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    why Charlotte?

    before moving to Texas,

    i went to a workshop called For the Love in Seattle. i went to two coffee shops and they both gave me the same design: a morning glory flower. when i arrived in texas, our backyard was covered with purple morning glory flowers. it marked the beginning of my journey. 2 years later, a bush in our front yard that had nothing on it the day before, now had purple morning glories all over it. Lord, are you saying this is an end to our season here? it was an abrupt thought that passed just as quick as it came.

    2 months pass

    …i had just gotten done writing the blog “why Texas” after an intense week of defending our call at the beach vacation to all of my family. after attending Elevation church’s “Wake up the Wonder” live album recording at Time Warner Arena, we arrive home & Caleb tells me he feels God calling us to Elevation church. WHAT!?!?!? my heart went into shock because I did NOT see this fore coming. he set a table that demanded me to eat all of my words from the whole week. it was a full course meal that left my tummy in aches. my attitude was a complete and whole heartedly NO with tears and loud sobs after it. i work at our church as administrator to the Youth Pastor and I’m an elementary art teacher at a Christian school. i have my two DREAM JOBS given by the hand of God!!

    so i did what any good wife who supports her husband would do…told him to lay his fleece down (because I was sure it would be denied since we obviously we were not “called” there). i went in my prayer closet and began crying…”God, I just feel like he’s being Jacob, pretending to be someone he’s not, and like a good father you’ll put the cataracts on as you feel his fake hairy arms.” God asked me, “then what will I do?” i paused and took a moment to recognize He was wanting me to remember what was next in this biblical story. “….You’ll BLESS him!?!” “that’s right. I’ll bless him, and he should have your blessing too.”

    we called our families

    and told them Caleb was applying for Elevation’s Prodigy Program. skipping the details…i got an email saying i should apply too because they love couples. after so much excitement from our families, i decided it was time to reveal how i was truly feeling about all of it so i sent them the blog “why Texas.” it ended with, “until the winds change.” right after pressing send, i opened up my email and this video called Blow Mighty Breath was sent to me. I clicked on it and at the very end he starts to sing, “There’s a change in the wind, there’s a shift in the wind!” I started to burst out laughing. Okay God, I guess the wind is changing now. 3 days later, we were accepted into “Bootcamp.”

    the next morning

    i went a different way to my destination and drove by the river in the park that i loved to sit with friends and write or paint. i peered through my window to see nothing but leaves! the stream was dried up! New Braunfels decided to not pay for that water anymore and it will never flow again. i was devastated. later i came home and read out of my favorite book,

    Let Go” by Fenelon

    which left me in a stream of my own tears as i read this:

    “I cannot express to you how deeply I sympathize with you in your time of suffering. I suffer right now alone with you, but still, it cheers me up to know that God loves you. And the very proof that God loves you is that He does not spare you, but lays upon you the cross of Jesus Christ. Whatever spiritual knowledge or feelings we may have, they are all a delusion if they do not lead us to the real and constant practice of dying to self. And it is true that we do not die without suffering. Nor is it possible to be considered truly dead while there is any part of us which is yet alive.

    This spiritual death (which is really a blessing in disguise) is undeniably painful. It cuts “swift and deep into our innermost thought and desires with all their parts, exposing us for what we really are.” The great Physician who sees in us what we cannot see, knows exactly where to place the knife. He cuts away that which we are most reluctant to give up. And how it hurts! But pain is only felt where there is life, and where there is life is just the place where death is needed. Our Father wastes no time by cutting into parts which are already dead. Do not misunderstand me; He wants you to live abundantly, but this can only be accomplished by allowing Him to cut into that fleshly party of you which is still stubbornly clinging to life. He might even test your faith with restrictions and trials of all kinds. Don’t resist. You must learn to suffer all things!

    The death of self must be voluntary, and it can only be accomplished as far as you allow. You must be willing to yield to the will of God whenever He decides to remove from you all of the props on which you have leaned. Some times you must give up even your most spiritual friends, if they are props. “What dearest thou, oh thou of little faith?” Do you fear that He may not be able to supply to you from Himself that help which He may have taken away on the human level?

    I know how confined you are, but I convinced that God means to accomplish His work in you by cutting off every human resource. He is a jealous God, and He wants you to understand that what He is about to perform in you has been done by Himself alone, and by no other. So give yourself up to His plans. Allow yourself to be led wherever He wants to lead you. And be careful to not seek help from your friends if God is forbidding it. Your friends can only give what He gives them for you.

    Why be so concerned about the dried-up streams when the rivers of living water are so available?”

    every season i ask God,

    “what am i going to be in this season that i couldn’t be in any other?” then i ask Him, “what are You going to be for me that You couldn’t be in any other?”

    i asked Him this back in June at the Youth Retreat and He said, “you’re going to be a vine & root. I’m going to be your shade.” i hit up wikipedia as soon as i got home as usual to see what He meant.

    VINE: climber; runner

    Ex- ‘morning glory’

    •  can grow high IF support is available
    • other plants enable them to reach sunlight with a minimum investment of energy
    • colonize large areas quickly without even climbing high
    • adapt to life in areas where there’s more sunlight but little soil
    • rooted in the soil with leaves exposed getting the best of both worlds
    • twining their stem around support
    • clinging roots & attaching adhesive to the support
    • hooking on to grow quickly
    • flowering plant that provides attraction
    • some climb by themselves, others need work such as tying them in and training them

    SHADE: the blocking of sunlight

    • the shadow created by that object
    • shelter from the sun
    • plants produce shade by absorbing sunlight to invest as energy to produce sugar
    • Hosea 14:7>live in His shade, blossom like the vine
    • Psalm 80>i am a young vine. clear out my brambles & briers. plant my vineyard. prepare good earth. plant my roots deep. fill my land. soar high and shade the mountains. attend to this vine. care for what you once tenderly planted. the vine you raised from a shoot.

    if you haven’t connected the dots thus far…

    this might help: my friend bought me some flowers because Jesus told her to pick them up for me. after a while they began to wilt. i felt much like that little flower…depleted of energy and hope. i was experiencing the brown-thumb syndrome in life and needed to check my growing environment affecting the health of my heart. God had me look up why flowers wilt. there are many reasons why such as fungus infection, lack of water, being cut which could be a separate blog entirely but the one that put the puzzle pieces together was known as “transplant shock.” when a plant is relocated to a different environment it will go into shock if in too much sunlight.

    this next season,

    God is moving me to another location and in order for me to live & not wilt, He will be my shade! after flying to Charlotte, NC for “bootcamp” (the final weekend interview), i got to hear the heartbeat and motivation behind Elevation church. they said, “you need to find the purpose for God’s reason of promoting you. you need the support of others to take the personal risk required to extend the kingdom of God.” they also said, “if you’re always transplanting, you’re never planting yourself and growing roots.”

    i knew we were going to be accepted because God told me so the week before India, when i was able to attend the Gateway Conference despite pink eye & an ear infection. Pastor Steven Furtick was one of the guest speakers and guess where he preached from…Acts 27 (yes, 27 is the number God uses to speak to me & the day Caleb & i got married) and the title of his message was: “IT WILL HAPPEN!” he even said “i’m looking for some Caleb Joshua’s who are saying, “it will happen!”

    • trouble is the route to transformation.
    • you’ll get to where you want but not in the way you thought
    • the dream is free but the journey costs
    • are you steering by your spirit or your senses?
    • loss of hope, fear, shame, opposition= the storm
    • depression-when you can’t see it’s gonna be any better than it is right now
    • we’re too in love with the way we want it to happen
    • there’s a fresh WIND BLOWING & what was against you is breathing to blow you forward!

    in these last 4 months, God has taken me from wilting in despair/dismay to planting my roots in the hope He has for me. i had “small dreams, a skeptical mind, a stubborn heart, selfish motivations, and a short term memory” but despite all that, we will be in Charlotte for 6 months and then see where God takes us!

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