love

The Music Box. (My second encounter with Jesus)

I won't have any original photos for this post.  

 

In fact, I'm not even supposed to be writing right now. 

 

It's 3:28AM on a Thursday. My day to write is Wednesday.  

 

But I have to obey my heart and the One who resides there. 

 

He wants me to share. And share it now. 

 

I had one of my visions again. I've had two before. One was beyond terrifying. And the next was lovely beyond measure.  

 

This one was the best and the worst one yet. 

 

I was standing in this room with all of you. We were all anxiously anticipating our turns. All of us confident, in varying degrees, in the handheld creations we all possessed. 

 

I kept looking down at what I had decided to present my King. I looked up, all around me, at the busy hands and chattering mouths. It was certainly, an exciting day. 

 

Some felt a bit uneasy about their creations, but wholly confident, nonetheless. 

 

I was proud of my little music box I had made for Jesus. It wasn't fit for a king on the outside (my imperfect wood-carving skills were hiding under my attempts at covering it with a bit of gold glitter). 

 

But, when it played its tune, it was etherial, almost other-worldly. And I hoped it would be a sweet offering to my King.  

 

I watched as others walked into a rather small niche in the center of the room. 

 

There was nothing there aside from Everything, actually. The Spirit of God was coming up and around, and filled the space like air in a balloon. 

 

I watched as some of my friends went first.  

 

Some held out just pieces of their project. Almost caught off guard, they explained that they didn't understand what they were supposed to do with this wood. "If only you'd give us more time," they said. 

 

But God's spirit didn't delay in consuming them whole. And they disappeared with loud screams echoing their departure. 

 

Others, they didn't have that same experience. Instead, their little wooden offerings were received with love and these saints were made anew.  

 

When it was my turn, I heard the voices in my brain begin to attack. 

 

"Who are you kidding, Alicia? This music box isn't what you planned. The exterior isn't fit for the God of Creation. You didn't do enough. You are the worst, etc etc." 

 

The toxic thought life I've had my whole life had followed me to this moment. The moment that mattered more than all of the other moments: the moment I would give back what He gave to me.  

 

Would He accept my gift? Would He be pleased with how I offered my life? Would my little music box be enough?  

 

I told my thoughts to quiet down as I made my way slowly to the small space in the middle of the vast room. 

 

I stood in God's presence and felt equally terrified and peaceful at the same time. 

 

I held out the music box without saying a word. And the glory of God filled the space with a warmth and calm I've never before experienced up until that moment. I wanted to freeze time right then, but the next second came upon me way too quickly.

 

I felt a body behind mine, and knew. 

 

I jolted around quickly, and just squeezed my whole body around my King. 

 

"OH, JESUS!", I said with a smile on my face, that I'm not sure I'd ever expressed before. 

 

He was tall. His body didn't budge when I nearly threw myself at Him. He was strong. Very strong. And He smelled like the sweetest garden. His embrace faintly reminded me of how my husband would hold me: strong, safe, secure, but at a level that I can't even describe to you right now. 

 

"Thank You," He said to me. "The music box was beautiful, Alicia. You did so well. I love it, and I've waited so long to embrace you."

 

He had waited so long?! Jesus was excited to hug....ME??!!!  

 

His smile spoke a million words and I found that there was really nothing I could say. He was saying it for us. We were just relieved to be in the same space. 

 

Pure relief. 

 

And then it was over. I was jolted awake by my husband, who had also had a dream, of which he cannot recall. 

 

My heart was racing. I felt so unreal again. Just like the other two times: not dreams, but something more. Real. Divine. With a purpose. 

 

All of my other dreams have been a sort of hovering experience. Seeing everything from a distance; experiencing things from a movie screen of sorts. 

 

But these three experiences, all about 2 years apart from one another, have been as close to reality as I am writing this now. The smells, the sights, the spaces and ability to feel and touch, were all 100% real.  

 

I really was content to stay in that lifelike dream. After seeing Jesus, I really was disappointed and kind of angry to be awoken from such bliss.  

 

But, this dream, this vision is so much more. It's a wake-up call for us all. What are we doing with our little pile of wood?! What are busy making Him?! Will it be enough?!  

 

Your life is a living sacrifice, an offering, to the God of All. Are you certain you will experience the embrace of Jesus, God Himself, someday?! Or will you bring your pile to be judged; scrambling around, asking for more time?!  

 

I hope you'll experience what I just did. The embrace of the King of Love. The tearful, expectant welcome from the Man who died for us all. Perfect in His love, True in His judgements.  

 

He is Truth. He is Love.  

 

What will you offer Him?! 

 

 

I Love My Daughters Too Much to Vote for Hillary.

There seems to be a trend in news articles and the blogosphere, lately. 

I've encountered so many pieces on why I don't love my young daughters if I don't cast my vote for Clinton. 

I don't like to argue. I really don't, but if not voting for Hillary equates to me not loving my daughters as much as a Hillary supporter does, then so be it. Think what you will. Here are just some of my perfectly good reasons my daughters don't need to be under a Hillary Clinton presidency. And to spare you, I won't even bother mentioning the completely obvious things: such as her corruption with Benghazi, the way she embezzles money through her Clinton Foundation, and her obvious health issues that would automatically disqualify any other potential candidate at this point. 

  • Hillary Hates Black People

I don't know of any other presidential candidate that has been so openly, visibly racist, and yet, the entire community turns a blind eye. As seen in the photo, here, I watched the video where this photo came from. This precious young woman was silently standing, holding her homemade sign, in front of Hillary while she spoke. The video eventually shows the rightfully frustrated young woman being forcefully removed from the room when Hillary refused to answer her question concerning the quote. 

 

Another completely obvious fact, that most Americans refuse to dig deeper into, is the fact that Hillary is a champion for Planned Parenthood. She recently received the Margaret Sanger award a few years back, and plainly stated that she "greatly admired her" and "was in awe of her". Let's not forget that she also considers her a personal hero. Margaret Sanger was a famous eugenicist. What's a eugenicist? A eugenicist is someone who practices eugenics. Eugenics is the belief that breeding should be reserved for superior races. The Eugenics Movement of the early/mid twentieth century was heralded into the common household via Margaret Sanger. Margaret Sanger absolutely hated black people. Her goal was to exterminate them from the world via abortion and forced sterilization. Which is why she thought it necessary to found our modern day Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood still targets low-income, black communities to build their clinics in. Don't believe me? Go here to this interactive map

 Which leads me right into my next reason...

  • Hillary Hates Women

If the reason above wasn't enough, this reason is. Hillary supports, scratch that, Hillary wholeheartedly supports, the extermination of baby girls. That's a really tough video to watch, I know. Some of you may say "well, that's in India", "that's in China". True. But, did you know that it happens here all the time as well? In the United States? Here you go. 

Hillary has stated that she "will always have PP's back". She has yet to give a definitive position on any restrictions on abortion. She's been asked this question countless times, this year alone, and during every interview she happily defends Roe v. Wade and how it doesn't state any restrictions to abortion on demand. She supports it as it stands.

I can't allow my conscience to vote for a woman who supports racism to the highest degree through eugenics, nor support her for her blatant war on women both in and out of the womb. Which brings me to my third point...

  • Hillary Bullies Rape Victims

Hillary's disdain for women and girls goes to the deepest levels. I would never vote for her because she has been caught on tape laughing about the 12-year-old child that was raped by her client in the 1970's. She described the girl as  ‘emotionally unstable’ and had a ‘tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing.’

Since when do we victimize 12-year-old victims of rape?! I never knew that was socially acceptable. Never heard of this in my life. It's deplorable and you should be outraged! 

We really shouldn't have to get into the cover-ups of her husband's affairs and escapades, but those are true as well. She bullied and destroyed the lives of countless women who were raped by Bill Clinton. 

I could go on, but this is enough, really. I love my daughters too much to vote for someone with these standards. Our daughters deserve infinitely better. A lot... a whole lot... is at stake this election season. Hillary is not good for our daughters. Hillary is not going to give them a better future. 

While I will always place my ultimate hope in The One who made us all, I pray that women, everywhere, will come to an understanding of the not-so-hidden truths behind this woman. I pray you will actively watch all of the links provided you in this post. I pray you won't just take my word for it, but do your own research.  I pray you will not just vote to make history, but that you will vote because you DO have daughters. I pray you will vote because you ARE a woman, and women deserve so much better than this. Wouldn't you'd rather the first female American president be one of YOUR daughters? Strong, able, truthful, loving, and inspiring! 

 

We can still make history, but not thru Hillary. 

We can come together as women and unite! We can band together and say "NO! We don't want this woman representing our gender in this way!". We want a strong, steady leader, and Hillary isn't her. 

She just isn't. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the World Doesn't Understand (About Marriage)

Marriage. It's what brings us together today. (Or, maybe not.)

At least, it's the theme of this entire week.  

My husband and I are celebrating a decade of wedded bliss, and my baby brother is getting married two days after our anniversary. 

The world has it all wrong when it comes to this sacred institution. And I would love to enlighten the confused, although, I doubt most of them would even dare care to read our blog anyway. 

Marriage is sexy; prostituting yourself isn't  

I don't get it. I don't get the single (or married) people that find the fleeting one-night-stand thing appealing. How is that sexy and marriage deemed "boring"?

Truly, I get it, sometimes marriage goes thru "down times" where there is little much of anything going on sans just passing one another in the hallway while wrangling kids, life, and/or projects. But really, I mean, how is it preferrable to hop from one soul to another leaving yourself completely vulnerable and exposed, and then feel sorry for the married friend who has to have sex with the same person for the rest of their life?!!? 

Are you kidding me?!?  

I get to have sex with my best friend. The person that has vowed before an Almighty God to love me more than anyone else. I get to experience that with someone who won't forget to call me the next morning, or sneak out before the sun comes up. I get to look into my spouses eyes and see a deep, caring love radiated back, not lust. You're being robbed if you settle for giving yourself to someone who doesn't first hold your soul in marriage.  You think a "Fifty Shades" relationship is hot and something to acquire; Something that marrieds couldn't possibly have?

I can outdo your "Fifty Shades" any day. What a cheap ticket to ride. If that's hot to you, then you're doing it wrong.  

If only people would come up to me when they see my brood and say, "wow, five children, eh? You must really love your husband." To that I would say, "thank you, ma'am! I certainly do! How incredibly wise you are! Are you from another planet, perhaps?"

In fact, it is considered considerably more noble and acceptable to have several children because of several one-night-stands than it is for me to have a large family with my monogamous, "married-only-ever-to-me" husband. But, I digress.

If we are nurturing and treating our marriages like Christ expects us to, second only to His relationship with us, then marriage is and can be smokin' hot. It literally would put any "player" out there to shame. Married people don't "fizzle", they blaze like a roaring fire.

I get overwhelmed just thinking about how amazing God designed marriage to be for His glory and our benefit. Man, His design is just GOOD. To be ONE with another human of the opposite sex. To collaborate daily in all of the spiritual, mental, and physical rhelms is so incredibly beautiful. 

We are sinful and hopelessly flawed, but God within us can make our flaws into something of eternal value. Which brings me to my next point.

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I'm better off with you than without you

Ecclesiastes 4:9 "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour." 

Married couples that do life according to God's will, they have a double effectiveness for the Kingdom of Heaven. Sure, I could've done great amazing awesome things for God solo. Many people are called to live life on mission for God as a single. That's incredible and I admire them so much.  God doesn't only use married couples, but I'm so glad to have the blessing of doing life with another Christ-follower.

I thank God everyday for my husband because I know together, we can do and accomplish so much more than separately. Our first mission field is our homes. Then our extended families and the community around us and beyond. Supporting, dreaming, collaborating, synchronizing, stretching, and working hard together so that the world will look at us and see Christ. That's worth fighting for. Fighting hard for.  

In a world where "self" is exalted and "others" don't even cross most minds, (Biblical) marriage is the ultimate challenge in selflessness. For life. 

Marriage isn't for you 

If you think marriage is for someone to cater to your every whim, someone to flip your pancakes for you, and to share a bank account with, then don't get married. Marriage is for God's glory, ultimately. Why do so many marriages fail? Easy. When you approach marriage with a "what can I get outta this" attitude, you're marriage is already failing before it even begins. When you don't meet their expectations, bitterness comes. When that happens, you aren't able to see past yourself, then you become your own victim. Divorce is the answer.  

Expectations will always ruin relationships. Always. Unless, of course, you expect your spouse to fail you daily. Then you are living reasonably.  

When the wedding is over, then comes the marriage 

Hey! Guess what?! Marriage isn't about that three hour wedding that took an entire year and $50,000 to plan. I'm so tired of seeing so many people live and plan and feverishly spend, spend, spend money, time, and energy on the wedding day and then pay no mind to the marriage that inevitably follows. 

Christians have fallen into that "wedding" trap just as bad if not worse than non-Christians. It's embarrassing and it's probably a contributing factor as to why the Christian divorce rate is no different than the worldly divorce rate. 

Stop investing so much into the wedding and invest into your marriage.  

It's absolute JOY to witness and support a marriage that YOU KNOW will go the distance. The first time I met my future sister-in-law this past November, I just knew. I knew she was perfect for my brother and I knew when their wedding came upon us, that we would be so beyond thrilled to be apart of it. The same goes for my sister and her marriage almost seven years ago. Same excitement. Several friends of mine have been married and you can't help but just praise the Lord for the ones that you just know are God's plan. Marriage, orchestrated by God, is a blessing!! 

God designed marriage, so He calls the shots   

This won't be a debate about who and how we should marry. I trust the Author of marriage. He designed it. He gave us very strict guidelines for marriage, our bodies, and how we should live our lives. The world shouldn't be expected to follow those guidelines. They are lost for a reason. They're confused. They set their own definitions, expectations, and guidelines.

But, Christian, we must stand up for and proclaim God's Word about God's will for marriage. There is a reason why He gave us so much information about marriage, because His design is perfect and good for our lives and for the survival of the human race.  

When marriages fail, we fail. When marriage is valued about as much as a cracker jack prize, then society falters. We are seeing the effects of decades of divorce being the "norm" in our culture. The world doesn't value, nor sees the importance of God's design in marriage anymore. This should make us weep.  

I intend to keep fighting for marriage. Ten years in, and I'm wholly better because of my marriage. It's my greatest joy and my greatest sorrow. It fills me with hope, love, and peace and exposes my faults, shortcomings, and selfishness.  

To the world, I say, stop cheapening marriage. Understand that settling for a McDonald's kind of love life means you're missing out on the "fresh homecooked meal with a massive plate of warm chocolate chip cookies" love. It takes more work, and a lot more effort and ingredients to serve up the latter, but boy does it ever beat a drive-thru love you're convinced is more delicious than the meal I eat everyday. And to that I say, "you can have your Big Mac, these cookies won't stay warm forever". 

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