3.29.2011

Wanting to be here....

Right now.

It's okay to cry sometimes

What's been on my mind the past weekend?....

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." 
James 1:2-4 (The Message)

"In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory." 1Peter 1:6-8 (NASB)

"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:3-5 (NKJV)

Last night I spent some much needed time with my mentor/surrogate mom, Rhonda. A lot of family stuff came up this past week that left me in shock and an emotional wreck (we're talking tears shed the whole weekend...not fun). Not only that, but best friend and I are still trying to work through everything that we've been through (again a lot of tears and...not fun). Rhonda encouraged me with prayer, scripture, laughter, and I left so challenged that now my head feels like it's spinning even more...but in a good way...if that even makes sense. 

I don't really know what the Lord is doing, but I know that He's good and with His strength, I'll be able to make it through family stuff again. (if you don't know about my family...well...read my old blog here). There's a lot more that has gone on then what I have written about...but you'll get the gist of the junk my family and I have had to walk through.

Anyways...I don't mean to sound like a Debbie-downer, but my heart was so heavy this weekend, and after reading the said verses, listening to a message by Francis Chan (my favorite teacher...ever), and spending time with my mentor and the Lord...I think my heart is on the up and up :)

Next post will be a happier one....Promise!

3.23.2011

Psalm 139

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. 
   I'm an open book to you; 
      even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. 
   You know when I leave and when I get back; 
      I'm never out of your sight. 
   You know everything I'm going to say 
      before I start the first sentence. 
   I look behind me and you're there, 
      then up ahead and you're there, too— 
      your reassuring presence, coming and going. 
   This is too much, too wonderful— 
      I can't take it all in! 

     Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? 
      to be out of your sight? 
   If I climb to the sky, you're there! 
      If I go underground, you're there! 
   If I flew on morning's wings 
      to the far western horizon, 
   You'd find me in a minute— 
      you're already there waiting! 
   Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark! 
      At night I'm immersed in the light!" 
   It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you; 
      night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you. 

     Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; 
      you formed me in my mother's womb. 
   I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! 
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made! 
      I worship in adoration—what a creation! 
   You know me inside and out, 
      you know every bone in my body; 
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, 
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something. 
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; 
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you, 
   The days of my life all prepared 
      before I'd even lived one day. 

    Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! 
      God, I'll never comprehend them! 
   I couldn't even begin to count them— 
      any more than I could count the sand of the sea. 
   Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! 
      And please, God, do away with wickedness for good! 
   And you murderers—out of here!— 
      all the men and women who belittle you, God, 
      infatuated with cheap god-imitations. 
   See how I hate those who hate you, God, 
      see how I loathe all this godless arrogance; 
   I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred. 
      Your enemies are my enemies! 

    Investigate my life, O God, 
      find out everything about me; 
   Cross-examine and test me, 
      get a clear picture of what I'm about; 
   See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong— 
      then guide me on the road to eternal life.

(I just love The Message translation of this passage. I've been reading it everyday for the past couple weeks and decided to post it, so that all my friends can be blessed by it as well!) 

3.21.2011

On a night...

Have you ever had one of those nights where you just feel the Lord's presence all over you and all over the room? Have you ever wondered what it's going to be like when all believers are swept away to Heaven to worship Him forever and ever? Have you ever been on your knees immersed in total worship surrounded by a group of twenty-somethings speaking in tongues...lost in the moment of seeing His face...feeling Him ever so present...crying out with all your heart and mind to have the chains of the past broken, to see your family saved, for a boldness in your faith that only He can supply you with?

I have.

Last night. 
And by golly gee, it was one of, if not the best and most powerful, worship nights I have ever experienced. 

You see....best friend invited me to go with him to a college group called "The Table" at one of the local churches here in the Springs. I was hesitant at first, but decided to go because he was going to get baptized and I wanted to be there for that beautiful moment of saying goodbye to the old, yucky him and saying "Welcome" to the new, Christ-filled him. Well, sadly, the baptism part didn't happen....not sure why, but I'm sure it'll take place another night. I invited my future roommate and dear friend, Ryann, to come along as well! So incredibly blessed that she did...because I just love her to pieces. 

The three of us...
in the midst of faces...
arms raised high...
tears flowing....
worshiping the One who conquered death...
the One who I was created to worship....
the One who loved me so stinkin' much that He gave His life for me.

Worship has always had a special place in my life. Growing up in church, I've heard so many teachings on worship, what it means to worship, why you're supposed to worship, how you're supposed to worship...and the list can keep going. Teachings are great...don't get me wrong. I love studying the Bible more than anything, BUT there's just something about engaging in worship that I gravitate towards. I go to theMill (the college group at New Life Church) every Friday night...why? Because of the worship. I listen to worship music all the time, in my car, in my apartment, at work. There was a time in my life that I led worship with my best friend back in California. I still would love to be on a worship team again someday...maybe :)  But I realized last night...I can listen to all the messages I want to about worship, go to theMill every single week for the rest of my life, download worship music on iTunes every day, but it wasn't until I actually experienced abandoned worship (wholly free without restraint worship) that I now understand what it truly means to worship Him

And in the moment of complete silence from the band...voices.
Voices of those who were worshiping their Savior...
Voices of those speaking in tongues...
Voices crying out to JESUS!
Prayers murmured throughout the room...
Silent and out loud....
The sound of tears flowing...
A night that my heart has needed for a long time...
A night to just sit in His presence, lay everything down at His feet, and say, "Okay Lord. Do yo' thang!" Haha, just kidding...but really :)

Because of last night's experience, I do believe I got a a very small glimpse of what it's going to be like in Heaven, every moment of every day...Worshiping Him! Forever.

This makes my heart so very full. And even though this morning was frustrating and I had lots of things on my mind (things that really didn't matter at all), my heart was still full to the brim of His joy and His love. 

I surrendered a lot to Him last night...
Asked Him a lot of questions...
Sincerely desired to be done away with the things of the past (all the pain, hurt, lies, betrayal, etc)...
and look forward to the amazing things about to happen in the very near future...
And...I saw something I've desired to see for three years...
Maybe...just maybe...in time, of course, the deepest aching of my heart and the yearning of my inter-most being will come to pass.

We shall see.
Since it's all been surrendered to Him...
on a night of purely, truly, and wholly worshiping my King, my Creator, my Father.

My prayer: "Jesus! You are so worthy of our praise. I am so unworthy of Your love and forgiveness. Thank you. Thank you for Your body and Your blood poured out for me. May my life bring You praise and glory every day that I am blessed to breathe. May the words that flow out of my mouth, drip with Your love. Show me how to love like you, how to turn my back on the things of this world, and shine as a light, not afraid of what people will say or do, but with boldness...shine...for You. I am amazed at how much you love such a wretched person, yet you call me lovely, beautiful, Your daughter. I love you. Wholeheartedly...and I can't wait till I'm with You, worshiping You for all eternity."



This was the song we sang during communion and WHEW! never have I experienced such an intense, amazing, authentic communion. Communion has become so ritualistic that I believe it's lost it's authenticity over the years. Christians gotta get back to the root of it and what it really, truly means to partake of Christ's body and blood. This is an honor, not to be taken lightly...at all. It's all about His love. Period.

"When only love could make a way, You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange."

3.16.2011

I found this music video today and it made me very happy :) 
Enjoy....
{check the band out here}

"God is love and He loves everyone!"

3.15.2011

Perspective

This morning I watched a YouTube video that brought me to tears...
and changed my perspective in many, many ways...


Living in America I get caught up in my day to day life...
my heartache...
my hurt...
my loss...
my, my, my...
And you know what?
I hate it.
I really do.
Life isn't all about what I've been through, or am still going through...
Life isn't all about the pain I feel, the loss I've endured, and the heartache I still seem to be facing.
Upon watching this video, my heart sunk...
it sunk to the bottom of my stomach...
and I realized how selfish I really am.
Yeah, you know what? I have been through some awful life situations...
I've been hurt, betrayed, back-stabbed, lied to...
watched my Mom leave, my family fall apart, my brother become angry at the world,
the person I fell in love with run away with his own selfishness which caused even
more heartache in my life.
The past few years, in no way have been a joy ride...
BUT...
I haven't endured a life changing/traumatic occurrence like a devastating earthquake...
or watched a tsunami flood my town, my country.
I haven't faced hunger, or thirst, or loosing everything I ever owned.
I'm not walking around a town that once was full of people and houses and stores,
and now is nothing...with deceased bodies being pushed to shore.
For some God-awful reason I think that people I know owe me something....
I think that life should revolve around what makes Autumn feel better...
what takes away the pain in Autumn's life.
Blah, blah, blah.
This thought process couldn't be more screwed up!
The beautiful people of Haiti and Japan lost everything...
their homes, their jobs, their families and friends.
Their lives have been absolutely devastated and yet, these two young boys in Haiti,
who survived the devastation in their own home town, cry for the people in Japan...
They know what it's like...to lose everything.
They feel the pain as they watch the tsunami wash away cars and homes...
Why wasn't my heart broken for the people of Japan?
Why wasn't I crying for the loss of so many lives, that may or may not have known Christ?
Why am I still so self absorbed in the pain I feel?
Why can't I take my eyes off myself for a moment and cry out for Japan?
Because...I am selfish.
And I need to desperately change my perspective on life.
My Dad often reminds me, "Autumn, when you think about the hardships you've
been through, always remember, that there are other people going through much
worse situations."
So...here we go....a challenge to myself...
To take my eyes off myself and my pain and my loss and focus on what is going on
around the world, in the lives of other people, the people of Japan and Haiti,
other families who have had to walk through ugly (and worse) divorces, others who have
lost ones they love, whether my death or betrayal and sin.
This is not to say that the pain I feel is magically going to go away,
but if I can focus on other people rather than myself, I know that the pain I feel
will slowly diminish...because I'm not focused on, well, myself.
Sounds so very simple, I know...but to me...this is a huge challenge!
I pray that the video is as challenging and heartbreaking to you (whomever you may be)
as it was to me.
Maybe it'll even challenge you to take your eyes off your pain and loss and think about
what others are going through...others who have lost more,
and have had to deal with greater pain then any one of us in America
could really ever imagine (except those of the 9/11 attacks of course).

3.11.2011

He's so Big

I live in an apartment complex...
An apartment complex that has really sucky parking.
The only good thing about this is that I rent a parking space in the back of the complex...
my own little space for my little white car.
So without a doubt, I always have a place to park...
(well, when other people decide not to park there).
On nights that it's snowy and freezing, I really hate parking in the back 
cause my complex isn't really that close...
which means I have to walk...in the cold...and I'm not a huge fan of that.
But on nights when the weather isn't that bad, 
I don't mind at all walking.
Tonight was one of those nights where I didn't mind walking.
The wind had a bit of a chill to it, but it wasn't too cold...
the skies were clear and there stood millions of bright shining stars.
I took a moment to stand in the middle of the street where no street lights were shining...
took a deep breath....
and sang softly...
"The skies lay low where You are,
On the earth You rest Your feet,
Yet the hands that cradle the stars,
Are the hands that bled for me."

Hm....
The hands that cradle the stars, are the hands that bled for me.
Thank you Hillsong United for such amazing lyrics.
Their new album entitled Aftermath is my new favorite CD to listen to.
Over and over and over it plays in my car. 
The more I listen to the songs, the more I fall in love with every word sung.
I think that they have some of the most powerful worship I've ever heard...
I never get tired of listening to them!

Oh yes...back to my moment of standing in the middle of the street...
staring up at the sky...
softly singing to myself....
It was one of those moments where my breath was taken away,
my eyes filled with tears,
and I was overwhelmed by Him...
the Him who spoke and all those stars were put into place...
the Him who bled and died for the World...
the Him who Created me.

"God, You are SO incredibly big, You created the entire universe,
You spoke words and BAM! the earth was there,
You breathed air into dirt and BAM! a man was made,
You formed a women out of a rib...like really? 
You're that incredible!
You're so incredible You sent Your Son to die an awful death....
for me?
You loved me that much that you would allow Your only Son to go through all that he
had to endure...for me?
You're so big and amazing, how can people deny You?
How can I go through days feeling like You're so distant...
when You're always, always right here...with me?
I feel so tiny standing here, looking up at Your creation and all the stars you
whispered into place.
I feel so tiny...yet, I know, without a doubt, You're with me here...
and Your love will light the way!"

A few shivers ran down my back and again, I took a deep breath.
and started walking towards my home...
"No eye has seen, No ear has heard,
The depths of Your love,
No mind can fathom, The love you deserve,
How great You are!" I started to sing again.
Hm...my God is great!
He's not the long brown haired, clean looking man that so many pictures
display Him to be...
I've been reading and studying the book of Revelation lately while listening
to messages from one of my favorite pastors, Francis Chan.
In Revelation chapter 1, verses 12-17 John describes God....
"Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. 
And having turned I saw seven golden lamp stands;
 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, 
clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, 
and girded across His chest with a golden sash.
 His head and His hair were white like white wool, 
like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.
 His feet were like burnished bronze, 
when it has been made to glow in a furnace, 
and His voice was like the sound of many waters.
 In His right hand He held seven stars, 
and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword
and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man..."

This is the God I serve...and upon reading this passage...
my heart no longer takes worship or prayer lightly....
because I now have a visual of the God I'm worshipping and praying to!
This is the God I was talking to and singing to
when I was standing in the middle of the street just a little bit ago.
And this is why I was so overwhelmed...with Him.
This is the God who loves me more than anyone ever could.
This is the God whom I have chosen to follow hard after for the rest of my life.
This is the BIG God that I have fallen so in love with...
the One who's hands that cradle all the stars,
are the hands that bled for me!

Oh God, Be praised forever!
I am happy and so excited to be loved by such a BIG God!!
I pray that whoever reads this is encouraged to take a moment to see
just how BIG God is and maybe refocus on who you are worshipping
and praying to...I know it changed my heart.
That's all....
Goodnight :)


3.07.2011

Love me some worship

"The Great I Am" written by Jared Anderson
Thank you New Life Church for having such amazing recording nights
and beautifully written songs.
I may complain about working there, but I do have to say they 
have incredible worship...always!!

It's just not the same...

Life that is.
Life hasn't been the same for...oh about four weeks...
Only a few know of how life has changed...
But no one will quite ever know how it's changed my everything.

You see...I have this best friend...
this best friend hurt my heart more than I thought possible...
but it happened.
I picked myself up, brushed the dirt off, and kept going...
I was fine...
Life was fine...
I was numb...
I numbed feelings.
But then, WHOOSH...in a heartbeat, feelings rushed back...
and I came to terms with these feelings I still had hidden in my heart.

Lots of hard talks later...
Hundreds of thousands of tears shed...
Some moments of pure anger...
Processing through thoughts and memories...
And a lot of prayer...
This best friend is back in my life.

Some may not agree...
Many may not understand...
Few are excited and are by my side for the adventure
(friends and a Dad whom I love very much).

The future is uncertain, of course!
I have absolutely NO idea of what is to come.
All I know is, time will heal the still open wounds...
Prayer will never cease...
And laughter will make those painful moments pass away.

Two nights ago...best friend and I decided to drive up to Denver for an adventure...
Cheesecake Factory for dinner (with some delicious drinks!)...
Yogurtland for dessert (my new favorite place that I could eat at everyday)...
Sore feet from wearing heels...
Finding new clothing styles while roaming around Urban Outfitters...
Anxious thoughts disappearing with prayer...
Loud roller-coaster screams in the car...
Moments of trying to catch our breath from laughing so hard...
Best friend and I...once again...reestablishing what was so horribly lost...
Regaining that which was taken away...
Becoming who Christ has called us to be...
Knowing that the future is unknown...
Two people...embarking not only on in adventure to Denver...
but in life...


"A best friend is someone who knows all about you,
and loves you anyway." -Anonymous 

3.02.2011

new favorite video...

Yes. I've been listening to this one lots today.
It's something I would write...if I was cool and wrote songs.


Currently: wanting a pair of those glasses (badly)...
inspired to grow my hair out
and possibly go red again...? hm....
desiring to live in a big city and experience city life...
dreaming of good things....
.goodnight.

my new favorite quote


If someone breaks your heart, just punch them in the face.

Oh sure, it seems obvious now, but you'd be amazed
at how many people don't think of it when it's relevant.

Seriously, punch them in the face and go get some ice cream.

--Chuck Klosterman 

3.01.2011

Welcome, March!


how is it already march 1st?

i'm not complaining!
i'm very happy and so excited to welcome in spring.
hopefully this means warmer weather, no more snow, and lovely rain storms
are on their way.
the first little signs of cherry blossoms on the trees,
fresh fruit,
ferris wheel rides,
maybe a drive or two in the warm sunshine 
& even some night hikes in the gorgeous colorado mountains
compose a song of joy in my heart...
simply put: i can't wait for the summer!

life, it's a wonderland...enjoy each day!
love to you all!
happy march!