The life of small hands, a big heart and a burning desire to see the world know LOVE in an intimate way... And the adventures and life lessons along the way.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Secret place

A young women, seeking that which reaches the depths of who she is and satisfies every longing, every desire is found kneeling at the base of a tree. She is in clothes that are tattered and torn from all of life's messes, she's dirty from the things people have thrown at her, her heart if hurt and in need of holding. You see she's been walking through life, trying to carry the pieces of her life on her own. Little did she know that they weren't her's to carry alone. Till one day she was introduced to someone who quickly became her friend, her help in time of need and the one who showed her a love worth living for. Soon she became busy trying to impress her friend and bless her friend and stopped spending as much time with together. And she found herself longing once again and unfulfilled. Until one day her friend took her to a secret place in the middle of the pasture where a single tree grew strong and big. He friend soon told her of a life worth living, one that is fulfilling, that satisfies and gives a purpose. But most importantly that you'll never be alone. You see this young women more often times than not felt as if she didn't belong, as if she were an outsider not worthy of love or companionship. Her friend had shown her that there is LIFE in the midst of all this darkness. Told her stories of His love for her, danced with her and sung over her. Wiped all her tears and picked her up when she fell... and ever since then she comes, humbled to be able to be in the presence of her Savior, Friend and Father... God.

May we never forget that we are so blessed to be able to enter his courts, to enter the holy of hollies without ever leaving our house. For Jesus Christ came to save once and for all. For sin entered the world through one man, and MANY are saved from their sin by ONE man, Jesus Christ. He longs to spend time with us. He is everything we need. We are BLESSED to live in a time when WE ourselves can enter into his presence and not be struck dead because of our sin. When Jesus died and rose again the veil was torn and there is no longer a need for us to go to the high priest so he can enter the Lord's presence. WE GET TO!!!! What a beautiful thing!!! We can walk everyday in HIS presence. So let's have a Mary heart and sit in his presence worshiping and learning all he has for us!!!!

Beautiful things... when you least expect it

So many scenes come to mind when I hear the word beautiful, such as a thunderstorm in the middle of the night when your on a balcony with close friends in a different country, snow falling gently through the night as you worship the living God or stargazing on a dock in the middle of nowhere. Such beauty that God has created for us to enjoy. These moments tend to happen when we least expect them... and his creation... WORSHIPS HIM!!!! WOW

But what about the people in your life?

A best friend who at one point you weren't sure if you were going to make it another day... a moment when you realize you let each other down and the hurt that comes from it... yet grace is shown and God reunites you even stronger than before. To watch a broken girl turn into a beautiful woman of God who is now a mentor to so many and she doesn't even know it yet. A friend who when you first met was a broken and hurt mess, longing for real love, unconditional, life changing love. Through the years you SEE God transform her into a woman who is so BEAUTIFUL you sometimes have to look twice to believe what you see. A girl who was once so shy and insecure she wouldn't even speak when a stranger sat on her and introduced herself... so broken and hurt she didn't even trust herself and now... she's seeing her dreams come true and is walking in a relationship with God that she could never have dreamed of all those years ago. These three women... all in need of Jesus. All like the Samaritan women and the women who doesn't have much strength left, but uses everything she has left to reach the edge of the Christ's cloak, for if she can just touch the hem surely her life will change. A girl who has the potential of Esther, Ruth, Diane, Rachel and Mary. To see what Christ the Lord has done in renewing these women's lives, molding them and healing them is a miracle, a gift that can never be forgotten or taken away. You see these women are you and me, they are every women... they had women who mentored them and showed them Jesus... now it's our turn... so here we go... we are weak and in need of more of HIM... but by HIM and through HIM all things are possible.

So lets seek out the beauty in people, lets chase God and love him with all we are. Lets run this race strong to the end... let us seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God... let us never forget from that which we came and that it's by grace through faith that we've gotten this for... lets never forget it's not about us... let us press on to know that we are running a race to win the prize!

Beauty from ashes...
we've all been there...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cold Weather

Tonight the weather changes, the cold air rushes in and as I step outside my breath is almost taken away. O how I enjoy this weather, it quite and peaceful and reminds me of how much I need Jesus. I love to sit and have deep conversations over a hot tea with close friends at times like these. If only they all lived a little closer. But, I do want to change this. I miss having lots of good friends nearby. I've recently gotten over being sick, but while confined to the bed, 20 hours of sleep a day and a few too many Law and Order: SVU episodes, I can't help but be thankful. We are so blessed.
School keeps me busy and work is alright. But when I just stop, turn off the music and listen I find much joy. And also a longing for so much more of who God is. I want to know him and for him to know me. I think of all the kids here in Amarillo and Canyon who are orphans and just want a family. How if I could I'd buy a house big enough for us all and adopt them, but I can't for many reasons, so instead I ask God to do his work and to find these children families, but most of all that they'd know him, for he is a father to the fatherless, and o how wonderful of a Father he is!!!
My oldest brother and his wife are having a child and I can't hardly contain myself. He's coming to meet us in February, Callen Adonias Duncan. Meaning: Strong warrior, The Lord is my God. What joy a child brings to a family. I remember when Logan and Benjamin were born, o the sweet joys they have been and I hope our family just continues to grow.
Thinking of this, it makes me long for a family of my own, it's a longing that goes to the core of who I am, and in a way it scares me. I doubt sometimes if this will ever occur or if it's just a far away dream that will never come true. But one thing I do know is the Lord is good!!! And He is holy and righteous and so in Him I place my trust. And hopefully one day a dream will come true.
Hosea 6:1-3
-this verse always remains in my heart.

Ephesians 3:19-21

19 and to know (A)the love of Christ which (B)surpasses knowledge, that you may be (C)filled up to all the (D)fullness of God.

20 (E)Now to Him who is (F)able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, (G)according to the power that works within us, 21 (H)to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations [a]forever and ever. Amen.


How amazing it is to have God who knows no impossibility and has made us for relationship with him!!! And his heart for all the peoples of the earth is to know him and be known by him! And so... His will be done, not ours, but his!

I love you Jesus!!


P.S. You all should check out the song Esther by Esterlyn.... it's a song thats been on my mind so much...it's very much what I want to see done in the lives of God's precious and sweet children...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Welling thirst for Living water

There is a church in town that displays witty sayings on there marquee, but this week, it's simple and o so truthful.
"Seasons change, God doesn't"
Through all of life, Abba has been the same. He's never wavered from any part of himself. He has always spoken truth, always loved, always been just, always been good and always unfathomable. This past week has been filled with it's own worries, and yet I rest in His peace. As Jesus states in John 16 "I have spoken these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation, but take heart, for I have overcome the world."
Wow!!!
But overall these past couple weeks, I've learned and I've seen how disgusting I am. That this sin, which I fight with day in and day out, is muck. It's as filthy rags, even as used menstrual products. And who wants to be around that. Yet we all sin and all lay here in this state. What is it going to take for me to realize that no matter what Abba is here, with me? Jesus has taken this sin away and I am free from this. Well let me tell you...
There is a woman I feel like I can relate to in the Bible. She is by no means what we would consider a "wholesome" or "beautiful" woman. She is the topic of the gossip in town. She is the one who walks with shame, she avoids people, keeps her head down and would have the scarlet letter shining above her as a neon sign. She's made some mistakes and has even more regrets. Yet here she is in the presence of the Messiah, and she doesn't even know it. Jesus asks if he can have a drink of water from her cup... wow... there are just a few things wrong with this picture:
1. She is a Samaritan woman
2. Jesus is a Jewish man
3. Jesus asked to take a drink from her cup, which according to the law, would make him ceremoniously unclean
4. She has had 5 husbands and currently lives with a man who uses her
5. They are talking to one another in a public place

Yet Jesus loves her. Confronts her and lets her know He is I Am. This is only one of two times Jesus ever takes on the name Messiah. What does she need more than anything... the Messiah. So here her life is changed forever.
May we all realize and come to this point in our lives. When we hunger for the living water, and not drink from the wells of this world to be satisfied. May we see our filth and thank God for his redemption of our lives. May your life and mine be changed by the conversation with Jesus. Though short, it pierces to the depths of who we are.
So here I'm trading these rags for riches. To live a life set a part. Looking forward to the day, that there are no more tears of sorrow, and to be in the very presence of the Messiah. Abba, friend and Lord.

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Beginings

Today has been a wonderful day, though it's definitely had its refining moments. I am very glad to be in the place that I am today. It's a new begining in a very familiar place. Since moving back to West Texas life has been very different than in the city. Although I have enjoyed it very much so! Today is a day of change. A day of new beginings. Something I once dreaded with every fiber of my being. But am so thankful to be able to sit at the foot of the cross, where the ground is level.
Self control and self discipline are big changes that have come in to store as well as just taking advantage of every breath that God has so graciously given.
I am so very thankful for this place. I am humbled by His goodness.

Friday, June 10, 2011

One step at a time

Love is real. It is not just some fairytale that we girls dream of our whole lives only to be left disappointed and broken. Love is a reality that captures hearts, draws people together and changes lives. Love does not leave you out in the cold only to be the pray of the enemy. Love protects, defends, fights for and cherishes those he loves. True love of a man comes from God the Father. Love is unconditional. Love has no limits or boundaries, it can stretch across oceans and reach down to the core of who you are.

Love is patient and kind. It is not envious, boastful or proud. It seeks to lift up one another. Love does not tear down, hurt or destroy. Love builds up, lifts up and heals wounds.

For a man to truly love a woman, he must first be with God.

For God is love.

He gives love to us and then love pours out to others.

Love is beautiful!

This is a wonderful thing to experience.

I’m currently learning a lot about how Christ loves the church.

Simply because someone is showing me this kind of love.

Thank you Jesus for this great love you give!!!

Thank you mentors and friends who have always told me about this and yet I was unsure. Well, I’m not anymore. :D

Love is not just a fairytale or far away dream, it’s real and it’s happening before my very eyes!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A love that's unending


As I looked into their eyes, the hopelessness broke in to the core of my very being. Their efforts spent striving to simply survive. They wanted something more, but knew of nothing that truly lasts. Many of
them had been abandoned or their family simply died ad they were the only ones left. Where had the hope gone? Where was God when this happened? How could so many people, so many children live in such extreme poverty? God, why haven't they heard of you? Why don't they know your love like we do?
So many questions, and so few answers. The children laughed and played with us and the adults cried and laughed with us, and taught us all so much! Throughout my time in Ethiopia I saw everything from complete hopelessness to complete joy in extreme poverty and among the fortunate. The faces, the names their longing to be loved is forever etched in my mind.
I wish you could have been with me at the soup kitchen as I laughed and hugged and received hugs from the street beggars, of all ages, mostly older men. Most of them were crippled and hungry and needing of life everlasting, of Jesus our Savior. What a blessing it was to be with them, and serve them. My life is forever changed because of what God is doing in Ethiopia.
I'm back here at home, and striving to keep the same passion alive and to love just as much and whole heartedly. It's nice to be with family, but honestly I see why God has called us to the ends of the earth, even if it means leaving my family behind and just obeying.
So for now, I'm simply going to obey. One day at a time. With pleasure and joy. I'll pick up my cross and follow Christ daily. What does that look like here? What is it supposed to look like? Well I guess I'll find out one day at a time.
I am going back in December for over a month to Ethiopia. And for that trip I am beyond excited, and seeking Jesus whole-heartedly. For I know it won't be easy living thier for those almost 6 weeks, but I know that everyday my God will move, and that he will equip us. And every night when we lay down our heads we will thank God for what he is doing and for bringing us to Ethiopia.
I never thought I would fall in love with a people so quickly, but honestly, I can't get them off my mind or stop praying for them. I love them!!!!!
Our drivers, translators, and staff of the guest home are wonderful and so encouraging! I look forward to working with them again soon!
Please pray for Ethiopia, as most of the people have not heard the true gospel, especially outside of Addis. They are a beautiful people!!!
video

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gospel, prayer, storms and Perseverence

Gospel: God the Father knew that we needed a Savior. So he sent us his son, Christ Jesus. Jesus, teacher, taught us, showed us and revealed to us the mystery, TRUTH was laid out for all to understand. Christ, innocent and pure, was drenched in our sin and paid our price. Beaten, bruised, broken, torn, pierced... for you and me. BUT the cross isn't the end.... HE ROSE FROM THE GRAVE!!! Death could not defeat him and Satan couldn't hold him!!! Praise the Lord... Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice so we could have life!!!!

Prayer: Amazing things happen when we pray! I'm still amazed by this!! Prayer is way more powerful than we (at least i) give it. Prayer moves God to take action... isn't this amazing... that we can move on God's heart... if you don't believe it look in the old Testament, it's everywhere! From Esther, Abram, Noah to Jeremiah, Boaz, Isaiah, Micah.... and so many more... look in the New Testament.... Jesus prays for you!!! For you to be one with Him and that we, as the body of Christ would be one. How amazing!!!!

Storms: Physical storms, I love for their majesty that God displays, just watch as they form, the lightening sparks, thunder rolls and the rain pours!!! Hosea 6:1-3 is what I think of everytime!!! Spiritual storms, are hard, not fun and sometimes discouraging. "...But take heart for I have overcome the world"-John 16:33. While we may not see the purpose then, God is with us, and hindsight is 20/20. Praise the Lord in times of tribulation!!!! This I am learning, and I must say, it not only changes your attitude, but you are strengthened, just like the Psalmist David says, "The joy of the Lord is my strength..."

Perseverence:
1. A guy I work with was in a terrible accident, but God brought him through. Now he encourages everyone ALL the time! He is a joy to be around and such a huge blessing! Even though everyday he suffers in great pain due to his accident, he is always thankful to the Lord and tells everyone how much God loves them! He always puts a smile on everyone's face! I pray that one day I will be like that!
2. A man lost his wife in a car accident back around Christmas. Although I did not know him before, I did know his wife from a few encounters I had with her. She was loving and shone the light of Christ, her very presence brought God's love. He is not bitter, but thankful for his children that have lived, including his then unborn son. I was fundraising for a mission trip that I go on in May... he brought his kids and bought cupcakes for them... my brief encounter with him and his donation spoke more to me of God's love and provision and peace than anything else that happened that day. Thank you sir for seeking God, even when it seem impossible to continue on. Your love for your family and God have impacted me deeply!!!

I want to be have the prayer life of Esther, the faith of Noah, the heart like David and Paul's devotion and Peter's zeal.... all pieces that show different attributes of our risen Savior...

till next time....
I love you all more than you know!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A journey of FAITH... a whole new meaning

For this semester I've been raising funds to go to Ethiopia for a missions trip. Trip cost: ~2800. A few days ago I had no idea how any of this was going to come together. I knew that God would supply and that the hard work would pay off in the end. I've been praying fervently for this trip as well as that the finances would come in. So I gave the rest to God.
You see for the past few months (probably more like year) God has been teaching me what faith is and what it looks like, while this is an answer to prayer, I can't say it's what I expected by any means. To have full faith is not easy, it is not always fun, nor is it comfortable. A picture of faith that I can't seem to get out of my head is of Noah building an arc, on dry land, loading tons of animals in it two by two and never having seen rain before. But know that God does what he says he will do. Soon enough (hundreds of years later) the boat is loaded and down come the rains... forty whole day and nights... over a month (do you realize how much time that is for us?) And then the rains cease and a rainbow comes out, the promise, God will never destroy the earth by a flood again. Amazing how obedient and faithful Noah was. How hard it must have been to do what he did! But Noah had faith, knowing that God does what he says he will, so it's better to be obedient, even if you don't understand what is going to happen, even if you DON'T KNOW AT ALL.
This is what I've been learning so much of recently. You see, be faithful and obedient, trust God. He keeps his word. Even when we mess up, he's there to pick us back up again...
So on for the amazing news of provisions that God has been doing over the past 3 days...
1> Friday night, my family and I went to the car club cookout in town, where my Dad(stepdad) talked to a guy about donating money to the mission trip... so I talked to the guys and told them what was going on... I honestly expected no more than 100 dollars... well God blew me away using these guys... they've donated $500 for my missions trip! AMAZING!!!!
2> One of the guys there is also going to write a personal check for me on Tuesday... for an amount I do not know yet, but I know that God is providing!!!
3>Today at church we had a bake sale and an amazing group of men, women and children donated 675.25 for the trip. How amazing is that!!!
GOD is faithful... He does what he says he is going to do... trust him!!!
I'm learning to for sure!!!
Love always, simply love
Lys

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What does love really mean?

JJ Heller sings this song... the chorus goes like this
Who will love me for me
Not for what I have done or for what I will become
Who will love me for me
Cause nobody has shown me
What love really means
What love really means
I really like this song because it reminds me of a place that I once was at, and a place that so many people are at now. It inspires me to run hard after God, and pray that people experience His love through me. Not by my own doing, but by Christ in me.
I wonder sometimes if there is someone who is just waiting to hear that they are loved unconditionally, without holding back and long to know this love. Then I'm reminded that this is something we all seek and all long for. Only Christ Jesus can give us this beautiful gift! Himself. But o how my heart breaks for those who don't know his love, and see why God uses us to show people his love.
It is by our love for one another that others will know Christ.
I pray to know the full understanding of that verse and to live it out everyday!
I've also been processing a lot about different things in my life and I can't help but sing and shout for what God is doing! For what he has done, but most of all for who he is!
God is mighty to save, Christ Jesus our savior, Holy Spirit dwells within us, completely undeserving, yet God lives with us. I am so very thankful for this. Though Christ is not walking this earth with us right now like he once did, the Holy Spirit is always with us. How comforting this is!!
Love always!
Lys

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hosanna in the Highest

I just got off the phone not too long ago with TMM GE and I have been ticketed for Ethiopia.
I can't help but sing his praises!
HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST!
A little girl gets a dream come true... but it's not for me, it's for God's glory!!!!
Love always...
Lys

Thursday, April 7, 2011

All is well, with my soul

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot
Thou hast me to say
IT IS WELL
IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

This song has been on my mind all day. I couldn't help but to sing it. As I was at work today, I kept singing and pondering different things in my life right now.
Over the year a lot has happened. I have had many emotional and spiritual lows, as well as numbness. Yet the Lord has kept me alive(spiritually) and my heart yearning for Him, even when I had no idea what to do in order to seek after Him. Through some rough situations, the Lord my God protected, provided and sustained me. I knew He was the one taking care of my every need, every time I looked at my bank account showed me and reminded me HE IS FAITHFUL, even when we are unfaithful(2 Timothy)
My heart breaks for children without families, or in broken families. It breaks for women who have been enslaved and sold for a price so someone can be temporarily satisfied physically. It breaks for those who don't know Jesus, and don't know His amazing love. I long for justice and yet I long for people to know Christ more. Love saved us from ourselves, when we could not save us(and we still can't.) God's love showed me his tangibility when we can't tangibly touch him. O how so many are stuck in darkness and do not know. But JESUS lives! His truth is living and active. He is patient, so that all may have a chance to come to know him(John). By faith we stand in confidence of this(Hebrews 11) and take each step even when we don't know the outcome.
Noah built the arc, out of holy fear of God. He probably never saw rain, but he knew God does what he promises. So came the flood and a new beginning(Hebrews 11)(Genesis). So why do so many times I want the answer before the step is taken? I think for me it is assuredness, fear that it won't work out. But God is God. And He is everything I need.
So last year a sweet friend offered to buy me a plane ticket to Rome for a missions trip, I had gotten a few friends and we were preparing to buy the tickets. And a sudden almost shout shook my body(not a literal shout, more like God getting my attention hard core) and I knew it wasn't time yet. So the trip to Rome has been postponed till further notice. My heart longed so bad to go and minister to the gypsies and hopefully be used by God to plant seeds in lives, for Him to transform them. But all my dreams came crashing down, while it was really hard, I came through. I knew God had a purpose and I had to trust Him.
Then most recently I knew, I just knew that Ethiopia was where I was supposed to go this May, especially since it was everything that my heart breaks for, so I started raising funds, but I am currently in limbo of whether I will be able to be ticketed, I won't know till tomorrow morning. I need $2,000 and we were supposed to meet the 50% deadline Wednesday to be ticketed. I hope that my rep is able to force my ticket through so I can finish raising the funds. But everything is up in the air right now. The longing is so strong and fierce to go. To go spread God's word. Share his love with people.
I know this is selfish but I feel like a little girl whose dreams will never come true, no matter what. I have so many doubts coming up and so many questions. Yet peace I have for I know, I know God is faithful, and his plan is greater than anything I could ever imagine. It's not about me, or about what I want. It is about God. It is about God who is to be praised and glorified always. He is worthy of all praise and honor. So I sing
The more I seek you
The more I find you
The more I find you
The more I love you

I want to sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hands
Lay back against you and breathe
Feel your heart beat
Your love is so deep
It's more than I can stand
I melt in your peace
It's overwhelming

I know God is faithful. And so it is Him I seek. To see Him glorified. He is worthy of praise. I trust him. He is all I need. And with Jesus I have all I need.
To God be the glory forever and ever, Amen.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A wife and a mom...

Today was spent cleaning, cooking and visiting with an old friend. It was a beautiful day today and the sunrise was breathtaking. I am ever grateful for my family. My parents love me a lot, even though a lot of times I haven't deserved it and they bless me a lot as well. My family is tight knit and good at taking care of each other. For this I am extremely blessed.
While doing things around the house today I couldn't help but think how much I want a family of my own. To serve my husband, to spend the rest of my life with my best friend, through thick and thin. To be a part of raising children and teaching them in the way they should go... towards Jesus and whatever he has for them. To serve God with my husband forever.
It's every girls dream to have the perfect life. But you know I don't want the perfect life, I want the life that God has for us. The life that may be filled with joy as well as hardship. But no matter what God is our strength.

I am heading to Ethiopia here in a few months and I am stoked. You see I get to take the gospel to them and be a part of what God is doing there. That is what I've always wanted to do, and have been blessed to live out this dream thus far. In Ethiopia we get the opportunity to work with orphans, widows and former prostitutes. For this I am extremely blessed. Please pray for my team and myself and we prepare to go. :D
May you see how blessed you are and how much the Father has taken care of you. He loves you.
He is just and merciful.
Love Always,
Alyssa

Monday, March 14, 2011

Even Jesus cried

Hello,
It's been so long. It's been an interesting journey these last few months. Through some different circumstances I allowed myself to become numb to all things around me because it was simply easier. Today I am not the same person I was even at Christmas. The Lord has done a great work in my heart. I often have so many emotions going through me that I just cry. And tears at first were very few and not very welcomed. After taking it to the Lord I've seen and realized it had been over a year since I had let a tear come down my face, even when one of my long time friends died, only in her twenties.
Today as I was processing a lot in my head and seeking the Lord. I've cried a good amount and as a sweet friend told me... "it's OK, even Jesus cried." Not only did he cry... he wept till blood came down. Why? He knew he had to pay the price of sin (which is death, a brutal death), one that we each should have had to pay, but thanks to Jesus, we didn't. He loved us so much. And he wept. He also wept when Lazarus died, not because he was dead necessarily but he knew what pain that Mary and Martha were going through and their pain panged him. How amazing that the God that created us is the same man who weeps when we weep.
I am thankful for tears this day!
God is faithful. And though I am nervous for this next season, I know He has a divine plan. So I trust Him. This day and every day. For my story he is writing.
Love always...
Lys