful, disgusting humans. I've asked Him a lot of "why" questions these past seven days and I know that my questions are no where near being over. I also have desired answers more than ever before. And at times (which I feel guilty for), demanded answers from Him. "If you really love me and desire the best for me, then why can't you just answer my questions NOW?!"
..."Autumn, in my timing, you will know what is to come. Leave your future to me. Don't try to control things. Let me deal with those walls you've built up and are afraid of tearing down. I AM the Great I AM and want you to trust Me."

Last night I sat on my couch and had a worship time...and boy...was it good! Hillsong United's new CD is absolutely amazing! Just being able to spend a few minutes, singing out to Him, praying and talking to Him, having the peace rush over my heart, yet still wonder what He's doing, was something I needed.

Luke 2:19 "But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart."
Now, I know this scripture is referencing when the shepherds came to Mary and Joseph and told them about the angels speaking to them about the Christ...but I can't help but read this and think to myself, "Mary pondered what the shepherds had to say and kept them to herself. Maybe it was things that only her and the Lord could talk about and work out together. Maybe she didn't want man's wisdom, she wanted to hear directly from the Lord." This is my heart right now....so many thoughts and things going on in this head of mine, that I've come to a place of realizing that I need to ponder on these things....just me and the Lord. I appreciate and cherish the people in my life that God has placed there to share with me their wisdom, but if I were to be completely honest about what is going on inside my heart...no one would understand. No one would get it. People would think I am crazy, that I have no idea what I'm doing, and that I'm wrong. Well, at least I think this is what people would say. Maybe I'm wrong...I don't know. I do know that my Dad is the one I talk to and his wisdom and opinion matter more to me than about 99% of the population. Why? Because he is a wise man and has not lead me astray in the past 22 years of life.

So....
As I still continue to struggle through the heartache, I choose to laugh and be filled with His peace and joy that I don't always understand, but I know is from Him. I will thank Him for what He's doing, what He has done, and the things He has yet to do. I choose to have moments of sitting at His feet in worship and prayer, offering up my life, my dreams, my desires, and the pain that still haunts me completely to Him. I will trust that in His timing things will be revealed, the walls I have so securely built up around my heart will be torn down, and He will be glorified in my life....even if man, friends, even family, don't understand or question the outcome.

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us." 1John 4:18 (meditating on this verse today)

2.17.2011

Moondance

Last night was a marvelous night for a moondance....
why?
Because, well, a lot of reasons...
but mostly because
I felt that "peace that surpasses all understanding" again and...
for the first time, I knew in my heart...
that I have truly forgiven
and have a love deep down inside that I can't explain to anyone.
Unconditional love?
I think so.

Coffee shops are my favorite places to spend my time,
particularly coffee shops in Old Colorado City.
The atmosphere is so much different then a chain coffee shop like Starbucks,
the music is better,
and Starbucks doesn't typically have "open mic nights"...
The open mic nights downtown are quite entertaining,
yet enjoyable.
At one point of the night, my heart jumped out of my chest,
my hands were purple,
and I had to take a lot of deep breaths.
Plus, pray...a lot :)
Subtle looks, some shared laughs, smiles over a cup of Joe and a few rounds of Rummy,
and many emotions, made last night an unforgettable one.

I can't explain what the Lord is doing in my heart as of late,
1) it's way too much to explain
2) there's only two people who will ever understand
(one of those is my Dad, who's opinion and wisdom I cherish and
value high above any other
and talking to him today was so incredible...
plus he pretty much knew/had a gut feeling of what I shared with him...
"Dad's intuition," he said...
and he's excited to see what the future holds for me and...)

I love how the message describes Philippians 4:6-7
"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into
prayers, letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness,
everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.
It's wonderful what happens when Christ
displaces worry at the center of your life."

It says it all right there...it's exactly what the Lord did in my heart last night, what I felt,
the process I walked through just 24 hours ago.
Anxiety and worry were turned into prayer and thus bringing forth,
a peace that I still don't understand...and I may not understand it for weeks, months,
maybe even years.
All I know is, it was totally and completely the Lord's doing,
His presence,
His peace,
His love.

Love.

Hm.

That word has so much meaning to it that I'll probably end up writing a few blogs on it.
God's unconditional love.
Our calling in life to love.
Love between two people.

Overwhelming feelings of peace, love, hope, and a smile on my face,
that I know is from my soul,
which comes straight from Heaven.

It's gonna be good :)

In other news:
I've done a lot more research for the addition to my tattoo...
I am SO excited!
I think I have a new obsession of sorts with birds.
Why?
Oh, cause they're pretty darned cool!
Cool enough to tattoo on my body? Yuuuuuup :)
I bought fabric for my living room curtains (more birds)
I found the greatest mug at Hobby Lobby for $1.80...so I bought it!
My creative juices are flowing and I think after starting a new scrapbook for 2011,
making curtains,
hanging up a few new things on my walls,
and setting money aside to make that headboard I've been talking about for over a year,
I'm going to tackle painting a canvas...
Yes.
I have been inspired by a girl from work and I want to create something beautiful
for my home!
And for the first time ever, I actually called the towing company on someone parked
in my parking space.
I'm usually nice and write a note to let them know the spot is occupied,
but there has been someone parked in my spot for
days and I'm getting tired of it. So...no more Miss Nice Girl :)

I'm so completely exhausted, so now I get to get ready for bed,
climb into my nice, warm, cozy bed,
and drift of to dreamland...where I will dream of dancing under the moon.
I'll be seeing you

2.16.2011

With Everything

This song is one of my absolute favorites. Ever.
I listen to it all the time.
It's the one song I love to blast while I'm taking a long drive...
The lyrics have been the cry of my heart for months,
but over the past two days they've prompted my heart to think about things in a whole new light...
to which brought me to tears this morning as I was getting ready for work.

You see....
Monday night Ryann and I had a long conversation about pop culture,
to which I had mentioned that Lady Gaga was one of my favorite artists...
I told Ry that I was completely intrigued by her...for lack of better terms...craziness!
Her music is catchy...
I listen to it all the time...
and even had my ringtone set to her....
her costumes are amazing...
her performances are non like I've ever seen...
and so on.
Loved her.
Well, Ryann opened my eyes to a whole new world of the music industry...
of which I will be blogging about sometime in the near future...
after more research of course.
But let me just say that I am astounded at what I've read and seen...
even more so, that I have been a dumb American who really knows nothing about anything.
Seriously.
And it makes me sick to my stomach to think about...
how influential Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Beyonce (just to name a few)...
are in our world right now.
People (all over the world, not just in America)
are filling their minds with things that they know nothing about...
and being desensitized to so many awful symbolic images...
this literally disturbs me.

Anyways, here is the song that's been in my head and heart...
and has become my prayer...

{open our hearts, to see the things that make Your heart cry,
to be the church that You would desire, a light to be seen....
so let hope rise and darkness tremble, in Your holy light,
that every eye will see, Jesus our God,
Great and mighty to be praised}

No ballet tonight :( which means more fabric shopping 
and coffeehouse sitting to do more research on said pop icons,
cults, satanism, freemasonry, and the Illuminati. (yes, I'm talking heavy stuff here)

2.15.2011

4am

I got to bed this morning at 4 am, hahaha
Thanks to a wonderful night with my future roommates.
I swear, living life with Ryann and Erin is going to be amazing!

Last nights plan was to surprise Rhonda, my mentor/surrogate mom, with
her favorite desert (creme brulee) and watch a movie with her!
Well, Ryann had class and ended up not getting out till late,
And Rhonda was exhausted and wanted to go to bed.
So...needless to say, our planned evening failed,
But turned out amazing anyways :)
I tried Creme Brulee for the first time and it was....weird.
It wasn't bad nor was it my favorite...it was just weird.
We tried to convince Rhonda to stay up to watch a movie, but we couldn't...
So she went off to bed and Ryann and I started talking...
Ryann hadn't eaten yet, nor had I, so we had leftover pizza...
And Mac n' Cheese, hahahaha!!
I told Ryann, "So this is probably what dinners will look like when we live together!"
Erin showed up and the three of us talked for hours and hours and hours.
I haven't laughed so hard with girls in such a long time!
The best part was when I noticed that all three of us ended up sitting on the kitchen floor...
Why? Cause we're just cool like that!
The conversations we had were hilarious...
just about everything under the sun was talked about...
shared stories...
some serious, but mostly just absolutely hilarious stories!

At about midnight, Erin decided to leave....
and I was about to follow, but ended up staying...
"Only a few more minutes," I thought to myself...
Well, 3am rolled around...
my eyes were burning, I couldn't stop yawning, but the laughter kept coming.
Ryann and I had the most hilarious conversations...
And reeeeally got to know each other, hahahaha!!!
I love when girls can be open about everything...
I mean seriously, we're girls, there's nothing wrong with sharing personal stories,
and laughing together about them!

I can't wait to move in the summer!
Yeah, it's going to be a huge adjustment in my life...
it's more change...
but so much change has happened in the past three years...
that I'm ready for more...
something fun...
and something completely foreign to me!
I am so blessed to know such amazingly fun and solid girls...
that I can laugh with...
and be myself with!

If I hadn't had plans last night, I would have probably ended up at my favorite coffee house...
reading a good book...
listening to music...
having conversation over a vanilla latte...
But plans had already been made with the girls :)

I spent some time this morning reading 1Corinthians 13 and was reminded about faith, hope, and love...
Love being the greatest.
Christ's love for me...
the only love I will never need or want to fulfill me...
completely.
My prayer for today and well, for everyday until I die...
is that the Lord would fill my cup,
overflowing with His love...
That I would also continue on my quest to be bold in my faith...
And to have hope...
Hope that God has the best planned out for me!
Even if the best means waiting to meet someone in a coffeehouse 
at the absolute perfect moment!

2.14.2011

Oh look...it's Valentines

Today I'm torn in two
Let me explain....

I love love. I think love is a wonderful thing...
That is when you have someone to love.
Valentines Day has never been a favorite holiday of mine, really ever...
even when I was little.
I had fun making Valentines Day cards for my friends,
going to parties,
giving that special little card to my crush...haha.
But it's never been a holiday that I get excited over or have anything exciting happen...
Until three years ago...
I had fallen in love with this boy that I had only known for a few months...
But he was the epitome of romance.
He planned out the most amazingly perfect Valentines Day.
A scavenger hunt around the Springs to all the locations where something significant happened...
like where we had our first dance in a parking lot (a dream come true for me),
the place we first met,
my favorite bookstore,
(he wrote out all the clues in poem form so I could figure out where we were going next, LOVED it)
And then, because we both had to work that night,
he surprised me with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers at work.
The next day we went to The Pepper Tree for a romantic dinner
(we were dressed to the tee and looking oh so sexy)
and afterwards, he drove me to a spot over looking the city and there,
gave me one of the most thoughtful and amazing gifts I have ever received.
It was perfect.
The perfect Valentines Day.
See...when I think back on this day, I think, 
"Oh, I just can't wait to be in love again! Love is so wonderful. I wanna holds hands again, and make silly Valentines Day cards, and go out to romantic dinners, and get flowers and be spoiled."
I get all romantical inside and think of all the romantic things I want to do or have done for me...
And then I think of this romantic boy who spoiled me,
way too much in the beginning,
(and set the bar pretty dang high for any future man in my life...which won't be any time soon, haha)
and I am blessed that someone out there showed me...
that Valentines Day really isn't that bad of a day.

{love. true love}

And then.....
(dun dun dun)
I really hate love. Love is awful.
Valentines Day or as I am currently calling it 
(along with many others around the Unite Stated of America)
"Singles Awareness Day" is stupid.
Seriously...if you love someone, then you're supposed to show them love
every day
Why in the world do we have to have a day dedicated to love?
I, for one, think it's an awful day. Specially last year and well, this year.
Last years Valentines Day was probably the worst ever in my entire life.
I've tried over and over again to erase it from my memory, but not sure if that'll really happen.
This year...I am actually single.
Single.
No man, no flowers, no candy, no romantic dinner, no special thought-out gifts...
Just me.
I don't even have a dog this year. Ugh.
I don't want to hear the word 'Valentine', see any kind of flower, or read on facebook
about any ones romantic night out with their lover.
Bitter? No actually...just avoiding anything to do with love.
When you're in love, the world is so great!
Then the person you're head over heels for,
the one you want to spend the rest of your life with,
and have been in love with for three years, twenty four/seven, all 365 days of 
those three years...goes and breaks your heart....
some tend to get a bitter taste in their mouths about what true love is.
Good thing I have Jesus, otherwise I would probably never, ever, ever
want to love ever again.
His love is all the matters anyways <3


So....like I said...I am torn in two.
I want someone to love 
but then again,
love hurts.
More than I thought it ever could.
But I'll be ready to be swept off my feet again and be shown what true love is...
One day......

P.S.
I will take some candy hearts though if anyone wants to drop some off at work :)
Best text message: "Roses are red, Violets are blue,
Don't be too bitter, Cause IIII love you!" -Bri Herter

2.12.2011

Music to my ears....






I've been listening to these two songs all morning...
So good.
And I seem to be crushing on John Mayer as of late, haha.
Pretty much all of his live videos on YouTube are absolutely incredible!
I think I really need to see him live...
Next time he's out here, yes.

2.11.2011

Luggage

This video correlates so well with the lunch I just had with my Pastor
and mentor, Sam.
All about forgiveness...and trust.
Both are a process.
I'm not one to "forgive and forget"...
I can and will forgive 
(like I have done with people in my past that have wronged me), 
but I will not forget the scars that were left...
The scars that put up barriers and boundaries...
A highly guarded heart...
That will one day, not be so guarded.
http://vimeo.com/12319956

Babies and House-sitting

It's late and I'm in this big house...
with Riley, the dog, of course...
But pretty much alone.
I'm not a big fan of staying in large houses by myself late at night...
Which means I'm going to have a hard time when I'm married
and my husband isn't at home at night for whatever reason...
I'll cross that bridge when it gets here...
As for now, I am sitting in the office,
which is the only place the wireless seems to work...
it was very frustrating trying to figure out how to get the darned internet to even work...
But I'm smart, and got it :)
Anyways, I'm sitting here, reading blogs, yawning, thinking about life 
and how beautiful it really is...

This afternoon I got a text saying, "she's having a c-section done in about 30 minutes."
That was my cue to leave work and head up to Denver to welcome
Ben and Savannah's precious little boy into this world.
I have to say that the Swedish Memorial Hospital in Englewood is so confusing...
I probably drove around the hospital four times before parking...
And had to have a nice old man help me actually get into the hospital.
But once I found Yvette and Tasha, it was all good!
Savannah was in recovery still, so I didn't get to see her until a little later...
But I got to see Ben, the new daddy!! And baby Kissell as he was in the nursery
getting all washed up.
Yvette and I ran up to Illegal Pete's to get food for all of us...
expect for Sav who can't eat solid foods yet...
But oh man! Talk about some great Mexican food!
We also got to take Jeff's Hummer...which was quite the adventure...
I had never been in a Hummer before, but oh man, it was so huge...
And just watching Yvette drive it was reason enough to make me not want to own one...
Even though it is a pretty sweet ride!
Got back to the hospital to see Savannah!
Oh my friend! I still can't believe she's a momma...
2011-02-10 16
Look at that beautiful boy!
Voss Logan...8lbs, 9oz, 20 inches
He has the most beautiful eyelashes and button nose.
I fell in love.

There was at one point a moment where I was holding him...
Looking down at him...
And thinking to myself, "You knew him Lord before You placed him in Savannah's womb."
And I just sat there in awe.
That a God so big, created and formed this perfect little boy...
It was one of those moment's where the voices around you seem to fade,
and it was just me and Voss...
He was sleeping and I was starting at him...
His little face all scrunched up and sleepy...His perfect little hands and long fingernails...
The Lord created him to do great things in his life.
I can't wait to watch him grow up and see who he becomes.
Will he be tall like Ben? Will he be artsy? Will he look more Mexican like Sav?
What kind of personality will he have?
{It was also very fascinating to watch a baby learn how to breast feed...
It may be gross to some people, but I saw it for the first time,
being an intimate moment, just mommy and baby.}
*sigh*
Yes...deep down inside of me, I want nothing more than to be a mommy.
And I know my day will come,
But after holding a baby that was just brought into this world...
made that desire in my heart that much stronger.
I told my Dad how much I wanted to be a Mommy, and he said,
"Autumn...you kinda have to have a husband first! But when that time comes,
I'll be so so excited to be a Grandpa!"
Saturday I'll be driving up again to see how my wonderful friends are...
and hold that bundle of pure joy!

I guess it's time to sleep now...
Or at least attempt to sleep...
Good thing these people have an amazingly comfy and not to mention HUGE bed...
and Riley will be snuggling me all night long :)

Babies and house-sitting....
One day...
I'll be sitting in my own house, with my own baby...
And an amazing husband...
One day....

2.10.2011

Inked Forever

I did it
and I'm still so shocked that I actually went through with it!
I've been meaning to post about it for a while,
But just haven't yet...for a couple reasons...
...dumb reasons really...
And it took talking to my Mom (of all people) to get me to say,
"Okay! I want to share...and I already want more!"

Beautifully Redeemed 
Redeemed: to buy back or pay off; clear by payment
Theological definition: to deliver from sin and its consequences by
means of a sacrifice offered for the sinner.
The exact definition of what Christ did for me.
Jesus, gave up His life as a living sacrifice...He paid for me 
(me! this awful, wretched human being, full of sin and yuck)
with His own blood...
The most beautiful redemption story ever to be told.
Isaiah 43:1 "...Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; 
I have called you by name; you are Mine."

{this was the beginning of the outline. it's a pretty large piece for my first one..
at least I think so, haha. Matt, the artist, drew up this script after I showed him
kinda what I liked. He was like, "I don't really like that, can I draw something up for
you." haha. I'm so glad he did, because I love it!}

Deeply Loved
"The word of the Lord came to me saying,
"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,
before you were born, I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:4-5
God knew me before He even made me.
My existence was not random, nor an accident.
God knew who He was creating, and He designed me for a specific work.
He promises to remain with me and rescue me.
He loves me and longs for me to love Him back.
The very fact that a holy, eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, merciful, and just God
loves ME is nothing short of astonishing.
And you know what? He doesn't have to love me...
He wants me. He chooses me. He considers me His inheritance.
The greatest knowledge I can ever have is knowing God treasures me (Ex. 19:5).
I am undeserving of such a love, but HE truly, deeply loves me.

{the worst part was when Matt went over the spine.
Holy junk that was some pain, but I got through it!}

Wholly Surrendered 
Wholly: entirely; fully
Surrendered: Give up or hand over; Abandon oneself entirely
I'm human...
so the mere fact of surrendering my life over to something I can't see is, to some people, crazy...
Well, I'll be honest and say this is still a process for me,
The whole surrender my everything to the Lord is still hard for me to do.
But when I truly take time to think about it and pray about it,
I don't want to run my own life, I want Him to direct everything I do.
All the things that I try and accomplish on my own, out of my own flesh,
will in no way be rewarded anywhere near to what they will be if I operate totally
under God's perfect will for my life.
"If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross, and follow Me." Matthew 16:24
Deep thought that caused me to want 'wholly surrendered' on me forever:
When I enter into this full surrender with God my Father, I am putting everything
in my life to a maximum death in reference to myself since God will now be the One
to control the direction my life will take.
I am putting to death all of my wants, all of my desires, and all that I think
I should be doing in my life. I am handing the reigns over to my Lord.
I'm not completely there yet, but it's a journey I'm currently on.
"Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,
'I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you in the way you should go.'" Is. 48:17

{thank you Tasha for taking all the pictures!}

So, there you have it...the explanation to why I am...
Beautifully Redeemed, Deeply Loved, Wholly Surrendered



And now that I have one....I can't wait to get another one...
I also am thinking about how I can add to the writing..
I have ideas :)
Oh tattoos...I knew I would become one of those people who would
become addicted.
I really thought I had a low pain tolerance,
but apparently I don't!!
I hardly bled and the only part that really hurt was over the spine.
I also decided that next day to go get a new piercing with my friend Sofia!
Yup, I'm crazy....
Crazy cool ;)
I know some people are not going to like it and there will be some who judge,
yes, because people are so judgmental sometimes (kinda like when I changed my hair)...
But I could care less...
This is me...
and like my Mom said...
"It doesn't change who Autumn is on the inside. The beautiful girl that loves the Lord."
Plus, I think tattoos are some of the most attractive pieces of art.

It's past midnight and I'm sleepy...

.struggling. crying. fearing.
but
I will sing...
"I come before You, so humbled and ashamed, but grateful through all this You still remain,
so I praise You, I lift You up and magnify Your name. Your worthy. So worthy.
You alone are Holy. Lord, You alone are worthy.
You alone are magnificent and worthy to be praised. You alone, You alone.
You alone, You alone God, You're the only thing that's good, that's pure, that is real in my life
And I love You, I love You.
I'm so sorry Lord for giving my life over to all these trivial things,
When you were right there in front of me,
Wanting me to just step into Your arms.
I'm sorry, but I'm here now God
You alone are Holy. Nothing else God, You alone are worthy
If You gave everything to me,
How can I try, to hold anything back from You Lord
Take my life, take my heart..."

2.09.2011

A tangled mess


I don't really know what's going on in my head right now.
I wish I could figure it out.
All my thoughts seem to be colliding into one big giant mess.
If only I, or someone, could unscramble it all and explain it to me....

Okay, so that's not going to happen.
So I'll just word vomit again, haha...why not...

1) I love laughing. Seriously...it's my favorite thing to do. Specially with Ryann Miller. Oh my gosh! That girl makes me laugh...and I say this because she just stopped by my office with Erin Whaley...my two future roommates. Life is going to be so much fun with these girls, I can hardly wait!

2) I miss...


3) You can walk the walk and talk the talk, but does your walk talk louder than your talk? Think about it......
Actions speak louder than words.

4) Facebook is a love/hate relationship. I love that I get to keep in touch with so many friends, but then I see things on other people's facebooks that I really hate (og past) and then I just all around hate facebook.

5) "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Memory verse for this week.

6) Forgiveness is a choice, trust is a process. SO true.

7) I love getting to spend time with my Mom again. I had lunch with her yesterday and it was so wonderful getting to talk about life, love, and how awful Christians can be sometimes.

8) Baby Kissell is going to be here SOON and I can't wait to meet him! After work...it's off to Denver :)

9) You know when you love someone and you have to let them go, then you want them back, then you don't, then you do, then you don't, then well, you start missing them because they were your best friend that you've ever had...that best friend that knew everything about you, even when you didn't say anything, they just knew from a glance what was going on in your head....and then you start playing this tug of war even in the midst of saying, "Lord, Your will be done!" And you just wish you could either rewind and redo, or fast-forward and start a new. *sigh* Yup. A tangled mess.

10) This song. I've woken up singing it the past few mornings.


11) Raindrops and rainbows.

12) Today, I actually, for the first time in a long time, enjoyed my job! Probably because I spent more time talking to friends than actually working. And I got to meet some new people in the AV tech department which was nice :)

13) I spent hours at Panera Bread last night studying my Bible and reading Crazy Love. I seriously could spend my whole life just reading the Bible and books in Panera or any coffee shop. I need to make a trip down to Jives very very soon.

14) Deep breath. Just remember to breathe Autumn. One day at a time. Stop thinking about things. It does you no good, whatsoever. (yes, this is me talking to myself)

15) Work is now over with and I get to go eat some food and pray that Savannah delivers that huge baby tonight!

I'll be seeing you....

2.07.2011

Dead to sin...

Alive in Christ.
Romans 6

Yesterday morning I woke up at 10:30am to a text asking if church was still on or if it had been canceled due to the bad weather. I replied, "I don't think it's been canceled, but I'm not sure I want to drive on these icy roads." I got a text back...."I'll come pick you up if you want."

Cue: wrestling with the Lord.

"Lord? Why am I not wanting to go to church today? This is the first time in a while that I haven't had the desire to go learn more about you. Is it because I'm really having a hard time with some individuals? Yes. Ugh...I really just want to watch the live feed from my bed. Fine. Whatever. I'll go. Mind You, I only have like 20 minutes to get ready..."

Hop in the shower, throw some warm clothes on, slap on some makeup, wear a beanie (first time I wore a beanie to church. ever.), pop in the contacts, grab my Bible and notebook, run downstairs, and jump in the Jeep with my mentor, Rhonda, and we're off....

If it wasn't for her coming to pick me up, I probably would've just stayed home.
How lame am I? Really.
We got to church a little late, but that's okay...the Lord caught my attention quick and hard.

Philippians 1: 12-30.
We're going through an in depth study on the book of Philippians, of which I am very excited about because I've always loved this book and Rhonda has decided to come every week to go through it with us. This makes me happy. It's pretty much like having a family member come to church with me!

Verse 27a- "Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ."
BAM.
My heart sunk. I know in my heart and my mind that I am not always conducting myself in a manner worthy, key word: worthy, of the gospel.

Worthy: having worth, merit, or value; honorable, admirable.

I am a wretched sinner full of yuck, un-forgiveness, and as of late, pride and selfishness. These are NOT qualities of which are worthy or honorable to the gospel. *deep breath*

Sam went on to talk about a true story from a book entitled, "Burnt Alive." Graham Staines was an Australian Christian missionary along with his wife and three children; two boys and a girl. They did ministry in India going around cleaning and helping people diagnosed with leprosy. One night Graham and his two sons (ages 10 and 6) attended an annual jungle camp, in close proximity to a 'gang' of sorts in the town called Manoharpur (yes, I researched this part). At midnight this 'gang' attacked Graham and his sons as they were sleeping in their station wagon van. The gang deflated the tires, broke windows and prevented the Staines from being able to escape this horrific operation. All three had been pierced with spears, and the van torched. All three men died that night...but the image of the torched bodies is one to not be forgotten. Graham was sitting in the middle of his boys, his arms wrapped around both of them, with no sign of a struggle. Later on, Graham's wife said, "My husband and our children have sacrificed their lives for the Nation of India. India is my home. I hope to be here and continue to serve the needy." And then...what really got me...to the point of tears....Graham's daughter, Esther, stated, "I praise God that He found my father and brothers worthy to die for Christ."

Oh my.

Verse 29- "...not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake."

Do I really suffer for his sake? Um. No. I'm not over in India, with my family, burning alive for Christ. I'm sitting in a nice warm office, typing on a nice laptop, in cute clothes...complaining about my job. Really Autumn?

So...if that story wasn't enough for my heart...it was Baptism Sunday. Three young kids got baptized, and then Sam announced that if you felt the Lord tugging at your heart strings, to go get baptized....four more people decided it was time. Wow. I was standing in the back, crying my eyes out. These young kids shared their life verses and wanted to make the public declaration that they were "Dead to sin, and Alive in Christ." They want to live their lives, not only believing in Christ, but suffering for His sake. They want to live lives worthy of the gospel. Why is this concept so hard for me? To be completely alive in Christ and suffer for Him. Why do I let my fears and insecurities take over all the time? Sam tells stories of how he sits in Starbucks with his Bible open and talks to random people about the Lord. He also does it in airports and wherever else the Lord leads him. Why? Why can't I be that bold in my faith? This really bothers me. I love the Lord with all my heart. Period. No doubt about it. I strive to live like him and make sure people can see Him in me. But why do I fear sitting in a coffee shop and having people come up to me asking about this Jesus person? Or starting up a conversation with someone about His love and what He's done in my life?

Rhonda told me at lunch that I need to be more bold and challenge myself.
"Okay," I thought...but what does that really mean?
Challenge myself to spend more time in my Bible everyday, commit spiritual suicide (which I'll blog about another time), write down all the things the Lord is doing, pray for my friends back in CA that need Him, pray for my family...even the family members I don't talk to...these are all challenges, but I want more!

So....my challenge to myself is to...be more bold in my faith. To live with the mindset of being 'fully alive in Him, yet suffering for His sake.'
I don't know what this fully entails...but I have a feeling that if I ask for more boldness, the Lord is going to answer it. And (as I laugh to myself) am scared of this happening. "Be careful what you pray for," people say...but deep down inside, this fearful prayer is something I need to pray. I desire to be bold in my faith, to one day be sitting in Starbucks or Jives, reading the Bible and have someone comment about it, or ask questions. I desire to have these insecurities drift away, never to return. I see the woman I want to become...and so, I am challenging myself to actually become her. So that one day, my husband will see my boldness for my Lord, my children will see, and everyone around me will see just how much I love Him and want to talk about Him.

Needless to say, I am so blessed that I went to church. I still struggled in my heart with some individuals, but after having a delectable lunch with Rhonda, sharing my heart with her, venting, and crying many tears...and of course, hearing her blunt, yet loving words, helped my struggling heart to settle. If there's one thing a girl needs is a Mom or mom figure to talk to about life with. I was very challenged...in more areas than one, and it was nice.

Oh, and it was also Superbowl Sunday!! The Packers won! WooHoo!! And the Black Eyed Peas sucked SO bad during the halftime show. The only thing that saved the show was Usher. But really...you'd think people would get a clue about Fergie...someone needs to be bold with her and tell her that she just cannot sing. Period. Maybe I will one day :) Just kidding!

Rain

"My beloved responded and said to me,
'Arise my darling, my beautiful one,
And come along,
For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.'"
Song of Songs 2:10-11


....the spring time has come...
Rain brings life...it cleanses...it washes away...
Today, there was rain poured out on my heart...
it was beautiful...
And I was reminded that the winter is over...
The spring time...the new....is here...
I pray it stays.

2.05.2011

Do you remember?

"Do you remember when we first met?
I sure do
It was some time
In early September..."






I listened to Jack Johnson the other night...
For quite some time...
And I remembered how much I enjoyed his music...
Then I heard this song...
And my heart became very happy!

Oh California....

So, this past weekend I got to spend some time in sunny Southern California!
It was part of my birthday gift from my Daddy...
And it was one of the best gifts he could have given me in this season of life...
I didn't realize how much I missed my friends...
The friends I grew up with.
And of course, seeing my family was so amazing!
{even though I didn't see him hardly at all, it was great to see my brother}

I flew in late Thursday (January 27th) night to LAX where one of my best friends, Lauren, picked me up!
It was so great to have her welcome me back to CA.
I hadn't seen her in over a year, but the last time I was out we didn't get to spend any time together.
{this is the completely exhausted Autumn...I didn't get much sleep while I was there}

She also had it planned out that our first stop would be, of course, In-N-Out...(YES!)
Her fiancĂ©e, Drew, met us there, so I got to meet him...again...
I met him back in like 9th grade, but hardly knew him.
So it was great to meet him again, kinda get to know him, and laugh with him and Lauren.
She dropped me off at Dad and Tanner's apartment...
It was SO wonderful getting to hug both of my boys.
They may drive me crazy, but I love them with everything in me.
After a little chatting with Dad, I finally got to sleep, yay!
Friday I got to sleep in, which was so lovely.
My dad decided to surprise me with a delicious French Toast breakfast!!
Not only is it a favorite breakfast dish, BUT it was my Dad's first time making it :-)
And he did a FANtastic job!
I am so blessed to have such an amazing Dad.

Later that day, we drove over to my Grandma's house...
I got to stay with her the whole weekend, which was such a blessing...
I got to sleep in a nice comfy bed...
And we got to spend some time together!
{this is my cute Grandma! She doesn't smile in pictures, 
but she is such a happy, wonderful lady...and one of the strongest ladies I've ever known}

Friday night was filled with friends!
Lauren let me have a get together/party thing at her parent's house...
So many of my close friends came...
My best friend Adam showed up first, which was so good...
We got to spend a little time together (before all his stupid drama came up...so dumb)
I got to see people who I hadn't seen in years...
Friends that I grew up with, high school friends, church friends...
You name it!
I was so blessed that night...
And had so much fun catching up with everyone.

Saturday I got to spend the afternoon with a close childhood friend, Whitney...
We met at In-N-Out and talked for hours...
Then drove over to her house so I could say Hi to her family...
Who was like my second family, back in the day...
Some of the conversations we had were SO hilarious...
Haha...I miss her so very much!
Unfortunately, no pictures together, but I did snap this one...
and this one!
{I was very, very excited! I also drove my Grandma's minivan...
I'm definitely not gonna be a mini van Mom, but I see why Mom's pick them. They drive nice...haha!}

Saturday night, I went to church with Dad...
I got to see Shane & Morgan Idleman for the first time in years...
Shane started this church a few months ago and it was so nice to be able to visit.
He taught on speaking the truth in love...
And it was such a good message.
My favorite quote of his was, "Forgiveness is a choice, Trust is process."
Hm...I'll be thinking back on that quote a lot these next several months...
I also invited, actually I forced, a good friend of mine to go to church with us...
And he came! 
It had been years since he went to church...
We got the opportunity to talk about life...
And he joined Dad and I for dinner, which was so great!
I love my friend.
I think the Lord had it all planned out perfectly....
That I was there...
That my friend came to church...
And he had a friend to listen to him talk about what has been going on in his life the past couple years.
I was very blessed that night.

Sunday rolled around it was was such a busy day...
But by far the best day I had while I was there...
I had breakfast with my close friend and "sister" Jenn...
I just love catching up with her...
We worked at Barnes & Noble together back in the day...
So hearing about all the new drama going on is absolutely hilarious!
Right after breakfast, I had lunch with Lauren...
Oh, I miss hanging out with her.
She's the type of friend that you don't talk to for weeks or even months...
You see each other and everything is the exact same...
We laughed, joked, talked about serious matters in life, shared stories...
I was so sad to have to say goodbye to her.
But we planned out what we're gonna do when I go back in the summer...
And now, I can't wait to go back!
Then....the BEST part of the trip!!!!!
I got to see another best friend, who I haven't seen in over a year...
But haven't spent time with in years!
My friend, DAVID!!
I just love this guy......
I met him at a tattoo parlor and gave him the biggest hug I could manage...
It was the first time in my life that I didn't mind at all being around cigarette smoke...
Or having the smell of cigarettes on me...
When it comes to someone you love, things like that don't matter...
David has always had a special place in my heart...
When we were in junior high and high school we hung out all the time...
There was never a time that I can remember where we didn't get along.
He's a year younger than me...
Has been to jail, rehab, and as of late has been rollin' around with a gang...
But I made sure that he knew, no matter what he did or went through...
I would always be his friend, always be here for him, and always love him.
The Lord really tugged at my heart strings when I was hanging out with David...
I realized how many of my friends have been sucked into a lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, gangs, etc.
And I realized how I have been failing as a friend...
I need to pray for my friends, call them up to see how their doing, and show the love of Jesus 
through my actions and words...without pushing them away from Him.
I convinced David to come to a dinner that night that some close family friends of mine were having for me...
He hadn't seen anyone from church in a really long time...
So, I knew it would be uncomfortable for him...
And I didn't think he would actually come...
But he did!
And it made the last night of my trip all the better!
(oh and before dinner, I got to see my Dad's brother and sister, Debbie and Ronnie. Uncle Ron drove a couple hours to come see me. He's the greatest and most hilarious uncle. I was so blessed to be able to spend some time with him and my aunt!)
The Switalski family was like my second family when I lived in CA...
They made a delicious Italian dinner for me, invited some good friends to come visit,
and spent the evening together laughing and catching up!
Saying goodbye to everyone was so hard...
Specially when my bffffffff Bradley said, "Do you really have to go back?" (with the saddest face ever)
It made my heart sad...
But I told him to check out UCCS and move out here, haha!

Monday morning, I packed up my bags...
Spent some more time talking to my lovely Grandma...
Stopped off at In-N-Out again for a lunch date with my Daddy...
{hahaha...my eyes were so swollen from lack of sleep. But I was a happy girl
eating a #2, animal style, with animal fries!}

And then it was time to say goodbye to the CA sunshine...
and the desert town known as Palmdale...my hometown
Last but not least...I had to say bye to my Dad.
It was so sad...
I have the best Dad anyone could ever ask for...
I know people say that all the time, but mine really is ;)

Goodbye 70 degree weather...I will miss you...GREATLY!

Thank you to everyone who stopped their life for a bit to see me: Lauren, Andrew, Ramsey family, Adam, Brad, Marc, Aaron, Switalski family, Felicity, James and Sam, Jeff, Mario, Eddie, Kim, Cassandra, Summer, Vanessa, Whitney and her family, Jenn, David, Grandma, Uncle Ronnie, Aunt Debbie, Daddy, and Tanner! I love you all so much and am SO blessed to have you all in my life!
My 22nd birthday turned out to better than I could ever have asked for!
Thank you Jesus!

2.04.2011

The Four D's

Disappointed
Drained
Desiring
Determined

This is going to be total word vomit. But I gotta do something with  how I'm feeling as of right now...

Disappointed-
Oh man... I could write so much about this word and how it's affecting me, but knowing how many people actually read my blog...I won't go into detail. Let's just say...I'm disappointed in people. Both people in general and specific people. It's been a rough road the past few months and just cause someone (me) seems like their doing okay...they're (I) am really not. What happened to people (specific people who remain unnamed) calling me to ask if I want to meet? To see how I'm doing? Maybe I'm having a harder time then they thought I would. What happened to friends contacting me to see how I was getting along? Hm? The first month or so my phone was constantly going off....people saying they were praying for me...making sure I was okay. Maybe I came off a little stronger than I meant. And it really wasn't all strength. I was numb. Numb and angry. Then someone made a comment that threw me for a loop and now, I feel, well, alone. And that is where my disappointment comes in. I miss having a best friend here in Colorado that I can talk to about anything, everything, and not think twice about it.

Drained-
Emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. Drained. Hopefully worship and the message tonight will help some, a good nights sleep, and a month of release (only one person will know what this means and that's okay)...we'll see. I think I'm just overwhelmed with things (I know...vague), but I am. Thus causing me to be drained.

Desiring-
Like desire...but an activeverb ...yeah. You know? I actually had to look that up to see if it was a real word or if my brain was making it up. Given my mental state as of currently, I thought I was making it up! Ha. This is my desiring for things to be different, for things to change, for things to be whole and happy and healthy. In my heart and in other aspects of life. Now that the numbness has worn off, reality seems to have hit hard. Oh the joys. I desire so many things, yet, there's nothing I can do except lay those desire at Jesus' feet and let Him do His work.
I'm having a hard time doing this today. Hmph.

Determined-
Determined to prove things to people. Determined to not let my flesh win. Determined to not let the numb feeling come back...or the anger. Determined to trust the Lord's plan wholly and completely. Determined to take one day at a time. Determined to not let people's lack of communication or lack of caring (although that's not the case, it's just coming across that way) eat at me. Determined to let people go, surrender them away, and live my life. Determined.

The four D's. My word vomit.

2.03.2011

Never Say Never

What song has been on my mind today?
This one....



"Never say never Autumn, when you give your life and heart to the Lord of Lords! I know where you're at right now. The best thing to do is to study your Bible and let the Holy Spirit control your thoughts (I know, easier said then done). BUT, God does want the best for you; but you already know this ;) Also, don't try to make something happen just because you get lonely, that usually just causes more pain. If anything happens, it has to be God moving..." -Dad

You are Faithful



My heart aches for you my God
My soul waits for you my God
I've come far to find you here
In this place will I draw near

And your spirit soars me
To the highest heights
From where I'll not look back, no
I'll keep trusting You...

2.02.2011

Overwhelmed

My heart is hurting and overwhelmed...


So many thoughts and feelings whirling around in this body of mine...
Thoughts I don't know what to do with except surrender to Him...
Because He knows...

I wish I had answers to all my questions...
Deep Sigh
But it's not time for answers yet.

Learning to lay my hearts desires at His feet is a daily occurrence...
Seems more often then not I am asking the Lord to make my heart desire only what
He would have for me...
Right now I desire to have that peace that I've felt so many times...
The peace that surpasses all my understanding...
I desire to know truth...
But the truth will be revealed in time...
His time.

Tonight, my eyes are filled with tears...
And once again...
My overwhelmed heart cries out to Him....
For peace, and to know His love for me deeper than yesterday...
and the day before that...

As He catches my tears with His nail scarred hands...I am overwhelmed...

{not the greatest video, but the lyrics are so amazing}

2.01.2011

G-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s

My wonderful cousin Aubree Marie took some amazing photos a few weeks ago...
I've been waiting for her to finish editing them...
I am so pleased with how they turned out!





{definitely my favorite!!!} 



Some of them aren't as clear as they should be...I guess the pixels got all messed up when uploading them.
But nevertheless, I love them all :)

"A girl should be two things: Classy and Fabulous." -Coco Chanel