she laughs without fear

It’s all about perspective…. January 16, 2013

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One sees GREAT things from the valley, only small things from the peak. G.K. Chesterton

I read this today on Pinterest. Isn’t it so true. I immediately pictured NYC. You can stand on street and look up. The buildings look so tall and magnificent. You wonder what things they do in there. There’s probably million or billion dollar deals in the works and the everyone is so smart, the sky’s the limit right?

I’ve only been to NYC once in my life. As you can imagine about a girl from WV it was of course on a bus trip. A one day trip where you leave at the crack of dawn, ride for 5 or 6 hours, run around the city all day and then ride back. WORST IDEA EVER! I don’t do well sleep-deprived. In all seriousness I turn into a cranky toddler. It’s true, ask my husband. So basically what I’m trying to say is, take my view of the city for what it is, naive.

Just as magnificent as that building looks from the ground, imagine now that you’re standing on the top of it. You look down around you and everything looks so tiny. You see people moving around in a way that may look haphazard, like there’s no ryhme or reason to the hustle and bustle. You can’t see the intent or drive people have from that high up. You can’t see hurt on people’s faces from up there, you can’t see people helping each other, you can’t hear the words people are using with one another. Are they kind or hurtful, uplifting or not? It’s like life. What is it we’re saying, what God are we portraying. Is what we’re saying edifying HIM? A lot of times I think we’re indifferent in our speech. We say things in passing that aren’t necessarily hurtful but it’s not uplifting either. I think that might be just as bad, unfortunately.

I think it’s important to be ever aware of not only the words that come from our mouths, but also music we listen to, the videos we post, the movies we watch, or simply the sayings that come out of habit and not out of a thoughtful mind. We need to honor God in these things not because he doesn’t love us if we don’t, but to show we love HIM.

There’s a song:
Lift Jesus higher, lift Jesus higher, lift Him up for the World to see, He said if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.

I hope that what I put out there in this world both in conversation and online lifts Him higher. Let us edify Him, give Him glory, and not only display a merciful God that forgives when we do wrong but live our lives in such a way that the unmerited favor of God is evident in our grace life style we walk out daily.

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What a great loss… December 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — pstarliper @ 1:39 am
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I don’t even know how to start this. What a great loss of lives this country has experienced. Young lives cut short for no reason except that a very sick person stole them from this world. Just as I know the parents and families of all the victims are reeling from their loss, I can’t help but think of the loss our God feels for the life of all those involved including the shooter. We are all his children after all. This young man spiraled(over the course of some time, I’m sure) into a manic episode that led him to that dark evil place. This place that must exist outside of our consciousness, outside of our ability to reason, apart from ability to see right from wrong, and ultimately outside of himself and seperated from the calling of his Father.
As I see all the Facebook posts and pictures calling for prayer and support for these victims, there’s also a lot of 2nd Amendment talk floating around. To be honest a lot of it saddens me. I think there are a lot of simple statements being made, with not much thought behind them, for a very complex problem. There just simply isn’t a one size fits all band-aid for our world. I’m sorry there just isn’t. What I pray is this:

Lord,
Please comfort those who have lost, bring peace in the midst of upheaval,
accept the lives of those lost into your loving arms and wrap them in
your mercy and grace. From this tradegy I pray that there comes understanding.
I pray Lord that if there be more mothers out there, ones with children who
are struggling, speak into their lives, give them guidance to know the words
to speak, show them resources to help their children so that not one more
child grows up to be a man tormented by the thoughts of his own mind. Most
of all help us all to grow more and more into our identity in You. Help us
all to know that your ways are perfect and thank you God for loving us in
our imperfect lives. Amen.

 

Changed November 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — pstarliper @ 2:10 am
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Today is one of those emotional days.  Nothing’s really wrong, everything is actually pretty good.  It’s just that kind of day whenever I see something that tugs at the heart strings then I cry like a baby.  I cried pretty much the entire Ellen Show today and then Rascal Flatts sang on The Voice tonight.  Their song “Changed” really speaks to me.

I’ve always recognized the change God has made in my life. I was saved when I was around 14 going on 15.  I didn’t come from a churched family so I pretty much forged my way into making my life look like nothing I’d ever known.  Thankfully God put me on a path that brought me into a church family that utterly changed the course of my history. Being part of the ministry in the very house that brought me up is a very humbling experience. I am a firm believer in the saying, “to whom much is given, much is required.”

So anyway listening to this song made me think of my own life first. Once I was saved, I can’t really say there was a time that I “backslid”.  Not to say there weren’t times when I made mistakes or had dry spells but I never walked away or thought that this life wasn’t for me.  I KNOW I was saved from something. Secondly I think about those that I’ve seen come and go over the years. I’ve seen some people come from some seriously rough situations, then they have a miraculous encounter with God, to then walk away like it never happened. They go back to a life that tears them down, drains them of all their strength, and gives nothing good.  That breaks my heart to see that happen.

It’s easy to say, “well that’s their choice”, life’s all about choices.  Yes, it is but that doesn’t make the fall easier to watch.  Thank God He’s willing to pick us up every single time, right? I pray though, for those that I know, that have made the choice to walk away from a loving God for whatever reason. Sometimes the past eats us up inside, maybe they don’t feel worthy of the love, maybe they simply don’t care to put forth the effort. For whatever reason, I pray that the God who loves them makes it known in such an extravagant way that they can’t help but be changed.

We all could use a little change.  Change our outlook, change our thinking, change our hearts, change our mindsets, and change us from the inside out. Let the river of change flow like a flash flood, sweep away doubt swiftly, cover our hearts with your mercy, help us to know Your grace, most of all Lord, help us to act out of a spirt of worship for our King. Really after all He did for me, changing is the least I can do for Him.

 

 

The life and times of a gut spiller… November 9, 2012

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Hello my name is Trish and yes I am a gut spiller.  I am the person you know that says how she feels about everything.  I am a crier and a bit dramatic at times (ask my husband). I literally cannot stand to watch people say goodbye to each other at an airport.  Random people, I don’t know them but I will tear up if I witness that.

Now I try not to shout it all from the rooftops for everyone to hear but if you’re close to me, you know a lot about me. There are times though, that I wish I would’ve not been so open. There are things I’ve shared with people that has then caused them to believe that every future situation I deal with is tainted by my feelings of some past event.  I’d like to believe though that I’ve gained a little wisdom over the years that’s based on reasoning and truth not just perspective based on my experiences only.

Over the years though I’ve realized that talking about stuff is how I cope with stress. Now being married to someone who is the exact opposite of that is at times frustrating.  Not so much any more since we pretty much know what makes each other tick.

I really just think life is too important not to get excited! I live fully, love fiercely, and express my feelings in a way that shows how extravagant God’s love for humanity is. We don’t have time to leave the next generation or this generation, for that matter, wondering about how great our God is, how much we love them, and to not fear leading by example for fear of failure. I’ve seen people in relationships that go by with so many words unsaid and then when it’s over no one knows why. We are all worth fighting for. We need to step outside our quiet box and say what we mean in the spirit of love.  

Over time, I’ve  come to the point where I appreciate that quality in myself and others.  I mean at least you know where you stand with us. You’ll never question where our loyalties lie. Gut spillers unite!!!

 

Peace in the waiting October 24, 2012

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Last night when I was trying to go to sleep, I felt liking praying. I admire all those people who have a “prayer life”, that have a routine of talking with their God daily.  I’m not one of those people.  The shame! I mean I try not to be that person that only cries out in desperation but I can’t really say I take time daily to talk with my Savior.  I should be better.

Anyway, I was thinking about life and the things I still want, the things I still see myself having.  Not just stuff, I’m talking goals and dreams for me and my family. You know, that life you picture yourself living.  I think is was Meredith Zamora, an awesome woman from Washington state, that spoke one time at a ladies conference I attended.  She talked about loving God more than the promise. I get so wrapped up sometimes in what I see for my life and get frustrated because my current location looks worlds away from where I want it to be. There are promises that I believe will still be fulfilled in my life, things that I desperately want but the wait hurts.

So last night I prayed; God if there something I need to do for you right now then just tell me. If in the waiting you have a work for me to do then just make it known to me. Basically I don’t want to settle for what I want and miss what He has for me.  I know that He, in all His glory, has plans for me bigger than what I see. I get teary thinking about it because I know that all the things I “do” for Him doesn’t increase His love for me.  I know that His love abounds all my its self. It’s not based on performance, I’m not an Olympic gymnast wringing my hands waiting on the all 10s before his love is bestowed on me.  God help us if that’s how it works. But what I heard last night in His reply was simply; “have peace in the waiting.”

So I choose to trust Him, I love Him more than the promise, and I choose to have peace in the waiting.  I’ll stand my ground for now BUT when that voice calls to me again and says, “its time to move”, I will and I’ll have peace in that too.

 

Youth Pastoring October 19, 2012

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So youth pastoring a group of teenagers is challenging at its worst and hilarious most of the time.  We meet once a week on Thursdays.  Tonight was one of those hilariously challenging nights.

I talked about the importance of applying Christ to your life, that it’s not just enough to know about God or know of him but to have a serious relationship with him.  On in which you consider your Father when going about your day to day lives.  I used the example of nutrition.  Basically we all know we need food, we can look at food, hold food, even rub food on our arms(I was using the example of a dinner roll) but that food only nourishes you one way, which is to eat it.  I read the scripture about the last supper.  Jesus speaks about the bread, He took the bread, broke the bread, said this is my body, take it and eat.  Just like with Him you take all of Him and know that He’s working in you.  He cares about what we care about.  He actually wants me to be successful.

We’re also working on a dance for the Christmas program.  I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day – Casting Crowns. This was our first time practicing so there’s a lot of flubs and figuring stuff out but they’ll do a great job, I’m sure.

 

Proverbs 31:25 October 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — pstarliper @ 1:17 am

So once I decided to birth this blog I needed to name it.  I’ve thought about it for the past week.  Thinking of names that played off our last name, trying to come up with something clever.  What I guess I realized is that I’m not that clever. So, today I remembered that back in the summer I came across one of those nice scriptures on Pinterest that someone put on a wall hanging. I commented to my pastor about loving it and I knew I needed to do something with it. So this is it, I guess.  Maybe it’s divine appointment.

Proverbs 31:25 – She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear for the future. NLT

The virtuous woman.  Who could live up to that, right? You know I thought for a long time it was about striving to have the characteristics of her. Being the wife I should be, working hard, or sewing my family’s clothes for petes sake.  Get real, it’s 2012! So anyway what I find is that this scripture and the whole Bible, in fact, has little to do with making myself look like anyone, no matter how great they may be. Really it’s about what Christ has accomplished for and in me. Because He did this great work (the cross). I am virtuous because He is virtuous, I am righteousness because He is righteousness, and I am strong because He is strong.  With that in me how could I ever fear the future. My past, my present, and my future are in HIM.

Thank God for that.