Wednesday, November 30, 2011

oh, Eve.

You know when you get those questions in your head that you constantly come back to? Those that sit in your head for months, maybe even years. Welp, that's been me in this very question about Eve in the garden. I would be kidding you if I said I didn't think about it at least once a week, and for certainly over a year.

What in Eve, in the nature of a woman, in her makeup - in a holy & perfect place, in constant communion with the Lord, made her eat the fruit in the garden?

What made her realize she was in deficit? Needing more, wanting more? She was perfect. In perfection. What was her thought process, and where did it begin to turn towards wanting to gain the knowledge the enemy was promising her? 

Yes I understand she was tempted. I understand it could have been Adam. But it wasn't, it was Eve, and with my desire in learning what makes a woman a woman, and how our nature was developed and intended - of course I went straight back to the beginning, and planted myself there. Where and how did it start? How were we intentionally created to be? What, because of the fall, tries to steal & manipulate that precious nature the Lord instilled in us, every single day?  These became swirling questions in my mind, especially this summer whilst I spent most of my days in a small cubed office left to just me, my thoughts, and my computer.

I've talked to many people about this question that so often fills my head, and have gotten a lot of great feedback and just conversation in general from it, especially with sisters. It's such a beautiful thing to evaluate ourselves and weigh it against the Word. Not to mention, it is one of the sweetest things to just discuss the Word with the body, so encouraging and challenging -- I'm sure quite like the church in Acts 2, those little glimpses, I just cherish.

The war against us is real.

We as women, I feel, have strayed away from how we were intended to be. Were we meant to be independent and self-sufficient, the miss "hey I have everything together, I don't need you or help"? No. Hellooooo, we were never in this world alone. never. ever. We were CREATED as a HELPER, a companion. From the beginning of time. [Que, major conviction for me, personally] ... In saying that, I will share with you where I arrived this week... 

We, as women, were born into deficit ... now, before you get going, think about it. The statement puzzled me at first too. We were made as a mate, as a counterpart, a function which corresponds to that of another person. We were taken FROM the rib (which being one of the most sensitive places on the body and so intentionally from the side, I could get into a whole other topic), from the life of the man. Eve was made to complement Adam. Adam and Eve made up for what the other lacked. They were made to be one, a unit.We are not made to be men or like them, but that's often what society is telling us to do, to be. Instead of viewing our dependency, our great capacity for care, our sensitive, and gentle nature as a weakness, why don't we manifest it into what the Lord has set forth from the beginning. Accepting that we are weaker, is NOT a weakness. It's understanding our nature and using it as a force for the gospel. In studying Proverbs 31, the last thing I could possibly take away from that scripture is a weak woman. She was a depiction of beautiful STRENGTH. 

Now, it got me thinking. Why wouldn't the enemy tempt her? He took and manipulated her nature, as a part of the whole, her need for more as connected to Adam and the Lord, and used it against her. he isolated her. And so many times that's what he does to us today. He abuses the characteristics the Lord has ingrained in us as beautiful & exploits them as weaknesses or may it be dominance, so we do everything possible to diverge away from them... Until one day we stop, and wonder why it's hard, why we can't do it on our own, and why we feel out of sorts --- it's because He never meant for us to do it that way to begin with. We sure can self-destruct ourselves in isolation. We females sure can get our wheels spinning, and can go from point A to Z, Z to G, G to Y in a matter of .5 seconds. Our minds and emotions can get the best of us. 

Let us

"not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind. Then [we] will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

let us sink into our nature, into the beauty He has set for us.
let this be our humble prayer.
that our mind & heart will be transformed in His light, and glorious image.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

free to be.

I'm currently reading Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian and it is rocking me. If you are looking for a read go ahead and pick it up! I promise you won't regret it. Here is a little excerpt that I read earlier this past week. Resting in this. He is everything. Everything. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

keep on keepin' on.

This week is definitely a crazy week with Graduate School, as I know it is for everyone. It's almost as if they had the thought, "oh wait the semester is about to end - let's schedule everything imaginable within those two weeks before Christmas!" However, during literally 12 hours of school today - I came across these hilarious pictures on Pintrest (yes in class, sorry had to - was going nearly insane) today, and they were a little pick me up for me, so maybe they will be for you too.

So... if you are feeling like this...


He's good ALL the time.
(annnnnnnddd ...... It's almost Thanksgiving!!!!!!)

Friday, November 11, 2011

2 Corinthians 8

Every week there is a Food Pantry that operates Thursdays and Fridays just down the street from me, and literally walking distance from campus. Now how on earth I did not hear about it until my fourth year of college, I have no idea. It is much of the reason while I am still in Auburn. I took a Hunger studies class and we were required to have volunteer hours around the area at local food banks or something of the sort {Praise the LORD for this}. Over a year later, I am so honored to say these people have changed my life. Cliche, I know - but it's just simply the truth. The ladies that run the Food Pantry are more than an inspiration, they understand the Gospel, and live it. Don't let their sweet demeanors fool you, they're a powerful bunch. I realized through them and through this service opportunity that this vicious poverty cycle is going to continue until people start standing in the gap, educating them on food, hunger, disease, and helping them learn how to move out of their circumstances. I think of that old Chinese proverb, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." That is where the Lord quickly halted "my plans" {which are rather hilarious now} and said, "Taylor, stand in the gap." However, I am not sure how that looks -- I'm in graduate school learning to teach these things, and so thankful for it. The Lord will use me however He chooses, but I say yes to what that however is.

But I learn more from the people then I could ever offer them.

the ladies (and there's many more). what haven't I learned from them?

I would venture to say he is one of the sweetest people I know. grace & compassion flow from him.

 My main man, front & center. I would be lying if I said he wasn't the highlight of most of my weeks. Truly hilarious and boy, does he have jokes.
They are 2 Corinthians 8: 1-13 to me.
"Now, friends, I want to report on the surprising and generous ways in which God is working in the churches in Macedonia province. Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts. I was there and saw it for myself. They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians.

 5-7This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard. What explains it was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us. The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives. That's what prompted us to ask Titus to bring the relief offering to your attention, so that what was so well begun could be finished up. You do so well in so many things—you trust God, you're articulate, you're insightful, you're passionate, you love us—now, do your best in this, too.

 8-9I'm not trying to order you around against your will. But by bringing in the Macedonians' enthusiasm as a stimulus to your love, I am hoping to bring the best out of you. You are familiar with the generosity of our Master, Jesus Christ. Rich as he was, he gave it all away for us—in one stroke he became poor and we became rich.

So here's what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart's been in the right place all along. You've got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't. The heart regulates the hands. This isn't so others can take it easy while you sweat it out. No, you're shoulder to shoulder with them all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit. In the end you come out even. As it is written,

   Nothing left over to the one with the most,
   Nothing lacking to the one with the least.

{Message version}

How sweet is the body of Christ, working together like it says in 2 Corinthians 8?! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

celebration of the marriage of [rachel + chase fisher]

This weekend we celebrated the marriage of Chase & Rachel FISHER. It was such an example of the Gospel, filled with so much joy of friends and family around. I was so blessed to be alongside for this! It was such an incredible blessing to me. They truly understand what it means to have their love fully alive in the Lord, and it clearly radiates out from them.

perfect weekend. congrats friends, so happy for you two and the many years to come!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Isaiah 30:15

Clinging to Isaiah 30:15 lately. 

"Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, in returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength."...

Trying to learn what this means - Surrender with my voice, and heart are two different things.