Sunday, September 28, 2008

Be Still

“Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of  hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”  Psalm 45:10

Be still. That is something I don’t think I will ever fully understand the concept of. With things starting to pick up and get busier here at the school- I am having a harder time to just sit with the Lord and be still. Being still in my mind. Being still in my heart. Being still in my spirit. To just be still and recognize that He is my Lord. 

This past week we have been bust getting everything ready and put together for the up coming months. On monday we are heading to the Bible College campus in Austria- spending a week there in what we call “Speakers Week.”  It is basically a time where we, as one body, can go and get away from the what we have grown accustomed to in our little Italian bubble. Were we can go, be together with no distractions, be in a  beautiful castle (yes, a castle) and to be still before the Lord. While we are there, we will be brought into a time of quiet solitude in our spirits so we can be refreshed and rejuvenated. Dang, I am looking forward to that.

“Don’t screw up the present cause you are dwelling on the future or the past”  -Jay Colle

Sometimes having a writer as a dad can be very annoying. They always come up with these catching one liners that convict you to the core of your gut. I was needing to be still this past week. My mind, my rampid thoughts were not calming down and the Lifetime movie in my head was beginning to get more like a bad soap opera. I was venting to my dad over an afternoon skype chat and he when he sent that I think I actually said “ouch” out loud. But conviction is suppose to hurt our flesh and our pride. This past week- my flesh was strong, my spirit was willing, and I was weak. But thankfully- “The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge” and we can stand strong in His faithfulness. We can stand against the fiery darts of the evil one- cause the Lord is our armor. 

Pray for an amazing week in Austria- that the Lord would speak and the Holy Spirit would be poured upon our lives.

P.S. Need to mention one more thing: We have our “Outreach Week” 2 weeks after we get back from Austria (Oct. 11-18). Me, along with the guy intern and 6 students, are going to Norway. More to come on that later....


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heart Broken

This is for yall who know me.  This is a thank you for those who have put up with me for the past three years (for some longer) and have supported me.  This is for those back home who let me do what I needed to do so that I could (and continue) to find out who I am.  For the past three years, I have been in and out of your lives- being anything but stable. I want to take this, and first thank my family. I am sorry if I seem to be the nomad, roaming daughter/sister who can’t seem to find her ground. But I am so blessed because I have parents and brothers who let me.  You knew I needed to do my thing and I needed to find out who I was and who I am suppose to be. Even though this journey is still in the fast lane, I know I will always have a place to call home. For my friends (you know who you are and I am missing those meetings more and more), thank you for understanding. Thank you for letting me leave, and then when I come home (even if its only for 2 months) embracing me like I never left. These past three years have been radical, surprising, breaking, unexpected and the best of my life. But they would be nothing without knowing I am supported.  I am sorry that I am not there for all the little things- and some big. (if it makes you feel any better, I hate living through pictures on facebook and emails). I am sorry I am not there to see you grow and find who you need to be and who you  are.  There are times when all I want to do is be at home, sitting in my living room, FSU on the TV (wining of course, so you know its a dream) and everyone I love eating really good food and just being able to breathe. But for the moment I am here. Right now,we are half a world apart. Don’t get me wrong- I absolutely love it here and can’t really picture myself being anywhere else.  I am so joyful and so blessed to be here.  Majority of that is cause of back home.  Thanks agian.  I miss you. I love you!

Always always,

Laura Jean

p.s. for those of you who care- a legit update will be coming soon. But in light of recent events, I felt this was appropriate. 

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor the fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food, though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no heard in the stalls- Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  The Lord God is my strength; he will make my feet like deer’s feet.  And He will make me walk on my high hills.”  Habakkuk 3:17-19

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


“I am dying of thirst by the side of the Fountain.”

-Charles D’Orleans

I was sitting on our couch, snuggled up in my favorite blanket, the sixty-five degree perfection breezes through the door- the only things messing up this moment is the drilling of the arguing plumbers working on our broken shower. But, other than that (which is getting fixed) things are going pretty well on this side of the hemisphere. This past week, us girls went to Venice for the day. Majority of the guys were suppose to go as well- but they saw it contained a 90% chance of rain and chickened out. So as us girls made our way to the ancient historic city on our own- it became an adventure none of us will regret. Everything from not really knowing what trains to go on (we ended up just following these ladies the whole way on the trains- unbeknownst to them) to not really having any idea what to do when we arrived. But thankfully, Venice is a city to get lost in. Its a place where the streets wind and turn, dropping you in places that are more beautiful than you imagined. We stopped and got a caffe latte and pastry along the way to San Marco Piazza. We had done pretty well staying dry until we reached the Rialto Bridge. That is when the heavens opened up and the floods started rising. All but myself had an umbrella- but that didn’t do much for you anyway and there is only so much cover to run for when the majority of the city is water. We were hiding under a covered walkway, talking to our new friends Dennis and Rudolph (yes like the raindeer) from England when we realized it wasn’t going to let up any time soon. We didn’t come to Venice to strand in a covered walkway just to stay dry, so what do 4 crazy american girls do when you go to Venice and the streets are flooding? You take your shoes off, roll up your pants, and make a run for it. Needless to say our day in Venice wasn’t what anyone would have expected. (The again,most would have seen the 90% weather forecast and stayed at home.)  But what a day, what an adventure we would have missed out on if we had stayed back.  We were running in puddles up to our ankles through San Marco Piazza dancing around and laughing and enjoying every wet minute of it! We took our chance and got caught in the rain.

And they were filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, 

as the Spirit gave them utterance.” 

Acts 2:4

As we were standing there, I turned and caught my reflection in a darkened window. Sopping wet, hair matted to my face, clothes drenched and my converse squeezing- I realized this is what I want everyday. Maybe not to be literally soaked to the bone, but I long for my soul, my whole being to be refreshed a new each day in the living water of our Lord. For that Living water to pour over me, causing me to dance, laugh and enjoy every wet minute of my life serving Him. To be refreshed with the Holy Spirit everyday, so I can no longer walk through the desert, but walk through the streets drenched in the power of the Holy Spirit- that Living Water.

“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”

Acts 17:6

Let us turn this world upside down.

My flickr picture website is acting funky- so for the time being use this one:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


It seems like good conversations always seem to happen in the kitchen. I don’t know if its the aroma of food, the relaxed atmosphere mixed with a glass of wine or just the fact that there is a pre-mindset of just feeling welcome. For whatever reason it may be, I always seem to find myself having my deepest “coming to Jesus” conversation in the solitude of the kitchen. For example today, me and Kristyn had the apartment to ourselves while the girls were all in class. I was sitting on the counter top, catty-cornered to her at the table. Next thing you know, we have talked about everything under the sun: What we see happening this semester between us and the girls, our hearts so far on what is happening, and even just what we are learning right now. One of the major things that we both agreed on was the act of surrender. I know it sounds cliché and comes up a lot in typical christian discussions. But if it comes up so often, and us humans are talking about it so much, apparently we haven’t grasped the concept quiet yet.  I know, for me, its an everyday act of saying “Lord, I can’t do this. You can.” But more than just surrendering over your life, your will, and so on- I have to wonder- do we surrender over the parts that make up our lives? In the Christian world we hear all the time to “surrender your life over the Lord.”  And don’t get me wrong- it’s a necessary thing that we need to do in order to live a consecrated life. Yet, if we break that down- not so overwhelming as LIFE- but more of just today. what about our dreams? Our desires for our ministries? Our desires for our jobs? Our desires for our family or friends? Our relationships? Do we surrender our desires? If you really think about that sentence- it is completely false.  The question should be said, do we surrender HIS desires? 

When I think of all the things I want out of life- A good, God-fearing Husband; children who love and serve the Lord; a ministry that I can say is glorifying to Him; a house with a wraparound porch on some pretty land in the country; NOT a mini van; a circle of family and friends who know me and love me  or who I truly am and are willing to be honest; to be able to dress my kids up in mini FSU cheerleader and football outfits for game days and go tailgating; so on and so forth. I have these desires and more, but where did they come from? Most of us, when we became saved, knew that our lives would be so much better off if the Lord’s will was done and not our own. So, if we were letting Jesus Christ truly rule and reign in us, if we were allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us (cause it is a choice- saved or not)- wouldn’t these desires be... from God Himself? I would hope so. I would hope that I wouldn’t  have- what I think is perfect for me- thoughts and dreams for my life just to be teased by them.  Now- some are frivolous and some are a little more dominating (obviously, I am can be a little flexible on the specifics of the house).   But the point is- these aren’t truly our  desires. So, if they aren’t truly ours  and they rather still belong to God ...we have to give them back. Yes, He did give them to us.  But He gave us these hopes, dreams, visions and burdens in our hearts cause He has a specific plan for each one of them.  In order for them to come to blossom to their full potential- we have to be willing to let them go. We have to lay them on the alter, sacrifice them over and let God have the reigns.  We can’t make the painting better than the Artist who imagined it in the first place. 

“Then the time came when the risk it took to remain in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin
One Sunday, my Pastor talked about visions. One of the things He said that I loved was how a vision is between two people: you and the Lord. God gave you that vision/desire/dream/burden because He wants to use YOU.  When we get this vision we must realize that it is one part of the plan and what God wants to do. For us to fully see what is to happen- for it to fully blossom- we must surrender it. It is our responsibility to see what it could or should be by giving it back to the Lord and letting Him use us to bring it to glory Him.


Sunday, September 7, 2008


We walked to church this morning glistening profusely from our walk- I was the only one used to the muggy bubble that causes you to sweat just cause your breathing. We walked down the back roads to a typical Calvary Chapel Building- a warehouse. Looking at the front door you would never guess that people gather here twice a week to worship their Lord. It has been about 6 days since I arrived here in Montebelluna, Italy. So far- it is nothing like I thought it would be! If any of you know- CCBC is known for trying to cram as many girls as possible in one bathroom. So to walk into our apartment and have 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and tons of living space (we have a roof that is open to our apartment we call the “Terrace”) its more room than I could ever have guessed! The Lord has provided every step along the way thus far- from years of me suffering with stomach issues and coming here and be able to eat Pizza and Pasta with no side effects (There are such things as miracles!) and then trying to adjust to all the changes. As I sat in church this morning, the whole service was in full Italian, so I could hardly understand any of it. But at the same time I absolutely loved it! As Americans I think we tend to think the world revolves around us. And I hate to break it to you if you haven’t come to this realization, but it doesn't- at all. And as I looked around today- seeing people I have never met, let alone thought ever existed until today, they were worshiping and loving the same God that I do. They were raising their hands, lifting their voices and praising God with their lives- just like anyone else back home. It was amazing to me to realize that even though I might not be able to understand the message, or to have a real conversation with them after the “Hello”s and “Ciao”s- one day I will. We are all living for the same Father and are all loved, saved and restored by our Lord Jesus.
As the days go by, the students arrive, and school gets started I pray the Lord uses all of us in mighty way. That we are brought together in that brotherly unity and all desire to stand on the common love of Jesus Christ. I pray our hearts are molded and shaped into the men and women God has called us to be, that we are all able to become broken and restored before His throne . In these next few months I am expecting to be taken out of my comfort zone- only to be brought closer to the Lord. Continue to pray for all of the students, interns, staff and Italians. That in all we do God’s name is glorified.

I miss yall and love yall!

P.S. I was sporting my FSU shirt on Saturday even though I was across the world. GO SEMINOLES!! :)
Pictures are up!! check the link to your right.