Friday, June 22, 2012


A continuation of what I mean by feeling more "free to be me..."

I've never not been me. Believe me on this one.  I've always been very true to myself. Or... well... I just can't help it, my self/personality/who I am is just too stubborn and too me to be anything else at all. 

The thing is though I've been so angry at myself for it. For the way I am. I am always trying to find things wrong with who I am. Trying to find fault, sinfulness, selfishness in all of who I am.

And truth is: that is who I am. It's who we all are. Completely completely selfish and sinful.
... Especially me. And I can see it so so much, yet can't even see much of it at all compared to what God sees and knows.

What I've realized this year though is that that's why Jesus had to come. I can't die to myself. No matter how much I wish I could or want to, I can't. There will always be so much selfishness there, so much ugliness... there will always be that dark part of me there that I try to sweep away and hide from the world...

but what I've realized is that's okay. That's how it will always be.

That's why Jesus had to come and die for me!!!

He covers it all.

I will always be an amazing sinner, and He will always be an AMAZING SAVIOR.

... Basically every day I just have to again remind myself and fight to let His grace cover all of me.

I've always been me. ... Believe me!
But... I've always wanted to find fault with every little thing.

Now... I'm just learning to let go.

I'm going to say the wrong thing, I'm going to do the wrong thing, I'm going to mess up constantly!!!...
ugliness is always always going to be there,

I need to just let His grace cover it all.

Every day as I fight with this I am re-amazed by His love and grace for me.

And mostly I'm reminded by His love and grace that I AM FREE TO BE ME.
He loves me just the way I am. 

And I am learning to let go. Not be mad at myself.
But just be Real.  True. and me before Him.
(as I always have been)
but this time continunously saying "no" to all the anxiety I have about it. About wanting to do what He wants. ... That is what I always have and maybe always will struggle with most. Wanting to do what God would want me to do!!! And it's hard when I just don't know... But I'm continuously trying to trust Him with it all. To trust Him to lead be back to His plan as I go astray. Most of all to trust Him to cover me in His grace.
From arm to arm across that cross, He died to cover all of who I am.

Now, even if I am doing a lot of things wrong, even though I am and always will be so sinful and selfish, 

I feel so much more free to be the way He created me to be.
To trust Him.

To love and live for Him in the way I feel He created my heart, mind, soul, and body to. In the way I feel called to, even if I've always wanted to point my finger at it, to find things wrong with it, to believe I should be different... this does seem like the way I am created to love Him and serve Him best. Out of my very being. The way He created me. The things and ways I am best at loving and praising Him. The ways I am best at loving and serving others. ... I feel more free to do the things my mind, soul, body, and heart just seem to be made for right now. ... More free to do these things without worrying that they aren't what I should be doing.

To love Him with my whole heart, mind, body, soul, and strength whatever way that means for me at each moment.

To just let it be my story.... all between me and Jesus.

His grace sets me free. 

Free to make mistakes.

The Word tells me He wants me to remain in His love and grace.

I am thankful I can come back to Him, trust that He's in control, and most of all ask for His forgiveness always.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

free to be me.

Biggest thing that's happened to me this year is that God's showed me that His grace makes me free to be me. :)

I'm free to be me.
Totally real before Him.
And His grace covers every single part of me.
That's what His arms across the cross mean.
He covers it ALL.

This amazes me every day. A lot.
And frees me.

His grace is what makes me free.

What I really want to do more than anything is show the people in my life and every person on this earth that I love them. Just the way they are.  

Because more than you can ever ever comprehend or imagine,

 God loves you. Exactly the way you are.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Amazing grace.

The Good News is that it's not about me. It's about Jesus.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

It's not about me.

Every single day I need to open the Word many times. To remind myself it's not about ME or what I do, it's about Jesus and what He's already done.

1 John 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 

 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes( the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Colossians 1, 2, 3

 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven .

As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to live in Him. Keep your roots deep in Him and have your lives built on Him. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always be thankful. 

Be sure that no one leads you away with false and empty teaching that is only human, which comes from the ruling spirits of this world and not from Christ. All of God lives in Christ fully (even when Christ was on earth) and you have a full and true life in Christ who is ruler over all rulers and powers. 

Also in Christ you had a different kind of circumcision, a circumcision not done by hands. It was through Christ's circumcision that is, His death, that you were made free from the power of your sinful self. When you were baptized you were buried with Christ and you were raised up with Him through your faith in God's power that was shown when he raised Christ from the dead. When you were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self, God made you alive with Christ, and He forgave all our sins. He canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away the record with its rules and nailed it to the cross. God stripped the spiritual rules and power of their authority. With the cross He won the victory and showed the world that they were powerless.

So do not let anyone make rules for you about eating and drinking or about a religious feast, a New Moon Festival, or a Sabbath day. These things were like a shadow of what was to come. But what is true and real has come and is found in Christ. Do not let anyone disquailify you by making you humiliate yourself and worship angels. Such people enter into visions, which fill them with foolish pride because of their human way of thinking. They do not hold tightly to Christ, the head. It is from him that all the parts of the body are cared for and held together. So it grows in the way God wants it to grow. 

Since you died with Christ and were made free from the ruling spirits of the world, why do you act as if you still belong to this world by following rules like these: 'Don't eat this,' 'Don't taste that,' 'Don't even touch that thing'? These rules refer to earthly things that are gone as soon as they are used. They are only man-made commands and teachings. They seem to be wise, but they are only part of a man-made religion. They make people pretend not to be proud and make them punish their bodies, but they do not really control the evil desires of the sinful self.  

Your old sinful self has died, and your new life is kept with Christ in God. Christ is our life, and when he comes again, you will share in his glory. 

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


Galatians 6

 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.

17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I am such a dreamer. ... Every day. Always have been and always will be.

I have so darn many things or unfinished projects that I hope in my heart I get to do for God one day. Some of them are more special than others...

I am excited to see which of them come true.

Right now, I am really excited about a few. 
Pray that God will lead me in the direction He wants me and to do the things He made me to do for Him.

Thanks. ... And please let me know what I can pray for you.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Grandma; inspiration to us all

My mom said to me today, "I think one of the reasons God might have grandma going through all these different struggles each day is because He wants to continue touching people with her faith through all of this." 


All of my grandparents are amazing.

       My Grandma Hartwick was a very healthy and active woman until she had an operation for a brain tumor in 1990. One of the things that could, but was very unlikely to, go wrong went wrong with her surgery, and she was paralyzed on the left side of her body including her left eye and face. Ever since then her health hasn't been the same. Due to this, getting Hepatitis C through a blood transfusion in the 1980s, having celiac disease, and being lactose intolerant, she has struggled through years of health problems and periods of being frail and sick.

Most recently, at the age of 77 they found she had colon cancer.

       Through all of this my grandma has been and still is spunky, positive, smiling, filled with faith and love. Throughout my whole childhood and still this year, she's challenged us all to Scrabble game after Scrabble game... and she wins!! :D

My favorite memories with her will always be singing the songs about Jesus that she always wants me to sing to her, listening to her tell me about her times of being a schoolteacher in a one room school house and about other old times, playing Scrabble, playing "the cat game" when I was a kid (escaping the alligators), drawing with her as a kid, enjoying her caramel roles and apple pie as well as enjoying making things for her like jello beans and banana creme pie pudding, watching mass with her, sending the stuffed bear WhooWhoo back and forth between me and her as a child, and watching her and my grandpa interact every day.

As my aunt Sharon said in her facebook status about a week ago during my grandma's most recent battle with cancer,
"What an inspiration she is. As weak as she is, and as much pain as she is in, she still finds the strength to praise God each and every day."

        This year has been the most special year yet with my grandma. I was so blessed to spend many days by her side over Christmas break, Spring break, Easter break, and these past two weekends. We've had so much fun!! Reminiscing, playing Scrabble, and most of all looking at the beautiful picture of Jesus in her room while singing songs about Jesus and Heaven.

These most recent times in the hospital and nursing home have been beautiful.

It is painful to see her in so much pain.

But it's so good to be with her. ... I've seen it bring tears to my grandpa's, my aunts, and my own eyes hearing her each day as she lays there saying,

"Oh Lord. Oh Lord. .... I love You. I love You. I love You. I love You Lord. ... Yes. Yes. Yes. Oh yes. I love You Lord. ... Oh Lord. Oh Lord. Oh Lord. Yes. Yes Lord. Yes. Yes Lord. ... I love You Lord. Praise You Lord."

When she first woke up from the surgery for her colon cancer she said, "Jesus Christ is my Savior."

... It has been amazing, and I and others have been eternally blessed to see my grandma through all her years praise God in each and every storm.

Grandma has Whoo Whoo with her right now. <3

She always has been and always will be beautiful to me. My cute Grandma Hartwick.<3

I'm so thankful for all the fun times we've had here and for all the fun times we will have together in Heaven with Jesus someday. :)

Thank you all for all your prayers for her and my family. She's still fighting!!