this is chapter where he kills all the priests of Baal #likeaboss, does a pretty rad sacrifice and it brings the rain back. ) I was amazed how all that epic stuff came after Elijah successfully lived and thrived in a season of change & drought. Just then, I felt that still small voice that had been drowned out by everything else in my world say, “resilience can only be built in times of drought…faith is strengthened through trial. Don’t give up.” I was then reminded of a quote I saw this week that read;

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. – Helen Keller
So this is me, changing how I change, finally accepting that I don’t know everything and humbly embracing the process. awakening, Chari   ]]>

Giant Slayer

So David triumphed over the Philistines with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword.” 1 Sam. 17:50 NLT JordansWhen I was twelve all I wanted for Christmas was the new AirJordans. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up and I knew it would take a miracle for me to get those shoes. I watched as my mom saved every week and when Christmas came I found one box under the tree with my name on it. I remember the moment I opened it and realized that the AirJordans were mine. I ran over to my mom and wrapped my arms around her neck. The next three basketball seasons I wore those shoes. I didn’t care that I didn’t look like I had the latest attire, or what people said about me. I understood the sacrifice that gave me those shoes, and that was all that mattered. Now as an adult I look upon these life lessons and wish I still lived like that. You know that feeling of fearlessness that you have as a kid? I want to be willing to surrender everything when I am asked because I understand the sacrifice that God gave for me; I want to live with that feeling at the forefront of my heart.  And no matter what I look like, or no matter if all I have is a sling and a couple stones I want to run towards the giants in life. Truth of the matter is that He gave His life so that I could one day be a Giant Slayer…. ….so here I go, challenge accepted! Chari  ]]>


Me: “Excuse me!? ( dramatic pause ) Did you say “shut-up” to my brother?” ( cue the finger to her face and the hand on my hip ) Ms. Ladeco: ” Uh …. ( in total shock ) ….. Yes? ” Me: Well, you better never do that again, or else! I am not sure what ” or else ” meant at that moment , I’d just seen it in a movie some where and it sounded dramatic. Ms. Ladeco: ” Uh …. ( Still in total shock ) ….. ” Me: You hurt his feelings, and just so you know I will be telling my mother… ( cue the stare down and exit ) [highlight] It was the best moment of my life.[/highlight] I stood up to a bully and I won! This morning in my bible reading I read about David and Goliath. What I love about the story is when David heard about Goliath he was like, “put me in coach!” It says the giant advanced towards David and he ran towards Goliath! WHAT!! He was totally unafraid and ready to do work! Now, I know that Ms. Ladeco was not a giant; and yes, I later received a rather epic thrashing from my mother for yelling at an adult, but that’s not the point. The point is there are so many giants in life and sometimes I wish I still had the same fearlessness I had as a kid. UGH! Instead of chasing giants I have found I am swinging recklessly at the air or worse, cowering away. Ain’t no one got time for that!

Lord Jesus, make my life matter! I want to live a life that brings you glory! I want to be like David, the first to say, “Yes”, unafraid to move forward and totally anchored and strengthened in your goodness.
My hope for the next leg of this journey is to be found [highlight]taking up the charge[/highlight], [highlight]readily picking up stones[/highlight] and [highlight]running towards the giants[/highlight]! Here’s to slaying giants and being awesome, Chari    ]]>

That was awkward…

Don’t judge me ). Or how about the time I knocked myself unconscious while vacuum cleaning at work! That one was hilarious and embarrassing all wrapped up into one mega awkward encounter with my boss.  ” Yea, I am bleeding because I vacuumed over a piece of metal… and …uh… it hit me in the face. Yea, no, wait..that didn’t knock me unconscious…I fell over the vacuum and the cord came flying out of the wall like a spider monkey and that hit me in the nose and knocked me out!” — Cue awkward silence… I was reading 1 Samuel this morning in my devo time and I got to the part in the story of King Saul where it said, “…And the Lord was sorry He had ever made Saul King of Israel.” All I thought was, “well, that was awkward.” King Saul was chosen among all of Israel to be the first King. But during his reign he began to believe his own hype and strayed from total obedience. He made the right sacrifices but he didn’t see things through the way it asked of him. I started to think how I can serve God with total fervor yet my heart isn’t in total surrender to what He asks of me. I find myself many times going through the motions but sometimes my heart isn’t in it. I wonder if that’s how Saul started to stray. He knew the right things to do, but his heart wasn’t in it. Later God tells Samuel that he wants a king that is after His heart. It’s so easy to stray or get bored with your faith when your heart isn’t in it. And if I’ve learned anything I’ve learned the heart is easily seduced. In the last month it’s as if my heart became overwhelmed with the season and with the busyness of my world. In the last couple weeks I’ve had to make some changes and make sure I realigned my heart to all things Jesus. Truth of the matter is,

“…it is when we forget who we are that we’re most vulnerable to bowing down to what we are not… ” -Alicia Britt Chole
Sadly, our humanity will always desire first place and our hearts will bow to whatever lures it away. My prayer this morning was that I would not live a “half-way life.” Like King Saul I don’t want to be driven by my sacrifices and good intentions but by my hearts devotion to my creator and my hearts desire to be obedient. In 2013 I choose to find solace in surrendering my heart totally, and to remind myself that it’s something I have to choose to do daily. Expectant, Chari    ]]>