Monday, April 30, 2012

Some wounds do not heal.

I read this on the Livesay's blog and loved it:

By: David R Henson

Some wounds do not heal.

"...But, the wounds no longer bleed, either. When Jesus touches his friends, he does not leave bloody handprints on their cheeks, nor do crimson footprints mark his trail in the Palestinian sand. When he ascends, blood does not pour down on the upturned faces of his friends watching him disappear.
This is the promise of the resurrection — not that we will no longer be wounded. No, we will always be wounded. Between hunger and poverty, war and terror, abuse and hate, our world will make sure that none of us escape unscathed without wounds that do not heal.
But as people of the resurrection, our promise is that our wounds will not always and forever bleed us of our lives, our vitality. The promise of the resurrection is not the assurance of a life without wounds but a life in which our wounds, even if they define us as they do Jesus, do not bleed us. The promise of the resurrection is that, eventually, after the bleeding stops, our wounds, while they won’t ever heal, might just begin to heal others."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pacing the Cage

Recently fell in love with this Bruce Cockburn the lyrics:

Sunset is an angel weeping
Holding out a bloody sword
No matter how I squint I cannot
Make out what it's pointing toward
Sometimes you feel like you live too long 
Days drip slowly on the page
You catch yourself
Pacing the cage

I've proven who I am so many times
The magnetic strip's worn thin
And each time I was someone else
And every one was taken in
Powers chatter in high places
Stir up eddies in the dust of rage
Set me to pacing the cage

I never knew what you all wanted
So I gave you everything
All that I could pillage
All the spells that I could sing
It's as if the thing were written 
In the constitution of the age
Sooner or later you'll wind up
Pacing the cage

Sometimes the best map will not guide you 
You can't see what's round the bend
Sometimes the road leads through dark places 
Sometimes the darkness is your friend
Today these eyes scan bleached-out land 
For the coming of the outbound stage
Pacing the cage 
Pacing the cage 


Psalm 124:7, "We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped!"


Sitting in the ATL airport eating a burger and drinking a beer en route back to Charleston from Nicaragua,  I was with some of my favorites and we were celebrating my birthday (which was the next day).  I mentioned that I've cried every birthday since I turned 19.  Different reasons, different years.  But the overall theme being: I am not who I want to be; I am not where I thought I'd be.  I want to be perfect; I'm so off track from my original life plan.

Rennie looked at me and said, "EA, if you'd been where you'd wanted to be, you wouldn't be where you are.  You wouldn't have gotten to do the things you've done.  You wouldn't be here right now."

Such words of truth and encouragement.  Such a cool perspective. 

As I read this verse yesterday, I thought through some of the things I used to want.  Things that I can honestly say I'm thankful I escaped because I think they would have been real traps for me.  At the time, disappointments and rejections yielded hurt and sadness.  Yet, in due time, they have also yielded real joy and freedom!  I am so thankful that the Lord's ways are better than mine.

One month

from toady, I'll be somewhere over the East Coast heading to Miami.  And then...then, to Nicaragua!  Pretty excited to be back there!

Dancing Dude

I was shown this video the other night and I love it.  As a fellow dancer, I love his moves.  I also dig the message.  It's short and worth a peak.


Friday, April 20, 2012


Roger's just so good looking.



John Slattery

I totally understand when Joan said, “Don’t stop” to Rodger. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Always changing; always the same.

That's how I feel.  I remember hearing the gospel for the first time where I really heard it and my world turned upside down.  I questioned everything and I wanted to be sure of what I was getting myself into with this Jesus fella.  As I was hashing some things out with my Young Life leader, I remember saying, "for me it isn't about not getting drunk at parties and not sleeping battles are my head...and learning who I am/would be as a Christian."  

As the years progressed from the beautiful Windy Gap, my battles got more external, yet the core of who I am and how Satan attacks me remains the same: it is a mind game.  At the end of the day, Satan wants me to believe lies.  Sometimes that comes in the form of, "one more drink will take that pain away," but more often it comes in the form of, "you're just x.  You'll never be y."   

Yesterday, I wrote out a list of things plaguing me.  And I looked for the root -- what hook does Satan try to pull me down with?  And here's the deal: while I know this is a lie, I don't believe that God loves me enough to bless me.  Which is crazy because I am blessed in so many ways.  And I know that.  But there are those other things...the things that feel dry and deserted and anything but blessed.  And my enemy loves shoving them in my face.  

So, what's a gal to do?  Fight.  My weapon is the Word and I looked and asked and the Lord provided.  Psalm 18, clinging to the bold verses.

I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.
The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
The LORD also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all his rules were before me,
and his statutes I did not put away from me.
I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from my guilt.
So the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
with the purified you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
For you save a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.
For it is you who light my lamp;
the LORD my God lightens my darkness.
For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?— the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
and did not turn back till they were consumed.
I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
they fell under my feet.
For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me. You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
and those who hated me I destroyed.
They cried for help, but there was none to save;
they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them.
I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
You delivered me from strife with the people;
you made me the head of the nations;
people whom I had not known served me.
As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
foreigners came cringing to me.
Foreigners lost heart
and came trembling out of their fortresses.
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation— the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me, who delivered me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you rescued me from the man of violence. For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing to your name. Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.

Could it be true?

I'm not sure if I can really call myself a runner at this point.  I mean, when does one become something new?  But I will say this, a month ago, I couldn't run 35 minutes straight.  And twice this week I've done so -- feeling good and able to go longer if life's other obligations weren't in the picture.  Regardless, I'm digging my new exercise and hope I keep it up.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


seem to be escaping me right now.  So I'm going to borrow some good ones by Kelly's Korner.  Love her thoughts here

and especially this verse:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear, 
Psalm 46:1-2

Friday, April 13, 2012

Digital entertainment.

My little cousin is getting married in June.  Their engagement photos have been released on the interweb for all to see...

And all to mess around with...

Courtesy of one of their friends.  Hilarious.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Only me.

As Edy hugged me: Oh!  Your hair smells like the ocean!
Me: Oh...I'm really sorry about that...I think it's sweat.
Edy: No!  I like it!  Do you use a sea spray shampoo or something?
Me: No, I'm sorry!  I went running before I came here and I didn't shower I think the salt you smell is from me sweating like a ban-chi.  Hahahaha.

Cradle to the Grave

I went to a John Mark McMillan concert last night.  I've always been weird about Christian music concerts -- how does one act?  Being at the Music Farm helped -- it's dark, you're standing rather than sitting in a church social hall, and you can drink a beer.  Overall, it was a pretty good time; I especially liked this song and this.  However, he did U2's All I Want and of course that was my favorite song of the evening.  Now, I'm listening to it on repeat.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Detox salad

I think it's fairly well known that I'm not good at eating healthy.  Perhaps this morning tipped you off: took the last bite of my breakfast when I was offered a Bojangles boberry biscuit.  Of course I made room for that delicious combination of butter and sugar and flour and some faux fruit.

All of that to say, Saturday's food of Chick-fil-A spicy biscuit, cake in bed, hot dogs and fries, Cheez-its, and frogmore stew made me realize I needed to clean up my act a bit this week.  (Pretend you didn't read the paragraph above.)  So I decided to make a detox salad that Courtney eats.  I ate it for supper last night and plan to eat it for lunches this week, along with some slices of turkey.  It was good and since my morning carbs have left me, I'm very much looking forward to eating it in a bit!  It comes from Oh She Glows and here's the recipe:

  • 2 heads broccoli (1 bunch), stems removed
  • 1 head cauliflower, stems removed
  • 2.5 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup currants  [I omitted]
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley [I forgot to buy thus omitted]
  • 1/2 cup raisins [I opted for craisens]
  • 4-6 tbsp fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • kosher salt, pepper to taste (1/4-1/2 tsp salt and lots of pepper)
  • kelp granules or Herbamare (optional), to taste [I omitted]
  • Pure maple syrup, to drizzle on before serving [I used honey]

1. In a food processor (or chop by hand) process the broccoli (no stems) until fine. Add into large bowl.
2. Now process the cauliflower (no stems) until fine and add into bowl. Do the same with the carrots.
3. Stir in the sunflower seeds, currants, raisins, and parsley. Add lemon juice and seasonings to taste.
4. Drizzle with maple syrup to taste.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter: recap

With the exception of being in grad school - when I drove to Columbia to go to church with Jenn and we got Chinese take out for lunch (which was awesome by they way) - I've always been with my family on Easter.  This year I didn't hear from my mom inviting me over for lunch or to go fishing or anything.  It was out of the ordinary, but my day ended up being awesome.  I drove to church by myself and figured I might end up sitting by myself, yet I felt really comfortable with that.

My church does a big Easter service out at Boone Hall Plantation and it is really beautiful.  About 4,000 people attend and some plan their vacations to be in Charleston this weekend for the service.  It really is beautiful out there; more than that, though, the service was awesome.  The music was worshipful and happened to included many of my favorite worship songs.  The sermon rocked.  I was reminded how much I really do need the Lord.  How often I want Him to repair the cracks in my life, rather than my foundation.  And, I ended up having the perfect person to sit with during the service.

Over brunch and mimosas with some friends, we toasted things we could each be thankful for.  We were heartfelt and honest.  We laughed a lot.  Afterwards, I was able to get some beach time by myself.  It was super windy, yet still glorious out there.

And then, I headed downtown.  For the past few months, some friends and I have been serving supper to homeless/down and out on Sunday evenings.  We've gotten to know some of the folks pretty well and it's become a highlight of my week.  Yesterday, we brought a full Easter spread and ended up serving more people than ever.  We read from the gospel of Matthew and offered communion afterwards.  We prayed for people and asked the Lord to do big things.

Looking back on my day, it was just about as good as it could get.  No worries over outfits, no commercialism, no fuss, but instead, it was filled with peace and joy.  Christ conquering death always makes me smile; the pain He endured on the cross was masterfully put to shame when He arose out of that tomb.  There is nothing He can't do, and that brings hope in all things.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Two things.

One.  If you have a few minutes, read this blog post.  I LOVE this blog and this post is challenging and inspiring and such a beautiful reminder before Easter.

Two.  The pastor that we stayed with in Nicaragua, Osvaldo recently became a grandfather.  Within five minutes of meeting his wife, Rossy, she told me she was going to be a grandmother -- that their 19 year old daughter was pregnant and it had been really hard on their family.  Their beautiful daughter, Christian, gave birth to Andre a few days ago.

But he wasn't breathing well and as I found out last night, the doctors gave him the wrong medicine.  So, he may have brain damage or he may not make it.  BUT it is my prayer that our Lord Jesus Christ would heal him and that I would be able to hold him when I am back in Nicaragua next month.  Will you say a prayer with me?  That the power of Jesus' blood will heal him fully.

As I think about Sunday -- that my Lord rose from the dead!  He conquered death!  And asking that Jesus would conquer death in Andre this morning as well!

Bound to happen

When I moved back to Charleston a few years ago, I knew I'd run into people that I hadn't seen in a while.  Sometimes that is really fun, yet other times it is just plain awkward.  There have been times when I can't remember how I know someone: growing up, high school, college, Columbia, mutual friend, etc?

When I moved from James Island to Mt. Pleasant last week, I knew this would increase my chance of bumping into "once known, now strangers."  It happened last night.  I was walking out of my neighborhood as the start of my run and I heard, "Elizabeth Ann!  It's me, Kendall!"

We were both exercising and so it was a brief convo, but turns out we live in the same neighborhood.  The last time I remember seeing him, we were in Pirate's Cove in Myrtle Beach; crazy.  (Also crazy that Pirate's Cove has a website.)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Worth a watch.

Watched this video the other night and it is really cool, especially as I attempt to prepare my heart for Easter.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Little surprises

I love when the Lord is full of surprises.  I was watching Courtney's dog Sullivan while she was at the beach with her family.  But, Sullivan was being uncharacteristically bad and Courtney had to come get her yesterday.  She couldn't put her in a dog hotel until 3pm which gave us time to get Free Ben & Jerry's ice cream cones for lunch.  Then Courtney was able to run an errand for me.  AND she got to go to Year Team with me last night.

Yesterday morning I read this (it's from a few weeks ago).  Maggie sent it to me and it is so good...and was so true for yesterday:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Bridge Run

I'm going to try to get you inside of my mind as much as I can (that's a scary thought!).  The morning of the run, we woke up early and headed to park in Mt. Pleasant.  The race began at 8:00 and they told you to get there at 7:00.  We left my house at 6:45 and made it to park right around 7, we got a good parking spot and headed to our carrol -- all the way down to L.

Of course I had to use the bathroom, so I left Courtney and Maggie and headed to Duncan Doughnuts.  Me, and what felt like a hundred other friends...I was in line for 45 minutes and my texts weren't going through.  When I finally got out of there I went to meet Maggie and Courtney, but this jack leg of a dude wouldn't let me pass him in the crowd and I was literally stuck.  Again, the texts didn't go through and apparently they seriously discussed me being dead and buried in a ditch behind the DD.  Sorry friends!

At some point, we got to move forward with section L and I was able to find my friends!  I managed to scurry up to section F -- passing G, H, I, J, and K to start this race.  The wait was absolutely ridiculous and I started at 9:30 even though I'd passed all the other sections!

I passed the start line and started running.  The first mile was ok.  A few minutes in, I thought about quitting.  But, I didn't because I figured I could at least make it to mile marker one.  I did!  And decided to push on to mile two.  From mile one to two was the hardest.  When I passed mile two, I got my groove and the run started feeling good...y'all that is SO rare for me!  Also, let me remind you that I didn't really train much for this race and hitting mile two was good enough for me!

I decided to push on and just see what happened.  Here's the thing.  They have signs that say, "Runners keep left."  Well, apparently, walkers aren't very good readers because they were all up in my left side!  I LOVED looking at the crowd in front of me and trying to figure out who I should pass, via what route, etc.  I had to move to the far, far left to pass some walkers and things were going great...until...

There are these 4" wide PVC pipe drainage holes along the side of the bridge.  At some point, my left foot went straight down in there and I fell flat on my face.  I was STUNNED.  There I am, sprawled out on the bridge in complete and utter shock!  The people around me were SO nice and helped me up and offered to get me to the medic.  I thought I was ok once I got over the shock.  Honestly, the whole thing is a bit of a blur and I'm not even sure how long I was down/standing around.  A woman came up and pointed out the ambulance, but I felt ok and decided to start running again.

Like Stella, I got my groove back...I felt good running, but I was frustrated with the Lord.  Why did I fall on my face?  I started claiming truths and telling Him, "you are NOT supposed to leave me!  You are NOT supposed to forsake me!  You are my rock!  You are my redeemer!  We are going to do this!"  I called upon the Lord and He answered.  I calmed and focused, I fell a few feet behind a girl in front of me and followed her path.  I past the three mile marker and then the fourth as we were descending off the bridge.  I could not believe I'd made it this far.

Once downtown, I kept going.  There were people along the street and I loved being cheered on.  I knew if I could get to mile five, I could finish...but could I get to mile five?  Once on King Street, I asked a group if they knew where mile five was?  They joyfully told me I'd passed it and was actually at mile 5.4.  I couldn't believe it!  That was the furthest I'd EVER run in my life.  I pressed on and I have to tell you, crossing the finish line was SO FUN!

My iPod said 1:02:53.  I almost wept tears of joy at the finish.  Tears of joy because I'd finished.  I'd run the whole thing (sans fall) and I really didn't think I could do that.  Because I'd felt forsaken on the top of that bridge and the Lord reminded me that He is always there, beside me, behind me, in front, carrying me.  Always.

It was such a perfect analogy of my life the past 5 or so weeks:
Mile 1 - cruising along
Mile 2 - tough as nails (week before Nica)
Mile 2.5 - feeling awesome (Nica)
Mile 2.5 - fall - how I felt after Nica.  Satan knows my MO's and he loves to use them.
Miles 3,4,5,6 - pressing on and demanding God to be with me.  Depending on Him.
Finish line - jubilation!

We fall and we get back up.  We make mistakes and messes and our knees are bloodied and torn and ache like hell.  Yet we continue on.  We can't do it alone, but as the Holy Spirit guides us, the Father calls us, the Son reminds us of his sacrificial love for us, we move forward.  And because we do so, the finish line of the battle is all the more sweet.

Leigh met me at the finish line and it was so fun to see her!  She rocked it in 51 minutes by the way!  Then I looked down and saw my legs were bloody and headed for not one, not two, but three band aids.  Only me.  Haha.  Everyone says the after race is awesome; I didn't agree.  The whole things is a logistical nightmare.  Also, because we were starving and the lines were crazy long at good restaurants, we ended up eating at Pizza Balls.  Food and beer were our only requirements and they met them.  I was however, a bit sad when I asked pizza by the slice and realized that wasn't an option.  Maggie, Courtney, and I sat there eating a ball of pizza and decided the race:awesome::logistics:not worth it.  We also decided Pizza Balls might only stay open due to college kids under the influence at 3 in the morning.  Haha.

All in all, I'm glad I did it.

April Abs

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